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pastoral sabots, whose hair was cropped close
to his head (in the manner suggesting county
gaol at home, and ignorance of small tooth-
combs abroad), and who had quite a flux of
French words, and tried to persuade me, to
eat civet de lièvre that was to be served up
at half-past seven of the clock.

But I would have borne half a hundred
disappointments similar to this dinner for the
sake of the black man. Legs and feet! he
was a character! He sat opposite to me,
calm, contented, magnificent, proud. He was
as black as my boot, and as shiny. His
woolly head, crisped by our bounteous mother
Nature, had unmistakeably received a recent
touch of the barber's tongs. He was
perfumed; he was oiled; he had moustaches (as
I live!) twisted out into long rats'-tails by
means of pommade Hongroise. He had a
tip. He had a scarlet Turkish cap with a
long blue tassel. He had military stripes
down his pantaloons. He had patent leather
boots. He had shirt-studs of large
circumference, pins, gold waistcoat-buttons, and a
gorgeous watch-chain. I believe he had a
crimson under-waistcoat. He had the whitest
of cambric handkerchiefs, a ring on his
forefinger, and a stick with an overpowering gold
knob. He was the wonderfullest nigger that
the eye ever beheld.

He had a pretty little English wifeit is a
fact, madamwith long auburn ringlets, who
it was plain to see was desperately in love
with, and desperately afraid of him. It was
marvellous to behold the rapt, fond gaze with
which she contemplated him as he leaned
back in his chair after dinner, and refreshed
his glistening ivories with a toothpick.
Equally marvellous was the condescension
with which he permitted her to eat her dinner
in his august presence, and suffered her to tie
round his neck a great emblazoned shawl like
a flag.

Who could he have been? The father
of the African twins; the Black Malibran's
brother; Baron Pompey; Prince Mousala-katzic
of the Orange River; Prince Bobo;
some other sable dignitary of the empire
of Hayti; or the renowned Soulouque
himself, incognito? Yet, though affable to his
spouse, he was a fierce man to the waiter.
The old blood of Ashantee, the ancient lineage
of Dahomey, could ill brook the shortcomings
of that cadaverous servitor. There was
an item in the reckoning that displeased

"Wass this sa?" he cried, in a terrible
voice; "wass this, sa? Fesh your mas'r, sa!"

The waiter cringed and fled, and I laughed.
"Good luck have thou with thine honour:
ride on——" honest black man; but oh,
human nature, human nature! I would
not be your nigger for many dollars. More
rib-roasting should I receive, I am afraid,
than ever Uncle Tom suffered from fierce

I have not dined at His Lordship's since
I would dine there any day to be sure of the
company of the black manbut I have more
to say about Beef.


I WAS inscribed as a sergeant of the
Séménofski guards at a very early age. I
was entrusted to the care of one of my
father's serfs, named Savéliitch. He taught
me to read and write, and was very indignant
when he learned that a Frenchman was to be
conveyed back to the estate with the annual
provision of wine and oil from Moscow.
"Nobody can say that the child has not been
well fed, well combed, and well washed,"
murmured old Savéliitch; "why then spend
money on a Frenchman, while there are plenty
of native servants in the house!"

M. Beaupré came and engaged himself to
teach me French, German, and all the
sciences; but he made me teach him my
native language, and taught me many things
that did me little good. He was fond of brandy,
and was, as I was told, too ardent an admirer
of ladies. I remember only that one day, when
my respected tutor was lying upon his bed in
a hopeless state of drunkenness, and I was
cutting up a map of Moscow for a kite, my
father entered the room, boxed my ears, and
turned moussié out of the house, to the great
joy of Saveliitch, and to my sorrow. My
education being thus brought to a sudden
close, I amused myself until I had completed
my sixteenth year, in playing at leap-frog, and
watching my mother make her exquisite
preparations of honey, when one day my
father said to my mother:

"Avdotia Vassiliéva, vhat age is

"He has just entered his seventeenth year.
Pétroucha was born the same year that
Nastasia Garasimova lost her eye, and—"

"Well, well," my father replied, "he starts
for his regiment to-morrow."

My mother burst into tears, and I jumped
for joy.

"Don't forget, André Petrovitch," said my
mother to my father, who was writing my
letter of introduction, "to remember me to
Prince B——, and to bid him show every
kindness to Pétroucha."

"Pétroucha is not going to St. Petersburg,"
my father replied. I was heart-broken.
I had dreamed of nothing but St. Petersburg.
When my father had finished the letter, he
turned to me and said:

"This letter is addressed to André Karlovitch,
my old companion in arms. He is
at Orenberg, and you will join him there."
The kibitka was at the door. The servants
had stowed away in it a tea-service, and pies
of different sorts tied up in cloths. My
parents gave me their blessing. My father
said to me, "Good bye, Pierre; serve your
Empress with fidelity; obey your superiors,
don't seek favours from them; and remember

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