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this boot of boots against the walls of my
stove (my feet being within them), without
the slightest danger of scorching my
flesh or injuring the leather. I might strop
a razor on my Kasan boot; in short, I might
do as many things with it as with the dear
old Leather Bottelle in the song; and when
it is past its legitimate work it will serve to
keep nails in, or tobacco, or such small wares.

The morning equipment of a Russian seigneur
is never complete without Kasan boots.
When you pay an early visit to one of these,
you will find his distinguished origin
reclining on an ottoman, a very long Turkish
chibouk, filled with the astute M. Fortuna's
krepky tabaky between his lips, his
aristocratic form enveloped either in a long
Caucasian caftan of the finest sheepskin,
or in a flowered Persian dressing-gown,
a voluminous pair of charovars, or loose
trousers of black velvet bound round his hips
with a shawl of crape and gold tissue, while
a pair of genuine Kasan boots (to follow out the
approved three-volume novel formula),
complete his costume. Stayhis origin's head will
be swathed in a silk pocket-handkerchief, which
sometimes from its pattern, and sometimes
from its uncleanliness, is not quite so
picturesque. On a gueridon, or side-table, there
will be, a green velvet porte-cigare, a box of
sweetmeats, a bottle of Bordeaux, a syphon of
Selzer water, and a half-emptied tumbler of
tea, looking very muddy and sticky in its
glass prism. There will be a lap-dog in the
room who has been taught to understand
French, though a Cossack cur by four descents,
and who, at the word of command, in that
language, goes through the military exercise.
There will be the lap-dog, Mouche, or Brio's,
plate of macaroons and milk in the corner.
There will be, very probably, a parrot,
perhaps a monkey; but in default of these,
certainly a musical box, or a guitar. Scattered
round his origin's feet, and on his ottoman,
will be his origin's morning light literature:
Paul de Kock, Charles de Bernard, or Xavier
de Montépin, their amusing and instructive
works: [Gentlemen of the old school read
Pigault, Lebrun, and Ducray-Duminil,] you
never see any newspapers. His origin does
not care about boring himself with the Journal
de St. Pétersburg, or the Gazette de
l' Académie; and as for the Times, Punch, the
Charivari, they are not to be had, even for
nous autres in Russia. You seldom see any
Russian book, unless his excellency deigns to
be a savant. What is the good of studying
the literature of a language which nous autres
never speak! There is a piano in a corner,
with a good deal of tobacco-ash on the keys.
There are some portraits of opera girls on
the walls, and some more Paris Boulevard
lithographs too silly to be vicious, though
meant to be so. If my reader wants to see
portraits of Our Lady, or of the Czar, he
or she must go to Gavrilo-Ermovaïevitch,
the merchant's house, or Sophron-Pavlytch,
the moujik's cabin not to the mansions of
nous autres. There is about the chamber,
either in costume, or accoutrement, some
slight but unmistakeable sign of its owner
not always wearing the Persian dressing-
gown, the charovars, and the Kasan boots,
but being compelled to wear a sword, a helmet,
a grey great-coat, and a stand-up collar;
and there is, besides the parrot, the monkey,
and the lap-dog, another living thing in some
corner or otherin the shape of one of his
origin's serfs, who is pottering about making
cigarettes, or puffing at a samovar, or polishing
a watch-case, silently and slavishly as is
his duty.


MR. JOHN HOUGHTON, Gentleman, Fellow
of the Royal Society, naturalist, seller of
apothecaries' wares and groceries at the
corner of Eastcheap, commission-agent, and.
editor of a newspaper of universal knowledge,
was a man of whom his age had not a little
reason to be satisfied, considering the many
queer things which that age had been accused
of doing: during many years of the reigns
of Charles the Second, James the Second,
William and Mary, William alone, and Anne,
did Mr. John Houghton bring forth his odd
little newspaper, containing a budget of
curious things, and useful things very little
known at the present day. He was able to
publish a testimonial relating to the
praiseworthiness of his labours, signed by men
who, in some instances, have attained a
reputation which the forgotten John Houghton
more really deserved. Samuel Pepys, John
Evelyn, Robert Plot, Daniel Coxe, Hans
Sloane, Edmund Halley, were among those
whose signatures were appended to this
testimonial. As the newspaper in question is
very scarce; as barely one in one thousand of
the readers of Household Words will ever
have an opportunity of seeing it; and as
John Houghton is really worthy of being
held in remembrance as a remarkable man,
we will forthwith introduce him.

In September, sixteen hundred and eighty-
one, appeared the first number of a modest
little periodical, purporting to be Mr. John
Houghton's Collection relating to Husbandry
and Trade. It was, as near as may be, equal
in the size of the page to the Notes and
Queries of our modern days; and each sheet,
of eight such pages, were sold for one penny.
Sometimes a number contained two sheets.
They appeared about once a month,
occasionally at longer intervals. His first volume
ended, John Houghton made a movement
towards the collecting of what, in these our
days, we should call statistics. He said:
"I have printed a letter, which, as I shall be
recommended, I design to send to ten or
twenty thousand persons, from whom, what
account I receive, tending to the increase of
husbandry or trade, shall be faithfully