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had taken seats at a separate little table;
they had ordered their tea, and were listening
to what the three merchants were saying.

'A poor looking fellow came in and took
from his breast-pocket an incredibly dirty
sheet of paper, in which were wrapped up
bank-notes and some gold, and handed it over
to the grey-haired merchant, who, having
counted them over, said:

"Five thousand, two hundred and seventeen
roubles. Is it right?"

"Quite right, Sir."

"It shall be delivered according to your

'Ivan asked why the sender had not taken a

'The red and dark-haired merchants burst
out laughing; the grey-haired got into a

"A receipt!" he cried out furiously, "a
receipt! I would have broken his jaw with
his own money had he dared to ask me for a
receipt. I have been a merchant now more
than fifty years, and I have never yet been
insulted by being asked to give a receipt."

"You see, Sir," said the red-haired merchant,
"it is only with noblemen that such
things as receipts and bills of exchange exist.
We commercial people do not make use of
them. Our simple word suffices. We have
no time to spare for writing. For instance,
Sir: here is Sidor Avdeievitsch, who has
millions of roubles in his trade, and his whole
writing consists of a few scraps of paper, for
memory's sake, Sir."

"I don't understand that," interrupted Ivan

"How could you, Sir? It is mere com-
mercial business, without plan or fa├žade.
We ourselves learn it from our childhood:
first as errand-boys, then as clerks, till we
become partners in the business. I confess it
is hard work."

Upon this text Ivan preaches a 'Young
Russia discourse.'

"Allow me a few words," he said with
fervour. "It appears to me that we have in
Russia a geat number of persons buying and
selling, but yet, I must say, we have no systematic
comerce. For commerce, science and
learning are indispensable; a conflux of
civilised men, clever mathematical calculations
but not, as seems to be the case with you,
dependence upon mere chance. You earn
millions, because you convert the consumer
into a victim, against whom every kind of
cheat is pardonable, and then you lay by
farthing by farthing, refusing yourselves
not only all the enjoyments of life, but
even the most necessary comforts. . . . You
brag of your threadbare clothes; but surely
this extreme parsimony is a thousand times
more blameable than the opposite prodigality
of those of your comrades who spend their
time amongst gipsies, and their money in
feasting. You boast of your ignorance, because
you do not know what civilisation is.
Civilisation, according to your notions,
consists in shorter laps of a coat, foreign furniture,
bronzes, and champagnein a word,
in outward trifles and silly customs. Trust
me, not such is civilisation. . . . Unite yourselves!
Be it your vocation to lay open all
the hidden riches of our great country; to
diffuse life and vigour into all its veins; to
take the whole management of its material
interests into your hands. Unite your endeavours
in this beautiful deed, and you may be
certain of success! Why should Russia be
worse than England? Comprehend only
your calling; let the beam of civilisation fall
upon you, and your love for your fatherland
will strengthen such a union; and you will
see that not only the whole of Russia, but
even the whole world will be in your hands."

'At this eloquent conclusion, the red and
the dark-haired merchants opened wide their
eyes. They, of course, did not understand a
single word of Ivan Vassilievitsch's speech.'

"Alas, for Young Russia," Ivan dolefully
remarks in another place;—

"I thought to study life in the provinces:
there is no life in the provinces: every one
there is said to be of the same cut. Life in
the capitals is not a Russian life, but a weak
imitation of the petty perfections and gross
vices of modern civilisation. Where am I
then to find Russia? In the lower classes,
perhaps, in the every-day life of the Russian
peasant? But have I not been now for five
days chiefly amongst this class? I prick up
my ears and listen; I open wide my eyes and
look, and do what I may, I find not the least
trifle worth noting in my 'Impressions.' The
country is dead; there is nothing but land,
land, land; so much land, indeed, that my
eyes get tired of looking at it; a dreadful
roadwaggons of goods, swearing carriers,
drunken stage-inspectors; beetles creeping on
every wall; soups with the smell of tallow-candles!
How is it possible for any respectable
person to occupy himself with such
nasty stuff? And what is yet more provoking,
is the doleful uniformity which tires you
so much, and affords you no rest whatever.
Nothing new, nothing unexpected! Tomorrow
what has been to-day; to-day what
has been yesterday. Here, a post-stage, there
again a post-stage, and further the same post-stage
again; here, a village-elder asking for
drink-money, and again to infinity village-elders
all asking for drink-money. What
can I write? I begin to agree with Vassily
Ivanovitsch; he is right in saying that we do
not travel, and that there is no travelling in
Russia. We simply are going to Mordassy.
Alas! for my 'Impressions.' "

Whoever wants to know more of this amusing
Young Russian, must consult "The Tarantas."
We can assure the reader that the
book is fraught with a store of amusement
chiefly descriptions of town and country life in
Russianot often compressed into the modest
and inexpensive compass of a thin duodecimo.

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