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like a brick sarcophagus; that there are some
massive, gloomy shelves, on which there are
no coffins as yet, but which I fancy must
have been designed to receive those last of
snuff-boxes, which are to titillate the nose of
humanity; that the windows though very
numerous, are very small; that the folding-
doors of a great mahogany wardrobe yawn
tombfully, as though they were the portals
of the inner chamber of death; that there is
one corner cupboard which I can almost
make oath and swear, is the identical corner
cupboard reserved by the especial NEMESIS
for yearsthe corner cupboard where the
skeleton iswhen I have given this
hurried inventory of the furniture of
Number Eighteen, it is a work of supererogation
to relate that, being a nervous man
I shake my head when Barnabay Brother
tells me the termstwo roubles a-day,
exclusive of attendanceand that I ask mildly
whether I cannot have a smaller, lighter,
cheaper apartment. But I cannot have
anything smaller, cheaper, lighter, Zimmer. All
else is full, engaged up to the eyes, three
deep, till to-morrow fortnight, till the Greek
calends. I can go over to the Napoléon, to
the Coulon, to the Deymouth, to the Klee, to
the Princes, but I shall find everything
(not that this poor house, dear lord, would
wish to lose your distinguished, and, of
consideration, patronage!) as full as the tomb of
the Eleven Thousand Virgins at Cologne.
This "funerals performed" allusion jars upon
my nerves again, as having unpleasant
reference to the family vault view of things
in general. But, as I find I can't well obtain
any other accommodation; as I opine I can
turn out and engage cheaper apartments in a
private house to-morrow; as the vault,
though a vault, looks a remarkably clean
mausoleum, and does not by any means give
me the impression that it is haunted even by
the ghost of a flea,—such as poor dear William
Blake, the supernaturalist painter saw that
time he witnessed a fairy's funeral in a
garden by moonlightI accede to the terms,
and am swiftly at home at Heyde's.

I say at homeand swiftly; because, no
sooner have I accepted to sit at Heyde's, at
fourteen silver roubles a-week, than I become
in Barnabay's mind, no longer a wandering
traveller, higgling and haggling for accommodation
but "Nummer achtsehn,"—Number
Eighteen, duly housed and recognised; my
passport in Heyde's pocket (you will observe
that I use the terms Heyde's, Barnabay,
Zacharaï, somewhat indifferently; but is it
not all one with regard to nomenclature,
when all is Heyde's?) my name on Heyde's
house-slate, my name, in far more enduring
characters already, in Heyde's ledger: for,
has he not paid the Ischvostchiks, and is not
that the commencement of a goodly score?

At home at Heyde's, I have to repeat; for
perhaps, while the Brother Barnabay is
chalking me up as Number Eighteen, one red-
shirted slave of the bell has devoided me of
almost every particle of apparel, and has, by
some astonishing feat of gymnastic ability,
got on to some adjacent housetop, where I
can see him, and hear him brushing them,
and hissing meanwhile, in approved ostler
fashion. Another vassal is preparing an
adjacent bath-room, which (always remember
that we are in a German hotel)
is on the ordinary hot-water principle, and
not the stewpan, combined with chemical
distillery, finished off by Busbeian discipline
and buckets-of-cold-water, Russian vapour
bath. Serf number three, the twin brother
of the two others, has uncorded my luggage,
and is now tugging away at my boots, with
so good-humoured a grin on his willing
bearded countenance that I am far more inclined
to slap him on the shoulder than to
remember that my feet are swollen, and that
he has nearly dislocated my ancle. You
find among the poor slave RussiansI can
scarcely say the poorest, lowest, most
degraded, when all are degraded, and low, and
poor: all figures of Zero, to swell the
millions of roubles their masters possess, and
make those Units wealthy and powerful
the kindest faces, the most willing, obliging,
grateful dispositions in the world. To qualify
that old Billingsgate locution, which, coarse
as it is, is exactly applicable here, "Barring
that a Russian moujik is a liar and a thief,
no one can say that black is the white of his
eye." He is kind; he is grateful; he is
affectionate; not quarrelsome when drunk;
untiringly industrious (when on his own
account, he will idle the lord's time away, and
who can wonder?); ordinarily frugal; and as
astonishingly self-denying as an Irish peasant
when he has a purpose to serve. His vices
are the vices of barbarism; and here comes
the difficulty in his treatment to those who
are even most disposed to treat him kindly.
I declare of my own knowledge that it is
impossible to live in Russia, among the
Russians, without feeling that the serfsfrom
domestic servants to farm labourers, from
ladies' waiting-maids to village babaslaugh
at what we should call kindness, and despise
a master who does not act on the principle
of a word and a blow. It is impossible
to avoid becoming to a certain degree
hardened and brutalised by the constant
spectacle of unrestrained tyranny on the one
hand, and by the impossibility of resistance
on the other. Every one beats, and kicks,
and cuffs, and calls his inferiors by
opprobrious epithets: would it be surprising that,
through mere habit, the most ardent lover of
freedom fell into some of the despotic ways
of those he lived among? I am glad to say
that I lived too short a time in the Russian
Rome for it to be seldom if ever necessary to
me to do as the Romans do; yet I have often
been conscious and ashamed of a temptation
to administer the argument of Mr. Grantley
Berkleythe punch on the headfor what

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