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Ivan Tomasovitch the flunkey lacks in
Russian households; within doors he swarms,
multiplies himself orientally and indefinitely;
but, out of doors, Nous Autres do without him.

Two words more, and I have done with the
equipages of the great. Although there are
probably no people on earth that attach so
much importance to honorific distinctions,
caste, costumes, and " sun, moon, and stars"
decorations as the Russians; their carriage-
panels are singularly free from the boastful,
imbecilities of that sham heraldry and
harlequinading patchwork which some of us in
the west throw like parti-coloured snuff in
the eyes of the world to prove our high
descent. And, goodness knows, the Russian
nobility are barbarically well-born enough.
They have plenty of heraldic kaleidoscope-
work at home; but they keep it, like their
servants, for grand occasions. For ordinary
wear, a plain coronet on the panel, ormore
frequently stillthe simple initials of the
occupant, are thought sufficient for a prince's

A last word. Since my return to Western
Europe I have noticed that the dear and
delightful sex who share our joys and double our
woesI mean, of course, the Ladies!—have
adopted a new, marvellous, and most eccentric
fashion in wearing-apparel. I allude to the
cunning machines, of a balloon form, composed of
crinoline, whalebone, and steelcalled, I have
heardsous-jupes bouffantes, and which I
conjecture the fair creatures wear underneath
their dresses to give them that swaying,
staggering nether appearance, which is so
much admiredby millinersand which I
can compare to nothing so closely as the
Great Bell of Bow in a gale of wind, and far
gone in the dropsy. What have the sous jupes
bouffantes to do with the coachmen of the
Russian boyards? you will ask. This. For a
very swell coachman, there is nothing thought
more elegant and distinguished than a most
exaggerated bustle. The unhappy wretches
are made to waspicate their waists with their
sashes; and, all around in a hundred plaits,
extend the skirts of their caftans. What
species of under-garments they wear, or what
mechanical means they adopt to inflate their
skirts, I know not; but they have exactly
the same Tombola appearance as our fashionable
ladies. Isn't it charming ladies? Only
twenty years since, you borrowed a fashion
from the Hottentot Venus, and now skirts
are worn à la Moujik Russe.

There are some old Russian families who
are yet sufficiently attached to ancient,
pigtail observances, as to drive four horses
to their carriages. The leaders are generally
a long way ahead; there is a
prevailing looseness in the way of traces;
and the postilion, if any, sternly repudiates
the bare idea of a jacket with a two-inch
tail, and adheres to the orthodox caftan; a
portion of whose skirts he tucks into his
bucket-boots along with his galligaskins.
Caftan and boots and breeches, breeches,
boots and caftan, bushy beard and low-
crowned hat! Dear reader, how often shall
I have to reiterate these wordshow long
will it be before you tire of them? There
are sixty-five millions of people in this
Valley of the Drybones; but they are all
alike in their degree. The Russian people
are printed, and there are thousands of
impressions of gaudy officers struck in colours,
gilt and tinselled like Mr. Parks's characters
(those that cost three-and-sixpence); and
there are millions of humble moujiks and
ischvostchiks, roughly pulled and hastily
daubedonly a penny plain and twopence



FOUR mouths elapsed, and in the midst of
the dark winter-days Alice's son struggled
into the world. Privation had come into
Robin's home before this; the photographic
business did not prosper, and a stray guinea
for a caricature on passing events was all
that found its way into the household purse;
but both Alice and her husband were
marvellously cheerful under the circumstances.
At last Robin determined to apply to his
father for the restoration of his bachelor
allowance, and, in that intent, he went early
one morning to his office. Carl was there,
and received him with ceremonious contempt;
but when Robin opened his business, and the
father seemed inclined to relent, he
interposed with sneers and threats, and a stormy
quarrel ensued, which resulted in the younger
brother's being forbidden his father's

That evening Ike and his favourite son sat
longer than usual over their wine; not that
either drank much, for both were abstemious
men, but that each had a mind preoccupied.
Ike had been considerably disturbed by the
scene at the office, and his face now wore a
grey, anxious look; his hand was often lifted
uneasily to his head, but Carl was so absorbed
that he did not notice the gesture. At length
the old man rose and walked unsteadily to
the fireplace, against which he supported
himself. When he spoke his utterance was
indistinct and slow; evidently some strange
influence was upon him.

"We might have left him that paltry three
hundred, Carl: it was not much," he said,
anxiously and deprecatingly. A cold sneer
curved Carl's lips, but he neither stirred
nor looked up. Ike continued in the same
tone: "I think I shall tell Wormsley to let
him have itthe lad seemed disheartened to-
day: Alice ill, and the child to look to. Do
you think Marston will have left the office?"

Carl started up. Marston was his
father's confidential clerk, a man who had
always stood Robin's friend. ''Wait until
to-morrow, sir, and you'll think better of it,"

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