- Project Runeberg -  Impressions of Russia /
144

(1889) [MARC] Author: Georg Brandes Translator: Samuel Coffin Eastman - Tema: Russia
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borrows and gets along without troubling himself about
money. He cannot see a needy person without giving
him all the money he has with him, and often more;
for he borrows of one to give to another. The admiration
which is given him in wide circles prevents any one
being angry with him for any irregularity. He is
forgiven with the words, “We must remember it is
Glyeb.”

Apart from a few of the most eminent of these authors,
it may be said that what is common to all these younger
and older authors is propensity to drink, laxity in money
matters, lack of fundamental culture, and an every-day
dull melancholy. Several of them are utterly ruined by
the homeless life, with its debauches of ale, champagne,
and women. The loss of all illusions as to the attainment
of freedom and happiness, the feeling of boundless
disappointment in life, and of a lack of means to do
anything for the people or the country, brings them to
despair, and to seek to forget the despair in a life of
stupefaction.

It is clear that these writers know only a very small
part of society, and possess only a restricted and peculiar
intellectual culture. And as they have no acquaintance
with the higher classes of society, from which they
suspiciously keep aloof, so these classes have no
acquaintance with them. Towards society in St. Petersburg
they occupy the position of pariahs. At best their works
only are known. The authors as persons have no
existence for the fine gentlemen and ladies.

Even the oldest and greatest of them live entirely
secluded, and almost every one of them has a wife, who
does not understand him at all, and with whom it is
only with difficulty that he continues to live; yet the
author makes all sorts of concessions from his good

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