- Project Runeberg -  Impressions of Russia /

(1889) [MARC] Author: Georg Brandes Translator: Samuel Coffin Eastman - Tema: Russia
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same books lying about among others on a table in a
room, that was disorder. But what he did not know was
that these same laws allowed him certain acts and
forbade him others. He regarded them simply as a hymn,
composed in the interests of the small pompadours, for
their honor, to serve them for recreation. Since he was
modest by nature, and blushed whenever he heard any
one echo his praises, it can be understood that he did
not care to fumble in the laws. When it now dawned
upon the governor that the law forbids him to sentence
the bigwig Proshorof, whom he was burning to let feel
his wrath, to a good sound whipping, he became very
uneasy. It soothed him very little that, according to the
clerk’s disclosure, he always had the recourse of having
him flogged secretly and without witnesses. And now
his state of mind at this discovery is portrayed. “He
had never yet felt such an annoyance. It seemed to him
as if he had fallen into a danger, and as if he heard an
inward challenge not to be a coward, but to show
personal courage.” And he shouted with the voice of a
commander: “Let Proshorof be flogged on the spot —

A favorite subject for Shchedrin’s satire is the system
of patronage, which flourishes in Russia as nowhere else.
Every kind of patronage is possible here, if you have
connections among the superior officers. A St. Petersburg
family of my acquaintance, who were going down
to Southern Russia, had a whole railway carriage sent
up from Orel, and travelled in it from St. Petersburg
down to the door of their country house. It even
happened to me that one night on the railroad at Smolénsk
a separate carriage, with a bed ready for use, was placed
at my disposal by the station-master, who had received
an order to that effect from his superior, while the

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