A Reckless Character eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 299 pages of information about A Reckless Character.

June, 1882.


[1] See endnote to “Old Portraits,” in this volume.—­TRANSLATOR.

[2] The Vigil-service (consisting of Vespers and Matins, or Compline and Matins) may be celebrated in unconsecrated buildings, and the devout not infrequently have it, as well as prayer-services, at home.—­TRANSLATOR.

[3] Meaning the odour of the oil which must be used in preparing food, instead of butter, during the numerous fasts.—­TRANSLATOR.

[4] The custom of thus dressing up as bears, clowns, and so forth, and visiting all the houses in the neighbourhood, is still kept up in rustic localities.  St. Vasily’s (Basil’s) day falls on January 1.—­TRANSLATOR.

[5] An arshin is twenty-eight inches.—­TRANSLATOR

[6] A park for popular resort in the suburbs of Moscow.—­TRANSLATOR

[7] Incorrectly written for Poltava.—­TRANSLATOR

[8] The fatter the coachman, the more stylish he is.  If he is not fat naturally, he adds cushions under his coat.—­TRANSLATOR.

[9] That is, to the Trinity monastery of the first class founded by St. Sergius in 1340.  It is situated about forty miles from Moscow, and is the most famous monastery in the country next to the Catacombs Monastery at Kieff.—­TRANSLATOR.

[10] Pronounced Aryol.—­TRANSLATOR.

[11] Such a sledge, drawn by the national team of three horses, will hold five or six persons closely packed.—­TRANSLATOR.

[12] The word he used, mytarstvo, has a peculiar meaning.  It refers specifically to the experiences of the soul when it leaves the body.  According to the teaching of divers ancient fathers of the church, the soul, as soon as it leaves the body, is confronted by accusing demons, who arraign it with all the sins, great and small, which it has committed during its earthly career.  If its good deeds, alms, prayers, and so forth (added to the grace of God), offset the evil, the demons are forced to renounce their claims.  These demons assault the soul in relays, each “trial,” “suffering,” or “tribulation” being a mytarstvo.  One ancient authority enumerates twenty such trials.  The soul is accompanied and defended in its trials by angels, who plead its cause.  Eventually, they conduct it into the presence of God, who then assigns to it a temporary abode of bliss or woe until the day of judgment.  The derivation of this curious and utterly untranslatable word is as follows:  Mytar means a publican or tax-gatherer.  As the publicans, under the Roman sway over the Jews, indulged in various sorts of violence, abuses, and inhuman conduct, calling every one to strict account, and even stationing themselves at the city gates to intercept all who came and went, mytarstvo represents, in general, the taxing or testing of the soul, which must pay a ransom before it is released from its trials and preliminary tribulations.—­TRANSLATOR.

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A Reckless Character from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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