Vladimir• and Catherine. By a Thirty Years' Resident in Russia.
(Chapman and Hall.)—A story written apparently to illustrate Russian life, and as feeble as such stories generally aro. It does illustrate it, however, and people who can bear being informed instead of amused will find some very suggestive sketches. This is not bad as an illustra- tion of the way things are managed in Russia. Kiev was grievously plundered by the monopolists of spirits, who sold in the town for six roubles brandy which out of it was selling at two. The inhabitants did not dare complain, but the Governor-General had a way of having his windows opened early. So "a few days since he entered his study, and saw, crawling on the ground, a largo crawfish, with a paper label attached to its tail. On looking at it he read these words The petition of the Crawfish of the River Dnieper, to His Excellency the Governor- General, Prince Vaselchikoff, &c.—We, the crawfish of the Dnieper, most humbly show, that of late so much water has been taken from the river by the farmer of the brandy contract for the teen of Kiev, for the purpose of adulterating the brandy sold in this town, that if he continues long at that rate, we the crawfish shall be on dry ground, and no longer able to furnish your Excellency with a delicacy of which you are so fond ; wo therefore humbly pray that measures may be taken to put a stop to the evil.' " If the crawfish had only had notes for 10,000 roubles in its mouth the incident would have been an epitome of Russian official life. The author is not unfriendly to Russians, particularly the new generation, but he either dislikes the Poles or affects to do so, and evidently considers the officials an organized gang of plunderers. We wish some one would tell the world the sound elements in Russia which keep society together and leave the Empire strong. How comes it, for example, that amid universal corruption the rich do not defeat the Government altogether? They do in all Oriental countries, but in Russia "an order" seems generally obeyed after one fashion or another. That is not the case anywhere east of Moscow, the issuing of an order being even in China the very smallest part of the process necessary to ensure obedience.