6 MARCH 1880, Page 13



Sin,—Mr. Weller once observed that shuttlecock is a very. good game, when you have not got two lawyers for battledores. It is much the same, I fancy, in the case of a correspondent in the hands of the editor of a newspaper. Nevertheless, I must appeal to your candour to acknowledge yourself wrong in the matter of Gostinoi-Dvor and its etymology. Allow me, then, to repeat again that there is a Gostinoi-Dvor in Moscow, as well as in St. Petersburg, and in every large Russian town.

The Russian word "goat," "a stranger," though evidently akin to the German " gest," and our "guest," is not, as you say, derived from the German, but is an original Sclavonie word, in common use ages before Russia had any intercourse with Germans or Germany. In the writings of the ancient chroniclers, it is habitually used to express an ambassador, or any of his suite. The Russian " gost " and the German " gest " are both derived from the Sanscrit verb " gast," "to eat."

It is remarkable that when Germans were first seen in Russia, they were not called " Gosti" (plural of "goat"), but "Nemtzi" (plural of " nemetz "), that is, "mutes," people who could not speak Russian; and Germans are still so called, in vulgar Russian.—I am, Sir, &c., [The points in dispute between Mr. Whishaw and ourselves are two :—First, whether a Russian would use " Gostinoi-Dvor " as the generic native word for " bazaar ;" and secondly, whether the Moscow bazaar is called Gostinoi-Dvor, par et simple. We are not converted to Mr. Whishaw's etymology of Gostinoi-Dvor. What proof can Mr. Whishaw give that " goat " is "an original Slavonic word, in common use long before Russia had any inter- course with Germans or Germany ?" Down to the middle of the twelfth century the maritime regions of Mecklenburg and Pomerania were inhabited and ruled by Slays, and trading intercourse between the two races runs back to a date long anterior to that. The oldest of the Russian chronicles, on the other hand, is not earlier than the twelfth cen- tury. Our own impression is, that the Gostinoi-Dvor, or Strangers' Market, dates from the Hanseatic League. In the middle of the thirteenth century, the League established four great factories, in London, Bruges, Novgorod, and Bergen. Does Mr. Whishaw know of any Gostinoi-Dvor in Russia before that date? If Gostinoi-Dvor were the native Russian word for bazaar, how does Mr. Whishaw explain the fact that the greatest of Russian bazaars, that of Nishni-Novgorod, is not called Gos- tinoi-Dvor ? How does he explain the fact we mentioned last week,—namely, that even in St. Petersburg the Gostinoi-Dvor is only one of several bazaars F—ED. Spectator.]