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314
SEVASTOPOL

barrels drive around, and occasionally a Cossack passes by, and an officer on horseback or a general in a vehicle, pass by.

On the right, the street is shut off by a barricade, in the embrasures of which are placed some small cannon, and near them sits a sailor, smoking his pipe. On the left is a beautiful house with Roman figures on the pediment, and beneath it stand soldiers and blood-stained litters,— everywhere you see the unpleasant signs of a military camp.

Your first impression is necessarily most disagreeable: the strange mixture of camp and city life, of the beautiful town and the dirty bivouac, is not only not beautiful, but even seems like vile disorder; and you imagine that everybody is frightened, that people are bustling around, not knowing what to do. But look more closely into the faces of the men who are moving about, and you will get a different impression. Look, for example, at this soldier of the baggage-train, who is taking a chestnut tróyka to the water, and who is calmly mumbling something to himself; it is evident that he will not lose his way in this motley crowd, which, indeed, does not exist for him, and that he is executing his work, whatever it may be,——to water horses or drag ordnance,——as calmly, and with the same self-confidence and indifference, as though all this were taking place at Túla or at Saránsk. The same expression you read in the countenance of this officer, who passes by you in immaculately white gloves, and in the countenance of the sailor, who is smoking while sitting on the barricade, and in the countenances of the busy soldiers, who with the litters are waiting at the steps of the former Assembly House, and in the countenance of this maiden, who, fearing to soil her pink dress, trips from stone to stone across the street.

Yes, you will certainly be disappointed when you first enter Sevastopol. In vain will you look in one single