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I jotted down this Legend in Sestroryetzk from the lips of an aged gunsmith, an emigrant from Tula, who had removed to the Sestra River during the reign of Alexander the First. The narrator was still hale and hearty two years ago, and of sound memory; he was fond of recalling the days of yore, cherished great respect for the Emperor Nikolai Pavlovitch, lived "according to the ancient faith," read devout books, and bred canary-birds. People treated him with much consideration.[1]

  1. Translator's note. In spite of this circumstantial prefatory statement, and the accusation which was brought against this "legend" on its first appearance by one over-clever critic,—viz., that it was ancient and threadbare in public knowledge,—the fact remains that the Author invented every syllable of it. Tula is the Sheffield of Russia, being the seat of the Government gun-works, and possessed of innumerable shops engaged in the manufacture and sale of all sorts of metal goods. Sestroryetzk, on the shore of Finland, opposite Kronstadt,

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