THE STEEL FLEA
no equals in art, while Platoff insisted that our men had only to look at a thing and they could make everything,—only, they lacked good instruction. And he expounded to the Emperor that the English workmen had entirely different rules of life for everything, and different sciences and materials, and that each man of them had all absolute circumstances before him, and hence a wholly different understanding of things.
The Emperor was not willing to listen long to this, but Platoff would get out at every posting-station, and drink a beer-glass of vodka through vexation, and eat a little round salted cracknel, and light his birch-root pipe, which held a whole pound of Zhukoff tobacco at one filling. And then he would take his place, and sit in silence beside the Tzar in the carriage. The Emperor gazed in one direction, while Platoff
- Zhukoff is a very coarse, Russian-grown tobacco.
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