Page:Taras Bulba. A Tale of the Cossacks. 1916.djvu/14

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one which appears to me to be most rational, best founded, most satisfactory for all practical purposes, and offer it for his consideration if not his adoption.

The Ukraina, briefly stated, is—the Border Marches. Naturally it has varied, in different epochs, just as our Western Frontier (pretty nearly its exact equivalent) varied at different periods in the briefer history of the United States, and was pushed further and further away from the Eastern centre of civilisation. In the case of Russia, Moscow represented that centre.

The line was never fixed, never definite. At one period it ran not very far south of Moscow, although the region beyond a line beginning two or three hundred miles south of Moscow—Southwest Russia, with Kiev as its centre—contains, roughly stated, its variations and general location, so far as the "Ukraina" of Gogol's delightful Tales, and the exquisite poetry and music of The Ukraina are concerned.

When I was visiting the late Count L. N. Tolstoy at Yasnaya Polyana, the young men of the family often played on their balalaikas (among other Russian folk-songs) a dance-song which irresistibly incited one to laughter, and set one's feet to patting. When I inquired the words to this "Bárynya-Sudárynya" (Lady-Madam) I