Page:Taras Bulba. A Tale of the Cossacks. 1916.djvu/15

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9
INTRODUCTION

was told that they were not only fragmentary but really quite shocking.

No one, it appears, had ever cared much for the words of "Bárynya-Sudárynya," and the four or five couplets generally known of the other reprehensible tune, the famous "Kamarynskaya," had been so badly damaged by careless repetition and reproduction that even the learned had come to look upon both songs as purely scandalous, useless, unworthy of notice. But one day it was discovered that "Bárynya-Sudárynya" i a sequel to the "Kamarynskaya,"—and that the words are scandalous in part only, while the two combined chronicle an interesting epoch of that strenuous life of the Border Marches—the Ukraina—which, for many centuries, was the chronic condition of the Tzardom of Muscovy as it evolved triumphantly to the present Empire of Russia.

The heroes of both songs are strictly historical personages, and their abode was the Southern Frontier—the Ukraina of Moscow—which, during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries meant the present Government of Orel (pronounced Aryól), and so continued, with the addition of an unflattering adjective, until Little Russia, the Cradle of the Empire, temporarily conquered by Poland, was reunited to Moscow. During this second period a prominent place was occupied by the District of