Taras Bulba/Chapter VII

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Noise and movement were rife in the camp of the Zaporozhtzi. At first no one could explain the true reason why the army had managed to enter the city. Afterwards it appeared that the Pereyaslavsky barrack, encamped before the side gate of the city, had been dead drunk; so it was no wonder that half of the men had been killed, and the other half bound before they knew what it was all about. While the neighbouring kuréns, aroused by the uproar, were grasping their weapons, the army had already passed through the gate, and the rear ranks fired upon the sleepy and only half-sober Zaporozhtzi, who were pressing in disorder upon them.

The Koshevói ordered all to be assembled; and when all were standing in a ring, and had removed their caps and become quiet, he said: "Just see, brother nobles, what happened last night! See what drunkenness has led to! See what an insult the enemy has put upon us! Evidently, it is so arranged with us, that if one kindly doubles your allowance, then you are ready to get drunk, and the enemies of Christ can not only take your very trousers off you, but can even sneeze in your faces without your hearing them!"

The kazáks all stood with drooping heads, knowing well that they were guilty: only one, Kukubenko, the atamán of the Nezamaisky kurén, answered back. "Stop, father!" said he; "although it's not lawful to make such a retort when the Koshevói speaks, in the presence of the whole army, yet it is necessary to say that that wasn't the way of it. You have not been quite just in your reprimand. The kazáks would have been guilty and deserving of death, had they got drunk on the march, during war, or heavy, toilsome labour; but we have been camped down here unoccupied, loitering in vain before the city. It was not a Fast, or any other time of Christian abstinence: how can a man do otherwise than get drunk in idleness? There's no sin in that. But we'd better show them what it is to attack innocent people. They first beat us well, and now we'll give them such a beating that they won't carry five of them home again."

The speech of the barrack atamán pleased the kazáks. They raised their utterly despondent heads upright, and many nodded approvingly, muttering: "Kukubenko has spoken well!" And Taras Bulba, who stood not far from the Koshevói, said: "How now, Koshevói? Kukubenko has spoken truth. What have you to say to that?"

"What have I to say? I say, Blessed be the father who begat such a son! It requires not much wisdom to utter words of reproof; but much wisdom is needed to say such words as, without cursing a man's misfortune, encourage him, restore to him his spirit, put spurs to the horse of his soul, refreshed by watering. I meant myself to speak words of comfort to you, but Kukubenko has forestalled me."

"The Koshevói also has spoken well!" rang through the ranks of the Zaporozhtzi. "His words are good," repeated others. And even the grey-heads who stood there like dark-blue doves, nodded their heads, and twitching their grey moustaches, said softly: "That word was well spoken!"

"Listen now, noble sirs," continued the Koshevói. "To take a city, scale it, undermine it as the foreign engineers do, is the sort of shamming we'll leave to the enemy: that's not proper nor an affair for a kazák. But, judging from appearances, the enemy entered the city without many provisions; they hadn't many carts with them. The people in the city are hungry: they will eat up everything in a trice; and the horses will do the same with the hay… I don't know whether one of their Saints will toss them down anything from heaven with hay-forks: God alone knows that: but their Catholic priests are clever at empty words. By one means or another they will leave the city. Divide yourselves, therefore, into three forces, and take up your posts before the three gates; five kuréns before the principal gate, and three kuréns before each of the others. Let the Dyadnivsky and Korsunsky barracks go into ambush! Colonel Taras and his regiment, into ambush! the Tytarevsky and the Tunnoshevsky kuréns, as reserves on the right side of the transports, the Shcherbenovsky and the upper Steblikivsky on the left! And select from the ranks the young men of most quarrelsome tongue to gall the foe! All Lyakhs are an empty-headed lot, and can't endure abuse, and perhaps this very day they will issue forth from the gates. Let each atamán inspect his kurén: if any are not of full strength, recruit them from the remnants of the Peryaslavsky kurén. Inspect them all afresh! Give a loaf and a beaker to each kazák, to sober him. But, surely, every one must be satiated after last night; for all stuffed themselves so that, truth to tell, I'm only surprised that no one burst during the night. And here is one further command: If any Jew rum-seller sells a kazák so much as a single jug of his vile brandy, I'll nail a pig's ear to his very forehead, the dog, and I'll hang him up by the feet! To work, my men, to work!"

Thus did the Koshevói issue his orders; and all did him reverence, bowing low, even to his girdle, and without putting on their caps, they set out for their transports and camps; and only after they had gone a considerable distance did they don their caps. All began to equip themselves; they tested their swords and cutlasses, poured powder from the sacks into their powder-flasks, rolled out and arranged the wagons, and picked out their horses.

On his way to his regiment Taras wondered, and could not explain to himself, what had become of Andríi; had he been captured and bound while asleep, with the others? But no, Andríi was not the man to go alive into captivity. And he was not to be seen among the slaughtered kazáks. Taras pondered deeply, and went past his regiment without being aware that some one had long been calling him by name.

"Who wants me?" he said, coming to himself at last. Before him stood the Jew Yankel.

"Sir Colonel, Sir Colonel!" said the Jew in a hurried, broken voice, as though desirous of revealing something not utterly useless. "I've been in the city, Sir Colonel!"

Taras looked at the Jew, and wondered how he had already succeeded in entering the city.—"What enemy took you there?"

"I'll tell you at once," said Yankel. "As soon as I heard the uproar at daybreak, and the kazáks began to fire, I seized my kaftan, and without stopping to put it on, ran at the top of my speed, thrusting my arms in on the way, because I wanted to know, as soon as possible, the cause of the noise, and why the kazáks were firing at dawn. I took and ran to the very gate of the city, at the moment when the last of the troops were passing through. I look—and at the head of the file is Cornet Galyandovich. He is a man well known to me: he has owed me a hundred ducats for more than two years past. I ran after him, as though to claim the debt of him, and so entered the city with them."

"So you entered the city, and wanted him to settle the debt!" said Taras; "and he didn't order you to be hung on the spot, like a dog?"

"God is my witness that he did want to hang me," replied the Jew: "his servants had already seized me, and thrown a rope about my neck. But I besought the nobleman, and said that I would wait for my money as long as he liked, and promised to send him more if only he would help me to collect my debts from the other knights; for I will tell your nobility, that the Cornet has not a ducat in his pocket, although he has farms and properties and four castles, and steppe-land that extends clear to Shklov; but he has not a groschen, any more than a kazdk. And now, if the Breslau Jews had not fitted him out, he wouldn't have been able to go to the war. That was the reason he didn't go to the Diet."

"What did you do in the city? Did you see any of our people?"

"Certainly, many of our people are there: Itzok, Rakhum, Samuel, Khaivalkh, Yevrei the revenue-farmer…"

"May they perish, the dogs!" shouted the enraged Taras. "Why do you name over your Jew tribe to me? I'm asking you about our Zaporozhtzi."

"I saw none of our Zaporozhtzi: I saw only Pan[1] Andríi."

"You saw Andríi!" shouted Bulba. "What's he doing there? Where did you see him? in a dungeon? in a pit? dishonoured? bound?"

"Who would dare to bind Pan Andríi? Now he's so grand a knight, by God… I hardly recognised him. Gold on his shoulder-straps, gold on his belt, gold everywhere, always gold: as when the sun shines in spring, and every bird begins to chirp, and sing in the orchards, so is he shining all over with gold. And his horse, which the Voevod himself gave him, is the very best: the horse alone is worth two hundred ducats."

Bulba was petrified. "Why has he put on strange garments?"

"He has put them on because they are finer. And he rides about, and the others ride about, and he teaches them, and they teach him; like the very richest sort of a Polish pan."

"Who has forced him to this?"

"I shouldn't say that he had been forced. Doesn't the noble lord know that he went over to them of his own free will?"

"Who went over?"

"Why, Pan Andríi."

"Went where?"

"Went over to their side: he's entirely theirs, now."

"You lie, you hog's ear!"

"How is it possible that I should lie? Am I a fool that I should lie? Would I lie at the risk of my head? Don't I know that Jews are hung like dogs if they lie to noble lords?"

"Then this means that, in your opinion, he has betrayed his fatherland and his Faith?"

"I don't say that he has betrayed anything: I merely said that he had gone over to them."

"You lie, you devil of a Jew! Such a deed was never known in a Christian land. You're getting things mixed up, you dog!"

"May grass grow upon the threshold of my house if I am mixing things! May every one spit upon the grave of my father, my mother, my father's father-in-law, and my mother's father, if I am mixing things! If the noble lord wishes, I can even tell him why he went over to them."


"The Voevod has a beautiful daughter. Holy God! what a beauty!" Here the Jew tried his best to depict beauty in his own person, throwing out his hands, screwing up his eyes, and twisting his mouth to one side, as though testing something by tasting it.

"Well, what of that?"

"He did it, went over to them, for her sake. When a man's in love, then he's just like a bootsole, which, if you soak it, you can bend in any direction, and it will yield."

Bulba pondered deeply. He remembered that the power of weak woman is great—that she had ruined many a strong man, that this was the weak point in Andríi's nature—and he stood long in one place, as though rooted to the spot.

"Listen, noble lord, and I will tell the noble lord all," said the Jew. "As soon as I heard the uproar, and saw them going through the city gate, I caught up a string of pearls, in case of any emergency. For there are beauties and noblewomen there; 'and if there are beauties and noblewomen,' I said to myself, 'they will buy pearls, even if they have nothing to eat.' And, as soon as ever the Cornet's servants set me at liberty, I hastened to the Voevod's palace to sell my pearls. I asked all manner of questions of the Tatár serving-woman: the wedding is to take place as soon as they have driven off the Zaporozhtzi. Pan Andríi has promised to drive off the Zaporozhtzi."

"And you didn't slay him on the spot, you devil's brat?" shouted Bulba.

"Why should I kill him? He went over of his own free will. What's his crime? He liked it better there, so he went there."

"And you saw him face to face?"

"Face to face, as God is my witness! Such a magnificent warrior! more splendid than all the rest. God grant him health, he knew me at once; and when I approached him he said immediately…"

"What did he say?"

"He said—First he beckoned me with his finger, and then he said, 'Yankel!' and I, 'Pan Andríi!' said I. 'Yankel, tell my father, tell my brother, tell all the kazáks, all the Zaporozhtzi, everybody, that my father is no longer my father, nor my brother my brother, nor my comrades my comrades; and that I mean to fight them all, all!'"

"You lie, you devil of a Judas!" shouted Taras, beside himself with rage. "You lie, dog! I'll kill you, Satan! Get away from here! if not, death awaits you!" So saying, Taras unsheathed his sword.

The frightened Jew set off instantly, at the full speed of his shrunken legs. He ran for a long time without looking back, through the Kazák camp, and then far out on the deserted plain, although Taras did not pursue him at all, reasoning that it was foolish to vent his rage on the first person who came to hand. Then he recollected that he had seen Andríi on the night before, traversing the camp with some woman; and he bowed his grey head. And still he would not believe that so disgraceful a thing could have happened, and that his own son had sold his Faith and his soul.

Finally, he led his regiment into ambush, and hid himself, with it behind a forest—the only one which had not been burned by the kazáks. But the Zaporozhtzi, foot and horse, set out for the three gates by three different roads; one after another the kuréns turned out: the Umansky, Popovichevsky, Konevsky, Steblikovsky, Nezamaikovsky, Gurgaziy, Tytarevsky, Tymoshevsky. The Perevaslavsky alone was wanting. Its kazáks had smoked and drunk it to its fate. One awoke to find himself bound in the enemy's hands; another never woke at all, but went in his slumber into the damp earth; and the Atamán Khlib, himself, minus his trousers and outward adornments, found himself in the camp of the Lyakhs.

The uproar among the kazáks was heard in the city. Every one hastened to the ramparts, and a lively spectacle was presented to the kazáks. Polish warriors, each handsomer than the other, stood on the wall. Their bronze helmets shone like the sun, and were adorned with feathers white as swans. Others wore light caps, pink or blue, with crowns which drooped over one ear; kaftans with the sleeves thrown back, either embroidered with gold or simply garnished with cords. Their swords and guns were richly chased, and the noble lords had paid huge prices for them; they had, also, many equipments of every sort. In front stood the heavy Budzhakovsky Colonel, haughtily, in his red cap ornamented with gold. The Colonel was taller and stouter than all the rest, and his rich and voluminous kaftan was a tight fit. On the other hand, almost by the side of the gate, stood another Colonel, a small, dried-up man; but his little, piercing eyes gleamed sharply from under his thick and shaggily overgrown brows, and he turned quickly on all sides, gesticulating energetically with his thin, withered hand, and distributing his commands. It was evident that, in spite of his tiny body, he understood the art of war thoroughly. Not far from him stood a very tall Cornet, with thick moustaches, and he did not seem to lack colour in his face: the noble lord was fond of strong mead and hearty revelry. And behind these were visible many noblemen of all degrees, who had equipped themselves, some with their own ducats, some at the expense of the royal treasury, some with money from the Jews, by pawning everything they had in their ancestral castles. Many, also, were the senatorial parasites, whom the Senators took with them to dinners, to make a fine show, and who stole silver cups from the table and the sideboard, and, after the day's show was over, mounted some gentleman's coach-box and drove his horses. There were many of all sorts there. In some cases they had not enough money to pay for a drink, yet they were all fitted out for war.

The kazák ranks stood quietly in front of the walls. There was no gold about any of them, except here and there, perhaps, a glint of it on the hilt of a sword or the mount of a gun. The kazáks were not addicted to decking themselves out gaily for battle: their chain-armour and their doublets were plain, and their black, red-crowned caps glowed darkly afar.

Two kazáks rode out from the ranks of the Zaporozhtzi. One was quite young, the other was older; both were fierce in words, and not bad specimens of kazáks in action—Okhrim Nash, and Mykita Golokopytenko. Behind them rode Demid Popovich, a stalwart kazák, who had been hanging about the Syech for a long time, who had been present at the siege of Adrianople, and undergone a great deal in the course of his existence. He had been burned in the conflagration, and had run away to the Syech, with tarred and blackened head and singed moustaches. But Popovich had become stout, had grown long locks of hair behind his ears, had raised moustaches black as pitch, and was a gallant fellow when it came to biting speeches, was Popovich.

"Aha, red kaftans on all the army—but what I'd like to know is, whether the strength of the troops matches them!"

"I'll give it to you!" shouted the fat Colonel from above. "I'll bind you all! Surrender your guns and horses, slaves! Have you seen how I bound your men?—Bring out the Zaporozhtzi on the ramparts for them to see!"

And the Zaporozhtzi were led out, pinioned with ropes.

At their head stood the atamán of the barrack, Khlib, without his trousers and outward adornments, exactly as they had captured him in his drunken sleep. And the atamán bowed his head earthward in shame before the kazáks, at his nakedness, and at having been taken prisoner like a dog while asleep. His powerful head had turned grey over night.

"Grieve not, Khlib! we'll rescue you!" shouted the kazáks from below.

"Grieve not, dear friend!" shouted Atamán Borodaty. "It's not your fault that they caught you naked: that's a misfortune which may happen to any man. But it's a disgrace to them that they have exposed you to dishonour, and not covered your nakedness decently."

"You seem to be a brave army when you catch people asleep," remarked Golokopytenko, glancing at the ramparts.

"Wait, we'll clip your top-knots for you!"

"I'd like to see them clip our scalp-locks! " said Popovich, prancing about before them on his horse; then, glancing at his comrades, he said: "Well, perhaps the Lyakhs speak the truth: if that fat-bellied fellow yonder leads them, they'll all find a good shelter behind him."

"Why do you think they'll find a good shelter?" asked the kazáks, aware that Popovich was preparing to launch some cutting remark.

"Because the whole army can hide behind him; and two devils couldn't help you to reach anybody with your spear from behind that belly of his!"

All the kazáks burst out laughing, and many of them shook their heads, saying: "What a fellow that Popovich is, if any one wants to turn a phrase!—Only, now"—But the Kazáks did not explain what they meant by that now.

"Fall back, fall back quickly from the wall!" shouted the Koshevói; for it appeared that the Lyakhs could not endure these biting words, and the Colonel waved his hand.

The kazáks had barely retreated from the wall when grape-shot rained down.

On the ramparts all was excitement, and the grey-haired Voevod himself made his appearance on horseback. The gates swung open, and the army sallied forth. In front came the mounted hussars. Behind them, the men in armour, then all those with brazen helmets; after them rode singly the highest nobility, each man dressed as pleased him best. The haughty nobles would not mingle with the others in the ranks, and those who had no commands rode alone with their retinues. After these came more companies, and after these still, emerged the Cornet, then more files of men, and then the fat Colonel; and quite in the rear of the whole army came, last of all, the little Colonel. "Stop them! Keep them from drawing up, from forming in line!" shouted the Koshevói: "Let all the kuréns attack them at once! Abandon the other gates! Tytarevsky kurén, fall on one flank! Dyadkovsky kurén, fall on the other! Attack them in the rear, Kukubenko and Palivoda! Stop them, stop them! Separate them!" And the kazáks attacked on all sides, killing the Lyakhs, throwing them into confusion, and being thrown into confusion themselves. They did not even give them time to fire: it came to swords and spears at once. All merged together in a heap, and each man had an opportunity to distinguish himself.

Demid Popovich ran three common soldiers through, and knocked two of the highest nobles from their horses, saying: "Here are good horses! I have long wanted to get hold of just such horses!" And he drove the horses far afield, shouting to the kazáks who were standing about to catch them. Then he flung himself again into the mass, fell again upon the fallen nobles, killed one, and flung his lasso round the neck of the other, tied him to his saddle, and dragged him all over the plain, after having taken from him his sword with a rich hilt, and removed from his girdle a whole coin-bag of ducats.

Kobita, a good kazák, and still very young, engaged one of the bravest men in the Polish army in single combat, and they fought long together. They had come to fisticuffs, and the kazák had nearly conquered his foe, and, throwing him down, stabbed him in the breast with his sharp Turkish knife. But he did not guard himself properly: at that moment a hot bullet struck him on the temple. The man who struck him down was the most distinguished of the nobles, the handsomest knight of an ancient and princely race. Like a stately column he bestrode his light bay steed. And many deeds of daring did this boyar perform: he clove two kazáks in twain; Feodor Korzh, the brave kazák, he overthrew together with his horse; then he shot the horse and picked the kazák off the animal with his spear; many heads and hands did he hew off; and he slew kazák Kobita, sending a bullet through his temple.

"There's the man I'd like to measure forces with!" shouted Kukubenko, the atamán of the Nezamaikovsky kurén. Spurring on his horse, he flew straight at his back, and shouted loudly, so that all who stood near shuddered at that unearthly yell. The Lyakh tried to turn his horse quickly, and face him, but the horse did not obey: frightened by the terrible cry, it sprang aside, and the Lyakh received Kukubenko's fire. The hot ball struck him in the shoulder-blade, and he rolled from his horse.

But even then the Lyakh did not surrender: he still strove to deal his enemy a blow, but his hand grew weak and fell with his sword. Then Kukubenko, taking his heavy sword in both hands, thrust it into his mouth, already grown pallid. The sword, breaking out two teeth, cut the tongue in twain, pierced the windpipe, and penetrated deep into the ground; and so he pinned him there forever to the damp earth. His noble blood, scarlet as viburnum berries beside the river, welled up in a fountain, and stained his yellow, gold-embroidered kaftan. But Kukubenko had already left him, and was forcing his way, with his Nezamaikovsky kurén, towards another group.

"Eh, he didn't appropriate those splendid accoutrements!" said Borodaty, atamán of the Umansky kurén, leaving his men and going to the place where lay the nobleman slain by Kukubenko. "I've killed seven nobles with my own hand, but such accoutrements I have never beheld on any one." And, tempted by greed, Borodaty bent down to remove the rich armour, and forthwith pulled out the knight's Turkish knife, set with precious stones, loosed from his belt the purse of ducats, and from his breast a wallet with fine linen, silver and a maiden's curl, carefully cherished as a souvenir. But Borodaty did not hear the red-nosed Cornet rushing upon him from the rear; he had already once hurled him from the saddle, and bestowed on him a fine gash by way of remembrance. He flourished his arm with all his might, and brought his sword down on the bended neck. Greed led to no good: the strong head rolled off, and the body fell headless, sprinkling the earth far and wide. The grim kazák soul soared heavenward, grimacing, indignant, amazed at having so suddenly quitted so stalwart a body. Before the Cornet managed to seize the atamán's head by its scalp-lock and fasten it to his saddle, a savage avenger arrived.

As a vulture hovering in the sky, beating great circles with its mighty wings, suddenly remains poised in air, in one spot, and thence darts down like an arrow upon the shrieking cock quail beside the road; just so did Taras's son Ostap fly suddenly upon the kazák, and fling a rope about his neck with one cast. The Cornet's red face grew a still deeper crimson when the cruel noose pressed his throat, and he tried to seize his pistol; but his convulsively contracted hand could not direct the shot, and the bullet flew wild across the plain. Ostap immediately unfastened a silken cord which the Cornet carried at his saddle-bow to bind prisoners, and with his own cord bound him hand and foot, attached the cord to his saddle, and dragged him across the plain, calling all the kazáks of the Umansky kurén to come and render the last honour to their atamán.

When the Umantzy heard that the atamán of their kurén, Borodaty, was no longer among the living, they deserted the field of battle, and rushed to recover his body; and they consulted immediately as to whom they should elect to be their leader. At last they said: "But why discuss the matter? It is impossible to appoint a better leader than Bulba's Ostap: he's younger than any of us, it's true; but his judgment is that of an old man."

Ostap, doffing his cap, thanked all his kazáks for the honour, and did not decline, either on the score of his youth, or of his youthful judgment, knowing well that wartime is not a fitting season to waste oneself on such things; but he instantly led them straight at the throng and proceeded to show them all that not in vain had they elected him atamán. The Lyakhs realised that the engagement was growing too hot for them, and retreated across the plain, with the intention of re-forming at its other extremity. But the little Colonel signalled to four fresh companies close to the gate, and they rained down grape-shot on the kazák throng; but very few men were hit: their shot took effect on the kazák oxen, who were gazing wildly at the battle. The frightened oxen bellowed, turned on the camps, smashed the wagons, and trampled many persons under foot. But Taras, emerging from ambush at the moment, with his troops, rushed forward with a yell to intercept them. He headed off the entire infuriated herd which, startled by his yell, swooped down upon the Polish regiments, overthrew the cavalry, and crushed and dispersed them all.

"O, thank you, oxen!" cried the Zaporozhtzi: "you served us on the march, and now you have served us in war." And they attacked the foe with renewed vigour. They slew many of the enemy. Many distinguished themselves,—Metelitza, Shilo, both of the Pisarenkos, Vovtuzenko, and not a few others. The Lyakhs perceived that matters were going ill, flung away their banners, and shouted for the city gates to be opened. Creaking, the iron-bound gates opened and received the weary and dust-covered riders, flocking in like sheep into the fold. Many of the Zaporozhtzi started to pursue them ; but Ostap stopped his Umantzi, saying, "Keep off! keep further away from the wall, brother nobles! 'Tis not well to approach them too closely." And he spoke truly; for from the ramparts there began to rain and pour down everything which came to hand, and a great many were struck. At that moment, the Koshevói rode up, and praised Ostap, saying, "He's a new atamán, but he's leading the army like an old one." Old Bulba glanced round to see who the new atamán might be, and beheld Ostap sitting on his horse at the head of the Umantzi, his cap cocked on one ear, and the atamán's staff in his hand.

"Who ever saw the like!" he exclaimed, as he gazed at him; and the old man rejoiced, and began to thank all the Umantzi for the honour they had conferred on his son.

The kazáks retired again, and were preparing to go into camp; but the Lyakhs showed themselves again on the city ramparts with tattered mantles. There was clotted blood on many rich kaftans, and the beautiful bronze helmets were covered with dust.

"Have you bound us?" shouted the Zaporozhtzi to them from below.

"I'll give it to you!" shouted back the fat Colonel from above, shaking a rope at them; and the weary, dust-covered warriors ceased not to threaten, while the most exasperating on both sides exchanged fierce remarks.

At last all dispersed. One, weary with battle, stretched himself out to rest; another sprinkled his wounds with earth, and tore up for bandages kerchiefs and rich garments captured from the enemy. Others, who were less exhausted, began to sort over the corpses, and to render them the last honours. They dug graves with their swords and spears, brought earth in their caps and the skirts of their garments, laid the kazáks' bodies out decently, and buried them in fresh earth, in order that the ravens and the eagles might not claw out their eyes. But binding the corpses of the Lyakhs by tens, as they came to hand, to the tails of wild horses, they let these loose on the plain, pursued them, and lashed them for a long time on their flanks. The infuriated horses flew over furrow and hillock, through gullies and streams, and thrashed the bodies of the Poles, all covered with blood and dust, against the earth.

Then all the kuréns sat down in circles in the evening, and talked long of their deeds, and of the feats which had fallen to the share of each, for eternal repetition by newcomers and by posterity. It was long before they lay down to sleep; and longer still before old Taras, meditating what it might signify that Andríi was not among the enemy's warriors, lay down. Had Judas been ashamed to come forth against his countrymen? or had the Jew deceived him, and had he simply been made a captive against his will? But then he recollected that Andríi's heart was boundlessly susceptible to feminine speeches: he felt ashamed, and swore a mighty oath in spirit against the fair Pole who had bewitched his son. And he would have put his oath into execution. He would not have so much as glanced at her beauty, he would have pulled her forth by her thick and splendid hair; he would have dragged her after him all over the plain, among all the kazáks. Her splendid shoulders and bosom, white as fresh-fallen snow upon the mountain-tops, would have been battered against the earth, and all covered with blood and dust. He would have dispersed her sumptuous, lovely body, in fragments. But Taras did not know what God was preparing for man on the morrow, and began to forget himself with drowsiness, and finally fell asleep. But the kazáks still went on talking among themselves; and the sober sentinel stood all night long beside the fire, never closing his eyes, and looking intently on all sides.

  1. Pan is the Polish word used when speaking of men of gentle or noble birth. I. F. H.