Once a vagabond on his own canal, I have received good turns from one of these Canallers; I thank him heartily; would fain be not ungrateful; but it is often one of the prime redeeming qualities of your man of violence, that at times he has as stiff an arm to back a poor stranger in a strait, as to plunder a wealthy one.
The gipsies, who are mostly converts to the Orthodox Church, still, as a rule, cling to their vagabond existence, though their skill at all handicrafts finds them ready employment in the towns.
For the next four years he led a vagabond life, but in 1698, after vainly petitioning the new king, Charles XII., for pardon, he entered the service of Augustus the Strong of Saxony and Poland, with the deliberate intention of wresting from Sweden Livonia, to which he had now no hope of returning so long as that province belonged to the Swedish Crown.
If I wished a boy to know something about the arts and sciences, for instance, I would not pursue the common course, which is merely to send him into the neighborhood of some professor, where anything is professed and practised but the art of life;--to survey the world through a telescope or a microscope, and never with his natural eye; to study chemistry, and not learn how his bread is made, or mechanics, and not learn how it is earned; to discover new satellites to Neptune, and not detect the motes in his eyes, or to what vagabond he is a satellite himself; or to be devoured by the monsters that swarm all around him, while contemplating the monsters in a drop of vinegar.
She would, doubtless, have made a model tsaritsa of the pre-Petrine period, but, unfortunately, she was no fit wife for such a vagabond of genius as Peter the Great.