It would astonish you to see how many words she learns in an hour in this pleasant manner.
The quality and varieties of textiles and pottery astonish the collector.
The mass of information contained in so small a space, the clearness and accuracy of the details, the immense amount of life which is breathed into the whole, astonish the reader, when he reflects that this colossal task was accomplished by one man, for his collaborator Kolsegg merely filled up his plan with regard to part of the east coast, a district with which Ari in his western home at Stad was little familiar.
He had never danced like that in Moscow and would even have considered such a very free and easy manner improper and in bad form, but here he felt it incumbent on him to astonish them all by something unusual, something they would have to accept as the regular thing in the capital though new to them in the provinces.
If I should attempt to tell how I have desired to spend my life in years past, it would probably surprise those of my readers who are somewhat acquainted with its actual history; it would certainly astonish those who know nothing about it.
On one point, however, this description was not accurate; Russia sulked so far as Austria was concerned, for she could not forget that the emperor Francis Joseph, by his wavering and unfriendly conduct towards her during the Crimean War, had ill repaid her assistance to the Habsburg Monarchy in 1849, and had fulfilled the cynical prediction of Prince Schwarzenberg that his country would astonish the world by her ingratitude.
But Count Rostopchin, who now taunted those who left Moscow and now had the government offices removed; now distributed quite useless weapons to the drunken rabble; now had processions displaying the icons, and now forbade Father Augustin to remove icons or the relics of saints; now seized all the private carts in Moscow and on one hundred and thirty-six of them removed the balloon that was being constructed by Leppich; now hinted that he would burn Moscow and related how he had set fire to his own house; now wrote a proclamation to the French solemnly upbraiding them for having destroyed his Orphanage; now claimed the glory of having hinted that he would burn Moscow and now repudiated the deed; now ordered the people to catch all spies and bring them to him, and now reproached them for doing so; now expelled all the French residents from Moscow, and now allowed Madame Aubert-Chalme (the center of the whole French colony in Moscow) to remain, but ordered the venerable old postmaster Klyucharev to be arrested and exiled for no particular offense; now assembled the people at the Three Hills to fight the French and now, to get rid of them, handed over to them a man to be killed and himself drove away by a back gate; now declared that he would not survive the fall of Moscow, and now wrote French verses in albums concerning his share in the affair--this man did not understand the meaning of what was happening but merely wanted to do something himself that would astonish people, to perform some patriotically heroic feat; and like a child he made sport of the momentous, and unavoidable event-- the abandonment and burning of Moscow--and tried with his puny hand now to speed and now to stay the enormous, popular tide that bore him along with it.
When early in the 16th century the Spaniards found their way from the West India Islands to this part of the mainland of America, they discovered not rude and simple tribes like the islanders of the Antilles, but nations with armies, official administrators, courts of justice, high agriculture and mechanical arts, and, what struck the white men especially, stone buildings whose architecture and sculpture were often of dimensions and elaborateness to astonish the builders and sculptors of Europe.
Whatever opinion may be held as to the orthodoxy of the seven articles of the Anabaptists, the vehemence with which they were opposed, and the epithets of abuse which were heaped upon the unfortunate sect that maintained them, cannot fail to astonish those used to toleration.
But to the generals, especially the foreign ones in the Russian army, who wished to distinguish themselves, to astonish somebody, and for some reason to capture a king or a duke--it seemed that now--when any battle must be horrible and senseless--was the very time to fight and conquer somebody.