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THE PERRYSBURG JOURNAL.
"Agriculture, Commerce, Manufactures"
$1:50 In Advance. .
BY S. CLAHK.
PERRYSBURG, WOOD COUNTY, OHIO, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1854.
Troublethe-House.--A Legend of
Once upon a time tla-re lived m ine pro
vince of Livonia, a certain peasant, named
1 . . .
Peter Lki Peter had no relation uiai ne ;
knew of in liiU world, but his mother. She !
.and h'T husband had come, from Courland
lo.i- ago wh'-n thr y vrvvs married ; but the
man died live and twenty vears before the I
time of our --torv; and old Roskin and her
lived in a "cabin of pine logs he
built on lb" lands of the boyrr Nicklewitz. i
bover look rank with the high and an-liner's
.dent iiobilitv of Russia. His" ancestors
fniWit against tli- Mongols, and held office
unoVr Ivan the Terribl-. They were said to
have b"-n rich but little of their wealth had
.1.. i,,.,.. ,,ot. a noorer estate
or a more prut
' " . ... i I.: . ..ln.fo
owu hemp ami rve, moweu m.- nr.awnj,,.;""
a,wl cpt : -no,l example to the reapers in the
harvest time ; while his wife and two daugh-,
i"re was uoi a poorer I'swicja
ntly su plied hof in the
dore Nicklewitz sowed his!
ters lire wed mrass. baked rye-loaves, preseiv-
I -vervtbing, from cranberries to caviare,
:oid snun with tlieir
maids -real packs of yam for sale to the
hi short there was work for man and maid
nt the to; but the. ipiass was always strong,
i he holidays were well Kepi mere, una mosi
if die pt
, i. i. ,i,
a-iants thought that a seat in the;,,
whii-h uvrp cut the door, and window, the
I'UH " uiic v m. '
latter glad so to speak, with a sheet ofj
llUCa? .fc rl "'".rl-lative,
a u.u u... v
i i . i . .
. t . i i-i mr icn t p t.iifi.- was
greai nauoiu. ,a.fa, V :; T '1,;-
deep at i,noma oumy w - -
iquu.it inn. ..... .v.. - ""X
iui It. as we nave saui. n iu; iu, out w
green as a rm uauu iiiMnmuui. mu. i-hjj;-i
rtv, b 'sides a cow and a patch of rye
gro'u'nd, consist" d of a loom, a stove, a sjiin-
niiicT-ivher . and a chest, win rein were laid
ui) the Sundav clothed which iVters fathc
lud left him, and tho.-i Avhich old Roskin
had inherited from her mother. They were
free pea?ants of the old Germanic rao-, long
Ulrd in Lonriauu ao i...jir ovmuu
maintained them; but Roskm was a nob.e
Spinner, and Peter had few equal at the.
spade, axe or flail. Ot fcuuols leter itskiju
kuew nothing ; bonKS In had m-vi-r sen,
'XCOii m tuuaa twin ii v .uuv.i
his mollnr gave him was, Mj fcon be hon-
i si, ami iniM m iwu.
Under that brief, but often repeated lesson,
grew ujv one of the best sons in the
I. . I.! . f. ,. 1 Ai.ni iriii U;n 1 ii,t
province, n was in.-u.v;i 'i"".lv'" V "j
woman on earth could equal his mother in
knowledge, vrudence, and liouse-ueeping,
iH-sides she had Urn frieruls, relations and
all to him. Though poor, ihey liad been
liappy together in the log cabin, whose rent,
is well asot the rye-U'iu, wa.-- puiu in naruj
work to the thriftv boyar. In summer and
harvest time, Peter was bound to devote cer
tain davs to his fields; Roskin spun at the
hr.f winter evenings; wmie per son maue
baskets, nets and fishing tackle, always get-
tiu" as near as he could tn the wheel turned
by "pretty Niga, whose, putt blue eye-, and
light, golden hair hail turned the heads of
hah" the peasants in her neighborhood. Like
Peter, Niga was an only child, but death
liaci taken away her mother. Her father,
"honest Ivan, as the peasants called hnn, was
a stout old boor, who lie wed wood in sum
mer, in the forest, and in winter at the hof;
lie ar.d his axe belonged to the boyar. Niga,
of course, was a born serf, but old Roskin
said she would make, a good wife. Peter
thought so too ; and the wedding crowns of
$;ilt paper, kept in the neighboring church,
would have been required but for the scheme
of their common master. His old nurse
had died some years before, leaving an un
married daughter, for whom the boyar had
promised to provide ; and, lo do him justice,
lie tried to find her a husband; but Ratinka
had become so notable for tongue 'and tern
per throughout the parish, that neither serf
nor freeman could be induced to take her for
better or worse, pvi-n with a promised por-
lion ci iwemy suvcr ruuics,
All his own sells were umortunateiy mar
ried. Theodore Nicklewitz had, therefore,
il n . ,1 1 1
uxeu mo i:& uu iaa as mc um; unan
for Ratinka ; and as neither he nor his
mother liked to leave the old cottage, and
they could not buy Nigas lreedoin, the young
man was obliged to content himself with
avoiding his intended spouse as far as pos
.(.n had!sible. When things were m this state, a
courier from St. lVtersbmgh arrived one sum
The day at the Aowith great intelligence,
A younger brother ol the boyar s father, who,
having no estate, not liking the church, and
still less the army, had degraded himself in
j the eyes of his relations so far as to become
a corn merchant. Ol course he was regard-
Inner era tVirrrrl mnnfv mtirprl from hn
.w. b. ... .r ...uv,,
! smess, and died in his country-house, near
Riga, very old rich, and intestate.
1 IK.UUH i.11UtlV. l 11L tt UVyUll.Ob ULllt
and an honest lawyer (we are writing of
olden times) sent hnn word to come and
vjh. .. ..uo
; ed as a blot in the escutcheon ; no one spoke
of him even at Christmas; but the man
j take possession It was an event in the
uivnr w c i i i ri r iit't ii mi idi imiim
boyar's life, for be had never been so far from
home ; but he sent for the priest made his
will, and took five stout men to guard him.
Peter's master obtained his inheritance; but
..-u . : : u: u
ISO I uni umu w as .-pen i in luo wui: uuiiseu
, . ,. , 1 u
, ", x f rr. - ,? .,
al-ii mill rivrr liolnro m nrp l r lr pvi t-r
u.ith lhc goou ana chattfcs of the discarded
gathered to the last rag, and packed
snndrv s ed-'.-s. drove home to his carefn
P the old merchant's money where it
in bcnksantl bonds, that the corn was
and housed, the snow had lallen, the
Half his servants had been sent for to
help in that home-bringing, and among the
LT l .
rest, Peter Letski. The sledge he drove was
i i l
a uorruwt'u one. mm MJiuewnai craav, on
whic h account it was placed under his care,
for Peter was a prudent driver. For the
camr rrasnn 1 no. moils mrKOr in ir xvprp.
.. ... . ...-f - - - 71 I --7
or(he Kicanings of the merchant's coun-
j trv.hoiloM coats shattered crockery, and
on,i ,.nds of all sorts, which the bovar
,(t n). ht b(J upflfu, gQme (ky p-
. ; borrowed also, and lazy with Ion
! mm-M v;;i,n.n nvf nnC rm nn ,1,;.
, rpnnimrl m keennn with ih
... . v. w - - - - r i ...v
nnmnnnr ,M" !t nan laiien cn inem v nen
far from tlui 0f their journey, but mas
Peter ter allj 1)ian we,lt merrily on through the
I . " i l l. nil
keen irost and clear stanigat. iney were
; bringing goods and money to the hof ; the
boyar would Ix: a rich man now ; the serfs!
looked for more liberal house-keeping ;
Peter began to speculate on the probabilities
Ratinka's getting married. The old horse
was going steadily; lie drew his wolf-skin
cloak closer around him, and one dream,
mavbe. followed another through his brain,
tilfa p'nitor was foud Ratinka disposed of,
and Niea and himself dancing at her wed
Here a sound of somebody stepping into
his sledge among the rags and crockery, made
Peter start up and rub his eyes. No one
was there but ho had been asleep and
dreaming. The horse left to its own discre
tion, had been distanced by the whole com
. i .i -i
nany. retcr could not near tne sound
cK-wian-Wdic i.,o i,. t.-.vv tW WPrP
three versts from heme, for on his right by!
a ruined castle, where, it is said, a covetous
bishop 'lived long ago, and oppressed ihe
country by exacting tithes and dues, till the
northern heathens took the. castle, and hang-
ed him. Its roofless walls stood gray and
Peter ured his
lonely on the frozen plain
horse onward till they were fairly left behind;
but, just as he drew up his cloak once more,
and settled himself to go home comfortably,
a sharp, shrill voice, at his very side said
" That's a fine night. Peter Letski."
" It is," said Peter, his hair beginning to
rise, for he could ?ce nobody, 'Who are
"They call meTrouble-fhe-house," replied
"It is an odd name, friend,'" said Peter.
" Where did you come from ?"
" Never mind where I came from," said
the voice in a still sharper tone. " I'm going
home to the hof with you and the rest of
this fine legacy.''
Peter was frightened into silence by this
statement; he. would have jumped out, but
the old horse had suddenly quickened his
pace to a full gallop, and the sledge flew
over the snow so fast that the lights of the
hof were in sight; and in a minute more
Peter was through the timber-gate and in the
yard, where the rest of the company were
Every man from the boyar downward, in
quired wdiat had frightened his horse, for the
creature stood trembling. Peter didn't care to
tell them, but there was no sledge in the yard
more quickly emptied than his own. Nothing
but the rags and crockery could Peter
see, though he thought there was a kind of
rustle in the rye straw as the last old pot
came out, and a queer sound of stumping
steps going in before them all to the great
kitchen, where a supper, which satisfied
even the serf's expectations, awaited them.
There was no want of brawn, sour cab
bage, and hard cheese, on that long table, at
which, after old Livonian fashion, master
and servant sat according to rank; yet the
feast did not go off as joyously as might
have been expected. The youngest daughter
broke a china bowl which had been in the
family for fifty years that upset the boyar
deen ; the boyar became so critical before
the bottle of corn brandy on his right was
quite empty, that he found fault with every
thing said or done ; and all agreed that Peter
Letski did no justice to himself or supper.
Peter lost no time in relating the cause
of that unwonted neglect to his mother when
. - i .
; sale in eir own cottage ; ana alter minute
inntiirif mirhincT what. Tip na.fl tn drink on
I lhe road, old Eoskin said she never heard of
suc a. traveler mall the tales of Courland
uuc uiuh i nnuw uuk v,wm
merchant's legacy; but her advice was to
keep the story between themselves until
Father Michael, their priest, should return
from visiting his brother in Upper Lithur-
"ia. which would certainly take place before
. Lnnsimas. nis motner 5 a ci vi ce was i-eiei s
He went on threshing, basket-making, and
sleeping, as in other winters ; old Roskin,
too, spun as usual at the hof, but the hof
was not the place it had been. Its industri
ous quiet had been broken to bring home
that legacy, and could not be restored. The
andjservauts grumbled lor stronger quass; the
I daughters repined lor new dresses ; the boy
of ! ardeen grew more careful than ever ; and the
I boJar thought every manias stealing.
The there were grand visitors, counts and
i Barons, who came worn leagues away, and
! had to be entertained in the great parlor,
noviiv Viafi-ivc Anoiici1 fivppnfr fni' ivprtrlincT
feasts. Among them was a certain Count
Ratschoif, who would have married Theo
dore's eldest daughter, but the boyar and he
could never come to an understanding on
the subject of her dowry However the
Count had been in St. Petersburg!! seven
years, looking after a legacy he did not get,
o I TintrintT ccvm "L ti r 7 1 fl (TO fif fltf (Trout
oiiu"", """u6 """..--o" . fo"'
nnt.iworld there, he undertook to instruct the
whole house of Nicklewitz, touching their;
iuih " "!-itaL.
Under his direction tne peasants were not
allowed to speak in the old familiar forms
to their betters ; the kitchen was obliged to
j wait till the parlor had finished, and got only
broken victuals ; me rye-oread was weighed;
the quass was measured, and the boyar re
solved to have Ratinka married without de
lay. His determination was signified the
week before Christmas, when, one evening
after dinner, Peter was summoned to the
parlor door, to see his master seated in great
state, with his pipe, tobacco box, and a
quart cup in the form of an eagle, filled to
the brim with brandy, before him. Peter
had never beheld the splendors of that apart
ment. Its silver candle-sticks, its walls
covered with crimson leather, and its gilt
ceiling, which shone on the wedding festivi
ties of Theodore's great-grandfather, over
whelmed the Courland peasant, but his mind
was relieved from the weight of iis magnifi
cence by his master demanding: "Peter
Letski, when do you intend to marry Ra
tinka, my nurse's daughter? I will givehfcr
a portion of twenty silver rubles. Father
Michael will be here in three days; and my
will is that you make ready for the wed
"Master," said Peter quietly, "it is my
fear, that Ratinka might not agree with my
" Your mother !" cried the boyar fiercely,
for he had tried the brandy : " I'll have no
such excuses. Either marry Ratinka, or
leave my land."
Peter had never seen the boyar so angry,
and he stammered out in his confusion, " I
knew how it would be when Trouble-the-house
came after the legacy."
It so happened that Count Ratschoff, who
sat drinking with the boyar, imagined, and
not without private reasons, that Peter was
speaking of him ; so, with brandy in his
brain, he made but one bound from the tabte
to poor Peter, seized him by the collar of his
sheepskin, and kicked him out of the hof.
Though a free man, Peter was brought up
in Livonia, and ran as fast as possible from'
the Count's boots. The night was pitch
dark, for moon and stars were hidden by a
heavy mist; and when Peter thought of
quickening his pace, neither the hof nor its
dependencies could be seen. There, was a
red gleam on the plains before him, which
he took to be the great pine torch shining
through his mother's window. Old Roskin
was at home that day nursing their cow,
which had fallen sick, and Peter had sad in
telligence for her.
He knew it would break his mother's" heart
leave the old cottage, and she didn't admire
Ratinka more than himself; but the young
man resolved to go home and take her advice, '
anyway. The light guided him steadily ,
through the mist, but Peter never thought '
the way so long. He quickened his pace; .
the light grew larger and stronger. It wasn't''
his mother's torch now, but the blaze of a
huge fire, which, to Peters astonishment,
rose from the bishop's ruined castle, at thtv
entrance of which he found himself, while u
dead horse and an upturned sledge lay close
in the snow.
Peter had a good conscience, but he wa
frightened to the heart, when the sharp shrill
voice, once more saluted him with : Petor
Letski that's a fine night !" ' i '
" Middling," said Peter. " Who are you.?' ,
as, looking in its direction, he saw a dwarf-'
ish old man clothed in rags, which had once
been rich fur and velvet, and so thin that his
bones seemed fleshless striving to raise the
upturned sledge. . -
" I'm a brother of the traveller you took
home with the corn merchant's legacy," said
" Are there any more of you ?' inquired
" A great family, and like to.be greater,'
replied the (dwarf. "Come, and help me
to raise this sledge." r
" Is it yours ?" said Peter, who would have
helped anything, as between them the sledgs
was .lifted, and he, saw it was richly lined
and gaily painted. .
" Everything . is ours," cried the dwarf,
thrusting his hand under the crimson cushion
and drawing out a leather money-bag.-'
" Take this," he continued, chincking it at
Peter's ear, ," and I'll go home with you.
What are you thinking of aaan '"-as Peter -held
back both his hands. " This would buy,
the land your cottage stands on ; and the .
boyar would be glad enough to. sell it before i
my brother's done, with it.".
' I'm thinking how my mother wQuldJik!;
it." said Peter. ' " " :