Такие цытаты обычно очень любит ivand.
But what I found the most enjoyable was not that, but a little episode about Ilya Miloslavskiy, the book author’s illustrious ancestor. Boyar Miloslavskiy was sort of an olde tyme oligarch. In 1600s he headed all of Russia’s most important (and profitable) ministries, Military, Medical, Treasury, etc. He was a man of limitless appetites, and stole amazing amount of money. Miloslavsky’s boss, tzar Alexei was not bothered as much by stealing, as he was by amoral behavior.
Tolstoy quotes Dr. Collins, a royal physician and apparently Miloslavsky’s employee:
“At last perceiving Eliah too kind to some of his Tartar and Polish slaves, he urged him (being an old Widdower) either to marry or refrain the Court. For the Russians highly extoll marriage, partly to people their Territories, and partly to prevent Sodomy and Buggery, to which they are naturally inclined, nor is it punished there with Death. A lusty Fellow about eight years since being at this beastly sport with a Cow, cry’d to one that saw him ‘Ne Mishchay’, do not interrupt me; and now he is known by no other name over all Muscovy, than ‘Ne Mishchay’ ”.