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his native town. Acting on the pressing advice of his friends, he gave up his wanderings, and went to reside in the house of his fathers, piled up his skins and ivory, bought new ones, and prepared for the annual fair. The merchants from Irkoutsk, the capital, came, and Ivan, who was sharp and clever, did a good trade. But when his furs and teeth were changed into tea, tobacco, brandy, cloth, &c., he did not feel a whit happier. Ivan longed for the arid hills, and lofty mountains, and pellucid lakes--for the exciting hunt and the night bivouac, when gray-headed Yakoutas would, with their _ganzis_--the Irish duddeen--in their mouths, tell terrible and wonderful stories of ancient days. When eating town fare, his stomach yearned after frozen Yakouta butter, cut up with axes, and for _strouganina_ or frozen fish, with reindeer brains, and other northern delicacies. And then his kind friends told him that he wanted a wife--a possession without which, they assured him, life was dull, adding that in her society he would cease to long for communion with bears and savages. Ivan believed them, and, following their advice, launched into society--that is, he went more than usual to the noisy festivities of the town, which form the occupation of the dull season. The good people of Yakoutsk--like all people approaching to a savage state, especially in northern climes--consider eating the great business of life. Fabulous legends are told of the enormous capacity for food, approaching that of the Esquimaux; but however this may be, certain it is that a Yakoutsk festival was always commenced by several hours of laborious eating and drinking of fat and oily food and strong brandy. When the utmost limits of repletion were reached, the patriarchs usually took to pipes, cards, and punch, while the ladies prepared tea, and ate roasted nuts, probably to facilitate digestion. The young men conversed with them, or roasted their nuts for them, while perhaps a dandy would perform a Siberian dance to the music of the violin or _gousli_, a kind of guitar. Ivan joined heartily in all this dissipation: he smoked with the old men; he drank their punch; he roasted nuts for the ladies, and told them wonderful stories which were always readily listened to, except when some new fashion, which for several years before had been forgotten in Paris--found its way via St. Petersburgh, Moscow, and Irkoutsk, to the deserts of Siberia. Then he was silent; for
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