M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin
History of one city
This story is a “true” chronicle of the city of Glupov, “Glupovsky Chronicler”, embracing a period of time from 1731 to 1825, which was “successively” composed by four stupid archivists. In the chapter “From the publisher” the author especially insists on the authenticity of the “Chronicler” and offers the reader “to catch the physiognomy of the city and to keep track of how its history reflected a variety of changes simultaneously taking place in higher spheres.”
“The Chronicler” opens “An appeal to the reader from the last chronicler-archivist.” The archivist sees the task of the chronicler in “being a portrayer” of a “touching correspondence” – of power, “moderately daring,” and of the people, “
First, the head of the prehistoric “On the Roots of the Origin of the
Foolovites” is given, which tells how the ancient people of the bastards conquered the neighboring tribes of the walrus-eaters, the lercodes, the cootsworms, etc. But, not knowing what to do to order, the bugs began to look for the prince. They did not appeal to a single prince, but even the most stupid princes did not want to “wake up stupid” and, having taught a rod, released them with honor. Then they called for the thieves of the novator-thief who helped them find the prince. The prince “volost” by them agreed, but he did not go to live with them, sending instead a thief-novator. The very heads of the prince called the prince “fools”, hence the name of the city.
The Foolovites were a submissive people, but the novator needed riots to pacify them. But soon he was so pissed off that the prince “sent a slave to a slave”. But the novtor “and then dodged: without waiting for a loop, he killed himself with a cucumber.”
The prince also sent princes, such as Odoevets, Orlovtsy, Kalyazinets, – but they were all thieves. Then the prince “…
arrivals his own person in Fools and cry:” I’ll lock up! “With these words, historical times began.”
Then follows the “Inventory to the mayors at different times in the city of Glupov from the highest authorities set,” after which the biographies of “the most remarkable mayors” are given in detail.
In 1762, Dementy Varlamovich Brudasty arrived in Glupov. He immediately amazed the Foolovites with sullenness and laconicism. His only words were “I will not tolerate!” and “Razor!”. The city was lost in conjecture until one day the writer, entering the report, saw a strange sight: the body of the mayor, as usual, was sitting at the table, his head lying on the table completely empty. Foolov was shocked. But then they remembered about the watch and organ affairs of the master Baibakov, who secretly visited the mayor, and, summoning him, they found out everything. In the head of the mayor, in one corner, there was an organ that could perform two pieces of music: “I’ll ruin!” and “I will not tolerate!”. But on the road the head was damp and needed to be repaired. Baibakov himself could not cope and turned for help to St. Petersburg, where they promised to send a new head,
There was an unspecified, ending with the appearance of two identical mayors at once. “The impostors met and measured each other’s eyes.” The crowd slowly and in silence dispersed. ” From the province, the messenger immediately arrived and took away the two impostors. And the Foolovites, left without a town governor, immediately fell into anarchy.
Anarchy lasted all the following week, during which six city governors were replaced in the city. The townsfolk rushed from Iraida Lukinichna Paleologova to Clémantink de Bourbon, and from her to Amalia Karlovna Stockfish. The claims of the first were based on the short-term town-planning activity of her husband, the second – of the father, and the third – and she was the mayor of the town. The claims of Nelka Lyadokhovskaya, and then Dunka-Tolstoy’s and Matrenki-nostrils were even less grounded. In between military actions, the Foolovites dropped some citizens from the belltower and drowned others. But they are tired of anarchy. Finally, a new mayor, Semyon Konstantinovich Dvokurov, arrived in the city. His work in Foolov was beneficial. “He introduced mead-brewing and brewing and made obligatory the use of mustard and laurel leaves”,
At the next governor, Pyotr Petrovich Ferdyshchenka, the city flourished for six years. But for the seventh year “Ferdyshchenka was embarrassed by a demon”. The governor flushed with love for coachman Alenka’s wife. But Alenka answered him with a refusal. Then, with the help of a series of consistent measures, Alyonka’s husband, Mitka, was branded and sent to Siberia, and Alenka became discreet. On the Fools, through the towns of the town, a drought struck the country, and famine followed. People began to die. Then came the end and foolish patience. First we sent a walker to Ferdyshchenka, but the walker did not return. Then they sent a petition, but it did not help either. Then they got to Alenka and threw her off the bell tower. But Ferdyshchenko did not doze, but wrote reports to his superiors. Bread was not sent to him, but a team of soldiers arrived.
Through the next enthusiasm of Ferdyshchenka, Shooter Domashka, fires came to the city. The Pushkarskaya Sloboda was burning, behind it were Sloboda and the Wretched. Ferdyshchenko again took a backseat, returned Domashka “opschu” and called the team.
Ferdyschenka’s reign ended with a trip. The governor went to the urban pasture. In different places, the townspeople greeted him and waited for lunch. On the third day of the journey, Ferdyshchenko died of eating.
The successor to Ferdyschenka, Basilisk Semyonovich Borodavkin, began resolutely to the post. After studying the history of Foolov, he found only one model for imitation – Dvoykurov. But his achievements were already forgotten, and the Foolovites even stopped sowing mustard. Wartkin ordered this error to be corrected, and in punishment he added olive oil. But the Foolovites did not yield. Then Borodavkin went on a military campaign against Streletskaya Sloboda. Not everything in the nine-day campaign was successful. In the dark, they fought their own. Many real soldiers were fired and replaced with tin soldiers. But Wartkin survived. Having reached the settlement and not finding anyone, he began to take the logs home. And then the settlement, and behind it and the whole city surrendered. Subsequently, there were several wars for enlightenment. In general, the board led to the impoverishment of the city, finally ended with the next ruler, Scoundrel. In this state of Fools, Mikeladze found the Circassian.
There were no events on this board. Mikeladze pulled back from administrative measures and only dealt with the female sex, to which there was a great hunter. The city was resting. “There were few visible facts, but the consequences are innumerable.”
Cherkashenin was replaced by Feofilakt Irinarkhovich Benevolensky, a friend and comrade of Speransky in the seminary. He was marked by his passion for legislation. But since the mayor did not have the right to promulgate his laws, Benevolensky published laws secretly, in the house of the merchant Raspopova, and at night threw them around the city. However, he was soon dismissed for his relations with Napoleon.
The next was Lieutenant Colonel Pimple. He did not do business at all, but the city blossomed. The crops were huge. Foolovites pricked up their ears. And the mystery of Pimple was revealed by the leader of the nobility. A great amateur of minced meat, the leader sensed that the head of the mayor smelled of truffles and, unable to stand it, attacked and ate a stuffed head.
After that, the state councilor Ivanov arrived in the city, but “was so small that he could not hold anything extensive,” and he died. His successor, the emigrant Viscount de Chario, was constantly amused and was exiled abroad by order of his superiors. Upon consideration was a girl.
Finally, the State Counselor Erast Andreevich Grustilov appeared in Glupov. By this time the Foolovites had forgotten the true God and clung to idols. Under him, the city is finally mired in debauchery and laziness. Hoping for their happiness, they stopped sowing, and hunger came to the city. Grustilov was busy with daily balls. But suddenly everything changed when he appeared to her. The wife of the apothecary Pfeiffer pointed out to Grustilov the path of good. The holy and miserable, who experienced hard days during the worship of idols, became the main people in the city. The Foolovites repented, but the fields stood empty. Glupov’s beau monde gathered at night to read Mr. Strakhov and “admiration”, which the authorities soon found out, and Grustilov was removed.
The last foolish mayor – Ugryum-Burcheev – was an idiot. He set the goal – to turn Fools into “forever-worthy memory of Grand Duke Svyatoslav Igorevich the city of Nepreklonsk” with direct identical streets, “companies”, the same houses for the same families, etc. Ugryum-Burcheev in detail thought out the plan and began to execute. The city was destroyed to the ground, and it was possible to start construction, but the river was in the way. She did not fit into the plans of Ugryum-Burcheev. The indefatigable mayor led her offensive. All garbage, everything that was left of the city, was put into operation, but the river blurred all the dams. And then Ugryum-Burcheev turned around and walked away from the river, taking the Foolovites with them. For the city was chosen absolutely flat lowland, and construction began. But something has changed. However, the notebooks with details of this story were lost, and the publisher only leads the denouement: “… the earth shook, the sun faded. It came.” Without explaining what exactly, the author only says that “the scoundrel instantly disappeared, as if dissolved in the air.” History has ceased its course. “
The story is closed with “justification documents,” that is, the writings of various city governors, such as: Borodavkin, Mikeladze and Benevolensky, written for edification to other mayors.