" Our abode was situated in a suburb, on the opposite side of the river, so that it was necessary to cross the bridge of boats every time we wished to visit the fair; and here the confusion was always the greatest. We were obliged to struggle our way, if on foot, amid sheepskins, greasy enough to scent us for the rest of our lives, thereby adding to the store of fleas with which we had started from our lodging. Women, with waists immediately under their throats, and petticoats tucked up to their knees, tramped it gallantly through the mud, and made better progress than we could. A Cossack on horseback rode up and down the bridge for the purpose of keeping order amid the droskies, which, heedless of the rules of the road, dashed in every direction, apparently bent upon splashing those they did not run over. Drunken men continually stumbled against us; and when at last we reached the slough on the opposite side, the confusion and hubbub were greater than ever.
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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855