This a collection of nine stories, as follows, with descriptions:

MISERY:  Iona, the sledge driver, has just lost his son and is stuck in the depths of despond.  As he waits for passengers(the sledge is a sort of horse-drawn taxi on rails), he mourns and bewails his fate.  Carrying passengers from place to place, he attempts to share his misery but is rebuffed by all;  they have their own preoccupations and have no patience with the sadness of a lowly menial.  At the end of the shift, Iona brushes down his mare and shares with her his grief.  He commiserates with her having lost a foal and she licks his hand.

A FATHER:  In the throes of alcoholism, Old Musatov whines and mumbles to his son, Boris, about having no money, his nagging wife, the hovel he lives in, and his own worthlessness.  Boris lends him a few kopeks, which the old sot immediately spends on drink, then takes him back home, greets his mother and leaves, all the time polite and respectful to his parents, but glad, at last, to be away from them.  A sort of comment on alcoholism, of which one of the effects is to inhibit intellectual growth, so the victim never grows up….

THE KISS:  Ryabovich is an officer in a traveling artillery battalion.  Staying overnight in a rural village, the local landowner invites 19 officers of the regiment to dinner.  Ryabovich is shy and wants not to accompany his fellows, but is persuaded to do so.  Hovering on the outskirts of the cheerful party, he observes the dancing and conversations, and feels left out, so wanders through room after room of the large mansion, becoming thoroughly lost.  Of a sudden, a girl vaults into the room and plants a big kiss on his lips and dashes off.  Stunned, Ryabovich leaves the house and blindly stumbles through the tangled streets of the village, falling into a kind of dream state until  reaching his quarters, mostly by accident, and collapses on his cot.  R’s dream state lasts for months, until his unit, pursuing a programmed circular route, comes once again into the village a year later.  Some of the officers anticipate a replay of last year, but no invitation comes:  the family is out of town.  Ryabovich goes for a walk, strolling down the river to the mansion where he muses for a while in the garden.  Upon leaving, and gazing hypnotically into the water, he has an epiphanic moment:  “And the whole world, the whole of life, seemed to Ryabovich an unintelligible, aimless jest…”  Awake, he returns to his cot and falls asleep.

A PROBLEM:   A youth, Sasha Uskov, has had a bad upbringing.  In his twenties, he forges a bank note, alarming his upper class relatives, who argue among themselves whether or not to let Sasha be arrested and pay for his crime.  Through the efforts of one uncle, they agree to make good the money if S will reform and cease gambling and carousing.  He agrees.  On the way out of the room, he asks the uncle for a loan…

WARD NUMBER 6:  This story concerns a hospital for the insane and a self-involved, unmotivated doctor who is interested principally in reading great literature and avoiding his medical responsibilities.  He visits the asylum occasionally and happens to become interested in the ramblings of a brilliant paranoiac.  Over a period of time, the doctor, through conversations with this inmate, is awakened to what seem to him uncomfortable realities of life having to do with duty, justice, and social accountability.  Soon, the reasoning of the inmate about sustainable roles in society begins to make sense and the doctor, without knowing what is happening, finds himself a permanent resident of the asylum.  Chekhov has a dim view of Russian mores, or the lack thereof…

IN EXILE:  Semyon and the Tatar work as ferrymen in Siberia.  The Tatar worries about his wife, frets over the living conditions, and looks forward to returning to “civilization”. Semyon sleeps on the ground, pays no attention to the weather, and does his job with a sort of fierce amiability.  He says he’s happy because he has nothing, wants nothing, and doesn’t think at all about the future.  The contrast between the two represents a question C is exploring:  what is happiness and why do we need it?

MY LIFE:  Written in the first person, this purports to be a short autobiography of Misail Poleznev, an upper class youth who likes working with his hands.  His father wants him to pursue a career and go to college.  Misial rebels and gets a job with Radish, a local painting contractor.  As time goes by he changes jobs, looking for some position that accords with his feeling that each person should occupy themselves with work that appeals to them.  He works as a clerk on the railroad, tries farming, and soon falls in love with an upper class daughter of a local landowner.  She’s rich and buys an estate in the country which they try to run on modern principles.  The peasants steal them blind and make fun of them.  She becomes distraught with their inability to successfully operate the farm and moves to St. Petersburg.  Meanwhile, Misial’s sister is impregnated by the local doctor, who also leaves town.  Concomitantly, M is made aware of how corrupt the townsmen are, stealing from one another, lying, bribing, and forging their ways through life while vocalizing righteous commonplaces to each other.  He calls them “Gogolesque pigfaces”.  Finally, Misial goes back to work for Radish, his sister dies in childbirth and M finds himself raising his niece and gradually coming into control of his own painting company.  I  don’t know how much of this was really autobiographical, but some of it surely was:  at any rate vividly expressing Chekhov’s feelings about small town social life.

PEASANTS:  This tale is a rather unpleasant diatribe on the slovenliness, dirt, and uncouthness of an ordinary peasant village.  Very poor, they are preyed upon by every official body, including the church, and spend most of their time drinking, fighting, and weeping over their sad fate.  Death is welcome and not feared, because their lives are so miserable.  Not much else to say about it…

THE DARLING:  A simple narrative of a simple girl with not much brain, who marries and outlives two husbands and a third boy friend.  Supposedly an oddity, in that she adopts the attitudes and beliefs of her partners and when they are gone, lives in a kind of limbo, which by some of the characters from the previous stories could be regarded as idyllic, but in Chekhov’s interpretation seems blameworthy somehow…  Frankly, i don’t see his point…

I read this book to see how it compared/contrasted with the Maxim Gorky collection i read last week.  In general, C was a lot more concerned with social class structure than G was, and had greater control over his story-telling gifts;  his prose is flowing and descriptive – rarely stunning, but clear and informative.  I thought C rather prone to “beat a dead horse” upon occasion, but recalling the times he lived in, his points and intents were undoubtedly justifiable.  The peasants in Russia had just been freed in 1861, and their misery was in large measure a result of inadequate preparation and organization for their welfare.  Apparently no plans at all were made to make the peasant life a viable and productive one.  The end result, of course, being rampant chaos and social disruption.  Probably Chekhov was trying to bring national attention to this state of affairs.  And he did, i believe…

It’s remarkable that Chekhov and Gorky were both writing about the same sorts of social disasters, but from such different points of view.  G wrote from what might be regarded as a much lower plain:  he was a wanderer, a worker, and looked at life as an active participant rather than from an elevated, educated perspective(Chekhov was a doctor of medicine).  And he had a powerful talent and opportunity for seeing the bones of nature, and the ability to express his vision in striking and poetic ways.  I gave some examples in my last post and his descriptions of sunsets and mountains will stay with me, perhaps only because of his habit of picturing natural events in human metaphors and the opposite:  talking about qualities and behaviors of people in geological or industrial terms.

It’s been fun thinking about G and C and their differences and similarities;  maybe i’ll read more by them, although i feel my eclectic inclinations opening other doors…  We’ll see…  life is an ongoing Christmas present, in a lot of ways…


Through Russia

Maxim Gorky/trans. C.J. Hogarth

Gorky(1868-1936) had a hard life.  After his parents died when he was twelve, he pursued various careers, shifting from one to another as his spirit dictated.  He made shoes, worked as a surveyor, a ship’s cook, a gardener, baker, bartender, longshoreman, and whatever else crossed his path…  A little later he became secretary to a lawyer and found out about books;  he discovered in himself a raging curiosity about Russia and the Russian people, which he assuaged by throwing up his literary work and tramping around the steppes and the Caucasus mountains, interviewing Muzhiks(peasants), religious figures, landlords and a host of other laborers in the field.  He walked thousands of miles and wrote what he saw and heard;  at the end of his life(he purportedly died of TB) he had over thirty books and around seventeen plays to his credit.

THROUGH RUSSIA is a collection of short stories and vignettes based on the experiences and encounters Gorky had during his protracted ramblings.  The first story tells how he helped a woman give birth in a willow thicket on the shores of the Black sea.  The Caucasus range in the background seem to him a kind of cathedral looming over the new  child and it’s mother, apparently conveying the blessings of mother nature on the ancient fructification and renewal of the human race…  Gorky’s prose displays, even at the beginning of the first story, his characteristic descriptions of the land, water, and mountains:  his wont is to personify the natural occurrences and movements of air and water in a sort of crystalline snapshot of mammalian or mineral behavior.  For instance, ” leaves of wild laurel were glistening and gyrating on the white foam of the Kodor(a local river) like a quantity of mercurial salmon fry.”  And: “For at times even the sun may feel sad as he contemplates men, and sees that, despite all that he has done for them, they have done so little in return…”  As a variant on this kind of metaphor, G turns it around and frequently describes human qualities in terms of natural phenomena…  “Certain souls, i thought, existed which seemed like balls of copper, for, solid and immovable, they reflected things from their own point of view alone, in a dull and irregular and distorted fashion.  And souls, I thought, existed which seemed as flat as mirrors, and, for all intents and purposes, had no existence at all.”

There are ten stories altogether, each featuring a connection or discussion with an unusual and somewhat abnormal transient he discovers, and interviews, in a different venue.  The Icebreaker tells the tale of a group of laborers trying to build a dam in the middle of an ice-bound river just before spring breakup begins.  When that happens, it can be very dangerous for anyone in the immediate vicinity, as tons of ice blocks and shards are thrown around haphazardly while being carried downstream by the current.  In this story, a fair is being held across the river which the workers are itching to go to.  The foreman keeps telling them it’s too perilous to attempt to cross the river in its present state, but, in a sort of dream state (which is very typical attribute of G’s psychological overview), the men convince the boss to lead them across.  So he does.  It’s a very tricky, unforgiving process, involving dancing from floe to floe amid the roaring ice and the music permeating the air from the opposite bank.  They all make it, in a rather epiphanical state, and, throwing their arms around each other, they race off to the fair, running to engage in ecstatic moments of intense living…  This is very typical of Gorky:  he looks for events which gel around timeless moments and emphasize the spiritual commonality of the characters.

There is a sort of progressional development reigning in the balance of the book, in which the importance of “Mother Russia” and the eternal glory of the steppes in unifying the soul of the peasantry is recorded and expanded right up until the last tale.  In a sort of anticlimax, this last story is a simple exposition of Gorky’s participation in the last rites pertaining to the demise of a local resident of a very small village.  The man has died of drink and his wife pleads with Maxim to read the Good Book over his remains.  No religious material can be found so Gorky recites some pertinent poetry to suit the occasion, while gazing out the unglazed window of the rough cabin into the limitless depths and the golden expanse of the Caucasian steppe.

Some quirkiness can found in each story;  in each, he, at some point, sometimes not in a very apropos fashion, refers to a character’s fingers, or hands, usually describing them as twisted, bent, frozen, or stuck.  I found this rather strange;  almost fevered in its persistent repetition…  it’s almost like G was using this particular image as a handle with which to control the story.

Some of the descriptive language is almost haikuesque:  “accented non-amiability”;  “gale winds dissolving in tears and despondency”;  “the white stems of the bushes like silver candelabra tipped with a thousand lights”.  There’s a lot more to say about this book;  it was intellectually challenging and really had the result of instilling in the reader a sense of dreaminess, as related to the Russian experience.

Bicycle Ride

A gorgeous day in the middle of January;  who could resist loading up the two-wheeler into the pickup and driving over to the flat city for a bike ride…  I decided to take my belt driven 3-speed, which i don’t usually ride, as it’s a bit heavier than the one speed I put together from my daughter’s 27 speed(see the post about a month ago..).  Not too much traffic and i was pedaling along quite cheerfully, although it seemed like this particular bike was harder to peddle than the last time i rode it.  We(me and the bicycle) trundled along the slough – actually a canal;  the town is a little Venice, almost, with miniature waterways webbing the neighborhoods _ observing the wildlife:  mostly ducks, a few Canadian geese with their characteristic attitude (we are masters of the universe;  you shall obey!).  We passed some walkers enjoying the excellent weather and smiled back and forth…  The blue sky, warm temperature, crunchy gravel and golden grasses combining together for an idyllic series of moments…  After hitting the pavement again, we made it down to the local megastore and locked up mr. bike;  inside, i invested, after some serious consideration, in a bottle of orange juice and a jelly donut which, having paid for, i carried back outside and started to unlock the bike.  At which point, it gradually became clear that the lock was not going to cooperate.  It was one of those combination cable locks that has a shaft that fits into a housing and movable letters on the outside that rotated around, ideally, into the correct configuration to allow the lock too open.  Not this time…  I fiddled with it for a while with no success and gave up.  Went back inside and bought a cheap hacksaw and returned to handle the problem…  As soon as i began sawing, a fellow bicyclist rode up and said:  “Oho, bicycle thief!”…  I showed my new hacksaw and explained the situation and, not being a normal-type citizen(scruffy with a ragged beard, fogged up glasses and old clothes – just like me, actually, except for the beard), he commiserated and said the same thing had happened to him.  He showed me the log chain and heavy duty padlock that he used and recommended I change my ways…   Anyway, he helped hold the offending cable while i sawed away at it.  Meanwhile another bicycle person showed up and he said, you guessed it:  “Oho, bicycle thieves” and before we could say anything he started telling us about where he worked (Macdonald’s on the midnight shift) and how one night when he parked his bike in front by the window so he could see it, some no-account dishonest citizen had sheared through his cable lock with a pair of chain cutters and made off with his ride.  After we conversed for a bit, he grabbed one end of the cable  along with the other guy and pretty soon i finished cutting through the insulation and wire underneath.  They both rode off and we wished each other a good day…  Good Samaritans don’t always come in designer clothing…

So i continued riding, stopping for a snack where i could admire the log truck traffic and the paper mill, then rolled back via a devious route(avoiding rush hour) to the pickup.

When i got home i looked up belt drive bicycles on the net and eventually discovered that they took about thirty per cent more effort to ride than a bike with a chain/sprocket combination.  So this morning I removed the belt system and ordered a new chain and chainring( I already had a sprocket that would fit).  Soon it’ll be a chainged (pun) situation!

Italy: with sketches of Spain and Portugal

William Beckford (1760-1844)

Traveler, author, social critic, adventurer, musician, art exponent, dancer, he was born with a golden spoon in his mouth and lived a life normal persons can only imagine…  His grandfather was governor of Jamaica and his father, twice Lord Mayor of London, once picked a fight with King George III on the floor of parliament…  His only book of fiction, Vathek, is currently read almost as much as The Arabian Nights.  Purportedly, he wrote it in two days and three nights…  His income was about 100,000 lbs. a year;  a couple of million by today’s standards…  He studied the harpsichord with Mozart and was considered a friend by the ruling heads of Portugal…

This two volume production is epistolary, being selections from letters he wrote during several journeys to Italy, Spain, and Portugal, not to mention the Netherlands, Belgium, and various countries of eastern Europe…

He first started this journey in 1785, traveling to Belgium and continuing through the Netherlands, southern Germany, the Tyrol,  Austria, and on to Italy through the Innsbruck/Bolzano/Trento route.  Of his very first experiences, he described the stay in Belgium as noisy, smelly, and overpopulated with dirty people;  he felt the same way about the Netherlands, with a few exceptions, mostly related to his distaste for crowds.  He had the habit, which he pursued throughout his travels, of walking off without telling anyone and rambling around, studying flowers, rocks, trees and admiring landscapes until he got tired;  sometimes not returning for hours…  the route he followed (he had his own carriage, of course, and maybe more than one:  picture him bouncing around in a four wheeled vehicle made of mostly wood with very minimal suspension if any, trying to catch a nap or leaning out of the window to visually capture yet another glorious vision of the passing landscape) basically went up alongside the Rhine, through heavily wooded country with occasional wide vistas of mountain ranges with rivers and streams…  Sometimes he complains of bugs and dirty inns, but usually he’s too entranced with the surround to bother much about those inglorious features…  He possessed an extraordinary curiosity about nature and frequently would jump out of the carriage as it was bouncing over the deeply rutted dirt roads and take off running up through the forest, gleefully dashing from one intriguing prospect to another…  presumably his fellow travelers would either wait for him or continue on to  the nearest inn, assuming he might show up when he was tired.  His descriptions of the extensive forests in Austria, with the infrequent half-timbered farm houses and Gasthofs are brilliant:  the imagery jumps into the eye seemingly without effort, William’s prose being of that rare type that can bring a scene to life without drowning itself in a sea of verbiage…

Entering Venice, his first major stopover in Italy, he’s in a desperate hurry to tour the cathedrals and convents;  one of the most memorable experiences occurred when he was invited to a concert at the Ospedale de la Pieta, the convent in which Antonio Vivaldi taught for many years;  the all-sister orchestra and chorus had not lost any abilities since the reign of the master.  But Venice at that time had drawbacks:  one of which was the overodorous miasma generally pervading the entire city…  William at one point, trying to get away from the stench (he was preternaturally sensitive to smells), climbed to the top of the Campanile, in St. Marks plaza and stayed there, admiring and dreaming his private dreams, for twelve hours…  He received generally welcome receptions at most of the convents and cathedrals he visited;  rich Englishmen were not usually denied access…  and he writes at some length in admiration of the pictures, architecture, and sculpture he finds, evidencing an accurate and critical knowledge of all three disciplines…

After Venice, he travels west, through Padua, Mantua and Verona, stopping to tour edifices and interesting churches, landscapes and lakes, farms and other agricultural venues…  he was interested in everything, seemingly, and pursued those interests with a disregard of his own safety or the convenience of others in the party.  As mentioned above, he loved the freedom of dashing off to no purpose, climbing cliffs and forging through forests and feeding his spirit with views and vistas.  Reaching Naples, he follows the same sort of program.  One day, on a hike up the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius, he visits an old lady in a hovel who makes a living from weaving cloth from goat hair.  She offers him water and a crust of bread, then relates the story of her history and how she came to  be there:  a Boccaccian tale of love, poison, betrayal and death.  Upon finishing she explains that the nearby cliff is the one her beloved threw himself over, along with his false sweetheart. Walking on, William discovers lovely meadows and grandiose visions of the sea;  he describes one meadow:  “springs, whose frequent meanderings gave the whole prospect the appearance of a vast green carpet shot with silver”…  nice, i thought…

Anyway, after stops in Rome (more paintings and sculpture), he returns to England.  When asked by someone why he went to Italy, he said:  “to see – and drown in my vision!”

Beckford’s expositions of his Portuguese visits were similar to the above, except they had somewhat more to do with his merrymaking and dinners with his highly placed noble acquaintances, than with the excellences of the topography…  He describes many festivals and, possibly not inadvertently, dwells occasionally on the ubiquitous presence of the Inquisition and the abominably low state of the peasantry, who suffer miseries beyond counting from the higher classes and the church…  Eventually he journeys to Madrid where things are about the same.  Madrid is located in the middle of the Extremadura, a high plateau, desert-like, hot in summer and very cold in winter.  Many of the conquistadores came from the Extremadura.  The impression he received from the  peerage there was of a somewhat looser society, but still divided into the same sort of privilege ridden social ambience fostered by the church and the entrenched nobility, to the general detriment of the people.

The last letter of the second volume is written in 1795, eight years later, on a subsequent visit, after the French Revolution, and upon revisiting many of the same entrancing locales he’s seen previously, he finds that neglect and lack of forethought or care has caused deterioration to almost all of them:  statues are crumbling, estates are overgrown, palace walls are peeling off;  and the people are more drunken and fearful than they had been on his first visit…  Beckford doesn’t come right and say it, but the impression i got was that he blamed this deterioration on the revolution and the falling standards and fear induced by the deposing of the French royalty, and the consequential radiation of these social earthquakes throughout Europe.

Beckford lived a long time and was an amazingly gifted person.  He built an estate in England, “Fonthill Abbey” with the aid of about a thousand workmen and one architect, Myer, who kept disappearing while the work was in progress.  William ended up doing most of the designing and supervising himself.  The place was huge.  A ten foot high fence made of stone surrounded it, eight miles long.  The Abbey itself, had a gate thirty feet high, of which the hinges alone weighed about a ton each.  The dining room was about 300 feet long.  Partly from his travels and in part from his obsession with orientalism (i should have mentioned that Beckford was crazy about Orientalism from an early age), he had a great love of towers.  So he had one built that was 300 feet high.  Well, until it fell over.  Then he built another one and THAT fell over.  So…  yes, he built another, and that was more successful, standing until 1822.  By that time William had moved, selling Fonthill Abbey for about 50,000 lbs. more than it had cost him…

Footnotes:  I should mention that i got a lot of the biographical information from Wiki and from the intro to Vathek, the latter published by Ballantine and written by Lin Carter.




I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said:  two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert…Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains.  Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

There’s a golden thread (to paraphrase Horace Rumpole) that permeates the warp of human history, including Aristophanes, Robert Burton, Miguel Cervantes, Moliere, Samuel Butler, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dodgson, Edward Lear, Bennet Cerf, Ogden Nash, and Dave Barry, to mention but a few…  This thread represents perhaps the ultimate attainment of intellectual silliness;  and at the same time, arguably, of course, the height of wisdom…

OGDEN NASH (1902-1971)

I met a traveler from an antique show,

His pockets empty, but his eyes aglow.

Upon his back, and now his very own,

He bore two vast and trunkless legs of stone.

Amid the torrent of collector’s jargon

I gathered he had found himself a bargain,

A permanent conversation piece post-prandial,

Certified genuine early Ozymandial

And when i asked him how he could be sure,

He showed me P. B. Shelley’s signature.



Jacob Faithful

by Frederick Marryat

This was one of Frederick Marryat’s last books and, much like the previous twenty or so, depicted the rise of a young man from a position of poverty into the realm of gentility.  Jacob’s earliest years were spent on a barge, sailing up and down the Thames, delivering miscellaneous cargoes, from bricks to lumber.  His father smoked a pipe and left the responsibilities of sailing and lading cargo on Jacob’s shoulders.  As young as six years of age, Jacob was shooting the bridges crossing the river, dealing with crosscurrents, variable winds, tidal flow, and ill-mannered traffic.  His father’s advice was limited to three adages intended to apply to every conceivable problem life had to offer:  “It’s no use crying;  what’s done cannot be helped”;  “Take it cooly”;  and “Better luck next time”.  Mrs. Faithful’s contribution was a daily consumption of a large amount of gin.

Sailing one day up the lower reaches of the river, Jacob was at the helm and his parents were below when of a sudden a loud explosion was heard.  Jacob saw his father run out of the companion way, all smoke and cinders, and jump overboard, sinking out of sight with only a few bubbles to mark his descent.  After the smoke cleared, Jacob crept down into the cabin where his mother was usually to be found lying in the only bed(Jacob slept on dec 365 days a year).  To his shock and horror, there was nothing there but a large black sooty greasy blot, mother-sized…  His mother had spontaneously combusted!!

The subsequent story line follows Jacob’s education in a local charity school, his experiences dealing with bullies and evil-minded teachers and later pursuing his love of life on the water by accepting a job on a lighter(barge), working for a local businessman. He soon acquires his own wherry(a sort of water taxicab) and blithely occupies his time rowing passengers up and down the river.

But, as often happens, things change.  Jacob, along with his best friend, are pressed into the Royal Navy, and spend several years cruising the Caribbean and adjacent American coast.  They engage in one running battle, pursuing and capturing a troublesome privateer, responsible for depredations and slaughter committed upon ships commuting back and forth to England.  Then Jacob receives a letter;  his philanthropic businessman friend has died, leaving him 30,000 lbs. in his will.  So Jacob buys his way out of the navy, does the same for his friend, and more or less retires as a gentleman.  Events proceed swimmingly until the friend is kidnapped into the army;  he deserts, is captured and sentenced to hang!

The finale is an acceptable one, but doesn’t occur until the last two pages of the book.  Marryat was not a very polished author.  His working life, 25 years or so, was spent in the navy.  He rose to the rank of captain, having experienced every conceivable facet of naval life:  war, discipline, navigation, etc.  A number of his more memorable works(Midshipman Easy, Peter Simple, The Children of The Forest, etc.) were inspired by his background serving with Lord Cochrane, the explosively imaginative and daring captain of the Imperieuse, who C.S. Forrester’s hero, Horatio Hornblower, was styled after.  So Marryat would have participated in cuttings out, ship to shop cannonades and battles, the takings of forts, and all the other dangerous and inventive actions dreamed up by Cochrane.

Footnote:  Cochrane, in spite of being arguably the most famous British naval hero of the time, was convicted of stock fraud(of which there is little doubt he was innocent), and, justifiably discontented with the country he’d so admirably defended, immigrated to Peru, where he founded the Peruvian navy.