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Ilya Repin's The Cossack Letter
"The Most Defiant Letter!"

Thou Turkish Devil!

Brother and companion to the accursed Devil, and Secretary to Lucifer himself, Greetings!

What the hell kind of noble knight art thou? Satan voids and thy army devours. Never wilt thou be fit to have the sons of Christ under thee. Thy army we fear not, and by land and by sea in our chaikas we will do battle against thee.

Thou scullion of Babylon, thou beer-brewer of Jerusalem, thou goat-thief of Alexandria, thou swineherd of Egypt (both the Greater and the Lesser), thou Armenian pig and Tartar goat. Thou hangman of Kamyanets, thou evildoer of Podolia, thou great silly oaf of all the world and of the netherworld and, before our God, a blockhead, a swine's snout, a mare's ass, and clown of Hades. May the devil take thee!

That is what the Cossacks have to say to thee, thou basest born of runts! Unfit art thou to lord it over true Christians!

The date we know not, for no calender have we got. The moon (month) is in the sky, the year is in a book, and the day is the same with us here as with ye over there - and thou can kiss us thou knowest where!

Koshoviy Otaman Ivan Sirko
and all the Zaparozhian Cossack Brotherhood

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