Nicolas 1st, Emperor of Russia
























His Imperial Majesty




Your Imperial Majesty deigned to approve of the tour which, in 1837, I undertook in Southern Russia : you honoured with your august protection an exploring expedition into the most recent and least known portion of your empire.

We now, Sire, after a preliminary labour jointly accomplished, publish the observations, reminiscences [vi] and delineations resulting from this tour. In this book, the object of which is to convey a knowledge of the countries through which we travelled, each has contributed his own special remarks and investigations — each has brought forward his humble conquests in the field of science. This joint production, therefore, is destined to make known to all who love the advance- ment of human societies, the marvellous results achieved, and the bright hopes entertained by a people and a country, which, but half a century since, were known only by the names they had borne in ancient fable.

Who could compute for how many centuries these vast plains have beheld only the same succession of invasions, pillage and destruction, until the day when the great Empress Catherine, whose firm will succeeded that of Peter the Great, and preceded yours, Sire, proudly thrust back the confines of the empire to the shores of the Black Sea, astonished to find its waves beating on a land, over which peace and Christianity reigned? The genius which, to their advantage, took possession of these countries, bequeathed its plans to its glorious successors ; but for a long interval they [vii] remained uncompleted, for the torch of war was kindled throughout Europe ; and so great were the terrors that seemed to threaten these hapless regions, that the dismayed people dared not establish themselves upon this fertile land, which they were not sure of rendering fruitful for their own advantage.

Meanwhile, the foundation of important establishments raised up a confidence in the new provinces, and testified to the price set by Russia upon its splendid conquest. The southern plains soon witnessed the arrival of colonists, who gathered about a powerful rampart of cities — Nicolaieff, Kherson, Odessa, and at a later period Kertch, springing with renewed youth from the ruins of Panticapaeum, to command once more its two seas and the kingdom of Mithridates, once so formidable to a great people, now forming but a slight part of an immense empire.

From that period the young colonies became possessed with a creative spirit. While Nicolaieff launched from its extemporised dock-yards so large a fleet that these seas had never seen its equal, Odessa threw open its free ports, and attracted all the trade of the Mediterranean. [viii] The astonished Bosphorus imagined itself once more in the glorious times of the Genoese settlement at Kaffa.' Around this nucleus of intelligent activity, placed here by civilisation, as in a favourable centre, flowed fresh streams of life and enterprise, augmented by the marvellous pro- ductiveness of the soil, and the wise protection afforded to all, without distinction of race or religious worship.

But it is especially of late years, and since the glorious peace won by force of arms from Persia and the Ottoman empire, that the southern provinces, henceforward irrevocably incorporated with Russia, have felt the onward impulse imparted to their prosperity, and have risen to the stability and consistency of a great community, perfectly prepared to receive, and advantageously employ its share in the progress of the age.

The foundation of numerous and flourishing cities in the provinces composing New Russia, the progressive increase in agricultural produce of every kind, the large amount of carriage in the interior, increasing activity in the coasting trade, an appreciation of the beneficial effects of commerce among every class of inhabitants, the formidable condition of the imperial fleet, the regu [ix] larity and ease with which, in the remotest points, the springs of government are worked, and lastly — that spirit of wise and conservative progress which constitutes the true vitality of a people — such are the benefits, rapidly enumerated, which have hitherto been conferred upon New Russia, but a little while since a barbarous wilder- ness, overrun by hordes of lawless depredators.

There is, however, Sire, a necessity which is felt by nations no less than by individuals, when a certain amount of prosperity has rewarded the labours and anxieties which have filled a long period of life. This necessity is that of initiating for one's-self, of building on one's own soil, of surrounding one's-self with original creations, and freeing one's-self from the vexatious tribute hitherto paid to the intelligence of another : this necessity, in a word, is industry.

Effectively, industry, Sire, — and who knows this better than your Imperial Majesty ? — is the free exercise of the faculties which Providence has bestowed upon us ; it brings men and nations in closer relation — it binds together all separate interests into one — industry combines in one word order, labour, obedience, [x] authority, material prosperity, the strength of govern- ments and of states. And as in sum, the manufacture of iron, the material of which ploughshares and swords are made, precedes all other branches of industry, it was quite natural that these provident minds should turn their attention, first of all, to the mineral riches of New Russia. Is Southern Russia to have, or not, an industry of its own ? Such was the important question arising in the first instance. The discovery of certain signs indicating the presence of iron ore crowned the hopes of the first inquirers ; but another investigation remained to be made, which would be decisive in the highest degree of the question to be resolved. If nature had refused to these vast wilds of the south the oak and the fir, it might reasonably be hoped that beneath the soil she had shown herself less grudging, and that thence might be drawn forth a supply of coal — that soul of the modern, material world, which constitutes, far more than gold, the wealth of nations. The character of the soil in some parts of the new provinces, not far from the Don and the Donetz, led to the anticipation of a considerable deposit : [xi] moreover, in the same localities, at a period already remote, the presence of coal had been actually ascer- tained ; and on it Peter the Great had founded hopes — he who seldom hoped in vain. " This mineral," he said, " will become a source of wealth to our descendants."

But the question had hitherto remained undecided. It was in the endeavour to solve it, that Your Imperial Majesty graciously allowed me to commence investigations which will not, under all circumstances, have proved fruitless.

In entering, Sire, upon a task so difficult, and requiring the most conscientious discharge, I was anxious to avail myself of all the light of science, and of all the assistance I could derive from the fine arts ; for it appeared to me that an exploring expedition, such as I contemplated, ought to embrace the entire physical history of the country. At the same time I believed that I should thus be accomplishing a truly useful and patriotic work ; and by the august approbation of Your Imperial Majesty, which is the living expression of the national mind, I am already rewarded for my exertions.

By a favour, which my heart thoroughly appreciates, [xii] Your Majesty will allow us to dedicate to you this account of our tour, and these scientific observations, that nothing may be wanting to the honour of an enterprise, carried on, I may say, under the eyes of Your Majesty.

I am therefore emboldened to present this work to Your Imperial Majesty, as the result of' continued studies, patient research, and obstinate labour — and I shall only be too happy, Sire, if the savans, the artists, and the men of letters, who have worthily laboured to the same end, and shared the same fatigues, should obtain, as well as myself, one of those glances which descend from the lofty throne of Peter the Great, and Catherine the First.

It is with the most profound respect, Sire, that I have the honour to be, Your Imperial Majesty's

Very humble, very devoted, and very

faithful subject,


Paris, April 1839.




PREVIOUS to undertaking the long voyage, of which we are about to give a narrative, we had prepared ourselves, by an especial course of study, for the Mineralogical and Geological researches which attracted us towards Southern Russia. The protection of the august personage who watches over the interests of the empire, and attends, with paternal solicitude, to the smallest details of his administration, was graciously extended to our enterprise — the first of the kind hitherto undertaken, with respect to the most recent and least known portion of the Russian empire.

We now publish, after a preliminary. labour jointly accomplished, the observations, reminiscences and delineations resulting from this tour. In this book, the object of which is to convey a knowledge of the countries through which we have travelled, each has con- tributed his own special remarks and investigations — each has brought forward his humble conquests in the field of science. This joint production, therefore, is destined to make known to all who love the advancement of human societies, the marvellous results achieved, and the bright hopes entertained by a people and a country, which, but half a century since, were known only by the names they had borne in ancient fable.

Who could compute for how many centuries these vast plains have beheld only the same succession of invasions, pillage and destruction, until the day when the great Empress Catherine, whose firm will succeeded that of Peter the Great, proudly thrust back the confines of the empire to the shores of the Black Sea, astonished to find its waves beating on a land over which peace and Christianity reigned ? The genius which, to their advantage, took possession of these countries, bequeathed its plans to its glorious successors ; [xiv] but for a long interval they remained uncompleted, for the torch of war was kindled throughout Europe ; and so great were the terrors at seemed to threaten these hapless regions, that the dismayed people dared not establish themselves upon this fertile land, which they were not sure of rendering fruitful for their own advantage.

Meanwhile, the foundation of important establishments raised up a confidence in the new provinces, and testified to the price set by Russia upon its splendid conquest. The southern plains soon witnessed the arrival of colonists, who gathered about a powerful rampart of cities — Nicolaieff, Kherson, Odessa, and at a later period Kertch, springing with renewed youth from the ruins of Panticapum, to command once more its two seas and the kingdom of Mithridates, once so formidable to a great people, now forming but a slight part of an immense empire.

From that period the young colonies became possessed with a creative spirit. While Nicolaieff launched from its extemporised dock-yards so large a fleet that these seas had never seen its equal, Odessa threw open its free ports, and attracted all the trade of the Mediterranean. The astonished Bosphorus imagined itself once more in the glorious times of the Genoese settlement at Kaffa. Around this nucleus of intelligent activity, placed here by civilisation, as in a favourable centre, flowed fresh streams of life and enterprise, augmented by the marvellous productiveness of the soil, and the wise protection afforded to all, without distinction of race or religious worship.

But it is especially of late years, and since the glorious peace won by force of arms from Persia and the Ottoman empire, that the southern provinces, henceforward irrevocably incorporated with Russia, have felt the onward impulse imparted to their prosperity, and have risen to the stability and consistency of a great community, perfectly prepared to receive, and advantageously employ its share in the progress of the age.

The foundation of numerous and flourishing cities in the provinces [xv] composing New Russia, the progressive increase in agricultural produce of every kind, the large amount of carriage in the interior, increasing activity in the coasting trade, an appreciation of the beneficial effects of commerce among every class of inhabitants, the formidable condition of the imperial fleet, the regularity and ease with which, in the remotest points, the springs of government are worked, and lastly — that spirit of wise and conservative progress which constitutes the true vitality of a people — such are the benefits, rapidly enumerated, which have hitherto been conferred upon New Russia, but a little while since a barbarous wilderness, overrun by hordes of lawless depredators.

There is, however, a necessity which is felt by nations no less than by individuals, when a certain amount of prosperity has rewarded the labours and anxieties which have filled a long period of life. This necessity is that of initiating for one's-self, of building on one's own soil, of surrounding one's-self with original creations, and freeing one's-self from the vexatious tribute hitherto paid to the intelligence of another : this necessity, in a word, is industry.

Effectively, industry, as it is understood in the present day, is the free exercise of the faculties which Providence has bestowed upon us ; it brings men and nations in closer relation — it binds together all separate interests into one — industry combines in one word order, labour, obedience, authority, material prosperity, the strength of governments and of states. And as in sum, the manufacture of iron, the material of which ploughshares and swords are made, precedes all other branches of industry, it was quite natural that these provident minds should turn their attention, first of all, to the mineral riches of New Russia. Is Southern Russia to have, or not, au industry of its own ? Such was the important question arising in the first instance. The discovery of certain signs indicating the presence of iron ore crowned the hopes of the first inquirers ; but another investigation remained to be made, which would be decisive in the highest degree of the question to be resolved. If nature had [xvi] refused to these vast wilds of the south the oak and the fir, it might reasonably be hoped that beneath the soil she had shown herself less grudging, and that thence might be drawn forth a supply of coal — that soul of the modern, material world, which constitutes, far more than gold, the wealth of nations. The character of the soil in some parts of the new provinces, not far from the Don and the Donetz, led to the anticipation of a considerable deposit : moreover, in the same localities, at a period already remote, the presence of coal had been actually ascertained ; and on it Peter the Great had founded hopes — he who seldom hoped in vain. " This mineral," he said, " will become a source of wealth to our descendants."

But the question had hitherto remained undecided. It was in the endeavour to solve it, that we undertook to commence investigations which will not, under all circumstances, have proved fruitless.

In entering upon a task so difficult, and requiring the most conscientious discharge, I was anxious to avail myself of all the light of science, and of all the assistance I could derive from the fine arts ; for it appeared to me that an exploring expedition, such as I contemplated, ought to embrace the entire physical history of the country. At the same time I believed that I should thus be accomplishing a truly useful and patriotic work ; and with this conviction, I am already rewarded for my exertions.

I am emboldened to present this work to the public, as the result of continued studies, patient research, and obstinate labour — and I shall only be too happy, if the savans, the artists, and the men of letters, who have worthily laboured to the same end, and shared the same fatigues, should obtain, as well as myself, one of those glances of approval, which are a recompense and an encouragement.

Paris, April 1839. DEMIDOFF.


Paris to Vienna1
Vienna to Bukharest47
Bukharest. — Wallachia 127
Yassy, — Moldavia. — Bessarabia213
Odessa — The Southern Coast of Crimea 289
Crimea. — Taganrog. — Novo-Tcherkask331

List of Illustrations for Volume 1





Horses pulling a Wagon


THE project of a journey through the Southern Provinces of Russia, was one on which my mind had long been busy, impelled, as I was, by a sort of irresistible longing, to study, with all the care they deserve, regions which, in a wild and barbarous condition, have now become amenable to the influence of government and civilisation.

Two Gentlemen

VOL. I. B2


This wide zone, which had so often been depopulated, and seemed perpetually doomed to devastation, can now already point with certainty to the future. Thanks to the last Treaties, the Provinces annexed to the Empire at the beginning of the present century, and now con- stituting the general Government of New Russia, have exchanged their former uncertain and precarious lot for a stable and uniform organisation, which time cannot fail to strengthen and consolidate. In the lapse of a few years, the traveller will have some difficulty to trace, among the inhabitants of New Russia, the distinctive characteristics of the numerous races which were left behind on the skirts of the large armed migrations from East to West.

From these wandering races have sprung at least twenty separate tribes, which are now day by day becoming extinct ; and I was attracted by the idea of arriving just in time to seize the last tints of that broad historical colouring which is gradually fading away, and, at the same time, to study in what manner barbarism had been succeeded by civilisation, and the gloom of the past converted into more than hopeful anticipations of the future.

It was my full intention to apply to this enterprise all the strength of will, activity, and personal influence I might possess. I reckoned also, not without reason, [3] on the powerful support of a Government which knows how to appreciate all honourable projects.

The scheme of my journey had been long matured, when I had the honour of submitting it to His Majesty the Emperor, and soliciting his august ap- probation of this species of pilgrimage, in which each traveller ws to explore a separate field of study and investigation. The most entire and generous assent was accorded to my project; and, far more than this, His Imperial Majesty, who takes a pleasure in en- couraging merit of every kind, without reference to the country producing it, was pleased to grant to my companions, almost all of them foreigners, a mark of his especial protection, by express orders, forwarded to the official functionaries of the various Governments whose territories we were to explore. Thus, thanks to his exalted solicitude, which never deserted us, we met everywhere with the most cordial reception and the most complete co-operation.

The spring of 1837 had slipped rapidly by, amidst the preparatives and prelimiary operations required for the expedition. Immediately that the navigation between Havre and St. Petersburgh became practicable, I dispatched to that capital a number of mining- overseers, with the boring insturments requisite for carrying on a mineralogical survey, the principal object [4] of our voyage. This first detachment consisted of M. Ayraud, a skilful superintendent of the works, and of four overseers of boring operations, with nine complete sets of apparatus. Their caravan, with its bulky equipments, exceeding eighty thousand pounds in weight, was placed under the direction of M. Paul Kolounoff, whose administrative abilities had been made known by a series of useful services.

After disembarking at Cronstadt, the expedition was to traverse the whole empire from North to South, and finally to erect their huts in the vicinity of the mouth of the Don ; a long and laborious enterprise, as none will doubt, and accomplished with equal zeal and perseverance. At the beginning of the month of May, the directors of this mineralogical survey quitted France, in their turn, and proceeded by the most direct route, namely, across central Germany and the provinces of Southern Russia, towards the territories of the Don, and the Donetz, where they were to find the first expedition already installed, and ready to act under their orders. This second division was composed of M. Le Play, a skilled engineer of the Royal Corps des Mineurs of France ; M. de I,alanne, an engineer of the Corps des Pouts et Chaussees ; and of M. Malinvaud, a civil engineer, formerly a student at the Ecole des Mineurs at St. Etienne ; both the latter being charged, under [5] the direction of M. Le Play, with topographical and chemcal investigations relative to the regions which were to be explored.

When it became necessary to organize the departure of the section which was to travel under my leadership, I reflected on the inconvenience and delay awaiting us, especially in Germany, if we remained in one body. I determined, therefore, that by the 6th of June, M.M. Huot, Leveille, and Rousseau should be despatched to Vienna, proceeding thither without unnecessary haste, and visiting on their road such towns and districts as were unknown to them. On reaching Vienna, they were to await my arrival, and join two other volunteer members of the expedition, MM. Adolphe du Ponceau and Achille de la Roche Pouchin, who had proposed to accompany me into Russia, and had fixed upon that city as the place of rendezvous.

It was not till the 14th of June that I quitted Paris, accompanied by MM. Raffet and Sainson. We proceeded in the direction of the department of La Meuse, where it was my intention to make a brief halt, in order to visit the fine iron-works of Ahainville, which their proprietor, M. Muel Doublat, has, by a succession of improvements, brought to so high a degree of perfection. This first day of our journey was a mag- nificent one ; the day was closing as we descended the lofty height which commands the picturesque valley of [6] the Marne, the town of Meaux, and the whole of the smiling landscape surrounding it, which was now gradually fading away, shrouded in the light mists of approaching night. My thoughts travelled back, not without some very natural emotion, to the companions of our long journey, who, at that moment, were ap- proaching the destined goal of our expedition, each at different intervals ; twenty-two persons were at that time scattered on various points of Europe, all animated with one intention, all ardently striving towards the same object.

Chalons, Vitry-le-Francais, Long-champs, and St. Dizier were rapidly traversed on the 15th; the same evening we entered into the department of the Meuse. On leaving the monotonous plains of Champagne, the effect of a country already more diversified is quite refreshing. After emerging from Ligny, a small regularly-built town, quite identical in character with those of Lorraine, we had, in order to reach Abainville, to take a small road which winds along a succession of narrow meadows. Although the barrenness of the majority of the hills indicates a soil superficially poor, the numerous villages ensconced in the valleys, and the busy stir of the population on the roads, betoken all the activity which mining operations on a large scale excite on the southern frontier of the department of the Meuse.

The cars, which are used by hundreds for the [7] carriage of wood, coal, and iron, already call to mind, by their lightness of construction and frail harness, the vehicles of the German peasantry, and the lumbering gait of their drivers may well serve to complete the resemblance. On the other hand, all amid these remote valleys wears a sad and sombre aspect: the dun hue spread over the roads, the trees, the houses, and even the very inhabitants, gives to every thing an uniformly gloomy appearance. It would seem even as if the light itself, as it fell upon each dusky object, dwindled into a doubtful twilight. Every- thing, in fact, in these regions, bears the impress of the exclusive pursuit of iron manufacture, and the rough toil which accompanies it--a toil which knows of no relief--nor affords any interval for repose and joyful peace, as do the labours of the field, each new phase of which has its appropriate festival and day of prayer, whether to entreat the propitious regard of Heaven, or render thanks for benefits received; here every man is devoted to toil; every hut is a workshop.

The villages lying on the road between Ligny and Abainville, are pervaded with the same hue of coal; nor is a trace of luxury or worldly ornament anywhere to be seen. Even the erratic enterprise of the commercial traveller has shunned their walls, too naked and poverty- stricken to attract their magniloquent placards. The [8] burgh of Abainville, whose large iron-works constitute it the capital of these remote districts, has lagged behind in all progress of this kind ; its low-built houses are barely lighted by a few dingy panes of glass, and the only ministers of luxury are the wheelwrights, who constitute the entire aristocracy of the place. A cordial and hos- pitable reception awaited us on our arrival ; and the following morning we were engaged, in company with M. Muel, in inspecting, through all their details, the Iron- works of Abainville. The works are within ten minutes' walk from the burgh, the road following the course of the Ornain, which supplies the moving power to the machinery of the works. The buildings in which the operations are carried on, are grouped in the form of a vast parallelogram, closed at each extremity by a gate. On the eastern side one single building occupies the entire length ; these are the industrial barracks, as it were, in which are quartered, together with their families, the four hundred workmen employed in the works. This building, only one story high, is surrounded by an immense balcony, commu- nicating with the ground by a number of external staircases, disposed in symmetrical order. Opposite these habitations, swarming with inmates, stand the workshops, grouped without order, and surmounted by wide-spreading roofs and spire-like chimneys. Here, with the aid of the thousand arms of the machinery, and the workmen, [9] proceeds, without cessation, the manufacture of wrought and cast iron.


An entire day was devoted to following out the variouss operations carried on at these splendid works. I remarked, with the vivid attention naturally to be expected from one who claims a legitimate cousinship with all the hammers and anvils of Russia, the results of all the new processes and improvements introduced by M. Muel into his, establishment. On their side, my compaions, to whom the spectacle was entirely new, remained absorbed in the contemplation of all the brilliant stages through which the ore passes ere it is reduced into bars of iron. Arrested at every step by some new explanation, they were chiefly fascinated by the marvellous effects of light,producing a succession of striking pictures ; and many a workman, with grimy face and ivory-white teeth, smiled at their simple admiration of wonders, to him of daily occurrence.

The iron works of Abainvilile deserve, on several grounds, the reputation they have earned. Two blast- furnaces are used for the produbtion of cast iron ; one is situated in the midst of the workshops, the other stands on the slope of a hill in the vicinity, and each of these fhrnaces produces two castings a day. The machinery employed in forging the iron is set in motion by the waters of the Ornain ; and when these fail, a steam- [10] engine supplies their place. The ore with which the furnaces of Abainville are supplied, is procured at about three leagues from the village ; the wood used as fuel, is obtained at a short distance, and the coal is brought from Sarrebruck.

It has already been stated that the total number of persons finding employment in this vast establishment, is four hundred ; and that the whole of this population is lodged in one edifice, a portion of which is parcelled out into storehouses, and a school-room, maintained at the expense of the proprietor, in which children of both sexes are instructed. At nightfall the gates are closed, and the members of this little community bestow them- selves, some to labour and some to sleep. But for the life and movement arising from these large centres of industry, Abainville and its environs would appear gloomy indeed ; for the country itself has but few attractions. This extremity of the department of the Meuse presents a series of undulations, taking their rise from the western declivity of the plateaux which connect the group of the Ardennes with the lower chain of the Vosges. The Ornain, which waters the valley of Abainville, has its source in the vicinity of Gondrecourt, a small town of great antiquity. Beyond the valley, this modest stream takes a direction towards Bar, and shortly joins its waters with those of another rivulet, called the Saulx ; [11] both then bear their tribute to the Marne, below Vitry- le-Francais. Throughout this extent of territory there is but little vegetation beyond the immediate vicinity of the waters ; the plateaux are, for the most part, barren, although it is probable, that at some distant period they were covered with forests. Be this as it may, the country certainly exhibits, in the constitution of its atmosphere, all the disadvantages arising from the absence oflarge masses of wood ; and although, to our astonishment, we heard an engineer, a native of the place maintain a contrary opinion, and attach slight importance to the effects of unforesting, as regards tem- perature, we are, nevertheless, satisfied that it is to the complete absence of vegetation over so wide an extent of country, that Abainville owes the severity and length of its winters.

The proprietor of the works has, however, taken some pains to adorn this solitude, and nature has wonderfully assisted his efforts. Out of an unwholesome and infectious marsh, endangering the health of the sur- rounding population, M. Muel has evoked a charming shrubbery, the young saplings in which have already attained a vigorous growth, and contribute to the embellishment of the country.

On Sunday, June 18, we quitted Abainville. At Domremy, the little village which once formed, as it were, [12] the portico of the Cathedral of Rheims, we visited the house formerly inhabited by Joan of Arc. The chamber in which the humble rustic girl dwelt, has nothing remarkable about it, save the official inscriptions engraved on tablets of stone or metal ; and, as though the useless information thus furnished were not enough, a common-place register is kept open to receive the names of the visitors, and their more or less poetical observations. On an open space, planted round with trees, in front of this modest dwelling, a species of cenotaph has been erected, standing on four pillars, and sheltering a poorly-executed bust of the heroine insulted by Voltaire, and whose noble image a royal princess, so early snatched away, has re-produced, with simple and touching inspiration. Popular gratitude has not been backward, however, in honouring this chaste glory : the village folk have built a cabaret in honour of Joan of Arc ; or at least it would seem so, by the painted sign swinging over the door, which bears the inscription, " á la Pucelle !" A little scrutiny, however, of this work of art, will reveal the metamorphosis -- rather ingenious than skilful -- whereby Napoleon the Great has been transformed into the Maid of Vaucouleurs. The white charger, the green coat, the epaulettes and riding boots, have been judiciously retained in the picture. A plumed helmet, instead of the memorable little hat, and a pair [13] of gloves, a la Crispin, are the only changes the artist has deemed indispensable to conciliate the exigencies of And chronology.

After passing through Neufchateau and Mirecourt, two picturesque sites, we rested an hour at the Chateau de Marinville, an old edifice, with no other recommendation than its dilapidated antiquity.

At Epinal we were greeted by the gracious hospitality of M. Doublat, Receiver General of the Departement des Vosges. The morning we spent in visiting the magnificent garden laid out by M. Doublat, was indeed an one. The designer of this garden has taken advantage of an abrupt chain of rocks, on which stands a fine looking group of ruins, and in this felicitous locality he has planted a garden, or rather an immense picturesque park, in which all the resources of art and horticultural science are combined. A diversified display of trees and plants, numerous farm-buildings, built in the best taste, a charming dairy, richly stocked conservatories, natural dales, precipices as old as the hills have been grouped together with marvellous skill in this enchanting spot, where every available feature of the natural landscape has been adopted with the most refined taste. From the terraces which overhang the town, the delighted gaze embraces a vast and magnificent prospect. A communication between this [14] splendid garden and the house of its proprietor is established by means of an elegant staircase, enclosed within a tower of Chinese architecture, rising side by side with a vertical rock eighty feet in height. By this means, the fortunate owner of these beautiful grounds, bestowing himself by turns on his garden and his daily avocations, finds himself transported in a few minutes in the midst of the most charming and rural retreat, beneath the shade of trees, whose growth he has watched for thirty years.

Not to be accused of flattery, however, it must be confessed that Epinal is by no means a pretty town, although most picturesquely situated in the midst of heights which command it on every side. The surrounding landscape is richly toned : the flat red roofs, the broad and well defined hue of the various buildings, the rushing waters of the Moselle, all contribute to form a number of charming prospects The streets of Epinal are ill-paved : at the foot of the houses, however, there is a line of flagstones more practicable than the road itself. The outward character of this mountain town exhibits already something of the habits of German life. The cleanliness of the houses, the stoves by which they are warmed, the stout servant girls with bare arms, besieging the fountains with their buckets of white deal, which they afterwards carry, [15] balanced upon their heads, and the teams of large oxen toiling through the streets, or halting and rumi- nating on the public places -- all this indicates that the Rhine and Germany are not far distant.

Epinal possesses a church, the date of whose structure is as far back as the eleventh century ; the interior of this monument is of a severe style, very rare in the religious edifices of this part of France. Among a number of pictures hanging beneath its gloomy arches, we recognised a copy of the " Miracle of St. Hubert," by that old and quaint master, Holbein, copies of which are so abundant in the old German cities.

On the 20th of June, at an early hour, we left Epinal, directing our course towards the Vosges. This long chain of mountains, which commence a little to the south of Mayence, stretches almost parallel with the Rhine, and sinks down towards Belfort, throwing out a secondary branch towards the west. Several rivers, such as the Sarre, the Meurthe, the Moselle, and the Meuse, take their rise on the northern flank of the Vosges, and flow towards the north. The road we were to take, which leads directly to Strasbourg, intersects the chain at an angle sufficiently acute to render the ascent to its summit, by means of numerous windings, an easy task; and the admiration is thus sustained by a succession of magnificent points of view. This route, rarely followed [16] by travellers, who take that by Saverne in preference, presents a sort of less common-place reflex of the beauties which the tourist seeks in Switzerland. Every thing here conspires to diversify and adorn the prospect : a sky admirably suited to extend the range of vision, a series, rising in successive planes, of those rounded summits which, in the Vosges, are specially designated Ballons, mountains covered with a rich and vigorous vegetation, cool and shadowy valleys, wooden buildings scattered here and there over the dark-hued verdure, streams of living waters flowing on every side, complete the similitude with the mountain scenery of Switzerland.

In respect of downright earnest mountains, commend me to the Vosges, that splendid rampart rising between two plains. At noon we had reached the highest point of our ascent, commanding an equal view of Lorraine and of Alsace, whose rich fields shone in the distance. The Ballon of Alsace, which is the most remarkable height in the neighbourhood, is not less than 1,250 metres high ; and to judge by comparison, we were ourselves at a height of some thousand metres. On either declivity of the mountain, numerous villages are met with, denoting the fertility of the soil. The mountain streams in their downward course irrigate and fertilise all these villages. The little town of Gemaingoutte, St. Die, and St. Marie-aux-Mines, all bustling with activity, were rapidly [17] traversed by us, the busy inhabitants paying but little heed to our noisy equipage.

Ere long, the aspect of the scene around us became entirely changed, and our carriages rolled over the smooth level of the plain of Alsace, through a road which resembled rather a garden walk, laid out through the most smiling meadows. We journeyed along this admirable road in the midst of a crowd of active and busy travellers, walking, riding on horseback, or in cars, diligences, post-chaises, and every variety of equipage. Dust, tobacco, and beer -- a beverage so well adapted to quench the harmless thirst of the German--simultaneously engaged the attention of the traveller, who scrupulously makes a point of halting at every hostelry on the way-side.

Every thing in these regions denotes the point of contact between two important communities ; every thing bears the mark of that international traffic which constitutes the life and prosperity of the border districts between two nations of equal power and industry. The department of the Lower Rhine, in the evidences of comfort and prosperity which it presents, calls to mind the rich counties of England. On all sides one is surrounded by the magnificent results of a careful cultivation, and the fields bear the appearance rather of extensive kitchen gardens. Men and women, [18] -- both equally robust -- and even the children, bring to the labours of the field an equal degree of activity ; while in the smallest village may be heard the rumbling of machinery, the roaring of furnaces, the clanging of hammers, and every variety of din distinctive of manufacturing industry.

Of all the provinces of France, Alsace has dis- tinguished itself the most triumphantly in the ap- plication of machinery to manufactures. In these favoured departments, where the riches of the soil are united with those of the industrial arts, the employment of machinery has proved an advantage to agriculture, by returning to it the manual labour which constitutes its strength : this will become the case whenever a proper understanding of their interests shall have initiated the masses into the simplest doctrines of political economy. No labourer will then be allowed to complain of the multifold processes which diminish the demand for manual labour, so long as on the soil which he inhabits there remains a single acre of uncultivated moor-land, or unwholesome marsh, or one mile of impracticable road.

It is full time the progress of agriculture were in proportion to that of industry. Manufactures are the province of machinery ; the tillage of the land, that of man's labour. The more you manufacture, by dimin [19] ishing manual labour, through those ingenious contrivances of which steam is the moving power, the more hands you will set at liberty to be devoted to agriculture, to whose prosperity they are so precious. As regards those states the population of which is thinly scattered, and inferior to what it should be for the extent of surface occupied, the question does not even admit of discussion. The introduction of machinery, and of all artificial means of production, considered in this point of view, appears fraught with advantages.

At Schelestadt we took horses beyond the glacis, at a post-house of unusual magnificence ; and a splendid team tookk us, rapidly over the ground which lay between us Strasbourg. It was at the hour when the inhabitants of the villages were returning to their homes, grouped together upon large cars, and forming, by their attitudes and picturesque costumes, a succession of pictures full of real grace and play of colour. Not a man was on foot nor a woman whose attire bore the least trace of poverty. A white chemise hanging loosely over the arms, a red boddice trimmed with broad ribbons of black velvet, a short petticoat, a straw hat of vast circumference shading the strongly-marked features of the wearer, and alloWing a few flaxen tresses to escape -- such is the costume of the village girls in the environs of Strasbourg ; [20] and it is one which well becomes the style of robust and somewhat masculine beauty which distinguishes them.

To see Strasbourg, were it only for a moment, and not to halt before its beautiful cathedral, would be to lose one of the keenest enjoyments to be procured by the contemplation of those masterpieces of architecture which sum up, as it were, the history of many centuries. Those even who have previously beheld this splendid basilic cannot but be astonished, even on a second visit, by the grandeur of the interior, the perfect workmanship of the painted windows, and the endless prolongation of that dim religious light which gradually dwindles through the gloom of those immense arches. How deep the silence ! How majestic the scene ! How solemn this assemblage of so many centuries of Christianity !

When we were delivered from the hands of the custom- house officers, and had crossed the bridge of Kehl, we took the road to Baden, a cheerful road, striking through a pretty plain, which is bounded on the west by the Rhine, and on the east by the mountains of the Black Forest. This long chain skirts the borders of the Rhine, and running parallel with the Vosges, forms a magnificent basin, through which the great stream flows. Nothing can be fresher-looking, prettier, or more lively, than the villages on either side of this road. It is especially [21] here that the indolent ease of the German breaks out in all its fresh simplicity : plain wooden houses, kept carefully in order, with window panes as clear as crystal; small windows wreathed round with blooming roses ; and little gardens enclosed in hedges of wild rose-trees ; -- such are their villages, the mere sight of which conveys a feeling of repose. There is one drawback, however, about this picturesque country with its picturesque inhab- itants--it ishere we first have a taste of long stages and slow travelling. But of what use is it to complain ? Where is the traveller who in this country, so much travelled over, can boast of ever having beguiled a Baden post-boy, with immovable yellow jacket and voiceless horn, from his native slowness ? At last, however, Baden is reached,and we find, not without some trouble, suitable lodgings for our short stay.

The fashionable and frivolous company of bored invalids, who usually assemble about this time at the waters, had as yet only sent a few of its representatives for the present year. I had, however, only made this digression from our direct route, in order to afford my companions the pleasure of making acquaintance with one of the prettiest little nooks in the world, where one may come and breathe the summer air, at a time when all towns have become so many uninhabitable ovens. The delightful country about Baden, and its quiet walks, literally trans [22] ported our artists ; but they evinced far less enthusiasm for the peculiar mode of life adopted at the waters, and the somewhat monotonous pleasures to which fashion every year condemns us. Their criticisms on this head amounted to actual grumbling. "Who can understand," said they, how persons who possess in London, Paris or St. Petersburgh, spacious mansions -- too confined, nevertheless, or their luxurious notions -- can resign themselves to come and spend whole months in these little boxes of rooms, leading this barrack and corridor life, with the additional enjoyment of a frightful smell of paint, which renews its charms every spring, in honour of each new batch of visitors ?" And worse still, if you happen to take an airing in the street of the little town, while you admire its elegant houses, like the stage-houses at the Opera Comique, observe, behind their innocent- looking windows, adorned with roses, those pale yet piquant faces of women, with their veiled eyes, and sickly, weary smile -- tender victims of last winter's balls and festivals ! For in very truth, at the end of a week this so-called pleasure is exhausted, and ennui alone remains. The fact is, the most essential of all good things is wanting, the " home, sweet home" of the English, who understand comfort so well. And then, may I ask, what feeling in common, what intimacy can exist, amidst this heterogenous assembly of all nations ? [23] How can any one avoid being utterly bewildered by this extraordinary miscellaneous assembly of all the idle people in Europe ? But let them alone : at the first breath of autumn every one will have returned to their respective place in the world ; and those eternal friendships, struck up by the side of a hot-spring, will fail to elicit the faintest bow, or the slightest token of remembrance. The public establishment of the baths failed equally to obtain the unrestricted admiration of my companions. They admired the fine dimensions of the salons, but inveighed against the smallness of the gardens, and the vulgarity of that little avenue of chesnut-trees which overshadow a row of shops, worthy at the utmost of a village fair ; -- a fashionable walk, nevertheless, where many bygone celebrities have gently elbowed each other. If the art of Chabert found favour with my good-natured censors, they made up for it by their indignation when the evening brought round the tables of the play-room an eager and passion-led crowd, who, under a mask of uniform coldness, came there to squander their gold, wear out their lives, and breathe the smoky exhalations of the lamps, at the very time when the moon shed its light over all the bowers of Baden; when the coolness and stillness of the air suggested a solitary ramble, far from the dust of the public garden. But even the play was languid that year : Baden was in the [24] expectation of a great event for the year 1838, being neither more nor less than the installation of a company which was to plant upon the German soil the farming system for gaming houses, and to bring away from France all the old worn-out roulette balls, the blunted rakes, and dog's-eared dice-boxes -- in a word, the whole frightful paraphernalia of the gambling system, which had been driven out of France, and was coming, like any other invalid, to patch up its shattered constitution at Baden, and other such like places.

It is unnecessary to say that we went for a walk up to the old castle, and that we climbed up to the highest summit of the ruins of doubtful antiquity which crown the mountain. Here we remained some time, con- templating the magnificent panorama which unfolds itself in the distance. Just as we were emerging from the last arch of the castle, two snakes, entwined one with the other, and fighting with fierce obstinacy, rolled at our feet. The ancients would have drawn from this occurrence some presage with respect to the long journey that lay before us ; whereas we simply put an end to the combat by the death of the two reptiles, who, although bruised and wounded by their fall, still kept a firm grip of each other.

The next day, at grey morn, we were passing through Rastadt, a clean, spacious, but deserted town, where [25] the sound of a coach awakes at once the echoes and the inhabitants, the one not less astonished than the other. While they were changing our horses, Raffet had time enough to make a detailed drawing of the full uniform worn by that fine body, the Baden infantry, quartered in the vicinity of the post-house, and who lent themselves with much complaisance to the artist's wishes. Raffet is active, and takes advantage of the smallest accidents on the road ; his hand is always ready, his pencil ever pointed, and he is only eager for a pretext to throw upon paper all the incidents of the journey. Not a little did he rejoice over the slowness of the Baden postillions, who seemed to enter marvellously into his feelings ; and every time the wretched postillion kept us a quarter of an hour at least, at each change of horses, Raffet would exclaim, " That's the way to travel post!" We felt some regret at not having paid a visit to the castle, in which it is said certain relics of the congress which rendered Rastadt famous are preserved ; but at so early an hour, it is very improbable that we should have found a cicerone to conduct us thither without a considerable loss of time.

From Rastadt we came to Carlsruhe. Carlsruhe is one of the few towns which have suddenly arisen according to a fixed plan, and as it were like one building. The town sprang, ready built and completed, from a whim [26] of the Duke of Baden, who reigned in the last century. As it is almost impossible to remain two hours in this model capital without hearing some allusion to its mysterious origin, it will be better, I think, to begin at once by relating the legend which describes the history of its foundation. Once upon a time, then, about a hundred years ago, a Grand Duke of Baden who had some cause of displeasure, they say, against the people of Durlach, his usual residence, had come to enjoy the pastime of the chase amidst the magnificent forests by which the whole surrounding country was covered. After a short time, the prince found himself separated from his suite, and favoured by the shade and the stillness, he laid himself down to sleep in a retired spot, as any good prince out a-hunting has a right to do. All of a sudden; our prince found himself the hero of a wonderful dream : he beheld rising, ready built, from the depths of the yawning earth, a noble and spacious city; it covered one half of a large circular space; and as all the streets ran from the centre to the circumference, the good duke, placed in the middle, as it were, on the top of a turret, could carry his astonished glance into every corner of this fan of masonry. Scarcely had this mysterious town fairly shown itself in all its detail, when the suite of hunters woke up the sleeping prince ; but he remembered the dream, and all its wonders ; and as [27] he was a rich prince as well as a good prince, he resolved that he would build in that same place, if it were possible, a realisation of the beautiful dream which had so delighted him. As the prince said, so he did ; witness this town, which is a perfect fan in shape, and the observatory, which commands a view of every thing. The second half of this vast circumference is occupied by a fine park, where the stags and the deer roam at liberty, that they may occasionally be hunted through the ancient forests of the neighbourhood. If, however, in spite of so beautiful a plan, its extreme cleanliness, and the magnificent architecture of its edifices, Carlsruhe appear somewhat cold and dull, the fault is with the founder, who failed to complete his poetical inspiration, and handed over to the most prudent and sober people in Europe his fantastic town, the offspring of a dream of Eastern enchantment. Nevertheless, this graceful capital is remarkable for its fine monuments and useful institutions, the progress of which attest the reign and enlightened views of the excellent prince who governs the Grand Duchy.

Our stay at Carlsruhe did not exceed one hour, and during that time I received a visit from the kind and courteous Baron von Haber, who overwhelmed me with politeness ; the had seen and given welcome to the mineralogical section of our expedition, of which M. Le Play [28] was the guide and chief. These gentlemen, full of health and ardour, had only complained of what they termed infinitely too slow locomotion.

On leaving the territory of Baden, a little above Durlach, to enter the kingdom of Wurtemburg, we had no Custom-house searching to undergo -- that insupportable interval of time, during which, one falls a prey to an army of idle fellows. Travellers, and the trading community at large, are indebted for this real benefit to the wise measures which all the States of Germany, including Prussia and Bavaria, have adopted, by common consent. The governments of these two kingdoms, taking into consideration the respective positon of so many fractions of one fatherland, speaking the same tongue, and possessing to a certain extent the same interests, came to an agreement for the suppression of the thousand Custom-house barriers which impeded commercial intercourse, and for the formation of a confederation, within the limits of which the transit of merchandise should suffer no impediment. According to this convention, which is at the same time liberal and conservative in its principles, commercial traffic may proceed with all freedom from the banks of the Rhine to the frontier of Austria, and to the furthest limits of Prussia. In the same measure, as it would be imprudent to overthrow the protective barriers of industry [29] between two great nations, rivals in manufactures, is it an act of wisdom and common sense to extend the liberty of commercial traffic in small states of inferior productive power. To surround the latter by a cordon of Custom- houses, is to imprison the consumer to the great detriment of the neighbours' products ; and the general welfare can only suffer from such a course. Let us add, that travellers in haste to reach their journey's end -- and they all are -- are greatly benefited by such a system.

The natural boundary between the Grand Duchy and the kingdom of Wurtemburg, is the chain of the Black Forest, the last declivities of which, dwindling away to the north-east, not far from Durlach, we had just crossed ; the frontier line, indeed, diverges but little from the eastern portion of these mountains. The first aspect of Wurtemburg is rendered especially remarkable by the beauty of the landscape, to which this position lends a peculiar air of richness.

If I do not mention every place through which we passed, it is in order not to swell unnecessarily the list of burghs and villages with names not very easy to pronounce. Certainly the rapidity of our progress was not such but we had sufficient time thoroughly to investigate their pronunciation and orthography. Unfortunately, too, the hay-making season coincided everywhere with our appearance ; and at each stage we [30] were obliged to wait for horses, which were slowly brought from their peaceful hay-carts, to be no less slowly harnessed to our carriages. If, occasionally, our servants grew impatient, and seized the harness, launching a few epithets at the postillions, they would start back, frightened at this unwonted vivacity, and stand aloof, shaking their heads with an expression of despair. At Illengen, among the rest, we had to wait nearly two hours in the midst of a crowd of these eternal idlers, gathered motionless and agape around our carriages. At last, in the glooming of a splendid evening, through a charming country, and fanned by a breeze laden with the perfume of new-mown hay, we made our way towards Stutt- gardt, conversing on such softly melancholy subjects as are inspired by a sky bespangled with stars, and the spectacle of nature bathed in calmness and repose. Ere night-fall we had beheld in the distance Ludwigsberg, and its military prison, which stands on a hill in the midst of a most fertile country -- a peaceful retreat, if the captives are allowed to breathe the pure air of the mountain, and to gaze on the broad landscape around. At eleven in the evening, a miserable supper, detestable beds, and a gloomy lodging, awaited us at Strasbourg.

While the next day I was making a number of visits, incumbent upon me, M.M. Sainson and Raffet took a ramble through the capital. Stuttgardt, as the reader [31] knows, is divided into two cities ; the most modern is remarkable for the beauty of its edifices, the number of its new buildings, and the width and cleanliness of its streets. The lower town, on the contrary, is irregular, gloomy, and encumbered with houses of such a height, that those who live in the lower stories of them are frequently deprived both of air and light. This ancient portion of the town presents still a great number of houses, rendered precious by their architectural detail, in the style of the middle ages; in the majority of the crossways are to be seen bas-reliefs, or little statues, ornamenting the angles, and which almost invariably represent knights clad in complete armour -- a subject extremely in vogue throughout the country ; for we had already observed several, of a fine character, serving as ornaments to the fountains in the villages of Wurtemburg. A mare with her foal, is also frequently found sculptured on both ancient and modern public monuments of the olden time. A population of thirty-two thousand inhabitants throngs in the narrow lanes of the lower town, and towards the avenues of the market, which is held on a large open space, and stretches into the adjacent streets. This afflux of people presented no peculiar characteristics of which our painter could avail himself -- and, in fact, the national costume is in no way remarkable. The army of Wurtemburg, praised for its organisation, and the [32] officers of which are held in high esteem, employed what little leisure our rapid transit allowed Raffet ; and he was at no loss for uniforms in the vicinity of the king's palace. This palace is in an imposing style of architecture, and is situated on an esplanade symmetrically planted with trees. It is, besides, surrounded by magnificent gardens, which unfortunately none of us had time to visit : scarcely, indeed, could we afford a superficial glance at this capital, which is deserving, on several accounts, of a special visit. We returned to our carriages in order to reach Munich as quickly as possible. The time pressed, for already we were considerably behind hand.

The country stretching to the south-east of Stuttgardt is truly admirable ; the road which took us to Ulm, traverses it almost from end to end ; the land, which is favourably exposed, is well suited for agriculture, and on all sides were to be seen the evidences of a plentiful harvest. After passing several small towns, such as Esslingen and Goppingen, the country becomes more varied, and the soil slightly hilly. Towards evening, some difference in the speed, or rather slowness of the relays, had separated our equipages ; and it was only singly, and one after the other, that we reached Geislingen, a burgh of considerable im- portance, picturesquely situated in the bosom of a [33] narrow valley, where it contributes to form a charming landscape. With its lofty houses, their protruding beams, painted red, and huge gables bristling above streets just sufficiently tortuous to produce a thousand striking effects, G-eislingen is a perfect and still breathing episode of the feudal ages ; and it is even more than probable that the characteristic costumes in which its inhabitants appeared carelessly grouped about their doors of carved wood, studded with huge nails, have suffered no appreciable change for the last two centuries. As it was Saturday evening, we met more than one troop of the honest children of Israel, who, in Wurtemburg, apparently, are not so exclusively devoted to the interests of trade as elsewhere, and occasionally indulge, at all risks, in a jolly and riotous drunken bout. That which is particularly remarkable in Geislingen, is the prodigious quantity of articles manufactured in bone, forming an important object of traffic with the women, and a source of no little importunity to the traveller. No sooner does a carriage draw up in the streets, than it is invaded and taken by storm by these intrepid amazons, who squall in every known tongue the same insupportable petition, and of whom it is impossible to be rid, even at the cost of purchasing handfulls of their inexhaustible wares.

Between this pretty town and the Danube rises an [34] important branch of the chain which geographers have named the Suabian Alps ; we climbed its winding acclivities with a degree of slowness, which, as night advanced, was only too favourable to sleep. It was not till two o'clock in the morning, by a splendid moonlight, that we were enabled to judge of the physiognomy of the town of Ulm. If we may trust to appearance, and were not deceived by the poetical grandeur which so often transfigures objects seen through the dewy gleams of the moon, this ancient town must be of highly curious interest to the artist. From its broad resounding streets, the irregular gables rose in black outline against the sky, and threw their sharply defined shadows against the opposite walls. Here and there a gothic tower, or a tall church, bathed in a blueish grey tint, stood in contrast with the gleaming house fronts, shining with varnish, and sparkling with windows, which in German towns are always so bright ; but all this scene soon vanished, and in a few moments we were rolling once more through a rich open country, watered by the Danube, the proximity of which imbued the air with a cool moisture.

Daylight found us on the Bavarian territory. Augsburg is doubtless the town of all Germany in which a stay would afford the most interest, so powerfully does it challenge the curiosity of the traveller ; but those who, [35] like us, confine themselves to a stroll through its irregular streets, and gaze about at its tall houses ornamented with frescoes, must refrain from any description of its contents ; *for whatever observations they might be in a position to make have already become confused, and almost indistinct, by the time the next stage is reached. Nothing is left, then, for those who aim at describing every thing, but the resource of geographical dictionaries -- very useful books, no doubt, but to which it is more simple to refer the reader.

As we approach Munich, a considerable traffic of way-farers, and vehicles of every description, announces the vicinity of a capital ; and, when one is fairly within its walls, nothing is found to belie the deserved rank which this great and beautiful city occupies in the kingdom of Bavaria. The traveller, sated with the historical riches which Augsburg and Nuremberg owe to the middle ages, reposes with pleasure from this source of admiration, and contemplates the results of a modern school of art, which has judiciously appropriated the severer beauties of the Greek style. There are few towns in the world in which architecture stands in greater honour than in the capital of Bavaria -- and assuredly none in which rich collections of objects of art, brought together with a true feeling for the beautiful, are preserved with such costly care, and so spaciously D 2 [36] bestowed in vast edifices expressly constructed for, and appropriated (a rare circumstance) to, this special purpose. Accordingly, we are not to be astonished at the number of new and magnificent buildings with which this city has been enriched within the last twenty years. When public works, executed by the state, afford such felicitous models, it is not to be wondered at that private wealth should follow this artistic impulse, and devote itself to the cultivation of a taste, the example of which comes from so high a source. It is thus that the love of art is rekindled among a people, and that we render them happier by transfusing into their modes and habits of life a certain degree of elegance which has a favourable re-action on morals and intellectual progress.

The streets of Munich are not, generally speaking, regular ; but the aspect of some of them is really noble and imposing. One would wish to see more people in them -- a little more of that bustling and noisy activity which indicates a busy and swarming people. Here it is not the town that is too small for the people, but the people too few for the town : a hundred thousand souls anywhere else would be a large number, no doubt ; but for a city like Munich, it is perhaps not enough. We had determined to devote twenty-four hours to a rapid survey of some portions of the city ; and at the approach [37] of evening we took lodgings in an hotel conveniently situated for our purposed excursions.

The next day we experienced how rapidly the hours pass away, when one is arrested at every step by some fresh subject of interest. A few indispensable visits had taken up a portion of our morning, and we hastened to visit the gallery of paintings, so admirably situated next to the palace in which the king resides. No sooner had we entered these immense halls, than we saw that they would take up our entire day, and that the other riches of Munich would escape us for lack of time. The collection of pictures we were called upon to admire, is, without gainsay, one of the most valuable, and, above all, one of the most pleasing, in existence. The selection evidences profound study and knowledge, for which credit must be given to the king, who has rekindled in Bavaria the arts and sciences, which he loves, and therefore cultivates with the applause of Europe. This gallery is particularly rich in the Dutch school, which has furnished it with some of its most naif and charming masterpieces. Nowhere are finer Van Dyck portraits to be seen ; and in no place in the world save Munich can there be found an immense hall, filled throughout by the genius of Rubens ; indeed this is the most attractive portion of the collection, insomuch as it affords the justest idea of the powers -- no less extended than prolific -- of [38] the great master. I cannot pretend to enumerate here all the wondrous canvasses which arrested and charmed our attention for so many hours ; but a meed of sincere praise may be given the architects to whom the sumptuous gallery of Munich is indebted for the excellent distribution of light, in which respect no gallery in Europe is so well arranged. The spacious apartments in which the larger paintings are hung, are lighted from above ; while the smaller pictures, the gems of the art, whose charm frequently depends on the light in which they are seen, are collected together in a series of cabinets, which extend in a parallel direction with the large apartments, where they are lighted in a manner which allows them to be examined in the minutest detail.

On taking leave of the rich gallery of Munich, we could not avoid being struck at the sight of a living object -- a perfect curiosity -- altogether in harmony with the locality and the functions assigned to him. The porter in charge of the magnificent vestibule at the entrance of the galleries had not in the first instance arrested our attention ; it was not till our departure, when one of us approached his person, covered with gold-lace and brocade, that we noticed the gigantic proportions of this Goliath. The colossus in question is nearly seven feet high, and yet so formed, that, notwith [39] standing these enormous dimensions, the development of the muscles is marked with that exaggerated distinctness which characterises the Farnese Hercules. The honest giant appeared to enjoy, not without some pride, our admiring wonder, and answered our questions with a good-natured complaisance which did honour to his gentle and amenable nature.

A second but hasty visit to the gallery of sculpture -- a building of rare perfection, especially destined to receive collections of statuary -- allowed us to appreciate the rich acquisitions of the highest antiquity, recently made by the Bavarian government. Nothing can surpass, in point of arrangement, this beautiful and noble gallery ; nowhere, we repeat, are to be seen ornaments executed in better taste, or more appropriate to the objects for which they are destined.

A short walk in the beautiful gardens of the palace, barely enabled us to embrace the ensemble of this royal residence. This single day, devoted to so many interesting subjects of observation, was too soon ended ; we were nevertheless obliged to make all haste, and resume our journey to Vienna, where our companions had already been long waiting for us, prepared to join in our distant excursion.

It was by Braunau that we entered the States of the Empire, and we arrived there at dawn. This little town, [40] most singular in its construction, is composed of one single street, of no great length, but of considerable width. At each end stands an antique gate, surmounted by a belfry. Two fountains, of a picturesque design, are symmetrically placed in a line along the axis of the spacious street, the lofty houses on each side of which have but few windows, and these closely fastened with blinds in the Spanish fashion. The roofs, which slope backwards, are not seen from the front; so that 'Braunau looks very much like a Turkish town. It was here that the Austrian Custom House officers searched our baggage, which was done with the most ready and obliging consideration.

In spite of the almost maddening slowness of the Austrian postillions, whom neither threats nor entreaties could persuade to trot up the most imperceptible slope, Nildorff, Ried, and Unter-Haag, pretty and animated little towns, were left behind, and we halted for a short time at Lambach -- a large and well-situated burgh, overlooking a river whose waters flow not far from thence into the Danube opposite Linz. A little before nightfall we were walking on the public place of Ens, the Anitia of the ancients, which gives its modernized name to one of the tributaries of the Danube. While awaiting the interminable preparations for our frugal supper, we had full leisure to examine a large square tower which [41] stands isolated in the midst of the esplanade. This tower, the lower part of which forms an archway, seems to have done duty as a gate and belfry, at a time when the town of Ens, then of less extent, was, like the majority of towns in the vicinage, fortified by a wall, and closed at its two extremities. Even in its present state, this is still a remarkable monument. It is covered with frescoes throughout almost the whole of its surface. An enormous dial, visible probably at a league's distance, indicates the time, and the lower part of the tower is adorned with a profusion of inscriptions in Latin. One of these, which states the exact date when the building was constructed, informs us that it was commenced in 1544, and finished in 1548. Another inscription, in Monkish Latin, sums up in two distichs the history of the town, which arose on the ruins of an ancient city, where two evangelists, St. Mark and St. Luke, did not disdain to come in person and reveal the truths of Christianity. The following are the two distichs in question, which we have copied for the use of those who take an interest in the Latinity of the sixteenth century-

Aspicis exiguam nec magni nominis urbem
Quam tamen aeternus curat amatque Deus :
Hæc de Laureaco reliqua est; his Marcus in oris
Cum Lucâ, Christi dogma professus erat.

The shades of evening interrupted our investigations, and shortly after we availed ourselves of the services [42] of the mail, which through the whole night did not accomplish a distance of more than ten French leagues, or forty of our versts -- a journey which, with Russian horses, would not require more than three hours. At last, on the 27th of June, at eight in the morning, we reached the burgh of Molk, with its magnificent monastery, beautifully situated on the Danube, and commanding an extensive view of its course. The monks of the order of St. Benedict inhabiting it, are few in number, and enjoy all the devout ease which, in ancient days, distinguished the monastic life of the learned orders. The Emperor Napoleon, when he came to Vienna in 1809, selected this convent for his quarters, saying, it was the spot he preferred to any he had ever seen throughout the world-wide scene of his conquests. Perched like an eyrie amid the clouds, it was indeed a building well calculated to please his gigantic imagination. We were shown on the floor of one of the apartments, which is now used as a locutory, the spot where a heap of letters had been burnt by him. Towards five in the evening an unusual stir, clouds of dust, a multitude of carriages, elegant women, and swift horsemen, announced that we were approaching Vienna. We made our entry at last into this beautiful capital, and after an hour's journey through an interminable suburb we reached the quarters which had long been prepared for [43] us. From that time, the whole party which was to accompany me was completely united. Those gentlemen who had waited here for me had had no want of leisure to explore Vienna in all its details, and I found them especially satisfied with its riches in the department of science. They were eager to pay homage not only to the eminent merits of the savans, with whom they had had an opportunity of conversing, but also to their politeness and obliging attention in their ordinary relations. During this long interval they had not neglected such opportunities of amusement as they could ally with their studies. They appeared enchanted with the lively, active, and bustling appearance of Vienna, which, from its noise and liveliness, and more especially the eagerness of its inhabitants for amusement and dissipation, would scarcely be taken for a German city. Every evening during the fine season the same ardour is exhibited for the public walks, for fetes and music, and above all for the exciting waltz, which Strauss directs from the top of his orchestra. The public gardens are situated without the actual city, and it is here that the middle classes come and breathe the fresh air amidst their favourite amusements. Nothing can be more attractive than this assemblage of young and pretty women, coquettishly but tastefully dressed. While all the lights are sparkling amidst the foliage [44] of these gardens, and the strains of the orchestra are arousing the gaiety of the multitude, the higher classes of Vienna roll silently along in their carriages beneath the thick shade of the Prater -- a fine, sombre forest, where the deer are not unfrequently seen to brave the line of brilliant equipages, and bound off through the broad glades. On returning from the drive, it is customary to draw up on the Graben -- a long esplanade in the centre of the city, ornamented with two fountains of noble design -- here, in the neighbourhood of the cafes, the carriages stand in a line, and the evening ends in agreeable conversation, which can be carried on without leaving one's carriage. After this fashion did we, during three long days, take our share in this pleasant, easy, careless life, which was to prepare us for our approaching fatigues. As soon as the business of the morning, spent in completing the last necessary arrangements for our journey, left us at liberty, we started on some new and interesting excursion. Schoenbrünn, with its dinners under the trees, its majestic gardens and rich zoological collection, took up almost the whole of one day. I imagine, that without being accused of severity, one may quarrel with the circular plan of the last named establishment, in which the animals are lodged in enclosures and buildings so far apart from each other, that to see them all entails a long and tiring walk. [45] We were unwilling to take leave of this beautiful place of amusement without mingling in the diversion of the Montagnes Russes, established in a pretty garden at a short distance from Schcenbrunn. At last, however, all our arrangements were complete, thanks to the kind attentions I met with from all who were pleased to receive me. As we were decided to make the experiment for ourselves of travelling by the Danube, we engaged our berths on board one of the steamers which start from Pesth for the lower part of the river ; and with the intention, on my return, of visiting and describing the beautiful capital of Austria, I gave the signal for our departure.

Two Soldiers Conversing


[Page 46 is a Blank Page.]

Chapter 2-From Vienna to Bukharest




three women and five men crossing the Danube by ferry

[47] WHEN I arrived at Vienna, I had yet come to no decision as to the route myself and my companions should adopt. From that point we had to proceed through countries generally but little visited, our observations upon which would consequently have the keen interest of novelty. To reach Odessa, I had to choose between [48] two routes: taking the Danube from Vienna, as far as Galatz and the Black Sea; or the land journey, striking in a northerly direction and reaching Russia by Lem- berg and Brody, or Tchernowitz. After collecting the best advice on the subject at Vienna, I made up my mind in favor of the first. Information, upon which I could depend, caused me to be apprehensive of the obstacles we might meet with on the frontiers of the Empire. It frequently happens, indeed, when there has been a continuity of rainy weather in Southern Russia, that the roads become impassable ; every trace of a path disappears, and the Steppes become a vast plain of mud, in which it is impossible to discover a track : in such a case, woe betide the European car- riage venturing into this dire slough, when even the light télégues of the country can scarcely keep on the surface. On the other hand, too, the total number of persons forming our party was not less than seventeen ; we should, consequently, have required at least five carriages, including the waggon for the baggage and apparatus of the expedition, and such a caravan would require at least thirty or forty horses. It was almost impossible, therefore, that such a supply could be ob- tained on roads like these for several days in succession, with the degree of regularity which was desirable ; for these reasons, the steam-boat, which descends the [49] Danube, from Vienna to Galatz, appeared preferable to all of us, and it was accordingly unanimously resolved we should adopt this route. Moreover, besides being the easier of the two, it presented many advantages. In the first place, we escaped the disagreeable necessity of being separated from each other ; and next, it was a mode of travelling admirably adapted to read- ing and study, and allowed of our exchanging any observations the journey elicited. Let me add, that the Danube, then a recent conquest of steam travelling, was naturally an object of interest to ns. The Danube is, so to speak, quite a modern invention ; it has taken its place — an honour which it well de- serves — among the travel and trade rivers of Europe ; nor is it long since it became the subject of peculiar attention on the part of political writers. The series of letters equally remarkable for their style and the eru- dition displayed in them, which the Journal des Débats adopted as its own, had given forth, on the subject of this promising medium of communication, ideas as just as they were ingenious ; and written, as they were, in a somewhat bantering spirit, they were undoubtedly calculated to allure us between those two banks, where, perchance, some features which hall escaped the traveller of the Journal des Débats might be discovered. Was it not, indeed, very probable that certain traits of real [50] life had remained unobserved on those shores, where his imagination had so felicitously evoked all those inspiring memories of the Dacians and of Rome, all the poetry of legend and history with which he has animated his descriptions? The correspondent of the Débats has written, in this fashion, an eloquent in augural discourse on one of the grandest occasions of modern times : — " The Union, by the Danube, of the Eastern and Western World." We who succeed him will set aside such brilliant generalities, and with more humility will describe how this fusion of the two worlds, so long separated by the Danube, and which it is now destined to unite, is gradually taking place.

three men standing, one smoking

Our berths were secured on board the François Premier, one of the Company's steamers, which was to start from Pesth, for Drenkova, on the 5th of July. Being unable to moderate the adventurous ardour of my companions, I granted them all the leisure they required, that they might trust themselves to the not very perilous chances of navigating the Danube, from Vienna to Pesth, in those flat bottomed boats which perform their journey, passing through Presburg. Accordingly, they placed themselves gaily on board, while I, in a very matter-of-fact way, took the mail on the 3rd of July. The distance from Vienna to the frontier of Hungary is short; how great is the difference, however, of the splendid roads in Austria, from [51] the worn-out highways of Hungary ! Without seeking too minutely the cause of this, it is not difficult to discover that it is radically inherent in the peculiar character of the ancient Hungarian government, and that the remedy for it can only be applied with precaution, in a country where, by virtue of the fundamental laws of the constitution, the nobility are exempt from every species of tax. Now, as the nobility in Hungary forms the entire of the old Hungarian blood, and monopolises all the possessors of land, it is not to be wondered at if all the public works, the burthen of which falls exclusively on the poorer classes, are badly executed, and badly maintained. Of late, it is true, several large land-owners, setting aside all petty self-interest, have turned their attention to the amelio- ration of this state of things. At the head of these noble spirits, whose minds are slaves to their duty, stands forth a man whose generous influence will produce great results in a country which has the strongest desire for social progress ; we speak of Count Stephen Széchény. On their side, the Diet — that assembly of nobles representing a people of nobles — are not the most backward in yielding to the national impulse which has already made itself manifest. Already several resolutions, recently enacted, have given evidence of a laudable inclination to follow that movement towards material ameliorations, which is one of the strongest features of European society. More [52] especially, it must be admitted, that the efforts which the prudence of the Diet of Presburg has made in this direction are clear and precise. untrammelled by any abstract theories, and aim directly at the prosperity of the country, the accomplishment of which will be a new and beneficent era for Hungary. Here, then, we behold this assembly, who it cannot be doubted have comprehended their mission, urged by the influence of progressive ideas towards the gradual reform of shortsighted laws, which would oppose an insurmountable obstacle to all ulterior amelioration, in a country which at last calls out for its share in the benefits of modern civilization, viz. : practicable roads, canals, bridges and railroads. The first necessary condition of this progressive amelioration, which we see commencing in Hungary with wise and persevering caution, will probably bring about a more equitable assessment of taxes, when by a common agreement loyally entered into, every inhabitant of this noble soil, renouncing privileges which are a burthen to all, will consent to bear his share in the public charges.

The posting in Hungary, which is open to public competition, does not appear to me quite to justify the great praise awarded to it by an illustrious personage of France. The supply of post-horses, when left to private enterprise, as in England, is evidently an advantage to those who undertake it, since it constitutes an additional [53] profit to that which the owners already draw from horses employed in farm-work. But if this system is profitable to the owners of horses, it is less advantageous to travellers, who are obliged, on more than one occasion, to wait till a horse returns from the plough, and the ploughman is - transformed into a postillion. A very simple remedy for this, is to take the post-horses supplied by the government, which does not keep horses for two purposes.

A very short stay at Presburg, did not allow us to see more than would come within the ken of any traveller desirous only of a superficial notion of this ancient capital. Although, since the year 1790, Presburg had restored its ancient title to Buda, it has retained within its walls the seat of legislative power, and the apparatus of the ancient Hungarian institutions. This propinquity of the directive power is naturally favourable to Austria ; and while it restored to Buda its rank of capital city, which was due to its importance, the Imperial Government, nevertheless, kept at Presburg the two assemblies, whose deliberations are quickly reported in Vienna. To look at the modest building in which they are held, the rooms devoid of all style, and possessing no other character than that of the most ordinary plainness, with no other furniture than a set of large wooden benches, covered with fresh ink Stains, one would imagine one's-self in an immense school-room.

[54] This absence of all form or ceromony would lead to the conclusion that there existed a harsh contrast between the miserable appearance of this hall of legislature and that pompous array of costume, swords, spurs and prerogatives, with which the nobility surrounds itself: it might be feared that this extreme simplicity was a sign of indifference or contempt for the sanctuary of the laws, were it not easy to ascertain that beneath this somewhat rough simplicity there is shown, among these ill-quartered legislators, a profound sense of the important functions confided to them. The feeling of respect for the laws which reigns within these walls, covers and adorns their nakedness.

Even to those who pass only hastily through it, Presburg is a city which must leave a lasting impression. Pleasantly situated on the left bank of the Danube, it is balanced on the opposite bank by splendid masses of foliage, overshadowing public walks, which are much frequented, and deserve the trouble of crossing the river to see them more closely. The city itself is overlooked by a castle, of which a ruin is all that now remains ; but it is so felicitously situated, as to reckon few rivals in Europe. Presburg possesses, moreover, some remarkable monuments, and all the public establishments belonging to a royal city still in a flourishing state.

On the 4th of July, in the afternoon, we reached Ofen, or rather Buda, the Hungarian city, par excellence, which [55] from its rocky eminence contemplates its four large suburbs, sloping down in echelons to the Danube, while on the opposite side of the stream, on the left bank, Pesth spreads out its broad extent, and all the pomp and magnificence of a new and already wealthy city. The imposing appearance of Buda sufficiently indicates that it is the representative of that historical Hungary which, through so many years, was happy, powerful, and indepen- dent. Under the Romans it was called Sicambria; and tradition declares that its present appellation was conferred upon it in memory of a brother of Attila, whose name was Buda. However this may be, there Buda still stands, to tell all the valiant history of Hungary, which com- mences from the conquest of Arpad ; beholds in the eleventh century the elevation of the dynasty of Stephen ; flows on through twenty-three reigns of the kings of his race, and the sovereigns of the royal branch of Anjou, to Wladislas II., who collected the laws into a code; and terminates with the reign of Louis II., whose death, which occurred at Mohacs, in 1526, determined the downfall of the ancient Hungarian monarchy.

Buda, thus torn from its legitimate princes, and subjected for more than a century and-a-half to the power of the Turks, hag preserved, in spite of itself, the traces of this violent dominion : witness the baths, which are in the oriental fashion; its metal spires, almost in the [56] precise form of minarets, But no sooner were these fierce conquerors expelled, notwithstanding the admixture of Greek forms of worship, all the heads of the church, all the representatives of the royal blood, and of the nationality of Hungary, combined in their efforts to wipe out the wrong which had been done to these sacred walls. Buda preserves in its treasury the crown of St. Stephen, his imperial globe, and his sceptre. It is the seat and residence of the Palatine, and of the high dignitaries of the church ; and since Hungary, so long divided, has recognised the hereditary claims of Austria, Buda has resumed its well-deserved title of queen and capital of Hungary.

There are few situations so remarkable as those of these two cities, Buda and Pesth ; separated by a stream so wide as the Danube, yet really forming one and the same city : Pesth reckons sixty-thousand inhabitants ; it is full of noise and movement, and is the type of an active, bustling, industrious city, producing more than it consumes. The fine streets and broad quays, lined with edifices built in excellent taste, are well adapted for a commerce which is daily increasing.

I had scarcely had time to visit a few streets in the most remarkable quarters, and those monuments whose exterior was most deserving of attention, when I was informed of the arrival of those of my companions who [57] had preferred proceeding to Pest"' by the picturesque route of the Danube. They arrived enchanted with their three days' water journey. The description of what had been seen during their short interval of separation, was immediately communicated to me ; and, not to encroach upon our subsequent observations, which from this point we collected, and noted down in common, I shall place here the remarks in question, in which these gentlemen speak collectively, and according to their particular impressions.

" On the 2nd of July, after receiving your instructions respecting the point at which we were shortly to assemble, we lost no time in gathering together on the banks of the Danube at the place fixed upon by the boatman who was to conduct us down the stream to Presburg. It was from that day that the commencement of our campaign really dated. Accordingly we had all dressed ourselves in the simple uniform we had agreed to adopt, and which we never laid aside during the whole of our voyage. In this trim we embarked in a large boat, in which the master had, according to his promise, provided us with convenient places. This species of craft deserves a short description, as it is the almost unvarying type of all that are met with on the Danube, from Vienna to the vicinity of its mouth. These boats are generally of large dimensions, rudely constructed, and traversed throughout almost [58] their whole length by a large cabin seven or eight feet high, surmounted by a slanting roof, which gives it the appearance of a house. Within this is the hold, which contains the entire cargo — and here, too, the passengers, provided they are able to stand the combination of odours emanating from the merchandise, may be accommodated. The fore and aft parts of the vessel are similar to each other, being very much elevated, and the helm is made fast to the stern by means of common ropes made of the fibre of bark, and is worked by one or more men from a platform on the roof of the cabin. This species of floating châlet, built of white deal, descend in great numbers the stream of the Danube ; but when it is necessary to ascend against the current, it can only be done at the cost of infinite trouble, and by means more picturesque than ingenious, of which we shall have occasion to speak hereafter.

" The master of the boat looked upon us as passengers of no ordinary class, probably on account of our paying, without dispute, the small sum required of us, and had reserved for the mining gentlemen, as he called us (pro- bably on account of our caps, ornamented with two hammers forming a cross), the stern-castle — above which, an old sail formed an elegant canopy. Our chests, turned into sofas, were ranged round this saloon ; and, to insure [59] us against any unwelcome intrusion, the precaution had been taken of nailing the door of the cabin assigned to passengers paying more moderate fares, and occupied by them in common with several barrels of tallow and bundles of leather, the perfume of which penetrated through the partition. These passengers were, for the most part, industrious Israelites, proceeding to Presburg for trading purposes. Just as we were leaving the shore, a new companion was presented to us, and we readily consented to grant him the hospitality which was politely requested of us. We were informed that our fellow traveller was a captain of engineers, on a journey, in company with his two pretty little daughters, to some distance from Vienna.

" We had soon left the city, together with its garden- chequered suburbs, and the majestic trees of the Prater, behind us. At the extreme limits of Vienna, a little bark, manned by officials charged with the examination of our passports, came alongside of us. This formality was quickly discharged by a sub-officer, who, in handing back our papers, politely wished us a pleasant journey. We were touched at this mark of courtesy, which, though certainly trivial, struck us as being very unusual under similar circumstances, and because one rarely sees, in these police affairs, the examiner and the examined look pleasantly at each other, and part mutually satisfied.


The Danube below Vienna branches out into a multitude of streams, separated by islands of considerable extent, uniformly covered with meadow land, and a green and abundant vegetation. The force of the current caused us to proceed at a rapid rate, and we soon only beheld the tops of the highest edifices in the city, and the magnificent spire of St. Stephen standing out, slender and brilliant, against the deep blue of the long range of mountains which separates Austria from Bohemia. A charming pleasure trip was our journey, starting, as we did, in the mild morning air, and gliding rapidly along the green waters of the Danube, passing on either side a multitude of islets covered with willows. From time to time, some pretty village or fresh-looking country-house appeared, and was quickly masked by the verdure-clad peaks, which seemed to run by as bent upon continually closing up behind us the sinuous banks of the stream. For a long time we continued threading our course through this labyrinth of water and vegetation. And what pleasanter mode of travelling can be desired? You make rapid way, and yet your thoughts can dwell on the objects which surround you — strange alliance of movement and repose.

" Our fellow-traveller, the captain, respected our con- templative silence so long as the Danube, pressed in between the islands, allowed us to follow closely the [61] sinuosities of the right bank. But soon, when we had entered into a broader course, he discreetly ventured upon a few questions relative to certain points, which, from the moment of' our departure, had evidently excited his curiosity. Who were we ? what uniform was that we wore? what was the object of our journey? These questions, insinuated with all the polite and indirect turns of phrase which the German language affords, received answers, of which our companion was fortunate enough to make out the sense, although it required the united efforts of three of us to compose and pronounce the shortest sentence. From this moment an active conversation was engaged, the prin- cipal part being taken by the captain, who soon perceived that he was addressing those who were intelligent listeners, if not brilliant in dialogue, and graciously became our cicerone, selecting, with con- siderate attention, among the objects which attracted our observation, those which might be most interesting to us as Frenchmen.

" When we had left in the rear the pretty villages of Simmering and Neugebaude, the captain directed our attention to the right bank. ` That pointed spire, cased in polished iron,' said he, marks where stands, behind those trees, the pretty town of Ebersdorff. In 1809, Napoleon's head quarters were for several days [62] established there ; and it was from that large island to the left, that the French army sallied out, crossing three bridges boldly thrown over the stream. You were very young then, gentlemen, but I was present on the occasion. Exactly where we are now passing, the waters of the Danube were dyed with blood; and for more than a whole day these shores trembled with a fearful cannonade.' While our companion addressed us thus, our eyes rested on the island of Lobau, now so calm and verdant, and Ebersdorff, a charming little village, which possesses a manufactory of iron-work, and an actively employed spinning-mill. Nature and man's intelligence have not allowed a trace to remain of the bloody and glorious battles which once devastated this beautiful country. Such is the reintegrating power of these two eternal forces ; while the old warriors of Essling and Lobau are falling every day beneath the hand of time, trees full of sap and vigour are spreading their branches over those heroic plains, and a new ge- neration is building up anew, what its fathers had destroyed.

" Lower down appears Petronell, a village on the right bank, occupying the site of the ancient Carnuntum. Our captain informed us that the excavations which have been commenced in the neighbourhood frequently bring to light fragments of Roman works. He also [63] mentioned a triumphal arch — the Heathen's Gate (Heiden-Thor), as it is called, dating from the time of Tiberius, who erected it in commemoration of the conquest of Pannonia. To all this obliging information on the part of the captain, we replied a few words, which he interpreted as expressions of our regret that we had not leisure to visit these interesting remains.

" Towards noon we were travelling through a country of more severe aspect. The Danube, assembling its waters into one bed, expands here into an imposing breadth ; lofty hills bound it to the right, and here and there masses of rock jut forward, like promontories, into its stream. The little town of Haimbourg, soon came in sight. Built in a picturesque recess, it is overlooked by an old citadel, now in ruins, rising on the rounded summit of a mountain. From this citadel, an embattled wall, flanked with towers, descends towards the town, and forms its outward boundary. This fortification, which suggests the infancy of the art, the style of the walls, with their closely ranged battlements, the con- struction of the towers, scattered here and there in the vicinity, seem impressed with the characteristics of Eastern architecture. Haimbourg, twice destroyed by the invasions of the Turks, has been as many times re-built; it is now flourishing, and has been augmented by a large number of new buildings. Admirably situated [64] at the furthest end of a small bay, it forms, as seen from the Danube, an agreeable picture. Haimbourg contains, we are told, two thousand eight hundred inhabitants ; it possesses a tobacco manufactory, producing annually ten thousand tons, and every thing around seems to breathe well-being and prosperity. Here we took leave of our good-natured and well-informed captain, whose company we regretted we could not longer enjoy.

" A few paces lower clown stands Wolfsthal, a small Austrian town, on the confines of the empire, and marking their extent. On the opposite bank, the frontier is indicated in a more remarkable manner, by a huge rock, which is most picturesquely surmounted with ruins. This enormous mass, rising perpendicularly from the waters of the stream, forms the extreme point of the lesser Carpathian chain, which advances in a straight line from the north-east, and forms the boundary between Moravia and the kingdom of Hungary. A river, flowing with yellowish waters — the March — after watering by its tributaries the whole of the Moravian basin, sinks into the Danube at the base of the imposing mass of rock in question. On the right bank, the corresponding elevation to this lower peak of the Carpathians is scarcely traceable, in a range of hillocks of some height, which gradually sink down to the level of the plains situated southward of the Danube. It is through this [65] imposing entrance that the Austrian stream flows into her beautiful kingdom of Hungary, whose rich meadows it irrigates.

" At a short distance from the great rock, formerly defended by a fortress, the ruins of which are all that remains, we landed at the little village of Theben, which extends its name to the entire promontory. It was two o'clock, and our boatmen, not to abandon their fixed custom, were desirous of making their repast in the arbour of a little tavern near the shore. We had so ardent a desire to survey the imposing ruins over- looking the village, that we each of us immediately commenced an independent ascent of the scarped cliff which separated us from the old castle. We were soon dispersed at different heights over this steep declivity ; and, as we gazed around us, we could not but remark the different intervals which the varying tastes or avocations of each caused between us from this moment, when, for the first time, we set foot upon a tract on which we might exercise our observations. M. Huot had halted within a few feet of the level of the Danube, and was zealously hammering at the rocky mass beneath him, to loosen from it his first specimen of the Hungarian soil; Dr. Léveillé, arrested in his upward course by the beauty and variety of the vegetation with which the declivity was clothed, had already collected copious [66] specimens of the local Flora ; Rousseau was looking out for the lizards and reptiles scared by our invasion, and the unfortunate creatures which fell into his grasp purchased, at the cost of a convulsive death in a bottle of spirits, the honour of figuring some day in a geological collection ; a hundred feet above us, Raffet was scaling the walls of an ancient turret, rising in the air like a watch-tower, on which we had looked with longing eyes while passing, a quarter of an hour before, at the foot of the promontory of Theben. The sun was powerful, and many a painful struggle was required, ere we could reach the centre of the old fortress. The platform can only be reached by scrambling over several ramparts of loose fragments, which appear to have been heaped together by the explosion of a mine ; but on attaining the highest point of the ruins, which is a terrace still in a good state of preservation, the trouble and fatigue of the ascent are richly rewarded. At a perpendicular depth of four hundred feet beneath you, the March mingles with the Danube, preserving still for some distance the muddy tint of its waters. In the haze of the distant horizon, to the west, are descried the richly coloured plains of Austria, and the thousand branches of the Danube, with its green islands. At a short distance, to the east, lies Presburg, protected by its [67] white-walled castle overlooking the city ; further on, amidst the clouds of the horizon, the eye traces indistinctly the outline of a range of mountains.

" When we had, at last, all assembled on the summit of the ruins, and had gazed at leisure on the beautiful prospect before us, we slowly made our way back to Theben, and rested a few moments in the dark and somewhat unwholesome den where our boatmen and their passengers had installed themselves, and were quietly smoking an after-dinner pipe, over several large pots of excellent beer, supremely indifferent to castles and ruins of all kinds. There were in this rustic tavern scenes full of interest and character. The loose and coarse attire of the Hungarian peasants — their broad felt hats and long hanging hair setting off a dark and masculine countenance — struck our attention for the first time ; it was a fine study of drawing and colour. We felt the greatest desire to question these grave and athletic looking inhabitants of the place, as to the old castle of Theben and its history ; but how was it possible to converse with a set of people who make it a pretext that they are some thousand yards from the Austrian frontier, not to understand a single word of all the German which we clubbed together to inter- rogate them? It must be admitted, however, that we were listened to with benevolent calmness, and without [68] that smile of impatience which, even on the part of the most phlegmatic Germans, always meets the heart- rending efforts of a Frenchman to make himself under- stood. The experiment we made at first of the Latin tongue, so long commonly spoken in Hungary, was not more successful. This traditional language is daily becoming extinct, and we were at the expense of furbishing up our college reminiscences for nothing. At last, however, our host informed us, through the medium of an extraordinary mixture of dialects, that the castle was known by the name of the Knights' Castle (Ritter Schloss), a somewhat unmeaning designation, very com- mon throughout Germany, and upon which, in this instance, no light is thrown by the guide books published on the subject of the Danube, where it is simply stated, that Theben is commanded by a castle, remarkable for its antiquity. As a last addition to our information, we learned, from a Jew on board the boat, that the ruined fortress had served, in 1809, as a retrenchment to the Austrians against the French, and that since then it had remained in the deserted state in which we had found it. On setting out again, the Hungarian custom-house officers were present at our embarkation ; but they were satisfied with our assurance that we were not introducing into the kingdom of Hungary any species of merchandize subject to duty — a statement which was corroborated by [69] our little stock of scientific apparatus, carefully stowed away in the boat. Our craft then left Theben, and at six o'clock in the evening, just as Dr. Léveillé was concluding an interesting lecture he was kind enough to give us, describing the twenty species of plants he had collected on the mountain, we made for the shore on a bare-looking beach, at the foot of the houses, forming the commencement of Presburg.

" When we had made sure of a lodging at an inn — where, by the way, the landlord, in spite of all entreaty, refused to serve us with supper before the regular hour appointed for the evening repast, we had a guide sent for, to take us over the city, who conducted us, the first thing, to the castle, which, from a lofty and picturesque site, over- looks Presburg and its environs. Our good cicerone, in the absence, we suppose, of any other road, made us climb up to the citadel along a winding street, the entire population of which, assembled in groups at every door, saluted us on our passage with such pressing marks of civility, that we were unable to halt a moment anywhere, in order to contemplate at leisure the variety of costume and physiognomy presented at the first glance by the inhabitants of this extraordinary suburb. A gate of ancient construction, and a steep flight of steps, lead to the esplanade upon which stands the old castle. All the works which once constituted it a fortress have [70] been almost entirely dismantled ; and the castle itself — a large quadrangular edifice, flanked at each corner by a square tower — is completely in ruins ; in other respects, this ancient palace has never been remarkable for any- thing but its situation, and the fine prospect it commands. Its four sides are studded with a great number of windows in regular rows, which give it the appearance of barracks. The style of its architecture, like that of the majority of public monuments we saw in Austria, is that of the eighteenth century, and its dilapidated walls still present a few remnants of sculptured flower and scroll work, covered over with mouldering whitewash. The buildings of this period are not among those whose ruins command respect, for they offend the eye, as do all examples of premature decay, all faded relics of a coquettish fancy no longer endowed with the wealth which gave it im- portance. The grand and severe ruins which the hand of Time, had heaped up on the summit of Theben inspired us with lively interest ; but this wreck of the demolished palace of Presburg is a spectacle which can only be regarded with mournful feelings. In the days of its splendour, however, this imposing edifice, from its lofty and magnificent eminence, commanded a majestic prospect of the surrounding country and the stream flowing at its feet. llich, indeed, is the landscape which unfolds itself to the east and to the south, stretching [71] out to the horizon, and which, as we gazed on it, was beginning to vanish in the grey shades of evening. While we were enjoying this admirable prospect, we were accosted by a little man of advanced age, dressed in a half-military costume, who, after saluting us in our own language, addressed us without further preamble, and in a singularly blunt and gruff tone, as follows : — ` You are contemplating, Messieurs les Français, this vast pros- pect ; a very fine one, is it not ? But, to make up for it, this palace is a disgraceful barrack of a place, which is left standing for no reason I can divine. You ob- serve the marks of a fire, which you might be led to believe was recent, but which happened as far back as 1809, twenty-eight years ago ; everything has been left in the same state as the clay after the event ; the people about here care little for public buildings, as you may perceive. And do you know why this castle came to be on fire ? Simply to balance a debtor and creditor account. At those times of war a large depot of military equipments had been established here, and the account-books of the store-keeper being in a very compli- cated condition, one fine night the castle broke out in a blaze ! Fire, you know, purifies everything, and settles all accounts as well.' — ' Sir,' said one of us, ` you appear to judge very harshly of the men of former days, who, to all appearance, are your content- [72] poraries, and probably also your fellow-countrymen.' ` You are right,' he said, ` I am Hungarian, and by this time an old man ; such as you see me, I served under Napoleon : after that, I need say no more, to show that my ideas are not always in accordance with those of my compatriots of the present day.' ` And these ideas of yours,' replied one of us, ` your com- patriots have not the good sense, probably, to appreciate.' ` You have guessed rightly ; consequently, we are often at odds ; we discuss the point, and as I am not under- stood, I get the worst of it. I am only plain lieutenant, gentlemen ; and, in spite of my grey hairs, my heart is still too young for the times and for my country. A month ago, for a slight breach of discipline, I was sentenced to imprisonment in these ruins, to which I am indebted for the pleasure of meeting you here this evening.' ` At any rate, lieutenant,' said we, ` you have an admirable promenade and a delightful prospect to console you.' ` My walk,' he replied, ` is limited to this esplanade ; as for the prospect, I confess myself less sensible to its charms than to the injustice with which I am pursued. You are now on the threshold of my prison, and here I must stop : good luck await you, gentlemen, on your long journey.' As he watched us returning downwards : ` You may be certain,' he cried, ` that it is not these old walls that prevent my [73] getting away from here, if I chose ; but I have pledged my word, and a soldier's word is sacred.'

" We took leave of our captive humorist with painful feelings. ` Here,' said we, as we descended the height, ` is a gloomy recluse, who is to be pitied ; for he has taken the men and things of his country in hatred, and he cannot conceal these unnatural sentiments even from strangers. What would be the result if we had to spend, instead of a few minutes, several hours in the company of this misanthrope? How would it be possible, after such an interview, for a traveller who is only skimming the surface of the manners and insti- tutions of a country, to gather a notion on any subject with which he could rest conscientiously satisfied? The impression he will carry away with him will depend frequently on the good or bad temper of the first in- formant chance may throw in his way ; and is it not incurring a serious responsibility, to repeat assertions which we are unable to confirm by our own personal and disinterested investigations?' In the midst of these reflections, which tended a little to dispel the charm of our undertaking, and enjoined a prudent reserve in the composition of our notes, we also made this remark ; that the persons with whom we had occasion to converse during this first day's journey, had all given a certain turn to their observations, the invariable intention of [74] which was to tickle that feeling of national pride which is said to be so excitable with us. The captain of engineers, the Jew of Theben himself, and the morose lieutenant in the citadel, had equally hit upon that form of courtesy which is the most delicate expression of hospitality, and which consists in talking to your guest on those subjects which may be supposed most flattering to him. Thus, all the allusions to Napoleon and his epoch, which might well surprise us in a country once oppressed by his arms, were evidently only a mark of their benevolent intentions towards us, and for which we were indebted to the mild and easy manners of the Austrian people.


" Returning into the city by a suburb which appeared especially singled out by the soldier as the scene of his Sunday relaxation, we were more than once struck with the soldierly bearing, easy gait, and perfect trim of the Hungarian infantry. Nothing can be more elegant than their uniform, consisting of a white coat with small tails, close-fitting light blue trousers, trimmed with black and yellow stripes and embroidery, and a cap combining comfort with a good defence for the head. This cos- tume, which is worn by men for the most part extremely well-made, is one of the simplest and most graceful uniforms that can be imagined for the foot-soldier. The City of Presburg, which we now traversed in its widest [75] extent, appeared but thinly peopled ; the streets are wide and airy, but built with little regularity ; the 'modern buildings present a tolerable appearance, though built of light materials. We saw the theatre, a large edifice standing on an esplanade, and distinguished by one of the longest Latin inscriptions ever seen — a cir- cumstance which naturally extinguishes all desire to read it. On that day the theatre was closed, but an Italian Punch had erected its itinerant stage under the portico of Thalia. A small group of spectators followed, with listless attention, the universal, but somewhat hack- neyed drama of the Neapolitan humpback. Povero Signor Pulcinella ! To what an audience was he addressing himself ! In what ears was he pouring the treasures of his sarcastic wit, his bursts of jeering laughter, and the burlesque dialect of the lazzaroni ! The grave Hungarians who halted before him seemed to take him for a madman, and the greater number went on their way puffing a disdainful whiff of tobacco.

" As we approached the bridge of boats thrown across the Danube, we began to discover how it was we had found the finest part of the city almost entirely deserted. A dense crowd of people, and a number of elegant carriages, were returning in a body to Presburg. This living stream covered the bridge and the alleys of an adjacent promenade, in such sort, that we, who were [76] the only persons going in a contrary direction, found no little trouble in squeezing our way along. This fashionable assemblage was returning from a theatre built in the open air — a pretty amphitheatre enough, of a semi-circular shape — on the performances of which the curtain had just been let down. It still preserves the name of Arena, a designation which continues in Italy to be applied to all theatres of the same kind. When we had walked a little about the promenade, which was being entirely abandoned, we began to reflect that this significant clearance, on the part of a people so regular in their habits, was a hint which ought not to be lost on travellers who for twenty-four hours had scarcely broken fast. We returned, accordingly, to the Golden Lion ; and this time our host, grown more hospitable, introduced us into a large room, already echoing with the noise of the guests, and the discordant strains of a band of Bohemian musicians.

" From another boatman we had hired a boat to take us to Pesth in thirty-six hours ; on this occasion our craft was a little flat-bottomed boat, just exactly large enough to hold ourselves and our baggage. We had, on either side, given our word to be ready at three o'clock. We were exact to our appointed time, not having reflected that so near the frontier we could expect but little improvement upon German habits ; [77] accordingly, we had had full time to construct a little hut of matting on board our little boat, when, at about five o'clock, the boatman and his helper quietly made their appearance. We left the shores of Presburg from beneath a sort of platform surrounded with a balus- trade. This is called the Königsberg ; and from the summit of this elevation each King of Hungary, upon his accession to the throne, mounted on horseback and equipped in complete armour, brandishes towards the four cardinal points the sword of St. Stephen.

" Presburg and its castle were soon left in the dis- tance, marking their outline upon a cloudy sky — an effect so happily conveyed by English engravings. The Danube, chafed by a fresh breeze from the east, dashed against the sides of our boat, impelled swiftly along by the current and a pair of long oars. Below Presburg the stream flows between banks of a truly wild cha- racter. We followed the widest of its branches, that which flows round the southern portion of the island of Schutt, one of the largest river islands of Europe, its extent being no less than twelve leagues by seven. The country on all sides is flat, uninhabited, and covered throughout with willows and brushwood.

At the aspect of this utter solitude it is difficult to believe one's self in Europe, and in the midst of a country rich in thickly populated towns. Such is the [78] deserted state of these tracts of meadow land that the animals themselves seem ignorant of the danger with which the presence of man threatens them. Frequently we came across large flocks of herons and cormorants gazing upon us from the shore with the most tranquil confidence. Sometimes we heard the shrill cry of the gull, transporting us, in imagination, amidst the breakers of the sea-shore. At other times, large herds, wandering about without a keeper, would halt, as if to contemplate us in our boat ; but occasionally the waste would become peopled, and the silent air filled with a strange tumult : this was when one of those large floating houses, which we have already, described, was ascending the stream, drawn by a team of fifty horses, painfully toiling from ford to ford, from island to island, with these ponderous machines. Every horse carries a man ; and every rider in this nautical squadron, now plunged up to his middle in the stream, now ploughing a deep slanting furrow in the loose sand, utters an uninterrupted succession of frightful yells, responded to by the no less savage shouts of the troop collected on the roof of the huge boat. It is in truth one of the most singular spectacles that can be seen, is this troop of half savage and mud-be-grimed boatmen, with their black faces hidden in a forest of long hair, or overshadowed by an immense broad flat hat. We recognized in them, only with a [79] more strongly marked character, and a still greater ampli- tude of garment, the well defined type of the Bas Breton race. Sometimes, too, we would come across a long string of floating water mills, which, from amid the tall trees on the shore, to which they are securely moored, are seen to slant out towards a more rapid current in the stream. But the solitary inhabitants of these shores that interested us the most are the gold searchers, scattered over the islands, or on isolated tracts of beach. These poor people are incessantly employed in sifting the sands of the Danube, to gather from them the particles of gold which the stream carries down in its course. A stream of water, which has passed through a heap of sand and gravel collected upon a hurdle, is kept continually running over an inclined plane, covered with felt or coarse cloth — the minute particles of the pre- cious metal thus remaining in the meshes of the tissue. We examined closely these good people, engaged, with no other shelter than their large hats, in this interminable labour. Not one of them could speak one intelligible word to us, or understand one of our questions relative to their monotonous occupation. Our boatman informed us, that these men, who work the whole day exposed to the inclemency of the seasons, are scarcely able to earn the value of fifteen sous of French money by a day's labour. This boatman was a man of an extremely [80] good humoured character, and appeared to possess the knowledge of an experienced pilot as to all the manoeuvres by which our journey could be shortened. He, too, as if by conspiracy, had his word to say about Napoleon. He had served the great man as an ally and a dragoon some eight-and-twenty years since ; and, from this glorious epoch of his life, the brave trooper (now a sailor) had retained but one single phrase of French, with which he honoured us on every possible occasion. His entire stock of French consisted of these words — ' Adieu! mon bon ami.'

" We had disembarked at the foot of an ancient monastery, which is now the principal inn of the village of Kézis ; the public room of this hostelry was already occupied by several groups, all belonging to the peasant class, so remarkable in this country for their open and manly demeanour, and rugged physiognomy. The cus- tom they have of shaving their temples to a certain height, gives a strange and somewhat wild character to their heads. Their hair, closely cropped in front, is left to grow to its full length behind, and hangs floating over their shoulders. A garment of coarse linen, drawn in round the loins by a broad belt of stitched leather, as hard as a piece of wood; enormous boots of undressed leather; the broad national hat stuck over the head with a decided air, and a certain abruptness of deport- [81] ment and gesture ; such are the principal features which distinguish the people of this country.

" A young man apparently belonging to the ecclesi- astic order, and who was taking his meal apart from the rest, advanced towards us, and politely enquired whether he could be of any service to us ; the mixed Latin of the middle ages, which he used in conversing with us, adapting itself with facility to the most ordinary topics. This young man informed us, among other things, that all his compatriots who had received any- thing like a regular education habitually used the Latin language, which still continues, in Hungary, the lan- guage of science and of the law. In answering our courteous acquaintance, we were more than once driven to the use of barbarisms, which did not, however, prevent our conversation being very animated on both sides. The furniture of the public room, in which we were, con- sisted of wooden benches and tables ; no other ornaments could be seen about it save a few rude engravings, after the fashion of our illustrated ballad of the ` Wandering dew,' encircled with Hungarian legends, and pasted on the wall, in company with the prospectus of a French journal, ` L'Europe Littéraire,' which probably owed this distinction to its elegant vignette. One of the corners of the room was occupied by a mill for crushing salt, exactly similar to the ancient mill used by the Romans, [82] and still to be found among the Arabs. The doors, open to all comers, gave access to a number of beggars and hideous cripples, whose noisy importunities dis- turbed our frugal dinner. Soon after, we were visited by three German female musicians, whose costumes, with harp and guitar slung across their shoulders, too surely indicated wandering minstrels. One of them was young, of an interesting countenance, and with all that decency of demeanour which is generally to be found in Germany, where this species of nomadic talent is not always a cloak for mendicity. The songs with which these poor women regaled us did not exhibit more art than we have a right to expect from street virtuosi. Just as we were returning to our boat, we were given to understand that our pilot, the ex-dragoon, had a favour to crave from us ; and this boon was to grant a passage to our three singers, who were sisters, and were bound for Pesth. We could not refuse this sup- port to the fine arts, too frequently condemned to foot it, and our journey proceeded amidst the strains of national minstrelsy. Komorn arrested us for a short space towards the evening. This city, the Hungarian name of which is Kornaron, the capital of the county of that name, is situate at the confluence of the Donau- Waag and the Neutra with the Danube. Extensive fortifications, of modern construction, defend the city [83] and its approaches. All around indicates that the po- sition must be one of great stratagetic importance, and that the citadel of Komorn deserves the high reputation it possesses among military men.


" A halt of only a quarter of an hour did not allow us to visit a church of some beauty, dedicated to St. Andrew, and which is one of the five churches in Komorn devoted to the Catholic religion. Three places of worship are open to the followers of various persuasions in this city, which is peopled by no less than 12,000 inhabitants. The broad quays and fine- looking houses which we observed, denoted that affluence has become one of the conditions of life in this place. But as night was approaching, and the ap- pearance of the heavens threatened a storm, we were unable to judge either of the character or industry of the population.

" At nightfall, the wind rose with increased violence, the rain fell in large drops, and the swelling waters of the Danube made rough work for our frail craft, whose flat bottom rendered it unfit to cope with such an adversary. The shores were so distant at this time, that it seemed as if we were navigating an extensive lake ; moreover, the most complete darkness soon shut us out from all prospect, with no other shelter than four feet square of matting, beneath which our trembling [84] fellow-passengers had taken refuge. No other course was left us, than to accelerate by every means our nocturnal journey, and each of us, in turn, came to the relief of our boatmen, wearied by fifteen hours toil. Bewildered by the roaring of the wind, and soaked through by the rain, we reached the land without being aware of it, so pitchy dark were the heavens. The experienced skill of our pilot had guided us safely into a small bay on the right bank, and we groped our way to a neighbouring inn, where the only answer made to our call was the immediate blowing out of the lights ; however, we were at last, after some par- leying, admitted, and the hostess, with her active attendants, soon made us a good fire. As for our supper, after the fashion of the Homeric heroes, the most skilful, perhaps, but not the most famished of our drenched party, had to lend a helping hand to pre- pare it.

" A few hours rest in this inn, which belongs to the village of Hohenmarch, had repaired the fatigues of our little Danubian tempest ; and on the 4th of July the rising sun beheld us floating towards Gran. Standing out in relief at the foot of the beautiful undulations of the Matra hills, Netzmahl, and its rich vineyards, the possessions of the Counts Zichy and Esterhazy, were soon left behind us, as also the boundaries of the Pala- [85] tinate of Komoru ; and, with a new province, we greeted a new and most imposing landscape.

" The river Gran, flowing from the north, pours its waters into the Danube at the foot of those hills which we had so long seen in the distance, without reaching them ; and henceforward the stream, with increased rapidity, flows in the narrow bed which it has made for itself through this chain of mountains, covered with verdure, and studded with picturesque ruins. Before entering this narrow channel, we had landed at Gran, the Esztergom of the Hungarians, situated on the right bank of the Danube, in an agreeable valley. Capital of the Palatinate, and for a long time the residence of the kings of Hungary, Gran has more than once fallen into the hands of the Turks, the inveterate foes of this beautiful country; but it always continued dear to the high dignitaries of the Church ; who, driven away by the invaders, still brought back, after each storm, the pomp and grandeur of an archiepiscopal establishment, which dates from the eleventh century and the mar- tyrdom of St. Stephen.

" On the mountain which commands the city, and on the site of its ancient citadel, a primate of the Church, Prince Alexander of Rudnay, erected the costly edifices with which his piety endowed the ancient metro- polis of this diocese. A palace for the archbishop, [86] another palace for the chapter, and a vast seminary — are the monuments which overlook the valley ; but that which worthily crowns this sacred hill, so long in the possession of the Mussulman, is a gigantic and magnificent church, which is unfortunately not com- pleted. This vast Basilic, formed on the plan of a Greek cross, is built of masses of brick-work, but covered with slabs of granite and porphyry of exquisite beauty. Protected at present by a temporary roof, this metropolitan church is intended to be surmounted by a dome, which will admirably complete the grandest building to be seen in this country. However, unfinished as it is, the ill-fated church is already treated as are too often our old Gothic monuments ; the ignoble coating of whitewash, that abominable disguise which would disfigure the noblest piles, already covers these half- finished walls. The carvings have disappeared beneath this wretched whitewash, which has not even respected the Imperial Palace at Vienna.

" After glancing at the beautiful prospect around, the mountains, the city, and the stream, which is crossed here by a ferry, we continued our journey, not forgetting our travelling musicians, who, during our visit to the citadel, had piously attended mass in a little chapel near the shore.

" We next beheld Wisegrad. In the twelfth century, [87] when the Hungarian sovereigns inhabited Gran, Wisegrad possessed magnificent gardens, costly dwelling-houses, and delightful baths for the relaxation of royalty. Wisegrad is still beautiful in the midst of its ruined enceinte, and the dilapidated remains of its crested walls, relics of a splen- dour which has fallen under the barbarous hand of the Turk. The enchanting situation of this castle, in the midst of such beautiful scenery, gave us a clue to the ety- mology of Wisegrad, which we traced to VISUS-GRATUS, a name which frequently recurs in the present day in many parts of Europe, under the modern form of BELLE-VUE.

" After irrigating all this fine country, the Danube resumes its course through the meadows, dividing itself to embrace the beautiful island of St. Andrew, so rich in vine- yards and villa residences, passing Waitzen, celebrated for its superb cathedral, and whose numerous spires denote a large population, just as the gallows erected near its gates show it to be the seat of criminal justice. Our still rapid progress scarcely allowed us a glimpse of St. Andrew, Donawetz, and Alt-Ofen, and the renowned sites of the island of the Hares. Our pilot kept his word, and just as the thirty-sixth hour was expiring, we arrived, surprised and delighted, in the midst of the animated and majestic panorama presented by the cities of Buda and Pesth, divided by the broad current of the Danube.

" When we had disembarked on the Pesth side of the [88] river, not without some trouble, on account of the number- less boats, and the turbulent and importunate crowd blocking up the approaches to the quay, we recompensed our boatman, who saluted us all, and this time very á propos, with his French phrase, Adieu mon bon ami. We received, at the same time, the humble thanks of our poor musicians, whose budget, exhausted for us, was henceforward destined to charm Hungarian ears. After which, we proceeded towards the interior of the city, along a magnificent quay bordered by a row of palaces worthy a great and opulent capital.

" Shortly afterwards, we joined M. de Demidoff, who had arrived a few hours before us."

I had no difficulty in collecting these first impressions of my companions, so vividly had their minds been struck, and so ready were their memories to lay up a store of obser- vations. Each brought his tribute to find a place in my journal, and more than once I incurred the mute disappro- bation of the less experienced of my fellow-travellers for refusing to attach the same importance to facts, new only to them, which they possessed in their eyes — a wholesome rigour nevertheless, for the further we journeyed, the more particulars we should have to note down. The nearer I approached the frontiers of Russia, passing through coun- tries rarely explored, the more I expected opportunities for the free exercise of my pen, anticipating that the [89] originality and wildness, if I may use the expression, of my new acquaintances, would redeem me from the tedious monotony of certain books of travel.

The next day, on the 5th of July, the François Premier had assembled all its passengers, and left the twofold city beneath a hazy sky, which cleared up soon after sunrise. We did not take leave of this noble spot without saluting, with our noisy artillery, the ancient and the modern capitals of Hungary, cities which differ so widely in age, manners and aspect. Buda commands her younger sister, who, in spite of her gay attire, owes her the respect due to a venerable elder sister. If one be the city of commerce and progressive ideas, the other is the city of history, kings and nobles — the city which fought and suffered long ere it beheld its young rival, whose mag-nificence embellishes the opposite bank, rise beneath the protective shadow of its walls. To follow out the com- parison, if it be true that Buda represents the noble Hungary of olden times, and that Pesth be the type of the Hungarian people of the present, it may be said that the bridge which unites the two cities is the symbol of the present political condition of the country. The old bridge is already insufficient for the existing traffic, as is admitted on both sides. But Buda is opposed to any new construc- tion; the cause of this is, that on the old bridge, toll is paid only by the people, the nobility, by virtue of its privileges, [90] being exempt. Were a new bridge built, on the other hand, the privilege would naturally expire in the presence of a new tax, which would make no distinction between simple and noble, for the tendencies of the diet in matters of public revenue, incline now in a marked manner towards principles of equality. Buda resists, therefore, and will long hold out against this sacrifice of its ancient immu- nities.

In the space of an hour, both cities were out of sight, and the Danube now flowed in the midst of its dreary meadows. The stream had overflowed its banks, and spread its waters far around, inundating farms and villages, whose inhabitants are no better than amphibious savages. Herds of white oxen, and occasionally buffaloes, long flocks of cormorants, scared by the noise of our vessel, were the only incidents which diversified our journey.

At every village of any importance, the François Premier stopped to exchange a few passengers, and a volley of salutes. Not far from one of these villages, called Adoni, the name of Schubry was pronounced, and we learnt that the adventurous brigand, who for many years had spread consternation in these regions, and had, previous to his vagabond career, been a swineherd, had just been killed at the age of thirty-four, leaving behind him an immortal store of marvellous histories, destined during the long winter nights to make more than one generation [91] of the good and credulous peasants shudder at their horrors.

It is easy to perceive that steam-boat travelling is yet a novelty in this country, and that the astonishment and curiosity of the people at this spectacle are not yet ex- hausted. Such was the irresistible interest which it pos- sessed in their eyes, that the better to observe us, a throng of men and even of women waded out up to their knees in the black and muddy stream, where they remained transfixed, even after the steamer had resumed its speed.

Ever since we had crossed the Rhine, we had never ceased wondering how, in all the villages, so many ap- peared idle, even during harvest time, when the assistance of all the inhabitants should seem to be in requisition. By the operation of what cause is so much leisure left to people so abject? Yet the country we were traversing seems more than any other to demand the labour of man ; for the inundation which yearly lays waste its fields is an enemy which must be fought with to be overcome. But no ! the Hungarian peasant seeks some elevated spot on which to erect his hut, and once in a place of secu- rity, he abandons his field to the annual invasion of the stream. The truth indeed is, that this people have endured a long course of sufferings, and in the matter of invasions, have experienced many more cruel than those of the Danube; hence, doubtless, they have become indifferent [92] to all such calamities. Everywhere we meet the same indo- lence, the same carelessness, the same contempt for the resources a rich and fertile nature has lavished upon the inhabitants of these countries ; energy and the love of labour alone, are not to be found — those two powerful incentives which have urged human industry daringly to encroach upon the ocean, and to say to the tempest, as in the Scripture, " Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further." Our course continued still devoid of interest, in the midst of the inundated fields, till we reached Tolna, where several passengers disembarked. Tolna is peopled by Germans ; sacked and gutted at the time of the retreat of the Turks, this little town was suc- ceeded by a small burgh, built upon its ruins by a party of agricultural settlers. The cultivation of the vine and the tobacco plant, carried on within a limited range, forms the support of this colony.

The first day's journey of the François Premier ended at Mohacs. We required all the assistance which the current of the Danube could afford us to reach our station for the night, our steamer being a new one, and the supply of steam being irregularly kept up through the inexperience of the stokers, the machinery propelled us but slowly. The crew, moreover, made up of natives of every imaginary country, yielded but slow obedience to the captain, whose orders had to be conveyed to this floating [93] Babel in three or four different languages. With respect to the boat itself, it was evident that its builders had not piqued themselves on following the sumptuous and con- venient models presented by other nations, the neglect of all refinements amounting in these steamers to absolute contempt. A steamer which does not travel at night, yet keeping its passengers on board, should offer better accommodation for rest than can be found in one narrow saloon, infested with disgusting insects, and serving in turn as dining, sleeping, and dressing room, though equally unfitted by its filthiness for either purpose. No better berth was to be had than a mattress placed 'upon chairs, an unoccupied table, or the wet planks of the deck. When this important line of steam communication, how- ever, from Vienna to Constantinople, is more generally adopted, the conveyance of travellers will become an object of greater care and attention on the part of the various companies, by whom they have been hitherto neglected, the only object in view being the mere accom- plishment of the journey itself. The administration will subsequently have to turn its attention to the crew em- ployed, as well as to the comforts travellers have a right to expect from them. This is one of the necessary conditions for the due maintenance of the service.

On reaching Mohacs, just as day was declining, we were surrounded by a clamorous crowd flocking to the [94] shore, which they converted into a complete slough of mud. The plank for landing was scarcely adjusted, when a number of miserable, half-clad women, both old and young, encumbered the deck. Women at Mohacs perform the masculine duties of porters ; and the neces- sary supply of coal for our next day's journey was soon conveyed on board in a hundred wheelbarrows, which they trundled along with the most noisy activity. The appear- ance of these poor wretches, with their somewhat too scanty costume, and singularly determined deportment, was truly original and characteristic. The men, who remained tranquil spectators of the rude labour assigned to the women, wear the same loose, easy costume and peculiar hat to which we have already alluded. On the adjacent shore, in the midst of a bed of deep black mud, an extraordinary medley of lookers-on, half men and half ducks, some merchants and some sailors, waited, in the utmost confusion, for our landing. Four spirited horses, badly harnessed to a broken-down old carriage, and kept in check with difficulty by a coachman attired in coarse grey linen — such was the country equipage of more than one noble personage who quitted us at Mohacs to go shooting over their inundated lands. A number of skiffs, made out of the hollow trunks of trees, and almost swamped by the weight of two men, paddled, during this time, round the steamer, which might be well [95] compared to one of those adventurous vessels which, in the time of the Argonauts, neared the then unknown shores of the Danube. We entered the city, in spite of the increasing darkness, and proceeded some distance. We found the streets spacious and regular, but filled with damp and stinking manure, and the houses wretched. The public edifices are, for the most part, in harmony with the rest of the city. More important from its history than by its present population and influence, Mohacs has twice beheld upon its plains a struggle between the Hungarian Monarchy and the Turkish Invader. In 1626 Louis IL, a young monarch full of promise, lost his life in a celebrated and bloody battle, in which the flower of the nobility fell valiantly beside him ; and from that day, Hungary groaned under an oppressive yoke. But also when, in 1687, the Turks retreated, and, driven back by a series of defeats, descended the Danube as far as Belgrave, Mohacs witnessed a splendid day of reprisals. It was on account of this brilliant victory that Prince Eugene was called, in this country, the Terror of the Turks. This town, twice celebrated in history, is one of the apanages of the Bishop of Fünf Kirchen. Situated a little to the west, the delightful suburb, which the Hungarians call Peks, points, with pride, to its venerable cathedral — the first raised upon the Christian soil of Hungary, and on the foundations of a Roman [96] citadel. The prelate of this diocese is said to have an immense fortune at his disposal. Mohacs reckons four thousand inhabitants, whose lot we should not be disposed to envy, if we formed an opinion of the country from its deplorable aspect at the time of our passing through it. It was rather an amusing coincidence, that the only monument of art we were able to discover was the Statue of Népomucène, the patron of Mohacs, whose intercession is all-powerful against inundations. Never had the blessed protector of the town a better opportunity to exercise his power than this year, when the insolent waters of the Danube overflowed, even to the very foot of his image. This saint is placed in the very middle of the town, not far from the market, and its whitewashed pedestal is flanked by cannons, captured from the Turks, or rescued from the depth of the river. Night obliged us to retreat towards the François Premier ; and at night, Mohacs was filled with a prodigious number of frogs, left by the Danube in the damp streets, and which, jumping and croaking in all parts, pursue the benighted wayfarers into their very houses.

On the dawn of the 6th July, we were again moving on through a flat country, passing on our right Erdöod, whose only object of interest is the ruin of an ancient castle, pointed out to us as once the domain of the Counts of Palffy ; Wukovar, a magnificent convent erected [97] at the confluence of the Wuka, whose terraces, from a distance, overhang the banks of the Danube. Here, beneath the shade of the lime-tree, peaceful Franciscans were wrapt in meditation or repose, and looked down upon us, fleeting by, as one of those illusions of the world which now and then interrupt the solitude of their reveries. Then rises in view Scharnigrad, with its dungeon in ruins ; and finally Illok, marking upon the clear blue sky a long line of rampart walls, now crumbling vestiges of Ottoman conquest.

Soon, however, we discerned Peterwardein, the Gibraltar of the Danube, a truly formidable citadel, with rampart towering above rampart, and for which nature has done her utmost in seconding the art of defence. This noble fortress, whose name is inseparable from that of Eugene of Savoy, is in a perfect state of efficiency. We paid a visit to it, toiling up its steep and vaulted ascent, while our steamer was unlading merchandize at Neuzats, which lies on the left bank. Neuzats and Peterwardein are united by a bridge of boats, which was opened to let our steam-boat through. We had scarcely time to obtain one glance of this magnificent fortress, before we beheld, in full trim, our steamer making for the breach in the bridge. We were about fifteen or twenty on land — Jews merchants, a priest, and a young Parisian lady, [98] going to Bukharest. On a sudden, one and all, we set off running towards the bridge, till we reached the place through which the steamer was to pass ; but the fearful rapidity of the stream caused the François Premier, generally so calm and steady in its course, to rush past like lightning through the gap, and soon to be far beyond our reach. Then arose a hue and cry among the passengers, who might well doubt if they were not abandoned upon this strange shore. The captain had cried out that we were to take a boat and follow ; the boat was forthcoming, it was a slight shell of pine-tree wood, and in order to get into this perilous conveyance, we had to leap a height of eight feet. Everybody appeared suddenly seized with frenzy, all rushing together to precipitate themselves into it ; the Parisian lady would undoubtedly have fallen into the water, had she not, by a lucky chance, come down with her whole weight upon the priest. At last, the boat bearing this unsteady crowd, all standing up and pressing together, was confided to the current of the stream, and borne down in many zig-zag directions. When it approached the steamer, it required the efforts of all those who had preserved their presence of mind, to control the rest of these trembling passengers, few of whom had any skill in swimming, and who, by all eagerly making at the same time for the point [99] by which to get upon deck, very nearly occasioned a general upset. We were compelled, by loud words and gesticulations, to keep down the most bewildered of them. Safely arrived, however, on deck, it was easy to read upon more than one countenance a determi- nation never again to venture on picturesque excursions, for which the company manifests so little indulgence. But must we not be resigned to our fate ! In all times, enterprises of transport have shown a marked predi- lection to merchant goods, a lifeless but lucrative heap, possessing neither the caprices nor the curiosity of the traveller. For these alone had we tarried at Neuzats ; and great was our error, to imagine this delay was intended as a personal attention to the passengers.

The excitement occasioned by this occurrence had scarcely subsided, when a fresh cause of alarm called forth our general commiseration. A poor stoker, struck with apoplexy, was brought on deck, and slowly restored to animation. After some objections, the doctor, Léveillé, succeeded in bleeding him, which seemed a necessary course to take in his case. The poor fellow, however, had hardly returned to consciousness, when he fell into the most horrible and convulsive delirium, his fury being so violent, that even his comrades could not venture near to control him. This frightful disorder of the brain, known to the faculty by the term, " delirium tremens," [100] is generally attributed to the habitual intemperance of its victim, and more especially to the use of powerful spirituous liquors. After continuing in this state several hours, this infuriated sailor, whose drowsy consciousness had only been awakened during his fit by the gift of a few pieces of money, fell at length into a complete lethargy, and was conyeyed to the Hospital of Semlin, at which town our second day's journey terminated.

During this distressing scene, we had passed by Karlowitz, and had been cruising amidst innumerable islands that checquer the Danube. On our left, we had seen the mouth of the Theiss, one of the most con- siderable tributaries of the Danube, flowing down from Upper Hungary, from north to south, almost in a line parallel to the Danube, which, from Gran to Erdöd, runs also in this direction. The Theiss is noted for being richer in fish than any other river in Europe ; owing, perhaps, to the extensive marshy plain which forms its right bank, contributing greatly to the increase of the species, who find abundant means of nourishment in the decayed vegetable matter suspended in the waters. Our course through these flat islands and inundated banks continued to be very uninteresting, and the night was far advanced when we halted before Semlin.

The steamer stopped at some distance from the town, to reach which it is necessary to cross a marsh [101] which must prove seriously injurious to the public health.

Semlin is a stronghold, the chief military station on the frontier of Slavonia, and the last on the Hungarian terri- tories. Beneath its walls, the waters of the Save, flowing into the Danube, swell it to such an extent that it becomes a huge lake, whose banks are scarcely discernible in the distance. It is this position, so advantageous to the commerce of Semlin, that gives it an appearance of bustle and activity, which the traveller in Hungary is so little accustomed to see. Opposite the town, in the hazy distance, appear the towers and ramparts of Belgrade, guarding the entrance into Servia. All communication between the opposite banks is strictly interdicted, in consequence of the plague, which is a continual scourge to the Servians. Upon their desolate shore, a miserable village was pointed out to us, whose inhabitants had all fled the contagion. The dying alone had remained, without succour or consolation ; one poor hut had still a light burning within, soon, alas ! to expire with the inmate. This was a heart-rending spectacle, and thanks to the speed of the current, our unavailing compassion was soon diverted.

On our departure, Belgrade, seen through the mist of early morning, with its citadel and numerous minarets rising, as they seem to do, from the bosom of the waters, [102] afforded us a magnificent spectacle. This great city, occupying a sloping plain on the banks of the river, is protected on the Servian side by the immense height on which the stronghold, with its imposing bulwarks, is stationed. It would scarcely be supposed that between two towns so near one another as Semlin and Belgrade, a difference so striking should be found to exist ; yet this difference is so remarkable, that on crossing from one to the other, an innumerable space seems to separate them, so far behind has Hungarian Semlin, with her European aspect, left Turkish Belgrade, in her Eastern indolence and careless ease. Upon beholding this medley of red roofs, round-headed walnut-trees, black cypresses, and shining minarets, every one feels that in this Turkish capital each individual is free to select his own place in the sunshine, and turn his habitation, as he pleases, towards Mecca or Constantinople. Even from the middle of the river, it is easy to picture the damp and tortuous alleys that wind through that labyrinth of trees and houses.

By the aid of our telescope, we could discover, on the threshold of these picturesque dwellings, circles of grave looking smokers, who were little conscious that they were the objects of our scrutiny, and that their balloon- shaped turbans, brown faces, calm and easy attitudes, were being rendered from afar, in the extempore album [103] of Raffet. In the highest part of the city is seen the house of Prince Milosch, Pasha of Servia ; Youssouf Pasha, chief of the Turkish forces occupying Belgrade, has fixed his residence beneath the walls of the citadel.

Not far from Belgrade, we met a boat, in which were seated, in a row, a number of women covered with white veils. They were going up the stream, and kept close to the inundated banks ; immediately behind them followed a numerous escort of riders, armed with hatchets, whose horses were up to their middle in water. At the head of the boat, and with his eye fixed on this precious trust, destined no doubt for the Pasha's harem, sat a man wearing a green turban, and apparently invested with the sole command over the escort, the women, and the rowers. We gazed earnestly on this characteristic scene, till it was lost to sight.

Semendria, whose walls occupy a great extent of space, next appeared before us, and on the opposite side, upon the level plains of this province, which is no longer Hungary proper, but goes by the name of the military boundary, or the Banat, we beheld the first stations of that indefatigable guard that keeps watch night and day over the movements of the river, ever on the alert to repel any encroachment of its formidable current back to the shores of Servia. The wise and beautiful organ- ization of these military colonies of the Danube, has [104] solved, as regards the Banat, the difficulty of securing the safety of a shore line, by a system which at the same time constitutes the prosperity of the inhabitants. Military discipline, as applied to measures for the public health, has proved no less salutary in its effects when applied also to the government, the cultivation, and, in fact, to the whole living interest of this vast country, so long a prey to the caprices of warfare. The whole territory of the Banat is divided under regiments and companies, and a perfect equality in the rights and duties of each segment of this sort of perpetual camp, secures to the service the strictest regularity. The entire popu- lation forms but one disciplined and well organized army, whose duty it is, by turns, to cultivate the ground, tend the flocks, and guard the frontiers. The order that attends the working of these colonies, protected as they are by a paternal government, offers a powerful argument in favour of the system of associations.


By this system, possession being collective and not individual, the administration of property belongs to the head of the family, whether that right be obtained by natural laws, or by virtue of election. Already has this scheme produced the most prosperous results, securing at once, the order, well-being, and perfect tranquillity of one of the most important frontiers ; thus proving that [105] institutions which, in certain states, are wisely set aside as impracticable theories, may in others meet with a favourble development. In short, is not to seize the right opportunity, the secret of all good administration ?

These posts of colonist soldiers are stationed on the shores of the Banat, at distances sufficiently near to keep up an easy communication between them. Their barracks are most frequently built of earth ; but oc- casionally, the better to resist the rising of the Danube, they are constructed on a more solid foundation, and raised upon piles on the shore. Here, in the most profound solitude, live these vigilant guardians of the public health — visited only by a few aquatic birds, familiarized with their inoffensive bayonets. Immense herds of horses, belonging to the colonial cavalry, are sometimes seen galloping through the meadows to quench their thirst at the running stream. We observed them about mid-day, when the heat fell vertically upon the plain and river, closely packed together, their heads hanging down, motionless, beneath the weight of' this burning atmosphere.

It was beneath the scorching rays of a brilliant after- noon sun that we reached the spot where the Danube narrows itself, and plunges in one single stream, between the high barriers opposed to it — on the north by the Karpathians, and on the south by the Balkhan.


Beginning from the village of Ui-Palanka, the western undulations of these two great chains rise in high masses on either shore ; our course, in consequence, soon led us between ranges of lofty rocks, amidst which the detona- tions of the François Premier awoke the most superb echoes. The occasion of all this clatter was a place called Basiasch. Basiasch is nothing more than a coal depôt for the steamers; and yet, on arriving and departing, it is the object of these formidable salutes, repeated as many as ten times by the distant echoes ; and, what is still more strange, this insignificant station returns these salutes, shot for shot, as though it were a real and veritable citadel. Passing beyond Babakaï, a conical rock of considerable height, rising in the middle of' the stream, we entered a narrow gulf-like basin, into which the Danube rushes, winding at every step to seek its path among the masses of rock through which it has forced a passage. On the right bank, the ruins of an ancient and imposing fortification are still seen to crown the heights. This is Columbatch, which once kept watch like a vulture over this important passage — Columbatch, which in the present day sends forth from the hollows in its rocks those formidable swarms of flies so destructive to the herds. Once fairly in the midst of this sombre and mysterious pass, where the green waters of the stream flow over a rocky bed, the traveller is hurried through [107] a succession of surprises : but so delighted is he to gaze once more at a landscape, to find himself again in the midst of a broad and richly coloured prospect, that he easily forgives the melancholy of the vast swamps of the Danube, the filth of its cities, and its disgusting reptiles — he forgives even the blundering stoppages of the François Premier, which bring him, in the dead of night, in the midst of a country he is desirous of seeing. He forgets the Spartan fare to which the steamer condemns its passengers ; and the more particu- larly as the hour is approaching for deliverance from it. In the midst of this grand spectacle of roaring waters and vigorous vegetation, we reached the foot of a small house, standing quite isolated on the left bank. This house, scrupulously closed to travellers, and opening its doors only to bales of merchandize, is Drenkova. It was the goal which, for the last three days, we had been striving to reach — the terminating point of our tedious water journey. Like Basiasch, Drenkova is a mere empty name ; and if the traveller has reckoned on finding a town, a hamlet, or even the most trumpery inn, he is awfully undeceived. You are at Drenkova — that's all: you are set ashore — and there's an end of it. Behold the fresh green turf, those tufts of flowering shrubs, those gaunt, solemn mountains — hearken to the wild echo which your steps awaken — this is Drenkova!


Nevertheless, these uninhabited shores, on account of their very solitude, are full of charm and tranquillity. On all sides the vegetation is extremely rich, and in the summer the temperature is very mild ; for directly the sun advances towards the horizon, the surrounding mountains cast their vast cool shadows over the Danube. A few shepherds only people this wilderness, whose dress, peculiar to this portion of the Banat, is almost entirely borrowed from the sheep over which they watch ; and whose skins, turned in or out, according to the season, serve them as covering for both head and body.

We had all disembarked together, in order to enjoy a stroll, and the pleasure of again treading on solid ground. Our naturalists were in a few minutes dis- persed in every direction ; while Raffet, ensconced by the wayside, began to sketch every one that passed. The models who appeared so opportunely were women, wearing on their heads a kind of turban of twisted stuff; a large chemise, open in front, scarcely concealed their busts ; and the rest of their attire was composed of two aprons, or something of the kind, over a very close-fitting petticoat. There were also military colonists in the plainest kind of uniform, with tattered cloaks, worn-out caps, and the rest to match ; and troopers belonging to the corps engaged in watching this line of shore, whose caps were of black sheepskin, and [109] their trappings thickly studded with brass and iron nails. These personages were no less obliging than picturesque, and afforded our artists every facility for accomplishing his object, the slight recompense they received for a few moments of immobility appearing to transport them with delight and astonishment.

However beautiful a place may be, it is pleasant, nevertheless, at nightfall, to meet with some other shelter than the vault of heaven ; on this occasion we found our boat far preferable to the hospitable, but comfortless lodging offered us at Drenkova.

The 8th of July, the fourth (lay of our water journey, commenced under the most agreeable auspices. At day- break a large boat, laden with our carriages and baggage, started in advance of us for Alt-Orsova. From Drenkova to this town, the navigation of the Danube is rendered impracticable for large craft, by the shelves of rock, and the tortuous and rapid currents, rushing with the violence of cataracts, which obstruct and break up its course. The traveller is conveyed from that point in light boats, which, being constructed with flat bottoms, are able to glide over the obstacles which so unfor- tunately impede this admirable channel of communication. Accordingly, we embarked in a boat manned by eight oars, with a little cabin in the stern, whose flag, floating from the top of a light mast, bore inscribed [110] upon it the name of Ttinde. Scarcely had we pushed off from the shore, when we felt the difference in rapidity, and especially in smoothness, of this portion of the stream. As we neared the village of Islaz, which stands on the Banat shore, we found the Danube covered with bubbling foam. A shelf of rocks, extending from the Hungarian side, advances so far beneath the waters, that the boats are obliged to steer for the Servian shore, where they are carried along by a current of extreme violence and rapidity. After an interval spent amidst the rushing and whirling of waters, the navigation becomes smooth again for a few moments, at the end of which a fresh succession of rapids, covered with white foam, is met with, which continues until the mountains gradually sink to a lower level, and allow an easier passage to the accumulated mass of waters.

From time to time, a few villages appeared in view on the Servian side, and on the opposite bank. Among these Milanova, dating only five years back, has replaced the wretched hamlet of Birniksa, and stands on the Servian side, in honour, it is said, of the son of the Pasha Milosch. On our left we passed Tricouli, an ancient fortress, consisting of three towers. Two towers of similar construction stand upon a height, while the third is surrounded on all sides by the waters of the [111] Danube, and communicates by a bridge with the rock on which its twin sisters are built. This ancient place of strength is now turned into a quarantine station.

The Danube soon narrows its channel once more, and runs through another defile, where its whirling current dashes against the gigantic obstacles which obstruct its course. Here we were set ashore, and the most majestic scenes we had yet beheld since we commenced our journey through these regions arrested our attention on every side. A wall of rocks rising to a height of more than eight hundred feet, overhangs the stream from either bank. Some yards above the level of the Danube, cut out in the lower portion of these immense rocks, a mag- nificent road is seen winding — a recent undertaking, still pursued with vigour, and worthy those grand vestiges of ancient Rome, relics of which are still extant on the Servian shores of the Danube. A spacious grotto opens out from the Banat side, and beneath its vaulted roof, taking advantage of the natural cavities, a rustic hostelry has been constructed. After resting awhile beneath the shade afforded by this cool retreat, we proceeded along the road to the spot where a steep path leads up to the entrance of the grotto of Veterani, celebrated for the stirring legends which attach to it of exiles, robbers, and deadly conflicts.

During the war sustained by Hungary against the Turks, in 1788, the grotto of Veterani is said to have [112] been occupied as an entrenchment by a garrison of infantry and a piece of cannon, hoisted with considerable labour to its mouth, commanded from this impregnable position the course of the river to a wide range.

Our boat awaited us at the lower end of the road, and we again began to drift rapidly down the stream, keeping near the Servian shore. We were enabled to observe, that on this side the rocks were regularly shaped out at their base, to make space for the windings of a road which follows without interruption the sinuosities of the Danube ; this road is the work of the Romans, who, during the war with the Dacians, long occupied these countries previous to leaving them in the possession of their colonies. Shortly after, on the same shore, a large inscription appeared through the interstices of a mass of brushwood ; our boatman detained us a moment to contemplate this noble memorial of the victorious passage of a great people. On the face of an immense vertical rock, a richly sculptured frame-work, ornamented with spread eagles, surrounds this long inscription. Not- withstanding the ravages of time, and the blackened traces left by the fires which, during so many ages, the shepherds have kindled at the foot of this historical rock, the two first lines may yet be deciphered, the result of the process of divination being as follows :



When we had contemplated, from a prudent distance, not to alarm the coast-guard, this imposing memento, which one is so astonished to find in the midst of such a desert, and in a region probably not a whit more civilised than when Trajan directed his legions thither, we resumed our course towards Alt-Orsova, the ancient fortress of the Banat, and shortly after we were installed in the only solitary and humble inn which this little town possesses. Of all the passengers of the François Premier not belonging to our party, we had only retained the young French lady who was proceeding to Bukharest, and met with so singular an escape at Peterwardein, and an old Armenian merchant of agreeable intercourse and courteous manners. The latter, who from a long acquaintance with this route had become an expe- rienced pilot in respect of the Danube, spoke of nothing but his apprehensions as to the formidable pass we had to encounter on the morrow. He had laid such stress on the rashness of braving, at a time when the waters were so high, those terrible banks of rock, in the bed of the Danube, called by the Turks Demir Gapy (the Iron Gate), that we had allowed ourselves to be per- suaded to accompany our Armenian by the land route to the Skéla station, where the steam-boat, navigating the lower Danube, awaited our arrival. This arrange- ment, moreover, suited our taste for exploring, and [114] indulging our curiosity, and would allow of our visiting Mehadia, a place renowned. for its mineral waters, the beauty of its scenery, and the remains of Roman wealth and luxury which are still to be found mingled with modern structures. The Romans were acquainted with the medical properties of these waters, and they were consecrated, according to their mythology, so full of poetical images, to Hercules, Venus, and Hygeia. An untoward circumstance presented an obstacle to our intentions, and obliged us to renounce this interesting excursion. The land route to Skéla was at that time partly inundated, and we were accordingly under the necessity of braving the dangerous cataracts aforesaid, and trusting our fate to the boat which was to carry us through these shoals to the Wallachian shore.

It was left for us to determine how we should employ the half day which remained at our disposal ; each fol- lowed his own fancy. Orsova, however, is soon ex- hausted ; three streets at right angles with the Danube, and two parallel with it, constitute the whole town, which is as yet but thinly inhabited. The custom-house people took possession of all our baggage, and while they were leisurely employed in making an inventory of it, we paid a visit to the lazaretto, at a short distance from Orsova. A shed, divided into three longitudinal compartments, serves as a public waiting-room, and the officials occupy [115] the intermediate space. A number of Servians, of miserable appearance, were confined in the space assigned to suspected persons, and held out to the visitors, over the partitions, some trifling wares of no very attractive appearance. Among these articles, which were pretended to be of Eastern manufacture, we recognised some bearing the address of the Rue St. Denis, in Paris.

In the midst of these puny Mussulmans, we were not long in distinguishing a little man, with a cunning and some- what impudent expression of face. European garments, not a little the worse for wear, and that hideous cap worn by Turks in the discharge of any public service, composed his entire costume ; he was smoking his pipe with a dignified air, when suddenly perceiving us, he addressed us in Italian. A colloquy ensued, in which the semi- Turk displayed a certain degree of caustic humour, some wit, but more especially a rare amount of assurance. The functionary who thus honoured us with his conversation was no less a personage, according to his own account, than the private medical attendant of the Pasha Milosch.

On an island in the neighbourhood of Orsova, between two stately branches of the Danube, and facing Servia, which is under his government, Prince Milosch has established his residence ; rather, it would seem, on account of the remarkable character of the situation than [116] of its fortifications, which are half fallen into ruins. This Pasha is spoken of as a man of elevated mind and profound erudition. He is said, also, to carry his severity, at times, almost to cruelty. His childhood, like that of Sixtus the Fifth, was spent amidst the rude toil of a herd. That one who has risen from so humble a degree to a position so exalted should be inflated with some pride need excite no wonder.

The learned doctor who was before us asserted himself to be the favourite as well as the medical adviser of his master. An Illyrian by birth, then a renegade and something of an outlaw, a surgeon, an apothecary, a courtier, and for the rest, in his contempt of dress, a philosopher — this curious personage had taken a master's degree in impudent roguery. With what inexhaustible eloquence did he extol the wealth and power of his pro- tector ! A few artillerymen in ragged uniform, part of the Pasha's army, bore witness, however, that his princely bounty did not extend to the appointments of his soldiery.

Orsova, which is so near Turkey, cannot consider itself, in spite of the sanitary precautions employed in its qua- rantine, as completely secure ; and this, probably, is the reason that the preventive measures taken against the introduction of the plague amount there to a system of persecution. Woe betide the traveller who, enticed by the beauties of the journey from Constantinople to Vienna [117] by the Danube, should undertake to ascend the stream. After experiencing interminable delays in the passage to Orsova, he would there have finally to expiate his fatal imprudence in the quarantine, where a fortnight's impri- sonment would indefinitely lengthen the duration of his journey. This little town is, however, extremely cha- racteristic. The picturesque disorder of the military colonies, the careless deportment of the women, the roguishness of the children, rendered more striking by the large loose dresses of the country — such were the traits of local manners we were enabled to seize, as it were, by stealth.

We left Orsova in a different boat, larger and more solidly built than the first, and we soon drifted down to New Orsova, or Ada Galeh (Fortified Island), as it is called by the Turks. This place of strength, the favourite residence of the Pasha, stands on a flat island, pleasantly situated, and covered with verdure and plants of various kinds, mingled with buildings and fortifications in the most lamentable condition. No regular plan is observ- able in the construction of this fortress ; and it is evident, that the system upon which it is built, the result of the ignorant precautions of a succession of Pashas, is conformable to no rules of art. On the Servian shore, a large fortified tower, flanked by casemates and level batteries, forms a connection with the defences of Ada- [118] Galeh, and ensures to Servia the possession of the entire branch of the Danube which washes the right side of the island. When we had, at last, left behind us both these fortresses, we dashed into the foaming tumult of waters, where the Danube whirls madly round in eddies about the rocky peaks which bristle up from its shallow bed. This really dangerous part of the journey lasts for not less than twenty minutes ; the roaring of the angry waters, the wild beauty of the neighbouring hills, and the vast prospect which opens out in front, rendering this rapid transit extremely impressive. The angry stream soon resumes, however, its majestic aspect, and spreads out serenely, and as though reposing from its trouble and agitation, between the distant shores of Wallachia and Servia. From this point we could perceive on the naked strand on the Wallachian side a few sorry- looking huts. This assemblage of hovels is called Skéla- and immediately opposite, on the Turkish shore, stands Cladova. Here our perilous navigation terminated. Henceforward the Danube flows peaceably on, presenting neither danger nor obstacle. The large steamer, the Argo, which we beheld moored alongside the barren shore, was only awaiting our arrival to dart forth upon the broad sheet of water stretching out before us, and which, from that point, is subject to the dominion of Turkey.

The first aspect of the Wallachian territory, upon which [119] we now set foot, was not of a character to entice us. A desolate and naked tract, studded with a few huts built of mud and brushwood, is the prospect which presents itself to the traveller awaiting the departure of the steam- boat from Skéla. We employed our time to some profit, however, by a visit to Tchernecz, a little town situated at about a league's distance inland ; and it is just to confess how much we were struck from the first by its thoroughly oriental character. Tchernecz consists of little more than a long winding street lined with shops and stalls, which render it still narrower. All these shops are dirty, and the wares spread out in them for sale are frequently of a disgusting nature. It was Sunday, and the entire population was idle. The men were smoking their pipes before their doors, and the women, apart, though not entirely secluded from the men, were seated carelessly on the ground, with one leg bent under them and the other raised so as to touch the chin with the knee, carrying on lazy and listless conversation. This attitude, though strange, is graceful, and there is a loose negligence about it which is quite in harmony with the languid physiognomy of most of the young women. The costumes worn by the people bear a strong resemblance to the eastern form of dress ; and, in other respects, the aspect of all these grave, immovable faces, with long, half-shaded eyes, makes one feel that there, on the [120] opposite shore, stands Turkey ; and that she has left upon Tchernecz an impress of her manners which it will take time to efface. We were spectators of a Wallachian dance, replete with character and originality. Six men, spread out in a line with their arms interlaced, performed a marching movement from right to left and from left to right alternately, varying the step according to the taste or talent of the dancer, and heavily marking time to a tune played by two screeching fiddles. The two coryphcei, that is to say those who lead the dancers to the right or to the left, grasp, with the disengaged hand, a tall staff, on which they lean ; and it is their peculiar function to embellish, with a variety of graces and flourishes, this dance, the general character of which is masculine and severe. A young Wallachian serjeant discharged this office with marked success. Holding up his head with a proud air, he swayed the whole chain of dancers along with his lusty arm, and ever and anon cast a satisfied glance at his legs, which he agitated with an agility and precision always faithful to the mea- sure. The musicians were two Bohemians of that numerous and erratic race known in Wallachia by the name of Tsigans. One of these men presented so ad- mirable a type of beauty that it was not without a feeling of pity that we saw the serjeant, who showed himself so skilful in the dance, inflict repeated blows with his [121] staff on his noble and interesting face, too beautiful to belong to a degraded soul, but which, nevertheless, expressed no other sentiment than that of brutish submission.

On our return from Tchernecz, in the afternoon, we found our vessel, the Argo, exposed to a storm of projectiles of a novel character. The inhabitants of Skéla were showering on our deck, with emulous per- severance, a volley of land tortoises ; a species of bom- bardment which seemed to fill the besiegers and the besieged of both sexes with equal delight. Our intention was not to descend the stream as far as Galatz, the lower station of the Danube steamers. We were to leave the Argo at the foot of an ancient fortress on the Wallachian shore, called Giouljévo, whence it was our intention to proceed to Bukharest. The steamer we were now conveyed by would have travelled much faster than that which brought us from Pesth, had she not had to take an immense barge in tow, laden with coal, for one of the depôts on the route. Throughout the whole day, which was overclouded and rainy, and during which the wind blew with extreme violence, the weight of this enormous mass retarded our progress, and more than once threatened the safety of one or both vessels. At one time, the whole forepart of the coal barge was carried away ; and to repair , this disaster entailed a [122] considerable loss of time. To complete our distress, the captain, who was an Italian, could with difficulty make himself understood by a Hungarian and Wallachian crew. Again, we must repeat it, for the interest of the Danube Steam Navigation Company, the prosperity of this useful association will never be ensured, until it has reviewed with severe scrutiny its organisation, hitherto extremely deficient, and provided for the rapid transit and complete security of the traveller, as well as for the comfort which every class of society has a right to claim at the hands of a public undertaking.

We soon came abreast of Widdin, which was still healthy, though perhaps only for a few days, the plague being at the very gates of this great city. Driven along by a violent current, we were just enabled to obtain a glimpse of some fortifications, apparently in good con- dition, above which rises the harem of Seid Pasha, studded with innumerable windows closed with blinds, and surrounded by balconies of irregular construction. Seid Pasha possesses no less than a hundred wives, carelessly waiting, as we were told, till the ravages of the plague should thin their number, and make a few vacancies in their lord's favour. Widdin abounds in edifices which may almost be considered elegant, is thickly planted with shrubs, and bristles with those long slender minarets, which cannot be compared to [123] anything better than wax candles topped with silver extinguishers. A few troops in good order, a small naval arsenal, and a number of war ships drawn out along the river-side, attest the zeal of a vigilant and active chief, worthy to govern a place of this importance, numbering not less than thirty thousand inhabitants.

A frightful and desolate space, devoid of all vegetation, separates Widdin from Lon-Palanka, the principal city of Bulgaria. Further on is Oréava, then a prey to the destructive ravages of the plague.

As soon as we were delivered from our dangerous and troublesome task of towing, the captain of the Argo, wishing to make up for lost time, determined not to allow any stoppage during the night, and trusting to the experienced steerage of an excellent Hungarian pilot, he made us continue our course in the midst of a multitude of islands, through which the Danube makes itself a thousand passages, spreading out to such a breadth as at times to resemble an inland sea. Szystow and Rouschouk are the last Bulgarian towns perceived on the right bank, the scene, at a remote period, of desolating wars, and now wasted by another plague, for we are now in the land of plagues. Shortly after, the Argo, steering towards the left bank, across the whole broad extent of the Danube, and coasting its low flat islands, from which the approach of the vessel startled into flight myriads [124] of pelicans, cormorants, and storks, landed us at last in the principality of Wallachia, beneath the dismantled walls of Giourjévo.

An abrupt shore, on which our baggage and carriages were hoisted with infinite labour, and the assistance of a great number of horses, received our caravan, somewhat wearied with the last monotonous part of our journey. It was not till we had fulfilled a series of long and tedious formalities, that we were enabled to obtain post horses to take us to Bukharest. After three hours spent in journeys backwards and forwards, and urgent solicitations, we succeeded in obtaining the disposal of all the post horses possessed by Giourjévo, where they are kept in an enclosure, and entirely without shelter. Twenty-four of these were collected, of which only two carriages availed themselves. These horses are small and slight, and without breeding. They bear a great resemblance to what in France are vulgarly called porteurs de cerises, but they are remarkably spirited, full of energy, and fly like the wind. The mode of harnessing them is extremely simple — two slender ropes serve as traces, and are united across the chest by a leather strap ; another rope of smaller size is twisted round the head, in the fashion of a halter ; no bit is used, and the feet are unshod, so that the animal is thus entirely at liberty. If these horses become fatigued in the interval from one stage [125] to another, the postillions dismount, and begin to rub their eyes, and pull their ears, believing that this refreshes them. Twelve of these coursers were harnessed, two by two, to each of our carriages. Animated by the long, shrill cry of the postillion, a species of half-naked savages, they suddenly started off, carrying us across plains, inter- sected by ravines, brooks, and bottomless bogs, and brought us by evening to Bukharest. Some of my com- panions had remained behind, waiting for the return of the post-horses. They took advantage of the interval, to make observations on all the curious diversions practised on the occasion of the festival of St. Peter, which fell on the day of our arrival at Giourjévo. I shall leave to them the task of describing these noisy revels.


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four people by the river bank


THE vast plain stretching out between Giourjévo and Bukha- rest is intersected, at intervals, by ravines of considerable depth, which become in the rainy season so many dangerous quagmires. '` With our heavy carriages, we more than once ran the risk of remaining stuck in these miry bogs, the road through which merely consists of branches of trees thrown across. An evil day would [128] it be for the equipage whose horses left it sunk in this black, soft mud ; it would be long ere any one could come to its assistance. On these wretched roads, how- ever, travellers are as rare as the villages themselves, if it may be allowed so to call a miserable assemblage of huts, built of clay, and covering a sort of kennel, in which an entire family is found burrowing.

man playing bagpipes

On the occasion of our journey, however, these miserable hamlets were enlivened by sounds of mirth ; the celebration of the festival had awakened all the fiddles of the Tsigans ; the sourish-sweet liquor, which the Wallachian peasant is accustomed to call wine, had cheered up the hearts of all these robust villagers and dark maidens for the dance ; and given fresh vigour to the nasal voices of the old women, to chaunt out their traditional songs, which perhaps Dacian or Roman ears had heard in the days of Decebalus and Trajan.

gypsy (tsigan) family

The twenty leagues we had to travel were performed quickly enough. So long as one is on the smooth surface of the meadow land, the travelling is as rapid as it is easy. The lean and famished horses, holding by nothing but old ropes, whirl the traveller along with extreme swiftness. The postillions, perched on their high wooden saddles, sling round their shoulders the rope, which serves as a bridle, and, howling and gesticulating like madmen, urge to an unceasing gallop this herd of half-wild horses [129] harnessed to a single carriage. From time to time the grotesque equipage plunges through the tall grass of the meadows; and the horses, profiting by the occasion, seize a few dried-up blades, and devour them as they run. On reaching the end of a stage, the team is soon freed from its harness, which, as we mentioned, consists of two traces and a girth, into which the animal passes his head of his own accord, and withdraws it in the same manner. When this is done, the drivers, to express their satisfaction, and by way of refreshing their steeds, as they say, violently tug the ears and the forelocks of each horse, and then leave them panting, to repair their vigour upon the seared grass of the plain.

On our arrival at Bukharest, the evening was already far advanced, and we experienced all the annoyance of having to seek lodgings in an immense city, through dark and tortuous streets, accompanied by guides to whom it was impossible to make ourselves understood. The club of the nobles, established in the theatre, had been pointed out to us as the only place where we could find a lodging, but we were nearly being refused all accom- modation by the host ; and it was only by dint of the most urgent entreaties, and after waiting out the per- formance, that we were enabled to take possession of two rooms, so close to the theatre, that we had only to open a door to find ourselves upon the stage. It [130] would, however, be ungracious to complain of this side- scene hospitality, as, notwithstanding the strange cha- racter of our apartments, we soon received visits in them from the most distinguished personages.

Scarcely were we installed, when an officer, dispatched by His highness the Prince Regent, came to place himself at our disposal. At the same instant, a per- manent guard was set over our equipages, standing out in the middle of a large court-yard, to protect them from the rapacity of the Tsigans. These wandering beggars, ever on the track of strangers, had already round means, in the confusion of our arrival, to appro- priate a few articles of no great value.

We should advise the weary traveller who comes into Bukharest to let his first visit be to the capital Turkish baths, of which we were now about to test the quality. These establishments, which are situated in the quarter of the town watered by the Dombovitza, unite all the salutary effects of vapour and shampooing, with every refinement by which the Eastern people have learnt to administer to the physical wants of existence. If the prophet was wise enough to exalt a maxim of health to the sanctity of a religious duty, the true believers, on their side. have been sensual enough to render it one of those pleasures such as they love them, and to which they abandon their whole being with such exquisite [131] delight. There is nothing can compare with the gentle languor that creeps over the wearied limbs, when after leaving that wann atmosphere of vapour. and under- going a course of vigorous shampooing and aromatic frictions, you find yourself stretched out upon a soft couch, wrapped in sheets of the most delicate and yielding texture, while the pipe breathes forth its aromatic per- fumes around you, and from time to time iced water, tinted with preserved roses, imparts its fragrant cool- ness to your lips ; and yet this perfect beatitude of all the senses may be purchased in Bukharest at the most moderate price. It is to be hoped that the usages of Vienna and Paris, which daily tend to spread themselves more and more in this capital, will not interfere with the only two things which do honour to the Turks, and which alone, in Eastern civilization, are to be envied by Europe, namely, the bath, and the coffee-house.

The few visits we paid and received during the first day already began to give us a general notion of Buk- harest and its inhabitants. We were treated with such marked politeness, that from the first Lour the whole of our time was engaged during oar stay, and would have been so, had our sojourn extended even beyond the tine we were enabled to devote to their pressing hospitality.

The reigning prince had keen gracious enough to appoint an hour for our reception in the evening; in [132] the meanwhile, like thorough foreigners, we proceeded to pass in review the fashionable world of this capital, which was taking the air at its accustomed place, and in its ordinary every-day equipages ; for in this city every one keeps his own carriage. This much frequented promenade is little worthy the popularity it enjoys, for it is nothing more than a great dusty street, full of ruts. When you have reached the extremity of the street and of the city, you are not the less exposed to a good shaking on an ill-kept road, where an avenue of trees of three years' growth give hopes of a cool shade for the Wallachians of the next century, but leave the pro- menaders of the present day- a prey to the slant rays of the sun. A flat, marshy country is the sole prospect which greets the eye around this walk. Nevertheless, the string of carriages along the road is long and close, and here, every evening, are punctually to be found the elite of this motley people, which is daily changing its manners no less than its costume. In the same coach in which you see women doing their best to imitate, in their dress and manners, the elegance and coquetry of the Viennese, you may also observe the black coat which represents young Wallachia facing the noble and venerable countenance of' some white-bearded Boyard with the monumental dome-shaped cap imported by the Greeks of Phanar. On the box of these carriages, sits gravely [133] at one time a coachman in the Russian costume, muffled up in his long kaftan ; at another, a Turk with a large turban, or an Arnout with floating white skirts. This rapid procession, in short, whirling through the dust, — the plumes, the turbans and veils, passing and crossing each other about you, form quite an extraordinary spec- tacle, which, by its novelty, fixes the attention.

Meanwhile, we had betaken ourselves to the palace of the Hospodar. Several officers were waiting the prince's return from the drive, and we found among them a French- man, Viscount Grammont Louvigny, of whose extreme politeness we had already had proofs. The apartment into which we were ushered possessed no other ornament than a portrait of the Russian general, Kisseleff, a popular portrait, if ever there were one, as that of a good and brave man, whose revered features are to be met with on the most humble, as well as the proudest walls in the country. In a short time, the Hospodar was announced, and the gracious and cordial reception with which we were favoured, gave us an opportunity of judging of this prince's various acquirements. A flowing and intelligent conversation on all the different topics then occupying the attention of society in the western world, proved to us that in this capital, only to he reached through deserts, the most refined thought, and the onward march of the times, find sound and rational [134] interpreters. Could we venture to sketch, in a few touches, the character and personal appearance of the Hospodar of Wallachia, we should say, that Prince Ghika, who reigns under the name of Alexander the Second, with the manners and address of a nobleman, possesses a mild and grave countenance, which at once inspires confidence. His conversation is precise, yet fluent, and -betokens a highly cultivated mind. The prince, who appears to have arrived at the middle age, has remained single : he sets an example of social virtues, no less than of zeal for the public good. The reigning Princes of Wallachia have adopted the civilian dress of' Europe, and the uniform of the Russian Em- pire. They make use habitually of the French language, which they speak with remarkable fluency.

It was not till subsequently that we had the honour of being presented to the two brothers of the Hospodar. Prince Michael Ghika, the eldest of the family, is invested with the office of Minister of the Interior, under the title of Grand Vornik, and he has been raised to the dignity of Bano, which is the first rank in the state after the Hospodar. Prince Constantine Ghika, the youngest of the three brothers, is at the head of military affairs, and, as Grand Spathar, commands the little army of Wallachia.

According to Turkish usage, we were offered pipes [135] and coffee, and we did not take leave of the prince till a lengthened interview had given us more than one opportunity of remarking how solid and various was the information, how elevated the views of this sovereign, ruling over a country whose institutions are as yet to be established.

On our return from the palace, we found those of our travelling companions whom we had left on the Danube. They had just arrived, worn out with fatigue, and we lost no time in pointing out to them the lodgings which, with the greatest difficulty, we had discovered in a neigh- bouring quarter. I give their own account of what had detained them, and what they had seen at Giouljévo after we had taken our departure, clearing the post-house of all its horses.

" When," said they, " we saw ourselves obliged to remain at Giourjévo, having neither horses nor carriages to take us to Bukharest, our first step was to secure at the post-house a sufficiency of the national carriages to convey our persons and the lumbering apparatus which was left in our charge. Nothing can be more simple or more novel than the Wallachian carriages, called in the country caroussi. They consist of a kind of small trough made of wooden bars, placed upon four wheels, more or less circular, and two wooden axles, without a nail, or a single particle of ironwork. This receptacle, [136] abundantly supplied with hay, too often in a state of fermentation, can accommodate one traveller — seldom two. The sufferer, crouching down upon his haunches, with nothing to lean upon or support him, cleaves the air, clutching the sides of this brutal equipage as a raw horseman clings to the mane of a runaway horse. These carriages can only be compared to the telègues of Russia, to which, however, they are far inferior. This mode of transport, which combines all the inconveniences a tra- veller endeavours to avoid, is, nevertheless, the only one fit for use to be had in Wallachia. We were to start at midnight, when the returned post horses would have sufficiently rested. We had, therefore, time enough to inspect the town, and enjoy the spectacle of the rejoicings, the noise of which filled the air.

" Giourjévo was a Turkish fortress, until the treaty of 1829 transferred it to Wallachia. At that epoch the generous in- tervention of Russia raised from their degraded condition the principalities which had been crushed by extortionate levies. Barbarism re-crossed the Danube; but, ere leaving Giourjévo, the Mussulman dismantled its ramparts, and consequently this town is a mixture of ruins and new buildings. The symmetrical plan of the modern con- structions carries its right lines without deviation through the irregular mass of the old eastern buildings. This is why unfinished streets, and plots of ground encumbered [137] with old building materials, will long continue to disfigure the regular design of the modern Giourjévo. The quarter of the town contiguous to the Danube is of recent con- struction. Several pretty houses, and a church dedicated to St. Peter, consecrated that very day, gave it altogether a European aspect. Further on, is found a circular space, in the centre of which stands a tower. This place re- presents Giourjévo. Here all the shops and cafés are collected with their groups of smokers, seated in a circle before the door : here, too, we find two or three hotels, with fallacious sign boards, in which the only supper a traveller can get is a sorbet, and the only bed a billiard table. This piece of furniture, which is as ill fitted for one use as the other, is common in Wallachia.

" Meanwhile the town was deserted, the whole popu- lation having betaken themselves to an immense plain with neither verdure nor shade. Here whole families and villages of Wallachians arrived in troops, with numerous bands of Bohemians. The almost innumerable crowd of traders, dancers, musicians, and curious spec- tators attracted by the festival, which was to last several days, continued thus to swell unceasingly. On reaching the ground where the festival is held, the teams are unharnessed, a bivouac is formed, and a movable city, in which all the various races to be found in Wallachia [138] are mingled together, continues incessantly extending its dimensions. The Wallachians encamped beneath large awnings of white cloth, flanked by their lumbering cars, near which the buffaloes or oxen by which they are drawn were seen ruminating ; while the tribes of Tsigans were recognisable by the sombre hue of their tents, striped with black.

" On all sides arose volumes of smoke from the fires, over which was being prepared the simple food of these people, who appeared so eager for the pleasures of the festival ; while beneath all the tents, men and women were dressing to make a figure in the dance. The stout daughters of Wallachia were distinguishable by their velvet caps, glittering with long chaplets of sequins or paras, the sum total of their dowries. Sometimes, the cap which was the most heavily laden with ducats, and the best calculated to attract suitors, oppressed with its weight a repulsive or sickly-looking head ; while more than one gentle and refined countenance, on the other hand, was only adorned by a scanty garland of paras. This is an epitome of the history of dowries in all the civilised nations of the world. The young Tsigan girls are remarkable for a peculiar kind of beauty, which still exhibits the characteristics of the race from which these wandering tribes are asserted by some authors to have descended ; the supple and lithe figures, and delicate [139] hands and feet of the women on the borders of the Ganges, reappear among them.

"It would be difficult to convey an idea of the bustle and noise going on among the lively crowd assembled at this fair. An apparently endless plain, over which hung a thick cloud of dust, was covered throughout its extent with tents, booths, cars, and cattle. In the midst of this confused assembly, with no police regulations, yet without disorder, the traders set up their stalls, at which woven fabrics, cloths, skins, and provisions in abundance may be bought. Should there occur any unoccupied space in the midst of this moving crowd, it is immediately taken possession of by the dancers, who form themselves into a large ring, and commence turning, now to the right, now to the left, in a slow, marked measure, which ever and anon becomes more animated. In this dance the men and women hold each other by the hand, the Tsigan minstrels standing in the middle, and appa- rently taking a great deal of trouble, and exerting themselves violently, to execute their unending tunes. When the dancer has become tired of this diversion, he may leave it as soon as he chooses ; and any by-stander desirous of taking part in the dance may introduce himself among the party without ceremony ; accord- ingly, this interminable ball is kept up through a great portion of the night, the Wallachiians appearing passion- [140] ately fond of it. Whatever may be their enthusiasm, however, for this kind of exercise, they practise it with a dignity and decency of deportment truly remarkable. Even the Tsigan girls join in it with a modest and reserved demeanour. It was not unfrequent to see fifty or sixty dancers, dressed in a variety of picturesque costumes, linked together in one circle ; and an infinity of these circles were to be found throughout the extent of the plain, turning backwards and forwards round the screeching orchestras of the Bohemians. We took much pleasure in contemplating these simple diversions, which seem impressed with something of an antique severity. After wandering a considerable time among the crowd, we became accustomed, at last, to this atmosphere of din, confused cries, and sounds of bells and musical instruments ; but the arrangements for our departure summoned us away, and we returned to the steam-boat agent, who is also the apothecary of the place. We were but too fortunate in confiding ourselves to his courtesy ; and as we were enabled to communicate with him by means of the Italian language, this good-natured per- sonage began by prophesying that we should not leave Bukharest on that day : he knew well, he said, the apathy and ill-will of the captain of the post towards strangers. Meanwhile, as we were threatened with getting no dinner, for want of convenient quarters, our [141] protector conducted us to the purveyor of the Quarantine, where we made a frugal repast, somewhat in the Turkish fashion ; after which the honest apothecary, who had had our luggage safely stowed away, offered us the same hospitality, of which a few bundles of hay furnished forth the whole preparation.

" The power of obtaining post horses is only granted in Wallachia, as is the practice in Russia, to the bearer of a permit previously obtained from the superior autho- rities in the town ; and it is necessary to put down the price of the whole journey from one town to another, before this document, called a podorojnaia, and which has to be presented to the captain of the port at each intermediate stage, can be obtained. This being done, the traveller has nothing more to disburse than the gratuity with which he rewards the postillions. To obtain this passport on such a day was no easy matter, for the festival engrossed everything and everybody. The commandant of the place was entirely absorbed in the solemn duties of his office ; and his deputies, by way of contrast with the rejoicings of the day, displayed a degree of ill-humour which rendered them unapproachable. Another incon- venience was, that the Wallachian civilisation, in replacing Turkish manners, had not yet driven out of the erst Mahomedan city an annoying and sometimes dangerous bequest ; at nightfall, bands of wandering dogs take [142] possession of every quarter in Giuurjeyo, and render it difficult to pass through_ them, especially for strangers. In spite of every obstacle, however, we were thoroughly in order when, at midnight, the post-master in person arrived, with his numerous caroussi, to the door of the apothecary.

" Our baggage was already laden, when we found our- selves obliged to give up going, thanks to the obstinacy of the post-master, who refused to take any baggage. It was not till the next day, as had been predicted to us, that we were enabled to start, which we did, placing ourselves pell-mell with our luggage into two great peasant cars, and taking with us no other provisions than two loaves of black bread.

" When we had passed the gates of the city, we found ourselves in a meadow, or rather a large marsh, in which great herds of oxen, horses, buffaloes, and sheep were grazing ; we scarcely knew whither we were taken ; all that we could tell with certainty was, that we were proceeding to the northward, but no other sign or indication was there by which we could identify the road leading to the capital. The roads across these wilds are as uncertain as the caprice of man. The space is broad, ruts abound in every direction, and the peasant elects, according to his fancy, between the turf and the bare earth. Our first halt was near a well, in the depths of [143] a small valley. In Wallachia, wells are common, and invariably constructed in the same manner ; the trunk of a tree, hollowed out, lines the interior, and prevents the outward walls from falling in ; the great number and large dimensions of these natural cylinders, con- verted to this purpose, afford an idea of the magnificence of the vegetation in the mountains whence they are brought. The water is brought up by means of a lever, and the bucket employed is a block of oak, scooped out.

" By degrees, after leaving Giourjévo, the country becomes less barren, and a few tufts of young trees begin to cover the soil. For so many years the unfor- tunate Wallachian peasants, hunted like wild beasts, had seen their harvests pillaged, and their fields devastated by the Turks, that it is easy to imagine how much they dreaded the neighbourhood of their oppressors. They had, therefore, left a desert of six leagues between the Danube and their first farms, as a space abandoned to the inroads of the depredators — an accursed region, overrun every year by savage bands issuing from Giourjévo, to ruin every new settlement, and drive the panic-stricken husbandmen towards the mountains.

" We had to cross two or three muddy rivers, and at each of these passages we blessed the post-master for his capricious refusal, for if we had taken those low and frail equipages, our baggage must infallibly have been [144] swamped, and ourselves perhaps upset in these dan- gerous fords. More than once we met with large holes into which the horses sunk, dragging after them our massive carts. In these difficult conjunctures, the cries of our conductors became positive howlings. Some- times the horses, for a moment, stood still, powerless, and the postillion voiceless ; then, after incredible efforts, the heavy machine, dragged out at last from the abyss, issued heavily out of the river, leaving behind a long trace of blackish water and liquid mud.

" After having passed through several poor hamlets, whose wretched huts denoted the most abject misery, we came to a town where we again beheld with pleasure well constructed houses. A fine monastery, the entrance to which is surmounted by a tower, faces a tavern of un- usual dimensions. The walls of both these edifices have been decorated by an itinerant Raphael, who has repre- sented a most extraordinary variety of subjects, and in such numbers as certainly to show a prodigious fecundity. This daring artist has attempted to reproduce, on these whitened walls, the whole scale of creation ; he has first pourtrayed the principal species of the animal kingdom, not omitting even the kangaroo of Australia, who certainly could not have expected this honour; then coming to the human species, to the genus homo, he has delighted in representing the master-piece of creation in his most magnificent [145] attitudes. Here, were fine gentlemen and ladies; superb pashas, with black-pointed beards ; imposing boyards, with their gigantic kalpaks ; then Wallachian soldiers in full costume, and the whole crowned with foliage, sur- rounded with garlands, and bordered with fantastic trees.

A large see-saw, which threatened to hurl each of the players into the air, as, in their turn, they balanced themselves on its summit, was erected under the walls of the convent. The Wallachians are said to have a remarkable predilection for this kind of exercise. In the great saloon of the tavern, which is also covered with brilliant frescoes by the hand of the Wallachian Rembrandt, a gipsy was accompanying on the violin a youth who was singing a slow, solemn air, in a voice as true as it was clear. Judging from the expression of the music, and the emotion of his numerous audience, this chaunt, which consisted of two simple and touching movements, must have been one of those melancholy ballads in which all primitive people have told their traditions, and related their victories or their misfor- tunes. The Wallachians, those descendants of Rome so long despised, must have preserved some of those melodies, which are the consolation of bondage, the last., echoes of a happier destiny. Such, at least, were our impressions on hearing this simple air, sang by the poor Tsigan lad.


" On quitting this town, the name of which is Dérestié, we crossed a bridge of boats, and night soon overtook us ; we did not reach the gates of Bukharest till late in the evening, for our horses, jaded by a journey of twenty leagues, slackened their pace, and our conductors, now quite hoarse, had given up their noisy driving. Conducted, at first, into a khan, or caravanserai, of the most repulsive aspect, it was only by the aid of the Jews, a serviceable people, if ever there were one, that we were enabled to discover traces of the expedition which had arrived on the previous day. At last, after much trouble, and thanks to the thoughtfulness of our fore- runners, as well as the attention of a captain who had been sent by the Hospodar, we found ourselves at midnight established in the house of an Italian, where each could enjoy the delights of a bed consisting of planks laid across tressels."

The 13th of July found us all together in the capital of Wallachia, where our only difficulty was to choose among the many ways of spending every moment of our time usefully and agreeably. The first care in Bukharest is to secure an equipage : the great extent of the town renders this precaution necessary ; and what renders it still more imperious, fashion requires it ; for no person of any rank in society can be seen on foot in the streets. This custom, and that of the cloak, [147] which is worn on all occasions, as a protection against the dust, are anything but convenient to a stranger, anxious to see and observe everything. We soon set out, each on our own way, through this large city, whose populous streets are lined with numerous shops, in which activity is the substitute for wealth. One entire quarter is occupied by fur warehouses and tailors' work- shops. The streets, of unequal width, are irregularly built and ill paved, many not having pavement at all. The houses, for the most part, are little better than barns of rotten timber, among which are seen edifices of the most pretentious style of architecture. Unfortunately, the materials used for building in this country are of too fragile a nature to resist the climate ; and the finest houses in Bukharest are, in consequence, woefully dilapidated in their exterior, notwithstanding their luxurious display of flowery ornaments. What strikes one most in this town, is the variety of costumes and countenances — a fresh type occurring every moment, amidst this large population. The people here go about the town in a much more brisk and busy way than would be expected in the lower orders, who have retained their oriental character. The artisans, porters and work- ing men of Bukharest do not seem to be afraid of work ; but that which gives peculiar animation to this place, is the immense number of Jews who inhabit it : active, [148] insinuating, and never discouraged, they disseminate life and movement about them ; for they spare neither trouble nor fatigue, in the hope of obtaining the smallest recom- pense. Thus, the moment you perceive the broad- brimmed hat, and black rusty gown of a Jew, you may reckon upon commanding, if you please, the services of a clever, intelligent, indefatigable servant, ready to submit to everything — contempt or anger. You may, without fear, ask anything of this man : he will answer you in German, in Italian — perhaps in as many as four lan- guages ; and for a few piastres — putting aside all other business — his industry, his ingenuity, his silence, his patience, his eloquence, his virtues, his vices, his soul and his body — all are yours. And if for a momentary service, on some slight occasion, you have once employed an Israelite, do not imagine it an easy thing to get rid of him : he is henceforth yours, or rather, you are his : he will never leave you ; he will follow you at twenty paces distance in the street, and at the distance of twenty paces will divine what you want. He will take his seat on the threshold of the house you have just entered, and on coining out, you will meet his wily, respectful glance, soliciting some command. He sleeps on your staircase — under your carriage ; becomes the servant of your own people ; greets your dog in the streets ; and is never absent for an instant : though you [149] may have repelled him with roughness twenty times, he still persists and perseveres in his attentions. After thus rebuffing him, you may find yourself some day, at some particular moment, for some passing whim, in want of a Jew. Scarcely have you formed the wish, than he appears, as though starting up from the earth, bending with his accustomed humility, in that peculiar attitude of the Jews, which is neither erect nor bowed down, with submissive air and attentive ears. This moment is the triumph of the Jew : he has purchased it at the cost of forty-eight hours of incessant watching, fatigue and humiliation. Scarcely have you spoken, when your wishes are obeyed — obeyed with punctuality, acuteness, and respect; and when, after all this trouble and self- denial, the poor bearded and tattered sprite fingers his cherished recompense — that coin which he has dogged, which he has invoked, whose humble varlet he has been for two days — you see, by his grateful expression, that he commends you to the gracious protection of Abraham and Isaac, and that he is ready to undergo the same trouble and fatigue for a similar reward.

A number of interesting visits which we all paid together took up the whole of this day. We saw the Museum of Bukharest, which is specially devoted to natural history, and takes up a space daily growing in extent, as the collections, which have not long been commenced, [150] increase in importance. The public library is established in the same building, and is composed of about seven thousand volumes. This scanty nucleus awaits further additions, by which the departments of science and history, the latter especially, will require to be better represented. On taking leave of these interesting establishments, already so prosperous, when it is considered how recent has been the regeneration of the principality, I felt great pleasure in presenting the mineralogical collection with a specimen of our Siberian platina, which, I trust, will remain as a memento of the kind reception we met with on the occasion of our visit. We were conducted thence to the college. The appearance of the spacious and commodious buildings, and of the young students dressed in a pretty uniform, at once gave a favourable impression of this institution.

In a state of such limited extent as Wallachia, public charges, henceforward to be conferred on the most capable, will become the object of a competition, which must have a good effect on the education of youth.

The wise intentions of Prince Alexander Ghika will tend to endow the country with a nursery of enlightened young men, destined to vie with the youth of other European countries. If we reflect from what a state these unfortunate Turkish provinces have emerged — what they have done, and what they are yet destined to achieve, [151] it is impossible to withhold our acknowledgments from the man who has laid the noble seeds of civilisation in these principalities — General Kisseleff — one of those crea- tive geniuses so rarely met with, whose far-sighted benevolence is able to penetrate into the future. Nor can we avoid also acknowledging, that the plans of the General have been bequeathed to worthy successors, and that the rising generation of Wallachia appears well pre- pared to put them into practice.

On this head let me be allowed to remark how painful it has been to us to see travellers, after being received, as was the case with us, with that warmth of hospitality and devotion to the pleasure and comfort of the foreign visitor, writing, on their return, accounts so harsh in their criticism, and so forgetful of the mild and polished manners of their hosts. These travellers who, like us, visited every part of Bukharest, appear far too eager to note the sores, as yet imperfectly healed, which the present condition of society has inherited from the ancient order of things. If, in the freedom of conversations too soon allowed to become confidential, our pre- decessors were able to discover the existence of these evils, what good purpose is attained by disclosing them to Europe, who will not call the principalities to account for their listless attitude during the long period of moral torpor, which they have happily shaken oil', but for the [152] manner in which they have employed the years since their restoration to that better state, whose re-invigorating effects they have already experienced ? Now, in this point of view, it is perfectly true to state, that no European community has been more active in working out its way towards the right goal, through all the obstacles with which its path has been encumbered. In proof of this, examples might be cited of more than one important reform adopted and incorporated into their habits of life. After all, our somewhat critical narrators, who have paid for the hospitality of Bukharest in the coin of their witty sarcasms, will not deny, so well are they acquainted with history, that there are nations whose moral and political regeneration date only fifty years back, and who are scarcely better endowed with principles.

Having come to the end of this digression, let us return to our visits. Dr. Mayer, a German physician, an intelli- gent person, and a man of the world, showed us over the military hospital which is under his direction. This establishment, contained in a building not originally con- structed for a hospital, leaves much to be desired as regards situation and salubrity. The supply of air in the wards was deficient. The number of sick was con- siderable, febrile affections being common in the country, and raging at particular seasons of the year, although considerably mitigated by the sanitary regulations to which [153] the soldiery are subjected. The large hospital of Panteleïmon, situated in one of the approaches to the city, appeared to us much better adapted to its purposes. This establishment, instituted by a number of philan- thropic subscribers, presents a suite of spacious apart- ments, in which light and air, the life and hope of the sick man, find free admission. The only objection to be made is, that the large space occupied by the admini- strative staff is lost to the patients, and takes up a room which might be employed for the relief of a few more unfortunate people. The bedsteads used at Pan- teleïmon are of iron, while those of the military hospital are of wood. While visiting the latter place, we beheld the frightful ravages of a horrible disease, not to be men- tioned, originating, for the most part, in the unbridled vices of capital cities. On our return from these excur- sions, we met the reigning prince, who stopped his carriage, and invited the entire party to come on the following evening to his residence, situated, at that season of the year, some distance from the city.

The morning of the 15th of July was devoted to visiting the General Assembly, the name given to the chamber of representatives of Wallachia. Prince Michael Ghika and Prince Cantacuzène were kind enough to be our introducers. The hall in which the deliberations are held, is a building connected with the metropolitan [154] church, standing on a hill which commands the city of Bukharest, and forms a most picturesque site. This church, like all the others in the capital, is surrounded by spacious cloisters, the entrance to which is by two solid gateways, surmounted by towers, an arrangement which formerly enabled them to carry on a protracted defence. The metropolitan church is not an important monument; it is surmounted by three belfries, the domes of which, as well as the roofing of the church, are in metal ; and the whole group of buildings is covered with a coat of dazzling whitewash. In the front of the edifice, which is at one of its narrowest ends, stands a peristyle, the interior of which is adorned with a profusion of paintings of the most varied description. The nave of the church is narrow, and thickly covered with gilding and images ; the screen which shuts off the sanctuary is decked with the richest ornaments. The light struggles into the vaulted interior through narrow elongated windows.


In a building forming part of the cloisters stands the Hall of Assembly ; access to which is through a small ante-room. Within this hall, remarkable for its simplicity, like that in which the Diet of Hungary assemble, are held the deliberations of the Boyards ; it is long and narrow, and at one end stands, sur- mounted by a canopy, an arm-chair, occupied by the Metropolitan, who is the constitutional president of the [155] Assembly. The forty-three members composing the As- sembly were almost all present ; among them might be seen one or two old Boyards, retaining the ample and majestic costume worn by them under the Turkish rule ; they still keep to their beards and voluminous kalpaks. The military chiefs take part in the deliberations, dressed in their uniforms, and wearing their swords. The mem- bers speak from the places where they are seated in front of a table covered with green cloth, and the ministers are not separated from the rest of the As- sembly. The order of the day was a debate on the subject of certain modifications in the organic law, or constitution of the country, having regard more par- ticularly to ordinances enacted during the interval between the sessions of the Legislative Assembly. M. Stirbey, the Minister of Justice, sustained almost alone, yet without apparent fatigue, the whole weight of the debate. However warm the arguments might grow during this Parliamentary discussion, none of the orators were observed to outstep the forms of a polite conver- sation. That portion of the hall which is appropriated to the public contained but few spectators ; these generally remain standing, but as soon as we entered, several Boyards were courteous enough to have seats placed for us. It is only within a short time that the delibe- rations of the Assembly have been made public ; and [156] even up to the present day, the public journals have not yet obtained permission to report the debates. On quitting the hall, we were accompanied by one of the members, Colonel Philipesko, who belongs to one of the most ancient families in the country. This officer, who received an excellent education in France, com- mands the 1st Regiment of Wallachian troops, and presents to his native city the remarkable example of solid acquirements allied with perfect elegance and grace of manners. It was in company with this good-natured guide that we visited the various portions of the edifice and its admirable site. From this height, Bukharest is seen to stretch out towards a distant horizon ; in fact, this city, interspersed as it is with a number of gardens, covers an immense area ; and, with its many-coloured roofs, lofty towers rising from more than sixty churches, and verdant tufts mingling with the mass of buildings, presents a most picturesque appearance. In the evening we obeyed the invitation of the Hospodar, and had the honour of being received at his residence of Scouffa, which is situated a few versts from Bukharest, on the banks of the Dombovitza. The house is small, and of the humblest description ; but the gardens, which stretch out into a small vale, through which the river flows, render this summer residence far preferable even to the house occupied by the prince in the city. Bukharest [157] no longer possesses any palace for the Wallachian princes. In 1812, that which then existed, and which was very vast, was burnt down. The Hospodar now resides in a large and splendid mansion, his own property. The interview we had with him passed off, like the first, in the most interesting conversation, in which the correct and practical judgment, and unchanging benevolence of the prince, appeared in the most favourable light. As on the first occasion, also, the Hospodar was surrounded by his family, the princesses, his sisters-in-law, and a large number of officers. The elegant uniform of the latter only served as a foil to the simple attire of the prince, who wore a black dress coat, and a waistcoat with large lapels folded back. This fashion is said to be peculiar to himself ; and, indeed, we saw it adopted by no other person. At night every one proceeded to the city, which was soon reached, and the little court visited the theatre, of which, had we chosen, we might have done the honours ; for the theatre was, as it were, the ante-chamber of our apartment. A few scenes of Semiramide, and a very lively German comedy, were the performances of the evening.

The next day the garrison of Bukharest was reviewed by Prince Constantine Ghika. The manoeuvres, executed by these troops with great precision, are all upon the Russian model. We were invited by the Spathar to be [158] present at this review, and were stationed by his side, when an unfortunate occurrence interrupted the pro- ceedings for a while, and caused much anxiety among the spectators. The prince, who had remained too near the fire of the troops, was struck in the face by a car- tridge. The wound which it occasioned — a slight one, Heaven be thanked I — and a burn which might become serious, were immediately dressed by our companion, Ur. Léveillé ; whereupon the Spathar mounted his horse, and proceeded with the review.

A dinner, to which the Hospodar graciously invited us, brought us in company with the élite of society at Bukharest ; the réunion took place beneath the fine trees at Scouffa, in a broad space inaccessible to the rays of the sun. During the repast, which was preceded by the schale, a slight collation taken also in Russia previous to sitting down to dinner, two bands of music, concealed behind the foliage, played alternately the national airs of Wallachia, and the singular melodies of the Tsigans. The orchestra of the Tsigans, composed, as it is, of discordant instruments, nevertheless produces effects which could never be obtained by means of the regular and correct harmonies to which European ears are accustomed; as regards the measure, it is unequal, hopping, halting, and breaks out into unexpected changes. After dinner, Wallachian dances were executed, and we [159] were so charmed with the severe precision and perfect ensemble of the dancers, that the prince was kind enough to prolong these diversions in our favour, and to procure us copies of the airs, so full of originality and simple grace, which we here insert, and which accompany this Roman dance, Hora Roumaniaska, as it is called by the people of Wallachia. While the dancers were performing wonders, the Bohemians continued with unflagging spirit their interminable melodies. Two mandolines, two violins, pan pipes, and a sort of muffled bass, constituted the whole instrumental resources of these skilful execu- tants, whose fine brown faces, animated with their musical ardour, produced a charming picture. When we had long enjoyed these rustic diversions, we betook ourselves to the vast and splendid drawing-rooms of M. Philipesko, where an elegant ball had assembled all the élite of the dancing folk of Bukharest. I know of no city in Europe in which it is possible to find more agreeable society, or in which there is a better tone, united with the most charming gaiety. This delightful ball was kept up till far in the night, and it was a pleasant sight to see the master of the house, the Aga Philipesko, in his ample Boyard dress, his fine head fringed with a long, silky- white beard, surrounded by a swarm of young and pretty women, whose gauze and ribbons, long tresses, and charming faces, were so well matched with the gentle [160] physiognomy of the stately old man. It was a faithful emblem of the situation of their country, which has unhesitatingly adopted the pleasures and unrestricted manners of the western world. In vain would the austere boyards oppose this invasion of modern fashions and frivolities ; the present generation must have their spacious drawing-rooms, in which the waltz and the mazourka may freely develop their whirling mazes ; they must have costumes which will not fetter the graceful movements of the mazourka, nor embarrass the dancer in threading the labyrinth of the French quadrille. And is it not in reason that this youthful race, called upon to take share in the civilisation which is invading the east, should adopt whatever seems to befit it, from all the elegancies and refinements, no less than the gloomy political ideas now settling upon their country ? Soon enough will come the cares of public life — the anxieties of business, of industry, and speculation ! Wallachia has been long enough enchained, to be allowed a short time for breath, ere it enter upon the stern career of a nation bent upon governing itself. To a nation thus awakening, it may be permitted to say, sometimes : " To-morrow we will think of serious business."

Such was our existence at Bukharest; pleasures, visits, hospitable meetings, interesting excursions, and clear and lively observations on all that struck our minds or [161] attracted our eyes. In all quarters, it was a struggle who should render us the most valuable services : the most illustrious and honourable inhabitants of this good city placed themselves at our disposal, to increase our traveller's budget ; and it would have been scarcely possible to have employed five fleeting days more profitably than we did. As soon as we had set our own personal notes in order, and collected those furnished us by several enlightened persons (at the head of whom we were kindly allowed to place the Hospodar, and his minister, M. Stirbey), we threw a last parting and grateful glance at this city, which has already become worthy to be numbered among the most interesting capitals. For the last time, we strolled through its tortuous streets, once more halting before the churches, with their twisted columns and elegant friezes, resplen- dent with coloured medallions and holy images ; we hastily paid another visit to the old quarters of the city, and to the public drive of the fashionable world ; we breathed the fragrant air of the cafés, where the smokers assemble, and the journals of every nation gratify the curiosity of a public, greedy of the political news of the world ; and having done all this, we bethought ourselves of our departure.

With respect to the statistics of Bukharest, we are enabled to give here the amount of population, according to the last census :-- [162]
Inhabitants of both sexes.
Boyards 2,598
Persons composing the households of Boyards5,757
Inhabitants of various classes46,604
Lay Priests256
Their families and households1,058
Jews, their families and households [This figure represents almost the total number of Jews established in Wallachia ; but very few are found in the rural districts, as they do not practice agriculture.2,583

In this number are omitted ten or twelve thousand individuals, who have no permanent domicile in the city, and only come there from time to time, for their business or pleasure.

There are in the city of Bukharest :
Printing Establishments3
Journals-The National Museum, and The Wallachian Courier2
Society for Literary Publications1
School of Arts and Trades, for Soldiers1

The ordinary food of the people consists of porridge, made of the meal of Indian wheat, or millet-a sort [163] of polenta : meat or salt fish are almost unknown to them. Their principal spirituous beverage is a brandy distilled from plums.

The city of Bukharest is divided into five districts, each taking its name from one of the five colours — yellow, red, green, blue and black. The Aga is the head of the police, and under his orders are five com- missioners, one for each district ; these superintend a greater or less number of sub-commissioners, according to the extent of the district.

After expressing our gratitude to the good and amiable Prince, from whom we parted with very sincere feelings of regret, and after taking leave of his family, and all who had shown us so much kindness, we quitted Bukharest on the 17th of July.

Our caravan was augmented by two carriages, which we had bought in the country : they were light covered car- riages, and, as the sequel will show, solid enough for anything.

Forty horses were procured for us, and placed along our route ; and the generous attention of the Prince wont so far as to send estaffettes, to make sure of our being properly supplied : we were accordingly carried along with extreme speed. We first of all traversed a marshy and gloomy tract, and at twelve we forded the Yalomnitza, whose swollen waters rolled rapidly along. The relays [164] were waiting for us in the open fields. At these isolated stations, a clay hut is the ordinary shelter of the captain of the post. Our lengthy caravan proceeded in this way rapidly over these melancholy steppes, until a succession of heavy showers inundated the whole surrounding country, and rendered our progress slower and more laborious. An escort of gendarmes (dorobantz), whom we encountered at one of the stations, galloped by the side of our carriages, and when the roads became bad, kept them up with their hands ; showing themselves zealously attentive, whenever any difficulties occurred. Meanwhile, we kept advancing towards the north, and approaching still nearer and nearer a fine chain of mountains, on the summits of which were accumulated heavy black vapours. More than one gang of Tsigans, overtaken by the storm, had pitched their dark tents upon the plain, and were preparing to receive the squall which was threatening to burst upon us. Beneath these smoky retreats might be seen half-clad women and girls, with one or two naked children crouching near them ; poor little deformities, with distended bellies and ema- ciated limbs. The prairie soon became a deep marsh : horses, escort and carriages were wading through water ; and now and then, when a ditch presented itself, we had either to make a circuit, or leap it by dint of blows and vociferations. It was a singular sight to [165] see these four coaches ploughing their way beneath a leaden sky, through inundated meadows, and at every unexpected hole, at every jolt against some obstacle beneath the water, threatening to roll over and remain buried in the mud. During these moments, every one was animated. with fresh zeal. The attentive dorobantz lent a timely assistance to each endangered carriage ; and the postillions addressed their foaming steeds no longer with vociferations, but in the mildest language, and using words of encouragement in an almost fraternal tone ; for indeed these unfortunate animals quite exceeded their strength during this long and difficult journey. At length we reached Bouzéo, in the midst of roaring thunder and a dense torrent of rain, through which we could scarcely descry the green belfries and white walls of the vast abbey, the fitting residence of a bishop who is one of the wealthiest prelates of Wallachia. Our escort had fortunately obtained a reinforcement ; and their assistance was at once put into requisition in crossing a torrent, the bed of which was not yet quite filled up by the rain. As we approached the Bouzéo, however, which flows between very steep banks, it was much feared that my carriage would be left behind : it had, in the first instance, crossed the torrent in safety, but on reaching the other side, a slippery steep presented itself, which it required half-an-hour of struggles and [166] vociférations, and more than twenty horses, to ascend. We had previously been shut up in a sort of ark, but afterwards made our way out by the carriage door, on the backs of the horses, which we used as stepping- stones, to escape a frightful bed of mud two feet deep.

At Rimnik we were to find beds. A Wallachian gentleman, M. Nikolesko, informed of our arrival, was ordering preparations for our reception, at the very time that we were inundated with the waters of heaven, and almost buried in the muddy depths of the plain. Un- fortunately, as we approached the Rimnik, which we had to cross before we could gain this much desired shelter, we found the river so turbulent, that not one of our guides would venture across it during so dark a night ; accord- ingly, we had to resign ourselves to spend the night in our carriages, and in the hovel of a peasant, who could only offer us a quantity of straw, which no horse having any pretensions to English blood would have had for his litter. Towards three in the morning, the sky had in some measure cleared, the river had become fordable, and it was not long before we reached Rimnik.

This mischance prevented our profiting by the hos- pitable preparations sp kindly made for our reception. Arriving at so inconvenient an hour, we felt the greatest scruple to disturh the household of M. Nikolesko, and [167] took fresh horses to proceed without delay to the Mol- davian frontier.

The residence of the noble Boyard appeared vast and sumptuous. It is built in the Italian style, with open galleries. Rimnik itself is a considerable town, and possesses a castle built of bricks, in the Turkish style. It was here that Souvoroff engaged with Mustapha Pasha, and carried off a victory which won him the title of Count of Rimnik. On the 18th, at daybreak, the weather liad become fine ; the plains wore an appearance of freshness charming to the eye, and a grateful sun warmed our benumbed limbs. We soon forgot the fatigues of this detestable night, and arrived at Fokschani, where the president of the district, M. George Razo, received us with the most pressing marks of politeness.

Foksehani forms the last limit of the Wallachian ter- ritory. A small stream in the midst of this city, the Milkove, over which there is a wooden bridge, marks the common boundary of the two principalities. The situation is favourable to trade ; and this little town appears to be in no want of traders, more especially Jews. The Hotel de France, kept by a Frenchman, accom- modated a portion of our party ; while the president of the district honoured me with the hospitality of his own house in the Wallachian quarter of the town. The Ispravnik, or chief of the police, united with this superior [168] functionary in offering us his services. The district of which Fokschani forms a part, is called Poutna, and contains twenty-five thousand families. A French mis- sionary is established on this frontier ; he professes the Roman Catholic faith, to which twenty churches are devoted in Wallachia, and sixty in Moldavia. This morose priest, on once more meeting with Frenchmen, instead of giving himself up to the very natural pleasure of hearing about his distant country, preferred enter- taining his compatriots with endless complaints of the men and things of the country in which he had been established for several years. With such feelings, life, in these distant and solitary regions, must be sad indeed.

A favourable opportunity appeared now to present, itself for classifying the documents with which our amiable hosts at Bukharest had enriched us ; and before quitting Wallachia, we arranged them in the order which appeared most fitting to give our readers an idea of the country we had just travelled through. Six days spent in the territories of this principality were, doubtless, not sufficient to have allowed us to collect, from our own observations, information sufficiently complete on this country ; nevertheless, we purpose, in the following simple statements, to put to use, in the first instance, the fruits of a special course of reading carried on during the leisure hours left us by our journey down [169] the Danube ; and next, the result of our conversations with a number of well-informed persons, with whom it was our good fortune to meet at Bukharest.

If we devote a few pages to the history of the ancient Wallachian people, it is not that we have any intention to enter more seriously than our subject will allow into the question of their origin. But, when we con- sider the distinguishing traits of these people — the empire which the memory of their ancient condition still exercises over them — keeping in view those Roman traditions handed down from a period not less than eighteen centuries back, it would be almost cruel to dispute their glorious origin, traceable to the Dacians and the Romans. Moreover, we have no inclination to call into question the genuineness of those Dacians sculptured in marble on Trajan's column, and bearing so strong a resemblance to the Wallachians of the present day. Let us, therefore, leave the question of their origin, and come at once to the history of the principality. The following is, in a few words, what we have been able to collect from books on the ancient history of this country.

Towards the beginning of our era, the regions now divided under the names of Wallachia, Moldavia, and I Transylvania, formed the kingdom of those terrible Dacians so frequently mentioned in the odes of Horace, [170] and who were descended from the Scythians, or Sarmatians. They were for a long time so formidable, that when led by Decebalus, one of their kings, Rome was alarmed, and Domitian accepted the terms of a disgraceful peace. Trajan, to revenge this defeat, twice led his victorious legions to the shores of the Danube ; and to this epoch belong the curious vestiges previously spoken of, as well as the bridge so daringly conceived, the remains of which are seen not far from Skela. So soon as Dacia was subjected, Roman colonies took possession of the terri- tory so long plunged in barbarism, and it was governed by one of the Roman proctors.

This state of things continued up to the third century, at which time an invasion of Goths and Huns fell upon Dacia ; but the Roman Empire was already tottering to its fall, and Aurelian contented himself with recalling his colonists, to whom he assigned other lands in Meesia. Wrested from the grasp of Rome, these countries shortly fell a prey to the Huns (they were driven back after the death of Attila into Scythia), to the Gepidi, who treated with the Romans ; the Lombards, who, under Justinian, marched to the conquest of Italy ; and of the Avari, or White Huns, who, according to some historians, dared to threaten Byzantium, and were destroyed by Heraclius.

From the seventh to the ninth century, we find ancient Dacia occupied by the Slavonians and the [171] Bulgarians, who had crossed the Danube to take pos- session of these fertile lands, and if we may rely on certain writers, it is exactly to the period of the Sla- vonian invasion, that we are to refer the origin of the name Wallach, which is given to these people. The Slavonians, they assert, were accustomed to designate the Romans by the generic name Vlacci, or Vlassi ; what can be less astonishing, than that they should apply the same name to a people long subject to the government of Rome. On the other hand, the lovers of etymology have discovered an etymon for the word Vlacci, like most of those discovered by them. They suppose that the first Roman colonies were established in Dacia, under the command of a certain Flaccus, and that, accordingly, the whole country was called Flaccia, and the inhabitants Flacci, whence the Vlacci of the Slavonians, and our modern Wallachia. The wisest course, in our opinion, in these questions as to names and origin, is to refer to the inhabitants of the soil, whose local traditions are frequently surer guides than the researches of historians. Accordingly, if we consult the inhabitants themselves of Wallachia as to the origin of their name, they will tell us that the name Wallach, a modern appellation, is only known to history since the twelfth century, and was applied to them by foreigners alone, it being almost unknown to the people of the [172] principality. These people call themselves Roumann, Roman ; they call their native country, Wallachia, Tsara Roumaneska, Roman land. Moreover, the Wallachian arms consist of the Roman eagle, to which a cross has been added ; and if, in the last place, we look at the masculine and robust physiognomy of the population, bearing an incredible resemblance to the Transteverini of the present day, if we search into their language, their games, their festivals, we shall find undoubted traces of the glorious origin to which the Wallachians lay claim. And this origin it would be ungracious to dispute ; where, besides, would be the evil if this people should still feel within itself a little of that noble pride which has sustained and consoled it through its reverses? The people of Wallachia, of the present day, we will admit, therefore, according to all appearances, are the representatives of the Dacians and the Romans, and the Slavonians, who came into the country as con- querors, constitute the nobility of the land.

Some of these Slavonians, however, taking along with them a certain number of the ancient inhabitants of Dacia, had formed a separate settlement between the river Olt and the Danube, in order to withdraw them- selves from the calamities by which these unfortunate regions were so frequently visited. This union of people constituted themselves into a national body, and they [173] elected a chief, on whom they conferred the title of Ban. Such is the origin of the Banat, that portion of Wallachia which stretches along the Upper Danube, and of which Craiova is the capital.

Up to the thirteenth century, the successive invasions of the Scythians, and of the Tatars of Tchinguis-Khan, had driven away almost the entire ancient population of Dacia. Wallachia and Moldavia, then almost depo- pulated, placed themselves under the protection of Hun- gary. About this time, under the reign of Louis I., appeared Raddoulo-Negro, or Rodolph the Black, the first voïevode of Wallachia proper. Expelled from the Hungarian provinces by the irruption of the Tatar hordes under Batou-Khan, this chief returned with his dismayed companions to seek a refuge amid the solitudes of their native land.

The provinces then breathed awhile, and once more assumed a stable form under their voïevodes. Gradually reduced to discipline, and skilled in the art of war, the Wallachians became sufficiently powerful to resist all attempts upon their independence on the part of the Hungarian sovereigns ; and more than this, they sent an invading army against the Turks, their neighbours, whose territories had been left without defence on the Danubian side. Bajazet checked this enterprise in time, and exacted a tribute from Wallachia.


For the space of nearly a century, the Wallacliians now singly, now with the assistance of the Hungarians, attempted in vain to shake off the rude yoke of Turkey, whose hand only fell with a heavier weight upon their country. At length, towards 1520, Mahomed II., having expelled the sovereign of Wallachia, imposed a new voïevode upon the principality, bearing the title of pasha, and concluded a treaty with it, the principal articles of which still remain inherent in the constitution of the country. During the period which succeeded this treaty, the influence of Turkey over Wallachia continued to extend itself more and more; and in 1544, a portion of the Wallachian territory was ceded to the Ottoman Empire, and fortresses were erected on the borders of the Danube, at Ibrad, Giourjevo, and Tourno, which were occupied by Turkish garrisons.

Such was the state of things when, in 1593, a voïevode called Michael, resolved to shake off the Ottoman yoke. Supported by alliances formed with skilful policy, he held in check the power of the Turks, whom he had driven from their fortresses, with such effect, that Mahomed III., after sustaining a long contest, at the head of a formidable army, was forced to abandon his pretensions. After the death of Michael, however, the dissensions which arose in the councils of the clergy and nobles, caused Wallachia to fall. once more under the authority of the [175] Sultans, who, as in former times, took away all freedom in the election of the voïevodes, and exacted a tribute.

In the meantime, Bukharest, towards the end of the seventeenth century, had become the seat of government in Wallachia, and Bessarab, who reigned in 1710, had assumed an attitude sufficiently imposing to induce the surrounding powerful nations to seek an alliance with him. Intelligences with Austria, and with Peter the Great, conducted with too timid a hand, and acts of fatal irresolution, which cost him his head, signalised the reign of this prince. Shortly after the termination of his reign, the Sublime Porte united the two principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia under one government ; abolished definitively the right of electing voïevodes, and sent them a sovereign of its own choosing, from among the Greek families of Constantinople, whose long habits of submission rendered them fitting instruments to carry out its sovereign wishes.

Nicolas Mavrocordato was the first voïevode who governed the two principalities. Under his successor, Constantine, whose rule commenced in 1740, the country enjoyed a few years of peace and stability. At the end of the century, war having broken out between the Porte and Russia, our army occupied the principalities and the places of strength on the Danube during four years, [176] at the end of which the celebrated treaty of perpetual peace was concluded at the camp of Koutchouk-Kainardji, July 10-22, 1774. This treaty, confirmed by subse- quent conventions, stipulated in its 26th Article, that the principalities be restored to the Porte, which should resume possession of the fortresses ; but, in consenting to this restitution, the Empress guaranteed to the inha- bitants of Wallachia and Moldavia, the free exercise of their religion, the liberty of transporting their persons and their property to other lands, and an exemption from all taxes during a certain number of years. She obtained for the sovereigns of the principalities the favour of having Christian chargés d'affaires at the court of the Sultan, and reserved to the ministers and the consul of Russia the right of acting as representatives at the Sublime Porte, in the affairs of the principalities. In 1784, the Sultan Abdulhamid re-enacted, by a special rescript, all the clauses favourable to the principalities, renounced the right of establishing his subjects on their territories, and reduced the amount to be thenceforward exacted, whether in the shape of tribute money, or presents.

In a short time, however, the Ottoman cabinet paid but little regard to its solemn engagements, and when the French Revolution broke out, a fresh occupation by Russia and Austria was found necessary, the result of [177] which was the Treaty of Yassy, by which the condition of the principalities was fixed in accordance with the treaties of 1774 and 1784, before quoted.

At the beginning of the present century, the Ottoman government appearing to lean towards an alliance with the Emperor Napoleon, this symptom required a fresh occu- pation of the principalities. From 1806 to 1812, the Russians retained possession of the territory, and the treaty of Bukharest, which fixes' the boundary of the empire at the Pruth, confirmed all the former guarantees secured to the principalities, alleviated their burdens, and limited to seven years the reign of each Hospodar. At this period, Wallachia was governed by Prince Caradja. Threatened by the Porte, this prince suddenly adopted the resolution of secretly quitting his states. He executed this project in 1818, leaving the cares of administration during his absence in the hands of the Boyards. The latter turned to the Sultan, and requested that the govern- ment of the principalities should henceforward lie with the divan, thus hoping to put an end to the calamities attending the administration of the Greek princes : but the Sultan gave no heed to the petition of the Boyards, and sent Prince Alexander Soutzo to Wallachia. The death of this prince, in 1821, was followed by some attempts at insurrection : moreover, on all sides, symp- toms of commotion were manifested, whose distant echo [178] awakened, in the most remote provinces, ideas of eman- cipation. Spain, Italy and Egypt, were the scenes of im- portant events ; and the eyes of Europe were fixed upon them. It was at this period that these countries were occupied for the last time, and the long and bloody war which brought the Ottoman empire to the brink of its ruin, terminated in the treaty of Adrianople. The eman- cipation of the principalities dates from this treaty. While an organic law was being prepared for Wallachia and Moldavia, General Kisseleff, invested with the command of the troops in the two provinces, received the title of plenipotentiary president ; and thus, in the hands of this illustrious chieftain (known, hitherto, as a skilful soldier) were vested all the necessary powers for directing the reform of this country according to the stipulations of the treaties of Ak-Kermann and Adrianople. The task was of immense difficulty, embracing in its scope all the important questions of social order, and presenting obstacles of every description. The genius of Kisseleff, urged by an unchangeable love of good, and strengthened by a firm will and indefatigable activity, brought this important reform to a successful issue, and substituted law and order to a monstrous despotism, which, for more than two centuries, had crushed these unfortunate people. Entering the principalities at the close of a ruinous war, the military legislator had, in the first instance, to [179] contend against the most cruel calamities — the plague, famine, every form of human misery, and, worse than all, the moral prostration of the people. But his strong will overcame every obstacle ; it was powerful enough to effect a thorough reform, and to lay the foundation of future stability. To General Kisseleff, this country, previously so ill-governed, owes the whole of its present administration. He created its army, regulated its finances, established civil laws which it had never before possessed: he taught it at the same time order and obedience, and thus his name has become familiar in the mouths of the people ; and he holds that place in the gratitude of the nation to which he is entitled. When, at last, his mission was accomplished, and the new Hospodars, recognised by the empire, entered upon their functions under the protection of a constitution prudently devised, General Kisseleff quitted the countries whose salvation he had effected, and in which he will for ever be respected.

Thus, then, by virtue of the last beneficial revolution which it has undergone, Wallachia is governed by a Hospodar elected for life by an extraordinary assembly of Boyards, with the investiture of the Porte, and the approval of Russia. The nationality of the country is res- pected; and no point of its territories can be occupied by a Turkish garrison. The General Assembly, which exercises [180] the legislative power conjointly with the Prince, is com- posed of forty-three members, including the president. The latter. office is always filled by the Metropolitan of Bukharest ; the remaining forty-two members are elected by a College of Boyards, who vote secretly. Ministers cannot be elected as deputies.

The following is an enumeration of offices and dignities in Wallachia ; by the effect of circumstances common to all small states, the titles conferred on these offices are the more vain and pompous, as the wealth and extent of the principalities are limited.

The first rank in the state, after that of Hospodar, is that of Bono. This ancient title belonged to the sovereigns of that part of Wallachia which is called the Banat ; and Craiova was the residence of the bano. This dignity now gives to its possessor the right of a seat in the council, or divan, as it is called, while in his government he is represented by a deputy, who is called caïmacan.

Four vorniks, chosen from the nobility, are members of the divan by birth, and, together with the bano and the metropolitan, exercise the judicial functions.

Two logothetes are also added to the council ; their office is to signify the sentences pronounced by the court and ratified by the prince.

The spathar is a member of the divan, and commands the whole of the armed forces.


The vestiar is the grand treasurer, and as such holds a seat in the divan.

The postelnik performs the office of secretary to the prince.

The divan effendi is secretary to the divan.

The public offices of the second order are : The cloziar, whose office is merely honorary ; the aya, charged with the direction of the general and municipal police of Bukharest; and the commisso, or prince's equerry.

Among the offices held by the inferior nobility, are the caminar; the harnache, who sees to the execution of criminal sentences, and superintends the rIsigan gold- gatherers; the paharnik, or cup-bearer; the stolnik, or steward.

Four ministers and a secretary of state mariage the affairs of the principality. The different offices are: — home affairs, justice, public worship, and finance. A court of controul, a quarantine committee, and a prison commission, complete the administration.

The spathar, as before stated, commands the soldiery. There are three regiments under his orders, each of which consists of two battalions ; the whole military force of the principality being thus about five thousand men. Ten staff officers are attached to the person of the reigning prince.


Wallachia, which contains 22 cities, 15 towns, and 3,560 villages, presented, according to the census in 1837, a total of 339,322 houses. The territory is divided into seventeen districts, twelve on this side of the Alouta, and five beyond. Each of these districts is governed by two ispravniks, chosen from among the Boyards. A judge has recently been appointed to each district, and also a samessi — a superintendent of taxes, invested with a controllership over the administration of the ispravniks. The latter functionary is unremovable, while the rest are revocable annually. This arrangement, retained from the Turkish system, should be promptly abolished, if it be desired to establish the public administration on a just and proper basis.

The districts are themselves subdivided into plaças, each plaça having a separate collector of taxes.

The chief town of a district is governed by a municipal council, under the direction of a president or mayor, assisted by three members. The civil registers, which had no existence previous to the presidentship of General Kisseleff, are kept by the clergy, and are in duplicate. One of the registers is kept at the parish church ; the other is sent to the record-office of the district tribunal.

The administration of justice has especially benefitted by the new order of things in Wallachia. The law, it is true, still exhibits traces of its former despotic forms ; [183] but it must be acknowledged, nevertheless, that marked ameliorations have been introduced in the dispensation of justice. The General Assembly are too firmly convinced of the necessity for a homogeneous code of laws, not to apply all its endeavours to harmonise the habits and requirements of the country with the legislation of Euro- pean countries, where the law is strong because it is wise. The assembly will feel also that there can be no proper administration of justice without a judicial body, whose integrity should be universally acknowledged ; and no one is in a better position to guide his colleagues in the direction of salutary reforms, than the skilful minister at the head of this important department at the time of our visit, Vornik Jean Stirbey.

Justice is administered in the name of the prince, its forms being laid down by the Wallachian code promul- gated in 1818. This code is based upon the Roman law and the common law of the principality. The French commercial and criminal codes (with the exception of a few modifications, to suit the political and geographical situation of the country), were at this time being sub- mitted to the General Assembly for their adoption. A portion of the former has been adopted ; the remainder, with the criminal code, were deferred to the ensuing session. As regards the customs of the country, they are, with one or two differences, the same as in Moldavia. [184]

There are in Wallachia three degrees of jurisdiction : — firstly, the tribunal of the district, or of the first resort ; secondly, the court of appeal, or of the second resort ; thirdly, the supreme divan, or of the third resort.

The tribunal of the district takes cognizance of all civil and commercial affairs ; with respect to criminal matters, their functions are limited to preliminary investigations.

The supreme court takes cognizance of judgments delivered by the courts of appeal, both in Greater and Lesser Wallachia.

The institution of the jury does not exist.

Up to the present time, judges are appointed for three years ; at the end of this period, they may be continued in their offices, if their services have given satisfaction. But, according to the constitutional law, dating from 1830, all magistrates chosen by the prince will be irremovable after ten years office, except in cases of forfeiture, voluntary resignation, or appointment to administrative duties.

All public functionaries, every noble or deputy, may be judicially proceeded against by any complainant, without [185] other formalities than are required for the proceeding against a private individual.

Actions at law are very frequent in Wallachia, the most common cause of litigation being encroachments on the boundaries of land ; a singular circumstance in a country where there is so much wild and uncultivated land open to the husbandman. A great number of contests arise in consequence of the preference accorded by the law, in the sale of lands and houses, to the relations of the seller, or to those holding property adjoining that which is for sale. It is to be desired that the provisions of the law with respect to the latter case should be abolished from the Wallachian code ; the General Assembly will probably have to consider their repeal on an early occasion.

Advocates are not constituted into a distinct order, and are without any council of discipline. When a defendant has not made choice of any counsel, and no advocate undertakes the defence, counsel is appointed by the court.

Pleadings in defence are unrestricted, and the proceedings are public, unless any publie scandal attaching to the cause, or the honour of families, should necessitate the contrary. There is no law prohibiting the public journals from reporting judicial proceedings ; but up to the present time, they have never availed themselves of the privilege.


The laws punish murder with death ; but capital punishment has fallen into disuse. Since the provisional administration of General Kisseleff, sentence of death has always been commuted to perpetual labour in the salt-works.

The prince possesses the right of pardon, in accordance with the recommendations addressed by the tribunals to the department of justice ; in these cases, a commutation of punishment only can be granted. When, by his con- duct, a prisoner has given evidence of moral amelioration, the vornik (superintendent) of the prisons addresses a report to the department of justice, which is transmitted to the prince, and the prince may grant a remission of a portion of the punishment incurred.

Robberies and larcenies 457
Robberies by house-breaking, or on the highway 24
Murders 56
Attempts at murder 26
Robberies and larcenies 331
Robberies by house-breaking, or on the highway 23
Murders 66
Attempts at murder 8

It should be observed that instances of premeditated murder very rarely occur ; with but few exceptions this crime is committed in drunkenness ; wine, in Wallachia, being very abundant and cheap, as it is free from any tax except a very moderate excise due on entering towns under municipal government.

The age of majority among the Wallachians is fixed at twenty-five, but the minor can be emancipated : lstly, by marriage ; 2ndly, by the consent of his parents on attaining his eighteenth year ; 3rdly, by order of the tribunal of the first resort, at the request of the guardian, the parents, or of the minor himself, at the age of twenty-one, when deprived of his father and mother. This order is submitted to the minister of justice, and subject to the sanction of the prince. A minor, thus emancipated, cannot however contract any loan, make over real, or dispose of personal property, he has only free use of his revenue.

Divorce is permitted in certain cases laid down by the law ; it carries with it the voidance of the religious con- tract, and the parties divorced may enter into a second marriage. Divorce may be sought on the ground of incompatibility of temper ; but in this case, the parties are bound down to a trial of seven years ; at the end of which period, when all religious and moral means have been exhausted, there is no further obstacle to the divorce.


The department of public worship embraces all eccle- siastical affairs, as well as the management of public instruction. Three bishops, those of Rimnik, Argech, and Bouzéo, have charge over as many dioceses, under the dependence of the metropolitan of Bukharest. Il,eli- gion, which is here of the schismatic Greek creed, does not, properly speaking, hold any great empire over the minds of the Wallachian people, but they observe its outward forais, and particularly the austerities of fasting, with scrupulous exactitude. The people are seen to attend divine service with every sign of respect, and the great number of churches existing in Wallachia, bear witness to the ardent zeal with which outward worship is honoured. The municipality contains no less than 3,753 churches, of which 1,361 are built of stone. To these must be added 202 monasteries, of which 133 are dependent on churches. These establishments, to all appearance, furnish relief to the poor of the com-" munes, as it is rare to see a Wallachian beggar, the Tsigans being almost the only people who practise this ignoble and importunate avocation. The Wallachians are naturally inclined to superstition ; they yield ready credence to witchcraft and spells, without, however, allowing their belief, which, with them, is a kind of poetical tradition, to disturb their peace of mind.


The statistics of public education for the year 1847, are as follow :-

Establishments supported by Government.
Bukharest. School of St. Sava.Introductory Classes...456
Complementary studies...29
Schools in connection with St. Sava {Amza...92
Introductory Classes {St. George (the New)...114
Total ...953
Private schools, 22 in number704
Three boarding schools for boys49
Two do. do. for girls39
Total of pupils in Bukharest...1,715
Craiova. School supported by Government :-
Elementary Classes...146
Private schools at Craiiova.Holy Apostles...65
Boarding schools for boys18
Districts. 26 schools, 12 of which supported by Government1,724
General total of pupils3,782

Independently of these establishments, the pope (chief of the parish) or the precentor of each village is bound, in return for some slight recompense, to teach reading and writing to the children of the peasantry, so that in [190] a few years there will be but few who cannot at least read and write.

The administration of the finances of the principality is entrusted, as before mentioned, to the agents, who collect the taxes in each canton, and pay them into the treasury. The fixed revenues of the state are thus composed :-

Poll-tax on labourers8,210,670
Poll-tax on masils (nobles of inferior degree)121,645
Poll-tax on Tsigans147,860
Produce of patents438,970
Farming of salt-world2,500,000
Farming of customs1,405,050
Estimate of duty on brandy, spirits of wine, tobacco entering towns; duties on the exportation of corn and cattle, not included in the customs' duties farmed out ; duties on diplomas, &c., casual revenue

This amount of taxes is paid by 296,286 families. The peasantry are subject to an annual tax of thirty piastres a head, which is paid into the treasury through the collector : they have, moreover, to pay one-tenth of this sum to the communal treasury established in each village.


The expenditure of the state is as follows :-

Annual tribute paid to the Porte1,400,000
Civil list1,600,000
Administration of home affairs1,857,480
Dorobantz, or gendarmes179,240
Postal establishments1,107,418
Roads and bridges200,000
Paving of Bukharest48,000
Wood for firing80,000
Poor and indigent100,000
Public instruction350,000

The last three items of expenditure are not paid out of the treasury, but are at the charge of the central treasury of the metropolitan diocese, which is supplied from the ecclesiastical revenue.

The surplus of the revenue over the expenditure, forms a reserved fund, after having met the extraordinary expenses.


The monies current in Wallachia and Moldavia are the Russian silver rouble, the golden ducat, the Austrian zwanziger, and the Turkish piastre, aspre, and para.

The piastre, which is the monetary unit of the prin- cipalities, does not represent absolutely the same value as the Turkish piastre : it has not yet suffered the same depreciation, although its value has greatly fallen within the last twenty years.

Towards 1822, the piastre was worth in Wallachia as much as from seventy-five to eighty centimes ; but it has lost considerably since, and its average value in 1837 may be deduced from the following calculation. Let us first state, that this coin has two different current values; that recognised by the government, and that adopted by trade and private individuals.

In the Government treasury :
fr. c.
The silver ruble, worth exactly 4 fr. French,is exchanged for 10 piastres and a half, which brings the piastre to0, 38 ,,
The Austrian golden ducat, which is worth 11 fr. 85 c., is worth 31i piastres ; the value of the piastre, according to this, is0, 37, 42
The Austrian zwanziger, equivalent to 86 c., passes in Wallachia for q1 piastres, which brings the piastre to0, 38, 23
The average value of the piastre, as regards the public treasury, therefore is0, 37, 82

In private transactions:

fr. c.
The silver ruble is exchanged for 12 piastres, bringing the piastre to0, 33, 33
The golden ducat is valued at from 35 to 36 piastres, which for one piastre is0, 33, 86
Or0, 32, 92
The Austrian zwanziger, representing 2 1/2 piastres, brings the piastre to0, 34, 80
Average value of the piastre in trade0, 33, 86
Mean between the official and trade value of the piastre0, 35, 84

This unit, already very small, is subdivided again into 40 paras and 120 aspres.

The import trade of Wallachia consists principally of foreign manufactures ; oil, soap, and coffee, are prin- cipally brought from Turkey. The principality exports grain, hemp, skins, cattle, timber, honey, wax, some small quantities of wine, salt, wool, and a little silk, the production of which is beginning to develop itself'.

The total average amount of imports for the period from 1831 to 1835, amounted to about 31,848,076; the average of the exports for the same period amounted to 49,159,585.

The industrial arts, it must be confessed, are as yet at zero ; scarcely till now, did Wallachia possess a few [194] manufactories of hats, and handkerchiefs of printed stuff, far behind the wants of the country.

It is easy to understand, however, that the deficiency of hands, and the little progress in industry and agricul- ture unfortunately resulting therefrom, is to be attributed to the languishing state of the country during so many years of destructive war, and the continual apprehension of incursions from the Turks. To the saine cause must be assigned the absence of all trade, for the unfortunate inhabitants could only sell to the Turks, who fixed an arbitrary price on their purchases. The administration of affairs, as we have said, was indeed deplorable. All has altered since the last reform ; and there is now the hope of a more prosperous future for the commercial and industrial enterprise which is now dawning.

Within the last four years, 631 manufactories have been established, namely :-

1 Wax taper manufactory.22 Handkerchief manufactories.
32 Candle manufactories.15 Manufactories of woollen cording.
184 Tan yards.180 Distilleries.
28 Soap manufactories.4 Glass-works.
69 Potteries.1 China manufactory.
91 Linen manufactories.
4 Hat manufactories.____

'There are in Wallachia 2,299 water-mills, 6 windmills, and 9 mills moved by horses.


Up to the present time, salt has been the only mineral product profitably worked in Wallachia. We have already stated the amount derived from the salt- works. There is, however, every ground for believing that Wallachia possesses mineral riches in sufficient abundance, and that, with a continuance of peace, and a more intelligent application of capital, they may be worked by safer and more productive means than hitherto. We are enabled to enumerate, according to information which we believe to be correct, the different mineral substances which are known to exist in the Wallachian soil.

Gold. — The streams which bring down gold are those from the Oltez to the Yalomnitza, inclusively ; but this metal is to be found more abundantly in the first of these rivers, from the village of Binzeni, to a distance of five leagues from that place ; within this space are found the richest sands in Wallachia ; they are of a blackish red colour, mixed with clay and particles of quartz and jasper, and are remarkable for the quantity of garnets to be found in them. Fragments of gold of considerable size have sometimes been found beneath large rocks in the middle of the river, at the season when the waters subside. Auriferous sands are also met with near the village of Oesti, on the Argechi, two leagues from Kourté ; a league and a quarter from the village of Ioupanesti, on the river Chouptane ; near the [196] village of Magaleo-Maloulou'i, in the river Valea Kacelor; and lastly, on the river Yalomnitza, near the village of Bronesti, two leagues and a half from Firgovist.

Copper. — In the district, of Mehédintzi, in Lesser Wallachia, carbonate of copper is found on the river Bourba, at a league from the burgh of Baja de Arama. This ore was formerly worked in these regions, as is shown by the traces of furnaces, the excavations in the mountains, and coppery scoria scattered here and there over the soil.

Copper pyrites is found at Baja de Arama, and lately it has begun to be worked ; but until the furnaces are completed, no exact data can be given as to the per centage yielded by the ore ; according to the analysis made of several specimens collected from the remains of former works, lying on the surface, it is to be pre- sumed that the ore is a very rich one.

There is another bed of copper ore three quarters of a league from the same spot.

Native Mercury. — Mercury has been discovered near the town of Pelesti, in the district of Argech ; it was disseminated in globules in a horizontal stratum of sand and clay. It presented itself over only a small tract, and excavations have been made in the vicinity, but without success.

Coal.--Several points in Wallachia present beds of [197] coal; the best is in the district of Bouzéo, in the canton of Peskovoulouï, four leagues from Bouzéo, to the left of the river Saratzeni, between the villages of Berka and Jossina.

This coal burns with a flame, and emits a sulphureous and bituminous smell. The combustion of 100 parts leaves a residue of eighteen, which is of a dark red colour. This coal lies in twelve layers of about a metre in thickness, in an argilaceous soil, and all these layers occur within a depth of 200 metres.

Lignite. — This combustible is found in several spots, and principally in Lesser Wallachia, in the district of Voutza Plaîou, canton of Montagne, near the village of Armachesti, on the river Tzernichoara ; it occurs in large agglomerations, covered by only a slight layer of earth. It contains sixteen per cent. of earthy matter, burns with a flame, and leaves a dark red ash. It would not be difficult to work it, and one man could extract nearly three tons in a day.

Rock Salt.__This mineral forms, as we have already stated, the chief mineral wealth of Wallachia. It is found at the distance of a league from Rimini( ; and in Greater Wallachia, near the village of Slanik, district of Saboueni, and also near the village of Fellega, district of Prahova, canton of Kempina. The bed occurs at a depth of from six to fifty-five metres below the surface, and presents a thickness of forty-eight metres. These [198] mines annually yield thirty-eight millions of kilogrammes, and produce in value one-fourth of the revenues of the principality. The salt of Slanik, which has a crystalline appearance, is reckoned the best in Wallachia.

Liquid Bitumen. — Several localities produce this sub- stance. The richest deposit is in the district of Sakouïni, near the village of Pukouretza; it produces annually about twenty-two thousand five hundred kilogrammes. The richest wells may yield as much as eighty kilogrammes a day, and the least rich from five to fifteen. The working of this mineral deposit requires but little trouble.

Native sulphur. — It is met with in the district of Donibovitza, canton of Dialoulouï, near the village of Schiatingo ; it lies in a bed of green clay, occurring in the form of yellow globules.

Garnets. — These. are found in the district of Argechi, on the mountain of Tchokan ; they are generally incrusted in micaceous schist. Scattered on the sides of the mountain, and carried away by the waters, they are found in the gravel on the banks of some of the rivers, as before stated.

Sueciuum, or Yellow Amber. — This is found in the canton of Despré-Bouzéo, near the villages of Koltza and Boilor, in the canton of Koviskova. Its extreme fragility renders it little susceptible of useful application.

Besides these mineral deposits there are abundance of mineral waters in Wallachia; the principal springs are : [199]
Bobotzi, district of Dombovitza...a Sulphurous spring.
Sfintzesti, id...Sulphurous.
Another in the same village...Sulphurous.
De Braze, district of Prahova...Sulphurous.
Pontchoussa, district of Dombovitza...Sulphurous.
Rozia, near the monastery...Sulphuro-saline.
Monastery of Glogova...Sulphurous.

We have only now to add, in conclusion of our series of observations and data, a few remarks on the physical constitution of the interesting country under our notice.

Bathed throughout the extent of its western and southern frontiers by the Danube, Wallachia is bounded on the north by the Karpathian mountains, which separate it from Transylvania. Its extent from east to west is one hundred leagues ; its breadth, in the direction of the meridian, is about fifty leagues. Half of this space, which expands towards its eastern portion, presents a succession of plains, watered by streams of considerable magnitude : the other half, namely, the northern, rises up towards the high mountains in an amphitheatre of hills, amidst which, a great abundance of water, and a most fertile vegetation, contribute to form the most agreeable sites.

Wallachia is not traversed by any navigable river. The swelling of the waters of the Bouzéo, the Rimnik, [200] and other torrents, often, as we ourselves experienced, suddenly inundate the plains through which they flow, but this uncertain and irregular force could never be applied to the necessities of trade. Streams of clear water flow down from the mountains of Wal- lachia, but they are not all equally salubrious, if we may judge so from the goitres by which the inhabitants of certain districts are disfigured. We have already observed, that in the open portion of the country, epidemic fevers are frequent; they are rarely, however, of a pernicious character.

The climate of Wallachia is of the most tem- perate kind ; the winters are severe during only two months ; and spring makes its appearance early, too early frequently, for it is accompanied with terrible inundations. The south-easterly winds, which bring with them the vapours of the Black Sea, prevail during the month of June, and the atmosphere is frequently disturbed by periodical storms. It was under such circumstances that we found ourselves in the midst of the vast steppes, which become utterly impassable, when the waters have remained long upon the land.

To the inexhaustible kindness of Prince Alexander Ghika we owe the following data, the accuracy of which cannot be doubted, the professors of the college in which the observations were made, being of acknowledged skill.

DURING THE YEARS 1834, 1835, AND 1836.
Jan.1st fortnight, -18°deg onceJunefrom +14° to +22°
Gen. Temp.from -10°to -15°July..." +17° to +23°
2nd fortnight" -1 ° to -3°Aug...." +20° to +13°
Feb.1st fortnight" -1° to -7°Sep...." +17° to +10°
2nd fortnight" + 1° to +13°Oct.... " +14° to +1°
Mar........." + 5° to +14°Nov...." +8° to +0°
April........" +4° to +17°Dec...." +1° to -9°
May........" +4° to +21°

Barometer. — The height of the mercury varied through- out the year from 28 inches, 4 lines, French measure, to 21 inches, 11 lines. Once, in March, it stood at 29 inches ; in September, at 29 and 3 lines ; and in October at 29 inches.

The year presents :
IN WINTER....Days.IN SPRING....Days.
Fog4Hoar Frost2
Moist3Violent Winds8
Hoar Frost1Fine45
IN SUMMER....Days.IN AUTUMN....Days.
Violent Winds11Violent Winds5

It has been observed that meteors, especially in the level country; are not so common or so destructive as in other parts of Europe situated in the same latitudes. Every year the soil of Wallachia receives two or three shocks of earthquake, of greater or less violence, and every ten years really disastrous effects unfortunately occur from this visitation. The earthquake of 1802, [203] which overthrew the monastery of Koltza, is still remembered, as well as that of 1829, which violently shook the majority of buildings in Bukharest.

Since this was written, a more violent shock than any yet remembered with sorrow in the country, very nearly destroyed Bukharest. On the evening of the 23rd of January, 1838, the city shook, the most solid monuments tottered, several houses fell to ruins ; all were damaged, and several individuals lost their lives. On this fearful occasion, when everything around was rocking or overthrown, surrounded by the wounded and dying, Prince Ghika, by dint of coolness, humanity, and courage, succeeded in restoring a feeling of security and hope among the despairing inhabitants.

The population of Wallachia, for so long a space uncertain and fluctuating, is daily growing more fixed and stable. This is the case with all communities in progress of civilization ; their development awaits only the occurrence of favorable circumstances. We have already stated that the various castes compo- sing the population, are divided into three classes : the Boyards, the Wallachian husbandmen, and the Tsigans. We need not repeat what we have before observed relative to the characteristics of each of these distinct classes ; we will only add a few additional traits, which will complete our sketch of these people, [204] so various in character, yet destined to live under the same laws.

The Boyards, whose name is traced by some to a Sclavonian word, signifying warrior, while others derive it from the Latin bos, an ox, referring the origin of this title to the time of the ancient Roman colonies, — the Boyards, we say, are the possessors of the territory; but they are far from deriving as much revenue as they might by a wise management from so rich a country, where the land requires but slight cultivation to be rendered productive. Exclusive masters of all public offices, exempt from all the burthens of the state, these proud noblemen, care- less of the future, and great partizans of the past, have hitherto given themselves up to a life of sterile luxury. This luxury has undermined the fortunes of the whole class ; it has perpetuated debt in establishments, which, by a wiser administration, should have laid the foundations of a solid wealth, that would have flowed through the entire mass of inhabitants.

The Boyards of the present day — more enlightened as to their true interests — are beginning sufficiently to take part in public affairs, to excite the hope that they will one day see the question of domestic economy in its right light, so nearly connected as it is with all wise management of public affairs. The superior [205] education given to the young nobility, is the guarantee of a better state of things in future ; but up to this time the lives of the privileged class have remained impressed with that improvident fatalism which oriental customs, and an order of things so long precarious, had instilled into their habits. Nothing can he more elegant than their personal state and retinue, which is always somewhat theatrical ; but if we remove from the presence of the chief of the house, and throw a glance at his tribe of tattered and idle retainers, at his equipages, too numerous to be elegant, at his vast and dilapidated mansion, we are struck with the melancholy and wretchedness lying beneath this appear- ance of luxury. The refined manners of the master, the gracious air and talents of the women of his family, the facility and correctness with which the languages of Central Europe are spoken by them ; the taste, the tact, the very frivolity of the conversation — everything combines to show that this society is equal to the most distinguished in Europe ; but, beyond the door of the drawing room, a filthy and repulsive crowd of idle servants and gipsies scattered about the ante- rooms, and sleeping on the very staircases, remind you that you are in Wallachia, and that all this civilization has not shaken off the muddy crust which envelops it, and deprives it of all its lustre.


The very appearance of the Wallachian peasant interests one in his favour ; nor is this pre-possession ill-founded, when we reflect on the long series of misfortunes which have afflicted this pastoral people for so many centuries. There is much to be done for the improvement of the manners of this robust race of peasants, who seem to have been expressly created for the labours of the field. Like Virgil's husbandmen, they would be happy did they but know the benefits which Heaven has showered upon this beautiful Roman land, the object of their pride, but which can continue noble and truly Roman, only on condition of being rendered fertile and productive. Magna parens frugum. The Danube only awaits the grain of the Wallachian plains to pour fresh stores into the granaries of the Black Sea, and the Wal- lachians would produce much, and cheaply, could they rid themselves of their habits of idleness and in- temperance, and their love of holidays, too frequent in the religious observances of the rustic population. To eradicate these deplorable habits, is the noblest task which an enlightened government can propose to itself.

We now come to the Gipsies, or Tsigans, as their Wallachian hosts call them — those wandering tribes known by as many names as there are countries in [207] Europe ; everywhere rejected, yet everywhere tolerated. Idlers and shameless thieves, haughty beggars, wrapt in ostentatious rags; these unfortunate wretches exhibit, nevertheless, beneath the filth and brutish degradation of vice, the noblest and most refined physiognomies which the beautiful Caucasian type can present. The Tsigans of Wallachia, where they are very numerous, seemed to us to corroborate the opinion that they have been driven into Europe from the beautiful climate of India. There is a vast difference between the outward features of this race, and those which characterise the Gitanas of Spain, in whom the admixture of Moorish blood is manifest.

However the case may be, this exiled people are enabled to subsist in Wallachia more readily than in any other country, as it presents them the means of reconciling their natural indolence with the conditions necessary to ensure them the protection of the law. A portion of the Tsigan population live by labour ; to these is assigned the task of washing the auriferous sands borne down by the current of certain rivers, and it is with the produce of their patient toil at this employment, that they are enabled to pay the poll- tax. In the second class are found masons, blacksmiths, cooks, and locksmiths ; occupations which the Wallachian population disdain to follow ; but the greater portion [208] are consigned to servitude, and swell with their useless and mischievous numbers, the household of the Boyards. Lastly, the third class of this people, without a name, from having received so many, live in a state of vagabondage and mendicancy. Half clad, and exposed to the inclemency of the seasons, men and women encamp in the open air with a troop of hideous children, in whom it would be difficult to anticipate the handsome youths of both sexes, whom we see so graceful in form, and with so proud a deportment as soon as their precocious maturity is developed.

An article in the organic law of the principality ordains, however, that a fund shall be established for redeeming the Tsigans from vagrancy, and obliging then to build houses and dwell in them. This measure is beginning to be put in force.

We cannot more appropriately conclude these observa- tions, than by a table of the census of the Wallachian population, drawn up at the end of 1837. It will show into what categories the various classes we have passed in review may be subdivided, and the proportions they bear to each other.

Niamours and Postelnitzi, or inferior nobility4,195
Priests of the Greek Church, almost all married6,820
Deacons ditto2,710
Persons connected with church establishments2,920
Gipsies, servants of private individuals14,158
Widows and infirm persons13,127
Exempted for services rendered1,078
Exempted by enlisting3,436
Foreign subjects, the greater portion Catholics,
Protestants, and Jews3,729
The Jews are few in number ; except in Bukharest,
few or none are found in the districts.________
Total non tax-paying families53,117
Bulgarian emigrants5,179
Mazils, (a species of privileged class)3,258
Merchants and traders1,810
Gipsies belonging to the state (gold-gatherers)5,635
Total population in families349,403
At the rate of five to each family, the total popula
tion would be1,747,015
Add to this — monks2,648
Persons without fixed domicile1,519
Grand total of the population1,751,182

The agricultural resources of Wallachia would be im- mense, were there a sufficient population, and had its political education reached that point which it will one day attain, when it will have learned that the true sources of prosperity are labour and perseverance. As a portion of the agricultural statistics, it will perhaps not be without interest to give the result of the recent census of domestic animals, taken in l 837. It forms a starting point which, in a few years, probably, will be left far behind.

Stallions and mares105,533
Tsigan sheep, with fine wool93,332
Common sheep704,840
Tsigan ewes924,976
Common ewes360,096

The Wallachians bring up a race of magnificent and intelligent dogs, to assist them in tending their flocks ; but the valuable qualities of these animals scarcely counterbalance the inconveniences which the unlimited [211] propagation of the canine race produces in the cities. Without mentioning the martyrdom of hearing, at the approach of night, the doleful howlings and angry growl- ings of the pack of dogs which invade the streets perfectly unmolested, there is real danger in finding one's-self alone, and without the defence of a good cudgel, exposed to become the object of a chase, from which, even with the nimbleness of a stag, it would be impossible to escape in safety. The safest plan, if you are armed with a cudgel, is, on the first demonstration of hostile intentions, to deal a good sounding blow on the nearest orator of the band. The remainder continue barking, but do not approach near enough to bite.

To bring this long enumeration to a close, with a fact having reference also to noxious animals, we will remind the reader that Wallachia is often invaded by clouds of grass-hoppers, laying waste in a few hours the richest lands. When the principality is afflicted with this visitation, the agricultural population is thrown into a state of despair, and premiums are offered by the government for the destruction of these devouring insects. During our stay at Bukharest, while I was in the closet of the minister of the interior, he communicated a report to us, announcing the capture, in one district, of two thousand eight hundred and thirty-one bushels of these destructive creatures.


We have now reached the extent of the notes collected by us during our few days' travel. Should they prove interesting, it will be due to the entirely new documents with which we were kindly furnished. Perhaps these latter observations may hereafter prove useful to the student, who, seeking in the records of the past the history of a happy and rich nation, will be astonished to find in so modest a beginning, the origin of an extended and influential prosperity. Such, at least, is the wish which none can refrain from entertaining, who have seen Wallachia, and observed the perfect fitness of its soil for all undertakings calculated to reward human labour.

After a few hours' repose at Fokschany, we crossed the little bridge which separated us from the Moldavian territory.

riders on horseback

chapter 3-From Bucharest etc.




horse drawn carriage


MELANCHOLY as was the spec- tacle presented by the inundated plains of Wallachia, the valleys of Moldavia, bounded in the distance by rounded hills, presented neither more level roads or firmer ground. Hardly had we passed the frontier, than the rain redoubled in violence, so that on arriving at the shores of the Serail, which runs a few [214] versts beyond Fokschany, we found a torrent very difficult to cross.

horses feeding

The Sereth rises in the mountains which bound Moldavia on the west, and descends to mingle its waters with those of the Barlat, which, in its turn, falls into the Danube, between Brahiloff and Galatz. At the same spot, the great branches of the German stream, the mouths of the Pruth, the lakes of Kagoul and of Yalpoutch, convert the whole country, as far as the Black Sea, into one immense marsh, intersected by a hundred rivers. These parallel streams invariably run from the north, and are finally lost in that labyrinth of waters, prairies, and sands, which make the navigation of the lower Danube, from Galatz to the sea, so difficult.

But to return to the Sereth. Its shores were inundated to such an extent that the approach to the bridge of boats was flooded to a great height, while the waters still continued rising rapidly. A train of about a hundred cars, heavily laden, and drawn by oxen, had already renounced the passage, and we had to make short work of it. During the crossing, which took us some time, on so narrow and unsteady a bridge, a number of half-naked men pressed on either side of our vehicles, acting as a support to them. Having at length reached terra firma, we were greeted by a [215] detachment of Moldavian gendarmerie, armed with lances, and headed by an officer ; this little troop divided for the purpose of escorting us, and at each relay we found a fresh detachment. We owed this considerate attention to the recommendation which the estafettes of the Hospodar of Wallachia had, with great expedition, conveyed to the capital of Moldavia.

The day dragged on slowly, nothing happening to enliven its gloomy monotony, and the carriages moving with little speed. Our guides, in order to avoid the beaten roads, whose slippery surface would have proved an insurmountable obstacle, led us across the plains, where we could only make our way by trampling down the beautiful wild plants, whose stems, thick and tufted, grew to the height of a man. When the first excitement is over, nothing is more disheartening than a journey of this sort, in such unfavourable weather. The rain, like a thick cloud, prevented our enjoying any view of the country ; our entire horizon being limited to about fifty steps round us. Unutterable dreariness ! Nothing to divert the sight, but an eternal strip of green, intersected by ruts, to which the rain gave the appearance of miniature canals ; and nothing to charm the ear, weary of silence, but the perpetual splashing of the horses' feet in the liquid mud. The post-houses were exactly like those in Wallachia : an enclosure [216] of brushwood, in the midst of which was erected a hut of a sugar-loaf form, a species of oven, always heated in rainy weather, the only issue for the smoke being through the door. In the enclosure were fifty or sixty horses, huddled closely together, motionless, with drooping ears, and receiving with true philosophy the rain, which fell in streams upon their shining backs. Our road followed, though at a distance, the course of the river Barnet, of which I have spoken already, flowing from the north in a direct line to unite itself to the Danube. Between the Barnet and the first western mountains, a vast plain extends in a series of green strips; and across it any path may be chosen, according to one's fancy. As we came near any village, we occasionally met with well cultivated fields ; but it was impossible to see or study anything properly amidst the deluge of rain, which threw its own gloomy tinge over everything. Our station that night was Birlaton, chief town of the district, and apparently purposing to become a city, if we judge from the large plan on which its streets are laid out, complete in everything but houses and inhabitants. Birlatou may be pictured as a huge bog of clay, in which our horses sunk up to their stomachs ! Our arrival at the portico of the Ispravnitzia, the residence of the chief of the district, was a regular disembarkation. The orders concerning us having [217] reached during the absence of that functionary, it was one of the subordinates, who, with a graciousness worthy of the master, did the honours of the house ; a hospitality of which we stood much in need, after being so long deprived of both rest and sleep. To say the best of it, however, the establishment of the Ispravnik contained no other beds than two long canopies ; but it would have ill become travellers in such a country to show themselves fastidious, and the floor of a room in which the greatest cleanliness shone, was soon converted by us into a very endurable bed.

On the 19th of July the sky cleared up, the roads became less impracticable, and we performed the various stages with great speed. Everywhere in Moldavia we met with young and active postillions, full of vigour and intrepidity. These horsemen, who vie with each other in swiftness, are dressed in linen, with a belt and cap of two contrasted colours. With one arm uplifted, body bent forward, and flowing hair, they never cease to send forth piercing cries, which they pique themselves in prolonging to the extent of their powerful lungs. There are three of them ; and no sooner does one voice cease, than the other takes it up, each of the three voices relieving the other in turn. These wild cries, fully equivalent to the cracking of the whip, cease only at the post-house. Up hill or down hill, over plain or through [218] ravine, they clear all at the same speed, and we had immense trouble to get them to stop one of our carriages, when, having seen some birds at a convenient distance, we were prompted with a murderous intent. Moldavia is not wanting in birds of prey. These tyrants of the air hover incessantly in search of victims over the plains overgrown with high grass. In the neighbourhood of a few scattered clumps of trees we met with a bird which is called the rollier : it is in form like a small jay, and its plumage is entirely of a superb blue, reflecting many brilliant colours. This bird is extremely wild, and is not easily approached : its capture would have cost us too much time. What consoled us, however, for not having the bird was, that we already possessed its plumage, having procured it in Wallachia.

The country through which we now travelled was incomparably more beautiful than any we had seen passing through Wallachia. Moldavia does not present the same barren and naked aspect as the plains of Giourjévo. The country is not without variety ; and though trees are only rarely met with, the ground is so clad with verdure, so abundantly watered by springs, and, above all, so well adapted for every kind of produce, that it is a matter of regret a spot so favoured by nature, should not be fertilized by the labour of man.


When it is considered how many countries in Europe there are in which the agriculturist has to contend against the encroachments of mountain, rock, and marsh, to secure a soil which can only be rendered fruitful by painful toil and persevering industry, it becomes a source of deep regret that such vast regions, prepared by nature for the work of the ploughshare only, should remain barren for want of hands. From Pesth the Danube waters, one may say, nothing but a succession of abandoned plains. The stream, in the first place, whose frequent inundations overwhelm this devastated land, then war, more terrible still, and more insensible, and lastly, oppression, more odious than war itself, have brought ruin to these coun- tries. Hence is it, that such excellent germs of pros- perity have been hitherto miserably blighted. As you traverse these deserts, where neither ploughed land nor crops are seen, you are tempted to pity the people who dwell on such a soil, and to wonder from what source they draw their subsistence. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Wallachia and of Moldavia find their harvest amply sufficient for the supply of all their wants, and frequently beyond them ; for the population is so scanty that many of the lands must remain waste. When this country shall have labourers to make it bear, and men to consume its produce, then, only, will cultiva- tion spread itself' and fertilize this vast territory, which [220] for so many centuries has not felt the ploughshare. From this source would arise many other branches of industry. In the present day, when the legal regulations of the principalities hold out protection to all modes of existence, and to all producers, some good colonies of agriculturists would prove an essential benefit to Moldavia. The new system of organization, which confers the same rights on emigrants as on natives, except those of a political nature, which can be purchased on certain conditions only, appeared to us well calculated to encourage enterprises tending to further the future welfare and prosperity of these lands. The chief obstacle to the agricultural progress of this country will be found, most decidedly, in the wretched condition of the roads, and in the difficulty of remedying this evil. Considering that leagues are travelled over without a sign of the smallest pebble, the construction of roads, solid and firm in all seasons, is no easy matter. So long as dry weather continues, nothing checks the communications, which are as rapid as they are active. The plain is wide, and open for all to choose a pathway. The caroussi, carried away by the swiftness of their horses, cross it in a direct line, whilst the heavy waggons with their oxen file off in long trains upon a more secure and already beaten road : let but a few showers, however, fall upon it, the boggy earth, so deep and rich, becomes [221] suddenly liquified, and the greatest lightness and celerity are necessary to get over the surface. No equipage of a moderate weight can have a chance of moving but at an extremely slow pace.

We were, meanwhile, approaching the capital Moldavia. We not only cleared the last two stages with wonderful speed, but the harnessing of our horses was now performed with marvellous expedition — thanks to a courier who went in estafette before us, and whose authority seemed to command about him a very unusual degree of activity. Our eyes now feasted at last on a lofty mountain, whose sandy soil abounded with beautiful trees ; and as we were ascending with much toil, a storm burst impetuously over us. From the summit of this mountain Yassy could be discovered in the plain beneath, as yet unveiled by the gathering clouds, and lit up by a sunbeam. The aspect of this town from afar is very agreeable, situated as it is in the plain, and surrounded by verdant hillocks. Yassy occupies a large space, with its white houses in the midst of gardens, its shining spires and high buildings with green roofs. The storm was still raging furiously during our slow and perilous descent, and throughout our last stage, until we entered Yassy, which we found in a state of inundation. An escort of twelve horsemen awaited us at the gate of the capital, and we made our entry by a long street [222] rudely paved with thick planks. The water in this street was a foot deep ; but the shops are, with a view to this, prudently raised above the ground by steps or a raised footway. The doors and windows were thronged with an inquisitive crowd, principally Jews. These worthy merchants thought themselves bound respectfully to salute our equipages, streaming with rain and mud. It was a question whether we owed this general politeness to our escort, bearing witness to the honourable attentions of the Hospodar ; or whether these good Israelites, seeing the extent of our party, hailed in us a fortunate arrival, from which some profit might be drawn.

After crossing many streets, which in truth were so many running streams, we arrived at length at the hotel of St. Petersburg, where we met with every proof of the most obliging consideration. Several officers received us ; a guard of gendarmes was placed at our disposal, to keep watch over our carriages. Added to this, a visit from the Aga himself, in his rich oriental cos- tume, offering us his services, proved that at Yassy, as at Bukharest, we were protected by the most hospitable kindness. The sumptuous style of the hotel we now occupied was more than needful for its purposes ; but with all the grandeur and splendid arrangement of the rooms, and the paintings which so profusely caver their [223] walls, it offers none of the requisites for repairing the fatigues and disorder of a long journey. In these fine saloons, we had no other bed than a billiard table, which fell to the lot of four of our party ; the rest had to put up with couches scantily furnished with straw. No accessory comforts alleviated the hardships of this truly Spartan encampment. On beholding the handsome uniforms of many of our numerous circle occupying this saloon, it might have passed for part of a palace; and one would certainly never have suspected that its occupants were vainly pining for the necessaries which the humblest traveller meets with in the most miserable village inn. Nevertheless, we were soon doing the honours of this splendid misery to the highest individuals of the town of Yassy. While still in the thorough disorder of a recent arrival, we were visited by the Prince Soutzo, logothetes of the Interior, whose talents and distinguished manners are justly appreciated in Moldavia. During the few moments I was able to converse with this high functionary, I gathered from him so much information on the condition of the country, that I would not allow him to go, until he had promised to forward to me authentic documents of the actual position of affairs in Moldavia, compared with the previous order of things terminated by the treaty of Adrianople. These valuable notes were effectually [224] sent to me, with a punctuality and liberality deserving my sincere gratitude. The extract which I have inserted further on was curtailed with regret, to meet the proportions of our chapters ; nevertheless it presents an exact summary of the regulations of this principality under its two different phases : — the tyranny of the subaltern agents of the Porte, and the emancipation beneath the protesting shield of enlightened laws and governors.

Early on the morrow, July 20th, we paid a visit to the Hospodar, or Sovereign of Moldavia. Prince Stourdza, who owes his eminent position to election, is the first who was called to exercise sovereignty by virtue of the new organisation, and to put into practice the laws of government so happily originated by Gen. Count Kisselefl: The dwelling of the Hospodar is not an imposing building. The ancient palace, destroyed in 1827 by a dreadful fire, which burnt down two-thirds of the town, covers with its ruins a long hill which commands Yassy. In the absence of any architectural beauties, the sovereign surrounds himself with military display, and the palace is guarded by numerous sentinels. We met with the kindest reception from the prince ; and pipes having been introduced, the indispensable pre- liminary of every interview which the Hospodar intends to prolong, a conversation ensued, in which Prince [225] Stourdza exhibited a considerable command of language, and an uncommon degree of instruction. The present condition of the regenerated }principalities, the working of the regulative government, as the present form of administration is called, the remarkable progress already observable in the public welfare, and the exertions yet to bo made in order to attain the desired state of pros- perity, were the topics touched upon in our conference, which proved extremely instructive to us as strangers. The prince manifested, more than once, sentiments of the deepest devotion to his people., whom he sees, with sincere sorrow, still subjected to an annual tribute exacted from the principality by Turkey. If the Porte; he said, should ever consent to liberate Moldavia from this heavy burden, he would he prepared to sacrifice his. own fortune in order to expedite the advancement of this wretched people, whose sufferings have been so prolonged. Assuredly, such intentions are as honorable as they are rare, and presage a better future for this people. The Hospodar devotes himself with activity and perseverance to public business, and although his health is not always adequate to the noble task he has undertaken, he still perseveres with courage iii fulfilling the arduous mission which the election of his fellow- countrymen has imposed upon him. The personal appear-- once of the prince nmanil ssts the effects of his physical [226] sufferings, kept under by the determination of his cha- racter; scarcely forty years of age, he yet bears in his countenance the traces of his heavy cares. The Hospodar is married to a Greek princess of Constantinople, and is the father of two sons, who are being educated at Berlin.

We intended to stay so short a time at Yassy, that we scarcely had the opportunity of receiving all the visits we were honoured with.

Prince Stourdza, however, was kind enough to come in person to our own hotel ; and during our sojourn, we were overwhelmed with every mark of kindness and atten- tion ; to such an extent, that our meals were more than once enlivened by the Hungarian band of the mining corps. The frugality of our fare was in accordance with the rules of the most rigorous diet, for it might not be that the luxury of our entertainments should war with the simplicity of the furniture.

We were close to the Russian frontier, and we knew that in crossing it, we could not escape quarantine. Fourteen days is the prescribed period : as, however, a fate one cannot avoid should be borne with good grace, we unanimously resolved to enter the lazaretto within the shortest possible time. The twenty-first was at once fixed for the accomplishment of this indispensable and philanthropic incarceration. We had, therefore, only a [227] few hours to dispose of, to gain an idea of the Moldavian capital. Yassy, as before said, covers a considerable space with its streets and houses, abounding in gardens to a greater extent even than Bukharest. The general appearance of this city is pleasing ; the modern constructions recommend themselves by their tasteful style and clean exterior, not exhibited by any of the more ancient buildings. Some of the streets are wide and long, and in certain quarters a pavement has been sub- stituted for the expensive and uncomfortable boarding with which the public road was formerly covered. Here, as in Wallachia, the scarcity of material renders it almost impossible to build monuments of any importance ; and yet Yassy possesses several remarkable churches, and some houses belonging to rich Boyards, which present, the appearance of complete mansions, in perfect order. The external aspect of this city offers much fewer traces of the oriental style than that of Bukharest. True, the fire in 1829, by destroying the ancient edifices, made way for modern architecture, which in its forms has adopted the style prevalent in the neighbouring cities of New Russia. This capital had scarcely risen from its ashes, when, in 1829, it was desolated by contagious disease. Two years after, the cholera, that horrible rival of the plague, fell upon Yassy , decimating its population ; and yet it was under these Drying circumstances, amidst [228] death and destruction, that the seeds of political and social regeneration were emplanted in the Moldavian soil. But when such obstacles have been overcome, to what glory is not the conqueror entitled ! and when we see this flourishing town, with its streets daily growing more numerous, filled with intelligent and busy traders, we cannot fail to feel gratitude and respect for the author of so many benefits.

The principal street in this city is inhabited by a tribe of merchants, money-changers, brokers, and business people of all sorts — all children of Israel. These indefatigable traders are at Yassy, what they are every- where else, insensible to insult, and ardent in the pursuit of gain. In the ancient portion of the street a gallery, supported by slight wooden pillars, serves to shelter the shops ; here we see the Jews, seated at the threshold of their doors, eyeing wistfully the passing customer, and chinking a handful of rubles, to announce their vocation of money changers. Stuffs, woollen goods, and German and English hardware, furnish the shelves of these shops ; and, strange to say, a French library and reading-room have somehow strayed beneath this colonnade, so entirely usurped b the olumercc of Israel. Yassy is not rich iii eiiurches, lihe Bukharest; whether it be owing to the fact that the boyards of ancient times had fewer ill deeds to atone liar than those of Wallachia, or from [229] a deficiency of faith, the capital of Moldavia does not reckon a large number of religious edifices ; however, among those it does possess, there is one of remarkable elegance, and altogether too curious a monument to be passed over by the traveller. According to the custom of the country, it is surrounded by a spacious monastery, formerly fortified, and dedicated to three saints — St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory the Theosophist. The church is constructed of fine stone, and surmounted by two slender turrets ; the entire face of the edifice is studded with arabesques, sculp- tured in relief upon each layer of stones, and admirably varied. Its narrow windows scarcely allow a few feeble gleams of light to penetrate into the interior, where they struggle for mastery with the sacred lamps burning night and day beneath the arches of its three naves. The gloomy walls of the sanctuary are covered with frescoes, remarkably primitive in style. This rich chapel, which was founded by the Voïevode Basil, about the year 1622, was once entirely gilt in the interior ; but in the time of the Tatar and barbarian incursions, it was three times subjected to fire and pillage ; added to which, in 1802, an earthquake reduced it almost entirely to ruins. The church of the three saints, Tresphetitili, as it is called in Yassy, formerly possessed a valuable treasure, some relics of which are still extant. One of the most curious of [230] these is, without gainsay, the collection of pictures em- broidered by the Princess 'I'heodosia, the wife of Basil, the pious founder of the church. Among these works, executed with wonderful perfection, is a portrait, the size of life, of the princess herself, the skilful artist who has thrown so life-like an air over these pictures wrought in gold, silk and velvet. Next to her is her son, the first- born of her twenty-seven children. The Boyard costume which appears in this naïf performance is much more akin to the Hungarian dress than the oriental. Within the rieil basilica of this church, the portrait of the voïevode was formerly preserved, but was removed by an unknown hand twenty years ago; if, however, this portrait of Prince Basil, owing to its intrinsic value, fell a victim to an. impious thief, there fortunately still remains intact a fresco, upon which the features of the voïevode may be contemplated in the midst of one of his most triumphant acts of devotion — when, his church being finished, he holds up the whole building in his left hand, presenting it to its three patrons, who are showering down their blessings from the arch of Heaven. Nor is this all; the temple once completed, Basil, in the ardour of his Christian zeal, resolved to sanctify it a second time. For a long period, the relies of San Venei anda had been in the profane possession of Lite Turks ; bat Basil found the means of rescuing [231] them from the hands of the infidels, and these venerated remains were brought in triumph into Christian land ; the Sultan himself condescending to escort them to the confines of the empire. Such, at least, is the pious legend illustrated by a painting in two compartments, hanging above the remarkably splendid shrine in which the relics are exposed to the faithful.

What more can be said of Yassy, where we passed so few and such fleeting hours ! It did not befal us, as in Bukharest, to be present at any of those private reunions, in which the true character of a society may be seized in the freedom of general intercourse. As far as we could judge from the persons who honoured us with visits, knowledge and education are not despised among them. The college, attended by young people of good family, is daily progressing. There are three printing establishments in Yassy, employing eleven presses, three of which are applied to the printing of Russian, French, and modern Greek. Within the last few years, a society of natural philosophy and medical science has been established, and its labours have already pro- duced a favourable effect on the intellectual advancement of the public. And, as though it had been generally con- certed to show us every mark of kindness and attention, this learned society, taking into consideration the scientific object of our expedition, did us the honour to present my [232] companions and myself with diplomas of foreign associates. A zoological collection, as yet not much advanced, is the object of the enlightened attention of the Government; and it is proposed to add to it a menagerie, so that there is every hope that Yassy will in a few years furnish its contingent to the great scientific association of Europe, and devote itself in turn to those noble studies which find in the countries of the East a subject of daily growing interest.

But we had soon taken leave of this city ; and after having crossed several steep hills, we perceived the sinuous course of the Pruth, and the twofold village of Skoulani — one Moldavian, the other Russian — divided into two by the stream, which now separates the prin- cipality from the territories of the empire. In this very spot, a few years since, was enacted a scene as touching as it was solemn : an entire people escorted General Kisseleff, amidst their blessings, back to the confines of Moldavia, of which he had been the guardian and saviour. When the temporary president left the Moldavian shore, he was followed by farewell benedictions, mingled with tears ; nor could he, as he gazed for the last time on the country whose welfare he had ensured, refrain from weeping. Precious tears were those ! springing from tw honest and devoted heart; — touching adieu of the soldier and the legislator, to the country of his [233] adoption, which he had served with his arm and with his counsels !

The authorities directing the quarantine had been apprised beforehand of our approach, and had prepared lodgings for us in the most melancholy of lazarettos. The sanitary establishment of Skoulani occupies a large space, on a low and damp tract, the level of which barely rises above that of the waters of the Pruth, flowing at no great distance from its walls, At the least rise in the waters, the quarantine is inundated ; and this had occurred a very few days before our arrival. Nine small buildings of clay, covered with cane, compose this lazaretto ; they are ranged round a spacious court- yard, in which a few cherry trees have been planted, Each house has a separate enclosure ; and the entrance is secured by a gate, made of planks : here the carriages are left in the open air, the horses remaining also without shelter. The houses consist only of one floor, which is damp and sandy ; they are divided into two or three small apartments, and are under the inspection of a keeper, an old soldier. We were quartered in three of these dens ; and each resigned himself, as best he could, to this hermit-like discipline.

Nothing is more favourable than this life of solitude, or rather of tedium, to labours which require some concentration of mind. Accordingly, it was impossible [234] any of us could be better disposed for study ; and we began to collect together our notes. The result of these labours, it appeared to me, would be most fittingly intro- duced at the time when we were leaving Moldavia, and entering the territory of the empire. Let us give a glance, therefore, at the country we have left behind; at its history, its condition — past, present, and (what shall prevent it?) to come.

The early history of Moldavia is linked in the closest manner with that of Wallachia, of which a few words were said in the foregoing chapter. Scythian, Sarmatian, Dacian, Roman, Barbarian, and lastly, Slavonian, by turns, Moldavia long shared the fate of the neighbouring province. For a long time forming but one body, they (lid not become twin sisters until the twelfth century. It will be remembered that a number of Tatar hordes, obedient to no law save pillage and devastation, had descended upon these countries, whose inhabitants had emigrated in thousands to Hungary, leaving the soil in the hands of the depredators. Two large colonies were formed by the fugitives, at Fagaratch, and at Mamaroch. The first was composed of the people who afterwards formed Wallachia ; the second consisted of emigrants from the eastern portion of the country, who subsequently became Moldavians. When the torrent of Tatars, sweeping over the principalities, had converted them into [235] a wilderness, they withdrew, and left the wasted fields at the disposal of their former possessors. These, however, would never have contemplated returning to their lost country, had not a fresh invasion, directed this time upon Hungary, driven them from their settlements. Batou-Khan and his Tatars, having fallen upon this kingdom, the dismayed colonists bethought them of their native land — the mountains of their forefathers ; and thither they bent their steps. While Rodolf the Black led back the settlers of Fagaratch into Wallachia, Bogdan, chief of the settlement at Mamaroch, directed his march to the country adjoining the Pruth ; and both taking the title of voïevode, which they submitted to the suzerainty of Hungary — following a policy commonly adopted by the oppressed — founded the two states, which since then have almost always remained separate one from the other.

About this period, Moldavia received its name from the river which flows through it — the Moldau : subse- quently, it was also designated by the name of Bogdania, in memory of Bogdan, its founder ; and even to this day it is thus called by the Turks.

For a long time the principalities struggled — now against Hungary, whose suzerainty weighed heavily sometimes on certain adventurous voïevodes ; now against the Porte, whose increasing pretensions roused their indignation. But when, in. 1320, the celebrated [236] battle of Mohacs delivered Hungary to the Mussulman yoke, Moldavia, enveloped in the same disaster, became tributary to the Sultan, and was forced into a treaty similar to that by which Wallachia was bound.

Towards the end of the sixteenth century, Moldavia, freed for a while from the dominion of the Porte,, fell beneath the oppressive hand of Sigismund of Tran- sylvania. This prince, then powerful and formidable, appointed voïevodes, and levied tributes. But Moldavia was soon forced to bend once more beneath the yoke of the Sultan, who punished her imprudent rebellion by exactions more extortionate than before. From this date commenced, for both the principalities, an era of indolence, uncertainty and discouragement. Although the voïevodes continued to be named by the boyards with a vain form of election, it was in reality by the Divan of Constantinople that these princes, the obedient vassals of the Porte, were chosen, and frequently, at its caprice, deprived of power and of life. This state of things long continued to prevail, and it was not till a comparatively recent period that a voïevode of Wallachia, Bessarab, a man of enterprise, but wanting in courage and perseverance, formed a league with Austria in the first instance, and subsequently with Russia, with the object of making war on the Turks. Bessarab, exposed to the vengeance of the Sultan, was on the point of [237] being drawn into a snare by a voievode of Moldavia whom the Divan had sent to Yassy on a mission of death, when it fell out that this voievode himself, by name Demetrius Cantimir, followed the example of Bessarab, and even exceeded it ; for, less irresolute than that prince, he delivered up the capital of Moldavia to Peter the Great. This might, perhaps, have proved a decisive blow to the Ottoman power, but the Russians were obliged to desist from their designs. Bessarab, by a fresh act of treason, suddenly yielded submission to the Sultan, and, as we had occasion to mention else- where, forfeited his life to his ill-timed wavering. The other voievode had found time to fly from the fate which awaited him, and had sought a refuge in Russia.

From this time, Moldavia shared in every respect the destiny of the neighbouring principality. In common with Wallachia, and to a greater extent perhaps, she was exposed to the oppression of Turkey, and to the ill- usage of its pashas. Subsequently, to the end of the last century, however, the protection of Russia effected by degrees some amendment of this deplorable state of things. Each new treaty signed by our Empire with the Porte ensured some fresh guarantee favourable to the condition of the principalities.

The progress was slow, it is true ; for it was dependent on political events, and impeded by misadventures of [238] every kind which several times threw the question back to its original conditions. But notwithstanding so many calamities, despite the fatal insurrection of Ypsilanti, who had taken up arms in the very church of the Tres- phetitili, which we have described — an insurrection the consequences of which were incalculably fatal to Mol- davia — there was yet a sensible amelioration up to the Treaty of Adrianople, which gave a decided impulse to the present and future improvement of these countries.

What Moldavia was previous to this epoch, and what she is in the present day under her new legitimate government — such is the interesting picture which the useful documents I have mentioned enable me to trace.

Long before the campaign of 1822, Moldavia was still subject to a system of rule in which nothing was regular, nothing stable, and which exhibited the reckless- ness and rapacity ever accompanying an ill-established government. The unavoidable ascendancy of the suzerain power, and the influence of the neighbouring pashas manifested themselves through the vain forms of a Christian administration. Moldavia was bound to supply the capital of the Ottoman Empire with timber for building purposes, live stock and corn, at prices little better than arbitrary. It was the master himself who stated beforehand at what price these contributions [239] should be supplied, and having once fixed the price according to its gracious pleasure and rapacity, the Porte let loose its commissaries, who forcibly purchased all the merchandise subject to the tariff.

The maintenance of order in the interior was confided to the Turkish guards (bechlis) stationed in all the towns, to the great injury of the unfortunate people whom they were supposed to protect. The fortresses occupied by the Ottoman garrisons on the left bank of the Danube, exercised their influence exclusively over a more or less extended a circle, and overwhelmed the inhabitants with their extortions. The internal government was animated by no principles of protection and guardianship ; a tem- porary Hospodar, foreign to the manners and usages of the country, ruled it according to his gracious pleasure. The necessity of propitiating, by numerous presents, the good-will of the Porte, and of its pashas, and the uncertain tenure of their power, imposed upon these princes the necessity of taking every possible advantage of their ephemeral authority. It is astonishing, that even under the degrading influence of such a position, they should from time to time have founded the few durable institutions which honour the memory of some among them. But with the exception of these rare benefits, their absolute authority was only tempered by the participation of the bovards in public affairs, an impotent counterpoise, for these almost always, for the [240] sake of a share in the disorderly largesses of the prince, made themselves the docile tools of his will.

The form of the government was as follows : — A vestiar, or minister of finances, united the financial department with the administration of the interior; a postelnich was charged with the relations with the consuls, the pashas and the Porte ; two governors, placed over each district, exercised the administrative, judicial and executive functions. Law suits were decided in appeal byr the Assembly of liovards, frequently presided over by the prince, but observing no forms of proceeding. M-orcover, there was nothing to prevent each suit being continually renewed with every successive Hospodar. The expeditious mode adopted in settling all affairs, whether administrative or judicial, was fettered by no special rules or formalities ; and, properly speaking, there existed neither archives, records, nor exchequer. Vexatious im- posts abounded under a thousand pretexts. The total amount of the poll tax was first assessed to each district, according to its population ; and afterwards the governors of each district could subdivide it in what proportion they chose among the communes.

A second direct impost, under the name of rassours, sup- plied the emoluments of the servants of the government. The inhabitants were, moreover, subjected to indirect taxes, under the designatoin of rassoumats ; these were taxes on bee hives. sheep, pigs, tobacco and vineyards Carriage, [241] weights and measures and distilleries were also subject to special taxes ; and besides this, as though in mockery of the groaning tax-payers, several localities were subject to certain exceptional dues, confirmed if not justified by time. The following tables will give an idea of the financial position of the country at this disastrous period.

For the Year 1827, before the entering of the Russian troops.

Piastres. Asp.   Piastres. Asp
Impost on villagers. 984,386 60  Part of impost paid
On mazils and  yearly to the rassour
rouptaches. 73,741 "  fund. 25,000 "
On shops and taverns.112,000 "  Revenue of Botochani
On patents. 51,592 "  received by the
On tavern-keepers. 18,190 "  princess.56,800 "
Roupts of the vestiary 38,036 "  Arrears of revenue,
Foreigners' Patents. 13,074 "  called gragedika, from


 the year 1827,
Estimated revenue of  discovered and paid after
salt mines 212,060 "  the entry of the
Revenue of the district  Russian troops.40,25727
of Botochani, received  Salaries paid by the
by the princess 56,800 "  rassour fund. 1,079,51881
Rassours 741,829 87  For the Post 300,739 "
Estimated revenue from  Money given by
the post establish-  command of the prince,
ments 300,739 "  according to orders
Duty on sheep, 87,905  signed by him, viz.,
Do. on hives  surplus appropriated
and pigs...87,470  by the prince, or
Do. on vines. 300,000758,110  according to his orders 1,863,26339
Customs .... 208,950
Duty on
distillery .... 73,785



Piast. Asp.
Impost paid quarterly 12 "
Rassours 4 60
Tax for the maintenance of post houses 4"
Oragedika and rassoumats 7 90
Expended for penalties called tribotés 3"
Forced labour, estimated value of 40"



The collection of taxes so complicated gave rise, it may be easily believed, to a multitude of abuses ; as the produce of the imposts was paid into the prince's treasury, who rendered account of it to no one. Moreover, the peasant was subject to loans in kind, to requisitions for the postal relays and for the prince's stables — and lastly, to every exaction it pleased the inferior agent to inflict.

The condition of the tax-payer, of which this enumeration, in some respects imperfect, may furnish an idea, was aggravated by the exemptions and immunities granted to several classes of inhabitants, and by privileges accumulated upon influential Boyard families. These unjust immunities rose to a total amount, sufficiently imposing to render a tabular statement of them interesting, now that such a state of things is a mere matter of history.

The classes enjoying exemption from taxes under the dynasty of the Greek Princes were numerous. It was sufficient that a member of any family was employed in one of the following branches of the public service, [243] to free the entire family. Each district accordingly contained an ample number of the exempt of all classes. No impost could be levied on the families of persons connected in whatever way with —

The Ispravnitzv of the District ; The Postal service ;
The Vestiary ;The Frontier Guard ;
The Captainries ;The Timber Purveyors ;
The Service of the Hetmans ; The Charcoal Burners ;
The Mounted Police ;The Postillions.
The Service of the Salt-Works ;

The district of Yassy, and the administration of the city, carried the privilege of immunities still further. Beside the classes above specified, exemption was extended to :

Persons in the service of the Exchequer ;Persons in the Public Health Department ;
Persons in the service of the Divan ;Carters in the service of the Court ;
The Guards of the Pruth ;Labourers, ditto ;
The Firemen ;Custom-house Officers ;
The Water Carriers ;Cabinet Makers ;
The Inspectors of Fountains ;Masons.
The Couriers ;

The result of this short-sighted and iniquitous dis- tinction, granted for trifling services, was, that the hard-working classes of the people were cruelly oppressed, while in the sixteen districts the number of exempted families amounted to 7,985 ; making, if we take five [244] as the average number in each family, 39,925 invidualsplaced among the privileged class, at the expense of the labourer. Nor was this all.

Independently of these privilges, already so exorbitant,it had become customary that a Boyard shouldpossess the right of exempting from taxes a numberof individuals proportionate to the rank he held. Theseunhappy privileged individuals were called socotelniks,and were distributed in the following proportions:

Number of
Exempt due
to each class.
Number of


Grand Logothetes 80            Serdars 14
Vornicks 80            Stolniks 12
Hetmans 80            Medelnitzers 9
Vestiars 80            Clouteheres 8
Postelniks 80            Souldiers 6
Agas 40            Pilars 5
Spattars 40            Chatrars 3
Banos 25            Giknitzers 4
Comisses 22            2nd Spattars 8
Caminars 20            3rd Vestiars 8
Paharniks 16           


Socotelniks were also granted to the Metropolitan, to the Bishops, and to some other persons of distinction.

Thus overwhelmed with dues and exactions, harassedon all sides, exposed at one and the same time tothe oppression of the Turks, to the ravages of theplague, to the requisitions of the government, and to [245] the tyranny of the land-owners, the Moldavian peasant was deprived even of hope — the last consolation of the wretched. Property — that safeguard of nations — was uncertain in its tenure, and frequently changed hands, while the facility of protracting law suits perpetuated private hostilities among the citizens. ' The instability of the government, and the uncertainty of the future, prevented all useful and durable enterprise. The public mind remained dark and degraded, industry was stifled, trade obstructed ; and thus, while all its neigh- bours were marching forward, this unfortunate land of Moldavia continued fixed in its misery and bondage.

At length the Treaty of Adrianople put an end to all these evils. The fundamental stipulations of this fortunate truce, the results of which were to prove of such immense importance to Moldavia, extended equally to Wallachia, and were — the election of native Hospodars, appointed for life ; the evacuation of the fortresses, till then occupied by the Turks, on the left bank of the Danube ; the restoration to its legitimate possessors of the land included within the circle of the aforesaid fortresses ; the abolition of supplies at arbitrary prices ; the prohibition against any Mahomedan establishing himself on the Moldavian territory ; the institution of a quarantine on the Danube ; the establishment of an armed force ; and lastly, the adoption of an organic [246] code, based upon the principle of an independent administration of internal affairs.

This organic code, voted by the assembly of the Boyards, became the depôt in which the guarantees of Moldavian nationality were organised, and received their required extension. The ever to be revered adminis- tration of Kisseleff, the guardian genius of the princi- palities, soon rendered its application possible ; and the governments continue in the present day to march forward according to the wise traditions he has left.

We will sketch, in a few words, the mechanism and effects of this new government.

The constitutional system which the treaties conferred uu the principalities, may be summed up thus :

The administrative and judicial functions are separate. The administrative department is confided to a council composed of the logothetes, chief of the department of the interior ; of the vestiar, or chief of the department of finances ; and of the postelnik, or secretary of state at the head of foreign affairs.

The direction of judicial affairs is in the hands of the logothetes of the department of justice.

The hetman is chief of the army.

The office of logothetes of the interior embraces all that belongs to the administration, properly so called : the police, municipalities, measures to ensure a proper [247] supply of food, the superintendence of quarantines, the maintenance of roads, and the registration of civil acts, are within his province.

In the province of the vestiar are classed the collection of taxes, the management of public accounts, the public farms, and the development of commerce generally.

The postelnik corresponds with the consular agents, manages all that refers to the interests of foreign subjects, and draws up all the acts emanating from the prince or the council.

The council assemble on certain days to transact the affairs of government.

The logothetes of the department of justice superin- tends judicial affairs. He is the organ through which the prince communicates with the tribunals, and vice versa ; he submits to the prince his observations on the defects of certain forms, as well as all judgments delivered in last resort, which have to be approved by the signature of the sovereign.

These fundamental arrangements have given rise to a number of important institutions, of which we shall enumerate the chief.

The districts, formerly to the number of sixteen, were reduced to thirteen by a recent and more judicious sub- division. Each district is governed by an officer, called an ispravnik, who receives from the members of the [248] council orders relative to the respective departments of each. A receiver of taxes resides in the district, repre- senting the interests of the public treasury; and a tribunal of first resort is established. Each district is divided into several arrondissements, generally five or six; and a subordinate functionary presides over each, under the title of superintendent.

The police service of the interior is performed by a corps of gendarmes, organised since the introduction of the constitution, under the name of stougitors. They are 1,200 in number ; 266 are employed in the city of Massy, and in the service of different administrations, and 934 are distributed over the districts, under the orders of the ispravniks and the superintendents ; they .are maintained chiefly at the expense of the communes.

The police of the city of Yassy has been organised on a more regular footing; a commissary watches over each of the four sections of the city, and has three subordinate officers under his orders. Thanks to the revenue of the municipality, a brigade of 100 firemen has been formed, and this useful establishment has given continued proofs of courage and discipline.

Since the organisation of the stougitors, the depreda- tions by armed robbers, an evil of which we have before spoken, have ceased to afflict the rural districts. The noajority of these brigands were foreigners — generally the most frequent, the number of prisoners never exceeded 200 ; nor, on the other hand, did it ever fall below 100. Thanks to the new system of things, the number is reduced to from 30 to 60. The allowance for the main- tenance of this prison is 30,000 piastres per annum.

Remainder of convicted persons
from preceding year7560 168 182 84 48
Malefalcfactors arrested during the







Condemned to capital punishment.... 1 105.. ..
,, the salt mines 124 112 133 5619.. 18
,, public works 76 93 101 70.... 57
,, transportation .. 23 62 27..7
,, imprisonment in mo-4597....6
,, simple imprisonment......6......
Liberated on bail 195 164 180 227......
Acquitted ......108....106

Another prison at the mines, and two houses of detention before trial, at Yassy, complete the prison orga- nisation ; the whole number of penal establishments in Moldavia amounting to 17.

One of the finest institutions with which the new form of government has endowed Moldavia, is, without gainsay, that of the municipalities. Their number was at first limited to six principal towns ; but others soon demanded a similar benefit. At present, Yassy, Galatz, Fokschany, Birlatou, Botochani, Bakeou and Tirgou- Fourmosse are in the enjoyment of this institution. The municipal councils are elected yearly, by the principal inhabitants of each town. The revenues of the com- munes consist chiefly of an entrance duty on fermented and spirituous liquors, and tobacco. These revenues, of which we subjoin a comparative statement, afford a very efficacious support to the progressive movement and ameliorations which had become necessary to the town. The paving and lighting of the streets ; the preventive measures against fire ; the construction of several stone bridges ; are all improvements which could never have been introduced, but for the municipal revenues.

YEAR 1833. YEAR 1834. YEAR 1835. YEAR 1836. YEAR 1837.
Revenue. Expenditure. Revenue. Expenditure. Revenue. Expenditure. Revenue, Expenditure. Revenue. Expenditure.
piastres. piastres. piastres. piastres. piastres. piastres. piastres. piastres. piastres. piastres.
Botochani 53,351 48,447 56,622 39,219 65,131 46,525 80,319 42,316 120,001 47,432
Romano 28,172 19,689 31,554 20,587 28,428 28,424 17,463 18,827 26,406 23,384
Fokschani 37,147 38,521 44,967 42,186 55,624 45,999 54,224 36,595 68,927 32,739
Galatz 84,535 59,570 97,861 81,679 73,906 48,402 90,526 53,061 113,037 59,686
Birlatou 23,333 13,733 30,844 22,065 33,501 25,604 27,957 14,943 31,959 21,174
Yassy 202,914 241,148 206,364 235,208 306,925 374,769 353,219 284,558 456,024 424,423

It may be again mentioned here, that the piastre, the monetary unit of Moldavia, is equivalent, at the average rate of exchange, to 0 fr. 36,74 c. French. We have given at length, in the preceding chapter, the calculations on which this evaluation is based.


Moldavia being hitherto a purely agricultural country, the public welfare must necessarily depend chiefly on the abundance and good quality of the harvests. The dearth which prevailed during the period from 1831 to 1835, by demonstrating the necessity for some system of regulations with respect to the supply of food, turned the attention of the government to agricultural produce ; so that, by a fortunate compensation, this visitation powerfully contributed to develop the cultivation of corn. Abundance soon succeeded, and prices fell to a tenth of their former-rate ; but that which will in future insure a proper supply of food to the consumers, and preserve them from the enormous prices to which corn rose in times of dearth, is the establishment of reserved stores. Each commune possesses its store of grain, to which every villager is bound to contribute, immediately after the harvest, five bushels of Indian corn, which are to remain untouched for a space of three years. At the expiration of this term, the peasant is allowed to withdraw the deposit made by him four years before ; and in this manner the stores always contain a quantity equal to the deposits of three years. By such wise precautions, the public is ensured against a sudden scarcity, and against an exorbitant increase in the price of food.

We insert here a comparative view of the amount of grain sown in the principality, at two different periods, [253] in order to show the benefits resulting from the new government. We have added some of the notions prevailing in Moldavia, as to the relative amount of produce to be obtained in agriculture.

1832. 1833. OBSERVATIONS,
Wheat and Rye . 137,634 343,156 This table has been formed from a
Barley and Oats . 90,368 145,346 statement using the Moldavian measure
Maize 120,299 155,794called kilo. The figures have been
Millet 3,869 5,885 converted into the French decimal system,
Buckwheat 4,956 19,472 taking the Moldavian kilo as equal to
Potatoes 31,762 66,665Russian tchetverts, or 5 12 hectolitres.

Taking the average produce of the various qualities of soil in Moldavia, the harvests of these two years may be estimated as follows : —

1832. 1833.
hectol. hectol.
Wheat and Rye . 1,238,706 3,088,404
Barley and Oats . 903,680 1,453,460
Maize 4,811,960 6,231,760
Millet 154,760 235,400
Buckwheat 173,460 681,520
Potatoes 317,620 666,650
The following average rates of produce have been taken :
Wheat and Rye. 9 for 1
Barley and Oats 10 — 1
Maize 40 — 1
Millet 40 — 1
Buckwheat .. .. 35 — 1
Potatoes 100 — 1

The establishment of a quarantine on the Danube, is another remarkable benefit of this new order of things. Many a time has the scourge of contagion met with a salutary check from this vigilant institution. Quarantine is fixed at Galatz ; it is under the protection of the militia, and consists of a sanitary committee, composed of the inspector-general of the lazarettos of both prin- cipalities, of the chief of the department of the interior, of the hetman, and of the principal physician.

The public medical service, which is under the inspection of the board of health, comprises one head physician, four doctors, who have each a division of Yassy for their practice, another placed at the hospital of St. Spiridon, and several surgeons ; besides these, there are doctors employed by government in the principal district towns, who, in their respective range of inspection, leave no part of the country unvisited.

The making and mending of the public roads is at the expense of the communes, a fixed sum being assigned for this purpose of about 75,000 piastres ; this sum, it may well be conceived, is but very insuffi- cient for the keeping up of regular roads, the soil of Moldavia being of such a nature as to require a very expensive system. The sum allotted, therefore, only suffices for the repair of the roads within a short distance of towns and villages ; and even this, in the rainy season, it is in vain to attempt.


The annual sum of 125,000 piastres is granted for the paving of the town of Yassy ; but this sum proving insufficient to renew the pavement, proprietors of houses situated in the streets are called upon to contribute, during seven years, in proportion to the space occu- pied by their houses in the street intended to be paved.

Before the introduction of this regulative system, which tends to give new life to these countries, the principal establishments of public service, deprived by the unhappy state of the times of any permanent or adequate resources, were given up to mere chance ; their poverty rendered them inefficient. This regulative organisation assigned to each branch of public adminis- tration a fixed and certain revenue. These endow- ments are designated Benevolent Funds ; they are four in number, and each is directed by three or four Boyards, selected by the prince, to whom the title of curator is given.

The meeting of the curators, presided over by the metropolitan, forms the council of Benevolent Funds. The first is that for the schools : it has four curators, and its revenues amount to 400,000 piastres ; it is directed to public instruction. I here insert a table of the comparative condition of this department.

DAY SCHOLARS AT THE SCHOOLS OFIn 1832. In 1834. In 1838.
Yassy 225 515 472
Fokschani 33 68 93
Birlatou60 100 66
Galatz 44 61 85
Houche 45 58 80
Romano 32121 37
Botochani 7662103



Bursers to the College 255064
Boarders ..2450
Institution for young girls...7072
Town schools ....66




The second Benevolent Fund, is that for the hospital established in the monastery of Saint Spiridon. This institution has a special revenue. It is governed by three curators, and can receive 200 patients.

The Fund for almsgiving is directed by the metropolitan curator. It is endowed by the vestiary with a revenue of 72,000 piastres.

Lastly, the fund for the waterworks is applied to the repair of the aqueducts and fountains ; at present it has no curator, for the repairs are done by agreement, at [257] the cost of 50,000 piastres, which constitute the revenue of this fund.

The assembly of curators forms, as I have said before, the central committee, whose object is to control the revenue and outlay of each of these funds, to propose measures for general improvement and economy. and to maintain the observance of the statutes which regulate the management of these funds for the public service. The head of the department of the Interior acts as the medium of communication between the central committee. whether with the prince, or the General Assembly.

The mode of taxation, and the rate of tax, have varied essentially since the introduction of the new system. All the ancient dues, loans in kind, and statute labour, were simultaneously abolished, and replaced by the single tax of 30 piastres upon every family, and. by a patent duty upon every merchant and artisan, of from 60 to 240 piastres. For the proper collection of this tax, the new regulation provides that a census of the classes liable to the tax, be drawn out every seven years, and that during that period all increase diminution in the inhabitants of a commune shall be to the advantage or charge of that commune. The first census look place during 1831, and the oral occurred in 1837. The sum assessed to each commune being fixed unalterably, according to the number of its families, noted down [258] on the census sheet, the tax is levied by the commune itself, each family being rated according to the number of cattle possessed by them. Every commune has, in addition, a common fund, to which each family is obliged to subscribe one-tenth of the poll-tax, or three piastres er annum ; by means of this contribution, is made up.

The revenue and expenses of the state, mentioned further on, will occupy a special table. The accounts are conducted in the following manner : the vestiar, at the close of every month, presents to the council of administration a summary of the general state of his receipts and outlay ; this is forwarded to the controller for examination, who, adding thereto his observations, when required, submits it to the council ; after which, the result of this examination is handed up to the general assembly, and becomes subject to a final revision.

The rights and reciprocal duties of proprietors and of cultivators have been regulated by a law ; the aim of this law was, in the first place, to fix the relations between landlords and peasants on a just foundation of reciprocity, and also to give the villager, till then bound to remain on the same glebe, the right of [259] transferring his dwelling from one place to another, according as his own interests demanded. This pri- vilege of transporting his household goods to the place of his own choice, was doubtless a great benefit conferred on the Moldavians. The villager is entitled by law to a space of 10 pragins, or 360 square toises, for his house and vegetable garden ; a faltosh and-a-half, or 4,320 square toises of arable land ; 40 pragins, or 1,440 square toises of meadow, and 20 pragins, or 720 square toises of pasture land ; each peasant receives, moreover, for each yoke of oxen employed by him 60 pragins, or 2,160 toises of meadow, and the same of pasturage, in addition to the allowances above stated*. In return for all these advantages, and this extent of land, the peasant is required to give up to his land- lord twelve days labour, and to perform carriage, for from eight to sixteen hours, or in two turns, at an interval of from one to eight hours. Each peasant gives, moreover, annually four days labour, but this time on his own land ; and consequently he is himself profited by the work. Such are the principal provisions of this protecting law; and many peasants would be contented with a similar lot in countries which are held to be in *Supposing a Moldavian to be equal to a Russian toise, or about two metres, a peasant possessing one :olio of oxen would be entitled to an extent of land equal to 450 hectares. [260] a more advanced condition. By a further provision of this law, however, it frequently happens that the landlord makes additions or retrenchments in these conditions, with the consent of the farmer, and these agreements have the force of law.

Before speaking of the army and the judicial organi- sation, it is essential that we should give an idea of one of the fundamental institutions established by the con- stitution, namely, the ordinary Assembly General.

This assembly is composed of :
The metropolitan, who is the president;
Of two bishops, the diocesans of Romano and of Houche ;

Of sixteen Bavards, chosen from the several degrees of rank, from the l.ogothetes to the haw), inclusively. These magistrates must be natives of the country, at least thirty years of age, and domiciled in the city of Yassy : these qualifications are required of Boyards in the capital, to become electors or eligible.

There are also thirteen members from the districts, elected by the landed proprietors of each district ; these must be Boyards or sons of Boyards, at least thirty years of age, but in the districts it is not required that the electors should be more than twenty-five years of age.

The metropolitan and the two bishops are, by their own [261] right, members of the Assembly ; the sixteen Boyards of Yassy are appointed by the electors of the capital ; the sixteen Boyards from the districts, by the electors of each district. The Assembly thus constituted lasts for five years; it is convoked on the 1st of December in each year, to examine the accounts. of the vestiary and of the two benevolent funds ; to appoint the holders of public farms ; and to participate in the enactment of such public measures as exceed the limits of an administrative ordinance. The legal duration of the session is limited to two months, but it is generally prolonged beyond this period. The prince, by a message addressed to the Assembly, proclaims the opening or close of the session.

The establishment of a disciplined army dates also from the enactment of the constitution. The army is supplied by recruits and volunteers ; it is commanded by the hetman, assisted by a general staff, and consists of one regiment, half infantry and half cavalry. According to the present state of the army, this regiment is com- posed of a battalion and a squadron ; a superior officer marches at the head ; the battalion is commanded by a major, and the squadron by a captain. The army costs the state a yearly suns of 650,000 piastres, and this excludes the prince's staff, the maintenance of which absorbs 80,000 piastres. A portion of the troops aye [262] garrisoned in Yassy, but the greater part are stationed along the sanitary cordon of the Danube, and at the principal points of the Moldavian frontier. A detach- ment is posted over the salt mines, in which the convicts work.

The administration of justice is organised on an entirely iiew footing. Tribunals of the first resort have been es- tablished in all the chief towns of the district ; two courts of appeal and a criminal court are held at Yassy, and a commercial tribunal at Galatz ; lastly, under the desig- nation of princely divan, a supreme court pronounces judgment in final appeal. The district tribunals take cognizance of all civil, commercial and criminal affairs ; their competence does not extend beyond cases involving a value of 1,500 piastres, and an appeal is open on furnishing security to the amount of 20 per cent. The competence of the appeal courts, and of the tribunal of commerce, is limited to a value of 20,000 piastres ; and their judgments may be appealed from, on fur- nishing security. It is equally requisite to furnish security, whatever the importance of the case may be, whenever the judgment of the court of appeal confirms that of the inferior tribunal. From the princely divan, or supreme court, there is no appeal ; its decrees are confirmed by the prince, who either presides in person, or is represented by a substitute.


Together with this new system of judicial administra- tion, the constitution has prescribed forms of proceeding, of which there had previously been no notion. By these means, as rational as they are productive of expedition, it has been possible to introduce some order and lucidity into the endless accumulation of suits which, under the neglect of former governments, threatened to become eternal.

Such were the principal reforms introduced in 1832 ; they embrace, it will be observed, the entire system of relations between the government and its subjects; and they have proved to Moldavia the commencement of a new and prosperous era.

It was in the course of the year 1834, that the provisional government appointed by Russia was suc- ceeded by that of a native prince. A period of two years had sufficed to General Kisseleff to make the inhabitants of the country understand and feel the happy results of the reform over which he presided ; and to develope, in all their effects, the principles of law and order which have been substituted for the arbitrary power and abuses of the old government. Thus could this man, fortunate as he was wise, behold, ere his departure, the benedictions of the two principalities fall upon his labours, and the public weal firmly established and de- fended by the guarantees with which he had been careful [264] to surround it ; and on finally departing, he left noble, indeed, was the parting token — the vestiary, the public coffers, and the municipalities, in the most flourishing condition. The army, whose existence dated only three years back, by its discipline and orderly appearance, seemed to call into question the recency of its organisation ; the quarantine, conducted and protected with zeal and honesty, could already claim to be ranked with the most ancient establishments of the kind. Com- merce, delivered from all obstructions, had taken an extension until then unknown ; and the capital, which began to be employed in various useful enterprises, imparted a sensible progressive movement to the wealth of the country. It is certainly true that several elements of prosperity which the new form of administration con- ferred on Moldavia did not bear their fruits till a later period ; but time alone can determine the value of new institutions.

Those principles of order and prosperity which had been implanted by General Kisseleff, his successor had to put into practice by degrees, as the growing resources of the new government came to his assistance ; and effectually every year a certain degree of progress is shown, in the reports of the government to the Assembly of Bovards, to have been effected.

Agriculture, the produce of which has been so abundant, [265] that, in spite of a most active exportation, there has frequently occurred a surplus, is beginning to give place to other branches of industry, which will give an impetus to the commerce of' the interior, now threatened with stagnation.

The year 1837, signalised by an incredible degree of activity, witnessed the most extensive cultivation of land, the improvement of the breed of cattle, the introduction of merino sheep ; and lastly, an essay, though as yet but a timid one, at establishing several small manufactories, such as paper-mills, potteries, &c.

The following account of the value of imports and exports, although it must be looked upon as extremely incomplete, will, however, bear witness to the progress in the industry and activity of the country.

Exports. Imports.
piast. piast.
In 1832 ... 11,862,430 13,612,947
1833 ... 12,262,356 18,307,732
1834 ... 12,386,104 14,515,1 17
1835 ... 13,271,497 11,812,518
1836 ... 18,953,772 14,217,393
1837 ... 17,353,611 10,878,021

The progressive increase in the revenue, from the farming out of the customs, and from the export duties on cattle and corn, bears a natural relation with the progress of commerce. The districts situated near Galatz principally export corn, tallow, skins, wax and wines ; those adjoining the Austrian frontier trade in cattle, and [266] carry on several distilleries of brandy, the residue from which is used to fatten the cattle, which they export. It may be stated, without exaggeration, that from fifty to sixty thousand head of cattle are sent out of Moldavia annually. In short, the produce of this fertile soil, compared with the rate of purchase of land, may be estimated, in the present state of things, at seven or eight per cent.

We cannot conclude these statements more appro- priately, than by a table of the comparative revenue and expenditure of the principality at certain given periods ; and finally, of the septennial census, taken according to the law, and upon which the new resources of the country will be based.

OF 1834.OF 1839.
Poll- tax on villagers
" " persons without fixed domicile
" " mazils, and roupteches
" " patented foreigners 5,239,2756,161,985
" " Jew tavern keepers and others
" " patented merchants, and artisans
" " Tsigans of the State
Farming of Salt-works 850.000 765,000
" " Customs 466,990 898,128
" " Export duty on cattle 322,717 567,000
Tax on foreigners 60,000 20,000
Contributions of monasteries, per mein. 450,000 .. ..
" " metropolitan diocese and bishoprics 60,000 60,000
Passport duty 12,00012,000
Duty on Tallow 10,5007,843


of 1831. of 1838.
Tribute to the Porte ..740,000
Civil list of the Prince 800,0001,200,000
Salaries of public servants and functionaries 1,962,0682,132,236
Salary of agent at Constantinople 60,00080,000
Rent of houses 50,00060,000
Lighting and firing for offices 60,00060,000
Maintenance of stougitors in the service of public departments and tribunals . 538,700327,370
Maintenance of army 650,000730,000
" " quarantine 100,000120,000
" " postal establishments 412,000442,000
Postal expenses for public service 85,00075,000
Indemnity to socotelniks and pensions 1,000,0001,1100,000
Repair of public roads 25,00075,000
Maintenance of schools 200,000200,000
" " the seminary 60,00060,000
Pavement of Passy 125,000125,000
Maintenance of medical service 80,000100,000
" " prisoners 50,00030,000
" " fountains and water-works 50,00050,000
Indemnity to the Hospital of St. Spiridon 21,00021,000
Contribution to the alms fund 72,00072,000
Extraordinary expenses 80,000100,000
Expenses of census ..150,000


7,949,606 (*)
(*) — One-tenth of the salaries of public servants is also devoted to the schools, which brings the amount allowed for public instruction to 400,000 piastres.

A census, taken conformably with the law at the end of the year 1837, will give us a notion of the variation of the population of Moldavia during the last six years. This calculation, however, is insufficient to give the exact amount of the population of the [268] principality, as it scarcely includes more than the families who are subject to the tax. It is to be remarked, that in Moldavia, as in Wallachia, an important portion of the population, under various pretexts, still enjoy an exemption from taxation, often productive of sad results. We have already mentioned to what an extent, under the preceding system, the abused extension of these immunities is opposed to the prosperity of the provinces. How much is it to be regretted, that such a wise reform should have stopped short in so good a path, and that equal taxation — the only equality possible at such a time — was not proclaimed in these beautiful provinces ! Here is, however, a list of the privileged- :

Boyards ;
Public Servants of all ranks ;
The Clergy, and all employed in the service of Churches ;
Persons in the employ of the Boyards ;
Strangers whose sojourn is not authorised.

Some other classes enjoy, besides, the privilege of con- ferring, in certain cases, the right of exemption. For example — all proprietors on whose estates less than two hundred families are maintained, have the right to exempt from taxes two families out of every ten ; if the property contains a greater number of inhabitants, the exemption then applies to only one-tenth of the families.


The stougitors — the gendarmes of the country — cause three families to participate in the exemption. Every soldier on active duty exempts by right one family. Finally, infirm persons and invalids are excused from all contribution.

Hence it follows that the classes on whom devolves the weight of the taxes, is limited to these :

1st. Patented merchants and artisans, taxed from 60 to 240 piastres a year ;

2nd. The collateral descendants of privileged families, designated mazils, rouptaches, and rouptes of the vestiary, paying an annual tax of 30 piastres ;

3rd. The inhabitants of villages, taxed at 30 piastres a-year, besides an assessment of one-tenth, payable to the commune ;

4th. Persons without a fixed habitation contributing a poll-tax of 10 piastres ;

5th. Foreigners dwelling in the country rated annually at 15 piastres ;

6th. Jews carrying on the trade of tavern-keepers in the villages, 60 piastres ;

7th. Finally, the Tsigans of the state, paying 38 piastres a-year.

Having stated these facts, we now give the result of the general census of families liable to taxes, as taken in 1838 : —

Name of the district. Chief Towns. Population liable to contribution.
Dorohoi Michaïleni12,946
Botochani Botochani 18,073
Souczava Falticheni 11,082
Niamtzo Piatre 15,018
Romano Romano 12,933
Bakéo Bakéo 23,230
Poutna Fokschani 21,746
Tecoutz Tecoutz 14,211
Covourloni Galatz 10,312
Toutova Birlatou 13,881
Vasloui Vasloui 13,768
Fattchi Houche 10,628
Yassy Yassy 22,693
Total of taxed families
If we adopt the calculation in use in Moldavia, which makes five the average number of each family, the entire population will be represented by 1 ,002,605
As all data are wanting, however, by which a notion could be formed as to the number of individuals — of course, very considerable — which the present state of the law exempts from contributing to the public expenses, we shall not attempt any estimate ; especially as, up to the present day, the official documents have presented no numerical statement of any importance, as to these privileged classes.
It may be deduced, however, from this very incomplete information, that Moldavia, since 1832, has witnessed a very considerable in- crease in the number of its tax-payers ; at that period the census stated the number of families at 165,685 — making 828,425
This exhibits an increase of 174,180

Since the establishment of civil registers, the number of births and deaths in the principalities may be ascertained. The following table shows that each year there is a notable excess in favour of the births. This surplus presents an average of 9,769 births per annum, with the exception of the year 1833, signalised by the passage of the cholera. There can be no doubt that the better condition of the people, owing to the new state of things, is the cause of this increase of population.

Boys. Girls. Total. Men. Women. Total.
1832 12,809 11,096 23,965 11,012 7,238 6,121 13,359
1833 12,122 10,293 22,415 7,784 11,893 10,768 22,661
1834 12,725 11,530 24,255 9,035 9,045 8,270 17,315
1835 13,024 10,712 23,736 7,260 7,497 6,324 13,821
1836 13,782 11,722 25,504 7,367 6,860 6,016 12,906
1837 12,601 11,341 23,942 8,909 6,089 5,543 11,632

It does not result from any observations made by us, that the physical constitution of Moldavia presents any [272] remarkable difference from that of the neighbouring prin- cipality : the same chain of mountains forms the western boundary of the two countries ; and if, indeed, it has been noted that the winters are more severe at Yassy than at Bukharest, this difference is explained by the respective latitudes of the two capitals. Moldavia has experienced more frequently those shocks of earthquake which occasionally visit these regions.

The Moldavians are robust, temperate, hard-working, and inured to the most opposite extremes of temperature. Their features differ from those of the Wallachian people : their countenances are less open ; and the habit they have preserved, of wearing their beards and hair long, gives an almost savage expression to their physiognomy, to such a degree, that at a distance they might be taken for those primitive statues of the Sarmatians to be seen in museums of antiquity, mementos of the triumphs of Rome over the barbarian. Among the Wallachians, on the contrary, we meet with a larger development of stature, and a greater amount of beauty. As though more deeply impressed with the nomadic habits of their ancestors, the Moldavians more frequently perform long journeys on foot than their neighbours. Assembled together in large caravans, they traverse immense dis- tances, and carry, as far as the streams to the east of Russia, the commodities with which the towns scattered over the vast plains in that direction are supplied. The [273] Moldavians travel across these steppes, following the slow and measured pace of their oxen, and are sometimes an entire month without approaching a dwelling. At night the caravan halts, and its numerous cars are formed into a square, their white oxen pasturing around, under the guard of their courageous dogs. A fire is soon lighted in the middle of the square, and the drivers prepare their simple repast ; after which, each disposes himself to sleep, wrapped in a coarse covering of felt. These indefatigable pedestrians are not the less excellent horse- men ; and towards the north of the principality there exists a fine breed of horses, of a larger build than the Wallachian steeds, and much in request for cavalry remounts.


We can only speak here of that portion of the popula- tion in both countries seen by ourselves ; but, according to the best informed and most credible travellers, it is among the mountains of both principalities that the most marked characteristics of the people are exhibited. The highlands abound in magnificent sites, the vegetation is rich, and the incidental features of the country call to mind the picturesque beauties of the Swiss Alps. Such descriptions made us regret that we had not leisure to explore these countries as far as the mountains, so well are they worthy of an attentive study ; but when Moldavia is traversed, as was the case with us, in three days, and [274] in the midst of torrents of rain, but little inducement is offered to extend one's acquaintance with the country under so mournful an aspect.

That unruly race, the Tsigans, are found in great numbers in Moldavia, and here, as in Wallachia, they are employed as servants. They exercise, moreover, the avocations of cooks, blacksmiths and minstrels — three very opposite employments — in which they have no rivalry to fear from the inhabitants of the country. But were ever such cooks seen ? Their appearance was quite enough to content us, and we made no further experience of their qualities. The religion of this people, which is entirely external, consists chiefly, as we have already stated, in the observance of the duties enjoined by the church. These duties, among which the foremost is abstinence, are entirely in accordance with the natural temperance of the Moldavians. Their ordinary food is a sort of porridge, cooked sometimes in an oven, at others in an iron kettle, and called by them mamalinga. To mix milk with this preparation, chiefly consisting of Indian wheat, is considered a step towards luxurious indulgence. Even the wealthiest peasants rarely touch meat ; and it is only at the end of a long fast that they regale themselves in this way.

Before concluding these notes, we have only to say a word on the language of the people in the two prin- [275] cipalities, which is, with few exceptions, the same for both. This language which, in the midst of the corruptions introduced by emigration, exhibits traces of its Latin and Slavonian origin, had neither a grammar nor any alphabet of its own until 1735, an epoch rendered so remarkable by the enlightened attempts of Prince Constantine Mavrocordato. The Wallachian tongue is that spoken by the people : the Boyards have for a long time past made use of the modern Greek, which was introduced by the Hospodars from Constantinople, and formed the language of the court. At the present day the French language is very generally studied, and it would be difficult to find a family of any distinction in which both French and Italian were not spoken. A few words, transcribed from a good vocabulary, will give a notion how much the Wallachian language has borrowed from the Latin, that great well-spring from which so many nations have drawn : on the census sheet, the tax is levied by the commune itself, each family being rated according to the number of cattle possessed by them. Every commune has, in addition, a common fund, to which each family is obliged to subscribe one-tenth of the poll-tax, or three piastres per annum ; by means of this contribution, the expenses of collecting the tax are defrayed, and any deficit caused by the absence or death of contributors, is made up.

Beautiful Formos         Laugh Ris.
Begin Incep Light Luminar.
Bench Scamm Ox. Boo.
Black Negro Parent Parinte.
Day Dzio Table Massa.
Finger Degete Tears Lacrimæ.
Fisherman Pescator Where Unde.
Game Venat White Alb.
Glass Vitric With Cum.
Good Bounn Word Verba.

Besides these words, which we have taken at random, there are a great number presenting a complete similitude with the Italian. It must be noted, however, that these resemblances, discoverable in the written language, would be difficult to seize as the language is spoken. The vicious pronunciation of the people, their hoarse and guttural utterance — arising from their habit of living in the open air render it difficult for any but skilled ears identify the words.

It was in collecting and arranging these notes that we employed the tedious hours spent in the quaran- ti iie. They are the result of reading, of our own recol- lections, and more especially of information communicated in the kindest manner. It is not given here as even an incomplete view of all that is suggested by the subject, which would easily furnish matter for a volume ; but as a simple record of our impressions during a journey, unfor- tunately but too short. It will be seen that our eagerness to learn everything was admirably favoured by the kind- ness and influential position of our hosts.

But it is time that we should now, once for all, cross the frontier, and return to Skoulain, a village which, by virtue of the treaty signed at Bukharest, May 16 — 28, 1802, between Russia and the Porte, became the territory of the former. This treaty, as is already known, added to the empire the long province bounded on the east [277] by the Dniester, and on the west by the Pruth, by which streams, running almost parallel, it is enclosed. On the newly adopted line of boundary, each nation has established a quarantine, to supervise and purify all arrivals from the right bank of the Danube. The Moldavian lazaretto is established at Galatz, not far from the mouth of the Pruth ; the Prussians have placed their post of observation on the left bank of the same stream, at the point nearest Moldavia, and on a route, the communications by which, between that principality and Bessarabia, might, perhaps, with propriety, be left more untrammelled.

Heaven forbid that we should endeavour to depict in these pages the misery and weariness of that mournful captivity, which is called perf+hrming quarantine ! The only consolation in such eireumstauces, is the con- sciousness of obedience to the law, that inestimable virtue, without which no society would be possible. Shut up at night in our cells, we became the prey of millions of enemies, harassing our slumbers, and by their sharp bites rendering us more sensible to the hardness of our pallets. Daylight came slowly on, as we waited with impatience the moment when, by special favour of the director of the lazaretto, we might take a bath in the river. Surrounded with keepers, and confined to a limited space, we were allowed, at a certain hour, [278] to indulge in this healthy exercise. The waters of the Pruth are said to possess wholesome properties, both for bathing and drinking ; but we preferred using them for the former purpose rather than the latter, as we found, on tasting them, a strong brackish flavour, which rendered their use as a beverage anything but pleasant.

A watch is kept night and day over the wooden enclosure of the lazaretto ; and the challenges of the sentries during the night, echoe and die away mournfully in the distance, in a manner by no means calculated to enliven the meditations of the captive. The deplorable heat which we experienced in the principalities, continued to oppress us at Skoulain. The burning heat of the morning was followed every evening by a violent storm, converting the yards, and even the interiors of the houses, into muddy and melancholy pools, which the next day's sun with difficulty dried up. During one of these storms, accompained with the incessant rumbling of thunder, we were informed that the lightning had struck a party of Cossacks, on their way to relieve guard : their long lances, had apparently served as conductors to the destructive fluid ; out of five men one only was killed, the other four remaining paralyzed in parts of their limbs.

It must not be forgotten that we were on the soil of the empire, and that, even distant as is this frontier [279] from the capital, the kind commands which were to ensure us protection and support, had long since reached thither. Accordingly we experienced every indulgence on the part of the employés, compatible with the extreme rigour of the regulations. The permission to bathe, so much prized by us, was entirely owing to the attentions of the director, and of Dr. Ellisen, the medical officer of the lazaretto. I had also obtained, as a favour, that those of our wretched companions in quarantine — almost all Jews or Armenians — whose consent could be obtained, should sit as models to Raffet, at a suitable distance, and under the eye of the keepers. At length our captivity was drawing to a close. Early in August, an envoy from Count Woronzoff, governor-general of New- Russia, came from Odessa to meet us, and expressed the kindest intentions on the part of the Count, the sincerity of which a long correspondence did not permit us to doubt. This young man, one of the official secretaries of the governor-general of Odessa, placed himself at our disposal as a guide, for the remainder of the journey. On the 22nd of July (August 3rd), we were summoned to the receiving room of the establish- ment, to take the usual oath on departure. We swore, in the joy of our hearts, that we had infringed none of the sanitary regulations, and that the plague, from which we were free on entering, had not attacked us [280] in the interval. Our solemn asseverations were made, and sealed with a kiss on the New Testament, lying on the same table with a khoran for the Turks, and an Old Testament for the Jews.

The next day we crossed that fearful threshold, at which he who enters must leave behind him all the weakness and impatience of his nature. Four large horses, harnessed a-breast, whirled off our carriages with their joyous burthen, over the soil of Bessarabia. On leaving the village of Skoulain, the broad streets of which stamp it as Russian, we began to traverse a naked and barren region, intersected with valleys, lying between ranges of rounded hillocks, stretched in a parallel line with the Pruth. This kind of country continues for about five leagues ; in the bosom of the valleys are generally found small pools, supplied by the rain-water, but as far as the eye can stretch, not a tree, not a human being, nor an habitation of any sort, can be discovered. Our postillions were the only specimens we could see of the new inhabitants of this country ; how great, however, was the difference between their physiognomy and that of the Moldavians Their high caps remind one, in form, of the top of a pilgrim's staff; and a coarse shirt, a belt, and loose pantaloons, stuffed into short boots of raw leather, complete their light and simple costume. Their type [281] of countenance is not so strongly marked as in the inhabitants of Moldavia, from whom they are, moreover, distinguished by whiter skins, a broad face, and light hair and beards. The drivers, as is the custom throughout the empire, are seated in front of the carriages — an arrangement which nearly cost some of us our lives. One of these men, being unskilled, and having lost all control over the eight young and spirited animals he was driving, threw up the reins in despair ; the horses, finding themselves no longer held in, swept over the plain, to the great peril of the travellers, and of those who several times attempted to stop them.

After a few hours, the country assumed another aspect ; there were no more monotonous plains, but a well dis- tributed country, covered with fine trees, and surrounded by a horizon of distant mountains of the most beautiful forms. A fearful storm overtook us in the forest, where we were fortunate enough to meet with a post-house connected with the village of Bachmout. We took refuge in this wretched dwelling, from which we saw the light- ning descend several times at a short distance from us, and still nearer to a number of oxen who were patiently weathering the storm. When the torrent of rain had ceased, we resumed our journey, and had soon taken leave of this picturesque country, but too quickly traversed. It was succeeded by a plain, or rather a vast pool of black [282] mud, stretching endlessly round us in every direction. Night fell, wrapping us in profound darkness, and still the same prospect presented itself; towards ten o'clock, an escort of Cossacks, armed with long lances, with a lantern at the end of each, told us that we were approaching Kicheneff.

To emerge from this pitchy darkness, from this sea of mud, and suddenly find ourselves in an apartment bril- liantly lighted up, overwhelmed with pressing atten- tions and politeness, with the near prospect of a supper, formed one of those contrasts common enough in the life of a traveller, but which lose none of their charm by being frequently repeated. In the absence of the governor of Kicheneff, one of his relations and the chief of the police performed the honours of his vast and beautiful mansion. Couches were offered us, which with our quarantine reminiscences still fresh within us, felt like the finest down, and we were enabled to enjoy an interval of repose, well earned by the fatigue of the day. Our guide, the young envoy of Count Woronzoff, however, had the barbarity to rouse us from slumbers so delightful, at three in the morning, and kept us up for two hours waiting the arrival of horses. This time we set off to halt no more till we reached Odessa, that first and anxiously looked for point in our long voyage.

The same persons who had received us with so much [283] politeness in the evening, insisted on escorting us on horseback, or in droschkies, to a certain distance from the town. All that we saw of Kicheneff was the enor- mous space it covers ; like Rome, it is built on a number of hills. The reason it occupies so wide a space, is the breadth of the streets, and the number of gardens sur- rounding the houses. There are still a great number of old and ill-constructed buildings, and primitive looking huts, but the new quarters are covered with elegant dwelling-houses, and public edifices of elaborate architec- ture. The brilliancy of the colours with which the monuments are painted, especially the domes and roofs, which are of a light green tint, present a singular appearance to the eye of a foreigner, and give a peculiar character to our cities, the novelty of which appeared much to strike my fellow-travellers. The public places in Kicheneff are immense; they are adorned with turf, and set round with posts ; at the time of our passage, a considerable plantation of trees was going on, over a space intended for a public promenade.

A few vineyards may be seen on the hill sides in the neighbourhood of the town, but soon afterwards the country again becomes wild and uncultivated, and the more desolate from the effects of continued rain. In the low, swampy plains, we encountered numberless birds, the usual inhabitants of marshes, flights of lapwings, moor hens, and thoughtful looking cranes, stalking over [284] the marshes with melancholy gravity. On entering the steppe, we were leaving behind us immeasurable spaces covered with fine large plants, all in flower. The deep mire unfortunately protected them from the assaults of Dr. Léveillé, who, gazing on them from the back of the Wallachian carriage, was suffering the tortures of a botanical Tantalus. At last we beheld Bender. Not far from this place of strength we had passed over the desert soil where, on some unknown spot, Potemkin, one of the glories of our history, breathed his last. Having set out sick from Yassy, to proceed to Kherson, the prince was obliged to leave his carriage, for, like the Roman Emperor, he wished to die standing ; and here amid these steppes died the death of a soldier, the man whose name alone was worth armies.

We did not enter Bender, a place which will long preserve the meffiory of Charles XII., that terrible vanquished enemy of Russia. From the post-house, we could command a view of this town, spreading out its regular lines of houses in the midst of a broad plain without a tree or garden, and hedged round by a number of wooden windmills, spreading out their six sails to the wind. The citadel, which stands apart from Bender, is of considerable extent, and encloses within its modern works the ruins of the ancient Turkish fortress ; it is garrisoned by six hundred artillerymen. This place has lost a great deal of its importance since it has come to [285] be so for within the bounds of the territory Asa fron- tier town of the Turks, it was doubtless of great value to them in the midst of this open country, and near the river, which it commands.

The Dniester, as it flows before Bender, is of moderate width, but it runs between very steep banks, which render the passage of the river by a ferry, under the bastions of the fort, extremely difficult. To ascend the left bank, we required the aid of an encampment of Moldavian waggoners, established in the neighbourhood, and six pair of oxen, obtained from them, were a powerful assistance to us.

Tiraspol, with its citadel, and a large encampment of artillery beneath its walls, passed rapidly before our eyes ; then came Koutcherhan, where a colony of German agriculturists is established ; this is the first of eight agricultural communities whit+ have established themselves on the soil of Bessarabia, implanting upon it, together with their methods of culture, their gentle manners and patient habits, and even the very names of the towns of their native land. Thus, towards evening, we passed through Strasburg and Mannheim, where the sound of the German language reminded us of other countries — not more fertile, certainly, but more thickly inhabited, since the growth of the population is such as to render emigration necessary. These German people appeared contented with their tot; for the land, [286] in these virgin steppes, repays with usury the labour bestowed upon it. Bessarabia is making rapid strides in the path of industrial production. Already rich in grain — not only beyond its own wants, but beyond any amount of importation anticipated — this province has sought in manufactures a new channel for its resources. The government fosters this tendency by special immu- nities : thus, the distillation and sale of brandy and spirits, which throughout all the provinces of the empire are the exclusive privilege of the government, are in Bessarabia permitted to the producer for a limited period. The manufacture of beet-root sugar has also recently arisen in this country; and such is the richness of the soil, that this root, so devouring elsewhere, is unable to exhaust its resources. Its vigour is not, however, abused ; for the space is so large, that it is long before a second crop is called for from land which has already yielded produce. The fuel employed is a mixture in use throughout Southern Russia, consisting of chopped straw and cow-dung stirred up together, and dried into cakes, which in the summer time are seen covering the walls. Almost all the houses are covered with this singular coating, which is removed in the winter time.

Besides the German colonies, we came across several Moldavian caravans encamped for the night, according to their accustomed stratagetic arrangements. The benighted pedestrian who should approach these nomadic establish- [287] ments would deserve our pity, for he would be in great danger of being devoured by the fierce dogs performing patrol round these square battalions of cars.

Night had long fallen, and interminable delays detained us at the end of each stage. Notwithstanding that two estafettes had been dispatched, nothing was prepared ; there were no horses ; and Jewish rapacity, never neglecting an opportunity of levying contributions on the traveller, overwhelmed us with the offer of services, which, when paid for, were never realised. Accordingly, it was not till we had spent the night in the midst of a plain, where we were several times imbedded in the mud, that we approached the capital of New Russia. Before we could perceive the town, we felt on our faces, heated with travelling, the smarting effects of the sea breeze. At last, as the first beams of the morning sun appeared, we took possession of a magnificent hotel, bearing the name of Richelieu ; a name of which, from the extreme thoughtfulness of its hospitality, it is not unworthy.

man standing


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chapter 3-From Bucharest etc.




ship at sea


THE first aspect of Odessa is worthy the reputation of this great city ; the young and flou- rishing capital of New Russia could not be more fitly heralded. Surrounded to a remote distance by immense steppes and endless deserts, Odessa appears before one like a land of promise, a long-desired oasis ; and its walls are entered with the same feelings of joy as are experienced on reaching port at the end of a long sea Voyage.

group of people


The various quarters of this vast city, still daily increasing, cover a broad plateau, whose perpendicular sides plunge into the Black Sea. From its steep eminence, Odessa commands a large bay, the dark blue waters of which contrast with the pale and arid appear- ance of the surrounding coast, invariably enveloped throughout the summer in whirling clouds of dust. Sheltered from the southern gales, but ill protected against the parching winds of the east, the port of Odessa is formed by three moles, which divide it into as many basins. One of these, for the reception of vessels in quarantine, is overlooked by the walls of the lazaretto and the batteries of a fort ; the two others admit the ships of the Imperial navy, and trading vessels not coming from a quarantine port. The bottom of this bay offers good anchorage for ships of large burthen, but they are much exposed during gales from the east, and especially from the south-east. These terrible winds drive the impetuous waves into the bay of Odessa with a fury which nothing can withstand ; a succession of these storms continually sweep across the Black Sea in the direction of its longest diagonal.

The city of Odessa is planned with regularity, as are the generality of Russian cities ; it is carefully built, but the finest buildings occur in those quarters nearest the sea. All that part which faces the shore wears an appear- [291] ance of grandeur and opulence. The long and ma- jestic terrace overlooking the sea, is lined with public edifices, hotels, and stately mansions, but to seize the full effect of this rich assemblage of buildings, Odessa should be entered from its port. It is as though this queen of the Black Sea had reserved all her splendours for that shore, breathing with intelligent souls, whereon the waves flowing from Asia incessantly dash their foaming heads. The cliff we have spoken of, is not less than eighty feet in height ; on its summit, along its whole extent, is planted an avenue of young trees, with their branches arching together ; in the centre of this promenade, and in the midst of a crescent of fine mansions, stands a bronze statue of the Due de Richelieu, a monument of the gratitude of the city which owes so much to his creative genius. From the, foot of the statue descends a gigantic flight of steps, already far advanced towards completion ; when finished, it will connect, by steps one hundred feet wide, the grand terrace with the lower quay, and beneath these steps, which are to be supported by a series of open arches, gradually rising in height, the various carts and convey- ances going to and from the port will freely pass.

After contemplating this magnificent spot, if you explore the rest of the city, you will find but a very few buildings, and those scattered at distant, intervals, likely to remind [292] you of the grandeur of this favoured quarter. Broad streets, carefully paved, and planted with rows of acacia trees, traverse the length and breadth of the city, cross- ing each other at right angles. A theatre, a number of fine churches, spacious squares, bazaars, and a few rich- looking shops attract the attention, in the midst of a number of houses too humble in character for such splendid streets.


That portion of the road reserved for pedestrians, is broad enough to render the traffic easy at all times, even in the quarters most frequented, morning and evening, by the busy and the idle. The more crowded portion of the city is that adjoining Richelieu Street, the finest and most populous street in Odessa. In numerous shops along this street are spread out for sale the varied produce of every country in Europe, assembled thither under the fostering protection of the free port of Odessa. Showy sign-boards, with inscriptions representing every language of Europe, bear witness to that unrestricted freedom of trade which has made the fortune of this new city. The streets are filled with numerous droschkies : these kind of equipage, as useful as they are light, perform immensely long distances. At Odessa, the same customs prevail as are observed in all the southern countries of Europe ; the morning is devoted to business, and the middle of the day to [293] repose. This habit, which the heat of the climate seems to dictate, gives a melancholy and deserted appearance to the city during a great part of the day ; in the evening, however, outward signs of animation again break forth ; the theatre is much frequented, and the cafés and clubs are crowded. There the nobles assemble, further on the merchants, — hTurks, Armenians, Jews even; every class has its place of meeting, and in each of these resorts, open to quiet conversation, the long pipe of the east spreads its perfumed clouds over the assembly.

Odessa, henceforth, was become our head-quarters, our point of departure and of rendezvous, during the distant excursions we were about to make into these remarkable regions. Our arrival had been expected, and we were received with the most perfect politeness by all the persons to whom the governor-general, Count Michael Woronzoff, had been kind enough to commend us on his departure.

The governor-general, who was in haste to proceed to the Crimea, had left the city two days before our arrival, but not without leaving us, together with a most pressing invitation, all the necessary instructions for joining him immediately. We were animated with the strongest desire to visit this southern coast of the Crimea, replete, as we were told, with every species of charm, and where the noble and wealthy nobleman who governs these [294] countries has created, within the last few years, the most elegant villegiatura imaginable. Thanks to this wholesome impulse, the wealthy inhabitants of Odessa go every year and spend the summer under the mild sky, amidst the streams, pleasant shades, and magnificent prospects of the ancient Taurida. Odessa — hexposed as it is, without the least shelter, to the sea winds — hwithout, from the commencement of summer, a cool or a green spot — hinspires one with a deep longing for the shades of the country. A hot, burning dust, driven in clouds before the wind, penetrates even into the interior of the houses. To protect themselves in some degree from this parching climate, the inhabitants retire in vain to their dwellings, surrounded with numerous plantations, in the vicinity of the city, called khoutors. The drought spares not these young artificial woods ; the loamy soil beneath the trees cracks, and becomes as hard as stone; so that scarcely do the few sickly leaves by which vegetation is manifested in these steppes afford the most meagre of shades. What a charm, then, must it be, to seek a refuge beneath the cool foliage of the century-old trees of the Crimea, listening to the sound of limpid cascades, and gazing on a landscape which Italy herself would not disavow ! Such was the picture which we heard repeatedly drawn ; and every one appeared so truly enchanted with this beautiful Taurida, — hso [295] general was the eagerness to repair thither, — hthat we too resolved no longer to delay complying with the pressing invitations of Count Woronzoff. It so happened, that we were just in time to take the steamer which was to start on the 10th, and convey to Yalta the élite of the society of Odessa.

In the meantime, each devoted himself to the studies and scientific researches — hthe objects of our voyage. My companions, faithful to their mission, in- vestigated the nature of the soil upon which the great city was built ; carefully noted the zoological varieties of the country, and gathered, in scattered spots, the few specimens of the flora of the steppes which the sun had not dried up. Raffet enriched his portfolio with all the picturesque incidents which the varied population of the city brought beneath his notice : Jews, Karaïms, Moldavians, Turks, Russians of the new and the old country, with their characteristic beards — hall these striking types were transferred to the leaves of his already well- filled sketch-book. I, on my side, collected a few notes relative to the country, and in particular to this city, whose history is as yet of so early a date, that a mere glance at the past is sufficient to place before one all the phases of its development. The research is one of undoubted necessity, if we would explain the causes which have raised Odessa to such a degree of prosperity, [296] with a rapidity which has astonished Europe ; if we would divine in what manner this new portion of the empire has been enabled to take advantage of every favourable circumstance ; — hif, in fine, anticipating the future, we would form an estimate of the destined position of this beautiful colony, already designated the Marseilles of the Black Sea, and offering, in fact, more than one point of resemblance with the ancient Phocian colony. To do this, became from the first, the object of my especial study.

On the promontory where the fortress of Odessa and the buildings of, one of the finest lazarettos in Europe now stand, might be seen, a few years before the commencement of this century, a little Turkish fort, commanding on one side the sea, on the other the desert : Hadji-Bey was the name of this fortress ; and the petty structure, perched like a gull's nest on the parched, barren cliff, was governed by a pasha. At this time Potemkin was extending his conquests over all those vast regions which now bear the name of New Russia. This prince instructed Admiral Ribas to take possession of the Turkish fortress, and it was soon subjected to the conqueror's yoke. The Empress Catherine II. having shortly afterwards conceived the project of erecting fortresses upon the new frontiers of her empire, Hadji-Bey was marked out as one of the [297] points in this line of defensive works, between Ovidiopol, which was to guard the mouths of the Danube and Tiraspol, destined to command the course of the Dniester. In 1794 the three fortresses were erected simultaneously, and the citadel of Odessa rose over the ruins of the old Mussulman fort of Hadji-Bey. A year had scarcely expired, when already numerous settlers, attracted by the favourable position of the spot, and encouraged by the protection afforded by its ramparts, had marked out a town, or rather an encampment of merchants, upon the plateau where Odessa now stands. Admiral Ribas, the governor of the new military establishment, succeeded in inspiring these adventurous traders with sufficient confidence, to persuade them to establish themselves in this spot no longer occasionally as merchants, but as settled inhabitants. He thus became the first founder of a city which acknowledges three foreigners as the authors of its prosperity : a memorable example of the wise and hospitable views of a government powerful enough to employ profitably even the gifted exiles sent to it by Europe.

Don José de Ribas, whose name remains inseparable from those of Richelieu and Langeron, was born at Naples, whence political events, which displace so many men and things, brought him to Russia ; he entered the service of the imperial fleet in 1769, and [298] had so distinguished himself as to deserve the rank of admiral, when he was called to fulfil the glorious mission of endowing the newly conquered empire with a capital city. In accomplishing this task, Don José employed all the resources of a character equally prudent and energetic. A year after its foundation, the new town reckoned within its regular ranges of wooden buildings a population of 2,300 men and 1,600 women; Greek, Jewish, and Bulgarian speculators, under the protective superintendence of a Russian general, staff and garrison. It was at this time that the town demanded a name of its noble sovereign. The Empress, whose taste for history and serious studies are well known, deemed the point of sufficient importance to be submitted to the Academy of St. Petersburg ; for her genius foresaw that here was the promise of no common-place provincial town, destined to vegetate on some remote shore, but a rich commercial emporium, towards which the ships of the Mediterranean would soon learn to turn their prows. Thus was Odessa named. It was found in the history of the ancient colonies of Greece, that not far from these latitudes there had existed a city called Odysossa, or Odyssos, and the new colony inherited this ancient name, recovered from the poetical record of the ancient Greek bard.

In the year 1796, Odessa assumed the attitude of [299] a city, well aware of its power and dignity. Its first care was the establishment of order ; after order, would succeed trade. Accordingly, as soon as it had organised a police, it erected an exchange ; and trade soon became the moving spring and bond of union among this people, composed of elements so various. In that year eighty-six ships had already cast their anchors beneath the walls of Odessa, and Ribas was urging with vigour the completion of works indispensable to a maritime port for the reception of mercantile shipping.

At this conjuncture, the empire lost its sovereign, the immortal Catherine, whom one of the greatest geniuses of the eighteenth century had dignified by the title of " great man." The Emperor Paul took the reins of the state ; but under the new Prince, Odessa fell into neglect, and its development was for some time checked. Ribas was re-called to St. Petersburg, Rear- Admiral Poustochkin being appointed in his place ; and to all appearance the views of the Emperor were not like those of his august mother, favourable to the new settlements on the Black Sea. However this might be, Odessa endured, though not without difficulty, the consequences of the neglect into which it had fallen. At the end of 1797 its population amounted already to 5,000 souls, distributed among 400 houses.

Among this population, so exclusively devoted to [300] commerce and exchange, no attempt had yet been made at production. Not a manufactory had been estab- lished — hor rather, we mistake — hone single manufactory did exist ; and it is a curious fact, that in the infancy of a city which has become prosperous in maturity, this manufactory supplied what in those days was an indispensable commodity : powder — hhair powder.

The eighteenth century was now drawing to its close, amidst threatening tempests, and even Odessa, scarcely beginning its career, and with every right to fancy itself safe from the effects of the storm, felt the commotion which agitated Europe. The new city had not yet found favour in the eyes of the sovereign, and its inhabitants resigned themselves to their lot, hoping for better times in the future. It is curious to follow, as they are traced in a work on this early period of its history, by M. Skalkofsky, a distinguished writer of this country, the numerous respectful, but persevering attempts of the inhabitants to obtain the privileges and liberties, the objects of their dearest wishes. They were never weary of laying their humble and unceasing petitions at the foot of the throne ; praying, at one and the same time, for a grant of armorial bearings to their city, for immunities such as Reval and Riga enjoyed, and for the freedom of her port. Of all these favours, solicited with so much eagerness, they obtained only the armorial bearings. [301] These were inaugurated with the most pompous cere- monies, and amidst every mark of the most lively gratitude. Soon after, the supplications of the city commenced afresh.

The people of Odessa, like a true people of traders, thought to seduce even sovereign majesty by a present, and apparently in those days a rare one. An envoy was dispatched to St. Petersburg, carrying with him, as a homage from his faithful subjects of Odessa, three thousand of the finest oranges that could be found. The present was received, the Emperor graciously expressing his acknowledgments, and immediately the importunate demands for monopoly and freedom were again urged. Odessa received them back, torn up, with no other answer than that such a request was absurd.

A day at last came when the persevering efforts of this rising people were crowned with success. Prince Gagarin, President of the College of Trade, as the minister of that department was called, interceded with the Emperor Paul in favour of his subjects of New Russia. The works in the port of Odessa were resumed, the necessary establishments completed, and the laza- retto founded on the same spot which it now occupies. As it had befallen the colonists more than once to suffer from a scarcity of grain, all exportation was suspended; the establishment of reserved stores became the object of [302] particular solicitude, and under this salutary system, so strongly called for in this case, prosperity again resumed its progressive march. This took place in the first year of the century, and with each succeeding year, the rise of the city became more rapid and more certain. The Emperor Alexander, on ascending the throne, had mani- fested an interest in the remote provinces of the south, and had admitted them to a community of laws with the rest of the empire. This was another pledge of the future definitive incorporation of these countries, and the new order of things was soon attended with fruitful results. Odessa beheld the arrival of a reinforcement of Bulgarian settlers, attracted by the privileges with which, from day to day, the new city was being endowed; and soon after, it was effectively exempted from all taxes for twenty- five years ; freed from the burthen of finding quarters for the military, by the construction of several barracks, and presented with a grant from the crown of the entire territory, which it possesses at the present day ; one-tenth of the customs' revenue was appropriated to the construction of works connected with the port, and other additional benefits favoured the development of trade, and of the population. Henceforward, its progress was rapid ; the transactions of trade in 1803 involved millions of roubles ; continual additions were made to the city, which was spreading out into the granted territory, and it was [303] under these circumstances that the happy choice of a new governor led to the foundation, on an imperishable basis, of that greatness and wealth which was shortly to signalise the southern capital of the empire.

Armand-Emmanuel, Duc de Richelieu, had the honour of connecting his name with the fortunes of Odessa, and for the city itself, the advent of this enlightened governor, endowed by nature with all the high qualities which constitute a founder, was a benefit worthy of eternal gratitude. Arriving as an emigré in Vienna, at the time when the disturbed state of his country rendered it dangerous for those bearing a name connected with the monarchy, the Duc de Richelieu had met with the most distinguished reception from the Emperor Joseph. The war in Turkey, so valiantly conducted by the illustrious Potemkin, inspired the French nobleman with the desire to serve under such a general. He at once signalised himself as so brave a soldier, that he was presented, beneath the walls of Ismael, with the cross of St. George, and a sword of honour. Attached to the person of the Grand Duke Alexander, before that prince became Emperor, the Duke reappeared for a short time in his native country, then no longer disturbed by the spirit of revolution, vanquished by the firm will of Bona- parte, than whom no being in Europe better under- stood the value of that powerful word — authority, [304] but unwilling to accept the offers of the new master of France, Richelieu returned to Russia, where he was invested with the rank of lieutenant-general and the governorship of Odessa.

At the period when the administration of this city was confided to M. de Richelieu, its population amounted to nine thousand souls, among whom there were as yet no more than forty-four workmen. Eight churches, a hospital, and more than a thousand houses or huts had been built, and yet the want of workmen was so imperiously felt, that the first care of the new governor was to endow the city with artisans skilled in all the most essential crafts. Every department of the administration being under the controul of one head, and every branch of the public service equally an object of regard and vigilance, the city had nothing to do but increase and flourish. It was at this period that several new and important benefits were conferred with a lavish hand by the Emperor Alexander, on the city of his adoption. The lowering of the custom-house duties, by one-fourth, attracted to the port an increased number of ships ; instead of one-tenth, one-fifth of the total produce of this branch of the public revenue was appropriated to the works of the port. A large grant was made to the lazaretto, the garrison was reinforced, and two great annual markets established. At the same time a tribunal [305] of commerce was organised, and a school was opened for the youth destined to a commercial career ; the breeding of merino sheep was encouraged, and the free grant of lands by the city to speculators in this branch opened a new and fruitful field for the increase of private wealth. Ease, which is the constant companion of industry and order ; well-being, and the refinement which succeeds it ; all the minute details of home-life, which in fact comprehend all civilization, established themselves by degrees within these fresh-built walls. The picturesque ramparts overlooking the sea, naturally invited the inhabitants to the relaxation of a walk, and thence they might contemplate, with a satisfied and hopeful glance, the present and future condition of their city. Following the example of the governor, every one devoted himself to plantation, to which the Duc de Richelieu attached a well-grounded importance ; and though the nature of the soil has militated against the development of vegetation upon a large scale, considerable service has been rendered to the city by the importation of certain varieties of the acacia, which have imparted to the arid and burnt soil of the surrounding steppe some degree of shade and coolness.

Agriculture, beginning to be more skilfully practised, exhibited in. 1805 results of sufficient magnitude to allow Odessa, at the solicitations of the western provinces, [306] then afflicted by a dearth, to export 5,700,000 roubles worth of corn. The war which shortly after broke out in central Europe acted, in the first instance, unfavourably on the operations of trade, but the course of events was such, that at a later period Odessa derived advantage even from a state of things which was fatal and ruinous to so many nations. In the first place, a considerable body of Italian merchants sought a refuge from the system imposed upon their country, by emigrating into New Russia, bringing with them their capital, and their talent for commercial affairs. At the same time, Odessa, taking a fortunate advantage of the political situation which closed the Mediterranean to the trade of the East, drew to its port, and received in transit, all the merchandise which the state of war drove away from the Dardanelles. This accidental deviation in the current of trade brought a profit to Odessa of no less than two millions of roubles. Everything, in short, flourished and increased in this fortunate city, which was no longer satisfied with its purely useful establishments, its institutions for merely commercial ends; like all other capitals, it desired to sacrifice something to the arts of peace, for the tumult of war was now expiring far from its walls, and their active inhabitants. Architecture, the passion which first seizes an enriched people, then came into great honour ; and several remarkable monuments towered proudly above [307] its humble dwellings. The new fashion had soon its favoured quarter; even a theatre was built — hthat luxury of idlers — hand on its stage, in the absence of any national drama, were performed Italian operas. The theatre was erected in the neighbourhood of the exchange, as though to bring in conjunction the laborious origin of this people, and the relaxation to which a long and toilsome career had entitled it.

In the midst of this prosperity, in 1812, the plague for the first time visited the city, carrying away two thousand inhabitants ! Scarcely had Odessa recovered from this terrible calamity, than it was wounded in its dearest affections by the unexpected retirement of its illustrious governor, its guardian genius, summoned back to his native country by the restoration of its legitimate sovereigns, and the call of an ancestral name. After a paternal administration of eleven years, the Due de Richelieu took leave of this city, of whose prosperity Ile was the living embodiment, carrying away with him the good wishes and regrets of a people who had grown great under his auspices.

More than one eye-witness described to us the painful scene which was enacted in the plain at the moment of separation. The Duke was escorted as far as the first stage by all the equipages in the city, the mass of the population having collected long beforehand at the place of [308] leave-taking. When the parting moment was come, that moment which was to sever so many affectionate ties, to crush so many hopes — hwhen a whole people, eagerly press- ing towards their benefactor, called him by his name, and sought to seize him by the hand, anxious once more to behold his features, to touch his garments, — hthe great and good man, the object of such deep regret, was unable to overcome the violence of his emotion ; it was necessary to tear him away from the scene, and carry him to his carriage, in which he was rapidly whirled away. The remainder of his noble career belongs to the history of another country. In the midst of the duties with which the confidence of the King of France invested him, M. de Richelieu did not lose sight of the people to whom lie had been as a father. Public gratitude has raised a durable monument to his memory, on the spot which his anxious care had embellished.

The statistics of Odessa during this period of eleven years, present a remarkable increase : without entering into any details, we will merely state that at the departure of the Duc de Richelieu, there were twenty-five thousand inhabitants in the city, distributed among more than two thousand houses, and the total amount of trading operations involved a sum of from forty-five to fifty millions.

A noble task was thus bequeathed to the succeeding [309] governor, and the imperial will giving a fresh pledge of its interest and solicitude for these countries, confided it to worthy hands. The Comte de Langeron, a Frenchman, as was his illustrious predecessor, continued his good work with singular success. An emigré, and the guest of Russia, M. de Langeron had given proofs of distinguished military talents in Sweden, Turkey, Holland and Corfu ; everywhere, in fact, whither the fortune of war called him. After the treaty of peace, the Emperor, who was a judge of men, appointed the general governor of the city of Odessa, and at the same time governor- general of New Russia. By having these powers united within his own hands, the Count was enabled to embrace, from a higher point of view, the details of a plan which was to cement the interests of Odessa with those of the vast countries over which the new governor was now called to rule.

The general commenced his undertaking towards the end of 1815. Scarcely was he installed, when he received the visit of an august personage — hand of this visit Odessa still preserves the happy memory. A prince of the blood royal, he whom Providence has since called to the throne of all the Russias, and who at that time was the Grand Duke Nicholas, came to judge, by his own observation, of a state of prosperity which he found not inferior to its renown. It was then no longer a city trying the [310] strength of its resources, but a powerful metropolis, which had won for itself an important rank in our vast empire. Henceforward, therefore, we shall not have to record the timid and uncertain essays of a body of adventurous merchants : we have only to note a rapid succession of vast and fortunate enterprises. In 1815, Odessa exported to the value of fourteen millions ; a year after, thirty-seven millions was the figure attained under this head ; in another year it had risen to forty-two millions. The imports during the same period varied from fifteen to nineteen millions. From that time Odessa became the vast granary receiving all the supplies of corn, for which Europe turns to it in times of scarcity ; and as the vessels in its roadstead no longer offered a sufficiently ready outlet, it was at this period that the numerous store houses were built, constituting almost a new town, in which the harvests of this productive soil are garnered.


Thus were the fortunes of this new city originated and established. Henceforward it took rank among the most active and useful cities of the world. To crown its prosperity, the first and dearest wish — hthe wish of its commercial infancy — hwas gratified in 1817, when it was declared a free port. This measure was productive of the most important results to the city, opening a field for the establishment of manufactories, by the facilities [311] it afforded for the introduction of raw material to be employed in native manufactures, which would be sold under favourable conditions, in all the markets of the south.

In the first place a boundary wall was raised, within which this precious freedom should be confined without being stifled. The space to be enclosed was vast, and the construction of the wall lasted two years, and cost three hundred thousand roubles. It was not till 1810 that free entry was granted to foreign merchandise. Together with the commodities which constitute its material wealth, Odessa soon received those intellectual institutions which were still wanting. The Richelieu Lyceum was founded at about this time ; and under its first director the Abbé Nicole, that benevolent guide of youth — hthat second Rollin, who had come from France laden with all the knowledge which he knew so well how, with fatherly care, to render easy and attractive, it was, in a short time, attended by a considerable number of scholars. A botanical garden was opened. A Frenchman gave lessons in horticulture, and planted saplings — hhis essays at acclimatising meeting with frequent success. When war drove the Greeks from the Archipelago, a numerous colony of these noble refugees were received in Odessa. This disconsolate band brought with them to these hospitable walls, as is known, the remains of the patriarch of Constantinople, [312] and here, after having been profaned, they found a burial, at least Christian. In 1821 a communication was established with Constantinople by two packet ships, starting at fixed periods. The postal service from the east, which formerly ascended northward as far as Moscow, now passed through the new city. Odessa had its printing offices, its public journals, and its places of assembly for the transaction of business, and the pursuit of science or amusement. In order to become a seat of refinement and elegance, as well as a centre of commerce and industry, but one step remained to be taken — hand this it accomplished with ease, thanks to a new governor- general, as skilful in administration as he is illustrious in war, a friend to all wise progress, and endowed with vast acquirements, firm and persevering in the pursuit of good, indulgent towards the weaknesses of mankind, one of the highest glories of his country — hin one word, a perfect and accomplished nobleman : in saying thus much, we have named the Count Michael Woronzoff.

No career has been more pure and honourable than his. Born in 1782, and educated in England, where his father was Russian Ambassador, Count Michael Woronzoff commenced life as a lieutenant in the guards, and fought in Georgia and the Caucasus from 1801 to 1805, and during this period of daily warfare he displayed an amount of courage which laid the foundation [313] of his great military renown. In Hanover, Germany and Turkey, his distinguished qualities won him the promotion he so well deserved. As general-in-chief, during the French campaign, he stood in the field against Napoleon at Craon, and at the occupation of France, Count Woronzoff commanded our forces quar tered in that kingdom. Maubeuge, his head-quarters, still preserves the memory of his noble conduct, ever distinguished by the strictest justice. It was in 1823 that the governor-generalship of New Russia was conferred upon him, and that he established himself in Odessa, fortunate city, to find, in its fifth ruler, all those qualities united, which had separately rendered illustrious the first founders of its ever increasing greatness.

Under the administration of the noble count, the progress of the city became more rapid; it was little to have proposed the task, the difficulty was in carrying it to completion. The external aspect of the city assumed a remarkable character of grandeur and good taste; the most suitable measures for insuring the public health were devised, composing a body of quarantine regulations, which may be held as among the wisest of any that have been framed for the purpose. Considerable sums were devoted to the drainage of the public roads, to the outfall of the sewage waters, and to paving and planting the streets with trees. The [314] vigilance of a well organized police, established order and security throughout the bounds of the city. Churches, spacious markets, educational establishments,a vast prison and numerous charitable institutions have marked this intelligent administration. That the reader may embrace at one glance all the prosperity for which the city is indepted to it, we will borrow from the work above mentioned the most recent statistical information which has yet been published relative to Odessa.

Author of the work entitled "The First Thirty Years of Odessa."
Odessa, 1837.

1. Superficies of the Territory.
Area occupied by Odessa, its two suburbs and the twelve villages depending from it Déciatines 42,628
Country houses in the same territory 522
Vine plants over this surface, yielding eighteen thousand roubles 4,000,000
Public squares 8
Streets 60
2. Buildings and Public Works.
Churches 28
Government buildings 27
Barracks 7
Public gardens 4
Ports of Quarantine; of entrance and clearance and of Platonoff 3
Hospitals 3
Asylum 1 5,645
Houses of refuge for orphans 1
Exercising ground for the troops 1
Granaries 363
Works and manufactories 34
Private houses in the city 2,125
"        in the two suburbs 1,570
"        in the twelve villages 1,178
3. Population
Men. Women.
Clergy 52 50
Nobles and public officials 2,678 2,597
Retired merchants 18 60
Merchants in the first guild 127 102
Merchants in the second guild 172 295
Merchants in the third guild 1,455 1,484
Burgesses 18,511 16,876
Foreigners not traders 1,365 1,948
Colonists and citizens of Odessa 1,037 1,089
Tax payers of various classes 1,981 1,672
Retired soldiers 156
Total 27,532
Of both sexes 53,803

Not including the garrison, and the students in the public schools. [316]
4. Public Institution, Educational and Scientific.
Richelieu lyceum, with gymnasium 1
School for oriental languages 1
Odessa district school 1
Parishes 4
Orphan asylum schools 1
Commercial Greek school 1
Lutheran 1 22
Catholic 1
Jew-boys 1
Jew-girls 1
Institute of noblemen's daughters 1
School for young girls supported by the city 1
Boarding school for boys 3
Boarding school for girls 4
Total number of scholars, Boys 1,723
Total number of scholars, Girls 652 2,375
Typographical printing-offices 1
Lithographic 3
Lithographic 3
Public library 1
Museum of New Russia 1
Russian Society of rural economy 1
5. Commerce and Navigation.
Imports in 1836 18,282,522 Roubles
Exports 34,667,298 Roubles
Total 52,949,820 Roubles
Shipping Entered 1,252
Shipping Cleared out 1,221
Companies Marine Assurance 1
Companies Black Sea Steam Packet 1
Companies New Russia " 1
Companies Sheep-breeding 1
Companies Horse-racing 1
Companies Artificial Mineral Waters 1
6. City Budget.
Fifth of the Customs' revenue 1,388,968,22
Land and house tax, patents, &c. 397,151,12
Total 1,786,119,34
Public buildings, courts of justice, paving and lighting, &c. 1,374,818,10

Several of these numerous establishments, bearing the impress of the highest order of wisdom, were visited by us,and found entirely worthy of their founder. First among our visits we must place that which we paid to the botanical garden of Odessa, because to this circumstance we owe the very efficacious and useful assistance afforded to our labours by M. de Nordmannn. Attached to this establishment since 1833, M. de Nordmann superintends its management with that zeal with which he is animated in the pursuit of natural science; and on learning the object of our expedition, and the researches were desirous of prosecuting in the Crimea, especially in the department of zoology, the ardour of an old traveller was [318] awakened within him, and I was fortunate enough to persuade him to accompany us into the Tauric peninsula, with which, by five previous excursions, he had made himself familiar. The collections in the department of natural history, made from this interesting country, and shown to us by M. de Nordmann, excited the enthusiasm of our naturalists to such a degree, that they already began to lament over the few days of rest we had spent in the luxurious indolence of this Asiatic Capua. However, from that day M. de Nordmann was enlisted in our expeditionary phalanx. Those of my readers who are lovers of conscientious studies, and will follow me to the end of the complete narrative I am about to give of our united labours, will certainly find in them where-withal to justify my eagerness to associate with us this modest savant, and will doubtless congratulate me on my conquest in favour of science. The garden, under the direction of M. de Nordmann, is destined rather to form young gardeners than to bring up plants, to the cultivation of which both the climate and soil are equally unfavourable. After two or three years practical study, these students receive a certificate of proficiency, and obtain employment either at Odessa, where the lovers of gardening have not been discouraged by fruitless essays, or in the Crimea, where the nature of the soil is entirely in favour of any experiments which may be attempted [319] upon it. The attempts at acclimatising plants which have been made in the botanical garden itself, have been attended with satisfactory results, especially in the case of species coming from North America and Japan ; but the most successful results obtained are in rearing a certain species of tree, of which the garden furnishes forty thousand saplings, to meet the demands of Government, and of private individuals. A director, a secretary and four master gardeners compose the staff of this establishment, to which an allowance of ten thousand roubles is made from the funds of the city. The expenses in excess of this sum are defrayed by the annual sale of the saplings, which are disposed of at a very moderate price, in order to encourage the cultivation and propagation of this species of tree.

A curious collection, which is at the same time of a botanical and industrial character, has been formed in Odessa, in the museum of Monsieur Fabre, chief of the governor-general's office. Every species of wood which the soil of the empire produces, will be classified in this dendrological museum. It already contains a con- siderable number of specimens, both in the rough and polished state. M. Fabre, who so intelligently employs the brief intervals of leisure left him by his occupations, treated us, during our interesting visit to his collection. with the greatest kindness and courtesy, and displayed a varied store of information.


In the hospital of Odessa there appeared to us much room for improvement, as regarded the good order and ventilation of the wards. The patients are, however, well attended ; but it is to be regretted that this charity, from a regard to useless display, should not provide the sick with all the comforts which it otherwise might do. The surgical department, entrusted to the skill of Doctor Andriewsky, a young practitioner already celebrated, presented at the time of our visit several cases of frightful lesions in the most important organs. The hideous aspect of so much suffering, and the heat of the day, made me anxious, for my part, to bring the visit to a close, and all who were not, like Dr. Léveillé, attracted by scientific interest, sought elsewhere sights of a more congenial description.

The University of Odessa now embraces a large number of schools and colleges; all the governments of New Russia are, in their educational departments, subordinate to this establishment. The Richelieu Lyceum is said to turn out distinguished pupils; besides this institution and the private schools, there is a military school, a school for oriental languages, and one for the instruction of pilots. The Greek population of Odessa is more especially devoted to a sea-faring life and to fishing, but owing to the natural indolence of this people, these branches of industry have not yet received that development of which they are capable. [321] With roads abounding in fish, Odessa is nevertheless ill provided, and the prices are beyond the reach of moderate fortunes. The fisheries therefore should become the object of serious attention on the part of government. The same cannot be said with respect to the supply of fruit in this capital ; the numerous fruiterers' stalls, sheltered by large awnings, remind one of the shops in Italy and Spain ; but it is only for one kind of fruit that the people show a particular predilection, and one that is easily gratified, as large quantities of it may be procured for the smallest coin. This fruit, which retains its Tartar name of Arbouz, is the water-melon, or pastec of the southern countries adjoining the Mediterranean. It may be stated, without exaggeration, that during three months of the year more than thirty- thousand pastecs a day are consumed in Odessa. So long as the great heat endures, the people have no other food or beverage than is afforded by this spongy fruit; a practice contrary to sound hygienic principles, in a country subject at intervals to epidemic fevers and other acute affections.

The climate of Odessa is remarkably influenced by the situation of the city. Elevated above the level of the sea, entirely exposed from all quarters to the wind, which sweeps along the sands of the surrounding plateau, raising up clouds of fine dust, Odessa through [322] out the summer, is parched with drought, and in the winter, from similar causes, enveloped in thick mists. Much has been said of the unwholesome nature of the air ; but if we may judge of the public health by general appearances, the air has been wrongly impugned ; it is presumable, however, that sickness generally makes its appearance with the occurrence of sudden changes of temperature, and in this respect Odessa is unfortunately conditioned.

Although the latitude under which it is situated (46° 30") is generally temperate, this city is visited with a more rigorous winter than is observed elsewhere under the same latitude ; while on the contrary, in summer, the heat may be compared to that of the torrid zone. This, as we have stated, results from the complete nakedness of the countries of which Odessa is the capital, and it should be added, that these unfavourable conditions are common to all the cities upon these endless steppes.

A more serious disadvantage for a city, doubtless destined to take a high position, is the scarcity of water, daily becoming more and more felt. In the rapid and extraordinary aggrandizement of this city, this pressing want of each moment of the day has not been sufficiently considered. But we have good reason to look hopelully to the future. from the zeal [323] of the enlightened and enterprising governor, in whose hands the destinies of this city are confided. Should God prosper the designs of Count Woronzoff, with the aid of science, water will flow from this arid soil. Odessa possesses a great number of wells, furnishing a wholesome water, which is capable of being rendered sufficiently abundant to satisfy all wants without cost; this problem is one involving the important question of public health, and the utmost exertion of govern ment should therefore be directed to the solution of it. As regards fuel, hitherto wood has been, and continues abundant. The anticipations founded on the discovery of coal deposits in Bessarabia, have not been followed by results sufficiently important and certain to allow any dependence to be placed on these resources; but the zeal and perseverance with which searches will be directed by the authorities, will no doubt lead to some important discoveries, and it will be a fortunate day for the city when such a mine of wealth shall be at its disposal.

We have heard it remarked by sailors, that the position of Odessa, as a seaport, was not free from objection, and that both Kherson and Nicolaieff offered a safer anchorage to vessels, and a more natural outlet for the produce of southern Russia. There may be some ground for the first of these criticisms : nor is there need of much skill [324] in such matters to discover that the roadstead of Odessa, which is of the class called outlying, is exposed to the violence of the winds, and that the action of large breakers driven into the port must tend to accumulate banks of sand. As regards the second point, we are unable to express an opinion, firmly determined as we are to judge by our own experience ; it appears to us, however, that the situation of Odessa does not furnish an unfavourable outlet for the produce of the southern countries. Long before its constitution as a free port turned the scale in its favour, the vessels from the west already sought to exchange their cargoes in its port. There must naturally have been some powerful induce- ment in the advantages presented by the situation of Odessa to attract, when but scarcely marked out on the site of Idadji Bey, the trade of the northern coast of the Black Sea, at the expense of Kherson. When we call to mind the struggle against the indifference of the metropolis, carried on for ten years, and that Odessa, in this struggle, would infallibly have perished, had it not had within it some powerful element of strength, causing it to triumph over every obstacle. The plains of Bessarabia and Podolia, and all those spreading eastward to the course of the Boug, possess no more natural outlet than Odessa, and they may, without prejudice to the trade of Kherson, bring into its store [325] houses the wool, the grain, the leather, and the tallow, which form the principal exports of the country. As regards metals exported by the sea Azoff, whither they are brought down the rivers, or by the caravans from the north, it is easily intelligible that they should have adopted a port easy of access, and into which vessels were naturally driven by the same wind which had urged them through the straits of Azoff. The very circumstance which constitutes the safety of the roadsteads of Kherson and Nicolaieff, namely, the- extreme difficulty of entering them, may, in certain cases, have proved prejudicial to the development of their trade.

But it is useless to devote more time to the examination of questions which at this, our first and brief visit to Odessa, we had scarcely time to enter into. Dazzled as we were by the polished society and all the elegance of a great city, lulled by the blandishments of a life of indolence and plenty, after fatigues and privations of every kind, we were not, certainly, ill-disposed to acknowledge Odessa as the natural and legitimate capital of a world newly sprung into existence. We were charmed by the gay appearance of the handsome houses, stretching along the elegant boulevards, and cared but little whether or not those architectural riches were due chiefly to the nature of the stone, so obedient to the chisel. We heard it stated, moreover, that instead of reposing on [326] a solid foundation, this beautiful city was built upon a frail bed of shells, whose agglomerated mass was crumbling by the effect of time. But in these precarious tenements, we found so cordial a welcome, so much refinement, so perfect and amiable a tone, so pure a taste and so delicate a tact, that everything conspired to fascinate us in a most agreeable manner. I hasten to come to the day when, in compliance with the kind solicitations of Count Woronzoff, no less than to gratify a very natural desire, we took passage on board the " Peter the Great," a pretty steamer, running during the whole season between Odessa and the three principal points of the ancient Chersonese, Yalta, Theodosia and Kertch.

Yalta was the point we were bound for ; and on the same boat with us, a numerous suite was in attendance upon the Countess Woronzoff, on her way to join the governor-general, in his palace at Aloupka. On the 10th of August, at noon, in the midst of a crowd of spectators collected upon the mole to gaze on the brilliant and noble assembly on board the " Peter the Great," we put out to sea. To name all the persons assembled on board the steamer, would be to enumerate all the participators in a general conversation, gay, witty and animated, in the midst of which the first hours of our journey slipped away, favoured by magnificent weather. The ladies, accustomed to this trip of eighty leagues or so, [327] taking them to their country-houses two or three times in the season, appeared quite familiarized with the sea. The evening passed off in the most calm manner ; but at sunset, a large red streak along the horizon boded a less peaceful night. The most experienced among the sailors failed not to make the remark, and they had the glory of being right in their prognostics. At night-fall the wind rose, and the sea washed continually over the somewhat low deck of our elegant steamer. This occasioned some confusion, and a great deal of sea-sickness, which even the most experienced of our fair passengers did not escape. At midnight, we descried the beacon at Tendra, situated at the extremity of a long tongue of land, so low, that even in the day-time it is lost in the sea-line. Some time after, we beheld the light of Tarkanbout on our left, and in the morning we admired all these things, so indistinctly perceived at night, as we passed in the midst of a fleet composed of four ships of the line and two frigates belonging to the imperial navy ; they were performing evolutions near the coast of Crimea, which we beheld before eleven o'clock. A watch-tower, situated on the lower point of the Chersonese, marks the first point of the southern coast. The eye is soon after charmed with lofty mountains of so beautiful a form, that they might be taken for the natural barrier, which rises, [328] verdure clad, between the city of Genoa and the duchy of Lucca. After passing the first headland, we made rapid way, the sea still continuing rough, as we passed a number of picturesque sites, which our obliging companions could scarcely name quick enough. That immense promontory was Cape Parthenium. At the summit of this promontory, — hnot without its poetical associations, for here, according to all the ancient poets, was enacted the grand drama of Orestes and Iphigenia- in the furthest recess of that bay, and upon that high wall of rock, was the monastery of St. George, surmounted by a red dome, and the gilt point of its lightning conductor. Yonder was Balaclava, with its Genoese ruin, based upon a rock, and overlooking a narrow creek into which ships and fishing-boats enter as in a port. At this place, a basin, concealed from the view, offers a safe and secret harbour ; no mast would be high enough to betray the presence of any vessel behind that screen of rocks. Farther on, Cape Ala rises at the extreme southern point of the Taurida. This cape, which the Greeks called Kriou-met-opon, presented, doubtless, to the eve of the ancient geographers a resemblance to the head of a ram. As we proceeded, the coast became more and more picturesque. The aspect of the country is less rugged, and the high barrier of mountains recedes, leaving between itself and the sea richly-wooded slopes. [329] Kastropoulo, one of those useful establishments for which the memory of my revered father, their founder, will ever be respected, presented itself soon after, with its white houses looking over a tract of vineyard sloping down to the very sands of the sea-shore. At the sight of this domain, which was unknown to me, and which formed one of the noblest portions of my paternal inheritance — h on beholding these recent endeavours of a good man to encourage, in this remote country, a branch of culture which may one day enrich it — I cannot find words to describe the emotion with which I was seized.

That portion of the southern coast which is inhabited by wealthy land-owners now spread itself before our gaze; here a palace in the byzantine style, that seemed sprung from some oriental dream, marks out its slender outlines against a mass of foliage, and unfurls from its summit our national banner. This was Aloupka, the centre of his magnificent assemblage of mansions ; and even at the distance we were from the coast, we could distinguish the three cannon shots which saluted us as we passed. A light-house, standing on a hillock, marked the entrance to the Bay of Yalta, and the terminus of our journey. The unfavourable weather had caused us to arrive six hours later than the ordinary time. The " Peter the Great " anchored within a short distance of a jetty which serves as a protection to small craft only. In a few [330] moments, a small boat appeared, making its way through the threatening waves. In it was the Count Woronzoff, whom I found as kind, gracious and amiable as ever, grown younger from the happiness which surrounds him, and' bearing upon his fine tranquil countenance the impress of a mind rendered happy by the contemplation of the good it has accomplished. The Count's reception filled me with gratitude, no less on my own behalf than that of my companions, who were welcomed with that generous cordiality which expresses itself under the most simple and natural forms.

In another moment we were on land, comfortably installed in an hotel conducted (vanity of human. greatness!) by Signor Bartolucci, ex-basso-cantate at the theatre of Odessa.

men on horseback





Men on Horses

FEw situations are so picturesque as that of the burgh of Yalta. Its port is more an ornament than a port. The new houses of this burgh are sheltered by the high mountains of the chain of Yaila. Recently built on the very site of an ancient Greek town of some consequence, Yalta occupies the whole of the northern part of a very spacious bay, between cape Nikita on the north, and cape AI-Todor [332] on the south. This coast, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, is perfectly sheltered on one side, whilst on the other it is exposed to the winds and heavy seas from the south-east ; this is the case also at Odessa, and even when the winds have subsided, the waves in the bay continue agitated for some time, while the sands, thrown up from the bottom by the motion of the sea, tend more and more to contract an anchorage already sufficiently incommodious. The port of Yalta will therefore never be a maritime settlement of any importance ; it is one of those temporary shelters, where sailors may cast anchor for a short time, but could not, even at an enormous cost, be made into a per- manent harbour. However, as a mere pied-á-terre for all the notabilities who during the summer people the southern coast, Yalta is a place of some importance.

Women and Children

With regard to public institutions, Yalta is not behind any large town ; a custom-house, a post-office, architects, chemists, and a variety of shops, filled with everything to tempt greediness, one of the chief sources of pleasure in this country — nothing is wanting. The principal hotel is called la Citta di Odessa, and assumes all the dignity which distinguishes a respectable hotel from a common- place inn. A house arranged with taste and appropriate to its hospitable purposes, a thing too rare in these parts, has been built by order of Count de Woronzoff. [333] The Count may in truth be called the host of these shores. In the long garden of the southern coast, he has allowed no pleasing detail to escape the visitor. The hotel once established, a major domo was required; it was then that Signor Bartolucci, the excellent basso cantante, quitted the boards at Odessa to create a new part for himself here, which he fills with equal satis- faction to the public.

The next day we were conveyed in the equipages sent by Count de Woronzoff to Aloupka. The road from Yalta to this beautiful residence runs along the shore of the bay, and rises by a gentle ascent to the first hills which command the sea on the west, whence reaches the base of the rocks of the Yalla, which rises like a wall, eighteen hundred feet high, extending from Yalta to Cape Aï-Tador. This road is smooth, and so easy, that carriages can go at the utmost speed upon it. About midway up the mountains, you meet with a number of villas on the roadside, one and all con- structed with the most tasteful fancy. Here a small Asiatic palace greets you, with discreet blinds and minaret- shaped chimneys ; a little further, an elegant gothic manor, or one of those pretty English cottages covered with ivy, and surrounded with verdure, which long retains its freshness. Sometimes you find a dwelling built entirely of wood, fancifully varnished, and almost hidden [334] by its large verandas ; here a group of white and graceful turrets, there a mass of ruins ; everywhere trees, grass, sparkling water, garlands of hawthorn and beds of purple dahlias. The traveller advances thus along a road winding for a distance of fifteen versts by the side of the great ramparts of the Yaïla; on his left the glittering and boundless sea; at his feet, sloping down to the shore, verdant declivities covered with villas, beautiful vineyards, and winding pathways. Throughout its extent, the road is protected, like a drive through an English park, by wooden barriers painted white, which though slight, prevent the head and eyes from suffering the dizziness which so rapid a pace might occasion. Everywhere above head, are over-hanging rocks a thousand feet high, from the crevices of which an abundant vegetation makes its way, and waves in the wind. But who can attempt to describe these lovely views as they deserve. Amidst them I spent a brief inter- val filled with sensations of which it is utterly impossible to give any idea. On such occasions we see, we admire, but never for a moment dream of finding words to match the dazzling beauties of the scenes which charm us. Besides, I was not a fanciful, and still less a poetical traveller; my visit to Count de Woronzoff was for a serious and useful end : I was anxious to get to the provinces neigh- bouring the Don, where it will be remembered an important part of my expedition was to be established, [335] under the direction of M. le Play. How I longed to judge for myself of the justice of our mutual expectations, and to follow the progress of my companions in the study which was the object of their travels ; for I had not come to Aloupka to indulge egotistically in poetical meditations, but to advance more rapidly towards my destination : I intended remaining but one day amidst the enchantments of this princely country life. I was resolved to make my escape on the very same evening from this kind hospitality ; the amiability of the hosts, the splendour of the sky, and the magnificence of the country, what allurements were these to conquer, and how hard the struggle, when, on the other hand, we had to launch afresh into steppes without end. I must, however, do myself the justice to say that I did resist. To present my respects to Count de Woronzoff, and thank him, in my own name and that of my companions, could be done in one day, and in one day I did it. Count de Woronzoff, who thoroughly appreciates all good motives, understood the sacrifice I was making to duty. He welcomed my foreign colleagues with that gracious courtesy which wins all hearts to him ; and from that moment he became a guide and protector to them. As may be imagined, under such generous patronage, I did not hesitate to leave them to follow their own inclinations in making arrange- ments for visiting every part of this interesting country, [336] as was their intention. The day passed but too quickly in the midst of a numerous and select party. After taking a rapid view of the rustic gardens and the magni- ficent oriental palace which the Count was finishing at this time, in the expectation of a royal visit, the glorious and well-merited reward of so many labours, I took leave of this noble lord, not without having received from him advice full of kindness to myself, and most courteous promises in favour of those I left behind. Night was already far advanced, when I resumed the road to Yalta, not however alone, for Count Galateri, aide-de-camp to the governor-general, in whom I soon found an obliging and devoted guide, had been attached to me for my rapid campaigns of the Don. I also took back with me to Yalta, in order to give him my last instructions, the individual who was to replace me with my colleagues ; less experienced travellers than himself, heedless of the morrow, like all men of science, and full of the ardour of true 'artists, they needed a prudent guardianship ; I had deputed Sainson, an inveterate traveller, to represent me as pilot to the caravan.


During the whole day, Aloupka, that 'privileged spot, had enjoyed a mild and warm temperature, but it was not so in the bay of Yalta : the wind had not ceased howling, and the swollen waves rendered it difficult to put out from shore to the " Peter the Great," in which my [337] carriage had been left. We should have had to wait a long time for a more quiet sea, and all delay was forbidden at this moment. The winds, said the captain — an old English sailor, who certainly knew something about it — the winds might continue violent for several days. My resolution was soon taken ; I abandoned my carriage, which the steamer was to convey the next day to Kaffa, and I determined to post as far as this town in a télégue, a rude and swift national carriage.

There is so great a similarity between this Russian equipage and the Wallachian caroussi, which I have already mentioned, that a minute description would be superfluous ; suffice it to say, the télègue is the best of the two. You are more comfortable on the straw, which is not spared, and abundantly fills the little box in which the traveller is seated. Two passengers may, if needful, find room on the mountain of cloaks and coverings heaped together in lieu of a seat, lending each other the support of a shoulder over the rough places through which the télègue is dragged, at the plea- sure of two vigorous horses. In front of the machine, and with no other seat than a narrow plank, is perched the coachman, who never ceases speaking to his horses : to conclude, as a final distinction — and in this consists the incontestible superiority of the télègue to the humble caroussi of the Wallachians — a, metal bell is suspended [338] to the fore part of the pole, and swinging to and fro with great noise during the whole time the carriage is in motion, constantly reminds the traveller that sleep would be dangerous on his perilous seat. When we arrived at a town, the bell was suppressed, out of respect for the ears of the citizens. It is in such rude carriages, however, that innumerable travellers, officers, agents, couriers, and government functionaries, continually tra- verse the empire, galloping day and night, crossing over thousands of versts in this uncomfortable position, and with no other shelter than a cloak, which serves as an equal protection against the sun, the rain, the dust, and the mud. I leave the reader to imagine what sort of a constitution you must be gifted with, to stand such frightful travelling. In less time than is necessary to describe this simple and primitive equipage, we had already passed the long and winding ways through the valley of Yalta, and were rolling with wonderful swiftness over the beautiful road cut along the side of the mountains which command the sea from a vast height, taking their course towards the east. We had started at noon, and at this season of the year, from the 1st to the 13th of August, it is easy to conceive the scorching heat we had to endure.


Under the blazing rays of the sun, our faces were burnt in less than an hour in such a manner as long [339] to retain the traces. Nikita, with its beautiful gardens, Massandra and its rich vineyards, Ai-Danil, and the whole of this picturesque road soon vanished from our sight. We then came to the Aïou-Dagh. This immense promontory advances so far into the sea, that the road cannot be brought round it, and accordingly proceeds along a second range of mountains ; here, heaven be thanked, are to be found the most cool and delightful re- treats, large trees, beautiful forests, cascades, and all those happy and wonderful effects which artists prize so much. Italy itself is surpassed — surpassed by the Crimea : land- scape painters must allow it. Alouchta, a semi-Tatar town of some importance, situated on the coast, terminates this magnificent line of shore. A considerable valley opens towards the sea close by, and from this spot we quit the coast to enter into the interior of Taurida, directing our course towards the central part, where Sympheropol is situated. At first for a considerable time our course was all up-hill, the road following the lower declivities of the Tchadir-Dagh. This is truly a majestic mountain; the highest of the Crimea. Its summit, forming a. table, is a good land mark for the ships in the Black Sea : it also commands on the north the whole expanse of the steppe — that sea of dust, P here the Tatar caravans salute it from a-far.

When our modest equipage had toiled up these [340] imposing heights, we found that the country became less and less picturesque, as we descended the reverse and northern side of the Tchadir-Dagh ; vegetation becomes scanty, and soon ceases altogether on the skirt of the plains, where you meet with it no more, except at the bottom of ravines, and along the course of the Salghir. Nevertheless, nature here is still beautiful and rich. A few villages here and there are met with : that called Soultan-Mahmoud occupies a conspicuous place in my recollections, on account of a horde of gipsies, encamped in the neighbouring fields. It is impossible to obtain, without going out of Europe, a more complete idea of those wild tribes, which lend so much interest to the narratives of navigators. A few rags was all the whole tribe possessed in the way of attire, and the children and young people, who had been forgotten in the distribution of hereditary tatters, scarcely appeared any the worse clothed. In every village, also, troops of the most trouble- some dogs in the world pursued us with inveterate obsti- nacy. At last we arrived at Sympheropol, the present capital of the Crimea, and the head-quarters of the government of Taurida. Our journey, though rapid, had nevertheless been a hard trial, and we eagerly and grate- fully accepted the kind offer of M. Mourounzoff, the civil governor, to lend us his carriage as far as Kaffa.

Sympheropol, though so far from the mountains, is [341] not quite in the steppe. Its environs, intersected by a few ravines, where the supply of fresh water maintains vegetation, offers some favourable sites for the cultivation of the vine. The valley of the Salghir, extending northward, is especially remarkable for the beauty of its trees. The town is divided into two parts : first, the ancient Ak-Metchet of the Tatars, where we find narrow populous alleys, lined with shops of all kinds, classed according to the oriental custom ; then the new town, where we already recognise the breadth and regularity of our own streets. The principal church, of elegant design but slight materials, adorns one of the spacious squares of the town. Another square, or rather market-place, situated in the centre of Sympheropol, is filled with a noisy medley of buyers and sellers. People of every nation are here gathered, talking every known lan- guage under the sun : we could fancy ourselves at the foot of the Tower of Babel. Greeks, Tatars, Armenians, Jews, and Russians incessantly pass and repass in the midst of merchandise and cattle, the headlong droschkies of the Russians, and the leisurely madgiars of the Tatars, drawn by a couple of enormous dromedaries, with double humps, and the most imperturbable aspect. This town is, from its position, the centre of all activity and enterprise. A number of new houses are being erected in the capital; an Artesian well promises an abundant supply of water; and a [342] few inns, recently established, favour the sojourn of travel- lers. To this day, however, the innkeepers, trusting to the custom adopted by the better class of Russians, of always travelling with their beds, have made no effort to provide visitors with any better sleeping accommodation than miserable sofas, scantily stuffed with hay, indiscriminately provided for travellers of all ranks, whom the fatigues of the journey, and the meagreness of the supper, equally dispose to sleep. In a few years beds will have found their way into these inns. We have seen more wonderful things in the way of progress than this.

At midnight, we left Sympheropol. The governor had lent us his carriage, and in it we were soon rolling over a smooth steppe. We quickly passed through Kara-Sou- Bazar, a large Tatar town, but the darkness prevented our observing its character ; then, still keeping across the steppe, we reached the oriental side of the Crimea, and Kaffa, the half Genoese and half Tatar town, which with all its Italian aspect, reminding one of Bologna, yet preserves withal some vestiges of the Mussulman city. Kaffa appeared to us beneath the beams of the rising sun, enclosing within its ancient walls and turrets the ruined memorials of the power which it so long enjoyed. The port of Kaffa, called also by its ancient name of Theodosia, formerly rich and well-peopled, is now rarely entered, save by a few small vessels laden with the produce of the [343] steppe — the steppe which, uncultivated as it is, is yet in- credibly fertile. The traffic which formerly gave animation to Kaffa, is in the present day transferred more to the east in the roads of Kertch, where the favourable position of the strait, uniting the Sea of Azoff with the Black Sea, attracts a numerous concourse of vessels. Theodosia is generally considered an agreeable city ; it is chiefly populated by Greeks, but commerce has at all times brought a great number of strangers to it. Many Arme- nians and Karaïm Jews reside within its walls ; the suburbs are inhabited by Krim Tatars, and another tribe of Tatars, the Nogaïs, with Chinese countenances, may constantly be seen driving their cars through its streets. We merely hurried through the public places, thoroughfares, and somewhat limited promenades of Theodosia. The " Peter the Great " had kept its word, and my carriage was landed on a far more commodious port; accordingly I hastened to pursue my journey with my constant companion in weal or woe, the Count de Galateri. We shared this time the comforts of an excellent coach, as we had done the previous night the joltings of the roughest of vehicles. We reached Ararat with unequalled rapidity, taking a direct line from south to north. The distance was performed in four hours ; and as we turned our backs upon the mountains of the Crimea, our only horizon was [344] that of the plain, smooth as the sea which bounds it. This desert, however, is not so entirely deserted but one frequently meets caravans composed of cars carrying either to Kaffa or to Kertch the salt picked up on the shores of the Dead Sea, not far from the town of Pérécop. Occasionally, also, a Tatar is seen squatted beside his dromedaries, enjoying the delights of his pipe beneath their shadow, if a degree of heat which lite- rally calcines the soil can be called such. In traversing these solitary regions, more than in any we had pre- viously crossed, the road is left to the choice of the driver ; these Tatars have, however, a marvellous in- stinct in discovering the direct line ; and it is asserted, that even when the steppe is an entire sheet of snow, they still drive through on the right road, as if it were marked out.

A fortress, still defended by good outworks and a ditch, though its interior is in ruins, and a village, composed of ten houses facing one another, in the form of a street, occupying a space of ground which in central Europe would suffice for a town containing twelve thousand souls — such is Ararat. The fort is built on the sands between the Sea of Azoff and the Dead Sea, or Sivach, another name given to this great lake, but too justly meriting the characteristic epithet ; a sort of natural dyke, starting from the very foot of these [345] ramparts, runs directly northwards, between dashing waves on one side, and on the other, stagnant and putrid waters, always emitting a horrible and poisonous stench. This narrow causeway is intersected towards the northern extremity by a canal about a hundred metres long, forming a communication between the two seas, and is rather pompously designated a strait. Several post-houses are established on the isthmus, which fortunately enable one to travel with terrific rapidity. The post-master of the place, stupefied by constant drunkenness, obstinately refused to assist us ; and when we remonstrated energetically with him upon his intemperance, he told us it was the dull and tedious life he led which drove him to it. What could we say in answer to so good a reason ? We endeavoured, by patience, to set this unfortunate man a good example.


It was midnight when we landed on firm ground at Yenitchi, beyond the strait, whence we were to direct our course towards the east, skirting at some distance the coast of the Sea of Azoff. Still the same endless plain lay before us, the same tedious and flat horizon vanishing in the distance, in the midst of which, how delightful a relief it was to chance upon a human being !

When the sun rises amid damp vapours, and gradually ascends over the plain, the deceptive phenomenon of [346] mirage frequently occurs, painting lakes, rivers and mea- dows on the refracting morning mists, transforming the smallest stem rising above the ground into a ma- jestic tree, converting a man into a tower, and a baggage waggon into a gigantic palace. These illusions, so inducive to dreamy meditation, occupied our attention in the mornings, and at evening, in the fiery clouds of the west, we pictured black rocks, formidable peaks, and volca- noes pouring forth torrents of lava. As to the mid-day, it passed but heavily, in spite of constant movement, and the wide spaces we travelled over. At the stations alone we for a moment came in contact with living creatures. And what suffering did we not witness in these deserts, beneath those huts, where disease exists in its worst forms, and medical assistance can never penetrate ! These people, labouring under the most dreadful diseases, await without help, and what is worse than all, without hope, the close of sufferings of which they cannot even calculate the ex- tent — miserable examples of human patience and resigna- ation ! One poor old sick man, for whom we expressed our compassion, said, with honest and unaffected humility, that peasants were not sent into the world for their own pleasure. And certainly, if ever spot on earth were calcu- lated to exercise the virtue of patience, it is this.

Our first day's journey did not elapse without an adven- ture. At one of the last relays, we found the post-house in [347] the greatest confusion — all the inhabitants, in a state of anguish and consternation, running backwards and forwards like people in the greatest distress. Our arrival was eagerly welcomed, and by every available voice at once we were asked, if by any means we could recall to life a dying woman ? This was a serious affair. When introduced into the house, I was soon convinced that the dying woman, who was the post-mistress, possessed her vital energies to an eminent degree, and that if she was in any danger, it arose from having taken too copious a dinner on the previous day. The poor woman was, however, almost suffocating, and nothing but a sudden inspiration could save her. Fortunately, I was struck with such a medical inspiration. I had in my carriage a preparation of seidlitz powders, which I had always found productive of excellent results. I administered a powerful dose to the sick woman. You may easily conceive my anxiety, although I knew the remedy to be harmless. After waiting a short time, however, it had the desired effect, and relieved her overloaded stomach. We started again, overwhelmed with the blessings of the sick woman. No doctor of the highest eminence could have done better.

After crossing the Tolomak, a little river which discharges itself into Lake Molotchnoie, we were not long before we came to the territory of Nogaïsk. In these large plains we began to observe some signs of [348] cultivation. We here witnessed with our own eyes that destructive phenomenon, that Egyptian plague, the locusts, which we had heard of in Wallachia, without ever having encountered it. Imagine an animated cloud consuming everything before it ; you might fancy, from the noise they make in feeding, that it was a flock of famished goats. Everything is devoured as the torrent sweeps along ; herons, lapwings, and all sorts of birds of prey fall upon them, but in vain ; scarcely do they make the least impression.

Nogaïsk is a capital ; it is the metropolis of a foreign tribe — a tribe of nomadic habits, not yet thoroughly converted to the life of cities ; this is evident, even in the structure of this new town, thatch and clay being the principal materials employed. Pull down the mosques, the bazaars, and some few miserable shops in the oriental style, and nothing would remain but a wretched village. The history of this town is sufficiently recent to enable one to trace it without difficulty to its origin. Towards the end of the last century, at the time when the mighty Empress Catherine conceived the idea of peopling her new and vast possessions in the south, a numerous horde of Tatars, said to be pure descendants of the race which Tchinghis-Khan drew in his train, still dwelt in the steppes of Astrakhan. Government, by useful concessions, attracted them towards the country they [349] now inhabit; but the frequent return of their vagrant pro- pensities became a source of great uneasiness to their neighbours. A French emigrant undertook to civilize and instruct them in agricultural pursuits. This excellent person, Count de Maison, applied himself to the task with so much zeal and perseverance, that he succeeded in trans- forming these wanderers over the steppe, into disciplined colonists. He taught them how to cultivate the earth, which only requires labour; and when cultivated, it did not prove ungrateful. Then arose commerce, and with com- merce a species of traffic which admirably suited the tra- velling predilections of the Nogaïs. Long caravans leave every year after the harvest, and convey the produce of these plains as far as Kaffa and Kertch. Scarcely can you distinguish this long train of waggons in the distance, before the frightful jarring sound of their creaking wheels reaches you, wafted on the wind. These rude waggons, constructed entirely of wood, without a single particle of iron, are drawn by two powerful dromedaries of truly gigantic stature. The heavy load bearing upon axle- trees rarely greased with a species of bitumen, pro- duces a friction, the noise of which is perfectly deafening. The good Nogaïs rather like this harmony ; and if you advise them to grease their axle-trees, they answer, "why should we? none but thieves are afraid to make a noise." Thus, amid these simple husbandmen, has Nogaïsk risen ; [350] nor, as I have already said. is its prosperity as a town of a very flattering description : it has become simply a large inn for the convenience of Armenian or Karaïm traders, those dauntless merchants who are met with everywhere. Its worthy founder, the Count de Maison, had died a short time before our visit : we saw the dwelling he inhabited, and the little gardens he planted, without ob- taining many followers ; nevertheless, the good influences he has bequeathed to this people will hereafter bear their fruit. The Nogaïs are active and intelligent; passionately fond of a wandering life, they are true descendants of the invading race, which for several centuries overran the whole of eastern Europe, sweeping everything before them. To find the means of reducing to habits of obedience, and securing the progress and well-being of this newly civilized tribe ; what a project was this to conceive, yet it has been accomplished.

We were now in the land of colonies, for several emigrant populations have brought their labour and industry into the neighbourhood of the Nogaïs. A colony of Memnonites, coming originally from Prussia, inhabit a territory bordering that granted to the Nogaïs ; further on, and nearer Marioupol, cultivated lands, houses in good order, and immense stacks of corn, in the midst of acacias, point out the German settlements. It is a singular spectacle, to meet on the same plains [351] these honest Germans, with their fair complexions, and slow, lumbering gait, and the Nogaïs with their flat yellow faces, prominent cheek bones, and eyes slanting upwards at the outer corners. But even the progress of the Tatars cannot be compared with the truly admirable results obtained by German colonisation in these regions : I do not only speak of the large amount of grain produced — for this land refuses nothing to those who cultivate it — what I mean is, that the presence of the Germans has transformed these deserts into a country where every requisite of life may now be found ; unfortunately there are not sufficient markets for their rich produce ; consisting of excellent milk, vegetables, fruits, cattle and fine wheat flour. The colonists supply every thing, and stock the cities with provisions, an example one would wish to see followed by our peasants, who are generally too indifferent as to their material welfare. Meanwhile every year, the cultivation of the land is conducted on a more extensive scale and by superior means; the breed of cattle is improving, and the country growing more populous and fertile. It cannot be too fre- quently repeated, that the earth is productive only in propor- tion as labour is bestowed upon it ; let the land be better peopled, and it will become fertile; such is the law of nature. Look at the waste lands in the finest countries of the world ; they exhaust themselves in the production of a [352] useless abundance of vegetation, in which poisonous and noxious plants predominate ; it is because there the hand of man has planted nothing. The earth requires to be watered by the sweat of man's brow.

In the midst of these vast steppes, which seem to invite those who find it hard to live elsewhere, I reflected how nobly and wisely might this wide .space be employed which now lies desolate, this fertility which is lost, these riches neglected and shamefully wasted. How many nations, I exclaimed, are there condemned to see the best institutions become useless for want of adequate space. And should we not return thanks to God for the large portion which He has bestowed upon Russia, enabling her, without confusion, to class within her confines all the elements of order and future prosperity.

What regions better fitted for the efforts of modern civilization? where could we find land more fertile, a soil better prepared, or a more noble site for cities. Russia maintains Siberia as England does New South Wales, as a penal settlement, where turbulent spirits at open war with the laws of society can be removed to a distance ; but it remains for us, perhaps, to find a practical solution to the penitentiary system, reconcilable with the amendment of culprits. Colonies adapted to this philanthropic end, seem to me the best calculated to [353] solve the problem, which has so long occupied the minds of philanthropists really deserving the name. An admirable trial lately made in Holland, pointed out to Europe the use which might be made of a well directed system of association for the cure of social evils. The experiment made with pauperism, by General Van-den-Bosch, an excellent man, offers a noble precedent. Assisted by the most insignificant subscriptions, the Dutch general's creative genius founded a model establishment, and by degrees numerous colonies, in which poor people, vagrants and orphans, were enabled to gain a livelihood by their work. And yet, be it observed, Holland was obliged to purchase its own lands, whereas Russia, on the contrary, can dispose of an entire kingdom. I thought how pauperism, mendicity and deserted infancy might populate these solitudes with great profit to society, to public morals, and to themselves ; and perhaps, said I, some attempts might be made with advantage, for the amendment of those culprits whose offences are too severely punished by transportation to a distance ; but all these dreams, which had beguiled the tediousness of the journey, soon vanished before the present reality, and I again beheld the steppe, which my imagination had for a moment peopled, as desert and as waste as ever. Soon we were in sight of Marioupol.

Marioupol possesses a commercial port, especially [354] remarkable for the activity of its traffic. To this place, as along the whole coast, grain is brought from the interior, and freighted in the Genoese ships, which have not forgotten the way to these seas, where the Genoese flag was formerly so powerful. The Italian ships bring to Marioupol articles manufactured at Chiavari, a small and very industrious town, not far from the Apen- nines, celebrated for its light chairs ; and also diffuse the colonial wares brought to Genoa from England. Returning to the Gulf of Genoa, they fill their stores with the grain from the east, which merchants come to their ports to purchase, and which they are able to sell at small profits, as their navigation is the least expensive of any in the Mediterranean. It was seventy- three hours from the time we left Yalta to the time we entered Taganrog. The first associations awakened by this name, are those connected with the melancholy event which must ever unite the names of Taganrog and Alexander, that great Emperor, whose good faith and straightforward policy saved Europe, and perhaps the whole world. There he died, and Russia needs not the bronze monument erected to his memory, to remind her of her loss.

Taganrog is well built, and agreeably situated ; the houses are of stone or brick, and their architecture pleasing. If it were needful to say more in favour of [355] this town, I could add that it possesses a theatre, which is frequently honoured by the presence of the most distinguished inhabitants of Taganrog. Here we find the features of that same French society changing its habits as frequently as its fashions, traced by the witty pen of M. Scribe, whose light comedies lose none of their smartness by translation in a foreign language. This port owes its foundation to Peter the Great : even in the time of this great man, the decrease of the waters of the Sea of Azoff had already been observed, and the site chosen for Taganrog was on the slope of a promontory, whose declivity seemed to promise that ships would always find safe anchorage there. At first, the commerce of the new port sprung up under happy auspices ; but it was destined to meet with great obstacles. The Don, which rushes with great force into the depths of this sea, carries into it the sands which are drifted by the southerly winds upon the coast ; and the waters round Taganrog are now so shallow, that vessels are unladen by means of carts, driven far out to meet the large boats, among which the cargoes are di- vided. As to the ships, they cannot approach within a league of the land ; the greatest depth of this sea, which is daily being reduced to the proportions of a lake, does not exceed twelve or fifteen fathoms, the average being about two fathoms. These, truly, are great disadvantages.


At the beginning of this century, this port was visited by a sufficient number of ships to induce government to second the measures which were being taken for its improvement. Taganrog was now provided with a lazaretto, dispensing ships bound to its port from a stay of seven days, which they were before obliged to make at the straits of Kertch. As soon as the traffic increased, and the maritime establishment of Taganrog threatened to be insufficient to meet its exigencies, a custom-house and lazaretto were established on a large scale at Kertch. This occasioned an immediate division of the traffic, and Taganrog saw fewer ships enter its harbour, for no suspected merchandise now came direct to its port. The quarantine of Kertch allowed free passage for Taganrog to none but such cargoes as had been recognised to be free from suspicion. These alone came to the waters of the sea of Azoff to undergo the required purgation.

Such was the state of things when, in 1833, a measure was adopted which was most disastrous to Taganrog. Kertch was declared the only quarantine port. All ships visiting these shores were therefore now obliged to anchor under the walls of its lazaretto, and remain there eight-and-twenty days at least, and some- times even thirty-two. From this time, the sea of Azoff was closed to all ships, except mere coasters. [357] Kertch thus became, in fact, the depôt and port of this sea, as well as of the northern port of the Black Sea. The produce of the colonies, of the northern coast, and even of the Don, came up in caravans along the narrow promontory of Arabat, to the only privileged port. Hence is it, that the little town we were walking through appeared deserted, and that in the conversations we had with several of the merchants, we observed their great depression. The only thing which now sustains the reduced commerce of Taganrog, is the transport of ammunition and military stores to the Caucasus ; a considerable number of vessels employed in this special service plough the shallow waters of this sea, which is gradually dwindling away.

My impatience was great, and I was most anxious to reach the territory of the Cossacks of the Don, where I was to meet the members of my expedition occupied in mineralogical investigations, which they had already commenced on a large scale. I first fell into their track at Taganrog, and I eagerly followed it. I took the road to Rostoff without delay, for my time was limited ; and after paying a short visit to our skilful engineers, I was to return as speedily as possible to Odessa, to be present at the military spectacles which were preparing at Vosnessensk with so much splendour as to attract the attention of all Europe. The Emperor [358] had determined to review the colonies of cavalry ; the meadows of Vosnessensk, on the banks of the Boug, had been chosen for this imposing meeting of troops, and on all sides preparations were going on for this great event. But let us return to Rostoff, or rather the road to it, which is everywhere interspersed with tumuli.

This immense extent of country, deprived of all forest vegetation, is covered with those conical mounds, which are here called khourghans. Nowhere are these khourghans found so plentiful, and in such close con- tiguity, as in the plains of Kertch, and the ancient kingdom of Pontus ; but great numbers are also found from the borders of the Don to those of the Pruth, where they frequently seem ranged at regular intervals, as though by design. After leaving Marioupol, I began frequently to meet with these curious elevations ; they are generally from five-and-twenty to thirty feet high, and evidently raised by the hand of man. The earth of which they are composed has been dug from round the base of the hillock, for at the foot of most of them a depression is remarked, which in other cases seems to have been filled up. After a great many researches, it was ascertained that several of these khourghans con- tained the remains of the dead ; but we must not from this conclude that all have been used for this purpose. Some authors, struck like myself by this appearance, [359] of an arrangement in right lines, generally observed in the large spaces where the steppe is flat and without undulations, have beheld here a stratagetic contrivance, conceiving them to have been land marks by which the hordes of barbarians, who have so frequently crossed the steppe, took their levels, and struck their line of march. This opinion is not contrary to common sense, nor opposed to the somewhat obscure traditions relative to these ancient monuments. It is not unreasonable to suppose that these khourghans were raised at every encampment of any considerable horde. They might serve as a shelter against the violence of the winds, and to protect the tent of the chief, or to station vedettes, or what not ; even to serve as a tribune for the rude harangues of the barbarians, or altars on which their priests offered a sacrifice. If a considerable army advanced together, it is very natural to imagine that they might raise khourghans in such a manner as to render it easy for them to correspond by means of signals, or watch fires ; and in case of a battle, or a natural death, the mortal remains were deposited in the khourghans, which was left as an imperishable monument, to which some name was given ; and thus this plain, a desert to us, might to these men, of another age, have been peopled with memorials.

A peculiarity which distinguishes the tumuli we met with after passing Taganrog, on the banks of the lion, [360] the Tanais of the ancients, is that each tumulus is sur- mounted by a kind of post, rudely carved into the shape of a sphinx's head, and made of a very hard species of granite, not to be found in these parts.

Rostoff is washed by the Don before the waters of this river are divided, and distributed among the channels, which form its mouth. There is sufficient activity in this small port to excite attention for a moment. We were not far from it, when a grand deputation, con- sisting of four Armenians, mounted on capital horses, came to invite me to visit Nakitchevan, a colony entirely composed of people of their nation. I was the less tempted to refuse this courteous invitation, in copse- . quence of Nakitchevan being precisely on the road I purposed taking : my visit was short, and very interesting.


Nakitchevan is a curious town, from its novel, and at the same time commercial aspect. It is situated on the banks of the Don, below Staro and Novo-Tcherkask ; the old and the new capitals of the Cossacks of the Don. The intelligent and commercial population of this town would certainly deserve an attentive study. Less favoured than Rostoff, as regards its geographical sit- uation, Nakitchevan is superior to it from the com- mercial genius of its inhabitants. From the remotest part of this almost unknown country, they keep up a constant intercourse with their fellow countrymen at Astrakhan, at Leipzig, and in Asia Minor. Situated [361] as they are, in the centre of this immense triangle embracing their common interests, the clever Armenians have secured to themselves almost- the whole trade of the basin of the Don. The numerous bazaars of Nakitchevan constitute it the emporium, which at times inundates with its merchandise all the markets in the country. These active merchants have not neglected to monopolise the produce of the vineyards of the Don, which they export to all the southern parts of Russia, under favour of a delusive label, which converts the somewhat rough wines of this soil into Chateau Lafitte and Haut Sauterne. Beautiful silks, and quan- tities of Eastern commodities, especially Persian, stock the numerous warehouses of this small town ; the streets are clean, perfectly straight, and the houses in good order. We were received at the house of the chief person in the town, the golowa — a word meaning head, which seems to be the almost universal symbol of authority. Here we were treated with the utmost kindness ; but the extreme bashfulness of the ladies scarcely gave us an opportunity of catching a glimpse of the elegant coronet of braided hair worn by them, and the tasteful design of their silk dresses. Shortly after having quitted this hospitable town, we made our entry into the capital of the Cossacks, the great Novo-Tcherkask.


From a distance the houses of this town, which covers a small hill, advancing like a promontory on the plains, remind one of a large flock of sheep grazing here and there over a large space. Novo-Tcherkask, whose name indi- cates a recent construction, has taken the place of Staro- Tcherkask, the old town. At first the old town was the capital, but it had been built on an ill chosen spot. In time, getting weary of the too frequent inundations to which the town was exposed, they resolved to establish it on a site out of the reach of all inundations. The new capital reared its head upon a kind of promontory, whose steep sides presented equal disadvantages perhaps, but of another nature. Novo-Tcherkask, however, soon became a very large town ; but its immensely wide streets, its arid soil covered with dust, which almost blinds the wayfarer, and its small dazzling white houses, all combine to make it appear, at first sight, a tolerably insup- portable place of abode. The Attaman Vlassoff compen- sated by the cordiality of his reception for the discomforts of his residence. This old and respectable officer dis- played the most frank and hearty kindness towards us. We had scarcely partaken of a repast hastily prepared for us at General Berdaieff's, a Russian officer, employed by exception in the service of the Cossacks, as head of the staff, before we were off again, rolling along the road to Kamenskaia.


Kamenskaia is situated at a considerable distance from Novo-Tcherkask, on the high road from this capital to Voronége, and on the banks of the Donetz. I scarcely allowed myself time to stop here, but hastened on towards the little valley of Kamenka, where I was to find those persons I had come so far and through such dreadful roads to seek. I found effectually in those solitudes, works commenced by the French borers, to whom I had associated a certain number of workmen from our Siberian mines, to take part in these operations, and import the useful art of boring into our mountains. As to M. le Play, whom I was pursuing for the last two days with indefatigable perseverance, he had just gone to Lougane, where he was expected by General Count Saint-Aldegonde, serving in the corps of the imperial mines ; a determined will, and the interest he took in the scientific and industrial questions then in agi- tation in this remote corner of the globe, had led the general to these parts. The zeal we all felt, overcame fatigue ; rest was to be found at Lougane, and we were almost there ; for the last time I gave the signal to depart. But there was now no longer any regular road traced across the plain, and to add to our troubles, deep ravines intersected the steppe, and obstructed our direct course. At the very moment I was indulging in the hope of soon reaching, without accident, the long- [364] wished for termination of my journey, the horses and carriage were carried away by a steep descent, and we were precipitated suddenly on the banks of the Donetz, where we remained imbedded in thick black mud ; but even in this abyss our good luck did not desert us. Having come out safe from the half-buried carriage, I threw myself into a telegue, which happened to be near at hand, and alone for twelve hours, in spite of a dozen shocks sufficient to unhorse the most hardy Cossack, I arrived at Lougane at ten o'clock at night, when I was least expected. It required ten hours work, however, before my carriage could be got out of the mire in which it was buried.

I found myself now, at last, in the midst of this other section of my companions in fatigue, who, less fortunate than their comrades of the Crimea, were working in dull regions, and in a burning climate, the effects of which nothing could mitigate. Yet great labours had already been accomplished ; a minute geo- logical investigation of the soil had been carried out in the basin of the Don and on the banks of the Donetz; not a single valley of any importance, not a single ravine had escaped the indefatigable researches of our enthusiastic engineers, and the conclusion of these conscientious examinations had been, the opening of the borings I had seen on my road, and some others which [365] were to co-operate in the system of research concerted between us. I only remained two days in Lougane, to make arrangements for our future plans and further operations ; this done, I proposed returning to Odessa by the most direct road.

At Lougane, where I made the longest stay during this rapid excursion, there is an imperial foundry, estab- lished to furnish the fortresses in the south, and the fleet of the Black Sea, with projectiles, cannons, and other articles in cast-iron, required by the establishments of the war department and the navy, in this part of Europe.

From the nature of the ores, and the character of the combustible minerals extracted in this country, it has not been possible, as yet, to fabricate cast-iron on the spot ; and all that is necessary to the working of the foundry has till now been brought from Siberia.

The imperial foundry, however, is established on a scale worthy of the important office it will have to perform : a numerous staff, composed of officers from the mining corps, presides over the works of the establish- ment. Lougane had long been the head-quarters of M. le Play, and the persons he had to direct. The foundry also, which had not been forgotten, in the recommendations of which my expedition was the object, lent us a considerable number of workmen, to assist in our [366] operations. The persons who were already at work on the ground, in connection with the subject which occupied me, had met with the kindest reception at Lougane, for which they were truly grateful ; and I saw, with pleasure, that friendships had been formed between my foreign explorers and the officers residing at Lougane. Fully satisfied with all I had seen, I left this little town on the evening of the 8-20th of August.

If I were only to give my own observations relative to the country of the Cossacks of the Don, which I had just crossed with such incredible rapidity, these details — as indistinct as the whirl which seemed to pass before my eyes during this bewildering journey — would certainly be of little value. But I may at least give the substance of my conversations, both with the excellent Attaman Vlassoff, and with my kind and faithful cicerone, Count Galateri, who, tired to death as he was with the journey, still proved himself an attentive and useful guide.

The country inhabited by the Cossacks of the Don is a vast plain, through which that river flows from its leaving the province of Voronége to its emptying itself into the sea of Azoff. It includes also the mountainous district stretching from the borders of the Donetz to within the circle of the province of Ekatérinoslaff. Although subject to the dominion of Russia, this popu- [367] lation of Cossacks is governed by laws and customs peculiar to themselves. It appoints its own chiefs, who are called attamans, and chooses its civil functionaries. The only office to which the Emperor appoints, is the chief attaman, and this he has conferred on the heir to the throne, in order to consolidate, by the ties of honour and affection, the incorporation of the Cossacks with the great Russian family. The territory of the Cossacks is fertile, but badly cultivated. The soil, consisting of plains on a somewhat high level, is intersected by deep ravines, through which the rivers flow. Agriculture, fishing, and the breeding of cattle, are the principal occupations of its inhabitants. Nevertheless, in the midst of so many conditions of wealth, these people remain poor, in spite of the most precious gifts of nature, which a small amount of industry would suffice to render fruitful. The Cossacks have but one ruling passion, and that is the love of brandy. A soldier at fifteen, he wears the uniform till he is fifty, ready to obey every order — to start on service, perform escort duty, or carry dis- patches. Few towns, but a great number of villages, are scattered over the wide plain inhabited by these people. Every village is called by the generic term of stanitza, without prejudice to any other distinctive appellation. In each of these villages there is a public establishment, in which the attaman devotes a certain number of hours [368] in the day to the affairs of the commune. The country is dotted over, besides, with khoutors or hamlets : these are composed of country seats, with their appended farm- buildings. The Cossacks are scrupulous in the practice of their religious duties ; and their superstitious ideas lead them to treat all who profess another worship than their own as unclean heretics. Thus, in their commu- nications with our workmen employed in boring, every- thing that had been touched by the infidels was passed through the fire. The ignorance of these people is very great ; and it will be long ere any civilising influence can be brought to bear upon them. Poorly housed, ill clad, and eaten up with the most repulsive uncleanliness, the people of the most numerous class are altered in nothing from the Cossack of fifty years ago. These peasant soldiers are careful but of one point, namely — the cleanliness and order of their uniforms. This is rigorously enforced : they brush their clothes every day, but they never think of washing their hands.

On the 20th, Odessa was within 863 versts of us, and we resumed our march quite refreshed by our forty- eight hours' rest. The road, more diversified than at Bahkmout, presented several objects of interest. On all sides, we beheld those sphinxes of granite, so plentifully scattered over the steppe, at the foot of the khourgans. Ekatérinoslaff soon received us ; it is seen in the distance, [369] stretching along the banks of the Dnieper, in a succession of pretty houses and gardens. This town, built, as its name indicates, in honour of the great Empress, is now the capital of a province subordinate to the governor- generalship of New Russia. Passing through it at a gallop, as we did, but little movement was observed among its inhabitants. We next reached Nikopol, and thence followed the course of the Dnieper as far as Berislaff, still driving through a plain bounded by numerous tumuli, and exhibiting at intervals the fertile results of an intelligent husbandry.

Of Berislaff and Kherson, I shall have occasion to speak hereafter, when I shall be able to describe them at leisure. I passed rapidly through them, and soon found myself in the broad and handsome streets of Nicolaieff, con- taining the first dockyard established upon these shores. Nicolaieff, less richly endowed by nature than the admir- able harbour of Sevastopol, offers, nevertheless, a good roadstead, and possesses a spacious arsenal. After ferrying across the Dnieper, which is so wide that the passage lasts more than half an hour, we proceeded in the direction of Odessa, where I arrived at night, on the 24th of August, after an absence of a fortnight, during which I had travelled about 2,000 versts.

I had accomplished my visit, and returned to Odessa exactly at the time I had prescribed to myself. I had [370] now to prepare for a journey to Vosnessensk, a short but magnificent excursion. Such is a traveller's existence ! a strange mixture of emotion, enjoyment and hardship ; to-day encamped on the barren steppe — to-morrow ex- tended on a soft couch, within the walls of a palace.

In the meantime, a portion of my companions were exploring the Crimea, and studying, by short stages at a time, the surface of that ancient peninsula, every town of which bears a name thrice consecrated — by mythology, history, and modern conquest. The narrative of their voyage of observation will fill the succeeding chapter.

Men with Hats
























Yalta.—Baghtcheh-Saraï   1
Sevastopol.—Odessa.—Vosnessensk  45
Vosnessensk.—Crimea.—Eupatoria   101
Koslof.—Sympheropol.—Kara-sou-Bazar.—Theodosia   152
Theodosia.—Kaffa.—Kertch.—Taman.—Alouchta.—Yalta.—Aloupka   199
Historical Observations on the Crimea.—Odessa.—Return  277
Notes   319


List of Illustrations for Volume 2

A TOWER. 151






M. J. N. H U O T,




╬╬Town or City.Post house, or relay,
Village of 20 or more houses. Post road.
Hamlet containing from 5 to 20 houses. High road.
Hamlet of fewer than 5 houses. Bye road.
A house. Light-house.
Ancient hamlet, uninhabited. Anchorage.
Church. Wind-mill.
Monastery. Water-mill.
Mosque. Fort, or redoubt,
12. Pseudo Volcanic Igneous formation.
11. Plutonic RocksIgneous formation.
10. Recent formation.
9. Diluvial formation.
8. Upper beds Super cretaceous format
7. Middle beds Super cretaceous format
6. Inferior beds Super cretaceous format
5. ChalkCretaceous formation,
4. Green sandCretaceous formation,
3. Neocomian, or Lower Green sandCretaceous formation,
2. Oolitic formationJurassic formation.
1. Lias formationJurassic formation.

1/ 424,470

50,000 metres.

50 versts.

70 leagues, 25 to a degree.




A Ship Heading Toward a Harbor


BEFORE quitting Yalta to begin our daily investigations upon the soil of the Taurida, we had to accomplish several indispensable preliminaries. This occupied two days, nor were these two days lost as regarded the researches of our naturalists, or the achievements of our painter. Our picturesque campaign could not have opened under more favourable auspices. Count Worouzff was kind enough [2] to assist us himself in tracing out the plan of our expedition. We had, moreover, a skilful guide and powerful recommendations, and, thus fortified, we were now about to commence the wandering existence of sportsmen, geologists, and naturalists. The goal was before us, the only business now was to touch it with our hands.

daily investigations upon the soil of the Taurida(men on horses)

On the 13th, we were all assembled, towards evening, on the shore at Yalta, when the steamer which had brought us, the " Peter the Great," left the bay, which still continued rough, and steered towards the east, carrying on board two persons, proceeding to rejoin M. de Demidoff and the carriages, which could be better disembarked at Kaffa, where they would be substituted for the télègues ; from a height, beneath which the sea spreads out to a distance, our eyes followed, for a long time, the course of the steamer, tossed by a somewhat heavy sea. The promontory on which we stood was once occupied by the old church of Yalta, and amidst its ruined foundations we stumbled over two skulls worthy of the gravedigger in " Hamlet." We made a booty of these human remains, of proud origin doubtless, as they lay thus abandoned beneath the vaulted roof of the sanctuary.

On a height not far from hence stands the new church of Yalta, a charming edifice, of the lightest design, and filled with delicate sculptures. The entrance to the interior is through the base of an elegant tower, while [3] a dome in the oriental style, surrounded by four of smaller dimensions, picturesquely crowns the edifice. On the following day, we strolled over the environs. Two small rivers, which heavy rains or the thawing of the snow, sometimes convert into torrents, flow into the bay of Yalta. The first, which has given its name to this modest town, rises at the base of a splendid barrier of mountains, intersects a valley covered with gardens and orchards, and is lost in the sea, close to the very gates of Yalta. The other river, which runs into the sea a little more to the south, near Cape Aï-Todor, bears the name of Chrimasto-Nero. In summer, a few thread-like streams of clear water straggle over the pebbles at the bottom of a bed hollowed out by a torrent. Not that the sources of the river are deficient, but as it passes at the bottom of their gardens, the Tatars, skilful in the art of irrigation, exact from the Chrimasto-Nero & tribute of limpid water. This beautiful water is drawn off by canals ingeniously disposed, and supplies moisture to the numerous plantations of tobacco and hemp. We ascended this valley, walking in the bed of the torrent, obstructed at intervals by masses of rock, and at the end of an hour we halted in the midst of a wild and grand scene. The torrent divides here at the base of an imposing heap of rocks, covered with a profusion of pines, larches, and juniper trees, in the midst of which [4] a number of elegant peaks rise boldly in the air, like the spires of a gothic cathedral. The air was calm, the silence profound, and the solitude unbroken.

On retracing our steps, we visited a large Tatar village, sloping beneath the shade of its walnut trees down to the edge of the torrent. In the geographical nomenclature of the east, which delights to designate places according to the picturesque characteristic of their aspect or position, this place is called Déré-Koui : the first of these words signifies a valley, and Koui is the term applied to a village. The dwellings of the Tatar peasants are erected by preference on a slope, in such a manner that the houses may be built in the form of an amphitheatre, with their backs to the rising ground. Three walls, of no great height, form the sides of these humble dwellings, the fourth being cut into the hill itself; several beams supporting a covering of turf laid upon bundles, are solidly established upon these walls, and a terrace is thus formed, which the Tatars have found the means of rendering quite impervious to the wet. On this terrace, which is kept as clean as the floors in our houses, the Tatar peasant lays out his fruit and his seeds to dry; here he breathes the cool evening air, and chats with his friends and neighbours. From this post of command, the Tatar can see what is going on around, when his faithful dogs rush barking at the stranger. [5]

This terrace constitutes, in fact, the entire house. Among all these platforms, there is one in particular, that of the ombachi, the municipal chief of the locality, which is the public place, the forum, where the news is exchanged, and the affairs of the village are discussed ; here, too, the stranger is received during the preparations for that eager hospitality, which is a sort of religion with this people.

Déré-Koui, its lower extremity, is shaded by the thick foliage of a forest of large walnut trees. The public fountain, hidden beneath this gloomy canopy, was surrounded by groups of women, whom our appearance put to flight. Running thus through the shade, enveloped in their white veils, they suggested the notion of blessed spirits in Elysium. Everything helped to carry out the Virgilian comparison ; the coolness, the silence, the murmur of the waters, and the light steps of the fugitives. If you meet them in some narrow pathway, they suddenly turn back on their steps rather than meet the gaze of an infidel ; or if they are tranquillized by the distance which separates you, they content themselves with obstinately turning their backs towards you; even the children, a curious race, seem to participate in this horror of strangers. We were, however, followed by several pretty little boys, with lively faces, prudently keeping at a distance, and ready to make their escape at [6] the slightest alarm. They took especial delight in seeing us shoot doves, with which the thickly foliaged trees of Déré-Kouï abound. These Tatar children are pretty, nimble, and well-proportioned ; they are clad in a narrow sack ; and their heads are covered with a red bonnet, from beneath which falls an abundant crop of hair artistically plaited by the maternal hand; when the child is grown up, the red bonnet is succeeded by the black sheep-skin cap, commonly worn by these people. Unfortunately, when the cap is drawn well over the forehead, the ears are left outside, and this is why they are always seen to stick out so far from the head. The qualities of the full-grown man correspond with the promise of his childhood ; he is gracefully made, quick, and courageous ; with a brilliant eye, an aquiline nose, and intelligence beaming in every feature. He is naturally idle—idleness is to him an exquisite pleasure ; but, nevertheless, when it is required, he can endure the greatest hardship and fatigue.

The language spoken by these men is the Tatar, but they speak it with so hoarse and veiled an accent, that it is with difficulty they can be understood, even by those acquainted with it. This guttural pronunciation arises, no doubt, from their habit of calling out to each other in the open air from the top of their terraces. The tillage in Dére–Koui, as in the rest of [7] the valley of Yalta, is conducted by the Tatars with great intelligence, and we have already mentioned how the skilful distribution of water contributes to increase the general fertility of the land.

We received at Aloupka, on the 15th, a plan for our expedition, embracing every spot in the Taurida worthy the attention of the inquirer. The first portion of our route formed a circuit on the map of the Crimea, the principal points of which were Baghtcheh–Saraï, the city of the Khans, and Sevastopol, the great naval arsenal, taking in the whole ancient Chersonese, so replete with historical and poetical memorials. We started upon this interesting pilgrimage, provided with all that could make the journey, agreeable and instructive, and the letters kindly furnished us by the governor–general, ensured us a favourable reception everywhere. A firman in the Russian and Tatar languages, made us secure as to obtaining means of conveyance and the requisite number of horses. Our guide, sent us by Count Woronzoff, soon became our friend ; his name was Michael Barba– Christi, and he was a subaltern–officer, in the company of arnaouts, of Yalta.

The Greek troops, who are called arnaouts, consist of one battalion, whose special duty is to guard the coast of Crimea. The head–quarters are in the little port of Balaklava, and the troops are stationed out at the various points of the coast where their presence is [8] deemed necessary. The origin of these arnaouts dates from the war between Russia and the Ottoman empire, in 1"169. A naval force, composed entirely of Greeks from the Archipelago, powerfully contributed at that time to the success of the Russian arms ; at the termination of the campaign, the remnant of this valiant squadron were received on the Russian territory, and formed into a regiment, which subsequently rendered repeated and signal services against the insurrections of the Tatars. At a later period, this military corps received, together with the name of Greek battalion of Balaklava, a grant of land ; they thus formed a complete military colony, the members of which, called out at intervals to serve, devote themselves during two–thirds of the year to the peaceful cultivation of their possessions. It is difficult to account for the surname of arnaouts, applied to these Greeks. Perhaps, should we look for the origin of this designation in the Greek words armos, a sheep, or arnaki, a ewe, which would lead to the supposition that this small tribe, now settled upon the rocks of Balaklava, is descended from a people of shepherds. But to proceed : our worthy guide, Michael Barba–Christi, was no sooner in possession of the order from Aloupka, than he zealously busied himself concerning the means of conveyance which we should require to reach Baghtcheh–Sara.

On the 16th, before six in the morning, we were all [9] on horseback, and our joyous troop was ascending the valley of Yalta, following in single file the pathway along the bank of the little river. Nine mounted men, and five Tatars on foot, composed our tolerably picturesque cavalcade ; for our costumes had undergone a considerable change since the day when our uniforms attracted the attention of the passengers on board the Danube steamer. We had already yielded to Tatar influence, and our persons and garments exhibited a decidedly oriental character. We were ourselves struck with the strange appearance presented by our party, as they stood out in relief against the first declivities of the Yaïla. The horses which we rode were of low stature and slight appearance ; but we soon learned to esteem their excellent qualities. Indefatigable, and never discouraged, the least repose, and the most meagre pasturage sufficed to restore their strength ; they are as sure of foot on the most rugged paths, and on the edge of precipices, as on the broadest and most level road. Slow and cautious in descending a steep, they clamber up hill at a gallop. The saddle used by the Tatars consists of a light but hard wooden frame, covered with a thick leather cushion; the rider, thus raised aloft, and resting on very short stirrups, is so elevated above his steed that he cannot press his flanks. The Tatars, accustomed to this strange mode of riding, have a very firm seat; but a [10] person unaccustomed to it, requires a certain amount of practice before he feels entirely at his ease. In this fashion we wended our way, each flanked with his baggage; one with his artist's sketch–book and havresack, another with the more formidable hammers of the geologist, and some with herbals, fowling–pieces, and the gauze pockets fatal to the butterfly. On our pack–horses were heaped up provisions, fishing–nets, cloaks, cooking and camp utensils, kegs of spirits of wine, and the light portmanteaus containing our town habiliments. Such was our grotesque procession, as it left the neighbourhood of Yalta. We were soon slowly ascending large round hills, along the sides of which the path slants at a gentle inclination ; for it would be impossible to attempt a direct path over these gigantic cones. It was wonderful to see our little horses clambering over the loose rolling stones, the clatter of which still echoed through the valleys, even after the cavalcade had reached the summit. In a more elevated region, we met with a fine growth of pines, as elegant as those of Italy : they flourish marvellously in the immense ravines of the Yalla, but on the highest peaks they become stunted and irregular. This fine tree, the pines taurica, is the natural dispenser of shade in these countries ; it protects beneath its gloomy foliage the inferior hills of the chain of Crimea. After halting on a plateau carpeted with moss, beneath [11] the shade of these splendid pines, we began once more to climb the heights.

You first ascend, in a slanting direction, the steep sides of an immense conical mountain, thickly covered with wood, following a path which seems to have been torn open by the lightning ; you proceed along the edge of a precipice, which winds now to the right and now to the left, and sometimes you have to cross the ravine on the trunks of trees. As you ascend further, the prospect stretches out in the distance, while the vaulted foliage of the old pines grows thicker. When you have thus climbed the sides of this cone, clothed with such a vigorous vegetation, you find a naked plateau, whence, by an easy slope, you reach the summit of the mountain; and having attained this elevation, which is not less than nine hundred metres, you perceive, to your great delight, the sweetest little stream of murmuring water that ever quenched a traveller's thirst.

At the topmost crown of the Yalla, at a place called Stille Bogas, we enjoyed the most magnificent panorama in the Crimea. The picture is bounded to the south by the sea, and this blue horizon blends with the transparent tints of the atmosphere. At the furthest extremity of a magnificent sheet of verdure appeared Yalta, with its azure bay, and its ships sparkling in the midst of the waters. To the north and to the west [12] the scene bears a different aspect, and the eye gazes upon a succession of little mountains, reminding one of the montes exultaverunt sicut arietes, until it rests on the Tcha–dir–Dagh, the giant of the Tauric Alps.

Descending the reverse slope of Stille–Bogas, the foliage appears less thick; the trees, less straight in their growth, bend beneath the northern blast; and it is not until we come to the deep ravines, that we find once more the warm tints and rich tones in the landscape, coloured by the light of the setting sun. It was not without extreme fatigue that we reached a large village, situated at the bottom of a valley, accessible by paths which only goats, or the horses of the Tatars can follow. Several times, when we came to frightful declivities, our intrepid steeds allowed themselves to slide down on their four feet. It will be easily imagined, therefore, that the village of Bouyouck Ouzen–Batch was hailed with delight by our weary troop. Hospitality was offered us ; and while coffee was being prepared, our attentive guide, the brave Michael, set about procuring us fresh horses, in lieu of the over–weary steeds which had brought us.

To a spring in the neighbourhood, Ouzen–Batch owes its name ; Batch signifying head, and Ouzen a rivulet. As two villages in this canton derived their names from the same circumstance, the Tatars have distinguished [13] them by the terms, little (Koutchouk), and great (Bouyouk); it was in the latter, Ouzen–Batch, that we changed our horses. The room in which we were received was fitted with remarkable taste ; the walls and ceiling were lined with wood, divided into panels skilfully finished. The ground was covered with a carpet of brilliant colours, and along three sides of the wall was a broad and very low couch ; a small chimney, in the form of a niche, hollowed out in the wall at about three feet from the ground, contained the remnants of a fire. It must be confessed that this hospitable abode was simply a coffeehouse for the reception of the idle ; but which, at this hour of the day, usually devoted to sleep, was deserted. The inhabitants of Bouyouk–Ouzen–Batch are active and industrious, above all other Tatars. Their principal occupation is that of wheelwrights, the quantity of wheels made by them being very considerable ; long trains of twenty pairs of wheels and more, made fast together by a long pole, are drawn from Ouzen–Batch to Central Crimea, where the continual employment of cars ensures them a ready sale.

On leaving the village, with its gardens and orchards, a long portion of road is traversed, where the vegetation is scanty and the soil stony ; the progress along this road is extremely difficult, as it lies in the bed of a dried–up torrent, the breadth of which indicates that at the [14] periods of its height, it must be extremely impetuous ; at last, you reach a vale bristling with little conical elevations of schist and clay, upon which the effects of the rain has left a number of furrows and curious indentations. M. de Nordmann, to whom the country was familiar, had strongly urged us to penetrate into a large valley, which he said would greatly shorten the journey to Baghtcheh–Saraï but here the memory of our savant failed him ; and our guides, with their habits of submission, were not the people to set us right. After passing through a succession of meadows irrigated by the limpid waters of a pretty river, we were obliged at last to turn. in the direction of the mountains, plainly visible to us, surrounding the great Tatar city. All these mountains are alike ; they are crowned with natural walls, which give them the appearance, from a distance, of so many fortresses.

The sun was already sinking towards the horizon, and the caravan, fatigued by a long day's journey, was becoming more and more dispirited ; some of our party wandering in pursuit of curious birds, several of which fell victims to this unexpected invasion of their solitude. Whenever we met with any inhabitant of these regions, our perplexity was rather increased than otherwise. Baghtcheh–Saraï, one would say, is now not more than four versts hence ; with the next, we had eight versts [15] to travel. Meanwhile, the moon was rising, and showed her disc above the mountains, reddened by the vapours of the evening. Michael and two of our colleagues, whose horses still exhibited some freshness, galloped ahead, in order to obtain lodgings ; the rest of our jaded party following in their track as best they could.

We soon arrived in the midst of the aforesaid rocks, fantastically heaped in the semblance of ramparts, as though by the hand of some Vauban of the supernatural world, hoping shortly to find, under any circumstances, at least shelter and a night's rest : but imagine our cruel disappointment on reaching the plateau, to find a barren solitude ; no city, no lights ; a vast, echoless plain, on which the hoofs of our horses sounded as on the pavement of those large public squares in Italy. An hour passed away in crossing this deceitful desert, when at last the barking of dogs reached us, and a few lights were seen glimmering in the depths of a sort of gulf which lay at our feet ; then only were we enabled to distinguish through the haze the glittering spires of the minarets. A steep slope, turning as it descends, brought us to the edge of a small river, banked up by a stone quay. We alighted at the threshold of a large oriental archway, surmounted by a square pavilion ; a sentinel recognised us, and we were admitted into an immense court-yard, surrounded by light and elegant [16] buildings of unequal sizes, the moon lighting up their brilliant façades. We were in the palace of the Khans of the Crimea, that historical abode—the Palace of Gardens—to which Baghtcheh–Saraï owes its significant appellation.

There was no illusion this time—we had now really attained the goal. We were not now in Vienna, the gay capital, nor Pesth, the proud queen of young Hungary ; nor on the Danube, with its inundated shores, its foaming eddies bearing down tranquilboats : no, nor Bukharest or Yassy, cities discoloured by the pallid institutions of the east. We were in a perfect eastern Saraï, a palace of the Arabian nights ; we were on thoroughly Asiatic ground. What voice is that singing above our heads ? It is the Musslim. Close to us, there, in the silent cemetery, sleep sixty khans, who have made this palace their abode ; just, or wicked, they have lived and stirred within these walls. Tomorrow, we shall look upon their narrow sepulchres ; a stream, hidden by the grass, murmurs at their feet a monotonous chaunt dear to the inhabitants of the grave.

The Crimea belongs to Russia, and Russia has faithfully preserved the traditions of this poetical corner of its immense empire. The palace of Baghtcheh-Saraï is open to visitors as before ; and a hospitality worthy the past ages is offered to them in the buildings which, [17] from all time, have been reserved for the reception of the daily guest. A large wing of the palace, that which faces the river, contains the private apartments. Standing at the archway, and looking towards the interior of the enclosed buildings, to the right are seen, besides the dwelling of the khans, the harem, the baths, the private gardens, and a lofty tower, terminated by a terrace enclosed with thick railings. To the left, a large mosque is identified by its slender minarets ; the cemetery surrounds two large funereal pavilions, and the whole is encircled with buildings occupied by servants and officials. The extremity of the courtyard immediately opposite is occupied by a kiosk, forming an entrance to the stables, and by a modern fountain in the oriental style, shaded by willows, and bearing the initials of the Emperor Alexander ; an amphitheatre of gardens forms the background of this picture, the furthest plane being the large wall of rocks, so curiously regular, within which the city is enclosed.

We were assigned, for our lodgings, two chambers of clean appearance, furnished with two couches, covered with morocco leather ; an amount of accommodation altogether insufficient for our numerous party. This was, however, of little consequence, for after sixteen hours' riding, the matting on the floor made the softest of beds. At the same time, in order to repair the loss [18] sustained during a long fast, we sent for provisions— a thing not easily obtained at so late an hour. To our complete surprise, it was not long before two enormous dishes were triumphantly placed on the table by our guides. One of these dishes contained a mountain of sheep's trotters, boiled, and on the other was heaped a hecatomb of heads, corresponding with the aforesaid feet; the latter dish, somewhat too oriental in appearance, was resigned to our Tatars.

We were still asleep when the sun shone upon us, but we lost no time in seeing and judging, by daylight, all that had so charmed us under the soft beams of the moon. The fine palace lost nothing by the change : all those coquettish, unequal, contrasting edifices, overshadowed by large red roofs, and covered with paintings, mingled with mottoes and devices, appeared to us full of charming grace and freshness : the numerous court-yards--the gardens, somewhat too denuded of shade, but refreshed by the ceaseless flow of fountains— the discreet and jealous walls of the harem ;all these scenes, so novel to us, at once rivetted our attention ; but we deferred a more detailed survey to another occasion. After being politely received by M. Bobovitch, the steward of the palace, for whom the governor-general had given us a letter of introduction, we dispersed in different directions over the city, each bent on the special [19] object of his studies : one visited the mountains, whose singular formation, observed on the previous night, presented a fine geological problem ; another, little caring for khans, those monarchs of yesterday, proceeded to interrogate the past in its most venerable sanctuary, loading himself with large fossils—gigantic oysters, relics of an age to which the human mind can assign no date ; the plants of the desert attracted a third while the beautiful faces, and the picturesquely dilapidated houses encountered in every direction, furnished a fourth with subjects for his pencil. With these varied motives did we ramble over the city and its environs.

Baghtcheh-Saraï lies in the bosom of a narrow valley, bristling with large cube-shaped rocks, which seem ready to fall down and crush it. A small river, the Djourouk- Sou, flows at the bottom of a ravine : this rivulet, whose name, signifying fetid water, by no means implies a calumny, bears no analogy with the beautiful springs in which the natives delight. For' a long space this city was the residence of the khans of Crimea, who took a pride in embellishing its palace, the abode of their power ; it was from hence, while lapt in the softest luxury, that they manifested themselves to their subjects. Baghtcheh-Saraï, which has been several times sacked, and eventually fell a conquest to the Empress Catherine, has once more become a purely Tatar city, and the only one [20] in Crimea which has preserved, without admixture, the characteristics of this interesting nation.

A long street, stretching along the Djourouk-Sou, constitutes in itself almost the entire city. The houses and gardens rise up on either side, on the steep sides of the narrow valley. Several mosques are grouped in the midst of trees, and raise their minarets above the dwellings. As to the general style of architecture, it presents nothing remarkable, unless it be in the construction of the chimnies, which are in the form of little pointed turrets, admitting the light through a number of openings. The principal street is lined throughout with the shops of tradesmen and artificers, in which Tatar industry is exhibited in all its primitive simplicity, producing daily the same articles as it furnished two centuries ago ; neither fashion nor caprice have altered these unchangeable productions one tittle. The coarsest kind of pottery, the commonest cutlery, a great variety of articles in morocco leather, babouches, saddles, belts, purses, &c.—such are the wares exhibited in their shops, which are a sort of raised stall, in which the shopkeeper sits tailor-fashion.

In the workshops, cart and wheel-making goes on ; the shoeing of oxen, and carding and winding cotton. Then come the pastry-cooks, butchers, and barbers— important personages ; poets, censors and politicians, to


[21] whom a large pair of spectacles sometimes imparts a peculiar air of gravity ; then the turners, patiently boring cherry or jessamine sticks into the long pipes so much in request in the western world. All these people exhibit an air of calmness at their work, and buy and sell with dignity. The Jew karaïms, members of a peculiar sect of the Israelites, of whom we shall have occasion to speak hereafter, reserve to themselves the trade in stuffs, mercery, and colonial produce. From the top of a high rock in the neighbourhood, where they have established their abode, these sectarians come down every morning, and entice the customer into their private warehouses. We cannot omit mentioning the enormous heap of pastecs with which this long street is filled. At this season, the pastec is an article of consumption in momentary request—an ever-recurring necessity —and constitutes almost the sole food of an entire people, notwithstanding those rules of diet which should be observed in warm climates. To conclude on the subject of this street, which is a city in itself, let us add that it is irregularly paved, and that during the day it is continually traversed by a multitude of those cars with creaking axles, already described by us. A few branch streets terminate upon this central and animated trunk of the city ; these are like so many suburbs, inhabited by the lower class, and contain only [22] a number of houses, hermetically closed, without any look out, like so many private prisons on the public way. In the very centre of the long radii formed by the city and its approaches, are spread the buildings and gardens of the palace. It is entered over a stone bridge, and through the elegant archway which was so timely opened the evening before, to our wearied and scattered caravan. Numberless inscriptions adorn the exterior of this royal abode. Scarcely a door but has its sentence or talismanic cypher mingled with the paintings with which every panel in the building is invariably decorated ; such as groups of flowers and fruit, rare and fanciful birds, and graceful scrolls, whose crude colouring boldly contrasts with the white ground of the walls. At the time of our visit, however, the palace of the khans was fresh from the restoring hands of the architect.

M. Elson, a skilful artist, had just completed his tasteful labours, and had restored these dilapidated abodes to all their pristine splendour. Rich furniture, and decorations full of the minute detail so characteristic of the ornamental art of the east, had completed this kingly work of restoration. All the apartments are now hung with precious tissues, and furnished with divans, carpets, and matting recently brought from Constantinople. Halls, closets, apartments of all dimensions, scarcely ever [23] on the same level, succeed each other, and connect themselves with the most curious absence of any regular design. Feebly lighted by painted windows, these elegant retreats are all shining with varnish, sparkling with mother-o'-pearl, crystals, gold and silver brocade, adorned with costly furniture, and perfumed with balmy odours. Such is this palace of wonders, in which all the dreams of the most teeming imagination are found realised. But who could enumerate all the windings of this labyrinth, its numerous and secret passages, its marble baths, the discreet witnesses of those sensual pleasures of the east, which Europe invents, but knows not ! We have already mentioned a large tower in the garden, surmounted by a gilt trellice ; here, we are told, one of the khans bred his falcons ; another converted it to a platform, on which his women came in the cool of the evening to cast a curious and furtive glance at the surrounding country. Within the high walls of the harem, that second palace, which also has its baths of spouting water, and its cool vestibules of marble, we peered inquisitively into the women's apartments, but they are now deserted, and barely such few traces can be seen of their former furniture and appurtenances as a few latticed windows brilliantly stained, and one or two Venetian looking glasses, which once reflected the rounded features, pencilled eyebrows, and vermillion lips of the listless favourites. Within these [24] walls languished in captivity the fair Marie Pototska, the gentle christian ; Marie, the pure and poetical idol of the most indomitable and the most generous of all the lords of this palace. Pouschkine, the noble and unfortunate poet whose cruel death was wept over by his European brethren, by whom his name, his glory and his verses are venerated, has immortalised the mournful history of their loves in harmonious strains, such as he alone could find.

This palace of gardens, the abode of the sovereigns of the Crimea, might, with equal propriety, have been called the Palace of Fountains : the living stream flows in all directions ; it winds beneath the walls, through the gardens, in the vestibules, like the blood in the veins of healthy youth. Among all these pleasant fountains must be mentioned those adorning the grand vestibule, twins of the most beautiful construction. All the delicacy of oriental taste, all the genius and grace of eastern architecture are epitomised in these two fountains, covered with light arabesques sculptured in relief, the gilt portions of which harmonised most felicitously with the bright colours of the rest. It is one of these monuments, that on the left, which inspired the verses of Pouschkine. A crowd of inscriptions are interwoven with the rich ornaments of the fountains, which we found translated in a work as useful as it is creditable, published by [25] M. Montandon, a foreign savant inhabiting this country, and modestly entitled, " A Guide to the Crimea." On the latter fountain, which goes by the name of the Fountain of Marie, are inscribed the following phrases, so instinct with the peculiar emphasis of the east.

" The face of Baghtcheh-Saraï is made joyful by the beneficent care of Krim-Gheraï, the radiant. His fostering hand bath quenched the thirst of the land. " If there be another fountain like unto this, let it come forth and show itself. " Damascus and Bagdad have witnessed many things, but so beautiful a fountain have they not beheld." Then follows the date, 1176.

On the other fountain, Kaplan-Gheraï-Khan, the founder implores the divine mercy in his own behalf, and that of the sinners of his race.

Next to these gems of architecture, these enchanting monuments of Damascene ornament, the most poetical of the fountains of Baghtcheh-Saraï, is decidedly that constructed over the spring which trickles through the plants and shrubs of the narrow cemetery, and runs at the feet of the tombs of the khans. We have already described the situation of the cemetery, and of the two rotundas, each surmounted by a vast cupola. Beneath these large domes, ranged in a line, are the sepulchres of a certain number of sovereigns ; and here, too, their wives have found a resting-place. All these tombs [26] are in the form of a bier, the upper side of which is of an angular shape : at the head is placed a high stone, the top of which is sculptured in the shape of a turban ; in some of them, the veritable turban of the khan is deposited, crowning the funeral monument with its tattered folds. The tombs of the women are distinguished by the peculiarly shaped cap sculptured at their head, the form of which bears a great resemblance to the toque worn in France by the members of the bar. Behind these sepulchral edifices extends a small enclosure, thickly covered with verdure, growing in irregular tufts ; within it are contained a number of monuments in white marble, sculptured with a variety of ornaments in relief. At the time when war desolated the soil of Crimea, Baghtcheh-Saraï was sacked, and a number of these tombs were profanely violated; but these acts of sacrilege were repressed; respect for the dead triumphed over the fury of the conqueror, and this last refuge of the rulers of the Crimea was once more enveloped in silence and peace.

Towards the evening of the 17th of August, a fresh company of visitors came to inhabit the palace ; they were four in number, one being a young lady, and they had come at the same time with us from Odessa, to perform a short pilgrimage to these localities, so attractive to travellers. They greeted us with politeness, [27] and we joined company to visit the grand mosque of the palace. We entered by the side fronting the public road : our attention was first engaged by a fountain placed in the midst of a vaulted apartment ; the water falls in clustering jets into a large basin, from which it escapes by a great number of little spouts, thus allowing twenty of the faithful to perform their religious ablutions at the same time. You then pass into a spacious vestibule, and thence into the mosque. This interior is very vast ; a few painted windows, of a beautiful blue, admit a dim light. The ground is covered with carpets and matting. Opposite the door, a circular niche filled with pieces of sculpture in stone, sinks into the wall ; this is the sanctuary ; the holy of holies. In the middle of the nave hangs a large chandelier, the wooden branches of which form a star with twelve points ; at each point is suspended a small lamp from which long silken loops descend. There are no seats, few ornaments, a small number of books, and a large quantity of tapers, enormously thick, painted in bright colours. While we were contemplating this simple yet imposing interior (for what religious monument is not imposing ?) the shrill voice of the Moslem was heard calling the faithful to prayers. The minarets contain within their narrow compass a dark staircase into which the crier slips, and reappears at an opening upon a raised platform. As soon as the chaunting [28] had resounded towards the four cardinal points, and called together the faithful, we saw the good Mussulmans appear, headed by the moullah. The thick tapers were lighted, and without noticing our profane presence, the true believers, drawn up in a row, from which the moullah alone stood apart, and, facing the niche, commenced the prayer of the Nhamaz.

The congregation, among whom we observed several hadjis, with their white turbans, the distinctive badge of the pious pilgrims to Mecca, after raising both hands to their ears, began a series of genuflexions and prostrations, executed with the regularity of machinery. The moullah alone muttered a few prayers, interrupted from time to time with the formula—Allah ek bess ! Allah kherim ! God is great ! God is merciful !—which he pronounced in an intelligible voice. We need not observe that the pious assembly had left upon the carpet of the vestibule an imposing row of babouches, among which our European shoes had respectfully taken their places.

The following day, the entire morning was devoted to an interesting excursion. Our horses, which we had ordered at an early hour, did not make their appearance till eight o'clock, according to invariable custom, against which it would be vain to contend. The interval of delay was filled up by another visit to the palace, [29] when we were introduced into the apartments on the first-floor. The same dazzling luxury, the same sensual refinement in all the minutiae of life, were exhibited here also. The rooms prepared for the reception of the emperor and empress on their next journey, displayed an especial degree of elegance and costliness. Everywhere the eye dwelt upon precious vases filled with flowers, and crystal bowls containing gold fish. The rich carpets and finely-woven mattings with which the floors are covered have nothing to fear from the contact of leather ; for here, as at the mosque, the visitors leave their shoes at the door. We must not forget, ere concluding the description of this elegant palace, to observe that it would be a mistake to imagine that the residences of eastern sovereigns can bear any comparison with the grandeur of our royal palaces in Europe. The apartments in Baghtcheh-Saraï, like those of all the Saraï in the east, are built on the most narrow scale. But what distinguishes this palace above all similar edifices, is the exquisite taste and perfection of the innumerable details with which it is filled, and which would still charm the eye, though seen for the hundredth time.

At last, the Tatar steeds were heard neighing in the court-yard. A pretty horse, elegantly caparisoned, and carrying a red saddle, was provided for the foreign [30] lady whom we had met on the previous evening. Our cavalcade, thus augmented, took the road towards Tchioufout-Galeh, the Fort of the Jews, as the little town of the karaïms is called; the only city in the world exclusively inhabited by Jews ; a meagre parody of Sion, a city banished to the summit of a rock, and appropriate to a people to whom the entire earth is a land of exile.

To emerge from the defile of Baghtcheh-Saraï, you pass through a long street, whose appearance is miserable enough. On reaching the extremity of the city, a new city is entered ; but it is one without a name, like the people who dwell in it. Imagine the most extraordinary assembly of half-clad savages, living in caves instead of houses,—filthy dens, hollowed out by the hand of nature, or the grudging labour of sloth, in the sides of the large rocks which surround the valley. A numerous tribe of gipsies found these abodes ready- made, and accommodated themselves, with their natural indolence, to this troglodyte existence. Such is the chosen capital of this miserable race, and here do they delight to spread their squalor beneath the sun. In all directions, filthy rags are seen hanging from the rocks ; the blue smoke, curling along the lofty sides of the mountain, and a number of battered utensils scattered out, complete the picture presented by this [31] wretched community of outcasts. At the sound of our horses' hoofs, it was wonderful to see these swarthy, emaciated children, and scraggy women, spring from their kennels like monkeys, stretching forth their hands with a thousand contortions and inarticulate cries,—a sad spectacle of human degradation ; and yet, even here, one is astonished to find occasionally a physiognomy, though certainly in a great minority, presetting the type of Asiatic beauty ; fine young women, walking in their scanty rags with the dignity of stage queens ; young men, with a bold determined deportment, an eagle's glance, and black glistening hair falling about the graceful and pure outlines of their countenances. But these beautiful remains of a race now degraded are daily vanishing ; and the traveller who passes through this valley bears away with him little more than a feeling of disgust at so much degradation.

Further on, the scene changes ; the moment you have left behind you the stream of Djourouk-Sou, and you begin to ascend out of the valley of Baghtcheh-Sara, you observe on your right a mass of rocks symmetrically arranged by the hand of nature, like all those seen in the neighbourhood. At a certain elevation, and in the rock itself, numerous excavations, communicating with each other by light external galleries, extend to a considerable distance along the [32] perpendicular face of the mountain. This is the Monastery of the Assumption. The approach to it is through a deep ravine, and a number of stone steps cut out of the rock lead to this ierial abode. A little chapel, within which the chisels of the monks have carved out a few rude pillars, forms the most remarkable apartment in the whole suite of caverns. The convent is inhabited by a Greek priest, and every year, on the 15th of August, he is visited by the whole Christian population of the Crimea, who on that day perform a pilgrimage to the holy place. If we are to believe our guides, these grottoes were excavated at a period when the Greek religion was the object of inveterate persecution on the part of the Mussulmans.

We ascended by a narrow path along the bare and slippery rock. Two fountains on the slope of the mountain furnish the necessary supply of water to Tchioufout-Galeh, and accordingly a continual procession of mules and donkeys, laden with long narrow casks, is seen ascending and descending this path during the whole clay. Tchioufout-Galeh was several hundred feet perpendicularly above our heads, and its houses, built on the very edge of the rock, overhang the barren precipice in a fearful manner. All around is white, dry and burnt up in this ravine : one last steep, resembling a precipice rather than a path, conducted us at last [33] to a platform, upon which open the gates of the town. More than twenty Tsigans, formidahly armed with fiddles, awaited here to give us not a very harmonious greeting, a number of tambourines forming the second rank of this discordant troop. Surrounded by this escort, we had to proceed at a walking pace, as though in triumphal procession, through the narrow streets of the town, whose only pavement is the unequal surface of the rock itself. An assemblage of hovels, and a few women's faces peeping furtively at us, constituted all the attractions of this promenade, which terminated on an open space almost entirely isolated by its inaccessible situation, over looking the valley of the Djourouk-Sou from a vertical height of 500 feet. It was here, we were informed, that the khans were accustomed to keep stags for the chase. Having visited this curiosity, the next sight is the romantic tomb of a daughter of one of the khans, whose life is said to have been a tissue of the most marvellous and intricate adventures, worthy the talcs of the Arabian Nights. After exhausting all that was to be seen, we bent our steps towards the house of the rabbi, who performs all the duties of hospitality with uncommon politeness. Meanwhile, the music had never ceased for an instant, each of the performers struggling continually through a labyrinth of harmonies and counter harmonies. [34] These good people played us a succession of marches, waltzes, and perhaps ballads, all in the same measure. Not but it was possible, amidst this bewildering din, to distinguish certain singular effects of harmony, as well as a few movements of the mazurka and the Viennoise, and even snatches of French airs, a somewhat halting compliment addressed to some of our party. On arriving at the residence of the worthy rabbi, we alighted ; he came to the threshold of the door, saluting us graciously after the fashion of the country, placing his right hand on his heart, then to his lips, and slightly bowing the head. In a small and somewhat low room, lined with carpets and cushions, was placed a table about a foot high, covered with a profusion of light viands, cakes, preserves, coffee, and different sorts of wine ; nothing was wanting in this courteous entertainment, to which the master of the house invited us with politeness, but without touching anything himself. We seated ourselves accordingly on cushions placed round the tables, complying with customs entirely new to us, but our host took no notice of our blunders, which were numerous, no doubt, and completely shocking. He extended his courtesy so far as to introduce us into the women's apartments, a favour which we owed to the presence of a female among our party. This condescension, however, appeared to cause some confusion in the rabbi's harem, and we were asked to [35] suspend our curiosity a moment. Who would not guess the motive ? Accordingly, when we were admitted, the women were all under arms ; one of them, apparently about twenty, whose toilet pointed her out as the favourite, appeared extremely abashed at our visit, and retreated amidst the most charming blushes to the recess of a window, where she appeared to place herself under the protection of two pretty little children. Two other women crouching in a corner behind some curtains, would not allow themselves to be looked at, except by stealthy glimpses. The costume of the young woman was of an extremely elegant design ; a silk gown, with blue and red stripes, displayed a well-proportioned form, which no foreign artifices had disfigured, fitting closely to the back and the loins, of which it betrayed rather than showed the rounded outline. A broad belt, resting on the hips, was fastened in front by a buckle in the form of two large plates of silver, delicately ornamented. A black scarf with a red figure was folded into a turban about her fine black hair, woven into plaits ; a necklace of gold-pieces hung about her neck, round which was folded a silk handkerchief, and a light doliman of yellow silk, edged with black, with the addition of the yellow babouches of the country, completed this picturesque costume.

This gentle form, slightly bent forward, from a [36] modest confusion, and leaning upon her two children, formed a subject for a picture too striking for Raffet to let slip ; nor did the courtesy of the rabbi desert him on this occasion, for he supplied our painter with all that was requisite to commence his charming sketch. Meanwhile, we visited two synagogues ; they were two simple edifices, offering nothing worthy of remark save two copies of the Old Testament, precious manuscripts on vellum, rolled up in magnificent velvet cases, covered with brilliant ornaments of chased silver. The religious dogmas of the Karaïms are based strictly upon the sacred writings. They repudiate the Talmud, and the rabbinical commentaries ; hence their name, derived from the word kara, signifying writing. This fundamental principle of their belief is not, however, the only point of difference which separates the Karam's from the purely rabbinical sect. There are certain variations in the liturgy, in the mode of circumcision, in the rules relative to diet, and lastly, in the degrees of relationship within which marriages are allowed or forbidden, which constitute a broad line of separation between these two adverse sects. To point out another remarkable distinction between these two sections of the Jewish race, let us add that the Karaïms have established in the countries where they are settled, a solid reputation for right dealing, which has been sullied but in few instances. This favourable [37] character was emphatically confirmed by one of our travelling companions, formerly judge of the Tribunal of Commerce at Odessa, whose long exercise of that office had afforded him opportunities of appreciating the characteristic morality of this people. The expression of countenance in the Karaïms is in general open and prepossessing, and the minute attention with which they perform all acts of external cleanliness distinguish them from their numerous opponents, the rabbinical Jews. Polite and obliging without cringing, but at the same time accomplished men of business, they have preserved under more honourable forms all the commercial genius of their race. The members of this small sect are dispersed at wide distances ; they are found in Egypt, in Volhymnia, and in Lithuania. If to the Jews of Tchioufout-G-aleh, we add the families established at Odessa, or in the environs of Kherson, and the colonies of Kozloff and Theodosia, it will be found that there are little more than two thousand inhabiting Southern Russia.

Advancing from Tchioufout-Galeh towards the south, we arrive at the commencement of a valley, which gradually sinks lower and lower beneath the level of the plateaux. This valley, distinguished) by the imposing name of J-ehoshaphat, is the cemetery of the Karaims, where the closely and irregularly ranged gravestones lie beneath the solemn shade of a forest of large oaks.



The number of these white sepulchres crowded together within this sombre vale, is as many as four thousand. They consist simply of a sarcophagus, with a high stone to indicate the head; and all are covered with inscriptions in Hebrew characters, sculptured in relief, some of them bearing so remote a date as three or four centuries since. We strayed with reverential feelings through this silent forest, filled with the remains of so many generations of Karaïms, singling out the most ancient monuments, which we could distinguish by their deviation from the perpendicular. On inquiring the cause of this irregularity, we were informed that the peaceful shades of Jehoshaphat were occasionally disturbed by earthquakes, as though in accomplishment of the prophecy : Conquassabit capita in terrû multorum ! The result has been, an extraordinary mass of confusion amongst these irregular tombs. While treading the tortuous paths through the cemetery, we caught sight of a little old man, hidden among the brushwood, intent upon the task of carving out, on a recent monument, the letters of a Hebrew inscription. The costume of this white-bearded sculptor was of the most grotesque character : on his head was an enormous blue balloon-shaped cap ; his eyes were protected from the dust and the glare of the sun by a pair of large round spectacles, fastened behind his head with a piece of string ; and a painter's parasol shaded the little shrivelled [39] individual, crouched at the foot of the monument upon which he was exercising his art. We interrogated this artist of death, as he sat there, surrounded by his handiwork. " For forty years," he said, "there has not been a gravestone set up here but my chisel has carved the epitaph upon it. All those to whom I have rendered this last honour, have been either friends or relations ; so that I do not work only for the glory of my art : there is in the art I have exercised, and lived by for forty years, something more than mechanical labour ; there are the pleasures and pains of memory. I knew, and loved, the greater part of those who sleep here, ere I engraved their names in the great stone book of Jehoshaphat, whose characters this hand alone has traced. I, too, am approaching the spot I have reserved myself beneath the trees, yonder ; and I know not what unskilful hand may be employed to perform that task for me, which I have performed for so many." During this conversation —or rather, this philosophical monologue—of the old sculptor, interpreted to us by fragments, Raffet was occupied in tracing in his album the features of this venerable character. The old man perceived it, and lent himself with a good grace to the intention of his brother artist, as he was pleased to call our painter ; and when the sketch was finished, he added his name and description to it with his own hand.


One more evening was spent in viewing the palace and its humble cemetery, and on the morning of the 19th we bade adieu to the Tatar capital, leaving behind us, however, MM. Huot and Raffet, both of whom were loth to quit the place of their predilection. The remainder of our party disposed themselves in four télcgues, and proceeded towards the naval port of the Black Sea, said to be one of the finest in the world. Thus did we take leave of this singular city, in which three days had so rapidly fled, in the midst of emotions unceasingly excited, and the industrious collection of a store of notes of every description : we bade a last farewell to the elegant Palace of Gardens—to the high street, with all its shops, and started off, at a gallop, across the barren plain which separated us from Balbec, our sole resting-place, till we should reach our final destination.

Baghtcheh-Saraï contains, it is said, a population of 11,000 inhabitants, of whom the Tatars form the majority, the number of Russians and foreigners being only 2,250. It is stated—though we believe the number to be far less—that the city contains 3,000 houses. It possesses a Greek church and a synagogue, and boasts, moreover, of thirty-two mosques. There are, for the reception of travellers, ten khans or caravanserais, to which the simplicity of the litre, and the nakedness of [41] the lodgings, attract scarcely any other class than the traders and carriers of the country. Two fine establishments, in which Turkish baths are administered in the highest perfection, are not the least attraction in this place, so replete with subjects of surprise. We have already enumerated almost all the branches of industry to which the inhabitants devote themselves. They export all their manufactures, while they are themselves deficient in all the necessary commodities of life. With the exception of cultivating orchards, the Tatars of Baghtcheh-Saraï employ themselves but little in the labours of the field. An abundance of fruit, consumed by them in large quantities during the summer, affords almost all the sustenance they require. The grain which is brought into Baghtcheh-Saraï is made into flour by mills, set in motion by the Djourouk-Sou. We have already called attention to the number of public fountains : the good order of the conduits supplying the city with water, and their ingenious disposition, affords a fresh proof of the pious regard professed by Mussulmans for springs of water, with which they delight to surround themselves.

We have only now to speak of the educational establishments. There are several schools for children ; and as regards instruction in the sciences, the city numbers three médresss. These institutions are open to young Tatars, destined to employment in public offices, or to [42] the service of the mosques. The dogmas of their religion are taught to the scholars by effendis, joined with instruction in history, arithmetic, and, according to the statement of M. Montandon, astrology. About three hundred students are received in the médressès, where they are provided with lodging. These scholastic establishments have been founded at various epochs by the khans ; and they appeared to take great glory to themselves for their foundation, two of these sovereigns, Ahmet-Aga and Mengli-Gheraï, founders of the two larger médressès, having desired their remains to be deposited within them, in sepulchres constructed by their orders.

We crossed, with all the speed our equipages could command, the white and parched up plain through which lay the road to Balbec, only interrupting our journey to shoot at a pretty species of falcon, as plentiful in this locality as they are rare everywhere else : we were fortunate enough to bring down one or two. After passing through Balbec—a half Russian, half Tatar village—we entered the narrow valley through which flows the river of that name. This pretty valley presents an uninterrupted succession of gardens and orchards, the freshness and fertility of which bring to mind the most favoured cultivation of western countries. This agreeable country was soon left in the rear, and we ascended upon the plateaux of the steppe, whence we could per [43] ceive the sea in the distance. We had now reached the western coast of the Crimea. At this point we struck into a road leading down to the harbour of Sevastopol, and we could already distinguish its imposing array of masts. Such was the bewildering speed at which we were travelling, that one of our télègues, having lost a wheel, was carried along with one side ploughing up the dust, to a considerable distance. The driver— whose only distress was at the distance he had to go back to fetch the wheel—repaired the damage without allowing the travellers to leave the little carriage ; and having driven in a peg in lieu of the lost linch-pin, started off again at a headlong gallop, to make up the lost time. We arrived, without further delay, at the edge of the bay, from which, while a boat was being prepared to take us over to the city, we gazed with unceasing admiration at ten ships and fifteen other vessels of war, ranged in one noble line, in one of the finest basins that can possibly be seen. Having embarked from a little inlet filled with coasting vessels, we crossed the bay, passing under the stern of the three-decker " The Warsaw," carrying 120 guns ; and at the end of a quarter of an hour we arrived at the quay of Sevastopol, where we found a vast crowd in active motion, attracted thither by the recent arrival of a cargo of pastecs, over which the retail sellers were noisily disputing.


The city of Sevastopol covers a height rising between two bays ; its broad streets, filled with distressing clouds of dust, present no edifices of any importance ; the houses are small and low, and are separated by wide intervals. After the loss of more than an hour in vainly seeking that which did not exist — namely, a hostelry — we were directed to an Italian confectioner, who placed two empty rooms at our disposal, the windows of which had suffered severely from the winds. Having taken possession of the rooms, the next thing was to provide furniture. Our host, honest Cabalzar, undertook to supply us, without delay, at the most reasonable prices, with twenty trusses of hay, which reminded us of the litters on which the students in the middle ages used to sleep. Once more our memories travelled back to the palace of Baglitcheh-Sara and its clean mattings, inviting one to slumber; and again we prepared ourselves, by the repose we so much required, to visit a fresh succession of sights.

A Crowd in The City of Sevastopol





Men traveling on Horses


The situation of Sevastopol, as a naval port, is justly esteemed, and indeed, Europe presents few harbours so completely suited to the necessities of a large fleet. An arm of the sea, of an imposing breadth, has made itself a deep bed in the western coast of Taurida, and advances inland to a distance of two leagues. Within this magnificent basin are neither rocks nor dangerous reefs; its entrance [46] is convenient, and is defended by two formidable fortifi- cations, whose powerful batteries could sweep with ease across the broad mouth of the harbour. Having entered within the bay, on looking towards the southern coast, four spacious inlets are observed, offering so safe a shelter and so easy an access, that in one of them, the bay of ships (carabeinaya bonkhta), three-deckers may moor within a few yards of the land. Exactly between two of these inlets stands the city of Sevastopol, whose name in Greek signifies the august city ; this name will soon have effaced that of Ak-Tiar, still given to it by the Tatars, in memory of an ancient city, on the north side of the bay, not far from the barren hillock at the entrance of the port.

Soldier Guarding

Sevastopol covers with its houses the ground occupied at a remote period of antiquity by the extreme suburbs of Chersone, the city of the Heracleotes, long since vanished from the soil of Taurida, leaving its ruins to be swept away, as the city was before, by the hand of time.

The lofty hills which protect the roadstead, present, as far as the eye can reach, a prospect of endless desolation ; the coast is naked and barren, and well deserves the name of Ak-Tiar (white rock) given to it by the Tatars. The city itself, in the construction of whose streets no attempt has been made to avoid the irregularities of the soil, seems to wind with difficulty over [47] the jutting and steep rocks of the promontory. When the traveller, on disembarking at the custom-house, first beholds this city perched upon its white and burning rocks, he is tempted to retreat before so many obstacles, and his eye anxiously wanders in search of some more easy and less fiery mode of approach. One street rather more endurable than the rest, stretches at a considerable height, in a parallel direction with the great quay, and on either side of it are assembled whatever remarkable buildings the modern Sevastopol may boast of. Here the cathedral, built in the most elegant style of architecture, concentrates the humble devotion of the population. Further on, rises the tower of the Admiralty, displaying somewhat too ostentatiously a number of pillars out of proportion with the remainder of the building. Several rather handsome hotels, protected from the sun by numerous blinds, and a number of small gardens, in which all attempts at verdure are smothered by the dust, constitute the sum of all that is to be seen in this, the fine quarter of Sevastopol. If you bend your steps towards the summit of the city, you again meet with these gardens, discreetly screening little houses of tolerably clean appearance, but this portion of the city is exposed to violent winds, sweeping periodically over the naked soil, and raising a perfect storm of dust and sand. [48]

When you have reached the summit of the ascent, however, the trouble and fatigue are compensated by the beauty of the prospect. The eye embraces the entire port and its various establishments, forming a magnificent spectacle, especially when the whole of the Black Sea fleet spreads out its imposing array in the basin of the roadstead.

The variety and animation which the movement of the shipping gives to this otherwise severe prospect, may be judged by mentally passing in review the following fleet ploughing the surface of this sea :—

The Warsaw . . . 120 guns. Machmout . . . 90 guns.
Silistria . . . 90 guns. Catherine . . .90 guns.
Tchesma . . . 90 guns. Andrinople . . .90 guns.
Maria . . . 90 guns. Staloust . . . 90 guns.
Anapa . . . 90 guns. Pimen . . . 90 guns.
Pamik Ifstaphi . . . 90 guns.

Then the frigates :

Bourgas . . . 60 guns.Brailoff . . . 40 guns
Enos . . . 60 guns. Agathopol . . .60 guns.
Varna . . . 60 guns.Tenedos . . . 60 guns.
Anna . . . 40 guns.

The corvettes :—

Sizopoli . . . 14 guns.Orestes . . . 44 guns
Iphigenia . . . 24 guns.
The brig Mercury 20 guns.
Ganetz (the Courier) 14 guns.
Vestavoi 14 guns.
The cutter Spechni (Rapid)
The tender Struia (Wave).

Just as we were completing the simple arrangements for establishing our quarters, an unusual stir in the city and in the port attracted our attention. It was caused by the arrival of a government steamer, " The Gromonocets " (Thunder-bearer), with Prince Menzicoff, Minister of the Imperial Marine, on board, who had been expected to review the fleet. The minister remained on board his vessel, and as soon as " The Gromonocets" had cast anchor, received visits from the various official bodies in the public service. Admiral Slavanieff, in command of the port of Sevastopol, was at that time suffering from severe illness, and we were deprived of the honour of being presented to him, contenting ourselves with forwarding our letter of introduction from Count Woronzoff. were more fortunate in the case of Mr. Hupton, the skillful engineer, who designed and directs the useful and important works of the port. His active and intelligent sons assist their father in conducting the immense undertakings executed with the aid of an army of military labourers. In every direction round Sevastopol, and to whichever shore you turn, long ranges of barracks are [50] seen for the reception of an important garrison ; even this abundance of military quarters, however, was at that time insufficient for the accommodation of the numerous soldiers employed on the costly constructions, and laborious earth-works, which are to change the aspect of this coast. In a short time, vast workshops, spacious esplanades, and deep basins will stand in the place of the chalk hills, which formerly overlooked the bays ; and already, by the effects of patient labour, these hills have been brought down to their level.

Thirty thousand men encamped in tents supply the hands by which these gigantic metamorphoses are accomplished, and it is a spectacle full of interest to see this army of labourers, all dressed in white linen, busily passing and repassing, amidst clouds of the dust which they are carrying away by sackfulls, it might almost be said by handfulls, from the former site of the levelled hillocks ; a perfect ant-hill, in which the infinite division of labour arrives at length at the same result as the motive power and machinery. Unfortunately, a fearful visitation had manifested itself amidst this active and persevering body ; intense ophthalmia, the ophthalmia of Egypt, contagious according to some, epidemic, as others believe, was committing ravages, evidences of which were but too painfully manifest. It was commonly attributed to the prodigious quantity of dust whirled about by the [51] winds along these hill sides, entirely bare since the commencement of the works. But whatever the cause, the evil is indeed a terrible one. Twenty-four hours are sufficient for the eye to become so entirely corrupt as to leave its socket.

We had already admired the bay of ships, and the unusual spectacle of large three-decked vessels commu- nicating with the shore by a plank laid across from the rock ; but we were far more astonished, on visiting the careening bay''.` The importance of Sevastopol, and the happy peculiars of its position, having been once recognised, the next step was to form basins and docks for refitting ; these objects have been admirably accom- plished by Mr. Hupton. A spacious basin has been sunk at some distance from the sea, and on a higher level. On the sides of this basin are five dry docks ; three of these are for first chess-vessels, the remaining two for frigates. With a sea almost without tides, the draining of these docks was a difficult problem to solve ; it was accomplished in the following manner :–At a distance of about eighteen versts, at the bottom of the great valley forming the roadstead, flowed, on a level of suitable height, a small river abundantly supplied with water. This river was taken possession of by the engi- neers, turned into another bed excavated in the rock, and passing at one time through a tunnel, at another over an [52] aqueduct, the Tchornaia-Retchha (black rivulet) was made to furnish the necessary supply of water to the docks. As all this water came from a considerable height, it was easy, by means of an ingenious combination of locks, to bring into the large basin, three hundred feet by four hundred, then being lined with splendid masonry, one vessel of 120 guns, two of eighty, and two frigates of sixty, to be placed into the five dry docks, which could be drained or sluiced at pleasure. Undoubtedly these are vast and noble works, and those which render a reign illustrious, and hand down to posterity the fame of an engineer. What struck us more particularly was, to see these same soldiers employed by turns in earth work, carpentering,. forging and masons' work, and acquitting themselves in all these various departments to admiration. Mr. Hupton, an Englishman by birth, accustomed as he had been in his own country to these industrial wonders, was in continual admiration at the facility with which these Russian people became successively, and in so short a time, skilled workmen in any craft to which they applied themselves. Let us add, that the Russian soldier is not only a skilful artisan, but naturally a docile workman, respectful without meanness, expert and active without boastfulness. The building docks of the Imperial navy are established at Nikolaïeff, a favourable situation, not only on account [53] of the nature of the position itself, but its convenience as regards the supply of timber floating down from central Russia. All that was required at Sevastopol, therefore, was a fitting dock, which purpose will be admirably answered by the recent constructions. Who could believe that the great enemy, the great destroyer of the ships in the beautiful waters of Sevastopol, is an imperceptible worm called the teredo navalis. The ravages of this little animal reduce the time which a Russian ship of war may be reckoned to last, to a period of eight years, an unfavourable condition for the Russian navy to labour under, as the ships of the English and French navy are reckoned to last an average period of fifteen years. Whatever experiments have been tried to preserve the ships from this cause of premature decay, have not apparently been followed by the success anticipated. It is truly afflicting to think that so contemptible an enemy should thus attack with impunity these large and stately structures, so nobly resting on the waters of one of the finest ports in the universe.

When we had visited all these interesting works, we set out on a sea trip to Inkermann. On leaving the docks, we remarked a beautiful fountain in course of constructions and destined to furnish an abundant supply of water to the fleet. A filtering apparatus constantly at work will supply this water for the demands of the [54] shipping in a perfectly pure state. When we had made our way through the midst of this busy and intelligent assemblage, we steered peacefully between the barren rocks and the last range of frigates extending to the farthest extremity of the port. Passing before a narrow valley, we observed, through the elegant arches of an aqueduct, an isolated house, somewhat in the form of a mosque,; rising from the midst of a clump of small oaks. This was the public garden, the rendezvous of the holiday makers from the city, which day by day is building itself, and while raising its ramparts, has already taken care to provide itself with this place of relaxation and repose. The first of May is the day when this remote spot chiefly resounds with noisy rejoicings. While we were examining the rather elegant pavilion forming the centre of these festive scenes, a number of workmen were finishing the ornaments and decorations of the interior, in anticipation of an event when they would be needed more than ever. It was not expected, but it was hoped, that the imperial family, after throwing a glance of encouragement at all these new creations, might perhaps deign to visit this spot devoted to amusement.

In the very extremity of the bay, the predominance of the soft over the sea-water is shown by au abundance of tall reeds, through which we easily made our way, urged by a pleasant breeze ; we then found ourselves in [55] the narrow but deep bed of the Tchornaïa-Retchka. Here the rocks grow wider apart, and the valley becomes broader; little meadows intersected by the windings of the stream, shaded by a few clumps of fine ash trees and lentisks (pistachia lentiscus), with their elegant foliage, afford a relief to the eye, wearied by the uniform grey tint of the coast. We disembarked on the right, beneath the trees, and commenced climbing up the adjoining rock, in which the new bed of the river has been excavated, and through which it will have to flow down to the docks. A flight of steps conveniently cut out, rendered our ascent easy ; this useful work had been inaugurated on the same day that an illustrious foreigner, Marshal Marmont, had visited the valley. On reaching the banks of the canal, it was not long ere we came to the tunnel, which pierces through a formidable mass of rocks. This aperture, which is entirely the work of the chisel, and required not less than fifteen months for its completion, is one hundred and thirty-three metres in length ; the height of the vault is ten feet, French measure ; on the left side, a footway has been left of sufficient breadth to allow free passage. The excavation was commenced at the same time at both extremities, the workmen meeting in the middle without any sensible deviation. To conclude our observations on this beautiful canal, destined to so useful an end, let us add that eleven [56] guard-houses, in the shape of elegant octagonal pavilions, have been erected on its banks. Not far from thence, we entered a number of spacious grottoes, the work of a religious sect seeking a shelter from persecution. A narrow door and a tortuous staircase, with a number of cells opening upon it, lead to a chapel, which still presents traces of ogives. From this chapel, through a large opening, may be seen throughout its entire length the pretty valley of Inkerman, and at the extreme end the immense stone block on which the ancient city stood. This pious abode, widowed of its austere denizens, now gives shelter to the soldiers employed on the canal works, who there enjoy a well-earned repose, upon couches not a whit softer than those of the departed monks.


The history of the Crimea furnishes but very uncer- tain information on the subject of Inkerman. According to some learned chroniclers, it was known in the ancient days of Greece as a flourishing town, called Theodosia; others claim it as the Stenos of the Greek geographers. Pallas, on the contrary, is disposed to believe that the Genoese were the first who established themselves on these precipitous rocks. A number of ruined walls, the remains of a few towers, and a great quantity of small grottoes, grouped in rows along the steep sides of the mountain, are all that can now be seen on a hasty visit. The inhabitants of Sevastopol, when they accompany you [57] on this excursion, generally advise as short a stay as possible, so evil is the renown of the surrounding marshes.

Accordingly, we returned towards Sevastopol, and on our way were allowed to go on board a fine frigate, called the " Bourgas." The perfect order of this vessel, and its beautiful lines, were worthy the remainder of the fleet ; but our admiration was entirely absorbed by the fine proportions and magnificent appearance of the " Warsaw," a three-decked vessel. It stood like a rock, overlooking the imposing array of naval force, embracing not less than twelve thousand men, and fifteen hundred guns.

The life of the inhabitants of Sevastopol is entirely domestic : so many obstacles, as we have pointed out, opposing themselves to out-door relaxation and parties of pleasure which elsewhere so agreeably charm away the evening. At the close of day scarcely did we see more than one or two boat parties at the same time with us enjoying the last rays of the setting sun. But though the inhabitants abstain from out-door life, they are, on the other hand, fond of society and the tranquil pleasures of home life. Those of my companions who were strangers to the citizen life of Russia, had an opportunity of observing it at Sevastopol in all its most amiable peculiarities. The polite, welcome, and obsequious attention to their guests is practised here to quite as high a degree as in the centre of the empire, and in no particular [58] is the proverbial hospitality of the Russians belied. A few customs are still preserved in certain families altogether patriarchal in their simplicity. Thus, in more than one house, your host will taste the wine which is in your glass ; and the custom of kissing ladies' hands still exists, for which kiss on the hand you receive one on the cheek.. Every evening the family and the friends of the finally assemble round a tea-table, where the conversation is far from languishing, but before ten o'clock every one has retired. At ten o'clock, Sevastopol enjoys the most complete calm, and the silence is unbroken, save by the distant tinkling of the bells in the vessels, striking the watches, and the challenges of the sentinels in the harbour, answered by the mournful baying of the dogs.

In ordinary times, Sevastopol reckons a population of thirty thousand soul—civilians, soldiers, or sailors serving in the port. Our arrival was at a fortunate moment, for the presence of the fleet, and the active army of workmen, more than doubled the number of inhabitants. It was principally in the approaches to the well-stocked market that an adequate idea of the population was obtained. The consumption of pastecs here was prodigious; whole mountains of this refreshing fruit, heaped up in the eve, disappeared every morning. An immense variety of fish was also sold at daybreak, [59] greatly to the satisfaction of our naturalists, who, by gaining the advance of the ordinary consumers, were enabled to make a selection for scientific purposes, out of the abundant take of the night.

All the necessaries of life are cheap enough here : wood and provender only sustain high prices, on account of the barren condition of all this part of the Crimea. Situated on a calcareous hill, Sevastopol is in no want of materials for building, of a sufficiently good quality ; but on account of the porous nature of the stone, it requires to be covered with a coating of composition, in order that the exterior of the buildings may have a neat and cleanly appearance. The splendid blocks of stone used in the construction of the docks are brought from a distant spot, which contributes not a little to increase the expense of these imperishable works. The cost already incurred amounted to five millions of roubles, and to all appearance it was likely to amount, eventually, to double that sum.

Not a single Tatar dwelling is to be found in the city ; nor is any to be seen at Severnaïa, a harbour for coasting vessels, facing Sevastopol, on the northern coast of the bay, as is indicated by its name, signifying northern village. Here may be seen a large number of government store- houses, built in a row, and protected by batteries. It should be noted, that few individuals of the Mussulman [60] order pass beyond the harbour ; they generally content themselves with taking up their stations, with their laden waggons, on the shore of Severnaia. Here, from morning till night, a noisy crowd of petty traders is busily assembled, purchasing provisions, fire-wood, and other wares, brought by Tatar caravans to this little port.

In the meantime, our two companions, whom we had left at Baghtcheh-Sarai, had joined the body of the expedition, though not without encountering some adventures. Arriving in the midst of a dark night on the quay of Sevastopol, without a guide to direct them through this city of precipitous streets, and possessing no other clue than the name of our host Cabalzar, a name of a somewhat cabalistic sound, our friends made their debut by stumbling among the piles of pastecs, and causing a general downfall of the fruit, which began rolling towards the sea. Hence an alarm was given, and the merchants, awakened at the noise, ran off in a panic, some after the fugitive pastecs, others in search of the authors of this disastrous rout, amidst a chorus of abusive epithets, which may be left to the imagination.

Fortunately, a custom-house officer interposed his authority for the protection of the strangers, who were sadly bewildered at their position ; peace was restored, and [61] after an hour's weary search and anxiety, our colleagues reached our door. Their disappointment may well be imagined, at the sight of the furniture in our gipsy lodging : on the faith of the great renown in which Sevastopol is held, they had cherished expectations of a very different character, and experienced a deception not uncommon in a traveller's life. Matters were shortly made up, and our cohort, now once more complete, ser- ried its ranks to do the honours of our rough bivouac to the new corners.

Not far from Sevastopol, in a south-easterly direction, stands a lighthouse, at the extremity of a long tongue of land, scarcely raised above the level of the waves ; this point is what the ancients called the Chersonese : it was the site of a powerful Greek colony, the last traces of which had disappeared long before the com- mencement of our era, leaving only a doubtful tradition as the sole relic of all its splendour. Mythology has, in this instance, associated itself to history, in order to mislead the records of man amidst the fabulous paths of the imagination. On a portion of this territory, and as far as the gates of Sevastopol, ruins of ancient walls are scattered over the soil, at equal intervals, forming lines, the regularity of which fail not to strike the attentive observer. Some persons have conjectured these parallelograms to be the ruins of the ancient Chersone— [62] that city which, it is said, was founded on the coast of Taurida by the Greek emigrants from Heraclea.

Some antiquaries, however, more scrupulous in their conclusions, would infer these symmetrical compartments to be nothing more than the traces of a division of lands, at an exceedingly remote period. The small depth of the foundations of these walls, now almost entirely swept away from the soil, will not allow of the supposition that any constructions of importance were ever based upon them. These ruins are to be found almost throughout the extent of the peninsula, which was once the Heracleotic Chersonese. At various intervals, the remains of monumental towers may also be seen, remarkable from the enormous size of the blocks of stone placed one upon the other, without cement. If from the extremity of the peninsula, on which stands the lighthouse, we follow the shore of the Black Sea towards the east, we shall be brought, along a sensible inclination, to the first plateaux of the chain of mountains of the Crimea, and hence, from the height of a majestic promontory— the Cape Parthenion of the Greeks—the glance dives down in astonishment upon the Chersonese, so small for its immortal renown ; and one is tempted to ask how this poor little nook of land could have given birth to such a treasure of traditions, fables, and poetry, which have acquired greater force than history. [63] How shall we judge of antiquity by this imperceptible fragment of the ancient world? Inquire for the site of the great ancient city—inquire for its laws, its institutions, its greatness, its duration: a few scattered stones will be your only answer ; and science will wander, groping with uncertain step, amidst these devastated fields. On this spot reigns poesy : history remains below, in the plain yonder. Would you witness the immortal scene of the drama of the Atrides, and of the Trojan war, which the world learned as it learned to read? Advance a few steps upon this sacred pro- montory, and behold the scene—the imperishable scene ! Far superior to that of the classical writers, it has not changed these three thousand years ; since old Homer first took possession of his poetical universe. On this very spot is the Temple of Diana Tauro- politana, with its blood-stained altars : you are now upon its formidable pavement. Behold the altar of the goddess : it is that square stone—a rude and primitive altar, like those of the Druids. Why those garlands and wreaths, upon a stone ever red with blood? To this spot moved the priestess ; and here the knife fell from the fraternal hand. Further on you will be shown the rock where, during many a long night, Orestes came from afar to appease the Emmenides. AEschylus and Sophocles have transmitted these illustrious names [64] in their tragedies. But whither is all this poetry leading us ? We are travellers, and not poets : let us return to reality.

It was on the 2tth of August, in the freshest hour of morning, that we touched at the beautiful Cape Parthenion of mythology, by the geographers of Genoa called Cape Fiorente. We had hired several travel- ling cars at Sevastopol, which were to take us the same day to Balaklava : the direct road we took, from north to south, formed a prolongation of the line assigned by the geographers and historians of antiquity, Strabo and Herodotus, as that followed by the ditch which anciently separated the Chersonese from the Crimea. This road, which lies across a barren steppe, suddenly comes upon a semicircle of rocks, apparently tumbling into the sea between two peaks, rising perpendicularly above the waves. This vast amphitheatre presents a most grandiose appearance, from the beautiful form of the rocks, and the stern character of the situation. On a shelf of rock, in the upper part of this natural circus, stands the monastery of St. George. Around the monastery are grouped, in the most picturesque fashion, a few smiling-looking houses, in the midst of which rises a church of considerable beauty, whose red metal roof and gilt cross glitter in the midst of the sombre landscape. Ten monks, under the orders of a [65] venerable archbishop, whom we had met at Sevastopol, are the ordinary inhabitants of this majestic solitude : from this stock are supplied almost all the chaplains of the fleet. It was for this reason that only four were then occupying the monastery. Five of those absent were engaged on board the vessels, and the tenth brother was a prisoner among the Circassians, for whose ransom the convent was collecting, little by little, and with great difficulty, eight thousand roubles. Beside the simple abode of the monks, there are two houses of more spacious dimensions, in which families at certain periods seek among these rocks a retreat from the world. Any person is allowed to stroll at liberty upon the plateau which overhangs the convent, and which is reached by a vaulted staircase. With respect to the gardens of these good monks, they are rendered fertile and musical at once, by a beautifully clear and murmuring spring ; they stretch down towards a level beach, to which we were attracted by the irresistible seductions of a bath, sheltered both from the winds and the waves : we do not think that any one would a second time encounter the toils of the ascent to return.

Meanwhile, the promontory of Parthenion awaited us, and each of us turned his steps, as the bent of his studies led him, towards these picturesque heights. When we [66] had reached the extreme point, and were grouped upon a rock jutting out in the shape of an eagle's beak over the precipice below, the scene from this formidable height was full of majesty.

Imagine, on all sides, scattered afar, the most gigantic assemblage of rocky masses overturned, sharp pointed peaks, and tracts of sombre verdure, in the midst of which shone the little monkish settlement of St. George. From this height the depths of the sea were unrolled before us through the blueish tint on the surface of its waves ; immediately at our feet a gigantic shark was winding round the headland with all the skill of an experienced boatman, and gliding cautiously through the waters towards a flight of young gulls, that had settled down within a short distance. It was a scene worthy of admiration, resplendent with light and heat, and overarched by a bright blue sky, upon which the outlines of the vast landscape were sharply marked. At this spot, our two adventurous companions, MM. Huot and Raffet, left us to descend, a feat of no little difficulty, to the beach, lying at a depth of five hundred feet beneath us. Mr. Huot had espied there a few veins of lava, and Raffet wished to examine more closely two rocky peaks, which might have been called Orestes and Pylades. These two brother rocks, emerging from the depths of the sea, are accessible only to the vulture, and as there must [67] inevitably be some fable connected with such phenomena, the imagination of the inhabitants of these regions have not failed to place upon these barren heights, on the summit of these needles, as slender as the spires on the cathedral of Strasbourg, immense masses of gold dust. Gold dust is the universal dream of people who have ceased to believe in fairies or miracles. In their ignorance, they know not that gold hides itself within the bowels of the earth,—that it does not grow like lichen, on the surface of barren rocks,—and that to obtain it requires more labour than it is worth.

While our two companions were pursuing their hazardous journey, we continued our antiquarian researches ; but the first glow of our imaginations having cooled, we found ourselves face to face with reality, still beautiful, it is true, and yet only as prose may be beautiful. Many hours had now glided by, our baggage waggons, under the charge of Michael, had long since taken the road towards Balaklava, the appointed time of rendezvous was passed, and yet our companions appeared not. Our cries, our signals, the repeated discharge of fire-arms, remained unheeded, when at length a distant murmur, floating upwards from the sea-shore, suggested the idea of a case of distress. Rousseau, who had advanced to the extreme point of the cape, hastened in the direction indicated. In the meantime, plunged in the deepest [68] anxiety, we bethought ourselves by what means, if any serious accident had befallen one of our friends, he could be hoisted to the summit of this immense wall, or how the necessary assistance could be afforded, now that we had parted with our baggage, containing the instruments of Dr. Léveillé. Great was our distress, therefore, when, at length, Rousseau appeared on the crest of the promontory ; the report of a gun, immediately followed by another, gave the preconcerted signal ; it informed us that a misfortune had happened; but of what nature ? A few minutes afterwards, two télègues started off at a gallop, with the doctor and some other individuals, towards the fatal spot.

The event proved, Heaven be thanked, less serious than we had feared. Mr. Huot, worn out with fatigue from his daily and intrepid exertions, had been unable to reascend the precipitous sides of the promontory, and twice his strength had so far failed him that he was deprived of consciousness ; fortunately, M. Raffet, an energetic character, had come up with his comrade in time to assist him. The sufferer recovered his vigour in some degree by the effects of a sea-bath, while the shouts of the artist vainly re-echoed against the rocks without reaching us, so great was the space by which we were divided. Fresh exertions were then made by the sufferer, but they were followed by renewed fainting fits, and his pockets had [69] to be emptied of their contents, consisting of stones amounting to no less than a hundred pounds in weight, which he had hitherto carried with indomitable energy. Freed from this burthensome incumbrance, which, though he was sinking under it, he would not have sacrificed at any cost, our geologist at last reached a shelf of rocks where he could obtain assistance, and, on a bed of grass, prepared in one of the télègues, he was carried at a gentle pace to Balaklava.

Between St. Georges and Balaklava, the road follows the sinuosities of the plateaux as far as the pretty village of Kadikouï, the population of which is Greek. From this point, the valley of Balaklava commences, amidst verdant gardens and smiling orchards ; the valley slopes towards the south, and the traveller descends along it to the edge of a natural basin, surrounded by stately hills, into which the sea rushes through a narrow opening. Here stands the port of Balaklava, capable of being used as a safe anchorage for a great number of vessels, to which it would afford an admirable shelter. Seen from the middle, this basin might be taken for a lake, so completely is the entrance masked by the position of the mountains. The first glance at this strange and wild spot, suggests that it is the resort of smugglers, a veritable nest of pirates, as favourable for watching the expected prey, as for dividing the booty. Fortunately, however, an active [70] and severe guard is kept over this spot, so replete with temptations to the hardy adventurers of the sea. No vessel is allowed to enter the waters of Balaklava, destined henceforth to remain deserted; only one exception is made to this prohibition, which, previous to a modification introduced by Count Woronoff, was general, and that is in favour of ships in distress. And, indeed, it would have been too inhuman to doom unfortunate sailors to destruction on the iron-bound coast of the outer bay, when so near and safe a shelter could save their lives. Balaklava, therefore, now receives only a few fishing vessels, which return laden with their abundant takings, to seek a shelter amidst its lofty mountains.

Doomed thus to idleness, this little town on the eastern coast of the basin is without any trade ; its population, who are Greeks by origin, devote themselves to tillage, carried to an extent just sufficient for their own necessities; and but for the title of chief town of the arnaouts, Balaklava, in spite of its fine maritime situation, would scarcely deserve to find a place in the map. This, again, is an instance of fallen greatness. In ancient times, Balaklava was known by the name of Simbolon, or Ciinbalo. Strabo mentions it as a dependency of the Chersonese, and, without allowing himself to be troubled by the difficulty of the achievement, the illustrious geographer maintains that a wall once joined [71] the port of Simbolon with that of the great Chersonese. This wall must certainly have been a prodigious work, whether the author supposes it built upon land, or at the bottom of the water. What is perfectly certain, how- ever, is, that this natural harbour was first discovered and used by the Greeks. At a later period, the Genoese, who left but few places unoccupied, took possession of this inlet, and erected a fortress on the heights over- looking the entrance from the east, the ruins of which are still in existence. It was probably at this epoch that it received its present name, said to be derived from bella chiave. Several etymologists, it is true, refer the name to a Tatar origin, deriving it from the word Balouch, signifying fish ; but it is useless to dispute about the name of a mere ruin, long likely to remain so. Balaklava consists of an assemblage of dilapidated houses and enclosures, the walls of which are half broken down ; there is a principal street in it lined with deserted shops, a church, and the residence of the chief of the Greek battalion, and this sums up all that is worthy of notice in this little colony of arnaouts.

Our faithful Michael was waiting our arrival near one of the entrances to the town, and not a little anxious at our delay. The honest subaltern had already donned his full dress uniform, which was well brushed, and in as perfect trim as that of an officer in the guards. The [72] state of his uniform, indeed, was his first care whenever we made a short stay anywhere. He had obtained from Major Katschoni, chief of the arnaout corps, on the strength of our letters of recommendation, a billet on a poor old woman, a widow, who had given us up her own room, the only available one she possessed, and a kitchen, the hearth of which had long been cold. No sooner were we installed, than we were visited by the officers on duty at this station, who in the most cordial manner offered us their services. After a little rest, Mr. Huot's indisposition ceased to cause us any anxiety ; but, at the same moment, one of the servants accompanying us, who was extremely useful to us as an interpreter, was attacked with a violent fever; he, too, poor fellow, felt the effects of our wandering life. Our stay at Balaklava did not, however, extend beyond the time required by our naturalists for their excursions, and a visit we paid to the ruins of the Genoese fortifications.

The mountain on which these still very imposing walls and towers stand is so steep, that it is not easy to discover what advantage could be gained by the defence of a line of ramparts which do not cover the place itself. Situated on the highest summit, the principal buildings appeared sufficiently protected by the nature of the es- carpment itself ; the side of the mountain towards the sea [73] dives perpendicularly down, and towards the interior of the harbour its access, by a narrow path, is still extremely difficult. We examined several of these towers, the tallest of which, commanding the rest of the ruins, contains a vast cistern, near which are still to be seen the remains of conduits of baked clay. It requires no little resolution to reach this formidable plateau, but once there, a vast and magnificent prospect lies before you, on one side of which is the sea, the brown rocks surrounding the bay, and the winding channel leading to the harbour. To the north are the cultivated lands of the Greeks, and a series of rounded hillocks stretching out to a distant horizon. Half way up the steep stands a tower, on the exterior of which, at a considerable height, is a somewhat rudely sculptured bas-relief. In one of its divisions is the figure of a fish, seeming to favour the Tatar etymology of the name of this place ; two angels' faces, a cross, and an obliterated inscription complete the remainder of this piece of sculpture. The whole ground on which the fortress stands is strewn with masses of rock irregularly disposed. The frequent storms which burst over these heights have probably laid them bare within the last century or so, as it cannot be supposed that such a stronghold did not contain a clear space of some extent, upon which the troops of the garrison might be drawn up. This early monument, due to the Genoese, although of a singular [74] design, nevertheless impressed us with an elevated idea of the works undertaken by this powerful people for the security of a settlement which has left so many, and such grand traces on the soil of the Crimea.

The night we spent in Balaklava was so overpoweringly hot, that the greater number of us slept in the open air, in a little court-yard, the broken down walls of which allowed free entrance to a number of vagrant dogs.

On the evening of the 25th we had obtained a supply of Tatar horses, brought from a great distance, together with a small covered car, upon which our invalid was stretched, in the most convenient manner that could be devised. We proceeded thus towards the north, to seek a lodging in the middle of the woods, at the village of Varnoutka.

But our caravan, whose progress was delayed by the slow pace of the car, was soon dispersed in every direction. As night advanced, it began to rain ; and we had no other sign to guide us towards each other than the sound of the horses' feet upon the stony path. Meanwhile we had entered an extensive wood, intersected with deep ravines : the darkness became more and more impenetrable ; and when, at ten o'clock, we alighted in the court-yard of a Tatar habitation, in the village of Koutchouk-Mouscomia, we discovered that three of our companions were missing. Several Tatars [75] were sent out to explore the wood, and wandered a long time ere they came upon our lost comrades, whom they found in the midst of a coppice, from which there was no issue, just as they had made up their minds to signal their whereabouts by firing off a few shots. The good Tatars hesitated at first to approach people who intimated their distress in so noisy a manner ; but at last made up their minds, and brought them back to our common quarters. Once more collected together, we slept all that night on the clay floor of a little room, in which our poor hosts had heaped the fruits of an abundant harvest.

The ceiling of the apartment in which we were thus huddled together was low, and the supply of air was through two narrow windows, without panes, and closed with bars. Such is the custom among the Tatars in the summer ; when the winter is severe, paper is used as a substitute for the absent glass. Our hosts lit up in our honour a few dried branches, in a little chimney-place, and squatting round this fire, continued smoking their pipes, and resumed the conversation which we had interrupted. The low divan extending round this room was covered with carpeting, made of cow's hair. A few books were lying on a beam, among which was a printed koran, and one in manuscript, which our Tatar friends refused to part with at any price. The [76] next day, at dawn, we found our docile steeds ready for us : we had, according to the custom of the country, allowed them to wander, still laden, and even with their saddles and bridles on, to seek their pasture. These patient animals had not abused their liberty, for we soon found them again, tolerably wet, having feasted on a few blades of grass, and in as fresh a condition as could be desired. We traversed a country well laid out, in-terspersed with slopes and woodland, covered with the signs of good tillage, and reminding one of the peaceful and fertile scenes presented in some parts of England : in a short time, however, we reached Varnoutka. Along the whole road the labours of the harvest were going on ; and on every side horses were seen treading out the corn, while a number of men were winnowing it with shovels. In the forest near Varnoutka, in a shady spot, and on an expanse of fresh green turf, a wooden hospital had just been constructed, for the reception of the unfortunate soldiers attacked with ophthalmia, a disease so frequent in Sevastopol. A great number of these had already arrived at this salubrious spot, where the purity of the air, the absence of all dust, and the spectacle of so vast an expanse of beautiful verdure, must powerfully contribute towards their cure.

Passing through magnificent paths, shrouded beneath the shadow of ancient trees, we reached Baïdar. This [77] village is inhabited by Tatars, and gives its name to an extensive valley, running at right angles with the great mountain range on the coast. The valley of Baïdar is celebrated in Crimea for the character of stern beauty, which it owes to the lofty and majestic mountains which surround it.

We had now to have recourse to the means we possessed for insuring the hospitality of the Tatars. Our guide having sent for the ombachi, the municipal chief of the village, the latter quickly presented himself, and directed us to a house, of which we immediately took possession. Our first care was to prepare the repast, of which we all felt the want. A store of rice, with which we were provided, and some excellent milk, supplied our entire fare ; and our hosts, gathering round us, very willingly furnished the room, the fire, and the utensils. We did not perceive one woman ; the arrival of strangers being a signal for the retreat of these timid Mussulmans, who do not consider even the thick veil with which they envelope themselves a sufficient protection against the gaze of the profane.

There are eleven villages in the valley of Baïdar : and when we commenced our ascent of the mountains, to make for the coast, we could see them grouped in the midst of their orchards, overtopped by enormous round-headed walnut trees, and the finest oaks in all [78]

Crimea. From this valley springs the little river for the reception of whose waters the docks of Sevastopol are preparing—the Tachornaïa-Retchka, called by the Tatars Kaseli-Ouzen. Contrary to Mussulman usage, the cemeteries of the Tatars of the Crimea are left here without shade, upon a barren and stony slope, on which neither grass nor shrub is to be seen. A flat stone, of a schistous nature, standing at the head of the grave, is the only indication marking the unhonoured sepulchre.

While pursuing a number of birds, in great plenty, but extremely wild, we had ascended the easy slopes of the Yaïla range, crossed that imposing barrier, and were descending once more towards the coast. On the northern acclivity, which we climbed with great difficulty, the landscape is wild and stern, and the vegetation, hardy but stunted, bears witness to long sustained struggles against the destructive power of the winds. At the summit of the mountain, we stood transfixed in admiration of the splendid picture before us : we beheld the amphitheatre of Laspi glowing in the slant rays of the setting sun ; masses of rock, grouped with mar- vellous effect, glittering with light, and bathed in warm vapours, raised their crests above a vast crescent of verdure ; and this circle of tufted foliage, stretched out to a distance of two or three miles beyond, till it sank [79] down on the white sand of the sea-shore. Beyond the beach, on which the beauties of the scene were mirrored as in a glass, rose the sea, refulgent with the flaming tints of sunset.

On the slope of this beautiful valley of Laspi, into which we descended by a convenient path, overshadowed with foliage, we met with two little white houses, the sloping lands around which were carefully tilled. Two Frenchmen, brothers, inhabit this retreat, and direct the farming operations on an estate, or economia, as it is called in the language of the country, of which another Frenchman, General Potier, is the owner. The elder of these two brothers is the head of a numerous family. Educated in that brilliant establishment the Polytechnic School of France, which Napoleon called his hen with the golden eggs, and which has furnished so many worthy interpreters of the truths of science, M. Compère devotes the long days which he spends in this solitude to the cultivation of his cherished studies, and the education of a family of eight children, whom no outward influ- ences can wean away from his wise instruction. To M. Comp´re the younger chiefly fall the agricultural labours of this austere community. In this simple abode, unknown as we were, and arriving at night- fall, with the clatter of horses, baggage-waggons, and a numerous escort, we were received like old friends; [80] and the unalloyed and beaming joy which in a few minutes lit up the features of the host, was worth witnessing. He unfolded for our behoof all the treasures of his patient research, all the fruits of his stern solitude ; his rich herbals, his minerals, his fossils—all were at our disposal, had we been minded to abuse the generous emotions kindled in him by the sight of a number of his fellow-countrymen, who could understand his way of life, his studies, and the consolations afforded by science. These few hours of rest were beneficial to us all. At the expiration of twenty-four hours we took leave of our hosts of a day, with all the regret one feels at a separation of which we cannot calculate the term.

The road we had followed as far as Laspi still retains traces of the passage of the Empress Catherine, that woman, the track of whose giant step is everywhere deeply marked upon the soil of Russia. When she came to visit her newly conquered provinces, she halted, as we had done, on the summit of the mountain, and as her glance surveyed the richness and fertility with which nature had endowed the land, and the grandeur and majesty of the prospect not unworthy so noble a sovereign, the great Empress must have felt herself moved and transported with admiration. On leaving Laspi, and following the line of coast towards the east, you discover, [81] though not without much difficulty, a path winding its way above the precipices. Yielding to the pressing invitations of M. Compère, we had left with him our invalid and our excellent colleague, Dr. Léveillé, who were to join us on the morrow ; on the 27th, therefore, the remainder of the caravan set out towards Castropoulo, where the most complete hospitality awaited us, the estate bearing that name having been established on the coast by M. Nicolas de Demidoff, the father of our worthy leader.

In the first place, we returned to the beautiful path in the forest which had so charmed us on the previous evening ; but soon after, we had to dismount, and lead our unhappy horses by the bridle through the most extraordinary chaos of rocks imaginable. The sea was below us at a depth of five or six hundred feet, and we advanced in the midst of crumbling masses, with no path to guide us, and every now and then obliged to clamber over enormous stones, our wretched steeds falling several times, and occasionally receiving severe injuries. Our Tatar guides looked with the most imperturbable coolness at our efforts amidst all these difficulties, which did not terminate till we had reached the environs of Phoros, a Tatar village, whose name is a sufficient indication of its Greek origin. From this spot, the mountain chain assumes [82] a character which it preserves, as far as Yalta, a distance of fifteen leagues. The topmost crest of the Yaïla rises perpendicularly above the village, while the more gentle slope beneath allows of the cultivation of the soil, yielding abundant results down to the edge of the sea. Vines, mulberries and gigantic walnut trees, clothe these beautiful slopes with admirable verdure, occasionally interrupted by barren ravines, in which immense avalanches have torn up the soil, and opened broad clefts, through which, at every storm, torrents rush down into the gulf beneath. These passes are not without danger to the traveller crossing them. The path is not more than a few inches wide, and while one foot is dug into the mountain-side, the other is suspended over a bottomless abyss ; on these occasions it is that all the dexterity and instinct of the horses of the country are shown. They advance along these perilous ways with extraordinary caution, carefully sounding the nature of the ground before them ere they venture upon it, and as soon as they are assured that it is not likely to give way, they start off at a gallop, as though in mockery of the avoided danger.

Mitschatska and Moukhalatka, two other Tatar villages, were soon left behind by our caravan, who, conscious of the approach of night, stimulated the ardour of their steeds. We were unable to stop at one of [83] the most picturesque curiosities of the Crimea, along this path, lying to our left, viz., the passage of the ladders, called in the Tatar language AIerdven. If the traveller desires to reach the coast from Baidar without passing through the valley of Laspi, he has to ascend directly the northern declivity of the mountain, and in order to descend the vertical wall at the summit of the chain he must enter the pass of the ladders. Steps cut out in the rock, or made of trunks of trees ranged together in a zigzag direction, reach to an enormous height, and yet such is the security of this piece of rustic engineering, that these dizzy steps may be ascended on horseback, nor is there any record of an accident extant to chill the courage of the traveller, or shake his confidence in the rare qualities of his horse.

We were ourselves full of this pleasing sense of security, for though it was quite dark, we still galloped our horses along these dangerous paths, and we scarcely knew where we were, when a number of lights and voices welcoming us in the Russian language, spoken in the pure provencal accent, informed us that we had reached Castropoulo.

The steward of this property, assisted by a French vine-grower employed in the vineyards of Castropoulo, had prepared us a reception well calculated to make us forget the fatigues of our fortnight's journeyings, and [84] we spent the whole of the 28th of August on the estate, where we were joined by those of our companions who had remained behind. The name of Castropoulo, with its diminutive termination, was likely to have been applied to some small entrenchment, such, at least, is its signi- fication in the Greek language. A block of stone more than a hundred feet high, overlooking the sea, still bears some vestiges of defensive works, which may have led to the warlike designation given to this spot. In the present day, the purposes to which Castropoulo are ap- propriated are those of peace, and the most cherished of its fruits. An extensive vineyard, planted in 1829, and stocked with the choicest species of vine, selected with care, receives the ardent rays of a sun worthy of tinting the mellow grape of Spain. To say the truth, the wine does not yet correspond with the quality of the vine and the beauty of the grape ; but it is to be hoped that such fine vintages will not be lost for the want of good wine-makers, to take advantage of them. There is nothing remarkable in the dwelling-houses, except the good order in which they are kept; all the magnificence has been reserved for the cellar and the coopery : nothing can be handsomer, more complete, or better calculated for its purposes than this temple, erected to the wine-makers' industry. The construction of the building does honour to the architect, as the perfect [85] specimens of cooperage testify to the rare aptitude of the Russian and Siberian peasant for every species of handicraft. Brought hither from their distant homes, they were told, " You shall become coopers ; " and coopers they became. Castropoulo is situated in the most pic- turesque position. Above its rounded slopes the rich barrier of the Yaïla range still pursues its course, with its crests describing quaint and curious outlines, and its base buried in thick forests. When you have pro- ceeded along a path winding through the vineyard to a conservatory, filled with rare and precious plants, you again descend towards the sea, where a bath awaits you in the most limpid of waters, washing over a ground of fine sand, mixed with coloured pebbles. Unfortunately, upon this open shore there is neither creek or inlet for the reception of any craft ; and they would have to remain exposed to all the fury of the sea. This is the greater disadvantage, as up to the present day no road practicable by carts connects this residence with other parts of the shore. Soon, it is true, the fine road which we admired between Yalta and Aloupka will extend to this distance, and will bring life and activity into this western country, so well adapted for produc- tion.

On the 29th every one merrily mounted on horseback, and the steward accompanied us to the limits of the [86] estate confided to his care. We took the paths leading towards Aloupka ; and such, notwithstanding the difficulties of the route, was the ardour of our excellent steeds, that we hardly ceased galloping the whole way. To get the most out of the Tatar horses the rider must not seek to urge them with the knout, or excite them with the voice ; he would thus soon lose all credit with these sagacious and nimble animals. The true art is to bend the body forward, stretch one arm over the head of the animal, at the same time uttering a few hoarse and inarticulate cries, and you are carried away with the rapidity of lightning. Notwithstanding the speed at which we travelled, nothing escaped us in the rich landscapes with which we found ourselves from time to time surrounded. Koutchouk-Kouï, a small village as its name denotes, situated on an elevated spot, and inhabited by a few Tatars, can only be reached by paths of the most frightful ruggedness. Ever where in this locality traces are visible of a fearful landslip, which occurred about fifty years back, crushing beneath its rolling and tumbling masses a great number of inhabitants. The next place was Kikineïs, a rich and flourishing village, abounding in clear and rapid streams irrigating fields of a calmer aspect and a less irregular soil than we had hitherto met with. A little beyond this the road descends to the sea, and [87] follows a broad and level beach, which it leaves to ascend by a narrow pass among the rocks, flanking the gaping sides of the Limaine—a threatening headland which rises up abruptly in the shape of a boar's tusk. Then succeed the high road and smiling fields of Simms, crowded with blossoming trees : here you again behold, through the hedges of pomegranate trees, the pretty villas which so fascinated you when traversing the beautiful garden stretching from Aloupka to Yalta ; and finally you arrive at the residence of Count Woronzoff.

The governor-general had left his estate for Odessa, where every preparation was being made for the reception of the most illustrious of visitors. The grand military fêtes, long since announced, were now about to commence on the banks of the Boug; and several of us had been summoned to be present at the magnificent spectacle. Returning to Yalta on the 29th, after a fortnight's absence well employed, we re-entered, as in another home, beneath the roof of the Hotel Bartolucci, now richly laden with collections of every species of object, which had gradually waxed and increased during our expedition. Here we made a halt, profitably employing our time in classifying our cherished scientific acquisitions, and in laying out the plan of a fresh excursion, to be performed by those of us remaining in the Crimea. Meanwhile the " Peter the Great.' made its appearance in the Bay of Yalta; and [88] on the 1st of September it received on board that section of our caravan who were returning to Odessa, bound for Kosloff, on the western coast of the Crimea, to join, within the shortest possible interval, the nucleus of the expedition, which we shall dismiss for a moment, in order to say a few words on the warlike solemnities at that time being being celebrated on the plains of the province of Odessa.

A rapid and successful passage had united us in that capital with the active chief of our expedition, himself just returned from the Don, and who will now resume the narrative of our joint proceedings.

Being thus assembled together, and just as I was preparing to start without delay for Vosnessensk, we were unexpectedly detained by the sudden illness of M. Raffet, who, after a long and manly resistance, was now forced to pay his penalty to the fatigues of the voyage. But when he was reminded how fine an army he was about to have before his eyes, he made haste to cure; and, indeed, he must have been dead had he not been present in time at the Camp of Vosnessensk.

I have already spoken of the appearance presented by the steppe in the environs of Odessa. The road leading to Vosnessensk, one hundred and thirty-five versts in length, differs in no point from those through Bessarabia, selected at hazard over a plain without visible bounds. A few Russian villages and German colonies are scattered [89] at intervals over this wide space, where the extent of ground under tillage denotes the richness of the soil. Not a tree, however, is there to be seen : here and there a pond lies at the bottom of some depression in the level of the ground. At about five o'clock we reached the borders of the Boug, whose course is commanded by a large village called Cantacuzovska, situated on a steep hillock, whence we could discover to our astonishment the camp of Vosnessensk, that illustrious camp of which all Europe was to be the judge, and of which it already repeated marvellous accounts, though without believing them. Dazzling, indeed, was the appearance of this city, which yesterday was not, and which has sprung up under the hoofs of those formidable troops of cavalry. Imagine on the site of a wretched village, the sudden appearance of a flourishing city, full of noise, activity and power; a number of gardens, a parade ground, long streets containing more than three hundred houses, built on the same plan, and separated by equal intervals. All this had been planned and executed as by enchantment ; and at the time we arrived the space was scarcely wide enough for the moving crowd, the lodgings scarcely numerous enough for their occupiers. The cavalry, for whose display this fête on so imposing a scale was being prepared, were encamped along the course of the stream ; their lines extended to a distance [90] of fifteen versts, and were lost amidst the clumps of trees along the winding course of the Boug. The eye, from the spot where we stood, could only trace them by the light columns of smoke rising in the still evening air. The camp of infantry occupied an airy post above the city : it appeared like a long strip of brilliant white, upon the somewhat curved summit of the plateau. We crossed the Boug on a bridge of boats ; and after crossing the meadow, entered the city, echoing with the most bewildering din of carriages, horsemen, and pedestrians, to such a degree that we were ready to ask ourselves whether this was not a dream. We were directed to a house similar in form and position to all the rest; and distinguished by the number 359. Together with a house, the preparers of this grand hospitality placed at the disposal of each guest a servant, a droschki always ready to start at a moment's notice, a few simple articles of furniture, and the most necessary utensils : complete, admirable, royal and warlike hospitality.

Vosnessensk is the capital of a military colony ; and the mere aspect of the fields which surround it, already convey an idea of the benefits resulting from these useful institutions. The situation of the town is favourable ; and the vast meadows stretching out between it and the Boug, render it admirably adapted to form the central station of a large mass of cavalry. Never, [91] perhaps, was there so incredible an assemblage of horses on one point ; and it was this which constituted the singularly beautiful effect of these daily reviews, of these warlike evolutions—the resounding signals, the simu- lated combats—when the armed masses marched, halted, manoeuvred, and fought as one man—but as one long trained in the noble profession of arms. The whole morning was usually devoted to exercises and ma- noeuvring ; the evening was spent in festivities ; and the ball, the theatre, the drawing-rooms of Count de Witt, commander-general of the camp, or the imposing concert of military music commencing on the parade- ground at the hour of sounding the retreat, lay open to the choice of the visitor. The last attraction consisted of an admirable orchestra, such as long formed the dream of Mozart and Beethoven, in which fifteen hundred instruments, and the pure and thrilling voices of one thousand of the children of the colonists, executed by turns the most majestic compositions of the musical art. Sometimes an august invitation summoned to the palace those persons who had been admitted to the camp by H. M. the Emperor. All the military talent of Europe was worthily represented at the camp. Veteran soldiers, the noble survivors of every field of battle, and the princes of foreign states, were present at this grand field of study for the military art, and were treated with distinguished attention.


The Emperor arrived at the camp on the 29th of August ; Her Majesty the Empress made her entry on the 5th of September, on a mild and beautiful evening, and the next minute a splendid illumination burst forth in every direction, the ball-room sparkled with lights of all colours, and. the theatre, in which French plays were performed, was invaded by a brilliant crowd, the pit presenting one mass of colonels and generals. During this time the parade resounded with the voices of the juvenile troop, hailing with the strains of the beautiful national melody the presence of the happy and triumphant Empress of all the Russias.

Before we enter into a detailed account of our wonder-teeming stay at Vosnessensk, and of the imposing spectacles we witnessed there, we will here give the official list of the different corps which took part in these manoeuvres, the memory of which will be long preserved in Southern Russia. In passing in review, so to speak, this magnificent array of men and horses,—squadrons and regiments far surpassing the enumeration of warriors in the Iliad, it will be easily perceived the stage on which such vast spectacles were enacted must have been immense ; nothing but a perfect town, and a large one, could have sufficed to hold the spectators.



Assembled near Vosnessensk for the Imperial Review, in 1827.


Inspector of Colonised Cavalry, Cavalry General, Count de Witt.


Chief of the Staff: Lieutenant-General Zadonsky (pro tem.)

Quarter-Master General : Colonel Ladigensky (pro tem.)

Service Colonel (Subordinate Chief of the Staff) : Colonel Martos.


Commander of the Corps : Cavalry General Nikitine.


Chief of the Staff: Lieutenant-General Zadonsky.

Quarter-Master General : Colonel Roselion Sochalsky.

Service Colonel (Subordinate Chief of the Staff): Lieutenant-Colonel Sinelnikoff.

Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Koskul.
Denomination of Troops. Commanders. Squadrons.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Miien.
Regiments :
Ekaterinoslav Colonel Toumansky 8
H.I.H. Grand Duke Michael'sColonel Denissoff 8
Regiments :
Astrakan Lieutenant-Colonel Milevsky 8
Pakoff Colonel Tchérémissinoff 8
Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Palitzine.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Lisogoub.
Regiments :
Belgorod Colonel Bobileff 8
Tchougooueff Colonel Masurkevitc 8
SECOND BRIGADE. Major-General Arsenieff.
Regiments :
Borisogoleb Lieutenant-Colonel Kolokoltzoff 8
Serpouchow Colonel Vijitsky 8
Of the First Corps of Reserved Cavalry.
Field Batteries, No. 15 . . . Lieutenant-Colonel Skatchkoff 8
Flying Batteries, No. 16 . . . Captain Kassovsky 8
Flying Batteries, No. 17 . . . Lieutenant-Colonel Schmidt 8
Flying Batteries, No. 18 . . . Lieutenant-Colonel Kiriloff . . . . 8


Commander of the Corps : Lieutenant-General Baron Osten-Sacken.


Chief of the Staff: Major-General Bradke.

Quarter-Master General ; Colonel Balakireff.

Staff-Colonel : Lieutenant Colonel Schevitch.

Commander of' the Division : Lieutenant-Colonel Jachontoff.
FIRST BRIGADE, Major-General Piller.
Regiments : Squadrons
Order of St. George . . Colonel Engelhardt 8
Starodoub Colonel Reussner 8
SECOND BRIGADE, Major-General Somoff (pro tem.) 8
Regiments :
Prince Albert's, of Prussia . Colonel Count Rjevousky, Aide-decamp of II.M. the Emperor 8
H.I.H.Grand Duchess Helena's Colonel Fitinghoff 8
Commander of Division: Lieutenant-General Baron Korf.
FIRST BRIGADE, Major-General Prince Bagration.
Regiments :
Ucraine Colonel Lanskoy , . . 8
Novoarchangelsk Colonel Masloff 8
Regiments :
Novomirgorod Lieutenant-Colonel Velitchko . 8
Elisabetgrad . . . Colonel Kalagcorguy (pro tem.)8
Of the Second Corps of Reserved Cavalry.
Field Battery, No. 19 Colonel Pitchouguine 8
Flying Battery, No. 20 Lieutenant-Colonel Schatilovitch 8
Flying Battery, No. 21 Volf 8
Flying Battery, No. 22 Colonel Vrubel 8


Commander of the Corps : Aide-de-camp General, Cavalry General Potapoff.


Quarter-Master General, Colonel Zanden.

Staff Colonel : Colonel Vintouloff.

Commander of the Division Lieutenant-General Gerhel.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Montresor.
Regiments : Squadrons.
Moscow Colonel Levenetz 12
Kargopol Colonel Pavbschef 12
Regiments :
Kinbourn Colonel Engelhardt 12
New Russia Colonel Boulanine 12
Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Grabbe.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Schilling.
Regiments : Squadrons.
Kasan Colonel Kroutoff, Aide-de-camp to H.M. the Emperor 12
Riga Colonel Lebed 12
SECOND BRIGADE. Major-General Bartholomey.
Regiments :
Finland Colonel Zelensky 12
Tver Colonel Bronevsky 12
Of the Third Corps of Reserved Cavalry.
Field Battery No. 23 Colonel Vulfert 8
Flying Battery No. 24 Colonel Sokoloff 8
Flying Battery No. 25 Captain Kitch 8
Flying Battery No. 26Captain Abramovitch 8


Commander of the Corps : Lieutenant-General Gerstenzveig.


Quarter-Master General: Colonel Ladigensky.

Staff Colonel : Colonel Schtcherbinsky.

Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Offenberg.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Parodovsky.
Regiments of Lancers : Squadrons.
H. H. the Prince of Nassau's . Colonel Pencherjevsky 10
Volhynia Colonel Lesehern 10
SECOND BRIGADE. Major-General Plaoutine 10
Regiments of Hussars.
Prince Vitgenstein's Colonel Bogouchevsky 10
Prince of Orange's Colonel Count Orurk 10
Commander of the Division : Lieutenant-General Glasenap.
FIRST BRIGADE. Major-General Borschoff.
Regiments of Lancers :
The Boug Lieutenant-Colonel Glotoff 10
Odessa Colonel Launitz 10
SECOND BRIGADE. Major-General Grotenhelm.
Regiments of Hussars :
Achtirka Colonel Vrangel 10
Alexandria Colonel Norvert 10
Of the Combined Cavalry.
Batteries of the Third Brigade of Horse Artillery : Pieces.
Flying, No. 5 Lieutenant-Colonel Matveeff 8
Flying, No. 6 Captain Hahn 8
Batteries of the Fifth Division of Horse Artillery :
Flying, No. 9 Colonel Bruggen 8
Flying, No. 10 Captain Vrjossek 8
Squadrons 304
Pieces 128


1st. The Combined Squadron of Horse Guards in composed of two platoons of H. H. the Grand Duke Michael's Regiments of Lancers, and of two platoons of the Grodno Regiment of Hussars. Second Captain of the Grodno Regiment of Hussars, Jouraga 1
2nd. The first and Second Reserved Squadrons of Lancers and Hussars of the First, Second, Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Divisions of Light Cavalry 40
3rd. The Regiment of Gendarmes 3
4th. The Division of Horse Pioneers Colonel Kaulbars 2
Total of Squadrons 46
1st. The combined Batallion of Guards and Grenadiers is composed of Two Companies of Guards, one of the Lithuanian Regimanet of Volhynia, and Two Companies of Grenadier Corps, called Companies of the Grenadier Regiments of H. M. the Emperor Francis I. and of II. M. the King of Prussia. Major-General Stépanoff 1
2nd. Reserved Batallions of Grenadier Regiments: 1
Count Roumiantzoff's 1
Prince Souvoroff's 1
Carabineers of Astrakan 1
The Fifth Batallions12
Lieutenant-General Hartung
The Sixth Batallions12
Total of Batallions28
Combined Battery of the Artillery of the Guards and of the GrenadiersColonel Drake8
Two Reserved Batteries, Foot16
Two Batteries, Mounted16
Total of Pieces40
Escort Companies annexed to the First, Second, and Third Calvary Corps32
Cantonists of the Second CorpsSquadrons24
of Combined Cavalry, formingBatteries3
350  Squadrons.
28  Battalions.
168  Pieces.
32  Escort Companies.
24  Squadrons. (Cantonists.)
3  Batteries. (Cantonists.)

A Group of Soldiers





soldiers marching at Vosnessensk

[101] THIS grand military spectacle at Vosnessensk, which I was fortunate enough to witness in all its details, naturally commanded my attention, and inspired me with respect. It was certainly no vulgar curiosity which had led me into this city of soldiers ; and after recovering from my first astonishment, I immediately began to represent to myself the extent of these terrible forces, and especially of those formidable bodies of cavalry, without their equal [102] in the world. To taw establishment of the military colonies must be attributed these admirable results : hence has arisen this imposing army. The number, discipline and well-being of the men, the rare beauty of the horses, and even the martial appearance of the squadrons, all proclaim the happy effects of this system, and its incontestible superiority.

Drummers at Vosnessensk

This is not the place for explaining at length the organisation of the colonies of cavalry. Professional men, moreover, know where they may obtain technical information upon this system, which has commanded the admiration of the highest military authorities and the most skilful soldiers. We have ourselves seen it described with great lucidity in a recent work by a French marshal, the Duke of Ragusa, an excellent judge in these matters. Under these circumstances, therefore, we shall merely state, in a few words, the principles upon which the institution of military colonies is based.

The military colonies of cavalry are established in certain tracts of country, watered by the Boug, the Dnieper, and the Siguiska—fertile regions, if ever there were such ; but which, remaining waste from want of hands, were thirty years ago in the possession of the crown. Families from Central Russia, Bulgarians, Moldavians, and the scattered remnants of the Zaporogue Cossacks—a tribe mice so formidable in these steppes– [1O3] flocked hither, forming a somewhat numerous population, encouraged by concessions and immunities of considerable magnitude. These vast tracts were in the first instance divided into arrondissements, then into villages, and the territory of each commune was divided into two parts : one part belonged to the inhabitants. Every family possessing a plough and cattle received a grant of land amounting to ninety deciatines*, and a house. The remaining part was reserved to the crown, and cultivated by these same peasants, on whom a tax was levied of forty-five days' labour per year. Each village, built upon an uniform plan, was constituted on the basis of one hundred and eighty ploughs. Each possessor of a plough had to furnish board and lodging for one horseman, so that each village quartered one hundred and eighty men, or a squadron ; and as a regiment of colonial cavalry consists of eight active squadrons and one reserved squadron, nine villages formed a regiment. In each village, houses were built for the reception of the staff, stables, stores, a hospital, a school and a church. Thus placed beyond the reach of all material cares, the trooper has no thought but of his duties. At the same time, and this is the strong point of the colonial system, the soldier always remains under the empire of social ties, and the influences of civil life, with which he continues mixed up while still remaining under arms : hence arises *This area is equivalent to 98 hectares, 39 ares, French. [104] an esprit de cops, followed by the happiest results, and constituting the immense moral power of these squadrons, or rather families of soldiers, like those cohorts of antiquity, wandering and armed families, of which history has transmitted the names.

But this handsome trooper must have his sweetheart– he must have his mate, and the colonies are not wanting in young and pretty girls, not to be scared away by a uniform. The military authorities are inclined to favour these matches, so that nearly a third of these men are fathers of a family. The male children of the community are carefully educated in the school of the colony, trained from an early age to the management of a horse, and moulded to habits of discipline ; at twenty they become soldiers, and form a valuable stock of non-commissioned officers and accomplished horsemen. This institution in itself would suffice to declare the excellence of the colonial system. By means of these sons of the troopers, and the young men who are recruited in equal numbers from the inhabitants of the villages, the contingent of the colonial regiments is kept up ; and if it should happen that the soldiers' children are not sufficiently numerous, the government makes up the deficiency by sending young men, educated at its cost in establishments of a similar character. Each province of the empire possesses a special school for the education of the sons of soldiers. In this school the children are received, [105] taught and kept with paternal solicitude. In addition to elementary instruction, they are taught the principles of those arts which may become advantageous to the service. All the musicians, veterinary surgeons, official writers, geometricians, and draftsmen in our army, are recruited among the military cantonists, as these young men are called, the number of whom in Russia is one hundred and fifty thousand. These sanie young men supply the ranks of the children of the cavalry colonies, whenever it happens that the regimental school is unable to furnish the annual contingent of from fifty to sixty youths of twenty demanded of it. It may be easily conceived, therefore, how much the regiment benefits from the good order, aptitude and discipline of these young men, educated in such admirable schools.

Such is the condition of the soldier in the military colonies. It remains now to say a word on the state of the inhabitants who receive the numerous squadrons quartered upon the territory. Nothing can be better calculated to exhibit, to their full extent, the benefits of the plan upon which these colonies have been designed, than the well-being of these industrious families of emigrants now settled upon the soil. The happy possessors of more lands than are necessary for their maintenance and that of the soldiers whom they support, the peasantry have witnessed every year an incredible [106] increase in the extent of the lands under cultivation, and the number of their live stock. At the same time, the productiveness of the crown lands, to which they devote one day's labour in nine, has increased in proportion. The granaries of the colonies accordingly are overflowing with agricultural produce, and more than once have come to the assistance of neighbouring countries in times of scarcity. Under an administration entirely distinct from the discipline regulating the military corps, the villages are governed by a staff independent of that of the squadron. A captain administers the affairs of each village, directs the school, regulates the labour exacted by the state, superintends the stores, the cattle and implements of the crown. At the same time, he maintains order, and establishes police regulations ; two lieutenants are attached to him, and afford him their assistance in the discharge of his municipal functions.

Civil justice is administered on the most paternal system. The chief of the squadron presides over the tribunal, which is called a committee, and is composed of a serjeant-major, the priest of the village, and three colonists, elected by their peers. Previous to entertaining the question under litigation, the reporter explains the case of the respective litigants. When this is done, forty-eight hours are allowed the parties to come to an amicable settlement, at the end of which the case [107] proceeds. There is an appeal to the committee of the regiment, in which the same guarantees are afforded by the presence of delegates, elected as a jury from the same class as that of the adverse parties. The decision of this committee is recorded and made public throughout the territory of the regiment. Lastly, there is a final appeal to the major-general (brigadier-general), who visits the cantonments every month. He presides, in his turn, over an inquiry into the case, the results of which are submitted to the lieutenant-general in com- mand of the corps d'armue, who, with the assistance of a council, pronounces supreme judgment, which is in- serted in the orderly book.

Criminal cases are in the jurisdiction of the local council of war, whether the culprit be a trooper, or belong to the class of villagers. The inspector-general of the colonised cavalry is invested with the immense privilege of sanctioning the execution of the sentences, or mitigating their severity, according to his pleasure. This high functionary may, in the discharge of his office, go so far as to suspend an officer, and bring him to judgment; and it is also at his sole suggestion that the emperor grants the promotion which may have been deserved among the colonists. An idea may thence be formed, of the almost despotic powers exercised by the inspector-general.


But this immense amount of power, these high and noble functions, could not have been placed in worthier hands than those of the general-in-chief, Count de Witt. It was he indeed who, if not the first inventor of the system of cavalry colonies, at least rendered its execution practicable. To him is due the wise combination of elements upon which this great institution is based. Accordingly, in Russia, to allude to the military colonies is at once to bring to mind the great share of credit due to Count de Witt, in the creation of this happily constituted establishment ; it is to recall all the zeal, energy, and experience, and all the high capacity in the discharge of his important functions, exhibited by this general during the last twenty years.

Russian Artillery In Action (Vosnessensk)

A great triumph for Count de Witt, and a worthy recompense for all his exertions, was that which awaited him at Vosnessensk. How glorious a moment to mar- shal forth, in proud array, upon the vast meadows, those splendid squadrons, sprung up fully equipped from that soil which, within this very century, had been a barren desert ; to find himself summoned to the honour of presiding over all these pomps, with the renown of which Europe resounded ; to receive, amidst the din and stir of war, in that camp, which was then equivalent to the most brilliant of cities, the visits and congratulations of the most enlightened, no less than the most [109] exalted judge —was this not a recompense, so splendid, that it lies not in the power of sovereigns to award a greater ? But let us return to the narrative of our stay at Vosnessensk.

A truly royal hospitality had welcomed us in our character of adopted children of Russia. We were participators in the fête, on an equal footing with the highest dignitaries of the army. We were admitted everywhere, and our eagerness to see and admire everything was abundantly satisfied. One day was devoted to visiting the cavalry encampment, and our long and interesting inspection extended for a space of fifteen versts beneath the clumps of trees along the banks of the Boug. At another time, we turned our delighted attention to the tents of the infantry. Twenty- eight battalions, stationed in symmetrical order, occupied an immense plateau near the gates of Vosnessensk in an airy position, and well protected from the moisture left in the meadows by the nightly storms of rain. We regarded with especial interest the veteran soldiers, composing reserve battalions, and on whose masculine faces was marked the entire history of a period when war was rough and murderous. Entering beneath one of the tents, we remarked an old warrior carefully cleaning several decorations, fixed, according to the custom of our troops, upon a little strip of card board, which is [110] made to fit into the uniform, without any other fastening. " Where could this old fellow have won all these ?" asked one of the persons accompanying me. The soldier, without uttering a syllable, bared his breast and arms, which were seamed in all directions with scars. It was a simple and touching answer, and required no commentary. How many episodes could we relate exhibiting the natural spirit of these excellent troops, so admirably disciplined, and consequently so intrepid ; to what excellent results could we point, had we leisure to enter into a consideration of those points which make the Russian army so rich in the elements of order and courage ! But, in the midst of this resounding din, and of these grand sights, our existence was so filled up, that one new impression succeeded another in rapid succession. However, among those reminiscences which never can, and never ought to fade, there is one of which M. Raffet was almost the hero. All who have seen the works of this young artist—horses galloping obedient to his word, battles lost and won upon paper—can well imagine his love for everything in the shape of a soldier. At the camp of Vosnessensk, Raffet's enthusiasm was at the highest, and his whole mind bent on sketching the brilliant squadrons passing and re-passing before him. One day, when he was busy sketching some of the most effective uniforms, he heard himself called by [111] name. The voice was undoubtedly that of one accustomed to command both men and things—fine, clear, and sonorous. At the sound of this voice the artist turned suddenly round, and beheld no less a personage than the Emperor! The Emperor, who had already learned his name, now spoke to him of the art he professed, and made himself, as it were, his introducer to the scene before him. The astonishment and confusion of the modest Raffet may be easily imagined. He strove to the utmost to withdraw himself from the glorious distinction thus conferred upon him, but from that moment he was treated by the entire army as a protégée of the Emperor.

This interview obtained our painter the honour of being invited to present himself to their Majesties ; and immediately after leaving the presence of the Emperor, he was accompanied by a distinguished officer of the Staff, Baron Hahn. This officer was instructed to provide him facilities for seeing everything, and exercising his talents upon all that should seem to him worthy of interest.

Did I not fear incurring the reproach so frequently urged against the classical epic f`or its minuteness in enumerating battalions, naming every chieftain, and accurately describing their arms and accoutrements, I should, perhaps, attempt, in this simple and truthful narrative to depict the grandest of the ceremonials [112] during this grand fête, which lasted thirteen days. I prefer confining myself to saying, that the general review of the cavalry took place on the 26th of August (7th September). The Emperor arrived in a simple droschski (H. H. the Grand Duke Michael was seated by the side of his august brother), vaulted in the twinkling of an eye on a fine black horse, and galloped towards the troops, standing silent and motionless, drawn out in immense lines. But these grand sights, which the eye beholds with delight, are not such as are capable of description. They lose all their majesty in the dry enumeration of a bulletin, or in the frigid lines of the most accurate delineation. It was on the plain of Vosnessensk that these thirty-six regiments should have been seen, formed into four solid groups, with their artillery standing apart. It was there those thousand trumpets should have been heard, bursting out in the distance into pompous flourishes, as the Emperor passed in the midst of a crowd of generals, and penetrated to the centre of the compact masses, along the ranks of all those regiments greeting his appearance with loud shouts. It is not uninteresting, as a point of national manners, to note what passes on these occasions between the sovereign and his soldiers. On arriving in front of a squadron, the Emperor, in a loud voice, pronounces these words, " Good-day, lads ! " and the [113] soldiers reply in two words, " Path Staratza," which is about equivalent to, " we will try to do well." The same words, or expressions of similar import, are exchanged between the Emperor and his troops during the march past. Some time after the arrival of the Emperor, a light carriage quietly made its appearance on the plain, escorted by a number of officers in foreign uniforms. In this carriage was the Empress and the Grand Duchess Maria—and their escort consisted of all the princes, generals and officers whom invitations from the Emperor, dispatched to every part of Europe, had summoned to be present at this military fête.

When, at the close of this immense review, the Emperor on horseback, with the point of his sword lowered, had taken up his place next to H. M. the Empress, we beheld the marching past of three hundred and fifty squadrons of the finest men, in the best possible order, in uniforms of dazzling richness and variety, and mounted on carefully selected horses. These horses, of so superior a character, that the horse of a private might be mounted by a general officer, come of stallions of English breed, which they surpass in size, and are bred in the stables of the regiment. It may be asserted that all the horses of this body of cavalry are irreproachable; and the attention devoted to them has gone so far, as that the horses of each regiment should be carefully assorted according to colour. [114]

The juvenile Cantonists, of whom we have spoken, were planted over the entire field, in order to direct the march of the squadrons, and to mark out the limits to which the crowd might advance. All the carriages which we had seen filling the streets of Vosnessensk, were drawn up on the skirts of the meadow, and a picturesque assemblage of spectators were grouped upon them. The whole scene formed an animated picture, such as the sun of these regions had never before brightened ; nor had ever such sounds of mirth and festivity resounded over these steppes, for less than half a century since, the winds sweeping through the tall grass, and the clatter and rumbling of the thunder, were the only movement, the only sound to disturb the deep tranquillity of these unprofitable wastes.

A few days after, we quitted with regret this scene of marvels ; but we left Raffet behind us at Vosnessensk, for he found two many subjects of study amidst the motley tumult, to leave before these grand evolutions were concluded. The presence_ of the Emperor, the Imperial Family, the court, and all the various staffs, would shortly transfer the scene of pomps and festivities to Odessa ; but here they would be of a civil character. A young and great city, no older than the colonies themselves, was preparing to receive its sovereign.

And in truth, Odessa had made herself beautiful to [115] receive her illustrious guests, and her large houses shone with a bran new aspect. The palace of the governor, the public buildings, the theatre, the exchange, an elegant structure looking on the sea, the quays, the store-houses, the whole city in short, was under arms. The exchange was charged with the honour of welcoming the visitors in the name of the city, and most assuredly in a great commercial seaport, the exchange might be considered the common mansion. This beautiful palace, in the Greek style, had been converted into a series of magnificent saloons, in which preparations were being made for the banquet and ball, to which the presence of their Majesties was to be solicited. In every part of this fortune-favoured city, the inhabitants seemed inspired with the noblest zeal in preparing for the approaching festival. The few wooden huts, vestiges of the early settlement, which had yet remained erect in Odessa, on the day of the Emperor's visit—a day of entire regeneration— completely vanished. In a few hours forty of' these shells had been broken up and replaced, if not by complete houses (the time was insufficient), by elegant façades, which had sprung from out of the ground, and filled up the row like the scenes at a theatre. In a word, the emulation was general, and when we entered on the evening of the 8th of September, the whole town was in the heat of preparation. After too brief [116] a stay in this capital of the southern provinces, our expedition, already divided into several sections, experienced a further modification : some were called back to the Crimea to resume that wandering life which they had quitted with regret ; others, on the contrary, were induced to devote a certain time to local studies, which the industrial condition of Odessa rendered especially interesting. Our several places of rendezvous and dates of meeting having been duly agreed upon, I dispatched, by the land route to Simpheropol, two of my companions the most eager to proceed. The observations collected during this rapid excursion are here inserted, and I give them in the form in which I was enabled to note them down at a subsequent meeting.

We left Odessa on Tuesday morning, the 12th of September, the heat being already excessive, although it was not seven o'clock. Our equipage consisted of one of those capital but very rough Wallachian carriages purchased at Bukharest, which had already done such good service. We proceeded in this fashion somewhat at random, our three horses, harnessed abreast, galloping all the way. We knew nothing about the country, nor a word of the language. We had adopted the land route from necessity, and not from choice. The steamers, in which a great portion of the Imperial Court were conveyed to the Court of the Crimea, had already ceased [117] running from the port of Odessa, and we were obliged to renounce all thoughts of journeying by this easy mode of conveyance. Russia, however, is a marvellous country for safety, even on such a journey as would be hazardous everywhere else. With a padorojnaia in good order, and those two words in the language signifying, " horses directly," a foreigner may traverse the whole extent of the empire with no other risk than that of a long halt at the end of each stage.

Our outset deserves some notice, on account of the extreme severity of the search to be undergone from the Custom House officials on reaching the boundaries of the free port. In order to be allowed to pass from the favoured territory to that under taxation, it is necessary to prove that you have not about you one particle of that " franchise" which has raised Odessa to a rich and powerful city. Accordingly, all that lies beyond the wall is the steppe, with its atmosphere of dust, stifling the growth of a few young plantations of acacia trees.

The heat was becoming intense : our bearded coachman brought us by an abrupt circuit, during which we were not free from anxiety, right into the sea, in which he allowed the carriage to soak for a few minutes. This immersion was expected to have a favourable effect on the vehicle, if we may judge from the satisfied appearance of the man, as he alternately pointed to the sea [118] and to the sun. At the conclusion of this bath we galloped off again along the burning shore.

Our road, marked out by a beaten path through a cultivated plain, followed, for some time, the direction of the sea shore, and to our left lay a number of large lakes, which we rapidly passed. These lakes communicate with the sea by a number of narrow openings through the downs. These large collections of salt water, the first two of which seemed of very considerable extent, are said to be a great advantage to Odessa, owing to the quantity of fish taken in them. All these lakes are called limans, a word borrowed from the Turkish language, and signifying a sea-port. The same appellation is also given to the mouths of large rivers, navigable by ships. These limans, swollen by the accumulation of waters in certain rivers running down from the north, frequently overflow the natural barrier of the downs, and unite with the sea at the slightest overflow.

Odessa was soon out of sight, and we began to enter upon the steppes in real earnest. We do not find here, as in Bessarabia, those valleys, looking like long waves of land : the steppe of Southern Russia is level, smooth, free from irregularities, stretching out, without any visible variation, till its horizon is blended with that of the sea. A few long lines of khourgans, those conical [119] elevations of which we have already spoken, communicate with each other across this dull and dreary waste. In vain do you hope that, travelling so rapidly, you will soon see the end of the great disc which surrounds you : the prospect is ever the same—bare, parched and desolate : the flowers, which in the spring bloom over these uncultivated tracts, had long since disappeared beneath the withering breath of a burning summer ; and we might have said with Rubruquis, the traveller, who crossed these plains in the 15th century—nulla est sylva, nullus mons, nullus lapis—not a tree, not a hill, not even a stone ! Even these deserts, however, had experienced the effects of the Emperor's arrival : the sands awaited his presence no less than the cities ; in some parts the road had been levelled, and the ruts and hollows filled up. The post houses were resplendent with a fresh coat of whitewash, and in the absence of turf, the newly-raked ground in front of the doors completed the holiday appearance. Add to this an immense number of horses dispersed over the plain in the neighbourhood of each station, and you will have an idea of the extraordinary animation pervading the steppes. Between the stages posts are seen carefully erected at the end of every verst. These posts are painted with the colours of the empire. On one side is inscribed the number of versts from the last station; on [120] the other, the number to the next. Nothing can give a better idea of the strange and monotonous level of the steppe than the fact that almost always, from our low carriage, we could see two of these posts in front of us and two behind, making a league (or four versts) as the diameter of the circle described around us by this unchanging horizon. The slight car, which we had found tolerably easy over the moist turf lands of Wallachia, had become perfectly insupportable on this hard and parched ground. Nor was this the only infliction under which we suffered. If you should happen to be tormented with thirst (and how avoid it, with at least 28 degrees of heat and clouds of dust?) the people in the villages have nothing to offer you but stinking water, grown putrid in the very barrel in which it is brought, Heaven knows from what distance ! Nothing can be duller or more mournful in appearance than the few villages to be met with along these roads. But of what advantage is it to these inhabitants to live in the midst of fertile lands, when they are deprived of every necessary of life ? Without shelter against the sun, with no other comfort than a tolerably solid house, though lost in the midst of this immense space, at the cost of how much toil and suffering must they procure the bread which they oat, the putrid water they drink, and the scanty fragments of stubble and mud which [121] warm them in the winter? Alas ! to such as these, life is indeed hard ! But heaven, which has refused them so many benefits, has given them the courage to endure every evil.

About mid-day our route began to incline away from the sea, and we struck across the plain in a north-easterly direction, towards the great city of Nikolaieff, which is at the same time a port, and a justly renowned military arsenal. Towards five o'clock we came upon the bank of a large canal, supplied by the united waters of the Boug and the Ingoul—these rivers joining on the opposite bank, a little above the spot where we stood. Exactly at the confluence of the two streams, of very unequal breadth, stands Nikolaïeff, which was still two versts from the place where we intended to disembark.

A number of carts drawn by oxen were waiting their turn to be carried over; and we were three quarters of an hour crossing the liman of the Boug, by means of a very primitive contrivance. A rope made fast to the bank, on either side, continually dips in the water ; the men weigh upon the rope, and thus the slow machine advances. The bank on which Nikolaïeff stands is on a higher level, and presented the prospect of a number of beautiful gardens, the property of the crown, filled with tall poplars. These trees were planted for the Empress Catherine, by Prince Potemkin, at the time she resolved to visit, her new provinces. The landing [122] place is protected by a war schooner in perfect order. On reaching the shore, we found ourselves in the midst of a crowd of soldiers, women, and German colonists, recognisable at once by their good-natured tranquil faces. The cause of this assemblage was no less a circumstance than the landing of a cargo of pastecs, the favourite refreshment of the people of this country. The Germans had just brought several cart loads of them. We halted, at last, in the yard of an inn of respectable appearance, situated in one of the principal streets of Nikolaïeff.

Its appearance was the only thing we could approve of in this inn. While awaiting our supper, which did not appear likely to make its appearance very rapidly, we strolled through the handsome and spacious town we had just entered. At the first glance, everything has an imposing and grand appearance. The streets, planned upon a gigantic scale, as in all Russian towns, are suitably furnished with houses, but the grandeur of their architecture promises more than it performs ; palaces without, they are hovels within. The immense width of the streets (a silent stricture, though exaggerated, on the cities of the West) leaves the inhabitant too much exposed to the sun, the wind, the dust, and the mud. As for the public squares, on which a battle might be fought, no one would think of crossing them, except during the fine season. Not-, [123] withstanding this pardonable exaggeration in the size of its streets, Nikolaïeff, we repeat, presents a very majestic appearance, and is well worthy of its position as a naval arsenal. The town is not yet completely finished ; in more than one quarter, a few scattered houses rather indicate than carry out the plan of the streets. The population of this port amounts to about five thousand inhabitants, and consists, as may be supposed, chiefly of individuals connected with the naval service. The naval establishment, of which we were only enabled to judge from a very pretty promenade, on a height overlooking the mouth of the Ingoul, appears very advantageously situated for its purposes. With the necessary outlay, several large ships might be built at the same time in its docks, which, when launched, could now easily float out of this natural harbour, the entrance to which, formerly too shallow, has of late years been made deeper. Before this important improvement, vessels were brought into the liman of the Boug by means of those cumbrous machines called camels, first introduced, we believe, by the Venetians. In the present day, ships of one hundred guns even are launched from the dock-yard at Nikolaïeff, whence they proceed to Sevastopol to be fitted, without any extraneous assistance whatever.

It is impossible to conceive a building yard better [124] adapted for its purposes than this is. Nikolaïeff is sufficiently protected against any attack by its situation, so far inland, and at the extremity of a tortuous liman. Nor is it less favoured, as regards the supply of materials. Although the Boug, whose course is obstructed by cataracts, is not suited to the floating of timber, Nikolaieff receives timber, hemp and tar by the Dnieper, which flows, together with the Boug, into the deep bay called the liman of the Dnieper. This bay, sheltered from the waves of the open sea, if not from the winds, is navigable by the large rafts which peacefully descend the course of the Dnieper.

In a word, the position of Nikolaïeff does honour to the keen glance of Potemkin, the institutor of so many great things in this empire, of which he understood all the capabilities. It was impossible, in truth, to find a more suitable spot for the establishment of a building yard, or one so favourably situated in connection with the docks of Sevastopol. These two ports, formed by the hand of nature, perfected by human skill, and bound together by community of interests, must have been embraced in the plans of the great Empress, who felt the importance of a powerful navy upon the Black Sea. We were informed that the hidden enemy of the shipping in the bay of Sevastopol, the devouring worm which eats into all timber beneath [125] the surface of the waves, was not less destructive to vessels built and launched at Nikolaïeff. We do not assert this, however, as a fact, our informant not being a professional man ; but it is right to observe that this unfavourable character given to the port of Nikolaïeff would seem to be borne out by certain observations formerly published relative to this interesting locality.

Meanwhile we were well pleased to eke out the evening beneath the trees of the long walk to which chance had led our steps ; the moon had risen calm and brilliant, and her magic light was spread over the great harbour, and illuminated several fine ships of war, anchored close in shore, and almost at our very feet. Summoned back to our hostelry by the lateness of the hour, and more especially by a most energetic appetite, we found the expected meal awaiting us, consisting of one dish, which we shall describe, because, notwithstanding its German origin, it appeared to us to have became completely naturalised in Russia, where it is met with somewhat too frequently. This culinary production, which takes a longer time to prepare than our most complicated dishes, consists, under the wrongfully usurped title of beefsteaks, or the German name of carbonades, of a compound of various fresh meats chopped up together, and made into little flat cakes, cut out into [126] suitable shapes. This preparation is cooked in an oven, and forms the sole substantial basis of all dinners served up to the traveller, supposing his lucky star to have led him into a town possessing an inn, which is an extremely rare occurrence. That which he will invariably meet with on the other hand, every where, and at all times, is a cup; or rather a glass of excellent tea. In every Russian house, even the poorest, there is an article of furniture in frequent use, which, by an easy process, produces in a few minutes the fragrant infusion of the Chinese shrub. The samowar is, without gainsay, the most characteristic utensil to be found in the country. The species of kettle which bears this name, consists of a shining copper vase, a foot and-a- half high, resembling in form the ancient Greek vase. At its lower part it is furnished with a cock ; through the inside a vertical iron tube passes, filled with lighted charcoal, kept burning by a draft of air through an opening at the foot of the vase. The samowar is the emblem of Russian hospitality : it greets you as you cross the threshold, and seems to kindle of its own accord at your arrival. No sooner have you entered the house, than it pours forth the boiling stream, whose aroma cheers and soothes the jaded limbs. If some settlement of German farmers be at hand, you may make sure of a few slices of the purest white bread, [127] and a fragment or so of excellent butter: rejoice, look upon it as a supper, and make the best of the chance ; for twenty-four hours may pass, and seventy-five leagues of steppe slip away beneath your rapid wheels, ere a similar piece of good fortune befal you.

The reader will forgive these brief digressions, and accompany us once more across the barren steppe towards Kherson. The road to this city descends in a south-easterly direction. Although we had ordered our horses at Nikolaleff for four o'clock in the morning, we were unable to obtain them till an hour and-a-half after that time ; the day was already half spent when we approached Kherson, amidst clouds of dust so thick and stifling, that it was difficult to draw one's breath, to say nothing of the smarting pain caused in the eyes. This disagreeable character of the atmosphere prevents one from embracing at a glance the prospect presented by the city, which is very extensive, and filled with edifices of considerable magnitude. What struck us most, next to the fine outlines of the fortress, rising triumphantly through a haze of dust, was an innumerable quantity of windmills, with six sails, all turning together on the top of a small height, and producing a most extraordinary and confused picture. We entered at length the broad streets of Klierson. Being provided with a letter of introduction for a French gentleman, [128] long established in the country, where he has set up works for wool cleansing, we were already looking forward to the pleasures of a halt, of which we were greatly in want ; but alas, it was a difficult matter, in our complete ignorance of the simplest Russian words, to discover the residence of our fellow countryman. It is true that certain Jews, whom we interrogated in German, replied without hesitation ; for what Jew, in whatever quarter of the globe he be, does not understand German? But their imperfect directions only served to lead us further astray in this large town ; and we continued to wander from door to door, under a raging sun, followed by our mournful equipage. Entering, at last, a court-yard of a satisfactory appearance, we were received at the house door by a young lady, of whom we endeavoured, in every language in the world, to ask for the required residence. German, English, Italian had been repelled by the hopeless, ne ponimaiou (I don't understand). One last desperate venture in the modern Greek had left us entirely discouraged, when the lady said, in what was undoubtedly an agreeable voice, but which to us appeared a strain of celestial melody : " Par hazard, Messieurs, parleriez-vous Français ?" 0 fortunate chance ! we had lighted upon a country-woman ! and when we had thanked her for her information, which turned out correct, we could not help recalling the [129] chapter in Rabelais, where his fantastic hero, after having spoken several different languages, receives precisely the same answer as we lost travellers, amidst the plains watered by the Dnieper.

Our French host received us with cordiality; we found in his house a young chamberlain of the Emperor, with whom we had become acquainted at Yalta, and M. Vassal, an owner of lands in the neighbourhood of Perecop, who, by his speculations in the improvement of the breed of sheep, has rendered immense services to this part of the country, at the same time that he has increased his private fortune. The sheep farms of M. Vassal, the wool from which is chiefly disposed of at Kherson, have brought about a remarkable improve- ment in this class of produce, for which the countries adjacent to the Crimea have, from a remote period, always been famed ; above all, they have given a remarkable development to the export trade of the port of Kherson, so long crushed by the privileges of Odessa. After the departure of these two travellers, we resigned ourselves, not without considerable comfort to the outward man, to the hospitable care of our fellow countryman, M. Moulins. When our repast was over, we accompanied the host, who had given us so hearty a welcome, to his washing establishment, which is situated on a large island in the Dnieper, and is composed of a number of [130] wooden buildings, covering a large extent of ground. The first story is divided into large workshops, in which women are employed shredding the wool, after it has been cleansed, and sorting it according to its different qualities. On the ground floor are a number of com- partments for the reception of the various classes of wool ; and here, too, is the press for packing the bales. It consists simply of a screw worked by horizontal levers, and is, of course, far from effecting the marvellous results of the hydraulic press. Our visit to the cleansing works made us witnesses of a scene no less singular than it was picturesque, and so characteristic of the habits of the country, that we cannot omit mentioning it. The vats in which the wool is cleansed are placed in a row upon large rafts. Two hundred young women, of from eighteen to twenty years of age, are employed for this purpose, under the superintendence of several women of a maturer age. The hour of our visit coincided with the leisure time immediately following the dinner ; at this season the young work-women, according to the universal custom of the country, devote this period of recreation to bathing. Accordingly the raft was almost entirely deserted, while the waters in the vicinity were peopled with troops of swarthy bathers, who had studiously left on the shore all that could impede their joyous evolutions in the water. The picture, [131] however, was by no means new or strange to us. In these countries, the custom of bathing together in numbers has nothing in it startling to the sense of propriety of either sex; and we had already seen at Sevastopol the narrowest spaces shared by men and women enjoying this salutary diversion. When we returned to Kherson, two of the young bathers donned a portion of their garments to conduct us to the bank in which the town is situated : trade was busy in all its streets, and on all sides arose the din of workmen, porters, and busy folk of every description. Here, as in every other part of the country, the extraordinary demand for water melons occasioned the collection of eager and often quarrelsome crowds. A little above this spot the stream is covered with large coasting vessels ; these had come to take in cargoes of the agricultural produce brought down in great abundance to Kherson by the Dnieper, not to mention the salt which is brought by caravans from the eastern coast of Taurida.

The existence of the port of Kherson does not date farther back than half a century ; it was Potemkin, whose name is associated with every great establishment in these regions, who laid its foundations. According to the views of its founder, Kherson was called to the fulfilment of a high destiny; and, indeed at the first glance, its position seems exactly suited for an entrepôt [132] of all the merchandise floated down by the Dnieper, from the very centre of the empire to its extremities. Accordingly, from its origin, it became a vast and wealthy city. It was called by a Greek name, Kherson, recalling the ancient and flourishing colony of the Heracleotic peninsula, and the etymology of which is the adjective Khersos, signifying deserted, barren, waste.

All went on well till the establishment of Odessa : the rapid growth and the immunities which favoured this new port, checked the rising prosperity with which Kherson had seen itself crowned from its origin. The ships from the Mediterranean found it more advantageous to anchor in the roads of Odessa, as by resorting to this open roadstead, they frequently avoided a lengthened struggle against the rapid currents and the shifting sand banks in the liman of.the Dnieper. From the coln.- mencement of this century, the decline of Kherson became visible ; and in 1802 several travellers testified to the decay of this great city, which had looked forward, on just grounds, to a rapid aggrandisement.

The freedom granted to the port of Odessa, struck the last blow at the fortunes of the great entrepôt of the Dnieper. From that time Kherson almost ceased to receive in its waters any but those vessels which, after unloading their cargoes of western merchandise at Odessa, proceed thither to take in, from a point [133] nearer their source, the wool and grain which the vast estuary of the Dnieper is enabled, in all respects, to supply on easier conditions. The streets of Kherson, now too spacious for their traffic, are filled with clouds of devouring dust ; those quarters which at one time were filled with well-stored shops, present now only a row of fronts closed to all trade ; a few rusty black gowns, the Jewish garment, are seen here and there at the doors of these deserted bazaars, and suggest the image of greedy crows scenting out destruction. And yet, for what great and noble results had the founder of this city, the object of his affections, paved the way.

A glance at the imposing ramparts of the fortress, and the still existing though neglected establishment of the admiralty of Kherson, will give an idea of the intentions of Potemkin, who had fixed upon this spot as the key of the great southern stream. It is at Kherson that the remains of this prince are buried. Snatched away by an unexpected death, on the spot to which we have referred, while crossing the steppe of Bessarabia, Potemkin, the most powerful of European ministers, was laid in the modest church of Kherson.

In the present day, Kherson is the capital of one of the governments forming part of the general government of New Russia, and bearing the same name. A recent census allows us to rate the amount of its [134] population at twenty thousand ; it is asserted that the city, the extent of which is enormous, contains, in the four quarters of which it is composed, no less than three thousand six hundred houses.

We had intended to proceed from Kherson to Alechki by water, along the scattered branches of the Dnieper ; the length of the journey is reckoned at 17 versts, and it is stated to be remarkably picturesque in some parts, where the traveller makes his way through tall reeds, surrounding him like a wall. At Alechki we expected to find a road that would lead us to Perecop. The timely counsel of M. Vassal diverted us from attempting this route, now no longer practicable. The post-houses throughout the extent of the journey had been pulled down, and the horses taken to swell the supply for the government relays at Kherson, in anticipation of the numerous travellers daily expected. We were accordingly compelled to take the route, ascending the stream as far as Berislaff, one that was certainly far longer, and would cause us a delay of several hours.

Before sunset we had reached the banks of the Ingouletz. This river, a tributary of the Dnieper, runs between banks of considerable height, not far from which are found several deposits of kaolin. We arrived at the ferry by which the river is crossed, through a long avenue of thickly-leaved willow trees [135] arching over our heads. The place was a complete forest, in comparison with the ever-dismal steppe which we had just crossed, and which we again encountered, and found more gloomy than ever ; for night was slowly advancing. At this hour of the day, in these solitary plains, it is impossible to guard against an involuntary feeling of melancholy : the darkness, which grows on the traveller, and will soon envelop him, renders. the sense of isolation more complete ; it deprives him of the only spectacle which can cheer him on such a road, that of the light.

Towards eight o'clock we reached a station ; here we obtained, at the hands of a landlady who spoke German, the daily cup of tea and its slender acces- saries. From this point we travelled in company with a general officer ; he was returning from Vosnessensk, and, like ourselves, proceeding to the Crimea ; our two equipages travelled at an equal , pace. At midnight we traversed the streets of Berislaff, beneath the veiled beams of the moon ; on reaching the posthouse, kept by a Jew, we found the whole Israelite family sleeping in the open air, in a little court-yard. With a degree of luxurious refinement worthy the days of Sybaris, each had adopted for his couch one of those post télègues, whose joltings on the rough road are so unendurable. Ere we could awaken this [136] assembly of sleepers, one old woman especially, whose commands were supreme, a considerable time elapsed ; and before we could resume our journey, we were fairly done to death by a long rigmarole,' in the most horrible Jew German with which Christian ears can be scarified.

We are unable to speak as to the importance of Berislaff, which we thus passed through at night, or rather only in part traversed, returning afterwards on our steps. It is situated on a fine plateau, commanding the northern bank of the Dnieper. The streets are straight and regularly planned, as is the case in all the best cities of modern Russia. Berislaff dates its foundation in the glorious days of the Empress Catherine, at the time when that great sovereign was desirous of fortifying her command over the newly conquered territory, by a line of garrisons, which should secure her in its tranquil possession. Kisilkerman, or the Red Fort, was the Tatar name of the little military post commanding the passage of the stream, ere the new town was built. Five important roads meet in Berislaff, and render its existence precisely on that spot a matter of necessity. By the road from the south, or from Perecop, large quantities of salt are brought within its walls. Two roads, in the direction of the north-eastern provinces, [137] lead to the government of Ekaterinoslaff and towards the Cossacks of the Don ; another, running due north, cuts through the immense desert stretching towards Poltawa and the Slobodians of the Ukraine. Lastly, the fifth road by which we had been journeying, is the same which opens a communication with the western countries of Europe, by Kherson, Nikolaïeff, and Odessa.

From the plateau on which the town stands, the road descends by a steep declivity to the river bank, where a floating bridge is found, forming a slight curve across the rapid current of the stream. While our horses were advancing with cautious steps along the yielding floor, we began to contemplate the vast expanse of grey waters before us, reflecting the clouds drifting before the wind. Once more we were gazing on the Borysthenes of the ancient geographers, whose graphic name denoted the prevalence of tempestuous winds. This splendid, stream, so often the subject of history in the time of the Scythians, has lost its noble appellation, to the great injury of the language of poetry : in the same way has the Tyras of the Greeks given place to the Dniester ; the Hypanis yielded to the Boug, and the harmonious Tanaïs become lessened to the Don. The Greeks, beautiful in speech, poets even in the slightest words of that language which Homer discovered, little dreamed [138] that that refined harmony of syllables, of which they were so proud, would thus be swallowed up by the rugged idiom of the north.

We, however, return to our bridge, and to the inundated approaches of the Dnieper. Ascending the left bank of the river, we proceeded for a considerable space upon a yielding soil covered with water ; after another change of horses at a station within a short distance of Berislaff, we turned suddenly off to the south, proceeding in a direct line to Perecop and the narrow isthmus of Taurida.

At the end of this monotonous route, of which, for lack of sleep, we had to endure all the tedium, we arrived on the 14th of September in the town, or rather large village, which is the portal of the Crimea, and is called Perecop. Before Taurida became a Russian province, this village bore a name replete with Eastern grandiloquence, Or-Gapy, the Royal Gate. It was thus that the Tatars designated the sufficiently insignificant entrance to an entrenchment dividing the isthmus, and uniting the two seas. After crossing a bridge over the deep but much dilapidated ditch, which is still in existence, the traveller is in Perecop. It consists of one single street, which, from its breadth, might be called a square. To the right and to the left may be seen a tolerable number [139] of houses, standing at wide distances from each other, the most salient of which consists of no more than a ground floor, covered with a roofing of planks or reeds ; yet, notwithstanding its wretched appearance, the advantages of its position give to this village a special degree of importance. Perecop is the entrance gate to the government of Taurida, and the entrench- ment by which the peninsula is closed and isolated. Its present name, derived from a Russian word, signifying a trench between two seas, exactly describes its position in the geography of Taurida. Perecop is also a central customs station, where an active regulative influence is exerted on the immense exportation of salt from the neighbouring seas and the lakes of the peninsula. All these administrative functions, however, tend in no way to relieve the melancholy of the surrounding salt-impregnated steppe, which still retains the evidences of its submersion at some remote period. Herodotus, Strabo, and Pliny have expressed the opinion, that iii former ages Taurida was separated from the continent : and the character of the soil of the isthmus is not repugnant to this hypothesis. Its level is so low, that from the centre of the passage across it, which is as much as seven versts in length, one might fancy one's-self below the level of the two seas. The Sivache threatens [140] you on the east, and the Black Sea on the west. A glance at the position of the peninsula on a .map will suffice to perceive the striking difference between the outlines of the sea and of the lake. The putrid lake, whose waves sink powerless upon a low beach, exhibits, in the outline of its shores, a thousand fantastic and varying contortions. The Black Sea, on the contrary, lying in a deep bed, presents a steady and more even line of coast.

Perecop is inhabited chiefly by the servants of the government and by a great number of Jews, who abandon themselves with delight to all their native uncleanliness. We should be much astonished to be told that this was one of the most commendable situations in a sanitary point of view. The viscous sea lying so close to the village, constantly heated to the very bottom of its slimy bed, gives forth, according to certain travellers, a miasma, injurious to the quality of the surrounding atmosphere. In the inestimable work of M. Montandon, already quoted by us, we find, however, a contrary opinion expressed. This writer points out Perecop as a particularly healthy spot, in the teeth of all contrary prejudice. That which is certainly true, without entering into a discussion as to its deleterious effects, is, that this putrid sea is, for the whole of this country, a great source of trade and movement. On its shores, and on those of the neighbouring [141] lakes, a considerable quantity of salt is gathered, constituting an important item of revenue to the government. This produce, which is collected during the summer, is conveyed in every direction, even to the centre of the Empire, by long caravans, of which we never saw a greater number, or any more plentifully laden and picturesque in appearance, than in the narrow isthmus of Perecop : they are the four-wheeled fleets of the steppe. There is a custom peculiar to the Tatars, which consists in harnessing their dromedaries to their waggons. These animals are of an admirable breed, and grow to a very large size ; they appear, for the most part, obedient to the voice of their masters. Some cases, however, are related, in which dromedaries have become infuriated with rage, and have almost devoured their drivers. This species of team has an imposing appearance : the two powerful animals advance at a slow and measured pace, drawing, without apparent effort, the heavily laden madgiars of the Tatars. The vehicle so called, is on four wheels ; its sides are of solidly constructed hurdles, and the whole is covered with a kind of thick felt, made of camels' hair. The austere and primitive forms of this simple car would lead one to conjecture that its antiquity is remote, and that it may have been handed down from the nomadic Seythians, who lived in such vehicles—itinerant [142] dwellings—quorum plaustra vugas rite trahunt domes, says Horace. In the present day this is practised by the Nogais, who prefer, in their vagrant mode of life, the covering of the madgiar to the permanent shelter of a house.

From Perecop, the route advances rapidly towards the south, and almost on starting a considerable town is met with. Armianskoï-Bazar, as its name denotes, is a market held by Armenians. Every article of utility to the carriers, who come to obtain salt, all appurtenances and necessaries of the wheelwright and harness maker, are found collected together in this entrepôt of industry, and the inevitable demand for them must render them a certain source of profit. Passing this spot, the road continues over the steppe, and the traveller begins to inquire where in the world can be that Taurida, whose picturesque beauties it is impossible to speak of, but an allusion to rustic Helvetia, and to fair Italy, will perforce creep into the laudatory phrase. The fact is, that the portion of the peninsula, renowned for its beautiful scenery, lies quite in a remote region, on either slope of its rich and picturesque border of mountains. The northern slope, rising more gently than the other, is replete with beautiful spots ; but the southern declivity, of a more abrupt character, presents within a space narrowly confined by the sea, all the beauties of [143] the finest and most graceful scenery. Without adopting the somewhat satirical view of the English traveller, who compares the Crimea to a cloak spread out, and its beautiful gardens in the south to a narrow border of lace, we will say, that though the portion of her splendours which nature has allotted to it be scanty, it is nevertheless complete. It is as though she had placed at the extremity of these interminable plains this enchanting chain of rocks and verdure, in order to show to those who flock hither from afar, for once in their lives, forests, sparkling springs, and all the romantic beauty of mountain scenery.

Thus, then, as far as the environs of Sympheropol, or for nearly two-thirds of the breadth of the Crimea, from north to south, we have the same extent of plain as before, only if possible, more level still, traversed by endless caravans, dotted with a few villages, and lined over to a greafer extent than in any previous instance, by numerous khourgans, arranged in an order evidently denoting some system of correspondence. For instance, some rows may be observed, comprising from four to seven of these tumuli forming lines, each taking a peculiar direction. We are not aware whether the skilful engineers who constructed the recent map of Russia, called the ordnance map—an excellent work, and worthy in all particulars the distinguished merits [144] of that corps of officers--have taken notice of all these khourgans which must frequently have come into use in the course of their surveying operations. A special map, showing the situation and capricious arrangement of these innumerable elevations, which are found so closely ranged together, from the plateaux of the Don to the regions in the neighbourhood of Taurida, and which branch off thence like distant sentinels, as far as the banks of the Danube, the confines of Poland, and the north of Russia, would undoubtedly present an ample field for study and speculation. Whether these tumuli are simple tombs, or whether, in the remote times from which they are handed down, they served some now unknown purpose, it is nevertheless a fact, that on the steppe of the Crimea, their utility is still recognised. The herds, when they have to call together the horses and dromedaries under their charge, station themselves upon their sûmmits to command a view of the surrounding plain, and within a recent period, a line of telegraphic communication has been established across the peninsular, taking advantage of these ancient observatories.

We were approaching the end of our solitary journey, the southern range of mountains were marked in outline in the distance, and we could already recognize features previously observed by us. In our interrupted course [145] we had greatly distanced all the travellers we met with on the road, and though we had sometimes to put up with considerable delay in changing horses—a grievance of which, it is true; we never heard any one complain, and which seemed to be a custom generally adopted and patiently endured—it must be confessed that the postillions, stimulated by an encouragement expressed in an universal language, whirled us over the ground with a speed which sometimes grew alarming. We expected every moment, in spite of precautions renewed at the end of each stage, to see the wheels of our light carriage burst out into a flame. Towards five o'clock, the first tufts of foliage greeted us from the little valley of the Salghir ; in a few minutes after, we crossed the almost dried up bed of the diminutive river, and entered the streets of the new town of Sympheropol by a road formed at the expense of the surrounding meadows. The streets of this town seem as though they had been built for giants : they all lead up to a church of an ambitious style of architecture, though the materials of which it is built seem any thing but solid. The same sort of trouble we had experienced at Kherson was repeated here ; it was with the greatest difficulty that we at last found a miserable inn, kept by a German. We had the same supper as gat ~likol üell's except that this time we had [146] scanty repast, and when our appetites were satisfied, we sought repose on a narrow wooden sofa, which had originally been stuffed with hay. Let it be understood, once for all, that this is the invariable treatment at inns bearing the perfidious sign designated tractir throughout the Crimea.

Friday, September 3-15, was the day fixed for the general gathering of our wandering party. This rendezvous had been agreed upon at Yalta, at the time when we broke up into separate sections, and the place appointed was the port of Eupatoria or Kosloff, on the western coast. This spot appeared a favourable one for sending off our collections by sea, and our naturalists had already been there some days. Accordingly we took the road towards that port without delay, and leaving our equipage in the capital of Taurida, in an entirely disabled condition, we adopted the still rougher mode of conveyance by a telegue. From Sympheropol to the town to which we were proceeding, the distance is reckoned to be sixty-two versts, the road lying across a barren plateau, rising gently at about two-thirds of the way. For a space of eight versts, or two leagues, the road to Perecop is followed ; you then turn in a westerly direction, at a branch road marked by a tall pillar, erected when Catherine II. visited these countries. In the same manner that the distances are marked [147] upon posts throughout the empire, these mile stones are erected at the end of every ten versts, throughout the entire road over which the Empress travelled on her journey to the coast of the Crimea.

We had started with impetuous velocity, and experienced a renewal of the accident mentioned by us in a previous page. A wheel having come off, we were carried along some distance before the postillion, entirely absorbed in his shouts of excitement, could be made to understand that every thing was not exactly as it should be behind ; in fact, that his vehicle was travelling along upon its side. At the summit of the plateau, we found the most wretched of hamlets, composed of clay huts ; these ill-constructed hovels are erected over holes in the ground. We proceeded hence, down to the salt lakes of Sak, between which the road runs. These lakes bear a high reputation in a sanatory point of view. The most salutary agency is attributed to the greasy, loamy mud at the bottom and sides of them. During the period between the 15th of July and the 15th of August, a number of invalids, suffering under rheumatic and paralytic affections, repair to the borders of these lakes, and daily subject themselves to a foretaste of the grave, by lying in ditches, the sides of which are plastered over with this black mud, heated by the sun's rays. The head alone is exempt from this inhumation, said to be [148] of marvellous efficacy. As the miserable life led by the invalids in the neighbouring village of Sak, a wretched Tatar hamlet, would be likely to counteract the effects of the mud-bath, a house has been built for the reception of those bathers, who, from the state of their health, could not be easily moved. At the time of our visit, the fine days were beginning to become scarce, and all we saw round the lakes of Sak were heaps of salt, collected during the past season. Beyond the lakes, the road turns to the North, keeping throughout along the sea-shore. The suburbs of Kosloff, which is now close at hand, consist of a multitude of mills, with eight sails. Among these mills we remarked a great number constructed on a horizontal system, and moved by sixteen vertical sails, which receive the wind, and act upon a central shaft. A large and handsome mosque arrested our attention, but all it has retained of its past magnificence is a dome, still majestic, in spite of its dilapidated condition, its beautiful minarets having been demolished. Continuing our way along a quay, which the action of the waves is daily reducing in width, we halted before it house, the sign-board of which, bearing the inscription " Auberge d'Eupatorie," sufficiently denoted the absence of all competition. Those whom we sought were assembled in the spacious apartments of this building. A billiard table was the ,omnwn resting place, and all the [149] members of the expedition shared alike this humble couch, which conjured up comfortless reminiscences of Wallachia. We found our companions in the midst of the labours their daily acquisitions had prepared for them. The inn was converted into a perfect laboratory, in which fishes, birds. plant: and minerals were undergoing all sorts of operations necessary to preserve them for the benefit of science. These proceedings somewhat astonished our host, a Greek, with a wily countenance, who pretended to be quite up to what was going on ; but our Tatar visitors were positively thunder-struck ; and, notwithstanding their natural impassibility, could not refrain, at the sight of this chaos of created things, from gravely uttering a little clucking sound with their tongues, as much as to say, " Allah is great, but these arc strange folk."

Thus, then, we were once more united. and our first care was to discuss the plan of our future journey.


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Town of Koslof(cows, wagon, people)


The town of Koslof, like several other towns in the Tauric peninsula, is known in the Crimea by three different names, all of which have been conferred upon it in accordance with the mutations in the history of the country. The Tatars, to all appearance the founders, and for a long period the sole possessors of this maritime settlement, give it the name of Gouzlov or Gheuslev ; as to the true [152] etymology of this word, find it who can. Eastern geography, so fertile in images, is here deficient in its accustomed clearness. After the conquest by the Empress Catherine, the names of ancient history were, as far as possible, restored to those cities which had continued in existence down to the present time ; as to those which had disappeared from the surface of the soil, it was desirous that their names should be rescued from oblivion, by bestowing them on some modern locality. For this reason, Gouzlov, of which there is no mention in the works of ancient geographers, received, at that period, the name of Eupatoria, in memory of a city so called, which in the time of Mithridates Eupator stood on the verge of the Heracleotic peninsula, on the same spot on which the village of Inkermann now stands. This beautiful Greek name, however, has not prevented the Tatar city from retaining, among that people, its ancient appellation of Gheuslev or Gouzlov, which the Russians have converted into Koslof. This latter name is that now most commonly applied to it - in ordinary language, although in all public documents its new denomination is the only one officially recognised.

A Tower

Koslof was formerly a powerful Tatar city : its beautiful mosques, from their twenty lofty minarets, commanded the surrounding country; its baths, its bazaars, and its workshops, made it the fortunate rival of Baglitcheh [153] Sari and of Kara-Sou-Bazar, the productive cities of the Empire of the Khans : its port was capable of receiving a considerable number of vessels entering with cargoes from Constantinople. It is true that the port is ill protected from the weather, and sometimes dangerous ; but these unfavourable circumstances were not of a kind likely to deter the sailors of the East, who console themselves under all afflictions, by exclaiming, " It was written."

Flourishing though this great Tatar city may once have been, it must be confessed that in the present day there is nothing left but ruins, to bear witness to its former prosperity. Koslof is still a city of vast extent, but in its narrow and irregular streets little else is to be found than crumbling walls, waste enclosures, and low-built and dilapidated houses. One quarter alone still contains a few bazaars, peopled with drowsy merchants, and a few workshops, in which a branch of industry is carried on, which brings some profit to this fallen city. Koslof supplies the market with felted goods, and articles in morocco leather. The karaïm Jews established here are skilful jewellers, and excel in the manufacture of a kind of ornament in great request among the Jewish and Tatar women. Living here is cheap ; and if the city is deserted, it is not for want of provisions. The true causes of the neglect into which Koslof has fallen [154] are, the engrossing prosperity of Odessa, and the increase of the coasting trade in that part of the port of Sevastopol appropriated to commerce. We must add, at the risk of meeting with opponents, that the climate of this part of the coast, and the proximity of the salt lakes of Sah, must prove injurious to the inhabitants of Koslof : for, even admitting, as we do, the curative qualities ascribed to the mud of the lakes, we cannot conclude, thence, that their exhalations are equally beneficial to the public health. During our stay at Koslof we had opportunities of observing among the inhabitants numerous symptoms of endemic fevers. The approach of the equinox, however, and the instability of the temperature, produce in many other localities the same results

The 16th of September was spent by us in a state of almost complete incarceration. A furious tempest raged over the country : the gusts of wind were so violent, the pouring clouds so thick and close, that we were scarcely able to obtain a glimpse of the vicinity of our abode. At a few paces from us the waves dashed against the shore, carrying away, by the violence of the shock, a portion of the already reduced strand, on which the finest houses in Koslof are built. On this ill-protected shore a large and convenient jetty has recently been erected, a handsome structure of timber, from which the largest boats can be laden with ease ; but vessels [155] are under the necessity of anchoring at a great distance from the shore. The position of the port during the prevalence of north-westerly wind is little better than inconvenient ; but when the wind blows with any violence from the south, or south-west, it is positively dangerous. On the day we speak of, ten brigs of considerable tonnage were anchoring before Koslof ; they appeared very ill at ease in the midst of even this sea, which might have been much rougher.

The next morning we visited the greater part of the city. Its principal monument is its large and superb mosque, called Djouma-Djamai. A bold cupola, surrounded by sixteen domes of smaller dimensions, surmounts this imposing edifice, whose strong walls are pierced with narrow apertures, in the shape of bysantine ogives. Two minarets completed this rich design, but the wind has levelled them, and their fragments strew the ground beneath. This mosque, the most beautiful and most spacious in the Crimea, was founded in 1552 by the khan Devlet-Gheraï, as is attested by a deed deposited in the sanctuary. The eighteen sovereigns who, until the annexation of Taurida, sat in succession on the throne of Baghtcheh-Saraï, have all appended their signatures to this authentic document, and this scrap of parchment has outlasted both the dynasty of the Gheraï and the Mussulman monarchy.


A number Kerauns, with their ample garments, and several Tatars of the upper class, who spend the whole day smoking at the doors of the coffee shops, form the élite of the population of Koslof. The women live secluded from the gaze of the profane. The courtesy of our host, however–one of those Greeks of whom Juvenal speaks, who are ready to turn their hands to any thing, a man of resources, if ever there were one – afforded us an opportunity of catching a glimpse of one of these Tatar women of Koslof, so closely guarded. This personage was no other than the wife of a certain merchant, a friend of our Greek, whose commercial habits had no doubt softened his conjugal severity, for he required but little entreaty to be persuaded to present his wife to us. If we may judge by the favourable specimen brought before us, all honour and praise are due to the women of Koslof. The lady in question was indeed of remarkable beauty : long hair, barely imprisoned in a silk kerchief, the folds of which hung negligently down, moist and clear eyes, a soft and tranquil gaze, a pretty little head, slightly drooping from a neck of unspeakable whiteness, such was this lovely daughter of Mahomet, a fit heroine for a tale of the Arabian nights. A sort of dressing gown closely fitting her shape, with a neck scarf embroidered with gold and silver, trowsers of light texture, and babouches lined with [157] morocco, completed her attractive negligé. Thus taken by surprise in her every day charms, the lady nevertheless betrayed but little embarrassment : she soon retired, however, to our great sorrow.


On Sunday, September 5-17, we prepared for departure. Being less encumbered with baggage, owing to our having left our heavy cases, containing our collections, with a merchant of Koslof, we procured a covered carriage for our sick companion, while the convalescent travellers bestowed themselves two by two in their telegues. Ere taking leave of the town, we were anxious to see the works in progress for forming an artesian well, in which the boring process had been arrested by meeting an intermediate body of water ; the workmen were only awaiting the arrival of earthenware tubes from Odessa, to continue their operations.

For a distance of thirty-five versts, our progress was unimpeded ; our telegues, under the safe-guard of Michael, galloped all the way, leaving M. Huot behind, advancing at a cautious pace beneath the felt covering of his madgiar. But at Toulat, a wretched hamlet where we had to change horses, none were to be had, and we were forced to have recourse to the Tatars for the means of reaching Sympheropol : four hours were lost in the necessary conferences to effect: this negotiation. At last we succeeded in obtaining two [158] long vehicles of wicker work ; narrow baskets perched upon immense wheels. We ranged ourselves in them in a row, with no other accommodation than a scanty litter of straw, and no shelter but a sky overcast with clouds, anticipating the darkness of night. In this fashion our mournful train advanced, drawn by lean horses, too feeble for their task. The clouds soon converted themselves into rain, which became a torrent : a violent storm, mingled with hail and snow, burst upon us, and drenched us with its icy streams ; our carriages became so many overflowing tanks, and the plain was converted into a large pond, in which our grotesque vehicles were plunged, and thus did we wade on in the midst of water until midnight. At last we entered Sympheropol, which we had a dozen times, in our despair, fancied we discovered through the horrible darkness around us. An excellent floor, bare and cold, awaited us to restore our wearied limbs.

The next day we were delighted to find ourselves under the roof of a clean new house, agreeably situated in a part of Sympheropol bearing most resemblance to a European town. We presented ourselves to the civil governor of Taurida, M. Mourounzoff, who for the third time received a section of our expedition, and notwithstanding that he was busily pre-occupied with the expected arrival of the Imperial Court, he gave us a most [159] kind welcome. Let us add, that a learned professor, M. de Steven, who here leads a life of pleasant retirement, as did, for a long time, the illustrious Pallas, received us with that fraternal cordiality which the study of science inspires. A complete herbarium of the plants of Taurida, and an etymological collection, containing specimens of every known species in the country, constitute the scientific treasures which M. de Steven has assembled with persevering labour. We should mention, also, the museum of M. Kaznatcheeff, illustrating the conchology of the Black Sea, and the Sea of Azoff, and containing specimens of the most remarkable fossils in the Crimea.

An excursion to Sabli will afford a morning's employment to the student who wishes to investigate the natural productions of this canton, which is situated on the northern slope of the mountains to the south of Sympheropol. A large landed estate, comprising all that is usually thought requisite to compose what the French call une terre ; namely, woodland, fields, villages, &c. is to be found at Sabli. Even to the mansion, and the avenue of chesnut trees, surrounded by well stocked kitchen gardens, nothing is wanting to complete the comparison. On this domain, and in the villages depending from it, the peasants not employed in the labours of the field devote their attention to the manufacture [160] of a coarse kind of cloth, and to the fabrication of pottery. Not far from Sabli are several pits, affording a supply of that greasy earth called fuller's earth, and which the Tatars call kil. The frequent use made of this earth in the domestic economy of these people, opens a ready market for it throughout the Crimea.

Meanwhile, the days were growing shorter, and the approach of winter was beginning to be felt ; at night, and in the morning, the cold and almost continual rain marked the period of the autumnal equinox. In spite of these sad prognostics, a visit to Tchadir-Dagh offered too many objects of useful study for us to forego so interesting an excursion.

Accordingly we set out forthwith, but too delighted at once more finding our Tatar steeds to carry us over the mountains. Riding these horses is decidedly the best mode of performing the journey ; they are supple, active, obedient, cautious when going over bad ground, and swift when the road is level. The first place we reached was Kilbouroun, a name compounded of the term already mentioned, as that applied to all lofty promontories, and the word kil, the meaning of which we have given a few lines higher. Kilbouroun is truly a height of almost majestic dimensions. Some distance further, we crossed the Salghir by the bridge of Djolnia, acid perceived not far from us the ruins [161] known by the name of Eski Saraï, or the old palace. According to a tradition among the people of the country, these fragments are the deserted remains of a palace commenced by the khans but never completed; while if we are to trust the learned Pallas, the geographer, historian and naturalist of Taurida, whom she has adopted as her well-beloved son, the dilapidated walls of Eski Saraï are nothing more than the ruins of a little Genoese fort. We had neither time, nor indeed the requisite data, to decide between the Mussulman tradition and the ingenious hypothesis of the savant. We next beheld Soultan-Mahmoud, with its minarets overlooking the surrounding orchards, and la i Tchafki, a village situated at a considerable elevation on the steep declivity of the large system of mountains, above which Tehadir-Dagh raises its straight and clearly-defined outline.

After winding round the base of the height which we wished to ascend on its southern side, we halted for the night at Korbek, a Tatar village, in a grand and picturesque situation. From Korbek there is a view of the sea and of the valley of Alouclita, trenching down, like an immense ditch, to the sea-shore ; and lastly, of Alouchta itself, a large Tatar village, keeping watch, like an advanced sentinel, over the approzaclies to the gigantic ravine.


Day had not yet dawned when we had already com- menced ascending Tchadir-Dagh. Its sides are sufficiently practicable on this side to allow of horses being used up to a considerable height, the rider being in perfect safety during the ascent. After passing through fertile orchards, plateaux clothed with abundant pasturage, and finally, a few straggling strips of a vast forest, we reached the spot where the last subordinate peaks of the mountain are clothed with clumps of trees, now becoming few and scattered. Our station for the night was established by our guides, in a place where a kind of shelter was afforded against the cold winds of the sea. The labour of the Tatars, skilfully directed by Michael, soon completed a roof of woven branches, a useful defence against the vapours which began towards sun-set to envelop the summit of Tchadir-Dagh, We had still an hour's daylight before us, which we employed in pursuing vultures on their way back to their nests in the hollows of the adjoining rocks. The pursuit was wearying, and unfortunately unsuccessful : these birds, which can only be brought down by a bullet, soar at such a height in the air that an ordinary fowling-piece cannot reach them. The best marksman among the Tatars, stimulated by the promise of a handsome reward, proved neither more skilful nor more fortunate than ourselves, and the marauders of the air escaped with a [163] succession of explosions, which scarcely disturbed their inaccessible haunts.

Meanwhile, our indefatigable and adventurous geologist had been anxious to take advantage of the short glimpse of daylight left us, to examine more closely a ridge of rocks at some considerable distance; and we beheld him once more descending into the depths of a ravine, where he was soon lost to sight. Night advanced, and the darkness grew deeper and deeper, till at last it was complete, and our companion could no longer return to us. At dawn our anxiety increased, not hearing any answer to our signals; we imagined, however, that finding himself unable to achieve the task he had undertaken, M. Hout had taken refuge in some shepherd's hut, such as we had seen on the sides of he mountain on the previous day. We achieved our ascent without further cause of anxiety. Earl in the morning we reached the plateau of Tchadir-Dagh, by a number of narrow paths, which we succeeded in climbing, though not without difficulty. The almost perpendicular sides of the mountain are composed of a friable grey limestone rock, with veins of a darker colour, and emitting a slightly fetid odour in the heat of the sun. The summit consists of a sort of platform, utterly devoid of vegetation. It stretches from south-west to north-east, presenting a considerable depression towards the latter side. The [164] height of Tchadir-Dagh, taken at various periods, and by persons whose names offer every guarantee of exactitude, may be estimated at 1,580 metres for the western peak, while the eastern edge of the plateau rises no higher than 1,510 metres, making a difference of 70 metres between the two extremities. But the higher of the two summits rises like a culminating point on the plateau itself, which, on account of its extent and the imposing dimensions of the mountains, appears almost horizontal from a distance. Like all mountains of a similar form, Tchadir-Dagh, in breaking through the vapours condensed round it in clouds, gathers them sometimes along its flattened summit, on which they form a large white mass. The Tatars, who have learned from experience the usual consequences of this phenomenon, look out for rain the next day; for Tchadir-Dagh, they say, has put on his cap.

The atmosphere was not yet sufficiently free from the vapours of the morning for us to obtain a distinct view of the beautiful panorama which stretches from the base of this elevated centre to the last limits of the horizon. At one time we caught a glimpse of the steppe, with its parched tint, a blank monotonous prospect; at another the sea, looking in the distance like a tranquil lake; or an endless scries of heights, gradually dwindling down to the level of the plains around us. This [165] alternation of clouds and sunshine produced the most charming and unexpected effects.

The ancients called this mountain Berosus, and it appears evident to us that it must almost have borne the name of Trapezos, given by the Greeks to a remarkable mountain in Taurida. To no other mountain could this designation be more fitly applied than Tchadir-Dagh, the form of which bears so much resemblance to the trapezium of geometricians. The Tatar name itself, Tchadir-Dagh, the component words of which signify a tent and a mountain, comes too near the Greek notion, not to lead to the conclusion that the tent and the trapezium form one and the same figure of comparison. It should be kept in mind, also, that writers of authority have disagreed as to the true site of Mount Trapezos. Some conjecture it to be a mountain in the neighbourhood of Balaklava. In the same manlier the exact position of the Kriou-Metopon, or ham's Head, a celebrated promontory among the Greeks, has now become a point of such difficulty, that maps and geographical works present a lamentable degree of indecision respecting this cape.

The descent on the side which we adopted is dan- gerous, so steep is the surface of the rock. We looked out, however, along the precipitous sides of the mountain, for a narrow terrace, which wo soon discovered, iiid which [166] leads into a vast grotto. In these caverns, reaching through a succession of passages down to some unexplored depth, are found lumps of ice, which are preserved from winter to winter. We contented ourselves, however, with exploring the first chamber, a magnificent vault, the roof of which is about fifty feet high, and without seeking to verify, by our researches, the somewhat fabulous extent of these icy labyrinths, we quickly emerged to the light.

The approach of night found us all assembled at Korbek : our lost companion had arrived there before us, worn out with fatigue. In estimating the distance between him and the rocks he wished to examine, M. Huot had not taken into account the depth of an intervening ravine, covered with large trees. Scarcely had he reached its edge, and plunged beneath its vaulted branches, than night overtook him. It was impossible to proceed, and in the attempt to retrace his steps he entirely lost his way. Without provisions, and with no other weapon than his heavy hammers, he was at first somewhat alarmed at his lonely position ; fortunately, however, he contrived to light up a good fire. It was in a spot of a singularly wild and beautiful character, surrounded by trees crumbling and hollow with decay, and which seemed ready to drop with age. The trunk of an immense oak, which had fallen of itself, [167] perhaps, many years back, was lying on the ground. At the expense of this venerable wreck our hermit kindled a gigantic bonfire, by the side of which he spent the night, but sleeping with one eye open for fear of the wolves. And, indeed, the shepherds in these parts so dread these voracious animals, that they never go out except escorted by a number of dogs well accustomed to encounter such enemies. Our imprudent comrade was well aware of this, and took care to keep a vigilant watch. Heaven be thanked, however, he had no serious cause to repent his rash enterprise, having received no other visits than those of large birds of prey, who wheeled and flittered about round the fire, as it threw an unaccustomed glare over the forest. The approach of day restored hope, if not strength, to M. Huot, by that time fairly fatigued, and when he arrived before us at Korbek, he esteemed himself fortunate in obtaining from the good Tatars of the place that hospitable treatment of which he stood in need.

The same road led us back to Sympheropol, where we commenced, without delay, our preparations for an excursion to the eastern part of the peninsula.

We have already stated all that is worthy of remark in this youthful capital of modern Taurida. Taken altogether, it forms a double town ; or rather, two towns closely connected together. The buildings in [168] new Sympheropol have been no expense to the ancient A1'-]Iie/ iet, the white mosque, as the Tatars still call it. The two cities accordingly live on friendly terms ; they have, like affectionate sisters, made an equal division of advantages. One has its beautiful barracks, its large severe looking hospital, its pretty churches in brick, ambitious copies of the monuments of Rome ; the other has its dirty rugged streets, its bazaars, and its Tatar artisans. One entire street is monopolised by the Jews : it is of considerable extent, and filled throughout with shops closely packed together. Here are found every species of utensil, metals, and stuffs required by the European consumer. Here, too, the brokers and money–changers – that immortal race of l'harises–spread out their greedy treasures of roubles, paper money, and apocryphal medals.

The residence of the governor, the handsomest building in the city, stands in the most agreeable quarter, opposite a recently planted avenue, extending as far as the Salghir. This little river flows beneath the shade of large masses of trees, irrigating meadows, vineyards, and beautiful orchards. It is spanned by a stone bridge, forming the eastern extremity of Sympheropol. Towards the middle of the avenue are a few houses of tolerably handsome appearance ; one of then' was then occupied by an exhibition of the pro [169] ductions of the soil and manufactures of Taurida, collected in view of the expected visit of the Emperor. This was a fortunate circumstance for us, and having obtained an authorisation from the governor, we pro- ceeded, with all eagerness, to inspect this curious exhibition.

A number of fine woollen carpets, of native manufacture, occupied the first room ; then came the wines and provisions furnished by the soil of the Crimea. Here might be observed, under their respective and somewhat pompous labels, all the select growths, the introduction of which into this country has been attended with satisfactory results. Here, too, were samples of fish out of the Black Sea, preserved ni a variety of methods, and caviare enveloped in a coating of wax, an infallible recipe, it is asserted, for its thorough preservation.

The industry of the population of the Crimea was represented in this exhibition by a collection of belts in the Circassian fashion, manufactured at Koslof. They are made of morocco, ornamented with little plates in niello, or chased with remarkable skill. There were also a great variety of the silver trinkets, which are manufactured by the Karaïms. Then came saddlery, babouches, and a thousand varieties of those articles which the Tatars are so skilful in producing with their [170] supple and brightly dyed leathers. Fine lambs' fleeces, commonly used as a head dress by the natives, occupied also a compartment in this museum of industry. These beautiful specimens are derived from a peculiar breed of sheep, fed on the steppe to the north of Koslof, and on the plains in the vicinity of Kertch, at the other extremity of the peninsula. The black fleeces can only be procured by the sacrifice of the mother : the ewe is killed before the time of yearning, which accounts for the high price of these skins.

The mineral department of Taurida had sent a number of productions worthy of attention. Two large and handsome cups of porphyry, represented at the same time the produce of the Yaïla range and the talent of a sculptor of the Crimea.

What shall we say of the felts, the stuffs, the cloths, and the cloaks of camels' hair, which filled an entire apartment ? These productions undoubtedly exhibit a remarkable degree of progress, which only requires to be guided at its commencement by the introduction of good models of manufacture. The most significant ornament in these exhibition-rooms were a profusion of wreaths of vine branches laden with grapes, and numbered and ticketed according to their origin. The elegant arrangement and well-ordered classification of this interesting exhibition, were due to the taste of [171] M. Schenschine, with whose kindness we had become acquainted at Odessa.

Ere long, Sympheropol will also have its artesian well. The boring operations have already commenced in the most populous part of the new city, not far from the Salghir. By a singular chance, the boring tube had not reached a depth of twenty-five feet, when it came in contact with a fossil substance, which was soon recognised as being the tooth of a mammoth. Every endeavour was being made to pierce through this piece of hard ivory, which would have delighted a geologist, but only disheartened the workmen, and blunted all their instruments.

We were interested by a visit from M. Montandon, the author of the " Guide to the traveller in the Crimea," a useful work, and the utility of which will be greatly increased when it is put in proper order. M. Montandon, a native of Switzerland, has settled in the peninsula, with which he appears to have become thoroughly acquainted by a conscientious course of study. In the course of a long and interesting conversation, we were enabled to obtain satisfaction as to several doubtful points in our observations, and to correct several notions current among the public which M. Montandon had inserted in his work. For instance, the existence of coal deposits at Miskhor and Phoros, in the southern [172] coast, is a fact which should not, it appeared to us, be admitted in the mineralogical statistics of the Crimea. The same may be observed relative to the coal, said to have been procured from Terenair, on an estate situated ten versts from Sympheropol. A special visit to all these places, and an attentive examination of the specimens collected, convinced us that this coal, so anxiously and justly desired, to the eye of the cool observer, dwindles into lignite, and that frequently of an inferior quality.

We had now seen everything in Sympheropol, of which we could not but bear away a favourable impression, so eager had all been to show us every attention; and yet, on our arrival, how many more important subjects of pre-occupation absorbed the entire population of the city. We took our departure on the 21st of September. The Wallachian carriage, which had recently been repaired, was entrusted with the conveyance of our persons, Michael having proceeded in advance with our baggage, in a Tatar waggon. It was only after infinite trouble, that we were enabled to hire three horses from a private inhabitant, there being no post-horses whatever. Our horse lender, who, nevertheless, was not a Jew, and whose rank was far from being a low one, did not disdain to take advantage of a circumstance through which the conveyance of the public was left open to competition. [173] After demanding the price of our horses in advance, at three times the ordinary charge, our friend only sent three horses, and that five hours after the appointed time. At last, however, we found ourselves on the road to Kara-sou-Bazar : some seated in our modest vehicle, others trudging over the plain, and amusing themselves shooting at the birds of prey and hares, with which these regions abound. Thus we went onwards, collecting all the while our scattered reminiscences into a succinct form, as a sort of adieu to Sympheropol, the capital of Taurida, which we were never again to see. While on this subject, let us confess our inability to discover, in the local antiquities of Ak-Metchet, any motive for the adoption of its modern name. No research of ours amongst written authorities has furnished a clue to any con- nected circumstance or distant source of allusion which may have given occasion for the Greek appellation. We contented ourselves accordingly with the conclusion, that the name of Sympheropol, double city, was of modern date, and had been expressly composed for this city.

If we have failed in etymology, we shall make it up in a more important department ; that of statistics. Sympheropol contains about eight thousand inhabitants, although in the best works on geography, not more [174] than half that number is assigned to it. Among this number there are three thousand Tatars, seventeen hundred Germans, four hundred foreigners, and nine hundred Tsigans, the vagrant scourge of the country, attracted thither by the number of markets offering a favourable field for their thieving propensities. The rest of the population is composed of Jews ready to profess any calling ; Armenians trading in woollen fabrics, and Greeks chiefly engaged in a kind of speculation on which it is the duty of the police to keep an eye. The public baths, and some other establishments of an equivocal character, are in the province of these lastnamed individuals. The city contains upwards of nine thousand houses ; it possesses a civil and a military hospital, the latter of considerable magnitude, and consisting of long buildings with only a ground floor. Three Greek churches, a Catholic chapel, an Armenian church, and five mosques, are contained within its walls, in testimony of that wise toleration, which, after the example of ancient Rome, admits within the territory of the empire every creed, as well as every nation. The Protestant religion, which numbers but few fol- lowers, has obtained a temporary asylum in one of the apartments of the hospital. Asa Tatar town, Ak-Metchet could not be without fountains, but the greater number are in ruins, and their conduits broken, or choked up, [175] demand the attention of the government, which, in its turn, is not inclined to refuse it. A basin affording four separate streams of water suffices to supply the wants of the higher portion of the town. In the vicinity of the Salgliir the supply of water is effected by hand, and by means of water carts. We have before referred to an artesian well, which will supersede the necessity of repairing the aqueducts in the new town.

A considerable number of droschkies traverse the town at all hours. These vehicles are extremely fast, and may be hired at a moderate price. In the summer you ride in a droschki wrapped up in a cloak, which preserves you from the dust. In the winter, the mud holes occurring throughout the surface of the city, render the droschki indispensable.

Public instruction is represented in this capital by a gymnasium, connected with the university of Odessa. In 1828, a Tatar normal school was established : it is intended to form teachers for the primary schools, and professors for the university colleges. The pupils in these schools are all sons of moullahs or effendis, the priests and literati of the Nlussulman sect. The Turkish and Arabic languages, together with the Koran, are taught to these youths, and on leaving school they are required to devote six years to the service of the State.


Let us add, that the couriers of the post-office arrive at Sympheropol twice a week. A communication is established by diligences with the two extreme points of the peninsula–Koslof to the west, and Kertch to the east. There is an annual ceremony also, which takes place on the 15th of October, and at which we were unable to be present, viz., the horse races–a useful institution in a country where the breed of horses, so remarkable for their peculiar qualities, should command the attention of the administration. A principal prize of 1,500 roubles, and a second prize of 500, are awarded to the winners. The entire élite of the Tatar population, all intrepid horsemen, assemble in crowds to these fêtes, which are peculiarly congenial to the spirit of the nation.

We have already said a few words relative to the situation of Sympheropol. The city is built on an unsheltered and barren tract ; but standing as it does, on the banks of the Salghir, which flows through a valley filled with beautiful trees, to artists it is worthy a visit. Standing on the stone bridge, the eye ranges over a landscape bounded by lofty mountains ; from this point, the rectangular form of Tchadir–Dagh is seen to the best advantage, distinguishing it no less than its relative height from the rest of the Tauric chain. The situation of this capital is, on the whole, therefore, the best that [177] could have been selected. It stands there as in a centre, accessible from all sides, whether we approach from the steppe, or descend from the mountains, and its directing influence is rapidly communicated by all the roads which start from it, and, with the exception of that to Perecop, extend to every point of the coast, the entire line of which exceeds a hundred and sixty leagues.

We are now once more on the road to Kara–sou–Bazar, a level road, across a succession of plateaux burned up by the sun, with no other specimens of vegetation than tall, yellow, dried–up grass, looking like corn in the month of August—barren plains, deceptive crops, swayed by the winds far around us.

On this road, the pyramidical posts which mark out, over the whole of this country, the passage of the Empress Catherine, are in a better state of preservation and repair than in any other parts : many of them are even protected by a wooden railing. The load is broad, and bordered on either side by a ditch, the state of which gave evidence of some attention being paid to its maintenance in good repair. We were not the only travellers across these plains, and frequently our modest equipage was crossed on the road, or caught up and passed, for the distance was short, and we travelled like true naturalists, examining every place through which we journeyed, and fearlessly indulging in lateral exeursion:s whenever [178] a curious bird, a breach in the earth, or a strange plant should happen to lead them aside from the beaten path.

The only village met with on the course of this journey is a Russian one, called Zouiskaïa, from the name of a rivulet, the Zouïa, running in the midst of willows. This water–course is one of the four tributaries flowing into the Salghir from the southern mountains. As soon as the Zouïa has been crossed, the traveller has to skirt round the northern declivities of the mountains until he reaches the borders of a semicircular valley, overlooked by a number of calcareous plateaux of considerable height. At the bottom of this narrow basin the various branches of the Kara-sou, whose Tatar name signifies black water, are scattered, working their way down to the Salghir. The town of Kara-sou-Bazar lies in the centre of this wild and chalky valley : its numerous minarets, vieing in height with the cypresses and poplars in the gardens, and its irregular houses, interspersed among thick clumps of walnut and fruit trees, invest it with the same thoroughly eastern character which we had remarked about Baghtcheh-Saraï, although there is here a certain tincture of Christian colouring.

Meanwhile, our good Michael had had some trouble in providing lodgings for us. Two very small rooms in a Russian house, for the accommodation of carriers, formed our head-quarters. One of these rooms was at [179] once converted into a common sitting room, the other was supplied with the layers of hay necessary to transform it into a bivouac. Having completed these arrangements, we set out to inspect the town.


Next to Sevastopol, Kara-sou-Bazar presents the greatest population of any town in the Crimea. This large commercial town numbers no less than 15,000 inhabitants. The streets, which are muddy and ill- paved, are filled with an immense number of shops, protected from the sun and rain by sheds, supported on rickety pillars. The prospect thus presented is more picturesque than elegant. According to the oriental custom already referred to, the traders in each description of article are gathered together in the same quarter of the town. In one part provisions, in another, foreign produce ; then woollen goods, woven fabrics, and the inevitable babouches, dazzling the customer with their bright colours. Numerous coffee-shops are collected together in the same street, the largest and least rugged in the town ; and within these abodes of rest, may be studied the characteristics of the entire population. Each coffee-shop is divided into square compartments, bounded round by a wooden balustrade : a passage in the middle serves as the common gangway ; you may enter at pleasure any one of these open pens in which the idlers are folded. Squatted upon the divan [180] which surrounds the narrow enclosure; with a chafing dish in the centre, and an assembly of babouches left upon the floor, the Tatars, Armenians and Karaims spend entire hours smoking in silence through their long pipes of cherry stick. Scarcely is a word uttered amongst these groups of majestic statues, except here and there, when some expression passes from one to the other in a low tone. What docile and excellent models did Ieaf!et find in these silent taverns, that seemed dedicated to slumber ! How many fine grave faces sat there for his pencil, beneath their fantastically twisted turbans, or the characteristic lamb's-wool cap of the Tatar ! It was especially easy, amidst this eastern imperturbability, to seize the delicate shades of expression impressed on the physiognomy of these various races, so easily distinguishable. The Armenians, for the most part, unite with their calm expression of countenance a smoother skin than the Tatars. A more silky beard, a softer glance, and a certain degree of obesity, the mark of indolent habits, distinguish them from the race of Mussulmans, whose bold and independent deport- ment and expressive countenances, lined with premature wrinkles, we have already described. The most striking point about the Karaïms is their scrupulous attention to their attire. They wear large robes of a dark colour, falling about then) in simple folds, which impart a [181] solemn and grave character to their appearance. Their profile has something dignified in it, notwithstanding its resemblance to the Jewish type : a well-shaven chin, and delicate hands, which they are fond of adorning with rings, are the remaining characteristics of these Jewish sectarians in the more elevated class. All these people, differing so completely in manners, genius and habits, nevertheless associate peaceably amidst the fragrant clouds of the coffee-shops, and frequently amuse themselves together at a gaine of backgammon, conversing without noise or emotion, and sipping, at long intervals, a few drops of the excellent coffee, which is prepared in these modest establishments.

The lower class of people, also, are not without their sensual gratification. What fine studies for the painter Varied attitudes, brilliant colours, expressive faces, youth and age, refinement and coarseness, fun and gravity, are mingled together in the groups seated together in the evening beneath the sheds in front of the Tatar cook-shops. These active cooks were scarcely able to keep up a sufficient supply of a species of viand to which all seemed particularly devoted. Mutton roasted upon skewers, and thin cakes, appeared to form the basis of all these al-fresco repasts : next to mutton, the cheapest thing in this country is tobacco ; and these two commodities suffice to complete the happiness of this easily contented people.


Quitting the central quarter, and exploring the remote streets branching out in the direction of the Kara-sou and the Tunas, the two streams which enclose the town, you will meet, amidst a profusion of tufted and luxuriant trees, a number of huts, whose disorderly arrangement and dilapidated condition are wonderfully assorted with the rustic and picturesque scene before you. In these suburbs the inhabitants are not so much upon their guard, and it is not at all rare to surprise, through a door treacherously ajar, a group of women, seated on the floor of their enclosures. These surprises are usually followed by a sudden disorderly flight, and the old women closing the rear are the only individuals seen by the indiscreet intruder. A number of pretty children, with their smart dresses and determined air, generally, on these occasions, remain in possession of the field, and gaze with eager curiosity at the stranger from behind corners, ready to scamper off at the first alarm.

Kara-sou-Bazar, lying between its two rivers, which sometimes overflow their banks, is nightly enveloped in white mists, said to be pernicious to the health, and to engender epidemic fevers. Another evil of which the inhabitants complain, is the reflection from the enormous mass of white rocks, called by the Tatars Ak-Kaïa, stretching like a wall along the north side of the valley. Irr summer, when the rays of the sun strike upon this ridge, they are reflected with such [183] intensity that the temperature is considerably increased, not to mention the injury done to the sight from the excessive light.

Though the rocks of Ak-Kaïa are unpleasant neigh- bours for Kara-sou-Bazar, it must be confessed that a more favourable vantage ground for obtaining a view of the town, and every house in it, could not be conceived. From the summit of this lofty terrace, the plan of the great city lies before the spectator in all its details, and he may at the same time indulge in guessing at the mysteries of these enclosed dwellings,-- at the internal life of the Mussulman, who raises a barrier between the domestic sanctuary and the public way, which the most obstinate curiosity cannot penetrate. From this elevation we beheld a labyrinth of streets intersecting each other without order, winding and crossing in the midst of upwards of seven hundred houses. Twenty-four minarets raise their spires from the various quarters of the city. Not far from the principal mosque may be seen the elegant green dome of the orthodox Greek church. A little further on, the eye discovers two Catholic churches ; one Roman, the other Armenian, while the evening breeze wafts upwards to your ears the strange harmony of the Israelite hymns from a neighbouring synagogue. The remarkable edifice, of quadrangular form, in the centre of the city, is a [184] large khan, a kind of fortified bazaar, stretching out its rows of shops with slender galleries, rickety balconies, and worm-eaten roofs, round a court-yard. Here, again, amidst the busy turmoil of trade, you meet with Mussulman indolence squatting, and bent round upon itself. This khan is an ancient and powerful structure ; the name of the minister of one of the Tatar sovereigns, by whom it was founded in 1656, has been handed down. Defended externally by its four formidable walls, presenting no other aperture than a row of narrow loop-holes, this khan has but one entrance, which is strongly guarded by a gate studded with iron. Such a fortress could not but have proved impregnable to the Tatars, who, taking advantage of public dissensions, threatened to seize the town and its treasures. Between these walls the rich traders found a safe shelter for their wealth, while the assailants, exposed to a murderous fire from the besieged, were compelled to retreat no richer than they had come.

Our good fortune, together with the assistance of a few roubles, procured us admission one evening to witness a religious ceremony of the Tatars ; a strange and fantastic rite, of which it would be vain to seek a rational explanation : we mean the dance of the Dervishes ; an exhibition rather grotesque than impressive in character, and of which we obtained a sight, to the [185] satisfaction of our curiosity, and the benefit of the good moullahs. The performance is after this fashion :--

At about nine in the evening, twenty bearded Dervishes, all old men, came and placed themselves in the middle of the mosque, standing upright, and forming a circle, in the midst of which stood a venerable moullah. Each old man thereupon commenced singing, and turning round on his own axis with moderate rapidity, while the moullah in the centre turned more rapidly in an opposite direction, and raising his voice above the others. By degrees, all these human spindles twirled faster and faster, and their nasal chaunt grew louder and more strongly accentuated. At certain intervals, the whole circle of Dervishes bowed down with mechanical precision before the moullah. This first proceeding being concluded, one of the Dervishes placed himself in the middle of this mysterious corps de ballet, and stretching out his arms, began to turn and turn incessantly, with the rapidity of a peg-top. It was no longer a man you were looking at, but a whirlwind. Imagine this martyrdom continuing for twenty minutes, while the troop of satellites around are turning, bowing down to the earth, suddenly rising again, and yelling like savages, always addressing themselves to the left side. When the first performer is exhausted, two others take his place, and begin the same performance, till they are [186] succeeded by two others. The ceremony lasts an hour, at the end of which all depart, the pious actors staggering, the spectators bewildered, and all equally stupefied by this absurd exhibition.

The next day we bent our steps towards the source of the great Kara-sou, situated at a distance of some versts from the town. On our way, we observed a remarkable effect of the lightning. The electric fluid having struck a minaret, passed along the little door in the upper balcony, and proceeding down the narrow staircase within the structure, reached the earth, though not without splitting the wall along its entire course. The ruins, which still remain held together by strong cement, appear suspended in the air, and ready to tumble down at the least shock. On emerging from the city, the ruins of a cemetery attracted our attention for a short time. We saw nothing of any note, except the tomb of a Pasha ; an octagonal monument, surrounded by an arcade, not without elegance in the design. No sooner had we proceeded beyond a little hill at the extremity of the valley, than all at once, on the summit of a height of some magnitude, an edifice was presented to our view of a stately appearance : this was the residence constructed for the reception of the Empress Catherine. An extremely fertile valley, filled with clumps of trees, at the feet of which flows [187] the river, forms the first plan of the truly Italian landscape which is here unfolded. In the distance, behind the white outlines of the large mansion, are seen the grand massive forms of the mountains. Once out of this valley, however, and the scenery in the upper plateau is as rugged and barren as the rest of the surrounding country. A beautiful spring, pouring into a rocky basin, attracted our attention in a neighbouring ravine. This fresh and limpid water is shrouded beneath the shadow of four gigantic elms ; on all the branches immediately over the spring we observed a multitude of rags of all colours. These are all votive offerings, wretched testimonials of the cures operated upon by, or at least sought from, the waters of the spring, whose medical properties are in high repute among the people of the country. Several silver coins, the offerings of rich invalids whom the spring had cured, respected by the cupidity of the wayfarer, might be clearly seen at the bottom of the reservoir.

The source of the Kara-sou lies in the bosom of a rustic valley. One of the springs flows down from a vast arcade of calcareous rocks, making its way out of an immense natural reservoir. The second spring, situated at some distance, bubbles forth from a rocky fissure. Besides the attractions of a pleasant walk, of shooting, and pursuing our usual course of observations, [188] [189] whose companionship, if it was of no other service, protected us, by the shouts and other means adopted in the country to that effect, from the savage dogs which threatened to rush upon us every time we approached a habitation.

On our return to the confined apartments in which we were lodged, we employed ourselves in concerting measures for proceeding to Theodosia. The post–house was scarcely in a condition to supply us with horses, and we needed all the zeal of our faithful arnaout to obtain the number we required on hire.

At last, on the 24th of September, after carefully gathering together our newly made collections, we left the great Tatar city. Meanwhile there had been an entire change in the weather, and we were inundated with torrents of rain throughout the journey. The direction of the road is a little to the east, cutting through the base of the last declivities on the north side of the mountains. Only two stations occur before reaching Theodosia ; Bouroundoutskaia and Krenitchka. The plain was soon converted into a deep bed of liquid mud, through which it was impossible to advance. At first, our intention was to make a stay of a few hours at the village of Eski–lKrim, or Old Crim : such is the name given to the ruins of what was once an extensive town, said to have been the capital of the peninsula; [190] but with this positive deluge pouring over the country, it was impossible we could derive any advantage from visiting this spot amidst impassable roads and flooded ruins. Accordingly, we left this once flourishing and now deserted locality for a future visit, and after procuring fresh horses at a station, which for once was well supplied, we hastened to seek a refuge within the walls of Theodosia.

In a few hours we reached this port : a steep declivity brought us .from the steppe down to the beach, upon which is situated the pretty city called indifferently by either of its two names, Theodosia or Kaffa ; the one ancient Greek, the other derived from the Turkish language. When we had passed a square tower still of stately appearance, and the ruins of an ancient fort which had once commanded the sea shore, we came upon a miserable avenue of stunted trees, and thence entered a paved street, lined with elegant porticoes, and painted houses, in a style of architecture seldom seen in this country. We at once perceived, from the peculiar character of these edifices, that Theodosia still preserved the memory of its once powerful masters. An entire street, running parallel with the shore, is completely Italian ; an arcade extending before the houses, as in the streets of Bologna. In the streets at right angles to this, you recognise the Russian [191] character, and ascending still higher, you find yourself in the Tatar suburbs ; but the city, properly so called, the active, working city, still remains Genoese.

We must confess, however, that the state of discomfort we were in, from the cold rain and north wind, that seemed to enter our very bones, somewhat spoiled our relish for these historical memorials. By good fortune, we obtained timely shelter in the Hotel de Constantinople. A German widow did the honours of this comfortable house, where we forgot our fatigue amidst the gentle warmth imparted by an immense stove, conveying heat to four apartments at once.

This then was Theodosia. The site upon which this city stands is in the form of a cresent, and slopes gradually upwards. It faces the rising sun, and com- mands a spacious roadstead. The winds from the east and south-east only are to be feared by the merchant vessels anchoring before the city. The bottom is sufficiently firm to afford a good hold for anchors ; two wooden moles and a number of boats are employed in landing.

The history of this celebrated city of the Crimea, would be the history of the whole peninsula, for Theodosia has borne a part in every phasis of the aggrandisement or decline of this ancient land. We have now to concern ourselves only with its present [192] state, and our excursions were productive of sufficient interest to permit us to record even the smallest details of our daily observations. To complete the description of this city, of which we have already sketched the principal feature, we must add that the three quarters of Theodosia, so distinct in their separate characteristics, are far from filling the limits of the ancient Genoese city; it is now extended at ease over a space scarcely half of that which it formerly occupied, pressed in by its boundary walls. The pretty Italian street of which we have spoken, presents beneath its narrow arcades a considerable number of shops, in which the Karaïm Jews and Armenians carry on their business. They are well educated people, and have quite the appearance of honest dealing tradesmen. The upper stories of the houses in this street, which is, properly speaking, the high street of Theodosia, appear to be occupied by the public authorities and the employés.

The Greek population, amounting in this city to a very large number, occupy the central portion, and inhabit modern houses, constructed with some degree of elegance. Each family lives separately, and the greater number of houses have gardens. That which most strikes the observer in this numerous Greek population, is the beauty of the women ; and there are many families in which the rigid perfection of the ancient Greek type is [193] still preserved, embellished by an indefinable expression of liveliness and coquetry, which seems borrowed from some great city of the west. Though the Tatars also appear among the inhabitants of Theodosia, it is clear that they are no longer masters there, and that attracted within those ancient walls by the necessities of commerce, they have been compelled to make a sacrifice of their habits. The separate suburb inhabited by them, presents no single feature of the physiognomy peculiar to a Tatar village. The structures of clay and thatch which constitute their dwellings, are ranged in a regular line, and in an order to which the Tatar is totally a stranger. Ascending the hill, beyond this assemblage of buildings, nothing is seen but a large number of wooden mills with eight sails. The mechanism of these mills is contained in so small a space, that the whole structure is reduced almost to portable dimensions. We may here observe, that none of the hills forming a circle round Theodosia, produce so much as a single bush.

Among the inhabitants of this city a considerable number of Nogaïs Tatars are also to be found, carrying on their ordinary craft of cart and wheelwrights ; they have no other dwellings than their madgiars, with enormous dromedaries ruminating close by. The Armenians occupy several khans of considerable magnitude, and lodge in apartments above their richly stocked warehouses.


Two immense squares, parallel with each other, and divided by a single row of houses, terminate on the Italian street, with which they form a right angle. In one of these squares, that situated to the south, is held the market of Theodosia ; here, amidst a noisy crowd, are sold a variety of wares, and an abundance of fish. The good-natured phlegmatic faces of the Germans may here be seen, bringing from the neighbourhood of Kara- sou-Bazar their produce, now become indispensable to all the great cities of southern Russia. At the foot of the mountains between the Zouïa and the Kara-sou, to the right of the road from Sympheropol, we might have seen three important settlements, reminding one of the borders of the Rhine. Neusatz, Friedenthal and Rosenthal are the names of these three colonies, embracing a population of more than eight hundred inhabitants, all devoted to agriculture. These Germans excel chiefly in dairy produce and bread stuffs ; only at their hands can the refined inhabitants of the cities seek those agreeable accessaries to the tea-table to be found in all houses of a superior class.

Another square, situated close to this large market, and of which we shall speak anon, is deserted and silent. Not long since, this space, which is now level, contained the most beautiful mosque in Theodosia, as well as the most sumptuous of its baths. The mosque [195] was an exact copy of St. Sophia in Constantinople ; and Theodosia was long called the Constantinople of the Crimea. The interior of the baths was lined throughout with marble. The whole of this noble pile of masonry has disappeared, and its place is now occupied by a few wretched remains, heaped together upon the ground, where the foundations of the two demolished edifices may still be traced. Some symptoms of conservative intentions with respect to these buildings were at first exhibited, and there had even been a certain amount of expenditure towards their maintenance and restoration ; but winter coming on, with its accompanying hardships to the poor without employment, they were set to clear this place, and the fine baths and splendid mosques disappeared from the surface of the earth, the Tatars themselves assisting in the demolition of the St. Sophia of the Crimea. Its marble pilasters, ornamented with arabesques, now serve as a door–step to some Italian tavern in the neighbourhood, where the sailors from Genoa and Ragusa get drunk with foreign wines, and sing their national melodies.

Everything in this demolished city serves a different purpose from that for which it was intended. The majority of the mosques have been converted into churches, dedicated to various forms of worship, and some have even been profanely applied to domestic [196] uses. The present beautiful Armenian church was a large mosque, and a golden cross now surmounts its elegantly proportioned dome. The isolated minaret rising to such a height towards the sky, has lost its crowning ornament, and in the place of its spire stands a belfry of green copper. Another mosque has met with a nobler fate in its adversity, and now contains the museum of Theodosia. It is an interesting establishment, and will be mentioned hereafter, though unfortunately at no great length. We have already given a general sketch of the city, which, as the reader knows, is confined, though by no means narrowly, within the ancient boundary traced by the Genoese. Towards the southern headland are the ruins of a fortification, quite as wide in extent as the city itself. The citadel which the Genoese had constructed here, commanded both the city and the hays. The numerous compartments of masonry still left standing on the declivity of these hills, have been appropriated by the modern city to the construction of a lazaretto, upon a plan as costly as it is well devised. A number of well-ventilated buildings, suitably isolated, are scattered amidst trees, and the view of the sea enjoyed by the prisoners must considerably relieve the tedium of their captivity.

Spacious warehouses, a large number of buildings, in which the merchandise is laid out and purified, a separate [197] quarter for the reception of the unfortunate sufferers attacked with plague, and a little cemetery close by, in which lie buried some who, on entering those gates, cherished the hope of leaving them, form the principal objects on which the eye rests, when, from the top of the hill, we look down upon this fine sanitary establishment. This description of Theodosia, the city beloved by the gods, as it was called by the Greeks of antiquity, will be complete, when we have said a word relative to the vast barracks, surrounded by covered galleries, where the soldier is sheltered from the weather. Theodosia possesses also a public garden, yet not so public but that its gates were kept constantly closed. The baths, our beloved Turkish baths, are in great number ; and, as may be imagined, we hastened thither without delay. But judge of our horror on discovering, through the dim obscurity of the bath room, a poor fellow suffering from Egyptian ophthalmia, the only bather in the place. To get rid of the unpleasant impression produced by this wretched apparition, let us betake ourselves to the most cheerful quarter of the city. A handsome and well-proportioned house in this quarter, belonging to M. Amoretti, had been unanimously selected for the reception of the Emperor, on his approaching visit. The absence of any intelligence from the west of the Crimea rendered the precise epoch of this august visit a matter [198] of complete uncertainty. M. Amoretti's house was, however, quite ready : a complete set of furniture, to which every one had contributed the most precious objects he possessed, adorned a suite of apartments, rendered remarkable by almost too great a profusion of frescoes. The Emperor might arrive at any moment, and the anxious inhabitants awaited only to see the smoke of the steamer, to rush down to the shore with shouts and hurrahs.

This city contains 4,500 inhabitants. A Greek church, a mosque, an Armenian Catholic church, a synagogue for the karaïms, another for the rabbinists, and several pretty fountains, constitute all that remains of its ancient and prodigious magnificence. The sequel of this narrative will show all that it has to regret in the past.

We will now relate the mode in which our time was spent during our stay at Theodosia, and how our visit to the historic soil of Taurida terminated.





Men on Horses

[199] RESOLVED, as we were, to devote several days to the study of such an interesting city as Theodosia, and one so filled with subjects worthy of serious attention, from the very first day of our arrival we set to work, each in his peculiar department. The geologist and zoologist daily wandered afar, in quest of treasures, which were every evening [200] brought into the common laboratory, augmenting our already plentiful collections. Our studious botanist found the utmost difficulty in obtaining a few plants, to such a degree is the soil in the neighbourhood of the city burnt up by the sun, and choked by the dust. As to sketches, and curious observations, we were in the spot of all Taurida the most likely to yield an abundant harvest. At the hour when the whole city is given up to the luxury of the siesta, we assembled at our favourite resort, the Museum of Theodosia, to which the curator, Dr. Graperon, a French physician, was kind enough to procure us frequent admittance. This museum is established within the cool cupola of an ancient mosque. It contains an interesting collection of works of art, the valuable memorials of the fertile and ingenious mind of the ancient Greek and Genoese colonies. The scutcheons of the Genoese may almost be said to pave the streets of Theodosia; and you find, appropriated to the most vulgar uses, the sculptured armorial bearings of the Dorias and of the most illustrious families, the armed horseman of the bank of St. George, and the arms of Kaffa, being always found united with those of their masters. But let us penetrate into the interior of the museum. We will first direct our attention to the guardians of the entrance, two lions couchant, of gigantic size, sculptured in marble, with their heads turned [2O1] in the same direction. With these is connected an entire history : long buried at the bottom of the sea, not far from Kertch and Taman in the Cimmerian Bosphorus, these marbles have been worn down by the action of the waves ; but much of the well-understood detail in the modelling of the flanks of the terrible quadrupeds is still preserved. Entering beneath the cupola, we will pass in review the various objects it contains, and which, though displayed with taste, may be charged with want of method in their arrangement. First, here is a marble pedestal, brought from Anapa, a city of Asia : this pedestal must have supported a statue of Ceres, for it was by a woman, Aristonice, daughter to Xenocritus, dedicated to Ceres, that this votive monument was erected. The next object is a Genoese epitaph. This fragment, from a church dating in the year 1523, proves, and only on this account is it interesting, that even after the conquest by the Turks, in 1475, a few Genoese were spared, who remained in Kaffa, where they were allowed to grow old, and die not unhonoured. Farther on, let us examine this Genoese stone : it dates from the time when the consul Grimaldi was completing the fortifications of Kaffa, which were commenced seven years previously by Godfrey de Zoaglio. A Latin inscription, engraved in gothic characters, will inform you that a tower, forming part of this line of fortification, was especially dedicated to the [202] sovereign Pontiff Clement VI., in gratitude for the crusade commanded by the holy father forty years previously. A little beyond, you may contemplate the griffin which formed part of the armorial bearings of Panticapum, the modern city of Kertch, as is shown by the medals of the period. This basso relievo, in white marble, is executed with remarkable skill. The griffin, upright upon his robust legs, is spreading out a pair of large wings, and a crest bristling with spikes.

Soldier with a Rifle

Two immense amphor, standing more than five feet high, several valuable objects found in khourgans, viz., a small head of a bull in gold, encased in a little band of enamel, several little clay images, and lastly, a beautiful head and bust of Venus, a number of fragments of earthenware vases, ornamented with well executed designs, and covered with an indestructible glazing, and a valuable cabinet of medals, complete the collection of antiquities in this newly-formed museum. M. Graperon has not hesitated to place beside these venerable relics of past ages the curious productions of nature, ever young and creative, while the greatest artists die and are forgotten, they and their works. We allude to a collection of the most curious fossils found in the Crimea, and which alone might induce a disciple of Cuvier to pass many days in this modest museum. Having disposed of the antiquities, we paid an especial [203] visit to the lazaretto, and the order and arrangement of the several departments of this immense establishment engrossed our attention for a considerable length of time. To connect the city with the lazaretto, it was necessary to cut a road through the side of a hill : in excavating the earth for this purpose, innumerable fragments of that delicate pottery called Etruscan, were discovered. Several vases of a beautiful design, and almost uninjured, have been taken out of this richly fraught soil ; and we ourselves, in less than an hour, succeeded, without any trouble, in collecting a considerable quantity of these interesting fragments. Were we to give way to antiquarian zeal, the whole mound would be ransacked. In the midst of these remains we discovered, at the same time, a multitude of shells, denoting a favourite article of food among a maritime people long since swallowed up in the tomb. Now, as then, the seashore in the vicinity of Theodosia yields this popular fare, and of late years the fishery, in respect of this article, has been subjected to wise regulations.

A portion of the quarantine has been erected upon the ruins of a famous monastery dedicated to St. Basil. This wealthy community, protected by the strength of its position, had long resisted the revolutions of which Kaffa was the theatre ; but at last the storm became too powerful, and the holy community was compelled [204] to acknowledge itself conquered. If tradition is to be believed, its valuable library, the result of a long and studious accumulation of the treasures of science, theology and literature, was dispersed at its downfall. Such excursions as these afforded an abundance of subjects for meditation, and features worthy of remembrance. But scarcely had we returned to the new city, and the bustling street which monopolises the whole movement of that city, than all associations connected with the past were swept away by the ever-varying spectacle before us. The people, the buildings, the customs, all are new. Every instant a fresh aspect is presented : now the troops pass, amidst the sound of martial music ; then the caravans, of which Theodosia is the rendezvous, traverse the city : the noise and movement are endless. The expected arrival of the Emperor had revived within these ancient walls all the Asiatic magnificence with which it was once familiar, and the caravans of the wealthy natives were all directing their steps towards this privileged spot. The representatives of Kara-sou- Bazar especially displayed the most costly richness in their attire. These Tatars, all of them moullahs, hadjis, or efb ndis, arrived in little parties, grouped together in their national vehicle, the madgiar, drawn by camels. On approaching the city they alighted, and proceeded to some hospitable khan, where they immediately selected a [205] spot in the shade under the broad heavens, so completely has this race of people preserved their antipathy for any mode of life which is not in the free and open air. When once they are installed, they begin smoking, and go on from morning till night, until the arrival of the expected vessel rouses them from their repose. In this instance the expected vessel, which was to shed so much joy over Kaffa, failed to show itself in the bay : the route of the Imperial progress had been subsequently altered.


The mosques of Kaffa are the same as mosques everywhere else ; but of the Armenian church we must say a few words. It bears evidence of having been com- menced at some distant date, and completed at a later period. The whole portion nearest the ground bears a peculiar stamp, and dates probably from the 13th century, when the first Armenians received permission to establish themselves in Kaffa, which became a refuge for these interesting victims of Tatar conquest. In the upper part the Bysantine style is followed for the completion of the edifice, and thus, begun as a church, it became a mosque. The cupola, the minaret, and the sculptured door at the end of a narrow path, leading, doubtless, to the house of the moullah, remain as distinctive marks of the mahomedan temple : but subsequently, returning to this sanctuary, the Armenians have purified it by a [206] multitude of crosses, sculptured in the stone of the building. The minaret was now transformed into a steeple, and the ecclesiastical bell resounds from whence the mousselim poured forth is screeching chaunt to the four cardinal points. The most striking thing in these Catholic precincts, thus existing in peaceful concord with their profane vicinage, is the cemetery, filled with stones and marble gravestones: on these tombs in engraved some emblem denoting the profession of the person interred,--scissors for the tailor, scales for the merchant, and the special tools of their craft for the various artisans. These specimens of popular heraldry, which is not without its pride, occur at every step.

Meanwhile,the season was advancing, and the temperature daily growing colder. A parching easterly wind swept through the city, which was gradually assuming the habits and appearances of winter. Our excursions already begun to be less agreeable, though our zeal continued undiminished. We undertook in the beginning of our stay and interesting excursion to the south-east of Kaffa, not far from the village called Koktebel, a pretty rural place, separated form the city by a range of large hillocks. Koktebel is situated exactly at the commencement of the great chain of mountains of the Crimea. It is from this spot that its beautiful undulations commence, gradually bristling up into lofty peaks, [207] and stretching out into immense plateaux, which know no decline till they sink into the valley of Sou-Dagh, whence they again rise more majestic than ever. The vicinity of Koktebel afforded our naturalist an abundance of valuable fossils ; and this, indeed, was the object of the excursion, which may be accomplished in a day. A visit purely of an archmological interest brought us to a city, once the metropolis of the peninsula, now but the shadow of itself. Staroi-Krim in Russian and Eski- Krim in Tatar are the names borne in the present day by this ancient capital : both signify the same thing– Old Crimea.

Whether or not this city, which was long wealthy and populous, be built on the site of an ancient city, dating from the first Greek emigration, is a question which we have no time to discuss. In either case, a visit to its ruins is not less deserving the attention of the traveller. The day we arrived at Kaffa we had, greatly against our will, passed the road which leads to Eski-Krim, for the torrents of rain, inundating the country, rendered all excursions impossible. Accordingly, we were compelled to retrace our steps, and travel a tolerable number of versts to make up our loss. It must be confessed that little is left of this city, once so great and powerful that it was without a rival in the Crimea. A little colony of Bulgarians have established [208] themselves, as best they could, among these dilapidated ruins, and have taken up their dwellings in the midst of mosques, baths, ramparts and tombs, the shapeless and mutilated remains of the past. On this spot once rose a fortress ; its fallen towers may yet be counted, and the double trench with which it was surrounded is clearly traceable. A bath and a mosque, which must have been magnificent, are still erect, though injured by time : in the latter edifice, the gates of which are beautifully sculptured, public worship is even now carried on. The principal external feature of this building is a set of columns, covered with arabesque and inscriptions, while in the interior the eye is attracted by six elegant pillars, supporting the vaulted roof and the sanctuary, in which the moullah stands. The whole mosque is one of the most elegant and diversified specimens of the Oriental style. With some attention you may still detect traces of the delicate, and at the same time brilliant tints in which the light ornamental work was painted. Starai- Krim possesses also its khourgans, the steady and irreproachable witnesses of an origin long prior to the Tatar conquest. They were broken open by the conquerors, and since then they have remained closed. Their treasures, if ever they contained any, are lost. These conical mounds contained, as the specimens before us showed beyond a doubt, a sort of vaulted cavity in masonry, or [209] a simple enclosure of stone-work, covered over with a large slab, supporting the weight of the mound.

The time rapidly slipped away amidst these instructive studies, while every thing combined to press us towards the distant object of our voyage. It was necessary that we should take leave of Theodosia, where we had enjoyed a long interval of rest, and experienced the fortifying effects of a healthy regimen. The lack of beds was scarcely felt by us, for we had long become inuured to sleeping on the hard floor. At the same time that we were planning a desertion of this comfortable state, we still took every advantage of it.

Every thing had been managed for the best. Our caravan had been completed at Theodosia, and we had even received a short visit from M. Le Play, who had come form the banks of the Don, where he had been so zealously at work, to pursue his mineralogical researches on these shores. When every thing was ready, we all, with the exception of Michael, who was still suffering from an obstinate fever, set off in excellent cue, and taking the road to Kertch, we found ourselves, on the 4th of October, once more on the steppe, whirling rapidily towards the east, and this time well srapped up in our cloaks, which scarcely proved a protection, however, from the cutting wind.

A more steady-looking rear guard, consisting of a large [210] madgiar, with its team of dromedaries, conveyed our baggage and the guide, whose condition required a gentler pace. A barren, uncultivated country, inhabited only by flocks of sea birds, and from time to time, a German village, distinguishable at a distance by its stacks of corn, monuments of the industry of the hardworking colonists, composed the monotonous spectacle constantly before our eyes. At Porpatch, the first stage on our road, we found a considerable assemblage of Tatars and Germans, who had brought their horses to the post-house, with a view to supply an expected extraordinary demand. While some of us were engaged in conversation with these good-natured quiet Germans, in their holiday clothes, with their houses in brass-ornamented harness, our naturalists were dispersed in the environs on a fruitful quest. here they were attracted by a number of splendid bustards, lumbering in their flight, but so cautious as to lead the sportsman many a weary and fruitless chase. Yonder, in that narrow quagmire, a variety of shells were revealed to the delighted gaze of the zoologist. Meanwhile, the process of changing horses was going on with more than usual celerity. Arghin was our second station: this post-house i situated on a plateau, at the extremity of an almost imperceptible slope in the steppe. From this point the level of the country continues to sink [211] as far as Kertch, while to the right, that is to say in the southern part, a hilly tract of some elevation completely conceals the sea, which bathes it on the opposite side. Though the plain is here less arid than in the vicinity of Theodosia, it is not less deserted : the tall grass which waves over its surface shelters a large number of hares and bustards, but not a single human being has taken up his abode in this-wilderness. Several Tatar villages, however, were at one time to be found on this road, and we passed through their ruins, which seemed to have been the effect of an earthquake. Nothing has been left standing, neither houses, mosques, nor sepulchres, and the grass has completely grown over all these ruins, as though ages of desolation had swept over this gloomy region. Yet these Tatar villages, which seem to have been destroyed by some sudden visitation, were still inhabited as late as 1833. A fearful dearth, extending over the steppes, drove the inhabitants to a more fertile region ; tempests and wintry winds have done' the rest, investing these dilapidated fragments with an air of antiquity that would deceive the most ex. perienced. Eighteen versts further on, we passed across a broad ditch, with a natural rampart of earth on the east side. This is a genuine relic of antiquity. The trench, which extends north and south across the entire peninsula of Kerteh, in the direction of its greatest breadth, [212] has retained the name of the rampart of Akos ; it was dug as the last defence of the diminished kingdom of Bosphorus : this outwork only preceded, by a few years, the downfall of this ancient power. The rampart of Akos, no longer needed as a defence, now serves as a shelter and halting place for the caravans, which, in tempestuous weather, take up their station along it, ranging themselves to the east or to the west, according to the direction of the wind.

As we approached- Kertch we came upon a tract covered with tumuli. Nowhere previously had we seen them in such numbers ; and, as though to add to the effect of this landscape, covered with conical mounds, the hills in the vicinity assume the same appearance ; they are covered with coralite rocks, forming a natural assemblage of elevations, resembling khourgans. All these tumuli have been broken open and searched, and indeed there is something mournful in the disordered appearance they present, with the breaches in them still gaping open. The accurately-rounded lines of the khourgans, the only spectacle presented by the steppe, become, at last, pleasing to the eye of the traveller, as he accustoms himself to discover a certain harmony in the arrangement of these scattered cones, all children of one family. Is it not afflicting to see all these dilapidated tombs in the neighbourhood of Kertch, with their rounded tops [213] knocked off, and presenting a sort of yawning crater, surrounded with crumbling fragments and whiteish earth? Undoubtedly these curious searches, with a view to enrich a museum, or bring ancient times nearer to the modern, are of advantage to science, but would it not be a mark of respect towards the past, and even towards science itself, to restore these ransacked tumuli to their former shape and appearance ? They, too, are monuments, and of the least perishable character : their preservation appears to us a duty–nay, more ; might not the tumulus, which has yielded up its treasures from their ineffectual concealment, be protected and defended by some mark through which it could be recognised, an inscription, for instance, stating what were the objects discovered and transferred to the museum ? Thus, an easy corelation would be established between the object and its source, and a useful piece of information would be afforded the student of history, at the saine time that a much to be regretted mutilation would be repaired.

After this digression, which we submit with all modesty to the good taste as well as excellent sense which characterize the government of Kertch, let us now speak of that city which we entered, as night was falling, perishing with cold, and suffering the sharp pangs of hunger.

The traveller enters the ancient capital of the kingdom [214] of Bosphorus by a large and elegant street : a roadway rising towards the middle, a flagged footway, and buildings of the same soft porous calcareous stone found in Odessa, are the first features presented by the city. Arcades, columns, balustrades, and a thousand other architectural devices, point it out as one of our cities. Here, however, we must praise the wise proportions observed in the construction of the streets, sufficient for a large amount of traffic, without presenting those exaggerated dimensions which convert a city into a desert. The principal street is intersected at right angles by several lateral streets, all equally remarkable for the good order in which they are kept. In one of these streets we found, after a long search, the Bosphorus Hotel, Bospheri-Tractir, recommended to us as the best, and haply, the only place in Kertch where we were likely to get lodgings. And what lodgings ! Alas ! judge of our wretchedness at finding that the only piece of furniture approaching to a bed, was the fatal billiard table, of which we treasured the remembrance since our journey in Wallachia. The German family–a very charming family, let us add–by whom the Bosphorus Hotel is kept, have lost none of the traditional slowness of their nation. It was several hours before we could get a fire lighted in an immense stove built into the house, and which does not begin [215] to give out any heat till it has been lighted twenty- four hours. Even the classical carbonade only made its appearance after a tedious interval. When we requested some substitute for three large window panes, whose absence caused us to partake too freely of the cold night air, our conduct was considered extraordinary. Window panes indeed ! From that moment we could get n.o one to wait on us. They looked upon us as much too fastidious. Yet is it possible to sleep even without beds, and without window panes. And accord- ingly we slept until daybreak, when a frightful noise in the street–which, thanks to the circumstances before detailed, directly reached our ears–woke us up at once, and we became witnesses of a singular scene It was as thus :--

Kertch, like all the other cities of the Crimea--in fact, we may say, like all Eastern cities--is infested with a superfluous and useless population ; noisy, trouble- some, and sometimes threatening the personal safety of the public. We refer once more to those abominable vagrant dogs, which would at last become masters of the town, but for the wise though cruel measures taken against them. Gipsies are at Kertch the executors of this work of carnage, and the proceedings are in this wise :--One of these honest Tsigans, invested on this occasion with the character of a public officer, and [216] accordingly dressed up in some cast-off military coat, goes about dragging behind him the carcase of a dog clubbed to death the night before. He proceeds in this way through the different quarters of the city with a calm visage, but keeping a sharp look-out, for beneath his garment he carries a heavy bludgeon, a weapon fatal to the canine race. No sooner does the executioner show himself in a street; than a horrible yelling immediately breaks out on all sides from this republic of dogs, who recognise their destroyer, and perhaps, who knows ? his victim. Immediately they rush forth from the houses, from the gardens on all sides, pursuing the unperturbable gipsy with their infuriated barking. The latter still continues his steady, leisurely progress, until the fatal instant when one of these enraged pursuers comes within reach of his bludgeon. As quick as lightning the blow comes down with murderous precision, and another Trojan is stretched by the side of the lamented Hector. In the evening, the 'rsigan, after a good day's work, goes before the magistrate, and stretches out a hand stained with such or such a number of deaths. Each fractured skull brings him twenty-five copecks, or if you will, twenty-five centimes.


As soon as we were up, we explored Kertch. At the eastern extremity of the 'ramie peninsula, in a deep bay, on whose shores the waves of the Armenian [217] Bosphorus sink exhausted, stands Kertch, occupying a considerable space. The city stretches out in the form of a crescent on the northern coast, towards the western part of the bay, and on the not very lofty plateaux which surround it. At one point alone is there any very considerable elevation, and this is at the extremity of the spur of hills ending exactly over the city, in a hill loftier than the rest, and sloping off suddenly towards the sea. This is Mount Mithridates ; it is covered with a number of natural elevations, bearing so striking a resemblance to the khourgans, that at any distance it is impossible to distinguish the work of man from the work of nature. Mount Mithridates, on which the Akropolis, the citadel of the ancient town of Panticapceum once stood, overlooks Kertch, and a tumulus covered with large masses of rock, called the tomb of Mithridates, forms its culminating point. At the foot of the tumulus there is a rock divided into two parts by a large hollow, and bearing some resemblance to a curule chair, such as the Druids would have selected : this is called the seat of Mithridates. It was here the king of Pontus came to gaze proudly on his innumerable fleet, the terror of the Romans. You feel at once in an atmosphere of tradition you feel that a hero has trodden upon this soil, and that it still treasures the memory of his noble footsteps.


It must be confessed that all these memorials of the past are wonderfully mixed up with modern monuments. Within ten paces of the tomb of Mithridates, a sepulchral monument of quite modern date, erected to one of the governors of the city, rears its light columns, the style of which is far too frivolous for a tomb. Mount Mithridates, which has been deeply excavated of late years, has afforded a spacious site for a Greek temple but just completed, ill which the numerous and valuable objects discovered in the khourgans are deposited. The sides and base of the cutting made into the mountain present a solid agglomeration of bones, so that the spectator might fancy himself on one of those mountains of human victims said to have been heaped up on the borders of the Caspian sea by the conquests of the sanguinary Attila. To proceed from this temple to the city, you descend a giant staircase. These stairs are of modern construction, they are ornamented with a balustrade in the Greek style, decorated with masks and vases, and the Griffins of Panticapeeum, a fine and correct piece of sculpture, of which we have already spoken. They terminate in a polygon, surrounded with an arcade, in the middle of which is held the market. This place is surrounded by a number of regularly-built streets : some of these, descending towards the sea, are short ; but there is one, the principal street, running towards the [219] north-west, which traverses the entire city, from one end to the other. This is the trading street, the populous thoroughfare : it has several streets parallel to it, and, like itself, intersected at right angles. Along the sides of the whole bay there is a stone quay of spacious dimensions, covered with vast edifices, first among which are to be classed, the residence of the governor of Kertch, and an immense building, partly occupied by the customs department, and partly used as a store-house for goods. Unfortunately, vessels are prevented, by the shallowness of the waters in the bay, from mooring alongside this quay. They anchor at some distance, beneath the walls of the lazaretto, situated on that part of the shore, the waters of which, in consequence of the vicinity of the straits, are deeper, and afford easier anchorage.

Our first visit was, as a matter of course, to the leading personage in this interesting place, Prince Kherkheoulidzeff. The civic governor of Kertch gave us a reception, for which we still feel the deepest gratitude. Directly he heard the deplorable manner in which we were lodged, the governor desired one of his officers to place at our disposal one of the houses reserved for the reception of the emperor's suite. Not- withstanding the pre-occupation of his mind by the preparations for the expected visit of the emperor, this [220] amiable Prince paid us the most solicitous attention. We were allowed to pass a few moments in his company, and during this interview he related to us a number of interesting facts. Prince Kherkheoulidzeff was born in Georgia ; and the account he gave us of that beautiful country, of its grandeur, and the extent of its natural resources, made us regret that the in- clemency of the season, and the necessity of our returning, precluded our visiting it.

The museum of Kertch deserves a place among these brief notes. It is to the museum of Theodosia what an Italian museum is to a French or German collection. In the former we find a few specimens of high value, stealthily possessed, as it were, and much treasured by the proprietor ; in the latter, wealth and profusion. The Etruscan vases at Kertch, found in the tombs, would of themselves deserve an archoeological memoir, and their beautiful designs call for a skilful burin to make Europe participate in the enjoyment of these splendid discoveries. What shall we say, too, of the marble cenotaphs taken out entire from the obscure depths in which they have lain buried for more than two thousand years ? The feeble and somewhat heavy drawing of the figures, and the more successful delicacy of the ornaments, marks them as the production of a Greek colony. to which those artists who excelled in [221] this the most difficult of the arts, had only sent their least advanced pupils. We shall not attempt to enumerate the funeral monuments of all ages, with which this fine museum is crowded. The epitaphs are written in every variety of idiom, from pure Greek to the most distantly related dialects of that fine language ; and on these monuments, now no longer covering their dead, is recorded the gradual decline, and final disappearance of the old Homeric tongue. Thus from echo to echo, some noble war-song sinks and dies away ! More than one of these stones with Greek inscriptions bear the image of a genuine Tatar, armed and mounted much as we see them in the present day. A succession of glazed cabinets contains a number of valuable objects, medallions, crystal vases, chains, rings, and medals without end; treasures concealed from the profane, but which the amiable kindness of our guide, the sub- director of the museum, submitted to our admiring gaze. The order of the museum is excellent. Chro- nological classification is observed, as far as is consistent with the size and number of the objects. Each curious inscription–and Heaven knows how many there are– is accompanied with 'a careful translation in Russian and French. Through these especially, we learn to what purpose the khourgans have been applied, but without gathering further certitude as to the origin and date [222] of these singular monuments, totally devoid of any external mark or sign by which their age can be determined. H ow, indeed, is it possible to divine how many centuries have rolled over the head of any one of these tumuli, enveloped, like the rest of its innumerable brethren, in its robe of turf, which grows green with every spring, and fades with every winter! The antiquity of each mound is wrapt in its own especial mystery. Here we find remains of purely Greek origin ; yonder you are disturbing the manes of some Bosphorian chief. Proceed, and you will stumble over a Sarmatian ; nay, who shall tell but you will find a Khazar, or a Petcheneque reposing in one of these tombs, the perfect similarity of which is the despair of archæologists. What conclusion can be arrived at relative to monu- ments in which the lapse of one or ten centuries, more or less, neither leaves nor effaces a single feature ?

One of our favourite excursions was to Ak-Bouroun. " the white nose," in the language of the Tatars, who apply this picturesque designation to all such protruding points as the Latins called promontorium ; the French, borrowing from the dialect of the south, call cap; and the English, head. From this spot an extensive panorama of an austere character lies unfolded at the feet of the spectator. Situated at the southern extremity of the bay of Kertch, this headland overlooks, at one and [223] the same time, the Black Sea, the straits and their two extreme points, and the Asiatic coast, in which direction the horizon is bounded by the blue summits of the Caucasus. The headland itself is surmounted by an immense tumulus, and is encircled by a number of rounded hillocks, standing out towards the hills which overlook Kertch. From this lofty eminence we counted more than a hundred vessels ploughing the waters of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, or riding at anchor beneath the walls of the vast lazaretto. Our naturalists prosecuted their researches at a distance, and returned from another promontory, Kamiouch-Bouroun, laden with fossil bivalves, still enveloped in their ferruginous coating, a rarity hitherto unknown in the museums of Europe. At length, on our return one evening from one of these excursions, so fruitful of results, we found the whole quay of Kertch crowded with eager spectators. The prince-governor's galley, with its elegant crew of oarsmen, had left the place, and was making towards two steamers just entering the bay. Victory ! at last the dearest hopes of the city were accomplished, and their imperial guest would shortly make his appearance. Those endowed with the keenest eyes had already recognised the Emperor on the deck of the Severaaïa-Zvesda, the " Star of the North." His Majesty received while on deck the homage of the authorities of Kertch, and expressed his [224] intention of remaining on board his steamer until' the next day. At night a splendid illumination lit up the entire circumference of the bay. A heap of bituminous material collected on Ak-Bouronn was set on. fire, and threw a blueish light on all around. The entire city, its streets and edifices, and its historic mountain, sparkled with long strings of light, which passed through the adjoining villages, and connected themselves with the quarantine ; the appearance thus presented was that of a city two leagues in extent, the sea-girt boundary of which was marked out by an immense line of light–that on the quay–reflected in the. waters. Meanwhile the city resounded with the joyous .bursts of private festivities and mirth, and noise prevailed everywhere; no great European capital could have acquitted itself better.

The next day at dlawn, the crowd were already assembled at their post, when the Emperor disembarked. It was a solemn moment, and nothing could be more picturesque than the appearance of so immense a crowd covering the quay and its approaches, all absorbed in the same eager expectation. The Russians represented the public authorities and government officials ; the Jews had donned their handsome black gaberdines; while the Tatars, already preparing for the winter, were grouped together, dressed in their sheep-skin over-coats, with the thick wool turned inside. In. the midst of this [225] crowd might be seen Greek women, in all the charm of their uncommon beauty, and Russian ladies, who, but for the language they spoke, would make you imagine yourself in Paris, so omnipotent is fashion, realising the dreams of Utopia, and uniting all feminine nations into one. The Emperor stepped on shore amidst loud shouts. The Grand Duke, heir-apparent, followed his father at a short distance. The carriages prepared for the reception of the illustrious guests, soon conveyed them to the church, where the &ecaute;lite of the inhabitants had assembled to give thanks. From the church, the imperial cortége proceeded to visit the museum, and several new buildings, among which must be mentioned, a handsome church in the Greek style, bearing the following, perhaps somewhat too concise inscription, Reddite Dei Deo, et Ccesaris Coesari. The governor's residence, a stately, well- designed edifice, was next honoured with the presence of the Emperor. Prince Kherkheoulidzeff had assembled the most valuable objects in the Panticapcean collection, viz.: the contents of the most richly stored tumulus hitherto opened. Imagine an assemblage of all the articles of luxury with which it was customary to bury a Greek lady ; her most valued trinkets, her ordinary attire, the elegant appliances of a refined toilette, and the caparison of a favourite horse, studded with gold ornaments and the most precious jewels. In addition [226] to these, and the most valuable of all, were a golden mask, and laurel crown in the same metal, which had covered the face and adorned the head of the illustrious deceased. This mask, which was of substantial thickness, was of no common-place design, and had evidently fitted exactly the features of the person entombed, the expression of the ace presenting that perfectly natural character, which belongs only to an actual cast. These rare treasures are now appropriately deposited in the museum of St. Petersburg. The Emperor having visited the whole of this rising city, examined the plans according to which it was to be completed, and signed his approval of them in the margin. After a few hours, devoted to study rather than repose, the monarch pursued his journey, proceeding towards the Black Sea, while the heir-presumptive remained at Kertch, intending to return by the same route we had ourselves taken, to join the Empress, and the numerous suite assembled at the delightful residence of Count Woronzoff, at Aloupka.

Faithful still to our intention of proceeding to Taman, on the other side of the straits, we took the road to Yeni-Kaleh, the " New Fort," as a little town of tolerably ancient date is called, commanding the narrowest portion of the Cimmerian Bosphorus. The road as far as the quarantine, which is daily travelled over by the merchants of Kertch, whose only traffic is with [227] the lazaretto, is excellent, and kept in perfect order. It passes through a Russian village of considerable magnitude, stretching out on both sides of it. As soon as the sanitary establishment is passed, a thousand difficulties are encountered on the journey over the slippery ground beyond, especially if, as in our case, the traveller has to contend with unceasing'rain. The road is sufficiently close to the sea-shore to afford a clear view of a number of curious rocks of the madrepora class, assuming fantastic shapes, sometimes forming caverns, and sometimes light arches, looking like the commencement of a bridge. Each cavity in the sponge-like structure of these rocks, which, by the strange caprice of nature, are the work of a small moluscous animal, serves as a sort of sentry-box to a black cormorant. At the first report of a gun, a dense cloud of these lazy denizens of the rock rises in the air, and when the danger is deemed to be over, they return to their ports, and the labour of digestion proceeds.

A steep slope leads directly to Yeni-Kaleh, a little town of half Eastern half Genoese character, now almost entirely occupied by modern Greeks. A fort situated at the' north end sufficiently betrays, from the ignorant irregularity of its plan, that it is due to the Turks. It has been recently repaired, and put into good order ; one remarkable feature in it is a gate in the pure [228] oriental style. A large square tower flanked by four wardour turrets rising separately, call to mind the defensive art of the Genoese. At the base of this tower may be seen two fountains constructed by the Turks. One of these fountains is in ruins, and useless ; the wall has fallen in, and the spring dried up ; but the murmuring waters of the other are still poured forth into a splendid Greek sarcophagus, in white marble, which serves as a basin. The sculpture with which it was ornamented is worn away, but two figures of birds may still be distinguished. The inhabitants of Yeni-Kaleh, which is situated on the sandy beach, and exposed to the winds, have, nevertheless, found means to set up a few shops for the sale of canvas, tar, oars, and an immense quantity of fish, which is daily brought into Kertch. That which is not consumed on the spot, is doubtless salted. The species of fish most in demand, are the turbot and enormous sturgeons.

It was requisite that we should pass through the straits, and after a long and troublesome discussion, we obtained possession of a little boat, long and narrow, turned up with a point at each end, and provided with two latin sails. We seated ourselves in a row at the bottom of this boat of antique structure, acting as ballast against the effects of the wind, and we had three men to manage it, although one would, strictly speaking, [229] have been enough. There was a point of land covered with weeds, and partly concealed beneath the waters round which we had to sail, keeping a great distance off. On this account, vessels proceeding to Taman, are obliged to sail double the distance they would have to perform if they went in a direct line. As soon as we were within the great bay of Taman, and sheltered from the surge, our passage was smooth enough, and we could even indulge in an attack upon the troops of swans, pelicans, cormorants, grebes, and other aquatic birds rising up in long rows, and skimming the surface of the sea with a noise like the rolling of distant thunder. Approaching the coast of Taman, we were struck with its appearance, which was still more sombre, if possible, than that of the opposite shore. At last we reached land, at the extremity of a little creek filled with tall water-plants, and at the foot of a wooden pier, not very efficiently protected against the action of the waters. There is nothing very striking in the appearance of Taman, as seen from the shore ; it presents only a miserable assemblage of wooden buildings covered with thatch. A few houses higher than the rest mark the dwellings of the chief military officers of this important station. After complying in a satisfactory manner with the formalities required on landing, we proceeded through the cold rain, which still continued, to look out for a [230] lodging. Miserable and piteous was the appearance of our caravan, and what a contrast was here presented with Yalta, and the majestic mountain paths of Stillé- Bogas ! Beneath a leaden grey sky we had to contend against a tempestuous wind, soaking rain, and deep mud ; and to crown our misery, we could find no shelter. A Genoese inhabitant of Kertch had furnished us with an introduction to a fellow countryman at Taman. Having with great difficulty reached the house, we began to supplicate, like Ulysses at the door of Eumæus, but the inhospitable lady to whom we tendered our missive, cruelly returned it to us, saying that her husband was absent. The next instant the door was closed, and the dogs of the establishment, bettering the example of their mistress, gave us a hint to evacuate the premises, which we took without further delay. The situation was serious, and the prospect of passing the night in the open air appeared to us in anything but an attractive light. At last, after considerable search, our Greek sailors found us a shelter in the house of an honest Russian woman. A confined den, aired and lighted by two holes, was soon provided with the accustomed litter, the soft eider-down of the steppe, which served us in lieu of beds, while in an adjoining hole it was converted into fuel, for the preparation of a copious repast of milk. The most respectable feature in this lodging, [231] or rather hut, was the door. It opened upon the principal street in Taman, in which were the houses of the superior officers, and a quantity of good comfortable carriages, stationed in the adjoining court-yards, bore evidence of the number of officers attracted into this humble village by the military operations in the neighbourhood. Immediately opposite was a guard-house, the soldiers in which wore the Circassian costume, viz. : a close fitting tunic, with cartridge cases on the chest, and a large cap with a thick border of fur, which unfolds like a turban, and gives a noble air to the tanned faces of the wearers. The Cossacks of the Kouban perform the regular military duties in Taman, and their stations, established at intervals along the military road of Ekaterinodar and the banks of the stream, which forms the boundary of Asia, supply escorts for the baggage trains. Nothing can be more picturesque than these rustic bivouacs, of which a cottage forms the head quarters. Cars, télègues, and a great number of horses, are here in readiness for the accommodation of the traveller, for the Cossack stations are also post-houses, and every soldier becomes, according to circumstances, a postillion or a cavalry escort. Round the boundary of the bivouac, sentinels are posted, keeping as vigilant watch as though they were in the presence of the enemy, while the men forming the picket smoke and talk together [232] near their lances with red staffs, ranged in symmetrical order against the roof. From henceforward, every hour was of importance ; and notwithstanding the dreadful state of the weather, we commenced studying the environs of Taman. Our first visit was to the church–an isolated building, protected by an enclosure, from the sands drifted by the wind, and which often reach up to the top of the wall. The church is built of wood : it has been erected on ancient foundations, and contains a curiously-contrasted assemblage of marble monuments and Greek inscriptions. This sacred and deserted edifice is the haunt of a multitude of birds of prey, which our shots soon scared out of their hiding places. An extremely fine breed of falcons have established their abode within these sacred walls. This visit concluded, we preferred to returning to the dark seclusion of our lodging, walking in the rain to a place at some distance from Taman, where a fortress overlooks the bay from a sombre and lofty cliff. Phanagoria is the name of this citadel, which contains within its line of ramparts a number of handsome and spacious barracks. It is reported, that in a certain part of this fort are to be found the ruins of an ancient wall, dating from the time of the Ionian colonies. Phanagoria and Taman were Greek settlements, at the very time the Milesians were founding Theodosia and Panticapceum.


[233] We have said something of the hospital roof beneath which we were sheltered; to return to it, we had to cross an ocean of mud. As truthful historians, however, it behoves us, in some degree, to modify our strictures. The old hostess evidently looked upon it as any thing but a pleasant turn of fortune, to have brought her a party of foreigners, with whose habits and language she was unacquainted. Although two or three of us might make ourselves understood by the old Cossack, through the Russian language, it was clearly apparent that the foreign air and deportment of some of our companions were a source of discomfort to the good lady, whose ill-humour could only be appeased by weighty and frequently repeated arguments. First it was agreed that we should pay a stipulated sum for the room in which we were crowded together; but, to the great delight of the old woman, every new want to be supplied was the occasion of a fresh charge. There was os much for the hay, and so much for the dim light; every wooden spoon was let out at a fixed price, and salt--even salt, the universal symbol of hospitality in Russia--was made, perhaps for the first time in this country, a subject of charge.

Early on Tuesday, the 28th of September, we were on the road leading from Taman to Boughaz, on the borders of a vast lake communicating with the sea. This lake [234] is called the liman of the Kouban, that stream mingling its waters with those of the immense basin. Among the ancients this was called the Hyrcanian sea; by the Tatars it is called Kisil-tach, or Red Stone, from the colour of the rocks in the neighbourhood. A few hours afterwards we had traversed eighteen versts in telègues, supplied with horses and postillions from the Cossack stations. These postillions are certainly quite equal to any others ; and the speed at which they travel, is only equalled by their uncommon docility. We reached the village called Boughaz, a generic appellation applied by the Turks to all mouths of rivers. The village is built on the sides of a number of low hills ; and immediately opposite, on a flat tongue of land, stand the unpretending buildings of the lazaretto, in which the travellers and merchandise from Anapa are purified. The required period of seclusion is seven days. On reaching the gates of this quarantine, we were politely received by officials, who immediately sent for some of the quarantine prisoners to talk with us. We were thus assured that, without any infringement of the laws, we could explore the environs of Boughaz, and climb the neighbouring hills, whence we should enjoy a more extended view of Asia. We lost no time in making use of the permission ; and leaving our light vehicles at Boughaz, we set about climbing the neighbouring hillocks towards a distant [235] promontory overlooking the mouth of the river. After clearing several ravines, we discovered in a slightly hollow plateau, surrounded by several heights, a bubbling spring of greyish mud issuing from the naked soil. This mud, which was almost liquid, ran down the slope, giving out a fetid gas. On the sides of each muddy stream we observed an oily deposit, with an iridescent surface ; and in the crater from which the mud and gas issued, each hole was surrounded by a ring of brown substance, resembling bitumen. Some portions of a greenish substance, gathered from the same craters, presented under the microscope an agglomeration of animalcule belonging to the genus clostrum ; but let us not encroach on the province of our scientific colleagues. In a few moments we counted seventeen similar apertures, through which the mud rose bubbling without noise, sending forth a number of small streams, which soon became dry. After examining these we proceeded on our journey, sometimes over the hills, sometimes along the shores of the liman, washed by a tide which is scarcely even brackish. At noon we reached, at last, the end of our journey, the lofty headland which we had fixed upon as the extreme limit of our long expedition–our pillars of Hercules, towards which we had striven with such ardour during nearly a hundred days of sometimes toilsome travelling, chequered with good and evil fortune. [236] From this point, beyond which we were not to proceed, we gazed with the more eagerness upon the admirable panorama before us, forming the juncture between Europe and Asia, as it was the last incident in our laborious pilgrimage.

To the east we beheld the Kouban, flowing through its rushy bed to unite itself with a sea which at that point is as yet scarcely deserving the name. Beyond the immense lake of the liman, we could distinguish the beautiful mountainous masses on the coast of Asia; Anapa, all white, bathing on the sea-shore; and the majestic amphitheatres of the Caucasian range, blending their dim and misty forms with the clouds. To the west was Boughaz, with its lazaretto, perched like a halcyon's nest, at the extremity of a sandy tongue of land. The north was bounded by a series of unsheltered plateaux. As though the sky had intended to favour this our last glance at the mountains, the waters, and the graceful lines of a prospect to which we were about to bid farewell for ever, it had appropriately shed its soft light over the most interesting features of the scene.

We were soon back in Boughaz, and we had not long to wait for our telègues. The Cossacks, our sprightly drivers, appeared in excellent spirits, and excited the horses by short cries and cheering expressions, sometimes tender, and sometimes of a more energetic character. [237] All, however, went well. On returning to Taman, we entertained the idea of taking advantage of the fine evening, to cross over to the other shore ; but an interesting subject of research arose, and caused us to forget the passing hours. Having been induced to follow in the steps of our naturalists towards the headland, whose form stands out to the south of the vast bay, we discovered there a deposit of those rich fossil bivalves which had been found in such abundance exactly opposite on the other side of the straits. This deposit was so rich, and the specimens so perfect, that even the profane could not help adding, with unskilful hand, to the riches of our collection ; and so absorbed had we been, that, on returning to our hostess, it was too late to embark.

On the 29th of September, the first glimpses of day showed us a sea agitated by a strong gale, and from the unfavourable appearance of the weather, we were apprehensive of being condemned to remain another day in this gloomy land. Fortunately, however, towards noon the weather held up, and we were enabled to resume our journey to Yeni Kaleh, where, on account of a calm, we did not arrive till very late. This time, instead of sailing round the point which advances beneath the waters, and divides the bay of Taman from the straits of Azoff, we approached so near that our sailors were enabled to get into the water, and push our boat along, [238] At Yain Kaleh we parted from our cautious and grateful mariners, and set off, not without some trouble, in the direction of Kertch ; for, in order to obtain horses, we were obliged to have recourse to private hiring. There is nothing like having endured a little hardship, to make us put up with all manner of quarters. Just escaped from our frightful lodging at Tainan, Kertch appeared to us a first-class city, fraught with every luxury. We had scarcely installed ourselves in the Hotel Bosphorus, than an invitation from Prince Kherkheoulidzeff sought us out in our retreat. and we hastened to join a family party, to which we were admitted by the worthy governor in a spirit of gracious kindness, in which the princess, a very young woman, of gentle and angelic appearance, fully participated.

We have already mentioned the ancient and har- monious name of Kertch, Panticapceum, the name it first bore when a Greek colony settled upon its site. The Milesians came there under the conduct of Aëtes, king of Colchis, 1230 years before our era. The etymology of the name Panticapaum might seem to be the words, Panti and Kï pos, signifying, in the Dorian dialect, everywhere and garden. Alas ! tell me the Greek for garden nowhere, and you will have named Kertch. We cannot tax our memory with having seen a single plantation of the most meagre description, much less a garden. Pan [239] ticapoeum having become the city of Bosphorus at the time of Mithridates and his Bosphoreans, long preserved this name, the etymology of which seems to us none the more reasonable for being common-place. However the case may be with regard to this Bosphorus, a strait in the vicinity of Panticapeeum, which gave its name to a kingdom and to its capital, Kertch, for a long time a prey to the revolutions which swept over these countries, was several times destroyed ; only in the present day does it seem to have sprung up anew from its ruins. This city contains, it is stated, three thousand inhabitants–a limited population, when compared with the space it occupies. The whole trade of the port is transacted in the quarantine, where all the cargoes proceeding to the sea of Azoff are concentrated. We have already expressed the opinion, shared by competent persons, that the favourable effect of the sanitary regulations at Kertch is one of. the causes tending to the decrease of the commerce of Taganrog. Although the entrance to Kertch is through a narrow and tortuous channel, the anchorage at the lazaretto offers a sufficient shelter to a crowd of vessels from the sea and the winds.

Trade, therefore, can draw considerable advantage from the exceptional position of this port; but up to the present day there is no indication of any very rapid development. The credit transactions in Kertch are of [240] considerable extent, but there is little circulation of money. If you buy of a trader, and ask him to change you a silver piece, he will often refuse to sell, rather than return change. It may be inferred from this, how high must be the rate of exchange. The retail shops of Kertch are in and about the high street, and are all well stocked. Goods manufactured at Moscow are especially sought after. With respect to colonial wares, they are imported by Genoese and Ragusan vessels, which, after performing quarantine, take in cargoes of grain in the sea of Azoff, or are laden beneath the walls of the lazaretto itself with wools, tallow and hides.

Kertch warehouses an immense quantity of salt, derived from the salt lakes in the neighbourhood of Perecop. An extensive depot of coal, imported from abroad for the supply of steamers, has been lately established. The trade in these two articles alone gives employment to a large body of custom-house officers. The fishery in the bay, which is very productive, gives rise to a considerable amount of small trading. The supply of provisions to the market is of the most various description as regards meat and vegetables, the latter being very fine, and continually suggesting the inquiry, whence do they come, and what gardens concealed in the midst of the barren steppe have produced them ?

The number of Jews in Kertch is considerable ; their [241] trade is chiefly carried on in small shops, which the stranger is sometimes delighted to find open on some religious festival, when all the other shops are closed The basis of the population is Russian ; but a good quantity of Tatars, several Italian merchants, and a number of Greek families are met with. Let us not forget either a number of Tsigan tribes, whose handsome mien and proud deportment exhibit less than elsewhere the degrading influence of misery. We have described one of their occupations ; all are not equally useful, and the police have frequently to interfere among these vagrant families.

On the day of our departure we experienced some trouble in obtaining post-horses. After despatching Michael with the baggage to Theodosia, where he was to wait for us, and consigning into the hands of a carrying agent the collections which had so materially increased during our studious sojourn, we proceeded in the direction of Arabat. A continuance of drizzling rain rendered our progress for the first few hours extremely laborious, the slipperiness of the road making it almost impossible to advance. To crown our misfortunes, about four o'clock in the afternoon, in the midst of the desert steppe, our robust Wallachian carriage, which had stood so many rough trials, broke down, past hope of recovery. Ry lashing it together, [242] however, by means of ropes, we succeeded in dragging it to the next post, which was the station of Arghin, that isolated post-house which we remarked on our previous passage. There we met with the number of télegues required by our caravans, and we were even promised (incredible promise) that our carriage should be brought back to Theodosia completely repaired. Distances are nothing in the steppe ; the cartwright's shop was ten versts off, and our carriage was conveyed thither with due precaution, and mended by the time agreed upon.

We proceeded in this way towards Arabat, along a road, desert even for this wilderness. On this side of the steppe we met no other living creatures than huge dromedaries, grazing here and there without tether.

Increasing our pace, we reached Arabat. The moon was up ; but even had it been completely dark, we could have detected the proximity of the town, from the fetid emanations filling the atmosphere. The floor of a wretched room in the post-house received our wearied limbs, while in an adjoining apartment the post-master, an old man with a venerable beard, slept, no better accommodated than ourselves, and evidently under the influence of deep potations. Next morning the rain pattered against the windows of the post-hut; and the master, sufficiently refreshed to pay attention to [243] his travellers, did not require too many entreaties to supply us with the horses we required for our excursion to the promontory of Arabat, which we desired to examine a second time, the plan of our journey, which would henceforward be more rapid, precluding our crossing it. This excursion was made with all possible expedition. A few observations of interest to the natural historian were collected on this curious sandy projection, lying between two seas, and of so low a level, that it seems as though a strong gust of wind would easily drive the waves of one over to the other.

Our worthy host, a practical philosopher in infancy, of whom seclusion had made a drunkard, had pushed his system of consolation so far, that he scarcely remembered what he had done the day before. By nine o'clock, the wretched man had already taken his full dose ; and every time we went to fetch him from the tavern, where, with the barometer at 86, he sat drinking bad brandy, we could never get anything from him but inarticulate sounds and salutations, accompanied by every kind of respectful gesture with which drunkenness would prompt him. We took patience, and visited a Turkish fort, the interior of which is in ruins, but the ditches and ramparts are still in good condition. We had more time than we required to explore throughout the ruins of a spacious mosque, and to take [244] an accurate plan of a bath, the cupola of which is still extant. A Lath in so remote a spot was a piece of luxury the more inexplicable, as it is impossible to conjecture whence the supply of water was derived. The branch conduits of baked clay still exist in the substance of the wall, but we could not discover amidst the ruins the main pipe supplying this fine and spacious bath, containing, besides the principal room, two compartments, to which the steam was also admitted. In the interior of the fort, overgrown with a quantity of tolerably fresh plants, we captured a good number of reptiles for our zoological collection. Hundreds of snakes, with brilliant coloured coats, attracted by the warm rays of the sun, were seen gliding between the stalks of the mallow and a species of fennel. The fortress of Arabat, taken by storm in 1768 by the troops of Prince Dolgorouki, consists of a polygon flanked by six sided works, having in some measure the appearance of bastions. The ruins of a postern gate, opening towards the sea of Azoff, are still visible; the principal entrance faces the south. On the left flank of this place of strength is a line of defences, extended to a sufficient distance to guard the passage as far as where the putrid sea begins to acquire a certain depth. Meanwhile, the night was approaching ; and, moreover, we were threatened with famine, for the [245] wretched village of Arabat could furnish no other refreshment to the traveller than a few withered water melons, and the detestable beverage of which our postmaster was then an interesting victim. We brought with us a few provisions from Kertch, principally water, but all was now exhausted; accordingly, we set out in sepa- rate parties, and it was with great difficulty that we obtained the horses and carriages necessary to convey us back. The last section of our party reached Theodosia at midnight, after crossing the steppe by moonlight, and suffering severely from the cold. Several times during this short journey they had heard the howlings of a pack of wolves. These voracious animals, on the approach of winter, quit their lairs, and, like predatory hordes, overrun the steppe for the purpose of attacking the oxen of the caravans. But the oxen, said our Tatar postillion, know how to defend themselves ; they are protected by good dogs, and the poor devils of wolves have no other larder than such scanty fragments as may happen to be washed on shore.

The transition from Arabat to Theodosia forms one of those contrasts which poetise travelling. Yesterday you were in a frightful region, that seemed accursed, and doomed to desolation; to-day you are in the prett. little Genoese-Tatar-Russian city of Theodosia, though no longer smiling, as but a little while since, with fresh [246] and handsome faces at every window. Winter had made its appearance. and all were drawn round the hearth. We were informed, however, that on the southern coast we should fall in with all the delights of a prolonged autumn, a peculiarity of this part of the Crimea which permits of the vintage being deferred until the beginning of October. We had already, on several occasions, heard of this remarkable difference between the climate of the steppe and that of the southern coast. Although the fact is easily accounted for by the relative position of the two regions, it was difficult to believe the exaggerated accounts we had received in both respects. The existence of a plantation of olive-trees at Aloupka, and the growth of pomegranate and Spanish broom on some portions of the southern coast, were little in accordance with the statements we had heard relative to the extreme coldness of the temperature. On the other hand, we had just felt the rigours of an early winter, in uncomfortable contradiction with the boasted mildness of the climate of the Peninsula. We therefore determined to refer to the experience and knowledge of M. de Steven. With a degree of good nature and graciousness, for which we here express our gratitude, M. de Steven soon supplied us with the following useful notes :

A series of observations on the mean temperature of the Crimea were made at the country residence of the [247] learned professor, near Synlpheropol, during twelve consecutive years (from the 1st of January, 1822, to the 1st of January, 1834), conducted by himself, and in his absence by a person of experience. The calculations were made by Colonel Markevitz, now directing the studies of the second corps of cadets at St. Petersburg. The elevation of the house above the level of the Black Sea is, according to the calculations of Professor Goebel, one hundred and thirty-three toises, two feet, French measure ; or two hundred and fifty-nine metres, eighty-seven centimetres. It is exposed to the easterly winds, but sheltered from those of the north. The observations were made at sun-rise, both in winter and summer ; with but few exceptions this period of the day has always presented the minimum, while the maximum has been observed from two to three in the afternoon, and the mean temperature towards ten at night.

The following table exhibits the mean temperature during this period of twelve years, for each month and for every year, that of the twenty-four hours being deduced from the maximum and minimum of each day : the observations were made according to the systems of Schouv and Ciminello.

N.B.—All the dates are those used in the Russian Empire, and denominated Old Style. They are, as is known, twelve days later than those used in other European countries.

2 to 3, p.m.
At 10, p.m. Mean for
24 hours.
Max. and Min.
January - 1, 55 + 1, 86 - 1, 02 + 0 3, 41
February - 1, 20 + 3, 36 - 0, 06 - 4, 03 4, 56
March + 1, 76 + 7, 51 + 3, 14 + 4, 74 5, 75
April + 5, 25 + 12, 73 + 6, 97 + 9, 02 7, 48
May + 8, 69 + 17, 21 + 10, 67 + 13, 07 8, 52
June + 11, 71 + 20, 30 + 13, 72 + 16, 04 8, 59
July + 12, 52 + 21, 17 + 14, 69 + 16, 87 8, 65
August + 10, 33 + 19, 51 + 12, 92 + 14, 73 9, 18
September + 7, 60 + 14, 54 + 9, 09 + 11, 50 6, 94
October + 3, 94 + 8, 94 + 4, 99 + 6, 16 5, 00
November + 1, 38 + 5, 17 + 2, 02 + 2, 65 3, 79
December - 0, 70 + 2, 99 + 0, 37 + 0, 65 3, 69
Mean for the Year + 4, 98 + 11, 27 + 6, 30 + 8, 03 6, 99

The month of July is generally the warmest in the year ; but in 1828, 1830 and 1833, the month of June presented the highest temperature.

In like manner, January is commonly the coldest month ; but in the years 1822, 1825, 1826 and 1832, the coldest month was February.

With the exception of the winter of 1832, which was cold throughout Europe, the mean temperature of the year has varied but little. The year 1831, the coldest next, to that of 1832, presented only 0, 62 less than the mean of 8, 03 (10, 04 centigrade).

From the 1st of December to the
1st of March—Mean Temperature of Winter, + 0, 56
From the 1st of March to the
1st of June—Mean Temperature of Spring, + 8, 94
From the 1st of June to the
1st of September—Mean Temperature of Summer, + 15, 88
From the 1st of Sptember to
the 1st of December—Mean Temperature of Autumn, + 6, 77

This temperature is subject to much variation.

Mean Temperature. Maximum.Minimum.Difference.
Winter (1824) + 2, 70 - 1, 39 4,09
Spring (1828) + 9, 86 (1825)+ 7, 51 4,09
Summer (1827) + 17, 08 (1832)+ 13, 60 3, 48
Autumn (1825) + 8, 86 (1832)+ 4, 63 4, 23

The mean maximum of the year is + 26, 55 ; it has varied from + 23 (1831) to + 28, 05 (1852).

The minimum is — 14, 21 ; it has varied from — 10 (1824), to — 23 (1828).

The greatest heat is observed between the 20th of June and the 10th of August.

The greatest cold between the 6th of January and the 15th of February.

The average date of the latest frost is the 6th of April ; in the years 1828 and 1829 it was on the 18th of March, and in 1833 on the 29th of April.

The average date of the earliest frost is the 8th of October.

In 1829 it was on the 23rd of October, and in 1833 on the 25th of September.

[250] At Nikita, on the southern coast, the mean temperature of the years 1826, 1827 and 1830, was + 10, 04, and at Sympheropol + 8, 35, exhibiting a difference of 1, 69.

It is evident, therefore, from these calculations, the accuracy of which is unquestionable, how much even the best informed persons appear to exaggerate the variability of the climate of the Crimea, and how trifling a difference there exists in the mean temperature on either side of the Crimean chain.

The day had arrived for our departure from Theodosia. Our journey was now retrogressive, and every step we took would be a farewell to some familiar scene, Farewell, then, to Theodosia the fair Milesian, so fair that her founders called her the Gift of God; after this name, so replete with Greek poetry, this city received that of Ardanda, which signifies the Seven Gods. It was towards the 13th century that the Tatars gave it the name of Kaffa, the Infidel, at the time when the Genoese brought thither their religion and their industry. After the fall of the Genoese power in the 15th century, Kaffa soon rose to the zenith of its greatness, and even obtained from the Turks the appellation of Koutchouk Stemboei, the little Constantinople. And what city, at that time, better deserved so proud a distinction than the wealthy Kaffa? Within its vast walls, the [251] work of Christian hands, the Mussulman city contained a hundred thousand inhabitants ; Tatars, Greeks, Armenians, Karaïm Jews, and probably a few Genoese families, who had escaped the doom of exile. One hundred and seventy-one fountains dispensed a wholesome coolness over the soil, constantly exposed to the ardour of the sun. Fifty Christian churches, fifty-one mosques, three thousand six hundred houses, nine public baths, two large public squares, and four cemeteries, consecrated according to the rites of each religion : such were the principal features of this great city. Six or eight hundred vessels anchored during the year in the waters of its bay : the entire life of the Crimea was centred there. Such was Kaffa ; but iu the present day, Theodosia, or rather Feodocia according to the Russian language, scarcely preserves the memory of its former magnificence. All that has survived the ravages of civil war and foreign invasion we have described at the commencement of this chapter ; and it should be observed, that considering its impoverished and degraded condition in the last century, Feodocia is, in the present day, comparatively a progressing city.

Dr. Graperon, the studious antiquary, who has taken Theodosia under the protection of his science, has had the happy idea of making a plan of ancient Kaffa. His acquaintance with the extent and situation of the ruins has [252] enabled him to retrace the ancient boundaries of the city, with its fine ramparts, its numerous edifices, and now dried-up fountains. It is a creditable work, and one of undoubted interest to the archeologist.

Our line of route led us to Otouz, this being the only road from Theodosia to Sou-dagh which does not diverge too much from the sea-shore. After passing through the picturesque village of Koktebel, which we had already explored, we beheld the beautiful valley of Otouz unfolded before us, and once more rejoiced at the sight of the grand and picturesque mountains. Otouz, in the Tatar language, signifies thirty. This was the number of villages said to have once existed within the valley : one alone remains-half Tatar, half Russian, scattered over a vast space, and doubtless as large in itself as the thirty hamlets of former days. The sides of the valley of Otouz are covered with rich vineyards, and immediately above these fertile slopes rise the stately crests of the mountains. All this valley and its environs are celebrated for the natural curiosities they present : grottoes, cascades, rocks of fantastic shapes, all interesting objects to be visited by the traveller. We remained an entire day in this charming valley, at the invitation of an amiable Greek family, whom we had known in Theodosia, and who received us with cordial hospitality. The next day, on the 6-18th of October, we resumed, [253] to our great delight, our equestrian mode of travelling, decidedly the best to be adopted in this country.

Although the days, brightened by the mild but transient rays of an autumnal sun', were tolerably fine, the nights were already becoming cold. At Otouz, for the first time, we met with ice of some thickness. Proceeding from this beautiful valley to the village of Koz, we had to travel through a delightful path across the woods, now rising to the summit of lofty heights, and then sinking into the depths of narrow ravines, amidst the most enchanting spots, enveloped in silence and solitude. The autumnal tints of the foliage added to the charm of the landscape, and the southern coast seemed, during our excursion to the eastern steppes, to have clothed itself in a new dress, expressly that it might appear more beautiful in our eyes. Koz is only celebrated for its rich vineyards. The village itself is gloomy, burned up, and partly uninhabited during half the year. Koz is a wine press; when wine is not making, then nothing is going on.

Why should we not mention here one of the petty miseries of our journey (for what journey is without them) ? During the whole of this day's rather toilsome travelling we never broke our fast. Having started from Otouz before our kind hosts were up, we had reckoned upon Koz ; but at Koz we found a village itself half [254] famished_ A Tatar village called Toklouk stands not far from thence, with its pretty minaret surrounded by orchards ; but the orchards were stripped and the houses closed, every one being out working in the fields ; a fountain with icy water, alone represented that pious hospitality which the Tatars impose on themselves as a duty. Meanwhile, we passed over a tract of hilly ground, barren enough in appearance, stretching between the sea and the mountains ; immense vineyards lay spread out before us, but, fortunately for the repose of our conscience, the vintage was over in this part of the country. At length, towards evening, we descended into the valley of Sou-dagh, and before we had reached the village, which lies out at the very extremity of the rich vale, we were enabled to obtain a few bunches of grapes, which in some degree restored our strength.

The locality which is called Sou-dagh is, properly speaking, a small tract of country, over which are dis- seminated, here and there, a multitude of country seats, the head-quarters of numerous vine-growing establish- ments. The village, consisting of a pretty church, several houses, and a sort of khan, in which the dealers lodge at the time of the vintage, occupies the northern extremity of this spacious valley. From this point to the sea-shore there is a gentle inclination, favouring the current of the Soouq-son, in the Tatar language [255] " cold water." The waters of this cool streamlet irrigate the whole surrounding country, and subsequently flow into the sea at the base of the mountain, on which stand the stately ruins of the ancient Genoese settlement.

The translation of Sou-dagh, a picturesque name, composed, according to the custom of the people of this country, of two significant monosyllables, is Water- mountain, and conveys in two words the characteristics of the prospect presented to the eye. The name must unquestionably be of ancient date, as it was already known in the days of the Greek colonies. though under some variations of form, being sometimes called Soldaïa, and sometimes Sougdaia. Towards the ninth century, the prosperity of Sou-dagh was such, that the name of that city was applied to all the Greek possessions iii the Crimea, which were included under the common designation of Sogdaia. At a later period, under the Genoese, Sou-dagh was again raised to a high degree of power, and at the present day an immense promontory is covered with its ruined walls, still erect, the boundary of the city being marked out by a number of solid towers. At the foot of the mountain may be seen a miserable Tatar hamlet ; proceeding upwards, towards the demolished city, the traveller will meet with a Turkish fountain, elegantly sculptured, into which a figure of St. Michael, rudely designed, has been incrusted.

[256] The fortress was formerly surrounded by a ditch, which time has filled up, and exactly, as in the case of Balaklava, the ground on which the ancient citadel stood, forms an inconvenient declivity ; towards the lower part, however, near the walls, may be seen several large buildings : two dilapidated barracks, the ruins of ruins, having been constructed from the materials of former buildings, spacious cisterns and water conduits laid out with skill and intelligence, a mosque, and a few modern but deserted houses, constitute all that now remains of the wealthy Sou-dagh, long favoured by the situation of its port, the protection of its fortress, and the admirable fertility of the surrounding country. Let the reader picture to himself in those remote times this delightful valley, clothed with a vigorous vegetation, and large forests, beneath whose vaulted shade flowed a limpid river, and behold close to this spot, so simple and poetical in its beauty, an active and stirring city, with its port filled with vessels ! He will then have an idea of the valley of Sou-dagh, so long and widely renowned. In the present day all this breadth of colouring has made room for the more utilitarian beauties of an immense wine country, interspersed with fruitful orchards. It is especially in spring, we were told, that Sou-dagh should be seen, when the almond and peach trees cover with their rich blossoms the [257] smiling valley favoured of nature ! With each century comes a new dress, and a new form of poetry.

The gloomy shelter of a miserable room, a plentiful litter, distant trips to the environs, productive shooting excursions, interesting visits to the ruins, to the sulphurous springs of the vicinity, so renowned for certain cutaneous diseases, and to the schistous ravines which pass, in the opinion of the inhabitants, for coal mines ; such is a summary of our mode of life, and the manner in which our time was employed during our stay at Sou-dagh. We took leave of this beautiful country, resounding with the hammering of cask heads, and the rack of the wine press, and our numerous cavalcade directed its course towards the village of Koutlak, situated to the north of the valley, in a country of remarkable fertility. From Koutlak we descended again towards the coast, along an immense ravine filled with large stones, rolled along by the mountain torrents, and at night we arrived at Kapskhor.

This is a fine Tatar village, and lacks no room for its development. It is skilfully laid out in the form of a vast amphitheatre, the houses being ranged in rows one above the other, so that each row of terraces overlooks all those beneath it. A mosque, recently built, occupies one of the sides of the mountain. There we alighted, and were received with [258] the most refined and dignified grace by a moullah, just leaving the mosque, whose countenance was of the most charming character, presenting a perfect type of a study by Raphael. We were soon consigned to the care of the ombaclli, who, from the top of his terrace, convoked with loud shouts all those whose skill or presence were necessary to the hospitality he was preparing for us : it was the hour when each family was assembled for the evening meal. At this signal from the chief of the village the entire multitude issued forth, and in the twinkling of an eye covered every terrace, in order to learn the cause of this supreme summons. It was one of those extraordinary spectacles which remain for ever engraven on the memory. The lodging assigned to us was an extremely clean apartment, entirely hung with tapestry. The paper used in winter by the Tatars, instead of window panes, already appeared pasted across the bars of the narrow windows. A supper, quite patriarchal in its simplicity, but skilfully prepared and good naturedly offered, terminated the day's proceedings, and made us feel disposed for sleep.

On the 9th of October, we resumed our journey towards the coast. Our kind hosts of Kapskhor had appointed as our principal guide a holy personage, a hadji, whose white turban marked him as one who had [259] performed the pilgrimage to Mecca. Our departure was a little retarded, from philanthropic motives. A young Tatar had come the night before to inquire whether we had a doctor among us, and expressed extreme joy on finding Dr. Léveillé quite ready to remove a troublesome wen on his eyebrow, which threatened to invade his eyelid. An appointment was made for the next morning, but the young man, who appeared so resolute the day before, was not forthcoming. We did not quit the village, however, without a search for him, from which he no doubt congratulated himself on escaping.

The mountains we were journeying over, although very lofty, and from that circumstance imposing, are mean in shape, and impart no peculiar character to the landscape. Immense ravines and precipitous acclivities, presented themselves incessantly on our road throughout the morning When we had caught sight of an ancient tower in the distance, ascribed to the Roman period, and called by the Tatars, Tchoban-Kaleh, the Tower of the Shepherds, it was not long before we discovered the village of Ouskout, buried in the bosom of a deep valley, where we had some difficulty in obtaining horses. The worthy ombachi, who little anticipated at this season of the year so numerous a party of travellers, had allowed all the animals to roam at liberty in the direction of the mountains, and [260] it was a long and fatiguing task to collect from far around a sufficient number of steeds for our cavalcade. As evening drew on, the country at our feet assumed a more smiling aspect. After a long journey down hill, to reach the bottom of a narrow valley, in which we had to cross two brooks, we caught sight of Touak, a village agreeably situated near the sea, and overlooking a number of orchards filled with fine trees. While our horses were being saddled, we stretched ourselves on a soft carpet which the ombachi of the village had ordered to be laid down on a terrace, where some grapes and new wine were served us for supper. At the end of this frugal repast, our travelling cohort resumed its journey, and having soon left behind us Koutchouk-Ouzen and Kourou-Ouzen (Little Brook and Dry Brook), pretty villages with descriptive names, we were overtaken by the night just as we were leaving all beaten track, and were about to try the chances of skirting the irregular shore as far as Alouchta.

At the spot where the beaten path terminates, we had met two Tatar shepherds, with their faces turned to the setting sun, fervently engaged in their evening devotions, and prostrating themselves on a little carpet laid out before them. The way to Alouchta ? inquired we. Which is the way to Alouchta ? The pious shep- herds both together pointed to the sea shore, but we [261] required to be told a second time, ere we could be convinced that this was really the way. As soon, however, as we clearly understood what we had to look forward to, our cavalcade drew up in close order, and proceeded along the beach covered with rolling pebbles. Our guides, impeded by the frequent breaking down of the baggage, which was not very solidly built up, had considerably relaxed in speed, and a wide interval separated them from us. Meanwhile, it seemed a strange road that we were following, for we were entirely ignorant of the fact that this was the only portion of the coast which, from want of time, had not been included in the useful system of smooth and convenient roads, with which this beautiful garden of the south has been intersected under the administration of Count Woronzoff. Accordingly, we advanced as well as we could over the yielding surface, the effect of which was suddenly to extinguish the ardour of our horses. In a short time the darkness became absolute ; the wind rose, and the chafed and swollen sea washed the very feet of our steeds, while a slanting and icy rain lashed our faces. Our situation was now beginning to define itself clearly, as Raffet expressed it. The darkness was so impenetrable that not nne of us could see his horse's head, and in this way we advanced, as through the depths of a gulf, with no other guide than the sound [262] of the waves driving up the shingle. Every step presented some fresh obstacle : here a number of trees had been blown over across the path ; there lay an invisible quagmire, but which the instinct of our horses never failed to discover. These intelligent animals thus scrambled blindly, now over rocks toppled down towards the sea, now along narrow paths over the downs, incessantly giving way beneath them. Perishing with cold, soaked with rain, and encountering at least twenty falls, the danger of which we were, owing to the darkness, fortunately prevented from seeing, we took three long and tedious hours to perform the distance of a few versts, which separated us from Alouchta. At length a light appeared as a cheering signal, through the deep gloom of night. Our horses feeling themselves on firmer ground, resumed their accustomed steadiness and confidence. We crossed a small stream which we were unable to see, and drew up beneath the spacious galleries of a handsome dwelling in the Turkish style : this was the post-house of Alouchta. An hour after, all our troubles were forgotten. Two of our companions, however, wishing to make sure of our return by the steamboat, the next departure of which would be the last, though at what precise date it would take place we knew not, prudently made up their minds, after an hour's halt at midnight, to set off in advance of the [263] rest of our caravan, and proceed to Yalta : nor was there any difficulty in carrying out this design, for we were at the post-house, and a mere signal to that effect would suffice. A télégue was soon got ready, and our travellers, seated side by side in the narrow car, set off amidst clouds of snow, while we, like perfect Sybarites, returned in doors to stretch ourselves, wrapped in large cloaks, round a blazing stove. Sleep had descended upon the weary travellers, while still the little bell of the télègue whirling away with our two companions, could be heard in the neighbouring mountains.

The next morning, at eight o'clock, what should awaken our party of sleepers but the same tinkling sound, and evidently from the same little bell. Great was our surprise, and all were eager to learn what had happened : fortunately nothing serious. Our two companions, in the confusion of departure, had simply forgotten to tell the postillion which road to take. As soon as they were installed in the light car, they had pronounced the usual expression, pacholl ! ` drive on !' and .the postillion had driven on. But in what direction ? Alas ! due north, towards Tchadir-Dagh and Sympheropol ; whereas, the road our adventurous travellers should have taken was southward, and towards the sea. The snow drifted so violently, and the wind was so loud, that our unfortunate friends proceeded [264] thus, without knowing whither, like the leaf driven by the storm. At last they came to a post-station, Taochan-Bazar, the hare market, which stands on the road-side to the east of Tchadir-Dagh, and resembles one of those fantastic structures seen in English gardens. Here our explorers awoke, and jointly possessing just sufficient acquaintance with the Russian language to construct a phrase of three words, inquired of the postmaster, " How many versts to Yalta ?" " Fifty-four," replied the official. " Fifty-four? Impossible 1 the man must certainly be asleep." Calling for pen and ink, they made the post-master write down the number. Everything was now explained, to the vexation and astonishment of our comrades, who immediately returned, like white phantoms, from their disastrous adventure.

The road leading to Yalta we found almost totally unprovided with horses, the greater part being bespoken for the government service. In order to reach the general rendezvous, we were obliged to have recourse to any means that presented themselves, and we proceeded along this splendid road, broken up into separate parties, and at various intervals from each other, some on horseback, and some in carriages, in the best way we could.

We have elsewhere described the picturesque situation of Alouchta. This little town stands at the lower end [265] of a gigantic ravine, and seems posted there like a sentinel, to guard over this enormous defile. Alouchta and Sou-dagh are the only two points on the coast where the first series of the Tauric range is interrupted. It would seem as though the second series of mountains, which completes the rampart, were placed there for the sole purpose of protecting the coast against the disastrous effects of the north wind. At Alouchta, the protecting mountain is no other than the majestic Tchadir-Dagh. The town of Alouchta, thanks to the stratagetic advantages of its position, has acquired some historical renown. In the fifth century, when Rome ruled over these regions, and protected them against the barbarians, the Emperor Justinian caused a fort to be built at the entrance of the valley of Alouchta ; this fort was called Phrourion. Three lofty towers, forming part of this citadel, are still left standing among the huts of the Tatars. Subsequently to this remote period, Alouchta, whose Sclavonic name is said to be an endearing diminutive of the beautiful name of Helene, the most popular in Greece, became a great, and even an episcopal city. In the present day it has lost somewhat of its importance, but still remains justly proud of its beautiful situation, and its two-fold valley covered with gardens and vineyards, and watered by two streams, whereof the Korbekoïou is the most considerable. Its [266] official importance consists simply in its being a posttown, both as regards letters and post-horses, and a principal customs station. A handsome hotel, built in the Asiatic style, a mosque quite recently erected, and several shops, complete the architectural statistics of the place, which cannot fail greatly increasing in importance, as soon as all the roads intended to centre there are completed.

Moreover, the introduction of the vine, that fortunate speculation for the southern Crimea, has already made so much progress, that the deciatine of land has risen within the last ten years from 50 roubles to the enormous rate of 800, and even at this price there is no lack of purchasers.

But return we towards Yalta. If you would admire a series of beautiful landscapes, and contemplate nature by turns, in all her majestic wildness, and in her most seductive details, travel along this pretty road, which is like a ride in some fine park, skilfully laid out, so as to embrace a variety of picturesque effects, truly enchanting. But here, as with the road from Yalta to Aloupka, we will not attempt to describe, and will simply confine ourselves to an enumeration of the places through which we passed.

The deplorable weather which tracked us through this teeming labyrinth of rocks and forests could not prevent, [267] however, our descrying Bouyouk-Lampat, the Great Lampat, a faded relic of ancient Lampas, which stood by the sea's edge in the time of the Greek colonies, and attracted beneath its walls, well known to the merchant, vessels which it could but ill shelter against the storm. A little further on we beheld Parthenites. This ancient name is now employed to designate a fertile wine estate and a rich village, whose inhabitants successfully cultivate flax, and grow the best tobacco in the whole Crimea, so celebrated in this respect. Along the whole of this coast may be observed the traces of some great convulsion of the earth's crust. Leaving Parthenites behind, you advance amidst scenery of a mysterious character, and are now far from the sea, for Aiou-Dagh, the Bear Mountain, rises like an immense flattened cone, while its base is plunged in the sea. Between this rock and the Taurie mountains lies a sheltered valley; and how beautiful is the road along the slopes of this secondary range ! The traveller will there be reminded of Switzerland. Nothing is wanting to complete the resemblance : rocks, mills, bridges of daring architecture, and turbulent cascades. Like all mountain passes, these roads have their legends and poetical traditions. If you listen to the post-masters, the Tatar drivers, or even the feld-jagers themselves, the armed couriers of the government, it will be your fault if you [268] are not persuaded that some unknown brigand, some Tatar Schubry, is sometimes encountered amidst these lonely ambuscades, and that he buries the plunder resulting from his mysterious expeditions on the summit of Aiou-Dagh. These traditions, however, more poetical than terrible, do not interfere with the perfect safety of the road, which may be travelled over without fear night and day.

Another happily situated spot is the estate of Artek, for which a former proprietor, as romantic as he was fond of Greek, invented the name of Kardiatricon, or cure for the heart ; a name which seems fresh plucked from the Garden of Greek Roots of the Rev. Father Lancelot. Next comes Oursouf, another of Justinian's forts, which, in the time of the Sclavonian invasion, was called Gorzabita, the shattered mountain. Oursouf has, in its turn, belonged to the Genoese. A mass of ruins, dating from the period of the Genoese occupation, and built, perhaps, on Roman foundations, commands this little town, which rises in the form of an amphitheatre on the banks of a streamlet. Passing this spot, you leave Aï-Danil on your left, a wine estate, under the protection of St. Daniel. Similar names are frequent in this part of the coast. Cape Aï-Todor is dedicated to St. Theodore. Aï-Petri, the rock which overhangs Aloupka like an embattled tower, Ai-Vassilli, the large black mountain [269] towards which we were now journeying, are so many instances in which the ancient nomenclature of the Lower Empire has been preserved. The word agios (holy) has been corrupted into Aï. Thus does the elliptical character of the oriental languages disfigure the names which it appropriates.

Within a short distance of Aï-Danil appears Nikita, a fine village, overshadowed by walnut trees. We need scarcely state, that living springs of fresh water, in which the Crimea is so rich, abundantly irrigate these fertile ravines. Below Nikita, between that village and the sea, stretches the celebrated botanical garden belonging to the crown, established in 1812. This valuable garden contains an immense collection of plants, cultivated with a degree of care which the beauty of the climate and the vigour of the soil have rendered effective beyond all hope. To the verdant temple of science a sanctuary was required ; to this end a simple edifice, supported on pillars, has been erected, in a position commanding the most attractive prospects, and from a pedestal within it a bust of Linnaeus, the learned and ingenious inventor of botany, extends its protection over the whole of this learnedly classified vegetation. So short a visit as ours, and one so crossed by the bad weather, was little fitted to satisfy our botanical zeal. Accordingly, the following day Dr. Léveillé returned to the garden, to spend an [270] entire day, wrapped in that happy state of scientific contemplation, of which only the initiated can appreciate the delights.

As Yalta is approached, the steep sides of the mountains appear clothed with a vegetation similar to that which spreads over the vast area of Stille-Bogas. Our readers may, perhaps, remember that we remarked at starting the beauty of these pines and twisted junipers. We were proceeding at a gallop along the road leading to Yalta, when, close to Massandra, a fine estate belonging to Count Woronzoff, we descried a nuniber of men on horseback, wrapped in their bourkas. These are capital Circassian cloaks, perfectly imperméables, as they say in Paris. The leader of this cavalcade was no other than Count Woronzoff himself. On seeing us, the features of the noble Count betrayed an expression of serious displeasure, and lie severely took to task the postillion driving the first télégue of our caravan ; and, indeed, the man was greatly to blame. In the face of the most precise regulations to the contrary, he had harnessed three horses to his fragile vehicle, when, from the dangerous nature of the road, which is hedged with precipices, only two are allowed. Let us add, that this imprudent driver, a mutilated old soldier, had but one arm to guide three fiery horses, galloping all the way, and rushing round the windings of the road with terrific rapidity. [271] The reprimand was accordingly severe ; and we, who were ignorant of the regulations and of the fault committed, looked on in some amazement : as to the culprit, he knew perfectly well the punishment that awaited him. When all was over, the governor-general laid aside his severe looks, and appeared as full as ever of kindness and interest towards his proteges, who, thanks to him, had accomplished, with unequalled success, their long excursion, so rife with new emotions and fresh sources of interest. This rencontre, however, under such untoward circumstances, caused us some distress. We called to mind the expression of an inhabitant of the Crimea, of whom we inquired how it was, that with so kind a heart, and such paternal and engaging manners, Count Woronzoff enforced such rigid respect of his authority. " Gentlemen," was the answer, " in the same degree as the general is kind and affable on all ordinary occasions, is he strict when duty is in question ; ` he is a steel blade in a velvet scabbard.' " What could we add to this eulogium? and yet, two (lays afterwards, the noble Count's hospitable kindness towards us extended so far, as to pardon the old postillion, and remit the fine he had incurred.

It is impossible to describe how softly the first words of Signor Bartolucci fell on our ears. " Slate benvenuti, signori!" In this good hostelry at Yalta, where all [272] are so attentive, and hospitable services are rendered with such ready good nature as to make one forget the tariff, we found all that could be desired by travellers wet, weary, and covered with a thick crust of mud. On alighting at the cittáâ di Odessa, we exactly resembled those rough shaped clay models on which the sculptor's fancy has not yet impressed any definite form.

The next day all the neighbouring mountains were covered with snow ; it was a magnificent spectacle, but of short duration, for the sun soon converted all this snow into torrents.

Before the departure of the Peter the Great, we had but one duty to fulfil, and one visit to pay. Both were enjoined us by a proper feeling .of gratitude, and we proceeded to Aloupka to acquit ourselves of the obligation. Since our last visit the palace of Aloupka had been completed, and it now appeared in all its majesty from the top of a broad terrace commanding the magnificent scenery around. We have already described the situation of this royal residence upon which Aï-Petri, a lightning- jagged rock, frowns from a height of a thousand feet. The palace, or rather to speak with- the noble modesty of its masters, the mansion of Aloupka, stands in the midst of thick masses of foliage, and stands out against the grey back-ground of the mountain. The material of [273] which it is built is a rich green granite, the grünstein of German mineralogists. The form of the building is a massive square, and its style a skilful combination of the Byzantine and Saracen architecture, except that, by a privilege peculiar to Aloupka, the blocks of granite were procured at so short a distance that they have been left in their original large dimensions. The structure of the house, accordingly, is like that of a Roman monument : a succession of gigantic layers of stone. With such materials the architect has been enabled to introduce the most delicate sculptured ornaments, carved in a solid block from these large stones. The balustrades of the palace, its elegant chimneys, disguised in ornamental forms, and all the delicate tracery carved out of the solid granite, will consequently endure as long as the neighbouring peaks from which their material has been hewn.

We have scarcely more than alluded to the gardens of Aloupka, and yet where shall we find any more deserving an elaborate description ? Nothing is wanting in this spot, favoured by every natural resource, to constitute an unrivalled garden ; grottoes, cascades, limpid basins, yawning craters, wild retreats. Nor has nature required more than the slightest assistance from the hand of man. All that was necessary, was to lay out a path, adroitly winding along the slopes, beside [274] the waters, by the edge of the precipices, and leading the visitor unconsciously to every spot on the grounds. The boundary of this portion of the gardens, is formed by the solid sides of Ai-Petri; and it would be difficult, through all these ravines, to reach the base of this formidable mountain in less than two hours. Returning towards the Count's residence, a Tatar village is encountered, concealed in a hollow, and overshadowed by a thick forest. The presence of this village, thus shrouded from view, is only betrayed by its glittering minaret rising above the mass of foliage, from whose summit the calls of the Muslem are daily heard and endured with all patience at the principal residence. On the slope descending towards the sea, are exhibited all the artificial beauties of an English garden, with its capriciously winding paths, and its expanse of turf, in the midst of which is heard the murmur of a hidden rivulet. Here stands a tower, there a guard-house, for the Arnaouts, higher up, a conservatory, and a hostelry besides, the design of which, in harmony with the surrounding scenery, is in the Italian style. Immediately at the foot of the mountain a little harbour, protected by rocks, affords a shelter to fishing and pleasure boats. But this is only a frigid and incomplete sketch of this admirable garden. What more shall we say of this magnificent abode ? or how describe the scene of our [275] farewell, which left us so filled with emotion and gratitude. To have heard the Count Woronzoff at this last interview, it would seem we had no thanks to return. We took leave of this nobleman, bearing away with us a promise most dearly prized by us, viz., that of speedy advancement for our devoted companion and faithful guide, Michael.

On Saturday, October 28th, the Peter the Great received us on board for the last time, together with our collections, our scientific acquisitions, and our notes, filled with such sincere expressions of admiration. Michael, who was as attached to us as if we were his oldest friends, pressed us all in his arms with tears, which the old Arnaout vainly endeavoured to repress. The next day, after a splendid passage, we arrived at Odessa.

Local Women with Water Jugs


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A Servant Boy serving drink to gentlemen with pipes


OUR travels were now drawing to a close. We had accomplished, with all due conscientiousness, this our studious enterprise, and now it was time to think of returning homeward. The season was already far advanced, and the fine weather, which we st18ill expected to fall in with on the coast of the Crimea, had vanished before the [278] gloomy harbingers of winter. On the 29th of October we were in Odessa, and only too well pleased to find that the road across the steppes was not closed to us by the setting in of the rainy season.

Tombstones in Graveyard

Before taking leave o