Title


chapter 3-From Bucharest etc.

CHAPTER V

ODESSA.-THE SOUTHERN COAST OF THE CRIMEA.

ship at sea

[289]

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

[290]

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.

DROSCHKI AT ODESSA
DROSCHKI AT ODESSA

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.

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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.

STATISTICS OF ODESSA
AT THE END OF THE YEAR 1836,
ACCORDING TO THE DATA OF M. SKALKOFSKY,
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
[315]
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
93
Total 27,532
26,271
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
[317]
6. City Budget.
Revenues.
Fifth of the Customs' revenue 1,388,968,22
Land and house tax, patents, &c. 397,151,12
Total 1,786,119,34
Expenditure.
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.

[320]

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




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