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the minds of most naval readers of name in the Navy List who had these pages, how many localities obtained first-class certificates in they have visited which have never any of these branches of science ; been more than roughly surveyed, and if the Admiralty wished to put how many inaccuracies are found their hand upon an officer for any in charts, and how often it would special service, they would at once have been in their power to furnish be able to select one who, by the correct plans of different harbours nature of his studies, had qualified they have visited, or to fill in an himself for that particular duty. imperfectly known coast-line, had We have thus endeavoured to they only known how to set about show what are the requirements of it. The very limited knowledge of the naval service with respect to our naval officers of the two sub- the education and training of its jects we have just mentioned, is a officers, and how these requirements standing reproach to the service; may be provided for. We have yet the blame does not rest with entered fully into the subject, for them, as we have endeavoured to two reasons ; first, because it is one show.
of the very greatest national imThe system of study, therefore, portance, and also because—since for the senior officers, requires a it has been resolved to abolish the careful revision. There should be present system, and to establish different courses of study estab. a College for the naval cadetslished, besides that of steam, for this is the especial time to take other branches of science-viz., the these matters into careful considehigher mathematics, mechanics and ration. We earnestly hope that the hydrostatics, nautical astronomy, Admiralty will look upon this quesmarine surveying, naval architec- tion in a broad and liberal light, ture, practical astronomy, field for- and permit no paltry motives of tification, and optics. An elemen- economy, or no narrow-minded pretary knowledge of mathematics judices, to stand in the way of the would of course be necessary before development of some scheme which any of these could be entered upon; may be worthy of this great counbut according to even the present try, and the first Navy of the world. system of educating cadets, they And we trust that naval officers acquire this; and were such a plan themselves, fully sensible of the adopted as those we have sketched neglect under which their education out, officers, when they came to has suffered, will one and all, whenstudy at the senior College, would ever opportunity shall offer, raise have previously been thoroughly their voices in favour of some such well grounded in many of these system for the future as shall in subjects also during their three every respect atone for the shortyears' instruction as cadets. The comings of the past. To them we officers joining the senior College, would recall the words of the late according to this arrangement, Sir James Graham : * “I cannot should be at liberty to select any express in adequate terms my adof the above subjects, for each of miration of the naval character ; I which there should be an ex- think it decidedly the very flower amination to go through at the of British society. I think that a termination of the course, and cer- naval officer, trained from his youth tificates of proficiency given, a in his profession, and master of his certain time being allowed for each profession, is one of the noblest and subject. Some distinguishing mark finest characters that the history of might be put against an officer's this country can produce.”
* Evidence before Select Committee of the House of Commons on Admiralty Administration, 1861.
LETTERS FROM THE PRINCIPALITIES.
NO. 11.-SOCIETY AND POLITICS IN MOLDAVIA.
The British public have very lit- Hitherto I had only visited the tle notion of the complicated ques- monasteries and convents belonging tions which are preparing for them to the Cenobitic class—Nyamptz, in the East, and more especially in Seku, Agapia, and Veratica. Everythose Principalities of the Danube, where I found the same sentiment which may be considered the centre prevailing. There was a great deal of the Gordian knot. Carefully of dissatisfaction expressed as to eschewing the study of any ques- the mode in which the measure tion which is in the least difficult had been carried out, but the printo master, they never hesitate to ciple of the thing was not objected pronounce a very decided opinion to, and beneficial results were anupon its merits when the moment ticipated by those who were most for doing so arrives. Popular con- directly affected. It remained yet victions are none the less strongly to see a good specimen of a Dediheld because based upon absolute cated monastery, and we decided ignorance, and we have a notable to proceed from Veratica to Piatra, instance, in the Schleswig-Holstein a town situated in the valley of question, of the whole British na- Bistritza, and from thence to visit tion regaling itself upon humble a monastery of the same name in pie, to the great amusement of the neighbourhood. Our parting Europe generally. If we would scene, when we bade adieu to the only take the trouble beforehand to nuns of Veratica, was not so touchlook into the most important points ing as when we reluctantly tore of foreign policy which are likely ourselves away from the Mikas of to arise, we should be saved this Agapia ; but still we turned our humiliation. Instead of this, any backs with real regret on our hoswell-informed member of Parlia- pitable entertainers, and, furnished, ment would think he was insulted as before, with convent horses and if he was asked whether he under- gypsy postilions, sped down the stood the question of the secularisa- valley towards our destination. tion of the Dedicated monasteries by After a five hours' drive through Prince Couza. Some of the worst scenery which, without being grand, jokes that ever were made, because was full of charm and variety, we they were in such bad taste, were descended at dusk upon the picturthose made upon the impossibility esquely situated town of Piatra. of understanding the Schleswig- Far away from any great route, Holstein question by persons whose few travellers have ever visited this business it was to understand it. remote spot-but it would be the Very much more of the same de- starting-point for a most interestscription of facetiousness on the ing mountain-trip. The turbulent part of our public men will impair Bistritza, after a headlong course the national dignity to such an ex- through the lovely scenery of the tent that, in the end, we shall be Carpathians, here issues from a forced into a war for no other pur- gorge in the mountains, and hencepose than the recovery of prestige. forth glides tranquilly across fertile If the Convent question is too dull plains till it falls into the Sereth. to be studied in this country, let Just before our arrival, half the people go, as I did, and learn it town of Piatra had been swept from the nuns themselves; but in away by the overwhelming force some way or other do let them of its torrent, and we walked over know something about it before acres of debris and desolation. Conthey give their votes.
taining about fifteen thousand inhabitants, Piatra owes alike its pro- was summarily ejected from office, I sperity and its misfortunes to the have little doubt that he is not now capricious river on the banks of exceeded by his fellows in bitterness. which it is situated. It is the cen. We paid a very early visit to the tre of the wood trade, and the Monastery of Bistritza, situated in Bistritza is, up to this point, the the gorge of the valley, and distant mode of conveyance from the dense- only about an hour from Piatra. ly - wooded valleys of the Carpa- The scenery at this point becomes thians. Not merely does it afford really fine, and we regretted that we water-carriage for wood, but the were prevented from pushing our rafts in their turn are made use of explorations into the tempting reby travellers as the most conveni- gion beyond. Here, instead of a ent way of descending the river. collection of separate cottages inThese rafts are of necessity com- habited by hundreds of monks, paratively small, but they are fur- there was only a large house and a nished with comfortable little log church. The house contained the shanties; and I regretted, as I saw Igoumen, a fine-looking man, who them come spinning down the ra- received us hospitably, and informpids and being moored to the wreck ed us that he, together with two or of shattered cottages, that I bad three exiled priests, composed the not found time to explore the head whole establishment. We went into waters of the river, and descend it the church-an old building, decoin this exciting fashion.
rated with some quaint frescoes, and We were most hospitably enter in which service was being drawled tained at Piatra by the prefect, over by one of the exiles to three or whose house of only one storey, with four old men and women. One of verandahs all round, was not unlike the latter startled me by suddenly an Indian bungalow; it was never- prostrating herself before the officitheless one of the most sumptuous ating priest as he was carrying the mansions in the place. As a rule, host, and thus obliging him to step the town was little better than a over her body. The monk who had collection of huts, and, to judge accompanied us from the Monastery from their outward appearance, the of Nyamptz informed me that the people did not seem to thrive peasants profoundly believed in the very much on the wood trade. efficacy of this process for healing The disaster which had so recently purposes whenever they were afflictovertaken them, and which had re- ed with any malady; and he went duced thousands to ruin, was, how- on to say that his experience conever, without doubt, one chief cause firmed this popular superstition, of the squalid and poverty-stricken and that he had himself cured peoaspect of the place. We met at ple by stepping over them with the dinner the few intelligent and edu- host in his hands. cated men who lived here, and Bistritza was as good a specimen spend the evening, as is usual on of a Dedicated monastery as we such occasions, in political discus- could have selected. The abuses of sions. The policy of Prince Couza a system which could foster such an always afforded a fruitful topic. Un- establishment were apparent at a fortunately, there was never a suf- glance; and I am bound to say that ficient divergence of opinion about the Igoumen himself, with whom him individually to make an argu- we discussed the matter, scarcely ment possible. During the whole attempted to defend it. In order, term of my residence in Moldavia however, to make clear the distincand Wallachia, I did not find a soul tions between the various ecclesiaswho defended him. Indeed, the tical endowments in these Princionly man who did not virulently palities, it will be necessary to deabuse him was the then Prime Min- fine shortly the conditions under ister. As, a week or two after I saw which they exist. It may be said, this functionary for the last time, he at a rough computation, that as
nearly as possible one-fifth of the and had large sums owing to them soil of Moldavia is in the hands of which they never saw the least the Church. This Church property chance of obtaining. Meantime the may be divided into four categories Government denies that it has ac
- that belonging to Government tually appropriated property which monasteries, to Cenobitic monas- does not belong to it; on the conteries, to Dedicated monasteries, trary, Prince Couza maintains that and to secular churches. The Gov. all convent property is in reality ernment monasteries are small en- Government property, and that he dowments, scarcely worth men- has a right to take it, with its oblitioning. The whole annual rental gations. Without following him of the secular churches is only into the special pleading by which £3000. It is probable, therefore, he endeavours to prove this, the that their State endowments do not fact remains that he has poured an involve greater abuses than eccle- enormous sum of money into the siastical endowments in other coun- Government coffers, and at the same tries. We have left to consider the time put the Cenobitic establishCenobitic and the Dedicated mon- ments on a footing which they preasteries. The first category I de- fer, and which is likely to diminish scribed in a former article. Nyamptz, existing abuses. The monks will Seku, Agapia, and Veratica all be- no longer be oppressed and victim. longed to it. They are not nearly ised by boyards, or eaten up by pilso wealthy as the Dedicated class- grims and strangers. They get their and have a great deal more to do with three piastres a - day apiece for their money. They are people of the board, besides about £125 a-year country, who spend at home the pocket-money for each man, and wealth they derive from the produce have no further trouble with the of the soil, and who, as a rule, ap- administration of their large reveprove rather than otherwise of Prince nues. The nuns in the same way Couza's wholesale measure of con- get two ducats a-day from the Govfiscation. It may hit them hard in ernment, with which they are very some respects, but it hits their bitter well satisfied, and admit the proenemies the Dedicated monasteries priety of the new regulation prohimuch harder. The Cenobitic con- biting women from taking the veil vents and monasteries derive their until they are forty-five. For ten riches either from the legacies of years to come no novice at all is to wealthy boyards, or from members be admitted to either convent. The of the fraternity who have thrown only objection I heard made by their property into the common lot. themselves to this rule was, that The revenue of Nyamptz, for in- when the convent contained nostance, was nominally £20,000 a-year, thing but old women, there would derived from land: this maintained be no one to chant or perform the nine hundred monks, and a large service, Altogether, it is evident sum was set aside for hospitality; that the Government is doing what for it was the fashion for strangers it can to discourage such establishto quarter themselves for an indefi- ments. It opposes the institution of nite period upon the monastery; schools by either monks or nunsand at the time of the annual pil- too much knowledge, in the opinion grimage the guests were reckoned of Prince Couza, being a dangerous by thousands : added to this, many thing; and it equally opposes the of the most powerful boyards are accumulation of wealth for the supheavily indebted to the monasteries port of hives of male and female for rents of land, and in other drones, who do nothing but discuss ways; as it is not the fashion politics and grumble. in the Principalities to pay one's We now come to the next cadebts, and courts of law exist only tegory, of Dedicated monasteries. as channels of injustice, the monas- They are upon an altogether difteries were invariably victimised, ferent foundation from the establishments we have just been dis- drones of Athos, Sinai, and other cussing, and derive their wealth monasteries, or else is appropriated from property acquired by the Pa- by the Patriarch at Constantinople, triarch of Constantinople for the who is accountable for it to no one, Church of which he is the head, one cannot wonder at the head of under various pretexts. It was the State casting covetous eyes only natural that, when the Otto- upon it for the exigencies of his man rule was more directly opera- Government. It would be too tive in the Principalities than it is much to expect of any man, much at present, everything should be less of Prince Couza, who is not managed by intrigue through Con- much troubled with the devotional stantinople; and the boyards repaid sentiment, to nourish in his bosom the Patriarch for any jobs with the the ecclesiastical vampire which has Turkish Government they wished fastened upon the vitals of the done, by making over, or “dedicat country, and is sucking its lifeing,' at their death, their property blood. Even Mr Gladstone, were to the Greek Church. While the he Chancellor of the Exchequer in monks of the Cenobitic monasteries the Principalities, notwithstanding owe allegiance to the Greek Metro- the marks of affection which he has politan at Jassy, the monks of the lavished, on more than one occaDedicated monasteries owe allegi- sion, upon the Greek priesthood, ance only to the Patriarch at Con- would scarcely be able to resist stantinople. They are, in every proving by argument the superior sense, intruders and interlopers ; claims of the State over a Church are seldom natives of the country; the head of which in a foreign and form, in fact, a portion of that country acts as the receiver of vast ecclesiastical system which stolen goods, while his clergy perswallows up, for Church purposes, form the functions of robbers and an immense proportion of the wealth exporters of the same. of European Turkey and the Le. It was a curious thing to see this vant. These Dedicated monasteries solitary man in his large empty are affiliated to Mount Athos and house, standing over against a large other Greek convents abroad, and empty church, without a congrethe Turkish Government has an gation, without priests, without interest in the question, because schools, without paupers to sucthey are, in a sense, as appertaining cour, with no other earthly occupato a Church whose head is at Con- tion except to collect the rents of stantinople, under Turkish protec- the monastery, which amount to tion. So that we have the posi- £12,000 a-year, and to send them tions reversed; and while, in Tur- to Constantinople. Though called key, Russia is perpetually agitating Igoumen, and invested ostensibly upon the ground of a protectorate with sacred functions, he really was in favour of the Christian Church, nothing more than a land-steward on in the Principalities Turkey is agi- a salary of £125 a-year, kept there, tating, upon the same pretext, in with long hair and a long robe and favour of the same sect. So little a sacred character, to gather in the has real religion to do with it in rents and see that the peasants who either case.
belonged to the monastery did the Altogether, the revenue of these right amount of service for the Dedicated convents in Moldavia lands they held. Poor man! he alone amounted to an annual rental himself protested that it made very of £200,000. When it is remem- little difference to him whether the bered that almost every farthing of lands were confiscated or not: under this sum is sent to Constantinople, no circumstances did he make moand, instead of finding its way back ney, he alleged, so strict was the into the pockets of Moldavians, to account he was compelled to renbe used in developing the resources der to Constantinople; and he was of the country, goes to enrich the rather glad than otherwise that the