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Government, by coolly appropriat- from countries like Moldavia, where ing the whole £12,000 a year, and they possess large tracts of counstill advancing him his own salary, try. It is only natural that the saved him all further trouble. Out Igoumens, who are scarcely ever of the revenue thus acquired by natives of the country to which Prince Couza, an annual grant of they are sent as rent-takers, should £900 is made to the support of the look upon the whole thing as a Monastery of Bistritza. Judging question of plunder. Our friend by the specimens of priesthood we at Bistritza told us that he was a saw there, this sum is ample. The native of Constantinople, but bad only objection which the public been appointed to his present post take to this act of spoliation is, by the Bishop of Jerusalem. It that Prince Couza will no more say will be seen, from the conditions what he does with the yearly re- under which the Dedicated monasvenue he has pocketed than the Pa- teries of the Principalities exist, that triarch. There must be something Turkey has really a very indirect infascinating in the touch of this sa- terest in them. It is more a quescred gold, so closely does it stick to tion of principle than of interest, the fingers of all who handle it. but the traditional instincts of the However, Prince Couza can't last for Porte lead the Government to hold ever; and even if he is not more with tenacity to its right upon mathonest than a priest, he has at least ters which are really of no importthe merit of having broken down a ance. Moreover, it is subject to a system of robbery and plunder on very strong Fanariot pressure at the part of the Church, and of Constantinople, which the Sultan keeping Moldavian money in the finds it difficult to resist. The country. Under the old system, connection of Turkey with these adventurers or needy boyards used provinces is a distinct source of to plot with the dishonest Igou weakness to her, yet there is mens, who gave them recommenda- nothing upon which the Governtions to the Patriarch at Constan- ment at Constantinople is more tinople. They thus procured from sensitive than about its rights this dignitary land at absurdly in the Principalities. If we are low leases, the representations of to support these claims, it would the Igoumen being that they were be wise to do it upon some subject of small value. They would then which would be more comprehensisublet these lands at an enormous ble to the British public than the advance, grind the peasantry down Dedicated monasteries. The Power to the last farthing, and share the which has enabled Prince Couza to profits with the respectable Igou- effect this wholesale measure with men. Better, say the peasantry, impunity has been France; and have to trust to the tender mercies Russia, although interested in the of the Government than to those Church which has been despoiled, of priests of Dedicated monasteries and having many good reasons So they are not averse to Prince which might have induced her to Couza's measure of confiscation. oppose a measure which really has
Some idea of the enormous sums deprived her of funds which used obtained by the Greek Church, by to be employed in intrigue, was at means of monasteries dedicated to the time so much committed to a it, from the countries in which they French policy that she has found are situated, may be gained by the it difficult latterly to take a more fact that in the Monastery of Sinai consistent and independent line. there are only eighteen monks, However, this question has been with a revenue of £60,000 a-year. merged in others of greater importAs it is quite clear that they can ance arising out of the policy renot derive this sum from the barren cently adopted by Prince Couza, sides of Horeb, or from any num- and which we may consider, in a ber of “Wadies,” it can only come future article. Meantime we may take a final leave of ecclesiastical rather amusing to enter into conestablishments, Cenobitic and De- versation, for they were more unsodicated, of villages of nuns packed phisticated than those wretched together in hundreds, and of gaunt specimens of “Young Moldavia" buildings inhabited by solitary who are to be found in its capital, monks; and, traversing once more and whose manners have been acthe vast plains of these provinces, quired at the “Mabille" in Paris. examine a little at their capitals The youths of Bakou spoke with a the effect of a religion which has certain appearance at least of patrithis peculiar development upon otic fervour. They had aspirations society at large.
for their country never heard in the A six hours' drive down the valley polite society of Jassy or Bucharest, of the Bistritza took us to Bakou: and were quite delighted to show us, our road, not much traversed, fol. by the eagerness with which they lowed the river, and here and there entered upon politics, that they were the scenery was soft and pretty ; qualifying themselves for self-govbut as we approached our destina- ernment. The more enthusiastic tion, the gentle undulations which talked wildly about a Roumania gave a variety to the landscape gra- which should embrace Transylvania, dually subsided, and we found our the Buckovine, the Banat, and selves at nightfall in the dusty plain. Bessarabia, besides the PrincipaliBakou is a town on the main road ties, amounting altogether to a from Jassy to Bucharest, containing population of about ten millions, as about fifteen thousand inhabitants, they maintain—of people all having and at the time of our visit it the same national sentiments, and was honoured by the presence of no possessing within themselves the less a person than the Prime Min- elements of cohesion. The nationister. This gentleman had been ality idea, as applied to Roumania, upon a canvassing tour through the is the most absurd expression of it country, arranging matters for the which has yet cropped up under elections. By a judicious admix- the auspices of the Emperor Louis ture of threats and bribes, it is not Napoleon. Imagine the whole of difficult in these provinces to insure Italy in a considerably more dematters going the right way. The graded state than either Naples or only other country where politics Sicily, without a Piedmont to rally as a trade are so profitable, where round, and you have Roumania. the men who engage in it are so However, it was useless to argue unscrupulous, and where the people with our Bakou audience; they beare so thoroughly victimised by the lieved in their nationality, and form of government they may by a called themselves Daco-Roumains. figure of speech be said to “enjoy," The more moderate, it is true, were is Federal America. I was amused inclined to begin with the Printo observe the manner in which the cipalities alone, without a protecPrime Minister treated the different torate. These five nurses, who are gentlemen who were presented to always quarrelling among themhim while I was in his company, selves over this very sickly baby, the contemptuous indifference man- do not improve the temper of the ifested to some, the urbanity dis- infant, and in the end will prove played to others, the servility shown fatal to its existence. This convicby nearly all, except by one man tion leads those who are not in govwho seemed to have a presentiment ernment employ, and can therefore of the disgrace which was impend- afford to be patriotic under certain ing over the Premier, and did not restrictions, to advocate the abolithink it worth wbile to be civil. tion of the protectorate. They
We did not trouble his Excellency maintain that they would thereby very long, but adjourned to an inn be thrown upon their own resources, where a number of young men and have any fine qualities which were supping, with whom it was they may perchance possess called
out. These fine qualities not being It is of no earthly use to her-a apparent to the traveller, their ab- source of weakness rather than of sence is charged upon the five pro- strength, and sure to be attacked tecting Powers, who, it is contended, before long. When it is attacked, sacrifice the interests of the country she need no more calculate vpon to their own selfish purposes, and England coming to her rescue, than enable those in power to keep them to that of Poland, Denmark, or any selves there against the will of the of the other numerous countries and country by mere intrigue. It is causes which we abandon and beindeed an open question whether tray the moment it suits us. Far we should not have better consulted better let her make a merit of neour own interests as well as those cessity, and at a time when there is of the Principalities, if, instead of no pressure at work, no coercion agreeing to place them under the used, cede what will otherwise prove protection of five Powers all jealous her ruin, and obtain in return rights of each other, we had left them to which will strengthen her Dauutheir own devices. Upon a future bian frontier. The reason that Rusoccasion, in a conversation which I sia and France may have a cause of had with Prince Couza, he graphi- quarrel with us upon this question cally described the liberty he enjoyed at any moment they choose, is simunder the present system. There ply because Turkey has rights in was no violation of the stipulations it which we are bound to protect. which he did not daringly commit Up to this moment it has not suited under the protecting ægis of one or either Power to open the Eastern other Power. However illegal or Question. The insurrection in Poarbitrary his acts, however much in land for a time divided the interests defiance of treaty-right, he was al- of France and Russia, and a skilful ways sure to have one Power on his diplomacy on our part at that time side — sometimes France, some might have pushed matters to the times Russia, generally both if his point of an open breach. This policy was directed against Turkey. would have given a coup-de-grace to If, instead of joining in an agree the Franco-Russian policy in the ment with other Powers which ob- East. It was one of the indirect liges us as a point of honour to in- advantages which would have acterfere whenever an unscrupulous crued from the gratification of the ruler breaks the constitution, we sentimentalism of the English in had confined ourselves to a treaty the matter of Poland. There has prohibiting any Power under any probably never been a question in pretence whatever from interfering which the interests of diplomacy in the internal administration of could have been so well served by these Principalities, we should have the unreasoning impulses of the saved ourselves from those diffi- masses as in this matter of Poland. culties which are likely soon to Never could the oppressed - naarise and embarrass our policy as tionality twaddle have been made seriously as the Schleswig - Hol- more available to the far-seeing stein complications have done. statesman. To the ignorant it The pretensions of Turkey, un would have been a matter of sentifortunately, were those which we ment; to the initiated, one of prothought it necessary to support, not found diplomacy. While the Emperceiving that in diplomatic as in peror was in an agony lest we military strategy you increase the should have pushed him on to an strength of your position exactly open rupture with Russia, he was in proportion as you retract your deluding his own people into the lines. At this moment the vulner- idea that there was nothing he able point of Turkey is her suze- wished for more than a war for rainty over the Principalities; she Poland, which we prevented. It has got this “tabia" of diplomacy would, indeed, have been well worth lying outside all her fortifications. Our while to have brought this about. The first principle of diplo- verbial; but the national policy is macy is to keep on good terms with held up as the type of all that is foreign Powers one's self; the second, sordid, cold - blooded, and selfish. to foster dissensions between those Everything, in fact, that the Engwho, if united, would be dangerous lishman is, the English Government to you. It is this latter principle is not; and it requires no little which Prince Couza works to such patience and temper in the present great advantage. We seem carefully day to travel, and venture upon poto reverse this order; and the result litical discussions with foreigners. of our recent diplomacy has been Nor does the secret conviction that to quarrel with every European they are right tend to increase one's Power, and to unite them against serenity. us. Thus we are quite as much de- In this little out-of-the-way Moltested as a nation in the Principali. davian town, the vices of England ties as in Germany or Denmark; were crammed down our throats. and being about to lure the Turks We were accused of egotism, of beto their destruction, we shall end ing mercenary, of impeding the deby being execrated by the only velopment of these provinces for people which still in its simplicity our own selfish ends, of intrigues so clings to our alliance, and believes black that even a Moldavian imain its efficacy. At the same time, gination shuddered to contemplate while the Roumains, like the Greeks, them, and of designs so elaborate hate and abuse us, I have little and far-seeing that the only way it doubt that, like them, if they were was possible to convince people that called on to elect a prince by popu- they did not exist, was by explainlar vote, they would unite in favour ing the phenomenon of extremes of an English one. However much meeting. Thus a sublime degree of we are despised as a friend or dis- folly and simplicity may at last be liked as an enemy, we are immense- mistaken fora wisdom and a subtlety ly respected by virtue of our inter- not appreciable by the masses. nal institutions, and of our indi- English travellers are so rare in vidual independence of character. Moldavia that even in Jassy one is While the English Government is looked upon rather as a curiosity; universally unpopular, the English- and the ignorance of society with man abroad is usually preferred to reference to England is as great as any other foreigner, and to a great that usually displayed by British extent redeems or extenuates the members of Parliament when they faults of his administration in the are discussing our relations with eyes of those with whom he is stay- China. Perhaps when one coning. The wonder to every foreigner siders the superior opportunities is, that the national policy should which such a man as Mr Cobden be the result of the national char- enjoys of obtaining information, acter. As individuals, Englishmen there is less excuse for him than have the credit of being the most for a Jassy politician. In general, scrupulously truthful and honour- the few ideas upon any subject able of men; as a nation we are which the Moldavian men possess 6 perfide ;' and so far from the lat- they derive from the women. Noest efforts of our diplomacy having thing was more striking than the tended to remove this impression, invariable rule which insured your we have achieved a higher reputa- hearing from the men in the morntion for perfidy during the last two ing what had been propounded to or three years than we ever enjoyed you by the old women the night before. Individually, the English- before. As is usually the case in man is admitted to be brave; poli- communities in a low state of Eurotically, the name of England is a pean civilisation, the female portion byword for cowardice. Individu- of society is immeasurably superior ally he is regarded as absurdly to the male; indeed, it would be open-handed his generosity is pro- difficult to find anything in Europe inferior to a Moldavian male, ex- soldiers after them, take universalcept, perhaps, a Wallachian. With suffrage votes after them, cook after the men, therefore, it was rarely them, furnish after them, dance, possible to discuss politics, or any flirt, gamble after them, and another subject. They scarcely ever xiously watch for the impression open a book; they only engage in which this admirable imitation of politics because they offer such everything French makes upon the splendid opportunities for looting stranger. Far more particular about the public money; they only tra the polish of their boots than the vel to pick up the vices of civi- purity of their honour, a Roumain lisation; they only marry because gentleman would prefer you to comthe facilities for divorce are so pliment him on his French accent great that marriage ceases to be rather than on his integrity. Ina tie. That there are rare excep- deed, I am bound to say that nothing tions to the general rule is only to that I have said of them here is half be expected; but with every desire so severe as what I have heard them to do justice to a country where, at say of one another. It was quite all events, the rites of hospitality disheartening at last, when, on are thoroughly understood, it is im- making some new acquaintance, possible to be blind to its faults. and hearing him give vent to ferIf the traveller never ventured upon vent patriotic sentiments, and lofty a general and impartial criticism of aspirations for himself and his counthe people of a country because he try, I was always told, when I dehappened to be well received in it, scribed to one of his friends my there would be little use in his tra- pleasure at baving at last found an velling; nor are the Moldavians or honest man, “What! that man Wallachians likely to cure their honest? Of all the unprincipled faults unless they hear what those scoundrels in the Principalities he who would willingly extenuate them, is chief.” In the end one is obwere it possible, find reprehensible. liged, from sheer despair, to abanOne of the peculiarities of the race don one sex for the other. Were is a great sensitiveness to criticism it not for the men, the women would by a stranger; and it made one un- be nicer than they are; but as it comfortable to feel that any chance is, they do what they can to reremark was likely to be twisted deem their country. They have into an uncomplimentary sense, nobler aspirations, higher intelliwhether one meant it or not. It is gences, and more force of character. true, this only applies to superficials. They are so glad to see a stranger, It is so generally admitted among that, if he is the least presentable, themselves that nobody can be he is sure of an entrée into society; trusted, that it is the habit never and as, more especially since the to play cards except with the stakes seat of government has been moved on the table. Nor do they care for to Bucharest, the number of firstbeing charged with moral defects, class boyard families now resident What hurts their pride is an unfav- in Jassy is considerably diminished, ourable contrast between a Molda- he will soon know every one. The vian and a French made dish, or a town itself is not a particularly cynical expression of countenance agreeable place of residence, apart on entering a salon, as though you from its society. It is neither one were comparing the furniture with thing nor the other. It has neither that of a handsome Paris apparte- the repose and languor of the East, ment. They have the most su- nor the stir and vivacity of the preme admiration for all the worst West. The streets are irregular and points in the French character; they ill-paved; the shops are poor, and go to Paris expressly to pick them there is no great thoroughfare where up, and are very indignant if you it is amusing to flâner. Indeed, do not praise them for having them. in the absence of a trottoir, nobody They dress after the French, play dreams of walking. The hack car.