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riages are the best in Europe—light, proportion of society English, so open, one-horse phaetons, as daintily that nothing can be pleasanter than got up as though they were private to be drawn for a brief period into property: the ladies and gentlemen its vortex. are flying about in them, jolting There are picnics to be underover the rough pavement at a rapid taken to charming country-houses pace all day and night. The drivers among others, to one upon the of these are for the most part Rus- banks of the Pruth - to which sians, belonging to that peculiar sect we all go in a cortège of light carin the Greek Church which enjoins riages and four, and dash across the mutilation. As there is a law in steppe through clouds of dust; but Russia prohibiting the practice, they our fair companions in their light flock across the frontier, and for gauzy dresses and gay parasols are some reason or other almost invari- as indifferent to it as our wild gypsy ably become cab-drivers. There is postboys. Here we find a handsome something particularly loathsome chateau, magnificently furnished, and unhealthy-looking in their ap- and commanding an extensive view pearance.
of the plains of Bessarabia; the The city contains between fifty Pruth winds at the base of the steep and sixty thousand inhabitants, hill, clothed to the water's edge composed of Jews, gypsies, Ar- with wood, through which are cut menians, Germans, Sclaves, Rou- romantic paths, doubly delightful mains, Poles, and other foreigners in this country, where wood is scarce. The best proof of the mongrel na- From here we can see with a glass ture of the population is to be found the soldiers of the Russian garrion the signboards, where German, son; and if General Kotzebue does Italian, Moldavian, French, and intend to cross the Pruth, it will sometimes Russian or Turkish, ap- be at this point that the operpear indiscriminately. The fact of ation is likely to be effected. being only ten miles from Russia Even then there was a very geneon the one hand, and of having ral impression that an invasion of been for many years in the occupa- the province by Russia was immi. tion of the Turks on the other, nent, and rumours were constantly gives the city a half-Russian, half- flying about of reinforcements of Turkish aspect, which makes it un troops arriving in Bessarabia. The like any other-Turkish suburbs of Polish insurrection and the Circashovels, and Russian silent streets sian war, however, gave full emand grand houses, Turkish baths ployment to the armies of the Czar. and Russian churches, with the cor- Now everything is changed the ruption and intrigue of both coun- subjugation and deportation of the tries concentrated. There are some warlike race which is migrating un. public gardens in the outskirts of der such distressing circumstances the town, where the band plays to Turkey, will release from Cautwo or three times a-week, and casian service an army of 120,000 where one is quite sure to see con- men, who will be available for any gregated all the beauty and fashion stroke of policy which may be unof the Moldavian capital; and there dertaken by Russia in this direction; is a theatre, which was closed at the while the Polish insurrection is so period of my visit, but we made up utterly extinguished for the time for it by dancing every night in- at least, that the state of that counstead. The houses are large palatial try need not embarrass any aggresresidences, usually standing in court- sive movement. That before the yards, and elaborately furnished expiration of this year another army In fact, in so far as servants, equi- of occupation will be quartered in pages, and the externals of domestic Moldavia, is a very fair subject for life are concerned, everything is prophecy ; but whether that army scrupulously French. Everybody will be Russian or Austrian is not so talks French perfectly, and a large easy to determine. The Moldavians are rich in their experiences be forgotten. The race-course is of armies of occupation, and it is within a mile of the town, situated amusing to hear them indulging in a valley, altogether the most picin invidious comparisons between turesque spot in the neighbourhood. them. I found one universal opin- A motley crowd gathers here to ion. First, of course, all armies of see Russian horses compete with oceupation are hateful and detest- English and every variety of crossable, tyrannise over society, rob breeds. In this respect the horses the poor, and otherwise misconduct and the people who are collected to themselves. If an army of angels look at them are pretty much on a could occupy the country,they would par. Some of the Moldavian ladies be disliked and complained of; but went on horseback ; and as the the order in which the three na weather was bright, the scene was tions who have been severally repre- gay in spite of the dust. As usual, sented in this military form in the there were two or three English Principalities are disliked, is as fol- jockeys, and Moldavian and Russian lows : First, the Austrians-officers jockeys in remarkable half-Cossackand men both cordially hated, but looking costumes, who flogged their officers especially so. Second, the horses without intermission from Turks-Preferred to the Austrians, the starting to the winning post, but very naturally disliked upon re- and seemed to think the only use ligious and social grounds. And, of the reins was to shake them near thirdly, the Russians — the least the horse's ears. The chief defect abused of the three, thanks especi. in the scenery round Jassy is the ally to a certain General Kotzebue, absence of wood and water, otherwho governed Moldavia with judg. wise the country is prettily broken; Inent and honesty. So that the and where money has been spent crossing of the Pruth by the Russi- upon planting and otherwise beauans would be preferred to the cross- tifying it, there are some charming ing of the Dniester by the Austri- spots. The most celebrated of these ans. It is rumoured that Austria is a country-house called Sokola, and Russia have come to an arrange the property of one of the late ment with reference to these Princi- hospodars; but the glory of Jassy palities, and that Austria is to an- has departed since the seat of nex Moldavia, and Russia Walla- government has been moved to chia ; but it is impossible to say in Bucharest-in other words, since an atmosphere of intrigue which the the union of the two provinces. inner wheel of all is, or who is be- In order to hear a Moldavian really traying whom. It used to be sup- eloquent, this is the subject to posed that France and Russia tho- get him on; it is the only piece of roughly understood each other in politics in which he is thoroughly their policy here; but Prince Cou interested, because it touches his za's coup d'état has given consider- pocket. It also gives him an opable dissatisfaction to the latter portunity for indulging in vituperaPower. However, the slopes of tion, which is his strong point. It Stinka are not the place to talk is only by abusing the Wallachians, politics. The men could not if they collectively and individually, that wished, and the women are not in- he can in any way console himself clined to be bored with so dry a for the injury he feels they have subject. So we play games and done him. In this respect the dance until far on into the night, Moldavian is very like the Neapoliand then, with the brightest of full tan; and it is not unnatural, conmoons lighting up our way, gallop sidering the origin of both, that back again across the steppe to there should be a strong family Jassy.
resemblance. To hear him abusing Among other social pastimes of Wallachia, is like listening to a the gay capital, the races are not to Neapolitan abusing Piedmont. All
VOL. XCVI.NO. DLXXXV.
the misfortunes of the country are Morny was actually offered this traced to the unhappy union which very throne, but even he was not has given the sister province the to be tempted from the Bourse opportunity of benefiting at the and the Bois de Boulogne. In fact, expense of Moldavia. The advanced he replied that he would rather Moldavians who, from "a united- be a “concierge dans le Rue de nationality" point of view, were in Bac qu'un roi en Moldavie." favour of the union before they To any young adventurer of an tried it, are now either afraid to ambitious and filibustering turn adhere to their old views, or have of mind, and possessing a certain changed their minds. A few still talent for intrigue, Moldavia opens say the experiment has not been a most attractive field. The first fairly tried, and lay all the blame step would be an influential matrion Prince Couza, who, by the way, monial alliance; as the women are being a Moldavian himself, is hated, generally heiresses, wealth might for that reason among others, in be combined with beauty; then a Wallachia. It is only due to the short social career of popularity; Wallachians to state that they re- then the ascendency of the strong turn the animosity of the northern will and contriving brain over the province with interest. When wo- fops and imbeciles around him ; men engage in the discussion and then a conspiracy; then a popular come to be personal, the Wallach- rising, and a divorce of Wallachia, ians call the Moldavians the de- followed, if it suited him, by the scendants of Jews, and the Molda- divorce of his own partner, who, vians retort upon the others by being entitled by the laws of her calling them a nation of gypsies. Church to three successive husbands It is indeed the fact that some of during her lifetime, would probably the noblest families in Wallachia be delighted at the prospect of a are descended from this race, of change. The only difficult part of which they are more ashamed the programme would be to get the than our own Carews; while the Moldavians to take heart of grace, Jewish element, not visible in Wal- and rebel. They are dying to do lachia, is most prominently devel- it now, but Couza's wretched little oped in Moldavia. It may safely army, though it was held in check be predicted that when Couza dies, by 250 Poles, is enough to overawe but possibly before, there will be a them. Meantime it is a notable separation of the provinces. The instance of union not making Moldavians are perfectly determin- strength ; and the probable result ed that the union shall not con- of all these dissensions among tinue; their real ardent aspiration themselves will be the annexation is for a foreign prince to rule over of both provinces to one or other them. They have tried a long or both of the two great neighbourseries of their own boyards, and ing Powers, who are only waiting have found one more incompetent to swallow them up. It will be than the other. According to their better for the countries themselves own admission, they must look that this should be their fate. Howabroad for the virtues and the ever bad may be the government of talents which none of their coun- Russia or Austria, however incontrymen possess, but which they venient such an acquisition of terfondly hope may be found among ritory may be in the “European the scions of some royal house; equilibrium” point of view, there nor will they believe that the throne can be no doubt that it is the only of Moldavia, such as it is, would be chance which exists of developing a position which an English coun- the material resources of these fertry gentleman, with a tolerable tile countries, and imparting to rent-roll, would decline, to say their institutions some kind of stapothing of a Prince of the Blood. bility. At present no speculator Some years ago the Duc de dares venture on contracting with
a government composed of rogues, Moldavians were capable of governfrom the Prince on the throne to ing themselves, it would be difficult the lowest clerk. The Moldavians to devise a form of government themselves, moreover, are absolutely suitable to their institutions. As useless. The whole industry of the there is no primogeniture, and country is in the hands of other the title of Boyard is not heredraces, who develop its resources in itary, the class possesses all the spite of the native population. If drawbacks of an aristocracy withthe Jewish community, for instance, out any of the advantages. It gives were suddenly to disappear, there no stability to society, while it would be utter collapse. The whole furnishes the frivolous element. financial interests of the country There is no sympathy between the are in their hands. In Jassy, as in proprietor and his peasant, and no every little country town, the pop- middle-class connecting-link. The ulation is dependent upon Israel- consequence is, that Prince Couza ites for its most trivial necessaries; has been able to perpetrate a coup they perform every function for d'état, and take a popular vote with society, except those which they perfect safety, the secret of his tacleave to the gypsies. These latter tics having been to enlist the peaconfine themselves almost exclu- santry against the proprietors, by sively to four walks in life; they allowing them to hold their lands at are invariably either musicians, a money instead of a service tenure. postilions, cooks, or blacksmiths. It will be more convenient, howUntil within the last eight years, ever, to consider the policy of Prince they were on a footing of serfdom Couza in connection with Wallaalmost identical with that of the chin, though the effects of the cenAmerican negro, but they may now tralisation of the government meet become emancipated on payment one at every turn in Moldavia. The of ten ducats a-head.
change incidental to passing from The remaining foreigners, of being an independent country into whom there is a great variety a province must always be disagreesprinkled all over the country, do able ; but still the evils might have whatever these two predominating been mitigated, had Prince Couza, races leave undone ; so that, in the by any one act of administration, end, the Moldavians contribute ab- shown any consideration for bis own solutely nothing towards the com- province — had he, for instance, mercial, social, or political well encouraged the extension of the being of the community. Except- Lemberg and Czernowitz Railroad, ing the peasants, they are of no or even promoted the construction sort of use; they simply cumber of good carriage-roads in the prothe ground, and keep better men vince. At present there are scarcely off it. Such good ground as it is fifty miles of metalled road in all too! It follows that there is no Moldavia, and they existed before Moldavian middle class. A Mol- the union. In fact, the result of davian is either a boyard, an em- this measure, from which so much ployé, or a peasant; never, by any was anticipated, has been simply chance, anything else. The pea- that the plunder which two rulers sants have a certain amount of land formerly divided between them is allotted to each, in return for which now appropriated by one man, whose they give a proportion of service to power of mischief is on twice the the proprietor. In Wallachia they scale it used to be. There is no may transfer themselves to other end to the capabilities of Moldavia, estates upon giving a year's notice; if capital and enterprise, supported but in Moldavia they are fixed to the by good government, were only soil. In Wallachia the landlords are forthcoming. The mineral resources nearly all absentee ; in Moldavia of the Carpathians are totally unthey live on their properties, which is developed, but that they exist on so far in their favour. Even if the a very large scale is not in doubt. The soil is prolific and fertile, and the forbidden degrees of consancapable of producing corn, in pro- guinity, a fourth is permittedportion to its area, beyond any something on the principle of starother in Europe. The nature of ring a life at pool in billiards. In the the country lends itself expressly whole society of Jassy there was only to the construction of railroads : one woman who had not been divorcthere are no engineering difficulties, ed, but she had only been married a labour is abundant; and as forming few weeks. It naturally follows in a highway for the corn produce of a limited society that the divorced Galicia, and an immense back- couples are perpetually meeting country to the Black Sea, there can each other; and as they do not, in be no doubt whatever that it would the first instance, part on the ground pay. At a very little expense the of incompatibility of temper or any two large rivers which flow through domestic difference, but generally Moldavia to the Danube might be simply from love of change-or, in made navigable; and there is no other words, change of love—they reason why steamers should not remain perfectly good friends afterbring Moldavian produce down the wards; and a woman introduces you Sereth and the Pruth from the in- first to her present husband as mon nermost recesses of the country. mari, and then to her late husband How easy, by a very small expendi- as mon ex-mari; so that it is ture of tact and honesty, to com- quite possible to find yourself dancpensate to the Moldavians for all ing in a set of lancers with seven they have lost by the union ! One people, every one of whom has been would imagine that no more agree- married at some time in his or her able or grateful task could be found, life with each of the others. In than to have the power of producing this respect the system seemed prosuch vast and certain results. Not ductive of sociability and good-felonly would it consolidate the throne lowship rather than otherwise; and of the ruler, but it would give him a a great deal of the pleasure of personal satisfaction which he will society in these parts arises from never derive from the consciousness the intimate footing upon which that he is stealing the public funds; the members are with each other ; and yet the nature of the chief for it is evident that, if all the papas ruler is so degraded, that he can and mammas have been husbands derive no higher gratification from and wives, all the children are, the exercise of that power which more or less, brothers and sisters. he has proved absolute, than when There are certain inconveniences using it for purposes of pillage. attending this great confusion of
It must be admitted that he has relationships; but one advantage to bad material to work with ; his own the stranger is, that he finds himministers and employés being as self in a large family instead of in unscrupulous and dishonest as him- a stiff society, where some time self, he would have to import virtue must elapse before he feels himself from foreign countries to enable at home. him to carry out his plans, if he T he Moldavians themselves are had any, for the welfare of the accustomed to defend the system on country. It is probable that the the score of morality. They maintain political immorality existing in these that the great facilities which exist Principalities is to be traced to a for divorces lessen the temptations great extent to the peculiar social to infidelity; but this is a theory conditions which exist in them. By which can scarcely be said to be the rule of the national Greek borne out by the results. Where Church, divorces may be obtained the marriage tie is so easily disthree times during a lifetime, both solved, even while it exists it parties consenting; and in the event is apt to lose much of its sacred of one of the marriages having been character; and however much may contracted between people within theoretically be urged in favour of