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Russia, offensive and defensiveReasons why disturbances should be apprehended in Russia -- Elements of revolution - The conscription - Natural results of a revolution - Bloodshed and violence - Domestic servants - The

revolt of the military colonies Intrepid behaviour of the Emperor

Famine — The present system bad -- A change likely to be worse Character of the Emperor

Page 204

DETAILS OF Russian HUSBANDRY, &c.

Origin of Mr. Sabouroff's letter

Mode of reckoning property Whence derived — Rights of the serfs Their customary privileges — Their appellation - Character of the peasant- His habits of life — His conduct to the priest

– Anecdote — Description of an estate - System of cultivation Allotments to peasants — Nature of produce — Mode of using the straw — Oxen used for transporting goods — Whence imported — Distempers which they introduce -Difficulty of naturalizing foreign breeds — Success of Merino sheep

-Horses; belonging to the nobles — Pains bestowed in breeding - Peasant's horse utterly neglected — Breed deteriorated Why— Prospect of improvement

- Peasant's live-stock — His improvidence in abundant years, Annual course of husbandry

Produce of the land per Russian acre-Occasional superabundance of produce — Reasons for continue ing to produce — Want of money on the part of landlords -- Causes of famine general – - or partial

- Natural advantages of Tamboff - Port of Morscha — Price of rye - Taxes - Personal — Nominally small - Really burdensome How — Comparison between the Crown peasants and those on private estates — Taxes on salt and spirits — Average consumption of spirits by a peasant Reasons why he has unjustly gained the character of a drunkard

Partition of the land as yet incomplete.- Observations on the concluding part of M. Sabouroff's letter

217 Prices of provisions, &c., at Tamboff

228 CENSUS OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE

229

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DOMESTIC SCENES IN RUSSIA.

LETTER I.

Account of voyage – Custom-house — Arrival at Petersburg - Passport

regulations.

St. Petersburg, June 22nd, 1837. I LOSE no time in sending you, according to promise, an account of our safe arrival here, after a pleasant and prosperous voyage of a week. We sailed from London on Wednesday morning the 14th, and we landed on the English Quay at Petersburg on Wednesday the 21st. We crossed the North Sea to Hamburg in the Countess of Lonsdale, a voyage not very fertile of incidents. Most of the time we were enveloped in a fog which would have done credit to London itself in November, and which only left us, to our great joy, when we were preparing off Heligoland to anchor for the night, as the captain would not venture to enter the Elbe without seeing his way. The banks of the Elbe present no objects of interest until seven or eight miles below Hamburg, when the ground on the right or Danish side of the river rises into bold slopes beautifully clothed with gardens and studded with villas, while the air was fragrant from the profusion of lilacs, now in that northern region in full luxuriance.

Having spent a few hours in the picturesque old city of Hamburg, which I hope we shall have more leisure to visit on our homeward journey, we hired a carriage, the ordinary lohnkutsche of Germany, the sight of which would collect a crowd in England, and at half past five on Friday afternoon we started for Lubeck, a distance of thirty-five miles. We travelled till after midnight, when we reached, not Lubeck, but a place called Schonberg, a sort of half-way house, only

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twenty miles from Hamburg. Having no time to spare, we were in motion again at five in the morning, and we reached Lubeck at ten.

This road, connecting two important cities, is probably the worst great highway in Europe. In one place we saw a waggon, and that not a very heavy one, sticking fast, in spite of the efforts of ten horses; and, as you will infer from the time we spent over thirty-five miles, we performed most of the journey at a foot's pace. From Lubeck to Traavemunde, the port of the Baltic packets, is a stage of ten or twelve miles, with a good road, the luxury of which we fully appreciated. We arrived there just in time to embark on board the Naslednik steamer, in which we sailed at three o'clock in the afternoon. We soon found that out of some twenty passengers we were the only English on board, with the exception of a king's messenger. Of the remainder, among natives of France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, and Persia, the Russians mustered in strongest force; and sailing in their society in a Russian boat on the Baltic Sea, we almost felt that we had already reached the empire of the Czar. Some of our fellow voyagers spoke English, and all spoke French. The weather was all we could wish, and the arrangements and fare on board the packet' were good. The Russian ladies soon discovered that M— was by birth a countrywoman of their own, and one of them* proved to be well acquainted with her father and other members of her family. Under these circumstances our time passed rapidly and agreeably on board the Naslednik.

We sailed, as I have said, on Saturday afternoon, and by nine o'clock on Monday night we were in the Gulf of Finland. The following morning we were off Revel, and the captain said we should be at Cronstadt before midnight. We scarcely lost sight of land during the whole of Tuesday, and both shores of the Gulf of Finland were often visible at the same time. Indeed, during the entire voyage we were seldom many hours without seeing land, and the successive islands

* With this lady, Princess Ourousoff, and her son, a most agreeable and well-informed young man, who was also on board, we had the pleasure of renewing our acquaintance during our short stay in Moscow in the following March.

which marked our progress were never failing objects of interest. The number of ships, moreover, of which we could not unfrequently count one or two and twenty at a time around us, far and near, with their white-sails set, helped to break the monotony of the passage ; while on one occasion we passed within five miles of a Russian squadron, consisting of ten or eleven men-of-war.

Our eyes, therefore, when we were tired of reading, were never at a loss for occupation by day; and in this latitude at midsummer one can hardly say that night comes at all. The sun, indeed, goes below the horizon for a couple of hours, but the sky does not lose its colouring, and the smallest print or the palest handwriting may be read with ease in the open air at midnight. . On Tuesday night the approaching termination of our voyage drove away all idea of sleep, and no one thought of going below or of undressing.

of undressing. Indeed, at twelve o'clock by our London time, the Naslednik dropped her anchor under the batteries of Cronstadt, and in a few minutes afterwards the firing of the morning gun from the fortress, and the hoisting of the colours on the flagstaff, reminded us of our progress to the east; it being already, by Petersburg time, two o'clock in the morning. On coming to anchor, we were immediately boarded by two or three boats full of custom-house officers and soldiers, who appeared to take possession of the ship. The passengers' luggage was brought upon deck, and ticketed with the word unexamined, a number being added to each article; and in this manner no less than three weary

hours were consumed. The deck was encumbered with luggage, and at every turn one met a soldier in a dingy grey greatcoat, while the cabin was full of custom-house officers examining the passports, so that it was difficult to find a seat or a corner of a table at liberty.

At length the custom-house officers departed, and allowed us to proceed up the Gulf, towards Petersburg, under the care of the soldiers, who were left on board. Our delays were, however, not yet over, for in crossing the bar of the Neva our boat ran aground, though she only drew about seven feet of water, and this accident detained us three hours. At last,

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