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per head. per annum to the crown, and two roubles to the district, which gives six roubles per head, or thirty roubles in all. But the tax must be paid in bank assignats, while produce of every kind is sold for money; the latter currency being here worth eighteen per cent. less than the former. We must, therefore, add five roubles for this difference, and the result is, that the tax amounts to thirty-five roubles * per annum, practically falling on one individual ; and to raise this sum, even if his crop be a good one, he must sell the produce of two out of his four acres of arable land, and with the remainder he must support his family. Half the year then is occupied in working for his master, and half the remainder, as we see, must be employed in raising the means of paying his taxes, which at first sight appear so small. The peasant, therefore, in reality has but one-fourth of the profit of his year's labour for himself. The dues paid by the crown peasant are three times as great, but he has all his time and all the land to himself, in place of dividing both with a master. This is an advantage ; but to counterbalance this, the crown estates are in general worse managed than those of private individuals. In the latter case the master aids and supports the poor peasant, and defends him from usurious exactions at the hands of the rich, and from all vexatious treatment; while on the crown estates the rich peasant is continually inereasing his wealth, but the poor man becomes utterly ruined, besides being constantly subject to every sort of vexation. This state of things has become so intolerably bad as to demand a complete re-organization, with which General Kissileff has been charged.
Besides the poll-taxes which I have mentioned, there are two other imposts which press on the agriculturist. These are the duties which are laid on salt and vodka, or home-made brandy, by the government monopoly of these two articles. Salt indeed is not very dear, but the price of the brandy is exorbitant. This liquor, which is distilled from rye, is sold in the spirit-shops at eight roubles the vedro,t while its prime cost is but one rouble and a half. This impost, how
* i.e. about 11. 9s., taking the rouble as = 10d. It will be remembered that the silver rouble had not in 1838 been adopted as the standard.
† 1 vedro = 2.705 imperial gallons.
ever, is at least indirect, and it depends upon the choice of every individual to be affected by it or not.
In fact, though drunkards are to be met with, this is by no means the general character of the people, a fact which I can prove statistically. The district of Tamboff, with the town, comprises a peasant population, male and female, of 180,000, while its consumption of spirits amounts to 120,000 vedros. Deduct for the consumption of the nobility and trading class 20,000 vedros, and of the peasant population suppose one-fourth, or 45,000, to consist of women and children who never drink spirits, and you will have 100,000 vedros to be consumed by 135,000 men, which amounts to but two small glasses of spirits for each per week, reckoning about a hundred glasses to the vedro, and this is certainly not much. Every gentleman and person in easy circumstances takes in general twenty-one glasses a week, according to our ordinary custom of drinking a petit verre before dinner, another as a chasse café, and a third before supper, and yet no one thinks of calling such
persons drunkards. The peasant, however, has gained this character, by drinking quass all the year round, excepting on two or three days, when he varies his monotonous existence by a fit of excessive intoxication. Besides which, here, as everywhere else, one man, when drunk, makes more disturbance than a hundred when sober.
There is another grand disadvantage under which our agriculture labours, in the land not being divided. The law of Catherine the Second only partitioned the villages; a more special provision is yet to come. This subject at present occupies the attention of Government; but the difficulties to be overcome are immense.
Here Mr. Sabouroff's instructive letter concludes. I believe that by the last clause he means that the law, as it now stands, provides only for the division of separate properties, and that the measure to be desired is one which would assign to each peasant his own allotment, so as to give him a permanent interest in its improvement.
I think, however, that one most important obstacle to the prosperity of the landed interest of Russia is not alluded to by
Mr. Sabouroff, and this is the compulsory partition of an estate among the children of a proprietor at his death. This law reduces every man to the condition of a life-tenant on his property, and must often prevent him from beginning an extensive system of improvement, which he cannot expect each of his various heirs to follow up, or which, when the estate became divided, as it must be, would be probably out of their power. The law at the same time destroys those feelings of local attachment and pride with which a man regards the property which is connected with the names of his fathers, and which he hopes to hand down intact to his descendants.
The following prices of provisions and agricultural produce at Tamboff, in November, 1837, are, I believe, tolerably correct. They prove the extreme scarcity of money alluded to by Mr, Sabouroff :
s. d. Fat turkeys..
1 10 per couple.
2 0 ditto Ditto fowls or ducks 1 3 ditto
1 8 ditto Meat from id. to 2d.
per Rye 3s. 9d. per chetvert; wheat somewhat dearer. Potatoes from 8d. to 10d.
chetvert. Oats, as I was assured, had been sold as low as 1s. per chetvert, though it seems hardly credible.
O per brace.
TAKEN IN THE YEAR 1836. Russian Priests ..
52,331 Deacons and Sacristans ..
63,178 Male children of Priests, Deacons,
Wives and and Sacristans
Priests, &c. Total
249,748 Priests of the United Greek and Roman Church
7,823 Wives, &c. 7,318 Roman Catholic Priests
2,497 Armenian do.
343 Lutheran do.
955 Reformed Church.
37 Mahometan Mollahs
6,071 Lamas (Tartar)
253,429 By virtue of service, &c., with their sons 78,922 Wives, &c. 74,273 Petty Officers who have left the army and are employed in the civil ser- 187,047
237,443 vice, &c. Foreigners of all classes
15,215 Military Colonies
981,467 INHABITANTS OF Towns. Merchants ....
120,714 Shopkeepers, artisans, &c.
1,433,982 Citizens in the Eastern Provinces
6,966 Greeks of Nishney, gunmakers of
10,882 Toula, &c.
10,940 Citizens of Bessarabia
56,176 INHABITANTS OF VILLAGES. Peasants (that is, Slaves) the private property of the Emperor and of!
11,022,594 the Imperial Family, Peasants an
nexed to the Crown, &c. Peasants the property of Nobles 11,403,722
11,958,873 WANDERING TRIBES. Calmucks, Circassians, and Mahometans of the Caucasus ........
261,982 TERRITORY BEYOND THE CAUCASUS. (Nearly.)
(Nearly.) Georgia, Armenia, Mingrelia, &c. .... 689,147
708,484 Russian Colonies in America..
30,292 Total of Population..
30,237,34.3 Grand Total of both Sexes..
. 59,133,566 In this number, however, the private soldiers of the army and navy, with their wives and children, are not included, so that the sum total, in round numbers, may be estimated at sixty-one millions. In addition to which, must be reckoned the inhabitants of the mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian, 1,445,000 souls. There are also wandering tribes of Circassians and others, whom it is impossible to number.
This statistical account of Russia is translated from an official table published in the newspapers.--Some of the classifications, especially those of the inhabitants of towns, do not appear very intelligible.