Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

false, and truth the more true; which must needs conduce much, not only to the confounding of popery, but to the general confirmation of unimplicit truth.

The last means to avoid popery is, to amend our lives: it is a general complaint, that this nation of late years is grown more numerously and excessively vicious than heretofore; pride, luxury, drunkenness, whoredom, cursing, swearing, bold and open atheism every where abounding: where these grow, no wonder if popery also grow apace. There is no man so wicked, but at some times his conscience will wring him with thoughts of another world, and the peril of his soul; the trouble and melancholy, which he conceives of true repentance and amendment, he endures not, but inclines rather to some carnal superstition, which may pacify and lull his conscience with some more pleasing doctrine. None more ready and officious to offer herself than the Romish, and opens wide her office, with all her faculties, to receive him ; easy confession, easy absolution, pardons, indulgences, masses for him both quick and dead, Agnus Dei's, relics, and the like: and he, instead of working out his salvation with fear and treinbling,” straight thinks in his heart, (like another kind of fool than he in the Psalms,) to bribe God as a corrupt judge ; and by his proctor, some priest, or friar, to buy out his peace with money, which he cannot with his repent

For God, when men sin outrageously, and will not be admonished, gives over chastising them, perhaps by pestilence, fire, sword, or famine, which may all turn to their good, and takes up his severest punishments, hardness, besottedness of heart, and idolatry, to their final perdition. Idolatry brought the heathen to heinous transgressions, Rom. ii. And heinous transgressions ofttimes bring the slight professors of true religion to gross idolatry: 1 Thess. ii. 11, 12: “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” And Isaiah xliv. 18, speaking of idolaters, " They have not known nor understood, for he hath shut their eyes that they cannot see, and their hearts that they cannot understand.” Let us, therefore, using this last means, last here spoken of, but first to be done, amend our lives with all speed ; lest through impenitency we run into that stupidity which we now seek all means so warily to avoid, the worst of superstitions, and the heaviest of all God's judgments, popery."

2 E

ance,

[ocr errors]

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MOSCOVIA,

AND OF OTHER LESS KNOWN COUNTRIES LYING EASTWARD OF

RUSSIA AS FAR AS CATHAY.

GATHERED FROM THE WRITINGS OF SEVERAL EYE-WITNESSES.

(FIRST PUBLISHED 1682.)

THE PREFACE.

The study of geography is both profitable and delightful : but the writers thereof, though some of them exact enough in setting down longitudes and latitudes, yet in those other relations of manners, religion, government, and such like, accounted geographical, have for the most part missed their proportions. Some too brief and deficient satisfy not; others too voluminous and impertinent cloy and weary out the reader, while they tell long stories of absurd superstitions, ceremonies, quaint habits, and other petty circumstances little to the purpose. Whereby that which is useful, and only worth observation, in such a wood of words, is either overslipped, or soon forgotten ; which perhaps brought into the mind of some men more learned and judicious, who had not the leisure or purpose to write an entire geography, yet at least to assay something in the description of one or two countries, which might be as a pattern or example to render others more cautious hereafter, who intended the whole work. And this perhaps induced Paulus Jovius to describe only Moscovy and Britain. Some such thoughts, many years since, led me at a vacant time to attempt the like argument, and I began with Moscovy, as being the most northern region of Europe reputed civil; and the more northern parts thereof first discovered by English voyagers. Wherein I saw I had by much the advantage of Jovius. What was scattered in many volumes, and observed at several times by eye-witnesses, with no cursory pains I laid together, to save the reader a far longer travail of wandering through so many desert authors ; who yet with some delight drew me after them, from the eastern bounds of Russia, to the walls of Cathay, in several late journies made thither over land by Russians, who describe the countries in their way far otherwise than our common geographers. From proceeding further, other occasions diverted me. This Essay, such as it is, was thought by some, who knew of it, not amiss to be published ; that so many things remarkable, dispersed before, now brought under one view, might not hazard to be otherwise lost, nor the labour lost of collecting them.

350

MOSCOVIA:

OR,

RELATIONS OF MOSCOVIA,

AS FAR AS HATH BEEN DISCOVERED BY ENGLISH VOYAGES ;

GATHERED FROM THE WRITINGS OF SEVERAL EYE-WITNESSES:

AND THE OTHER LESS KNOWN COUNTRIES LYING EASTWARD OF RUSSIA AS FAR

AS CATHAY, LATELY DISCOVERED AT SEVERAL TIMES BY THE RUSSIANS.

CHAPTER 1.

A brief description. The empire of Moscovia, or as others call it Russia, is bounded on the north with Lapland and the ocean; southward by the Crim Tartar; on the west by Lithuania, Livonia, and Poland; on the east by the river Ob, or Oby, and the Nagayan Tartars on the Volga as fas as Astracan.

The north parts of this country are so barren, that the inhabitants fetch their corn a thousand miles ;* and so cold in winter, that the

very sap of their woodfuel burning on the fire, freezes at the brand's end, where it drops. The mariners, which were left on shipboard in the first English voyage thither, in going up only from the cabins to the hatches,t had their breath so congealed by the cold, that they fell down as it were stifled. The bay of St. Nicholas, where they first put in, lieth in sixty-four degrees; called so froin the abbey there built of wood, wherein are twenty monks, unlearned, as then they found them, and great drunkards: their church is fair, full of images and tapers. There are besides but six houses, whereof one built by the English. In the bay over against the abbey is Rose Island, § full of damask and red roses, violets, and wild rosemary; the isle is in circuit seven or eight miles; about the midst of May, the snow there is cleared, having two months been melting; then the ground in fourteen days is dry, and grass knee-deep within a month ; after September frost returns, and snow a yard high: it hath a house built by the English near to a fresh fair spring. North-east of the abbey, on the other side of Duina, is the castle of Archangel, where the English have another house. The river Duina, beginning about seven hundred miles within the country, having first received Pinega, falls here into the sea, very large and swift, but shallow. It runneth pleasantly between hills on either side; beset like a wilderness with high fir and other trees. Their boats of timber, without any iron in them, are either to sail, or to be drawn up with ropes against the stream.

North-east beyond Archangel standeth Lampas, || where twice a year is kept a great fair of Russes, Tartars, and Samoëds; and to the landward Mezen, and Slobotca, two towns of traffic between the river Pechora, or

* Hack. 251.

| Ibid. vol. i. 248.

Ibid. 376.

Ibid. 365.

|| Ibid. 284.

Petzora, and Duina : to seaward lies the cape of Candinos, and the island of Colgoieve, about thirty leagues from the bar of Pechory in sixty-nine degrees.*

The river Pechora or Petzora, holding his course through Siberia, how far the Russians thereabouts know not, runneth into the sea at seventy-two mouths, full of ice; abounding with swans, ducks, geese, and partridge, which they take in July, sell the feathers, and salt the bodies for winter provision. On this river spreading to a lake, stands the town of Pustozera in sixty-eight degrees, having some eighty or a hundred houses, where certain merchants of Hull wintered in the year sixteen hundred and eleven. The town Pechora, small and poor, hath three churches. They traded there up the river four days' journey to Oustzilma a small town of sixty houses. The Russians that have travelled say, that this river springs out of the mountains of Jougoria, and runs through Permia. Not far from the mouth thereof are the straits of Vaigats, of which hereafter: more eastward is the point of Naramzy, the next to that the river Ob;' beyond which the Moscovites have extended lately their dominion. Touching the Riphæan mountains, whence Tanais was anciently thought to spring, our men could hear nothing; but rather that the whole country is champaign, and in the northermost part huge and desert woods of fir, abounding with black wolves, bears, buffs, and another beast called rossomakka, whose female bringeth forth by passing through some narrow place, as between two stakes, and so presseth her womb to a disburdening.

Travelling south ward they found the country more pleasant, fair, and better inhabited, corn, pasture, meadows, and huge woods. Arkania (if it be not the same with Archangel) is a place of English trade, from whence a day's journey distant, but from St. Nicholas a hundred versts, $ Colmogro stands on the Duina; a great town not walled, but scattered. The Eng. lish have here lands of their own, given them by the emperor, and fair houses: not far beyond, Pinega, running between rocks of alabaster and great woods, meets with Duina. From Colmogro to Usting are five hundred versts or little miles, an ancient city upon the confluence of Juga and Sucana into Duina, || which there first receives his name. Thence continuing by water to Wologda, a great city so named of the river which passes through the midst; it hath a castle walled about with brick and stone, and many wooden churches, two for every parish, the one in winter to be heated, the other used in summer; this is a town of much traffic, a thousand miles from St. Nicholas. All this way by water no lodging is to be had but under open sky by the river side, and other provision only what they bring with them. From Wologda by sled they go to Yeraslave on the Volga, whose breadth is there at least a mile over, and thence runs two thousand seven hundred versts to the Caspian sea, I having his head spring out of Bealozera, which is a lake, amidst whereof is built a strong tower, wherein the kings of Moscovy reserve their treasure in time of war. From this town to Rostove, then to Pereslave, a great town situate on a fair lake, thence to Mosco.

Between Yeraslave and Mosco, which is two hundred miles, the country is so fertile, so populous and full of villages, that in a forenoon seven or eight hundred sleds are usually seen coming with salt-fish, or laden back with corn.

Mosco the chief city, lying in fifty-five degrees, distant from St. Nicholas

* Purc. part 3. 533. | Ibid. Purc. || Ibid. 312. lbid. 377, 248.

| Purc. 549, 445, 551. ** Ibid. 251. 335.

+ Hack. 376.

fifteen hundred miles, is reputed to be greater than London with the suburbs, but rudely built;* their houses and churches most of timber, few of stone, their streets unpaved; it hath a fair castle four-square, upon a hill, two miles about, with brick walls very high, and some say eighteen foot thick, sixteen gates, and as many bulwarks ; in the castle are kept the chief markets, and in winter on the river, being then firm ice. This river Moscua on the south-west side encloses the castle, wherein are nine fair churches with round gilded towers, and the emperor's palace; which neither within nor without is equal for state to the king's houses in England, but rather like our buildings of old fashion with small windows, some of glass, some with lattices, or iron bars.

They who travel from Mosco to the Caspian, go by water down the Moscua to the river Occa ;t then by certain castles to Rezan, a famous city now ruinate; the tenth day to Nysnovogrod, where Occa falls into Volga, which the Tartars call Edel. From thence the eleventh day to Cazan a Tartar city of great wealth heretofore, now under the Russian ; walled at first with timber and earth, but since by the emperor Vasiliwich with free stone. From Cazan, to the river Cama, falling into Volga from the province of Permia, the people dwelling on the left side are Gentiles, and live in woods without houses : I beyond them to Astracan, Tartars of Mangat, and Nagay: on the right side those of Crimme. From Mosco to Aștracan is about six hundred leagues. The town is situate in an island on a hill-side walled with earth, but the castle with earth and tinber; the houses, except that of the governor, and some few others, poor and simple; the ground utterly barren, and without wood: they live there on fish, and sturgeon especially; which hanging up to dry in the streets and houses brings whole swarms of flies, and infection to the air, and oft great pestilence. This island in length twelve leagues, three in breadth, is the Russian limit toward the Caspian, which he keeps with a strong garrison, being twenty leagues from that sea, into which Volga falls at seventy mouths. From St. Nicholas, or froin Mosco to the Caspian, they pass in forty-six days and nights, most part by water.

Westward from St. Nicholas twelve hundred miles is the city.S Novogrod fifty-eight degrees, the greatest mart town of all this dominion, and in bigness not inferior to Mosco. The

way

thither is through the western bottoin of St. Nicholas bay, and so along the shore full of dangerous rocks to the monastery of Solofky, wherein are at least two hundred monks; the people thereabout in a manner savages, yet tenants to those monks. Thence to the dangerous river Owiga, wherein are waterfalls as steep as from a mountain, and by the violence of their descent kept from freezing: so that the boats are to be carried there a mile over land; which the tenants of that abbey did by command, and were guides to the merchants without taking any reward.' Thence to the town Povensa, standing within a mile of the famous lake Onega three hundred and twenty miles long, and in some places seventy, at narrowest twenty-fiveebroad, and of great depth. Thence by some monasteries to the river Swire; then into the Jake Ladiscay much longer than Onega; after which into the river Volhusky, which through the midst of Novogrod runs into this lake, and this. lake into the Baltic sound by Narva and Revel. Their other cities toward the western bound are Plesco, Smolensko, or Vobsco.

The emperor exerciseth absolute power; if any man die without male issue, his land returns to the emperor. || Any rich man, who through age

| Ibid. 325.

♡ Ibid. 365.

* Hack. 313. Vol. II.

Ibid. 334.

45

|| Ibid. 240. 2 E 2

« ForrigeFortsett »