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All these facts, given by eye-witnesses to a correspondent of the Zemstro newspaper, refer to one small district. None of these incidents has of itself any particular importance. But they have much couleur locale, and convey a pretty fair idea of the moral physiognomy and distinctive attributes of the new type of our village administrators.
In one place the ooriadnik fired on a crowd of unarmed people; in another he charged on horseback with sword and whip a crowd busy in quenching a fire; in a third he demolished a peasant's freshly-built house, under the pretext that it was constructed not according to the plan;" in a fourth he assaulted and inflicted severe bodily injuries on the churchwarden for not having appeared speedily enough before
him when sent for.
In the Mogilev district of the Podol province, Daniel Yasitsky, the ooriadnik of the village of Chemeris, after having for a long time distinguished himself with impunity by extortions from innocent people and blackmail from thieves caught in the act, whom he was in the habit of setting free by his own authority, indulged in the following practical joke by threats and blows he compelled two of his subordinates, peasants, decurions," to harness themselves in a car and drag him to the town of Bar, distant about four miles. Yasitsky was simply dismissed.
Another still more revolting case was tried before the St. Petersburg tribunal, April 23d, 1886. Herassimoff, the ooriadnik of a village called Borki, in the Peterhoff district, was convicted of having put to the torture several peasants, in order to extort confessions about a robbery committed by unknown persons. The peasant Marakine and the two brothers Antonoff were all three kept hanging for several hours on a sort of improvised strappado. They were stripped of their clothes and their hands tied behind their backs by a rope, which was then passed over a rail fixed high in the wall of an ice-cellar. The bodies of the unfortunate men were then raised over the ground, so that they could hardly touch the icy ground with the tips of their toes. The ooriadnik appeared now and then, asking for their confessions, and giving them blows on
the head, as they refused to comply with his wishes. One of the three victims, the peasant Marakine, on the way to the torture-chamber, was subjected to no less infamous treatment. The testimony of the elder of the village is particularly noteworthy. Herassimoff (the ooriadnik) came to me and asked whether I could lend him thirty men. 'Why do you require so many?' I asked. In order,' said he, pointing to Marakine, that I may make this fellow run the gauntlet. The witness answered that he would never permit such things to be done with the peasants of his commune; whereupon Marakine had his hands and legs tied, and was fastened by the legs to the back of the car, while his body was allowed to drag upon the ground. The horse was made to run, and Marakine was dragged in the mud for about ten yards. Then Herassimoff said to the elder, "Bring me some straw, burn him a little." But witness refused to bring it to him.
Herassimoff was found guilty, and condemned to one year's penal servitude, so lenient is the Russian law toward crimes against humanity, reserving its severity for those who are working for humanity.
Such barbarities, which would have set on fire European diplomacy had they been committed by a Turkish officer, are of course exceptional, though it would be wrong to suppose them unique. From the opposite end of the Empire we hear of things which are not better, but if anything worse. It was proved by judicial inquiry before the Kisheneff tribunal, that in the Orgheef district the ooriadniks and the communal authorities had used for a long time various instruments of torture, one of which, called bootook, figured on the table of material evidences" in the court. is a wooden instrument composed of two sliding beams, which serve for screwing between them the feet of the culprit. These abominations were not unknown to the police; but the thing was brought before the tribunal only because the authorities arrested the wrong man, on whom they used the bootook with such zeal as to make him a cripple.
If this catalogue of horrors has been somewhat long, it is yet by no means
complete. We have spared our readers any reference to outrages of a still more revolting kind, the outrages of the police upon women. It may be said with bitter truth that all classes are treated alike in Russia. The despotism which presses so heavily on the life of the educated Russian is no kinder to the simple peasant. It was justly ob
served that the peasants were freed from the lordship of the nobility only to be given in serfdom to the administration and the police; for indeed no milder term can give an adequate idea of the relations that subsist between the governed and those who govern in the rural districts of Russia. -Fortnightly Review.
A NAUTICAL LAMENT.
BY W. CLARK RUSSELL.
I ASKED myself the question one day while standing on the bridge of one of the handsomest and stoutest of the Union Company's steamboats, outward bound to the Cape of Good Hope, What has become of the old romance of the sea?
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream? It was a brilliant afternoon. The sunshine in the water seemed to hover there like some flashful veil of silver, paling the azure so that it showed through it in a most delicate dye of cerulean faintness. The light breeze was abeam; yet the ship made a gale of her own that stormed past my ears in a continuous shrill hooting, and the wake roared away astern like the huddle of foaming waters at the foot of a high cataract. On the confines of the airy cincture that marked the junction of sea and sky gleamed the white pinions of a little bark. The fabric, made fairy-like by distance, shone with a most exquisite dainty distinctness in the lenses of the telescope I levelled at it. The vessel showed every cloth she had spars and booms for, and leaned very lightly from the wind, and hung like a star in the sky. But our tempestuous passage of thirteen knots an hour speedily slided that effulgent elfin structure on to our quarter, where she glanced a minute or two like a wreath of mist, a shred of light vapor, and then dissolved. What has become, thought I, of the old romance of the sea? The vanished bark and the resistless power underneath my feet, shaking to the heart the vast metal mass that it was impelling, symbolized one of the most startling realities of modern progress.
sober truth, the propeller has sent the poetry of the deep swirling astern. It is out of sight. is out of sight. Nay, the demon of steam has possessed with its spirit the iron interior of the sailing ship, and from the eyes of the nautical occupants of that combination of ore and wire "the glory and the dream,'' that ocean visionary life which was the substance and the soul of the sea-calling of other days, has faded as utterly as it has from the confined gaze of the sudorific fiends of the engine-room.
To know the sea you must lie long upon its bosom; your ear must be at its heart; you must catch and interpret its inarticulate speech; you must make its moods your own, rise to the majesty of its wrath, taste to the very inmost reaches of your vitality the sweetness of its reposeful humor, bring to its astonishments the wonder of a child, and to its power and might the love and reverence of a man. Enough!'' cries Rasselas to Imlac, thou hast convinced me that no human being can ever be a poet." And I have convinced myself that the conditions of the sea-life in these times prohibit the most ardent of imaginative sailors from the exercise of that sort of divination which is to be found in perfection in the old narratives. The vocation is too tedious, the stress of it too harassing, the despatch insisted upon too exacting, to furnish opportunity for more than the most mechanical motions of the mind. A man is hurried from port to port with railway punctuality. He is swept headlong through calms and storms, and if there come a pause it will be found perilous ; and consternation takes the place of ob
servation. Nothing new is left. The monsters of the deep have sunk into the ooze and blackness of time and lie foundered, waiting for the resurrection that will not come until civilization has run its course and man begins afresh. All seaboards are known; nothing less than an earthquake can submit the unfamiliar in island or coast scenery. The mermaid hugging her merman has shrunk, affrighted by the wild, fierce light of science, and by the pitiless dredging of the deep-water inquirer, into the dark vaults beneath her coral pavilions. Her songs are heard no more, and her comb lies broken upon the sands. Old Ocean itself, soured by man's triumphant domination of its forces, by his more than Duke of Marlborough-like capacity of riding the whirlwind and directing the storm, has silenced its teachings, sleeps or roars blindly, an eyeless lion, and avenges its neglect and submission by forcing the nautical mind to associate with the noblest, the most romantic vocation in the world no higher ideas than tonnage, freeboard, scantlings, well-decks, length of stroke, number of revolutions, the managing owner, and the Board of Trade!
The early mariner was like the grow ing Boy whom Wordsworth sings of in that divine ode from which I have already quoted
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
The Youth, who daily farther from the East
Is on his way attended.
If I should be asked to deliver my sense of the highest poetical interpretation of the deep, I should point into distant times, to some new and silent ocean on whose surface, furrowed for the first time by a fabric of man's handiwork, floats some little bark with a deck-load of pensive, wondering, reverential men. Yes! you would find the noblest and most glorious divination of the true spirit of the deep in the thoughts which fill the breasts of that company of quaintly apparelled souls. The very ship herself fits the revelation of the sea to those simple hearts who have hardily sailed down the gleaming slope behind the familiar horizon, and penetrated the
liquid fastnesses of the marine gods and demons. Mark the singular structure swinging pendulum-like to the respirations of the blue and foamless swell. Her yellow sides throw a golden lustre under her. Little ordnance of brass and black iron sparkle on her bulwarks and grin along her decks. Her poop and top-lanthorns flash and fade with the swaying of her masts. Her pennons enrich the white sails with their dyes, and how long those banners may be let us conceive from that ancient account of the Armada in which it is written: "For the memory of this exploit, the foresayd Captain Banderdness caused the banner of one of these shippes to be set up in the great Church of Leiden in Holland, which is of so great a length, that being fastened to the very roofe, it reached down to the grounde. Her men are children, albeit bearded, and not yet upon them have the shades of the prison-house begun to close. Are we not to be pitied that all the glories which enraptured them, the wonders which held them marvelling, the terrors which sent them to their devotions, should have disappeared forever from our sight? We have still indeed the magnificence of the sunset, the splendor of the heavens by night, the Andean seas of the tempest, the tenderness of the moonlighted calm; but these things are not to us as they were to them; for a magic was in them that is gone; the mystery and fear and awe begotten of intrusion into the obscure and unknown principalities of the sea-king have vanished; our interpretation gathers nothing of those qualities which rendered theirs as romantic and lovely as a Shakespearian dream; and though we have the sunset and the stars and the towering surge-what have we not? what is our loss? what our perceptions (staled and pointed to commonplace issues by familiarity) compared with their costly endowment of marine disclosure? You see, the world of old ocean was before them; they had everything to enjoy. It was a virgin realm, also, for them to furnish with the creations of their imagination. The flyingfish
what object so familiar now? The house-sparrow wins as much attention, to the full, in the street as does this fish from the sailor or the passenger as it
sparks out from the seething yeast of the blue wave and vanishes like a little shaft of mother-of-pearl. But in those old times they found a wonder here; and prettily declared that they quitted the sea in summer and became birds. Hear how an old voyager discourses of these be-scaled fowls :
.. There is another kind of fish as bigge almost as a herring, which hath wings and flieth, and they are together in great number. These have two enemies, the one in the sea, the other in the aire. In the sea the fish which is called Albocore, as big as a salmon, followeth them with great swiftnesse to take them. This poore fish not being able to swimme fast, for he hath no finnes, but swimmeth with mooving of his taile, shutting his wings, lifteth himselfe above the water, and flieth not very hie; the Albocore seeing that, although he have no wings, yet he giveth a great leape out of the water and sometimes catcheth the fish being weary of the aire."
It is wonderland to this man. He writes as of a thing never before beheld and with a curious ambition of accuracy, clearly making little doubt that in any case his story will not be credited, and that therefore, since the truth is astonishing enough, he may as well carefully stick to it. And the barnacle? Does the barnacle hold any poetry to us? One would as soon seek for the seed of romance in the periwinkle or the crab. Taking up the first dictionary at hand, I find barnacle described as a shellfish, commonly found on the bottom of ships, rocks, and timber." But those wonderful ancient mariners made goose of it; as may be observed in Mr. John Lok's account of his ship which arrived home "marvellously overgrowne with certaine shells" in which he solemnly affirms there groweth a certain slimie substance, which at the length slipping out of the shell and falling in the sea, becometh those foules which we call Barnacles. Were not those high times for Jack? A barnacle, whether by the sea-side brim or anywhere else, is to us, alas! in this exhaustive age, a barnacle, and nothing more. Or take the maelstrom-a gyration not quite so formidable as the imagination of Edgar Allan Poe would have us believe, but by report exactly one of those features
of the ocean to alarm the primitive fancy with frightful ideas: Note," says Mr. Anthonie Jenkinson in his voyage to Russia, 1557, that there is between the said Rost islands and Lofoot a whirlepoole called Malestrand which maketh such a terrible noise, that it shaketh the rings in the doores of the inhabitants' houses of the sayd islands tenne miles off. Also if there cometh any whale within the current of the same, they make a pitiful crie." And so on. How fine as an artistic touch should we deem this introduction of the whale by the hand of an imaginative writer! The detail to the contemporary readers of Mr. Jenkinson's yarn would make an enormous horror of that "whirlepoole," for what should be able to swallow leviathan short of some such stupendous commotion as would be caused by the breaking up of the fountains of the waters of the earth? Let it be remembered that whales were fine specimens in that age of poetry. They were then big enough to gorge a squadron of men-of-war, ay, and to digest the vessels. We have had nothing like them since-the nearest approach to such monsters being the shark in which, on its being ripped open, there was found one full-rigged ship only, with the captain and the mate in the cabin quarrelling over the reckoning.
The age of marine romance supplied the mariner with many extraordinary privileges. We cannot control the winds as those old people did. There are no longer gale makers from whom Jack can buy a favorable blast. The very saints have deserted us, since it is certain that -at sea-we now pray to them in vain. Observe that in fifty directions, despite our propellers, donkey-engines, steamwindlasses, and the like, the ancient mariner was out and away better off than we are. Did he want wind? Then he had nothing to do but apply to a Finn, who, for a few shillings, would sell to him in the shape of a knotted handkerchief three sorts of gale, all prosperous, but one harder than another, by which he could be blown to his port without anxiety or delay. Did a whirlwind threaten him? Then read in the Voyage of Pirard in Harris' Collection how he managed: "We frequently saw great Whirl-winds rising at
a Distance, called by the Seamen Dragons, which shatter and overturn any Ship that falls in their way. When these appear the Sailors have a Custom of repairing to the Prow or the Side that lies next the storm, and beating naked swords against one another crosswise." Purchas, in his "Pilgrims," repeats this, and adds that this easy remedy of the sword hinders the storm from coming over their ship, "and turneth it aside." Did human skill and judgment fail him? There were the Saints. "Before the days of insurance offices and political economy," writes the author of "Lusitanian Sketches, merchants frequently insured their ships at the highly-esteemed shrine of Mantozimbo, by presenting a sum equal to the pay of captain or mate, and that, too, without stipulating for any equivalent should the vessel be wrecked." Was it not his custom to carry the image of his patron saint to sea with him, to pray to it, to make it responsible for the winds, and, if it proved obstinate, to force it into an obliging posture of mind by flogging it? Consider what a powerful marine battery of these saints he could bring to bear upon the vexed, refractory ocean and the capricious storming of winds. St. Anthony, St. Nicholas, whose consecrated loaves of bread quelled many a furious gale, St. Ronald, St. Cyric, St. Mark, St. George, St. Michael, St. Benedict, St. Clementthe list is as long as my arm, the number great enough to swell out a big ship's company. Did pirates threaten him? There was no occasion to see all clear for action. He had but to invoke St. Hilarion-who once on a time by prayer arrested the progress of a picaroon while chasing-and away would scuttle the black flag. Was smooth water required for safely making a port? Then no matter how high the sea ran, all that was needful was first to find a pious man on board, light tapers (where they would burn), bring up the incense, erect a crucifix, read prayers (this being done by the pious man), sprinkle the decks with holy water, and straightway the sea under the vessel's forefoot would flatten into a level lane, smooth as oil, albeit the surges on either hand continued to leap to the height of the maintop. Who now regards, save
with mild curiosity, the corposant-the St. Elmo's fire-the dimly-burning meteoric exhalation at the yard-arm? It is no more to modern and current imagination than the phosphoric flashes in black intertropic waters. But the ancient mariner made an omen of it-a saint-a joy to be blessed; he wrought it into a beneficent symbol, and endowed it with such powers of salvation as comforted him exceedingly while he kneeled on quivering knees in the pale illumination of that mystic marine corpsecandle. Who now scratches the mast for a breeze? Who fears the dead body as a storm-maker? What has become of the damnatory qualities of the cat, and who now hears the dimmest echo of comminatory power in her loudest mew? And most galling of all reflections, into what ocean unknown to man has sailed the Flying Dutchman ?
Let it not be supposed, however, that the elimination of poetry from the sealife by the pounding steam-engine and the swift voyage is deplorable on no further grounds than these which I have named. The utilitarian aspect is not the only one. There was romance and lustre outside those mere conditions of poetic seamanship which enabled the mariner to direct the wind by a knot, to control the tempest by a candle, to put the pirate to flight by an invocation. Emerge with me from the darkness of remote times into the light of the lastyes, and of the beginning of the present
century. Ladies were then going to sea, as they had in remoter times, dressed as men. They do so no longer. Who ever hears now of some youthful mariner with blooming cheeks and long eyelashes exciting the suspicions of his mahogany-cheeked mates by the shortness of his steps, or the smallness of his hands and feet, or a certain unboyish luxuriance of cropped hair? No, the blushing Pollies and Susans of the East End, resolved by love, by betrayal, or by the press-gang, into the shipping of breeks, have had their day. No longer do we read of pretty ship-boys standing confessed as girls. I mourn this departed romantic forecastle feature. Even in fiction how the imagination is captivated by the clever insinuations of the author in his treatment of the youth whose sex he springs upon us presently