pathy – have suffered, and are suffering and schools, doctors, merchants, etc. deeply from the Russians. It was a dis- the class, in fact, among which the orditinct relief to me after reading that article nary Englishman finds himself cast in his to reflect that I had just returned from a attempt to live in a family and learn the ten months' residence in the country (dur- language) which strike an Englishman as ing which time I had travelled nearly being "not nice," and form to a great seven thousand miles by river, land, or extent the ground on which we occasion. sea, from one end of European Russia to ally vote them as barbarous. Small matthe other, from Warsaw to the Crimea, ters, to which it would be a pity to attach the southern provinces round the Sea of undue importance, arrest one's attention, Azov, through the Caucasus to Tiflis and such as frequently eating with their knives Baku, and throughout the whole length as we use a fork; no salt-spoons either in of the Volga, from Astrakhan to Nijni- hotels or private houses, the aforesaid Novgorod, stopping en route at Tzaritzin, knife being employed to help oneself to Saratov, Samara, Simbirsk, and Kazan, salt, sometimes stretching half the length to Moscow, Kharkov, and Kiev in central of a table to get at it instead of asking Russia), and that I had met with nothing that it should be passed; simplifying the justifying so overwhelming and so bitter carving of a fowl, for instance, by a liberal an attack. And yet my teachers and trav. use of the fingers; using the same knife elling companions were sometimes Jews, and fork for various courses, and helping sometimes' Poles, and sometimes Rus oneself to vegetables, etc., by sticking sians, and I lived in eight different fam- one's fork into the dish and extracting ilies, my object being not merely to try what is required; and many other little to learn the very rich and beautiful lan- points similar in kind. One common guage, but also to see as much of the dif. practice should be mentioned: the men, ferent classes of people and of the country and sometimes the ladies, carry about a as possible. This may not have been little pocket-comb, which is used in the the best way to study the language with a most unconcerned way, anywhere, in a view to passing an examination, but it train, at a railway station, or on entering undoubtedly enabled me to see more of a room, without any apology. The hair is this great and interesting land and nation often worn by the men without any part. (with its many varieties of type) than I ing, sometimes rather long, and brushed could have done otherwise, and it greatly or combed back or straight up, which enhanced the pleasure of my visit. gives them rather a wild appearance.

I found them a pleasant, hospitable, and These are some of the peculiarities of social people, always ready to fraternize manner and ways which, however small, and help me in every way in their power. somewhat jar on an Englishman. I was told sometimes by Englishmen in It is generally well known that the Rus. the country that they were a very childish sians live more indoors than we do, and people; in the ease with which they are are very partial to closed windows. The willing to be amused this may be so, and houses are kept surprisingly warm all also, perhaps, in a certain disregard of through the long, severe winter by stoves conventional appearances. I remember built usually into the wall, and running once seeing a Russian general and a from floor to ceiling, and often some of colonel and be it noted that officers in the windows are never opened till the variably wear uniforms and swords - sit- summer comes round again! One or ting on the ledge of a shop window in the more of these windows generally has a principal street of one of the largest cities single pane which opens or revolves, and of the empire, discussing some matter this may be occasionally opened for a few with great animation, and wholly unaware minutes, perhaps once a day. What exof any incongruity in their position and ercise Russians take is usually more of a of my somewhat bewildered stare. Imag. gentle promenade than anything else; ine such a scene in Regent Street! My they will stroll up and down the principal tutor, however, assured me it was nothing street in the town, or in some small public out of the ordinary, and laughed at my square or garden, for hours, quite consurprise. One certainly meets with little tentedly. Thus, in spite of the unique ways and usages common amongst the opportunity for skating which their long ordinary great middle class (if I may so winter gives them, it is rare to find any call the class from which spring the im- Russian who can skate well. If you do mense majority of officers of the army, find two or three good skaters, you will ordinary tchinovnicks or officials, students, probably learn on inquiry that they are lawyers, professor

ors of the universities Englishmen or Germans ! I was, however, somewhat surprised to find most of the the policy of the present reign (aod to a Englishmen who are in the country on certain extent it is also traditional) to mul. duty (as I was, for the purpose of learning tiply churches in every Russian town. the language) anything but pleased or When a new town is captured by the Ruscontented with the life they were obliged sians, the first thing they do is to partly to lead. I remember well on one occasion fortify it and build one or more churches. an athletic young Saxon shrugging his The churches are often open all day -- as shoulders and exclaiming, as some figure they should be everywhere --- and there went by muffled up in a great fur coat of are generally some officials or alms-colwhich the collar turned up as high as the lectors somewhere within the building. If top of the head, without using the sleeves, you hear a little louder talking going on but holding the garment on as one might than usual, it is probably some two or a shawl or blanket, with the hands very three members of the order gossiping tocarefully folded inside, “ Look at that now! gether, or talking over the railing which I think' I could " (pulling himself up and surrounds the platform where the reading clenching his fist) *: bowl over two or three or chanting is done to some member of of these fellows myself.” Incidentally it the congregation about matters entirely may be remarked that this way of wearing disconnected, judging by appearances, a great-coat, even in summer, is almost with the service, and, indeed, some:imes universal, i.e., without using the sleeves; while some other reader, or preacher, or so much so, that it is frequently so worn chanter, is actually taking part in the serin the army by all ranks in uniform, and vice. They move about and talk to each there is a special word in the language other without the smailest regard to the which designates this peculiar way of fact that another priest is officiating at the wearing a coat. I tried so to wear it once time not two yards from where they may or twice ; but it really is troublesome to be standing. I once saw a priest combing keep on, and I am at a loss to understand his long hair with his pocket-comb on one how a custom neither convenient nor be- side of the railed-in platform, while on the coming can have become so general as to other side the choir were singing! The be distinctly national.

churches are full of pictures inside, and I will first note the points about the sometimes outside, often beautifully paint. Russians, their ways and customs, which ed; images and candles in every direction, I did not like, and then touch on those and the amount of apparently aimless which struck me favorably. First, then, kissing, bowing, crossing, prostrations, their religion and priests. The Russian etc., is somewhat bewildering: No mempriest remains to-day, in spite of a great ber of the royal family travels in Russia improvement in his position of late years, without ostentatiously visiting the princiwhat I am told he has always been the pal church at each town for a special ser. poorest specimen of his kind to be found vice. He or she may be known to be not anywhere. It is a very remarkable thing a very religiously disposed person, yet all that a nation superstitiously reverent in such services are set forth unctuously and many ways should have such a poor stand. at length in telegrams, not merely in the ard of clergy. To say that they are ill- local journals, but in all the newspapers paid is not a sufficient explanation, for this throughout the empire. It would appear is true often of the Roman Catholic clergy, to be part of the policy of the present who none the less command respect. But reign, a sort of attempt to kindle enthusithe average Russian priest is tolerated as asm and fanaticism in and for the so-called a necessity, as a necessary evil. A more worthodox” faith, and to trade on the unkempt, untidy, slovenly set of men it ignorant superstition of the peasant class, would be hard to find anywhere. Rus- teaching them to despise those who hold sians often told me that they were ill-read, any other faith or creed. From this point and generally untrustworthy. Certainly, of view they do well to maintain an ignoin no family where I lived did any priestrant and subservient priesthood. ever set his foot as a visitor or guest, nor Thus we find the sicgular anomaly of a was he desired. They form a distinct government apparently full of zeal (officaste, and as a rule only the children of cially) for the propagation of one form of the priest can become priests. They faith among its subjects, and for the supwear their hair long, and though I have pression of all other forms, while the indi

some fine patriarcial-looking men vidual members of that government are amongst them, such were in a very small notoriously indifferent to religion; and the minority.

people in the main, except the peasantry, Then as to the religion. It is part of no less so. And again, there exists in



Russia a priesthood, in numbers the most school, and on their return home each numerous, but in capacity the least effi. day about 3 P.M., they join the family cient in the world.

circle and are treated as if grown up, and I confess that I have never seen any not merely are allowed to listen to, but religion which seemed to me so unreal, so often join in, the conversation of their artificial, and so little reverent as that of elders, in a manner very unusual in this the Russian Church; but is it wonderful, country, and which cannot be edifying or with so poor a standard of clergy? The other than bad for any children. They churches are often fuil, generally with the know everything, and a great deal too peasant class, and they, at least, are ear. much. nestly bent on prostrations, and what they Another small point wbich excites the believe to be worship. These peasants ridicule of an Englishman is the partiality are intensely superstitious. But of the of the men, though in no way related, for higher classes, who have to some extent kissing each other effusively, even in the cast out superstition and replaced it with streets. indifference, who stroll in and out of a It is, however, proverbially easier to find church as part of their promenade, pose and to dwell upon faults rather than upon and cross themselves, and look about eying the many excellent and pleasant points everything as if out in the street, what which come under one's observation, and can one think? The men, however, don't which one is only too apt to take as a mat. often go, and when they do, stay but a few ter of course, and so scarcely to notice. I minutes. Still, it is strange to see a man was agreeably surprised to find good and ostentatiously and repeatedly crossing comfortable hotels, not merely in the cap. himself, and all the while looking sideways ital cities of the empire, but in many at you and others, with an expression of others; in Kiev, Ekaterinoslavol, Kharlively interest in your dress or general kov, in several towns in the Crimea, at appearance. There are no seats in a Rus- Taganrog, Tiflis, and Baku, and at Astra. sian church ; you walk about, stand, or lie khan, Nijni Novgorod, etc. And in very prostrate. There is never any organ or many other much smaller towns or villages other instrumental music, but often excel. I everywhere found some very tolerable lent choirs, and some members of the inns, quite enough so to make travelling choir are generally singing something. throughout the country, even for a lady, The singing is indeed a redeeming point; anything but a hardship, and often a pleas. it is often very beautiful. The Russian ure. And the same applies to railway has a natural aptitude for part-singing; travelling ; it is generally slow, but very the soldier, the peasant, the student, all comfortable and clean. Somewhere in form themselves into part-singers, and Sir Mackenzie Wallace's book about Rusgenerally with excellent effect, wherever sia he has said (although writing in 1876) any number are gathered together. But that the railway carriages exceed our own in instrumental music they are no better in comfort, though the speed is incomparthan ourselves.

ably slower. On the other hand, Mr. I found the ordinary official routine in Hare, in his “Studies in Russia,” degovernment offices open to objection; the scribes railway travelling as being some. delay, the childish and often vexatious times enough to make one feel as if curiosity exhibited, the repetition of use. seasick, owing to the long, swinging moless questions, the consiantly repeated tion of the irain. The steamer accombut utterly meaningless “immediately" in modation, too, is good, both as regards answer to your entreaty for a little de arrangement and food, whether by sea or spatch, the continual reference from one river, and any one travelling much in office to another, and the perpetual little Russia will probably have to avail himself exhibitions of self-importance, formed a a good deal of both. The writer has been tout ensemble which was the reverse of on the Vistula, Dnieper, Don, and the pleasing. They are always polite (but Volga rivers, and on the Black Sea, the how little their politeness means) and Sea of Azov, and the Caspian Sea. always dilatory.

The little that I saw of Russian country The way, too, in which the children are life was pleasing ; it is a free and easy, commonly brought up at home struck me unconventional kind of existence, and the unfavorably. From nine or ten to sixteen people are so inclined to be sociable that or eighteen years of age they are nearly it could not fail to be interesting, for a always at school, usually as day-boarders while, at any rate. The exodus from only, girls for seven years and boys for town to country as the summer begins is nine years. But until they begin to go to quite a feature of Russian life, and is


much more universal than amongst our or on the march. They are anything but selves, and pretty little wooden houses, tidy or neat in dress or person, and slouch buried in small luxuriant gardens, usually about in a manner which is eminently abounding more in trees and bushes than Russian, perhaps, but which would excite in flowers, spring up in certain favored the contempt of Tommy Atkins. But, localities around the various towns, and nevertheless, they are not only men of fine though deserted in winter, are thronged in physique, but much older and hardersummer.

looking than our own, and work uncomIt is pleasant to see two peasants, plainingly all day. An ordinary Russian though unaccompanied by their women- regiment would look shabby beside one of kind, courteously raise their caps to each our own, and its drill would be slacker; other as they pass. The Russian peasant but in their powers of endurance, hard - the much-abused mujik — as a class work, marching, and general contentment always impressed me favorably; yet 1 - i.e., absence of all grumbling - we have never lived in any family in which I did much to learn from them. Their bravery not hear expressed somewhat contemptu- is well known, even if it were not borne ous reflections upon this class by their witness to by so many of our own officers social superiors. These latter are fre. who were through the Crimea. And their quently sensitive of a stranger's opinion numbers --- almost a million on a peace of themselves and their country and cus- footing, and nearly two millions and a toms, and are always ready to attribute quarter on a war footing! I saw some any shortcomings they fancy one may find splendid looking regiments in the Cir. to the peasant class, of whom they speak cassian army, soldiers of whom any nation in an apologetic way, as if deprecating might have been proud, and I may say your supposed harsher judgment. Yet I the same of some regiments of Cossacks found the peasants everywhere pleasant of the Don. and generally communicative, and I think Another point which impressed me about the most hopeful of any class in the favorably was the gigantic system of educountry. They form the backbone of the cation which has been introduced throughempire, and without them neither czar, out the country. The school rates are government, or people could do much, and exceedingly low, in some cases less than when at length the government's efforts to fifty roubles (about five guineas) in a year, improve their condition and to enlighten and are open to all classes, and nearly all them have had more time to take effect, I Russian children are compelled to attend believe that they will make a better and unless especially exempted or unable to more effective use of the increased power pay any fees. It is a curiously demowhich knowledge brings than has yet been cratic system for a nation that is supmade by the great middle and educated posed to be the most autocratic in the class, the student class, above them. world. All these schools are much alike ; These latter are the true malcontents of the majority of those attending them are Russia, and are always rushing to extremes children of the inhabitants of the town or in their zeal to improve the universe, or do- district in which the school is. There are ing nothing but grumble bitterly. Moder- also village schools under government ate combination is unknown to them, and supervision, at which the attendance of all so they are always in trouble or in fear of peasant children for three winters (but not trouble. If the present government is to in the summer, as then the parents require be carried on at all, they almost must be their help in the fields) is obligatory. treated as they are, as long as they keepThere is nothing in the country correup secret printing-presses, and issue writ. sponding to what we understand by our ings abusive of government or planning its public schools. Besides these schools overthrow. I am not at all concerned to there are no fewer than ten universities defend or approve the present government, scattered throughout the Russian Empire. but I do think it has no choice in its treat. I said just now that whenever the Rus. ment of these men, who would do well to sians acquired a new town there shortly reflect sometimes that" il faut se soumettre appeared a fort or a barrack and a church ; ou se démettre."

I might have added that very commonly Nothing surprised me more than the one of these great schools was also estabphysique and bearing of the Russian sol. lished with surprising and creditable radiers. They are devoted to their officers, pidity. and work cheerily and well, and may be In regard to education I do not think heard singing — and very well, too - that any one can deny that the Russian wherever they are in any numbers at work government has pursued an enlightened and far-seeing policy, as respects, at any | touch on the periodical literature. Most rate, their own subjects. Russians them towns have their local newspapers — not selves often told me that the system of so well got up as our own, and a good teaching, adopted in these schools left|deal dearer. But the strict censorship much to be desired in many respects. But exercised stifles any development or im. where is not this the case, more or less?provement in this direction, and tends to The great point is that schools have been degrade the press. Cheap editions of the established throughout the whole country, many excellent Russian authors are now and that attendance is practically obliga. beginning to come into general existence. tory. Even in small towns on the shore That admirable and great “Russian of the Sea of Azov and along the banks of apostle of truth," Count Leo Tolstoï, has rivers and in the Caucasus — i.e., in the done more than any man living to effect most distant parts of European Russia - this great reform, both by example and such schools are found. It will surprise precept. He is indeed the Russian "grand many people to hear that there is a uni- old man." There are a few fair weekly versity in Siberia — at Tomsk. We may, illustrated papers, but it is not yet posI think, confidently expect that as time sible to buy single numbers of any of the shows more and more the benefit of the better-class ones, which is a great drawgreat wave of education which has passed back and much curtails their circulation, over the country the system of education for few people care to become yearly subwill improve.

scribers to a paper which may at any moAs indicative, however, of the not alto- ment be suppressed by the censor. gether unmixed good of these democratic I was much impressed by the fact that schools, I may relate the following: In the English papers I received often gave one family where I lived – that of a me details of occurrences which had taken colonel of artillery — the lady one day place in Russia, but of which nothing was apologized for some boyish piece of ill. generally known in the country itself; behavior at table on the part of her son, such, for instance, as the banishment or a lad of fourteen or fifteen, in these terms: dismissal of some officers of the army and “Please excuse him; but what can you of certain professors or students from uni.

? He is all day at his versities, or the persecution of the Jews, school, and may be sitting next some un- or incidents connected with the marriage educated peasant's children most of the of a certain duke against the czar's orders, time, so small wonder if he acquires some etc. I always found my Russian friends of their habits and manners.”

very keen to know the contents of my I have already mentioned the general English papers, and on several occasions hospitality of the Russians; everywhere they wrote to inquire from persons at the it seems the same, and they are (in spite places named if so and so was really true, of an inquisitiveness which at times seems and on each such occasion it was verified puerile) always anxious to get you to eat by the private replies received. This is and drink with them, and give you all the not a little remarkable. Since my return information they can. In fact, they are to England I have regretted to find several often quite as communicative as they are Englishmen who have been in Russia inquisitive, although they may be total and are friendly disposed towards that strangers. I had ample proof of this country inclined to show their friendship throughout my travels. Again, though by abuse of our own, for the most part, generally a poor people, they are usually admirably and impartially conducted newscharitable, and free with their money papers, for publishing all sorts of nonwhen they have any.

sense about Russia." This line is sure Another small point which is very to be popular with many Russians, who quickly and literally shaken into one is are often childishly susceptible of the the wretched system of paving the streets criticisms of a foreign press, and resent of towns which prevails almost every- them with no less childish petulance in where. They are commonly paved with some of their own journals. I have alsmall boulders about the size of a child's ways found — though with warm feelings head, and the consequent jolting given by of sympathy for the Russians — that any the springless and comfortless national such cases which they took the trouble conveyance, the drosky, rattling over such to trace out were found to be based on roads, is no less dreadful than the resultant facts, as indicated above. din. Of the majority of country roads, the It is pleasant to note how frequent iecless said, the better.

tures about Russia are now becoming in It is not possible to do more than just England. Nothing but good can result

expect, Mr.

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