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from an increased knowledge of and in. | There are, in addition to the ordinary terest in that country and its kindly peo- police, whose officers are usually mili. ple, struggling to force their way into the tary men, two other branches – the genforefront of the world's civilization, though darmerie or detectives, and the secret or in some respects so heavily handicapped political police. Both these latter are as compared with other nations enjoying very unpopular ana held in great awe. greater individual liberty and indepen. Their duties may be expressed in one dence. People often ask me about bribery word, “espionage," and very well they do in Russia, and about Siberia. With re- it, sometimes too well, indeed, as I learned gard to the first, it is a great pleasure to to my cost. Their numbers are legion, me to reflect that I never even found it and they are everywhere. No party of expedient to pay anything of the nature of Russians, no society, feels secure from a bribe, and much less was asked for one. their mysterious presence. On the other hand, Russians themselves It was my misfortune to see a good deal seem to be quite ready to admit that it is more of these two latter services, which a common practice amongst officials of all are, though quite distinct, closely united ranks. It is not an inviting subject to and dependent the one on the other, than investigate.
I at all wished. Indeed, had it not been One may live a long time in Russia and so, I doubt if I should have heard much hear little of Siberia. The Russians of them. I am quite sure that their sus. seemed to think it was a necessity of their picions never fell on a more perfectly in. political existence, and say that its hor- nocent subject than myself, yet I only just rors are for the most part a thing of the escaped being unceremoniously bundled past. I never heard any very marked out of the empire with a very few hours' aversion expressed to the system of Sibe- notice thanks to the energetic and prompt rian exile, and any attempt to elicit expres- intervention of the English consul and sion of their thoughts about it always his vice-consul, with both of whom I was seemed to lead them back to the two fortunately, acquainted and able to comgreat grievances of the educated middle- municate before being expelled. That class Russian, viz.: (1) the censorship of intervention obtained for me as a great the press, and rigid prohibition of free concession permission to stay five or six public discussion of political or even so- days longer in the town I was in at the cial questions; and (2) the impossibility time, when I had to quit, but might go on of having any popular or representative to another part of Russia, and not, as first form of government. There is a deep, ordered, be conducted to the German widespread conviction that these must frontier. This was the most that could be come in time. It is, indeed, the teaching allowed. The English consul wished to of the world's history. Happy for Russia report the case to our government, but if they come peacefully, as the princely kindly consented not to do so at my eargift of some future benignant Peter the nest request, as I feared I should be reGreat, and not as the result of a gigantic called to London to give explanations, upheaval of the whole social fabric and etc., and so lose the opportunity of seeing government of the country, causing a the country as I wished to do, and be put world-wide, devastating, blood-curdling to considerable extra expense. revolution. A growing impression pre. It is, however, too long a story to be vails that Siberia is a rich country, full of told in detail here, so I will simply say promise of future wealth to the empire, that the Russian authorities appear to which the railway now being constructed have got it into their heads — how or why will speedily develop.
I know not — that I was a German spy. My sketch would not be complete with. Many of my letters were stopped, and I out some reference to the very necessary was interviewed, followed everywhere by pillar of Russian autocracy, the police, from one to three detectives, and the peowithout which, indeed, it could not last a ple with whom I had then lived (three week in its present form. The ordinary families) visited and questioned about my police form a fine body of men, and of late movements, habits, objects, character, etc., years are for the most part fairly educated. for a period of nearly two months, culmiPersonally I have always found them as nating in an order, received at eleven deserving of the name " the friendly po- o'clock at night, to leave that place for the liceman " when addressed or appealed to German frontier by the first train the next as in our own country, and have often had day, as just related. pleasant talks with some of them -- excel. Í devoted the last three months of my ient conversational practice.
stay in the country to travelling about, principally in the south of Russia, in the fair conveyances or carriages. It is an Crimea, and in the Caucasus. The river ideal place for a honeymoon. travelling is exceedingly pleasant, and Leaving the Crimea I spent ten days at provided that one is a good sailor, no different places along the coast of the Sea doubt the sea travelling also, for some of of Azov. Taganrog is the principal town, the Black Sea steamers are very comfort- and both this and Berdiansk have fine able, and the Caspian steamers very fair. large public gardens. The most notice. Those on the Sea of Azov are small, and able thing about Tagaorog is that, in July it is a somewhat dreary and uninteresting at all events, the ladies wear no hats. In coast all round. Of the Crimea, with its Russia people generally dine between historic battle-fields, I will say little, as three and five, and usually go out after they have so often been described, but this meal, and it was then quite the excepthis was, perhaps, the most interesting tion to meet any lady with a hat on, though part of my travels. The Alma is an awk- a few threw light shawls over their heads. ward place to get at, for the battle-field is The general effect was very pleasing. some eighteen miles from the railway. I must hasten on to that country of wild station of the name, and no conveyance hill beauty, the Caucasus, where I spent can be got nearer than Simferopol, which about six weeks on one side or the other, is therefore the best poiot to start from. or in the midst of the great mountain Considering how flat the greater part of range of that name, between Vladikavkaz, this country is, one is the more struck by Tiflis, and Baku. If we ever have the the very broken, rugged nature of the misfortune to have to fight Russia, it is ground, especially around where the battle on the Caucasus that we could most effecof Inkerman was fought. The easiest and tively make impression; and alike in pleasantest way to visit this locality is to pleasantness of climate, in fertility of soil, row up to the end of the “Great Bay," a and abundance of mineral and natural beautiful trip; and from there to walk wealth, in vulnerability to attack, in its over the different points of interest. To distance from the heart of the empire, and, the sequestered little village of Balaclava lastly, in the absence of any feeling among -- only eight or nine miles from Sevastopol the many different tribes inhabiting the - nestling to one side of the pretty, small, mountain range of love or loyalty to Rus. peaceful, land-locked bay, with its steep sia, in all these there seem reasons for cliffs, and also to the cemeteries (except regarding the Caucasus as a future and the Russian and Jewish cemeteries, which much more decisively successful “ Cri. lie on the north side of the Great Bay, mea.” If by any effort we could wrest which should be crossed by boat, and then that rich province from Russia, we should walking), and to the Malakhoy and the Re- then indeed “command the highroad to dan, it is best to drive, and then to examine India ;” the Russian Asiatic army, numthem on foot with a guide. Sevastopol, bering more than one hundred and thirty in spite of its surrounding dry, burnt-up- thousand men, that which threatens India, looking hills, is a pretty place, with its would be cut off in rear, with the Caspian admirable harbor, comfortable hotels, a Sea between us and them; while Persia fair though small public garden, some would have nothing more to fear from her good buildings, and an interesting military northern neighbor. If we, assisted by the museum. But the most beautiful place in Turks or other ally, could concentrate our the Crimea is the litile seaside town of attention on the northern part of the Cau. Yalta, now a fashionable health-resort. Its casus, from Ekaterinodar to Vladikavkaz appearance from the sea as you enter the (the former being connected by rail with picturesque little semicircular harbor is ihe small Black Sea port of Novorossiski, exceedingly pleasing. Behind the town fifty miles distant, as well as with Vladirises a striking-looking steep hill, here kavkaz), to guard the entrance to the and there luxuriantly wooded, with lesser great highroad across the mountain range elevations on each side running down to to Tiflis, while the Turks, assisted by us, the sea. There are several excellent ho- attacked the Tiflis or southern side, and tels and a pretty public garden. Behind our fleet cut off all supplies from the the main street, and extending far up the Black Sea, I believe we should effectually hillsides, nearly every house seems to settle the Eastern question to our satishave some kind of a garden, or trees, or faction and the world's gain, and acquire a vineyard about it, and the general effect is most beautiful and rich country. This indescribably prettywas viewed from the would be an object worth fighting for. harbor. There are some beautiful walks The grand road across the great chain and drives in the neighborhood, and very of the Caucasus from Vladikavkaz to Tiflis is nearly one hundred and forty the Caspian Sea, Baku is the windiest, miles long, and rises to a height of about sandiest, most unpleasantly odoriferous eight thousand feet above the sea-level. town that I have ever visited. The name, From time immemorial this has been the I believe, means "a blow of the wind," great highway of communication between and is most apt. The surrounding counEurope and Asia, and the present road is try consists for the most part of bare sanda striking instance of engineering triumph hillocks or plains, and nothing but a keen over great natural difficulties, and abounds desire to see how the naphtha is worked at every turn with magnificent scenery and could induce one to linger long in it. relics of past history. Here and there From Baku to Astrakhan is about two along the road are some excellent mineral days by steamer, stopping en route at Dersprings. A very small but powerful fort band and Petrovsk, both pretty places ; at one part of it commands the pass on but the Caspian Sea lacks good harbors, both sides ; indeed, I think the pass or and its commerce is comparatively insigroad in the hands of the Russians would nificant. The trip up the Volga from be impregnable at any point, or very easily Astrakhan to Nijni Novgorod is interest. made so, from any foe, until the hearty ing; the steamers plying up and down co-operation of the mountaineers had been are innumerable, and many of them are secured, but it could be closed at both simply luxurious in point of accommodaends and its defenders starved out with tion and food. The scenery is nothing little difficulty as long as we commanded to speak of, but the towns are interesting, both Tiflis and Vladikavkaz. The road and some of them, as Nijni Novgorod, are passes within a few miles of that splendid very pretty as viewed from the steamer. and majestic mountain (over sixteen thou. They do not, however, as a rule, improve sand five hundred feet high), Kazbek, in this respect on closer inspection. But, which is said to be about the height of indeed, in every town or village throughMont Blanc. I attempted its ascent twice, out the country the church or churches but the local inhabitants say that no one add much to their picturesque appearance. has ever quite succeeded in reaching the They are often made more conspicuous by summit. Just below the great mountain the prevalence of gilt, sometimes entirely and about fifteen hundred feet above the covering the large central dome and spire halting station (where there is a fair inn, of the building, and they generally occupy as all along this road at intervals of from the most prominent situations in the town ; nine to sixteen miles), on the summit of a others, again, have bright blue or green curious hill, stands a church of unknown colored domes, perhaps dotted with gilt antiquity, but said to be the oldest Chris- points or stars, and often beautiful pictian church known still standing. It is, iures of saints or Bible scenes are painted though small, very striking both from its outside at the entrance to the building, unique position and its curiously massive The churches, too, have very fine peals of architecture. The local inhabitants are bells of a size rarely seen in other counmostly Gruzios, one of the largest tribes tries, and of exceedingly sweet tone. To inhabiting the Caucasus, whose Christian- a West European eye, however, all this ity is a curious mixture of Mahomedanism bright colo and the general construcand Christianity. To them this church tion of the building, with its dome and belongs.
surrounding minarets, seem more Oriental But the Caucasus abounds in interest than Occidental. and traces of the remotest antiquity, far The great fair was going on when I was beyond the scope of a single magazine at Nijni Novgorod, and like every one else article to deal with, and I therefore hasten who has visited it of late years, I was dison to Tiflis. This city of gardens, with appointed with it. From this point my its unattractive and dirty river and its travels lay through the larger central cities teeming mixture of races, is more pictur- of the empire, which are too well known esque than pleasant, at any rate in August, to require mention. when the heat is very considerable ; Very great has been the interest to me grapes abound everywhere, and may be of seeing this country and its various bought at about three half-pence a pound types of inhabitants, and I cannot be too in August, and the poorest peasants may thankful that I utilized the last three be seen everywhere eating this excellent months of my sojourn in the country to fruit. The country between Tiflis and travel about as much as possible. The Baku grows less and less attractive as you Caucasus alone richly repays the trouble near the latter town and the hills recede and expense of a visit. I have seen many from the view. Situated on the shore of parts of the globe - from the East to the
West Indies, from America to the borders must say he never recommended the mar. of the Celestial Empire, from South Africa riage), and rubbing our eyes of a morn. to Russia — and on the whole, for charming, to a terrible Babel of sound in Covent and beauty of nature and for interesting Garden Market worse than the cawing of variety of races, I give the palm to the the rooks at my own back door here. Caucasus. Of the strange medley of cos. Tosh and Shirra, Writers, has been tumes which the world's panorama reveals, upon the office door for thirty years and I think
exceed in picturesque more, although Mr. Tosh was carried off quaintness, at once becomiog and exceed with a blood-poisoning a quarter of a ceningly convenient, the dress of the majority tury ago, and left neither son nor heir to of the inhabitants of the Caucasus, com- share with me in the business, but just his monly called the “ Circassian costume.” name that has outlived his memory. In Having worn it in the country, itself, the days I am writing of I was only Mr. riding, walking, and mountain climbing, I Tosh's clerk; but, being his sister's son, may claim to have tested its convenience. I knew his affairs, and other peoples', as
Heartily do I advise any one to whom well as he did himself. That is saying a it falls, not to lose the opportunity of visit- great deal, for Michael Tosh was a big ing this part of the dominions of the czar man in these days — indeed, the biggest of all the Russias.
man in the place unless you share Mr. Henry Anderson's opinion of himself holding the confidences of all the gentry for miles around, and down even to St.
Brise and the villages on the coast, forby From The National Review.
being consulted by lesser folks of all de THE ROW'TILLY GIRL.
gree, as you could have seen for yourself “He is either himsell a devil frae hell, if you had had my place in the waiting. Or else his mother a witch maun be.”
room on a term day. In one way it's the 1.
same now; but it is more a matter of exThis day, ransacking among my old change and less an honorable confidence deed-boxes, it all came back to me that between lawyer and client than it was story of Kate Coulter -- as some in cities when those titles and bonds were drawn, have told me that their countryside will which, yellow and faded, I found to-day rise with the opening of a book upon a in the Learmont deed-box. faded hedge-leaf. For myself, not being a John Learmont was a sprig of a very townsman, except in so far as I belong to slender branch of a family once mighty in Rivertoo, which some upsetting bodies in the east end of the county. There was an it would fain call a town, I could never ancestor whom a righteous man in the know that feeling. When I studied the Scots Kirk called the “Frenchiest, Ital. law in Edinburgh I lodged down in Pilrig ianest, jolly gentleman,” meaning that as way, which was as good as living in the a reproach, and John Learmont, I have country ; although from my high-up win-heard, was not slow to take after him in dows, looking over to the hills of Fife some of his ways. He sailed to India and (which I did just as often as I could), I took a woman of the country, a proceedfelt the masts in the Firth coming being which had nothing uncommon about tween me and them like to make me play it except that he married her. And Mimi the traitor, so able were they to quicken - that was how he called her, and how even my peaceful inclination to a longing she signed her name neatly enough to for the wide worlds they sailed to. But I these papers — Mimi bore him a child, a went back to Riverton early, - it was at boy, that grew up with no more color than the August Market before Robert Lear. any Scotch laird would be proud of in his mont was given out as dead, — and, maybe, son. In course of time the father died, in its little compass have seen as many of and the widow and her boy Robert turned the tangled and the crooked things of life, to Learmont's county of Fife, and settled as the most venturesome; and since then at Hawfield. I have not wakened ten mornings together Even for a dark woman, Mrs. Learmont upon any sight but the uplands towards had no beauty. She was small and squat, the coast and, against them, the tree-tops, and without comeliness of feature. But now bare, now cosy; except, indeed, in she had spirit; and that, I fancy, was why my honeymoon which we spent in Lon- Learmont had come to fancy her and ultidon, putting up at the Tavistock, on the mately to marry her. Being highly edu. recommendation of Mr. Tosh (although I l cated among her own people, and nimble
LIVING AGE. VOL. LXXIX. 4104
in her wits as well, she had drunk in the he climb the steep path to it. The woods glorious traditions of England till they are fringed with rowanetrees; and it is fired her blood like wine. She was seldom that a townsman or a stranger prouder of them than ever she would have arrives at the steading with hat or belt been if she had shared them with her hus. unadorned with the clusters of red berries. band instead of craving some little title to Theirs, however, is the only color in the them through him. In that pride she landscape. The woods are gaunt.. The nurtured the lad, sensitive enough, her. outlines of the little hills are not majestic, self, to any look or word of color thrown or even tender. The farmhouse is a plain, at her; and a very she-devil if it were cast two-storied building, coom-ceiled. The up against her boy. He little deserved wooden porch faces the bill, and in front having it cast up to him, being, as I have of it there is a green park girded on every said, bronzed only as a white face ought side (save that on which the burn rushes to be by laughing in the eyes of the sun. when there is a spate on the bills) by a With this he had a lithe Indian build, that garden of vegetables and fruit-bushes. set him in the forefront of his fellows for The stackyard at the back of the house feats of limb, in the days when he chased wanders among byres and stables and the young horses, with the shepherds' corn-lofts. The very fields around are sons, in the grass-parks round Hawfield, unkindly, and the rock crops quickly to and later at his school in England and their surface. All this you will find as I when he joined his regiment. His mother have written it down, if you will take the watched this, and stroked and fingered trouble to cover the three miles out from the proud nature with which he had Riverton to Row'tilly; and it was the same clothed himself, feeling its texture con- thirty years ago, when Mrs. Learmont stantly and trying its wear, and scarce lived at Hawfield, and John Coulter farmed able to bear her heart beating with the her twenty acres along with his two hun. consciousness of what she thought was dred acres in Row'tilly. her husband's race in her boy. I do not That year Robert Learmont remained speak from knowledge of him, but only at Hawfield late into the autumn. He was gather what threads have come to me to a there at the Row'tilly harvesting. Har. pattern. It may well be that he was a vest was always late, the land being high battleground of races. At any rate, there and silly; and it was especially late that was a look from beneath the black eye- season, as Nell Coulter had occasion to brows that at times was frank and win- remember, for her marriage with Dave ning, and at others full of a cunning at Siurrock, the Denbrae baker, could not which the country louts wondered and felt come off until the last sheaf was stacked. creepy; at all times telling of the pride One day, when there was a sweltering heat swelling the delicate nostril that had not a for that time of year, and just about the trace of his mother's race, drawing the dinner hour, Robert Learmont came across curves of the mouth taut as a bow high- the field among the stooks. Now, a field strung, and letting his head play freely on that is cutting is sacred to the shearers, his shoulders like a strong man that feels and whoso trespasses must pay the penhis foothold on the rock. All this we alty of “beogie;" that is, he (or she, for might have noticed when he came home that part of it), may be seized by heel and in the summer and again at Christmas, crop, and bumped upon the stubble until and sometimes between; and it was the he, or she, is tender, unless there is a very devil to any woman that he looked compounding with money for an exercise on, if she looked on him again.
few have a mind to. Accordingly, when Now, from Riverton to Hawfield the the word went round the field of Robert's road runs through Denbrae and sharply to presence in it, they converged on him, the right, westwards, until, a mile farther and would have seized him, I dare say, on, you come to the first stone pillars at for he was not one to send a coin on a the end of the Hawfield Avenue. Pres- fist's errand. But at the moment his eye ently the road doubles back on John fell on Kate Coulter, who had come runCoulter's farm; but the nearest way thither ning, with her arms full of the shearers' from Denbrae village is on the north side, bread, when she saw the workpeople where issues a cart-track that, winding crowding to one spot. For all that her round plantations and through acres of eyes were young and inquisitive, she had fern and whin, creeps to the upland farm the figure of a woman, as was more plainly of Row'rilly. The proper name of the seen now that she had come to a stop, farm, indeed, is Rowantilly, and one does with her bosom heaving on her long not need to ask why if, on a summer day, breaths; her dark eyes shining under