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We have heard, since the commencement civilisation in Russia has been: by what of our paper, that this promising pupil in influences it has been most forwarded; the Berlin school of history has been sud- and in what departments of life its results denly cut off in the dawn of his literary are most apparent. reputation. Dr. Papencordt seemed likely Ever since the advent of Peter the to unite industry and diligence, general Great, the great-great-grandsire of his qualifications of German historians, with present majesty, who breathed a species the virtues of judgment and skill in com- of animation into the vast colossus, but beposition—which are not quite so common queathed to his successors the far more among them. We fear that his premature difficult task of wakening intelligence decease will deprive us of the work which and stimulating conscience, civilisation, he meditated, and of which the present mo. like the unknown god of the ancients, a nograph is, as it were, a chapter,—the his- something they acknowledged yet knew tory of the city of Rome from the fall of the not how to approach, has been more or Western Empire to the commencement of less the aim or the pretension of each the sixth century. But-his saltem donis- succeeding sovereign. But no matter we would honour the memory of a writer how they founded cities, or raised tem. who promised to attain to high eminence; ples, or endowed institutions, ostensibly and condole with the friends of, as we in her name, so long as the worship of the learn, a modest and estimable man. heart was wanting-so long as she was
sought: not for herself, but for her concomitant gifts-civilisation in her real worth remained, as a matter of course,
far from their grasp. Even granting their Art. IV.-1. Russia under Nicholas the motives to have been pure, their devo
First. Translated from a Supplement to tion real, the object-in the degree they the Conversations Lexicon, by Captain affected to secure it—was equally unatAnthony C. Sterling. London. 12mo. tainable ; for in the words of a great 1841.
writer of the day, ‘To think of engrafting, 2. Notes of a Half-pay in Search of Health ; at once, on an ignorant people the fruits
or, Russia, Circassia, and the Crimea in of long knowledge and civilisation-of 1839-40. By Captain Jesse. 2 vols importing among them ready-made those 8vo. London, 1841.
advantages and blessings which no nation 3. Petersburg in Bildern und Skizzen. ever attained but by its own working out,
Von J. G. Kohl. Dresden und Leipzig. nor ever was fitted to enjoy but by having 2 vols. 8vo. 1841.
struggled for them to harbour even a
dream of the success of such an experiment NARRATIVES of travels through Russia, and implies a sanguineness almost incredible.' residences in various portions of that em Nevertheless, all these gigantic efforts pire, all conveying, with more or less pre. —this enormous expenditure-these intension, accounts of its present policy and numerable ukases in pen and ink-in prophecies of its future destiny, have brick and mortar--cannot have remained been of late so plentifully supplied to the barren. Something good or bad must reading world, that general opinions of have accrued from such combined and some kind must, we should think, be be continued exertion; and in our humble ginning to take shape and form. At all opinion the result is very much what from events, there must be a very general curi- such premises might fairly have been ansity on the subject: the reporters in this ticipated: in a word, that after the lapse department bid fair to become as numer- of more than a century-in the course of ous and multifarious as those from the which the Russian power has been develTransatlantic shores. This time last year oped and extended in a degree unmatchwe noticed a cycle of Russian tourists- ed in modern European history--throughat Christmas we introduced the 'Letters out the country itself, as it stands, the from the Baltic,' which have since run work of corruption is found far a-head of through two editions--and now, aided by that of civilisation, and both gradually our friends the Germans, we again muster reversing in position—the one, through strong. lIowever differing in country, all the glare and parade of advancement, character, principle, prejudice, and ca visibly undermining the structure bor. pacity, all these explorers seem to professi rowed from other nations-the other ihe same main object and end-namely, slowly impregnating the barbarous eleto ascertain what the actual progress of ments of the soil.
Impressed with this latter fact, we feeling the skilful Essay compiled from the disposed to approach the Russian peasant rich pages of the Conversations Lexicon,' with somewhat of the same respect as we for which we are indebted to Captain should his czar :-convinced that in these Sterling. ranks lies that quarry of sterling materi Its first chapter opens with a few genals from which alone the stepping-stones eral remarks on the tardiness of Russia to Russian progression may be securely in the career of improvement; on the hewn. It may seem strange to say this manner in which she has been obliged of a class still in bondage, and more to rush through or skip over many destrange to speak openly of a system of grees of civilisation in order to march in serfage without as openly condemning the same line with her rivals; proceedit; but, even if Russia did not show us at ing with a short survey of the events every step the danger and futility of has which preceded the reign of the Emperor ty changes and forced adoptions, we Nicholas; the vexations which met him should be inclined to advocate the most on his ascending the throne ; with a few cautious grant of that liberty which will allusions to his personal character, and a only assimilate the serfs with other class. short sketch of the motives for his policy es which have hitherto turned superior to which we shall advert more at advantages to far inferior account. The length. To these succeed a list of the peasantry of Russia are now strongly administrative and diplomatic officers; characterized by those qualities which the history of the Svod, or systematic legislators would be glad to retain in collection of civil laws--a gigantic work, some more civilized countries, or infuse which dragged its weary length through into others. At once active and tracta- the reigns of Catherine the Second, Paul, ble, intelligent and confiding—their affec- and Alexander, and was reserved for the tions more developed than their reason, youth and vigour of the present sovertheir ingenuity far in advance of their reign to recommence and finish ;-and a knowledge-the voiceless and voteless comprehensive sketch of the state of worth of this estate in the political bal- trade, the condition of the peasants, and ance of Russia is as little suspected by the the increased facility of intercourse, &c. world in general as it is by themselves. One of the most interesting portions is Nevertheless it is to this class, almost contained in the chapter on the war with exclusively, that Russia must look for the the Circassians, the inefficiency of all the preservation of the sounder portions of varied modes of battery which Russia her nationality-through this class it is has hitherto brought to hear upon them, that the sap of civilisation must rise; and and the little present prospect there apit is worthy of remark that more has pears of terminating this contest in the been done to waken the self-conscious usual Russian sweeping mode. These ness and moral energies of the people by remarks are followed by a masterly ana. their unanimous repulsion of the French lysis of the relations of Russia with the invasion--and the further we are remov- various states of Europe—inluding a reed from the barbarous features of this view of the alternate progress of Russian exertion the more shall we perceive its and British influence on the affairs of true dignity)—and more to humanise Turkey, and the yet more obscure doings their habits and raise their ideas, by the in the interior of Asia. We have then return of the Russian troops from the al- elaborate summaries of the revenues and lied armies—more, in short, to civilise resources of the empire-the force of the them by these two national impulses, than army and navy—the acquisitions of terby all the grafting and patching and mere ritory, and actual area of European and outward applications upon the other class-Asiatic Russia – the proportion of inhabit. es of the empire, ever since the time of ants to each district, and gross sum of Peter the Great.
the population-with reports of the vari. We thought it fair to state this general ous modes of education, from the six uniimpression of ours on the threshold; but versities, down to the 426 district, 884 our immediate object is to make our read- parochial, and 508 private boarding. ers acquainted with three very interest- schools-and, finally, an immense deal of ing books on Russia. And certainly positive and extraneous information whoever wishes to prepare himself for which has crept into no other work, alstudying with advantage either the new together rendering this little volume a travellers on our list, or any other work complete manual of the present statistics of their class, ought to begin by master-Tof Russia. In the close research requi
site for the condensation of so much vajencountered him on visiting those of ried knowledge, we recognise the patient Rome ! hand of the German ; while the arrange We regret to be obliged to hurry ment of the materials does credit to Cap-through his interesting tour to Nauplia, tain Sterling's clearness of head, and the his return to Athens, and passage in comunaffec plainness of his general style pany with Prince George of Cambridge sels off many lively and even graceful to Constantinople--a city which he deturns and passages.
scribes in tempting colours. It is well to have this on the table for however, the Turkish bath; to the equi. ready reference while one is going vocal enjoyment of which he reconciles through Captain Jesse's more amusing himself with a few puns in careful italics work, which abounds in puns, jokes, anec-1-a precaution not altogether superfluous dote, and quotation more than enough for --consoling himself, after being 'flayed, both. In the two volumes by this gentle- parboiled, and steamed, half-drowned and man the public are presented with the half-suffocated,' with the discussion of a first fruits of a happy convalescence---a pipe-to which, under various forms, the period when the spirits no less than the gallant captain appears so addicted, that appetite are generally found to be in most it is only to be hoped his fair fellow-tramercurial condition. For only thus can veller in no way objected to the practice. we account for the many off-hand triviali- With the exception, however, of the bath, ties in a work which wants neither manly our author, with his Oriental habits, apthought, nor solid information, nor some pears perfectly at home among the Mosreal liveliness.
A passage on the exquisite beauIn his first chapter Captain Jesse is kind ties of Constantinople has a picturesqueenough to give us an account of his youth-ness of manner which is of rare occurful doings in India-in the course of rence in the work, so we the more wilwhich he takes us through two fevers and lingly transcribe it: one cholera morbus-with a sufficiency of snipe-shooting under a meridian sun,
• The sunsets here are not so fine as those of and up to his knees in water, &c. &c.: Greece, but moonlight over the City of the Sulhe then transports us back to England, tan is indeed beautiful, and to enjoy it perfectly and stations us for six years at monoto- I frequently retired to my divan, which comnous country.quarters, where he, unfor- manded a view of the Golden Horn, and with my tunately, had little else to think of but pipe and sherbet at my side (cross-legged also ? the maladies he had imported from the remained there watching for her beams. As the land of jungles and paddy-fields: he al gradually disappeared, the hum of voices died lows us a peep into his journal of that away, the breeze of evening was hushed, and period so full of dyspeptic memoranda as the Horn, which during the day had been coverwould in all probability have made him ed with boats engaged in all the noise and tuill, had he not been so already--and being mult of traffic, now lay in hazy obscurity beneath now come to that wretched pass when, in
The pale light in the horizon soon ushered his own words, he no longer knows his shadows became more evident, the golden cre
in the “bark of pearl in that cloudless sky,” the favourite Amaci from his regimental spit,'scents of the Sulimani mosque and Seraskier's he thinks it high time to give the enemy tower then appeared, the slender minarets fol. the slip by a complete change of climate. lowed, and at last the whole city and the Horn Accordingly, at the end of the chapter we were lighted up in colours more chaste though find our patient at Corfu.
less splendid than those of sunset. I felt that He now steams on through classic wa
this was the hour to enjoy the City of the Plague,
and I thought my opinion was confirmed by the ters, anchors in the roads of Patras, and
numerous caiques which stole quickly yet noisethence, wind and weather permitting, lessly across the moonbeams, returning to Stamfinds himself in sight of the Pyræus, and boul from the Sweet Waters at the extremity of quickly after approaching Athens in a the Horn. If it were possible for anything to inhack-carriage amid clouds of dust. A create the beauty and interest of this scene, it sojourn of six weeks beneath the Atheni- was so increased by the planet Venus being in an porches produces some sharp remarks conjunction with the moon, exhibiting the em
blem of the Moslem's empire over his own caupon the present state of Greece ; but, strange to say, the soul-stirring antiqui- that succeeded was far more generally interrupt
pital. This divan was my bed, but the sleep ties of the place give occasion to little led by the loud and continual yells of the monmore than a somewhat peevish philippic grel curs of Pera than by dreams of Mahomed's at the annoyances which had long before Houris.'—Jesse, vol. i., p. 42.
But we now share in the author's impa-descriptions of the works and docks of tience to enter Russia, and must therefore Sevastopol are given with the technical land him, after three days' voyage through precision of a military man; while all the Black Sea, at Odessa, where, imme- that can be objected to (with the excepdiately on reaching terra firma, he was tion of his view of Cape Matapan from the subjected by the jealous sanitory laws to Black Sea) is not so much his having a purifying process, which, after all, is no dwelt too long upon the artificial ugliness very inappropriate sequel to the Turkish of the Macrocephali, but too little upon the bath. To this succeeds the unutterable natural beauties of the Crimean paradise, dulness of a fortnight's quarantine; a pe- of which beyond a festooning vine or riod of gentle durance which some grace- creeping geranium we catch but few less author has likened to the English glimpses. He mentions, it is true, one honeymoon-though Captain Jesse has grand and sublime view from the top of a managed to make it amusing enough to high mountain, to which he ascends by a his readers, and which affords him the op- route significantly called the Devil's portunity--not seldom repeated through- Staircase,' and where he particularly alout his pages of contradicting Marshal ludes to a sensation of loneliness which I Marmont's statements in tolo. If Captain always experience at a great height.' Jesse fared worse than most during quar- But in this respect Captain Jesse is not antine, he had at all events the comfort of singular ; the sensation he alludes to being faring better than most in the custom- a natural consequence to which niost peo. house, his baggage being helped through ple are subject in any very elevated posiby the friendly intervention of a brother tion, whether physical or social. epaulette. But no military pass-word His account of the war in Circassia could be extended to a pocket edition of though, despite an intimation in the titleByron—a name so sternly banned in the page, our traveller does not appear to Russian empire that we rather wonder at have entered inat territory) conveys most the captain's attempt. To be sure, we exciting matter for those who take inte. have known the prohibition successfully rest in the fate of these gallant Highland. evaded by simply cutting out a leaf; for ers of the Caucasus,' heathens though like the human countenance itself, a title they be, « hile, in those who do not, a page is here considered as the sure index glance in the accompanying map, at the of the soul within ; and, while, under a narrow gap which alone remains free smooth face, the most desperate sinner from the embrace of the Russian fortressmay securely creep into a Russian book- es might be sufficient to induce it. The case, a suspicious head-piece will condemn temptations to serve in this cause are the most innocent production that ever succinctly stated by Captain Sterling. An issued from the press. A ludicrous in- ukas of the 20th May, 1838, promises to stance of the latter occurred to a passenger such officers as volunteer for this service a entering Petersburg, who, among the whole year's pay in advance, double pay usual complement of guide-books and during the war, and their travelling ex. hand-books, happened to possess a small penses.' Upon this,'adds Sterling,' there astronomical work, entitled • Revolutions were numerous applications;' but how of the Heavenly Bodies.' No sooner had disproportionate all the advantages are to the censor cast his eyes upon the title- the risk incurred may be told by a few page
than its doom was sealed. The first extracts from the 'Notes of a Hall-pay.' word was enough for a loyal Russian Speaking of the Russian fortresses in no matter where the scene of action- Circassia, of which a river always forms and, not content with confiscating the one side, book, the police had orders to keep a strict watch over its audacious importer.
* This face,” says Captain Jesse, ' is protected Leaving his lady at Odessa, Captain by a gun-boat when there is sufficient depth of Jesse now proceeds upon a tour in the is no river, a small stream will always influence
water, an intrenchment, and traverses. If there Crimea, a change of scene by which the the choice of situation, as the garrisons cannot reader profits as well as the author ; for the leave the fort to get either wood or water with• Month's Leave of Absence' constitutes out some casualties taking place. Sometimes one of the most agreeable portions of his the Circassians turn the stream above the fort, work. His investigations of the historical and the Russians are then under the necessity of reminiscences and antiquarian remains of sending to a considerable distance for their supthis region, though somewhat too diffuse, their existence. In doing so they are obliged to
plies of those articles absolutely necessary to are conducted with the zeal of a scholar ; his traverse thick underwood and other obstacles.
which their opponents well know how to take their legs; the streets are wretchedly advantage of, and, by posting themselves be- lighted, or rather not lighted at all; the hind trees and pieces of rock, the escort, generally meat is bad, the servants infamous, the composed of a company, seldom returns without severe loss. It was in allusion to this that I shopkeepers all rogues, and the society once heard a Russian officer remark “hat a glass of the town by no means a compensation of water was very often purchased by a glass for all these evils. Surely Captain Jesse of blood.” Of course the difficulties are greater must have been particularly unfortunate in keeping up the communications between the forts themselves. But this is not the only mis- flag here. But we are inclined to think
-or particularly difficult.
Even his puns fortune under which the troops suffer, for mala- with him that in all Russia he could not ria prevails in all the low situations, and the men are decimated by fevers for which they have well have pitched upon a place more deneither preventive nor cure. Their supplies of void of advantages. Banishment to Tofood, always scanty and indifferent, are some- bolsk (with exemption from the mines) times cut off by the gales, which blow with would decidedly, in point of society, have great violence on this coast ; and as they cannot repaid him much better, and in other reobtain provisions in the country, they are sometimes reduced to the greatest possible distress.
spects no worse. Odessa is by much too Fresh meat is rarely seen, and, being very dear new in the list of autocratical creations at all times, is never given to the men.
In the to offer a fair standard of Russian socie. winter of 1839 the communications with Sevas- ty; the upper classes are more artificial, topol and Kertch had been so interrupted that and the lower less national, than they rye-flour was sixty-five rubles, nearly sixty shil- would be found elsewhere,—while habits lings, the chetvert. Thus wretchedly off for of constant intercourse with the crafty food, they are worse off for medicine, and, when Greek, the indolent Turk, and the demo. suffering under intermittent fever, are left to cure ralized Pole, have produced an amalgamait with a salt herring, a cheap, and in this part of the world popular, remedy.'-vol. i., p. 272.
tion which, unlike some counterfeits, has
not the recommendation of being good in Being detained till too late in the sea- itself. son for travelling to loscow, Captain Captain Jesse is an honest writer; and Jesse resolves, having indeed no other enables us to measure his opinions by alternative, on spending the winter at giving a fair account of the opportunities Odessa. of this city, as a residence, he had for forming them. We did not he speaks bitterly and contemptuously. expect from so rapid an observer accurate Knowing that an English gentleman, so representations of things that do not imaccustomed to the highest luxuries of mediately and everywhere meet the eye ; society as Lord Alvanley, is now spending but we confess our disappointment in not for choice his second winter there, many discovering throughout these pages any may be somewhat puzzled. The Hall- thing like a real picture of the Russian pay,' however, gives a catalogue of unmi- peasant. He everywhere, under Captain tigated miseries. According to him, the Jesse's delineation, stands forth a miseraclimate, to begin with, has all the incon- ble creature, with slavery on his brow, venience of the two opposite extremes. superstition in his heart, thieving at his It is Siberia in the winter, and the coast fingers' ends, and a clean shirt only once a of Africa in the summer, without the twelvemonth to his back! This
be steadiness of the one or the luxuriance of true in part : but of the two sides there the other. In winter the snow-storms are are to everything our author has decidedso heavy that ladies bound for ball or ly taken and stuck to the worst ; and a theatre used to yoke oxen on to their foreigner who should come to England equipages, and even now the servants and report that all our lower classes were announce the shovel before their carriage.' drunkards or poachers, and- of which In spring they are stuck fast, knee-deep these late distressed times have furnished in mud, so that maid-servants go to mar- too many instances--all without a bed to ket in their master's boots-(at least so sleep upon, would be just as near the Captain Jesse's did);-in summer they truth. According to our own observation are dried up for want of water, of which of the class, the Russian serf, with his the towa does not furnish a single drinka- loyalty, courtesy, and filial piety, his inble spring,--suffocated with columns of telligence, shrewdness, and wit,—who dust, and tormented by eight billions of stands like a hero, who is proverbially as flies ? neither more nor less. In addition far removed from all vulgarity in manner to this, the pavement is execrable, and as from all grammatical inaccuracy in the principal thoroughfares intersected speech, who venerates his czar, loves his with deep drains, in which people break' lord, and believes his priest--(we will say