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luxuries of London, to indulge a spirit of adventure in the wastes and forests of Siberia, with no resources but those of his personal courage, an iron constitution, and a mind fertile in the means of baffling the adversities of nature and the passions of man. His only qualifications were, a knowledge of his native and the French languages, a power of walking fifty, sixty, or seventy miles a-day, without fatigue; expertness in swimming; and a placable spirit, which rendered him indifferent to the society, the ceremonies, and the habits of those whom he might have occasion to encounter. In accompanying him in his route from Dieppe to Kamtchatka, his exploits have excited our astonishment, and his perseverance our admiration; while his narrative has gratified us by its simplicity, its modesty, and the internal evidence of its veracity. His object is related in the following passages :
Finding that a young commander like myself was not likely to be employed afloat, I determined to undertake a journey, varying only the object and the scene to that of the unfortunate Ledyard, viz. to travel round the globe, as nearly as can be done by land, crossing from Northern Asia to America, at Behring's Streights; I also determined to perform the journey on foot, for the best of all possible reasons, that my finances allowed of no other. I accordingly procured two years' leave of absence, and prepared to traverse the continents of Europe, Asia, and America.
My first and leading object was to trace the shores of the Polar Sea along America, by land, as Captain Parry is now attempting to do by sea ; and at the same time to note my observations on men and manners in the various situations and conditions of life, for which such a journey could not fail of presenting many opportunities. Having therefore procured such documents as were necessary, and filled my knapsack with such articles as I considered requisite to enable me to wander through the wilds, deserts, and forests of three-quarters of the globe, I quitted London, and landed at Dieppe from the packet-boat.”
He walked through France, and gives characteristic traits of the places he passed through, on which it is unnecessary to dwell; but we cannot refrain from introducing an account of his intercourse with a French soldier, for the sake of the recipe which subsequently proved $0 useful to the author :
“ I fell in with one of Napoleon's soldiers, who had had the misfortune of being for two years and a half immured in a Russian prison, if the wilds of Siberian Tartary possess any building which can merit such an appellation. He protested by his faith and respect for Napoleon ;' and, if I may judge from what I heard, I must suppose the expression spoke the sentiments of a large portion of the Bourbon subjects. His veracity was indeed questionable, declaring that he had been seven days without food, at Witepsk; and that, out of five hundred and thirty Frenchmen confined in the same prison with himself, but twenty-three remained alive, to tell the dreadful tale. It took them, he said, eight months travelling, to reach their destination at Tobolsk.
“He was, however, a lively, and even a serviceable companion ; for, upon complaining of my feet becoming blistered, he communicated to me, as a secret, a mode of cure which I have never found to fail. It is simply to rub the feet, at going to bed, with spirits mixed with tallow dropped from a lighted candle into the palm of the hand. On the following morning, no blisters will exist; the spirit seems to possess the healing power, the tallow serving only to keep the skin soft and pliant. The soles of the feet, the ancles, and insteps, should be rubbed well; and even where no blisters exist, the application may be usefully made as a preventive. Salt and water is a good substitute; and, while on this head, I would recommend foot-travellers never to wear right and left shoes : it is bad economy, and indeed serves to cramp the feet.”
His fidelity leads us to introduce his characteristic pictures of Potsdam and Berlin:
Being now arrived in the land of turnpikes, where good roads and post-houses
never fail, I started for Potsdam, distant thirty miles, and arrived in the early part of the evening. A fat country, sterile, and almost deserted, save by the sandy pine, presents little to denote the approach to this royal retreat. With infinite difficulty I obtained admittance to a house, content to purchase black bread for my supper, and the use of a bench for my bed. Of Potsdam I can only say that the appearance is handsome, the royal edifices extensive, and many private ones magnificent; but so great an air of melancholy pervades the place, that it seems a fitter residence for the dead than the living ;-I had the less regret at bidding it adieu.
"A fine avenue of trees, and a good road, conducted me to Berlin, nor could the fertile imagination of a Humboldt discover ought else to denote the approach to the capital of his own country. For myself, I perambulated the streets nearly the whole of the night, in search of a lodging, and was at last compelled to sleep on a bench in the promenade. Next morning, I waited upon his Excellency, Mr. Rose, the British Minister, whom I found fully aware of the character of Berlin, and its inhabitants. He was so good as to send one of his coachmen with me, and, through so powerful an interference, I did, at length, get a comfortable unfurnished room in the capital of Prussia.
“ Berlin is seated on the Spree, which runs through various angles of the city. Many parts of it are handsomely built, especially what may be termed the court end; but every building, from the palace to the meanest hut, is built of brick, plaistered over. In short, Berlin is all show-a forced place, having little commerce, and less content: no smiling faces,-no mediocrity, that happiest of all conditions. Berlin contains nothing but the most hardened military despots, and is, in short, a mere Court'; though it contains two hundred thousand inhabitants. I saw no modes of gaining a livelihood, or even of passing time honestly. Billiards, cards, and dice, succeed to the spectacle of the parade, and the streets present nothing but sentinels on guard.
Though a pedestrian, I was the first bearer of the information of the Duke de Berri's death, which happened before my arrival at Paris, a full month's post being due at Berlin, owing to the immense quantity of snow.”.
At Petersburg, he was received with a liberality which results from the confidence of a powerful government; and, through the recommendation of his friend, Sir Robert Kerr Porter, his proposed exploit obtained higher countenance than could have been anticipated :
“ I transmitted a memorial to Count Nesselrode, the foreign minister, who handed it to Count Kotchubey, for the approbation of his Imperial Majesty. The memorial contained a request, that I might be permitted to pass through the Russian Empire on my way to America, either by Kamtchatka, or Behring's Streights. I also solicited a sealed mandate from the Emperor, with an order to all governors and persons in authority, to assist me to the utmost of their power; besides an open order to the police, not to interfere with, or molest me. I requested, in addition, an especial letter to the Governor-General of Siberia.
“ I had been given to understand, that his Imperial Majesty had no objections to my proceeding, although he expressed a belief that, when I should be furnished with the required documents, I should flinch from my purpose. I soon, however, satisfied the Minister upon this point, by declaring I would be ready to set out at half an hour's notice. In the mean time, the Intendant-General of police gave me three audiences, examining me as to my rank and condition, my plan and its object, with the et cetera of interrogatories, administered by persons in official situations, when desirous of ex. tracting information beyond the avowed object.
“ His Excellency, at length, promised me his assistance, and recommended me to Count Kotchubey, into whose hands my business had entirely fallen. The Count also gave me three audiences, repeating the same interrogatories as the Intendant. Finding, however, that I adhered to one simple story-stating, as my object, a wish to employ, improve, and amuse myself, at the same time rendering to society all the service of which I was capable-his Excellency also dismissed me with favour; and through his interference, sanctioned by the generosity and noblemindedness of the Emperor, I procured even more than I had expected, or demanded. His Imperial Majesty had the consideration to ask Colonel Cathcart, who had recently arrived as successor to Mr. Cassamajor, whether I wanted money, and how much, to enable me to start. I replied in the negative, expressing, very truly, my surprise and gratitude at the offer. I was moreover, instructed, in case of such necessity, to apply to the respective governors, at the places I should pass.”.
“ I was furnished with all the documents which I had deemed necessary; they consisted of the following :—The customary passport, with the substitution of the Minister's for the Governor-general's signature; a secret letter to the Governor-General of Siberia ; and two official documents, which I shall give at length.
The first of these (addressed—“To all civil governors, and signed by the minister of the interior) states that-" The bearer hereof, Captain John Cochrane, of the British royalnavy, purposing to travel through Russia on foot, is now on his departure for Kamtchatka, with the intention of penetrating from thence to America.
" .. Having, by the command of his Imperial Majesty, provided this traveller with open instructions to the police of all the towns and provinces, lying in his tract from St, Petersburg to Kamtchatka, this is also to desire all the chiefs of the different governments through which he may travel, to aid Captain Cochrane, as far as possible, to proceed on his journey without interruption, as well as to afford him lawful defence and protection, in case it should be desired.
“ The other was an • Open Order of his Imperial Majesty Alexander the First, Autocrat of all the Russias,' &c. &c. &c. signed by the same minister ; and stating that
the bearer hereof, Captain John Cochrane of his Britannic Majesty's royal navy, having undertaken to travel on foot through the Russian empire, is now on his way to Kamtchatka, intending from thence to pass over to America. The police of the towns and provinces lying in his track from St. Petersburg to Kamtchatka are, in consequence hereof, not only forbidden to obstruct Captain Cochrane in his journey, but are moreover commanded, in case of necessity, to afford him every possible assistance.'
On his departure from Petersburg, and before he had left its civilized vicinity, he suffered a greater misfortune than afterwards befel him in routes of 10,000 miles among reputed savages :
My route was towards Liubane, at about the ninth mile-stone from which I sat down, to smoke a segar or pipe, as fancy might dictate, when I was suddenly seized from behind, by two ruffians, whose visages were as much concealed as the oddness of their dress would permit. One of them, who held an iron bar in his hand, dragged me by the collar towards the forest, while the other, with a bayonetted musket, pushed me on, in such a manner, as to make me move with more than ordinary celerity; while a boy, auxiliary to these vagabonds, was stationed on the road-side, to keep a look-out.
“We had got some sixty or eighty paces into the thickest part of the forest, when I was desired to undress; and having stript off my trowsers and jacket, then my shirt, and, finally, my shoes and stockings, they proceeded to tie me to a tree. From this ceremony, and from the manner of it, I fully concluded that they intended to try the effect of a musket upon me, by firing at me as they would at a mark. I was, however, reserved for fresh scenes : the villains, with much sang froid seated themselves at my feet, and rifled my knapsack and pockets, even cutting out the linings of the clothes in search of bank-bills, or some other valuable articles. They then compelled me to take at least a pound of black bread, and a glass of rum poured from a small flask, which had been suspended from my neck. Having appropriated my trowsers, shirt, stockings, and shoes; as also my spectacles, watch, compass, thermometer, and small pocketsextant, with one hundred and sixty roubles, they at length released me from the tree, and, at the point of a stiletto, made me swear that I would not inform against them, such, at least, I conjectured to be their meaning, though of their language I understood not a word,
Having received my promise, I was again treated to bread and rum, and once more fastened to the tree, in which condition they finally abandoned me. Not long after, a boy who was passing heard my cries, and set me at liberty. I did not doubt he was sent by my late companions upon so considerate an errand, and felt so far grateful : though it might require something more than common charity to forgive their depriving me of my shirt and trowsers, and leaving me almost as naked as I came into the world.
“ To pursue my route or return to Tzarsko Selo would, indeed, be alike indecent and ridiculous ; but being so, and there being no remedy, I made therefore ' forward' the order of the day; having first, with the remnant of my apparel, rigged myself a l'Ecossoise, I resumed my route. I had still left me a blue jacket, a flannel waistcoat, and a spare one, which I tied round my waist in such a manner, that it reached down to the knees : my empty knapsack was restored to its old place, and I trotted on with even a merry heart.”
Of the inhabitants of Muscovy, he speaks as follows :
“ The women of Museovy hitherto appear çivil and cleanly dressed, though disCrit. Gaz. Vol. 1. No. 3.
figured by the abominable custom of tying their breasts as low, fat, and tight, as possible. The men appear equally civil, obliging, and hospitable, but almost equally disguised, by their swaddling coat of cloth, or sheep-skin, coloured trowsers, and immense boots, sash round the body, a wide-rimmed hat, and long beard. This mode of dress certainly gives them something of a ferocious appearance.
" I have no hesitation in saying, that the condition of the peasantry here is far superior to that class in Ireland. In Russia, provisions are plentiful, good, and cheap; while in Ireland, they are scanty, poor, and dear, the best part being exported from the latter country, whilst the local impediments in the other render them not worth that expense. Good comfortable log-houses are here found in every village ; immense droves of cattle are scattered over an unlimited pasture ; and whole forests of fuel may be obtained for a trifle. With ordinary industry and economy, the Russian peasant may become rich, especially those of the villages situated between the capitals, both of which might be supplied by them with butter and cheese; whereas at present not a dairy exists, the peasantry contenting themselves with the culture of as much land, and the breeding of as many cattle, as may be sufficient for their immediate wants. The women I have always found engaged in some employment; they make very good coarse woollen cloths and linens, as well as knit stockings and spin thread. The whole work of the house is thrown upon them, while they also partake of the labours of the field. I will not certainly recommend, for the adoption of any civilized countries, the treatment they receive from their lordly masters.”
From Nishney Novgorod, he proceeded on the Volga to Kazan; and gives the following account of his voyage :
Losing sight of Nishney Novgorod, we passed many islands and villages, the latter always on the right bank, and on the left an uninterrupted low moorish heath. The strength of the current I calculated at about two knots and a half.
“ The variety and singular appearance of the different craft on the Volga not a little surprised and amused me, as well as the innumerable different ways in which they were propelled. The present season of the year, that immediately preceding the fair, is the best for the navigation of the Volga, when barks from one thousand tons to the size of à canoe,
all promiscuously float together. “ The soil on either side is clay and chalk, and the wood fir and birch. The inhabitants of the villages are the inoffensive and ignorant Fins, a race of people more approximating to the character of the Gallegos in Lisbon, than any other class of people I have seen. Their great content, and small possessions, are in both a prominent feature. We reached Makarieff, after a tedious and vexatious voyage, vexatious from the annoyance of the horse-flies and musquitoes. I was fairly put to the alternative, whether, during my sleep, I would be suffocated or devoured. I preferred the former, as smacking more of humanity, wrapping myself up close in a spare sail, with three others of the crew."
He describes, with emphasis, his passage to the Ural Mountains, which separate Russia from Siberia :
“ Krasnooufinsk, which I reached next, is situated in a fertile valley at the foot of two peaked mountains.
“A deputation of the inhabitants waited upon me, to request I would remain a couple of days, to be present at a dinner to be given in honour of the first Englishman who had visited the place. I felt the compliment, nationally, but thought best to decline it, as perfectly unmerited by the individual, and returned to Achitskaya Krepost. Thence to Bisserskaya Krepost, over eighteen miles of uncultivated country; after which I gently ascended a considerable elevation into the bosom of the Ural mountains, where not a vestige of cultivation exists besides young firs and birch. The air was exceedingly cold on the summit. At noon I stopped at the last European station, called Kirgishantsky Krepost, and at the last European residence, where I dined. The good people had resolved I should not leave this paramount quarter of the globe with
any Trace of dissatisfaction, and young children continually presented me with wild strawberries and cream: the strawberries were of an excellent flavour, and it is the custom of these poor people to present the traveller with such fruit during the season. I received the present, standing with one foot in Asia and the other in Europe, surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains, covered, however, with nothing but brush-wood.
“ In the evening I reached the first station in Asia, called Groborskoy, a post-town, and next day, with a stout heart, descended the Siberian part of the Ural chain, to Belimbaiefsky Zavod, or Iron Foundry, on the banks of the Tschusova, where there are
many handsome buildings. Early the ensuing morning I reached Ekatherinebourg, having passed in safety the mighty barriers which divide Europe from Asia. The ascent and descent are so nearly imperceptible, that, were it not for the precipitous banks every where to be seen, the traveller would hardly suppose he had passed a range of hills. As far as this frontier town of Siberia, I had travelled through one continued forest of pine-trees, and for twenty miles nothing met the eye but fire-wood, grown for the use of the Imperial fabrics.
“On reaching the Asiatic side of the Ural chain, I could not help remarking that the inhabitants of all the villages were much more civil, more hospitable, and more cleanly dressed; and in no one instance would they accept of money for the food I had occasion to procure. I never entered a cottage, but shtshee (a cabbage-soup), with meat, milk, and bread, were immediately placed before me unasked ; nor could any entreaty of mine induce them to receive a higher reward than a pipe of tobacco, or a glass of vodka (whisky). In short, to prevent uselessly troubling the inhabitants, I was obliged to consign my nearly exhausted purse to the care of my knapsack, renouncing the hacknied and unsocial custom of paying for food.”
At length, he arrived on foot at Tobolsk, giving, on his route, a lively description of Ekatherinebourg, the first town in Siberia, and which, as a fortress, he considers as the key of that country. His entrance into Tobolsk, and his account of that city, is given in the following paragraph :
“With the river Toura constantly at my side, and the rain almost incessant, I reached the tenth station; and thence to Tobolsk, where I arrived, half drowned and famished, at three in the afternoon. I had encountered considerable difficulty in crossing the Irtish, in consequence of the rapidity of the fresh. The view of the city, and ancient fortress, on arriving from the westward, is very fine, standing on a considerable eminence, which overhangs the river and lower city.
“ Upon my arrival, I searched out the abode of Mr. Rosing, son-in-law to the Governor, and brother-in-law to my late kind host, Mr. Berg, of Perm. The family were all at the Governor's; but, receiving a note from me, they kindly invited me to dinner : my situation, however, rendered this impossible, as I was all but naked. My second apology brought the host himself, who ordered me every accommodation I needed. I gave myself up to the enjoyment of this delightful company, and of my pipe and a glass of punch, and could have fancied myself any where, rather than at Tobolsk.
“ Tobolsk is a large and ancient city, at the junction of the Tobol and Irtish, two noble streams, which, falling into the Ob, assume its name, and are with them ultimately lost in the Frozen Ocean. The inhabitants are estimated at twenty thousand, compose I of Russians, Tartars, and Bucharians. A considerable trade is still carried on with China, and Tobolsk may be said to supply all central and western Siberia.
“ Tobolsk is the see of an archbishop, who has jurisdiction over all Siberia. It has many handsome churches, but (fortunately) no convents; the streets are paved with wood, and in general the buildings are of the same material. The markets and hazars are well regulated, and the town in general is very clean. The residences of the archbishop, governor-general, and principal officers, as well as the barracks, arsenal, and all public offices, are in the upper part of the city. The position is a most commanding one, a matter of no slight consideration in those times, when convicts were kept in the lower town, Numerous large flocks of cattle are seen in the neighbourhood of Tobolsk : provisions are cheap and abundant, -- bread thirty-six pounds for a shilling, and the same quantity of meat for three; and hospitality eminently proverbial. But, what is perhaps more remarkable, very good society is to be enjoyed here; and the strongest features of content are displayed in this hitherto supposed metropolis of barbarism and cruelty;
“ The truth is, that Tobolsk is not a place where convicts or malefactors are allowed to remain, but people who are exiled from political causes only; the principal part of whom are officers, who have still the privilege of appearing in public, without the loss of either rank, fortune, or even character. The Governor has it in his power to befriend any individual, himself becoming responsible for his appearance when necessary: and, as no government transports or banishes fools, Tobolsk may very well be, from this circumstance, a highly civilized and eligible place of residence.-Malefactors and bad subjects are sent to Tomsk and Nertchinsk.
“I attended an examination at the public military and the provincial schools on the