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It is very
larged on in the sequel ; and, unless we intend to swell the present section to the thickness of a volume, we must confine ourselves to general sketches, for which the farther prosecution of this work will furnish ample materials and colouring.
The Russians are a moderate-fized, vigorous, and durable race of men. The growth and longevity of this people are very different in different districts ; but in general rather large than small, and they are commonly well-built. rare to see a person naturally deformed; which doubtless is chiefly owing to their loose garments and the great variety of bodily exercises. All the sports and pastimes of the youth have a tendency to expand the body and give flexibility to the muscles.
Easy as it is occafionally by comparison to difcriminate the Russian by his outward make from other Europeans, it will, however, be found very difficult to point out the principal lineaments of the national physiognomny, as speaking features are in general: very rare. ..: The following may be deemed comăton and characteristical: a small mouth, thin fips, white teeth, little eyes, a low forehead; thė nöle has a great variety of forms; it is most frequently feen to be small and turned upwards. The beard is almost always very bushy ; the colour of the hair varies through all the shades from dark brown to red, but it is seldom quite black. The expreffion of the countenance is gravity and good-nature or fagacity.Hearing and fight are usually very acute ; but the other senses more or less obtufe by manner of living and climate. The gait and gestures of the body have a peculiar and often impaffioned vivacity, partaking, even with the mere rustics, of a certain complaisance and an engaging manner.
The same features, on the whole, are confpicuous in the female sex, but in general improved, and here and there actually dignified. A delicate skin and a ruddy complexion are in the vulgar idea the first requisites of beauty ; in fact fine rosy cheeks are perceived more commonly among the russian women than in other countries, but no where is paint fo essential an article of the toilet as here, even among the lowest classes of the people. As the growth of the ruffian ladies is not confined by any bandages, stays, or other compresses, the proportions of the parts usually far exceed the line which the general taste of Europe has prescribed for the contour of a fine Thape. --The early maturity of girls, at which they generally arrive in the twelfth or thirteenth year, is only to be accounted for, in so cold a climate, by the frequent use of hot baths, which, while it accelerates this expansion, also brings on an early decay of beauty and solidity of bodily frame. Married women seldom retain the fresh complexion and the peculiar charms of youth beyond the first lying-in. By their baths, their paint, and the great fubmission in which they live with their husbands, the moderate share of beauty with which nature has endowed these daughters of the northern earth is generally faded at an age when the husband is just entering on
Among the collateral branches of the russian ftock but few variations are discernible in the bodily form. The Malo-ruffians have somewhat of the Poles in their physiognomy; the Donkozaks partake of the tartarian, and the Ural-' kozaks of the tartarian and kalıuck, which proceeds from the commixture, wherein these people have long been accustomed to live. With all of them, however, the main lineaments are russian,
and so impossible to be mistaken, that the form of the face alone affords the ftrongest proof of their parentage.
The bodily frame of the Ruffians is excellent. Their happy organization, their cheerful and blithe temper, that hardness which they oppose to every inconveniency, the natural simplicity of their manner of living, and their rude, but dry and wholefome climate, procure to the great mass of the people a degree of physical complacency of which few other nations boast. The Ruffians are endowed with a vitality, of which an inftance has scarcely ever yet been found in any other country, as we have feen in the foregoing section.
if the Englishman or the Spaniard excels the Ruffian in bodily strength, the latter is superior to them by far in the endurance, or in the patient suffering of severer hardships. Hunger and thirst, want of accommodation and repofe the Ruffian can bear longer than any other nation *.In all the lower classes, the foldiery excepted, a healthy old age is very common ;
* Of the almost incredible endurance of the Ruflians such proofs are seen in the long and toilfome marches of the army, the severe corporal punishments they undergo, &c. as fill foreigners with amazement. How often is the ruffian soldier obliged to cross waste and waterless steppes, or to pass the whole winter in little earth cells, without firing and without any other provision than his dry biscuit! How often do we see malefactors, after a punishment, the very light of which makes one shudder at every nerve, walk their way back to prison, without support and without any visible alteration in their gait !-With all this, however, it is extremely remarkable that the Russian, notwithstanding this extraordinary paflive power, if I may fo express myself, does not possess an unusual degree of bodily strength. To put a burden in motion, or to convey it from its place by people, always in Russia far more men are used than in other countries; and that this is not done merely to spare them, we may convince ourselves by every day's experi. ence at the wharfs by the exchange, where an english failor will fometimes lift and carry things which the utmost exertions of three Ruilians would seem fcarcely to move.
lively old men of a hundred years are in all parts of Ruflia no unusual appearance, but probably the pumber of them would be far greater if the propensity to dram-drinking were not the occalion of fo great a mortality in the middle periods of life.
There are but few peculiar diseases prevalent among the Ruffians, and againft most of them they know how to guard themselves by simple diet and domestic remedies. The women every where bring forth with great facility, and ufually in the bath-rooms; the number of itill-born children is therefore, in comparison with other countries, extremely small. The small.pox and measles carry off not nearly so many children as in the greater part of the rest of Europe ; but on the other hand the effects of venereal disorders are more dangerous and infectious, the virulence of it being unhappily increafed by the cold. In Siberia, sometimes in fummer, a difease called by the Germans the luftfeuche or air fickness appears *, an epidemical disease attacking both man and beast. It shews itself by a bile on fome parts of the body, and, if no speedy aslistance can be had, is mortal, though not infectious; but they have now found out an eafy and safe method of cure.
-About the upper Lena croups or goitres are common enough ; young people, however, get quit of them on coming to parts where they have better water.-In the neighbourhood of the Caspian there is a horrible, tedious, and deadly leprosy, which happily, however, becomes less and less frequent in its attacks, and is generally called, from its former country, the krimean dis
Moft of the household remedies of the com
* Pallas, travels, tom. ii. p. 308. 473.484
mon Ruflians are truly heroic. A mixture of leeks, garlic, spanish-pepper, and brandy, seems with them to be the grand panacea, and is applied without regard and distinction in all diseases of whatever kind and how opposite foever ; fo also aconite, hellebore, and the like, are in high repu, tation for their medicinal virtues. In pains and aches of the bones or limbs, and in colicky complaints, they burn moxa of artemisia, &c. on the bare skin.-!o general the common Russians, use but few medicines ; supplying their place in all cases by the SWEAȚING BATH, a practice so universal among them, and which has so decided an influence on the whole physical state of the people, that we must absolutely dwell a little longer upon it *.
The use of the bath, that venerable relict of the manners of the antient world, is now almost entirely confined to the oriental nations, where it ministers both to health and to luxury, and is perpetuated by religion. In Europe it has been gradually declining for several centuries, though it was here also in some sort interwoven with religion.t; Russia and Hungary are at present the only countries in this quarter of the world, where it is still the custoin to bathe after the manner of the antients. ln Russia particularly the bath makes so much a part of the system of living, that it is used by people of every age and in all circumstances, by infants, by women at their lying-in, in almost all sicknesses, before and after a journey, after hard work, &c. The bath is a necessary of life so indispensable to the common people, that they frequent it as often as possible,
* See the excellent tract of professor Schlætzer on the harmlessness of the small-pox in Rullia.
† The holy-water in the roman-catholic church is a flight remnant of it.