hotel at Ras Beirút, standing out in the murder; but they themselves were utterly corridor in a similar state of alarm. This callous in regard to their fellow-sufferers. trembling of the earth makes one shudder After the Relief Committee had labored in spite of all philosophical stoicism. day and night to build an hospital, they The recent shakings in the Island of St. were obliged to pick up the wounded and Thomas and in South America, and the carry them with their own hands, or to eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, indicate that pay their surviving friends exorbitant this fearful foe of man is still at work. prices to do it! Gibbon tells of earthThe lesson of warning is lost, it seems, quakes that visited Syria during the deupon the living witnesses of these catas- cline and fall of the Roman Empire. One trophes, for the Doctor assured me that of these ruined Beirut, when the famous in 1837 it was frightful to witness the law-school of Justinian was in its prime. intense selfishness and the hideous ras- These historical facts are of practical incality developed. The survivors in the terest, and they have had a palpable efsurrounding villages left their friends to fect in Beirút upon the Church-building die amid their own crumbling houses, Committee, who have altered the proporand hurried to Safed to strip the dead and tions of the new church tower, with referplunder the living. Ibrahim Pasha sent ence to the possibility of an earthquake a detachment of troops from Acre to in our day. protect the poor Jews from robbery and

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THE RUSSIAN PEASANT. Ar this season of the year, as the trav- short and thick-set. He is, however, eler meets in the streets of St. Peters- sometimes tall, and in the south of Russia burg or Moscow the Russian peasants, in has a darker complexion, and black hair their coats of coarse brown cloth or of and eyes. Red hair is very unusual. His sheepskin, with their legs swathed in beard grows slowly, and often, when he cloths, bound round and round by the is thirty, he has only a few straggling cords which fasten on their bast sandals, tufts of hair; after that it seems to take a men and women looking alike, he at once sudden development, and the old men recalls the wild-looking figures of Dacians have long and shaggy beards, which serve and Sarmatians, which he has seen in the as a protection against the cold. The bas-reliefs on Trajan's column. Nor is men, especially the young men, are often this resemblance, which was first noticed very handsome; the women rarely so, by the elder De Ségur, merely accidental, though occasionally in certain villages for a careful comparison will show him one may find a real beauty. The man that those figures must be portraits of wears a pair of loose baggy breeches, ancient Slavonians, the ancestors of the tucked into his boots, if he has any, and modern Russian. Conservatism-adhe- over it a shirt, with loose sleeves, girt rence to traditions—is pictured on their about the waist with a cord. The habit faces and in their dress. But it would of wearing the shirt outside of the breechbe rash to condemn them on this account es is a peculiarity of all Slavonic people, as incapable of progress, before inquiring even the Poles. The Russian proper alif they do not possess some original germs ways has the shirt fastened on the left of progress, some ideas, more or less de- side of the neck, with three small butveloped, which are part of modern civili- tons. The Little Russian fastens it in zation.

front in the middle. The shirts and The Russian peasant is usually fair, breeches are usually of some with light or brown hair, parted in the home-made cotton stuff, or of cheap camiddle and rather long, blue or gray lico, generally pink or red. If the weatheyes, a full round face, with a thick shorter is cold he puts on a long caftan of nose, large lips and good teeth, and is coarse cloth. This is usually without a



collar, and cut very sloping in front, like only in one ear. The dress of the peasant a dressing-gown. It is apparently the woman is the court costume, and is alsame as the Tartar and Asiatic Khalat. ways worn by the ladies on state occaIn winter he wears, beside, a coat of sions. In winter the women wear sheepsheepskin, with the wool inside. When skins and boots, and are only distinguishnew this is very handsome, as it is always ed from the men by the handkerchief over embroidered round the neck and down their heads. Before the weather gets the front. But, however clean it may be quite so cold they wear a little cloth inside, and it does not always contain jacket lined with fur, the skirt of which fleas, the outside is soon dirty and greasy- is very short, and is so plaited as to make looking. His feet in summer are bare; in a ruff standing straight out around their winter he wears high boots of felt or waists, presenting a very funny appearleather, or winds cloth round his legs, ance. and wears a sort of sandal made of basket- The peasants like society, and are all work, of the inner bark of the linden. ways collected in villages; since the His head is covered with a sheepskin emancipation they flock to the cities, escap, sometimes with the wool very long pecially in winter. It is exceedingly rare and shaggy, or with a tall felt hat almost to find a peasant living in a solitary cotbrimless. On a holiday or Sunday the tage in a spot remote from neighbors, expeasant is very gay; his breeches are of cept sometiines in the case of foresters, black velveteen, his boots polished and who are obliged by their occupation to crinkled, his shirt red cotton or silk, and live in that way. These villages, espehe wears a waistcoat, and a short sleeve. cially in the northern and central parts less coat of dark blue cloth, or of black of Russia, have an almost uniform apvelveteen, and has on his head a janty pearance. At a little distance you see a little cap edged with the ends of peacock collection of low brown huts, placed apfeathers.

parently very close to each other, but The costume of the women varies more stretching irregularly over a large space. *

than that of the men in the different pro- The ragged thatch of the roofs, and the vinces; but there is always a saraphan or rude sheds and palisades, give a look of petticoat, usually striped in red, blue, and carelessness or unwonted destitution. white, which is girt over the white shirt But in their midst, high over all, rises a just beneath the breasts, or above them. white church, with green roof and silverOver this there is usually worn a white ed dome, with a tall and often graceful apron as long or even longer than the belfry standing close by. The church is petticoat. If the saraphan is tied above the as neat-looking as the huts are unkempt, breasts, the apron is tied below, and the and the onion-shaped domes and the large form looks like a series of bags. The head · frescoes of saints on the outside walls is covered with simply a kerchief, usually show you that the village, whatever sirather large; but on all grand occasions milarity there may be in other respects, the kerchief is small and of silk, and only is neither in Eastern Germany nor in conceals the back hair; in front is a dia- Poland. As you approach you pass the dem or kokoshnit, embroidered with silver last trees and clumps of bushes; the fields or gilt. In the governments of Novgorod of rye and wheat are much smaller, and and Yaroslav it is always covered with divided into regular oblong patches, with real pearls, and is often of very great va- other grains, and you come to some small lue. The best saraphans too are trim- plantations of potatoes and cabbages, or med with gold or silver galloon, or with a diminutive orchards of little cherry or kind of home-made lace. Every girl has apple trees. The country road widens around her neck numerous strings of into a broad street, which in wet weather beads, each string of a different color. is a slough of mud or a pond of water, She wears, too, very large ear-rings. The in which the half-naked children are men also, sometimes wear ear-rings, often wading, holding up their shirts almost

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above their heads. The houses are some- fields at some little distance from the
times of brick, but usually of wood-huge village.
logs put together with the utmost neat- The food of the peasant is very simple,
ness, and with the joints carefully packed being composed chiefly of black rye bread,
with oakum and clay. The lintels of the buckwheat grits, cabbage, and kvas, a
doors and windows, and the gables, are drink made of fermented rye. Fish is
nearly always carved, sometimes very eaten at all times except the severer fasts,
handsomely. The houses are always meat but rarely. Potatoes are now a
thatched with straw or reeds. The house standard article of food in some provinces.
is built in the corner of a court, with On this almost wholly vegetable diet the
thatched sheds for the horses and cattle, peasant thrives, and is almost always very
the whole surrounded by a palisade of strong and stout. His round face shows
interlaced twigs. The outside door leads that he does not starve himself. The
into a portico in the court, from which the meagre food of Lent, however, and the
house is entered through another door. subsequent repletion during Easter-week,
There are usually two rooms, open to the produce much sickness. It is not poverty
roof, in which live a family of a dozen which causes this diet, for it is something
persons. In one corner is a huge brick demanded by the climate. No Russian,
stove and oven, the top of which is the however high his rank, is able to get
most grateful bed. There is, however, through a dinner comfortably without the
usually one rude bed for the master of the black bread, and will generally take also
house. The rest of the family sleep on the buckwheat, the cabbage, and the kvas,
the floor, or on the benches which go if he can get them. The acidity of the
round the room close to the wall. There bread is thought to preserve the people
is a large square wooden table, and some- from disease. The usual dish for din-
times one or two rude chairs. In the ner is stchi, or cabbage soup—in Little
corner nearest the door is a triangular Russia beets are substituted—which is
cupboard, often richly carved, for the placed in a large wooden bowl, around
holy pictures, and there is in the better which the family gather, each dipping in
houses another for such few articles of his round wooden spoon or his piece of
glass and earthenware as the family pos- bread. Tea is drunk more universally in

There are nearly always some Russia than in any country out of China.
coarse lithographs of saints and heroes The peasants use a coarse tea, pressed
on the walls, and among the latter always into the shape of bricks, which is brought
one of the Emperor, and now of Kom- overland and sold very cheaply.
naissarof too, the peasant who saved the During the summer the peasant rises
Emperor from the assassin. Other fur- and goes to bed with the sun. Both men
niture there is none, except the loom and and women are at work all day in the
spinning-wheel, the cooking utensils, and fields. About the middle of September,
the inevitable cradle, composed of a when the harvesting is over, they begin
square board hung from a beam by strings to use lights in the evening. They think
at the corners, like the pan of a balance. candles too costly, and use them only in
There are two or at most three windows, their lanterns outside. In the house they
very small, and with double sashes in burn a thin strip of birch wood, called a
winter. The floor is sometimes of hard lutchina, which is held between three
clay, but usually of boards. Where wood nails on a tall support, the cinders falling
is very abundant, as on the upper Volga, in a dish set beneath. It burns with a
the houses are much better and larger, bright flickering blaze, but requires con-
being often two stories high. It is very stant renewal. The loss of time occasion-
rare, except in Little Russia, to see a tree ed by this costs more than the candle
in the village, or any plant or vine about During the long winter evenings the wo-
the houses. All the fruit and vege- men spin or weave, and the men carve
tables are cultivated like the grain, in wooden objeots, if they have no trade,


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or make their linden sandals. The wool- men form into a ring and walk slowly beater pursues his trade from house to around, joining hands, and sing the khorhouse. He has a large wooden bow with ovod, a sort of choral dance. The song a very thick string; which he rests against turns always on love, and is exceedingly the wall and keeps the string in constant plaintive and beautiful. The music of the vibration by striking it with a heavy khorovod and the song of the nightingale notched block of wood. The wool, which rest always in the memory of the travis placed i mediately beneath, is caught eler as two great elements in the charm up at each ibration and torn apart, and of a summer evening in the country in falls into the basket in foaming flakes, as Russia. well carded as if by a machine. This bow The Russian peasant is a singular comkeeps up a constant music, and as the pound of laziness, activity, carelessness, wool-beater is usually a jolly fellow and and good-nature. When he chooses to sings at his work, he is in great repute, work he works well and with a will, but and his coming is a sort of festival. He he must be allowed his own ways, and gets well paid, too, for his labor. With frequent breathing-spells. He seems to the Russian peasant, as with the rest of have no sense whatever of the value of us, the winter evenings are the chief time time, and finds it difficult to comprehend of intellectual enjoyment. While the fam- how new methods can be better than ily are working, some old woman usually the old, or machines than hand labor. tells fairy tales and legends of the early At first he will break and put out of order heroes, such as Ernslau Lazarevitch, Roh- all the agricultural machines, not from ill ber Nightingale, and Hero Ivan. The will, nor entirely from stupidity, but from Foung girls sing. They usually collect on his natural carelessness and his dislike to stated evenings in one house, beginning at new-fangled notions. When he is once one end of the village and making the accustomed to them he will treat them round.

carefully and even invent methods of reThere is something very peculiar in pairing them. I have seen a peasant near these Russian songs. They are always Voronezh who was as proud of the new plaintive, and usually in a minor key, and patent plough which he was using as he end in a peculiar cadence. Many of them was of his horses. The climate demands are set in the old Greek modes, rather more work to satisfy his necessary wants than in any modern key; and, what seems than elsewhere. But for luxuries he has very strange, it has been found that one little desire, and when he has worked of the few fragments of Greek music enough to supply himself with fuel and which remain—a chorus in an ode of Pin- food for the winter he stops. The innudar—is note for note the same as a popu- merable festivals allowed by the church lar Russian song, “In the field a birch

are a great temptation and obstacle to tree stood.” The burden of these songs him. Beside Sundays there are forty-three is usually love, and often unhappy love. fasts and festivals—non-working days, They seldom rhyme, and the words are when even the manufactories and govoften repeated over and over again with ernment offices are closed. Then there are slight variations. Here is one :

fifty-six lesser holidays, on which the "Lutchina, little birchen lutchina,

people are apt to be idle; and ten to one Why dost thou not burn clearly, O little the peasant is good for nothing on the lutchina ?

day after a holiday, as he has probably Why dost not burn clearly, not burn clearly, been royally drunk the day before. I reDost not light? why dost not light ? Hast thou, O little lutchina, not been in member once asking a boy how holi

many the oven ?

days there were in the year: “ They do Not been in the oven, or hast thou not been say," he replied, " that there are only two dried, O little lutchina ?”

days that are not holidays.” The peasant On every holiday and Sunday evening is shrewd, makes a good bargain, loses daring the summer, the girls and young few opportunities to make or save mon



ey; yet at the same time he is singularly ble, and good-natured—even affectionate. improvident. He allows his house and It is impossible to be among these simplebarns to go unrepaired, he neglects to hearted people without becoming much keep up the stores of grain for a bad har- attached to them; and nowhere does one vest, he will spend his last kopek in the treat his servants so much as his equals drinking-house. Serfdom is probably as in Russia. They are always ready to more to blame than he himself for this. talk, and you are amused with them; you With his equals he is generally honest. may be angry and vexed at their slowHe will always steal from his master, and ness or seeming stupidity, but you don't will lie on the slightest provocation. These doubt their willingness to assist you, and two traits mark also the negroes at the their good-nature disarms you. Their South. His greatest fault is drunkenness. sympathy in all the accidents that befall At about the same time with the eman- you is equally pleasing; and if you go cipation, the duties on liquors were un- on a journey, the very manner in which wisely lowered. Drinking-houses were they kiss your hand and wish you a fervent started everywhere, and drunkenness as- “Go with God!" shows that there is sumed alarming proportions among the something more than the mere relation of rural population. The vodka, the usual master and servant. Uncivilized as the liquor, is the same as our rye whisky, Russian peasant may be, he is seldom though not usually so good, and is very brutal. The statistics of crime show a strong. The love of liquor is a national very small proportion of brutal crimes, and failing, and nowhere, unless in England even cruelty to animals is not common. and America, is the practice and habit of Indeed there is little malice in the Rusdrunkenness so widespread. The govern- sian nature. He is always ready to parment have at last taken the alarm, and don and forgive, no matter how deeply measures are now being taken to reduce he may have been injured. Patience is the number of places where liquor may one of his great characteristics. He can be sold, and to raise its price. There are endure ill-usage, ill-fortune, and hunger some other points in which not much can with a sort of religious stoicism, always be said for the morality of the peasant. expressing his trust in God, and saying Chastity is a virtue which is much more of every accident, “Nitchevo, that is nothesteemed than observed. In many parts ing." This same disregard of evil, inof Russia there exists a practice similar to difference to chance, can also be seen in that known to English law as usus primo the young noble who stakes all his fornoctis; but in this case it is the father of tune on the turn of a card, or resolutely the bridegroom and not the master who leads a forlorn hope, and to the entreaties enjoys the privilege. In the villages of his friends exclaims, “Nitchevo, nitchevo." along the high-roads and the great rivers, In fact the word itself is a sort of index syphilitic diseases are very common. In to the Russian character. Little Russia, however, in respect to chas- Yet in spite of his stoicism even the tity, no fault can be found.

Russian peasant has strong passions. If Perhaps the most striking and agree- he is happy, he is very happy; if he is able trait of the Russian peasant is his unhappy, he is wretched. Suicides for abiding good-nature. He is almost al- love are by no means uncommon in the ways smiling, is ready to oblige you, and villages. It is perhaps the strength of is at once good friends and on almost passion which makes holidays so necesterms of equality with you. He will get sary to him. He is willing to be kept angry and pour out a torrent of verbal down ever so strictly to hard work, proabuse, but he rarely turns to blows, and vided only when his festival comes he can in the middle of his tirade will perhaps “breathe out," as his phrase goes, to break out into a laugh and use entreaty the utinost, and give himself wholly up to or persuasion. When he is drunk he is pleasure. The Russian nobles are noted never furious, but is always mild, tracta- for their politeness of manner, but cour


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