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teousness is no less common among the last summer there was a vast emigration peasantry. That they rise and uncover movement on foot toward the rich lands when a superior approaches, is perhaps a of the south-east. This was agitated in relic of servitude; but when one peasant nearly all parts of Russia, poor and rich lad meets another on a country road, or provinces alike, and was only prevented when a porter in Moscow meets an ac- by quick action of the government, who . quaintance, he always takes off his cap, feared an entire depopulation of some of and in case of a good friend kisses him. the northern and central provinces. There is, too, a certain amount of deference The inquisitiveness of the Yankee, and shown to women. The salutation is of the Scotchman, is proverbial, but it is alsiays " Brother" or "Sister.” All this nothing to that of the Russian. It peris so contrary to the careless nod or gruff vades all classes, from the noble to the greeting seen among the common people peasant. The stranger, whom you meet in most countries that it is one of the on the road, will always begin the acfirst things the traveler remarks in the quaintance with,“Where from and where streets.
to?" and will then ask all the details of There are yet two traits which deserve your life, your family, and your business. mention-one because it is not without a But he himself is by no means reticent: parallel at home, and the other because without the slightest provocation he will it has recently been denied. These are tell you what his sister died of, or why inquisitiveness and restlessness. The his brother's wife ran away, or about the peasant has still a nomad nature, which is curious adventure of his uncle, to say by no means opposed to a social instinct. nothing of his own most intimate history. His attachment is more to his family than This makes traveling in Russia very amusto his village or immediate surroundings. ing, and one can pick up a great quantity He is ready at any time to move, himself, of valuable information on every topic his house, or the whole village. This without the trouble of asking. The Rusmay be an inherited disposition, or it sian is essentially talkative, bavard, and may be that with a landscape so flat and speechmaking. uniform as in Russia, and with the sur- The Russian peasant is by no means so roundings of one village repeating them- stupid as he is often called. The children selves about another, he does not feel learn well and are bright and intelligent. the same attachment to locality as in most One often meets with old men whose talk countries.
is entertaining and instructive. An inUnder serfdom it was difficult for the tellectual business capacity often enables peasants to move about, though the vil- them to rise in the world.
Bakúnin, lages were often changed from one part one of the richest manufacturers at Mosof an estate to another, and the masters cow, began life as a weaver. Gubónin, a often found it more advantageous to wealthy and successful railway contractor, provide their serfs with passports, and was a serf. Even in the higher intellectual let them go, on condition of their annual walks the Russian peasantry can show payments. Since the emancipation they their fair share of self-made men. They are constantly moving around. There is produced Pososhkof, the political econoevery summer a great change of popula- mist of Peter the Great's reign, who antition up and down the great rivers. They cipated the leading ideas of Adam Smith; build a bark and load it at one place, go Lomonósof, the savant and poet; Radist
to the destination, whether chef, an eminent writer of Catherine's Saratof or St. Petersburg, and then by time. Koltsof and Nikitin, both remarkmeans of their co-operative societies find able poets, were peasants of Voronezh. employment and a livelihood. The chief Shevtchenko, distinguished both as a revenue of the railways from passengers poet and painter, was a serf and even a comes from the third-class tickets, the lackey. The women, however, are densemost of which are sold to peasants. This ly stupid—a bad thing for the advocates of
woman's equality, as they are here sub- ness of comprehension, combined with ject to the same conditions as the men. his restlessness causes him to change They share his labor, and have no dis- often his trade, a thing which injures the criminations made against them. quality of Russian work.
With small rude means the peasant can A paragraph has recently been going effect great results. Give him his time the rounds of the newspapers, which, and his own way, and he will work won- like many others, has excited a good deal ders. This was what astonished Harriet of amusement in Russia. It was to the Martineau in Egypt, and what she called effect that “such was the stupidity of the
savage energy." Give a Russian pea- brutalized Russian soldiers,” that they sant an axe, and he can build you a strong, were incapable of learning the use of the warm, nicely-finished house, with a pro- new breech-loading arms, etc. The gencess astonishingly rude. The Russians eral capability of the peasant can hardly make the largest and best-toned bells in be injured by his becoming a soldier. the world. I saw one day a beautiful Bad as it may be to take so many men large bell, the sides covered with reliefs from agricultural work, their new trade and inscriptions, which weighed enor- by no means “brutalizes” them. In every mously, and was with difficulty drawn on barracks there are schools, in which the a sledge by forty horses, who had to stop recruit learns to read and write, and the every moment to rest and take a new improvement in appearance and intellistart. When the bell arrived at the church, gence is manifest to even the most carethere was a simple apparatus of beams less observer, after the recruits have been and ropes, which an old muzhik arranged; six months in service. Discharged solthe leader began to sing a song, when diers are in great demand for every kind they came to the chorus the crowd of men of work. The magnificent shots which pulled, and in a moment the bell was safe- were made before the Emperor at Warly landed and slid nicely into its place in saw last fall, are a practical answer to the the belfry. When the Luxor obelisk, libel on the soldier's intelligence. which is 72 feet bigh and weighs about The Russian is almost the only lan120 tons, was brought to Paris, on a ves- guage in which there is no patois. In sel especially prepared for it, the best Little Russia and in White Russia there French engineers devised a complicated is a different dialect, the language of the arrangement to raise it on a pedestal 13 people there having been influenced feet high, and thought it such a triumph somewhat by the Polish. Even these of mechanics that they engraved the can be understood with little trouble by whole process on the pedestal. The col- any Russian. But throughout the rest of umn of Alexander at St. Petersburg, Russia the peasants speak with perfect a granite monolith 84 feet high, 14 feet grammatical correctness their complicated in diameter, and weighing 400 tons—was and racy language, with slight variations floated down from Finland on a raft, and in idiom and pronunciation in different was raised on a pedestal 25 feet high by provinces. A foreigner could learn Rusthe simplest means, under the direction sian in a peasant village, and yet talk the of a common peasant.
language of society. The genius of the The handicraft of the peasants is aston- language, and the shrewdness and ishing. To say nothing of wood-carving, worldly wisdom of the peasant, have and fabrics in silk, wool, and cloth of given rise to a multitude of proverbs. gold, you can buy at Tula pistols equal Dahl has collected more than thirty in workmanship to fine English ones, and thousand. But so pithy is the ordinary the gold and silver filagree work is equal talk of a peasant, that thousands of other to that of Genoa. The muzhik can in phrases are worthy of being classed as twelve hours learn to manage the most proverbs. Among these are great numcomplicated machines of a cotton factory bers of sayings about the weather, and without further assistance. This quick- the crops, such as are current among
American and English farmers, and there curious. At midnight a widow is haris hardly a day in the year that has not nessed naked to a plough, and with a a half-dozen sayings or prophecies. “ If procession of women armed with rakes, it snows on Epiphany, there will be a spades, etc., draws a furrow about the good harvest: if it is clear, a bad one." village. They carry a cock, a cat, and a ** As the weather at Candlemas, so dog, and among the songs--some of them the weather in spring." “On Elijah's obscene-which they sing, is this, " Pest, day (July 20--August 1) there is thun- cattle-pest, do not hurt our cattle; we der and rain." " If there is a good road bury thee in the ground with cat, dog, on Christmas, there will be a good har- and cock.” No man must be present; vest of buckwheat.” Many days are ap- any who meet them have to run for dear pointed by custom for certain things. life. The peasants do not believe at all The peasant never bathes in the riv- in ghosts, though they do in evil spirits, ers before the day of St. Agrafena the in charms, and in witches. Even lately bather, (June 23—July 5) nor after Eli- witches have been brought before the jah's day. He commences the hay-har- courts; and they were sentenced to short sest on St. John's day (June 24—July 6). imprisonments as for a breach of the On Elijah's day he begins to gather peas; peace.
These witches are generally on St. John the Faster, to gather turnips. women who delight in displaying their There are also some of the same supersti- possession by the evil spirit by screamtious sayings that are found among West- ing and fainting at the “Cheruvimi," a ern nations: “On St. John's night the certain part of the Mass. A witch or fern flowers;" “ On St. Peter's day the sorcerer will not rest in the grave, the sun dances," and many others.
earth will not hold him, until a piece of How far it is fair to call the peasant aspen-wood is laid over him. Among superstitious is hard to say. Some who evil spirits are the lyeshü, or spirit of the know him well say that he is not nearly woods, who attracts and misleads; the so superstitious as the ignorant class in rusalka, or water-sprite-both symbolIreland or Germany, or as the lower izing the attractiveness of the woods and class of proprietors in Russia. Among waters—and the domovoi or house-spirit, the 30,000 proverbs collected by Dahl on whose head are laid all those misdeeds there are not more than 600 which re- which we ascribe to the cat. It is to late to superstitions, and the majority of protect houses from the domovoi that these belong rather to what is called holy pictures with a lamp before them are folk lore, signs of good or bad luck, or in every room. This is a custom to which cures for slight ills. As examples of the foreigners always conform for the sake latter are: “ To rid your house of beetles, of the servants. The domovoi, like the put as many as there are dwellers in German house-spirit, is not always evil. your shoes, and grind them to powder on The only trace of a belief in ghosts is the road.” “In autumn bury the worst that the spirit of the dead is thought to Ay iu the ground, and the rest won't bite.” remain about the house for forty days, The peasant is deeply and profoundly till the forty - day mass is said, and a religious. He carries his religion into small piece of bread is placed for it each daily life more than the rest of us; he night before the holy picture. Drivers often crosses himself and repeats prayers. and sailors are the most superstitious; This is by some called superstition—not among other things the former have a quite truly. However, many of the horror of cross-roads and graveyardssaints have merely taken the place of the the favorite haunts of evil spirits--and the old pagan gods, and there are some relics latter are very much frightened if any of old pagan rites. Such are the jump- one whistles on the water. Many of ing over bonfires on St. John's eve, and these beliefs are dying out, and one or two the ceremony for defending a village boys whom I questioned one day said : against the cattle plague. This is very "Only old women believe in such things."
The Cloistered Roof.
Religious earnestness often goes so far He has to pay no rent to his master, and with the Russian peasant as to lead him in the last autumn has been able to reto dissent—though any deviation from ceive as high wages as three rubles a day. the Church is strictly forbidden—and he This was, however, owing to exceptional then gives way to the wildest vagaries circumstances. He has received from and fanaticism. The number of dissent- eight to thirty-four acres of land, accorders is comparatively small, about 2,000,- ing to the province, either on a perpetual 000, but there are more than forty sects, lease with the privilege of buying, or some exceedingly curious, and every year sold outright. This land is however held or so a new one springs up.
in common by the village, and there are The peasant is born with a certain no or very few instances of a peasant capacity of organization, and a tendency buying the land personally, though he toward association, which render his fu- has this privilege. As the emancipation ture full of hope. The village is a com- weighed very heavily on the proprietors, munal society, and all the land is held in a large share of the taxes was taken common and redistributed from time to from them and laid on the peasants. time among the members, when need The affairs of the proprietors are now in arises. It is governed by a stárosta, who better trim, and these taxes are far too is elected by the peasants, and is clothed heavy for the peasants, and it is to be by law with judicial powers. Whenever hoped that some change will soon be a peasant is an artisan he belongs to an made. The peasants are as a mass still artél, or co-operative association, which in- uneducated, though progress is being structs him, finds him work, and provides made in this direction. The schools in him with lodging and a common table. the cities are open to the peasants, and
The peasant is now free, but it is dif- in many villages infant-schools have been ficult to judge accurately about his con- started. There are villages in which, dition. Doubtless he is on the whole owing to the energy and good-will of the better off since the emancipation, but master, nearly all the children can read there are many places where he is not and write. But such cases are, unso well off. In some of the northern fortunately, too rare. By a recent deand northwestern governments there cree of the Holy Synod, Sunday-schools have been bad harvests for several suc- are allowed and recommended. Many cessive years. The communal stores of have been started in the Government of grain, which the masters were formerly Lamara, and though the education there obliged to keep full, were soon exhaust- is too exclusively religious, they will, ed, and the peasants had not foresight doubtless, be productive of much good. enough to replenish them. During the Schools for the instruction of the soldiers last winter there was, therefore, much now exist in all the barracks and persuffering from famine. The peasant has manent stations. The peasants in the not yet become fully habituated to depend cities are either servants (izoostchiks) entirely on himself, and in some cases he or artisans, and their education is genregrets the loss of that second god—his erally much better than that of their master. But in the manufacturing, and country brethren. The rudiments of an in the richer agricultural provinces, his education are by no means uncommon condition is certainly much improved. among them.
THE CLOISTERED ROOF.
No-not the shades of cloistered roof
Shail my poor soul ensnare.
But cancels not the care :
To hide my face within its wall,
To guard my heart with stone,
So soothing falls its tone,
But He who stood upon the monint
With Satan, face to face,
Nor sought a hermit's place,
The feast with loving heart He graced,
Though sorrow chained His breast;
Of human life for rest
Then, soul, be thou more like to Him,
And loving light dispense-
His cross is thy defense;
And who are all His poor, ye ask ?
Not those in rags alone :
While each lone heart is one,
Go forth then in thy daily walk,
And His disciple be:
With love and charity-
And so thy blessing shall be blest,
Increased return thy share ;
Thy thoughts a thankful prayer,
Yet never, e'en by thought, reproach
Those works of holy art,
Christ's church is in the heart-
And Love has streams all-bountiful,
In number multiplied,
Of Love, self-crucified I
Henceforth, my soul! thy hermitage
Claims universal air.
Which only comes through prayer