Графични страници
PDF файл
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

ANECDOTES of the Ruffian Empire. from Mr. Rickardfon's Letters written a neighbouring Boyard' in exchange for a few Pears ago at Petersburg. dog or a horte. The owner may also in

Mičt on his Naves whatever punishment he Slavery of the Ruffian Peafants.

pleafes, and for any fort of offence. It is Telke geledeni pare Willie Subjects of this death to live happens

, Tomekmes, ent sa empire, are in a liate of abject llavery ; poor slave dics of the wounds he receives and are reckoned the property of the nobles from a paflionate and unrelenting superior. to show they belong, as much as their i have heard, that no long ago a lady at dogs and horses. Indeed, the wealth of a Moscow, the fifter of Mariichal S.

great man in Russia is not computed by was convicted of having put to death upi the extent of land he poflelles, or by the wards of seventy faves, by scourging,

quancy of grain he can bring to mar and by inflicting upon them ocher barket

, but by the number of his faves. barous punithments. It was a matter of Those belonging to Prince Sherebatoft, amufuncnt with her to contrive fuch modes #nd constiruring his fortune, are said to of punishment as were whimsical and unbe no less in number than a hundred and utual. Such enormity, however, not withzwenty-seven thousand.

standing her rank, and the great power | Every flave pays about a ruble* yearly which che nobility have aver teir ilares, 1 to his owner; and if he be in the way was not to pals with impunity. She was

of making money, the tributé he pays is wied, was found guilty, and condemned : augmented. In general, every Ruilian to ttand in the market-place, with a label

nobleman allots to the pealants that be on her breaft declaring her crime, and to long to hiin, a certain portion of land to be thut up in a dungeon. But the, who be cultivated by hem, the produce of had felt no reluctance in inaling her felwhich, excepting what fuffices for their low-creatures fuffor the moti inhuman on maintenance, is paid to the prn- torments, and had even amufed herself priedur

. Sometimes thote laves practice with the variety of their livfferings, had trades, or engage in traffic ; and all fuch such a sense of her rank, and tuch lively persons pay a much greater fum yearly feelings of her own disgrace, that pride, to their owners, than is done by the la- shamc and retentment deprived her of her bourer of the ground. In fact, a Russian realon. In truth, both the crime and the pealant has no property ; every thing he punishment seem to me (trongly marked pofseffes, even the miferable raiment that with the characters of barbarity. thelters him from the cold, may be seized A Ruiliaa peasant has no property, can by his master as his own. A carpenter enjoy none of the fruits of his own labour being known to have made fome money, more than is fufficient to his preserve his was commanded by the rapacious fteward exittence, and can Iran(mit nothing to his of a rapacious Koaer, to give two huni. children but the interitance of wretched red rubles to his owner. The man obey. bondage, he thinks of non hing beyond nd, and brought the money in copper. the prefent. You are not of confequence, "I muft have it in filver," said the to expect among them much industry Steward. The flave, denving that he had and exertion. Exposed to corporal pulo much, was instantly fcourged will be nishinent, and put on the footing of'irpromised to fulfill the demand. He rational animals, how can they posiels lirought the Alver, and the covetous su. that fpirit and elevation of fentiment perdor retained both the silver and cope which diringuith the natives of a free po.You may easdy conceive, that men stare i Treated with much inhumanity, ja ttus fituation, if they are ever enabled how can they be humane? I am confito improve their forranes, will conceal dont, chat most of the defcēts which aptheir wealth, and affume -en oxternal ap- pear in their national character, are in pearance of indigence and milery. consequence of the despotism of thc Rufli

The owner has also the power of selling an government. his flare, or of hiring his labour co other I mentioned that the revertue of a Rur. persons; and it happens fiometimes, that a fian nobleman arifes from those lands Kaaez, or Boyard, shall give a Nave to a which are cultivated by his Naves; and

fometimes in their being employed in o.

ther occupations than tillage. They often Four Shilling:

come froni distant provinces, and are cnrVol. VI. March 1784.



[ocr errors]

ployed as domestic Naves, mechanics, or The condition of those peasants who are as day-labourers, at Moscow, Petersburg immediate Naves of the crown, is reckonand other cities. In these cases they mutted less wretched than the condition of kave certificates and a written perinit, those who belong to the nobility ; and specifying their names, owners, and the they are of three kinds : The first a time they are allowed to be absent. those who, having either secretly, or ! When they come to any great town, with the favour of a humane superior, been ab a view of remaining there, and engaging w procure as much money as may enab themselves in any work, the person who thum to purchase their ficedom, have al employs them must lodge their certificates the good luck to live under a superior w! with the master of the police in the is equirábic enough to free them for ti place where they are about to refide. Af- fum they offer. Such perfos, and the ter remaining their allotted time, they children, are ever after immediate Tax must return to their former owners, and of the crown. On the same footing an must be accountable to them for every all priclis and their children ; though th 'ching they have carned.--To these prac. dependence of the inferior uponeeriper rices the Empreis alludes in the following or clergy, is sometime as grievous as th pallages, in her instructions to the depu- molt paintul bondage. Soldiers aalin, an ties assembled for making laws : It their children ; and this clats includes the “ seems too, that the method of exacting whole body of the nobility, arc immed “ their revenues, invented by the lords, até llaves of the crown. “ diminishes both the inhabienes, and “ the spirit of agriculture, in Rulligs. Salutations, Quarrels, and Amujements: “ Almoit all the villages are heavily tax

the Rudian Pealants. “ ed. The lords, who feldom or never Two Ruffian peasants, meeting eas “ reside in their villages, lay an impost other, take off their caps, bow moit pr

on cuery bicad, of one, two, and even foundly, shake hands, wipe their beard “ five rubles, without the least regard to kils one another, and, according to thi “ the means by which their peasants may different ages, call one another broth « be able to raise this money.

It is or father, or by some appellation that e “highly necessary that the law should preffes affection. Both men and wom

prescribe a rule to the lords, for a more in their salutations bow very low. I w “ judicious mcthod of raising their re firuck with this circumstance ; and for

venues ; and oblige them to levy such a fuund, that, in their obeisance to e “ tax as tends Icast to separate the pea- great, and in the worship of their lain “ fant from his house and family; this they were carly trained to proftration at “ would be the means by which agricul- pliancy of body. Indeed, the fervile iu “ ture would become more extensive, million they tuftify to their superiors, a " and population more increased in the only be equalled by the haughty ufaj

empire. Even now, some husbandmen they meet with in reiurn. “ do not see their houses for fifteen years Two Rutlian peasants, if they fhould hap “ together, and yet pay the tax annually pen to quarrel, feldom proceed to blows “ to their respective lordo ; which they but they dcal abute with great profufon “ procure in towns at a vaft distance from and their abutive language confifts of th “ their families, and wander over the baseft allusions, and the most ihocking of “ whole einpire for that purpose.” scenity. This can scarcely be exemplise

Another hardship to which the Russian in the manners of any other nation. 1 pealants are exposed, is, that they are ob ever they come to blows, the conflict ha liged to marry whatsoever perlons, or at a moft ludicrous appearance ; they knor what times their fuperiqurs pleale. Every nothing of the clenched fitt of an English Have who is a father, pays a certian tax to man; but lay about them most uncouth! This owner for each of his children ; and with open hands and extended arms. the owner is titerefore felicitous that a The Rutlians in their amusements, an new progeny be raised as foon as possible. indeed extremely focial. They assembl Marriages of this fort musi produce little in crowds, fing, drink, swing on see-saws happiness ; neither husband nor wife are are drawn up and down and round abou very sudious of conjugal fidelity: hence in flying chairs fixed upon wheels, som the lower classes are as profligate as can with a perpendicular, and some with posibly be conceived; and, in such cir- horizontal motion. cumftances, we cannot expect that they In the winter seafon, they are puthe will have much care of their children, down ice-hills and glisades. Those ice

[ocr errors]

are raised upon the river, and are I once Taw one of those bachs catch fire, ructed of wooden frames. Then the weather was dry; it blazed up in a very high ; so that they areend tifry moment, and the whole bevy it contained,



for swimmsug'ning sogs, as we uw imitate rather the motion of dogs.

their children. They do not send them to X2


« ПредишнаНапред »