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governments; and this business alone may well be supposed to have occupied so large a portion of his time and thoughts, as to leave, comparatively speaking, scanty opportunities for inquiries of a general kind; whereas in Iceland his undivided and concentrated attention was directed to one small island, curious in its structure and natural phenomena, inhabited by one people, of simple habits and manners, speaking one language and professing one religious belief. Perhaps, also, an interval of nine or ten years, spent mostly in devising, and executing plans for the dissemination of the Holy Scriptures, may, in some degree, have diminished the traveller's ardour for secular pursuits.

The volume before us is, notwithstanding all these circumstances, a highly curious one; and contains much matter that the scholar, the theologian, and the antiquarian, on the one hand, and the candid political student on the other, will not fail to appreciate.

The mission, of which Dr. Henderson now gives an account, originated in the favour with which the late Emperor Alexander was inclined to regard all efforts for the distribution of the Scripamong

the numerous nations scattered over his territories. This pious work he encouraged not only by pecuniary contributions, but by placing at the head of the society established for the purpose, his minister for ecclesiastical affairs and national instruction, the Prince Galitzin. It seems that this good man had not long filled the situation of president ere he became the object of a deadly hatred on the part of the Jesuits. By their agents in Russia, and through the instrumentality—so at least Dr. Henderson distinctly says—of certain leading politicians at the conferences of Laybach and Verona, those ambitious priests did all in their power to impress the mind of Alexander with a conviction, * that bible societies are politically dangerous. In this object they partly succeeded. The proceedings of the Bible Society began, and have continued, to be strictly watched; but Mr. Henderson informs his readers, that the most rigid scrutiny in regard to the conspirators, proved that not one individual who took any part in the affairs of that institution, was, in any way, implicated in the late plot against the government.'-It would indeed be highly disgraceful were these institutions to dabble in any way in politics; and of any such tamperings we entirely acquit Dr. Henderson ; whose sole object appears to be the extension of that faith wbich, by promoting civilization, inculcating principles of pure morality, and infusing a spirit of benevolence among men, throws to an immeasurable distance all other systems of religion which the world

But we shall not, on the present occasion, indulge in political speculations: intending to confine ourselves principally to the information which the volumes on our table afford as to some of the most strange and picturesque sects and tribes dispersed

throughout

ever saw.

throughout the Russian dominions, and to a few remarks on Georgia.

In February 1821, Dr. Henderson, in company with Mr. Paterson, set out from St. Petersburgh, on his way towards Moscow. On approaching the city of Novogorod, whose imposing appearance, in the distant view of its churches and spires, upwards of sixty in number, forcibly attracts the attention of a stranger, our travellers felt satisfied that the brilliant and animated descriptions, which have been given of the ancient extent and grandeur of this old metropolis of Slavonia, are by no means exaggerated ; a place • which once,' says our author, acquired such a tremendous importance, that the saying became proverbial—“Who can withstand God and great Novogorod?Its serious political influence in Moscovite affairs was only annihilated in 1578, when the iron sceptre of Ivan Vasilivitch almost levelled it with the ground, at a time when it is said to have contained nearly four hundred thousand inhabitants : its present population, including the military, does not exceed fifteen thousand. The cathedral church of St. Sophia, founded in 988, is still standing; many curious antiquities are preserved in it; and among others, some of Grecian workmanship; and the library is said to contain a number of Greek manuscripts, chiefly relating to ecclesiastical matters, and also two Slavonic MSS. of the four gospels of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The city contains three principal elementary institutions for the education of youth, a spiritual academy, a public school for the citizens in general, and another for the military. A few years ago the secular schools are stated not to have contained more than two hundred scholars; at present the number amounts to nine hundred, all of whom receive a free education. At the monastery of St. Anthony, on the right bank of the Volchof, is an academy of three hundred students, of whom one hundred and sixty have free board as well as education; the rest pay about 3l, sterling a-year : they are divided into three classes, philological, philosophical, and theological.*

Not far from this, at one of the post-houses, kept by Russian peasants, who furnish horses for travellers, the host was so eager to peruse a Slavonic New Testament which our author put into his hand, that he sat up most of the night reading it aloud; and this, though it interrupted the sleep of our travellers, afforded them unspeakable delight, as an early instance of that avidity with which,

* Dr. Henderson was here informed of a circumstance which may be deemed rather curious. Near the banks of the Ladoga, a number of coins have lately been dug up, bearing inscriptions of Cufic characters, and among them one with the Latin inscription, • Ethelred Rex Anglorum,' which he thinks might probably have been part of the Danengeld levied by the Danes on England, and conveyed through channels of commerce to this remote quarter,

as

as they afterwards found to be the case, the Russian peasantry in general read the Scriptures: the poor man's joy on his being told the book was his own, is said to have been indescribable; and such was his feeling of gratitude, that it was with the greatest difficulty he could be prevailed on to accept any remuneration for the trouble and expense of accommodating his guests. As a contrast to the conduct of this poor man, we give the following account of their reception at Krestzi by the wife of one of those dissenters from the old faith,' named Staroværtzi, who are as averse from having any concerns with the members of the orthodox Greek church, as the ancient Jews were from having any dealings with the Samaritans.'

• One of our number happening to have metal buttons on his travel. ling coat, and another having a tobacco-pipe in his hand, the prejudices of the mistress of the house were alarmed to such a degree, that all the arguments we could use were insufficient to prevail on her to make ready some dinner for us. When compelled to do any service of this kind, to such as are not of their own sect, they consider themselves bound to destroy the utensils used on the occasion; to prevent which loss, those who are more exposed to the intrusion of strangers, generally keep a set of profane vessels for the purpose. As the proprietor of the house we had entered appeared to be in affluent circumstances, it is not improbable that he might have furnished it with something of the kind; but the tobacco-pipe proved an insuperable obstacle to their use. So great, too, is the aversion of this people to snuff, that if a box happen to have been laid on a table belonging to them, the part on which it lay must be planed out before it can be appropriated to any further use. They live in a state of complete separation from the church; only they cannot marry without a license from the priest, for which they are sometimes obliged to pay a great sum of money.

The sacrament, as it is usually called, they never celebrate; and baptism is only administered to such as are near death, on the principle adopted by some in the early ages of the church, that such as relapse, after receive ing this rite, are cut off from all hopes of salvation.'-p. 26.

At a place called Vodova, our travellers met with another religious sect, named Bezpopootchini, or the Priestless :' their village had recently been burnt down by lightning, or, as they said, • burnt by the will of God.' It seems they have a superstitious fancy, (which, our author says, prevails also in some parts of Germany,) that milk alone will quench fires kindled by lightning; and the consequence is, as may well be supposed, - it not unfrequently happens that, when this is resorted to instead of a plentiful supply of water, whole villages are consumed, and the inhabitants reduced to circumstances of great misery.'

The town of Tver is estimated to contain a population of twenty thousand souls. It is considered one of the finest towns in the empire for its squares and edifices. It has a beautiful

cathedral

cathedral of Gothic architecture, twenty-eight churches, three monasteries, a magnificent palace, and other public buildings, which altogether give the town a very imposing and agreeable appearance. Here, too, the public seminaries for the education of youth correspond with the wealth and extent of the place.

Moscow has so often been described that we must pass over what Mr. Henderson says of this splendid city, and its richlydecorated churches, in one of which,—the cathedral of the Assumption,- he was told that the French, in 1812, erected a furnace at one end of the church in which they were proceeding to melt all the candlesticks, and other articles of gold and silver which they could collect, but being surprised in the very act by the sound of a retreat, they made off with as many articles as they could carry, but were stopped by the Cossacks, who recovered to the amount of eighteen and a half poods of gold (sis hundred and sixty-six pounds weight English), and three hundred and twenty poods of silver (five thousand five hundred and twenty pounds.') In this, and in the cathedral of the Archangel Michael, are deposited many curious and valuable antiquities and Greek MSS.; and a still greater number in the library of the Holy Synod and the patriarchal residence. In the great hall of the latter, Dr. Henderson attended the preparation of the holy oil, which is conducted with much ceremony every third or fourth year, and with such ingredients only as are prescribed by the Levitical law. We must also pass over two chapters of seventy or eighty pages on the origin of the Slavonic people, their name, language, and alphabet, with an account of the various editions of the Slavonic bible, and the Russian versions of the Scriptures. These chapters, we doubt not, will deeply interest many readers; but to examine them critically, nay, even to give a mere abstract of them, would occupy a larger space than we can at present afford.

Our author pauses at Maloi Jaroslavitz, which, says he, will ever be memorable in the annals of Europe, as the spot where Napoleon lost his first battle on the disastrous retreat from Moscow. This unfortunate town was successively taken and retaken seven times in the course of three days. It was at a short distance from this place, and on the bank of the Louja, that Buonaparte, according to Ségur, took refuge in the habitation of a weaver -an old, crazy, filthy, wooden hut; in a dirty, dark room of which, partitioned off by a cloth, this singular man abandoned himself to a state of despondency as soon as he was made fully sensible of the unassailable nature of the Russian position. Here he is said to have spent the night in great agitation—now rising, now lying down again, and calling out incessantly,-yet not a single word would he utter to those about him. Proceeding towards Tula, and passing one of the estates of

the

the Princess Galitzin, of Moscow, the only people observed at work were females ; some breaking hemp, some mending the roads, and others managing the plough. More robust pictures of health,' says our author, we never recollect to have seen in any country. Tula has been called, and Mr. Henderson says not unaptly, the Sheffield of Russiawe have even heard it called the Birmingham; but it is little deserving of either appellation. Excepting the imperial manufactory of small arms, which is under the superintendance of an Englishman of the name of Jones, and in which it is said upwards of nine thousand people are generally employed, the manufacture of other species of hardware would be nothing thought of, even in one of the villages appended to the two English towns above mentioned. It is but recently that coal has been discovered in the neighbourhood; and that is so mixed with pyrites, as to be unfit to be used in the manufacture of iron. Tula, however, is a thriving place, and the valley in which it is situated is beautiful. It has an excellent gymnasium, containing two hundred and fifteen scholars; a Lancasterian school, and a spiritual academy, affording instruction to nearly six hundred students. Everywhere, as our travellers proceeded southerly, they observed that new buildings had been erected for the increased population, and improvements of various kinds were obvious. Among other matters, the state of the roads, that first and most essential point, seems to have been receiving much attention. · These,' they tell us,

were also improved, and we had now a fair specimen of their size, which is such as necessarily fills a foreigner with surprise. They are formed by digging six ditches, that run parallel with each other, and leave intermediate spaces, the middle one of which is about forty feet in breadth, and is appropriated for the use of the military, the posts, and travellers. On either side of this is a fine walk, lined on both sides with a row of young trees, which, when grown, will afford an excellent shelter from the rays of the sun; and without the walks are two ordinary-sized roads for the boors, carriers, &c. Having been once made, the roads in Russia are maintained at little comparative expense, as they consist merely of the soil, which is either sand or a kind of hardened turf; and excepting some places where the wet is collected, afford the most agreeable and easy travelling of any in the world. That between the two capitals used to be extremely bad, as, indeed, part of it still is, consisting of planks or branches of trees, laid across the road; but a fine chaussée, almost equal to any in Europe, is now forming, which will greatly facilitate the intercourse between those large cities.'-Henderson, p. 146.

At Orel the Bishop Jonah entered cordially into the views of our travellers. He informed them that the number of churches in his diocese amounted to nearly nine hundred; but that, from extreme poverty, few of the priests were in possession of copies of

the

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