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mined resistance to spring. Indeed, the distressed than themselves. The oldest latter triumphs completely only when person among them had no recollection of summer comes to her assistance. The similar depredations; but most of them most beautiful period of the year then remembered the tales which their fathers commences. The steppes are covered | had told respecting these terrible invaders. with a brilliant green, enameled with The Germans, however, determined to tulips and hyacinths. You must not how- adopt measures which should protect them ever suppose that the flowers are like the from similar attacks; and for this purpose fine specimens imported from Holland, or they established a kind of police. Whothat the grass is at all like that of our ever first perceived a cloud of locusts, gave cultivated fields. He must be a brave information to the inhabitants by an undersleeper who could enjoy a siesta upon its stood signal; men, women, children, all stiff blades.
who could walk, armed themselves with During the month of May storms are bells, kettles, drums, guns, anything in very frequent. Rain gives way entirely in fact which would add to the racket, in June to the dry season. In July the sur- order to frighten the invaders from the loface of the parched earth is marked with cality. They were frequently successful; cracks, the soil becomes black, and vegeta- though it was generally found that smoke tion disappears. Lakes and pools of water produced the most immediate effect, espeare transformed into sand-plains; water cially if thick and odorous. Sometimes, becomes so valuable that sentinels guard however, the winged enemy was able to it night and day, to prevent robbers from extinguish the very flames which were approaching it. Men and animals suffer kindled to exterminate them. The lower cruelly from hunger and thirst, and thou- strata of insects were pressed into the fire sands of horses and cattle perish. The in such numbers, by the masses above African Sahara, or the Slanos of South them, that the latter escaped uninjured, America, are not as difficult to travel in and were ready to return to the conflict. the summer season as the steppes of Not unfrequently similar escapes take Southern Russia. Toward the latter place when they are driven into the lakes part of August, dews again refresh the or the sea. The numberless swarms form earth, storms are frequent, and sometimes floating islands upon the surface of the the rain falls upon the exhausted soil ; water, which are submerged if the wind verdure reappears, and all living beings is violent; but if the breeze is gentle, they seem to come forth in a resurrection. are wafted in safety to the shores, where, September is one of the most beautiful | after drying their wings, they ascend with months; but October succeeds it with unbroken spirit to scent out new fields for chilling fogs and desolating rains. their ravages.
But of all the plagues suffered by the These insects show a decided preference inhabitants of the steppes, the most disas- for the gardens surrounding habitations. trous, and therefore the most dreaded, are A village to the right or left of their the locust invasions. When the first direction never fails to attract them. It German settlers came into the country, ) is impossible to describe the consternation two varieties of this insect were known to of the inhabitants who have failed in their exist; their increase was not rapid, and efforts to remove this plague of ancient they had not been regarded as objects to times. The doomed field, orchard, or be feared. In 1820, it was noticed that garden, where they alight, is covered their numbers had multiplied alarmingly, by them to the depth of several inches, and in some of the ensuing years they while waiting myriads above them intercaused great devastation. In 1828, troopcept the very light of the sun. Windows, after troop of them invaded the country, doors, and even chimneys are carefully in such dense masses that they obscured closed to prevent their entrance into the the light of the sun; they destroyed the houses. harvests, and in several localities they left The most numerous swarms are seen no traces of vegetation behind them. The in August. They seldom set forth on poor terrified colonists thought the day of their marauding excursions earlier than judgment had come. In their dismay eight or nine o'clock in the morning, and they took counsel of their Tartar and sometimes they stop only at midnight. Russian neighbors, who were not less | An ordinary swarm is generally nearly a
quarter of a mile in width, and a mile or / weather they travel at about the rate of a two in length. It is more difficult to mile an hour; in sunshine at a height of calculate its thickness; but this must be some two hundred feet above the earth ; very considerable, as it obscures the sun- but if it is cloudy, their flight is so low light and causes a perceptible coolness. that a man must turn his back and take a They make so much noise in their flight firm position till they have passed. that they may be heard at a great distance; These marauders seem to have their and when they alight, it gives the impres- preferences for certain plants, though they sion of a shower of stones. In calın devour indiscriminately whatever they
meet, transforming an oasis into a desert the eyes finely lined, large, open and blue, with in a few hours. The Russians say of a calmness and coldness, a freezing dignity, them, that they bite like horses, eat like
which can equally quell an insurrection, daunt wolves, and digest more speedily than any regular, teeth fine, chin prominent, with dark
an assassin, or paralyze a petitioner; the mouth other animal.
mustache and small whiskers, but not a While still lingering on the verge of the sympathy on his face! His mouth sometimes stupendous realm of the czar, I feel
smiles, his eyes never. There is that in his
look which no monarch's subject can meet. tempted to fill out my letter with these
His eye seeks every one's gaze, but none can retrospective glances before I take leave confront his." of it forever. I have, en passant, refer- ! It may be imagined what such a man, red to some of the moral and social as- combining in his august person the tempects of the country ; but my descriptions poral and spiritual supremacy, must be to would be incomplete without more defini-a people whose political and social relative remarks.
tions are based upon a kind of patriarchal Let us commence then at the summit hierarchy, like that of most Eastern naof this governmental pyramid, upon the tions, recognizing but the one principle very apex of which stands Czar Nicholas of unconditional obedience. The simple -a worthy figure too, in its colossal mag- / expression Pikas-it is ordered-comnitude, to finish this type of a half-barbaric prises all the reasoning ever addressed to nation. With the representation of his the people; and its effect is immediate and person you are perhaps as familiar as magical. The czar is their father,—not so with that of any European sovereign, and much in the paternal instincts with which the more remarkable traits of his character he is supposed to regard them, as in the have been many times described. His absolute authority which he is compelled figure is the very ideal of a monarch, and from his position to maintain over them. the Russian boast that a stranger would They are like a hive of bees, in helpless select their emperor from a crowd is a true
confusion without a ruler; without one one. This is no small distinction for the
distinction for the they have no conceptions of self-reliance ruler of a nation like that of Russia, which or self-government. The father, they say, physical strength can never fail to impress does not receive his rights from his chilmore profoundly than the highest mental Idren, but from God and to him alone be resources. His tall, commanding figure must answer for the use which he makes would compel the obedience of his people, | of them. The slightest restriction upon while a less august presence would fail, the imperial authority would be an unthough possessed of superior intellectual
heard-of innovation. God and the czar powers. In the earlier history of Greece are called “ Father," the Church is their he would have been worshiped as a demi mother, and the empire is “ Holy Mother god. A lady traveler describes the czar's Russia ;" the ancient capital is “Holy personnel in so graphic and detailed a Mother Moscow," and the road from it to manner, that I give it to you in preference | Vladimir is called “ Our Dear Mother the to any description of my own :
High Road to Vladimir.” The River “ His figure, to which there is no second in Volga is also always spoken of as Mother Russia, if in the world itself, is of the grandest Volga. So literally is this idea of the beauty, expression, dimension, and carriage, uniting all the majesties and graces of all the
imperial supremacy inculcated and received heathen gods—the little god of love alone per-| by the people, that when the priest in the haps excepted. Had these ample and sym sacramental service divides the bread into metrical proportions, this nobility of person, its seven parts, he blesses the first in belonged to a common mujik, instead of to the
honor of the reigning family, and the Autocrat of all the Russias, admiration could not be less, nor scarcely the feeling of moral
remaining portions in memory of Christ, awe. It was not the monarch who was so the Virgin Mary, and the lesser consemagnificent a man, but the man who was so
crated names. truly imperial. His person is that of a colossal
Those, however, who have studied the man, in the full prime of life and health, fortytwo years of age, about six feet two inches high,
character and institutions of the Muscovite and well filled out without any approach to empire most carefully, though admitting corpulency, the head very magnificently car- the main truth of these statements, tell us ried, a splendid breadth of shoulder and chest,
that within the last twenty years public great length and symmetry of limb, with finely
c opinion has materially changed. formed hands and feet. His face is strictly
Though Grecian: forehead and nose in one grand line, the peasants still venerate the czar, the
sentiment is easily modified if he is the heart of the kingdom, pestilence carries them victim of any misfortune which reduces off in numbers; and here, where it already the power in which they confide so much.
begins to seize its victims, you annihilate the
means of your salvation, and sin against your An old Russian proverb, illustrative of the
fellow-citizens and against the authorities that helpless despair of the people, says, “ God God has set over you! As he spoke, the is far above us, and the czar is far away;" church clocks commenced tolling. Hear the but now one of their native writers tells
call to prayers,' continued the czar in inspired
tones; 'the Almighty looks down upon you! us that the conviction has somehow
implore his pardon for your madness! On reached them, that the czar makes no your knees, wretched people, on your knees!' effort to lessen the distance between them And ten thousand raging barbarians fell upon —that he is no longer ignorant of their
their knees, crossed themselves, and separated." griefs, but that he refuses his help to them.
Many anecdotes are related of his No monarch at the present day could make
courage, his generosity, and also of his himself a hero to them by such cruelties satirical powers. He is said to have been a as were committed by Ivan the Terrible ; wit in his earlier days, like his brother the nor would the Russians now throw them | Grand Duke Michael, who enjoyed quite selves at his feet and entreat him to con
a European celebrity as a punster. The tinue to govern them, as they did when pleasantest traits of his character are that iron-hearted ruler wished to abdicate those revealed in his domestic relations. the throne he had disgraced with such He is a devoted husband and father ; excesses.
many tokens of his tender regard for the An instance of the emperor's personal
empress are to be seen in the royal control over his people is related by one residences, and the people delight to relate of my countrymen, as occurring in 1830, the instances of his affection for her, which at the time the cholera was raging in St. have become known to them, as well as Petersburgh. A report was circulated the interest with which he shares the that the inmates who crowded the hospi sports of his children and grandchildren. tals, and came forth only to fill the ceme
Wherever anything is known of the teries, were poisoned. He says :
Russian nation, nothing need be said of “Firmly impressed with this confiction, an its nobility. Their unscrupulous venality excited mob one morning stormed a cholera
and corruption are known and read of all hospital on the Haymarket, hunted down the physicians, and precipitated one of them from a
men. No one is more convinced of their third-floor window upon the pavement. It was corruption than the Czar, and it is said the signal for a general insurrection; the im | that an intense hatred exists between them. mense Haymarket was soon crowded with a
Among them are several of the murderers dense throng, from which issued murmurs as menacing as the roll of distant thunder. Sud
of his father; and many of the members of denly the emperor appeared from Moscow, I his household, constant recipients of his whither he had been on account of the pesti favor, have been implicated in conspiracies lence. Seated in an open calèche, with only against his own government. To attempt Count Orloff at his side, he drove into the
a purification of this Augean stable, would square. Soon the advance of the horses was impeded, and the shouting and tumultuous mob leave the monarch in solitude. On the pressed round the carriage. In vain did the appearance of a work by one of my emperor endeavor to appease those nearest to
countrymen, containing the most unsparing him ; every minute the tumult increased, and already threatening words were accompanied
exposure of the Russian nobility, the emby threatening gestures. The emperor rose to peror ordered a large number of copies, his feet, and, exerting his utmost power of much to their displeasure.. voice, commanded silence from the riotous mob,
Most of the higher families trace their over whose heads he towered like some angry demigod, flashing among them the lightnings
origin to some great assassin, whose crime of his eye, and, by his imposing presence and
served the purpose of the reigning autotone, stilling the uproar and obtaining a hearing. crat, and who was consequently rewarded • Wretches !' he exclaimed, “is this the reward with wealth and promotion. In fact, the of all my toil and care for your welfare ? this
history of the royal family is a list of your gratitude for the vigils and labors by which I have striven to make men of you? Is
the most repulsive and unnatural sins. this the gratitude you show me, when my Nothing marks the savage nature of the anxiety on your behalf has again brought me national character more than the manner among you? Have I not cares enough upon
in which most of the emperors have dismy head, that, with childish thanklessness, you thus add to my burden? In insurgent Poland, appeared. It is said that a tradition excivil war mows down our brethren; in the ists at Moscow, that the reign of a czar is limited to about a quarter of a century. gives— 2,000,000 for the tribes of the The present autocrat has already reached Caucasus; 4,000,000 for the Cossacks, the it, but the horizon is darkening, and it may Georgians, and the Khirguiz; 5,000,000 be that “coming events cast their shadows for the Turks, the Mongols, and the Tarbefore."
tars; 6,000,000 for the Ouralians, the The great distinction of Russia—that Finlanders, and the Swedes; 20,000,000 which gives her place among the nations for the Muscovites, (of the Greek Church ;) of the world, far more than the extent of 23,000,000 for the Poles, (Roman and territory over which the czar has un- Greek Church united :) total 60,000,000. limited sway—is its military organization, | The population of ancient Poland counts the immense army which can be called for two-fifths of the total population over into the field at a nod from the imperial an eighth part of the territory, and the head. Its perfection and distribution have | Muscovite population for one-third of the been the grand ambition of the emperor total number over a tenth of the territory; for many years. Russian statistics are in other words, even at the present time, proverbially unreliable ; but a careful ex the Polish element is in a great majority amination and comparison of the official as compared to all the others. returns of this department, give one thou Notwithstanding these vast acquisitions, sand eight hundred guns, and a million and the domineering position assumed by of men, as the smallest force at his the country under the present emperor, majesty's disposal. One third of the the Russians have inherently no warlike population is exempt from conscription; the spirit-no love of military glory. The remaining two-thirds constitute the East- people from whom the conscripts are drawn ern and Western portions of the empire, are in every respect better fitted for the from which annual levies are alternately peaceful occupations of husbandry and made, proportioned to the immediate trade, than for the pomp and circumstance demand for troops. The average draught of conquest. Most especially is this true is from five to six men per thousand; but of the conscripts draughted for the naval the number has reached nine. From ac- service, from the inland provinces, who curate computations, it appears that a are most of them terrified at the sight of twentieth of the whole male population is the sea, with which they are entirely unswallowed up by the army.
familiar. The Russian will fight for his The Journal de la Statistique Univer- | religion and nationality when it is assailed; selle has published a table of the succes- but an aggressive war would never be sive encroachments of Russia from the undertaken voluntarily by them. Even fourteenth century up to the year 1832. in times of peace, the desertions are numIt is drawn up from communications by bered by thousands. M. M. Schmitzler, Maltebrun, General Nothing can exceed the dismay and terBem, and other statisticians. During the ror which follow the conscriptions. The last two centuries Russia has doubled her recruit was formerly put in irons, for the territory, and during the last hundred death-penalty was often found insufficient years has tripled her population; her to prevent his return to his dwelling. At conquests during sixty years are equal to present, he is removed immediately from all she possessed in Europe before that his home, amid the tears and shrieks of period; her conquests from Sweden are his family and his own wailings of degreater than what remain of that kingdom; spair ; his hair and beard are shaved she has taken from the Tartars an extent according to the military rule, leaving equal to that of Turkey in Europe, with him nothing of his former pride and glory Greece, Italy, and Spain; her conquests but the mustache. The life upon which from Turkey in Europe are more in ex- he enters is as new as it is repulsive ; tent than the kingdom of Prussia without half-fed, half-clothed, and constantly pithe Rhenish provinces; she has taken ning for the peaceful scenes and occupafrom Turkey in Asia an extent of terri tions from which he has been torn, it is tory equal to all the small states of Ger- not a matter of wonder that, according to many ; from Persia, equal to the whole some of the military documents, one-third of England, (United Kingdom ;) and from of the number of recruits are swept away Poland equal to the whole Austrian by death. The army of the Caucasus empire. A division of the population is renewed every five years : in other