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the total disregard of cleanliness, revolting | surrounded with a spacious monastery, to more senses than one, marks its entire which has always been well fortified. aspect with that oriental indolence from This church was originally gilded throughwhich no improvement can be hoped. out its interior, and was celebrated for its The extremes of luxury and poverty unite vast treasures. It has been burned and here without any transition ; indeed, it is pillaged three times during the invasions quite impossible for persons of moderate | of the Tartars, and at the beginning of fortunes to live respectably.
the present century was overthrown by Jassi has been nearly consumed three an earthquake. About twenty-five years times by fire; but when I said to some of since it was robbed of one of the richly its inhabitants, that these would have been ornamented portraits of its founder. The good opportunities to have regulated and avaricious thieves, who escaped detection, improved their city, they went into elabo- | had no reverence for the holy Basil, but rate discussions to prove that there was as they coveted the numerous and valuable much beauty in their pell-mell confusion fine pearls with which his robe and headas in the most harmonious regularity. dress were covered. The church still " Why should we straighten and pave our preserves an incomplete collection of streets ?" they asked me. “We should portraits of great beauty, embroidered only have the more noise ; they are suffi- with inimitable perfection by the Princess ciently straight and clear for our carriages, Theodocia, the wife of Basil. Among which roll equally well through mud and them is one of the princess herself, and dust, from one end of the city to the her son, the eldest of her twenty-seven other." And yet a gradual change may children. The only one which is still be seen taking place in some parts of the preserved of the founder is in fresco, city, not only among the residences of the representing him with his unfinished nobility, but also among those of the mer- church upon his left hand, while his three chants and bankers; the inhabitants are patron saints are bestowing their benealso beginning to appear in gloves, shoes, | dictions upon him from the skies. and hats, and other marks of civilization. Like most imperfectly civilized nations In one of its better streets I found a library the Moldavians are thoroughly superstiof French literature, quite surrounded by tious. It is an exceedingly bad omen for Jewish shops, with the usual variety of the eyebrows to meet; persons with this merchandise which characterizes them peculiarity are suspected of an “evil-eye." elsewhere; among them, as is usual, were On certain days of the week malicious many money-changers. There is also a fairies possess a supernatural power, which theater, where comic operas and French increases in activity toward evening, when vaudevilles are represented once or twice their short-lived spells are to perish. a week. With these slight pretensions to They also believe in sorcerers, who only the character of a city, Jassi seems more live to injure those around them; but like a large village, with its nameless fortunately they are easily recognized by streets, its large and numerous gardens, their tails, which they sometimes wear and its mysterious mahalas (faubourgs) | under their arms and sometimes where it six or seven miles in circuit.
is said the devil wears his. They susAmong the churches which escaped the pect a person of causing drought, and great fire of 1827, the most remarkable another of producing rain. A physician is the Church of the Tresphetitili, or Three was one day gathering herbs upon the Saints; consecrated in 1622 to Saint mountain-side ; some travelers upon the Basil, Saint John Chrysostom, and Saint road were able to distinguish a form Gregory. It is constructed of large stones, moving among the trees, and took it into its exterior is covered with beautifully their heads that they had discovered a executed arabesques in relief, and it is wolf, of which vague reports had been crowned with towers of light and grace circulating among the inhabitants. They ful forms. The interior walls are orna started in pursuit, but what was their mented with frescoes; its three naves are surprise upon near approach to find that illuminated by magnificent silver lamps the animal arose and looked at them with constantly burning day and night, for the a human face. Nothing but a sorcerer high and narrow arched windows only could thus change its form, and the poor admit a pale and mysterious light. It is physician, as he descended from his scientific elevation, found himself sustain- fully equaling Swiss scenery in variety ing a new character in the eyes of his and beauty. The olive and orange are frightened pursuers. Fortunately a pass- the only European trees which do not ing vehicle relieved him from his dilemma. thrive in Moldo-Wallachia. The vine is I was told that some Wallachian peasants, cultivated to some extent; grain is also believing that some sorcerers were among very abundant. them, placed in the church one evening as The mountains are covered with magmany pots of milk as there were cows in nificent forest trees, which are exported the village. The milk, which turned for ship-building. It is said likewise that during the night, was taken as a sure they inclose vast mineral treasures of gold, proof of the wicked influence of their silver, sulphur, and nitre, which might be owners. Frequently more cruel tests are important articles of commerce but for the tried for the discovery of the suspected, indolence of the inhabitants. The Turks and often the most absurd practices are used to call these provinces the Peru of used: the sorcerers of whom they are in their empire; but scarcely any of the so much dread, are interred like other mines have been worked except the salt mortals ; but if there is the slightest sus- ones, which are a government monopoly. picion of their reappearing in the form of An old Turkish proverb declared that a an animal, for this is firmly believed in by Persian boy and a Moldavian horse were these simple people, the grave is opened, the most perfect beings produced by naand its occupant is securely fastened in ture; but my observations have by no his quarters.
means been confirmatory of the latter Wallachia and Moldavia, which are part of this statement. The horses are very designated under the general name of degenerate ; but the animal kingdom is as Danubian Principalities, are perilously varied as the vegetable, and almost every situated between Turkey, Russia, and species known in Europe is found in this Austria ; if they succeed in establishing province. peaceful relations with one of these neigh-! There are only two seasons in Moldobors, they are sure to be interrupted by Wallachia : winter commences with Noone of the others. The land of Wallachia vember and terminates with April; the rises gradually from the plains of the ground is then covered with snow, and Danube, where it is about forty-five feet sleighs are the only vehicles in use; the above the level of the sea, to nearly eight remaining seven months belong to sumthousand feet, which is the height of the mer. The middle of the day is very most elevated peaks of the Carpathian warm at this season, but the mornings and Alps. This range crosses the country with evenings are so cool that a cloak is never four hundred and eighty-one separate peaks, / unwelcome. This sudden change of temeach bearing its proper name. The soil perature produces many fevers, which are is well-watered, and so fruitful that scarce- almost unknown in the dry cold weather ly any cultivation is necessary. Flowers of winter. are everywhere in abundance: even the 1 In the population of Wallachia, where dusty roadsides are bordered with these the fusion of races is almost complete, fragrant ornaments : some of them have | the Saxon can only be distinguished by received most poetical names from the his light hair from his Flemish neighbor ; simple-hearted inhabitants. A modest but in Moldavia, the aboriginal race is little blossom which grows in shade and easily recognized by its language, manobscurity is called "little tears ;” and a ners, and frequently even by its costume. magnificent flower, resembling a candel- The Russian is short, stout, blond, and abra, is known as “ The Light of the with little regularity of feature; those Lord.” Nothing can exceed the beauty called Hungarians have round faces, black of the “prairies" in the verdure of spring hair, and large noses. They profess or the golden hues of autumn, diversified Catholicism, and their language is a jaras they are with an infinite variety of gon of rough sounds. The Lippovan, flowers and flowering shrubs, nut and (was it not formerly Philippovan ?) whose fruit trees, and orchards bending beneath name to me seems expressive of his distheir luxurious burdens of plums, apples, position in this respect, preserves his and apricots. The solitary valleys of the ancient love of horses, and is always mountains are lovely beyond description, | either a coachman or a jockey. He also
keeps his Tartar visage and superstitions. | vacious eyes, set off with well-defined and He despises dogs, and holds the stork in beautifully-arched eye-brows, small lips, great reverence. His children are bap- and white teeth, when they are not distized at seven years of age. The Jews colored or spoiled by too frequent use of are either Spanish or Polanders; the for- the pipe or confectionery. Those of the mer are generally handsome, well-formed, class who reside in the cities are marked and easily refined under the influence by quite a Greek physiognomy, while those of European civilization, particularly in of the country preserve the Roman feaWallachia, where many of them are dis- tures accompanied with an air of languor, tinguished by their intelligence in the best perhaps produced not less by their society. Those who crowd together in insufficient nourishment and miserable Jassi, forming a third of the population, dwellings, than by the political yoke which have something of the Tartar in their ap- has weighed so heavily on them for more pearance, and they always recall to my than one hundred and fifty years. The memory those Avars who embraced Ju- | Wallachians are gayer, more intelligent, daism in the ninth century. The Scin- and more hospitable than the Moldavians; dromes, or Romans, descendants of Tra- but they are equally brave, sober, agile, jan's colonies, are called Tziganes, and adroit, and have as much military spirit. form an entirely separate class; they are The upper classes of both provinces were generally tall, well-made, and robust. formerly frank, ardent, proud, enterprising, They have oval faces, black hair, vi- , and even reckless in their daring : but the
influences of late times have rendered the sixteenth century. Besides the feathem, in prosperity, vain, dishonest, sus- | tures which are common to both sexes, picious, avaricious though with large pro- | the Roman women are distinguished by fessions of generosity, cowardly, proud, their long eye-lashes, full throats, plump and insolent; in poverty or misfortune, hands and feet, with a skin of extraordithey are sullen and indolent. They as- nary softness and whiteness. They are sume the responsibilities of men at fifteen, amiable and spirituelle, less passionate become diplomatists at eighteen, lose all than the Spanish, less romantic than the their individuality of character and pur- German, less cold than the English, and pose at twenty-one, and are old at twenty-gifted besides with such correct good taste five. I may be thought severe in my that nothing but a better education is estimate of their character; but I have necessary to make them most charming found them incredulous, insincere, desti- creatures. They have better abilities tute of attachment to their friends or their than their husbands, and certainly show country, and ungrateful for the greatest themselves capable of more attachment benefits. No sentiment of union binds and greater devotion. They formerly them together unless it is an absurd pride appeared to best advantage in their orientin the native nobility, though there are al costume, which was considered finely scarcely a hundred who can claim a place adapted to set off their beautiful forms; in its ranks either by money, talent, or but French modes and French manners descent. Not more than a tenth of these have almost entirely displaced it. can date further back than the middle of! No traveler who visits these beautiful
provinces, can fail to be struck with the and point out the future; without it their sparseness of their inhabitants, and with actual condition is a dead letter, more the misery which meets him at every turn, obscure than the hieroglyphics of Egypt. notwithstanding the smiling landscapes As impending events are attracting the and universal luxuriance of nature. This eyes of the world to them, you will not splendid land should be the happiest and demur to a few historical glances over most densely populated country in the their checkered history — only glances, world, and the only reason why it is not, however, for I insist on retaining my must be found in the social and political desultory style of observation. condition of the people. The deplorable Wallachia and Moldavia are dismemberaspects everywhere visible, are only to ments of ancient Dacia, which included be explained by a knowledge of the his- also the countries now known under the tory of the Principalities, through their names of Banat, Auraria, Lower Hunsuccessive developments to their origin. gary, Transylvania, Buseovine, and BessThe past alone can explain the present, arabia. Under the reign of Domitian,