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The most demanding recipe was that of Theriaca Andromachi that comprised a mixture of 71 individual components. Duke of Warsaw Frederick Augustus I made Dispensatorium a required apothecary regulatory document for all Polish lands in under a modified title. These monographs contained descriptive notes on prescribed medicines and were intended to register approved and established remedies for the physician , and to provide formula and appropriate methods of preparation for the pharmacist.
Pharmacopeias that regulated regional apothecary practices in the sixteenth—nineteenth centuries. The beginning of the seventeenth century marked a turning point in the use of botanicals for medicine and folk healing. The practices of trained physicians and apothecaries became chiefly summarized and regulated by pharmacopeias, while the local knowledge of healers and witchcraft practitioners was mainly restricted to oral tradition and handwritten manuscripts.
While the second sources often originated from the first, they were much less consistent. These manuscripts typically borrowed from multiple printed sources, original or translated, and accreted with remarks and personal observations of the successive owners. The section of the manuscript that describes herbal tradition is entitled Knigi lechebnya ot mnogih lekarev sobranye o koreniah i o zeliah Medicinal books collected from many doctors.
Other sections contained discussions on hygiene, Galenic commentary on Hippocrates, notes and quotations from Avicenna and other medieval physicians, exerts from the pseudo-Aristotle tractates, descriptions of common medicinal practices such as bloodletting, and magical spells. Large numbers of spelling errors, incorrect interpretations and misrepresentations, all point to the fact that the manuscript was written not for personal use, but rather for sale by a professional transcriber with little knowledge on the subject. Extensive references to old Ruthenian terms zhuravly cranes , zubry buffalo , tryascia malaria , tsybula onion , pevne probably , and many other words suggested Volhynia or Carpathian forelands as possible places of its origin.
The compilation of such manuscripts with no reference to the original sources was very common among Eastern Slavic groups during sixteenth—eighteenth centuries. In his Russkije vrachebniki work, a bibliographer of the history of Russian medicine listed such manuscripts, most from the seventeenth century Zmejev, As these manuscripts were transcribed in time, each subsequent version underwent a complex change based on the local needs and traditions, with a progressively shifting emphasis onto local and easily collectible plants, and away from their exotic and expensive alternatives.
It is therefore critical in future works to establish which particular plants and beliefs were incorporated into Slavic folk healing manuscripts from European sources, which knowledge specifically reflects oral local tradition that was fixated in these works, and which part of the tradition was an original contribution of local ethnic groups. To achieve this goal, we would need to determine and investigate independent parts of handwritten herbal manuscripts i. Another prevalent feature of these manuscripts that separated them from printed herbals was the lack of plant illustrations or prints.
Otherwise, the plant uses described in these manuscripts were correct and targeted either a function of the human body medicine , social life relationships and feelings , household issues, or superstition beliefs Ippolitova, With time, these descriptions became a part of the oral local tradition, and many of medicinal prescriptions and uses were eventually transferred to other unrelated plants. A Ruthenian handwritten manuscript from the late sixteenth century, also likely a translation from a Polish source, was found in the State Archive of Bucharest Syrku, designated here as Syrku.
Some of the plant descriptions from this manuscript, for example, plantain Plantago major , St. Benedict's thistle Cnicus benedictus , Norwegian angelica Archangelica officinalis , and lesser burnet Pimpinella saxifraga were very close if not identical to other subsequent manuscripts, showing continuation of handwritten tradition in time Nimchuk, One of them, a Ruthenian herbal manuscript Kniha lechebnaya o mnogih lekarstv , dated to the mid seventeenth century, survived in the Swidzinski collection from Sanok area Peredrijenko, designated here as Swidzinski.
This manuscript was a compilation of various texts, legends, poems, and prayers in addition to herbal tradition. The territory to which the manuscript was localized, had formed a border line between two ethnic groups of Ruthenian origin, Boyko in the east and Lemko in the west Falkowski and Pasznycki, Both ethnic groups still maintain a deep tradition in collecting and consuming a variety of wild plants. Among those, berries, mushrooms and hazelnuts are most popular.
Several reorganizations, including the deletions of nonessential magical sections, and additions of important material about the habitat and preparation of the plant, were evident from this manuscript. We must therefore postulate, that the original knowledge about the medicinal properties of the herbs that was fixated in the earlier printed herbals, became amorphous and open to interpretation when it entered oral and written tradition of common people in the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries. While political and economic transformations took place at the lowlands of Poland and Ukraine, the people who inhabited the Carpathian ridges of the Beskid Mountains saw little change and depended mostly on cheap and readily available traditional herbal medicines for the poorest.
The inaccessibility and sometime active rejection of medicine, the acceptance of simplistic medical notions, and the reliance on imaginary observations indicated a loss of confidence in empirical observations and a pessimistic view of the capacity of men to overcome external difficulties by reason Prioreschi, Major historical and publishing milestones that define development of regional herbal texts and botanical manuscripts. Black squares indicate the emergence of handwritten herbal mauscripts including Pushkarev 1 and Swidzinski 2 , as well as ethnobotanical surveys of Rostafinski 3 and Fisher 4 discussed in this study.
Early ethnographic studies in the region were general descriptive compilations of oral traditional medicines recorded by Ukrainian and Polish enthusiasts without further analysis or comparison to the previous written works on the subject. Danylo Chomych Lepki described Boyko women from mountain areas who treated skin disorders in babies with herbal baths that included a mixture of pasqueflower Pulsatilla patens , cornflower Centaurea cyanus , rue Ruta graveolens and lesser periwinkle Vinca minor , as well as the use of infusions from the bark of rowan Sorbus aucuparia and mezereon Daphne mezereum in love magic Lepkij, Oskar Kolberg , a Polish ethnographer, observed the traditional use of thyme Thymus serpyllum , milk thistle Silybum marianum , scentless chamomile Anthemis arvensis , chamomile Matricaria chamomilla , wormwood Artemisia absinthium , galipot Picea alba , a mixture of water and burned aspen Populus tremula for treatment of osteomyelitis, and a fermented mixture of oat hulls and goose feces for treatment of abscesses among the inhabitants of the Carpathian foothills Kolberg, Ivan Kuziw , a Greek-Catholic priest from Boyko villages Likot and Dydiowa, noted an unusual method of making infusions of valerian roots.
They were placed in glass bottle, covered with alcohol, and baked inside a breadloaf Kuziw, Julian Talko-Hryncewicz described medicinal plants used in Ukrainian lowlands Talko-Hryncewicz, Ivan Franko , an Ukrainian poet and ethnographer of Boyko origin, published several collections of his ethnographic observations of Boyko people, including their use of herbal medicines in magic and protection Franko, , including blessed chalk, salt, field poppy Papaver rhoeas , zillya troyan a mixture of Levisticum officinale, Vinca minor , and Ocimum basilicum , and garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata.
Volodymyr Szuchewycz , an Ukrainian ethnographer and teacher residing in Lviv, observed extensive use of traditional herbal medicines by Hutsuls a neighboring ethnic group of Ruthenian origin to the east of Boykos and described some of the remedies in the 5th volume of his monograph Szuchewycz, , including the widely used comfrey Symphytum officinale , yarrow Achillea millefolium , marsh woundwort Stachys palustris , mistletoe Viscum album , and yellow gentian Gentiana lutea.
Josef Schneider , a Polish ethnographer born in Stebnyk, documented the use of herbal remedies by Boyko people from the Dolyna region Schneider, He noted use of bath prepared with aspen Populus tremula and periwinkle Vinca minor for treatment of various skin disorders, baked onion Allium cepa for alleviation of abscess, green cones from spruce Picea abies for syphilis, flower petals for leg pain, and decoction of beet Beta vulgari s leaves for ringworm.
Jan Falkowski , a Polish ethnographer, described treatment of the Polish plait plica polonica , irreversibly entangled moist damaged hair with chorne zillya Pulsatilla vulgaris. Tinctures made with yellow gentian Gentiana lutea were a popular remedy against cholera. Special attention was paid to ashes of burned medicinal plants. Cataracts were treated by burning periwinkle Vinca minor and using the ashes to wash the eyes. Burn wounds were treated with ashes from burned wool or black ligules of sedge Schoenus nigricans.
Open cut wounds were treated with juice from yarrow Achillea millefolium Falkowski and Pasznycki, Several more recent ethnographical monographs provided comparative analysis of previously published traditional knowledge and cultural differences of Boyko people, including limited data on Boyko herbal remedies. As such, they are not discussed here Kyrchiv, ; Boltarovych, ; Hoshko, Throughout the twentieth century, there was a steady growth of published books on Ukrainian medicinal plants that also contained fragmented information on the topic from Beskids.
Three of them had a particular influence on the folk knowledge of the local medicinal plants Nosal and Nosal, ; Komedar, ; Tovstuha, Gorale from Silesian Beskids used sap from crushed goldmoss stonecrop Sedum acre to treat ulcers. Crude, crushed herb was applied for heel pain or, if mixed with fat, into the ear to reduce earache. In Sacz Beskids it was also used internally to treat flu or urinary tract diseases. Its relaxant and emetic properties were used in food poisoning. Sedum maximu m leaves were applied externally crude or crushed on ulcers, bruises or edema.
Sap of its leaves was mixed with barley flour and as a plaster applied to slow healing wounds Tylkowa, It was applied in cataplasms or ointments, when fried with Thymus serpyllum in unsalted pork fat. The Silesian Beskids inhabitants used it both internally and externally. Its root boiled with milk or water and drank once a day on empty stomach was used in kidney and bladder disease.
Leaves were put on ulcers because of its properties of getting pus out. Moreover, herb infusion was used internally to treat colic and stitching pain Tylkowa, This knowledge was often culture and language specific, and most likely truly represented the original healing tradition that predated Roman and Greek therapies. The herbal remedies, however, were either substituted in their entirety by the knowledge gathered from translation of mostly Roman medicine, directly or via Italy and Germany, or were so similar that they could not be distinguished. This overlap though was never complete due to endemic plant species in the region, which were unknown to Greeks and Romans, and therefore could provide an exciting opportunity to observe pre-Christian folk healing traditions from the Carpathian Mountains.
Guelder rose Viburnum opulus could be of particular interest in this matter as it was largely unused by the Western cultures.
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Similarly, the endemic species of Arran whitebeam Sorbus arranensis , unknown in Roman healing tradition, was used as an antimicrobial remedy in the Scottish Highlands Wagner et al. Previously, it was reported that the Bulgarian flora comprises 3, species, Assuming a similar ratio of endemic plant species in the Ukrainian flora 6, species , we could expect at least endemic species, of which at least species could potentially contain biologically active components and be used medicinally Konischuk et al.
Botanical provenance of medicinal plants from the Carpathian Mountains: A Traditional healer from Eastern Carpathians as documented by Henryk Gasiorowski at the beginning of the twentieth century, and botanical profiles of major B imported and C exported medicinal plants from Ukraine in after Nykytyuk, Nearly individuals replied to the first enquiry and filecards were collected in the second call from the geographical region of our interest.
Rostafinski's informants returned nearly records of plants used by traditional societies for medical purposes. The most extensive version consisted of 70 questions concerning about species. It was formulated in greater detail and asked specifically what names people used for cultivated plants, medicinal remedies curative, ceremonial and magic plants , mushrooms, and timber. Fischer's survey reported plant taxa from the Galicia region. The species that achieved the highest use were yarrow Achillea millefolium , garlic Allium sativum , periwinkle Vinca minor , St.
John's wort Hypericum perforatum , and juniper Juniperus communis , which was strictly in line with previous observations across various centuries. Two plants, yarrow Achillea millefolium and coltsfoot Tussilago farfara were also recognized as the most versatile remedies with multiple pharmacological indications. To illustrate our assumption that the original Carpathian herbal remedies were either substituted by knowledge gathered from classical medicinal monographs or were identical to them, we attempted a direct comparison of descriptions of herbal medicines used to treat wounds among printed herbals and subsequent traditional folk knowledge in the region.
This striking similarity could be explained in part by the fact that medieval Celtic physicians Scottish, Irish, and Welsh often received education at the University of Padua, similar to their Ruthenian and Polish counterparts Scottish Historical review, Subsequent handwritten manuscripts and surveys reported both smaller numbers of total medicinal plants, as well as those used for wound healing. Only 3 plant species are recommended to treat wounds across all 6 sources studied, including derevij Achillea millefolium , babka Plantago maior and shalvia Salvia officinalis , but at least 14 plants are shared among the majority of the sources.
Comfrey root Symphytum officinale was used on multiple occasions to heal wounds associated with bone fractures, minced in animal fat. The type of fat used in this ointment varied depending on the location: in Silesian Beskids, pork fat was preffered, in Zywiec Beskids, goose lard was believed to possess the best curative properties, while in Sacz Beskids they were both considered as effective.
Another treatment that remained largerly uniform among the discussed regions was application of galipot of conifer trees to wound healing ointments after heating it with bee wax and butter. Worldwide, around 20, plant species are used for their medicinal properties, including herbs that are recognized as medicinal by modern medicine. Cultivation of medicinal plants remains a fast growing and sustainable section of agriculture, with profits margins exceeding those of grains and other food crops 2 to fold due to development of value-addded products and parallel processing streams of raw materials and waste products.
Russia remains the largest producer of medicinal plants in the region, with Poland cultivated herbs and Bulgaria wild collected herbs in the second place. Ukrainian market of medicinal plants is rather small, with annual exports averaging 3, tons exceeding imports averaging 2, tons in most years Nykytyuk, Botanical imports are largerly dominated by chamomile Matricaria chamomilla and senna Senna alexandrin a , while chestnut Castanea sativa , buckthorn Frangula alnus , and milk thistle Silybum marianum are leading exports in recent years Figures 3B,C.
This is a drastic difference from s, when the same region was one of the world leaders in growing, processing, and exporting medicinal plants, predominantly for German markets Onipko, A current well-demonstrated, long-term trend toward natural medicine and consumers is indicative of increasing interest in botanical products that support whole-body health rather than focus on a specific health condition, representing a key opportunity to adequately tap the potential of agriculture- and forest-grown medicinal and aromatic plants of the Carpathian Mountains and their foreland.
The first printed herbals published in the Carpathian forelands were early compilations of transcribed Greek and Roman works on the subject, and set a continuous trend of ethnic use of local botanical remedies according to their Dioscorides and Galenic qualities. The Padua-Krakow axis was identified as a key putative factor in introduction of this knowledge to Ruthenian and Polish medical students during the fifteenth—sixteenth centuries.
Subsequently, this tradition was incorporated into oral and written legacy of Boyko, Lemko, and Gorale ethnic groups, and fused with Slavic use of charm and prayer heals to treat diseases and cast magical incantations. However, the traditional use of several endemic plant species in the region could provide an exciting opportunity to observe pre-Christian folk healing traditions from the Beskid Mountains.
The study also highlighted the vast potential for growing and processing medicinal plants in the region, and cited low awareness among farming communities, inadequate processing capacities, price risks, and non-availability of planting material as critical constraints that need to be addressed. WK drafted ethnobiology sections of the manuscript. CW drafted and contributed knowledge on classical and Celtic medicines. EM drafted and contributed knowledge on skin and wound healing applications.
One of the latter remained quiet for a few minutes, and then said, "My friends, listen: we shall in less than an hour have quitted the territories of Russia: until we do so, let us be silent, for how do we know who may be within hearing? But to return to the Russian ladies. I remember I once went to call on the Princess O—ff: she was of very good family, but extremely poor, yet of course she could not do without a carriage, horses, a footman, and maid-servants, but the state of dirt and misery in which she lived would disgust almost a beggar amongst us.
A very filthy lacquey, in livery, the facings of which were scarcely visible, so discoloured were they with long use, ushered me through a room quite as dirty as himself to a second apartment, in which was seated the princess. She was at breakfast, it being twelve o'clock. The abominably filthy room, her equally disgusting attire, and the super-dirtiness of a miserable little maid who brought her some rusks, made me almost afraid to take a seat on the chair placed for me. She very politely requested me to partake of her refreshment, which I, as politely, declined: but imagine, gentle reader, how infinitely I was disgusted when she took up a piece of paper from the table, spat in it, and then replaced it near the bread she was eating!
She begged me to come and see her again, as she assured me she was very fond of the English: I need not say that I did not repeat my visit. I must, however, say that in St. Petersburg I once called at a house where the footman who opened the door presented so dirty an appearance that I would not enter it, and therefore cannot say whether it was his own fault or that of his master. In order to give an example of the state of moral feeling in the country, I will narrate a little incident that occurred one evening at the house of a lady of very high rank: a Madame —, the wife of a governor of a large province, was present; and Prince T—koi, who had been ordered to join his regiment, had come to take leave of his friends: to my astonishment, Madame — burst into a violent flood of tears, and "refused to be comforted," when she bid him adieu.
On my inquiring why she was so affected, the prince being no relation of hers, I was informed that, "poor thing! For my pains I was told that I had no heart, and that, like all the English, I was quite destitute of feeling. I do believe that not a lady was there present who did not regard her as quite a martyr of sensibility. Many of the noblesse are extremely poor; indeed it is almost a wonder how they can exist. A great cause of their indigence is the equal division of the family estates among all the children. M—ff, a gentleman belonging to one of the most ancient houses in Russia — indeed, he used to boast of his descent from Rurick, the founder of the empire — often bitterly lamented the subdivision of the property.
One day an old gentleman called on Madame P—ska, a lady with whom I was well acquainted in St. Petersburg; he came to borrow a few rubles, which she kindly gave him. On his leaving the room, I begged to know what had thus reduced him. A FTER our return to Archangel we had to wait there some weeks, until the winter roads had become sufficiently hard to render sledge travelling pleasant.
As it was quite unsafe to traverse roads so unfrequented alone, we agreed to join a party of Russians and Germans who were going to visit the capital. It was arranged that our kabitka was to precede those of our acquaintances, as we were strangers to the country. On the morning of our departure we assembled at a house belonging to one of our acquaintances: a great many friends had met there in order to see us set out, and to bid us God speed on the journey.
We seated ourselves, conformably to the Russian custom, a few moments in silence: champagne was handed round to drink to our success; the whole company then arose, and assembled at the gate to see us comfortably seated in our sledges; some of them even escorted us beyond the barriers of the town before they would bid us adieu; nor was it without regret on our side that we took leave of those kind-hearted people, whom in all probability we should never see again.
Once fairly on our journey, we found ourselves surrounded by those dreary forests and boundless morasses now hidden by the deep snow of which we had so recently had so much experience. I do not know whether this wild region is not more agreeable in the winter-season, as then its barrenness is concealed. It is not an exaggeration to say that four-fifths of the northern portions of Russia consist of the sandy plains and marshy forest-land I have already described, but, in the winter, it matters little what lies under the frozen snow.
From Archangel to St. Petersburg we passed hundreds of versts of this description of country. In these districts utter desolation reigns, scarcely a living thing is seen; even the birds have deserted them, and have flown to the neighbourhood of the towns, to find there the food their native woods can no longer afford them. A solitary wolf or fox may occasionally be descried, either skulking among the bushes or sitting watchfully by the wayside, in faint hopes, perhaps, of some weary horse being left on the road to die and to become the victim of the hungry droves now lying perdus in the forest depths, and only scared from the traveller's path by the tinkling of the bell attached to the sledge.
No other sound breaks the weary silence but the yell of the yemstchick inciting his team to greater speed, or his wild voice chanting forth the songs of the people, which echo far away through those melancholy forests, and only serve to awaken the heart to a still greater sense of the utter desolation around.
Yet Nature is always grand, and perhaps never more so than in the wilderness! No inhabitants dwell in these tracts, with the exception of the few poor peasants whose huts surround the government post-stations; it is a rare occurrence indeed to meet a human being, and for hours one travels on, and the only sign of being in a civilized country is the wooden cross, gray with age, placed here and there by the wayside.
Several times on the journey we met gangs of wretched criminals, heavily chained, and escorted by soldiers, whose duty it is to conduct them from station to station. Along the roads in Russia the traveller may remark small brick houses, placed at intervals of about twenty or twenty-five versts; these are the places at which these gangs rest on their way to Siberia. One of these miserable escorts was standing still as we were changing horses, which gave us the opportunity of examining their countenances. Features more debased or expressions more frightful it is impossible to conceive.
Crime and every evil thought seemed to have deprived them almost of even the traces of human beings; I shuddered as I gazed on them. Among the convicts was a woman with a face, if possible, more horrible than that of the men; she had a child with her, a poor little thing of scarcely five years old, that was suffering dreadfully from the hooping-cough; instead of treating it with kindness and compassion, its wicked mother was treating it unmercifully, until even the men, her companions in crime, brutalized though they were, called out shame on her, and begged her to desist.
I never felt so convinced that punishment was justly deserved as in the case of this wretched woman. At the distance of about fifty-five or sixty versts from Archangel we came to a monastery at a place called Seea ; it was surrounded by woods and lakes, which, in the summer-time, must have a very pretty effect. For a Russian building, it was quite an ancient one, and was erected before Peter the Great's reign: it was the sanctuary to which that monarch often retired to perform his devotions. Like most monasteries in the empire, it was surrounded by a wall, having a curiously dovetailed top with towers at each corner pierced with loopholes.
One of the gentlemen, who was acquainted with the abbot, proposed to us to pay him a visit; we all of course willingly assented, and turned out of the post-road for the purpose. Half a verst brought us to the gates: on ringing a bell, one of the holy brothers appeared, who to our disappointment informed us that the Father for such they designate their superior was ill and asleep, but offered to awake him if he wished; we thanked him, but begged that the abbot's slumbers should not be disturbed on our account, and requested the monk to express our great regret at his superior's indisposition, with good wishes for his recovery.
The monk, seeing us about to depart, entreated us to take some little refreshment in the refectory: on our declining, he asked us if we would not like to see the shrine of their patron, St. Anthony, whose body was interred in their church. We accepted his offer, and followed him into the cathedral, which, like all Greek places of worship, was filled with pictures of the innumerable saints of their calendar, and wretchedly-painted scripture-pieces.
Having walked around the interior of the building, and examined the very curious lamps hung before several of the images, we were led to a shrine quite brilliant with lighted tapers and oil, and here our guide pointed with evident pride to a full-length likeness of the saint placed on the top of a long box that covered his mortal remains.
Above it was a wretched daub of Virgin and a Child, which he triumphantly informed us was the holy man's own work. Although there was nothing to admire in it, we saw that it would give him pleasure to express our satisfaction, and therefore did not fail to do so: we also made the offering of a piece of silver to the church, which seemed to raise us immensely in the good monk's estimation. After thanking him for the trouble, we left the monastery of St. Anthony just as a party of the peasantry from a village close by, dressed in their best clothes, with smooth hair and well-combed beards, were reverently ascending the steps, bent on asking the prayers of the respected superior for the success of the ensuing harvest.
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Having traversed about four hundred versts, we came to the town of Kargapol ; it contains nothing remarkable, and is composed of wooden houses, as usual. From this place the scenery began to show a little variety. We had no longer to complain of those monotonous plains of which we were so thoroughly weary: the country now became diversified by hills and valleys; sometimes we were rapidly galloping up a declivity for the Russians drive at the top of the horse's speed up hill , at others we were gliding along the edge of a precipice.
One of the horses slipped aside, and by so doing broke his thighbone; the poor yemstchick cried most bitterly, saying that his master would beat him almost to death. We were so grieved at his misfortune that we made up a little subscription for him, which afforded him some consolation, and I dare say served to comfort him under the correction. As for our unlucky steed, we were obliged to leave him behind on the snow, and doubtless in a few hours his carcase had furnished an unwonted feast to the prowling wolves with which the forests around were infested.
During the next post we were doomed to meet with more misfortunes, for our yemstchick drove us so near to the edge of the road that he turned us both out into the midst of an enormous snow-drift. I really thought we should be smothered, for the kabitka rolled right over upon us; being half-buried in the snow was disagreeable enough, but to have pillows, mattress, portmanteaux, and a whole shower of small etcetera with which our sledge was filled, upon our backs, rendering it impossible for us to move, was even worse.
The other kabitkas had by this time come up, and great inquiries were made for our yemstchick, who had unaccountably disappeared; presently a voice was heard whose smothered tones seemed to come somewhere from under ground, and to our horror we found that he was just under us, and that the kabitka had jammed him deeply into the snow, so that he could not get out.
To raise the sledge was the first thing to be done, and with the aid of the other yemstchicks, we were extricated from our dilemma; our coachman was pulled out of the snow. We expected to find him half-dead, or at least with some bones broken; he, however, merely shook himself, just as a dog does on coming out of the water, and jumped upon his seat as if nothing had happened.
Our friends, finding that we were neither of us hurt, enjoyed a hearty laugh at our expense: I make no doubt that we cut a sorry figure. As for our yemstchick, he was ready to go down on his knees to ask our forgiveness. He begged to know if we were bruised at all; being answered in the negative, he repeatedly crossed himself, and thanked God for our sakes, and perhaps for his own too. We were glad enough to get into the sledge again and drive on, to escape the jokes with which our friends assailed us. Our yemstchick had been a soldier, he said, and boasted of having served the Czar in every government in his dominions; but now that his time was out, he had turned post-driver.
He told us that the last province he had been in was Podolia, of which he gave the most flourishing accounts. Matutchka, how was it possible? I thought of my native village far away in the north. I was always longing to see the snow and pine-forests again, which made me so miserable that I asked for my discharge; and as I had served the required term, here I am. But as for being well off, slavo Bogen! I have a wife and two children; we get plenty of black bread and salt, and very often stchie. What else could we wish for?
It was really something agreeable to hear that even this poor man could feel attachment for his miserable village of log-huts, situated, doubtless, in the midst of some dreary morass in this obscure corner of the earth. My reflections on the wonderful affection everywhere felt for the scenes in which childhood has been passed were interrupted by the driver asking if we would like to hear some of the songs the soldiers used to sing on the march.
On our assenting, he began in a full, deep-toned tenor, awakening all the echoes of the surrounding forests. The burthen of his song was concerning some country belle who danced so elegantly that even the Czar himself came to see her performance. According to all accounts, the hearts of the village-swains were all sore with being so much in love with her; but she settled the matter by choosing a happy fellow named Ivan, whose felicity, we were assured, was inconceivable.
This love does not appear to have been entirely disinterested, for there followed a long list of the bride's trousseau. She had a crasnoi sarafane , or red gown, and was further endowed with some pillows and a counterpane; added to which she was the richest bride in the whole village.cacenise.gq
The Englishwoman in Russia.
The air was pretty, and, like most Russian melodies, in the minor key; the whole was terminated by the peculiar scream which finishes each cadence. We were so amused by our yemstchick that we were quite sorry when we arrived at the station. Notwithstanding his mal-adresse in overturning us, we made him a present, which was so much more than he expected, that he was overpowered with gratitude, and crossed himself many times in wishing us a prosperous journey.
He was succeeded by a merry little fellow, who entertained us by giving us a confidential tableau of his prospects in life. He began by informing us that he was going to be married, and that he was so much in love he could get no rest night or day; that his intended bride's name was Katrina; she was seventeen and he was twenty-one, and "Please God, they should soon be as happy as they need be. Night had now closed in, and for the first time during our journey the full moon shone in all her splendour upon the scene; during the previous days the sky had been much clouded, and occasional falls of snow had prevented our remarking a most beautiful effect produced by the shadow of the trees on the pure glittering plains beneath.
I can compare it to nothing but a mezzo-tinto drawing, only infinitely more defined.
There was not a breath of air to stir the branches of the lofty pines interlaced over our heads; a mysterious silence seemed to pervade the very atmosphere we breathed; it was excessively cold, and the moon lighted up the clear sky with such brilliancy, that we could easily read a moderately-sized print; the snow at the same time glittered and sparkled like millions of diamonds strewn in our path, and, clung to the sombre foliage of the forest like gems of the purest water on sable plumes. Yes, truly, even this barren land possesses beauty and loveliness.
One who has travelled through a night such as this will never forget the impression left on his mind by so splendid a scene, and will cease to wonder at the attachment of the barbarian serfs to their isolated villages. The next day we reached Ladinapol , an insignificant place. The extensive lake of Ladoga not being sufficiently frozen to make it safe for us to cross it in our sledges, we continued our route by the post-road.
We passed the small river Swere , and soon came to the town of Ladoga on the Volkof ; from thence we proceeded to Schlusselberg , on the lake which formerly belonged to Sweden, and of which Peter the Great deprived her. It was in the castle of this place that his son was confined. Once during our journey we were tempted to see what a village-inn was like, for after travelling eight days and nights we felt so thoroughly worn out by fatigue, that we thought any place in which we could rest a little would be welcome; we therefore asked our yemstchick if there were no house of entertainment at the neighbouring hamlet.
Crack went his whip, and our steeds, having a vision of hay near at hand, were tempted to stretch their legs into a real gallop; we, in the mean while, had the douce illusion of thinking that we should soon have a smoking samovar on the table and a few hours' repose. Our kabitka suddenly drew up at a miserable-looking peasant's isba, half tumbling down, from the foundation having sunk a foot or two on one side. The yemstchick rapped at the door, which was opened by a dirty, long-bearded old fellow, who seemed to have had quite enough whisky to make him perfectly stupid.
When we at last succeeded in making him understand what our wishes were, he said that he had a room in which we could very well pass the night. Our Russian acquaintance begged us to alight, which we did in the faint hope of finding the interior better than the exterior would lead us to suppose. Our host thereupon threw open the door of an apartment, on the floor of which some dozen or two of peasants in their sheepskins, men, women, and children, were huddled promiscuously on the bare boards.
The heat and stench were intolerable; one look was sufficient. I and my friend hastened back to the kabitka, nor did we heed the repeated assurance of the worthy landlord that we could sleep very well on the table! Our compagnons de voyage, however, had the courage to pass the night somewhere in the house; we ladies preferred the refuge of our kabitka, which was drawn under an open shed that served as a stable as well. Our slumbers were somewhat disturbed by the horses' noses sniffing at us several times during the night, attracted, I suppose, by the hay placed at the bottom of our sledge.
According to the accounts our friends gave of the manner in which they had passed the time, we had, notwithstanding this annoyance, every reason to congratulate ourselves on having given the preference to the stable. Petersburg; so the remainder of our journey was easily enough accomplished, nor did we observe anything more that was worthy of remark excepting the very wretched state of the villages belonging to the Count Sherrematief, in the neighbourhood of the capital, which we thought were a perfect disgrace to one who is considered the richest nobleman in the empire.
I WAS greatly disappointed with my first view of St. From the extraordinary accounts I had so often read of its magnificence, I was certainly led to expect something infinitely more grand. A drive of half an hour enables the stranger to pass through all the best parts of the city. It is true that in one tableau are assembled a number of splendid buildings, such as few capitals afford; but if within the same space were collected all the finest public buildings in London, with all the advantages of the great extent of ground and clear atmosphere, enabling the visitor to obtain an unobstructed view of their various beauties, it would be easy to guess which would present the most imposing appearance; added to which, it must be recollected that the edifices in St.
Petersburg are for the most part only of brick and stucco. In the same tableau we see the Admiralty , on a line with which is the Winter Palace itself, facing the War-office; in the intermediate space stands the Alexander Column , with the bronze angel on the top, whose head is bowed in adoration, and who bears a golden cross in his arms.
In the large square of the Admiralty stands the celebrated statue of the Czar Peter, on the left hand of which is the ministerial and judicial department. Behind the statue is the Isaac Church , not yet finished, a heavy-looking building of dark granite, with gilt dome and crosses, and four ridiculous-looking little towers, one at each corner.
Some affirm that the dome and cupolas are covered with thin sheets of pure gold, of the thickness of a ducat; but this is quite a mistake; they are only trebly gilt. The interior is in an unfinished state, but it will be much ornamented. On the bank of the Neva, opposite to this edifice, are the University and the Academy of Fine Arts , the latter a large and handsome square building. There is one really fine street in the city: it is called the Nevsky-Perspective , which as far as the Anitchkin bridge presents a splendid appearance, but at the other extremity degenerates into miserable dwellings, some of them of wood.
The objects that attracted my attention the most were the granite quays with which the Neva and the canals are bordered, and which must have cost incalculable trouble, and an immense expenditure, both of treasure and human life, in their construction. The pavement in St. Petersburg is absolutely abominable, and only two or three streets are lighted with gas; the remainder still retain the almost heathen obscurity of oil. All the best shops in St. Petersburg are kept by foreigners; articles of clothing are very dear, especially those imported, which I was informed was mainly caused by the very great duty imposed on them, and by the unwise restrictions of the government.
Bald Mountain (Oregon) Climbing Notes
The Russian shops are almost all confined to the Gostinoi Dwor , a kind of bazaar, situated in the centre of the town. It is a square building, surrounded by a piazza, and contains an immense number of warehouses. We never passed through it without being reminded of the London "'prentices" in Walter Scott's 'Nigel, ' who formerly in Cheapside saluted the passers by with "What do ye lack? Petersburg: for at the door of each shop either the master or a servant takes his station, and endeavours to draw the stranger's attention to his goods: "What do you wish, Sudarina?
Another calls out, "Warm boots, shoes, slippers! All this is pronounced with inconceivable volubility, which, at the first hearing, seems to be some interminable word peculiarly Russian. The shops that strike a foreigner most forcibly are those filled with pictures of the saints, household gods, and crosses.
Here a St. Anthony or St. Serge, a Virgin and Child, or a Catherine, as the purchaser may require, can be bought at any price, from sixpence to fifty guineas. These portraits are highly ornamented with an immense quantity of gold and pearls, or tinsel, according to the sum the buyer may wish to give for his patron and guardian angel, and make a glittering show in the warehouse. Having arrived at the shop to which the stranger has been directed, the purchase is made somewhat in this fashion:—. The shopman takes down a box, the contents of which are undeniably Russian manufacture.
After again most energetically repeating his assertion "Well! The shopman unblushingly puts back the box which he has so recently declared contained the real article, and takes down another, which is filled with ribbons really of French fabrication. Quite indignant "Fifty! The purchaser refuses to be cheated of even three copecks an arsheen, and walks out of the shop; she has perhaps gone half-a-dozen yards, when the shopkeeper's voice is heard calling out, "Barishna, Barishna! Having persuaded her to re-enter the warehouse, says in a confidential manner "You shall have it for fifty-one.
Finding that his customer will not be cheated "Horro sha, Mosjna! The shopkeeper's hopes of cheating begin to revive at the sight of the note, for he can't find the amount of the balance due to his customer by two or three copecks.
THE STORY-TELLER TO HIS AUDIENCE.
S With a very low bow "Isvenete veno vat, I beg your pardon, I am in fault. In this senseless manner do the Russian shopkeepers waste their own time and that of the purchaser. One would think that the minutes thus lost would be of more value than the consideration of the profit of a few copecks more. His duties are of a very varied description; he attends to the state of the yard, sees that the roof is free from snow, brings the water from the river, and is at every one's call night and day.
Their place is no sinecure, poor fellows! Theirs must be a very hard life; yet, to do them justice, they seemed gay enough in the long summer evenings; many a time have I heard them tinkling on their balaika, or triangular guitar, and humming the wild airs of their native village, hours after I have retired to rest.
In the winter, however, it must be dreadful to be obliged to remain so many hours exposed to the intense cold of a northern climate. In all their sorrows tea and votku a kind of Russian whisky made from rye seem alternately to be the consolation of the lower classes. See that house at the corner; the upper part of it is devoted to the goddess Bohea, which is sufficiently indicated by the rude painting of a tea-urn, surrounded by a numerous progeny of white tea-cups on a dark-blue ground, placed over the door. The windows are open, which enables us to see what is passing within.
Long-bearded shopkeepers, in their blue caftans, well buttoned-up, istvostchicks or droshsky-drivers, rough peasants from the country, in their loose shirts or sheepskins, and with queerly-cut hair, are all seated in little groups, round small tables placed in lines down the whole length of the room, as many as it will contain. Young boys, in loose shirts, and mostly without shoes or stockings, are running about attending to the wants of the guests, bringing little loaves to one, rusks to another, and tea to all.
Teacups do not seem to be the fashion, for most of the guests are drinking out of glasses; some prefer cream, but the majority have a slice of lemon swimming on the top, and "a portion" of sugar in a small saucer, all ready to be used, is near at hand; they do not put it into the glass, but hold it between their teeth, and suck the beverage through it. They seem happy and contented enough as we see them now, but doubtless each could tell of some act of oppression and violence which weighs heavily on his heart, and which will inevitably be avenged some day or other by him or his children's children!
Let us now cast a look into the cellars below. If the first floor be dedicated to a Chinese deity, these are under the protection of a classic god that indeed ought to be the tutelar deity of the Russian people. The gigantic bunches of purple and white grapes on a gold field plainly indicate that "Votku is sold here," and that Bacchus holds his reign in this subterraneous temple, even if we did not perceive the state of those reeling mujiks peasants and young boys continually going in and out, in danger of stumbling down the steps of the drinking-shop, the doors of which are happily closed, and thus prevent our being disgusted with what is passing within: we will therefore stand aside for a few minutes and remark the passers-by.
If it be summer, we shall see the lemonade-boys with their large glass jugs and one glass for universal use. Sometimes, instead of this beverage, they vend a kind of drink made of cranberries. I dare say what they sell is very refreshing, but its purity cannot be depended on. The bread-merchants with their portable tray supported by a strap round their shoulders; the fruit-venders, whose treasures are crude enough and never ripen in this northern clime; the flower-girls with well-arranged nosegays; the begging monks and nuns, with their board covered with cloth, on which is embroidered a cross, and on which the pious are expected to place a trifle, which they pretend goes to their religious house — their disagreeable whine is the true tone of a hypocrite.
There seems no lack of uniforms, notwithstanding that the soldiers are "aux camps" some forty versts from the city: but this is the capital of a nation kept down by the knout and the sword. Yonder are four horsemen abreast: they are Cossacks. Remark their black sheepskin caps, their blue frock-coats tightly fastened by a narrow belt round the waist. By the bye, it must be a great misfortune if they grow stout, for the belt is only allowed to be of a certain length, as if even flesh and blood must obey military regulations.
Their immensely long spears with red shafts are supported by a leathern strap; the hay is curiously twisted up into a kind of gigantic ring and fastened to the saddle-bow. They have good features, but are too small in size to be handsome figures.