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Our author, whose views are patriotic, and who retains an enthusiastic attachment to the memory of his late lovereign, has formed the most agreeable picture that he could compose from the materials before him. The great objects of admiration he presents in the fore-ground, and shades off with skill the rough and unhewn masses which might have diffigured his picture. The variety of objects which such a field opened to him, he has grouped in the most judicious mamner; and, without wounding the prejudices of the Russian, his description is sufficient to satisfy the curiosity of the Englishman. On the order preserved through the whole, we can scarcely bestow too much praise: in the investigation of every subject no pains have been spared; and the performance inay be recommended as a model to statistic writers.
The general heads are four; the origin of the nations: under the Russian fway; their natural, their civil, and their moral state. In the first part, great discrimination is difplayed in classing the various nations of this empire, tracing them to their sources, marking their characteristic differences, and pointing out the changes which at different times have taken place in their relation to each other.
As a specimen of M. Storck's style and manner, we shall select his account of one horde not so distinguished by its numbers or its strength, as by the nature of its conftitution. This horde separated itself from its former neighbours, and took up its abode chiefly near the falls of the Dnieper.
• The constitution of this little military tribe was one of the most remarkable in the world. War was the end of the social union formed by its members, their first proferfion, and their favourite employment. Agriculture and the breeding of cattle. they neglected; hunting and fishing they regarded only as amusements. To live unmarried was a maxim of their constitution; but, to satisfy the demands of nature, they frequently carried off the wives of their neighbours, whom, however, they were obliged to keep at a distance from Setfcha, their principal residence. To maintain their population, they not only stole children whereever they could find them, but received criminals and vagabonds from all quarters. Almost every European language was fpoken amongst them. Their constitution was entirely democratical ; cach Cofack enjoyed equal rights. Their ataman, or chief, was annually elected. Every citizen of their republic had equal pretensions to the higheft office. They had no written laws; but they had customs of equal value, by which crimes were punished with great
firmness and impartiality. A Cofack who murdered his fellow-citizen was buried alive with him: a thief was obliged to stand in the pillory for three days; and, not infrequently, an offender of this description was Aogged to death. The greater part of the tribe belonged to the Greek church; but no regard was paid to differences of faith. The moral character of the people corresponded with their mode of life and their constitution: they had all the virtues and all the vices of a free people living by war and plunder. They were brave and ferocious, hospitable and rapacious, active and temperate in their expeditions, indolent and gluttonous at home. The number of warriors among them sometimes amounted to forty thousand.
· The sovereignty over these Cofacks (if the relation of such a tribe at one time to the Potes, at another to the Tartars, to the Turks, and to the Russians, may be called by that term) was frequently changing. Peter the Great destroyed Setscha, when they took part in the insurrection of the hetman Mazeppa : they collected themselves, lowever, under the protection of the khan of the Crimea, and, in 1737, were again received as vassals of Russia. A council was appointed to superintend their affairs; but it had little or no influence on their interior conftitution. obligation to the empire was to appear upon call in the field, in which case they were to receive the usual allowance of the Cofacks. In the war between the Russians and Turks, ending in 1774, they not only betrayed their perfidy on various occasions, but manifested their intentions of régaining their full independence. When the re-conquered countries on the Dnieper, called New Servia, and since making part of New Russia, were to be colonised, they declared this diftri&t their property, took away the rights of the new comers, and, partly by fraud, partly by force, reduced to subjection fifty thousand Russians. This infurrection, their unmarried and predatory mode of life, their total neglect of agriculture in a fruitful country, and their continual opposition to all attempts for bringing them into a better state, at length determined the empress, in 1775, to annihilate this little Spartan government. A body of Russian troops surrounded and disarmed them. It was permitted to them, by a manifesto, either to choose, as useful subjects, a civilised mode of life, or to retire into another country. A part of their number remained, and accepted civil employments; others joined the Turks and the Tartars, or wandered in folitude on the Russian confines. The country which they had possessed was placed under the governmeist of New Russia, and now belongs to the province of Jekacerinoflaw.'
The constant ufe of the bath is an important feature in the Ruffian character; and our author's remarks on that practice deserve attention.
The baths, that honourable relique of antiquity, are now principally used in the east, where they are subservient to health and luxury, or are perpetuated by religion. In Europe, within a few centuries, they have been almost loft, though
in fome respects even here they were connected with religion. Rusia and Hungary are at present the only countries in the world where bathing is practised after the manner of the ancients. In Ruffia the bath is so material a part of domestic life, that it is used at all ages and in all circumstances,' by little children, by women after childbirth, in all diseases, before and after a journey, after hard work, &c. By the common people the bath is deemed to necessary, that, in the best state of health, they use it very frequently Persons in moderate circumstances, and the rich, usually build in their houses vapour-baths on the common plan, though among these claffes they are declining in use, as foreign manners prevail.
Baths have been in immemorial use among the Rulfians. Neftor, in the eleventh century, describes them exadly as they are at present. With the ancients the bathrs were open buildings, immediately under the care of the ftate. From necessity and cleanliness they derived their origin: architecture afterwards adorned them with its elegance; and, lastly, luxury and voluptuousness so changed cheir original design, that they became offensive to the morality of philosophers. Alexander was astonished at the magnificence of the baths in Persia. At Rome, under the Cælars, were above 870 fuch buildings, which were masterpieces of splendour and taste, till it was their fate to be destroyed by the Goths, or to be converted into churches by the bishops, Hungary is now the only country in which the baths retain the ancient Roman magnificence: in Ruffia they still exhibit that fimplicity, which their purpose and designation seem to require.
Here the common baths are in mean wooden houses, near a stream. In the bath-room is a large arched stove, and, when it is heated, the stones become red: in it is fixed a caldron. Round the room are three , rows of benches, one above the other : there is little light in the apartment, as there are only a few openings to let out the vapour. The neceffary cold water is conveyed through the room in open pipes. Some baths have an adjoining room for dressing and undressing; but in general this is done in an open court, furs pilhed with benches.
< The great majority of baths are as we have here decribed them. Where wood is scarce, they sometimes confist of miserable mud-huts, buried in the ground by the fide of a river. In the houses of the rich, and the palaces of the great, their construction is nearly the same; but they are much more magnificent.
« The heat in the bathing-room is generally from 32 to 40 degrees on Reaumur's scale; and it is greatly increased every five minutes by the water thrown on the red-hot ftones before-mentioned. Sometimes, on the highest bench, it is as high as 44 degrees. The bathers place themselves entirely naked on one of the benches, and perspire, more or less, according to the degree of heat in the atmosphere in which they are. With a view of opening their pores, they are rubbed, br gently whipped with birchen twigs. After a time they remove from their bench and wash themselves; and, in general, a whole pail of water is at last poured upon their heads. Many people, on quitting the bathing-room, throw themselves into the next stream, or roll themselves, when the thermometer is at 10 or 12 degrees, in the snow.
'The Rusian baths are not Roman tepidaria or caldarią of a moderate heat, but violent perspiration baths such as throw a person, not accustomed to them, into an actual though soft and almost voluptuous swoon. They are, indeed, vapour-baths; and, in this respect, they differ from the baths of antiquity, and from those of the modern eastern nations: in this is their real preference, which makes thein beneficial in many cases, where heated water would be either useless or pernicious. They are also baths of health, which cleanliness requires to afliit perspiration, and to make the skin smooth; not baths of mere pleasure, like those of the Greeks and Romans. Here the inventions of effeminacy and luxury have no place. Of ointments after bathing (which in Rome were so eagerly desired, that the emperors bestowed oil on the people) the Ruflian knows nothing, Instead of oiling himself, he hardens his body against the inclemency of the climate, and prepares for every change of weather, by a sudden transition from heat to cold; a transition which, from idle prejudice alone, is thought unnatural and dangerous.
' It cannot be doubted that the Russians, though their climate, food, and mode of life, may have some effect, are indebted to these baths for the great age to which they live, for their found state of health, the flightness of their fulceptibility of disease, and the happiness of their natural existence. The great Bacon, and orher penetrating observers of men and nature, lament, not without teason, that those
baths are out of use among modern European nations, and pray for their return to every town and village. Indeed, when we reflect how; early, and with what happy çonfequences, the ancient physicians introduced this practice recommended by Nature herself, and remember that Rome had no phyficians bụt baths for five hundred years, and that at present fome nations heal their diseases by baths, we must consider the disuse of them as the epoch of a great revolus tion, which the natural state of the human race has undergone in our part of the world.
• Insensible perspiration, the most important of all secre. ţions, must succeed incomparably better in a body kept continually smooth by bathing. A multitude of impurities, the seeds of tedious and dangerous disorders, are early removed, before they can poison the blood and the juices. The baths are of particular - service in cutaneous diseases, and consequently in the small pox; and if this dreadful malady is less dangerous in Russia than in other countries, no other season can probably be assigned than the use of the vapoura bath.
Under a government fo despotic as that of Ruffia, our fportsmen will be surprised to hear that the game-laws are not so strict as those of England, and that even the savish peasant is permitted to do what would be considered as a great offence in an English farmer.
Through the whole extent of the empire, game is, in & great measure, open: it belongs, indeed, to the proprietor of the land; but almost every landlord gives his peasants the permifion of sporting. Even in Livland (Livonia), where the landholders are Germans, and game begins to be scarce, no one is offended, if a sportsman goes over several estates with his friends, fervants, and dogs, without requesting permission from the proprietors. Some landlords, indeed, will not allow their peasants to shoot; but this prohibition produces the contrary effect, and the injury done secretly is fo much the greater.
Of our author's remarks on agriculture, we can only give the conclusion. The great obstacle to a flourishing Itate of cultivation is the favery of the peasants; and the şhange of their condition must, in fo extensive an empire, require exertions which can hardly be expected under a despotic fway.
We have (he says) taken notice of the most common defects and obstructions, which check agriculture in Russia. We have ventured also to propose fome means of fupplying the defects, and removing or weakening the obftructions,