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nearly as possible one-fifth of the soil of Moldavia is in the hands of the Church. This Church property may be divided into four categories —that belonging to Government monasteries, to Cenobitic monasteries, to Dedicated monasteries, and to secular churches. The Government monasteries are small endowments, scarcely worth mentioning. The whole annual rental of the secular churches is only £3000. It is probable, therefore, that their State endowments do not involve greater abuses than ecclesiastical endowments in other countries. We have left to consider the Cenobitic and the Dedicated monasteries. The first category I described in a former article. Nyampty, Seku, Agapia, and Veratica all belonged to it. They are not nearly so wealthy as the Dedicated class— and have a great deal more to do with their money. They are people of the country, who spend at home the wealth they derive from the produce of the soil, and who, as a rule, approve rather than otherwise of Prince Couza's wholesale measure of confiscation. It may hit them hard in some respects, but it hits their bitter enemies the Dedicated monasteries mnch harder. The Cenobitic convents and monasteries derive their riches either from the legacies of wealthy boyards, or from members of the fraternity who have thrown their property into the common lot. The revenue of Nyamptz, for instance, was nominally £20,000 a-year, derived from land; this maintained nine hundred monks, and a large sum was set aside for hospitality; for it was the fashion for strangers to quarter themselves for an indefinite period upon the monastery; and at the time of the annual pilgrimage the guests were reckoned by thousands; added to this, many of the most powerful boyards are heavily indebted to the monasteries for rents of land, and in other ways; as it is not the fashion in the Principalities to pay one's debts, and courts of law exist only as channels of injustice, the monasteries were invariably victimised,

and had large sums owing to them which they never saw the least chance of obtaining. . Meantime the Government denies that it has actually appropriated property which does not belong to it; on the contrary, Prince Couza maintains that all convent property is in reality Government property, and that he has a right to take it, with its obligations. Without following him into the special pleading by which he endeavours to prove this, the fact remains that he has poured an enormous sum of money into the Government coffers, and at the same time put the Cenobitic establishments on a footing which they prefer, and which is likely to diminish existing abuses. The monks will no longer be oppressed and victimised by boyards, or eaten up by pilgrims and strangers. They get their three piastres a-day apiece for board, besides about £125 a-year pocket-money for each man, and have no further trouble with the administration of their large revenues. The nuns in the same way get two ducats a-day from the Government, with which they are very well satisfied, and admit the propriety of the new regulation prohibiting women from taking the veil until they are forty-five. For ten years to come no novice at all is to be admitted to either convent. The only objection I heard made by themselves to this rule was, that when the convent conteined nothing but old women, there would be no one to chant or perform the service. Altogether, it is evident that the Government is doing what it can to discourage such establishments. It opposes the institution of schools by either monks or nuns— too much knowledge, in the opinion of Prince Couza, being a dangerous thing; and it equally opposes the accumulation of wealth for the support of hives of male and female drones, who do nothing but discuss politics and grumble. We now come to the next category, of Dedicated monasteries. They are upon an altogether different foundation from the estab

lishments we have just been discussing, and derive their wealth from property acquired by the Patriarch of Constantinople for the Church of which he is the head, under various pretexts. It was only natural that, when the Ottoman rule was more directly operative in the Principalities than it is at present, everything should be managed by intrigue through Constantinople; and the boyards repaid the Patriarch for any jobs with the Turkish Government they wished done, by making over, or “dedicating,” at their death, their property to the Greek Church. While the monks of the Cenobitic monasteries owe allegiance to the Greek Metropolitan at Jassy, the monks of the Dedicated monasteries owe allegiance only to the Patriarch at Constantinople. They are, in every sense, intruders and interlopers; are seldom natives of the country; and form, in fact, a portion of that vast ecclesiastical system which swallows up, for Church purposes, an immense proportion of the wealth of European Turkey and the Levant. These Dedicated monasteries are affiliated to Mount Athos and other Greek convents abroad, and the Turkish Government has an interest in the question, because they are, in a sense, as appertaining to a Church whose head is at Constantinople, under Turkish protection. So that we have the positions reversed; and while, in Turkey, Russia is perpetually agitating tipon the ground of a protectorate in favour of the Christian Church, in the Principalities Turkey is agitating, upon the same pretext, in favour of the same sect. So little has real religion to do with it in either case. Altogether, the revenue of these Dedicated convents in Moldavia alone amounted to an annual rental of £200,000. When it is remem. bered that almost every farthing of this sum is sent to Constantinople, and, instead of finding its way back into the pockets of Moldavians, to be used in developing the resources of the country, goes to enrich the

drones of Athos, Sinai, and other monasteries, or else is appropriated by the Patriarch at Constantinople, who is accountable for it to no one, one cannot wonder at the head of the State casting covetous eyes upon it for the exigencies of his Government. It would be too much to expect of any man, much less of Prince Couza, who is not much troubled with the devotional sentiment, to nourish in his bosom the ecclesiastical vampire which has fastened upon the vitals of the country, and is sucking its lifeblood. Even Mr. Gladstone, were he Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Principalities, notwithstanding the marks of affection which he has lavished, on more than one occasion, upon the Greek priesthood, would scarcely be able to resist proving by argument the superior claims of the State over a Church the head of which in a foreign country acts as the receiver of stolen goods, while his clergy perform the functions of robbers and exporters of the same. It was a curious thing to see this solitary man in his large empty house, standing over against a large empty church, without a congregation, without priests, without schools, without paupers to succour, with no other earthly occupation except to collect the rents of the monastery, which amount to £12,000 a-year, and to send them to Constantinople. Though called Igoumen, and invested ostensibly with sacred functions, he really was nothing more than a land-steward on a salary of £125 a-year, kept there with long hair and a long robe and a sacred character, to gather in the rents and see that the peasants who belonged to the monastery did the right amount of service for the lands they held. Poor man! he himself protested that it made very little difference to him whether the lands were confiscated or not; under no circumstances did he make money, he alleged, so strict was the account he was compelled to render to Constantinople; and he was rather glad than otherwise that the Government, by coolly appropriating the whole £12,000 a-year, and still advancing him his own salary, saved him all further trouble. Out of the revenue, thus acquired by Prince Couza, an annual grant of £900 is made to the support of the Monastery of Bistritza. Judging by the specimens of priesthood we saw there, this sum is ample. The only objection which the public take to this act of spoliation is that Prince Couza will no more say what he does with the yearly revenue he has pocketed than the Patriarch. There must be something fascinating in the touch of this sacred gold, so closely does it stick to the fingers of all who handle it. However, Prince Couza can't last for ever; and even if he is not more honest than a priest, he has at least the merit of having broken down a system of robbery and plunder on the of the Church, and of keeping Moldavian money in the country. Under the old system, adventurers or needy boyards used to plot with the dishonest Igoumens, who gave them recommendations to the Patriarch at Constantinople. They thus procured from this dignitary land at absurdly low leases, the representations of the Igoumen being that they were of small value. They would then sublet these lands at an enormous advance, grind the peasantry down to the last farthing, and share the profits with the respectable Igoumen. Better, say the peasantry, have to trust to the tender mercies of the Government than to those of priests of Dedicated monasteries. So they are not averse to Prince Couza's measure of confiscation. Some idea of the enormous sums obtained by the Greek Church, by means of monasteries dedicated to it, from the countries in which they are situated, may be gained by the fact that in the Monastery at Sinai there are only eighteen monks, with a revenue of £60,000 a-year. As it is quite clear that they cannot derive this sum from the barren sides of Horeb, or from any number of “Wadies,” it can only come

from countries like Moldavia, where they possess large tracts of country. It is only natural that the Igoumens, who are scarcely ever natives of the country to which they are sent as rent-takers, should look upon the whole thing as a question of plunder. Our friend at Bistritza told us that he was a native of Constantinople, but had been appointed to his present post by the Bishop of Jerusalem. It will be seen, from the conditions under which the Dedicated monasteries of the Principalities exist, that Turkey has really a very indirect interest in them. It is more a question of principle than of interest, but the traditional instincts of the Porte lead the Government to hold with tenacity to its right upon matters which are really of no importance. Moreover, it is subject to a very strong Fanariot pressure at Constantinople, which the Sultan finds it difficult to resist. The connection of Turkey with these provinces is a distinct source of weakness to her, yet there is nothing upon which the Govern

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impunity has been France; and Russia, although interested in the Church which has been despoiled, and having many good reasons which might have induced her to oppose a measure which really has deprived her of funds which used to be employed in intrigue, was at the time so much committed to a French policy that she has found it difficult latterly to take a more consistent and independent line. However, this question has been merged in others of greater importance arising out of the policy recently adopted by Prince Couza, and which we may consider in a future article. Meantime we may take a final leave of ecclesiastical establishments, Cenobitic and Dedicated, of villages of nuns packed together in hundreds, and of gaunt buildings inhabited by solitary Ironks; and, traversing once more the vast plains of these provinces, examine a little at their capitals the effect of a religion which has this peculiar development upon society at large. A six hours' drive down the valley of the Bistritza took us to Bakou: our road, not much traversed, followed the river, and here and there the scenery was soft and pretty ; but as we approached our destination, the gentle undulations which gave a variety to the landscape gradually subsided, and we found ourselves at nightfall in the dusty plain. Bakou is a town on the main road from Jassy to Bucharest, containing about fifteen thousand inhabitants, and at the time of our visit it was honoured by the presence of no less a person than the Prime Minister. This gentleman had been upon a canvassing tour through the country, arranging matters for the elections. By a judicious admixture of threats and bribes, it is not difficult in these provinces to insure matters going the right way. The only other country where politics as a trade are so profitable, where the men who engage in it are so unscrupulous, and where the people are so thoroughly victimised by the form of government they may by a figure of speech be said to “enjoy,” is Federal America. I was amused to observe the manner in which the Prime Minister treated the different gentlemen who were presented to Lim while I was in his company, the contemptuous indifference manifested to some, the urbanity displayed to others, the servility shown by nearly all, except by one man who se med to have a presentiment of the ulsgrace which was impending over the Premier, and did not think it worth while to be civil. We did not trouble his Excellency very long, but djourned to an inn where a number of young men were supping, with . whom it was

rather amusing to enter into conversation, for they were more unsophisticated than those wretched specimens of “Young Moldavia” who are to be found in its capita', and whose manners have been acuired at the “Mabille" in Paris. he youths of Bakou spoke with a certain appearance at least of patriotic fervour. They had aspirations for their country never heard in the polite society of Jassy or Bucharest, and were quite delighted to show us, by the eagerness with which they entered upon politics, that they were qualifying themselves for self-government. The more enthusiastic talked widely about a Roumania which should embrace Transylvania, the Buckovine, the Banat, and Bessarabia, besides the Principalities, amounting altogether to a population of about ten millions, as they maintain—of people all having the same national sentiments, and possessing within themselves the elements of cohesion. The nationality idea, as applied to Roumania, is the most absurd expression of it which has yet cropped up under the auspices of the Emperor Louis Napoleon. Imagine the whole of Italy in a considerably more degraded state than either Naples or Sicily, without a Piedmont to rally round, and you have Roumania. However, it was useless to argue with our Bakou audience; they believed in their nationality, and called themselves Daco-Roumains The more moderate, it is true, were inclined to begin with the Principalities alone, without a protectorate. These five nurses, who are always quarrelling among thenselves over this very sickly baby, do not improve the temper of the infant, and in the end will prove fatal to its existence. This conviction leads those who are not in government employ, and can therefore afford to be patriotic under certain restrictions, to advocate the abolition of the protectorate. . They maintain that they would thereby be thrown upon their own resources, and have any fine qualities which they may perchance possess wailed out. These fine qualities not being apparent to the traveller, their absence is charged upon the five protecting Powers, who, it is contended, sacrifice the interests of the country to their own selfish purposes, and enable those in power to keep themselves there against the will of the country by mere intrigue. It is indeed an open question whether we should not have better consulted our own interests as well as those of the Principalities, if, instead of agreeing to place them under the protection of five Powers all jealous of each other, we had left them to their own devices. Upon a future occasion, in a conversation which I had with Prince Couza, he graphically described the liberty he enjoyed under the present system. There was no violation of the stipulations which he did not daringly commit under the protecting aegis of one or other Power. However illegal or orbitrary his acts, however much in defiance of treaty-right, he was always sure to have one Power on his sole — sometimes France, sometimes Russia, generally both if his o was directed against Turkey. f instead of joining in an agreement with other Powers which obiges us as a point of honour to inkriere whenever an unscrupulous ruler breaks the constitution, we had confined ourselves to a treaty prohibiting any Power under any pretence whatever from interfering in the internal administration of these Principalities, we should have saved ourselves from those diffienties which are likely soon to arise and embarrass our policy as seriously as the Schleswig-Hostein complications have done. pretensions of Turkey, unfortunately, were those which we thought it necessary to support, not preceiving that in diplomatic as in military strategy you increase the strength of your position exactly in proportion as you retract your lines. At this moment the vulnerable point of Turkey is her suzefainty over the Principalities; she has got this “tabia" of diplomacy lying outside all her fortifications.

It is of no earthly use to her—a source of weakness rather than of strength, and sure to be attacked before long. When it is attacked, she need no more calculate upon England coming to her rescue, |. to that of Poland, Denmark, or any of the other numerous countries and causes which we abandon and betray the moment it suits us. Far better let her make a merit of necessity, and at a time when there is no pressure at work, no coercion used, cede what will otherwise prove her ruin, and obtain in return rights which will strengthen her Danubian frontier. The reason that Russia and France may have a cause of quarrel with us upon this question at any moment they choose, is simply because Turkey has rights in it which we are bound to protect. Up to this moment it has not suited either Power to open the Eastern Question. The insurrection in Poland for a time divided the interests of France and Russia, and a skilful diplomacy on our part at that time might have pushed matters to the point of an open breach. This would have given a coup-de-grace to the Franco-Russian policy in the East. It was one of the indirect advantages which would have accrued from the gratification of the sentimentalism of the English in the matter of Poland. There has probably never been a question in which the interests of diplomacy. could have been so well served by the unreasoning impulses of the masses as in this matter of Poland. Never could the oppressed nationality twaddle have been made more available to the far-seeing statesman. To the ignorant it would have been a matter of sentiment; to the initiated, one of profound diplomacy. While the Emperor was in an agony lest we should have pushed him on to an open rupture with Russia, he was deluding his own people into the idea that there was nothing he wished for more than a war for Poland, which we prevented. It would, indeed, have been well worth our while to have brought this

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