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a government composed of rogues, from the Prince on the throne to the lowest clerk. The Moldavians themselves, moreover, are absolutely useless. The whole industry of the country is in the hands of other mces, who develop its resources in spite of the native population. If the Jewish community, for instance, were suddenly to disappear, there would be utter collapse. The whole financial interests of the country are in their hands. In Jassy, as in every little country town, the population is dependent upon Israelites for its most trivial necessaries; they perform every function for society, except those which they leave to the gypsies. These latter confine themselves almost exclusively to four walks in life; they are invariably either musicians, too cooks, or blacksmiths. ntil within the last eight years, they were on a footing of serfdom almost identical with that of the American negro, but they may now become emancipated on payment of ten ducats a-head. The remaining foreigners, of whom there is a great variety sprinkled all over the country, do whatever these two predominating races leave undone; so that, in the end, the Moldavians contribute absolutely nothing towards the commercial, social, or political, wellbeing of the community. Excepting the peasants, they foe of no sort of use; they simply cumber the ground, and keep better men of it. Such good ground as it is too ! It follows that there is no Moldavian middle class. A Moldavian is either a boyard, an employe, or a peasant; never, by any chance, anything else. The peasants have a certain amount of land allotted to each, in return for which they give a proportion of service to the proprietor. In Wallachia they may transfer themselves to other estates upon giving a year's notice; but in Moldavia they are fixed to the soil. In Wallachia the landlords are nearly all absentee; in Moldavia they live on their properties, which is so far in their favour. Even if the
Moldavians were capable of governing themselves, it would be difficult to devise a form of government suitable to their institutions. As there is no primogeniture, and the title of Boyard is not hereditary, the class possesses all the drawbacks of an aristocracy without any of the advantages. It gives no stability to society, while it furnishes the frivolous. element. There is no sympathy between the proprietor and his peasant, and no middle-class connecting-link. The consequence is, that Prince Couza has been able to perpetrate a coup d'état, and take a popular vote with perfect safety, the secret of his tactics having been to enlist the peasantry against the proprietors, by allowing them to hold their lands at a money instead of a service tenure. It will be more convenient, however, to consider the policy of Prince Couza in connection with Wallachia, though the effects of the centralisation of the government meet one at every turn in Moldavia. The change incidental to passing from being an independent country into a province must always be disagreeable; but still the evils might have been mitigated, had Prince Couza, by any one act of administration, shown any consideration for his own province—had he, for instance, encouraged the extension of the Lemberg and Czernowitz Railroad, or even promoted the construction of good carriage-roads in the province. At present there are scarcely fifty miles of metalled road in all Moldavia, and they existed before the union. In fact, the result of this measure, from which so much was anticipated, has been simply that the plunder which two rulers formerly divided between them is now appropriated by one man, whose power of mischief is on twice the scale it used to be. There is no end to the capabilities of Moldavia, if capital and enterprise, supported by good government, were only forthcoming. The mineral resources of the Carpathians are totally undeveloped, but that they exist on a very large scale is not in doubt. The soil is prolific and fertile, and capable of producing corn, in proportion to its area, beyond any other in Europe. The nature of the country lends itself expressly to the construction of railroads: there are no engineering difficulties, labour is abundant; and as forming a highway for the corn produce of Galicia, and an immense backcountry to the Black Sea, there can be no doubt whatever that it would pay. At a very little expense the two large rivers which flow through Moldavia to the Danube might be made navigable; and there is no reason why steamers should not bring Moldavian produce down the Sereth and the Pruth from the innermost recesses of the country. How easy, by a very small expenditure of tact and honesty, to compensate to the Moldavians for all they have lost by the union! One would imagine that no more agreeable or grateful task could be found, than to have the power of producing such vast and certain results. Not only would it consolidate the throne of the ruler, but it would give him a personal satisfaction which he will never derive from the consciousness that he is stealing the public funds; and yet the nature of the chief ruler is so degraded, that he can derive no higher gratification from the exercise of that power which he has proved absolute, than when using it for purposes of pillage. It must be admitted that he has bad material to work with; his own ministers and o: being as unscrupulous and dishonest as himself, he would have to import virtue from foreign countries to enable him to carry out his plans, if he had any, for the welfare of the country. It is probable that the olitical immorality existing in these rincipalities is to be traced to a great extent to the peculiar social conditions which exist in them. By the rule of the national Greek Church, divorces may be obtained three times during a lifetime, both parties consenting; and in the event of one of the marriages having been contracted between people within
the forbidden degrees of consanguinity, a fourth is rmitted— something on the principle of starring a life at pool in billiards. In the whole society of Jassy there was only one woman who had not been divorced, but she had only been married a few weeks. It naturally follows in a limited society that the divorced couples are perpetually meeting each other; and as they do not, in
the first instance, part on the ground
of incompatibility of temper or any domestic difference, but generally simply from love of change—or, in other words, change of love—they remain perfectly good friends afterwards; and a woman introduces you first to her present husband as mon. mari, and then to her late husband as mon ex-mari; so that it is quite possible to find yourself dancing in a set of lancers with seven people, every one of whom has been married at some time in his or her life with each of the others. In this respect the system seemed productive of sociability and good-fellowship rather than otherwise; and a great deal of the pleasure of society in these parts arises from the intimate footing upon which the members are with each other; for it is evident that, if all the papas and mammas have been husbands and wives, all the children are, more or less, brothers and sisters. There are certain inconveniences attending" this great confusion of relationships; but one advantage to the stranger is, that he finds himself in a large family instead of in a stiff society, where some time must elapse before he feels himself at home. The Moldavians themselves are accustomed to defend the system on the score of morality. They maintain that the great facilities which exist for divorces lessen the temptations to infidelity; but this is a theory which can scarcely be said to be borne out by the results. Where the marriage tie is so easily dissolved, even while it exists it is apt to lose much of its sacred character; and however much may theoretically be urged in favour of
loosening the bonds of matrimony, the experiment, as tried in the Principalities, is not encouraging. It is needless to point out the unhappiness to which such a state of things may often give rise—where, for instance, the marriage has lasted for an unusually long period, and one of the parties is opposed to its dissolution, but is forced into consenting to it by the other—or where the children are separated from the nt most attached to them. It is true that, the society being small, they can nearly always meet; but that does not compensate for the rupture of the home ties. The fact is, that home ties, as we under... stand them, necessarily cannot exist, and that it would not do for a young person in these countries to be troubled with too much depth of feeling. There is a good deal of passion and of caprice; but where the men cannot claim the respect of the women, it is evident that the only kind of affection worth anything—that which is based upon esteem—is unknown. Both men and women, consequently, very easily get over their love-affairs, and domestic troubles do not exist, beeause there is nothing domestic in the country—not even annoyance. Everything is canvassed in the small society, and the chief topics of conversation are the changes and chances of that matrimonial life which is so singularly composed. The family is society at large. Everybody's private affairs are common property, and the most delicate questions of existence are referred by both parties to the world. There is a charming confidence existing between society and the individuals who compose it, and who confide in it, enlist its sympathies, and, in cases of differences, endeavour to in its suffrages. Thus, before a #: takes place, the pros and form the principal topic of conversation at every evening reunion. The husband has his friends, the wife hers; for although it is not necessary to quarrel before this description of separation, still the proposition has to come first from one;
and if there is an objection on the part of the other, society considers the question; nor are there any domestic details too minute for discussion en plein comité. Where art and literature are ignored, where newspapers are unread, and the only subject of discussion is local politics, which is soon exhausted, if it were not for the everrecurring incidents which society furnishes by the very nature of its composition, it would be indeed dull; but there is a freshness and a piquancy about these topics which never lose their flavour. The old ladies, running through the circumstances attendant upon all their own divorces, bring the benefit of the accumulated experiences of four marriages to bear for the benefit of the young friend who is making, under their advice and instruction, her second matrimonial venture. To a stranger it seemed odd to sit and discuss with the individual most interested, whether she ought to change her husband now or put off that function, and to hear advice given after dinner openly upon the subject; then, perhaps, to see the couple in the same room, though if things had come to this stage, they were each devoted in a different direction, generally with the view of preparing something beforehand; for it is considered the height of absurdity and imprudence to allow a divorce to come upon you suddenly, and to find yourself stranded without either a husband in esse or in posse. In giving this description of society as it exists in these countries, I do not mean to pass any unkind criticism upon it. Unless one is prepared for it, there is something rather startling when one remembers that one is still in Europe; but every country has its peculiar conventional standard, and ours is not perhaps so perfect that we can afford to carp too much at our neighbour's. Their religion sanctions the principle, or, as we should call it, the want of principle, upon which society exists, and their consciences do not reproach them; but it does seem that the more it is examined the less can be said in its favour. Whatever be the cause, there can be no doubt that, as a race, the Moldo-Wallachians do not occupy a high position in European estimation, and one cannot help thinking that their religious and social views have something to do with it. It has been so much the habit of travellers to accept their hospitalit and then to abuse them, that it is with hesitation one ventures to give impressions more or less unfavourable to the general existing state of things; but their amiable qualities cannot blind one to what appears to us evils in their society; nor can their warm hospitality and lavish generosity prevent one from stating opinions elsewhere, which it was useless to attempt to dissemble even while in their society. It is the earnest desire to see a new era dawn upon the country that leads one to condemn the old; nor do the inhabitants express themselves satisfied with their political or social condition, nor with the position ...they occupy in the eyes of Europe. The peculiar relations in which the sexes stand towards each other render chivalry on the part of the men an impossibility. The sentiment is totally unknown among them, and there is, consequently, no basis for that sense of honour which should pervade every other relation in life. No man who does not know what is due to a woman can form the faintest conception of what is due to another man; for it is so much easier to fulfil the generous and noble instincts of oue's nature in the former than in the latter case, that we may take it for granted that those who fail in the simplest will fail in the most difficult duties of life. The most melancholy consideration growing out of this state of things is that connected with the rising generation. How is it possible for children troubled with doubt from infancy as to who are their nearest relations, trained in an atmosphere of deceit, and brought
up amid discussions derogatory to their parents in particular, and to the sexes in general, to acquire a sense of honour? If possible, the standard will get lower and lower with each new generation, and the only way to raise it would be by sending the children to be educated in countries where virtue, public and private, is considered essential to the respect of the community, and where vices are visited with its condemnation. Such a thing as being expelled from society is unknown in the Principalities, simply because it would be impossible for a man to commit any crime bad enough for such a fate. There is no reason why all this should not be changed. The moral capabilities of the race may be as high as those of any other, if they only had the chance of developing them; but they labour under the disadvantage of being, in this remote corner of Europe, the perpetual subject of intrigue to the great powers who protect them, and who have from the first set an example of political immorality in every transaction connected with the destiny of these provinces. Whether they have contaminated the Powers or the powers have contaminated them, is difficult to determine; but the atmosphere seems charged with intrigue — social, political, national, and diplomatic. Before these countries can be regenerated, they must get rid of a protectorate which demoralises them, of a Prince who plunders them, and of a religion which degrades them. Whether they would be in a better plight separated from each other, ruled over by princes of foreign extraction, and unprotected by any one, which is their ambition; or incor
orated into the two neighbouring
owers, which is their dread, it is difficult to determine. So far as they are themselves concerned, no change could be for the worse; and so far as the peace and tranquillity of Europe are concerned, almost any change would be for the better.
CHAPTER XXXIV.-TONY ASKS COUNSEL.
It was just as Bella said; Alice thing for those women whose grace had sent off that poor boy "twice and beauty win homage and devoas much in love as ever." Poor fel- tion thus to sport with the affeclow! what a strange conflict was tions of their worshippers, and that that that raged within him all in this exercise of a cruel power that can make life glorious, give they find an exquisite delight. But ecstasy to the present and hope to Alice was too proud and too highthe future, mingled with every- hearted for such an ignoble pastime. thing that can throw a gloom over But then he had read too that existence, and make it a burden and women sometimes fancy that, by a task. Must it be ever thus ? encouraging a devotion they never must the most exquisite moments mean to reward, they tend to of our life, when we have youth elevate men's thoughts, ennobling and hope and health and energy, their ambitions, and inspiring be dashed with fears that make them with purer, holier hopes, us forget all the blessings of our What if she should mean this, and lot and deem ourselves the most no more than this? Would not her wretched of created beings?
very hatred be more bearable than In this feverish alternation he such pity ? For a while this cruel travelled along homeward - now thought unmanned him, and he thinking of the great things he sat there like one stunned and could do and dare to win her love, powerless, now forth-shadowing the time when For some time the road had led all hope should be extinguished, between the low furze-clad hills of and he should walk the world alone the country, but now they had and forsaken. He went over in gained the summit of a ridge, and memory--who has not done so at there lay beneath them that wild one time or other ?-all she had coast-line, broken with crag and said to him at their last meeting, promontory towards the sea, and inasking what ground there might be land swelling and falling in every for hope in this, wbat reason for fanciful undulation, yellow with belief in that. With what intense the furze and the wild broom, but avidity do we seek for the sands of grander for its wide expanse than gold in this crushed and crumbled many, a scene of stronger features. rock! how eagerly do we peer to How dear to his heart it was! How catch one glittering grain that shall inexpressibly dear the spot that whisper to us of wealth hereafter! was interwoven with every incident
Surely, thought he, Alice is too of his life and every spring of his good and too true-hearted to give . hope! There the green lanes he me even this much of hope if she used to saunter with Alice--there meant me to despair. Why should the breezy downs over which they she offer to write to me if she in- cantered-yonder the little creek tended that I was to forget her? where they had once sheltered from "I wonder," muttered he, in his a storm; he could see the rock on dark spirit of doubt-"I wonder if which he lit a fire in boyish imitathis be simply the woman's way of tion of a shipwrecked crew! It treating a love she deems beneath was of Alice that every crag and ber?" He had read in some book cliff, every bay and inlet, spoke. or other that it is no uncommon “And is all that happiness gone