From Woronetz to the Country Don Edward Clarke

Present state of Woronetz.- Climate and productions.--Garden of Peter the Great.—Inundation and Product of the Rivers.—In crease of Buildings.—Arsenal.——Commerce, internal and exter nal. Wine of the Don.—Change ot Manners, and of Features. —Neglect of Drowned Persons.-'1‘umuli.—Malo-Russians.— Plains South of Woronetz —Celo Usman .—-Podulok Moscow skoy,-—-Mojocks, Ekortzy, and Iestakovo.—Eocova. Sloboda.— Pau lovskoy.—Plants.——Animals.—Trade.—Rash conduct of a. yo u Peasant.--Kazinskoy Ohutor.-Nizney Momon.—Dobrinka.— Metscha.— Kasankaia, first Stanitza, of the Don Cossacks.

In the reign of Peter the Great, when that monarch came to Woronetz, to build his first ship of war, there were scarce a hundred wooden huts in the place. It is now a very handsome town, and its commerce entitles it to considerable distinction. By means of the Don, it possesses an easy intercourse with the Black Sea. Every year, vessels go laden to Tcherkaskoy with corn, and they accomplish their voyage in about two months. In winter they receive merchandise by sledges, from Crimea and Turkey. Its merchants travel into Siberia for furs, and then carry them even to the fairs of Frankfort. How strange are those journies to an Englishman! The Russian isvastchick is seen at Frankfort fair, and the same person may be found in the remotest parts of Siberia. Sometimes they pursue their course even to the coast opposite England, and buy English hardware, &c., with which they travel to all parts of Russia. Woronetz, from its remarkable situation, is particularly qualified to become a great capital. It is placed so as to enjoy the advantages of both warm and cold climates, and holds an intercourse with all parts of the empire. Nature is so bountiful to it in summer, that plants found in very southern latitudes grow here almost without care. The watermelon, so rare in perfection anywhere, is as common at Woronetz as the cucumber in England, and flourishes in the open air with spicy and aromatic herbs. Yet the inhabitants experience very great extremes of temperature, having sometimes, by the thermometer of Reaumur, 30 degrees of cold in winter, and 28 degrees of heat in the summer. They use the precaution of double easements to their windows as at Moscow and Petersburg, and have large stoves in all their apartments. In the Jourmzl des Savzms Voyageurs, published at Berne in 1792, a commentator endeavors to explain the cause of this extraordinary difference observed in the productions of the climate and soil of Woronetz, when compared with those of other countries in the same latitude, by saying, that the nature of the soil necessarily supplies that which the climate would not otherwise afford. The earth is strongly impregnated with nitrate of potassium in all the environs of Woronetz, and it is to the presence of this mineral that the extraordinary fertility of the Ukraine has been attributed. The whole country south of Tula abounds with it, insomuch that it sometimes effloresces on the soil, and several fabrics for extracting it have been established. The immediate soil below the town of Woronetz is sand, on a steep mound or bank of which it has been built. It lies in the 54th degree of northern latitude. The vineyards of Europe terminate many degrees nearer the equator, and yet the vine flourishes at Woronetz. The inhabitants neglect to cultivate it for the purpose of making wine, importing it at great expense from the Don Cossacks, the Greeks, Turks, and people of the Crimea. It frequently happens in France, in the province of Champagne, that the grapes do not attain their maturity, on which account sugar is substituted in the preparation of the Champagne wines. At Woronetz, where every facility of establishing extensive vineyards has been offered by nature, they have been entirely neglected. Gmelin endeavored to make them sensible of the importance and advantages which the town might derive from the growth of vines, but hitherto no attention has been paid to urea. The delicious wine of the Don Cossacks is found here in great abundance, but it sells at very high prices. They serve it with a plate of ice, a piece of which is put into the glass when the wine is drunk. It is light and pleasant, effervescing like Champagne, but having more the flavor of Burgundy. Peter the Great endeavored to establish a botanic garden in the neighborhood of Woronetz, upon a very grand scale. Then we visited, and found a complete wilderness of oaks and other forest trees, the underwood growing so thick beneath the large trees as to render our passage through it impossible. The garden was expressly appropriated to experiments in the cultivation of useful plants, fruit trees, vegetables, and whatever else might be found to answer the purpose of horticulture in such a climate. Notwithstanding all the pains bestowed that wise monarch upon this institution, it fell into neglect, like many others calculated for the benefit of his people, as soon as his power ceased to enforce the care of it‘. Gmelin relates, that in his time, the governor of Woronetz used all possible endeavors to restore this garden to its pristine order. The consequence was, that all sorts of fruit-trees, particularly the vine, the chesnut, and the filbert, produced the finest crops. Saffron flourished in abundance, and many plants peculiar to warmer climates. The cherry, the apple, and the pear-tree, grew wild in the forests about the town, but the fruit of them,-and their better cultivation, was and is still, entirely neglected by the people. I found two plants, very rare in England, flourishing among the weeds of the place; the campanula patula (spreading bell-fiower,) which grows in South Wales, and near Marlborough, and the qjuga pyrarnidalis, or mountain bugle. The other plants collected by us in the neighbourhood of Woronetz were not so rare as to demand any notice here. Stagnant waters, left by the annual inundation of the river, render the place very unwholesome during certain seasons of the year. The inhabitants, both in spring and autumn, are subject to tertian and quartan fevers, which become epidemic, and ‘attack hundreds at a time. The want of proper remedies for such disorders, and the diet of the people, which is then for the most part of very indigestible food, such as dried fish, and salted cucumbers, frequently cause the ague to degenerate into a continual fever, a dropsy, or a consumption. Both the Woronetz and the Don supply the inhabitants of all this country with an astonishing quantity of fishes, in the list of which the carp is the most abundant ; but they have also tench, sterlet, bream, bleak, trout, lamprey, perch, and pike. The pike absolutely swarm in their rivers, and grow to a prodigious size. The flesh is not on that account coarse, yet it is only the poorer class of people who eat it. When nature is profuse in her offerings, the love of novelty induces us to reject, and even to despise her bounty. The change of season, as at Moscow, does not take place at Woronetz with that uncertainty which characterizes our climate. Winter regularly begins in December, and ends in the middle of March. According to Gmelin, the Autumn resembles a moderate summer. Vegetation is so rapid during spring, that on the 9th of June I saw a pear tree which had put forth a strong scion above a yard in length. We found the climate so different from the temperature to which we had been lately accustomed, that we were compelled to alter our clothing altogether. The beams of the sun were intolerable: While a south east wind, like ‘a sirocco, blew frequently and even tempestuously, causing insufferable heat, during the time we remained here. The only method we had of cooling our apartments was by shutting the windows and drawing curtains over them. Perhaps the sudden transition we had made from colder countries might render us peculiarly sensible of the oppressive heat of the atmosphere. New buildings were rising in all parts of the town; and the suburbs appeared so extensive, that it was very difficult to form any correct idea of the probable future extent of the place. The town was evidently joining with its suburbs; and we were informed that it would include a village or two besides. It is placed on the very lofty, steep, and sloping elevation I have mentioned, to which nature has given the appearance of a rampart; so that when viewed from the river below, it looks like a prodigious artificial fortification. Doubt less it might be rendered a place of very great strength, as there are no eminences that could command the works on its weakest side. Small lanterns, dispersed about upon posts, serve to light the town. The streets are very wide, without being paved; nor is it probable that so necessary an improvement will speedily take place. The arsenal erected by Peter the Great still remains, although in a ruinous condition. We visited the little sandy island below the town on which he built his first ship of war, when he projected the conquest of the Black Sea. It is now covered by storehouses, caldrons, and tubs, for the preparation of grease; which is a great article of trade here, and which they send to England and America in vast quantities. The principal merchant happening to be upon the spot, he asked me what the English could possibly do with all the grease he sent to their country. The stench from the bones and horns of animals, slaughtered for the purpose of obtaining grease, made the spot absolutely intolerable. It formerly presented a more interesting spectacle, when Peter, at once king and carpenter, super-intended his works in this place. He here built himself a little wooden hut and a small church opposite the arsenal, on the side of the river immediately below the town. Then it was, that the greatest monarch in the world, surrounded by a few hovels, in a land of savage people, accustomed only to their rafts and canoes, was seen daily squabbling with his workmen on a little mound of sand, and building a ship of war. Iron is one of the principal articles of trade in the town, and occupies the chief business of the shops. They also manufacture large quantities of cloth for the army, and have a building for the preparation of vitriol. Large balls of chalk or lime are piled up before their doors, as in Moscow, Tula, and other places. The cloth factory was established by Peter the Great, and is the most considerable in Russia. Peter resided there in the year 1705; and at the same time he was engaged in building Petersburg. In the magazines for grease they employ the cattle of the country, and, boiling them down, make two sorts of fat. The first sort is exported to England; the second consumed in Russia, in making soap. Ten pounds of the best sort sell sometimes in Petersburg as high as sixty three roubles. The carriage from Woronetz to Petersburg costs about eighty copecks per poud. If they contract with English merchants in Petersburg to the amount of 1000,000 roubles, they receive 50,000 in advance, to enable them to buy cattle. This practice of purchasing cattle to boil into grease, has of late years enormously advanced the price of meat. Fourteen years ago, a pound of beef sold in Woronetz for twenty-six copecks; mutton for thirty; and now the pound of beef costs two roubles, and the pound of mutton sixty copecks. In return for the corn carried annually to Tscherkaskoy and Azof, they bring hack raisins, figs, Greek wines, and the wines of the Don Cossacks. The salt consumed in Woronetz is supplied from a remarkable salt lake in the neighborhood of Saratof, so impregnated with it, that fine crystals form on any substance placed in the water. Sugar is very dear, and all of it brought from Petersburg. The necessaries of life are, generally speaking, cheap. The carriers of Woronetz go every three years to Tobolsky in Siberia, which is a rendezvous for all caravans, bound to Kiatka, on‘ the frontier of China. From Tobolsky they form one immense caravan to Kiatka. Afterwards, returning to Tobolsky, they disperse, according to their several routes. From Siberia they bring furs; from Kiatka, Chinese merchandise of all sorts, as tea, raw and manufactured silk, porcelain, and precious stones. The Chinese, upon their arrival at Kiatka, also furnish them with the productions of Kamchatska, brought from St. Peter to St. Paul. Thus laden, many of them set out for Frankfort, and bring back muslin, cambrics, silks, the porcelain of Saxony, and the manufactures of England. "Four men, with their captain, offered to take us by water to Tscherkaskoy for 250 roubles, including a necessary purchase of "boats, anchors, sails, oars, &c. The river is apt to be shallow during summer, and we should have been two months in getting there—the distance is 1500 versts. The best wine of the Don is made upon the river, about 300 versts before arriving at Tscherkaskoy from Woronetz. Fourteen bottles sell there for one rouble and fifty copecks. They are apt to make it before the grape ripens; and I find this to be the case with all wine which exhibit effervescences. The white wine is the best when the fruit is suffered to ripen, which very rarely happens. » Approaching the southern part of the empire, the strong characteristics of the Russian people are less frequently observed. Happily for the traveler, in proportion as his distance is increased from that which has been erroneously considered the civilized part of the country, he has less to complain of theft, of fraud, and of dissimulation In the more ‘northern provinces, he is cautioned to beware of the inhabitants of the Ukraine, and the Cossacks, by an unprincipled race of men, with whom the Cossack and the Tartar are degraded in comparison. The chambers of our inn were immediately over the town jail, and it is quite unnecessary to add of what nation its tenants were composed. The Russian finds it dangerous to travel in the Ukraine, and along the Don, because he is conscious that the inhabitants of these countries know too well with whom they have to deal; The Cossack, when engaged in war, and remote from his native land, is a robber, because plunder is a part of the military discipline in which he has been educated: but when a stranger enters the district in which he resides with his family and‘ connections, and confides his property to their care, no people are found more hospitable, or more honorable. Concerning the inhabitants of the country called Malo-Russians, a French gentleman, who had long resided among them, assured me he used neither locks to his doors nor his coffers; and among the Cossacks, as in Sweden, a trunk may be sent open, for a distances of 500 miles, without risking the loss of any of its contents. Mr. Rowan, banker of Moscow, was compelled, by the breaking down of his carriage, to abandon it in the midst of the territory of the Don Cossacks, and it was afterwards brought safe to him at Taganrog, with all its appurtenances and contents, by the unsolicited and disinterested labor of that people. Who would venture to leave a carriage, or even a trunk, although encased, doubly locked, and directed among the Russians? From the time we left Tula, a remarkable change was visible in the features of the people, which I was unable to explain. The peasants had frequently the straight yellow hair of the inhabitants of Finland, and the same light complexion; neither resembling Russians, Poles, nor Cossacks. At Woronetz the gipsy tribe was very prevalent; and a mixed race, resulting from their intermarriage with Russians. The horrid practice of burying persons alive often takes place in Russia, from the ignorance of the inhabitants. Suspended animation, occasioned by the vapor of their stoves, or accidents of drowning, are always considered lost cases, and the unhappy sufferer is immediately committed to the grave, without any attempt towards recovery. They send only for a police officer, to note down the circumstances of the disaster, and, without the smallest effort towards restoring respiration, proceed with the ceremony of interment. A poor woman in bathing, during our stay at Woronetz, got out of her depth. She struggled some time with the stream, and, being carried by it about 300 yards, was taken out by some peasants before she had either sunk or lost her power of motion. When laid on the earth, she groaned and moved; but the water which had been swallowed rendered her face black, and she became apparently lifeless. She was, therefore, immediately pronounced to be really dead. No endeavor on our part, accompanied by persuasion and by offers of money, could induce the spectators to touch the body, or suffer any remedy to be attempted for her recovery. They seemed afraid to approach what they considered a corpse. In vain we explained to them the process by which persons, so circumstanced, are restored to life in England. They stood at a distance, crossing themselves, and shaking their heads: in this manner the poor woman was left upon the shore, until it would have been too late to have made use of any means for her recovery. If she was not afterwards buried alive, her death was certainly owing to a shameful and obstinate neglect of remedies which, in her case, promised every prospect of success. The police officer gave in his memorial, and her body was committed to the grave. We left Woronetz on the l2th of June; crossing the river at the bottom of the town, and entering plains as before. The swamps which are below Woronetz at once explain the cause of the annual fevers to which its inhabitants are liable, and must exhale, during warm seasons, as unwholesome vapors as those which rise from the fens of Italy. There are few finer prospects than that of Woronetz, viewed a few versts from the town, on the road to Paulovosky. Throughout the whole of this country are seen, dispersed over immense plains, mounds of earth covered with a fine turf; the sepulchers of the ancient world, common to almost every habitable country. If there exist anything of former times, which may afford monuments of antediluvian manners, it is this mode of burial. They seem to mark the progress of population in the first ages after the dispersion rising wherever the posterity of Noah came. Whether under the form of a Mound in Scandinavia and Russia; a Barrow in England; a Cairn in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland; or of those heaps which the modern Greeks and Turks calls Tepe; or lastly, in the more artificial shape of a Pyramid in Egypt—they had universally the same origin. They present the simplest and sublimest monument which any generation could raise over the bodies of their progenitors; calculated for almost endless duration, and speaking a language more impressive than the most studied epitaph upon Parian marble. When beheld in a distant evening horizon, skirted by the rays of the setting sun, and, as it were, touching the clouds which hover over them, imagination pictures the spirits of heroes of remoter periods descending to irradiate a warrior’s grave. Some of them rose in such regular forms, with so simple and yet so artificial a shape, in a plain otherwise perfect flat and level, that no doubt whatever could be entertained, concerning them. Others still more ancient, have at last sunk into the earth, and left; a hollow place, encircled by a kind of fosse, which still marks their pristine situation. Again, others, by the passage of the plough annually upon their surface, have been considerably diminished. I know no appearance of antiquity more interesting than these tumuli. We met frequent caravans of the Malo-Russians, who differ altogether from the inhabitants of the rest of Russia. Their features are those of the Polish or Cossacks. They are a more noble race, and stouter and better looking people than the Russians, and superior to them in everything that can exalt one set of men above another. They are cleaner, more industrious, more honest, more generous, more polite, more courageous, more hospitable, more truly pious, and of course less superstitious. Their language often differs from the Russian, as the dialect of the meridian provinces of France, does from the dialect spoken near Paris. They have in many instances converted the desolate steppes into corn fields. Their caravans are drawn by oxen, which proceed about thirty versts a day. Towards evening, they halt in the middle of a plain, near some pool of .water, when their little wagons are all drawn up in a circle, and their cattle are suffered to graze around; while the drivers, stretched out upon the smooth turf, take their repose, or enjoy their pipe, after the toil and heat of the day. If they meet a carriage, they take off their caps, and bow. The meanest Russians bow to each other, but never to a stranger. South of Woronetz we found the country perfectly level, and the roads (if a fine turf lawn may be so denominated) the finest, at this season, in the whole world. The turf upon which we travelled was smooth and firm, without a stone or pebble, or even the mark of wheels, and we experienced little or no dust. Nothing could be more delightful than this part of our journey. The whole of these immense plains were enameled with the greatest variety of flowers imaginable. The list of plants we collected is much too numerous for the text. The earth seemed covered with the richest and most beautiful blossoms, fragrant, aromatic, and in many instances, entirely new to the eye of a British traveler. Even during the heat of the day, refreshing breezes wafted a thousand odors, and all the air was perfumed. The skylark was in full song, and various insects, with painted wings, either filled the air, or were seen couched in the blossoms. Advancing near to the Don, turtle doves, as tame as domestic pigeons, flew about our carriage. The pool was filled with wild fowls; and dogs, like those of the Abruzzo Mountains, guarded the numerous herds and flocks which were passing or grazing. Melons of different sorts flourished in the cultivated though open grounds near the villages, covering several acres of land. At Celo Usmani we were employed collecting plants. Some were entirely new to our eyes. Others, I believe, are found in England; particularly the cchium 7-ubrum, falsely called Italicum by Gmelin, which began to flourish about this place, and was afterwards very uncommon. It grows chiefly among corn. The women of the Don, he says, uses it as a color for their cheeks; as the root, when fresh, yields a beautiful vermilion tint. The peasants also extract a gum from it. Gmelin recommended its transplantation, and the application of its coloring properties, to objects of more importance. We observed also the spinea jilipendula, which is found on the hills near Cambridge, and some varieties of the centaurea ; also the onosnul echoides, Veronica Austriaca Pedicularis tuberosa, and salvia pratensis. It is from the root of the onosma, as we are informed, that the Tartar women extract their rouge. Usmani is entirely inhabited by Russians; and whenever that is the case, towards the south of the empire, a village resembles nothing more than a number of sacks of straw or dried weeds. The female peasants were seated on the turf before their huts, spinning. Their machines are not quite so simple as those used in many parts of Italy. They consisted of wooden combs, placed on a stick driven into the ground, to contain the flax, and not rising higher than the knee, while the left hand managed the spindle. The person at work was therefore compelled to sit during the employment. This manner of living afforded a striking contrast to the government that oppresses them: for we observed an air of liberty in these wild and wide plains, which ill agreed with the reflections we had before made on the general condition of the peasants. The severity of the winter here is hardly reconcilable with the appearance of a country abounding in plants which are found in warm climates. Yet the snow annually affords a sledge road the whole way from the Gulf of Finland to the sea of Azof. From Celo Usmani we travelled over similar fine plains to Podulok Moscovsky, where we passed the night in a wretched village, whose miserable inhabitants were not even able to strike a light. Nothing could be more revolting than the sight of the hovels in which they lived, open to all the inclemencies of the weather, and destitute of every comfort and common inconvenience of life. They were said to be settlers from there. The next morning, June 13, we passed the village of jocks, and came to Ekortzy, where we halted to take some refreshment under a pent house, upon the back of a kibitki; the heat of the sun being almost insupportable. The people were kind and a coarse meal on that account, became agree able. We began to perceive that the farther we advanced from the common hordes of the Russians, the more politeness and hospitality we should experience; exactly the reverse of that which we had been taught to expect by the inhabitants of Moscow. The deserts, as they had described them, instead of proving bare and sandy wastes, presented verdant lawns, covered with herbage, though sometimes dry, and scorched by the rays of a very powerful sun. Near Ekortzy we added the vebascum Phoem'cium to our herbary ; and between Ekortzy and Iestakovo, on a high, bleak, chalky soil, we found the rarest plants which occurred during our whole route; drabr Alina and polygala sibirica. Profes sor Pallas could hardly credit the evidence of his senses when he afterwards saw them among our collection in the Crimea. Near the same spot we also observed that beautiful plant, the clematis imcgrifolia, exhibiting colors of blue and gold: with many others, less remarkable. The first regular establishment of Malo-Russians which we saw, occurred after leaving Lestakovo. It was called Locova Sloboda. The houses were all whitewashed, like many of the cottages in Wales; and this operation is performed annually, with great care. Such distinguishing cleanliness appeared to them, that a traveler might fancy himself transported, in the course of a few miles, from Russia to Holland. Their apartments, even in the ceilings and the beams in the roof, are regularly washed. Their tables and benches shine with washing and rubbing, and reminded us of the interior of cottages in Norway. Their courtyard, stables, and out-houses, with everything belonging to them bespoke industry and neatness. In their little kitchens, instead of the darkness and smoky hue of the Russians, even the mouths of their stoves were white. Their utensils and domestic vessels all bright and well polished. They kept poultry, and had plenty of cattle. Their little gardens were filled with fruit trees, which gave an English character to their house—the third nation with those dwellings I have compared the cottages of Malo Russia; that is to say, having a Welsh exterior, a Norwegian interior, and the gardens and out houses of the English peasantry. They had neat floors; and although the roof was thatched, its in terror was wainscoted. There was nowhere any appearance of dirt and vermin. The inhabitants, in their features, resemble Cossacks, and both these people bear a similitude to the Poles; being, doubt less, all derived from one common stock. The dress of unmarried women is much the same among the Malo-Russians and the Don Cossacks. They both wear a kilt, or petticoat, of one piece of cloth, fastened round the waist. Sometimes, particularly among more aged females, this petticoat consists of two pieces, like two aprons, fastened on before and behind; The necks of the girls are laden with large red beads, falling in several rows over the breast. The fingers, both of men and women, bear rings, with glass gems. On the forehead of the females, if they wear anything, is a simple bandeau, or gilded cap; and from behind hangs rows of antique coins, or false pieces sold to them for that purpose, which imitate the ancient coin of their own and of other countries. The hair of unmarried women hangs in a long braid down the back, terminated by a ribbon with a knot. Their language is pleasing and fill of diminutives. But the resemblance which these people bear, in certain circumstances of dress and manners, to be Scottish Highlanders, is very remarkable. The cloth petticoat, before mentioned, is chequered like the Scotch plaid, and answers to the kilt worn in certain parts of Scotland, even at this day. They have also, among their musical instruments, the bag-pipe and the Jew’s harp; the former of which, like those used in North Britain and in Finland, is common to the Cossacks as well as the Malo-Russians. Another point of resemblance may be found in the love of spirituous liquors. The Malo-Russians are truly a merry race, and much giving to drinking; but this habit prevails among all barbarous nations. From hence we proceeded to Paulovskoy, situated upon a high sandy bank, on the eastern side of the Don. It is a small town, and at a distance makes a pleasing appearance, but consists of little more than a church, and a few wooden houses remote from each other; yet, being built in straight rows, their situation gives the appearance of streets to the wide roads which run between tlizm. The river here, broad and rapid, makes a noble appearance; and barges, laden with corn, were seen moving with its current towards the sea of Azof. Close to its waters we found a variety of beautiful plants. The stipa pemuzta, celebrated in Russian songs, waved its feathery locks, as in almost all the steppes. In the branches of the Artemisia campestris, insects had caused excrescences, which the Tartar nations use to light their pipes. The climbing birthwort (aristolochia clemmtitis,) a rare British plant, though found at Whittlesford, in Cambridgeshire, and at Stanton in Suffolk, appeared among southernwood, the woody nightshade, the water crowfoot, and the fleabane. The rest were all strangers. On the eastern banks are extensive low woods, hardly rising above the head, which are so filled with nightingales, that their songs are heard, even in the town, during the whole night. There is, moreover, a sort of toad, or frog, which the Empress Elizabeth caused to be brought to the marshes near Moscow. Its croaking is loud and deep toned, and may almost be termed musical; filling the air with full hollow sounds, very like the cry of the old English harrier. They are not known in the north of Europe. Their noise is in general so great as to be heard for miles, {Dining with, and sometimes overpowering the sweetest melody of nightingales. This circumstance gives quite a new character to the evening and to the night. Poets in Russia cannot speak of the silence and solemnity of the midnight hour; it is loud and busy clamor, totally ll! Contradiction to the opening of Gray’s Elegy, and the First Night of Young. Peter the First founded Paulovskoy, and named it in honor of St. Paul. It was designed as a frontier town against the Tartars and Turks. At that time the territory of the former extended to Bachmut, on the southern side of the Donetz : and that of the Turks to the place where now stands the fortress of Dimitri, upon the Don. Its founder had here a botanic garden, as at Woronetz, but not a trace remains. The underwood about the place, which in Gmelin’s time was a forest, and which is daily diminishing, contains, as well as steppes around, bears, wolves, foxes, martens, hares, weasels, ermines, and squirrels. Among the birds, not common elsewhere, may be mentioned the pelican, vast flights of which arrive annually from the Black Sea and the Sea of Azof, accompanied by swans, cranes, storks, and geese. They alight at the mouths of the Don, and proceed up the river; and in autumn they return by the same route. The pelicans construct their nests of rushes, and line the interior with moss, or any soft herb. These nests are found only upon the small islets of the river, and places where moss may be procured. They lay two white eggs, about the size of those of the swan, and employ the same time in batching. If disturbed while sitting, they hide their eggs in the water, and take them out afterwards with their bill, when they believe the danger removed. They live altogether upon fish, and consume a prodigious quantity. The Russian naturalists give a curious account of this bird’s mode of fishing, with the assistance of the cormorant. The pelican extends its wings, and troubles the Water, while the cormorant, diving to the bottom, drives the fish to the surface; and the pelican, continuing the motion of its wings, advances towards the shore, where the fish are taken among the shallows. Afterwards, the cormorant, without further ceremony, helps himself out of the pelican’s beak. The principal trade here carried on is in grease and fruit which latter article, particularly the water melon, is carried to Moscow and Petersburg. They plant it in the open fields, where it covers whole acres of land. In the steppes near the town, I observed about thirty women hoeing a piece of enclosed ground for the culture of this delicious vegetable. That a plant, which is hardly in perfection anywhere, should thrive upon rivers in this part of Russia, and in such a latitude, is very remarkable. Perhaps its flavor does not depend upon latitude. At Naples, although so highly extolled, they seldom ripen. ln Egypt they are even worse. Indeed, the only place where I have seen the watermelon attain its full color, size, and maturity, is at Jatfa, on the coast of Syria. We found ourselves among Russians at Paulovskoy, and narrowly escaped with our lives. Fortunately, the alarm their conduct might have excited, for the safety of our future journey, was unheeded. Sleeping in the carriage, I was awakened by some person gently opening the door, and could perceive, though it was somewhat dark, a man extending his arm in a menacing manner. I believed him to be a Russian, sustaining his national characteristic by a valedictory theft, as our time of remaining among them was now drawing to a close. But was afterwards informed, and, indeed, the man’s conduct seemed to prove it, that his design was to assassinate. Hoping to seize him by the hair, I made a sudden effort, but, eluding my grasp, he escaped; and though the alarm was immediately given, he could not then be discovered. Soon after, putting my head out of the carriage to call the servant, a large stone, thrown with great violence, struck the frame of the window, close to my head, sounding so like the report of a pistol that at first I believe a pistol had been discharged close to me. Upon this a second search was made, and a man in consequence detected, pretending to sleep in one of the kibitkis in the courtyard of the mu. This fellow, whether guilty or not, we compelled to mount the barouche box, and to sit there as sentinel, while I made a third attempt to obtain a little repose. Suddenly my companion, who was in the house, came running into the yard, followed by the servant and all the family, to tell me the front of the inn was assailed by some persons without, who had poured a shower of stones through the windows, and broken every pane of glass. Determined to sell our lives as dearly as possible, we drew our sabres, and marched together towards the residence of the governor, a very worthy man, who instantly rose from his bed, and instituted an inquiry, which continued the whole of the night. At the same time, soldiers were stationed with the carriage, and the patrol doubled. Towards morning, they brought in a young man, whom they stated to have detected in the act of making his escape from the out houses of our inn, audit was during his examination that the cause of this disorder was made known. He proved to be a lover of one of the girls of the house; and as she had refused to come out when he sent for her, his jealousy had persuaded him that he was slighted on our account. In a fit of desperate fury, he had therefore resolved to wreak his vengeance upon some of the party, if not upon all; in which under taking he had been aided by some of his comrades. The poor fellow was more an object of pity than resentment, and we began to intercede for his pardon; but the governor insisted upon making an example of him, and they led him away sulky, and as it seemed, nothing loth, to be flogged. As he went, he still vowed revenge, declaring he was not alone in the business, for that fifteen of his confederates had made an oath to be revenged, not only upon the girl, but upon all her family, for her inconstancy to him. The governor provided us with a powerful escort, and early in the morning we continued our journey. The roads have been all changed, since Gmelin and other travellers visited this part of Russia. We proceeded from Paulovoskoy to Kazinskoy Chutor, a village inhabited by Malo-Russians and Russians mingled together. The distinction between the two people might be made without the smallest inquiry, from the striking contrast between filth and cleanliness. In the stable of the post house we found about twenty horses, kept with a degree of neatness which would have done credit to any nobleman’s stud in Britain. The house of the superintendent villager was equally admirable; everything appeared clean and decent, there was no litter nor was anything out of its place. It was quite a new thing to us, to hesitate whether we should clean our boots before walking into an apartment, on the floor of which I would rather have dined, than on the table of any Russian prince. The village is situated in the most wild and open steppes, amongst the short herbage of which we noticed the land tortoise. Its flesh is esteemed a great delicacy, as it is in the Archipelago, and in all Turkish cities. Boat loads of them are carried from the Greek Isles, to the markets of Constantinople. After leaving Kazinskoy, we passed through several very urge villages, scattered over valleys, each of which appeared to consist rather of several hamlets than of one, and arrived at Nizney Momon. Nothing worth observation occurred, except the plants we collected. The heat was intense, the country like that before described we found our vinegar, which had been recommended to us at Moscow, to be a leasing and salutary ingredient in bad water, and a most delicious solace, when exposed to the scorching rays of the sun, with parched lips, and mouthfuls of dust. It was impossible to resist the temptation of drinking it without any admixture of water; and to the practice of doing so may be attributed, perhaps, the weak state of health into which I afterwards fell. We considered it, at that time, the most valuable part of our baggage, and afterwards, in Kuban Tartary, derived from it the only means of sustaining the fatigue and langour caused by the heat of the climate and bad air. The next place we came to was Dobrinka; and here for the first time, we found an establishment of Cossacks, although but few appeared, and even these mixed with Malo-Russians. The church was new, a large and handsome white building, erected by the emperor Paul. Others of the same nature appeared in most of the neighboring villages. That of Dobrinka makes a conspicuous appearance several miles before the traveler reaches it. If happiness could be found under Russian government, it might be said to dwell in Dobrinka, a peaceable and pleasant spot, full of neat little white cottages, tenanted by healthy, and apparently contented, society. They live in the greatest tranquility, removed from all the spies, tax-gatherers, police-officers, and other despots of the country. We were received into one of the courtyards, which they all have before their houses, and a hearty welcome and smiling countenances, very different from the lowering brefore and contracted suspicious eyes, to which we had been so often accustomed. At sunset, all the cows belonging to the inhabitants came, in one large troop, lowing into the village. No driver was necessary; for, as the herd entered, they separated into parties, and retired of their own accord to their respective owners, in order to be milked. The Malo-Russians, with their numerous families, were seated on the ground in circles before their neat little habitations, eating their supper; and. being all happy and merry together, offered a picture of contentment and peace not often found within Russian territories. About two in the afternoon of the next day, having been detained for want of horses at Metscha, we arrived at Kasankaia, one of the largest stanitzas, of the Don Cossacks and the first within their territory. As I am now entering upon the description of a very interesting part of our journey, I shall be particular to note whatever observations may occur. They relate to a country very little known; where everything is interesting because everthing presents what has not been seen before. The independent mode of life of the people, their indolence at home, their activity in war, their remote situation with regard to the rest of Europe, the rank they hold in the great scale of society, all require consideration.