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the misfortunes of the country are Morny was actually offered this traced to the unhappy union which very throne, but even he was not has given the sister province the to be tempted from the Bourse opportunity of benefiting at the and the Bois de Boulogne. In fact, expense of Moldavia. The advanced he replied that he would rather Moldavians who, from “a united- be a “concierge dans le Rue de nationality” point of view, were in Bac qu’un roi Moldavie." favour of the union before they To any young adventurer of an tried it, are now either afraid to ambitious and filibustering turn adhere to their old views, or have of mind, and possessing a certain changed their minds. A few still talent for intrigue, Moldavia opens say the experiment has not been a most attractive field. The first fairly tried, and lay all the blame step would be an influential matrion Prince Couza, who, by the way, monial alliance; as the women are being a Moldavian himself, is hated, generally heiresses, wealth might for that reason among others, in be combined with beauty; then a Wallachia. It is only due to the short social career of popularity; Wallachians to state that they re- then the ascendency of the strong turn the animosity of the northern will and contriving brain over the province with interest. When wo- fops and imbeciles around him ; men engage in the discussion and then a conspiracy; then a popular come to be personal, the Wallach- rising, and a divorce of Wallachia, ians call the Moldavians the de- followed, if it suited him, by the scendants of Jews, and the Molda- divorce of his own partner, who, vians retort upon the others by being entitled by the laws of her calling them a nation of gypsies. Church to three successive husbands It is indeed the fact that some of during her lifetime, would probably the noblest families in Wallachia be delighted at the prospect of a are descended from this race, of change. The only difficult part of which they are ashamed the programme would be to get the than our own Carews; while the Moldavians to take heart of grace, Jewish element, not visible in Wal- and rebel. They are dying to do lachia, is most prominently devel- it now, but Couza's wretched little oped in Moldavia. It may safely army, though it was held in check be predicted that when Couza dies, by 250 Poles, is enough to overawe but possibly before, there will be a them. Meantime it is a notable separation of the provinces. The instance of union not making Moldavians are perfectly determin- strength ; and the probable result ed that the union shall not con- of all these dissensions among tinue; their real ardent aspiration themselves will be the annexation is for a foreign prince to rule over of both provinces to one or other them. They have tried a long or both of the two great neighbourseries of their own boyards, and ing Powers, who are only waiting have found one more incompetent to swallow them up. It will be than the other. According to their better for the countries themselves own admission, they must look that this should be their fate. Howabroad for the virtues and the ever bad may be the government of talents which none of their coun- Russia or Austria, however incontrymen possess, but which they venient such an acquisition of terfondly hope may be found among ritory may be in the “European the scions of some royal house; equilibrium” point of view, there nor will they believe that the throne can be no doubt that it is the only of Moldavia, such as it is, would be chance which exists of developing a position which an English coun- the material resources of these fertry gentleman, with a tolerable tile countries, and imparting to rent-roll, would decline, to say their institutions some kind of stanothing of a Prince of the Blood. bility. At present no speculator Some years ago the Duc de dares venture on contracting with
a government composed of rogues, Moldavians were capable of governfrom the Prince on the throne to ing themselves, it would be difficult the lowest clerk. The Moldavians to devise a form of government themselves, moreover, are absolutely suitable to their institutions. As useless. The whole industry of the there is no primogeniture, and country is in the hands of other the title of Boyard is not heredraces, who develop its resources in itary, the class possesses all the spite of the native population. If drawbacks of an aristocracy withthe Jewish community, for instance, out any of the advantages. It gives were suddenly to disappear, there no stability to society, while it would be utter collapse. The whole furnishes the frivolous element. financial interests of the country There is no sympathy between the are in their hands. In Jassy, as in proprietor and his peasant, and no every little country town, the pop- middle-class connecting-link. The ulation is dependent upon Israel- consequence is, that Prince Couza ites for its most trivial necessaries; has been able to perpetrate a coup they perform every function for d'état, and take a popular vote with society, except those which they perfect safety, the secret of his tacleave to the gypsies. These latter tics having been to enlist the peaconfine themselves almost exclu- santry against the proprietors, by sively to four walks in life ; they allowing them to hold their lands at are invariably either musicians, a money instead of a service tenure. postilions, cooks, or blacksmiths. It will be more convenient, howUntil within the last eight years, ever, to consider the policy of Prince they were on a footing of serfdom Couza in connection with Wallaalmost identical with that of the chia, though the effects of the cenAmerican negro, but they may now tralisation of the government meet become emancipated on payment one at every turn in Moldavia. The of ten ducats a-head.
change incidental to passing from The remaining foreigners, of being an independent country into whom there is a great variety a province must always be disagreesprinkled all over the country, do able; but still the evils might have whatever these two predominating been mitigated, had Prince Couza, races leave undone ; so that, in the by any one act of administration, end, the Moldavians contribute ab- shown any consideration for his own solutely nothing towards the com- province - had he, for instance, mercial, social, or political well- encouraged the extension of the being of the community. Except Lemberg and Czernowitz Railroad, ing the peasants, they are of no or even promoted the construction sort of use; they simply cumber of good carriage-roads in the prothe ground, and keep better men vince. At present there are scarcely off it. Such good ground as it is fifty miles of metalled road in all too! It follows that there is no Moldavia, and they existed before Moldavian middle class. A Mol- the union. In fact, the result of davian is either a boyard, an em- this measure, from which so much ployé, or a peasant; never, by any was anticipated, has been simply chance, anything else. The pea- that the plunder which two rulers sants have a certain amount of land formerly divided between them is allotted to each, in return for which now appropriated by one man, whose they give a proportion of service to power of mischief is on twice the the proprietor. In Wallachia they scale it used to be. There is no may transfer themselves to other end to the capabilities of Moldavia, estates upon giving a year's notice; if capital and enterprise, supported but in Moldavia they are fixed to thé by good government, were only soil. In Wallachia the landlords are forthcoming. The mineral resources nearly all absentee ; in Moldavia of the Carpathians are totally unthey live on their properties, which is developed, but that they exist on so far in their favour. Even if the a very large scale is not in doubt.
The soil is prolific and fertile, and the forbidden degrees of consancapable of producing corn, in pro- guinity, a fourth is permittedportion to its area, beyond any something on the principle of starother in Europe. The nature of ring a life at pool in billiards. In the the country lends itself expressly whole society of Jassy there was only to the construction of railroads : one woman who had not been divorcthere are no engineering difficulties, ed, but she had only been married a labour is abundant; and as forming few weeks. It naturally follows in a highway for the corn produce of a limited society that the divorced Galicia, and an immense back- couples are perpetually meeting country to the Black Sea, there can each other; and as they do not, in be no doubt whatever that it would the first instance, part on the ground pay. At a very little expense the of incompatibility of temper or any two large rivers which flow through domestic difference, but generally Moldavia to the Danube might be simply from love of change-or, in made navigable ; and there is no other words, change of love—they reason why steamers should not remain perfectly good friends afterbring Moldavian produce down the wards; and a woman introduces you Sereth and the Pruth from the in- first to her present husband as mon nermost recesses of the country. mari, and then to her late husband How easy, by a very small expendi- as mon ex-mari; so that it is ture of tact and honesty, to com- quite possible to find yourself dancpensate to the Moldavians for all ing in a set of lancers with seven they have lost by the union! One people, every one of whom has been would imagine that no more agree- married at some time in his or her able or grateful task could be found, life with each of the others. In than to have the power of producing this respect the system seemed prosuch vast and certain results. Not ductive of sociability and good-felonly would it consolidate the throne lowship rather than otherwise; and of the ruler, but it would give him a a great deal of the pleasure of personal satisfaction which he will society in these parts arises from never derive from the consciousness the intimate footing upon which that he is stealing the public funds; the members are with each other; and yet the nature of the chief for it is evident that, if all the papas ruler is so degraded, that he can and mammas have been husbands derive no higher gratification from and wives, all the children are, the exercise of that power which more or less, brothers and sisters. he has proved absolute, than when There are certain inconveniences using it for purposes of pillage. attending this great confusion of
It must be admitted that he has relationships; but one advantage to bad material to work with; his own the stranger is, that he finds himministers and employés being as self in a large family instead of in unscrupulous and dishonest as him- a stiff society, where some time self, he would have to import virtue must elapse before he feels himself from foreign countries to enable at home. him to carry out his plans, if he The Moldavians themselves are had any, for the welfare of the accustomed to defend the system on country. It is probable that the thescoreof morality. They maintain political immorality existing in these that the great facilities which exist Principalities is to be traced to a for divorces lessen the temptations great extent to the peculiar social to infidelity; but this is a theory conditions which exist in them. By which can scarcely be said to be the rule of the national Greek borne out by the results. Where Church, divorces may be obtained the marriage tie is so easily disthree times during a lifetime, both solved, even while it exists it parties consenting; and in the event is apt to lose much of its sacred of one of the marriages having been character; and however much may contracted between people within theoretically be urged in favour of
loosening the bonds of matrimony, and if there is an objection on the the experiment, as tried in the part of the other, society considers Principalities, is not encouraging. the question; nor are there any It is needless to point out the un- domestic details too minute for dishappiness to which such a state of cussion en plein comité. Where things may often give rise—where, art and literature are ignored, for instance, the marriage has lasted where newspapers are unread, and for an unusually long period, and the only subject of discussion is one of the parties is opposed to its local politics, which is soon dissolution, but is forced into con- hausted, if it were not for the eversenting to it by the other-or where recurring incidents which society the children are separated from the furnishes by the very nature of its parent most attached to them. It composition, it would be indeed is true that, the society being small, dull; but there is a freshness and they can nearly always meet; but a piquancy about these topics which that does not compensate for the never lose their flavour. The old rupture of the home ties. The fact ladies, running through the circumis, that home ties, as we under- stances attendant upon all their stand them, necessarily cannot ex- own divorces, bring the benefit of ist, and that it would not do for a the accumulated experiences of young person in these countries to four marriages to bear for the benebe troubled with too much depth of fit of the young friend who is makfeeling. There is a good deal of ing, under their advice and instrucpassion and of caprice; but where tion, her second matrimonial venthe men cannot claim the respect of ture. To a stranger it seemed odd the women, it is evident that the to sit and discuss with the indivi. only kind of affection worth any- dual most interested, whether she thing—that which is based upon ought to change her husband now esteem-is unknown. Both men or put off that function, and to and women, consequently, very eas- hear advice given after dinner openily get over their love-affairs, and ly upon the subject; then, perhaps, domestic troubles do not exist, be- to see the couple in the same room, cause there is nothing domestic in though, if things had come to this the country—not even annoyance. stage, they were each devoted in a Everything is canvassed in the small different direction, generally with society, and the chief topics of con- the view of preparing something versation are the changes and chan- beforehand; for it is considered the ces of that matrimonial life which height of absurdity and imprudence is so singularly composed. The to allow a divorce to come upon family is society at large. Every- you suddenly, and to find yourself body's private affairs are common stranded without either a husband property, and the most delicate in esse or in posse. questions of existence are referred In giving this description of soby both parties to the world. There ciety as it exists in these countries, is a charming confidence existing I do not mean to pass any unkind between society and the individuals criticism upon it. Unless one is who compose it, and who confide prepared for it, there is something in it, enlist its sympathies, and, in rather startling when one rememcases of differences, endeavour to bers that one is still in Europe; gain its suffrages. Thus, before a but every country has its peculiar divorce takes place, the pros and conventional standard, and ours is cons form the principal topic of con- not perhaps so perfect that we can versation at every evening reunion. afford to carp too much at our The husband has his friends, the neighbour's. Their religion sancwife hers; for although it is not tions the principle, or, as we should necessary to quarrel before this de- call it, the want of principle, upon scription of separation, still the pro- which society exists, and their conposition has to come first from one; sciences do not reproach them; but it does seem that the more it is up amid discussions derogatory to examined the less can be said in its their parents in particular, and to favour. Whatever be the cause, there the sexes in general, to acquire a can be no doubt that, as a race, the sense of honour ? If possible, the Moldo-Wallachians do not occupy a standard will get lower and lower high position in European estima- with each new generation, and the tion, and one cannot help thinking only way to raise it would be by that their religious and social views sending the children to be educated have something to do with it. It in countries where virtue, public has been so much the habit of tra- and private, is considered essential vellers to accept their hospitality to the respect of the community, and and then to abuse them, that it is where vices are visited with its conwith hesitation one ventures to give demnation. Such a thing as being impressions more or less unfavour- expelled from society is unknown able to the general existing state of in the Principalities, simply because things; but their amiable qualities it would be impossible for a man cannot blind one to what appears to to commit any crime bad enough us evils in their society ; nor can for such a fate. There is no reason their warm hospitality and lavish why all this should not be changed. generosity prevent one from stating The moral capabilities of the race opinions elsewhere, which it was may be as high as those of any useless to attempt to dissemble other, if they only had the chance even while in their society. It is of developing them ; but they lathe earnest desire to see a new era bour under the disadvantage of dawn upon the country that leads being, in this remote corner of one to condemn the old ; nor do Europe, the perpetual subject of the inhabitants express themselves intrigue to the great Powers who satisfied with their political or so- protect them, and who have from cial condition, nor with the position the first set an example of polithey occupy in the eyes of Europe. tical immorality in every transThe peculiar relations in which the action connected with the destiny sexes stand towards each other ren- of these provinces. Whether they der chivalry on the part of the men have contaminated the Powers, an impossibility. The sentiment or the Powers have contaminated is totally unknown among them, them, is difficult to determine ; but and there is, consequently, no basis the atmosphere seems charged with for that sense of honour which intrigue-social, political, national, should pervade every other relation and diplomatic. Before these counin life. No man who does not tries can be regenerated, they must know what is due to a woman can get rid of a protectorate which deform the faintest conception of what moralises them, of a Prince who is due to another man ; for it is so plunders them, and of a religion much easier to fulfil the generous and which degrades them. Whether noble instincts of one's nature in they would be in a better plight the former than in the latter case, separated from each other, ruled that we may take it for granted over by princes of foreign extracthat those who fail in the simplest tion, and unprotected by any one, will fail in the most difficult duties which is their ambition ; or incor
l of life.
porated into the two neighbouring The most melancholy considera- Powers, which is their dread, it is tion growing out of this state of difficult to determine. So far as things is that connected with the they are themselves concerned, no rising generation. How is it pos- change could be for the worse; and sible for children troubled with so far as the peace and tranquillity doubt from infancy as to who are of Europe are concerned, almost their nearest relations, trained in an any change would be for the atmosphere of deceit, and brought better.