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Title: Roumania Past and Present
Author: Samuelson, James, 1829-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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_Of the Middle Temple, Barrister-at-Law_


_Post Tenebras Lux_


_All rights reserved_


There is no country in Europe which at the present time possesses
greater interest for Englishmen than does the Kingdom of Roumania, and
there is none with whose present state and past history, nay, with whose
very geographical position, they are less familiar.

Only about nine years since Consul-General Green, the British
representative there, reported to his Government as follows: 'Ignorance
seems to extend even to the geographical position of Bucharest. It is
not surprising that letters directed to the Roumanian capital should
sometimes travel to India in search of Bokhara, but there can be no
excuse for the issue of a writ of summons by one of the superior law
courts of the British metropolis, directed to Bucharest in the Kingdom
of Egypt, as I have known to happen.' The reader may perhaps attribute
such mistakes as these to our insular ignorance of geography, or to the
fact that the proverbial blindness of justice prevented her from
consulting the map before issuing her process; but the fact remains,
that notwithstanding the occurrence of a great war subsequent to the
date above specified, which completely changed the map of Europe,
wherein Roumania took a very prominent part and England assisted at the
settlement, there are few intelligent readers in this country who could
say off-hand where precisely Roumania is situated.

And yet, as already remarked, the country possesses an absorbing
interest for us as a nation. Placed, to a large extent through English
instrumentality, as an independent kingdom, of daily increasing
influence, between Russia and Turkey, for whom she served for centuries
as a bone of contention, she is now a formidable barrier against the
aggressions of the stronger power upon her weaker neighbour, and it is
satisfactory to reflect that, so far, the blood and money of England
have not flowed in vain. Then, again, the question of the free
navigation of the great stream that serves as her southern boundary is
at present occupying the serious consideration of many leading European
statesmen, and the solution of the Danubian difficulty will materially
affect our trade with the whole of Eastern Europe; whilst the peaceable
creation of a peasant proprietary in Roumania about sixteen years since,
and the advantages which have accrued to her from this social and
political reform, present features of peculiar interest for those who
favour the establishment of a similar class of landholders in Ireland.

In treating of these two questions, I have laboured under the great
disadvantage of not being able to follow current events. It is
understood that the Danubian difficulty will be settled on the plan,
referred to in the text, suggested by Austria for her own advantage,
with certain modifications, having for their object the limitation of
her preponderance. My readers will be able to judge for themselves,
after reading the brief review of the question, and the references to
our own commercial relations with the countries bordering on the Danube
in the third and fifth chapters, whether such a settlement is likely to
be final. For myself I cannot believe that any solution will be
permanently satisfactory which interferes with the jurisdiction of
Roumania in her own waters.

As to the land question, it calls up some awkward reflections when its
history is contrasted with recent and passing events in Ireland. So long
as the conquerors in Roumania endeavoured to solve the problem, their
efforts were unavailing. At the Convention of Balta-Liman between
Russia and Turkey, where 'coercion' was coupled with 'remedial
measures,' an ineffectual attempt was made to ameliorate the wretched
condition of the peasantry on the old lines of feudalism; but it was not
until the country became autonomous and the legitimate representatives
of the people took the matter in hand, that an efficient remedy was
applied. Then, as the reader will find detailed in the following
pages,[1] more than four hundred thousand heads of families amongst the
peasantry came into peaceful possession of a large proportion of the
land on equitable terms; and whilst the industrious agriculturist is now
daily acquiring a more considerable interest in the soil, the landlords,
who were merely drawing a revenue from the labour expended upon it by
others, are gradually disappearing. That the prosperity and stability of
the country have increased through the change is shown in many ways, but
more especially by the enhanced value of Roumanian Government
securities, of which I have been able to append a short statement in
contrast with those of Russia and Turkey.[2]

What has occurred and is passing in Ireland the reader need not be told
here. Possibly the consideration of the Roumanian land question may have
given a bias to my views on the whole subject, and the excited state of
the public mind causes me to hesitate in the expression of an opinion
which may appear to be dogmatic. Still, looking at all the
circumstances--at the partial resemblance between the former condition
of Roumania and the present state of Ireland, at the past history of
Irish reforms (such as the abolition of the Irish Church), at the rising
land agitation on this side of the Channel, and at the recent
recommendation of the Canadian Parliament that autonomy should be
extended to Ireland--I have been able to arrive at no other conclusion
than that the measures at present before Parliament may bring temporary
relief to the peasantry, and temporary, nay let us hope permanent
pacification, but that the question will be reopened, coupled probably
with that of 'Home Rule,' and that at no distant period.

There are many other circumstances which warrant us in seeking to obtain
a better knowledge of Roumania, but these were the chief considerations
which induced me last year to visit the country and some of its leading
institutions, and to collect the materials which I now venture in the
following pages to lay before my readers.

No one knows so well as I do how imperfectly my task has been performed,
nor the difficulties with which it has been surrounded, and there are
one or two matters of which I should like to unburden myself to the
reader. He will probably enquire why I have put the cart before the
horse, giving a sketch of the present condition of the country before
treating of its past history. The answer is that it was not originally
my intention to deal with the latter at any length; but when I came to
read and study the works which have appeared on the subject in French
and German (of which a tolerably full list is appended to this
treatise), so many topics of interest presented themselves for the
historical student that I determined to publish a connected history of
the country, however imperfect it might be, from the earliest times down
to the present day. And in this I was further encouraged by the fact
that the attempt has not yet been made in English, excepting in a very
perfunctory manner in Consul Wilkinson's work, published by Longmans in
1820, which is now quite out of date. That such a review of Roumanian
history, condensed as it necessarily is, was sure to be considered very
dry by many readers, seemed to be certain; I therefore placed it after
the description of the country as it exists to-day, and for those
readers the perusal of the last chapter of that part of the work,
dealing with the notabilities of the day, will probably suffice. But I
believe that some matters relating to the Roman conquest of Dacia, the
character and movements of the barbarians (of which I have prepared and
appended a tabular statement), the subsequent history of the country,
its struggles for freedom, and the condition of the inhabitants at
various periods, will be new to the general student of history and
sociology, and if my share has been badly done, it need not prevent him
from prosecuting enquiries, for which he will find ample materials in
the works of the continental writers to whom I have referred. As regards
the controverted questions of the descent of the modern Roumanians and
the foundation of the Principalities, I would direct his attention more
especially to the recent publications of Roesler and Píč, the first an
Austrian and the second a Slav writer, where he will find those subjects
fully and warmly debated.

The only other matter on which I desire to give an explanation is my
reason for not entering more minutely into what is called 'the Eastern
Question,' nor attempting, as other authors have done, to predict the
future relations of Roumania in regard to it. An American humourist has
said, 'Never prophesy unless you know,' and many a writer on Roumania
must wish that he had refrained from dealing with probabilities, or from
prognosticating the coining events of history. The future of the East
depends upon a variety of divergent considerations: upon the relations
of the Government of Russia with its people; the course of events in the
newly acquired provinces of Austria, and the delicate relations between
Austria and Hungary; the future action of the Prince and people of
Bulgaria, the former of whom is at present under Russian influence; upon
the growing power and influence of Greece; and, lastly, upon the
possible, but not probable, regeneration of Turkey. And without speaking
for others, I should feel it presumptuous, under the circumstances, to
deal in prophecies.

As to the best policy for Great Britain, however, that is perfectly
clear, and may be summed up in a short sentence. It is to facilitate, by
pacific means, the solution of every difficulty and problem as it
arises, and wherever it is possible, through our influence, to support
and encourage constitutional government against autocracy and despotism.
This we can do with great advantage in our relations with Roumania, and
it will be a source of much gratification to me if the information which
I have here attempted to disseminate should have the slightest tendency
in that direction.


   _April 20, 1882._

[Footnote 1: Chapter vi. and Appendix IV.]

[Footnote 2: P. 270, _note_.]


                    PART I.

              _ROUMANIA, TO-DAY._

CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

     I. GEOGRAPHICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE                                   3

    II. GEOGRAPHICAL--ARCHÆOLOGICAL                                   20

   III. THE NAVIGATION OF THE DANUBE                                  30

    IV. TOPOGRAPHICAL, ETC.                                           36

     V. TOPOGRAPHICAL--COMMERCIAL                                     67


   VII. EDUCATIONAL--ETHNOGRAPHICAL                                   88

  VIII. JUDICIAL AND PENAL                                           100

                    PART II.


        DOMINATION IN DACIA (ABOUT A.D. 274)                         115

        CLOSE OF THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY)                             138

        A.D. 1593                                                    161


        THE DEPOSITION OF PRINCE COUZA (A.D. 1866)                   199

        CORONATION OF KING CHARLES (1881)                            233




          BARBARIAN TRIBES                                         272-3

      II. THE 'CAPITULATIONS'                                        274

     III. THE ROUMANIAN CONSTITUTION                                 275

      IV. THE PEASANT PROPRIETARY OF ROUMANIA                        277

       V. LIST OF WORKS (WITH REFERENCES TO TEXT)                    278

                    CLASSIFIED INDEX                                 281


                    _AUTOTYPE PLATES._

CATHEDRAL OF CURTEA D'ARDGES  _Photograph by Duschek_     _Frontispiece_

VIEW OF BUCAREST                    "           "        _To face p. 40_


                    _WOODCUTS IN TEXT._

                  [Engraved by G. PEARSON.]


ROUMANIAN PEASANTS IN WORKING DRESS  _Photograph by Duschek_           7

PEASANTS AT A WELL                         "      "    "               8

SUBTERRANEAN DWELLINGS WITH PEASANTS       "      "    "              10

ENTRANCE TO CARPATHIAN VILLAGE             "      "    "              12

MEN AND WOMEN ROAD-MAKING                  "      "    "              13

TERMINAL PIER OF TRAJAN'S BRIDGE ON             _Sketch by Author_    21


PLAN OF BUCAREST _Reduced from Original by Prof. Zamphirolu_          37

MONK AND NUN                    _After Duschek_                       39

FRUITSELLER OF BUCAREST            "      "                           48

GIPSY FLOWER-SELLER                "      "                           49

GIPSY MUSICIANS                    "      "                           52

ROUMANIAN GIRL                     "      "                           53

GIPSY WOMAN                        "      "                           53

TRACERY ON SHIELD ON THE EXTERIOR OF  _Copied from Reissenberger_     60

THE SAME--ANOTHER PATTERN                 "     "        "            61

AT THE CABARET ON A HOLIDAY           _After Duschek_                 73

ROUMANIAN PLOUGHSHARE                 _Sketch by Author_              75

THE HORA, NATIONAL DANCE OF ROUMANIA  _After Duschek_                 98

SECTION OF THE TELEGA PENAL SALT MINE _Reduced by Author from Plan   107
                                      of M. d'Istrati, Engineer of
                                      the Mine_

SALT MOUND IN FLOOR OF MINE           _Sketch by Author_             110

DACIAN WARRIOR (_initial letter_)     _From Piranese's Etchings of   115
                                      reliefs on Trojan's Column_

TRAJAN ADDRESSING HIS ARMY               "      "          "         126

DACIANS SETTING FIRE TO THEIR CAPITAL    "      "          "         129

DACIAN TROPHIES                          "      "          "         137


(_initial letter_)

DEFENCES OF PLEVNA                                                   244

PRINCE (NOW KING) CHARLES            _Photograph by Duschek          251

PORTRAIT, WITH AUTOGRAPH, OF M.C.A. ROSETTI  _After Duschek_         264

PORTRAIT OF M. BRATIANO                         "      "             265


[Drawn and lithographed, with aid of Author's notes, by E. WELLER.]

GEOGRAPHICAL MAP OF ROUMANIA                              _To face p. 3_

HISTORICAL MAP OF ROUMANIA  _After Kiepert, &c._                     115


Page  45, note,    _for_ p. 202 _read_ initial letter, p. 200.

  "   64, note 1,    "     7209    "   7029.

  "  162, line 19,   "     west    "   east.

  "  165,  "   22,   " Bajazet II. "   Bajazet I.



                                        We love
    The king who loves the law, respects his bounds,
    And reigns content within them; him we serve
    Truly and with delight who leaves us free.


    There virtue reigns as queen in royal throne,
    And giveth laws alone.
    The which the base affections do obey,
    And yield their services unto her will.


[Illustration: Physical Map of ROUMANIA]



     Limits, dimensions, and population of Roumania--Comparison with
     England--Configuration of the surface--Altitudes of
     towns--Mountains--Appearance of the country--The region of the
     plains--Plants and agricultural condition--The peasantry--Female
     navvies--Costumes--Wells--Subterranean dwellings--Marsh
     fever--Travelling, past and present--Zone of the hills--Plants,
     flowers, fruits, and cereals--Cheap fruits--Improved
     dwellings--Wages of labourers--Petroleum
     wells--Rock-salt--Mines--The Carpathians--Character of the
     scenery--Alpine trees and plants--Sinaïa--The King's summer
     residence--The monastery--Conveniences for visitors, baths,
     &c.--Occupations of visitors--Beautiful scenery--The new
     palace--The King and Queen--Geology of Roumania--Scanty
     details--The chief deposits and their
     Hæmatite--Undeveloped mineral wealth.


The kingdom of Roumania is situated between 22° 29' and 29° 42' east of
Greenwich, and between 43° 37' and 48° 13' north of the equator. Its
general boundaries are, on the _east_ and _south_, the Pruth and the
Danube, with the exception of the Dobrudscha south of the latter river,
at its embouchures, and on the _west_ and _north_ by the Carpathian
mountains, along whose heights the boundary line runs. The limit which
separates it from Bulgaria, on the south-east leaves the Danube just
east of Silistria, and runs irregularly in a south-easterly direction
until it reaches the Black Sea, about nine miles and a half south of
Mangalia. (North-east of this line runs the Roumanian Railway from
Cernavoda to Constanta or Kustendjie, and south-west of it the Bulgarian
line from Rustchuk to Varna.) The kingdom presents the form of an
irregular blunted crescent, and it is very difficult to speak of its
'length' and 'breadth;' but so far as we are able to estimate its
dimensions they are as follows:--A straight line drawn from Verciorova,
the boundary on the west at the 'Iron Gates' of the Danube, to the
Sulina mouth of the same river on the east, is about 358 miles; and
another from the boundary near Predeal in the Carpathians, on the line
of railway from Ploiesti to Kronstadt, Transylvania, to the southernmost
limit below Mangalia on the Black Sea, is about 188 miles.[3]

The approximate area of Roumania is 49,250 square miles, and when it is
added that the area of England and Wales is nearly 51,000 square miles,
the reader will be able to form an estimate of the extent of the
country.[4] But having made this comparison, let us carry it a step
further. According to the latest estimates of the population there are
about 5,376,000 inhabitants in Roumania against 25,968,286 (according to
last year's census) in England and Wales; in other words, with an area
equal to that of England, Roumania has about one-fifth of its
population, or about the same as Ireland.[5]

The general configuration of the surface of the country may be described
as an irregular inclined plane sloping down from the summits of the
Carpathians to the northern or left bank of the Danube, and it is
traversed by numerous watercourses taking their rise in the mountains
and falling into the great river, which render it well adapted for every
kind of agricultural industry. The character of the gradients will be
best understood by a reference to the map, with the aid of the following
few figures. The towns of Galatz and Braila or Ibrail, situated on the
Danube, are fifteen mètres above the sea-level, a mètre being, as the
reader doubtless knows, equal to 1.095, or as nearly as possible 1-1/10
yard. At Bucarest, the capital, which is thirty or forty miles inland,
the land rises to a height of seventy-seven mètres;[6] still further
inland, where the elevation from the plain to the hill country becomes
perceptible, the town of Ploiesti is 141 mètres above the sea, whilst
Tirgovistea and Iasi (Jassy), each receding further into the hills,
stand respectively at altitudes of 262 and 318 mètres, the last-named
city (the former capital of Moldavia) reaching therefore a height of
over 1,000 feet above the sea-level. Or again, the plain which stretches
along the whole extent of the southern part of the country may be said
to occupy, roughly speaking, about a third; then comes a region of hills
rising to a height of about 1,500 feet; and beyond these the Carpathian
range, forming, as it were, a great rampart to the north and east,
reckons amongst its eight or nine hundred peaks many that rise to a
height of 6,000 to 9,000 feet above the sea-level. The highest of those
summits is either Pionul (in Moldavia) or Caraïman, near Sinaïa
(Wallachia), the summer residence of the Court, which are nearly 9,000
feet high; the latter is easily accessible, even to ladies if they are
fair climbers, and affords a magnificent view of the surrounding
scenery.[7] The aspect of the country, as the traveller moves inland
from the Danube to the heights of the Carpathians, is very striking; and
as the writer travelled at one time or another along the greater part
of the river, both by land and water, and from the bank at Giurgevo to
the frontier in the mountains, a brief account of his impressions and
observations may be found more interesting than a mere dry geographical
description of the different zones.[8]

[Footnote 3: The mode in which we ascertained these measurements was by
comparing four, independently made. One was by Mr. Weller, the artist of
our maps; the second by the author, being the average of four or five
maps; the third by an English official friend in Roumania, who has all
the best maps at his disposal; and the fourth from Baedeker. Designating
these respectively as _a_, _b_, _c_, and _d_, we obtained the following
very approximate results:--

From Verciorova to the Sulina     From Predeal to boundary S. of
            mouth.                         Mangalia.

_a_        355 miles               _a_        185 miles
_b_        356   "                 _b_        188   "
_c_        358   "                 _c_        189   "
_d_        360   "                 _d_        190   "

From Fife-Cookson's map, in his work _With the Armies of the Balkans_,
the measurements respectively are 355 and 186 miles.]

[Footnote 4: The area is obtained by a somewhat similar process to the
linear measurements, excepting that here we have been obliged to employ
figures from various works (notably that of M. Aurelian and the Reports
of Consul Vivian and of the Roumanian Geographical Society), and to take
into consideration the exchange of Bessarabia for the Dobrudscha, which
has not been done by Roumanian writers since that alteration was made.
The _Gotha Almanack_ of 1881 gives the area as 129,947 square kilos.]

[Footnote 5: There has been no census in Roumania since 1859-60, when
the population is said to have been 4,424,961; now it is set down as
above, and efforts have been made to analyse this estimate and to
classify the population according to nationalities and religion. It is,
however, quite impossible to do so with accuracy; indeed the census of
Galatz taken last year shows that the whole can hardly be regarded as
approximate. What we know is that _about_ 4,600,000 of the population
are Roumanians and of the Orthodox Greek faith; probably 400,000 are
Jews, 200,000 gipsies, and the rest Germans, Szeklers, Servians and
Bulgarians, Hungarians, Armenians, Russians, Greeks, Turks, French,
English, Swiss, &c.]

[Footnote 6: Prince Jon Ghika says 87 mètres.]

[Footnote 7: According to various works and maps, the heights of the
mountain summits differ. In his work, _Terra Nostra_, edition of 1880,
M. Aurelian gives the height of Pionul as 2,720.1 mètres, or about 8,934
English feet, and that of Caraïman as 2,650.2 mètres, or 8,705 feet; but
some of the maps give measurements differing from these.]

[Footnote 8: Fuller details concerning the soil and agricultural
productions will be found in the chapter devoted to those subjects.]


The appearance of the plain on leaving the flat monotonous banks of the
Danube is anything but prepossessing. Although the land begins to rise
almost immediately, the surrounding scenery is flat and arid. The soil,
which is black or dark grey, is chiefly argillo-siliceous, and the plain
is overrun with coarse grass, weeds, and stunted shrubs, diversified by
fields of maize, patches of yellow gourds, and kitchen vegetables. Here
and there the railway runs through or skirts plantations. The chief
plants in this region (and this applies to the plains generally) are
willows, alders, poplars, and tamarinds, but chiefly willows and poplars
amongst the trees and larger plants; maize, wheat, millet, and other
cereals, and a variety of fruits and vegetables which will be spoken of
in connection with the more elevated regions. The first impression which
is made upon the traveller coming from our own beautiful hedgerows and
pastures, or from the richly cultivated plains of Transylvania, is that
agriculture is slovenly and neglected, and that impression is never
wholly lost in whatever direction he may travel; although, as we shall
see presently, the higher zones are much more carefully cultivated.[9]


The peasantry at work in the fields present a novel and interesting
appearance to the stranger, and still more striking are some of their
habitations. The men generally wear a long white coarse linen blouse
with trousers of the same material. The blouse is drawn in at the waist
by a coil of cords or by a belt, and frequently sandals are worn, in
which case the cords fastening them are wound some distance up the leg.
Hats of common felt, cheap cloth, or high cylindrical caps of sheepskin,
complete the external attire. In winter sheepskins take the place of the
coarse linen tunic. There are two types of face to be met with amongst
them, both of which are here depicted. The one has long moustaches and
shaven face; the other type, which is said to resemble the Dacians of
Trajan's Column, has the hair growing all over the face. The latter
appeared to the author to resemble the generality of Russian peasants,
and this view was confirmed by one or two lending observers in the

[Illustration: PEASANTS AT A WELL.]

The women, as in many other continental countries, are the chief workers
in the fields, and they are said to be much more industrious than the
men. They are not alone engaged in agricultural pursuits, but perform
the work of navvies, making roads, and along with the men digging
railway embankments. They usually wear a kerchief rather gracefully
folded over the head and under the chin; the upper part of the body is
clothed in a loose-fitting jacket or bodice, sometimes white, but often
of very bright showy material, and the lower limbs are covered with a
skirt which is usually of a darker colour than the jacket; but this is
also frequently made of a bright-coloured fabric. This is their
every-day dress, and thus habited the men work with square-bladed spades
resembling our own, whilst those of the women have handles as long as a
broomstick and bent spade-or heart-shaped blades. The gala or holiday
dresses of the peasantry are very handsome, each district having its
own peculiar costume, but of these we will say a few words hereafter.
Sometimes, as one walks or drives through the country, he may see the
peasants gossiping at the well, which is a hole dug in the ground and
fenced in with planks, the bucket being raised and lowered by means of a
very primitive contrivance. This consists of a horizontal tree-trunk
swinging upon another tall vertical one forked at the top; a chain
depends from one end of the horizontal beam or bar, to which the bucket
is attached, whilst the other end is counterpoised by means of stones.
Some of the wells are worked with a windlass and fly-wheel, but the one
just described frequently attracts the traveller's notice.

More primitive even than the wells are some of the peasants' houses in
the plains, if the hovels which serve as habitations can be so
dignified. A large hole, somewhat resembling in shape an old-fashioned
saw-pit, but of course of greater dimensions, is dug deep into the
ground. This is lined with clay, if necessary, and from the ground or
immediately above it a roof is formed of branches and twigs, in the
centre of which a hole is left for the issue of smoke. Sometimes a
primitive doorway forms the entrance, and the people descend either by
steps or an inclined plane, whilst at the opposite end a window is
inserted. Occasionally, but not always, a small drain is cut round these
semi-subterranean dwellings, which, as already stated, are chiefly to be
found on the plains, for the purpose of carrying off surface water. It
is hardly necessary to say that in these underground cells men, women,
and children live together higgledy-piggledy, and that the result of
such an existence is widespread disease. Marsh fever is one of the most
prevalent and malignant maladies of the plains; there is hardly a family
(and the families of the peasantry are very numerous) in which one or
more children have not been carried off by this fever. Still there are
those who maintain that the subterranean houses are not unhealthy, and
they are not necessarily an indication of poverty. Such hovels, it is
said, were first constructed in order that they might escape the
observation of those bands of marauders, first of one nation, then of
another, who have at various times overrun and pillaged the fair
Danubian territory; that they were originally surrounded by trees which
have been cut down for firewood; and that the spirit of conservatism,
causes many peasants, otherwise well-to-do, to prefer these underground
dwellings to the cottages of modern construction which constitute the
villages of the higher lands. This seems a plausible explanation of
their presence; but in a country which is largely cultivated, as we
shall hear, by a peasant proprietary, such a primitive mode of
existence, worthy of the days when the barbarians ravaged Roumanian
territory, is not likely long to continue.


So far as the peasantry are concerned, they are a fine healthy body of
men and women, and we shall have an opportunity further on of enquiring
into their habits and condition.

After travelling inland in imagination for the best part of a day--for a
Roumanian railway train does not emulate the 'Flying Dutchman' in
rapidity, although it is a considerable advance upon the old mode of
progression when a dozen horses were often requisite to drag a single
carriage along the muddy roads--and having left the city of Bucarest
with its many cupolas and spires behind us for the present, we approach
the second, more elevated tract of country.[11]

As the distance from the Danube increases, we enter upon a much more
diversified and smiling landscape, and almost every plant growth of the
sub-tropical and temperate zones is to be found there. Amongst trees the
oak, elm, and beech are the most conspicuous; but besides these the
maple, sycamore, mountain ash, lime, horse-chestnut, acacia; and of
fruit trees, the walnut, hazel nut, plum, medlar, cherry, apple, pear,
and vine are frequent. Fields of maize are interspersed with beds of
bright yellow gourds. Wheat, oats, millet, and other cereals are common,
and, in the gardens, roses, geraniums, verbenas, asters, mignonette, and
a great variety of other well-known flowers of the temperate zone, add
beauty and variety to the scene. Indeed, so far as natural productions
are concerned, this part of Roumania leaves nothing to be desired, and
that these blessings of the soil are as plentiful as they are good is to
be found in the cheapness of the fruits offered for sale. Little baskets
containing twenty or thirty fine purple plums may be had for a penny,
and beautiful peaches or large bunches of fine grapes, of natural growth
of course, are purchasable at a proportionately low price. Neither of
the latter fruits is equal to those forced in our houses, but they are
well-flavoured and tender.

And so, too, the peasantry and their habitations wear the appearance of
comfort and prosperity. No more subterranean dwellings, but, in place
thereof, villages consisting of habitations which resemble more or less
the cottages and châlets of Switzerland and the Tyrol, although they are
not generally so well built nor yet so picturesque. They are usually
constructed of wood, bricks, and plaster, and are well whitewashed,
their roofs consisting of little wooden or baked clay tiles or slates,
and they have every convenience belonging to such dwellings. The
roadside cabarets, or public-houses, are often very picturesque, the
roof being frequently ornamented with festoons of vines indicative of
the creature comforts dispensed within.


As we enter into the hill country, groups of peasants, men and women,
may be seen on the roads and railways, keeping them in order, cutting
banks and repairing bridges, and the women working with the
peculiar-shaped long spades of which mention has already been made.


The wages of such labourers, it may be remarked in passing, are, for
men, 2f. 50c., and for women 1f. 50c., respectively per day. Here, too,
we begin to have indications of something besides agricultural industry.
The smell of petroleum assails the olfactory organs, and we often see
carts drawn by oxen or buffaloes, containing one or more barrels of the
mineral oil; whilst on the hills are to be seen the rude wooden
structures which cover the wells, and roads or tramways along which the
oil is carried into the valley below. As we advance further into the
mountains, evidences of another mineral treasure present themselves.
This is rock-salt, of which cartloads may be seen moving to the railway
stations or piled up in various places. This valuable mineral in no way
resembles our rock-salt, and the large blocks might easily be mistaken
for granite or rough unpolished marble. The appearance and mode of
working one of the great mines of the country will be described
hereafter; and the chief localities in which salt and petroleum are
raised will be found on our geographical map. The principal salt mines
are the _Doftana_ (Prahova) near Campina, _Poiana_, and _Slanic_
(Prahova), _Ocnele_ Mari (Rămnicu), _Targu Ocna_ (Bacau). The chief
petroleum wells are also near Campina, at _Colibasu_, _Pacuri_,
_Doftanet_, _Telega_ &c., _Moineste_, &c., (Bacau). There are refineries
at Tirgovistea, Peatra. Ploiesti, &c.

[Footnote 9: The Roumanians recognise that a great part of the country
is much neglected, and that weeds are allowed to grow to the detriment
of agriculture. The _Indépendance Roumaine_, September 13 [25], 1881,
had a strong article on the subject.]

[Footnote 10: We do not intend to discuss this question, which is so
interesting to Roumanians, but we cannot help drawing attention to
Paget's remarks on the subject. He says, in one of his headings,
'Wallacks of Dacian, not Roman origin;' then (p. 112) lie gives woodcuts
of two heads with moustache only (sketched without any reference to the
question), and somewhat resembling our cut, and leaves his readers to
compare them with the figures on Trajan's Column. He says that he feels
satisfied they will agree with his view. They do not, however, in the
least resemble either the Romans with bare, or the Dacians with bearded
faces, on the column, and throw no light whatever upon the vexed
question. The general opinion of persons who have observed the peasantry
is that those of the mountain districts afford, in their type of face,
habits, and some words, the best illustrations in support of the
Daco-Roman hypothesis.]

[Footnote 11: Wilkinson's account of travelling in his day (1820) is
worth quoting. 'The mode of travelling,' he says, 'in the two
principalities is so expeditious that in this respect it is not equalled
in any other country. Their post establishments are well organised;
there are post-houses in all directions, and they are abundantly
provided with horses. Every idea of comfort must, however, be set aside
by those who are willing to conform themselves to the common method of
riding post. A kind of vehicle is given which is not unlike a very small
crate of earthenware fastened to four small wheels by means of wooden
pegs, and altogether not higher than a common wheelbarrow. It is filled
with straw, and the traveller sits in the middle of it, keeping the
upper part of his body in an erect position, and finding great
difficulty to cram his legs within. Four horses are attached to it by
cords, which form the whole harness, and driven by one postilion on
horseback, they set off at full speed and neither stop nor slacken their
pace until they reach the next post-house. Within the distance of half a
mile from it, the postilion gives warning of his approach by a repeated
and great cracking of his whip, so that by the time of arrival another
cart is got ready to receive the traveller' (p. 93). (This is still the
system in practice in some parts of Russia, and the author travelled in
this fashion, in the winter of 1849-50, from St. Petersburg to the
Prussian frontier.) Fifty years later matters seem to have retrograded
in Roumania, for Kunisch, an amusing German writer, describes his
journey from Giurgevo to Bucarest, now effected in two or three hours by
rail, which it then took him twenty-four hours to accomplish, at first
with sixteen horses and four postilions, and during the later stages
with eighteen and twenty-two horses. (_Reisebilder_, pp. 73-81. Berlin:
Effert and Lindtner.)]


But we must dwell no longer in this realm of fruitfulness, and must pass
on to the alpine regions beyond. In so doing we change our altitude much
more rapidly than heretofore, and as we travel through the ascending
valleys into the pine-clad rocks and mountains it is difficult to know
with what European highlands to draw a comparison. 'Is it Wales?' the
English reader will naturally enquire. 'No, for the mountains are too
sharp and rocky, and yet not nearly so barren as those of our
principality.' 'Are we in the Pyrenees?' Certainly not; the vegetation
is not so rich, few waterfalls are visible, and there is a slovenly
appearance about the clayey or sandy surface, reddened here and there by
ferruginous streamlets, and covered with weedy-looking brushwood which
is quite at variance with the sloping gardens of the sunny south of
France. Is the scenery Dolomitic? In a sense it is. The summits of the
mountains are often very jagged, Rosszähne or horses' teeth, as they are
called, but they are dark grey and not white or yellow as the Dolomites.
The trees are the same as in other alpine lands, firs, pines, larch, and
birch growing thickly to a height of about 5,000 or 6,000 feet above the
sea-level; then come grass and alpine flowers, and finally the rough
jagged summit. Whatever region it may resemble, and perhaps its nearest
analogues are the wilder portions of the Bavarian Alps or the less
rugged parts of the Tyrol, it is lovely and romantic, and needs only to
be visited by a few Western tourists to become an extension of the
playground of Europe; for, in combination with beautiful scenery, there
are charming costumes, primitive manners, and some interesting phases
of Oriental life. And should his way lead him to Sinaïa, the summer
residence of the Court, and the sanatorium to which the people of
Bucarest resort, not as yet in too great numbers, the visitor will
readily admit that there are few spots in Europe better calculated to
afford rest and refreshment to the wearied mind.[12]

Sinaïa presents many attractions for the tourist. Nestling on the slopes
of hills at the junction of three valleys, and immediately surrounded by
mountains which vary in height from 3,000 to 8,000 or 9,000 feet above
the sea-level, and are easily accessible to an ordinary mountaineer, it
consists of a fine old monastery, the temporary residence of the Court,
two good old-fashioned hotels, and a large number of pretty villas, the
property of wealthy landed proprietors, officials, and merchants of
Bucarest. There is a casino, or reading-room, and small concert hall, a
beautiful bathing establishment, and a garden in which a military band
discourses lively and lovely music every evening within hearing of the
guests whilst they are at dinner under verandahs in front of the hotels.
The monastery is situated upon a high hill approached from the valley
below by sloping walks and drives, and it consists of two large
curtilages surrounded by low dwellings, which were formerly (and are
still to some extent) occupied by monks, and now serve as the residences
of the Court and its attendants. The two curtilages are really one
divided across the centre, and in each division is a small Byzantine
church, in which the service of the Orthodox Greek faith is conducted.
At the further extremity of the convent are the apartments of the King
and Queen, and it is hardly necessary to add that everything is done to
render this old building suitable for the abode of royalty.[13] At the
side of the monastery is a verdant plateau, from which there is a
beautiful view, and whereon the peasantry, as well as many officers and
ladies of the Court, may be seen, usually on Sunday afternoon, dancing
the national dances of the country, and more particularly the national
dance, the 'Hora,' of which some account will be given hereafter. Behind
the monastery a small valley penetrates into the mountains. This valley
is, in reality, an extensive wood, containing some magnificent forest
trees and replete with ferns and wild flowers, whilst through the centre
of it a river rushes headlong, forming, as it descends, three beautiful
cascades, the last or highest being surmounted by a towering rock, to
ascend which, alone, is a good morning's healthful enjoyment. Behind
this rock rise the Carpathian peaks, Caraïman, Verful, &c., and from the
summits of these, which may be reached in two or three hours, it is said
that on a clear day the distant Balkans are visible across the Danube.

But if Sinaïa, with its surroundings, is beautiful to-day, what will it
be in the future? Close to the railway station, on a conspicuous
eminence, a magnificent hotel is in course of erection to meet the wants
of the increasing number of visitors. At present the King only
possesses, besides his temporary residence in the monastery, a small
châlet known as the 'Pavilion de Chasse,' situated in the woods behind
the monastery. Although this is externally an unassuming little villa,
the interior is beautifully decorated with carved oak, and is furnished
with exquisite articles of the same material, and generally with a taste
for which the first lady of the land is so widely reputed. But the King
is also erecting, in a favoured situation close at hand, a beautiful
summer palace, which will command a magnificent view of the surrounding
scenery; and there he and his Queen will no doubt continue, as they do
in their temporary residence, to dispense a generous hospitality to
visitors, and to secure goodwill and popularity amongst their

But we must apologise for this digression, and return to our general

[Footnote 12: Sinaïa may be visited either from Bucarest or
Transylvania. If from Bucarest, the traveller may go by the railway from
Vienna to that city in about thirty hours, and forward to Sinaïa in
about four hours more, or he may land at Giurgevo either on his way from
Constantinople by Varna and Rustchuk, or from the steamer down the
Danube from Pesth. If he approaches by Transylvania, it is from
Kronstadt, which is only a couple of hours from Sinaïa. Although a visit
to Sinaïa only is here described, as being the most easily accessible to
ordinary travellers, there are many beautiful tours to be made in the
Carpathians, and some of the more hardy of the young Roumanians who have
visited Western Europe assured the author that the outlying districts of
the Carpathians afford features of interest to pedestrians which are not
to be found in any of our known mountain districts.]

[Footnote 13: The monastery of Sinaïa was founded by the Grand Spathar
Michael Cantacuzene, brother of Voivode Sherban Cantacuzene, in the year

[Footnote 14: It is curious to note, in passing, that of about 400 men
who were at work on this palace last year, 150 were Germans, and nearly
all the rest were Italians.]


In speaking of the appearance of the surface it has been mentioned that
it is sandy or clayey, and it may be useful now to say a few words
concerning the geological formations of the country. Little has been
done by the native geologists in this direction, and the knowledge which
we possess is derived from the observations of a few foreigners who have
published works dealing incidentally with this region.[15] The whole of
Roumania may be said to form the northern portion of the basin of the
Lower Danube. In Bulgaria, on the southern side of the river, where the
banks often rise to a height of 300 or 400 feet, there are distinct
traces of the miocene formation; but there, as on the northern banks,
before the hills are reached, there is a wide plain of loess, tertiary
alluvial deposit. On the northern or Roumanian bank, beginning close to
the Iron Gates in the west, and extending to the eastern embouchures of
the Danube, in fact over the whole zone of the plain already referred
to, this alluvial deposit is found, and at the foot of the Carpathians
it sometimes attains the depth of from 150 to 300 feet, and imparts to
the country a neglected desert appearance where the surface is not
richly wooded or agriculturally clothed in green. The second zone--that
is to say, the lower hills and mountains--is chiefly of miocene
formation; but beneath this, and showing itself at the surface in
various parts, are strata of what Lyell calls 'a subordinate member of
that vast deposit of sandstone and shale which is provincially called
"flysch," and which is believed to form part of the Eocene series.'[16]
In this region, which is called by the Roumanians the region of vines,
are to be found marl, sandstone, chalk, and gypsum, with rock-salt,
petroleum, and lignite. The last-named is an important product of the
country, being used along with wood on the railways, and in brick and
lime kilns.

The southern slopes of the Carpathians consist of various older
strata--secondary, primary, and metamorphic--and the rocks of which they
are composed are limestone, marble, schist (mica-schist and slate), and
gneiss. On the summits are found conglomerates formed of quartz,
limestone, and sandstone.

To this meagre and superficial outline of the geological formations of
the country we have only to add that the inclination of the strata is
generally downwards in the direction of the Danube, and that they are
often contorted in a very remarkable manner.[17]

We have already spoken of the deposits of salt, petroleum, and lignite,
and in association with the second is found the substance known as
ozokerit or fossil wax. This is a brownish-yellow translucent
crystalline hydrocarbon, which softens with the warmth of the hand, and
burns with a bright light. It has never been industrially applied,
excepting in small quantities by the peasantry, who themselves fabricate
rude candles from it; but this is owing rather to want of enterprise
than to scarcity of the deposit. Anthracite, too, is present in various
places, but it is not worked. Of the existence of iron there is no doubt
whatever. Not only are there indications of it in the ferruginous
brooks and springs, but it has been found in association with coal in
various parts of the country.[18] Specimens of hæmatite have several
times been submitted to analysis, but the results were very
unsatisfactory. One sample tested by M. Hanon gave only 35.5 per cent.,
and another by Dr. Bernath yielded 40 per cent., of metallic iron. That
gold has been found and was worked in the Carpathians as far back as the
Dacian age is well known; and, according to modern writers, cobalt,
sulphur, arsenic, copper,[19] and lead are also present in different
districts, but the workable minerals of Roumania are at present limited
to salt, petroleum, and lignite; and, looking to the importance of the
subject, it is much to be regretted that the Government does not take
the same means to instruct the population in practical geology and
mineralogy as are employed to disseminate agricultural knowledge at the
excellent institution to which reference will be made hereafter. If the
people are only allowed to develop their industries in peace, it will no
doubt soon become apparent that the strata are charged with considerable
stores of mineral wealth.

[Footnote 15: The chief are R.F. Peters (_Die Donau und ihr Gebiet_.
Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1876. Cap. xii. p. 313), Fuchs, Bernath, and D.T.
Ansted. There have also been isolated memoirs published by Roumanians,
but, so far as we could ascertain, no systematic work is extant. The
best general works, touching also on geology, are those of Aurelian and

[Footnote 16: _Principles of Geology_, vol. i. p. 209.]

[Footnote 17: We believe this is really all that is known of the general
stratification, and although little that is positive has been revealed,
writers have made up for the deficiency by any amount of negative
description. Such writers as Aurelian and Obedenare simply deplore the
paucity of information, whilst Fuchs, an able and industrious geologist,
says: 'It is difficult to describe the country because there are such
vast tracts which have a character of despairing monotony; because
fossils are rare and badly preserved, if not entirely wanting; and the
different elevations present exactly similar petrographic appearances;'
in fact, he says that the prominent data are wanting to enable a
geologist to make a classification of the various strata.]

[Footnote 18: See Obedenare, 16-19. Also Cantacuzeno, _Cenni sulla
Romania_, Bucarest, 1875; and Ansted.]

[Footnote 19: Copper exists at Baia d'Arana.]



     The river system of Roumania--The 'beautiful blue
     Danube'--Appearance of the Lower Danube comparable to the Humber or
     Mississippi--Floating mills--The Danube in the Kazan Pass--Grand
     scenery--The 'Iron Gates,' misconceptions concerning them--Their
     true character--Archæological remains--Trajan's road--His
     tablet--His bridge at Turnu-Severin--Its construction and
     history--The tributaries of the Danube and towns upon them--The
     fishes of the Roumanian rivers--Lakes--Mineral waters of Balta
     Alba--Roman roads--Bridge of Constantine--Roman streets, houses,
     temples--Statue of Commodus--Gothic and prehistoric
     remains--Climate--Great extremes of heat and cold--Beautiful
     autumn--Rainfall-Comparison with other countries--Russian
     winds--Sudden daily alternations--Comparison of the country
     generally with other European states--Résumé of its productions,
     resources, and attractions for visitors.


The river system of Roumania constitutes one of the most remarkable
features in its geography, has played an important part in its past
history, and promises to exercise a powerful influence on its industrial
and political future. This system comprises the great main artery, the
Danube, with numerous confluents which take their rise in the
Carpathians, and, rushing at first in torrents, then How as sluggish,
often as half-dry streams, across the country before they empty
themselves into the parent river.

The 'beautiful blue Danube' has been so bepraised that to a traveller
who visits it for its scenic attractions it is likely to prove a bitter
disappointment. It is not blue, although during certain seasons it is
said to have a blue tinge, but a great part of the way from Vienna to
the defile of Kazan, and the whole distance from Orsova to the Black
Sea, it resembles in colour and appearance our river Humber, and we have
heard American travellers compare it to the Mississippi. For hours and
hours at a time it flows between perfectly flat banks, on which nothing
is visible but reeds and willow bushes. The surface of the river is
enlivened by innumerable floating water-mills, which lie at anchor
either in midstream or close to the banks, and obtain their motive power
from the rapidly flowing current. These are used for grinding the maize
and other cereals of the country. Here and there a small town or
fortification presents itself on either bank. On the Bulgarian side are
the towns of Vidin, Nicopolis, Sistova, and Rustchuk, with their domes
and minarets, and idle laughing crowds of gazers, either men
picturesquely clad, or women sitting perched, on the rocks, and looking
like so many sacks of floor all in a row. These certainly break the
monotony of the great stream, but the general appearance of the river
from Verciorova, where it begins to bathe the Roumanian shore, to its
mouth at Sulina is one long flat reach, higher, as we have already said,
on the Bulgarian than on the Roumanian side.


But although that is the stretch of the river which comes strictly
within the scope of our survey, there is another portion, lying
immediately above it, that well merits a passing notice, more especially
as we know that it played an important part in the Roman conquest and
the subsequent colonisation of ancient Roumania. There is perhaps no
river scenery in Europe to equal, and certainly none which excels, that
part of the Danube stretching for about seventy-five miles from
Bazias--the terminus of a branch of the railway from Vienna to
Verciorova--to the so-called 'Iron Gates.' It is here that the river
cuts its way through the Carpathians, and whilst along its general
course it varies in width from half a mile to three miles or more, in
the Kazan Pass, a defile having on either side perpendicular rocks of
1,000 to 2,000 feet in height, it narrows in some parts to about 116
yards, and possesses a depth of thirty fathoms. The banks closely
resemble those of a fine Norwegian fiord, rising more or less
precipitously, and being covered with pines and other alpine trees, and
occasionally, as in Norway or even in Scotland, the steamer appears to
be crossing a long mountain-locked lake. At the lower end of this reach
of the Danube are what the metaphor-loving Ottomans first called the
'Iron Gates,' and they no doubt found them an insurmountable barrier to
their western progress up the river. Considerable misapprehension,
however--which is certainly not removed by the accounts of modern
writers, who have apparently copied from one another without visiting
them--exists concerning these same 'Iron Gates.' Some of the writers
referred to speak of 'rocks which form cascades 140 mètres' (or about
460 feet) high, 'and which present serious obstacles to navigation.'
Where these cascades are we were not able to discover. The fact is that
the whole descent of the river throughout this portion does not exceed
twenty feet, and where it issues from the outliers of the Carpathians
the banks slope more gently than higher up, and the summits are simply
high hills. The 'Iron Gates' themselves consist of innumerable rocks in
the bed of the river. Here and there they appear above the surface, but
generally they are a little below it, and they break up the whole
surface for a considerable distance into waves and eddies, through which
only narrow passages admit of navigation, insomuch that in certain
states of the river the passengers and cargoes of the large steamers
have to be transferred to smaller boats above, and retransferred to the
larger class of steamers below, the 'Iron Gates.'


But by far the most distinctive, and for us the most interesting,
features of the Danube about here, are its historical reminiscences.
Almost the whole way from Golubatz (Rom. Cuppæ) to Orsova, there are
traces on the right (southern) bank of the remarkable road constructed
by Trajan (and probably his predecessors) for his expedition into Dacia,
and at one place opposite to Gradina is a noted tablet inserted in the
rock to commemorate the completion of the road. This tablet has been the
subject of much controversy, and it bears the following inscription:--


The Servian peasants, however, have little respect for heroes--at least,
for ancient ones--and the barbarians of seventeen or eighteen centuries
appear to have lighted their fires and cooked their 'mamaliga'[21]
against the tablet until it presents the appearance of a blackened mass.
Of the road itself we shall speak hereafter at some length in connection
with Trajan's expedition, but a few words concerning his bridge at
Turnu-Severin may still be added. All that remains visible to the
traveller to-day are the two terminal piers, of which sketches are here
given; but between those piers the bridge spanned the river, and a very
low state of the water discloses the tops of several other piers still
standing. In speaking of one bridge we have taken rather a liberty with
the facts, for it is now pretty generally admitted that there were
really two structures. Further down the river is a small island which,
in former times, is said to have extended to where the remains of the
bridge are found, and upon this tongue of land the ends of the sections
starting from either shore rested. The land is supposed either to have
sunk or to have been washed away by the current.[22] The bridge, to
which further reference will be made in our historical sketch, was built
after the plans of Apollodorus, the architect of Trajan's Column at
Rome. It was commenced about 103 A.D., and probably consisted of twenty
piers, each 150 Roman feet high and 60 feet broad, and the distance
between the two terminal piers on the banks is about 3,900 English feet.
The piers were of stone, but the upper part of the bridge was wood. In
the northern pier the stone consists of rubble, or artificial
conglomerate composed of small roundish stones and cement, and this was
probably cast into blocks, but the one on the right (southern) bank is
of hewn stone. On the northern side there is an old wall running up
from the pier to the ruins of a tower which was evidently connected with
the bridge.


But it would be better that we should reserve any further remarks
concerning the archæological relics of Roumania, and also some
observations of immediate interest in connection with the Danube, until
we have completed a brief account of the water system of the country.

Between the 'Iron Gates' and its three embouchures, namely, the Khilia,
Sulina, and St. George's mouths, of which only the second is navigable
by large vessels, the Danube stretches fora distance of about 650
miles,[23] and receives in its course numerous tributaries, whereof the
following are the principal on the Roumanian side. The Pruth is the most
important. It forms the boundary between Roumania and Bessarabia
(Russia), and is navigable by small grain-carrying vessels. Next in
importance historically is the _Sereth_, which divided Moldavia from
Wallachia, and the remaining rivers of any moment are the _Oltu_, on
which are situated the towns of Rimnic and Slatina; the _Jalomitza_,
watering Tirgovistea, one of the ancient capitals, and receiving as an
affluent the _Prahova_, which takes its rise near Sinaïa. The last-named
is a very interesting river, for in the vicinity of either bank are to
be found the petroleum wells or salt mines. Then there is the _Ardges_,
which flows past the little city of the same name and the town of
Pitesti, and receives the _Dambovitza_, on which the capital, Bucarest,
is situated. In these rivers are to be found in their due seasons many
species of fish, and as fishing is but little preserved they furnish
good sport. The most important kinds used for the table in Roumania are
two or three varieties of sturgeon, trout (small but sweet), herrings,
salmon, shad, pike, and carp, also perch, roach, barbel, tench, &c.
Roumania is not a lake country, and the largest lakes, called Baltas,
are found in the plains near the Danube, whilst amongst the inland
lakes, which are few in number and importance, that of Balta Alba, in
the district of Romnicu Sarat, possesses strong mineral properties, in
which chloride of sodium and carbonate and sulphate of soda
preponderate. Its waters are used for baths, and are said to cure
certain forms of scrofula, rheumatism, neuralgia, and other germane
maladies. Besides Balta Alba, Roumania possesses several other sources
of mineral waters.

[Footnote 20: Paget, vol. ii. p. 44. Dierauer, p. 73, who adds several
more disjointed or isolated letters.]

[Footnote 21: A dish made from maize.]

[Footnote 22: Paget, vol. ii. p. 58. Tocilesco, Plate VII. In the
illustrations there given the number of piers varies, but in both cases
the intermediate island is shown.]

[Footnote 23: The estimates vary from 630 to 650, but these do not make
full allowance for all the windings of the river.]


Returning now to the 'Iron Gates' of the Danube, the portal, as it were,
by which we enter the country, we find in connection with the great
bridge, and also starting from other parts of the Danube, remains of
Roman roads, to one or two of which reference has already been made; and
in the neighbourhood of these, again, evidences of permanent Roman
occupation. One road, west of the Iron Gates, has been named in
connection with Trajan's route. It commenced at Uj Palanka, and ran in a
north-easterly direction to Temeswar (Rom. Tibiscum), and thence to the
ancient capital of Dacia, Sarmizegethusa (modern Varhely), whence it is
believed to have been continued to the Transylvanian slopes of the
Carpathians bordering on Moldavia. This road, which, along with all the
other remains here referred to, will be found in our historical map, was
not situated in what is now Roumania. It was joined by another starting
from Orsova, which followed the valley of the Czerna, passed the modern
baths of Mehadia (Rom. Ad Mediam), and joined the first road at
Temeswar. A third, still more to the eastward, commenced at the Bridge
of Trajan at Turnu-Severin, and traces have been found which lead to the
belief that it must have crossed Wallachia in more than one direction
and have passed through the 'Rothenthurm' pass in the Carpathians,
whilst a fourth road, with which it was probably connected, started from
the vicinity of the bridge of Constantine, near Turnu-Magurele, and is
traceable in a north-westerly direction towards the Carpathians. Other
roads have been distinctly made out in these mountains connecting
Hermannstadt, Karlsburg, Schässburg, &c. The road on the southern bank
of the lower Danube ran along the whole course of the river, and has
been followed to the neighbourhood of Galatz; whilst in the Dobrudscha
there are still the remains of two Roman walls, one on either side of
the line of railway from Cernavoda on the Danube to Constanta (formerly
Kustendjie) on the Black Sea. As to the other archæological remains,
they are even more numerous and better defined than the roads. At
Turnu-Magurele, close by, there are traces of a second bridge across the
Danube, known as that of Constantine, and believed to have been
constructed by that emperor. In the same neighbourhood, at Celeiu, there
have been found several interesting Roman remains, ruins of buildings in
which the colouring is still visible on the walls, and a statue of
Commodus with an inscription. At Recika, near the modern town of
Caracal, close to the river Oltu in the district of Romanati, there are
also remains of streets and houses with inscriptions; and at Slaveni,
close by, are the remains of a temple of Mithras. Again, at Ciglena or
Tiglina, near Galatz, there is an old Roman encampment; at Vodastra, not
far from Celeiu (already referred to), still older prehistoric remains
have been found, whilst at Petrosa and Buzeu, on the line of railway
between Bucarest and Galatz, Gothic and other antiquities have been
discovered.[24] Interesting but more recent relics are to be seen at
Campu-Lung, the first capital of Wallachia. At Curtea d'Ardges, the
second (that is subsequent) capital, is a beautiful cathedral, which
will be more fully described hereafter; and Tirgovistea, the third
capital, from which the seat of government was removed to Bucarest, also
presents some interesting historical remains.

[Footnote 24: We are indebted for many of those details to M. Tocilesco,
whose beautifully illustrated work, _Dacia_, &c. (Bucarest: Tipografia
Academiei Romane, 1880), contains a vast amount of information
concerning Dacian and other antiquities.]


Before proceeding to deal with a subject in connection with the
geographical position of Roumania, which has special interest for
Englishmen, a few words may be found interesting in regard to its
exceptional and variable climate.

Both the winters and summers are very trying and severe; spring is so
short as to be almost non-existent, but this is compensated for by the
long autumn, a genial season which often lasts from the middle of
September to the end of November. In summer the thermometer often
reaches 90° to 95° Fahrenheit in the shade, whilst in winter it
frequently falls to zero, but the annual average is about 57°
Fahrenheit. Bain is not nearly so frequent as with us, and it seldom
lasts long. Comparisons have been made between Roumania and other
countries which show that whilst in England we have on the average 172
rainy days in the year, there are in Western France 152, in Germany 141,
and in Roumania only 74. Snowstorms are not frequent, there being on the
average only twelve days of snow in the year. The most trying
characteristic of the climate, however, is the cold cutting easterly
wind which sweeps over the steppes of Asiatic Russia, and often causes
life to be almost intolerable in the Roumanian plains; and another
unpleasant feature is the sudden change from heat to cold between noon
and evening during the later months of the year.

Looking generally at the physiography of Roumania, however, it will be
seen that whilst it covers an extent of country considerably in excess
of some of the small but prosperous independent States of Europe, it has
great advantages which they do not possess. Less rugged and mountainous
than Switzerland, and not so uniformly flat as Holland, its scenery
partakes of the character of both these countries. Guarded on the north
and west by the Carpathian range, and commanding the whole length of the
Danube in the south, its political position (to which further reference
will be made presently) renders it safer than Belgium, or perhaps even
than Denmark. Its soil is capable of producing, either spontaneously or
with a slight expenditure of labour, every requirement of the human
race, whether of necessity or of luxury. The grape, the peach, the
tobacco plant thrive in the open air. Its extensive forests contain most
descriptions of timber, whilst very fine salt and petroleum amongst its
mineral treasures are already worked, and there is little doubt from
the researches of chemists and metallurgists that coal, iron, sulphur,
copper, and even the precious metals are safely stored beneath the
surface. All these valuable natural productions may be readily conveyed
down the slopes of its mountains or across the plains, by short and easy
routes by land and water, to the larger watercourse which places it in
communication with the outer world; and as to the obstacles offered by
the 'Iron Gates' to the navigation of the upper Danube, these are soon
likely to disappear in an age when dynamite effects such vast
revolutions in the industrial history of nations. Add to these facts
that Roumania offers a rich field for the fisherman, that its alpine
districts are beautiful and easy of access, and that its antiquities
cannot fail to attract the attention of archæologists; and we see
already from this brief and very superficial geographical survey that it
encloses within its boundaries the promise of a brilliant future. And
now let us turn from the natural capacities of the country to the works
and ways of man.



     The Danube--Its importance to Roumania--To Great
     Britain--Statistics of British and foreign vessels trading
     there--Nature of the freight--Cereals--Our imports thence compared
     with those from other states--Importance of Roumania as a
     maize-grower--Effect of the Russo-Turkish war on Danubian
     trade--The Danubian Commission--Its history--Austria and
     Roumania--The Callimaki-Catargi despatches--Alleged pretensions and
     designs of Austria--Necessity for the neutrality of the
     Danube--Pending negotiations.

There is perhaps no question of greater real moment to the newly erected
kingdom than the free navigation of the Danube; for whether its
possessions are limited on the southern boundary by that river, or
whether at some future time they should extend beyond it, the reader
cannot fail to see from what has preceded that the Danube is the great
artery through which, so to speak, the industrial life-blood of the
nation circulates. But if it be a matter of primary importance to
Roumania, it is hardly less so to ourselves. The greater part of the
external trade of the countries bordering on the Danube which passes in
and out of the Sulina mouth, the only navigable embouchure, is carried
on in British bottoms, as the following figures will show:--

_Tonnage entering and leaving the Danube in 1880._
|                 |        |       |         |       |     |       |
|                 |Steamers|Tonnage| Sailing |Tonnage|Total| Total |
|                 |        |       | Ships   |       |Ships|Tonnage|
|                 |________|_______|________ |_______|_____|_______|
|                 |        |       |         |       |     |       |
|British flag     |   479  |408,492|   15    |  4,214|  494|412,706|
|All other nations|   242  |150,536|1,526[25]|238,312|1,768|384,848|
|                 |________|_______|_________|_______|_____|_______|
|                 |        |       |         |       |     |       |
| Total           |   721  |559,028|  1,541  |238,526|2,262|797,554|

Thus it will be seen that the carrying trade of Great Britain to and
from the Danube amounts to nearly 30,000 tons more than that of all
other nations put together. And now as regards the nature of the goods
carried. They consist outwards (from Roumania, &c.) of cereals, and
inwards of a great variety of manufactured goods. Of the former
5,394,729 quarters were exported in 1879; and it may be said generally
that Roumania receives in return almost every article of consumption in
the way of manufactured productions, and notably from this country
cottons and cotton yarn, woollens, coals, and iron.

In any year of scarcity our importations of feeding stuffs from the
Danube would become a most important factor, for in 1881 the Board of
Trade returns show the following comparative importations:--

_Imports of Cereals in 1880._

From United States     68,138,992
  "  Russia            12,830,851
  "  Canada             9,455,076
  "  India              6,458,100
  "  Roumania           4,355,344

All other countries, including Egypt, which is considered by no means
unimportant as a grain-producing country, sent us less cereals than
Roumania; and when we look at one species of grain, namely, maize, which
is considered equal to what is known as American mixed, and is capable
of being much more largely cultivated than at present, we find Roumania
third on the list; indeed, for some reason or other, her exports fell
off very materially last year, for in 1879 she ranked second:--

_Imports of Maize in 1880._

From United States     31,087,773
  "  Canada             3,322,327
  "  Roumania           1,764,482

We shall have to touch on this branch of the subject again; but if the
reader wishes to satisfy himself of the great importance to this country
of unrestricted trade on the Danube, he has only to refer to the annual
returns of the Board of Trade, and he will find that in 1876, when the
ports were closed in consequence of the last Russo-Turkish war, our
trade practically ceased, and that it has hardly yet recovered from the
effects of the stoppage.

Indeed, the question of Danubian navigation has been for some time past
recognised as one of European importance, and after the Crimean war,
when the great Powers took away from Russia a small portion of
Bessarabia abutting upon the embouchures of the Danube, an International
Commission was appointed, consisting of representatives of those Powers
and of Roumania, whose duty it was to maintain the neutrality and the
free navigation of the Danube at its entrance, for which purpose they
were authorised to levy tolls and construct works. Subsequently the term
of this commission was renewed for twelve years from 1871 (until next
year therefore), and the neutrality of works existing at the expiration
of the treaty was declared permanent. By the Treaty of San Stefano (Art.
xii.) and the subsequent Congress of Berlin, 1878, all fortresses on the
Danube were ordered to be dismantled, and men-of-war, with the exception
of guard-ships, were excluded. The rights, obligations, and prerogatives
of the International Commission were maintained intact, and (at the
Berlin Congress) its jurisdiction was extended to the Iron Gates.

This is everything of historical note that has, until quite recently,
been published with authority on the subject, but to those who are
interested either commercially or politically it has been well known
that the commission was not working smoothly, and that differences had
arisen between Austria and Roumania concerning their respective
jurisdiction. This first found public utterance in the Roumanian speech
from the throne last year, when the King said that his Government was
prepared to defend its rights to control the navigation of the Danube in
Roumanian waters, or words to that effect. What followed is contemporary
history. Austria, regarding this as an affront intended for herself,
threatened to withdraw her ambassador, and Roumania apologised. In the
meantime, however, M. Callimaki-Catargi, a former Minister of Roumania
in Paris and London, published in an unauthorised manner a long
correspondence between the Roumanian Foreign Secretary and himself,
which contained a statement of the Danubian difficulty that had been
handed to Lord Granville. It was circulated largely in France and
Roumania, and is interesting in relation to future events.[26] According
to M. Catargi, Austria has endeavoured, almost since the establishment
of the commission, to resist its action where she supposed such action
trenched upon _her_ interests and jurisdiction, whilst, on the other
hand, she has been aggressive upon the rights of her neighbours. It
appears from his statement that when it was attempted to form a
'Riverside Commission' to take the place of the original European
Commission, and keep the whole course of the Danube clear (a very
desirable object, as the reader will have seen from our description of
the Iron Gates), Austria objected to any interference with her
jurisdiction over that part of the Danube which flowed through her
territory. But when more recently the commission appointed a
sub-committee to study the lower Danube, and to report to it with such
recommendations as would ensure the carrying out of the project in its
integrity, it was found that some unseen influence had been at work to
change and pervert the entire constitution and objects of the

The report was made, but it was found quite inappropriate to the desired
end, as it ignored the freedom of the navigation, the question of the
coasting trade, &c.; whilst, on the other hand, it proposed a 'mixed
commission, which was to be an executive committee, not at all
contemplated by the Treaty of Berlin, and which brought to light
pretensions of a new order.'

Those pretensions were an attempt on the part of one power, namely,
Austria, to dominate the whole course of the river. The Executive
Commission was to consist of four members, representing Austria, Servia,
Roumania, and Bulgaria, and the Austrian commissioner was to preside and
to have a casting vote. Servia has a very small interest in the river,
as her territory extends only a few miles below the Iron Gates, and it
is essential to her very existence to remain on friendly terms with her
powerful neighbour, so that 'it results that Austria, who is already
mistress of the upper Danube, would obtain further privileges and a
veritable supremacy over the remainder of its course.'

M. Catargi goes on to tell Earl Granville 'that if Austria succeeded in
securing her domination she would throw every obstacle in the way of the
importation of the products of the Western nations into the great basin
of the Danube in order to secure the monopoly of her own.'[27]

This is the present condition of the Danubian question, and we have
reason to believe that negotiations are proceeding which are intended to
pave the way for a settlement next year. From what we know of those who
represent British interests in the matter, we feel satisfied that those
interests will be carefully guarded; but this must not prevent us from
bearing in mind international principles and rights everywhere
recognised as equitable, and which we feel confident will not be lost
sight of in the negotiations. Roumania is the most deeply interested;
she has a perfect right to the executive control of the navigation of
the Danube in her own waters, subject to her engagements with the
Powers. The contention put forward more or less officially by Austria,
that if this right were conceded to Roumania the other riparian Powers
might claim the same privilege, is answered by the simple statement that
such right is theirs already, as much as it is the right of Austria to
control the navigation of the Danube at Pesth or Vienna, of Germany to
regulate that of the Rhine at Cologne, or Belgium at Rotterdam. So far
as England is concerned, it needed not the revelations of M. Catargi to
acquaint us with the fact that Austria will do as she has done, namely,
attempted to limit our trade in the basin of the Danube; and our
interests and those of Roumania are therefore identical.

But it is to be hoped that passing events in that part of Europe will
cure Austria of her aggressive tendencies, and that she will not assume
the same attitude towards the Powers as she did towards her weaker
neighbour. She will gain more by co-operating loyally with her to
improve the navigation of the lower Danube than by striving either
openly or secretly to secure a predominance which she could not
permanently maintain even if her present efforts were successful.

[Footnote 25: Chiefly Greek and Turkish.]

[Footnote 26: The correspondence, which extends from June 23 to
September 5, 1880, and is chiefly telegraphic, was published in the
supplement to the _Indépendance Roumaine_, Bucarest, December 6 [18],

[Footnote 27: After this despatch follows one from M. Bratiano, the
Roumanian Secretary of State, finding fault with M. Calargi for his
unfriendly tone towards Austria, and here is his edifying reply on that
point. 'Let me satisfy you (_vous rassurer_) as to the consequences that
might arise from the handing in of this document. Written on paper
without any mark, deprived of every official or individual character,
bearing no signature, this historical _résumé_ of the phases through
which the question has passed cannot compromise anyone.' This is one of
the men who make history, and to whom the lives and interests of the
million are confided!]



     The chief cities of Roumania--The capital, Bucarest--Ignorance
     concerning it--Conflicting accounts--Its true character--The 'sweet
     waters of the Dambovitza'--Dimensions of Bucarest--External
     aspect--The Chaussée, the ladies' mile of Bucarest--Streets, shops,
     and houses--The Academy--Its collections--Coins--Dacian, Roman, and
     other antiquities--Excellent physical laboratory--Professor
     Bacologlu--The Coltza laboratory--Dr. Bernath--The Cismegiu
     Garden--Shabby courts of justice--Other
     buildings--Churches--Railway stations--Fine hospitals--Dr.
     Davila--The Colentina Hospital--The 'police des mœurs' and the
     morality of Bucarest--The 'Philanthropic' Hospital--The
     'Coltza'--Its museums--Life in Bucarest--Hotels--The upper
     classes--Places of amusement--Cost of land and houses for different
     classes--Wages of artisans; of gipsies--Habits of the
     working-classes--Cost of living, food, clothing, &c.--Native
     costumes made by the peasantry--Their beauty and variety--The
     poorest class--Mamaliga--The gipsies--Their origin and
     history--Their slavery--Wilkinson's account of them in his
     day--Their emancipation and present condition--Laoutari or
     musicians--Their other occupations--Their religion--Fusion with the
     native Roumanians--Striking contrast between gipsies and
     natives--Lipovans--Roumanian love of bright colours--Pictorial
     advertisements--Amusing signboards--Absence of intellectual
     entertainments and occupations--Want of exchange and market
     buildings--Great advances since 1857--Edgar Quinet's account of
     Roumania in his day--'The Roumanian Company for erecting Public
     Edifices'--Funerals--Octroi duties--Their onerous character--A few
     words on the Jews--Bitter journalistic attacks upon them--Curtea
     d'Ardges--Its beautiful cathedral--The exterior--Fine tracery and
     ornaments--The interior--Legendary history--Negru Voda and
     Manole--Poem of Manole--Entombs his wife alive in the
     foundation--His fate--True history--Neagu Bassarab, its
     founder--John Radul--Quaint and interesting tablets concerning its
     history down to 1804--Subsequent history and present
     condition--(Note: Brief history of Christianity in
     Roumania--Atheism and indifference to religion).


The chief cities or towns in Roumania are Bucarest, the capital, in the
district of Ilfovǔ; Jassy or Iasi, the old capital of Moldavia, in that
of the same name; Galatz or Galati, in Covurluiǔ; Curtea d'Ardges, in
the district of that name; Braila or Ibrail, Craiova, Botosani,
Ploiestĭ, and Pitesti. We have not named them exactly in the order of
their size, as it is our intention to give some details of the first
four only.


(_Reduced from Plan by Professor Zamphirolu._)

1. Filaret Railway Station.

2. Tirgovistea Railway Station.

3. Metropolitan Cathedral.

4. Palace.

5. National Theatre.

6. Council of Ministers.

7. Academy.

8. British Embassy.

9. Post and Telegraph Offices.

10. Church, Radu Voda.

11. Ministry of Finance.

12. Summer Palace (Cotroceni).

13. Asyle Hélène.

14. Coltza Hospital.

15. Colentina Hospital.

16. Bank of Roumania.]

Of the capital, Bucarest, the reader will here find a general plan, in
case he should at any time visit the city. To give any lengthened
account of it, however, would be a mistake; for such a description would
certainly be inaccurate a few years hence, as the city is undergoing
great change and improvement from day to day. Still it is the heart of
Roumania, the centre from which all progress emanates; and whilst we
shall refer to some of its more valuable institutions when we come to
deal with national and social questions of general importance, we
propose to dwell upon it for a brief space.

Some of the questions that are asked concerning Bucarest, even by
persons who believe themselves well-informed, are highly amusing. One
friend, who is really a well-read man, asked us shortly after our visit
whether it was not a great continuous 'Mabille,' and he looked very
incredulous when we told him that, although we had walked through and
through it, and had carefully looked at all the posters announcing
amusements in various places, we had no recollection of seeing a
dancing-garden amongst them, and that we believed none existed. Another
friend, a highly educated professional man, was not quite sure whether
Bucarest was north or south of the Danube; but it was a place, he knew,
where the chief occupation was gambling. There may be some little truth
in the latter statement, but gaming-tables are forbidden, and he need
not go so far from home as that to see the law evaded.

But it is no wonder that strangers are puzzled to form a correct
conception of Bucarest, and their perplexity is not likely to be
relieved if they read the descriptions that have been given of the city
and its inhabitants from time to time. Some writers have described it as
an assemblage of dilapidated houses standing in unpaved streets. Its
upper classes are represented as very polite depraved ladies and
gentlemen, including a large proportion of the former who have been
divorced three or four times, and are in the habit of entertaining
simultaneously all their _ci-devant_ husbands in the presence and with
the sanction of the 'man in possession.' The lower classes comprise
half-naked gipsies of both sexes, with a considerable sprinkling of
priests or 'popes,' eating bread and onions or mamaliga (the maize
pudding of the masses), or lounging on the doorsteps of the houses, or
sauntering along the unpaved streets in charge of a lean pig. According
to such writers the chief occupation of the Bucarester is getting
divorced or being buried in state. Then there is the romantic school of
authors who represent it as a city of palaces standing in their own
grounds, with numerous beautiful Byzantine churches, pleasure-gardens in
which plays are performed, or where the Laoutari or minstrels (gipsy
bands) play wild and stirring music all day long. There are charming
Roumanian belles, with flashing eyes and the sweetest of voices;
dark-eyed gipsies, chaste as Diana and as fleet of foot; grave boyards,
stately Turks (of whom, by the way, we never saw one whilst we were on
Roumanian ground, although there were plenty, very much married indeed,
on the Danube steamers); reverend abbots, with long black robes and
flowing white beards; and nuns in unique costumes of dark cloth, with
caps and hoods resembling a crusader's helmet. The truth, as usual, lies
between these two opposite extremes.

[Illustration: MONK AND NUN.]

Bucarest, or Bucuresci, 'the city of joy,' as it is called by the
Roumanians, is a large, irregular, straggling city of about 175,000
inhabitants, situated on a dirty little stream called the Dambovitza (as
already stated, a tributary of the Ardges), concerning which some very
famous verses have been written, proclaiming its waters to be so sweet
that any one who drinks of them never desires to leave Bucarest. What
its retentive properties may have been in former times we are not able
to say, but we can quite imagine any person who ventures to drink of
the water being incapable of leaving the city for ever afterwards.
However, the prosaic authorities are not greatly impressed by their
national poetry in this instance. The river is being 'canalised,' or
confined within stone embankments, and there is a plentiful supply of
_apa dulçe_ from another source, which exercises no controlling
influence whatever upon the movements of the drinker. The greatest
length of the city as the crow flies is about 3-1/10 miles, and its
greatest breadth somewhat less, but many of the outlying parts resemble
country roads rather than streets. Viewed from a distance, or from the
hill upon which the metropolitan church stands, it has a most
picturesque appearance, consisting of a vast number of churches, chiefly
Byzantine, only a few of which are visible in our photograph, and many
good-sized buildings. But what gives a peculiar charm to the city is
that all these buildings appear to be placed in one vast garden, for
there is hardly a single one without some trees in its immediate
vicinity, and many of the larger houses really stand in gardens of
considerable extent. This, too, is the cause of the city covering so
large a space in proportion to the number of its inhabitants. It is
built with perplexing irregularity, as will be seen even from our
superficial plan, where only the main streets are given; but the
intermediate spaces are filled with narrow, crooked, and ill-paved
streets and lanes, their most disagreeable feature being that, in
consequence of the soft yielding nature of the subsoil, the pavement
gives way, and soon becomes inconveniently undulating. There are,
however, several broad well-paved streets,[28] the chief being the Podu
Mogosoi, as it is still called, although after the fall of Plevna it
received the more dignified appellation of the Strada Victoriei; it runs
through the centre of the city from an incipient boulevard--which
promises one of these days to metamorphose the whole place--to a park or
garden of considerable extent, where it is further continued through an
alley of trees known as the Chaussée. This is the favourite drive of
the Bucaresters, and at stated hours a rapid succession of vehicles
pours out from various parts of the city to see and to be seen. These
birjas, as the little open carriages (resembling a small _calèche_) are
called, contain the moat motley assemblage of sight-seers--ambassadors,
state officials, and well-to-do citizens of both sexes in European
dress; ladies of more humble rank in the national costume;[29] gipsies
and poor workmen and women, who, one might imagine, would be better on
foot, half-clad, and very considerably unwashed. In or about the Strada
Victoriei are many of the principal buildings--the national theatre, the
King's palace (a very modest structure at present undergoing
improvements), the Ministry of Finance, and some fine hotels. The shops,
which are mostly kept by Germans and French-men, are of a fair kind,
though not equal to those of Vienna, Paris, or indeed of many smaller
continental capitals.[30] The houses here, and everywhere in Bucarest,
are built of brick, plastered white, and often very tastefully decorated
externally with figures or foliage in terra cotta; but it is the
cracking and falling off of this external coating, which occurs more
readily in a place subject to great changes of temperature than in more
equable temperate climes, that imparts to Bucarest the dilapidated
appearance so often referred to by writers. This blemish is, however,
likely soon to disappear; for the rise of a wealthy middle and trading
class, and the general increase of prosperity, will lead to the
substitution of stone buildings for what can only be regarded as
temporary structures.

[Illustration: BUCAREST.


Besides the 'Victoriei,' there are several other very good streets, one
of which is the Lipscanii, which derives its name from the Leipzig
traders who formerly lived there, and it is still only a shop street.
There are some small squares with central gardens, but the finest
thoroughfare promises to be the Boulevard, which it is intended to carry
round the city by connecting it with the wider roads. On this boulevard
stands the Academy, a large classical building with a fine façade of
columns; and in a square opposite is the bronze equestrian statue of
Michael the Brave, engraved in the second part of this treatise.

[Footnote 28: The middle pavement is composed of a very hard kind of
brick called 'basalt,' which is very solid and durable.]

[Footnote 29: The national costume is worn by Indies of high position in
the country, and on state occasions, but not as ordinary citizens'
dress; see the Queen's portrait, Chap. XV.]

[Footnote 30: It may be mentioned for the reader's guidance that French
or German will serve him almost anywhere in Roumania.]


The Academy is the centre of intellectual life in Bucarest. Temporarily
the Senate meets there, but it also harbours many other institutions.
First there is the National Library, with a collection of 30,000
volumes, most ably managed by M. Tocilesco, who is at the same time a
well-known author, and professor of ancient history at the University.
Through his acquaintance with the literature of most European nations,
his own historical and ethnological attainments, and his readiness to
put these as well as the treasures of the library at the disposal of
strangers, this gentleman cannot fail to raise his country in the
estimation of those who pay it a visit. He is also the curator of the
fine Archæological Museum in the same building, which is very valuable
to historians. It contains a complete series of Roumanian coins
presented to the Academy by M. Stourdza; many Dacian, Roman, Greek,
Egyptian, and Syrian relics; along with a smaller collection from the
bronze, stone, and iron ages. Some of the Daco-Roman monuments and
sarcophagi, found near the Oltu, have a special historical interest, and
many of the more valuable objects, such as arms and ornaments of gold,
bear runic inscriptions. Coming down to a later period, there are
Albanian arms and costumes, mediæval vestments and ornaments of the
clergy, a magnificent carved oak screen of the seventeenth century,
probably one of the finest in existence, and numerous other objects of
interest to the antiquary.[31]

The natural history collection is poor, although local types are well
represented; the gallery of paintings is small and good, the subjects
being chiefly historical, with the addition of portraits of Heliade and
other national heroes. The classes of the University meet here, but,
with one exception, the appliances for higher scientific education are
very inferior. That exception is the physical laboratory, which would
reflect credit upon any public institution. It is contained in three or
four large rooms, and comprises every modern physical appliance
carefully protected from injury. Most of the instruments, which are of
the first order, are made by Secretau of Paris, and a small engine and a
Siemens-Halske magneto-electric machine were in course of erection
during our visit. The selection of instruments and the order which
pervades the whole bear practical testimony to the accomplishments of
Professor M. Emanuel Bacologlu, of whose teaching power and wide-spread
knowledge we heard nothing but praise on every side. The chemical
laboratory is nothing more than a popular lecture hall, poor and
disorderly in its arrangements, and quite unworthy of a national
institution. On the other hand there is a small but perfect chemical
laboratory in the Coltza Hospital close by, where the lecturers, Dr.
Davila and his able assistant Dr. Bernath, give excellent instruction to
the young medical students of the city. This is, however, far too small
for its object, and we hope that the 'era of peace,' referred to in the
speech from the throne last year, will enable the State to give greater
efficiency to the instruction and appliances of the city. In any case,
there is one practicable means of attaining this end which wilt be
pointed out when we come to speak of the general education of the

[Footnote 31: Engravings of most of the objects here referred to will be
found in M. Tocilesco's book, which, through his kindness, the writer
has been enabled to deposit in the British Museum Library.]


Under the same roof the geographical and other learned societies meet.
But we have said enough of this building, and must now pass on to a few
more prominent edifices in the city. Besides the Chaussée and its
surroundings, there is another large park or pleasure-garden in the
centre of the city, called the Cismegiu, which contains ornamental
waters, flower-beds, and fine alleys of trees, and is a favourite resort
of the humbler classes. In the immediate vicinity of this garden stand
the Courts of Justice, and the greatest service we can render to the
people of Bucarest is to advise visitors to give them a wide berth, or
at least to content themselves with a look at the exterior. The interior
of some portions at least vies, in filth and disorder, with the meanest
of our police courts. The Government buildings are of a much higher
order, and that of the Ministerial Council is very spacious and well
furnished. None of the numerous churches of Bucarest are really fine,
excepting in their external appearance, which is often very picturesque.
They are all built of brick and plastered, many roofed with metal, and
the paintings in them are very inferior, however interesting some of
them may be historically. The finest is the cathedral, or metropolitan
church, which stands upon a commanding eminence not far from the
boulevard, and beside it are two poor buildings, in one of which the
metropolitan resides, whilst in the other the Chamber of Deputies meets.
The church is comparatively recent, having been erected in 1656 and
restored in 1859.

Bucarest has two railway stations, both situated at some distance from
the centre of the city. One is the terminus of the railway from
Giurgevo, situated on the Danube about two hours' ride distant; the
other of the lines to Verciorova, Pesth, and Vienna, westward; Predeal
and Kronstadt, Transylvania, to the north; and Galatz, Jassy, and Odessa
to the north-east and east. Passengers going to Constantinople travel by
rail to Giurgevo, where they cross the Danube to Rustchuk, and thence
proceed again by rail through Bulgaria to Varna, and on by steamer to
Constantinople; but a line is in progress from Bucarest which will take
them to the Black Sea through the Dobrudscha, namely, from Cernavoda to
Constanta (Kustendjie), thence to the capital of Turkey by steamer.

Returning once more to the consideration of the public buildings, we
have to refer to the hospitals, which are admirably managed by the
'Eforia Spitalelor,' the hospital board, as we should call it, and by
its Director-General, Dr. Davila, whose work one encounters continually
in Bucarest. There are seven hospitals or infirmaries, of which three
at least are well worth a visit. The Colentina hospital makes up 200
beds, 130 for women and 70 for men. The wards are roomy, well ventilated
and warmed, and the beds and bedding clean and comfortable. (The same
cannot, however, be said of certain other arrangements.) There are ten
women nurses, and we heard complaints of a want of volunteers there and
elsewhere, which detracts from the humanitarian character of the work.
To the hospital a dispensary is attached, where from January 1 to
September 8 last year, 10,791 persons had been relieved. A very
repulsive feature in this hospital is the ward containing forty or fifty
unfortunate women under the surveillance of the so-called 'Police des
Mœurs,' who are very solicitous about the health of a few of these
miserable creatures that live in a wretched lane in the city, whilst
they allow the traffic to be carried on in some places as openly as it
is in the Strand or Haymarket. Another hospital, which to the
uninitiated is far more attractive than the Colentina, is the
Philanthropic, a beautiful building of recent construction, containing
wide passages and very fine wards, and admirably fitted up with baths
and all modern conveniences. The third is situated close to the academy,
and is called the Coltza hospital. This was originally a monastery, at
the entrance of which a statue, already referred to, has been erected to
Michael Cantacuzene, the founder,[32] and it is said to have been
converted into a hospital in 1715.

This may be called the students' hospital, for here is not only the
little chemical laboratory of Dr. Bernath, but also dissecting rooms,
amphitheatre, and anatomical museum. Of the latter, indeed, there are
several, osteological, physiological, &c., and they reflect great credit
upon the gentlemen who have formed them under almost insuperable
difficulties. There are several other important buildings in or near
Bucarest. Two of these, the Agricultural College and the Asyle Helene in
the outskirts, will receive a special description hereafter; but in the
city itself there are, besides those already named, the National Bank,
some of the monasteries devoted to philanthropic purposes, and three or
four hotels, where travellers may live with great comfort and luxury at
an extravagant cost.[33]

[Footnote 32: See p. 202. A high tower attached to it is said to have
been built by the soldiers of Charles XII. of Sweden.]

[Footnote 33: The principal hotels are the 'Grand Hôtel du Boulevard'
(on the boulevard), the Hotel 'Brofft,' 'Hugues,' 'Imperial,' 'Mano,'
&c. The cost of a room varies from six to ten francs per day, and of
board about the same. Wine is very dear, varying from three francs for
the native wines up to twenty francs for fine French descriptions. All
these matters are, however, undergoing change from year to year.]


Whilst we are speaking on this subject it may not be uninteresting to
add a few words on the mode and cost of living generally. The upper
classes, and such middle classes as exist, are remarkably hospitable and
social; they live in great comfort, and some of them in luxury, which we
fear is not always warranted by their revenues. The style of living is
Franco-German, in fact pretty much the same as in St. Petersburg. Many
people dine regularly at the large hotels, especially in those which
have open-air conveniences for that purpose during the summer months.
The theatres are well frequented, and in summer the favourite resort is
an open-air theatre of varieties near the St. George's Garden, where
native as well as French plays are performed, and where the songs of
'Erin and Albion,' sung by natives of these shores, are well
appreciated. Here may be seen grave diplomats sitting side by side with
the _bourgeoisie_, and the only objectionable feature is the doubtful
character of certain of the plays, which resemble some that are from
time to time performed at our English theatres; both have a common
origin, and would be better left in the place of their conception, that
boasted centre of civilisation, Paris.

Whilst the upper and middle classes in Bucarest live in the style of
many large continental cities, and often in great luxury, the poorer
population are by no means so badly circumstanced as some writers have
represented. A great many of the higher class of artisans occupy their
own houses. Land is comparatively cheap, and a workman may procure a
cottage with a couple of parlours, a small kitchen, and a little garden,
for about 3,000 francs, or 125£. The cost of a residence in the best
part of the city where land is comparatively dear, with six rooms,
stable, and garden, averages 80,000 francs, or 3,200£., land varying in
value in the city from two to twelve francs per square yard.

Much of the rougher work is done by gipsies, but the better class of
Roumanian artisans, such as carpenters, joiners, painters, tin workers
(who cover the roofs of buildings), receive from five to seven francs
per day, working from sunrise to sunset, with two hours for meals, or on
an average twelve hours per day. Italians and Germans, of whom many are
employed, receive one or two francs more than natives, whilst engineers
and fitters are paid eight to ten francs per day. A great deal of time
is lost in Roumania through feasts and holidays, of which there are,
including Sundays, over a hundred in the year. During this time not only
is there no production, but time spent in idleness leads to the same
demoralising waste there as elsewhere. The working classes are seen
hanging about wine-shops, as they congregate about public-houses here;
and, although it is a very rare thing to see people drunk in the
streets, many are heavy drinkers, consuming large quantities of rachin
(grain-spirit) and sour wine.[34]

The cost of living is moderate. Dark bread varies from 1_d._ to
1-1/2_d._ per lb., white from 1-1/2_d._ to 2_d._, almost as dear,
therefore, as with us. Roumania is essentially a stock breeding country,
and whilst butcher's meat varies from 4_d._ to 5_d._, mutton costs 3_d._
to 3-1/2_d._ per lb. Common wine is 3_d._ to 4_d._ per pint; fruits of
all kinds are very cheap, and afford an article of luxury to almost
every class of the population. Tobacco is dear, owing to the monopoly.
We believe there was an attempted revolution over the tobacco question
in 1805, which, had to be put down by military force. All kinds of
clothing for the poorer classes are imported, and a suit of best clothes
costs about thirty francs, a pair of boots eleven to twelve francs. This
does not, however, apply to the country. There the women, besides doing
field work and managing the household, make _all_ the clothes, the men's
as well as their own; and by that is meant that they spin, weave, and
make up the garments. The custom, already referred to, of wearing the
national costume by ladies in the country and on state occasions in
Bucarest, gives very lucrative employment to the native women, and such
costumes are exposed for sale in the shops of the capital at prices
varying from 6_l._ or 7_l._ to anything the wearer likes to pay. Many of
these costumes testify to the exquisite taste of the females by whom
they are made; for the combination of silk, wool, and thread, and the
beautiful lace-work, the effect of which is heightened by diminutive
spangles of gilt and silver, cannot fail to challenge admiration. These
costumes are, however, better adapted for young girls than for ladies of
a maturer age.


Not only the women, but the men also, wear much livelier descriptions of
dress than we are accustomed to in the west of Europe; and whilst the
frilled unmentionables of some of them would excite ridicule amongst our
hardy operatives, the brocaded vests of others would perhaps be regarded
by them with envy.

[Illustration: GIPSY FLOWER-SELLER.]

The preceding remarks concerning the working classes do not, however,
apply to common labourers. These are chiefly gipsies, hundreds of whom,
men, women, and children, may be seen carrying bricks and mortar, and
performing every kind of drudgery, for which they receive about one or
two francs per day. If they are engaged upon the erection of a building,
they work, cook, and sleep in it; otherwise they find shelter where they
are able. They are frequently half-naked, the children sometimes
completely so; and their chief, if not their only food, which they eat
in common with all the poorest classes, is mamaliga, or maize-meal
boiled and flavoured with a little salt. This is sold at about 2_d._ for
3 lbs., but its price depends upon the maize crop.

[Footnote 34: It is not so much a question in Roumania of time actually
lost; for if we add the longer working hours on the one hand, and deduct
the Saturday half-holiday of our operatives, probably there will not be
found to be much difference; but it is the recurrence of feast-days and
holidays at irregular intervals, as is the case in those trades in
England where men go off 'on the spree' for a day or two at slated or
unstated periods. In Romania this is, in its way universal.]


As to the gipsies themselves, concerning whom our readers will no doubt
have heard a great deal in connection with this country, they formed,
until recently, a nation within a nation, and even now they speak a
language of their own, and to some extent stand aloof from the remaining
population. They are the same people variously named Bohemians by the
French, Zigenner by the Germans, Gitanos in Spain, Tschinghenneh by the
Turks, and Tsigani by the Roumanians, who look upon them pretty much as
the white man regards the negro, between whose nature and that of the
Roumanian gipsy there is much that is analogous. That they are of Hindoo
origin few doubt, for their language has great affinity to the Sanscrit;
and when they first entered Roumania, probably early in the fifteenth
century, they were simply a race of wandering barbarians, a later
arrival, who were soon enslaved by the boyards. Many of them followed
the occupation of gold-washers in the Carpathians, and part if not all
the product of their labour fell to the portion of the wives of the
Voivodes; indeed, according to some writers, a considerable number were
slaves, whom the princess or her officials did not hesitate to sell,
maltreat, or even put to death with impunity.

[Illustration: GIPSY MUSICIANS.]

Wilkinson has given us anything but a flattering description of them in
his day (1820). The Principalities, he says, contained about 150,000 of
them, and 'they make a more profitable use of them than other countries
do by keeping them in a state of regular slavery.' They were able to
undergo constant exposure to the rigours of the weather, and were fit
for any labour or fatigue, but their natural indolence caused them to
prefer all the miseries of indigence to the enjoyment of comforts that
are to be reaped from industry. They were thieves from choice, but 'not
with a view of enriching themselves, and their thefts never extend
beyond trifles.'[35] The women were well-shaped before they began to
have children; both sexes slovenly and dirty in the extreme. An account
of their habits in the coarse language of the historian would be unfit
for our readers' perusal. There was no regular traffic in them, 'both
purchases and sales being conducted in private, and the usual price for
one of either sex was from five to six hundred piastres.' He says the
Government owned 80,000, consequently more than one-half of them, and
they were 'suffered to stroll about the country, provided they bound
themselves not to leave it, and to pay an annual tribute of the value of
forty piastres each man above the age of fifteen.' They lived in tents
near the large towns, and seem only to have worked as much as was
requisite to keep body and soul together. But, he adds, 'they possess a
natural facility and quickness in acquiring the knowledge of the arts,'
and musical performance was their forte. They were also employed as
slaves in the households of the boyards, especially in the kitchens,
which they made 'not less disgusting than the receptacles of swine.'
They were bastinadoed, often in the presence of the master or mistress,
and 'the ladies of quality, however young and beautiful, do not show
much delicate reluctance in similar instances of authority.' Other
punishments, some very inhuman, were inflicted; and although the owners
had no power of life or death over them, if the latter were the result
of too severe beating 'neither the Government nor the public took notice
of the circumstance.' Not only was it 'under the care of these depraved
servants that the boyards were brought up,' but as the women of the
higher classes were not in the habit of nursing their infants, they
placed them in the hands of gipsy wet-nurses, who imparted to them their
diseases, and no doubt influenced the morals of their after-life.[36]
Although the gipsies were nominally freed in 1848, their condition
remained unchanged after the revolution was suppressed, and it was not
until 1854 that they were permanently liberated. To-day there are
nominally 200,000 of them in Roumania, and until recently they were
divided, or divided themselves, into distinct castes following various
occupations. The highest of these were the Laoutari, or musicians, who
generally perform in bands consisting of four or five men each. These
usually play upon one or two violins, a mandoline, and the Pandean
pipes. Their music is wild and plaintive, giving the impression from a
distance that two or three bagpipes are being played. They have the
credit of being very good musicians, and of being able to perform
national airs from the ear alone. Some of them have risen to the
position of acknowledged composers, and indeed, for that matter, many
individuals amongst the gipsy race occupy comparatively high posts in
other departments of human intelligence.

[Illustration: ROUMANIAN GIRL.]

[Illustration: GIPSY.]

Another section are workers in metal, such as tinkers and
brass-founders; a third work in wood, and perform various duties
connected with the building trade; but a large proportion are still
vagabonds and thieves, who infest the country, and are a nuisance to the
honest peasants and labourers. The last-named class profess no religion
and obey no law, excepting the criminal law when they are forced. The
settled part of the gipsy community belong to the national Church; the
women are chaste as against the Roumanians, but their morality is said
to be very lax amongst themselves. It is, however, hardly fair to speak
in these general terms of the gipsy race at present. As already stated,
many of them occupy very honourable positions in society; and some years
since a German writer predicted what is now taking place, namely, a
fusion of the gipsies with the Roumanians.[37] We were informed by a
learned philologist in Bucarest that this process is rapidly going on;
the castes are not so clearly defined; intermarriages with Roumanians
are of daily occurrence; many of the gipsies do not even know their own
language; and their number is rapidly diminishing. Intellectually they
are talented, but lazy. Many of the men, and still more of the women,
are very handsome. Although every gradation of shade is to be found
amongst their faces, pretty much as one sees in the negro race in the
United States, the features of the Roumanian gipsies are generally
well-formed Indo-European. Nothing is more striking than to see two
women pass each other, or walking side by side: the one a Roumanian,
fair, florid, and blue-eyed, the other a gipsy with a skin as black as a
sloe, jet-black hair, and black eyes, and yet the features similar in
both cases, and each woman in her way handsome.[38]

Many stories have been related concerning the gipsies, and their
character has often been invested with romance; but we cannot afford
them more space, and we are loth to give _any_ to another class of
beings whom one sees in Roumania, namely, the self-mutilated sect of
Lipovans, well known to persons who are, or rather were formerly,
acquainted with Russia, out of which country they were driven when they
took up their abode in Roumania. They are chiefly hackney-carriage
drivers, and wear the Russian dress, consisting of a long cloth coat
bound at the waist by a belt, and a round peaked cap. We were informed
that the police are making efforts to get hold of the leaders of this
sect, which is undoubtedly a blot upon the civilisation of any country
in which its members are to be found.

[Footnote 35: Raicewich gives a similar account of them in 1789.]

[Footnote 36: Wilkinson, pp. 168-176.]

[Footnote 37: 'Und da sie ein sehr schöner Volksstamm sind, und
andrerseits die übrige Bevölkerung sie darchans nicht zurückstösst, so
sicht nichts entgegen dass sie in einer ziemlich nahen Zukunft mit der
Masse der roumänischen Bevölkerung verschmelzen.'--Petermann's
Mittheilungen, Ergänzungsheft 4, 8. 12. Gotha: J. Perthes.]

[Footnote 38: There are two types of gipsies, the one Indo-European, the
other of an African cast.]


The Roumanians are very fond of bright colours, and one of the
peculiarities which strike the visitor to Bucarest is the hues of the
women's dresses, sometimes, but not always, as tasteful as they are
brilliant. Another feature is the love of the pictorial art in
connection with the advertisements of tradespeople. Amongst many
examples of this, in various vocations, is the frequent recurrence of
signboards, representing a lady reposing in her bed after an interesting
event, whilst the nurse (who thus advertises her profession) is holding
up a beautiful infant in her arms for the admiration of its parent and
the general public. The amusements of the working classes, and for that
matter of all classes, are by no means of the highest order. The
Roumanians love music, and many are accomplished musicians. The national
theatre is well attended by the middle classes during the season, so are
the _cafés chantants_ by the lower orders; but there is no intellectual
enjoyment as in Western countries, no popular lectures nor
entertainments, no societies for mutual improvement for any class of the
community. If one enquires what learned societies there are, he may
probably receive, as we did, a long list of them, bearing imposing
names, and many said to publish 'Transactions' (_Zeitschrift_); but
enquire a little further, and you will find that this society has been
defunct for so many years, and that one never met--that this
'Zeitschrift' was published once, but not a second time, and so on. The
Geographical Society has done some good work. In 1875 they published a
report through their secretary, M. Cantacuzeno, which contains a great
deal of valuable information concerning Roumania; but unfortunately, as
in the case of all Roumanian statistical records, this differs in many
cases from the statements of other 'authorities,' and cannot be accepted
as entirely trustworthy.

These remarks, however, are not applicable to the researches and
publications, in transactions and reviews, by savants such as Hasdeu,
Aurelian, Tocilesco, Bacologlu, Prince Jon Ghika, Cogalniceanu, and many
others. These are, however, entirely out of the reach of the multitude,
who stand greatly in need of popular instruction, a fact which has been
recognised by the Queen, who is not only doing all in her power to
popularise information by means of simple publications, but we believe
made an effort, hitherto ineffectual, to introduce a system of popular

In another respect the city is behind the age, and that is in its
commercial arrangements. Although there are large transactions in raw
produce, in the manufactures of all nations, in stocks and shares, there
is no public Exchange, no Stock Market, no Corn Exchange, all the
business being transacted by ambulating brokers. But if the reader knew
in what condition the country was before the Crimean war, he would
marvel, not at the absence of such institutions, but that there should
be any need of them. In his work on the Roumanians published in 1857,
Edgar Quinet suggests as the means of their regeneration after so many
years of oppression 'a bank,' 'an institution of credit,' and railways,
of which there were at that time none in existence.[39] Now there are
banks, credit institutions, railways between most of the important
centres, and others in progress. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say
that the progress which has been effected in this country in twenty-five
years has in other European States necessitated one or two centuries;
and this is a circumstance of which most writers on the country have
lost sight in their criticisms. For the purpose of erecting suitable
buildings for trade, and for public bodies generally, a corporation has
recently been started which calls itself the 'Roumanian Company for
building Public Works.' Its capital is ten millions of francs, and
Prince Demetrius Ghika, President of the Senate, is the chairman, with
an unexceptionable board of directors, and no doubt the next five or ten
years will witness changes and improvements as rapid as those which have
occurred in the immediate past.

Much, perhaps too much, has been written concerning Roumanian funerals.
That they are showy, almost to irreverence, and that the exposure of the
face of the corpse in its glazed coffin is repulsive, there can be no
doubt, but they are not one whit worse than the lugubrious processions
with their 'arrangements' in black and feathers which are still to be
seen in England; and there, as here, it is to be hoped that with
improving national taste these exhibitions will be discontinued.

Very different, however, is the old-fashioned system of octroi, of which
the poorer classes complain bitterly, still in vogue not only in
Bucarest but in all the other large towns of Roumania, and the still
more iniquitous poll-tax. The latter amounts to eighteen francs per
head, and is levied on rich and poor alike. It is, however, needless to
say more on that subject; for the 'Romanul,' a daily journal, owned by
M. Rosetti, and published by him whilst he was Home Secretary (August
27, 1881), contained a most effective leading article against the tax,
from which it is clear that its injustice is recognised in the highest
quarters. As to the octroi system, it is bad beyond all conception. A
municipal tax, sometimes of so much per 100 kilos (4 to 44 francs), at
others _ad valorem_, or again upon each article, is levied upon almost
everything required by the inhabitants as it is brought into the city,
from food, clothing, and the necessaries of life, to such luxuries as
wine, artificial flowers, and carriages. And what aggravates the evils
of the system is that the municipality farms these duties to men
(usually Jews) who evade the authorised schedule by giving credit to
needy persons and then compelling them to pay exorbitant rates of
interest (if it can be so called) for the accommodation they receive. It
is for such practices as these, resulting in part from the want of good
government combined with the improvidence of the people, and from the
readiness of the Jews to turn these and similar circumstances to
favourable account, that the latter have been subjected to persecution
which formerly took the shape of violence and outrage, and which is now
confined to bitter invective and national ill-will.

The Jews, said 'Romania Libera' (a very inappropriate title for the
exponent of such views), are masters of the trade of the country and
poison everything economically. Joint-stock establishments are
recommended by it for the sale of clothes, shoes, and linen. The
Government must regard it as its sacred duty to foster this movement
with all its influence. 'The Jews need have no apprehensions. We will
not pitch them into the Danube, nor requite them with a Sicilian Vesper
as they deserve. Preventive economical regulations are much more
effective than the above-named measures.'[40] It is needless to remark
what a pernicious influence such an article as this would have upon an
excitable people who had been the victims of usury and oppression; and
whilst no language is sufficiently strong to apply to the perpetrators
of such outrages upon the Jews as have disgraced the Eastern nations who
have been guilty of them, Englishmen should hesitate before they fix the
blame upon the government of any country in which they occur. The Jews
are the chief traders in Roumania, and if they are exorbitant and
usurious the way to meet them is by competition and enterprise on the
part of the native traders, not by invective and abuse.

[Footnote 39: _Œuvres complètes_, vol. vii. p. 97.]

[Footnote 40: This article appeared in, and the extract was copied from,
the journal in question by the writer whilst he was in Bucarest, but he
omitted to copy the date.]


Before passing to the consideration of one or two other Roumanian towns
which will necessitate a reference to the trade of the country, we will
devote a few pages to the description of one of the most interesting
localities, or rather of a building therein, which is generally
considered its most noteworthy historical relic, and that is the church
or cathedral of Curtea d'Ardges.

The small city of Curtea d'Ardges, which contains one or two good old
churches, is situated on the river of the same name, a few hours' drive
from the station of Pitesti on the Bucarest and Verciorova (Vienna)
Railway; it is the seat of a bishop, and is one of the oldest towns in
Roumania. It is said to have been founded by Radu Negru, which is
tantamount to saying that its foundation is lost in obscurity. In its
immediate vicinity is a monastery containing a most beautiful cathedral,
around which cluster many interesting historical associations, and
whereof we propose to give a brief description.[41] It is of the
Byzantine order, but the architect has employed in its decoration a
large amount of Moorish or arabesque ornament, and the whole building
resembles a beautiful large mausoleum. The stone with which the
cathedral is faced has usually been called marble, but it is a whitish
grey limestone somewhat resembling lithographic stone,[42] which is very
easily workable with the chisel, but hardens on exposure to the air. We
have said it is faced with this stone, that is externally, for the
internal face of the building is of brick plastered for the reception of
paintings. The church is of an irregular form, being composed of a
square block, behind which is a large polygonal annexe; the whole is
raised upon a pediment seven feet in height, and the portal, which is
Moorish, is approached by twelve marble steps, said to symbolise the
twelve tribes of Israel. From the square main portion of the church a
large dome rises in the centre, and two smaller cupolas in front, whilst
a secondary dome which is larger and higher than the central one
surmounts the annexe behind. The domes and cupolas constitute the
summits of what are called by architects 'tambours;' the tambours of the
cupolas are round, that of the central dome octagonal, and that of the
hinder secondary one pentagonal. From all the domes alike there spring
inverted pear-shaped stones, each bearing a cross which consists of an
upright rod traversed horizontally by three smaller ones; the crosses
bear balls and chains, and symbolise the Trinity. On the ground,
opposite the portal, and within the stone balustrade which surrounds the
church, there is an exquisite little open structure resembling a shrine.
This consists of four plain Arabic pillars supporting a series of
mouldings which form a square cornice, and crowned with a dome,
pear-shaped ornament, and cross, precisely as in the cupolas of the
church itself. The windows in the body of the church and on the tambours
of the domes are very narrow, and those on the tambours or cylinders of
the smaller cupolas are curved and slope obliquely at an angle of
seventy degrees, which gives the spectator the impression that they are
leaning, somewhat in the same manner as the well-known spire at
Chesterfield. The ornamentation on the outside surpasses all powers of
description. It comprises a large corded moulding, about halfway
between the pediment and the cornice, passing right round the main
building; and circular shields above this moulding, which, along with
the windows, are decorated with the most exquisite tracery, wherein
flowers (chiefly lilies), leaves, and convoluted bands play a
conspicuous part. Everywhere, on the cornices, tambours, and balconies,
chaste wreaths and crowns of lilies add beauty and lightness to the
fabric, and give to the whole the appearance of a fairy structure.


Within, the building is less interesting; it is dimly lighted by the
narrow windows, artificial light being furnished by means of numerous
candelabra during divine service. The secondary dome is supported by
twelve Arabic pillars, and the walls and domes are decorated with
frescoes of the orthodox kind--the Saviour, Virgin, and Apostles, with
scenes from the Old and New Testament, also with portraits of princes
and bishops of the See. The length of the building inside is about 76
Vienna feet, the greatest breadth 41 feet. The height of the two domes
is 86 feet and 81 feet respectively, and of the smaller cupolas 66 feet.

If the architecture and ornamentation of the cathedral are beautiful,
the historical records which it contains are even more interesting. It
is true that great uncertainty hangs over these, as over all other
Roumanian chronicles, but certain facts in connection with the building
and its history are well established.


Its archives have been carried off by the invaders who, from time to
time, sacked and plundered its valuable treasures; but several
inscriptions inside and outside of the church, some of which are in the
Servian and old Slavonian language, and others in Roumanian, throw light
upon its history and construction.

First, however, we must inflict upon our readers a little legendary
lore, which, although it illustrates the uncertainty of the early
history of the country, will give them a glimpse of the national thought
and feeling in the past. According to tradition the cathedral was
founded by 'Neagu Voda,' of whom we shall speak hereafter; and it is
said that whilst he was a hostage at Constantinople he built a
magnificent mosque for the Sultan, who allowed him to take away to his
own country the surplus materials, and that from these he constructed
the cathedral after his own designs. A still wilder legend makes one
Manoll or Manole the architect, and it is said that he had several
master-masons associated with him in the work, but that the efforts of
the combined masons failed to raise the building. Neagu Voda had
commanded them on pain of death to proceed with it, when Manole, to save
their lives, proposed that they should follow the old custom (legendary
let us hope) of building up a woman in the foundation; and it was
decided that the woman who first made her appearance with the provisions
for her husband on the following day should be the victim. They all
swore to keep the fact secret from their wives; but Manole was the only
one who kept his word, and consequently his wife Utza was the first to

    'He took her by the hand at once
    And led her to the building,
    Then pointed out where she should stand,
    And he began to build:
    "Be, my beloved, without fear."
    She did not interrupt his discourse.

    'The other masons in astonishment
    All look at him with terror,
    And all stand at a distance,
    For they dare not venture near;
    When he softly speaks to her,
    And with haste builds her up.

    '"This joke is not good,
    Manole, my beloved;
    Reflect that I am a mother,
    And that I am bringing up your son."
    But Manole still jokes
    And hastens as much as he can.

    'Up to her breast he had built up,
    And she sweetly sings to him;
    The strong wall bruised her,
    And she swims in tears,
    But when he had finished,
    The wall more than overtopped her.

    'This was the remedy:
    And the wall was able to stand;
    And after this the monastery
    Ceased to fall any more;
    The wind, the earthquake do not shake it.
    Utza within the wall upholds it.'

Thus far the poet;[43] but the legend does not end there. The boasts of
the masons were so arrogant after the cathedral was completed that
Radul, or Neagu (for he is called by both names), gave orders for the
scaffolding to be removed, and left them to die of hunger on the roof.
Manole and his companions sought to save themselves by constructing
parachutes of light wood, but as each attempted to descend he was dashed
to the ground and turned into stone. Manole himself was the last to make
the attempt, but when he approached the parapet he was horror-struck at
hearing the plaint of his wife as he had heard it when he was building
her up in the foundation, and, losing all sense and power, he fell to
the ground. From the spot where he fell dead a spring of clear water
gushed forth, and a fountain which was erected there is still known as

And now to pass from fiction to fact. According to the inscription upon
a tablet outside of the church, it was founded by Neagu Bassarab, a
prince of Wallachia, to whom we shall refer hereafter in our historical
sketch. He is reported to have been very pious and patriotic, to have
founded many monasteries and restored the cathedral of Tirgovistea. He
died about A.D. 1520, and was buried in the church at Ardges.[44] He
did not, however, live to complete the cathedral, for another tablet
within the church says that John Radul, or Radul d'Affumaz, to whom
reference will also be made in our historical summary, caused the
paintings to be executed in 1526.[45]

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the church was desecrated
and plundered by ruthless invaders, Christians (Hungarians) as well as
Mohammedans, who carried off its treasures, which are said to have been
of great value. In 1681, however, Prince Serban Cantacuzene, of whose
good deeds we shall speak hereafter, completely restored the cathedral,
as appears from the Roumanian inscription on a tablet outside near the
portal. This inscription is quaint and interesting, and deserves a place
in any work professing to deal with the history of the country. After a
number of deeply pious and moral reflections it goes on to say:--

     'Therefore Nyagoe Voivode Beserab, of happy memory, the great
     grandfather of my wife on the mother's side, who was a pious and
     God-fearing man, when he was invested with the government of
     Wallachia, did, amongst many other good deeds, cause to be erected
     a large and splendid monastery in this town of Argesia, along with
     the other cloister buildings in the vicinity, for the worship of
     God and in honour of his sainted mother; which monastery, as it may
     readily lie imagined from the high wages paid to the workmen
     engaged in its erection, must have been a very costly undertaking.
     After a considerable period the foundation and steps began to give
     way, either through some error of the builders or owing to the damp
     caused by long-continued rains which loosened the stones. About
     that time I, Johann Scherban Kantakosino Beserab Voivode, in the
     name of God, was entrusted with the government of my ancestors. As
     soon as I became acquainted with the dilapidation of the monastery,
     I at once resolved to restore the building of my ancestors in order
     that the memory of that famous prince (Nyagoe) might not be
     forgotten, and I sent our boyard Dona Pepano as superintendent with
     numerous workmen, and thereupon restored the whole building where
     it had suffered damage, and bolted with iron the stones which had
     loosened, that they might thus continue to hold together, and then
     I further determined to endow the sacred monastery with the income
     from the hill[46] of Menesti, near Ardges, to hold and enjoy its
     entire revenues. These shall be in support of the holy monastery
     and in eternal remembrance of us and our ancestors.

     'In the year 7190, the 26th August.

     'This happened under the Metropolitan Kyr Theodosius.'

At the close of the eighteenth century Ardges was constituted a
bishopric, and at the beginning of the present, Bishop Joseph was at
great pains to renew and restore several portions of the cathedral. The
inscription commemorating this event is brief:--

     'To the glory of the Holy Trinity, to the glory and praise of the
     Holy Virgin Mary the Mother of God, this church was restored where
     it was injured by the rain. Where, however, the colour was only
     obliterated, it was repainted; at the instigation of Joseph the
     first Bishop of Ardges, in whose time also other work was done,
     under the Metropolitan Dositheos and Prince Constantine Ypsilanti.
     The superintendent of the work was Meletin (of the Monastery). In
     the year 1804, 25th October.'

Besides having suffered at the hands of barbarians of various nations,
this beautiful fabric has from time to time been injured by earthquakes;
but it has survived all these calamities, and has been frequently
repaired, restored, and beautified since the beginning of this century.
The property and incomes of monasteries have been largely applied to
secular purposes, and amongst those whose resources have been much
curtailed is that of Ardges. It is to be hoped, however, that, either
through State support or private benevolence, this beautiful monument of
mediæval art and valuable historical record may not again be allowed to
fall into decay, but may long remain what it is at present, undoubtedly
the gem of Roumania.[47]

[Footnote 41: An excellent monograph, beautifully illustrated, of this
cathedral was published by Ludwig Reissenberger (Braumüller, Vienna,
1860), to which we refer the reader for further details concerning it.
Our two woodcuts showing the tracery are copied from that work, but the
autotype plate is from a photograph by Duschek.]

[Footnote 42: Reissenberger calls it 'Grobkalk.' Similar stone is found
in the neighbourhood.]

[Footnote 43: There are several versions of the legend. In some the
prince is called Negru Voda, in others Negoije Voda, and in others again
Radu Negru. The poem has been translated by Hon. H. Stanley, _Roumanian
Anthology_, p. 215 (Hertford: Stephen Austin), an expensive and
beautifully illuminated drawing-room book, containing some Roumanian
poems in the vernacular, and others translated into English.]

[Footnote 44: The date on the tablet is 7209. This is Anno Mundi,
according to the chronology of at least a section of the Byzantine
Church, Christ having been born, after that reckoning, 5509 years after
the creation of the world. (See Brown's _Vulgar Errors_ and Smith's
_Dictionary of the Bible_.) Engel says Neagu reigned from 1511 to 1520.
Vaillant says he died in 1518.]

[Footnote 45: 7035 (A.M.) is the date on the tablet.]

[Footnote 46: Vineyard?]

[Footnote 47: As reference has been made from time to time to Roumanian
ecclesiastics, the following brief particulars may not be uninteresting.
Christianity was introduced into the provinces bordering on the Danube
at a very early date. According to A. de Gerando (_Siebenbürgen und
seine Einwohner_, p. 211, Lorck, Leipzig, 1845), a MS. was found in
Hungary, bearing a cross and the date 274 A.D.; and in 325
A.D. a Bishop Theophilus was spoken of amongst the Goths. In
370 A.D. Athanaric, the Gothic king, persecuted and put many
Christians to death. In 527 A.D. the Christian churches of
Roumania (as then constituted) were taken in charge by the metropolitan
of the Greek Church. But it was not until 865 A.D. that the
Bulgarians and the native population associated with them were actually
converted to Christianity (Lauriani, p. 29). About that time intrigues
existed between the heads of the Eastern and Western Churches for the
possession of the headship in these countries, but the influence of the
former predominated. About 860 A.D. a Slavonian liturgy was
introduced into the churches, and, notwithstanding the denunciations and
embassies of the Roman Pontiff, a separation occurred about 880 A.D.,
and the Roumanians joined the Orthodox Greek Church. Of the negotiations
between Innocent III. and Johannitz, King of the Second
Wallacho-Bulgarian monarchy, we shall speak hereafter, and although
after that time the Papal power was in the ascendant in Wallachia and
Moldavia amongst the princes and nobles, the people always leaned to the
Greek rite, and at length, in 1440, the metropolitan of Moldavia
succeeded (Romish writers say by a religious _coup d'état_) in making
the Greek Church dominant. In the middle of the seventeenth century the
most important Roman Catholic bishopries were suppressed, and down to
the present time the Greek Church has been the state religion, and it is
professed by nearly the whole nation; even the King, who was formerly a
Roman Catholic, now conforms to the faith. Of the secularisation of the
monasteries and other religious movements we shall speak in Part II, and
it is only necessary to add that at present there are two metropolitans
or archbishops, six bishops with dioceses and several without; in 1876
there were 9,800 secular priests, 1,700 monks and 2,270 nuns, 6,550
churches and 173 monasteries and nunneries. The priests or 'popes' marry
and follow secular occupations in the country; in the towns they are
'non-productive' so far as labour is concerned. The services of the
Greek Church are not impressive; but although much has been written
concerning their superstition, the Roumanians do not differ greatly from
the people of other Catholic countries in that respect. There is great
indifference to religion, if not absolute atheism, amongst the higher
classes, which no doubt results from the great ignorance of the
priesthood. The thing most to be regretted, however, is that whilst
there are thousands of 'religieuses,' as they are called, in the
country, all the nurses in its excellent hospitals should be paid
servants, and the Church does nothing whatever towards maintaining the
efficiency of those institutions.]



     Tramways in Bucarest--Other efforts at improvement--Galatz--Its
     position on the Danube--Quays, streets, buildings, &c.--Importance
     as a seaport--Languages requisite for trading there--Almost entire
     absence of English firms--Reports of the Consul-General, Mr. Percy
     Sanderson--The quality of British manufactures--(Note: The author's
     experience)--Causes of preference for foreign over British
     manufactures--Commercial treaties--Austrian pressure to the
     detriment of Great Britain--Statistics of our import and export
     trade with Roumania--Infancy of her manufacturing
     industries--Difficulties hitherto existing--War and uncertainty of
     investments--The new port of Constanta (Kustendjie)--Other
     Roumanian towns--Jassy--Its position and institutions--(Note:
     Conflicting estimates of its population)--Ibrail, Craiova,
     Ploiesti, &c.

If many of the streets of Bucarest are badly paved and the city
imperfectly sewered, it is at least striving hard to keep pace with
other European towns in regard to modern conveniences. Its main streets
are well lighted with gas, and it boasts a good line of tramways round
and through various parts of the city. But when we come to consider what
is now the second town of importance in Roumania, Galatz, we have to
step back a few decades before we can realise its condition. It is
situated on the left bank of the Danube about ninety miles from the
Sulina mouth, and to the east of it is Lake Bratish, which is only
separated from the great river by a strip of marshy land. On the whole
it is more regularly built than Bucarest, and for about a mile along the
river's bank the business portion extends, with its quays for ships
discharging, ships loading, foreign agencies, timber yards, and railway
loading and discharging berths. In the town itself there is nothing of
interest to strangers. The streets are in a condition alternating
between mud over your knees and dust over your ankles, imperfectly if at
all drained, and lighted with oil lamps, of which one in every three is
usually put into requisition. There are some good-sized public
buildings, including the Prefecture, some hospitals, two of which, one
called St. Spiridion, and another built during the Russo-Turkish war,
were a great boon to the wounded of all the armies. There is also a
cathedral, such as it is, and several Greek churches, one of which is
said to contain the remains of Mazeppa; a synagogue or two, and a few
other places of worship. Then there is a 'park' and a garden, and
altogether Galatz resembles Bucarest on a small scale, and without its
improvements. The chief boast of the place seems to be a constant
water-supply, which is, however, so regulated that whilst one
householder is watering his garden his neighbour cannot perform the same
operation, but must wait patiently until he has finished; and finally
there are, as a matter of course, a good many brick houses, some of one
story and some of two, in which dwell a very kindly and hospitable set
of inmates.

The importance of Galatz as a seaport is, however, quite another matter.
Although this country transacts a very considerable trade with it, there
are very few English houses or agencies there, the chief business being
carried on by German, Italian, Greek, and French firms; and not only
those languages, but also Turkish and Bulgarian, are requisite for
trading purposes.

The chief commodities exported to England are, as already stated, maize
and barley, and the chief importations from this country are cotton
yarn, cottons, woollens, machinery, hardware, cutlery, dry stuffs,
spices, tea and sugar, but besides those there is hardly an article used
by a civilised community which is not supplied to Roumania from this
country. In two admirable reports published in 1877 and 1878, our
Consul-General in Roumania, Mr. Percy Sanderson, has reviewed the trade
between the two nations, and he gives some rather significant hints to
'fair traders,' that is to say not in the refined sense in which the
term has been recently employed, but in its good old-fashioned
signification of honest dealers. 'It cannot be said,' he remarks, 'that
the bulk of the goods imported from Great Britain forms by any means a
fair sample of its produce and manufactures,' and 'there is already a
tendency amongst the well-to-do classes to purchase French or Austrian
manufactures when they are prepared to pay a high price for a really
good article, although the same goods might possibly be furnished them
from Great Britain at a lower rate.'[48] But Consul Sanderson gives
another reason for the preference shown for foreign as distinguished
from English manufactures. It is that the local trade is chiefly carried
on by natives of those countries from which the articles preferred are
imported, 'whilst there is not a single shop in Galatz kept by an
Englishman--it seems doubtful whether there be one in the whole of
Roumania.' And there is still a third reason, to which he only refers
incidentally, but we question whether it is not the most cogent of all.
Whilst continental states, and especially Austria, have shown little
delicacy in exacting favourable treaties of commerce from the Roumanian
Government, England has been at a disadvantage in that respect. We may
be told that we are placed on the most favoured nation footing, but we
were informed at Bucarest by persons occupying high positions, and whose
statements may be trusted implicitly, that, although this is apparently
and nominally the case, it is not so in reality, as the commercial
treaties have been initiated by Austria, and so framed as to give a
preference to her manufactures.[49]

Notwithstanding these drawbacks, however, our exports to Roumania are on
the whole increasing, as witness the following statistics (Board of
Trade, 1881), although there has been a slight falling off in cotton
stuffs on which the tariff is high, and in manufactured iron.

_Total Exports from Great Britain to Roumania._

|                            |  1878.   |  1879.   |  1880.   |
|                            |          |          |          |
|British manufactures        | £887,488 | £997,078 |£1,112,761|
|Foreign and colonial produce|  112,987 |  100,354 |    86,501|
|  and manufactures          |          |          |          |
|Total                       |£1,000,475|£1,097,432|£1,199,262|

_Total Imports into Great Britain from Roumania._

|              |  1878.  |   1879.   |  1880.    |
|Maize         |£587,635 | £805,788  |  £558,745 |
|Barley        | 316,402 |  462,622  |   796,808 |
|Other produce |  66,518 |  104,592  |   106,283 |
|Total         |£970,555 |£1,373,002 |£1,461,836 |

The manufacturing industries of Roumania generally are hardly in their
infancy, but at Galatz are to be found a wood factory and sawmills of a
very superior order, owned by Messrs. P. Goetz & Co. They are lighted
with the electric light, and are doing a large and increasing export
trade; indeed last year (1881), as we are informed, a cargo of deals &c.
was shipped from this factory to the Panama Canal Works. There is a very
large flour mill, and also the 'Galatz Soap and Candle Company;' but
this last has not proved a success, inasmuch as the raw products,
including stearine (which is found in Roumania as ozokerit), are all
imported at a cost which interferes with their profitable employment.
Whilst we are dealing with the question of manufactures, we may mention
that besides the petroleum refineries referred to in a former chapter,
there are in Roumania sugar factories at Chitilla and Jassy, match
factories in Bucarest and Jassy, and one cloth factory. Steam mills for
grinding flour abound, and there are water mills for assisting in the
preparation of flannel.

This seems a small beginning, but there is much hope in the future. The
same causes that militated against the prosperity of Roumania in other
respects have rendered the prosecution of national industries an
absolute impossibility. Wilkinson referred at considerable length to
this matter sixty years since. Who would have ventured to invest capital
in mills and factories which were liable to be burned or plundered by
Turks or Russians for strategical or other warlike purposes, or would be
taxed beyond endurance by a suzerain master for the maintenance of his
Constantinople harem and of his needy officials? The soil indeed could
not be carried off, or there would not have been even an agricultural
industry. But the time is not far distant when the advantages of
Roumania as a manufacturing country will become apparent, and when her
native products, coupled with her proximity to the Danube and Black Sea,
will enable her to compete successfully with other nations, especially
with those near neighbours from whom she is at present compelled to draw
her supplies of manufactured commodities.

Her statesmen already recognise these facts, and they are taking steps
accordingly. A new seaport is in course of formation at Constanta
(Kustendjie), which will be connected with Bucarest and the whole of
Roumania through the existing line to Cernavoda, and one in progress to
Bucarest.[50] Besides being useful as a defensive maritime station, this
new port will give an impetus to trade, which will be further stimulated
by the establishment of _entrepôts_, hitherto confined to the seaports,
at Bucarest and elsewhere.

But we have devoted sufficient space to Galatz and the nascent
commercial and manufacturing industries of the country, and before
treating of what is by far the most important source of her wealth,
namely, her agricultural resources, we must say a word or two about the
old Moldavian capital, Jassy. This is picturesquely situated at an
altitude of more than 1,000 feet above the sea-level, on the railway
from Pascani (Galatz-Cernowitz) to Kischeneff in Russia. The number of
its inhabitants is uncertain, probably about 75,000, and includes a very
large proportion of Jews, who monopolise the trade and banking business
of the place.[51] It stands upon three eminences, and its principal
streets have been paved by contract with a London firm at a cost of
200,000£.[52] It is lighted with petroleum lamps, and is badly drained
and sewered, but possesses some important buildings, and contains many
fine residences belonging to the landed gentry. Besides a university
where there are some men of considerable attainments, it has a museum,
school of art, various secondary educational establishments, and law
courts, including a court of appeal. A noteworthy circumstance connected
with the inhabitants of Jassy, and which applies equally to the whole of
Roumania, is that the death-rate is persistently lower and the
birth-rate higher amongst the Jews than the Christians, and in fact
there have been periods when the Jewish population was increasing whilst
the remainder was at a standstill.[53] When Jassy ceased to be the
capital of Moldavia, it claimed and was awarded compensation by the
legislature; but, according to the authority just quoted, 'no payment
has ever been or appears likely to be made.'

Next in importance to Galatz as a port is Ibrail, or Braila, also near
the mouth of the Danube; indeed, according to Consul Sanderson, the
exports of the latter exceed those of the former, whilst Galatz imports
much more largely owing to its nearer proximity to the embouchure and to
the fact that the steamers first touch there. The same writer believes
it probable that some day Ibrail will be a more considerable port than
Galatz, but both are likely to be interfered with by the new port of
Constanta. The other large towns, Craiova, the former capital of Little
Wallachia; Ploiesti, a considerable town, with many picturesque
churches, on the line from Bucarest to Kronstadt, and the junction from
whence the railway branches off to Galatz, &c.; Tirgovistea, a former
capital of Wallachia, not situated on the railway; Pitesti, &c., are all
interesting in their way, but not sufficiently so to detain us, and we
must now direct our attention to other phases of Roumanian progress.


[Footnote 48: Consular Reports, Roumania, 1878, pp. 965-966. This
statement applies, we believe, to what was formerly Moldavia rather than
to Wallachia. When we were in Bucarest we saw stalls in the street at
which English note-paper and writing materials (if they were genuine)
were sold; and one day having occasion to buy a pair of scissors we
entered a shop for the purpose, and some very dear ones were shown to
us. On complaining of the price we were told they were English, but that
we could obtain cheap ones of Austrian manufacture at another shop close
by. This we did, and although the scissors were doubtless inferior, it
shows that English goods are liked and command higher prices.]

[Footnote 49: See Consular Report, Roumania, 1878, pp. 966, 968, where
these statements are practically confirmed.]

[Footnote 50: Purchased by the State whilst these remarks were being

[Footnote 51: Several authors, copying one another as usual without
enquiry, have estimated the population at 90,000, Aurelian having fixed
it at 90,236 in 1866; but when in 1877 our Vice-Consul Bonham enquired
of the Mayor of Jassy, he was told that, although no satisfactory data
exist, 70,000 was nearer the mark. In like manner the population of
Galatz has been set down until lately at 80,000, although an English
gentleman residing there maintained that it should be about 50,000. That
gentleman told us that according to a recent census there turned out to
be only 40,000, but he questioned that result also, inasmuch as the
people do not know the object of such a proceeding and fear to make
returns, and moreover the census was taken at a time when many labourers
and others had left the city for a season.]

[Footnote 52: Vice-Consul Bonham's report, 1877, p. 720.]

[Footnote 53: Ibid. p. 721.]



     Cultivated acreage of Roumania--Comparative estimates of
     agricultural products; waste lands, &c.--Nature of soil--Rotation
     of crops--Agricultural implements--Old-fashioned ploughs--Improved
     machinery--Yield of cereals--Maize, wheat, rye, barley, &c.--(Note:
     Report of M. Jooris)--Uncertainty as to yield per
     acre--Estimates--Quality and value of Roumanian cereals--Slovenly
     cultivation--Cost of raising cereals--Uncertainty of
     estimates--Present position of agriculture--Discouragement of
     immigration--Competition of the United States--Cattle--Oxen and
     buffaloes--Sheep--Wool--Cheese, butter, &c.--Capabilities of the
     soil--Tobacco--Cotton--Agricultural education--The Agricultural and
     Sylvicultural College of Ferestreu--M. Aurelian--The grounds and
     buildings--External arrangements--Experimental growth of trees,
     fruits, cereals, &c.--Number of professors and pupils--Internal
     arrangements for board--Cost of education--Laboratory and excellent
     collections--History of the plough illustrated by models--'École
     des Arts et Métiers'--Manufacture of farm requisites--School of
     design--The peasantry--Their history--Varieties of tenure prior to
     1864--Creation of a peasant proprietary by forced sales of
     land--Success of the reform--Subsequent allotment of state
     lands--The 'obligations rurales'--The dark side--Fate of
     improvident peasants--Forced to sell their
     labour--Quasi-servitude--The boyards or landed gentry--Improvidence
     and involved condition of many--Pledged
     estates--'Fermage'--Purchase of their lands by industrious peasants
     and others--Decline of the boyards--Excellent qualities of the
     peasantry--Great endurance--Industry of women--Education in
     progress--Bright future for the peasantry--Importance of their
     prosperity to the State--(Note: Comparative numbers of agricultural
     and other classes).


The area of Roumania, as already stated elsewhere, is about 49,252
square miles, and estimates have been made of the cultivated and
uncultivated acreage, which approximate sufficiently to give us a fair
idea of the agricultural condition of the country. According to those
estimates, which were probably made at the period (1864) when the
peasant proprietary was created, about one-fifth is employed for the
growth of cereals, garden products, and vines; rather under one-third
is pasturage and hay; one-sixth forest; and the remaining
nine-thirtieths, or nearly a third of the whole, still remains


The soil of the country is rarely less than three to four feet in depth,
is easily turned, and, as already stated, it is usually a dark
argillo-siliceous earth, which is so greatly charged with humus
(decaying organic matter) that manure is rarely found necessary. The
rotation of crops is largely practised, usually maize, wheat, then
fallow; but very poor soil, capable of producing only rye, is often
allowed to lie fallow for many years together. Much of the cultivation
is performed with very primitive implements, the ordinary old-fashioned
plough being furnished with a share resembling the broad flattened
lance-head of a harpoon, which penetrates the earth horizontally. Of
late years, however, a constantly increasing number of improved ploughs,
reaping, mowing, and steam threshing machines have come into use. In
1873, according to Consul Vivian's report, there were about 185,000
native ploughs against about 38,000 imported ones; but even then already
there were nearly three times as many steam as there were horse
threshing machines in use, and since that time the employment of all
kinds of improved machinery has been greatly on the increase, and
several large English and American implement makers have agencies in
Roumania.[55] There is little doubt that in the course of a few years
the old-fashioned agricultural implements will disappear altogether; for
the configuration of the surface, which in the plains somewhat resembles
the rolling prairie of the far West, is peculiarly adapted for the use
of modern machinery of every description.

The agricultural industry of the country may be said at present to be
practically confined to the growth of cereals, especially maize, barley,
and wheat, and the rearing of sheep and cattle. The total yield of
cereals of all kinds has been roughly estimated at 15,000,000 quarters,
which is but a very small part of what might be produced; and when we
seek for information concerning the proportions of the different species
of grain, we find nothing but statistics long out of date, and at
variance with each other. The probable proportions are, however (subject
to annual variations), one-half maize, one-third wheat, and the
remaining sixth barley, rye, and millet, whereof the last named is
increasing rapidly.[56] As to the yield per acre, although we have
gathered together all the information that could be obtained, we find it
impossible to fix anything definite; nor is this to be wondered at if we
look at the great differences which exist even in the United States of
America, where the people are ravenous for statistics. On some farms in
Roumania the yield is as low as eight bushels per acre, and if it were
not that the peasants own the soil and perform their own labour, it
would not pay for cultivation; but, on the other hand, we hear of very
large yields on good farms, and notwithstanding these remarks, which
might lead to the opposite conclusion, we are told on good authority
that since the creation of the peasant proprietary the average yield per
acre has considerably increased.

     (Although it is impossible to fix anything like a definite yield,
     the following figures may serve as a basis of calculation, and they
     will at least allow how material has been the general increase in
     the production of cereals:--In 1869-70, Vivian gives the yield
     (which exceeds that of following years) as 31,264,953 hectolitres.
     In 1881 M. Jooris gives it as 45,000,000 hectolitres (one
     hectolitre = 2.75 bushels). Taking M. Jooris's estimate as 15-1/2
     million quarters and the quantity of land under cultivation _for
     cereals_ only as 6,000,000 acres, this would make the average yield
     of _all_ cereals a little over twenty bushels per acre; and,
     looking at the very large preponderance of maize, barley, oats, and
     rye over wheat, that does not appear to be an unreasonable
     estimate. Beyond this we shall not venture to go, and if the reader
     desires to prosecute the enquiry further he will find ample
     materials in the consular reports, the works of various writers on
     Roumania, and a series of letters which appeared in the 'Times'
     last year from the pen of their Bucarest correspondent; but we must
     give him the very judicious and needful counsel which we ourselves
     received from a leading statesman of the country who favoured us
     with statistics: 'Il faut contrôler'--check everything.)

Owing to the rough and ready system of cultivation in Roumania, the
maize, which needs no special care, is far better and more highly prized
in this country than the wheat. The latter is worth, on the average,
5_s._ per quarter less than Western States spring wheat, and this is
owing largely to the dirty condition of the seed-wheat used in Roumania;
whilst, on the other hand, the maize is quite equal in quality and value
to American mixed.

If it be difficult to calculate the yield per acre, it is impossible to
give a trustworthy estimate of the cost of raising the various cereals.
Attempts have been made to do so, and so far as they go they are no
doubt accurate. For example, in an article on 'Farming in Roumania,'
which appeared in the 'Times' of July 14, 1881, from the pen of its able
correspondent, there are estimates of the cost of raising and carrying
to market wheat, barley, oats, maize, &c.; but when we state that the
yield of wheat is put down at 18.8 bushels, maize at 22.6 bushels, and
barley at 37.7 bushels per acre, it will be seen by anyone acquainted
with the agriculture of the country that this cannot be used to estimate
the average cost per quarter. However, as it stands, the calculation of
the total cost per _acre_ is as follows:--Wheat, 66.35 francs, or (at
25.10 per 1_l._) 52_s._ 10_d._; barley, 59.70 francs, or 47_s._ 7_d._;
oats, 55.09 francs, or 44_s._ 4_d._; maize, 59.29 francs, or 47_s._
2_d._; and the farmer, who is a large landed proprietor and employs
labour, had evidently devoted more attention to the production of wheat
than to maize, which is not usually the case. We obtained several
estimates whilst in the country, but they differed so widely that it
would not have been fair to strike an average, and all that can be
safely said on the subject is that the conditions of cultivation are
such as to point to constantly increasing production at a diminished
cost per quarter for some time to come, inasmuch as the introduction of
improved machinery will more than compensate for the gradual application
of manure to the soil. There are, however, many obstacles to progress.
For political reasons the Government discourages immigration from other
countries, and therefore the untilled lands will have to be idle until
there is a sufficiently large population to cultivate them. The
Roumanian peasant is very conservative and slow to move, but improved
communication, modern implements, the encouragement given to
agricultural training, and last, but not least, the competition of the
Western States of America, cannot fail to act as impulses to spur him on
to increased exertions.

Next in importance to the growth of cereals comes the rearing of sheep
and cattle; but this is of consequence to the country itself rather than
to Western nations, as the export is comparatively small. The number of
cattle bred in the country does not appear to increase materially.[57]
There are three varieties of oxen, and one peculiar kind of buffalo, of
which there appear to be about one hundred thousand in the country. The
buffaloes are very dark, almost black, with horns lying back upon the
animal's neck, but in other respects they are hardly distinguishable
from ordinary horned cattle. The value of cattle naturally varies in
different parts; oxen are worth from 3_l._ to 10_l._ each, according to
their size and capacity for draught, the greater part of the field
labour being performed by those animals or by buffaloes. Sheep, goats,
and pigs are also reared in large quantities. The wool of the
first-named is used for spinning and weaving, and sheepskins with the
wool left on are worn as winter garments. Cheese is also manufactured
from sheep's milk, and a curious custom in Roumania is to make the
cheese in the form of a long thin cylinder, wrapping bark tightly round
it in the manufacture. From this slices are cut, bark and all, and
served to the guest; this gives the cheese a slight, but not
disagreeable, flavour of bark. Of cheese, wool, butter, and lard,
considerable quantities are exported annually to Transylvania, Bulgaria,
and Turkey.[58] So far as England is concerned, the only other products
besides cereals, which we receive, are small quantities of linseed and
rapeseed; but Roumania produces millet, which is coming into increased
consumption, rye, beans, beetroot, which is converted into sugar in two
existing factories, flax, hemp, and, as we have already said, vines and
every kind of fruit and garden produce. Her soil is capable of growing,
and formerly did produce, very good tobacco; but in this matter she has
shared the fate of Ireland, for the necessity of levying a tax on the
article led to the suppression of its growth in the country; and,
lastly, we were assured by able agriculturists that there is no reason
why there should not also be raised in Roumania a plant which, of all
others, ministers most largely to the comfort of man and the prosperity
of the land of its production, namely, cotton.

[Footnote 54: If the reader refers to various works on the subject,
Aurelian, Obedenare, Consul Vivian's report, &c., he will find what
appear to be distinct though approximate estimates, but they are really
one and the same, in hectares (2.47 acres), pogones (1-1/4 acres), and
acres; and in none of them is the territorial change of 1878 considered.
We received a set of statistics on the subject as relating to 1880,
whilst at Bucarest, but on comparing them with Aurelian's work published
in 1866 we found the same figures there. The following is the
approximate proportion of cultivated land in pogones (1-1/4 acre):--

Cereals, gardens, vines    4,945,708
Pasture and hay            7,693,910
Forests                    4,029,947
Uncultivated               7,574,336
Total                     25,243,901

[Footnote 55: Any of our readers who desire detailed information
concerning the condition of Roumanian agriculture and manufactures will
find it in a report which was furnished to his government last year by
M.J. Jooris, the Belgian Minister at Bucarest. No doubt the Belgian
Government, has published it in pamphlet form; if not it will be found
_in extenso_ in _La Bourse_, Bucarest, July 27, August 2, 9, and 23,

[Footnote 56: See Vivian's report, 1875, Obedenare's table (p. 99), and
M. Jooris's report. The last named gives the ratio as--maize 22, wheat
15, barley 7, rye and oats 1.]

[Footnote 57: The _Gotha Almanack_ of 1882 (p. 904), which receives its
information from official sources, gives the exports of cereals and
cattle in 1880 in the proportion of 167 to 12; whilst the _Times_
correspondent (_loc. cit._) gives the proportions for 1872 respectively
as 117 (cereals) against (animals) 19. Obedenare (p. 147) gives the
number of horned cattle in 1860 as 2,751,168 as against 1,886,990 in
1873, a great falling off; but the _Times_ correspondent says there are
now 3,000,000 head in the country.]

[Footnote 58: In 1875 we imported a considerable quantity of wool from
Roumania, but for the last few years the imports are returned as _nil_.
For further details on all these matters the reader is referred to
Aurelian, _Notices_ (chap. v.), Obedenare (chap. v.), British Consular
Reports, Report of M. Jooris, _Times_ correspondence. The figures would
not sufficiently interest our readers to justify their insertion here.]


No doubt the recent appointment of a Minister of Agriculture in Roumania
will impart a considerable stimulus to the most important branch of
national industry, but that is a question of the future. At present the
only important aids to progress are the agricultural schools; for
although there are small autumnal shows of grain and farm products,
there has been only one agricultural exhibition, and that, we believe,
was far from being a success. Committees are, however, formed in fifteen
different districts on a somewhat similar basis to those of our science
and art classes, to provide instruction in farming, and the
fountain-head and centre of those is now the Agricultural and
Sylvicultural College at Ferestreu, about two miles from Bucarest. This
institution is well worth a visit, and the stranger is sure of a cordial
reception from the director, M. Aurelian, to whose published works we
have already made frequent reference. The work is carried on in a
handsome building, which stands in extensive grounds not far from the
termination of the Chaussée, or promenade, mentioned in our description
of Bucarest, and the arrangements and appliances are admirable.

First as to the grounds. These are divided into sections, in which
experiments are proceeding in the growth of every tree or plant which
the Roumanian soil is capable, or is believed to be capable, of
supporting. Besides extensive plots for all kinds of cereals there are
small beds and plantations for named plants, flowers, and vegetables.
Considerable space is devoted to vine-culture, where, besides many other
kinds, we found Californian grapes flourishing; and in addition there
are numerous orchards and collections of fruit trees, the variety of
which testifies to the richness and productiveness of the soil. Apiaries
are not wanting, but no cattle is reared on the grounds.

In the building instruction is given to about 120 pupils living on the
premises, of whom one half devote their time to the study of practical
farming, and the other to the manufacture of implements, for which
there are workshops (_ateliers_) close at hand. There are ten teachers,
of whom six rank as professors. The pupils are nearly all peasants and
_bourgeois_; instruction is gratuitous, and the cost to the State is
about 450 francs per head annually. The admission is by competitive
examination, and for twenty vacancies in the agricultural section there
were last year sixty applicants, whilst in the mechanical school the
number of applications is still greater.

The arrangements for tuition in the interior of the building are quite
on a par with the external ones. There are collections of dried plants,
seeds, sections of wood, &c., and a smaller collection of geological and
zoological examples. In one place the history of the plough is
illustrated by means of models, beginning with the Egyptian, 2000 years
B.C., and going through a long succession; the Greek, 490
B.C., the Roman, the Gallic, the Chinese, the Siamese, the
primitive Roumanian (already noticed), with many others of ancient or
mediæval times, and ending with a great variety of improved modern
construction. Models of fruits, various products of hemp, and other
vegetable fibres and tissues, and many other objects of interest to tho
agriculturist, are to be found there. The laboratory is good, and the
instruction imparted is of a useful and practical kind. In the 'École
des Arts et Métiers,' the neighbouring workshops, everything is taught
that is requisite for conducting the mechanical part of farm labour.
Implements, wine and cheese presses, maize-separating machines, carts,
and even tables and chairs for the homestead are made by the students
with the aid of excellent machinery. Nor is theoretical training
neglected. Besides being instructed in chemistry, plans and elevations
of stables, granaries, cottages, &c., have to be drawn by the students,
and their work is very ably executed. In fact the parent institution and
its branches are exercising a most important influence on the
agriculture of the country, and no one who has visited the college of
Ferestreu will for a moment feel any doubt as to the great future in
store for Roumania. The only matter of regret is that the funds of the
institution do not fully suffice to meet its requirements; but it is to
be hoped that these will be more liberally supplied than they have been
hitherto by wealthy members of the community, such as the larger landed
proprietors, and that dependence will not have to be placed on State aid
alone. It is through the medium of these institutions that the peasant
will have to acquire such instruction in improved agricultural methods
as shall cause him to discard his old-fashioned notions, and enable him
to secure an adequate return for his labour.


When we come to consider the past history of Roumania, we shall find
that in the earlier periods the peasants were first independent tillers
of the soil; that later on they were enslaved by the boyards, or sold
themselves and their families to secure sustenance; that they were
nominally emancipated from the ownership of the native boyards, only to
be transferred as _scutelnici_ to officials and other favoured nobles;
and that eventually a democratic government and the increasing power of
the people secured for them not only actual liberty but a real ownership
of the soil which they had for centuries tilled for landlords who lived
in idleness.

It will be interesting, especially during the present attempted land
reforms in Great Britain and Ireland, to state here what has occurred in
Roumania during the last few years, and to consider what further changes
are likely to result from the conversion there of a large portion of the
soil into peasant holdings. Previous to the year 1864 there were three
kinds of tenure in Roumania in which the peasantry were interested. The
soil of the country was practically divided between the boyards and the
State, the former holding by far the larger share. The peasants owned a
small patch of land contiguous to their huts or hovels (many of which
are, as we have already stated, to this day semi-subterranean), and so
much was their undoubted property. But they cultivated the soil on three
different conditions or principles. In Moldavia the boyard allotted a
certain portion of the estate to his peasants for cultivation for their
own use, and in return the latter rendered stipulated services to their
landlord. In Wallachia a portion of the fruits of the soil was given to
the boyard for the right to cultivate a definite quantity of land; and
in the neighbourhood of Bucarest a kind of mixed system prevailed. In
1864, however, the Government practically said to the boyards, 'The
peasantry have been deprived of their right to the soil, but you, having
inherited it, have also a vested interest in it, and your respective
ownerships must now be equitably adjusted.' The peasantry were therefore
put in possession of about one-third of the landed estates at prices,
fixed by the Government, to be paid to the landlords. Those prices were
not always equitable. Table-land which was cultivable was assessed at
the same value as hill-country to the disadvantage of the former.
However, such as it was, the arrangement was carried out. The peasants
of course had no money; therefore the Government paid the boyards,
taking the titles of the land in pledge, and the peasants were bound to
repay the amount to the State in annual instalments. The Government in
turn created a loan, the 'Obligations Rurales,' which were to have been
paid off in 1880, but they were not quite extinguished a year after they
should have been, and a portion of the remaining debt was converted into
a new loan which will expire in 1924. It was, however, only a small
proportion of the original debt, and this fact speaks volumes for the
industry of the peasants.[59] The change did not, however, end there.
About five or six years since _State_ lands were allotted to about
50,000 of the peasants who were too young in 1864 to profit by the
emancipation; and this was done on still more favourable terms, the land
being sold at the old prices of 1864, although it had risen greatly in
value, and the purchase-money repayable in fifteen years. Now, to all
intents and purposes, every peasant is the proprietor of his holding,
and one of the wisest things done by the Roumanian Government was to
pass an act before the expiration of the 'obligations rurales,' which
prevented the alienation of their holdings by the peasantry for a period
of thirty years; otherwise a portion of the land would have fallen to
usurers and harpies who were speculating on being able to secure it when
it came into possession of the nominal proprietor, by advancing loans
upon it, as they do upon that of the improvident landlords.

But this leads us to the dark side of the picture. The industrious
peasantry, who form the large majority, have paid for their allotted
lands, and a great many continue to buy from the indigent boyards. Many
are, however, still embarrassed, and some even in virtual servitude,
this being the result of their own indolence and misconduct. For a large
number of idle or destitute peasant holders, being unable to pledge
their land in consequence of the act just named, are forced to sell
their labour for one, two, or more years in consideration of money
payments by their landlords, such contracts being permitted by the State
and enforced by the local authorities and by custom and public opinion;
that is to say, the breach by a peasant would reduce him to starvation,
as no one would supply him with the necessaries of life. As nearly as we
have been able to ascertain, about one-third of the whole peasantry are
owners of their holdings without hypothecation, are doing well, and
buying up additional land; about the same proportion are in possession
of their holdings, but find it necessary to pledge their labour for one
year, or perhaps a somewhat longer period, whilst the remaining third
are practically serfs on their own farms.[60]

[Footnote 59: For exact particulars of peasant tenure see Appendix IV.]

[Footnote 60: Comparing this statement with the fact that the
'obligations rurales' were almost extinguished in 1880, it is clear that
the embarrassed and idle peasants must be only small holders. The
information was given to us by the gentleman best acquainted with the
history and effect of the land emancipation.]


Now as to the boyards, or old landed aristocracy. There are many wealthy
landowners, and those who manage their own estates are the most
prosperous. A large proportion, however, contract with sub-tenants to
farm the land for a fixed sum (_fermage_). Amongst these many are poor
and involved. When we were at Bucarest the 'Crédit Foncier' held titles
of land to the extent of fifty millions of francs, and that probably
represented about one-third of the whole known mortgages of the country.
Since about 1870, when the rate of wages began to rise in consequence of
the formation of railways and the resulting increase in the demand for
labour, a momentous change has taken place. Improvidence and _fermage_
have sounded the knell of the old landed gentry. Their estates have in
many cases been bought up by the _fermiers_, their sub-tenants; the
peasantry have purchased considerable quantities of land in addition to
that allotted them by the State, and merchants and traders have also
obtained possession of a portion by purchase, thus laying the foundation
of an influential middle class, which at the present time can hardly be
said to exist in the country. The consequences of this change cannot
fail to be the development of agriculture, provident landowners, and the
general prosperity of the entire nation.

We hesitate somewhat to draw any further comparisons between the past
land reforms of Roumania and those in progress in Ireland or impending
in Great Britain; but certain striking contrasts force themselves upon
our attention. In Roumania a _portion_ of the soil was taken from the
boyard at a fixed price and sold to the peasant, without delay or
litigation: the results being, first, an immediate improvement in the
condition of the peasant, and his ultimate independence and prosperity;
secondly, an exposure of the uselessness and helplessness of the
indolent boyard landlord so soon as he was forced to attend to his
duties and pay for his labour; in many cases his rapid decadence and
extinction. For Ireland, under similar conditions, an Act is passed by
which, to some extent in the direct interest of the Irish landlords, and
indirectly for the protection of those in Great Britain, the old
conditions of landlord and tenant are sought to be retained and amended,
or the land to be transferred by sale, involving what are practically
lawsuits with their appeals and all their delays, or an interminable
period (about thirty-five years as against fifteen) for repayment. In
Roumania the _people_, through their parliament, fixed the conditions of
transfer, and the boyards were forced to submit after centuries of
exaction and tyranny; in Britain the Parliament, consisting largely of
landowners and persons opposed to all reforms, and from which the
representatives of the aggrieved parties were almost entirely excluded,
has groped about for a remedy, thwarted and threatened at every step by
an irresponsible body of legislators, who have for the time being
resolved themselves into a trades union of landowners; and masses of the
peasantry have been driven into the roads. What the future result of the
Irish land reform will be it is impossible to predict. We can only hope
for the best.

We have already said that the Roumanian peasant is old-fashioned and
slow to move, but he has also excellent qualities. He possesses great
hardihood and endurance, and will work, not very constantly it is true,
during the hottest weather from five a.m. to eight p.m. with a couple of
hours for meals and rest during the heat of the day. On the other hand
he will face the keenest cold with a bared breast, and is satisfied with
mamaliga as his daily food. As we have already said, the women work
harder even than the men, besides doing a great deal of work at home,
which only Roumanian women are able to perform.[61] The children work
also, beginning often at five years of age, but they attend school
during the winter from October to April. As we shall see presently, the
progress of education is slow; for although there is supposed to be a
school in every village, many of them are closed, and there is a great
want of teachers. Education is, however, progressing steadily, but it
will be a generation or two before every peasant is able to read and
write. As in the town, so in the country, there are a great many fast
days, which the peasants do not, however, always observe. During the
week days they are abstemious, but, although they do not get drunk, they
spend their Sunday in drinking, and one of the greatest curses of the
country has been the substitution of alcohol prepared from grain for the
old plum-spirit which was formerly drunk and which was much less
injurious in its after-effects. All things considered, however, the
future of the peasant is not dark. If he is at all industrious, he owns
his farm, and by sobriety and diligence his possessions are increasing
annually; the gradual spread of elementary and technical instruction, of
which the foundations are firmly laid in the country, will open his eyes
to the advantages which he enjoys; and soon he will appreciate the fact,
already known to all enlightened persons in Roumania, that upon the
labours and exertions of the peasantry depend not only their own
fortunes, but the future progress and prosperity of the fatherland.[62]

[Footnote 61: Besides making clothes for their families, and costumes
for the ladies of the cities, &c., the Roumanian women make beautiful
rugs, mats, and even Carpets of variegated wool.]

[Footnote 62: Nothing shows the importance of the agricultural interest
in Roumania so effectively as an analysis of the occupations of the
people. This is thoroughly trustworthy, as it is computed from the
number of taxpayers, and the following is a table condensed from the
data supplied to us by the authorities at Bucarest:--

Agriculturists                            684,168 heads of families
Artisans and labourers                     83,061
Traders                                    30,117
Officials (_fonctionnaires_)               22,811
Professors and teachers                     6,066
Medical and legal professions and druggists   995
Artists (meaning probably persons engaged
in the arts)                                2,156
Priests, monks, and _religieuses_          18,452
Various                                   125,815
   Of the total heads of families         973,941, seventy per cent.
therefore are agriculturists.



     Educational laws--Statistics--Cost of instruction to the
     State--(Note: Comparison with Great Britain)--- Backward condition
     of education--Imperfect state of university instruction--Roumanian
     youth in Paris and elsewhere--Impolicy of the system--Pecuniary
     loss to the country--Moral drawbacks--Edgar Quinet's
     views--Conflicting opinions in Roumania--Need for the encouragement
     of home instruction--The Asyle Hélène--A remarkable institution for
     girls--Its foundation and history--Dr. Davila again--Princess
     Elena--Constitution of the school--Classes and subjects
     taught--High standard for the training of teachers--Proficiency of
     the higher pupils--Marriages from the Asyle--How
     negotiated--Wretched payment of state teachers--Other schools and
     institutions--A few ethnographical considerations--Descent
     illustrated philologically--Latin roots in the Roumanian
     language--Examples--Their significance--Magyar roots, indicative of
     foreign domination--Examples--Roumanian music, perpetuates the old
     days of oppression--Dances--Gerando's description of an historical
     dance--(Note: Reference to works on the subject).


Theoretically education in Roumania is everything that can be desired;
practically it is still far otherwise. The Constitution of 1866, article
23, declares that primary instruction shall be compulsory and
gratuitous, and that primary schools shall, by degrees, be established
in every commune.

In 1877-8 there were two universities (Bucarest and Jassy), 96 private
schools, 55 secondary and normal, 26 technical and special; 1,242 boys',
265 girls', and 628 mixed primary schools. The total number of scholars
set down as attending all these institutions was 119,015 (95,765 boys
and 23,250 girls), and the total number of teachers 4,486. The whole
amount of money expended on education in that year, from State,
religious, municipal, district, and commercial sources, was rather over
260,000_l._ In 1881 the total amount set aside by the State for all
purposes of education and _public worship_ during 1882 was 450,000_l._
These figures show, in a population exceeding five millions, 2,412
schools with an average attendance of nearly 50 scholars each, who were
being educated at a cost of about 2_l._ 3_s._ per head, including those
in universities, training, and all schools of every description; but the
actual cost of the children taught in primary schools only was about
1_l._ 8_s._ per head.[63]

We refrain from criticising these figures, for they do not represent the
present state of education. Many of the village schools, we were told on
undoubted authority, are closed, and the attendance at others is largely
increased. Besides collecting the most authentic information, we visited
schools of every kind, some more than once, sometimes alone and
unexpectedly, at others accompanied by persons in authority, normal,
primary, secondary, commercial, and district schools, and the conclusion
arrived at was by no means favourable to the _present_ general state of
education, although there is no doubt that there are many schools, well
conducted by able and zealous teachers, and that the system will become
developed and improved in the course of time. A few facts will suffice
to confirm this statement. In regard to higher education, there are said
to have been in 1878 in the two universities 61 teachers and 508
students. The Roumanian youth do not, however, as a rule receive their
higher education in their own country, and it is computed that from
seven hundred to a thousand of them are always being educated abroad,
and chiefly in Paris. This is not to be wondered at, for there are no
suitable facilities at home, and amongst thoughtful men it is a source
of great anxiety for the future welfare of the country. Looking at the
matter first in a pecuniary light, and taking the lowest estimate, the
cost of educating seven hundred young men such as those who are sent
abroad must be at the least 80,000_l._ or 90,000_l._ annually--we are
sure this is considerably below the mark--whilst the total expenditure
of the two universities in Roumania was, in 1878, about 22,000_l._! If,
instead of sending this large sum of money to Paris and other
educational centres, it were expended at home, it would be the means of
attracting to Roumania a class of teachers very different from many of
those who are at present dignified with the title of professors. This
was the opinion expressed to us by men of sound judgment and
discrimination in the country, and we are not prepared to differ from
them. But there is another and a still graver danger to the country
arising out of the system. To send a youth from home, withdrawing him
from the watchful care of his parents at the most dangerous period of
his life, namely, between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one, is of
itself a doubtful proceeding; to send him to Paris is in many cases
certain ruin. This is not a mere hastily formed opinion, and probably
the expression of it may not find a welcome in every quarter. But it is
historically true. No one has written a more flattering account of the
Roumanians than Edgar Quinet.[64] Writing in 1857, he touches with as
much delicacy as possible upon their defects and shortcomings, and hints
that their vices are copied from the French; and he goes on to say:[65]
'The sons of the boyards come to complete their education with us....
The danger for these young minds, which are exposed without control to
so great a fascination, is that even our vices appear to them to be
sanctioned' (_consacrés_). It is true he does not discountenance a
system which brings grist to the mill of the French academical
institutions, but warning them against the pitfalls of Paris life he
says: 'Let them continue to visit us.' Well, they have continued to
visit them for twenty-five years longer, and if the reader would know
the result he must enquire of the Roumanians themselves. No doubt
opinions differ. There are persons whose views are entitled to great
respect, and who approve of this sending of the youth abroad in
preference to letting them obtain an imperfect education at home,
speaking with satisfaction of sacrifices which are made by persons with
straitened means to secure a polite education for their children. On the
other hand the views of professional men and of men of the world largely
predominate in the opposite direction. Omitting what were doubtless
exaggerations, such as that 80 per cent. of the youths who go to Paris
return with a perfect acquaintance with the French language, the
_cancan_, and nothing more, we are assured that a large proportion fail
to derive such an amount of benefit as to justify the outlay; that they
acquire French vices and luxurious habits; and that on their return they
do not hesitate to express their distaste for home and home
occupations.[66] Education abroad, we were told, is incompatible with
true patriotism. As already stated, these views may be exaggerated; but
when the drain upon the country which necessarily results from the
system is borne in mind, and the way in which it militates against the
engagement of suitable instructors in Roumania, it is well worth the
consideration of all true patriots (and the Roumanians pride themselves
upon being so) whether they should not in future encourage their own
educational institutions in preference to those of other countries; and
this we say, notwithstanding the fact that of late years youths have in
some cases been sent to our English universities and public schools
rather than to those of the gay city. In England these considerations
weigh so seriously with the heads of families that the movement is
progressing rapidly for bringing the highest form of education as
closely as possible to the doors of the parents, as witness the recent
establishment of universities and colleges in Manchester, Leeds,
Liverpool, and Wales. And should there be any doubt as to the
feasibility of such a reform, it can be solved without going beyond the
limits of the Roumanian capital, where there is an educational
establishment for girls which is as unique as it is well conducted.

[Footnote 63: _Statistica din Romania_, Ministeriu de Interne,
Bucuresci, 1881 (State Printing Office); and _Gotha Almanack_, 1882. It
may be interesting to compare the outlay in Roumania with that of Great
Britain. Last year our State expenditure was 2,683,958_l._ against about
110,000_l._ in Roumania, for primary instruction only. (See
_Statistica_, pp. 13 and 22: the amount in lei or francs is 3,650,698.)
The population of the United Kingdom is about seven times that of
Roumania, and the average attendance of children in 1880 was 3,155,534.
This gives about 17_s._ per head for _State_ aid, without reference to
school rates, which brings the total cost for each child in Great
Britain to 2_l._ 2_s._ In Roumania it is 1_l._ 8_s._ as above.]

[Footnote 64: _Œuvres complètes_, vol. vi.]

[Footnote 65: Pp. 103 _et seq._]

[Footnote 66: We heard similar complaints in Transylvania.]


The 'Asyle Hélène' at Bucarest, although it is nominally a foundling
institution, really presents many educational advantages which are only
to be found in the ladies' colleges of England and the United States. A
large proportion of the scholars are foundlings or orphans; but many pay
for their instruction, and some of the girls are the daughters of
parents of acknowledged position in society. The school was originally
what it still professes to be, an asylum for foundlings, which was
conducted in a private house belonging to Dr. Davila, who is still the
active spirit in the institution. At that time only forty children were
educated in it. In 1862 the Princess Elene Cuza, a lady of great virtue
and benevolence, placed herself at the head of the institution, and in
1869 the present building was erected. If the Agricultural College with
its grounds is to be admired, much more so is the Asyle Hélène. It is a
palatial building which stands upon an eminence, is surrounded by
beautiful plantations, and approached by fine avenues, whilst its
educational arrangements are as excellent as the institution is
beneficent. The Queen is its patroness, and she takes great interest in
its success. It accommodates 230 girls from nine to nineteen years of
age, most if not all of whom live in the institution, and twenty little
children who are educated on the 'Froebel system.' The pupils attend
four primary classes, and then proceed either to the five higher girls'
classes, or to a technical school (_atelier_), also in the same
building, whilst a good many are trained as teachers. The ordinary
course of instruction lasts five years, to which one year is added for
the last-named class of scholars. The subjects taught in the four
primary classes are Roumanian language and history, writing, arithmetic,
drawing, music, the elements of physical science, sewing, and
embroidery, whilst the instruction advances further and further until in
the fifth girls' class (the ninth in the school) the girls are taught
Roumanian, French and German literature, universal history and
geography, drawing from nature and models, designs for embroidery,
geometry and perspective, natural history, mineralogy, chemistry, vocal
music, needlework, bookkeeping, &c., and in the highest class of all
(that for teachers) there are added geology, physiology, cosmography,
and Italian, in addition to French and German. The collections and
appliances to facilitate instruction in these subjects are excellent,
consisting of chemical and physical laboratories, a small museum of
natural history, geology, &c., a library, workrooms, an artists' studio,
a theatre where the children give performances and recitations, and a
simple gymnastic apparatus. No doubt many of the pupils limit the range
of subjects in which they try to excel, but what we can vouch for after
twice visiting the school with Dr. Davila, and seeing the pupils at the
Asyle as well as in their summer quarters, a convent in the Carpathians,
is that they are well taught, and that some of them would be a credit to
the most advanced students in any school we have visited. The readiness
with which they answer all questions, whether of a practical or
theoretical nature, in a language which is not their own, is as
surprising as it is creditable. Many of course belong to a humble rank
in life, and their limited intelligence renders them fit only to become
domestic servants, the avocation for which therefore they are trained;
others go out as teachers in State and other schools, whilst several
already referred to become ornaments to the society in which they
afterwards move. All are well fed and clothed, and appeared to be happy
and grateful for their benefits. Many of the girls are married from the
institution, the mode of proceeding being one which is not quite
consonant with our English notions on the subject. A teacher or some
other young man applies to the committee for an introduction to a
suitable girl, and if they are satisfied with his respectability and his
means of maintaining a wife, they ascertain which of the girls desires
to be married, and after the young couple have met twice or three times,
if they like each other a marriage is negotiated (just as in the case of
the royal families of Europe)! The marriage takes place in the Asyle,
the bride receiving her trousseau and a very respectable little dowry,
and the event is always the occasion of great rejoicing, in which Dr.
Davila does not fail to take a prominent part. These marriages, he told
us, have in nearly every case turned out happy ones, far more frequently
in proportion to their number than similar events outside of the

The teachers in the Asyle Hélène are fairly well paid, the higher class
receiving about 50_l._ per annum, board and lodging; but this is by no
means the case with school-teachers generally in Roumania. We closed our
ears to a great many things that savoured of scandal during our visit to
the country, but this was one thing which it was impossible to ignore.
So wretched indeed is the pay of the State teachers that they push on
the children of those parents who give them employment as private tutors
in order to eke out a livelihood, to the neglect of the other scholars.

The Asyle Hélène is supported partly by endowments and partly by State
aid, and is managed by a committee. In connection therewith is also a
boys' school at Penteleimon, founded by the Ghika family, and remodelled
by King Charles in 1868, to which a hospital of invalids is attached.

The girls' training school of the State at Bucarest is an admirable
institution, presided over by an accomplished and energetic lady, who
expressed great regret that the want of sufficient funds prevented them
from competing with the Asyle Hélène, which is acknowledged to be of a
higher order.

There is also a German 'Realschule' in Bucarest, founded by a benevolent
German, at which the teaching is all that can be desired; but as to the
State normal school for young men intended as country teachers--well, we
refrain from expressing any opinion of our own. A learned friend hinted
something about the application of dynamite to the whole concern; and if
it could be done without injury to human life, perhaps that would be the
best course to adopt.

The one fact in connection with the state of education in Roumania,
however, which forces itself upon our notice, is the question of
teaching the youth of the country at home.

Primary instruction is sure to progress; it rests to a large extent with
the Government, and in the course of time teachers will be forthcoming
to carry out the excellent system in its integrity; but as to applied
science and higher education generally, that depends upon parents
themselves; and, modifying a well-known saying, it resolves itself into
the question of 'Roumanians for Roumania, or Roumanians for France?'


And this reminds us of a matter to which we must make a brief reference,
though it will be more fully treated hereafter, namely, the
ethnographical character of the people of Roumania; for whilst it is
unfortunate that in practical everyday life and in politics they do not
at present rely sufficiently upon their own internal resources, there is
no doubt that theoretically they are very sensitive and proud of their
nationality. To a stranger visiting the country for a brief period this
is the most perplexing question of all; but the perusal of its history,
and a careful consideration of the opinions of well-known writers, bring
into prominence certain facts which cannot fail to be interesting. From
the number of tribes and nationalities by which the country has at
various times been overrun, it is impossible for an unprejudiced thinker
to come to any other conclusion than that, like ourselves, the
Roumanians are a mixed race, although the Latin undoubtedly
predominates; and to the evidence of history may be added that of the
language and customs of the country. The language not only presents a
variety arising out of the domination of the various races, but in some
respects indicates the nature of that domination, and the customs have a
like significance. As a general rule the Roumanian language is derived
from the Latin, but there are many words of Turkish, modern Greek,
Polish, and Hungarian or Magyar origin. Amongst the Latin words are the
names of many localities and towns which have evidently existed since
the Roman period, as witness:--

  Latin                    Roumanian                   English
Danubius                 Dunărea                     Danube
Porata                   Prutu                       Pruth
Ardiscus                 Argesu                      Ardges
Alutus                   Oltu                        Olto
Turris Severi            Turnu-Severinu              Turn Severin
Nicopolis                Nicopolu                    Nicopolis
Caracalla                Caracalu                    Caracal
Dravus                   Drava                       Drave
Carpates                 Carpati                     Carpathians

Then, again, amongst common names of things and qualities there are
objects which could not change, such as parts of the body, well-known
animals of all ages, &c., as for example:--

  Latin                    Roumanian                   English[67]
Aqua                     Apa                         Water
Aurum                    Auru                        Gold
Ferrum                   Fer                         Iron
Barbatus                 Bărbatu                     A (bearded) man
Caput                    Cap                         Head
Manus                    Mână                        Hand
Nasus                    Nas                         Nose
Vena                     Vina                        Vein
Os                       Os                          Bone
Oculus                   Ochiu                       Eye
Digitus                  Deget                       Finger
Pes                      Picior                      Foot
Pectus                   Pept                        Breast
Canis                    Câne                        Dog
Piscis                   Pesce                       Fish
Dominus                  Domnu                       Lord
Umbra                    Umbră                       Shade
Frigidus                 Frigu                       Cold
Calidus                  Caldu                       Warm
Albus                    Alb                         White
Niger                    Negru                       Black
Casa                     Casa                        A cottage

and so on through the whole vocabulary of common things and attributes.

On the other hand, when we come to examine the words of barbarian
origin, we find that they relate to the character of the dominant race
and their rule over the natives. If we take, for example, the words of
Magyar or Hungarian origin, we find them to denote war, conquest,
mining, taxation, punishment, &c., such as _baia_, mine; _bănui_,
repent, rue; _bereǔ_, a wood; _bicao_, fetters (on the feet); *_bir_,
poll-tax; _birâu_, a judge; _bitangu_, wandering about; _bucni_, to
strike; _buzdugány_, war-club; _cătănie_, soldiers, soldiers' habits;
_cheltúi_, to give or spend lavishly; _făgădău_, drink-shop; _giulus_,
the Reichstag, or national assembly; _hodnogiǔ_, lieutenant (from _had_,
war); _hotar_, boundary; *_lanțĭǔ_, chain; _odorbireu_, headsman;
*_tábără_, camp, war, army; _varda_, watch-house; and so on.[68]

Besides these words and phrases derived from the Latin and barbarian
languages, there are others relating to ecclesiastical matters imported
from the Greek; indeed, an examination of the language is itself an
interesting historical study, and if now we turn to the arts and customs
of the Roumanians, we find the same interesting relations with her past

Of the music of the Laoutari we have already spoken. It is weird and
plaintive, and no one who has listened attentively to the airs played by
some of those bands can have failed to be struck with their 'telling'
character, how they give vent alternately to feelings of joy and sorrow,
of mourning and rejoicing, and, like the music of Poland, &c., call to
mind the conquered condition of the people in the past. As with the
music, so with the dances. A writer, to whom we shall refer later on, M.
Opitz, described the 'Hora,' the national dance of the Roumanians, as
being illustrative of their conquered condition, and a recent acute
observer has left us his impressions on the same subject.

     'I remember one dance (says he) of which I forget the name, but
     which pleased me exceedingly. After the dancers had gone one or two
     paces in pairs in a circle, the men separated from the women. The
     latter moved singly round the men, as though they were seeking some
     object dear to them. The men then drew together and moved their
     feet like marching soldiers; next using their long sticks, they
     made irregular springs and uttered loud cries, as though they were
     engaged in battle. The women wandered about like shadows. At last
     the men with joyful gestures rushed towards them as though they had
     found them after great danger, led them back into the circle, and
     danced with joy and animation. Here we see how mighty is tradition.
     This dance is a complete poem! Who knows of what long-forgotten
     incursion of the barbarians it is a reminiscence?'[69]


From those few illustrations it will be seen how the language and
customs of Roumania are interwoven with her past history. We have but
touched the fringe of the subject; but that it is a fertile source of
interesting study and research we are convinced, and therefore
recommend those who are able to follow it up to give it their

[Footnote 67: It may be interesting to philologists to consider the
derivations of the English names of these common things, and compare
them with the Roumanian; the preponderance of the Anglo-Saxon element in
the one and the Latin in the other is very apparent.]

[Footnote 68: _Das Magyarische im Romänischen_, Roesler, Appendix, p.
346. We have been compelled to translate Roesler's German into English
for the significations, and the sense may thus have been changed or
lost; he is therefore not responsible for such errors. The words marked
with an asterisk are the most striking for our purpose, and they are in
constant use in Roumania.]

[Footnote 69: A. de Gerando, _Siebenbürgen und seine Bewohner_, p. 213.
Lorck, Leipsig, 1845.]

[Footnote 70: Most of the works on Roumania deal with the question.
Ozanne (cap. xi.) has a few remarks on the subject; Wilkinson (appendix
iv. p. 201) gives along list of words derived from Latin, Italian,
modern Greek, and Turkish roots, but the Roumanian words are since
changed; Vaillant, Obedenare, Neigebaur, Henke, Pic, Roesler, all treat
the subject more or less fully. The chief authorities in Roumanian are
Hasdeu, Ubicini, and Lauriani.]



     The jurisprudence of the Constitution--Roumanian courts--The Code
     Napoléon--Complaints of patronage--The penal system--Capital
     punishment abolished--History and effect of the
     abolition--Statistics--The prison system--Abuses--Enumeration of
     prisons--Employment of convicts--Ornamental art amongst
     them--Objects made by them--Absence of educational
     measures--Criminal statistics (and note)--Visit to the
     'intermediate' prison of Vakareschti--An old monastery--Description
     of the prison--Scene in the court-yard--Untried prisoners in
     fetters--Promiscuous intercourse of prisoners--Mischievous
     effects--Views of a 'juge d'instruction' concerning the
     system--Various classes of prisoners--Lenient treatment of
     them--Partial employment--Safeguards against mutiny--Visit to the
     penal salt mine of Doftana (or Telega)--Former treatment of
     prisoners--A lingering death--Present treatment--Conditions of
     penal servitude--Compared with work of our
     colliers--Abuses--Descent into the mine--Its condition--Unearthly
     sounds and sights--Enormous salt cave--Floor of the cave--Convicts
     at work in chains--Mode of excavating and raising salt--Lighting
     the mine for visitors--Return to the surface--Visit to the
     penitentiary--Its discreditable condition--Alleged frauds upon
     convicts--General mild treatment of criminals in
     Roumania--Utilisation of convict labour--Comparison of cost and
     results of systems in Roumania and England--Favourable to Roumania.


As in the case of education, so, too, in regard to its judicial and
penal system, the Constitution of Roumania contains many admirable
provisions (articles 13, 18, 104, 105, &c.) for the maintenance of right
and the suppression of wrong-doing. Equal rights, ordinary tribunals,
speedy trial by jury, abolition of death punishment, these are the
excellent principles upon which the judicial system is based; but
neither there, nor for that matter in any country, are they completely
put into practice. There is one Court of Cassation with sections, and a
Court of Accounts at Bucarest, Courts of Appeal at Bucarest, Jassy,
Craiova, and Focsany, and minor tribunals in the chief town of each
district. The French Code of Jurisprudence is adopted, with
modifications which would not interest our readers; but the penal
system is somewhat unique, and is well worthy of a closer study and
consideration. Of the miserable accommodation for the exercise of
judicial authority in Bucarest we have already spoken in describing the
capital. Lawsuits are very tedious; whether more so than in England we
are unable to say. Great complaint exists of patronage in the
appointment of judges, most of whom are comparatively young men and
political partisans. This it is proposed to remedy by what would
practically be popular election; whether the cure would be any better
than the disease is questionable. The penal system, as we found it
carried out in Roumania, is mild, utilitarian, and slovenly; and if all
that was told us be true, we fear we must add that it is by no means
free from corruption.

The chief points of interest to Englishmen are the absence of capital
punishment and the substitution of forced labour for life, or for a long
term of years, and the utilisation of penal labour in the salt mines and
elsewhere. Capital punishment ceased _de facto_ in 1852; for although it
was not legally abolished, neither the then ruler, Prince Stirbey, nor
his successor, Prince Couza, who governed the joint Principalities,
would sign a death-warrant. It was legally abrogated in 1865, and the
Constitution of 1866 declares that it cannot be re-established,
excepting for military offences. No increase, but rather a diminution,
of capital crimes has taken place since the change was effected; for
although the population has doubled in the towns, where homicidal crime
is most frequent, the number of offences has not materially increased.
The following figures[71] prove this statement:--

_Total Committals and Convictions for Homicide._

| Year | Committals | Convictions | Year | Committals | Convictions |
| 1869 |    248     |     185     | 1874 |    258     |    167      |
| 1870 |    249     |     154     | 1875 |    236     |    169      |
| 1871 |    267     |     140     | 1876 |    386     |    250      |
| 1872 |    327     |     204     | 1877 |    307     |    187      |
| 1873 |    455     |     258     |      |            |             |

The punishment for murder with malice aforethought is now penal
servitude for life, other phases of homicide five to twenty years, in
both cases mine labour. In cases of infanticide, if the offspring is
illegitimate it ranks as manslaughter. The following is a condensed
summary, with brief comments of our own in parenthesis, of a report on
the prison system which was kindly furnished to us by the Roumanian
Inspector of Prisons, a zealous, well-meaning, and most courteous
official, as are all Roumanian officials.

[Footnote 71: Reports on Laws of Foreign Countries, presented to the
House of Commons, 1881.]


The penitentiaries are divided into two classes, 'preventive' and
'central.' In the central prisons three kinds of punishment exist,
forced labour, confinement called 'reclusion,' and correction. The men
condemned to forced labour work in the mines (in what manner we shall
see presently) during the daytime, and at night they sleep above ground
in the prison. On Sundays and fête-days they do no work. The product of
the labour of the convicts belongs of right to the State, but in order
to encourage the prisoners three-tenths is given to them. (We may at
once say that this is not faithfully carried into practice, as we know
from personal enquiry that many of them are compelled to expend their
earning to secure the common necessaries of life.) Aged and feeble
persons are transferred to the prison of Cozia, where they weave, &c.
The prisoners condemned to 'reclusion' work in tanneries and ropewalks,
as for example in the prison of Margineni, and they are entitled to
four-tenths of the products of their labour. In the correctional prisons
the convicts cultivate the soil, make bricks, &c., and are entitled to
half their wages. In all the prisons the convicts are permitted to
employ their leisure time in making articles of use or ornament from
materials furnished to them by the authorities, which are sold to
visitors, and the State gives them a proportion of the fruits of their
industry. (These articles we found to be beautifully made. They consist
of egg-cups, paper-knives, forks, spoons, &c., carved in wood and
resembling similar objects made in Switzerland and the Black Forest.
One prisoner had made a tobacco-box of dough, painted and decorated it
with artificial flowers of the same material, so that it was not
distinguishable from porcelain; another had forged an axe-blade of
steel, etched the surface and fixed it upon a polished ebony rod with a
terminal spike, forming a miniature ice-axe, and so forth.)

Religious service is provided for the convicts, but so far as we could
learn no educational means whatever, although, according to various
reports which were handed to us, by far the larger proportion of the
prisoners are Roumanians who can neither read nor write.[72]

The total number of persons, men and women, confined in the sixteen
State prisons in Roumania in 1880, _including untried offenders_, was
5,252, or about one per thousand of the whole population. Of these 850
were undergoing forced labour in the mines, and 2,491 were imprisoned
for less serious offences. Only 265 were minors, and about 100 or 150
women. A strange contrast to our criminal statistics. Besides the
inmates of State prisons there were 1,665 persons confined in the
district prisons on January 1, 1881, who had been convicted of minor

[Footnote 72: In 1874 the Assize Courts had judged in all 1,493 persons
(1,441 men and 52 women). Of these there were:

|Peasants  961|Roumanians      1,394|Above twenty years of age    1,303|
|Artisans  186|All other nations  99|Above sixteen and under twenty 153|
|Traders    54|                     |Under sixteen                   11|
|Officials  60|                     |Age unknown                     26|
|Sundries  232|                     |                                  |
|             |                     |                                  |
|        _____|                _____|                             _____|
|        1,493|                1,493|                             1,493|

In looking over the statistics given to us (by authorities) we found
several small errors. In the main, however, they appear to be correct.]


One of the most remarkable phenomena in the eyes of a stranger visiting
Roumania is the application of monastic edifices to lay uses. The
monastery of Sinaïa is, for the present at least, a royal palace; the
Coltza Hospital at Bucarest is an old convent. At Brebu (or Bredu), near
Campina, is a monastery apportioned to the Asyle Hélène as a holiday
residence for the girls; the State archives are deposited in the
monastery of Prince Michael in Bucarest, which has been set aside as the
residence of the learned philologist Professor Hasdeu, in whose charge
they are placed; and so, too, the 'intermediate' prison of Vakareschti
is a large monastery close to Bucarest, of which the towers are
conspicuously visible as one enters the city by rail from Giurgevo. On
approaching this building, which stands upon a considerable eminence, by
road from the capital, the only feature which attracts attention, and
shows that it is not an ordinary monastery, is the sentinel pacing to
and fro outside, but the moment you enter through the portal its real
character becomes apparent. You find yourself in a large square
curtilage, or, more correctly speaking, an extensive quadrilateral, in
the centre of which stands a church of the usual Byzantine order, the
four sides of the quadrilateral being the old monastery buildings, two
stories high, converted into prisoners' cells and dormitories, kitchen,
a workshop for making paper-backed books (_cartons_), and the quarters
of the prison officials. The scene as one enters the place is a strange
one indeed, and resembles what the Fleet Prison must have been in its
palmy days, with certain very significant modifications. It is the
receptacle of various kinds of prisoners, men and women awaiting trial
and others undergoing short sentences. All those were, on the occasion
of our visit, at large in the court, and some of the first-named who
were accused of homicide were chained at the ankles by order of the
'Juge d'Instruction.' There were about a dozen of them so manacled, and
before we left (the Chief Inspector of Prisons being our guide) these
men complained bitterly of the hardship of being chained when, as they
asserted, they were innocent. All classes of prisoners seemed to
associate without restraint, and although perfect order prevailed, this
freedom of association and conversation must be, and indeed is, most
inexpedient and injurious. Young men new to crime herd together with
hardened criminals, and we were told by a Juge d'Instruction, to whom we
subsequently spoke on the matter, that the free intercourse is greatly
provocative of crime. 'Young fellows,' he said, 'who, when they are
first arraigned, are disposed to admit their guilt and repent, come
before us, after a temporary adjournment of their cases, with quite
another story, evidently prompted by some hardened criminal whom they
have met in the intermediate prison.'

Every class was represented there, from the comparatively well-dressed
swindler and forger to the peasant and half-naked gipsy. The prisoners
appear to be leniently treated, and those who are unconvicted are
permitted to purchase such food as they please. The cells and
dormitories are not very clean, but they are comfortable compared with
those in another prison, to be referred to presently; the ventilation
within doors is good, and the open court has all the advantages of a
healthy convalescent institution. The food appeared very good; certainly
the soup was so, and altogether there could be no complaint on the score
of harsh treatment, although some men were, on sufficient grounds,
placed in solitary confinement. The chief defects are free intercourse
amongst the prisoners, want of cleanliness, the absence of educational
means, and only partial employment of the prisoners, some of whom are
engaged in the book manufactory, whilst the greater proportion lounge
about in idleness. Our guide, the Chief Inspector, expressed great
anxiety for an improved system, and pleaded, as usual, the want of
necessary funds. Although there appeared to be an amount of liberty
inconsistent, as it seemed to us, with prison discipline, all attempts
at mutiny would be easily suppressed if they should arise; for there are
always about ninety soldiers in the barracks, attached to the prison,
and the prisoners are well aware that insubordination would be
immediately quelled and punished. But we have said enough of this rough
and ready mode of dealing with the lighter forms of crime, and must now
ask our readers to accompany us on a somewhat unpleasant though
interesting excursion to one of the establishments where the worst class
of convicts expiate their offences against society--a penal salt mine.


There are five salt mines in Roumania,[73] two of which are worked by
convicts, and the one we propose to visit is that of Doftana, generally
known as the Telega mine, which is situated at a short distance from
Campina, a station on the railway line, about halfway between Ploiesti
and Sinaïa. Before descending into the mine, however, a few particulars
concerning the treatment of the prisoners maybe of interest. These are
men (never women nor young persons) sentenced to penal servitude for a
period of ten years or more, and until the year 1848 they lived, or
rather died a slow death, entirely in the mine. They were compelled to
sleep in their clothes on the floor of rock salt; never saw the light of
day after they had once entered the mine; and whatever might have been
the nominal term of their sentence, disease and their unnatural
surroundings invariably cut short their miserable existence after about
four years' confinement. Now they work in the mine from 8 A.M.
to 4 P.M. in winter, and from 6 A.M. to 6.30
P.M. in summer, and then leaving it, they march to the
penitentiary, about a mile distant. They work in gangs of about six or
seven, and each man is obliged to raise at least 700 kilogrammes (about
14 cwt.) of salt per day. For that quantity they receive, or at least
_they are credited_ with, 30 per cent, of their wages, which are fixed
by tariff, and for all above 700 kilos they get half their wages. These
are reckoned at fourteen centimes per 100 kilos up to 600, and eighteen
centimes per 100 for all above. So far as the actual labour is
concerned, we have no hesitation in saying that it is not nearly so
exhaustive nor painful as that of thousands of our English colliers,
besides being free from the dangers which constantly impend over our
poor miners, but there are some serious and quite unnecessary hardships
inflicted upon the men. One of these is that they get nothing to eat
until noon, and therefore, unless they buy food with their earnings,
they must walk to and from their work and labour for several hours
upon an empty stomach; another is that the benevolent intentions of the
State in regard to the stimulus of remuneration are defeated by the
neglect or dishonesty of certain of the officials. The prisoners now
rarely work out their term. Either their sentences are shortened for
good conduct, or on some special occasions a certain number are pardoned
by royal grace, and we were informed that they rarely die in penal
servitude. And now let us descend into the mine, a proceeding which will
be facilitated in the reader's thoughts if he will kindly take before
him our little plan, which is reduced from the engineer's drawing of a
section actually in use on the spot.


The descent is effected on foot through a vertical cylindrical shaft
used for that purpose only, and divided at intervals by platforms which
communicate with one another by good broad wooden staircases. The
visitor is provided with a lighted candle attached to the end of a
stick, which serves at the same time as an excellent test of the purity
or impurity of the air in the mine, for the lower he descends, the more
frequently he will find his light to be extinguished by carbonic acid
gas, arising chiefly from the exhalations of the convicts. There are no
inflammable gases in the mine, and the men work with naked lights. As he
descends ladder or staircase after staircase, the visitor becomes
conscious of the presence of human beings in the mine, for strange
unearthly sounds greet his ear more and more plainly as he approaches
the long gallery which traverses the mine at about 110 feet below the
surface; and this effect is rendered still more weird through the
surrounding darkness, relieved only by the faint light of his candle and
those of his companions. From moment to moment he hears hollow echoes of
the human voice uttered in snatches and accompanied by a continuous
clanking of chains, which makes his blood creep until he has become to
some extent accustomed to the sound. The shaft through which he is
descending is cut and rounded with great precision, first through a
mixture of clay and rock-salt, and then in the solid rock-salt itself.
To render it impervious to water he will find the wall here and there
lined with buffalo hides.[74]

Arrived at the horizontal gallery the visitor passes along it until he
comes to a platform guarded by a fence or railing, and then he finds
himself near the roof of an enormous cave which is probably unlike
anything to be seen elsewhere.

We have been in a good many strange localities, and have witnessed many
impressive scenes both on and under the earth's surface, but we confess
that none has ever been comparable to this one. All is dark excepting
where our candles cast a faint glimmer about our immediate
neighbourhood, and far below we now hear the voices, as well as the
rattling of the convicts' chains, more continuously and distinctly, and
see numerous lights dancing about fitfully in small clusters. Those are
the candles of the convicts who are cutting rock-salt in gangs on the
floor of the cave.[75] Continuing our descent down another flight, or
rather series of flights, of stairs, we at length arrive at that floor
which is about 200 feet from the surface, and there we find ourselves
surrounded by homicides, burglars, and the very dregs of the criminal
ranks of Roumania. There is no guard with us; and, indeed, of what use
would even a small escort be against about two hundred and fifty
desperate ruffians armed with pickaxes if they thought fit to unite in
an assault upon our little party? They have no such intention, however,
and the feeling of the visitor is rather one of pain and sorrow to see
so many able-bodied fellows manacled than of fear in their presence.[76]
The mode in which they get the salt is by cutting an oblong figure in
the floor, deepening this until it resembles a mound, and then cutting
the block thus formed transversely into smaller ones and breaking the
salt out in lumps.

Their work, which is little if at all impeded by their light chains, is
performed with pickaxes; and, as already stated, they raise in this
manner from 700 to 1,400 kilos (14 to 28 cwt.) per day, which is
conveyed to the surface through a special shaft.


The cave is 80 feet high and 400 feet long, and there is another smaller
one at right angles with it, shown by a dotted line upon the plan, and
every part of it, floor, roof, and walls, is of solid rock-salt. A
curious effect is produced by the officials of the mine causing a mass
of lighted tow to be dropped through the shaft used for raising the
salt, whilst the visitors stand below; this partially illuminates the
cave in its descent, and shows its vast proportions. But there is
nothing further to detain us in this great chamber of crime, so we will
again mount the ladders and seek the genial air and sunshine above
ground. The penitentiary in which the convicts are confined after they
leave the mine is about a mile distant, and as we drive thither we pass
small bodies of them trudging along in the same direction and manacled
at their feet. It is a large barrack-like structure, with dirty
dormitories, where the men lie in long rows upon wretched pallets. The
air of these dormitories is foul, and burning resin is used to fumigate
them. One of our companions, a young Roumanian, remarked that during
the day the convicts breathe an atmosphere vitiated by their own
exhalations, whilst at night they are suffocated by the fumes of resin.
Their food is wholesome enough, consisting of mamaliga and soup. For
making the latter the prisoners receive, _theoretically_, meat at the
rate of 100 grammes (3-1/2 ounces) per head; but when we instituted a
diligent search for some, bones only were the result, and one of the
gentlemen observed that the meat was consumed a mile off, meaning at the
quarters of certain officials, whilst the bones fell to the prisoners'
share. However this may be, one fact was admitted, namely, that by some
process of conversion, known only to the initiated, the convict rarely
sees his share of his wages, and certainly receives no more nourishment
than is necessary to keep body and soul together. It is said that they
spend their earnings in luxuries, and probably some may do so; but that
the officials are poorly paid, and that it is difficult to find an
honest one, these are statements we heard on authority which it was
impossible to discredit.

As we have said, however, the rules of the prison are framed with a view
to the welfare of the convicts, with the exception that nothing is done
to educate them. But there are no harsh punishments; if a man misbehaves
himself, his chains are shortened, and very bad conduct is punished with
solitary confinement. The prisoners, we were told, are never whipped nor
otherwise ill-treated; and if it be true that men who are sent there for
robbery are themselves often the victims of plunder at the hands of
officials, the minister who is at the head of the department involved
will no doubt take measures to prevent the continuance of such an
iniquitous example.

And after all there is another phase of this question which must not be
lost sight of when we criticise the institutions of a young nation which
has only just achieved its independence, and whose first step was to
abolish the vindictive capital sentence of 'a life for a life.' The
first law of nature is self-preservation, and Roumania is still obliged
to economise in all departments of the State in order to place her
national police--her army--on a sound footing. It is wonderful how she
is able to conduct her department of justice even as she does. Her
convict labour is so well utilised that it leaves her a handsome profit.
Her total expenditure on all judicial and penal matters in 1880 was
under 170,000_l._ with a population of 5,000,000, whilst with only seven
times that number of inhabitants the Government outlay of Great Britain
in the same year amounted to the enormous sum of 5,922,443_l._, without
reckoning the heavy local burdens for the protection of life and
property. And yet both life and property are certainly as secure in
Roumania as in England, without the halter or the cat, two of the
barbarous expedients for the prevention of crime which are still
employed in our boasted Western civilisation.

[Footnote 73: Obedenare names four, but we believe he has coupled two
neighbouring mines together as one.]

[Footnote 74: This does not, however, keep the water effectually out of
the mine, for, from whatever source, one portion of it was partially
flooded whilst we were there. Some of the prisoners had struck and
refused to enter the shaft, and the chief inspector who had come from
Bucarest to enquire into the cause of the _émeute_ said the men were
justified in their refusal to work, considering the condition of that
part of the mine.]

[Footnote 75: We understand that the mine is to be lighted with the
electric light this year.]

[Footnote 76: A touch of the ludicrous intervened to relieve the painful
feelings we experienced on this occasion. We were standing with the
engineer of the mine watching the men hewing salt, when the latter said
(in German) 'Here are the worst criminals'--meaning in that mine. Not
quite understanding him, we got the undeserved credit of making a joke
by asking,' Here, where we stand?'--meaning in that part of the mine.
The engineer burst into a laugh, which sounded very hollow there, and
then we noticed the _double entendre_, and mutual explanations ensued.]



                                  And now
      The arena swims around him; he is gone
    Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won.

      He heard it, but he heeded not; his eyes
      Were with his heart, and that was far away:
      He recked not of the life he lost nor prize,
      But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
      _There_ were his young barbarians all at play,
      _There_ was their Dacian mother--be their sire,
      Butchered to make a Roman holiday.
      All this rushed with his blood. Shall he expire,
    And unavenged? Arise, ye Goths, and glut your ire!


                                  He was more
      Than a mere Alexander, and, unstained
      With household blood and wine, serenely wore
    His sovereign virtues--still we Trajan's name adore.


[Illustration: HISTORICAL MAP]



     The Getæ; their supposed origin and history--The Dacians; their
     origin and migrations--Their incursions into the Roman
     provinces--Their King, 'Decebalus'--His contests with Cornelius
     Fuscus and Tertius Julianus--Legends regarding him--Domitian pays
     him tribute--Trajan--His first expedition against the Dacians--His
     supposed route--The engineering works of the Romans--Defeat and
     submission of Decebalus--Trajan's triumphal return to Rome--The
     bas-reliefs on Trajan's Column--Description of the first expedition
     therefrom--Decebalus breaks the treaty--Trajan's second
     expedition--Capture and suicide of Longinus--Defeats of the
     Dacians--Arrival of the Romans before Sarmizegethusa and its
     destruction by the Dacians--Suicide of Decebalus and his
     chiefs--Dacia a Roman province--Approximate boundaries--Carra's
     opinion of the colonists--Hadrian destroys Trajan's
     bridge--Duration and decline of the Roman power in Dacia--The Goths
     and Vandals defeat the Emperor Decius--They are beaten by Marcus
     Aurelius Claudius (called Gothicus)--Permanent withdrawal from
     Dacia by Aurelian--Conflicting opinions of historians regarding the
     evacuation--Gibbon's views probably correct--Character of the
     colonists who remained in Dacia.


Although the earliest authentic records of Roumania or, more correctly
speaking, of Dacia, the Roman province which embraced Roumania,
Transylvania, and some adjoining territories of to-day, do not reach
further back than about the century immediately preceding the Christian
era, a good deal of information is to be gathered from the writings of
Herodotus, Dion Cassius, and other early historians regarding the
_Getæ_, the race from whom the Dacians sprang. The Getæ were in all
probability a branch of the Thracians, who were amongst the earliest
immigrants from the East; and for some time before they appeared in
Dacia, which was situated on the northern side of the Danube (or Ister,
as it was called by the Romans), they had settled between the south bank
of that river and the Balkans (Mount Hæmus of the Romans). About the
fourth century B.C., however, the Getæ had crossed the river,
either driven north by an inimical neighbouring tribe, the Triballi, or
in consequence of the growth of the nation itself. When they were first
encountered by the Greeks, they occupied the eastern part of Dacia,
reaching probably to one portion of the Black Sea; and some account of
them is given by Ovid, who was exiled to their vicinity, but little is
known of them until they came in contact with the Roman armies. The Getæ
have little direct interest for us, but as we find associated with them
the names of Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, and Lysimachus, a
few words concerning their connection with those heroes may not be out
of place, and will at least serve to fix a period in the history of the
people. Whilst they were still seated on the southern side of the
Danube, they are said to have been the allies of Philip in his
expedition against the Scythians, and in his contest with the Triballi;
but Alexander the Great found them on the northern bank of the river
when he undertook the conquest of the Thracian tribes prior to his
expedition into Persia. He is said to have crossed the Danube at a place
not clearly defined (B.C. 335), and to have defeated about
10,000 foot and 4,000 horsemen. These took refuge with their families in
a wooden town, from which they were also dislodged, and fleeing to the
steppes they escaped from the victorious Greeks. Now it is that we find
the name Getæ changed into that of Dacians,[77] and in the events which
followed during the reign of Lysimachus they are known by both
designations. After the death of Alexander the Great, Lysimachus
inherited Thrace, and subsequently acquired Macedonia and Asia Minor;
but in order to secure the first-named territory he found it necessary
to cope with barbarian tribes, who formed a coalition against him. These
he defeated; but inasmuch as the Getæ or Dacians, under their king
(hellenised) Dromichætes, had co-operated with the barbarians, he
undertook an expedition into their country north of the Danube shortly
afterwards. Penetrating to their barren plains, he sustained a defeat,
and was captured along with his whole army. According to certain Greek
writers he was treated with great magnanimity by the Dacian king; but
all are agreed that the latter only liberated him for a ransom of some
kind, either in money or territory. Paget thinks he secured a large
treasure, as many thousands of gold coins have been found, some of them
bearing the name of Lysimachus. 'I am in possession of some of these
coins,' he says, 'and though many were melted down by the Jews in
Wallachia, to whom they were conveyed across the frontier in loaves of
bread, they are still [1850] very common, and are frequently used by the
Transylvanians for signet rings and other ornaments.'[78]

From the time of Lysimachus until about that of Augustus Cæsar we hear
little or nothing of the Getæ or Dacians, and we will therefore pass on
to what may be called the Roman period.

[Footnote 77: Full accounts of the relations, or supposed relations,
between the Thracians, the Getæ, and the Dacians will be found in Smith,
_Geog. Dict._, articles 'Dacia,' Geography; 'Thracia,' p. 325; 'Mœsia,'
p. 677; and 'Dacia,' p. 679. In Dierauer (pp. 63-4 and note 1) and
Roesler (chap, i.) everything of interest from the Greek and Roman
historians is fully discussed, but the other German, French, and English
writers treat the matter with more or less brevity, in some instances
dismissing it in a few words.]

[Footnote 78: Vol. ii. pp. 105-106. The whole question is involved in


Some modern writers are of opinion that when the Romans first became
acquainted with the country north of the Danube, they found two allied
or germane tribes, the Getæ in the eastern, and the Dacians in the
western part of the territory; but according to Dion Cassius the Romans
called all the inhabitants north of the Ister '_Dacians_,' no matter
whether they were Thracians, Getæ, or Dacians, and the probability is
that the Getæ had spread themselves gradually over the plains westward,
then acquired possession of the Carpathian mountains, and descended into
the plains of Transylvania.[79] Their fastnesses, called forts or
cities, were built of wood, and were situated in the mountains, and
there it was that their fiercest contests with the Roman arms took place
previous to their complete subjugation.

The first we hear of them is that under a powerful chief Burvista or
Boerebestes, they conquered their neighbours, the Boii, Jasyges, and
probably other tribes, at the eastern boundary of their territory,
driving them from their possessions, and from that time they appear as a
distinct nation constantly threatening the safety of the Roman provinces
in their vicinity. Julius Cæsar, it is said, proposed to attack them
shortly before his death, as they made periodical inroads into the
Empire, more especially into Mœsia, the country lying between the Danube
and the Balkan mountains, of which the Romans had secured the
possession. Every winter, as soon as the Danube was frozen over or
blocked with ice, they descended from their mountain fastnesses, crossed
the broad stream, and carried fire and sword into the Roman territory.
Before the latter people had time to gather their forces, their
barbarous enemy had retreated, and, the river being once more open, the
Dacians endeavoured to prevent the landing of the Roman troops, or,
failing that, they made good their retreat to the mountains, whither the
Romans feared to follow them. Nor were the Dacians by any means
despicable opponents. Although many of them fought bareheaded and
clothed in a light tunic, they were well acquainted with the use of
armour, and possessed standards, shields, helmets, breast-plates, and
even chain and plate mail, fighting with bows and arrows, spears,
javelins, and a short curved sword somewhat resembling a sickle.[80]

They fought on horseback as well as on foot, and it is said that they
sent showers of poisoned arrows into the ranks of their enemies. Of
their further proceedings in war as well as in peace we shall have
occasion to speak hereafter. About the year 10 B.C. the Emperor
Augustus sent one of his generals, Cn. Lentulus, to punish them for
having entered and devastated Pannonia under a chief Kotiso, but the
expedition was ineffectual, and for a long series of years they
continued to harass the Empire, often threatening to overrun whole
provinces. One such enterprise is mentioned by Tacitus:--

     'Commotions about the same time broke out amongst the Dacians, a
     people never to be relied on, and since the legions were withdrawn
     from Mœsia there was no force to awe them. They, however, watched
     in silence the first movements of affairs. But when they heard that
     Italy was in a blaze of war, and that all the inhabitants were in
     arms against each other, they stormed the winter quarters of the
     cohorts and the cavalry, and made themselves masters of both banks
     of the Danube. They then prepared to raze the camp of the legions,
     when Mucianus sent the sixth legion to check them, having heard of
     the victory at Cremona, and lest a formidable foreign force should
     invade Italy on both sides, the Dacians and the Germans making
     irruptions in opposite quarters. On this, as on many other
     occasions, fortune favoured the Romans in bringing Mucianus and the
     forces of the East into that quarter, and also in that we had
     settled matters at Cremona in the very nick of time.'[81]

It was in the reign of the Emperor Domitian, however, that the inroads
of the Dacians assumed their most formidable proportions. About this
time it is probable that the Dacians were divided into several tribes,
and that one leader more powerful than the rest had secured the
chieftainship of the whole nation. Thia chief is known to historians as
'Decebalus,' although there is great difference of opinion as to whether
that was his name or his title.[82] In the year 86 A.D., he
gathered together a great host, and, crossing the Danube into Mœsia,
defeated and killed the prætor Oppius or Appius Sabinus, seizing several
of the Roman fortresses and driving their army to the foot of Mount
Hæmus. As soon as the defeat and the position of the Roman forces became
known, Domitian collected an army in Illyria and placed it under the
command of Cornelius Fuscus, a general of more bravery than experience,
who entered Mœsia, and, finding that Decebalus, according to precedent,
had retired across the Danube, followed him into his own country, only,
however, in his turn to be defeated and slain. Upon this the Romans
again recrossed the river, leaving behind them their baggage and many
prisoners. Tacitus writes in great indignation concerning these

     'So many armies in Mœsia, Dacia, Germany, and Pannonia, lost
     through the temerity or cowardice of their generals; so many men of
     military character with numerous cohorts defeated and taken
     prisoners; whilst a dubious contest was maintained, not for the
     boundaries of the Empire and the banks of the bordering rivers, but
     for the winter quarters of the legions and the possession of our

Whilst these events were occurring, Domitian is said to have been making
progresses and indulging in all kinds of excesses, but; fortunately for
him and for the honour of the Roman arms, another general succeeded in
stemming the tide of invasion, and eventually (A.D. 89) in
assuming the offensive. This was Tertius Julianus, who had already
distinguished himself in Mœsia under Otho and Vespasian. Following
Decebalus into his own dominions, he was not content to remain in the
plains, but pursued him into his mountain retreats, where he completely
overthrew him in a pitched battle and compelled him to sue for peace. It
is in the accounts of this expedition that mention is first made of
regular roads in Dacia, and two passes, the Vulcan and Rothenthurm (or
Red Tower), are referred to. A place called Tapæ is also named, near to
which Julianus is said to have overthrown Decebalus, and where
subsequently Trajan obtained a victory over the same prince; but so much
doubt attaches to the movements of Julianus that it will be better for
the present to defer any reference to those localities. The whole
account of Julianus's campaign in Dacia is mixed up with legendary
tradition. It is said that he threatened the capital of Dacia,
Sarmizegethusa, and that he would have succeeded in capturing it and in
reducing the whole country but for a stratagem of Decebalus, who caused
trees to be cut down to a man's height in the woods through which the
Romans had to pass, and clothed them in armour, which so terrified the
soldiers as to stay their progress. According to another account he cut
the trees through their trunks but allowed them to stand, and when the
Romans attempted to force their way through with their engines of war,
the trees fell on them and killed them. Whether it was the difficulty
encountered by the Roman general in attempting to cope with his warlike
enemy in his mountains and forests, where the arts of war as practised
by the former were not so readily applicable as in the plains, or the
more probable circumstance that Domitian had been unsuccessful in an
expedition against two other tribes, the Quadi and Marcomanni, and
needed the support of Julianus, certain it is that the overtures of
Decebalus were at length received favourably, and a peace was concluded
with him in the year 90, which was less favourable to the victors than
to the conquered. Decebalus refused to treat in person with the Roman
general, but sent one of his chiefs (some historians say his brother),
with whom the conditions were arranged. According to Roman accounts
Decebalus restored the Roman prisoners, acknowledged the supremacy of
Domitian, and accepted sovereignty at his hands. It subsequently
transpired, however, that this was not the whole treaty, and that
Domitian agreed to pay the Dacian king an annual tribute, and to send
him a number of skilled artificers to teach him the art of constructing
works and fabricating arms upon the Roman model. Domitian then
celebrated a triumph, which was however made a subject of ridicule by
those who were aware of the actual result of the expedition.

We now approach a crisis in the history of Dacia. During the short reign
of Nerva nothing was undertaken against the country, and Decebalus
continued to harass and annoy the Romans in Mœsia until Trajan (who had
been adopted by Nerva) ascended the throne (A.D. 98).

This emperor at once began preparations for putting an end to his
humiliating relations with Decebalus and his people, and although there
have been many conjectures concerning his motives and intentions, there
can be little doubt that his object was eventually, if not immediately,
to incorporate Dacia with his empire. Already in the reign of some of
his predecessors the construction of a military road along the right or
south bank of the Danube had been proceeding, and the first operation of
Trajan was to hasten the completion of this road for the passage of his
troops.[84] With this object he is said to have reconnoitred in 98 and
99, and the road probably attained completion as far as the bank
opposite Orsova, about A.D. 100, as the tablet at Gradina, to
which reference has already been made, indicates. It is impossible for
us to estimate the difficulties which must have attended this
undertaking. Possessing as we do explosives and rock-borers with which
to break a passage through mountains and to blast rocky embankments, we
can hardly understand how a people, with such limited mechanical
appliances as then existed, can have surmounted the obstacles that
presented themselves to their progress. In one place the way was a plank
road resting on beams, which were driven into the perpendicular face of
the solid rock a few feet above the water's edge, whilst a little
further on it is seen to wind along terraces cut artificially, high up
on the hillsides. Hundreds if not thousands of lives must have been
sacrificed in the work, for it must be remembered that the Roman
generals and artificers had not only to combat natural difficulties, and
to overcome the same obstacles as those which our modern engineers have
to face, but that they were harassed by the savage but skilled enemy
from the heights above, or from the opposite bank of the river, which
here and there narrows itself into defiles 150 or 200 yards wide.

As soon as the road was sufficiently advanced for the passage of his
army, A.D. 101, Trajan commenced his first expedition into
Dacia. The constitution and number of his forces are not accurately
known.[85] They varied, according to different accounts, from 60,000 to
80,000 Romans, with a considerable number of allies, Germans,
Sarmatians, Mauritanian cavalry, &c., the last-named under Lucius
Quietus; and these Trajan is said to have assembled at a place somewhere
south of Viminacium, which subsequently served as the base of his

Pages upon pages have been devoted by ancient and modern historians to
surmises concerning the routes taken by Trajan in his expedition and the
localities where his encounters with the Dacians took place, but in
every case the ascertained facts have been few in number. The best
history of the campaigns is delineated in the bas-reliefs on Trajan's
Column[87] at Rome, and many details have been collected from
fragmentary writings of Dion Cassius and other old historians.

For the convenience of crossing the Danube the army was divided into two
parts, and the river was crossed by bridges of boats at two points, one
near Viminacium and the other opposite Orsova. The first section then
skirted the western slopes of the Carpathians through the valley of the
Theiss, and so entered the Dacian highlands; the other marched up the
valley of the Tierna (Czerna), past the baths of Mehadia, which already
existed in the Roman period, and the two divisions of the army formed a
junction at Karansebes,[88] or at Tibiscum close by, where two Roman
roads met; Trajan is known to have accompanied and led the eastern
division until the junction was completed. It is probable that in that
year (101 A.D.) no serious encounter took place between Trajan
and Decebalus, who had been occupied for some time in preparing for his
defence, and had now received reinforcements from many of the
neighbouring tribes. One of these in the name of the allied tribes sent
a threatening message to Trajan, written or scratched upon a fungus,
warning him to withdraw his troops, but he heeded neither this
admonition nor overtures of peace proceeding from Decebalus himself. His
army went into winter quarters, and early in 102 A.D. he
commenced operations by forcing the Iron Gate pass in the
Carpathians,[89] and encountered the enemy, it is said, at the same
place where Julianus had previously defeated Decebalus, namely,
Tapæ.[90] Here the Dacians again met with a sanguinary defeat, but the
Romans also sustained severe losses, and Trajan secured himself in the
affections of his soldiers by tearing up his garments to make bandages
for the wounded.[91] After this reverse Decebalus sought to reopen
negotiations with Trajan, but on his refusal to receive the emissaries
of the emperor, who declined to meet him in person, hostilities were
renewed, and the war was prosecuted by the Dacians with great fierceness
and barbarity. The discipline and warlike resources of Rome, however,
maintained the ascendency for her arms. Decebalus was pressed from
stronghold to stronghold, and defeated in one encounter after another,
until at length his capital Sarmizegethusa was threatened by his
triumphant enemy. Then it was that he sued earnestly for peace, and
accepted the unfavourable conditions offered him by Trajan. He was
compelled to give up all his war material and artificers, to raze his
fortresses, to deliver up all Roman prisoners and deserters, to conclude
a treaty defensive and offensive with Rome, and to appear before and do
homage to the emperor. Dacia thus became a vassal but autonomous
province of the Empire, and, content with his victory, Trajan returned
to the capital, taking with him certain Dacian chiefs, who repeated the
act of homage in the senate. He then celebrated a triumph, and received
the distinctive title of 'Dacicus.'[92]


As we have already stated, the story of Trajan's expeditions into Dacia
is recorded in the bas-reliefs of the column bearing his name and still
existing in Rome. These bas-reliefs have been subject to various
readings and interpretations, but we have so far avoided referring to
them under the impression that they can only be taken in a general sense
to represent the exploits of Trajan, and that any attempt to extract
from them the names of localities is at best a hazardous experiment.
With these reservations, however, it is safe to say that they vividly
represent incidents of the campaign and bring us face to face with the
warlike character and customs of the contending nations. The progress of
the expedition, as shown on the column, is divided into sections, placed
one above another, and separated by stems of trees which coil round the
column; in the first of these sections we see the passage of the army
across the Danube over two bridges of boats. The Roman soldiers are
chiefly bareheaded, carrying their shields and helmets, and many bearing
standards with eagles, images of the gods, and other devices. Some of
the objects carried are supposed to be lanterns, from which it is
inferred that the passage took place at night. In advance are the
trumpeters bearing long curved horns, and the led horses of Trajan and
his generals. The last-named have already crossed the river, and Trajan
is seated on a platform surrounded by his officers, haranguing his men.
Next we find ourselves in the enemy's country, although there are no
signs as yet of the Dacians, and the two succeeding sections of the
column are occupied by the progress of the Roman arms. The soldiers are
felling timber, removing obstructions, and building forts and bridges,
over all of which operations Trajan is seen to preside in person. In the
fourth division the Dacians appear, suing for peace; the emissaries are
clad in long robes, and Trajan meets them outside a fort. Then follow
further incidents in the campaign; encounters take place between the
opposing forces, in which the Dacians are defeated and their dead lie
scattered on the ground. They are then seen retreating with their women
and children, devastating the country and slaying their cattle which are
heaped up in piles. Trajan is again present, sparing the old men, women,
and children, and making prisoners. Now the Dacians are the attacking
party, and the Romans defend themselves behind forts; and then again the
army is in motion with Trajan at its head, crossing rivers, and erecting
fortifications. In the next section the Dacians have made a stand, and
the scene represents a pitched battle in which they are again defeated
with great slaughter. All the incidents of the fight are vividly
depicted: Romans fighting from their chariots, Dacians and their allies
mounted and on foot, prisoners brought in, and a man, apparently a spy,
bound before Trajan himself. Then follows a further advance, which
occupies some of the succeeding scenes of the panorama. Here the Romans
fall into an ambuscade, from which they extricate themselves; there
they pass a post of danger, apparently a wooden stronghold of the
Dacians, under cover of a wall of shields held aloft by the soldiers;
and at length they arrive before a fortified town, where Trajan is again
seen seated upon a platform, surrounded by his generals, whilst the
Dacians, one of whom is supposed to be Decebalus himself, kneel round
about, suing for peace. In this scene the attire, emblems, and
accoutrements of the two contending nations are presented in marked
contrast. The Roman standards and eagles have already been mentioned;
those of the Dacians generally represent serpentine monsters at the end
of a long pole.[93] Whilst the Romans carry their tall, curved, oblong
shield, the oval ones of the Dacians ornamented with floral devices lie
heaped in confusion. Most of the Dacians are bareheaded, but some,
supposed to be chiefs, wear a head-dress resembling a cap of liberty.
Another section completes the panorama of the first expedition,
representing the embarkation and landing of Trajan; the sacrifices,
triumph, and rejoicings in the capital.

But Decebalus had no more intention of abiding by the terms of his
treaty with the Roman emperor than had Trajan with that of his
predecessor. The Dacian king had no sooner seen his enemy's back than he
repaired his fortresses, armed his people afresh, sought new alliances
with his neighbours, and commenced depredations upon the territories of
Rome and her allies. Then it was that Trajan prepared to chastise the
barbarians, and this time he determined to crush the Dacian power
completely, and to annex the conquered country as a Roman province.
Although he is said to have been in Mœsia in A.D. 104, the
actual movements against Dacia only commenced the following year, and in
this as in the preceding expedition the routes pursued by the Roman army
have not been clearly defined. The bridge across the Danube from Gladowa
to Turnu-Severin was most likely completed, and part, if not the whole,
of Trajan's army crossed there. Those writers who believe that in the
first expedition a portion of the forces entered from Pannonia, say
that, knowing the geography of the country better, Trajan now sent a
division up the valley of the Theiss, crossing the Danube at Viminacium;
whilst there is little doubt that a portion of the army continued the
march eastward along the Mœsian bank of the Danube, crossed at a station
opposite the mouth of the Alutus (now Oltu), landed near the modern
Celeiu, and, crossing the plain, entered the mountain fastnesses through
the Rothenthurm pass.[94]

By whatever routes Trajan's army invaded the dominions of the doomed
king, it is known that his advance was prompt and successful, and that
this time the fame of the Roman arms prevented Decebalus from securing
many allies. He once more sued for peace; but Trajan's terms being a
virtual relinquishment of his independence, he prepared himself for a
supreme and desperate effort for the defence of his kingdom. At first it
is said that he attempted to remove Trajan by assassination, but that
his emissaries were detected and put to death. Another expedient seems
to have been temporarily successful. He managed to decoy into his power
Longinus, a Roman general, said to have been a great favourite of
Trajan, and, holding him as a hostage, Decebalus demanded extravagant
terms of peace. To this proposal Trajan gave an evasive reply, in order,
if possible, to save the life of his officer. The last-named, however,
with true Roman patriotism, had a message conveyed to Trajan by his
freedman, advising him to proceed with his operations, and at the same
time he himself took a dose of poison in order to relieve his master
from further perplexity on his account. Decebalus then offered to give
up the body of the Roman general and certain other captives in return
for the escaped freedman, but Trajan returned no answer to his proposal.
Very little is known of the incidents of this campaign, excepting that
Trajan forced the passes of the Carpathians, and, taking one defended
post after another, drove the enemy into the vicinity of his capital;
that the tribes who had allied themselves with the Dacians, amongst whom
the Sarmatians, Jasyges, and Burri are named, deserted them one by one,
and that the Romans at length laid siege to Sarmizegethusa, where
Decebalus had taken refuge. After a brave but ineffectual defence the
king, rather than yield himself a prisoner, committed suicide with his
sword; whilst his followers, after setting fire to the town, imitated
the example of their leader by taking poison. The head of Decebalus was
cut off and sent to Rome by Trajan, who discovered and divided amongst
his soldiers vast spoils and treasures which the Dacians had endeavoured
to conceal, and then returned to Rome, where (A.D. 106) a
triumph was celebrated on even a grander scale than after the conclusion
of his first expedition.[95]


Before drawing to a close this hasty survey of the rise and fall of the
Dacian monarchy, let us turn again for a moment to the bas-reliefs upon
Trajan's Column, the indelible and, after all, the most trustworthy
record of his second expedition.[96] Passing hastily over the first
scenes, which comprise tho landing of his troops, the assault and
capture of a fortified place, the defeat of the Dacians, and what
appears to be a refusal on the part of Trajan to grant them peace, we
have a very faithful and circumstantial picture of a halt, where the
emperor is present at the offering of a bull as sacrifice. Then there is
a continuance of the march inland, followed by fierce contests between
the two armies. At length the Romans arrive before a walled city
(probably Sarmizegethusa) where all the incidents of a siege, including
personal adventures, are portrayed. A Roman soldier, standing at the top
of a scaling ladder, has struck off the head of one of the Dacians on
the wall, whilst the latter are seen hurling stones and other missiles
at those engaged in the assault. Then comes another application for
peace, a Dacian prince kneeling at the feet of Trajan; whilst in the
same section, separated only by a couple of thin trees, we have the
scene of the Dacians setting fire to their city, and in close contiguity
is their dying leader. The remaining scenes depict the Roman soldiers
dividing the spoil. Trajan is addressing them, distributing rewards, and
bidding them adieu. Then follow secondary incidents; the building of
fortresses by the Romans; one or two more contests in which Trajan's
generals defeat the Dacians, driving them into the mountains, whither
they are seen fleeing with their flocks, women, and children. One of the
last scenes represents the second triumph of Trajan, with soldiers who
arrive bearing the head of Decebalus. Some of the minor incidents in the
panorama are intended to exhibit the barbarity of the Dacians, one being
the exhibition of a row of heads stuck upon spears on the walls of a
town or fortress; another the burning and torturing of naked Roman
prisoners by Dacian women. Altogether these bas-reliefs, which are said
to be the work of several artists, present anything but an edifying
spectacle of the ancient mode of warfare.

[Footnote 79: Dion Cassius (Cocceianus), the Roman historian, was born
155 A.D. at Nicæa in Bithynia, where he also probably died in
retirement after a long and eventful political life; the date of his
death is unknown. He was governor of Pannonia under Severus, and had
opportunities of learning about Trajan's expeditions into Dacia. He
wrote a history of Rome, including one of Trajan, but of the latter
there is only an abridgment by Xiphilinus made in the eleventh century;
our extracts are from the French version referred to in the Appendix.]

[Footnote 80: See initial letter, and vignette at the end of this

[Footnote 81: Bohn's _Tacitus_, vol. ii. p. 164. This occurred 70
A.D. under Vespasian. Mœsia had been formally constituted a
Roman province 9 A.D. (or 2 B.C., Merivale).]

[Footnote 82: According to Merivale, vol. vii. p. 103 note (Longmans,
1862), it was a title: 'interpreted by some writers "The Strength of the
Dacians," by others "Dakhi-Valhus," the Scythian for the Day Falcon.'
Smith (_Biography_, article 'Decebalus') says it was probably a title of
honour amongst the Dacians equivalent to chief or king, since we find
that it was borne by more than one of their rulers, and that the
individual best known to history as the Decebalus of Dion Cassius is
named Diurpanus by Orosius, and Dorphaneus by Jornandes. Roesler and
Dierauer expend a large amount of research and learning upon the name.
The former (p. 35) believes that 'the Dierpaneus of Jordanes' is a king
Duras from whom Decebalus received his crown, and he leaves the question
an open one. Dierauer says (p. 67) that Decebalus was his name, and
quotes an inscription in which he is spoken of as 'Regem Decebalum.']

[Footnote 83: Bohn's _Agricola_, p. 382.]

[Footnote 84: See historical map.]

[Footnote 85: The fullest account of the probable number and
constitution of his army, his generals, &c., is to be found in Dierauer,
pp. 76 _et seq._ and the numerous notes appended.]

[Footnote 86: See map.]

[Footnote 87: Erected after the final subjugation of Dacia, probably
upon the designs of Apollodorus, who also designed the bridge across the

[Footnote 88: This is by no means the unanimous view as to the course
which was taken by the army, although most are agreed that it was
divided into two sections.]

[Footnote 89: This must not be confounded with the Iron Gates (sunken
rocks) in the Danube. The reader will find all the leading places
referred to in our historical map.]

[Footnote 90: Nothing certain is known as to the position of Tapæ. By
some writers it is said to be identical with Crossfeldt near Thorda; but
this hardly agrees with the account of the operations against Decebalus
after his first defeat.]

[Footnote 91: Dion Cassius, lxviii. 8.]

[Footnote 92: Dion Cassius, lxviii. 9.]

[Footnote 93: See vignette at the end of this chapter.]

[Footnote 94: All these places, along with the lines indicating existing
remains of Roman roads, will be found on our map.]

[Footnote 95: Full details of games, gladiatorial fights, coins struck,
&c., in Dierauer, pp. 105 _et seq._]

[Footnote 96: Those of our readers who desire to follow these
superficial outlines of the story, as represented on the column, will do
well to inspect the beautiful line engravings of Piranese, without
however accepting his interpretations as conclusive.]


Whatever uncertainty attaches to the details of Trajan's expeditions,
there is none as to their ultimate result, nor concerning the chief
operations of the conqueror and his successors in the newly-acquired
territory, which was formally annexed as a province of the Empire. Some
historians have attempted to define with great minuteness the boundaries
of the new province, but more cautious writers content themselves with
naming approximate limits; and these have done wisely, as there is no
doubt that the movements of the neighbouring tribes and even of the
conquered Dacians (for it is a mistake to suppose, as some do, that they
went out of existence) prevented any strict line of demarcation. The
nominal boundaries of Roman Dacia were the river Theiss on the west, the
Pruth on the east, 'barbarians' on the north, and the river Danube on
the south. The country actually colonised embraced the Banate of
Temesvar, Transylvania (Siebenbürgen), and Roumania as they exist
to-day. There were several centres of colonisation, of which the chief
was Ulpia Trajana, including the old capital of Decebalus,
Sarmizegethusa (now Varhely), and other important centres were Apulum
and Cerna or Tierna.[97]

Trajan and his successors built fortifications, walls, and towns; and,
attracted partly by the fertility of the plains and partly by the gold
mines of the Carpathians, the Roman colonies soon swelled in numbers
and importance.[98] Different opinions have been expressed concerning
the character of these colonists. One modern writer, Carra, who is
considered an authority in Roumanian history, says that the Romans
regarded Dacia as the French, Cayenne, and sent thither a colony
consisting of the scum of the principal towns of Greece and the Roman
Empire. Their descendants, he adds, who inherited their vices and
cowardice, were turn by turn conquered and enslaved by the Sarmatians,
Huns, and Tartars.[99] This is a statement which rather affects the
feelings of modern Roumanians than the current of historical events, and
it brings us face to face with an enquiry which we shall have to handle
with great circumspection, namely, the descent of the modern Roumanians
from the old Daco-Roman colonists, lest we find ourselves involved in a
controversy that would fill volumes. So far as the records of Roman
history enable us to judge, Carra has done great injustice to the
colonists of Dacia. It is true that the Romans banished some of their
malefactors, and especially political offenders, to their colonies, as
Ovid was expatriated; and that Trajan colonised Dacia from various parts
of the Empire; but the custom of the Roman generals, which Trajan would
doubtless have followed, was to divide the most fertile districts
amongst their veteran soldiers,[100] and therefore, if the charges of
cowardice and debauchery made by Carra were true, they would apply to
the bravest in the legions who had conquered the almost indomitable
Decebalus. But Carra lived and wrote at a time (A.D. 1777) when
cool judgment could hardly be expected in a writer on Roumania, and if
he were alive to-day he would be surprised to hear that there is a
school of modern historians who, using his very authorities, deny that
the descendants of the Daco-Roman colonists were ever to be found on
Dacian ground during the incursions of the eastern barbarians. But of
that more hereafter.[101]

The history of the Roman occupation of Dacia, which lasted from the time
of Trajan until it was evacuated by Aurelian,[102] affords little to
interest the reader. Dacia was, so to speak, the outwork of the Empire
which served to hold the barbarians at bay during its 'decline and
fall;' and the country was more prosperous than during the period of its
independence, when the tribes were constantly at war with one another
and there was no settled government. That the attitude of the barbarians
was threatening even a few years after the death of Trajan is, however,
more than probable, for his immediate successor, Hadrian, contemplated
withdrawing his legions, and destroyed the bridge across the Danube, 118
or 120 A.D. Some writers, indeed, attribute this act to his
jealousy of Trajan, others to his hatred of Apollodorus, the architect;
but most probably the cause assigned by Dion Cassius, that it was to
prevent its being used by the barbarians for making inroads into Mœsia,
was the true one.[103] During the reigns of Antoninus Pius and Marcus
Aurelius for about half a century, the barbarians were kept in check,
although even during that period they had managed to encroach upon the
Roman territory.

At the beginning of the third century, however, the Roman hold on Dacia
began to be very precarious, and we approach the time when the dark veil
of the so-called barbarian ages is drawn over the history of Europe.
That the Roman emperors had to contend, with very varying fortunes, with
barbarous tribes is certain, and that their arms were still frequently
successful is proved by the erection of fortresses and towns, named
after their emperors, on the borders of their possessions. For example,
Caracalla defeated certain barbarous hordes about A.D. 212, and
assumed the name of 'Geticus,' but whether the conquered tribes were
Dacians or Goths is uncertain.

A few years later the Quadi and Marcomanni made inroads into Western
Dacia, but they were held in check by the proconsul Varus, who built a
tower or fort in close proximity to Trajan's bridge, of which the ruins
are still visible to travellers on the Danube, and which has given its
name to the modern town of Turnu-Severin. But the Goths, a people of
Scandinavian origin, had been for some time previously drawing nearer to
the borders of the Roman Empire. Between the beginning of our era and
the end of the second century they had spread themselves, associated
with the Vandals, in the direction of the Carpathians and the Ukraine,
and in the reign of the Emperor Philip (243-249) they made irruptions
into Mœsia. In that of Decius they invaded the Roman territory a second
time under a chief, Cniva, and, after defeating the Romans and
compelling the emperor to flee, they took and sacked Philippopolis.
Shortly afterwards Decius met them again, but he was again defeated and
slain. The barbarians then retired with their plunder.

The next event of importance was the defeat of the Goths (about 268 or
269[104]) by Marcus Aurelius Claudius. They had once more entered Roman
territory, had overrun Mœsia and Illyria, and were approaching the
capital; it was therefore found necessary to raise a powerful army and
drive them over the frontier. This time they were defeated with great
slaughter at Naissos in the Balkans and elsewhere, and were then driven
across the Danube. Marcus Aurelius, who took the name of 'Gothicus,'
describes the fate of the enemy in these terms: 'We have annihilated
320,000 Goths, and have sunk two thousand of their ships. Everywhere
rivers are covered with their shields, all the banks with their swords
and spears, whilst the fields are sown with their bones. The roads are
indistinguishable; much baggage is taken. We have captured so many women
that every soldier is able to possess two or three of them.'[105] And
yet, notwithstanding this decisive victory of Marcus Aurelius, his
successor Aurelian found himself very shortly afterwards in deadly
conflict with these same Goths, and his contests were so doubtful in
their results that he was glad to make a treaty of peace with them and
leave them in undisturbed possession of Trajan's Dacia. That he decided
to withdraw the Roman legions (about 270 or 275 A.D.) from
Dacian territory, that he offered protection to all colonists who were
prepared to follow them across the Danube, and that a new colony, called
Dacia Aureliani, was founded along the south bank of the Danube: these
are uncontradicted facts. But when we come to enquire into the details
of the withdrawal and the composition of the remaining population, we
find such a conflict of authorities that it is impossible to come to a
definite conclusion. Nay, not only do the historians differ from one
another in regard to the conditions under which Aurelian evacuated Dacia
Trajana, or Dacia north of the Danube, but in some cases they even
contradict themselves, and, after a careful perusal and comparison of
the statements of many of them, we are quite disposed to accept the
opinion expressed by our own historian Gibbon, who, after saying that
Aurelian withdrew the Roman legions from Dacia and offered the
alternative of leaving to those colonists who were disposed to follow
him, adds:--

     'The old country of that name (Dacia) detained, however, a
     considerable number of its inhabitants who dreaded exile more than
     a Gothic master. These degenerate Romana continued to serve the
     Empire whose allegiance they had renounced by introducing amongst
     their conquerors the first notions of agriculture, the useful arts,
     and the convenience of civilisation. An intercourse of commerce and
     language was gradually established between the opposite banks of
     the Danube, and after Dacia became an independent State it often
     proved the firmest barrier of the Empire against the invasions of
     the savages of the north. A sense of interest attached these more
     settled barbarians to the alliance of Rome, and a permanent
     interest very frequently ripens into sincere and useful

And Gibbon, who had read and studied the works of Eutropius and his
successor Vopiscus, as well as other more recent historians, gives us
further details of the negotiations that took place between Aurelian and
the Goths, which remove any doubts as to the accuracy of his views.
Aurelian treated with the barbarians after a battle had been fought
which was by no means adverse to the Roman arms, and he stipulated with
the Goths that they should contribute an auxiliary force of 2,000 men to
the Roman army. He moreover secured a large number of hostages, being
the sons and daughters of Gothic chiefs, whom he sent to Rome to be
educated. He adds, concerning the constitution of the province north of
the Danube: 'This various colony which filled the ancient province, and
was insensibly blended into one great nation, still acknowledged the
superior renown and authority of the Gothic tribe, and claimed the
fancied honour of Scandinavian origin.'[107]

But this is not all. The great historian, whose views can only be
rejected on what we may call a political or partisan theory, believed
the Roman colonists to have been industrious agriculturists; for when he
speaks, in another place, of the temptations which led the wandering
Goths in the first instance to cast longing eyes upon Dacia, he says:
'But the prospects of the Roman territory were far more alluring, and
the fields of Dacia were covered with a rich harvest, sown by the hands
of an _industrious_, and exposed to be gathered by a warlike

In bringing the history of the Roman occupation of Dacia to a close, we
have therefore to acknowledge that, far from being inhabited by the scum
of the earth as Carra supposed, the country was at first in the hands of
an industrious, though probably a sparse peasantry, and, as Gibbon has
said, 'only those who had nothing to lose accompanied the Roman army,'
leaving the remainder, a large body of industrious Daco-Roman
agriculturists, ruled over by a tribe of warlike barbarians. What these
and their posterity suffered, will be seen from the narrative in our
next chapter.


[Footnote 97: According to certain writers, Transylvania was _Dacia
mediterranca_; the Banate, _D. ripensis_; and Roumania, _D.
transalpina_; but Smith (_Geography_, 'Dacia') gives those names to
divisions of Mœsia after the withdrawal of the Romans from Dacia; and
later historians mate no reference to the divisions. Dicrauer (p. 103)
only refers to one or two leading colonies, and Roesler (p. 45) says
that Trajan did not subdivide his conquest at all, but that under
Antoninus Pius (168 A.D.) there existed three non-political
divisions: _D. Apulensis_, _D. Porolissensis_, and _D. malvensis._
Gibbon (chap. i. pp. 7 and 8) gives what he calls 'the natural
boundaries,' and says the province was about 1,300 miles in

[Footnote 98: Neigebaur (p. 43) gives a list of twenty-eight towns known
(and many doubtful ones) in Trajan's Dacia, built during the Roman
occupation. Of these the ruins of some still remain, and on the site of
others modern towns have been built, whose names vary but little from
the Roman appellations, _e.g._ Zernes, now Cernetz; Caracalla, Karakal;
Castra Severum, Turnu Severunul (where there is an old Roman tower);
Ardeiscus, Ardeish or Ardges; Pallada, Berlad; Kallatia, Galatz; Thermæ
ad Mediaș, Mehadia.]

[Footnote 99: Carra, p. 3.]

[Footnote 100: As in the case of Britain; see Smith, _Geography_,
article 'Colonia.']

[Footnote 101: Carra takes his account from Eutropius, who says (Book
VIII. cap. 6): 'Trajan, when he conquered Dacia, transferred thither
from all parts of the Roman Empire considerable numbers of men to till
the fields and live in the towns. For by its long war under Decebalus
Dacia had been exhausted of its men.' he says nothing of the 'scum of
the towns.' But in Book IX. cap. 15, Eutropius, in speaking of the Roman
withdrawal from Dacia under Aurelian, says: 'He took the Romans away
from the cities and fields of Dacia, and planted them in the middle of

[Footnote 102: Smith (Dacia) says it was evacuated between 270 and 275
A.D. Neigebaur and other German as well as French writers name
years between these two, the edict of Aurelian being dated, it is said,
274 A.D.; whilst Roesler (pp. 60-51) believes that the actual
withdrawal of the Roman army did not take place until 280 A.D.]

[Footnote 103: lxviii. 13. He says (after describing the bridge in
glowing terms): 'Trajan, fearing lest, when the Ister was frozen, the
Romans on the farther bank should be attacked, built it in order to
afford an easy passage for the troops; Adrian, on the other hand,
apprehensive that the barbarians, after having overcome those who
guarded it, would find it an easy means of penetrating into Mœsia,
demolished the upper portion of it.']

[Footnote 104: Freeman (_General Sketch of European History_) says
269-270 A.D.]

[Footnote 105: Trebellius Pollio. Gibbon sets down the number of Goths
slain at 50,000.]

[Footnote 106: Vol. ii. p. 17. The other writers here referred to are
Pic, Roesler, Paget, Petermann, &c.]

[Footnote 107: Ibid.]

[Footnote 108: Vol. i. p. 330.]



     The 'Barbarians'--Brief mention of them by Roumanian
     historians--The Goths--Their settlement in Dacia--Defeat by
     Theodosius and disappearance--The Huns--Their ferocity--Attila--His
     successes--Deserted and overthrown by the Gepidæ--His death, and
     expulsion of the Huns--The Sarmatians--The Gepidæ ally themselves
     with the Byzantines--Defeated by the Lombards under Alboin--The
     Avari--Settle in Dacia--Are defeated and dispersed by Priscus and
     Heraclius--The Bulgari--Their origin and that of the
     Slavonians--Their cruelty--Warlike habits--Severe punishment of
     criminals--Superstitions--Their 'Chagan,' or chief
     rider--Conversion to Christianity--Their chieftains--Improved
     habits--Curious superstitions--Career of the Bulgari--Invasion of
     the Eastern Empire and defeat by Belisarius--Supreme in Dacia,
     Mœsia, and Servia--Vicissitudes--Story of Krumus--Daco-Roman
     princes--The Bulgarian territories annexed by Basilius to the Greek
     Empire--The Ungri, or Hungarians--Their supposed origin--Their
     cruelty and ferocity--Hallam's description of them--German account
     of their savage mode of warfare--Ravage Europe--Settle in Hungary
     and found a kingdom--Are driven over the Carpathians by the
     Bulgari--(Note: Story of their contests with the chiefs Gellius,
     Gladius, Mariotus, &c,--The anonymous notary of King Bela)--The
     Patzinakitai--Scanty records concerning them--The
     Wallachs--Controversy regarding their origin--Daco-Roman
     descendants--Mediæval accounts of their origin and character--Anna
     Comnena--Bonfinius--Æneas Sylvius--M. Opitz--Their career in the
     Danubian territories--Revolt in alliance with the
     Bulgari--Foundation of the Wallacho-Bulgarian Empire by Peter,
     Asan, and John--The historical _soufflet_--Recognition of the new
     empire--Its duration--The Kumani--Their domination--The Teutonic
     Knights and Knights of St. John--Interesting correspondence between
     King Joannitz and Pope Innocent III.--Temporary conversion of the
     Bulgarians to Rome--Downfall of the Wallacho-Bulgarian
     Empire--Irruptions and retirement of the Tartars--End of the
     barbarian age.


If the reader will imagine a country somewhat larger than the United
Kingdom situated in a part of the European continent which renders it
accessible from almost every side, and can conceive of eight or nine
great hordes of armed savages tens or hundreds of thousands strong, with
many smaller ones, pouring intermittently, and even simultaneously in
some instances, into that devoted territory, and there alternately
burning and plundering or making slaves of each other or of the original
settlers, during a continuous period of more than a thousand years, then
he will have formed some idea of poor Roumania (or perhaps it would be
more correct to say of the territories north and south of the lower
Danube) as it existed between the end of the third and of the thirteenth

It is not surprising that some of the historians of Roumania, who have
managed to fill volumes, should have slurred over what really
constitutes half the period of her national existence in a few pages,
nay even in some instances in a few lines; and that they should have
substituted what one writer has called 'brilliant declamatory
evolutions' for the conclusions of careful research. For the last method
sometimes leads to the discovery of discrepancies between standard
authors of fifty or a hundred years in the chronicle of events. For us
the history of the so-called dark ages in that part of Europe is full of
interest, inasmuch as the Danubian plains constituted the highway over
which the barbarians wandered who were the ancestors of a large
proportion of the existing population of Europe; and we have sought, in
the table appended to this work, to bring some kind of order out of the
chaos of events narrated by historians.[109] Beyond this, it is true, we
cannot do much to serve the student of history, and it is a matter of
regret that the character of this work necessitates our treating the
subject with such inconvenient brevity; but we must appeal to the
patience and good nature of our readers whilst we seek to give as much
interest as possible to a necessarily dry and tedious narrative.

For about a century after the withdrawal of the Roman legions, the
_Goths_, a people of whose origin and exploits we have already spoken,
ruled in Trajan's Dacia, except during a brief interval (327
A.D.) when Constantine, having built a bridge across the
Danube at or near Nicopolis on the southern, and Turnu-Magurele on the
northern bank, overran the country and once more incorporated it with
the Empire. This occupation was, however, of short duration. Finding
that he could not maintain his supremacy north of the Danube, and that
the Goths were even settling on the right bank, Constantine is said to
have established Roman colonies south of the Balkans, and, according to
some historians, it was from those settlers that the country has derived
its present name of Roumelia. That the Goths must have founded permanent
settlements in various parts of Dacia is obvious from the traces they
have loft behind them, notably in the neighbourhood of Buseu.[110]
Moreover, in the middle of the century (361 A.D.) they are said
to have embraced Christianity, although we hear shortly afterwards (370
A.D.) that their king Athanaric subjected the Christians to the
most cruel persecutions. At that time they were probably on more
neighbourly terms with the Romans, for when a new enemy, the Huns,
appeared in the east and threatened them with annihilation, many of them
were allowed by the Emperor Valens to cross the Danube and settle
peaceably on the right or southern bank. Shortly afterwards, however, we
find them first defeating and slaying Valens and then fighting in
alliance with the Huns (378) against the Emperor Theodosius, who
attacked them in Dacia. This is the last we hear of the Goths as such,
but a branch, the Gepidæ, afterwards rose again and for a considerable
period dominated in Dacia.

[Footnote 109: See Appendix I.]

[Footnote 110: The reader will find most of the chief places named in
the course of this historical sketch indicated on the historical map,
but we have purposely refrained from making repeated references to it,
and even, in many cases, to authorities on history, where that would
interfere unnecessarily with the continuity of the narrative.]


The _Huns_ who drove out the Goths and followed them in the occupation
of the country, are supposed by some to be of Scythian, by others even
of Chinese origin, and Gibbon has very graphically described their first
appearance and movements. 'The numbers,' he says, 'the strength, the
rapid motions, and the implacable cruelty of the Huns were felt, and
dreaded and magnified by the astonished Goths, who beheld their fields
and villages consumed with flames and deluged with indiscriminate
slaughter. To these real terrors were added the surprise and abhorrence
which were excited by the shrill voice, the uncouth gestures, and the
strange deformity of the Huns. These savages of Scythia were compared
(and the picture had some resemblance) to the animals who walked very
awkwardly on two legs, and to the misshapen figures, the Termini, which
were often placed on the bridges of antiquity. They were distinguished
from the rest of the human species by their broad shoulders, flat noses,
and small black eyes deeply buried in the head, and as they were almost
destitute of beards they never enjoyed either the manly graces of youth
or the venerable aspect of age.'[111] These were the beings who
devastated and dominated in Dacia for three-fourths of a century (375 to
about 453 A.D.), and others such as these, we may add, were
still harrying the peacefully disposed population six or seven hundred
years subsequently, when the ultra-barbarian _régime_ was about drawing
to a close.

But the rule of the Huns was not uninterrupted. Shortly after they
obtained possession of the Gothic kingdom in Dacia they were defeated by
the Emperor Theodosius I. (about 378), but from that time until the
reign of their King Attila ('the scourge of God') nothing of importance
is noted in their history. This monarch not only brought the whole of
Dacia under the yoke, but (about 443) he conquered Mœsia, and pressed
the Romans so hard that Theodosius II. (408-450), as well as the Eastern
Emperor, were glad to make peace with him, by which he retained the
greater part of his conquests north of the Danube. It is impossible, nor
would it be legitimate here, to follow Attila through his victorious
career. All we need to mention is that when the tide was turning against
him, the vassal tribes, whom he had dragged through Europe as allies,
deserted him, and the Gepidæ, a branch of the great Gothic nation,
helped to hasten his downfall; for, revolting under their chief Ardaric,
they not only defeated his army, but became masters of the whole of
Dacia. At the conclusion of the reign of Attila, who died or was
murdered about A.D. 453, the Huns were driven back into Asia,
whence they once more invaded Europe a few years later; but, although we
hear of them casually, in union with other tribes, more than a century
afterwards (about 564), they never recovered their power in Dacia, and
are of no further interest to us in this connection.

[Footnote 111: Vol. iv. pp. 258-262.]


The reader will remember that even in the wars between the Romans and
Dacians other barbarian tribes took part. Of these the Quadi,
Marcomanni, and Sarmatians continued to harass the successors of the
first-named, and even to make irruptions into the Empire. The
_Sarmatians_ especially were very formidable, and from time to time they
settled in Dacia during the occupation of the Goths, giving both them
and the Romans much trouble. They were encountered by more than one
Roman army, and were driven back into and through Dacian territory; but
at length, about A.D. 375, Valentinian defeated them with great
slaughter, and we cease to hear of them in connection with Roumanian

With the _Gepidæ_, that branch of the Goths who defeated Attila, it was
otherwise. After the withdrawal of the Huns[112] they took possession of
Northern Dacia, and managed to obtain such a firm hold on the country,
that it was actually known to some of the older historians as 'Gepidia.'
There is, however, nothing of interest in their history. Sometimes they
were at war with their more powerful southern neighbours; anon they
formed alliances with them on advantageous terms, and aided them to keep
other tribes in check. The Roman Empire was now split into its Eastern
and Western divisions, and it was with the Byzantines that the Gepidæ
made their treaties. These, however, were capable of rendering them
little effectual service at periods of grave danger, and when (about 550
A.D.) the Lombards, a warlike tribe who are believed to have
migrated southwards from the shores of the Baltic, in combination with
an Asiatic horde, the Avari, made inroads into their territory, the
Gepidæ were quite incapable of making head against them. We have said
that the latter nation contracted treaties, offensive and defensive,
with the Eastern Empire, but it must not be supposed that either the
emperors or the barbarians were very constant in their attachments. At
one time we find some particular tribe in alliance with the emperors of
the East, assisting them to keep back new assailants; at another they
entered the armies of the Eastern emperors, to help them in their
attacks upon their Western rivals; then, again, it is two tribes
associated to root out and exterminate a horde in possession; and
shortly afterwards it may be that the tribes who were allied are arrayed
against each other. About the time named, the _Lombards_ and Avari, as
we have said, made inroads into the territories of the Gepidæ, the
first-named being under the lead of a brave and fierce leader, Alboin,
and in a very short period (between 550 and 567 A.D.) they
managed not only to defeat the Gepidæ, but so completely to break their
power, that some writers speak of them as being annihilated. Then it was
that the Emperor Justinian (527-565), fearing them as opponents, and
desiring them as allies, tempted the Lombards to enter his service; and,
bent upon conquest rather than upon becoming settlers in the land which
they had already acquired, these crossed over the Danube and left their
associates, the Avari, in undisturbed possession. The _Avari_ ruled
intermittently in Dacia from about A.D. 564 to 610-640, when,
venturing to cope with the Byzantine power, they were first encountered
and defeated by Priscus, a Greek general, and later on by the Emperor
Heraclius (610-641), and from that time their nation was gradually

[Footnote 112: Between 453 and 469 A.D. according to different


But now we arrive at a period when there was some little interval in the
successive inroads of barbarians, and a breathing time for the peaceably
disposed inhabitants of Dacia; for the next race of wanderers who
entered upon the fertile plains of the Danube succeeded in holding their
ground almost as undisputed masters for three centuries. Later on, as we
shall find, they founded a second dynasty in combination with the
Wallachs; and, although their rule was troubled by the incursions of
other barbarians, and by wars first with the Byzantines and afterwards
with the Hungarians or Magyars, yet they managed with some intermission
to remain the governing power, and their descendants have ruled in
various localities even down to the present day.

But what makes the history of this tribe, the _Bulgari_, so interesting,
is not so much the domination which they exercised in the Danubian
provinces, as the insight which it gives us into the condition of the
people during the dark ages; and although we must content ourselves with
a brief sketch of their career and a few incidents selected from it, we
can confidently recommend our readers to prosecute the enquiry for
themselves, with the certainty of being repaid for their labour and
research. The origin of the Bulgari, or Bulgarians, like that of most of
the so-called barbarians, is more or less clouded in mystery. According
to some writers they were of Scythian origin, and comprised numerous
tribes, amongst whom the Wallachs, the Croats, and the Moravians are the
best known.[113] Gibbon says[114] that the Bulgarians and Slavonians
were a wild people who dwelt, or rather wandered, on the plains of
Russia, Lithuania, and Poland. They were bold and dexterous archers, who
drank the milk and feasted on the flesh of their indefatigable
horses.[115] Their flocks followed, or rather guided, their movements,
as it was in search of pasture for these that they roamed about from
place to place. They were practised in flight and incapable of fear.
Roesler is of opinion that they were an offshoot of the Huns, and in the
earlier period of their career, he says, they adopted the costume of all
the Ural races, and notably of the Avari. The hair of the head was shorn
off with the exception of a tuft. Their war-standards were horses'
tails; before a battle there was a muster, at which arms and horses were
inspected, and if any defects were discovered, the warrior who was
guilty was at once put to death. The day and hour of combat were fixed
by soothsayers, propitious signs were sought, and war-ditties chanted.
It was a custom to make a drinking-vessel of the skull of some famous
chieftain amongst the enemy when he was killed in battle. (We shall have
a notable example of this presently.) Any freeman or slave who strayed
beyond the boundaries of the territory was killed by the border-guard if
he was detected. Dogs and even human beings were offered as sacrifices.
Their sentences for the expiation of crime were as barbarous as the
people themselves. Noses and ears were cut off as the most ordinary
punishment. Polygamy was practised, and eunuchs protected the harem. The
ruler, who was called the 'Chagan,' had power of life and death over his
subjects. He alone sat at table during his meals; his 'court,' including
even his spouse, squatted around and fed upon the floor. In the seventh
century their religion was a mixture of heathenism and Mohammedanism,
and they were only converted to Christianity by slow degrees after they
had settled on the Danube and come into close contact with the Eastern
Empire.[116] Even then we find (about the middle of the ninth century)
that although the kings embraced Christianity, the great mass of the
people remained unconverted, and even resented the change of religion in
their rulers.

There is much more that is interesting in the customs of the Bulgarians,
especially when they had come under something like a settled government.
The nobles seem to have resembled our 'ealdormen' in the very earliest
phase of our history, and to have exercised considerable influence,
notwithstanding the absolutism of the ruling head. From living only in
tents of skins, a practice still adhered to in the warmer months, they
built wooden huts in winter. They clothed themselves in long robes, and
wore caps which were doffed reverentially in the presence of their
rulers. They fed on millet and on horseflesh, and drank mead and a
liquor extracted from the birch tree. Their punishments continued to be
most barbarous, quartering alive being a common practice. Their
superstitions were interesting. Serpents were 'taboo,' so was a hut
which had been struck by lightning, whilst the howlings of dogs and
wolves were good omens, significant of success or plenty.

We first hear of the Bulgari towards the close of the fifth century when
they were situated near the mouth of the Volga, from whence they moved
into Dacia. Meeting with little opposition and joined by other tribes,
they soon became formidable invaders of the Eastern Empire, and are said
to have carried their arms time after time through Thrace, Epirus,
Thessaly, as far as Peloponnesus in Europe, and into Asia Minor, until
at length they were met by Belisarius, one of the generals of Justinian,
probably about 538-540 A.D., who defeated and drove them back
over the Danube. Meantime they had come under the yoke of the Avari, and
it was not until the middle of the seventh century (about 678-680), when
that warlike tribe had been broken up by Heraclius, that the Bulgari,
under the leadership of a powerful chief Kuvrat, obtained the ascendency
in Dacia. This chieftain formed an alliance with Heraclius, and he and
his successor Asparich succeeded by their prowess in bringing not only
Trajan's Dacia, but also Mœsia, and what is now Servia, under the
Bulgarian rule, and in founding a State which subsisted to the
beginning of the eleventh century.

Of the condition of the people under this _régime_ we have already
spoken, and there is too much similarity between its incidents and those
which preceded and followed, to justify our dwelling upon it at any
length. It consists of a series of victories over, or defeats by, the
Byzantine emperors. At one time we find the Bulgarians losing battle
after battle and their power on the wane; then we hear of a Bulgarian
chief going to Constantinople, embracing Christianity, and forming a
marriage alliance with a niece of the empress (Irene, 780-802). Next a
powerful and savage king, Krum or Krumus, comes to the throne (probably
reigning 807 to 820 A.D.), and commences hostilities against
the Emperor Nicephorus (802-811). Having defeated and slain him, he is
said to have illustrated the custom already referred to by making a
goblet of his skull. The succeeding emperor (Michael, 811-813) fared
little better, having suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands of
Krum, who pressed forward to the very gates of Constantinople. Thence,
after dictating terms of peace, he withdrew into his own territories,
taking with him, it is said, 50,000 Daco-Romans who had been made slaves
by the Byzantines, and settling them on the north bank of the Danube.
Krum died A.D. 820 or thereabouts.

Another feature in the history of the country, to which we shall refer
more fully hereafter, is the part taken by the dominant race for the
time being in the obstruction or promotion of Christianity, and in the
schism in the Catholic Church. At first we hear of little else than
persecution of Christians, and the successor of Krum is said to have
martyred one Bishop Emanuel, who was preaching the Gospel in his
dominions. Other Bulgarian chiefs or kings, however, courted the favour
of the Christian emperors and adopted their creed, until the country was
annexed to the Greek Empire in 1014 A.D.

A word or two more concerning the prominent events preceding the first
fall of the Bulgarians. About the end of the ninth century the
descendants of the Daco-Romans, recovering from the repeated blows they
had received by the successive barbarian irruptions and conquests, are
said once more to have rallied to power; and several chiefs or kings are
believed to have been of Daco-Roman origin. Of these Simeon (about 887),
Peter (? A.D.), and Samuel (about 976 A.D.), are
conspicuous. The first-named we find at war, first with the Grecian
Emperor Leo (893 A.D.), whom he defeated; then with the same
ruler and his allies the Ungri, under Arpad, their king. Finding himself
hard pressed, Simeon made peace with Leo, and turned his arms against
the Ungri, whom he defeated with great bloodshed and drove out of his
territories. (To the Ungri and their career we shall return presently.)
These feuds continued for a long period, and about 970 A.D. the
Bulgarians crossed the Balkans, but were beaten by the Greeks, whilst
two or three years afterwards the Greek emperor (or rather one of them,
for there were several pretenders to the throne), John Zimisces (? 972),
attacked Marcianopolis, the Bulgarian capital, and took the king, Boris,
prisoner. Before the end of the century another Bulgarian king, Simeon,
had fought the Greeks with varying success, but ultimately the Emperor
Basilius II. (1014 A.D.) completely annihilated the Bulgarian
army, and annexed the whole country as a province of the Greek Empire.
Thus ended the first rule of the Bulgarians.

[Footnote 113: Le Sage, Table 8.]

[Footnote 114: Gibbon, vol. vii. p. 104.]

[Footnote 115: This character is by some writers given to the Wallachs
or Roumanians, and Bonfinius (Book IV.) says that their name is derived
from certain Greek words indicating their skill in archery.]

[Footnote 116: Roesler, p. 234 _et seq._ It is necessary to add that
Roesler derives much of his information from Turkish sources. (Appendix,
pp. 359-361.) According to one writer, Abu-Ali-Ahmed Ben Omar Ibn-Dasta,
the _settled_ Bulgarians were an agricultural people cultivating
cereals, in whose villages were mosques, elementary schools, &c. Many,
however, were heathens, who prostrated themselves whenever they met an


Of all the tribes or hordes of the East who made the devoted plains of
the Danube their highway into Europe, there were none who have earned a
character so notorious for rapine and cruelty as the _Ungri_, or
Hungarians. Their origin is doubtful in the extreme, but it is probable
that they were a Turanian race, and Roesler has found them an aboriginal
home in Ugria, a country situated eastward of the Ural mountains and the
river Obi.[117] Their savage nature, which long survived their advent
into Europe, has been graphically described by several writers.
Roesler, who has carefully studied their early history, says that they
were mare-milking nomads living in tents, that they ate the half-raw
meat of game or fish without knives. Mare's milk appears to have been
what we may call their temperance beverage; whilst stronger drinks were
the blood of wild animals or of their enemies on the field of battle;
and the hearts of the latter were considered a sovereign remedy for
diseases.[118] Our own Hallam, in describing their appearance and
ravages in Europe, calls them a 'Tartarian tribe' who moved forward in
great numbers as a vast wave. Their ferocity, he says, was untamed; they
fought with cavalry and light armour, trusting to their showers of
arrows, against which the swords and lances of the European armies could
not avail. 'The memory of Attila,' he adds, 'was renewed in the
devastations of these savages, who, if they were not his compatriots,
resembled them both in countenance and customs.'[119]

But the nation who suffered the most severely from their irruptions, and
whose history reflects their ferocity the most faithfully, were the
Germans. Fortresses were erected to check their inroads, but 'exultingly
and with scorn these wild horsemen brushed past them, and as though they
were in pursuit of game they picked off the peasant at the plough, or
the soldier mounting guard upon the walls. Men, women, and children were
captured wherever they were found; were coupled by the hair of their
heads and driven in herds, like cattle, into Hungary. If a regular army
moved out against them, they dispersed like the winds of heaven, and the
joyful cry went up, "God be praised, they are gone;" but soon they
reappeared to harass the retreating soldiery. The horrors of desolation
and rapine were the condition most congenial to them; in these they
revelled and rejoiced; and most happy were they when they could anoint
their beards with German blood, or, casting their firebrands into the
houses of God, could witness the devouring flames as they rose up into
the skies.'[120]

Although in after times the Hungarians claimed the suzerainty over part
or the whole of Wallachia (and we shall have occasion hereafter to refer
to their relations with that country), their domination during the ninth
and tenth centuries was of a very partial and transient character. They
probably moved westward from the Ukraine at the beginning of the ninth
century, and between the years 839 and 860 they were actively aggressive
in Eastern Wallachia. They are said to have attacked Constantine, the
Christian missionary, on his way through the district they occupied, but
his venerable mien prevented them from doing him any injury. He is said
not even to have allowed their cries to disturb him during prayer, in
which he was engaged when they made their appearance. Towards the close
of the century, as we have already said, they sustained a defeat at the
hands of the Bulgarians, when, under their chief Arpad, they had formed
an alliance with the Emperor Leo, who is said to have made peace with
the enemy and left them in the lurch. After this they were driven into
the Carpathians, A.D. 894, and, having first overrun the
greater part of Transylvania, they commenced those aggressions into
Germany, France, and Italy, which for a considerable period rendered
them the terror of all Europe. At the end of the tenth century, having
met with severe reverses and been compelled to withdraw into Hungary,
they at length settled down under an established government. The first
king was undoubtedly Stephen (997 or 1008 A.D.), and they
annexed Transylvania, which up to that time had been a debatable
territory, either about 1002 according to some writers, or, as others
affirm, not until the time of Ladislaus the Holy (1078-1095

[Footnote 117: Roesler, p. 156 _et seq._]

[Footnote 118: Roesler, p. 164 _et seq._]

[Footnote 119: Vol. i. p. 20. Hallam says, in a note _loc. cit._: 'In
Italy they inspired such terror that a mass was composed especially
deprecating this calamity, "Ab Ungarorum nos defendas jaculis."']

[Footnote 120: E. Duller, _Geschichte des deutschen Volkes_, p. 108.
Leipzig: Wigand. 1840.]

[Footnote 121: During their passage across the Carpathians the
Hungarians are said to have encountered and reduced to submission a
number of petty chiefs and tribes, believed by certain writers to have
been the descendants of Daco-Romans who had settled in those mountains
many centuries previously. Amongst them 'Dukes' Gellius or Julius,
Claudius, and Mariotus are mentioned. The chronicler of these events is
known as the 'Anonymous Notary of King Bela' of Hungary, and his
narrative is adopted by those modern writers who hold the view that the
early princes of Wallachia descended from the Carpathians, whilst other
writers, and notably Roesler, who denies that theory, throw discredit
upon the whole story, and consider the writings of the 'anonymous
notary' a fabrication. The bias exhibited by the different historians
makes it impossible to arrive at any just conclusion on the subject.]


In studying the historical records of this time, the reader will
frequently encounter the names of two tribes which will cause him
considerable perplexity, namely, the _Patzinakitai_,[122] as they were
called by the Greeks, and the _Wallachs_, who were variously called
'Vlaci,' 'Blaci,' 'Valachi,' 'Olachi,' &c. Of the former little can and
need be said. They are sometimes called Romans; were dominant in certain
parts of the country in the tenth, and probably also the eleventh,
century; assisted the Bulgari to drive the Hungarians over the
Carpathians, and were even strong enough to make war upon the Eastern
Empire about the end of the eleventh century. About that time
ineffectual attempts were made to christianise them, and the last we
hear of them is at the close of the thirteenth century, when they were
associated with the Wallachs in the Carpathians, and probably gave their
name to a district in which they were settled. They are believed, later
on, to have migrated into Hungary, and cease to be named as a distinct

Concerning the Wallachs, however, who have played a most important part
in Roumanian history, a good deal is known, but much is still obscure
and the subject of heated controversy. First as to their origin. Some
writers believe them to have been a branch of the Slaves; others think
they were the Daco-Roman colonists of Mœsia, who, joining the Slaves,
crossed the Danube with them, and that subsequently the fused races were
known as Wallachs, who gradually spread themselves northward to the
Carpathians. Other historians are silent about them until the foundation
of the 'Wallacho-Bulgarian Empire,' and then they simply mention that
the two races joined for the purpose of gaining their
independence.[123] There are, however, certain historians of the middle
agea who accord to them a direct Roman origin and say they were the
descendants of the Roman colonists who managed to retain their language
and their hold upon the soil throughout the dark ages, and in spite of
the irruptions and passage of the barbarian tribes of the north and
east. This is now the view generally accepted.

As we have freely quoted the opinions of modern writers, many of whom,
along with the authorities on which their views are based, are entirely
unknown to the bulk of our readers, it is only fair that they should be
made acquainted with the views of well-known historians who flourished
nearer the time of which we are writing.

Anna Comnena says (between 1081 and 1118 A.D.): 'The Emperor
Alexius commanded Cæsar Nicephorus to enlist as many soldiers as
possible by conscription; but not veterans; new men who had not yet been
in campaigns. He instructed him as to the tribes from which he was to
select his recruits, namely, from the Bulgarians and from amongst those
youths who had become hardened by a pastoral life; who possess no
settled habitations, but wander about from place to place; those who, in
the vulgar tongue, are called "Wallachs" ("Blachos").'

Bonfinius enters into details of their history. He tells how Trajan
conquered the Dacians; how the province was evacuated; but that the
colonists had multiplied to such an extent that the repeated incursions
of barbarians failed to exterminate them; and he adds that they adhere
so tenaciously to their language that one would imagine they had fought
for that rather than for their lives. 'Who would not be astonished,' he
says. 'when he considers the deluges of Sarmatians and Goths, the
irruptions of Huns, Vandals, and Gepidæ, the incursions of Germans and
Lombards, to find that traces of the Latin tongue should be met with
amongst the Dacians and Getæ, whom we now call Wallachs, because they
are such good marksmen? The Roumanians are descended from the legions
and colonists who were led into Dacia by Trajan and other emperors: they
were called Wallachs from Pius of Flaccus (after a German
pronunciation), but by us, because they are such good marksmen.'

Æneas Sylvius (Pope Pius II., 1458) is still more explicit. In a few
pithy sentences he gives the geography of Wallachia and Transylvania;
the history of Dacia from the time of the Persian and Greek wars to the
Roman conquest; the fall of the colony; the derivation of the name from
Flaccus; and then he adds: 'The people even now speak the Roman
language, but so mutilated that an Italian can hardly understand them.'

And not only did learned writers recognise the descent of the Wallachs
from the old Roman colonists, but crowned heads referred to it in their
communications with the Bulgarian chiefs and with one another, as we
shall see presently. Lauriani, from whose work we have made these
extracts, says that the Hungarian writers were nearly always silent on
the subject, or spoke of it with the utmost bitterness. He, however,
quotes two who, in treating of the various nationalities, admit that
Moldavia and Wallachia contain the descendants of the Roman colonists
who speak a perverted Latin. One of them gives an extract from a poem by
Martin Opitz (1621), who describes the national dance of Wallachia, the
Hora, or 'Chora' as he calls it. After speaking of the vicissitudes
through which the people have passed, he says of their language that the
Roman tongue is still in vogue; and of the people who are dancing he
says: 'The men, who are almost made (? clothed) upon the Roman model,
are bad, but witty, think much and say little.'[124]

We have already made a brief reference to the influence of the barbarian
rule upon the language and habits of the modern Roumanians, and it is
very interesting to find that in the seventeenth century, when Opitz
lived, this fact had already been noticed. Although it concerns chiefly
the national sentiment of the Roumanians of to-day and is no doubt very
fascinating for them, the enquiry still presents some interesting
problems for readers of every nationality.

[Footnote 122: Modern French and German writers called them
Petschenigues and Petschenegen.]

[Footnote 123: For further details concerning the Patzinakitai and
Wallachs the student must consult the pages of Roesler, Pic, Engel,
Lauriani, &c.]

[Footnote 124:

    'Die Menschen, die noch jetzt fast römisch Muster tragen,
    Zwar schlecht, doch witzig sind, viel denken, wenig sagen.'


As the reader is already aware, the first domination of the Bulgarians
in the Danubian provinces was followed by that of the Eastern Empire
after the victories of Basilius at the commencement of the eleventh
century, and as a change of rulers in those days usually meant a change
of oppressors, it is not surprising to find, about a century and a half
later, that all the populations were ready for revolt. Amongst these,
the most numerous and influential were still the conquered Bulgarians
and the Wallachs. The Wallachs are first distinctly mentioned in the
time of Basilius, in whose armies they fought as allies or mercenaries.
Towards the end of the eleventh century they had spread widely; for
mention is made of them as having settled all over the Balkan peninsula
as far as Macedonia in the south, in Wallachia in the north, and in
Moldavia, and perhaps even Bessarabia, in the north-east.[125] That is
to say, they had either spread into those countries, or their ancestors
had been there from the Daco-Roman period, and, having become
amalgamated with successive tribes of barbarians, were now once more the
dominant race. They must always have been great warriors, for we find
them at one time making irruptions on their own account into the
neighbouring territories, at others in alliance with the Eastern
emperors against the Bulgari or the Hungarians; or, associated with
neighbouring tribes, warring against the last-named ruthless invaders.

And when, from about 1180 to 1200, the Greek power was approaching its
dissolution, the people of the Danubian provinces were ripe for
insurrection, and there were not wanting brave leaders to assist them
in striking the blow for their independence. From the conflicting
accounts of historians, neither the names nor number of those leaders,
nor yet the precise events which led to the establishment of the new
empire, are ascertainable with exactitude. Either there were two
Wallachian brothers, Peter and Asan, to whom a near relative of the
Greek emperor Isaac Angelos (1185-1195) treacherously allied himself, or
three brothers, Peter, Asan, and John. The origin of the revolt is
undoubted; it arose from the levying of what the people deemed an unjust
tax upon them, and probably the refusal of the emperor to admit them
into his army as paid mercenaries, as in the case of other tribes. In
order to obtain redress for these grievances, an embassy, comprising the
two brothers Peter and Asan, went to Constantinople. They were admitted
to the emperor's presence, but their requests were refused, and one of
the brothers, having displayed too much warmth on the occasion, received
a box on the ear, which may be said to have laid the foundation of the
Wallacho-Bulgarian Empire, and expedited the fall of the Greek dynasty.

At first the revolt was unsuccessful, and the Wallachs and Bulgarians in
alliance were obliged to retreat across the Danube (1187); but soon
returning with a powerful army, in which a new tribe, the Kumani, were
also represented, they succeeded in inflicting a defeat upon the Emperor
Isaac (about 1193), who narrowly escaped with his life. Pressing on to
Adrianople, the allies threatened to overwhelm the Eastern Empire, and
the Emperor Alexius Comnenus was only too glad to conclude a peace with
them (about 1199) and to recognise their independence.

[Footnote 125: Pic (p. 64) says the Roumanian Wallachs were first
referred to in 970, and (p. 113) first mentioned north of the Danube in


The _Wallacho-Bulgarian_ Empire lasted, according to different authors,
from sixty to one hundred years, and contemporaneously with it the
_Kumani_ were also dominant in part of ancient Dacia; indeed, according
to some writers, Trajan's Dacia was called the land of the Kumani. The
information concerning the latter is very scanty. One writer says that
as the 'Uzi' they were found on the banks of the Danube at the end of
the eleventh century; others say they entered Moldo-Wallachia about
1046. About 1089 they are spoken of as in Transylvania, and the period
of their domination is variously stated as between these dates and
1220-1246. They were probably converted to Christianity about 1220-1223.
About that time the tribe was broken up, and part of them wandered into
Hungary, where they are said to have been guilty of great cruelties, and
to have subsisted down to the fifteenth century.

During the same period also (1200) the order of _Teutonic Knights_ had
lands allotted to them in Transylvania by Andreas II. of Hungary, as
well as in part of Wallachia, over which he claimed the sovereignty; but
they sought to free themselves from his control, and the gift was soon
withdrawn, and in 1224 they were compelled to leave the territory over
which they had exercised jurisdiction. About 1247--1250 the _Knights of
St. John_ also enjoyed a brief authority in some parts of Transylvania
and Wallachia.

The most interesting incident, of which the account has been handed down
to us, in the Wallacho-Bulgarian _régime_ was the negotiation between
King Joannitz, one of the first rulers (to whom reference has already
been made), and Pope Innocent III. (1198-1216).

Lauriani published the whole correspondence, which is so interesting
that a brief epitome of it will not be out of place here. It not only
throws light upon the historical events of the period, but also gives us
a glimpse of the proceedings connected with the schism in the Catholic
Church. It is only necessary to premise that in the separation between
the Roman and Greek Catholics which took place in the latter half of the
ninth century, the Danubian provinces followed the eastern section, that
the union was complete under Basilius, but that, when the brothers Asan
shook off the Byzantine yoke, there was a national feeling of antagonism
in religion arising out of the political rupture. Of this Innocent took
advantage, and in sending a nuncio to Joannitz he wrote him that God had
seen the humility with which he had deported himself towards the Roman
Church, and in the turmoil and dangers of warfare He had not alone
mightily protected him, but also in his mercy had greatly enlarged him
(_dilatavit_). 'We, however,' he said, 'when we heard that thy
forefathers sprang from the noble city of Rome, and that thou didst not
only inherit the nobility of their race, but also true humility towards
the Apostolic chair, had contemplated ere this to address thee in
writing as well as by word of mouth through our nuncios, but the cares
of the Church have prevented us hitherto from carrying out our design.'
He then goes on to tell him that he has sent him 'our beloved son
Dominicus,' a Greek archpriest of Brundus, and he commends his nuncio to
Joannitz, requiring that he should receive him with humility, treat him
kindly, and through him communicate his further submission more
explicitly. Should he (the Pope) be satisfied concerning his intentions
and submission, he proposes to send him higher nuncios, or rather
legates, to assure him and his (subjects) in the true faith.'

Joannitz evidently did not at first receive or treat the holy emissary
quite so deferentially as he might have done; but at length he answers,
beginning his epistle as follows:--'To the venerable and most holy
Father, highest priest, I, Johannes, Emperor of the Wallachs and
Bulgarians, send thee joy and health.'[126] He acknowledges the letter,
which he says is dearer to him than gold or any jewels, and thanks God
for having remembered him, his race, and the Fatherland from which they

Then he recites what the Holy Father said about his benevolent
intentions, and adds that he, too, had attempted once, twice, and indeed
three times to communicate with him, but was debarred from doing so by
the number of his enemies; but now, knowing what are the Holy Father's
feelings towards him, he sends, along with the nuncio whom the Pope had
commissioned, also 'our pious and trusty priest Blasius,' to convey his
thanks, friendship, and service to him, as his Holy Father and highest
priest. Then, with an eye to business (which, by the way, pervades the
whole correspondence), he adds that as by his sacred writing his
Holiness had asked him to explain what he desired from the Holy Roman
Church (which, however, was not the case), his Imperial Majesty desires
of the Apostolic chair that he and his subjects should be fortified as
children in the bosom of the Mother Church, and particularly he asks
from the Roman Church, his mother, the crown and honour which his
forefathers the old emperors received. 'One was Peter, another Samuel,
and others, who preceded us in the government.' If his Holiness will do
this, his every desire in regard to the demeanour of his Empire towards
the Church shall be fulfilled.

'But,' he adds, rather significantly, 'you must not be surprised that
your nuncio did not come back sooner, for we suspected him. Many persons
have come and tried to mislead us, but we were proof against their
machinations.' (False prophets he means.) 'But in this case, however,
the prætext' (white robe) 'was convincing proof, and we were satisfied.'
(But he was _not_ satisfied.) 'But, most Holy Father, if it please thee,
please send us the higher nuncios, and send this one with them, and then
we shall be convinced that both the first and the second mission were
from thee. May the Lord grant thee a long life!'

Then follows another letter from the Pope, which might have been drawn
up by a modern conveyancer. It recites the whole of the previous
correspondence, and, referring to Joannitz's request for a crown, his
Holiness says he has had the registers carefully searched, and finds
that it is true many kings were crowned, and, moreover, that in the time
of his predecessor, Pope Nicolas, the King of the Bulgarians, who had
often sought his advice, had been baptized with his whole nation.
Afterwards, he says, at the request of Michael of Bulgaria, Pope Adrian
sent a subdeacon and some priests, but, in consequence of the bribes and
promises of the Greeks, the Bulgarians cast them out and took Greek
priests in their stead. In consequence of this 'light behaviour,'
therefore, he could not see his way clear to send any of his brothers
the cardinals. Still he had decided to send his chaplain Johannes as a
nuncio of the Apostolic chair, and, commending him to his good offices
(in the usual terms), he wished him to understand that he was fully
empowered to improve everything of a spiritual character in the realm.
He also sent by him a robe (_pallium_) for the archbishop of his
country, and a bull announcing the form and nature of the investiture.
In fact this nuncio was authorised to ordain bishops and priests, and
generally to substitute the Roman Catholic for the Greek faith. As to
the crown there seems still to have been a hitch. The nuncio was to look
up the older books and documents and learn all about the ancient manner
of proceeding, so that 'we [the Pope] may with greater celerity make the
needful arrangements.' And he bids him warn his 'nobles' also to treat
the nuncio with proper deference.

Joannitz did his utmost to comply with the Papal behest. An
archbishopric and two bishoprics were founded, and the 'Golden Bull' was
promulgated, in which it was announced that Joannitz intended to receive
his crown and investiture at the hands of the Universal Priest, Innocent
III., and that certain ecclesiastical functionaries (naming them) had
been established by the Church of Rome, and thereby received his
(Joannitz's) sanction, which had previously been accorded to them by his
ancestors.[127] He also sent presents to the Pope as a token of
submission; and all these matters having been duly weighed and
considered by his Holiness, he at length nominated Joannitz King of the
Wallachs and Bulgarians, and sent him the much-coveted crown and sceptre
by the hands of Leo, a cardinal of the Order of the Holy Cross, &c.,
who was commissioned on his behalf to perform the ceremony of
coronation. Lauriani concludes the correspondence and narrative by
saying that 'this Empire of the Roumanians flourished from the year of
our Lord 1186, in which it was restored by the brothers Peter and Asan,
under the best and bravest kings of the family of Asanidæ, until the
year 1285, when it was disturbed, but not destroyed, by the inroads of
the Tartars. After the Turks had begun to make irruptions into the
European provinces, in the fourteenth century, it was brought under the
yoke by the Sultan Bajazet towards the close of that century, and wholly
annihilated in the year 1392.'

Down to this period (the middle of the fourteenth century) we have been
necessarily compelled to speak loosely of the territories which were
overrun and held by the various barbarian races, for there is no clear
information concerning the limits of their occupation; but henceforward
our record will deal chiefly with Roumania as at present constituted.
The Wallacho-Bulgarian monarchy, whatever may have been its limits, was
annihilated by a horde of Tartars about A.D. 1250. The same
race committed great havoc in Hungary, conquered the Kumani, overran
Moldavia, Transylvania, &c., and held their ground there until about the
middle of the fourteenth century, when they were driven northward by the
Hungarian, Saxon, and other settlers in Transylvania; and with their
exit we have done with the barbarians.

[Footnote 126: He calls himself 'Calojohannes Imperator Blacorum et
Bulgarorum,' which Lauriani translates 'Kaiser der _Romänen_ und
Bulgaren,' Emperor of the Roumanians, &c. In this and the preceding
letter the reader has illustrations of the bias which weakens the
evidence of alleged facts in Roumanian history. Those writers who are
unwilling to concede Roman descent to the people make no mention of such
expressions as that used by Innocent concerning their ancestry, whilst
the patriotic native historians use license in translation in order to
improve their position.]

[Footnote 127: In the Bull they are called 'Imperatores totius
Bulgariæ,' which Lauriani (p. 56) unfairly translates 'Die Kaiser von
ganz Bulgarien und Romänien' (Emperors of all Bulgaria _and


THE BRAVE, A.D. 1593.

     State of the country at, the close of the barbarian era--Foundation
     of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia--Traditions of Radu
     Negru and Bogdan Dragosch--Historical evidence--Description of the
     various rulerships in Wallachia in the thirteenth century--The
     clans Liteanu and Bassarab--Mircea the Old--His history--The First
     Capitulation (1393)--Character of Mircea--- Verses in his memory by
     Bolentineanu (1826-1872)--John Corvin von Hunniad, Prince of
     Transylvania--His history, character, and exploits--Vlad 'the
     Impaler'--His cruelties--Capitulates to the Turks (1460
     A.D.)--Moldavia--Its founders--Obscurity of
     records--Stephen the Great--His history--His flight to
     Niamtz--Verses by Bolentineanu--Recommends his son to capitulate to
     the Turks--His character--Neagu Bassarab, founder of the Cathedral
     of Curtea d'Ardges--His peaceful reign and works--- Radul
     d'Affumati completes the cathedral--His death--Turkish
     encroachments--Michael the Brave.


When the title of barbarian immigration was ebbing in the Danubian
Principalities, it is natural to suppose that there must have remained a
very mixed population; and that, owing to the necessity for defence
against such ruthless invaders as we have described in our last chapter,
the inhabitants would congregate in various places under their ablest
leaders, and would fortify themselves in the best manner possible. This
was indeed the case, but until recently the historians of Roumania have
had little to guide them concerning the events of the period beyond
traditions which, though very interesting, are now gradually giving
place to recorded and authenticated facts.

Almost any history of the country which it is possible to find to-day,
narrates the rise of the Principalities after the following fashion: The
Daco-Roman colonists, historians say, fled into the Carpathian mountains
before the Goths and Huns, and for nearly a thousand years they retained
their nationality, from time to time making descents into the plains
from one or other colony which they had established, always, however, to
find new hordes of barbarians in possession. At length, when the great
wave of barbarism had subsided, one Radu Negru, whose name is translated
Rudolph the Black, the chief of the Daco-Roman colony of Fogaras in the
Carpathians, descended into the plains with his followers, according to
some writers in 1240 A.D., whilst others say in 1290, and,
first fixing his capital at Campu-Lung, and then moving it to Curtea
d'Ardges, where he built a beautiful cathedral, drove out the barbarians
who remained in Wallachia, and became the first Voivode of that
province. This is the tradition of the foundation of Wallachia.

About the same time, we are told, there dwelt in another part of the
mountains, to the west of Fogaras, a colony of Daco-Roman descendants,
namely, that of Marmaros or Maramurish, ruled over by one Bogdan, or
Dragosch. This chief, as the story runs, was once out hunting the
aurochs with a large following, accompanied by his dog Molda, and being
arrived in a beautiful country through which flowed a pretty stream, he
determined to settle there, called the river the Moldava, built a city
which he named Roman, reduced the inhabitants and their chiefs to
submission, and became the first Voivode of Moldavia.

Of late years these traditions have been subjected to the searching
light of criticism, sharpened in some cases by national or political
tendencies, and whilst the story of Radu Negru has fallen into
discredit, that of Bogdan has undergone considerable modification. The
very names of the heroes have been canvassed, and Radu, instead of
Rudolph, has been shown to mean 'joy' (as Bogdan Dragosch was the
God-given'), so that, instead of Radu Negru, we now sometimes meet with
the name of Negru Voda, or 'the Black Prince,' who, according to the
traditions of some parts of the country, is still believed to have
descended from the Carpathians, and to have freed the land from the
Tartar hordes.


Thus far tradition. Roumania possesses no historical records of the
period, but the discovery of manuscripts in Hungary, Poland, and
elsewhere, has established certain facts that are beginning to serve as
a solid foundation upon which the early history of the country is being

First, it is admitted that the plains and the slopes of the Carpathians
were inhabited by communities ruled over by chieftains of varying power
and influence. Some were banates, as that of Craiova, which long
remained a semi-independent State; then there were petty voivodes or
princes, as the Princes of Zevrin or Severin, Farcas, Seneslas, &c.; and
besides these there were khanates, called in French _kinezats_, and in
German _knesenschaften_ (from the Slav. _kniaz_, a prince), some of
which were petty principalities, whilst others were merely the
governorships of villages or groups of them. These are only a few of the
small rulerships, which are every day multiplied as the State records of
the neighbouring countries are being more and more carefully

The names of prominent chieftains, too, are becoming clearer in the
obscurity of the period. In or about 1285 a Prince Liteanu conquered and
united three Wallachian principalities, and declared himself independent
of the crown of Hungary, which claimed suzerainty over the western part
of Wallachia. He was attacked by the Magyars under George Sowar, and
slain in battle, while his brother was taken prisoner and executed. Some
of the successors of this prince were more fortunate, and one of them,
Tugomir, succeeded for a time in securing his independence. The clan
_Bassarab_ was mentioned at even an earlier period, a ban of that name
having resisted the Tartars. Much confusion exists as to the origin of
this clan, and whilst some writers call Tugomir (just referred to) by
that name, others confound him with the Negru Voda of tradition.
Whatever may be the obscurity, however, in which their rise is buried,
it is certain that the Bassarab family gave many princes and rulers to
Wallachia, and, after intermarrying with other members of the ruling
classes, only became extinct about the year 1685.

In the mountains the state of affairs was somewhat different. There, no
doubt from their greater proximity to the centre of Magyar rule, the tie
between the petty princes and the Hungarian crown seems to have been
closer, and whilst some writers affirm that the Wallachs (or Roumanians,
as their countrymen like to call them) enjoyed privileges amounting to a
quasi-independence, the Austrian chroniclers maintain that they were
mere vassal retainers of the Court of Hungary. So, for example, they say
that Bogdan, ruler of Marmaros, broke his allegiance to the King Louis
of Hungary, and about 1359 descended, with a largo body of Wallachian
followers, amongst whom were his sons, into the lower lands of what was
already called Moldavia, and took possession of the country.[128]

Shaking ourselves free as far as possible from controversial questions,
we may state with safety, in regard to Wallachia, that for more than a
century after the wave of barbarian immigration had ceased to flow over
it, it resembled the condition of Independent Tartary of to-day; that
the number of its petty princes gradually diminished, one of them,
Vladislav Bassarab, having at length secured a great portion of the
country under his rule, and almost, if not completely, shaken off the
Hungarian yoke (1350-1376), until, under the reign of Mircea the Old
(1386-1418), a new enemy, the Turks, so far obtained the ascendency over
the country as to acquire permanent rights of suzerainty.

[Footnote 128: For the details of this controversy the reader is
referred to the recently published pages of Roesler and Pic, the first
an Austrian and the second a Slav writer.]


Mircea, one of the heroes of Roumanian history, not only secured the
independent sovereignty, and called himself Voivode of Wallachia 'by
the grace of God,' but in 1389 he formed an alliance with Poland, and
assumed other titles by the right of conquest.[129] This alliance was
offensive and defensive with Vladislav Jagello, the reigning king, and
had for its objects the extension of his dominions, as well as
protection against Hungary on the one hand, and the Ottoman power on the
other; for the Turks, who during the fourteenth century had been waging
war with varying success against the Eastern Empire, were now rapidly
approaching Wallachian territory. Although Constantinople did not come
into their possession until the following century, Adrianople had
already fallen, the Turkish armies had overrun Bulgaria, and about the
year 1391 they first made their appearance north of the Danube.

At first the bravery of Mircea was successful in stemming the tide of
invasion. The reigning Sultan was Amaruth II., who sent an army against
him under the command of Sisman, Prince of Bulgaria, a renegade who had
married the daughter of the Sultan, and had taken the offensive against
the Christians; but he was signally defeated, and for a brief period
Wallachia continued to enjoy her independence. A year or two afterwards
Bajazet II., the successor of Amaruth, resumed the offensive, and this
time, finding himself between two powerful enemies, the King of Hungary
and the Sultan, Mircea elected to form an alliance with the latter, and
concluded a treaty with him at Nicopolis (1393), known as the 'First
Capitulation,' by which Wallachia retained its autonomy, but agreed to
pay an annual tribute and to acknowledge the suzerainty of the
Sultan.[130] This treaty is dated 1392; but according to several
historians Mircea did not adhere to it long, for he is said to have been
in command of a contingent in the army of the crusaders, and to have
been present at the battle of Nicopolis (1396), in which the flower of
the French nobility fell, and, when he found their cause to be hopeless,
once more to have deserted them and joined the victorious arms of

Of the continued wars and dissensions in Wallachia, during the reign of
Mircea it is unnecessary to speak. He ruled with varying fortunes until
1418 A.D., and there is no doubt that the State was much better
organised for defence, although his wars entailed great misery upon the
peasantry. It is clear, not only from the Treaty of Nicopolis, but from
other records, that the general condition of the country somewhat
resembled that of England in the Saxon period. The prince was elected by
the boyards,[131] or barons spiritual and temporal, and by the nation
(probably through representatives), and there was a general Council of
State. There were probably freemen and serfs, although some writers
maintain that there was perfect equality until after Mircea's wars
commenced; then it is universally admitted that absolute slavery

It has been said that Mircea kept a standing army of about 18,000 foot
and 17,000 cavalry; but whether that was so or not, he certainly
maintained a force sufficiently well organised to cope with his powerful
adversaries the Turks and the Hungarians.[132] That these latter were
still a fierce and untamed race is very probable, as were, no doubt, the
followers of Mircea, and they committed ravages by their inroads, which
have caused modern writers to class them with the barbarians whose rule
had ceased. Whatever may have been his faults and vices (and his
desertion of the Christians at Nicopolis, and the number of illegitimate
children left by him, prove that he had both), his patriotism and
courage endeared him to posterity, and his deeds are commemorated in
the national poems of the present century. Here is a graphic picture of

    By D. BOLENTINEANU (1826-1872).

    Countless hosts of Magyars desolate the lands,
    E'en the sun in terror sees their roving bands;

    But the aged Mircea, firm and undismayed,
    With his braves, a handful, meets the furious raid.

    Knows, full well, to save the homestead's all but vain,
    Calmly still determines duty to maintain.

    Ah! the days of heroes surely now are fled,
    When, at duty's summons, Roumains nobly bled!

    Speaks the hoary chieftain: 'Hearken, brothers all,
    'Tis the will of God, as Roumain I should fall.'

    Dedicate thy life-blood, saviour of a nation;
    'Tis a puny flamelet in a conflagration.

    What is one poor lifetime in th' eternal day?
    'Tis a single blossom in a gorgeous May.

    Ere the noble falcon to the Jäger yields,
    Casts he nest and offspring down into the fields.

    Ere our arms or ankles should be locked in chains,
    Lot us fall as heroes, die as free Roumains.

    Ah! the days of heroes surely now are fled,
    When, at duty's summons, Roumains nobly bled.

[Footnote 129: His full title was 'Mircea, D.G. Voivode of Wallachia,
Duke of Fogaras and Omlas, Count of Severin, Despot of the lands of
Dobrudscha and Silistria,' and, making allowance for the exaggerations
of a conqueror, it is clear that he must have ruled over an extended

[Footnote 130: The substance of this treaty, which was reaffirmed in
later ones, will be found in Appendix II., with some data concerning its
history, for which, along with much other valuable information, we are
indebted to Prince Jon Ghika, the Roumanian Ambassador at St. James's,
and to Mr. White, our own Minister at Bucarest.]

[Footnote 131: The word 'boyard' originally meant soldier or warrior.]

[Footnote 132: One of his corps of cavalry were called 'Scutelnici' (or
substitutes), a term which we shall find applied to government serfs
later on; and Vaillant (vol. i. p. 185) says the term 'scutage' in
England was derived from the same source (_scutum_, a shield).]


Before referring to the events which were passing in Moldavia during the
period, it may not be out of place to say a few words here concerning
another hero, who, although he ruled in Transylvania, was a Wallachian
by birth, led the Wallachian armies against the Turks, and for a time
succeeded in checking their advance in Europe. This was John Corvinus,
as he is known to English readers, or, more correctly, Johann Corvin von
Hunniad, Prince of Siebenbürgen, who was born about the year 1368 in the
village of Corvin, in the Wallachian Carpathians. His father was a
Wallachian, some say of ancient family, and his mother a Greek, to whom
also a high ancestry is attributed. As his history was written by
flatterers in order to gain the favour of his son and successor, these
statements as to his high ancestry must be taken _cum grano salis_.
Johann was at first the captain of a small party of adventurers, having
served, as was the custom in those days, with a troop of twelve horse,
first under Demetrius, Bishop of Agram, and then for two years in Italy
under Philip, Duke of Milan. There he met Sigismund, King of Hungary,
who induced him to join his standard, and, as a reward for his services,
conferred upon him the estate of Hunnyades, from which he took his name.
Subsequently he rose from post to post, until he was appointed Viceroy
of Siebenbürgen (Transylvania), and eventually Regent of Hungary. In the
former capacity he formed an alliance against the Turks (about 1443)
with Vladislaus, King of Poland and Hungary,[133] and Vlad, Voivode of
Wallachia, and under his leadership the Christian armies frequently
encountered the Ottomans, notably on three occasions--at Varna under
Amaruth II. (1444) and Cossova (1448), in both of which encounters the
allies were defeated, and finally at Belgrade (1456), where the Turks
were completely routed. Various and conflicting accounts have been given
of these battles, and of Hunniades's conduct during the encounters. At
Varna, where Vladislaus was killed, the Poles charged Hunniades with
cowardice; but the facts are probably that he defeated the right wing of
the Turks, but that the temerity of Vladislaus caused the defeat of the
army and his own death. The same charge was brought against him by the
Poles in regard to the defeat at Cossova, but from his known bravery it
was no doubt equally groundless. At Belgrade the city was completely
invested by the Turks; but at the head of an undisciplined army
Hunniades forced his way into the city, and by a subsequent sally, in
which the Sultan Mohammed was wounded, he compelled the Turks to raise
the siege and withdraw in confusion. John Hunniades died in the same
year, and his son Matthias was elected to the crown of Hungary, over
which country he ruled for more than thirty years.

The character of John Hunniades is well worth a brief consideration. As
we have said, he was charged with cowardice by his Polish allies, but by
the Turks he was so dreaded that they gave him the name of the Devil,
and used it to frighten their children when they misbehaved themselves.
Many anecdotes, of which the following is one, are related of his
personal courage. After the battle of Cossova, whilst fleeing alone
through the Carpathians, he was captured by two brigands, who deprived
him of his arms. The cupidity of these men was aroused by a splendid
gold chain which he wore, and one of them snatched it from his neck.
Presently, however, forgetting the maxim that there is honour even
amongst thieves, the two bandits began wrangling for the possession of
the booty, and whilst they were so occupied Hunniades managed to recover
his sword, and, engaging them in fight, he ran one through the body,
whereupon the other fled.

If his biographers are to be believed, he must have been a remarkable
man. 'As fishes are used to the water,' says one, 'as the deer to the
forest glade, so was he adapted for the bearing of arms, a born leader
of warriors, and the field of battle was his life-element.' The nobility
of his bearing, another says, and his winning manner enabled him to
secure the affection of his soldiers, whilst his readiness to serve, his
piety and benevolence, and his shrewd policy, gained for him the
confidence of his superiors, the leadership of armies, and the highest
offices of the State. At his death he was universally mourned. Pope
Nicholas ordered the cardinals to perform a magnificent _requiem_ in his
memory, as the pious and successful defender of the Christian religion.
Even the Sultan Mohammed, whom he had just defeated--when George, Despot
of Servia, brought him what he thought would be the gratifying news of
the prince's death--lowered his head, and, after a long silence,
exclaimed, 'There never was, under any ruler, such a man since the
beginning of the world.'

As we have said, the Turks were so much afraid of Hunniades that they
are said to have given him the name of 'the Devil;' but the same
designation, as well as that of the Impaler, has also been bestowed upon
Vlad, a voivode of Wallachia, who was probably the ally of Hunniades,
and who, if one-tenth of what has been related of him be true, has a
much better claim to the title. He is represented to have been one of
the most atrocious and cruel tyrants who ever disgraced even those dark
ages. One day he massacred 500 boyards who were dissatisfied with his
rule. The torture of men, women, and children, seems to have been his
delight. Certain Turkish envoys, when admitted into his presence,
refused to remove their turbans, whereupon he had them nailed to their
heads. He burned 400 missionaries and impaled 500 gipsies to secure
their property. In order to strike terror into Mohammed II. he crossed
over into Bulgaria, defeated the Turks, and brought back with him 25,000
prisoners, men, women, and children, whom he is said to have impaled
upon a large plain called Praelatu. Notwithstanding his successes,
however, Vlad was at length compelled to submit to the Turkish rule, and
he concluded the 'Second Capitulation' at Adrianople (1460), in which
the tribute to the Porte was increased, but no other important change
was made in the terms of suzerainty.[134]

[Footnote 133: The two crowns had been united under him.]

[Footnote 134: To show what uncertainty hangs over the history of this
man, and in fact of the whole period, it may be mentioned that Neigebaur
and other writers make this treaty to have been signed between Vlad II.
and Mohammed III., who reigned 135 years later, whilst French writers
state that it was between Vlad V. and Mohammed II.; but they all agreed
as to the date 1460. Henke calls him Vlad III. He was universally named
the Impaler in consequence of a practice which is well known to our
readers through the so-called Bulgarian atrocities. A sharpened pole was
forced into the body of the victim, and the other end was then driven
into the earth, the unfortunate man, woman, or child being left to
writhe in agony until relieved by death.]


For a century after the foundation of _Moldavia_, or, as it was at first
called, 'Bogdania,' by Bogdan Dragosch, the history of the country is
shrouded in darkness. Kings or princes are named, one or more of whom
were Lithuanians; two or three Bogdans, Theodor Laseu, Jurgo
Kuriotovich, Peter, Stephen, Roman, Alexander, &c., and some of them are
said to have been dethroned and to have reigned twice and even three
times, until at length a prince more powerful than the rest ascended the
throne, and by the prowess of his arms succeeded in establishing his
name and fame in history. This was Stephen, sometimes called the 'Great'
or 'Good,' but whether he deserved the latter title the reader will be
best able to judge for himself.

He came to the throne about 1456 or 1458, and reigned until 1504, and
his whole life was spent in wars against Transylvania, Wallachia (which
he at one time overran and annexed to Moldavia), the Turks, and Tartars.
Considered in conjunction with the acts of Hunniades and Vlad the
Impaler, those of Stephen present a tolerably faithful picture of the
condition of Roumania in the fifteenth century. We shall therefore ask
the reader to bear with us whilst we hurry through the leading events of
his life. Five years after he came to the throne, Stephen overran
Transylvania. In 1465 he married Eudoxia, a Byzantine princess, and two
years afterwards we find him at war with Matthias of Hungary (the son of
John Corvinus), by whom he was defeated at Baja. Between that time and
1473 he once, if not twice, defeated Radu (the brother of Vlad the
Impaler), King of Wallachia, and in 1475 he was at war with the Turks,
whom he defeated on the river Birlad, between Barnaba, and Racoviça.
This battle he is said to have won by stratagem. He concealed a number
of men in a neighbouring wood, and when the battle was at its height
they were ordered to commence playing various instruments as though
another force were approaching, and this created such a panic amongst
the Ottomans that they gave way and fled precipitately, followed by
Stephen, who put many to the sword. In that year also Stephen again
defeated Radu and completely overran Wallachia. Having reduced it to
submission, he placed a native boyard on the throne as his viceroy, who
showed his gratitude to Stephen by rebelling and liberating the country
from his rule; but he was in his turn murdered by his Wallachian
subjects. In 1476 Stephen sustained a terrible defeat at the hands of
the Ottomans at Valea Alba (the White Valley), but eight years
afterwards, allied with the Poles, he again encountered this terrible
enemy. His army was at first forced to give way, and he is said to have
fled for refuge to Niamtz, where he had a castle, but his mother refused
him admission and bade him return to his army. Here is the story, with
its sequel, as it is told by the poet who has already once been quoted

    'Blows are heard resounding at the outer gate.
    'Tis the hour of midnight; whose the voice so late?
    "Hasten, dearest mother"--ha! that well-known sound--
    "From the host I'm driven, bleed at every wound!
    Fearful was our fortune, terrible the fray,
    Scattered all my army, fled they in dismay.
    Mother, open quickly; infidels pursue,
    Icy is the night wind, purple blood their cue."
    "Ha! what say'st thou, stranger? Stephen's far away,
    Dealing death, strong-handed, where he stands at bay.
    Of him the mother I; such my son is he.
    Be thou who thou may'st, my son thou canst not be.
    (Yet can Heaven have fated, dealt this fearful blow?
    Can his soul be craven, quail before the foe?)
    If in truth thou'rt Stephen, faint returning home,
    Not within these portals shalt thou ever come.
    Hasten to thy brave ones; for thy country fall;
    Then maternal love with wreaths shall deck thy pall!"
    Once more Stephen rallies; lusty sounds his horn;
    Heroes flock around him on the battle morn.
    Fierce and dire the slaughter; on that glorious day
    Falls the Moslem chivalry like the new-mown hay.'

Notwithstanding the great victory which he obtained, the Moslem power
was too strong for him, and he is found, before the century's close,
allied with them against Poland, to whose sovereign he had but a few
years previously sworn fealty, and into which he now made a raid. In
1504 he died a natural death, and it is said that before his decease,
either from fear of the Turks, or distrusting the power of his son
Bogdan, he advised the latter to make a permanent treaty with the Porte,
which he did shortly after his death.[135] The most favourable traits
in Stephen's character seem to have been his courage and patriotism,
notwithstanding the story which is told of his flight to Niamtz. Like
Mircea, he organised an army which is estimated at about the same
strength, with the addition of irregular troops. That he was pious after
a fashion is most likely, but that he also practised the tyrannic
cruelties of his age is undoubted. Shortly after his advent to the
throne, the Tartars entered his dominions, carrying fire and sword
everywhere, but they were eventually repulsed and driven out by Stephen.
In the course of this campaign he took a son of the Tartar chief
prisoner, and when envoys came to treat for his liberation he ordered
the prince to be decapitated in their presence, a deed which may have
been justified as a lesson to the ruthless tribe who had invaded his
country. Not content with this, however, he impaled all the envoys but
one, whose nose and ears he cut off, and sent him back to his master in
that dreadful condition. 'But,' adds the chronicler, 'Stephen, who was a
man of his period, only regarded this act as a manifestation of zeal in
the faith. Shortly afterwards he built the monastery of Putna, dedicated
it to Jesus and the Virgin, and caused to be transported thither the
wooden chapel which Dragosch had constructed at Volovitz.' 'These were
the ordinary practices of the age,' remarks another commentator; 'and if
such treatment was reserved for the high and noble, one may guess what
was the fate of the humble.'

[Footnote 135: For the terms of this treaty see Appendix II.]


What that fate was may easily be imagined by anyone who follows the
narrative of the wars which devastated the land. But, before treating of
the condition of the country and the customs of the period, we must
refer to one or two voivodes whose rule was pacific, and whose energies
were directed to the promotion of civilising influences. Concerning
these, too, we have the trustworthy records already cited in our
description of the cathedral of Curtea d'Ardges. One of them was Neagu
Bassarab,[136] the other John Radul, known as Radul d'Affumati, and both
were voivodes of Wallachia.

The first-named, Neagu, came to the throne either in 1511 or 1513, and
died a natural death in 1520, a rare event in those days. He was
conspicuously a man of peace in a country and age of war and bloodshed,
and was eminently pious and benevolent. He repaired several churches,
restored the cathedral of Tirgovistea, roofed other churches with lead,
both in and out of Wallachia, and built the beautiful cathedral of
Curtea d'Ardges, the erection of which, as we have heard, was attributed
by tradition to Radu Negru, the reputed founder of Wallachia. The tablet
in his memory has already been referred to elsewhere. In war he never
took any personal part, and, as we have already remarked, he died
peacefully in his bed.

He was followed on the throne by 'Radu the Monk,' who met with the usual
fate, having been slain by the Turks; and this prince was succeeded by
the Radu d'Affumati above named, a nephew of Nyagu (1522), who occupied
the throne for seven years.

War, war was still the cry; he had numerous vicissitudes during his
short reign; participated in the defeat of the Hungarians and Poles in
the battle of Mohacs, 'which witnessed the slaughter of a king, seven
bishops, five hundred nobles, and twenty thousand soldiers; not only
laid open the whole country to the inroads of the Turks and established
them for nearly a century and a half in its capital, but changed the
reigning dynasty of Hungary and introduced for the first time a German
sovereign to the Hungarian throne.'[137] Radu was dethroned, and in his
attempt to leave the country he was seized by two of his nobles and
decapitated. During part of his reign, however, Wallachia enjoyed some
tranquillity, and Radu continued the works begun by his uncle; amongst
others, as we know, he completed the cathedral of Ardges.

After the battle of Mohacs the Turks began to encroach more openly upon
Roumanian (Moldo-Wallachian) territory. They occupied and fortified
Braila, Giurgevo, and Galatz; interfered in the election of the princes,
in one or two instances securing the appointment for men whose sole
claim to the crown was their willingness to pay a heavy bribe. One of
those was a Saxon Lutheran of Transylvania, who was, however, a
favourable example of the princely race. He was elected Voivode of
Moldavia about 1580, and built a church for the Lutherans. In addition
to the intrigues for the voivodeship, internecine wars broke out between
the two Principalities, and the boyards made lawless raids upon one
another. In these civil broils the Turks intervened, adding to their own
influence, and rendering the princes more and more subservient to their
will. This state of things lasted until the end of the sixteenth
century, when another hero, Michael the Brave of Wallachia, restored
tranquillity and independence to the Principalities, and raised them for
a season in the esteem of surrounding nations. As his victories were
solid, and the heroic age in the early history of Roumania may be said
to have closed with his death, we feel justified in making more than a
passing reference to his exploits and career, more especially as in so
doing we shall also be able to present a trustworthy account of the
condition of society in his day.

[Footnote 136: Called also Nyagor, Negoje, Nyagoe.]

[Footnote 137: Paget, vol. ii. p. 8.]



     The state of society--Greater and lesser boyards--Taxation and
     oppression of the peasantry--Immorality of the boyards--The
     priesthood--Officers of State--Classes of peasantry--Rise of the
     towns--The soldiery--Aggressions of Turks and Tartars--Michael the
     Brave--His rise to power--Accession to the throne
     (1594)--Remonstrances with the Porte--Alliance with Hungary and
     Poland--Massacre of the Turks--Anecdote--Conspiracy against Michael
     quelled--The Turks attacked and routed on the Danube--Invasion of
     Wallachia by Achmed Pasha--His defeat--Michael swears fealty to
     Sigismund of Transylvania--Second Turkish invasion by Sinan
     Pasha--Determined stand of Michael at Giurgevo--Retreat of Michael
     and battle of Kalugereni--Defeat of Sinan--Retreat of
     Michael--Occupation of Wallachia by Sinan--Michael and his allies
     take the offensive--Flight of Sinan and slaughter of the Turks at
     Giurgevo--The Turks expelled--Peace in Wallachia--Intrigues of
     Michael--Accession of Andreas Bathori--Invasion and conquest of
     Transylvania by Michael--His triumph--Michael, Prince of
     Transylvania--Further intrigues--Invasion and conquest of
     Moldavia--Michael in the zenith of his power--Feud with the
     nobles--Michael encounters them at Miriszlo--Their Austrian ally,
     General Basta--Defeat and flight of Michael--Anecdote--Continued
     misfortunes of Michael--Petitions the Emperor--Is permitted to
     visit him--Recall of Sigismund Bathori--Michael reinstated by the
     Emperor--Invades Transylvania in alliance with Basta--Defeat of the
     nobles at Gorozlo--Quarrels of the victorious generals--Basta
     determines to remove Michael--Employs a Walloon officer to
     assassinate him--Michael murdered in his tent (1601)--Flight of his
     boyards--The German Court refuses to reward Basta's treachery.


As the state of the northern Danubian territories before the foundation
of the Principalities has been compared by us to the present condition
of what is called Independent Tartary, and at a subsequent period to
that of the early Saxons, so in the reign of Michael the Brave
(1593-1601 A.D.) the state of society resembled that of England
under the Norman kings; indeed, there is a remarkably interesting
agreement in some of its phases. As in England there were greater and
lessor barons, so in Moldo-Wallachia there were greater and lesser
boyards. These seem to have possessed all the rapacity of our robber
barons, with but little of their _reputed_ chivalry. They oppressed the
peasantry, who since the time of Vlad the Impaler were to a large extent
serfs, with unbearable taxes, and endeavoured on all occasions to shift
the burdens of the State upon those whose shoulders were the least able
to bear them. One of these imposts was the poll-tax, similar to that
which gave rise to Wat. Tyler's riots in the time of Richard II., but
which, strange to say, still survives in Roumania, to the
dissatisfaction of all her right-minded citizens.



Besides the poll-tax, there was the 'Standard gift' (Poklon), which was
levied at the installation of the Voivode; the Easter present; the extra
tax (_ajutoriță_), which was raised when the other taxes ran short.
Moreover, there were taxes in kind on malt, salt, fish, cattle, and
horses, payable to the prince. The landlord (boyard) was entitled to
land and pasturage tax, the tenth of the earth's productions, feudal
service, bee, pig, and sheep taxes, and in addition to these a rate was
levied upon bees, pigs, tobacco, wine, and sheep, for the benefit of the
prince.[138] Whilst these imposts and the extraordinary levies and
ravages of war often reduced the whole of the peasantry to the most
abject poverty, bordering on starvation, the boyards lived in
comparative ease, and led a life of immorality and self-indulgence.
Concubinage widely prevailed, and many boyards had, besides their
legitimate wife, ten or a dozen mistresses. They appear to have been
gradually growing in influence, and the greater boyards filled all the
chief offices of State as well as the leading military posts in the
districts. Personal distinctions existed also, the leading boyards being
allowed to wear long beards, a practice which was forbidden to the
lesser boyards.

Besides the boyards and their serfs there was hardly any native
population worth speaking of, and no middle class whatever; all trade
being in the hands of Greeks, Jews, and Armenians. There was, however, a
priesthood, who were as ignorant as the peasantry; indeed many of them
followed both occupations, the only exceptions being the metropolitan
and the higher clerics, who possessed considerable influence there as
elsewhere in the middle ages. The power of the prince had no definite
limits, and, with the exception of the counteracting influence of the
boyards, it was practically absolute. There was a council of twelve
boyards, whose signatures along with that of the prince were visually
appended to all important State documents.

In the time of Stephen (some writers say, at an earlier period), the
various offices of State were established, which were maintained down to
a recent date, both in Wallachia and Moldavia; and as it is impossible
for the reader to interest himself in any question bearing upon the past
history of the country without finding some mention made of one or other
of them, it may be useful here to enumerate a few of their titles.

1. The Ban of Craiova was Viceroy of Little Wallachia, and his authority
reached back, in all probability, to the foundation of the principality.
2. The Vel-Vornic, or Minister of the Interior, was Governor of the
Carpathians and of the neighbouring districts. 3. The Great Vornic was
governor of the lowlands. 4. The Logothet, or Chancellor, was Minister
of Justice. 5. The Great Spathar was Minister of War. 6. The Great
Vestiar, Treasurer and Master of the Robes. 7. The Great Postelnik,
Master of the Post. 8. The Paharnic, chief butler and cup-bearer (this
was a title of Hungarian origin). 9. The Great Stolnik, chief cook. 10.
The Great Comis, Master of the Horse. 11. The Aga, Chief of Police. 12.
Great Pitar, Inspector of Commissariat. 13. Serdar, general of infantry
of three districts (3,000 men). In Moldavia the Spathar was called the
Hettman; in both principalities there were minor offices, and in
Stephen's time the first six only formed the Council of Ministers.[139]

Although, as we have said, the peasantry were chiefly serfs, there were
differences in their condition. The chief body were called Scutelnici,
and the peasantry generally were divided into two classes, those who
possessed land of their own, and those who worked on the estates of the
prince, the boyards, or the monasteries. Part of the latter were free to
move about in search of employment, and the rest were absolutely serfs
attached to the soil; the term of service in every case was fixed at
forty-eight days in the year. The towns were growing in importance, the
capital being Tirgovistea, but Bucarest (to which place Constantine
Brancovano transferred his capital about a century later) was already an
important place, owing chiefly to its situation. Another town or large
village was Curtea d'Ardges. But the Wallachian Voivodes shifted their
'capital' as it suited their pleasure, and the removal in those days was
probably not a very onerous undertaking. It appears that Vlad Dracul
(the Devil) preferred Tirgovistea, whilst another Voivode, Michna,
favoured Ardges.[140] Other towns of note Craiova, Ploiesti, Buzeu, and
two or three ports on the Danube. In Moldavia, Iasi, Suceava, and Roman
were the chief towns. The government of the towns was carried on by a
burgomaster, or mayor, a prefect, and a council of twelve citizens.

The army was very heterogeneous both as regarded its nationalities and
its armament. It was then, or perhaps at a somewhat later period,
divided into three sections, the regular army,[141] the militia, and the
landsturm, the last-named being without pay and only called out in times
of great danger, and it consisted mainly of the servants and slaves of
the boyards. The arms of the regular soldiers were originally, as in
this country, bows and arrows and lances, but in Michael's time there
were already musketeers and primitive artillery. Besides the native
soldiery there were mercenaries, namely, Hungarians, Szeklers, Poles,
Cossacks, Servians, Bulgarians, Albanians, cavalry as well as infantry.
The whole country was at that time divided into military districts
answering to the present Judeztu or departments, each district being
under the control of a captain who united military, administrative, and
judicial power in his own person. The names of most of the districts
remain unchanged to the present day.

To this account of the state of Moldo-Wallachia it is only necessary to
add that in time of war, and that was the normal condition, the people
were subjected to terrible privations. When an army advanced, the
peasantry were laid under contributions for the troops; when it fled
before the enemy, everything was burned or destroyed in its retreat, so
that the pursuing force might be checked for want of supplies.

Schools for the people there were none, and all the knowledge that
existed was confined within the walls of the monasteries, which were,
however, numerous and well endowed. At no period of its history was
Wallachia in such a deplorable condition as when Michael ascended the
throne. Besides possessing the suzerainty of the principality the Turks
completely occupied the whole southern bank of the Danube, along with
some posts and what is known as Temesvar, on the northern side. The
Transylvanian slopes of the Carpathians and the country beyond were a
fief of the German, or, as it was called, the Roman Empire, over which
at that time Rudolph II. reigned, whilst the territory north of Moldavia
formed part of Poland. But although Wallachia was nominally autonomous,
and was allowed to choose its own rulers, it was in reality an oppressed
province of Turkey. The treaties had been completely set at defiance.
Mosques had been erected and houses built by Turkish residents, contrary
to the stipulations of the Treaty of Nicopolis, with the connivance of
the voivodes, who, as we have said, were raised up and deposed as it
suited the greed or policy of the Porte. Their fortresses and garrisons
on the Danube served as centres from which the Ottomans made raids into
Wallachian territory, spreading desolation far and wide, and in addition
to this scourge the suffering inhabitants had from time to time hostile
visits from the Tartars. Hordes of these savages were in alliance with
the Turks against Hungary, and it was not unusual for them to deviate
from their route, fall into the plains of Wallachia, and renew the
scenes of rapine and outrage which had characterised the passage of the
Eastern barbarians.

Michael, who was probably the posthumous son of a former voivode of
Wallachia called Petraschko, was born about the year 1558, and in 1583
he married the widow of a boyard, by whom he had at least one, if not
two sons, and a daughter. He occupied several honourable positions in
the State, and was Ban of Craiova before he ascended the throne of
Wallachia. This step he accomplished through intrigues at Constantinople
with the aid of his father-in-law, whereby he succeeded in deposing his
predecessor Alexander. Some marvellous tales are told concerning the
hairbreadth escapes of Michael in his struggles for the ascendency, one
being that, when he was captured by Alexander and ordered for execution,
the headsman was so terrified at the majesty of his countenance that he
dropped the axe and fled, and no one else was to be found willing to
undertake the odious duty. Be that as it may, he succeeded eventually in
removing his rival, and mounted the throne of Wallachia in 1593. For
some time after his accession Michael addressed remonstrances to his
suzerain at Constantinople concerning the lawless proceedings of the
Turkish and Tartar soldiery, but, finding these to be of no avail, he
sought the alliance of Sigismund, Prince of Siebenbürgen[142]
(Transylvania), and Aaron, Voivode of Moldavia, and determined to rid
his country of the oppressors. Aaron of Moldavia, it should be added,
was a feeble prince, who would not have joined Michael but for the
circumstance that, having been attacked and defeated by the Poles, he
was compelled to seek refuge at Michael's court. After the alliance
between the three princes was completed the first blow was struck for
independence, and on November 12 or 13, 1594, all Turks who were found
in Bucarest or Jassy were slaughtered without mercy. Michael is said to
have invited a large number of true believers, who were pressing for the
settlement of unlawful claims, to meet him in a khan in Bucarest, and
when they were assembled he had them all put to the sword, and this was
the signal for a massacre throughout the Principalities. A few Turks
escaped through the humanity or friendship of private individuals, and
one instance of this is specially recorded. The Cadi of Giurgevo, who
happened to be at Bucarest, was walking out on the morning of November
13, when he was stopped by a Wallachian friend who said,
'Ali-Gian-Hogea, how many years have I eaten of thy bread and salt?'
'About twenty years,' answered the Turk. 'Well, then,' said his friend,
'out of gratitude I will give thee a word of counsel.' 'Speak,' said
Ali. 'Do not stay in this city until three or four o'clock; neither
remain in Giurgevo, but hasten thee as speedily as possible to Rustchuk'
(on the opposite bank of the Danube). 'But wherefore?' enquired the
Turk. The Wallachian walked away, but, turning round and seeing his
friend still undecided, he called out: 'Forget not what I have told
thee!' Wandering on in the city, the Turk could not help noticing
greater activity than usual in the streets; suspecting mischief, but
without saying a word to any person, he ordered his horses to be
harnessed and fled to Giurgevo. The interior of Wallachia having been
thus cleared of the Turks, Michael proceeded to attack their positions
on the Danube. First he stormed Giurgevo and compelled the Turks to
leave it, some crossing over the Danube, and others taking refuge in the
fortress which was situated on an island in the river; but this latter
he was unable to capture, as troops, ammunition, and provisions were
sent into it from the Bulgarian side. Content, therefore, with his
victory, he retired to Bucarest.

[Footnote 138: Teutschländer, from whose excellent little treatise,
_Michael der Tapfere_ (Wien, C. Gräser, 1879), these details are taken,
mentions many customs as existing in the time of Michael which were in
all probability only introduced at a later period. The tobacco-tax is
clearly one of them.]

[Footnote 139: The reader will find full accounts of the officials and
their various duties, as well as a description of the investiture of the
princes, in Raicevich, p. 62. In Wilkinson, p. 55, he will find that in
his day there had been a great multiplication of the offices; there were
second and third Logothets, second and third Vestiars, &c.]

[Footnote 140: Reissenberger, p. 39, in part quoting Engel.]

[Footnote 141: Some modern Roumanian historians affirm that Mircea
already had a regular army, but Roesler and others treat the assertion
with ridicule. As to Michael, the reader will judge for himself whether
or not it would have been possible to accomplish what he did without a
disciplined force.]

[Footnote 142: Siebenbürgen was so called from seven forts erected


Shortly afterwards a conspiracy against Michael was set on foot by
adherents of the Turks, and under the pretence of desiring simply to
march through the country, a Turkish Emir, with two thousand men,
entered Bucarest. Michael, who know of the conspiracy, made a pretence
of acquiescence in this movement, but shortly afterwards withdrew
quietly to the camp of the allies, and returning with a sufficient force
surrounded the house of the chief conspirator, in which the Emir and his
escort were quartered, and put them to the sword. The fury of his troops
was unbridled, and no quarter was given, the last of the enemy being
put to death. But Michael did not stop here. In order to protect
Wallachia from Turkish inroads, he determined to clear both banks of the
Danube of their garrisons. With this view he sent the noted and
successful Transylvanian general, Albert Kiraly, with a sufficient
force, who took, plundered, and burned the Turkish town at the mouth of
the Jalomitza, where it falls into the Danube. The fortress, however, he
was obliged to leave in the hands of the Turks. Michael, following with
the remainder of the army, crossed the river itself and besieged
Oroschik (now Hirschova). This place was strongly reinforced by the
Turks, but after an obstinate battle, which was fought partly on the
frozen waters of the Danube, the allies were victorious, and retired
across the river with an immense booty.

Shortly afterwards he moved up the river to Silistria, where he a second
time encountered the Turks, gained a victory, and reduced the place to
ashes. These victories of Michael struck terror into the rulers at
Constantinople, and an Ottoman army, under Achmed Pasha, was sent to
Rustchuk, whilst the Khan of the Crimea, an ally of the Turks, was
ordered to enter Wallachia from the east, the Porte hoping by these
vigorous measures to reduce its rebellious vassal to submission. The
Turks did not, however, know of what material Michael was made. Dividing
his army into two parts, he succeeded, by the rapidity of his movements,
not only in keeping the allies asunder, but in completely routing both.
The Tartars were twice defeated, and their fugitives spread terror
amongst the Ottoman forces. Michael next gave the Turks battle at
Rustchuk with his whole force, defeated and dispersed them, and slew
their general. After these exploits he returned in triumph and with
great booty to Bucarest.

Without, however, resting long under his laurels, he once more divided
his army into several detachments, which, under different generals,
marched once more to the Danube, the result being that the allied
princes of Wallachia and Moldavia were soon able to report to Prince
Sigismund that both banks of the Danube eastward to the Black Sea had
been swept clear of the Ottoman forces.


But Michael's troubles were far from terminated by these victories.
Before securing the co-operation of the Prince of Siebenbürgen, he had,
with a duplicity which characterised his whole career, agreed to
acknowledge Sigismund as his suzerain, his object being to free himself
from Turkish rule and then assume independent power. But the
Transylvanians were not to be so easily disposed of, and after the
victories over the Turks they in their turn demanded homage from the two
Voivodes, and backed their claim by an irresistible force. The Voivode
of Moldavia was seized and imprisoned, and Michael, deeming prudence the
better part of valour, submitted to the terms which were dictated to
him. These were in appearance worse even than the Turkish
'capitulations,' but, as they were never kept, it is unnecessary to
mention them. Sigismund assumed the title 'By the grace of God, Prince
of Siebenbürgen, of Moldavia and Wallachia, and of the Holy Roman
Empire, &c.' (he in his turn being the vassal of the German Emperor),
whilst Michael was denied the claim to divine right, was restricted in
his princely powers, and was addressed as 'Dominus Michael Voivoda regni
nostri Transalpinensis.' He was not permitted to employ the national
seal, but was allowed the use of red wax.

Perhaps it was well for Michael that he submitted to these humiliating
conditions at the hands of his ally, or his reign might have been even
shorter than it was, for the Turk was again at his gates with an
overwhelming army. The Sultan Murad III. was dead, January 1595, and was
succeeded by Mahommed III.; nineteen brothers, we are told, having been
slaughtered to obviate dissensions, a custom which is still followed, as
the reader is doubtless aware, in certain oriental realms. Shortly after
his accession, the Porte again proceeded to assume the sovereignty of
the Principalities, and an army variously estimated from 100,000 to
180,000 men, under Sinan Pasha, was concentrated at Rustchuk to take
possession of the provinces. Michael was at the time able to collect
only 8,000 men, for the Transylvanian troops had been withdrawn, but his
encounter with the overwhelming Turkish force arrayed against him on
this occasion undoubtedly presents the most brilliant phase of his
remarkable career. Marching rapidly to Giurgevo with his handful of men,
he managed to detain the Turkish army for weeks on the south side of the
Danube, destroying their bridges and preventing them from crossing the
river. Turned at length by a Turkish detachment, which had succeeded in
crossing at a point above Giurgevo, he was compelled to withdraw to a
village about halfway towards Bucarest. His little army had been
strengthened by an accession of Transylvanian and Moldavian troops, the
former under brave Albert Kiraly, but even then it barely numbered
16,000, whilst the army of Sinan Pasha must have been at least six times
as strong. Kalugereni, the village at which this stand was made, is
still to be found on the maps, on the line of railway from Giurgevo to
Bucarest; and it only differed from Thermopylæ in the fact that the
enemy was not alone checked in his career, but for the time the little
army of Roumanians and their allies were completely victorious.

Nothing could have exceeded the astonishment of Sinan Pasha when he
found Michael ready to give him battle with his handful of patriots; but
as he proceeded to make his dispositions for the onslaught, he found
that his adversary possessed in his favourable position much to
compensate him for his inferior numbers. The nature of the ground was
such that Sinan could not employ the whole, nor even the major part, of
his forces, and Michael and his allies were protected by a morass and
river, which rendered it necessary for the Turks to concentrate their
whole attack upon a single road and bridge crossing the latter. At this
bridge the battle was practically fought. Michael and his forces for a
long time sustained the attack of the Ottomans, who had posted their
guns so as to commit havoc in the ranks of the allies, until these,
fighting hand to hand, were obliged to retreat. The Turks followed and
had made sure of their victory, when Albert Kiraly succeeded in bringing
two guns into a favourable position, and by a flank fire threw the enemy
into confusion. Of this circumstance Michael availed himself once more
to renew the attack, this time with the most happy results. The enemy
retreated in disorder over the bridge, and by the furious onslaught of
the allies his hosts were driven helter-skelter into the morass. On the
one hand Michael is said to have performed prodigies of valour, whilst
on the other Sinan Pasha, who fought with equal bravery, was unhorsed
and thrown into the bog, from which he only escaped with his life
through the fidelity of one of his followers, who was afterwards known
as the 'Marsher.' Michael recovered his own guns, which had been
captured early in the fight, as well as many of the enemy's, along with
a great booty comprising many Turkish standards, and including the
sacred standard of Mohammed, which was believed to be invincible. Thus
ended a struggle of which to this day Roumanians are proud, and which
they associate with the memory of their greatest hero. This battle was
fought and won at some indefinite date between August 13 and 26, 1595.
The rest of the campaign may be dismissed in a few sentences.

That Michael with his small force could draw no advantage from his
victory may be readily imagined; and, a council of war being held during
the night, a retreat was decided upon. Passing rapidly through Bucarest,
which was sacked by the Transylvanian troops in order that the Turks
might not profit by its treasures, the allies retired to Tirgovistea,
followed by the inhabitants on their route; and after a few days' rest
they proceeded to a village at the foot of the Carpathians to await
succour from Siebenbürgen. The Turkish commander, meanwhile, instead of
following them promptly, entered Bucarest at leisure, where he divided
his army into numerous detachments, to take possession of various parts
of the country and garrison fortresses, and spent his time in turning
churches into mosques and substituting the crescent for the cross. Then
he marched on, took possession of Tirgovistea, and sent a large force
to occupy Braila.

Meanwhile Sigismund had collected a powerful and well-disciplined army,
consisting of imperial troops and Transylvanians, and numbering 20,000
horse and 30,000 foot with 53 guns. With these he crossed the
Carpathians, and, joining Michael and Albert Kiraly, he resumed the
offensive against the Turks, driving them before him wherever he
encountered them. Sinan took fright, and retired to Bucarest.
Tirgovistea was recovered by the allies after three days' fighting, and
many guns were captured. Sinan continued to retire before the advancing
foe. Having set fire to the city and burned many churches, he hastily
withdrew to Giurgevo; and, thinking that the allies would enter
Bucarest, he is said to have left it mined ready for explosion. In this,
however, he was mistaken. Sigismund and Michael passed by Bucarest and
pursued him in all haste, arriving at Giurgevo whilst the Turkish army
was still crossing the river. Sinan had managed to reach the Bulgarian
side with a portion of his troops, but the rearguard was still at
Giurgevo, and a fight ensued in which the greater part of the Turkish
force was cut to pieces either on land or in their attempt to traverse
the stream. The Danube was reddened with the blood; 5,000 Turks are said
to have fallen, and 4,000 to 5,000 Christians to have been liberated
from their chains. The whole campaign is said to have cost the Turks
30,000 men and 150 large and small guns.


Having, with the aid of his allies, effectually freed his country from
external enemies, Michael had now a brief space of time for improving
its internal condition, for it is hardly necessary to say that these
desolating wars had reduced it to the very lowest stage of misery.
Fields were tilled, cattle imported from Transylvania, seed corn
distributed amongst the peasantry, and soon the face of the land assumed
a smiling aspect, and new towns and villages sprang from the ruins of
the old. Minor wars he had with the Tartars, and conspiracies were
formed against him and quelled. He was even accused of treachery against
his suzerain, whom, however, he managed to satisfy during a visit to
Weissenburg; and well would it have been for Michael and his country if
his ambition had not prompted him to over-estimate his powers, and if he
had been content to reign in peace over his own principality. But this
was not his policy. His victories had given him a high rank amongst the
powers of the Orient; and the changes which were taking place brought
him into communication with one and another, and favoured a scheme of
aggrandisement which, though it was for a time successful, eventuated in
his downfall and death.

Sigismund Bathori, weary of government, had abdicated in favour of his
brother, the Cardinal Andreas, with whom Michael had nothing in common,
and then it was (if not previously) that the latter began to nurse the
design of becoming the independent ruler over what had been ancient
Dacia, namely, Wallachia, Moldavia, and Siebenbürgen. With this view he
commenced negotiations with the Porte, which were eagerly welcomed; and
he also approached the German emperor, from whom he needed money to pay
his mercenary troops. Indeed, for the purpose of accomplishing his ends,
he at one and the same time did homage and acknowledged himself the
vassal of both powers. For a long time he temporised and contented
himself with strengthening and drilling his forces. At length taking
advantage of unfriendly relations which subsisted between Andreas
Bathori and the emperor, from whom he had succeeded in obtaining a
subsidy on the plea that he required it for his operations against the
Turks, who constantly threatened the Empire, Michael hastily assembled
his forces, and, against the warnings and wishes of his wife and some of
his more discreet counsellors, he crossed the Boza Pass in the
Carpathians in 1599, and proceeded to overrun Siebenbürgen, as he
professed, in the name and interests of his suzerain, the German

After striking terror into the inhabitants of Transylvania by the
excesses of his troops, Michael's first step of any consequence on
entering the country was to appear before Kronstadt with his army and
demand its surrender. This was granted, and Michael deemed it politic
not to enter the city, but to march forward and get possession of other
towns, which yielded to him one after the other in rapid succession.

Andreas Bathori was staggered and perplexed by this sudden inroad into
his dominions, but when he became fully alive to the danger the whole
country was roused by the carrying round of the 'bloody sword.' He also
sent emissaries to induce Michael to return to his own country, but the
latter kept these in confinement until the conclusion of the campaign.
What made the matter more serious for Andreas was that a vast number of
discontented inhabitants and freebooters, lusting after plunder, had
joined the army of Michael, and had swelled it to the number of 25,000
men. A council of war was hastily called by Andreas, and after
considerable delay the Transylvanian army was collected at Hermanstadt.
Michael, not expecting serious opposition so soon, had recourse to
stratagem in order to gain time and deceive his enemy. To his shame be
it said that he sent emissaries to Andreas who were instructed to
represent the whole proceeding as an unfortunate mistake, and to express
Michael's regret at the excesses of his troops. All he wished, he said,
was a free passage through Siebenbürgen into Hungary, where he desired
to join his forces with those of the Empire against the Turks. And when
the cardinal sent him word that he must return to Wallachia with his
forces before he could consider their old friendship restored, Michael
carried his duplicity so far as to conclude a truce with the emissaries
and make a proposal to exchange hostages. The negotiations were,
however, in all probability insincere on both sides; and, after further
delay, the emissaries returned to their respective camps, and the
opposing armies met in hostile array upon a plain between Hermanstadt
and Schellenberg. Here each prince addressed his troops previous to the
encounter. Cardinal Andreas, divested of his clerical robes and fully
equipped and mounted, denounced Michael in the bitterest terms. His
brethren, he said, still herded sheep and pigs in Wallachia. He had
associated himself with robbers and with a miscellaneous rabble
collected from all parts to ruin the country. 'Be not afraid,' he added,
'of this nation of Sclaves, who, from time immemorial, have been
conquered subjects of the Hungarians, and who should be punished rather
with rods and blows than with the sword.' Thus, and much more in the
same strain, spake Andreas. Michael, on the other hand, spoke of his
enemy with contemptuous jocularity, as a mounted and perjured priest who
had allied himself with the Turks, the enemies of Christendom, whilst he
himself claimed to represent fidelity to Christianity and the Empire.
Moreover, he held out to his troops tho prospect of great booty if they
were victorious.

We shall not attempt to describe the engagement which followed. At the
very outset it declared itself to some extent in Michael's favour
through the desertion of one of the most influential leaders in
Andreas's army. It was chiefly a series of encounters between isolated
detachments of troops, and in many cases not only were men of the same
nation arrayed against each other, but the opposing forces were under
the leadership of near relatives. The first to yield, after a fierce and
protracted contest, was Andreas, who fled from the field believing the
battle to be lost. His brave generals, however, rallied his men, and to
a great extent retrieved the fortunes of the day. In fact they fought so
successfully that a portion of the Wallachian army, where Michael
himself was in command, took to flight, and for a time dragged its
leader along with it. The cowardice of Andreas prevented the
Transylvanian leaders from taking advantage of this turn in their
favour; and Michael, seeing that all was not lost, made strenuous
efforts to rally his troops. By threats, blows, and angry exclamations,
he at length succeeded in arresting the stampede, but it was not until
he had with his own sword run two fugitive captains through the body
that he was once more successful in leading his followers into the
field, and this time in effectually routing the enemy. This end was
facilitated by an event similar to the one which commenced the fight.
The Poles in Transylvanian service, seeing their leader flee, and
regarding his cause as lost, deserted in a body in order that they might
not lose their share of the booty.

This battle, which is called by some the battle of Schellenberg, and by
others of Hermanstadt, laid Transylvania at the feet of Michael.
Hermanstadt would have opened its gates to him, but instead of entering
it he marched onwards, and on November 1, 1599, he entered the capital,
Weissenburg, in triumph. On that occasion the magnificence of his
apparel and surroundings scarcely seems to have been consistent with his
reputation as a hardy warrior. We read of a white silk mantle
embroidered with gold lace; of buttons of precious stones; of a girdle,
in which was carried a scimetar rich in gold and rubies; and of his wife
and children being in similar state. One other feature is worthy of
mention. With booming of cannon, tolling of bells, sound of fife and
drum, and tramp of richly-caparisoned steeds was associated the
Wallachian national music performed by gipsies (Laoutari), an incident
which enables one who has even to-day heard their wild music to picture
to himself a vivid representation of the scene.


Michael now assumed the direction of affairs in Transylvania,
notwithstanding that the German general, Basta, who had hoped to acquire
the government for himself, was present with an army to control his
action. Soon he heard of the capture and murder of Andreas Bathori, on
whose head he had set a price, by the peasantry of the mountains; and,
calling an assembly of the notables, he succeeded in securing their
adhesion to his viceroyalty. After long-protracted negotiations the
emperor, seeing that Michael was firmly installed in his government with
the consent of the Assembly of States, and finding him willing to submit
as a vassal of the German crown, accepted the situation, and permitted
him to do homage. This was done with great reluctance and in spite of
Papal remonstrances, as the murder of Cardinal Bathori had caused great
bitterness against Michael at Rome. As soon as the latter felt or deemed
his position in Siebenbürgen secure, he turned his arms against
Moldavia, with a view to depose Jeremiah Mogila, the reigning voivode,
and complete his incorporation of that country with the two over which
he already ruled. The manœuvres of Michael were questionable previous to
his contest with Andreas; but now he excelled himself. In order to
obtain his ends, he threatened the emperor with an alliance with the
Turks, unless he gave him further supplies of money. The Porte he
pacified by receiving its envoys and doing homage. To the Pope he turned
for support against the infidel, but his only response was that Michael
should first adopt the true faith--he being, of course, a member of the
schismatic Greek Church; and just before entering Moldavia with his army
he had the effrontery, in order to throw Mogila off his guard, to
propose a marriage between his daughter and Mogila's son. Finally, in
order to secure the obedience of his subjects in Siebenbürgen during his
absence in Moldavia, he sent a large number of Transylvanian nobles to
his son in Wallachia, to be detained there as hostages until he had
accomplished his ends.

The King of Poland, who was in alliance with Moldavia, was aware of
Michael's schemes, and appealed to the emperor to check them; but
Michael, little heeding, collected a heterogeneous army, and in May,
A.D. 1600, he commenced his march into Moldavia, announcing it
as his intention to avenge the death of the late Voivode Stephen, who
had been murdered by Jeremiah Mogila. His passage across the Carpathians
was beset with difficulties, his army being often almost bare of
supplies; but, once in Moldavia, all yielded before his arms. Jeremiah
was at a wedding in fancied security, and had barely time to collect a
small army when Michael was upon him. A battle was fought near the
capital Suczava, which decided the fate of the principality. A great
part of Jeremiah's army deserted to Michael, who defeated his enemy
without difficulty, and obtained possession of Suczava. After remaining
for a short time in Moldavia, Jeremiah escaped to Poland, and succeeded
in raising the Poles in his support. These, however, were so terrified
at the successes of Michael's arms that they contented themselves with
sending an army to the frontier, and there standing on the defensive.
Michael won over the Moldavians by exempting them from taxation, and,
having placed the government in the hands of a military commission, he
turned his face towards Transylvania, and re-entered Weissenburg in
triumph, within two months of the day on which he had departed on his
mission of conquest.


The authority of Michael was readily recognised by the Transylvanian
States General, and with great misgiving by the Emperor Rudolph. He was
now at the pinnacle of his fame, styling himself, modestly enough,
Viceroy, but acting with the authority of a despotic ruler. Gold and
silver medals were struck in his honour, some of which are extant;
emissaries waited upon him from the German and other courts, and were
received in royal state.

From his effigy upon these medals, and from a portrait of him which was
painted subsequently, he appears to have been a man of striking presence
and somewhat stern aspect. His face was characterised by an aquiline
nose, a beard and moustache, and it is said to have been full of

Would that we could leave him at this triumphant stage of his career;
but that is impossible, for rapid and remarkable as was his ascent, his
fall and ruin were still more precipitate. Scarcely was he installed in
his threefold authority when his troubles commenced. He had never been
heartily accepted by his nobles, many of whom were ambitious and
self-seeking, and considered him in the light of a usurper. The nation
itself was composed of antagonistic races, Szeklers, Saxons, Hungarians,
&c., and where he pleased one race he displeased the other. The Poles,
too, were only watching their opportunity to disturb his government in
Moldavia. A rising at home, which Michael endeavoured to quell by the
execution of some of the leaders, soon became very formidable, and the
nobles assembled a considerable army of retainers and encamped at
Thorda. Michael endeavoured by various stratagems to get them into his
power, but failed to do so. General Basta, who was eager to be revenged
upon him for having kept him out of the viceroyalty of Siebenbürgen,
joined the Transylvanian army; and Michael, finding all his efforts at
pacification unavailing, at length encountered General Basta and the
nobles at Miriszlo, a village which the reader will still find marked on
the railway, between Karlsburg and Klausenburg. The position of Michael
was a very strong one, and, had he awaited the attack of his enemies,
the probability is that he would again have been victorious. But in
Basta he had a wily adversary. Finding it impossible to attack Michael
where he was encamped, he feigned a retreat, whereupon Michael, asking
contemptuously of his generals 'whither the Italian hound was fleeing,'
allowed his army to follow in disorderly pursuit. They were, however,
soon checked, and Michael was then obliged to give battle under far less
favourable conditions. His army was more numerous than that of his
enemy; but not only was the latter composed of seasoned troops, but it
was far better officered. The encounter was a fierce one, and it was
decided against Michael by a clever manœuvre of Basta. One of his
generals noticed that Michael's artillery, which was so posted as to
harass the army of the allies, might be seized by a flank movement. He
sent three hundred musketeers, who succeeded in capturing the guns and
turning them upon Michael's forces. All was soon lost, and after vain
attempts to rally his men he at length yielded to the solicitations of
his officers and prepared to fly. His conduct on this occasion is
characteristic of the man. 'So he ordered the national flag to be
brought, which was made of white silk, and bore a device consisting of a
raven with a red cross in its beak upon a green field. This was torn
from the staff, and Michael hid it in his bosom. The officers followed
his example with the remaining ensigns. Then he gave spurs to his
horse, and with loosened rein, accompanied by his officers and some
Polish and other cavalry, took to flight. Had he waited a few minutes
longer, he would surely have been made prisoner.'[143] With the enemy at
his heels Michael reached the banks of the Naros river, and instead of
allowing himself to be ferried across he sprang into the waves on
horseback, and his faithful horse, which was of Turkish breed, landed
him safely on the other side. Here, filled with gratitude and affection
for the animal, and knowing that it was unable to carry him further, he
patted it on the neck, stroked its mane, kissed it, and let it run free
into the fields. To follow Michael's adventures after this terrible
defeat would be impossible. At first he took refuge in the Carpathians,
in the Fogaras mountains as they are called; he then returned, and,
joined by his son, succeeded for a short time in maintaining a foothold
in Transylvania. But threatened by Rudolph and by the Poles, he was glad
to escape into Wallachia.

Here he was again followed by the Poles, and, to complete his
perplexities, the Turks commenced making raids into his country. Once
more he was defeated by the former on the Telega river, near Ploiesti. A
brother of Jeremiah Mogila having been put upon the throne of Wallachia,
Michael found it necessary to take refuge in the Banate of Craiova, his
first seat of government. Then it was that he appealed for protection to
the German emperor, expressing his desire to present himself before him
to plead his own cause. Rudolph granted him a safe-conduct for himself
and a moderate following through Siebenbürgen, and Michael proceeded to
the German Court. Notwithstanding the safe-conduct, however, his journey
was fraught with peril. He was fired upon from castles, was followed by
hostile bands, and was at last only allowed to cross the river Theiss at
Tokay with a hundred men. He reached Vienna in safety on January 12,
1601, and was there prevented from proceeding to Prague, where the
Emperor was, by orders from the imperial court.

Shortly after this, however, the Transylvanian nobles, as faithless to
Rudolph, to whom they had sworn fealty, as they had been to Michael,
recalled Sigismund Bathori, and, without the sanction of the Emperor,
placed him on the throne of Siebenbürgen. Then it was that Rudolph found
it convenient to allow Michael to approach his person. The latter, on
his arrival, presented a petition embodying his defence which might have
been drawn by a special pleader, and which was accepted by the Emperor
as a justification of his proceedings. A complete reconciliation took
place between them, and Michael was formally re-appointed vicegerent of
Transylvania. A sufficiently well-appointed army and a large sum of
money were placed at his disposal, and he was requested to join with his
old enemy, General Basta, in dethroning Sigismund. An apparent
reconciliation took place between the two chiefs, Michael and Basta, and
they marched as allies into Siebenbürgen. Sigismund, finding that his
case with the Emperor was hopeless, and after, it is said, vainly
endeavouring by foul means to prevent the junction of Michael and Basta,
sought and obtained the aid of the Turks and Moldavians. That is to say,
the former would have sent him a contingent of troops had not Michael,
by means of forged letters, purporting to be signed by Sigismund, kept
them at a distance. The opposing forces met at Goroszlo near
Klausenburg, and after a hotly contested battle the Transylvanians were
defeated with terrible slaughter. Hardly, however, was the victory won
when jealousies and recriminations between the two generals followed.

Michael considered himself, as viceroy of Siebenbürgen, called upon to
manage the affairs of the country. Basta, smarting under the
disappointment of having failed to secure the viceroyalty, continued to
assume the position of commander-in-chief of the forces, and not only
interfered with the orders and wishes of Michael, but charged him with
various offences, the chief one being that he was again usurping the
supreme power. Believing that he would be safe in using this charge as a
justification for his acts, and that his removal would pave the way for
his own accession to the viceroyalty, Basta then determined to have
Michael assassinated. Knowing that it was his intention to proceed to
the Carpathians and liberate his family which had been kept there in
confinement, Basta sent a captain with three hundred Walloons to effect
his purpose. This man applied at Michael's tent for permission to
accompany him on his journey, and asked him to obtain the necessary
permission from Basta. Michael assented, whereupon the officer entered
the tent hastily, and, approaching the prince who was reposing,
addressed him as his prisoner. Michael exclaimed that he would not yield
himself alive, but before he could obtain possession of his sword to
defend himself, the officer had ran him through the body with his
halberd.[144] This foul deed was perpetrated between August 17 and
September 1, 1601, and it is said that the assassins struck off his head
and sword-hand with Michael's own sword. Afterwards they tortured and
assassinated his minister, a veteran of eighty years of age, and spread
such terror amongst the troops who had remained faithful to their
murdered prince, that his boyards and their followers took to flight and
sought refuge in Wallachia.

Thus fell Michael the Brave, rash, courageous, false, ambitious,
patriotic, the central figure in the past history of Roumania. Basta
sought to justify his act of treachery in a letter to the Emperor; but
whilst on the one hand the German court dared not quarrel with him in
the then condition of Transylvania, on the other hand they refused to
reward him for a deed of blood which has sent down his name with
execration to posterity.

[Footnote 143: Teutschländer, p. 201.]

[Footnote 144: According to Vaillant and others there were two officers
each with 300 men, and Michael ran his sword through one of the
officers, but before he could withdraw it the other, called Bory, struck
him down with his halberd.]



     Turkish exactions after Michael's fall--Transition from native to
     Greek Voivodes--Matthew Bassarab (Wallachia) and Basilius Lupus
     (Moldavia)--Their severe criminal codes--Serban II.
     (Cantacuzene)--His good deeds--Betrays the Turks before
     Vienna--Growing power of Russia--Treaty of Carlowitz--Brancovano
     (Wallachia) and Cantemir (Moldavia) negotiate with Peter the
     Great--First Russian invasion of the Principalities--Repelled by
     the Turks--Flight of Cantemir--(Note: Anecdote of Russian
     cupidity)--Arrest and execution of Brancovano and his family--His
     great treasures--The Phanariotes--Their origin and rise--Massacred
     in Wallachia--Second appearance--Extortions and
     expulsion--Panaiotaki, Dragoman of the Porte--The
     Mavrocordatos--Nicholas, first Phanariote Hospodar--Suppresses the
     boyards' retainers--Constantine modifies slavery--Mode of
     appointing hospodars--The Caimakam--Homage and servility of
     boyards--Conduct of Phanariote rulers at home--Court
     customs--Reputed effeminacy--Rapacity and exactions--Extortions of
     officials--Extravagance of princesses--Treatment of
     peasantry--Princes encourage brigandage--Usually deposed and
     executed--Corruption of clergy--Other baneful effects of Phanariote
     rule--(Note: Divorces in Roumania to-day)--Another view of
     Phanariote princes--Their good works--Ypsilanti, Gregory
     Ghika--Nicholas Mavrojeni and his cowardly boyards--Ennobles his
     horses--Russo-Turkish wars--Treaty of Belgrade--Russian successes
     and Austrian interference--Treaty of Kainardji--Russian
     protectorate--Cession of Bucovine to Austria--Treaty of
     Jassy--Amelioration of state of the Principalities, 1802--French
     and English consuls appointed--Russo-Turkish war and
     occupation--Treaty of Bucarest--Hetairia or Greek rising--Rebellion
     in the Principalities--Career and fate of the patriots Vladimiresco
     and Ypsilanti--End of Phanariote rule--Russian intervention and
     occupation--Treaty of Adrianople and restoration of native
     rulers--Patriotic efforts of Heliade and others--Rise of Roumanian
     learning and art--The year of revolutions, 1848--Partial success of
     the rising in Roumania--Suppression by Russia and Turkey--Escape of
     the patriots--Review of the benefits of Russian interference in the
     Principalities--Renewed Russian aggression--Brief history of the
     war of 1854-1856 between Russia and the Western Powers and
     Turkey--Treaty of Paris--Return of the patriots--Union of the
     Principalities under Prince Couza--Incidents of his reign--His
     deposition--How planned and effected--The provisional
     government--Evil influence of Couza's conduct.


The history of Moldo-Wallachia during the seventeenth century--that is
to say, from the fall of Michael to the dispossession of the native
voivodes at the beginning of the eighteenth century--possesses little
interest for English readers. Some of the more important incidents will
be referred to in connection with the subsequent _régime_ of the Greek,
or, as they are called, the Phanariote rulers appointed by the Porte,
and it will only be necessary to make a few brief comments upon the
condition of the country, and the character of two or three of the
Voivodes who reigned during the century.

It may well be imagined that the humiliating defeats inflicted by
Michael upon the Turkish armies would not tend to mollify the severity
of their subsequent rule, and that the chief aim of the Porte would be
to extort as large a revenue as possible from the conquered provinces,
without regard to the sufferings of any class, This was effected by
taking advantage of the jealousies and intrigues of the boyards who
aspired to the rulership to obtain an increase of the tribute, and
bribes; and a reference to the records of the time shows that whilst in
Wallachia the rule of only three voivodes, and in Moldavia that of two
only, exceeded five years, there were often two new princes appointed in
the same year.[145] A noteworthy circumstance in connection with these
voivodes is their gradual transition from native to Greek families. Here
and there we have an Italian appellative, such as Quatiani or Rosetti,
but in the main there is a change from the Bassarabs, the Bogdans, and
the Radus, to the Ghikas, Cantacuzenes, Brancovanos, and eventually to
the Mavrocordatos.[146] The explanation of this change will be given
presently, but amongst the native rulers we may select two or three for
brief comment. Between 1627 or 1633 and 1654 Matthew Baasarab ruled over
Wallachia to the advantage of the nation. He drove out the Tartars who
had overrun the country, and afterwards devoted himself to the welfare
of his subjects. Bucarest was not yet the acknowledged capital, but he
established a printing-press there, and also reformed the administration
of justice. At the same time Basilius (known as Basil the Wolf), Prince
of Moldavia, between whom and Matthew there had been great jealousy,
followed his example in his own country, and a criminal code was
introduced into both principalities, which, amongst its other
provisions, legalised slavery in some of its most iniquitous forms. A
few extracts from this code may be of interest, as showing the condition
of the people at that time.

     Anyone guilty of arson was burned alive.

     Anyone harbouring a fugitive serf was liable to a fine of twelve
     silver lions into court and twenty-four to the seigneur.[147]

     If the gipsy of a boyard or his children stole some such trifle as
     a chicken or an egg twice or three times, he was to be pardoned,
     but if he stole anything more considerable he should be punished as
     a thief. If he committed a theft to ward off starvation, he was
     pardoned, and also if he stole from the enemy.

     A treasure discovered by means of sorcery became the property of
     the prince.

     Besides the very severe punishments directed against other forms of
     murder, poisoning, which must therefore have been frequent, has two
     clauses provided for it. One is that, in addition to the punishment
     of a murderer, his children shall be declared infamous.

     If a man gave another a box on the ear, and was stabbed in return,
     no punishment was inflicted, even if death ensued; and the whole
     code of honour is of a like savage nature.

     Doctors are to be believed in matters of hygiene before barbers or

     Bigamy was punished by the culprit being whipped through the town,
     riding naked on a donkey.

     If a person to whom the training of young girls was confided
     corrupted and betrayed them to licentious men, hot lead was to be
     poured down his (or her) throat until it reached his heart (_sic_),
     'for it was from thence that the seductive counsels had proceeded.'

     A slave or paid serf who committed rape was not put to death as
     were others, but he was burned alive.

     Torture was evidently quite common, for judges are forbidden to
     torture innocent persons even by order of the prince.

     Nobility clearly gave immunity to crime--at least it mitigated the
     punishment; for 'neither nobles nor boyards nor their sons could be
     condemned to the galleys nor to the mines, but they might be
     banished for a longer or shorter period; they might not be hung,
     nor impaled, nor dragged through the streets like ordinary
     malefactors, but they should be decapitated.'

A wise and good Prince of Wallachia was Serban II. (Cantacuzene),
1679-1688, who built and improved churches and monasteries, and erected
factories and workshops for the people. He also encouraged education and
literature, founded the first Roumanian seminary, translated the Bible
into Roumanian, and, so far as it was possible in the unfortunate
condition of the country, he diminished the taxes of the poor.[148] He
was compelled to join the Turks in their wars against Germany, but,
summoning courage at a critical moment, he turned his arms against--or
perhaps it would be more honest to say he betrayed--those of whom he was
the unwilling ally. This happened during the siege of Vienna in 1683,
where Serban was at the head of a contingent of four thousand
Wallachians in the army of Cara Mustapha, and the duty was entrusted to
him of constructing bridges and works. He took advantage of his position
to communicate with the Germans, facilitated the destruction of the
works which he himself had raised, and it is said that he loaded his
guns with straw. He is said also to have erected a high cross opposite
his tent, on which an inscription was graven capable of bearing a double
interpretation, and which gave courage to the besieged. After the defeat
of the Turks before Vienna through its relief by Sobieski, King of
Poland, Serban fostered the idea of asserting his independence of
Turkish rule; but before he was able to carry his plans into execution,
he died (1688), it is said, poisoned by his brother and nephew.[149]

[Footnote 145: Vaillant (chronological table, vol. ii. p. 444) gives
nineteen distinct princes, some of whom reigned twice in Wallachia, and
twenty-eight, of whom one reigned three times in Moldavia, between 1601
and 1714. His dates and names must not, however, be regarded as

[Footnote 146: The reader who is interested in this subject will find a
concise history of the following families in Carra, namely, Cantemir
(said by some to be of Tartar origin), Ghika, Petreczeicus, Duca,
Cantacuzene, Brancovano, Mavrocordato.]

[Footnote 147: A lion, crown, or ecu, of gold was worth about 4_s._
8_d._, of silver 2_s._ 8_d._]

[Footnote 148: An interesting reference to his good deeds will be found
in the description of the cathedral of Curtea d'Ardges in the first part
of this work.]

[Footnote 149: The carelessness of the Roumanian chroniclers is simply
intolerable. Vaillant, vol. ii. p. 88, says that Serban was poisoned on
October 19, 1688; at p. 91 he says Constantine Preda, his successor,
began to reign 1687; and in his chronology, p. 445, he says 1688. Such
discrepancies constantly recur. Wilkinson makes the successor of Serban,
Constantine Brancovano, the Voivode who secretly aided the Germans at
Vienna, and places the event after 1695. He says the Voivode was
probably bribed by the German Emperor to remain neutral. The siege of
Vienna was in 1693.]


But another great Power was drawing nearer and nearer to Roumania, which
was eventually to exercise a grave influence upon her destiny. Already
the Muscovites had taken part with the Christian Powers in their
struggles with the Ottoman Empire, and in 1699 the Treaty of Karlowitz
was concluded, which gave Transylvania to Austria and Azov to the
Russian Empire. The position of the Principalities as vassal states of
Turkey remained unaffected, but the indirect influence of the growing
power of Russia soon became manifest. In the beginning of the eighteenth
century there ruled two voivodes, Constantine Brancovano in
Wallachia,[150] and Demetrius Cantemir in Moldavia, both of whom had
been appointed in the usual manner under the suzerainty of the Porte;
but these princes, independently of each other, had entered into
negotiations with Peter the Great after the defeat of Charles XII. at
Pultawa (1709) to assist them against the Sultan, their suzerain,
stipulating for their own independence under the protection of the Czar.
Encouraged by these advances Peter approached the Pruth with his army;
but the Moldavian boyards were generally opposed to the alliance, and
Cantemir found himself supported only by three or four of his ministers.
Notwithstanding this, the Russian army crossed the Pruth, and pitched
their camp near Jassy. A general massacre of the Turks throughout
Moldavia followed, but no advantage accrued to the Russian arms, as the
Moldavian prince was unable to furnish the Czar with the promised
supplies for his army. It is even said that one of the boyards, who
enjoyed the confidence of Cantemir, appropriated certain funds which he
had received for the supply of the army to his own use, and placed
himself in communication with the Grand Vizier. The Porte, aided by its
allies, raised a powerful army, which crossed the Danube; and although
one of Peter's generals is said to have obtained some temporary
advantage, the Czar soon found himself so hard pressed by the superior
forces of the Ottomans that he was glad to conclude a treaty with the
Porte and make the best of his way home, harassed on his return by
fierce Tartar hordes.

At Stephanesti the Czar was met by Cantemir, who sought and obtained his
protection, and returned with him into Russia, where it is said that his
representations inflamed the desire of Peter to possess the
Principalities, if not Constantinople, and led to those subsequent wars
of which Roumania afterwards became the seat and the victim.[151]

Brancovano, Prince of Wallachia, who had not taken any active part in
the war, met with the fate which his neighbour had escaped. His secret
correspondence and alliance with Peter the Great were betrayed to the
Porte by a member of his own family, and after the conclusion of peace
steps were taken to depose him. With this view the Kapidgi Mustapha was
sent with a small escort to arrest and bring him to Constantinople with
his whole family. The story of his deposition is narrated with great
dramatic effect: how the Kapidgi with twelve janissaries entered the
throne-room where Brancovano awaited him unconscious of his impending
fate; and how the former, refusing to take a seat by his side, drew a
long crape shawl from his breast and, throwing it over the shoulders of
the prince, pronounced the terrible word 'deposed.' He then called the
boyards together, read the decree of the Sultan, and threatened them
with an invasion if they resisted. The cowardly boyards allowed their
prince and his family to be carried off to Constantinople without an
effort to save them. On his arrival at Constantinople, Brancovano was
declared a traitor, and, having refused to embrace Islamism, he and four
of his sons and his son-in-law were decapitated (A.D. 1714) in
the Sultan's presence. Satiated with their blood, it is said that the
Sultan Achmet III. spared the last member of his family, a young
grandchild, and that this one, with the widow, were permitted to retire
into Wallachia.[152]

One of the temptations to put an end to the life as well as the reign of
Constantine Brancovano was undoubtedly his great wealth. Along with his
person his papers were seized, and his property was confiscated, an
inventory having been made of the latter, in which the following are
said to have been included:--A service of gold plate; the ancient crown
of the voivodes, valued at 37,000_l._; a gold belt and a rich collar set
with jewels; the effigy of the hospodar in gold pieces of ten ducats;
harnesses embroidered with gold and precious stones; a vast sum of money
in coinages of different countries; and deposit-receipts for sums lodged
in his name in Vienna, Venice, &c. Also landed property in various
places, making an estimated total of three and a half millions sterling.
The immense value of his treasures, and the sums of money which he
possessed in various coinages and countries, led to the charge against
him of having betrayed the interests of the Porte for bribes, received
from Austria, Poland, and Venice, and, what was more unfortunate for
him, to the suspicion that still larger treasures were secreted.
Previous to his execution he and his eldest son are said to have been
tortured for five days, to compel them to make discovery of further
possessions, but without result. After the deposition of Brancovano,
Stephen Cantacuzene, the son of one of his accusers, was made Voivode of
Wallachia, but like his predecessors he only enjoyed the honour for a
brief term, and two years afterwards he was deposed, ordered to
Constantinople, imprisoned, and decapitated; and with him terminated the
rule of the native princes, who were followed, both in Wallachia and
Moldavia, by the so-called Phanariote governors or farmers-general of
the Porte.

[Footnote 150: Brancovano is also called Constantine Bassarab and
Constantine Preda.]

[Footnote 151: The following story is related of the conduct of the
Russians whilst they were encamped before Jassy, during the early part
of the campaign. It appears that Peter and his generals were invited to
a banquet by the Prince, and, having drunk freely, hosts and guests lay
scattered promiscuously about the floor. The Russians were the first to
recover consciousness, and when their eyes fell upon the gold-laced
boots of the boyards, the desire to possess them was so irresistible
that they took advantage of the helpless condition of their hosts to
perpetrate a common theft. Drawing them from their feet, they made off
with the boots to their tents, leaving their own weather-worn chaussure
in exchange.]

[Footnote 152: Wilkinson (p. 40) says that in his day a descendant of
the grandson of Brancovano was living in Wallachia in great state, and
was considered one of the wealthiest boyards; and there is still a
family assuming the title of Prince Bassaraba de Brancovan. See _Gotha
Almanack_, 1881, p. 225.]


But who and what were the Phanariotes? the reader may enquire; and in
order fully to answer the question we must revert to the beginning of
the seventeenth century, and hastily review a series of events which,
during that century, laid the foundation of their subsequent rule. About
the commencement of the century many Greeks, coming chiefly from the
islands of the Archipelago and from Asia Minor, sought refuge in
Constantinople, where in the course of time they founded a colony in a
parish or district known as the 'Phanar:' hence their name of
Phanariotes. Being more learned, or at least better instructed, than the
people amongst whom they resided, and moreover well acquainted with
trade, they assumed similar functions to those performed by the Jews of
the west of Europe, and like the latter they at once became the objects
of cordial dislike, and indispensable factors in society. Not content
with settling in Constantinople, they spread themselves into the Turkish
pashaliks and dependencies, amongst others into the Danubian
Principalities, where, too, owing to their extortionate practices, they
became thoroughly detested; and it is said that Michael the Brave issued
an edict excluding them from all public offices of trust. About the year
1617 they had so greatly increased in numbers, and excited such hatred,
that the native population could no longer be restrained; a second
edition of the Sicilian Vespers was enacted, and they were massacred,
men, women, and children, a deed for which their successors took ample
vengeance. For a time we hear nothing more about them, but about half a
century afterwards (1665) they returned in great numbers in the suite of
two Voivodes, who had purchased the thrones of the Principalities, and
once more sought to establish themselves. Two of these seem to have
played the part for the reigning prince that Empson and Dudley filled
for our Henry VII., namely, that of extortioners, but with far greater
tyranny and cruelty. They were at length cut in pieces by the populace,
and the Greeks were once more expelled from the country. Meanwhile,
however, they had grown in favour in Constantinople, where, through
their learning and intelligence, they began to fill confidential offices
under the Porte. To their ordinary avocations some added the practice of
medicine, in which they were adepts; and one of them, Panaiotaki
Nicosias, a medical attendant of the Grand Vizier, managed to ingratiate
himself with his patron, and then, having exerted his influence in
favour of his fellow-countrymen, he succeeded in obtaining minor offices
for some, and toleration for all. He was appointed Dragoman or
interpreter to the Porte, and, proving an able and faithful servant, he
was permitted to nominate as his successor Alexander Mavrocordato, who
is said by some to have been a common labourer and to have married a
butcher's daughter, whilst others call him a silk-dealer of
Constantinople or of Chio. Be that as it may, he made himself so useful
to his employers, especially during the negotiation of the Treaty of
Carlowitz, that after the execution of Brancovano he managed to secure
the succession to the throne of Wallachia (1716) for his son Nicholas
Mavrocordato, and became the ancestor of a long line of rulers in both

[Footnote 153: Although Nicholas Mavrocordato is chiefly referred to as
the first Phanariote Prince of Wallachia, in 1716, a comparison of the
authorities (Engel, Wilkinson, Neigebaur, &c.) shows that he had already
ruled in Moldavia since 1712. Vaillant is, as usual, vague, and supplies
the place of precise facts by abundant rhetoric.]


The selection of Greek princes, or, as they are often called,
'farmers-general,' by the Porte, was probably the result of the distrust
which the native voivodes and boyards had engendered, as much as the
respect entertained for its faithful dragomans; and if Nicholas
Mavrocordato did not receive explicit instructions on the subject, he
knew that the most welcome change he could make in the interests of his
patrons would be to introduce an entirely new _régime_ into his
dominions. The most important step taken by him was to suppress the
guards of the native boyards, which made them as dangerous to the ruler
as the retainers of our barons had been to the Crown until they were
suppressed by the Act of Henry VII.[154] He established new tribunals
and disbanded the militia. His successor, Constantine (about 1731), was
superior in his views and aspirations to almost any of the princes who
had ruled over Wallachia. He abolished the old form of slavery, but
unfortunately political considerations still caused the retention of the
peasantry in servitude; for, in order to weaken the native boyards, a
large number of serfs, it is said 60,000 in all, were transferred as
labourers from their old masters to the Crown, and to the newly created
Greek boyards. Whilst their bodies were nominally freed, these poor
creatures were required to render such an amount of feudal service to
their new masters, that their wretched condition was rather aggravated
than improved. The Greek or Phanariote boyards who were created, found
it politic to intermarry with the native boyard families in order to
improve their position in the land of their adoption, and the servile
Wallachian nobles deemed it to their interest to encourage such
alliances; indeed it was necessary to save themselves from extinction.
New officers of State were appointed in the supposed interests of the
Porte, but, as we shall see presently, the ruling prince, or, as the
reader will find him called, voivode or hospodar,[155] managed to turn
these changes to account and make them serve for his own aggrandisement.

The new hospodar was always appointed by the Porte with great ceremony.
'The kukka or military crest,' says Wilkinson, 'is put on their heads by
the Muzhur Aga; the robe of honour is put on them by the Vizir himself.
They are honoured with standards and military music, and take the oath
of allegiance in the presence of the Sultan, to whom they are introduced
with the ceremonies usual at a public audience.'[156] They were
appointed by 'Beratt,' an imperial diploma, of which Wilkinson gives a
formula, and wherein the Sultan commands the Wallachian and Moldavian
peoples to acknowledge and obey the bearers of it, as the sole
depositaries of the sovereign authority. As soon as the prince was
appointed, he at once sent an _avant-courrier_, a Kaimakam, to make
preparations for his arrival; and this one, who was practically the
chief of the State for a period of two months, generally managed, whilst
he was carrying out his mission, to do a little profitable business on
his own account. The prince followed in great state, accompanied by a
number of dependants and hangers-on who had succeeded, by means of
presents or otherwise, in ingratiating themselves in his favour. The
bribes, flatteries, and meanness of which these sycophants were guilty,
either before the departure of the prince from Constantinople or after
his arrival in Bucarest (which had been the capital of Wallachia since
the close of the seventeenth century) or Jassy, have been described in
vivid colours by modern historians, some of whom have drawn pretty
freely upon their imagination for the purpose. It is a fact, however,
that the boyards sent presents to the prince before his departure, and
even lodged sums of money in Constantinople for the purpose--money which
had been wrung from the unfortunate peasantry. The new hospodar, who had
paid pretty dearly for his post, submitted to all this homage, accepted
everything, and then acted as it seemed most politic, often punishing
and exiling those who had stooped the lowest or bribed the highest.
Arrived at the principality he generally made a complete change in the
_personnel_ of the court and government, giving the most lucrative
offices to his own relatives, honorary appointments to some, and
pecuniary ones to a few of his best supporters. To Mahommedans he took
care to assign posts of little or no influence, so that it might not be
in their power to expedite his downfall, which took place, at farthest,
at the end of three years, and was usually effected by intrigues at
Constantinople.[157] His dispositions thus gave him almost absolute
power, which he took care to use in such a manner as to enrich himself
and his family during the brief term of his dearly-bought hospodarship.

After their arrival at the capital, the princes delivered an address to
the assembled boyards, promising happiness and prosperity to the people;
but as soon as the first ceremonies were concluded, the greater number
gave themselves up to self-indulgence, exacted servile attentions from
all about them, and practised every kind of unlawful extortion upon all
those who were able to furnish supplies to the treasury.

'It was the custom that the prince never asked for anything at table.
All is prepared for him; even his bread is cut into small pieces. He
refuses food which does not please him. Wine is served to him in carafes
of crystal. The cup-bearer (Paharnik), who is always a near relative,
stands up before him holding a glass half filled.'[158] When he has
finished his dinner, coffee is handed to him, and when, subsequently, he
withdraws to sleep, silence is enforced, not only in the palace, but
throughout the city, so that his rest (which he does not, however,
always take) shall not be disturbed. At a fixed hour, when he is
supposed to have risen, the bells of the city are tolled, and all is
again activity. All kinds of stories, more or less authentic, are
narrated concerning the effeminacy of the Phanariote rulers, such as
that they were lifted about by attendants, who supported them under the
armpits, so that there might be no need for them to place their feet on
the ground; but although such statements may be correct in regard to
some of them, there were undoubtedly princes with whose character and
actions such practices were quite inconsistent.

[Footnote 154: 3 Henry VII. cap. 1, and 21 Henry VIII. cap. 20.]

[Footnote 155: Voda, or Domnu (Dominus), was the Roumanian designation
for the prince, and Hospodar was a title of Slavonic or Russian origin
(Russian, Gospodin = Lord).]

[Footnote 156: P. 46.]

[Footnote 157: The most authentic work on the Phanariotes is that of
Marc. Philippe Zallony (Marseilles, Ant. Ricard, April 1824). That
author calls himself 'the medical attendant, of several Fanariote
hospodars,' and his account of the princes and their rule is
sufficiently humiliating without the exaggerations and embellishments of
one or two subsequent French writers. Wilkinson, whose work we have
quoted, and who was 'British Consul Resident,' in 1820, at 'Bukorest,'
as it was then called (he says, after one Bukor who owned the village
four hundred years previously), gives a good deal of information on the
same subject.]

[Footnote 158: Zallony.]


It may, however, be readily believed, that various devices were resorted
to by the princes to enrich themselves as speedily as possible. Their
regular income was augmented by the granting of monopolies, the
depreciation of the currency, and frauds in collecting the revenue and
in providing supplies for the Porte. A poll or capitation tax was levied
upon the nomadic and stationary gipsies, and money was even exacted
under all kinds of pretences from the heads of the religious orders. The
annual income of the princes is said to have exceeded 40,000_l._ in
addition to the tribute payable to the Porte.[159] Nor must it be
supposed that this was the whole amount that was extorted from the
unfortunate inhabitants. It was 'like master like man,' and every
official and underling followed the prince's example, each being aware
that a change of rulers meant dismissal for himself. The princess, too,
had special sources of income, which were usually squandered in rivalry
with the boyardesses, in jewellery, dress, and other luxuries.[160] It
is said that one of the princesses, being offended with a lady of rank
for excelling her in the ostentatious richness of her dress and personal
adornments, caused her to be exiled; and that when she had secured a
sufficiently large sum to purchase a more magnificent apparel than her
rival, she allowed her to return to court, in order that she might enjoy
her humiliation. The complaints of the oppressed peasantry were at best
unheeded, and when these were driven to desperation and ventured to
appeal in person to the prince, a number of them were seized and cast
into prison, 'pour encourager les autres.' The result was that many
turned brigands, and united to form bands; but even these, it is said,
ministered to the rapacity of some of the Phanariote rulers. The prince
secretly encouraged or winked at their misdeeds, until he thought they
had amassed a considerable treasure by free-booting. Then, making a raid
upon them with a strong military force, he deprived them of their
plunder and decapitated or imprisoned them. The greater number were sent
to work in the salt-mines, where (as already stated elsewhere) they
usually died after the expiration of about four years.

This system of extortion and tyranny usually continued until the Porte
could no longer refuse to listen to the call for redress, and in such
cases intriguers for the succession were only too ready to take up the
cry, and even to exaggerate the crimes of the reigning prince. The
result was that one by one they were deposed, and often recalled to
Constantinople, only to be disgraced, exiled, or executed. According to
the historical records, there were eleven distinct hospodars in each
principality between 1716 and 1768; in Wallachia the government was
changed twenty-one, and in Moldavia seventeen times. In one year (1731)
Constantine Mavrocordato ruled twice, and Michael Racoviça once; the
former is noted as having reigned six times; the latter was re-elected
in 1741, and was eventually exiled to Mitylene. Charles Ghika (1758) was
exiled to Cyprus; Stephen Racoviça (1765) was strangled by order of the
Porte; and so on.

But although the rulers were changed so frequently, the system not only
continued, but became more and more demoralising to the whole nation.
For a time the clergy were content to bleed without drawing blood in
their turn, but at length they, too, began to extort money from rich and
poor alike, in order to meet the demands upon them, and prostituted the
sacred offices of religion to gain their ends. Another terrible result
of the Phanariote rule was the seizure by the officials of the Porte of
Roumanian men and women, the former to replace those who had fallen in
the wars between the Turks and Russians; and the best blood of the
country was sacrificed in a cause in which it had no interest. The moral
degradation of the boyards also became deeper and deeper. Many turned
renegades, and adopted the Mussulman faith, partly from servility, often
to save themselves from being condemned to death. Others pursued that
course that they might not be harassed by the Turkish officials, and
others again because the oriental dress pleased them, and they desired
to indulge in the practice of polygamy. Fathers educated their sons in
every kind of deceit and hypocrisy to minister to their advancement in
life, teaching them how to approach the dominant seigneurs and
ingratiate themselves in their favour, whilst, in the eyes of the common
people, the boyards had sunk so low that they had earned for themselves
the name of 'sleeping dogs.' The women were even worse than the men. The
height of their ambition was to form advantageous alliances without
reference to their happiness in after life; the marriage tie was treated
with the utmost indifference, and the clergy were often compelled, much
against their will, to grant divorces in order to retain their offices
and influence.[161]

So much for the dark side of the Phanariote rule; and it is much to be
regretted that all modern historians have contented themselves with
looking at its unfavourable aspect, and have sought to shift all the
sins and errors of the period upon the shoulders of the Greek princes.
It is not our intention to follow their example, for we believe that the
government of the Greek hospodars was by no means an unmixed evil. The
modern descendants of those men still occupy honourable positions in
Roumania, but these have little to say in their defence; indeed we have
heard Greeks express the opinion that it would be more creditable to
them if they were to lay bare the exaggerations of evil, and bring into
prominence the better traits in the character of their ancestry.[162]
That they were not all tyrants and extortioners is certain, although
many, especially the earlier ones, were only too faithful servants of
the Porte who may have played their part _con amore_ in remembrance of
the massacre of their ancestors, and in conformity with the customs of
the period. But amongst them were brave, religious, charitable, and
learned men, who contributed to raise the Roumanians from a condition of
barbarism to one of comparative civilisation. Of this we have evidence
in the law reforms, imperfect as they were, introduced by Constantine
Mavrocordato; in the buildings and charitable foundations of Ypsilanti
and Gregory Ghika in both Principalities (between 1768-1778); in the
courage of the latter, who paid with his life the penalty of serving his
adopted country; and of Nicholas Mavrojeni (1786-1790), whose boyards
were too cowardly to follow him in the defence of their country against
a Russian invasion.

The last-named is rather a notorious incident in Roumanian history, and
some writers have devoted pages to the narrative. It appears that
Nicholas had received instructions from the Porte to raise a force and
set himself in motion against the combined Russians and Austrians who
menaced Wallachia. He thereupon assembled the boyards and called upon
them to take up arms. Too cowardly, in the opinion of certain writers,
or distrusting the prince, according to others, each excused himself on
some flimsy pretext, whereupon Nicholas, indignant and furious, called
upon one of his attendants to bring forth thirty horses, which were soon
standing caparisoned in the court-yard. The prince invited his boyards
to descend, and when they were arrived below, 'Now,' he cried, 'to
horse!' They maintained a sullen silence, however, and no one moved.
Casting a look of contempt upon them, he turned round to the horses,
and, addressing one after the other, he cried, 'I make you Ban; you,
Grand Vornic; you, Grand Logothet;' and so on, until he had exhausted
all the offices of the State. Then, turning again to his cowardly
boyards, he reminded them of the deeds of their ancestors, of Mircea,
Vlad, and Michael, and denounced them as women, puppets, worse than
eunuchs. Several he ordered into exile; while others, stung with shame
by his taunts, mounted and followed him to victory.

This is the story of how Nicholas Mavrojeni is said to have ennobled his
horses; but, if the reader wishes to hear how, after disputing every
yard of ground with the invaders, he was rewarded by the Porte with an
ignominious death, we must refer him to the pages of the historian.

[Footnote 159: Vaillant, at vol. ii, pp. 219-220 and 224-226, gives some
interesting details of receipts and expenditure. In one place (p. 225)
he gives a list of 'presents paid by the principality of Moldavia.' The
amounts arc stated in piastres, which he says were then worth 2 fr. 50
c. One item is 'secret presents at Constantinople 250,000 piastres,'
whereas the tribute was only 65,000! The list appears to include the
whole expenses of the prince and princess and some military and State
expenditure, the total being 1,162,267 piastres, or, according to
Vaillant, about 116,200_l._, an enormous sum in those days (1769).]

[Footnote 160: In Vaillant's list referred to, the charge for the
dresses of the princess is put down at 22,908 piastres, or 2,290_l._,
against 36,000 piastres, or 3,600_l._, the entire expenses of the
palace. The list shows that the prince kept many Turkish soldiers,
musicians, &c., in his service, and had borrowed large sums in
Constantinople before acquiring the hospodarship, as there is an item of
68,620 piastres for interest thereon.]

[Footnote 161: This phase in the Phanariote rule still rests as a blight
upon Roumanian society, and the causes of the laxity of the marriage tie
and of divorces are to a large extent the same as formerly. Young men of
the upper classes who have been nurtured in affluence find themselves
unable to indulge in the luxuries to which they have been accustomed
upon their limited incomes. They therefore frequently marry women who
are much older than themselves, but are possessed of large pecuniary
means. Neither cares for the other; they go their own ways, with the
usual unfortunate results. If the reader refers to the statistics of the
country, he will find that in 1880 there were 3,891 divorce causes set
down for trial, and that the number of divorces legally granted or
judged for the six years previously varied from 760 to 929 annually.]

[Footnote 162: Zallony tells us that amongst the modern Greek families
the Mavrocordatos and Mavrojeni originally came from the Isle of Miconos
(Archipelago); Ghika is of Albanian origin; Racoviça and Manolvoda, Asia
Minor; Ypsilanti and Morousy, Trebizonde; Soutzo, Bulgaria; Caragia,
Ragusa Canzerli, Constantinople, &c.]


Nothing can be more dreary and wearisome than to wade through an account
of the wars between Russia and the Sublime Porte from the accession of
the Phanariote rulers down to the Crimean campaign of 1853-6, and yet,
for any but Roumanian readers, the history of the country contains
little else of interest during that period. There are two aspects of
these struggles, however, which devastated the unfortunate
Principalities almost as much as the incursions of the barbarians, that
are well worthy of our consideration. The first is the tenacity and
perseverance with which the Czars, one after the other, sought to
tighten their grasp upon the Principalities, with ultimate aims upon
Constantinople; the second, the occasional efforts which were made by a
few patriots, backed up not so much by the boyards as by the common
people, to relieve the country from foreign domination, whether
Mussulman, Russian, or Austrian--for the last-named nation also sought
to gain a foothold in the land.

Let us briefly review the leading events of the period referred to, and
consider their bearing upon Roumania of to-day. After the unsuccessful
campaign of Peter the Great in which the voivodes, Cantemir and
Brancovano, were enlisted on the side of the Russians, the latter made
no serious attempt to interfere with the government of the
Principalities until about the year 1735, when, under the Empress Anne,
and in alliance with the German Emperor Charles VI., they endeavoured to
expel the Turks, and partially succeeded in doing so. After two
campaigns, however, the allies were ingloriously defeated at Belgrade;
and by the treaty of that name (1739 A.D.) they were not only
compelled to restore all their conquests, but even to relinquish some of
the territory of which the Porte had been deprived in the seventeenth
century. The hospodars who ruled at that time in Wallachia and Moldavia
were Constantine Mavrocordato and Gregory Ghika.[163]

About twenty-five years later the Russians returned to the charge under
Catherine IV., and this time with better success. Their operations
extended over about six years, and the war commenced in 1768 by an act
of hostility on the part of the Sultan, provoked by a Russian
propaganda. In 1769-70 the Muscovites overran Moldavia and Wallachia;
the former, it is said by some, with the connivance of the reigning
prince, Constantine Mavrocordato III.; and, having defeated the Turks in
several pitched battles, and even penetrated into Bulgaria, they
actually ruled in the country until 1774 A.D., and introduced
many useful reforms. Then, however, owing to the interference of Maria
Theresa, Empress of Germany, who, as Queen of Hungary, herself claimed
rights of suzerainty over Wallachia, and largely also in consequence of
the passive resistance of the Porte, the Czarina agreed to the Treaty of
Kainardji, by which, under conditions favourable to the Principalities,
they were once more restored to the Porte. Amongst the conditions were a
complete amnesty; the restitution of lands and goods to their rightful
owners; freedom of worship for Christians, and liberty to build or
restore places of worship; the privilege of sending two _chargés
d'affaires_ (one from each principality) to Constantinople; and the
right on the part of the Court of St. Petersburg to speak in favour of
the Principalities in cases of complaint, with the further provision
that such remonstrances should be treated with the respect due from one
friendly power to another.

In 1777 the Porte ceded Bucovine to Austria. The signature of the ruling
Hospodar of Moldavia, Gregory Ghika, was necessary to validate the
cession, but that patriotic 'Phanariote' refused to append it, whereupon
he was deposed and cruelly murdered by the creatures of the Porte. We
have already referred to his patriotism and its results.

In 1781-2, by an arrangement with the Porte, Catherine II. secured the
right to send consuls to Bucarest and Jassy, who were maintained and
served in great state at the cost and provision of the Principalities,
and were authorised to exercise a certain control over their public
income and expenditure for the protection of the inhabitants. This new
influence was secured by Russia through the complaints of the Roumanians
in regard to the rapacity of the Turkish rulers; through her growing
influence; and, last but not least, her threatening attitude on the
Turkish frontiers. In 1788 an alliance was again formed between Russia
and Austria, having for its object the dispossession of the Porte in the
Principalities. This was the occasion on which Nicholas Mavrojeni is
said to have ennobled his horses. He was afterwards defeated at Calafat,
and after several reverses the Porte was glad to conclude treaties of
peace, first with the Austrians and then (1792) with Russia at Jassy. By
this treaty the Russians gained territory and secured the promise from
the Porte of a more merciful government in Moldo-Wallachia, the
condition of which at that time is represented to have been desperate,
owing to the Phanariote exactions and the frequent change of hospodars.

Consequent upon the bitter complaints of the inhabitants the Russians
again interfered in 1802, forcing the Porte to extend the duration of
the rulership to seven years and to repress other abuses. About this
time the first English Consul was appointed. Vaillant refers to him as
'Sir Francis,' and charges the English Government with having sent him
to co-operate with Russia against Turkey.[164] A French diplomatist also
appeared at Bucarest, and, whatever part these representatives may have
played in the matter, it is certain that in 1806 another Russo-Turkish
war broke out. The Russians under General Michaelson overran the
Principalities, held possession of the country until 1812, and then only
restored it after the peace of Bucarest, by which the Russians gained
the whole of Bessarabia (the river Pruth being fixed as the boundary),
with the ports of Ismail, Khilia, and other places at the embouchure of
the Danube.

[Footnote 163: This is not the Gregory Ghika already referred to.
Members of the different families were distinguished by the affix I. II.
III. &c.]

[Footnote 164: Who this 'Sir Francis' was, we have not been able to


Shortly after this time, the Hellenic regeneration, or the Hetärie as it
was called, commenced in the south-east of Europe. This movement, which
liberated Greece from the Ottoman yoke, brought much misery but ultimate
gain to Roumania. In 1821 there reigned in Wallachia Alexander Soutzo
III., and in Moldavia Michael Soutzo III., two Phanariotes who, true to
their traditions, had pressed upon the people with their exactions until
they were ripe for a revolt. This took place in Wallachia under Theodor
(or, as he is sometimes called, Tudor) Vladimiresco, an ex-officer in
the Russian army (indeed, Russia is said to have fomented the Greek
revolt everywhere); whilst in Moldavia a Greek called Alexander
Ypsilanti joined with the reigning hospodar to drive the Turks out of
that principality. Vladimiresco soon succeeded in establishing himself
in Bucarest, where he ruled supreme for a short time, and whence he sent
representations to the Porte complaining of the conduct of the
Phanariotes, requiring their recall and the reinstatement of the native
hospodars, as well as a restitution of the rights of the people under
the old 'capitulations.' The reply to this was the entrance into
Wallachia of a considerable army under the Pasha of Silistria, whereupon
Vladimiresco withdrew towards the mountains and stationed himself at
Pitești. Ypsilanti, meanwhile, had also approached Bucarest with his
forces, but was unable to come to an understanding with his companion in
revolt. When he heard of the withdrawal of Vladimiresco and the march of
the Turkish Pasha, he believed, or professed to believe, that the former
was about to betray him, and the scene of Basta and Michael was acted
over again. Ypsilanti sent one of his lieutenants with a strong escort
who decoyed Vladimiresco out of his tent by vain promises, carried him
off by force, and then murdered him with great barbarity.

After the assassination of his rival, Ypsilanti, who claimed to
represent the movement for Greek regeneration, found himself face to
face with a well-organised Turkish army, whilst his own, consisting of
enthusiastic Greeks and volunteers from various countries, was inferior
in numbers and comparatively undisciplined. Holding discretion to be the
better part of valour, he retired before the enemy, who, however,
brought him to bay and offered him battle at Dragosani on the river
Oltu. Here enthusiasm and devotion to their cause inspired the 'sacred
battalion,' as the Greeks called themselves, with unwonted courage, and
at first the Turks were unable to resist their impetuous charge with
the bayonet. Ypsilanti was, however, no general, and, failing to profit
by the bravery of his troops, the advantage was lost; the Turks rallied,
a rout ensued, and Ypsilanti fled, leaving his lieutenants to resist for
a time and then to die gloriously in defence of their liberties. He
escaped across the Carpathians into Austria, was seized by order of the
Government, imprisoned in the fortress of Munkács, and some writers say
he was afterwards executed.


Two important results for Roumania resulted from the Greek rising. The
first was the termination of the Phanariote rule and the restoration of
the native princes, Gregory Ghika being appointed Prince of Wallachia,
and John Stourdza of Moldavia. The reason of this change was that the
Greek hospodars had made common cause with the insurgents; and we cannot
do better than close this eventful period in the history of the country
than by summarising the Phanariote rule in the words of Consul
Wilkinson, who says: 'From the period at which this system was
introduced to the beginning of the present century, being a space of
ninety years, Wallachia alone has passed through the hands of forty
different princes independently of the time when it was occupied by the
Russians from 1770 to 1774, by the Austrians and Russians from 1789 to
1792, and by the Russians again from 1806 to 1812.' 'Few of them died of
natural death, and the Turkish scimetar was perhaps frequently employed
with justice amongst them. In a political point of view, the short
reigns of most of these princes offer nothing of importance or interest
to deserve a place in history.'[165] From this brief judgment of one who
lived at the time of their extinction, our readers will see that we have
not dealt uncharitably with the _régime_ of the Phanariotes.

Another of the results of the Greek insurrection was the inevitable
Russo-Turkish war. Then followed the occupation of the country by the
Russians; what Carlyle might have called the hand-shaking of
incompatible tyrannies; and eventually the Peace of Adrianople, to which
city the Russian arms had penetrated (1829). The stipulations of that
treaty may be summed up in a few words. A large indemnity to Russia,
with continued occupation until it should be liquidated, and a Muscovite
protectorate of the Principalities; the suzerainty and an annual tribute
for the Porte, and complete autonomy with the appointment of life-long
hospodars for the Principalities. By a subsequent ukase known as the
'Reglement Organique,' the Court of St. Petersburg further expressed its
wishes in regard to the internal government of the Principalities; and
this document having been confirmed by the Porte after great
procrastination, the Russian forces were withdrawn from the
Principalities in 1834, and two princes of the houses of Stourdza and
Ghika were again appointed hospodars.

[Footnote 165: P. 44.]


We have said that two phases in the history of this period are
interesting to the historian--the gradual encroachments of Russia on the
one hand, and on the other the patriotic efforts of the nationalists to
secure independence. With the Greek rising of 1821-2, and the prospect
of complete liberty, a new spirit was awakened, which took the form
first of a national intellectual regeneration, and then of what proved
to be an unsuccessful struggle for independence. With both these
movements the name of John Heliad Radulesco (known in history as Heliade
or Eliad) is inseparably connected as _littérateur_ and patriot. His
name first appears conspicuously about the year 1826, when, in
conjunction with Constantine Golesco, a returned exile and friend of the
unfortunate Vladimiresco, and with the concurrence and support of the
reigning hospodar, Gregory Ghika, he endeavoured to revive the national
language, which had been displaced by Greek in consequence of the
long-continued Phanariote rule. He was himself a poet of no mean order,
and by his national songs he stirred the hearts of the people. But
poetry did not absorb his whole attention. An able man of science, for
that day, he himself imparted instruction in geography, logic, and
mathematics, in the colleges of which he promoted the
establishment.[166] Of these one was founded on the remains of an
ancient convent at St. Sava, the other at Craiova, and concurrently with
this effort, to promote collegiate education primary and normal schools
were also established. But the march of enlightenment did not end here;
national journals and a national theatre were included in the scheme of
the patriots. The hospodars, too, performed their share of the general
advancement. They founded hospitals, promoted agriculture, welcomed back
those who had emigrated before the scourge of war, and sought by every
means in their power to give security to the national industry.

But the unfortunate geographical position of the Principalities, which
made them the battle-field of the two contending powers of the Orient,
still militated against the complete liberation of Roumania, and her
efforts at regeneration were watched with jealousy by both her powerful
semi-barbarous neighbours. The period soon arrived, however, when, for a
time at least, the intrigues of emperors, sultans, and courts were
unavailing, and when crowns were at a decided discount--the great
European convulsion of 1848. Then, when the French monarchy fell and the
rulers of other European States fled from their dominions into a more or
less abiding exile, the awakening of nationalities extended to
Moldo-Wallachia, and caused a patriotic rising far more hopeful and for
a time more successful than the revolt of 1821; and the Principalities
would no doubt have been permanently freed from foreign domination had
not disunion amongst the national leaders once more prevented such a
desirable issue. In the year of revolution, Nicholas I. being the Czar,
and Abdul Medjid (the 'Sick Man') Sultan, simultaneous risings took
place in the Principalities. The one in Moldavia was headed by a number
of leading boyards, who at first contented themselves with petitioning
for the restoration of their liberties. They were seized by order of the
hospodar, Michael Stourdza, and sent into confinement, but most of them
escaped and returned to reorganise the revolt. In the same year,
however, as we shall hear presently, the Russians invaded the
principality, entered Jassy, and quelled the revolution.

In Wallachia the rising assumed more serious proportions. It was led by
Heliad and the brothers Golesco, George Maghiero, a Greek by descent,
Tell, Chapka, a priest, and by three young men, two of whom will
hereafter be spoken of in connection with the Roumania, of
to-day--Demetrius and John Bratiano and C. Rosetti. Although all these
men were united in the desire to liberate their fatherland from the
heavy burdens with which it was oppressed, they disagreed as to the best
mode of proceeding. Long experience had taught them that between the two
fires of St. Petersburg and Constantinople there was little hope of
escape, and some leaned to the former, others to the latter power,
whilst the younger men, the Bratianos and Rosetti, looked anxiously to
Western Europe and its advanced civilisation for succour. The hospodar
Bibesco soon yielded before the storm, and fled to Kronstadt in
Transylvania. A provisional government was formed, dissolved, and formed
again.[167] Great assemblages of the people took place at Bucarest;
proclamations were issued and oaths administered and taken; but the
whole thing eventually resolved itself into a 'Princely Lieutenancy,'
under the suzerainty of the Porte. This was at first recognised by the
Turkish general, Suleiman Pasha, who along with Omar Pasha had entered
Wallachia with Turkish armies; for it suited the policy of the Porte to
look favourably upon a rising which was chiefly directed against Russian
influence in the Principalities. But the Muscovite Cabinet was not
easily outwitted. Nicholas witnessed the rising with equal satisfaction,
for it justified a new intervention in the affairs of Moldo-Wallachia.
He issued a proclamation, calling the revolution the work of a turbulent
minority whose ideas of government were plagiarised from the socialistic
and democratic propaganda of Europe. This proclamation was followed by a
march of the Russians into the disturbed provinces as 'liberators.' The
nationalist leaders were glad to escape to France, Omar Pasha having
occupied and plundered Bucarest on the Russian approach, and a
convention--that of Balta-Liman--was entered into between Russia and
Turkey, which deprived the Principalities of all their electoral rights,
substituted a divan, or council of ministers, and reserved to the two
contracting powers the nomination of hospodars. Russia, however, managed
to get the lion's share even in this negotiation, for, contrary to the
understanding, she succeeded in appointing both hospodars, Stirbei in
Wallachia, and Alexander Ghika in Moldavia, thus largely increasing her
influence in both Principalities.

[Footnote 166: Neigebaur (pp. 327 et seq.) gives a long list of
important works published in the Principalities up to his time (1854),
and amongst them will be found a large number either composed or
published by Heliad on various subjects in theology, philology, grammar,
history, mathematics, and medicine, besides original poems,
translations, and dramas.]

[Footnote 167: Regnault says (p. 437): 'Twice in three weeks the
provisional government had fallen, first through an audacious _coup de
main_, then through a spontaneous act of weakness. Twice the people had
reinstated it, setting a resolute example for the conduct of their
leaders. It is worth noting that this nation, new to political life of
which the birth is manifested by courage and wisdom, retired before its
leaders when they triumphed, raised them when they fell, giving
alternate evidences of energy and moderation.']


Much has been said here, and a great deal more in the works of those
French writers who were unfriendly towards Russia, concerning her
intrigues and encroachments in the Principalities, but it is only fair
to admit that her interference invariably resulted in the ameliorating
of their condition. This the French writers sometimes grudgingly admit,
and the facts of history clearly prove. In nearly every instance Russian
interference meant relief to the peasantry and enforced moderation in
the rulers. In 1710, when Cantemir III. of Moldavia sought the aid of
Peter the Great, it was 'to put an end to the spoliations of the Porte.'
In 1769 Constantine Mavrocordato entered into secret relations with
Catherine II., and after the Russian invasion the Porte was compelled by
the Treaty of Kainardji to grant autonomy to the Principalities, and to
diminish its exactions; in 1802, through Russian remonstrances, abuses
were suppressed and the evil-doers punished. In 1812 the chicanery of
the rulers and the exactions of the Porte had brought the people to the
brink of starvation; the Russians interfered, and put a limit to the
demands of the Porte; but after their departure, we are told, the
current value of agricultural produce again fell so low that it was
impossible for the cultivator to live, and this circumstance, along with
the renewed exactions of the rulers and officials, once more brought
ruin upon the peasantry. In 1820 Wilkinson, who, it must be remembered,
was Consul at Bucarest, and who was far from being enamoured of Russia,
says: 'During my residence in the Principalities several instances have
occurred within my observation of very active exertion on the part of
Russia to keep the accustomed system of extortion in restraint, and to
relieve the inhabitants from oppression, and such exertion has certainly
on many occasions prevented the condition of the inhabitants from
becoming worse.'[168]

But that the ultimate design of Russia was to secure and incorporate the
Principalities as part of her general scheme of aggression, there can be
no doubt in the mind of anyone who has followed her operations previous
to the Crimean campaign. That and subsequent events may be said to
belong to contemporary history; but we must briefly refer to such
incidents of the war as affected the Danubian Principalities and laid
the foundation of Roumanian freedom. The Emperor Nicholas had picked a
wolf-and-lamb quarrel with the Porte, of which the ostensible ground was
the protection of subjects professing the Greek Catholic faith in the
'holy places;' and little expecting, perhaps little caring, that he
would arouse the jealousy of France and England, he had sent an
ultimatum to the Porte, demanding the right of intervention in
conformity with the Treaty of Kainardji, threatening the invasion and
occupation of the Danubian Principalities in default of immediate
acquiescence. Not having received the satisfaction he required, he
ordered General Gortschakoff to cross the Pruth and to take possession
of and hold the Principalities. This was done in the month of July 1853.
In September the Turkish Commander-in-Chief on the Danube demanded an
immediate evacuation of those territories, and, failing compliance, war
was declared. For some time the Russians, fearing the enmity of Austria,
which had massed troops on the Wallachian frontier, remained on the
defensive, but in October Omar Pasha assumed the aggressive, sending a
small force across the Danube at Vidin, and it was thought that the
straggle between the contending forces would take place in 'Lesser
Wallachia.' Omar Pasha, however, either intended this as a feint, or
changed his plan, for he soon afterwards occupied strong positions on
the Danube at Turtukai and Oltenitza, between Silistria and Rustchuk,
and was there attacked by a Russian force, which he succeeded in
repulsing. No results followed this encounter; the Russians retreated
towards Bucarest, and the Turks fell back across the Danube into

In February 1854 the French and English Governments sent an ultimatum to
Russia, requiring her to evacuate the Principalities, and in March they
declared war against her. In June Austria followed suit, so far as
demanding the evacuation of Moldo-Wallachia, and received permission
from the Porte to drive the Russians out of the Principalities, and
occupy them with her troops. She, however, contented herself during the
continuance of the war with accumulating forces on her frontiers, and no
doubt it was this threatening attitude which at length compelled Russia
to evacuate them. Meanwhile active hostilities were proceeding between
Omar Pasha and Gortschakoff. In the early part of 1854, the Russians
having met with a reverse at Cetate, near Calafat, the Russian army was
ordered to invade Turkey, and, having succeeded in crossing into the
Dobrudscha at Galatz, Braila, and Ismail, it was deemed necessary to
capture Silistria as a strategic post, in order to ensure the safety of
the advancing army. In May 1854 the Russians attacked that fortress
unsuccessfully, and after they had attempted to storm it four times, the
Turks (in June) assumed the offensive, and made a sally, during which
one of the Russian generals was slain. In the same month Nicholas,
finding himself threatened by the Western allies in the Black Sea, and
fearing to make an open enemy of Austria, whose forces were constantly
increasing on her frontier, gave orders for raising the siege of
Silistria, and subsequently for the entire withdrawal of his troops from
the Principalities. This was not, however, effected until July, nor
before the Russians had sustained another defeat from the Turks at

Then it was that the army was completely withdrawn, the Turkish vanguard
entered Bucarest, and, says one of the historians of the war, 'the
Wallachian nobles celebrated a Te Deum in the metropolitan church to
commemorate the restoration of Turkish supremacy--the same boyards who,
in 1829, kissed the hands of the Russians who had freed them from the
Turkish yoke.'

As for the hospodars. Stirbei of Wallachia, and Alexander Ghika of
Moldavia, they had retired for safety to Vienna shortly after the
outbreak of hostilities, and remained there until September, when the
Austrians occupied the country with the approval of the Porte. They then
returned for a short period, but Stirbei again abdicated permanently a
month afterwards. The Roumanians wore compelled by the Russians to serve
in their armies as long as they occupied the country, but a Turkish
amnesty relieved them from the consequences of this procedure.

The military operations of the contending Powers external to the
Principalities have an interest for us only in their results. After the
termination of the Crimean campaign, when Russia was compelled to sue
for peace, the Treaty of Paris was concluded, and it contained
stipulations of vital consequence to Moldo-Wallachia.

These stipulations may be summarised as follows:--The neutralisation of
the navigation of the Danube, which was placed under the control of a
European Commission; the cession by Russia to Turkey (and thus to
Moldavia) of a portion of Bessarabia at the embouchure of the Danube;
and the re-organisation, on an entirely autonomic basis, but still under
the suzerainty of the Porte, of the Danubian Principalities. In the year
1857, before the deliberations of the European Powers had given
permanent effect to the stipulations of the Treaty of Paris, a movement
was actively proceeding in both Principalities, the object of which was
to effect their union under one governing head.

The exiles of 1848, who had fled to Paris, and there endeavoured by
their published works to keep alive the spirit of independence in
Roumania, now returned to their native country and renewed an active
agitation at home. Amongst those who then and thereafter strove for the
liberties of their country were John Bratiano, C.A. Rosetti, two members
of the family of Ghika, Demetrius Stourdza, John Cantacuzene, and other
laymen, and Golesco and others of the military profession. These so far
attained their end that, after a great deal of idle intervention on the
part of Turkey and the other European Powers, most of whom were
intriguing for their own hands rather than for the welfare of the
Principalities, they succeeded in obtaining from a conference of the
Powers at Paris, in 1858, a kind of agreement, which, whilst it insisted
upon the retention in each Principality of a separate prince or
hospodar, gave to each an elective parliament, and admitted of a partial
fusion, under a kind of central commission, for the 'united
Principalities.' This was a species of compromise which was no doubt
satisfactory to the guaranteeing Powers, with their conflicting
interests, but was not at all to the taste of the young nation
struggling for union and independence. By a clever and perfectly
justifiable manœuvre the people of Moldavia and Wallachia proceeded to
supplement the deliberations and decisions of the Powers, by each
choosing the same ruler, Captain John Couza, and, in spite of
protestations from the Porte, which refused to recognise this as a
lawful proceeding, Couza, under the title of Alexander John I., mounted
the united throne as _Prince of Roumania_. In 1861, chiefly in
consequence of the recommendation of the guaranteeing Powers, the Porte
assented to the union.

[Footnote 168: P. 183.]


Prince Couza was born at Galatz in 1820. He was of an old boyard family,
and was educated at Jassy, Athens, and Paris. In 1845 he married Helena,
the daughter of another boyard, Rosetti, and subsequently held high
offices in the State. His princess was a patriotic lady who founded and
supported many charitable institutions, amongst others the orphan asylum
known as the Asyle Hélène, of which we have already spoken; and had her
husband recognised her virtues, and remembered his own obligations to
her; he would probably have still sat upon the throne of Roumania. For
there is no doubt that during the earlier part of his reign, which
lasted from 1859 to 1866, he enjoyed the cordial support of all parties
in the State; but he soon endeavoured to render himself absolute, and in
1864 he effected a _coup d'état_, very similar to the one which has
recently been perpetrated by the Prince of Bulgaria, in all probability
under the same tutelage. In his case, however, the nation refused to
submit to such an arbitrary proceeding, and although it succeeded for a
time, that, coupled with his avarice, gross immorality, and general
misgovernment, led to his ultimate downfall. In 1864 the monasteries
were secularised, that is to say, they were claimed as State property, a
proceeding which was sanctioned by the guaranteeing Powers against
payment of an indemnity. In 1865 a complete reform took place in the
relations between the landed proprietors and the peasantry, who were
freed from feudal obligations and became part owners of the soil. Of
this reform we have already spoken at length. As we have said, however,
the personal actions of the Prince, who enriched himself at the expense
of a still suffering country, sought by every means in his power to
obtain absolute rule, and led an openly immoral life, against which his
advisers protested and warned him in vain, led to what some have called
a conspiracy, but which was an uprising of all the leading
representatives of the people, lay and military, who united to drive him
from the throne.

The so-called abdication, but really the deposition, of Prince Couza, as
it was narrated at the time, was effected as follows. The conspiracy
being ripe, on February 11 [23], 1866, a sufficiently strong body of
military, acting under the orders of General Golesco and others,
surrounded the palace in which the Prince was lodged, and a number of
officers then forced their way inside. On entering the palace they
proceeded to the room of the Prince, arresting on their way thither M.
L----[169] and two officers of the body-guard. Before they forced the
door the Prince, it seems, had a presentiment of some danger, and cried
from within, 'Don't enter, for I shall fire.' Before the sentence was
finished, however, the door was burst open, and he saw before him the
conspirators with revolvers in their hands. He was cowardly enough (says
the narrative) not to fire once. It is possible that if he had known
that they had an order not to fire, whatever might happen, he would have
killed one or other of them.[170] Or, perhaps, the presence of Madame
----[171] prevented him from offering resistance, for she was there

'What do you want?' he asked, trembling.

'We have brought your Highness's abdication,' said Captain C----. 'Will
you sign it?'

'I have neither pen nor ink,' he answered.

'We thought of that,' said one of the conspirators.

'I have no table.'

'For this once, I offer myself as such,' said Captain P----.

Having no alternative, the Prince then signed the following act of
abdication, as it lay on the shoulders of the stooping officer who had
condescended to serve as a desk for the occasion.

'We, Alexander, according to the will of the whole nation, and the oath
we took on ascending the throne, this day, February 11 [23], 1866, lay
down the reins of government and relegate the same to a princely
_locum-tenens_ and to the ministry chosen by the people.


'This has been my wish for a long time,' said the Prince after having
signed; 'but circumstances not dependent upon myself have caused me to
postpone. Spite of all this, I was willing to do it in May.'

       *       *       *       *       *

After he had signed the act of abdication the conspirators made him
dress, and led him to a carriage where Ch----, in the dress of a
coachman, received him and drove him to the house of M. Ciocarlanu.
Madame ----, on the other hand, was taken home to her own house after
she had habited herself. Immediately after Couza's arrest the bells rang
out a merry peal, a band of music struck up before the theatre, and
masses of people collected before the palace where the Provisional
Government had installed itself, and shortly afterwards issued the
following proclamation:--


     During seven years you have shown Europe what can be effected by
     patriotism and civic virtue. Unhappily you were mistaken in your
     selection of the prince whom you called to lead the nation. Anarchy
     and corruption, violation of the laws, squandering of the national
     finances, degradation of the country at home and abroad, these have
     characterised the conduct of this culpable Government. Roumanians,
     the princely _locum-tenens_ will maintain the constitutional
     government in its integrity. It will uphold public order, and
     remove personal ambition from the altar of the Fatherland.

     'Roumanians, by the election of a foreigner as Prince of Roumania,
     the votes of the Divan will become an accomplished fact.'

Let us add a few words concerning this proceeding. We have heard blame
attributed to the revolutionists, who, as already stated, comprised the
leading statesmen of the country, for using force in order to ensure
Couza's abdication, and so far as the mere legality of the document is
concerned, his signature, thus obtained, was of course valueless. But in
order to be able to form a correct opinion on the crisis and the acts of
the revolutionists, it would be necessary to understand not only the
character of the prince (which would alone have justified extreme
measures, if one half be true that has been written concerning him), but
also to estimate the effect of any delay that might have arisen from a
more pacific and deliberate course of action. The popular leaders had
not forgotten the lessons of 1848, and it was not likely they would be
so insensate as to give time for Russian or Turkish intrigues once more
to break down the barriers of their hardly-won liberties. That the
nation was satisfied is proved by the sequel. No one troubled himself
about Couza, who was allowed to withdraw from Roumania laden with the
spoils of his reign; and when afterwards the name of the present ruler
was placed before the people it was accepted with joy and acclamation.

But we have had another reason for dwelling at greater length than has
been customary with historians upon this incident in Roumanian annals.
It was to show the kind of example in morality, or rather immorality and
faithlessness, which was set by one of the princes of the country so
recently as fifteen or sixteen years since. Such conduct may be treated
with contempt in countries having a well-established and settled
constitution, but in a new-born nationality it could not fail to work
great mischief, which has not yet been fully remedied despite the
example of an unblemished Court.

[Footnote 169: As the event is comparatively recent, we have considered
it desirable to suppress two or three names of persons who may be still
living, and whose connection with the revolution is of no moment.]

[Footnote 170: That _would_ have been cowardly.--AUTHOR.]

[Footnote 171: One of his mistresses, who was with him.]


CHARLES (1881).

     Accession of Prince Charles of Hohenzollern--Signs the
     Constitution--Former differences between the Prince and the
     Parliament--(Note: State of parties with leaders in 1881)--Action
     of Russia prior to the war of 1877--Turkish incapacity and
     obstinacy--Perplexing position of Roumania--Reluctance of the
     nation to interfere--First attitude of neutrality--The Porte
     declares the Prince an enemy--The Prince and army
     organisation--Value of Roumanian co-operation to Russia--The
     Russian army of operations--Crosses the Danube and occupies Sistova
     and the Shipka Pass--Repeated defeats at Plevna and
     elsewhere--Gloomy outlook for the Russians--The Roumanians cross
     the Danube--First estimates of them--Contemptuous criticisms and
     anecdotes--Changing views regarding them--Prince Charles appointed
     Commander-in-Chief of the allies before Plevna--Defences of
     Plevna--The Grivitza redoubt--Strength and composition of the
     armies--Commencement of the attack (August 31, 1877)--Capture of
     Loftcha by Skobeleff--Russian operations against Plevna--Great
     assault of September 11--Defeat of the Russians--Ineffectual
     bravery of Skobeleff--His appearance after the repulse--The
     Roumanians--The 'indomitable' Grivitza redoubt--Roumanian
     approaches (September 7 to 10)--Assaults and final capture and
     retention of the redoubt by the Roumanians (11th)--Carnage in the
     redoubt--Unsuccessful attempt to capture a second
     redoubt--Flattering criticisms upon their bravery--Further
     Roumanian victories and services in the war--Failure of Osman Pasha
     to break the lines of the allies--His submission--Interview between
     Osman, the Grand Duke, and Prince Charles--Russian ingratitude to
     Roumania--'Exchange' of Bessarabia for the Dobrudscha--Treaty of
     San Stephano and Berlin Conference--Roumania
     independent--Coronation of the King and Queen--Conclusion of
     historical review.


After the fall of Couza the two Chambers elected the Count of Flanders,
a younger brother of the King of Belgium, as his successor, but, owing
probably to the threatening attitude of the Porte, that Prince declined
the honour. Their choice then fell upon the reigning sovereign, Prince
Charles of Hohenzollern (son of Prince Charles Anton, of
Hohenzollern-Siegmaringen), who accepted the nomination, and was
proclaimed Prince of Roumania on the anniversary of his birthday, April
20, 1866, and was received with great joy on his arrival at the capital.
The Sublime Porte protested as usual, but this time the Roumanians
threatened--at least, they determined to uphold their choice, and
collected a strong force with that object. After vainly endeavouring to
enlist the Powers on his side, the Sultan gave his assent to the
nomination, and the Prince was invested with the sovereignty for himself
and his heirs.

Meanwhile the national leaders had prepared the draft of the
constitution under which Roumania is now governed, of which the leading
stipulations, along with the names of its framers, will be found in the
Appendix (III.), and on June 30 [July 12] it was approved and signed by
the Prince, who at the same time took the qualifying oath, first at
Bucarest, and shortly afterwards at Jassy, where he was received with
equal enthusiasm by the Moldavians.

Few rulers have had the obstacles to contend with that greeted Prince
Charles on his accession to the throne of Roumania, and few indeed have
managed so completely to overcome their difficulties and to win the
affections of their subjects--a task which has, however, been materially
lightened in his case by the co-operation of his talented consort, whom,
as Princess Elizabeth of Wied, he espoused in November 1869. The
liberties of Roumania had not been of slow growth, and the people who
for sixteen centuries had been the downtrodden vassals, first of this
and then of that dominant race of barbarians, were naturally, a little
awkward when they were called upon to assume the responsibilities, as
well as to enjoy the privileges, of emancipation. We will not dwell upon
the party dissensions which for a series of years militated against the
smooth working of the new Constitution, nor upon the known fact that the
Prince well-nigh relinquished the reins of power in consequence of the
repeated changes of ministry and the unworthy jealousies of those who,
having first selected him as a foreigner, subsequently charged this
against him as a disqualification. Nor must we examine too narrowly all
the causes of this restlessness in the people. They had been so often
betrayed by their rulers, and were so jealous of their newly-won
liberties, that, it may be, the acts of a prince of the house of
Hohenzollern were not always in accord with the tastes of a
semi-republican legislature. This friction, through the devotion of the
ruler and the good sense and patriotism of his advisers, has ceased to
exist; and, far from there being now a bitter strife of parties, one of
the Roumanian leaders deplores that there is not a more active and
powerful opposition to the ministry, which was last elected in 1875, and
has for more than six years guided the destinies of the nation.[172]

[Footnote 172: The Conservatives were overthrown in 1875, and although
there are at present nominally three parties in the State there can
hardly be said to be an opposition. When the author was in Roumania, in
the autumn of 1881, the two Liberal chiefs were John Bratiano, President
of the Council, and C.A. Rosetti, who has held more than one portfolio.
We shall speak of these statesmen in the sequel. The Liberal party in
the Chamber of Deputies numbers about one hundred and twenty; whilst the
Conservatives, led by MM. Catargi, Labovari, and Maiorescu, and the
Radicals, with MM. Vernesco and Nicolas Jonesco, number together only
about thirty-five members. In the Senate, out of seventy-six members
only about sixteen or eighteen are in opposition. This is not altogether
to be regretted; such disparities do not last long, and whilst on the
one hand criticism of the mistakes or misconduct of Government officials
(and more particularly against sub-officials, who are often charged with
grave offences) is now confined chiefly to the press, on the other hand
a little constitutional despotism is very much needed, not only to
correct such abuses promptly, but also to hasten the necessary reforms
and to ameliorate the condition of the country. This is the result of
personal observation and contact with official life, and not a mere
speculative opinion.]


Let us now consider the circumstances which lately enabled Roumania to
throw off the last traces of her vassalage, and to take her place in the
comity of European nations; and with a brief narrative of those events
we must bring this imperfect outline of her past history to a close. The
story of the last Russo-Turkish war must be within the memory of all our
readers who take the slightest interest in Oriental politics. How
Russia, chafing under the restrictions which had been put upon her by
the Treaty of Paris, had succeeded in obtaining a modification of that
treaty, which gave her once more the right of entrance into the Black
Sea; how, resuming her favourite _rôle_ of protectress of the Christian
inhabitants of Turkey, she intervened in the affairs of those nations
who stood between her and Constantinople; how the Servians and
Montenegrins, incited by her, rose in revolt, and the Bulgarians
followed suit; how the European Powers, sympathising with Turkey on the
one hand, in consequence of the renewed machinations and transparent
designs of her powerful northern enemy, and on the other despairing of
her on account of the barbarities with which she endeavoured to quell
the rising in her vassal provinces, the inherent weakness of her rule,
and the bankrupt condition of her finances, they were compelled at
length to leave her at the mercy of her foe. To repeat the narrative of
these would be telling an oft-told tale. But when, after the final
break-up of the Conference of Constantinople in January 1877, the Cross
and the Crescent were once more opposed to each other, and when the
Russian forces were massed on the eastern bank of the Pruth, then came
the moment at which it behoved the newly-liberated nation, which had so
often been the victim of the 'holy' strife, to decide on which side it
would array itself. Indeed, Roumania had little choice in the matter;
the critics who have censured her policy, and have charged her with
breach of faith towards her suzerain the Porte (and we know there are
many such in this country), cannot have carefully considered her past
history; nor have reflected upon the position in which she was
placed.[173] As a matter of preference, the young nation which was about
being dragged into this ruthless strife could have none, and might with
justice have exclaimed, 'A plague on both your houses!' What cared they,
on the one hand (and this was the popular sentiment), for the
hypocritical crusade undertaken for purposes of aggrandisement; or, on
the other, what sympathy could they have with the moribund State which
had ever been to them as the daughters of the horseleech, and whose
atrocities were identical with those that were perpetrated in the days
when Huns and Vandals devastated their own fair plains? If Roumania in
her then condition (now it would be different) had opposed the passage
of the Russian forces, they would have entered her territory as enemies,
the war would have been carried on once more within her borders, and,
beggared and prostrate, she might at best have reckoned upon retaining
her political independence through the intervention of the European
Powers; though, looking at the fact that these had recognised Russia as
their executioner in Turkey, it is very questionable whether they would
have interfered for the protection of Roumania, and whether she would
not have fallen to Russia along with Bessarabia. On the other hand, if
she had actively sided with either Power, her national independence and
the happiness of her people would have been staked upon the result. She
chose the wise, and indeed the only course, namely, that of allowing her
powerful neighbour to pass through her dominions, stipulating that, so
far as Russia could help it, she should be spared the desolation and
horrors of war within her frontiers. But what course did the Porte
adopt? Not recognising the _force majeure_ which had driven Roumania to
this decision, she was suicidal enough to declare her an enemy, and to
threaten to depose the Prince, thus giving to her bitterest foe an ally
who, at a critical period, in self-defence, turned the scale against
her, and caused her to lose some of her fairest provinces. For the
Roumanians well knew, after the declared enmity of the Porte, that the
defeat of the Russians and their withdrawal into their own territories
would at once have been followed by all the incidents of Turkish rule,
of which for centuries they had had such a bitter experience.

Amongst the valuable services which Prince Charles had rendered to his
adopted country before the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish war was the
organisation of a national army on the German model. Under Prince Couza
the whole standing army of the two Principalities was at first 8,400
men, but he raised it to 25,000 strong, and officered it on the French
system. When Prince Charles received the investiture at the hands of
the Sultan in 1867, the army was limited to 30,000 men of all ranks; but
he substituted German for French officers, and sent young Roumanians to
Germany to study military tactics. In 1874 the standing army numbered
18,542 men of all arms, and the territorial forces 43,744, making a
total of 62,286 men and 14,353 horses; these were armed with 52 steel
Krupp guns, besides about 200 of an inferior description; 25,000 Peabody
rifles, and 20,000 Prussian needle-guns, raised in 1875 to 100,000
rifles of the best description.[174] The sanitary services and the
military hospitals had been organised by General Dr. Davila, a French
physician, of whom we have frequently spoken elsewhere, and who still
occupies the post of Director of Hospitals, &c., and of the Medical
School at Bucarest.[175]

[Footnote 173: The critics of her conduct during and immediately after
the close of the war were more bitter than at the present day, charging
her with perfidy of the worst kind, and predicting that she would become
a vassal state of Russia. See, amongst others, Ollier, _History of
Russo-Turkish War_, vol. i. p. 537.]

[Footnote 174: These details are from Von Wittinghausen's work on
Roumania, from a military point of view (Vienna: Carl Gerold's Sohn).]

[Footnote 175: The army organization has progressed rapidly since the
war of complete liberation, and it is estimated that in 1884 the total
forces of Roumania, regular militia, and Landsturm, will exceed 215,000
men. Full information will be found in Von Wittinghausen, Obedenare and
in the _Gotha Almanack_, 1881, p. 903, where the present state of the
forces is given in detail.]


With an army thus constituted and disciplined, Prince Charles went into
the Russo-Turkish war as an ally of the Russians, although, at first,
not as an active one; and as the success of that terrible war relieved
Roumania from the last vestiges of her dependence upon Turkey, we will
endeavour to collect within as narrow limits as possible a few of the
leading events wherein she participated, and which affected her claim to
European attention.

That the Roumanians rendered valuable services to the Russians before
they co-operated actively in arms is well known, and also that the
latter had pressing need for such assistance. In May 1877 every facility
was given for the passage of troops over the Roumanian railways,
hospital equipments taking the precedence, and the Roumanian civil and
military hospitals opened their doors to receive the Russian sick; in
fact, disastrous as were the Russian reverses throughout the war, they
would have entailed far greater misery upon their wounded soldiers if it
had not been for the systematic aid which they received from the
Roumanians. Then, in preparing for the defence of their own bank of the
Danube, the latter were diverting the attention of the Turks, whose
gunboats amused themselves in making harmless excursions up and down the
river, pretty much as our fleet did between Besika Bay and the
Dardanelles, and they were making a line of defence for the Russians in
case they should have been obliged to recross tho Danube. Here it is
that we first make the acquaintance of Prince Charles, who travelled
from post to post on the river inspecting the defences. 'Born a
Hohenzollern, and reared an officer in the Prussian army,' says a writer
who accompanied him on this tour, 'it is little wonder that Prince
Charles of Roumania is above all things a soldier. Since his election to
the headship of the Principalities he has sedulously devoted a large
share of his energies to the improvement, or rather, in the first
instance, to the creation of a Roumanian army, and that his labour has
not been lost is apparent to any man having any conversance with
military matters, who has spent the last few weeks in the territory over
which Prince Charles holds sway.'[176] The prince had at his disposal
two army corps, each numbering 28,000 men, fully equipped, whilst the
militia, whose strength was about 100,000, was ready for mobilisation at
the shortest notice. As to the fighting qualities of these troops
writers differ, and we shall refer presently to the changes that took
place in the estimation in which they were held as the war progressed;
but even at the commencement there were those who lauded their coolness,
and said that they did not exhibit any of that tremor under fire which
is not wholly unnatural in young soldiers.

Before these men were called into action, however, their powerful allies
had suffered terrible defeats at the hands of the enemy. Dealing only
with that division of the Russian army which was engaged in Bulgaria,
we have to note the following events. On June 27, 1877, the main body of
Russians, or the 'army of operations,' as it was called, which was under
the command of the Grand Duke Nicholas, crossed the Danube in floating
ferries from Simnitza to Sistova, feints having been made to concentrate
and pass over in other places at the same time, so as to mislead the
Turks as to the intended point of crossing. Although some efforts were
made by the latter to prevent the landing on the Bulgarian shore, which
resulted in many being killed and wounded on either side, the Russians
effected the passage in safety and occupied Sistova, where they found
all the houses of the inhabitants sacked and plundered by the Turks, who
had beaten a retreat. The Emperor and the Grand Duke Nicholas were
either on the spot or in the immediate vicinity at the time of the
crossing, the headquarters being then at Ploiesti, on the Bucarest and
Orsova, railway, and from that time forward they sustained a series of
terrible reverses.[177]

As soon as a sufficient force was landed, they divided the army into
three sections, one of which, under General Ghourko, pressed on to the
famous Shipka Pass in the Balkans, where he encountered the brave enemy;
he occupied the pass on July 19. Another section under the Grand Duke
himself--part of the 9th Army Corps--marched onwards to the equally
well-known position of Plevna, where Osman Pasha was in command of the
Turkish forces, and where the Russians met with their first check.
General Krüdener, who commanded the attacking force, was not only
repulsed, but, being assailed in his turn by the Turks, he was badly
beaten. Two days afterwards, having been reinforced, he, in conjunction
with General Schahofskoy, commanding a force of 32,000 men, made a
second assault on Plevna, but they were again defeated with terrible
loss. On July 31 Ghourko met with a still more serious defeat. He had
penetrated with a Russo-Bulgarian force as far as Eski-Zagra (or Zara),
where he met the Turks under Suleiman Pasha, and, after a sanguinary
encounter, he was not only repulsed, but compelled to withdraw to the
Shipka Pass. Suleiman Pasha followed him and succeeded in occupying the
village of Shipka, but his attempts to drive the Russians from the pass
were unsuccessful, and on August 27 he discontinued his operations and
telegraphed for reinforcements, the Russians having in the meantime also
received theirs. Suleiman Pasha did not renew the attempt until
September 17; and, although at one time he had so far discounted his
success as to telegraph a victory to Constantinople, he was finally

Added to these and other reverses in Europe, there came tale after tale
of disaster in Asia. Kars, which had been besieged by the Russians, was
successfully relieved by the Turks under Muktar Pasha, just as, a few
months later, Erzeroum was twice attacked by the Russians, who were as
many times repulsed. Then it was, when the skies were lowering on all
sides, that the Russian emperor and his princes and generals began to
look eagerly for aid from their ally north of the Danube; and then, for
the safety of his own country, Prince Charles entered the field with his
brave little army of Roumanians, and, recalling the days of Stephen and
of Michael, and emulating the prowess of the field of Kalugereni, he
succeeded in turning the tide of victory, and in saving the honour of
that ally, from whom lie subsequently received such poor acknowledgment.

[Footnote 176: _Daily News War Correspondence_, vol. i. p. 73.]

[Footnote 177: There are two monuments, one at Simnitza and the other at
Sistova, which are visible to the traveller as he passes up or down the
river. The first indicates the spot where the Russians embarked, whilst
the last is a handsome memorial to the slain.]

[Footnote 178: These operations are graphically described in the
interesting work of Col. Fife Cookson, _With the Armies of the Balkans_,
Cassell, 1880; in the _Daily News War Correspondence, Macmillan_, 1878;
and in Ollier's _History of the Russo-Turkish War_, Cassell.]


Up to August 25 we hear little or nothing of the movements of the
Roumanians, and in every case the fighting was done by the Russians,
either alone or in conjunction with their ruthless allies the
Bulgarians,[179] the operations being then spoken of as those of the
'Russo-Bulgarian' forces; but on the date named, or thereabouts, the
main portion of the Roumanian army crossed the Danube, and thenceforward
the Bulgarians are seldom mentioned, and the contest is prosecuted by
the 'allies,' or the 'Russo-Roumanian' army. At first the Roumanian
soldiers receive scant regard at the hands of the chroniclers: indeed,
on one or two occasions they are referred to with marked contempt.
Writing from Giurgevo on June 5 (that was before the Russians had
crossed the Danube at Simnitza), one of the correspondents
says:--'Whilst eating and talking, I heard one or two curious incidents
that occurred here when the Cossacks first came. In the course of
reconnoitring the country, five Cossacks, with an under-officer, came
upon a post of twenty Roumanian soldiers, likewise under the command of
an under-officer. The five Cossacks immediately arrested the twenty
Roumanians, brought them in to headquarters, and reported them to
General Skobeleff as prisoners of some unknown army. The Cossacks were
not quite sure, apparently, whether they were Turks or not, so they
thought that they had better bring them in, an operation to which the
Roumanians, although vastly superior in numbers, consented with not a
little murmuring.'[180]

This anecdote, it must be understood, was told by a party of Russian
officers, and is unworthy of critical examination, but it shows in what
estimation they held the men who were afterwards to be their
indispensable helpmates, and in a sense their leaders and preservers.
Other writers represented the Roumanian soldiers in a more favourable
light from the beginning of the war. Their coolness under fire has
already been mentioned, and the same correspondent, in describing the
defensive operations at Kalafat, says: 'I was struck with the admirable
conduct at this time of the Roumanian gunners, who never flinched in the
slightest degree under the trying ordeal.'[181] After their defeats
before Plevna and elsewhere, the Russians, too, began to estimate their
allies at something nearer their real value.

'The Russian authorities,' writes the same correspondent in the month of
August, 'are greatly pleased with the appearance and apparent efficiency
of the Roumanian artillery. Indeed, the Roumanian troops are everywhere
now spoken of with a consideration not previously evinced.'[182]

No more talk now of five Russians running in twenty Roumanians; and we
shall hear quite a different story presently. And not alone had the
soldiers risen in Muscovite esteem, but the Russians were beginning to
understand that there might be some virtue in the commanders also; for
about September 1, or a day or two previously, they so far admitted
their superiority as to invite Prince Charles to take the
command-in-chief of the whole Russo-Roumanian army before Plevna, which
he did, with the Russian general Zotoff as chief of his staff and second
in command.

On this occasion he issued an address to the Roumanian soldiers,
reminding them that success for the Turks would mean pillage and
desolation in their fatherland, assuring them that, although their
numbers were few, he had confidence in their courage, and in their
ability to retain for Roumania the good opinion which she deserved and
enjoyed amongst the nations of Europe. He concluded by announcing, in
modest terms, his own appointment as Commander-in-chief of the allied

[Footnote 179: According to Col. Fife Cookson the Bulgarians, during
this war, were guilty of atrocities as deep-dyed as any that had
previously caused such indignation in Europe; but he also says (p. 23),
'In this war armed Bulgarians resisting the Turks were looked upon as
rebels, and received no quarter.']

[Footnote 180: _War Correspondence_, vol. i. pp. 131-132.]

[Footnote 181: _War Correspondence_, p. 82.]

[Footnote 182: _Ibid._ p. 390.]


On August 31, Osman Pasha had made a sortie against the besiegers, in
which he was eventually repulsed with heavy loss, and then it was that
under the new command a fresh attack on Plevna was decided upon. In
order, however, to understand the events which followed, and the part
taken therein by the Roumanians, it is necessary that we should briefly
describe the position and constitution of the forces engaged, and refer
to the operations which preceded the assault.

[Illustration: DEFENCES OF PLEVNA.]

The scene of the long-continued struggle is an undulating country, and
Plevna, the centre of attack and defence, is in the hollow of a valley
running in a northerly and southerly direction. The ground adjacent to
this valley was described by one of the war correspondents as consisting
of great solid waves with their faces set edgeways to the valley of
Plevna. To describe it in detail here would be impossible, but the
positions of the attacking and defending armies were very simple. The
Turkish positions were, roughly speaking, 'a horseshoe, with its
convexity pointing east, and the town of Plevna standing about the
centre of the base.' Another writer compares it to 'a reaping-hook, with
the point opposite Bukova, the middle of the curve opposite Grivica,
the junction of the handle close on to Plevna, and the end of the
handle at Krishine.'

The Russians had been surrounding this horseshoe, leaving the base open,
and the form of their attack on this occasion was in the line of their
environment straight to their front. The main point of interest in the
struggle, so far as we are concerned, is the Turkish redoubt of
_Grivica_ or _Grivitza_, the strongest of all the positions of defence:
this was situated on the toe, if we may so call it, of the horseshoe,
and directly opposite was the Russo-Roumanian centre.

The Russo-Roumanian army numbered about 80,000 infantry, of whom 28,000
were Roumanians, in two corps, under Colonels George and Alexander
Angelescu, and 10,000 cavalry, whereof 4,000 were Roumanians. The whole
Roumanian division was commanded by General Cernat; the Russians by
Baron Krüdener, General Kriloff, Prince Meretinsky, and the brave but
erratic General Skobeleff; and this army of 90,000 men was provided with
250 field and 20 siege guns. The number of the defenders under Osman
Pasha is estimated at about 70,000 men.

Here is a concise account of the attack. After the unsuccessful sortie
of Osman Pasha on August 31, in which the Russians recovered all the
positions temporarily occupied by the enemy, there was a partial
cessation of hostilities before Plevna until September 6. Meanwhile, on
the 3rd, a force of 22,000 Russians under Meretinsky, including a
brigade of Cossacks commanded by Skobeleff, succeeded, after a
sanguinary conflict, in driving 7,000 Turks from the village of Loftcha
and a defensive position west of it, which they permanently
occupied.[183] This operation had the effect of cutting off the supplies
of Osman Pasha from the south. An artillery duel then followed between
the whole of the attacking and defending armies, which lasted until the
11th, and, judging from the long and careful accounts of the
correspondents, the firing seems to have had little effect on either
side. In the interim the Roumanians were posted opposite the Grivitza
Redoubt, which, as we have already said, was the most formidable of all
the Turkish defences. Meretinsky and Skobeleff were in the vicinity of
the Loftcha road; and Kriloff and Krüdener were moving about in
co-operation, the former having posted himself on the Radisovo height
with the forces under his command.[184] Of the Grivitza and the
Roumanian operations we shall speak more fully hereafter. At the other
points of attack nothing serious happened until the 11th, when, a
general assault being ordered, the attack of Kriloff and Krüdener was
directed against a position known as the 'Mamelon,' south of Plevna,
whilst Skobeleff made a vigorous assault upon a double redoubt on the
south-east, the object being to carry these positions which were
believed to be the most vulnerable, whilst the Roumanians were 'holding'
the Turks at their strongest redoubt--the Grivitza. Supported by
Roumanian artillery, Kriloff attacked the 'Mamelon' three times during
the day, each time with fresh forces; but he was as often repulsed with
terrible loss, the third attack and defeat lasting only twenty minutes.
In fact, Kriloff and Krüdener were repulsed all along the line.
Skobeleff was somewhat more fortunate, having begun his attack after
Kriloff's second reverse. With a loss of 2,000 men he succeeded in
carrying the Turkish position; and at a further sacrifice of 3,000 he
held it for a time only, for it was commanded by the Krishine redoubt
(which was the ultimate object of his operations) on his left, and by
Plevna on the north. The Turks attempted in vain five times to dislodge
him. Skobeleff supplicated time after time for support, but it only
arrived when, after the sixth Turkish attack--this time successful--he
had been forced to withdraw, and was retreating to his old ground. The
closing scene of his day's operations has been frequently described, but
as his recent escapade gives fresh interest to anything concerning him,
it will lose nothing by repetition: 'It was just after this that I met
General Skobeleff the first time that day. He was in a fearful state of
excitement and fury. His uniform was covered with mud and filth, his
sword broken, his cross of St. George twisted round on his shoulder, his
face black with powder and smoke, his eyes haggard and bloodshot, and
his voice quite gone. He spoke in a, hoarse whisper. I never before saw
such a picture of battle as he presented. I saw him again in his tent at
night. He was quite calm and collected. He said, "I have done my best. I
could do no more. My detachment is half destroyed; my regiments do not
exist. I have no officers left. They sent me no reinforcements, and I
have lost three guns." They were three of the four guns which he placed
in the redoubt upon taking it, only one of which his retreating troops
had been able to carry off. "Why did they refuse you reinforcements?" I
asked. "Who was to blame?" "I blame nobody," he replied; "it is the will
of God!"'[185]

[Footnote 183: _War Correspondence_, vol. i. pp. 441-442. Cassell
(Ollier), pp. 404-405, where a plan of the Loftcha struggle is given.]

[Footnote 184: It is not clear what these were; probably the tenth and
thirtieth divisions, composing the fourth corps. Compare _Daily News War
Correspondence_, vol. i. pp. 443 and 444.]

[Footnote 185: _War Correspondence_, vol. i. pp. 482-483.]


We have thus loosely described how the Turks had effectually disposed of
the whole Russian attack excepting that of the Roumanians, and now we
must turn for a moment to enquire what was occurring at Grivitza. This
redoubt is constantly referred to by the correspondents as the most
formidable of all the Turkish positions. It is called 'the indomitable
Grivica redoubt;' 'the dreaded redoubt;' 'they' (the Russians) 'may
bombard it for a week, sacrifice a brigade of infantry, and not succeed
in taking it.' 'The Turkish positions,' says one writer, 'opposite to
the Roumanian section, are the stronger both by nature and art. But
there are but 28,000 Roumanians to 50,000 Russians. It seems logically
to follow that the function of the Roumanians is intended to be chiefly
of a demonstrative character.'[186] How 'demonstrative' it was we shall
see presently.

Already on the 7th and 8th, the Russian siege guns had been pushed
forward in closer proximity to the Grivitza, and on the 9th the
Roumanians worked their batteries nearer to it; whilst on the 10th their
infantry occupied a natural shelter-trench, from which they were picking
off the Turkish gunners in the redoubt. On the same day a couple of
companies of Russians, thinking the redoubt was evacuated, made an
attempt to take it, but when a small party of advancing skirmishers
arrived within a hundred yards of the foot of the glacis, they were
confronted by a row of rifle muzzles and Turkish heads, and thought it
more prudent to retire.

On the 11th, however, the Roumanians, with whom were three battalions of
Russians, made their 'demonstration' against the Grivitza simultaneously
with the Russian attacks on the other redoubts. Little attention appears
to have been paid to them in the slaughter of that terrible day, but on
the following the correspondents narrated the result of their
operations, and as those not only substantiated the title of the young
army to _élan_ and bravery, but really constituted the turning point in
the war, we will endeavour to follow their brief descriptions of the

     'It appears,' writes one of the chroniclers, 'that at half-past two
     p.m. the redoubt was attacked by two Roumanian brigades each
     consisting of four battalions, and three battalions of Russians.
     The Roumanians attacked from the east and south-east, the Russians
     from the south and south-west. The attack was made in the following
     manner:--First a lino of skirmishers with men carrying scaling
     ladders, gabions, and fascines among them. The latter had their
     rifles slung on their backs, and were ordered in no case to fire
     but merely to run forward, fill up the ditch, and place their
     ladders behind. Then followed the second line in company column
     formation for the attack, followed by the third line to support the
     assault. At half-past two p.m. the attack was made by the
     Roumanians, and it is said that by some mistake the Russians
     arrived half an hour too late. Be that as it may, the assault was
     repulsed, and all retired except two companies of infantry, which
     rallied, and, keeping under cover, maintained a brisk fire against
     the work.

     'At half-past five the attack was renewed by a battalion of the
     Roumanian militia, followed by two Russian battalions of the 17th
     and 18th regiments. The redoubt was then carried, and the Turks
     withdrew to the other redoubt a little to the north of the captured
     work. But it was soon apparent that the redoubt could not be held
     without reinforcements, and three Roumanian battalions with a
     battery of artillery were ordered forward. They lost their way,
     however, in the fog, and were thus precluded from rendering the
     required assistance; consequently, when the Turks returned to the
     attack, the allies were driven out.

     'The third assault soon followed, and the work was finally captured
     at seven p.m. Four guns and a standard were the trophies of the
     feat of arms. More than once during the night did the Turks advance
     with shouts of "Allah," but no serious attack was made. Thus, to my
     surprise, when I reached the Plevna valley this morning, I beheld a
     flagstaff up defiantly exposing the Roumanian flag in that hitherto
     dreaded Grivica Redoubt.'[187]

How sanguinary had been the struggle which is here described in a few
commonplace sentences is manifest from the subsequent appearance of the
captured redoubt.

     'The interior of this large work was piled up not only with dead
     but with wounded, forming one ghastly undistinguishable mass of
     dead and living bodies, the wounded being as little heeded as the
     dead. The fire had hindered the doctors from coming up to attend to
     the wounded, and the same cause had kept back the wounded-bearers.
     There were not even comrades to moisten the lips of their wretched
     fellow-soldiers, or give them a word of consolation. There they
     lie, writhing and groaning. I think some attempt might have been
     made, at whatever risk, to aid these poor fellows, for they were
     gallant men, who, twenty-four hours before, had so valiantly and
     successfully struggled for the conquest of that long-uncaptured
     redoubt; and it was sad now to see them dying without any attempt
     being made to attend to them. I could fill pages with a description
     of this harrowing scene and others near it, which I witnessed, but
     the task would be equally a strain on my own nerves and on those of
     your readers.'[188]

But the Roumanians were not contented with holding their position.
Within 250 yards of the Grivitza was another Turkish redoubt whose fire
commanded the former, and that they attempted in vain to take on the
11th. Nothing daunted, however, they held their ground day after day,
and on the 18th they made another gallant but futile attempt to expel
the enemy from his position. 'It is said they will renew it,' writes one
of the spectators, 'and there is plenty of fight in Prince Charles's
gallant young army, but, in my opinion, there is little chance of
success unless they work up to the hostile redoubt by sap.'[189] On
September 24 they were progressing by trenches, and were only 80 yards
from the second Grivitza redoubt. 'Their fighting spirit and cheerful
endurance of hardships are admirable,' we hear. And again, on the 26th:
'The Roumanians are pushing forward their works against the second
redoubt with a perseverance and pluck worthy all praise, and which is
the more remarkable as the Russians are doing absolutely nothing on
their side.'[190] This contrast comes from the pen of the chronicler who
told the story of the twenty Roumanians being taken prisoners by five
Russians, and whose views of the relative merits of the combatants had
evidently undergone considerable modification; for he now says of the
Russians: 'They are waiting for reinforcements, which are arriving
slowly, and which, when they are here, will hardly more than cover the
losses by battle and by sickness during the last two months. I think
history offers no such example of a splendid army in such an utterly
helpless condition. The Roumanian generals are showing far more pluck
and energy.'[191]


(_From a Photograph taken on the spot by F. Duschek_.)]

The Roumanians were unable to capture the second redoubt, but they
managed not only to hold their advanced position before Plevna, but to
give material assistance elsewhere in turning the siege into an
investment. On November 21 they captured Rahova, on the Danube, which
greatly facilitated operations against the doomed fortress and aided to
make the works of the allies impregnable. In the closing incidents of
the investment of Plevna the Roumanians took little or no part in
consequence of the position which they occupied. On the morning of
December 10, Osman Pasha made his brave but unsuccessful attempt to
break through the Russian lines, a struggle in which both sides
performed prodigies of valour. One whole Russian regiment was
annihilated in the effort to check the enemy, whose general was himself
wounded; and after having kept the Russo-Roumanian army at bay with
an inferior force for more than four months, he was at length obliged to
surrender with his whole army. Here is a glimpse of the final scene, as
the wounded hero met his conquerors:--

     'The Grand Duke rode up to the carriage, and for some seconds the
     two chiefs gazed into each other's faces without the utterance of a
     word. Then the Grand Duke stretched out his hand and shook the hand
     of Osman Pasha heartily and said: "I compliment you on your defence
     of Plevna; it is one of the most splendid military feats in
     history." Osman Pasha smiled sadly, rose painfully to his feet in
     spite of his wound, said something which I could not hear, and then
     reseated himself. The Russian officers all cried "Bravo! bravo!"
     repeatedly, and all saluted respectfully. There was not one among
     them who did not gaze on the hero of Plevna with the greatest
     admiration and sympathy. Prince Charles, who had arrived, rode up,
     and repeated unwittingly almost every word of the Grand Duke, and
     likewise shook hands. Osman Pasha again rose and bowed, this time
     in grim silence.'[192]

[Footnote 186: _Ibid._ p. 444.]

[Footnote 187: _Daily War Correspondence,_ vol. i. p. 485.]

[Footnote 188: _Ibid._ p. 487.]

[Footnote 189: _Daily News War Correspondence_, vol. i. p. 491.]

[Footnote 190: _Ibid._ p. 495.]

[Footnote 191: _Ibid._ p. 496.]

[Footnote 192: _Daily News Correspondence_, vol. ii. p. 153.]


How easy it is to be magnanimous to a fallen foe; how difficult, with
some people, to be honourable in their dealings with an ally, especially
if he has been successful where they failed! The first is a claim of
superiority, and the higher the meed of praise awarded by us to the
vanquished the greater appears our victory; but the less we admit to be
due to our comrade in arms, the greater credit is left for ourselves.
And yet what will be the judgment of posterity upon the conduct of
Russia towards her brave ally who had saved her honour, if not the
integrity of her empire? Whatever she may think, the joy-bells would
have rung throughout a great portion of Europe, and certainly the party
then dominant in England would have rejoiced exceedingly, if she had
been driven back over the Pruth, and had been compelled to busy herself
with much-needed reforms in her own country instead of meddling with the
affairs of her neighbours and seeking to extend her already overgrown

The war was never popular with the masses in Roumania, and although, at
the opening of the Chambers in November 1877, the royal speech predicted
that the fall of Plevna would mean a complete emancipation for
Roumania, much uneasiness prevailed concerning the designs of
Russia--uneasiness which was justified by subsequent events. On December
17, a load having been lifted from the mind of the nation by the
surrender of Osman Pasha, there was great rejoicing at Bucarest on the
occasion of the Czar's visit. He was on his way to St. Petersburg to
receive the congratulations of his subjects, having left Plevna behind
him, 'full of horrors.' He is dead now, but his son and all princes who
live by the sword would do well to peruse and reperuse the accounts of
the tragical scenes that the victors left upon the battle-field when
they departed to receive the ovations of the fickle populace. The
Roumanians fêted their victorious allies, to whom it must be admitted
that we have here done ample justice in all their proceedings. But they
were the same Russians who, under Peter the Great, were reported to have
stolen the boots from the feet of their sleeping hosts; the same whose
hands the Roumanians had kissed when in 1829 they had released them from
the Turkish yoke; who it 1853 overran the Principalities with a view to
their permanent occupation, and who a few months after the events above
recorded betrayed their allies, and, for the risk they had run of once
more sacrificing their national existence, deprived them of Southern
Bessarabia, a province inhabited almost entirely by Roumanians.

Still the war brought its compensating advantages. The Dobrudscha which
the Roumanians received in exchange for Bessarabia, is proving a more
valuable acquisition both for trade and for strategical purposes than
was at first anticipated.

The Treaty of San Stephano, which was executed between Russia and Turkey
on February 19 [March 3], 1878, and was practically confirmed by the
Berlin Conference, contained amongst its other provisions this one (part
of Article V.): 'The Sublime Porte recognises the independence of
Roumania, which will establish its right to an indemnity to be discussed
between the two countries;' and (part of Article XII.): 'All the
Danubian strongholds shall be razed. There shall be no strongholds in
future on the banks of this river, nor any men-of-war in the waters of
the Principalities of Roumania, Servia, and Bulgaria, except the usual
_stationnaires_ and the small vessels intended for river police and
custom-house purposes.' And Article XIX. gave to Russia that part of
Turkey bordering on the Danube, known as the Dobrudscha, which Russia
'reserves the right of exchanging for the part of Bessarabia detached
from her by the treaty of 1856,' and which, to the great indignation of
the Roumanians, she subsequently forced them to relinquish in 'exchange'
for her newly acquired territory.

But _n'importe_. Roumania was free; and this time she had fought for and
won her complete independence.


There is something unsettled in the nature of an independent
principality. The title fails to convey the idea of a free and sovereign
people, and we are always disposed to regard it as the possible province
of some annexing neighbour. So thought a writer on Roumania four years
ago, at the close of the war of liberation. 'Situated as it is, as an
independent State, it must sooner or later fall to Russia or Austria,
more probably to the former.'[193] So, in all probability, thought the
Russian diplomatists when they created a number of weak principalities
south of the Danube to serve them as stepping-stones to Constantinople.
And so, too, thought the Roumanians themselves. They knew that a name is
'neither hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging
to a man,' and so they 'doffed the name,' and on May 23, 1881, with the
concurrence of the great Powers of Europe, they invested their prince
and princess with the royal dignity, placing upon their sovereign's head
a crown made from the very guns which he had captured whilst he was
fighting for their liberties.

The poetic sentiment which attaches to this last act of the people of
Roumania brings vividly before our mind's eye the dramatic character of
her whole national career. Twice have we found the course of her history
lost in darkness--first in the clouds of antiquity by which the early
life of every nation is obscured; then in the still impenetrable gloom
of the so-called dark ages, which continued to hang over the Danubian
plains long after it was lifted from every other part of Europe.
Conquered first, and civilised by one who ranks amongst the greatest
heroes of the Roman Empire, she has inherited a high antiquity of which
she may be justly proud, remembering, however, that honourable ancestry
alone is not the measure of a nation's greatness. But then, for ages we
might almost say, the blast which swept across her plains with all the
fury of a tempest, but, as it travelled westward, broke and moderated
under the influence of the older civilisation, caused a second blank in
her existence; and when she once more rose from her prostration, she
found herself whole centuries behind the western peoples. But hardly had
she time to breathe again, and ere the wounds inflicted on her by the
Goths, and Huns, and Avars were yet fully healed, another ruthless
conqueror had laid hands upon her; and spite of all her efforts to
regain her liberty he held her fast, and sent her taskmasters as cruel
and exacting as the leaders of barbarian hordes had been before. And yet
her spirit was indomitable; bowed but not broken she continued to live
on, and ever strove for freedom. Mircea, Stephen, Michael, those are the
names which vindicate her claim to courage, and which shield her from
the charge of cowardly submission. And next she is the object of
contention between two neighbouring despots, the one endeavouring to
hold, the other to annex her. It is a marvelt hat between them she was
not dismembered limb from limb.

At length for her, as for all suffering peoples, the day of liberation
was at hand; the iron bonds which Oriental despotism had forged were
loosened by the agency of Western progress, and, lightened of her load,
she this time struck a more effectual blow for liberty, and was amongst
the first to unfurl the flag of freedom in the East. But a long
succession of barbarian governors, the license of repeated military
occupations, the proximity of Tartar savagery on the one side and of
Oriental effeminacy on the other, these incidents of her long-continued
vassalage have necessarily, and, it is to be hoped, but for a time, left
their evil influence upon the nation, which it is now the earnest
endeavour of her patriotic leaders to exterminate.

[Footnote 193: Ozanne, p. 226.]



     The King--Customs of the Court--The Queen--Her attainments--Extract
     from her poetry--Madame Rosetti--Her patriotism and adventures--M.
     Constantin A. Rosetti--His career and public services--M.
     Bratiano--Other leaders of public opinion--The party of
     progress--Their past foreign and domestic policy--Geographical
     boundaries--Panslavism and Panroumanism--The future policy of
     Roumania--Growth by pacific means--(Note: Comparative values of
     Russian, Turkish, and Roumanian securities)--Roumania and Great


We have passed in hasty and imperfect review those features in the
national life of Roumania which we believed would be of interest to our
readers, and will now endeavour to present to them sketches of a few of
the persons of distinction who are forming public opinion, and are the
leaders of progress in the country, premising, however, that there are
many omissions, due partly to our own ignorance, and partly to the fact
that the discussion of the merits and demerits of some of the public men
would not have been fitting in this treatise.

By his rank and patriotism, and not least by his extensive knowledge,
his Majesty King Charles is entitled to our first consideration. Of his
political career we have spoken in our historical summary, and little
more need be added. He was born on April 20, 1839, and is therefore
about forty-three years of age. On November 15, 1869, he married Pauline
Elisabeth, Princess of Wied, who was then about twenty-six years old;
but, unfortunately, the sole offspring of their union, a little girl,
lies interred in the grounds of the Asyle Hélène. The King is a handsome
man, rather above the average height, and, so far as his regularly
formed features are concerned, he might belong to any nationality of
Western Europe. He usually wears a somewhat severe expression, but the
moment he begins to converse this at once disappears. His manner is
quiet and earnest, although he often warms into enthusiasm, and he has
the happy faculty of placing all with whom he comes into contact at
perfect ease. He possesses a wide range of information, and speaks with
evident knowledge on all matters of interest to his subjects or to
civilisation. Of course he is well acquainted with his adopted country
and its resources, takes a lively interest in its trade and
capabilities; and so far as the geographical configuration of Roumania
is concerned, he not only knows all about the level country, but has
either ridden or walked through every part of the Carpathians. His
scientific knowledge is such as one might expect in an educated German,
and is chiefly of a practical kind. He is deeply interested in
arboriculture, about which he knows more than many who are entrusted
with the care and fate of the vast woods that clothe the mountain
districts, and he has often pointed out to such persons errors in their
mode of felling timber. In private life the King is hospitable, genial,
and very regular in his habits; he is a devout Catholic, but a constant
attendant upon the services of the Greek Church.

[Illustration: H.M. PAULINE ELIZABETH,




But of course our interest in him is necessarily rather of a public than
of a private character. Is he constitutional? or is Europe likely some
day to be favoured with a Roumanian _coup d'état_? The answer to these
questions is clear and emphatic. Although a Hohenzollern, he is a
Constitutional Liberal, we should say of an advanced type. We spoke
before of his misunderstandings with his ministers; but even those who
were originally opposed to him, and who watched his every act with
suspicion, state that he has managed with great tact to steer clear of
unconstitutional courses; indeed, from their own admissions and the
facts of history, it is clear that he must have served a very trying
apprenticeship in the art of constitutional rule. His demeanour towards
his subjects and that of his queen, of whom we shall speak presently, is
everything that can be desired, and both are winning their affections
more completely year by year.

When the court is at Bucarest a great portion of the king's time is
devoted to giving audiences, not only to officials, but to all who
desire to know their sovereign, and even to seek his counsel or that of
his amiable consort. Two books are kept at the palace, one for callers
only, and the other for persons who desire to see and speak with the
king or queen, for they give audiences apart. Those who enter their
names in the second book must give notice to the 'Hofmarschall,' and
they are then sent for in turn, and punctuality above all things is
insisted upon. The king gives audiences from 1 to 3 or 4 p.m.; the queen
for a longer time, and young as she is, for she has not yet attained her
fortieth year, she is regarded as the mother of her people, and many
there are who come to her for advice or consolation. But we are
digressing. If the king interests himself in the civil affairs of
Roumania, he is a soldier before everything else. The virtual as well as
the nominal head of the army, he always wears uniform, and nothing is
too unimportant for his consideration in the organisation of his army.
Those who have been in the field with him and much about his person
extol his coolness, bravery, and endurance. He has often risked his life
in battle, was always to the fore visiting outposts and bivouacs in the
most inclement weather, and there can be no doubt that it is to his
bravery as a general, and to his tact and patience as a statesman, that
Roumania is largely indebted for her independence and her promise in the


The Queen of Roumania is almost too well known in Europe, through her
literary attainments, to need any description here; still a few
particulars concerning her may be of interest to our readers. She is of
the middle height, has an amiable face and still more affable manner.
She, too, might pass for a lady of any western country, having very
little to indicate her German nationality. Her voice is soft and
melodious, and although she can speak well on literary and scientific
subjects, there is not the slightest pedantry or affectation of learning
in her discourse. She is said to speak six languages, and she certainly
speaks Roumanian, French, German, and English. We do not know what the
other two may be, but if she speaks the four languages here named as
fluently and with as little foreign accent as she does our own, she may
fairly claim to be an accomplished linguist. All educated Roumanians
speak French, and most of them German, besides their own tongue; indeed
French is almost the universal language of the middle classes, whilst
those who have been educated here, especially the younger men, naturally
speak English well, and therefore the Queen is in this respect only
somewhat ahead of her more accomplished subjects. But, as we have
already stated, she is a poetess, and her verses are often marked by
great depth of feeling. She possesses, too, considerable scientific
knowledge and great taste in art, and one of her chief desires is to
promote national industry. She sets the example by wearing the national
costume (in which her portrait is usually taken) whilst in the country,
and requires it to be worn on State occasions, her main object being, we
were told, to encourage the peasant women who make these costumes in
their own homes. But whilst in these matters, as in her devotion to
public duty, the Queen identifies herself with the Roumanian people and
their interests, she would not be a German if she had forgotten the

    'Land of greenwood and of vine,
    Sparkling wavelets of the Rhine,
    Hushed thy song, afar thy gleam.
    All to me, now, but a dream.

    'Oft when I these eyelids close,
    Purling sounds haunt my repose,
    Vessels in the sunlight's ray,
    'Fore the wind, speed on their way.

    'Lovely home on German plain
    Once my own, but ne'er again,
    Thou wilt be to mem'ry dear
    Till they place me on my bier.'[194]

[Footnote 194: The first three verses of the dedication in _Rumänische
Dichtungen_, by Carmen Sylva (the Queen's _nom de plume_), Leipzig, W.
Friedrich, 1881. Lest our halting verse should prejudice the illustrious
authoress, we append the original for those who know German:--

    'Du Rebenland, du grüner Wald,
    Du Rhein mit deinem Schimmer:
    Dein Glanz ist fern, dein Sang verhallt,
    Ich bin entflohn für immer!

    'Oft, oft schliess' ich die Angen zu,
    Dann hör' ich's singen, rauschen,
    Seh' Schiffe zieh'n in sonn'ger Ruh',
    Den Wind die Segel bauschen.

    'Dass ich die schönste Heimath hab'
    In deutschen Gau'n besessen,
    Das macht, dass ich sie bis zum Grab
    Nun nimmer kann vergessen.'


But her Majesty, who is a Protestant, is not the only lady now living
who has made her mark in Roumanian history. There is another of whom we
are sure our readers will be glad to hear something, for she is an
accomplished Englishwoman, and it is very questionable whether, after
all, the Roumanians do not owe their independence as much to her energy
and devotion as to any other cause; we mean Madame Rosetti, the wife of
the Home Secretary.[195] It was mentioned in our historical summary that
the patriots of 1848 made their escape to France in that year, and that
they returned after the Crimean war in 1856. That is a long story told
in a, couple of sentences, and but for Madame Rosetti it is probable
they would never have escaped, but would have languished and died in a
Turkish prison in Bosnia, whilst Roumania might have been at this day a
Turkish pashalik or a Russian province. The fact is that all the leaders
of the revolution, fifteen in number, were arrested and conveyed on
board a Turkish man-of-war lying in the Danube; and Madame Rosetti,
whose heroic adventures have formed the theme of a work by
Michelet,[196] helped them to escape from their captors. As we have
already said, she is an Englishwoman, whose maiden name was Grant, and
she had only been married about a year when the revolution broke out.
Her first child was born a day or two before her husband and his
comrades were arrested, but she at once left her bed, and, taking her
infant in her arms, prepared to follow them. First she managed to obtain
an interview with the patriots on board the Turkish vessel to which they
had been conveyed, and there plans were formed which she skilfully and
courageously executed. Disguising herself as a peasant, and carrying her
child, she followed them up the Danube to Orsova, communicating with her
friends from time to time by signals. At Orsova the prisoners were
landed, and whilst they were on shore she succeeded in making their
guards intoxicated, and, with the connivance of the authorities,
prepared suitable conveyances, in which the patriots made their escape.
First they passed through Servia, and reaching Vienna in safety they
entered that city the day after the bombardment, and subsequently they
made their way through Germany, accompanied by their deliverer, and
found a hospitable asylum in Paris. Since her return Madame Rosetti has
been as valuable a coadjutor to her husband in his prosperity as she was
in his adversity, and she is also a useful and willing adviser to any of
her countrymen who, visiting Roumania, may stand in need of her

[Footnote 195: When the above lines were penned, M. Rosetti was the Home
Secretary, although he has since resigned. It was as such that we knew
him, and we therefore prefer to leave our account, of him and his
amiable lady as it was originally written.]

[Footnote 196: _Légendes démoeratiques du Nord_, Madame Rosetti, p. 279
_et seq._]


Her husband, his Excellency Constantin A. Rosetti, has also reaped the
reward of his devotion to his country's welfare. He is of an old boyard
family of Italian origin, and in his early youth he was not only a
soldier in the national army, but his pen also gained for him a
considerable reputation, for he composed and published many interesting
Roumanian poems. At the age of about thirty-two years he married the
English lady to whom he owes so much, and of his adventures in 1848 we
have already twice spoken. Before he permanently took up his residence
in Paris after his escape, we believe he spent some time in
Constantinople. In Paris he was the companion of Michelet, Quinet, and
other leading writers, and with them and his countrymen the brothers
Bratiano and Golesco lie managed by his patriotic publications to keep
the lamp of liberty burning in his own country. Here, too, he is said to
have enjoyed the support of our own distinguished statesman, William
Ewart Gladstone, who was subsequently made a Roumanian citizen by an Act
of the legislature about the year 1861, and whom the Roumanians still
regard with feelings of great respect and admiration. On the return of
M. Rosetti to Roumania after the Crimean war he founded the 'Romanal' a
daily paper which still occupies a high position amongst the journals of
the capital, and which remains his property.[197] He took a conspicuous
part in the union of the Principalities under Prince Couza, and
supported that prince whilst his proceedings were constitutional, but he
was one of the most active agents in his deposition, and the only
serious objection that has been taken to his acts and those of his
colleagues on that occasion is that he employed the army to bring about
the prince's overthrow. To this matter, however, we have already
referred in our historical summary. In 1866 he was one of the
provisional government, and was at first by no means favourably disposed
towards the present king, who was, we believe, recommended to the
Roumanians by the Emperor Napoleon III. In later times, however, he
became one of his Majesty's most faithful advisers.

[Illustration: Constantin A. Rosetti]

M. Rosetti is about sixty-seven years of age, full of life and energy.
His career of hardship has somewhat bowed his physical frame, but it has
in no way interfered with his cheerful and kindly disposition. In
appearance he is an Italian, has very prominent but mild eyes, and a
most thoughtful, somewhat careworn countenance. He is _vif_, hot and
excitable, and not unfrequently lets his voice be heard if anything is
going wrong in public affairs, and something is very often going wrong
in Roumania. He speaks Roumanian, French, and German, and can write
English (of which he is fond of interjecting an expressive word now and
then when he is speaking in French) fairly well. Unfortunately for
scandal-mongers, of whom there are a good many in the capital and
elsewhere, M. Rosetti lives with great simplicity on the premises of the
'Romanul,' and upon, the profits of his paper and his salary; so they
are unable to charge him with peculation, which they would certainly do
if he gave them the slightest justification. He is a Radical, and an
uncompromising enemy of _coups d'état_, and of despotism or
unconstitutional proceedings in any form, a man of unflinching honesty
and the leader of political thought in his country. In fact, he is a
patriot, and his countrymen know and appreciate the fact.

They usually couple his name with that of M. Bratiano, who is President
of the Council and Minister of Finance, and, so far as temperament is
concerned, the very opposite of his colleague. M. Bratiano is a quiet,
courteous gentleman, somewhat younger than M. Rosetti. His features are
regular and handsome, his beard and hair iron-grey, and his voice even
and melodious. He is full of pleasant humour, and has the bearing and
manner of an English gentleman; but although an excellent debater, he is
not a good linguist. In Roumania they say, 'Rosetti thinks and Bratiano
speaks,' but Bratiano thinks as well as speaks. So completely at one are
the two statesmen that many of the uninformed poorer classes who have
not seen them believe them to be one person, whom they call
'Bratiano-Rosetti,' and whilst we were in Bucarest we saw a caricature
(an art in which the Roumanians take great delight) where the two
statesmen were depicted as the Siamese twins.

[Illustration: M. BRATIANO.]

The aim and policy of M. Bratiano are well expressed in one of his
despatches on the question of the Danube, which were made public by that
diplomatic phenomenon M. Callimaki-Catargi. 'Our attitude,' he says,
'like the whole policy of the ministry to which I belong, has always
been, and ever should be, defensive, not offensive.'[198]

Amongst the other leaders of political thought in Roumania is Prince
Demeter Ghika, President of the Senate, a fine burly good-natured
gentleman of the old school; Prince Jon Ghika, at present the Roumanian
Ambassador in London, a patriot and a savant, whose sons were educated
in England; M. Statesco, the Foreign Minister, a young and promising
statesman; M. Stourdza, the director of the National Credit Association;
and there are doubtless many others of whom we do not like to speak
without a nearer acquaintance, or better information than we possess.
One of these is M. Cogalniceanu, a deputy, who has written a good
history of Roumania, was a minister under Prince Couza, and we believe
the author of the celebrated Act of 1864 which created the peasant
proprietary of the country.[199]

[Footnote 197: There are daily papers in Bucarest for readers of every
nationality resident there, the _Romanal, Indépendance Roumaine,
Bukarester Tagblatt_, &c., all of which are free to say whatever they
please--_and they say it!_]

[Footnote 198: Despatch, February 1, 1880.]

[Footnote 199: Of the leaders of intellectual thought and industries in
Roumania we have already spoken elsewhere.]


From men to measures is a natural transition in politics. Although we
have endeavoured to show, and do not hesitate to repeat here, that some
of the great principles laid down in the Constitution of Roumania are
only beginning to be carried out in practice, it is but just to add that
the vigour and energy with which the party of progress has of late years
developed the resources of the country is a matter of surprise and
admiration even to foreigners resident there who are acquainted with our
Western methods. The present _régime_ began, as we have already said, in
1875, and since that time the foreign policy of the party in power first
liberated the nation from the last vestige of foreign despotism; then
firmly established it as a European kingdom. That they occasionally
make mistakes no one can deny. For example, the recent announcement in
the speech from the throne, that Roumania was prepared in the present
and future for every sacrifice which it might be necessary to make to
ensure in all respects absolute facility of navigation of the Danube,
appears to an outsider to have been an error in judgment, if the
government were not prepared to hear with equanimity of the threatened
departure of the ambassador of a neighbouring State which had put the
cap upon its head, and against whose unwarrantable pretensions the
remark was directed. But it is easy to be wise after the event, and we
admit that it is presumptuous for anyone to criticise hastily any matter
that is being tossed about on the troubled sea of Oriental politics.
Living as we do on a seagirt isle which is practically unapproachable to
an external foe, and having for centuries enjoyed the blessings of
freedom, we can have no conception of the difficult cards which
Roumanian statesmen have to play in the political game in which they are
often compelled, much against their desire, to participate. From time to
time they hear great international theories propounded for the benefit
of their powerful neighbours, to which they are compelled to close their
ears, however nearly those principles may apply to their own condition.
Suppose, for example, some European Power claims new territory on the
ground of geographical position. Why, ask the Roumanians, should we be
hemmed in as we are on every side? Why should not the plains on both
sides of the Danube guarded by the Balkans and the Carpathians
constitute a strong realm, one and indivisible, with the great river
flowing as an artery through its centre? The answer is, Russia! If an v
of the Great Powers had insisted upon such a readjustment in the East,
she would have opposed it, for is not Bulgaria her last stepping-stone
to Constantinople? 'Skobeleff the First, King of Bulgaria' would suit
her aims far better. This reminds one of 'Panslavism.' Who will deny the
right of adjacent branches of the same race to live under one
government? Admitted; but then why not also Panroumanism? In that case
considerable portions of Austro-Hungary, Bessarabia, Bulgaria, Servia,
would have to be added to the present dominions of King Charles of
Roumania; for there are almost as many Roumanians in those countries as
there are within the present boundaries of the kingdom.[200]

But if Roumanian statesmen are permitted to enjoy their _reflections_ on
these interesting political topics, they know that it would be unsafe to
publish them, for, as we have seen, if they venture even, to cry too
loudly 'Roumania for the Roumanians,' some hectoring neighbour instantly
takes the alarm and threatens to withdraw its ambassador; and in case of
a fracas between any two such neighbouring States, even the rights which
she at present enjoys would hardly be respected. Her policy is therefore
tolerably well defined, and it was ably set forth in the royal speech
which contained that dangerous reference to Austrian pretensions. Peace
is requisite for her, in order that her Parliament may occupy itself in
developing the riches of the soil and the economic interests of the
country; but the organisation of a strong defensive army is equally
necessary to protect those interests from grasping and despotic States
in her vicinity, and because, 'by the development of all the forces of
the nation, Roumania will become an element of order, peace, and
progress in Eastern Europe.' In fact, she must make herself, by peaceful
measures, what Michael the Brave succeeded for a very short time, and
from motives of personal ambition, in making her by the sword in his
day, the arbiter of surrounding nations, the Belgium of the East, which
no aggressive despot would dare to assail; and she must become
sufficiently strong to resist not only inimical but friendly foreign
occupations, which have such a demoralising effect upon her people.

On this undertaking her Government has already for some years past been
embarked. It has secured railway property for the State which was in the
hands of aliens, has begun to improve watercourses, created national
credit institutions, reduced the interest upon the national debt,
increased the value of Roumanian securities, and has generally followed,
as it still pursues, the ways of 'peace, retrenchment, and reform.'[201]

We have no wish to patronise Roumania even in words, for her best friend
is he who tells her to depend entirely on her own resources and develop
those herself; to carve her fortunes, and to shape her ends. But when we
look upon her sufferings, reflecting how for ages she has lain beneath
the claws of savage enemies, quailed under despots who sucked the
lifeblood of the nation, and then compare her constitutional democracy
with ours--nay, if alone from a material point of view we weigh the
interest we have in her prosperity, we cannot fail to see that in the
East is rising up a Power, in part of our creation, young and weak as
yet, but full of hope and promise; and therefore, in concluding this
imperfect record of her 'past and present,' we heartily commend her
future to the earnest watchfulness of every English friend of liberty.

[Footnote 200: According to some, there are more.]

[Footnote 201: Although we have endeavoured as much as possible to avoid
burdening this popular treatise with statistics, one set of figures
which have been kindly supplied to us by friends at Bucarest and in
London is so significant, and indeed of such general interest, that we
must claim the reader's indulgence for giving it _in extenso_. It
comprises the values of Russian, Turkish, and Roumanian securities from
1870 to 1880, which are as follows:--

            RUSSIAN.      General Five per Cent.       ROUMANIAN.
         Six per Cents.           Debt.                Oppenheim.

1870     83-1/2 to  94-1/2   45     to 51               75 to  98
1871     88      "  97       44-1/2  " 52-1/2           86  "  96-1/2
1872     95      " 100       46-1/2  " 55               91  " 104
1873     96      " 100-1/2   45      " 47               98  " 104
1874     97      " 103       45      " 46-1/2           98  " 108
1875     95      " 104-1/2   23      " 45              100  " 109
1876     74      " 100-1/2   11-1/2  " 23               74  " 106
1877*    71      "  93        6-1/2  " 11-1/2           58  "  91
1878*    74      "  91        8-1/2  " 12               87  " 105
1879     84      "  93       10-1/2  " 12               93  " 110
1880     85      "  96       10      " 12-1/2          102  " 112

And in 1881 the prices of the Oppenheim loan ranged from 105 to 116.
From these eloquent figures it will be seen that whilst Russia has been
stationary, and Turkey has fallen 75 per cent, the condition and
security of Roumania has risen, roughly speaking, 25 per cent, in the
eslimation of the financial world during the last ten years. The two
years marked with an asterisk were years of war.]



_Table of Movements and Settlements of various Nationalities and Tribes
in the Provinces bordering on the Lower Danube between the Getic period
and about the end of the Thirteenth Century, A.D., compiled by
the Author, and corrected from the Ancient Historians (Tacitus, Dion
Cassius, Eutropius) and the works of Gibbon, Smith, Lesage, Engel,
Lauriani, Neigebaur, Henke, Wilkinson, Merivale, Freeman, Dierauer,
Roesler, Pic, and others._

|              |           _APPROXIMATE DATES OF_           |                  |
|_NATIONALITY  +-----------+-----------+----------+---------+                  |
|or TRIBE, with|_First     |           |_By whom  |_Final   |   _Remarks_      |
|supposed      |appearance |_Term of   |and when  |Disappea-|                  |
|Subdivisions_ |in Danubian|Domination_|Conquered_|rance_   |                  |
|              |Provinces_ |           |          |         |                  |
|              |           |           |          |         |Believed to be of |
|GETÆ--Getæ    | 335 B.C.  |     ?     |     ?    |    ?    |Thracian origin;  |
|and _Dacians_ |           |           |          |         |not clearly       |
|              |           |           |          |         |traceable.        |
|              |           |           |          |         |The Dacians rose  |
|              |(Successors|           |          |         |against the Romans|
|              |of or      |           |Romans    |         |under Ant. Pius   |
|  DACIANS     |contempo-  | ? B.C. to |(Trajan), |   See   |and at other      |
|              |rary with  | A.D. 106  |A.D. 106  | Remarks |times, but were   |
|              |Getæ)      |           |          |         |probably fused    |
|              |           |           |          |         |with the Romans   |
|              |           |           |          |         |and the barbarians|
|              |           |           |          |         |who followed them.|
|              |           |           |          |         |A considerable    |
|              |           |           |          |         |proportion of the |
|              |           |           |Withdrew  |         |Roman and Daco-   |
|  ROMANS      |1st century|106 A.D. to|before the|    ?    |Roman descendants |
|              |B.C.       |274 A.D.   |Goths     |         |fused with        |
|              |           |           |about 274 |         |succeeding tribes,|
|              |           |           |A.D.      |         |and their descen- |
|              |           |           |          |         |dants survive in  |
|              |           |           |          |         |Roumania to-day.  |
|              |           |           |          |         |About 376 A.D.    |
|              |           |           |          |         |they crossed the  |
|              |           |           |          |         |Danube, driven    |
|GOTHS--       |           |           |          |         |before the Huns,  |
|Ostrogoths,   | 250 A.D.  |274 to 375 |Huns, 375 | 378 A.D.|and were allowed  |
|Visigoths,    |           |A.D.       |A.D.      |         |to settle with    |
|_Gepidæ_      |           |           |          |         |other tribes in   |
|              |           |           |          |         |Mœsia. Sometimes  |
|              |           |           |          |         |the Goths and Huns|
|              |           |           |          |         |were allied.      |
|Sarmatians,   |           |           |          |         |The Sarmatians    |
|Quadi,        |           |           |          |         |fought against the|
|Marcomanni    |           |           |          |         |Romans at various |
|invaded Dacia |           |282 to 375 |Romans,   |         |periods, but were |
|at various    |           |A.D.       |375 A.D.  |         |conquered by      |
|times;        |           |           |          |         |Valentinian, 375  |
|_Sarmatians_  |           |           |          |         |A.D.              |
|settled.      |           |           |          |         |                  |
|              |           |           |          |         |The Huns were     |
|              |           |           |          |         |driven eastward,  |
|              |           |           |          |         |but returned a few|
|HUNS (and     |370 to 375 |375 A.D. to|Gepidæ,   | 460 A.D.|years afterwards, |
|Alani)        |A.D.       |about 453  |453 A.D.  |         |overran Italy, and|
|              |           |           |          |         |are mentioned as  |
|              |           |           |          |         |being in Dacia    |
|              |           |           |          |         |about 564 A.D.    |
|              |See above  |453 to     |Lombards  |         |                  |
|   GEPIDÆ     |(Goths)    |550-564    |and Avari,| 568 A.D.|                  |
|              |           |A.D.       |550 A.D.  |         |                  |
|              |           |           |          |         |The Lombards,     |
|              |           |           |          |         |allied to the     |
|              |           |           |          |         |Avari, overran a  |
|              |           |           |          |         |great part of     |
|  LOMBARDS    |  550 A.D. |  561 to ? |Joined the|         |Dacia and         |
|              |           |           |Byzantines|         |Pannonia, and,    |
|              |           |           |          |         |entering the army |
|              |           |           |          |         |of Justinian, left|
|              |           |           |          |         |their possessions |
|              |           |           |          |         |to the Avari.     |
|              |           |           |Dispersed.|         |The Avari were    |
|              |           |564 to     |Part anni-|End      |alternately       |
|  AVARI       |  550 A.D. |616-640    |hilated by|seventh  |masters and       |
|              |           |(intermit- |Heraclius |century  |vassals of other  |
|              |           |tently)    |(610-640) |         |tribes.           |
|              |           |           |          |         |The Bulgari were  |
|              |           |           |          |         |of Scythian       |
|              |           |634 (with  |          |         |origin, and many  |
|              |           |Slaves)    |Byzantines|         |tribes have been  |
|  BULGARI     |493 to 499 |679 (alone)|(Basilius)|See      |included in them  |
|              |A.D.       |to         |1014-1019 |Remarks  |by different      |
|              |           |1014-1019  |          |         |authors. Amongst  |
|              |           |           |          |         |them, the         |
|              |           |           |          |         |Wallachs, Croats, |
|              |           |           |          |         |Moravians         |
|              |           |           |          |         |(Lesage).         |
|              |           |           |          |         |The Slaves settled|
|              |           |           |          |         |in detachments in |
|              |           |           |          |         |various parts,    |
|              |           |           |          |         |from the Euxine to|
|              |           |           |          |         |the Adriatic Sea, |
|  SLAVES      |493 to 527 |See Remarks|See       |         |and, allied with  |
|              |           |           |Remarks   |         |one or more       |
|              |           |           |          |         |tribes, fought the|
|              |           |           |          |         |Byzantines. Many  |
|              |           |           |          |         |merged into the   |
|              |           |           |          |         |general           |
|              |           |           |          |         |population.       |
|              |           |           |          |         |For some time     |
|              |           |           |          |         |Dacia was         |
|BYZANTINE     |           | 1014 to ? |          |         |nominally         |
|EMPIRE        |           |           |          |         |incorporated with |
|              |           |           |          |         |the Empire.       |
|              |           |           |Stephen   |         |                  |
|UNGRI--       |           |Powerful in|(about    |         |Transylvania was  |
|Hungarians or |824 to 839 |Dacia Tra- |997) foun-|         |annexed to Hungary|
|Magyars       |A.D.       |jana tenth |ded Hunga-|         |either 1002 or    |
|              |           |century    |rian King-|         |1070 A.D.         |
|              |           |           |dom       |         |                  |
|              |           |           |          |Disappea-|The Patzinakitai, |
|PATZINAKITAI  |End of     |Powerful   |          |red in   |settled chiefly in|
|(probably     |ninth      |tenth      |Came under|Hungary  |the Carpathians,  |
|mixed race)   |century    |century    |Kumani &c.|about    |are associated    |
|              |           |           |          |1275     |with Wallachs and |
|              |           |           |          |         |Kumani as vassals.|
|              |           |           |          |         |The Kumani        |
|KUMANI        |1047 A.D.  |Powerful   |Settled   |         |dominated over and|
|(and          |(with      |1083 to    |and       |         |absorbed other    |
|Chazars)      |Chazars)   |1220       |baptised  |         |tribes on the     |
|              |           |           |1220 A.D. |         |Carpathians.      |
|              |           |           |          |         |The Wallachs were |
|              |           |           |          |         |a race of         |
|WALLACHO-     |           |           |          |         |shepherds;        |
|BULGARIAN     |           |           |          |         |considered by some|
|EMPIRE--      |Wallachs,  |1199 to    |Tartars,  |         |an independent    |
|(Wallachs,    |976-1037   |1246-1285  |about     |         |tribe (see above  |
|called also   |           |           |1246-1285 |         |remarks on        |
|Romani,       |           |           |          |         |Bulgari), by      |
|Blachi, &c.)  |           |           |          |         |others descendants|
|              |           |           |          |         |of the Daco-Roman |
|              |           |           |          |         |colonists.        |
|              |           |           |          |         |The King of       |
|              |           |           |          |         |Hungary, as       |
|              |           |           |          |         |suzerain of       |
|TEUTONIC      |           |Teut. Knts.|          |         |Transylvania and  |
|KNIGHTS and   |           |1200 to    |          |         |part of           |
|KNIGHTS OF ST.|           |1223; Knts.|          |         |Wallachia, gave   |
|JOHN          |           |St. John   |          |         |the government of |
|              |           |1249 to ?  |          |         |certain districts |
|              |           |           |          |         |to the Teutonic   |
|              |           |           |          |         |Knights in 1200,  |
|              |           |           |          |         |but withdrew it in|
|              |           |           |          |         |1223 A.D.         |
|              |           |Made in-   |          |         |                  |
|              |           |roads into |          |         |                  |
|              |           |'Moldavia' |          |         |                  |
|              |           |and Walla- |Retired   |         |At the same time  |
|TARTARS (or   |About 1240 |chia 13th  |northward |         |there were smaller|
|Mongols)      |           |century.   |to Russia.|         |voivodeships,     |
|              |           |Ruled in   |Founded   |         |banates, and      |
|              |           |Moldavia   |the Tartar|         |khanates north of |
|              |           |13th and   |Dynasty.  |         |the Danube.       |
|              |           |first half |          |         |                  |
|              |           |of 14th    |          |         |                  |
|              |           |century.   |          |         |                  |



The original 'Capitulation' of Mircea I. of Wallachia to the Sultan
Bajazid I. at Nicopolis, 1393 A.D., is contained in a
'Hatthoumaioun' of the latter, said to have been preserved in
Constantinople, and there seen by a Roumanian called Kitzorano, who was
attached to the Wallachian Embassy, and who took a copy of it (along
with others), which he sent to the Great Ban Takanitza Vacaresco. The
Greek historian, Dionysius Photino, also saw it at the Porte, and
published a copy of it in his 'History of Dacia,' vol. ii. cap. v. p.
369, a work which the reader will find in the British Museum. This runs
as follows:--

'We order, in our great condescension, that the country of Wallachia,
which has lately submitted to our invincible arms, shall be governed by
its own laws, and that the Voivode shall have the power of making war
and peace with his neighbours and of life and death over his subjects.
All Christians belonging to the countries subject to our rule who would
emigrate to Wallachia shall be allowed the free exercise of their
religion. All Wallachians visiting our empire on business shall be
allowed to do so without interference in the same or in their garments.
The Christian voivodes to be elected by the metropolitan and the
boyards. In return for our great condescension in having accepted this
rayah (the Voivode of Wallachia) amongst the other subjects of our
empire, he will be bound to pay into our treasury, every year, the sum
of 6,000 red piastres of the country.'

Translations of this capitulation are to be found in the French
histories of Roumania, but they are not always trustworthy; for example,
Beaure and Mathorel (Appendix, p. 203) profess to give a verbatim copy,
in which the last article declares that the Sultan promises never to
deliver a firman to a Wallachian subject, nor to summon him to
_Constantinople_. A moment's reflection would have shown the inaccuracy
of this statement, for Constantinople was at that time still the capital
of the Eastern Empire, and only fell into the Ottoman power in 1453. The
stipulation in question is the last in the treaty with Vlad (V.?), 1460.

The 'Capitulation' of Bogdan of Moldavia to Selim I., 1513, was in some
respects more favourable to the vassal State. Amongst other
stipulations, it provided for the residence in Constantinople of a
Moldavian envoy, and permitted a Christian church to be erected there.
The annual tribute was, however, raised and consisted of 11,000
piastres, forty falcons, and forty mares in foal, 'all by way of
present.' In both countries, after each war or insurrection fresh
stipulations, including a constantly increasing tribute, were added.



The Constitution of Roumania contains one hundred and thirty-three
articles, and is framed with great regard to justice and to the national
liberties. The following are some of its leading provisions. The country
is divided into districts, the districts into arrondissements, the
arrondissements into communes.[202] It grants (Article 5) freedom of
conscience, of instruction, of the press, and of public meeting.
Abolishes (10 and 12)[203] distinctions and privileges of class and
foreign titles, such as Prince, Count, Baron, &c., as being contrary to
ancient institutions.[204] Capital punishment is abolished except under
martial law in time of war (18). The property of the peasantry and the
indemnity to landowners are inviolable (20). The Greek Catholic religion
is made the State Church, but all other sects are allowed freedom of
worship (21). Primary instruction is gratuitous and compulsory (23), and
primary schools are to be established in every commune. Freedom of
speech, except as to breaches of the Criminal Code, is unrestricted;
press offences must be tried by jury, and no journal can be 'warned,'
suspended, or suppressed; neither is there any kind of 'censure' of the
press (24). Freedom of assemblage (26) and the right to petition (28)
are confirmed; and the extradition of political exiles is forbidden. All
crimes are to be tried by jury (105). The legislative power is vested in
the Prince and the national representatives, namely, the Senate and the
Chamber of Deputies (32). But money bills and matters relating to the
army contingents must originate with the latter (33).

The executive power is vested in the prince (35) (now the king), who is
hereditary in the male line only (82), and who must belong to the
Orthodox Greek Church. He is inviolate, his ministers only being
responsible, and one of them must countersign all his decrees (92). He
sanctions, and may refuse his assent to, all laws; has the right of
amnesty (93); is the head of the army, makes war, concludes peace, and
performs the other acts of a constitutional sovereign. Should a vacancy
occur in the throne, various provisions exist for the eventuality, and
in case of failure of issue the two Assemblies conjointly 'elect a
prince of one of the sovereign dynasties of Western Europe' (84).
(Rather vague, but very significant.)

The Chamber of Deputies consists of members elected by direct and by
indirect voting. The constituency is divided into four 'colleges' or
groups (58). The first college in each district comprises persons having
incomes from property (_foncier_) of not less than 300 ducats, equal to
about 141_l._ (59). The second college includes those with an income
ranging from 100 to 300 ducats (47_l._ to 141_l._)(60). The third (61)
comprises persons in trade paying the State 80 francs (about 3_l._
4_s._) or upwards per annum. Members of the liberal professions,
half-pay officers, and some others, are exempted from the money
qualification. These colleges elect each one Deputy, and the towns elect
an additional number according to their importance, from such places as
Pitesti two to Bucarest five. The fourth college elects indirectly. It
consists of all persons who pay any taxes or contributions, however
small. In this college each set of fifty electors names a delegate, and
the delegates elect a Deputy. The Deputies (of whom there are to-day one
hundred and forty-five) must be Roumanians, born or naturalised, must
have attained the age of twenty-five, and must live in Roumania (66).
The duration of the Chamber of Deputies is four years.

The Senate is elected by two colleges, being the two highest for the
election of Deputies. It consists to-day of seventy-six members, and
includes a number of high officials who are not elective, such as the
archbishop and bishops. The qualification for a Senator is an income of
800 ducats (equal to about 376_l._) per annum, and he must have attained
the age of forty years. The Senators are elected for eight years, one
half retiring every four years, except in case of a dissolution of the
Senate, when all must be re-elected, or, more properly speaking, a new
Senate must be chosen (68 to 81). The Act of the Constitution deals
with the judicial system, the Code Napoléon being in force in Roumania,
with finances, army organisation, and other important matters of
national interest. The Act is signed by the Prince and his Ministers:
The Minister of the Interior and President of the Council, L. Catargi;
the Minister of Finance, J. Bratiano; the Minister of Justice, J.
Cantacuzene; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, P. Mavrogeni; the Minister
of Public Worship and Instruction, C.A. Rosetti; the Minister of War, J.
Ghika; the Minister of Public Works, Agriculture, and Commerce, D.

[Footnote 202: This abstract is made from the French translation of the
Constitution; the actual divisions of the country are as follows:--

_Județu_ is a department or district, the head of which is a prefect. Of
these there are at present thirty-two in all.

_Plasa_, subdivision of a _Județu_, the head of which is a sub-prefect.

_Comuna_, a parish.

_Urba_, a city.

_Orage_, a town.]

[Footnote 203: The numbers in parentheses refer to the articles.]

[Footnote 204: A few old families have retained their titles, but many
who would have the same justification for doing so have discontinued
their use.]



The precise terms and circumstances under which the peasant proprietary
was formed in Roumania, as communicated to us by Prince Jon Ghika, are
as follows:--

Before the 'Convention of Balta Liman' between Russia and Turkey, there
were three classes of peasantry:

1. Those who possessed four beasts of burden and one cow.
2.   "    "      "     two    "       "      "       "
3.   "    "      "     one cow only.

By the Convention above named each class was to receive the following
land, to be paid for in certain cases by twenty-two days' labour, 1/10th
of the harvest and 1/5th of the hay.

CLASS 1.--(11 pogones, or 5-1/2 hectares), or about 14 acres,

                   3 pogones = about 3-8/10 acres arable.
                   3    "    =   "   3-8/10   "   hay.
                   5    "    =   "   6-4/10   "   pasturage.

CLASS 2.--7-8/10 pogones, or about 10 acres, viz.:
                   3-8/10 acres arable.
                   3-8/10   "   pasturage.
                   2-8/10   "   hay; and

CLASS 3.--4-1/2 pogones, or about 5-1/2 acres, viz.:
                   3-8/10 acres arable.
                   1-2/10   "   hay.
                   6/10     "   pasturage.

In 1864 these holdings, varying, therefore, from 5 to 14 acres, were
converted into freeholds at about 2_l._ per acre, repayable (as stated
in the text) in fifteen years, with 10 per cent. interest.

Mr. White, our Minister at Bucarest, has favoured us with the following
information on the same subject:--

The peasant heads of families who were endowed with land (in 1864)
received freeholds:

In Wallachia     279,684, averaging 9.1 English acres.
 " Moldavia      127,214     "     12.08   "      "
                 406,898 holdings, average 10.6   "



The following works, all of which have been consulted in the preparation
of this treatise, deal either with the past history or present condition
of Roumania. The words italicised are those used in the notes appended
to the text, where also references will be found to other books and
official reports, of which the titles are given in full.

_Almanach de Gotha_. Justus Perthes, Gotha. 1882. 'Royaume de
Roumanie,' pp. 898-907.

Annual _Report of the Board of Trade_, 1880.

_Aurelian_, Odobesco, and others (Commission princière). '_Notice_ sur
la Roumanie.' Paris: A. Frank. 1867.

_Aurelian_, '_Terra Nostra_.' Bucuresci, Tipografia Academiei Române.

_Beaure et Mathorel_. 'La Roumanie.' Calmann-Lévy, Paris. 1878.

_Cantacuzene_. 'Cenni sulla Romania.' (Roumanian Geographical Society.)

_Carmen Sylva_ (the Queen of Roumania). 'Rumänische Dichtungen.'
Leipzig: Friedrich. 1881.

_Carra_. 'Histoire de la Moldavie et de la Valachie.' Jassy. 1777.
Consular Reports on Roumania (referred to specially in the text)--
  Consul-General Green. May 1873.
  Consul-General Vivian. October 1876.
  Consul-General Sanderson. 1877.
  Vice-Consul Bonham. 1878.
Sold by King, King Street, Westminster.

_Dierauer_, Johannes. 'Beiträge zur Geschichte Trajan's.' Leipzig:
Teubner. 1868.

_Dion Cassius._ 'Histoire Romaine' de, par E. Gros. Paris: Firmin
Didot. 1867.

_Engel_. 'Geschichte der Moldau und Walachei' (in 'Allgemeine
Weltgeschichte,' Band 49). Halle: Gebauer. 1801.

_Felix_, Doctor L. 'Miscarea Populatiunii Romaniei.' Bucuresci:
Tipografia Academiei. 1880.

_Fife-Cookson_. 'With the Armies of the Balkans.' Cassell. 1880.

_Filek_ von Wittinghausen. 'Das Königreich Rumänien.' Wien:
Carl Gerold's Sohn. 1881.

_Freeman_, Edward A. 'Historical Essays.' Macmillan. 1879. 'General
Sketch of European History.' Macmillan. 1877.

_Gerando_. A. de. 'Siebenbürgen und seine Bewohner.' Lorck,
Leipzig. 1845.

_Gibbon's_ 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.' Tegg's edition.

_Hallam's_ 'Middle Ages.' Murray. 1860.

_Hammer_-Purgstall. 'Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches.' 4 vols.
Hartleben, Pesth. 1834-1836.

_Hauer_, Franz Ritter von. 'Geologie Siebenbürgen's.'

_Henke_, Rudolf. 'Rumänien, Land und Volk.' Leipzig: Otto Wigand.

_Kogalnitchan_, M. de. 'Histoire de la Dacie, des Valaques
Transdanubiens et de la Valacie.' Berlin: Behr. 1854.

_Kunisch_. 'Eine Fahrt nach dem Orient.' Berlin: Effert & Lindtner.

_Lauriani_, A. Treb. 'Schneller Ueberblick der Geschichte der Romänen.'
Bukuresti: Buchdruckerei des National-Collegiums. 1846.

_Lesage_, A. 'Atlas Historique.' Paris: P. Didot aîné. 1823.

_Merivale_. 'The Romans under the Empire.' London: Longmans.

_Michelet_. 'Légendes démocratiques du Nord.' Madame Rosetti,
1848. Paris: Garnier. 1854.

_Neigebaur_, J.F. 'Moldau und Walachei.' J.U. Kern, Breslau.

_Obédénare_, M.C. 'La Roumanie Economique.' Paris: Leroux.

_Ozanne_. 'Three Years in Roumania.' Chapman & Hall. 1878.

_Paget_. 'Hungary and Transylvania.' London: Murray. 1850.

_Peters_, Prof. K.F. 'Die Donau und ihr Gebiet.' Leipzig: Brockhaus.

_Petermann's_ 'Mittheilungen.' Ergänzungsheft 4. Justus Perthes,

_Photino_, Dionysius. Ἱστορία τἧς πάλαι Δακίασ. Vienna: Svek. 1818.

_Píč_, Jos. Lad. 'Ueber die Abstammung der Rumänen.' Leipzig:
Duncker & Humblot. 1880.

_Piranese_. Engravings of Trajan's Column.

_Quinet_, Edgar, Œuvres Complètes de. Tome vi., 'Les Roumains.'
Pagnerre, Paris. 1857.

_Raicewich_. 'Bemerkungen über die Moldau und Wallachey.' Wien:
Edeln von Kurzbeck. 1789.

_Regnault_. 'Histoire des Principantés Danubiennes. Paulin & Chevalier,
Paris. 1855.

_Reissenberger_, Ludwig. 'Die bischöfliche Klosterkirche bei
Kurtea d'Argyisch.' Wien: K.K. Hof-und Staatsdruckerei. 1860.

_Roesler_, Robt. 'Romianische Studien.' Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

_Russo-Turkish War_, Cassell's History of the. Cassell.

_Russo-Turkish 'War Correspondence_' of the 'Daily News.' Macmillan.

_Smith_, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman _Biography_. Murray.
Dictionary of Ancient _Geography_. Murray. 1872-1873.

_Stanley_. 'Rouman Anthology.' Hertford: Austin. 1856.

'_Statistica din Romania_.' Bucuresci: Tipografia Statululiu.

_Tacitus_, Bohn's.

_Teutschländer_, W. St. 'Michael der Tapfere.' Wien: Gräser.
Bucarest: Sotschek. 1879.

_Tocilesco_. 'Dacia inainte de Romani.' Bucuresci:
Tipografia Academiei Române. 1880.

_Vaillant_, J.A. 'La Românie.' Paris: A. Bertrand. 1845.

_Wilkinson_, W. 'An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and
Moldavia,' London: Longmans. 1820.

_Zallony_, Marc. Philippe. 'Fassai sur les Phanariotes.' Marseille;
Ant. Ricard. 1824.



  cattle and sheep, 78, 79.
  cereals, nature, growth, and trade in, 6, 11, 31, 70, 76, 77.
    yield, and estimates of cost of growing, 76, 78.
  cheese and dairy products, 79.
  college (agricultural) of Ferestreu, 80-82.
  education, agricultural, 80.
  fanning, slovenly, 6, and _note_.
  flowers and fruits, 11, 12.
  implements of husbandry, 13, 75, 76.
  labourers, wages of, 13.
  landlordism in Roumania, 84, 85.
  land reforms, comparison between Roumanian and Irish, 85, 86.
  peasantry, character and condition of, 85, 86.
  peasant proprietary, history of the, 82-84, and Appendix IV.
  rotation of crops, 75.
  soil, nature and capabilities of, 6, 17, 75, 79.
  statistics of occupations, 87.

  collections in the Academy at Bucarest, 42.
  Constantine's bridge, 27.
  Curtea d'Ardges, cathedral of, 27, 58-65.
    its traditions and true history, 62-65.
  Gothic remains in Roumania, 27.
  Roman remains in Roumania, 26, 27.
    roads in Roumania, Transylvania, and Bulgaria, 26.
  Trajan's bridge, 23, 24.
    road on the Danube, 23.
    Tablet, 21, 23-25.


Bibliography (see Appendix V. 'List of Works').

  Baasarab, Matthew, 201.
    Neagu, 63, 64, 174.
  Brancovano (Wallachia), 203, 206.
  Bratiano, M., 223, 265, 266.
  Cantemir (Moldavia), 204.
  Charles I., prince and king, 16, 17, 233-52, 258-60 (see 'History').
  Couza, Prince, 229-32 (see 'History').
  Decebalus, 119 _et seq._
  Elisabeth, princess and queen, 55, 92.
    marriage, 257.
    personal description of, 260, 261.
    verses by, 261 _note_.
  Heliade, 221, 222, 223.
  Hunniad, Johann Corvin von, 167-69.
  Mavrocordato, Nicholas and Constantine, 208, 209.
  Mavrogeni, Nicholas, 214, 215, 218.
  Michael the Brave, 175, 176-98.
  Mircea the Old, 164-67.
  Rosetti, C.A., 223, 263-65.
    Madame, 262, 263.
  Serban II. (Cantacuzene), 64, 202, 203.
  Stephen, called the Good, 170, 178.
  Trajan, 122 _et seq._
  Vladimiresco, 219.
  Ypsilanti, 219, 220.

  Ferestreu, plants cultivated at, 80.
  garden flowers and fruits of Roumania, 11, 12.
  plants and trees of the plains, 6.
    of the hills, 11.
    of the mountains, 14.


Commerce and Manufactures:
  building company, for public works, 56.
  cereals, imports from Roumania into Great Britain, 81.
  Danube, navigation of, 30.
    tonnage of vessels entering, 30.
  Danubian Commission, history of, 32-35.
  flannel factories, 70.
  flour mills, 70.
  Galatz, trade at, 68-70.
  Ibrail, trade at, 72.
  maize, imports into England from Roumania, 31.
  markets and exchanges, absence of, 55.
  match factories, 70.
  petroleum wells and distilleries, 14, 31.
  railways, extension of, 71.
  securities, Roumanian, &c., 270 _note_.
  salt mines of Roumania, 14, 106.
  saw mills, 70.
  statistics of trade between Roumania and Great Britain, 70.
  sugar factories, 70.


Education and Culture:
  Academy, the, 41, 42.
    its collections and appliances, 42-45.
  agricultural college at Ferestreu, 80-82.
  Asyle Hélène, girls' school, 92-94.
  education in Roumania, 88-95.
    compared with England, 89 _note_.
    of youths abroad, 89-91, 95.
    collegiate, 89.
    other schools, 94, 95.
  music, 52, 55, 97.
  popular instruction and culture, want of, 55.
  Savants--M, Aurelian, 80.
    M. Bacologlu, 43.
    M. Bernath, 19, 43.
    M. Cogalniceanu, 55, 267.
    Dr. Davila, 43, 92, 94, 238.
    M. Hasdeu, 55, 99.
    M. Jon Ghika, 165 _note_, 267, and Appendix IV.
    M. Stourdza, 42.
    M. Tocilesco, 27 _note_, 42.
  societies, learned, 55.

  dances, in their relation to the descent of the Roumanians, 97, 98.
  language, in its relation to the descent of the Roumanians, 95-99.
    authorities on, 99.
  music and its relations to the people, 97.
  peasantry, types of, 7.
  Trajan's colonists and modern Roumanians, 132, 162.
  Wallachs, the, and the Roumanians, 151-64, 164.


Geography (see also 'Topography' and 'Geology'):
  boundaries of Roumania, 3.
  configuration of the surface, 5.
  dimensions, 4.
  hills, zone of, 11.
  Kazan Pass, the, 22.
  lakes, 25.
  mountains, zone of, 5, 14.
  plains, zone of, 6.
  rivers--the Danube, 20-25.
    other rivers, 25.
    Iron Gates, the, 22.
  population, 4.
    of cities, 39, 50, 51, 71.
  summary of geographical characters, 28.

Geology and Mineralogy:
  Balta Alba, mineral waters of, 25.
  basin of the Danube, 17, 18.
  Carpathians, slopes of, 18.
    summits of, 18.
  coal and lignite, 18.
  copper and other minerals, 19.
  iron, 18.
  ozokerit (hydrocarbon), 18.
  petroleum wells, 14.
  plains, geology of, 17.
  salt mines, 14, 106-9.


History (see also 'Biography'):
  Adrianople, treaty of, 221.
  Æneas Sylvius on the Wallachs, 153.
  Alexander, Philip, and Lysimachus, their wars with the Getæ, 115-17.
  Anna Comnena on the Wallachs, 152.
  Anonymous Notary of King Bela, the, 150, 151.
  Attila, his career and death, 141, 142.
  Aurelian evacuates Dacia, 135-37.
  Aurelius (Marcus) defeats the Goths, 134.
  Avari, the, 143.
  Bajazet I. overruns Wallachia, 165.
  Balta-Liman, convention of, 224, Appendix IV.
  bans, voivodes, and khans (early), 163, 164.
  barbarians, 138-60, and Appendix I. (see also 'Goths,' 'Huns,' &c.).
  Basilius Lupus, 201.
  Bassarab, the clan, 163.
  Basta (General), 192, 195, 198.
  Bathori, Sigismund, 182, 185, 196.
    Andreas, 189, 190, 191.
  Belgrade, treaty of, 216.
  Bessarabia (Lower) annexed to Moldavia, 228.
    retaken by Russia in exchange for the Dobrudscha, 253.
  Bogdan, Dragosch, 162, 170.
    son of Stephen, 172.
  Bonfinius on the Wallachs, 152.
  Brancovano treats with Peter the Great, 203.
    deposed and executed, 204, 205.
    his great treasures, 205, 206.
  Bratiano, M., 223, 266.
  Bucarest, treaty of, 218.
  Bulgari, their customs, 144-46.
  Bulgari, their rule, 147, 148.
  Bulgarians (modern), their revolt (1877), 236.
    their alliance with the Russians, 242.
  Cantemir treats with Peter the Great, 203.
    flees into Russia, 204.
  Capitulation of Mircea to the Turks, 165 and Appendix II.
    of Bogdan to the Turks, 172 and Appendix II.
  Charles, Prince, 16, 17.
    accession, 233.
    difficulties of rule, 234.
    services to army, 237.
    participation in war of 1877-8, 239, 241.
    commander-in-chief before Plevna, 243.
    meets Osman Pasha, 252.
    crowned king, 255.
    personal description, 258-60.
  Christianity, history of, 65-66 _note_.
  Consuls, Russian, established in Roumania, 217.
    English and French, established in Roumania, 218.
  Corvinus (see 'Hunniad').
  Couza, Prince, accession and reign, 229.
    surprised in his palace and deposed, 230.
    abdication and departure, 231, 232.
  Criminal codes of Matthew Bassarab and Basilius Lupus, 201, 202.
  Dacia, contests with Home, 117 _et seq._
    Decebalus, King of, 119-29.
    Trajan's first invasion of, 122-27.
      second invasion of, 127-30.
    a Roman province, 131-34.
    evacuated by Aurelian, 195-97.
    Gibbon on the evacuation, 135-37.
  Dacians, the, their origin and character, 117-19.
    early wars with Rome, 119 _et seq._
  Decebalus, King of the Dacians, 119-29.
    defeats Appius Sabinus, and Cornelius Fuscus, 120.
    is beaten by Tertius Julianus, 121.
    makes a treaty with Domitian, 121, 122.
    is defeated by Trajan, 124.
    breaks his treaty with Trajan, 127.
    attempts Trajan's life by assassination, 128.
    again defeated by Trajan and commits suicide, 129.
  Dion Cassius, the historian, 117, 118 _note_.
  Domitian, defeated by Decebalus, 120.
  Elisabeth, princess and queen, 55, 92, 257, 260-61, 261 _note_ (see also 'Biography').
  Gellius (and other chiefs), tradition of, 150, 151 _note_.
  Gepidæ (a branch of the Goths), powerful in Northern Dacia, 142.
    defeated and exterminated by the Lombards, 143.
  Getæ, their supposed origin, 115, 116.
    at war with Alexander and other Greek generals, 116, 117.
  Gibbon on Aurelian's evacuation of Dacia, 135.
    his estimate of the Dacians, 136.
  Goths, their first appearance, 134.
    defeated by Marcus Aurelius, 135.
    negotiate with Aurelian, 136.
    rule in Dacia, 139, 140.
    end of their rule, and remains left by them, 140.
  Greek families, reference to histories of, 201 _note_.
    rulers of Wallachia and Roumania (see 'Phanariotes').
    rising under Vladimiresco and Ypsilanti, 219, 220.
      suppressed, 220.
  Grivitza Redoubt besieged by the Roumanians, 245, 246.
    its strength, 247.
    its capture by the Roumanians, 248, 249.
  Helena (Couza), Princess, 92, 229.
  Heliad, the regenerator of national literature in Roumania, 221-23.
    his political action, 223.
  Hospodars, Greek (see 'Phanariotes').
    origin of title, 208, 209 _note_.
    restoration of native, 220.
  Hungarians (see 'Ungri').
  Hunniad, Johann Corvin von, his birth and early life, 167, 168.
    viceroy of Siebenbürgen and regent of Hungary, 168.
    his wars with the Turks and death, 168.
    anecdotes concerning him, and his character, 160.
  Huns, appear in northern Dacia, 140, 141.
    their aspect and ferocity, 141.
    their king Attila, 141.
    defeated and driven out of Europe, 142.
  Innocent III., his correspondence with Joannitz, King of Wallacho-Bulgaria, 156-60.
  Jassy, Treaty of, 218.
  Jasyges, the, 118.
  Kainardji, treaty of, 217.
  Knights of St. John and Teutonic knights, 156.
  Kumani, the, 155, 156.
  Lauriani on the correspondence between Joannitz and Innocent III., 156-60.
    on the fall of Wallacho-Bulgaria, 160.
  Lombards, the, 143.
  Magyars, the (see 'Ungri').
  Matthew Bassarab, his criminal code, 201, 202.
  Mavrocordato, Alexander, 207.
    Nicholas, first Phanariote voivode, 208.
    Constantine, suppresses retainers of boyards, 208.
      appoints new officers of State, 208, 209.
  Mavrogeni, Nicholas, his nobles rebel, 214, 215.
    his defeat by the Austrians and Russians, 218.
  Michael the Brave, condition of Wallachia in his day, 176-81.
    classes of society, 176, 177, 178.
    taxes, 178.
    officials, 179.
    army, 180.
    political relations with other states, 181.
    career of Michael:
      early history and accession, 182;
      alliances, 182;
      massacre of the Turks, 183;
      conspiracy against him, 183;
      Achmed Pasha's invasion and defeat, 184;
      Sigismund of Transylvania, Michael's submission to him, 185;
      invasion of Sinan Pasha, 186;
      Kalugereni, Michael's great victory, 186, 187;
      retreat and rally of Michael, 187;
      expulsion of the Turks, 188;
      intrigues of Michael, 189;
      abdication of Sigismund and accession of Andreas Bathori, 189;
      Michael's invasion and conquest of Transylvania, 189-92;
      triumph at Weissenburg, 192;
      Michael overruns Moldavia, 192, 194;
      in the zenith of his power, 194;
      General Basta, 192, 195;
      revolt of Transylvanian nobles, 195;
      defeat of Michael at Miriszlo and Hight, 195, 196;
      appeals to the German Emperor, 196;
      recall of Sigismund Bathori, 196;
      Michael pardoned and reinstated, 196, 197;
      junction with Basta and defeat of the Transylvanians, 197;
      feud with Basta, 197;
      Michael assassinated by order of Basta, 198;
      his character, 198.
  Mircea the Old, allied with Hungary and Poland, defeats the Turks, 165.
    first 'capitulation' at Nicopolis, 165 and Appendix II.
    his army, 166.
    his character, and verses in his memory by Bolentineanu, 167.
  Moldavia, tradition of Bogdan Dragosch, 162.
    earliest historical records of, 170.
    early voivodes, 170, 171.
    Stephen 'the Good,' voivode of, 171-73.
    capitulation of Bogdan to the Turks, 172.
    conquered by Michael the Brave, 193, 194.
    Basilius Lupus, voivode of, 202.
    Cantemir, voivode of, treats with Peter the Great, 203.
    invasion by Peter the Great, 203.
    Greek rising in (1821), 223.
    Michael Stourdza seizes the boyards, who escape, 223.
  Moldavia, junction of, with Wallachia under Couza, 228.
    coronation of King Charles, 255.
  Muktar Pasha relieves Kars, 241.
  Neagu Bassarab, records in the Cathedral of Ardges, 63, 64.
    his good deeds, 174.
  Niamtz, verses on Stephen's flight to, 172.
  Nicholas, Czar of Russia, and the Crimean war, 225, 227.
    Grand Duke, watches the crossing of the Danube by the Russians, 240.
      meets Osman Pasha, 252.
  Officers of State in the Principalities, 179.
  Omar Pasha suppresses the Greek rising, 224.
  Osman Pasha repels the Russians at Plevna, 240.
    is repulsed at Plevna, 243.
    is defeated, and surrenders to the Russian and Roumanian generals, 252.
  Paris, treaty of, 227.
  Patzinakitai, the, 151.
  Peter, Asan, and John, founders of Wallacho-Bulgarian empire, 154, 155.
  Peter the Great, his invasion of Moldavia, 203.
  Phanariotes, the, their rise and early history, 206, 207.
    the first rulers, 207, 208.
    installation of hospodars, 209.
    extortion and tyranny of, 210-12.
    extravagance of the princesses, 211.
    their usual fate, 212.
    favourable aspects of their rule, 214.
    end of their domination, 220.
    Wilkinson on their character, 220.
  Pic, on the origin of the, Roumanians, 164 _note_.
  Plevna, siege and investment of, 240-52.
    Russian repulses before, 240, 245, 246.
    defences of, 244.
    fall of, 252.
  Radu Affumați, 175.
  Radu Negru, tradition of, 162.
  Revolution of, 1848, 223.
    suppressed, 224.
  Roesler on the origin of the Roumanians, 164 _note_.
  Romans invade Dacia under Domitian. 120.
    invade Dacia under Trajan, 122-27.
    second invasion under Trajan, 127-30.
    rule in Dacia, 131-34.
    at war with the Goths, 134, 135.
    evacuate Dacia, 135-37.
  Rosetti, C.A., his participation in the rising of 1848, 223;
    his career, 263-265 (see also 'Biography').
    Madame, liberates the Roumanian patriots from the Turks, 262, 263 (see also 'Biography').
  Roumania constituted a principality under Couza, 229.
    its provisional government after the fall of Couza, 231, 232.
    under Prince Charles, 233-57.
    erected into a kingdom, 255.
    review of its history, 255.
    the future of, 269, 270.
  Roumanian alliance with Russia against Turkey, 237.
    army, 237, 238 and _note_, 245.
    neutrality in 1877, 236.
    policy, 267-70.
    soldiers, Russian contempt of, at the commencement of the war, 242.
    praised for their coolness, 242.
    bravery at Grivitza, 248.
    sufferings of, after the capture of Grivitza, 248.
    securities, rise in the value of, 270 _note_.
  Russian invasion of Moldavia under Peter the Great (1709), 203, 204.
      of the Principalities under Anne (1755), 216.
        under Catherine IV. (1768), 216.
    rule in Wallachia (1774), 217.
  Russian consuls sent to Bucarest, 217.
    rule in the Principalities (1789-92, 1806-12), 220.
    intervention and Russo-Turkish war of 1829, 221.
    invasion in 1848, 224.
    intervention, review of benefits to Roumania therefrom, 224-25.
    designs in 1853, 225.
    war with England, France, and Turkey (1853), 226, 227, 228.
    action in 1877, 235, 236.
    indebtedness to Roumania in 1877, 237, 238.
    invasion of Bulgaria (1877) 240.
    disasters in Bulgaria and Asia, 240, 241, 246.
    contempt for the Roumanian soldiers, 242.
    recognition of their bravery, 243.
    ingratitude after the conclusion of the war, 242, 243.
  San Stephano, treaty of, 253.
  Sarmatians, rule in Dacia, 142.
    defeated by Valentinian, 142.
  Serban (Cantacuzene), 202.
    betrays the Turks at Vienna, 202.
  Shipka Pass, fighting in, between Turks and Russians, 240, 241.
  Skobeleff, his success at Loftcha, 245.
    disaster at Plevna, 246, 247.
  Slavonians, 144.
  Stephen, called the Good, Voivode of Moldavia, 171.
    overruns Wallachia, 171.
    story of his flight to Niamtz (verses by Bolentineanu), 172.
    his cruelty and fanaticism, 173.
    his wars with the Turks and Tartars, 171-73.
  Tacitus, his comments on the Roman defeats in Dacia, 119, 120.
  Tartar conquest of the Principalities, 160.
    ravages, and defeats by Michael the Brave, 182, 184.
  Teutonic knights and knights of St John, 156.
  Traditions of Radu Negru and Bogdan, 162.
  Trajan, his first expedition into Dacia, 122-27.
    his second expedition into Dacia, 127-30.
    his triumph after the reduction of Dacia, 129.
    his method of colonising Dacia, 131-33 and _note_.
  Treaties of Nicopolis (1393), 165 and Appendix II.;
    between Bogdan and Selim (1513), Appendix II.;
    of Belgrade (1789), 216;
    of Kainardji (1774), 217;
    of Jassy (1792), 218;
    of Bucarest (1812), 218;
    of Adrianople (1829), 221;
    of Balta-Liman (1849), 224;
    of Paris (1856), 227, 228;
    of San Stephano (1878), 253.
  Turkish invasion of the Principalities (first), 165.
    suzerainty enforced upon Mircea, 165.
    wars with Johann Corvin von Hunniad, 168.
    wars with Moldavia, 171.
    supremacy established in Moldavia, 172.
    inhabitants of Wallachia massacred by Michael, 183.
    defeat at Kalugereni, 186, 187.
    expulsion from Wallachia, 188.
    exactions after Michael's death, 200.
    army betrayed at Vienna, 202.
    war with Peter the Great, 203, 204.
    appointment of Greek voivodes, 208.
    war with Anne and Charles VI., 216.
    defeat the allies at Belgrade, 216.
    war with Catherine, 216.
      with Russia (1806), 218;
      (1829), 221;
      (1853), 225-28.
    obstacles to the union of the Principalities, 228.
      to the accession of Charles I., 234.
    war with Russia and Roumania (1877), 235-53.
    victories in Bulgaria and Asia, 240, 241.
    defeats at Plevna, 243.
    victory over Skobeleff before Plevna, 246, 247.
    defeat at Grivitza, 248, 249.
  Ungri (Hungarians, or Magyars), their origin, 148.
  Ungri, Hallam's description of them, 149.
    German account of their savagery, 149, 150.
    their career in the Principalities and settlement in Hungary, 150.
  Vlad, the Impaler, fights the Turks in alliance with John Corvinus, 168.
    his wars with the Turks, 170.
    his horrible cruelties, 170.
    submission to the Turks, 170.
  Vladimiresco, his career and death, 219.
  Vladislaus, King of Poland and Hungary, fights the Turks in alliance with John Corvinus, 168.
    killed at Varna, 168.
  Voivodes, early, in Wallachia, 163 _et seq._, 200 _et seq._
    in Moldavia, 170 _et seq._
    their short rule and usual fate, 200, 213.
    Phanariote, 208 _et seq._
    native, restored, 220.
  Wallachia, early traditions of, 162.
    historical records of its foundation, 163.
    bans, voivodes, and khans in, 163, 164.
    first capitulation to the Turks, 165 and Appendix II.
    state of society under Michael the Brave, 176-81.
    under the Phanariotes, 208-14.
    under Russian protection, 217, 221, 224.
    Greek rising in, 218, 220.
    national regeneration by Heliade, 221, 222.
    revolution of 1848 in, 223, 224.
    junction with Moldavia, 228.
  Wallachs, their origin, 151, 153.
    opinions of mediæval historians regarding their Daco-Roman descent (Bonfinius, Anna Comnena, Æneas Sylvius), 152, 153.
    their first rule, 154.
  Wallacho-Bulgarian Empire, founded by Peter, Asan, and John, 155.
    allied with the Kumani, 155.
    duration of the Empire, 155.
    correspondence between Innocent III. and John, Emperor of, 156-60.
    fall of, 160.
  Wilkinson on the Phanariotes, 180 _note_, 210.
  Ypsilanti, his leadership of the Greek rising, 219.
    treachery against Vladimiresco, 219.
    lights the Turks at Dragosani, 219.
    defeat, flight, and ultimate fate, 220.
  Zallony on the Phanariotes, 210.


Law and Jurisprudence:
  capital punishment abolished, and its substitutes, 101, 102, 106.
  courts of justice, 100.
  crime, statistics of, 103.
  Doftana, visit to salt mine of, 104, 105.
  expenditure for judicial and penal purposes, 112.
  prisons of Roumania, 102-10.
  prisoners, treatment of, 102, 104, 106, 110, 111.
  Vakareschti, visit, to prison of, 104, 105.


Manufactures (see 'Commerce').

  climate and seasons of Roumania, 28.


  language, constitution of the Roumanian, 95-97.
    comparison of Latin, Roumanian, and English, 96.
  Greek and other derivatives, 97.
  Magyar words in Roumanian, 97.

  Austria and Roumania, and the Danube, 32-35, 267.
  domestic, in Roumania, 267, 269.
  English interests on the Danube, 34, 35.
  foreign, in Roumania, 267-69.
  future, 269.
  land question, the, in Roumania and Ireland, 82-85.
  leaders in, 257-67 (see also 'Biography').
  Liberals, efforts of the, 267-70.
  parties, state of, in Roumania, 235 _note_.


  amusements of the people, 46.
  divorces in Roumania, 213, 214 _note_.
  funerals, 56.
  gipsies, their history, condition, and occupations, 49-54.
  hospitals, 44-46, 68.
  Jews, the, 57, 58.
  land and houses, cost of, 47.
  Lipovans, the, 54.
  octroi duties and poll-tax, 57.
  peasant proprietary, 82-6, and Appendix IV.
  peasantry, types of, 7.
    costumes of, 7, 8, 48, 49.
    women, occupations of, 8, 48.
    subterranean huts of, 10.
    diseases of, 10.
  police des mœurs, 45.
  prisons and prison system, 101-10 (see 'Law').
  upper classes, 46.
  working classes, customs, wages, and condition in Bucarest, 46-49.


  Bucarest, 5, 37-56.
  Curtea d'Ardges, 58-64.
  Danubian towns, 21.
  Galatz, 67-70.
  Ibrail, 72.
  Jassy, 71, 72.
  Roumanian towns, chief, 36, 37.
  Sinaïa, 7, 15, 16.


  buffaloes, 78.
  fishes, 25.
  sheep and cattle, 79.


39 PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C. LONDON, _April 1882_.





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_Abbey & Overton's_ English Church History, 15

_Abney's_ Photography, 10

_Acton's_ Modern Cookery, 20

Alpine Club Map of Switzerland, 17
  Guide (The), 17

_Amos's_ Jurisprudence, 5
  Primer of the Constitution, 5
  50 Years of English Constitution, 5

_Anderson's_ Strength of Materials, 10

_Armstrong's_ Organic Chemistry, 10

_Arnold's_ (Dr.) Lectures on Modern History, 2
  Miscellaneous Works, 7
  Sermons, 15
  (T.) English Literature, 6
  Poetry and Prose, 6

_Arnott's_ Elements of Physics, 9

Atelier (The) du Lys, 19

Atherstone Priory, 18

Autumn Holidays of a Country Parson, 7

_Ayre's_ Treasury of Bible Knowledge, 20

_Bacon's_ Essays, by _Whately_, 5
  Life and Letters, by _Spedding_, 5
  Works, 5

_Bagehot's_ Biographical Studies, 4
  Economic Studies, 21
  Literary Studies, 6

_Bailey's_ Festus, a Poem, 18

_Bain's_ James Mill and J.S. Mill, 4
  Mental and Moral Science, 6
  on the Senses and Intellect, 6
  Emotions and Will, 6

_Baker's_ Two Works on Ceylon, 17

_Ball's_ Alpine Guides, 17

_Ball's_ Elements of Astronomy, 10

_Barry_ on Railway Appliances, 10
  & _Brumweli_ on Railways, &c., 13

_Bauerman's_ Mineralogy, 10

_Beaconsfield's_ (Lord) Novels and Tales, 17 & 18
  Speeches, 1
  Wit and Wisdom, 6

_Becker's_ Charicles and Gallus, 8

_Beesly's_ Gracchi, Marius, and Sulla, 3

_Bent's_ Memoir of Garibaldi, 4

_Bingham's_ Bonaparte Marriages, 4

_Black's_ Treatise on Brewing, 20

_Blackley's_ German-English Dictionary, 8

_Blaine's_ Rural Sports, 19

_Bloxam's_ Metals, 10

_Bolland_ and _Lang's_ Aristotle's Politics, 5

_Bosco's_ Italian History by _Morell_, 2

_Boultbee_ on 39 Articles, 15
  's; History of the English Church, 15

_Bourne's_ Works on the Steam Engine, 14

_Bowdler's_ Family _Shakespeare_, 19

_Bramley-Moore's_ Six Sisters of the Valleys, 19

_Brandt's_ Dict. of Science, Literature, & Art, 11

_Brassey's_ British Navy, 13
  Sunshine and Storm in the East, 17
  Voyage of the 'Sunbeam', 17

_Browne's_ Exposition of the 39 Articles, 15

_Browning's_ Modern England, 3

_Buckle's_ History of Civilisation, 3

_Buckton's_ Food and Home Cookery, 20
  Health in the House, 12

_Bull's_ Hints to Mothers, 21
  Maternal Management of Children, 21

Burgomaster's Family (The), 19

Buried Alive, 18

_Burke's_ Vicissitudes of Families, 4

Cabinet Lawyer, 20

_Capes's_ Age of the Antonines, 3
  Early Roman Empire, 3

_Carlyle's_ Reminiscences, 4

_Cales's_ Biographical Dictionary, 4

_Cayley's_ Iliad of Homer, 19

Changed Aspects of Unchanged Truths, 7

_Chesney's_ Waterloo Campaign, 2

_Church's_ Beginning of the Middle Ages, 3

_Colenso_ on Moabite Stone &c., 16
  's Pentateuch and Book of Joshua, 16

Commonplace Philosopher, 7

_Comté's_ Positive Polity, 5

_Conder's_ Handbook to the Bible, 15

_Conington's_ Translation of Virgil's Æneid, 19

_Contanseau's_ Two French Dictionaries, 7 & 8

_Conybeare_ and _Howson's_ St. Paul, 15

_Cordery's_ Struggle against Absolute Monarchy, 3

_Cotta_ on Rocks, by _Lawrence_, 11

Counsel and Comfort from a City Pulpit, 7

_Cox's_ (G.W.) Athenian Empire, 3
  Crusades, 3
  Greeks and Persians, 3

_Creighton's_ Age of Elizabeth, 3
  England a Continental Power, 3
  Papacy during the Reformation, 15
  Shilling History of England, 3
  Tudors and the Reformation, 3

_Cresy's_ Encyclopædia, of Civil Engineering, 14

Critical Essays of a Country Parson., 7

_Culley's_ Handbook of Telegraphy, 14

_Curteis's_ Macedonian Empire, 3

_Davidson's_ New Testament, 15

_De Caisne_ and _Le Maout's_ Botany, 12

_De Tocqueville's_ Democracy in America, 2

_Dixon's_ Rural Bird Life, 11

_Dun's_ American Farming and Food, 21

_Eastlake's_ Foreign Picture Galleries, 13
  Hints on Household Taste, 14

_Edwards_ on Ventilation &c., 20

_Ellicott's_ Scripture Commentaries, 15
  Lectures on Life of Christ, 15

Elsa and her Vulture, 19

Epochs of Ancient History, 3
  English History, 3
  Modern History, 3

_Ewald's_ History of Israel, 16
  Antiquities of Israel, 16

_Fairbairn's_ Applications of Iron, 14
  Information for Engineers, 14
  Mills and Millwork, 13

_Farrar's_ Language and Languages, 7

_Fitzwygram_ on Horses, 19

_Francis's_ Fishing Book, 19

_Freeman's_ Historical Geography, 2

_Froude's_ Cæsar, 4
  English in Ireland, 1
  History of England, 1
  Short Studies, 6
  Thomas Carlyle, 4

_Gairdner's_ Houses of Lancaster and York, 3

_Ganot's_ Elementary Physics, 9
  Natural Philosophy, 9

_Gardiner's_ Buckingham and Charles I., 2
  Personal Government of Charles I., 2
  Fall of ditto, 2
  Outline of English History, 2
  Puritan Resolution, 3
  Thirty Years' War, 3

German Home Life, 7

_Goethe's_ Faust, by Birds, 18
  by Selss, 18
  by Webb, 18

_Goodeve's_ Mechanics, 10
  Mechanism, 13

_Gore's_ Electro-Metallurgy, 10

Gospel (The) for the Nineteenth Century, 16

_Grant's_ Ethics of Aristotle, 5

Graver Thoughts of a Country Parson, 7

_Greville's_ Journal, 1

_Griffin's_ Algebra and Trigonometry, 10

_Grove_ on Correlation of Physical Forces, 9

_Gwilt's_ Encyclopædia of Architecture, 13

_Hale's_ Fall of the Stuarts, 3

_Hartwig's_ Works on Natural History, &c., 11

_Hassall's_ Climate of San Remo, 17

_Haughton's_ Physical Geography, 11

_Hayward's_ Selected Essays, 6

_Heer's_ Primeval World of Switzerland, 11

_Helmholtz's_ Scientific Lectures, 9

_Herschel's_ Outlines of Astronomy, 8

_Hopkins's_ Christ the Consoler, 16

Horses and Roads, 19

_Hoskold's_ Engineer's Valuing Assistant, 13

_Hullah's_ History of Modern Music, 11
  Transition Period, 12

_Hume's_ Essays, 6
  Treatise on Human Nature, 6

_Ihne's_ Rome to its Capture by the Gauls, 3
  History of Rome, 2

_Ingelow's_ Poems, 18

_Jago's_ Inorganic Chemistry, 12

_Jameson's_ Sacred and Legendary Art, 13

_Jenkin's_ Electricity and Magnetism, 10

_Jerrold's_ Life of Napoleon, 1

_Johnson's_ Normans in Europe, 3
  Patentee's Manual, 21

_Johnston's_ Geographical Dictionary, 8

_Jukes's_ New Man, 16
  Second Death, 16
  Types of Genesis, 16

_Kalisch's_ Bible Studies, 15
  Commentary on the Bible, 16
  Path and Goal, 5

_Keller's_ Lake Dwellings of Switzerland, 11

_Kerl's_ Metallurgy, by _Crookes_ and _Röhrig_, 14

_Knatchbull-Hugessen's_ Fairy-Land, 18
  Higgledy-Piggledy, 18

Landscapes, Churches, &c., 7

_Latham's_ English Dictionaries, 7
  Handbook of English Language, 7

_Lecky's_ History of England, 1
  European Morals, 3
  Rationalism, 3
  Leaders of Public Opinion, 4

_Lee's_ Geologist's Note Book, 11

Leisure Hours in Town, 7

_Leslie's_ Political and Moral Philosophy, 6

Lessons of Middle Age, 7

_Lewes's_ History of Philosophy, 3

_Lewis_ on Authority, 6

_Liddell_ and _Scott's_ Greek-English Lexicons, 8

_Lindley_ and _Moore's_ Treasury of Botany, 20

_Lloyd's_ Magnetism, 9
  Wave-Theory of Light, 10

_Longman's_ (F.W.) Chess Openings, 20
  Frederic the Great, 3

_Longman's_ (F.W.) German Dictionary, 8
  (W.) Edward the Third, 2
  Lectures on History of England, 2
  Old and New St. Paul's, 13

_Loudon's_ Encyclopædia of Agriculture, 14
  Gardening, 14
  Plants, 12

_Lubbock's_ Origin of Civilisation, 11

_Ludlow's_ American War of Independence, 3

Lyra Germanica, 16

_Macalister's_ Vertebrate Animals, 11

_Macaulay's_ (Lord) Essays, 1
  History of England, 1
  Lays, Illustrated Edits, 12
  Cheap Edition, 18
  Life and Letters, 4
  Miscellaneous Writings, 6
  Speeches, 6
  Works, 1
  Writings, Selections from, 6

_MacCullagh's_ Tracts, 9

_McCarthy's_ Epoch of Reform, 3

_McCulloch's_ Dictionary of Commerce, 8

_Macfarren_ on Musical Harmony, 13

_Macleod's_ Economical Philosophy, 5
  Economics for Beginners, 21
  Elements of Banking, 21
  Elements of Economics, 21
  Theory and Practice of Banking, 21

Macnamara's Himalayan Districts, 17

Mademoiselle Mori, 19

_Mahaffy's_ Classical Greek Literature, 3

_Marshman's_ Life of Havelock, 4

_Martineau's_ Christian Life, 16
  Hours of Thought, 16
  Hymns, 16

_Maunder's_ Popular Treasuries, 20

_Maxwell's_ Theory of Heat, 10

_May's_ History of Democracy, 2
  History of England, 2

_Melville's_ (Whyte) Novels and Tales, 19

_Mendelssohn's_ Letters, 4

_Merivale's_ Fall of the Roman Republic, 2
  General History of Rome, 2
  Roman Triumvirates, 3
  Romans under the Empire, 2

_Merrifield's_ Arithmetic and Mensuration, 10

_Miles_ on Horse's Foot and Horse Shoeing, 19
  on Horse's Teeth and Stables, 19

_Mill_ (J.) on the Mind, 5

_Mill's_ (J.S.) Autobiography, 4
  Dissertations & Discussions, 5
  Essays on Religion, 15
  Hamilton's Philosophy, 5
  Liberty, 5
  Political Economy, 5
  Representative Government, 5
  Subjection of Women, 5
  System of Logic, 5
  Unsettled Questions, 5
  Utilitarianism, 5

_Miller's_ Elements of Chemistry, 12
  Inorganic Chemistry, 10
  Wintering in the Riviera, 17

_Milner's_ Country Pleasures, 11

_Mitchell's_ Manual of Assaying, 14

Modern Novelist's Library, 18 & 19

_Monck's_ Logic, 6

_Monsell's_ Spiritual Songs, 17

_Moore's_ Irish Melodies, Illustrated Edition, 13
  Lalla Rookh, Illustrated Edition, 13

_Morris's_ Age of Anne, 3

_Müller's_ Chips from a German Workshop, 7
  Hibbert Lectures on Religion, 16
  Science of Language, 7
  Science of Religion, 16
  Selected Essays, 7

_Neison_ on the Moon, 8

_Nevile's_ Horses and Riding, 19

_Newman's_ Apologia pro Vitâ Suâ, 4

_Nicols's_ Puzzle of Life, 11

_Northcott's_ Lathes & Turning, 13

_Orsi's_ Fifty Years' Recollections, 4

_Ormsby's_ Poem of the Cid, 18

Our Little Life, by A.K.H B., 7

_Overton's_ Life, &c. of _Law_, 4

_Owen's_ Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of Vertebrate Animals, 10

_Owen's_ Evenings with the Skeptics, 7

_Payen's_ Industrial Chemistry, 13

_Pewtner's_ Comprehensive Specifier, 20

_Piesse's_ Art of Perfumery, 14

_Pole's_ Game of Whist, 20

_Powell's_ Early England, 3

_Preece & Sivewright's_ Telegraphy, 10

Present-Day Thoughts, 7

_Proctor's_ Astronomical Works, 9
  Scientific Essays, 11

Public Schools Atlases, 8

_Rawlinson's_ Ancient Egypt, 3
  Sassanians, 3

Recreations of a Country Parson, 7

_Reynolds's_ Experimental Chemistry, 12

_Rich's_ Dictionary of Antiquities, 8

_Rivers's_ Orchard House, 12
  Rose Amateur's Guide, 12

_Rogers's_ Eclipse of Faith and its Defence, 15

_Roget's_ English Thesaurus, 8

_Ronalds'_ Fly-Fisher's Entomology, 19

_Rowley's_ Rise of the People, 3
  Settlement of the Constitution, 3

_Rutley's_ Study of Rocks, 10

_Sandars's_ Justinian's Institutes, 5

_Sankey's_ Sparta and Thebes, 3

_Savile_ on Apparitions, 7

Seaside Musings, 7

_Scott's_ Farm Valuer, 21
  Rents and Purchases, 21

_Seebohm's_ Oxford Reformers of 1498, 3
  Protestant Revolution, 3

_Sennett's_ Marine Steam Engine, 14

_Sewell's_ History of France, 2
  Passing Thoughts on Religion, 16
  Preparation for Communion, 16
  Private Devotions, 16
  Stories and Tales, 18

_Shelley's_ Workshop Appliances, 10

_Short's_ Church History, 15

_Smith's_ (_Sydney_) Wit and Wisdom, 6
  (Dr. R.A.) Air and Rain, 8
  (R.B.)Carthage & the Carthaginians, 2
  Rome and Carthage, 3
  (J.) Shipwreck of St. Paul, 15

_Southey's_ Poetical Works, 19
  & _Bowles's_ Correspondence, 4

_Stanley's_ Familiar History of Birds, 11

_Steel_ on Diseases of the Ox, 19

_Stephen's_ Ecclesiastical Biography, 4

_Stonehenge_, Dog and Greyhound, 19

_Stoney_ on Strains, 13

_Stubbs's_ Early Plantagenets, 3

Sunday Afternoons, by A.K.H.B., 7

Supernatural Religion, 16

_Swinburne's_ Picture Logic, 6

_Tancock's_ England during the Wars, 1778-1820, 3

_Taylor's_ History of India, 3
  Ancient and Modern History, 4
  (_Jeremy_) Works, edited by _Eden_, 16

Text-Books of Science, 10

_Thomé's_ Botany, 10

_Thomson's_ Laws of Thought, 6

_Thorpe's_ Quantitative Analysis, 10

_Thorpe_ and _Muir's_ Qualitative Analysis, 10

_Thudichum's_ Annals of Chemical Medicine, 12

_Tilden's_ Chemical Philosophy, 10
  Practical Chemistry, 12

_Todd_ on Parliamentary Government, 2

_Trench's_ Realities of Irish Life, 17

_Trevelyan's_ Life of Fox, 1

_Trollope's_ Warden and Barchester Towers, 18

_Twiss's_ Law of Nations, 5

_Tyndall's_ (Professor) Scientific Works, 10

Unawares, 19

_Unwin's_ Machine Design, 10

_Ure's_ Arts, Manufactures, and Mines, 14

_Ville_ on Artificial Manures, 14

_Walker_ on Whist, 20

_Walpole's_ History of England, 1

_Warburton's_ Edward the Third, 3

_Watson's_ Geometry, 10

_Watts's_ Dictionary of Chemistry, 12

_Webb's_ Celestial Objects, 8

_Weld's_ Sacred Palmlands, 17

_Wellington's_ Life, by _Gleig_, 4

_Whately's_ English Synonymes, 7
  Logic and Rhetoric, 6

_White's_ Four Gospels in Greek, 16
  and _Riddle's_ Latin Dictionaries, 8

_Wilcocks's_ Sea-Fisherman, 19

_Williams's_ Aristotle's Ethics, 5

_Willich's_ Popular Tables, 21

_Wilson's_ Resources of Modern Countries, 21
  Studies of Modern Mind, 6

_Wood's_ Works on Natural History, 10 & 11

_Woodward's_ Geology, 11

_Yonge's_ English-Greek Lexicons, 8

_Youatt_ on the Dog and Horse, 19

_Zeller's_ Greek Philosophy, 3

_Spottiswoode & Co. Printers, New-street Square, London._

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