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own country, and that nature has made the one for the other.

Those who inhabit the frontiers of Finland, have adopted some of the expressions of their neighbours, as happens to every people: but when two nations give to things of common use, to objects which are continually before their eyes, names absolutely different, it affords a strong presumption, that one of them is not a colony from the other. The Finlanders call a bear Karu, the Laplanders Muriet: the sun in the Finnish language is called Auringa, in the Lapland tongue Beve. Here is not the least analogy. The inhabitants of Finland, and Swedish Lapland, formerly worshipped an idol whom they called Iumalac, and since the reign of Gustavus Adolphus, to whom they are indebted for the appellation of Lutherans, they call Jesus Christ the son of lumalac. The Muscovite or Russian Laplanders, are at present thought to be of the Greek church; but those who wander about the mountains of the north cape, are satisfied with adoring one God under certain rude forms, as has been the ancient custom of all the nations called Nomades, or wandering nations.

This race of people, who are inconsiderable in numbers, have but very few ideas, and are happy in not having more, which would only occasion them to have new wants which they could not satisfy: at present they live contented, and free from diseases, notwithstanding the excessive coldness of their climate; they drink nothing but water, and attain to a great age. The custom imputed to them of entreating strangers to lie with their wives and daughters, which they esteem as an honour done to them probably arose from a notion of the superiority of strangers, and a desire of amending, by their means, the defects of their own race. This was a custom established amongst the virtuous Lacedemonians. A husband would entreat as a favour, of a comely young man, to give him handsome children, whom he might adopt. Jealousy, and the laws, prevent the rest of mankind from giving their wives up to the embraces of

but the Laplanders have few or no laws, and are in all probability, strangers to jealousy.

inhabited by a set of miserable wretches, oppressed by the decendants of Gengis Khan.

The Kremlin, or ancient palace of the great dukes, was not built till the 14th century; of such modern date are cities in this part of the world. This palace was built by Italian architects, as were several churches in the Gothic taste which then prevailed throughout all Europe. There are two built by the famous Aristotle, of Bologna, who flourished in the 15th century; but the private houses were no better than wooden huts.

The first writer who brought us acquainted with Moscow, was Olearius ; who, in 1633, went thither as the companion of an embassy from the duke of Holstein. A native of Holstein must naturally be struck with wonder at the immense extent of the city of Moscow, with its five quarters, especially the magnificent one belonging to the czars, and with the Asiatic splendour which then reigned at that court. There was nothing equal to it in Germany at that time, nor any city by far so extensive or well peopled.

On the contrary, the earl of Carlisle, who was ambassador from Charles II. to the czar Alexis, in 1633, complains in his relation, that he could not meet with any one convenience of life in Moscow; no inns on the road, nor refreshments of any kind. One judged as a German, the other as an Englishman, and both by comparison. The Englishman was shocked to see most of the Boyards or Muscovite noblemen, sleep upon boards or benches, with only the skins of animals under them ; but this was the ancient practice of all nations. The houses, which were almost all built of wood, had scarcely any furniture; few or none of their tables were covered with cloth; there was no pavement in the streets; nothing agreeable; nothing convenient ; very few artificers, and those few extremely awkward, and employed only in works of absolute necessity. These people might have passed for Spartans, had they been sober.

But, on public days, the court displays all the splendour of a Persian monarch. The earl says, he could see nothing but gold and precious stones on the robes of the czar and his courtiers. These dresses were not manufactured in the country ; and yet, it is evident, that the people might be rendered industrious long before that time. In the reign of the czar Boris Godonow, the largest bell was cast at Moscow, in Europe; and in the patriarchal church there were several ornaments in silver, worked in a very curious manner. These pieces of workmanship, which were made under the direction of Germans and Italians, were only transient efforts. It is daily industry, and the continual exercise of a great number of arts, that makes a nation flourishing. Poland, and the neighbouring nations, were at that time very little superior to the Russians. The handicraft trades were not in greater perfection in the north of Germany, nor were the polite arts much better known, than in the middle of the seventeenth century.

another ;


Ascending the river Dwina from north to south, we travel up the country till we come to Moscow, the capital of the empire. This city was long the centre of the Russian dominions, before they were extended on the side of China and Persia.

Moscow lying in 55 degrees and a half, north latitude, in a warmer climate, and more fruitful soil than that of Petersburg, as situated in the midst of a large and delightful plain on the river Moskwa, and two lesser rivers, which with the former lose themselves in the Occa, and afterwards help to swell the stream of the Wolga. This city, in the 13th century, was only a collection of huts,

Though the city of Moscow, at that time, had made their first settlements. But from whence neither the magnificence nor arts of our great ci- came these Slavi, whose language has spread ties in Europe, yet its circumference of twenty over all the north-east part of Europe? Sla signimiles; the part called the Chinese town, where

fies a chief, and slave one belonging to a chief. All all the rarities of China are exhibited; the

spa- that we know concerning these ancient Slaves is, cious quarter of the Kremlin, where stood the

that they were a race of conquerors; that they palace of the czars; the gilded domes, the lofty built the city of Novogo the Great, at the head and conspicuous turrets; and, lastly, the prodi- of a navigable river; and that this city was for gious number of its inhabitants, amounting to a long time in possession of a flourishing trade, and near 500,000. All this together, rendered Moscow

was a potent ally to the Hanse Towns. Czar Iwan one of the most considerable cities in the world.

Wassiliawitsch (or John Basilowitz) made a conTheodore, or Fedor, eldest brother to Peter the

quest of it in 1467, and carried away all its riches, Great, began to improve Moscow. He ordered

which contributed to the magnificence of the court several large houses to be built of stone, though of Moscow, till then almost unknown. without any regular architecture. He encourag- To the south of the province of Smolensko, ed the principal persons of his court to build, ad

we meet with the province of Kiow, otherwise vancing them sums of money, and furnishing called the Lesser Russia, Red Riissia, or the them with materials. He was the first who col

Ukraine, through which runs the Dneiper, called lected studs of fine horses, and made several use

by the Greeks the Boristhenes. The difference of ful embellishments. Peter, who was attentive to

these two names, the one so harsh to pronounce, every thing, did not neglect Moscow at the time

and the other so melodious, served to show us, tohe was building Petersburg; for he caused it to

gether with a hundred other instances, the rudebe paved, adorned it with noble edifices, and en

ness of all the ancient people of the North, in riched it with manufactures ; and, within these

comparison with the graces of the Greek language. few years, M. de Showalow, high chamberlain to

Kiow, the capital city, formerly Kisow, was built the empress Elizabeth, daughter to Peter the

by the emperors of Constantinople, who made it a Great, has founded an university in this city. colony: here are still to be seen several Greek inThis is the same person who furnished me with

scriptions upwards of twelve hundred years old. the memorials, from which I have compiled the

This is the only city of any antiquity in these present history, and who was himself much more

countries, where men lived so long together withcapable to have done it, even in the French lan

out building walls. Here it was that the great guage, had not his great modesty determined dukes of Russia held their residence in the elehim to resign the task to me, as will evidently

venth century, before the Tartars brought it under appear from his own letters on this subject, which

their subjection. I have deposited in the public library of Geneva.

The inhabitants of the Ukraine, called Cossacs, are a mixture of the ancient Roxolanians,

Sarmatians, and Tartars, blended together. Rome Westward of the duchy of Moscow, is that of and Constantinople, though so long the mistresses Smolensko, a part of the ancient Sarmatia Eu

of other nations, are not to compare in fertility of ropea. The duchies of Moscow and Smolensko,

country with the Ukraine. Nature has there excomposed what is properly called White Russia.

erted her utmost efforts for the service of manSmolensko, which at first belonged to the great kind; but they have not seconded those efforts dukes of Russia, was conquered by the great by industry, living only upon the spontaneous produke of Lithuania, in the beginning of the fifteenth

ductions of an uncultivated, but fruitful soil, and century, and was retaken one hundred years af

the exercise of rapine. Though fond, to a degree terwards by its old masters. Sigismund III, king

of enthusiasm, of that most valuable of all blessof Poland, got possession of it in 1611. The czar

ings, liberty; yet they were always in subjection, Alexis, father of Peter I. recovered it again in either to the Poles or to the Turks, till the year 1654, since which time it has always constituted

1654, when they threw themselves into the arms of part of the Russian empire. The panegyric of

Russia, but with some limitations. At length they Peter the Great, pronounced in the academy of

were entirely subdued by Peter the Great. sciences at Paris, takes notice, that before his

Other nations are divided into cities and towns ; time the Russians had made no conquests either to

this into ten regiments. At the head of which is the west or south ; but this is evidently a mistake.

a chief, who used to be elected by a majority of

votes, and is called by the name of Hetman, or OP THE GOVERNMENTS OF NOVOGOROD AND KIOW,

Itman. This captain of the nation was not in

vested with supreme power. At present the itman Between Petersburg and Smolensko, lies the

is a person nominated by the czar, from among province of Novogorod ;* and is said to be the

the great lords of the court; and is, in fact, no country in which the ancient Slavi, or Sclavonians

more than the governor of the province, like go* Grod, or gorod, signifies city in the Russian lan

vernors of the pays d'etats in France, that have reguage.

tained some privileges.




At first the inhabitants of this country were all of latitude. It is bounded on one side by the either Pagans or Mahometans; but, when they Caspian Sea, and on the other by the mountains entered into the service of Poland, they were bap- of Circassia, projecting beyond the Caspian, along tized Christians of the Roman communion; and mount Caucasus. It is watered by the great now, that they are in the service of Russia, they river Wolga, the Jaick, and several other lesser belong to the Greek church.

streams, between which, according to Mr. PerAmongst these are comprehended the Zapora- ry, the English engineer, canals might be cut, vian Cossacs, who are much the same as our Bu

that would serve as reservoirs to receive the overcaniers, or freebooters, living upon rapine. They flowing of the waters; and by that means anare distinguished from all other people, by never swer the same purposes as the canals of the admitting women to live among them; as the Nile, and make the soil more fruitful; but to Amazons are said never to have admitted any the right and left of the Wolga and Jaick this man. The women, whom they make use of for fine country was inhabited, or rather infected, propagation, live upon other islands on the river ; by Tartars, who never apply themselves to agrithey have no marriages amongst them, nor any culture, but have always lived as strangers and domestic economy; they inroll the male children sojourners upon the face of the earth. in their militia, and leave the girls to the care of The above named engineer, Perry, who was emtheir mothers. A brother has frequently children ployed by Peter the Great in these parts, found a by his sister, and a father by his daughter. They vast tract of land covered with pasture, legumiknow no other laws than customs, introduced by nous plants, cherry and almond trees, and large necessity: however, they make use of some pray- flocks of wild sheep, who fed in these solitary ers from the Greek ritual. Fort St. Elizabeth has places, and whose, flesh was excellent. The inbeen lately built on the Boristhenes, to keep them habitants of these countries must be conquered in awe. They serve as irregulars in the Russian and civilized, in order to second the efforts of naarmies, and hapless is the fate of those who fall ture, who has been forced in the climate of Petersinto their hands.


The kingdom of Astracan is a part of the anOF THE GOVERNMENTS OF BELGOROD, WORONITZ cient Capshak, conquered by Gengis-Khan, and

afterwards by Tamerlane, whose dominion extend

ed as far as Moscow. The czar, John Basidas, To the north-east of the province of Kiow, be- grandson of John Basilowitz, and the greatest contween the Boristhenes and the Tanais, or Don, is queror of all the Russian princes, delivered his the government of Belgorod, which is as large as country from the Tartarian yoke, in the sixteenth that of Kiow. This is one of the most fruitful century, and added the kingdom of Astracan to his provinces of Russia, and furnishes Poland with a other conquests, in 1554. prodigious number of that large cattle known by Astracan is the boundary of Asia and Europe, the name of Ukraine oxen. These two provinces and is so situated as to be able to carry on a trade are secured from the incursions of the petty Tar- with both; as merchandises may be conveyed tar tribes, by lines extending from the Boristhenes from the Caspian Sea, up to this town, by means to the Tanais, and well furnished with forts and of the Wolga. This was one of the grand schemes redoubts.

of Peter the Great, and has been partly carried into Farther northward we cross the Tanais, and execution. An entire suburb of Astracan is income into the government of Worownitz, or Ve- habited by Indians. ronise, which extends as far as the banks of the Palus Mæotis. In the neighbourhood of the capital of this province, which is called, by the Russians, Woronesteh at the mouth of the river of To the south east of the kingdom of Astracan, the same name, which falls into the Don, Peter is a small country, newly planted, called Oremthe Great built his first fleet; an undertaking bourg. The town of this name was built in the which was at that time entirely new to the inha- year 1734, on the banks of the river Jaick. This bitants of these vast dominions. From thence province is thick covered with hills, that are parts

come to the government of Nischgorod, of Mount Caucasus. The passes in these mounabounding with grain, and is watered by the ri- tains, and of the rivers that run down from them, ver Wolga.

are defended by forts raised at equal distances. In this region, formerly uninhabited, the Persians come at present, to hide from the rapacity of rob

bers, such of their effects as have escaped the fury From the latter province we proceed southward of the civil wars. The city of Orembourg is become to the kingdom of Astracan. This country reach- the asylum of the Persians and their riches, and es from forty-three and a half degrees north lati- is grown considerable by their calamities. The tude (in a most delighiful climate) to near fifty, natives of Great Bukari come hither to trade, so including about as many degrees of longitude as that it is become the mart of Asia.






gins; all that tract of country lying beyond mount Taurus was distinguished by the general appellation of Scythia, and afterwards by that of Tartary. It might not be improper, perhaps, to give the name of Terræ Arcticæ, or Northern Lands, to the country extending from the Baltic Sea, to the confines of China; as that of Terræ Australes, or Southern Lands, are to that equally extensive part of the world, situated under the Antarctic Pole, and which serves to counterpoise the globe.



Beyond the Wolga and Jaick, towards the north, lies the kingdom of Casan, which, like that of Astracan, fell by partition to one of the sons of Gengis Khan, and afterwards to a son of Tamerlane, and was at length conquered by John Basilides. It is still inhabited by a number of Mahometan Tartars. This vast country stretches as far as Siberia; it is allowed to have been formerly very flourishing and rich, and still retains some part of its pristine opulence. A province of this kingdom, called Great Permia, and since Solikam, was the staple for the merchandises of Persia, and the furs of Tartary. There has been found in Permia a great quantity of the coin of the first Caliphs, and some Tartarian idols, made of gold ;* but these monuments of ancient opulence were found in the midst of barren deserts and extreme poverty, where there were not the least traces of commerce : revolutions of this nature may easily happen to a barren country seeing they are so soon brought about in the most fruitful provinces.

The famous Swedish prisoner, Strahlemberg, who made such advantageous use of his misfortunes, and who examined those extensive countries with so much attention, was the first who gave an air of probability to a fact, which before had been always thought incredible; namely, concerning the ancient commerce of these provinces. Pliny and Pomponius Mela relate, that, in the reign of Augustus, a king of the Suevi made a present to Metellus Celer of some Indians who had been cast by a storm upon the coasts bordering on the Elbe. But how could inhabitants of India navigate the Germanic seas? This adventure was deemed fabulous by all our moderns, especially after the change made in the commerce of our hemisphere, by the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope. But formerly it was no more extraordinary to see an Indian trading to the parts to the north-west of his country, than to see a Roman go from India by the way of Arabia. The Indians went to Persia, and thence embarked on the Hyreanian Sea, and ascending the Rha, now the Wolga, got to Great Permia through the river Kama; from whence they might take shipping again on the Black Sea, or the Baltic. There have, in all times, been enterprising men. The Tyrians undertook most surprising voyages.

If after surveying all these vast provinces, we direct our view towards the east, we shall find the limits of Europe and Asia again confounded. A new name is wanting for this considerable part of the globe. The ancients divided their known world into Europe, Asia, and Africa; but they had not seen the tenth part of it; hence it happens, that when we pass the Palus Mæotis, we are at a loss to know where Europe ends, or Asia, be

* Memoirs of Strahlemberg, confirmed by those sent ine from Russia,

SIBERIA, with the territories beyond it, extends from the frontiers of the provinces of Archangel, Resan, and Astracan, eastward as far as the sea of Japan: it joined the southern parts of Russia by Mount Caucasus; from thence, to the country of Kamtshatka, is about one thousand two hundred computed French leagues ; and from southern Tartary, which serves as its boundary to the Frozen Sea, about four hundred, which is the least breadth of the Russian empire. This country produces the richest furs; and this occasioned the discovery of it in the year 1563.

In the sixteenth century, in the reign of the czar, John Basilides, and not in that of Fæder Johannowitz, a private person in the neighbourhood of Archangel, named Anika, one tolerably rich for his condition of life and country, took notice, that certain men of an extraordinary figure, and dressed in a manner unknown to that country, and who spoke a language understood by no one but themselves, came every year down a river which falls into the Dwina,* and brought martins and black foxes, which they trucked for nails and pieces of glass; just as the first savages of America used to exchange their gold with the Spaniards; he cansed them to be followed by his sons and servants, as far as their own country. These were the Samojedes, a people who seem to resemble the Laplanders, but are of a different race. They are, like that people, unacquainted with the use of

and like them, they yoke reindeer to draw their sledges. They live in caverns and huts, amidst the snow ;t but in other respects, nature has made a visible difference between this species of men and the Laplanders. Their upper jaw projects forward, so as to be on a level with their nose, and their ears are placed higher. Both the men and women have no hair in any other part of their bodies, but their heads; and their nipple is of a deep black, like ebony. The Lapland men and women are distinguished by no such marks. By memoirs sent from these countries so little known, I have been informed, that the author of the curious natural history of the king's garden, is mistaken, where, in speaking of the many curiosities in human nature, he confounds the Lapland race with that of the Samojedes. There are


* Memoirs sent from Petersburg.

† Ibid

many more different species of men than is commonly thought. The Samojedes, and the Hottentots, seem to be the two extremes of our continent; and if we observe the black nipples of the Samojedian women, and the apron with which nature has furnished the Hottentot females, and which hangs half way down their thighs, we may have some idea of the great variety of our animal species, a variety unknown to those inhabiting great cities, who are generally strangers to almost every thing that is not immediately within their view.

The Samojedes are as singular in their moral as in their physical distinctions ; they pay no worship to the Supreme Being; they border upon Manicheism, or rather upon the religion of the ancient Magi in this one point, that they acknowledge a good and an evil principle. The horrible climate they inhabit may in some measure excuse this belief, which is of such ancient date, and so natural to those who are ignorant and unhappy.

Theft, or murder, is never heard of amongst them ; being in a manner devoid of passions, they are strangers to injustice ; they have no terms in their language to denote vice and virtue, their extreme simplicity has not yet permitted them to form abstract ideas, they are wholly guided by pensation, and this is perhaps an incontestible proof that men naturally love justice, when not blinded by inordinate passions.

Some of these savages were prevailed on to suffer themselves to be carried to Moscow, where many things they saw struck them with admiration. They gazed upon the emperor as their god, and voluntarily engaged for themselves and countrymen a present of two martens, or sables, every year for each inhabitant. Colonies were soon settled beyond the Oby,* and the Irtis, † and some forts built. In the year 1595, a Cossack officer was sent into this country, who conquered it for the czar with only a few soldiers and some artillery, as Cortez did Mexico ; but he only made a conquest of barren deserts.

In sailing up the Oby to the junction of the river Irtis with the Tobol, they found a petty settlement, which they converted into the town of Tobol I now the capital of Siberia, and a considerable place. Who could imagine that this country was for a long time the residence of those very Huns, who under Attila carried their depredations as far as the gates of Rome, and that these Huns came from the north of China ? The Usbeck

Tartars succeeded the Huns, and the Russiang the Usbecks. The possession of these savage countries has been disputed with as much murderous fury, as that of the most fruitful provinces. Siberia was formerly better peopled than it is at present, especially towards the southern parts ; if we may judge from the rivers and sepulchral monuments.

All this part of the world, from the sixtieth degree of latitude, or therebouts, as far as those mountains of perpetual ice which border the north seas, is totally different from the regions of the temperate zone ; the earth produces neither the same plants, nor the same animals, nor are there the same sort of fishes in their lakes and rivers.

Below the country of the Samojedes lies that of the Ostiaks, along the river Oby. These people have no resemblance in any respect with the Samojedes, save that like them and all the first race of men they are hunters, fishermen, and shepherds; some of them have no religion, not being formed into any society, and the others who live together in herds or clans, have a kind of worship, and pray to the principal object of their wants; they adore the skin of a sheep, because this creature is of all others the most serviceable to them ; just as the Egyptian husbandmen made choice of an ox, as an emblem of the Deity who created that creature for the use of man.

The Ostiaks have likewise other idols, whose origin and worship are as little deserving our notice as their worshippers. There were some converts to Christianity made amongst them in the year 1712 ; but these, like the lowest of our peasants, are Christians without knowing what they profess. Several writers pretend that these people were natives of Great Permia, but as Great Permia is in a manner a desert, how comes it then its inhabitants should settle themselves at such a distance, and so inconveniently ? This is a difficulty not worth clearing up. Every nation which has not cultivated the polite arts, deserves to remain in obscurity.

In the country of the Ostiaks in particular, and amongst their neighbours the Burates and Jakutians, they often discover a kind of ivory under ground, the nature of which is as yet unknown. Some take it to be a sort of fossil, and others the tooth of a species of elephants, the breed of which have been destroyed : but where is the country that does not afford some natural productions, which at once astonish and confound philosophy.

Several mountains in this country abound with the amianthes or asbestos, a kind of incombustible flax, of which a sort of cloth and paper is sometimes made.

To the south of the Ostiaks are the Burates, another people, who have not yet been made Christians. Eastward there are several hordes, whom the Russians have not as yet entirely subdued.

* Called also the Ob. This large river issues from the lake Altin in Calmuck Tatary, in Asia, from whence running north it forms the boundary between Europe and Asia, and after traversing a vast tract of above two thougand miles, it falls into a bay of the Frozen Sea.

| In the Russian language Irtish. This river runs from N. to S. through all Russia, and falling into the former river, forms part of the boundary between Asia and Europe. In the Russian language Tobolskoy.

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