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Svobodnaya Rossia-Free Russia—is a word on every lip in that great country; at once the Name and Hope of the new empire born of the Crimean war. In past times Russia was free, even as Germany and France were free. She fell before Asiatic hordes; and the Tartar system lasted, in spirit, if not in form, until the war; but since that conflict ended, the old Russia has been born again. This new country-hoping to be pacific, meaning to be Free—is what I have tried to paint.
My journeys, just completed, carried me from the Polar Sea to the Ural Mountains, from the mouth of the Vistula to the Straits of Yeni Kale, including visits to the four holy shrines of Solovetsk, Pechersk, St. George, and Troitsa. My object being to paint the Living People, I have much to say about pilgrims, monks, and parish priests; about village justice, and patriarchal life; about beggars, tramps, and sectaries; about Kozaks, Kalmuks, and Kirghiz; about workmen's artels, burgher rights, and the division of land; about students' revolts and soldiers' grievances; in short, about the Human Forces which underlie and shape the external politics of our time.
Two journeys made in previous years have helped me to judge the reforms which are opening out the Japan-like empire of Nicolas into the Free Russia of the reigning prince.
February, 1870. ? 6 St. James's Terrace.s
VII. -FATHER JOHN..
X.—THE HOLY Isles..
XI.—THE LOCAL SAINTS.
XII.-A MONASTIC HOUSEHOLD
XIII.-A PILGRIM's Day.....
XIV.-PRAYER AND LABOR
XVIII.—THE GREAT MIRACLE...
XIX.-A CONVENT SPECTRE
XX.-STORY OF A GRAND DUKE....
XXVI.-MORE NEW SECTS.....
XXVII.—THE POPULAR CHURCH..
XXIX.-A FAMILY OF OLD BELIEVERS
XXX.-CEMETERY OF THE TRANSFIGURATION.
THITE SEA!" laughs the Danish skipper, curling his
thin red lip; "it is the color of English stout. The bed may be white, being bleached with the bones of wrecked and sunken men; but the waves are never white, except when they are ribbed into ice and furred with snow. A better name is that which the sailors and seal-fishers give it—the Frozen Sea!”
Rounding the North Cape, a weird and hoary mass of rock, projecting far into the Arctic foam, we drive in a south-east course, lashed by the wind and beaten by hail and rain, for two long days, during which the sun never sets and never rises, and in which, if there is dawn at the hour of midnight, there is also dusk at the time of noon.
Leaving the picturesque lines of fiord and alp behind, we run along a dim, unbroken coast, not often to be seen through the pall of mist, until, at the end of some fifty hours, we feel,
were, the land in our front; a stretch of low-lying shore in the vague and far-off distance, trending away towards the south, like the trail of an evening cloud. We bend in a southern course, between Holy Point (Sviatoi Noss, called on our charts, in rough salt slang, Sweet Nose) and Kanin Cape, towards the Corridor; a strait some thirty miles wide, leading down from the Polar Ocean into that vast irregular dent in the northern shore of Great Russia known as the Frozen Sea.
The land now lying on our right, as we run through the Corridor, is that of the Lapps; a country of barren downs and deep black lakes ; over which a few trappers and fisher