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having complained to the general of the deputies of the great boyarie, and some cruel outrages (at that time of the sub-prefects; to send twenty dealmost daily occurrence) perpetrated puties to the ordinary general asby soldiers on peasants, Coronini is sembly, and fifty to the extraordisaid to have replied, that if he were nary assemblies, and to assist, moreto shoot his brave fellows whenever over, as eligible, at the elections for a sabre-cut or bayonet-thrust was the districts made by the little given to a peasant, he should lose boyards and the sons of boyards; to some of his best soldiers, True, be exempt from arrest, except by deGeneral,” was the response ; "there cree of the prince; to be tried by are so many assassins in your army, their peers ; eligibility to the offices that if you were to shoot every one of minister and of member of the of them, you might find yourself high court of justice. The little without any army at all."
boyards have the right to share, as After sketching the hospodars, deputies for districts, in the delicertainly in no tender tints or sub- berations of the chamber, in the dued colouring, the writer passes to election of the prince, archbishops, the boyards, in speaking of whom he bishops, and deputies, and, as proabates nothing of his severity. His prietors, in those of the sub-prefects. incisive style qualifies him well for They are eligible to public office as the task he has undertaken. There high as that of director of a ministry. is no lack of spirit and pungency in Both classes of boyards are exempt his pages, and his satirical verve fre- from all taxation, from military serquently flashes out. He writes with vice, and from corporal or other dethe bitterness of a disappointed man, grading punishment.”. who loves his country, and considers It will be admitted that this is a that it has been ill-used, gulled, and handsome list of privileges and exsacrificed. He does not put on emptions. That from taxation is gloves, as the French say, to handle shared by some other classes, not those political men, whether natives noble, who have either inherited or or foreigners, whom he believes to purchased it. It is to be bought at have betrayed or behaved ill to various prices, according to circumMoldo-Wallachia. And if he does stances. The crying injustice of not sweepingly condemn classes, such exemptions need not be dwelt neither does he shrink from exhibit- upon, nor the corruption and bribing the vices even of that to which ery to which it of course gives he belongs. The great boyards, with rise. In Wallachia, whose populatheir privileges, their prodigality, tion is 2,500,000, little more than their egotism, their contempt and 1,700,000 persons pay taxes; and neglect of their unfortunate peasants, the exempt are the wealthiest classes. who are consigned to the tender One forms but a poor idea of an mercies of Greek and Jew farmers or aristocracy and middle class which middlemen, receive at his hands no thus throws the whole burthen of better treatment than they deserve. the taxation on those comparatively We may as well ascertain the exact needy. But this is but one of many value of the word boyard, which, abuses. From various parts of the although familiar, is not very intel present pamphlet we glean abundant ligible to many European ears. evidence of the egotism and corrupt
“ The Boyarie is a personal, not ness of the higher orders of Moldoan hereditary nobility. It is con- Wallachians. The author defines the ferred by the prince (hospodar), with boyarie as a bureaucratie privilégiée. one of the twelve titles pertaining The institution is equivalent to the to it. It is divided into the great Russian tchinn, and this is one reaand little boyarie. To attain the son why it was preserved in Kisselfirst, it is necessary to pass through eff's organic regulations. Also,“ bethe second. The privileges con- cause it has always been, in the hands ferred by the great boyarie are—to of government, the current coin of furnish candidates for the hospodar- corruption." The prince, we learn, al throne ; to elect the prince, the can convert his groom, in the course metropolitan archbishop, the bishops, of five or six years, into a great boyard,
A person who had been the valet-de- by the pomps and splendours of the chambre of a Wallachian gentleman, Fanariot court, ceased to inhabit and rose, under Stirbey, by Russian pro to cultivate their own estates, and tection, to be great boyard and took up their abode in the capital. minister. All the present Caimacan's In the words of St Marc Girardin, old footmen are little boyards. “Be- “ those who were masters in their sides the boyarie, or official nobility, castles became valets at the court." an aristocracy of fact and of tradition The custom of farming property then exists, enjoying no legal privilege, grew general, and all intercourse but whose origin is to be sought in between proprietors and peasants the most brilliant pages of the Rou- ceased. Listen to the consequences, as man annals. Those who, belonging witnessed at the present day. to the category, respect themselves, best farmers” (and remember that it make it a point of honour not to ac- is a Wallachian landed proprietor cept a rank in the boyarie. Of the who writes this, and who writes of 400 families that compose the great what he has seen)“ are those who boyarie of the two Principalities, exact only two or three times as hardly fifty belong to the historical much as they are entitled to. Bad aristocracy. The nobility or ennoble. ones exact two hundred days of lament of the others dates from ten, bour instead of twenty-two,f and octwenty, or at most forty years back.' casionally beat a peasant to death. The writer insists strongly on the dif- When things are carried as far as this, ference between a boyarie and an aris- and a complaint is lodged, the murtocracy, which have been commonly derer gets off by paying a heavy sum. confounded by foreigners. If this con- But as long as a farmer contents fusion be permitted, one may seek in himself with beating his peasants vain for a middle class in Moldo-Wal- moderately, everything is arranged lachia. In Wallachia there are 3000 between him and the sub-prefect. Înfamilies of boyards, great and small, stances of murder are not uncommon. but of these 2900 are, socially speak. I saw recently, at the Ministry of the ing, bourgeois, or persons of the mid- Interior, two reports establishing such dle class. In Moldavia, which is facts.” The sub-prefect is the curse of smaller than Wallachia, there are the peasant. He is usually either the twice as many boyards, and the pre- former domestic of some great boysent Caimacan, Vogorides, continues ard, or a ruined small proprietor to make them.
desirous to reconstruct his fortune. Whilst endeavouring, by the aid of Three candidates are elected; the the “ Letters," and of our own recol- hospodar selects from the three the lections, to give the reader an idea of one who offers most money. Under the profound selfishness, shameless Stirbey, we learn from this pamvepality, and continual intrigues of phlet, the market price rose to 6000 that influential class in the Princi- francs. The salary is 140 francs palities from which the hospodars are a-month, on which the sub-prefect chosen, we are naturally led to the has to keep himself, his family, a carcondition of the unhappy Rouman riage and four horses, and pay the peasantry. The 13th and 14th expenses of his office and the salary chapters give a clear and animated of his employés. It is clear that in picture of the legal position of the Moldo-Wallachia a man, to be a peasant, and of his real one. We sub-prefect, must either be very rich, shall not dwell long upon them, be- or a great robber. The farmers pay cause much of the information they him black mail for liberty to grind contain was given, in substance, in a and beat their peasants. The peaformer paper in this Magazine.* The sants seek to conciliate him by such peasants' sufferings date from 1731, presents as their poverty permits ; at which period the boyards, seduced and when they take the great liberty
Blackwood's Magazine, Feb. 1857. + The legal return to the proprietor for the lands he grants to the peasant, and whose quantity is fixed by law, is twenty-two days of labour per annum, a tithe of the corn, and a fifth of the hay.
of presenting a petition to him, they for the summit, and the gendarme for invariably accompany it with a gift the base ?” In the present state of --perhaps a pair of fowls, perhaps things, our author assures us, none a calf. From a less authentic and but rich and extraordinarily virtuous trustworthy source, the following persons can long resist the temptatrait would be incredible :
tion, and preserve clean hands. He “If it be a calf that is offered to expresses his wonder that there should him (when proceeding on his rounds be so large a proportion of honest through his district), the sub-prefect functionaries as twenty-five in a points out the impossibility of carry. hundred,
and considers this a proof ing it away with him, and says to that honesty, with certain men, is an the petitioner, Keep it. The incurable chronic affection. No prepeasant goes away joyful, and rather vious misconduct, or even infamy, surprised at such disinterestedness. disqualifies for high office in the eyes He sells the calf, or the calf dies, and of the unscrupulous Rouman satraps he thinks no more about it. But, of the Porte.“ Alexander Ghica had two or three years afterwards, he is no sooner assumed the powers of applied to for the aforesaid calf, left caimacan, than he made appointin his care, and which must have ments which at once disgusted and grown into an ox.' Remonstrance is drove from his side all the respectable unavailing; the unlucky peasant has men of his party. He seemed to take to give his best ox. This scene is pleasure in surrounding himself with repeated four or five times in every persons whom public opinion had village ; and there are sub-prefects long since condemned and branded. who have acquired by this means And public opinion, indignant, exmagnificent herds of cattle."
tended its scorn and censure to himNot only the sub-prefects, but the self. “The old man did not hesigreat majority of all the Moldo-Wal- tate to strip himself of a popularity lachian functionaries, are corrupt in which would have adorned his tomb." the highest degree. "At least seventy: Amongst the highest appointments five per cent of the whole number," he had to bestow, we are told of that says the author of the "Letters,” “and of a Greek, who had been condemned I do not fear contradiction.” Bribery to punishment for embezzlement; of and extortion are the universal rule. a man who had been sentenced to This arises in great part from the death for the murder of his father-inwretched salaries given to public law, and who was pardoned only at servants. A judge gets 180 francs the foot of the gallows, and with the a-month; a prefect receives 300, and condition that he should be suspended cannot spend less than 3000. The from it by the shoulders for an hour; bad example is set by the very highest of an officer who had been broken in the land-by the hospodar himself for theft ; of sub-prefects who had and his ministers. The most bare- undergone three years' imprisonment faced peculations and downright theft for the same crime, &c., &c. With are left unpunished. When the this acute writer's picture of the Russian army retired from the Prin- Rouman public servant, we will concipalities, the prefect of Jalomitza clude this sketchy exposition, foundaccompanied it, and took with him ed chiefly on the pamphlet before us, the funds of his district, amounting of the moral, or rather immoral, conto 80,000 francs. In Russia he re- dition of Moldo-Wallachia under the ceived rank and decorations. The present system and rulers. war over, he returned to Bucharest. “The type of the Rouman bureauNo account was ever demanded of crat is a functionary serving, for forty him. Cases of this kind are of fre- years past, with the same zeal and quent occurrence. There are, how- the same profits, all the governments, ever, it appears, some honest prefects. Greek, Russian, or indigenous, that In Wallachia, we are told, there are have passed in procession over him. seven out of seventeen, but all the The various armies of occupation, sub-prefects rob. “What can the which ruined and demoralised his most honest prefect do against a sys- country, enriched him, and placed tem of pillage, having the hospodar around his neck a collar of foreign decorations. Inured to business, pamphlet, we can state in small comskilful, active, and in most cases pass its author's reply. He mainrisen from very low, he ends by be- tains that there exists in Moldocoming grand boyard and minister. Wallachia a sufficient number of Whilst those who follow in his foot- honest men to lead the way to social steps style him Excellency, the reforms, and to set an efficacious people cast in his face the epithet of example. He proposes the abolition Tchokoz, a word they have created of the absurd system of boyards, the to stigmatise infamy and baseness. cancelling of all these ranks or tchinns Tchokoï is untranslatable ; it means (which serve merely as means of valet, pied plat, lâche, parvenu, all corruption), and of the unjust excombined. In the rest of the world emptions attached to them. Witthere is probably no word equivalent nessing the incurable venality and to it, because there is not another selfishness of the great majority of nation that has suffered so much the grand boyards, he looks a step from the baseness and vileness of its lower for honesty, and believes it rulers."
might there be found united with One question will naturally sug- capacity. There are unquestionably gest itself to whomsoever has read young men of promise in the Princithe foregoing pages. In a country palities, and it is to be regretted that where the lower classes are noto- some of them have embraced repubriously ignorant, and where the lican and even socialist ideas. Not greater portion of the higher ones are, a few of the sons and nephews of the upon your own showing, profoundly great boyards themselves, of those venal and unpatriotic, where will men who have grown grey in poliyou find the materials for an honest tical profligacy and villany, display administration? You ask the union a far more patriotic spirit than their of the provinces under one hereditary fathers. Amongst the professional prince, who is to rule constitution- and commercial classes, men of edually : in short, you aspire to make of cation and practical sense might be Roumania an eastern Piedmont or found. But, above all, the Rouman Belgium, under the suzeraineté of writer adjures the great Powers to Turkey, but restricting the Porte to establish such an order of things in the rights conferred by that suzer- his country as shall enable his counaineté -— rights which, it must be trymen to select their own ruler, and owned, have hitherto been frequently not to have him imposed upon them and grossly abused. But, although by this or that foreign influencewe at once allow that you have much exerted often from motives diamecause for complaint, that you have trically opposed to the welfare of Molbeen oppressed and plundered, prey- do-Wallachia, and, not unfrequently, ed upon by those who should have purchased by the
gold of the wealthprotected you, despoiled and exhaust- jest candidate. In that country, it ed by Turk, Russian, and Austrian, has always been from the summit of we may ask whether you really think, the social pyramid that the corrupafter the admissions and statement tion proceeded, spreading downwards you have made with regard to your and infecting the mass. By subsercountrymen, that the country is fit viency to alien interests, by huge to walk alone, contains the elements bribes to corrupt ministers, by bakof a good administration, and would shish unsparingly distributed to not be in danger of becoming, within countless officials at Stamboul, that a short time, were your demands sink of official corruption-by every complied with, a pitiable spectacle of vile and costly means, in short, that misrule and corruption, an arena of will serve his turn, the hospodar atintrigues and strife, a playground tains to power. But it is not merely for unscrupulous adventurers,
and a for the honour of the post that he scandal which the nations of Europe has wriggled through dirty paths to could not suffer to exist? If we the proud eminence, in attaining rightly interpret, and may venture to which he has befouled himself mocondense, the views and arguments rally as much as ever did physically to be found in several chapters of the the climber of a greasy pole at an English fair. He must get back his we shall find in the political situation expenses; he must make a fortune of the Principalities. besides ; he must also have plentiful “ Under the Fanariot regime, the funds in hand to make head against ruin and debasement of these counthe intrigues of his disappointed com- tries was the aim to which the reignpetitors. So he at once commences ing princes directed all their efforts. an organised system of plunder, ex- Subsequently, the Russian protectortortion, and bribe-taking. His minis- ate, wishing to attain the same end, ters assist him, and follow his exam- employed the same means. The ple—or if, as has been known in one most infamous men were raised to or two cases of late years, they the first dignities of the State ; every scruple to do so, they are not long private vice and every public corruphis ministers. The lower classes of tion was sure to find, with the Rusofficials, generally ill paid, do as they sian consul, and, consequently, with see their betters do. In the pro- the Prince, open support and encourvinces, we have already shown how agement. On the other hand, honest the local authorities and the farmers men were suspected, and no persecuare leagued together to rob and crush tion was spared them. Had one of the peasant; if here and there a pre- them a lawsuit ? He was certain to fect would gladly do justice, he finds lose it. Would he rescue his peasants it scarcely possible. He reports a from the rapine of the farmers, and sub-prefect to the minister; the sub- establish himself on his estates to prefect has friends at court, whom he cultivate them himself ? Forthwith has duly bought, and his superior he was accused of fomenting troubles. is told to mind his own business. A Russia only did, after all, what Auspublic functionary, at all highly tria and Turkey have been doing for placed, who will not do as others do, the last four years. One cannot be a but who strives to do his duty, had Reschid, a Buol, an Aali—that is to better give in his resignation, and it say, a statesman of the first orderis thus that the obstinately honest without understanding that, to regenerally end. “The healthy por: duce the Principalities to the contion of the public functionaries, dition of the Herzegovina or of says the author of the “Letters,” Gallicia, to arrive at their incorpora“ those who love their country, and tion, it does not do to reckon on the whose hands are pure, live in the co-operation of honest men. fear of a dismissal, which is seldom The consequence which I deduce long in coming, or vegetate eternally from all that precedes is, that the in subaltern posts."
best laws are inefficacious when they The second of the two chapters are not applied ; and that, applied by devoted to the condition of the pea- a hand that has been purchased, they santry concludes with the following become dangerous. So long as the paragraphs, which we think it apro- Principalities shall be bound to a pos to quote here, as throwing addi- political regime forged by their tional light on the grievances of the enemies, it will be useless, and even Principalities, and on the mode of ridiculous, to alter their internal action of the remedy proposed by the laws. Messieurs les diplomates, remore enlightened and patriotic por- store the Roumans to the plenitude tion of their inhabitants.
of their rights; restore to them their “Let me not be accused of colour- autonomy ; let them give themselves ing the picture too highly! There a government which shall be neither are many other iniquities of which I Turkish, nor Russian, nor English, nor have said nothing, lest I should ap- French, and, above all, not Austrian, pear to exaggerate the shameful but which shall be Rouman, and you vices of the present regime. On will see that they know as well as whom is to be cast the responsibility you, if not better, how to apply a of such a state of things? On the remedy to their ills." law and on the government? But It would lead us too far were we they are themselves only the conse- to enter upon the question of the quences of a cause which must be union at anything like the length at sought in a higher sphere, and which which our author discusses it ; we