' The cause is decided, when the judge has taken a present,' has long been a Russian proverb.
An example of the way in which bribery is everywhere rampant may be seen in a fact of recent occurrence.
It will be found by travellers that if the quotations given in these pages from the writings of sixteenth-century tourists describe the appearance and buildings of Moscow and other places as they are now, they equally apply to the manners and habits of the inhabitants now as they did then.
With much of shrewdness and originality the Russian peasant combines still such uncouthness and uncleanliness that a traveller must have either considerable apathy or considerable patience not to be prejudiced against him, before his more hidden virtues have made themselves felt.
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Formerly, when there were two separate peoples — masters and serfs — the former always talked French and the latter Russ : now Russ is spoken everywhere.
' A mystery is defined to be " a ceremony or act ajipointed by God, in which God giveth or signilieth to us His grace." Baptism and the Eucharist arc called the chief ; of the rest, says Father Plato, some are to be received by all C'hristians, as baptismal unction and confession ; but ordination, marriage, and the holy oil, are not obligatory ujion all.' - AV;/^', "■ A'ihs and Ceremonies of the Greek Church ill A'ussia.' ' . " demanded the men of the first persons they reached ; the water already filled the throats of the unfortunate men, and they were allowed to sink. Pet-ersburg, the streets being very dusty, had to be watered before a review.
A sudden shower of rain fell ; but the detachment sent to execute this operation proceeded with their work, for " they were so commanded." These and similar anecdotes are told ; I cannot vouch for their truth, as the wits of S.
Olearius describes the Tartar punishment of the pravezh, which used to be inflicted upon debtors, who, till they made restitution, were daily beaten in public upon the shin-bone for an hour together, by the common executioner ; only, sometimes, by a bribe, the debtors were permitted to put a thin irun jilute inside their boot to receive the blows. 19 ' if the debtor have not to satisfie,' said the law, ' he must be sold, with his wife and children, to the creditor.' ' They say the lion's paw gives judgement of the beast : And so you may deeme of the great, by reading of the least,' says George Turberville, and thus the bribe offered by the debtor to his executioner is only a specimen of what may still be seen in every class of society in Russia.''^ ' Their idoles have their hearts, on God they never call, Unless it be (Nichola Baugh) that hangs against the wall. Even in the old romances, when a warrior is represented as reaching the hall of the heroes, he fastens up his horse to the steel rings fixed in the oaken pillars at the entrance, and, entering the presence-chamber, bows to the sacred picture, before noticing the princes and princesses and the rest of the assembly. But to the orthodox Russian the Pope is no better than the first Protestant, the founder of German rationalism. Importance of outward forms is much more insisted upon by the Greek than the Roman Church.The house that hath no god, or painted saint within, Is not to be resorted to, that roofe is full of sinne.' And the ambassadors of the Duke of Holstein wrote — ' When a Muscovite enters a house or chamber he sales not a u ortl, till he hath fixt his eyes on the saint he looks for, or if he finds him not, asks,y(? As soon as he perceives him, he makes him one very low reverence, or more, and pronounces at every time, Gospodi Poiiiiliii : then he returns to the company, and salutes them.' Icons— pictures covered willi metal e\cei)t the faces and hands— are of Byzantine origin, and all the most ancient icons are the work of (ireek artists, who had Russian pupils : it has never been permissible to alter the tyj)e. The multitude of icons, frequently glistening with gold and jewels, and ever surrounded by burning lights, gives an in- describable richness to a Russian church. An Eastern Patriarch ' does not hesitate to speak of the Papal Supremacy as ' the chief heresy of the latter days, which flourishes now as its predecessor Arianism flourished before it in the earlier ages, and which shall, in like manner, be cut down and vanish away.' Many of the Russian services are exceedingly magnificent and striking, and it has been endeavoured, in the descriptions of the different churches, to give such explanations as may assist a stranger — bewildered by the strange tones as well as the labyrinthine ceremonies — in understanding them. ' " Reveillez-moi quand voiis en serez au bon Dieu," disait un ambas- sadeur endormi dans une eglise russe par la liturgie imperiale. This is seen in the strict observance of feasts and fasts ; the careful appropriation of vestments and ornaments ; above all, in the manner in which the sign of the cross is to be made, the Russians all making it with three fingers, except the Rashkolniks or dissenters, who use only two : a bloody war once resulted from this distinction.' Ever}' outward form that symbolises the Trinity is especially insisted upon. 17 The characteristic which will probably strike foreigners most in the Russian people is their extreme subservience to authority, in whatever rank they may be.Petersburg to see that there were the right number in the corps de ballet.Its members were ordered out and marched round and round.