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CHAPTER VII.

MOLDAVIA.

FROM GALATZ TO LIOVA.

Vice-consul at Galatz.-Albanian character and costume.

Moldavian servants.–Variety of languages spoken.—Commerce of Galatz.-Cheapness of food.—Houses.-Furniture.-Streets.- Population.—Effect of arrival of steamer. -Venedic nations. — General aspect of Moldavia. Its politics, fertility, and population.--Quarantine on Russian frontier. - Preparations for departure. - Carriage. -Horses and tackle.-Driver.—Leave Galatz.–Village of Formosica.—Peasant's hut.-Discomforts of night. Journey resumed. – Villages. - Wells. - Gipsies.- The Pruth.–First view of Russian territory. — Wines. — Tobacco and wild asparagus.—Wodeni.—Ancient and modern modes of wearing hair. Faltsi.—Greek church.— Country.—Party benighted.--Strength and food of horses.Porte de Liova.-Cry of Russian guard.—Hut.-Miseries of night.-Jews.-Apply for admission to quarantine.Difficulties about passport.-Renewed application.-Fresh obstacles.—Objection of Russia to foreigners.--Inventory of goods.-Cross the Pruth.

A LETTER of introduction insured to us the hospitalities of the vice-consul of Galatz and his lady, who kindly took us into their house

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ALBANIAN COSTUME.

and were unremitting in their obliging attentions till we resumed our journey towards the frontier of Russia. It was no small privilege to find ourselves under the shelter of a roof and to enjoy the luxury of a bed, after six consecutive nights passed on the hard unfurnished boards of the steamer. These comforts, with the courtesies of our considerate host and hostess, were the more valued when we learned that our companions had searched the town in every direction for a corner in which they might pass the night; and had, at length, been obliged to put up with accommodations of a very different description from those with which we were favored.

The lady of the vice-consul presided over our morning repast and amused us with anecdotes of her servants. One is a fine handsome Albanian ; fierce, capricious, and violent in love and hatred ; at times he leaves his master, to whom he is much attached, for hours together; and when, on his return, he is questioned as to this strange conduct, he fixes his eyes on the ground, makes no reply, shows no sign either of sorrow or of anger, and does the same thing the next time he is offended or idle. But he is honest, and this is no little recommendation. His costume is beautiful. From a crimson cap

MOLDAVIAN SERVANTS.

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a long black tassel falls over his light flowing locks. A shirt, open in front, is retained in its place by a dark brown jacket, likewise open : below this, is a red leathern girdle, about ten inches wide, furnished with a brace of silverheaded pistols; and a yataghan formed part of his dress till his ungoverned passions rendered it necessary to disarm him of that formidable weapon : from the waist hangs a very full white linen petticoat, the width of which is a subject of pride with the wearer, and varies from thirty to fifty yards : long dark gaiters and shoes complete the costume. The servant who had charge of the child was a Greek, habited in the garb commonly worn by his countrymen in Turkey.

Moldavian domestics appear to be indolent, stupid, and immoral to the last degree. They require to have the same order repeated every day : when the dinner-cloth is laid by one who has performed the office for months, the mistress must sit by and say, “ Now put on the spoons, now the salt-cellars, now the tumblers now the knives,” and so for every separate article of table furniture : when reproved, they stand mute, and look on the ground; but neither profess nor exhibit an intention to do better. Their inclination to theft is irresistible; a lady

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residing here told us that it frequently happened that her pocket-handkerchief, laid down for a moment while she was speaking to a servant, disappeared as she turned away her head: the culprit at first denies the charge ; and when the stolen article is found upon him, he evinces no sense of shame.

While we sat at dinner five languages were spoken, though the party consisted of only four individuals. We talked to one another in English and to our hostess in French ; while our host addressed one of us in French, the other in Italian, and his wife in Greek ; and they both gave orders to their servants in Moldavian.

Galatz carries on a considerable commerce and may be regarded as the port of both the principalities, though Ibrail has lately drawn to itself a share of the trade of Wallachia. Ships from England, the Ionian isles, and other European countries, are generally lying off the quay. The principal exports are tallow, haricot-beans, corn, cheese, barrel staves, wax, wool, beasts, skins, and wine to Odessa. The chief imports are iron, oil, olives, cotton, sugar, and coffee. Articles of food are remarkably cheap : a goose in good condition costs sevenpence, a fat sheep three shillings, and an egg a farthing.

SIREETS. — POPULATION.

205 The houses are nearly all built of unpainted wood and roofed with the same material. Most are limited to a single floor, with a front open towards the street, as is usual in Wallachia and the east; and goods exposed for sale are spread out on the ground. At the upper end of the town are a few dwellings of a better description, inhabited by consuls and two or three of the richer merchants; they are tiled and whitewashed, and have glass windows, with a story above the rez-de-chaussée. The furniture of the rooms consists of a sofa extending along one side, a table, a looking-glass, and three or four chairs; while a stove in the wall answers for two or more apartments. The streets are formed of the trunks of trees placed crossways, making what is familiarly called a corduroy road.

The population may be about five thousand, of whom one thousand are British subjects from the Ionian isles; principally, men who have fled for debt or crime, or have been left here by vessels in which they worked their passage. . Besides these, a considerable number of Jews and Armenians are to be seen, but the great mass of the natives are of the Greek persuasion.

The arrival of the steamer brings with it a gala-day to the inhabitants. On these occasions the vessel becomes a general rendez

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