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the sun soon sank below the horizon, and our route lay over a flat common without a single object to vary its monotony. The road, considering that it was nothing but a Moldavian wagon track, was pretty good; though every now and then we were sadly jolted by a rut or hole; while the frail bridges crossing the streams or quagmires, composed, as they were, of pieces of wood thrown loosely one upon another, tottered under our weight.
It was nearly ten o'clock when the howling of a number of wolf-like dogs announced that we were in the village of Formosica. We drove to the residence of the boyar, or chief landholder, and requested him to provide us with a lodging. Fortunately, he spoke German; and, politely expressing a regret that his own house was full, he sent a man to shew us the next best accommodation in the village. In a few minutes we were at the door of a hut, our entrance into which roused from their slum. bers an old man and his wife, three or four young women, and a girl, who were lying on benches which they readily resigned at the command of their landlord. The suffocating smell and hard boards offered so little inducement to sleep, tbat, had it been July instead of September, we should have preferred remaining in
DISCOMFORTS OF THE NIGHT.
the carriage ; but the night air in these countries, especially in autumn, is peculiarly preju. dicial to health. While, therefore, one of the party guarded the baggage, in a spot where we might so easily have been plundered without the means of obtaining redress, the others threw themselves on the benches in travelling costume. Sundry wild sounds varied the dull watches of the night, through all of which we might have slept had it not been for the young lady of the family, who, long before day-break, roused by the increased activity of the Lilliputian herds to which her flowing locks afforded cover, set up a scream, and began to pursue them with the deadly vengeance of her nails. Our alarm kept pace with the vigorof her efforts, and the fears induced were an antidote to sleep.
A little before 5 A.M. we resumed our journey without food. Every third or fourth hour carried us to a collection of miserable huts, built of mud and wicker-work, thatched with reeds, and scattered irregularly over the waste, without garden or enclosure. Nothing like a street is to be seen. One of these villages is called Brennerst; another Popogéne, and a third Wodeni. At Brennerst we were struck with the unusual number of wells : every twenty yards was marked by one of those long
poles, balanced on the stump of a tree by a bucket at one end and a heap of mud on the other, which are so common in India, and in almost every country of Europe except our own. In the neighbourhood of Popogéne we met a tribe of gipsies, whose swarthy complexions were scarcely concealed by any clothes ; one of the younger ones, by no means an infant, was absolutely naked; a man was almost in the same state; and the women were not decently covered. These wretched people seem in the principalities to be sunk even below their degraded fellow-subjects. Elsewhere they separate themselves, here slavery separates them, from the rest of mankind.
Our course lay along the right bank of the river Pruth, the ancient Puretus, which once formed the boundary of Russia and Turkey, and which now divides the Russian province of Bessarabia from the principalities whose independence the czar professes to guarantee, while he holds them in abject subjection. Our first view of the great northern empire was accompanied with appropriate sensations, for the morning was the coldest'we bad experienced ; yet many of the fields on this side the Pruth are cultivated with vines; and the wine of Moldavia, especially that called Odobesta, is
celebrated. We passed some plantations of tobacco; and wild asparagus scattered its seeds under our wheels as we galloped over the common which skirts the nominal dominions of Turkey on the Russian frontier. This waste swarms with crows and hawks; and the magpies excited our surprise, as we had never before seen those birds in such numbers.
At noon we halted at Wodeni, a village consisting of a few huts made of hurdles, daubed with mud and covered with rushes, which is favored above its fellows with a church of the same simple structure.
The people wear neither shoes nor stockings, and are clad in the filthiest garbs. The girls of all classes plait their hair in two queues which hang down to the feet; and, as these are peculiar to unmarried women, very possibly some such custom exists (though less precise and less accurately defined,) as that which prevails in Hamburg ; where, it is said, a girl cuts off one queue when she marries, and the other if she become a second time a wife. It is not improbable that the Moldavians derive their mode from the Dacians, as the Hamburgers do from their ancestors, the Suevi, of whom Tacitus records that the
the common people braided and tied their hair, while the chiefs
CHURCHES AND BELFRIES.
wore it in a knot on the top of the head, that they might appear taller and more terrible to their enemies.
Resuming our journey, we soon reached a spot called Orgee and, as the sun set, the small town of Faltsi, distinguished from the neighbouring villages only by the greater number of its huts and the superiority of its church, which is stuccoed and ornamented with two towers, and has a belfry at a distance from the sacred edifice; a separation as usual in the principalities, as it is in Scandinavia and many parts of Italy. Here we observed, for the first time, chains suspended from the crosses surmounting the towers, while the crosses themselves are double, like those of Russia. This adoption of the northern style of architecture and ornament indicated our near approach to the empire of the czars; and as the building appeared quite modern, it may reasonably be concluded that it has been erected since the course of political occurrences placed Moldavia virtually in the hands of the Russians.
From Faltsi our route ran parallel to the channel of the Pruth and to a chain of low hills in Bessarabia, over a wide morass extending ten or twelve miles and sometimes forming small lakes, in the middle of which are