13 JUNE 1840, Page 16


THIS volume narrates a rapid journey as far as Constantinople and Odessa, descending the Danube in going, and traversing the Southern part of Russia, Gallia!, and Silesia, through Cracow, to Berlin, on the return. In August 1838, Mr. SLAnt; embarked in the hamburg steamer, but lett her at Cuxhaven, amid posted to Hanover; where he remained some time, and was so delighted both with King and Court, that he revisited it as he came back. He next went to Leipsic, which he left in something less than twenty- four hours ; at Dresden and Prague his stay was equally short ; at Vienna he tarried a month, but the Emperor and Court being at Milan, the capital was dull. Ills next step was the descent of the Danube, and the passage to Constantinople by steam ; which he accomplished without any more striking incidents than getting aground several times in the upper part of the river, and being once too qualmish to eat his dinner in the Euxine. At Constan- tinople he remained some time, and then voyaged by steam to Odessa; after leaving which, he travelled as rapidly as lie could by voiture and post till he reached Berlin, whence he proceeded again to ITanover.

And thus are books of travels written now-a-days. Excepting Hanover and Odessa, the whole of this route is as much frequented by Englishmen of the present time as Scotland or Ireland was fifty years ago—and we speak not of by-parts, but of the beaten roads: yet Mr. SLADE writes an octavo volume of 500 pages to tell of what he saw in a scampering journey over so well-trodden a route. In a little-known country, this kind of thing is tolerable, because any information is a novelty—because men continually in motion do not move fast where a single horse or their own legs is the only means of locomotion-,-and because in thinly-inhabited and half- barbarous countries many things arc only worth a passing glance, though a long sojourn is necessary to possess a traveller with time character and condition of the people and enable hire to impart information of solid value. In a steam-boat or a post-chaise, however,, things pass with the velocity of phantasmagoria; and the narrative of the sights leaves little stronger impression on the mind. If INIr. SLAnn's Travels in Germany and Russia were rigorously analyzed, we question whether much new information beyond what we shall presently condense relating to Russia, could be extracted from the whole 500 pages, and the novelty of description it possesses is confined to I lanover and Odessa, if that relating to the last can be called positively new. But there is no lack of commentary. Prague enables Mr. SLADE to tell a long story about Huss : his German being unintelligible at a particular place, he fell back upon the reminiscences of his schoolboy Latin, which got him through: thereupon he digresses touching education ; his conclusion, how- ever, being rather unjust towards the Classics, since his Latin was the most useful thing he had been taught. METTERNICH was not at Vienna, but never mind, Mr. SLADE Writes a dissertation upon his policy and character. At Constantinople, diplomacy, " MencmEr ALT," the Porte, Russia, the balance of power, and similar topes, not new even in our author's lueubrations, furnish matter for many pages : and so on to the end of time chapter. Apart from its want of solid material and of any characteristic novelty of subject, the book is well enough. Mr. SLADE is fluent and rattling, with a dash of vivacity, which makes iihn a lively and readable narrator or describer : his stories and descriptions not being flattened, we divine, by too rigorous a regard to matter-of- tactas, for example, his statement, illustrative of the mud of Odessa, that " not many years ago individuals were drowned in the mud of the Greek bazaar" ; his account too of the lazaretto at the same place is in contradiction to that of other travellers, who, while denouncing its strictness, bear witness to the attention of the officials, and the accommodation within its walls.

Of 31r. SLAines actual journey there is nothing to remark, and little worth quoting it is readable from the writer's fluency ; it may be amusing to those who have never read a descent of the Danube ; here and there is a comment of the author on a passing something, which brings out a point of foreign manners. Vienna has been lately described so often, that it would furnish little new to a writer of Air. SLADE'S/Mall cast, even had his opportunities been greater than they were. A similar remark applies to Con- stantinople : the sum and substance of his various disquisitions on Turkey, &c. amount to this—Austria, England, and France, are all wrong ; Mr. Sr.sfon and Russian diplomacy are right : and the former Great Power would have England acknowledge Mans:mar Ax.t, and have Constantinople fortified. The narrative of the residence at Hanover and Odessa embrace more of information, or of pictures of society ; the latter having frequently a personal interest. This is his sketch of


The town, containing between 30,000 and 40,000 inhabitants, is one of the oldest in Germany. Specimens of all kinds of architecture from the eleventh century to the present day are to be seen, excepting in the churches, which appear never to have (deluged their pristine deformity. Many of the gabled pointed rods of the houses are very curious, while the antique appearance of the numerous sashes is contrasted by modern green blinds. Every window in Hanover has a green blind. * * We found that the presence of a court and diplomatic corps was effecting a great deal fur the ornamentation of Hano- ver, and that an improved taste and spirit were likely to descend to the mu- nicipality. The theatre is elegant inside, and being well patronized by the court and nobility, can boast of as good a company as any in Germany. The perfiwniances are chiefly German operas. As the dinner-hour at Hanover is between two and four o'clock, front the court downwards, the society has plenty of time for the enjoyment of the opera : it forms the chief amusement of the evening, as very few of the Hanoverian families open their houses. 1 would not say that they are disinclined to society, but they certainly promote it less than in other cities of Germany ; while at the same time few people are store calculated for it. Foreigners acknowledge this in the house of the ac- complished Madame Scholte, which is always open tier their reception. Their manners certainly are scrupulously dekrential, and considerable eti- quette is observed in the important articles of visits and introductions. Eng- lishmen, being unused to such strict observances are liable to give offence un- intentionally, and to think the natives odd ; though when that slight barrier of ice is pas.‘ed all is found to be Iv:midi: and kindness behind. It was related to me, in order to show the ideas of Hanoverian society on this subject, that on the amiable Queen expressing her desire one day atter dinner that an English gentleman who had dined at the Palace on a short notice should be presented to her, the Chamberlain wished to excuse himself, bemuse he himself had not been introduced to the stranger.

Whether ,fir. S 1,AI) n is a high Tory, and was flattered by the at- tentions of King EnsEsT, or whether it is really the practice of the Hanoverian Alonarch to conciliate the travellers of this country, we do not know ; but our author speaks in raptures of his wisdom, beneficence, and all his other royal virtues—not forgetting the Queen, and the heir-apparent. The general panegyrics we will leave ; taking a few specific statements.

sccessini FATS' Or KING ERNEST.

His person was quite unguarded : two sentries stood at the gates of the palace for form's sake, but every pct: ofentered uninterrogated. He was to be seen walking or riding every day, at tended by the aide-de-camp on duty, and IbIlmved by one servant. His Mi,jesty lied edopted the German regal custom of being perfectly accessible at all hours : no person 11 as denied to him in his cabinet, where he transacted busint so daily from seven in Ike morning till two or three in the afternoon ; and I have more than once seen a humbly -dressed individual stop him in the street, and be listened to the a quarter of an hour with affabi- lity. Englishmen are more struck with this manner of acting the king than foreigners are, on account of the idol-like seclusion of their own sovereign. 1 believe that only in Etightml as a rule is the sovereign accompanied by a mili- tary escort. The Emperor of Russia posts alone in a kibitka, and the good old Emperor Francis of .tin-trio used to walk about Vienna with his wife under his ann. thily in lhigland is a person out of the privileged circle pounced on by a police-officer ii. Inc presume to offer a petition to Altijesty without going through prescribed forms of etiquette : only there does he incur the risk of be- ing charged with insanity if he dares to iipproech near enough in the open air to address his gracious sovereign. King I.:evilest wisely adopted the custom of his Gentian colleagues—that of sitting, :Is it were, at the gate of his palace, as the kings of sacred history did ; and he sow' found the advantage of it. His personal demeanour, impartiality, and devoted attention to public business, were test effacing, any it tilityourable impression which the Hanoverians might have imbibed from a portion of the English press.


The usage of the Court giving theattieal entertainments at Herren-hausen is preserved. The spacious orangery is ecea4onally fitted up as It theatre ; and while I was at Hatt over two operai; were given in it by his Majesty in honour of the Crown Prince's birth-day. This affoided the Court an op- portunity, without offending noble prejudices, el showing civility to indivi- duals whose position did not entitle them to be asked to the royal table. The Ilanoveriau nobility is very sensitive on this point, particularly with respect to ladies whose names are not prefixed by I 'on. The entertaltiment thus provided was exceedingly ogreeable: the Ring's servants handed refreshments between the acts to everybody ; and the royal party, seated in

front, conversed familiarly with the guests within reach of them. We

saw the same hospitality displayed on a larger scale in the city, by the King engeging the Opera-house twice, and sending the tickets to his friends, and to such of the public as he wished to distinguish : tea, coffee, ices, cokes and wine, were carried in profusion between the acts, by the royal servants, to the boxes, the gallery and the pit.


A few days after my arrival at Hanover, queen Victoria's birth-day oc- curred, Mr. Bligh, our worthy representative, gave a state dinner on the auspicious occasion to the Ilanoverian Ministry and the corps diplumatique ; and the English travellers in Hanover dined either with the Crown Prince or the King. They often enjoyed this honour, thr his Majesty delighted to see his countrymen at his table : but this attention was peculiarly gratifying and appropriate.

beard Queen Victoria prayed for in Hanover exactly as in England. The service of the Church of Englund is regularly performed in the dining-room of

the Palace ; and there all the English, including their Majesties, assembled every Sunday, without any regard to their station of life, whether noble or menial, toaster or servant. Our Liturgy was followed word for word ; and it sounded rather strange in the palace of a foreign sovereign to hear, in his pre- sence' the clergyman pray for " our Sovereign Lady (limn Victoria." The only deviation Wile, that after the above words, the King and Queen of Hanover were specified before " all the Royal Family."


To the evening, [King Ernest's birth-day] the King gave a grand ball at the Chracaut.' which, though unfinished, and therefore not inhabited, has some tine handsomely-finished state-rooms, well aclupted, like those at St. James's, for court ceremonials. I need not describe flue entertainment ; fur balls in civilized life are nearly the same everywhere : it was brilliant, of course ; and I may field, which perhaps makes an exception, very comfortable—the apart- ments were neither too crowded nor too hot. The King amused himself with a rubber, and the Queen reeek eel her picst:. with the inimitable grace pecu- liarly hers: it was delightful to see her flitjesty go round the circle, and, spealing three or four languages, as occasion required, say something agree- able to each of many hundred's of persons, with a kindness and affability which set everybody at their case. I was no longer surprised at her great popularity, the necessary effect of fascination of manner joined to goodness of heart. The dancing was followed by a splemdid slipper, laid out in three or four rooms ; in one or other of which the gee:: s were marshalled, .0 id placed accord-

ing to their rank by the Chamberlains,—who;1 thought, di- ''e considerable address and skill in performing this diilieult part of their (lute. Precedence

at Hanover being governed, as in Prussia, by military rank, tint English pre- sent might have expected to sit last,—which would have been an annoyance, not to their self-love, but to their curiosity, by depriving them of the spectacle in the principal banqueting-roost : butt the King, knowing the position of his coun- trymen in that respect—that they inay lie very proper people : mid yet not have the rank of a corporal—had directed that they should be placed as though they were Major-Generals. This attention brought us all to the first table, in the ethel rated Mfrs sal, which i, in to opinion one of the handsomest rooms in Europe ; and there we supped royally and cheerfully.

Of the thorough corruption of the Russian employes high and low, Air. SLADE gives the usual account. Ile also draws a la- mentable picture of the uncertainty of rank mid honours under au- tocratical despotism ; the highest noble being liable to be stripped of every thing in a moinent, and banished to Siberia at the mere nod of the Czar. At the same time he admits the necessity of this pow er, ill consequence of the universal peculation ; and he predicts that there will be great danger of revolt in the provinces, or of mutiny in the army, under a sovereign wanting the energy, activity, and moral courage of lc it.noLts ; which enable him to visit unexpectedly the most distant quarters of the empire, and to punish the guilty, however elevated the rank. The secret police Si.Ann also thinks a necessity : without it, oppression or roguery practised in remote provinces would never be detected.; tassel as inquiry takes place, and a spy who denounces any one thisely may be, consciously or unconsciously, exposed by some brother of the craft, it is conceived that injustice is rarely done. lint the evidence of secret informers, and the secret decision of a judge at a distance, where " he which is accused has not the accusers thee to face, am, has licence to answer for himself' concern- ing the crime laid against ;din," must always afford great Facilities for the injustice of error, if not of spite, passion, or We suppose the truth to be, that the secret police is an evil, but the evil would be much greater were they not.

Two things seem to promise a slow but a permanent advance for Russia, if no violence disturb the natural course of affairs. Commerce is raising tip a mercantile middle class ; and the emi- gration, encouraged i.y the Government, into Southern Russia, is also forming a race of industrious inhabitants, much superior in education, energy, and skill to the pem,ants, with personal freedom

of course. In flint, Democracy, in DE TOCOX EV I sense, seems slowly advancing even in Russia.


An amelioration is taking place in the conditiou of the lower classes of

II nssia ; the pincer of selling se r: ii it the land is now decried, though in- stances still occur of its being done, soil sum:times under very shameful cir- cumstances. Nut long ago, a criecd of :nine, a Consul at Odessa, had, in his capacity of administrator of. a de...ea.:eft rouutryttian's effects, the unpleasant duty of selling at entire fsunny, separately is to the highest bidders. The pos- session of serfs s very us ItToti to the small proprietors, as they must feed and clothe them, happen what may; and the aged and the helpless are at their charge : they cannot free them, because their property consists in serfs, and in a thinly-peopled country they might find it impossible to hire labourers to till their lands. A gradual emancipation is, however, going on : serfage is rare iuthe colonies on the Southern and Eastern frontiers, and runaway serfs ar- riving in them from other parts are rarely asked any questions, and may re- main quietly as settlers if their conduct is proper. This is owing to the anxiety of the Govermnent to amalgamate Russians with the will tribes on the frontiers. The example of the German and Bulgarian settlers in New Russia is very advantageous to the Russian peasants; and will, I imagine, tend to introduce a sense of the rights of Mall among the latter. A corresponding; amelioration is takimr place in the trading class. By the ukase of I:see, a nierchinit who has been "ten years in the first guild, or twenty years in the second may, on payment of :I ices stun once for all, obtain the rights of citizenship thr Itimseif and children. the does not acquire all the privile;es of nobility—such as the right of possessing, serfs, but he is freed front the liabilities of the peasant, and may ride in tt carriage and four with long tract's. Before that year, the merchant in Russia was a citizen only while he paid an annual capitation-tax : f.tiiIu to do that, he became reduced to the condition of a peasant, liable, and sons, to the knout and to the con- scription. The commencement of a middle class it, Russia is here visible. There was previously no inedittin 1 vt.vccm the nobles and the peasants—be- tween h-s Indians and /es buttes. 'Phis new chSS will tend to relieve the Go- vernment from the embarrassment, felt more every year, caused by the diffi- culty of providing ihr the sons of the artificial nobility, since they may now cuter trade without derogation and loss of rights.


Every part of New Russia gives evidence of the solicitude of the Government about the comfort and prosperity of the colonies of all nations and persuasions which stud its surflIce. Armenians, Greeks, and Germans, by tens of thou- sands, driven out of Persia and Turkey by misrule, and out of Germany by want, have made New Russia their home, aunt enjoy privileges above native-born set- tlers. I visited some of the German villages in the steppe, and found in them great comfort, denoting a state of progressive prosperity. The Germans are very valuable settlers, on account of their steady habits and agricultural skill. I was both surprised and pleased with their intelligence and well-directed in- dustry. The Protestant German villages in the steppe are far superior to any of the others; which would not say were it not an universally admitted fact. Why or wherefore they are so, 1 will not pretend to decide. Perhaps the ab- sence of ates and east-day's gives the Protestants in Russia an advantage in business and agriculture over their Catholic and Greek brethren. 'rime is most valuuable in a new country. The immigration into Russia may be cited as one of the most favourable points of view in which the Government can be regarded.