Russia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 819 pages of information about Russia.

In accordance with this view I have revised, rearranged, and supplemented the old material in the light of subsequent events, and I have added five entirely new chapters—­three on the revolutionary movement, which has come into prominence since 1877; one on the industrial progress, with which the latest phase of the movement is closely connected; and one on the main lines of the present situation as it appears to me at the moment of going to press.

During the many years which I have devoted to the study of Russia, I have received unstinted assistance from many different quarters.  Of the friends who originally facilitated my task, and to whom I expressed my gratitude in the preface and notes of the early editions, only three survive—­Mme. de Novikoff, M. E. I. Yakushkin, and Dr. Asher.  To the numerous friends who have kindly assisted me in the present edition I must express my thanks collectively, but there are two who stand out from the group so prominently that I may be allowed to mention them personally:  these are Prince Alexander Grigorievitch Stcherbatof, who supplied me with voluminous materials regarding the agrarian question generally and the present condition of the peasantry in particular, and M. Albert Brockhaus, who placed at my disposal the gigantic Russian Encyclopaedia recently published by his firm (Entsiklopeditcheski Slovar, Leipzig and St. Petersburg, 1890-1904).  This monumental work, in forty-one volumes, is an inexhaustible storehouse of accurate and well-digested information on all subjects connected with the Russian Empire, and it has often been of great use to me in matters of detail.

With regard to the last chapter of this edition I must claim the reader’s indulgence, because the meaning of the title, “the present situation,” changes from day to day, and I cannot foresee what further changes may occur before the work reaches the hands of the public.

London, 22nd May, 1905.

RUSSIA

CHAPTER I

TRAVELLING IN RUSSIA

Railways—­State Interference—­River Communications—­Russian “Grand
Tour”—­The Volga—­Kazan—­Zhigulinskiya Gori—­Finns and Tartars—­The
Don—­Difficulties of Navigation—­Discomforts—­Rats—­Hotels and
Their Peculiar Customs—­Roads—­Hibernian Phraseology
Explained—­Bridges—­Posting—­A Tarantass—­Requisites for
Travelling—­Travelling in Winter—­Frostbitten—­Disagreeable
Episodes—­Scene at a Post-Station.

Of course travelling in Russia is no longer what it was.  During the last half century a vast network of railways has been constructed, and one can now travel in a comfortable first-class carriage from Berlin to St. Petersburg or Moscow, and thence to Odessa, Sebastopol, the Lower Volga, the Caucasus, Central Asia, or Eastern Siberia.  Until the outbreak of the war there was a train twice a week, with through

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Russia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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