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Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

This is the story of how Nicholas Mavrojeni is said to have ennobled his horses; but, if the reader wishes to hear how, after disputing every yard of ground with the invaders, he was rewarded by the Porte with an ignominious death, we must refer him to the pages of the historian.

[Footnote 159:  Vaillant, at vol. ii, pp. 219-220 and 224-226, gives some interesting details of receipts and expenditure.  In one place (p. 225) he gives a list of ‘presents paid by the principality of Moldavia.’  The amounts arc stated in piastres, which he says were then worth 2 fr. 50 c.  One item is ‘secret presents at Constantinople 250,000 piastres,’ whereas the tribute was only 65,000!  The list appears to include the whole expenses of the prince and princess and some military and State expenditure, the total being 1,162,267 piastres, or, according to Vaillant, about 116,200_l._, an enormous sum in those days (1769).]

[Footnote 160:  In Vaillant’s list referred to, the charge for the dresses of the princess is put down at 22,908 piastres, or 2,290_l._, against 36,000 piastres, or 3,600_l._, the entire expenses of the palace.  The list shows that the prince kept many Turkish soldiers, musicians, &c., in his service, and had borrowed large sums in Constantinople before acquiring the hospodarship, as there is an item of 68,620 piastres for interest thereon.]

[Footnote 161:  This phase in the Phanariote rule still rests as a blight upon Roumanian society, and the causes of the laxity of the marriage tie and of divorces are to a large extent the same as formerly.  Young men of the upper classes who have been nurtured in affluence find themselves unable to indulge in the luxuries to which they have been accustomed upon their limited incomes.  They therefore frequently marry women who are much older than themselves, but are possessed of large pecuniary means.  Neither cares for the other; they go their own ways, with the usual unfortunate results.  If the reader refers to the statistics of the country, he will find that in 1880 there were 3,891 divorce causes set down for trial, and that the number of divorces legally granted or judged for the six years previously varied from 760 to 929 annually.]

[Footnote 162:  Zallony tells us that amongst the modern Greek families the Mavrocordatos and Mavrojeni originally came from the Isle of Miconos (Archipelago); Ghika is of Albanian origin; Racovica and Manolvoda, Asia Minor; Ypsilanti and Morousy, Trebizonde; Soutzo, Bulgaria; Caragia, Ragusa Canzerli, Constantinople, &c.]

VI.

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