Roumania Past and Present eBook

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

[Footnote 10:  We do not intend to discuss this question, which is so interesting to Roumanians, but we cannot help drawing attention to Paget’s remarks on the subject.  He says, in one of his headings, ‘Wallacks of Dacian, not Roman origin;’ then (p. 112) lie gives woodcuts of two heads with moustache only (sketched without any reference to the question), and somewhat resembling our cut, and leaves his readers to compare them with the figures on Trajan’s Column.  He says that he feels satisfied they will agree with his view.  They do not, however, in the least resemble either the Romans with bare, or the Dacians with bearded faces, on the column, and throw no light whatever upon the vexed question.  The general opinion of persons who have observed the peasantry is that those of the mountain districts afford, in their type of face, habits, and some words, the best illustrations in support of the Daco-Roman hypothesis.]

[Footnote 11:  Wilkinson’s account of travelling in his day (1820) is worth quoting.  ‘The mode of travelling,’ he says, ’in the two principalities is so expeditious that in this respect it is not equalled in any other country.  Their post establishments are well organised; there are post-houses in all directions, and they are abundantly provided with horses.  Every idea of comfort must, however, be set aside by those who are willing to conform themselves to the common method of riding post.  A kind of vehicle is given which is not unlike a very small crate of earthenware fastened to four small wheels by means of wooden pegs, and altogether not higher than a common wheelbarrow.  It is filled with straw, and the traveller sits in the middle of it, keeping the upper part of his body in an erect position, and finding great difficulty to cram his legs within.  Four horses are attached to it by cords, which form the whole harness, and driven by one postilion on horseback, they set off at full speed and neither stop nor slacken their pace until they reach the next post-house.  Within the distance of half a mile from it, the postilion gives warning of his approach by a repeated and great cracking of his whip, so that by the time of arrival another cart is got ready to receive the traveller’ (p. 93). (This is still the system in practice in some parts of Russia, and the author travelled in this fashion, in the winter of 1849-50, from St. Petersburg to the Prussian frontier.) Fifty years later matters seem to have retrograded in Roumania, for Kunisch, an amusing German writer, describes his journey from Giurgevo to Bucarest, now effected in two or three hours by rail, which it then took him twenty-four hours to accomplish, at first with sixteen horses and four postilions, and during the later stages with eighteen and twenty-two horses. (Reisebilder, pp. 73-81.  Berlin:  Effert and Lindtner.)]


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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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