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estimated at 36 millions of souls. Of these, more than 30 millions are in Europe ; the Asiatic dominions of Russia, called Siberia, tho very extensive, being thinly peopled. Of the subjects of Russia, the most numerous part are the Russians proper, the Cossacs, and the Poles who have fallen to Russia in the partition of Poland.— To these may be added the Finns and Laplanders on the north west, and several Tartar nations in Siberia. Russia contains more than 50 different nations. 550. Language. The Russian language is of Slavonic origin, very rough, and of difficult pronunciation.— The letters of the alphabet are thirty six, with some unusual sounds, peculiar to the nation. The Finns speak a distinct language, as do the Tartars. The Polish is a mere dialect of the Slavonic. 551. Religion. The religion of Russia is that of the Greek Church, which was introduced in the tenth century. The chief point of difference between the creed of this and the Latin church is, that the Greek church believe the Holy Ghost to proceed from the father only. The rites and ceremonies of this church are nearly as numerous as in the Roman ; but while they admit pictures of saints into their churches,they reject images with abhorrence. All other religions are tolerated in Russia. 552. Clergy. The Russian clergy consist of three metropolitans, 28 bishops, and numerous inferior orders. The church is governed by a national council, called the Holy Synod, composed of a president, two vice-presidents, and nine other members. Marriage is forbid to the archbishops and bishops, but allowed to the inferior clergy. In Russia are 479 convents for men, and 74 for women, containing about 70,000 persons. The cathedrals and parish churches are computed to be 18,350. The clergy enjoy several immunities, especially exemp. tion from taxes. 552. Government. The government of Russia is an absolute monarchy. The emperor styles himself autocrator, or autocrat, which signifies one who governs solely by his own will. He must, by ancient custom, be of the Greek church. The empire is indivisible, *nd by a fundamental law of Peter the First, the reigning monarch has the right of naming his successor. The administration is committed to certain councils or persons appointed by the monarch, and Russia is divided into about 40 governments, of which 34 are in Europe, each intrusted to a viceroy or governor, whose authority is supported by a military force. 554 Army and Mavy. The Russian troops amount to 600,000 ; one fourth part of which are placed in garrisons to secure the dominions of the monarch in Asia and Europe. The Russian troops are among the best in Europe, being distinguished for disciplin and steady valor. The navy of Russia consists of about 36 ships of the line in the Baltic ; and twelve large ships, with many frigates, galleys, xebecs and gun boats in the Euxine. But the Russians are not distinguished for maritime enterprise. - 555. Revenues and Political Importance. The revenues are estimated at 50 millions of rubles or dollars, but the prices of labor and commodities are much lower in Russia than in the United States; and in supporting an army, 50 millions in Russia are equivalent to two or three hundred millions in America. In the present state of Europe, Russia seems to be the only government whose land forces are capable of resisting the enormous power of France. From the number of its hardy inhabitants, the extent of the empire, and its natural resources, Russia may be said to command the destinics both of Europe and Asia. 556. Customs and Manners. As the Russian empire contains many different nations, the manners are of course various. In the north west are the Laplanders and Finns, whose ugly persons and savage life have been described under the head of Denmark. The Slavonic Russians are of a middle size, with a fair complexion, patient of fatigue and hunger, brave and hospitable.— Having recently emerged from barbarity, they retain many rude and savage customs. Husbands keep their wives in subjection, and formerly used the rod, if necessary. The Russians are fond of convivial entertainments, and addicted to intemperance. They use the warm or vapor bath, followed by plunging into cold waO
ter, which, stimulating the skin very highly, guards them from cold and disease. o 557. Marriages and Funerals. A bride, on her wedding day, is crowned with a garland of wormwood ; and after the priest has tied the nuptial knot, his clerk or sexton throws upon her head a handful of hops, wishing she may be as fruitful as that vine. At funerals, the dead body is dressed, a priest is hired to pray for the soul, and to purify the body by a sprinkling of holy water.— When carried to the grave, a ticket from the bishop, being a passport to heaven, is put between the fingers of the deceased, and after the burial, the company return to the house, and drown sorrow by intoxication for a number of days, during which a priest says prayers over the grave, to aid the deceased on his passage to another world. 558. Punishments. The punishmentof certain crimes is remarkably severe in Russia. Peter the Great used to suspend robbers on gibbets, by iron hooks fixed to their ribs, until they died by torture. The knout is a severe punishment, consisting in scourging the criminal with thongs. In the double knout, the criminal has his hands tied behind his back, and by means of a cord fixed to a pulley, his shoulders are dislocated ; after which the thong is applied to his back, until scarified. This punishment often proves fatal. The boring and cutting out the tung are also practiced in Russia. These inhuman punishments are the remains of barbarism, which time and civilization will probably abolish.— Felons, after suffering the knout, are often sentenced to the mines, and men of distinction are banished to Siberia. 559. Travelling. The mode of travelling in winter is upon sleds drawn by the rane. The sled is made of the bark of the linden tree, lined with felt, and fixed upon runners. This sled is drawn upon the snow by that fleet animal the rane, a species of deer; or in the internal parts of Russia, by horses. When the path is well trod, a coach is sometimes set upon a sled, and the passenger, wrapped in furs, travels by night and day. The empress sometimes travels thus, in an apartment large chough to hold a bed, a table, and chairs for four persons. 560. Literature. Some learning was introduced into Russia with christianity, but it was not till the last century that Russia began to be distinguished for the cultivation of letters. Peter the Great gave great encouragement to learning, and succeeding monarchs have imitated his example. There are in Russia three universities, one at Petersburg, one at Moscow, and a third at Kiew. There is also at Petersburg an academy of sciences, an academy of arts, and an academy for cultivating the Russian language. There are some inferior schools, but the body of the people have no instruction in letters. 561. Chief Towns. Petersburg. Petersburg, now the seat of government in this great empire, was founded in 1703, by Peter the Great, on a marshy island in the Neva, near its entrance into the gulf of Finland, in the 60th degree of north latitude. No less than 300,000 workmen were employed, and in less than two years, a large town was built, and people were compelled to leave other parts of the country, for the purpose of taking their residence in the new city. At the same time, the emperor issued an order to draw the commerce of Archangel to this place. The fortress of Cronstadt defends the city on the side of the sea, and this is the port for the Russian navy. This city contains about 170,000 inbabitants. 562. Descrifition of Petersburg. Petersburg extends about six miles in length and bredth ; the streets are broad, and most of them paved ; some, however, are only covered with plank. Tho raised above the natural earth, the city is subject to be overflowed by the waters of the Neva, when driven back by violent westerly winds. The houses are of brick and wood, the brick being covered with stucco. In some parts of the city, the most elegant structures are intermixed with mean wooden houses. The houses of the nobility are magnificent, and the city contains buildings for every public purpose.— On the banks of the Neva is a palace built by the emPress, of hewn granit, ornamented with marble columns.
563. Statue of Peter I. In Petersburg stands a magnificent equestrian statue of Peter I. in bronze, cast at the expence of Catharine II. It represents the monarch in the attitude of mounting a precipice. He appears in a loose Asiatic dress, crowned with laurel, and setting on a housing of bear-skin. This statue stands on a pedestal consisting of a stupendous rock of granit, of 1500 tuns weight, which was moved by engines four miles on land, and then floated on rafts to the city. It is 42 feet long, and 17 feet high. The statue was erected on this pedestal in August, 1782, with ceremonies of great solemnity. -
564. Moscow. The largest and most ancient city in Russia is Moscow, so called from the river on which it stands. It is in the 56th degree of latitude, about 550 miles south easterly from Petersburg. Its circumference is 26 miles, but the whole extent of ground is not covered with buildings. That part of the city which is inclosed with walls contains by estimate 250,000 souls, and the suburbs about 50,000. The streets are long and broad, most of them are paved, others are floored with plank ; the city contains many gardens, and in the suburbs are cornfields and pastures.
565. Buildings in Moscow. In Moscow are seen the most wretched cottages and hovels, by the side of magnificent palaces, exhibiting a singular contrast of poverty and riches. Some of the brick houses have wooden tops, and some wooden houses have iron doors and roofs. The churches and chapels are computed at 1000 ; of these 484 are public ; some of them of brick, others of wood ; some have domes of copper, others of tin gilt or painted green. In some of these churches are bells of a stupendous size, one of which weighs more than 60 tuns. This city was the seat of the Russian government till the beginning of the last century, when Peter transferred the royal residence to Petersburg. In 1771, about 70,000 of its people were swept away by the plague. . 566. Trade and Institutions of Moscow. As Moscow is the center of the inland trade of Russia, which, by means of the Volga, is carried on to China and Persia,