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her up in mother Alexandra's community.” “Ah! old gossip that you are," added he, turning towards the sectarian. “Is it true," asked the ollicial, in an indifferent tone, “ that they brought girls by force into your community?" "You believe, then, the words of that drunken fellow!" replied Marfa. “Do you not see he has drunk a glass of brandy ?" “Me drunk!” exclaimed the man, furious; "then you have forgotten the sister Varka. That happened, however, in your community, when you were sup Yes; tell us that story.” An attentive observer would have remarked that at the name of Varka the officer pricked up his ears; but he hid his feelings, and, turning towards Marfa, asked her, in a careless tone, * What is that story? Is there anything true in it?" “ It is a very simple story," calmly replied the sectarian, but looking, for the first time, very distrustfully at the official. “ About five years since, a merchant from Moscow, Michail Trofimitch, who was one of us, came to our community. It was in the autumn, at night, and the weather was bad. However, he asked for me, and would see me. I went to him; he did not leave me time to say good day, but threw himself at my leet.
What is the matter?' I asked. “Have pity on me, mother,' he replied. My daughter Varka has dishonoured us. She has given herself to a herctic! I tried to calm him; he entreated me to take his daughter, and lead her back into the right way. I received Varka; I do not deny it; but a father has ever the right.” "And the child of Varka," replied the man, with earnestress, " what did you do with it?" “What did I do with it?" answered Marfa, unmoved; "what they do with the newly-born who die in coming into the world.” “ You suffocated it." “Will not your honour make this wretch hold his tongue?'' esclaimed Marfa, rising. At this instant the door half opens, and a woman calls Marfa, in a trembling voice. Mother, come quick, I have something to say." The old sec. tarian goes out, having first asked permission of the official. This latter rose, took up hurriedly a bundle of paper, pen and ink, which were by the window, puts them on the table, and runs to a neighbouring door. A young woman appeared; he made her sit down in a dark corner of the room, and rescated himself at the table. At the end of a few minutes Marfa Kosmoona re-entered, and told the official that as the ispravnik, having ordered her house to be searched, she wished to be present.'
The official refused, saying, that she had been submitting to an interrogatory according to law. He added, that he was sent 10 proceed against Marfa Kosmoona, accused of having decoyed the daughter of the merchant Michail Trofimitch, and suffocated the child to which she had given birth.
The moment the employé reveals his official mission, the old sectarian completely changed her bearing; she resumed that stoical firmness with which her co-religionists meet the demands of justice. The official, who is a clever counsel, is not put out by this obstinacy. Upon a sign from Mark Harionovitch, the woman advances towards Marfa ; it is the merchant's daughter. Marfa becomes pale, but declares she does not know her.
•The young woman, enraged at this, relates with care her arrival at the community, and the sufferings they made her endure to compel her to take the veil; and that when she consented, they sent her to Siberia, to collect alms for the commonity. As to her child, she never knew what became of it. The old sectarian, on being questioned on this point, does not alter her manner, but says she knows nothing about what they ask her. The officer reads to her a letter bearing ler signature, and addressed to the father of the young woman; she says in it, they have done with the child according to his paternal intentions.'
Marfa will not acknowledge this letter. Just then a great noise is
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heard in the streets; they bring in some prisoners, whom the ispravnik has taken at the old sectarian's house. A confused crowd follows them at a distance. The door opens, and the ispravnik enters, his face radiant with joy.
""Your honour," says he to the officer, “we have succeeded better than I expected; we have taken in the same net the archbishop and the merchant of whom I spoke to you. They are bringing them in." This news produced a profound impression on Marfa; she fell back in her chair, leant her hands on her knees, and stretching forwards her body, her eyes fixed on the door, appearing to wait with anxiety the arrival of the prisoners. They were not long in bringing in one, whom the Old Believers called their archbishop.
** Here is the archbishop,” said the ispravnik, laughing, to the official; "I have the honour of presenting him to you.' Now,” addressing the prisoner in a coarse tone, " tell us what you are called." This remark produced no effect upon the prisoner; he looked steadily at the ispravnik, but did not open his mouth.
• Come, then,” replied the ispravnik, "will you make haste; if not, we shall know how to make you speak.” The prisoner still continued silent. real block," said the ispravnik to the official. “We have already kept him on the stool for half an hour, and I have even pinched his hands, but it is impossible to get a word from him.” “Your honour,” exclaimed Marta, rising and approaching the official, “ will you suffer such a scandal ?" The official made a sign to the ispravnik, who went out of the room with a discontented air.
*Good day, Andrei.”
" · Larionètch," said Marfa, respectfully, to the sectarian, and bowing to the ground, we meet in trouble,” and large tears flowed down her withered checks. “Good morning, Mistress Marfa Kosmoona,” he replied, with a calm and firm voice; "it seems that we have lived long enough. It is time that we rest in the bosom of Christ, who first gave himself a sacrifice for all men.”
Pardon, Varka Mekarlorna,” added Marfa, turning towards the young woman, “I have greatly sinned towards thee. Father,” continued she, addressing herself to the officer, “what she has said is true; you can write more, but make haste.” The young girl fell at the feet of Marfa, sobbing and uttering confused words. “ Bring in the merchant," said the officer, who seemed in a hurry to finish. The merchant was brought in. He was an extremely tall old man, with a long beard and hard features. “Ah, there you are, said he, with a bitter smile, on perceiving his daughter, who had just risen; "it seems that, since our separation, you have learnt to betray your own kindred. Good day, Kosmoona," said he to Marfa, “your last hour is come. If your honour has any questions to ask me,” continued he, addressing the officer, “I am at your service; but do not think to obtain anything by tormenting us, it will be lost trouble.” “ Think of thy daughter,” said Marfa to him, "give her thy paternal pardon. Thou wilt know that if she has spoken it is not willingly.” ** Father," exclaimed the young girl ip a voice choked by her tears, and kissing his feet. The merchant reinained for some minutes sad, then he looked at his daughter, and one would have said that her despair touched him, but his face soon resumed its wonted serenity. “No, child,” said he, sighing, and making a sign with his hand, “the time is passed to speak of that.”
• " Live with God and think no more of us; we do not consider you as in this world. Well, your honour,” added he, looking at the officer resolutely, going to question us, or will they conduct us directly to the government room?" Upon an order from the officer, all the sectarians were led to prison.'
The clergy of the regime of the Emperor Nicholas had the most profound aversion for the Old Believers, and would continue hunting them out, as being already too much tolerated. The men who are at the head of the Western party, as this is called, and the reater part of
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those who desire reform, are as little disposed as the old Russians to sympathize with the schismatics. Nevertheless, the toleration which they have adopted makes it their duty to interest themselves in the sectarians, and so they represent them as men reduced to despair, by a sad catalogue of cruel persecutions, and which nothing can justify: That the Russian Government has persecuted the Old Believers with inflexible rigour in the last reign cannot be denied. The Emperor Nicholas was an autocrat, spiritual as well as temporal; and in his dreams of universal dominion, indulged the idea of imposing the orthodox faith upon all the people of his dominion.
Every one knows that he pushed the rigour of his political system to extremes. Like all despots, he considered that persecution might be as right for a religious opinion as for a political tendency. After having commanded a census to be taken of this sect, he ordered them, under severe penalties, to have all their future children to be baptized by the parish priests. Things went on in this way for several years to the great satisfaction of the emperor; but at length the minister of the interior, Count Provski, thought it his duty to tell him that, according to private information he had received, the number of the Old Believers was considerably increased. A special commission was soon ordered to go to the places frequented by the schismatics and ascertain the fact. It was not long in discovering that it was perfectly correct. To anyone who knows Russia, this is easily understood; the children of the Old Believers were registered as orthodox, but their parents continued to bring them up in schism. This discovery, which they took care to divulge, might have enlightened the emperor had he chosen ; but instead, he persecuted the Old Believers with a rigour that went on increasing till the end of his reign. Many times it was a question whether he should apply to the countries of the Old Believers the system of terror that Austria formerly employed in Bohemia,—but the manners of our age not agreeing with these expeditions, the czar was obliged to confine himself to inflicting on them transportation to Siberia, imprisonment in convents, and various physical tortures. To these official penalties we must add one not upon the list, viz., the continued exactions to which they were subject.
The clergy themselves make no scruple of squeezing the sectarians, and ways are seldom wanting. The Old Believers of the large cities, especially Moscow, the centre of all Russian religious sects, pay considerable sums to the priests. The greater part of them, being mer. chants, are obliged to enrol themselves in one of the guilds, to be members of which it is necessary to present to the municipal authori. ties certificates of their having fulfilled all their religious duties. This obligation is a good windfall to the priests; they give the certificates for a certain sum; the dissenters pay handsomely to be exempted from the obligations of worship, and the priest certify nevertheless that they are fulfilled. Abuses of this kind are no secret; and thus the dissenters are a mine of gold for the priests and officials. The policy which Nicholas pursued to destroy the schism of the Old Believers only brought about this result, that they became more prudent. Forbidden to have chapels, they now meet by turns at each other's houses, bringing the necessaries for worship. Sentinels, armed with clubs, watch at the doors, and at their warning all disappear. In their houses they have back stairs, which allow them to escape from the search; secret closets, in which they lock their books, and underground places for those whom the police seek. This sort of mysterious life singularly tends to sustain the Old Believers.
• In the depths of the forest, and in dietant provinces, Old Belicrers are still met with who live as hermits. Some years since, a police officer in the government of Nijui heard that an old man belonging to the schism lived in an hermitage in the neighbouring room. This man was, in fact, the only inhabitant of an old hut, and the only piece of furniture was a coffin. The officer significd to him that he must quit his hermitage, and re-enter the world. The old man entreated him to let him finish his existence in the place in which he had lived for more than half a century, for the world, he said, was given up to Antichrist, and it inspired him with profound horror. The officer was inflexible, and repeated his order, when the old man, seeing that he could not remain, prayed to be left alone a few minutes to make preparations for departure. The officer consented, and went away for about half an hour. At the end of that short delay he returned, but the cabin was in flames, with the old man in the midst, singing hymns. They tried in vain to save him; he died a martyr's death. When the noise of this voluntary auto-da-fé was spread in the country, the inhabitants looked upon the old man as a saint, and many were added to the schism.'
That which is evident from all the information collected concerning the character of the schismatics is, that the doctrines which they have obeyed for two centuries ought to be considered as a true protest in favour of religious independency,-in fact, it is the counterpart of Western Protestantism in its first phase. We must not, however, conclude that the schism of the Old Believers belongs to Protestantism. The greater part of the rights to which they lay claim are anterior to the sixteenth century, and date back to the period of the introduction of Christianity into Russia. The Old Believers have always marched at the head of the Russian people; their religious and social history attest this; and when the government shall have brought to a happy issue the enfranchisement of the serfs, it cannot help granting them the free exercise of their religious observances.
a. G. .
fiji and the Fijians.*
The praise of a good book commonly finds its place at the end of a review of its contents. We shall, in the present instance, however, reverse this time-honoured custom; and at once say what we think of the work before us. It is the best, most complete, most thorough, and most interesting book of its class that we have ever read. It is designed to be a summary of all the information concerning the Fijians that a thirteen years' residence amongst them could obtain. But it is very much more than that. The writer is a Welseyan missionary, who, being something more than a missionary, has been able, not merely to collect together a certain number of facts, and place them under certain heads-and so to form a literary museum of Fiji curiosities—work which almost any one possessed of ordinary human faculties could do, but he has done what a person possessed of very special qualifications only could have done. He is a good geographer, and has the rare faculty of making his geographical descriptions interesting and intelligible, even to adult readers; and that we take to be one of the rarest gifts of a traveller. Scenery, under his hands, can really be imagined; and that can be said of few, besides Sir Walter Scott. His perceptions are acute; his sympathies broadly human; he inquires with carefulness, and narrates without exaggeration; his style is clear, very natural and consecutive, neither too bald nor too adorned; he unites, to the zeal and patience of a Christian missionary, the general information of a good reader, if not the cultivation of a scholar. He is, therefore, in the highest, and not the lowest and most conventional sense, ' good enough for a missionary'
a one of a class, of which there are fewest in his own denomination, and most in the Episcopal Church; whose intelligence and ability recommend them as qualified to be teachers, as well as preachers of salvation. We commonly send none but inferior men to do the most difficult work that has to be done in the world; and we mourn at the want of success in missionary enterprise. But the Church sends its Oxford and Cambridge men to Tinnevelly; and Wesleyans send their foremost men to the cannibals of Fiji; and in both places we see harvests spring up, which cannot be reaped for the paucity of labourers. To have gone to Fiji, and only to have written this book, would have been a great work. To have been the means, in half a generation, of turning this very choicest refuge of Satan and his angels into a school of Christ, and the home of every Christian virtue, surely, no work, nor honour, can excel this !
We purpose to confine the present paper to the first volume of Mr. Williams's book, which relates to the islands and their inhabitants,
* • Fiji and the Fijians.' Vol. 1. The Islands and their Inbabitants, By Thos, Williams, late Missionary in Fiji. Edited by G. S. Rowe, 1858.