The Ambassage of M. Giles Fletcher, Doctor of the Ciuil Law, sent from her Maiestie to Theodor the Emperor of Russia. Anno 1588.
In the yeere 1588. was sent Ambassador from her highnesse into the countrey of Russia, Giles Fletcher Doctor of the Ciuil Lawe, as well to treat with the new Emperor Pheodor Iuanowich, about league and amitie, in like maner as was before with his father Iuan Vasilowich, as also for the reestablishing and reducing into order the deciad trade of our Englishmen there. Who notwithstanding at his first arriuall at the Mosco, found some parts of hard entertainment, by meanes of certaine rumors concerning the late nauall victory which was there reported to haue fallen on the Spanish side, as also for some dislike conceiued against the priuileged trade of our English merchants. Yet in the end he obtained of the Emperour many good and equall conditions, and was curteously and honourably dismissed by him. The principall points which he entreated of, and were granted vnto him by the said Emperor were these:
A continuation of league and amitie betweene her Highnesse and the sayd Emperour Pheodor Iuanowich, in like maner as was before with his father Iuan Vasilowich.
A confirmation and reestablishment of the former priuileges of the Companie of our English merchants, which were infringed and annulled in the principal points, with diuers necessary additions to the same, for the better ordering of their trade in those countreys hereafter, viz. That the state of the priuilege granted before in the names of some priuate and particular men, be altered in that point, and the same granted by the name and stile of their incorporation, viz. To the felowship of English merchants for the discouerie of new trades.
That vpon euery surmise and light quarel, the said priuilege be not reuoked and annulled, as before time it hath bene.
That iustice shall be administred to the said Companie and their Agent without delay, vpon such as shal offer them any despite or iniurie, or shal exact or impose vpon them any paiment, taxation or imposition whatsoeuer, contrary to the freedome of the said grant.
That the goods and commodities of the said Companie, be not forcibly taken as before time they had bene by the Emperors officers or people of authoritie, either for the vse of the said Emperor or of his officers. But in case they haue need of the said commodities, the same to be taken at reasonable prices, and for ready money.
That the said Companie be not charged hereafter with the answering of such debts as are made by any Englishman not being of the societie.
That the Emperors authorized people shall not hereafter repute any Englishman residant in that countrey, to be any factor, seruant, or dealer, in the said Companies affaires, but such as the Agents shall inregister by name, within the offices where custome is entered in all such places of the land where the sayd Companie haue residences to traffike.
That the names of such as shall so be inregistred be no longer continued in record, nor themselues reputed as factors or dealers for the said Companie, then the Agent shall thinke good. But in case the said Agent in his discretion shall thinke meete to strike out of the Register any name of such as haue bene employed in the Companies seruice, the said person to be held as priuate, and whose acte in bargaining or otherwise, shall not charge the said Companie.
That if any English man within the countrey of Russia be suspected for any notorious crime, as felony, treason, &c. the same be not straightwaies set vpon the Pudkey, It is rosting to death. nor otherwise tormented, till such time as he shall be conuicted by plaine and euident proofes: which being done, the whole proceeding to be sent ouer to the Queene of England.
That the said priuilege with the additions, shall be published in all townes and partes of the Emperors dominions, where the said Companie haue traffike.
That the said Companie shall be permitted to vse a sole trade through the Emperours countries, by the riuer Volga into Media, Persia, Bogharia, and the other the East countries.
Whereas there was claimed of the said Companie the summe of 23553. markes of debt, made by certaine of their factors for the said company, for paiment whereof their whole stocke was in danger of arrest, by publike authoritie: Futher also 2140. rubbles for custome and houserent, he obtained a rebatement of eighteene thousand, one hundred fiftie and three marks of the sayd debt.
The sayd Ambassador M. Giles Fletcher, as I vnderstand, hath drawen a booke intituled, Of the Russe Common wealth, containing:
First, a Cosmographicall description, of the countrey, which hath these chapters.
Of the length and bredth of the countrey of Russia, with the names of the shires.
Of the soile and climate.
Of the natiue commodities of the countrey.
Secondly, a description of their policie contained in these Chapters, viz.
Of the constitution or state of the Russe Common wealth.
Of their Parliaments, and maner of holding them,
Of the Russe Nobilitie and meanes whereby it is kept in an vnder proportion agreeable to that state.
Of the maner of gouerning their prouinces of shires.
Of the Emperours priuie counsell.
Of the Emperors customs and their reuenues, with the practises for the increase of them.
Of the Russe communaltie and their condition.
Of their publike iustice and maner of proceeding therein.
Of the Emperors forces for his warres, with the chiefe officers, and their salarie or pay.
Of their maner of mustering, armour, and prouision for victuall.
Of their ordering, marching, charging, and their martiall discipline.
Of their colonies and policie in maintaining their purchases by conquest.
Of their borderers with whom they haue most to doe in warre and peace.
Of their church officers and degrees.
Of their liturgie or forme of Church seruice.
Of their maner of administring the Sacraments.
Of the doctrine of the Russe church.
Of the maner of solemnizing their marriages.
Of the other ceremonies of the Russe church.
Thirdly, the Oeconomie or priuate behauiour of the Russe containing these chapters.
Of the Emperors houshold officers, and order of his house.
Of the priuate behauiour and maner of the Russe people.
The description of the countrey of Russia, with the bredth, length, and names of the Shires.
The countrey of Russia was sometimes called Sarmatia. It changed the name (as some do suppose) for that it was parted into diuers smal, and yet absolute gouemments, not depending, nor being subiect the one to the other. For Russe in that tongue doeth signifie as much as to part, or diuide. The Russe reporteth that foure brethren, Trubor, Rurico, Sinees, and Variuus deuided among them the North parts of the country. Likewise that the South parts were possessed by 4. other, Kio, Scieko, Choranus, and their sister Libeda: each calling his territorie after his owne name. Of this partition it was called Russia, about the yere from Christ 860. Strabo in his 7. booke of Geogr. As for the coniecture which I find in some Cosmographers, that the Russe nation borowed the name of the people called Roxellani, and were the very same nation with them, it is without all good probabilitie, both in respect of the etymologie of the word (which is very far fet) and especially for the seat and dwelling of that people, which was betwixt the two ruiers of Tanais and Boristhenes, (as Strabo reporteth) quite another way from the countrey of Russia.
When it bare the name of Sarmatia, it was diuided into two chiefe parts: the White and the Black. The white Sarmatia was all that part that lieth towards the North, and on the side of Liefland: as the prouinces now called Dwina, Vagha, Vstiug, Vologda, Cargapolia, Nouogrodia, &c whereof Nouogrod velica was the Metropolite or chiefe citie. Black Sarmatia was al that countrey that lieth Southward towards the Euxin or Black sea: as the dukedome of Volodemer, of Mosco, Rezan, &c. Some haue thought that the name of Sarmatia was first taken, from one Sarmates, whom Moses and Iosephus cal Asarmathes sonne to Ioktan, and nephew to Heber, of the posteritie of Sera. Gen, 10. Ioseph. l. 1. ca, 14. But this seemeth to be nothing but a coniecture taken out of the likenes of the name Asarmathes. For the dwelling of all Ioktans posteritie is described by Moses to haue bene betwixt Mescha or Masius (an hil of the Ammonites) and Sephace, nere to the riuer Euphrates: which maketh it very vnlikely that Asarmathes should plant any colonies so far off in the North and Northwest countries. The borders of Russia. It is bounded northward by the Lappes and the North Ocean. On the Southside by the Tartars called Crimmes. Eastward they haue the Nagaian Tartar, that possesseth all the countrey on the East side of Volga towards the Caspian sea. On the West and Southwest border lieth Lituania, Liuonia and Polonia.
The Shires of Russia. The whole Countrey being nowe reduced vnder the gouernment of one, conteineth these chiefe Prouinces or Shires. Volodemer, (which beareth the first place in the Emperours stile, becauce their house came of the Dukes of that Countrey) Mosco, Nisnouogrod, Plesko, Smolensko, Nouogrod velica (or Nouogrod of the low Countrey) Rostoue, Yeraslaue, Bealozera, Rezan, Duyna, Cargapolia, Meschora, Vagha, Vstuga, Ghaletsa. These are the naturall shires perteyning to Russia, but farre greater and larger then the shires of England, though not so well peopled. The Prouinces or Countries got by conquest. The other Countreys or prouinces to which the Russe Emperours haue gotten perforce added of late to their other dominion, are these which followe, Twerra, Youghoria, Permia, Vadska, Boulghoria, Chernigo, Oudoria, Obdoria, Condora, with a great part of Siberia: where the people though they be not naturall Russes, yet obey the Emperour of Russia, and are ruled by the Lawes of his Countrey, paying customes and taxes, as his owne people doe. Besides these he hath vnder him the kingdomes of Cazan and Astracan, gotten by conquest not long since. As for all his possession in Lituania (to the number of 30. great Townes and more,) with Narue and Dorp in Liuonia, they are quite gone, being surprised of late yeeres by the Kings of Poland and Sweden. These Shires and Prouinces are reduced into foure Iurisdictions, which they call Chetfyrds (that is) Tetrarchies, or Fourth parts.
The breadth and length of the Countrey. The whole Countrey is of great length and breadth. From the North to the South (if you measure from Cola to Astracan which bendeth somewhat Eastward) it reacheth in length about 4260. verst, or miles. Pechinga. Notwithstanding the Emperour of Russia hath more territorie Northward, farre beyond Cola vnto the Riuer of Tromschua, that runneth a hundred verst, welnigh beyond Pechingna, neere to Wardhouse but not intire nor clearely limited, by reason of the kings of Sweden and Denmarke, that haue diuers townes there, aswell as the Russe, plotted together the one with the other; euery one of them clayming the whole of those North parts as his owne right. The breadth (if you go from that part of his territorie that lyeth farthest Westward on the Narue side, to the parts of Siberia Eastward, where the Emperour hath his garrisons) is 4400. verst or thereabouts. A verst (by their reckoning) is a 1000. pases, yet lesse by one quarter than an English mile. If the whole dominion of the Russe Emperour were all habitable, and peopled in all places, as it is in some, he would either hardly holde it all within one regiment, or be ouer mightie for all his neighbour Princes.
Of the Soile and Climate.
The soyle of the Countrey for the most part is of a sleight sandie moulde, yet very much different one place from another, for the yeeld of such things as grow out of the earth. The Countrey Northwards towards the parts of S. Nicholas and Cola, and Northeast towards Siberia, is all very barren, and full of desert woods by reason of the Climate, and extremitie of the colde in Winter time. So likewise along the Riuer Volgha betwixt the countreys of Cazan, and Astracan: where (notwithstanding the soyle is very fruitfull) it is all vnhabited, sauing that vpon the riuer Volgha on the Westside, the Emperour hath some fewe Castels with garisons in them. This happeneth by meanes of the Crimme Tartar, that will neither himselfe plant Townes to dwel there, (liuing a wild and vagrant life) nor suffer the Russe (that is farre off with the strength of his Countrey) to people those parts. From Vologda (whieh lieth almost 1700. verst from the port of S. Nicholas) downe towards Mosco, and so towards the South part that bordereth vpon the Crimme, (which conteineth the like space of 1700. verst or there abouts) is a very fruitfull and pleasant countrey, yeelding pasture, and corne, with woods and waters in very great plentie. The like is betwixt Rezan (that lieth Southeast from Mosco) to Nouogrod and Vobsko, that reach farthest towards the Northwest. So betwixt Mosco, and Smolensko (that lyeth Southwest towards Lituania) is a very fruitfull and pleasant soile.
The whole countrey differeth very much from it selfe, by reason of the yeere: so that a man would marueile to see the great, alteration and difference betwixt the Winter, and the Summer Russia. The whole Countrey in the Winter lieth vnder snow, which falleth continually, and is sometime of a yard or two thicke, but greater towards the North. The colde of Russia. The riuers and other waters are all frosen vp a yard or more thicke, how swift or broade soeuer they bee. And this continueth commonly fiue moneths, viz. from the beginning of Nouember till towardes the ende of March, what time the snow beginneth to melt. So that it would breede a frost in a man to looke abroad at that time, and see the Winter face of that Countrey. The sharpenesse of the aire you may iudge of by this: for that water dropped downe or cast vp into the air congealeth into yce before it come to the ground. In the extremitie of Winter, if you holde a pewter dish or pot in your hand, or any other metall (except in some chamber where their warme stoaues bee) your fingers will friese fast vnto it, and drawe off the skinne at the parting. When you passe out of a warme roome into a colde, you shall sensibly feele your breath to waxe starke, and euen stifeling with the colde, as you drawe it in and out. Diuers not onely that trauell abroad, but in the very markets and streetes of their Townes, are mortally pinched and killed withall: so that you shall see many drop downe in the streetes; many trauellers brought into the Townes sitting dead and stifle in their Sleds. Diuers lose their noses, the tips of their eares, and the bals of their cheeks, their toes, feete, &c. Many times (when the Winter is very hard and extreeme) the beares and woolfes issue by troopes out of the woods driuen by hunger, and enter the villages, tearing and rauening all they can finde: so that the inhabitants are faine to flie for safegard of their liues. And yet in the Sommer time you shal see such a new hiew and face of a Countrey, the woods (for the most part which are all of firre and birch) so fresh and so sweete, the pastures and medowes so greene and well growen, (and that vpon the sudden) such varietie of flowers, such noyse of birdes (specially of Nightingales, that seeme to be more lowde and of a more variable note then in other Countreys) that a man shall not lightly trauell in a more pleasant Countrey.
And this fresh and speedy growth of the spring there seemeth to proceede from the benefite of the snow: which all the Winter time being spread ouer the whole Countrey as a white robe, and keeping it warme from the rigour of the frost, in the Spring time (when the Sunne waxeth wanme, and dissolueth it into water) doeth so throughly drench and soake the ground, that is somewhat of a sleight and sandie mould, and then shineth so hotely vpon it againe, that it draweth the hearbes and plants foorth in great plentie and varietie, in a very short time. As the Winter exceedeth in colde, so the Sommer inclineth to ouer much heat, specially in the moneths of Iune, Iuly and August, being much warmer then the Sommer aire in England.
The countrey throughout is very well watered with springs, riuers, and Ozeraes, or lakes. Wherein the prouidence of God is to be noted, for that much of the Countrey being so farre inland, as that some part lieth a thousand miles and more euery way from any sea, yet it is serued with faire Riuers, and that in very great number, that emptying themselues one into another, runne all into the Sea. Their lakes are many and large, some of 60. 80. 100. and 200. miles long with breadth proportionate.
The chiefe Riuers of Russia. The chiefe Riuers are these, First, Volgha, that hath his head or spring at the route of an Aldertree, about 200. verst aboue Yaruslaue, and groweth so bigge by the encrease of other Riuers by that time it commeth thither, that it is broad an English mile and more, and so runneth into the Caspian sea, about 2800. verst or miles of length.
The next is Boristhenes (now called Neper) that diuideth the Countrey from Lituania, and falleth into the Euxin sea.
The third Tanais or Don, (the ancient bounder betwixt Europe and Asia) that taketh his head out of Rezan Ozera, and so running through the Countrey of the Chrim Tartar, falleth into the great Sea, lake, or meare, (called Maeotis) by the citie of Azou. By this Riuer (as the Russe reporteth), you may passe from their Citie Mosco to Constantinople, and so into all those parts of the world by water, drawing your boate (as their maner is) ouer a little Isthmus or narrowe slip of land, a few versts ouerthwart. Which was proued not long since by an Ambassadour sent to Constantinople, who passed the riuer of Moscua, and so into another called Ocka, whence hee drew his boat ouer into Tanais, and thence passed the whole way by water.
The fourth is called Duyna, many hundred miles long, that falleth Northward into the bay of S. Nicholas, and hath great Alabaster rockes on the bankes towards the sea side.
The fifth Duna, that emptieth into the Baltick sea by the towne Riga.
The sixt Onega, that falleth into the Bay at Solouetsko 90. verst from the port of S. Nicholas. This riuer below the towne Cargapolia, meeteth with the Riuer Volock, that falleth into the Finland Sea by the towne Yama. So that from the port of S. Nicholas into the Finland sea, and so into the Sound, you may passe all by water, as hath bene tried by the Russe.
The seuenth Suchana, that floweth into Duyna, and so into the North Sea.
The eight Ocka, that fetcheth his head from the borders of the Chrim, and streameth into Volgha.
The ninth Moscua, that runneth thorough the Citie Mosco, and giueth it the name.
There is Wichida also a very large and long riuer that riseth out of Permia, and falleth into Volgha. All these are riuers of very large streames, the least to be compared to the Thames in bignesse, and in length farre more, besides diuers other. The Pole at Mosco is 55. degrees 10. minutes. At the port of S. Nicholas towards the North 63. degrees and 50. minutes.
The natiue commodities of the Countrey.
The fruits and graine of Russia. For kindes of fruites, they haue Apples, peares plummes, cherries, red and blacke, (but the blacke wilde) a deene like a muske millian, but more sweete and pleasant, cucumbers and goords (which they call Arbouse) rasps, strawberies, and hurtilberies, with many other beries in great quantitie in euery wood and hedge. Their kindes of graine are wheat, rie, barley, oates, pease, buckway, psnytha, that in taste is somewhat like to rice. Of all these graines the Countrey yeeldeth very sufficient with an ouerplus quantitie, so that wheate is solde sometime for two alteens or ten pence starling the Chetfird, which maketh almost three English bushels.
Their rie is sowed before the Winter, all their other graine in the Spring time, and for the most part in May. The Permians and some other that dwell farre North, and in desert places, are serued from the parts that lye more Southward, and are forced to make, bread sometimes of a kinde of roote (called Vaghnoy) and of the middle rine of the firre tree. If there be any dearth (as they accompted this last yeere Anno 1588. wheat and rie being 13. alteens, or 5. shillings fiue pence starling the Chetfird) the fault is rather in the practise of their Nobilitie that vse to engrosse it, then in the Countrey it selfe.
The chiefe commodities of the countrey. 1. Furres. The natiue commodities of the Countrey (wherewith they serue both their owne turnes, and send much abroad to the great enriching of the Emperor, and his people) are many and substantiall. First, furres of all sorts. Wherein the prouidence of God is to be noted, that prouideth a naturall remedie for them, to helpe the naturall inconuenience of their Countrey by the cold of the Climat. Their chiefe furres are these, Blacke fox, Sables, Lusernes, dun fox, Martrones, Gurnestalles or Armins, Lasets or Miniuer, Beuer, Wuluerins, the skin of a great water Rat that smelleth naturally like muske, These rats are in Canada. Calaber or gray squirel, red squirel, red and white fox. Besides the great quantitie spent within the Countrey (the people being clad al in furres the whole winter) there are transported out of the Countrey some yeeres by the merchants of Turkie, Persia, Bougharia, Georgia, Armenia, and some other of Christendom, to the value of foure or fiue hundred thousand rubbles, as I haue heard of the merchants. Momgosorskoy perhaps Molgomzaia. The best Sable furre groweth in the countrey of Pechora, Momgosorskoy and Obdorskoy, the worser sort in Siberia, Perm, and other places. The blacke foxe and red come out of Siberia, white and dunne from Pechora, whence also come the white wolfe, and white Beare skin. The best Wuluerin also thence and from Perm. The best Martrons are from Siberia, Cadamo, Morum, Perm, and Cazan. Lyserns, Mineuer, and Armins, the best are out of Gallets, and Ouglits, many from Nouogrod and Perm. The Beauer of the best sort breedeth in Murmonskey by Cola. Other common furres and most of these kindes grow in many, and some in all parts of the Countrey.
2. Waxe. The second commoditie is of Waxe, whereof hath bene shipped into forreigne countreys (as I haue heard it reported by those that best know it) the summe of 50000. pood yeerely, euery pood conteyneth 40. pound, but now about 10000. pood a yeere.
3. Hony. The third is their Honie, whereof besides an exceeding great quantitie spent in their ordinary drinkes (which is Mead of all sorts) and their other vses, some good quantitie is caried out of the countrey. The chiefe encrease of hony is in Mordua and Cadam neere to the Cheremissen Tartar: much out of Seuerskoy, Rezan, Morum, Cazan, Dorogobose, and Vasma.
4. Tallow. Fourthly, of Tallow they afoord a great waight for transportation: not onely for that their countrey hath very much good ground apt for pasturage of cattell, but also by reason of their many Lents and other fastes: and partly because their greater men vse much waxe for their lights, the poorer and meaner sort birch dried in their stoaues, and cut into long shiuers, which they call Luchineos. Of tallow there hath bene shipped out of the Realme a few yeeres since about 100000. pood yerely, now not past 30000. or thereabouts. The best yeeld of tallow is in the parts and territories of Smolensko, Yaruslaue, Ouglits, Nouogrod, and Vologda, Otfer, and Gorodetskey.
5. Hide. An other principall commoditie is their Losh and Cow hide. Their Losh or Buffe hide is very faire and large. Their bull and cowe hide (for oxen they make none, neither yet weather) is of a small sise. There hath bene transported by merchants strangers some yeres 100000. hides. Now it is decreased to 30000. or thereabouts. Besides great store of goates skinnes, whereof great numbers are shipped out of the countrey. The largest kinde of Losh or Buffe breedeth about Rostoue, Wichida, Nouogrod, Morum, and Perm. The lesser sort within the kingdome of Cazan.
6. Trane oyle. Another very great and principall commoditie is their Trane oyle, drawen out of the Seal fish. Where it will not be impertinent to shewe the maner of their hunting the Seal, which they make this oyle of: which is in this sort. The maner of hunting the Seale fish. Towards the ende of Sommer (before the frost beginne) they goe downe with their boates into the bay of S. Nicholas, to a cape called Cusconesse or Foxnose, where they leaue their boats till the next spring tide. When the Sunne waxeth warme toward the spring, and yet the yce not melted within the Bay, they returne thither againe. Then drawing their boates ouer the sea yce, they vse them for houses to rest and lodge in. There are commonly about 17. or 18. fleete of them, of great large boates, which diuide themselues into diuers companies, fiue or sixe boats in a consort.
They that first finde the haunt, fire a beacon, which they carry with them for the nonce. Which being espied by the other companies, by such among them as are appointed of purpose, they come altogether and compasse the Seales round about in a ring, that lie sunning themselues together vpon the yce, commonly foure or fiue thousand in a shoale, and so they inuade them euery man with his club in his hand. If they hit them on the nose they are soone killed. If on the sides or backe they beare out the blow, and many times so catch and holde downe the clubbe with their teeth by maine force, that the partie is forced to call for helpe to his fellowes.
The maner of the Seals is when they see themselues beset, to gather all close together in a throng or plumpe, to sway downe the yce, and to breake it (if they can) which so bendeth the yce that many times it taketh the sea water vpon it, and maketh the hunters to wade a foote or more deepe. After the slaughter when they haue killed what they can, they fall to sharing euery boate his part in equall portions: and so they flay them, taking from the body the skin, and the lard or fat with all that cleaueth to the skin. This they take with them, leauing the bodies behind, and so go to shore. Where they digge pits, in the grounde of a fadome and an halfe deepe, or thereabout, and so taking the fat or lard off from the skinne, they throw it into the pit, and cast in among it boat burning stones to melt it withall. The vppermost and purest is sold, and vsed to oile wool for cloth, the grosser (that is of a red colour) they sell to make sope.
7. Ickary. Likewise of Ickary or Cauery, a great quantitie is made vpon the riuer of Volgha out of the fish called Bellougina, the Sturgeon, the Seueriga and the Sterledey. Whereof the most part is shipped by French and Netherlandish merchants for Italy and Spaine, some by English merchants.
8. Hempe and Flaxe. The next is of Flax and Hempe, whereof there hath bene shipped (as I haue heard merchants say) at the port of Narue a great part of 100. ships small and great yerely. Now, not past fiue. The reason of this abating and decrease of this and other commodities, that were wont to be transported in a greater quantitie, is the shutting vp of the port of the Narue towards the Finland sea, which now is in the handes and possession of the Sweden. Likewise the stopping of the passage ouerland by the way of Smolensko, and Plotsko, by reason of their warres with the Polonian, which causeth the people to be lesse prouident in mainteining and gathering these and like commodities, for that they lacke sales. For the growth of flaxe the prouince of Vobsko, and the countrey about is the chiefe and onely place. For Hempe Smolensko, Dorogobose and Vasma.
9. Salt. The countrey besides maketh great store of salt. Their best salt is made at Stararouse in very great quantitie, where they haue great store of salt wels, about 250. verst from the sea. At Astracan salt is made naturally by the sea water, that casteth it vp into great hils, and so it is digged down, and caried away by the merchants and other that wil fetch it from thence. They pay to the Emperor for acknowledgement or custome 3. d. Russe vpon euery hundred weight. Nonocks. Besides these two, they make salt in many other places of the Realme, as in Perm, Wichida, Totma, Kenitsma, Solouetsky, Ocona, Bombasey, and Nonocks, all out of salt pits, saue at Solouetsky, which lieth neere to the sea.
10. Tarre. Likewise of Tarre they make a great quantitie out of their firre trees in the conntrey of Duyna and Smolensko, whereof much is sent abroad. 11. Ribazuba. Besides these (which are all good and substantiall commodities) they haue diuers other of smaller accompt, that are naturall and proper to that countrey: as the fish tooth (which they call Ribazuba) which is vsed both among themselues, and the Persians and Bougharians that fetch it from thence for beads, kniues, and sword hafts of Noblemen and gentlemen, and for diuers other vses. Some vse the powder of it against poison, as the Vnicornes horne. The fish that weareth it is called a Morse, and is caught about Pechora. These fish teeth some of them are almost 2. foote of length, and weigh 11. or 12. pound apiece.
12. Slude. In the prouince of Corelia, and about the riuer Duyna towards the North sea, there groweth a soft rocke which they call Slude. This they cut into pieces, and so teare it into thin flakes, which naturally it is apt for, and so vse it for glasse-lanthorns and such like. It giueth both inwards and outwards a clearer light then glasse, and for this respect is better then either glasse or horne: for that it neither breaketh like glasse nor yet will burne like the lanthorne. 13. Saltpeter and brimstone. Saltpeter in many places, as at Ouglits, Yaruslaue, and Vstiug, they make and some smal store of brimstone vpon the riuer Volgha, but want skil to refine it. 14. Iron. Their iron is somewhat brittle, but a great weight of it is made in Corelia, Cargapolia, and Vstiug Thelesna. Other mine they haue none gowing within the realme.
The strange beastes, fish, foule, &c., that breed in Russia. Their beasts of strange kinds are the Losh, the Ollen, the wild horse, the beare, the woluering, or wood dog, the Lyserne, the Beauer, the Sable, the Martron, the black and dunne fox, the white Beare towards the sea coast of Pechora, the Gurnstale, the Laset or Mineuer. They haue a kinde of Squirrell that hath growing on the pinion of the shoulder bone a long tuft of haire, much like vnto feathers with a far broader taile than haue any other squirrels, which they moue and shake as they leape from tree to tree, much like vnto a wing. They skise a large space, and seeme for to flie withal, and therefore they cal them Letach Vechshe, that is, the flying squirrels. Their hares and squirrels in sommer are of the same colour with ours, in Winter the hare changeth her coate into milke white, the squirrel into gray, whereof cometh the Calaber.
They haue fallow deere, the roe bucke, and goats very great store. Their horses are but smal, but very swift and hard, they trauell them vnshod both winter and Sommer, without all regard of pace. Their sheepe are but smal and beare course and harsh wool. Of foule they haue diuers of the principal kinds: First, great store of hawks, the eagle, the gerfaulcon, the slightfaulcon, the goshawk, the tassel, the sparhawk, &c. But the principal hawke that breedeth in the country, is counted the gerfaulcon. Of other fowles their principal kinds are the swan tame and wilde, (whereof they haue great store) the storke, the crane, the tedder of the colour of a feasant, but far bigger and liueth in the firre woods. Of feasant and partridge they haue very great plentie. An owle there is of very a great bignesse more vgly to behold then the owles of this country, with a broad face, and eares much like vnto a man.
For fresh water fish, besides the common sorts (as carpe, pikes, pearch, tench, roach, &c.) they haue diuers kinds very good and delicate: as the Bellouga or Bellougina of 4. or 5. elnes long, the Ositrina or Sturgion, the Seueriga and Sterledy somewhat in fashion and taste like to the Sturgion, but not so thick nor long. These 4. kindes of fish breed in the Volgha, and are catched in great plenty, and serued thence into the whole Realme for a great food. Of the Roes of these foure kinds they make very great store of Icary or Caueary as was said before.
They haue besides these that breed in the Volgha a fish called the Riba bela, or white salmon, which they account more delicate then they do the red salmon, whereof also they haue exceeding great plentie in the Riuers Northward, as in Duyna, the riuer of Cola, &c. In the Ozera or lake neere a towne called Perislaue, not far from the Mosco, they haue a smal fish which they cal the fresh herring, of the fashion, and somewhat of the taste of a sea-herring. Their chiefe townes for fish are, Yaruslaue, Bealozera, Nouogrod, Astracan, and Cazan: which all yeeld a large custome to the Emperour euery yeere for their trades of fishing, which they practise in Sommer, but sende if frozen in the Winter time into all parts of the Realme.
The chiefe Cities of Russia.
The chiefe cities of Russia are Mosco, Nouogrod, Rostoue, Volodomer, Plesko, Smolensko, Iaruslaue, Perislaue, Nisnouogrod, Vologda, Vstiug, Colmogro, Cazan, Astracan, Cargapolia, Columna. Mosco The city, of Mosco is supposed to be of great antiquitie, though the first founder be vnknowen to the Russe. It seemeth to haue taken the name from the riuer that runneth on the one side of the towne. Berosus the Chaldean in his 5. booke telleth that Nimrod (whom other profane stories cal Saturne) sent Assyrius, Medus, Moscus, and Magog into Asia to plant colonies there, and that Moscus planted both in Asia and Europe. Which may make some probabilitie, that the citie, or rather the riuer whereon it is built tooke, the denomination from this Moscus: the rather because of the climate or situation, which is in the very farthest part and list of Europe, bordering vpon Asia. The Citie was much enlarged by one Iuan or Iohn, sonne to Daniel, that first changed his tide of duke into King: though that honour continued not to his posterity: the rather because he was inuested into it by the Popes Legate, who at that time was Innocentius the 4. about the yeere 1246. which was very much misliked by the Russe people, being then a part of the Easterne or Greeke Church. Since that time the name of this city hath growen more famous, and better knowen to the world: insomuch that, not only the prouince, but the whole countrey of Russia is termed by some by the name of Moscouia the Metropolite city. The forme of this city is in maner round with 3. strong wals, circuling the one within the other, and streets lying betwene, whereof the inmost wall, and the buildings closed within it (lying safest as the heart within the body, fenced and watred with the riuer Moscoua, that runneth close by it) is all accompted the Emperors castle. The number of houses (as I haue heard) through the whole Citie (being reckoned by the Emperor a little before it was fired by the Crim) was 41500. in all. Since the Tartar besieged and fired the towne, (which was in the yere 1571.) there lieth waste of it a great breadth of ground, which before was wel set and planted with buildings, specially that part on the South side of Moscua, built not long before by Basilius the Emperor for his garison of souldiers, to whom he gaue priuiledge to drinke Mead, and beere at the dry or prohibited times, when other Russes may drinke nothing but water, and for that cause called this new city by the name of Naloi, that is skinck248 or poure in. So that now the city of Mosco is not much bigger then the city of London. Nouograd. The next in greatnes, and in a maner as large, is the citie Nouograd: where was committed (as the Russe saith) the memorable warre so much spoke of in stories of the Scythians seruants, that tooke armes against their Masters: which they report in this sort: viz. That the Boiarens or gentlemen of Nouograd and the territory about (which only are souldiers after the discipline of those countreis) had war with the Tartars. Which being wel performed and ended by them, they returned homewards. Where they vnderstood by the way that their Cholopey or bondslaues whom they left at home, had in their absence possessed their townes, lands, houses, wiues and all. At which newes being somewhat amased, and yet disdeining the villany of their seruants, they made the more speed home: and so not far from Nouograd met them in warlike maner marching against them. Whereupon aduising what was best to be done, they agreed all to set vpon them with no other shew of weapon but with their horse whips, (which as their maner is euery man rideth withal) to put them in remembrance of their seruile condition, thereby to terrifie them, and abate their courage. And so marching on and lashing al together with their whips in their hands they gaue the onset. Which seemed so terrible in the eares of their villaines, and stroke such a sense into them of the smart of the whip which they had felt before, that they fled altogether like sheepe before the driuers. In memory of this victory the Nouogradians euer since haue stamped their coine (which they cal a dingoe Nouogrodskoy currant through al Russia) with the figure of a horsman shaking a whip aloft in his hand. These 2. cities exceed the rest in greatnes. For strength their chiefe townes are Vobsko, Smolensko, Cazan and Astracan, as lying vpon the borders. Iaruslaue. But for situation Iaruslaue far exceedeth the rest. For besides the commodities that the soile yeeldeth of pasture and corne, it lieth vpon the famous riuer of Volgha, and looketh ouer it from a high banke very faire and stately to behold: whereof the towne taketh the name. For Iaraslaue in that tongue signifieth as much as a faire or famous banke. Saxo Grammaticus lib. II. pag. 187. In this towne (as may be ghessed by the name) dwelt the Russe king Vladimer sirnamed Iaruslaue, that maried the Daughter of Harald king of England, by mediation of Sweno the Dane, as is noted in the Danish story about the yere 1067.
The other townes haue nothing that is greatly memorable, saue many ruines within their wals. The manner of Russe building. The streets of their cities and townes in stead of pauing are planked with fir trees, plained and layd enen close the one to the other. Their houses are of wood without any lime or stone, built very close and warme with firre trees plained and piled one vpon another. They are fastened together with dents or notches at euery corner, and so clasped fast together. Betwixt the trees or timber they thrust in mosse (whereof they gather plenty in their woods) to keep out the aire. Euery house hath a paire of staires that lead vp into the chambers out of the yard or streat after the Scottish maner. This building seemeth far better for their countrey, then that of stone or bricke; as being colder and more dampish then their wooden houses, specially of firre, that is a dry and warme wood. Whereof the prouidence of God hath giuen them such store, as that you may build a faire house for 20. or 30. rubbles or litle more, where wood is most scant. The greatest inconuenience of their wodden building is the aptnesse for firing, which happeneth very oft and in very fearful sort, by reason of the drinesse and fatnes of the fir, that being once fired, burneth like a torch, and is hardly quenched til all be burnt vp.
Of the maner of Crowning or Inauguration of the Russe Emperours.
The solemnities vsed at the Russe Emperors coronation, are on this maner. In the great church of Precheste (or our Lady) within the Emperors castle is erected a stage whereon standeth a scrine that beareth vpon it the Imperial cap and robe of very rich stuffe. When the day of the Inauguration is come, there resort thither, first the Patriarch with the Metropolitanes, arch-bishops, bishops, abbots and priors, al richly clad in their pontificalibus. Then enter the Deacons with the quier of singers. Who so soone as the Emperor setteth foot into the church, begin to sing: Many yeres may liue noble Theodore Iuanowich, &c: Wereunto the patriarch and Metropolite with the rest of the cleargy answere with a certaine hymne, in forme of a praier, singing it altogether with a great noise. The hymne being ended, the patriarch with the Emperor mount vp the stage, where standeth a seat ready for the Emperor. Whereupon the patriarch willeth him to sit downe, and then placing himself by him vpon another seat prouided for that purpose, boweth downe his head towards the ground, and saith this prayer: O Lord God king of kings, Lord of Lords, which by thy prophet Samuel didst chose thy seruant Dauid, and annoynt him for King ouer thy people Israel, heare now our prayer, and looke from thy sanctuary vpon this thy seruant Theodore, whom thou hast chosen and exalted for king ouer these thy holy nations anoint him with the oile of gladnes, protect by thy power, put vpon his head a crowne of gold and precious stones, giue him length of dayes, place him in the seat of Iustice, strengthen his arme, make subiect vnto him all the barbarous nations. Let thy feare be in his whole heart, turne him from an euill faith, and all errour, and shewe him the saluation of thy holy and vniuersal Church, that he may iudge thy people with iustice, and protect the children of the poore, and finally atteine euerlasting life. This prayer he speaketh with a low voice, and then pronounceth aloud: Al praise and power to God the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost. The prayer, being ended, he commandeth certaine Abbots to reach the imperiall roabe and cap: which is done very decently, and with great solemnitie, the Patriarch withal pronouncing aloud: Peace be vnto all. And so he beginneth another prayer to this effect: Bow your selues together with vs, and pray to him that reigneth ouer all. Preserue him (oh Lord) vnder thy holy protection, keepe him that hee may doe good and holy things, let Iustice shine forth in his dayes, that we may liue quietly without strife and malice. This is pronounced somewhat softly by the Patriarch, whereto hee addeth againe aloud: Thou art the king of the whole world and the sauiour of our soules, to thee the Father, sonne and Holy ghost be al praise for euer and euer. Amen. Then putting on the roabe and the cap, he blesseth the Emperour with the signe of the crosse, saying withall: In the name of the Father, the Sonne and the Holy ghost. The like is done by the Metropolites, Archbishops, and Bishops: who all in their order come to the chaire, and one after another blesse the Emperour with their two forefingers. Then is sayd by the Patriarch another prayer, that beginneth: Oh most holy virgin, mother of God &c. After which a Deacon pronounceth with a loude voice: Many yeres to noble Theodore, good, honourable, beloued of God, great Duke of Volodemer, of Mosco, Emperour, and Monarch of all Russia, &c. Whereto the other Priests and Deacons that stand somewhat farre of by the altar or table, answere singing: Many yeres, many yeres to the noble Theodore. The same note is taken vp by the Priests and Deacons, that are placed at the right and left side of the Church, and then altogether, they channt and thunder out, singing: Many yeres to the noble Theodore, good, honourable, beloued of God, great Duke of Volodomer, Mosco, Emperour of all Russia, &c. These solemnities being ended, first commeth the Patriarch with the Metropolites, Archbishops, and Bishops; then the Nobility, and the whole company in their order, to doe homage to the Emperour, bending downe their heads, and knocking them at his feete to the very ground.
The stile wherewith he is inuested at his Coronation, runneth after this maner.
Theodore Iuanowich, by the grace of God great Lord and Emperour of all Russia, great Duke of Volodomer, Mosco, and Nouogrod, King of Cazan, King of Astracan, Lord of Plesco, and great Duke of Smolensco, of Twerria, Ioughoria, Permia, Vadska, Bulghoria, and others; Lord and great Duke of Nouogrod of the Low countrey, of Chernigo, Rezan, Polotskoy, Rostoue, Yaruslaueley, Bealozera, Liefland, Oudoria, Obdoria, and Condensa, Commander of all Siberia, and of the North parts, and Lord of many other Countreis, &c.
This stile conteineth in it all the Emperours Prouinces, and setteth foorth his greatnesse. And therefore they haue a great delight and pride in it, forcing not onely their owne people but also strangers (that haue any matter to deliuer to the Emperour by speech or writing) to repeate the whole forme from the beginning to the end. Which breedeth much cauill, and sometimes quarell betwixt them and the Tartar, and Poland Ambassadours: who refuse to call him Czar, that is Emperor, and to repeate the other parts of his long stile. My selfe when I had audience of the Emperour, thought good to salute him only with thus much viz. Emperour of all Russia, great Duke of Volodomer, Mosco and Nouogrod, King of Cazan, King of Astracan. The rest I omitted of purpose, because I knew they gloried, to haue their stile appeare to be of a larger volume then the Queenes of England. But this was taken in so ill part, that the Chancelour (who then attended the Emperour, with the rest of the nobility) with a loude chafing voice, called still vpon me to say out the rest. Whereto I answered, that the Emperors stile was very long, and could not so well be remembred by strangers, that I had repeated so much of it, as might shew that I gaue honour to the rest &c. But all would not serue till I commanded my interpreter to say it all out.
Their forces for the wars, with the chief officers and their salaries.
The Souldiers of Russia are called Sinaboyarskey, or the sons of Gentlemen: because they are all out of that degree, by vertue of their military profession. Souldiers by birth and inheritance. For euery souldier in Russia is a gentleman, and none are gentlemen, but only the souldiers, that take it by discent from their ancestors: so that the sonne of a gentleman (which is borne a souldier) is euer a gentleman, and a souldier withall, and professeth nothing els but military matters. When they are of yeres able to beare armes, they come to the office of Roserade, or great Constable, and there present themselues: who entreth their names, and allotteth them certaine lands to maintaine their charges, for the most part the same their fathers enioyed. For the lands assigned to maintaine the army, are euer certain, annexed to this office without improuing, or detracting one foot. But that if the Emperor haue sufficient in wages, the roomes being full so farre as the land doeth extend already, they are many times deferred, and haue nothing allowed them, except some one portion of the land be deuided into two. The whole number of his souldiers in continuall pay, is this. First he hath his Dworaney, that is, Pensioners, or Gard of his person, to the number of 15000 horsemen, with their captaines and other officers, that are alwaies in a readines.
Degrees of horsemen. 1. Prætoriani or such as attend the Emperors person. Of these 15000 horsemen, there are three sorts or degrees, which differ as well in estimation as in wages, one degree from another. The first sort of them is called Dworaney Bulshey, or the company of head Pensioners, that haue some an hundred, some fourescore rubbles a yeare, and none vnder 70. The second sort are called Seredney Dworaney, or the middle rank of Pensioners. These haue sixty or fifty rubbles by the yeare, none vnder fortie. The third and lowest sort, are the Dyta Boiarskey, that is the low Pensioners. Their salary is thirty rubbles a yere for him that hath most, some haue but 25, some 20, none vnder 12. Whereof the halfe part is paid them at the Mosco, the other halfe in the field by the general, when they haue any wars, and are imploied in seruice. When they receiue their whole pay it amounteth to 55000 rubbles by the yere.
And this is their wages, besides lands allotted to euery one of them, both to the greater and the lesse, according to their degrees. Whereof he that hath least, hath to yeelde him twentie rubbles or markes by the yeare. Two other troupes to the number of 65000. Besides these 15000 horsemen, that are of better choyce (as being the Emperors owne gard when himselfe goeth to the wars, not vnlike the Romane souldiers called Prætoriani) are a hundred and ten men of speciall account for their Nobilitie, and trust, which are chosen by the Emperor, and haue their names registred, that find among them for the Emperors wars, to the number of 65000. horsemen, with all necessaries meet for the wars after the Russe maner.
To this end they haue yerely allowance made by the Emperor for themselues, and their companies, to the summe of 40000 rubbles. And these 65000 are to repayre to the field euery yeare on the borders towards the Crim Tartar, (except they be appointed for some other seruice) whether there be wars with the Tartars, or not. This might seeme peraduenture somewhat dangerous for some state, to haue so great forces vnder the command of Noblemen to assemble euery yere to one certain place. But the matter is so vsed, as that no danger can growe to the Emperor, or his state by this means. First, because these noblemen are many, to wit, an 110. in al, and changed by the Emperor so oft as he thinketh good. Secondly, because they haue their liuings of the Emperor, being otherwise but of very small reuenue, and receiue this yerely pay of 46000 rubbles, when it is presently to be payd forth againe to the souldiers that are vnder them. Thirdly, because for the most part they are about the Emperors person being of his Counsel, either speciall or at large. Fourthly, they are rather as paymasters, then Captaines to their companies, themselues not going forth ordinarily to the wars, saue when some of them are appointed by speciall order from the Emperor himselfe. Horsemen in continuall pay 80000. So the whole number of horsemen that are euer in a readinesse, and in continuall pay, are 80000, a few more or lesse.
If he haue neede of a greater number (which seldome falleth out) then he enterteineth of those Sinaboiarskey, that are out of pay, so many as be needeth: and if yet he want of his number, he giueth charge to his Noblemen, that hold lands of him to bring into the field euery man a proportionable number of his seruants (called Kolophey, such as till his lands) with their furniture, according to the iust number that he intendeth to make. Which the seruice being done, presently lay in their weapons, and returne to their seruile occupations againe.
Footmen in continuall pay 12000. Of footemen that are in continuall pay he hath to the number of 12000 all gunners, called Strelsey: Whereof 5000 are to attend about the citie of Mosco, or any other place where the Emperor shall abide, and 2000 (which are called Stremaney Strelsey, or gunners at the stirrop) about his owne person at the very Court or house where himselfe lodgeth. The rest are placed in his garison townes, till there be occasion to haue them in the field, and receiue for their salarie or stipend euery man seuen rubbles a yeare, besides twelue measures a piece of Rye, and Oates. Strangers mercenaries in pay 4300. Of mercenary Souldiers, that are strangers (whom they call Nimschoy) they haue at this time 4300 of Polonians: of Chirchasses (that are vnder the Polonians) about 4000, whereof 3500 are abroad in his garisons: of Doutches and Scots about 150: of Greekes, Turks, Danes and Swedens, all in one band, an 100 or thereabouts. But these they vse onely vpon the Tartar side, and against the Siberians: as they doe the Tartar souldiers (whom they hire sometimes, but only for the present) on the other side against the Polonian and Sweden: thinking it best policie to vse their seruice vpon the contrary border.
The chief captains or leaders. The chiefe Captaines or leaders of these forces, according to their names and degrees, are these which follow. 1. The Voiauod or general. First, the Voyauoda Bulshaia, that is, the Great Captaine, or Lieutenant general vnder the Emperor. This commonly is one of the foure houses of the chiefe Nobility of the land. Their great Voiauod or general at this present in their wars, is commonly one of these foure: Knez Feodor Iuanowich Methisloskey, Knez Iuan Michalowich Glinskoy, Cherechaskoy, and Trowbetskoy, all of great nobilitie. 2. Lieutenant general. Next vnto the Voiauod or general there is some other placed as Lieutenant general, being a man of great valour and experience in the wars, who ordereth all things that the other countenanceth. At this time their principal man, and most vsed in their wars, is one Knez Demetrie Iuanowich Forestine, an ancient and expert captaine, and one that hath done great seruice (as they say) against the Tartar and Polonian. 3. Marshals of the field foure. Next under the Voiauod and his Lieutenant general are foure other that haue the marshalling of the whole army deuided among them, and may be called the marshals of the field.
Euery man hath his quarter, or fourth part vnder him. Whereof the first is called the Praua Polskoy, or right wing. The second is the Leuoy Polskoy, or left wing. The third is Rusnoy Polskoy, or the broken band, because out of this there are chosen to send abroad vpon any sodaine exploit, or to make a rescue or supplie, as occasion doth require. The fourth Storoshouoy Polskoy, or the warding band. Foure marshals: deputies eight. Euery one of these foure Marshals haue two other vnder them (eight in all) that twise euery weeke at the least must muster and traine their seueral wings or bands, and hold and giue iustice for all faults, and disorders committed in the campe.
And these eight are commonly chosen out of the 110. (which I spake of before) that receiue and deliuer the pay to the souldiers. Fiue Coronels vnder Captaines. Vnder these eight are diuers other Captaines, as the Gulauoy, Captaines of thousands fiue hundreds and 100. The Petyde Setskoy or Captains of fifties, and the Decetskies or Captains of tennes.
Sixe Masters of the Artillery. Besides the Voiauoda or general of the armie (spoken of before) they haue two other that beare the name of Voiauoda, whereof one is the master of the great Ordinance (called Naradna voiauoda) who hath diuers vnder officers, necessary for that seruice. The walking Captaine. The other is called the Voiauoda gulauoy, or the walking Captaine, that hath allowed him 1000 good horsemen of principall choyce, to range and spie abroad, and hath the charge of the running Castle, which we are to speake of in the Chapter following. Al these Captains, and men of charge must once euery day resort to the Bulsha voiauoda, or General of the armie, to know his pleasure, and to informe him, if there be any requisite matter pertaining to their office.
Of their mustering, and leuying of forces, maner of armour, and prouision of victuall for the warres.
Their order of mustering. When wars are towards (which they faile not of lightly euery yere with the Tartar, and many times with the Polonian and Sweden) the foure Lords of the Chetfirds send forth their summons in the Emperors name, to all the Dukes and Dyacks of the Prouinces, to be proclaimed in the head townes of euery Shire: that al the Sinaboiarskey, or sonnes of gentlemen make their repaire to such a border where the seruice is to be done, at such a place, and by such a day, and there present themselues to such, and such Captaines. When they come to the place assigned them in the summons or proclamation, their names are taken by certaine officers that haue commission for that purpose from the Roserade, or high Constable, as Clarkes of the bands. If any make default or faile at the day, he is mulcted, and punished very seuerely. As for the General and other chief Captaines, they are sent thither from the Emperors owne hand, with such Commission and charge as he thinketh behoofull for the present seruice. When the souldiers are assembled, they are reduced into their bands, and companies, vnder their seueral Captaines of tennes, fifties, hundreds, thousands, &c. and these Bands into 4 Polskeis, or Legions (but of farre greater numbers then the Romane legions were) vnder their foure great Leaders, which also haue the authoritie of Marshals of the field (as was sayd before.)
The horsemans furniture. Concerning their armour they are but slightly appointed. The common horseman hath nothing els but his bow in his case vnder his right arme, and his quiuer and sword hanging on the left side: except some fewe that beare a case of dagges, or a Iauelin, or short staffe along their horse side. The vnder captains wil haue commonly some piece of armour besides, as a shirt of male, or such like. The General with the other chiefe captaines and men of Nobilitie wil haue their horse very richly furnished, their saddles of cloth of gold, their bridles fair bossed and tasselled with gold, and silk fringe, bestudded with pearle and precious stones, themselues in very faire armor, which they cal Bullatnoy, made of faire shining steele, yet couered commonly with cloth of golde, and edged round with armin furre, his steele helmet on his head of a very great price, his sword bow and arrowes at his side, his speare in his hand, with another faire helmet, and Shesta pera, or horsemans scepter carried before him. Their swords, bowes, and arrowes are of the Turkish fashion. They practise like the Tartar to shoote forwards and backwards, as they flie and retire.
The footmans furniture. The Strelsey or footeman hath nothing but his piece in his hand, his striking hatchet at his back, and his sword by his side. The stock of his piece is not made calieuerwise, but with a plaine and straite stocke (somewhat like a fouling piece) the barrel is rudely and vnartificially made, very heauie, yet shooteth but a very small bullet. Prouision of victual. As for their prouision of victual, the Emperor alloweth none, either for Captaine or souldiour, neither prouideth any for them except peraduenture some come for their money. Euery man is to bring sufficient for himselfe, to serue his turne for foure moneths, and if neede require to giue order for more to be brought vnto him to the Campe from his tenant that tilleth his land, or some other place. One great helpe they haue, that for lodging and diet euery Russe is prepared to be a souldier beforehand. Though the chiefe Captains and other of account cary tents with them after the fashion of ours, with some better prouision of victual then the rest. They bring with them commonly into the Campe for victuall a kind of dried bread, (which they call Suchary) with some store of meale, which they temper with water, and so make it into a ball, or small lumpe of dowe, called Tollockno. And this they eate rawe in stead of bread; Their meat is bacon, or some other flesh or fish dryed, after the Dutch maner. If the Russe soldier were as hardy to execute an enterprise, as he is hard to beare out toyle and trauell, or were otherwise as apt and well trained for the warres, as he is indifferent for his lodging and diet bee would farre exceede the souldiers of our parts.
Of their marching, charging, and other Martial discipline.
The Russe trusteth rather to his number, then to the valure of his souldiers, or good ordering of his forces. Their marching or leading is without al order, saue that the foure Polskey or Legions, (whereinto their armie is deuided) keepe themselues seuerall vnder their ensignes, and so thrust all on together in a hurrey, as they are directed by their Generall. Their Ensigne is the image of S. George. Horsemen drummes. The Bulsha Dworaney or chiefe horsemen, haue euery man a small drum of brasse at his saddle bowe, which he striketh when he giueth the charge, or onset.
The horsemans maner of charging. They haue drummes besides of a huge bignes, which they cary with them vpon a boord layde on foure horses, that are sparred together with chaines, euery drumme haning eight strikers, or drummers, besides trumpets and shawmes, which they sound after a wilde maner, much different from ours. When they giue any charge, or make any inuasion, they make a great hallow or shoute altogether, as lowd as they can, which with the sound of their trumpets, shawmes and drummes, maketh a confused and horrible noyse. So they set on first discharging their arrowes, then dealing with their swordes, which they vse in a brauerie to shake, and brandish ouer their heads, before they come to strokes.
The footmans charge. Their footmen (because otherwise they want order in leading) are commonly placed in some ambush or place of aduantage, where they most annoy the enemie, with least hurt to themselues. The walking Castle. If it be a set battell, or if any great inuasion be made vpon the Russe borders by the Tartar, they are set within the running or mouing Castle (called Bexa, or Gulaygorod) which is caried about with them by the Voiauoda golauoy (or the walking General) whom I spake of before. This walking or moouing Castle is so framed, that it may be set vp in length (as occasion doeth require) the space of one, two, three, foure, fiue, sixe, or seuen miles: for so long will reach. It is nothing els but a double wall of wood to defend them on both sides behinde and before, with a space of three yards or thereabouts, betwixt the two sides: so that they may stand within it, and haue roome enough to charge and discharge their pieces, and to vse their other weapons. It is closed at both ends, and made with loope holes on either side, to lay out the nose of their piece, or to push foorth any other weapon. It is caried with the armie wheresoeuer it goeth, being taken into pieces, and so layde on cartes sparred together, and drawen by horse that are not seene, by reason that they are couered with their cariage as with a shelfe or penthouse. When it is brought to the place where it is to be vsed (which is deuised and chosen out before by the walking Voiauod) it is planted so much as the present vse requireth, sometime a mile long, sometimes two, sometimes three or more: Which is soone done without the helpe of any Carpenter, or instrument: because the timber is so framed to claspe together one piece with in another: as is easily vnderstoode by those that know the maner of the Russe building.
In this Castle standeth their shot wel fenced for aduantage, especially against the Tartar, that bringeth no ordinance, nor other weapon into the field with him, saue his sword, and bow, and arrowes. They haue also within it diuers field pieces, which they vse as occasion doth require. Of pieces for the field they carie no great store, when they warre against the Tartar: but when they deale with the Polonian (of whose forces they make more account) they go better furnished with all kind of munition, and other necessarie prouisions. It is thought that no Prince of Christendome hath better store of munition, then the Russe Emperour. And it may partly appeare by the Artillery house at Mosco, where are of all sortes of great Ordinance, all brasse pieces, very faire, to an exceeding great number.
The Russe souldier is thought to be better at his defence within some castle or towne, then he is abroad at a set pitched field. Which is euer noted in the practise of his warres, and namely at the siege of Vobsco, about eight yeres since: 1580. where he repulsed the Polonian king Stepan Batore, with his whole armie of 100000 men, and forced him in the end to giue ouer his siege, with the losse of many of his best Captaines and souldiers. But in a set field the Russe is noted to haue euer the worse of the Polonian and Sweden.
Reward for valure. If any behaue himselfe more valiantly then the rest, or do any special piece of seruice, the Emperor sendeth him a piece of golde, stamped with the Image of Saint George on horsebacke: Which they hang on their sleeues, and set in their caps. And this is accounted the greatest honour they can receiue, for any seruice they doe.
Of their Colonies, and maintaining of their conquests, or purchases by force.
The Russe Emperors of late yeres haue very much enlarged their dominions, and territories. Their first conquest after the Dukedome of Mosco, (for before that time they were but Dukes of Volodomer, as before was said) was the citie, and Dukedome of Nouogrod on the West, and Northwest side: which was no smal enlargement of their dominion, and strengthening to them for the winning of the rest. This was done by Iuan great grandfather to Theodor now Emperor, about the yere 1480. The same began likewise to encroach vpon the countries of Lituania and Liuonia, but the conquest only intended, and attempted by him vpon some part of those countries, was pursued and performed by his sonne Basileus, who first wan the citie and dukedom of Plesko, afterwards the citie and dukedome of Smolensco, and many other faire towns, with a large territory belonging vnto them, about the yere 1514. 1580. These victories against the Lettoes or Lituanians in the time of Alexander their duke, he atchieued rather by aduantage of ciuil dissentions, and treasons among themselues, then by any great policie, or force of his own. But al this was lost againe by his son Iuan Vasiliwich about 8 or 9 yeres past, vpon composition with the Polonian king Stephan Batore: whereunto he was forced by the aduantages which the Pole had then of him, by reason of the foile he had giuen him before, and the disquietnes of his own state at home. Onely the Russe Emperor, at this time hath left him on that side his countery, the cities of Smolensco, Vobsco, Chernigo, and Bealagorod in Lituania. In Liuonia, not a towne nor one foot of ground.
Lituania. When Basilius first conquered those countries, he suffered then the natiues to keepe their possessions, and to inhabite all their townes, onely paying him a tribute, vnder the gouernment of his Russe Captaines. But by their conspiracies and attempts not long after, he was taught to deale more surely with them. And so comming vpon them the second time, he killed and caried away with him, three parts of foure, which he gaue or sold to the Tartars that serued him in those wars, and in stead of them placed there his Russes, so many, as might ouermatch the rest, with certaine garisons of strength besides. Wherein notwithstanding this ouersight was committed, for that (taking away with him the vpland, or countrey people that should haue tilled the ground, and might easily haue bene kept in order without any danger, by other good policies) he was driuen afterwards many yeres together, to vitaile the countrey (specially the great townes) out of his owne countrey of Russia, the soile lying there in the meane while wast and vntilled.
Narue. The like fell out at the port of Narue in Liefland, where his sonne Iuan Vasiliwich deuised to build a towne, and a castle on the other side the riuer, (called Iuanogrod) to keepe the towne and countrey in subiection. The castle he caused to be so built and fortified, that it was thought to be inuincible. And when it was furnished, for reward to the Architect (that was a Polonian) he put out both his eyes, to make him vnable to build the like againe. But hauing left the natiues all within their owne countrey, without abating their number or strength, the towne and castle not long after was betraied, and surrendred againe to the king of Sweden.
On the Southeast side they haue got the kingdomes of Cazan, and Astracan. These were wonne from the Tartar, by the late Emperour Iuan Vasiliwich, the one about thirtie fiue, the other about thirtie and three yeares agoe. Siberia and Ob. Conquest of a 1000 miles. Northward out of the countrey of Siberia, he hath layed vnto his realme a great breadth and length of ground, from Wichida to the riuer of Obba, about a thousand miles space: so that he is bolde to write himselfe now, The great Commander of Siberia. Premia and Pechora The countries likewise of Permia, and Pechora are a diuers people and language from the Russe, ouercome not long since, and that rather by threatning, and shaking of the sword, then by any actual force: as being a weake and naked people, without meanes to resist.
That which the Russe hath in his present possession, he keepeth on this sort. Means of holding chief townes. In his foure chief border townes of Vobsko, Smolensko, Astracan, and Cazan, he hath certaine of his counsel not of the greatest nobility, but of greatest trust, which haue more authoritie within their precincts, (for the countenancing and strengthening of their gouernment there) then the other Dukes that are set to gouerne in other places, as was noted before, in the maner of ordering their Prouinces. These he changeth sometimes euery second or third yere, but exceedeth not that time, except vpon very speciall trust, and good liking of the party, and his seruice: least by enlarging of their time, they might grow into some familiaritie with the enemie (as some haue done) being so farre out of sight.
The townes besides are very strongly fenced with trenches, castles, and store of munition, and haue garisons within them, to the number of two or three thousand a piece. They are stored with victual if any seige should come vpon them, for the space of two or three yeres before hand. The foure castles of Smolensko, Vobsko, Cazan and Astracan, he hath made very strong to beare out any siege: so that it is thought that those townes are impregnable.
Meanes of holding the countries of Pechora, Permia and Siberia. As for the countries of Pechora and Permia, and that part of of Siberia, which he hath now vnder him, they are kept by as easie meanes, as they were first got, viz. rather by shewing, then by vsing of armes. First, he hath stored the countrie with as many Russes as there are natiues, and hath there some few souldiers in garison, inough to keepe them under. Secondly, his officers and Magistrates there are of his own Russe people, and he changeth them very often, viz. euery yere twise or thrise: notwithstanding there be no great feare of any innouation. Thirdly, he deuideth them into many smal gouernments, like a staffe broke in many small pieces: so that they haue no strength being seuered, which was but litle neither when they were al in one. Fourthly, he prouideth that the people of the countrie haue neither armor nor money, being taxed and pilled so often as he thinketh good: without any meanes to shake off that yoke, or to relieue themselues.
Siberia. In Siberia (where he goeth on in pursuing his conquest) he hath diuers castles and garisons to the number of 6000 souldiers of Russes and Polonians, and sendeth many new supplies thither, to plant and inhabite, as he winneth ground. The kings brother of Siberia. At this time besides he hath gotten the kings brother of Siberia, allured by certaine of his captaines, to leaue his own country by offers of great entertainment and pleasanter life with the Russe Emperor, then he had in Siberia. 1588. He was brought in this last yere, and is now with the Emperor at Mosco well enterteined.
Of the Tartars, and other borderers to the country of Russia, with whom they haue most to doe in warre, and peace.
Their neighbors with whom they haue greatest dealings and intercourse, both in peace and war, are first the Tartar. The Polonians called Laches by the Russe. Secondly the Polonian whom the Russe calleth Laches, noting the first author or founder of the nation, who was called Laches or Leches, whereunto is added Po, which signifieth People, and is so made Polaches, that is, the People or posterity of Laches: which the Latins after their maner of writing cal Polonos. The third are the Swedens. The Polonians and Swedens are better knowen to these parts of Europe then are the Tartars, that are farther off from vs (as being of Asia) and diuided into many tribes, different in name, and gouernment one from another. The Chrim Tartar. The greatest and mightiest of them is the Chrim Tartar, (whom some call the Great Can) that lieth South, and Southeastward from Russia, and doth most annoy the country by often inuasions, commonly once euery yere, sometimes entring very farre within the inland parts. The firing of Mosco by the Chrim Tartar in the yere 1571. In the yere 1571 he came as farre as the citie of Mosco, with an armie of 200000 men, without any battel, or resistance at al, for that the Russe Emperor (then Iuan Vasiliwich) leading forth his armie to encounter with him, marched a wrong way. The citie he tooke not, but fired the suburbs, which by reason of the buildings (which are all of wood without any stone, brick, or lime, saue certaine out roomes) kindled so quickly, and went on with such rage, as that it consumed the greatest part of the citie almost within the space of foure houres, being of 30 miles or more of compasse. Then might you haue seene a lamentable spectacle: besides the huge and mighty flame of the citie all on light fire, the people burning in their houses and streetes, but most of all of such as laboured to passe out of the gates farthest from the enemie, where meeting together in a mightie throng, and so pressing euery man to preuent another, wedged themselues so fast within the gate, and streetes neere vnto it, as that three rankes walked one vpon the others head, the vppermost treading downe those that were lower: so that there perished at that time (as was said) by the fire and the presse, the number of 800000 people or more.
The principall cause of this continual quarell betwixt the Russe and the Chrim is for the right of certaine border partes claimed by the Tartar, but possessed by the Russe. The Tartar alleageth that besides Astracan and Cazan (that are the ancient possession of the East Tartar) the whole countrey from his bounds North and Westward so farre as the citie of Mosko, and Mosko it selfe perteineth to his right. Homage done by the Russe to the Chrim Tartar. Which seemeth to haue bene true by the report of the Russes them selues, that tell of a certaine homage that was done by the Russe Emperour euery yeere to the great Chrim or Can, the Russe Emperour standing on foot and feeding the Chrims horse, (himselfe sitting on his backe) with oates out of his owne cappe, in stead of a bowle or manger, and that within the castle of Mosko. And this homage (they say) was done till the time of Basileus grandfather to this man. Who surprising the Chrim Emperour by a stratageme done by one of his nobilitie (called Iuan Demetrowich Belschey) was content with this raunsome, viz. with the changing of this homage into a tribute of furrres: which afterwards also was denied to be paide by this Emperors father.
Hereupon they continue the quarrel, the Russe defending his countrey, and that which he hath won, the Chrim Tartar inuading him once or twise euery yere, sometime about Whitsontide, but oftner in haruest. What time if the great Can or Chrim come in his owne person, he bringeth with him a great armie of 100000. or 200000. men. Otherwise they make short and sudden rodes into the countrey with lesser numbers, running about the list of the border as wild geese flie, inuading and retiring where they see aduantage.
Their common practise (being very populous) is to make diuers armies, and so drawing the Russe to one or two places of the frontiers, to inuade at some other place, that is left without defence. The maner of the Tartars fight and armour. Their maner of fight, or ordering of their forces is much after the Russe maner (spoken of before) saue that they are all horsemen, and carie nothing els but a bowe, a sheafe of arrowes, and a falcon sword after the Turkish fashion. They are very expert horsemen, and vse to shoote as readily backward, as forward. Some will haue a horsemans staff like to a bore speare, besides their other weapons. The common souldier hath no other armour than his ordinary apparell, viz. a blacke sheeps skin with the wool side outward in the day time, and inwarde in the night time, with a cap of the same. But their Morseys or noblemen imitate the Turk both in apparel and armour. When they are to passe ouer a riuer with their armie, they tie three or four horses together and taking long poles or pieces of wood, bind them fast to the tailes of their horse: so sitting on the poles they driue their horse ouer. At handie strokes, (when they ioyne battell) they are accounted farre better men then the Russe people, fierce by nature, but more hardy and bloody by continuall practise of warre: as men knowing no artes of peace, nor any ciuil practise.
The subtilitie of the Tartar. Yet their subtility is more than may seeme to agree with their barbarous condition. By reason they are practised to inuade continually, and to robbe their neighbours that border about them, they are very pregnant, and ready witted to deuise stratagems vpon the sudden for their better aduantage. As in their warre against Beala the fourth, king of Hungarie, whome they inuaded with 500000. men, and obtained against him a great victorie. Where, among other, hauing slaine his Chancelor called Nicholas Schinick, they found about him the kings priuy seale. Whereupon they deuised presently to counterfeit letters in the kings name, to the cities and townes next about the place, where the field was fought: with charge that in no case they should conuey themselues, and their goods out of their dwellings, where they might abide safely without all feare of danger, and not leaue the countrey desolate to the possession of so vile and barbarous an enemie, as was the Tartar nation, terming themselues in all reproachful maner. For notwithstanding he had lost his carriages, with some few straglers that had marched disorderly, yet he doubted not but to recouer that losse, with the accesse of a notable victorie, if the sauage Tartar durst abide him in the field. To this purpose hauing written their letters in the Polish character, by certain yong men whom they tooke in the field, and signed them with the Kings seale, they dispatched them forth to all the quarters of Hungaria. that lay neere about the place. Wherevpon the Vngarians that were now flying away with their goods, wiues, and children, vpon the rumour of the kings ouerthrow, taking comfort of these counterfeit letters, staid at home. And so were made a pray, being surprised on the sudden by this huge number of these Tartars, that had compassed them about before they were aware.
When they besiege a towne or fort, they offer much parle, and send many flattering messages to perswade a surrendry: promising all things that the inhabitants will require: but being once possessed of the place, they vse all maner of hostilitie, and crueltie. This they doe vpon a rule they haue, viz, that iustice is to bee practised but towards their owne. They encounter not lightly, but they haue some ambush, whereunto (hauing once shewed themselues, and made some short conflict) they retire as repulsed for feare, and so draw the enemie into it if they can. But the Russe beeing well acquainted with their practise is more warie of them. When they come a rouing with some small number, they set on horsebacke counterfaite shapes of men, that their number may seeme greater.
When they make any onset, their maner is to make a great shoute, crying out altogether Olla Billa, Olla Billa, God helpe vs, God help vs. They contemne death so much, as that they chuse rather to die, then to yeeld to their enemie, and are seene when they are slain to bite the very weapon, when they are past striking or helping of themselues. Wherein appeareth how different the Tartar is in his desperate courage from the Russe and Turke. For the Russe souldier, if he begin once to retire, putteth all his safetie in his speedy flight. And if once he be taken by his enemy, he neither defendeth himselfe, nor intreateth for his life, as reckoning straight to die. The Turk commonly, when he is past hope of escaping, falleth to intreatie, and casteth away his weapon, offereth both his hands, and holdeth them, as it were to be tied: hoping to saue his life by offering himselfe bondslaue.
The chiefe bootie the Tartars seeke for in all their warres is to get store of captiues; specially young boyes, and girles, whome they sell to the Turkes, or other their neighbours. To this purpose they take with them great baskets make like bakers panniers, to carry them tenderly, and if any of them happen to tire, or to be sicke by the way, they dash him against the ground, or some tree, and so leaue him dead. The Souldiers are not troubled with keeping the captiues and the other bootie, for hindering the execution of their warres, but they haue certaine bandes that intend nothing else, appoynted of purpose to receiue and keepe the captiues and the other praye.
The Tartar religion. The Russe borderers (being vsed to their inuasions lightly euery yeere in the Sommer) keepe fewe other cattell on the border partes, saue swine onely which the Tartar will not touch, nor driue away with him: for that he is of the Turkish religion, and will eate no swines flesh. Of Christ our Sauiour they confesse as much as doeth the Turke in his Alkaron, viz. that he came of the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Marie, that he was a great Prophet, and shall be the Iudge of the worlde at the last day. In other matter likewise, they are much ordered after the manner and direction of the Turke: hauing felt the Turkish forces when hee wonne from them Azou and Caffa, with some other townes about the Euxine or blacke Sea, that were before tributaries to the Crim Tartar. So that now the Emperor of the Crims for the most part is chosen one of the Nobility whom the Turke doeth commend: whereby it is brought nowe to passe, that the Crim Tartar giueth to the Turke the tenth part of the spoyle which hee getteth in his warres against the Christians.
Herein they differ from the Turkish religion, for that they haue certaine idole puppets made of silke, or like stuffe, of the fashion of a man, which they fasten to the doore of their walking houses, to be as Ianusses or keepers of their house. And these idoles are made not by all, but by certaine religious women which they haue among them for that and like vses. They haue besides the image of their King or great Can, of an huge bignesse, which they erect at euery stage when the army marcheth: and this euery one must bend and bowe vnto as he passeth by it, be he Tartar or stranger. They are much giuen to witchcraft, and ominous coniectures vpon euery accident which they heare or see.
In making of mariages they haue no regard of alliance or consanguinitie. Onely with his mother, sister, and daughter a man may not marrie, and thougn he take the woman into his house, and accompany with her, yet be accounteth her not for his wife till he haue a childe by her. Then hee beginneth to take a dowry of her friends, or horse, sheepe, kine, &c. If she be barren after a certaine time, be turneth her home againe.
The Tartar nobilitie. Vnder the Emperour they haue certaine Dukes, whome they call Morseis or Diuoymorseis, that rule ouer a certaine number of 10000, 20000, or 40000, a piece, which they call Hoords. When the Emperour hath any vse of them to serue in his warres, they are bound to come, and to bring with them in their Souldiers to a certain number, euery man with his two horse at the least, the one to ride on, the other to kill, when it commmeth to his turne to haue his horse eaten. The tartar diet. For their chiefe vitaile is horse flesh, which they eate without bread, or any other thing with it. So that if a Tartar be taken by a Russe, he shall he sure lightly to finde a horse-legge, or some other part of him at his saddle bowe.
1588. This last yeere when I was at the Mosco, came in one Kiriach Morsey, nephew to the Emperour of the Crims that nowe is (whose father was Emperour before) accompanied with 300. Tartars, and his two wiues, whereof one was his brothers widow. Where being intertained in very good sort after the Russe maner, hee had sent vnto his lodging for his welcome, to bee made ready for his supper and his companies, two very large and fat horses, ready flayed in a shed. They prefer it before other flesh, because the meate is stronger (as they say) then Beefe, Mutton, and such like. And yet (which is marueile) though they serue all as horsemen in the warres, and eate all of horse flesh, there are brought yeerely to the Mosco to bee exchanged for other commodities 30. or 40. thousand Tartar horse, which they call Cones. They keepe also great heards of kine, and flocks of blacke sheepe, rather for the skins and milke (which they carie with them in great bottels) then for the vse of the flesh, though sometimes they eate of it. Some vse they haue of ryse, figs, and other fruits. They drinke milke or warme blood, and for the most part card them both together. They vse sometime as they trauel by the way to let their horse blood in a vaine, and to drinke it warme, as it commeth from his bodie.
The Tartars dwelling. Townes they plant none, nor other standing buildings, but haue walking houses, which the latines call Veij, built vpon wheeles like a shepheards cottage. These they drawe with them whithersoeuer they goe, driuing their cattell with them. And when they come to their stage, or standing place, they plant their carte houses verie orderly in a ranke: and so make the forme of streetes, and of a large towne. And this is the manner of the Emperor himselfe, who hath no other seat of Empire but an Agora, or towne of wood, that moueth with him whithersoeuer he goeth. As for the fixed and standing buildings vsed in other countreyes, they say they are vnwholesome and unpleasant.
They begin to mooue their houses and cattell in the Spring time from the South part of their countrey towards the North partes. And so driuing on till they haue grased all vp to the first farthest part Northward, they returne backe againe towards their South countrey (where they continue all the Winter) by 10. or 12. miles a stage: in the meane while the grasse being sprung vp againe, to serue for their cattell as they returne. From the border of the Shelcan towards the Caspian sea, to the Russe frontiers, they haue a goodly Countrey, specially on the South and Southeast parts, but lost for lack of tillage.
Of money they haue no vse at all, and therefore prefer brasse and steele before other metals, specially bullate, which they vse for swordes, kniues, and other necessaries. As for golde and siluer they neglect it of very purpose, (as they doe all tillage of their ground) to bee more free for their wandering kinde of life, and to keepe their Countrey lesse subiect to inuasions. Which giueth them great aduantage against all their neighbors, euer inuading and neuer being inuaded. Such as haue taken vpon them to inuade their Countrey (as of olde time Cyrus and Darius Hystaspis, on the East and Southeast side) haue done it with very ill successe: as wee finde in the stories written of those times. For their manner is when any will inuade them, to allure and drawe them on by flying and reculing (as if they were afraide) till they haue drawen them some good way within their countrey. Then when they begin to want victuall and other necessaries (as needes they must where nothing is to be had) to stoppe vp the passages, and inclose them with multitudes. By which stratagem (as we reade in Laonicus Chalcacondylas in his Turkish storie) they had welnigh surprised the great and huge armie of Tamerlan, but that hee retired with all speede hee could towardes the riuer Tanais or Don, not without great losse of his men, and cariages.
Pachymerius. In the storie of Pachymerius the Greek (which he wrote of the the elder) I remember he telleth to the same purpose of one Nogas a Tartarian captaine vnder Cazan the Emperor of the East Tartars (of whom the citie and kingdome of Cazan may seeme to Emperors of Constantinople from the beginning of the reigne of Michael Palæologus to the time of Andronicus haue taken the denomination) who refused a present of Pearle and other iewels sent vnto him from Michael Palæologus: asking withall, for what vse they serued, and whether they were good to keepe away sicknesse, death, or other misfortunes of this life, or no. So that it seemeth they haue euer, or long time bene of that minde to value things no further, then by the vse and necessitie for which they serue.
For person and complexion they haue broade and flatte visages, of a tanned colour into yellowe and blacke, fierce and cruell lookes, thinne haired vpon the upper lippe, and pitte of the chinne, light and nimble bodied, with short legges, as if they were made naturally for horsemen: whereto they practise themselues from their childhood, seldome going afoot about anie businesse. Their speech is verie sudden and loude, speaking as it were out of a deepe hollowe throate. When they sing you would thinke a kowe lowed, or some great bandogge howled. Their greatest exercise is shooting, wherein they traine vp their children from their verie infancie, not suffering them to eate till they haue shot neere the marke within a certaine scantling. They are the very same that sometimes were called Scythæ Nomades, or the Scythian shepheards, by the Greekes and Latines. Some thinke that the Turks took their beginning from the nation of the Crim Tartars. Laonicus Calcocondylas. Of which opinion is Laonicus Calcocondylas the Greek Historiographer, in his first booke of his Turkish storie. Wherein hee followeth diuers verie probable coniectures. 1. The first taken from the verie name it selfe, for that the worde Turke signifieth a Shepheard or one that followeth a vagrant and wilde kinde of life. By which name these Scythian Tartars haue euer beene noted, being called by the Greekes σκυθαι νομαδεσ [skythai nomades] or the Scythian shepheards. 2. His second reason because the Turkes (in his time) that dwelt in Asia the lesse, to wit, in Lydia, Caria, Phrygia and Cappadocia, spake the very same language that these Tartars did, that dwelt betwixt the riuer Tanais or Don, and the countrey of Sarmatia, which (as is knowen) are these Tartars called Crims. At this time also the whole nation of the Turkes differ not much in their common speech from the Tartar language. 3. Thirdly because the Turke and the Crim Tartar agree so well together, as well in religion, as in matter of Traffique neuer inuading, or iniurying one another: saue that the Turke (since Laonicus his time) hath encroached vpon some Townes vpon the Euxin Sea, that before perteined to the Crim Tartar. 4. Fourthly, because Ortogules sonne to Oguzalpes, and father to Ottoman the first of name of the Turkish nation made his first roads out of those pans of Asia, vpon the next borderers, till hee came towardes the countreys about the hill Taurus where he ouercame the Greekes that inhabited there: and so enlarged the name and territorie of the Turkish nation, till hee came to Eubæa and Attica and other partes of Greece. 1400. This is the opinion of Laonicus, who liued among the Turkes in the time of Amurat the sixt Turkish Emperour, about the yeere 1400. when the memorie of their originall was more fresh: and therefore the likelier hee was to hit the trueth.
The Nagay Tartar the cruellest, The Chircase the ciuillest Tartar. There are diuers other Tartars that border vpon Russia, as the Nayages, the Cheremissens, the Mordwites, the Chircasses, and the Shalcans, which all differ in name more then in regiment, or other condition, from the Crim Tartar, except the Chircasses that border Southwest, towardes Lituania, and are farre more ciuill than the rest of the Tartars, of a comely person, and of a stately behauiour, as applying themselues to the fashion of the Polonian. Some of them haue subiected themselues to the Kings of Poland, and professe Christianitie. The Nagay lieth Eastwarde, and is reckoned for the best man of warre among all the Tartars, but verie sauage, and cruell aboue all the rest. The Cheremissen Tartar of two sorts: the Lugauoy and the Nagornay. The Cheremessen Tartar, that lieth betwixt the Russe and the Nagay, are of two sorts, the Lugauoy (that is of the valley) and the Nagornay, or of the hilly countrey. These haue much troubled the Emperours of Russia. And therefore they are content now to buy peace of them, vnder pretence of giuing a yeerely pension of Russe commodities to their Morseys, or Diuoymorseis, that are chiefe of their tribes. For which also they are bound to serue them in their wars, vnder certaine conditions. They are said to be iust and true in their dealings: and for that cause they hate the Russe people, whom they account to be double, and false in al their dealing. And therefore the common sort are very vnwilling to keepe agreement with them, but that they are kept in by their pensions sake.
The Mordwit Tartar the most barbarous of the rest. The most rude and barbarous is counted the Mordwit Tartar, that hath many selfe- fashions and strange kinds of behauiour, differing from the rest. For his religion, though he acknowledge one God, yet his manor is to worship for God, that liuing thing that he first meeteth in the morning; and to sweare by, it all that whole day, whether it be horse, dog, cat, or whatsoeuer els it bee. When his friend dieth, he killeth his best horse, and hauing flayed off the skinne hee carieth it on high vpon a long pole before the corpes to the place of buriall. This hee doeth (as the Russe saieth) that his friend may haue a good horse to carie him to heauen: but it is likelier to declare his loue towards his dead friend, in that he will haue to die with him the best thing that he hath.
Next to the kingdome of Astracan, that is the farthest part Southeastward of the Russe dominion, lyeth the Shulcan, and the countrey of Media: whither the Russe marchants trade for rawe silkes, syndon, saphion, skinnes, and other commodities. The chiefe Townes of Media where the Russe tradeth, are Derbent (built by Alexander the great, as the inhabitants say) and Zamachi where the staple is kept for rawe silkes. The reuiuing of silkwormes. Their maner is in the Spring time to reuiue the silke-wormes (that lie dead all the Winter) by laying them in the warme sunne, and (to hasten their quickening that they may the sooner goe to worke) to put them into bags, and so to hang them vnder their childrens armes. Chrinisin a kind of silkworme. As for the woorme called Chrinisin (as wee call it Chrymson) that maketh coloured silke, it is bred not in Media, but in Assyria. Liberty to trade downe the Caspian Sea. This trade to Derbent and Samachi for rawe silkes, and other commodities of that Countrey, as also into Persia, and Bougharia downe the riuer of Volga, and through the Caspian sea, is permitted aswell to the English as to the Russe merchants, by the Emperours last grant at my being there. Which he accounteth for a very speciall fauour, and might proue indeede very beneficiall to our English merchants, if the trade were wel and orderly vsed.
The whole nation of the Tartars are vtterly voide of all learning, and without written Law: yet certaine rules they haue which they hold by tradition, common to all the Hoords for the practise of their life. Which are of this sort. First, To obey their Emperour and other Magistrates, whatsoeuer they commaund about the publike seruice. 2 Except for the publike behoofe, euery man to be free and out of controlment. 3 No priuate man to possesse any lands, but the whole countrey to be as common. 4 To neglect all daintinesse and varietie of meates, and to content themselues with that which commeth next to hand, for more hardnesse, and readines in the executing of their affaires. 5 To weare any base attire, and to patch their clothes whether there be any neede or not: that when there is neede, it be no shame to weare a patcht coate. 6 To take or steale from any stranger whatsoeuer they can get, as beeing enemies of all men, saue to such as will subiect themselues to them. 7 Towards their owne hoorde and nation to be true in worde and deede. 8 To suffer no stranger to come within the Realme. No stranger without pasport admitted. If any doe, the same to be bondslaue to him that first taketh him, except such merchants and other as haue the Tartar Bull, or passport about them.
Of the Permians, Samoites, and Lappes.
The Permians and Samoites that lye from Russia, North and. Northeast, are thought likewise to haue taken their beginning from the Tartar kinde. And it may partly bee gessed by the fashion of their countenance, as hauing all broade and flat faces as the Tartars haue, except the Chircasses. The Permians. The Permians are accounted for a very ancient people. They are nowe subiect to the Russe. They liue by hunting, and trading with their furres, as also doeth the Samoit, that dwelleth more towardes the North Sea. The Samoits. The Samoit hath his name (as the Russe saith) of eating himselfe: as if in times past, they liued as the Cannibals, eating one another.249 Which they make more probable, because at this time they eate all kind of raw flesh, whatsoeuer it be, euen the very carion that lieth in the ditch. But as the Samoits themselues will say, they were called Samoie, that is, of themselues, as though they were Indigenæ, or people bred vpon that very soyle, that neuer changed their seate from one place to another, as most nations haue done. They are subiect at this time to the Emperour of Russia.
The Samoits religion. I talked with certaine of them, and finde that they acknowledge one God: but represent him by such things as they haue most vse and good by. And therefore they worship the Sunne, the Ollen, the Losh, and such like. Slata Baba or the golden Hag. As for the story of Slata Baba, or the Golden hagge, which I haue read in some mappes, and descriptions of these countries, to be an idole after the forme of an old woman that being demanded by the Priest, giueth them certaine Oracles, concerning the successe, and euent of things, I found it to be a very fable. A fable. The Sea. Onely in the Prouince of Obdoria vpon the sea side, neare to the mouth of the great riuer Obba, there is a rocke, which naturally (being somewhat helped by imagination) may seeme to beare the shape of a ragged woman, with a child in her armes (as the rocke by the North Cape the shape of a Frier) where the Obdorian Samoites vse much to resort, by reason of the commoditie of the place for fishing: Fishing or sea. and there, sometime (as their manner is) conceiue, and practise their sorceries, and ominous coniecturings about the good or bad speede of their iourneies, fishings, huntings and such like.
The Samoits habit and behauiour. They are clad in Seale skins, with the hairie side outwards downe as low as the knees, with their breeches and netherstockes of the same, both men and women. They are all blacke haired, naturally beardlesse. And therefore the men are hardly discerned from the women by their lookes: saue that the women weare a locke of haire downe along both their eares. The people of Meta Incognota such. They liue in a manner a wilde and sauage life, rouing still from one place of the countrey to another, without any property of house or land more to one then to another. Their leader or directer in euery companie, is their Papa or Priest.
The Lappes. On the North side of Russia next to Corelia, lieth the countrey of Lappia, which reacheth in length from the farthest point Northward, (towards the Northcape) to the farthest part Southeast (which, the Russe calleth Sweetnesse or Holy nose, the English men Capegrace) about 345. verst or miles. From Sweetnesse to Candelox by the way of Versega (which measureth the breadth of that countrey) is 90. miles or thereabouts. The whole countrey in a maner is either lakes, or mountaines, which towardes the Sea side are called Tondro, because they are all of harde and craggy rocke, but the inland partes are well furnished with woods that growe on the hilles sides, the lakes lying betweene. Their diet is very bare and simple. Bread they haue none, but feede onely vpon fish and foule. They are subiect to the Emperor of Russia, and the two kings of Sweden and Denmarke: which all exact tribute and custome of them (as was saide before) but the Emperor of Russia beareth the greatest hand ouer them, and exacteth of them farre more then the rest. The opinion is that they were first termed Lappes of their briefe and short speech. The Russe diuideth the whole nation of the Lappes into two series. The one they call Nowremanskoy Lapary, that is, the Norwegian Lappes because they be of the Danish religion. For the Danes and Noruegians they account for one people. The other that haue no religion at all but liue as bruite and heathenish people, without God in the worlde, they cal Dikoy Lapary, or the wilde Lappes.
The whole nation is vtterly vnlearned, hauing not so much as the vse of any Alphabet, or letter among them. For practise of witchcraft and sorcerie they passe all nations in the worlde. Though for enchanting of ships that saile along their coast, (as I haue heard it reported) and their giuing of winds good to their friends, and contrary to other, whom they meane to hurt by tying of certaine knots vpon a rope (somewhat like to the tale of Aeolus his windbag) is a very fable, deuised (as may seeme) by themselues, to terrifie sailers for comming neere their coast. Their weapons are the long bow, and handgunne, wherein they excell, as well for quicknesse to charge and discharge, as for neerenesse at the marke by reason of their continuall practise (whereto they are forced) of shooting at wild fowle. Their maner is in Sommer time to come downe in great companies to the sea side, to Wardhuyse, Cola, Kegor, and the bay of Vedagoba, and there to fish for Codde, Salmon, and But-fish, which they sel to the Russes, Danes, and Noruegians, and nowe of late to the English men that trade thither with cloth, which they exchange with the Laps and Corelians for their fish, oyle, and furres, whereof also they haue some store. The mart at Cola. They hold their mart at Cola on S. Peter’s day: what time the captaine of Wardhuyse (that is residant there for the king of Denmark) must be present, or at least send his deputie to set prices vpon their stockfish, train oile, furres, and other commodities: as also the Russe Emperors customer, or tribute taker, to receiue his custome, which is euer paide before any thing can bee bought or solde. When their fishing is done, their manner is to drawe their carbasses Or boates on shore, and there to leaue them with the keele turned vpwardes, till the next spring tide. Sleds drawen with Deere. Their trauaile to and fro is vpon sleddes drawen by the Olen Deere: which they vse to turne a grasing all the Sommer time in an Island called Kildyn, (of a verie good soyle compared with other partes of that Countrey) and towards the Winter time, when the snowe beginneth to fall they fetch them home againe for the vse of their sledde.
The description of the regions, people, and riuers lying North and East from Moscouia: as the way from Moscouia to the riuer Petzora, and the Prouince Iugaria or Iuhra, and from thence to the riuer Obi. Likewise the description of other countreys and regions, euen vnto the Empire of the great Can of Cathay, taken out of Sigismundus ab Herberstein.
The dominion of the Duke of Moscouia. The dominion of the Prince of Moscouia, reacheth farre toward the East and North, vnto the places which we will now describe. As concerning which thing, I translated a book that was presented vnto me in the Moscouites tongue, and haue here made a briefe rehearsall of the same. I will first therefore describe the iourney from Moscouia to Petzora, and so to Iugaria and Obi. From Moscouia to the citie of Vologda, are numbered fiue hundred versts, one verst, conteyning almost the space of an Italian myle. From Vologda to Vsting toward the right hand, descending with the course of the riuer of Vologda and Suchana with whom it ioyneth, are counted fiue hundred verstes, where within two versts of the towne called Strelze, and hard by the citie of Vsting, Suchana ioyneth vnto Iug which runneth from the South: from whose mouth vnto the springs of the same, are numbred fiue hundred versts.
Iug. So called of his swift and pleasant streame. But Suchana and Iug, after they ioyne together, lose their first names, and make but one riuer named Dwina, by the which the passage to the citie of Colmogro conteineth fiue hundred versts, from whence, in the space of sixe dayes iourney, Dwina entreth into the North Ocean at sixe mouthes. And the greatest part of this iourney consisteth by Nauigation. For by lande from Vologda vnto Colmogro, passing ouer the riuer Vuaga, are a thousand verstes. Not farre from Colmogro, the riuer Pinega running from the East on the right hand for the space of seuen hundred versts, falleth into Dwina. From Dwina by the riuer Pienega, by the space of two hundred versts, they come to a place called Nicholai, from whence within halfe a verst ships haue passage into the riuer Kuluio, which hath his originall from a lake of the same name towarde the North, from whose springs is eight daies viage to the mouth of the same, where it entreth into the Ocean.
The regions by the North sea. Sayling by the coasts of the right hand of the sea, they passe by the regions of Stanuwische, Calunczcho, and Apnu: And sayling about the promontorie or cape of Chorogoski Nose, Stanuwische, Camenckh, and Tolstickh, they come at length into the riuer Mezen, and from thence in the space of sixe dayes, to a village of the same name, standing in the mouth of the riuer Pieza, by the which againe ascending toward the left hand and sommer East, they come to the riuer Piescoia: from whence sayling for the space of fiue versts, they come into two lakes, in the which are seene two wayes: whereof one on the right side, goeth to the riner Rubicho, by the which they passe to the riuer Czircho. Other, by an other and shorter way, bring their ships from the lake directly into Czirchor: from whence, except they be hindered by tempest, they come in the space of three weekes to the riuer and mouth of Czilma, flowing into the great riuer Petzora, which in that place is two versts in breadth. Sayling from thence, they come in the space of sixe dayes to the Towne and castle of Pustosero, neare vnto the which Petzora entreth into the North Ocean at sixe monthes. The inhabitants of this place, are men of simple wit: they receiued the faith of Christ, and were baptised in the yeare M. D. xviii.
From the mouth of Czilma vnto the mouth of the riuer Vssa, going by Petzora, is one moneths viage. Vssa hath his springs in the mountaine Cingulus mundi. Poyas Semnoi, being on the left hand toward the sommer East, and springeth out of a great stone of the same mountaine, called Camen Bolschoi. From the springs of Vssa to the mouthes of the same, are numbered more then a thousand versts. Furthermore, Petzora runneth from this south winter part, from whence ascending from the mouthes of Vssa, vnto the mouthes of the riuer Stzuchogora, is three weekes viage. They that described this vyage sayd that they rested betweene the mouthes of the riuers Stzuchogora and Potzscheriema, and left their victuals there which they brought with them from Russia. Beyond the riuers of Petzora and Stzuchogora toward the mountaine Camenipoias, and the sea with the Ilands thereabout, and the Castle of Pustosero, are diuers and innumerable nations, which by one common name are called Samoged (that is) such as eate themselues. They haue great increase of foules, birdes, and diuers kindes of beastes: as Sables. Marternes, Beuers, Otters, Hermelines, Squirrels: and in the Ocean the beast called a Morse: Also Vesse, white Beares, Wolues, Hares, Equiwoduani, great Whales, and a fish called Semfi, with diuers other. Wilde people. The people of these nations come not to Moscouia: For they are wilde, and flee the company and society of other men.
From the mouthes of Stzuchogora, sayling vp the riuer vnto Poiassa, Artawische, Cameni, and Poiassa the greater, is three weekes vyage. Furthermore, the ascending to the mount Camen, is three dayes iourney: from the which descending they come to the riuer Artawischa, and from thence to the riuer Sibut, from whence they passe to the Castle of Lepin, and from Lepin to the riuer Sossa. The people that inhabite the region by this riuer, are called Vuogolici. Leauing Sossa on the right hande, they come to the great riuer Obi, that springeth out of the lake Kitaisko, the which, with all the haste they could make, they could scarcely passe ouer in one day, the riuer being of such breadth that it reacheth fourescore versts. The people also that dwell about the riuer, are called Vuogolici and Vgritzschi. From the Castle of Obea, ascending by the riuer of Oby, vnto the riuer Irtische, into the which Sossa entereth, is three moneths iourney. In these places are two Castles named Ierom and Tumen, kept by certaine Lords called Knesi Iuhorski, being tributaries to the great Duke of Moscouia, as they say. Here are diuers kinds of beasts and furres.
From the mouth of the riuer Irtische to the Castle of Grustina, is two moneths iourney: from whence to the lake Kitai, by the riuer Oby (which I said to haue his springs in this lake) is more then three moneths iourney. Blacke men without speech. From this lake come many blacke men; lacking the vse of common speech. They bring with them diuers wares, and especially pearles and precious stones, which they sell to the people called Grustintzi and Serponowtzi. These haue their name of the Castle Serponow, situate in the mountaines of Lucomoria, beyond the riuer Obi. Men that yeerely die and reuiue. They say that to the men of Lucomoria chauncheth a marueilous thing and incredible: For they affirme, that they die yeerely at the xxvii. day of Nouember, being the feast of S. George among the Moscouites: and that the next spring about the xxiii. day of Aprill, they reuiue as doe Frogges.
A strange trade of merchandise. With these also, the people of Grustintzi and Serponowtzi exercise a new and strange kinde of trade. For when the accustomed time of their dying, or rather of sleeping, approcheth, they leaue their wares in certaine places appointed, which the Grustintzi and Serponowtzi carry away, leauing other wares of equall value in their places: which if the dead men at the time of their reuiuing perceiue to be of vnequal price, they require their owne againe: by reason whereof, much strife and righting is betweene them.
From the riuer of Obi descending toward the left hand, are the people called Calami, which came thither from Obiowa and Pogosa. Beneath Obi, about Aurea Anus (that is the golden old wife) are the riuers Sossa, Berezuua, and Danadim, all which spring out of the mountaines Camen, Bolschega, Poiassa, and the rockes ioyning to the same. All the nations that inhabite from these riuers to Aurea Anus, are subiect to the prince of Moscouia.
Aurea Anus, called in the Moscouites tongue, Slata Baba, is an Idol at the mouthe of Obi in the prouince of Obdora, standing on the furthest banke toward the sea. Along by the bankes of Obi, and the riuers neare there about, are here and there many castles and fortresses: all the lordes whereof are subiect to the prince of Moscouia, as they say. They say also, or rather fable, that the idol called Aurea anus, is an image like vnto an old wife, hauing a child in her lap, and that there is now seene another infant, which they say to be her nephew: Also that there are certaine instruments that make a continuall sound like the noyse of Trumpets, the which, if it so be, I thinke it to be by reason of the winde, blowing continually into the holow places of those instruments.
The riuer Cossin falleth out of the mountaines of Lucomoria: In the mouth of this is a castle, whither from the springs of the great riuer Cossin, is two moneths viage. Tachnin a great riuer. People of monstrous shape. A fish like a man. Plinie writeth of the like fish. Furthermore, from the springs of the same riuer, the riuer Cassima hath his originall, which running through Lucomoria, falleth into the great riuer Tachnin, beyond the which (as is said) dwell men of prodigious shape, of whom some are ouergrowen with haire like wilde beastes, other haue heads like dogges, and their faces in their breasts, without neckes, and with long hands also, and without feete. There is likewise in the riuer Tachnin a certaine fish, with head, eyes, nose, mouth, hands, feete, and other members vtterly of humane shape, and yet, without any voyce, and pleasant to be eaten, as are other fishes.
The end of the iournall. All that I haue hitherto rehearsed, I haue translated out of the saide iourney which was deliuered me in the Moscouites tongue: In the which, perhaps some things may seeme fabulous, and in maner incredible, as of the double men, and the dead reuiuing, the Aurea Anus also, and the monstrous shapes of men, with the fish of humane fourme: whereof although I haue made diligent inquisition, yet could I know nothing certaine of any that had seene the same with their eyes: neuerthelesse, to giue farther occasion to other to search the truth of these things, I haue thought good to make mention hereof.
Noss in the Moscouites tongue signifieth a nose, and therefore they call all capes or points that reach into the sea by the same name.
The mountaines about the riuer of Petzora are called Semnoy Poyas, or Cingulus mundi, that is, the girdle of the world, or of the earth.
Kithai is a lake, of which the great Can of Cathay, whom the Moscouians cal Czar Kithaiski, hath his name: For Can in the Tartars language signifieth, A King.
Moria is the sea. The places of Lucomoria, neare vnto the sea, are saluage full of woods, and inhabited without any houses. And albeit, that the author of this iourney, said, that many nations of Lucomoria are subiect to the prince of Moscouia, yet for asmuch as the kingdome of Tumen is neare thereunto, whose prince is a Tartar, and named in their Tongue, Tumenski Czar, that is, a king in Tumen, and hath of late done great domage to the prince of Moscouia: It is most like that these nations should be rather subiect vnto him.
Neare vnto the riuer Petzora (whereof mention is made in this iourney) is the citie and castle of Papin or Papinowgorod, whose inhabitants are named Papini, and haue a priuate language, differing from the Moscouites. High mountaines, supposed to be Hyperborei, and Rhiphei. Beyond this riuer are exceeding high mountaines, reaching euen vnto the bankes, whose ridges or tops, by reason of continuall windes, are in maner vtterly barren without grasse or fruits. And although in diuers places they haue diuers names, yet are they commonly called Cingulus mundi, that is, the girdle of the world. In these mountaines doe Ierfalcons breede, whereof I haue spoken before. There growe also Cedar trees, among the which are found the best and blackest kinde of Sables: and onely these mountaines are seene in all the dominions of the prince of Moscouia which perhaps are the same that the old writers call Rhipheos or Hyperboreos, so named of the Greeke word, Hyper, that is, Aboue, and Boreas, that is, the North; for by reason they are couered with continuall snow and frost, they can not without great difficultie be trauayled, and reach so farre into the North, that they make the vnknown land of Engronland. The Duke of Moscouia, Basilius the sonne of Iohn, sent on a time two of his Captaines, named Simeon Pheodorowich Kurbski, & Knes Peter Vschatoi, to search the places beyond these mountaines, and to subdue the nations thereabout. Kurbski was yet aliue at my being in Moscouia, & declared vnto me that he spent xvii. daies in ascending the mountaine, & yet could not come to the top thereof, which in their tongue is called Stolp, that is, a piller. This mountaine is extended into the Ocean vnto the mouthes of the riuers of Dwina and Petzora.
But now hauing spoken thus much of the said iourney, I will returne to the dominions of Moscouia, with other regions lying Eastward and South from the same, toward the mighty Empire of Cathay. But I will first speake somewhat briefly of the prouince of Rezan, and the famous riuer of Tanais.
The fruitfull prouince of Rezan. The prouince of Rezan, situate betweene the riuers of Occa and Tanais, hath a citie builded of wood, not far from the bank of Occa: there was in it a castle named Iaroslaue, whereof there now remainethr nothing but tokens of the old ruine. Not farre from that citie the riuer Occa maketh an Iland named Strub, which was sometime a great Dukedome, whose prince was subiect to none other. This prouince of Rezan is more fruitful then any other of the prouinces of Moscouia: Insomuch that in this (as they say) euery graine of wheat bringeth forth two, and sometimes more eares: whose stalkes or strawes grow so thicke that horses can scarsely go through them, or Quayles flie out of them. There is great plenty of hony, fishes, foules, hirdes, and wilde beasts. The fruits also due farre exceede the fruits of Moscouia. The people are bolde and warlike men.
248 From _Scenc_ — drink, SAX.
Where every iovial tinker for his chink,
May cry, mine host, to crambe giue us drink,
And do not slink, but skink, or else you stink.
(B. JONSON, _New Inn_, I. 3.)
249 _Samoyed_ means “self-eater”, while _Samodin_ denotes “an individual”. Nordenskiöld considers it probable, however, that the old tradition of man-eaters _androphagi_, living in the north, which originated with Herodotus, reappears in a Russianised form in the name “Samoyed”.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09