There is no country in Europe which at the present time possesses greater interest for Englishmen than does the Kingdom of Roumania, and there is none with whose present state and past history, nay, with whose very geographical position, they are less familiar.

The state of society—Greater and lesser boyards—Taxation and oppression of the peasantry—Immorality of the boyards—The priesthood—Officers of State—Classes of peasantry—Rise of the towns—The soldiery—Aggressions of Turks and Tartars—Michael the Brave—His rise to power—Accession to the throne (1594)—Remonstrances with the Porte—Alliance with Hungary and Poland—Massacre of the Turks—Anecdote—Conspiracy against Michael quelled—The Turks attacked and routed on the Danube—Invasion of Wallachia by Achmed Pasha—His defeat—Michael swears fealty to Sigismund of Transylvania—Second Turkish invasi

Turkish exactions after Michael's fall—Transition from native to Greek Voivodes—Matthew Bassarab (Wallachia) and Basilius Lupus (Moldavia)—Their severe criminal codes—Serban II.

Accession of Prince Charles of Hohenzollern—Signs the Constitution—Former differences between the Prince and the Parliament—(Note: State of parties with leaders in 1881)—Action of Russia prior to the war of 1877—Turkish incapacity and obstinacy—Perplexing position of Roumania—Reluctance of the nation to interfere—First attitude of neutrality—The Porte declares the Prince an enemy—The Prince and army organisation—Value of Roumanian co-operation to Russia—The Russian army of operations—Crosses the Danube and occupies Sistova and the Shipka Pass—Repeated defeats at Plevna and elsewhere—Glo

The King—Customs of the Court—The Queen—Her attainments—Extract from her poetry—Madame Rosetti—Her patriotism and adventures—M. Constantin A. Rosetti—His career and public services—M. Bratiano—Other leaders of public opinion—The party of progress—Their past foreign and domestic policy—Geographical boundaries—Panslavism and Panroumanism—The future policy of Roumania—Growth by pacific means—(Note: Comparative values of Russian, Turkish, and Roumanian securities)—Roumania and Great Britain—Conclusion.


by James Samuelson

London, 1882

Limits, dimensions, and population of Roumania—Comparison with England—Configuration of the surface—Altitudes of towns—Mountains—Appearance of the country—The region of the plains—Plants and agricultural condition—The peasantry—Female navvies—Costumes—Wells—Subterranean dwellings—Marsh fever—Travelling, past and present—Zone of the hills—Plants, flowers, fruits, and cereals—Cheap fruits—Improved dwellings—Wages of labourers—Petroleum wells—Rock-salt—Mines—The Carpathians—Character of the scenery—Alpine trees and plants—Sinaïa—The King's summer residence—The monastery—Conveniences for vi

The river system of Roumania—The 'beautiful blue Danube'—Appearance of the Lower Danube comparable to the Humber or Mississippi—Floating mills—The Danube in the Kazan Pass—Grand scenery—The 'Iron Gates,' misconceptions concerning them—Their true character—Archæological remains—Trajan's road—His tablet—His bridge at Turnu-Severin—Its construction and history—The tributaries of the Danube and towns upon them—The fishes of the Roumanian rivers—Lakes—Mineral waters of Balta Alba—Roman roads—Bridge of Constantine—Roman streets, houses, temples—Statue of Commodus—Gothic and prehistoric remain

The Danube—Its importance to Roumania—To Great Britain—Statistics of British and foreign vessels trading there—Nature of the freight—Cereals—Our imports thence compared with those from other states—Importance of Roumania as a maize-grower—Effect of the Russo-Turkish war on Danubian trade—The Danubian Commission—Its history—Austria and Roumania—The Callimaki-Catargi despatches—Alleged pretensions and designs of Austria—Necessity for the neutrality of the Danube—Pending negotiations.

The chief cities of Roumania—The capital, Bucarest—Ignorance concerning it—Conflicting accounts—Its true character—The 'sweet waters of the Dambovitza'—Dimensions of Bucarest—External aspect—The Chaussée, the ladies' mile of Bucarest—Streets, shops, and houses—The Academy—Its collections—Coins—Dacian, Roman, and other antiquities—Excellent physical laboratory—Professor Bacologlu—The Coltza laboratory—Dr. Bernath—The Cismegiu Garden—Shabby courts of justice—Other buildings—Churches—Railway stations—Fine hospitals—Dr.

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