The Rumanian peasant looks upon himself as the descendant of the patricians of Rome

The Rumanians have generally fine sunburnt features, fair hair, expressive eyes, a mouth finely shaped, and beautiful teeth. They allow their hair to grow long, and sometimes even prefer to expatriate themselves to sacrificing it to the exigencies of military service. They exhibit grace in all their movements, are indefatigable on the march, and support the heaviest labour without complaining. Even the Wallachian herdsman, with his sheepskin cap, or cashula, his wide leather belt used as a pocket, a sheepskin thrown over his shoulders, and drawers which recall those of the Dacians sculptured on Trajan's Column, is noble in his bearing. In the large towns, where much intermixture has taken place with Greeks, Southern Russians, and Magyars, the brown complexion predominates. The Rumanian women are grace itself. They always charm us by taste and neatness, whether they have adopted a modern dress or still patronise the national costume, consisting of an embroidered chemisette, a floating vest, a party-coloured apron, a golden net, and golden sequins placed in the hair. These external advantages are combined in the Rumanian with quickness of appre­hension, a gay spirit, and the gift of repartee, which entitle them to be called the Parisians of the Orient.

In the midst of this homogeneous Rumanian population we meet with Bulgarian colonists, whose number has increased recently in consequence of the persecutions of Turks and Greeks. The character of the Bulgarians born in the country has undergone considerable modifications. They are at present the most industrious tillers of the soil, and in the vicinity of large towns they occupy themselves principally with horticulture. Many of these Bulgarians live in that portion of Bulgaria known as the Dobruja, which the treaty of Berlin has assigned to Rumania in exchange for the Bessarabian portion of Moldavia, which has been restored to Russia. The exchange, by no means a voluntary one, can hardly be said to be disadvantageous to Rumania, which has now acquired the whole of the delta of the Danube, inclusive of the much-coveted Sulina branch, which is kept open as a navigable highway by an international European commission, carrying its own flag, and levying tolls upon ships to defray the expenses incurred by it. The population of the Budzak, or Southern Bessarabia, is most motley in its character. That of the Dobruja is no less so. Rumanians are met with only in the towns and along the Danube; the Bulgarians are the principal cultivators of the soil; but the bulk of the population consists of Nogai Tartars, who came into the country after the Crimean war. The Bulgarians were forced to surrender to these unwelcome intruders their best fields, and to build houses for them; but the Tartars, in spite of the solicitude exhibited on their behalf, did not prosper, and recent events may have induced many amongst them to depart for more congenial regions.

The Russians met with in the towns of Rumania are generally engaged in commerce, and enjoy a high reputation for honesty. Most of them belong to the old sect of the Lipovani, and fled from Russia about a century ago to escape religious persecution. They nearly all speak Rumanian. Others belong to the sect of the Skoptzi, or "mutilated," which is said to recruit itself by stealing children. These Skoptzi are recognised by their portliness and smooth faces, and at Bucharest they are reputed to be excellent coachmen.

Magyar Szeklers from Transylvania, known in the country as Changhei, are the only other foreign element of the population occupying distinct settlements. These Changhei, who first came into the country when the Kings of Hungary were masters of the valley of the Sereth, are gradually becoming Rumanians in dress and language, and would have become so long ago were they not Roman Catholics, whilst the people among whom they live are Greeks. They are joined annually by a few compatriots from Transylvania, attracted by the mild climate and the fertility of the soil. In spring and autumn large bauds of Hungarian reapers and labourers descend into the plains of Moldavia.