The finances of Rumania are in a more satisfactory condition than those of most other states of Europe

The peasantry will doubtless no longer be haunted by these hallucinations, for the moral and intellectual progress of the nation has kept pace with its material pros­perity since the peasant has cultivated his own land. Officially made a freeman in 1856, but held for several years afterwards in a kind of limited bondage, the peasant now owns at least a portion of the land. By a law passed in 1862, each head of a family is entitled to a plot of land from seven to sixty-seven acres in extent, and ever since that time the peasants have gained immensely in self-respect. His land, though still cultivated with the ancient Roman plough, and deprived of manure, produces immense quantities of cereals, the sale of which brings wealth into the country and encourages progress. Rumania is now one of the great corn-exporting countries of Europe, and in favourable years, when the crops are neither eaten up by locusts nor destroyed by frosts, its exports exceed those of Hungary. In less than ten years the export of wheat, maize, barley, and oats has doubled, and the sum annually realised varies between £4,000,000 and £8,000,000 sterling.

Unfortunately the peasants eat but little of the corn they grow. They are content with the maize, from which they prepare their mamaligo and the detestable spirits which cheer their hearts on a hundred and ninety-four annual fête days. The cultivation of the vine, which was altogether neglected formerly, is likewise making progress, and the produce of the foot-hills of the Carpathians is justly esteemed. The time is past now when "Wallachian" and "herdsman" were synonyms throughout the East. Still, nearly one-fourth of the area of the country remains uncultivated, and the soil is allowed to lie fallow every third year. Moldavia is better cultivated, upon the whole, than Wallachia, and this is principally owing to the fact of the Moldavian boyards residing upon their estates, and taking a pride in their management. Progress, however, is apparent throughout the country, and there is hardly a large estate without its steam threshing-machine. Even the small proprietors are gradually introducing improved methods of cultivation, and in many villages they have formed co-operative associations for the cultivation of extensive tracts of country. (Of the area of Moldo-Wallachia 6,000,000 acres are corn-lands, 600,000 acres produce wine, tobacco, 6,000,000 consist of forests, 9,000,000 of pastures and meadows, and 8,000,000 are uncultivated. In 1874 there were 600,000 horses, 2,900,000 head of cattle, 100,000 buffaloes, 5,000,000 sheep, 1,200,000 pigs, and 500,000 goats.)

Rumania is essentially an agricultural country. The ores of the Carpathians are not utilised, for there are no roads which give access to them. The petroleum wells only supplied 3,810,000 gallons in 1873. Four of the principal salt-works are carried on by Government, partly with the aid of convict labour, and yield annually 80,000 tons of salt. The fisheries are of some importance. The inha­bitants on the Lower Danube salt the fish which abound in the river and the neighbouring lakes, and prepare caviare from sturgeons. There are no manufactories excepting near the large towns, and the country is noted only for its carpets, embroidered cloth and leather, and pottery. The housewives are famed for their confectionery.

Commerce is annually on the increase. Its only outlet  in former times was the Danube. Nearly the whole produce of the country was carried to Galatz, at the bend of the river, upon which the principal routes of the country con­verge. For many years to come the Danube will remain the great commercial highway of the country; the Pruth, too, is navigable for small steamers as far as Sculeni, to the north of Yassy; whilst the numerous rivers descending from the Carpathians will always prove useful for the conveyance of timber. New outlets have been created by the construction of railways. Rumania is now joined to the railway systems of Austria and Hungary, and the proposed bridge across the Danube will place it in direct communication with Varna, on the Black Sea. The level nature of the country facilitates the construction of railways, but its inhabitants look upon their extension with a feeling of apprehension, for they fancy that a commercial invasion may bring in its train a military one. (Railroads, 1,800 miles; high-roads, 2,650 miles; telegraphs, 2,500 miles; steamers on the Danube, 29, of 7,620 tons burden.)

The acquisition of the Dobruja has provided the country with another outlet for its produce, for a railway connects Chernavoda, on the Danube, with the port of Kustenje, on the Black Sea, from which more than half a million quarters of wheat are exported annually, and at which the mail-boats from Constantinople call regularly. Formerly, whilst the delta of the Danube was in the hands of the Turks, Rumania had no direct access to the Black Sea, except by means of small vessels, for the mouth of the northern or Kilda branch of the Danube is obstructed by a bar. French engineers proposed to overcome this difficulty by constructing an artificial harbour at some distance to the north, and connecting it with the river by means of an artificial canal. But no necessity exists now for so costly an enterprise, since Rumania has been placed in possession of the Sulina mouth of the Danube. The town at the mouth of that branch has sprung into existence since 1850, at which time only a lighthouse and a few huts of fishermen occupied its site. It is now one of the busiest grain ports of the Black Sea, frequented annually by 2,200 vessels, amongst which those sading under the British flag occupy the foremost rank. The depth of the bar averages 20 feet.

Bucharest (or Bucuresci, pron. Bukureshti), the capital of Wallachia and of the whole of Rumania, already numbers amongst the great cities of Europe. Next to Constantinople and Buda-Pest, it is the most populous town of South-eastern Europe, and its inhabitants fondly speak of it as the "Paris of the Orient." The town not very long since was hardly more than a collection of villages, very picturesque from a distance on account of numerous towers and glittering domes rising above the surrounding verdure, but very unpleasant within. But Bucharest has been transformed rapidly with the increasing wealth of its inhabitants. It may boast now of wide and clean streets, bounded by fine houses, of public squares full of animation, and of well-kept parks, and fully deserves now its sobriquet of the "joyful city."

Yassy (Jasi, or Yashi), which became the capital of Moldavia when Suchova was annexed by Austria, occupies a position far less central than does Bucharest, but the fertility of the surrounding country, the proximity of the navigable Pruth and of Russia, with which it maintains a brisk commerce, and its position on the high-road joining the Baltic to the Black Sea, have caused it to increase rapidly in population. It is a flourishing town now, though no longer the seat of an independent government. Built upon the foot-hills of the Carpathians, the city presents itself magnificently from afar, and its exterior is not belied by its finer quarters. Jews, Armenians, Russians, Tsigani, Tartars, and Magyars are numerously represented amongst its population, which is semi-Oriental in type. We may almost fancy ourselves standing upon the threshold of Asia.

The church of the Three Saints is distinguished for its originality, and is a master­piece of ornamentation in the Moorish style.

All the other towns of Rumania are indebted for their importance to their position on commercial high-roads. Botosani, in Northern Moldavia, lies on the road to Galicia and Poland, and the same may be said of Falticeni, whose inter­national fairs are always well attended. Commerce causes the towns on the Danube to flourish. Sulina, at the mouth of the river, has already been mentioned; Tulcha, at the head of the delta, exports corn, timber, and salt fish; Galatz, said to be an ancient colony of the Galatians, is now the most important commercial emporium on the Lower Danube, and seat of the European commissioners for its regulation; Braila, a poor village as long as the Turks held it, but now important on account of its grain trade, and the literary centre of the Bulgarians. All these towns, though situated on the banks of the Danube, may be looked upon almost as ports of the Black Sea, through which the produce of the country, and especially its grain, finds an outlet to foreign markets. Giurgiu (Jurjevo) is the port of Bucharest on the Danube; Turnu-Severinu is the gateway of Wallachia, below the great narrows of the river; Craiova, Pitesci, Ploiesti, Buzeu, and Focsani form the terminal points of the roads descending from the high valleys of Transylvania. Alecsandria, a town recently built in the centre of the plain which extends from Bucharest to the Olto, has become a depot for agricultural produce.

Formerly, when incessant wars rendered a strong strategical position of greater importance than commercial advantages, the capital of the country was established in the very heart of the Carpathians. In the thirteenth century it was at Campu-Lungu, in the midst of the mountains, and subsequently it was transferred to Curtea d'Argesia, founded by Prince Negoze Bessaraba in the beginning of the sixteenth century. Of this ancient capital there remain now only a monastery and a wonderful church: the walls, cornices, and towers are covered with sculptures, like the work of a jeweller. Targu-Vestea, or Tirgovist, on the Yalomitza, was the third capital, but of the fine palace built there by the domni there remain now only blackened walls.

Number of inhabitants of the principal towns of Rumania (official spelling; vulgar or phonetic spell­ing in parenthesis):— Wallachia.—Bucuresci (Bucharest), 221,800; Ploiesti (Ploeshti), 33,000; Braila, 28,270; Craiova, 22,764 ; Giurgiu (Jurjevo, or Giurgevo), 20,800; Buzeu (Busau), 11,100; Alecsandria, 11,000; Campulung, 9,900; Pitesci (Piteshti), 8.500; Caracalu, 8.600. Moldavia.—Jasi (Yassy), 90,000; Galati (Galatz), 80,000; Botosani, 39,900; Barladu (Byrlat), 26,600; Focsani, 20,300; Peatra, 20,000; Husi, 18,500; Roman, 16,900; Falticeni, 15,000; Bacau, 13,000; Dorohoi, 10,000. Dobruja.— Tulcha, 19,000; Mejije, 32,000; Babadagh, 4,000; Isakcha, 4,000; Sulina, 4,000.)

Rumania includes the two ancient principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, and the province of the Dobruja. It formerly paid a tribute to the Porte, but its independence has been recognised by the treaty of Berlin. The country has placed a member of the Hohenzollern family at the head of the State. The constitution of 1866 confers upon this prince the right of appointing all public functionaries and the officers of the army, of coining money, and of pardoning. All laws require his signature before they can be enforced. He enjoys a civil list of £48,000.

The legislative powers are vested in two chambers, the members of which are elected by a process designed to favour the interests of the rich. All Rumanians above twenty-one years of age, except servants in receipt of wages, are inscribed in the electoral lists. They are divided into four "colleges," or classes, having widely different privileges. The first college includes all those electors of a district whose income from landed property amounts to £132 a year; electors having an income of between £44 and £132 form a second college; merchants and tradesmen of the towns paying a tax of 23s. annually. Government pensioners, half-pay officers, professors and graduates of universities, form the third college; and the remainder of the electors belong to the fourth college. The first two colleges elect a deputy each for their district; the third college elects from one to six deputies for each town, according to its size; the fourth college elects delegates by whom the representatives are chosen.

The Senate represents more especially the large landed proprietors. Senators must have an income of £302, and are elected by the landed proprietors whose income amounts to at least £132 a year. The universities of Bucharest and Yassy are represented by a senator each, elected by the professors, and the crown prince, the metropolitan, and the diocesan bishops are ex-officio members of the Senate. Senators are elected for eight, and deputies for four years.

The Rumanian constitution grants all those rights and privileges usually set forth in documents of that kind. The right of meeting is guaranteed; there is liberty of the press; the municipal officers and mayors are elected, but the Prince may intervene in the case of towns inhabited by more than a thousand families; the punishment of death is abolished, except in time of war; and education is free and compulsory "wherever there are schools." There is liberty of religion, though there is a State Church, and Christians alone can be naturalised. No marriage is legal unless it has been consecrated by a priest. The Rumanian Church, as far as dogmas are concerned, is that of the Greeks, but it is altogether independent of the Greek patriarch residing at Constantinople, and is governed by its own Synod. Most of the monasteries have been secularised.

The country is divided into four judicial districts, each having a court of appeal, whilst a supreme court sits at Bucharest. The French codes, slightly modified, were introduced in 1865.

The army is partly modelled upon that of Prussia. All citizens are called upon to serve sixteen years, eight of which are passed in the standing army or its reserve, and eight in the militia. The National Guard includes all men up to fifty not belonging to either of the other categories. By calling out all its men, Rumania can easily send an army of 100,000 men into the field. There are like­wise a few gunboats on the Danube.

The finances of Rumania are in a more satisfactory condition than those of most other states of Europe. The Government has certainly been living upon loans, for which eight per cent, has to be paid, and nearly the whole of the annual income is spent upon the payment of interest, the army, and the revenue services. The credit of Rumania is, however, good, for the loans are secured upon vast domains, the property of the secularised monasteries, several thousand acres of which are sold every year. The sale of salt and the manufacture of tobacco are Government monopolies. (Average annual expenditure, 1871-76, £3,650,000 , public debt, £19,500,000, including £13,000,000 expended upon railways; estimated value of the domains, £20,000,000.)