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were largely endowed with cunning, tact, and perseverance, and were little hampered by conscientious scruples. Having early discovered that the liberal distribution of money at the Tartar court was the surest means of gaining favour, they lived parsimoniously at home and spent their savings at the Horde. To secure the continuance of the favour thus acquired, they were ready to form matrimonial alliances with the Khan's family, and to act zealously as his lieutenants. When Novgorod, the haughty, turbulent Republic, refused to pay the yearly tribute, they quelled the insurrection and punished the leaders; and when the inhabitants of Tver rose against the Tartars and compelled their Prince to make common cause with them, the wily Muscovite hastened to the Tartar court and received from the Khan the revolted principality, with 50,000 Tartars to support his authority.

Thus those cunning Moscow Princes "loved the Tartars beyond measure" so long as the Khan was irresistibly powerful, but as his power waned they stood forth as his rivals. When the Golden Horde, like the great Empire of which it had once formed a part, fell to pieces, these ambitious Princes read the signs of the times, and put themselves at the head of the liberation movement, which was at first unsuccessful but ultimately freed the country from the hated Tartar yoke.

From this brief sketch of the Tartar domination the reader will readily perceive that it did not by any means Tartarise the country. The Tartars never settled in Russia Proper, and never amalgamated with the people.

So long as they retained their semi-pagan, semiBuddhistic religion, a certain number of their notables became Christians and were absorbed by the Russian Noblesse; but as soon as the Horde adopted Islam, this movement was arrested. There was no blending of the two races such as has taken place and is still taking place-between the Russian peasantry and the Finnish tribes of the North. The Russians remained Christians, and the Tartars remained Mahometans; and this difference of religion raised an impassable barrier between the

two nationalities.

It must, however, be admitted that the Tartar domination, though it had little influence on the life and habits of the people, had a very deep and lasting influence on the political development of the nation. At the time of the conquest Russia was composed of a large number of independent principalities, all governed by descendants of Rurik. As these principalities were not geographical or ethnographical units, but mere artificial, arbitrarily defined districts, which were regularly subdivided or combined according to the hereditary rights of the Princes, it is highly probable that they would in any case have been sooner or later united under one sceptre; but it is quite certain that the policy of the Khans helped to accelerate this unification and to create the autocratic power which has since been wielded by the Tsars. If the principalities had been united without foreign interference, we should probably have found in the united State some form of political organisation corresponding to that which existed in the component

parts-some mixed form of government, in which the political power would have been more or less equally divided between the Tsar and the people. The Tartar rule interrupted this normal development by extinguishing all free political life. The first Tsars of Muscovy were the political descendants not of the old independent Princes, but of the Tartar Khans. It may be said, therefore, that the autocratic power, which has been during the last four centuries out of all comparison the most important factor in Russian history, was in a certain sense created by the Tartar domination.

The reader will now understand why this subject has more than a mere antiquarian interest. The position of the Christians under the Khans of the Golden Horde was very like the present position of the Christians in Turkey. For some time after the conquest Russia was ruled as Bulgaria is now; then she obtained an autonomy similar to that of Servia and Roumania at the present day; and ultimately she gained complete independence. Thus the Russians long formed the vanguard in the cause of Slavonic emancipation. They were the first of the Slavonic peoples to fall under the Tartar yoke, and the first to emancipate themselves. This they have not forgotten, and we cannot wonder that they should now sympathise with those cognate races which are striving to follow their example. The epigrammatic saying that the sympathy of the Russian people with the Servians and Bulgarians is a mere "philological sentiment," cannot be accepted by any one who knows the history of Eastern Europe.

CHAPTER XXIII.

THE COSSACKS.

Tartar Raids-Slave-markets of the Crimea-The Military Cordon and the Free Cossacks-"Beyond the Rapids"-The Zaporovian Commonwealth compared with Sparta and with the Mediæval Military Orders-The Cossacks of the Don, of the Volga, and of the Ural-Border Warfare-The Modern Cossacks-Land Tenure among the Cossacks of the Don-The Transition from Pastoral to Agricultural Life-" Universal Law" of Social Development-Communal versus Private Property-Flogging as a means of Landregistration.

To conquer the Tartars was no easy task, but to pacify them and introduce law and order amongst them was a work of much greater difficulty. Long after they had lost their political independence they retained their old pastoral mode of life, and harassed the agricultural population of the outlying provinces in the same way as the Red Indians harass the white colonists in the western territories of America at the present day. What considerably added to the difficulty was that a large section of the Horde, inhabiting the Crimea and the steppe to the north of the Black Sea, escaped conquest by submitting to the Ottoman Turks and becoming tributaries of the Sultan. The Turks were at that time a formidable aggressive power, with which the Tsars of Muscovy were too weak to cope successfully, and the Khan of the Crimea could always, when hard pressed by his northern neighbours, obtain assistance from Constantinople. This potentate exercised a nominal authority over the pastoral

tribes which roamed on the steppe between the Crimea and the Russian frontier, but he had neither the power nor the desire to control their aggressive tendencies. Their raids in Russian and Polish territory ensured, among other advantages, a regular and plentiful supply of slaves, which formed the chief article of export from Kaffa-the modern Theodosia-and from the other seaports of the coast.

Of this slave trade, which flourished down to 1783, when the Crimea was finally conquered and annexed to Russia, we have a graphic account by an eyewitness, a Lithuanian traveller of the sixteenth cen

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tury. Ships from Asia," he says, "bring arms, clothes, and horses to the Crimean Tartars, and start on the homeward voyage laden with slaves. It is for this kind of merchandise alone that the Crimean markets are remarkable. Slaves may be always had for sale as a pledge or as a present, and every one rich enough to have a horse deals in them. If a man wishes to buy clothes, arms, or horses, and does not happen to have at the moment any slaves, he takes on credit the articles required, and makes a formal promise to deliver at a given term a certain number of people of our blood-being convinced that he can get by that time the requisite number. And these promises are always accurately fulfilled, as if those who made them had always a supply of our people in their courtyards. A Jewish money-changer, sitting at the gate of Tauris and seeing constantly the countless multitude of our countrymen led in as captives, asked us whether there still

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