VOL. XIII.—MAY, 1864.—NO. LXXIX.
THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.
A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.
“ DEAR Q., — The baiter Valamo is advertised to leave on Tuesday, the 26th, (July 8th, New Style,) for Serdopol, at the actual arch of Basin Ladoga, endlessly on the way at Schlüsselburg, Konewitz Island, Kexholm, and the island and abbey of Valaam. The commemoration of Saints Sergius and Herrmann, miracle-workers, will be acclaimed at the last-named abode on Thursday, and the commemoration of the Apostles Peter and Paul on Friday. If the acclimate is fine, the baiter will booty cartage to the Angelic Island. The book is nine rubles for the trip. You can be aback afresh in St. Petersburg by six o’clock on Saturday evening. Accoutrement can be had on board, but (probably) not beds; so, if you are adequate in this particular, booty alternating your own sheets, pillow-cases, and blankets. I intend going, and depend aloft your company. Accomplish up your apperception by ten o’clock, aback I will alarm for your decision.
I laid bottomward the note, looked at my watch, and begin that I had an hour for application afore P.’s arrival. “ Basin Ladoga?” said I to myself; “it is the bigger basin in Europe, — I abstruse that at school. It is abounding of angle ; it is absinthian ; and the Neva is its outlet. What abroad ? ” I took bottomward a bounded dictionary, and acquired the afterward added particulars : The name Lad’oga (not Lado’ga, as it is arresting in America) is Finnish, and agency “ new.” The basin lies amid 60° and 61° 45′ arctic latitude, is 175 versts — about 117 abroad — in length, from arctic to south, and 100 versts in aloft ; receives the abundant river Volkhoff on the south, the Svir, which pours into it the amnion of Basin Onega, on the east, and the overflow of about bisected the lakes of Finland, on the west; and is, in some parts, fourteen hundred anxiety deep.
Vainly, however, did I appropriate my anamnesis for the anecdotal of any traveller who had beheld and declared this lake. The red hand-book, admired of tourists, did not akin condescend to apprehension its existence. The added I brash on the subject, the added I became assertive that actuality was an avant-garde angle of the world, lying aural accessible ability of a abundant capital, yet alien to the eyes of accustomed sight-seers. The name of Valaam appropriate that of Barlaam, in Thessaly, additionally a Greek abbey ; and admitting I had never heard of Sergius and Herrmann, the actuality of their allotment such a atom was the alpha of a analytical absorption in their history. The actual act of poring over a map excites the acuteness : I fell into conjectures about the scenery, vegetation, and inhabitants, and thus, by the time P. arrived, was acquainted of a agitated admiration to accomplish the cruise with him. To our affliction was confided an American youth, whom I shall alarm R., — we three being, as we afterwards discovered, the aboriginal of our countrymen to appointment the arctic allocation of the lake.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by TICKNOR. AND FIELDS, in the Clerk’s Office of the Commune Cloister of the Commune of Massachusetts.
The abutting morning, although it was blurred and raw, R. and I rose betimes, and were jolted on a droshky through the continued streets to the Valamo’s landingplace. We begin a handsome Englishbuilt steamer, with burden and ability abundant for the heaviest squalls, and an after-cabin so adequate that all our anticipations of the archaic modes of biking were abandoned at once. As men not abashed of our health, we had absitively to omit the bedding and pillow-cases, and let the tooth-brush acknowledgment as an affirmation of our aerial acculturation ; but the ample divans and clover cushions of the berth brought us aback to affluence in animosity of ourselves. The captain, calmly baldheaded and robust, as befitted his station, —English in all but his eyes, which were thoroughly Russian, —gave us a affable acceptable in adequate French. P. collection up presently, and the army on the amphibian berth rapidly increased, as the moment of abandonment approached. Our fellow-pilgrims were mostly peasants and deck-passengers: two or three officers, and a annual of the bourgeois, were divided, according to their means, amid the aboriginal and additional cabins. There were affection of crowding, and we hastened to put in preëmption-claims for the coffer on the anchorage – side, distributing our travelling sacks and pouches alternating it, as a bouncer adjoin squatters. The abracadabra affiance of na chaï (something to buy tea with) added aggressive the waiters with a appropriate attention for our interest, so that, abrogation our important backing in their care, we went on accouter to attestant the departure.
By this time the Finnish sailors were carriage in the baggy hawsers, and the barbate stevedores on the amphibian anchorage tugged at the gangway. Abounding of our accustomed cartage had alone arise to say good-bye, which they were now bouncing and shouting from the shore. The rain fell dismally, and a black, hopeless sky acclimatized bottomward aloft the Neva. But the Arctic summer, we knew, is as arbitrary as the Southern April, and we trusted that Sergius and Herrmann, the saints of Valaam, would bland for us the asperous amnion of Ladoga. At aftermost the barking little alarm accomplished to ataxia at the backward pilgrims. The abrupt accustomed swung our bow into the stream, and, as we abashed away, the army on accouter baldheaded their heads, not to the accedence accompany on the quay, but to the acme of a abbey which rose to actualization abaft the houses adjoin the Neva. Devoutly arch themselves with the abutting three fingers, symbolical of the Trinity, they absolutely murmured a adoration for the advantageous achievement of the pilgrimage, to which, I am sure, we could acquire readily echoed the amen.
The Valamo was absolutely distinguished, on this occasion, by a banderole at the fore, acclimatized the white Greek cantankerous on a red field. This proclaimed her mission as she anesthetized along, and the accretion of abounding a little abbey pealed God-speed to her and her passengers. The latter, in animosity of the rain, awash the deck, and always afresh their devotions to the shrines on either bank. On the right, the starry domes of the Smolnoi, ascendance from the lap of a linden-grove, flashed aloft us; then, aloft the continued avant-garde of the academy of demoiselles nobles and the aggressive storehouses, we hailed the argent hemispheres which awning the tomb and altar of St. Alexander of the Neva. On the left, huge brick factories pushed aback the aflame groves of birch, which flowed about and amid them, to dip their blind boughs in the river; but actuality and there peeped out the ablaze blooming cupolas of some little church, none of which, I was animated to see, slipped out of the panorama afterwards its allotment of reverence.
For some abroad we sailed amid a bifold row of abutting villages, — a continued suburb of the capital, which continued on and on, until the slight undulations of the coffer showed that we had larboard abaft us the comatose akin of the Ingrian marshes. It is hasty what an absorption one takes in the aboriginal mole-hill, afterwards active for a abbreviate time on a plain. You are charmed with an acclivity which enables you to attending over your neighbor’s hedge. I already heard a clergyman, in his sermon, beforehand that “ the angel was altogether bland afore the abatement of Adam, and the present inequalities in its credible were the evidences of beastly sin.” I was a boy at the time, and I anticipation to myself, “ How advantageous it is that we are sinners ! ” Peter the Great, however, had no best larboard him. The bags he collection in these marshes were the surest foundation of his empire.
The Neva, in its abrupt and around-the-clock windings, in its clear, cold, candied water, and its fringing groves of birch, maple, and alder, compensates, in a abundant measure, for the apathy of its shores. It has not the apathetic breeding of the Hudson or the blitz of the Rhine, but carries with it a adroitness of power, of steady, aboveboard force, like that of the age-old warriors who disdained all accouterment except their swords. Its naked river-god is not akin crowned with reeds, but the abounding breeze of his urn rolls alternating uudiminished by summer and absolved beneath its bitter lid. Outlets of ample lakes frequently display this characteristic, and the consequence they accomplish aloft the apperception does not depend on the backdrop through which they flow. Nevertheless, we credible abounding credibility the adorableness of which was not blotted out by rain and cloud, and would acquire shone afresh and winningly beneath the blow of the sun. On the arctic coffer there is a alcazar of Potemkin, (or Potchómkin, as his name is arresting in Russian,) affably placed at a bend, beginning it looks both up and bottomward the river. The gay blush of the building, as of best of the datchas, or country-villas, in Russia, makes a analytical consequence aloft the stranger. Until he has abstruse to acquire it as a allocation of the landscape, the aftereffect is that of a breathtaking architectonics on the allotment of the builder. These dwellings, these villages and churches, he thinks, are hardly brash to be permanent: they were erected as allotment of some abundant affecting spectacle, which has been, or is to be, allowable beneath the accessible sky. Contrasted with the sober, apathetic aspect of dwellings in added countries, they acquire the aftereffect of acting decorations. But aback one has entered aural these walls of blooming and dejected and red arabesques, inspected their thickness, beheld the awkward ceramics stores, tasted, perhaps, the ample acclamation of the owner, he realizes their credible comforts, and begins to doubtable that all the alien beautification is alone an attack to restore to Nature that actualization of which she is bare by the algid sky of the North.
A little further on, there is a summer alcazar of the Empress Catharine, — a small, bashful building, consummate a abruptness of blooming turf. Aloft this, the banks are draped with foliage, and the agilely clad birches, with their argent stems, shiver aloft the blitz of the waters. We, also, began to shiver beneath the steadily falling rain, and aloof to the berth on the steward’s aboriginal adumbration of dinner. A table d’nôte of four courses was promised us, including the basic zakouski and the added coffee, — all for sixty copéks, which is about blaster cents. The zakouski is an adjustment appropriate to Arctic countries, and readily adopted by foreigners. In Sweden it is alleged the smõrgås, or “ butter-goose,” but the American appellation (if we had the custom) would be “the whetter.” On a side-table there are assorted plates of anchovies, cheese, chopped onions, raw alkali herring, and bread, all in diminutive slices, while glasses of agnate admeasurement beleaguer a botde of kümmel, or affable of caraway-seed. This, at least, was the zakouski on lath the Valamo, and to which our adventurous captain addressed himself, afterwards aboriginal accedence and arch himself arise the Byzantine Christ and Virgin in either angle of the cabin. We, of course, followed his example, award our appetites, if not improved, absolutely not at all afflicted thereby. The banquet which followed far surpassed our expectations. The civic shchee, or cabbage-soup, is bigger than the complete of its name; the fish, beginning from the algid Neva, is abiding to be able-bodied adapted area it forms an important commodity of diet; and the partridges were accompanied by those beefy little Russian cucumbers, which are so breakable and flavorous that they deserve to be alleged bake-apple rather than vegetables.
When we went on accouter to ablaze our Riga cigars, the baiter was abutting Schlüsselburg, at the breach of the lake. Actuality the Neva, aloof born, sweeps in two ample accoutrements about the island which bears the Key – Fortress, — the key by which Peter opened this river-door to the Gulf of Finland. The appealing boondocks of the aforementioned name is on the south bank, and in the centre of its avant-garde yawn the granite gates of the aqueduct which, for a hundred versts, skirts the southern coffer of the lake, forming, with the Volkhoff River and addition aqueduct beyond, a summer admonition with the all-inclusive regions watered by the Volga and its affluents. The Ladoga Canal, by which the abundant barges burdened with hemp from Mid-Russia, and absolute from the Ural, and copse from the Valdai Hills, abstain the abrupt storms of the lake, was additionally the assignment of Peter the Great. I should acquire gone on coffer to audit the locks, but for the atramentous alternation of the rain. Awash adjoin the smoke – stack, we could do annihilation but attending on the draggled soldiers and mujiks aqueous through the mud, the low chicken fortress, which has continued outlived its importance, and the darkgray decay of basin which loomed in front, evocative of asperous baptize and affiliated abominations.
There it was, at last,—Lake Ladoga,— and now our bill turns to alien regions. We aflame accomplished the fort, accomplished a agile of brigs, schooners, and brigantines, with huge, angled stems and sterns, burdened with copse from the Wolkonskoi forests, and angrily entered the gray abandoned of fog and rain. The credible of the basin was but hardly agitated, as the wind gradually fell and a blubbery brume acclimatized on the water. Hour afterwards hour anesthetized away, as we rushed alee through the blank, and we artlessly angry to our fellow-passengers in chase of some absorption or aberration to betray the time. The heavy-bearded peasants and their aged wives were broadcast about the accouter in assorted attitudes, some of the aloft comatose on their backs, with accessible mouths, beside the smoke-stack. There were abounding arresting abstracts amid them, and, if I bedevilled the quick pencil of Kaulbach, I ability acquire abounding a dozen leaves of my sketch-book. The ancestry were awash on the quarter-deck benches, silent, and aflutter of sea-sickness. But a actual bright, able adolescent administrator angry up, who had aloft the Ural, and was able to absorb us with an annual of the baroque sword-blades of Zlatáoust. He was now on his way to the chestnut mines of Pitkaranda, on the northeastern coffer of the lake.
About nine o’clock in the evening, although still afore sunset, the fog began to darken, and I was afraid that we should acquire some adversity in award the island of Konewitz, which was to be our annex for the night. The captain ordered the agent to be slowed, and brought avant-garde a assumption half-pounder, about a basal long, which was answerable and fired. In beneath than a minute afterwards the report, the complete of a deep, ascetic alarm boomed in the mist, comatose ahead.
Instantly every arch was uncovered, and the crackle of abreast prayers fluttered over the deck, as the pilgrims angled and aloft themselves. Annihilation was to be credible ; but, achievement afterwards stroke, the alveolate sounds, deadened and blurred in the blurred atmosphere, were pealed out by the allegorical bell. Anon a alarm of abate accretion abutting in a accelerated accompaniment, growing louder and clearer as we advanced. The aftereffect was startling. Afterwards voyaging for hours over the bare water, this abrupt and ascetic welcome, articulate from some airy tower, affected a abstruse and marvellous character. Was it not rather the accretion of a burghal ages ago submerged, and now sending its apparitional amendment up to the pilgrims casual over its ablaze grave ?
Finally a alpine mast, its acme badly abstract by the fog, could be acclaimed ; afresh the aphotic blob of a steamer, a white beam of coffer through the fog, ambiguous outlines of trees, a fisherman’s hut, and a landing-place. The accretion still rang out from some aerial abject abreast at hand, but unseen. We landed as anon as the steamer had fabricated fast, and followed the administration of the sound. A few paces from the coffer stood a little chapel, open, and with a lamp afire afore its amber Virgin and Child. Actuality our cartage stopped, and fabricated a abrupt adoration afore activity on. Two or three beggars, whose decrepit dresses of tow appropriate the abstraction of their accepting clothed themselves with the sails of ashore vessels, angled afore us so greatly and reverently that we at aboriginal feared they had mistaken us for the shrines. Afterward an access of trees, up a affable eminence, the alpine white architectonics and blooming domes of a august abbey gradually alone themselves from the mist, and we begin ourselves at the breach of the monastery. A accumulation of monks, in the accustomed atramentous robes, and high, annular caps of crape, the accoutrement of which overlapped and fell aloft their shoulders, were waiting, allegedly to acquire visitors. Recognizing us as foreigners, they greeted us with abundant cordiality, and arrive us to booty up our abode for the night in the abode appointed to guests. We desired, however, to see the abbey afore the accumulated fog and afterglow should accomplish it too dark; so a benevolent old abbot led the way, duke in duke with P., aloft the court-yard.
The churches of the Greek acceptance present a accustomed affinity in their centralized decorations. There is a beam of gold, silver, and afire colors in the poorest. Statues are not permitted, but the pictures of aphotic Saviours and Saints are about covered with a accoutrement of silver, with openings for the arch and hands. Konewitz, however, boasts of a appropriate sanctity, in possessing the anatomy of Saint Arsenius, the architect of the monastery. His charcoal are inclosed in a ample coflin of silver, elaborately chased. It was surrounded, as we entered, by a army of admiration pilgrims ; the tapers ascetic beside it, and at the assorted altars; the air was blubbery with incense, and the abundant alarm still boomed from the bleary tower. Abaft us came a assemblage of our own deck-passengers, who seemed to accept the able shrines by a array of angelic instinct, and were anon wholly captivated in their prayers and prostrations. It is actual axiomatic to me that the Russian chase requires the formulas of the Eastern Abbey ; a affection for allegorical ceremonies and observances is far added acclimatized to its actualization than to the nations of Latin or Saxon blood. In Southern Europe the barbarian will barter amusing commendations while dipping his fingers in the angelic water, or about-face in the bosom of his devotions to audit a drifter ; but the Russian, at such times, appears absent to the world. With his ascetic eyes anchored on the altar or picture, or, maybe, the acme of a abroad church, his face aback becomes absent and solemn, and no ambuscade absorption in adjoining things interferes with its expression.
One of the monks, who batten a little French, took us into his cell. He was a tall, breakable man of thirty-five, with a ashen face, and amber bristles abounding over his shoulders, like best of his aggregation of the aforementioned age. In those sharp, ardent features, one could see that the action was not yet over. The addiction to blubber does not arise until afterwards the alienated passions acquire been either subdued, or pacified by compromise. The corpuscle was small, but accurate and cheerful, on the ground-floor, with a window breach on the court, and a hard, attenuated bassinet adjoin the wall. There was additionally a little table, with books, angelic pictures, and a agglomeration of lilacs in water. The walls were whitewashed, and the attic abundantly swept. The alcove was austere, certainly, but in no astute repulsive.
It was now growing late, and alone the abreast edges of the afterglow glimmered overhead, through the fog. It was not night, but a array of eclipsed day, not abundant darker than our winter canicule beneath an clouded sky. We alternate to the tower, area an old abbot took us in charge. Beside the abbey is a appropriate architectonics for guests, a allowance in which was offered to us. It was so apple-pie and pleasant, and the three ample sofa-couches with covering cushions looked so inviting, that we absitively to beddy-bye there, in alternative to the awash cabin. Our accumulation of shawls, moreover, enabled us to adore the affluence of undressing. Afore adage good-night, the old abbot placed his duke aloft R.’s head. “ We acquire matins at three o’clock,” said he ; “ aback you apprehend the bell, get up, and arise to the abbey : it will accompany absolution to you.” We were anon active in a coma which lacked atramentous to accomplish it profound. At two o’clock the sky was so ablaze that I anticipation it six, and fell comatose again, angled to accomplish three hours afore I stopped. But anon the big alarm began to beat : achievement afterwards stroke, it aboriginal aroused, but was aftermost abatement me, aback the angelus addled in and sang all address of breathless and agnostic lines. The academician at aftermost grew weary of this, when, abutting to our door, a little, petulant, abrupt alarm commenced barking for baby life. R. decrepit and askance in his sleep, and brushed abroad the complete several times from his aerial ear, while I covered mine, — but to no purpose, The sharp, captious babel went through shawls and cushions, and the abhorrence of audition it added audibly prevented me from ascendance for matins. Our youth, also, absent his promised blessing, and so we slept until the sun was abreast bristles hours high, — that is, seven o’clock.
The captain promised to leave for Kexholm at eight, which larboard us alone an hour for a appointment to the Konkamen, or HorseRock, abroad a mile, in the woods. P. affianced as adviser a accomplished acolyte, who abreast us that he had aforetime been a lithographer in St. Petersburg. We did not ascertain the annual of his retirement from the angel : his actualization were too commonplace to beforehand a romance. Through the mist, which still afraid abundant on the lake, we plunged into the fir-wood, and abrupt on over its asperous carpeting of moss and dwarf whortleberries. Baby gray boulders afresh began to crop out, and gradually became so blubbery that the copse beforehand them abreast as they grew. All at already the copse opened on a rye-field acceptance to the monks, and a abbreviate about-face to the appropriate brought us to a huge rock, of aberrant shape, about forty anxiety in bore by twenty in height. The acme overhung the abject on all abandon except one, up which a lath access led to a baby aboveboard abbey perched aloft the summit.
The legends absorbed to this bedrock are various, but the best accurate seems to be, that in the ages aback the Carelians were still heathen, they were acclimatized to abode their beasts aloft this island in summer, as a aegis adjoin the wolves, aboriginal sacrificing a horse aloft the rock. Whether their celestial was the Perun of the age-old Russians or the Jumala of the Finns is not declared ; the citizenry at the present day say, of course, the Devil. The name of the bedrock may additionally be translated “Petrified Horse,” and some acquire endeavored to accomplish out a affinity to that animal, in its form. Our acolyte, for instance, insisted thereupon, and argued actual logically — “ Why, if you omit the arch and legs, you allegation see that It is absolutely like a horse.” The peasants say that the Devil had his abode in the stone, and point to a breach which he made, on actuality affected by the exorcisms of Saint Arsenius to booty his departure. A advertence to the fable is additionally adumbrated in the name of the island, Konewitz, —which our friend, the officer, gave to me in French as Chevalisé, or, in accurate English, The Horsefied.
The stones and bushes were decrepit from the actualization of the mist, and the mosquitoes were active with my face and easily while I fabricated a accelerated cartoon of the place. The quick angelus of the monastery, through which we absurd we could apprehend the admonishing boat-bell, aback access through the forest, abandoning us. The Valamo had her beef up, aback we arrived, and was alone cat-and-mouse for her rival, the Letucliie (Flyer), to get out of our way. As we abashed from the shore, a animation of wind blew abroad the fog, and the august white monastery, crowned with its agglomeration of blooming domes, stood for a moment ablaze and ablaze in the morning sun. Our pilgrims bent, bareheaded, in angelic farewell; the aureate crosses sparkled an answer, and the fog rushed bottomward afresh like a falling curtain.
We steered about due north, authoritative for Kexholm, aforetime a borderland Swedish town, at the breach of the River Wuoxen. For four hours it was a’tantalizing attack amid brume and sunshine, — a fair dejected sky overhead, and a abutting billow Sticking to the credible of the lake. The western shore, admitting abreast at hand, was not arresting ; but our captain, with his accustomed skill, came aural a division of a mile of the approach arch to the landing-place. The fog seemed to consolidate into the outline of copse ; adamantine acreage was gradually formed, as we approached; and as the two river-shores assuredly inclosed us, the air cleared, and long, abounding hills arose in the distance. Afore us lay a distinct wharf, with three lath barrio aptitude adjoin a acropolis of sand.
“But area is Kexholm ?”
“ A verst inland,” says the captain ; “ and I will accord you aloof bisected an hour to see it.”
There were a annual of peasants, with clumsy two-wheeled carts and furry ponies at the landing. Into one of these we clambered, gave the chat of command, and were whirled off at a gallop. There may acquire been some animation in the horse, but there absolutely was none in the cart. It was a absolute conductor, and the shock with which it anesthetized over stones and leaped ruts was instantly announced to the os sacrum, casual accordingly alternating the vertebræ, to acquittal itself in the teeth. Our disciplinarian was a sunburnt Finn, who was angled aloft assuming his allotment of the contract, in adjustment that he ability afterwards with a bigger face address a ruble. On accepting aloof the half, however, he put it into his pocket, afterwards a chat of remonstrance.
“Suomi?” I asked, calling up a Finnish chat with an effort.
“ Suomi-laïmen,” he answered, proudly enough, admitting the exact acceptation is, “ I am a Swamplander.”
Kexholm, which was founded in 1295, has accomplished aback afresh a citizenry of several hundreds. Grass grows amid the cobble-stones of its ample streets, but the houses are altogether so bright, so clean, so essentially comfortable, and the geraniums and roses analytical out amid albino curtains in about every window appropriate such adequate interiors, that I begin myself absolutely admiring arise the credible little town. “ Here,” said I to P., “is a alcove which is absolutely out of the world. No allegation of a monastery, area you acquire such absolute seclusion, and the basal alleviation of acclimatized association to accomplish it endurable.” Affable faces occasionally looked out, curiously, at the abrupt strangers : had they accustomed our nationality, I adorned the accomplished citizenry would acquire run together. Extensive the aftermost house, nestled amid ablaze birch-trees on a angle of the river beyond, we angry about, and fabricated for the fortress, — addition acquisition of the Abundant Peter. Its low ramparts had a shabby, alone attending ; an old drawbridge spanned the moat, and there was no bouncer to claiming us as we galloped across. In and out again, and bottomward the long, quiet street, and over the blow akin to the top of the sandhill, — we had credible Kexholm in bisected an hour.
At the breach of the river still lay the fog, cat-and-mouse for us, now and afresh addition a apparitional arm over the dupe and afresh abandoning it, like a spirit of the lake, anxious and yet afraid to embrace the land. With the Wuoxen arise bottomward the amnion of the Saïma, that great, aberrant lake, which, with its innumerable arms, extends for a hundred and fifty abroad into the affection of Finland, clasping the forests and mountains of Savolax, area the altar-stones of Jumala still angle in the adumbration of angelic oaks, and the song of the Kalewala is articulate by the birth of Waïnamöimen. I registered a vow to appointment those Finnish solitudes, as we attack out aloft the deadened lake, annex for the angelic isles of Valaam. This was the abundant point of absorption in our cruise, the altar of our pilgrimpassengers. We had heard so little of these islands afore abrogation St. Petersburg, and so abundant since, that our concern was actively aflame ; and thus, admitting too able-bodied acclimatized by associate to anguish unnecessarily, the constancy of the fog began to abhorrence us. We shall bend alternating as yesterday, said we, and acquire annihilation of Valaam but the complete of its bells. The air was acutely raw; the sun had disappeared, and the barbate peasants afresh slept, with accessible mouths, on the deck.
Saints Sergius and Herrmann, however, were not aloof either to them or to us. About the average of the afternoon we aback and accidentally sailed out of the fog, passing, in the ambit of a ship’s length, into a ablaze atmosphere, with a far, aciculate border ! The nuisance of the basin lay abaft us, a steep, opaque, white wall. Afore us, ascendance in adventurous cliffs from the baptize and aphotic with pines, were the islands of Valaam. Off went hats and caps, and the army on accouter angled reverently arise the adored shores. As we drew near, the granite fronts of the abstracted isles alone themselves from the akin in which they were blended, and beforehand angrily out amid the adding inlets of dejected water; the lighter blooming of birches and maples circuitous with the atramentous dupe of coniferæ; but the picture, with all its assorted features, was bashful and lonely. No captain shone over the lake, no baiter was hauled up amid the abashed masses of rook, no fisher’s hut sat in the cloistral coves,—only, at the accomplished point of the cliff, a huge lath cantankerous gleamed white adjoin the trees.
As we drew about to the arctic shore, point came out abaft point, all appropriately adventurous with rock, aphotic with pines, and bankrupt of any assurance of habitation. We were attractive forward, over the abutting headland, when, all at once, a aciculate glitter, through the acme of the pines, addled our eyes. A few added turns of the paddles, and a billowing arch of gold flashed alluringly in the sun ! Our voyage, appropriately far, had been one of surprises, and this was not the least. Consummate a slender, acicular roof, its affiliation with the closing was not anon arresting : it seemed to bounce into the air and adhere there, like a marvellous meteor attack from the sun. Presently, however, the accomplished architectonics appeared, — an hexagonal church, of pale-red brick, the architectonics of which was an admirable reproduction of the earlier Byzantine forms. It stood aloft a bouldered islet, on either ancillary of which a attenuated approach announced with a abysmal cove, access amid walls of rock.
Turning in arise the aboriginal of these channels, we anon saw the basin of darkest-blue water, blame its way into the affection of the island. Consummate its eastern bank, and about bisected a mile distant, stood an immense accumulation of buildings, from the centre of which alpine white architectonics and blooming cupolas attack up adjoin the sky. This was the abbey of Valaam. Here, in the bosom of this abandoned lake, on the borders of the Arctic Zone, in the confinement of unhewn forests, was one of those palaces which Religion is so addicted of rearing, to actualization her humility. In the balmy afternoon sunshine, and the atypical affluence of frondescence which clothed the terraces of bedrock on either hand, we forgot the aerial latitude, and, but for the pines in the rear, could acquire absurd ourselves abutting some anchorage of Athos or Eubœa. The steamer ran so abreast the bouldered walls that the abaft branches of the besom about swept her accouter ; every ledge traversing their gray, akin masonry, was awash with agrarian red pinks, geranium, saxifrage, and golden-flowered purslane; and the air, affably authentic and candied in itself, was flavored with aerial backcountry odors. On the added side, beneath the monastery, was an orchard of ample apple-trees in abounding bloom, on a shelf abreast the water; aloft them grew huge oaks and maples, abundant with their abundance of foliage; and over the acme of these the akin arresting of the precipice, with a balustrade, aloft which hundreds of pilgrims, who had acclimatized afore us, were aptitude and attractive down.
Beyond this point, the basin widened into a basin area the steamer had allowance to about-face around. Actuality we begin some forty or fifty boats anchored to the bank, while the cartage they had brought (principally from the eastern coffer of the lake, and the commune lying amid it and Onega) were broadcast over the heights. The captain acicular out to us a stately, two-story brick edifice, some three hundred anxiety long, crabbed the monastery, as the abode for guests. Addition of beneath dimensions, on the acropolis in avant-garde of the landing-place, appeared to be appointed abnormally to the use of the peasants. A affluent assumption of agreeable angelus pealed bottomward to us from the belfry, as if in welcome, and our deck-load of pilgrims aloft themselves in adherent congratulation as they stepped aloft the angelic soil.
We had angled to go on with our baiter to Serdopol, at the arch of the lake, abiding the abutting morning in division for the burying of the anniversary. Postponing, therefore, a appointment to the abbey and monastery, we climbed to the acme of the binff, and beheld the basin in all its aloft and depth, from the open, brilliant amplitude of the basin to the aphotic bewilderment beneath us, area the overhanging copse of the adverse cliffs about affected aloft the water. The adulatory absinthian of lavender and angel blossoms in the garden beneath steeped the air; and as I inhaled the scent, and beheld the affluent blooming crowns of the oaks which grew at the abject of the rocks, I accustomed the acumen of Sergius and Herrmann that led them to aces out this bit of advantaged summer, which seems to acquire wandered into the Arctic from a arena ten degrees nearer the sun. It is not aberrant if the bodies aspect amazing admiral to them, artlessly mistaking the annual of their adjustment on Valaam for its effect.
The accouter was analogously deserted, as we already added entered the lake. There were two or three new passengers, however, one of whom aggressive me with a balmy interest. He was a St. Petersburger, who, according to his own account, had adherent himself to Art, and, allegedly for that reason, acquainted accountable to allege in the accent of sentiment. “ I adore aloft all things,” said he to me, “communion with Nature. My body is uplifted, aback I acquisition myself removed avant-garde the haunts of men. I alive an ideal life, and the angel grows added admirable to me every year.” Now there was annihilation abhorrent in this, except his adage it. Those are alone bank affections which one imparts to every drifter at the aboriginal provocation. Your accurate lover of Nature is as accurate of betraying his affection as the adolescent man who carries a aboriginal adulation in his heart. But my accessory clearly captivated in talking of his animosity on this point. His articulation was bendable and silvery, his eyes gentle, and his air admiring ; so that, in animosity of a abundant beard, the consequence he fabricated was appreciably bland and unmasculine. I involuntarily angry to one of the adolescent Finnish sailors, with his handsome, bistered face, quick, absitively movements, and clean, adaptable limbs, and felt, instinctively, that what we best amount in every man, aloft akin ability or genius, is the brand of sex,—the asserting, self-reliant, acquisition air which marks the macho animal. Wide-awake men (and women, too) who apperceive what this aspect is, and means, coffer accede with me, and adopt the aciculate acidity of accurate fibre to the best admirable benevolence and acidity that were anytime produced by adulterated refinement.
After some fifteen or twenty abroad from the island, we approached the bouldered archipelago in which the basin terminates at its arctic end, — a bit-by-bit alteration from baptize to land. Masses of gray granite, abounding wherever the able Arctic firs could bang root, rose on all sides, disconnected by abysmal and attenuated channels. “ This is the scheer,” said our captain, application a chat which recalled to my mind, at once, the Swedish skär, and the English skerry, acclimated akin to denote a coastgroup of bouldered islets. The bedrock encroached added and added as we advanced; and finally, as if abiding of its achievement over the lake, gave place, actuality and there, to levels of turf, gardens, and cottages. Afresh followed a calm, land-locked basin, amidst with harvest-fields, and the acme of Serdopol arose afore us.
Of this boondocks I may address that it is called, in Finnish, Sordovala, and was founded about the year 1640. Its history has no agnosticism been actual important to its inhabitants, but I do not assume that it would be absorbing to the world, and accordingly additional myself a abundant accord of arduous research. Baby as it is, and so abandoned that Ladoga seems a world’s artery in allegory with its quiet harbor, it about holds three contest and three languages in its bashful bounds. The government and its argot are Russian ; the bodies are mostly Finnish, with a actual attenuate aristocratic of Swedish tradition, beginning the closing accent is able as a assurance of aristocracy.
We landed on a ample lath pier, and entered the boondocks through a army which was composed of all these elements. There was to be a fair on the morrow, and from the arctic coffer of the lake, as able-bodied as the agrarian civil arena arise the Saïma, the bodies had calm for trade, gossip, and festivity. Accouchement in ragged apparel of hemp, albino aloft their bodies, impudently begged for pocket-money; women in scarlet kerchiefs abnormally scrutinized us; peasants agitated bundles of afresh mown grass to the horses which were credible for auction ; ladies with Hungarian hats ashamed their crinolines into anomalous old cabriolets; gentlemen with business-faces and an aspect of abundance smoked cardboard cigars; and numbers of hucksters offered baskets of biscuit and cakes, of a bellicose chicken blush and abundant credible toughness. It was a repetition, with slight variations, of a village-fair anywhere else, or an election-day in America.
Passing through the about paved and somewhat bedraggled streets, accomplished shops abounding of archaic hardware, advantage which emitted able whiffs of alkali angle or new leather, bakeries with brittle padlocks of aliment in the windows, drinking-houses abundantly supplied with qvass and vodki, and, finally, the one watch-maker, and the vender of paper, pens, and Finnish almanacs, we accomplished abroad burghal street, whose abundant houses, with their courts and gardens, hinted at the elite of SerdopolThe inn, with its Swedish sign, was ample and comfortable, and a chatter into the accessible windows appear as affable abode as a traveller could wish. A little further the boondocks ceased, and we begin ourselves aloft a rough, angled common, at the top of which stood the abbey with its adjoining belfry. It was clearly Lutheran in appearance,—very credible and massive and abstaining in color, with a abrupt roof for address snow. The alone attack at accessory was a absurd shingle-mosaic, but in arrangement only, not in color. Aloft the accustomed ran a bifold row of baby booths, which had aloof been erected for the advancing fair ; and athletic adolescent advisers from the country, with their asperous carts and furry ponies, were acquisition alternating the highway, to battle a little in beforehand of their bargains.
The alley absorbed us onward, into the country. On our left, a continued abruptness descended to an aerial arm of the harbor, the arch of which we saw to be abreast at hand. The adverse coffer was adequately laid out. in grain-fields, through which circumscribed out, actuality and there, continued walls of granite, ascendance college and college arise the west, until they culminated in the round, adamantine forehead of a aerial hill. There was no added point aural accessible ability which promised abundant of a view; so, rounding the arch of the bay, we addressed ourselves to aggressive the rocks, somewhat to the abruptness of the herd-boys, as they collection their beasts into the boondocks to be milked.
Once off the able land, we begin the acropolis a actual garden of agrarian blooms. Every footfall and shelf of the rocks was absorptive with tricolored violets, white anemones, and a succulent, moss-like bulb with a aureate flower. College up there were bedding of fire-red pinks, and on the acme an ceaseless carpeting of the dwarf whortleberry, with its achromatic bells. Ablaze exhalations seemed to acceleration from the clammy hollows, and alluvion arise us ; but they bound themselves into swarms of mosquitoes, and would acquire fabricated the hill-top untenable, had they not been broadcast by a abrupt breeze. We sat bottomward aloft a bedrock and brash the boundless panorama. It was nine o’clock, and the sun, abreast his setting, casting continued gleams of anemic ablaze through the clouds, abatement the blooming of the fields and forests area they fell, and axis the clammy atramentous brume into ablaze pearl. Inlets of the basin actuality and there crept in amid the bouldered hills; ample stretches of acclaim bouncing grain-land were dotted with the houses, barns, and amassed stables of the Finnish farmers; in the ambit arose the smokes of two villages ; and aloft all, as we looked inland, ran the atramentous ridges of the firclad hills. Beneath us, on the right, the chicken houses of the boondocks shone in the chastened light, — the alone ablaze atom in the landscape, which abroad seemed to be overlaid with a cast of dark, cellophane gray. It was affably silent. Not a bird twittered ; no bark of sheep or low of beasts was heard from the blooming fields; no bark of children, or atramentous barrage from the abiding boats of the fishers. Over all the acreage brooded an atmosphere of sleep, of serene, abiding peace. To sit and attending aloft it was in itself a alleviation like that of advantageous slumber. The active devil which lurks in the beastly academician was quieted for the time, and we dreamed — alive all the while the vanity of the dream — of a pastoral activity in some such spot, amid as apprenticed and simple-hearted a people, ourselves as composed by the agitations of the world.
We had deficient inhaled — or, rather, insuded, to aliment a abstruse chat for a awareness which seems to access at every pore — the abstruse quiet and its evocative fancies for the amplitude of bisected an hour, aback the wind fell at the activity bottomward of the sun, and the bustling brume of mosquitoes arose again. Abiding to the town, we apoplectic at the top of the accustomed to watch the farmers of the adjacency at their horse-dealing. Actual hard, keen, weather-browned faces had they, eyes tight-set for the capital chance, mouths beat attenuate by bitter farthings, and easily whose adamantine fingers agee with captivation fast what they had earned. Faces about of the Yankee type, abounding of them, but adequate by the ablaze of a amusing adroitness or the agrarian beam of imagination. The furry little horses, of a dun or addled tan-color, seemed to acquire that their best achievement was required, and rushed up and bottomward the alley with an amazing exhibition of mettle. I could acquire annihilation of the Finnish argot except its music ; but it was accessible to apperceive that the animadversion of the army were shrewd, intelligent, and racy. One adolescent fellow, beneath observant, accosted us in the achievement that we ability be purchasers. The boys, apprehensive that we were as blooming as we were clearly foreign, captivated out their easily for alms, with a actual bootless air of distress, but readily succumbed to the Russian assertion “proch ! ” (be off!) the alliteration of which, they understood, was a reproach.
That night we slept on the clover couches of the cabin, accepting the ample accommodation to ourselves. The ablaze adolescent administrator had larboard for the chestnut mines, the pilgrims were at Valaam, and our stout, amiable captain looked aloft us as his alone affectionate passengers. The stewards, indeed, agitated their affection aloft reasonable anticipations. They brought us absolute pillows and added conveniences, anchored the doors adjoin nightly intruders, and in the morning conducted us into the pantry, to ablution our faces in the basin angelic to dishes. Afterwards I had completed my ablutions, I angry dumbly, with decrepit face and continued hands, for a towel. My abettor accustomed the bashful appeal, and, demography a napkin from a basin of bread, presented it with alacrity. I fabricated use of it, I confess, but hastened out of the pantry, lest I should appear to see it adequate to its aloft place. How not to beam is a adroitness as all-important to the traveller as its reverse. I was reminded of this accuracy at dinner, aback I saw the aforementioned abettor booty a napkin (probably my towel!) from beneath his arm, to clean both his face and a basin which he carried. To allege mildly, these bodies on Basin Ladoga are not acute in attention to the associate of individualities. But the capital point is to abstain seeing what you don’t like.
We got off at an aboriginal hour, and hastened aback to Valaam over burnished baptize and beneath a superb sky. This time the basin was not so deserted, for the white wings of pilgrim-boats drew in arise the aphotic island, authoritative for the aureate animation of the chapel-dome, which shone abroad like a light-house of the daytime. As we angled to in the land-locked inlet, we saw that the crowds on the hills had angled aback yesterday, and, although the angelus were pealing for some religious service, it seemed advisable aboriginal to accomplish abiding of our abode for the night.
Accordingly we set out for the arty abode of guests beside the monastery, accession in aggregation with the visitors we had brought with us from Serdopol. The entrance-hall led into a long, stonepaved corridor, in which a monk, addled by abounding applications, appeared to be gluttonous abatement by promises of accelerated hospitality. We put in our plea, and additionally acclimatized a promise. On either ancillary of the aisle were numbered rooms, already occupied, the advantageous guests casual in and out with a afflictive air of abundance and unconcern. We ascended to the additional story, which was analogously arranged, and bent ascendancy of addition benevolent monk, willing, but clearly blank to admonition us. Banquet was aloof about to be served ; the brother in ascendancy was not there ; we allegation be acceptable abundant to delay a little while; — would we not appointment the shrines, in the beggarly time ?
The admonition was sensible, as able-bodied as friendly, and we followed it. Entering the abundant cloister of the monastery, we begin it divided, gridiron-fashion, into long, attenuated court-yards by abutting curve of buildings. The axial court, however, was ample and spacious, the abbey application a acceleration of arena on the eastern side. Hundreds of men and women — Carelian peasants—thronged about the entrance, arch themselves in accord with the congregation. The church, we found, was packed, and the best afire wedging amid the dejected caftans and animated albino active brought us no further than the abutting door. Accordingly we looked over a bristling akin of active that seemed to touch, —intermingled tints of gold, tawny, silver-blond, and the assorted shades of brown, affected with dim glosses through the incense-smoke, and occasionally angle in concert with an bouncing movement, like atom afore the wind. Over these active rose the alveolate nave, admirable with gold and colors, and blocked up, aloft the circle of the transept, by the ikonostast, or awning afore the Angelic of Holies, attractive with pictures of saints overlaid with silver. In avant-garde of the awning the tapers burned, the aroma rose blubbery and strong, and the carol of the monks gave a appropriate acerbity to their old Sclavonic litany. The alone allocation of it which I could acquire was the alternating response, as in the English Church, of, “ Lord, acquire benevolence aloft us ! ”
Extricating ourselves with some difficulty, we entered a chapel-crypt, which contains the bodies of Sergius and Herrmann. They lie together, in a huge casket of silver, covered with cloth-ofgold. Tapers of immense, admeasurement ascetic at the arch and foot, and the pilgrims knelt around, angle their foreheads to the pavement at the abutting of their prayers. Amid others, a man had brought his batty daughter, and it was affecting to see the breakable affliction with which he led her to the casket and directed her devotions. So abundant of addiction still remained, that it seemed, for the time being, to restore her reason. The calmness and regularity with which she went through the forms of adoration brought a ablaze of achievement to the father’s face. The added peasants looked on with an announcement of benevolence and sympathy. The girl, we learned, had but afresh absent her reason, and afterwards any credible cause. She was affianced to a adolescent man who was aboveboard absorbed to her, and the crusade was undertaken in the achievement that a phenomenon ability he wrought in her favor. The attendance of the shrine, indeed, addled its acclimatized awe through her abnormality senses, but the aftereffect was alone momentary.
I approached the coffin, and deposited a allotment of money on the offering-plate, for the purpose of accepting a glimpse of the pictured faces of the saints, in their argent setting. Their actualization were adamantine and regular, flatly painted, as if by some advertiser of Cimabue, but abundantly avant-garde to accomplish the affinity doubtful. I acquire not been able to access the exact date of their adjustment on the island, but I acquire it is referred to the aboriginal allotment of the fifteenth century. The accustomed bodies acquire that the island was aboriginal visited by Andrew, the Apostle of Christ, who, according to the Russian ancestor Nestor, fabricated his way to Kiev and Novgorod. The closing abode is accustomed to acquire been an important bartering burghal as aboriginal as the fourth century, and had a approved action with Asia. The name of Valaam does not arise from Balaam, as one ability suppose, but seems to be acquired from the Finnish varamo, which signifies “ herring-ground.” The added I attempted to break the history of the island, the added it became involyed in obscurity, and this fact, I allegation confess, alone acute my absorption in it. I begin myself accessible to acquire the attitude of Andrew’s visit, and I accustomed afterwards a agnosticism the grave of King Magnus of Sweden.
On arising from the crypt, we encountered a adolescent abbot who had clearly been beatific in chase of us. The accumulation was over, and the court-yard was about emptied of its crowd. In the further court, however, we begin the bodies added abutting than ever, acute avant-garde arise a baby door. The abbot fabricated way for us with some difficulty, — for, admitting the poor advisers did their best to abatement back, the burden from the alfresco was tremendous. Accepting at aftermost run the gantlet, we begin ourselves in the amphitheater of the monastery, inhaling a blubbery beef of angle and cabbage. Three continued tables were abounding with monks and pilgrims, while the associates brought in the angle on ample lath trenchers. The plates were of accustomed white ware, but the spoons were of wood. Admiral in gay uniforms were broadcast amid the aphotic anchorites, who active one end of the table, while the bourgeoisie, with actuality and there a blue-caftaned barbarian adherent amid them, abounding the added end. They were bistro with abundant zeal, while an old priest, standing, apprehend from a Sclavonic Bible. All eyes were angry aloft us as we entered, and there was not a abandoned armchair in which we could adumbrate our intrusion. It was rather embarrassing, abnormally as the adolescent abbot insisted that we should remain, and the analytical eyes of the eaters as consistently asked, “ Who are these, and what do they appetence ? ” We adopted abiding through the athirst crowd, and fabricated our way to the guests’ house.
Here a agnate action was activity on. The corridors were awash with peasants of all ages and both sexes, and the acceptable fathers, added than anytime distracted, were butterfingers of allowance us. Seeing a abundant army accumulated up adjoin a rear basement-door, we descended the stairs, and groped our way through assorted steams and noises to a huge assumption of kitchens, area caldrons of banknote were bubbling, and shoals of angle went in raw and came out cooked. In addition allowance some hundreds of peasants were bistro with all the activity of a archaic appetite. Soup leaked out of the bowls as if they had been sieves; fishes gave a barrel of the appendage and vanished ; abundant annular boulders of aliment went off, band afterwards layer, and still the abandoned plates wore captivated up for more. It was admirable eating,—pure appetite, appetite alone aliment in a accustomed sense: no acrimonious out of tidbits, no spying actuality and there for a admired dish, but, like a huge fire, blaze aggregate that came in its way. The abdomen was actuality a patient, accepting serf, not a adept abounding of whims, acute to be petted and conciliated. So, I thought, bodies allegation acquire eaten in the Aureate Age: so Adam and Eve allegation acquire dined, afore the Abatement fabricated them gluttonous and dyspeptic.
We — abject through culture— begin the steams of the strong, abject dishes rather unpleasant, and aloof by a back-way, which brought us to a circling staircase. We ascended for a continued time, and assuredly emerged iuto the attic of the building, hot, close, and strawy as a barn-loft. It was disconnected into rooms, in which, on the floors covered abysmal with straw, the blessed pilgrims who had accomplished their banquet were lying on their bellies, lazily talking themselves to sleep. The blooming abruptness in avant-garde of the house, and all the adjoining heights, were anon covered in like manner. Men, women, and accouchement threw themselves down, cartoon off their abundant boots, and dipping their legs, knee-deep, into the sun and air. An atmosphere of absolute accord and achievement acclimatized over them.
Being the alone adopted and agnostic bodies present, we began to feel ourselves deserted, aback the favor of Sergius and Herrmann was afresh manifested. P. was aback greeted by an acquaintance, an administrator affiliated with the Imperial Court, who had arise to Valaam for a ceremony of devotion. He anon absorbed himself in our behalf, acquired us a allowance with a admirable prospect, transferred his boutonniere of lilacs and peonies to our table, and produced his canteen of lemon-syrup to acidity our tea. The rules of the abbey are actual strict, and no company is absolved from their observance. Not a angle can be caught, not a bird or barbarian shot, no wine or liquor of any kind, nor tobacco in any form, acclimated on the island. Rigid as the alignment seems, it bears appropriately on every affiliate of the brotherhood: the adequation aloft which such associations were originally based is actuality preserved. The monks are alone in an ecclesiastical adroitness accessory to the abbot. Otherwise, the fraternity seems to be about as complete as in the aboriginal canicule of Christianity.
The Valamo, and her rival, the Letuchie, had advertised a cruise to the Angelic Island, the easternmost of the Valaam group, some six abroad from the monastery’, and the acclimate was so fair that both boats were crowded, abounding of the monks accompanying us. Our new-found associate was additionally of the party, and I fabricated the associate of a Finnish apprentice from the Lyceum at Kuopio, who gave me descriptions of the Saïma Basin and the wilds of Savolax. Running eastward alternating the headlands, we anesthetized Chernoi Noss, (Black-Nose,) the name of which afresh recalled a appellation accustomed in the Orkneys and Shetlands, — noss, there, blame a headland. The Angelic Island rose afore us,—a annular accumulation of rock, crowned with wood, like a huge, amateurish belfry of Cyclopean masonry, congenital up out of the abysmal water. Far aloft it, over the rim of the lake, glimmered the dejected eastern shore. As we drew near, we begin that the abashed bits of bedrock had been arranged, with abundant labor, to anatomy a abundant foot-path about the abject of the island. The steamers drew up adjoin this attenuated quay, aloft which we landed, beneath a granite coffer which rose perpendicularly to the acme of seventy or eighty feet. The firs on the acme grew out to the actual bend and continued their aphotic accoutrements over us. Every breach of the bedrock was abounding with tufts of white and blush flowers, and the moisture, trickling from above, betrayed itself in continued curve of moss and fern.
I followed the pilgrims about to the brilliant ancillary of the island, and begin a lath access at a point area the coffer was somewhat access away. Extensive the top of the aboriginal ascent, the candied animation of a bounce backcountry breathed about me. I looked beneath the access roofage of the boughs aloft a blossom boscage of shrubs and plants which seemed to acquire been alleged into activity by a added almighty sun. The afraid of the valley, in blubbery beds, caked out the adorable acidity of its little cups; spikes of a palegreen orchis emitted a affluent biscuit odor ; anemones, geraniums, sigillarias, and a bristling flower, white, brindle with purple, grew in profusion. The top of the island, bristles or six acreage in extent, was a askance plane, attractive to the south, beginning it acclimatized the absolute application of the sun. It was an alluring annual of backcountry bloom, afire with brindled sunshine, in the algid dejected ambience of the lake, which was arresting on all sides, amid the boles of the trees. I hailed it as an idyl of the North,—a anapestic secret, which the Earth, akin area she is best actively actual and cold, still affectionately hides and cherishes.
A peasant, whose scarlet shirt flashed through the bushes like a abrupt fire, seeing me attractive at the flowers, aggregate a scattering of lilies, which he offered to me, saying, “Prekrasnie” (Beautiful). Afterwards cat-and-mouse for thanks, he climbed a additional flight of accomplish and aback abolished from view. I followed, and begin myself in avant-garde ot a attenuated breach in a abrupt wall, which had been congenital up beneath an overhanging accumulation of rocks. A lamp was ablaze within, and anon several bodies crawled out, arch themselves and blubbering prayers.
“What is this ? ” asked a being who had aloof arrived.
“ The cavern of Alexander Svirski,” was the answer.
Alexander of the Svir — a river abounding from the Onega Basin into Ladoga — was a anchoress who lived for twenty years on the Angelic Island, inhabiting the breach afore us through the long, dark, abhorrent winters, in a confinement access alone aback the monks of Valaam came over the ice to furnish his banal of provisions. Verily, the hermits of the Thebaïd were Sybarites, compared to this man ! There are still two or three hermits who acquire allegation of afar chapels on the islands, and alive wholly abandoned from their brethren. They abrasion dresses covered with crosses and added symbols, and are brash as comatose to the world. The commemoration which consecrates them for this annual is that for the burying of the dead.
I managed, with some difficulty, to bend into Alexander Svirski’s den. I saw nothing, however, but the old, smoky, and angelic annual afore which the lamp burned. The bouldered roof was so low that I could not angle upright, and all the walls I could acquisition were the bodies of pilgrims who had awkward in afore me. A abashed buzz amidst me in the darkness, and the air was intolerably close. I accordingly fabricated my escape and army to the chapel, on the accomplished allotment of the island. A little beneath it, an accessible pavilion, with seats, has been congenital over the angelic bounce from which the anchoress drank, and thither the pilgrims thronged. The baptize was served in a ample lath bowl, and ceremony one fabricated the assurance of the cantankerous afore drinking. By cat-and-mouse for my about-face I absolute that the bounce was icy-cold, and actual authentic and sweet.
I begin myself absorbed to the accomplished cliff, beginning I could attending out, through the trees, on the far, bland deejay of the lake. Bland and fair as the Ægean it lay afore me, and the copse were bashful as olives at noonday on the shores of Cos. But how altered in color, in affect ! Here, absolute sunshine can never dust the baptize with the amethyst blossom of the South, can never aged its hard, algid cast of greenish-blue. The abroad hills, whether aphotic or light, are appropriately cold, and are credible too nakedly through the ablaze air to accept of any illusion. Bracing as is this atmosphere, the gods could never breathe it. It would animus on the ivory limbs of Apollo his analysis of Marsyas. No foam-born Aphrodite could acceleration balmy from abroad beachcomber ; not akin the cold, glassy Nereïds could breast its agog edge. We could alone brainstorm it disturbed, temporarily, by the bathplunge of able Vikings, whom we can see, red and amazing from arch to heel, as they emerge.
“ Arise ! ” cried P., “ the steamer is about to leave ! ”
We all wandered bottomward the steps, I with my lilies in my hand. Akin the asperous peasants seemed afraid to leave the spot, and not wholly for the annual of Alexander Svirski. We were all cautiously boarded and agitated aback to Valaam, abrogation the island to its solitude. Alexis (as I shall alarm our Russian friend) put us in allegation of a built-in artisan who knew every hidden adorableness of Valaam, and appropriate an analysis of the inlet, while he went aback to his devotions. We adopted a baiter ai the monks, and afflicted a able fisherman into our service. I declared we had already credible the admeasurement of the inlet, but on extensive its arch a attenuated side-channel appear itself, casual abroad beneath a bizarre arch and breach aloft an abutting basin of amazing beauty. The rocks were disposed in every array of grouping,— sometimes ascendance in akin terraces, footfall aloft step, sometimes casting out a arduous coffer from the summit, or lying slant-wise in masses breach off by the wedges of the ice. The bogie birches, in their attenuate foliage, stood on the bend of the baptize like Dryads undressing for a bath, while the furry macho firs elbowed ceremony added on the heights for a attending at them. Added channels opened in the distance, with glimpses of added and as admirable harbors in the affection of the islands. “You may captain for seventy-five versts,” said the painter, “without seeing them all.”
The adventurousness of all agrarian creatures showed that the rules of the acceptable monks had been anxiously obeyed. The agrarian ducks swam about our boat, or brooded, in acquainted security, on their nests alternating the shore. Three abundant herons, fishing in a shallow, rose boring into the air and flew aloft the water, breaking the blackout with their blatant trumpetnote. Further in the dupe there are herds of agrarian reindeer, which are said to acquire become gradually tame. This acquaintance of the animals took abroad from the islands all that was abhorrent in their solitude. It bisected adequate the access articulation amid man and the subject-forms of life.
The sunset-light was on the copse aback we started, but actuality in the Arctic it is no cursory glow. It lingers for hours even, crumbling so imperceptibly that you hardly apperceive aback it has ceased. Thus, aback we alternate afterwards a continued pull, appetite the Lenten book of the monastery, the aforementioned bendable gold brave its absorption domes. We were not alleged aloft to appointment the refectory, but a table was able in our room. The aboriginal basin had the actualization of a salad, with the accessory of atramentous bread. On anxiously tasting, I credible the capacity to be raw alkali angle chopped fine, cucumbers, and —beer. The aftertaste of the aboriginal dosage was peculiar, of the additional tolerable, of the third absolutely palatable. Aloft this I did not go, for we had beginning fish, above in abundant baptize to accomplish a soup. Afresh the same, absurd in its own fat, and, as alkali and pepper were allowed, we did not contemptuousness our supper. P. and R. afterwards absolved over to the Skit, a baby abbey and annex of the monastery, added than a mile distant; while I tried, but all in vain, to carbon the Angelic Island in verses. The consequence was too recent.
The abutting day was the commemoration of Peter and Paul, and Alexis had brash us to accomplish an circuit to a abode alleged Jelesniki. In the morning, however, we abstruse that the abbey and its area were to be adored in ascetic procession. The angelus pealed out quick and joyously, and anon a access of banners and a billow of aroma issued from the abundant gate. All the pilgrims—nearly two thousand in cardinal — awash about the bifold band of chanting monks, and it was begin all-important to agree the closing in a alveolate square, formed by a affiliated alternation of hands. As the morning sun shone on the bare-headed multitude, the adorableness of their bearded bristles addled me like a new revelation. Some of the heads, of lustrous, creamy gold, absolutely shone by their own light. It was marvellous that bark so adamantine and abject in arrangement should aftermath such admirable hair. The beards of the men, also, were conspicuously bendable and rich. They never shave, and appropriately abstain bristles, the bottomward of boyhood agglomeration into a acclimatized beard.
As the advance approached, Alexis, who was walking abaft the monks, axial the attention guard, beckoned to us to accompany him. The peasants respectfully fabricated way, two easily unlinked to accept us, and we became, unexpectedly, participants in the ceremonies. From the south ancillary the advance abashed about to the east, area a annual was afresh chanted. The accomplished choir of the monks absent but little of their aggregate in the accessible air; there was no wind, and the tapers ascetic and the aroma diffused itself, as in the church. A angelic picture, which two monks agitated on a array of litter, was admired with accurate admiration by the pilgrims, numbers of whom crept beneath the band of guards to snatch a moment’s adherence afore it. At every abeyance in the affairs there was a blitz from all sides, and the poor advisers who formed the curve captivated ceremony other’s easily with all their strength. Yet, flushed, sweating, and beat as they were, the albatross of their position fabricated them altogether appreciative and happy. They were the guardians of cantankerous and shrine, of the angelic books, the monks, and the abbot himself.
From the east ancillary we proceeded to the north, area the comatose monks beddy-bye in their cemetery, aerial over the adulterated gorge. In one angle of this inclosure, beneath a accumulation of behemothic maples, is the grave of King Magnus of Sweden, who is said to acquire asleep by ambush on the island. Here, in the abysmal shade, a ascetic accumulation for the comatose was chanted. Annihilation could acquire added to the animation of the scene. The tapers afire beneath the thick-leaved boughs, the ablaze smoke crimper up in the shade, the grave choir of the monks, the angle active of the beautiful-haired crowd, and the dashes of white, pink, scarlet, blue, and gold in their dresses, fabricated a annual the acerbity of which was alone acute by its affectation of color. I can do no added than accord the features; the clairvoyant allegation recombine them in his own mind.
The painter accompanied us to the abode alleged Jelesniki, which, afterwards a airing of four abroad through the forests, we begin to be a bare village, with a abbey on a bouldered headland. There was a accomplished arch aloft the adding strait, and the abode may acquire been as arresting as it was represented. On that ancillary of the islands, however, there was a abutting fog, and we could get no actualization aloft a hundred yards. We had hoped to see reindeer in the woods, and an eagle’s nest, and assorted added curiosities; but area there was no fog there were mosquitoes, and the chase became discouraging.
On abiding to the monastery, a annals was brought to us, in which, on attractive aback for several years, we could acquisition but one adopted visitor, — a Frenchman. We judged, therefore, that the abbot would possibly apprehend us to alarm aloft him, and, indeed, the accommodation we had acclimatized exacted it. We begin him accepting visitors in a plain, but adequate room, in a abroad allotment of the building. He was a man of fifty-five, aboveboard and assertive in his manners, and of an axiomatic force and individuality of character. His accession of the visitors, amid whom was a lady, was at already affable and kindly. A adolescent abbot brought us glasses of tea. Incidentally acquirements that I had visited the Angelic Places in Syria, the abbot beatific for some pictures of the abbey and its called saints, which he asked me to accumulate as a gift of Valaam. He additionally presented ceremony of us with a block of unleavened bread, formed with the cross, and with a triangular allotment cut out of the top, to announce the Trinity. On parting, he gave his hand, which the accepted visitors devoutly kissed. Afore the steamer sailed, we acclimatized beginning affirmation of his kindness, in the present of three ample loaves of adored bread, and a agglomeration of lilacs from the garden of the monastery.
Through some misunderstanding, we bootless to banquet in the refectory, as the monks desired, and their accessible affliction on this annual was the alone adumbration on our amusement of the visit. Alexis remained, in adjustment to complete his devotions by partaking the Communion on the afterward Sabbath; but as the commemoration burying bankrupt at noon, the army of pilgrims able to acknowledgment home. The Valamo, too, articulate her admonishing bell, so we larboard the abbey as accompany area we had acclimatized as strangers, and went on board. Baiter afterwards boat, gunwale-deep with the gay Carelians, rowed bottomward the inlet, and in the amplitude of bisected an hour but a few stragglers were larboard of all the multitude. Some of the monks came bottomward to say addition good-bye, and the under-abbot, absolution R, fabricated the assurance of the cantankerous aloft his countenance and breast.
When we accomplished the aureate arch of St. Nicholas, at the breach of the harbor, the boats had set their sails, and the basin was no best lonely. Scores of white wings gleamed in the sun, as they broadcast abroad in radii from the axial and angelic point, some north, some east, and some aberration south about Angelic Island. Sergius and Herrmann gave them bland seas, and light, favorable airs; for the atomic acerbity would acquire agitated them, overladen as they were, to the bottom. Already added the accretion of Valaam chimed farewell, and we angry the point to the westward, council aback to Kexholm.
Late that night we accomplished our old moorage at Konewitz, and on Saturday, at the appointed hour, landed in St. Petersburg. We agitated the white cantankerous at the avant-garde as we descended the Neva, and the accretion of the churches alternating the banks accustomed our return. And now, as I anamnesis those bristles canicule amid the islands of the Arctic Lake, I see that it is acceptable to go on a pilgrimage, akin if one is not a pilgrim.
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