World of Warcraft in Moldavia and Wallachia, text from 1854

Posted on April 10th, 2008 by admin and filed under Uncategorized


Beyond railways, beyond diligences, beyond post-chaises, out of the track of travellers, but full in the high road of conquest from the north to the south, lie the sister provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia, which, for shortness, some are accustomed to desiguale аs Moldo-Wallachia. Their names have become notorious of late by taking place in the vocabulary of political writers and speakers ; but it may be doubted — certain vague statistics set apart — whether in most men’s minds any ideas at all are connected with them. When we talk of Paris we picture to ourselves the Place de la Concorde or the Boulevards ; an allusion to Berlin implies a recollection of Under the Linden Trees ; to Naples of the Strada di Toledo; but who thinks of the Pô de Mogochoya at mention of Bucharest, or has any associations whatever with Curt d’Argis and Kimpolongo? Let us try to connect a few images, a few forms, a few colours, with these words. This is the best way to extend our sympathies in that direction.

Moldo-Wallachia is little more than a huge farm giving employment to some three or four millions of labourers. It is not, however, a farm laid out on the principles of Mr. Mechi, but an eastern backwoods farm, very vast and straggling ; here and there cut up by patches of original desert and extents of primitive forests, made rugged by spurs of mountains and watered by boisterous rivers, navigable for the most part only by fallen trees. These rivers flow from the Carpathian mountains which divide the country to the northward from Austria, and fall into the Danube, which divides it from Turkey. There is a kind of postern-gate to the East, ill-closed by the Pruth, a river that has often been mentioned this year. In neither of the Principalities are there many roads worthy of the name. The cities, villages, or farming sections are generally connected only by tracks and bridle-paths.

The geological construction of Moldo-Wallachia is essentially volcanic. Its mountains contain many craters frequently in a state of eruption. Sulphur and bitumen are plentiful. In some parts little spurts of liquid metal arc seen, from time to time, breaking from the schistous rocks, flowing a little way like melted lead, and then condensing to the hardness of iron. In various places of late years, miniature volcanoes have been known to start up from the ground and flame bravely for a few days amidst corn-fields and pasturage. The Prathova river in certain parts of its course becomes tepid or hot, or even boiling, according as it flows or not over subterranean galleries of fire. Earthquakes are frequent. It is not long, since nearly the whole of the city of Bucharest was destroyed — Pô de Mogochoya, and all. The shock was felt whilst the principal inhabitants were at the theatre listening to one of the dramas of Victor Hugo. Many persons perished, and an immense amount of property was of course lost. In the countries, however, that are subject to these epileptic fits of nature, such accidents are quickly forgotten and their consequences repaired. They serve, indeed, the purpose of revolutions or sanitary bills in more civilised lands, Bucharest, at any rate, like Paris and London, has been induced to widen its through fares and improve the build of its houses.

in: The Anglo-American Magazine, 1854, vol. IV, p. 195

Posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2008 at 7:41 PM and is filed under Uncategorized. RSS 2.0 feed.