„Obecny stan Rosji”

Samuel Collins (1619 in Braintree – 26 October 1670 in Paris) was a British doctor and author. Collins was a personal physician to Alexis I of Russia in 1659–1666 and the author of The Present State of Russia (= Obecny Stan Rosji) printed in London in 1667. …

Collins practiced such remedies as Deer horns, Moose hoofs and Hare hair (Latin: Cor.cervi, ungul.Al., pil. Lepor), apparently with success. Collins resigned from Russian service 28 June 1666 with honours and a generous pay and immediately left for England. There he compiled his notes on life in Muscovy into The Present State of Russia In a Letter to a Friend in London. Collins declared that he deliberately had not used any written sources, pretending that no man of his intelligence and capabilities has ever traveled to Moscow. Modern analysis corroborated this claim.”

Oto kilka fragmentów, za Marshallem Poe:

„CHAP. XX.

What the simpler sort of Russians are, their Idolatry and ignorance, what they think of St. Nicholas, their high conceit of good works. They are great Rogues. Some are good among them. The Poles are not so barbarous as the Russes. The Poles characteriz’d, their Laws, their King how stiled, he is very magnificent. King Henry weary of the title; How he made shift to get away out of Poland.

…Such as have improv’d their parts by conversing with Strangers, are more civiliz’d; yea those who have seen the Polish way of living, which though I cannot much admire, yet surely ’tis not so barbarous as the Russian; for they have a way to improve their wits by Learning, which they are debar’d in Muscovia ; and may travel out of their own Countrey, a thing prohibited to the Russians.

Notwithstanding all these improvements, they are a scurvy nasty Nation as ever I convers’d with, proud and insolent, hugely self-conceited, alwaies extolling their own Countrey above all others, vain and prodigal in their expences before company, gawdy in their Apparel, rich in their Horses and Trappings, civil and hospitable to Strangers, till they have seen all their pomp, and have been drunk twice or thrice, and then like Welshmen they are willing to be rid of them. They are greater Drinkers than the Russes, and so quarrelsome in their drink, as few Gentlemen are seen without some eminent scars, which they wear as badges of honour gotten in the wars of Bacchus.

Their Laws are the most barbarous of any people living, for homicide is satisfi’d by a pecuniary mulct, a Crown (as I remember) for killing a Peasant, and so higer according to the quality of the person. …As for mine own part I had rather be a Peasant in France, than King in Poland. …

This Summer a Jew turn’d Persian Mahometan, and an Interpreter to the Persian Merchants, came in their behalf with a loud complaint against Nashockin for a business depending in the Embassadors Precause, or Court. To whom the Czar replied, saying, I have left Nashockin to determine all affairs of Merchants, let him do you Justice, but if I find your Interpreters complaint impertinent, I shall place all my displeasure on his back; and so it prov’d, whereupon he was graced with thirty good ashes laid on in order like red tape upon tawny leather, and doubtless they will out-last the best Garment he hath: For their whippings are very keen, and cut to the bone.

The Jews of late are strangely crept into the City and Court by means of a Jewish Chyrurgion (pretendedly baptiz’d Lutheran) who assists Bogdan Matfeidg** (Steward of the Houshold) in his amours, and supplies him with Polish handmaids, he being bred up in Poland. But his Lady (as she had good cause) being jealous of these handsome Slaves which her Husband kept, some in his Gardens, and some in his House, became a burthen unto him; they therefore one night last Winter brought her some Dainties, which she eat, and was merry after it, but in the morning was found dead in her bed. Others say ’twas a poysoned glass of wine they gave her, which cured her of all diseases. This caused much grumbling among the Commons, and since that time the Czar has urged him to marry, and abandon that wicked life he led with his Polish Doxies, or else he should his place. ‚Twas said he would take one of his Mistresses for his wife. This Bogdan is the Czars great Favourite, Lord High Steward, and regulates all domestick Affairs. He was bred up from a child with the Czar, and is of the same age. They call him the whispering Favourite, because when ever he come to Council, he acts behind the Door. Nashockin is no friend to him [In many things N. anticipated Peter the Great. He was, in fact, the first Russian chancellor.]; nor he to the English, being better suppli’d with money from the Dutch. …

English Cloth is a Drug, because dearer than the Dutch, which though slight, and shrinks a sixth part in wetting, yet the Russians like it, because they say none but new cloth will shrink, but we are too blame for not fitting them with the like. Again, we keep our old trade of Cloth, but they bring Silks, and all manner of pedlary ware, which vends better than cloth, the which grows now much out of Fashion. Sed si populus vult decipi, decipiatur. If the Persian and Indian Silk trade prevail in Russia, the Czar, I fear will think it too great a boon to restore the English Immunities, and ’twill be as hard for them to regain their priviledges, as it was for Pharoahs people to drive their Chariots through the Red Sea, when their wheels fell off.

As I have nothing to say against the magnificence, splendor, clemency and virtue of the Czars own person, So I have no reason to recommend the Russes integrity, for the generality of them are falfe, Truce-breakers, subtile Foxes, and ravenous Wolves, much altered, since their traffick with the Hollander, by whom they have much improv’d themselves in villany and deceit.

The Dutch, like Locusts, swarm in Mosco, and eat bread out of the English-mens mouths, they are more in number, and richer, and spare no gifts to attain their ends; whereas the English depending on their old priviledges, think ’tis enough to say with the Jews, We have Abraham to our Father, we are English men, do us right, or we will complain: But the Russians are of Solomons opinion, that money answers all things.

If we would out-do the Dutch Trade, it must not be driven on by such as take up Goods upon trust and time, as it has been these twenty years last past. At present they come like Locusts out of the bottomless pit, and so they do all the world over, where there as a Sun-shine of gain. In Russia they are better accepted than the English, because they gratifie the Nobility with gifts, which they will have if they lend any assistance.

The Hollanders have another advantage, by rendring the English cheap and ridiculous by their lying pictures, and libelling pamphlets, this makes the Russian think us a ruined Nation. They represent us by a Lyon painted with three Crowns revers’d and without a tail, and by many Mastive Dogs, whose ears are cropt and tails cut off. With many such scandalous prints, being more ingenious in the use of their Pencils than peas. These stories take much with barbarous people, when no body to present to contradict them…

It would not be impertinent, in my opinion, if some intelligent person in Moscua should represent the state of his Majesty of Great Britains Kingdoms, Forces and Territories to the best advantage, and also his Colonies in the West Indies, with all their Revenues, and drawing a Map of the aforesaid places, present it to Afanasy Nashockin, to breed in him an opinion of his Brittish Majesties real greatness which the Dutch have so much extenuated. Bogdan Matfoidg the Chamber Favourite should not be neglected neither. He fancies rarities, and therefore should be presented with some. For as Nashockin maintains reason of State, so Bogdan must be the man to procure the Czars personal affection towards his Majestry of Great Brittain. The Russes are very proud of, and much pleased, with the honourable peace they have made with Poland, and now think no Nation superiour for they are never good natur’d but when they are either beaten or bribed.”

__

**) „Khitrovo was related through his mother to the powerful Fyodor Rtishchev, with whom he shared a keen interest in Western culture and a penchant for philanthropy. He led Russian forces during a prolonged war with Poland and took part in the negotiations that led to the Treaty of Andrusovo. …

As Rtischev eschewed publicity, the true extent of his influence on the Tsar’s policies has been disputed by historians. It is thought that it was Rtischev who instigated the revision of service-books which led to the Great Schism of the Russian Orthodox Church. Some scholars also hold him responsible for the eventual downfall of Patriarch Nikon.

During the great famine in Vologda (1650), Rtischev sold much of his property, including clothes and house utensils, in order to raise funds for the famine-stricken city. He took care for all the wounded in the Russo-Polish wars, notwithstanding their nationality, and established several alms-houses in Moscow. …

He was renowned for his eloquence, energy, piety and close ties to Tsar Alexis of Russia. Nikon introduced many reforms which eventually led to a lasting schism known as Raskol in the Russian Orthodox Church. For many years he was a dominant political figure, often equaling or even overshadowing the Tsar. His liturgical reforms were unpopular among conservatives. …

In the wake of the Times of Trouble, the members believed the problems of the time were the manifestation of a wrathful God, angry with the Russian people’s lack of religiosity. The group called for the rebirth of the Russian Orthodox faith, and a renewal of the religious piety of the masses. This group included Fyodor Rtishchev, Abbot Ivan Neronov of the Kazan Cathedral, Protopope Avvakum, and others.

In 1649, Nikon became metropolitan of Great Novgorod. He was given some special privileges there. During his tenure, a riot started in the city, and Nikon was severely beaten by the mobs. Nevertheless, he managed to resolve the matters peacefully, by leading a religious procession against the rioters. …

Nikon był również czynnie zaangażowany w bieżącą politykę państwa: częściowo z jego inicjatywy Rosja prowadziła wojnę z Rzecząpospolitą, następnie ze Szwecją. Celem aktywności patriarchy na tym polu była budowa prawosławnego imperium, w którym wiodącą rolę miał odgrywać Kościół oraz działający w porozumieniu z nim car.

Od 1648 Nikon należał już do najbliższego otoczenia cara Aleksego I. Ze względu na znaczenie Monasteru Nowospasskiego regularnie spotykał się z władcą i wiele z nim rozmawiał. Zaczął również zyskiwać w społeczeństwie opinię protektora biednych, gotowego pośredniczyć przed carem w sprawach najuboższych i skrzywdzonych, co faktycznie czynił. W początkowym okresie swojego przebywania w otoczeniu cara archimandryta nie miał jeszcze jednak wpływu na kluczowe dla polityki państwa sprawy. W tym samym 1648 roku Nikon, jako przełożony jednego z najważniejszych monasterów w kraju, podpisał się pod nowym zbiorem praw (Ułożenie soborowe), ale nie brał udziału w pracy nad jego opracowaniem. Powstanie ludowe, które przekonało Aleksego I do podjęcia prac nad zbiorem praw, skłoniło go do poszukiwania poparcia u duchowieństwa, a w konsekwencji do wsparcia grupy Rtiszczewa, Nieronowa i Wonifatiewa.

Na początku stycznia 1649 do Moskwy przybył patriarcha jerozolimski Paisjusz. Archimandryta Nikon był jednym z dostojników Rosyjskiego Kościoła Prawosławnego, którzy podejmowali go w stolicy Wielkiego Księstwa Moskiewskiego. W liście do cara Paisjusz wysoko oceniał osobę Nikona, pisząc o nim jako o człowieku pobożnym i wiernym wobec swojego władcy. Spotkania z hierarchą jerozolimskim były dla archimandryty tym ważniejsze, że już wcześniej wykazywał on zainteresowanie prawosławiem tradycji greckiej. Przyjazd Paisjusza skłonił również grupę Rtiszczewa, Wonifatiewa i Nieronowa do zintensyfikowania agitacji na rzecz przeprowadzenia gruntownej reformy wewnętrznej Rosyjskiego Kościoła Prawosławnego. Aleksy I poparł te działania; wobec oporu wyższej hierarchii cerkiewnej na czele z patriarchą moskiewskim Józefempodjął ku temu kroki, obsadzając wakujące katedry biskupie duchownymi związanymi z grupą zwolenników reform. W tych okolicznościach doszło do chirotonii biskupiej archimandryty Nikona, który 9 marca 1649, przy udziale patriarchów jerozolimskiego Paisjusza i moskiewskiego Józefa, został wyświęcony na metropolitę nowogrodzkiego, drugiego po patriarsze w hierarchii biskupiej Rosyjskiego Kościoła Prawosławnego.”

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3 thoughts on “„Obecny stan Rosji””

  1. „It would not be impertinent, in my opinion, if some intelligent person in Moscua should represent the state of his Majesty of Great Britains Kingdoms, Forces and Territories to the best advantage, and also his Colonies in the West Indies, with all their Revenues, and drawing a Map of the aforesaid places, present it to Afanasy Nashockin, to breed in him an opinion of his Brittish Majesties real greatness which the Dutch have so much extenuated. Bogdan Matfoidg the Chamber Favourite should not be neglected neither. He fancies rarities, and therefore should be presented with some. For as Nashockin maintains reason of State, so Bogdan must be the man to procure the Czars personal affection towards his Majestry of Great Brittain. The Russes are very proud of, and much pleased, with the honourable peace they have made with Poland, and now think no Nation superiour for they are never good natur’d but when they are either beaten or bribed. No master (to them) like Mars nor mistris like Luna, these indeed are the only Planets, which rule the world.”

    Polubienie

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