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The rest of the Country to Ajlracan and the Frontiers of the VJbecques, is haunted by the Calmucks, and other Hordes, who remove with their Tents according to the Season and Convenience of Subsistance: The Czar makes them Presents every Year of Cloth, Money, and some Arms; and in Return they are obliged to serve him in his Wars without Pay, which they sufficiently make up to themselves, by plundering Friends and Foes whereever they march; the greatest Number which has of late appeared in Arms for the Czar, was about twelve Thousand, who coming eight Days after the Battle of Poltawa, were dismissed back again, only about two Thousand were sent into Livonia. The Religion of the Tartars is either Mahometan or Heathen, in which they have been left undisturbed by the Czar and his Ancestors.
The Cojac&s are distinguished into three Sorts, known by the Places where they first settled themselves; but are all of the fame Nation, cWmiH Language Religion, and Form of Government. They were originally Polijh Peasants, formed into a Militia under their own Officers and Discipline, and placed in the fruitful Plains of the Ukraine, to secure the Frontiers of the Common-wealth against the Tartars; after some Years they increased prodigiously in Number and Riches, and could no longer bear the Indignities of the Polijh Nobility, who affected to treat them as their Slaves on all Oct
Vcl. II. N casions} casions; this Usage was the Rife of several bloody
Wars, With different Success.
In one of the first, the Cossacks being worsted, srCoffads <f veral of them, rather than submit to the ti>e Boa. Yoke, removed from the Ukraine to the unfrequented Banks of the Don, or Tanais, where they begun a new Plantation. In the Year 1637, another Detachment on the fame Occasion resolved to seek their Fortune as far as the Caspian Sea, but in their Passage were persuaded by their old Countrymen on the Don, to stop short and join in an Attempt against Asoph, which they took the same Year and kept till 1642, when the Turks approaching with a great Army, and the Muscovites refusing them timely Succours, they burnt the Place, and fixed the Seat of their little Common-wealth at Circasty, a Town on an Island in the Don? Some Time after they put themselves under the Protection of the Muscovites $ and had lately thirty-nine Towns on that River, from Rybna to Asoph, most of them on the North* East Side: The Country is generally without Trees, but fruitful to a Wonder in Grafs, Flowers, sweet Herbs, wild Asparagus, &c. They sow very little Corn, that being only the Employment of their Slaves $ nor do they eat much Bread, Roots, or Herbs; their chief Diet being Fish, Flesh, and Fruits; their Riches consist in Cattle, Horses, Dromedaries and Camels j in their Houses and Cloathes they are generally neater than the Muscovites; their Religion R after the Greek, or Eastern Church j they have very . J few 2
few Tradesmen, or Artificers; Arms are their Employment and Delight, which in Times of Peace they exercise by Parties against their constant Enemies, the Calmuck, Cuban, and Crim Tartars j and in Time of open War against the Turks on the Palus Maotis. Their Government is a Sort of military Democracy; their chief Hetman, or Colonel over all, keeps his Residence at Cercajky: He is elected in a general meeting of the Captains and civil Officers of the Nation, but is confirmed by the Czar, and then his Employment lasts for Life, which he often looses on an unfortunate Expedition, or other Tumult: Every Town is like a little Common-wealth, and has its own Hetman, or Captain, chosen Yearly, who has the Care of all Business Civil and Military, and in the Field acts as Captain of his own Community: They are left in Possession of their old Laws and Customs, pay the Czar no Tribute, furnish no Recruits, and are only bound to appear in Arms at their own Charge when summoned: But on the contrary their Captains used to receive yearly Presents from his Treasury of Cloth, Money and Corn; they have very great Privileges, one of the most considerable was the Freedom of any Peasant or Slave, who being once in their Country could not be reclaimed by his Master, or the Muscovite Government; and on this Account vast Numbers of Deserters sheltered themselves here in the present War, of which the Czar being informed, Prince Dolgoruki was sent four Years ago with twelve hundred Men to search them out: he found some hundreds, but not being on his Guard was in his Return attacked by N 2 the the Cojsack's and cut to Pieces with all his People; this occasioned a general Revolt, and employed the Czar about ten thousand Men near two Years, in which Troubles many of their Towns were burnt, and no Quarter given to Man, Woman, or Child; besides several hundreds who were publickly executed at Veronitz: This has very much dispeopled the Country, and made the Name of Muscovy odious to the rest. In their most flourishing Condition, they might be reckoned at fifteen thousand Men fit to bear Arms. ,'•• <••
n.i1-! . ■ ■••
The Cossacks of the Ukraine, are much more numerous and considerable, their Dominions Cojfach of extentj;ng severai hundred Miles between
the Ukraine. ° ,
'tnc Rivers Bortjihenes, or Netper, and the Don; in 1654, they, with their Hetman, on ill Usage, revolted from Poland, and put themselves under the Czar's Protection, giving him up Cbioff, Czernichoff, and several other strong Towns, as Pledges of their Fidelity. This Country is extremely well peopled, and tilled; their Towns are many, all fortified with a dry Ditch, earthen Wall, and Palisadoes; the Villages are large and neatly built with Wood, they drive a great Trade in Hemp, Pot-ash, Wax, Corn and Cattle; they live in much Ease and Plenty, enjoying the same Privileges as those on the Den, which with their Riches, drew upon them the Envy of the Muscovite Nobility and Government, who by Degrees made several Incroachments on their Liberties; and from hence sprung ^n universal Discontent, and the Revolt of L - ' - Mazeppa Mazeppa to the King of Sweden; which being ill managed, the Residence Town of Bathurin was immediately taken and burnt, and above six thousand Persons put to the Sword without Distinction of Age or Sex. « - ..;
The Zaparovian Cojsacks, are just of the fame Temper and Manner of Life with those on the Don; they are so called from the Falls ctfJc^S °f in the River Borijihenes, about which nh, or Falls. they seated themselves chiefly for their greater Security and Convenience of their Incursions against the Turks and Tartars: When the Cojsacks of the Ukraine, discouraged by the severe Execution at Bathurin, sat still, these openly declared for Mazeppa, and continued firm to him to the last; two or three Thousand followed his Fortune to Bender, and are still with the King of Sweden; most of the rest were cut to Pieces, so that the Remains of that Najne are at present very inconsiderable.
< - • --• i •' >, •' ** ~ '■
From these Accounts it is plain the Czar's Strength
must be chiefly computed from his na- .
tional Muscovites, from whence alone bis ■ * ■
regular Forces are formed and maintained, if you
except some few Contributions from the Morduars
and Czeretnefs Tartars, who by Degrees have been
civilized and subjected. The highest and
most probable Computation of their Num
bers is, by . ....
N r , Houses