NOBILITY AND TCHIN.
The Nobles and the Peasants, Personifying the Two Russias, Appear Like Two Different Nations--By its Origin and Manner of Recruiting, the Rissian Dvoriànstvo Differs from all Corresponding Institutions in Western Europe--Personal and Hereditary Nobility--Great Number of the Nobles--Russian Titles--The Descendants of Rurik and Guedimìn--Why this High-born Nobility does not Form an Aristocracy--Constitution of the Russian Family--Equal Division among the Males--Political Consequences of this System--Attempts to Introduce Entails and Primogeniture.
THE noble and the peasant; the former landlord and the former serf. These two men, these two classes, even now embody two different Russias: one modern, the European Russia of Peter and the reforming emperors; the other old-fashioned, the Moscovite, semi-Asiatic or semi-Oriental Russia of the old tsars.
Between the noble and the peasant serfdom was, up to Alexander II., a material bond; a moral one it never was. This secular bond once broken, the former landlord and former serf found themselves almost as closely linked together as they were before by the soil and the demands of rural life, and nearly as widely separated by intellect, tendencies, and manners. For the difference between them lay not merely in the degree of culture; it lay in the principle, in the very nature of the civilization. Therefore it is that now, as well as before emancipation, the dis