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In 1835 Leitch Ritchie (1800–1865) a Scottish novelist and journalist took a trip to Russia.
He hoped to become acquainted with Modern Russia, and to be enabled to form some idea of the real progress of her civilization, in so far at least, as this is indicated in the manners of the people; at Moscow, in the heretofore capital of the Tsars, he hoped to find himself in the very heart of the ancient empire, where the tribes and nations of the distant dependencies still resort as to a common centre; and in Poland an opportunity would present itself of studying the character of the most interesting of the conquered provinces, the preservation of which costs more in blood, and tears, and money than a whole continent is worth.