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by the metropolitan and all the bishops in their full pontificals, adorned with pearls and diamonds, and by the monks and choristers, who preceded the Imperial family, chaunting hymns, upon a raised platform, covered with scarlet cloth, to the church, where the effect produced by their entrance was very sublime. They then proceeded to the silver shrine of the saint, which, after several prayers and hymns, as I was informed, they kissed; for the crowd was so great, that I could not see the whole of the ceremony; after which they returned and partook of some refreshments at the house of the archbishop. As soon as they had retired, some thousands of people flocked to the shrine of saint Alexander, and to another of the virgin adjoining, to touch them with their lips.
As the empress dowager passed, the musheeks or common boors said to one another, “ There goes our good mother.” All the male Russians, of equal degree in rank, address each other by the name of brat, or brother: which is also used by any one speaking to his inferior. The emperor calls his subjects brats. A friend of mine heard Paul one day say to a bearded workman, “ My brother, take,
care; the ice is too thin to bear you.” When the low address their superiors they say, batushka mola, my
father.” Very near the monastery is the glass manufactory, where the vast mirrors, for which Russia is so celebrated, are rolled. The establishment resembles a little town: almost all the artists are Russians, and in their various departments displayed great taste and ingenuity.
From this place we visited the hotel of the prince Usupoff, a very noble edifice, but, like all the great houses of the nobility, presented a scene of uncommon neglect and dirt in the front and court yard; for example, several of the broken windows of the basement story were filled with hay, and in the yard lay offal-meat, bones, shells, and horse-dung, here and there half concealed by grass growing above the stones. The prince has a fine gallery of paintings and statues, which he has collected at a vast expense in Italy: most of the subjects are in the highest degree voluptuous. Over one painting the prince has extended a curtain : how little does he know of human nature, if he wishes to pay homage to modesty by exciting curiosity: I will venture to say there was more indecorum and peril in the curtain than in the picture. In the library, which is very excellent, we were attended by a frightful bilious dwarf, about forty years of age, a Polish laquais took him by his little shrivelled hand,
and patting him on the head, observed to us, that he had been in a small island in the Mediterranean, which swarmed with dwarfs, many of whom he solemnly declared were not taller than cats set upon their hinder legs !!! In the language of count Aranza,
06. That's a lie."
A few days before I left the city I applied, through a friend of mine, to the polatch or executioner, to purchase of him a knout, to bring with me to England: upon going to his house, which seemed to be a very comfortable one, he was from home, but his wife took up one of the thongs, and in a very gentle and tender manner began, explaining the theory and practice of this instrument of torture, in the course of which she observed, that it was made, not of the skin of a wild ass, as has been asserted, for, excepting a small breed of that animal in Siberia, not one is to be found in any other part of the empire, but of ox's hide soaked in milk and dried, and that her husband was so expert, that he could cut a piece of flesh from the back of exactly its size. These functionaries of justice are held in such abhorrence, that although this very executioner offered to give four thousand rubles as a dowry with his daughter to a common droshka driver, she was rejected with scorn. The merciless empress Elizabeth enjoyed the reputation of having abolished the punishment of death: she little deserved the homage which was paid to her: the fact was, knowing how hateful the appearance of death is to the Russians, she ordered a capital culprit to be knouted to such a degree, that he was only enabled to reach his prison alive, when his lacerated frame was thrown upon a bed of boards, and left to gangrene and mortify for want of medical application : such was the boasted humanity of Elizabeth! To the superstitious dread of seeing a corpse, which marks the Russian character, let me add an unconquerable aversion to receiving any thing as a present which has a sharp point: a gentleman presented a young Russ lady with an elegant female pocket-book, in wliich there was a row of needles; with some concern she took from her purse a little silver piece, and gave it to the donor as the purchase money.
A number of interesting objects still remained to be seen, but my time, and an alteration in my intention of visiting Italy, made it necessary to bid adieu to a city, which I shall never reflect upon but with admiration, nor upon those of its inhabitants, to whom I had the honour of being known, without respect and esteem.
In the decline of the summer, (for I now speak of it as departed from these regions) the weather was very variable; a fiercely sultry day was succeeded by a very chilly one; within thirty hours, from being scarcely able to endure my dressing-gown, I was glad to place myself before (a wonder in Russia) a blazing fire in an English stove; but the atmospheric fluctuations are certainly not so great as in our own climate, and this circumstance might, perhaps, have induced a Russ servant, who had just returned from England, to say, upon being asked whether he was soon familiarized with our country, “ I understood quick all tings dere, but de climate, dat I could no 6 understand.” The harvest in the provinces near the capital, which is generally got in by the tenth of August, N. S. had been housed for more than a month, black clouds frequently obscured the sun, the winds began to blow loud and bleak, the leaves were rapidly falling, and each succeeding day grew visibly shorter: these were sufficient warnings for birds of passage to wing their way to milder regions. As some very agreeable countrymen and travellers were setting off for Berlin, I had the good fortune of being invited to join the party: to their barouche I added a Swedish carriage, requiring only one horse, to assist in the general conveyance. As this little carriage excited uncommon delight and wonder in some countries through which we passed, and lost all its popularity in another, as will be hereafter told; and moreover as I grew attached to it in proportion as I saw its merits, and beheld them at one time acknowledged, at another derided, I must be indulged in describing it. A small body of railing with a seat for two persons, a head of canvas, and a well for luggage, mounted upon two wheels about three feet high, and a shaft for one horse, composed the whole of this redoubted vehicle. In Russia, every traveller is obliged to purchase a travelling carriage, unless he is disposed to hazard a general dislocation in a kibitka.
LEAVE PETERSBURG-THE LITTLE SWEDEADVENTURES AT STRELNA
-NARVA-BEARS-BEDS-DORPT-TEUTONIC KNIGHTS AND WHIMSI
CAL REVENGE-WHIPPING OF BOORS-BROTHERS-IN-LAW-COURLAND -POLES-MEMEL-SEVERITY OF PRUSSIAN DRILLING.
It is a great object in quitting a great city, where you have strong ties to detain you, resolutely to set off on the appointed day for the commencement of one's journey, be the hour what it may, and even if you can proceed no farther than one post. After a delay of four hours, occasioned by the stupidity of the post-master, at eight o'clock in the evening of the nineteeth of September, N. S. the servants of our hospitable friends, Messrs. Venning, who had been some time previously employed in filling every crack and corner of the carriages with bottles of port, claret, and all sorts of provisions, announced that every thing was ready. As we all assembled in the courtyard, my old companion Mishka, to the full stretch of her chain, stood on her hinder legs, and seemed, in her rude way, for her voice was not the most musical, to regret my departure, but upon my giving her some sugar, I found it an error of vanity, for she instantly ran into her house to enjoy it, and, as in the moment of repletion neither Bruins nor Englishmen, nor perhaps any other being, like to be disturbed, I did not say with the song.
“Give me thy paw, my bonny bonny bear,"
but left her, to shake hands with those from whom we had received the most polite and kind attentions. My friend captain Elphinstone insisted upon riding to the bridge with me, in the little Swede, as he called it, where we parted with mutual and genuine regret.
The moon shone very bright. The little Russ driver, who sat on the shaft, unfortunately for my ears and the temperature of my mind, proved to be a great singer : his shrill pipe never ceased till we reached Strelna, the first stage, where we proposed sleeping.
As soon as we drove up to the door of a handsome inn, which owed its architectural consequence to the proximity of the grand
duke Constantine's country palace, the host told our servant, a German, he had no room for us ; upon which a voice from the top of the bannisters, with stentorian energy, exclaimed in Russ, “ By G“ there is room ; the gentlemen shall be accommodated, or by to
morrow evening the grand duke Constantine shall blow you all to " the devil.” The translation of this extraordinary exclamation we received afterwards ; upon which a Russ officer, a little flushed with the Tuscan grape, came down to us, and began, according to the custom of the continent, to kiss us all round. When we had submitted to this detestable ceremony, he led, or rather drove us up stairs ; lavishing upon the master of the inn all the opprobrious epithets he could collect, in bad French ; ordered a handsome supper, and all sorts of wines; pressed us by the hands, swore the English were the finest fellows in the world, and again repeated his loving kindness by another salutation : when one of the party recoiling a little from the violence of his friendship, he turned round, shrugged up his shoulders, and in a most significant manner exclaimed, “My « G-d, he does not kiss like a man!” After making a hearty supper, we ordered our bill, but the officer swore he would murder our host if he presented any, and ordered him out of the room, declaring that we were his own guests, which he followed by screaming several Russ songs; afier which we begged to know the name of this strange creature, and presented him with a piece of paper
and a pencil ; but after many ineffectual efforts, we plainly saw “ that “ his education had stopped before he had learnt to read or write.” Finding that we could get no beds, we ordered horses, travelled all night upon good roads, and arrived early the next morning to breakfast at Koskowa. All the post-houses beyond Streina are kept by Germans ; for each horse we paid two copecs per verst. This part of Ingria formerly belonged to the Swedes. The female peasantry wear a flat bonnet of red silk and gold lace, large ear-rings, a vest without sleeves, and cloth round their legs : women, before their marriage, wear their hair plaited, and hanging down : the males are simply clad in sheep's skins, with the wool inside.
I would recommend every traveller to sleep at Jarnburg, one stage before Narva. At the former, the post-master told us he had no horses; but the magic of a silver ruble discovered six, quietly eating their hay in the stable, which speedily brought us over a wooden