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at short distances from each other, by pillars of red granite from Finland ; may be seen round towers, of sufficient each of these pillars is in one solid piece, height to overlook the respective quarters sixty-two feet high, and about ten feet in of the city where they stand ; they have diameter. The size and weight of the little windows on all sides, and are sur- great bell harmonizes with the colossal rounded by a gallery which is protected dimensions of the building; it is an by an iron railing. Each is occupied night object of pride to the citizens and an atand day by two veteran watchmen wrapped traction to visitors. The gilded dome, in sheepskins, who give an immediate alarm seventy-seven feet in diameter, is surto the police in case of danger by fire or mounted by a gilded cross and is surroundflood. A red flag is the signal of the lat- ed with bronze statues of angels of colossal ter catastrophe, and a large red lantern of size. It can be seen at a distance of more the former.
than twenty miles. At Cronstadt it has Omitting many details of interest, let us the appearance of a new star attracting now glance at one or two of the most prom- commerce to the capital. ipent edifices of this remarkable city. Nearly all religions are represented in
I have been to the church of St. Isaac's, the Churches of St. Petersburgh: Greeks, which may be selected as the best exam- Armenians, Protestants, and Romanists ple of the ecclesiastical buildings of the all have their temples of worship. There city. It is not only one of the finest or- is such a variety of them in the grand naments of St. Petersburgh, but it is really avenue of Newski that it has been called one of the most magnificent modern the Street of Toleration. churches of Europe. It is probably the The most important as well as the most last which will be constructed on such an splendid of the edifices of St. Petersburgh, expensive scale; the present century is is the Imperial Palace, distinguished as too utilitarian, and very properly so, for the Winter Palace from the former royal such an undertaking. Though inferior in residence, built by the Emperor Paul, all respects to St. Paul's of London, or and now known as the Summer Palace. the Pantheon of Paris, neither of which This magnificent structure is not twenty bear any comparison with St. Peter's, it years old. In 1837 its predecessor was has the great advantage of its position destroyed in a few hours by fire. This over the two former. Instead of being was intended to replace it. The original surrounded with buildings which destroy was designed by the Italian architect the view, as in the case of the English Bastrelli, in the reign of the Empress cathedral, it rises from a square where Elizabeth, and was inhabited by more than one hundred thousand troops can be re-eight thousand persons. The superintendviewed with ease. This immense space
ent of the imperial mansion, who had is surrounded with the most splendid edi- held his post more than twelve years, had fices of the city ; among which are the never entered some parts of the building. Senate, the government offices, the Win- It was a real labyrinth. Besides its reguter Palace, and Admiralty ; and it contains lar and recognized officers, whole colonies the statue of Peter the Great, and the Alex- of dependents secretly lived within its andrine column. The four principal ave- inclosure. During the winter, a corps nues of the city diverge in opposite direc- of servants were employed to prevent the tions from the church : the first under a reservoirs from freezing, by means of red triumphal arch. Two others are the streets hot balls; behind the chimneys which Vosnecenski and Garochovaia, and the last served for this purpose the workmen conthe grand perspective of Newski.
trived to build huts for their families, and St. Isaac's is built entirely of granite it is said that fowls, goats, and even cows marble, bronze and iron. Its foundations, subsisted here, till a sudden eclaircissewhich cost $700,000, are granite masses ment destroyed the pastoral scene. of immense size. Its form is the Greek Eighty thousand workmen were emCross, with the dome in the center, and ployed on this palace, and for more than four square chapels at each angle, sur- eighty years its possessors lavished emmounted with a belfry : it is three hundred bellishments upon it. So many valuable and four feet in length, and one hundred objects have rarely been collected together. and sixty-seven feet wide. It has four In less than one night, velvets, damasks, principal façades with porticoes supported | tapestries, cashmeres, mirrors, amber, lap
islazuli, marble statues, pictures, all were his resolution was taken. He assembled consumed. The city was overwhelmed his architects and told them that in prewith the catastrophe. It seemed to share cisely one year he wished to receive his in the loss of the palace of the emperor. court in a new palace. Some very natural Many of the inhabitants spontaneously objections were raised; but his subjects had offered him a large part of their fortunes. learned the lesson of obedience, and in a Count Barincky placed $200,000 at his year from the day that his orders were disposal. Two days after, Nicholas drove issued, he received his court within its through one of the streets, alone, in a walls. light droschski ; a man with a long beard Many of the workmen sacrificed their and a Turkish cafetan, ran to meet him, lives to this command of their sovereign ; placed nearly $20,000 in bank notes upon six thousand of them were shut up in his knees, and disappeared without men saloons heated to thirty degrees in order tioning his name.
that the walls might be quickly dried. The emperor refused to accept these Several died every day from the sudden generous offers; but he promised that the transition to the colder temperature edifice should be rebuilt, and the next day of the open air. Those employed in the
warmest parts of the building protected themselves in some degree by wearing caps on their heads containing ice.
The Winter Palace can scarcely be compared with any of the other royal residences of Europe. It somewhat resembles that of Madrid. The decorations of the interior are of almost incredible magnificence. The grand staircase is of marble overlaid with gold; in the Salle Blanche entertainments are given at which eight hundred covers are laid ; the vast St. George's Gallery, all of sculptured marble, leaves nothing for the extravagance of a monarch to desire. One of the façades of this sumptuous edifice fronts on the Neva, with the custom house, the military academies and the fortress below it; the second is on the grand place of the Admiralty, from which the view extends to St. Isaac's; the third opens in front of the demicircle formed by the buildings of the Etat Major, where stands the Alexandrian column. The fourth side is separated from the l' be considered a gallery, as it was inPalace of the Hermitage by a tended by Catharine only for the decostreet, which is crossed by three covered ration of her private residence, it has passages, uniting the two, like the Bridge been enlarged by the taste of her sucof Sighs at Venice between the prison cessors, for their use, and may be regarded and the Ducal Palace.
as an amateur cabinet-the cabinet of the The people of St. Petersburgh regard Czars it is true, and, like their palace and the imperial residence with a singular their empire, it is grand and vast. Visitors mixture of confidence and terror. They must be provided with tickets of admission, know that it contains their destiny, their and a kind of court costume is necessary, supreme law, the law which has governed as no gentleman can enter except in a their fathers and will govern their children. dress coat. With their eyes fixed on it, they repeat About two thousand pictures hang quite their national proverb, “With the Czar is irregularly upon the walls of the Hermitpower, with the Czar is death."
age; but among them are many chefsThe Hermitage, which escaped the fire d'auvres, and some very remarkable copies of 1837, though united to the winter palace from Raphael. There are also collecas we have described, was built by order of tions of statues, statuettes, busts, designs, Catharine II. after the fashion of royalty engravings, and lithographs, medallions, in the eighteenth century. It is a kind coins, cameos, mosaics, enamels, miniaof imperial museum, but does not con- tures, gold and silver carvings, jewelry, tain all the pictures in the possession of antiquities, &c. The private library of the emperor ; these are very numerous, the Czars is in this building, numbering of different schools and epochs, and many about one hundred thousand volumes. of the apartments of the winter palace are It may be seen from this enumeration or ented with them. Though it cannot that an artist or learned man might spend
his life as agreeably as usefully, if allowed 9. Eat slowly and with a good appetite, a cell in this colossal palace. I spent seve- drink moderately that each may have the ral hours among the treasures enumerated, use of his limbs on withdrawing. and saw so many beautiful objects that only 10. Any person disobeying these reguconfused ideas of the whole remain with lations, upon the testimony of two witme. But I have not forgotten the cele- nesses, shall be obliged to drink a glass brated rules of the Hermitage, composed, of cold water, (ladies not excepted,) and printed, and published by Catharine II. besides, to read, in a loud voice, a page for the regulation of her interior republic. from the Telemachide, (a poem of They are so characteristic that they de- Frediakofsky.) Whoever neglects three of serve to be translated.
these regulations, during one evening, 1. On entering the Hermitage, titles shall commit to memory six lines of the and rank are to be laid aside, with the hat Telemachide. Any one failing in oband sword.
servance of the tenth rule, shall never after 2. All pretensions founded on the pre- enter the Hermitage. rogatives of birth are to be left at the door. An odd mixture of freedom and tyranny
3. Be gay; but do not break or spoil this, certainly. The former could scarceanything.
ly be excelled in the United States ; and 4. Sit down, stand still, or walk, just the latter is of a very rare character in as you please.
absolute monarchies, for it is only laugh5. Converse moderately and not too able. But man was not made for a herloud, that others may not be disturbed. mit, and the outer world calls us from the
6. Discuss without anger or passion. hermitage—yet, in spite of the name, one
7. Do not sigh or yawn, to interrupt goes from it to silence and solitude in the enjoyment of others.
reëntering the streets of the city. The 8. Innocent games proposed by an indi- foreigner, accustomed to the tumult and vidual of the company should be shared crowd of London or New-York, is strangeby the visitors.
ly struck with the quiet of the public
places and squares of St. Petersburgh. above mentioned, and crossing a bridge, you Vast spaces open before him, where, to are in the midst of the city : some houses his astonishment, a single drochski makes are three, and even four stories high; the its way like a little boat upon the wide signs covering them are more numerous
He wanders sadly through its in- and of a different character ; equipages terminable streets, with their walls of with four horses are displayed. Beyond silent palaces, now and then perceiving a the Fontanka Canal is the true aristocratic human being in the distance, like a marau- quarter. The crowd and noise increase ; der darting from a rocky ambuscade. The still more elegant equipages drive past colossal proportions in which the city is you ; princes and generals jostle each built show that its founders were only other on the pavement. From thence to occupied with a distant future. Rapidly the Admiralty extends an uninterrupted as the population has increased, it is still line of magnificent shops, palaces, and quite insufficient to fill the space designed churches of every religion. For about for it, or to give that life and bustle which two hours of mid-day this part of St. Pebelong to the capital of a great empire. tersburgh rivals in every respect the fashMost of the time, but especially on fête ionable promenades of other European days, and public displays, there is in the capitals. perspective of Newski, and the neighbor But the idler in the metropolis is not conhood of the Admiralty, some little resemb- fined to the Newski ; the Summer garden lance to other capitals. This is the most is a place of great resort. It has also beautibeautiful and frequented street of the city. ful trees, flowers, and grass, and the nicest It is full three miles in length, and is per care is bestowed upon it. It is so well fectly straight for more than two-thirds of situated in the center of the city, that if its extent, making but a slight deviation the land which it occupies were sold for at one extremity. No part of St. Peters building purposes, it would bring three burg is more interesting to a stranger. and a half millions of dollars. It is the faIts commencement at the monastery and vorite resort of children with their nurses. ceraetery of St. Alexander Newski re It is quite delightful to see the little Cosminds you of solitude and death; but it sacks and Circassians at their spirited soon conducts you past little low wooden sports. The girls are dressed in the houses to a cattle market. Here I always French style as soon as they can walk ; lingered, for it was generally filled with but the boys are attired à-la-moujik, as it Russian peasants, clothed in the charac- is called, until they are seven or eight teristic costume of the interior villages years of age, when they appear in Eurocrowding around the liquor shops. Here, pean clothes. Their language is as inalso, you see the various costumes of the teresting as their costume. The wealthier lower classes; the milk maids ; peasant classes employ the best English, French, girls and their lovers, from the environs ; and German teachers for their children ; peasants even from Esthonia ; the rustic and from these four languages, which they girl of Pargola, spinning at her fruit are constantly hearing, the little ones stand; and sometimes the Bohemian or manufacture an idiom of their own, which Gipsy, with the unfailing baby.
is exceedingly diverting. The appearance of the dwellings changes On the Monday of Pentecost, the gargradually as you advance. Occasionally a den presents a most animated scene. It two-story stone building is seen; the shops was formerly a kind of market-day for improve. Much of the clothing which husbands and wives. The sons and daughhas spent its youth in more central posi ters of the merchants, in their gayest attions, finds its way to these suburban de tire, meet there to see and be seen. pots in its old age. The houses are painted The girls, accompanied by their mammas, red and yellow, in the old Russian style, and form a blooming border to the parterres ; all the male inhabitants wear long beards while the young gentlemen, with floating and still longer cafetans. Still farther, cafetans and carefully-trimmed beards, are a few isvoshishiks, or coachmen, of walk up and down these dangerous files. whom more by-and-by, wanderers perhaps Conversation, commenced by the parents, from the borders of the empire, with their soon becomes general, followed by a brisk shaved chins, short frock-coats, and less cross-fire of meaning glances, and a tusimple dwellings. After passing the bend multuous fluttering of hearts. Eight days