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space was thrown away in a city as the eclat of a day, and the rich manner elsewhere in the middle of the country, in which they were decorated, has I was told that the possessor of this su- made them last up to this period of perb residence had given a thousand universal destruction. A great number peasants to the state : and of that, two of houses are painted green, yellow, or hundred. I had some difficulty in ac- rose colour, and are sculptured in detail commodating myself to the expression, like desert ornaments. giving men, but the peasants them
THE KREMLIN. selves offered their services with ardour, The citadel of the Kremlin, in which and the lords were in this war only the Emperors of Russia defended themtheir interpreters.
selves against the Tartars, is surroundAs soon as a Russian becomes a sol- ed by a high wall, embattled and flankdier, his beard is cut off, and from thated with turrets, which, by their odd moment he is free. A desire was felt shapes, remind one of a Turkish minathat all those who might have served ret rather than a fortress like those of in the militia should also be considered the West of Europe. But although as free : but in that case the nation the external character of the buildings would have been entirely so, for it rose of the city be oriental, the impression almost en masse. Let us hope that this of Christianity was found in that mulso much-desired emancipation may be titude of churches so much venerated, effected without violence: but in the and which attracted your notice at evmean time one would wish to have the ery step. One was reminded of Rome beards preserved, so much strength and in seeing Moscow; certainly not from dignity do they add to the physiogno- the monuments being of the same style, my. The Russians with long beards but because the mixture of solitary and never pass a church without making country and magnificent palaces, the the sign of the cross, and their confi- grandeur of the city and the infinite dence in the visible images of religion number of its churches give the Asiatic is very affecting. Their churches bear Rome some points of resemblance to the mark of that taste for luxury which the European Rome. they have from Asia : you see in them It was about the beginning of Auonly ornaments of gold, and silver, and gust, that I was allowed to see the inrubies. I was told that a Russian had terior of the Kremlin; I got there by proposed to form an alphabet with pre- the same staircase which the Emperor cious stones, and to write a Bible in that Alexander had ascended a few days manner. He knew the best manner of preceding, surrounded by an immense interesting the imaginations of the Rus- people, who loaded him with their sians in what they read. This imagi- blessings, and promised him to defend nation, however, has not as yet mani- his empire at all hazards. This people fested itself either in the fine arts or in has kept its word. The halls were first poetry. They reach a certain point in thrown open to me in which the arms all things very quickly, and do not go of the ancient warriors of Russia are beyond that. Impulse makes them contained; the arsenals of this kind, in take the first steps ; but the second be other parts of Europe, are much more long to rellection, and these Russians, interesting. The Russians have taken who have nothing in common with the no part in the times of chivalry; they people of the North, are as yet very never mingled in the Crusades. Conlittle capable of meditation.
stantly at war with the Tartars, Poles, Several of the palaces of Moscow are and Turks, the military spirit has been of wood, in order that they may be formed among them in the midst of the built quicker, and that the natural in- atrocities of all kinds brought in the constancy of the nation, in every thing train of Asiatic nations, and of the tyunconnected with country or religion, rants who governed Russia. It is not may be satisfied by an easy change of therefore the generous bravery of the residence.' Several of these fine edifi- Bayards or of the Percys, but the inces have been constructed for an enter- trepidity of a fanatical courage which tainment; they were destined to add to has been exhibited in this country for
several centuries. The Russians, in that ardour of Russian will, which rethe relations of society, which are so cognizes nothing as impossible ; every new to them, are not distinguished by thing in the environs is humble, the the spirit of chivalry, such as the peo- city is built upon a marsh, and even ple of the West conceive it: but they the marble rests on piles ; but you
forhave always shown themselves terrible get when looking at these superb edifito their enemies. So many massacres ces, their frail foundations, and cannot have raken place in the interior of Rus- help meditating on the miracle of so sia, up to the reign of Peter the Great, fine a city being built in so short a and even later, that the morality of the time. nation, and particularly that of the On my arrival at Petersburg my
first great nobility, must have suffered se- sentiment was to return thanks to heaverely from them. These despotic gov- ven for being on the borders of the sea. ernments, whose sole restraint is the It is said, and properly, that you assassination of the despot, overthrow cannot, at Petersburg, say of a woman, all principles of honour and duty in that she is as old as the streets, the the minds of men : but the love of their streets themselves are so modern. The country and an attachment to their re- buildings still possess a dazzling whiteligious creed have been maintained in ness, and at night when they are lighttheir full strength, amidst the wrecks of ed by the moon, they look like large this bloody history, and the nation white phantoms regarding,immoveable, which preserves such virtues may yet the course of the Neva. I know not astonish the world.
what there is particularly beautiful in From the ancient arsenal I was con- this river, but the waves of no other I ducted into the apartments formerly had yet seen ever appeared to me so occupied by the czars, and in which limpid. A succession of granite quays, the robes are preserved which they thirty versts in length, borders its wore on the day of their coronation. course, and this magnificent labour of These apartments have no sort of beau- man is worthy of the transparent water ty, but they agreed very well with the which it adorns. hard life which the czars led and still The Russian inhabitants of Peterslead. The greatest magnificence reigns burg have the look of a people of the in the palace of Alexander ; but he South, condemned to live in the North, himself sleeps on the floor, and travels and making every effort to struggle like a Cossack officer.
with a climate at variance with their The commercial establishments at nature. The inhabitants of the North Moscow had quite an Asiatic charac- are generally very indolent, and dread ter; men in turbans, and others dress- the cold, precisely because he is their ed in the different costumes of all the daily enemy. The lower classes of the people of the East, exhibited the rarest Russians have none of these habits; the merchandize : the furs of Siberia and coachmen wait for ten hours at the gate, the muslins of India there offered all during winter, without complaining ; the enjoyments of luxury to those great they sleep upon the snow, under their noblemen whose imagination is equally carriage, and transport the manners of pleased with the sables of the Samoi. the Lazzaroni of Naples do the sixtieth edes, and with the rubies of the Per- degree of latitude. You may see them sians.
laying on the steps of staircases, like ST. PETERSBURG.
the Germans in their down; sometimes From Novogorod to Petersburg, you they sleep standing, with their head resee scarcely any thing but marshes, and clined against the wall. By turns inyou arrive in one of the finest cities in dolent and impetuous, they give themthe world, as if, with a magic wand, an selves up alternately to sleep, or to the enchanter had made all the wonders of most fatiguing employments. Some of Europe and Asia start up from the mid- them get drunk, in which they differ dle of the deserts. The foundation of from the people of the South, who are Petersburg offers the greatest proof of very sober ; but the Russians are so 3L
ATHENEUM VOL. 10.
also, and to an extent hardly credible, great interests of Europe, almost among when the difficulties of war require it. the first words he addressed to me. I
The day after my arrival I went to have always regarded, as a proof of dine with one of the most considerable mediocrity, that apprehension of treatmerchants of the city, who exercised ing serious questions, with which the hospitality à la Russe; that is to say, best part of the sovereigns of Europe he placed a flag on the top of his house have been inspired; they are afraid to to signify that he dined at home, and pronounce a word to which any real this invitation was sufficient for all his meaning can be attached. friends. He made us dine in the open The Emperor Alexander, on the air, so much pleasure was felt from contrary, conversed with me as statesthese poor days of summer, of which a men in England would have done, who few yet remained, to which we should place their strength in themselves, and have scarcely given the name in the not in the barriers with which they are South of Europe. The garden was surrounded. The Emperor Alexanvery agreeable ; it was embellished der, whom Napoleon has endeavoured with trees and flowers; but at four pa- to misrepresent, is a man of remarkable ces from the house the deserts and the understanding and information, and I marshes were again to be seen. In the do not believe that in the whole extent environs of Petersburg, nature has the of his empire he could find a minister look of an enemy who resumes his ad- better versed than himself in all that vantages, when man ceases for a mo- belongs to the judgment and direction ment to struggle with him.
of public affairs. He did not disguise
from me his regret for the admiration THE IMPERIAL FAMILY. to which he had surrendered himself in I had at last the pleasure of seeing his intercourse with Napoleon. His that monarch, equally absolute by law grandfather had, in the same way, enand custom, and so moderate from his tertained a great enthusiasm for Fredown disposition. The Empress Eliza- eric II. In these sort of illusions, probeth, to whom I was at first presented, duced by an extraordinary character, appeared to me the tutelary angel of there is always a generous motive, Russia. Her manners are extremely whatever may be the errors that result reserved, but what she says is full of from it. The Emperor Alexander, life, and it is from the focus of all gene- however, described with great sagacity rous ideas that her sentiments, and the effect produced upon him by these opinions have derived strength and conversations with Bonaparte, in which warmth. While I listened to her, I he said the most opposite things, as if was affected by something inexpressi- one must be astonished at each, withble, which did not proceed from her out thinking of their being contradictograndeur, but from the harmony of her ry. He related to me also the lessons soul; so long was it since I had known à la Machiavel which Napoleon had an instance of concord between power thought proper to give him: “ You and virtue. As I was conversing with see," said be, “ I am careful to keep the empress, the door opened, and the my ministers and generals at variance Emperor Alexander did me the honour among themselves, in order that each to come and talk with me. What first may reveal to me the faults of the other; struck me in him was such an expres- I keep around me a continual jealousy sion of goodness and dignity, that the by the manner I treat those who are two qualities appeared inseparable, and about me: one day one thinks himself in him to form only one. I was also the favourite, the next day another, so very much affected with the noble sim- that no one is ever certain of my faplicity with which he entered upon the vour."
THEODORE AND BERTHA.
A DRAMATIC SKETCH.
THE story of this little drama is taken, with some variation in the scene and
catastrophe, from the beautiful ballad entitled Fause Foudrage, in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.
The. Oh! cruel! cowardly! Never again will I-
Ber. Look how the poor fawn, with his nudging nose
'Twas not her motion ; that fond thing
But you are grieved,
No; it lay sleeping there
Bubbles and sparkles round the moss-grown roots,
Oh ! no; no;
'Tis my father's fault :
Ber. That were a strange place to learn gentleness.
The. The only place for me. Oh, I must forth
Oh! now that name
Ber. Think you, I thus had spoken with a stranger ?
She was her maid ;
Ber. And of your father, her kind faithful friend,
Kindest, loveliest maid !