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of the treasury, was, by the wish of Catherine, brought up with him, and was the play-mate and associate of his early years. The incidents of boyish days, so dear to every feeling and generous mind, left their accustomed impressions upon the heart of Alexander; and though time placed him at an immeasurable distance from his early companion, he has never ceased to honour him with the most gracious regard; in the display of which he exhibited the emperor only in the munificent proofs of his friendship. I heard another instance of the strong partiality of Alexander for England. When an English gentleman, who, a short time before the death of Paul, had frequently played duets upon the flute with the grand duke, was preparing to quit the empire for his own country, in consequence of the sudden antipathy which the former had taken to our countrymen, after the close of the last piece they ever performed together, Alexander thus feelingly apostrophized the flute of his friendly musician, as he held it in his hand: “ Adieu, sweet instrument! you “ have charmed away many an hour of care; often and deeply shall “ I regret the absence of your enchanting sounds; but you are “ going to breathe them in the best and happiest country in the 6 world.” These are trifling anecdotes to record; but they conduct the reader to the heart.

6 Man is most natural in little things.”

How much, and how justly, the emperor is beloved by his people, will occasionally appear as I proceed. The Russians, who have had so many foreign princes to govern them, behold with enthusiastic fondness an emperor born in Russia. The face of the reigning empress is very sweet and expressive; her person is slight, but very elegant, and of the usual height of her sex; she is remarkably amiable, and diffident, even to shyness. Her mind is highly cultivated, and her manners soft, gracious, and fascinating. Her sister, the queen of Sweden, if there be any fidelity in the chisel of Sergell, must be a model of female beauty. The emperor and empress have no family. They were united at an extraordinary early age, from a wish of Catherine to contemplate as many of her posterity, who were destined to succeed to the throne, as she could before she died. The two grand duchesses, who are grown up, do honour to the care of their imperial mother, and excite the attachment and admiration of all who approach them. The youngest of the two was married to the prince of Saxe Weimar, during my stay in Petersburgh; and as the

ceremony of their nuptials will illustrate the manners and customs of the Russians, I shall hereafter give a brief description of it.

From the place of execution in the market place, I made my way to the monastery of St. Alexander Nevsky, at the very extremity of the eastern part of the city. In the street were several carts standing, filled with peas in pod, with their roots just as when they were pulled

up from the garden, and with their stalks, which the poor people bought, sometimes for themselves, and sometimes for their horses; to both, the vegetable, which was eaten shell and stalk together, appeared a dainty. The monastery occupies a vast space of ground, is moated round, and contains a magnificent church, surmounted by a vast copper dome, a chapel, the cells, refectories, and dormitories for sixty monks, a seminary and the residence of the metropolitan archbishop. The front of the basement of the buildings, which are all connected together, is painted of a deep crimson colour, and, from the immense quantity and size of the windows, resembles a collection of colossal hot-houses.

In the church, which is very elegant, I saw the shrine of St. Alexander Nevsky, the tutelar saint of Russia, formerly one of its sovereigns, who was raised to that distinguished honour in consequence of his having most gallantly repulsed the Swedes, or Finns, some centuries since, on the banks of the Neva. The monument, and military trophies which adorn it, as well as the pillars and canopy under which it stands, are of wrought massy silver, made from the first ore of that metal ever discovered in Russia. One of the columns, which forms the back of the space allotted for the imperial family, is a whole-length portrait of the late empress, well executed. The altar, screen, and decorations, are very superb. There are cloisters round the whole of the buildings, formed almost entirely of double windows, by which in winter every house in Russia, of the least respectability, is protected against the terrible severity of the cold; the joists, and all other avenues of air, being either covered with pasted paper or felt. Every part of the monastery appeared to be very neat and clean, and the mansion of the archbishop hand

The chanting of some fine deep-toned voices attracted me to the chapel, where the monks, assisted by the priest, were at their devotion. The dress of the former is singularly gloomy; on their heads they wore a high hat, covered with black crape flowing down the back : the habit, which fell below the ancles, was black cloth lined with a sombre dark blue stuff, their beards were of a great length, and each monk carried a rosary of brown or black beads. As I was returning, several beautiful monuments in the church-yard attracted my steps; they appeared to be constructed and arranged as in England. While engaged in examining them, an elderly lady, in deep mourning, apparently about sixty years of age, with a pale but dignified face, leaning upon the arm of a graceful youth, clad in the same suit of sorrow, slowly passed by me, and at some distance stopped before a small but elegant tomb, which, from its unsullied whiteness, had the appearance of having been but very lately erected. I noticed them unobserved. They stood under the shade of a wide spreading silver birch, and turning towards the church of the monastery, the youth pulled off his hat, and they both prostrated and crossed themselves, according to the forms of the Greek faith ; the female then, clasping her hands, dropped her head upon the pedestal of the monument, and appeared to be lost in profound and affecting meditation. The young man knelt by her side, and, if I mistook not the cause which moved his hand, he wept. Some minutes elapsed, they then arose, tenderly surveying the spot, ascended a hillock of


grass, and kissed a little marble urn, which surmounted the monument. My conjecture enclosed in it the heart of some long-loved husband, and father. They then withdrew in the same sad, solemn, and impressive manner, with which they entered, and I approached the object of their melancholy regard. The pedestal which supported the urn was embellished with two medallions ; one represented Resignation, with the face of a beautiful female, upon which the most angelic sweetness appeared to triumph over languor and pain ; the other depicted Hope, modestly, yet ardently looking to heaven. There was a small inscription between the two heads, in Russ, and underneath, the figures 1804. The Russians, like wise people, always bury their dead in the suburbs. The late empress never permitted burials in the day ; she thought, with some reference to the popular prejudice, that the gloom of the spectacle ought to be confined, as much as possible, to the relatives of the deceased ; and I should suppose that her ukase, regulating this awful ceremony, still continues, for I never saw a funeral during my stay in Russia.


The reader will, I am sure, be pleased with the beauty and pathos of the following stanzas, which form a part of the hymn recited over the body previous to its inhumation.

« Oh, what is life? a blossom! a vapour or dew of the morning! “ Approach and contemplate the grave. Where now is the graceful “ form! where is youth ! where the organs of sight! and where the “beauty of complexion !

“ What lamentation and wailing, and mourning, and struggling, 6 when the soul is separated from the body ! Human life seems alto“ gether vanity; a transient shadow ; the sleep of error ; the unavailing « labour of imagined existence. Let us therefore fly from every cor“ ruption of the world, that we may inherit the kingdom of heaven.”

« Thou Mother of the Sun that never sets ; Parent of God; we be« seech thee intercede with thy divine offspring, that he who hath “ departed hence may enjoy repose with the souls of the just. Un“ blemished Virgin ! may he enjoy the eternal inheritance of heaven 6 in the abodes of the righteous.'

The superstition of the Russians is very great. Upon the ceremony of blessing the waters in the winter, when a large hole is perforated in the Neva, a woman supplicated a priest to immerse her new-born child; the priest consented; but in dipping the miserable little sufferer, his fingers were so benumbed, that he irrecoverably dropped it under the ice; the parent, with a smile of delight, exclaimėd, “ He is gone to heaven.”

In one of the churches I saw a woman doing penance for the following crime : She had not long been married before she polluted the bed of her husband, whom she used to keep in an almost constant state of intoxication. One day, whilst she was indulging herself in her adulterous attachment, her husband unexpectedly appeared perfectly sober : stung with jealousy by what he saw, he sprang upon his guilty rival, and with a knife stabbed him to the heart. The laws of England would have protected the miserable man, but by those of Russia he was knouted and sent to Siberia ; and his wife, who was the authoress of this bloody tragedy, was ordered by her priest to prostrate herself six hundred times a day for two years, before the Virgin. Her conscience and her bigotry enforced punctual observance of the prescribed mortifications. By the Russian laws, if the husband is of a tyrannical and violent temper, a woman may commit adultery with impunity.

will prove :

The Russians are fanatically attached to the very stone, brick, wood, and plaster, of their churches: they have a remark, that whilst the Russians build their churches first and their towns afterwards, the English never think of a temple until they have erected their own dwellings.

It is somewhat singular, that with all their religious enthusiasm, the Russians pay their priests more miserably than we do our curates ; but perhaps it may be traced to the extreme ignorance of the former. After wealth and birth, knowledge awakens respect, and perhaps the Russian populace would revolt at the idea of making their ministers independent before their minds were cultivated ; to their saints they would devote their lives ; to their priests they give black bread. That the Greek faith admits of confession, the following anecdote

A priest came to hear the confession of a great man : “Holy father,” says the count, “have you a good memory?” “ Yes.” " Then you remember what I told you at my last confession ; since “ that I have had the same temptations from without; the same 16 weaknesses from within ; and here is the same number of rubles."

Another reason was now assigned for Paul's having introduced the magpie colour, which I have before mentioned : it was that the soldiers, raw recruits, and boors, employed for government, might the more readily distinguish the buildings which belonged to it.

As I crossed the drawbridge of the Ligova canal, the latter appeared to be almost choked with barks of a prodigious length, filled with billets of birch-wood, for the immediate use of the kitchen, and for a winter-stock of fuel ; this and the rent of houses, and necessary equipages, and bread, constitute the most expensive part of housekeeping in Petersburg, which in most other respects is moderate. These vessels, in which not only wood but charcoal is brought from the shores of the nearest rivers, or of the Ladoga lake, never return, but are broken up and sold, for building houses for the poor, or for fuel. These barks, unavoidably necessary, sadly disfigure the beautiful canals which form the pride and comfort of this capital ; and here, as upon the sides of the Seine, the washerwomen are the principal water nymphs. Most of the canals are finely embanked with granite, and have a rich iron railing running on each side. The Fontanka canal is eminently beautiful. These intersections of water assimilate Petersburg in some degree to Venice. As I returned

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