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his pomp and glory, before his fond and adored sovereign. The walls of these splendid apartments were most richly and beautifully illuminated, and decorated with various exquisite transparencies; and the siairs, hall, avenues, and sides of the rooms were lined with officers of state, attached to the household of the prince, and servants, in the most costly dresses, and magnificent liveries. The orchestra exceeded six hundred vocal and instrumental musicians, and announced the entrance of the empress and her court, richly attired, by a grand overture and chorus, which reverberated through the colonnades and saloons. Potemkin conducted his imperial visitor to an elevated chair glittering with gold and diamonds: midway between the columns were boxes gilt with pale gold, and lined with green silk, filled with spectators in gala dresses. The festivity commenced with a dance of youths of both sexes, habited in white, and covered with pearls and jewels, at the head of whom were the present emperor and the grand duke Constantine his brother. After the dance, and the most costly refreshments, the party repaired to the theatre, at the other end of the palace, where an occasional piece, composed in honour of the empress, was performed, in which all the powers of singing, acting, dancing, dress, scenery, and decorations, were displayed. Upon the conclusion of the drama, the audience rose, and, as if impelled by magic, the benches, touched by springs, moved and formed into tables and little seats, which were almost instantaneously covered with the richest viands, served up in gold and silver. The curtain again rose, and discovered a hall of mirrors, from which descended globular lustres of crystal, and a table appeared covered with the rarity of almost every region, splendidly served in gold; and at the head, upon a throne gilded and glittering with precious stones, sat the empress surrounded by her court, the most brilliant in Europe. Such were the arrangements in this place, that every one could see and be seen. In the colossal hall were spread tables filled with delicacies and the most costly wines, and at the head of it was a prodigious massy cistern of solid silver, containing sterlet soup, which is said alone to have cost ten thousand rubles. During this splendid repast, in every room the softest music was heard, which rather enlivened than restrained the current of conversation. Universal decorum and hilarity prevailed; every wish was anticipated, every sense was gratified.
The banquet was followed by a succession of magnificent exhibitions, and the empress did not retire till midnight. As she proceeded to her carriage, it was observed that she appeared much affected by the homage which had been paid to her, encreased, perhaps, by the tender remembrance of departed hours; and as she turned to bid the prince adieu, she could scarcely support herself: at this touching moment, Potemkin fell upon his knees, and covered her hand with his tears and kisses: it was destined that he should never more behold her under that roof, and his mind seemed to be fully possessed of the idea. A short time afterwards, as he was proceeding from Yassy to Nicolaief, he was seized with a violent cholic, which it is supposed was produced by his singular irregularities; he alighted from his travelling carriage, supported by his nieces, with diffîculty reached a bank on the side of the road, and expired in their arms. His remains were interred with magnificent honours, at Cherson, on the banks of the Dnieper, and a splendid mausoleum was raised to his memory by the order of her czarian majesty.
The dislike which Paul ever bore towards Potemkin, principally on account of his being the favourite of his imperial mother, induced the emperor, during the dreadful subversion of his mind, to order the body of the prince to be raised and exposed, and the mausoleum destroyed. A lady whom I met, and who was obliged, during this fearful period, to take refuge in the Crimea, beheld the ruins of the tomb, and the remains of the prince exposed to the birds of the air.
To what trifles do many persons owe their elevation : Potemkin was indebted for his honours and fortunes to a feather. In the revolution which gave the late empress sole possession of the throne, she appeared at the head of the Ismailof guards, when Potemkin, a young officer in the cavalry, perceiving that she had no feather in her hat, as she appeared on that momentous occasion en militaire, rode up to her and presented his. This extraordinary man experienced, in early life, a disappointment of the heart, which so frequently forces the mind out of its proper sphere, and unsettles it for ever. Potemkin rushed into the field of battle, and in search of death obtained glory. The cruel fair one still rejected him, notwithstanding his scars and honours, became violently smitten with an ugly old man, whom she married, and hated for ever after.
Potemkin very frequently refused to pay his tradesmen. It is said that a very celebrated French veterinary professor went from
Vienna to Petersburg, for the purpose of curing a beautiful charger, that had been presented to the prince by the emperor Joseph II, and which was so ill that the medical world of Petersburg had given it over. The professor built a stable for the animal upon a particular construction, and after the most incessant attention succeeded in restoring it to health. When the horse-doctor waited upon Potemkin with the joyful news, and expected to be profusely paid for the heavy sums of money which he had expended, and for his time and skill, he was forbidden the sight of the prince, never could see him afterwards, and never was paid: yet, notwithstanding these occasional acts of avaricious dishonesty, and although his property was estimated at nine millions of rubles in cash, forty-five thousand peasants, besides two pensions, one of seventy-five thousand rubles, and another of thirty thousand rubles, for his table, such was his prodigality that he was frequently embarrassed. In winter he used to wear a muff of the value of one thousand pounds.
In one of the prince's journeys to the Crimea, Mr. Gould attended him, being at that time his head gardener, and was preceded by several hundred assistants. Whenever the prince halted, if it were only for a day, he found his travelling pavilion raised, and surrounded by a garden in the English taste, composed of trees and shrubs, raised, and carried forward as the cavalcade proceeded, and divided by gravel walks. Yet, strange to relate, amidst this Asiatic pomp, whilst the subordinate attendants fared upon every dainty that wealth could purchase, the poor Englishman, whenever the prince requested him to travel in his carriage, which frequently occurred, was obliged to put up with the most homely fare, which Potemkin, always irregular and eccentric, generally preferred. At a sumptuous entertainment, where every rarity of epicurism invited the appetite, the prince has been known to order a raw carrot, or turnip, and to dine upon
it. I must relate the following little anecdote, and then I have done with Potemkin. One day, in the course of their journey, they halted at Bender, in Bessarabia, where, whilst the prince was alone at dinner, Mr. Gould rambled about the neighbourhood, for the purpose of discovering the scite, or remains, of the house of Chares XII of Sweden, in which, on the twelfth of February, 1713, he and a few followers madly bade defiance to the whole Ottoman army,
after having been repeatedly and earnestly entreated to leave the dominions of the grand Turk. After a diligent search, with the assistance of some of the natives, the English gardener discovered the ruins which the eccentric spirit of the Swedish king had rendered so interesting, and exultingly returned to the prince with the intelligence, who exclaimed, with liberal joy, “ The English discover every thing,” immediately proceeded to it, and, after regarding its remains with a very lively sensation, ordered the house to be repaired, and partly rebuilt, and a garden to be constructed round it, which was accordingly done, as a monument of his respect for the conqueror of Narva.
ENGLISH GROUND IN RUSSIA-NATIONAL BATHSA NEW SECT-HOW
CUSTOMS VARYA PANACEA-VISIT TO THE EMPEROR'S GREATEST
MARBLE CHURCH AND PASQUINADE-ACADEMY OF ARTS-A TRAVELLER'S CIVILIZING IDEA-A ROW TO KAMME NOI OSTROFF-DELICACY AND GRATITUDE-BRAVERY AND GENEROSITY OF GUSTAVUS III, TO HIS BARGEMANAN ELEGANT AND GRATEFUL COMPLIMENT-RUS
ITALIAN EARS AND COWS-FOREST
DURING my stay at Petersburg, I paid several visits to the country houses of the English merchants on the Peterhoff road, where they live in great elegance. In the gardens of one of them, I trod with delight upon British ground. An ardent love for his country had induced the hospitable owner, at a great expense, to bring a quantity of English ballast from British ships to cover his walks with. Every garden is furnished with large swing's, capable of holding two persons standing, and one between sitting. Of this diversion the Russians are very fond. As I was roving in my friend's grounds I heard the cry of some hounds in an adjoining kennel, belonging to a Russian nobleman : the nobility are very fond of the sports of the field. The gentlemen of the English factory have a regular pack and sporting establishment at Garrella. Having assumed a tolerable shabby dress, no difficult thing for a traveller at any time to command, for the purpose of qualifying ourselves for the approaching scene, and to prevent the suspicion of improper motives, we proceeded to the great national bath on a Saturday, which seems to be a purifying day every where.
After passing over a raised wooden path, by the side of a long wooden wall, we halted at a house built of the same materials, which formed the grand entrance. Here, upon paying five copecs a-piece, from a hole in a dark shed, or magazine of birch rods with the leaves on, a hand poked out one of them to each of us, which we took, without, at the time, knowing for what purpose they were to be used. On the entrance on each side were stalls of black bread, little pies,