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contrasted with the splendour of the cavalcade; CHAP. and among these, miserable hovels, and wooden huts, hardly discernible amidst clouds of dust. On Friday in the Easter-week, the place of promenade is better selected: it is then on a plain called La Vallée, and the sight is the most surprising that can be conceived. Long before reaching this plain, the throng of carriages is so great, that it can scarcely move'. At last the great scene opens, and the view which breaks all at once upon the spectator is indeed striking. A procession, as far as the eye can reach, is seen passing and repassing a spacious and beautiful lawn, terminated by the spires of a convent. Not less than two thousand carriages, generally with six horses to each, but
(1) It may be well to insert here an extract from Mr. Heber's Journal, concerning the population of this remarkable city; as that gentleman has made very particular inquiry upon the subject, and his zealous attention to accuracy appears in every statement.
“ The circuit of Moscow we have heard variously stated; it may, perhaps, be about thirty-six versts (twenty-six miles), but this includes many void spaces. The population is, as usual, exaggerated. It is decidedly greater than that of Petersburg; we should think three or four times as much, judging froin the concourse in the streets. The extent, in comparison with that of Petersburg, is nearly, as may be seen by the Plan, twelve to one; and yet, from the master of the police, of all men the most likely to know, the population was esti. mated at only 250,000 fixed inhabitants. The servants and numerous retainers of the nobles may be perhaps estimated at nearly 30,000, which are only here in winter." Heber's MS. Journal.
CHAP. never less than four, are present upon this
occasion. So much for the general effect. The appearance, in detail, of the equipages, lackeys, and drivers, beggars all description. The postillions are generally old men of a woful aspect, dressed in liveries of worsted lace, and wearing cocked hats: these wretched bipeds hold their whip and reins as if they had never before been so employed. The harness, consisting of ropes and cords, frequently ragged, and always dirty, is very unlike the white traces used in Poland, which have a pleasing, if not a magnificent appearance. The carriages themselves, almost as filthy as the night-coaches of London, are ill-built, old-fashioned, heavy, and ugly. It is only the amazing number of equipages that affords any ideas of wealth or grandeur. Examined separately, every thing is little and mean. The procession extends upon the plain as far as the convent before mentioned; and then it returns back, observing the order in which it advanced. In the line between the carriages, a space is reserved for the cavaliers, who make their appearance upon the most beautiful English and Turkish horses, riding, as they all maintain, à l'Anglois, but without the smallest resemblance to the manner of Englishmen. Their horses are taught the manège, and con
tinue to pace and champ the bit, without advancing a step; occasionally plunging, like those exhibited in ampitheatres; while their riders, in laced coats and ruffles, with cocked hats, and saddles sumptuously embroidered, imagine they display surprising feats of horsemanship. Several families preserve the old Russian costume, in their servants' habits; others clothe their attendants like the running footmen in Italy; so that the variety formed by such a motley appearance is very amusing.
The numberless bells of Moscow continue to ring during the whole of the Easter week, tinkling and tolling, without any kind of harmony or order. The large bell near the cathedral is only used upon important occasions: when it sounds, a deep and hollow murmur vibrates all over Moscow, like the fullest and lowest tones of a vast organ, or the rolling of distant thunder. This bell is suspended in a tower called The Belfry of St. Ivan, beneath others, which, although of less size, are also enormous. It is forty feet nine inches in circumference; sixteen inches and a half thick; and it weighs more than fifty-seven tons'.
(1) 3551 Russian pouds. Voyage de Deux Français, tome III. p. 295.
The Kremlin is, above all other places, most Sworthy a traveller's notice. It was our evening
walk, whenever we could escape from the engagements of society. The view of the city from this place surpasses every other, both in singularity and splendour; especially from St. Ivan's Tower. It is surrounded on all sides by walls, towers, and a rampart, and is filled with domes and steeples. Its appearance differs in every point of view, on account of the strange irregularity in the edifices it contains. Entering this
fortress by an arched portal, painted red, which Holy Gate. is called the Holy Gate, persons of every descrip
tion are compelled to walk bare-headed, near a hundred
paces. This gate is on the south side, facing the quarter of the shops. The approach to it is by a bridge, across the fosse that surrounds the walls. It is a vaulted Propylæum; and over the entrance there is a picture', before which a lamp is seen continually burning. Sentinels are here placed, as at all the entrances to the Kremlin. No person ventures to pass this
(1) “ You enter the Holy Gate by a long narrow bridge over the fosse. On the left hand is a noble view down to the river. The whole coup d'ail much resembled Seringapatam, as represented in Kerr Porter's Panorama. In passing under the Holy Gute, all hats are taken off, in reverence for a saint suspended over it, who delivered the citadel, as tradition affirms, by striking a sudden panic into an army of Poles, which had possession of the town, and had almost succeeded in forcing this gate of the KREMLIN." Heber's MS. Journal.
gate without taking off his hat? The author CHAP. wished to see if this absurd rule was rigorously enforced, and, feigning ignorance, entered beneath the arch with his hat on. A sentinel challenged him; but, without taking any notice of the sentinel, he walked forward. Next, a bare-headed peasant met him, and, seeing his head covered, summoned the sentinels and people with very loud expressions of anger; who, seizing him by the arms, very soon taught him in what manner to pass the Holy Gate for the future.
The Great BELL of Moscow, known to be the Great Bell. largest ever found, is in a deep pit in the midst of the Kremlin. The history of its fall is a fable; and as writers have been induced to copy each other, the story continues to be propagated. The fact is, the bell remains in the place where it was originally cast. It never was suspended; the Russians might as well attempt to suspend a first-rate line-of-battle ship, with all her guns
(2) In this description of the Kremlin (the antient residence of the Tsans of Russia), with its Holy Gate, the classical reader will recognise the old Grecian custom of the Acropolis, answering to the swuce Ninotidão of SOPHOCLES ( Electra, v. 10.); and the Obraze, or Image, placed over the Entrance, before which a Russian crosses himself, will remind him of the homage rendered by Orestes to the tutelary Gods of Mycenę, stationed over the consecrated Propylæa ; 7oortse teóruna valovou záds. Ibid. v.1391.