صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

III.

was by this time entirely melted; and the CHAP. sledge upon which our carriage moved was dragged over the stones by six horses, with so much difficulty, that at last the drivers gave it up, and declared the carriage would break, or the horses drop, if we compelled them to advance. The dragoon said we must take everything, exactly as we arrived, to the Commandant's; and proceed sitting in the carriage. At the same time he threatened the peasants with a flagellation; and giving one of them a blow over his loins, bade him halt at his peril. Another effort was of course made, and the sledge flew to pieces. It was highly amusing to observe the dilemma into which the dragoon was now thrown; as it was not probable either his menaces or his blows would again put the carriage in motion. A drosky was procured, on which we were ordered to sit; and thus we proceeded to the Commandant. From the Commandant we were next ordered to the Intendant of the Police: and all this did not save us from the visits and the insolence of two or three idle officers, lounging about as spies, who entered our apartments, examined every thing we had, and asked a number of frivolous and impertinent questions, with a view to extort money. Some of them found their way even into our bed-rooms, when

CHAP.

III.

we were absent, and gave our servant sufficient employment to prevent them from indulging a strong national tendency to pilfer; a species of larceny which actually took place afterwards, committed by persons much their superiors in rank.

COW.

The accommodations for travellers are beyond description bad, both in Petersburg and in Mos

In the latter, nothing but necessity would render them sufferable. Three roubles a day are demanded for a single room, or rather a kennel, in which an Englishman would blush to keep his dogs. The dirt on the floor may be removed only with an iron hoe, or a shovel. These places are entirely destitute of beds. They consist of bare walls, with two or three old stuffed chairs, ragged, rickety, and full of vermin. The walls themselves are still more disgusting, as the Russians cover them with the most abominable filth.

In thus giving the result of impressions made on entering this remarkable city, we might appeal to some of the first families in the empire for the veracity of the statement; but such a test of their liberality would materially affect their safety.

We shall therefore unreservedly proceed to relate what we have

III.

seen, in that confidence which a due regard to CHAP. truth will always inspire. Moscow contains much worth notice; much that may compensate for the fatigue and privation required in going thither-for the filthiness of its hotels, the profligacy of its nobles, and the villainy of its police.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

MOSCOW. .
Peculiarities of Climate-Impressions made on a first

Arrival - Russian Hotel - Persian, Kirgisian, and
Bucharian Ambassadors - Fasts and Festivals
Ceremonies observed at Easter-Palm Sunday-Holy
Thursday~Magnificent Ceremony of the Resurrection

-Excesses of the Populace Presentation of the
Paschal EggsBall of the PeasantsBall of the

Nobles-Characteristic Incident of Caprice in Dress.
CHAP.

THERE

HERE is nothing more extraordinary in this Peculiari. country than the transition of the seasons. The Climate. people of Moscow have no spring: Winter

IV.

ties of

СНАР.

IV.

vanishes, and summer is ! This is not the work of a week, or a day, but of one instant; and the manner of it exceeds belief. We came from Petersburg to Moscow in sledges. The next day, snow was gone. On the eighth of April, at mid-day, snow beat in at our carriage windows. On the same day, at sun-set, arriving in Moscow, we had difficulty in being dragged through the mud to the Commandant's. The next morning the streets were dry, the double windows had been removed from the houses, the casements thrown open, all the carriages were upon wheels, and the balconies filled with spectators. A few days afterwards, we experienced 73° of heat, according to the scale of Fahrenheit, when the thermometer was placed in the shade at noon.

sions made on a first arrival.

We arrived at the season of the year in Impres. which this city is most interesting to strangers. Moscow is in every thing extraordinary; as well in disappointing expectation, as in surpassing it; in causing wonder and derision, pleasure and regret. Let the Reader be conducted back again to the gate by which we entered, and thence through the streets. Numerous spires, glittering with gold, amidst burnished domes and painted palaces, appear in the midst of an open plain, for several versts before you reach

« السابقةمتابعة »