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Women are generally very quick sighted || in these affairs; and let me confess, that from the natural vanity of women I was not displeased with my conquest, I did not indeed forget that I was, as it were, betrothed to Constant, and I certainly loved Constant beyond every other in the world; but I flattered myself with the common delusion, that the addresses of the Count could certainly have no effect against my will; that they were therefore a mere harmless gratification; that conquest and lovers belonged to every woman of natural right, and that nothing was so easy as to rid myself of them whenever they exceed ed certain bounds. Whilst I am unmarried, said I, what should prevent me from enjoying the attentions of the Count, from receiving the natural homage of my beauty, from becoming the envy of women, which I need not tell you, Madam, constitutes the main triumph of the coquette.
"Under these impressions, I certainly did not treat the levity of the Count with that severity which might have repelied and terminated his pursuit. The Count, like most of his, sex perhaps, construing this passiveness into encouragement, resolved that I should no longer be in any doubt as to the nature and extent of his pretensions. An opportunity soon offered. Constant, the Count, and myself, were one day walking in the fields, and at some distance from my father's house, when there was every appearance of a storm. It was agreed that Constant should run to the house to procore an umbrella, whilst the Count should remain with me under the shelter of an ajacent tree. Constant had left me but a very few minutes, when the cloud pass ing over, the Count and myself agreed to extend our walk in the expectation that Constant would follow us in the same direction. The expected shower, however, overtook us, and we were compelled to torn out of our former path, which was through an open field, and to run for shelter into a bye lane which lay in a cross direction. Whether the act of sheltering me, as it were, in his arms, or the mere || favourableness of the opportunity, encouraged a more than usual freedom, I know not; suffice it to say, that from mere complimentary levity he quickly passed into a serious explanation, and terminated
by an unequivocal and ardent declaration of his love.-' Do not reject me,' said he, in the first impulse of your indignatiou. I know your situation, and I respect the rights of Constant, I follow the guidance of my passion in opposition to my understanding. Assist me, sweetest girl, to conquer myself; consider my love as a disease; endure its extravagancies till your gentle admonition and consolatory friendship can gradually cure it. Indeed, my lovely girl, I am no profligate; I am unfortunate and deserve your pity.'
Is this the return,' exclaimed I, for the hospitalities of my father and the friendship of Constant? and can you pretend to excuse it by necessity?'
"As to your father,' continued he, 'I am not insensible that his hospitality deserves a better return, and under these impressions I have day after day signified my intention of leaving him; you know that your father would not permit it, and, to confess the truth, I fear that my honour dictated more than my love could have obeyed. I have this consolation, however, that I have not abused the kindness of your father. My love for you has been the incidental and not the intended consequence of my reception at your father's; if your father himself were now to hear me, be could not. ike offence.'
"Have you any objection, then,' resumed I, that I should inform my father and Constant that you made this declaration.'
"Lovely Alicia,' said he, consult your own understanding; you cannot suppose that I am a man who fear another; but there is one thing I should fear, I should fear to give you pain; I would wish to avoid every thing which by any possibility could give a moment's uncasiness to one whom, in despite of honour and conscience, I so tenderly love. If you inform Constant of what has occurred, Constant like myself is a military officer; I need not speak more fully.'
"You have made me very unhappy,' rejoined I. 'What am I to do? Am I to. be exposed to the same daily declarations "No, Madam,' said he, 'command any thing and you shall be obeyed. I ask nothing of you but that degree of pity and compassionate friendship which by sooth
ing my passion in the beginning will gradually enable me to overcome it; I ask your assistance against myself; I implore you to act as ny guardian genius."
"In this part of our conversation we were joined by Constant. Had he possessed any previous suspicions, there was enough in the appearance of both of us to have confirmed them. For my own part, the Count had perfectly confounded me, and I had not enough collected my faculties to determine what I should do. As to the Count, approaching Coustant,- Confess,' said he, that you English lovers are either very confident of yourselves, or of your mistresses; you have left me long enough with your mistress to have made a declaration of love to her.'
your lover, why, the admiration of those
"I consider my mistress,' said Constant, ⚫ as a sailor who is one of my crew. If they can be tempted to desert, I think that by their desertion I lose nothing but what was not worth keeping; I should wish neither mistress nor sailor any longer than theytery, she has given us those of coquetare volunteers' ry. Assert your privileges, and fear nothing.'
"When I returned to my apartment, and had passed over in my mind the conversa- "Behold me, Madam, the dupe of this tion of the Count, I deemed it my duty insidious advice. It flattered my vanity, immediately to inform my mother of it.and I left the apartment of my mother with expected that she would of course instruct a resolution to suffer the Count to proceed me what farther proceeding to take. What as he might choose, and to trust to my was my astonishment when, after having own discretion før repressing and repelling heard me with a smile, and rallied my own him. seriousness, she replied as follows:-' You must not wonder, my dear, that I do not think so gravely of these things as you; what you consider as a miracle, occurs every day in life. You ought to have too good an opinion of your own beauty to feel any surprise that the Count is amongst your admirers. And as to the rights of
“In my next, I will proceed to inform you of the very fatal consequences which followed from this imprudence, consequences which have plunged me and others into almost hopeless misery. For the present, I am, Madam, Your's
OX THE PRESENT HANNERS, MODE OF LIVING, AND AMUSEMENTS OF THE RUSSIAN GENTRY AND NOBILITY.
was rapidly coming into gene al fashion, when the war breaking out necessarily suspended all intercourse. It has been well observed, however, that the hostility of Russia to England is so little natural that it cannot be expected to continue long. Under this idea, every one who is in a station of life which may enable him to travel abroad, very maturally thinks of Petersburgh, and there are more than one projected party on foot against the expected recommencement of the relations of peace and amity.
importunes, the lady is coy; the gentleman urges, the lady softens; the gentleman begins dancing, the lady after some reluctance gives him her hand, and the dance begins. It resembles, as will be seen, very strongly the Spanish fandango, but has more modesty, though equal expression. It is invariably the favourite dance at all entertainments. Another characteristic amusement amongst the Russians is the bathing-house. The bath is as national and universal in Russia as it was formerly in Greece and Rome, and is at present in Turkey. The Russians of all classes frequent the baths as if they were playhouses. These baths are usually situated by the side of the rivers or canals, and are all of them open to both sexes. The greater part of them are vapour-baths, the bath-room having a large vaulted oven, which is so strongly heated that the field stones which form the upper part of it are glowing hot. For augmenting this heat, water is sprinkled The Russians have nothing in common on these stones, by which means the room with the Germans; they are active, cheer- || is immediately filled with vapour. Round ful, and fond of pleasure; gaiety is as the walls are benches and scaffolds, by characteristic of a Russian as of a French-which every person may ascend, or descend man; he is to the full as thoughtless and into what degree of heat he may prefer. as volatile.
The following sketch of the present state of the manners and amusements of the Russians is intended for such of our fashionable readers as may have conceived such a purpose. We have endeavoured to render it as full as possible, or in other words, to render it a complete tableau of the present condition of the Russian peasantry, gentry, and nobility, with respect to their social life
A Russian neither walks, rides, and scarcely can remain in his seat a moment without singing. Every labour has its appropriate tune, and in the burthen of his || song he seems to forget the load of his fatigue. It is therefore a customary recreation of the higher ranks in Petersburgh to take with them into their boats, on their parties of pleasure, a band of good singers, who may sing to them the popular Russian airs. In summer the Neva is covered with boats which are full of these singers, and nothing can be more delightful than a walk on the Quay, to listen to this music as sweet as it is simple. The Russian popular music has a very strong resemblance to the Scotch.
The Russians are equally fond of the dance: they have a particular dance amongst them, which they distinguish by the name of the dove dance, and which in fact is the natural dance of the country. It is performed by one couple, who stand facing each other, at some distance, and act through all its parts the drama of making love to each other. The gentleman No. XLIV.-Vol. VI.
The bathers sit or lie in this hot vapour
The cold baths are nothing but parts of
The common Russians are as fond of boxing and wrestling as the common English, but they have not their fashionable boxers as in England. A Russian nobleman would P
still think himself disgraced by bringing || Neva is covered with carriages in which the himself on a level with a fighting black smith. A Belcher in Petersburgh would be speedily sent to the armies.
nobility and gentry are spectators, and not unfrequently actors in these sports. Booths are erected on every part of the river; the whole, during the winter, has a strong resemblance to an English fair, only that it is continued from day to day through the whole season. All the population of Peters
unfrequently supported on the bosom of the Neva, in a place where perhaps a few weeks previously large ships were sailing. If the mildness of the season, however, be such as to cause any apprehensions that the river could not stand this pressure, precautions are taken by the police to prevent accidents.
Another amusement with the Russians is the swing. In order to understand this diversion, it is necessary to understand the mechanism of the swings in use. They are of three kinds, some have a vibrating mo-burgh, their carriages, horses, &c. are not tion, others are turned round in a perpendicular, and others in an horizontal direction. The first of them consists of two high posts, on the top of which rests an axle having two pair of poles fixed in its centre. Each of these pair of poles has at || its two extremities a scat suspended to a moveable axis. The proprietor, by turning the axis that rests on two posts, makes -all the eight seats go round in a perpen dicular circle, so that they alternately almost touch the ground, and then are -mounted aloft in the air. The last kind is composed of chairs, chariots, sledges, wooden horses, swans, goats, &c. fastened at the extremity of long poles, and forced rapidly round in an horizontal circle. In the Easter holidays all kinds of machines are set up in the public squares, and the towns are one uniform scene of motion and pleasure. The nobility sometimes actually mix in these diversions, at others they drive round the scene in their splendid coaches, and altogether render the tout ensemble a most brilliant and pictur- || esque spectacle.
But the main diversion of the Russians of all classes is the ice-hill, This amusement can necessarily take place only in the winter, when the Neva is frozen over. The ice-hill is then thus constructed. It is composed of a scaffold of large timbers, about six fathoms in height, having steps on one side for ascending it, and on the other a steep inclined plane, formed of large blocks of ice laid together and consolidated by pouring water over them till the whole has frozen together. Along this plain the men descend as well as the women, in little low sledges with the most astonishing rapidity, and by the momentum required in the descent are impelled to a great distance along a large field of ice carefully swept clear of snow for that purpose, which brings them to a second hill, on which they mount, and return as before. The
The public amusements of the higher classes of St. Petersburgh differ very considerably from those of other countries. The establishments for public amusement are neither in number nor in sumptuousness proportionate to the wealth and population of Petersburgh. The reason of this is in the prevailing fashion, which is not in favour of an intermixture of the dif ferent classes of society. Here, in fact, is the main characteristic of Petersburgh as a metropolis. In London and Paris entertainments are fashionable in proportion as they are crowded; there is an intermix. ture even to confusion of all classes; every one may go and does go who can pay the price of admission. In Russia every thing is the reverse; what is called good company, is confined in family parties, circles of acquaintance, clubs, &c. to which a traveller cannot obtain admission without great difficulty, and which being without intermixture, and generally with a very high opinion of themselves, are formal, stately, and unentertaining. It is even deemed unbecoming to visit public places; ladies scarcely ever enter a playhouse. In a word, the fashion is against them.
As a substitute for theatres, therefore, the Russian fashionable world have instituted clubs. These are usually close and select circles, and have the usual append. ages of such; an empty pride and unmeaning and artificial formality. The three principal clubs at present existing are the English club, the Noble club, and the Burghers club.
The English club is the first in the rank
of respectability; all foreigners of respectable introduction and appearance are admitted into this club on a yearly subscription of about two pounds English. The newspapers, monthly journals, and a library, are attached to this club.
The Noble club is so called because of noble institution; every one, however, is admitted into this club who is of respectable manners and appearance; there is no exclusion, as is usual in Germany. Cards, billiards, and conversation are the main objects; there are frequently balls and dinners.
The Burghers' club is particularly framed for the entertainment of the general population, and from the intermixture of its company is the most entertaining of the whole. Here may be seen every class of society mingled together, and each social and considerate of the amusement of the other. Cards, and gaming of all kinds, are carried in this club to a very high point. The wines are of the first quality, and the supper is of the first magnificence; the court is very frequently of the Burghers' party.
The Russians are likewise peculiarly attached to their public walks, or promenades; the summer garden is constantly attended by all ranks of people; its walks are shaded by lime-trees, which have now become venerable by age. The prospect from hence on the Neva is delightful beyond description; here in the fine evenings in spring the whole population of Petersburgh, the rich, the poor, the tradesman, and the noble assemble, and here each displays what constitutes the pride of each. Here likewise, at one and the same time, may be seen an assemblage of individuals of all the numerous kingdoms and provinces which compose the Russian empire, each habited in his respective costume. The promenade on the Neva Quay is another favourite resort of the Russians of all classes. It is decorated on one side with a series of the most elegant edifices in Petersburgh; the Neva likewise is in itself a grand object; the bustle of commerce, the vessels moving to and fro, cutting the waves in full sail, create an agreeable contrast with the lively scene of business on the shore. Wherever the eye turns it
mcets with some striking object of art or industry. Such elegant streets are perhaps not to be seen in Europe as are on both sides of the Neva. The Panorama exhibited not long since in London, gave a very fine sketch of this promenade. The marble Palace, the Castle, and numerous other public buildings, are visible from this promenade, which, as a public walk, is eertainly unrivalled in the world; the Prado at Madrid will not bear a comparison with it.
This Quay is the favourite resort both in winter and spring; in the fine days of winter it serves as a terrace, from which the spectators may view the animating scene on the Neva. The rich and fashionable throng it by thousands for their better accommodation the footpath is during the whole winter swept of snow, and strewed with fine sand to prevent it from being slippery. The icy surface of the Neva, as viewed from this terrace, presents a most picturesque prospect; it is divided and intersected, like a spacious plain, into a thousand roads, and every road has its different object. When to this you add the perpetual throng of sledges and other vehicles passing and repassing on these singular highways, the sports of the icehills, and the noise, the merriment, the ludicrous falls of some, and the happiness of all, an Englishman may easily form a just idea of the winter amusements of the Russians.
There is another public walk termed the Fontanka, which is likewise a very fashionable resort; it is chiefly conspicuous for the noble public buildings which are daily increasing. The Russian nobility have adopted a taste which at least promises to adorn their country; every nobleman now vies with another in his splendid palace; every part of the empire is already assuming a new face under this fashionable rage.
Another favourite and, as it were, national amusement amongst the Russians is their processions on certain festal days. The first of May is one of these days; on this day there is always a grand procession of all the people of fashion in their most splendid equipages to the wood of Katherinenhof. Innumerable new carriages are launched, and new liveries displayed on Pa