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of the small pieces of money, and received in return a little wax taper, which they lighted at a lamp and placed in a girandole, before the picture of the saint they preferred amongst the legions enrolled in the Greek calendar. Some of them had a brilliant homage paid to them, whilst others were destitute of a single luminary. In the body of the church were inclined tables, containing miniatures of some of these sanctified personages in glass cases, adorned with hoods, of gold, silver, and brass, looking very much like a collection of medals. The screen, composed of folding-doors, at the back of the altar, to which a flight of steps ascended, was richly gilded and embellished with whole-length figures of saints of both sexes, well executed. In one part of the service the folding doors opened, and displayed a priest, called a Papa, in the shrine or sacristy, where lovely woman is never permitted to enter, for reasons that an untravelled lover would wonder to hear, without caring for, and which I leave to the ladies to discover. The priest always assumes his pontificals in this place, whilst it constitutes a part of the privileges of a bishop to robe in the body of the church. The sacerdotal habit was made of costly silk and rich gold lace; and the wearer, who appeared to be in the very bloom of life, presented the most mild, expressive, evangelical countenance, I ever beheld, something resembling the best portraits of our Charles I.; his auburn beard was of great length, fell gracefully over his vest, and tapered to a point. Seen, as I saw him, under the fa
vour of a descending light, he was altogether a noble study for a painter. After reading the ritual in a low voice, during which his auditory crossed themselves, and one man, near me, in a long and apparently penitential gown of sackcloth, repeatedly touched the basement with his head : the congregation
sung in recitative, and with their manly voices produced a fine effect. This will suffice for a description of the Greek church; as to its abstract mysteries, they are but little known, even to its followers, who recognise the authority of their own priests only, and renounce the supremacy of the Roman pontiff,
From this place we proceeded to a reformed catholic church, where the preacher was delivering, with apparently great pathos, a charity sermon, in German: every avenue was thronged almost to suffocation; whenever the orator had made a successful appeal, his hearers testified their approbation in savage acclamations, and the proper officers seized these impressive moments to collect from the congregation the fruits of their bountiful dispositions, received in a little silk bag, fastened to the end of a long stick, from which depended a small bell, shaken whenever charity dropped her mite.
I had good reason to believe that our landlord, who was a thorough-paced Italian, had been a devotee here, and wished to supply by extortion the vacancy which a sudden impulse of
EXCUSE FOR EXTORTION.
beneficence had occasioned in his purse, for the fellow had the impudence to charge us ten rubles and fifty copecs for a breakfast, a plain dinner, and a bottle of claret. “ “ Gentle“men,” said he, in reply to our remonstrance, (which by the bye was a successful one) “why do you object to high charges? they are the inevitable consequences of approaching the capital.” There are some who, thinking with less respect than I do of the Russians, would have thought that they had inoculated this native of the south with knavery, but I was satisfied from his tone, look, and gesture, that he took it in the natural way; so wishing that we might never see his face, nor that of a fortified town more, we mounted our carriage and proceeded to the gate leading to Petersburg, where we were again detained at the guard-house three quarters of an hour, because it was necessary that the deputy governor should once more see his own wretched scrawl at the bottom of our postorder, not then eren perfectly dry.
In what a situation would English travellers in their own country have been, with all their accustomed irritability and impatience, if the sound sense of a single vote had not overpowered the fortifying phrenzy of a certain illustrious engineer! How many governors, gates, and guards, would have been wished at the devil a thousand and a thousand times? The gratitude of those who are fond of loco-motive facility, should- long since have raised a monument to Wolfran Corn
RUSSIAN FINN HORSES,
wall. However, our stoppage reminds me to mention a characteristic which I had forgotten: before all the guard-houses in the north there is a raised platform of wood, upon which are little posts; against these the soldiers on duty recline their pieces.
Thank heaven! we are out of the town, although the road is very sandy and hilly. We travelled all night, and in attempting to ascend a long and steep hill, our cattle began to flag. There is a very material difference between the Swedish and Russian Finn horses; the latter are much larger but very weak; indeed they appeared to be nearly in the situation of the hack of an eccentric genius, who resolved to see whether his beast could not serve him without food; for seven days the poor thing fasted, but just as his master had taught him to live without eating, he died. Upon observing the stoppage, our peasant (for in Russia only one takes charge of the posthorses) descended, and breaking a sapling fir, would have belaboured his miserable animals most unmercifully, had we not interfered: famine or excess of labour had fixed them to the earth, and they had less motion than the firs of the dark and hideous forest in which the accident befel us. I would not have answered for the perfect patience of Job, had he been obliged to drive four in hand in Russian Finland.
In spite of the military jokes and sparkling philippics of Mr.
Windham in the senate, I was resolved to see if a volunteer uniform had really nothing of value in it, but to excite a jest. I speedily mounted my jacket, and with the peasant walked forward to the next post-house, distant about two miles and a half. It was in the dead of a cloudy night; as we approached the house, I saw upon a dreary heath six or seven sturdy peasants lying on each side of a great blazing fir-tree, fast asleep:
« Allow not Nature more than Nature needs ;
The moment the post-mnaster opened the door and beheld my regimentals, he bowed most respectfully, and upon the peasant's explaining the condition of our horses, he awakened the peasants by their fir-fire, and dispatched four of them to assist in drawing the carriage, and the remainder to catch the horses in the adjoining woods for the next post; he then very civilly placed three chairs in a line, and gave me a pillow, looking tolerably clean, and thus equipped, I was preparing to lay down, when a marchand de liqueur who lived in an opposite hotel, uncovered, with a large beard, a great bottle of quass in one hand, and a glass in the other, entered the room, and after crossing himself and bowing before me, he pressed me to drink; all these marks of distinction, to which let me add four good courier horses for the next stage, were the happy fruits of my volunteer jacket. Thus satisfied, I enjoyed two hours of delicious sleep, until the jingling bells of our poor post