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brethren, those matchless works of art, which now adorn the gates of the Thuilleries. The spot where this statue is raised is always very much thronged, on account of its being central, and leading to one of the bridges.
I bestrode one of the little droshkas which I have described; my driver, who emitted a most pestiferous atmosphere of garlic, with a tin plate upon his back, marked with his number, and the
quarter to which he belonged, (a badge which is used by all the fraternity, to facilitate their punishment, if they behave ill), drove me with uncommon velocity. His horse had a high arch of ash rising from his collar, more for ornament
I was much struck with the prodigious length and breadth of the streets, and with the magnitude and magnificence of the houses, which are built in the Italian style of architecture, of brick stuccoed, and stained to resemble stone. They are mostly of four stories, including the basement, in the centre of which is generally a large carriage gate-way:
the roof slopes very gently, and is formed of sheets of cast iron, or of copper, painted red or green; and behind there is a great yard, containing the out-houses, and ice-houses, and immense stores of wood. The vast number also of chariots, each of which was drawn by four horses, the leaders at a great distance from the shaft horses, very much augmented the effect. The postillion is always a little boy, habited in a round hat, and a long coarse coat, generally brown, fastened round the
middle by a red sash, and, strangely reversing the order of things, is always mounted on the off horse, and carries his whip in his left hand. The little fellow is very skilful and careful, and it is pleasant to hear him, whenever he turns a corner, or sees any one in the road before him, exclaim, or rather very musically sing," paddee ! paddee! paddee !” The coachinan, or, as he is called, the Ishvoshick, is dressed in the same manner, and wears a long venerable beard; behind the carriage are one or two servants in large, laced, cocked hats, shewy liveries, military boots and spurs. What an equipage for St. James's-street on a birth-day! The beard of the Russian charioteer would here produce as strong a sensation, as did the neat, formal, little bob wig of Lord Whitworth's coachman in the streets of Paris. The carriage and horses in attendance are standing the greater part of the day in the court yards, or before the houses of their masters ; the horses are fed in harness, and the little postillion is frequently twenty-four hours in the stirrup, eats, drinks, and sleeps on horseback, and the coachman does the same upon his box. A stranger immediately upon his arrival, if he wishes to maintain the least respectability, is under the necessity of hiring a coach or chariot and four, for which he pays two hundred rubles a month. Without this equipage a traveller is of no consideration in Petersburg.
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ADVANTAGES OF THE IMPERIAL CITY-THE VILLAGE ARCHITECTTHE SUMMER GARDENS-KISSING-HORSES WITH FALSE HAIR
SWEETNESS OF RUSSIAN LANGUAGE-BEARDED MILLINERS-INCORRUPTIBILITY OF BEARDS-GREAT RICHES AMASSED BY COMMON RUSSIANS-THE CAUSE OF HUMANITY AND JUSTICE-MUSIC AND ARGUMENT BETTER THAN THE WHIP-A NEGRO'S NOTIONSSLAVERY-THE NEW KAZAN-THE KNOUT.
PETERSBURG is worthy of being the capital of an empire as large as the half of Asia, more than twice the size of Europe, and covered with a population of forty millions of people. Its boundaries measure about twenty English miles, but the circumference of the ground actually built upon is considerably less. The vast space of its streets and areas will ever give it superiority over every other European capital; but its principal beauty arises from its being the result of one mighty design.
In almost every other city, the buildings at once display the progress of its prosperity and taste. In some dark and
narrow lane a palace rears its head; or, in an handsome street, the eye is suddenly offended, by beholding the little squalid abode of a marchand de liqueur. Most towns, in their progress, have resembled the house of the Cornish fisherman, who at first thriftily built his little abode of one story; becoming prosperous, he resolved upon raising it, and accordingly sent for a neighbouring carpenter: the village architect, to whom I suppose the names of Holland, Wyatt, and Cockerell, were as foreign as that of Palladio, upon being informed of the object of his employer's wishes, the builder very judiciously begged him to stand up, took measure of his height, and raised his simple chateau one story higher, in which the owner and his wife could very comfortably walk without stooping. In process of time, the fisherman became rich by privateering, the house must be enlarged, the roof was removed, and two rooms, twice the height of those below, occupied the place of the garret, which was promoted one story highe
In the capital before us, time has been actively and ardently employed in filling up one grand outline. What death prevented Peter the Great from executing, successive sovereigns, and particularly Catherine II., and the present Emperor, with great taste and encouragement, hare nearly accomplished, So rapidly has this city risen, that a traveller might think that one mind had planned, and one hand had executed the whole. Very few of the antient wooden houses remain; and those
which have not yet fallen a prey to time, are lost in the splendour of the buildings that surround them.
Of the magical celerity with which buildings are constructed in Petersburg the reader may judge, when he is informed that five hundred noble houses were erected in the last
year; yet, though building so rapidly advances in the city, its population, by the last estimate, it appears has rather declined, whilst that of the country has encreased. I have before stated the amount to be forty millions, in which two females are averaged to one male.
To all great national works, the government and the genius of the country have been propitious. Unbounded power presents an Emperor of Russia with the lamp of Aladdin; at his nod a temple of ice rears its chrystal front, or a rocky mountain floats upon the deep. * At Petersburg there is no public to consult, the public buildings are therefore the result of one man's will. In England the public is every thing, and the variety of its taste appears in the variety of its buildings.
Petersburg is divided into three grand sections by the Neva, and a branch of it called the Little Neva, which issues from the Ladoga lake, and disembogues in the gulf of Cronstadt: this division resembles that of Paris by the Seine. The first
* The pedestal of Peter the Great, which was floated up the Neva on vast rafts.