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ADJACENT COUNTRY.

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section is called the Admiralty quarter, situated on the south side of the river, and comprises the largest and most superb part of the city, and is the residence of the Imperial family, the nobility, a principal part of the merchants and gentry, and nearly the whole of the trading community: this part is formed into a number of islands by the intersections of the Moika, the Fontanka, the Katarina, and Nikolai canals. The second section is named the Vassili Ostrof, situated on the north-west of the river, where there are many public buildings and elegant streets; this part coincides with the Fauxbourg St. Germaine of Paris : and the third is called the Island of St. Petersburg, standing on the north side of the river, and is distinguishable for the fortress and some good streets.

The country about the city is very flat and sterile; but the gardens in the suburbal part have been much improved by the introduction of vast quantities of vegetable mould, which has been brought from distant parts of the country, and also by ship ballast. The morning after our arrival was spent in delivering our letters of introduction; and such is the spirit of hospitality here, so frequently and so justly extolled, that it became necessary to chronicle down the invitations that floved in upon us from all quarters.

In our walk upon this occasion, it was with astonishment that we beheld the bank and pavement of hewn granite,

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which we first saw in the English line in the Galeerenhof: figure to yourself a parapet and footpath of the hardest rock which nature produces, of great breadth and thickness, gracing the southern side of the river, and running parallel with a line of magnificent palaces and splendid mansions for near two English miles !

In the evening I visited the summer gardens that face the Neva, the palisade of which, unquestionably the grandest in Europe, is composed of thirty-six massy Doric columns of solid granite, surmounted by alternate vases and urns, the whole of which, from the ground, are about twenty feet high, connected by a magnificent railing, formed of spears

of wrought iron tipped with ducat gold. The decorations over the three grand entrances are also exquisitely wrought, and covered with gold of the same superior quality. As near as I could ascertain by my own paces, the length of this magnificent balustrade must be about seven hundred feet. The pillars would certainly be improved were they thinner or fluted. It is customary to attend a little more than ordinary to dress in this promenade, as the Imperial family frequently walk here. The walks are very extensive, umbrageous, and beautiful, though too regular; they are all of the growth of Catherine the Second's taste and liberality. Here only the chirping of the sparrow is to be heard; not a thrush, linnet, or goldfinch, are to be found in Russia. Amongst the women,

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who were all dressed d la mode de Paris, there were some lovely faces; but, to prevent incense being offered upon a mistaken altar, let me hint that they were Polish beauties : to each of the groupe one might have said,

You are the cruell'st she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave
And leave no copy.”

А young officer of the Imperial guards approached one of them and kissed her hand, and, as he raised his head, the lady kissed his cheek: it is the custom in Russia. Is it possible, thought I, that this spot, in no very distant day, owned a Swedish master? Can a little paltry bridge make all this difference between the belles of the two countries? But I will leave this point undecided. Be it as it may, the salutation was the most graceful I ever witnessed: it was politeness improved by the most charming gallantry-bows, curtsies, and salams, are icicles to it. Whilst France furnishes us with caps and bonnets, and Egypt with dusky side-boards, may the Russians fix the universal mode of friendly meeting between the sexes for ever and for ever!

This captivating characteristic, and, as the sun descends, the gentle sound of lovers whispering in the shade, and the beauty of the spot, entitle the Summer Gardens to the name of the Northern Eden. Where the parties are not familiar,

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the lady bows, never curtsies: the attitude is very graceful. As I am upon the subject of kissing, and quit it with reluctance, I beg leave to state, that in Easter every Russian, be his rank in life however humble, and his beard as large, long, and as bristly as ever graced or guarded the chin of a man, may, upon presenting an egg, salute the loveliest woman he meets, however high her station : they say, such is the omnipotence of the custom, that, during this delicious festival, the cheek of the lovely Empress herself, were she to be seen in the streets, would not be exempt from the blissful privilege.

As I approached the Summer Gardens, to which a great number of equipages were hastening, it was curious to observe the prodigious fulness of the horses' manes and tails, which are never cropped: to the former the Russians pay a religious attention; they even carry it so far as to adorn them, as many of the British fair decorate themselves, with false hair. To show the various prejudices of mankind, it is only a short time since that mares were rode. On the appearance of a friend of mine some years since mounted upon one of them, the men expressed their astonishment, and the women tittered. Geldings are prohibited as useless animals. In the streets it

very common to see pairs of Russians, who in their dress much resemble the boys of Christ's Hospital, walking hand in hand, never arm in arm.

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The Russian language sounded very sweet to my ears, and peculiarly so as it flowed from the lips of Madame Khremer of the English line. There is something very musical in the following expression : “ Pazar vleita, padeta suda,Pray, sir, come and sit by me. French is chiefly spoken amongst the well-bred Russians, who are said to be imperfectly acquainted with their own language: this is one of the foolish effects of fashion. The Russians always add the christian name of their father to their own, with the termination of ivitch or evitch, which denotes the son, as ovna or eona does the daughter.

It requires some interest, time, and trouble, before a stranger can see the palaces and public buildings, I therefore recommend him, through the medium of his ambassador, to be speedy in making the arrangements for this

purpose. Whilst these matters were negotiating in our favour, I resolved to make the best of my time in seeing what lay expanded before me. Accordingly a friend of mine ordered his Russian servant to drive us to the fortress: when the man received his orders, he curled up his beard, took off his hat, scratched his head, and expressed, by his manner, some reluctance and disgust, which arose, as we afterwards found, from the horror with which the common Russians regard the citadel, on account of its containing the state dungeons, and of the horrible stories to which they have given birth. As we galloped all

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