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INSTITUTE OF MARIE.

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actively assistant. When Madame Bredkoff was sent to Moscow to organize an institution there, similar to that of St. Catherine's, the Empress-dowager, during her absence, took possession of her chair, and discharged all her functions.

It is with great pleasure I mention another instance of the munificence of the Dowager Empress, in an establishment called the Institute of Marie, which is wholly supported out of her private purse, and costs one thousand five hundred pounds per annum.

In this seminary, which is under the able direction of Madame Luky, fifty-six girls are clothed, maintained, and educated in French, German, Russ, arithmetic, drawing, and embroidery. In the latter, the young pupils have attained to such a high state of perfection, that the state dresses of the Imperial family are frequently made by them. At eighteen, the fair elèves are provided with respectable situations in genteel families; or married, when a little dowry is presented to them. The qualification required for the admission of a pupil is, not that she should have interest or friends, but that she should be destitute and friendless! The whole resembled a large, genteel, and happy family. When the money of an empire is thus expended, it is like the sun drinking up the exhalations of the earth, to return it in refreshing showers of dew.

By the same gracious order of the Empress-dowager, we

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FOUNDLING-HOSPITAL.

were admitted to the foundling-hospital, one of the most extensive and superb buildings in the residence. In this establishment, six thousand children, the offspring of shame or misery, are received, and protected.–Sublime idea! but let us examine whether the end of this great and benevolent design is answered. The children are classed according to their

age: in the first room were several little creatures who had been left one, two, or three, days before, at the office of secrecy, where the wretched mother at night, if nature will admit, with a trembling hand rings the bell, resigns her child to a porter, receives a ticket of its number, and in agony retires. When we entered a large room where the nurses were suckling the infants, the result of our enquiry and observation, in which I was much indebted to a very intelligent lady, who was herself a mother, and who accompanied us, was that, although the nurses, generally the wives of boors, were examined by surgeons, and bathed upon their admission, yet many of them displayed the effect of invincible habit, and were very dirty, notwithstanding the greatest vigilance and care to keep them clean; and, as many of them had nursed their own children seven or eight months before upon wretched fare, their milk was neitber rich nor copious: a circumstance which was visibly proved, by the meagre and unhealthy appearance of the nurslings. The difficulty of procuring an adequate number of nurses is great indeed; and with a suffcient quantity of milk, utterly impossible. The mortality is very great :

SINGULAR FEMALE FEATS.

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out of two thousand five hundred, infants received the

preceding year, five hundred perished! The conclusion is plain. Whilst the principle of this infant asylum is unquestionably propitious to libertinism, its present constitution and economy are ungenial to population. If this establishment were upon a smaller scale, it might possibly answer; but, extensive as it is, it seems to overstęp its object by too large a stride, and to countenance an opinion, that the cause of humanity and policy would be more efficaciously promoted even were no other barriers opposed to infanticide than nature and the laws. We repeatedly observed that the boys did not look so healthy as the girls, which inay be owing to the nature and hours of their labour being somewhat greater: indeed, eight hours toil is too much for boys of tender years. The gardens are very extensive: we there saw a recreation which is a great favourite with the Russians. A broad flat board, about eight feet long, was placed centrically over another of the same size and shape : a girl, about fourteen or fifteen years of age, stood at one extremity of the upper board, and at the other end two smaller girls, who, by alternately springing up, tossed each other to the height of five or six feet, from which they descended with uncommon skill and steadiness. A gentleman of the party, at the great hazard of his neck, unsuccessfully endeavoured to partake of the pastime. From the windows of the Foundling-hospital, in a sequestered part of the city, we saw the top of a private lying-in house, where only the

young Russians.

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IMPERIAL COURTSHIP.

patients and nurses are admitted, and the offices of tenderness and humanity are discharged, without curiosity, enquiry, or, developement.

I was very fortunate in being at Petersburg during two great causes of national festivity: the name day, as the Russians call it, of the Empress-dowager: and the nuptials of one of her daughters, the Grand Duchess Maria, a beautiful and amiable princess, about seventeen years

of

age, to the only son of the reigning prince of Saxe Weimar, a young man of twenty. It was the wish of the Empress-dowager that these events should be celebrated on the same day. This marriage, unlike the severe policy which state ceremony imposes on such occasions in other countries, had been preceded by a course of attentions and tenderness for two years preceding, during which period the young Prince had resided with the Empress-dowager, who wisely thought with Shakespeare, that

.“ Marriage is a matter of more worth
Than to be dealt in by attorneyship.
For what is wedlock forced, but a hell ;
An age of discord, and continual strife ?
Whereas the contrary bringeth forth bliss,
And is a pattern of celestial peace.”

· On the third of August, N. S. I went with a party of friends to the Winter-palace, the vast area before which was covered with carriages; on our arrival we proceeded up the grand marble stair-case, through a suite of superb rooms, to an apart

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ment of the foreign ministers, who were splendidly attired. In this room was the lady of the British ambassador, who in her dress and person did honour to the magnificence and beauty of the British empire. All the rooms were uncornmonly crowded with people in full gala dresses, and about one o'clock the procession inoved from the Empress-dowager's apartment: after a long line of marshals and state officers, vying with each other in the splendour of their dresses, appeared the Emperor, in a plain suit of regimentals, leading the Empress-dowager by the hand, the Empress, in a superb dress covered with diamonds, walking by his side (the former always takes the precedence of the latter, by an ukase of Paul); then followed the beautiful Grand Duchess, between the young

Prince of Weimar and the Grand Duke Constantine, in a blaze of jewelry : upon her head was a crown of diamonds, upon her shoulders a long robe of crimson velvet lined with ermine, the train of which was supported (and the intense heat of the weather called for all the support that could be afforded her) by several peers of high rank, and in her bosom she wore a most superb bouquet of flowers in diamonds; then followed the rest of the Imperial family, and a train of lords and ladies closed the whole. As they passed through the guard-room, which was lined with a detachment of gigantic guards, it was amusing to see how these colossal images curled their stiff whiskers with delight as their Emperor passed. When the procession entered the Greek church in the

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