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stated distances are double flights of steps, communicating with the water, and furnished with seats for the accommodation of passengers. The whole of this stupendous work is composed of hewn granite.
The Royal Palaces of St. Petersburgh are very numerous. At the head of them is the Unten Palace, which is the usual residence of the Emperor. It is an immense structure, the front opposite the Neva being no less than 721 feet in length. One of its most magnificent apartments is the great hall of St. George, which is 150 feet long and 60 in breadth. It is surrounded by forty fluted Corinthian columns, having their capitals and bases of bronze, richly gilt, and supporting a gallery decorated in a similar style. At the opposite extremity of the great entrance is placed the throne of the Emperor, which is raised on a platform of eight steps, covered with embroidered velvet. It is here that the Czar receives the Foreign Ambassadors in state, and the Chapter of the Military Order of St. George is held.
Close to the Palace, and communicating with it, are two smaller buildings, called respectively the Great and Little Hermitage. These were the favourite places of retirement for Catherine II., in which, with her friends and favourites, she enjoyed the comforts of private life. These buildings are now used for an extensive and valuable collection of paintings, books, and various other objects of interest. The pictures are arranged in a long suite of apartments, each room being appropriated exclusively to the works of one master or school. Among them is the celebrated Houghton collection, which was purchased by Catherine for £20,000.
rine for £20,000. Among the many curiosities contained in the Palace is an extraordinary clock,
known by the name of l'Horologe du Paon, which was purchased in England by Prince Potemkin, who presented it to Catherine. When the chimes begin to sound, a peacock turns towards the spectators and spreads his majestic tail, an owl roll its eyes, and a cock crows, the case turns round to the tinkling of small bells, and a winged insect marks the seconds by hopping on a mushroom, which contains the machinery of the clock.
Of the public buildings belonging to the government service, the finest is the Admiralty, whose wings extends to the Neva, and terminate in a noble flight of granite steps. Its front, on the land side, measures more than one-third of an English mile. Its most remarkable object is a gilded spire, from which an admirable view of the city and its environs may be obtained. The Exchange is a very fine building; it looks directly upon the river, and is fronted by a fine granite quay. The interior consists of a single hall; one hundred and twenty-six feet in length, and sixty-three in breadth, on which the merchants meet daily at 3 o'clock.
Among the churches of the City, that of the Holy Virgin of Casen is the most remarkable. It is the work of a native artist, a Russian Slave. The plan of the building is that of a cone. At the point of the outer section it is surmounted by a large dome. The interior is arranged in a very magnificent style, for the service of the Greek church is characterized by great splendour. The body of the church presents an open space, no seats being allowed in a Greek church.
A lofty and richly adorned screen encloses the sanctuary, where a part of the ceremonies is performed, in private, as it is with the Jews when the sacrifice is made, before the priest issues.
As I advanced up the nave, I perceived the rites of the church were under celebration; the solemn chant of the priests was
“ Lord have mercy upon us; Lord have mercy upon us." On a sudden, the doors of the sanctuary were thrown open, and the bearded bishop appeared, clad in a raiment of purple and gold, the clouds of incense floated in the air, and the manly and sonorous voices of the priests again echoed through the dome. At one time the crowd were all prostrate on the floor ; at another, they were scattered in different parts of the church, some paying their devotions to the shrine of some particular saint ; others kissing the hands, feet, and faces of the holy paintings; others bowing their heads to the pavement, with an aspect of humility, that seemed to shun the light of heaven. All alike were wrapt up in their several acts of piety and adoration.
One of the greatest ornaments of St. Petersburgh is the statue of its founder, which stands on a gigantic pedestal; this forms the remnant of a huge rock, which lay in a morass, about four miles from the shore of the gulf of Finland ; it is 42 feet long and 27 broad, and is 21 feet high. The expense and difficulty of transporting it were soon overcome by money and machinery, and it was then conveyed to the shore, and afterwards embarked in a nautical machine, by water, to St. Petersburgh. The statue, an equestrian one, represents the Emperor, Peter the Great, in a Roman costume, and the inscription is simply, “To PETER THE FIRST-CATHERINE THE Second.” The monarch is represented in the attitude of mounting a precipice, the summit of which he has nearly attained. His head is uncovered, and crowned with laurel, while his right hand is stretched out as in the act of giving a benediction to the people. It is a pity we can't forget the foundation of St. Petersburgh.
Such, my young friends, is a brief outline of this extraordinary City, and Peter PARLEY wishes that many of you may some day visit it.
The frulicksome Duke.
STORY is told of Philip, the good Duke of
English writer :-
sister of the King of Portugal, which was solemnised in the depth of winter, at Bruges in Flanders, when, as by reason of unseasonable weather, he could neither hawke nor hunt, and was now tired with cards, dice, &c., and such other domestick sports, or to see ladies dance; with some of his courtiers he would in the evening walke disguised all about the towne. It so fortuned, as he was walking late one night, he found a country fellow quite tipsy, sound asleep, snorting on a bulke; he caused his followers to bring him to his palace, and there stripping him of his old clothes, and attyring him after the Court fashion, when he awakened, he and they were all ready to attend upon his excellency, and persuade him that he was some great duke. The poor fellow, admiring how he came there, was served in state all day long; after supper he saw them dance, heard musicke, and all the