« AnkstesnisTęsti »
aide-de-camp general for the day, the gen- were Countess Adlerberg, Princess Viasemski, eral commanding the military household, etc. Princess Kotchoubey, and one I did not know So many «militaries»! Certainly a thousand - the oldest in rank in Russia, I believe; and
» swords could have leaped from their scab- they also helped to fasten the imperial manbards at a word. The imperial standard (each tle of cloth-of-gold and ermine, of great czar has a new one) was displayed on the weight. As the Czarina returned to her steps of the platform, with its motto, in place, she turned a face full of emotion to Slavonic letters, « God with us.)
her husband and held out her hand, and he The service began with the Emperor's con- taking it and stooping down, they kissed each fession of faith, which was so like our own other. His Majesty now received the scepter that I could follow it easily. The metropolitan and globe again, and Emperor and Empress came forward to hear him make it, and re- stood crowned before their thrones and wearsponded at the end, « May the grace of the ing the imperial mantles, while the priests Holy Ghost abide with thee.» I understood proclaimed the titles of the autocrat of all comparatively little of the rest; but they say the Russias at full length;- and the beautiful that the prayers are wonderfully beautiful. chants that followed were drowned in a clangFrom the first moment to the last the Em- ing of bells and a noise that seemed loud peror was the central figure. If one looked enough to announce the coronation to the away, it was only to see how every one was whole of Russia. During the singing the imwatching him. His voice certainly trembled perial family left their places to come and when he began to read, but it gained confi- congratulate the Emperor and Empress, the dence as he went on, and he looked (as he little Czarevitch first. There was much emalways does, to my mind, with or without a bracing and plenty of tears. crown) every inch an emperor. Throughout It was after this that, as the noise of the the whole service he bore himself with great bells and cannon died away, the Emperor took dignity, and in a manner worthy of such an the book from the metropolitan and knelt to occasion. After the creed and the reading pray, reading the prescribed words, he alone of the epistle and the gospel, he ordered the kneeling, while priests and congregation imperial mantle to be brought, which was stood. This was the prayer: clasped round his neck with the collar of St. Andrew, lifted the magnificent crown from
O Lord God of our fathers, and supreme Ruler the cushion on which it was presented, and of sovereigns, who hast created everything by receiving the benediction from the metro- Thy word, and in Thy wisdom hast set up man politan, « in the name of the Father, and of that he may govern the world in holiness and
righteousness; Thou hast chosen me as Czar and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,» placed it on judge of Thy people. I confess Thy inscrutable his head, and holding the scepter in his right providence with regard to me; and, in giving hand and the globe in his left, seated him- thanks, bow down before Thy majesty. And Thou, self upon his throne, looking a very noble my Lord and God, instruct me in the work for which presentment of a czar of all the Russias. The Thou hast sent me; enlighten my path and direct Empress seemed to have caught something me in this great ministry; let the wisdom of Thy of his air, for that day a certain stateliness throne abide with me, send it down from Thy holy was added to all her charm. She was very
heavens, that I may know what is pleasing in Thy pale, but I thought that I had never seen her eyes, and what is in accordance with Thy com
mandments. Let my heart be in Thy hand, that look more sympathetic. She now left her I may order everything to the advantage of the place, and went to kneel before her husband people intrusted to me and to Thy glory, so that on a cushion which had been placed for her at even in the day of judgment I may without conhis feet by Prince Waldemar. The Czar lifted demnation render my account to Thee: by the his own crown from his head, and placed mercy and bounty of Thy only-begotten Son, with it an instant on hers before replacing it. whom, and with Thy holy and good and life-giving Then, taking her crown from its bearer, he Spirit, Thou art blessed unto the ages.
Amen. held it in place while the four dames d'honneur fastened it securely to her head. These
As the Emperor rose from his knees we all
knelt down, and then followed the prayer of 1 I was given, in Russia, an account of a previous priests and congregation for him, led by the coronation, which I have had translated. It is to be metropolitan, the Emperor alone standing in supposed that the form does not vary; so I have put in the crowded church. As I have said before one of the prayers from this account further on. 2 «Sweet to a Russian heart,» my chronicler says,
this was the most impressive moment of all. « this picture of an immense state occupying the ninth
The choirs now sang again--that beautiful, part of the world! »
unaccompanied singing of the Greek Church,
though here it had an accompaniment of all route as he went to each cathedral of the the Kremlin bells. After a magnificent Te Kremlin to « salute » the tombs of his foreDeum the mass began, in which, before com- fathers and to kiss the holy relics. He and municating, the Czar was to be anointed with the Czarina walked under a baldachin that the holy chrism (the « seal of the gift of the was a replica of the one in the cathedral, Holy Ghost ») on forehead, eyelids, nostrils, only bigger. This most splendid umbrella lips, ears, breast, and hands. The oil for this since the world began was carried by Chevaanointing is prepared by the priests with the liers Gardes (all the honorable duties of the greatest care, in vessels of silver; and they coronation day fall to this regiment, and I themselves fast absolutely for sixteen hours really don't know how anybody could be before a coronation, spending the time in crowned without them); but I did n't like it, prayer. After the Emperor, the Empress is for it looked very heavy, and almost hid the anointed at the holy doors, but only on the royal pair, though I did catch the shine of forehead. Also in the holy communion she the diamond crowns and gold mantles. All receives as an ordinary member of the Greek this time we were waiting on the route the Church; but the Emperor, on the day of his Emperor had already gone, and in a real coronation, « in view of the sovereignty that crowd and a real noise, --- cheering and clash resides in his person,» receives as the priests of trumpets at the national hymn, -our veils receive, in both kinds separately.
pulled one way and our trains another, our Of all this I saw nothing because of the in- heads in a very hot sun, and our feet in thin tervening pillar. But I did see their Majesties shoes on the wet red cloth, which had got leave their thrones, and go down the steps of soaked in the showers of rain. One trementhe platform to the holy doors of the screen, dous crush, and we could breathe again. The closely attended by the colonel of the Cheva- Emperor had passed up the Red Stair, had liers Gardes with his drawn sword, and pre- turned to salute his people, receiving a treceded and followed by endless high dignitaries, mendous acclamation in answer, and had returning in the same order after the anoint- passed into the palace. ing and the holy communion. After this there I had thought we were now to follow his was very little more of the ceremonial in the Majesty up the stair and see the imperial cathedral. At the end of the usual service « banquet.» Not a bit of it. We were led at there were some special prayers and chants once to the «diplomatic lunch » spread in the for the newly crowned pair, — « Long life to Salle d'Or, or Hall of the Czarina. I was the crowned of God! » --and in the silence extremely disappointed. It seemed to me a that followed the priests held up the cross break in the ceremonial which robbed it of for their Majesties to kiss, the Emperor re- half its effect, and so I found that it did when, placed the crown, which he had laid aside at our long meal over, we were taken to the the beginning of the mass, and carrying the Granovitaya Palata and ranged in order beglobe and scepter, moved with the Empress fore the throne, but at some distance from toward the cathedral doors.
it, to see the Emperor and Empress served. My little French neighbor breathed a long One could not help feeling, after so long a sigh of relief (we had been standing just five pause between the church services and the hours), and began, so to speak, to pick up his banquet, that their crowns had been off in the wife and daughter and be off. «Wait a interval, and that they had certainly had a minute,» I said; « let 's hear how they greet «snack » of something or other, and perhaps him outside. And at that instant the people a cigarette. For me the pomp and dignity must have caught sight of the Emperor, for and splendor worthy of the coronation were we heard a tremendous acclamation again and over when the Czar turned from the Red again repeated. Mr. M— looked dubious Stair into the palace door.
. when I told him of the enthusiasm. « They The Granovitaya Palata is a room of endwere probably told to do it,” he said; and I'm less associations in Russian history. In apafraid they were. For from where E- sat pearance it is very characteristic in the tribune he could see the crowd in the that one does not forget. It was already very inclosures perfectly well; how each man who full when we were summoned there. The dais came in showed his ticket, and was probably on which their Majesties were to be served known without that to the police guarding was placed in one corner of the room, under the entrances; and how the cheering was led a high canopy; and facing it at an angle, but each time by the same people posted in dif- hidden by the huge column that holds up the ferent parts of the crowd. Be that as it ceiling, were the orchestra and choir who may, cheering continued all along the Czar's were to make music during the feast. Tables