Puslapio vaizdai
[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

him quiet. At last, just as a gray pigeon had flown in at the window, circled above our heads, and flown out again («Very lucky," said the Russians), here his Majesty was. We were to go when he asked for wine, after an old custom; for John the Terrible, it seems, was so violent in his cups that the foreigners were allowed to retire when he began to drink, leaving him to his faithful subjects. Mr. Stürmer seemed very anxious for our safety, for Alexander III. had not got through his soup even when he bundled us off. I longed to rush up to the throne and ask if I might n't stay. As we left we met another dish, being escorted by six Chevaliers Gardes to the Grand Maréchal de la Cour, who served the Emperor. I am surprised that it got past the soldiers outside. An officer whom we saw there has told us since that they left their barracks at half-past three in the morning,

curtain was down on all these splendors. But even «la sévère mees,» as the Frenchman called me, might yawn then. The play was over. I looked out of my windows as I got into bed, and tried to imagine a glimmer in the sky over the Kremlin, the theater of the morning. Nothing of the sort! Instead, the dark and rain were shutting out the last lights. Good night, Emperor and Empress!

On Monday evening, the 28th (16th), was the third great sight of the coronation after the entry and the service itself-the state ball in the Kremlin palace and the illumination of Moscow. I put them together, for on the three nights of illuminations it was the only time that I saw the lighting of the Kremlin, and it remains to me a part of the state ball. It was lovely, and curious, too, to look out from the windows of the Granovitaya Palata at the wonderful tower Ivan Velikii

outlined in light against the deep blue night sky, and to step upon the palace terrace from one of the enormous halls was like stepping into fairyland. I was with Mr. S and Colonel B. The former has seen all the beautiful illuminations of Rome, and the latter the best of Paris and the whole of Italy; yet they agreed that this surpassed them all. It certainly was quite, quite beautiful. With the best possible judgment, every architectural line had been followed in the lighting, and the Kremlin stood revealed in the darkness, «mystic, wonderful.» One's eye followed the lights along the top of the wall to each curious tower; along the wall again to the grouped churches with every outline marked; and up, the pinnacled glory reached,» to the shining crosses that crowned the whole, and looked as if they were made of the stars themselves. It was an unforgettable sight. The polonaise ball» in its way was very fine and stately. There was no dancing except the polonaise, and that is not a dance! And it was gone through by Emperor and Empress, senior grand dukes and grand duchesses, foreign princes, one or two court officials, ambassadors and ambassadresses alone. The diplomats were all collected in the Granovitaya Palata, where each turn of the polonaise began and ended, so that we saw very well. And once General Greig asked me to join the procession with him, my shining train spread out at full length behind with great effect. I was delighted, for one could go only with some Russian notability; and in this way I saw everything, as we followed the imperials, to the music of the polonaise from «Life for the Czar,» across the curious carpet of the Granovitaya Palata, and over what seemed miles of polished floor in the splendid rooms beyond. The last of these rooms was given up to ladies, whose Russian court dress was very effective in such brilliant light. Just as we got into this room the Empress turned to lead the way back; and the procession was striking as it came through these glittering ranks-the almost uniform white of the ladies' dresses throwing up the men's uniforms and the wonderful cloth-of-silver and diamonds of Empress and grand duchesses. General Greig and I squeezed into the doorway to let all this splendor pass, and then followed it back to the Granovitaya Palata. And here he made a very deep bow, and I made him a very deep courtesy and retired into humble life again.

The procession having passed, we went to look at the illuminations again, and to see the beautiful rooms more closely, and the splendid

VOL. LII.-4-5.

pieces of plate that had been sent to the Czar with the offering of bread and salt by the various governments of Russia. Perhaps the finest was one from the government of Moscow, a very handsome gold plate with enameled arms in medallions. The salt-cellar with this plate was a tiny copy of the famous crown of Monomachus, every detail exact, and even the bordering of fur imitated in all its softness in silver. In the throne-room the insignia were spread out on their velvet cushions, looking more gorgeous than ever under the thousands of lights. But I preferred seeing them on the Emperor and Empress. Altogether, we all enjoyed our evening, and retailed her conversation with the royalties with her usual knack. They all appear to have been very much interested in the pigeon's flying in on the coronation day, and evidently thought it too good to be true. The pigeon will be a more sacred bird than ever in Russia.

I pass over the ball at the governor-general's on Tuesday, the ball given by the nobility of Moscow on Thursday, and the ball at the German embassy on Friday. For this last the Emperor of Germany sent the silver all the way from Berlin.

The gala performance at the theater on Wednesday evening, May 30 (18), was considered a great success. For my part, I did n't think it remarkable, except for the ladies' jewels and the men's decorations. The pit was given up to men entirely, and not one man in it was undecorated, from Dolgoroukov, the governor-general, with rows and rows of orders upon his breast, to some very young subalterns in the back seats, with five decorations each. As for the imperial box, it was absolutely lighted by the diamonds in it. From crown of head to waist, the Empress and the other ladies were a mass of jewels. Over collars and necklaces of diamonds, strings of big pearls hung one after the other upon the bodies of their dresses. A wonderful display certainly, but the jewels of this court are extraordinary in beauty and profusion. At the coronation the Emperor gave each grand duchess a splendid present in precious stones, and they threw them into a drawer, somebody said, as if they had been nothing at all. The only person here who can rival the imperials is Mrs., the wife of the «bonanza king,» who has appeared at the fêtes in new necklaces and tiaras each time. And she evidently could have cut them out. Somebody having expressed admiration of her jewels to her husband, «Oh,» he said, "I guess she's only brought a few little things along.» We have kept our illuminated theater pro

grams as mementos of the coronation-very seemed to enjoy, but in their own quiet way. pretty, with Russian pictures, and greetings in Slavonic characters. I saw Count Hans Wildezek with his roll under his arm to take back to Vienna.

Yesterday, Saturday, June 2 (May 21), was the great popular fête on the Hodinskoye Polye, an open space beyond the exhibition buildings (out in the country really), where big reviews take place, and which will be used for the review of all the troops in Moscow next Saturday. Yesterday it was covered by a still greater army of muzhiks, tightly packed together. Not an inch of the wide plain seemed to be unoccupied. As far as the eye could reach, to the very horizon, there was nothing but heads, heads, heads. I could n't have pictured so many people in the world as I saw before me. I thought it gave one an idea of the day of judgment. I suppose not. But as every face of that endless crowd turned to greet the Emperor as he came into his pavilion, it was a most impressive sight. One could n't help thinking what power there was in such a mass with anything to rouse it. But the people seemed wonderfully well disposed and quiet, as if they said to themselves, «Our little father, the Czar, is feasting us; we must be good children.» We neither saw nor heard of any disturbance; but one of the servants reports that five people were killed by the pressure of the crowd.

The numbers on the Hodinskoye Polye were reckoned at more than 500,000. Mr. Tcame up to me with an important face. «The five hundred thousandth basket has just been given out, he said. For each person received a little basket with a loaf of bread, a meat pie, a sweet pie, a bag of sweeties, and a brown mug with the arms of the imperial donor upon it. I envied them the mug, I must say, but there were none left over. Some of the muzhiks with mercenary souls would sell theirs, but ask four, five, and ten rubles; and some are noble and say, "I cannot sell it; it is the gift of the Czar.» Besides these baskets there were huge vats of drinkables on the ground, enormous things that giants could have quaffed from, and into which anybody might dip his mug; there were greased poles with prizes at the top-so fine as silver watches; there were big open theaters; and there was, besides these and many other things, a procession showing the return of spring and its gifts, when we saw the monster who had held the earth in thrall through the long winter led to execution, and the big knife that laid him low. All this the people

The cheering was faint, very faint; and the rows of «old believers,» ticketed and numbered, who had the honor of standing next to the pavilion, scarcely opened their lips. Mama said since to one of the young American naval officers who are here: «How lacking in heartiness the Russian cheering is, is n't it? Just think of it compared with English or American!» «Why, madam,» he answered, «it's a moan.» And so it is. The popular fête would have been long if it had not been so interesting to watch the people. Five hundred thousand! I should have said millions.

To-day we have been talking it all over, and wondering if we have anything so interesting to see as the things we have seen. Some dashing Cossack manoeuvers this afternoon (Sunday), that I was sorry to miss.

Sunday, June 10 (May 29). MONDAY came the second court ball, that morning the fête of the Preobrajenski regiment; Tuesday, the diplomatic state dinner at the palace; Thursday, the consecration of St. Saviour's Church, built in commemoration of the deliverance of 1812-a magnificent service. The French embassies, actual and special, refused to go, which was a matter for them to decide. But we hear that the French consul's wife, not content with a silent disapproval, went to the church all in black, and was refused admittance, as was her husband. To Russians, who lay aside even deep mourning to come to their friends on a <name-day» in light colors, this was indeed an insult. Stupid woman! I believe more every day that the English are the only people who know how to be beaten. Friday, nothing; we went sight-seeing on our own account to the Kremlin, where our guide, Prince S told us that he had been in charge of 4000 servants. Saturday, review of 50,000 troops in a cloud of dust; and end of the coronation festivities.

PAPA and I have been to church; that is, to the German church, in which our service is held when its own is over at twelve o'clock. There were not many people,-fifty or sixty, perhaps,-and all as far apart as possible. An English church is in process of building in Moscow, and from the plans that we've seen, it will be big and rather handsome.

The coronation may be said to be quite, quite over.

The Emperor spent Friday night at the Petrovski Palace, to which he came on his arrival in Moscow; and here, after the re

view yesterday, he took leave of the foreign princes, and, I believe, of the special ambassadors, before starting in the evening for Petersburg and Peterhof. The interview was very cordial, no doubt; for they have all received something or other from his Majesty -a ribbon, a star, or a diamond snuff-box. I am so glad that English diplomatists are out of all this, and that broad red and blue ribbons don't fall over their shoulders just because they happen to be standing in the way.

Monday, June 11 (May 30). ASKED to a monster picnic to-morrow at Prince Youssoupoff's place, twenty-two versts from here. I wonder that there are enough people left for it: for the last few days Moscow has been emptying itself fast into foreign watering-places, or the «terres »

that everybody possesses in Russia; and with the Emperor and Empress's departure on Saturday night the coronation was over even for the jaded officials. Poor creatures! even its recollections seem to weigh upon them; but they always add apologetically, « C'était très beau.» Now for the country to recover; somebody said that would take twenty years. The coronation is generally reported to have cost it 40,000,000 rubles-exactly £4,000,000.

ST. PETERSBURG, June 16 (4). I HAD no idea that I should be so sorry to leave Moscow. The streets looked very dreary on Wednesday without their flags and banners. The coronation seems to have waked the place up to the life and movement of long ago, and now to have left it to sink again into oblivion. Mary Grace Thornton.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

«JEAVE hope behind, all ye who enter here:>>
As the sad Florentine, upon the gate

Of endless night, beheld those words of fate,
So darken they our thought as we draw near
These haunts unused to prayer or softening tear.
But lo! like flowers that on fire's pathway wait
To comfort lands laid waste and desolate,
How the lost children light these shadows drear!

As tinkling springs that on a sudden greet

The traveler in a wild, rock-set and sear,
So rise the tones of childish laughter sweet-

Of little ones beguiled of grief and fear.

Then seems some tender echo to repeat,
"There yet is hope, all ye who enter here!»

Edith M. Thomas.





Na hot morning at the end of June, some four weeks after the Castle Luton visit, George Tressady walked from Brook street to Warwick Square, that he might obtain his mother's signature to a document connected with the Shapetsky negotiations, and go on from there to the House of Commons.

She was not in the drawing-room, and George amused himself during his minutes of waiting by inspecting the various new photographs of the Fullerton family that were generally to be found on her table. What a characteristic table it was, littered with notes and bills, with patterns from every London draper, with fashion-books and ladies' journals innumerable! And what a characteristic room, with its tortured decorations and crowded furniture, and the flattered portraits of Lady Tressady, in every caprice of costume, which covered the walls! George looked round it all with a habitual distaste, yet not without the secret admission that his own drawing-room was very like it.

His mother might, he feared, have a scene in preparation for him. For Letty, under cover of some lame excuse or other, had persisted in putting off the visit which Lady Tressady had intended to pay them at Ferth during the Whitsuntide recess, and since their return to town there had been no meeting whatever between the two ladies. George, indeed, had seen his mother two or three times; but even he had just let ten days pass without visiting her. He supposed he should find her in a mood of angry complaint; nor could he deny that there would be some grounds for it.

«Good morning, George,» said a sharp voice which startled him as he was replacing a photograph of the latest Fullerton baby. «I thought you had forgotten your way here by now.»

«Why, mother, I am very sorry,» he said, as he kissed her; «but I have really been terribly busy, what with two committees and this important debate.»

«Oh, don't make excuses, pray. And of course-for Letty-you won't even attempt it. I would n't if I were you.»><

Lady Tressady settled herself in a chair with her back to the light, and straightened the ribbons on her dress with hasty fingers. Something in her voice struck George; he looked at her closely.

«Is there anything wrong, mother? You don't look very well.»

Lady Tressady got up hurriedly and began to move about the room, picking up a letter here, straightening a picture there. George felt a sudden prick of alarm. Were there some new revelations in store for him? But before he could speak she interrupted him.

«I should be very well if it were n't for this heat," she said pettishly. «Do put that photograph down, George-you do fidget so! Have n't you got any news for me anything to amuse me? Oh, those horrid papers! I see. Well, they 'll wait a little. By the way, the Morning Post says that young scamp, Lord Ancoats, has gone abroad. I suppose that girl was bought off.»

She sat down again in a shady corner, fanning herself vigorously.

«I am afraid I can't tell you any secrets,» said George, smiling; «for I don't know any. Copyright, 1895, by Mrs. HUMPHRY WARD. All rights reserved.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »