« AnkstesnisTęsti »
not crowned, but, in virtue of the title «Head of the Orthodox Church,» crowns himself. I don't know whether a Czarina reigning alone would be allowed the same privilege.
The coronation is fixed for Sunday, the 15th of May, old style, the 27th ours. The entry into Moscow is some days beforehand, since the Emperor and Empress are to spend a quiet week there. Many court officials have already gone, and by the 7th or 8th most of the foreign representatives and the actual diplomatic body will be assembled at Moscow. We are deep in preparations (dresses first-I feel quite ready now to crown the Emperor!), and ne hears nothing but discussions about horses, carriages, house arrangements, servants, etc. The ambassadors are exercised about horses for their state carriages, the Russian horse, with all his «points,» being too small. sides, if they are too short, their tails are too long. The Austrians are having a stable from Vienna; but the French are boldly taking the Russian horses and getting ver the tail difficulty by tying up these long uatural tails and fastening on short false ones. They've had a dress rehearsal, and say the effect is excellent. What it is to be smart!
- We have received three papers of the coronation: the programs of the festivities from the entry into Moscow to the return to St. Petersburg, of the ceremonial of the eni y, and of t procation of the coronation. The account of the entry is very magnificent: the procession sounds as if it would stretch from the Petrovski Palace outside Moscow to the Kremlin itself. I suppose that the great mass of the people look forward to this more than to anything else. But to those who will have the good fortune to see the service of the coronation in the cathedral, the great interest must center there, where the show and state are invested with a meaning that is comparatively wanting in the other ceremonies.
Several orders have also appeared in the papers with regard to Moscow. No house proprietor is to let out his windows on the route of the procession. (Some one even said that no window was to be opened on the streets through which it passes.) No private person is to on horseback during the three weeks under penalty of a fine of 500 rubles (50), so that on' Prince Demidov will be abl to afford a morning canter. No black is to be wor during the time of the coronation. tie Spaard dined with us last night who has just been to Moscow, where he found great difhculty in seeing anything.
As he said, they are so «precautious.»> One precaution is rather ingenious. A double row of soldiers is to be placed on each side of the route of the procession, the men back to back, one row facing the procession and one the houses.
Moscow, May 16 (4).
WE reached Moscow this morning, mama and I; the rest of the embassy to follow in three days. I have been ill for eight weeks, and the Russians recommended an escape out of the great thaw in Petersburg into real spring here. It is a delight to see the trees in leaf and the lilac-bushes in flower. We are early arrivals, and the crowds in the streets were pleased to see us, and thought that we were grand duchesses at least. The men swept off their hats, and the women bowed; and of course we were obliged to return their salutes for the sake of the royalties. Very amusing; but oh! the reaction from visions of green domes and white cupolas and golden spires to the reality of ups and downs of cobblestones for streets, and the most extraordinary succession of different dreadful smells that can be imagined! But from the top of this great high house I see a long stretch of town under a wide sky, with churches near and churches beyond, and farther, and quite far off. A «city of churches » indeed! I hope to receive all the proper impressions of Moscow presently.
May 17 (5).
ONE has heard of Russian dirt: Moscow is its highest expression, I'm sure. Our baker is excellent (what a kalatch for breakfast this morning!), but he has been put into prison twice for having such a dirty shop. In Russia! What must it have been! This beautiful house was discovered to be in a state of filth. Eight muzhiks were sent for, and two women, and they and Petersburg servants set to work yesterday. The superintending is difficult; for the men in Russia-noble creatures!-will not scrub, neither will they wash windows; and they needed much persuading, precept, and example. The china and glass man sends nothing. He has received orders for jugs and basins for the Kremlin (where it has just struck them, I suppose, that the mad foreigners would think them necessary), and neglects everything else. P- got only a frying-pan, to cook our humble beefsteak in, by seizing it herself and bearing it off from the shop.
May 21 (9).
PRINCE N. GALITZINT came to-day and told us that the Emperor arrived at the Petrovski Palace last night. To-morrow at twelve there
is to be a banquet (of course; when is there anything here without food!), and at two the Czar of all the Russias mounts his horse and rides into the ancient capital to be crowned, the Empress following in a gold carriage. His Majesty seems to be in about the middle of the enormously long procession. Already every available flag, I should think, has been hung on the line of march. As far as I can see on each side-to the Tverskaya Gate on the right, and to the governor-general's on the left-there is a flutter of red, white, and blue. There is, however, a decided sameness in the decorations, and I see no mottos or devices, for instance, --such a nice form of greeting, with one striking exception. The nobles of Moscow have put up decorations opposite the governor-general's house, two of which are poles with tablets affixed. On the first is an inscription: «May thy scepter extend over » --I've forgotten what; the whole world, let us say. But the second has this, and, as it has been remarked, under a portrait of Michael, the first of the Romanoffs, called to the throne by the boyars, or great nobles: «Mayest thou listen to the voice of thy people-the people who elected thy ancestors; for the voice of the people is the voice of God.» (Magna Charta over again!)
Tuesday, May 22 (10).
I HAVE seen the Emperor's entry into Moscow, and I realize now, for the first time, how much anxiety was really felt about its passing off well. Passing off well! That's rather vague, but we all talk in that way now; and after all, it's an undefined dread. The Emperor went by quite safe, and now he is at the Kremlin. «Thank God, that is over!» a Russian said to mama just now, with a sigh of relief. So say we all of us.
At nine o'clock this morning they began to place soldiers along the route, and the people began, as I thought, to assemble. It was amusing to see the inhabitants of the houses opposite already settled at their windows to make a day of it. But though those who came remained to the end, at no time was there any crowd on the narrow pavement behind the soldiers; and so respectable a set was it, so unmixed, that one could not help suspecting it was very much «arranged,» that every man's name was written on his forehead, to the eye of the police at least. At the side streets a cord had been stretched, where, being farther off, perhaps the people were not quite so picked; but I have never seen such swell muzhiks before. Behind the first cord 1 These tablets were removed before the coronation.
were the women-place aux dames! Behind the second, still farther back, came the men.
The governor-general had invited all the diplomats to see the procession from his windows. We, however, having a house on the route, thought we would remain under our own flag on our big balcony. The landlord had decorated it very well with red cloth, and a big Russian flag-yellow, white, and blackwas hung out on a long pole from the center, supported on each side by the ambassador's flags. From one of the small balconies hung a Union Jack, and from the other a Russian mercantile flag-white, blue, and red.
After lunch (our friends opposite must have thought us mad not to come out before) we filed into our balconies, the men all in uniform and the ladies in their smartest dresses. Perhaps it would have been better to look on as entire strangers. We were distracted by personal interest in the people who composed the «sight »; bowing to half the society of Petersburg, it seemed to me, courtesying to grand duchesses, to the Empress, the Emperor himself, and returning the salutations of scores of the officers whom we know, who lowered their swords in our honor. I was certainly disappointed in the bit of the procession that I looked forward to most-the « Députés des Peuplades Asiatiques soumises à la Russie,» which promised to be the most original, something that one could see in Russia only. The opening of the procession was characteristic: Kozlov, the head of the police, and twelve policemen. Then came the Emperor's private escort, very handsome in red and gold, two Cossack regiments, the Cossack deputies, and my friends the Asiatics. No wonder I did n't find them imposing; for just as they were passing the bands struck up the national hymn, the horses started, and the deputies became a confused mass clinging to their horses' manes. The owner of a very beautiful yellow silk dressing-gown-all their costumes looked like dressing-gowns-kept his head and his seat; but I saw the Khan of Khiva's huge black fur hat bobbing up and down in a most un-khan-ny way.
The program here announced representatives of the haute noblesse. I did n't see them. I did see sixty footmen, the Emperor's Arabs, and twenty-five chasseurs on foot, all looking very much out of place. Then began a long line of state carriages, containing various state dignitaries. These carriages had each six white horses, and were very well appointed. Indeed, the number of fine horses, fine carriages, and fine things alto
gether, and the sumptuousness of all the arrangements, were very remarkable, as were the quantities of troops collected in Moscow -an army in themselves. Then came a blaze of color: the first detachment of the Chevaliers Gardes, in their white uniform, with shining breastplates and helmets, above which soared the imperial eagle, followed by the Garde à Cheval on their splendid black horses, their uniform in every point the same except that of color. To see these troops sweep up toward the Kremlin, the light catching their shining silver and gold, and their red and yellow pennons fluttering in the wind, was a magnificent sight. Two military men who were with us were much impressed; and though in matter of detail these men are nowhere near ours at home, yet they thought it remarkable that such numbers should be turned out so well, and that the horses, for instance, far surpassed ours.
All this time the bells over the whole of Moscow were ringing (they almost drowned the noise of the cannon that announced the
entry), and those of the little church opposite us--whose priests, in gold vestments, were already gathered on the street and swinging incense before a little gold altar-were clanging so loud that we could scarcely hear ourselves speak. Now they seemed to ring louder than ever; the bands played the Russian hymn with great fervor, and the murmur of the people and of the soldiers swelled into a cheer as the Czar himself came up to us.
He had crossed himself reverently before the holy images that the priests held toward him, and now he acknowledged graciously the salutations that greeted him. But I confess that he did not look to advantage, for his horse was very small for a man of his colossal size. Our Duke (of Edinburgh) had a place of honor close to his left hand, and immediately behind came the Czarevitch on a little gray pony; and then a great body of grand dukes, ministers, generals, aides-decamp, foreign princes, etc., all in uniform and all on horseback. I caught sight of Lord Wolseley looking very jaunty on a little chest
nut horse that would not walk. He has told me since that the saddle was scarcely fastened, and his jiggy animal so shook him that the center of one of his Egyptian orders dropped out and was lost. It was a pity that his Majesty was so closely followed, and by so many people, as, instead of being the prominent figure of the procession, he seemed only to form a part of it. Indeed, there were evidences of flurry in the whole arrangements, and the ceremony of receiving bread and salt from the nobles opposite the governor-general's house was dispensed with altogether.
The cheering was very loud for the Empress, who now appeared in a carriage that was literally one mass of gold, and was drawn by eight splendid white horses. She was attended by the Master of the Horse, by pages, footmen, and grooms, and the little Grand Duchess Xenia sat beside her in the carriage, mother and daughter making a very pretty picture indeed. Her Majesty was bowing and smiling very sweetly, but the face that looked
up at us was pale, and I confess I pitied her. The grand duchesses followed, all in white, with diamonds and pearls in profusion; one caught the glitter through the glass of their beautiful red coaches. More troops, the Emperor's and Empress's cuirassiers, a third line of state carriages with the ladies and maids of honor, and still more troops, --hussars and lancers,-perhaps the prettiest part of the whole thing. These were supposed to close this magnificent entry; but after this we had the benefit of remaining squadrons of the different regiments, and, last of all, their bands in line. This was effective, since in the few yards past our house each band struck up its favorite air, and we had a fine potpourri of Russian music. Then an official or two rushed past, looking very important, as if the procession were still to follow; but we were not to be taken in, nor the people below. I two seconds they had swarmed over the stri of sand sacred to the triumphal entry. Where a little before had been the « ordered files >> of