« AnkstesnisTęsti »
brilliant troops, the gleaming helmets and strangely out of keeping with his ancient glittering lances, the white and red and silver herald's dress of yellow embroidered silk; and gold of uniforms, the less bright, but and finally in « listening to the reading strikingly original Cossack dresses, the Asi- of the great proclamation-which means to atics in their splendid Eastern stuffs, each a say that we suppose that it was read, for the new rainbow in itself, was now the somber, people took off their hats, the troops saluted, workaday crowd in long dark coats and dingy the bands of the Chevaliers Gardes and the caps, the women scarcely distinguishable Garde à Cheval played the national anthem; from the men, except that a white silk hand- but we heard nothing at all. All this was kerchief round a head here and there, in so comical that I was not impressed as I honor of the great festival, brightened the had expected to be. The rain began to come crooked-looking dark mass below. It was a down faster than ever as the « military» went curious contrast-the birds with the fine past us on the noisy stones (it was great fun feathers and the birds without them. Dress to say, « How do you do?» to the heralds certainly makes the man, in a procession at from under an umbrella), so we gave up our least.
idea of following the cortège to the first of A very interesting day, and if one was at all its halting-places, and came home to breakdisappointed in the splendid sight, it could fast instead, like reasonable people. The have been only because a certain dread, in- proclamation is read all over the town, and separable from such events in Russia at this leaflets of it in Slavonic characters are disjuncture, made one forgetful of half its gor- tributed among the people, which would be geousness.
more interesting if they could read them! Saturday, May 26 (1-4). We all mean to go to bed very early for our This morning I got up at 7:30. For two days start to-morrow morning. At a quarter to six there had been solemn proclamation of the we must get up and dress, and put on our coronation to the people with much ceremony, trains and veils and feathers (the men say it's and I had seen nothing of it. Mr. B— dined very uncomfortable to breakfast in uniform); here last night, and fired me with enthusiasm. and Mrs. T— must even leave her downy As he said, and as I think, the things to see bed at five o'clock to prepare for the hairare those that particularly belong to the dresser! I don't expect to sleep much. The coronation. As for balls, gala theaters, etc., coronation, the Emperor, and the state of the one can see them at any time. So at 8:30 I country in general, have already cost me restfound my fellow sight-seers sipping their tea. less nights in Petersburg. And here I am in It was already raining; but my opinion being Moscow, in the very heart of Russia, stirred taken, we decided to go, nevertheless, taking just now to its depths! the chasseur with us, that his feathers might We saw a beautiful stretch of this pictuget us a good place. They had all the desired resque town yesterday from the terrace of the effect; for, arrived at the Kremlin, our car- Kremlin, the river below running between its riage was allowed to stand close to the « Czar white quays, and beyond lines and lines of Pushka,» inside the square formed by the green-roofed houses, broken continually by troops and the crowd between the arsenal and the darker clumps of trees in some charming the barracks. We were opposite a squadron Moscow garden, or by the shining cupolas and of the Chevaliers Gardes and their band. Six spires of the famous Moscow churches. And white horses, with splendid coverings of gold, yet, with its charm of an existence of cenon which the imperial eagles were embroi- turies, Moscow seems to me to possess very dered, stood close to our left, held by grooms, little of the quiet of age. In the churches, for and beyond them were the horses for the instance, some of the art is so barbaric as to heralds and masters of ceremonies, who carry one straight back to dark days. It is presently began to mount.
impossible to escape from historical associaThe heralds were two good people I know tions of ignorance and cruelty, as one might very well by sight: one very tall and lanky, in some Western town; and I begin to think the other short and stout (so far as I can that it is because the Russians themselves are judge, a facsimile of King Henry the Eighth). not entirely removed from the superstition And, alas! there was something ridiculous and despotism of that time. The contrast is in these gentlemen being helped on to their less, the association easier to call up, till horses (evidently very stiff from the unusual every bit of the Moscow of to-day is striking exercise), the rain making dirty splashes on by what it suggests. Even from the beautiful their beautiful white trousers; in the lanky Kremlin terrace one sees the rush of wild herald peering over spectacles that looked Tatars up the slopes; the quiet summer day
is full of noise; and where one's foot now strangled him with the ends of my veil. One presses the soft green grass the ground is inquisitive lady asked where we got them, red with blood.
and when we said London, answered, «Really! Sunday, June 3 (May 22). in a tone that implied so clearly, « Can a good I HAVE been too much occupied and too tired dress be got in London ? » that we all laughed. till now for writing. But I think that to have Our baby procession of four carriages seen the Russian coronation was worth a joined the diplomatic line just as it was great deal of fatigue, to judge by myself. I forming. The special ambassadors' state stood during the five hours of the service coaches were very gorgeous, but I am happy (with only some instants' exception now and to say that the every-day British ambassador's then), so impressed and so interested that I was the best turned out of all. The whole line did not realize till it was all over and we were was very pretty as I saw it going round the at home again how tired I was. The long- street corners and through the masses of est relief from this position was when all people into the Kremlin gates. knelt to pray for the Emperor, he alone stand- At the palace we were received by several ing in the midst of the kneeling priests and masters of ceremony, and General Schweinitz congregation; and perhaps this was the most gave my mother his arm to take her to the solemn moment of all. The doors of the cathe- cathedral, the rest of the diplomats following dral were open, and the crowds outside knelt in a long procession. I confess that I felt extoo. The signal spread from street to street, cited. We walked through the Winter Garden across the river, and far into the outskirts of and the long passages of the palace, through the town; so that the whole of Moscow, it may a hall and vestibule lined with Chevaliers be said, was in prayer for the Czar. In the Gardes, and out upon the famous Red Stair, church the scene was very moving. The Em- leading down by the wall of the Granovitaya peror himself was visibly affected, and it is Palata to the group of the Kremlin churches. no shame to confess that one followed the «Let us stop to look at this,” said General general example. There are hopes and fears Schweinitz; « it is wonderful.» in Russia just now that invest this coronation Just as we got into the open air the sun with a gravity and a significance beyond those was hidden by a cloud, so that we could disof any preceding one, I am sure. Alas for the tinctly see the beautiful sight before us. The hopes! If Alexander III. has been crowned broad stair on which we stood commanded the with all ancient traditions of splendor, he vast inclosure that is bounded by the tower of seems to have been confirmed as much as the the big bell (Ivan Velikii) and the wonderful czars before him «autocrat of all the Russias.) churches on each side of it. Big tribunes The manifestos of Monday appear to have had been built close up to the church walls, cast a chill on popular enthusiasm, whatever and in their red-and-gold galleries all sorts of that was. They are certainly not liberal; and notabilities and their wives had already been a too zealous mayor, having given the people waiting an hour or more. hopes of a “good time coming,” is already What may be roughly called the square had under severe displeasure.
been separated into four divisions by a royal Apart from all this, however (if one can pathway in the shape of a cross, and in these forget the reverse of the medal), the cere- divisions were massed the crowd, who pressed mony of the coronation was one of great up close to the barriers, and tried to peer splendor and magnificence. I have read all between the rows of soldiers who lined the the accounts of it that I could get, and none balustrades on the « king's highway. The exaggerate it, nor even do it justice. scene was striking-the line of the bright
We were asked to be at the German em- crimson flooring, throwing up through the bassy, where the diplomatic corps were to dark crowd the brilliance of the guards in assemble, at a quarter to eight, but started their white uniforms, all new and spotless for later with easy consciences - Russian roy- the « holy coronation »; the sea of faces bealty is always unpunctual. Mrs. T— and I fore us; the crowded tribunes beyond, raised packed our gorgeousness into the brougham, against the gray church walls; and lastly, the and agreed that we felt nothing strange in churches themselves, and the tall tower of being in such a costume at such an hour. I Ivan Velikii, holding up their cupolas and should have remembered my court dress no shining crosses to a deep blue sky over more, but that it and F— 's were so much which broad white clouds were sweeping. admired, and that the talkative little French But the people were, as usual, the most inambassador sang their praises till the service teresting thing. There was an expectancy actually began, and till I could willingly have about them that one could n't help sharing,
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 front
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 hiin- 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 comlook more sympathetic. She now left her I may order everything to the advantage of the
mandments. Let my heart be in Thy hand, that 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 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. ? « 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,