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every one is obliged immediately to hire a valet de place, or he will not be able to get a glass of water, and will be under the necessity of cleaning his own shoes. .
. To be candid, besides the above-mentioned apologies for the poorness of the tables at public hotels, it should be observed, that here it is not the practice with the natives to frequent them as eatingbouses. Almost every Petersburgher, who keeps ne kitchen of his own, is a member of one or several of the clubs, where he finds a choice table at a very reasonable rate, and dines in a company of his own selection. Even foreigners rarely dine at taverns; their letters of address, or their business, or even accident soon procure them acquaintances, by whom, according to the style and rules of the signal hospitality that here prevails, they are invited to dinner and supper, so that in a very few days after their arrival, they are relieved from all concern about such matters. In order to be able with propriety to profit by this engaging, and in Petersburg, this innate virtue, the having a carriage is almost indispensably necessary; at least, the stranger who should come on foot, especially in dirty weather, would expose himself to the imputation of parsimony, or want of good breeding, or, what is worst of all--of poverty. That this last is even more disgraceful than the first imputation, there is no need of proving to such readers as move in the polite and fashionable world.
• Foreigners have therefore the alternative either to take a solitary meal at their inn, or in a mixed company of strangers, and on wretched fare; or to participate in affable, familiar, agreeable, and brilliant circles at the plentiful iables of persons of condition. But an equipage is by no means the sole requisite for gaining admittance and being greeted with a hearty welcome here. If the foreigner be emu. lous of the latter, he must play, and not be alarmed if he perceive a little tricking. Luck may indeed be for and against him, but the advantage will most probably be against biin; for all foreigners agree, that they play exceedingly well at Petersburg.'
From the objects of elegance and convenience, we are conducted to the institutions for the relief of suffering humanity, Here we are introduced to the Hospitals, Infirmarics, and Work. houses, with various other establishments for the indigent and infirm ; some on a scale surprisingly extensive. A variety of details next occur, under the general divisions of trades, manu. factures, arts and sciences, &c.-The literature of Russia does not yet afford much room for remark or scope for commendation, though the taste and munificence of the late Empress greatly contributed to its progress. Petersburg possesses only one public library, but has several considerable private collections, and cabinets of Natural History, &c. The bookselling trade, however, has experienced an auspicious increase ; the metropolis could boast in 1793 of about thirty booksellers; and towards the close of the Empresa's reigu, bookshops were first seen in the markets and fairs of provincial towns : but those great disseminators of knowlege and a taste for letters, periodical publications, have obtained little success; and few of those which have been instituted have lived longer than three or four years. Translations of the best antient authors, and of some of the principal modern European Poets and Novellists, were executed during the life of the Empress Catherine. 9 • A chapter is devoted to Diversions and Entertainments: Among those' which are peculiar to the populace, we shall select the amusement of the Ice-hills, which are 'erected on the Neva during the Maslanitza, or carnival of the Russians. ! • Every Ice-hill is composed of a scaffold of large timbers about six fathoms in height, having steps on one side for ascending it, and on the opposite side a steep inclined plane covered with large blocks of ice, consolidated together by pouring water repeatedly from the top to the bottom. Men as well as women (the latter however only of the lower orders) in little low sledges descend with amazing velo; city this steep hill; and by the momentum acquired by this descent are impelled to a great distance along a large field of ice carefully swept clear of snow for that purpose, which brings them to a second hill: by the side of which they alight, take their sledge on their back and mount it by the steps behind, as they had done the former. The danger attending this diversion, and other concomitant circumstances, indeed exclude the superior classes of the public from partj. cipating in it ; but the mere enjoyment of the sight of such-a malti. tude of frolicsome people, the national interest excited by the whole spectacle, the dexterity of the young people who in great numbers venture the dangerous precipice upright on scates, never fail to at tract a vast crowd of spectators. On these days the Neva is co. yered with carriages, sledges, and foot-walkers, houses and booths being erected on it, in which spirituous, liquors are sold, ludicrous farces acted, and dancing bears exhibited. All these people, horses, carriages, sledges, and buildings, stand on the winter-coveriog of a great river, in a place where within only a few weeks afterwards large ships will be beating the billows. If it happen; however, to be az mild winter, so as to raise apprehensions that the ice may not, be strong enough to sustain this prodigious pressure, precautions are taken by the police to prevent accidents i
Having given a representation of the public walks and gardens, the author thus continues': , 1. In addition to these walks lying within the city, in the distant quarters and on the islands of the Neva are very pleasant and delight. ful gardens, which, with exemplary liberality, are usually open to the recreation of the public. The grand ducal island, Kammennoi, ostrof, has not only a great many fine private gardens, but all people are allowed the liberty of amusing themselves here in a becoming manner. The romantic wildness of this island, its situation between other rural places of amusement, the fishery, and a well-furnished house of entertainment, draw a great number of people hither on fine summer days.-Another island, Krestofsky-ostrof, belonging to count Razumofsky, '* one continued forest, cut through in various , Rey. FEB. 1802,
.. places Libia
places into Targe and noble vistas. Here likewise every one is peta mitted to enjoy the beauties of nature. On Sundays and holidays are scen a great confluence of citizens of the lower classes, taking their pleasure unmolested. Likewise Yelagin's island, the most charming of them all, is free to the use of the public, as also are the gardens of counts Stroganof and Besborodko, in the Vyborgskoa quarter. The two former have for many years kept open a Vauxhall, much resorted to by the public of all classes. The company amuse themselves in walking and dancing, for which purpose the proprie. tors keep a well-conducted Turkish band of music, in fishing, swing ing, and playing at bowls'; and in the evening a firework is generally exhibited. M. Yelagin himself usually takes part in the amusements he so liberally dispenses to others, and his daughters at times open the ball with some gentleman present. That the enjoyment of all these amusements is free of expence to the visitants scarcely needs to be mentioned. !! .
. 5.* Among the pleasantest walks without the town, the Peterhofroad would indisputably deserve the foremost place, were its advantages not so diminished by the suffocating clouds of dust raised by the carriages incessantly passing along. This inconvenience, however, great as it is, by no means prevents the principal and most fashionable part of the inhabitants from making this district the chief place of their resort for pleasure. From the description of this excellent highway the reader already knows that it is bordered on both sides with elegant and splendid villas. Most of them belong to private persons, and are used for the entertainment of themselves and their friends in a very hospitable manner. But with still greater liberality several persons of rank convert their gardens into places of public en tertainment, to which all people of decent appearance are at liberty to come. The country-scats of the two brothers Narishkin, des serve here particular notice, as being frequented on Sundays by great numbers of the higher classes. "A friendly invitation, in four different languages, inscribed over the entrance to the grounds, authorizes every one of decent appearance and behaviour, to amuse himself there in whatever way he pleases without fear of molestation. In several pavilions are musicians for the benefit of the who chuse to dance ; in others are chairs and sophas, ready for the reception of any party who wish to recreate themselves by sedate conversation after roaming about with the great throng ; some parties take to the swings; the bowling-green and other diversions ; on the canals and lakes are goni dolas, some constructed for rowing, others for sailing; and, if all this be not enough, refreshments are spread or tables in particular alcoves, or are handed about by: servants in livery. This noble hospitality is by no means unenjoyed ; the concourse of persons of all descriptions, from the star and ribband to the plain well-dressed burgher, foring such a party cologred collection, and 30metimes groupes are so bomourously contrasted, that for this reason alone it is well worth the pains of paitaking once in the amusement.'
M. Storch then describes the amusements of promenading in fine coaches, driving the rapid sledge, rowing in elegant boats on the Nera, Soc. &c. 28
Much having been said respecting the hospitality which prevails in Petersburg, we shall conclude our extracts with some of the author's additional observations on this subject :
• It may be boldly affirmed, (he remarks,) that this noble virtue of the days of yore is not carried to such an unlimited extent in any capital of Europe as here; an assertion to which the concurrent voices of all travellers who have staid here a longer or a shorter time bear grateful testimony. The origin of this beneficent custom is doubt. less rational ; but the Petersburghers have emancipated themselves from so many of their native customs and usages, that we may rea. sonably adinit some stronger motive than a reverence for antiquity for their having retained so expensive a national virtue. This motive is no other than the disposition to society which prevails in every Pe. tersburgher almost without exception ; a characteristic which likewise redounds very much to their honour, it being frequently the source of humane sentiments and generous actions.
• The particular time when the affluent Petersburgher wishes most to be visited is exactly that which in Germany, for instance, is most sedulously avoided : dinner-time and supper-time. Every man here is then easy in mind and open of heart, freed from all business and disposed to conversation. Whoever has been once introduced to a family, has ever after free access if he be found agreeable. This is usually determined at the first visit ; for, if at taking leave no farther invitation ensues, it is then advisable not to think of cultivating that acquaintance. If the guest be agreeable to the host, the latter informs him, at the end of the first visit, of his day for receiving company, if he has one, or presses him to frequent his house as often as he shall find it convenient. A young man possessing any tolerable talents for society, at Petersburg is entirely relieved from the trouble of housekeeping; when once he is acquainted with six or eight good families, he may every day eat and drink with his friends in very agreeable company. This manner of life, which is extremely common with single men of all ranks, has nothing disreputable in it. The expence in cloaths that it renders necessary, and the play in which it involves them, counterbalance to the purse any advantage that this parasitical life may occasion. To this must be added the want of company which the generality of Petersburghers so sensibly feel. If all single men were to keep their own kitchens, or to dtne at the taverns, the majority of the good houses would be deserted and empty. No situation could be more dreadful for our glegant circles than so. litude.
- Whatever ease and hospitality prevail in regard to the abovementioned class of people, yet they are under great limitations among family acquaintances and married persons. È very house having its peculiar circle meeting at it, but few families have time or necessity for going in quest of company abroad. The difference in the way of living and expense raises, as it were, a party-wall, which frequently separates persons who have long been living in the most intimate familiarity. Many, who, while bachelors were daily guests in great .and opulent families, find themselves obliged, on marrying, to drop
these acquaintances from not being able to keep pace in expense with them. These little particulars may scem trilling in the relation, but they have a marked influence on the style of society, giving it a characteristic stamp peculiar to itself. The major part of all circles naturally consists of men, as unmarried ladies never visit, and the married company expect visits at home: the mistress of the house is frequently the only lady at a table of ter or twenty persons. This great superiority in numbers occasions the conversation to take a graver turn in most companies. Politics and business being the grand subjects of all table-talk, the ladies are reduced to the alternative either of taking part in this discourse or of being totally silent. The little attentions that the men vouchsafe to pay the ladies in other countries, are here often entirely neglected; the natural consequence of which is, that the ladies, wherever they are not absolutely sequestered, seek their revenge by an impressive opposition to the majority. At table they sit close together, and in company they divide off; if they happen to be involved in a conversation'or in a party at cards, they are dryness itself, and deter by their cold answers and their repulsive manners even those whom they might gain over to them by some little encouragement.-None will be so unreasonable as to generalize this description too much, as though it admitted of no ex. ceptions such exceptions, however, are rare, and they are in no peculiar credit among the sex to which they belong.
Abating for this defect, the style of the Petersburg companies has little to dread from the animadversions of the severest man of the world. That amiable ease, which is just as remote from the stiff, formal etiquette of the Germans ás from the excessive liberties of the French, is here the soul of all fashionable society. The little cere. monial laws, observed elsewhere with such unremitted strictness, are here entirely unknown; in the stead whereof is substituted a tacit agreement to appear as pleasing and affable, and to sacrifice to the company as much of their due as they possibly can.'
M. Storch is a native of Livonia, a polite scholar, and well known to the readers of German literature by his " Mo. terialen sur kentniss des Russischen Reichs," his is Statistische uebersicht der statthalterschaften des Russischen Reichs nach ihren merkwurdisten kultur verbæltnissen," and several other elaborate works of a similar nature. Having resided many years at St. Petersburg, attached to the court, and frequenting societies of all ranks and conditions, he possesses every qualification requisite for such an undertaking as the present. We presume, therefore, that his work will be read with pleasure and profit by all who have leisure and curiosity; and that the picture of Petersburg will be viewed by connoisseurs as the performance of no mean artist.