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was discerned. At this moment the Emperor advanced and gave his hand to the English, French, Spanish, and Austrian ambassadors, the representatives of their several sovereigns. He then moved alone to the door, that the guests might behold in their sovereign and host the father of his people, It was a moment anarchy was said to have dedicated to his assasination, and that parricidal and regicidal act could have been easily effected at such a juncture had it really been in contemplation. Alexander was no longer in appearance a melancholy and suffering invalid, he looked happy and smiling; and if his smile was counterfeited, he wore the mask ably and well. The instant the Autocrat appeared, the motley group made a forward movement, and then a pecipitate retreat. The danger vanished with them. The Emperor regarded the retiring waves of this human sea with imperturbable serenity, a remarkable feature in his character, a moral reaction, which a courageous mind can alone beslow,and which he had shown on several trying occasions. One of these was at a ball given by M. Caulincourt, Duke of Vicenza, the French Ambassador; the other was at a fête at Zakret, near Wilna. The ball was at its height, when the ambassador was informed that the house was on fire; fearful that the news of the conflagration might occasion more ill-consequences than the fire itself, he posted an aide-de-camp at every door, and ordered his people to keep the misfortune a profound secret, after which he communicated the accident in a low voice to the Emperor, and assured him that no one should be permitted to withdraw till he and the imperial family were in perfect safety;—he was going to see the fire extinguished, and he hoped the efforts made to get it under would be successful; adding, that even if a report should circulate in the saloons as to this startling fact, no one would credit it while they saw the Emperor and his family still there. “Very well, then, I will remain,” coolly remarked the Emperor; and when Caulincourt returned some time after to announce the extinction of the fire, he found the Russian Autocrat dancing a polonaise. The guests of the ambassador heard on the morrow that their festivities had been kept over the mouth of a volcano. At the fête held at Zakret not only the life but the empire of Alexander was at stake. In the middle of the dance he was apprised that the advanced guard of a guest he had forgotten to invite had passed the
Niemen. This was the Emperor Napoleon, his old host at Erfurth, who might momentarily be expected to enter the hall, followed by six hundred thousand dancers. Alexander gave his orders with great coolness, chatting while he issued them with his aidde-camps. He walked about, praised the manner in which the saloons were lighted, which he declared was only second to the beautiful moonlight, supped, and remained till dawn. His gay manner and the serenity of his countenance prevented the guests from even suspecting the nature of the communication he had received, and the entrance of the French into the city was the first intimation the inhabitants had received of their approach. He was in imminent peril in this Polish city, from which his great self-command delivered him. His retreat at early morning was made before the approach of an enemy he had hitherto found invincible. Very different might have been the result of Napoleon's campaign in Russia, if the inhabitants of Wilna had known during the fete of Zakret of his vicinity. These incidents naturally occurred to the guests of the Emperor Alexander, during this New Year's-day festival, when they be. held him approach alone to show himself to the multitude, amongst whom he had reason to believe many conspirators, or even assassins lurked. If such indeed were there, the calm serenity of his countenance disarmed them, and none dared raise an arm against the life he fearlessly trusted, if not to their loyalty at least to their honor. Indeed the suffering and melancholy Emperor, the last time he received his people, seemed to have shaken off his lassitude and depression, and appeared full of life and energy, traversing with rapidity the immense saloons of the Winter Palace. He led off the sort of galoppe peculiar to the Russian Court, which, however, terminated about nine o'clock. At ten, the illuminations of the Hermitage being finished, those persons who had cards for the spectacle went there. Twelve negroes, superbly arrayed in rich oriental costumes, kept the doors of the theatre, to admit or restrain the crowd, and examine the authenticity of the vouchers of the guests. Here the admission was not promiscuous, a certain number alone being allowed to be present at the banquet. Upon entering the theatre, the spectators found themselves in a land of enchantment— a vast hall encircled with tubes of crystal, bent in every possible way, meeting at top in order to form the ceiling, united by silver threads of imperceptible fineness, behind which hung 10,000 colored lamps, whose light, reflected and refracted by these transparent columns, illuminated the gardens, groves, flowers, cascades, and fountains, like an enchanted landscape, which seen across this veil of light resembled the poetical phantasm of a ão. These splendid illuminations cost twelve thousand roubles, and lasted two months. At eleven a flourish of musical instruments announced the arrival of the Emperor, who entered with the Empress and the imperial family, the ambassadors, the ambassadresses, the officers of the household, and the ladies in waiting, who all took their places at the middle supper-table; two other tables were filled by six hundred guests, mostly composed of the first-class nobility. The Emperor alone remained standing, moving about the tables, conversing by turns with his numerous guests. Nothing could exceed the magnificent effect produced by the banquet, and the appearance of the court; the sovereign and his officers and nobility covered with gold and embroidery, the Empress and her ladies glittering with diamonds and splendid velvets, tissues and satins. No other fête in Europe could produce such a grand coup d'ail as the New Year's fête at the Hermitage. At the conclusion of the banquet the Court returned to the Saloon of St. George, where the music struck up a polonaise, which was led off by the Emperor. This dance was his farewell to his guests, for as soon as it was finished he withdrew. The departure of their sovereign gave pleasure to those loyal subjects who trembled for his personal safety; but the courageous and ever paternal confidence reposed in his subjects by Alexander, turned away from him every murderous weapon. No one could resolve to assassinate a kind father in the midst of his children, for as such the Emperor had received his numerous guests. The second annual féte was of a religious character. “The Benediction of the Waters,” to which the recent disastrous calamity of the most terrible inundation on record in Russia, the preceding year, had given deeper solemnity. The preparations were made with an activity tempered by care, which denoted the national character to be essentially religious. Upon the Neva, a great pavilion was erected of a circular form, pierced with eight openings, decorated by
four paintings, crowned with a cross; to this pavilion access was given by a jetty forming the hermitage. The temporary edifice, on the morning of the ceremony, was to have its pavement of ice cut through in order to permit the Patriarch to reach the water. The cold was already twenty degrees below zero, when at nine o'clock in the morning the whole population of St. Petersburg assembled them. selves on the frozen waters of the Neva, then a solid mass of crystal. At half-past eleven the Empress and Grand-Duchesses took their places in the glass balcony of the Her. mitage, and their appearance announced to the crowd that the Te Deum was concluded. The whole corps of the Imperial Guards, amounting to forty thousand men, marched to the sound of martial music and formed in line of battle on the river, from the hotel of the French embassy to the fortress. The palace gates opened as soon as this military evolution was effected, and the banners, sacred pictures, and the choristers of the chapel, appeared preceding the Patriarch and his clergy; then came the pages and the colors of the different regiments of guards, borne by their proper officers; then the Em: peror, supported by the Grand-Dukes Nicho. las and Michael, followed by the officers of his household, his aid-de-camps and generals. As soon as the Emperor reached the door of the pavilion, which was nearly filled with priests and banners, the Patriarch gave the signal, and the sweet solemn chant of more than a hundred voices rose to heaven, unaccompanied by music indeed, yet forming a divine harmony hardly to be surpassed on earth. During the prayer, which lasted twenty minntes, the Emperor stood base: headed, dressed in his uniform, without ful or any defence from the piercing cold, running more risk by this disregard to climate, than if he had faced the fire of a hundred pieces of artillery in the front of battle. Th; spectators, enveloped in fur mantles and caps, presented a complete contrast to * religious imprudence of their rash soverego, who had been bald from his early youth. As soon as the second Te Deum was co" cluded, the Patriarch took a silver cross from the hand of the younger chorister, and engi. cled by the kneeling crowd, plunged to through the opening made in the ice into the waters below. He then filled a vase UP with the consecrated element, which he pro sented to the Emperor. After this ceremo nial of blessing the waters, came the benediction of the standards, which were reo ently inclined towards the Patriarch for tho'
purpose. A sky-rocket was immediately let off from the pavilion, and its silvery smoke was answered by a terrible explosion, for the whole artillery of the fortress gave from their metallic throats a loud Te Deum, and these salvos were heard three times during the benediction of the standards; at the third, the Emperor commenced his return to the palace. He was more melancholy than usual, for during this religious ceremony he felt no need of courage or presence of mind; he was secured by the natural veneration of a superstitious people. He knew it, and, therefore, wore no mask in the semblance of a joyous smile. On the same day, this imposing ceremonial is used at Constantinople, only the winter is a mere name and the water has no ice. The Patriarch stands on the deck of a vessel, and drops his silver cross into the calm blue waves of the Bosphorus, which a skilful diver restores to him before it reaches the bottom. To these religious ceremonies succeed sports and pastimes of all kinds. Booths and barracks are erected on the frozen Neva from quay to quay, Russian mountains, down which sledges slide with inconceivable velocity, and the Carnival commences with as much zest as in cities enjoying a southern temperature. Plays are performed on the ice, and curious pantomimes, in which a marmot performs the part of a baby very cleverly, while the man who shows him off under the character of the good father of the family finds resemblances in this black-nosed imp to all his supposed human relatives, to the infinite delight of the spectators. Sleighing on the ice is, as in Canada, a favorite diversion with the Russians, whose sledges are lined with fur and ornamented with silver bells and ribbons of every color. Sometimes a wind loaded with vapor puts an end to these diversions by rendering the ice unsafe, in which case they are interdicted by the police, and the sports and pastimes of the people are transferred to terra-firina ; but the Carnival is considered to come to an abrupt conclusion if this misfortune occurs at its commencement, for the Neva is to the inhabitants of St. Petersburg what Vesuvius is to the Neapolitans, and the absence of the ice robs their Saturnalia of its greatest attraction. In countries where the Greek religion is the national standard of faith, Lent is preceded by the same unbounded festivity as in those which are Roman Catholic; but the Court does not display in these days so
much barbarous magnificence as in those earlier times when civilization was unknown. The Carnival was, however, held during the last century by Anna Ivanovna, in a style surpassing that of her ancestors. This pleasure-loving princess, the daughter of the elder brother of Peter the Great, covered her usurpation of a throne she had snatched not only from the descendants of her mighty uncle, but also from her own elder sister and niece, by conducing to the popular amusements of her people, who in their turn forgot her defective title to the throne. This popular female sovereign founded the largest bell in the world, and gave the most magnificent Carnival ever held in Russia. Thus she maintained her sway by the aid of pleasure and devotion, a twofold cord her subjects never broke. In 1740 Anna Ivanovna resolved to surpass every preceding Carnival by her unique manner of providing her people with amusement during this merry season. It was customary for the sovereign of Russia to be attended by a dwarf, who united the privileged character of a jester to the tiny proportions of a little child. This empress possessed two of these diminutive personages, and she chose for her own amusement and
that of her loving subjects that they should
be married during this Carnival, and “whether nature did this match contrive,” or it was the consequence of her own despotic will, cannot be known without a peep into the jealously guarded archives of Russia; but the nuptials of these sports of nature was the ostensible cause of the fête. This the Autocrat gave on a new and splendid scale. She directed her governors to send her two natives of the hundred districts they ruled in her name, clothed in their national costume, and with the animals they were accustomed to use on their journeys. The idea was certainly a brilliant one, and worthy of the sovereign lady of so many nations, tongues and languages. Anna Ivanovna was punctually obeyed, and at the appointed time a motley procession, including the purest types of the Caucasian race and the ugliest of the Mongolian, astonished the eyes of the Empress, who had scarcely known the greater part of these distant tribes by name. There she beheld the Kamtchadale with his sledge drawn by dogs, the Russian Laplander with his reindeer, the Kalmuck with his cows, the Tartar on his horse, and the native of Bochara with his camel, the Ostiak on his clogs. Then for the first time, the beautiful Georgian and Circassian, with their dark ringlets and unrivalled features, looked with astonishment upon the red hair of the Finlander. The gigantic Cossack of the Ukraine eyed with contempt the pigmy Samoiede—and in fact, for the first time were brought into contact by the will of their sovereign lady, who classed each race under one of four banners representing spring, summer, autumn and winter; and these two hundred persons, during eight days, paraded the streets of St. Petersburg, to the infinite delight of the population, who had never seen the power of the throne displayed in a manner so agreeable to their taste before. Upon the wedding day of her dwarfs, these important personages had been attended to the altar by this singular national procession, where they plighted their faith in the presence of the Empress and all her Court after which they heard Mass, and then, accompanied by their numerous escort, took possession of the palace prepared for them by the direction of their imperial mistress, This palace was not the least fanciful part of the fête. It was entirely composed of ice, and resembled crystal in its brilliancy and fine cutting and polish. This beautiful fabric was fifty-two feet in length and twenty in width; the roof, the floor, the furniture, chandeliers, and even the nuptial bed, were formed of the same cold, glittering, and transparent materials. The doors, the galleries, and the fortifications,—even the six pieces of cannon that guarded this magical palace, were of ice; one of these, charged
ALEXANDRE DUMAs is writing his Memoirs for the Presse, in Paris. A critic says of him :
“Having mixed familiarly with all descriptions of society from that of crowned heads and princes of the blood down to strolling
layers—having been behind the scenes of the political, the literary, the theatrical, the artistic, the financial, and the trading world —having risen, unaided, from the humble position of subordinate clerk in the office of louis Philippe's accountant, to that of the most popular of living romancers in all Europe—having found an immense fortune in his inkstand, and squandered it like a genius or a fool—having rioted in more than princely luxury, and been reduced to the sore strait of wondering where he could get credit for his dinner-having wandered far and wide, taking life as it came—now dining with a king, anon sleeping with a brigand—
with a single ice-bullet and fired by the aid of a pound of powder, perforated at seventy paces a plank of twelve inches thickness. This was done to salute the bridal party, and welcome them home. The most curious piece of mechanism, and which pleased the Russians the most, was a colossal elephant, mounted by an armed Persian, and led by twelve slaves. This gigantic beast threw from his trunk a column of water by day, and at night a stream of fire, uttering from time to time roars which were heard from one end of St. Petersburg to the other. These noble roars were produced by twelve Russians concealed in the body and legs of the phantom elephant, whose costly housings hid the men whose noise so delighted their countrymen. This Carnival of the fête-loving female usurper has never been surpassed by any Russian sovereign, though, with the exception of the assembly of her distant subjects, its taste was barbarous enough.”
* Our Sovereign Lady, Queen Victoria, were she to raise her sceptre, might easily convoke a is more numerous and interesting assembly, from lands more distant, and climes of more varied tempera: ture. How many more nations in the far east and west are ruled and maintained by her lawsul rule, than rendered unlawful homage to the Russian Empress If she were to send for two persons from every tribe, nation, or empire she governs, England would behold the grandest and most interesting national spectacle her sun ever shone upon. Con this idea ever be realized —and if it can be why then should it not be done
one day killing lions in the Sahara, and the next, (according to his own account,) being devoured by a bear in the Pyrenees—having edited a daily newspaper and managed " theatre, and failed in both—having built a magnificent chateau, and had it sold by aut, tion—having commanded in the Natio Guard, and done fierce battles with bailiff and duns—having been decorated by almost every potentate in Europe, so that the heas: of his coat is more variegated with ribbo than the rainbow with color—having pub: lished more than any man living, and perhaps than any man dead—having fough duels innumerable—and having been mos. quizzed, caricatured, and lampooned, and satirized, and abused, and slandered, an admired, and envied, than any human being now existing—Dumas must have an imme”, sity to tell, and we fear that it will be mixed up with a vast deal of imagination."
We have always felt great interest in turning over the leaves of an old book, and in tracing the feelings (however presented in an uncouth garb) which have at every period given the charm to works of genius. The antiquated guise in which we sometimes find them, excites a sensation, in some degree resembling that which we experience in meeting with a dear familiar friend in some foreign land; or like the pleasure with which we contemplate the charms of the courtly beauties in the stiff brocades and quaint fashions, transmitted to the painter's canvas. Among the books for which we sought, we looked for a long time in vain for “The Works of William Drummond of Hawthornden, consisting of those which were formerly printed, and those which were designed for the press, published from the author's original copies. Edinburgh, printed by James Watson, in Craig's Close, 1711. Folio.” The book was not to be found in the public libraries in London, but we were at last fawored with a sight of it in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. It contains his poetry and prose; and is not merely a sufficient evidence of his ability and industry, but a record of feelings, remarkable for tenderness and delicacy: his poetical effusions have the great charm of letting us into his character, and without entering into details, giving the clue to the vicissitudes of his life.
Sir John Drummond of Hawthornden was descended from an ancient family, and was a man held in great estimation and respect for worth. His gifted son William, was born in the year 1585, and in the midst of the romantic scenery of Hawthornden, with all its interesting traditions, he received his earliest impressions. The very name of Hawthornden sounds musical to our ears, and no one could visit the favored spot without feeling at once that it was a “meet Nurse for a poetic child.” The ancient house, with its mullioned windows, and clustered chimneys and gables, forms a picturesque object, standing on the edge of a stupendous cliff, which overhangs the river as it flows along,
separating it from an opposite cliff, clothed like it with rich hanging woods. A precipitous path along the ledge of the rock leads to a cavern hollowed in it; this is said to have been the poet's favorite haunt: the seat which he occupied, and the table by which he sat, are still to be seen there; here he would retire to study and compose, and it is told, that it was here, after a severe fit of illness, that he wrote the Cypress Grove, a composition described as “an excellent and pious work.” Other nooks among the rocks, besides the poet's haunt, have their interesting ascociations; four small rooms, said to have been excavated before the time of Wallace and Bruce, are supposed to have furnished these heroic men with a secure hiding place in their time of need; two of the chambers are dark, and the others lit from an opening in the rocks, which looks outside as if a stone had been accidentally misplaced. The descent to the bank of the river is long and steep, but when it is reached, the scenery compensates for any fatigue; the waters rush through the rocks, which have fallen scattered among them, with an impetuosity which shows that obstructions but increase their force; and they foam, and dash, and brawl, as if impatient of delay. From every chink of the overhanging rocks, a variety of wild plants and bushes, mingling with the shining fern and purple heather force their way and glint among the foliage of the trees. The love of retirement, which is remarkable in the imaginative, may have been increased in Drummond by his delicacy of constitution; but be that as it may, from very childhood he loved the most secluded paths among the rocks and glens, and would gladly have passed his days in those solitary wanderings and lonely musings; but he was destined for more active life by his father; he received his education at the High School, in Edinburgh, where he became distinguished for great acquirements. When his education was completed, he was sent to France, where he remained for four years; he studied law, which was to be his profession, and made