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as not coming within the province of the historian, we have few or no details.
Before we enter on any particulars from the volume before us, relative to these subjects, we must attend to what the author says respecting the climate of Petersburg. For his previous re. marks on its situation, politically considered, we cannot make room.
• According to the calculation of the academician Krafft, St. Petersburg, on an average of ten years, has annually 97 bright days, 104 of rain, 72 of snow, and 93 unsettled. There are every year from twelve to sixty-seven storms; which sometimes, when they proceed from the west, occasion inundations. From an experience of more than sixty years, the ice of the Neva never breaks up before the 25th of March, and never later than the 27th of April ; the earliest time of its freezing is the zoth of October, and the latest the 1st of December. Since the year 1741, the greatest degree of heat has been 27, and the greatest degree of cold 33, by Reaumur's thermometer.
We see from this survey, how few days in the year can be enjoyed out of doors in these climates, and how limited are the pleasures of our summer. The Winter is our best season, and possesses great advantages over his wet and foggy brethren in more southern countries. An equal permanent cold strengthens and recruits the body. The excellent sledge-roads render travelling commodious and agreeable; a winter journey in a moderate frost on moonlight nights is an enjoyment only to be known in these climes. The Russians, accustomed to hardships, seem to revive at the entrance of winter; and even foreigners are here more insensible to cold than in their native country. However, it must be confessed that none know better how to defend themselves against its effects than the people here. On the approach of winter the double windows are put up in all the houses, having the joints and interstices caulked and neatly pasted with the border of the paper with which the room is hung. This precaution not only protects against cold and wind, but secures a free prospect even in the depth of winter, as the panes of glass are thus never incrusted with ice. The outer doors and frequently the floors under the carpets are covered with felt. Our stoves, which from their size and construction, consume indeed a great quantity of wood, produce a temperature in the most spacious apartments and public halls which annihilates all thoughts of winter.
On leaving the room we arm ourselves still more seriously against the severity of the cold. Caps, furs, boots lined with flannel, and a muff, make up the winter dress. It is diverting to see the colossa! cases in the antichamber, out of which in a few minutes the most elegant beaux are unfolded. The common Russian cares only about warm wrappers for his legs and feet. Provided with a plain sheep. skin shube, the drivers and itinerant tradesmen frequent the streets all day, with their bare necks and frozen beards. In a frost of five and twenty degrees it is common to see women standing for hours together fincing their linen through holes in the ice of the canals.
• The winter increases the necessaries of life, and they are multiplied by luxury. To these belong the winter clothing, fuel and candles. That people here run into great expences in the article of furs may be well imagined ; and the fashion varies so often that a man must be in more than moderate circumstances to be able to follow it. The consumption of wood is enormons. In the kitchens, bagnios, and servants’-rooms, which are heated like bagnins, there is an incredible waste of this prime necessary of life in our climates. Upon a moderate computation here are annually consumed upwards of two hundred thousand fathoms, amounting in specie to about half a million of rubles. This formidable consumption and the rising price of wood, are highly deserving of patriotic attention. The expence in tallow and wax candles is proportionately as large. Throughout the long winter we live in almost everlasting night, as our shortest day is only five hours and a half. In houses conducted on a fashionable style the wax.candles, as in England, are lighted long before dinner..
• The Spring is so short, that it scarcely need be reckoned among the seasons. March and April are generally pleasant months on account of the number of bright days in them, but the air is still keen, and the Neva frequently still covered with ice. In May the scene suddenly changes : the winter dress entirely vanishes, but cold northerly winds keep off the balmy spring. We are now, by a sudden transition, thrown at once into summer; the existence whereof is likewise of short duration ; scarcely come on, scarcely enjoyed, ere it flits away
et mox bruma recurrit iners. « Short, however, as our Gummer is, it is not without its plea: sures ; and perhaps it is here the more satisfactorily enjoyed for the very reason of its being so short. On meeting the first smiles of the returning sun, all hie to the adjacent villas, where the genial season glides away too soon in hospitality and social amusements. Among the peculiar charms of the summer here are to be reckoned the bright and generally warm nights. The faint rays of the scarcely setting sun tinge the horizon with a ruddy hue and beautify the surtounding objects; the noisy bustle of the streets is departed, though not into a death-like silence, but converted into that idle occupation, which is even more voluptuons than repose : walking parties are met every where, frequently attended by music : on the smooth surface of the Neva, and on all the canals, boats are gliding, from which resounds the simple melody of the popular ballads, as sung by the watermen beguiled by the novelty and delightfulness of the scene and in the expectation of the coming night, by an agreeable surprise we find ourselves cheated of our sleep, when the first beams of the sun are gilding the tops of the houses. I have never yet known a single foreigner, who was insensible to the first enjoyment of these summer nights.
• But, ah ! to what scenes do these voluptuous moments lead ! to the short summer succeeds an Autumn, which by its numberless unpleasant concomitants effaces all remembrance of its few fine days. About this season of the year Petersburg becomes one of the most
hideous corners of the earth. The horizon for several weeks is overspread with dark heavy clouds, impervious to the solar rays, res ducing the already shortened days to a mere dismal twilight ; while the incessant rains, in spite of the newly constructed sewers, render the streets so dirty, that it is impossible for well-dressed persons to walk them comfortably; and, to complete the picture of an autumnal evening, storms and tempests frequently come on.'
The author then proceeds to give an account of the general aspect of the city; with a topographical description of the several quarters and precincts, extending in circuit to near twenty English miles; of the Neva, its embankments, its bridges, and its icy covering during several months in the year; of the canals, the number and construction of the houses, the streets, palaces, gardens, squares, churches, monasteries, academies, rural islands, country-seats, &c.—We next come to the population ; the seventh part of which we find to consist of foreigners. Here likewise we are made acquainted with the civil government, the guilds, the corporation, and other circumstances of similar import.
A material circumstance in the account of a populous city is the fare of the common people; because hence we may judge, as by a certain criterion, of the price of labour, and consequently of the state of trade and manufactures. M. Storcla affirms that, on the whole, the sustenance of the populace in Petersburg is not nearly so indifferent as that of the same classes of people in Paris. The latter can at most obtain only bread, salt, and cheese ; whereas the common Russian has his choice of various kinds of food, which, from habit and an obstinate adherence to the manners of his country, are highly grateful to him. According to this author the lowest pay of a labourer in St. Petersburg is from one shilling and three pence to one shilling and eight pence per day; and on an average a good workman may earn half a crown, or three shillings, daily ; while an ample subsistence on the plainest kind of diet will cost him only three pence, or three pence halfpenny: so that he has a surplus to which the Parisian journeymen would look up with envy. We are moreover told that only the lowest classes, and those not very numerous, are confined to such moderate earnings: all journeymen, whose business demands any skill and ingenuity, such as bricklayers, masons, carpenters, hairdressers, and also footmen, being better and often extravagantly paid. These persons generally accumulate a small capital in the city, and after some years return with it to their birth-place.
Under the head of public accommodations, we find many curious particulars, of which we shall copy a few :
i In • In all the capitals of Europe (says the author) carriages, under one form or other, ply for hire in the streets, and are taken for cer. tain fares to different distances. Here, where the great circuit of the town, the climate, and the pavement render such an accommodation doubly necessary, coaches of this description are not yet in use. Instead of hackney.coaches, isvoschtschiki [the general denomination for all drivers, coachmen, postilions, carmen, &c.] have their stands in the streets, ready to drive where they are ordered, in summer with drojekas and in winter with sledges. The drojeka consists of a bench with springs under it and cushions upon it, on four wheels, at one end of which is the horse, and just behind him sits the isvoschtschik; they are otherwise constructed in various methods according to the fancy of the owner.—Those at the service of the public are in the simplest form ; in general very neat, exceedingly light, and al. ways gaudily painted. Two persons at most can sit on them, besides the isvoschtschik, with tolerable ease. Their greatest advantage is the uncommon lightness of the vehicle ; but this by no means makes up for their inconveniences and defects. Having no covering, and frequently affording no protection from the dirt, the rider is entirely exposed to the weather and to be splashed all over. The want of sides and back, and the jolting experienced in driving, whence they ebiained the name of drojeka, may render an excursion on them extremely beneficial to the health ; but for people, who use this carriage otherwise than as physic, the motion is absolutely tormenting. To all these disagreeable circumstances must be added the horrid vicinity of the isvoschtschik, which, particularly during the church-fasts, is exceedingly offensive to the nose. --The sledges for hire are not much more entitled to commendation ; but the velocity with which we can go a long way in them, and the low price of this conveyance, are preponderant advantages. At the first beginning of the sledge-roads a great number of boors appear from the surrounding districts, who continue earning money all the winter through as isvoschtschiks, and from the wretched condition of their horses and sledges, are known by the name of Ivanuschky [Jacky). The number of all the hackney sledges that are run about the streets is computed at upwards of three thousand. - In the best frequented parts of the town are handsome sledges with fine running horses, of which are some that are worth from fourteen to fifteen hundred rubles. Driving at full speed is one of the favourite winter diversions of the Russians. In the long and broad streets are frequently seen races between two, four, six or more sledges. One who has not been an eye-witness, can scarcely fuim an idea of the rapidity with wbich they glide along the plains of frozen snow. The dexterity likewise of the isvoschtschiks strikes every forcigner with astonishment. In the busiest streets a prodigious number of sledges are running across each other in every direction, almost all of them driving very fast, and yet it is extremely seldom that any accident happens. The rule is, for every one to k.ep to the right ; and, as most of the streets are very broad, none are preFented from driving as fast as they chuse. The fares of these hired sledges are very different, as they are subject to official regulation; the same distance for which an Ivanuschki is content to take five ko. peeks, costs a ruble and a half or two rubles in a racing sledge. Every isvoschtschik wears a plate of tin at his back, on which is painted his number and the quarter in which the stand is to which he belongs.
• As the bridges across the Neva and the canals are not sufficient for the communication between the various parts of the town, ferries are appointed in several places, at which boats are constantly lying in readiness, which take in a single person for a kopeck or two. In spring and autumn, when the floating bridges are parted and drawn ashore, the Neva swarms with boats of all sorts and sizes. To take your passage with some degree of gentility, you hire a boat for your self or company; but any one who goes for the sake of making observations on the manners and sentiments of different sorts of people, especially the lower, may at times pick up plenty of materials for forming his judgment in the miscellaneous and numerous company of a great barge.
The extraordinary extent of the city renders all these communications absolutely pęcessary. As it would be difficult to point out a place in Europe comprehending more grand squares, wider streets, and more numerous vacuiries, it is natural to imagine that people live more dispersed than elsewhere. It occurs every day that a person goes to visit an acquaintance, whose house is more than six miles off; and it therefore not unfrequently happens that he makes this journey in a very different method. Thus, he sometimes walks part of the way, till he comes to the river ; here he may greatly shorten his road by taking a boat, and the rest of the journey it is likely he may perform on a drojeka. All of these means, however, as may easily be supposed, are not compatible with high pretensions to gentility ; persons of fashion keep their own carriages, and therefore may dispense with the public accommodations here mentioned.'
• The situation of St. Petersburg, in a northern corner of Europe, is one natural cause why there is not here such a confluence of travellers, as in the capitals of Germany, France, and other countries. People passing 'through are seldom or never seen; whoever comes hither has almost always reached the place of his destination. Merely for the sake of gratifying curiosity, Petersburg, with all its remarka able objects, lies too far from the centre of polished Europe. The generality of travellers design to make some stay here, and therefore tarry at an inn only for a short space. It is usual for foreigners to bring letters of recommendation to the mercantile houses or to some family, who engage houses or lodyings for them of private owners. Hence it is that the taverns here are sull so far behind those of other capitals in point of accommodations and elegance.
* In the gentecler parts of the town are, however, two large hotels with roomy apartments tolerably furnished, an ordinary, and other conveniences, such as an equipage for hire, valets de place, and the like; but they bear no comparison with even hotels in the second rapk in London, Paris, Berlin, and Frankfort. The apartments and the furniture are, to say the best of them, but moderately hand: some, the larder is very plain, and at the ordinary not always provi. sion enough; waiters for the service of the guests are no where found; 13