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arose and the crowds were brandishing their axes, and the respectable classes were fearful that a massacre was about to take place, when the Emperor Nicholas heard what was passing. He did not hesitate a moment, but jumped into a carriage and drove at once into the thick of the angry crowd. He descended in the midst of the rioters, walked intrepidly along their ranks, scanning them as he passed, then mounting the steps of a church, made but one sign to the people, and in a moment the 14,000 mutineers just now so eager to desolate the city with fire and sword sank on their knees as one man.
In the midst of the profound silence that ensued the Czar's sonorous voice was heard from one end of the market-place to the other. “Wherefore,” he cried, "are you revolting against Heaven ? Are you not the children of Holy Russia ? and do you pretend to imitate the revolutionists of other nations ? Brothers, be yourselves once more! It is God who afflicts us.
Instead of murmuring against the chastisement, let us acknowledge the power of Him who inflicts it, and supplicate Him to arrest the scourge that is ravaging our country.” Then the Emperor knelt down, bowed his forehead to the granite steps, and the repentant crowd, after uniting in his prayers, silently and respectfully withdrew.
But it is time to draw our sketch of the great Northern city to a close. Of its literary, artistic, and scientific institutions we have not spoken, nor of its various arrangements for active benevolence to the unfortunate or afflicted. In these respects it would present few distinctive traits, although in all of them it has attained a highly commendable development. Much that displays itself in the daily life as well as in the institutions of St. Petersburg is still transitional. The new is still struggling with the old. Russia is preparing for a future, but he would be a rash man who would attempt to forecast the outcome of the forces now asserting themselves within her boundaries. If the capital stands firm upon its thousands of piles, in spite of pessimist prophets, it no doubt has a brilliant prospect before it as the capital of the Russia of the future.
the Admiralty. The general effect of the building is impressive, but the details seem to awaken confused reminiscences of all the epochs. The interior of the palace is a marvel of splendour; Oriental luxury and Occidental taste are both apparent everywhere. Curtains and tapestries of silk, satin, and damask, vast mirrors, ornaments of amber, lapis-lazuli, marble, and malachite, statues, paintings, and bronzes, are all mingled in unimaginable profusion.
The galleries and State apartments of the palace are approached by a gigantic marble staircase, on the side facing the Neva. In the first gallery are portraits of four hundred
Russian generals by an English painter-George Dawe. In the throne-room
era, and probably long before. In 111l A.D., Wan-wang, of the Chan dynasty, made his brother Prince of Yen. This prince built himself a city, which he called Yen-king, on a site now partly occupied by the western portion of the Chinese city. But in 1200 A.D. the great chief of the Mongol Tartars, Genghis Khan, swept down upon China, and carried all before him. His grandson, Kublai Khan, destroyed Yen-king, and built instead the city of King-ching, known to mediæval geographers as Cambalu, the capital of Cathay. This was the city which Marco Polo saw in its youthful prime, and of which he
gave such wonderful descriptions to his incredulous fellow-citizens. The Mongol dynasty reigned here till 1368 A.D., when its power was crushed by the Chinese, led on to revolt and victory by the son of a labourer, Choo Yuen Chang, who, under the name of Hung-woo, became the first Emperor of the Ming dynasty. Pekin for awhile sank to the rank of a provincial town, until the third Ming Emperor, Yung-lo, having extended his dominion over Cochin-China, Tonquin, and Tartary, made this city the seat of his Court and the capital of his vast empire. In 1544 the Emperor Kia-tsing walled in the extensive Chinese suburb which had sprung up to the south of the Tartar city, and since that day the cities which (as we shall presently explain) make up Pekin have retained their present dimensions without change. The ornamental marble-work that once formed part of the ancient capital of the Princes of Yen is seen mingled amongst the foundation-stones of the existing walls.
During the reign of the last Ming Emperor, Tsung-Ching, in the year 1612, Pekin was surrendered by treachery to the victorious rebel, Le Tsze Ching. The Emperor committed suicide. The Chinese general commanding on the adjacent frontier invited the Manchoo Tartars to aid him in ejecting the rebels from the Imperial city. The Manchoos readily agreed, defeated the rebel army sent to meet them, and marched on Pekin. At the news of their approach, Le set fire to the Imperial Palace and evacuated the city, but was overtaken, and his forces completely routed. While the Chinese were still rejoicing at the suppression of the rebellion they found that a fresh difficulty had arisen. The victorious Tartars did not see any necessity for going back to Manchooria. Though informed that their services were no longer required, and invited to retire, they refused to leave Pekin, and proceeded to elect Shun-che, a son of their own sovereign, Emperor of China. Shunche was the first monarch of the Ta-tsing dynasty, that still rules the land. For a time the adherents of the Ming dynasty made strenuous efforts to eject the invaders, but the new-comers gradually subdued the whole empire, and the shaven head with the pigtail, the symbol of Tartar sovereignty, became universally adopted. Shun-che divided the northern city of Pekin amongst his Tartar chieftains, and caused all Chinese to remove to the southern city; but in process of time this exclusiveness became less rigorously insisted on, in both cities, Chinese, Manchoos, and descendants of the Mongols are all found.
Pekin is situated in the midst of a vast alluvial plain, formed by deposits of the Yellow River, and is eighty-five miles north-west of the Gulf of Pechili, and nearly forty miles from the nearest point of the Great Wall, originally built to keep out of China the Tartars, who now form the ruling caste in the empire. There are two distinct cities, each
, with its own walls and fortifications. The southern, or Chinese City, called Wai-ching, is of an oblong shape, covering fifteen square miles. Immediately north of it, and connected
PETER THE GREAT'S COTTAGE.
Her successors have added to the museum as opportunity offered. In 1814, Alexander I. bought thirty-eight paintings, previously in the gallery of Josephine at Malmaison. In 1819, Nicholas became the possessor of the collection of Queen Hortense. Entire cabinets and museums have thus from time to time been bought up to enrich the Hermitage.
It would be foreign to our purpose to take the reader in detail through the rooms and galleries of the Hermitage. There are now in the collection about 1,740 pictures, selected from about 4,000, of which the remainder are in the various palaces. Of the Italian schools there are 333 pictures; of the Spanish, 115; of the Flemish, Dutch, and German, 914; of the English, 8; of the French, 172; of the Russian, 65. The great masters are well represented, Murillo by 20 pictures, Rubens by 60, Teniers by 40, and so on.
On the Court Quay stands the Marble Palace, or Orloff Palace, erected by Catherine, between 1770 and 1783, as a residence for Prince Gregory Orloff. It is a sombre building of massive granite (in spite of its name); the roof of sheet-copper is supported by iron beams, and gilded copper is used for the window-frames. The Taurida Palace was another construction of Catherine's, presented by her to Field-Marshal Potemkin after the conquest of the Crimea. He made it renowned by his magnificent entertainments. It was inhabited for a time by Louisa the Beautiful, Queen of Prussia, so beloved by her people, who visited Napoleon at Tilsit, and strove in vain to procure favourable terms for her bleeding country. It was afterwards inhabited by Khozra Mirza, the Persian envoy; and lastly, in 1830, by Oscar, the Crown Prince of Sweden. The Emperor Paul turned the palace into a barrack for his guards; but it became once more a royal residence under his successor. It is now a sort of Russian Hampton Court, inhabited by superannuated ladies of the Imperial Court. The Anatchkoff Palace, the residence of the Heir Presumptive; the Summer Palace, on the island of Iclagin, and one or two others, call for no special remark.
There is one royal residence in St. Petersburg which, though decidedly not a palace, is well worthy of notice. Peter the Great's cottage was the first house built by him on the banks of the Neva, in 1703. “There is one sight,” says D. Mackenzie Wallace, “which must have a deep interest for those who are sensitive to the influence of historical association. I mean the little wooden house in which Peter the Great lived while his future capital was being built. In its style and arrangement it looks more like the hut of a navvy than the residence of a Czar, but it was quite in keeping with the character of the illustrious man who occupied it. Peter could, and did occasionally, work like a navvy, without feeling that his imperial dignity was thereby diminished. When he determined to build a new capital on a Finnish marsh, inhabited chiefly by wild fowl, he did not content himself with exercising his autocratic power in a comfortable arm-chair. Like the old Greek gods, he went down from his Olympus, and took his place in the ranks of ordinary mortals, superintending his work with his own eyes, and taking part in it with his own hands. If he was as arbitrary and oppressive as any of the pyramid-building Pharaohs, he could at least say in self-justification that he did not spare himself any more than his people, but exposed himself freely to the discomforts and dangers under which thousands of his fellow-labourers succumbed.”
The cottage stands not far from the citadel already described, and is a diminutive dwelling-place, measuring some fifty-five feet by twenty. The accommodation consists of two .
vermilion that mingle with or rise above the sombre green of the cedars or paler foliage of the acacias. Temples, pagodas, kiosks, gates and towers, marble bridges, trees of centennial growth, tall masts, with flags and pennants, unite to form a strange medley of form and colour. On the one hand stands the Tartar City, with its three divisions-great thoroughfares, barracks, palaces of mandarins with roofs of bright green, the yellow-roofed Imperial Palaces, the blue-domed temples, the peaceful lakes, and numerous interesting objects of which we shall presently speak, and amidst it all broad stretches of desolate ruins. On the other hand is seen the Chinese City-an inexplicable maze of narrow streets and market-places, and woods and temples. The great central avenue, with its immense crowds of people, is plainly seen, and beyond that, but within the walls, dark masses of forest, from which rise the blue domes of the the Temple of Heaven and Temple of Agriculture. One of the most striking features of the scene is the far-stretching lofty wall, on which four carriages might drive abreast. But everywhere the contrast between the past and the present is very apparent. “Whoever has not seen Pekin,” says the Marquis de Beauvoir, “does not know what decay means. Thebes, Memphis, Carthage, Rome, contain ruins which tell of a fall; Pekin preys upon itself—it is a corpse falling day by day into dust."
There can be little doubt but that in the middle of the last century Pekin was one of the handsomest cities in the world. The throne of China was then occupied by the great Keen-lung (1736—1795), and grand walls, broad streets, and spacious palaces and temples were in their best condition. All was kept in good repair, and any rebuilding found necessary was mostly on the old Mongol sites and foundations. Keen-lung was a great patron of literature and the fine arts, and several of the most beautiful structures in Pekin date from his reign. Many modern descriptions of Pekin seem to refer to the above period ; but since then the process of decay has been rapid, and it is asserted that unless vigorous measures are taken Pekin in less than two centuries will be buried in its own dust. “I followed,” says De Beauvoir, “the line of the moats, canals, and rivers, dried up for ever under bridges of red marble, ruined and useless now; • these gardens, parks, and pools, which were formerly so wonderful, are turned into a desert. Beside triumphal arches of marble the crumbling huts of miserable shopkeepers raise above them a forest of poles, with paper advertisements, which dance in the wind, and all this made frightfully uniform under a thick coating of acrid, suffocating dust."
The sides of the rectangular Tartar City face the cardinal points. On the north, west, and east, two gates on each side give access to or from the surrounding country; on the south, three gates form a connection with the Chinese City. The central gate of the south, called the Meridian Gate, is exactly opposite the great gate of the palace. Its central arch is only used by the Emperor on his annual progress to the Altar of Heaven and on other State occasions. A special exception is also made on behalf of the three most successful candidates at the literary examinations held at Pekin once in five years. The walls consist of a central mass of earth and concrete faced with brick-work, from forty to fifty feet wide at the top. The gates are double, and over both inner and outer gate rises a fortified tower. Between the two is an open space hemmed in by the walls, and at the Meridian
. Gate this space is large enough for a review-ground. The gate-towers, or forts, display