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The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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their deportment at religious meetings ; said Ihat she
had been tried with so much standing around the meet-
ing-house, conversing ill groups alter meetings. And
she also discouraged ihe young people from frequenting
the " parties" (us they were called/ ol Ihe neighbour-
hood, believing that ihcy tended to draw away from

Seventh and Carpenter Streets,


VOL. xvt




Pric: Iwo dollar t per annum, poyalde in adcai
Subscriptions and Payments received by



For " 'Die Friend."

Pictures and Sketches of Peiersburgh.

(Concluded from page 202.)

In those quarters, however, where the peo-
ple of Peiersburgh do more especially congre-
gate, the scene is one which no other city can
match for the gaiety and variety of cuslunje.
The garrison seldom consists of less than
70,000 men, and includes generally detach-
ments from all the Tartar, Circassian, Per-
sian, and other oriental corps that have been
incorporated with the great Russian army.
Peiersburgh, moreover, is not only the prin-
cipal garrison town of the empire, but also
the great naval station. Every man holding
a situation under government, however trifling,
and every professor, teacher, or pupil, belong-
ing to a public school, has a dislinct uniform,
in which alone it is lawful for him to appear
in public. When to this we add the police-
men; the servants of the nobles, and all other
human beings whose peculiar office it appears
to be to wear bright colours, and to go about
bedizened with lags and lace, the imagination
will be at no great loss to form a picture of
the gay and tulip-like effect of a Peiersburgh
promenade. Tiie mercantile portion of the
public add to the variety of the groups that
are constantly forming in the more busy parts
of the town. Every nation in Europe, nay,
every nation on the globe, appears to have ils
representatives there. English and French,
Americans and Germans, Italians and Greeks,
Spaniards and Moors, Turks and Persians,
Indians and Tarters, Bockharians and Lap-
landers, Kamtshadales and Mongolians, nay,
even Chinese and Arabs, may all be seen
mingled in gay confusion, each clad in his
native garb. Some of the eastern strangers
are drawn by the hope of commercial gain,
but many are wealthy magnates among iheir
own tribes, and are detained in the Russian
capital as hostages for the tranquillity of their
districts, and the submission of their country-

" The Nievkoi Prospekt is decidedly the
best place to study the street population of
Peiersburgh. This magnificent street leads
from the convent of Alexander Nevsky to the
Admically, and is four versts in length. Tow-

ards the extremity it makes a bend. It cuts
through all the' rings' of the town ; through
the quarter of the poor inhabitants of the
suburbs, as well as through the centre of
wealth and lu.\ury,and a journey from one end
to the other, is decidedly the most interesting
that can be made within the limits of the capi-
tal. At one extremity we have a convent
and a cemetery, to remind us of death and
solitude. Leaving these, we pass between
low wooden houses, by cattle markets, and
before brandy shops, with Russian peasants
swarming around them, offering in the suburb
a tolerable picture of the life of a Russian vil-
lage. As we advance, we come to houses
of stone that boast of two floors, to a better
description of public houses, and to shops
rather better than would be looked for in a
remote provincial town. Next we arrive at
magazines of ancient household wares, and of
decayed garments, things that have worn away
their gloss in the service of the wealthy, and
are banished in the days of their decripitude
to the homes of the poor. As yet we see the
houses painted red and yellow, according to
the lime-hallowed practice of the antique
Russian, and all the men we meet are deco-
rated with long beards and longer caftans. A
little farther, and we already see a few
hvosktshiks,* whom chance has thrown into
regions so remote from Ihe centre of the great
world. A few shaven-chins and swallow-tailed
coats begin to be seen, and here and there a
mansion of some pretension. On arriving at
the turn, we obtain a view of the more im-
portant portion of the street, with the golden
giant needle that surmounts the Admiralty
lower, floating over the mists that rise from
the street. We cross a bridge or two, and
feel that we are approaching the centre of the
capital. Palaces are on either side to the
height of three or four stories, and the in-
scriptions of the shop-fronts increase in num-
ber and size, till we arrive at that of Boiiton,
the tailor, whose name adorns the front of his
house in letters of several yards in length.
Carriages and four now become more fre-
quent, and occasionally an officer dashes by
in an elegant uniform, and with feathers
streaming in the wind. At length we reach
the Fontanka, cross the Anitshkoff'bridee, and
are reminded by the palace of Count B. that
we are entering the fashionable part of the
town. Here the bustle of the scene becomes
fairly bewildering. Carriages and four at
every slop, generals and princes elbowing
among the crowd ; splendid shops ; imperial
palaces; cathedrals and churches of every

• The drivers of the different kinds of public car-

" This part of the Prospekt, in the middle
of the day, may challenge a comparison with
all the most celebrated streets in the world,
and the promenade loses none of its attraction
b}' the splendor of its decoration. The whole
of this part of the street [upwards of an Eng-
lish mile in length] is formed of only fifty
' houses,' but each is of colossal dimensions.
The ground belongs mostly to the different
churches, (the Dutch, the Catholic, the Ar-
menian, &.(-..,) having been given to ihem by
Peter the Great, at a time when the land was
of little value, but it now produces revenues of
enormous amount.

" On a fine clear day the promenade might
be compared to a festive saloon, with the
canopy of heaven for a ceiling. The houses
are so new, so brilliant, and so rich in
columns. Along the centre of the broad
street magnificent equipages roll noiselessly
over the wooden pavement. The troltoir on
each side is .spacious and convenient. Vulgar
inob-like sounds are no where heard, for the
public of Peiersburgh are remarkable for
their civility, and are rarely guilty of brawl-
ing and quarrelling. People do not attempt
to run one another down. This is partly
owing to the respect which the humbler
classes from their birth are taught to show
towards those above lliem, and partly to the
innate flexibility of the Sclavonian races, in
whom there is but little of that sharpness and
angularity which never allows us Saxons to
pass one another without the hazard of a col-

Another public walk remains to be noticed,
namely, the Summer Garden, the usual resott
of all the nurses and nursery-maids of Peters-
burgh. Here the juvenile aristocracy of the
great empire may, on every fine day, be seen
at their gambols, in their elegant caftans and
high Tartan caps; for the Russians of all
ranks clothe their little boys in the old na-
tional costume till the seventh or eight year.
The Summer Garden is a piece of ground
situated in the very heart of the city, and con-
tains somewhat more than thirty English
acres, laid out in the formal manner so much
in vogue about a century and a half ago. In
one corner of this garden stands the small
palace that sufficed for Ihe residence of Peter
the Great. It is a modest unpretending man-
sion, and ashamed apparently to be seen by
the side of the sumptuous edifices reared l.y
the successors of the great monarch, it hides
itself timidly among the lofty linden-trees
that have grown up to a respectable size
around it.

It is curious (o listen, sometimes, in this
garden, to the Babylonian jargon in which the
children of the Russian nobility are taught to
lisp their infantine discourse. The fashionable



language among the upper classes is French,
and it is thought a great point in most Russian
families, that cliiliiien should learn French
as soon as they can learn any thing. English
is nearly as much in favour, and English and
French nursery-maids are, accordingly, an
article of luxury, in which those who can atTord
it, rarely fail to indulge. The private teach-
ers are for the most part Germans, and the
children acquire, by this means, a smattering
of all the four languages, long before they
have made any tolerable proficiency in any
one of them.

The Grand Parade, in the Admiralty
Square, forms a daily exhibition of the idlers
of Petersburgh. The emperor is generally
there in person. Accompanied by his sons,
and followed by a numerous train of princes
and generals, he comes dashing through clouds
of dust. The spectators uncover them-
selves at his approach, and the soldiers pre-
sent arms. " Good morning, my children," is
the emperor's usual salutation ; and " We
thank your majesty," is the reply that tliunders
forth from some thousands of throats at the
same moment. It is not, however, necessary
for those who wish to see the emperor to
attend the parades ; for of all the inliabitants
of Petersburgh, there is scarcely one who may
be seen more frequently in all parts of the
town. There is no other monarch in the
world whose avocations require him to spend
so large a porlion of his life in the streets.
Either there are reviews to be held, troops to
be inspected, or public buildings to be visited,
almost every day. Then, at almost all public
rejoicings, it has ever been customary for the
Russian sovereigns to share in the diversions
of their subjects ; and they frequently visit
the houses of those of their grandees to whom
they wish to show especial favour. Nicholas,
who, of all the successors of Peter, has shown
himself most desirous to preserve national cus-
toms, omits no opportunity of mingling with
his people, is a frequent guest at the enter-
tainments of his nobles, and often an unex-
pected visiter at the bed-side of a sick favour-
ite. When seen in the streets, it is generally
in a plain sledge, or droshky, drawn by a single
horse, and in this he but imitates the constant
habit of Peter, Paul, and Alexander.

" The isvoshtshik, or hackney coachman of
Russia, is a being that varies very materially
from his colleagues of other large European
cities. In Petersburgh, the number of these
convenient charioteers is said to exceed 8000,
and they appear all to find employment, partly
on account of the great extent of the town,
and partly owing to the annoyances to which
a pedestrian is frequently exposed. In winter,
every one that can is glad to creep into a
sledge, and place every part of his person but
his eyes under the shelter of his furred cloak.
In spring, all Petersburgh is one swamp, and
in summer, the dust is intolerable.

" The most determined walker is seldom
able to keep long upon his feet, nor will he
often have occasion to summon one of these
coachmen to his aid ; he need only cast a look
of indecision on the snow or mud that hides
the pavement from his view, and half a dozen
sledges or droshkys will dart up to him in a

moment. 'I'he bag of oats is immediately
cast ofl", the harness braced up, and each
driver seals himself upon his box, as though
he had not the slightest doubt of being pre-
ferred to all his competitors. ' Where shall
I drive to?' ' To the Admiralty ?' ' I'll go
for two rubles]' ' I for one and a half;' and
they go on under-bidding each other, till the
fare is reduced, perhaps, to half a ruble."

The isvoshtshik is a thoroughly nomadic
being. If he thinks the market overstocked
in the capital, he bundles his little moveables
together, and in a few days afterwards reap-
pears on the pave of Moscow or Novogorod,
and some of them travel from town to town,
till they have made the round of the empire.
Their only vehicles are the sledge in winter,
and the jolting droshky in summer. Both are
always uncovered, and the passenger's mantle
must be his shield against rain, snow, or the
shower of mud with which he will occasion-
ally be saluted. Many an isvoshtshik has no
regular home but his sledge, which serves him
for dining-room by day, and for bed by night.
He and his horse are alike seasoned against
every weather, and patient under every pri-
vation. They eat and sleep when they can,
and seem always in good humour; the steed
ever ready to start off at a smart trot ; the
driver always prepared for a jest, a song, or a
repartee. About the suburbs, the droshkys
are often wretched enough, but in the fash-
ionable quarters, there are isvoshtshiks whose
equipages rival those of princes in splendour.
Indeed, scandal says, that many a Russian
prince, when he has no occasion himself for
his horses, will send them to earn their oats
in the public streets.

We have seen that the isvoshtshik is not
subjected to any fixed fare. It is, therefore,
always advisable, before engaging his servi-
ces, to make a bargain. In the morning, or
on ordinary days, they are to be had for a
mere trifle, but on holidays, or during the
bustle of noon, their demands are compara-
tively high. Once hired, however, and the
man is your serf till you discharge him.
Scold him, and he receives your rebuke with
a cheerful smile ; speak to him, and he replies
only cap in hand ; beat him, and he becomes
more solicitous to do your bidding. The spi-
rit of slavery is so instilled from the birth into
the lower classes of Russians, that they seem
always to look upon their employer for the
lime as a master whom they are bound to
obey, and they do so cheerfully, provided he
holds a tight rein ; but woe betide him if he
show himself unfit for command.

The great plague of the isvoshtshiks is the
pedestrian, who in other countries is expected
to get out of a coachman's way ; whereas, in
Russia, a coachman is bound to be always on
his guard against a pedestrian. To drive up
against a foot passenger in the street, even
without hurting him, entitles the driver to a
flogging and a fine ; and in case of a more
serious accident, the equipage is confiscated,
whoever the owner may be, and the coachman
is liable to be flogged and sent to Siberia.
Without some severe regulation of this kind,
it would be impossible to keep the Russian
nobles in any order in the streets. As it is,

they are continually urging their ccachnicn
to drive liaster, and wide as the streets are,
and formidable as the penalty is that awaits
an unfortunate charioteer, accidents frequent-
ly occur, and one often hears in Petersburgh
that the coach and four of this prince has
been seized by the police, or that the coach-
man of another is under sentence for Siberia.
'1 he word Siberia, though it sounds less
terribly to an English than to a Russian ear,
has the efliect of making most of us creep
closer lo the fire, and of reminding us of those
terrible stories which we all read in our times,
of water congealed in its descent lo the ground,
and of travellers frozen to death in despite of
all the appliances of furs and schnaps. What
then shall we say of the climate of Peters-
burgh, which even the Siberian makes matter
of complaint ? In central Russia, when winter
makes his appearance, he puis his house in
order, and freezes away fur dear life, till he
begins to make preparations for his depar-
ture. Not so at Petersburgh, where, even in
January, you are not secure against rain, but
may have to wade through whole oceans of
mud. 'i'he marshy soil on which the city is
built, and the mitigating influence of the west
wind blowing from the Baltic, are assigned as
causes of the frequent variations to which the
temperature of the Russian capital is liable.
Few cities are subject to so great a range of
ihe thermometer, which, in summer, often
rises above 100°, and, in winter, as often falls
to 45 or 50° below zero. It is nothing extra-
ordinary for the thermometer to vary 40° in
one day, making people shiver with cold in the
evening, after having languished under the
heat ol a sultry morning. To suit one's habi-
liments to all the fantastic changes of so un-
stable a climate would be impossible. The
Russian, therefore, ensconses himself in his
furs in October, as a matter of course, and
never allows a few warm days, during the
winter months, to seduce him from the shelter
to which he has once consigned himself. A
self-willed " 1-say-hce,''* sometimes ventures
to vary his garments, according to the vaga-
ries of the climate, but generally rues his
imprudent disregard of the warnings of the
more experienced resident.


From Old Humphrey's " Tliouglits for the Thoughlful."

Here comes the cheerful old man with his
vegetables. So sure as the morning comes,
so sure does he come too, with his horse and
cart. He is usually dressed in an old great
coat and blue apron; and his cart plentifully
supplied with potatoes, greens, celery, parsley,
hunches of turnips piled up at the front, and
bunches of carrots hanging round the sides, is
quite a picture. The old man has something
lively to say to every customer, and his horse
knows where to stop, and when to go on,
almost as well as his master. As the seasons
go round, a change takes place in his mer-
chandize. In the spring, he adds fresh

* The nickname given to all Englishmen in Russia,
from the frequent use which they are said lo make of
the words " I say."

radishes and young cabbages to his stock ; in
the summer, peas, beans, lettuces and cauli-
flowers ; in the autumn, fruits of various
kinds, and in the winter, laurel, prickly holly,
and white-berried mistletoe. 'I'he dry wind
may blow, or the rain come down in showers ;
the sun may throw his burning beams around,
or the flakes of snow fall thickly one upon
another ; but they never hasten or dtlay the
old man's appearance. At the accustomed
hour his horse and cart are sure to stop at the
doors of his customers. Now this old man
has a singular custom of crying out in a sharp,
shrill voice every time he serves a customer,
" Who''s the next ?" Before he has received
the money for his stuff, even while he mounts
his cart to pull a bunch of turnips from the
top of the pile, or weighs in his scales the
potatoes he is selling, he calls out, " Who^s
the next 7 Who's the next V

The other morning as I sat with pen, ink,
and paper, before me, musing on the various
changes that had taken place in the hist year ;
sometimes thinking of those who had left the
neighbourhood to pitch their tent in another
])lace ; and sometimes reflecting on those who
had been called away from this world of
mingled joys and sorrows ; svhile I sal, thus
musing, the sound of the old man's voice broke
upon my ear, " Who's the next ? Who's the
next ?" and lifting up my head, I observed a
hearse with its nodding plumes slowly passing
by. Before it walked the mutes with their
slaves clothed ; on each side were men with
shorter staves, and behind came the mourning
coaches. Whether a father of a family was
being conveyed to his long home, or whether
a beloved mother had been summoned to the
eternal world, I could not tell; however this
might be, the spirit of a fellow-crealuie had
winged its way from time to eternity, and the
breathless body was about to be committed to
the grave, " Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust."
No wonder, then, that the call of the old man
affected me. " Who's the next ? Who's the
next ?" cried he, at the very moment the
hearse passed by, and the inquiry seemed to
sink into my heart.

It is true that the old man had no thought
of the breathless being about to be committed
to the tomb; he only meant to inquire who
would be his next customer, but to me it
sounded awfully. A fellosv-mortal was being
conveyed to the house appointed for all living,
where thousands have already gone, where
thousands must still go, and the thrilling in-
quiry, " Who's the next?" appeared to be
directed to me and to all around.

If it pleased God always to remove the sick,
and to leave those who are in health ; to smite
the aged, and to preserve the young, we should
be in less doubt about who would next be
called away from the world, but this is not the
case ; the strong man is sometimes cut down
in an instant like a blade of grass by the
mower's scythe ; the child, nay the babe at its
mother's breast, is nipped and destroyed like a
flower by the frost. Wo cannot tell, then,
whose turn is approaching. " Who's the
next ?" is a fit inquiry for us all.

Is it not a little strange that we should think
so much of things which are uncertain, and so


little of what is certain? that we should pre-
pare for what may never happen, and make no
preparation at all for what must happen? The
warning words of Holy Scripture should tingle
in every careless ear ; for they will apply to us
all. " As the Lord liveth, as thy soul liveth,
there is but a step between me and death."
In a short time, it may be said to every one
who fears not God, " Thou fool I this night
thy soul shall be required of thee." If we
read our Bibles more diligently, and pondered
more thoughtfully on the manifold passages
that bid us prepare for our latter end, we
should look around us anxiously, and the ques-
tion, " Who's the next ?" would be more fre-
quently in our mouths.

It is said that the Sultan Saladin had a
shroud carried before him, to remind him of
death ; we all require something to remind us
of the same thing, and you must not think
hardly of me, if I have gently and quietly led
you along, by my account of the old man and
his cart of vegetables, to ponder a moment on
your latter end. Who is the next among
us to enter eternity we cannot tell, nor will it
much matter, if we are prepared for death by
having an interest in Christ Jesus.

There are thousands who have been in
bondage all their lives long through fear of
death ; now, this is a sad slate to be in, and
yet there is no cure for it but a lively faith in
the meiitsand sacrifice of our blessed Redeem-
er. If God is against us, we have nothing to
hope ; if He be our friend, we have nothing to
fear. What a mercy then, instead of trem-
bling at the thought of death, to rejoice in
the hope set before us, and to be able to say,
"Though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for thou
art with me ; thy rod and thy staff they com-
fort me." Oh that we may all then seek the
Saviour with all our heart, with all our soul,
and with all our strength : his promises are
very precious, and what he has promised he is
able and willing to perform. " Be thou faith-
ful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of
life." " Precious in the sight of the Lord is
the death of his saints." " Blessed are the
dead which die in the Lord."

Let us ponder these things more deeply,
that when the question solemnly occurs to us,
Who is the next to enter eternity ? we may
feel no fear, but, confiding in Ihe promise of
eternal life given in the gospel of Jesus
Christ, rather rejoice, and say, " O death,
where is thy sting? O grave, whore is thy
victory ?"

For " The Friend."

The truly sensible and practical character
of an Essay, with the above title, in course of
re-publication in the Burlington Gazette, in-
duces the belief that its appearance in " The
Friend" may prove beneficial to young per-
sons that have recently commenced, or are
about commencing, the cares and business of
life. A short introduction in the Gazette
intimates, that for convenience the Essay is
divided into three parts, and tliat it was ori-
ginally published in " The Northern Light,"


with the name of Ihe author, John T. Nortoni
of Farmington, Conn., well known for his
philanthropy, and as a prominent advocate of

No. I.

Political economy is now called a science.
Unlike most other sciences, however, but few
of the principles on which it is based, are fixed
and settled. So much, indeed, has the sub-
ject been obscured and confused by different
and contradictory theories, that it is no un-
common thing to hear intelligent men, after
diligent endeavours to arrive at settled con-
clusions, confess their ignorance, and their
utter inability to understand the compli-
cated and widely differing schemes, that have
from time to time been spread before the

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 78 of 154)