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transferred to Petersburg from the Public Library at Warsaw. There are about forty thousand volumes of MSS.
Among others which I examined, is a missal which was purchased in France, and which formerly belonged to Mary Queen of Scots: it is quite perfect, except that in the illuminations with which it is abundantly ornamented, there have once been numerous coats of arms, every one of which, from the beginning of the book to the end, has been carefully erased, and the shield left vacant. It is difficult to guess with what object this has been done, as no other mutilation is apparent. The chief interest of this missal lies in numerous scraps of the Queen's hand-writing which are to be found in it, breathing in general of her unhappy fortunes, though it must be owned, much cannot be said in favour of her poetry, the exact meaning of which is not always very clear. Near the beginning is written across the bottom of two pages, Ce livre est a moi, Marie reyne, 1553.*
In another page are written the following lines in the Queen's hand.
Un cæur que l'outrage martire,
* The last figure is very indistinct, but it appears to be a 3:
In another place, in the same writing, are these
Qui iamais davantage eust contraire le sort,
Below these lines, the Queen has scrawled a memorandum, “escrire au Secretare pour Douglas.” I was afterwards shewn, in a collection of original letters, one from Mary to the King of France, written during her imprisonment, in which, addressing the King, as Monsieur Mon Frere, and signing herself votre bonne sæur Marie, she speaks of Douglas, recommending him to the future favour of his most Christian Majesty; whom she at the same time thanks for his attention to her former request in behalf of the same person.
In another letter from Fotheringay Castle, the unhappy Queen expresses her too-well-grounded fear of never being released from prison. This collection includes autographs of Henry the Seventh, Henry the Eighth, Elizabeth, James the First, Charles the First and his Queen Henrietta, with those of many distinguished persons ; among others, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, in whose hand are two or three letters to the King of France, expressing the deepest gratitude and devotion to his Most Christian Majesty, and entreating for a continuance of his favour. I am afraid Queen
* Both these words are thus written.
Elizabeth would not have been altogether pleased with the tone of these epistles. Among the most interesting letters, was a long one dated at St. Germains, from Henrietta, Queen of Charles the First, to the Sieur Grignon, begging him, if possible, to procure from the Speakers of the two Hlouses and the General, a pass for herself and her attendants, to enable her to visit her husband in England, and to remain with him as long as can be permitted. The Queen expresses her fears that this pass will be refused, but she reminds the Sieur Grignon how much she has the object at heart, and assures him of her eternal gratitude if he succeeds. She then offers to make out for the inspection of the Speakers and the General, a list of the attendants whom she proposes to bring with her, in order that the name of any person, to whom they object, may be omitted in the pass.
With these short extracts, I will conclude my letter; nor will I detail to you an expedition which we made lately by the rail-road with some Russian friends to Tzarsko Celo, where we saw all that is to be seen,—the armoury, which is well arranged,—the park, which boasts of no fine trees,—and the palace itself, which is magnificent. The saloon, the walls of which are entirely encrusted with amber, is celebrated, and is not only curious, but beautiful. The floors are exquisite throughout; nor am I sure that the famous parquet, which is ornamented by inlaid bouquets of
mother-of-pearl, was the one I most admired. One room has a most singular appearance, from the walls being entirely covered to a certain depth with paintings of all sizes, without frames, fitted into one another like a puzzle: the variety of size and colouring of the paintings gives to the whole rather the appearance of patchwork. The inn at which the rail-road train set us down, is about two versts from the palace, to which we went in an omnibus, and returned in the same manner; and after a very merry dinner, in spite of our number, which was thirteen, we embarked again on the rail-road, and steamed rapidly back to Petersburg, a distance of about sixteen miles.
Much as we have had reason to enjoy our visit to Russia, we are not sorry to feel ourselves on the eve of our return; and we shall not appreciate the merits of England the less, by comparing it with the scenes we are now about to quit.
Acknowledgment of Russian kindness and hospitality.--SYSTEM OF
EDUCATING BOYs-In public institutions -At home - Nature of their studies, Foreign preceptors —Amusements –Treatment of children-Military discipline-Village quarters—The young ladiesResults of early marriages--Servants-Russian opinions of justiceAnecdote.—THE GREEK CHURCH – Its doctrines and practicesThe clergy-The fasts -- Tendency of the system-Religious tolerance - Children must always be Greeks if either parent is of that church.
- PETERSBURG NOT Russia — Character of the peasant-Of the tradesman-Commercial spirit pervading all classes.-PROSPECTS OF Russia-Probable effects of a political change-Want of independent classes - Light in which the Emperor is viewed by his subjects—Public functionaries—Their motives of action- Suspicions of Government–Tend to deter Russia from foreign aggressionOpinions of four distinguished generals on the power of Russia, offensive and defensive -- Reasons why disturbances should be apprehended in Russia-Elements of Revolution—The conscription- Natural results of a revolution-Bloodshed and violenceDomestic servants- The revolt of the military colonies - Intrepid behaviour of the Emperor-Famine—The present system bad—A change likely to be worse-Importance of the life of the Emperor to his country-Character of the Emperor.
In adding to the preceding series of letters a few general remarks on Russia, I feel reluctant to censure in any degree a country which, were I to describe it merely as it presented itself to me, and