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Fete of the Emperor at Peterhoff — The Polonaise


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FETE OF THE EMPRESS AT PETERHOF. — THE POLONAISE

FETE OF THE EMPRESS AT PETERHOF. — THE POLONAISE.
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These renowned fetes take place on the first of July (old style, which still prevails in Russia), when amends are made to this charming summer abode for the neglect to which it is doomed during the rest of the year. On that day—the 13th day of July of our style—which is the empress's birthday, and also her wedding-day, the people of St. Petersburg throng in vast and motley multitudes to the famous Peterhoff festival. It is difficult to give an idea of the immense concourse that flows thither. From the earliest hour of the morning, the Neva is covered with: steamboats, skiffs, and gondolas, and the roads with vehicles of every kind, full of eager holy-day-makers, fearless of the dust so long as they reach the scene of enjoyment. There the accommodations prepared for them can not possibly suffice. Enormous tents are pitched, to afford rest and refreshment to the weary wayfarers; but so extraordinary is the throng, that it is scarcely possible to keep a place even if obtain ed: or else the heat drives one from under cover, to mingle and be carried along with the dense stream that fills every avenue. Hurrying from room to room, and from one garden into another, the morning passes away, and' at noon the empress appears on the balcony of the palace, and a military parade ensues. After the troops have defiled before her, the orderlies of the various corps march by, among which the Circassians are remarkable for their personal appearance, costume, and skill in military exercises.

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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855