Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод (seminarist) wrote,
Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод

Огастес Хэар, автор некогда прославленных путеводителей по Лондону, Риму и Парижу,

посетил, оказывается, в конце 19 века и Россию. В России ему не понравилось всё, и он об этом написал в очередном тревелоге, Studies in Russia. Пока что я читаю первую главу, про Петербург. Думаю, если перевести эту книгу на русский, у петербуржцев появится новый народный обычай: сжигать чучело Огастеса Хэара. Послушать его, трудно еще найти такой скверный, грязный, претенциозный городишко. Читая, я все время вспоминал известный анекдот про экскурсантов из Петербурга на Красной Площади.

Can we still be in Europe? we wonder, as we emerge from the station into the first of those vase, arid, dusty, meaningless squares with which we afterwards become so familiar...

It is said to be a local statistic that one foot-passenger is killed daily in the city by the droskies...

How wide the streets are, how shabby, and (in summer) how empty, only a foot-passenger or two being visible in the whole of the far-stretching distance! How the wind rushes through the vast spaces!..

How mean and pitiful are the shops, with their names inscribed in the bewildering Greek characters which testify to the Greek origin of Russian literature and religion, and with their walls covered all over with pictures of their contents, coats, gowns, boots, portmanteaux, &c. - pictures apparently far more important than the objects they represent. Then comes a square more hugely disproportionate then the streets, the palaces which surround it built of bad brick covered with worse stucco, and, however immense, seeming paltry and puerile in the vast space, girt on one side by the Isaac Church, which, though only a poor imitation of S. Paul's in London, has at least the advantage of stateliness in proportions, when seen against a sunset sky...

The best hotels in S. Petersburg, though sufficiently comfortable, would be considered very second-rate in any other capital, and the food they supply is very indifferent...

The Grand Moskoi, a broad street ending, close the the hotel, in a huge archway, of an aimless architectural character thoroughly characteristic of S. Petersburg...

Opposite us was the Winter Palace, which, with the exception of the Vatican and Versailles, is the largest palace in the world intended for a residence, and, though tasteless and rococo, has a certain grandeur from its immensity.

(о крещенском купании в проруби)
...Quantities of babies are dipped through it. If they die which of course they generally do, heaven is secured for them; but, strange to say, this kind of infanticide is allowed though there is no country where population is so much needed as in Russia...

(о пьедестале Медного Всадника)
...But much of the jagged edges has been shorn away and the original effect of the vast unwieldy mass is destroyed...

(о малахитовых колоннах Исаакиевского собора)
Here the screen is decorated by huge columns of malachite, which are greatly admired by the Russians, though they have the effect of green paint.

(о Казанском соборе)
...A semicircle of columns on the right - a ludicrous caricature of the colonnade of S. Peter's at Rome - announces the Cathedral of our Lady of Kazan (Kazanski Sobor), the second church in the city, which is truly comic in its ambitious imitation...

И т. д., и т. п.
Tags: augustus hare
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