As we drew near to St. Petersburg our desire to see some part of the celebrated city was proportionately great; but, although we took advantage of every rising ground, there was nothing to be seen on all sides but a plain of boundless extent, little cultivated, thinly inhabited, and offering a prospect of which there are few examples in the vicinity of a large capital. But at length the river with its interminable quays burst on our view. On reaching the middle of the Neva I ordered the postilion to stop, that we might contemplate this magnificent city. Nothing I have as yet seen can compare with the coup d'eail this spot presents. Every object that the eye ranges over is grand; the noble river confined in its bed of granite, the quays lined with sumptuous palaces and extending further than the eye can reach, the Admiralty with its gilt steeple - in fact, everything we beheld was calculated to make a deep impression on the mind.'

Want of space prevents my giving his further descriptions of St. Petersburg, the sights he saw and the interesting people he met. I must pass on to his account of the revolt which broke out at the accession of Nicholas I.

On December 9 the melancholy tidings of the death of the Emperor reached the capital - the news of his illness and of his death arrived almost simultaneously. Everyone appeared panic-stricken at this distressing intelligence, for the Emperor was equally beloved by all classes of the community. His fortitude in adversity and moderation in prosperity have justly procured for him the admiration of the present age, and I only hope his example may be followed by the monarchs of succeeding ones.

The following morning the troops took the oath of allegiance to the Grand Duke Constantino. From this time until the courier returned from Warsaw on the 25th the public mind was a good deal agitated on the subject of the successor to the Imperial throne, for it was known that Constantine had formally announced his intention of abdicating in favour of Nicholas his brother. On the morning of the 25th the solemn renunciation of the Grand Duke and on the 26th the manifesto of the new Emperor were published, and the Imperial Council, the Senators, and the Holy Synod took the oath of allegiance to Nicholas. At about 11.30 the Colonels of the Horse and Chevalier Guards, of the Preobajensky Guards, and of six other regiments announced that their respective soldiers had taken the oath. From the other regiments nothing was heard, but this was attributed to the great distance of their barracks.At twelve o'clock intelligence was brought appearance, as it became necessary to oppose force to force.The mob began to be very riotous, and, breaking down the palings opposite to the Church of St. Isaac, armed themselves with bludgeons, and, surrounding the Colonel of the Horse Guards, threatened the life of that officer, whose forbearance was beyond all praise.It was quite evident that in the present temper both of the revolted troops and of the people all conciliatory measures were useless, and the Chevalier Guards were ordered to charge. They were received by a volley from the rebel square. A horse was struck close to the spot where I was standing with Prince Schwartzenberg; the ball entered the poor animal's shoulder, and it was with much difficulty that the soldier dragged him from the ranks.Everyone who was present must bear testimony to the noble bearing of the Emperor upon this trying and melancholy occasion. Neither the tumultuous attacks of the mob nor the obstinate resistance of the revolted troops could shake the resolution he had formed of not using violent measures till all others had proved useless.It was not, in fact, until the Metropolitan had harangued the soldiers of the Moscow Regiment, and until these had fired several rounds at the troops in the square, that he could make up his mind to employ a force which would bring matters to a speedy conclusion.Such a measure was rendered the more indispensable as thedaylight was fast disappearing. Accordingly the cannon were brought up and charged with grape.In the hope of intimidating the rebels the first shots were fired over their heads, as the marks on the wall of the Senate House prove.Seeing this measure had not the effect of dispersing them, the next discharge was levelled at the square formed by the revolted troops. The distance was not more than 100 yards, so that the effect of ten guns firing grape on a compact mass may readily be imagined.A charge ofcavalry immediately followed; the mob and revolted troops were dispersed in every direction and pursued and sabred by the Chevalier and Horse Guards. It will never be known how many fell on the occasion of this revolt, for the bodies were immediately put under the ice in the Neva. The son of the man from whom I hire my carriage fell a victim to his curiosity, and many others narrowly escaped a similar fate. The troops that had been engaged during the day bivouacked in all the principal streets and squares. The most profound tranquillity reigned throughout the city that night; not a sound was heard save a sentry's challenge and the soldiers talking round their fires. The Cossacks, as they were seated round the fires, with their long lances and remarkable costume, their horses tethered behind them, presented a novel and interesting sight. The following morning the troops which had revolted were drawn up before the Admiralty, and the colours taken from them the previous day were restored to them by the Emperor. This was an affecting ceremony. A temporary altar had been erected in the snow in the middle of the square. Mass was performed by the Metropolitan; and the soldiers, prostrate before their Sovereign, seemed at once to implore his forgiveness and to atone for their misconduct by a sincere repentance.'

The following account of the sledge journey to Moscow is amusing:-