THE GRAND ARMY IN MOSCOW

Three fifths of the houses and one half of the churches were destroyed. The citizens had burned their capital. Before this catastrophe of 1812 Moscow was an aristocratic city. According to old usage, the Russian nobility spent the winter there, they came from their country seats with hundreds of slaves and servants and many horses; their palaces in the city were surrounded by parks and lakes, and many buildings were erected on the grounds, as lodgings for the servants and slaves, stables, magazines. The number of servants was great, many of them serving for no other purpose than to increase the number, and this calling was part of the luxury of the noblemen. The house of the seigneur was sometimes of brick, rarely of stone, generally of wood, all were covered with copper plates or with iron, painted red or green. The magazines were mostly stone buildings, on account of the danger of fire. At that time the Russian nobility had not yet accustomed itself to consider St. Petersburg the capital, they were obstinate in the determination to come every winter to hold court in the mother of Russian cities. The conflagration of 1812 broke this tradition. The nobility, not willing or not being able to rebuild their houses, rented the ground to citizens, and industry, prodigiously developing since then, has taken possession of Moscow. This is how the city has lost its floating population of noblemen and serfs, which amounted to 100 thousand souls, and how the aristocratic city has become an industrial one. It is a new city, but the fire of 1812, from the ashes of which it has risen, has left impressions on the monuments. Step by step in the Kremlin and in the city proper are found souvenirs of the patriotic war. You enter the Kremlin which Napoleon tried to explode, and which has been restored, you visit there the church of the Annunciation, and you will be told that the French soldiers had stabled their horses on the pavement of agate; you visit the church of the Assumption and you will be shown the treasures which, on the approach of the French, had been taken to places of safety; you raise your eye to the summit of the tower of Ivan and you learn that the cross had been removed by the invaders and found in the baggage of the Grand Army. The door of St. Nicholas has an inscription recalling the miracle by which this door was saved in 1812. The tower surmounting it was split by an explosion from above downward, but the fissure ended at the very point where the icon is found; the explosion of 500 pounds of powder did not break even the glass which covers the image or the crystal of the lamp which burns before it. Along the walls of the arsenal are the cannon taken from the enemy, and in the arsenal are other trophies, including the camp-bed of Napoleon.