“The most attractive object in our ride was the Italian villa, a favorite resort of the emperor, a perfect gem of its kind. We alighted here and visited all the apartments and the grounds around it. No description could do it justice; a series of pictures alone could give an idea of its beauties. While here several other royal carriages with the various deputations to the coronation ceremonies, soon to occur at Moscow, arrived, and the cortege of carriages with the gorgeous costumes of the visitors alone furnished an exciting scene, heightened by the proud bearing of the richly caparisoned horses, chiefly black, and the showy trappings of the liveried attendants.
“On our return to our rooms we dressed for dinner and proceeded in the same manner to the palace in the gardens called the English Palace. Here we found assembled in the great reception hall the distinguished company, in number forty-seven, of many nations, who were to sit down to the table together. When dinner was announced we entered the grand dining-hall and found a table most gorgeously prepared with gold and silver service and flowers. At table I found myself opposite three princes, an Austrian, a Hungarian, and one from some other German state, and near me on my left Lord Ward, one of the most wealthy nobles of England, with whom I had a good deal of conversation. Opposite and farther to my right was Prince Esterhazy, seated between Lady Granville and the beautiful Lady Emily Peel. On the other side of Lady Peel was Lord Granville and near him Sir Robert Peel. Among the guests, a list of whom I regret I did not obtain, was the young Earl of Lincoln and several other noblemen in the suite of Lord Granville.... Some twenty servants in the imperial livery served the table which was furnished with truly royal profusion and costliness. The rarest dishes and the costliest wines in every variety were put before us. I need not say that in such a party everything was conducted with the highest decorum. No noise, no boisterous mirth, no loud talking, but a quiet cheerfulness and perfect ease characterized the whole entertainment.
“After dinner all arose, both ladies and gentlemen, and left the room together, not after the English fashion of the gentlemen allowing the ladies to retire and then seating themselves again by themselves to drink, etc. We retired for a moment to the great reception-hall for coffee, but, being fearful that we should be too late for the last steamer from Peterhoff to St. Petersburg, we were hurrying to get through and to leave, but the moment our fears had come to the knowledge of Lord Granville, he most kindly came to us and told us to feel at ease as his steam-yacht was lying off the quay to take them up to the city, and he was but too proud to have the opportunity of offering us a place on board; an offer which we, of course, accepted with thanks.