The Empire of Russia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 601 pages of information about The Empire of Russia.

On the 29th of December, 1534, Ivan IV. went with a large party of his lords to the chase.  Instructed beforehand in the measures he was to adopt, he, quite unexpectedly to the triumvirate, summoned all his lords around him, and, assuming an imperious and threatening tone, declared that the triumvirate had abused his extreme youth, had trampled upon justice, and, as culprits, deserved to die.  In his great clemency, however, he decided to spare the lives of two, executing only one as an example to the nation.  The oldest of the three, Andre Schouisky, was immediately seized and handed over to the conductors of the hounds.  They set the dogs upon him, and he was speedily torn to pieces in the presence of the company, and his mangled remains were scattered over the plain.

The partisans of Schouisky, terrified by this deed, were afraid to utter a murmur.  The nobles generally were alarmed, for it was evident that though they had escaped the violence of the triumvirate, they had fallen into hands equally to be dreaded.  Confiscations and other acts of rigor rapidly succeeded, and the young prince, still too youthful to govern by the decision of his own mind, was quite under the control of the Glinskys, through whose council he had shaken off the triumvirate of the Schouiskies.  Ivan IV. now made the tour of his kingdom, but with no other object than the promotion of his personal gratification.  Most of his time was devoted to the excitements of the chase in the savage forests which spread over a large portion of his realms.  He was always surrounded by a brilliant staff of nobles, and the sufferings of the people were all concealed from his view.  The enormous expenses of his court were exacted from the people he visited, and his steps were followed by lamentations.

In the year 1546, Ivan attained the eighteenth year of his age, and made great preparations for his coronation.  The imposing rites were to be performed at Moscow.  On the 16th of January, the grand prince entered one of the saloons of his palaces while the nobles, the princes, the officers of the court, all richly dressed, were assembled in the ante-chamber.  The confessor of the grand prince, having received from Ivan IV. a crucifix, placed it upon a plate of gold with the crown and other regalia, and conveyed them to the church of the Assumption accompanied by the grand equerry, Glinsky, and other important personages of the court.  Soon after, the grand prince also repaired to the church.  He was preceded by an ecclesiastic holding in his hand a crucifix, and sprinkling to the right and to the left holy water upon the crowd.

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The Empire of Russia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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