Eleanor Marx Aveling 1897

The Other Side of the Picture.

Source: Justice, 6 June 1896, p.5;
CopyLeft: this text is free of copyright restrictions;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford;

The following letter was sent to the Editor of the Daily Chronicle.

Sir, – Your Special Correspondent at Moscow is so carried away by enthusiasm and his own eloquence, he is so ‘dazzled’ by diamonds like incandescent lamps, vernal-blue emeralds, turquoises large as canary eggs, tons of silver – not to mention curtains in ‘hideous magenta’ and ‘brassy lace,’ that he has forgotten to complete what you call his ‘ touching picture ‘ of the coronation of the Czar. I venture to supply his omission. Though the following details may not ‘bring tears into our eyes,’ they throw valuable light upon the love and devotion of the Russian people for the Imperial family, and upon the enthusiasm of what your correspondent rather unkindly calls a “packed mass of moujiks.”

Here are the police regulations as printed in the Moscow press, and as pasted on the walls of the city. The glare of the incandescent diamonds no doubt prevented your correspondent from reading them: –

“I. – The public shall not have access to the houses and. buildings along the route taken by the Imperial procession on the 9/21 May, from the Triumphal Arch to the Kremlin, except on presenting special cards distributed by members of a special Commission.

“II. – The list of persons to be present in the said houses on the day of the entry of the procession must be sent in three duplicate copies to the members of the Commission not later than the 20th April (May 2nd).

“III. – Cards of admission to houses are personal, and may only be used by the person named.

“IV. – Lists of admissions to the said houses must be made by the landlords themselves, and on their own responsibility.

“V. – Landlords or managers of houses are ordered

“(a) To keep the outer doors closed from midnight, 8/20 May.

“(b) To hand over the key to the concierge placed by the street door.

“(c) To allow absolutely no one but persons living in the house or furnished with admission cards to enter; Other persons, even in urgent cases, shall only be admitted by special permission of the police.

“(d) To see that during the whole duration of the festivities the concierges shall wear their insignia (a brass badge).

“(e) To keep all doors on ground floor opening upon the street closed, as well as all windows in basements or first floors through which access into the houses is possible.

“(f) To allow only persons with cards to pass.

“VI. – It is forbidden to put up any sort of construction for spectators in doorways of yards.

“VII – Landlords and managers of houses are ordered on their personal responsibility to forbid all access to roofs or attics, and to this end, after a special visit from a member of the Commission, entrances to attics shall be closed and sealed; all escape staircases (used in the event of fire) shall be blocked with planks to the height determined upon by the member of the Commission.

“VIII – Windows may be opened, and persons may go out upon balconies giving on Tverskaia Street; the number persons to be admitted shall be decided by the member of the Commission.”

And as these arrangements did not seem sufficient for keeping the enthusiasm of the Russian people for their Czar within due bounds, seventeen thousand persons, inhabitants of Moscow, were expelled from the city for the whole period of the ‘festivities’ – yours faithfully,

“ Eleanor Marx Aveling.”