Rigitza is also a pretty little place: there is hero a ruined castle of long, long ago. Country now not so much rolling as near Dunaburg, but still by no means flat: it is fertile and well cultivated. Ostroff is another handsome little place: the road here crosses the river on a very fine suspension-bridge; and on an island in the river is a very extensive ruined castle, perhaps of some of the Teutonic knights. Pscov, near which we passed, seems to be especially blessed with churches, the gilded domes of which shone from afar. The country near here, and, in fact, from here to St. Petersburg, is low and level, the soil generally good,--sometimes poor, and sometimes very fertile. Pscov is the capital of a province, and at the head of a large lake. Near Ploosa is a swampy district of considerable extent, and many large lakes. Nothing of very great interest until one reaches Gatchina, where is the hunting-palace of the Emperor: it seems to be a very grand establishment. From there to this city the country is very flat, the soil not very good, but settlements increasing as you draw near. The general appearance of the portion of Russia I have seen is much superior to Chat of Poland; and I like the appearance of the people very much. * * * * * * * This is truly a most magnificent city,--wide streets, fine private houses, magnificent public buildings. Thus far I have, of course, merely had a glance at the exterior of things, and will not pretend to describe any thing, more than to say that it fully equals my expectations. We are very comfortably fixed at the Hotel de Russie,--good rooms, good meals, plenty of ice, &c. The road from Warsaw here is truly a magnificent one,--especially the portion of it in Poland. It is all macadamized; and they are now hard at work improving the Russian part, so that in a couple of months it will be throughout as fine a road, as any in the world. Think of
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