"Not decent hands or feet on the table kolobrodit"
The compiler of this uncomplicated and at the same time practical recommendation was Peter I. On his initiative, a collection of Honest Mirror, or Indication for Everyday Life, collected from various authors, was published. The textbook prescribed to behave with dignity in the society of women, and also forbade men to dance in boots, because they "wear clothes for the female sex and cause a great ringing with ostrogs, besides, the husband is not so hasty in his boots than with his boots." The book was a "tracing paper" with similar European manuals. She was extremely popular with the Russian nobility and had several editions. Among the councils there were quite unexpected ones - for example, the young men were not recommended to lean out of the window with their whole body.
Assembly under Peter I
Peter I revolutionized the life of the court. It is not only a war with a beard and a new fashion for women, but also a dance culture. The assemblies now performed contrasses, anglosis and minuet. The evening traditionally opened the polonaise. Couples paraded in a manner consistent with their social position. A visit to the assemblies became a duty for the nobility, sometimes a burden. On the eve of the holiday the court was handed a "agenda". The first Russian emperor forced his subordinates to have fun, while at the same time depriving their favorite “Oblomian” habits - midday sleep. Instead, the nobles were offered other entertainment - horse riding and fencing.
The sovereign demanded that guests be offered unusual treats, although he himself preferred simple food. “The king likes to be constantly called to visit, sometimes he himself unexpectedly appears without an invitation, for what cases you should always have a certain amount of strong drinks in stock,” eyewitnesses said. Pay attention to the fact that Peter always walks in a simple dress. “He loves neither clothes, nor an excessive number of servants, a big opponent of useless luxury and idleness,” said the resident of Hannover, Friedrich Christian Weber. I must say that the sovereign's opinion about the clothes was not shared by the ladies of the court. Now they often appeared in public, sat with men and had to shine in the best dresses. Caring girls about their appearance led to a boom in the beauty industry. At the disposal of the fair sex were outfits for every taste, wigs ordinary and exotic, a variety of cosmetics.
Under Peter I, diplomatic ceremony was transformed. The luxurious atmosphere in which the ambassadors were received was supposed to emphasize the greatness of the sovereign. Together with the ambassador, up to a thousand people could come, in their free time they were shown city sights. Etiquette was written down to the smallest details. The envoy, granted an audience, made three bows and waited until the emperor addressed him with a question. He was explained in advance that the hand of the monarch should be held carefully when shaking. Superfluous zeal in this delicate matter was not encouraged. The delegation and the receiving party exchanged gifts. Usually handed over silverware; European monarchs from distant Russia were delivered bundles of sables to a fur coat. It was allowed to give everything except clothes. Diplomatic techniques turned out to be costly. So, in 1725, up to 25% of the state budget was spent on maintaining the yard and magnificent receptions. It should be noted that the reception of ambassadors was always decorated with luxury; so, Ivan the Terrible and Boris Godunov appeared at the reception in the Grand Dress. A few hours in heavy and uncomfortable attire turned into sheer torture. Together with this outfit the king put on up to 10 rings.
Arrival of the English Ambassador to Moscow
Foreigners were usually shown the “front” facade of the city, but not without embarrassment. So, in 1742, an assessor of the police department of the office Molchanov complained about the terrible dirt in the center of Moscow: “During the warmth of the foul-smelling spirit, it can be, many places are knocked out and then the passage is very inconvenient. And on the occasion of the marked street for the march of Her Imperial Majesty, it was repeatedly ordered to put Christmas trees on a regular basis and prepare sand and juniper. ”
The procedure for submitting to the emperor strictly complied with the protocol. Reasons for presentation were different - for example, obtaining a military rank or appointment to a high post. Visitors lined up in the hall, they in turn went to the emperor. It was forbidden to speak before his majesty spoke. When leaving the office it was impossible to turn my back to the sovereign.
The rules of etiquette tightened under Anna Ivanovna; to get to the empress, the petitioner had to overcome the “cordon” of the courtiers. Ladies were forbidden to come to the yard in the same outfit twice in a row. The magnificent palace life contrasted with the poverty that surrounded young Anna during her stay in Courland. Then the widowed duchess found herself in a looted castle; she had to huddle in an abandoned house next door and look for money to buy furniture. In her letters, Anna Ivanovna repeatedly complained about the plight.
Once on the throne, she put the palace life in a big way. Only the royal stable required up to 100 thousand rubles a year; for scientific research, meanwhile, allocated two times less. At the court of Anna Ivanovna new orders were introduced, the palace contained dwarfs and jesters. The courtiers whiled away the time for gambling and watching the performances of the Italian opera group. “The local court with the new reign is magnificent, although there is not a single shilling in the treasury. With a general lack of money, the courtesans enter into unpaid debts in order to make magnificent outfits for masquerades, ”a foreigner reported to his compatriots after serving in Russia.
Hunters to other people's fur coats
Under Elizabeth Petrovna, the imperial exit was ceremonially decorated - a procession in honor of church and state holidays. It was opened by court officials, at the end there were ladies and high state officials.
Maid of honor of the Highest Court
The Empress had a weakness for luxurious dresses and changed her outfit up to 5 times a day. Ladies at the court were forbidden to dress tastelessly. Elizaveta Petrovna also signed a decree "On non-arrival at the court to anyone wearing mourning clothes and mourning carriages." Favorite entertainment "fun Elizabeth" became masquerades. Costumes were distributed in advance, and once the men were ordered to appear at the palace in a woman's dress.
In accordance with etiquette, only parts of those present were allowed to dance. Guests arrived at the ball at the same time; in order to avoid traffic jams at the main entrance, they were transported to different entrances in accordance with the social situation. In the wardrobe, ordinary Life Guards of the Preobrazhensky Regiment worked. On the big balls there was confusion with fur coats and overcoats. They told about the huge number of lost fur products.
Etiquette was loyal to smoking. It was not forbidden to smoke at celebrations and, for example, in the theater. Sometimes the guest was offered to light a pipe with a piece of paper, that is, a large note. For the sake of the princes were given to light a hundred-dollar banknotes. Smoke was let out at the temples; only in 1747 a decree was adopted “On the use of tobacco in churches during the departure of service”.
Torture by Telemachid
In 1769, Catherine II made the first external loan in history - Russia received 3 million rubles from the Netherlands. The nobles got money, and noble families sought to luxuriously furnish their life. This tendency was also observed at court, although sometimes the empress tried to save money. For example, she forbade offering guests too expensive wine. But at the holiday of 1791, there was no question of saving; The Tauride Palace was lit by 140 thousand lamps and several tens of thousands of candles.
Catherine II softened the rules of etiquette. She did not tolerate pretense courtesy. The Empress forbade ornate expressions within the palace. The violator of this rule was to drink a glass of cold water or read the Telemachid page. The poem was made difficult for perception of the language, some passages seemed contemporaries incomprehensible and absurd. As the highest punishment, Catherine demanded to memorize 10 verses of "Telemachid". In addition, she drew up the playful Hermitage Etiquette. It contained the following clause: "Dear porcelain figurines and other things look at them with your eyes, and if you get them in your hands, do not put them in your pockets for forgetfulness." Free orders at the court led to the spread of gambling. The Empress issued a decree "On the prohibition of the guards to linger after changing the guard for games with the great princes."
At all times, not without violators of the rules of etiquette. So, Pushkin once came to the governor "in muslin, light, transparent pantaloons, without any underwear".
Dress Alexandra Feodorovna, 1900s
Ceremonies at the court lost their brilliance at the beginning of the 20th century. The ceremonial exits were minimized in part due to Alexandra Feodorovna’s health condition. The wife of Nicholas II could not be on her feet for a long time and could not bear the heat. In 1899, after the treatment of Alexandra Feodorovna in Germany, the emperor wrote to Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna: “... she has completely passed away from her calm life, thank God! If only they did not resume again in the winter from standing on different occasions and receptions. ” For health reasons, the number of official events in which the imperial couple participated was reduced to a minimum.