As in Moscow noble balls - " were held; fairs of brides “? You Remember
at Pushkin “ The Time, is time in marriage for it “? And Tatyana Larina was only 17 years old. It is sat up in grooms then did not exist, marry the first time though in forty though in sixty years. And here it was necessary to marry to twenty, at most till twenty three years, is more senior - sat up in maids. If there is a rich dowry, then it is possible the groom and to povybirat, without looking back at age and the pasted status “ picky bride “. And if with a dowry it is not dense, then it is necessary to be content also with a mean zhenishk if only only under a wreath.
It is natural that desires of daughters were especially not asked, the care of the choice of the groom laid down on parents, relatives and matchmakers who in Russia were always enough. But so it was possible to find the groom only in the circle, and there was a wish - that bigger, not for nothing scandal-mongers told how girls without dowry thanks to beauty became countesses and princesses. If there were not enough means, then borrowed, celebrated to daughters ball dresses, maidens did not need to carry the benefit of a jewelry, and went to first-throned. Balls in the Moscow Nobility assemly in the 18th century became in Russia peculiar “ fair of brides “.
You can imagine - more than one thousand brides in the enormous hall? Even foreigners specially came to look at it. The colourful reminiscence of it was left by Philip Vigel: “ Not the only one Moscow nobility, but also noblemen of all almost Velikorossiysky provinces were flown down here to amuse wives and daughters. A hall in three tiers, all white, all in columns, from bright lighting everything, as on fire, burning, thousands of crowding visitors in the best dresses, the choruses of music rattling in it. Not one small vanity to spend evenings with the nobility attracted them in Meeting. There is no almost Russian family in which there would be no half-dozen of daughters: perhaps either Dunyushka, or Parasha will attract to some good person! But if the good person is unfamiliar to none of acquaintances how to be? And on it there is means. In old times there was in Moscow the whole estate of matchmakers, they were told summer of brides, inventories given and marriage conditions; to them it was possible to be addressed directly, and they finished speaking to parents all that they in Meeting could not state to the maiden only one views of the groom. Let others laugh, and in simplicity of these antiquated customs I see something touching “.
To the potential groom to see on a ball the beautiful girl - still a problem floor. The stranger could not invite the girl to dance, suddenly he is an idler some or does not possess the due status and will compromise her with it. By way of exception it was allowed only to officers, the uniform testified to their situation in society. The others had to be in advance presented to parents of the girl and her. Any mutual friend to whom parents trusted could make it. As a last resort, the young man could be presented and the, but similar act was considered to much binding as showed obvious interest in the girl. At private balls representation of the guest was undertaken by the host or his son.
Only after observance of all formalities the young man could approach the girl and with bow to take an interest: “ For what dance with you I can hope? “. It is natural that there were several versions of the address, but the essence from it did not change. Usually on a ball the girl could have three subjects in hands: a fan, a small bouquet of flowers and the note book called “ agent “ which served for records of dances. The order of dances on a ball was in advance brought in the agent, it was necessary to open her and to tell the young man: “ At me the waltz is free, I offer it to you “. Refusal at unoccupied dance was considered as indecent. As a last resort, it was possible to refuse before dance, having referred to weariness or something else, but at the same time it was necessary to suggest the young man to take the place near himself that during this dance it could entertain the lady conversation. It many girls used as during dance it is impossible to talk, and the etiquette did not allow to communicate with the young man alone.
It was possible to talk on a ball and without words, the fan was for this purpose used. There was the whole system of signs: the provision of a fan, the various movements by it and touches to parts of a body, quantity of open petals, etc. A small otmakhivaniye from myself an open fan - I am not located to flirtation today; one open petal - I can offer only friendship; closing of a fan - you are not interesting to me; a look over the open fan covering a sex of the person - you interested me; to put a half-closed fan the left hand to the right cheek - I agree, and the right hand to the left cheek - flat refusal. Value of signs could change, but, you see, a certain logic in them was.
Often the girl on a ball had the small bouquet of flowers reminding the reduced modern bridal bouquet in hands. Creation of such bouquets was the whole science. The color scale and names of flowers could tell much, and change of provision of a bouquet in hands allowed to conduct “ conversation “ approximately the same as fan. Sometimes the bouquet became absolutely small and was kidding to a dress. If the bouquet was in hands, then at the direct invitation to dance it was left on a chair or given to not dancing relative.
In a ballroom of the girl, in advance engaged on dances, sat or stood near mother and relatives. While there were dances, it was not necessary to depart from this place that gentlemen had not to search for them on the hall. In breaks between dances it was possible to approach to chat to girlfriends, acquaintances, relatives. The girl could not walk on the hall alone, and together with the young man - only after engagement.
At house balls customs were more free as most of attendees well knew each other. Here girls could already not sit near mothers, and settle down with girlfriends where it is more convenient to them. Also communication with young men if only not alone was not forbidden.
It is natural that the girl who arrived to a ball had to be able to dance. To men it was simpler, they to dances are not invited. Training in dances was business not cheap and long in those days. In rich families invited teachers home. As a rule, lessons of dances were conducted not individually, and with groups of children, and of both sexes. Otherwise it would be simply impossible to master pair dances. Also holding children`s balls at which all rituals, including records of dances in the agent were observed practiced. By the way, at house balls children from 12 - 13 years could dance together with adults, it was welcomed. Sometimes even at court balls the part of couples dancing was made by children. It is natural that in educational institutions ballroom dances were an obligatory subject. So to age when it was possible to leave on official balls, young noblemen, as a rule, were able to dance well.
The nobility in Russia was not uniform, and consisted of hereditary and personal noblemen. Children of the last noblemen were not and carried the status Auber - officer children (regardless whether the father an officer was). Young people from such families could go on noble balls, and could marry off girls not only for hereditary, but also to the titled noblemen, in society made light of it and did not consider as special misalliance. And here from such family the hereditary noblewoman could not marry the young man. In it there was one of the reasons of preliminary representation of the young man for the girl`s parents.
Once in the hall of Nobility assemly “ between two aunts, at colons, it is not noticed by anybody “ there was Tatyana Larina. It seemed to it that “ it is not noticed “. To whom it is necessary - saw. Exactly here Pushkin showed the heroine to her future husband. He made it not incidentally. Quite often to the Moscow balls there came for brides also aged people including from St. Petersburg. The beauty the wife often became for the husband “ admission “ to the yard. Not for nothing foreigners unanimously declared that there are so much beauties as at the Russian imperial yard, they did not see anywhere. Here is how Frenchwoman Vizhe - Lebren described one of court balls of times of Catherine II: “ At that time the Russian yard could boast of such number of charming women that balls at the empress were truly a delightful show “.
Balls long time were in Russia an integral part of noble life. Presently try to revive tradition of balls, and in Moscow last year even carried out “ fair of brides “. It is curious what from all this will turn out?