to Mr. Fish.
St. Petersburg, July 18, 1874. (Received August 6.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that, after several days’ delay and postponement, I have this day been accorded an audience by His Imperial Majesty at Zarsköe Selo.[Page 841]
According to previous notification a carriage was in waiting for me at the station; apartments at the palace were placed at my disposal, and a handsome breakfast and lunch were provided.
The interview took place in the Emperor’s private cabinet, and I was informed by the master of ceremonies that the Emperor received me there as a token of intimacy and friendship, the Japanese minister having been formally received in the hall of ceremonies.
The Emperor said that he regretted to hear of my departure from Russia after so brief a residence, as we were just beginning to get acquainted; but that he noticed I had been called to a cabinet-office as Postmaster-General, which he should judge, in a country of so great an extent as ours, would be a very important and laborious position.
In reply, I said that such was the case; and that the President, in communicating to me this appointment, begged me to take leave of His Imperial Majesty at the earliest possible moment, and that my letters of recall would be presented by the charge d’affaires after my departure. I £aid also that I was directed to assure him of the continued friendship of the United States for Russia, and that I carried with me the most pleasant recollection of my stay here.
The Emperor proceeded to say that he trusted I had enjoyed my residence in Russia; that his friendship for the United States was always the same; and that ab all times it gave him pleasure to meet the American representatives.
After some unimportant conversation His Imperial Majesty shook hands and bade me good-by, still talking; and partly called me back to say that he hoped at some future time to have the pleasure of seeing me again as a representative at his court. After this he again shook hands and bade me good-by once more, wishing me bon voyage.
Knowing that this interview would occupy the entire day, I had previously taken leave of Mr. De Westmann at the foreign office, when, in accordance with instructions, I presented Mr. Schuyler as charge d’affaires after to-day. I have now handed over to him the archives of the legation.
I have, &c,