Six Years at the Russian Court

Source: M. Eagar, Six Years at the Russian Court (New York: Charles L. Bowman, 1906), pp. 87-88

Text: Once there was a cinematograph exhibition for the children and some friends. One picture showed two little girls playing in a garden, each with a table before her covered with toys. Suddenly the bigger girl snatched a toy from the little one who, however, held on to it and refused to give it up. Foiled in her attempts, the elder seized a spoon and pounded the little one with it, who quickly relinquished the toy and began to cry. Tatiana wept to see the poor little one so ill-treated, but Olga was very quiet. After the exhibition was over she said, “I can’t think that we saw the whole of that picture.” I said I hoped the end of it was that the naughty big sister was well punished, adding that I thought we had seen quite enough as I had no wish to see anything more of such a naughty girl. Olga then said, “I am sure that the lamb belonged at first to the big sister, and she was kind and lent it to her sister; then she wanted it back, and the little sister would not give it up, so she had to beat her.”

Comments: Margaretta Eagar (1863-1936) was an Irish governess who from 1898-1904 cared for the four daughters of the Emperor and Empress of Russia: Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. The screening appears to have taken place at the Russian royal residence at Tsarskoye Selo, near St Petersburg, and dates from the early 1900s. I have not been able to identify the film.

Links: Copy at Hathi Trust

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