The calm which invariably precedes the storm prevailed at the palace yesterday, and but little work was done. The guards lounged around the galleries and ante-chambers in a listless manner, occasionally gathering into knots, listening to the jovial yarns of Colonel Jack Wharton, Chief Equerry in waiting to His Majesty, or exciting stories of the chase as related by Billy Conner, Lord Groom of the Royal Stables. During the entire morning His Majesty remained in seclusion, only granting an audience to a deputation of loyal ladies, who desired some information concerning the royal colors, with a view to using them in the decoration of Tuesday. His Majesty received them graciously, and summoned Garter King-at-Arms, to his presence. The latter explained that the Royal colors were Green, Gold and Purple, regretting that the subjugation of the State had been too recent to prepare a Royal Standard, but that upon all His Majesty's future fete days it would invariably be displayed. An hour was subsequently spent in completing additional arrangements for the reception of the Grand Duke, His Majesty, who of course understands all languages, inditing the following autograph letter, to be handed to his Royal cousin upon arrival. We give it in the vernacular:
His Royalovitch Highnessoff (sic) the King of the Carnival, Offcia Ilywelc, omest one worle ansh isroy alcous inth emostp uiss ant Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff: andwi llh o ldaspe ciala udie ncef orh Isrece pti on ataue nse ton Mardi Gras. Rex.
In the evening a grand State banquet was given. Among the guests attending which were to be found Gen. H. S. McComb, Gen. Beauregard, Col. Sam Boyd, Norbert Trepagnier, P. O. Hebert, Samuel Smith, J. W. Burbridge, I. K Marks, C. A. Whitney, and C. H. Slocomb, Esquires. The approaching festivities were here discussed at length with the viands and wines until 9 o'clock, when his Majesty, attended by his Lords in waiting and Gentlemen of the Bed Chamber retired, leaving the guests to their own enjoyment. His Majesty was subsequently read to sleep by one of the under Secretaries, but with some difficulties. The proceedings of the City Council usually productive of somnolency being found upon this occasion ineflectual, through their usual brevity of late ; resort was then had to the minutes of the Academy of Natural Sciences, under the soothing influence of which nature shortly succumbed.
|The decorations were very extensive. Canal, Camp, St. diaries, Royal, Esplanade, Rampart nnd other streets, containing many houses and stores, where Chinese lanterns, festoons and flowers were combined with charming effect. From many of our public buildings and leading stores floated the handsome flag of the King of the Carnival. The procession was formed at two o'clock, the hour designated in the proclamation, for if there is one thing his Majesty admires more than another, it is promptness. The excitement was very great, and the streets through which the King was to pass were densely packed with eager lookers-on.|
|The King, accompanied by the Earl Marshal of the Empire, splendidly costumed, soon gathered his hosts and the procession took up the line of march. Salutes were fired by the Royal Battery, under command of the gallant Col. Squires.|
|In the line appeared the Boeuf Gras, a splendid animal, of milk white color. The yeomanry, the pack, maskers in carriages, advertising vans, knights, harlequins and clowns on horseback, the whole being followed by the "unattached," a jolly, motley crowd, who had turned out "for fun," and were having it.
|At four o'clock the Grand Duke Alexis, then in the city, accompanied by the Mayor and several gentlemen of his suite, arrived at the City Hall, and shortly after the King of the Carnival and his followers arrived.
Here the imposing ceremony of surrendering the keys of the city was performed, the Mayor presenting them with a well-timed speech, proclaiming his aftection and loyalty, to which his Majesty replied with becoming dignity and grace.
The procession then moved on and completed the prescribed line of march. Although the display has been eclipsed by subsequent efforts of our gracious Sovereign, it was acknowledged to have been the finest turnout ever seen in our city up to that time.