Milizia gives the following interesting account of the removal of the immense mass of granite, which forms the pedestal or base of the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, from the bogs of the Neva to St. Petersburg, a distance of about fourteen miles. He also cites it as an instance of extraordinary ingenuity and skill in mechanics. It is, however, a much easier task to move a ponderous mass of rough, unhewn rock, than a brittle obelisk, an hundred feet or so in length, requiring the greatest care to preserve it from injury. It is also worthy of mention, that in widening streets in New York, it is no uncommon thing to see a three-story brick house set back ten or fifteen feet, and even moved across the street, and raised an extra story into the bargain—the story being added to the bottom instead of the top of the building. Thus the large free stone and brick school-house in the First Ward, an edifice of four lofty stories, 50 by 70 feet, and basement walls 2½ feet thick, has been raised six feet, to make it correspond with the new grade in the lower part of Greenwich-street. It is also no uncommon thing to see a ship of a thousand tons, with her cargo on board, raised out of the water at the Hydraulic Dock, to stop a leak, or make some unexpected but necessary repairs.

"In 1769, the Count Marino Carburi, of Cephalonia, moved a mass of granite, weighing three million pounds, to St. Petersburg, to serve as a base for the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, to be erected in the square of that city, after the design of M. Falconet, who discarded the common mode of placing an equestrian statue on a pedestal, where, properly speaking, it never could be; and suggested a rock, on which the hero was to have the appearance of galloping, but suddenly be arrested at the sight of an enormous serpent, which, with other obstacles, he overcomes for the happiness of the Muscovites. None but a Catherine II., who so gloriously accomplished all the great ideas of that hero, could have brought to perfection this extraordinary one of the artist. An immense mass was accidentally found buried 15 feet in a bog, four miles and a half from the river Neva and fourteen from St. Petersburg. It was also casually that Carburi was at the city to undertake the removal of it. Nature alone sometimes forms a mechanic, as she does a sovereign, a general, a painter, a philosopher. The expense of this removal was only 70,000 rubles and the materials left after the operation were worth two-thirds of that sum. The obstacles surmounted do honor to the human understanding. The rock was 37 feet long, 22 high, and 21 broad, in the form of a parallelopipedon. It was cleft by a blast, the middle part taken away, and in the cavity was constructed a forge for the wants of the journey. Carburi did not use cylindrical rollers for his undertaking, these causing an attrition sufficient to break the strongest cables. Instead of rollers he used balls composed of brass, tin, and calamina, which rolled with their burden under a species of boat 180 feet long, and 66 wide. This extraordinary spectacle was witnessed by the whole court, and by Prince Henry of Prussia, a branch from the great Frederick. Two drums at the top sounded the march; forty stone-cutters were continually at work on the mass during the journey, to give it the proposed form—a singularly ingenious idea. The forge was always at work: a number of other men were also in attendance to keep the balls at proper distances, of which there were thirty, of the diameter of five inches. The mountain was moved by four windlasses, and sometimes by two; each required thirty-two men: it was raised and lowered by screws, to remove the balls and put them on the other side. When the road was even, the machine moved 60 feet in the hour. The mechanic, although continually ill from the dampness of the air, was still indefatigable in regulating the arrangements; and in six weeks the whole arrived at the river. It was embarked, and safely landed. Carburi then placed the mass in the square of St. Peter's, to the honor of Peter, Falconet, Carburi, and of Catherine, who may always, from her actions, be classed among illustrious men. It is to be observed, that in this operation the moss and straw that was placed underneath the rock, became by compression so compact, that it almost equalled in hardness the ball of a musket. Similar mechanical operations of the ancients have been wonderfully exaggerated by their poets."