Memoirs of the Countess Potocka

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G. Richards, 1901 - Poland - 253 pages
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Page xxi - ... under notice. Tables of useful data and physical constants are printed at the end of the volume. Memoirs of the Countess Potocka. Edited by Casimir Stryienski. Authorised translation by Lionel Strachey. Pp. xxiv + 253- (New York : Doubleday and McClure Company, 1900.) THESE memoirs cover the period from the third partition of Poland to the incorporation of what was left of that country with the Russian Empire. They deal with episodes — more or less romantic and interesting — in Couritess...
Page 76 - So many portraits exist of this astonishing man, his history has been so much written about, all the stories told by the children of his old soldiers will live so long, that the generations to come will know him almost as well as ourselves. But what will be difficult to grasp is how deep and unexpected the impression was which those felt who saw him for the first time. As for me, I experienced a sort of stupor, a mute surprise, like that which seizes one at the aspect of any prodigy. It seemed to...
Page 234 - But it was not to be supposed that the imperial commisssary was perpetrating a bad joke. So the thing was done in that way, and as there were a number of people in the parterre who were suborned, and still more who were dupes, the shouts and the applause became frantic. But the boxes remained cold and silent! None of the persons who influenced opinion joined in the noisy demonstrations which burst forth from different places in the parterre.
Page xxii - Potocka's career, referring to journeys, Court balls, and Napoleon I., between 1812 and 1820. The authoress died, at the age of ninety-one, in Paris, where her brilliant salon held no insignificant place in the gilded pleasures of the Second Empire. There is little of interest to scientific readers in the memoirs ; but one or two incidents referring to astrologers are amusing. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions expressed by his correspondents.
Page 105 - Tilsit was certainly one of the most brilliant moments of the imperial reign. The King and Queen of Prussia came thither as suppliants.
Page 161 - no doubt you got home very late yesterday; we had hoped to see you, and your place remained empty!" Encouraged by this gracious reception, I tried to express the regret I had experienced in opening the letter which apprised me of everything I had lost by my absence. As he listened to me with a smile, I added that it would have been better if I had not come to Paris. He let me talk, was amused at my disappointment, and ended in consoling me by saying, with charming good-humour, that I ought to know...
Page 41 - As soon as the table waa cleared his valet put a mirror, a basin and brushes before him, and then and there the prince began his morning toilet over again, just as if he had been alone in his dressing room, while every one was waiting for him to finish to get up from the table. I could not suppress my astonishment and...
Page 197 - He had a quick and apt mind. With a touch more of the legitimate sovereign and a touch less of puerile vanity he might have passed for a distinguished prince ; but, being a spoilt child of Fortune, he used and abused her bounty. ... It was stated that every morning he took a bath of rum, and every evening a bath of milk. His servants, they said, put up the liquor in bottles, and sold it at a rebate. He...
Page 235 - In such a manner, then, were we apprised of an event of such apparently large importance, but which scarcely affected our precarious position, although we were promised a constitution founded on national representation. A representative government, like that which he had seen operating in England, was for the moment Alexander's hobby. He played at constitution-making as little girls play at being lady. Those near and devoted to him claimed that his intentions and projects tended to perform more than...
Page 226 - ... has always occupied my thoughts. Political circumstances have alone raised obstacles preventing the execution of my designs. These obstacles no longer exist. Two years of a terrible but glorious struggle have removed them. A little time, and with prudence, the Poles will recover their country and their name ; and I shall have the happiness of convincing them that, forgetting the past, he whom they consider their enemy will realize all their wishes. It will be the greatest satisfaction to me to...

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