Secret Memoirs of the Court of Petersburg: Particularly Towards the End of the Reign of Catharine II and the Commencement of that of Paul I ..., Volume 3

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T. Rawle, 1802 - 321 pages
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Page 45 - ... none were so little as the great. Without knowledge, without penetration, without pride, without probity, they could not even boast that false honour which is to loyalty what hypocrisy is to virtue. Unfeeling as bashaws, rapacious as tax-gatherers, pilfering as...
Page 138 - It must also be allowed that he is exempt from many of the vices which disgraced Peter; temperance and regularity of manners are prominent features of his character ; features the more commendable, as they are rarely to be found in a Russian autocrat. To the same cause — education, and his knowledge of the language and character of the nation — is it owing that he differs from his father in other valuable qualities. If he has the wisdom to profit by these advantages, he will not fall into the...
Page 108 - They found this wretched young man in a dungeon, the window of which admitted but a faint gleam of day, the light being intercepted by piles of wood heaped up in the court. He was in a very dirty white jacket, with a pair of old shoes on his feet. His hair was very light, and cut short like that of a Russian slave. He was tolerably well made, and his complexion had a paleness which showed that the sun had never shone on his face. He was then upwards of twenty, and had been confined ever since he...
Page 150 - Can it be believed, that a prince of feventeen, lively and vigorous, would; on the morning after his marriage to a young and beautiful woman, leave his bride at five o'clock to...
Page 47 - With respect to the government of Catherine, it was as mild and moderate within the immediate circle of her influence as it was arbitrary and terrible at a distance. Whoever, directly or indirectly, enjoyed the protection of the favourite, exercised, wherever he was situated, the most undisguised tyranny. He insulted bis superiors, trampled on his inferiors, and violated justice, order, and the ukases,^ with impunity.
Page 44 - ... never so easy. Whoever received a sum of money from the Crown for any undertaking, had the impudence to retain half, and afterwards complained of its insufficiency, for the purpose of obtaining more; and either an additional sum was granted, or the enterprise abandoned. The great plunderers even divided the booty of the little ones, and thus became accomplices in their thefts. A minister knew almost to a...
Page 111 - Some of the old captains of the first families in the kingdom found themselves under the command of officers of no birth, who but a few years before had left their companies, as sergeants or corporals, to enter into the battalions of the grand-duke.
Page 118 - Supposing it to be a robbery, he leaped out of his sledge, knocked down the soldier, and called the guard. Instead of the guard arrived an officer, who overpowered and bound him; but as they were carrying him before the police, he was fortunate enough to meet the coach of the English minister, who was going to Court, and claimed his protection. Sir...
Page 138 - That singularities which he has since contracted are to be ascribed rather to the modes of life which he has, in a manner, been obliged to adopt, than to the natural faults of his disposition. It must also be allowed that he is exempt from many of the vices which disgraced Peter; temperance and regularity of manners are prominent features of his character ; features the more commendable, as they are rarely to be found in a Russian autocrat.
Page 45 - Every one, from the peculiar favourite to the lowest in employ, considered the property of the State as a harvest to be reaped, and grasped at it with as much avidity as the populace at an ox given up to be devoured. The Orlovs, as well as Potemkin and Panin, filled their places with a degree of dignity.

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