Page images
PDF
EPUB

sions, said to be the EfFects of Poifon from his Sister Sophia in his Youth, which made him slry of being seen, but of late they are much mended. He is

extremely curious and diligent, and has farther improved his Empire in ten Years, than any other ever was, in ten Times that Space; and which is more surprising 'without any Education, without any foreign Help, contrary to the Intention of his People, Clergy, and chief Ministers, but merely by the Strength of his own Genius, Observation and Exmaple: He has gradually pasted through all the Employments of the Army, from a Drummer to LieutenantGeneral; of the Fleet, from a common Seaman to Rear-Admiral; and in his Ship-yards, from an ordinary Carpenter to Master-Builder: Farther Particulars, though agreeable, would be too long for this Place: He is good-natured but very passionate, though by Degrees he has learnt to constrain himself, except the Heat of Wine is added to his natural Temper; he. is certainly ambitious,' though very modest in Appearance; luspicious ot other People; not over scrupulous in his Engagements, or Gratitude; violent in the first Heat, irresolute on longer Deliberation, not repacious, but near in hi* Temper and Expence to Extremity; he loves his Soldiers, understands Navigation, Ship-building, Fortification, and Fire-working: He speaks High-Dutch pretty readily, which is now growing the Court Language. He is very particular in his Way of Living; when at Mosco he never lodges in the Palace, but in a Htfle Wooden House built for him in the Suburbs as Colonel of his Guards; He has neither

Court, Court, Equipage, or other Distinction from a private Officer, except when he appears on publick solem

[graphic]

Tbe Court of the former Czars was ray numerous and magnificent, being rilled on soTbeC—rt. jcmn Occasions by the Bejars, or Privy Counsellors, with all the Officers of each Pricafle, by the Nobility and Gentry, wbo were obliged to Attendance by Titles of Honour and Distinction without any Salary; as the fcapjbeckt, or Carvers^ who are only two of the first Nobility, this Employment being reckoned very considerable: The Stdnicks, or Sewers, who are also used to carry any Message of Importance, to receive Embassadors, [{jrV. The Spalnicks, or Gentlemen of the Bedchamber; which two last Titles are in great Number, and descend from Father to Son, though generally confirmed by the Prince: And lastly, by the Go/h, or chief Merchants. On public Feasts or Ceremonies all these received rich Gowns of Brocade lined with Furs from the Treasury, which they returned as soon as the Appearance*was over} but the present Czar has quite abolished these Formalities, without settling any other Courtj some fay to spare the Expence during the War, or rather from his particular Temper which is averse to such Constraints. On any Ceremony he is attended by the Officers of his Army, and Nobility without any Distinction, which makes a tolerable Show.

Vol. H. O His His Favourite Alexander Asenzifoff is bom of very Mean P*rti«$; !W» *tk^dehtally met by The ^"^iitheCiyriHA^&fBetswheiiii Soyi-and for some uhludi^Anfwers^referred to serve one of his<5entlemeAj»ffrdntewhirik by Degrees the most powerful Subject in Ewop&i his Diligence and Dispatch haVehden bis chief Recommendation; and some have tfceiight)their Intimacy rather resembled tove- tha* Friendship, they having frequeift* JarS and constant Reconcilements, though some such Accident may once prove fatal, as has already been very near. His Parts are not extraordinary, his Education low, for the Czar would never let him learn to read or write, and his Advancement too quick to give him Time; for Observation or Experience. Under the Czar's Name he uses an absolute'Power in all Affairs; makes every. Interest give way to his private Passions; in which he often contradicts the Czar's Orders, and if it comes to be contested, generally carries the Point from) hisl (Master; he is not beloved by the common People, and much less'by the old Nobilitfand chief Officers, who have a ftxoag Cabal against :him, headed by the High>Admiral dpraxin, He was made Prince of the Empire in 1706; Duke of ingriat in 1707 ; and Felt Marshal in 1709. He is a violent Enemy to Felt Marshal Sberemetoff, and has often brought him to the Brink of Ruin. He has formed a Court after the Fashion of the little German Princes, of Chamberlains, Marshals, Secretaries, &c. most Foreigners. 1,

Monsieur

[graphic]

: Monsieur Golofkin is of an ancient Family, he was GrcatjChamberlaifl, and on the death of cttflctUtr Count Golowin was made Lord Chancellor »/ tu of the Empire, which great Employmenthe EmP'"' modestly declined for several Month?; he is a Gentleman of good Seftse, very devout, and has the general Character of a Man of Honour: No one ever complained of his Cruelty and Injustice, though some think he is not resolute enough in opposing that ©f others. He was made Count of the Roman Empire and of Rujsia about three Years ago. -Sll?3 1dsl .-' js' .y> if. pay nojc {!>«:»-: ■ssMbnfieur Scbapfirraff'a of no great Extraction* his Grand-Father was one of the Jews carried out 6f Poland in their former Wars,, chutd*. bis Father was baptized, and he profesies j the Ruffian Religion: 1705, he was private Secreitary to' Count Golowin, to whom bis Diligence and Knowledge of the High-Dutch Tongue made him absolutely necessary; on the Count's Death he was made Secretary to the Office of Embassies and. in 11I709V Vnce Chancellor1 with Count Golofktn; all foreign Affairs go necessarily through his Hands} fie has more Experience than natural Qualifications; he is generally esteemed fair enough in his Business, hut ceisrquick Preferments have given him an Air of Stiffness, and it is said his private Interest will not always let him distinguish the Merits of the. .Caafe", c; •> .r '■ ."aw1*-^ •!•*:! >- 1 .,.•()(. * :.

O ^ Prince

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »