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PE T E R I. CZAR of MUSCOVY.
Β Ο Ο Κ 1.,
The CONTENT S.
den Death ; of which the Czar orders an Ac-
HE Execution of so many consider
able Persons at Moscow, on Account of T
the Conspiracy of the Czarewitz, made
most People imagine that the whole Business was finished, and that the Grand Inquisition would be set aside ; but it soon appeared, VOL. III.
to the great Astonishment of every Body, that all the Tortures made use of in that City, had not been sufficient to discover the whole Truth of that Affair, nor would they have been able to draw more Light from the remaining Prisoners, had not the Mystery been unravelled by intercepted Letters, which were found sewed up in the Cloaths of certain Persons. The Czar therefore faw himself neceflitated to establish a fecond High-Court of Justice, and to this End to convoke the chief of the Russian Clergy with al possible Speed to Petersburgh. They being all arrived in June, and the Czar having besides established another Court consisting of secular Persons, viz. the Ministers, Senators, Governors, Generals, and the superior Officers of his Guards, his Majesty, for eight several Days, lay during fome Hours on his Knees, imploring God, with Abundance of Tears, to inipire him with such Thoughts as the Honour of his holy Name, and the Welfare of the Russian Nation required: And so, on the 25th of June 1718, the Sessions of this Criminal Court were opened in the Hall of the Senate, whither his Czarish Majesty repaired, with the whole Body of the Clergy, and the Secular Judges, after first having caused solemn Service to be performed in the Church of the Holy Ghost, to implore God's Amistance in this weighty Affair. The whole Affembly having taken their respective Places at several Tables, the Doors and Windows were set open in order to give free Admittance to all Sorts of Persons. Upon this the Czarewitz was brought into Court, under the Guard of four Under-Officers; and upon his Appearance, his Majesty made a brief De
Peter I. Czar of Muscovy. 3 claration of the Causes, why he had called 1718. them together, and ordered the following Writings to be publickly read.
HOʻthe Flight of the Czarewitz Alexis, and
a Part of his Crimes be already known to the whole World, by the Manifesto which was published of them at Moscow, on the Third of February of the present Year 1718, yet there are daily discovered such unexpected and surprizing Attempts, as far surpass what has been already published; and shew with what Baseness and Villany the Prince endeavoured to impose upon his Sovereign and Father, what grievous Perjuries he committed against God, with the imaginary Illness he feigned, to prevent an Inquiry into his ill Practices, and the Discovery of his pernicious Intrigues. All this shall be laid open with Perspicuity and Order, by giving a full Account of the Matter from its first Beginning.
The Czarewitz Alexis had hardly attained to the Age of Reason, before his Czarian Majesty, his Father, employed all Sorts of Means to form his Mind for managing the Affairs of the Government, and to instruct him in the Art of War, as is related in the Manifesto of Moscow. The same Cares were continued for several Years, without any Benefit, or Progress. His Majesty expected his Amendment from Day to Day, by a Change of Conduct, and an Alteration of Manners; but observing the Prince opposed himself to all his good Designs, he declared to him his Intentions by Writing, and demanded of him his last Resolution. Thus in the Year 1715, on the 11th of Oetober, upon
his Return from the Funeral of the Princefs of the Crown, espoused to the Czarewitz, his Czarian Majesty went in Person to the Prince, and
gave him the following Writing.
A DECLARATION to my Son.
OU cannot be ignorant of what all the
World is acquainted with, under how severe an Oppression the People groaned from the Swedish Yoke, before the Beginning of the prefent War.
By the Usurpation of so man maritime Places, which were necessary to our State, they cut us off from all Cominerce with the rest of the World, and we saw with Regret, that they had also cast a Veil before the Eyes of the Clearest-sighted. You know very well what Pains it has cost us in the Beginning of this War, (in which God alone has led us, as it were by the Hand, and whose Providence still conducts us) to gain Experience, and oppose ourselves to the Advantages, which our irreconcileable Enemies had gained over us.
We submitted to this Trial with Resignation to the Will of God; not doubting but that it was he who laid it upon us, till he had brought us into a good way, and we were accounted worthy to prove by Experience, that the same Enemy before whom we have formerly trembled, could also tremble in his Turn, and perhaps with a severer Terror. These are the Advantages which, next to the Divine Assistance, we owe to our Labours, and the Labours of our faithful and affectionate Children, our Subjects of Russia.
But whilft I reflect on the Prosperity which God has heaped upon our Country, if I turn my Eyes upon the succeeding Generation, my Heart is more fill'd with Grief at the future Prospect, than I enjoy Satisfaction for the past Blessing, whilft I observe you, my Son, to reject all the Means that may render you capable of governing well upon my Decease. I charge your Incapacity upon your Want of Inclination, as you cannot excuse yourself by any Defect in your Understanding, or Strength, as tho' God had not favoured you with sufficient Abilities. For tho' you are not of the most robust Complexion in the World, yet you cannot complain of a weak Disposition.
To talk of the Exercises of the War is bur. thensome to you, tho’ it is by them we have emerged from our former Obscurity, and made ourselves known and esteemed by all the Nations around us.
I would not advise you to make War without a lawful Cause; all that I ask of you is to apply yourself to learn the Art of War. For it is impossible to govern well without knowing the Rules of Military Discipline, tho' it should be no otherwise useful than in the Defence of our Country.
I could lay before your Eyes a great Number of Examples, to confirm you in the Truth of what I say; but I shall only mention to you the Greeks, with whom we are united in the Profession of the same Faith. From whence came the Fall of their Empire, unless from the Neglect of Arms? It was Idleness and Indolence which weakened them, and made them