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sufficiently explain the nature and abuses of an arrangement so degrading and odious tomerit, and detrimental to the service. It appears also injudicious to send a young marine cadet to Eng. land to learn navigation, upon a salary of from one hundred and eighty to two hundred pounds per annum, or perhaps to send him at all. Struck with new customs and fashions, he neglects his pursuits, establishes habits of expence, and returns with dissatisfaction to his country upon a pay of twenty-five pounds per annum.

There are several English officers in the service of the Emperor." The late Sovereign made overtures to the celebrated Paul Jones to take the command of one of his ships; as soon as it was known to the British officers, they immediately sent in their resignation. The intermixture of so many English subjects in the naval and commercial departments of Russia, so essential to their advancement, and consequently to the general interests of the empire, must ever preserve a favourable disposition in that country toward the British nation.

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CHAP. XIII.

A CAUTION-THE HOUSE OF PETER THE GREAT-SINGULAR ANEC

DOTE-POLICE-A TRAVELLER'S DUTY-AN EXTRAORDINARY

PURGATION-A BRITISH COURT OF CRIMINAL LAW-NOISY BELLS

-FRUITERER-ICE-THE SORROWFUL MUSICIAN-DROLLERY AND

DRUNKENNESS-IMPERIAL THEATRE-NORTHERN GRANDEES.

I was much inconvenienced by shipping a trunk containing books and wearing apparel at Stockholm for Petersburg, which, I was assured would be there as soon as I should, yet it never arrived till just before my departure. Let me recommend every traveller to avoid this mode of conveyance, not merely for the uncertainty which always attends a Swedish bye-boat during such a voyage, but on account of the difficulty of obtaining possession of property so sent after it reaches the custom-house at Petersburg. If it should contain books, they must be submitted to a censor, and the owner must pay a duty of thirty pounds per cent. ad valorem upon the things. Whilst I was at Petersburg, a book called the Secret Memoirs of the Court of Petersburg was prohibited. The author was a French emigrant, and had been cherished by that court whose secret

SINGULAR ANECDOTE.

277

intrigues he had ungratefully exaggerated to the world. This man, a short time since, had the audacity to request permission of the Emperor to return to Petersburg, which he had quitted some time before. The Emperor, with his accustomed sound sense and liberality, sent him word, That his domi“ nions were open to every body, but he was not so much his

enemy as to recommend his entering them.”

The house, or rather cottage, in which Peter the Great resided during the foundation of Petersburg, a city which is the growth of little more than a century, stands on the left of the Emperor's bridge in the road to the fortress. This little building, so sacred to the Russians, was covered over with a brick building of arcades by the late Empress, to protect and support it against the

against the ravages of time. The rooms are three, all upon the ground floor, and very low : it was in this very cottage that a whimsical scene occurred whilst the fortress was building. A Dutch skipper, hearing that Petersburg was building, and that the Emperor had a great passion for ships and commerce, resolved to try his good fortune there, and accordingly arrived with the first merchant vessel that ever sailed upon the Neva, and was the bearer of a letter of introduction to the captain of the port from a friend of his in Holland, requesting him to use his interest to procure a freight for him. Peter the Great was working like a common labourer in the Admiralty as the galliot passed, and saluted with

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two or three small guns. The Emperor was uncommonly delighted, and having been informed of the Dutchman's business, he resolved to have some frolic with him, and accordingly commanded the port captain to see the skipper, as soon as he landed, and direct him to the Emperor, as a merchant just settled there, whom he intended to personate; the better to carry on the joke, Peter repaired to this cottage with his Empress, who, to humour the plan, dressed herself in a plain bourgeois habit, such as suited the wife of a merchant. The Dutchman was introduced to the Emperor, who received him with great kindness, and they sat and ate bread and cheese, and smoked together for some time, during which the Dutchman's eye examined the room, and began to think that no one who lived in so mean a place, could be of any service to him: presently the Empress entered, when the skipper addressed her, by observing that he had brought her a cheese, a much better one than she had ever tasted, for which, affecting an awkward manner, she thanked him. Being much pleased with her appearance, he took from his coat a piece of linen, and begged her acceptance of it for shifts. “ Oh!” ex claimed the Emperor, taking the pipe from his mouth, “ Kate, you

will now be as fine and as proud as an empress! there, you are a lucky woman, you never had such shifts as you “ will now have, in your life before.” This was followed by the stranger begging to have a kiss, which she coyly indulged him in. At this moment Prince Menzikof, the favourite and

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“ and so may

minister of Peter the Great, who represented him upon matters of state, entered with all his orders, and stood before the Emperor uncovered. The skipper began to stare with amazement, whilst Peter, by winking and making private signs, induced the Prince immediately to retire. The astonished Dutchman said, “Why you appear to have great ac

quaintance here?” “ Yes," replied Peter, you,

if you stay here but ten days; there are plenty “ of such needy noblemen as the one you saw, they are always in debt, and very glad to borrow

money

of

any one, " and they have even found out me; but, sir, beware of “ these fellows, resist their importunity, however flattering, “ and do not be dazzled by their stars and garters, and such

trumpery." This explanatory advice put the stranger a little more at his ease, who drank and smoked on very cheerfully, and made his bargain with the Imperial Merchant for a cargo; just as he had settled this point to his wish, the officer of the guard, which had been changed, entered to receive his orders, and stood with profound respect uncovered, and before Peter could stop him, addressed him by the title of Imperial Majesty. The Dutchman sprang from his chair, fell on his knees before the Emperor and Empress, and implored forgiveness for the liberties he had been taking. joyed the scene, and laughing heartily, raised

up the terrified suppliant, and made him kiss the Empress's hand, presented him with fifteen hundred rubles, gave him a freight, and or

Peter en

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