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olden race, erected, to a deceased husband, a stupendous cenotaph, that has given his name to grand funeral monuments, in most of the cultivated languages. Another, Artemisia of Caria, the intrepid ally of Xerxes, perished by the lover's leap, at the promontory Leucas, driven to despair by the indifference of a native of Abydos. Catherine built in the gardens of her palace of Czarakozelo, a superb mausoleum to the memory of Lan- skoy; and, in the first agonies of sorrow for his loss, would have taken the Leucadian leap, if this had been the fashion of disconsolate mistresses in her time. For three days after his dissolution, she refused all sustenance, and for more weeks, remained in mournful seclusion.
Several of her favourites were men of both military and civil talents, able and alert to assist in the execution of vast plans of ambition and policy. It does not appear, that they did more than subserve her conceptions and aims, by which the Russian power was to be incalculably expanded and firmly rooted. Segur mentions that she dictated the most important dispatches to her ministers, who were, in fact, but her secretaries; and that she was the real guide and luminary of her council of state. Besides contriving deep schemes and strokes of aggrandizement for the empire, she excelled in all the arts of diplomacy, in a degree which caused old Marshal Munich to remark, that she behaved towards the sovereigns of the rest of Europe like the most adroit of political co</ucltes. Frederick the Great, no friend to her power, used to exclaim, that, if Semiramis had acquired renown by arms, Elizabeth of England by state-cunning, Maria Theresa by firmness in adversity, Catherine alone deserved the title of legit. latress. She manifested no caprice nor partiality with regard to the functionaries of the government; all were sure of remaining in place where she exercised immediate control, as long as they performed their duty;—she indulged no distrust, and they had in her a salutary confidence:—we may repeat of her internal administration what Gibbon says of Zenobia, in his masterly sketch of that "the only female whose superior genius broke through the servile indolence imposed on her sex by the climate and manners of Asia." In lieu of the little passions which so frequently perplex a female reign, the soundest maxims of steadiness prevailed; if it was expedient to pardon, she could calm her resentment; if it was necessary to punish, she could impose silence on the voice of pity.
Our author was astonished at the alacrity and facility with which she passed from convivial scenes,—the elegant dissipation of festive repasts, and the perfumed flatteries and sparkling dialogues of her saloon,—to the study of public affairs and the transaction of business. She rose at six o'clock in the morning; made her own fire; then conferred with the police-officers and heads
rical critics to have consented to the assassination of her husband; and while this might have been an unpleasant reminiscence, her proverbial chastity would have produced too strong a contrast. The Penelopes and Helens were not farther apart on that score.
The Russian Empress, like Zenobia, and without having had the benefit of such a preceptor as Longinus, was conversant and successful in literature. She composed several comedies; moral tales; an abridgment of the early history of Russia; a book called the Antidote, in reply to the Abbe Chappe's libel on the Russian nation and government; and a celebrated introduction to a legal code, the original of which, in her handwriting, our author saw in the public library of St. Petersburgh, and recognised as a nearly complete summary of Montesquieu's maxims. Her elegant and ingenious letters to Voltaire and the Prince de Ligne, are sufficiently known. She originated and patronised scientific and literary institutions, extensive exploratory expeditions by sea and land, banks, manufactories, &c.; and naturalists performed tours of research under her enlightened and munificent auspices. When the learned Pallas offered his cabinet for sale in order to provide a marriage portion for his daughter, Catherine caused him to be asked at what price he held it, and having received his estimate,—fifteen thousand rubles,—she wrote to him—" You are marvellously versed in natural history, but not at all in the question of dowry. I take your collections at one hundred thousand francs, but I leave to you the enjoyment of them during your life." She exercised the same refined liberality towards Diderot,—or rather more; for she not only insisted upon his remaining in possession of his library after she had purchased it, but appointed him librarian with a comfortable salary. We cannot help breathing here the wish that our Congress had thus acted towards Mr. Jefferson. There are two other incidents related by Segur, which redound not less to her credit:—
"Catherine, at Moscow, was desirous to give, at the Kremlin, balls and fetes whose magnificence should be proportioned to her rank and dignity; but, all the orders which she had given for this purpose, were countermanded, on her being suddenly informed that the governors of several provinces, having neglected to obey her instructions, and allowed the granaries, which she had established, to be drained of their abundant supply, a dearth of corn, as real as unforeseen, afflicted her people.
'It would be most indecent,' she said, 'for me to appear in the midst of fetes and enjoyments, while my subjects are suffering under a calamity from which I ought to have secured them.'
I was near her when the arrival of one of these governors, who had been so culpably negligent, was announced. 'I hope,' said Count Bezborodko, 'that your Majesty will address to him publicly, the severe reprimand which he merits.' 'No,'replied Catherine, 'that would be too humiliating; I shall wait till he is alone with me; for I love to praise and reward in public, and to rebuke in private.'"