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which time a sixty-gun ship was completed from his own draught and model, and at much of the carpentry of which he worked with his own hand. This vessel, said to be an admirable specimen of naval architecture, he sent to Archangel—for as yet the czar had not a seaport on the Baltic. He then crossed over to England, where he was received with great attention by William III., who deputed the Marquis of Caermarthen to attend him, and de vote himself to the service of the czar. Peter's chief object was to examine the dockyards and maritime establishments of Eng. land as he had done those of Holland; but though he still preserved his incognito, he no longer worked as a journeyman. Yet, according to an old writer, "he would often take up the tools and work with them; and he frequently conversed with the builders, who showed him their draughts, and the method of laying down, by proportion, any ship or vessel.” At first he lodged in York Buildings, while in London; and the last house next the river, on the east side of Buckingham Street, near the Strand, is said to have been inhabited by him; but afterwards, that he might be near the sea, he occupied a house belonging to the celebrated John Evelyn at Deptford.
Under the date of January 30, 1698, we find in Evelyn's diary as follows:- The czar of Muscovy being come to England, and having a mind to see the building of ships, hired my house, Saye's Court, and made it his court and palace, new furnished by the
And just about this time Mr Evelyn's servant writes to his master thus:--- There is a house full of people, and right nasty. The czar lies next your library, and dines in the parlour next your study. He dines at ten o'clock, and at six at night; is very seldom at home a whole day; very often in the king's yard, or by water, dressed in several dresses. The king is expected there this day: the best parlour is pretty clean for him to be entertained in. The king pays for all he has.” What a glimpse one gets at the past through such gossip as this!
Though the czar did not now carry his enthusiasm so far as to work as a carpenter, yet his fondness for sailing and managing boats was as eager here as in Holland. Sir Anthony Deane and the Marquis of Caermarthen were almost daily with him on the Thames, sometimes in a sailing yacht, and at others rowing in boats-an exercise in which both the czar and the marquis are said to have excelled. The Navy Board received directions from the Admiralty to hire two vessels, to be at the command of the czar whenever he should think proper to sail on the Thames, to improve himself in seamanship. In addition to these, the king made him a present of the Royal Transport, with orders to have such alterations and accommodations made in her as his czarish majesty might desire ; and also to change her masts, rigging, sails, &c. in such a way as he might think proper, to improve her sailing qualities. But his great delight was to get into a small-decked boat belonging to the dockyard, and taking
, and three or four others of his suite, to work the vessel with them, he being the helmsman. By this practice he said he should be able to teach them how to command ships when they got home. Having finished their day's work, they used to resort to a tavern in Great Tower Street, close to Tower Hill, to smoke their pipes, and to drink beer and brandy. The landlord had the czar of Muscovy's head painted, and put up for his sign, which continued till the year 1808, when some one took a fancy to the old sign, and offered the then occupier of the house to paint him a new one for it. A copy was accordingly made from the original, which maintains its station to the present day, as the sign of the “ Czar of Muscovy."
While in England, Peter also directed his attention to engineering; and, what is curious, received a doctorate from the university of Oxford. He took into his service upwards of five hundred persons-officers, engineers, cannoneers, surgeons, &c.; in particular, a body of skilful engineers and artificers, whom he despatched to Russia, for the purpose of carrying out a great project which he had already arranged in his own far-seeing mind. This was to open a communication, by locks and canals, between the rivers Volga and Don and the Caspian Sea. And it may convey an idea of the ignorance and superstition with which Peter had to contend, that this noble scheme raised an outcry among the priests and nobles, who declared it was piece of impiety to turn the streams one way which Providence Tad directed another.". Ferguson, the celebrated engineer and geometrician, entered into his service, and was the first person who brought arithmetic into use in the exchequer of Russia. Previously, they had made use only of the Tartarian method of reckoning, by balls strung upon a wire.
In the latter end of 1698, Peter returned to Holland on his way home; and on taking leave of King William, he presented him with á ruby of the value of £10,000, drawing it from his waistcoat pocket, “wrapped up in a bit of brown paper.” It was truly a royal present, though not given after a very royal fashion ; but Peter had a great contempt for forms and ceremonies, and William III. was far too sensible a man to stand yery greatly upon them. Peter also, in return for the attentions bestowed on him by the Marquis of Caermarthen, conferred on that nobleman the right to license every hogshead of tobacco exported to Russia, and to charge five shillings for each license. This must have brought a large revenue, for an English company had thought it worth while to pay £15,000 for the monopoly of the exportation. While in London, his attention was forcibly attracted to the nagnificent building of Greenwich Hospital, which, until he had visited it, and seen the old pensioners, he had some difficulty in believing to be anything but a royal palace. King William having asked him one day how he liked his hospital for decayed seamen, the czar answered,
remove greutheroadvised to our majesty, I should counsel you to
to Greenwich, and convert St James's into an hospital.” JIS 20 T
B2B aniot MODD) IS! INSURRECTION AT MOŚCOW_NÁRNAZS 9315 26W I ***From Holland Peter travelled to Vienna, most probably to have an interview with the emperor of Germany, who was no doubt very glad to obtain' an ally against his bide Turks!" He was received with great pomp; but, in
in the the
midst of the festivities which marked his arrival, news reached' him that
had been quelled by the energy and decision of General Gordon, whom him to give up a visit to Italy, which he had intended;
and, he had left in authority. This intelligence, however, induced travelling with his usual speed, he hastened back to his capital. He soon discovered that the Strelitzes had been insti rebellion by the Princess Sophia, who, taking advantage of her brother's absence, had hoped to resume her authority. Several of the ringleaders were hanged within sight of Sophia's window, and others condemned to a more cruel death, and broken on the wheel. Certainly, when we consider how sanguinary the laws were at that period, even in the most civilised states of Europe, we cannot consider this retaliation undue severity on the part of Peter; indeed it appears to have been 'a necessary step to secure his own authority. As for the absurd stories which were current at the time, and which we are sorry to find repeated by many respectable writers, no credit should attach to them. We mean the stories of the wholesale massacres which took place --Peter and his chief officers turning butchers themselves, and revelling in this pre-appointed slaughtering with as little compunction as sportsmen when they find themselves in a preserve of game. A closer examination of facts and authorities dispels the whole as an idle report, exaggerated as it travelled from mouth to mouth, and quite out of keeping with the real circumstances of the case. It is true that Peter had already done a great many things s with his own hand” that sovereigns had seldom done before; but then they were things which no one but himself was clever enough to do. His indifference to war (except as the means to his great ends), commented on with evident astonishment by an English churchman, whom he conversed with when he visited Oxford, is a proof that he was not of a sanguinary disposition; and besides this, he wanted men so much both for soldiers and workmen, that he could not spare the two or three thousand subjects who are said to have been beheaded, or otherwise slaughtered, for after-dinner pastime. It is much more likely that he should have set them to work in the hardest and meanest capacity on the canals and bridges he was already forming.
In 1699, Peter experienced a severe loss in the death of his friend and counsellor, General Le Fort, on whom he bestowed PETER THE GREAT. ftinera honours similar to those awarded to former sovereigns,
biofrer the tains as a lieutenant, which rank he held in Le Fort's regiment. It was also about this time that he lost his able general, Gordon, nouery qualities had been so essential to him in the re
army. Menzikoff, who had risen from obscurity by his talents and activity, now became the favourite and counsellor of Peter. The Strelitzes--those instruments of insurrection and turbulence, were now supplanted by twenty-seven new regiments of infantry and two of cavalry, who, within three months, were disciplined and brought into marching order. Nothing but merit and length of services was regarded in the appointment of officers. Besides the reconstitution of the military, Peter now devoted himself with incessant activity to the internal regulation of his empire, which assumed, by degrees, the appearance of a new creation. to It was now that the czar turned his attention to change the inconvenient costume of his people. To do this, he began by Jevying a tax upon long beards and petticoats ; patterns of closebodied coats being hung up in public places. But so attached were they to old customs, that his revenue was increased, instead of their dress being altered. His next proceeding savours somewhat of the ludicrous. He stationed tailors and barbers at each of the gates of Moscow, whose duty, it was to cut the beard and whiskers of every man who entered, and “ to cut his petticoats all round about." In the process of the latter, mutilation, the victim was made to kneel down, when his garments were clipped on a level with the ground. An anecdote is told which has something almost affecting, in the proof it affords of the earnestness with which these poor people clung to their unclean and inconvenient habits. The czar on one occasion met an old man coming from the barber, and addressed him, saying that he looked like a young man, now he had lost his beard ; upon which the man put his hand into his bosom, and drew forth the beard which had been cut off, telling the czar he should preserve it, in order to have it put into his coffin, that he might be able to produce it to St Nicholas in the other world!
About this time the czar altered the commencement of the year from the 1st of September to the 1st of January-ma proceeding which gave almost equal offence to his people, who thought he was undertaking to change the course of the sun. He next instituted assemblies for the encouragement of social intercourse between the sexes, that people might have a reasonable opportunity of forming suitable marriages., Hitherto wives had been sought in the Asiatic manner the bride being given away or sold by her parents, without being previously seen by the intended bridegroom. And while all these social and moral reformations were going on, Peter was building a fleet on the Don, connecting that river with the Volga, and planning to wrest a sea-coast ter
ritory from a warlike nation, on which to build a new metropolis -St Petersburg:
Hitherto the capital of Russia had been Moscow, which, being inland, was ill adapted for commerce. With a view to remedy this defect, Peter fixed on a site for his new capital at the mouth of the river Neva, and adjoining the Gulf of Finland. But the land in this quarter was not his own: it belonged to Sweden. His object was therefore to seize upon one or two provinces, add. them to Russia, and then commence building his town. It is distressing to have to relate such a circumstance of a man whom, on other grounds, we are inclined to respect. According to the way in which history is usually written, the commission of such acts is not only not reprobated, but in some cases is commended. We, however, cannot unite in glossing over acts of injustice even though they be done by kings. Peter was guilty of rapacity, and the only excuse that can be found for him is, that he did nothing more than what all other sovereigns of his time considered it no crime to commit. To attain his desired end in this and other respects, Peter, in 1700, entered into a political alliance with Augustus, king of Poland and elector of Saxony, and the king of Denmark. These three potentates combining against the youthful Charles of Sweden--who, by a sort of miracle, proved himself, at eighteen years of age, the greatest general in Europe—the czar determined to take from him the provinces of Ingria and Carelia; Augustus desired to regain Esthonia and Livonia, ceded by Poland to Charles XI.; and Denmark wished to regain Holstein and Sleswick. Peter invaded Ingria at the head of 60,000 men; and, desirous to find some pretext for his. aggressions, could choose no better one than that his ambassadors had been charged exorbitant prices for provisions while passing through that province on their way to Holland ; though he also reminded them that he himself had been insulted by being refused a sight of the citadel of Riga!
At the latter end of September Peter laid siege to Narva, a fortified town on the river Narowa, just at the time that Charles was engaged with the Danes, and putting an end to the war in Denmark. This, however, was accomplished in a few weeks; and then, at the head of only 9000 troops, he came to the relief of Narva. Peter, probably astonished that the place had held out so long, but never doubting of ultimate success, left the army encamped before Narva to meet a body of nearly 30,000 men, whom he had sent for. The reason of this proceeding cannot be easily explained; for certainly the presence of the czar was most required with the main body, already 60,000 strong, at the scene of action. Probably he went forth to meet the reinforcement only from the restlessness of mind and impatience of delay which were part of his character. It was a false step, however. During his absence, on the 19th of November Charles came up to Narva, and taking advantage of a tremendous snow-storm, which