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The Black Tsar Peter the Great of Russia

 

The following is a Google translation of this French Wiki article:

https://fr.m.wikisource.org/wiki/La_Visite_du_tsar_Pierre_le_Grand_en_1717

 


The visit of Tsar Peter the Great in 1717 according to new documents

Count of Haussonville

Review of Two Worlds volume 137, 1896


Of course all the Worlds Rulers were originally Black, and it stayed that way until our Albinos usurped power and took over the World. Not content with just the military power, out of pure evil, they decided to kill as many Blacks as they could, and then write Blacks Out-of-History. It is therefore very unusual to find a document which actually refers to a well known King as being Black skinned as we have here. Of course, along with bogus writings, our Albinos also created millions of FAKE Artifacts depicting Black Kings and Nobility as Albinos like themselves.

We include some of these FAKES below as examples. Also note the date of the paintings: when it is painted in the lifetime of the king, then of course it has to look like him, with "Whitenizing" taking place later. But if it was painted AFTER the king was dead, then the Albinos could make it as White as they want.

 

I - When, in the month of April 1717, through the intermediary of Chateauneuf, our ambassador in the Hague, Tsar Peter the Great informed the Regent of his desire to visit Paris, he was only following a design designed nineteen years ago. In 1698, during his first stay in Holland, he had sounded Louis XIV on this subject, and "he was mortified," adds Saint-Simon, because the king honestly declined his visit, which he did not want to embarrass himself . "

The majestic monarch no doubt feared some lack of etiquette on the part of a sovereign who had not yet been fashioned at the ceremonial of the courts, or who, rather, seemed to play a game of bravery. To testify to the ambassadors of William of Orange his ill-humor of their late arrival, had he not previously advised not to wish to give them an audience except on board a Dutch vessel, and in the great hut, where he received them from the rest with great majesty, except to laugh at the fright they had shown on ascending the rope ladders. But in 1717, Peter was no longer a sovereign whose visit could be declined honestly. In a few years, his robust genius had fashioned, in a certain way with his ax, an empire still nascent, to the solidity of which the European public had not at first believed, but from which it began to have a vague presentiment of the great destinies . "I shall be brief," said Saint-Simon, "on a prince so great and so well known, and who will doubtless be one of the most remote posterity for having made Europe formidable and necessarily involved in the future in all business of this part of the world a court which had never been one, and a nation entirely ignored. The future has given the reason for Saint-Simon's reasoning, and the Due d'Orleans was too penetrating to read it as well as he did. So he was careful not to decline the announced visit, although this visit raised some delicate questions.

The Czar intended to keep the incognito. In the first dispatch on his arrival he is named "as a person of distinction who seems to want to remain incognito, but whom His Royal Highness wishes to treat with all the distinction and all the considerations which may mark much consideration. on his part, without, however, paying him the honors which he himself seems unwilling to receive in order to avoid the embarrassment of ceremonial ". But what were the honors which his Tsarian Majesty, as it was then called, would like, and those whom she would not like to receive? The question was embarrassing. Desgranges, who had been the function of Master of Ceremonies for twenty-five years, cared deeply about it. It was the same with the Paris City Council (we would say today the Municipal Council), which, full of goodwill, asked whether it was necessary to go to meet the Czar and bring him the ordinary presents, which were "In twelve dozen boxes of jams and as many candles of wax." "

To solve all these questions, the Regent thought he could do no better than to send to Dunkirk (for the Tsar from Holland had chosen the sea route) the Lord of Liboy, an ordinary gentleman of the King's Chamber. Liboy had very detailed instructions, but they only worked on etiquette issues. He was the first Frenchman had the honor of being presented to the Tsar, and his letters, which remained unpublished, at least in France, for they have not escaped the intelligent investigations of the members of the Imperial Society of Russian History contain, on the arrival and stay of Peter I at Dunkirk, curious details.

 

Quote: "The Czar is taller, a little bent, and his head is bent over the ordinary. He is black and has something fierce in his face. He appears to be quick-witted and easy-going, with a kind of greatness in manners, but little sustained. He is melancholy and absent-minded, though approachable and often familiar. It is said that he is sturdy and capable of body and mind work."

 

 

From the first interviews it was evident that his Tsarian Majesty wished, as far as possible, to escape from the ceremonial. "He asks," wrote Liboy, "that the King should have him lodged in a particular house that is suitable. He wants to avoid the royal houses. In the same way, he did not want "honest and clean" cars that had been prepared for him, but were heavy sedans. He demanded that these cars be replaced by five two-wheeled and two-seater chairs, simple cabriolets, and that the relays should be arranged so as to reach Paris in four days. The necessity of waiting for these chairs made him prolong his stay at Dunkirk. One day was used by him (it is Liboy who speaks) to take medicine, the three others to visit in detail, - for the Tsar had the passion for maritime things, - the port, the basin and the shops of Dunkirk. He was so satisfied with his visit that he asked if it would be possible to find a naval officer, speaking Dutch, who would be attached to him. So was done.

Liboy, however, had taken advantage of these four days to address to Paris some information on the habits of Peter I. "The Czar gets up early, dines around ten o'clock, soups towards the seven and retires before nine. He drinks liqueurs before meals, beer and wine in the afternoon, soup little and sometimes not at all, and goes to bed before nine. He eats all our food and drinks our wines, except Champagne. The lords like what is good and know it. "I have not yet been able to perceive," he added, "a sort of serious business council or conference, unless one has treated it like a goblet. So he attributed the Tsar's journey solely to curiosity and natural anxiety.

Liboy was mistaken, as we will see; but he was none the less well acquitted of this first mission. The Regent believed, however, to do more honor to the Czar, to send to meet him to Calais the Marquis de Mailly-Nesle, gentleman "whose birth and merit were also distinguished," said his letter of introduction. But it was less successful than Liboy. He seems to have proposed the singular design of dazzling those somewhat agrust hosts of France by the elegance of his dress. He changed clothes every day. So much research was worth to him only a sarcasm: "In truth," said the Tsar, "I pity M. de Nesle to have such a bad tailor that he can not find a dress made as he pleases. "

Peter the Great lost no time in changing his toilet on the road. He had only one idea: to arrive as quickly as possible in Paris, and he burned the steps, at the risk of sometimes causing certain miscalculations. "You will perhaps find it hard to believe," wrote d'Amiens, intendant M. de Bernago, "that the Czar passed yesterday in this city without having had the honor of seeing it. We were waiting for him at the bishop's palace with the Marquis de Nesle and M. de Liboy, because he does not think it would be good to go to meet him, and we expected at least that he would come for a refreshment. and his relay, when they came to tell us that he had sent for the horses by his courier and that having gone up to my coach at the gate of the city, he had already crossed it in diligence without wanting to stop or see no one. M. de Bernage added in the postscript: "It will not be impossible for the bishop of Amiens to make a few complaints, for, in order not to lose my display, I begged the ladies to come and eat supper. from the Czar to the bishopric, and Madame de Bernage gave a grand ball in the episcopal palace from which this prelate had left me master. "

 

 

 

 

Even disappointment at Beauvais where the bishop-count was waiting for him to sleep. "I had," wrote the bishop melancholyly, "made my house, which is not magnificent, the most convenient I had to house the Tsar and part of his suite. I prepared for him a concert of voices and instruments, and an illumination with fireworks. He would have found his arms in several places of his house, and in the room where I thought he was to sleep, the portraits of the Grand Dukes of Muscovy, father and mother of the Czar. But all these preparations, and all those I had tried to do to feed him, were useless. In fact, the Tsar, dreading the affluence of the people who were beginning to hurry in his way, did not even want to enter Beauvais, and he preferred to stop in an evil village, where he and his suite dined at the cabaret for ten. - eight francs. As he had been told in advance that he would be bad in this cabaret: "I am a soldier, he would have answered. As long as I find bread and beer, I'm happy. "

The Czar was rapidly approaching Paris when, at Beaumont, his last stop, he met the Comte de Tesse, whom the Regent sent to congratulate him, and who was to be attached to him for the duration of his stay. The choice was most happy. Tessé was not only a marshal of France, a man of great wit and good company. He had been involved during the preceding reign in many great affairs from which he had taken his honor. It was he in particular who, in 1696, had managed to detach the Duke of Savoy from the League of Augsburg, and in his relations with this difficult prince he had shown himself a very skilful negotiator. Since the death of the sovereign whom he had served with great devotion, he lived in a semi-retreat, dividing his time between a little country house which he owned in Camaldules near Grosbois, and an apartment in the Incurables. But retirement was not much his business, and he only needed a sign to come back to his former role. Some Frenchmen who were a little infatuated with the splendor of their capital could alone believe, like Liboy, that curiosity and the desire to admire Paris were the only motives that had driven Peter to undertake this journey. The skilful sovereign, on the contrary, pursued a perfectly determined end, which a quick glance at the state of Europe will make clear.

Since the year 1713 the Treaties of Westphalia, which for more than half a century had been the European public law, had been replaced by the Treaties of Utrecht and Baden. These treaties had put an end to the long war of the Spanish Succession, and created from a diplomatic and territorial point of view a new state of affairs. Austria had only suffered them with impatience, and asked only a pretext for questioning them. Spain herself, who had not obtained all the advantages she hoped for, only accepted them reluctantly. On the contrary, the other States of Europe, and in particular France, exhausted by the long struggle which it had supported, sincerely desired peace. Hence a new grouping of forces: on one side the triple alliance, it is thus that, since the very recent treaty of the Hague, they called the union of France, England, and Holland. Opposite Austria weakened, but still formidable; next to it were two secondary powers: one, Prussia, a little newcomer to the restless, ambitious European world, who had sided with Austria in the war of the Spanish Succession; on the other, Sweden, an old ally of France since Richelieu, still united to her by a treaty which assured her a subsidy of 600,000 crowns a year, but committed for several years, by the adventurous Charles XII. a fatal and not yet finished war in which Russia had taken away all her Baltic provinces. Finally, in the distance, just emerging from its steppes and wild forests, Russia.

 

 

 

 

If Russia, which until then had seemed to think only of its own affairs, intervened in those of Europe, on what side would it rank? That she should be on the side of Austria, that she should train with her Prussia, her ally in the Swedish war; and in face of the Anglo-French-Dutch coalition, an Austro-Prussian-Russian coalition could be set up which would counterbalance it exactly. The treaties of Utrecht and Baden, and consequently the peace of Europe, risked being called into question, which was contrary to French policy.

On the other hand, Russia, whose recent conquests on Sweden had never been recognized, nor ratified by any treaty, which always isolated had never been part of the European concert, had an interest in holding some solemn instrument. The ratification of these conquests, and to enter into this concert. "However, as one of the men who has studied more closely the relations of France and Russia, Mr. Albert Vandal, has said very clearly, the Tsar could not hope to take his place in this concert and make it heard only on the condition of being presented by a considerable friend who would serve as a sponsor ... Russia needed the support of one of those old monarchies which, thanks to seniority, as well as the brilliancy of their power, marched at the head of nations. He did not like England and did not know Spain: France remained. "

France and Russia, therefore, had the same interest, and no one doubted in Europe that the voyage of Peter the Great hid some diplomatic design. Everyone wondered in which plate of the scale he would throw, if necessary, the weight of his powerful sword. England and Austria followed her steps with equal anxiety. But the Tsar's thought still seemed shrouded in a certain mystery. A shrewd and sagacious mind, Tessé was as good as any man in the world, in piercing this mystery, and he had to use it well.

The Tsar arrived in Paris on May 7th at nine o'clock in the evening. He had preferred that late hour to escape curiosity. But he found none the less rue Saint-Denis and rue Saint-Honoré illuminated, with people at the windows or on his way. So that he could choose, two apartments had been prepared for him: one at the Louvre, the other at the Hotel de Lesdiguieres. He first visited that of the Louvre. He found it too magnificently tense and enlightened, and preferred the Hotel de Lesdiguieres. Already, along the way, we had noticed his taste for simplicity. In the apartments that were prepared to receive him, he always chose the back room. He did the same at the Hotel de Lesdiguieres, where he stretched his cot in a closet.

 

 

 

The day after his arrival he received a visit from the Regent. He left his study, took a few steps to meet him, embraced him, said the tales of the time, with a great air of superiority, and, turning around, returned to his study, followed by the Regent "who seemed lead on a leash. They sat on two armchairs, the Tsar taking the one from the top end. The conversation between them lasted an hour, but there was no talk of business; Prince Kurakin served as interpreter.

On May 11, the Tsar received the visit of the little King, who was seven years old. The ceremonial had been carefully regulated. The Tsar went down to receive the King at the door of his coach, and the two of them marching abruptly went to the Tsar's room, where they sat on two equal armchairs. The King gave him a very fine compliment, which he had been taught by heart. Instead of answering him, the Tsar suddenly took him in his arms and, raising him At the height of his face, kissed him several times, which was not provided by the ceremonial. It was feared for a moment that the little King should not be afraid; but, although a little surprised, he put on a good countenance, and the conversation, sustained above all by the Duke of Maine and Marshal de Villeroy, lasted very pleasantly for a quarter of an hour.

The next day the Czar paid his visit to the King, and was quite surprised, for it was the first time he had gone out, of the crowd he found in his way. The King was to receive him on the descent of his coach. But as soon as the Tsar saw him under the vestibule of the Tuileries walking towards him, he jumped from his coach, ran to meet the King, took him in his arms, and ascended the stairs. These brusqueries, a little willful perhaps, were not without grace, and it was very touched in the Court of predilection and tenderness that, during all the duration of his stay, Peter the Great testified to the young King.

These duties of ceremony filled, began for the Tsar this life without truce of official visits to the public monuments which it is customary to impose on the sovereigns of passage in Paris and which they undergo with a relentless good grace. On the very day of his reception at the Tuileries he had visited at 8 o'clock in the morning, the Place Royale, the Place des Victoires, the Place Vendome. On the 12th of May he was conducted to the Observatory, to the Goblins, to the King's Garden; on the 14th, at the grand gallery of the Louvre, where he was shown the plan of fortified towns; on the 16th, at the Invalides, where he tasted the soup of the soldiers, but to their health, and, after having felt the pulse of one of them whom they thought was lost, predicted that he would return (a prognosis which proved ); the 17th at Saint-Cloud; the 18th at Issy; the 21st in Luxembourg; on the 23rd at Meudon; on the 24th at the Tuileries; the 25th at Versailles; the 26th to Marly. And that without counting the pleasures of the evening: dinner at Saint-Cloud at the Regent's and gala performance at the Opera, during which, having been thirsty, he asked for a glass of beer which the Regent offered him with great respect on a saucer.

Peter the Great seemed to take a great interest in these visits, especially those he made at scientific establishments. He found occasion for a host of questions which showed the extent of his knowledge, and on all those who approached him he produced a singular impression. Let Saint-Simon still speak: "Everything showed in him the vast expanse of his lights, and something of continually consequent. He married in a most surprising way the highest, the proudest, the most delicate, the most sustained majesty, at the same time the less embarrassing, when he had established it in all his safety, with a politeness which felt it and always and with all, and master everywhere, but which had its degrees according to the people ... It is the reputation which he left unanimously in France who regarded him as a prodigy of which she remained charmed. "

 

 

II

However, the real goal proposed by Peter the Great in undertaking his journey was not lost sight of. The Tsar charged his Vice-Chancellor Schafiroff, whom Tessé often calls gossip, and his ambassador to Holland Prince Kourakin, who was at the same time his brother-in-law by his first wife, to enter into negotiations with Tessé. For his part, the Marshal of Brussels, member of the Council of Regency and President of the Council of Foreign Affairs, wrote for the use of Tessé a long memory , which was to serve him as instruction. This memorial testifies, indeed, on the part of Marshal Hussels, a certain hesitation to engage in such a new alliance. He recommends that Tessé "fight and evade precise and stronger engagements than is appropriate for correspondence and good friendship." But he informs him, however, "that His Royal Highness considers it an important point to be able to engage this prince (the Czar) in such a way that he now loses all idea of forming an affair with the court of Vienna, and that those whom His Majesty He will have formed with him a basis for closer engagements, "and he rightly observes," that, as his Majesty and the Czar can never have any interest in unraveling, the connections established on these foundations can only to be useful to the one and the other power, without it being able to be born inconveniences able to alter the strength, nor to diminish the advantages. "

The first conference opened on May 18, with a great secret, to escape, said Tessé, "to the German flies and all the nations who observe the slightest steps. From the beginning, the French negotiator was in the presence of one of those specific proposals which he was advised to avoid, and which was thus formulated: "a reciprocal friendship and a faithful alliance, for the cement and foundation of which will be made a defensive treaty to ensure the treaties of Utrecht and Baden, as also France will secure the conquests the Tsar made on Sweden, which Sweden will not be assisted by money or troops, directly or indirectly. And as Tessé answered, with good reason, that it is impossible to guarantee conquests until a war is over, and that "everything that is subject to the variation of success can never be guaranteed," he was replied with a vivacity, which he admirably renders in a despatch in which he seems to relate the Tsar's words: "Well! let the Tsar act as he will on Sweden, without guaranteeing his conquests, but put the Tsar instead of Sweden. The system of Europe has changed the basis of all your treaties. Sweden, almost wiped out, can no longer be of any help to you. The power of the Emperor has been infinitely increased, and I, Tsar, come to offer myself to France to take the place of Sweden. I offered him not only my alliance, but my power, and at the same time that of Prussia, without which I could not act... By me, Tsar, the balance which the alliance of Sweden should have with you will be restored; but the grain I put in it wins; and from there I conclude that I, Tsar, must have the same treatment as Sweden, since I will hold you not only of Sweden but bring you Prussia. "

The offer was urgent as well as formal, and those who had made it insisted on an immediate response. "These people-cy," wrote Tessé on May 20, asked me, as early as yesterday evening, whether I had answered the overtures I had had made of their latest proposals. To which I simply replied that by keeping them the impenetrable secret they had asked me, I thought that His Royal Highness regarded this affair as important enough to think about it and take perhaps his most secret advice, to digest a matter of such great consequence. "

Matter indeed needed to be digested, for it was nothing less for France than to abandon, for a new and unknown ally, an old and proven ally, although a little unfaithful in the last few years time. There was no way to escape, however, and it was agreed that each of the parties would draft a treaty separately. The French project consisted of seven articles [16] , the first of which stipulated that "Henceforth and for ever in the future an alliance and a lasting and faithful friendship, a union and a close correspondence between the Most Christian King, the Tsar of Muscovy, their heirs and successors. The Russian project, quite different in terms, and whose wording provoked many observations on the part of Marshal Hussels, tended, however, to the same end, and things seemed at first sight to have to proceed without difficulty. "If we do not make a lot of progress," wrote Tessé at the end of a third conference, it seems at least that we are not backing away, so that in this case, which perhaps never has As soon as I have heard each other (because nothing comes near the embarrassment of dealing with him), I have some reason to believe and hope that His Royal Highness will find some advantage in all this. And in another letter: "I fear you may find that we are perhaps going faster than you want; but since it is necessary, as we say, that a door be opened or closed, it is still necessary that His Royal Highness and you take a party. "

But this negotiation that Tessé feared to see walking too fast at the mercy of the Regent, still hesitant, was going to be on the contrary hindered by the entry on the scene of a third negotiator: Prussia. Nothing was more natural in itself than the intervention of Prussia. She had been an ally of Russia in the war against Sweden, and had also conquests, including the important stronghold of Stettin, to guarantee. Moreover, a treaty of defensive alliance, of a rather vague nature, which at his request had remained secret, had united it with France since 1716. There was therefore no reason to keep it out of this negotiation. . The French draft treaty was even doubled by a second draft by which it was agreed that the treaty of good correspondence, friendship and alliance agreed between His Most Christian Majesty and the Czar of Muscovy would be common to the King of Prussia. in all its points. "

When the Baron of Kniphausen, whom the King of Prussia had sent to the Czar, landed in Paris, it was quite simple to admit him into thirds, and a letter from Kourakin to Tessé informed the latter that henceforth Kniphausen would attend the conferences which took place were at the Hotel de Lesdiguieres. "We have agreed, however," said Tessé to d'Bruxelles, "that the Prussian would be given an extent of confidence only to the extent that we think it useful and necessary, and that he will have nothing to do with it. Knowledge of the articles that will have to be secret between us. But from the intervention of the Prussian, as Tessé called it, things began to go wrong. Out of respect for him, it was thought necessary to substitute for the two different draft treaties on which a third project was deliberated, to which the King of Prussia was personally a party, and whose first article was thus conceived. stipulated and granted that there will be, from the day of the conclusion of this treaty between His Tsarist Majesty, His Most Christian Majesty, and His Majesty the King of Prussia, between their heirs and successors, their kingdoms, countries and States, a treaty of friendship, correspondence and eternal and sincere commerce, which will be observed in such a way that the contracting parties promise each other in the strongest way to do all that will depend on them to procure and advance the good and the advantages of both, and to divert all kinds of damage and prejudices. "

But just as it was easy to stipulate that there would be an eternal friendship between Russia, France, and Prussia, so far it would be difficult to agree on the conditions of this friendship. It was easy to agree on the very principle of the mutual guarantee of the created territorial state or to create on the one hand the treaties of Utrecht and Baden, on the other hand by what was called the eventual peace. of the North, that is to say the treaty which could not fail to intervene between Sweden, Russia, and Prussia. But on the conditions in which this guarantee would be exercised, difficulties soon arose.

A first difficulty was raised by France. The terms of the draft which had been drafted by Schafiroff and Kurakin expressly limited this contest promised by Prussia and Russia in case the "Very Christian King" was to be attacked by an open war in his kingdoms and states. D'Hussels rightly pointed out that since the object of this new alliance was the guarantee of the treaties of Utrecht and Baden, these treaties would be so violated if the Emperor attacked the Italian powers which had been party to these treaties. treated, and the observation was so exact that this difficulty does not seem to have had a result.

A second difficulty was raised, that by the Russian negotiators, about the date from which Russia, according to the expression of the Czar himself, would be put in the place and place of Sweden [19] . Russia would have wanted to be effectively substituted Sweden the day after the signing of the treaty. France, on the other hand, pointed out that, being still linked to Sweden by a treaty which was not to be terminated until ten months later, it could not assist both belligerans at the same time. As the objection was just, the difficulty still seemed to be those on which it would not be impossible to reach an agreement. But a more serious difficulty, which unfortunately was to become the stumbling block, arises with regard to the mode of execution of the mutual guarantee.

A separate article intended to remain secret from the draft treaty went so far as to provide for the composition and strength of the forces which the execution of the mutual guarantee would oblige, if need be, each of the contracting parties to send to the aid of the the other, at first requisition. These forces were to include not only infantry and cavalry, but naval troops. The figures alone were left blank, to be fixed later. But the Marshal of Brussels, who in all this negotiation seems to have shown a rather timid but judicious spirit, pointed out that the Russian project always seemed to suppose that the Czar's troops would join those of the King. . "But it is easy to prove," he said with good reason, "that if war were declared, this junction would become impossible. Thus, it is necessary to fix the effect of the guarantee on a diversion, "and he added:" As we wish to act in good faith, we must not conceal from the Tsar's minister that we do not believe that France can give other help to the Tsar than subsidies, and that we also expect the Tsar to be able to help us only by diversion . "

It was on this question of junction or diversion that it became impossible to agree, the French negotiator insisting that the case of diversion be stipulated, the Russian and Prussian negotiators refusing it. However, the main difficulty did not come from Russia. Peter the Great had a fair faith in his army. He had measured it at Poltawa against the heroic bands of Charles XII, and had annihilated them. He was not afraid of being alone, face to face with Austria. It was not the same with the Prussian envoy. Kniphausen did not fearlessly envisage the eventuality that the young troops of his King would be alone in the struggle with the old Austrian army. His situation was, it must be admitted, singularly difficult. He did not expect to take part in such an important negotiation: his powers were insufficient, and he feared to be disavowed by a master who, judging by the manner in which he later treated his son, should not have the tender mood for his servants. The stay of the Tsar in France, on the contrary, allowed the Russian negotiators to refer to their master on difficult points; but the kind of life that it led did not always make it easy to grasp it.

III

Since he had been rid of official visits, the Czar, whose stay in Paris had lasted for nearly a month, was indulging in the whims of his curious mood. One day, when it was expected that he would be able to submit to him the state of affairs, fancy made him see the procession of Corpus Christi leave Notre-Dame. It was necessary that Tessé, leaving the negotiations there, should run to Les Enfans-Trouvés, whose balconies were opposite the church, and beg the sisters to whom these balconies belonged to decorate them as best they could with some carpets for the Czar there was properly . "Besides," he added, "I do not know where the Tsar will dine, or whether he will return to Versailles." I have no news of the Duc d'Antin. With all these moves he did not there is a man whose head does not turn. "

The head turned to him still more, when he learned that the Tsar, whom he was to accompany everywhere, had gone out without telling him of the Hotel de Lesdiguieres, and had thrown himself into a cab without saying where he was going. Sometimes he did the same with the carriage of the women who had gone down to his door to see him go out. Thus one day he went up to be driven to Boulogne, in the carriage of the Marechale de Matignon, who was very much surprised to find himself on foot. On those days, Tessé looked for him scared all over the city, unable to join him. For to evade curiosity, he used to wear a very simple costume that Buvat describes in his diary. "The Tsar was very simply dressed in a rather coarse gray bouracan, all black, with a gray woolen jacket whose buttons were diamonds, no tie and no cuffs, no lace on the wrists of his shirt, having a brown Spanish wig, whose back he had cut off, which had seemed too long and without being powdered. Duclos, in his Memoirs Secrets , relates that "he had ordered a wig, and that the wigmaker did not doubt that he had to wear one in the fashion, which was then to wear them long and furnished. But the Czar made him scissor all around to reduce it to the shape of the one that he wore. "

As simple as his fit was, he almost always came to be recognized, with a certain air of natural majesty, and the crowd that clung to his footsteps often annoyed him. It was with reputable workmen whom he preferred to drive, and he liked to see them work. Duclos adds: "Things of pure taste and pleasure touched him little; but all that had an object of utility, relating to the navy, the commerce, the necessary arts, excited his curiosity, fixed his attention, and made the sagacity of an extended, just mind, and also quick to learn know to know. "

Indeed, they wanted to make him admire the collection of jewels of the Louvre, but he confessed that he knew little about it. On the other hand, he took a lot of interest in seeing Bercy the physics firm of Pajot d'Ons-en-Bray, the director of the post office. A Carmel then famous for his discoveries, Father Sebastian, made him admire several of his machines. He was careful to visit all the learned bodies as well. At the Sorbonne he embraced the bust of Richelieu and pronounced these words which for him seem well theatrical [22]"I would give half of my empire to a man like you to teach me to govern the other. At the French Academy, as he had neglected to warn of his visit, he found only two academicians who did him the honors of the Chamber. At the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres he took a great interest in the Metallic History of Louis XIV . At the Academy of Sciences, his reception was quite solemn. "He wanted to take a seat there, say the Memoirs of the Regency , and he allowed the Company to sit down to consider the order of the Academy and the rank of the academicians. He was honored with several new machines, and took great interest in all that was shown him. He was also very pleased with La Monnaie, where the Director had a gold medal presented to him before him. On one side was engraved his portrait and on the other this inscription: Vires acquirit eundo . He also made many visits to the Observatory, or, on the contrary, he brought soap to the Hotel de Lesdiguieres to converse with them, especially geographers, and gave them the information necessary to correct the errors. Mistakes they had made in drawing the map of his vast empire still poorly known.

These new paces of a sovereign had astonished the Parisians. They ended by pleasing them and he had acquired a real popularity. However, the women of the Court sulked a little. It was because he had done little for them. "He is not very gallant," wrote the Marquis de Louville, which does not put women in his interest. A question of etiquette had prevented him from making the first visit to the princesses of the blood. Some, however, did not hold, and had him complimented by a gentleman. To those only he consented to visit. Thus had Madame, the Regent's mother, who, proud to have received him, called her "my hero the Czar". But a little big, and red, on top of it, Madame, in spite of all her wit, was not made to give him a good idea of the French graces. No lady of the Court was regularly presented to her. It was not that he would not be kind to the occasion when he wanted to. Thus, visiting the Invalides with Marshal Villars, he knew that the Marechale was there in voyeuras we said then. He made her come near him and told him obliging words. Dying at Bellevue at the Duc de Tresmes's, he learned that his daughter, the Countess of Bethune, was there, a voyeur too. He immediately made her beg to sit down with him, and showered her with politeness. But when curiosity attracted women in crowds on his way, he affected to ignore their presence. Thus he did at Petit-Bourg, at the Duc d'Antin's, where he went to dine, and where the Duchesse de Bourbon, together with a certain number of ladies of the Court, had gone to see him. He found them all in a gallery. But he contented himself with greeting them with a simple inclination of his head, and did not name any.

The Czar's stay in Petit-Bourg was marked by an episode in which the good grace of the Duke of Antin, the perfect courtier, shone. Obsequiousness to force to Louis XIV, had managed to be forgiven by him to be the only legitimate son of Montespan. The Tsar was tenderly attached to the Tsarina Catherine, his second wife. For a moment, his stay in Paris was prolonged, he had thought to make her come. But the question of the incognito which he wished to keep had made him renounce this design, and he had told him to wait for him at the waters of Spa. D'Antin knew that, and, wishing to make himself agreeable to the Tsar, he had found means of procuring a portrait of the Tsarine. The first thing Peter the Great saw on entering the dining-room was this portrait, beneath which Antin had engraved some verses. "This gallantry pleased him so much," said Duclos, that he exclaimed that only the French were capable of it. Despite all our research, we were unable to find the verses composed by the Duke of Antin for the Tsarine.

But there were a woman testified that Peter the Great curiosity to see although she eighty-two years: it was M me Maintenon. According to Saint-Simon, the visit he made to Saint-Cyr is told everywhere. This story is not entirely accurate. It is not true that, without greeting her, he has limited himself to removing the curtains from his bed, and that after looking at it he has gone away without a word. Apparently M me Maintenon had to know how things had gone. Here is how she tells the story herself "The Czar arrived at seven o'clock in the evening. He sat at the foot of my bed. He asked me if I was sick. I answered yes. He made me ask what it was my pain. I replied: A great old age. He did not know what to say to me, and his interpreter did not seem to hear me; his visit was very short. He is still in the house, but I do not know where. He opened the foot of my bed to see me. You think he will not have been satisfied with it. "
Peter the Great visited Saint-Cyr in great detail. "He had himself shown," says the Mercure de France , "the five classes and all the ladies, each in their place. "Meanwhile the lords of his suite, he had left at Versailles, had brought other young ladies they did sleep precisely in the apartment M me Maintenon, this temple of prudery, says St. Simon. Blouin, Louis XIV's former valet de chambre, who had formerly replaced the officious Bon Temps, and who had remained governor of Versailles, was very scandalized.
IV

However, the Tsar's stay was coming to an end. It was necessary for the negotiation to end one way or the other. But she always stayed at the same point. "The patience of Job would be necessary truth, sir, wrote Tesse. We worked until two o'clock in the afternoon and backed down as we thought we were moving forward, or maybe we are moving forward in proportion to what we want to go back. The difficulty was always the same, Russia, and especially Prussia, refusing diversion and wanting to engage only at the conjunction, as England and Holland had undertaken by a treaty article. From the Hague: "I understand well," added Tessé, "the embarrassment in which you put the details of this article, but I hardly see any emplastre. "

D'Huxelles was also beginning to doubt his success, and he wrote to Tessé : "If you see very clearly that we cannot reconcile ourselves now, it would be good if it appeared that the difficulty would come only from The uncertainty of how far the King of Prussia would like to go for the execution of the guarantee, because in this case we would have an opening to bring the Czar to the point of actually making a treaty of friendship, while waiting for closer connections. "

Kniphausen, who was the main author of the difficulty, but who at the same time wanted to blame it, said on his side to Tessé, walking with him, after one of their numerous conferences, in the garden. from the Hotel de Lesdiguieres: "The Czar will never pass the article of the diversion that you ask for at the place of succor. I do not know if my master would pass it either. Ainsy I have reason to believe that our entire treaty will not be made. "

A few days later, in the same garden, between Tessé on one side, the Tsar and his ministers on the other, a last conference which ended to remove all hope of success. In what expressive terms Tessé gives an account of the personal intervention of the Tsar [27] : "Our Czar arrived yesterday evening. Sir, very happy with his journey, but as soon as he arrived, he made a tour of the garden and assembled his ministers. Changed and I saw him gesticulate and, walking alone, dreaming leaning on his fist, and working on the sand like a restless man. His ministers called me, and told me the grief of their Master, to feel that with a determined determination to unite with France he could not succeed; that with all his heart he would like to be in the state to engage himself in a diversion in the event of necessary war against the Emperor, but that he could not do it without the King of Prussia whose envoy, even though he possessed powers he had not heard from his Master on the article of the diversion, and that without the said Roy of Prussia he could neither act nor promise anything positive. "

From the moment that the Czar, in spite of the passionate desire to unite himself with France that Saint-Simon lent him, did not want to engage without Prussia, the negotiation could only fail. It must be admitted that it was difficult for Russia to abandon its ally, and D'Huxelles himself agreed: "We cannot help but agree," he wrote to Tessé with the Czar and his ministers, that the engagement of this prince to diversion in case of war would be impossible in execution without the assistance of the King of Prussia. The Czar's difficulty in actually promising what he sees he could not do is a mark of the good faith of this prince and of the fidelity he wishes to observe in his engagements. So he returned to the idea, already issued by him, of signing a "treaty of good friendship and correspondence" without any mention of subsidies, conjunction or diversion, all questions which should be subsequently settled. But it was too late. The Tsar touched his departure. On the 16th of June he was sent to the Champs-Elysees to inspect the regiments of the guards, the men-at-arms, light horses and musketeers. Excited by the heat, the dust, the large number of coaches and people on foot hurrying to see him one last time before he left, he hardly looked at the troops. Leaving the review, he went to visit the works of the revolving bridge of the Tuileries, and, adds Buvat in his journal, "shut himself up in a box of Switzerland with the Duke of Orleans, where they remained about in conference half an hour with the interpreter of the Czar who was a nation Englishman. He shut himself up in a Swiss lodge with the Duke of Orleans, where they stayed for about half an hour with the interpreter of the Czar, who was an Englishman of the nation. He shut himself up in a Swiss lodge with the Duke of Orleans, where they stayed for about half an hour with the interpreter of the Czar, who was an Englishman of the nation. "

In this last conference was it a question of the negotiation which had just failed, and were we looking for some means of reconnecting it? This is possible, but it is only a guess. On the 20th of June, the Tsar left for Spa, where the Czarina waited for him. In truth he left behind Kourakin and Schafiroff to discuss a "treaty of good friendship and correspondence" in seven articles which D'Hussles had precipitously drafted. But there was nothing left to do. The negotiators were embittered against each other, as are often people who have disputed too long. Schafiroff complained, without much reason, that France had varied in her proposals, and her close understanding with Kniphausen seemed even suspicious to Tessé. Kniphausen was also in a bad mood of the responsibility that was claimed to weigh on him. So he was more recalcitrant than ever. When, on the 20th of June, Tessé came to his house to submit to him this treaty of correspondence and good friendship, on the text of which he was almost in agreement with Schafiroff, Kniphausen declared "that no treaty had ever been signed, whatever nature it may be, ny with some powers that one may have, without having first shown it to one's Master, and that he would not sign the articles either ostensible or secret, without having given part in his, and sent them to him. Tessé, returning to see Schafiroff, who was to wait for him, found him out. He understood that the two negotiators were shirking, and he wrote a short letter to D'Hussels to give him good evening and to inform him that he was returning to his Camaldolese cottage, which he had been declaring for some time. Already, have there turned to his Camaldolese cottage, which he had declared for some time returned to his Camaldolese cottage, which he had declared for some time Heimweh .

Thus ended, without any apparent success, this negotiation, the very fact of which is well known, but the details of which have never been recounted, and the whole of which was not very fairly appreciated, according to us, at least by historians who have mentioned it. The Prussian role, however, has escaped them, but they have adopted a little too easily the version of Saint-Simon who, bewildered by his hatred against Cardinal Dubois, attributes to the fatal charms of England and foolish contempt that France would have made Russia the failure of the negotiation .The fatal charms of England were there, as we have seen, for nothing. Undoubtedly the Regent was very justly preoccupied not to shame England, nor to interfere with the most recent stipulations of the Hague, stipulations which, moreover, had been communicated to the Tsar. He even had in the proposed alliance in deliberation inserted this clause "that the present treaty could not bring any prejudice to the treaty of the Hague". But this natural reserve had been accepted by Russia and Prussia, who also reserved their external alliances.

Nor is it true that France has shown a foolish contempt of Russia. On the contrary, the negotiations had been pushed as far as possible and had failed only on a serious difficulty. The truth is that the times were not ripe for an alliance as close as Peter the Great would have liked. The state of Europe was too uncertain, communications between the two countries still too difficult. But efforts made with much good faith on both sides were not lost. Negotiations were resumed a few months later, not, it is true, in Paris, but in Holland, and the last draft treaty, hastily drafted by the Marshal of Brussels, became, on August 19, 1717, the Treaty of Amsterdam, first diplomatic instrument at the bottom of which France and Russia have signed.

Peter the Great's stay in Paris had an even more decisive result. If France, to use Saint-Simon's expression, remained charmed with him, he was also charmed by France. He was delighted at the reception he had received, the respect and sympathy with which he had felt himself surrounded. From that day, the two countries ceased to be strangers to each other. Not only regular diplomatic relations were established by sending characterized ministers as they said then, but the Russians began a future in great numbers in Paris; the French learned the way to St. Petersburg; and from this just-celebrated journey, the sentiments of instinctive friendship between the two peoples, which, sometimes traversed by the errors of politics, misunderstood by the dreams of ambition, are none the less reborn, every time that circumstances become favorable, with the indestructible vitality of natural sympathies and permanent interests.

HAUSSONVILLE.

 


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