“As to the Emperor of Russia, he is a man infinitely superior to Frederic William or Francis. He possesses wit, grace, information, and is fascinating, but he is not to be trusted. He is devoid of candor, a true Greek of the Lower Empire. At the same time he is not without ideology, real or assumed; after all it may only be a smattering, derived from his education and his preceptor. Would you believe what I had to discuss with him? He maintained that inheritance was an abuse in monarchy, and I had to spend more than an hour, and employ all my eloquence and logic in proving to him that this right constituted the peace and happiness of the people. It may be too that he was mystifying, for he is cunning, false, adroit and hypocritical. I repeat it, he is a Greek of the Lower Empire.
“If I die here he will be my real heir in Europe. I alone was able to stop him with his deluge of Tartars. The crisis is great, and will have lasting effects upon the continent of Europe, especially upon Constantinople. He was solicitous with me for the possession of it. I have had much coaxing upon this subject, but I constantly turned a deaf ear to it. The Turkish empire, shattered as it appeared, would constantly have remained a point of separation between us. It was the marsh which prevented my right from being turned.
“As to Greece it is another matter. Greece awaits a liberator. There will be a brilliant crown of glory. He will inscribe his name for ever with those of Homer, Plato and Epaminondas. I perhaps was not far from it. When, during my campaign in Italy, I arrived on the shores of the Adriatic, I wrote to the Directory, that I had before my eyes the kingdom of Alexander. Still later I entered into engagements with Ali Pacha; and when Corfu was taken, they must have found there ammunition, and a complete equipment for an army of forty or fifty thousand men. I had caused maps to be made of Macedonia, Servia, Albania. Greece, the Peloponnesus at least, must be the lot of the European power which shall possess Egypt. It should be ours; and then an independent kingdom in the north, Constantinople, with its provinces, to serve as a barrier to the power of Russia, as they have pretended to do with respect to France, by creating the kingdom of Belgium.”
From 1825 to 1855.
Abdication of Constantine.—Accession of Nicholas.—Insurrection Quelled.—Nicholas and the Conspirator.—Anecdote.—The Palace of Peterhoff.—The Winter Palace.—Presentation at Court.—Magnitude of Russia.—Description of the Hellespont and the Dardanelles.—The Turkish Invasion.—Aims of Russia.—Views of England and France.—Wars of Nicholas.—The Polish Insurrection.—War of the Crimea.—Jealousies of the Leading Nations.—Encroachments.—Death of Nicholas.—Accession of Alexander II.