The Daughter of an Empress eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 430 pages of information about The Daughter of an Empress.
pitied them, the ambassadors of the great European powers alone remained insensible to their lamentations.  No one of them opened the doors of their palaces to them, no one afforded them protection or consolation; and although it was known that cardinal Bernis, in spite of the horror which had for years been felt of this order in France, was personally favorable to them, and had long delayed the consent of the court of France to their abolition, yet even Bernis now avoided any manifestation of kindness for them, lest his former friend, the Spanish ambassador, might think he so far humiliated himself as to favor the Jesuits for the sake of recovering the friendship and good opinion of the Duke of Grimaldi.  But Grimaldi himself now no longer dared to protect the Jesuits, however friendly he might be to them, and however much they were favored by Elizabeth Farnese, the Spanish queen-mother.  King Charles, her son, had finally ventured to defy her authority, and in an autograph letter had commanded the Duke of Grimaldi to receive no more Jesuits in his palace.  And while, as we have said, the whole diplomacy had declared against the order of the holy fathers of Jesus, it must have been the more striking that this Russian Count Orloff had compassion upon them, and lent a willing ear to the complaints of the unfortunate members of the order.

This Russian count gave the good Romans much material for reflection and head-shaking; the women were occupied with his herculean beauty, and the men with his wild, daring, and reckless conduct.  They called him a barbarian, a Russian bear, but could not help being interested in him, and eagerly repeating the little anecdotes freely circulated respecting him.

They smilingly told that he had been the first who had had the courage to defy the powerful republic of Venice, which, for recruiting sailors for his fleet in their territories for the war against the Turks, wished to banish him from proud and beautiful Venice.  But Alexis Orloff had laughed at the senate of the republic when they sent him the order to leave.  He had ordered the two hundred soldiers, who formed his retinue, to arm themselves, and, if necessary, to repel force with force; but to the senate he had answered that he would leave the city as soon as he pleased, not before!  But, as it seemed that he was not pleased to leave the city, he remained there, and now the angry and indignant senate sent him the peremptory command to leave Venice with his soldiers in twenty-four hours.  A deputation of the senate came in solemn procession to communicate to the Russian count this command of the Council of Three.  Alexis Orloff received them, lying upon his divan, and to their solemn address he laughingly answered:  “I receive commands from no one but my empress!  It remains as before, that I shall go when I please, and not earlier!”

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The Daughter of an Empress from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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