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!”