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had sent off many of his subjects to study
the trade, he resolved to go himself. With-
out ascribing to this journey all the impor-
tance which Macaulay did when he said,
"His journey is an epoch in the history, not
only of his own country, but of ours, and of
die world," we must admit that it was a re-
markable event, and one fraught with much
consequence. Since the exiled Izyasl&v vis-
ited the court of the Emperor Henry IV., at
Mayence, in 1075, no Russian ruler had ever
been out of his dominions. Peter's journey
marks the division between the old Russia, an
aclusive, litde known country, and the new
Russia, an important factor in European
politics. It was also one of the turning
points in the development of his char-
acter, and was the continuation of the edu-
cation be^n in the German suburb. In
one way, it may be said that Peter's appear-
ance in the German suburb was really more
startling, and of more importance, than his
journey westward, for that joume]^ was the
natural consequence and culmination of
his intercourse with foreigners at Moscow.

This sudden and mysterious journey of
the Tsar abroad exercised the minds of
Peter's contemporaries no less than it has
those of modems. Many were the reasons
which were ascribed then, and have been
given since, for this step. There was even
Vol. XXI.— I.



a dispute among the students of the Uni-
versity of Thorn as to the reasons which
had induced the Tsar to travel. Pleyer,
the secret Austrian agent, wrote to the
Emperor Leopold that the whole embassy
was " merely a cloak for the freedom sought
by the Tsar, to get out of his own country
and divert himself a little." Another docu-
ment in the archives at Vienna finds the
cause of the journey in a vow made by
Peter, when in danger on the White Sea,
to make a pilgrimage to the tombs of the
Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, at Rome.
According to Voltaire, " He resolved to ab-
sent himself for. some years from his domin-
ions, in order to learn how better to govern
them." Napoleon said: " He left his coun-
try to deliver himself for a while from the
crown, so as to learn ordinary life, and to
remount by degrees to greatness." But
every authentic source gives us but one
reason, and the same. Peter went abroad,
not to fulfill a vow, not to amuse himself,
not to become more civilized, not to learn
the art of government, but simply to become
a good shipwright. His mind was filled
with the idea of creating a navy on the
Black Sea for use against the Turks, and
his tastes were still, as they had always been,
purely mechanical. For this purpose, as
he himself says, as his prolonged residence
in Holland shows, he desired to have an
opportunity of studying the art of ship-
building in those places where it was carried
to. the highest perfection, that is, in Holland,
England and Venice.

In order to give the Tsar greater freedom
of action, and to save him from too much
formality and ceremony, which he exceed-

[Copyright, 1880, by Scribner & Co. All rights rvterved.]

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PETER THE GREAT AS RULER AND REFORMER,



tor of the Sagan family), which lies in the
coffin attired in velvet and ruffles, but by
some mahce lacking the tip of the nose. In
1697 Mitau was the capital of the little Duchy
of Curland, which maintained a semi-inde-
pendence by becoming a fief of the Polish
crown. The reigning Duke, Frederic Casi-
mir, was an old fnend of Lefort. It was with
him that Lefort had served in Holland. Al-
though he was poor, he did everything that
he could to make the time pass pleasantly for
Peter and for the embassy. Here the Tsar
consented to give up in part his incognito,
made visits to the Duke, and received them
in return. A week was quickly passed in
amusement and pleasure, but even with this
Peter found time to exercise himself in a car-
penter's shop.

From ,^bt§Lu Peter proceeded to Libau,
where he was detained by bad weatBSlor
a week, when he finally took passage on a
small ship going to Pillau, the port of
Konigsberg. During his stay at Libau, he
passed for the skipper of a Russian privateer,
dwugh he was able to give no satisfactory
explanation to an acquaintance who fi-e-
qoently met and drank with him in a smal^
beer-shop as to why it was a privateer, and
not a merchant vessel, that he commanded.
Besides the beer-house, Peter often visited
an apothecary's shop, and wrote to Vinius
that he had seen there " a wonder which
was ordinarily considered untrue, a real
salamander preserved in spirits in a bottle,"
which he had taken out and held in his
hand. The embassy proceeded by land.
The Tsar went by sea, to avoid passing
through Polish territory.

filomberg, whom I have already cited
about the election of Patriarch, met the
embassy in Curiand, and says of their en-
tertainment: "Open tables were kept
everywhere, with trumpets and music, at-
temkd with feasting and excessive drinking
all along, as if his Tsarish Majesty had been
another Bacchus. I have not seen such
hard drinkers ; it is not possible to express
it, and they boast of it as a mighty qualifica-
tion." Ot Lefort's drinking he remarks:
"It never overcomes him, but he always
continues master of his reason." Leibnitz,
writing fix)m private information received
firom Konigsberg, says much the same thing :
** Lefort drinks like a hero ; no one can rival
him. It is feared that he will be the death
of some of the Elector's courtiers. Begin-
ning in the evening, he does not leave his
pipe and glass till three hours after sunrise,
and yet he is a man of great parts."



Frederick III., Elector of Brandenburg,
then on the eve of transforming himself into
the first King of Prussia, was greatly inter-
ested to know whether the Tsar was really
among the embassy, and beside sending a
secret agent into Curiand to find out, he
gave dh-ections about the treatment of the
embassy, in case it were simply intending
to pass through his dominions, or in case
it were directed also to him. Peter
was therefore met at Pillau by an officer
who proffered the hospitality of the Elec-
tor, but an answer was returned that there
was no person of distinction on board,
except the Prince of Imeritta, and that no
visits could be received. A similar occur-
rence took place at the mouth of the Pregel,
and it was not until Peter arrived at Konigs-
berg itself that he was willing to allow
himself to be known to the Elector. After
taking small lodgings in a street on the
Kneiphof, he went out in a close carriage,
late at night, and paid a visit to the Elector,
entering the palace by a private staircase.
The interview lasted for an hour and a half,
and the sovereigns were mutually pleased.
Although, in order to keep his incognito,
Peter refused to receive a return visit, yet
he saw the Elector several times again, and
was entertained by him at his country house,
witnessed a bear fight, and appeared at a
hunting party. His curiosity and vivacity, his
readiness to be pleased, and his appreciation
of the manners and habits of the country,
made a favorable impression. He astonished
by his natural capacity and his dexterity,
even in playing the trumpet and the drum.

The embassy arrived eleven days after
Peter, and was splendidly received. Great
advantages were expected to Brandenburg
from an intimacy with Russia, and the
economical Elector, on this occasion, spared
no money. Peter's visit is said to have cost
him 150,000 thalers. Under the skillful
guidance of Lefort and Von Besser, all
ceremonial observances were strictly com-
plied with, and, for the first time in the
history of Russian missions abroad, there
was no unseemly wrangling over points of
precedence and etiquette. The members
of the embassy appeared officially in Russian
costume, though they wore foreign dress in
private. The Elector told the Tsar after-
ward that he had hard work to keep from
laughing, when, according to custom, he
had to ask the embassadors how the Tsar
was, and whether they had left him in good
health. Peter had just before been stand-
ing at the window to see the entry of the



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PETER THE GREAT AS RULER AND REFORMER.



IS



Calf across the dyke, from the Binnenzaan
to the Voizaan, by means of rollers and
capstans, an interesting and critical opera-
tion. Peter, who was greatly interested, had
promised to come, and a place had been
set apart for him. The news of his expected
presence having spread, the crowd was so
enormous that the guards were driven back,
the palisade broken down, and the reserved
place encroached upon. Seeing the crowd,
Peter refused to leave his house, and al-
though the Schout, the Burgomasters, and
the other authorities came in person to him,
they got nothing more than ^^Straks^ straks "
(immediately), and finally, when he had
stuck his head out of the door and seen the
crowd, a blunt refusal: "72r ved volks^ te
vtd volks " (too many people). Sunday, it
seemed as if all Amsterdam had come for a
sight of him, and Peter, as a last resource,
managed to get to his yacht, and although
a severe storm was blowing, and every one
advised him not to nsk it, he sailed off, and
three hours later arrived at Amsterdam,
where his embassadors were to have a
fiormal reception the next day. With
some difficulty he made his way to the
Oude tijds Heeren logement, where they
were living.

After the embassadors had been received,
Peter, in company with them, visited the
town hall (now the Royal Palace), consid-
ered by all good burghers of Amsterdam as
tckif-d'oeuvre of architecture, inspected the
docb and the admiralty, went to a special
representation of a comedy and ballet, took
put in a great dinner, and saw a splendid
dbplay of fire- works on the Amstel, and, what
interested him most of all, witnessed a grand
oaval sham-fight on the Y, which lasted for
a whole day, under the direction of the
>i«-Admiral Giles Scheij.

The house in which Peter lived at Zaan-
dam has been a place of pilgrimage for a
century, beginning with a royal party, which
indoded Joseph II., Emperor of Germany,
Gostavus III., Adolphus, King of Sweden,
and the Grand Duke of Russia (afterward
the Emperor Paul), then traveling as the
Comte du Nord. Even Napoleon went
there. Bought in 1818 by a Russian prin-
cess, at that time Queen of Holland, it is
now preserved with greatest care inside a
new building. In itself it is no more worth
visiting than any other house where Peter
may l^ve been forced to spend a week. It
is only of interest as being the spot where
the ruler of a great country sought to gain
knowledge of an art which he thought would



be beneficial to his people. His real life
as a workman was all m Amsterdam.

During the fetes^ Peter asked the Burgo-
master Witsen, whose personal acquaintance
he had at last made, whether it would not be
possible for him to work at the docks of the
East India Company, where he could be
free firom the public curiosity which so
troubled him at 2^aandam. The next day,
at a meeting of the directors of the East
India Company, it was resolved to allow
" a high personage, present here incognito,"
to Work at the wharf, to assign him a house
in which he could live undisturbed within
the precincts, and that, as a mark of their
respect, they would proceed to the construc-
tion of a frigate, in order that he might see
the building of a ship from the beginning.
This frigate was to be one hundred or one
hundred and thirty feet long, according to
the wish of the Tsar, though the Company
preferred the length of one hundred feet
The Tsar was at the dinner of state given
to the embassy by the city of Amsterdam,
when he received a copy of this resolution.
He wished to set to work immediately, and
was with difficulty persuaded to wait for the
fire-works and the triumphal arch prepared
in his honor ; but as soon as the last fires
had burnt out, in spite of all entreaties, he
set out on his yacht for Zaandam to fetch
his tools. He returned early the next morn-
ing, the 30th of August, to Amsterdam, and
went straight to the wharf of the East India
Company, at Oostenbiurg.

For more than four months, with occa-
sional absences, he worked here at ship-build-
ing, under the direction of the Baas Gerrit
Claes Pool. Ten of the Russian " volun-
teers " set to work at the wharf with him.
The rest were sent to other establishments
to learn the construction of masts, boats,
sails and blocks, while Prince Alexander
of Imeritia went to the Hague to study ar-
tillery, and a certain niunber of others were
entered as sailors before the mast. The first
three weeks were taken up with the prepara-
tions of materials. The 19th of September,
Peter laid the keel of the new frigate, one
hundred feet in length, to be called " The
Apostles Peter and Paul," and on the next
day wrote to the Patriarch at Moscow, as
follows :

"We are in the Netherlands, in the town of
Amsterdam, and by the mercy of God, and by your
prayers, are alive and in good health, and, following
the divine command given to our forefather Adam, we
are hard at work. What we do is not from any need,
but for the sake of learning navigation, so that, having



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PETER THE GREAT AS RULER AND REFORMER.



23



he saw comforts and conveniences which he
thought it would be well to introduce among
his people, but he paid little or no attention
to anything concerning the art of govern-
ment, or to real civil and administrative
reforms.

The stay of Peter in Holland and in
England gave rise to numberless anecdotes.
The stories of Dutch carpenters who had
assisted him in Russia, the tales told by the
English captain of his familiarity at Arch-
an^ of his bathing with thefn in public,
and of his drinking bouts and familiar con-
versation, had, in a measure, prepared the
public mind, and the spectacle of the ruler
of a great country who went about in
sailor's clothing, and devoted himself to
learning ship-building, rendered it possible
and easy to invent Many of these anec-
dotes are, in all probability, imtrue. They
are of the same class of stories as are told
now of any remarkable individual — ^the
Shah, the Sultan, the Khedive — on his trav-
els. Sometimes there may be a basis of
tru^ but it has been distorted in the
tdling.

After the interview with King William,
Pder delayed still three days, which were
doefly taken up with visiting the Mint, for
be had been struck with the excellence of
the En^h coinage, and had already ideas
of recoming the Russian money. On the
id of May, he left Deptford in the yacht,
the Ttansport Royaly given to him bjr King
WflKam, but even then could not resist run-
niag up to Chatham to see the docks there,
ad arrived at Amsterdam on the 19th.*

Twice the embassy at Amsterdam had
been in great distress about Peter, for after
his departure for London the storms were
so great and the colds so intense, that it was
tiuce weeks before any news was received
from him. Again, from the i8th of February
to the 2 ist of March, no letters arrived in
Amsterdam. People in Moscow were still
more troubled, and Vinius showed his con-
sternation by writing to Lefort, instead of to

*Tbc Transport Royal was sent to Archangel
voder the command of Captain Ripley, and took
t part of the coUecdons of curiosities and military
stent which Peter had collected in Holland. By
tiie Tiar*s order, Franr Timmermann met it there,
to take it to VokSgda, and thence partly overland to
Ytroiliv. It was intended afterward to convey it
to the Sea of Axof^ as soon as the canal between the
V^ and the Don should 1|e finished, but as the
y»cnl drew nearly eight feet of water, Timmermann
<»dd not get it further than Holmog5ry, and it
*wit hadL to Archangel, where it remained ever
ifter.



Peter, to ask what the matter was. Peter
replied on the 23d of May, blaming his friend
very severely for being so troubled by a
miscarriage of the post, and adding fuel to
the flame at Moscow when he ought to
have been more courageous and not to have
doubted. Lefort had written sometimes
several letters by every post, taken up with
longing for his return, with inquiries about
his health, with talk of the necessity of going
to Vienna, and of his personal desire to
visit Geneva, and beggipg him to send
something fit to drink.

On arriving at Amsterdam, Peter found
several relatives of Lefort who had come
from Geneva for the purpose of seeing him.
They had already been sumptuously enter-
tained by the embassy, and now had the
pleasure of being presented to the Tsar, and
being amicably received by him. The ac-
counts which they give in their letters home
of the position of their uncle, and the cere-
mony which everywhere attended him,
show the rank which he held above the
other embassadors, as being the firieod and
favorite of Peter. With regard to the Tsar
himself, Jacob Lefort writes :

" You know that he is a prince of very great stat-
ure, but diere is one circumstance which is unpleas-
ant, — ^he has convulsions, sometimes in his eyes,
sometimes in his arms, and sometimes in his whole
body. He at times turns his eyes so that one can
see nothing but the whites. I do not know whence
it arises, but we must believe that it is a lack of
eood-breeding. Then he has also movements in
Uie legs, so that he can scarcely keep in one place.
He is very well made, and goes about dressed as a
sailor, in the highest degree simple, and wishing
nothing else than to be on the water."

There was every reason now to hasten
Peter's departure. Troubles at Moscow
with some Streltsi who had run away from
the army, troubles in Poland, whe^p the
Polish magnates were not as well disposed
toward Russia as was the King himself,
troubles at Vienna, — for it was reported to
him that the Austrians were intending to
make^ a peace with the Turks, without the
slightest regard for the interests of either
Poland or Russia, — 2^ rendered him uneasy.
In addition to this, he was both surprised
and astonished to learn that King William
had accepted a proposition made to him to
act as mediator between Austria and Turkey,
and that the States-General of Holland was
to take part with him. The troubles at
Moscow he believed to be over; at all
events, they seemed no more serious than
the troubles which arose in Moscow on the
eve of his departure, but he felt it necessary



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PETER THE GREAT AS Rt/LER AND REFORMER,



25



In Vienna, all the difficulties of ceremonial
and etiquette were renewed. The Holy
Roman Empire, as the only empire in the
world, and as the lineal descendant of the
old Empire of Rome, claimed for its sover-
cien a suDerior rank to other monarchs, and



dorf, — for Peter had particularly requested
that his quarters should be in the suburbs,
and not in the middle of the town. The
Russians were little pleased at the manner
of their reception, and even the Papal



TKIMITV COUnCN, TIXMNA.



the Prater insisting on marching all his
troops across the route selected, it was night
before the embassadors could take up their
lodging in the villa of Count Konigsacker,
on ^e bank of the river Vienna at Humpen-



ade, called a Wirthschafty in which all the
society of Vienna, and many foreign princes
sojourning there, took part, dressed in the
costumes of different countries. Peter
appeared as a Frisian peasant, and his part-
ner, who was assigned to him by lot, and
was dressed in the same costume, was the



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PETER THE GREAT AS RULER AND REFORMER,



27



he agreed to present his demands in writ-
ing, which were simply that, in addition to
the places he already occupied, there should
be ceded to him the fortress of Kertch, in
order that he might have a port on the
Black Sea, and thus keep the Tartars in
order; that if this condition were not agreed
to, the Emperor should not make peace, but
continue the war until a more advantageous
treaty, or until 1701, by which time he
hoped to have gained great advantages
over the Turks. The reply which Leopold
sent to Peter was that, while he found the
demand for the cession of Kertch to be a
just one, he saw a great difficulty in the
way, ** for the Turics are not accustomed to
give up their fortresses without a fight, and
Cfcn what has been extorted from them by
anns, they tried in every way to get back."
He therefore urged Peter to use his efforts
to get possession of Kertch before the treaty
should be made, and to send a representa-
tive to the congress, and promised again
diat he would sign no peace without his
consent Peter was so satisfied with this
that he was on the point of starting for
Venice, and even had ideas of continuing
Ids journey into Italy, and perhaps visiting
Fiance before his return.

Passports were obtained, and part of his
small suite had already started for Venice,
where great preparations were made for his
reception, when suddenly r. letter was re-
ceived from Ramodan6fsky, announcing
that the Strdtsi regiments on the firontier
had revolted and had marched on Moscow,
but that Sh6in and Gordon had been sent
to put them down. Nothing was said of
the cause of the revolt, or of the intentions
of the Strdtsi. The letter had been on its
way for a whole month, and the Tsar was
stffl in ignorance as to whether the revolt had
been put down, or whether the rioters were
in possession of Moscow, and his sister
Sophia ruling in his place. Nevertheless,
he dedded to start at once, and, to the
astonishment of the Austrians, who knew
nothing of this news, his post-horses took
the road for Moscow, and not for Venice.
Before he went, he wrote to Ramodan6(sky :

" I hare received your letter of the 27th of June,
in whkh voar erace writes that the seed of Ivdn
Mikhai£lo'%ntch (MilosUvsky) is sprouting. I beg
yoa to be severe ; in no other way is it possible to put
OQt this fl&me. Althoaeh we are very sorry to give
BD oor present profitable business, yet, for the sake
01 this, we will oe with you sooner than you think."

Peter traveled day and night, and refused
even to stop in Cracow, where a banquet



had been prepared for him. Immediately
afterward, he received quieting intelligence
that the insurrection had been put down,
and the ringleaders punished. He was
therefore able to travel more leisurely,
looked carefully at the great salt-mines of
Wieliczka and at Bochnia, and inspected
the Polish army which was encamped there.
At Rava, a small village of Galicia, he met
King Augustus on the 9th of August, and
was his guest for four days.

Peter had expected to pass by the way
of Warsaw, and it was with great surprise
that the King received a courier announcing
the Tsar*s visit for the same day. Arrange-
ments were at once made, and " the Kmg
waited in vain for him all night, for he did
not arrive until the next morning at dinner
time. As he desired, he was conducted to
his lodging without formality or ceremony,
and shortly after was visited by the King.
The tenderness and mutual embraces, the
kisses, and the expressions of love and es-
teem which they gave each other, are
scarcely credible. The Tsar, knowing well '
the esteem of the King, was carried away
by sympathy, and immediately struck up
with him a more than fraternal friendship,
never ceasing to embrace and kiss him,
and telling him that he had come almost
alone, with very few followers, to put him-
self into his hands, and confide his life to
him, being ready, however, to serve him in
need with a hundred thousand men or
more." Augustus and Peter dined and
supped together, and the two following days
were taken up with amusements, with re-
views of troops, and sham fights, which
greatly pleased the Tsar, and with political
talk. The Jesuit Votta, who was introduced
to the Tsar by the King himself, argued in
favor of maintaining the Polish alliance, and
continuing the war against Turkey. Peter,
after saying that he thought the Russians,
Poles and Saxons were sufficient, and that



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