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Full text of "Memoirs of John Quincy Adams,: Comprising Portions of His Diary from 1795 to 1848"

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HARVARD 
COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 



MEMOIRS 



OF 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, 



COMPRISING PORTIONS OP 



HIS DIARY FROM 1795 TO 1848. 



EDITED BY 

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. 



VOL. II. 



PHILADELPHIA: 

J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO, 

1874. 



I 



u 



i> Si 



e 




7^^' O ) 



TOHWraTuBBBBI 

UBRARY 



JAN 2 01993 




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, ^Y 

J. B. LIPIMNCOTT & CO., 
In the OHicc of thu Librarian of Congress at Washington. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER VII. PAG> 

TiiR Mission to Russia 3 

CHAPTER VIII. 
TiiR Mediation 498 

CHAPTER IX. 
The Negotiation for Peace 603 



• • • 

111 



J 



MEMOIRS 



OP 



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 



VOL. II. — I 



MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 

Eternal Spirit ! Ruler of the skies ! 
From whom all good and perfect giAs arise, 
Oh ! grant that while this feeble hand portrays 
The fleeting image of my earthly days, 
Still the firm pur|)ose of my heart may be 
Goorl to mankind, and gratitude to thee 1 
And while the page a true resemblance bears 
Of all my changes through a life of cares, 
Let not one worthless deed here claim a place, 
To stain the future, or the past disgrace. 
Nor yet one thought the faithful record swell 
But such as virtue may delight to tell. 

Saturday^ August 5th, 1809. At noon this day I left my house, 
at the comer of Boylston and Nassau Streets, in Boston, ac- 
companied by my wife, my youngest child, Charles Francis, my 
wife's sister, Catherine Johnson, my nephew and private secre- 
tary, William Steuben Smith, Martha Godfrey, who attends my 
wife as her chambermaid, and a black man-servant named Nelson, 
to embark on a voyage to Russia, charged with a commission as 
Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to 
that Court. We went in a carriage over Charles River Bridge 
to Mr. William Gray's wharf in Charlestown, and there went on 
board his ship Horace, Captain Beckford, fitted out on a voyage 
to St. Petersburg direct. We found already on the ship Mr. 
Alexander H. Everett and Mr. Francis C. Gray, who are going 

3 



4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [August. 

with mc, as secretaries attached to the Legation, but at their 
own expense. Mr. and Mrs. Gray were also at the vessel, with 
two of their other sons. There were also a number of gentle- 
men there, who took leave of us at the wharf We left it 
precisely as the Boston and Charlestown bells were ringing one 
o'clock. Dr. Welsh and my brother went with us down the 
harbor, and some short distance without the light-house. We 
received our passage salutes at the Navy Yard in Charlestown, 
at Fort Independence on Castle Island, the garrison of which 
was paraded as we passed; from the revenue cutter Massa- 
chusetts, Captain Williams; and from the Chesapeake frigate, 
Captain Hull, which lay anchored about two miles without the 
light, and from which Captain Hull sent an officer on board 
with his compliments, and wishing us a pleasant passage. We 
returned the salutes and the compliments as well as we could. 
We had a fair wind and a tolerably fresh breeze. About four in 
the adernoon my brother and Dr. Welsh took leave of us, and 
went on board the revenue cutter, to return to Boston ; we then 
stood out, with a light breeze and fair weather, which continued 
all the evening, and had almost lost sight of the land before the 
darkness of night intercepted the shores from our view. 

At this commencement of an enterprise, perhaps the most 
important of any that I have ever in the course of my life been 
engaged in, it becomes me to close the day by imploring the 
blessing of Providence upon it — that its result may prove 
beneficial to my country, prosperous to my family and myself, 
and advantageous to all who are concerned in the voyage. 

6th. Sunday, On rising this morning we found ourselves 
out of sight of land. Weather cool and foggy. Winds light 
and rather scant — about south, with some east. All the ladies, 
Charles, and Mr. Everett, who had never before been to sea, are 
sick. Mr. Gray, who likewise is a new sailor, has not yet been 
so. Mr. Smith and I scarcely perceive that we are at sea. 

This is the fourth time in the course of my life I have 
embarked from Boston for Europe. The first was nth Feb- 
ruary,' 1778, in the Boston frigate, Captain Tucker. The second, 
14th November, 1779, in the Sensible, French frigate, Captain 

* Written from memory. It was on the 13th of February, by the ship's log-book. 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 5 

Chevagnes. The third, 17th September, 1794, in the Alfred, 
merchant ship, Captain Macey. On the first and second of these 
voyages I accompanied my father, who was going abroad upon 
public missions. On the third I went in a similar character 
myself, and was accompanied by my brother. The separation 
from my family and friends has always been painful ; but never 
to the degree which I feel it now. The age of my parents 
awakens, both in them and me, the hopes of our meeting again, 
and I now leave two of my own infant children behind. My 
father and mother are also deeply affected by my departure, 
and I received yesterday from my mother a letter which would 
have melted the heart of a Stoic. Thus ties which bind me to 
my country have multiplied with the increase of my years, and 
the difficulties and dangers of every kind, which present them- 
selves in anticipation upon this occasion, exceed those of any 
former time, excepting, however, the dangers of war, to which on 
my two first voyages I was exposed; and which do not threaten 
us now. My motives for accepting this commission are various. 
That of serving my country, in the station which its regular 
organs have chosen to assign me, stands foremost of them all ; 
and though it neither suits my own inclination nor my own 
private judgment, I deem it a duty to sacrifice them both to the 
public sense, expressed by the constitutional authority. 

13th. Head winds and fogs continually rising and dis- 
persing through the day, — saw nothing. I read over again 
Plutarch's life of Lycurgus, and made some minutes from it In 
the afternoon also I read two sermons of Massillon — on the 
forgiveness of injuries, and on the word of God. The first of 
these is the best of this author's sermons that I have yet read. 
The subject is indeed most interesting and copious, and the 
manner in which he treats it is adapted peculiarly to his audi- 
tory — to men of the world and courtiers. The divisions of the 
subject are still too technical. The injustice of our enmities, and 
the insincerity of our reconciliations, are the two parts. The 
first subdivided into three — taste, interest, vanity — which are 
the causes of our taking offence. The second also into three — 
the motives, process, and consequences of pretended reconcilia- 
tion. There is some censure in this discourse upon the practice 



6 AfEAfOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [August. 

of duelling. There is argument, satire, indignation, tender- 
ness — a keen search of every good comer in the heart and 
every sound cellar of the brain. 

In the second sermon, on preaching, there is more ingenuity 
but less pathos. The division is founded on the dispositions 
with which believers ought to attend on preaching, and with 
those with which they should hear it. In this sermon there is 
a passage very much to my purpose in the lecture' which 
endeavors to trace the source of difference between Catholic 
and Protestant preaching. It is page 170, and names docility as 
one of the dispositions with which preaching is to be heard. 
There is an anecdote told of Louis XIV., that he said to Mas- 
sillon, after hearing one of his sermons, " Father, I have heard 
and admired many other preachers, but you always make me 
dissatisfied with myself." If Louis said so, he had taken the 
idea from Massillon in this sermon. He says that many hearers 
come to seek vain ornaments which amuse the patient without 
healing him, which make the preacher pleasing to the sinner, 
but not the sinner displeasing to himself I observe in this 
sermon many instances of a very peculiar manner of applying 
passages of Scripture figuratively. 

14th. The day was fine, the water smooth, the winds light, 
but so much ahead that we were unable at any part of the day 
to steer within three points of our course. Latitude, by obser- 
vation, 43.26; longitude, 54.30 ; water, morning, at 67; air, 68; 
noon, water, 67 ; air, 69. I made minutes on the two sermons 
of Massillon which I read yesterday; and on Plutarch's life 
of Lycurgus ; read also his life of Solon. I find amusement 
in these occupations, and our weather is so mild and the sea so 
smooth that I can employ more time in reading and writing 
than I ever could at sea before. Yet it seems to me that I do 
not employ my time to the best advantage. My thermometer 
is an amusement — a celestial globe would also be an agree- 
able companion — and Lacep^dc's Natural History of Fishes, 
Pinkerton's Geography, and Mavor's little collection of Voyages 
and Travels. We have seen nothing since the ship, last Thurs- 

' A reference to the fourteenth lecture in the course delivered at Cftmbridge, on 
pulpit oratory, and afterwards published, vol. i. pp. 332-337. 



l8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. y 

day, which the captain says took our wind from us ; but this 
afternoon we were entertained with a scull of porpoises, first 
seen by W. S. Smith, which played for an hour or two around 
the bow of the ship, and which some of the men, with the usual 
ill success, attempted to catch with grains and harpoons. The 
water continues to bream or scintillate, which the captain con- 
siders a sign of easterly winds. 

20th. Wind died away this morning, and left us a day of total 
calm. The sky was more clear, and W. S. Smith discovered a 
vessel after us, which he showed to the captain, but which none 
of the rest of us could see. Latitude, by observation, 48.35 ; 
longitude, 43.50; water, 59 and 60; air, 62 and 64. I read two 
sermons of Massillon, on the certainty of a future state, and on 
the reverence to be observed in churches. They pleased me 
less than those of the last week. The reasoning in support of 
a future state is upon the obvious topics — its necessity for the 
moral government of the universe, and the opinion entertained 
by all mankind. He does not touch upon the analogies in 
physical nature which render futurity more probable. The 
sermon upon the duty of reverent behavior at church is upon 
an article of the minor morals, but breathes a fervent spirit of 
devotion. He compliments the king, Louis XIV., upon his 
exemplary piety in attendance upon church; but bitterly 
censures the courtiers who come to attract their master's 
notice by an affectation of religion which they do not feel, and 
the worldly women who come to display a pomp of apparel 
or to make assignations of gallantry. He particularly handles 
very roughly their nudities. This was about the time when 
Addison frowned upon the naked arms of the Englishwomen. 
There is a curious account of the four degrees of intrenchment 
round the sanctuary of the Temple under the ancient Jewish 
Laws. 

31st. Day, I rise about six o'clock, often earlier. Read ten or 
fifteen chapters in the Bible. We breakfast about nine. Spend 
half an hour afterwards upon deck — ^at noon sometimes take 
the observation by the quadrant. Read or write in the cabin 
until two. Dine. After dinner read or write again ; occasionally 
visiting the deck for a walk until seven in the evening. Sup. 



8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Augasl. 

Read or play at cards until eleven or twelve, when we all retire 
to bed. There is much time for study and for meditation at sea ; 
and when the weather is as moderate as we have generally had 
it hitherto upon this passage, a person capable of useful appli- 
cation may employ his time to as great advantage as on shore. 
The objects which excite attention are concentrated within the 
bounds of the vessel ; the rest of mankind for the time seem to 
be inhabitants of another planet. The prosperity of the voyage 
consists in the paucity of incident ; and the less there is to be 
told the more there is to be enjoyed. This life is not tedious 
to those who can make themselves occupation. But its un- 
certainties, its perpetual changes, its anxieties, and its concen- 
tration of interest upon the fluctuations of wind and wave, 
constitute its principal hardships. 

The active mind of Mr. Adams could scarcely remain content, 
during this long voyage, with speculations upon the writings 
of the few authors he could carry with him. It would apj^car 
from the following paper, bearing date 2ist August, that he had 
spent part of his time in carefully meditating a course of advice 
for the benefit of the two sons he left behind him as they should 
advance to manhood, during his absence. It is the only one of 
its kind that has been found, and is inserted here less perhaps 
on account of the matter itself, than for the sake of the light 
which it reflects upon his own mind and character. 



LEITERS TO MY CHILDREN. 

It is iFelated of Augustus Cxsar, that, being upon his death- 
bed, he turned, just before he expired, to the friends who were 
standing around, and asked them what they thought of the 
part which he had acted on the scene of human life. They 
expressed their admiration, as their feelings or their prudence 
inspired. Then said he, ** Plaudite** 

In the article of death, Augustus was what he had been 
throughout life, a theatrical performer. The ideas which clung 
to his last sand were inseparable from representation. He was 
still acting a part in death, and this expression, while it indi- 



i809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, ^ 

cates a coolness and self-possession at the moment when the 
generality of mankind have lost all the faculties both of mind 
and body, at the same time proves the consciousness of him 
who used it that he had been through the whole course of his 
existence a man in a mask — the Roscius or iEsopus of real 
life. 

The character of Augustus Caesar is not one which I should 
ever recommend to you as a model for imitation. I do not 
altogether approve even of this idea with which he closed his 
life. It is only in a qualified sense that we can admit that " all 
the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." 
But thus far it is admissible, and may be useful ; that you should 
each of you consider yourself as placed here to act a part — that 
is, to have some single great end or object to accomplish, towards 
which all the views and all the labors of your existence should 
steadily be directed. 

The generality of mankind are under little embarrassment in 
fixing upon this purpose of existence. Since the sentence upon 
our first parent, that he should live by the sweat of his brow, 
toil has been the ordinary price of subsistence, and the labor of 
a man's life is appropriated by providence to its own support. 
At the entrance upon the threshold of life your principal con^ 
cern will be to procure to yourself the supply of your wants, 
and this may be sufHcient for the exercise of all your faculties. 
If successful in this, as you advance on the stage your relations 
with human society will multiply. One of the laws of nature 
requires that after having enjoyed the blessing of existence your- 
self, you should perform your part in communicating the sdme 
blessing to others. As a great portion of the enjoyment of life 
consists in the society of the sexes, there is an obligation upon 
you to share your pleasures with a partner. These two moral 
duties are naturally connected with each other; if by the means 
of industry and frugality, the most essential of all the virtues to 
youth, you acquire the means not only of providing for your 
own necessities but a superfluity which may be applied to the 
support of others, then commences the obligation of matrimony, 
which once contracted opens a field upon which the most steady 
and bounteous prosperity may lavish all its stores. The partici- 



lO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [August, 

pation of your own worldly comforts with a companion for life, 
and with the children who may be given to the union, is but the 
natural expansion of that first object of life which has been 
mentioned — ^the procurement of the means of subsistence. To 
your children, however, there is another duty not less sacred 
than that of giving them bread — the duty of education — of 
training them up in the way they should go; of preparing 
them for the conflicts which they may have in their turn to sus- 
tain with the wo.rld. Thus, then, the object of life, as it presents 
itself in the ordinary course of Providence to man, stands in 
this graduation — the means of subsistence for himself — of com- 
fortable subsistence for himself and his wife — of subsistence, 
nurture, and education for a family of children. These are the 
first and the closest ties of human society. Without all these 
human society could not exist. They are founded on the 
universal law of self-preservation as applied to the individual 
and to the species. By providing for his own wants the indi- 
vidual can only support his own existence ; and if you suppose 
the cares of every individual confined to this object, the species 
would perish whenever this race of individuals should be extinct. 
The species can be preserved only by the provision made by 
every generation for the birth, nurture, and support, to a certain 
stage of life, of the generation next succeeding. It is the debt 
which every generation owes to its predecessors, and which, not 
being in the nature of things payable to them, must be dis- 
charged to their order. It is the link between the first parents 
of our race and their remotest posterity — the tie by which we 
belong at once to past and future ages. 

These means of subsistence for the individual, and of preser- 
vation to the species, constitute the great end of existence to a 
great majority of mankind. They fill the ordinary measure of 
duties and obligations. They are to be obtained in civil society 
only by some mechanic art or some laborious profession. 
Whatever that may be, it requires the exercise of a virtue 
which employs the principal part of the individual's time. I 
mean industry. Most of these occupations employ the indi- 
vidual not immediately in labors for his own use, but for the use 
of others. And hence arises a new and copious source of further 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, n 

obligations. The relations of man are no longer confined to his 
own family, but extend to his neighbors and fellow-citizens. The 
exchange of mutual wants produces the complicated system of 
contracts, and with it an enlarged field of ethics. To the duties 
of self-preservation it adds those of justice and fidelity to others, 
but does not materially affect the end of the individual's exist- 
ence. He exchanges the superfluity of his own labor for an 
equivalent supply to his own wants, and the greater his inge- 
nuity, his industry, his fidelity, and his integrity, the more 
completely in the ordinary course of things will his time be 
absorbed, and the necessary end of his existence attained. 

But there are two causes opposite to each other in their nature 
which require corresponding modifications in the purpose of 
life — the one, success, and the other, failure, in the profession 
which he has assumed. These contingencies apply less to that 
class of men whose employment is agriculture than to any 
others. The tiller of the soil, barely as such, seldom fails to 
procure his subsistence and that of his family by his industry, 
and as seldom can he expect to procure anything more. But 
when men are congregated in populous cities, the multitude of 
occupations which arise from that state of things renders the 
procurement of subsistence more precarious to every single 
individual, while it accumulates superfluous prosperity upon 
one part of the community by contributions levied upon the 
rest. Hence the extremes of riches and poverty, both of which 
affect in the highest degree the occupations of individuals, and 
modify the ends of their existence. In proportion as poverty 
increases, the social obligations of the individual diminish, 
until they centre again in the first law of self-preservation. 
When the individual becomes incompetent to the supply of his 
necessary wants, there results to his family or to society an 
obligation to provide the means of subsistence for him, in con- 
sideration of which, however, they require the right of employ- 
ing him in such suitable labor as he is able to perform. Of such 
persons, however, little need here be said, as, ceasing in some 
sort to be responsible beings, the end of their being can thence- 
forth be no other than physical existence, as comfortable as the 
humanity of their fellow-creatures can make it. 



12 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Augmf, 

But as indigence diminishes, so prosperity multiplies the 
relations and the duties of social life. He to whom success in 
his occupation has brought a surplus of the means of subsist- 
ence beyond that which is necessary for himself and his family, 
contracts the obligation of correcting the iniquities of fortune — 
of disseminating that prosperity with which he has been blest, 
of becoming the beneHictor of his fellow-mortals beyond Ihc 
circle of his own family. It is perhaps impossible to mark the 
line where this special obligation commences. But it certainly 
begins long before any special modification to the object of 
existence becomes necessary. Besides the immediate family, 
with the support of which the individual is charged under the 
primary law of sfelf-preservation, there are remoter domestic 
relations — relations of good neighborhood, of friendship, of 
patriotism, and of philanthropy, which bind in looser ties every 
individual to his fellow-creatures. These are not* only recon- 
cilable with those primary obligations of duty which mark out 
the object of existence, but are in many respects inseparable 
from them. The good offices of social benevolence depend 
much in their application upon the circumstances in which the 
individual is placed, and are modified by them. There are 
also the duties of a citizen to his country, which are binding 
upon all, and more forcibly binding in a republican govern- 
ment than in any other. The principle of all other governments 
supposes that the great interests of the community are, by the 
operation of certain institutions, exclusively, or at least prin- 
cipally, committed to a certain number of individuals, and that 
the duties of all others towards the body politic are a burden 
which they may decline, or which perhaps they are forbidden 
to assume. But upon the republican principle, every individual 
has a stake, an interest, and a voice in the common stock of 
society, and consequently lies under the obligation of attending 
to and promoting that common interest to the utmost of his 
power, compatibly with the discharge of his more immediate 
duties of self-preservation and preservation of his kind. These 
duties of patriotism and philanthropy may become predominant, 
and indicate the very object of existence when the primary obli- 
gations are discharged already at a man's hands, or so facilitated 



1809.1 rnE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 13 

as no longer to employ a material portion of the individuaFs toil 
and time. 

When by the success of his own exertions, or by the exuber- 
ance of prosperity inherited from his fathers, the first necessary 
object of existence has been accomplished, the obligation upon 
the individual is by his own voluntary act to substitute another 
object for his pursuit One of the reasons why the rich, the 
great, and the prosperous appear in such unfavorable colors is, 
that not possessing the understanding to select, the spirit to 
assume, or the perseverance to effect any such steady object of 
pursuit, they pass their lives in idleness, or in dishonorable 
occupations — mere burdens of human society, mere cumbcrcrs 
of the ground. And as employment is necessary, both to the 
body and mind of man, none being provided for them, and they 
being under a moral incapacity to provide any for themselves, 
their existence is as burdensome to themselves as it is useless 
to others. 

Take it, then, as a general principle to be observed as one of 
the directing impulses of life, that you must have some one 
great purpose of existence. And if you should ever be relieved 
from that which is imposed upon you, that of providing for 
yourself, let it be one of your most ardent solicitudes to select 
another which may best promote your own well-being and the 
happiness of your fellow-creatures. Obvious as this principle 
is when thus expressed in general terms, it is not without its 
difficulties when we attempt to carry it into practice. How 
to employ our faculties in such a manner as shall produce the 
greatest quantity of human happiness is a problem of no easy 
solution. Good intention is but one step towards its solution. 
The good which an individual can do to his fellow-citizens is 
seldom proportioned to his dispositions, and the inclination to 
do good itself, unless enlightened by a clear perception, guided 
by a discriminating judgment, and animated by energetic and 
active resolution, evaporates in the dreams of imagination, or 
proves a poison instead of a healing balm. 

There are two different modes by which an individual pos- 
sessed of a sufficient competency for his own wants may em- 
ploy his time for the benefit of his country and of mankinds 



J 4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [August, 

The first, by taking a share in the public administration of the 
government. The second, by cultivating the arts and sciences. 
As to the first, there are countries where many persons under 
these circumstances are, by the political constitutions of the 
country, invested by hereditary right with a portion of the 
public authority. But in ours, the principle of the govern- 
ment is elective, and the attainment of any situation in the 
public administration depends upon the will of others. Still 
further, with a very few exceptions, the public oflfices are not 
only elective, but for short periods of time. So that neither 
their first acquisition nor their permanent possession depends 
upon the will of the individual. From this state of things you 
may infer certain corresponding axioms. 

The object of existence, when selected by yourself, should 
be as much as possible within your own control. For if you 
choose that which depends upon the will of others, you not only 
prepare for yourself probable disappointment, but you diminish 
your means of usefulness by rendering them precarious. You 
weaken your power of doing good, by placing the capacity of 
doing it at the disposal of others. You place not only yourself 
and your own happiness, but your beneficent energies, under 
tutelage. It is therefore dangerous to connect the principal end 
of existence with the participation in the government. Much 
more dangerous would it be to place it in the attainment of 
public office. This can of itself contribute very little to your 
own happiness, and nothing to that of others. Yet an invariable 
determination to reject the participation of authority is neither 
commanded by virtue nor compatible with it. The public 
service, to a man of independent patriotism, is neither to be 
solicited nor refused. He must be neither obtrusive nor dis- 
dainful. He ought not to ask what he cannot want, but to 
hold himself ever ready at the call of his country. This call, 
when it occurs, must doubtless to a certain extent modify that 
which he chooses to make the end of his existence. Public 
office brings with it much necessary occupation, and must give, 
some of its colors to individual existence. The duties of the 
oflV^c must be faithfully discharged, and at the same time the 
.enquiry ought ever to be present to the officer's mind, how he 



i809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 15 

can make himself yet more useful to his country. There are 
talents and qualifications which belong to every public station, 
and the performance of its functions is generally susceptible 
of improvement There is a species of knowledge important 
if not indispensable to every public officer, and although the 
appointment or election presupposes competent qualifications 
in the person chosen, yet whoever is ambitious of performing 
well his part will find that he has useful employment for much 
time in fitting himself better for the station which he has 
already attained. Public office is of various kinds. There are 
offices merely ministerial and of a subordinate character, easily 
filled, and requiring labor rather than talents to be filled in 
the best manner. These are usually sought after as a means 
of subsistence, and they ought to be reserved exclusively for 
meritorious indigence. They may be wanted^ but can never be 
desired. But the offices of high trust and responsibility, legis- 
lative, executive, and judicial, all require continual supplies of 
information, and have within themselves ample sources for 
constant employment to those by whom they arc held. 

The cultivation of the arts and sciences affords an inexhausti- 
ble and never-failing resource for employment; and it is the 
most honorable occupation which the leisure of opulence can 
assume. But the field is so wide that there is danger of wan- 
dering over it to no purpose, unless some specific' object of 
pursuit be voluntarily proposed. Miscellaneous and undirected 
application to study is a more innocent pastime than wealth or 
grandeur usually find, but is after all but an idle industry. The 
mind of man is too limited in its powers to embrace all art and 
science in general. Superior excellence in one department of 
art or science may be attained by a concentration of efforts, 
which more diffusely exerted, though in equal degree, will 
secure nothing more than mediocrity. 

The real and only difficulty to be overcome is that of fixing 
upon the special object of application. There is sometimes an 
impulse of natural genius so clear and strong that it needs 
neither stimulus nor direction. It forces its own way, and car- 
ries the individual along with it. But as these persons are a 
law to themselves, they are of no use as examples to others. 



1 6 MEMOIRS OF yOIIJV QUINCY ADAMS. [August, 

The ordinary race of mortals must make themselves a channel 
in which their desires and energies may flow. Instead of fol- 
lowing a transient propensity, which they will find constantly 
changing its object, their merit will consist in counteracting it. 
The common man, and as such you must consider yourself, 
will find his inclinations leading him constantly not to the ob- 
ject of his pursuit, but from it. Let mc, however, suggest a 
few principles, which may, by the aid of your own reflections, 
lead you to a correct decision in the choice which I suppose 
you may be called to make. 

1. Let the chosen object of your existence be such as natu- 
rally will engraft itself upon the necessary one — such as may 
have within itself a capacity of expansion and contraction, 
according to the good or ill success which may attend its pur- 
suit. When Cortes landed with his troops to undertake the 
conquest of Mexico, he burnt his ships to take from his com- 
panions all hopes of safety in a retreat. This was rather the re- 
sort of desperation than of magnanimity. It suited the ferocious 
character of Cortes, and success has enrolled it in the annals 
of heroism. But the ordinary policy of the greatest heroes 
is not to cut off", but to secure the means of safety by retreat. 
The most ordinary mistake of political adventurers in our coun- 
try is, like Cortes, at their entrance upon public life to burn 
their ships, to cut ofi" their own retreat, and in the first instance 
of failure, which is sure to befall them, to plunge headlong over 
the precipice of ruin. Should your fortune ever lure you into 
the thorny paths of public life, let your first and most inflexible 
resolution be, to keep your retreat open, to prepare yourself for 
an independent retirement, and to keep your mind always ready 
to return to the humbler and safer pursuits of private life. 

2. In selecting a specific branch of art or science for your 
peculiar assiduity of cultivation, do not waste too much time in 
deliberation. Let your choice be made coolly, but let it not be 
postponed from year to year, until the chance of choice or the 
leisure of pursuit shall be lost. 

3. To guide your choice, consult your own genius with the 
spirit of enquiry, and, if possible, with the judgment of im- 
partiality. Consult your friends, if friends you have capable of 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 17 

estimating the importance of the object and the considerations 
which ought to influence your decision. Discard, unless you 
have a very clear and forcible vocation, the abstract sciences, 
because they are much more difficult to be made practically 
useful to others by any use that yon can make of them. Dis- 
card the mechanical arts, because the exercise of them can 
scarcely ever be made pleasing to yourself or of any important 
advantage to others. The physical sciences, natural history, 
astronomy, ethics, oratory, and poetry, with all the varieties of 
polite literature, may divide your attention, and the accidents 
of life as they occur may point you more particularly to any 
one subordinate division for that extraordinary toil and care of 
cultivation which a thrifty and industrious farmer would bestow 
upon his garden, 

4. Accustom yourself to meditate and to write upon the sub- 
jects to which you devote your special attention. Writing, says 
Lord Bacon, makes a correct man. Reflect upon what you read, 
and converse upon the topic of your enquiry with those who 
understand it best. Methodize your studies, and form some 
general plan upon which you can resume or lay aside any par- 
ticular study without retarding or arresting your general pursuit. 

5. Finally, let the uniform principle of your life, the "frontlet 
between your eyes," be how to make your talents and your 
knowledge most beneficial to your country and most useful to 
vtankind, 

September 3d. I read the second sermon of Massillon upon 
prayer, and that upon confession, which finishes the first volume 
of the Lent Sermons. That upon confession is one of the best 
in the volume — the figurative application of Scripture very 
ingenious ; the divisions drawn with excellent discrimination ; 
the sources of inadequate confession traced with keen satirical 
severity, and v^ry close inspection of human nature and its 
operations. But it might be termed a sermon against confes- 
sion. He repeatedly expresses at least a doubt whether the 
institution does not produce more evil than good in the church, 
and a Protestant might turn the whole of the Bishop's artillery 
against the Catholic cause. There is a passage upon the base- 

VOI.. II. — 2 



1 8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

ness of the mere terror of hell, corresponding much with senti- 
ments which I have expressed before I had read this sermon. 

loth. I read two sermons of Massillon — second volume of 
Lent — on the dangers of prosperity, and on final impenitence. 
After reading them I attempted to make an abstract of them, 
2A a trial of memory, but without success. I was obliged con- 
stantly to recur to the book. I still find that of all my reading 
at sea, the memory takes hold scarcely of anything. There 
are so many things on board which distract attention, that it 
exceeds all my powers of volition to apply the mind to objects 
of study. I also read part of Palcy's Horae Paulinas. 

15th. About four o'clock this morning the captain came into 
the cabin, and waked me with the information that we had land 
close upon the starboard bow. He thought it Westra Patra 
Island, one of the Orkney Islands, in latitude 59.21, longitude 
3.10. About a quarter of an hour afterwards I rose, and saw 
the island about seven miles distant, bearing southwest from 
the ship — apparently an island about two miles long. There 
was another island seen more to the southward, but so distant 
that I did not see it. We were going between five and six 
miles an hour ; and as we made no other land, and in about 
three hours lost sight of that we had made, the captain con- 
cluded it was'Rona Island, situated in latitude 50.55, longitude 
6. 16— about four degrees west of our reckoning. We ran with a 
fair wind and fresh breeze all day, in the course of which we 
saw four vessels steering our course, and one to the westward. 
No observation could be obtained. About four in the afternoon 
land was seen in various directions, on our starboard quarter 
and beam, in a south and westerly direction. They were the 
Orkney Islands, Pomona, Westra, and Papa Westra, or Westra 
Patra. 

17th. The breeze and squalls continued all night, driving us 
eight and nine miles an hour, but it made such a sea, that I had 
scarcely an hour of sleep in the night. It kept the same steady 
course all this day, and the captain had some expectation of 
making the land of Norway before night. We had not seen 
a vessel since passing by Fair Island until about five o'clock 
this afternoon, when a brig was discerned steering towards us. 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. iq 

Within an hour's time she came within hailing distance, before 
which she fired a gun to leeward, upon which we hoisted our 
colors. She did not show hers, but came to windward of us, 
then fired a gun to windward and hailed us. Whence from ? 
From Boston. Whither bound ? To Russia. Let down your 
boat and come on board. Which, not being heard distinctly, 
was repeated. The captain answered that his boat was so small 
that it would not be safe to go out with it in this weather. 
The same order was again repeated, and a musket with ball 
fired, ranging alongside of our ship. It was the dusk of the 
evening, the wind blowing in continual squalls like a gale, and 
a heavy sea going. The captain, however, let down the boat, 
and went into it with Mr. Lowder and three men. They cast 
off from the ship, and attempted to row to the brig, but drifted 
so in the course of ten minutes, that instead of getting to the 
brig, it was with the utmost difficulty that they reached the ship 
again, having the boat half full of water, and all the time in the 
most imminent danger, both of oversetting and of being sunk 
by an overwhelming wave. The captain then hailed the brig 
again, and told them his boat would not live in such a sea and 
weather, upon which, without making any answer, the brig shot 
ahead of us to such a distance that on the moon's setting she 
was out of sight Then, after laying to until about eleven at 
night, our ship wore about again and pursued her course. 

l8th. Wc had another rough and laboring night, but the wind 
not so high as the two preceding days. This morning, how- 
ever, the sea ran so heavy that in rolling she often shipped 
water at the sides. About five in the morning we made the 
land, on the coast of Norway, and at noon were abreast of the 
Naze, and in sight of it — our latitude being 57.43 by observation ; 
longitude, 7.15 east; water, 56; air, 55. Yesterday both were 
at 55. The rolling of the vessel in the forenoon made it impos- 
sible for me to write, or to read to any purpose, and I gave it 
up. In the afternoon the wind died away, and we came into 
smoother water — ^being in what is termed the Slaave, between 
the coasts of Norway and Jutland. 

19th. We had a calm and quiet night — and this morning 
about six, the captain called me, and told me there was a 



20 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

cruiser close on board of us. I rose immediately, and within a 
quarter of an hour a brig with English colors lay alongside of 
us. Without speaking, she sent a boat with an officer and four 
men to us. The officer came on board, and, after examining the 
captain's papers, left us, saying, " I suppose you may proceed." 
He told me it was fortunate we had not met him last night, for 
he might have fired into us; having been yesterday all day 
in pursuit of two Danish men-of-war, which they chased into 
Christiansand. This was a brig of eighteen guns. He gave 
the captain some news — as that the French had defeated the 
Austrians in a battle, and there was now an armistice between 
them; that the English in Portugal had also been defeated, 
and Lord Wellesley obliged to make good his retreat. About 
seven in the morning we parted from this vessel, and within two 
hours came in sight of another brig, under Danish colors. She 
soon fired a gun to bring us to, upon which we waited for her 
about half an hour. She then passed close under our stern, 
hailed us, and enquired from whence we came, and where we 
were bound. On receiving the answer, she hauled down her 
Danish colors, hoisted the English flag, and sent an officer on 
board of us, with four men. It seems they had not heard dis- 
tinctly our answers to their hailing, for on being told that we 
were from Boston, bound to Petersburg, the officer told his men 
to go on board his own vessel and tell the captain we were 
from Boston, bound to Petersburg. He remained himself on 
board, and examined the captain's papers, telling him that as 
we were going to Elsineur, and they were at war with Denmark, 
he did not know whether we could proceed or not. The boat, 
however, soon returned with the men, and the officer then left 
us. The name of the first brig from which we were boarded 
was the Rover, Captain McVicar; the name of the second our 
captain enquired of the officer, but does not recollect his answer. 
The weather all the morning had looked threatening and the 
wind directly ahead. The equinoctial being close at hand, our 
captain concluded to go into a harbor on the coast of Norway, 
which was full in view. So we stood in for the land, and made 
a signal for a pilot. A boat very soon came up to us, with a 
pilot belonging to Ronga Sound, about three leagues above 



1809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 2 1 

Christiansand. While the captain was consulting him, whether 
to go in there or into Christiansand, a small two-mast boat, 
with about fifteen armed men, and a swivel, under Danish 
colors, came and fired a gun to bring us to. A Danish lieu- 
tenant of the marine, by the name of Kraff, then came on board 
from her, and told the captain he must go into Christiansand. 
The captain at this took the alarm, declared he would not go 
into harbor at all, and put the ship about to stand out to sea. 
The lieutenant made a sign to the men in his boat lying along- 
side of us to come on board, which the captain ordered our 
crew to resist. We had in half a minute a dozen or fifteen men, 
with pikes, axes, and swords, on the quarter-deck, and the men 
from the deck pressing forward to her forecastle, to attempt 
boarding us. The lieutenant, however, made a signal to them 
to withdraw. He and the pilot were then very much afraid 
that we should carry them off, and wanted to get to their boats. 
The captain asked me whether he had not better now stand 
off at all events. I told him I saw no reason for changing his 
first determination, and he concluded to go into the harbor of 
Fleckeroe, about four miles distant from Christiansand. The 
lieutenant, by his invitation, went with us, and landed. The 
captain landed to show his papers to the commanding officer 
here, and afterwards went up to Christiansand with his papers 
there. Mr. Everett and Mr. Gray went with him. The officer 
at land, being informed of my character, desired to see my pass- 
port, and having nothing but my commission, I landed and 
showed it to him. In the evening an officer came from the 
conuiiodore of all the gun-boats on the coast of Norway on 
board with his compliments and offers of service to me. About 
midnight the captain, with Mr. Everett and Mr. Gray, returned, 
but the papers were to undergo an examination to-morrow. 
They found the captains of nearly thirty American vessels, which 
have been brought into Christiansand since last May, by priva- 
teers, and are detained for adjudication. The number brought 
in from May to August is thirty-eight, sixteen of which have 
been condemned, and appealed to the higher court, and twelve 
acquitted, against which the captors have also appealed, detain- 
ing the vessels still here. Our Government having no agent 



22 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

here, the captains have appointed a Mr. Isaachson, an inhabitant 
of the place, who has interested himself much in their behalf 
as their agent. The captain brought me his compliments and 
invitation to dinner to-morrow for me and all my family. 
^ 20th. Immediately after breakfast this morning, I went with 
Captain Beckford, Mr. Smith, Mr. Everett, and Mr. Gray, in 
the ship's boat, to Christiansand, about four miles, in a wind- 
ing passage among the rocks. On our way we met three or four 
boats with Americans going down to the ship ; a gentleman on 
board of one of them accosted me by name, but I did not know 
him until we landed — when I found it was Mr. Lawson Alex- 
ander, of Baltimore. He, with a number more of the Americans 
detained here under capture of privateers, was introduced to me 
at my landing. I went immediately to Mr. Isaachson's, where 
we found his lady and his mother, Mrs. Appleby. He was him- 
self absent, but soon afterwards returned home. He repeated 
his invitation to dinner, and regretted that the ladies had not 
come with us to town. He accompanied me to visit the admiral 
of the naval force in Norway, Fischer — the governor of the 
city, Tobiesen — and the commandant of the garrison. The two 
first of these gentlemen were not at home — tlie last received 
us. He is an old officer, far advanced in years, and, speaking 
only the Danish language, I could have but little conversation 
with him. On my return to Mr. Isaachson's, a number of the 
American captains brought me papers containing the transla- 
tion of their sentences of condemnation. They also delivered 
me a memorial which some of them transmitted to the Presi- 
dent of the United States some months since, and a triplicate 
of a letter written some time since to me, one copy of which 
they had forwarded to Petersburg, and another to Copenhagen, 
with the expectation that it would meet me there, requesting 
my interference in their behalf. They gave me also the minutes 
of all their proceedings since they have acted in company, which 
I read. 

We dined between two and three o'clock. There were 
upwards of twenty of the American captured gentlemen at 
table, and several others came in afler dinner. The admiral of 
the gun-boats, Fischer, and the governor, Tobiesen, also came 



i809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 23 

and returned my visit The admiral is a man apparently be- 
tween sixty and seventy, who told me he had seen my father 
at Paris in 1779, when he was there with Dr. Franklin and Mr. 
Lee, and that he had been in America during the Revolutionary 
war, as an officer in the French navy, and knew at Boston 
Governor Hancock and t)r. Cooper, who gave him a copy of 
his sermon at the organization of the government of Massa- 
chusetts under the present Constitution of the State. He was 
also acquainted with Governor Collins, of Rhode Island. He 
made me a formal apology for the misconduct of the officer 
who boarded our ship, and said he should have been in despair 
if anything like violence had been offered to a ship bearing a 
public minister. The governor of the city was very polite also 
in his demeanor ; but some of our captains say he was inter- 
ested in the privateers which took them. Another gentleman 
also came and invited me to his house to-morrow. His name 
was not mentioned to me, but he told me he had been well 
acquainted with Mr. Murray at the Hague. In the evening I 
returned to the ship in one of the boats belonging to an Ameri- 
can ship. Mr. Isaachson accompanied me, and also two boats 
more, full of those gentlemen, who intended it as a compliment 
to me. They spent about an hour on board the ship, and then 
took their leave. The captain came in his own boat about 
eleven at night, with Captain Leach, master of one of the cap- 
tured vessels belonging to Mr. Thorndike, of Beverly. He, 
having by accident missed his own boat, lodges on board our 
ship this night. 

Our captain's papers were this day returned without examina- 
tion, and with an order from the Commission of Examination 
that the^ship, having a public minister on board, should be suf- 
fered to proceed without any interruption whatsoever. The sight 
of so many of my countrymen, in circumstances so distressing, 
is very painful, and each of them has a story to tell of the 
peculiar aggravations of ill treatment which he has received. 
The desire of contributing to their relief is so strong in me 
that I shall, without waiting for express authority from the 
Government of the United States, use every effort in my power 
in their behalf, to however little purpose it may be as to its 



24 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September. 

success. While we were at Mr. Isaachson's, at table, he re- 
ceived a letter containing a proclamation announcing that the 
island of Iceland, which about a year since was taken by the 
English, is now declared independent of all European Govern- 
ments. It was but under a sort of nominal dependence upon 
Denmark. 

2 1 St. This is the day on which the sun crosses the line, and 
we had a heavy gale of wind, with plentiful rain, which began 
in the night and continued through the greater part of this day. 
It confined us entirely to the ship. Captain Skinner and Mr. 
Myers Fisher, Jun., of Philadelphia, came down from Chris- 
tiansand to visit us, and spent a couple of hours with us in the 
forenoon. In the afternoon I sent my compliments to Captain 
Bille, who commands the gun-boats here, and invited him to 
come and take coffee with us, which he did. He was a captain 
of a frigate while the Danish fleet was in their possession, and 
at the battle of Copenhagen, in 1801, was on board of one of 
the Danish ships. He says that the Commodore Fischer now 
here is not the same who commanded on that day at Copen- 
hagen, though bearing the same name. Captain Bille has 
been stationed here since the time when the English took 
the Danish ships at Copenhagen. He had more information of 
European news than any person I have seen before. The 
Americans have scarcely any, and Mr. Isaachson spoke upon 
the subject with so much reserve that I forbore pressing any 
enquiries upon him. 

22d. Commodore Fischer paid me a visit on board the ship, 
and gave me a special order under his hand to the commanders 
of all the gun-boats, requiring them to let me pass freely with 
my family. About one o'clock three of the gentlemen from 
Christiansand came on board, with an invitation for me to go 
there to dine again at Mr. Isaachson's. I w«iit up accordingly, 
and found a large party assembled to dinner, among whom 
was the late governor of the place, Chiegeson, the present 
governor, Mr. Simonson, Mr. Isaachson's father, with his lady, 
and his brother's lady. Almost all the rest of the company 
consisted of Americans. We had another elegant entertain- 
ment ; but when we would have returned on board of our ship, 



i8o9.] THE MISSION' TO RUSSIA. 2$ 

a storm of wind and rain had arisen, which rendered it altogether 
impracticable. We were obliged, therefore, to accept of the hos- 
pitable entertainment of Mr. Isaachson's house for the night, 
which was offered and urged upon us in the most pressing 
terms. The evening was passed at cards, and about midnight 
we retired to bed. 

23d. The storm continued most of the night, and all this 
morning; but the wind had become more favorable for us to 
sail ; and after waiting until about two in the afternoon, and 
dining again at Mr. Isaachson's, we took at length our de- 
parture, in the midst of a heavy squall of rain and wind. Mr. 
Isaachson had procured for us a sail-boat belonging to the late 
governor, with a round-house, in which we were sheltered from 
the weather. He accompanied us down, as did Captain Thomp- 
son, with four boats from the American vessels here detained, 
and by which our boat was rowed down. We reached the ship 
about four in the afternoon, and the captain came on board a 
few minutes after us. The wind was now fair for us to sail, 
though still blowing a gale. The pilot was on board, and we 
immediately weighed anchor, assisted by the boats' crews which 
had rowed us down from Christiansand. Just at sunset, Cap- 
tain Thompson, Captain Joseph, and Captain Leach, with their 
boats, left us. Mr. Isaachson, with the governor's boat, had 
gone shortly before. About seven we were outside of the 
harbor of Flcckeroe, and the pilot left us. It blew a fresh 
gale, and the sea ran so high that the rolling of the ship was as 
great as at any period of our passage. 

25th. At sunrise this morning we were abreast of Koll Point, 
the wind having been light and favorable the whole night, but 
it now came ahead, and in the midst of the passage of the 
sound we saw a British line-of-battle ship and a sloop of war 
at anchor, with several other vessels anchored near them. We 
made up directly to the man-of-war, and a lieutenant from her 
soon came on board, examined the ship's papers, had all the 
men mustered, compared their personal appearance with the 
description in their protections, and threatened to take one man, 
a native of Charlestown, because, he said, his person did not 
correspond with the description. He told the captain that the 



26 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS. [September, 

passage was blockaded, that we could not go through, and must 
return through the Cattegat, and by the passage of the Belt 
The captain then informed him of my mission and character, 
upon which he observed that we had better go on board the 
man-of-war and speak to the admiral himself. Accordingly the 
captain took his papers, and I went with him and Mr. Smith on 
board the Stately, a sixty-four-gun ship, Captain Dundas. 

At the deck we were received by the lieutenant on duty, to 
whom the captain stated the circumstances of his situation, and 
who repeated that we could not pass, as they were stationed 
there to prevent the payment of the Sound duties. He referred 
us, however, to Admiral Bertie, whom we found in his state- 
room on the quarter deck. The captain showed him his papers, 
and mentioned to him my character. He said he could not 
suffer us to pass; that the ports in the island of Zealand were 
all under a strict blockade, and had been so for a year and a 
half; that his instructions were most precise and positive, not 
to suffer any vessel whatsoever to pass. But, he said, we should 
find the passage round through the Belt very easy. The captain 
stated the great disadvantage of the delay at this late season 
of the year ; that he had no charts of the Belt, and no pilot. 
He then took out his own ship's charts, showed them to the 
captain, said he would give him one of them, but that they be- 
longed to the ship and the King. As to the pilot, he said, we 
n^ight get one at Gottenburg ; where we should find a convoy 
going in a few days through the Belt, with which we might 
proceed. I then stated to him that I bore a commission as a 
public minister from the United States of America to the Em- 
peror of Russia ; that this ship was fitted out for the express 
purpose of conveying me to St. Petersburg ; that I had my 
family on board, and that, by the usages of nations, I had under- 
stood that it was not the practice to stop the passage of persons 
in such situations. He .asked me if I did not know that the 
ports in the island of Zealand were all blockaded. I told him 
I did not; but if I had, as our only object was passage, 
I should still have relied on the usages of nations, that I 
should not be obstructed. He asked my name, which I gave 
him. "And you say, sir, you have your family on board?" 



i809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 27 

" Yes, sir ; my wife, her sister, and an infant child." He then 
said, that, to be sure, by the custom of nations, the passage 
of a public minister ought not to be obstructed ; and if I would 
give him my word of honor that the ship would not commit a 
violation of the blockade by going into Copenhagen or any 
port in the island of Zealand, he would consider this as a case 
of exception from his instructions and allow us to pass. 

I told him that, as an evidence of the character which I 
assumed, I could, if he desired, exhibit my commission from 
the President of the lUnited States. He said that, by way of 
justification for him, h^ should be glad to see it. I accordingly 
showed it to him. He then said we might pass — ^but that we 
should meet with another difficulty: that the Danes would 
take us, and, he feared, condemn the ship and cargo for having 
had any communication with him. This was in reply to the 
promise I made him, as far as depended on me, and the captain, 
on his part, joined in the engagement, not to commit a breach 
of the blockade by going voluntarily into any port of the island 
of Zealand. But we told him we could not engage that we 
should not be taken in. After stating this new difficulty, which 
appeared to have much weight in his mind, he asked me what 
my determination would be. 

I told him that I should proceed; and if the Danes should 
take us, I should rely upon the Danish Government's showing 
the same respect to the usage of nations to pay respect to the 
character of public ministers, as was now manifested by him ; 
that I had often had occasion to appeal to this general practice, 
and had never found it to fail — nor should I expect it would 
fail on the part of the Danish Government. 

He said that undoubtedly it was a just expectation that every 
liberal nation would respect the character of ambassadors ; that 
the Danes had been such a nation ; but he was afraid I should 
not find it so now. However, as I was willing to take the risk, 
we might pass. 

We then took our leave, and returned on board our own 
ship. In the course of our conversation, he observed that he 
had been stationed here many months, but that, having been 
obliged to leave the station for a few days, twelve or fourteen 



28 MEMOmS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

American vessels had taken advantage of his absence and passed 
through. I enquired of the officers on deck whether Admiral 
Bertie was a relation of the Duke of Ancaster. They said he 
had married a relation of that family and taken the name. 

On this transaction I had occasion to remark a circumstance 
which was characteristic of English manners. Admiral Bertie 
paid all due respect to the laws of nations. He said nothing 
uncivil or offensive ; but during the whole time we were with 
him he never oilered us a seat. His conduct was correct in 
principle, and as to the substance. He indicated, indeed, some 
sense of benevolence and feeling ; for the mention which I 
made that I had my family on board manifestly made an im- 
pression upon him, and the fears he expressed that we should 
be taken by the Danes appeared to arise partly from a dispo- 
sition not unfriendly to us ; but the most ordinary of civilities 
he either neglected or purposely omitted. 

On our return in their boat the lieutenant left us; but so 
much time had been consumed, that the wind freshening to a 
strong breeze, directly ahead, we could not get up to Elsineur 
this night. Just at dark we came to anchor under the Danish 
shore, and about three miles distant from the admiral's ship. 
Towards midnight the weather cleared away, and the wind came 
round to the northwest. 

26th. I went to bed last night between eleven and twelve 
o'clock ; but with some uneasiness upon my mind, on finding 
that the captain supposed our engagement not to break the 
blockade included a promise not to stop at Elsineur to pay the 
usual Sound duties, unless we should be taken and carried in. 
I had understood that we should not go into any port of Zealand 
for purposes of trade, but only pass in the customary manner. 
I went to sleep, but waked again in less than half an hour, with 
a weight and restlessness which would not leave me quiet for 
repose. I got up, went and waked the captain, and had more 
than an hour's conversation with him, the result of which left 
me still in much anxiety. I knew that my intention was not 
to engage anything in violation of Danish laws, but only no 
violation of the blockade. Nor could I suppose it possible 
that the admiral meant to ask anything more of us. But as 



i8o9.] ' THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 29 

the captain seemed to think at least that we must attempt to pass 
the castle of Cronberg, unless a gun should be fired to bring 
us to, I felt under much concern, lest we might get into some 
difficulty by his misunderstanding of our engagement. I was 
desirous that he should go on board the admiral's ship again 
and ask an explanation ; and if it should be so that the admiral 
meant to allow us to pass only on the condition of our violating 
the laws of the territory within which we were to pass, I would 
still not accept the permission, but turn back at all hazards, and 
go round through the Belt ~ 

After this conversation, and referring until the morning 
whether the captain should go to ask this explanation, I was 
again about retiring to bed, when the captain went upon deck 
and found that the ship was adrift, bearing down direct upon 
the man-of-war, and within a mile of her — the wind at the 
same time blowing very fresh. A second anchor, a small 
one, was then cast, which but partially arrested the ship. This 
continued until about . nine o'clock in the morning, when 
she stopped. The wind blew fresh all day, with frequent and 
heavy squalls. It was fair for our progress, but we could not 
weigh anchor, from the danger of drifting on shore. About three 
in the afternoon she began to drift again, when we threw out 
the third and last anchor, a very heavy one. * We had drifted 
within the ship's length of a large brig, whose bowsprit threat- 
ened our cabin windows all the afternoon and evening ; and we 
were within a quarter of a mile of the shore and a reef of rocks. 
At the approach of night I was anxious for a boat from the 
shore to send the ladies and child on shore, for which purpose 
a signal was made at the main-mast-head ; but no boat came 
out. Shortly before sunset a boat from the British man-of-war 
came on board, with a lieutenant, who gave some advice to our 
captain. He told him that one good anchor would hold better 
than three, and recommended to him, in case the wind should 
change, to cut his cables and go out. He returned on board 
his ship. The night came on with a prospect of foul weather, 
which, however, cleared off about midnight. The wind then 
changed, and continued freshening until the morning. 

27th. All this morning was employed in weighing the 



30 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

anchors, two of which, the largest and smallest, were success- 
fully got on board. At this work all hands were engaged, and 
the passengers part of the time with the rest. An American 
vessel came in this morning, was brought to by the British 
admiral and turned back. The captain came on board our 
ship. About noon our ship began to drift again ; upon which 
the captain ordered the cable of the third anchor to be cut 
away, and we stretched out beyond Koll Point, expecting on 
the next tack to reach Elsirieur this night. But from the 
moment we got under sail, the wind drew continually more 
ahead, and freshened, until by four in the afternoon it blew a 
gale. Three times the attempt was made to put the ship round, 
but she would not come in stays — that is, come round against 
the wind. At the third time, just as she was coming round, 
the fore-yard broke short in two near the middle, and at the 
same time the gale increased to a storm. The captain lashed 
down the helm, put the ship under close-reefed main-sail, main 
and fore stay-sails ; got down the broken fore-yard, and a spare 
main-yard up in its stead. Before this time it was dark evening. 
From five in the afternoon to one in the morning blew one of 
the heaviest gales that I ever witnessed ; which the ship out- 
rode better than I ever knew a vessel in such a situation to do. 
She shipped not one sea, and scarcely took in any water. By 
the blessing of Heaven, we had sufficient room for drifting, and 
no lee shore ; and with land so near us on both sides, the sea 
did not run so high as it must have done in the open ocean. 
There was no darkness and no severe cold, to aggravate our 
danger and the sufferings of the crew. Just before dark, and 
after we had broken our fore-yard, we spoke an American, the 
Mary, from Newburyport, going back to Gottenburg, turned 
away by Admiral Bertie. They thought it very odd that we 
were steering a northeast course and bound to Petersburg. 

During the furious tempest of last night, in the continual 
succession of squalls increasing upon each other in violence, a 
very little rain fell in scattered drops, seldom enough at once to 
wet the deck. Between midnight and one in the morning came 
on the severest of them all, in the midst of which I rose from 
bed, to which I had shortly before retired, and, going to light 



i8o9.] TJJE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 31 

a candle from the lamp in the binnacle, met in the gangway 
Mr. Pollan, the first mate, who was coming for a light into the 
cabin — ^that in the binnacle having gone out. There was now 
none in the ship. I soon struck one with my tinder-box, and 
that of the binnacle was again lighted up. During great part 
of the tempest there was nobody upon deck. About two I 
retired again to bed, and in half an hour after the storm sud- 
denly abated, a copious shower of rain fell, and the wind came 
round to the northwest, very moderate. We soon got under 
easy sail in our course, and at daybreak found ourselves again 
in sight of Koll Point. We had drifted in the night about 
six leagued backwards. We soon came up with and passed 
Admiral Bertie's ship, and proceeding in the narrow passage 
between Sweden and Denmark, about noon were within about 
a mile of the castle of Cronberg, at the narrowest point of the 
sound. A Danish boat, bearing two swivels and fifteen men, 
brought us to by firing a shot, and immediately after boarded 
us, and took us into Elsineur Roads. The captain sent word 
on shore that I was on board, and my character; upon which 
the port physician came soon on board, and gave us permission 
to go on shore. We anchored about four in the afternoon. I 
received an open letter from Messrs. Balfour, EUah & Rainals, 
an English house at Elsineur, who have the agency of most of 
the American vessels. The latter mentioned that they liad 
several letters for me. I went on shore with the captain and 
Messrs. Smith, Everett, and Gray. We found Mr. EUah at the 
landing, and went with him to his house and counting-room. 
The letters to me were only the duplicates of those from Chris- 
tiansand, and relating to those cases. A few minutes after we 
came in, an officer appeared from the commandant of Cronberg 
Castle, to ask for my passport. Mr. Ellah went with us to the 
commandant's lodgings in the castle, and I again exhibited my 
commission, as the only passport I possessed. He expressed 
his surprise that I had no passport, but took the names of the 
President and Secretary of State from my commission, with 
which he appeared to be entirely satisfied. He also took the 
names of the gentlemen who accompanied me, and the account 
of my family which I gave him. We returned to Mr. Ellah's. 



32 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 

I had intended to go to Copenhagen, with a view to make 
a representation to the Danish Government in behalf of the 
Americans detained here and in Norway. But I was now in- 
formed that the King and the Minister, Count Bernstorff, were 
absent from Copenhagen. The captain and all the gentlemen 
with me intended also to go. I made enquiries for lodgings for 
the ladies on shore, not choosing to leave them altogether alone 
on board the ship ; I found that no comfortable accommodations 
could be obtained. Mr. and Mrs. Ellah offered to give their own 
bedchamber in their house for the use of Mrs. Adams, but this 
I could not accept. In consideration of all this, I determined 
to return on board the ship, and Mr. Smith concluded to go 
with me. The captain, with Mr. Everett and Mr. Gray and 
young Mr. Balfour, started for Copenhagen about sunset. Mr. 
Smith and myself returned on board the ship. I requested 
the captain and Mr. Gray to ask Mr. Saabye whether, in his 
opinion, I could be of any service to my countrymen here by 
going to Copenhagen, and to send me an answer by them. 

29th. Mr. Ellah had invited me and my family to dine with 
him this day. About one o'clock we went on shore, with some 
difficulty, in one of the shore boats, the wind blowing almost a 
gale. We dined at Mr. Ellah's, with his family — his lady, sister, 
children, and a Miss Goode, and a Danish gentleman, a civil 
officer, called a Politic Master or Inspector of the Police. In 
the afternoon came in a French Abbe, named Tellier, a man of 
pleasing manner and conversation. The afternoon and evening 
were so stormy that the ladies could not go on board ship again, 
and I took lodgings for the night at a house next door to Mr. 
Ellah's, kept by one Morrel, an Englishman — a house formerly 
much frequented and reputed, but, in the present state of war 
and annihilation of commerce, fallen into decay and almost ruin. 
We finished the day at Mr. Ellah's, and supped there. 

The French Abbe was the first man I have met in Europe who 
appears to have much information of the state of public affairs, 
and the first who spoke of them without extreme reserve. He 
told us many circumstances relating to the confinement of the 
late King of Sweden, and the embarrassment of the present 
Government to determine what they should do with him. He 



1809.] 7//£ MS^ION TO aUSSU. 33 

asked permission to retire to ^ society of the Moravian fraternity, 
whiclji he formerly visited in Ijolstein; which was refused. A 
proposition had been ms^^e that ihe should be allowed to reside 
in Switzerland ; but the consc^nt of t;he Swiss could not be ob- 
tained. The present Swedish administration had applied to the 
opposition party in ^ngls^nd, to propose that he anight have an 
asylum ip England ; but ^ opposition had refused. He was 
now on a ^mall .island ; ^nder no other confinement, and his 
family with him. The Duke of Sudermania is king, and the 
Prince .of Holstein ja^^A Norway, to whom the succession to the 
crown has h^cn qffered, hsts accepted it, to take effect after peace 
concluded ]>c^tweep Sweden and Denmark. That between Rus- 
sia and $weden is already concluded, of which a handbill from 
Copenhagen gaye us information — Russia to keep Finland, and 
Sweden to join in ^e continental system. While at table, Mr.. 
E^)lah received .(;he newspapers by the mail. The Hamburg: 
papers contfiin fin account of our sailing from Boston, and the 
President's proclamation. of 9th Augqst, renewing the non-inter- 
course wit;h Qreat Britain. The Abbe told us of a curious mode 
of warfare practised here last winter against Sweden. For about 
thirty .^ays successively, one or two balloons were sent up every 
day frpvn the .<;astle of ,Cr9nberg,:to descend upon the Swedish 
coast, and loaded with copies of a printed inflammatory address 
to the Swedisjh pation, instigs^ting them to revolt against their 
thqn sovereign, .and urgently recommending to them the ex- 
traordinary virtues of the King of Denn^airk. They produced, 
however, as he 3^ys, no eflect, leaving iinmediately excited the 
attention of t)ie Swedish police, which easily procured and sup- 
pressed all the papers (hat came to land. 

30th. The Qaptfiin.and his companions returned from Copen- 
hagen ithis morning 2(bout six o'clock. He brought me .two 
letters Ti^Qm the Americans there detained, entreating me to 
con^e tjhei^e, whiph they .thought might contribute to obtain 
relief for th^ni. The twind being direqtly ahead, so that the 
ship cannot now sail, :I determined to go and hear what they 
desired, see Mr. Saabye, and leave with him a representatipn to 
be presented to the P^^nish Government. I went on board. the 
ship; took with me {|he articles and ps^pers necessary for my 

VOL. II. — 3 



34 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Sq>t«nbcr, 

journey, returned to the shore, and about one in the afternoon 
set oflT with Mr. Smith in a post coach for Copenhagen. A 
Danish gentleman, who told us he had himself engaged the 
carriage, asked if we had any objection to his taking a seat with 
us, which we readily gave him. The distance is six Danish 
miles of fifteen to a degree, or about twenty-eight English 
statute miles. We rode it in five hours, and landed at what is 
called the English Hotel, in the great square at Copenhagen — 
kept by Rau and Schmetzer — about six in the evening. Our 
Danish companion here left us. He told us he was a student in 
the University of Copenhagen, and at the same time a lawyer; 
that in this university there are about six hundred students in 
the three learned professions, but chiefly the law. He informed 
us of the names of the several places through which we passed 
— ^Amsterdam, Hersholm, and Lyng-bJ?e — ^and pointed to us in 
the Sound the island of Hueen, where, he says, Tycho Brahe 
resided, and made his observations from a town, the ruins of 
which are still extant. The island now belongs to Sweden. 

The country from Helsingoer to Kiobenhavn (these are the 
Danish names of Elsineur and Copenhagen) is very beautiful, 
resembling much the county of Kent, from Dover to London, 
in England. The road is a turnpike, and, although somewhat 
broken up by the autumnal rains, is yet very good. These 
rains have continued every day for several weeks, and while 
on our way this day we had several showers. Part of the 
country is covered by beautiful oaks and other forest trees. 
Part consists of turf grounds, many heaps of which we saw 
exposed to be dried. There is some pasturing land, and some 
where grain has been standing. The proprietary separations 
of the lands are partly sloe hedge and ditch, after the English 
fashion, and partly stone walls about three feet high, backed 
with a mound of earth and sod up level with the top of the 
wall. We met a great number of peasants' carts coming from 
Copenhagen, with one, two, or four horses — wagons on four 
wheels, the body made of boards in the shape of a bread- 
trough. The travelling carriages are mostly made in the same 
shape — sometimes of wicker-work instead of boards — usually 
three benches crossing them, with or without arms as chairs ; 



1809.J THE MISSION TO HUSSTA. 35 

and sometimes in the centre, the body of a chaise with a boot. 
The body of these carriages rests only upon the axle-trees, 
and a transverse beam extending lengthwise. But the benches 
and the chaise in the most convenient of them are suspended 
upon springs within the wagon. These are almost their only 
travelling carriages. We met only one coabh like our own on 
the way. 

- Immediately on my arrival I sent for Mr. Adgate, the super- 
cargo of the ship Helvetius, the first signer of the letter which 
requested me to come, and who lodges in the house where we 
stopped. He c^me and passed a couple of hours with me. 
He told me his own situation, and that of the other Americans 
here; which, though unpleasant, is far less so than that of 
Christiansand. Of those detained here, two have not yet been 
tried, and two have been condemned. The rest are all cleared 
in the inferior prize court, and expect the decision of the Court 
of Admiralty shortly. The cases of condemnation are in both 
instances for misconduct in the captains. Mr. Smith went with 
my compliments to Mr. Saabye, to enquire when I could see 
him at his house, this evening or to-morrow morning. ' He sent 
me word he would call upon me at my lodgings to-morrow 
morning at eight o'clock, I wrote to Mr. Lizkewitz, the Rus- 
sian Minister Plenipotentiary, to enquire when I could see him 
at his house. He was not at home when I sent the billet. I 
also sent to enquire whether Count BernstorflTwas in town, and 
received for answer that he was not. Wrote part of a letter 
to Mr. Saabye, containing a representation in behalf of the 
detained Americans, with a request that he would lay the 
substance of it before the Danish Government. 

Day, The three first weeks of the month like the last month. 
Since we made the land of Norway I have had no regular course 
of life to pursue. Every day hsLs been altogether different from 
every other, and this unsettled state still continues. 

October ist. Mr. Saabye called upon me this morning about 
nine o'clock, and I had an ^hour's conversation with him upon 
the cases of Americans captured and detained here. He assured 
me that he had made every possible representation in their 
favor, and that this Government was certainly well disposed to 



36 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

do them justice. He also told me that Count BernstorfT was 
now at his countiy-se^t, about three miles out of the city, and 
not far out of the way to Elsineur ; that I <:ould see him jf I 
called there at any time before three o'clock in the afternoon. 
I ordered a carriage and horses, to leave Ihe city at half-past 
one;, and finished the letter to Mr. Saabye. The Americans all 
came in, and detained me until near one. The Russian Minister 
had appointed twelve at noon to see nne at his house, and in- 
vited me to dine with him to-morrow. When I called at his 
house I found he had been about five minutes gone out. I 
could not wait for his returi^, and wrote him an apology, which 
I left to be sent after our departure. The. letter to Mr. Saabye 
I left in like manner, and wrote a short note to Count Bern- 
storfT, requesting an immediate conference with him, intending 
to send it in .at his house. Just .after two we got into the car- 
ric^ge, and went out iirst to Count BernstorfT's House. There 
I found he was not :at home and would not return until late 
at night. The wind has been all this day as fair .as it could 
blow for us to proceed upon our voyage. I could not justi^^ 
to myself a longer delay for business not .within my province, 
and i)pon which there was so little prospect of jny ;being able 
to render the service which I desired. I gave up, therefore, 
the hope of seeing Count Bernstorif, and continued lay journey 
to Elsineur, where we arrived safe about nine o'clock in the 
evening. We have seen upon our journey scarcely anything 
but soldiers, of which there are nearly fifty thousand npon this 
little island of Zealanc). Schmetzer, the keeper of the house 
where we lodged, told tus there were soldiers enough, now they 
. were not wanted ; but none at all when they were. He also 
told us that seven >bombs had fallen upon that single house at 
the time of the English bombardment, and one woman killed 
standing at the .gate. There is in the. streets of Copenhagen a 
great appearance of stagnation in all business, and solitude. 
There is also the reality.; for the English blockade operates as 
a total obstruction to commerce, which was the principal sub- 
sistence of Copenhagen. 

2d. We all embarked this morning on board the ship, with 
a fair wind, 'though a very light one. We weighed anchor 



I8o90 '^^^ MISSION TO RUSSIA. 37 

to proceed upon our voyage ; but within half an hour the wind 
fell away to a calm, the current set in against us, and we were 
again obliged to come to an anchor, within half a mile of the 
spot where it had been weighed. 

3d. Wind ahead the whole day, with rainy weather and a 
thick fog. The captain sent the boat on shore for water, and 
Mr. Smith and Mr. Everett went in it, to see the (air which is 
how holding at Elsineur. This morning a British man-of-war 
came and anchored. in sight of us, close under the island of 
Hueen^ which is ahead of us four or five miles. In the course 
of the forenoon a ship came down standing close upon the 
Swedish shore, as iC intending to pass the castle. A number 
of shot were fired at her from the batteries on shore, which 
fell short of her, and a number of gun-boats came out from the 
shore, and finally brought her to — took her in and anchored 
her close under the land. She was the Concordia, of New 
York, Captain David Johnson, and had been forbidden by the 
British armed ship from entering any of the ports of Zealand. 
The British ship immediately got under weigh, came down 
under the Swedish shore, and anchored directly abreast of us. 
About eleven at night a boat came out from the gun-boats and 
requested us to put out the lights in our cabin. They were 
rowing round the roads, and apprehended that our lights might 
be too serviceable to the British man-of-war anchored under 
the Swedish shore. 

5th. About eight o'clock this morning, the wind being fair, 
though very light, we got under weigh, without being molested 
by the British two-decker which had anchored so near us. We 
sailed close under the Danish shore the whole day; which 
being very mild and pleasant, and the prospects on shore very 
variegated and beautiful, I passed almost the whole day upon 
deck. The island of Hueen lies nearly midway between the 
Swedish and Danish shores, and between Elsineur and Copen- 
hagen. It is about nine English hiiles round. The principal 
objects which presented themselves as we passed between it 
on the left hand, and the island of Zealand on the right, are 
a solitary church, on the highest eminence of the land — the 
owner's house, bosomed high in tufted trees, towards the 



38 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

southern extremity of the island — several scattered farm-houses, 
and on the very beach a few houses of fishermen. The owner 
is a Swedish nobleman, a Count Tausen. Our Baltic pilot tells 
me there are about five hundred inhabitants on the island. 

Just after passing by its southern extremity we saw beyond 
it on the Swedish shore Carlscrona, which is a considerable 
town. On the Danish side we successively passed Pletten vil- 
lage — Sophienberg, formerly a royal palace, but now the property 
of an individual — Wahbock, a place of paper-mills, and where 
the principal part of the English troops landed, at the bom- 
bardment of Copenhagen — Scotsport, a village, the abode of 
tanners — ^and Tarbock — with Charlottenlund, a royal summer- 
house, sometimes called the Hermitage. All these places afford 
a beautiful variety of romantic situations. And it was equally 
pleasing to see that the palaces had no magnificence, and the 
villages no wretchedness, in their appearance. ' We had also a 
view of the palace of Fredericksburg, about four miles out of 
Copenhagen. This city opened some of its steeples upon us 
before we had entirely passed the island of Hueen ; but, being 
situated on very low land, it makes not much figure as you 
pass it. We went without annoyance by the three-crown bat- 
tery, but opposite the centre of the city there is another battery 
upon three sunken seventy-four-gun ships : it is in the narrowest 
part of the channel, at what is called the middle ground. As 
we came up there, a gun was fired to bring us to, which was 
quite unexpected to the captain and both the pilots. They 
thought it was a demand for the usual salute of striking the 
top-gallant sail; which was done. But immediately after, a 
.second gun was fired, loaded with a ball, which struck a little 
.ahead of our ship. The channel was too narrow to admit of 
ithe ship's coming to; so that we were obliged to come to 
.anchor in the mjdst of the passage. An officer came on board, 
examined the captain's papers, and informed him he might 
proceed. 

This business delayed us upwards of an hour, and before we 
got over the grounds we had in succession three more visits 
from gun-boats and floating batteries. Two of the boats, how- 
ever, on information who we were, forbore coming on board. 



i809.] TUB MISSiON TO XUSSIA. 39 

One of them took ofT our pilot for the Grounds, just at the 
dusk of the evening, and before we had entirely got over them. 
The Grounds are shallows between the islands of Amager and 
Saltholm, just opposite Copenhagen; and the passage is so 
narrow that they cannot be crossed in the night. Amager 
Island is joined by a bridge to the city of Copenhagen, and 
is inhabited principally by Dutch settlers, who supply the city 
with vegetables. At the southern extremity of this island is a 
small town called Dragoe, and here terminates the passage over 
the Grounds. About an hour afterwards we opened the light- 
house of Falsterbo, on the Swedish shore, and ran in sight of it 
till midnight 

6th. This morning we had the island of Moen astern, almost 
out of sight, and, the wind being unfavorable, we were obliged 
to stretch over to the coast of Swedish Pomerania, upon which 
we soon made the island of Rugen, nearly opposite to the 
mouths of the Oder River. We had very fine weather the 
whole day, and, running close to the wind, we made before 
night the island of Bornholm, the last of the Danish islands. 
Our captain and pilot preferring the passage north of this 
island, between it and the Swedish coast, we were obliged to 
lay as close to the wind as possible, and this evening to beat 
between the island and the mainland. 

9th. The wind continues steadily ahead, and, after gradually 
subsiding all the early part of the day, freshens towards night, 
and in the night blows heavily. Last night we had a severe 
gale, with a strong current setting also against us. For three 
days we have been beating half the day about southeast, and 
half the day northwest, without advancing a league in our 
course. We have also in the night a heavy sea, which makes 
repose impossible. The weather, however, has hitherto been 
fair. This day the wind subsided, and, being the day of a new 
moon, flattered us with the prospect of a change. 

lOth. The flattering prospects of the last evening have dis- 
appointed us. The night was moderate ; and the day has been 
so, with the exception of a constant succession of squalls, with 
rain, hail, sleet, snow, and sometimes wind — but the wind con- 
tinues inflexible ; blowing directly from the point to which we 



^O MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Ckrlobc^, 

zxt bouiYcf. It has now becoihe very dbtibtful whetfier it will 
be possible for us to reach Cronstadt before the winter sets m 
with ice. We have not gained one league ahead th^se five da;ys. 
I proposed to the daptain to go into the little island Christiahsoe 
and wait for a wind^ but he thought it could not b6 dbn^e with- 
out endangering the ship. He' himself proposed to ttirfr back 
and go and winter at Kiel< — and to proceed to Petersburg in the 
spring. I ha^e taken time untit to^morr6w morhing to reflect 
upon this proposal. 

1 1 th. We are still xtt sight of the island of 6omholm, ahd \ti 
six days have rafli'^r lost than gained oA our c6urse. The pfps- 
pect of reaching Cronstadt before the formation of the ice, ^hich 
will make it impi^ticable, has how' become desperate, ahd it 
only remains to be considered what in this emergency is to be 
done. After full reflection upon the Captain's proposal t6 turn 
back and go into Kiel — to winter there and proceed in the 
spring in the vessel to Petersburg — I determined to decline 
it ; at least until somethihg better shall be found unattainable. 
The navigation upon the Baltic i^ now very dangerous, aAd I 
have proposed to the captain, if p6ssible, to lafid ds a^where 
short of Cronstadt, but ahead of this, from whith we may 
attempt to proceed on our journey by laAd. This is rtovir the 
expedient to which we must resort, and the suc<>ess of this is in 
better hands than mine. 

1 3th. The night passed away withbtit a ^eVere gfale, but with 
many squalls of wind and rain ; this morAihg it dame to blow 
with so much violence that it became dangerbufs to have the 
island of Bornholm so near under oiir lee. The captain is 
extremely urgent to turn back and ^g to wfAter at Kiel or 
Copenhagen*. The pilot is equally averse to pfroceeding. Both 
consider it a[s impossible to get up this season to Petersburg, 
and equally impossible to land iis at anfy port in the Baltic short 
of Petersburg, unless it be Reval ot Port Baltic. I renewed 
this morning to the ca^ptain the proposition io ^o into the 
harbor of Christiansoe, and there wait for a wind. This he 
again absolutely declined; but begihfning to be short of many 
articles of provisions, and alarmed at the lee shore of Bornholm, 
he determined to bear away for it, and weather the gale under 



i«09.] TH]^ MISSldN to KU^S/A. ^i 

its iee. At niboA fhe s!ti\p ^as bf ought fdiind, and hk leiis tYaSii 
two hour^ wcf were t\o^t ali thtf eritr^ilte of Christians'^^. We 
hoisted the ffag at the foremast head, atid the fhg dt tlie eadtle 
was hoisted hi fetum^ ithich is . the signal that t pitot would 
come out to tH^ if We thosie to stafhd iii. The cSiptain, how- 
ever, persevered iii his deferrnfrn^tioil ii6t fo go in, Ind stbOd 
on aloiig t^e island 6f B6rnhoInl. 

J4th. Th'i^ nfiofning our flag Wds hoisted af the head of the 
foremast, upoh* Which two bt>^ts carhe out iCf us from the shore. 
The wind still contiYiuirtg about east by north, and blowing ^ 
hard gale the whole day, Wief stood to and' from' the shore alter- 
nately until the evening. tJnder the high land of the shore there 
was little se^, and so^ little of a gale that! the boats Were able to 
come out to us fhe Whole day; but when Wef stood out clear of 
the land, the Wind and sea were is rotgh a^ We could bear with 
a reefed foresail aitd to{>^sails. The first boats that caine otit 
brought no provision^, having Seen forbidden f>y the confimfand- 
ant, who had taken us for an English shi{>. Word was then 
^nt on shore who ^nd What we were. With ir list of the articles 
of provisions that we wanted. I'he boat returned soon after 
noon with a young officer, who came with the' eonipliments of 
the' Governor of the island, a naval Officer named Rote, a 
knight of the order of DannebrOg, and the offer of anything 
Whieh We could want for supplies. The officer said he had 
seen in the newspaper^ art account of our having passed at 
Elsineur, and intirnated a wish to see the pass or license 
fr6m the Danish authority. I shoWed hirh the order which 
Conimodore Fiseher gave tne at Christiansand, With which 
he appeared much ghitified. The Captain also showed him 
hi^ papers frorn Elsineui^. 

By this officer I sent fny 6ortipliments to the Governor, With 
niy thanks fof his civility, ^nd the assurance that if we should 
reniain here to-mofrow, and the Weather Wcfdld ddmit 6i my 
landing, I would go on ^hore to pay my re^pect^ and rettfrn my 
thanks to the Gove'rnOf Irt ffefson. The officer had brought me 
to invitation to come on sh6^e, and one to the ladies to a ball, 
to-morrow evening. 

Between four and fivd in tiid afternoon the boat came again 



^2 UEStOIJlS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October. 

on board, with the supply of provisions which had been desired, 
and with it came another naval officer, named Smid, who, we 
had been told in the morning, was the commandant at the village 
of Hassley, abreast of where we lay, but who told me that h^ was 
of the Governor's stafT, who repeated the invitation from the Gov- 
ernor to nte, to come on shore to-morrow, and said the Governor 
himself had come from Ronne, the capital of the island, where 
he resided, to Hassley, to meet me there if I should go on shore. 
Ronne is distant from Hassley one Danish mile, fifteen to a 
degree. At Ronne is a road where large vessels may lie in 
perfect safety at anchor, and the officer very obligingly urged 
us to go and anchor there. He had brought with him a pilot 
for the place. Our captain, however, having lost one cable and 
anchor, was afraid of anchoring in an open road, and preferred 
standing out and in for the night, as we had done all day. He 
finally concluded, however, to bear away before the wind for 
Kiel, with the determination still, if a change of wind should 
take place, or the weather moderate, to come about again and 
take the last chance of a possibility to go up the Baltic this 
season. To this I consented. We accordingly bore away at 
eight this evening. 

15th. We went before the wind all night, and made Moen 
Island about eight o'clock this momtng. But the wind having 
much moderated in the course of the night, and the warmth of 
the weather indicating an approaching change, the captain, at 
my desire, agreed to make one last attempt to resume our 
course i in consequence of^which we hauled by the wind, and 
stood so the whole of this day. I read two sermons of Massillon 
— the two last in the second volume of Lent Sermons — on the 
mixture of good and evil persons in the world, and on real 
religion. I read also some sections in Pale/s Horse Faulinae. 
This is the first day of ten in which I have found it [>ossible to 
read or write with the composure which admits of due attention. 
A brig with English colors brought us to, this morning, but 
left us without boarding us or our hoisting our flag. 

17th. Our fair wind forsook us this morning about six o'clock, 
and came nearly ahead, where it remained all the morning 
and from noon to midnight we had a total calm. With ibe 




^ 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 43 

change of wind our captain's inclination to turn back and go 
to Kiel returned. I proposed to him to land me at Dantzic, 
or to go to Carlscrona ; but he had plausible, and indeed solid, 
objections to this. I persuaded him, however, to stand on a 
little longer ; but he and the pilot and all the crew are alarmed 
at navigating the Baltic so late in the season, and desponding 
under the long succession and continued prospect of adverse 
winds. The passengers all share in these feelings, and I, who 
have so much more embarked than the rest, cannot sufficiently 
suppress my own impatience. Yet, in the pursuit of a public 
trust, I cannot abandon, upon any motive less than that of 
absolute necessity, the endeavor to reach the place of my desti- 
nation by the shortest course possible. We saw four men-of- 
war crowding sail out of the Baltic, apparently English — one 
ship of the line, two frigates, and a brig. They made signals as 
they were passing, but did not stop us. We saw also several 
other vessels in the course of the day, but no land. 

19th. Fair wind, with a fresh gale, all night and all this day. 
We stood north for the island of Gottland until noon, without 
making it, and then our course northeast until night. The 
islands of Oland and Gottland are near each other, and it is 
usual to make the latter, as a new point of departure. In this 
endeavor, however, we have not succeeded. We saw several 
vessels in the course of the day, and among others one astern, 
standing the same course as ourselves. She crowded sail to 
come up with us, and we slackened sail to let her overtake us. 
She came up and spoke with us about twelve at night — a New 
York ship, the Ocean, Captain Benjamin Richards, from Malaga, 
bound to Petersburg ; supposes Dagerort, in the island of Dago, 
twelve leagues' distance; our captain's reckoning makes it fif- 
teen leagues. 

20th. Our wind continued fresh and fair all night and all this 
day, but with rain and fog, and an atmosphere so obscured that 
we could see no land in any direction. About eight this morn- 
ing we spoke again to Captain Richards ; he supposed Dagerort 
to be distant six leagues, and that we should see it within two 
hours. We sailed all day within speaking distance of each 
other. Our pilot's anxiety at missing sight both of Gottland 



44 MEMOIRS 0F JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [CKctober, 

an(f Dago was extreme; and his impatience approached to dis- 
traction. Soon after noon, however, we saw under the lee a 
small Dutch-built schooner beating down against the wind, and 
altered our course Ifa sf>eak with her. When she came to a 
suitable distance both ships hove to*, but the Ocean' only suc- 
ceeded in speaking. From Captain Richards the intelligence 
he had obtained was repeated to us. It was that we should 
shortfy make th« Odersholm light, which the schooner had 
seen since noon, on standing ont from the land. 'Hiis agreed 
very well with oof pilot's reckoning, for he had supposed both by 
that and by the color and smoothness of the water, remarkably 
different from that we had experienced for several days, that we 
were already entered the Gulf of Finland. We now stood on m 
our course with a fair wind blowing very strong, and within 
two hours saw the Odersholm light, and after it successively, 
in the course of the evening, the Ragerwick and Reval lights, 
each distant from the other about twenty miles. The evening 
was variable — somethnes with a bright moonshine, and promis- 
ing a continuance of moderate weather, with a &vorable breeze. 
According to its variations, the resolution of our pilot also 
changed. At one time he ordered the ship to be put under 
short sail, intending to lay to for the night before reaching 
Reval ; but finally, having seen the island of Hargo, and the 
moon shrning out m a more promising manner, he called up 
the captain from his berth and made full sail. The place which 
he was afraid of passing in the night was Revalstan, a reef of 
rocks cast of Reval, which forms one of the dangerous passages 
of the gulf. What contributed much to his determination, and 
that of the captain, to proceed, was the idea of the other ship^s 
proceeding while we should stop short. He was very desirous 
of speaking to the other ship, and asking what she meant to do. 
Mr. Louder, the mate, who had the watch, would not comply 
with this request ; but, at the last, the pilot would not go on until 
the captain himself came on deck. The captain, as well as the . 
pilots had some scruples about passing Reval, and probably 
concluded to stand on because the Ocean would have stood on 
without us. I was on deck late this night, and until one in the 
morning. 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. ^5 

2 1 St We passed by the Reval stone and the Kokskar light- 
house in the night, the latter part of which was veiy boisterous. 
About Ave this moriiing the wind came round least of north, 
nearly ahead for us, and blew a gale until about ten, clearing 
the sky of every cloud tupon lit. The remainder of the day 
was moderate, ithe weather mild and fine as possible, and tthe 
wind drawing so far to the westward as to enable us to make 

• the northward of Hogland Island. We made this about noon, 
and passed the two fires upon it about seven in the evening. 
This is a very narrow passage, and one of the most dangerous 
in the Gulf of Finland. We .passed it !by moonlight, with a 
breeze just sufficient to fill our sails, and the moon within 
two xiays of being full. In the evening we passed ithe light 
on Somero, and .about midnight came in sight lof the Syskar 
light. Hogland is about eighty mile^, and Syskar sixty, from 
Cronstadt The Ocean followed us far to windward all the 
morning, and reached the Hogland passage about ten minutes 
after us. 

22d. We had atlight and favorable breeze the whole night and 
a(ll the morning, iduring which we passed up the gulf in sight 
of land on both sides. About eleven this jmorning we saw the 
Tolbacken light-rhouse about six miles below Cronstadt, and 
soon .came up iwith it. At one, afternoon, we came into Cron- 
stadt Road, where we found a number of Russian men-of-war. 
An officer came on board from the -first of 'two guard-ships 
stationed there, and sent his boat on iboard the second guard- 
ship for a pilot to conduct ,us .into 'the Mole. We also made a 
signal at the foremast-head for a pilot from the shore. But 
none could.be procured, and wecame tp anchor near the second 
guard-ship at two. Here we waited .for a pilot until almost five, 
when it became too late to :think of getting into the Mole this 
night. After sending two or three .times on board the guard- 
ship for a pilot, one came at length on board, when it was ttoo 
late to work the ship into ithe Mole. The lieutenant from the 

. guard-ship offered us, however, his boatito go on shore; vwhich 
offer I -finally, though with much reluctance, accepted. My ob- 
ject was merely to land and get a lodging for the night at .an 
inn. But J was apprehensive of some obstruction in Jandiiig, 



46 MEMOIRS OF yOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

though the lieutenant gave us the most positive assurances 
that there would be none. At length I concluded to go. We 
were about two miles distant from the Mole, and when we had 
sailed about half the way to it we met a barge rowing out from 
the shore with three officers in it, who spoke to our boatmen, 
and ordered them first to turn back, and afterwards to follow 
them. Our interpreter, the pilot, understood no more Russian 
than ourselves ; so we followed the barge to a landing within 
the Mole. 

I landed, and an officer who spoke German very politely 
invited me to go with him to the admiral, Kolokoltzof, before 
whom all strangers arriving from abroad by sea have to pass 
an examination. I enquired whether the ladies also were to 
go ; upon which he answered it would be best, but they might 
go or stay at the boat as we chose. We therefore all went 
together, walking nearly a mile to the admiral's house. In 
passing through his antechamber we found there a number of 
Americans waiting for examination, and among the rest Mr. 
Fisher, whom we left at Christiansand, and who arrived at 
Cronstadt before us this morning. We went through the ad- 
miral's apartments, where there was company assembled, and 
in the last of which we found his lady and several others, who 
spoke French. The admiral himself soon appeared, but speaks 
only Russian. When informed who we were, he showed us 
every possible civility; and immediately sent an officer on board 
the ship to bring her into the mole this night; to which, how- 
ever, I knew the captain would not consent. The admiral sent 
immediately for Mr. Sparrow, an Englishman, who is the agent 
for American ships and masters here, and who informed us that 
by order of Mr. Harris, the American Consul at Petersburg, 
he had engaged chambers for us at the best inn of the place. 
The admiral and his lady both offered us lodgings in their own 
house, and urged us very warmly to accept them ; which, how- 
ever, we declineci. The carriages which they ordered to take 
us to the inn we, however, accepted. Mr. Sparrow accompanied . 
us to the inn ; but on arriving there we found that the chambers 
which he had bespoken for us had this day been taken by com- 
pany from Petersburg, and there was not a room in the house 



l809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 47 

disengaged. It wad now dark, between seven and eight in the 
evening ; blowing so fresh that we could not get on board our 
ship again ; so that we were obliged to accept Mr. Sparrow's 
offer to give us lodging in his own house. Here we found 
very good apartments, an excellent supper, and a comfortable 
lodging for the night 

23d. It blew a heavy gale of wind all the night, which con- 
tinued this day, so that it was equally impossible for the ship to 
warp into the mole and for any boat to go off to the ship. But 
it was fair as possible for coming up to Petersburg. Admiral 
Kolokoltzof, who, with the Governor of Cronstadt, this morning 
paid me a visit, offered me the use of a Government boat, with 
a deck and cabin, but at the same time advised us to stay here 
until the weather should be more moderate. The admiral the 
next in command under him, Lomenne, also paid us a visit, 
and recommended to us to wait for fine weather. But we could 
procure no lodgings at any public house. We had been already 
too burdensome to Mr. Sparrow, and could not think of con- 
tinuing longer at his house. An American gentleman, Mr. 
Martin, was coming up to Petersburg, and offered to bear us 
company ; and by delay we might have lost the finest oppor- 
tunity for completing in three or four hours of time the remainder 
of our voyage. We therefore determined to proceed in the Gov- 
ernment boat about eleven o'clock. It took us nearly two hours 
to warp out of the mole, and then three hours up to Petersburg, 
where we landed just below the bridge over the Neva, upon 
the quay, at four o'clock in the afternoon. It blew a strong 
gale all the way up. We passed rapidly the palaces of Oranicn- 
baum and Peterhof, and the bar seven wersts below the city, 
where there is only eight feet of water, and where the channel 
is winding and narrow, obliging our boat several times to 
change her tacks. 

When we came to the land, Mr. Martin immediately went 
and procured a carriage, in which the ladies rode with the 
child, while we walked to his lodgings. A Mr. Richardson, 
whom we met upon the quay, and who undertook to look out 
lodgings for us, came in early in the evening, and with him I 
went to the Hotel de Londres, in the street called the Newsky 



^8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QU/NCY ADAMS. [October, 

Perspective, and engaged i^n ^tpattmept of iivq in<;|iflereot cham- 
ber3, but said to be ,the best in .the ,city.' 

25th. This morning Mr. Harris sent $1 note ,to the High 
ChsMicellor of the Empice, Count Roman^ofT/ informing .him of 
my s^rrival, and qf my wish :tp yi^it liim, enquiring ^i vwh?^t time 
it would be agreeable to him to receive this visit. He appointed 
seven o'clock ithis evening. Mr. .Harris dined with us, and, at 
seyen this evening, went with me to the Chancqllpr'^ We went 
according to the cu3tQinary style, in full dress. The Count 
received us with courtly state and politeness. He asked for ^ 
copy of .iny credential letter, which I gave .hini, with a French 
translation. He s^d that the Emperor v^fis now indisposed with 
an inflammation in both his legs, which confined him to a seat on 
his sofa, but he would be up again in the course .of a few d^ys. 
He would take his orders on the subject .qf niy request for iin 
audience to-morrow, s^nd in the mcs^n time he assured me that 
the information of my appqintnient had been very agreeable to 
him. We made our visit short, and the cpnversatiQn was UPPO 
general topics. 

.28th. Mr. Krehmer paid me a visit this morning in company 
with Mr. Harris. I went with the latter of these gentlemen to 
look at a house, the accommodations of which, however, did 
not please me. We met there the Baron de Scbladen, the 
Prussian Minister, who was in pursuit of the same object, and 
tp whom Mr. Harris introduced .me. At four p'clqck I went 
with Mr. Harris and.dined at the Chancellor Count HomanzofT's. 
I had in the year 178 1 dined at the same house, much in the 
same style, with the Marquis de Verac, then the French Min- 
ister at this Court This was a diplpn^atic dinner, in the style 

> In view of the present facilities of travel, it may not be out of place to point out 
that in .the year 1809 this tempestuous an4 hazardous voyage.of seventy-five days 
in a simple merchant-vessel was deemed the most eligible mpde of tfanspQrtjng to 
his place of d^sdm^iqn |he Tirst DjplomaMc ^nvoy from (he XJnitcfil States ever 
accredited to the court of St. Petersburg. It is true that the government had 
directed one of the few national frigates to be got in readiness for Mr. Adams. 
But, in the condition things w^re ip at that .time, it. was thought more prudent to 
t^ke no risk pf delay. The. result con^nped the wisdom of the flecisipi). 

■ Hiis nnme is ^pelt Rioumiantsof in the Biographic G^n^rale, but, as it |s pro- 
nounced as spelt libove, it has not been thought worth while to ||ter it. 



1809.1 ^^^^ MISSION iro MUSSIA, 



49 



of the highest splendor ; about forty-five persons at table. The 
French Ambassador le Due de Vicence, M. de Caulaincourt, 
was the principal personage at table. The Baron de Stedingk, 
who has been here many years, as Swedish Minister, and who 
was one of the negotiators of the late Treaty of peace between 
Sweden and Russia, was also there. Mr. Six, whom I had 
formerly met at the Chevalier d*Araujo's at the Hague, now 
Minister here, from the King of Holland. I sat next to the 
Chevalier de Bray, Minister from the King of Bavaria, whom I 
once saw in the year 1800, at Berlin. The Chevalier de Navarro, 
Portuguese Charge d' Affaires, I had also known as a Secretary 
to the Vicomte d*Anadia, at Berlin. The rest of the company 
were strangers to me. But they are all covered with stars and 
ribbons — ^beyond anything that I had ever seen. 

The dinner did not last more than two hours. It was mag- 
nificent in every particular. The Chancellor showed me at 
table, and afterwards, many pointed and formal civilities. He 
exhibited two superb large vases of Sevres china, and splendid 
editions of Virgil and Racine — ^presents which he had received 
from the Emperor Napoleon; bestowed in a very gracious 
manner, which the Count related with much apparent satisfac- 
tion. The house — ^the company — the exhibitions — the recollec- 
tions of the Marquis de Verac, and his magnificence, which I 
had witnessed on the same spot, led my mind so forcibly to the 
mutability of human fortunes, that it shared but little in the 
gorgeous scene around me. We heard this day that the peace 
between France and Austria' was concluded ; and that Te Deum 
was to be sung to-morrow in the French Ambassador's chapel 
on this occasion. 

29th. The Chancellor yesterday told me that the Emperor was 
still confined, which would yet delay my reception for some days. 
But he repeated that the mission was agreeable to him, and he 
said he had been much gratified with Mr. DaschkofT's* dis- 
patches, which I had called and lefl the day before yesterday 
at his house. Mr. DaschkofT, he said, was highly pleased, as 
well with his reception by the President as with the great and 

■ Determined hy the result of the battle of Wagram. 
* The first Minister sent to the United States by the Emperor of Russia, 
vol.. li. — 4 



JO MEMOIRS OF jbHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

numerous civilities which he had received from the inhabitants 
of Philadelphia, and of the other places where he had been. 

November 2d. Mr. Harris called again, and passed a couple 
of hours with us in the evening. He also sent me a Russian 
and French Dictionary and Grammar, from which I began the 
attempt to learn the characters of the Russian alphabet. 
Among the peculiarities of this country, with which it will be 
proper to become more conversant, are the stoves, the kitchens, 
the double windows, the construction of the houses generally, 
and the drosskys. These and other things will be the subjects 
of more particular future observation. I tried this day two of 
their most ordinary liquors — the quas, at two kopecks the 
bottle, and the chitslisky, at five. They have a taste of small 
beer, with an acid not unpalatable to me, though much so to 
all the rest of the family. 

4th. This morning I received from the High Chancellor, 
Count Romanzoff, a written notification that the Emperor 
being now better, he had condescended to fix the audiences for 
me to-morrow, immediately after his hearing mass, and that im- 
mediately after coming out from the Emperor' I should have the 
honor of being presented to the Empress. While we were at 
dinner, Mr. Harris came in with a gentleman from the Com- 
mandeur de Maisonneuve, who told me that he, who was the 
master of ceremonies, would call upon me at any hour I should 
name this evening, to arrange with me the « ceremonial of my 
presentation. I named to him seven o'clock; he came about 
eight. The formalities of these court presentations are so 
trifling and insignificant in themselves, and so important in the 
eyes of princes and courtiers, that they are much more embar- 
rassing to an American than business of real importance. It is 
not safe or prudent to despise them, nor practicable for a person 
of rational understanding to value them. M. de Maisonneuve, 
however, as an old acquaintance, gave me all the information 
which I could desire. 

5 th. At ten minutes past one, according to the appointment 
of M. de Maisonneuve, I went to the Imperial Palace, and at 

' Alexander the First, at this time in the flower of his age. Born 23d December, 
1777, he came to the throne Match 24, 1801. 



i809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 51 

about two was conducted by him to the entrance of the Em- 
peror's cabinet, the door of which was opened, and at which 
he stopped. I entered, and found the Emperor alone. 

As I stepped forward, he advanced to me near to the door, 
and said, in French, " Monsieur, je suis charme d'avoir le plaisir 
de vous voir ici." 

I then presented to him my credential letter, and, addressing 
him in French, said that in delivering it, I was charged to add 
that the President of the United States hoped his Imperial 
Majesty would consider the mission as a proof of the President's 
respect for hi^ Majesty's person and character, of his desire to 
multiply and to strengthen the relations of friendship and 
commerce between his Majesty's provinces and the United 
States, and of grateful acknowledgment for the frequent testi- 
monials of good will which his Majesty, on many occasions, 
had given towards the United States. 

He replied by desiring me to assure the President of the 
United States that this new addition to the relations between 
the two countries gave him great pleasure ; that in everything 
that depended upon him he should be happy to contribute 
towards increasing the friendly intercourse between them ; that 
with regard to the political relations of Europe, and those 
unhappy disturbances which agitated its different states, the 
system of the United States was wise and just, and they might 
rely upon it he would do nothing to withdraw them from it ; 
that the Continent of Europe was now in a manner pacified, and 
that the only obstacle to a general pacification was the obstinate 
adherence of England to a system of maritime pretensions 
which was neither liberal nor just; that the only object now 
to be attained by the war was to bring England to reasonable 
terms on this subject, and that she could no longer flatter her- 
self with any support for her system upon the Continent ; that 
Austria, afler abandoning herself to inconsiderate counsels, and 
disregarding the advice which he had given her (qu'on lui avoit 
donne), had now been obliged to make peace, and to sacrifice 
several of her provinces ; that Austria was thus not in a condi- 
tion to renew the contest ; that the King of Prussia was in a 
situation to make peace equally necessary to him ; that he him- 



52 . MEMOIRS OF JOHN QVINCY ADAMS. [November, 

self was convinced that the good of his empire, and of Europe, 
was best promoted by a state of peace and friendship between 
Russia and France, whose views, he believed, from the assur- 
ance of that Government, were not at all directed to the conquest 
of England, but merely to make her recognize the only fair and 
equitable principles of neutral navigation in time of war ; that 
the only danger to England from the establishment of those 
principles would be that France might be enabled, in conse- 
quence of them, to form and maintain again a large navy ; but 
this could be no justification for England's maintaining a system 
oppressive and destructive to the fair and lawful commerce of 
other nations; that the establishment of this just system of 
maritime rights was the purpose of France, "and as for me, I 
shall adhere invariably to those which I have declared. I am 
sensible that it subjects us to inconvenience; that the people 
suffer privations and some distress under the present state of 
things. But the English maxims are much more intolerable, 
and, if submitted to, would be permanent." 

In expressing his determination to abide by his declared 
principles, his tone and attitude assumed a firmness and dignity 
which he had not taken before, and which,, immediately after, 
slided again into that easy and familiar manner with which he 
had first accosted me. 

In the midst of this conversation he had taken me by the arm 
and walked from near the door to a window opening upon the 
river — ^a movement seemingly intended to avoid being over- 
heard. I occasionally answered his remarks, by observing to 
him that, as the political duty of the United States towards the 
powers of Europe was to forbear interference in their dissensions, 
it would be highly grateful to the President to learn that their 
system in this respect met the approbation of his Imperial Majesty ; 
that being at once a great commercial and a pacific nation, they 
were greatly interested in the establishment of a system which 
should give security to the fair commerce of nations in time 
of war; that the United States, and the world of mankind, 
expected that this blessing to humanity would be accomplished 
by his Imperial Majesty himself, and that the United States, by 
all the means in their power, consistent with their peace and 



i809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. jj 

their separation from the political system of Europe, would 
contribute to the support of tKe liberal principles to which his 
Majesty had expressed so strong and so just an attachment. 

He said that as between Russia and the United States there 
could be no interference of interests and no causes for disunion; 
but that by means of commerce the two states might be greatly 
useful to each other, and his desire was to give the greatest 
extension and facility to these means of mutual benefit. 

Afler this he passed from topics of general politics to con- 
versation more particularly concerning myself and my country. 
He enquired how long we had been upon our voyage, and how 
we had borne the inconveniences and fatigues of the sea; 
whether I had ever been in Russia before; what were our 
principal cities in America — the number of their inhabitants, 
and the manner in which they were built . 

I told him that I had been in Russia formerly, and had 
passed a winter at St. Petersburg during the reign of the Em- 
press Catherine ; that I had then admired the city as the most 
magnificent I had ever seen, but that I scarcely knew it again 
now ; that the two principal cities in population of my country 
were New York and Philadelphia, the latter of which had been 
founded by the celebrated Quaker Penn, of whom his Majesty 
had certainly heard ; that the inhabitants in each of these two 
cities were now about one hundred thousand ; that they were 
both elegant cities, with handsome buildings, three and four 
stories high for the most part, and forming handsome and con- 
venient dwelling-houses suitable to the citizens of a republic, 
but which in point of splendor and magnificence could not vie 
with the buildings of Petersburg, which to the eye of a stranger 
appeared like a city of princes. 

He said that was nothing — ^that a republican government 
whose principles and conduct were just and wise was as respect- 
able as any other. 

I said, Assuredly ; but in regard to the buildings, no person 
would know better than his Majesty that Petersburg was the 
most magnificent city of Europe, or of the world. 

He said he had not been at Vienna or at Paris ; but he had 
been at Dresden and at Berlin ; that Dresden was small, but 



54 MEMOIRS OF JOIW QUINCY ADAMS, [November^ 

Berlin was a beautiful city, as to all the part of it which could 
be called modern, and to which Frederic the Second had been 
specially attentive; that the ancient part of Berlin was not so 
handsome; that Petersburg had the advantage of being a city 
entirely modern, and built upon a plan. 

On which I remarked that this was not its only advantage : 
that this plan was that of a man such as very seldom appeared 
on the face of this globe, and that it bore tlie marks of his 
sublime genius; that it had the further advantage of all the 
improvement which a succession of sovereigns could give it, 
who had entered into the ideas of that great prince, and had 
taken a pride in contributing to their full execution. 

He asked me to which of the United States I belonged, and 
upon being told Massachusetts, he asked me what was its 
climate. I told him that it was in the northern part of the 
Union, and had the climate the most nearly resembling that of 
this residence of any in the United States. He asked how long 
our winter commonly was. I said between five and six months. 
" Then," said he, " we have two months more here. We have 
eight months of winter — September, October, November, De- 
cember, January, February, March, and April ; and sometimes 
it lasts till June. But," said he, ''you have good sledging in 
your country?" I said we had ; but that the snow seldom lasted 
long upon the ground at a time. '' We cannot complain of that," 
said he. '* When it once comes, it is sure to last long enough." 
I then said that there was an advantage in that, inasmuch as 
it facilitated the communications by the roads. It was, he said, 
a very great advantage, for it made roads in the winter better 
than any that could be made by human art ; that all the gravel 
stones or iron in the world could not make such a road as a 
few hours of snow and frost ; and that the advantage of this 
was immense to an empire so extensive as this — ^so extensive 
that its size was one of its greatest evils; that it was very 
^difficult to hold together so great a body as this empire. 

I was on the point of saying that, great as this evil was, his 
Majesty had recently increased it — referring to the Treaty of 
;peace with Sweden, and the acquisition of Finland ; but reflect- 
ing that the remark might be taken in ill part, or at least thought 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 55 

too familiar and smart for such an occasion, I suppressed it» 
and made no reply. 

After a short pause, the Emperor dismissed me, by renewing 
the assurance of his pleasure at receiving a Minister from the 
United States, and with the obliging addition, that he was well 
pleased that the choice of the American Government had fallen 
upon me ; that he should be happy to promote the relations be- 
tween the two countries through this medium, and he hoped I 
should find my residence agreeable here. 

Upon which I took my leave in the usual form, and went 
again with M. de Maisonneuve to the apartment of the Em- 
press. Here he entered with me and stood near the door, while 
I advanced up to her Imperial Majesty,' who was about the 
middle of the room, standing alone, with a lady, whether of 
honor or a waiting woman I did not ascertain, standing behind 
her Majesty, near the stove in the corner of the chamber. 

The Empress, who was dressed in a gown of lace, without a 
hoop, with a necklace of rubies, and a chain of the like precious 
stones round her head, connecting the utmost simplicity with 
most costly ornament, addressed me by saying she was happy 
to see me here, and enquiring how I found the roads. I told 
her that I had come the whole way by water. Upon which 
she made enquiries about the length of our voyage, and others 
of the same kind. From this she passed to remarks upon the 
climate, the bad weather, the cold season which was approach- 
ing, and the city of Petersburg. Upon this my answers and 
observations were of the commonplace kind. 

Her Majesty then said that two or three years since they had 
had the pleasure of seeing here two of my countrymen, Mr. 
Smith and Mr. Poinsett, whose manners had been calculated to 
inspire great esteem personally to themselves and to their coun- 
try, and asked me whether I had seen them since their return. 

I said that I heard that two of my countrymen had been 
favored with the honor of admission to her Imperial Majesty's 

' Elizabeth, Princess of Bftden, born Jnnuary 24, I779» married to the Em- 
peror Octolier 9, 1793. He was a little over, and she was as much under, 
fifteen. They had no children, and the marriage was not deemed a happy one. 
They died within six nionlbs of each other. She survived until May 16, 1826. 



56 AfEAfOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Novcml)cr, 

presence, and that I knew they recollected with great pleasure 
the reception they had met here ; that I had not the pleasure 
of being acquainted with Mr. Poinsett,' but I had seen Mr. 
Smith at Washington upon his return from Europe, about two 
years since, and knew how much he prized the manner of his 
treatment at this Court. 

On taking leave of her Majesty immediately after this con- 
versation, conformably to the established usage, I kissed her 
hand, a ceremony which M. de Maisonneuve told me many 
persons forgot to perform, which the Empress herself never 
took in ill part, being the most amiable princess in the world, 
but that the Empress Dowager was more apt to be displeased 
at such an omission. 

Having thus finished the ceremonies of presentation to the 
Emperor and Empress, I went in person to the house of the 
French Minister, the Duke de Vicence, who not being at home, 
I left a card there. He had sent two cards yesterday, one for 
Mrs. Adams and one for me — a circumstance for which I know 
not how to account. 

6th. I received this morning from M. de Maisonneuve a list 
of persons to whom visiting-cards are to be sent. To the 
members of the Emperor's Council, however, he intimated that 
it would be considered as a mark of attention to go to their 
houses and deliver the cards. They are in number about 
twenty-five. Mr. Harris called upon me this evening, and we 
went round to about half the houses — leaving the remainder 
for to-morrow morning. 

7th. This morning Mr. Harris called again upon me, and we 
went round together and finished the tour of personal visits to 
the members of the Elmperor's Council. The remainder of the 
day I was employed principally in writing to the Secretary of 
State. 

9th. This morning Monsieur le Commandeur de Maisonneuve 
called upon me, to give mc further information about the cere- 
monies. He informed me that I must write a note to the 

' J. R. Poinsett, afterwards for many years in public life, both in the foreign and 
home service. He was Secretary of War in the administration of Mr. Van Buren, 
and diei in 1851. 



i809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, ^ 57 

Chancellor, requesting to be presented to the Empress-mother; 
and also for Mrs. Adams to be presented to the same Empress; 
and also to the Empress Elizabeth — that is, the Imperial Con- 
sort ; that the day would be fixed for next Sunday, when there 
was to be a Te Deum, and a grand gala-day; that all the 
foreign Ministers must attend at the Te Deum, of which they 
would receive a seasonable notification ; that on Saturday even- 
ing, about seven o'clock, Mrs. Adams and' myself would do 
well to pay a visit to Countess Litta, the first dame d'honneur, 
who executed the functions of Grande Gouvernante ; that she 
would then be at home, of course, it being at the eve of the 
presentations, and he himself would be there at the time ; that 
Mrs. Adams would then receive further advice as to forms from 
the Countess. I accordingly wrote, and sent the note to Count 
RomanzofT. 

loth. In the evening I went with Mrs. Adams, by an appoint- 
ment made with Mr. Harris, to the Chevalier de Bray's, the 
Bavarian Minister — the only member of the Diplomatic Corps 
at this Court who is married, and has his lady here. We saw 
there the mother and sister of this lady, who live with her — 
Mr. Six d'Oterbeck, the Minister of- Holland, the Comte de 
Luxbourg, Secretary of the Bavarian Legation, and the Cheva- 
lier Brancia, Secretary of the Legation from Naples. We made 
a short visit. M. and Madame de Bray were both very obliging. 
But her account of the forms for Mrs. Adams's presentation dif- 
fered from that of M. de Maisonneuve, so that I thought it best 
to call upon him and ascertain whether I had properly under- 
stood him. He was, however, not at home. Mr. Harris men- 
tioned to me from M. de Bray, that besides the visits by cards, 
which I have paid to the members of the Diplomatic Corps, by 
the usage of this Court it was expected also that I should visit 
them all in person — a usage I never heard of elsewhere. I 
employed in writing to America as much of the day as I had 
of time left. 

nth. I received a written notification, from the Grand-maitre 
des Ceremonies, of the Te Deum to-morrow, on account of the 
peace between France and Austria. M. de Maisonneuve, on 
whom I called again without finding him at home, sent me 



58 . MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

word that he would be at Count Litta's this evening until seven 
o'clock. Just before that hour, therefore, I went with Mrs. 
Adams, and we were received politely by Count and Countess 
Litta, who told us that Mrs. Adams would be presented to- 
morrow to the Empress-mother ; but she knew not whether I 
should also be presented to her, or Mrs. Adams to the reigning 
Empress. M. de Maisonneuve's information respecting the 
forms of Mrs. Adams's presentation was correct. After we 
returned to our lodgings I received a written notification from 
Count RomanzofT that I was to be presented to the Empress- 
mother to-morrow morning before mass, and Mrs. Adams after 
mass ; but that he had received no answer from the reigning 
Empress; that as soon as he should receive one he would 
inform me of it. I wrote a note to Mr. Harris to enquire 
whether he would attend the Te Deum to-morrow, and pro- 
posing in that case to go in company with him. 

1 2th. Mr. Harris answered my note this morning, and called 
upon me just before eleven o'clock. I went with him to the 
palace and attended the celebration of the mass, and the Te 
Deum. Just as we were going out from the house, I received 
a note from Count Romanzoff superscribed ** tr^s-pressee," 
informing me that her Majesty the Empress-mother had 
changed the hour for the presentation of Mrs. Adams to half- 
past two o'clock. I gave notice accordingly to Mrs. Adams. 

On arriving at the palace, we were introduced first to the 
antechamber, where all the foreign Ministers were assembled ; 
and I was soon called out to have a private audience of the 
Empress-mother.' She is said to be very much attached to the 
punctilio of etiquette, which the reigning Empress is not ; but 
her Imperial Majesty is all condescension and affability ; full of 
conversation, and upon a variety of topics. She spoke about 
America, which, she said, was '' un pays bien sage." I told 
her that we were much obliged to her Majesty for the good 
opinion she entertained of us. She asked whether there were 

' Paul I. married in 1776 for a second wife this lady, then a Princess of WUr- 
temberg, niece of Frederic the Second, the great object of his admiration. The 
effect of bis accession to the throne upon the issue of the Seven Years* War is well 
known. 



i839.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. jq 

• 

not great numbers of emigrants arriving there from Europe. I 
told her not many of late years. " How so ?" said she. " I 
thought there were even in these times more than ever." I said 
that the ports of Holland and other countries from which they 
were wont to embark had been closed against our commerce, 
and they could not find opportunities to go; that our com- 
merce was shut out from almost all Europe. 

" But," said she, " it is freely admitted here." I said, yes ; it 
was an advantage which we still enjoyed and very much cher- 
ished; that from the friendly dispositions which his Majesty 
the Emperor was pleased to manifest towards the United States, 
I hoped we should continue in the enjoyment of tliis advantage, 
which was important to the interests of both countries. 

She said there were many very excellent articles of commerce 
brought here from America. And, said I, many sent from this 
country equally important to us. So that it is a commerce 
' extremely beneficial to both parties. This, she said, was the best 
kind of commerce. She enquired afler Mr. Smith and Mr. 
Poinsett, who were presented here two or three years since, and 
of whom she spoke in very favorable terms. She asked me 
about our voyage. Said she had heard I had been at Berlin. 
Had I ever before been in Russia ? I said I had, at a time when 
her Majesty was absent, travelling on the Continent She said 
it must have been in 1781 and 1782. Which I said it was. 

On taking my leave she said she was happy to see me ; and 
hoped I should find my residence at Petersburg agreeable ; that 
she would have the pleasure of making the acquaintance of my 
lady this day. 

I then returned into the hall of the foreign Ministers, where 
I had some conversation with several of them. The French 
Ambassador, whose name is Caulaincourt, and whose style is 
Due de Vicence, Grand Ecuyer de France, Ambassadeur Ex- 
traordinaire pris S. M. I'Empereur de toutes les Russies, and 
whom I informed that I had called to see him at his hotel in 
person, told me that he was sorry not to have been at home 
when I called, and that he also had called upon me, and had 
not found me at home. This I believe was a mistake. 

General Baron de Stedingk has been formerly Swedish Am- 



6o MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

bassador at this Court, and was the first Swedish Plenipotentiary 
at the late Treaty of peace between Russia and Sweden. But 
he is here without any diplomatic character at present. He told 
me that he had been an officer in the French army during our 
war, and was wounded at the battle of Savannah. He said he 
received the order of the Cincinnati Society ; but did not wear 
it, because he had not the permission of his King so to do. I 
made many enquiries of him concerning my old Swedish 
acquaintances, and received some information from him con- 
cerning some of them. Mr. de Wiggers, agent of the Hanseatic 
Cities, was introduced to me, and spoke with much pleasure of 
his friendship for Mr. Harris. 

About twelve o'clock we were informed that the mass was 
about to begin, and went into the chapel. The Emperor, Em- 
press, Empress-mother, Grand Duchess Ann, and the Princess 
Amelia of Baden, the Empress's sister, and the Grand Duke 
and Czarovitz Constantine, with the Prince of Wurtemberg, 
brother to the Empress-mother, came in immediately after. A 
railing of massy silver separates the chapel from the place of 
the hearers. The mass is heard standing, except at one par- 
ticular moment, when everybody kneeled. At the close of the 
Te Deum, the Metropolitan presented to the Emperor, who 
then went within the railing, a large crucifix, which he kissed, 
the Archbishop at the same time kissing the Emperor's hand. 
The same ceremony was performed to the two Empresses. The 
Te Deum was a separate and extraordinary performance for 
this day. At the moment of its beginning a salute of cannon 
was fired from the Admiralty, near the palace. The ceremonies 
were performed in the Russian language. The music altogether 
vocal — no instrumental music being allowed in the rites of this 
Church. The voices were admirable. 

During the performance of this mass two messengers belong- 
ing to the Department of Ceremonies were successively sent to 
Mrs. Adams to inform her that she must come, first at two 
o'clock, and then at half-past one, by different arrangements 
ordered by the Empresses. She came in seasonable time, and 
was presented, first to the Empress, with whom the Emperor 
was at the same time ; then to the Empress-mother ; and finally, 



i8o9.J TJIB MISSION TO RUSSIA, 6 1 

immediately after me, to the Grand Duchess Ann, a young 
lady of fourteen or fifteen, sister to the Emperor, whose audi- 
ence was short, and who spoke to me of our voyage, of the 
weather, and of the city of St. Petersburg. There were several 
gentlemen, foreigners, presented to the Empresses and Grand 
Duchess besides us, which occasioned the disorder and con- 
fusion in the time. About three in the afternoon it was all 
finished, and we came home to our lodgings. 

I shortly after received a note from the Chancellor, enclosing 
a passport in favor of one Graham, purporting to be from the 
Mayor of New York, enquiring as to its authenticity, which 
was suspected. A Mr. Plessig had sent me some days ago this 
passport, with his own warranty that Graham was a native 
American, and a request that I would authenticate the passport. 
I had sent it back, on the information of Mr. Harris that the 
passport was probably a forgery, and the bearer, Graham, no 
native American citizen, but an English officer, who had never 
been in America. I now wrote a note in answer to that of 
Count RomanzofT, and in the evening called upon Mr. Harris 
to show it to him. He was in company at his neighbor Mr. 
Severin's, where I sent for him, requesting to see him for a few 
minutes. He came home, and I passed a couple of hours with 
him, and took his advice respecting my answer. 

13th. I sent this day my note in answer to that of Count 
RomanzofT, and requested the opportunity of a conference with 
him upon the subject I was to have paid a number of visits ; 
but found myself successively engaged by so many people of 
different^escriptions calling upon me, that I could not get out 
until very late. Then walked with Mr. Harris, and visited the 
large English warehouse. Walked afterwards in the public 
walk, fronting the Admiralty. In the evening I went with Mrs. 
Adams to pay the visit of ceremony after presentation to the 
Countess Litta, where we were not received. We then went 
to' Madame de Bray's, where we found some company — ^a 
Countess Zubow and her daughter; Mademoiselle Lesseps, 
daughter of the French Consul ; M. Lajard, Secretary of the 
French Legation in Persia ; and some others. 

14th. After having been detained at home this morning until 



62 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [November, 

two P.M., I went with Mr. Harris, who called upon me for the 
purpose, to pay the visits in person to the members of the 
Diplomatic Body now residing here. The French Ambas- 
sador, and the Minister of Wurtemberg, Count Schenk de Castel 
Deschingen, were not at home. But we were received by 
the Spanish Minister, General Pardo de Figueroa; the Dutch 
Minister, Monsieur Six d'Oterbeck, and the Saxon Minister, 
Count Kinsiedel, as also by the Minister of Naples, the Due 
de Mondragone. We conversed with these gentlemen upon a 
variety of subjects : with General Pardo, upon the situation of 
affairs in his country — with which he is apparently much dis- 
satisfied, and upon which, though representing here King Joseph, 
he speaks with great freedom ; with Mr. Six, on commercial 
affairs, the policy of France and England, upon literature and 
political economy, and upon Mr. Six's lands in America, where 
he has large possessions ; with Count Einsiedel, upon the King 
of Saxony, who was formerly Elector, and at whose Court I was 
presented in the year 1799, ^"^ upon the gallery of pictures at 
Dresden, with which the Count is well acquainted, being him- 
self a connoisseur in paintings ; and finally, with the Duke de 
Mondragone, upon the cold climate of Petersburg and the warm 
one of Naples, upon house-hiring, lodgings, and furniture. 

We came home at about four o'clock, and Mr. Harris dined 
with us. Between eight and nine in the evening we went to 
a splendid ball, given by Count Romanzoff to the Empress- 
mother, and at which were also present the Emperor and 
Empress, the Grand Duke Constantine, and the Grand Duchess 
Ann, with a court of about two hundred and fifty persons. As 
almost total strangers, we found this ball somewhat tedious. 
But it resembled in every respect the parties of a similar kind 
which we oflen attended at Berlin, where the King and royal 
family of Prussia were present. At this, however, the dresses 
were more splendid, and the profusion of diamonds and other 
precious stones worn both by the men and women, as well as 
of ribbons, blue and red, was greater than I ever witnessed 
anywhere. There was a fine supper, served at ten or fifteen 
tables, covering the second story of the house, besides the 
Emperor's table below ; which I did not see, but which is said to 



i8o9.] TUB MISSION TO RUSSIA, 63 

have been very highly ornamented. The crowd in the dancing- 
rooms was very great. The principal dancing was in what they 
call Polish dances, consisting simply in a number of couples 
walking up and down in the room as in a procession. The 
Emperor and Empress-mother spoke, I believe, to all the foreign 
Ministers. He asked me some questions about my former visit 
to St. Petersburg. I told him that I had then been well 
acquainted with the hous6 in which we now were, which was 
then the residence of the French Minister, the Marquis de 
Verac. He said he supposed I had been here upon private 
affairs of my own. I told him that I had been attached to a 
Legation from the United States, which was not received here, 
it being in the time of the American war. He said that must 
have been a very interesting period of our history. The 
Empress-mother spoke about the climate and the weather. 
Mr. Harris arrived late, having had his carriage overset upon 
his first attempt to come. At about one in the morning the 
Emperor and the imperial family retired. 

15th. Mr. Harris called upon me again this morning, and 
we concluded our diplomatic visits in person. The Baron de 
Schladen, Minister from the King of Prussia, the Baron de 
Bussche Hunnefeldt, Minister from the King of Westphalia, and 
the Baron de Blome, Minister from the King of Denmark, did 
not receive us. The rest of the gentlemen did. General Baron 
de Stedingk, formerly Ambassador from Sweden at this Court, 
is now here without any regular diplomatic character. He 
expects to be here about nine months, and spoke of it as uncer- 
tain whether he should not afterwards be fixed here again, in his 
former capacity. He appears mortified and dejected at the situa- 
tion of his country. He spoke of the late King much as he is 
characterized in a recent speech of the present King, as a man 
"qui n'a jamais calculc la possibilite d'une chose." He says that 
during the whole of the late war Sweden paid for a hundred 
and twenty thousand troops, and never had more than four 
thousand engaged in any action — never more than ten thou- 
sand acting at once against the Russians, who amounted in 
Finland to one hundred thousand men, because he had taken 
it into his head that one Swede was a match for ten Russians, 



64 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

and nothing would convince him to the contrary. This trait of 
character is enough to account for all his misfortunes, and the 
present condition of his kingdom. 

The General spoke of M. Champagny's late letter to General 
Armstrong, and expressed some surprise that he had asserted 
in it " des choses qui ne sont pas." He spoke in high terms 
of the Grand Duke Constantine, who, he said, was frank and 
honorable in his character — " Celui-la^ on peut se fier a ce qu'il 
dit." 

Our next visit was to the Comte de Maistre, Minister of the 
King of Sardinia. His master, who has been stripped of all his 
dominions, excepting the island of Sardinia, from which he 
derived his title, now receives a pension from the Emperor of 
Russia, and his Minister here lives upon a part of it. He is a 
Piedmontese by birth, a Frenchman by character, a man of 
sense and vivacity in conversation, and as a victim of the French 
Revolution, keenly smarting under the present order of things. 
He says he shall die here; and he has in fact neither home nor 
country to which he can return.' We next visited the Chevalier 
Navarro d'Andrade, Charge d'Affaires from Portugal. I had 
known him as Secretary to the Portuguese Legation at Berlin. 
His country, too, has been overrun by the French, and he is 
without communication with his Government. He was unwell — 
having been obliged last evening to leave the ball at Count 
RomanzofT's. At his lodgings we met a General SabloukofT. 
We lastly called upon Monsieur de Wiggers, Agent from the 
Hanseatic Towns — the remnant of which, Hamburg, Bremen, 
Lubeck, and Dantzic, have all been swallowed up by the French. 
He spoke of the ball last evening, and wondered that General 
Baron Stedingk was not invited to play cards with the Empress- 
mother; for, though he had not now the official character of 
an Ambassador, he was one of the most distinguished persons 
of his own country. He then told us of the slights and con- 
temptuous treatment which Baron Stedingk received from the 

' His name is now associated only with his Soirdes de Saint Petersbourg, and other 
publications in defence of the doctrines and policy of the Church of Rome, not 
exceptini; the Inquisition. His present of an edition of these works remains in 
the library of Mr. Adams. 



i8o9.] rUE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 65 

Emperor Paul, and of the prudent and pleasant manner in which 
he got over it. From this he passed to the excessive tedious- 
ness and insupportable vexations of attendance upon Paul's 
Court ; which indeed, by his description, was much worse than 
anything at the present time. 

We completed this tour of visits about half-past one o'clock. 
At two I went to Count RomanzofTs, by appointment. He 
received me in his private cabinet, apologizing for it, as intend- 
ing by it an invitation to call upon him whenever it might be 
agreeable to me. I told him the circumstances of the informa- 
tion which I had received from Mr. Harris respecting the ques- 
tionable passport, and its bearer, Graham. He expressed himself 
much obliged to me for the notice, of which he said he would 
make such use as might be proper, without any exercise of 
authority which might affect the possible rights of the individual. 
He entered also into much general conversation. He assured 
me of his great attachment to the system of friendly intercourse 
with the United States, and his conviction of long standing 
that the interests of Russia perfectly harmonized with theirs. 
He said, Je dois vous prevenir que nous sommes ici de grands 
Anglomanes; that the prejudices in favor of England were 
founded upon old habits and long-established commercial inter- 
course ; but that the English exclusive maritime pretensions, 
and views of usurpation upon the rights of other nations, made 
it essential to them, and especially to Russia, that some great 
commercial state should be supported as their rival ; that the 
United States of America were such a state, and the highest 
interest of Russia was to support and favor them, as by their 
relative situation the two powers could never be in any manner 
dangerous to each other ; that he had been many years incul- 
cating this doctrine at this Court ; that the Emperor had always 
manifested a favorable opinion of it ; and he had had the satis- 
faction of perceiving the sentiments of his Imperial Majesty 
daily becoming more strongly confirmed in this system. He 
said if there was anything in which I could contribute to the 
purposes of this object, any views of the American Government 
that I could suggest, without wishing to penetrate into their 
secrets, he would only say that he should cheerfully lend his 

VOL. II. — 5 



66 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [November, 

aid to anything that I might propose ; that in drawing up the 
instructions of the Coftite de Pahlen, the Minister who is going 
from the Emperor to the United States, he intended to consult 
me, and would insert anything which I should think might be 
useful to the great end of drawing closer the relations between 
the two countries. 

His object appeared to me to be to ascertain whether I had 
power to conclude a Treaty with Russia, and to lead directly to 
propositions for that purpose from me. I answered him in 
general terms, which I endeavored to make such as corre- 
sponded, for politeness, with his own. I told him how much 
gratified I knew the President of the United States would be 
on receiving information of these sentiments, and of those, so 
conformable to them, which the Emperor had expi:essed to me 
in the private audience which he had granted me; that the 
United States, who found themselves and their commerce at 
once under the pressure of injustice by both the great rival 
powers, France and England, would still find great satisfaction 
and support in the knowledge that a sovereign so powerful 
and so enlightened as the Emperor of Russia was devoted 
to neither, but, like themselves, favored a course equally inde- 
pendent of both. 

He said he should make no scruple to say to me that he did 
not approve the present system of France in relation to com- 
merce; that he had seen and conversed with the Emperor Napo- 
leon; that he had found him in general of a sound judgment 
and a quick perception, but that '' en fait de commerce ce n'est 
qu'un etourdi." At the same time, he said, he hoped I should 
not think he meant to give him a mauvaise reputation. But 
he wished to know whether in the application of this system 
there- was anything which could accommodate the views of 
the United States, and if there was, requested that I would 
suggest it. 

I told him that the great and only object desirable to the 
United States was that to which they were entitled by right, 
Freedom to their commerce — freedom of admission and de- 
parture for ships — ^freedom of purchase and sale for goods; 
the more completely they could obtain this, the better; that 



1809.1 THE MISSION TO /RUSSIA. 67 

in the restrictions upon them, I thought the proceedings both 
of England and France unjust and impolitic; and was per- 
suaded that the more liberal system established under his 
auspices by Russia was not only of great advantage to both 
countries, but would very much increase the commerce already 
existing between them. 

He told me also, among other things, that Colonel Burr, now 
at Gottenburg, had applied for a passport to come to Peters- 
burg; which had been refused him, unless it should be regu- 
larly applied for under the sanction of the representative of his 
country at this Court. He spoke of the British Ministry, and 
asked my opinion of the persons composing it. I told him 
he must be infinitely better acquainted with them than I was ; 
which, however, he did not admit, alleging that he had but 
lately entered upon the department of foreign affairs, and be- 
fore that time had purposely avoided any particular attention 
to the composition of foreign Governments. 

I told him that I heard Lord Bathurst was appointed the 
Secretary of State for the foreign department in the room of 
Mr. Canning. 

Who was Lord Bathurst ? 

I said I had heard very little of him. 

The Count said it was the same with him; mais ce n'est pas un 
homme neuf. I have seen his name, said he, in some ministerial 
list before; and I have little hopes from any man in England who 
is already known. They are all equally intractable. England 
must be brought to give up some of her inveterate prejudices, 
and I do not expect she will until the circumstances bring for- 
ward new men, who can without inconsistency accede to a new 
system. Do you know, said he, of any distinguished men in 
England who would be more likely to come to terms of a 
general pacification than the late Ministers ? 

I told him of the principal personages of the present opposi- 
tion — such as Lord Grenville and Lord Howick. 

As for them, said he, I do not expect anything better from 
them than from the others. No one of them has yet brought 
his mind to the conviction of the necessity which will compel 
England to follow the current of affairs which is setting in a 



68 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Norcmbcr, 

certain direction among mankind. There was, he said, some- 
thing epidemical in the course of human events, which made 
it necessary, as well among nations as individuals, for one to 
pursue a course governed in a great measure by the course 
of others; and this was what English statesmen would not 
perceive. 

I told him that it was indeed true that Lord Grenville had 
always been a strenuous asserter of the English pretensions, 
and had particularly distinguished himself by his opposition to 
the Treaty with Russia in 1801, when England had conceded 
something. 

(The Count spoke very slightingly of the concessions in this 
Treaty, which he thought amounted to nothing at all ; upon 
which I observed that the explanatory article had indeed ap- 
peared to take back most of what the Treaty had conceded, 
and that it was probably Lord Grenville's opposition which had 
occasioned the explanatory article.) But I said that in my 
opinion the foolish obstinacy of England, which was leading 
that nation so rapidly to ruin, was dependent upon a single 
man. 

Who was that? said the Count. The King? 

No. It was the Earl of Liverpool — z, man who for many 
years had possessed a great ascendency over the King's mind, 
and who, I perceived, since the resignation of Lord Castlereagh 
and Mr. Canning, had been charged with the duties of both 
their offices, besides his own. 

The Count appeared not to have been acquainted with the 
character and history of Lord Liverpool; of which I gave him 
a short account. After having passed about an hour with the 
Count, I took my leave and returned home. 

1 6th. We had a visit this morning from Mr. Navarro, the 
Charge d'Affaires from Portugal, and in the evening from the 
Baron de Bussche Hunnefeldt, the Minister from the new king- 
dom of Westphalia. They were both complaining of the pres- 
ent state of things. I was enquiring of Navarro after Mr. 
Brito, whom I formerly knew in Holland. Navarro says that 
he is at Paris, detained as a prisoner, as he happened to be 
there at the time when the French invaded Portugal, and 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. gg 

refused to swear allegiance to the King of Portugal who is to 
be. Navarro has two brothers in the same situation, and there 
are about sixty Portuguese at Paris detained in the same man- 
ner. None of them has taken the oath. 

Baron Bussche told us that he was here upon compulsion ; 
that he was a Hanoverian subject, and an officer in the King of 
England's service ; that having an estate in Hanover, the only 
alternative left him was to have it confiscated or to come here 
as Westphalian Minister ; that he had entreated King Jerome 
to excuse him from this mission, who had approved of the 
frankness and candor with which he had made his objections, 
but insisted on his coming, and would take no denial. And 
here, he said, where everybody hated the French, he partook 
of that hatred, as being connected with them, though he hated 
them as much as anybody. I said it did appear as if many 
people here did not love the French. Tis universal, said he. 
There is the Emperor and RomanzofT on one side, and the 
whole people on the other. 

17th. The Count de Maistre, the Sardinian Minister, returned 
our visit this morning. In the course of conversation he ex- 
pressed his regret at not having been here in the time of the 
late Emperor Paul, whose eccentricities of character were so 
remarkable. He ^lentioned a sarcasm of Diderot upon him 
when he was at Paris in 1782, which I had never heard before. 
Some Frenchmen were speaking in high terms of Paul's polite- 
ness and accomplished manners. Says Diderot, "Vous etes 
bien bons de croire a cela. Ouvrez la veste ; vous verrez le poil." 
Now this is untranslatable into English. 

19th. The first night after we came to the Hotel de la Ville 
de Bordeaux, kept by Monsieur de Bouillery, the canal before 
our windows, called the Moika, froze over. The river Neva has 
been these two or three days freezing, and is this day passable 
on foot upon the ice. Last night and this morning Reaumur's 
thermometer was at twelve degrees below the freezing point, 
which is equivalent to five above zero of Fahrenheit There 
was accordingly no parade of the troops before the Emperor 
this morning, as he makes it a practice to omit the review when 
the frost is below five or six of Reaumur's thermometer. I 



70 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [November. 

called upon Mr. Harris, and went with him to the chapel of 
the Maltese Palace, where we heard mass performed. It was 
exactly like that in the Emperor's chapel last Sunday — the 
whole service chanted — no instrumental music — ^and all the 
worshippers standing. There are not even any seats in the 
churches ; so that no person can sit down. The singing was 
very excellent. We afterwards went to the Cathedral Church 
of St. Alexander Newsky, at the end of the Perspective, and 
found it very magnificent. There is a sarcophagus and shrine 
of the saint, of solid silver, with some of the principal events 
of his life carved upon the sides of the coffin ; a number of 
pictures, some of which are valuable, and one set round with 
costly jewels, a present from the Empress Catherine. 

25th. Dined with the Saxon Minister, Count Einsiedel, with 
a small diplomatic party of about fifteen persons. The French 
Ambassador had been engaged, but had been sent for to dine 
with the Emperor. The Count's dinner was very elegant, and 
his house is quite magnificent. I had conversation upon Span- 
ish affairs, and upon Homer, with General Pardo; upon German 
literature and the German language, with Count Einsiedel; 
and with Mr. Six upon the new monarchical Constitution of 
Holland, which he says was principally made by himself, and 
upon the general situation and prospects of Europe. The 
Chevalier de Bray, who dined with us, paid the ladies a visit 
before I came home. General SabloukofT and his lady visited 
us also this evening. She is a daughter of Mr. Angerstein, a 
celebrated merchant of London. Madame de Bacounin is a 
sister of General SabloukofT. 

27th. Called upon Mr. Harris this morning, and found him 
ag^in confined to his room with a cough. He has made to me 
since I arrived here a number of presents, some of which were 
of sufficient value to make me hesitate about accepting them ; 
and to Mrs. Adams and Catherine a Turkish shawl each, still 
more expensive. Disapproving of receiving presents of value 
while in public office, I have alvrays refused those which have 
been offered to me, and in now yielding to an exception, in 
consideration of the situation of Mr. Harris and myself here, I 
have determined to make it very limited in its extent, and to 



1809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. yi 

return equivalents in point of cost, that at least I may derive no 
profit from the interchange, I gave him this morning my seal, 
with the device which I had engraved in London in 1796, and 
which, by a curious coincidence, has his name upon it — the 
engraver, Harris, having put it there as a memorial of his work. 
This goes but a small part of the way towards fulfilling my 
intention. Mr. Raimbert and Mr. Montreal called this morning 
upon me. 

I had an invitation, with Mrs. Adams and her sister, to dine 
at the French Ambassador's sans ceremonie^ at half-past three. 
We wentabout four, and were the last there, excepting the Duke 
de Mondragone. The dinner was of forty persons, the Corps 
Diplomatique of French connections — Princess Wazemsky, 
Madame de Vlodek and her sisters, and two or three, other 
persons. General Ouvaroff and his brother we're of the party. 
After being about two hours at dinner, the company returned 
to the hall, where Mademoiselle Bourgoin, a French actress, 
who is performing at the theatre here, declaimed scenes from 
Phidre, from Zaire, from L'Ecole des Maris, and from Le 
Florentin, M. de Rayneval, the premier Secretaire de TAmbas- 
sade, reading the alternate parts of the dialogue. Immediately 
after this a band of music struck up, and a polonaise was walked 
round the hall. Then the company was conducted through the 
suite of apartments and dining-hall to a small theatre, where 
another actor of the French troupe of comedians performed a 
number of sleight-of-hand tricks. Thence we returned to the 
hall, and danced two or three hours, after which was a supper, 
and between one and two in the morning we came home. I 
endeavored to amuse some of the tediousness of the day by 
conversation with some gentlemen of the company ; but there 
are very few topics of conversation upon which I can talk with 
them. General Pardo, the Spanish Minister, has understanding, 
literature, and taste, and withal is perfectly accomplished in the 
science of cookery. He told me that he had offered at Paris, 
for Charles the Fourth, King of Spain, three hundred and fifty 
thousand livres for a Death of Adonis by Giorgione, the master 
of Titian, and could not get it ; but that he did purchase for 
one hundred and ten thousand livres an original picture of 



72 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [November, 

Christopher Columbus, taken from the life by the same Gior- 
gione. He also promised me a pamphlet which he has written 
and published, on the Pictures in the National Museum at Paris. 
The Baron de Schladen, the Prussian Minister, gave me some 
information respecting many of my old acquaintances at Berlin. 
They are scattered, like the Prussian monarchy itself, to all the 
winds of heaven. 

28th. I went with Mrs. Adams to look at a house lately 
occupied by General Toutouhein, and belonging to the Count 
de St.-Priest It is a very good house, and handsomely fur- 
nished — in part ; but the rent is eight thousand roubles a year. 
I dined at Count RomanzofT's — a great diplomatic dinner, of 
forty persons, given to the newly-arrived Austrian Count de St.- 
Julien. I sat at table between Mr. Six and General Pardo, and 
had some conversation with both of them. Mr. Six says that 
his expenses, the first year he came here, were fifty-five thousand 
roubles, and every year since, between forty-five and fifty thou- 
sand ; that those of the French Ambassador amounted at least 
to four hundred thousand roubles a year ; that the Emperor Na- 
poleon encourages great expense here upon a principle of policy, 
and also among his officers, not liking to have men too inde- 
pendent about him; that, like Frederic the Second, he confines 
his rewards to very few persons, but heaps them in profusion. 
There was at table a Prussian General Pfuhl, who, Mr. Six said, 
was one of the ablest men in the world, who had lately published 
in German some remarks upon the system of conscription, 
though he did not acknowledge himself as the author. He said 
he would send it to me to-morrow. He was very much afraid 
that this conscription system would be introduced into Holland. 
General Pardo told me that there were lineal descendants of 
Columbus, of Cortez, and of the Mexican Emperor Montezuma, 
living in Spain. The Duke de Veraguas was descended in 
direct line from Columbus, and the title of his eldest son was 
Marquis of Jamaica. The family of Montezuma had been always 
remarkable for their devotion, and even superstition. The great- 
grandfather of the present Duke, who was the great-grandson 
of Guatimozin (there must have been a greater number of de- 
:scents), was, about a century since, Viceroy of Mexico ; and 



1839] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 73 

after an administration of five years, which was so excellent that 
it is remembered with gratitude by the people of the country 
to this day, he returned quietly to Spain. The General said that 
the ' Government must have been very confident of its own 
strength to trust such a man with such a place. The French 
Ambassador made me an apology for having invited us to so 
unceremonious a party as that of yesterday, and told me that 
it would give him pleasure if at any time I would come about 
five o'clock and take a dinner with him, without waiting for an 
invitation. 

Day. We rise seldom earlier than nine in the morning — 
often not before ten. Breakfast. Visits to receive, or visits to 
make, until three ; soon after which the night comes on. At four 
we dine ; and pass the evening either abroad until very late, or at 
our lodgings with company until ten or eleven o'clock. The 
night parties abroad seldom break up until four or five in the 
morning. It is a life of such irregularity and dissipation as I 
cannot and will not continue to lead. 

December 3d. I went this morning with Mr. Everett to the 
chapel of the British factory, where we heard prayers read, and 
a sermon, by the present chaplain, Mr. Lx)udon King Pitt. The 
prayers were read strictly according to the Book of Common 
Prayer, including the prayers for King George and that he 
might be victorious over all his enemies — which, considering 
that he and Russia are now at war, appears to be not a little pre- 
suming on the indulgence of this Government In the prayers, 
however, for the King and royal family of England, the Emperor 
and imperial family were added, for participation of the bless- 
ings invoked. There was a long occasional prayer introduced, 
which Mr. Pitt read from a written paper, and which seemed to 
be of his own composition. It deprecated the bitter cup of the 
present times, and prayed for a union of counsels between Britain 
and Russia. The sermon, from Jeremiah vi. 16, was on the 
propensity of mankind to change— a commonplace topic, han- 
died in a commonplace manner. After church I walked over 
to the Wasily-Ostrof, and measured, by pacing, the building 
belonging to the Imperial Academy of Sciences. It is one 
hundred and sixty-four paces in front, and one hundred and 



74 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

forty-five deep — ^that is, four hundred and fifty by three hun- 
dred and eighty-two feet. 

4th. Catherine Johnson and Mr. Everett went with us to the 
Imperial Palace of the Hermitage. Here is one of the most 
magnificent collections of masterpieces in many of the arts 
that the world can furnish — ^pictures, antique statues, medals, 
coins, engraved stones, minerals, libraries, porcelain, marble; and 
the catalogue seems without end. I took little notice of any- 
thing but the pictures. With these I often lingered behind ; and 
after nearly three hours of inspection, felt only the wish for three 
months of examination. The collection is not rich in pictures 
of the Italian schools, but of the French and Flemish there is 
a profusion — ^and several very excellent pictures of the Spanish 
painters. Mr. Labensky, the Director, accompanied us, with 
great politeness. We went for a few minutes into the theatre, 
where they were singing a chorus in the opera of Telemaque. 

5th. I received this morning from Count RomanzofT a noti- 
fication that the Emperor had fixed on to-morrow, after hearing 
mass, for the presentation of Messrs. Smith ' and Everett, and 
at dinner-time a notification from the Grand Master of the Cere- 
monies that there would be ^ court held to-morrow, being the 
Fete of her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Catherine, 
and of the Order of St. Catherine. Mr. Harris called on me, 
and went with me to visit Count Strogonoff, Prince Beloselsky, 
the Duke de Serra Capriola, Monsieur de Gourief, and Count 
Kotschubey. Count Strogonoff and the Duke de Serra Capriola 
only received us. Count Strogonoff is an old nobleman of the 
highest rank, the most splendid fortune, and the most respect- 
able and amiable character of the empire. He has cultivated a 
taste for the fine arts, and possesses one of the choicest collections 
of pictures in Europe. This was his jour de fete, and we found 
much company coming and going while we were there. He 
showed us himself many of his finest pictures, and other master- 
pieces of art, among which was a costly vase of malachite, a 
production of copper-mines, which he says is found only in 
Siberia. The Duke de Serra Capriola was many years Minister 

' John Spear Smith, the son of General Samuel Smith, the Senator from Maryland, 
had come out to Mr. Adams as attached to the Legation of the United States. 



i809.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 75 

from the King of the Two Sicilies at this Court, and thought he 
recollected having seen me when I was here before ; but upon 
a comparison of dates we found that impossible, as he did not 
come here until 1783. I left Petersburg in October, 1782. He 
is married to a daughter of Princess Wazemsky ; but since the 
expulsion of his sovereign from his kingdom of Naples he is 
here without a diplomatic character. We found Mr. Navarro 
with him. We came home about three, which is now exactly 
the hour of sunsetting. I dined with the Saxon Minister, Count 
Einsiedel, and a small company of twelve persons, among whom 
Vcrc Monsieur de Laval and a Prince Gagarin, whom I did not 
know before, Count Jawonsky, M. de Bray, M. Navarro, Baron 
de Schladen, and Count Liixbourg, whom I did know, and two 
or three gentlemen whom I still do not know. After dinner I 
had considerable conversation with M. de Laval, who is a French 
emigrant nobleman, married to a Russian Princess Kazitsky, 
and who has great possessions, as he told me, in iron mines and 
works, which makes him personally interested in the maintenance 
of the relations between the United States and this country. 
6th. Soon after twelve o'clock, Mr. Harris called on us, and 

• _ 

we went to the palace. Mr. Smith went with me, and Mr. 
Everett with Mr. Harris. We were introduced first into the 
Diplomatic Hall, and remained there about an hour; after 
which, the mass being over, we went into the Hall of the 
Throne, where, soon after, the Emperor and imperial family 
made their appearances. The French Ambassador took his 
station nearest the door, and the Corps Diplomatique stood in 
succession after him. The Swedish General Baron Stedingk, 
and the Austrian General Count St. Julien, placed themselves 
purposely out of the range of the foreign Ministers, to avoid 
the appearance of placing themselves below the Ambassador. 
The Emperor, Empress, and Empress-mother spoke to all the 
Ministers. The Emperor asked me whether I had found any 
old acquaintances of my former visit to this country, fhe 
Empress asked me how my wife supported the climate of the 
country ; and the Empress-mother, whether I had heard from 
my children that I left in America. Mr. Smith and Mr. Everett 
were afterwards presented. The Emperor spoke to them in 



76 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

French and English. In half an hour's time the circle was over, 
and the imperial family retired. 

7th. I went with Mr. Harris and paid a visit to M. de Laval, 
whom we found with his lady ; but she went out immediately 
after. M. de Laval had in his chamber some excellent maps 
and globes. He invited me to dine with him whenever I should 
not be otherwise engaged on Mondays. From his house we 
went and visited Mr. Tilesius, Professor of Natural History at 
the Academy of Sciences, whom we found in the midst of some 
repairs he is making in his chambers, but who received us with 
great civility. He accompanied the Russian Embassy to Japad 
in 1 804 and 1 805, and showed us the drawings of many objects in 
natural history, particularly fishes, and of scenes, to be published 
with the narrative of this voyage. It is now ready for publica- 
tion, and to-morrow the copy of the first publication in Russian 
is to be delivered to Count RomanzofT for the Emperor. The 
German translation, which is in &ct the original, is to be pub- 
lished in January. There is some doubt whether it will appear 
in French. Mr. Tilesius is also employed upon a comparative 
dissertation on the anatomy of the elephant and the mammoth, 
several of the drawings for which he also showed us. He agreed 
to go with us to-morrow to see the Museum of the Imperial 
Academy of Sciences. I came home at three in the afternoon, 
and at five went to dine with General Pardo, the Spanish Min- 
ister. The Chevalier de Bray and Count Luxbourg, the Secre- 
taries of the French Legation, and Messrs. Labensky and Kohler, 
the Superintendents at the Hermitage, with Mr. Harris, con- 
stituted the company. Mr. Kohler is a German, and fond of 
German literature. Mr. Lajard is a Frenchman, recognizing 
no literature but that of France. There was some discussion 
between them. Mr. Kohler told me that Heyne's last edition 
of the Iliad had not given satis&ction in Germany — that a 
later edition, by Wolff, containing only the Greek text, without 
notes, was more esteemed. General Pardo showed us the Basker- 
ville quarto Virgil and Horace,* and the Spanish Sallust, with 

■ Which volumes, with several other choice editions of the dasics, were aftei^ 
wards porchased at General Pardo*s sale, and ttill remain in the librvy left by Mr. 
Adams. 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 77 

the translation by the Infant Don Gabriel, who is now in Brazil 
— printed by Ibarra, the same who printed the famous Don 
Quixote, of the Escurial. About eight in the evening I came 
home, and between nine and ten Mr. Harris called again. I 
went with him to a ball at Mr. Bergien's, where was a company 
of about one hundred and fifty personsn The Grand Duke 
Constantine was of the party. The entertainment was splendid, 
and the house very magnificently furnished. 

8th. Mr. Tilesius came with Mr. Harris this morning and 
paid me a visit I went with them and the gentlemen of my 
family to the Imperial Academy of Sciences, where we saw the 
library, the museum, and the other principal collections of the 
place. Many of the articles I recollected at my visit to the 
same place during my former residence at St. Petersburg. The 
relics of Peter the Great and of his works, his heyduke seven 
feet high, and his horse, with the anatomical preparations of 
Ruysch, and the elephant, were familiar to my remembrance. 
Many things have, however, been added since that time — prin- 
cipally from the Russian Embassies to China and Japan, and 
chiefly collected by Mr. Tilesius. The complete skeleton of the 
mammoth is also of a late date. The celebrated piece of mech- 
anism by Roentzer was not there at my former visit, nor is it 
worth being there now. The fossils, insects, marine shells, birds, 
and beasts are more numerous than formerly, but their particu- 
larities do not fasten upon the mind. We shortened our visit, 
finding the apartments all very uncomfortably cold. 

lOth. About nine this morning I went out with Mr. Smith 
to see the Emperor at the parade, a review which he makes 
of his troops every Sunday, excepting when the frost is too 
severe — that is, more than six or seven degrees below zero of 
Reaumur's thermometer. The line of troops extended from 
Count RomanzofTs house in the Palace Square to the bridge 
over the Neva. The Emperor, accompanied by the Grand 
Duke Constantine and several officers, among whom is the 
French Ambassador, galloped round in front of the troops and 
back again; after which the troops filed off before him, in front 
of the palace. It was past eleven before we came home, and 
too late for church. 



/ 



78 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

14th. Visited Mr. Six, with whom I passed an hour in con- 
versation, and who is the most conversable of any person that 
I find here. He wants to be esteemed, and is not so much so 
as I think he deserves. He gave me several curious little manu- 
scripts of his own writing, and one of the Pensionary Van de 
Spiegel ; and he told me several interesting anecdotes of his 
negotiations in France, and of the Emperor Bonaparte, of whom 
he has a very high idea. Thence I went to Mr. Meyer's, where 
I found very different sentiments, most cautiously disclosed. 
Then to Mr. Raimbert's, where was the same commercial dis- 
satisfaction with the present state of things as at Mr. Meyer's. 
Mr. Raimbert told me that he wished me to come some day 
and ask a dinner of him ; for if he should send me a special 
invitation, and the French Ambassador should hear of it, he 
might ask why he did not invite him also ; that he had already 
intimated to him that he would come and dine with him if he 
would invite him. But it was necessary to make so many cere- 
monies with ces messieurs that hp had no inclination to invite 
him. However, as ces messieurs portent de grands sabres, it 
was dangerous to affront them; and, therefore, if I would come 
and dine with him of my own motion it would leave him an 
excu.se for not inviting the Ambassador. 

2 1 St. I took this morning a long walk over the part of the 
city which we inhabit ; and as the sun this day rose at fourteen 
minutes past nine and set at forty-six minutes past two, I was 
out during almost all the time of daylight 

22d. We had received invitations to attend the funeral of Mr. 
Martin Glukoff the elder, the Russian merchant with whom 
Captain Beckford transacts his business. They were by cards 
from his sons, Martin and Alexander Glukoff, and contained 
also an invitation to dinner after the ceremony. Mr. Harris, 
who considers it unbecoming to go into a Russian merchant's 
house, dissuaded us from attending this funeral, and told me 
that as to the dinner, it was not usually expected that the persons 
invited should attend it, as two or three hundred persons were 
invited, and preparations made for only thirty or forty. Not 
partaking of Mr. Harris's aversion to Russian merchants, and 
intending to return the civility of attendance for the civility of 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. yg 

invitation, I concluded to attend the funeral, but to decline the 
dinner; which I now regret, as it appears there was ample prepa- 
ration made for all the company invited, and as I perceived that 
Mr. Glukoff the son was hurt at my declining the invitation to 
dinner, which he personally repeated to me at the monastery. 

At nine in the morning we went to the house, and were intro- 
duced to a large hall, which was darkened and hung entirely 
round with black cloth. Here the corpse of the deceased was 
lying in state, on a bed, in a large coffin, the upper lid of which 
was in the form of a box-cover, and was fixed over the lower 
or cradle part when the procession moved. At the top and 
bottom and on the two sides of the coffin were large candle- 
sticks, four or five feet high, covered with black crape, and having 
in them wax tapers of a proportionable size. About two feet dis- 
tant at the foot of the coffin stood a papa or priest, with stand 
before him, on which was a book, chanting in a very low, solemn, 
and plaintive tone, in the Russian language, something which I 
could not understand. On one side of the hall sat a row of 
perhaps twenty women in mourning attire. On the other were 
seated several priests, apparently, by their dress, of higher rank 
than the officiating pope, two of whom wore the decoration of 
the red ribbon. There were also several empty chairs, in one 
of which I seated myself by Mr. GlukofTs invitation. The hall 
was nearly full of other company standing. The priest continued 
his low chant nearly half an hour. Then appeared the Metro- 
politan, who took his stand at the same spot, and delivered to 
each of the other priests a lighted taper to hold, and each of 
them kissed his hand on receiving it from him. They then 
ranged themselves round the coffin, lighted tapers were given 
to every person in the company, and the Metropolitan made 
what I took to be a short prayer. This concluded the cere- 
monies at the house. The upper cover was then fixed over the 
coffin. After the sons and daughters had gone up and kissed 
the cheek of the deceased, and the domestics his hand, the coffin 
was carried out ; all the priests followed, and the company after- 
wards. The corpse was followed by the men of the family, and 
some of the priests with lighted tapers on foot The rest fol- 
lowed in carriages, and the procession went from the Wasily- 



8o MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

Ostrof across the bridge, and through the great Perspective, 
to the Monastery of St. Alexander Newsky. Here, in the small 
chapel near the entrance, we found the corpse again laid in 
state, and a ceremony commenced which lasted nearly two 
hours. The Metropolitan, all the priests, and a choir of singers 
officiated at this, which I presume was the celebration of a 
solemn mass. At the close of this a carpet was laid, and two 
benches with cushions placed on it, back of the head of the 
coffin. The Metropolitan and another of the titled priests came 
and sat down on the benches. The Metropolitan again dis- 
tributed lighted tapers to each of them, and they kissed his hand ; 
lighted tapers were also given to every person attending, and, 
after some further singing, a paper was given to the Metropolitan, 
which he read, and which was then put into the coffin with the 
corpse. It is said to be a recommendation of the deceased to 
the keeper of Heaven's gates — a passport to be presented to St. 
Peter. A few drops of some liquor, perhaps consecrated oil, 
were also poured into the coffin. The relations and dependents 
again went up and kissed the check or the hand of the deceased. 
The coffin was again closed with the upper cover, carried into 
the graveyard beside the chapel, and deposited in a grave per- 
haps eight or nine feet deep. The persons who attended threw 
in a little dust and a slip of pine branch, with which the chapel, 
the passage from it to the grave and to the street, and all the 
floors and stairways of the house, were strewed. On the return 
of the Metropolitan from the grave, numbers of persons, well 
dressed, pressed up to him and kissed his hand as he passed. 
Mr. GlukofT, in renewing his invitation to me to dinner, told me 
that it was a Russian custom ; but having already declined, and 
trusting to Mr. Harris's information, I persisted in declining, 
and came home with Mr. Smith. Mr. Everett and Mr. Gray 
returned to the house, but did not stay to dinner. 

I passed the evening at home, and wrote an answer to Count 
Romanzoff^'s note. By not attending Mr. Glukoff^'s dinner I lost 
part of the ceremonies usual on these occasions. The priests 
all were at the dinner, before which the Metropolitan, it appears, 
distributed a little rice to all the company. The dresses of the 
priests were diflerent, I suppose according to their rank. That 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. gf 

of the Metropolitan was splendid, and decorated with precious 
stones, particulafly his mitre. The long beards and flowing 
hair are the same in all. The deceased wore a beard, and the 
national Russian dress. His sons and their families dress in the 
common European costume. 

24th. At twelve o'clock I attended, according to order, at 
the palace. The mass was already commenced, but the Corps 
Diplomatique was not assembled. They came in soon after, 
and were introduced at the chapel, when the Te Deum began ; 
which was about one o'clock. Just before it was finished they 
were conducted out again, and after the ceremony was finished, 
the Empress-mother and Empress held a cercle. It was finished 
about two. 

We dined, all the family excepting Mr. Smith, at Mr. H. 
Severin's, and I was obliged to leave the table at half-past seven, 
to attend at the Empress-mother's ball. Mrs. Adams did not 
go. She passed the evening at Madame de Bray's. The ball 
was very splendid. Count dc Maistre, the Sardinian Envoy, 
says that at such a fete they have fifteen thousand wax candles 
lighted, and that it costs eighteen thousand roubles. The supper 
was magnificent, and the Empress-mother, who did the honors 
of her house, went round all the tables, and spoke to every 
guest. She spoke to the foreign Ministers before, at, and after 
supper, and during the whole evening was very gracious in her 
manner. The supper began about midnight, and there was 
dancing again afterwards. The imperial family retired about 
two in the morning, and the company immediately dispersed. 
There were about three hundred persons present. In the inter- 
vals of time at home I read Massillon's sermons on the injustice 
of the world to righteous men, and on death. 

26th. At seven in the evening I went to Count Romanzoff's. 
I found Baron de Blomc, the Danish Minister, with him. He 
left the Count's cabinet as I went into it. I told the Count that 
I came at the request of a number of my countrymen whose 
property had been arrested in a very extraordinary manner, by 
an order of the Danish Government, in the ports of Holstein ; 
that as to the dispositions of the King of Denmark with regard 
to English merchandise or property, that was no concern of 

VOL. II.— 6 



82 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

mine; but that a great amount of property unquestionably 
neutral, direct from America, and after having'passed through 
every examination required by the laws of Denmark, had now 
been arrested under this order; that purchases to a large 
amount of the productions of this country had been made here 
and at Riga, on the credit of this property, and the regular pay- 
ment of which depended upon its speedy liberation ; that as the 
subject therefore in some sort became interesting to the Govern- 
ment of this empire, I had requested this interview with him to 
state the circumstances to him, and to ask whether the inter- 
position of the Emperor's good offices with the Danish Gov- 
ernment might not be used in any manner, whether officially 
or otherwise, as to levy this sequester upon American property 
as speedily as possible; that being aware that it was a sub- 
ject upon which, in my character as accredited to this Court, I 
could make no formal application, I had not thought proper to 
address him an official note concerning it ; but relying upon the 
Emperor's good will towards my country, which he had often 
manifested, and on tlie Count's own dispositions, which were 
equally friendly, I had fluttered myself that by the exertion of 
his Imperial Majesty's influence with the Danish Government, 
something might be done to obtain the release of this American 
property, and to relieve my countrymen, the owners of it, from 
their distress. 

He said that in regard to the Emperor's dispositions towards 
the United States, and as far as he could speak of his own, though 
infinitely distant from his Imperial Majesty, by his place, they 
were as friendly as I could believe them to be, and that he 
personally lamented greatly the distress under which commerce 
in general, and with it that of the United States, was labor- 
ing; that nothing short of a general peace could probably put 
an end to these embarrassments, and that this general peace 
depended upon England alone; that he knew not why this 
general peace should not be made ; that nothing would be asked 
of England, but, on the contrary, she would be left in possession 
of what she had acquired ; that until she could be reduced 
to reasonable terms of peace, it was impossible that commerce 
should be free from rigorous restrictions, because it was by 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO' RUSSIA, gj 

operating upon her commerce that she must be made to feel 
her interest in making peace ; that as to this particular measure 
of Denmark, it was far from being agreeable to him ; and he 
intimated that it was the subject upon which he had just been 
conversing with the Baron de Blome; that he knew by dis- 
patches from M. Lizakewitz, the Russian Minister at Copen- 
hagen, that the measure had given great dissatisfaction to the 
Danes themselves; that there was no occasion to disguise the 
fact; it was not a voluntary act on the part of the Danish 
Government — it had been exacted by France, whose force at 
their gates was such as Denmark had no means of resisting, 
and who considered it as a measure merely of severity against 
English commerce; that France had suspected Denmark of 
conniving at the commerce with England; at least he knew 
that Mr. Champagny had reproached them with it in very severe 
terms ; and that, in fact, the whole, or nearly the whole, of that 
trade must substantially be viewed as English commerce, since 
there were now none but English colonics which produced the 
articles that went under the name of colonial merchandise. 

I assured him that, with the exception perhaps of coffee, all 
the articles of colonial trade were produced within the United 
States; and that with respect to coffee, as well as the rest, 
there were all the Spanish islands, which produced them in great 
quantities, besides the English possessions. 

" But," said he, " is not the produce of the United States in 
•these articles of inferior quality? Cotton, for instance?" 

I told him the United States produced the best of cotton, and 
in immense quantities ; that in all the Southern States, as well 
as in Louisiana, the cultivation of this article within the last 
twenty years had flourished beyond imagination, and that of all 
the cotton brought by those American vessels whose cargoes 
had been thus arrested in (lolstein, I was persuaded that nine- 
tenths at least was the genuine produce of the United States 
themselves; that considerable quantities of sugar were also 
produced in Louisiana, and in Georgia, which doubtless con- 
stituted a great proportion of those cargoes ; and that the rest 
was probably the produce of the Spanish islands. Certainly 
very little, if any, came from the British colonies. 



84 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

"As to the Spanish islands/* he said, "they could now not 
easily be distinguished from the British, as they had declared 
themselves for the party of the Junta, which in a very extraor- 
dinary manner had formally declared war against Denmark." 

I remarked that if, in consequence of tliis declaration of war, 
the Danish Government thought proper to prohibit the impor- 
tation for the future of articles the produce of the Spanish 
colonies, it was a measure of expediency which they were 
free to take, but that it could never warrant the seizure of goods 
already imported under the sanction of the Danish laws, which 
had passed through every examination required of tliem, and 
had received the pledge of protection due from the Government 
of every civilized nation to private property ; that if this was 
a French measure, of which the Government of Denmark was 
only the passive instrument, I trusted that the influence of a 
sovereign so powerful as the Emperor of Russia, and in rela- 
tions so close with France, would not be exerted without effect 
at Paris, and it would be immaterial to us where the means 
should be used, if they produced the result of doing justice to 
us and restoring to my countrymen their property. The con- 
duct of England towards my country had been such as cer- 
tainly not to inspire me with any partiality in her favor, and I 
believed the principle of what was called the Continental sys- 
tem, which was to bring England to dispositions for peace by 
distressing her commerce, a very good one; but I was surprised 
that it was not at this day perceived that measures which de- 
stroyed the commerce of all other nations, instead of reducing 
turned altogether to the profit of that of England; that the 
Emperor Napoleon's experiment had now been three years in 
operation; and that in the midst of the most wasteful expenses, 
the grossest internal mismanagement, the most unfortunate ex- 
peditions, and, in short, of everything that could exasperate 
the people of England against their own Government and raise 
the clamor for peace, no such clamor was heard; and the 
commerce of the country, far from being diminished, was flour- 
ishing beyond all example. As a proof of which I referred him 
to the address from the corporation of London to tlie King on 
the late jubilee, and to the King's answer. 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. gj 

The Count laughed, and said that as to addresses to Kings 
and their answers, he believed the best rule was to take all such 
boastings in an inverted sense; " for," said he, " you know when 
the father of a family and his family are talking together before 
the world, they naturally will not spe.ik of their distresses.** 

I replied that in such cases as this I believed the conclusion 
would be more consistent with the fact by taking the words in 
their plain and direct sense; that the flourishing or distressed 
state of commerce was a state of things too notorious by its 
simplicity, too certain by the practice of reducing it all to pre- 
cise figures by official returns, to admit of direct falsehoods 
thus asserted in the face of the world ; that London was a city 
almost entirely commercial ; that the numerous classes of people 
subsisting upon commerce were not accustomed to boast of 
profit while they were actually suffering distress — nor even of 
suffering without loud complaint; that if, at this time, any 
other King in Europe was to receive an address from the 
principal traders of his kingdom, they would not boast of the 
flourishing state of their commerce; nor would the corporation 
of London have dared to do so if the fact had been strikingly 
the reverse. It was not, however, upon this address alone that 
I relied as evidence of the fact Other indications of the same 
kind were numerous and decisive. How indeed could it be 
otherwise? The active commerce of all other nations, thanks 
to France, was annihilated. France herself, Holland, Sweden, 
Denmark, had nothing that would bear the name of commerce 
left in their own ships. The United States had scarcely any. 
Their intercourse with almost all Europe was suspended. Here 
alone they were still freely admitted, and into those ports of 
Holstein, where this violent measure must now break it up 
again to the foundation ; that the portion of commerce carried 
on by American vessels in the Russian ports was small ; the 
number of the vessels was ascertained, and his Excellency, as 
Minister of Commerce, knew to what it could amount. He 
also knew how much of the trade was transacted in Russian 
vessels; and yet it was not. for me to tell him that between 
England and this country the commerce actually carried on 
was little less than in time of i>cacc; th.it «ill articles of English 



86 MEAIOIKS OF yOIIN QUINSY ADAMS. [Deccml>ei, 

growth and manufacture were to be had here as if the inter- 
course was unobstructed; and that every article of Russian 
produce for which England has occasion goes as plentifully to 
England as ever. 

He said the price of these articles in England had recently 
risen — from which I told him a further proof of my position 
might be derived ; for that the rise of prices in England had 
followed as a consequence upon the rise of prices here, which 
had been very considerable. The inference from this last fact 
was irresistible; for if the trade with England was actually 
suspended, the prices of Russian produce here must have fallen, 
from the accumulation which would have been unavoidable. 
The commerce, therefore, was carried on — ^and by whom? it 
was not to be disguised, principally by the English ; who, by 
means which I should not undertake to account for, did con- 
trive to evade every ordinance and regulation, and the more 
surely evaded them in proportion as they were more severe; 
that I had personally had an opportunity to observe this on 
my voyage hither. For in the Danish dominions the trade 
with England was forbidden upon pain of death, and yet, on 
going into a port of Norway, I had seen vessels which had 
passed through the British squadrons as in time of profound 
peacp, and I was informed from unquestionable authority that 
there were then seven ships notoriously English in the port of 
Bergen, loading with timber for England upon English account. 

He said that he agreed with me in the reasoning, but not in 
the conclusion ; that all commerce was to be considered as a 
benefit to both parties ; that he had no faith in the doctrine of 
balances of trade, or that any commerce could long exist unless 
it was profitable on both sides; that if commerce therefore 
suffered, as in the present state of Europe there could be no 
doubt it did, the greatest commercial nation in the end must 
suffer most; that although this crisis had already continued 
longer than was to be wished, yet it could not be considered 
as a time sufficient for effecting the intended result; that it 
would be better that the whole commerce of the world should 
cease to exist for ten years, than to abandon it forever to the 
control of England ; that the effect of the restrictive system 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 87 

would eventually press hardest upon England ; and that Mr. 
Pitt, whose talents as a Minister must be acknowledged to have 
been great, was compelled by the clamors of the English nation, 
arising from the distress upon their commerce, to make peace. 

That, I acknowledged, was true, but was imputable to a sys- 
tem of measures in relation to commerce directly opposite to 
the present — a system which encouraged and favored the trade 
of the nations which were the rivals of England, so that England 
could not support a competition with them. And although the 
English commerce might partially suffer in the general mass 
with the rest, it was much more than indemnified by the part 
which it had acquired from the ruins of all the other commercial 
nations. 

The Count asked me if I had read a late publication of Mr. 
d'lvernois on the subject. I had heard of the book, but not 
seen it. He said its representations corresponded much with 
the ideas I had expressed ; but that he had only taken the state 
of Ireland to prove his position. This was not very conclusive, 
for the commerce of Ireland formed a very small part of that of 
the United Kingdom ; and the great stress laid upon the alleged 
prosperity of this particular branch of the trade, raised a strong 
presumption that the actual stitc of the whole was distressed. 
He concluded by saying that, on the subject of my request, he 
would take the orders of the Emperor and inform me of the 
result ; but as this was a measure emanating from the personal 
disposition of the Emperor of France, he was apprehensive there 
existed no influence in the world of sufficient efficacy to shake 
his determination. 

The general impression upon my mind was that the Count 
himself was fully persuaded of the truth of my representa- 
tions, and that he really disapproved of these measures, but that 
Russia would not interfere in the case. He told me that imme- 
diately after the return of the Emperor, Count Pahlen*s secretary 
would be dispatched to Paris, with his final instructions, and 
orders that he should immediately proceed to America. . He 
supposed that he would have no difficulty in finding an oppor- 
tunity to go — of which, however, in the present state of our' 
commerce, I intimated some doubts. He said he would send 



88 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

me word before Mr. Ivanoff should go, that if we pleased we 
might take the opportunity to write by him. 

27th. Mr. Harris was with me in the evening, and showed me 
the two forged American registers which he has detected, and 
the letter he has written to Count Romanzoff concerning them. 

29th. We had all invitations from the French Ambassador 
to the ice-hills, at his country scat at the Kammenoi-ostrow. The 
company were to meet at noon, and pass the day and evening 
there. Mrs. Adams and Catherine, being unwell, could not 
go. Just as I was on the point of setting out, I received a note 
from Count Romanzoff, requesting me to call upon him at two 
o'clock; I was therefore obliged to postpone my ride to the 
ice-hills until three. 

At two o'clock I called upon Count Romanzoff, who told me 
that yesterday, being the first day since the Emperor's return, 
he had transacted business with him ; he had reported to his 
Majesty my application to him, requesting the interposition of 
his good ofTices with the Danish Government for the restora- 
tion, as speedily as possible, of the property of Americans se- 
questered in the ports of tlolstein ; that he had informed his 
Majesty of the answer which in his official character he had 
thought it his duty to give me, and to lead me to expect, leaving 
the decision free to him, conformably to his own inclinations. 
That the Emperor had judged differently upon the subject from 
him. He had ordered him immediately to represent to the 
Danish Government his wish that the examination might be 
expedited, and the American property restored as soon as pos-. 
sible; which order he had already executed. He had sent this 
morning for the Baron de Blome, and requested him to trans- 
mit to his Court these sentiments of the Emperor, with the 
assurance that his Majesty took great interest in 'obtaining a 
compliance with them ; that the Emperor was gratified at 
this opportunity of proving his friendly dispositions towards the 
United States ; perhaps the interest of his own subjects might 
justify his interference on the occasion: this was what he had 
not thought it necessary to examine. It was sufficient for him 
that it would manifest his regard for the interests of the United 
States. 



1809.] TIIiL MISS/ON TO RUSSIA. 89 

I assured the Count that I should inform my Government of 
this fresh instance of the Emperor's benevolence, and that I 
would answer beforehand for the grateful acknowledgments 
which it would produce ; that I was the more agreeably sur- 
prised at this determination, as from the last conversation I had 
had with his Excellency I had been apprehensive of a different 
result ; that on leaving him before, I had felt obliged to him for 
the frank and candid manner in which he had spoken in relation 
to the object of my application, which I preferred infinitely to a 
more flattering manner, which might have led to hopes that 
would be disappointed; but that, having entertained little or 
no hopes of success from his manner of considering the subject 
at th.it time, I was now the more delighted to find that my 
countrymen would have the benefit of his Majesty's powerful 
intercession. 

The Count said that he wished by this course of proceeding 
to deserve my confidence. 

I observed to him that for this purpose it was unnecessary, 
as my confidence in his dispositions was already as strong as 
possible. 

He desired me to mention to Baron Blome, when I should 
have the opportunity to see him, that he had told me this deter- 
mination of the Emperor, and of the Count's interview with him 
respecting it. He said that Baron Blome had repeated to him 
what he had said to me, that it was a measure to which Den- 
mark had been impelled by France, and which she had taken 
with reluctance. 

I enquired how the Emperor found his health since his tour 
to Moscow. He said well; and that he had been delighted 
with the marks of attachment which he had received from the 
people there; that he would probably repeat his visits there 
occasionally, for he had said to him yesterday it was an excellent 
idea he had had, of establishing his sister Catherine at Twer; 
" for when I have a mind to go to Moscow I have only to take 
her in my pocket, and can go then without any of the expense 
and parade of an imperial journey," as might be necessary, said 
the Count, for a journey with the Empress, or Empress-mother. 
He said the Emperor had charmed the people of Moscow by 



yO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

riding in an open sledge, according to the custom of the country, 
and by going round and observing all the quarters of the city, 
which he knew as if he had been bred there ; and that the 
people had received him with more proofs of joy and attach- 
ment to his person than they had given at his coronation. 

I left the Count after an interview of about half an hour, and 
then went with Mr. Smith to the French Ambassador's ice- 
hills at Kammenoi-ostrow. We got there about half an hour 
before dinner, just in time to see a little of the sliding down 
the hills and take part in the amusement. There was a com- 
pany of about fifty persons — the Ambassador*s usual company — 
most of them specially equipped for the purpose — the men with 
fur-lined spencers and caps, pantaloons over boots, fur caps, and 
thick leather mittens, the ladies with fur-lined riding-habits. 
About four o'clock dinner was served, and lasted about an hour. 
In the evening the ice-hills were lighted with lamps and torches, 
and some of the company went out again, but did not stay long. 
The cold, which had been all day very severe, towards evening 
increased to fifteen degrees below Fahrenheit's zero. It mod- 
erated, however, before midnight. In the house) cards, dice, 
and dancing employed those who delight in such sports. I 
came home with Mr. Smith before nine at night, to spare the 
servants the severity of the weather. Nelson, however, got his 
toes frozen. 

I saw Baron Blome at the ice-hills, and had a long conver- 
sation with him on the detention of the American property in 
Holstcin. lie told me again that it was a measure to which 
they had been goaded by France ; that it was more injurious 
to themselves than to us ; that this little trade in American ves- 
sels, which had given them an opportunity of laying a transit 
duty, was the only source of revenue left them ; but that in 
Hamburg they had been jealous of it, and had written to Paris 
that the Danes were carrying on a contraband trade with the 
English. Upon this France had loaded them with bitter 
reproaches, which were altogether unmerited. For Denmark 
had excluded more rigorously the English trade than anybody. 
Except the outskirts of the kingdom in Norway, over which it 
was impossible for the Government to have an effectual control. 



i8o9.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, pi 

the exclusion of English trade had been complete. Denmark 
had sacrificed herself for the common cause, and, instead of 
acknowledgment, this was the return she received. 

I took this opportunity to repeat to Baron Blome the ideas 
which I had suggested the other day to Count Romanzoff 
respecting the Continental system and the Emperor Napoleon's 
idea of carrying it into effect. I told him that it was impossible 
for a human heart to feel a stronger abhorrence than I had of 
the proceedings of the British Government towards Denmark; 
that I knew and felt for the situation of Denmark ; that in point 
of principle, and of rctil interests, those of Denmark and of the 
United States were precisely the same ; that I hoped the day 
would soon come when they might freely pursue those interests 
without reproach from any quarter; that if the present course 
of measures was merely personal to the Emperor Napoleon, he 
must soon perceive, as blindness itself could not but now per- 
ceive, that Britain was profiting by the commercial losses of all 
his friends; that his measures had now been three years in 
operation ; that all other commerce was ruined, while in luig- 
land it was more prosperous than ever; that the duties on 
imports had exceeded nearly by two millions those of any 
preceding year ; that no clamors, no petitions for peace, were 
heard of among the English people ; that if on the field of battle 
the Emperor Napoleon should see his army on the brink of 
destruction, and his enemy almost in possession of the victory 
by an error which it was still in his power to repair, and to 
secure the day, he was too good a general to sacrifice himself 
and his troops to a proud perseverance in mistaken measures ; 
that as a statesman, to persist obstinately, or from the petty 
vanity of never acknowledging error, in a course which in its 
effects was altogether advantageous to his enemy, and to resist 
the evidence of demonstration itself, argued a weakness of char- 
acter, which I hoped he would dread more than to retract a false 
step ; that in the estimation of effects, he as well as others must 
calculate the extent of human power, and that with such a sur- 
face as the Continent of Europe, under the stimulus of mutual 
superfluities and wants, commerce could not be destroyed ; that 
in the condition of Spain, the very idea of excluding British 



Q2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [January, 

commerce from the Continent, by proliibitions, was like an 
attempt to exclude the air from a bottle, by sealing up her- 
metically the mouth, while there was a great hole in the side. 

The Baron expressed himself perfectly convinced of the 
accuracy of these remarks, and wished that the Emperor of 
France might soon open his eyes to conviction. He appeared 
to take in good part what I said, and promised to transmit to 
his Government the claim of Mr. Williams, which I mentioned 
to him, though he said they considered all vessels under British 
convoy as fair prize. 

Day, Little different from the last month, and no better. 

I close the year with sentiments of gratitude to Heaven, for 
the blessings and preservations which my family and myself 
have experienced in its course. It has witnessed another great 
change in my condition — ^brought me to face new trials, dangers, 
and temptations, relieving me from many of those in which I 
was before involved. It has changed also the nature of my 
obligations and duties, and required the excition of other vir- 
tues and the suppression of other passions. From this new 
conflict may the favor of Heaven continue its assistance, to issue 
pure and victorious, as from the past. May it enable me better 
to discharge all my social duties, and to serve my country, and 
my fellow-men, with zeal, fidelity, and effect Imploring the 
blessing of God upon my family present and absent, upon my 
wife and children, my parents, my kindred, friends, and country, 
I look with trembling hope at the mingled light and shade of 
futurity, and pass to a new year with the fervent prayer for 
firmness to perform as well as prudence to discern my duty, 
and for temper and fortitude to meet every possible variety of 
events. 

January 8th, 1810. We all went to a ball this evening, at 
the French Ambassador's, after calling and leaving cards at 
Princess Wazemsky's. It being her birthday, the ball was given 
in honor of her. There were about a hundred and thirty persons 
there. The supper was served about two o'clock in the morn- 
ing, and we came home about four, leaving the company still 
dancing. I had much conversation with Count Soltykoff, the 
adjoint Minister of Foreign Affairs — a man of about forty, of 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, gj 

grave manners, very reserved, but always ready to converse. 
He spoke to me about D'Ivernois*s late pamphlet, and asked 
me what I thought its weak part. But he did not give me his 
own opinion. 

At supper I sat next to Count Czernicheff, a young officer 
about twenty-five years old, who has been repeatedly sent by 
the Emperor in special missions, about the person of the Em- 
peror of Austria and of the Emperor of France. He h.is been 
during the whole of the last campaign with Napoleon, and in 
his immediate family — constantly the companion of his table, 
and sleeping in his tent. He told me he had been present at 
eight pitched battles, among which were those of Eylau, Fried- 
land, Essling, and Wagram. That of Essling, he said, was 
totally lost, " mais grandement," by the French, and that it was 
entirely the fault of the Austrians that they did not take ad- 
vantage of it. He said that the military reputation of the Arch- 
duke Charles was irretrievably lost, and that all the present 
misfortunes were imputable to him almost alone. He told me 
several particulars relating personally to Napoleon. I asked 
him if he was subject to the epilepsy. He hesitated about 
answering, but finally said, not to his knowledge. Then, casting 
his eyes on both sides, as if fearful anybody might hear, he 
said, "il a la galle rentree." He added that he slept little, 
waked often in the night, and would rise in his bed, speak, 
give some order, and then go to sleep again. The Duke de 
Mondragone told me it was not certain whether he was to 
marry a Princess of Saxony or of this country. 
. 9th. I called upon Mr. Six and Mr. Navarro. Mr. Six says 
" it is certainly not a Russian Princess that the Emperor Napo- 
leon is to marry ; that the imperial family here, and especially 
the Empress-mother, never would consent to it ; that two years 
ago he wanted to marry the Grand Duchess Catherine — who, 
though the most ambitious woman in the world, absolutely 
refused to have him. The Grand Duchess Catherine is her 
grandmother over again. If anything should ever happen here, 
it will be in her favor. The idea has never yet occurred to 
her, but it is impossible that it should not occur. And it 
would be the most ungrateful thing in the world, because, &c. 



g^ AfEMOIRS OF yOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

The Grand Duchess Catherine detests the French, and the 
Ambassador made her an excellent answer at the Peterhof fete 
last summer. The Ambassador kept two country houses : one 
at Kammenoi-ostrow, to be near the Emperor, and one on the 
Peterhof road, to be near ' sa belle,' Madame de Vlodek. The 
Grand Duchess Catherine rallied him about his fondness for 
the Peterhof road. The first time he was taken by surprise, 
and got over it as well as he could, but prepared himself for 
the second. Effectivement, the Grand Duchess renewed the 
attack. *Oui, Madame, je trouve le chemin de Peterhof char- 
mant. But I have another reason for frequenting it' ' Com- 
ment cela. Monsieur I'Ambassadeur ?' ' Because it enables me 
the sooner to receive the news of the frequent victories of I'Em- 
pereur mon Maitre.' The Ambassador's ball last night was 
very pleasant and lively. A year ago he could not have given 
such a ball; half the ladies at least who were there last evening 
a year ago se seraient faitcs malades, would have shammed sick- 
ness, to decline going. All the women were of the luiglish 
and Austrian party — to begin par la maitresse de TEmpereur. 
But she has no political influence at all. She is the last |)erson 
in the world through whom anything could be obtained. Some 
little place or trifling favor for any person she might patronize 
perhaps might be accepted, but the Emperor makes it a point 
of honor to allow no political influence to the woman by whom 
he has children because she is beautiful and he is young and 
fond of pleasure. The Ambassador is going to give another 
ice-hill party in a few days. 'II fait une dcpcnse d'enragc pour 
cette femme la* (Madame de Vlodek). The Emperor Napo- 
leon has been unanimously advised by all the persons in his 
confidence to this divorce of the Empress. He is going to 
make his Empire of the West, and will incorporate the whole 
of Holland with it. How wonderfully and how steadily he is 
favored by fortune!" &c. 

Mr. Six is very communicative, and I regret very much that 
he is going away. He not only gives much information, but 
says that from which much more important inferences may be 
drawn. Navarro was not at home. I left his papers and his 
pamphlet. Mr. Harris told me that M. de Rumigny had called 



iSio.J THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. qj 

upon him, and asked him whether the young gentlemen in my 
family were " Hants ;" that he should be glad to be particularly 
acquainted with them ; to go out with them to the ice-hills, &c. 
This gives further materials for reflection. 

nth. I had received a card of invitation, and one for Mr. 
Harris, from Princess Beloselsky, to attend the funeral of the 
Prince, who died last Sunday night. The hour appointed for 
attendance at the house was nine this morning. Mr. Harris 
not having been yesterday at Mr. Cramer's as I had expected, 
I left the card for him at his lodgings last evening, with an 
invitation if he should attend the funeral to go with me. He 
came this morning, but it was so late that when we arrived at 
the Prince's house we found the procession already gone ; we 
soon overtook it, however, and reached the monastery soon 
after ten o'clock. The ceremony resembled in almost all re- 
spects that of Mr. Glukoff's funeral ; excepting that it was not 
so long, that the Archbishop who officiated was dressed in more 
.splendid jewelry, and that the coffin of the Prince had a rich 
canopy of velvet over it with a coronet on the top. The attend- 
ance in this instance was of persons of the highest rank. Of 
the foreign Ministers there were only the Duke of Mondragone, 
Count Schenk, and the Baron de Bussche — ^all in full dress 
uniform. About twelve the ceremony was finished, and we 
came home. 

1 3th. This, being New Year's day according to the computa- 
tions of the Greek, which is the Russian, calendar, is observed 
as a day of great festivity and solemnity. We sent round visit- 
ing-cards to all our acquaintance, and to all the persons of dis- 
tinction who are entitled to be visited ; and we received cards 
of visitation of the same kind in return. At noon I went with 
Mr. Smith, and accompanied also by Mr. Everett, to Court, 
where, after the celebration of mass, which was attended by the 
imperial family, the cercle of the foreign Ministers was held. 
The Emperor, Empress, and Empress-mother all spoke to me 
in the most gracious manner. They speak to all the foreign 
Ministers of the first and second orders, but to no others. After 
the cercle was over, and the Court for the Russian nobility, 
which is in another hall, I was presented, with many other 



gS AfEMOIRS OF' JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January. 

foreigners, to the two young princes, Nicholas* and Michael, 
brothers of the Emperor, who usually reside with their mother 
at Gatschina, and have not before been in the city since my 
arrival here. I was introduced to the two princes, alone, imme- 
diately after Count St. Julien. Mr. Smith and Mr. Everett, with 
all the other gentlemen who attended, were presented to them 
together. I then went to Mr. Harris's lodgings, and, accom- 
panied by him, called in person at Count Romanzoff's, Count 
Soltykoff's, the French Ambassador's, M. de Gourief's, the 
Grand Chamberlain Narischkin's, Princess Wazemsky's (and 
she alone received us). Count Strogonoff's, Princess Beloselsky's, 
M. de Laval's. It was now late, and I came home to dinner. 
About nine in the evening I went to the masquerade at the 
palace, with Mrs. Adams; it is called a masquerade, but there 
are no masques. The imperial family and persons admitted to 
Court appear — the men in Venetian dominoes, the ladies in 
common Court dresses. All the apartments of the palace are 
crowded with people of every description, and in all the dresses 
of the several provinces of the empire. The Empress-mother 
played at cards about two hours. The Emperor and the im- 
perial family walked the polonaise through the apartments until 
eleven o'clock, and then went into the Palace of the Hermitage 
to the supper. To this the foreign Ministers, and in the whole 
about two hundred persons, were admitted by special invitation. 
The supper was served upon several tables ; that in the centre 
appropriated to the imperial family, but at which the French 
Ambassador was also seated. The other foreign Ministers had 
the second table to themselves. Count Sevcrin Poto^ki came 
and took a seat at it next to me, but was informed that the table 
was reserved for foreigners, and went to another. The Emperor 
passed round the table, speaking to about half the persons 
seated at it. Upon Count St. Julien's rising, he told him it was 
contraire a I'etiquette, and that he must keep his .scat. He told 
me that sixteen thousand tickets had been distributed, and that 
the number of persons who attended was upward of thirteen 
thousand. Before one in the morning the imperial family rose 
from supper and returned to the halls ; they soon after retired. 

' Afterwards Emperor, in succession to Alexander, though not the next brother. 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, gj 

We came home before two. At the Court this morning I was 
informed that some considerable changes had this day been 
introduced into the organization of the Emperor's Council of 
State, and several new appointments to office were announced ; 
among the rest Count Litta, as Grand fechanson, in the place 
of the late Prince Beloselsky. I asked the French Ambassador 
for half an hour's conversation with him some day next week, 
and he agreed to Tuesday morning, eleven o'clock, when I am 
to call upon him. 

i6th. Mr. L. called this morning for his passport, which I gave 
him. His visit this day delayed me until almost twelve o'clock, 
before I went to the French Ambassador's. He had appointed 
to see me at eleven. I was, however, at his house in sufficient 
time. 

I told him the object upon which I wished particularly to 
converse with him at this time was the order of the King of 
Denmark, under which the property of American citizens to so 
large an amount had been sequestered in the ports of Holstein; 
that this measure was said to be intended only for the purpose 
of suppressing an illicit trade between these ports and the 
English, and for the condemnation of English property; but in 
reality it had fallen most oppressively upon American citizens 
and American property. 

He doubted, at first, whether he could do anything in the 
case ; but finally promised to write to his Government the sub- 
stance of our conversation, and its object on my part ; that the 
Court of Denmark should restore as speedily as possible the 
property, really American, sequestered by their late order, and 
discriminate in its severity between the English and the Ameri- 
cans. I led the conversation much into the general subject of 
the .Continental system, and the impolicy of those measures 
which, instead of injuring the English, went to the ruin of all 
their rivals in commerce, and operated entirely to their advantage. 

He appeared not to have much information upon the subject, 
but, as far as he understood it, to agree with me in opinion. 
He supposed the American Embargo law was still in operation. 

While I was with him. Count Schenk, the Minister of the 
King of Wiirtemberg, called, to go out with him to the ice-hills. 

VOL. II. — 7 



p8 MEMOIRS OF yOHH QUINCY ADAMS. [Janoary, 

I therefore left him and returned home. At three o'clock I went 
with the ladies to his country house at Kammcnoi-ostrow. 
The cold was' at six degrees below zero of Fahrenheit's ther- 
mometer; and as by some accident the Ambassador's own hills 
were not in perfect order, his company went and used those at 
the Emperor's palace, about half a mile from the Ambassador's 
house. We did not go. About four o'clock he came with his 
company from the hills. His company were, as usual, his own 
diplomatic circle, and the family connections of Madame Vlodek. 
There were a few young men whom I had not seen before, and 
among the rest a Prince Kurakin, son of the Minister of the 
Interior. In the evening there was a dance, and Messrs. Ray- 
neval, Rumigny, Lajard, and Lowenstern appeared in female 
attire. I played at whist with Count Luxbourg, Mr. Labcnsky, 
and Mr. Tettard. About ten in the evening, and before supper, 
we came home. 

1 8th. On this day was performed the usual solemnity of the 
benediction of the waters of the Neva. At eleven o'clock I at- 
tended at Court, according to the notification yesterday received. 
The foreign Ministers, excepting the French Ambassador, who 
attended the Emperor on horseback, were first received in the 
apartments of the Hermitage, and, after being there about an 
hour, went to the antechamber usually allotted to them, from 
the .windows of which we saw the procession of the Archbishop 
and priests from the palace, through the Admiralty walk, to the 
temple below the bridge, where the ceremony was performed. 
The ICmpcror and his suite joined the procession. After the 
ceremony, the two Empresses, with the Princess Amelia of 
Baden, returned to the palace, and went upon a balcony which 
overlooks the river. The troops, to the number of about thirty- 
two thousand men, filed off before them. The Court attendants 
and the foreign Ministers went upon the balcony immediately 
after the Empresses, and remained there until they retired. 
There was a collation provided in a corner of the hall, which 
opens upon the balcony. The Emperor did not make his ap- 
pearance at the palace. The Empresses spoke to all the foreign 
Ministers, and retired from the balcony about three o'clock. 

25th. At noon I went to the palace, and attended the Court, 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, gg 

which was held between one and two o'clock. The foreign 
Ministers did not attend at the mass. The Emperor, Empress, 
and Empress-mother, as usual, spoke to all the foreign Ministers. 

28th. We have at length got through the continual series of 
invitations which have so long kept us in a state of dissipation 
and absorbed my time in a manner the most opposite to my 
wishes and my judgment. I passed this day altogether at home, 
excepting the time taken for a walk of exercise. I read a sermon 
of Massillon, on the immutability of the divine law — the second 
in the fourth volume of the Careme. I resumed also the 
Russian Grammar, and learnt something further of the char- 
acters of the alphabet My correspondence, however, continues 
greatly in arrear, and I know not whether I shall ever bring 
it up. 

31st. Engaged all the morning in writing to the Secretary of 
State, to send by Mr. Baxter. In the evening we all went to 
the Great Theatre, where we saw Rusalka, the Nymph of the 
Dnieper — the fourth part — a great Russian opera. Its char- 
acter resembles much the English pantomimes — with a variety 
of scenery — the action extravagantly romantic, the ballets in- 
different, and the music still more so. 

Day, I rise at eight or nine in the morning. Read and write 
until ten, or more commonly eleven, which is our usual hour 
for breakfast After that I read and write again, or receive, 
or pay visits, until three p.m. Then walk one or two hours. 
Dine about five. Pass the evening sometimes in company 
abroad, sometimes at the theatre. About midnight is our 
common hour for retiring to bed. But this has during the 
past month been frequently protracted until three, four, and 
sometimes five in the morning. Having gone through the 
course of invitations which we were to expect, we may promisp 
ourselves for the future a more tranquil life. My time hitherto 
has been wasted almost entirely. 

February 2d. Mr. Baxter and Mr. Berry went ofT this morn- 
ing. After writing part of the day, I walked on the quay of the 
Neva. On returning I met Mr. Harris, and walking with him 
on the quay below the bridge, we were overtaken by the Em- 
peror, who stopped and spoke to us about the weather. He 



100 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [February, 

walked by direction of his physician, for the benefit of his foot, 
which is not yet entirely recovered from the injury it suflered 
last autumn. He walks entirely alone, and stops and speaks 
to many persons whom he meets. 

27th. Count RomanzofT had appointed me this day at twelve 
o'clock to see him ; at which hour I accordingly went, and found 
him in his cabinet, with M. Gcrvais, one of the under officers 
in his department, who immediately left him. I again returned 
him my thanks for the care of my packets forwarded by his 
courier to Paris, and of those which had come by his courier 
and he had sent me. I mentioned also that I had sent him a 
copy of the official documents published by the Government 
of the United States concerning the recent negotiations with 
Great Britain and France. He enquired whether it was prob- 
able, as seemed to be indicated by a passage in a late speech 
of the King of England to Parliament, that the negotiations 
between them and the United States would be resumed. 

I told him that if the sentiments of his Britannic Majesty 
were such as his speech professed, the negotiations undoubtedly 
would be resumed ; and that as we must always implicitly believe 
the word of a King, thus solemnly spoken in the (ace of the 
world, I considered it as certain that they would be resumed. 

The Count made no reply to this, except by a smile, and a 
very significant look, in return for my compliment to the faith 
of Kings." 

I then mentioned to him that I had a letter from General 
Armstrong, in which he expresses his feelings of congratulation 
to me that I am in a place where there is some regard for our 
country and its rights, and that I had also letters from Hamburg 
expressing the gratitude of my countrymen there for the inter- 
position of the Emperor with the Court of Denmark, and the 
effect which many of them had already experienced from it, in 
the liberation of their property. 

He said Baron Blome had informed him a week or ten days 
ago of the answer he had received from his Court, to the dis- 
patch he had sent in consequence of Count RomanzofT's appli- 
cation to him, by order of the Emperor — which answer was 
that the Danish Government would pay the most particular 



l8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. loi 

attention to the interest which the Emperor had taken upon 
this occasion ; that they would give all possible dispatch to the 
proceedings, and that their own wishes were conformable to the 
desire manifested by the Emperor upon this subject. He then 
added that he was glad that the opportunity which the Emperor 
had thus taken to show his friendship for the United States had 
been attended with this success. He regretted that the com- 
merce of the United States elsewhere appeared still to be subject 
to seizure and ill treatment, and that altogether it seemed im- 
possible there should be any safe commerce until the peace ; 
that the profligacy with which the English, under the obvious 
connivance of their Government, were attempting to carry on 
their trade with fraud and forgery, was such as he could not 
reflect upon without astonishment. The English were a nation 
illustrious by the men of genius and learning, distinguished in 
the arts and sciences, whom they had produced — illustrious 
by the degree of power and importance in the aflairs of the 
world which they had attained. Their commerce also had been 
very extensive; and although it was known and admitted that 
in their commercial intercourse with others their activity and 
enterprise gave them advantages, of which they were always 
eager to make the most they could, that they would make 
those with whom they would treat commit as many faults as 
they could lead them into, and turn them with all their inge- 
nuity and address to their own benefit ; in short, that they had 
an extraordinary talent at making profitable bargains, yet there 
was a sort of integrity, to the reputation of which they had 
always aspired, and which they had effectually acquired. A 
British merchant was considered as a man of honor, a man of 
principle, who would disdain to participate in a base or infamous 
transaction for the mere profit of trade. " But now," said the 
Count, " I will give you a sample of what are the principles of 
British merchants. There arrived in our ports last autumn 
thirteen ships wirii cargoes, which entered as coming from the 
port of Lisbon, under neutral colors. Among the documents 
which they exhibited was a certificate of origin, apparently under 
the hand and seal of the Russian consul at Lisbon. This gen- 
tleman has long been i>crsonally well known to mc, and I have 



I02 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

a high esteem for his character and good conduct — in which 
point of view I have often mentioned him to the Emperor him- 
self. I had no reason on seeing those certificates of origin to 
doubt from the appearance of the hand or the seal that they 
were authentic; but as their vessels had been detained here 
over winter by the ice, and I could have time in that interval to 
get an answer from him, I took good measures to get a letter 
transmitted to him, with a list of those vessels, and of the docu- 
ments apparently executed by him, with an enquiry whether 
these were all authentic. I have lately received his answer, and 
not one of the documents is authentic — the whole thirteen are 
forgeries. Now, I ask," said the Count, "what difference in 
principles there is between this case and the same transaction 
upon the seal of a deed, or the signature of a bill of exchange — 
and what one is to think of a Government which licenses people 
to trade on such documents." 

He then continued, that the Charge d' Affaires of the Queen 
of Portugal had often tormented him (m*a tourmentc) for the 
admission of Portuguese vessels from Lisbon. This was impos- 
sible. The Emperor had made no change in his relations with 
Portugal. He was not at war with Portugal; he continued to 
receive Mr. Navarro as the Queen's Charge des Affaires. Portu- 
guese vessels from Brazil or elsewhere, not enemies* ports, would 
be freely admitted ; but from places notoriously in possession of 
the English it could not be, without making a burlesque of the 
Imperial ordinances against trading with the English. 

The Count made also many enquiries whether I had any 
intelligence from South America, which appeared to be an 
object of peculiar interest at this moment; but I had none. On 
some allusion that I made to the rigor with which the French 
Government and its dependencies were proceeding towards 
America, which I told him would most powerfully negotiate in 
the United States in favor of their reconciliation with England, 
he asked me whether I knew that Colonel Burr had gone to 
Paris. I said I had heard he was arrived there. He said he did 
not know of his arrival ; but that he knew from a certain source 
that he was gone there. He said Colonel Burr had written a 
letter to him requesting permission to come here; but that, not 



i8io.] TUB MISSION TO RUSSIA. 103 

being desirous of encouraging people who had fled from the 
violated laws of their own country to come into this, he had 
not answered his letter. If he wanted to come here he must 
make his application through me, and, if I had desired it, no 
difficulty would have been made. He enquired what Burr's 
project had been ; which I explained to him as well as its com- 
plicated nature would admit in the compass of a short conver- 
sation. After this I told the Count of the letter I had received 
from London for the Abbe Brzozowski, au College des Nobles — 
of the circumstances under which I had received it, and of my 
determination to send it back to the person who had forwarded 
it to me, unless he, the Count, were of opinion that I might 
without inconvenience send it to the person for whom it was 
destined. I added that if the writer, in requesting me to convey 
this letter to its address, had thought proper to leave it open 
for my perusal, and I had found it relating only to private con- 
cerns of business or friendship, I might have sent or delivered 
it to the person to whom it is directed without giving the Count 
any trouble on the occasion; but that I could not become the 
intermediate of any correspondence from a foreign country* at 
war with this, the contents of which were unknown to myself, 
without giving notice to him and obtaining his consent; that 
I presumed this was a letter merely upon private concerns; 
that I knew the American gentleman who forwarded it to me, 
and had no suspicion that he would be accessory to the trans- 
mission of any improper correspondence; and as the letter was 
said to be important (I supposed to the correspondent), I wished 
he might not be disappointed by failing to receive it. 

The Count at first discovered some surprise, and said he be- 
lieved I had better send the letter back. He enquired particu- 
larly how it had been forwarded from England ; said that from 
the name of the person to whom it is directed, he appears to 
be a subject of the Emperor, and not a Russian ; that there was 
no such thing here as a College des Nobles; that he supposed 
it must mean the Corps des Cadets, and that this Abbe was 
one of the instructors there. 

I told him that such had been my conjecture. After pausing 
a few minutes, the Count requested me to wait a day or two^ 



I04 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QU/NCY ADAMS, [March, 

during which he would make enquiries, and then return me a 
final answer whether to deliver the letter as directed or send it 
back. He seemed then inclining to think it might be delivered, 
and he thanked me in terms of the greatest cordiality for the 
notice I had thus given him ; declaring his entire approbation 
of the principle, and his particular sense of the delicacy which 
I had observed towards this Government in the application of it. 

I spoke to the Count concerning the note which I presented 
nearly three months since, relative to the claims of the Wey- 
mouth Commercial Company and Mr. Thorndike. He said 
this subject belonged altogether to the Department of the 
Marine; but that he would speak to the Minister of Marine 
about it He made a similar promise with respect to acceler- 
ating the expedition of passports for American citizens coming 
into this country or going out of it. They are always delayed 
from a fortnight to three weeks, after going through all the 
formalities required by the ordinances, before passports can be 
obtained. 

The Count said he had frequently heard the same complaint 
made before ; that it belonged to the Minister of the Interior 
to remedy this evil, and he would speak to him concerning it. 

As I took leave, the Count invited me, and desired me to 
invite Mrs. Adams, to supper at his house on Thursday next. 
He said that to explain an old bachelor's giving a supper to 
ladies, he would observe that it was for the Princess Amelia of 
Baden, who is going away, and who had permitted him to give 
her a supper. I left the Count about two o'clock. 

March 27th. I went to Count Romanzoff's this morning at 
eleven o'clock, the hour he had appointed in consequence of 
my request for an interview with him. I found Mr. d'Alopeus 
and Mr. Benkendorf with him, who retired immediately on my 
going into his cabinet. He said they were both on the point 
of going to Naples, and had come to ask him for jxissports. 
As to Mr. Benkendorf, he was a young man, who might form 
himself there in the diplomatic career as well as anywhere; 
but he was inclined to put ofT the departure of Mr. d'Alopeus 
as long as he could. He did not like to see him go to 
Naples. He had all proper respect for the King of Naples, but 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 105 

the relations of that country with this were not of sufficient 
importance to require that they should be confided to Mr. 
d'Alopeus, whom he considered as one of the ablest diplomatic 
characters of this empire. The Charge d* Affaires of Naples, 
he said, had sent to request an interview with him. He sup- 
posed it was to inform him of the appointment of a new Min- 
ister here, which he understood had taken place — the Duke of 
Mondragone, on account of his own domestic affairs, or for 
some reason of that kind, not desiring to return here. The 
Count then enquired what was the object upon which I had 
desired to sec him. I told him it was on the case of the Ameri- 
can vessel the Intercourse, which had been condemned by 
the Commission for Neutral Navigation at Archangel, upon 
which Mr. Harris had some time since presented to him a 
note, and which at a former interview I had also mentioned 
to him. I assured him that the vessel and cargo were un- 
doubtedly American property ; and dwelt upon all the allevi- 
ating circumstances which could be adduced to prevail upon 
him to have the proceeds of the sale restored to the owner, 
Mr. Cutts. I observed to him that this had been suggested 
as a probable indulgence to Mr. Cutts by the Commissioners 
themselves, as he had assured me; that one motive for the 
condemnation was the vessel's having touched at Gottenburg 
on her way from Bilboa; but that she had arrived just at the 
time of the conclusion of peace, and at a time when I had 
heard that other vessels had been admitted. 

He said this might be a mistake ; that no vessels whatever 
had been admitted from Sweden before the signature of the 
Treaty at Frederickshamm, and that during the negotiations 
there had not even been an armistice. 

The other ground of condemnation was the want of a role 
d'cquipage, which I said was to be accounted for from the 
length of time since the vessel had left the United States, and 
the changes in the crew which had been necessary. 

The Count promised to attend to the subject, and intimated 
that they were in discussion with another friendly power on 
similar cases. 

On the whole, there is very little chance for the restoration 



I06 MEMOIRS OF JOHN JQUINCY ADAMS, [March, 

of Mr. Cutts's property. I then told the Count of the recent 
intelligence from Denmark ; that a new ordinance respecting 
privateers was about to be issued, and that a large number of 
privateers was fitting out in the ports of Denmark. 

I spoke of the anxiety which it had occasioned among the 
Americans now here, and who propose returning to America 
with cargoes of the produce of this country. Though inclining 
to think this apprehension without foundation, I said, I was 
myself fearful it might interrupt the freedom of navigation of 
our vessels that would be coming here ; and, I said, as this was 
an object interesting to this country as well as to us, perhaps an 
intimation might be given to the Court of Denmark from this 
Government, which would operate as a restraint upon the Danes, 
and afford some protection to our trade. 

The Count said that if the free course of vessels coming to 
this country should be obstructed, they might, no doubt, ad- 
dress reclamations to the Danish Government ; but that as to 
an ordinance for privateers, it was hardly possible to make any 
objection against such a measure as that. Denmark was prob- 
ably stimulated to it by France, and it was impossible that there 
should be any security for commerce until England should 
incline to terms of peace. What should now prevent this he 
could not conceive. Spain had heretofore been alleged as a 
cause for declining negotiation. But Spain was now entirely 
subdued — Cadiz alone excepted. The English army had aban- 
doned its defence, and had retired into Portugal. What could 
now be the motive for persisting in the war, unless it was the 
mere pleasure of perpetual hostility ? — a system which could 
hardly be supposed as the intention of any Government. The 
Count enquired what was the present state of our affairs with 
France and with England. 

I told him that I had no recent intelligence; that extracts 
from English newspapers had announced that Mr. Pinckney, our 
Minister at London, had left that city and embarked for America, 
but I had no authentic information to that effect; that from 
America I had no accounts of anything important since the 
rupture of the negotiations with Mr. Jackson; but that if, as 
appeared from the latest accounts from England, the British 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. loy 

Government was inclined to a settlement of differences with 
America, I presumed that it would be accomplished, especially 
as the violence with which France and her dependencies were 
proceeding towards us would exasperate the spirits of the people 
against them, and make them more readily incline to concilia- 
tion with England ; that the conduct of France towards us was 
unaccountable ; that if we were at open war with her she could 
do us no more injury than she now does, and we should tlien 
at least enjoy the advantage of a free trade with England. 

The Count said that it was not for him to account for the 
motives by which a foreign Government might be guided ; but 
he could see no rational ground for the proceedings of France 
towards America. He asked whether it was true that so much 
American property had been confiscated at Naples. 

I told him, not only in Naples, but in Holland, in France, in 
Spain ; wherever they could lay their hands upon our property 
they had taken it ; and without any possible motive other than 
the determination to plunder. 

He said he hoped at least they had not got the vessels at 
Cadiz, of which he had seen in the English newspapers that 
there were a great number. 

I said I hoped at least they would escape. 

He said that he saw by another article in the English papers 
that the French Toulon fleet was out; and that an action be- 
tween them and Lord Collingwood was expected. 

I told him I was sorry to hear it, as the issue of such an 
action would undoubtedly be the same as that of all their naval 
battles in the present war, and would only tend to buoy up the 
temper of the English people for a further continuance of the 
war, without producing any imaginable good. 

He said it would have the further ill effect of destroying the 
remnant of any countcrjjoise to the naval force of Great Britain, 
without which it seemed impossible to expect a permanent 
peace. 

I observed that it appeared probable there would be a change 
in the British ministry, as they had been several times left in 
the minority in the House of Commons ; and it was very diffi- 
cult for a ministry to stand against a majority, or even with a 



I08 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

small majority, in that House, as the Ministers usually had the 
prudence to retire while they could command a majority to 
sanction their proceedings. 

" But," said the Count, " it does not follow that a change of men 
will be a change of ministry. Should Mr. Canning, for example, 
come in again, it would not be a change of ministry. And even 
if Lord Grenville should come in, it is doubtful whether it would 
be such a change as to produce peace. Lord Grenville was the 
principal personage in a ministry which commenced and carried 
out the war that laid the foundation for all those of the present 
times. He may be called emphatically the man of the war ; 
and in his late speeches in Parliament he seems to blame the 
Ministers only for pursuing a different system of war from that 
which he had pursued — that is, for sending expeditions to the 
Continent instead of money. Now, to be sure, a war merely with 
money does not bear so hard upon a nation as a war with men ; 
but, then, what can it effect ? What is the result of this pitiful 
dole to beggary ? An ally of a generous spirit, instead of re- 
ceiving it as assistance, will consider it an offence. Now, I can 
confide this to you (je puis vous le confier). In our war with 
France which preceded the peace of Tilsit, a war which we were 
waging for the English, since it was commenced on account of 
Hanover, we had proposed to the English that they should 
send an expedition to the Continent, which might operate as 
a diversion in favor of the King of Prussia and the King of 
Sweden, with whom we were then upon good terms. Instead 
of that, they sent a million sterling, to be distributed equally 
among the three sovereigns ; and this was the time when Lord 
Grenville was the Minister, and his great expedient. The 
generous sentiments of the Emperor induced him to order the 
part of the money which was sent here to be kept in deposit, 
and it has been sent back to England since the commencement 
of this war with her." 

I replied that if Mr. Canning should come again into the 
ministry, I did not believe that a peace would be possible so 
long as he should continue there; but that if Lord Grenville 
should come in, particularly if in conjunction with Lord Grey, 
I thought there would be a possibility of peace ; that upon the 



l8lo.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 109 

subject of the maritime pretensions of Great Britain, Lord Gren- 
ville was, to be sure, in some degree pledged, but as a states- 
man of experience and judgment, he must submit to the neces- 
sity of modifying systems according to times and circumstances; 
that as to his emphatical attachment to the former war, it was 
to be remembered that he professed to consider that a war of 
principles, a war against Jacobinism, a war against the French 
Republic. I presumed he could not have anything to dread. at 
present from the Jacobinism or the Republicanism of France. 

. The Count smiled, and said, that to be sure, when one re- 
flected upon the whole history of the French Revolution, and 
saw that violent republicanism thus terminate in the greatest 
excess of monarchy, it ought to be a great lesson for mankind. 

I now took leave of Count Romanzofl*, and came home ; soon 
after which Baron Blome, the Danish Minister, called to pay 
me a visit. I mentioned to him the private accounts which had 
been received here of privateers fitting out in the Danish ports, 
and the paragraph in the newspapers mentioning that a new 
ordinance for privateering was soon to be issued. 

He said that he could not undertake to answer that it 
was not so ; but he had received no indication of it from his 
Government ; that if it was so, undoubtedly it must be from a 
foreign instigation, and there could only have been left the 
alternative of doing it of their own accord or by compulsion ; 
that he himself had advised the suspension of the privateering; 
and that having his estates in Holstein, he knew how advan- 
tageous to his own country the trade which the Americans had 
brought there was. But as I had told him how anxious the 
Americans now here, and who were going home at the opening 
of the navigation, were in consequence of these accounts, he 
said that certainly there could be no danger for them, since 
it was only against English trade that the privateers could be 
armed. But probably vessels coming into the Baltic would be 
molested, for the English would not suffer them to come with- 
out licenses, and that his Government considered every vessel 
having a British license as lawful prize. 

I told him that according to the Orders of Council of April 
last, the navigation to the Baltic would be open to American 



I lo MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

vessels direct from America without British licenses, and that 
I did not expect that the British would add any new restric- 
tions. 

He appeared not to have known this modification of the Orders 
in Council. In conclusion, as he was going away I told him I 
hoped he would write to his Government and urge them not to 
permit the Americans to be molested by their privateers ; but he 
only answered by general assertions of his own good dispositions. 
He told me that Princess Wazemsky was to dine with him, and 
what disconcerted him much was that she must dine at three 
o'clock, while he was accustomed to dine at five. 

28th. The weather at length has moderated, afler ten days of 
cold almost as severe as any we have had this winter. We have 
never, however, had the fire made more than once a day in our 
chambers. In our bed-chamber it has not been made more than 
five times this winter, and in the adjoining chamber often not 
more than three or four times a week. The temperature of the 
chamber has been from 12 to 15 of Reaumur's, or from 57 to 66 
of Fahrenheit's thermometer. From 13 to 14 of Reaumur, or 
from 62 to 64, is that which I find most comfortable, — that is, 
no unpleasant sensation either, of heat or cold is experienced. 

April 3d. I went with Mr. Harris and visited Mr. Tilesius and 
Captain Krusenstern.' Mr. Fuss was not at home. Mr. Tilesius 
was complaining much of the want of patronage for objects of 
science and art here. He says they employed only scholars to 
engrave his drawings which accompany the voyage; that they 
spoiled his drawings, and did not engrave thcni well. lie there- 
fore doubts whether any English or French translation of the 
work will appear. The Emperor pays entirely for the plates of 
the Russian work, which have cost him one hundred thousand 
roubles. But the mere paper upon which they are struck off 
has risen so much in price, that they cannot afford to give it 
good, and use mean paper, which is another disgrace to the 
work. The Russian edition is of one thousand copies, of which 
not a hundred will ever be read; and the German edition so 
small there are no copies lefl for new subscribers. M. Tilesius 

' The commander of the Runian expedition aound the world in 1803-6. Mr. 
Tile«ius was the naturalist belonging to the scientific corps. 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO KVSSIA, \\\ 

gave me, for he would not allow me to pay for it, his own copy 
of the first volume, and has taken my name down as a subscriber 
for the remaining volumes. The dissertation upon the mam- 
moth he thinks will not be published at all. Captain Krusen- 
stern is here on a visit. He commands the Blagodat, the largest 
ship in the Russian navy, and perhaps in the world. He has 
been many years in England, and two or three in America. 

7th. At ten this morning I called at the office of Mr. Groot- 
ten, who accompanied me to the Alexandrofsk manufactory, 
of which he is the superintendent — a manufactory for spinning 
cotton yarn, under the patronage of the Empress-mother. 

The buildings are about seven wersts, or five miles, from the 
city, on the banks of the Neva, beyond the Monastery of St. Alex- 
ander Newski. The establishment is under the direction of a Mr. 
Wilson, an Englishman. There are four or five hundred card- 
ing, spinning, and winding machines, which are kept at work 
by three steam-engines, variously constructed, according to the 
recent improvements upon that great mechanical invention. 
There is also connected with the establishment a manufactory 
of cotton stockings ; where they also wove silk stockings while 
the silk was to be procured. The needles, cards, and much of 
the machinery are made within the manufactory. The labor 
is executed by about five hundred foundling children, nearly an 
equal number of both sexes, and most of whom are taken, at the 
age of eight, nine, or ten years, from the foundling hospitals of 
St. Petersburg and of Moscow. They remain here, the boys 
until twenty-one, and the girls until twenty-five years, unless 
sooner married. They then have liberty to quit the establish- 
ment, or to remain connected with it, at their option. They have 
apartments accommodated for the married couples, of which 
there are now about twenty-five, and they are increasing. The 
institution having existed not more than twelve years, it has 
only been within four or five years that the marriages began to 
take place. Of the earliest, almost all the children died, and 
even now a small proportion of those that are born are likely to 
live. This mortality is attributed to the ignorance of the parents. 
But the confinement of the chambers allowed to the families, 
their extreme poverty, the want of cleanliness, and the almost 



112 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

pestilential air which I found in them, sufficiently accounted in 
my mind for the fact. 

In two of the family apartments I saw Russian cradles, which 
are a sort of hammock suspended by four small cords from the 
end of an elastic pole, fastened by the other end near the head 
of the bed. It hangs about four feet from the floor, and the 
mother can reach her hand to the pole to rock the cradle from 
her bed, by bending the pole at pleasure. It is a very clumsy 
contrivance, and the child must be always in danger of falling to 
the floor, an accident which four times in five must prove fatal. 

The working foundlings themselves look for the most part 
wretchedly, and very unwholesome. Of two hundred and forty 
girls from ten to twenty-five years of age, I scarcely saw one 
that could be called handsome, and very few not positively 
ugly. When we arrived, they were just going to dinner — the 
girls in a long room, with tables on the two sides, and a passage- 
way between them. The girls were all standing between the 
bench and the table, with their faces towards the little image of 
the Virgin hanging at the wall, at the other end of the hall, and 
chanting grace before meat At the farthest end the floor of the 
room was raised a step higher, and a separate small table was 
placed, at which about twenty of the girls took their seats. 
Their fare was the same as at the other tables. But to be seated 
there is an honorary distinction for particular industry and good 
conduct. The dining-hall of the boys is of the same form and 
dimensions, a story higher. But there were not more than nine 
or ten at their table of distinction. The plates and dishes of the 
girls were of wood, those of the boys of pewter. Their dinner 
was a thin turnip soup, and a dish of boiled buckwheat, of the 
consistency of hasty-pudding ; their bread rye, and their drink 
quas. They are served at tables by invalids belonging to the 
establishment, and who have no other duty. They have school- 
rooms, where, at certain hours of leisure and on Sunday morn- 
ings, they are taught to read, write, and cipher. They attend 
public worship at a church in the neighborhood, the priest of 
which gives them also occasional religious instruction at the 
buildings of the institution. The girls all sleep in one long 
bed-chamber, where there are four rows of beds the whole 



l8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. nj 

length of the room, and in several recesses there are four rows 
more. The appearance was neat, the bedding all clean ; but the 
air was not good. That of the boys* bed-chambers, which were 
in two or three stages of a large square hall, with inside stair- 
cases to the second and third stages, was much worse — almost 
insupportable. Mr. Wilson told us if had not been ventilated 
the whole winter. By the regulations they must all be in bed 
before ten at night, and rise at six in the morning. Their task 
of work is twelve hours a day, and for any extra work which 
they choose to do they are paid. 

The girls and boys are kept very carefully separate, and 
although marriages between them are encouraged, yet Mr. 
Grootten says not a single accident has happened. Is this 
owing to constitutional coldness, to the continence of hard 
labor and penurious subsistence, or to the perfection of sub- 
serviency secured by their mode of breeding and education? 
Perhaps to all the causes, combined with the climate and the 
rigor of the regulations. 

The machinery has been very expensive, and before the in- 
troduction of the steam-engines, which is only four or five 
years, it was kept at work also at great expense. French and 
German projectors devised a number of water-wheels, which, 
after the waste of much time and money, were found utterly 
useless. Then came a Mr. Gascoigne, an Englishman, of great 
mechanical genius, the inventor of the sort of great guns now 
called carronades, but which from him were in the first instance 
called Gasconades. Some unsuccessful speculative inventions 
had impaired his fortune in England, and he had come to Rus- 
sia, where he was employed at the head of a manufactory of 
iron some one hundred anrf fifty or two hundred wersts from 
St. Petersburg, when the direction of this institution was also 
put into his hands. He introduced horse-mills to work the 
machines — a great improvement upon the former processes, but 
which still left the establishment so expensive that they could 
not vie with the cheapness of the English manufactures. Mr. 
Gascoigne had one-third of the profits from the sales, and 
accumulated a great fortune, of which he died possessed a few 

years since. He had introduced Mr. Wilson as his assistant in 
vol,. II.- 8 



1 14 MEMOIRS OF JOHN Ql/INCY ADAMS, [April, 

the direction, and since his death Mr. Wilson has his place ; but 
without his emoluments. He has introduced the steam-engines, 
which have much reduced the expense of the works, and since 
the war with England, followed by the prohibition of English 
goods, this manufacture is in a flourishing condition. But Mr. 
Wilson has no pay — nothing but occasional presents ; leaving 
him in a state of anxiety and suspense with regard to his future 
prospects — and the order of St. Wladimir, which he received 
last year from the Emperor as a mark of his favor. There are 
twelve different kinds of machines used in the process of card- 
ing and spinning the yarn. But three or four of them are em- 
ployed in effecting the modification of the cotton, which might 
be accomplished by one, and Mr. Wilson has invented a machine 
for that purpose, which is now just beginning to work. There 
is also much of the labor still done by the hand which might 
be done by machinery; particularly the wiring of the leather 
for the carding-machines. I mentioned to Mr. Wilson the 
American invention for this purpose, of which he told me he 
had heard before. They have also here various small machines 
for making up the yarn into packages for sending away. The 
reels wind oflT seven threads of a given length, which are fast- 
ened together and form the first combination of the prepared 
article. A number of these gatherings, according to the fineness 
of the yarn, forms a skein. The skein is weighed, and according 
to the number of skeins to a pound is numbered from twelve 
to twenty. The skeins of the same numbers are weighed in 
l)arcels of ten pounds, and from the scales are put into a hollow 
squared steel press, in which they are screwed down into as 
small a compass as the hand of the workman can press them ; 
then they are taken out in a cube apparently solid, and made 
into packages of brown paper tied up with twine. These are 
deposited upon shelves! in the place where they are made up, 
for ten days together — after which the ten days' work is all 
removed at a time to the warehouse of the manufactory, ready 
to be taken away by the traders from Moscow and other parts 
of the country, who purchase it by wholesale and take it here 
at the manufactory. Very little of it is taken at St. Petersburg. 
Besides the cotton, they also spin some coarse thread from flax — 



l8io.] TJIE MlSSIOli TO KVSSTA, nj 

a material to which Mr. Grootten wishes that the whole manu- 
factory were confined ; because the flax is the produce of the 
country itself. After spending about four hours in going over 
the different parts of this establishment, I returned with Mr. 
Grootten to the city, and left him at his house. 

nth. I called upon Mr. Tilcsius, and requested his aid to 
procure all the volumes of the Transactions of the Academy of 
Sciences at St. Petersburg necessary to complete the collection 
for the library of Harvard University. He promised me to 
mention it at the conference of the Academy and give me an 
early answer. He showed me a letter he had received from 
Mr. Pallas, who is in the Crimea. He still complains of the 
neglect of sciences at the present day. The age of Catherine, 
he says, is past. Excepting Mr. Fuss and Mr. Schubert, there 
are no learned Academicians. Pallas is gone ; Gmelin and Gul- 
denstacdt are dead ; Storch is a courtier, who writes panegyrics 
upon the reigning sovereign, and celebrates the glory and pros- 
perity of Russia under Alexander the Great. The rest are all 
Russians — that is, nothing. The Academy is daily declining, 
and supports itself now principally by printing books for indi- 
vidual authors. 

He showed me also a press which he has made for coloring 
prints. It is precisely upon the principle of Watt's copying- 
press ; only larger. He showed me also a number of colored 
prints for Gmelin's Historia Fucorum which he has taken upon 
vellum paper to send to Dr. Barton. But he says they cost 
five roubles a print. He had sent the volume to Dr. Barton 
with the plates struck on Russian paper and uncolored. Dr. 
Barton complained of the badness of their execution ; and he 
sends him these to show him what can be done. Mr. Tilesius 
was the editor of the German edition of Pallas's Voyages. I 
enquired of him for Pallas's work on the various dialects of the 
Russian Empire ; but he said if it was to be procured it would 
only be by advertising for it in the newspapers — that the work 
was incomplete, and is now to be continued by Mr. Adelung. 
I found with Mr. Tilesius a Mr. Gauler, the engraver ; whose 
pupils are employed in engraving his designs for the voyage of 
Krusenstern. At seven in the evening we attended the first 



Il6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS. [Apnl, 

lecture of Mr. Boucher, upon maritime and commercial law. 
The introductory lecture was panegyrical upon the Emperor 
Alexander, and said much of Mr. Boucher himself. He was 
about three-quarters of an hour reading it. 

14th. Taking my usual walk this morning, I met General 
Pardo, and walked about an hour with him. His conversation 
is very agreeable ; his learning profound ; and his taste in the 
fine arts enlightened and elegant. But he passes not a little of 
his time in translating Horace into Greek. I doubt whether 
this can even be called Nugse Canorae. Yet what right have I 
to reflect upon it? How do I pass my own time ? In politics 
his views are extensive, and in many respects correct. But his 
opinions are so much biassed by his prejudices and his passions 
that no dependence can be placed upon him. His belief is the 
child of his feelings, and his information is more inaccurate 
than that of any man that I have met here, moving in that 
sphere. Just as we parted, the Emperor passed us in his sledge, 
driven by a mujik with a white shaft trotting-horse, and a gal- 
loping furieux. 

15 ill. 1 attended this morning the service of the Greek cere- 
monial in the Church of St. Isaac. In some respects it differed 
from those that I have witnessed heretofore. There were only 
two officiating priests. The choir of singers at the left hand of 
the chancel was small, but the singing, as usual, excellent. There 
was one ceremony which I could not ascertain whether it was 
the administration of the communion or of baptism. There 
were only two vessels, as if containing one the bread and the 
other the wine — the former borne by the inferior priest upon his 
head, the other a cup carried in the hand by the other priest, 
raised to the level of his eyes. The cup only was administered, 
and that only to the infants of a number of women, who held 
them in their arms. Qn the whole, I concluded it was bap- 
tism. The subordinate priest read nearly half an hour from a 
book — but whether it was a homily or chapters from the Bible 
I could not ascertain. 

Afler the service was over, that which I took to be baptism 
was repeated to two women with infants, who were not there in 
time for the first. They stood about the centre of the church. 



i8io.] TJfE MISSION TO RUSSIA, nj 

The inferior priest read to them from the book for some time. 
They then went up to the balustrade. The inferior priest then 
took the children successively from the mothers, carried them 
to the superior in the sanctuary, and a moment after returned, 
and gave them back. The mothers appeared delighted to have 
obtained the blessings. The multitude of self-crossings, the 
profound and constantly-repeated bows, the prostrations upon 
the earth and kissing of the floor, witnessed the depth of super- 
stition in which this people is plunged perhaps more forcibly 
than I had seen before. The aisle of the church, where alone the 
service can be heard, was crowded ; but there appeared to be 
only people in the lowest classes of society, mujiks and common 
soldiers, there. 

A collection for charity was made during the service, and 
beggar boys and girls were going about and asking alms fre- 
quently during thie performance. I saw one little girl obtain 
several single copecks, principally from the soldiers. The col- 
lection was received on tin canisters with narrow holes on the 
lids to let in the money. ]Jut there were several cofx^ck and 
two-copeck pieces on the lid itself; and some of those who 
put on it two-copeck pieces took single copecks from it in 
exchange. 

In the centre of this church, which is built in the regular 
shape of a cross, the trophies lately achieved from the enemies 
of Russia arc suspended. They are not numerous. I saw one 
English flag there ; but I know not where it was taken. The 
pictures, as in their other churches, are some good and some 
very bad. I suppose those the worst executed are the most 
esteemed for sanctity. 

1 6th. Mr. Six paid me a visit this morning, and we had a long 
conversation upon political subjects. He is the exact counter- 
part of General Pardo. The Emperor Napoleon is his idol. 
He once told me he was afraid Napoleon before he died would 
take upon him to demand the adoration of mankind, as being 
something superhuman. This idea, he said, was entertained by 
the whole family of the Bonapartes, and as strongly by his own 
King, Louis, as by any of them. I do not know whether Napo- 
leon will ever assume the god or not; but if he should, Mr. 



Il8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUiNCY ADAMS. [April. 

Six would be one of the most devout of his priests. His sub- 
jugation of soul is complete. But he is a man of great political 
information; of long experience; of better principles than most- 
statesmen of this or any other day ; of good intentions ; of good 
disposition, — anxiously desirous of the esteem of others, and 
especially of those whose judgment he fears. Conscious of 
compliances with the times, which stubborn virtue cannot 
approve, his mind is in a frequent, if not continual, struggle 
to justify himself to his own feelings. The worship of Napo- 
leon is thus in some sort necessary to his quiet. It helps him 
to apologies of which he feels the want. When his chain galls 
him he looks at it and takes comfort in the thought that it is 
gold. Pardo bites at his with the fury of a phrenetic, but with- 
out having the strength to break it. Six's information is usually 
more accurate than that of the General. He is not so much 
blinded by his passions. He loves \o XA\ secrets ^ and often 
communicates, with injunctions of profound secrecy, the com- 
mon rumors of the Exchange. 

The day I dined with him last week, he told me that the 
Rotterdam Gazette that day arrived had brought accounts of 
a French officer having landed in England, who was said to be 
the bearer of propositions for a pacific negotiation ; that by a 
private letter he was informed that this officer was Marshal 
Duroc. This, however, he begged me not to mention, as he 
had communicated it to no other person but the Ambassador 
and myself. The next morning Mr. J. S. Smith asked me if I 
had heard the report current upon the ICxchangc two days 
before, that Duroc had landed in England upon an errand of 
peace. The Hamburg newspaper on Saturday brought the report 
and its refutation. This day Mr. Six observed to me that it 
appeared Duroc was not the man, though he had been announced 
in the Morning Chronicle. 

1 8th. As Count Romanzoff had neither sent nor written to 
me concerning the letter which I had told him I had received 
from the Abbe Brzozowski, after waiting some weeks, I took 
it for granted that his silence implied consent that the letter 
should be delivered. I accordingly sent it last week, and received 
immediately from him a letter of thanks, with the title of Le 



l8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, i iq 

Pere General des Jesuites, a person whom I did not know to be 
still existing. He paid me this morning a visit, and renewed 
his thanks for my care of the letter, with the request that I 
would take charge of his answer ; which I readily promised to 
do. The letter itself was from America. He asked me many 
questions about America. His namesake Prince Alexander 
Galitzin, the Procureur du St. Synode, once spoke of him 
to mc. 

22d. I went successively this morning to the St Nicholas, the 
Assumption, and the great Roman Catholic church, to attend 
the service of the day. The Church of St. Nicholas was open, 
and about twenty shrines were lighted up with tapers hanging 
before them; and many worshippers at many of them, crossing 
and prostrating themselves, according to the manner of the 
country^ before them. The shrines in general were gaudily 
dressed out. The only one particularly remarkable contained 
a portrait of St. Nicholas, with twelve scenes, I suppose from 
the legend of his life, painted in miniature round the figure of 
his person, which was only a kit-cat. It was very well painted, 
and in a handsome frame ; but there was no public service per- 
forming. The Annunciation and Assumption Churches were 
not even open, — ^and the Roman Catholic Church service was 
finished just as I went to go in. I met a crowd of people coming 
from it, many of them with palm-branches in their hands. The 
branches were all budded, and almost in leaf. They must 

• 

therefore have been raised in green-houses. It is, by the old 
style reckoning used here. Palm Sunday, though in every other 
part of Christendom, where these festivals are observed, it is 
Easter Sunday. I had never before observed the commemo- 
ration of the day by carrying palm-branches, of which I have 
this day witnessed great quantities. Its allusion is to the 
entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem — for which see St. 
John's Gospel, chap. xii. v. I, 12, and 13. St. John is the only 
one of the Evangelists who mentions that the branches of the 
trees were palm, 

27th. This day being Good Friday, by the old style calendar, 
I went to the Church of St. Nicholas, and heard the service of 
the day ; which I did not perceive, however, to differ from the 



I20 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

ordinary mass. Their mode of worship here is such that 
one service can be attended only by very few persons. J^l 
The churches are built in the form of a cross, thus: f "H 
The place where the service is performed is at one of L-l 
the ends, as at a, which is railed off by a low balustrade. There 
are neither benches nor chairs. The people stand in the aisle, 
and every individual must have space enough round him to 
cross himself incessantly, to bow himself down almost to the 
earth about once in five seconds, and to prostrate himself on 
hands, knees, and forehead, according to the ardor of his 
devotion. 

In the mean time beggars are circulating through the crowd 
to catch the critical moment of charitable feeling and receive 
the donation of his copeck. I saw one this day of the most 
squalid appearance, in tatters which scarcely hung together 
upon his body, but with a leather bag half full of the alms he 
was receiving, and giving single copecks in exchange for two- 
copeck pieces. But the donors themselves appeared as much 
objects for charity as those to whom they gave it. In general, 
both at the Nicholal and Isaac's Churches, I saw scarcely a 
person attending that was above the class of ordinary mujiks. 
I afterwards went to the Roman Catholic church, where I found 
a priest in the pulpit preaching a sermon in the Polish language. 
He was very animated in his discourse, and seemingly pathetic; 
there was a portable wooden crucifix, in a groove at his left 
hand, by the side of his pulpit. While speaking with much 
vehemence, he seized this crucifix, held it forward to the people, 
many of whom immediately fell upon their knees and bowed 
their heads to the floor before it, while he continued with 
increasing exertion of lungs and muscles to apostrophize them 
upon the object represented to them upon the cross, until the 
end of his sermon. 

29th. Easter Sunday ; the greatest holiday of the Russian cal- 
endar. It celebrates the resurrection of Christ. The ceremonies, 
as at Christmas, begin at midnight. Mr. Everett and Mr. Smith 
attended at the Church of St. Isaac, where a service of about two 
hours was performed, partly without the church, around which 
the priests went three times successively in procession, and 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 121 

partly within it, where was a representation of the sepulchre 
from which the Saviour arose. The crowd of people attending 
was excessive. At midnight the signal was given by the firing 
of a cannon at the fortress, followed by several others ; and at 
two or three subsequent periods of the night a salvo of twenty- 
five or thirty guns was fired. The midnight service is performed 
at all the churches, and the Emperor and imperial family attend 
at their chapel. Among the customs of the country is that of 
embracing one another at this period, and all the people who 
attend at the Court Chapel are admitted to kiss the Emperor's 
sleeve and the Empress's hand. It is also the custom to make 
presents upon this day, and particularly of eggs. The mujiks 
present real eggs, hard boiled and dyed red with logwood ; for 
which they receive roubles. Persons of higher standing present 
eggs of sugar, glass, gilt wood, porcelain, marble, and almost 
every other substance, and of various dimensions, many of them 
made into cups, or boxes filled with sugar-plums ; others with 
painting and biscuit figures upon them, emblematical of the 
crucifixion and resurrection. Some of these eggs arc made to 
cost a hundred roubles or upwards. Servants present these eggs 
to their masters, and receive presents in return, as at the new 
year. Friends present them to one another and embrace. It 
is a mode of gallantry allowable towards ladies by gentlemen 
of their intimate acquaintance ; and in return for an egg the 
gentleman is entitled to a salutation. 

The parade was this morning more splendid than usual, and 
of longer continuance. I went to the Roman Catholic church 
and heard mass performed. There appeared during the daytime 
to be no service at the Greek churches. The streets all day 
were crowded with people. New dresses, equipages, liveries, 
were driving round the city, and met at every turn. The whole 
circle of Court visits by cards must be paid, as on New Year's 
day ; and the visits in person are more numerous than at that 
time. I paid four or five visits in person, leaving cards. The 
Court attendants came to pay and receive their compliments, as 
usual. I met Mr. Harris, and walked with him on the square of 
St. Isaac and the line. On the square are a number of fair shows, 
under temporary shelters erected for the occasion, and the 



122 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

common people were amusing themselves in whirligig chairs 
and swings. There are four chairs to a wheel, which contain 
two persons each, and move round in a perpendicularly circular 
motion. But it is very slow, and kept up only by a mujik 
pushing forward each of the chairs as it descends. The swing 
is a plank suspended by four cords fixed at its ends from a 
gallows standing over it; on the plank arc two seats for two 
persons each ; at each end of the plank a man or woman stand- 
ing, and holding by the cords which pass from the plank to the 
cross-piece of the gallows, keeps the swing in motion by the 
exertion of the muscles, and by changing the centre of gravity 
at the moment when the swing reaches its highest elevation on 
each side. This they do by simply bending their knees, and 
thus shortening their own length ; and I saw at least as many 
swings kept in motion by women as by men. The mass at the 
Catholic church was remarkable only as it was long. The 
music was exquisite. The sermon, in Italian, had been preached 
before the mass. 

May 5th. I called upon Mr. Harris this morning, and we went 
together to .sec the shows ut most of the booths on the s(|uarc 
of St. Isaac. At the first were a dromedary and two monkeys, 
a dancing bear, and a couple of poor tumblers, with a man, one 
of whose legs was deformed, and seemingly jointed like a hand 
and arm ; for he used that foot as a hand, to eat, drink, play 
upon the violin, with two pairs of cymbals at once, and other 
like performances. At the second were only dancers on the 
tight-rope, and tumblers — very miserable. At the third a 
puppet show, with a stuffed figure dressed up like a giant, which 
they send out to stalk in the square before their barn for the 
purpose of attracting company. At the fourth, which a paint- 
ing on the outside of the stall announced as the English school, 
there were about half a dozen dancing dogs, indifferently trained. 
The fifth was an exhibition of the Chinese shadows; the broken 
bridge, and the traditionary song which we used to hear at the 
fairs in Holland thirty years ago. The singer was, of course, 
Russian; but his voice grated harshest discord. The ship- 
wreck and the war of the fishes was much according to the 
usual style. This exhibition had the most numerous attend- 



l8io.] rilE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 123 

ance. The entrance at each was half a rouble for each person. 
All were of the lowest order of public amusements. 

6th. I had a visit this morning from Mr. Six, who told me 
he had concluded to remain here another year, and appears of 
opinion that the issue of the transactions respecting Holland is 
much more favorable than was to have been expected. After 
dinner I went out and walked in the Mall fronting the Admiralty 
to see the Gaschellics, oj; procession of carriages. It was more 
numerous than on any former day ; as it usually is on the last of 
the Easter holidays. There were three rows of carriages, which 
moved round the Church of St. Isaac, and thence to the Palace 
Square, of which they also went the round, and then returned. 
I suppose there were about a thousand — most of them with four 
horses. The crowd of people on foot was also great ; the pro- 
portion of women small. The throng was greatest about seven 
o'clock, soon after which the carriages began to withdraw. 
About half-past eight they were almost dispersed, and the 
swings and whirling chairs and hill-sliding ceased all at once. 

1 2th. The ice of the river at length broke up at two or three 
o'clock this morning. This circumstance is said to be unusual. 
The most ordinary time of the day when this event occurs is 
between two and six in the afternoon. From noon until two 
this day I walked on the quay to the foundry. The river was 
entirely open, nearly to where the bridge had been. Below 
that, although in motion, it was slowly passing, and in solid 
mass, extending from bank to bank. About sunset I walked 
again on the quay below the bridge. The whole passage was 
then clear, and several boats were then crossing the river. It 
was about three in the afternoon when the guns at the fortress 
were fired, and the Governor passed in the first boat, to announce 
in form the event to the Emperor, to whom it is said he pre- 
sents a glass of the water to drink, and from whom he receives a 
present of a hundred ducats. It is a subject of so much interest 
here, and its influence is so great upon the occupations and 
amusements, as well as upon the comforts of the people, that 
it furnishes a continual fund of conversation and innumerable 
wagers — a fashion introduced by the English merchants, but 
which is very general. From this time the summer season is 



124 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

understood to commence. The nobility and wealthy merchants 
leave their town residences for their country-seats ; the double 
windows are taken from the houses, and the business of naviga- 
tion takes place of that in sledges. The ladies were out this 
evening almost until dark — that is, until between ten and eleven 
o'clock. 

1 3th. Russian May-day. The French Ambassador invited the 
ladies, Mr. Smith, and me to dine at C^therinenhof, to see the 
procession of the carriages. It is the custom of the country, 
on the first day of May, from five in the afternoon until about 
nine in the evening, for almost all the pleasure-carriages in St 
Petersburg to go in procession from the Peterhof gate to the 
village of Cathcrinenhof, about two miles out of the city. The 
Ambassador had borrowed the country-seat of Mr. Beyer, a 
merchant who transacts business for him, to give a dinner to 
some of his friends and procure them an opportunity to sec the 
whole procession. Mr. Beyer's seat is on the road to Catheri- 
ncnhof, about a quarter of a mile this side of the village. Mrs. 
Adams being unwell, the ladies did not go. I went with Mr. 
Smith at three o'clock, the hour appointed for dinner. We 
visited before dinner the green-houses, where we saw an abun- 
dance of flowers in bloom, a number of strawberries nearly ripe, 
and peaches about the size of a pigeon's egg. Not a symptom 
of vegetation yet in the garden, where all the fruit-trees are still 
clothed with matting. The company consisted of the Chevalier 
de Bray and Mr. Lesseps, with their families; General Pardo 
and Count Bussche, with their daughters; Count St. Julicn, 
Baron Blome, and Mr. Six, Mr. Krcbbe, and the Ambassador's 
family — Rayneval, St. Genest, Rumigny, and Lajard. The house 
was newly painted, and, as that made it necessary to keep the 
windows and doors open, it was uncomfortably cold. Some of 
the company came late, and it was half-past four when we sat 
down to dinner. I sat by Mr. de Bray, who told me several 
curious anecdotes of Count Rumford. About six we rose 
from table and joined the procession of carriages. The Am- 
bassador sent an open carriage upon the ground, with four 
elegant bay horses, and two jockey postilions «richly dressed. 
lie went himself on horseback, as did Baron Blome ; Blome 



iSio.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 125 

was in his full Court uniform. The other Ministers had hand- 
some carriages, with drivers in their best dresses. The carriages 
appeared to me much the same as on the square of St. Isaac 
last Sunday — few handsome, and no magnificent, equipages. 
The reigning Empress was there with six horses, and the Em- 
press-mother with eight. I came home about eight o'clock, 
completely chilled, with a hoarse cold and sore throat. 

14th. Visit this morning from Mr. Six. He told me a num- 
ber of anecdotes respecting the revolution which placed the 
Emperor Alexander upon the throne. He says that he has 
ascertained to demonstration not only that the Emperor was in 
no manner accessory to the murder of his father, but that he 
was affected with the deepest horror at the event; that he 
absolutely refused for a long time to assume the government, 
to which he was finally persuaded by old Count Soltykoff, who 
had been his governor and the superintendent of his education. 
Paul had until within six months of his death had but one bed- 
chamber with his wife. But his favorite Turkish slave Kutoissoff 
had bred discord between them ; and he had ordered the door 
between his chamber and the Empress to be barred. He had 
notice, when the conspirators broke in upon him, in time to seek 
a retreat through this door. It was barred as he had ordered, 
and he lost his life. There was another door, between his 
chamber and that of his valet-de-chambre. The officer com- 
manding the guard that night, and a conspirator, that same 
evening locked the door and took the key away in his pocket, 
justly foreseeing that the valet-de-chambre, on finding the key 
gone, would not mention it to the Emperor, for fear of being 
punished for negligence in losing the key. The first plan of the 
conspiracy was formed by Count Panin," and Benningsen. 

It was communicated to the Governor of the city, Pahlen, who 
engaged in it. The Zouboffs were merely instruments. More 
than eighty persons were privy to the project; many of whom 
spoke of it with great indiscretion. At Moscow the news was 
expected for many days before it arrived. Pahlen himself, at a 
dinner a fortnight before, said to somebody who was speaking 

' A blank left for another name not remembered at the moment, and never sup- 
plied. Probably it was OuvarofT. 



126 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [May, 

of Paul's Strange conduct, " This will not last another fortnight: 
we are all too tired of it." At Prince Beloselsky's, on the very 
night of the deed, a person said in presence of the Prince and 
all his company, " The Emperor Paul has not four hours more 
to live." And M. de Laval went home at midnight with this 
notice, and was called up in less than four hours and told that 
the Emperor Paul was dead. Paul himself had received some 
intimations of what was in agitation. He was extremely jeal- 
ous and suspicious of everybody. The very morning or day 
before his death, he had uttered in presence of his mistress. 
Princess Gagarin, threats against the Empress, the Grand 
Duke Alexander, and everybody, indiscriminately. Princess 
Gagarin was alarmed at it, and gave notice of it to General 
Ouvaroff, who went to Count Pahlcn, one of Paul's greatest 
favorites, to request he would use his influence to appease the 
Emperor's mind. Pahlen let him into the secret, and prevailed 
upon him to join the conspiracy. These are among the anec- 
dotes which Mr. Six has collected respecting that tragedy. I 
asked him if he had heard that Paul's Empress, when informed 
of l^aul's death, after recovering from the first shock occasioned 
by the intelligence, said to the officer who brought it, " Eh 
bien, je suis done votre Imperatrice." To which the officer 
answered, " Madame, c'est sa Majeste Alexandre qui est mon 
maitre." He said he had not ; but that under the external forms 
of attention and affection, he knew that there was no cor- 
diality between the mother and the son. He said she was not 
popular here, and, at this time particularly, was blamed for 
having prevented two years ago the marriage of the Grand 
Duchess Catherine with the Emperor Napoleon. 

I dined this day with the Chancellor, Count Romanzoff, at a 
great diplomatic dinner. There were several persons present 
who were strangers to me; among the rest, Count Gregory 
Razumofsky, newly appointed Minister of Public Instruction, 
and Baron Strogonoff, just returned from a public mission to 
Spain. At dinner I sat next to Count de Maistre, the Sardinian 
Minister, a man of taste and letters, who told me, upon some 
enquiries which I made, that if there was any grammar and 
dictionary of the Slavonian language extant, it must have been 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 127 

compiled by the Propaganda at Rome. The Slavonian transla- 
tion of the Psalms used here by the Church was considered, 
he said, as a masterpiece. Many of the clergy here believed 
it to be the work of St. Jerome, who was a native of Dalmatia. 
But it was not probable. For St. Jerome, who was so celebrated 
by his Vulgate translation, if he had made that of the Psalms 
into the Slavonian, must have mentioned it in some other of 
his numerous works. I came home early, and attended Mr. 
Boucher's lecture. He is now thoroughly upon the subject of 
maritime law, and discussed the question of open and close seas, 
lie pronounced the toll-duty levied by the King of Denmark 
at the passage of the Sound lawful and just, as being a fund for 
supporting the light-houses and other objects for the preserva- 
tion of vessels navigating in the seas. But he did not succeed 
remarkably well in distinguishing why Denmark should levy 
this duty rather than Sweden ; and he told me after the lecture 
that he could give no satisfactory reason for it. At this lecture 
I met also Mr. Borel, Count Romanzoffs private secretary, 
who spoke to mc respecting the work he is preparing upon the 
history of the armed neutrality^ and upon which he requested 
my observations. 

17th. I was engaged part of the morning in learning Russian. 
Walked to the Summer Gardens before dinner. They are now 
open — since the first of May, old style — but are not yet pleasant 
for walks. In the evening I attended Mr. Boucher's lecture. 
He noticed the question I had put to him, why Denmark should 
levy a duty upon the passage of vessels through the Sound, 
and not Sweden, to which he gave what he thought a sufficient 
answer — that is, that the channel is on the Danish side. He 
said he had taken great pains to trace the origin of this duty, 
but had not succeeded in ascertaining it His lecture this even- 
ing was upon shores, alluvion, and atterrissement, which he said 
should not be confounded together. The first was gradual, the 
last the effect of some sudden and extraordinary change. He 
mentioned a very singular and celebrated lawsuit which had 
been decided not long since in the kingdom of Naples, arising 
from an event of this kind. An earthquake had transported 
one man's house upon the territory of another, and the question 



128 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [May, 

was to whom the house then belonged. The first tribunal de- 
cided in favor of the first proprietor, but upon the appeal the 
superior court reversed this decision, and gave the house to 
the owner of the land where it had fallen. ** Very justly," said 
Mr. Boucher, "because it i^ an invariable maxim that the 
accessory follows the principal. Now, the house was the acces- 
sory to the land, and not the land to the house" — as if earth- 
quakes respected the maxims of law, or as if maxims of law 
were made to meet the contingencies of earthquakes. The 
natural justice of particular cases is very often at variance with 
the general maxims of law ; and this, with submission to Mr. 
Boucher, appears to be one of them. At the lecture I met the 
Chevalier de Berks, secretary to Count St. Julien. 

19th. Walking on the Admiralty Mall, I met the Emperor, 
who stopped and made some observations about the weather. 
He said I should have a bad opinion of the climate here, and 
that eight months was too long for the winter to last. I dined 
with Monsieur de Laval. The ladies were invited, but Mrs. 
Adams was not well enough to go. General Betancourt and 
his family were there ; Count Severin Poto<jki, Count de Maistre, 
and Baron Rocheberg, Mr. Harris and Mr. J. S. Smith. Mr. 
de Laval, who was formerly Duke de Laval-Montmorenci, first 
came here as Cavalier d'Ambassade to M. de Segur. But, his 
family being proscribed and his property confiscated during 
the revolution, he remained here, and married a Princess 
Kazitsky, of one of the wealthiest families in Russia. He is a 
man of taste and literature. He showed me some of his pic- 
tures — a small knife-grinder of Teniers, for which he gave this 
day four hundred ducats; his Belle Ferronni^re; La Giocondo 
of Leonardo da Vinci cost him ten thousand roubles. He has 
a Youth and Courtesan, said to be of Giorgione — doubtful, but 
excellent ; a Roman Charity of Guercino — not a pleasing pic- 
ture. Indeed, this subject, though a favorite one of the painters, 
has always something disgusting to me. A starving old man 
sucking at the breast of a young woman has something so 
unnatural to the sense, as well as to the fancy, that it requires 
a knowledge of the story to reconcile it to the mind. There 
is great moral beauty in the fact, but nothing cheering in its 



-■ -^- -^ 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 129 

representation to the eye. M. de Laval has also a small antique 
bronze bust, with the name of Plato on the back. But Count 
de Maistre insisted upon it that it was not Plato, and remarked 
that the P of the name was in the Latin character, while the 
other letters were Greek. I saw also the Slavonian, Greek, 
and Latin Dictionary, and took down the title-page. At dinner 
I sat next to Count Severin Poto^ki, and had much conversa- 
tion with him. In the evening I went to the German play, 
where I found the ladies, and saw an opera in German called 
the Cure for Wives, said to be taken from the Italian Poche 
ma Huonc. I saw it at Dresden under the title of Le Donne 
cambiate. In English it is called The Devil to Pay. The 
music is charming, but we had not half of it. 

2 1st. Visit this morning from Mr. Six. Political, literary, 
and speculative conversation with him. He has not so much 
learning as General Pardo ; but he is very familiar with Horace 
and Virgil. He is a good-tempered man, and has more of 
moral sense than almost any man I have met in Europe. I 
paid visits to Count Stedingk and Count St. Julien. Stedingk 
told me he did not know now when he should go home ; but 
he hoped not to go through Finland, for he could not bear the 
thought of that country. (He signed the Treaty which ceded it 
to Russia.) St. Julien asked me many questions about America ; 
and told me how much the new French Empress was admired 
in France for her beauty — most especially for her foot, which 
I suppose is like the foot of Queen Genevra. The Count also 
talked of the war in Turkey, a subject which he appears to 
understand very well. He is more of a soldier than a courtier ; 
but he has a taste for jewelry, and skill in the learning of pre- 
cious stones. 

In the evening I attended Mr. Boucher's lecture, which was 
upon islands, wrecks of the sea, and treasure trove. Some 
others, as well as myself, had hesitated to join in his approba- 
tion of the Neapolitan tribunal for giving the house of one 
man to another because an earthquake had transported it upon 
his land. He defended his doctrine by the usual argument, 
that courts of justice must decide questions upon general 
principles, and not upon particular contingencies. The latter 

VOU II. 



I JO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

kind of sentences he said were called Rustic Judgments (Juge- 
mens Rustiques), and they were condemned by all enlightened 
jurists. He had got a long story about my question to him, 
and its answer, in his proc^s-verbal. 

23d. There is a custom of visiting annually the Fortress of St 
Petersburg this day, the occasion of which I have not heard. I 
thought I had not the time to spare, and did not go. Mr. Harris 
called upon me this afternoon, and told me he was informed 
that General Armstrong had left Paris. The French Ambas- 
sador gave this evening a splendid ball, on occasion of the 
marriage of the Emperor Napoleon. It was attended by the 
Emperor and imperial family. The hotel was elegantly illumi- 
nated, as were those of General Pardo, Count Bussche, Mr. Six, 
the Chevalier de Bray, and Mr. Brancia, the Charge d'Aflaires 
of Naples. As the imperial family were at the ball, it was 
necessary to go early. We went at nine o'clock, but it was 
daylight as at noon, so that the illumination made scarcely any 
show at all. It was past two in the morning when the Court 
retired, aflcr which we inmicdiatcly came home. It was then 
again broad daylight, and, by the time I got to bed, almost sun- 
rise. At midnight it scarcely could be called dark. The Emperor 
was gracious to everybody, even beyond his usual custom, which 
is remarkable for affability. He asked Mr. Harris to show him 
where Mrs. Adams sat, and danced a polonaise with her ; and 
afterwards one with Catherine Johnson, a circumstance the more 
noticed, as she has not been presented at Court. He enquired of 
mc whether I had taken a walk this day, and on my answering 
that I had, he observed that he had not met me. He said that 
the difference of my looks in the street, without a wig, from that 
in which he had usually seen me, had been the cause that the first 
time he had met me he did not recognize me." He told me the 
occasion upon which he had commenced the practice of walk- 
ing daily. It was recommended to him to strengthen his foot, 
which had received a hurt last summer by the oversetting of 
his drossky; and although he preferred riding on horseback, 
he believed walking was the healthiest of all exercise. 

* Mr. Adams, who was bald, construed (his as excusing him from api)earing at 
Court in a wig, and never wore one afterwards. 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 131 

The Prince of Wurtemberg, the brother of the Empress-mother, 
entered also into conversation with me, though I had never been 
presented to him. The rooms were excessively warm, and a 
very small part of the company took real pleasure in the fete. 
I heard the Ambassador himself say to some one that he gave 
this ball because he was obliged to do it — it gave him no 
pleasure. 

I spoke to Count Bussche about his illumination. "Ay," 
said he, " I promise you I am well paid for my illumination.*' I 
asked General Pardo if, as a good Catholic, he did hot expect 
to have some atonement to make hereafter for the vain and 
excessive enjoyments of this night. " Nay,*' said he ; " but I hope 
what I experience this night will expiate some of my sins." 

24th. I went with Mr. Everett and attended Mr. Boucher's 
lecture, which was upon wrecks of the sea, and strays. But 
it was very short. The time was principally occupied in the 
reading and commenting upon the proces-verbal of the last 
lecture, and in some reflections upon the question which Mon- 
sieur le Conseiller d'Etat had received in an anonymous letter 
from a very learned, polite, and modest person, of which he 
should take more notice hereafter. There was more agitation of 
the question regarding the Neapolitan judgment upon the trans- 
ported house. A gentleman had enquired how it would be if 
the whole city should be thus transported — a very perplexing 
question to Monsieur le Profcsscur, who could only suggest 
that the principle of lesion (Toutre-moitiiy by which, according to 
the civil law, a man may redeem on equitable terms whatever 
he has sold for less than half its worth, might rescue the city 
from the possession of its new proprietor. The lecture closed 
about half-past eight. 

27th. I dined with Count Stedingk, and, arriving late, found 
his company at dinner when I arrived. Had a game of chess 
with him after dinner. He had a courier from Stockholm this 
morning, and expects the frigate which is to carry him home in 
a fortnight at Cronstadt; orders having been already expedited 
to Carlscrona for her to sail. His successor, he told me, was 
not yet appointed. It would probably be General Skioldebrand ; 
but whether he would accept the appointment was uncertain. 



132 MEMOIRS OF JOHl^ QUINCY ADAMS, [June, 

He had written to him (Count Stedingk) to enquire what he 
ought to insist upon as a salary, if he should come — to which 
the answer would be, the advice not to come at a salary under 
twenty thousand rix-doUars banco — at two rix-dollars to a ducat. 
Upon this, at the present favorable course of exchange, he could 
live decently, and not upon less. But whether the Government 
would give so much was questionable ; and on other terms the 
General would probably not come. I asked him what his own 
salary as Ambassador had been. He said it was thirty thou- 
sand rix-dollars, besides a pension of three thousand which 
he received in his military capacity. He still received the 
same salary. This is large ; but Mr. Rumigny, the Secretary 
of the French Ambassador, told Mr. Harris, about two months 
ago, that he had just closed the accounts of the Ambassador's 
expenses for the year 1809, ^"^ ^^^^ ^^^7 exceeded one million 
and fifty thousand roubles. The preceding year (1808) they had 
also amounted to more than a million. 

yune 9th. At seven in the evening I attended the public 
exhibition of Mr. Boucher's disputants, on the question, whether 
"a country, being a peninsula, blockaded by sea, and at the 
point of connection with the continent having to contend against 
powerful armies — ^being without money, without credit, without 
connections, but having in abundance the most diversified pro- 
jluctions, the means necessary for repelling force by force, and 
for subsistence — whether such a country, in such a state, can 
carry on a great commerce, pay its troops punctually, and supply 
them with provisions ?" The assembly was held at the house 
belonging to St. Peter's school. The hearers were numerous, 
and among them were a few ladies. The dissertations read were 
by Mr. Rachette, Count Alexander KhvostofT, Mr. Mayeur, his 
Governor, Mr. Filetskoy, and Mr. Freygang. They were ap- 
parently written on both sides of the question ; but the writers 
in the negative took care not to be too much in the right. The 
question itself, without stating precisely the present political 
situation of Russia, bore too many of its essential features to 
make a public discussion of its merits altogether impartial, 
under such a Government as this. Mr. Boucher had announced 
that he should sum up the arguments of the several memorialists, 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 



133 



and conclude with his own opinion. But he did little more than 
declare himself for the affirmative ; and assigned little else in 
support of his opinion but that the commerce might be carried 
on, and the troops paid, by means of a bank of deposit The 
allusions to this country, in the application of the question, were 
frequent in all the memorials, and the compliments to the Em- 
peror and his Ministers numerous. 

Mr. Boucher, who called upon me on Thursday, with a dozen 
printed invitations to this meeting, told me that he had received 
last evening an anonymous memoir, perfectly well written in the 
negative, which he believed was by Mr. Montreal. But it could 
not be read at the exhibition, first, because it was anonymous ; 
and secondly, because it came too late. Mr. Raimbert, who also 
paid me a visit yesterday, told me that Maximin (Consolat), his 
grandson, had written that memoir. 

Among the auditors this' evening I met both the Counts 
Soltykoff, brothers, the Grand Master of Ceremonies Narishkin, 
the Turkish Capitan Bashaw, who bombarded the Seraglio, and 
a Monsieur Rudolphe, a Frenchman, who told me that he had 
been with me at Mr. Le Cceur*s school at Passy, in 1778, and 
enquired of our other American schoolmates of that date — 
Cochran, Franklin, Bache, and Deane. I have no doubt that 
this gentleman's memory has been more retentive than mine ; 
for I have no recollection of him, nor indeed of any one name 
among Mr. Le Cceur*s French scholars, though I well remember 
all the Americans. 

When we came home this evening, I found a notification from 
the Grand Master of Ceremonies of a great Court mourning for 
the new Crown Prince of Sweden, Charles Augustus, who died 
very suddenly upon the parade, in reviewing some troops. 

loth. Wrote to the Secretary of State, and read Massillon*s 
sermon upon the Assumption day of the Virgin Mary. This, 
though by no means the best, is one of the most remarkable of 
this author's discourses. It was preached in a convent of nuns 
at Chaillot, the church of which I recollect, and where, at the 
time when the sermon was delivered, the widow of James the 
Second, the cashiered King of England, then resided. One of 
the peculiarities of the discourse is a violent censure upon the 



134 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

character of William the Third, whom the right reverend 
preacher styles a usurper, and of whom he undertakes to foretell 
what history will say of him. This is a dangerous undertaking 
for a sermon-writer, and history has not at all corresponded 
in this case with the bishop's prophecies. The character of Wil- 
liam the Third hitherto has been treated much too kindly by 
history, and English faction has indeed been constantly interested 
to extol him for a hero ; and they have too successfully dictated 
the voice of history. William was a bad man, with great qualities, 
and unhappily such personages almost always impose upon the 
understanding of posterity, as much or more than upon that of 
their own age. His conduct to John De Witt was more base 
still than to James the Second. In both cases political motives 
trampled upon the most sacred sentiments of the human heart; 
upon gratitude to a benefactor, and the strongest ties of kindred. 
Massillon dwells sufficiently upon this last reproach, without 
noticing the other. But as William was the champion of the 
British patriots, his crimes have been extinguished in a blaze of 
glory ; and history has had none of those delicacies for James 
the Second and his family, which the Bishop of Clermont 
thought proper to show, when preaching in the presence of 
James's widow. 

nth. I attended Mr. Boucher's lecture, which was upon 
letters of marque, and the etymology of the word marque ; 
and upon blockades. His learning upon the first point was 
curious, but, as usual, undigested and confused; his remarks 
upon blockades, shallow and incorrect. He announced an 
extraordinary meeting for next Saturday evening, to discuss the 
anonymous memoir on the question of last Saturday, the author 
of which, he said, had made himself known to him. He pro- 
pounded also a new question for discussion at a second public 
exhibition, to be held in the month of September — "Whether 
women are qualified to perform the office of arbitrators." To 
show that this was no new question, he read a passage from 
the Code of Justinian, declaring women incapable of acting 
as arbitrators, and annulling all decisions of women as such. 
There was no procis-verbal this evening — the public exhibi- 
tion not having led time to prepare it. But it will not be lost^ 



i8io.] Tim MISSION TO RUSSIA, 135 

for Mr. Boucher observed that, although objections had been 
made to this mode of lecturing, he should persist in it, being 
persuaded of its utility from an experience of five-and-twenty 
years. 

22d. I went, accompanied by Mr. Smith and Mr. Gray, to the 
palace soon after eleven o'clock; and, after waiting about an 
hour, we were introduced with the other members of the Corps 
Diplomatique into the Imperial Chapel. The Emperor and Em- 
press, Empress-mother, Grand Duke Constantine and Grand 
Duchess Ann, with the Court, came in immediately afterwards. 
The Metropolitan, the Archbishop, and the other officiating 
priests advanced to meet the Emperor and Empress. The Metro- 
politan successively presented to' them the crucifix to kiss, and 
then the Emperor and the Metropolitan at the same instant re- 
ciprocally kissed each other's hand ; the ceremony with the Em- 
presses was the same, and also with the Archbishop. The priests 
then returned within the railing and began to sing the service. 
But the Emperor waved his hand to them to stop, and the 
Minister of War, Barclay de Tolly, went within the railing and 
read the report of the victories received from General Kamensky. 
The War Minister is not a good reader, and frequently found the 
manuscript almost illegible. When he had finished the reading 
of it, the Te Deum commenced again, and was about half an 
hour long. The ceremonies of kissing the crucifix and the 
hands was then repeated, and the imperial family retired. There 
was no cercle for the foreign Ministers. 

24th. Mr. Harris called upon me this forenoon, and mentioned 
that Count Romanzoff had last evening received dispatches from 
Mr. Daschkoff with the account of some very unpleasant occur- 
rences at his house, at a fete which he gave on the anniversary 
of the Emperor's coronation day. Mr. Harris is also of opinion 
that Count RomanzofTs influence is upon the decline, and that 
the cordiality between this country and France is not so great 
as it was some months ago. 

25th. Mr. Harris sent me this morning the dispatches from 
Mr. Daschkoff to Count Romanzoff, containing the account of 
the outrage upon his house on the 26th of March, and his corre- 
spondence afterwards with the Secretary of State, and with Mr. 



1^6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [June, 

Dallas, the District Attorney, respecting it.* Mr. Harris after- 
wards called himself, and gave me a report of the American 
commerce with Russia during the year 1809. I received also 
visits from Mr. Montreal and Mr. Dorsey. Mr. Montreal offered 
me any money for which I might have occasion, to be drawn 
for at my own convenience. Mr. Harris made me the same 
obliging offer immediately after my first arrival here. Under 
the circumstances in which I find myself here, it is difficult to 
resist the opportunities thus presented for anticipating upon my 
regular income; but I am determined to do it. The whole 
experience of my life has been one continual proof of the diffi- 
culty with which a man can adhere to the principle of living 
within his income — the first and most important principle of 
private economy. From the month of July, 1790, when I com- 
menced my career as a man, until the close of 1793, I was 
enabled to accomplish this purpose only by the assistance of 
small supplies from my father. I had then acquired the means 
of maintaining myself. In 1794 I was sent to Europe, and until 
my marriage, in 1797, kept more easily within my bounds than 
at any preceding or subsequent period. Since I have had a 
family, I have kept steady to my principle, but at the price of 

■ Trifling events sometimes produce grave misunderstandings between nations, 
and particularly when there is any predisposition to quarrel. Luckily there was 
nothing but good will between the Russian Government and Mr. Adams at this 
moment, which removed all danger of misconception of the nature of the transaction 
alluded to. The following rei)oit of it was given in the newsjxipcrs at the time 
from Philadelphia, where it occurred : 

** 28 March. Monday being the birthday of the £m|>eror of Russia, the Russian 
Envoy gave a parly, and had the front of his dwelling illuminated by a trans^xirency 
representing the cities of Saint Petersburg and Archangel, and an American vessel 
in full sail, the whole surmounted by a crown and the letters A I. 

** Some citizens stopping to look at the transparency, took up a notion that the 
putting of the crown over the American ship and colors was improper. This notion 
ripened into an opinion that it was intended as an insult, and the ferment became 
general. AI)out this point of time a young man, an oflicer in the United Slates 
service, came up, and, imbibing all the indignation of those around him, he dis- 
charged two pistol-balls through the transparency. 

** He was apprehended this morning, and brought before Alderman Keppele, 
who, on motion of the District Attorney, bound the officer over, himself in three 
thousand dollars, and two securities in fifteen hundred dollars each. In the course 
of the examination the officer, with characteristic boldness and strong feeling, de- 
clared that he thought it his duty as an American officer to bringdown all crowns." 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, \yj 

uncommon sacrifices of consideration and a reputation which, in 
the spirit of this age, economy cannot escape. In this country 
beyond all others, and in my situation more than any other, the 
temptations to excess in expense amount almost to compulsion. 
I have withstood them hitherto, and hope for firmness of char- 

■ 

acter to withstand them in future. I declined with thanks Mr. 
Montreal's kind offer, as I had that of Mr. Harris. 

30th. In the evening I walked in the Summer Gardens, and 
over the long bridge. The width of the river there is by my 
customary admeasurement eight hundred and five of my paces, 
or two thousand two hundred and thirteen feet; at the lower 
bridge it is only three hundred and sixty-four paces, or one 
thousand feet. I wrote something this day, but still gave an 
undue proportion of the time to my enquiries concerning weights, 
measures, and coins. My precise object is to ascertain those of 
Russia, with their relative proportions to those used in America. 
But I find it extremely difficult, and indeed, as yet, have not 
succeeded in fixing accurately my ideas on the subject. I pro- 
cured some time since a Russian nest of brass weights, from 
one pound to a quarter of a zolotnik, and a pair of scales. I 
have compared them with an apothecary's scale and weights 
which we brought with the medicine-chest from America. By 
this comparison I found that the Russian pound was equal to 
6312^ grains. But all the smaller Russian weights were incor- 
rect, some weighing more, and some less, than the proportion. 
The scales, too, are so coarsely made that they scarcely indicate 
any variation of less than a quarter zolotnik, which is the smallest 
of the weights they use among the silversmiths. My apothe- 
cary's balance was much more accurate, and much more sensible 
to small weights. There are, however, differences of full half a 
grain in several of them. Maudru, in his Russian Grammar, 
says that the Russian pound is equal to four hundred and nine 
grammes of the new French standard, and Webster, in his 
Dictionary, gives 15.444 grains troy weight for the gramme. 
Supposing both these correct, the Russian pound will be equal 
to 6316.596 grains troy — about three and three-quarters of a 
grain more than I found it by the comparison of the weights and 
scales. 13ut I had no English weight of more than two drachms, 



1 38 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, , [July, 

or 1 20 grains, and all my apothecary's weights together amount 
only to 301 J^ grains. I was therefore obliged, by means of 
these, to make other heavier weights, to compare with the larger 
portions of the Russian pound, and, having no smaller weight 
than one-quarter of a grain, I could come within that only by 
conjecture. These circumstances, together with the slight dif- 
ference in my smallest weights, accounting for the difference of 
three and three-quarter grains between my experiment and the 
numbers given by Maudru and Webster, I have considered them 
as correct, and accordingly take the Russian pound to be = to 
6316.596 grains English troy weight. Maudru is, however, not 
exact in his comparisons of the Russian weights and measures 
with those of France, and Webster differs from others, and even 
from himself, for in one page he makes the old Paris pound as 
twenty-seven to twenty-five English avoirdupois, and in the 
next he gives a table in which one hundred and nine pounds 
avoirdupois is exhibited as equal to one hundred Paris pounds. 
Storch and George, whom I have also consulted, are not more 
accurate. So that I may still find occasion to correct my 
present estimate. In round niunbers, the. usual maxim is that 
thirty-six avoirdupois pounds are ec^ual to a Russian pood of 
forty pounds. And Mr. Montreal has given me a. memoir of 
the trade of St. Petersburg, in which he makes the one hundred 
pounds avoirdupois equal to eleven and four-sixteenths Russian 
pounds, in which case, if, as Webster says, the English avoir- 
dupois pound is equal to seven thousand grains troy, the Rus- 
sian pound would then be only 6292.098 grains troy. I find 
also, upon examination, as much uncertainty and discrepancy 
in the account of measures as in that of weights. I collect, 
however, some information, and put my researches in a train 
which may terminate in some useful knowledge.' 

JtUy 4th. I went again to the fortress, and saw the director 
of the Mint, who told me that there were no weights to be sold 
there, but directed me to a Mr. Ilynam, an Englishman, as a 
person who might give me the information that I wanted. He 

' TliiH labor was not wasted. It proved of use to Ibe writer when called upon, 
severol years later, as Secretary of Stale, to prepare ai> elaborate report to Congress 
on weights and measures. 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 13^ 

also ordered that the works at the Mint should be shown me 
by an Englishman, under whose direction they are. There are 
two steam-engines, one of the power of fifty horses and the 
other of twenty-five, by the means of which the works are prin- 
cipally performed. The silver comes from the Russian mines. 
The smelting process is usually done in the night and early in 
the morning. It had ceased for this day, so that I could not 
see it. From those furnaces the silver is received in short, nar- 
row bars, -which, by passing between rolling-mills, is expanded 
to a length of about eight feet and a width and thickness ade- 
quate for the various pieces of coin to be cut from it From 
these bars are cut out the blanks which are to serve as coins ; 
which are first annealed in a hot oven, then passed between two 
cheeks, which round the edge and stamp the impression upon 
it, and finally coined by a machine which strikes off from sixty 
to seventy in a minute. The weight of the rouble is four 
zolotniks and eighty-two ninety-sixths. A range of four ninety- 
sixths of a zolotnik in excess or in deficiency is allowed for 
each piece. If the blank is found heavier than this, it is filed 
down to the weight ; if lighter, it must be melted Over again. 
The remnants of the long bars out of which the blanks are 
cut, must be melted over again. It appears to me that several 
of the processes would be susceptible of much improvement. 
There is so much waste of filings, and other small particles 
which get scattered 6n the floors, that there are brushes at all 
the doors, at which on going out every person must scrape the 
soles of his boots or shoes, to take off the adhering particles ; 
and the Mint men assured mc that the amount annually col- 
lected from this operation was very considerable. There is 
little or no gold now coined, and few silver pieces other than 
roubles; nor, if I judge of the average from this day's appear- 
ance, many of them. One coining machine only was at work, 
and that tended by a boy. 

There are separate rooms for striking medals, where the 
coining machine %% worked by hand and not by the steam- 
engine. They were at work on a medal for the city of Riga — 
to commemorate the centennial day since its subjugation to the 
Russian Empire. Its date is 4 July 1710 and 1810. On one 



I^o MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

side are the profiles of Peter the Great and the present Em- 
peror facing each other. On the reverse, a view of the city 
of Riga. The heads are extremely well executed, particularly 
that of Peter. The medalist is a German named Leberecht. 
I enquired if any of them could be procured when they should 
be finished, and my companion promised to procure one for me. 

15th. Having gone through the volume of Massillon's ser- 
mons upon the mysteries, I began this day to read that of his 
funeral eulogies. The first of these which he pronounced was 
in honor of Henry de Villars, Archbishop of Vienne, in Dau- 
phiny. It commenced his reputation as a preacher, and de- 
cided his superiors to fix him in that career ; which it seems he 
entered with reluctance. It is a brilliant piece of composition, 
but bears strong marks of youth and immature judgment, over- 
loaded with ornament, especially with those figurative scrip- 
tural allusions which constitute a peculiar character of .the 
author's manner. The Eulogium includes scarcely any biogra- 
phy. The qualities for which the Archbishop is praised are 
generally laudable ; but among them is his extraordinary zeal 
for the persecution of Protestants. Some instances of what 
now would be deemed the most illiberal bigotry are alleged as 
his most transcendent proofs of merit. His boldness and in- 
flexibility in defending the rights of the church are also com- 
mended, though with some obscurity of expression. There is 
indeed throughout the discourse a mystical turn of phrase 
needing study to be intelligible. It is in three divisions, con- 
sidering the prelate as — i . An upright man. 2. A faithful bishop. 
3. A charitable and compassionate father. The style is highly 
oratorical. It concludes with an intimation of doubt whether 
the Archbishop's soul was in purgatory, but calling on the 
priests to sing the mass for it. There is also an imitation of 
the celebrated invocation to Agricola at the conclusion of his life 
in Tacitus. This Henry de Villars was an uncle of the famous 
Marshal Villars, who saved France, or at least Louis the Four- 
teenth, by winning the battle of Denain agaiifct Prince Eugene. 

i6th. I dined at Monsieur de Laval's, at his country-scat, with 
a company of about twenty persons. He has a similar com- 
pany every Monday at dinner during the summer, to which 



i8io.] TJIE MISSION TO KUSSIA. i^i 

both he and Madame de Laval, according to the custom of the 
country, gave me a general invitation. Mrs. Adams did not 
go with me ; being confined to her bed, and this evening very 
unwell. Of the company at M. de Laval's were the Chevalier 
de Italinski, a connoisseur in paintings, lately returned from 
Italy, Counts St. Julien and Schenk, the Grand Veneur, De- 
mitri Narishkin, two Barons Buhler, Princess Kazitsky, Ma- 
dame de Laval's mother, and one other lady. After dinner 
came some additional company ; among whom Princess Wol- 
demar Galitzin, venerable by the length and thickness of her 
beard. This is no uncommon thing among the ladies of this 
Slavonian breed. There is at the Academy of Sciences the 
portrait of a woman now dead, but with beard equal to that of 
Plato. But of living subjects, the Princess Woldemar Galitzin 
is in this respect, of all the females that I have seen, the one 
who most resembles a Grecian philosopher. After dinner, part 
of the company walked in the gardens; went into the hut 
which M. de Laval calls his hermitage; sat down upon the 
couches round the room, and had some agreeable conversation ; 
in which Madame de Laval and Count St. Julien principally 
figured. This lady appears to me the most amiable, intelligent, 
and respectable Russian woman that I have seen. Count 
St Julien is an old soldier, who has fought many a campaign 
in the wars ; but who has been an Austrian courtier all his life. 
His character is frank, sociable, good-humored, with a remnant 
of libertinism, in which he takes a pride, like all the noble 
rakes of the last century. Licentiousness with regard to 
women was peculiarly the fashion of high life in that age. 
Perhaps it is inseparably the vice of high life in all ages. 

26th. Dined "with the French Ambassador, at his house at 
Kammcnoi-ostrow. The company were about sixteen. The Am- 
bassador is a man of the most polished and at the same time most 
unaffected manners that I ever knew. He lives at the annual 
expense of a million of roubles ; has a family of sixty-five persons, 
and keeps fifty-six horses in his stables. He maintains the state 
and splendor of an Ambassador with sufficient dignity, but in 
his manners is modest and unassuming. There is a becoming 
gravity, too, and something in his countenance and eye which 



1^2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [August, 

indicates hardness as well as polish. The company as usual 
was diplomatic. Mr. Six renewed to me in conversation the 
assurance that the King of Saxony is not a descendant of John 
Sobieski, and said that he had been reading Coxe's account of 
the family this morning. Coxe's book was the very place where 
I had found it ; and, on returning home, I looked at Coxe's 
genealogical tables of the Sobieskis, and found that I had not 
been mistaken. The Ambassador read to us some private let- 
ters from his friends at Paris, containing accounts of the disaster 
at Prince Schwarzenbcrg the Austrian Ambassador's fete given 
to the Emperor and Empress of France on occasion of the mar- 
riage. The dancing-hall caught fire, and several persons were 
dangerously burnt. The Ambassador's brother's wife perished 
in the flames; the Russian Consul's wife, Madame Labenski, died 
the next day; Prince Kurakin, the Russian Ambassador, barely 
escaped with his life ; and many others were severely burnt. 

27th. I continued employed in writing observations upon the 
manuscript relative to the armed neutrality. This work is com- 
posed, under the direction of Count RomanzofT, by Mr. Borel 
and Mr. Gcrvais. It has been submitted, by the Count's orders, 
to my perusal, with the request that I would make such obser- 
vations upon it as might occur to me. It is to be published 
in the course of the present year at Paris. In the evening I 
allowed a couple of hours again to the research concerning 
weights, measures, and coins. 

August 3d. Dined at Baron de Blome's at Kammenoi-ostrow, 
with a company of about thirty-five persons. All the Corps 
Diplomatique, of the French alliance, were there. Madame de 
Vlodck and her sister Constance were the only ladies. Colonel 
Donnat, the aid-de-camp of the late King of Holland, who is 
here as a traveller, and came lately from Sweden by the way of 
Tornea, told me that he had seen Regnard's inscription in a 
church near the Lake of Tornea' — ^but that Regnard and his 

'The inscription, made in 1681, is in these words: 

Gallia nos genuit, vidit not Africa, Gangem 
liausimus, Europamque oculis lustravimus omnein; 
Casibus et variis acti terraque marique 
Sistimus hie tandem, nobis ubi defuit orbis. 



i8io.] TJIE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 143 

companion were mistaken in supposing themselves at the 
world's end. They had mistaken the Lake of Tornea for the 
sea. He himself had been two degrees farther north than 
Regnard, and General Skioldebrand had been to the North 
Cai)c, which was five degrees farther north. 

I asked Count St. Julien about the new Life of Prince 
Eugene, said to have been written by himself. He says he 
does not believe it genuine ; but that it was written by a French 
emigrant, with some passages which might have been from the 
hand of the Prince. 

After dinner I took a walk with Mr. Smith in Count Strogo- 
'nofT's garden on the island, where we saw the tomb of Homer^ 
and several other remarkable works of art. I particularly 
noticed a statue of granite, of very imperfect workmanship, 
which I took to be of Egyptian and very early sculpture ; and 
a marble statue of the art in its highest perfection, — a man on 
one knee, sharpening a knife on a stone. There are also before 
the house two colossal marble statues, copies from antiques ; 
one of Hercules, and the other a goddess with an oaken crown, 
perhaps Minerva. Count Strogonoff is the greatest friend and 
patron of the arts in this country. From the Petersburg Island 
I walked, by the way of Wasily-ostrof, home. The sky and 
temperature of the atmosphere have already the appearance of 
autumn. 

8th. I was engaged unavoidably until the instant when by 
appointment I was to call upon Count Romanzoff. I was even 
delayed so much as a quarter of an hour later than the time he 
had fixed. On arriving at his house I found he was gone out, or 
otherwise engaged, and was desired to call again in an hour. I 
returned at the expiration of the hour to Count RomanzoflT, 
whom I now found, and who apologized to me for his absence 
when I had first called. I imihediately began by making to 
the Count my representation in behalf of the Americans who 
had written from Archangel to obtain my interposition in their 
favor. The admission of all vessels direct from the ports of 
Portugal in Europe was prohibited here by an ordinance of 
2 2d May last. These vessels sailed from Lisbon at a time 
when this ordinance could not have been known there. They 



144 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [AuguM, 

have cargoes which would sell at very high prices if admitted, 
and which must in part perish if sent away. I urged as forcibly 
to the Count as I could that these circumstances ought equitably 
to be considered as operating to take these vessels out of the 
purview of the Imperial ordinance. 

The Count, however, as I expected, was inflexible ; and gave 
the obvious answers to my arguments, that the measure was 
general, and arose from the state of the war ; that particular 
exceptions upon the grounds I had stated could not be ad- 
mitted ; that individual hardships must accrue from every such 
measure of extensive operation, and that there was no way to 
prevent them. 

I then stated the particular circumstances of the "Three 
Sisters/' one of the two vessels, which sprung a leak, and must 
be repaired before she can go away — suggesting the motives 
of humanity for granting a permission to sell at least enough of 
her cargo to pay for the necessary expenses^ of these rcixiirs. 

The Count requested me to write to him upon this particular 
case, which should be taken into consideration. I spoke to him 
further respecting the afTair of Captain Symonds, with which 
he was already acquainted. He said that as there had been 
a difference of opinion between the Commission at Archangel 
and the Procureur, who was an officer appointed immediately 
under the Minister of Justice, two persons had been specially 
appointed by order of the Emperor to go to Archangel and to 
decide upon the business. He took, however, the attestation from 
the Commission, which I had received from Captain Symonds 
and carried with me, which he promised to examine with due 
attention. 

The Count as soon as possible made the conversation gen- 
eral, and, with the preliminary caution which he always takes 
in inviting me to free conversation, that he wished me to con- 
sider him as laying aside altogether the Chancellor of the 
Empire, and conversing merely as an individual, he asked me 
to give him my advice ; what was to be done to restore freedom 
and security to commerce in the world. 

I told him, with the same reservation, that setting aside all 
official character and responsibility, and speaking merely as an 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 14^5 

individual speculating upon public affairs, the advice I should 
give to his Excellency was, as soon as possible to convince the 
French Government that the Continental system, as they called 
it, and as they managed it, was promoting to the utmost extent 
the views of England ; was, instead of impairing her commerce, 
securing to her that of the whole world ; and was pouring into 
her lap the means of continuing the war, just as long as her 
Ministers should think it expedient. But I said that I could 
hardly conceive that the Emperor Napoleon was so blind as 
not to have made this discovery already. Three years' expe- 
rience, with the effects of it becoming every day more flagrant, 
had made the inference too clear and unquestionable. The 
Emperor Napoleon, with all his power, could neither control 
the elements nor the passions of mankind. He had found that 
his own brother could not, and would not, carry his system into 
execution, and finally had cast at his feet the crown he had 
given him, rather than continue to be his instrument there 
any longer. That country was now united to France; but 
the trade with England would be carried on as before, and 
the only difference would be an increase of contribution to 
pay some more French custom-house oflRcers. 

The Count partly questioned the accuracy of my statement 
respecting the commercial prosperity of England, but admitted 
it in the general. He said, too, that as long as a system was 
agreed to be pursued, he thought exceptions from it ought not 
to be allowed. 

I asked him how that was possible in the present case, when 
the Emperor Napoleon himself was the first to make such ex- 
ceptions, and to give licenses for a trade with England. 

He said he thought all such licenses wrong ; and he believed 
there were not so many of them as was pretended. There was 
indeed one case here, of a vessel coming both with an English 
license and a license from the Emperor Napoleon. He was of 
opinion that she ought to be confiscated for having the English 
license. But the French commercial and diplomatic agents 
were very desirous that she might go free, on account of her 
French license, and perhaps the Emperor, in consideration of 
his ally, might so determine. He complained bitterly that all 

VOL. II. — 10 



1^6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [August, 

the ancient established principles both of commercial and 
political rectitude had in a manner vanished from the world; 
and observed that, with all her iniquities, England had yet this 
advantage over her neighbors, of having hitherto most success- 
fully resisted all the innovations upon ancient principles and 
establishments. For his part, since he had been at the head of 
afiairs here, he could sincerely protest that one wish had been 
at the bottom of all his policy, and the aim of all his labors, 
and that was universal peace. The peace with Sweden had 
been made ; that of Austria had succeeded ; but it seemed by 
some fatality, the instant one peace was made, the dearest aim 
of some people, and their indefatigable labor, was to make 
another war. He asked me what I thought would be the 
effect in England of this reunion of Holland with France. 
Some people, he said, were of opinion that it would produce a 
great sensation. 

I said I did not expect so. I believed the British Ministry, 
and the thinking men of the nation, would be pretty much of 
the Duke de Cadore's opinion, — that since the union of Belgium 
with France, the system of Holland must necessarily be that of 
her mighty neighbor, — ^and would feel quite indifferent whether 
that member of the French Empire was under the administra- 
tion of King Louis Napoleon or under that of the Arch-Treas- 
urer Duke of Plaisance. From various other hints, I inferred, 
however, that this new arrangement was by no means pleasing 
to the Count, and of course, I presume, not to the Emperor. 

The Count observed also that the King of Prussia had been 
compelled to shut his ports against American vessels, which he 
supposed was a momentary impulse of the Emperor Napoleon, 
to prevent his brother Louis from going to America. 

I told him I believed it was a measure to which he had been 
instigated by an English influence operating upon his custom- 
house officers. It was well known that English vessels, and 
English cargoes, were admitted with the utmost freedom and 
facility on payment of a sufficient per centum to the French 
officers. As long as American vessels were openly admitted 
they could not be laid under this contribution. The English 
traders were thus subject to a disadvantage in the competi- 



i8io.] TJiE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 147 

tion of the market By their instigation the French officers 
represented to their Government that the prohibited English 
trade was carried on under American colors, and so the King 
of Prussia is forced to issue an order excluding American ves- 
sels from his ports. Notwithstanding which, I was informed 
that private letters from merchants gave assurances that they 
might come as heretofore, and would be admitted on payment 
of the tax. I added that I hoped that we had nothing of the 
same kind to apprehend here. 

The Count said that, far from it, they should be glad to 
give every possible facility to the direct commerce between 
the United States and this country, and that he would cheer- 
fully agree to any proper measure to promote its future exten- 
sion ; but as to the trade with their enemies, that being forbidden, 
measures of restriction to prevent it must necessarily sometimes 
occasion inconvenience to real neutrals, and they were obliged 
to extend the same restrictions to their own subjects. 

I said that with regard to the Imperial ordinances prohibiting 
trade with England, this was a subject with which I could have 
no authority to interfere, and in respect to which I could claim 
no indulgence. It was the direct trade alone for which I was 
solicitous — a trade, I flattered myself, as useful and advantage- 
ous to Russia as to the United States. I had heard that the 
Danes, irritated perhaps at the loss of their Sound duties occa- 
sioned by the blockade of Elsineur, were endeavoring to obtain 
the exclusion of our vessels here, and perhaps some representa- 
tions had been made by their diplomatic agents here to that effect. 

He said he had not heard of any; that if our vessels could 
escape the pursuit of the Danish privateers, Prussia was under 
no obligation whatsoever to guarantee the payment of Sound 
duties to the King of Denmark. The right to those duties 
arose solely from circumstances of locality, and the reception 
of the duties must be accomplished by Denmark's own means 
of execution. 

Mr. Gray, afler dinner, sent for his newspapers, and the copy 
of my lectures that he had received. He had learnt from the 
papers an account of the arrival of Count Pahlen at Philadel- 
phia, which I immediately after dinner communicated in a note 



148 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCV ADAMS, [August, 

to Count Romanzoff. I was from dinner-time until past two 
in the morning absorbed in the perusal of my own lectures, 
without a conception of the lapse of time, until at the close of 
the first volume upon looking at my watch I saw with astonish- 
ment the hour. What a portion of my life would I give if they 
could occasion the same accident to one other human being j 
But they arc now upon their trial in the world. And I pray 
that I may be duly prepared for resignation to their fate, whether 
of total neglect, of malicious persecution, or of deserved con- 
demnation. The first I do not expect. The second is so cer- 
tain that my principal difficulty will be in discerning between it 
and the third, which, if it should come, will mortify my vanity, 
but even then may have a useful influence upon my heart, by 
teaching me the lesson of humility — a lesson which I sorely 
want, and which I pray God to give me the grace to learn. 
These lectures arc the measure of my powers, moral and intel- 
lectual. In the composition of them I spared no labor, and 
omitted no exertion of which I was capable. I shall never, 
unless by some special favor of Heaven, accomplish any work 
of higher elevation or more extensive compass.* 

9th. The interruption of my systematic occupations still con- 
tinues. Letters and packages from America always engross 
the first hours, and not unfrequently days, after their arrival. 
From the moment of my rising from bed this morning until 
nearly the hour of dinner I was incessantly engaged with Mr. 
Gray's newspapers, which, coming down to the 13th of June, 
contain much news, particularly respecting the new elections 
in the State of Massachusetts. I wrote, however, an official 
note to Count RomanzofT concerning the two American vessels 
at Archangel. I could not walk until the evening. On my 
return home, I found Mr. Harris had spent a couple of hours 
with us. He has had much conversation With Count Scverin 
Poto^ki, who is immediately going away. The Count says he 
does not know what will eventually be done here. The new 
ordinance respecting the copper coinage gives much dissatisfac- 
tion. Count Romanzoff transacts business personally with the 

' The edition of this work was sold, and is now out of print. It is believed to 
l)e the only elaborate work on the subject yet produced in America. 



l8io.] THE M/SSfON TO RUSSIA, i^p 

Emperor, of which the Council know nothing. The French 
Ambassador transacts busiiiess personally with the Emperor, 
of which neither the Council nor Count Romanzoff himself are 
informed. The opinion of all the Council is, at all events, to 
remain upon good terms with France. The French Ambassador 
and Mr. Rayneval have in the most solemn manner declared to 
Mr. Raimbert that France has used no influence whatever in 
regard to the late confiscation of vessels pretended to have 
come here from Tenerifle. But Mr. I^sseps, the Consul, has 
hinted in a conversation at Mr. Severin's that France had in- 
terfered in the case. Mr. Six, who is deeply affected by the 
recent events in his country, but who bears up under the mis- 
fortune as well as he can, expresses himself much pleased with 
the measures since adopted by the Emperor, as indicating 
moderation and prudence. He says that his brother Louis is 
not reconciled with him, and that he must acknowledge Louis 
was badly advised, and had fallen into the hands of worthless 
intriguers. He says also that Jerome and Louis were upon very 
bad terms with each other. 

17th. Count Rzewuski and Mr. Six are on the point of de- 
parture, the former for Vienna, the latter for Paris. Mr. Six 
told me that his instructions had been to return to the empire ; 
but that he had hesitated whether to go directly to Paris until 
the Ambassador of his own accord advised him to go. He 
had then observed that the Emperor Napoleon might perhaps 
be displeased at his going there ; upon which the Ambassador 
told him he would give him a letter to the Duke de Cadore, 
from which Mr. Six concludes that the Ambassador has in- 
structions to send him to Paris. He told me also that he had 
talked with the Ambassador concerning our affairs; that he 
could now say with certainty what he had before hinted to me, 
that probably much of the difficulty of our situation with France 
arose from the dislike, which our Minister there had incurred, 
of the French Government; that the Ambassador himself 
would freely converse with me upon the subject, if I wished it ; 
that he was persuaded if /was there, the difference between 
the two countries would soon be arranged to our satisfaction. 
He entered into some detail to convince me that I was the 



I JO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [August, 

only person who could accomplish this, and seemed to expect 
that I should write all this in substance to the Government of 
the United States. 

I told him that I was much obliged to the Ambassador for 
his good opinion of me, and that as to himself, as he was going 
to Paris, if he should find any occasion upon which he could 
serve our cause, I should be grateful to him on my own account 
as well as on that of my country ; that however well I might 
think of my own qualifications to succeed in making an arrange- 
ment between the United States and France, there was too 
little prospect of the possibility of such success not to make 
me very reluctant at the idea of being employed to undertake 
it, as there was certainly no person in the United States to 
whom a failure of such a negotiation would be personally so 
injurious as to me; that I had reason besides to suppos<f that 
the American Government would prefer keeping me here some 
time longer, and sending some other Minister in case General 
Armstrong should go home ; that in the relative situation I 
stood with General Armstrong, I could not in delicacy transmit 
to the American Government any general intimation that he 
was obnoxious to that of France ; and that although he had 
heretofore hinted to me that this was the case, I did not even 
know what General Armstrong's offence had been. 

lie said they did not impeach his integrity ; but that he was 
morose, and captious, and petulant. 

Now, I am afraid that under the circumstances in which the 
General has been there, the last three years, they would have 
had quite as much reason to be dissatisfied on such ground 
with me as they can have with him. And I am sure I should 
think it very ill treatment from him if, upon such vague and 
loose pretences, he should transmit to the Government a com- 
plaint that I was thought morose, captious, or petulant, with 
suggestions that he himself was the fittest man to take my 
place. I do not suspect Mr. Six of any ill design in this affair, 
for I believe him sincerely and cordially my friend and that of 
America. Neither do I incline to suspect the Ambassador. I 
suppose him to be indifferent on the subject, and rather to have 
fallen in with Mr. Six's opinions than to have spoken from any 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 151 

particular instructions to himself. My own course upon this 
occasion is plain — to be silent. 

22d. There was a Te Deum at Court this day at noon — for a 
splendid victory, though it is said a very dear one, gained over 
the Turks, in the presence of the Grand Vizir, before Shumla. 
The ceremony was precisely the same as at the last, for the 
taking of Silistria. The Emperor, the Empress-mother, the 
Czarowitz Constantine, and the Grand Duchess Ann were there. 
I went later than usual, and waited very little. 

The French Ambassador spoke to me, and said he hoped 
the differences between his country and mine would be settled. 
He assured me, and requested me to write to my Government, 
that it was the desire of the Emperor of France and of his 
Ministers to come to the best terms with the United States; 
that "they knew our interests were the same; that he was per- 
fectly persuaded if any other person than General Armstrong 
was there our business might be settled entirely to our satis- 
faction. 

I told him that as I was very desirous that we should come 
to a good understanding, I regretted very much that anything 
personal to General Armstrong should be considered by his 
Government as offensive. I was sure the Government of the 
United States would regret it also, and would wish, in learning 
••t, to be informed what were the occasions of displeasure which 
he had given. " C'est d'abord un tres-galant homme," said the 
Ambassador ; " but he never shows himself; .and upon every 
little occasion, when by a verbal explanation with the Minister 
he might obtain anything, he presents peevish notes." 

This is much the same thing as what Mr. Six told me, and 
appears to me an intriguing manoeuvre, of which I might easily 
be niatlc the dupe. Just as wc were at this stage, however, of the 
conversation, wc were summoned in to the Te Deum. 

28th. At eight o'clock in the evening I went to Count Ro- 
manzoff, according to his appointment. I first mentioned to 
him the dispatches which I had received on the subject of 
Mr. Daschkoff's application to the Government of the United 
States in relation to a trade between the United States and a 
Russian settlement on the northwest coast of America. But I 



152 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Auguxl, 

told him I was referred to documents forwarded by another 
opportunity, and which I had not yet received. 

He said he had also received dispatches from Mr. Daschkoflf, 
stating that his application had been favorably received by the 
Government of the United States. That they had a growing 
settlement on the northwest coast of America, and that from it 
a profitable trade could be carried on to China; that they had 
sent two vessels there under the command of Captain Krusen- 
stern, which had gone from there to Canton. Canton was a 
port open to all the nations of Europe ; but the Russians, who 
€ire specially favored by the Chinese Government, had an exclu- 
sive trade with them, carried on at a place called Kiakta, But 
the Chinese had refused to admit Captain Krusenstern's ships 
at Canton, upon the pretext that as the Russian trade with them 
had long been carried on with exclusive privileges at Kiakta, 
they supposed that if the Russians meant to change the chan- 
nel of trade they would have given them notice of it. And as 
they had heard nothing about such vessels coming to Canton, 
they could not tell whether they were really Russians or not. 
There had been, the Count said, some sheets passed between 
the two Governments since on the subject, but the convulsed 
state of Europe, and objects of so much greater magnitude, 
had so absorbed his attention, that they had not yet come to 
any arrangement with them for the admission of Russian ves- 
sels at Canton. He had therefore wished that the trade from 
the Russian settlement on the northwest coast of America to 
China might be carried on hy the Americans. And as the 
settlement itself is in the neighborhood of Indians, who were 
sometimes troublesome and dangerous neighbors to it, he had 
thought an arrangement might be concerted with the United 
States, under which the Americans might have the trade of the 
settlement, under a restriction not to furnish warlike weapons 
and instruments to the neighboring Indians. 

I told him I collected from the papers which I had received 
that Mr. Daschkoff was not specifically instructed as to the 
limits within which it was wished that the restriction should be 
extended, and asked whether he could point them out to me. 
He said that it would require some consideration, but that their 



|8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 153 

maps included the whole of Nootka Sound, and down to the 
mouth of Columbia River, as part of the Russian possessions. 

By way of digression the Count explained to me the mode of 
their negotiations with China, which is by sending sheets, as they 
call it — the correspondence, in the name of the Senate — addressed 
to an assembly of a like nature in China; and their sheets are 
also addressed to the Senate here; who, however, never see them, 
and never have anything to do with the negotiations. At one 
period of the reign of Catherine the Second, the Chinese sent her 
a sheet to tell her that a Governor of one of the Russian provinces 
bordering upon them was a bad man. In consequence of this 
she ordered an enquiry to be made into his conduct, and found 
that their complaints were well grounded. The officer was 
therefore immediately removed, and the Chinese were informed 
that the Empress had thus proceeded with just attention to their 
complaints. This compliance, however, only made them inso- 
lent. They sent another sheet, to say that the removal of the 
offending Governor was not sufficient ; but that he must be im- 
paled, and his skin sent to them by way of atonement. The 
Empress was so shocked at this barbarous and insulting message 
that she immediately issued an edict prohibiting all her subjects 
from having any intercourse with the Chinese whatsoever; and 
this prohibition continued eight or nine years in force. As the 
trade was a very advantageous one to the Chinese, they became 
soon very anxious for its restoration, which they solicited during 
the whole of that time, until the Empress, like a person who 
finally becomes weary of resentment, consented to the restoration 
of the trade. Since then, and even now, the Chinese practised 
a sort of coquetting affectation of indulgence to the Russians. 
Very lately, as I might have seen by the newspapers, some of 
their highest characters, and even .1 Governor of one of their 
provinces, had come to a Russian town on the frontiers, and had 
attended at the celebration of the mass. It had even given rise 
to a laughable circumstance. The Chinese Governor, who had 
heard the whole ceremony performed standing, was so much 
delighted with the singing that he had asked for an instructor 
to teach his son to sing one of those songs; and they had 
accordingly furnished him a singing-master, who had taught 



154 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [August. 

the young man, not the mass, but some Russian songs, which 
he had learned to sing very well. 

I now recurred to the cases of the American vessels which 
have arrived at Archangel and at Cronstadt, to whose admission 
so many difficulties and delays have been opposed. I urged the 
necessityof a very speedy decision concerning them, stating the 
certainty that they would be detained for the winter unless that 
decision should take place in the course of a very few days — that 
in every case it would be extremely injurious to the adventurers 
to be thus detained, and in many cases equivalent to a total loss 
of the voyage. I urged in particular that the navigation from 
Archangel would probably be closed within a month or six 
weeks ; that the length of the voyages, both in coming and 
returning, of American vessels, made a longer time necessary 
for them to remain in port than for others, and pleaded equitably 
for a peculiar attention of despatch in their behalf; that after 
their admission they must yet have time to dispose of the cargoes 
they had brought, and to purchase cargoes for their return, none 
of which business could be transacted while they were left in 
sus|>cnse whether they should be finally admitted at all ; that 
possibly Baron Campenhausen, with whom I had not the honor 
of being personally acquainted, and with whom, if I did know 
him, it might perhaps be improper for me to have any conver- 
sation upon these subjects, might entertain suspicions in relation 
to many American vessels, owing to the extraordinary numbers 
of them which had arrived during the present season. But the 
fact was that a number far beyond that of any preceding year 
had really arrived, both here and at Archangel, coming directly 
from the United States, and destined to return directly thither; 
that I had anticipated this event, and, as he knew, had announced 
it to him as infallible, so long ago as last winter ; that the causes 
of it were the obstructions to our commerce, which it experi- 
enced in almost every other quarter ; the sus|x.Mision of it by 
our own laws in the preceding years ; and, above all, the encour- 
agement which our merchants had derived from the peculiar 
favor which his Imperial Majesty had been pleased to manifest 
towards the United States. From my private advices, and 
from the complexion of the newspapers which I had received 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 155 

down to the middle of June, I knew that the exclusions which 
we were now subject to, in Prussia, Mecklenburg, and, as I 
expected to learn by to-morrow's post, in all the ports of Hol- 
stein, were all expected in America ; but many of our merchants 
in all the sea-ports had said. Happen to us what will elsewhere, 
at least we are sure of being well received in Russia ; that I 
hoped Baron Campenhausen would be made sensible of these 
circumstances, and of the essential importance to so many of my 
countrymen, that they should be immediately admitted. I added 
that this would be still more urgent for all those who might 
yet arrive before the close of the season ; that I had received 
numerous letters, and from a variety of persons, all meeting with 
the same difficulties, and every one thinking that there were 
particular circumstances in his case which would entitle him to 
special indulgences and exemptions. I was unwilling to trouble 
him with each of these cases separately, as I wished them all to 
participate in the same advantage, and was desirous of sparing 
him the tcdiousncss of particular details ; that I had already had 
the honor of addressing to him a note, respecting the vessels 
which had arrived from Lisbon; that the supercargo of a vessel 
arrived at Archangel, from New York, had written to me to ask 
whether a special order for his admission could not be obtained, 
on account of his having brought dispatches for me, and also to 
this Government from Mr. DaschkofT. 

The Count said this was undoubtedly evidence that the vessel 
came from the United States; and he had in other instances 
alleged it as such himself. But it could not be evidence, either 
of the nature of the cargo, or that the vessel was not last from 
some port of Great Britain ; that it would not be therefore a 
sufficient foundation for a special order. 

I then observed that in dwelling so earnestly upon the wish 
that I had expressed, 1 flattered myself I waS promoting the 
interests of his Majesty's empire as much as thbse of my own 
country; that the number of American vessels which had 
come here, and the quantity of the Russian productions which 
they would take in return, were highly favorable to the agri- 
culture and the manufactures of this country ; that they gave 
encouragement to its industry, and contributed more than any- 



156 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [August, 

thing to support the course of its exchange. Such were the 
obvious effects of the vessels which had arrived ; but I thought 
it unnecessary to press this argument much, as I was persuaded 
his Excellency knew better than I did how strongly it was 
supported by the fact. 

The Count said he well knew that it was exactly so ; that he 
had been hitherto the Minister of Commerce, but that a new 
arrangement had been made, by which all business of this nature 
was transferred to Baron Campenhausen ; that he must do him 
the justice to say he was an officer of great activity, and dis- 
patched business as fast as he could. But he was extremely 
apt to entertain suspicions; and possibly some delays might 
arise from this circumstance. He, the Count, was fully sensible 
of the weight and justice of the observations I had made to 
him. He would immediately make a minute of it in writing 
(which he did), and write to-morrow morning to Baron Cam- 
penhausen, pressing the subject in a special manner upon his 
attention. 

I observed that my countrymen felt an extraordinary anxiety 
at these unusual detentions, from remarking their coincidence 
with the ordinances of Prussia, Mecklenburg, and Denmark 
excluding us from their ports, and from an apprehension that 
the same influence under which it was known that those orders 
had been issued might be exerted even here. 

He assured me in the most solemn manner that I might rely 
upon it there was no foundation for these apprehensions ; that 
the Emperor's sentiments and intentions with regard to the 
United States remained unaltered. But he asked me whether 
a favorable change had not taken place in the state of our rela- 
tions with France. 

I said that France had partially opened her ports to the 
United States. 

He said he believed there was something still more recent, 
and that a sort of agreement had been entered into, between 
France and England, for the allowance of commerce in certain 
articles, by means of neutral vessels. 

I had not heard of this; but observed that in the midst of all 
these violent ill offices which France was doing to us, her Gov- 



l8io.] THE MiSSlON TO KUSSIri, 157 

ernment was making the most solemn asseverations of the best 
possible dispositions and the most friendly sentiments towards 
us; that I had within this week or fortnight received such 
assurances from the French Ambassador here, while at the 
same time the Mecklenburg and Danish orders for excluding 
our vessels from all their ports were coming out. The French 
Government too had issued a declaration that the French 
Consuls in the United States no longer delivered any certificates 
of origin, and therefore that all papers purporting to be of that 
description, produced by the masters of American vessels in the 
Baltic, must be forgeries. But nothing could be more false 
than this assertion. All the vessels coming from the United 
States brought certificates of origin given by the French Con- 
suls, and I had myself delivered to Mr. Lesseps a letter from 
the French Consul in Boston, informing him that he had given 
such a certificate to the master of the vessel which sailed the 
latest of any which have yet arrived. In the order to exclude 
American vessels, which they had made the Duke of Mecklen- 
burg sign, that Prince had conmiittcd himself to an assertion 
equally wide from the truth. He affirms that for a long time 
no colonial articles have been exported from the United States. 
This was .sporting with the common sense of mankind in a 
manner almost unparalleled. 

The Count replied that it was indeed extraordinary — and with 
regard to the certificates of origin, he had remarked that the 
declaration asserted the French Consuls had not delivered any 
"dcpuis quclquc temps'* — an expression so vague that it might 
be a week or a year, and could warrant no inference to falsify 
any such papers yet produced. With regard to this system of 
restriction, the Count seemed to me more than ever convinced 
of its incfTicacy, and prepared, at least in his own mind, to give 
it up. 1 le asked me whether 1 had heard the news from Sweden. 
I told him I had heard it rumored that the Prince of Ponte 
Corvo, General Bernadotte, was elected Crown Prince. 

He said it was true; that there was a courier coming to 
him with the account of this event, who had not yet arrived; 
but another courier had. It was a most unaccountable thing 
in itself, and in the manner of its accomplishment. The Em- 



158 MEAfOIRS OF JOHK QUINCY ADAMS, [August, 

peror Alexander had determined that he would in no wise 
interfere in this election, or manifest his sentiments in an affair 
so interesting to his neighbors, until after the conclusion. The 
Prince of Augustenburg, brother of the late Crown Prince, had 
in the first instance been unanimously elected ; or at most there 
had been in the secret committee but one single vote for the 
Prince of Ponte Corvo. As the King of Denmark had proposed 
himself as one of the candidates, and had written to the King of 
Sweden requesting that he would nominate him, the Duke of 
Augustenburg, unwilling to offend his brother-in-law and bene- 
factor, the King of Denmark, had not absolutely accepted ; but 
neither had he positively refused. After his answer, the King 
of Sweden had proposed and the Diet had resolved to renew 
the offer and urge the Duke's acceptance of it. A courier had 
been sent to him with this second proposal; but before his 
answer could be received they had proceeded again to an elec- 
tion, and chose the Prince of Ponte Corvo. It was strange 
enough to see kingdoms given away by third parties; but to 
see a nation thus give itself away was inconceivable. He 
asked mc what I thought would be the sentiment about it in 
England. 

I said I believed it would give great displeasure in England; 
but that it appeared to me the King of Denmark had most reason 
to be displeased with the issue. I enquired finally of the Count 
whether he had any late accounts from the army in Turkey. 
He said, none since the Te Deum. I complimented him upon 
the successes of the campaign hitherto. 

He said that General Kamensky had certainly distinguished 
himself, and given great proofs of military talents. 

I observed that we Americans were neutrals in this war, and 
that he knew the fundamental principle of our policy was to 
take no part in the great political affairs of Europe ; that by the 
means of commerce, however, we had important relations with 
them, and that as in discussion with him in my official charac- 
ter I could speak of nothing but in its relation to commerce, I 
must naturally seem to him to attach an importance to subjects 
of that nature greater than in his relative estimate they could 
deserve. But as he sometimes did me the honor to say that he 



i8io.] 77//? AflSSION TO RUSSIA. 159 

would lay the Chancellor of the Empire aside and freely express 
his sentiments, as from one private gentleman to another, I 
would ask the same indulgence of him, in saying, that for the 
commercial interest of my country, it would be much better that 
Constantinople should belong to the Emperor of Russia than to 
the Grand Signior. 

He appeared to be much pleased with this remark, and said, 
with a smile, that after this war he hoped the Americans would 
have free access to trade with the Russian possessions upon the 
Black Sea. 

This conference lasted more than an hour, when the Danish 
Minister, the Baron de Blome, being announced, I took leave 
of the Count and returned home. 

September 3d. The General of the Jesuits, Brzozowski, paid 
^me a visit this morning, and gave me a letter for the Abbe 
Kohlmann, at New York, which he desired me to forward with 
my letters. He said it was in answer to a request that he would 
send some fathers there; but the difficulties and the dangers 
of their passage at this time were so great that he could not 
comply with the request. I made some enquiries of him con- 
cerning the state of the Society here. He says they have a 
.seminary for the education of fathers tliere, between six and 
seven hundred wersts from St. Petersburg ; that they keep here 
a day school where they have about two hundred boys, and a 
pensionary establishment where there are upwards of thirty. 
Among the latter is a son of the Grand Marshal, Count Tolstoy, 
and they expect soon to have another. They take no boys 
under seven or over twelve years of age. They teach Latin, 
French, and Russian, with the usual classical studies, rhetoric 
and philosophy included, and the accomplishments of polite 
education, — dancing, drawing, and music. \Their pension is at 
one thousand roubles a year. Their church is the first Catholic 
establishment in St. Petersburg. It consists principally of Poles, 
of whom there are about twelve thousand in this city. They 
have preaching every Sunday and holiday, in four languages 
alternately — French, German, Polish, and Italian. He asked 
me some questions about Bishop Carroll, who, he said, had 
lately been promoted to the rank of an Archbishop ; but he did 



l6o MEMOIRS OF -yOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Scptemlir, 

not know how many suffragan bishops he would have under 
him. 

lOth. I spoke to Mr. Gourieff, the Minister of Finance, to 
whose department a great portion of the affairs of commerce 
has been transferred. I asked him if he had spent any time 
this summer in the country. 

lie said no ; that he was .so much engaged in business tjiat 
he had found it impossible to leave the city. I said that the 
affairs of his department must naturally engross all his time, 
particularly as I learnt there had been a great addition to them 
in the commercial business. He said that so far as commer- 
cial affairs related to the finances, they were, by the new arrange- 
ment, placed under his direction ; but the general management 
of commercial matters was entrusted to the Treasurer General 
of the Empire, Baron Campenhausen. , 

I observed that as the Commercial Department was that upon 
which all the important concerns of my countrymen depended, 
and as it was now under his superintendence, I begged leave to 
recommend them to his protection and attention; that they 
were of great imporUu)ce to my country, and, of course, to me, 
and that I considered them of considerable consequence to the 
interests of this empire, and especially to its finances. 

He said he so considered them himself, and that as far as de- 
pended personally upon him, I might rely upon everything that 
he could do to give facilities to our commerce. 

I said that for some time past great, obstructions and diffi- 
culties had arisen to the iidmission of American vessels here, 
especially at the port of Archangel ; that I had presented a note 
some time since to Count Romanzoff, relative to some of the 
cases, and had made verbal representations upon some of them. 
Mr. Harris had also made various applications; that it gave me 
infinite pleasure that the Emperor, in every one of the cases, had 
decided in our favor, and I was obliged to Baron Campenhausen 
for immediately communicating to me these decisions. But 
unhappily I found new complaints were still arising as the old 
ones were done away ; that I had just seen several letters from 
Americans at Archangel, from which it would seem that their 
property had all been put under seals, and that they were in the 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. i6l 

greatest alarm and consternation, apprehending nothing less 
than a general confiscation. 

He smiled, and said that during the interval, or, as it might 
be called, interregnum, while the business was transferring from 
one department to the other, some strange things had indeed 
occurred. But he hoped that now things would go on in better 
order. " And besides," said he, " the Emperor Napoleon has 
given us a very good example, by his late transactions with 
regard to the United States, which I think we ought to follow." 

This was the key — and just then dinner was announced, and 
terminated our conversation. I sat at table between Baron 
Schladen, the Prussian Minister, and the French Consul, Mr. 
Lesscps, with both of whom I had much conversation. I told 
Baron Schladen how sincerely I had been affected by the Queen 
of Prussia's death. He expressed himself gratified at this notice 
of her, and said that it was a consolation to find that she was 
not only generally lamented, but regretted even by those who 
had been her enemies while she lived. 

He afterwards asked me some questions about these new 
measures in France relating to America. I told him that they 
were opening their own doors just at the same moment that 
they were shutting those of his country against us. 

He isaid he hoped I considered that measure in its true light, 
as one which was assuredly not a result of the inclinations of 
his Government. 

I made him easy on that score, by the fullest assurance that I 
was satisfied whence it came, and harbored no resentment for it 
against his sovereign. 

He then told me that in consequence of the conversation I 
had with him, some months ago, he had written to his Court 
and mentioned that interview with me, adding a recommenda- 
tion of the object which I had appeared to wish ; that he had 
received in regular time an answer to his dispatch on that occa- 
sion, instructing him to come to a confidential explanation with 
me on the subject ; that he was ordered to assure me that, as 
faryas the personal disposition of the King and his Government 
went, I might place the most perfect reliance upon it, and that 
every facility would be granted which lay within their power. 

VOL.. II. — II 



l62 AfEAfOlKS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 

But then at the same time, he said, he saw from the tenor of 
the remaining part of the dispatch what sort of a turn affairs 
must take, and he had preferred to omit even the execution of 
his instructions, rather than say things to me which might have 
led me to form, and perhaps to communicate to my own Govern- 
ment, expectations which would be disappointed. 

The Baron's intentions, I believe, were good; but I think I 
should not have been misled by his executing his instructions. 
Probably, however, he was not at liberty to explain the influ- 
ence which was then pressing for our exclusion ; and he could 
perhaps not have attempted to conceal it without a degree of 
dissimulation which a few days would expose, and at which he 
was reluctant. 

nth. It is the anniversary festival of St. Alexander Newsky, 
a Prince of Novogorod, who reigned about the year 1250; and 
is also what they call the name-day of the Emperor. At eleven 
o'clock I went with Mr. W. Smith to the monastery, where the 
crowd was great, and the concourse of the people, from the Per- 
spective to the church, on both sides of the street, was excessive. 
When we got to the church, wc found it difficult to ascertain a 
proper place to stand in. None of the other foreign Ministers 
v/ere there excepting Count Schenk, who came in some time after 
me, and who was as much embarrassed as myself He took a place 
among the officers in attendance on the imperial family, which 
he found was not the proper one, and returned to where I had 
taken mine. Count Romanzoff, at length seeing me, came to me 
and stood next to me during the whole ceremony, and explained 
to me many parts of the performances. The silver shrine of the 
saint is at the right hand of the chancel, as you go up the broad 
aisle to the altar. Before this shrine was spread a large carpet, 
on which the Emperor took his stand, with the Empress at his 
left hand; next to her the Empress-mother; then the Grand 
Dukes Nicholas and Michael, and the Grand Duchess Ann 
behind her mother. The Crown officers and attendants were 
ranged in a line beyond the Emperor, up to the steps to the 
shrine of the saint. Prince George of Oldenburg, husband of the 
Grand Duchess Catherine, the Prince of Wiirtemberg, brother 
of the Empress-mother, and a number of officers and strangers. 



i8io.] TJIE MISSIOl^ TO RUSSIA, 163 

Stood before the chancel, on the righ£ side of the aisle, and a 
number of ladies, and crowd of women at the left. 

The ceremony was performed by the Archbishop and the 
other priests who usually perform at the Imperial Chapel, with 
the same choir of singers. But it was not a Te Deum, and 
differed in many respects from an ordinary mass. Count 
Romanzoff told me that the two candlesticks which the Arch- 
bishop occasionally takes in his hands, one ikrith three lighted 
candles and the other with two, and which he waves downward 
crosswise, were symbolical of the Trinity, and of the double 
nature of Christ. Coxe, I think, mentions this. At a particular 
part of the ceremony a sort of embroidered cloth was waved, or 
rather shaken, over the altar. The Count said it was during 
the Credo, and to express the uncertainty of the time when the 
mystery of the descent of the Holy Ghost commences — the 
Greek Church not having thought the precise moment ascer- 
tainable. 

After the mass was finished, the Emperor went up to the 
shrine of the saint, knelt, and kissed the silver coffin three times 
— twice at the side, and once on the top. The Empress, Grand 
Dukes, and Grand Duchess all followed in turn, and repeated 
the same adoration of the saint. The Grand Duchess Ann, a 
beautiful princess of about seventeen years of age, performed 
her part at once with the most complete prostration, the most 
grace, and the most dignity. As the Empress-mother descended 
the steps, the Emperor lent her his arm to assist her. There 
were then three small pictures, in frames, given to the Emperor 
and two Empresses, and small round loaves of bread to each of 
the members of the imperial family. 

On going out of the church, the crowd was so great that the 
pas^ge out to my carriage by the way at which we had entered 
was totally barred. I followed the crowd of the Imperial officers 
through the only passage-way that was open, supposing it led 
to another issue, until I found myself unexpectedly in the Arch- 
bishop's apartments, where the Emperor and his suite had been 
invited to breakfast. One of the messengers of the Grand 
Master of the Ceremonies gave me notice that the attendance 
of strangers there was not usual, and I at length found the way 



l4| MEMOIRS OF JOBS' QCIXCY ADAJOS. 

out to my carnage. The crovd of people in the streets 
tinued as great oo our return as when ve vent. It was about 
three o'clock when we got home. 

12th. Mr. Montreal told me many cucumstanoes respectii^ 
the capture of the Duke d'Enghien, which was dose by a 
French corps of troops under the command of M. de fautain 
court. He was then Aid-^ii^-camp General of the First Consul 
Bonaparte. He was of a noble £unih-of Picardy.and his &ther 
had owed his iofftune to the protection and patrooage of the 
Prince de Coodei He recex\ed an ocder to go to Strasbnrg, 
there to a-ttcmhlr the ounman^iirT of troops o^^-**^-^! at that 
pLace,the mayor of the cxt\\and two or three other officers^ and 
tn thexr presence to open the second sealed order which was 
delivered to him. On the peribrmance of this duc>\ he ibund 
it concaiifted an order to take a column of troops which were 
pL^Ded at hcs <ifcspMiqI, to cross the Rhiike, and enter upon the 
tcrrtCoo' %x dk: Gr;u>i Duke of R^ien ^ to seicc the person of 
the Dc^ke vf Frfc^yg^ wbo resided there m the country at a 
ho«Ksc of his OVI1X. ojfii trsjkspoct hun to the prison of V 
mar Ptirjs. He was %\:r>- ai;iich «i:r>trv:s2bevi ^ hi^iife 
cv.xr3z:x:£kca iazr'.ssscii ro him, h^x be execurevi it : and '^ was ibr 
TOiif serrice tiiC !fce was rewaroed with his Duchy, kis en^assy 
bKre. .&a»i jc^er reward aai hooors. Tbe E>uke %rEn§hjien was 
re<scm^ iZ tsar p^ice wxh tinke knc viedge and cocbsent of BocKa* 
aurte. He ased evea occa^iiocxally to go to Scrasburg to the 
pLiy. wic^ the ccasenc oc Boctapute; who had been asked 
ivoicdxer he h^ oixy v^Cfcxinca tij x. xad hi«i oikioe cbooe. Tbe 
Puke hiiii accce :c ±je j^crj^bdi ::•£ the Frrxach troocK. iad wxs 
aji^'-rsei tv zLiii h-:i cijcactr- as Jt w:is su^pcte>evf th»iy cccJvi ai%^ 
a>^ ccher jciect ^.in zz riJci z.'z: : bcit he haid niiuseii ca the 
LOcx th^iit X TTis :i:ic«:;iSii:i.e titers cjwi be iity oes;^ to ieLse 
juiDL He wa:5 camcc t- the rr^sca wC V'^y^-y ** "?«* <. ir»i. withctst 
joy irmai.':ry z£ rriotss. iii»:c iZ nr^ j oj<:k the sext ssoraja^. 
XSie e3aaiiiiiic:»-a 2au ^z.zrrz\^i£:»zc2t -wh^ch -w^n: piJbi-ihevi the 
msssi 3zcr3iiz^ sl tJie 1£ :iiirii!ir -v^zrt ihecr SLbc^ciLticcs — ac trail 
au Jioerrc§ac::rT ^rts z^ixi : anii the per^sccss -whose -r-x-w**^ 
sigsisd tc Tie'W^ ie'jx^rn g^ /iiiicial vioo-^rsests nev e r saw 
wad tttcy izami dieoL jl ioc 3e'*!xai^3er:i. Pie Duke was 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 165 

shot at two o'clock in the morning, and buried in a ditch which 
surrounds the prison. 

There was another mysterious transaction, of which the re- 
membrance had been just renewed at Paris. About three years 
ago, a Monsieur de Segur, son of him who is now Grand Master 
of the Ceremonies, and who was Sub-Prefect of Soissons, sud- 
denly disappeared, and nobody knew what had become of him. 
A few days before he had said, in a company where M. de Cau- 
laincourt was speaking of his having been present at the passage 
of several rivers, '* But, sir, you say nothing about the passage 
of the Rhine'' It was rumored that as a quarrel had ensued 
and violent words passed upon this speech, Segur had been 
challenged, and assassinated in the Bois de Boulogne. But 
now, all of a sudden, immediately after the disgrace of Fouche, 
the Minister of Police, young Segur has 'appeared again, safe 
and unhurt. The conjecture is that Fouche had him seized 
and confined in some prison, and that by the change of parties 
at Paris he has obtained his libcnition. 

Mr. Montreal promised mc a copy of the official notes between 
the French and Russian Governments on this affair of the Duke 
d'Enghien, and observed what a refinement of assumption it was 
to send Caulaincourt as Ambassador after what had taken place.' 

■ So strong was the feeling among the Russian nobility against Caulaincourt on 
account of the 6rst of these stories, that he found himself Under a necessity to 
submit to the Emperor's examination his version of the facts, together with the 
proofs to sustain it. This step proved so effective that Alexander was prompted 
to write with his own hand a letter strongly exonernting him from blame, to the 
publication of which he afterwards consented. Ft-oni that date Caulaincourt was 
established as a favorite in St. Petersburg society, until a change in the views of 
Napoleon rendered it expedient to have a less friendly representative at that Court. 
There can be no doubt that had his counsels prevailed, the madness of the Russian 
war would not have followed. 

After the fall of Napoleon the charges of participation in the affair of the Duke 
d'Enghien were revived, and they cast a shadow over him, deepening to his very 
last day. He persisted in denying their justice, even to the date of the execution of 
his will, in which he inserted a solemn adjuration of his innocence. Napoleon, the 
real author of the crime, when far removed from all motive to misrepresent, is 
recorded as having generally testified to his honor and his integrity, but not in any 
connection with that action. On the other hand, it appears clearly proved that 
orders were given to him both verbally and in writing by Napoleon himself to 
take not the first, but a secondary, i>art in the arrest. He was charged with the 



l66 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

As Montreal went out, Mr. Harris came in, and was, a few 
minutes after, followed by the French Ambassador, with whom 
I wished to have some conversation, and could but partly 
accomplish my object. 

I dined with a company of about sixty persons at Count 
RomanzofTs — principally the same company and on the same 

occasion as the dinner of the tenth at the French Ambassador's 

< 

— that is, the Emperor's name-day. The Chevalier Navarro in- 
troduced me to Baron Campenhausen, the Treasurer General of 
the Empire, whom I had not known before. I spoke to him 
of the vessels and cargoes of Americans in difficulty at Arch- 
angel. He professed to be very much concerned at these oc- 
currences, and reprobated in the severest terms the conduct of 
the Commission for Neutral Navigation there; which he told 
me he would entirely organize over anew. But these new 
organizations produce many more difficulties than they remove. 
I also spoke to. him respecting the vessels which have arrived 
at Riga, about which he desired me to write to him, so that he 
might state the case for the consideration of the Emperor. I 
spoke upon all these subjects also to Monsieur de Gourieff, 
next to whom I sat at table; and I asked the French Ambassa- 
dor to have some further conversation with him, owing to the 
interruption which prevented me from having it so freely as I 
had wished this morning. He asked me to come and dine with 
him on the Peterhof Road to-morrow. I also told Baron Blome, 
the Danish Minister, that I wished to converse with him con- 
cerning the captures of the American vessels lately carried into 

duty of sending troops to masque the town of Oflfemburg, as well as notifying the 
Grand Duke of Baden of the act committed within his territories, immediately after 
it should have been executed by General Ordener. The fact of his presence at 
Strasburg when the Duke was brought there a prisoner is likewise admitted by 
himself. Had he objected to the service, it is not likely that a man like Napoleon 
would have overlooked such a breach of discipline, or would have advanced him 
afterwards, as he did, to higher posts of responsibility. Hence it seems fair to 
infer tliat he did whatever was required of him. M. Thiers in his history repre- 
sents him as deeply grieved by even the secondary part allotted to him in this 
extraordinary drama, at the same time that he entertained not the slightest suspi- 
cion of any intention of Napoleon to terminate it with so horrible a catastrophe. 
This is perhaps the most reasonable solution of the mystery attending his agency 
in the nefarious transaction. 



I8IO.J THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 167 

Norway. He told me he would call upon me to-morrow or on 
Saturday. 

13th. About four o'clock I went out to the French Ambas- 
sador's country-house, on the Peterhof Road, and dined with 
him. There were only his own family, Mr. Lesseps, and three 
or four Russian officers there. Before dinner I expressed to him 
my surprise at the measures of France towards the United States. 
The repeal of the decrees of Berlin and Milan removed the most 
important causes of our complaints, excepting the late seizures 
and sequestrations, which I understood were reserved for further 
negotiation. But at the same time, here were orders to exclude 
us from the ports of Prussia, of Holstein and Mecklenburg, and 
other indications which seemed altogether incompatible with 
the spirit of conciliation manifested by the other measure. 

He said the only way he could account for them was that 
they had been of prior date. But, he said, these were subjects 
upon which his Government said nothing t9 him. The only 
time they had spoken to him of our affairs was on what he had 
mentioned to me relative to General Armstrong, and on which 
he had requested me to write to my Government. 

I told him that I should certainly write to my Government 
whatever I could think would have a tendency to reconcile the 
interests and policy of our two countries; that he would be 
sensible that my situation in relation to General Armstrong 
rendered me the last person who in delicacy or propriety ought 
to be the medium of indefinite complaints against him to his 
own Government ; but that if, owing to any inconveniences of 
communication arising from the state of things there, his Gov- 
ernment thought proper to make any informal and inofficial 
observations which they were desirous * of transmitting to the 
United States, and would commit them to him, and he to me, I 
should take great pleasure in giving every aid in my power to 
every purpose calculated to restore harmony and good under- 
standing between the parties — a circumstance which might 
perhaps occur if General Armstrong should leave France, as I 
heard was still his intention. 

I told him the French Government appeared to me still^too 
much addicted to that repulsive policy which the Prince of 



/ 



l68 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QVINCY ADAMS. [September, 

Benevento had justly assigned as the cause which, under the 
former monarchy, had occasioned the loss of almost all the 
influence in the United States that France had acquired during 
the war of the American Revolution; that the influence of 
France might be great if she pleased, but that as England by 
her conduct seemed determined to reconcile us with France, so 
France by hers was rendering the same service to luigland. 

[e told me he would write the substance of my observations 
to his Government ; that as to the complaint against General 
Amstrong, he did not understand it to be a thing which would 
injure his credit at home; but it was only said that he scarcely 
ever saw the Minister; that he never went to Court, and that 
whenever anything was to be done, he was presenting testy 
notes, which made written answers of the same sort indispensa- 
ble, and which widened matters, when by verbal explanations 
they might be conciliated. 

So I now see the whole front of Armstrong's offence is 
omitting to go to Court, and presenting notes too full of truth 
and energy for the. taste of the Emperor Napoleon. I had 
already mentioned to the Ambassador yesterday, and rei)eated 
to him this day, the articles in the French official gazettes con- 
taining misrepresentations in matters of fact, which produced 
injurious effects even here, to our commerce; instancing par- 
ticularly that the French Consuls in America had ceased to 
deliver certificates of origin. 

14th. I went according to appointment at eleven o'clock to 
Count Romanzoff^s, and had some further conversation with 
him. I told him that, although the decision of the Emperor 
upon all the cases concerning which Mr. Harris or myself had 
made representations was favorable, I was continually receiving 
new and more heavy complaints ; that since the arrival of the 
revisor, who had been sent to adjust all the difficulties, they 
had been multiplied fourfold ; and that in some instances there 
were now complaints of personal ill treatment. 

The Count said he hoped that henceforth there would be no 
more occasion for any complaints, and read me a letter which 
he had this morning received from Baron Campenhauscn, in 
answer to what he had written to him immediately after my last 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. iQg 

conference with him. This letter contained in substance the 
same thing which Baron Campenhausen had assured me of in 
his verbal message to me : that he had given the most precise 
and positive orders to the Comnlission of Neutral Navigation 
at Archangel to expedite as soon as possible the business of 
the American vessels ; that he regretted exceedingly the delays 
which had been occasioned by the neglect or misconduct of 
the Commission, and that he had thought it his duty severely 
to reprimand them for it. 

I then mentioned to the Count the case of the vessels which 
have arrived at Riga, after finding themselves excluded from 
the ports of Prussia and of Holstein, and which, not having 
been originally destined to Russian ports, did not possess cer- 
tificates from the Russian Consuls, as in ordinary cases was 
required. 

He desired me to write him a note on this subject, which he 
would immediately recommend to the Minister of Commerce. 
He asked me whether I had heard a report that the British 
fleet intended an attack upon Carlscrona, to take away the 
Swedish fleet that is there. I had; but I did not believe it. 
He said the King of England had never acknowledged the 
present King of Sweden, and now that a French general was 
called as the successor to the throne, they would probably be 
still more exasperated in England against Sweden. 

I told him that I understood that Carlscrona was too strongly 
fortified to be exposed to such an attack. The Danes, he said, 
were also apprehensive of an attack on Christiansand, and had 
lost some gun-boats at Bergen, in Norway. I said it was impos- 
sible to feel much for them ; they were inflicting all the injury 
they could upon our trade, and were obstructing particularly 
the trade with this country; that of the forty-seven vessels they 
had lately taken into Christiansand, seventeen or eighteen were 
Americans, eight of them had sailed loaded from Cronstadt, 
and I knew them to be perfectly neutral property. 

The Count said that they treated them exactly in the same 
manner, and the only way in which he could account for it was 
to attribute it to want. They were so poor, and had now so 
scanty means of subsistence, that they could not subsist with- 



170 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

out plunder. He asked me what I thought would be the result 
of the late measures in France. I answered that as they were 
conditional^ to depend upon corresponding measures on the part 
of England, it was yet ver/ doubtful to me what the result 
would be. Although England had repeatedly promised to 
revoke her Orders in Council if France would repeal these de- 
crees, yet as the whole advantage of the system on both sides 
had accrued to her, I was apprehensive she would not keep her 
word. She would cling as long as possible to the continuance 
of the system. 

He asked me whether General Armstrong was still at Paris. 
I said he was. He observed that while he himself was at Paris 
General Armstrong once appeared at Court, which was much 
remarked, as it was said he was not in the habit of attending 
there at all. That the Emperor then spoke to him. This was 
the Court of which the General gave an account in his dispatch 
which I remember to have read while I was in the Senate of 
the United States. 

2 1st. I went this morning with the ladies and Mr. Harris 
to the Academy of Arts, which is now open, and where there 
is an exhibition of pictures. There is a very great collection of 
copies in plaster, from the famous antique statues — but most 
of them indifferently executed. The equestrian statue of Balbus, 
and those of Marius in the curule chair, and Agrippina, also 
seated in a chair, appeared to me the best. The knife-whetter 
is far inferior to that in Count Strogonoff's garden. The 
pictures in the collection are of various merit; as are those 
in the exhibition. The portraits of Prince Bagration, of Count 
de Maistre, and of Count John Potoqki, are very good. Some 
landscapes, sea-pieces, and historical subjects are good — many 
very indifferent. There is a model of St. Peter's Church at 
Rome, which takes one large room. The model of the ma- 
chinery by which the rock of Peter's statue was brought to 
the city is also kept here. The portraits of all the Directors of 
the Academy are bad pictures, and no likenesses. We saw 
drawings in black pencil dated 29th June, 1796, by Alexander, 
then Grand Duke, and now Emperor ; and by his sisters Mary 
and Helen. They were heads copied from the common studies 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 171 

of scholars. There was one also done by the Emperor Paul. 
There was a great collection of prints, generally very bad ; and 
many models of buildings and ancient ruins, in cork>wood. 
Among the rest was the model of the new Church of Our Lady 
of Kazan, in this city, one of the most magnificent churches 
in the world. And the model showed the manner in which the 
arch between the body of the church and the colonnade is 
supported, — ^by a stone hewn in conical form inverted. Mr. 
Thomond, a Frenchman, employed as a sub-director, accom- 
panied us a part of the time, and Mr. de Torcy, also a French- 
man in the service, during the remainder. The building itself is 
the most remarkable curiosity. It forms a hollow square, each 
side of which is feet. The internal court is a small rotunda. 
The architecture is magnificent, and the front, one of the finest 
I ever saw. But the sides being unplastered, give it altogether 
an incongruous appearance. It is said to have cost three hun- 
dred and fifty thousand roubles, and is yet unfinished. I went 
afterwards with Mr. Harris to see the new Exchange, which is 
likewise unfinished. Mr. Thomond is the architect of this build- 
ing, which is remarkable principally for its simplicity. 

24th. With the ladies I went to see the palace and gardens 
at Pctcrhof, twenty-six wersts from the city, and twenty-nine 
from our house in the city. We went in a coach, with our own 
four horses, and two others. Mr. J. S. Smith and Mr. Jones 
met us there. They went in a chariot-and-four. We were pre- 
cisely two hours in going from our own house to the gate of 
the palace at Peterhof The distance is between nineteen and 
twenty miles, which we went without stopping once, either to 
rest or water the horses. Such is the common practice here ; 
and their small, mean-looking horses appear not to suffer from 
it at all. We were upward of three hours in going over the 
palace, its various outhouses, which are seven or eight, and 
the gardens. The palace is an image of magnificence in a 
late, almost the last, stage of decay. Faded hangings of rich 
damask, once-gilded wainscoting and doors, carved work of great 
cost but extinguished fashions; Chinese lackering and pictures 
perished upon the canvas, from the damps of uninhabited apart- 
ments, constitute the whole furniture of the buildings. One of 



172 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 

the out-buildings is appropriated for baths ; and there are ail 
the conveniences for common water-baths, shower-baths, and 
Russian steam-baths. We were told they were sometimes 
used by Maria Fedorowna — that is, by the Empress-mother. 
Another is the Empress Elizabeth's kitchen ; for this sovereign 
of the empire prided herself upon her skill in cookery, and 
was used to prepare dinners for select parties in this building. 
The kitchen is much upon the Rumford plan. Catherine the 
Second, who had other tastes besides those of cookery, had 
in these buildings also a hermitage, where a table for twelve 
persons descends and ascends by machinery, so that it may be 
served without the presence of any servants in the apartment 
with the company. 

From this chamber there is a balcony in front, just before a 
large fish-pond full of carp. They come upon the summons of 
a bell rung by one of the servants, and feed upon the crumbs 
of brown bread thrown to them upon the water. And there is 
a balcony in the rear, facing the Gulf of Finland, from which 
there is a full view of Cronstadt. But the principal curiosities 
of the place arc the water-works; all of which were set to 
playing for us to see. There arc a great variety of pipes and 
fountains; some in the form of gilded statues, others of animals 
and fish ; some of urns, some of rolling sheets, and some even 
of plants and trees. The waters are carried to the tops of some 
of the buildings, made to spout from the summit of their domes, 
and roll down, streaming from their roofs. The meanest of all 
the contrivances is a fountain with three leaden ducks pursued 
by a dog, which are movable, and made to imitate the barking 
of a dog and the quack of the ducks. The imitation, besides 
its being ridiculous, is very bad. We had taken a cold colla- 
tion with us, and they lent us a room in one of the external 
buildings connected with the palace, where we took it. 

Once a year, in the summer season, the Emperor usually gives 
a great ball at this palace, to which the public in general are 
admitted. The gardens are all illuminated, and the water-works 
all played by the light of the illuminations. On these occasions 
the foreign Ministers are all accommodated with lodgings at 
these buildings. But this year the usual entertainment, from 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 173 

motives of economy, has been omitted. We quitted Peterhof 
at half-past five o'clock in the afternoon, and reached home pre- 
cisely a quarter before eight. We stopped about ten minutes 
at the garden of the Grand Chamberlain Narishkin, to look at 
a white marble statue representing the Rape of Proserpine, for 
which he is said to have given ten thousand roubles, and which 
is very well executed. There are on the road to Peterhof a 
great number ^f country-seats, inhabited during summer by 
the nobility and the principal merchants. Strelna, the summer 
residence of Czarowitz Constantine, is of the number, and at 
the fifteenth werst there is a monastery founded by one of the 
Counts Zuboff. 

26tli. 1 have made it a practice for several years to read the 
Bible through in the course of every year. I usually devote 
to this reading the first hour after I rise every morning. As, 
including the Apocrypha, it contains about fourteen hundred 
chapters, and as I meet with occasional interruptions, when this 
reading is for single days, and sometimes for weeks, or even 
months, suspended, my rule is to read five chapters each morn- 
ing, which leaves an allowance for about one-fourth of the time 
for such interruptions. Extraordinary pressure of business 
seldom interrupts more than one day's reading at a time. Sick- 
ness has frequently occasioned longer suspensions, and travelling 
still more and longer. During the present year, having lost 
very few days, I have finished the perusal earlier than usual. I 
closed the book yesterday. As I do not wish to suspend the 
habit of allowing regularly this time to this purpose, I have this 
morning commenced it anew, and for the sake of endeavoring 
to understand the book better, as well as giving some variety 
to the study, I have begun this time with Ostervald's French 
translation, which has the advantage of a few short reflections 
upon each chapter. I ought perhaps to be ashamed at having 
read this book through so many times, and at possessing its 
contents so little as I do. The regular and methodical manner 
of reading is not without defects. This division, by a certain 
number of chapters, is arbitrary and artificial. The appropria- 
tion of a certain hour inevitably devotes times when occa- 
sionally the attention is absorbed by objects, passions, interests, 



174 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 

feelings, which the affairs of life bring up as it runs, and when 
the mind cannot command its application. The Bible is in 
many of its parts, as St. Peter says of his brother Paul's Epis- 
tles, hard to be understood. It presents difficulties of various 
kinds. The help of commentators I have scarcely ever had at 
hand, and if I had, could not use without devoting several hours 
of every day, instead of one, to this object. It has long been one 
of the numerous resolutions which I take and do not fulfil, to 
undertake this at some indefinite time ; but I am always making 
to myself excuses for postponing it to some future day. Imper- 
fect as my method is, I regret none of the time thus bestowed. 
At every perusal I do add something to my knowledge of the 
Scriptures, something to my veneration for them, and, I would 
hope, something to the improvement which ought to result from 
this occupation, and which is the great motive to it 

27th. At noon I attended, with Mr. W. S. Smith, at the palace, 
conformably to the official notice. I had been desired to attend 
earlier than usual, as the notice was both for a Court and a Te 
Deum. We went, therefore, precisely at twelve, the hour ap- 
pointed, but found there was no Court to be held, and the Te 
Deum did not commence until near two. There was a mass per- 
formed immediately before the Te Deum, at which the Corps Di- 
plomatique did not attend. We were introduced just as the Te 
Deum commenced. The imperial family were there as usual, 
excepting the Grand Duchess Ann. Mr. Rosenzweig, the Charge 
des AfTaires from Saxony, told me that General Watzdorf, the 
new Minister from his Court, arrived last evening. I had some 
conversation with the French Ambassador, from which I un- 
derstood that he has received new instructions relative to the 
commerce in what are called colonial articles. I thanked him 
for the loan of the Moniteurs, and for the return of the English 
papers which he had lent me. I mentioned to him that I had 
observed with pleasure the attendance of General Armstrong 
at Court on the Emperor Napoleon's birthday, considering it 
as an indication that our relations were becoming again more 
favorable in their aspect there. He said he had again received 
assurances that the dispositions of his Government were entirely 
friendly towards the United States. ' I said then that they should 



i8io.] THE AflSSION TO RUSSIA. 175 

make a clear and a strong distinction between the English and 
the Americans. That, he said, in relation to commerce, was very 
difficult. I assured him that the only difficulty was in the 
inclination; that if this existed nothing was more easy, as was 
completely proved in this country, where either the Consul or 
myself could and did easily discriminate between those who 
pretended to be Americans and the English, who on false 
pretences gave themselves out as such. I mentioned to him 
the vessels which had been detected as coming with false papers 
by Mr. Harris, and consequently seized and confiscated by this 
Government, and also the persons whom I had detected myself. 
I told him that only two days ago the Minister of Police had 
sent me two sailors who pretended to be Americans, but whom 
upon five minutes' conversation I found not to be such, and 
whom therefore I sent back to him. I enumerated 'the par- 
ticulars by which we were enabled to make this discrimination 
— the different pronunciation of the language — the personal 
acquaintance we have with many of the merchants who trade 
here — and the secret marks of the papers. • If France was 
making war against the English, there was no real difficulty in 
distinguishing between them and the Americans; but if she was 
making war against certain articles of merchandise, to be sure 
discrimination would be of no avail. 

He told me that, to be candid, there was a pretty strong 
sentiment against the colonial trade at Paris, because they 
considered it as all English. For, says he, you, for instance, 
raise no sugar. I told him that he was much mistaken ; that 
a great deal of sugar was raised in the United States, and par- 
ticularly in the country ceded to us by France — Louisiana. 
But cotton — indigo — we were perhaps the greatest raisers of 
these articles in the work! — they were among our most valu-" 
able staple articles. Besides, there were the Spanish Islands — 
South America. These were not English, aiid the Emperor 
Napoleon could not consider them as such ; for he had more 
than once officially declared his friendship to them, and his 
willingness for their independence. 

With regard to that, he said, he could not give an opinion. 
But as to the certificates of origin said to be given by French 



176 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS, [September, 

Consuls in America, he was assured that they must be false, as 
the Consuls no longer gave any such certificates. 

I assured him in the most earnest terms that this was a mis- 
take ; that, to my certain knowledge, vessels which had sailed 
from the United States as late as the month of June had brought 
genuine certificates of origin from the French Consuls. I then 
added that if these were tlic sentiments prevailing still with the 
French Government, I could not but lament it ; that as long as 
they prevailed, however strong the friendly dispositions towards 
the United States might be said to be, the course of policy pur- 
sued must be injurious to them in the highest degree. "You 
will do us," said I, " immense injury ; you will oppress the Con- 
tinent of Europe and yourselves with it ; but take my word for 
it, and I pray you three years hence to remember what I say, 
you will do England more good than harm ; you will not cut 
off her communication with the Continent, you will not essen- 
tially distress her commerce, but you will lay the world under 
the most grievous contributions for her benefit and advantage." 

" But," said he, " there is a prodigious accumulation of co- 
lonial articles and of her manufactures on her hands, which she 
cannot dispose of; her bank paper money is depreciating ; her 
merchants and great manufacturers are becoming bankrupts; 
the course of exchange is draining her of metallic specie ; and 
therefore perseverance in this system must eventually compel 
her to come to terms of peace." 

" Why, then," said I, " did she not snatch at the offer which 
you have just made her, of giving up the whole system ? I see 
nothing like her giving up even her Orders in Council. No ; 
she wishes you to adhere to your system, because she knows 
and feels that it turns to her advantage. You speak of the ac- 
cumulation of colonial articles in her warehouses ; and what is 
the accumulation of your wines and brandies, and what was the 
accumulation of grain upon your hands ? It has induced you 
to grant licenses for vessels to go from anywhere to England, 
and to bring back what they please ; only upon the condition 
that they export an equal quantity or value of your productions 
from France." 

He said he was informed that th6 importations were restricted 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 177 

to certain specific articles, and did not include colonial articles 
generally. 

I told him that my information was very different, and it was 
a notorious fact, that immediately on the understanding being 
had that this trade by licenses was to be allowed, the price 
of colonial articles in London had risen ten or twelve per cent 

The Chevalier Brancia told me that he found upon en- 
quiry my information respecting the proposition made in the 
Imperial Council for securing the election of Prince George of 
Oldenburg as the successor to the throne of Sweden by the 
restoration of Finland was correct; and he also told me that 
the late King of Sweden had come to the frontiers of this country, 
and written to the Emperor, requesting permission to embark 
from his dominions and go to England ; that the Emperor had 
sent his aid-de-camp. Count Ozerowsky, to him, but with what 
answer is not known. 

October 8th. On rising this morning, I found the ground and 
the roofs of the houses covered with snow, which had fallen in 
the course of the night. This may be considered as the signal 
for the approach of winter. We have had, since the first of this 
month, our double windows put in. The external windows 
consist of two parts. There are six panes to each window. The 
panes are twenty-five inches long and nineteen inches wide. 
The two uppermost are in a sash and fastened to the walls of 
the house; the other four are in two corresponding door-sashes 
suspended on both sides of the wall, and closing together with 
bolts both upwards and downwards. The double windows are 
of six panes in one sash, of corresponding size with the external 
windows. In most of the chambers one of the windows has 
one of the lower parts in the form of a door, corresponding in 
the external and internal window, and which serves as a ven- 
tilator when occasion requires. Between the two windows a 
trough about an inch deep of sand closes the crack at the 
bottom of the external window. The cracks all round the in- 
ternal window, between it and the wall, are. stuffed with oakum, 
and a paper border is pasted over it. Thus the windows are 
hermetically sealed; and this is the occasion of the equable 
warmth which they so commonly have in this country. 

VOL. II. — 12 




l-g MSJIOIMS OF JOBS QVISCY ADAMS. [Ocuhcr. 

9tli. I ns oocufieA this moming in ton dating an loqieHal 
muuii=so. cooccraing the organization of the Ministiies, from 
the Gcmun, when just at ten o'clock I rcodxied a note from 
Cooni RomuLroff requesting me to call upon him at dc\'«L 
I had iKC time to order breakfast to be immediately prepared 
besoie Mr. Haiiis came in, with O^Nain Bainbndge. Mr. L>-ach. 
ajtd Sir. Le^ia. Cjpoin Bainbridgc has just arn\'cd from 
Amenca. a&er a detientioQ of six weeks at Copenhagen. He 
broughi me a packet of kners frx>m America. Tbej' were from 
my mother and bfother. dated in May — two months earlier than 
d>ci3± ve ha^'c recei\'ed trcaa our friends by Mr. Jones. I had 
sc« lime lo read them before I was obliged to call, acccwding to 
T^^H' s TTp-'^'TTTYrm . upon Count Romamofl! 

I icwd him ihai I had now rccei^vd the dispatches from my 
Gorcmmcaii re^ieaing the propoatioo wfaM^ had been made 
b>' Mr. DasdhkoQ in relation to the trade with the Indians on 
t^ nctfihwcst coatl of America; that I was directed, in the 
bts JTKffanf-f \a declare the sincere and *-^tn/ta desire of the 
trtsadexci ci the Coiled Suies to coacat in any measure which 
nu^hl be uac^ lo iLe Russian dominioos and agreeable to his 
Inqj».Tia3 Majca>' : ihai s-^aae difnculties had occurred to them 
vid: repaid to the nanire of the stipulation which had been sug- 
gesxi. as de^orabie b>~ Mr. Daschkott The people of the United 
Sckics we^e »:< enensnidy engagi^d in commeiciaj iu\-igatiDn 
lo all pL7» ;c the wodd. thai the traihc «-ith the Indians cta the 
i>cc^»'=:a CiJkSL cjMiJJ not be piwenled but by special profailM- 
ZJioti ii i^M — pr^Cu^l)Cdi9 ithich it would seem aJntosl, if not 
jJTi^^ihgr. impgafikab"te to cai7\~ fully into executioa The 
Russiaits were a T^tJuJa sec so much addicied to naA-igaiktn as 
HIT cfiuuUj'iiKs: and y^ the Couni was wcl] aware hew in- 
j«w^.— Ill' zitt prc^i)isicaisi<- send \-e$scls to particular lordgn 
CDmcnes vtrt la pnr*icat there from going there. If sucb was 
the j'T^wr'n-i^-^ £0 iJu£ Oiivcnuoi^i, the dimculncs mus oini- 
OKEh' be Bmcii greaser in pre\-cnting a trade so d:££ani. ik-ith 
VBBidBaBC sssages soixcfed aicog a ooast o^'cr soxral degrees 
MflMiUid^ harjac so poets, do custom-houses, not e>'«£ penna- 
■JlmepVnnfT. from which it would be piossible t^ colled 
anasac^ af My tnaip^ssaoa of the law: that evea we» a 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 179 

convention concluded to prohibit this traffic, the Indians would 
probably still get their supplies — if not from our vessels, yet from 
the English— cither by water or by land, from the British settle- 
ments north of us. And although nothing could be easier than 
to draw an article of a convention to prohibit the trade, it would 
indicate a want of frankness and candor in the United States to 
contract engagements and then find them not executed. For 
though it should arise from a state of things not within their 
control, it would be manifest that such a state of things ought 
to have been considered before the contract was formed. I was, 
however, instructed to enquire, what would be the boundary 
line within which it was the wish of this Government to extend 
the prohibition? — a question which I had already intimated in 
the former conference. 

The Count answered me, that he would render to the Em- 
peror an exact report of the observations I had made to him ; 
that it was an object concerning which they had no great 
solicitude. Their first idea had been that this trade with the 
Indians, especially as to the article of fire-arms, might be as 
detrimental to the United States themselves as to the Russian 
settlement, and more so ; that in that point of view the United 
States might find it expedient to issue the prohibition, provided 
it were compatible with our Constitutions. He did not think it 
possible for these supplies of arms to be furnished to those 
Indians from the British settlements by land. But with regard 
to a mutual stipulation, he candidly confessed there was no 
basis. To engage that the Russians should not thus traffic 
would be nugatory, as no Russian vessels traded there; and 
there was no privilege which could be granted for trade with 
the Russian settlement but what now existed de facto. The 
trade of all nations there was perfectly free. As to the fixing 
a boundary, it would be most advisable to defer that to some 
future time, for the sake of avoiding all possible collision, and 
even every pretext for jealousy or uneasiness. In the present 
state of the world, the first and strongest wish of his heart was 
to bring all the civilized nations to pacific dispositions, and most 
carefully to avoid everything which could strike a new spark of 
discord out among them. At any rate, I might be assured of 



l8o MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October. 

the continuance of the Emperor's amicable dispositions towards 
the United States. They were as strong and fixed as they ever 
had been ; and, he might say, stronger. " Our attachment to 
the Uiiited States/' said he, " is obsthtate — more obstinate than 
you are aware of** 

I replied that I understood the force of the term which he 
had used ; that if there were i)articulars of which I was unin- 
formed, I knew full well, in a general point of view, the attach- 
ment to which he alluded, and that most certainly it should not 
remain unknown to the Government of the United States ; that 
indeed a comparison between the measures not only of France, 
but of all the neighbors of Russia, in the North of Europe, 
Denmark, Prussiti, Sweden, with regard to the commerce of 
the United States, with those of Russia, during the present 
year, would of itself be a strong indication to the Government 
and to the people of the United States of a disposition in 
Russia very different from that which they have experienced 
elsewhere, and it was impossible they could be insensible to it. 
I had learnt, however, from some of my countrymen lately 
arrived here after detention at Copenhagen, that there had been 
some measures of restriction upon the privateers, and some 
others favorable to the Americans, lately adopted by the Danish 
Government. There had obviously been a change also lately 
in the policy of France. The project of cutting off all com- 
merce between the British Islands and the Continent could no 
longer be pursued, since licenses were openly offered for sale 
by authority of the French Government at I lamburg. 

*' But," said the Count, " there is an Embargo. The Govern- 
ment there do not allow the vessels to sail." 

I said that I had private advices that every vessel with a 
French license was understood to be exempted from the opera- 
tion of the Embargo, and might go when and where it 
pleased. 

** But," said he, " there is a new edict of the Emperor Napo- 
leon, forbidding all such vessels from taking any passengers ; 
and in my own opinion there is no real change in the policy of 
F^rance. The Ministers and people about the Emperor prevail 
upon him sometimes to sign edicts and ordinances which they 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. i8i 

think and represent as changes of his policy, but they find 
themselves mistaken. His intentions remain the same. He 
thinks the only means by which he can influence England is 
by distressing the English commerce ; and that is, after all, his 
real object, now as much as ever." 

I said that I believed this opinion correct ; but certainly the 
means to the end were continually changing; and the experi- 
ment upon which he now seemed to rely was to levy upon im- 
portations the most excessive duties — which, if really levied, 
must ultimately fall upon his own people, the consumers. I then 
mentioned the case of the Havanna sugars arrived in American 
vessels at Archangel, and which the revisor at that port and 
Baron Campcnhausen had taken for refined sugars broken up 
and powdered ; on which they had suspected and accused the 
importers of having endeavored to introduce them by fraud, 
and having brought them from England. 

I immediately saw by the manner in which the Count 
talked upon this subject, what I have all along suspected, 
that there is a purpose behind the curtain in this aflair. lie 
first asked me whether I did not think they might possibly 
be refined sugars powdered, and that there had been an attempt 
to introduce them as raw, to evade the payment of the heavier 
duties. 

I said I believed it impossible. These vessels came from the 
United States, with all the regular documents, including certifi- 
cates from the Russian Consuls. I knew some of the merchants 
who had expedited them, and did not believe they would lend 
themselves to such an attempt to defraud the Russian Govern- 
ment. I knew the nature of the Havanna white sugar, and the 
ease with which it might be mistaken for refined loaf sugar 
powdered. But the expense of powdering whole cargoes of 
loaf sugar would be far greater than the saving in the differ- 
ence of the duties. The first cost of loaf sugar to break down 
would be double what these sugars are offered for, and actually 
sold for, in the market here. There was no possibility of profit, 
but the utmost certainty of a heavy loss, in the attempt which 
was suspected. There was, besides, the easiest of all possible 
means to ascertain the fact, by boiling down an equal quantity 



1 82 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [October, 

of refined sugar and of that in question. The result would 
immediately show the difference between them. 

" But," said he, " if there is this similarity between them that 
they are so liable to be mistaken for each other, I should recom- 
mend to the Emperor to prohibit their importation (this is the 
true secret), for at least it opens a door to fraud, and may deprive 
the revenues of the duties on refined sugars. And, indeed, before 
I quitted the Department of Commerce I had similar informa- 
tions reported to me of the importation here at St. Petersburg 
of refined sugars under the name of pmvdered raw** 

I said that if the Emperor should consider the interests of 
his empire as requiring a prohibition that the white Havanna 
sugars should in future be imported into this country, it 
would undoubtedly be a misfortune for us, but the Emperor 
must certainly decide as he thought fit. I could not, however, 
myself conceive a motive for excluding a raw sugar, superior 
in quality more than in price to the others, fit as any others 
for refinement by the manufacturers of the country, and which 
could be mistaken for refined sugar only because until recently 
it had been very little known and imported here; that the 
quantities in which it now came arose, I presumed, from the 
free admission of our vessels, and the great increase of our 
trade with the island of Cuba, under the new government 
which it had assumed. And I had observed that among the 
articles which the new Government of Caraccas had permitted 
to be imported from the United States, Russian manufactures 
were included. I supposed that the Government at the Havanna 
had done the same. I said I was glad of this opportunity of 
conversing with him upon these events, which seemed to me to 
be of transcendent importance, not only to us, but to the general 
politics of Europe. 

I knew this was touching upon a string to which the Count's 
feelings would respond. They did so instantaneously. He 
said that it would have been impossible for himself to express 
more exactly his opinion than I had just done. He asked me 
whether we had, before the Icvte revolutions in the Spanish 
colonies, any commerce with the Havanna, and whether our 
vessels had been admitted there; whether I knew what sort 



l8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 183 

of government they now had there; whether they had sent 
any Ministers or Agents to the United States; and whether I 
thought they would be able, and would adhere to the intention, 
to maintain themselves in a state of independence. 

I told him that our vessels had always been admitted at the 
Havanna; that, like many other of the West India Islands, 
they depended in some measure upon the continent of North 
America for subsistence ; that we had therefore always enjoyed 
a trade with them arising from their necessities ; and it had 
always been very valuable, but undoubtedly the late revolu- 
tions had very much increased it; that I was not accurately 
informed what the nature of their government was, nor whether 
they had Agents or Ministers in the United States. I had 
nothing upon the subject from the Government ; and only saw 
by the newspapers that they had sent Agents to Washington— 
who had not, however, been recognized. As to their maintain- 
ing their independence, that would probably depend upon events 
and arrangements in Europe. If the war should terminate in 
the establishment of a sovereign of the Bonaparte family, or his 

appointment, in Spain, undoubtedly the colonies of that natioix 

would no longer continue in that relation. The sentiment of the 
people, both upon the American continent and in the Spanish 
Islands,Vas so unanimous and so strongly pronounced on this 
point that they could never again be made dependencies upon 
Spain, under that Government, unless by conquest, which Spain 
would not be very able, nor, I believed, France very willing, to 
undertake. The gmpero r ^Na poleon, nearly a year since, had 
declared himself r eady and willi ng to acknowl edge the inde- 
pcndcn ce of the Spanish c olonies, if the people of the "countries 
themselves desired it. That they would desire it, in preference to 
dependence on his Spanish monarchy, was beyond all question ; 
and it seemed to me a thing altogether conformable to the interest 
of all the European Continental powers. The only obstacle of 
serious import that I could foresee to this result would come 
from England. She could not help perceiving that it must give 
the death-blow to the old colonial. s ystem of Europe, which wa s 
founded upon th e coiitracte sLancLdgspig able basis of mon opoly 
between the-'colony and its European master. If once the 



l84 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS, [October, 

Spanish and Portuguese colonies on the American continent, 
and all the considerable islands in their neighborhood, acquire 
independence, and, of course, the enjoyment of a free trade with 
all the world, England will make but a sorry figure with her 
exclusion of all trade but her own with her petty islands of 
Barbadoes and Jamaica. There was, it seemed to me, some 
evidence of the jealousy with which England had witnessed the 
late manifestations of independence in the Spanish colonies. I 
observed that the Junta at Cadiz had issued a proclamation 
against them, with a declaration that they had ordered a naval 
force to be stationed so as to blockade them. Now, as to a 
blockade by the naval forces of the Junta at Cadiz, it would be 
only matter of ridicule if it referred for execution only to their 
own. But I concluded that in publishing this paper they were 
assured of the co-operation of British naval forces for their 
blockades, and I strongly suspect that it was under British insti- 
gation that they issued the manifesto. If such be the case, it 
most clearly demonstrates in what light the English Government 
considers these events. But whatever Britain might think, or 
wish, this course of events is too mighty for her control. Can 
she recover Spain for Ferdinand the Seventh, and Portugal for 
the Prince of Brazil ? 

"As to Ferdinand the Seventh," said the Count, " I consider the 
use of his name, in the present stage of affairs, as absurd, and 
becoming ridiculous. A prince in a foreign country — a prisoner 
in the possession of another sovereign — without a prospect of 
ever being restored — it is impossible that the American colonies 
should remain even nominally under his government." 

" Then," said I, without hesitation, *' I do give it as my 
opinion that the Spanish colonies will be either independent, or 
at least have an existence totally different from that which they 
have had from the discovery of Columbus to these times. If 
France and the EurojK^an Continental powers choose, it will be 
independence. As to Brazil, its independence is already de- 
clared. The removal of the royal family of Portugal was, in the 
result, nothing more nor less than a declaration of independence 
for the Portuguese colonies in America. Accordingly, England 
has just been making a treaty of commerce with the Prince 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 185 

Regent ; and I doubt not he will find it for his interest to make 
another treaty with the United States, and with any other 
European power, as well as with England/' 

The Count enquired whether we had a Minister there. 

I told him of Mr. Sumter's appointment, and that the news- 
papers mentioned his arrival at Rio Janeiro ; of which, however, 
I had no official advice. 

By this time Mr. Navarro was announced as being in the ante- 
chamber waiting ; and I rose to take my leave. The Count, with 
much earnestness, expressed his regret at being interrupted in 
this conversation, and again assured me, with great apparent 
satisfaction, of his most entire and perfect coincidence of opinion 
with me on this subject. 

Before leaving him, I mentioned to him Mr. Jones's desire to 
be presented at Court to the Emperor. I told him Mr. Jones 
had been a fellow-traveller with Mr. Poinsett, who had given 
him such a favorable idea of Russia that he had come, as a 
traveller, to visit the country. The Count enquired what was 
Mr. Jones's condition in life, adding, however, an apology for 
the question, and intimating that he did not wish me to be very 
particular in the answer. I told him that Mr. Jones was a young 
gentleman, of a respectable family, who had no particular pro- 
fession ; his father was wealthy, and he was now travelling for 
his own pleasure and improvement. He asked me what was his 
father's occupation, and I told him he was a merchant. The 
Count asked me to give him the gentleman's name, which I did; 
and he said he would take the Emperor's orders concerning it. 
The Emperor returns this day to the Winter Palace from his 
summer residence at Kammenoi-ostrow. 

loth. I was employed almost the whole of this day in writing 
down the account of my interview with Count Romanzoff. My 
custom of thus recording, as nearly as my recollection will serve, 
everything that is said in these conferences, I believe to be a 
very good one ; but in a very active negotiation it would be 
impracticable. It would be prodigiously facilitated if I were 
master of short-hand writing. I lament that I did not learn 
this effectually in my youth. It is now too late. 

I I th. As I was walking on the Mall in front of the Admiralty, 



« 



l86 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

I met the Emperor, who stopped and spoke to me. He said the 
autuipn had been finer than the summer. " But as to summer/' 
said he, '' we have had none. You must have a terrible opinion 
of our climate." 

I said that as long as one enjoyed good health all climates 
might be rendered agreeable. 

You have a countryman arrived, I hear," said his Majesty. 
Yes, Sire." " Mr. Jones," said he ; " an acquaintance, I am 
told, of Mr. Poinsett's." " Yes, Sire; Mr. Poinsett carried home 
with him such agreeable ideas of his visit to Russia, that he 
inspired Mr. Jones with the desire of visiting the same country." 
" And where did Mr. Jones see Mr. Poinsett ?" " They returned 
in company together from Europe to America." " What ! has 
Mr. Jones been in Europe before ?" " Yes, Sire; he has travelled 
in France, Italy, and England." " What ! and returned to 
Europe again? Perhaps upon his private business?" "Sire, 
he is a young man of fortune, who travels for his pleasure and 
to acquire instruction. After having been once in Europe, and 
returned home, the taste for travelling was not satiated, and he 
has come a second time." " He must then have a strong taste 
for it indeed ; for such a voyage as that is not like crossing the 
Neva." " My countrymen, Sire, are so familiarized with the ocean 
that they think not much more of crossing it than of going over 
a river." I enquired how his Majesty had enjoyed his health. 
" Perfectly well," said he, and added, with a significant smile, 
" Ce ne sera pas le physique qui me tuera — ce sera le moral."' 
Upon which we parted. I collected from his last words that 
there were subjects under his consideration which gave him 
some concern. 

1 2th. About ten o'clock this morning, as I was preparing a 
letter to send by Mr. Donovan, came the messenger from the 
Grand-maitre des Ceremonies to inform me that two ships 
would be launched at the Admiralty. The hour fixed for this 
was half-past twelve at noon, but it would probably be about 
one ; and the members of the Corps Diplomatique were invited 
to attend if they pleased. Feeling uncertain where to go and 

' This turned out a prophecy. lie died in the Crimea, at the early age of forty- 
eight, from depression of spirits aggravating the malady which there overtook him. 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 187 

how to proceed, in order to be in the rule of etiquette, I called 
upon Mr. Navarro, who had been at similar ceremonies before. 
He told me that, being not very well, he did not intend to go ; 
but that in proceeding to the Admiralty I should find there 
some of the officers of the Department of Ceremonies, who 
would show me where the Corps Diplomatique were stationed. 
Navarro then told me what his errand was the other day when 
I met him at Count RomanzofTs. It was to announce the 
appointment of a Minister from the Prince Regent of Brazil to 
this Court, a Monsieur de Bezzarra; and he showed me the 
answer which he had just received from Count Romanzoff to 
this communication. It expressed the Emperor's great satis- 
faction at receiving this information, and his determination to 
appoint a Minister to the Prince Regent in return. This led us 
into some conversation, and I expressed to Mr. Navarro very 
sincerely my regret that this event would hasten his departure. 
I was first acquainted with him as the Secretary of the Viscount 
d'Amadia, at Berlin. I have seen much more of him here, and 
found in him a worthy and honorable man. Having been here 
near six or seven years, he is well acquainted with the country; 
and I have often obtained from him just information of current 
events. 

I was obliged to leave him and dress for the launching. 
Went with Mr. W. S. Smith, just at one o'clock. We were 
within one minute of being too late. The Emperor and his 
Court were already there. We had barely got inside of the 
Admiralty yard when the posts under the first ship, the Three 
Saints, were knocked away, and she descended majestically 
upon the bosom of the flood. I found neither messenger from 
the Department of the Ceremonies nor Corps Diplomatique. 
But I came to the platform where the Emperor and Empress 
were standing, and saw the second ship, St. Eustaphie, rush 
down upon the river as advantageously as it could be seen any- 
where. They were both seventy-four-gun ships, and very finely 
built. The whole ceremony was over within a quarter of an 
hour after I arrived. The concourse of people was very great. 
As I was coming out, I met the Grand Master of Ceremonies, 
Narishkin, who apologized for the lateness of his notice, and 



1 88 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

said he knew nothing of it himself until last night at midnight. 
I came home, undressed, and walked on the quay below the 
bridge, to see the two ships as they anchored in the river. The 
bridge had been taken away to let them pass. 

26th. The Empress-mother's birthday. I had yesterday 
received notice that there would be this day; at twelve o'clock, 
a Court at the Winter Palace, and at the same time three tickets 
for the play at the Hermitage in the evening — one for myself, 
one for Mrs. Adams, and one for Catherine Johnson. At noon 
I went with Mr. Jones to the palace. While wc were waiting 
in the Salle dcs Ambassadcurs until the mass should be fin- 
ished, I was enquiring of M. de Maisonneuve respecting the 
presentation of Mr. Jones to the Grand Dukes and Grand 
Duchess Ann after the cercle, when I found that the Grand 
Duchess Catherine would also receive presentations. I there- 
fore requested to be presented to her myself; and the same 
favor for all the gentlemen of the Legation. The cercle was 
held between one and two o'clock, and all the imperial family, 
excepting the Grand Duchess Catherine, were present. Mr. 
Jones was presented, as was a Count Fagnani, a Chamberlain 
of the Emperor Napoleon as King of Italy. After the cercle 
we waited about three-quarters of an hour, until the gentlemen, 
together with General Watzdorf, the Saxon Minister, and Count 
Liixbourg, as Bavarian Charge des Affaires, had been presented 
to the young Grand Dukes and the Grand Duchess Ann ; after 
which they returned, and we were all presented to the Grand 
Duchess Catherine and her husband. Prince George of Hol- 
stein-Oldenburg, at their apartments. General Watzdorf and 
I were presented separately, and the rest of the gentlemen all 
together. The Grand Duchess spoke of Mr. Smith and Mr. 
Poinsett, and asked some questions about America — whether I 
had lately heard from there, and how long it took for vessels 
to come. The Duke also, who stood by her side, made some 
observation, which I scarcely remember. She is about the 
middle size, with a beautiful countenance, expressive eyes, and 
a fascinating smile. 

It was nearly four o'clock when we returned from the palace ; 
and at half-past six, immediately after dinner, we went there 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, igp 

again. About seven we went into the theatre at the Hermitage. 
The Emperor and imperial family came about eight. They sat 
in a row of chairs immediately behind the orchestra. The 
French Ambassador sat in the same h'ne, the last person at 
the right hand of the Kmpcror, and next to the Grand Duke 
Michael. The great Crown officers, with Count Stedingk 
and Count St. Julien, sat in chairs, and on the lowest range 
of benches forming the amphitheatre for the spectators ; for 
there are no boxes. The Ministers of the Corps Diplomatique 
sat on the right-hand second row, and all the others were filled 
with the nobility of the country — the men on the left side and 
the women on the right. The French opera of Cendrillon was 
performed, for the first time — the music, partly of Nicolo, the 
original composer, and partly of Steybelt, set here. The play 
is splendid, the music agreeable, and the ballets as usual. 
Duport danced very well. Two of the songs were encored, by 
a signal from the Grand Chancellor, by the Emperor's order. 
About eleven at night the opera was over, and we travelled over 
the palace to view from the Emperor's apartments the fireworks. 
Those upon the water did not well succeed, owing probably to 
the high wind that blew. There was a blue palace of lamps 
beyond the river, very well executed ; and the bouquet or wheat- 
sheaf of rockets, with which it concluded, was handspme. About 
half-past twelve at night it was all finished, and we returned 
home. M. de Maisonncuve again repeated to me that the 
Emperor himself had written the name of Miss Johnson as one 
of the persons to whom tickets for the Hermitage should be 
sent, and that it was a very extraordinary mark of distinction. 
M. de Maisonneuve was very attentive in accompanying the 
ladies, after the play, until we left the palace to come home. 

Nm^cmbcr 1 3th. At one o'clock I went again with the ladies 
to the palace of Annitschkoff, where we found the Grand 
Master of the Ceremonies, Narishkin, Count Bussche, and 
General Watzdorf I went all over the palace the second time, 
from the chapel to the steam- and water-baths under the ground 
floor, which is appropriated for the infant Prince and his nurses 
and attendants. The steam- and water-baths here, as elsewhere, 
are in different apartments. The bathing-tub is of tin, and fitted 



190 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [November, 

into the floor in the middle of the room. Over it is a vessel 
with holes like a cullender, from which the shower-bath is 
poured when they choose it. The chapel is not yet consecrated ; 
for which reason the ladies were permitted to go into the 
sanctuary. I remarked nothing on this visit but what I had 
seen before. The music-room is circular, and not large. The 
Prince's cabinet is elegant, but without magnificence. There 
are no carpets on the floors ; but a very beautiful parquet. In 
the library there is a looking-glass of one plate seven arsheens 
(sixteen feet four inches) high and three arsheens (seven feet) 
wide — a very magnificent thing, but out of its place. The bed- 
chamber is hung round with loose hangings of dark-green 
velvet; the bed in the centre of the room, between the two 
doors ; the curtains sloping from the head to the foot of the 
bed. Among the time-pieces, of which there is one in almost 
every room, that which pleased me most was a bronze figure 
of a Venus with a little Cupid bursting from an egg-shell which 
she holds in her hands. There is on the sofas and chairs too 
much gilding for my taste. The porcelain is not very beautiful, 
and there is not much of it. The Siberian vase of agate is very 
large, and was very much admired. After going over the palace 
I walked to the foundry, and in returning upon the quay of 
the Neva met the Emperor, first on horseback, and the second 
time walking, i He then stopped and spoke to me about the 
weather and the appearance of the river. He asked me what 
was my habitual walk. I told him commonly to the foundry. 
He asked where I lived. I told him in the new street, in a 
corner house, partly fronting on the Moika — the apartments 
where the Count Einsiedel had lived. He knew it by this de- 
scription, and said the situation of the house was not good ; on 
account of walking. I said its situation was not remarkably 
advantageous, but that the walks in every part of the city were 
so convenient that it rendered the situation of a house almost 
immaterial. And pointing to the quay on which we stood, I 
said it was one of the finest works ever made by men's hands. 
He said they had a great advantage in possessing so much of 
the material, the granite rock, of which in Finland there were 
immense masses; that the rock on which the statue of Peter 



L 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO KUSSIA. igi 

the First was placed was one of the smallest of those rocks 
which could have been found ; that it formed blocks of whole 
mountains, and that there were places where it was to be seen 
at once in both the stages of its first formation and of its last 
decay. I told him that I was acquainted with this rock, and 
that my own country produced it in great plenty ; that it was 
considered as hardening and becoming more solid by being 
exposed to the air. He said it did for a certain period of time, 
after which it decayed and crumbled into dust. But he added 
that it would last a long time, and then, looking at the wall 
bordering the quay, observed, with a smile, " There is no danger 
for this yet." 

30th. At nine o'clock I went to Count Romanzoff's house 
on the quay, and met him there. His aunt, Madame Narish- 
kin, an old lady of eighty years of age, lives there, and, being 
infirm in health, the Count passes much of his time with her. 
I told him I had requested to see him on account of a number 
of American vessels which had arrived at Reval, at Baltic Port, 
at Riga, and at Licbau, since the navigation at Cronstadt, to 
which they were bound, had been closed. Several of them 
were in the first instance admitted without difficulty ; but after- 
wards an order had been issued to suspend the admission of 
the rest, and to prevent the unloading of those which had been 
admitted, until further orders. The persons interested in these 
vessels and cargoes were alarmed and uneasy under these diffi- 
culties, and some of them had applied to me for my interposi- 
tion in their favor. 

The Count said that some suspicion might have arisen from 
the supposition that these vessels belonged to the great convoy 
of six hundred sail which had been so long signalized by the 
Emperor N.ipolcon, and which it was said had entered the 
Baltic, coming from Gottcnburg. 

I told him that they had actually come from Gottenburg, 
and probably belonged to that convoy. But I trusted he would 
not suspect me of attempting to shelter under the American 
name any traffic or property prohibited by the laws of this 
country. 

He said he could hardly express to my face what he thought 



IQ2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUIA'CY ADAMS, [November, 

upon this subject; but it was certainly nothing distrustful 
of me. 

I then said that I had a list of these vessels, which I was per- 
fectly assured were bona fide American ; that I had received 
letters by several of them from my friends in America of the 
most recent dates which had come to hand ; that the captain 
of one of them, the su|)crcargocs of scvcnil, and the owners 
of almost all were personally known to me as citizens of the 
United States ; and that with regard to them all I had received 
such information as left me no doubt that they were really 
Americans, and that all proper confidence might be given to 
their papers. 

He desired me to write him unofficially a short letter on this 
subject, stating all these circumstances, and intimated that the 
difficulties that had been raised would easily be removed ; prom- 
ising to lay the matter as soon as possible before the Emperor. 
He then entered into a general conversation, and asked me to 
give him my candid opinion upon the Emperor Napoleon's 
tariff of the fifth of August last, and upon his decree for burn- 
ing all merchandise of English manufacture. 

I did accordingly give him my opinion fully and freely in 
respect to both. The Count did not explicitly say that he 
agreed with me in opinion ; but I am convinced he can hardly 
entertain a different one. He told me that he had received a 
courier from Sweden, with accounts of the determination there 
to declare war against England, for which the French Minister 
had allowed only five days. We had also much conversation 
upon the news — the armies in Portugal, the King of England's 
illness, and other common topics not of sufficient interest to 
be written down. I was with him about two hours. 

Day. The sun rises now about nine in the morning. It is 
scarcely daylight at eight, and I seldom rise from bed before 
ten. Read five chapters in the French Bible, with Ostcrvald's 
reflections. Breakfast. Noon has arrived. A visitor or two 
brings it easily to three o'clock — or I write a letter, long or 
short, or a day's record in this book, and the day is gone. It 
darkens soon after two o'clock, even in the few days when the 
sun is seen, which is, upon the average, about once a week. The 



i8ia] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, igj 

six others there is a gloomy half-darkness through the day. 
So that from ten until two I can just see to write. From three 
to five I walk. Dine at five, and sit usually until seven. Spend 
two or three hours after dinner in my cabinet, reading Levesque,* 
or writing short-hand on anything that must not be postponed. 
From nine or ten at night until one or two in the morning 
I pass in company abroad, or at home, or at cards with the 
ladies. The difficulty of writing anything, and the disgust at 
the occupation, grows upon me in a distressing manner, and I 
feel more and more every day the importunity of miscellaneous 
com{>any. , 

December 17th. Mr. Delapre, the keeper of the house at the 
Ville de Bordeaux, was here. I engaged him to furnish us our 
dinners at a stated price — twenty roubles a day — and I shall dis- 
miss my cook. When a family becomes large, there is no possi- 
bility of observing economy in it without the closest attention 
to minute details. Since we entered this house my monthly ex- 
pense books amount to double what they were the first month. 
We have a maitre-d'hotel, or steward ; a cook, who has under 
him two scullions — mujiks ; a Swiss, or porter; two footmen ; 
a mujik to make the fires; a coachman and postilion; and 
Thomas, the black man, to be my valet-de-chambre ; Martha 
Godfrey, the maid we brought with us from America ; a femme- 
de-chambre of Mrs. Adams, who is the wife of the steward; a 
house-maid, and a laundry-maid. The Swiss, the cook, and 
one of the footmen are married, and their wives all live in the 
house. The steward has two children, and the washerwoman 
a daughter, all of whom are kept in the house. I have baker's, 
milkman's, butcher's, greenman's, poulterer's, fishmonger's, and 
grocer's bills to pay monthly, besides purchases of tea, coffee,, 
sugar, wax and tallow candles. The firewood is, luckily, in- 
cluded as part of my rent. On all these articles of consumption, 
the cook and steward first make their profits on the purchase, 
and next make free pillage of the articles themselves. The 
steward takes the same liberty with my wines. In dismissing 
my cook I shall attempt to escape from a part of these depre- 
dations. To avoid a great part of them is impossible. It is, 1 

' History of Russia. 
VOL. II. — 13 



194 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

believe, the law of nature between master and servant that the 
servant shall spoil or plunder the master. In this country at 
least it is universal usage. It requires the most constant and 
minute attention to keep his pilfering within tolerable bounds; 
and among the losses occasioned by it the most valuable is the 
loss of time swallowed up in the business of such drudgery. 

20th. I called this morning before brcakCist, at about eleven 
o'clock, upon Baron Campcnhausen, and had a conversation of 
two hours with him on the subject of the American vessels 
which are waiting for admission at die ports of Reval, Baltic 
Port, Riga, and .Liebau. He received me with politeness, but 
complained that he had been for a fortnight very unwell with 
rheumatism, and unable to go out of his house. I mentioned 
to him the subject of my visit ; told him of the letter which I 
had written more than a fortnight since to Count RomanzoflT on 
this subject; that I was now about to dispatch a courier to 
Gottenburg, to embark there for the United States, and that I 
was desirous of informing the Government what the ultimate 
decision concerning these vessels and their cargoes would be ; 
that Mr. Roddc* had called u|>on me yesterday, after having 
been with him, and mentioned to me that there were some 
circumstances which had occasioned suspicions in his (Baron 
Campenhausen's) mind, which perhaps it might be in my power 
to explain to his satisfaction. 

He said that with regard to the vessels there was no question 
or difficulty ; but that with respect to the cargoes, the Emperor 
had ordered a special examination and determination to be 
made upon the sixty-seven vessels which had arrived at the out- 
ports since the close of the navigation here ; that they belonged 
to a convoy about which a great deal had been said, and after 
several of them had been admitted it was found that one of them 
had two sets of papers, by one of which she had entered as 
.coming only from Gottenburg, and by the other she appeared 
to have come from Pernambuco — the Emperor had therefore 
directed that a special examination and com{>arison of the papers 
of all these vessels should be made ; that of tlie American vessels, 
some had all the papers in order, and with regard to them there 

' The American Consul at Riga. 



l8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. jqj 

would be no difficulty; some wanted papers for part of their 
cargoes, and some for the whole; some had certificates that 
their goods came from Calcutta, and one from Marie Galante ; 
that the laws of the country were express and positive as to the 
papers required; and if any were admitted which were not pro- 
vided with those papers, it must be by special indulgence. 

I observed that I supposed the only paper required by law, 
of which these vessels would be destitute, would be the certifi- 
cates of origin from the Russian Consuls, and the cause of their 
wanting them was, that they had been originally destined for 
other ports than those of Russia — for the ports of Denmark or 
Prussia — and they came here only in consequence of finding 
themselves excluded from them ; that two vessels under the same 
circumstances had been admitted more than two months since, 
on a representation which I had made to him and to Count Ro- 
manzoff, and that I had considered that as a precedent which 
would apply in all other cases of the same description. 

That, he said, could not be concluded; for in those cases the 
decision was by the special order of the Emperor himself They 
were solitary cases of exception from the rigor of the law; but 
now it had beconie necessary to decide upon the general prin- 
ciple, which the Emperor had thought proper to refer to the 
Council; and my letter to Count Romanzoff had also been 
referred to the same body, together with the other papers. But 
he said that it was very hard upon Russia to have such an im- 
mense mass of foreign merchandise thus thrown upon her in a 
manner, after the navigation season was closed, especially in the 
unfavorable state of her exchange. 

I told him I was very glad he had given me this intimation, 
because it would give me an opportunity of suggesting to him 
several considerations which appeared to me both equitable and 
important in favor of my own countrymen. I should not con- 
test the correctness of his principle, that the export trade should 
be encouraged more than that of imports. It was natural and 
reasonable that every country should wish to have the general 
balance of trade in her favor, and should frame her commercial 
laws ^t home upon that foundation. It was my duty to speak 
only of the portion of trade carried on between Russia and my 



196 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

own countrymen ; that of the trade carried on by the Ameri- 
cans here the balance was in favor of Russia, and I could not 
suppose that it would be insisted that we should bring nothing 
but money in payment of the articles of Russian produce and 
manufacture which we come to take. 

He said he could not conceive how the balance should be 
in favor of Russia, when the ships came almost all laden with 
colonial articles, one cargo of which would more than pay for 
more than three return cargoes of any Russian articles. 

I told him I must, with submission, question the correctness 
of his estimate. I owned that, generally speaking, the Russian 
exports were more bulky than the colonial articles for corre- 
sponding values, and perhaps, if he supposed hemp to bp the 
only article exported, it might take three cargoes of that to pay 
for a rich cargo of colonial wares ; but if he would take the 
manufactured articles as the standard, the proportion would be 
far more equal, and an import cargo would certainly not pay 
for two return cargoes of the same burden. 

He instanced indigo. But I told him that could in the nature 
of things form but a small part of the imported articles. No 
vessel would be laden with it entirely. Of very few cargoes 
indeed would it form a large proportion. Besides which, I 
added that many American vessels came here in ballast and 
went home laden to the amount of three or four hundred thou- 
sand roubles. Many American merchants who had balances 
left after the sale of the cargoes which they sent here, and the 
loading of their vessels in return, left the balance in the hands 
of their correspondents, to be vested in the funds of the country, 
or in goods to be exported the ensuing season, which contrib- 
uted to support the prices of the articles at times when other- 
wise there would scarcely be any sales for them at all. From 
the very nature of the trade between the United States and this 
country, it must be the interest of the Americans who carried 
it on to load their vessels with the richest cargoes of Russian 
manufactures that they could carry, that they might make a 
profit oa the homeward as well as on the outward voyage; 
that certainly there was no gold or silver carried from this 
country to America. 



i8ia] TJIE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 1^7 

But, he said, it was the same thing if the money was paid by 
remitting bills. 

There was no profit, I replied, in making remittances; for, 
whatever the rate of exchange was, by taking a bill on London 
or Amsterdam a man would never get more than the worth of 
his money in the market; while by exporting a cargo of goods 
he could always calculate upon a suitable commercial profit to 
be made upon them. The distance of the United States, the 
necessary length and expense of the voyage, made this profit a 
more essential object to the merchant. The opening of the 
trade to South America and the Spanish West India Islands 
had naturally much increased the trade between the United 
States and Russia. Those countries consumed great quantities 
of the Russian manufactures ; more even than North America. 
We took from them their productions and carried them those 
of Russia in return. 

The Baron said that, au reste, these were political considera- 
tions, which ought not to operate in the case of the vessels in 
question ; for if they had come in conformably to the laws of 
the country, they could not, at any rate, be subjected to the 
rejection of their cargoes on mere views of policy. He asked 
me if I had seen an article in the gazettes — a letter from Elsi- 
neur — in which it was denied in the strongest terms that there 
were any American vessels in this convoy at Gottenburg. It 
seemed, he said, as if the American Government itself ought to 
take notice of such charges as those. 

I did not at first understand to what article he alluded; 
but when he explained it, I told him yes, I had seen that 
article, which was dated at Elsineur, but which I presumed 
he knew was fabricated at Paris; that in pretending there 
were no Americans among that fleet at Gottenburg it had 
certainly made a false statement; that perhaps there might 
be in the fleet some vessels which had assumed the American 
flag without being entitled to it; but as the fleet consisted 
of about seven hundred sail, and I did not know of more 
than twenty-five or thirty Americans among them, the pro- 
portion of real Americans to the whole number was certainly 
very small. 



igg MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

He asked me what was the reason that American vessels had 
been excluded from the Prussian and Danish ports. 

I told him because the Governments of those countries had 
been required to pass ordinances to that effect by an authority 
which they could not resist ; that I need not tell him it was an 
act involuntary and reluctant on their part. But the Kings of 
Prussia and of Denmark were to be pitied rather than blamed 
for the rigors extorted from them, and which it could not be 
supposed would have been exercised by them if they retained 
the sentiment or the pretension to independence. 

He asked me what could be the motive of France for this rigor. 
I told him that France had undertaken to levy a duty of fifty 
per cent, upon most of the articles brought by American vessels. 
If the same articles could have been freely imported into Den- 
mark and Prussia upon the payment of moderate duties, the 
French Government could not, with all its power, have prevented 
the introduction of them by contraband into France, and there- 
fore could not have raised that enormous and oppressive duty. 
France, too, entertains the opinion that she cannot injure com- 
merce of any kind without injuring England; and, provided she 
can strike England, cares not through whose side the thrust is 
made. 

. But was there not a great abuse, he asked, of the American 
flag made by the English ? Did not they counterfeit papers ? 
Mr. Harris himself had written him last summer that he could 
not vouch for the authenticity of any papers relating to cargoes ; 
and there had been, for instance, a vessel arrived at Archangel, 
entered as from Gottenburg, and which, for some time, appeared 
to have papers perfectly in order, but afterwards another set of 
papers had been found. She had been dispatched from Dublin. 
And even the instructions to the captain were found : in what 
cases he was to produce one set of papers, and when the other. 

I said there were undoubtedly cases of that kind; and there 
were Americans, as there were individuals of all other nations, 
who would practise any imposition which could bring them 
profit. They were, however, few in number, and easily de- 
tected — less frequent, indeed, than those instances of English 
forgeries presenting themselves in the semblance of American 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, ipp 

ship papers, which had been exposed and denounced by the 
American Consul himself, and for the exposure of which I had 
not escaped the obloquy of the English public journals. 

He asked what could have become of all the vessels of that 
convoy from Gottenburg, if there were really seven hundred 
of them. 

I said he would find, if he consulted the gazettes which he 
had mentioned to me, that a great number had been captured 
and would be confiscated by the Danes ; that some had come 
to the Russian ports; and that all the rest had perished in tem- 
pests — but that if he chose to send a messenger round to all 
the harbors of the Baltic as far as Gottenburg and on both its 
shores, I imagined he would find there had been very abun- 
dant salvages from all these wrecks. I would of course not be 
understood as now speaking of the Russian ports. But, setting 
them aside, it was a very generally received opinion among the 
merchants, that, notwithstanding all the manifestations of rigor 
against everything English which were resounding throughout 
Europe, it was not an impossible thing, by a suitable sacrifice of 
an adequate sum of money, and a judicious application of it, 
for English property and English vessels, under whatever dis- 
guise, even now to obtain admission into many ports of the 
North. I said this was what had been mentioned to me by 
some of my countrymen as the most extraordinary circumstance 
in its appearance to them, and that even in the difficulties which 
they had met with at Archangel, they had seen other vessels 
far less entitled to admission than theirs, according to the inten- 
tion of the laws, obtain that admission with apparent facility. 

He smiled, and said he supposed there might be some such 
cases, but that they must have escaped detection by the ap- 
parent regularity of all their papers. 

That, I replied, was probable; and indeed it was obvious that 
those who were deliberately practising fraud and imposition 
would be most punctiliously correct in every formality. 

He said that the certificates produced for some of the goods 
in these cargoes stated them as coming from Calcutta, and others, 
from Marie Galante ; that Calcutta was altogether an English 
possession, and that the certificates might as well have been. 



200 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

from London ; that Marie Galante having been formerly a pos- 
session of France, it might be a question whether the goods 
had been exported from the island before or sinc^ it had been 
taken by the English, and it seemed incumbent on the importers 
here to furnish proof that it was before. 

I asked him whether he was certain that the papers of the 
former kind certified the goods as from Calcutta, or in general 
terms as from hidia. 

That, he said, was another and distinct question. There were 
some from India, but those he had referred to expressly men- 
tioned Calcutta. I told him I had heard of both the cases, and 
had reflected upon them, as certainly they presented, under the 
existing laws of the empire, questions deserving of very mature 
reflection ; that the commerce of the United States with India, 
even with Bengal, was so far from being justly considered as 
English, that it was a rival trade to that of the English, and 
carried on with the people of the country ; that our vessels had 
been admitted into the ports of the British settlements there by 
virtue of an article in our Treaty with England of 1794, and 
that we had not since been excluded from them, but that on a 
late negotiation for the renewal of this Treaty the English Gov- 
ernment had refused to renew that article, on the urgent repre- 
sentations of the East India Company, who have the monopoly 
of the trade with India in England, and who complained that 
our competition there was ruinous to them. As to the articles 
from Marie Galante, the fair presumption was that their exporta- 
tion must have been previous to the occupation of the island by 
the British, because it might be taken as a general rule that the 
moment a West India island became a British possession, our 
vessels, and those indeed of all other nations but themselves, 
were excluded from them. 

" But," said he, " did you not just tell me that you were ad- 
mitted to their colonies in India ? Po they make a distinction 
between the East and the West ?" 

I said they did; that in the same Treaty of 1794 that I had 
just mentioned, there had originally been inserted an article by 
\which our vessels were to be partially and conditionally admitted 
io their West India Islands; but the condition had appeared 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 2OI 

SO burdensome to our own Government that the Treaty had 
been ratified with the exception of that article ; and therefore 
our vessels are never admitted to their islands in the West 
Indies, except when, to save the inhabitants of the islands them- 
selves from famine, their governors allow us to come for three 
or six months at a time by special proclamations. 

Returning then to the goods from Calcutta, he said he thought 
the importers should at least have produced proof that they 
were not of English produce or manufacture. I told him that 
if he would permit me, between him and me in perfect confidence, 
and with the assurance that it should operate no disadvantage 
to the persons interested, I could tell him that they did possess 
the proof which he thought should be required of them. 

" Why, then, did they not produce it ?" 

" Because it was contained in a document perfectly authentic, 
but which the French Government had thought proper to 
declare to be false." 

" Oh," said he, " I understand you. It is the certificate of 
the French Consuls. Well, they are right not to exhibit that." 
Finally he assured me that the business should be decided 
in a very few days — certainly by the beginning of the next 
week ; that everything on his part was ready, and the Council 
would have decided upon it some days since, but that other 
business of importance had taken up all their time. He 
urged me strongly to detain the courier two or three days 
longer, which at this season he thought could not be of much * 
consequence for so long a journey and voyage. This too, he 
said, had been one occasion of the delays in the decision ; be- 
cause at any rate the vessels could not get away for some months, 
and that a delay of some days could be no material injury to 
them. 

I observed to him that all delays might seriously aflfect them 
in the disposal of their cargoes, and in their negotiations for a 
return cargo. They could do nothing while the question about 
their admission was in suspense; besides which, there was a cir- 
cumstance which it might require some delicacy for me properly 
to mention. But my countrymen, upon arriving here, applied 
to merchants to assist them in transacting their business. The 



202 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

moment a difficulty in relation to their papers occurred, it was 
suggested to them that the way must be smoothed by a payment 
of money; which I believe was sometimes charged when it was 
not paid. 

He said he thought persons who were capable of such a thing 
ought to be exposed ; that in the ordinary cases at the custom- 
house, or before the Neutral Commission, there might be some 
use of money — there might be some bad men (mauvais sujets) 
there, whom it was impossible to detect ; but in this case he 
could assure me there was no occasion for money, and there 
could be nothing obtained by it — the Commission or custom- 
house had nothing to do with it. The Emperor had ordered it 
for a special decision of the Council, and money was out of the 
question. He again repeated the request that I would detain 
the courier two or three days longer ; and said, as to the greater 
part of the cargoes, they would certainly be admitted ; " and as 
to the rest," said he, ** we will try and find some expedient to 
let them in too." 

I finally consented to detain the courier until Tuesday or 
Wednesday, though I told him I should have to apologize to 
Count RomanzoflT, from whom I had already received the pass- 
ports and his own dispatches for the Minister of his Majesty in 
the United States. 

I left the Baron after a conversation of about two hours. 

24th. It being the Emperor's birthday, between twelve and 
one o'clock at noon I went to the Winter Palace and attended 
the Court there. Mr. J. S. Smith was presented to the Emperor 
and Empresses to take leave. The cercle was such as it always 
is. The Emperor told me that I should lose my walk to-day. 
The Empress-mother told me she hoped she should see Mrs. 
Adams in the evening at the ball. I told her I was afraid the 
state of her health would deprive her of that honor — which 
her Majesty said she should much regret. But Monsieur de 
Maisonneuve had told me before that her Majesty had been 
informed that neither Mrs. Adams nor Catherine would be 
at the ball, and of the reasons why ; with which she was per- 
fectly satisfied. The Empress said to me, " Votre pays nous 
a fait un iacheux cadeau." I did not understand her. *' On dit," 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 203 

said she, "que la fi^vre jaune vient de paraitre en Italic." 
"Ah I madame," said I, "ce cadeau la ne vient pas de chez 
nous. C'est une calomnie qu'on nous fait. II vient d'Afrique." 
" But," said she, " you have the yellow fever in your country 
every year, have you not ?" I told her I had not heard of it for 
four or five years, until the last summer. 

When the Empress passed on, Baron Schladen, who stood 
next me, said, " L'Imperatrice prend la peste pour la fiivre jaune 
— mais vous vous etes vaillamment defendu." The Court was 
over by two o'clock, and about eight in the morning I went 
alone to the ball. It was, as all these balls are, excessively 
tedious ; though the Empress-mother was very 'gracious, and 
extremely attentive to do the honors of her house. She twice 
expressed to me her regret at Mrs. Adams's not being of the 
party, and also that Mademoiselle sa Soeur was not there. 
" Mais pour cette jeune personne, je suis sure que ce n'est rien 
que la timidite qui I'a empeche de venir." I stood the whole 
time until supper, which was served just about twelve at night. 
The Emperor made some remark to me upon the warmth of 
the rooms, which were indeed excessively warm. I had conver- 
sation with Count Soltykoff, Count de Maistre, Count Stedingk, 
Dr. Rogerson, and the French Ambassador. Great part of the 
time I stood gazing, and doing nothing. It had been a great 
object of curiosity and anxiety with the other Ministers to see 
whether the Empress and Grand Duchess Ann would dance 
polonaises with Count St. Julien. They did not. They dance 
only with the French Ambassador, and he only sits at the 
Imperial table at supper. Count St. Julien has been here about 
a year, without any regular diplomatic character, and, having 
no rule of etiquette to operate concerning him, has been invited 
to dine with the Emperor, and to the Hermitage parties. He 
has lately received and presented his credentials as Envoy 
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, a Minister of the 
second order. The Emperor has ordered that he should still 
be invited to the Hermitage parties, at which several of the other 
Ministers of the same rank, none of whom receive such invita- 
tions, have taken great offence, and have written about it to 
their Courts. St. Julien, by his exultation at these distinctions, 



204 • MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

has aggravated the mortification of the others, and has counte- 
nanced a report which has been in circulation, that he was in 
all respects to be treated with the same honors as an Ambas- 
sador, and even that there was a convention between the Courts 
of Vienna and St Petersburg, by which this was reciprocally 
agreed. He was, however, this evening treated in no respect 
differently from the other Ministers of the second order. 

At our table, and next to me, the Roman Catholic Archbishop 
of MohileiT took his seat It was not indeed his place, but the 
attendants suffered him to remain ; and sitting next to him, I 
had some conversation with him. When the Empress-mother, 
going round the tables, and speaking to every guest, in turn 
came to him, she said to him, with a smile, " Vous etes ici sans 
doute pour la benediction." ** Pour la souhaiter, madame," said 
he, ''puisque votre Majeste Imperiale veut bien me le per- 
mettre." Upon my observing to him that the Greek Church 
was tolerant, he intimated to me that I was mistaken. " The 
Government indeed," said he, " is tolerant, and protects us. If 
they did not, we should certainly be persecuted." He appeared 
to have some little knowledge of America, and told me that 
until Bishop Carroll had been made an Archbishop, his diocese 
and his own were, he believed, the two largest for extent of 
territory in the world. After the supper, there was only a 
polonaise danced, and the imperial family retired about half- 
past one o'clock in the morning. I was at home before two. 

26th. According to appointment, I called this morning upon 
Baron Campenhausen, whom I found still unwell. I had about 
half an hour's conversation with him, in which we went again 
over the subject of that which we had last week. He said that 
all the vessels had been arranged in different classes, according 
to the regularity of their documents, or of the circumstances 
which might affect their right to admission. Those of the most 
unexceptionable classes had now been selected, and would be 
admitted and allowed to dispose of their cargoes. He said he 
would furnish me a list of them in the course of the day. Almost 
all the Americans were included in it 

I walked home, and, coming round by the quay, met the 
Emperor. He stopped and asked me if I was not fatigued with 



i8io.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 205 

the ball. I told him no. He said he found it very long. I 
observed that the dancing-hall had been very warm. " Mais, 
mon Dieu," said he, " que c'etoit long 1 J'aurois voulu le couper 
court de trois heures au moins." I did not reply, for it might 
have been too uncourtly, and even uncourteous, to say how 
much I should have been willing to abridge it 

I dined at Count RomanzoflT's, and was within a few minutes 
of being too late. It was a great dinner of about sixty persons, 
in honor of the Emperor's birthday, though two days after the 
anniversary day. I saw there Admiral MordwinofT, and told 
him what Baron Campenhausen had said to me of the vessels. 
But the Admiral said the business would still require the sig- 
nature of the Emperor. I asked him whether that would be 
obtained to-morrow. He said probably, but with a hesitation 
in his manner which left a strong doubt upon my mind. 

30th. I walked this day earlier than usual, to observe the 
setting of the sun, and the extent of its southern declination 
as apparent at the horizon. This was the day nearest to the 
solstice that I have been able to observe it, being the first day 
for nearly five weeks that it has been visible at the time of 
setting. And even now I could observe it only very imperfectly. 
It sets at the solstice at forty-six minutes past two. It rises so 
little above the horizon that in the city there is scarcely a street 
where it can shine ; and for a month before and after the winter 
solstice, the weather being always cloudy, it is not much more 
light at noon than at the summer solstice at midnight. I read 
this day Massillon's sermon upon the Conception of the Blessed 
Virgin, a festival kept in the Catholic countries the 8th of 
December. The divisions of this discourse are unusually 
artificial, but the discourse itself is excellent. The subject is 
miraculous purity — the instruction is the duty of purity. The 
following sentiment is strikingly just: "II ny a pas loin entre 
la vertu qui se repose et la vertu qui s'egare ; et quand on ne 
fuit qu a demi le vice, on est bien pris de le retrouver encore 
sur ses pas." 

The year 18 10 is past; and to all past time we are already 
dead. It has been to me rich with the blessings of Providence, for 
which I would be duly grateful to the Giver of all good. Having 



2o6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [January, 

been employed in the service of my country, I am not conscious 
of its having witnessed any neglect in the performance of my 
official duties, nor can I charge myself with any intentional 
wrong in the private affairs of life. But I have indulged too 
much indolence and inactivity of mind, and have not turned my 
leisure time to good account. I have pursued no object steadily, 
and the year has left no advantageous trace of itself in the 
annals of my life. I have formed my domestic establishment 
here in a very exact proportion to my means, but upon such an 
establishment a public Minister here can enjoy very little con- 
sideration, and must be subject to great animadversion. It is 
with great difficulty that I have hitherto adhered to my princi- 
ples, and having now a full year's experience, I think I shall be 
able to carry it through. I begin already to be sensible of the 
approaches of age. I cannot hope for any intellectual improve- 
ment upon my faculties from the present time. I pray for the 
power and the will to make a better improvement of them ; and 
for the blessing of Heaven continually upon my parents and 
children, my wife, my brother, sister, and all connected with 
them ; upon my native country, and, according to the will of 
the eternal Disposer of events, upon the world of my fellow- 
creature, man. 

yanuary 3d, 181 1. Count Romanzoff had appointed me to 
call upon him this morning at eleven o'clock, which I ac- 
cordingly did. I found an officer with him, who immediately 
retired. The Count told me that he had been at their settle- 
ment on the northwest coast of America, and gave him an 
indifferent account of it. He was afraid they would never be 
able to make much of it. He then enquired upon what busi- 
ness I had desired to see him. I told him it was on the same 
subject concerning which I had seen him and written to him 
already — the American vessels, for the admission of whose 
cargoes the permission had not yet been obtained ; that Baron 
Campenhausen, after requesting me to detain my courier several 
days, had written me, yesterday was a week, that the business 
might be considered as settled with regard to a list which in- 
cluded almost all the American vessels; but that last evening 
the Commission for Neutral Navigation had received no orders 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 207 

for their admission ; that I had understood that nothing was 
now wanting but the signature of the Emperor, and that the 
papers had been sent to the Secretary General, Speransky, to 
lay them before his Majesty ; that my countrymen here inter- 
ested in this affair were anxious and uneasy, and naturally re- 
sorted to me to give them all the assistance in my power; that 
I must, of course, resort in the same manner to him, and came 
to ask him whether the business could not be expedited. 

He said that the circumstances being as I had mentioned to 
him, there was no reason for the persons interested to be alarmed 
(de s'effaroucher) ; that according to the course of business here, 
it was much easier to obtain a decision than signature, as he had 
often found by his own experience, and that the delay necessarily 
arose from the multiplicity of business and the great multitude 
of signatures which were to be given ; that, however, he would 
pay immediate attention to the subject, and speak to the Em- 
peror about it des demain-—evtTi to-morrow. He then generalized 
the conversation, and after having, according to his custom, 
desired me to take what he should say as from a private indi- 
vidual, and to answer him equally divested of all official char- 
acter, he assured me that when he was Minister of Commerce 
he had been extremely desirous of giving every encouragement 
and facility to the commerce of the United States with this 
country ; that, since he was no longer in that situation, he still 
retained the same ardent desire, and it led him to reflect upon 
the expedients by which, in the present embarrassed state of 
commercial affairs in Europe, it might be benefited. The idea 
had occurred to him to enquire whether by the encouragement 
of some premium, or some preference of admission, American 
vessels might not be employed to bring money for the cargoes 
which they should take in return. For that, said he, is what 
Mr. Campenhausen wants. 

I told him that he knew the United States produced no gold 
or silver of their own; and all the money that our merchants 
could export must, therefore, previously be drawn from other 
countries, which were South America, the West Indies, or Spain 
and Portugal ; that the nature of our commerce, the length of 
the voyages, and the expenses of all commercial undertakings 



2o8 AfEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAAfS. [Januaiy, 

between America and Russia, made it an essential object to the 
merchant to make a profit upon both parts of the voyage, out- 
ward and homeward ; that he could not afford to send vessels 
out in ballast and depend only upon the profit of a cargo in 
return ; but that if the Government should think proper to give 
a benefit or premium upon the importation of silver adequate 
to a reasonable profit upon a cargo of merchandise, I had no 
doubt but that our merchants would send money here, as they 
were accustomed to do to China and to India. 

He said I had taken up the subject in a more extensive view 
than he had intended. It was true, that by making it the in- 
terest of the merchant to send money, money would no doubt 
be sent But his idea was, whether it might not be confined 
to American vessels, to secure for them peculiar &cilities of 
admission. 

I told him that hitherto they had found no difiiculty in 
obtaining admission. The Government had given all sorts of 
facility for the mere admission of all vessels. Their papers 
were now not even subject to examination by the Neutral 
Commission, provided they came in ballast. I could not per- 
ceive what favor could be extended to them for bringing a 
cargo of silver, unless it was in the nature of a premium or 
profit upon the value of the money. 

He asked whether I could say what premium would be suffi- 
cient to operate as an inducement. 

I said I could not tell, but could easily ascertain, if it was an 
object with him to know. 

He said it was only one of those things which had passed in 
his mind as a possible means of assisting the American com- 
merce in the state of obstruction which the circumstances of 
the times occasioned. He did not believe, however, notwith- 
standing eveiything that was taking place, commerce would be 
arrested. It was founded upon such necessities that no regula- 
tions could entirely control them. 

I said I was fully convinced of this, and had often taken the 
liberty of expressing my opinions upon the subject to him. 
But according to all present appearances, the experiment was 
to have its full trial. The Emperor Napoleon seemed to think 



i8ii.]* THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. ' 209 

that he was going to blow up the island of Great Britain, be- 
cause his measures had produced a number of bankruptcies 
among the merchants. Undoubtedly there was some commer- 
cial distress in England. But how was it on the Continent ? 
Since I had seen him last, the first, or at least the second house 
in Amsterdam, the house that had done all the business of the 
Government for years, had stopped payment. At Hamburg, 
Gottenburg, Paris, Konigsberg, and even Riga, houses of the 
first importance had done the same thing. There was one uni- 
versal cry of commercial distress all over the Continent. I had 
observed to him when I last saw him that there was a sympathy 
among merchants in their affairs paramount to all political hos- 
tility, and it seemed to me that this fact alone was conclusive 
against the policy of attempting to operate upon the national 
councils of England by mere commercial distress. 

The Count has never contested these ideas, and appeared 
now, as he always has, to assent to them. He said that the 
house of De Smets. at Amsterdam, had recommenced their 
payments, and would probably get through their difficulties. So, 
I told him, would the house of Goldsmid, in London. They 
would make their payments for some time, and perhaps eventu- 
ally pay all their debts. But when once such houses had stopped 
their payments, it was, comparatively speaking, of little conse- 
quence whether they ever paid their debts or not. A com- 
mercial house of this class was a sort of little kingdom, and 
when it once stopped payment the establishment was demol- 
ished beyond all recovery — the machine was destroyed, the 
credit by which everything important could alone be accom- 
plished was irretrievably gone, and whether the house finally 
paid its debts or not was only a question of concern to a few 
individuals. 

The Count said that these observations were just, and they 
confirmed him in a principle which he had very oflen asserted, 
and in which he had seldom found others to concur ; which 
was, that the commercial year was not composed of twelve 
months, or, in other words, that the scale upon which objects 
relating to commerce were to be considered was too extensive 
and complicated to be judged of from any short or given period 

VOL. II. — 14 



2IO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Januafjr, 

of time. In this country, for instance, the laws of nature them- 
selves had crowded into five or six months all the possible busi- 
ness of the year; and in like manner political considerations 
might occasionally require similar pauses and suspensions from 
business. In the long run, it would come to the same thing. 
Tlie English had often threatened this country with the loss of 
its commerce, but the productions of this country were unfor- 
tunately possessed of a peculiar advantage : they were of indis- 
pensable necessity to those who took them, and were not worth 
the trouble and cost of raising them elsewhere. He spoke of 
it, therefore, as an unfortunate advantage. The proportion of 
manufactured goods which could be exported from this country 
was comparatively very small, and surely it was no subject for 
exultation to a great empire that the choicest of its productions 
for exportation were hemp and tallow, and bees-wax and iron. 
Such as they were, however, their purchasers could not do 
without them, and, whatever events might occur, he had no 
doubt but that the exportations from this country would always 
prove ultimately the same. 

I said that however correct this reasoning might be, as taking 
into account the result of a series of years, it was certainly an 
object of material interest to the Russian commerce of the pres- 
ent moment that the vessels of which I was speaking should 
leave the cargoes which they had brought ; since if compelled 
to reload them and carry them away, they could not carry 
away Russian goods. 

lie said that was very true, but he considered this matter as 
scarcely amounting to a quarter of an hour, according to his 
estimate of commercial time. He then enquired whether I had 
heard any news, and, on my answering in the negative, he said 
there was a report in circulation, which he understood to be 
mentioned in some commercial letters, that the Emperor Napo- 
leon had determined to annex the Hanseatic Cities to the French 
Empire, and that he had sent them notice of this determination. 

I smiled, and said the Emperor Napoleon was remarkably • 
fond of annexations, for here within six months was Holland, 
tlie Valais, and now the Hanseatic Cities. But I thought they 
lay more conveniently to the kingdom of Westphalia. 



iSii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 2II 

The Count said the Emperor Napoleon was a man of great 
qualities, but he certainly had very erroneous ideas on the sub- 
ject of commerce. He asked if I had heard anything from 
England. "Only what was brought by the newspapers last 
evening." He said it appeared probable they would be obliged 
to have recourse to a regency. I thought so; but, I said, there 
was not much to be expected from a regency. The Regent 
would live under the continual prospect of seeing the King from 
one day to another recover his health and resume the reins of 
government. He would not dare to strike out any new line of 
policy. But if the King should die, and the Prince of Wales 
come to the throne, I believed he would form a Ministry whose 
first step would be to commence a negotiation for peace. Other- 
wise the prospect of peace appeared rather receding than ap- 
proaching ; I had never expected it until the contest in Spain 
and Portugal should be determined, which did not appear now 
to be at hand, since it was unquestionable that General Massena 
and his army had retreated. 

The Count took little notice of the observation concerning 
Massena's retreat, but he said that all regencies were in their 
nature feeble governments, because their heads were always 
liable to be called to account, and that an English regency under 
the present circumstances would doubtless be peculiarly feeble, 
from the chance of the King's recovery. He therefore, with 
me, thought it doubtful whether a regency in England would 
produce a change of policy. The Count then said he had pre- 
sented Dr. Rush's book to the Emperor, who had accepted it 
very graciously ; and he (the Count) would write me about it. 
I then took my leave, ahd called on the Minister of the Police, 
BalaschefT; but he was not at home. 

1 2th. Mr. Raimbert and Mr. Montreal called upon me this 
morning, for a visit, to serve as at the close of one year and 
for the beginning of the other — to-morrow, the Russian New 
Year's day, being so much occupied that they supposed they 
should not find me at home. The ladies passed the evening at 
Madame Colombi's. I went myself at about ten o'clock. We 
supped there, and came home a little before two in the morning. 
The Misses Betancourt danced the Spanish fandango in the 



^12 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [January, 

Spanish dresses. After supper the young ladies had their for- 
tunes told in various ways--by cards; lots under nine tea-cups; 
melted lead ; and by the feeding of a cock, which I presume 
must be a remnant of Roman superstition. General SabloukofT 
and his lady, Mr. Navarro, and some other company, were there. 
Just after we came home, we were alarmed by a fire. It was 
the large stone theatre, which burnt down. It broke up entirely 
the New Year's party at the Grand Chambellan Narishkin's. 

13th. At twelve o'clock I attended with Mr. Smith at the 
palace. Between one and two the mass was finished, and the 
Emperor and Empresses came to the Diplomatic circle. The fire 
of the last night occasioned the principal fund for conversation. 
The Empresses spoke to me, as usual, of my wife and children. 
The Emperor said to me, " J'apprends que vous nous quittez." I 
said, ** J'espere, Sire, que je n'aurai pas encore ce malheur." He 
replied, " J'esp^re que cela ne sera pas de sitot."' Monsieur de 
Maisonneuve gave me the tickets of invitation to the supper at 
the Hermitage, for myself, Mrs. Adams, and Catherine Johnson. 
The Grand Marshal of the Court, Count Tolstoy, asked me if 
the ladies would come, and on my telling him that they so 
intended, he desired me to recommend to them the entrance at 
the Hermitage, where he would give orders that they should be 
admitted. This is considered as a very extraordinary distinction, 
which M. de Maisonneuve specially noticed. The Court, as 
usual, was soon over, and I came home, after going and writing 
my name at the Grand Duke Constantine's, and paying visits in 
person at Count RomanzofT's and at the French Ambassador's 
— neither of whom was at home. 

I read Massillon's sermon for the foCirth Sunday of Advent, 

' This refers to a letter from the Department of State, to the effect that the Presi- 
dent, having learned in some, unofficial way that the expenses of the mission at St. 
Petersburg were felt by Mr. Adams as much exceeding his salary and means, was 
>moved by these considerations to place within his control a power of relieving him- 
self from the burden at any moment he might choose to resort to it. To that end 
:the necessary papers had been sent, which reached St. Petersburg on the 4th of the 
.month. As no use had been made of them down to the date of this entry, it would 
-seem that the Emperor must have heard the news through some other channel. 
Mr. Adams ultimately decided not to make use of them. The Emperor is found 
referring to the matter again on the 25th. 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 213 

upon the dispositions for the communion, and Robinson's char- 
acter of Manasseh.' The dissipation of the day, and some 
occupations also which intervened, diverted too much of my 
attention from these books. I endeavored in the evening, by 
writing a devotional exercise, to recall and fix my mind upon 
suitable sentiments. It is in the midst of splendors and magnifi- 
cence that the heart most needs to be reminded of its vanities, 
and that the aid of Heaven is most earnestly to be invoked. 
Between eight and nine in the evening' we went to the palace, 
and were admitted at the entrance of the Hermitage : we passed 
through that palace into the Hall of St. George, where there was 
yet nobody but some of the ladies of honor, the French Ambas- 
sador, and Count St. Julien. The Ambassador very soon after 
went away, being seized with a swimming in the head, so that 
he could not stay. The Emperor and Empresses came in about 
nine, from the White Hall, and immediately afterwards the Hall 
of St. George was crowded with people. The polonaise imme- 
diately began, and^the Empress-mother sat down to her card- 
table. I found it impossible to make my way to it, and, having 
secured chairs for the ladies, I elbowed with the crowd until 
about eleven o'clock. We then went into the Hermitage, and 
about a quarter of an hour afterwards the imperial family came 
in to supper. The tables were laid in the Hall of the Theatre, 
which was illuminated with great magnificence. 

The Emperor went round the Diplomatic table, and spoke to 
every guest seated at it, with one or two exceptions. He asked 
me whether I was in the habit of supping. I told him I was not. 
He asked whether it was a common practice in America. I said 
that it was, but that we dined at an earlier hour. He said he 
thought five o'clock was too late, but four was a very good hour. 
In England, however, he had heard* that they dined yet later. 
Count Maistre, who sat next to me, said that a Frenchman had 
remarked upon these late dining hours, that people would, be- 
fore they had done, get to dining to-morrow ; upon which his 
Majesty had a hearty laugh. The supper lasted about an hour. 
On returning to the Hall of St. George, we found the crowd 

■ From n work in four volames, by Thomas Robinson, entitled Scripture Char* 
acters, fimt published in England in 1789-90. 



214 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Januaiy, 

greater than ever. M. de Maisonneuve made his way with the 
ladies up to the front of the circle before the Empresses' table. 
The Empresses after half an hour went away ; but the Emperor 
continued to yralk the polonaise. When we came away it was 
about two in the morning. M. de Maisonneuve told me in the 
morning that the Empress considered Miss Johnson as having 
been presented at the same time with Mrs. Adams, and therefore 
she might in future attend at all the Court parties to which she 
would be invited, without scruple. He paid this evening every 
possible attention to the ladies, by the express order of the 
Emperor. 

1 8th. At eleven o'clock this morning I went with Mr. Smith 
to the Winter Palace, at the entrance of the Hermitage. Mr. 
Everett and Mr. Gray came some time afterwards. We were 
immediately conducted to the hall in front of the Palace Square, 
where the troops were all paraded. The Emperor was on horse- 
back in the square. The French Ambassador and Count St. 
Julien were there with him. The other foreign Ministers were 
in the hall, together with a number of Russian generals, among 
whom were Prince Bagration, the late commander-in-chief of 
the Moldavian army, and Count Kamenski, the elder brother 
of the present commander-in-chief of the same army. Prince 
Dolgorouki, the late Russian Minister in Holland, introduced 
to me Count Pahlen, the brother of the Minister now in America. 
The Emperor was full half an hour in conversation with the 
Ambassador, which delayed the marching of the procession. I 
had asked the Ambassador, at the New Year's day Court, leave 
to send, by the first courier that he should dispatch, a small 
packet to Mr. Russell, our Charge des Affaires at Paris. He said 
he should send a courier in a few days, but would let me know 
the precise time a day beforehand, that I might have time to 
make up my packet Yesterday morning he sent me his valet- 
de-chambre to say that his courier would go off in the night, 
and that I could have until seven o'clock in tlie evening to send 
my packet. I had it, however, all ready, and gave it to the 
valet-de-chambre. I asked Mr. Genest whether the courier 
was gone, and he said not yet He doubted even whether he 
would go this day ; for, as the Emperor was in earnest conversa- 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 215 

tion with the Ambassador, he supposed this would make some 
'alterations, or at least some additions, necessary to the dispatch. 

About half-past twelve the procession marched. The consecra- 
tion was performed at the temple below the Admiralty. The 
procession returned in about three-quarters of an hour. The 
Empresses came up into the White Hall, and we went upon the 
balcony to see the troops file oflT. The Ambassador and Count 
St Julien came up at the same time ; but the Emperor did not 
appear in the palace. The Empresses were a full hour upon 
the balcony. The number of troops that passed was about 
twenty-eight thousand. The Ambassador told me that he sup- 
posed his courier, by the time when he was speaking to me, was 
gone. But I think Mr. Genest's information was the most 
correct. The Ambassador also told me that there was fresh 
and important news from England — where the regency was 
established, under restrictions against which the Princes of the 
royal family had protested. He also said he had some Moni- 
teurs containing orders from the Grand Juge to raise the 
sequester upon the American vessels in France, in consequence 
of the proclamation of the President of the United States of 2d 
November last. The ceremony this day was precisely the same as 
that of the last year. Each of the Empresses spoke a few words 
to all the foreign Ministers. There was a light collation of cakes, 
wine, and cordials, and about three o'clock the Empresses retired* 
We returned, as we had entered, by the way of the Hermitage. 

19th. I called this morning upon Baron Campenhausen, with 
the two certificates of the Danish Consul at Boston, respecting 
the cargo of Mr. Gray's brig Palafox, which were sent me a day 
or two since by Mr. Gramman. The Baron took the papers, 
and intimated to me that the Palafox, and the otiier vessels 
included in the list which I sent to Count RomanzofT, and 
which had not been included in his list of the first class, would 
nevertheless be admitted with them. I then asked him how it 
happened that the Commission for the Neutral Navigation had 
not yet received their orders for the admission of those upon 
his first list. He said it was altogether unaccountable to him ; 
that so far as it belonged to his province the business had been 
finished three weeks ago ; that Mr. Speransky nearly as long 



2i6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Januarjr, 

since had laid the papers before the Emperor, and they were 
upon his table ; that Count RomanzofT a fortnight since had 
told him I had spoken to him on the subject ; and the Emperor 
had asked for the papers, even before their turn, to sign them, 
which Count RomanzofT had hinted was not necessary. The 
Baron said he could not suppose that this delay was intentional 
on the part of Count RomanzofT; but he could not explain it 
on any other supposition. Perhaps he might have motives of 
a political nature for postponing a determination. He men- 
tioned to me the letter of the Grand Juge to the President of 
the Council of Prizes, respecting American vessels, written in 
consequence of the proclamation of the President of the United 
States of 2d November. From the Baron's I went to Monsieur 
de Laval's ; but he was gone to Gatschina, where the Grand 
Duchess Ann's birthday is celebrated. 

20th. Our footman Paul had a daughter born on the Russian 
New Year's day, of which, according to the custom of the 
country, he immediately gave me notice. Paul himself is a 
Finlander, and a Lutheran ; but, his wife being a Russian of the 
Greek Church, the child, which is a daughter, was to be chris- 
tened after the fashion of the Greek Church. Paul asked Mrs. 
Adams and Martha to stand as godmother, and Mr. Gray as 
godfather, and the child was baptized in our parlor, this day, at 
eight o'clock p.m. There was a priest and an inferior attendant 
not in clerical habits, who chanted the Slavonian service, the 
priest from a mass-book. A plated vessel of the size of a small 
bathing-tub contained the water, which the priest consecrated 
at the commencement of the ceremony. Three tapers were at 
first fixed at the end most distant from the priest and at the 
two sides of the baptismal vase. The child was brought in 
and held by the nurse, until the priest took it naked and 
plunged it three times into the water. With a .pencil-brush, 
before and after plunging, he marked a cross on its forehead 
and breast, and finally on its forehead, shoulders, and Ifeet — 
repeating the same thing afterwards with a wet sponge. A shirt 
and cap, provided by the godmother, were then put upon the 
child, and a gold baptismal cross, furnished by the godfather. 
Tapers lighted were put into their hands, two of them from the 



l8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 217 

sides of the vase, round which they marched three times, pre- 
ceded by the priest He then with a pair of scissors cut off 
three locks of the child's hair, which, with wax, he rolled up 
into a little ball, and threw into the water in which the child 
was baptized ; and finally, after a little more chanting from the 
book, the ceremony was concluded. During the first part of 
the ceremony the priest turned his back to the vessel of water, 
and the sponsors, with the nurse and child, to the priest 
Another singularity was that at one part of the ceremony they 
were all required to spit on the floor. The priest received five 
roubles from the godfather, and the nurse the same from the 
godmother. The priest took away with him the napkin that he 
had used, and would have taken the table-cloth which covered 
the table. Paul himself carried round the wine, and received 
the five or ten rouble presents on the waiter. 

23d. At eleven o'clock this morning I called upon Count 
Romanzoff, and found with him a General Doctoroff, who im- 
mediately retired. I told the Count I was sorry to be impor- 
tunate with him, but I came to him again on the subject of the 
vessels and cargoes of my countrymen who had been so long 
waiting here. He said that he had been afraid that this was 
the subject on which I had asked the conference, because he 
was informed that the papers were before the Emperor and 
depended upon his personal pleasure. I said, this being the 
case, it was unnecessary to urge the matter to him. He said, 
although it was a more difficult matter to him to press his 
master for a decision than his Ministers, yet he would see what 
he could do in the case. He then spoke of the state of our 
affairs with France and England, and made several enquiries 
concerning it; of South America, which always appears to 
interest him much. I said I hardly thought it possible that^ 
this war should finish without demolishing the ancient colonial 
systems of Europe, which would indeed be at present only a 
loss to England — France having already lost her colonies, and | 
Spain having now lost hers. "But then," said the Count, 
" what will Spain herself be ?** I answered, what she must at 
all events be, a dependence upon France. This she would be if 
England should succeed in the present war, and could restore 



2i8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [January, 

Ferdinand the Seventh in Spain, and the House of Brag^nza in 
Portugal. In the present state of Europe it is inevitable. 

I mentioned to the Count that the President of the United 
States, in consideration of circumstances relating to my private 
aflairs, had given me permission to return to the United States, 
and that I had received a letter to take leave of the Emperor, 
with a discretionary power to deliver it when I should be ready 
for my departure. I presumed it would be proper for me to 
keep it until that time. He said certainly ; or even to suppress 
it altogether, if I was not under the necessity of going. And 
he could assure me, when I should go, I should be much 
regretted here ; that they had a very great and sincere esteem 
for me, and would be happy that my stay should be prolonged. 
I assured him that I was strongly sensible of the kindness and 
friendly reception that I had experienced here, and should be 
desirous of remaining as long as I could. At any rate, I could 
not take my leave until the approach of summer ; and perhaps 
I might stay until the appointment of a successor. 

25th. Between twelve and one o'clock I attended with Mr. 
Smith at the Winter Palace. Mr. Everett likewise attended. 
It was nearly two when the imperial family came in to the circle. 
The Emperor told me that from what the Chancellor had told 
him he found it was verified, as he had mentioned to me before, 
that I expected to go away, and he was sorry for it. 

I told him that at least I hoped it would not yet be for some 
time, probably for some months. 

He said, "Je regretterai beaucoup votre depart, et j*espere 
que votre sejour ici se prolongera encore." The Empresses spoke 
about my wife, as usual, and the Empress-mother asked me 
whether I had seen the ceremony of the 6th instant, and what 
I thought of it She knew very well that I had seen it, having 
spoken to me after her return from the procession, and while 
upon the balcony; but in the necessity of making conversation, 
and the desire to appear aflable, this is one of her common 
practices — to ask questions about what she very well knows, 
and when she is sure that the person to whom she speaks knows 
that she needs no answer. She reminds me of the personage 
in Moli^re, who, upon being asked whether he understands 



i8ii.] TUB MiSSJON TO RUSSIA. 219 

Latin, answers, "Oui, mais faites comme si je ne le savois pas." 
General Pardo, a Spaniard, and Count Maistre, a Savoyard, are 
the only two persons of the Corps Diplomatique who have any 
interesting literary conversation, and they are always amusing. 
The General had seen a new opera, Helena^ which he said was 
very indifferent-^the music wretched, without force or color, 
I asked him what he understood by the color of music. He 
said he did not see why color should not be applied to music 
as well as harmony to painting. I told him I thought it was 
something like the blind mat! who said he knew very well 
what colors were : that scarlet, for instance, was like the sound 
of a cannon. He said there was a man named Castel who 
constructed a harpsichord of colors, each note of which was 
to correspond with every shade of the rainbow. Pardo was 
musing, I suppose, upon his Greek translation of Horace's 
odes, for he suddenly broke out, as we entered the Salle du 
Trone, where the circle was to be held — 

'* Et la palme d* Horace 
Crott et fleurit toujours an sommet du Pamasse.*' 

The General spoke it with enthusiasm, and in uttering the 
second line flourished his hand upwards higher than his head. 
The lines are from Piron*s Metromanie, which he said nothing 
but prejudice could prevent him from placing on a par with 
Moli^re. After some commonplace observations of comparison 
between the two poets. Count Maistre repeated two other lines 
from the Metromanie, about which he told us an anecdote. 
The. lines are spoken by the old man who suddenly found 
himself a poet at fifty years of age — 

" Un beau jour ce talent en moi se trouva, 
Et j*avots cinquante ans qunnd cela m'arriva.*' 

He said the Empress-mother was one day in conversation with 
Prince Kurakin, now the Russian Ambassador at Paris, and 
a young officer, and upon some occasion repeated the first of 
these lines, and then seemed to be trying to recollect the second. 
The young officer looked as if he was going to assist her memory, 
and Prince Kurakin trod two or three times on his toes. When 
the Empress left them, the officer asked Prince Kurakin why he 



220 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Febnuiry, 

trod upon his toes. " I was afraid/' said the Prince, " that you 
were going to help the Empress to the second line of her quota- 
tion, and only meant to give you a hint qu'il iie faut jamais parler 
de cinquante ans a la Cour." '' So I" said the officer. " Voila ce 
que c'est que d'etre courtisan. It was lucky for me that I did 
not know what the second line was, for I should certainly have 
repeated it, without thinking at all of its application." The 
Count asked me if we had any theatres or dramatic poets in 
America; and we talked about Shakspeare, and Milton, and 
Virgil, and TAbbe Delille. It was about two o'clock when the 
Court was over. There was no ball in the evening. 

28th. I took with me the volume of the Memoirs of the 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which I had received 
by Mr. Jones, and carried it to Mr. Schubert, one of the Pro- 
fessors of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, requesting him to 
present it to the Academy. I introduced myself to this gentle- 
man, and took the volume to him, chiefly because it contains 
Mr. Bowditch's observations upon the comet of 1807, and I 
found in the last volume of the Memoirs of the Imperial Acad- 
emy that Mr. Schubert had made observations upon the same 
comet He told me that he was much gratified at finding these 
observations of Mr. Bowditch, as he should make an extract from 
them to send to some of his friends in Germany, who had taken, 
and were taking, great pains to determine the orbit of the comet. 
He noticed also Mr. Bowditch's observations upon the total 
eclipse of i6th June, 1806 ; and I gave some details of the obser- 
vations which I took of it myself, together with Judge Davis 
and some other gentlemen, in Mr. Bussy's garden, at Boston. 
Mr. Schubert had never seen a total eclipse of the sun, and ap- 
peared surprised at some of the circumstances which I mentioned 
to him relating to it. He promised to come and see me. 

February 1st. Mrs. Adams and I yesterday received separate 
printed cards from Princess Beloselsky, announcing the betroth- 
ing of her daughter, the Princess Zeneide, a maid of honor to 
their Imperial Majesties, to Colonel Prince Volkonsky, an aid- 
de-camp of the Emperor. The card is bordered round with 
amorous and hymeneal emblems — garlands of roses, conjunc- 
tions of oak- and myrtle-trees, a Cupid shooting an arrow which 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 221 

pierces two burning hearts, a burning altar and a torch, a con- 
nubial ring linked into a laurel-wreath, with a pair of billing 
doves hovering over a bed of flowers. Such is the fashion of 
the country; and we are told that this civility requires a formal 
full-dress visit in return. 

3d. The French Ambassador sent this morning to enquire 
whether I was at home, and afterwards paid me a visit His 
object was to talk with me about those American vessels the 
papers of which are still detained. He began with some gen- 
eral observations on the c6nsiderable commerce by American 
vessels during the last season in the ports of this country. I 
told him that it had been very considerable — greater. than in 
any former year ; aiid that the principal increase had been at 
the port of Archangel, the navigation to which had been much 
less interrupted than that to the ports in the Baltic. 

"And then," said he, "your vessels have done a great deal of 
business here on English account." 

I told him that was a mistake ; that the American vessels 
which had come here were directly from America, and returned 
directly thither. 

" But how happens it, then,** said he, " that several of them have 
been sequestered, or at least that their admission has been sus- 
pended ?" 

"Why," said I, smiling, "the credit of that is attributed to 
you." 

"That is to say," said he, "that we are supposed to have 
requjred that a strict examination should be had." 

I assured him that I had sent to the Government here a list of 
the vessels which I knew to be American, and the cargoes of 
which I had no doubt were American property and on Ameri- 
can account ; that of some of these vessels I knew the captains, 
owners, and supercargoes personally, that by others I had re- 
ceived late letters from the United States, and that, as to them 
all, I had such evidence of their American character as left no 
doubt upon my mind. As to the vessels which had arrived here 
about the same time under other than American colors, I had 
nothing to do with them, and knew nothing about them ; but 
that there were no English vessels which came now here under 



222 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [February. 

false American colors, for the plain reason that they knew they 
would be immediately detected, seized, and confiscated. I then 
mentioned to him the cases which had occurred here last winter, 
and the effect which had been produced by them in England. 

He asked where the American vessels could get such quan- 
tities of sugar as these had brought. I told him that our own 
country produced sugar — |>articularly Louisiana and parts of 
the State of Georgia. Besides which, we had sugar from St. 
Domingo, from Brazil, from the Spanish West India Islands, 
and from South America. 

This led us into a conversation upon the ancient colonial 
system of the European powers, in which I gave him my 
opinion that the issue of this war must eventually demolish it. 
He asked me what the state of our affairs now was with Eng- 
land — whether in case the Orders in Council were not revoked 
before the 2d of February it would not be a state of war-r-and 
said he was glad to perceive that the desire of the French Gov- 
ernment manifestly was to harmonize with us. He expressed 
much concern at the distress with which commerce in general 
is affected, and his hope that England would at last come to 
some terms, from which it would find relief There was, how- 
ever, nothing material said in this conversation but what had 
in substance been repeatedly observed between us in former 
conversations, for which reason I abridge most of the particu- 
lars. As he took leave he repeated his invitation for my family 
to his ball for next Friday evening. 

8th. In the evening we all went to the children's ball at the 
French Ambassador's. A great part of the company assembled 
late and returned very early. The children danced Polish 
dances, country dances, and French dances. But there appeared 
a coldness and reserve about the party which I had never ob- 
served on like occasions before. The Chinese shadows were 
duller than usual. I saw Count Romanzoff there, and delivered 
Mr. Harris's message to him. I also mentioned to him that I 
should probably not deliver the letter for the Emperor' at least 
before the summer, and perhaps not then. He expressed him- 
self satisfied with both my articles of communication to him. 

> His leUer uf recall, referred to in the entry on the 13th January, p. 212. 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 223 

The children had their supper between eleven and twelve 
o'clock. We came home ourselves soon after one in the morn- 
ing, leaving the remnant of the company still dancing, but the 
ball moving on heavily. It seemed as if the adventure of Gen- 
eral Hitroff was fresh upon every lady's memory." The person 
who appeared to enjoy it the most, and who was in the highest 
spirits, was Count St. Julien, the Austrian Envoy, an old rake, 
whose desire has long outlived his performance. He told me 
that he wanted a chair upon rollers to be moved round the room 
from lady to lady and to coquette with them all. He said he 
delighted above all things in company, and was very fond of 
amusing himself with making people ridiculous. I said that was 
an amusement more agreeable to the giver than to the receiver. 
He said that it generally returned, and the laughers were suffi- 
ciently laughed at themselves ; that he liked as well to be the 
subject of ridicule himself as to make others so, especially when 
it was done with wit, but that this disposition had once cost him 
a thrust through his arm. In his youth he used to draw, and 
was fond of making caricatures. He had made one of a friend, 
which was very striking and, he must do himself the justice to 
say, very ingenious. He had given it to another friend in great 
secrecy, to show to nobody; but he had shown it to others, until 
it came to the person himself who was caricatured. " He thought 
proper to take it amiss, et il avait raison. He challenged me to 
fight, et il avait raison. He ran his sword through my arm, et 
il avait raison. We embraced each other, et nous avions tous 
deux raison. But I told him that as soon as my arm was well 
I would set about making another caricature of him. Such," 
said the Count, by a grave conclusion, "are the follies of youth." 
The Count very honeistly and sincerely exaggerates a little to 
himself more than to others the keenness of his own wit. He 
brags of everything that a courtier and a soldier is vain of, and 
has not yet discovered that the levities which in youth may be 
graceful are, at his years, the best subjects of caricature. I told 

'On the 3d is the following entry: "Mr. Montreal mentioned as a report 
that on Monday evening General HitrofT, a nnan who had a handsome wife, was 
taken up and sent to Ftberia. The cause not known. Said to be from improper 
correspondence." 



224 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [February. 

him that, with his taste, he would not want materials to work 
with here. He said no; that everywhere — ^at St Petersburg, 
at Vienna, and no doubt at Washington — there were objects 
enough for this amusement But here, it was true, there were 
des ridicules tr&s-saillans, and then pointed me to one of an 
officer, " notre chevalier la qui danse les AUemandes sans les 
savoir." The Count's spirits were probably the gayer for the 
coldness which appeared between the Ambassador and his 
Russian guests. 

15 th. I called at twelve o'clock this day upon the French 
Ambassador, according to our appointment, and found Count 
Fagnani with him. He was giving an account of his journey 
yesterday to Gatschina. I presume he is a traveller for publica- 
tion. He soon went away, and I mentioned to the Ambassador 
the case of the American vessels, and the difficulties in the way 
of their admission, concerning which he had questioned me 
when he last visited me, and which I had then told him were 
attributed to him. I then observed to him that some of our 
American vessels, though not of this last list, had met with 
objections for having been provided with certificates of origin 
given by the French Consuls in America, as I was informed an 
official declaration had been made by the Duke de Cadore, the 
French Minister of Foreign Affairs, that all such papers must be 
forgeries, and that the French Consuls in the United States gave 
no such certificates. 

He said he recollected that I had mentioned the same thing to 
him some months ago ; but that he had even since then received 
again from his Government a formal declaration, and had in 
fact communicated it to the Government here, that the French 
Consuls in America issued no such documents, and that all 
such papers were therefore forgeries. 

I told him that this was certainly a mistake; that I had 
within a few days received the copy of a paper, of which I 
expected shortly to receive also the original, which, with his 
permission, I would read to him. It was a certificate of origin, 
signed by Mr. Gerand, the French Consul at Boston, dated 
the thirty-first of October last, and to which was added a cer- 
tificate from the same person that he had been in the constant 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 225 

practice of delivering certificates of origin when required, 
and upon satisfactory proof, excepting during the time of the 
Embargo. 

The Ambassador took minutes of this paper, which I told 
him I had brought to show him, not officihlly, because it was 
only a copy, nor from the expectation that any others of my 
countrymen here Would be injured by producing any such paper 
in future — for, after the warning Which they have had, I sup- 
posed those who had them would be careful to keep them in 
their desks — ^but from the expectation that his own Government, 
when informed of its mistake, would take measures which its 
own credit and dignity, as well as the honor of its public officers, 
would seem in such a case to require. 

"But," said he, "supposing our Consuls have given these 
certificates in disobedience of their orders?" 

I said I thought it more probable, as well as more liberal to 
the character of those public officers, to suppose that if such 
orders had been dispatched to them they had not been received, 
or that they were expressed in terms to which the Consuls had 
not quite given the construction intended by them, than that 
they had violated their duty by acting in direct violation of their 
orders ; but that even were this the case it became a question 
between the officer and his Government, which could not afTect 
the rights, reputation, or property of persons who had received 
their certificates. If they had violated their duty, their Gov- 
ernment might say so to the world — might recall and punish 
them — might disavow their acts, and discredit them after due 
notice. But this was a very difTerent thing from declaring 
their real signatures to be forgeries. It was merely a question 
of fact: did they, or did they not, give the certificates ? If they 
did, and you declare they did not, it is precisely the case of an. 
individual who should deny his own handwriting to a promis- 
sory note ; and, said I, the dishonor of such a procedure must 
fall ultimately upon the officer himself whose Government falsi- 
fies his acts, or upon the Government which thus gratuitously 
discredits its own officer. I could not suppose such an intention, 
in the Government of France. 

He said that, to be sure, there could not be two opinicios. 

VOL. II. — 15 



226 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. LFcbnuiy, 

upon a case so clear, considered as a question of law or of 
fnarality. 

** Consider it, Monsieur TAmbassadeur, as a question of honor 
— ^as a question between men of honor — what would be the answer 
then?" 

He smiled, and said, precisely the same. He added, that, as by 
the late measures in France it appeared that the Government 
was inclined to come upon good terms with the United States, 
he was persuaded that they would do justice in this case. 

I told him that I thought this was a case which his Government 
would consider as altogether distinct from any consideration of 
good or bad terms between the two nations ; that it implicated 
the honor of his Government itself, and that even if we were 
in the midst of a war, the falsification of a French officer's sig- 
nature by his own Government, knowing it to be true, would 
not be justifiable, but an act of injustice which France would 
disdain. 

He said it was very true, and that as the credit due to the 
Consul's signatures was conferred by those who appointed 
them, it was properly not just that others should suffer, if they 
were guilty of disobedience of orders. "But," said he, "it 
seems you are great favorites here. You have found powerful 
protection, for most of your vessels have been admitted." 

I told him that they had ; but it was afler a delay of three 
months, and after their papers had been taken from the Com- 
mission of Neutral Navigation and had undergone a very strict 
examination before the Imperial Council. After the circum- 
stance had occurred, I had written to Count Ronianzoff, and 
sent him a list of the vessels, for which I undertook to answer 
that they came from the United States, and of which I had no 
doubt but that their cargoes were American property. All of 
these had now been admitted except four, which I expected 
would soon be, as their cases were equally clear with the rest. 
I then added, that in the first audience that I had of the Em- 
peror Alexander, he had expressed a determination to favor 
the commerce between the United States and Russia, which 
he well knew was a commerce highly advantageous to Russia; 
and that he had at the same time manifested to me his strong 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 227 

desire to harmonize with France, and his attachment to his 
alliance with her ; that ever since that time Count Romanzoflf 
had uniformly and invariably assured me that such was his 
own system of policy — to adhere to the French alliance, and to 
favor the commerce with America; that with regard to the 
French alliance, this was a subject with which, as an American, 
it was not my business to meddle ; but that it was my duty to 
support to the utmost of my powers the rights and interests of 
our commerce with this country; and I hoped therefore that the 
Emperor would persist in his favorable sentiments towards it. 
In fact, I considered the two things as perfectly reconcilable 
together. 

" I hope they will be more reconcilable still," said he, " as 
France and the United States will come to a better understand- 
ing with each other. But, after all, you have had a very advan- 
tageous commerce this last year. I am told you have had more 
than a hundred vessels at Archangel — as great a number here 
— and now between twenty and thirty of those last arrived." 

"But," said I, "you are to consider that, thanks to you, we 
have had scarcely any part of the continent of Europe open 
to us. We have had only the ports of Spain and Portugal, 
where you are not the masters, and Russia. For you made 
Denmark and Prussia shut their doors against us, without a 
shadow of reason for it." 

" You could not, however, have much commerce with Den- 
mark," said he. 

I replied that it was considerable, as long as goods were 
allowed to be introduced from Holstein into Holland and France, 
through Hamburg, by land. He finally said that it appeared 
further measures were to be taken in France after the second of 
February, and he hoped they would lead to the relief of com* 
merce generally, which was now so excessively oppressed. 

17th. The weather continues severely cold, and in my ^alk 
this day I observed a curious phenomenon. The sun was near 
setting (it sets at thirty-two minutes past four, precisely as at 
the winter solstice in Boston), and from a clear atmosphere sunk 
under a bank of haze. Before it had disappeared, its rays in 
passing through the vapor formed a rainbow, which, as I walked 



228 AfEMOlRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Febnianr, 

Up the quay of the Neva, appeared about the middle of the river, 
at an angle between me and the sun. At the same time the 
atmosphere was full of frozen particles of the same vapor float- 
ing all around me and coruscating in the sun. The Carnival 
Ice-hills upon the river are finished, and the sliders upon them 
are numerous. They had already begun yesterday. The pro- 
cession of sledges from the comer of the Winter Palace to the 
Hermitage bridge was more numerous, and the crowd of Rus- 
sian spectators greater than I had seen it before this winter. 

2 1 St We had all received cards of invitation to attend at the 
public examination of the studies of the young ladies who are 
about to leave the school which is called the Institute of the 
Order of St. Catherine. These cards were brought by the Aide 
dcs Ceremonies who brings the notices for the Courts. The 
invitations are given by order of the Empress-mother, who is 
the patroness of the institution. The examination was fixed 
for two days successively, the eighth and ninth of February, at 
nine in the morning. But we did not receive our cards until 
late yesterday, to attend this day at ten o'clock. We went at 
that hour in full dress, as to a Court. The building of the 
institution is on the Fontanka. We were introduced to a very 
large hall, which we found crowded with company. Convenient 
seats in the most distinguished places were assigned to the 
foreign Ministers. The Ambassador, Counts Bussche and 
Schenk, Baron Blome and General Watzdorf, were there, Count 
Luxbourg, and most of the Secretaries. Mr. Everett and Mr. 
Gray attended; Mr. Smith did not. None of the imperial 
family were there — ^but almost all the Ministers of State and 
principal nobility of the empire. The examination of this day 
iiad just begun when we arrived. A printed synopsis or pro- 
gramme of the examination was distributed among the persons 
attending, with a list of the young ladies who have finished 
ihcir education and are going out. The objects upon which 
the examination turned on the first day were — i. Religion, 
Sacred History of the Old and New Testament, and Moral 
Philosophy. 2. Universal Geography, preceded by an abridged 
Course of Mathematical Geography. 3. Universal History, 
Ancient and Modern, and tlie History of Russia in particular. 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 220 

4. Russian Literature. On the second day — 5. Arithmetic. 
6. The German Language. • 7. French Literature. 8. Experi- 
mental Philosophy. 9. Singing and Music. 10. Dancing. 
Besides which were to be presented some essays of composi- 
tions and of translations, and a variety of specimens of draw- 
ing, embroidery, and other works of the young ladies. The 
examination of arithmetic was in the Russian language, and I 
could not understand it. The instructor, however, put the ques- 
tions, and the young ladies answered by making ciphered 
figures with chalk on a large black-board standing in a frame 
like a looking-glass, and which could be seen by all the audi- 
ence ; and by explaining the ciphers as they made them. The 
examination of the French and German languages was made by 
books in French, German, and Russian, which the young ladies 
brought to persons of the company, requesting them to open 
the book to any passage which they pleased. The lady then 
took the book, at the passage indicated to her, and read three 
or four sentences from the book, translating it as she went 
along, into French, German, or Russian, according to the 
language of each book. For this examination it is obvious 
tliere could be no special previous preparation ; and it was one 
of those of which they appeared to acquit themselves the most 
indifferently. One of the ladies brought me a French book, 
and translated into Russian a passage at which I opened it for 
her. But I was not qualified to be her judge, not understand- 
ing a word of her translation. But it is an excellent mode of 
examination to ascertain proficiency. The examination of 
French literature was in logic and rhetoric. The whole of this 
was the repetition of a lesson by heart; and it had been well 
learnt by them all. The instructor put all the questions, and 
the ladies answered verbatim from their books. They were 
chiefly logical and rhetorical definitions, with examples of syl- 
logisms, enthymemes, epichiremas, and the principal rhetor- 
ical figures. Most of the specimens were in verse, from the 
French poets, and the young ladies generally, except that they 
spoke not quite loud enough, recited remarkably well. Then 
followed experimental philosophy ; the examination of which 
was likewise in French, and managed by the instructor. An 



230 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

air-pump and an electrical machine were brought in, and a table 
with a Leyden jar, and phials of gas, with several other of the 
instruments used in courses of lectures upon this science. The 
instructor, who in appearance and manners was something of 
a caricature, asked questions upon the properties of matter — 
extension, cohesion, divisibility, mobility, porosity, &c. — and as 
the young ladies answered, desired them to show the proof of 
tlie answer by an experiment. The gravity and elasticity of 
the air, with samples of oxygen, hydrogen, and muriatic acids 
and gases, were tlius proved, and an account and description 
of the barometer and thermometer were given ; but many of 
the experiments were unsuccessful. One of them consisted in 
inflaming some spirits of wine and making them spout up from 
a glass fountain. The young lady and her teacher both burnt 
their fingers in making this experiment, and he spilt some of 
the burning fluid on the floor, which he undertook to extinguish 
with an empty decanter, and which burnt for two or three 
minutes. He extracted the air by the pump from tlie two 
hollow hemispheres of brass, to show the gravity of the atmos- 
phere by their adhesion. He gave them to the young lady to 
show that they could not be pulled asunder. She gave one end 
of them to Count Luxbourg, and held the other herself At 
the first and slightest pull the hemispheres parted. The young 
lady, without being disconcerted, put the two parts of the ball 
together again, placed it upon the pump, extracted the air 
effectually, and then showed that the hemispheres could not be 
pulled asunder. So that the failure of the experiment at first 
afforded the strongest proof that she knew how to make it. 
But the teacher, who seemed quite as much inclined to exhibit 
his own skill as that of the young ladies, had taken so much 
time with his chemistry and air that there was none lefl for 
electrical experiments. 

Afler this the select part of the auditory passed from the 
great hall into an adjoining room, where the drawings, paintings, 
embroidery, and other works were exposed. The drawings 
were in crayons, Indian ink, or water colors — most of them 
framed and copied from handsome prints. The name of each 
young lady was marked by a ticket upon her performance, and 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 23 1 

all the names of the workers to the large pieces of embroidery 
which had occupied several hands; all these samples were 
exceedingly well done. The specimens of writing and com- 
position were numerous, but I accidentally did not see any 
of them. In another adjoining room there were tables laid, 
and a cold collation served; cordials were also carried round 
to the company by servants. 

After about half an hour passed in these rooms, we returned 
to the great hall, where a new arrangement of the seats became 
necessary, as a larger area was indispensable for the exhibitions. 
A piano-forte was placed in the middle of the hall, but the per- 
former upon this was a man, as were the whole band of accom- 
paniment. The young ladies sang airs, duets, recitative, and 
choruses. The best singers were of course chosen for the soli- 
tary performances, which were in a high style of excellence. 
The whole was uncommonly good. The whole examination 
was concluded with dancing — ^the Russian dance; the Spanish 
fandango, with castanets; a Polish dance; the shawl and gar- 
land dances, by three or four; and the whole number joined in 
chorus. The waltz was not danced. The number of young 
ladies who leave the school is eighty-one. There are four 
classes, each of an equal number. They are all very accom- 
plished and graceful, but almost all not handsome, to say the 
least. The prettiest and most accomplished of them all is a 
Countess Chaillot, an orphan daughter of a French emigrant. 

22d. Mr. Weeks came in one of the vessels whose cargoes 
have been admitted in part, and he wants to procure admission 
for the rest. I told him I expected to see Baron Campenhausen, 
who had promised to call upon me, this morning, and that I 
would speak to him upon the subject I waited for the Baron, 
however, until half-past four o'clock, and he did not come. 
This is the fashion of doing business here, as I have experienced 
on many occasions. In my application to the Minister of Police 
in behalf of Waldstein, he promised that the matter should be 
settled to my satisfaction, and that he would inform me of it. 
To refresh his memory, I sent Waldstein himself to him with 
a written note, and he renewed his promise. The last time I 
dined at Count Romanzoflf's I reminded him of the matter, 



\ 



232 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [February, 

which he said he recollected very well, and that he would write 
to me about it in one or two days. I have not heard from him 
since. Baron Campenhausen proceeds exactly in the same 
manner. Every time I see him he gives me the fairest prom- 
ises, which, according to the doctrine of Hudibras, are words — 
'' wind, too feeble instruments to bind." It is useless to com- 
plain of this fashion. To promise and not perform is their polite 
mode of refusal. 

In my walk before dinner, I met a crowd of people upon the 
quay of the Neva, opposite the Winter Palace, and a very large 
procession of sledges and carriages. The ice-hills on the river 
were also very much thronged. At eleven at night we all went 
to a ball at Count RomanzofTs, given on the occasion of Princess 
Zeneide Beloselsky's marriage with Prince Volkonsky. All the 
Corps Diplomatique was there, but the company was otherwise 
not numerous — less than a hundred persons in all. I walked a 
polonaise with Madame de Laval, and on my mentioning to her 
that I had been at the examination of the St. Catherine school, 
she asked me whether I was there the day that Count Serge 
Romanzoff (brother of the Chancellor) had gone up and offered 
himself in marriage to one of the young ladies. It was not the 
day when we were there. The Count was all last winter in 
a state of total insanity, and, though now so much recovered as 
to be out again in company, still has occasional fits of mental 
disorder. The invitation this evening was only to supper, and, 
being a full-dress ball, was solemn and dull, as they always are. 
The supper was served about three in the morning. We came 
home about four. The Ambassador did not stay to supper — 
which was, as usual, a subject of remark. 

24th. This, instead of yesterday, is the day which closes the 
butter week : the name of which indicates its difference from the 
Roman Catholic Carnival. It is a sort of prelude to Lent, for by 
the Greek Church they are allowed to eat butter, and everything 
else, during this week, excepting flesh. It is also a week of popu- 
lar festivity, which increases as the week draws to an end. The 
weather this day being extremely fine, the crowds of people in 
the processions of sledges and carriages, on the quay of the river, 
^nd at the ice-hills, was immense. There were three masquerades 



i8ii.] THB MISSION TO RUSSIA. 233 

given, one of which began at eleven in the morning and finished 
at two P.M. ; the other two began at nine in the evening, and 
the music ceased precisely at midnight. There was a French 
play, which began at noon, and another at six in the evening. 
The full rigor of the Russian Lent commences from this mid- 
night. The Roman Catholics have two days more of Carnival, 
and begin their Lent on Wednesday morning, which is Ash 
Wednesday. The whole system is reckoned from Christmas to 
Easter. It is all a fortnight earlier this year than it was the last 
I read Massillon's sermon upon the ambition of clergymen, 
which is very good, but in which there are somcf singular ideas. 
I have often heard of the resistance which it was understood the 
Romish clergy were bound to make to their elevation to the 
episcopal dignity. The nolo episcopari is proverbial to express 
a resistance of form which is always to end with compliance. 
But Massillon very strenuously urges that it ought to be a 
serious resistance, founded upon a deep and sincere conviction 
of unworthiness. This is a hard saying, and I find nothing to 
warrant it in the Scriptures. If indeed a man is to measure 
his qualifications by a standard of ideal perfection, his estimation 
of himself will always be, and ought to be, humble. If a man 
compares himself with others who might be his competitors, 
the greatest danger doubtless is that he will overrate himself; 
and against this error he is certainly bound to be upon his guard. 
But as to an absolute duty to underrate himself, to think him- 
self the most unworthy of a dignity of which he is really the 
most worthy, I neither understand it as a principle nor believe 
it as a fact. Clerical ambition is indeed a deadly sin, but a 
Roman Catholic bishop could not easily consider it in its 
deepest colors. He therefore views it only in the light of in- 
dividu.ll ambition — desires of selfish aggrandizement without 
reference to that of the Church. 

27th. I called upon Baron Campenhausen this morning, 
according to his appointment, and had a conversation with 
him of nearly two hours; which began upon the subject of the 
American vessels whose admission has not yet been ordered, 
but which soon extended over the whole field of European 
politics. As to the vessels, he made me many apologies, all 



234 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

very lame, for not having finished the business before, which 
he hinted was not owing to him, but to some other person. 
He made me as many promises that the business should be 
finished in a very few days; which promises being precisely 
the same as those that he has made me more than ten times 
for these three months, I am at no loss to estimate how much 
they are worth. He has a manner of talking which I have 
learnt to understand, and which, by the help of a translation, 
conveys his meaning clearly enough. It is to promise, and to 
apologize in vague and general terms; with obscure hints to 
excite the idea of difficulties in other quarters which proceed 
altogether from himself " I was for taking these cases sepa- 
rately from all the rest — and it is very strange — it is a great 
mortification to me that they have been so long delayed. I 
cannot conceive why they could not have been decided by 
themselves. But then, on the other hand, they say cases under 
similar circumstances, not American, ought to be treated in the 
same manner. And then the false papers — and then the sort of 
minagement . . . and then the caution that was to be observed 
to show that there was no change of system — and then all the 
clamor about this great convoy from Gottenburg — ^and then all 
these things put together, and the different opinions, and the 
different interests. . . . But as for everything that depends 
upon me, that has been done ; and I will see if I cannot have 
the matter brought on from another quarter." 

I urged to him that the vessels had now been kept nearly 
four months without a decision ; that the Emperor himself and 
Count Romanzoff continually had assured me of the determi- 
nation of this Government to favor the American commerce, 
and I had made it an invariable principle to meddle with no 
other; that I considered it my duty to respect the laws of the 
country, but it was also my duty to maintain the rights of my 
country and the lawful commerce of my countrymen ; that I 
knew the French Ambassador had interfered against us in these 
cases, and before the admission of the greatest number of these 
vessels I had supposed that political considerations might have 
some influence in the business. But now, after the principal 
step had been taken 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 235 

"Between ourselves," said he, "I can tell you that that 
difficulty is entirely subdued. There is no question of that 
kind left." 

I mentioned to him the case of the Eliza, at Archangel, 
belonging to Mr. Thomdike, and concerning which Mr. Dana 
made application to me. She actually came directly from the 
island of Teneriffe, and part of her cargo had been sentenced to 
be confiscated by the Commission of Neutral Navigation, be- 
cause some of her papers bore the same signatures with those 
which had been found to be false on board the vessels which 
were condemned last summer, and which were English vessels, 
from English ports, but pretended to have cleared from Tene- 
riffe. I said I had not seen the papers ; but that from my per- 
sonal knowledge of the owner, and of his agent, now here, and 
from the solemn assurances I had received from him, I had no 
doubt that the vessel came from Teneriffe ; that she had not 
been in England, and that the cargo was entirely American 
property. 

The Karon said that he did not know why the Commission at 
Archangel had felt itself bound by the decisions of the Com- 
mission here, in cases the circumstances of which, if similar 
in one or two particulars, were different in many others. The 
Teneriffe vessels condemned here had cargoes not at all suited 
to the place from which they pretended to come. There were 
declarations of the sailors that they came from elsewhere. 
Some of their papers had signatures which were known to be 
false — those which were produced in the case of the Eliza were 
indeed the same as two of those which had been suspected in 
the papers of the condemned vessels, but that was only one of 
a variety of grounds upon which the condemnations had ensued. 
He took a minute of this case, and said he would see what he 
could do about it. 

I asked him whether it woul4 be expedient for me to write a 
note to Count Romanzoff on this subject, and he said he thought 
it would. There was the case of the Rapid, too, about which 
Mr. Stieglitz was talking with the Baron when I went in. He 
said that if in the course of two or three days the Commission 
should not get through, and admit the remainder of that cargo, 



236 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Febmary, 

he would thank me to send him a short note with a statement 
of the case, and he would see to it 

I told him it was a great hardship that genuine Americans 
should be put to so much embarrassment to defend themselves 
against the charge of producing &lse papers; that men of 
honor and integrity found both their reputation and their 
property jeopardized by such proceedings. I then referred 
him to the Declaration of the French Government concerning 
the certificates of origin of the French Consuls in the United 
States; which Declaration I had repeatedly assured him was 
altogether contrary to the fact. I could now show him docu- 
ments to prove my assertions ; upon which I showed him the 
copy of Mr. Gerand's certificate which I received from Mr. Joy, 
and the original certificate itself of the whole cargo of the brig 
Syren, Captain Howland, given by Louis Felix, the French 
Consul at New York, dated twenty-eighth July, 1810. 

The Baron expressed great astonishment at the sight of these 
papers — the first of which, I told him, I had shown to the Am- 
bassador. He asked me what the Ambassador had said to it. 
I told him he had shrugged his shoulders and acknowledged 
that he knew not what to say. The Ambassador had no more 
doubt than I had that these were authentic papers. But he 
had orders to declare the contrary, and what was it for him to 
say? 

The Baron then put me many questions respecting the present 
state of our affairs with France, and the conduct of France 
towards the United States. lie enquired why the measures on 
both sides had been calculated upon the dates of second No- 
vember and second February ; which I explained to him from 
the Law of Congress of the last session. He then entered upon 
the general consideration of the policy of France, and asked me 
if I had read an article in the last Moniteur concerning the 
Continental system. I had not seen the Moniteur ; but I had 
just received the Hamburg Correspondent, and had read the 
article in a German translation. The substance of the argu- 
ment was, that although the Continent suffered very much by 
the Continental system, the Governments did not lose their 
revenues, and the people could live through it; but that it must 



i8il.] THE MrSSION TO RUSStA. 237 

lead to the total ruin of England, because England had a depre- 
ciated paper currency, which already lost fifteen or sixteen per 
cent, in the market. As to the Continental system, I said, that 
would undoubtedly last as long as the Emperor Napoleon 
should choose to continue his experiment, and as long as such 
articles as this should appear in their Moniteur. If there was a 
change of Ministry in England, the Orders of Council, which 
I abhorred as much as the Emperor Napoleon, would certainly 
be revoked, and then he might exult with triumph as much as 
if his Continental system had extorted the revocation. They 
would be revoked because the new Ministry would be com- 
posed of men who from the beginning had pledged themselves 
against the measure and who had already made several attempts 
to obtain their repeal. But it would not be the effect of the 
Continental system; and if the present Ministry should be 
continued, they would undoubtedly adhere to them. I said 
that when the Moniteur and the other French political writers 
argued against the British Orders in Council they could not 
miss being right; those orders were in such utter defiance 
and contempt of every principle of the Law of Nations, that 
nothing too severe could be said against them ; but when the 
French writers extolled the effects of the Continental system, 
as counteraction to the Orders in Council, I thought as little 
of their reasoning as I confided in their facts. The Moniteur, 
for instance, now insisted that England was upon the verge of 
total ruin, because she had a paper currency that lost fifteen or 
sixteen per cent. It contended that the Continent was in a 
flourishing condition, because France lost none of her revenues, 
and because France had nothing but gold and silver. I did 
believe that a national bankruptcy, partial or total, would be 
inevitable in England. But what of that ? France had com- 
mitted bankruptcy three or four times since her revolution; 
and in annexing Holland to the French Empire she had made 
her commit a bankruptcy no longer ago than last summer. 
France considered it the simplest operation in the world to reduce 
a public debt to one-third of its amount and tell the creditors 
they must esteem themselves very happy to receive their interest 
upon that. With what face, then, could France pretend that 



238 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

England was at the point of dissolution because she had a paper 
currency that lost fifteen or sixteen per cent? As to France's 
losing none of her revenues, and having nothing but gold and 
silver, that might be true. And it might satisfy her, too, to 
consider her own condition as answering for that of the whole 
Continent She could throw all the burden of this state of 
things upon Austria, upon Prussia, upon Denmark, upon 
Sweden, upon Russia, and reckon their sufferings for nothing 
at all ; but they suffered nevertheless for that As to a depre- 
ciated paper, I hoped that was not to be considered as a signal 
of national ruin ; for if it was, the whole Continent, excepting 
France, was in a far more ruinous condition than England, 
having paper much more deeply depreciated. 

The Baron then asked me what I thought of the probability 
of a negotiation for a peace ; which I told him I had long been 
of opinion would not take place until the English have evacuated 
Spain and Portugal. I considered that as the only question yet 
remaining to contend against seriously. He said he was afraid 
that would yet be for a long time undecided ; that it did not 
appear as if they would soon be expelled from Portugal ; that 
if they should be compelled to embark at Lisbon they might 
immediately afterwards disembark again in some part of Spain ; 
that the war seemed to be raging in almost all the Spanish 
provinces, and that the King, Joseph, as well as the King of 
Naples, talked of abdication, 

I said I did not think the last circumstance of much conse- 
quence as to the negotiation for peace. Spain was to be under 
French domination, under one shape or another, and it mattered 
little who was to be its nominal governor. But the Spanish 
Colonies were to be forever separated from their metropolis, 
and they would not come under French domination. The 
Emperor Napoleon's marriage had manifestly effected a total 
revolution in his political system. He had formerly been 
inclined to form a system of federative monarchies, placing his 
brothers and sisters at their head. But since he had a prospect 
of posterity himself, the royalties of all his brothers would 
probably meet a similar fate to that of the kingdom of Holland. 

The Baron appeared to coincide in these opinions, but he 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 239 

was not so free as I was to express his opinions upon general 
politics. I told him that the Emperor Napoleon very often wanted 
such a monition as was once given to Peter the Great. In one 
of his fits of passion, he threatened violence against one of his 
officers, who simply said, " Your Majesty will do as you please, 
but your history will tell of it ;" and Peter immediately checked 
his hand. Napoleon has been in great want of somebody 
to say to him, "Your history will tell of it," throughout the 
whole series of these Spanish transactions, and especially for 
the scenes at Bayonne. The Baron said that Talleyrand had 
undoubtedly rendered him that service, though without success. 
28th. The General of the Jesuits, Father Brzozowsky, called 
upon me this morning with a letter for the Reverend Mr. Neale, 
the Roman Catholic priest at Georgetown, which he requested 
me to forward. I made many enquiries of him concerning the 
school which they have here. They have now forty-two scholars, 
which is the full number that they can take. There is under 
the father-general a provincial father, then a rector, five pro- 
fessors, and six regents. Each student has his separate chamber, 
where he studies. But the door remains open, and the duty of 
the regents is to watch and pass occasionally from chamber to 
chamber to see that the boys are really at their studies. They 
are in the classes five hours a day. Whenever the boys walk out 
they are accompanied by one of the regents. The pupils are 
taken not under six and not over twelve years of age. Their 
course of study employs six years — three for the ancient lan- 
guages, one for rhetoric, and two for philosophy. The mathe- 
matics commence with the first year by common arithmetic, 
and close with the last by conic sections and the sublimest 
parts of the science. They have two half-holidays in the week. 
The church holidays and a few hours of every week are allowed 
for the teachers of elegant accomplishments — fencing, dancing, 
drawing, and music. Their discipline is indulgent, their pun- 
ishment light and adapted to the moral feelings of tlie children. 
They have also a seminary for the education of priests : their 
term of study is fifteen years, — the six above mentioned — ^then 
a second year of rhetoric, which they are required to go over 
again — three years of regency^ to form them to the art of 



240 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [March, 

instruction — and five years' study of theology. With regard 
to rhetoric, the good father told me he thought nothing could 
be added after Quintilian, RoUin, and Father Jouvency, who, he 
observed, was a member of their order. He spoke with great 
commendation of the Rule of St Ignatius, as a perfect model 
of discipline, ai!d said that Frederic the Second of Prussia had 
declared that it would alone be competent to the good govern- 
ment of a kingdom. 

I asked him if they had any public exhibitions at their school. 
He said there \vras one in December, and a public examination 
in May, to the next of which he would send me an invitation. 
He said that the Grand Marshal Count Tolstoy had now placed 
his second son with them. His eldest was now closing his year 
of rhetoric. He was remarkable for his docility and goodness 
of temper. But they had a young Prince Galitzin, who, though 
not of a genius uncommonly bright, surpassed all the others in 
indefatigable application. He said that from his experience in 
the education of children he always formed better hopes from 
moderate natural capacities with assiduous study than from 
brilliant parts, which were almost always too eccentric to turn 
steadily to good. It is everywhere the same. 

March ist. The French Ambassador paid me a morning visit 
He mentioned that he had heard I was going away and in- 
tended to return to the United States. I told him that I should 
probably not go the present year. I said I had heard also that 
he was going away, and that he was to take the Department of 
Foreign Affairs at Paris. He said that he had been here three 
years, and that the report had been constantly circulated during 
the whole time that he was going away; that as to the De- 
partment of Foreign Affairs, it was not at all desirable that he 
should have it 

6th. I finished the original Discourse upon Universal History. 
There is to the edition which Mr. Navarro has lent me a con- 
tinuation, said to have been written by Bossuet, but never pub- 
lished until the year 1806. This work, which I had never read 
until now, has been, and still is, so excessively extolled by the 
French writers that, as usually happens to overrated things, it 
has not answered my expectations. Bossuet was a party writer 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 2\\ 

(in regard to religion)^ and the reputation of all such authors is 
exaggerated and partly factitious. Faction of every kind can 
find wit in dulness, and supernatural powers in ordinary genius. 
The discourse is not, however, an ordinary work. It is a bold 
and vigorous outline of Universal History; chiefly founded 
upon the Bible. The succession of empires is marked out by 
a series of remarkable epochs, and the fortunes of the people of 
God, and their successors, the Christian Church, are compressed 
into a small but interesting abridgment. There are some 
chronological discussions, not very clearly elucidated; a re- 
view of the prophecies, equally profound and ingenious ; an 
exposition of the arguments of the Jews, who deny the appli- 
cation of the prophecies to Jesus Christ ; and an argumentation 
against the Protestants, derived from the novelty of their sects. 
The bishop's tone, whenever he enters upon controversy, has 
nothing in it of Christian humility or charity. He is arrogant 
and insulting ; as, when he speaks of Louis the Fourteenth, he 
is a base and servile flatterer. He concludes with a rapid view 
of the Roman history, in which he recognizes the love of liberty 
and the spirit of patriotism as the sources of all their greatness. 

8th. At twelve o'clock I went to the Office of the Depart- 
ment of Foreign Affairs, on the quay of the Neva, which I sup- 
posed to be the place where Count Romanzoff* had appointed 
to meet me ; but he was not there. I then went to his own 
house on the quay, but did not And him. I Anally went to the 
house where he resides, and was admitted. On apologizing to 
him for being so late, and telling him that I had first gone to 
the office of the department, which I thought his note had 
indicated to me, he said that the house in which he lives was 
the Hotel des Affaires Etrangeres. 

I then told him the subject upon which I had requested to 
see him — the vessels which were still waiting for a decision 
respecting the whole or parts of their cargoes. He expressed 
some surprise, and said he thought that business had been set- 
tled some time ago. I said it had been in part, but that there 
remained a number concerning which it had been delayed ; that, 
not wishing to importune him more than was absolutely neces- 
sary, I had applied several times to Baron Campenhausen con- 

VOL. II. — 16 



242 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

cerning it ; that he had repeatedly assured nie that the business 
should be immediately settled in their favor; but it was not 
yet done. I then told him how long this decision had been 
delayed, and how important it was to those concerned that they 
should have time to transact their business and be able to get 
away immediately on the opening of the navigation in the 
spring. I added that I had made a minute in writing of all the 
cases, not in official form, but merely as a memorandum, which, 
with his permission, I would give him. 

He said he was very glad I had brought it, as it would 
serve him to draw up his official note to Baron Campenhausen, 
which he would immediately send. He would not call this delay 
a caprice of the Baron*s, but he did not know what was the reason 
of it. I accordingly delivered the minute to him, and mentioned 
particularly the case of the Eliza at Archangel, repeating to him 
the observations which I made concerning her, last week, to 
Baron Campenhausen. I asked the Count's i:>cnnission to send 
him a packet to be forwarded by the first courier that would go 
to Paris. He said that he would send it with pleasure ; that he 
had already received notice of a courier from Paris, whom he 
expected immediately, and shortly after his arrival he should 
dispatch one. He asked me if I had any news from England. 
I had none. He said it appeared Mr. Labouch^re, the same 
person who had been sent to London last winter from Holland, 
was gone again ; but as there had been no change of Ministry, 
probably he would be as little listened to as he was before. 
Perhaps he had been sent upon the expectation that with the 
establishment of the regency there would be a new set of 
Ministers. 

I said that I should have supposed the subject upon which 
Mr. Labouchere went last winter was now no longer a matter 
for negotiation, as Holland had been so formally annexed to the 
French Empire. 

"Pourquoi pas?" said the Count; " such things are not irrev- 
ocable ; and at least the Emperor Napoleon may be willing to 
offer terms which may be favorable to England." I said that, 
as to the restoration of the Kingdom of Holland, I did not think 
. that was an object in which the English •Government would 



i8il.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 243 

take much interest — they would be indiflerent as to the form 
of government, which must essentially be under the absolute 
control of France. He said he thought so too ; and though it 
might not be an agreeable consideration for the Hollanders, it 
was impossible to conceal that they were no longer to be prized 
as they formerly had been, considered as a nation. 

I asked the Count if this was a special holiday, having seen a 
great number of carriages and sledges in the St. Isaac's square, 
before the church, and several soldiers at the church door. He 
said it was no holiday; but as the nobility of the province had 
been this week making their elections, perhaps it was some reli- 
gious ceremony which they attended at the close of the business. 
He had heard that the Count Strogonoff had been re-elected 
the First Marshal. It was the eighth time he had been elected 
— that is, he had held the office ever since the establishment of 
the system, which was an institution of the Empress Catherine. 
But as it was not to be disguised that Count Strogonoff was 
growing old, they had now elected a candidate, who he heard 
was Count OrlofT, as a substitute in case of a vacancy. He had 
not attended, and never attended these meetings himself, because 
he did not consider himself as having a right to attend them. 
There were, indeed, many persons who attended them merely 
because they were owners of a house in St. Petersburg; but that 
was not the construction which he gave to the law. At the first 
election, the Empress Catherine, to avoid every appearance or 
even suspicion of exercising any influence, had purposely left 
the city and gone upon a journey while the elections were held. 
" At present our masters," said the Count, " do not absent 
themselves at these times ; but as to this province, the institu- 
tion itself has not answered the expectations that had been 
entertained from it. The object was to assemble in a body and 
make a representation of the principal landholders. But from 
the situation of tli^ capital and of the property in its neighbor- 
hood, it turns out that all the owners of the petty gardens and 
country-seats on the Peterhof road claimed the right of attend- 
ing the meetings here; and upon such a title one of the Mar- 
shals elected was a Mr. Bille, the brother of a merchant in this 
city — a man who, to be sure, as a merchant, had a very respect- 



244 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

able occupation and was wealthy, but who had begun lower 
in life than that." The Count, therefore, is not much satisfied 
with the institution, which is indeed a singular anomaly in a 
government like this. The elections are held once every three 
years ; and the merchants have an election separate from that 
of the nobility. The officers elected constitute the judicial 
tribunal of the province, from which there is an appeal to the 
Senate. My conference with the Count was short, and I left 
him about one o'clock. 

nth. In walking my usual round this morning, I met the 
Emperor upon the Fontanka. He stopped and talked about the 
weather — said it was very windy, and that I was in the direc- 
tion to have it shortly afterwards in the face. I told him that 
as it was not cold, and I had already been walking long enough 
to quicken the circulation, I should scarcely perceive the wind. 
I asked him whether this very warm weather, which has now 
continued nearly a fortnight, would not break up the river. He 
said that it would be a very extraordinary instance if it did ; 
that the river had never been known to break up before the 
middle of March, and sometimes not until May. I observed 
that the last year it had waited until the 30th of April ; but I 
thought it could not stand so long this season. ** But," said he, 
*' we shall be paid for all this moderate weather before the winter 
ends. The spring never begins before its time without relapsing 
afterwards into winter. Even last year, on the 31st of May, our 
style — think of that, our style — I was going to Twer, and had on 
the road a very considerable flight of snow. We gain nothing 
by having mild weather too soon." While he was in the midst 
of these remarks, a carriage-and-four passed us in the street. He 
stepped aside from before me, put up his glass to see who was 
in the carriage, bowed, and took off his hat, and then stepped 
back to me, and finished the sentence which he had broken off 
in the middle. 

17th. In taking my daily walk, I met upon the quay General 
Pardo, and walked with him. He talked, as usual, of political 
news, and of a courier received by the French Ambassador 
the day before yesterday, by whom he received a positive order 
to stay until the arrival of Count Lauriston, his successor. 



l8ii.] THE MISSION TO HUSSIA, 245 

General Fardo pledges himself that the Ambassador's recall 
was at his own repeated solicitation, and that he had told 
him his health was so impaired that on his arrival at Paris he 
should ask permission to go to the waters of Barege. In the 
evening we had a visit from Baron Blome, who likewise talked 
politics in his style. I asked him some questions concerning 
this country, which he would not answer. For the current 
news of the day, such as is picked up by visits, and such as 
those with whom he associates incline to circulate. Baron Blome 
is the best-informed man at this Court. But he gets no secret 
information, is often misinformed, and, as to the history and 
constitutional organization of the country, quite ignorant. So 
are all the foreigners whom I meet here. They seldom think it 
worth their trouble to make enquiries. 

1 8th. As I was walking I met first Mr. Navarro, who told me 
that Count Czernicheff had arrived last night from Paris. I after- 
wards met Count Luxbourg, who was going to dine at Baron 
Blomc's, and I Wcilkcd with him. He thinks that Russia is about 
to adopt decidedly a system of neutrality^ and speaks of a new 
ukaze for the regulation of trade, which is to be issued next 
Sunday, the anniversary of the Emperor's accession. I do not 
much believe in that. Luxbourg told me that his letters from 
Count Montgelas, the Bavarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in- 
formed him that all their advices from Paris concurred in stating 
that the coolness between France and Russia was becoming 
more and more notorious, but that hopes were entertained that 
it would not come to an absolute rupture this season. He says 
that the Emperor Napoleon scarcely speaks to Prince Kurakin, 
and that Monsieur de Champagny has had quite an angry con- 
versation with Mr. Nesselrode at a public dinner and before a 
large company. Yesterday the Ambassador dined with the 
Emperor, who, after dinner, was in conference with him until 
ten o'clock, and this day the Ambassador has been engaged 
writing, and has admitted nobody. In the mean time both par- 
ties continue to arm and prepare for war. There are now at 
least two hundred thousand men stationed on the frontier from 
Riga to Kiew, and yesterday or the day before one hundred 
and eighty heavy cannon were sent off from tliis city, in addi« 



246 MEMOIRS OF yOIlN QUIKCY ADAMS, [March, 

tion to all those that had been sent before. On the other hand, 
France has just sent a large quantity of fire-arms to Dantzic 
and Warsaw; and the number of troops under arms in the 
duchy of Warsaw is from fifty to sixty thousand men. . 

A diplomatic dinner of about sixty persons at the French 
Ambassador's. The Chancellor, great Crown officers, Gen- 
erals, and Foreign Ministers were there, all in full dress. Im- 
mediately after I went in, Baron Campenhausen came to me 
and told me that it was better late than never — that he had been 
upwards of a fortnight upon pins until yesterday, which was 
the first day that he had been able to make his report to the 
Emperor ; that he was happy now to say that the cases of all 
the American vessels (excepting that of the Eliza at Archangel) 
were definitively decided; that the cargoes and parts of cargoes 
which had not the necessary certificates should be admitted on 
the engagement of the persons interested in them to produce 
the certificates hereafter; that as to all the other small parcels 
which were under other circumstances of irregularity, the Em- 
peror had also ordered that they also should be admitted, and 
that thus everything recognized as American should be cleared. 
With regard to the case of the Eliza, there might be some 
further delay. A gentleman who had some interest in it had 
called upon him once or twice, but could speak nothing but 
English, which he (the Baron) could not speak, and therefore 
they had found some diffici)lty in understanding one another ; 
that, however, he had already written his opinion, that the case 
was very strongly distinguishable from those of the pretended 
Teneriffe vessels which were condemned and confiscated here 
last summer, and the business would be eventually terminated 
to my satisfaction. 

I thanked the Baron for his information, and especially for 
the final decision upon the cases which had been in siis[)onse; 
and I asked him whether the custom-house had receivcil the 
orders for the admission of the merchandise. 

He said they would be expedited from the Commission of 
Neutral Navigation to-morrow or the next day, and that he had 
told Mr. Stieglitz eight or ten days ago that he might freely make 
advances on the goods as much as if they were already admitted. 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA^ 247 

Count Bussche told me that a courier was gone the day before 
yesterday to recall General Kamensky from the command of 
the army in Turkey, and that General KutusofT, the Master of 
the Police, was appointed to go and take his place. I asked 
him what was the cause of this change. He said he did not 
know — perhaps to employ Kamensky upon a more important 
command. He said that Czernicheff, who was himself present 
at the dinner, had brought a letter from the Emperor Napoleon 
to the Emperor Alexander, expressed in terms of friendship 
and kindness stronger than any that he had ever written before; 
but that there were other things which did not so well corre- 
spond with these professions. He also remarked that there 
were many of the Ministers and Generals here whom he did not 
know ; that they were seen only upon these great dinners, or at 
Court, and, if you asked who they were, you seldom found any- 
body who could tell you. He said that his King (Jerome) had 
a curiosity to know characters, and had given him instructions 
to report particulars respecting the most distinguished persons 
at this Court. But he had excused himself from executing this 
commission. It was too difficult and too dangerous. The King 
had beaucoup d'esprit, but he was a young man; and perhaps 
had not altogether reflected upon the possible consequences of 
things. For his part, he made it a principle to write nothing 
but what he might be prepared in the vicissitudes of this world 
to have all reported back here again. 

We talked also of the apparent avowal in the late French 
official gazettes of the intention to annex all Spain to the French 
Empire. Prince Dolgorouki, who has just been appointed Min- 
ister to Naples, and who sat on the other side of Count Bussche, 
took part in the conversation, which, he observed, must be 
spoken in such a tone of voice that the Ambassador should 
not hear it. Mr. d'Alopeus sat next to the Prince. He too is 
appointed Minister to the King of Wiirtemberg; but with a 
permission to visit all the Courts of the Rhenish Confederation 
— Liixbourg supposes, to be a spy upon all their movements 
in these critical times. 

After dinner I conversed with General Ouvaroff*, who has 
just returned from the Turkish army, and with Count Alexander 



248 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS, [April, 

SoltykofT, who told me that the last census, or, as they call it 
here, revision, of the empire, was in the year 1795 or 1796; 
which was taken before the regular period, which is at intervals 
of twenty years, on account of the final division of Poland, 
with the annexation of the Polish provinces to the empire. The 
Ambassador was apparently in good humor, and his guests 
seemed more at their case than they have appeared at sonic of 
his late parties ; but the extraordinary attention paid by them 
to Count St. Julien, the Austrian Envoy, was remarkable. Ex- 
cepting the Chancellor, Count Romanzoff, whom the Ambas- 
sador himself attended, all the other principal Ministers and 
Generals made a stand at the door until the Count passed to 
go in to dinner. The Count was quite irradiated with this 
politeness, and bowed himself almost into a hoop as he stepped 
from the circle to precede them. He sat at the Ambassador's 
left hand at table. 

I told Count RomanzofT that Mr. Harris was very much 
pleased with Moscow, on which he said, " Cela ne me contrarie 
point du tout, d'entendre qu'on s'amuse a Moscow." Cela ne 
mc contrarie point du tout is a phrase of the Count's to signify 
tliat it gives him great pleasure. 

23d. As I was returning from my walk, about five o'clock, I 
met the carriage of the Empress-mother, followed by two others, 
just going from the palace, and I saw them cross the river from 
the marble palace over to the fortress, to the church of which 
she annually goes and performs a solemn act of devotion at the 
tomb of the late Emperor Paul, this night being the anniversary 
of his death. I had intended to go over and witness this cere- 
mony; but on speaking of it to the Master of Ceremonies, 
Maisonneuve, he spoke of it in terms rather dissuading me to 
go. He said that it was a mere act of family devotion, at which 
he had never attended himself, and he could not tell me the 
hour at which it took place. Mr. Harris, however, had men- 
tioned it to me as an object of curiosity worthy of being seen. 
But now it was too late to follow the imperial carriages over. 

April 7th. Palm Sunday. At ten in the morning I went to 
the Roman Catholic church and heard mass performed. The 
church was crowded. The only part of the ceremony which I 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 2^g 

had not seen before was the distribution of the holy palm- 
branches. But while the mass was performing, there was in 
the confessional on each side of the altar, in the left wing of the 
church, a priest who confessed a number of the people, men 
and women, as they successively presented themselves. The 
confessional is in the form of a sentry-box, open at the upper 
part, and with a low door reaching about two and a half feet 
from the floor, to let the confessor in and out It is barely large 
enough to hold one person, has a bench to sit down upon, and 
a small lattice window on each side, at which the penitent, 
kneeling on the outside, applies his lips, while the priest listens 
from within. Each confession lasted from Ave to ten minutes. 
The priest applied himself alternately to the lattice on each 
side, and muffled himself up entirely in his cloak. When the 
confession was finished, he threw aside the cloak from his face, 
locked his fingers together, and, holding his hands up thus 
joined,, with his eyes cast upwards, muttered a short prayer ; 
then, separating his hands, with the right one crossed his own 
breast, and with the knuckles of the two first fingers gave two 
gentle knocks at the side of the lattice where the penitent was 
kneeling, as the signal of absolution. The persons who went to 
confession were of the lower classes of the people — common 
soldiers, footmen in livery, and women of apparently the like 
rank. I observed their countenances on going to and returning 
from confession. They were generally and evidently anxious 
as they approached, and joyous, or at least relieved, as they 
retired from the box. Some of them before confession kneeled 
and prayed with great apparent earnestness on the steps of the 
altar. There was a young woman whose confession told itself 
in her shape. Her previous earnest anxiousness was greater, 
her confession longer, and her subsequent satisfaction less 
unmingled than was discernible in any of the other cases. 
Some of them, after confessing, went and received the com- 
munion. 

1 2th. Good Friday, which is this year the same in both the 
calendars. I accompanied Catherine Johnson to the Roman 
Catholic church, where we saw the performances of the day. 
We went before ten in the morning, but the ceremonies had 



250 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

commenced at nine. The church was crowded, and it was with 
difficulty that Catherine and Martha, whom she took with her, 
found seats. I stood the whole time. Besides the mass, there 
is a procession and representation of a sort of religious panto- 
mime, exhibiting the death and burial of Christ. A crucifix 
with the figure of Christ is carried round under a canopy, laid 
out on cushions in the chancel, and then transported in solemn 
procession into a chapel at the left of the great altar. In this 
chapel there is a sccnical representation of the sepulchre, with a 
remote view of Mount Calvary, upon which stand the three 
crosses — and of the Temple of Jerusalem. There is a transparent 
coffin with the image of a dead body within it, large as human 
figures, and painted images of the two Marys on one side of 
the coffin, and two angels on the other. The figures of two 
Roman soldiers appear as guards at the entrance of the sep- 
ulchre, which is lighted by sepulchral lamps. The small crucifix 
which had been carried in the procession was laid on cushions 
upon* a table barred ofT in front of this scene, and there were 
two large brazen canisters on the table for the reception of alms. 
I saw numbers of men and women successively go up to this 
table, kiss the feet, the side, and the hand of the image on the 
cross, and then drop a piece of silver in one of the alms-boxes. 
There was a sermon upon the Passion, delivered in the German 
language, by a person who, by his pronunciation, appeared to 
be a Pole. He spoke the discourse from memory, but appeared 
not remarkably fluent. The style of his oratory was moderate, 
and rather cold than vehement. The division was conformable 
to the French school, and all the circumstances of the Passion 
were introduced into it with ease and propriety. The morning 
services were finished between twelve and one o'clock. 

13th. Having heard much of the religious ceremony per- 
formed at the Imperial Chapel on Easter-eve, I was desirous of 
being a witness of it. But, as it is a ceremony to which the 
foreign Ministers are not invited, I followed the directions of 
Mr. Harris, who had already attended it two or three times. 
He called on me about ten in the evening, and we went together 
to the palace just at eleven. We were, however, a full half-hour 
too soon, the apartments not being yet lighted. We sat down 



i8ii.] THE AflSS/ON TO RUSSIA, 25 1 

during that time in the guard-room of the Chevalier Gardes, 
and then went into the hall nexk to that of the throne, where 
the company was assembling. The Grand Master of the Cere- 
monies, Narishkin, soon after came in, and told us we must fall 
in with the crowd after the imperial family should pass into the 
chapel ; but the Grand Marshal, Count Tolstoy, coming into the 
hall afterwards, came up to me, said that he was very glad to 
have met me, that he would take care to get us introduced into 
the chapel, for that if we should follow the crowd we should not 
get a place where we could see anything. He left us, and soon 
after returned; and, as the imperial family were now just ready 
to go into the chapel, he requested Prince Galitzin to accompany 
us, which he did, and introduced us, by a side-door from the 
same guard-room where we had first been seated, into the 
chapel, where the priests and the choir of singers were all ready; 
but the imperial family had not come in. He placed us at the 
left side of the chapel, close to the iron railing which parts the 
chancel from the church, and exactly where the foreign Min- 
isters are placed when invited to the celebration of a Te Deum. 
On the other side of it, within the chancel, were the Chancellor, 
Count RomanzofT, and two or three other Ministers. Prince 
Galitzin and Mr. Gourieff, who came with us, also went in there. 
General Watzdorf and Count Bose were already in the chapel, 
and we all stood together. About five minutes after, the Em- 
peror, Empress-mother, Grand Dukes Constantine and Nicholas, 
and the Grand Duchess Ann came in, followed by the whole 
Court. The crowd was excessive, and if we had been left to 
follow the directions of the Grand Master of the Ceremonies, 
Narishkin, we should hardly have got within the chapel. 

The Empress was not there, having lately met with an acci- 
dent in falling over a trunk and receiving a hurt in her forehead, 
which confines her to her apartment. The Grand Duchess 
Catherine is gone with her husband to meet the Duke of Olden- 
burg, his father. The Grand Duke Michael also is absent. 
The Emperor and Empress-mother went and stood within the 
chancel at the right hand. A gun from the fortress at mid- 
night had been the signal of their entering the chapel. One 
of the priests went and presented to each one of them a lighted 



252 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [April, 

taper, which they took into their hands ; and a lighted taper 
was in like manner given to every person in the chapel. This 
custom is observed at almost all the religious ceremonies of the 
Greek Church. The choir of singers then came out from their 
stations, marching two and two in procession, followed by the 
priests, then by the Emperor and Empress-mother, and after 
them by the Grand Dukes and Grand Duchess, and a small 
number of the Court lords and ladies, all with lighted tapers in 
their hands ; the choir, consisting of singers of all ages, from 
boys of eight or nine years old to men of forty, all in dark red 
and laced imperial uniform dress, singing as they marched a 
solemn hymn — ^and minute-guns were firing at the same time 
from the fortress. The procession went in this manner out of 
the chapel, and round several of the palace halls, and then 
returned into the chapel in the same order, the choir continuing 
all the time their chant. The Emperor and imperial family 
resumed their stands, and a religious ceremony by the priests 
began. It was long, and to me altogether unintelligible. The 
principal performing priest was not, as I have usually seen 
at Court, the Metropolitan, and Archbishop of St. Petersburg, 
Ambrose; for he was engaged upon a like ceremony at the 
Monastery of St. Alexander Newsky. It was not even a bishop, 
but the Emperor's confessor, who, as such, is entitled to wear 
the mitre. He performs the service with much less dignity 
than the Metropolitan, and his voice could scarcely be heard. 

During one part of the ceremony, one of the priests presented 
to the Emperor two images to kiss, which Count Romanzoff 
told me were sacred relics procured by the Emperor Paul from 
Malta. One of them was a picture of the Virgin Mary, said to 
have been painted by St. Luke, and the other was the head of 
St. John ; " and these," said the Count, " are all the benefit we 
have derived from our relations with Malta." Some time after, 
the priests ranged themselves all in a line, each of them bearing 
a sacred image. The Emperor went up to them and kissed the 
images, and then embraced each of the priests who bore them. 
The Empress-mother followed him and went through the same 
ceremony, only instead of her embracing the priests they all 
kissed her hand. Count Romanzoff told me that she would kiss 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO IfUSSIA. 253 

them all on the lips ; but, observing that she did not, said that 
it was always thus done heretofore, and that the kissing of the 
hand was a very late innovation. The Emperor thqn embraced 
his mother. The Grand Dukes followed, and embraced the Em- 
peror and Empress. The Grand Duchess came next, and went 
through the process. Then the Chancellor of the Empire, the 
Grand Chamberlains, CountI StrogonofT and Narishkin, kissed 
the relics and priests, and the Emperor; and finally the Em- 
press's hand. A promiscuous crowd of officers followed during 
more than an hour, going through the same formality, the choir 
of singers continuing all the time to chant At the same time 
all those noblemen and officers, as soon as they had finished 
the operation with the imperial family, turned to one another, 
and such a scene of kissing and embracing ensued as I never 
saw before. As they passed from one to the other it was a 
continual motion, like a bee-hive. It reminded me of the 
descriptions in Ariosto and Wieland of a Sultan and his Court 
falling suddenly into a fit of involuntary dancing. 

Before the embracing commenced, the tapers which had been 
distributed around among the company were put out and 
returned to a servant, who went round with a waiter to receive 
and take them away. After embraccments were concluded, 
a new religious ceremony commenced — a mass, celebrated by 
the principal priest, within the sanctuary, the doors of which, 
by the Russian rites, are opened only upon this occasion. In 
the course of this performance was introduced what they call 
the reading the four gospels to the four winds of heaven. One 
of them was read by the principal priest at the altar, which is 
at the east. Three desks were brought and placed fronting the 
west, north, and south. A large folio volume containing one 
of the gospels was placed upon each of them. A priest came 
and took his stand before each of them, and read about a chapter 
of each gospel, each priest reading two or three verses at a 
time, and following one another successively. The confessor 
read in so low a tone that his voice could scarcely be heard ; 
but the others read in a very strong base voice, between speaking 
and chanting, a fashion of reading peculiar to this Church. The 
ceremony concluded by the principal priests taking the com- 



254 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

munion at the altar ; but in which neither the imperial family 
nor any of the other priests participated. The whole was finished 
soon after three in the morning. 

14th. There was this' morning a very splendid parade and 
review of forty thousand men ; half of whom, it is said, are to 
march off immediately to the frontiers of Poland. The Emperor 
sent a horse to General Watzdorfto attend this parade. Mr. 
Navarro called to see me this morning. The day was un- 
commonly fine for Easter. In walking on the quay I met 
and walked with General Pardo, who told me that he consid- 
ered an immediate war between Russia and France as inevitable. 
The Duke of Oldenburg and the commercial system were the 
causes. He said that as to the complaints and protest of Rus- 
sia against the seizure of the Duke of Oldenburg's territories, 
Napoleon had answered, according to his custom, par une sot- 
tise — that the thing was sanctioned by a Senatus-consult — as if 
his Senate consulted anything but his command. The General 
said there would soon be a great dispersion of all the Corps 
Diplomatique, and that he himself, he supposed, would also be 
expected to go. "But I can toll you," said he, **that, on account 
of my own concerns, I shall not go ; I shall stay here. As to 
RomanzofT," said he, "the only thing that still keeps him in is 
that Caulaincourt is yet here. When he is gone, RomanzofT 
will not last a week." I asked who he thought would succeed 
him. He said there was talk of Panin, but not MarkofT, whom 
the Emperor personally disliked. Mr. Harris dined with us. 
He had told mc last evening, while we were sitting in the 
guard-room, some information which he had recently received 
concerning the prospect of war, and he now urged the expe- 
dient of making a sort of provisional Treaty, to be finished if the 
United States Government should send powers. He has renewed 
this subject to me many times. But I think it best to wait for 
authority to act. It is true that if Count RomanzofT goes out, 
there will be little chance of doing anything afterwards. But 
in that case any provisional arrangement would avail us nothing. 
We had this day a succession of Easter compliments, and eggs 
of all kinds — glass, porcelain, wood, marble, and sugar — besides 
the real eggs. 



i8ii.] • THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 255 

1 6th. This morning a messenger came from the Grand 
Master of Ceremonies and informed me that the Grand Duchess 
had fixed this day at half-past one o'clock, s^fternoon, to receive 
the Corps Diplomatique at her palace. We accordingly went 
at the apix>intcd hour. As I was going up the stairs at the 
AnnitschkofT Palace, I met the Emperor coming down, alone. 
He stopped, and said he supposed I had come to see his sister. 
I said I was going to pay my respects to her Imperial Highness. 
He asked me if I had seen the house before. I told him I had 
— that it was very magnificent. He said the house was now 
appropriated to its proper use ; until lately it had been turned 
into a sort of magazine. I found most of the foreign Ministers 
already assembled there. Several of these came in after us — 
and among the rest the Ambassador. When we were all assem- 
bled, we were introduced into the apartment next to the bed- 
chamber; and soon afterwards the Grand Duchess came in, 
accompanied by the Prince, her husband. The Grand Master 
of the Ceremonies, Narishkin, made the presentations. There 
were with • the Grand Duchess in attendance only the old 
Princess Volkonsky, and Prince Gagarin, the Grand Duchess's 
Equerry. The circle was held altogether in the same style as at 
the Imperial Palace. The Grand Duchess spoke to the Ambas- 
sador and to all the Ministers, and was followed by the Prince, 
as the Empresses follow the Emperor. She stood much longer 
talking to each person, and, after going through all the circle, 
returned again and resumed a conversation with the Ambas- 
sador ; after which she and the Prince retired, and we all came 
home. 

20th. At half-past ten this morning I went to the Roman 
Catholic church and saw the christening of Nelson." The 
ceremony was very long, continuing nearly two hours, and was 
performed partly at the door of the church, partly in the nave, 
and partly within the chancel near the altar. It included, I 
believe, the three ceremonies of baptism, confirmation, and 
communion. There was a bishop, or at least a parson with 
an episcopal mitre and staff, and ten or twelve other priests, 

* The negro servant whom Mr. Adams had brought with him from America, 
and who now entered into the imperial household. 



256 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

officiating — with the choir of singers in the organ-loft chanting 
the greatest part of the time. There was so much of a crowd 
that I could neither see nor hear distinctly much of the per- 
formance, though it was the first Roman Catholic baptism that 
I had seen. As the baptism of a person full grown, it differed 
much from that of an infant. He was first baptized at the door; 
then was introduced, leaning uix>n the arm of the priest, up to 
the nave ; there was anointed with oil, and had a white fillet 
tied round his head, and a white robe over his garments. At 
the conclusion, the communion was administered to him. It 
was nearly one o'clock when I came home. 

24th. While we were at breakfast this morning, about ten 
o'clock, the salute of five guns from the fortress announced to 
us that the passage of the river in boats was again free, and 
that the Governor had brought the glass of water to the Em- 
peror. I received a note from Baron Campenhauscn, informing 
me that he would see me at any hour this morning. I accord- 
ingly went at about one o'clock to his house, and had a con- 
versation with him. He told me that it had never been his 
intention that bonds should be required for the production 
of the Russian Consular certificates upon the last admitted 
American cargoes; that a mere engagement of the consignees, 
without any penalty, was all that he had required, and that was 
merely to s^ive the appearances in regard to the obligations of 
this country; that the custom-houses had misunderstood his 
instructions, but he had written yesterday a new order to 
explain his former directions, and had given facilities to take 
the engagements of the consignees immediately here, without 
requiring any at the out-ports, where the vessels are. He said 
that he had sent to Mr. Gourieff some weeks ago his protesta- 
tion against the decision of the Commission at Archangel in 
the case of the Eliza, and he did not know why Mr. Gourieff 
had not finished the business in the Council; that he had 
ordered the papers of the American vessel at Abo to be dis- 
patched, that she might come to Cronstadt ; that in the case of 
the Venus, at Riga, he would give orders that the engagement 
to produce the papers (from Cadiz) should be taken, as in the 
others, or that the petition of Mr. Kennedy, the supercargo, 



I8ll.] THE MISSION TO XUSSIA. 257 

should be granted — ^the cargo sold, and the proceeds deposited 
until he shall himself produce the papers. He believed that he 
had not one case of an American vessel left upon hand. As 
to the time which had been given for producing the papers, a 
year and a day, that had been fixed on the proposition of Mr. 
Meyer and Mr. Stieglitz themselves ; but if longer time was 
wanting, he was as willing that they should have two or three 
years as one. 

I spoke to him of the correspondence between the Secretary 
of State and General Turreau respecting the French Consular 
certificates. 

He said there was one Hamburg vessel that had produced a 
French certificate of a Consul in America, and they were em- 
barrassed what to do with it ; but the most extraordinary case 
they had was of a house at Rotterdam, which had made a 
solemn declaration before the Russian Consul that they had 
expedited a certain vessel and cargo to a Russian commercial 
house at Archangel, and a declaration equally solemn before 
the French authorities that they never had expedited any such 
vessel. The Baron, as usual, talked about commercial politics 
in general, but in a style a little different from that of his last 
conversation with me on the same topic. 

May 2d. I dined at Count St. Julien's, with a small company 
— General OuvarofT and General Pardo, Mr. Laval and Mr. 
Ribeaupierre, with Mr. Schubert, the Director of the Academy 
of Sciences, and the Count's secretaries, Lebzelterh and Berks. 
The Count apologized for a departure from etiquette in having 
sent cards of invitation for an unceremonious dinner. His other 
guests had been as much perplexed as General Pardo and 
myself to know how they should go dressed. At dinner the 
Count mentioned his having been last evening at Countess 
Strogonoff's and suddenly having found out that the Princess 
Amelia of Baden was there. Upon which Mr. Laval told an 
anecdote of a person who once met the same Princess at the 
same house. While they were there, the Princess asked if her 
sister (the Empress) had not passed by in a carriage, and the 
gentleman had answered, " I don't know, but if you will tell 
me her name I will go and see." "Ah!" said Count St Julien, 

VOL. II. — 17 



258 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

" that must have been a stranger, like one of us." " No," said 
Mr. Laval, " very far from it — quite another person." But he 
did not name him ; so that it was not explained whether it was 
an instance of ignorance or of insolence. But, at any rate, it 
marks the tone of treatment which both the Empress and her 
sister meet at this Court. I had after dinner much conversation 
with Mr. Laval, who says that the war is not so near as is pre- 
tended, and confirmed me in the opinion I had, that many of 
the current war rumors are invented by the party who are 
laboring to plunge the Emperor into the war — offensively. 
Laval says the Emperor scqs this as clearly as he or I, and 
that he will not be guided by that party. 

6th. Morning visit from Mr. Raimbcrt, who complains much 
of the accounts furnished by Mr. Rodde, of Reval, upon Mr. 
Gray's vessels that have wintered there and are coming to 
Cronstadt. He told me also that he had just come from the 
Ambassador's; that he hoped there would be no war; that 
they were afraid here. I afterwards paid a visit to the Ambas- 
sador myself, and found him at home. He enquired if I had 
any recent accounts of the state of our affairs with France or 
England. I told him all I had heard, and said that after the 
Emperor Napoleon's declaration in the answer to the deputation 
from Hamburg, Lubec, and Bremen, all we could do would be 
to wait with patience. The Emperor said that the decrees of 
Berlin and Milan (were issued)' for all nations that did not 
support their flag against the British Orders in Council. The 
British would not revoke them. Wc had nothing left to main- 
tain our flag but war. And in a war with England we should 
have no flag. When we have two hundred ships of the line, 
and a navy in proportion, we may talk of maintaining our flag 
by war. Now it would be ridiculous. 

He said he wished it were possible to see a prospect of 
peace. 

I observed that, according to general opinion, it was more 
remote than ever ; though I understood the hope of preserving 
peace between France and Russia was now stronger than some 
time ago. "Oh, oui!" said he. "J'espire que tout ccla se 

* These words are suggested to supply an obviously accidental omission. 



l8li.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 259 

civilisera, I do not see any great interests upon which the 
two countries need to quarrel ; nor even any small interests, 
which may not easily be arranged to their mutual satisfaction ;" 
and then he repeated, " J'espAre que tout cela se civilisera." I 
asked him if he expected General Lauriston soon to arrive. He 
answered, to-day or to-morrow. Indeed, he might have been 
here before this. A courier who arrived three days ago left 
him at Dantzic. I said I had heard that there had been a 
change in the Department of Foreign Afiairs in France — that 
the Duke de Cadore was no longer the Minister. " It was true. 
The Minister appointed in his place was the Duke de Bassano." 
I remarked that he had been long and constantly engaged in 
public affairs, and Secretary, I believe, ever since the Execu- 
tive Council. The Ambassador said I was mistaken ; that the 
Secretary under the Directory was La Garde, and Maret came 
in only at the time of the Consulate. He did not know what 
was the occasion of the Duke de Cadore's going out. It was 
only mentioned to him in a private letter of i6th April, the day 
when it happened, and when the courier was to have left 
Paris, 

I asked if it would probably produce any material change in 
the political system. " No. The Emperor governs so much 
by himself, that a Minister is nothing more than the pen, and 
not the hand that guides it." 

I asked if the Prince of Benevento had not still some super- 
intendence over the Department of Foreign Affairs. ** No. He 
had no hand in the public affairs at present, but was altogether 
in retirement. His capacity as a Grand Dignitaire was that of 
Vice Grand Elector, the double of the King of Spain, who was 
Grand Elector. This was a place not of business, but merely 
of representation. Its only duty was to present to the Emperor 
the Senators and members of the Legislative body. The only 
office of a diplomatic nature, in rank above that of the Minister 
of Exterior Relations, was the Arch Chancellor of State ; which 
was held by the Viceroy of Italy." 

I asked him whether he expected to go soon after the arrival 
of his successor. He said, in three or four days ; that he had 
full time to be prepared, and should be impatient to get home. 



26o MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [May, 

I asked him if he would do me the favor to take a small packet 
of letters for Mr. Russell, which he promised to do with pleasure. 
He said that shortly before his departure he would give me 
notice, and call to take leave of Mrs. Adams. 

I met the Emperor, who stopped and conversed with me — 
at first, as usual, about the weather, which he remarked was 
warmer and finer than he remembered ever to have known it 
so early in the season, but he was afraid we should have it 
balanced by foul weather hereafter. Snow, it was at least cer- 
tain, we should have ; for he had never known, and there never 
had been known here, an instance of the month of May passing 
entirely without snow. I said that now the weather was rather 
that of an Italian spring. He remarked that it was very long 
since he had seen me, and asked if I had abandoned my habit 
of walking. I answered that I had not, but I believed it was 
the hour at which I usually walked that deprived me of the 
happiness of meeting his Majesty. He said that he had often 
of late been so engaged in business that he could not take his 
usual walks ; and sometimes he had gone out of the usual track, 
which might also have contributed to the length of time since 
he had met me. He then said that the ice from the Ladoga 
was passing down (he was coming from the river — I was going 
towards it), but that there was not much of it, and the weather 
was so moderate, he thought there would not be so much as 
usual. He then made a movement as if to leave me, and I was 
about to bow and turn from him, when he stepped back to me, 
and, leaning on the iron railing of the canal, asked me if I had 
any late accounts from home. I told him I had letters to the 
twentieth of February. He asked if they contained information 
of any particular importance. I said they did not ; that the 
occurrence of principal note of which I had heard was the arrival 
of the new French Minister, Serrurier, to replace the former one. 
General Turreau. He asked me what the state of our affairs 
with England was. I answered that they remained in an un- 
settled state; that our Minister there had taken leave and was 
gone, but he had left a Charge des Affaires there ; and that the 
English Government had sent out a new Minister to the United 
States, who, as Mr. Perceval had said in Parliament, carried out 



i8ii.] THE Mission to xussia. 261 

some new propositions from England. I added that I had 
heard Mr. Smith, a gentleman who had been with me, and 
had had the honor of being presented to his Majesty, would be 
Charge d* Affaires in England. " But," said the Emperor, " did 
he not go from here to Vienna ?" I said he did, and was now 
at Paris ; but I had heard he was to be the Charge d' Affaires in 
England. " It is a place of some importance," said his Majesty, 
" is it not ?" I said, of very considerable importance, especially 
in the present state of the relations between the United States 
and England. "And," said he, "I hear you have lately made 
an acquisition." I observed, I supposed his Majesty meant in 
Florida. He said that was what he meant " But," said he, " it 
appears to have been a spontaneous movement of the people 
themselves, who were desirous of joining themselves to the 
United States." I said, so it appeared from the accounts which 
I had seen, but that I had received no communication from my 
Government upon this subject. I added that this was a part of 
the territory which had been ceded by France to the United 
States in the Louisiana Treaty ; that Spain, however, had entered 
into a controversy with us about it, upon which negotiations 
were pending at the time when the great changes in the Govern- 
ment of Spain itself had taken place ; that since then the people 
of that country had been left in a sort of abandonment by Spain, , 
and must naturally be very desirous of being annexed to the 
United States. Under these circumstances the United States 
have taken possession of the country. The Emperor smiled, 
and said, "On s'agrandit toujours un peu, dans ce monde," 
and bowed; upon which I quitted him, and continued my 
walk. 

We had been standing so long that numbers of people between 
the two bridges had observed us, and from the time when I left 
him until I had got beyond the distance where we could be seen 
together, the people gazed upon me as upon a very important 
personage ; once past those boundaries, every mujik brushed by 
me with as little notice as if passing one of his fellows. Such 
is the magic of an Emperor's countenance. We had stood all 
the time immediately before the guard of soldiers stationed 
upon the Fontanka, who were turned out under arms. When 



262 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

he turned back to me, to speak of politics, he waved his hand 
to the officer to dismiss the guard from being under arms; 
which he did. 

9th. On rising this morning, I received from the French 
Ambassador a message that his successor, Count Lauriston, had 
arrived in the night ; and an invitation to come and dine with 
him in boots. At half-past four I went to the French Ambas- 
sador's and dined. He presented us to General Lauriston, a 
man, by his own account, as near as may be, of my age* — very 
diflferent in manners, address, and appearance from the Duke de 
Vicence. The comparison is not to his advantage. He brought 
with him an aid-de-camp, named Longuerue, who appeared only 
at the dinner, was introduced to nobody and spoke to nobody. 
The company, besides the two Ambassadors and the family, 
consisted of the Counts St. Julien, Schenk, Bussche, and Lux- 
bourg. General Pardo and Baron Blome, the Chevalier Brancia, 
and myself. Prince Galitzin was the only Russian there. The 
Duke de Vicence was suflfering excessive pain with his lame leg 
and foot. While we were at dinner. Count Tolstoy, the Grand 
Marshal, came in full dress from Court to pay his visit to the 
new Ambassador. Mr. d'Alopeus came in after dinner, and 
said he was going upon his mission in a very few days. 

There was in the evening a play at the Hermitage, it being 
the celebration of the Grand Duke Constantine's birthday. 
Count Bussche remarked that the choice of plays was made by 
the Emperor, and it was singular that for this evening he had 
selected Ruse contre Ruse, the other title of which is Guerre 
ouverte. After the dinner I walked about an hour with Count 
Luxbourg, who still thinks the war will break out. 

13th. Russian May-day. The weather was cold, and, in the 
morning, rainy. We dined at four o'clock, and after dinner the 
ladies went to the procession of carriages from the Peterhof 
gate to Catherinenhof I took a long walk round the Fontanka 
and river quays, over the bridge which was yesterday replaced, 
to the new Exchange. I met in the Newsky Perspective Baron 
Campenhausen, who turned and walked to the Fontanka bridge 
with me. He had called upon me the day before yesterday, 

' Born February I, 1768, — a little more than six months younger. 



i8ii.] TJiE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 263 

when I had not been at home. He said it was to talk to me 
about a poor merchant, one Mr. Cramer, whom he had sent for 
to take his opinion last autumn about some sugars at Archangel, 
and who, together with other persons whom he had also called 
to give their opinions, had taken them for refined sugars pow- 
dered ; that he had lately been to him and complained that this 
afTair had injured him exceedingly; that Mr. Harris had written 
to America, charging him with having taken part against Ameri- 
cans, and that it had affected him very seriously in his business; 
that Mr. Cramer had requested him to speak to me about it, 
and he could assure me that Mr. Cramer had no knowledge 
whatsoever that it was sugar imported by Americans, which 
must acquit him of any intentions to injure Americans in their 
trade. 

I told the Baron that Mr. Cramer had spolcen to me on this 
subject, and that I had heard a great deal of it at the time while 
the character of the sugars was in question ; that several Ameri- 
cans had indeed been much alarmed on finding themselves sus- 
pected and inculpated of an intended fraud upon the Government, 
and when they found such charges and suspicions countenanced 
by an opinion .said to have been delivered by Mr. Cramer when 
consulted by the Government, it was natural that they should 
feel resentment against him, and that it should have affected 
him in his business. Mr. Cramer had told me, however, not 
only that he had not known the 'sugars to be the property of 
Americans, but that he had been of a different opinion from that 
of the other persons consulted with respect to a part of the 
samples. This fact was more material to his justification than 
whether he did or did not know to whom the property belonged ; 
and this was what he told me the Baron could attest for him. 

The Baron said it w.is true Mr. Cramer had at first expressed 
a doubt with regard to one of the samples, but he, as well as 
the other gentlemen, had finally assented to the opinion of the 
sugar-refiner, who came from Hamburg. That, I said, was 
the misfortune, as it was now ascertained that they 'were all 
mistaken, and the sugar-refiner as much as all the rest The 
sugars were raw white Havanna, and not refined sugar pow- 
dered. Mr. Cramer, with the other gentlemen, had made a 



264 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

mistake, unfortunate now for himself; but with regard to the 
intention I believed he was not to blame ; and if the occasion 
should offer, I would say as much in his iavor. 

Upon this I left the Baron and continued my walk. The 
whole of this transaction has proved to me the evil and danger 
of excessive jealousy and suspicion in the management of public 
business. The Baron himself was the dupe of his own suspicions. 
He endeavored in a cunning way to get the opinions of mer- 
chants to sanction his suspicions. He succeeded to get the 
opinion, but it was an error ; its effect was almost to ruin one 
of the. merchants from whom he had drawn an incautious and 
mistaken opinion, and now he is reduced to exculpate the 
man whom he injured by a captious and insidious consultation. 
He says he refused to tell them to whom the sugars belonged. 
Cramer says he* deceived them by using German names to 
designate American vessels. Under the semblance of an im- 
partial examination, it was an unfair snare, laid for the mer- 
chants whom he consulted, as well as for the importers whose 
property was at stake — ^and all to indulge suspicions. Give 
me, in every station of life and every crisis of affairs, an open 
and a candid mind. 

17th. Mr. Harris called on me this morning, and requested me 
to go with him to present him to the new French Ambassador. 
He was not at home, and we left cards there, and at M. de Cau- 
laincourt's. He has removed into the apartments on the street, 
leaving all the hotel on the canal to his successor. We next 
went to Count Schenk's, where we were received ; but his Sec- 
retary, M. de Gremp, whose visit I was returning, was not at 
home. As we left Count Schenk's the new French Ambassador 
drove up to the door in his carriage, and left a card without 
getting out He passed me immediately afterwards, and I saw 
that he was full-dressed. On leaving Count Schenk's I parted 
from Mr. Harris, and called at Count Stedingk's; but he was not 
at home. I walked around upon the river quay, and through 
the Summer Gardens, where I found some elegant company. 
The bridge to Kammenoi-ostrow is just putting up for the 
summer. On returning home I found the Ambassador's cards. 
He had been going through one of the most inconvenient and 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSI4. 265 

absurd but best established usages of this place — ^that of going 
a round of visits in full court dress, and leaving cards at every 
house without enquiring whether the persons visited are at 
home, or ever getting out of the carriage. There is so much 
punctilio in this usage that it admits of no substitute. It is not 
sufficient to send a servant with a card, nor even to send round 
your carriage : nay, if you go yourself, unless it be in full dress 
the visit is not duly paid. You must be seen in full dress by 
all the porters ; but it is understood that you are only to leave 
a card. This is called a diplomatic visit paid in person. 

I walked again in the evening. Met and walked with Gen- 
eral Pardo, a phenomenon of human character — an excellent 
classical scholar, a profound connoisseur in the arts — a Spaniard, 
the proudest of his nation that I ever knew, a most impassioned 
Spanish patriot in their present struggle against France, and 
yet appearing here as the Minister of King Joseph, a Lieutenant- 
General by his appointment, and wearing a great "blushing 
riband*' of his order. He is, of all the men that I was ever 
acquainted with, the one whose discourse is the most constantly 
in hostility with his situation and conduct. Yet his conversa- 
tion is agreeable. His great intellectual deficiency is judgment 
His characteristic want is energfy. Such a composition is rare — 
taste, learning, and a brilliant imagination, without steadiness 
of brain or firmness of heart. He told me the Duke de Vicence 
would go to-morrow night 

1 8th. Morning visit from Mr. Montreal, and afterwards from 
Mr. Harris, who came to tell me that he should call with the 
Duke de Richelieu, which he did about an hour afler. The 
Duke is Governor of Odessa, and ilow here upon a visit, as he 
has been about six weeks. He is of the ancient and high 
nobility of the French monarchy, and was an emigrant ; but 
has been many years in the Russian service. He told me that 
he had an army list of France for the year 1790, in which the 
Emperor Napoleon, Count Lauriston, and Savary were all down 
as Second Lieutenants in the regiment of La Fere. He spoke 
to me also of the American trade to the Black Sea, and wished 
that the admission of American vessels to it might be stipulated 
in the treaty of peace beween Russia and the Porte ; to which 



266 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [May. 

he supposed the Turks would readily agree, and which he was 
only afraid would be forgotten. 

19th. The morning being fine, and as on rising I heard the 
music of one of the regiments marching to the parade, I resolved 
to go out and see it. I went about half-past eight o'clock, but 
found only one regiment yet upon the square. Pursued my 
walk to the quay, where I met the Chevalier Brancia; he turned, 
and we walked to the Summer Gardens. On our return we found 
the troops all assembled, and servants with horses waiting at the 
Emperor's door. Walked round the Boulevard, when Brancia 
left me. He was going to visit Dr. Creighton. A few minutes 
before ten the Emperor appeared, galloping along in front of 
the line of troops, which extended from the corner of the Grand 
Millionne to the bridge across the Nicolai Canal, on the Ga- 
leerenhof. The Grand Duke Constantine rode at the Emperor's 
left hand, on a line with him. The French Ambassador, Count 
St. Julien, and General Watzdorf, followed behind, and a suite 
of fifteen or twenty general officers and aides-de-camp. I could 
not ascertain the number of the troops upon the parade. There 
was a mixture of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. I marked the 
Uhlan regiment, every man of whom carries a little red-and- 
white pennant at the top of his pike. The arrangement of 
baggage appears well adapted for marches and to diminish the 
incumbrances of a large train. The Emperor's review is not 
long. It consists in his galloping from one end of the line to 
the other, and back again — after which the troops file ofT on 
the Palace Square before him. 

2 1st. I took a short walk before dinner, and went through 
the Summer Gardens. Met and walked with Mr. Prevost, who 
told me that the Duke of Vicence had left this city on Sunday, 
about noon, and expected to lodge this night at Baron Lowen- 
stern's, near Riga. On Saturday morning he had an interview 
with the Emperor, who had given him a box with his picture, 
with his own hand, saying it was a great likeness, and that he 
gave it not as to the Ambassador, but as a token of his par- 
ticular friendship. He embraced him several times ; bade him 
adieu in the most affectionate manner, and even shed tears. 
Prevost said the Duke was much affected by the numerous 



i8il.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 267 

marks of esteem and regret shown him at his departure. And 
they were well merited. He lived here in a style of princely 
magnificence ; aiid he was one of the most accomplished gen- 
tlemen in his manners that I ever knew. His civilities and 
attentions were always obliging, and without pretension or 
afTectation. His personal disposition was moderate and pacific. 
He had perhaps made himself too agreeable here for the pur- 
pose of his own Government. In his family, it is said, he was 
passionate and violent, and he had connections of gallantry 
in which he indulged himself too much without reserve. It 
engrossed too much of his time ; it laid him open too much 
to the Government here ; and it occasioned scandal in a country 
by no means scrupulous for the purity of its morals. The 
Emperor's presents to him at his departure are upwards of 
a hundred thousand roubles in value, three or four times as 
much as it is customary to give. The more I see of this usage, 
the more I approve the principle adopted by the Government 
of the United States, to prohibit altogether the acceptance by 
their Ministers of any such presents. 

24th. Mr. Krehmer sent me the London Courier, from 19th 
to 26th April, where I found articles which give me great con- 
cern upon the account of my country. They threaten war in 
the most unequivocal terms. I fear the British Ministry have 
made it unavoidable. They menace us with an " Iliad of woes," 
and already deny us every particle of compassion for our suflfer- 
ings under them. Non nobis, Domine I If our trial is now to 
come, God of Justice and of Mercy I give, us spirit to bear with 
fortitude and to derive ultimate power and virtue from all the 
evils that they can inflict, and spare us from that woe of woes, 
the compassion of Britons ! 

31st. I took my usual morning's walk. On the Fontanka, 
near the bridge through which the canal joins the river, I met 
the Emperor walking. As he approached me he said, " Mon- 
sieur Adams, il y a cent ans que je ne vous ai vu," and coming 
up, took and shook me with great cordiality by the hand. 
After some common observations upon the weather, which has 
been very fine, but which this day was. cold and autumnal, and 
which he thought would yet come to snow, before the end of 



268 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [May, 

this month, Russian style, he asked me whether I intended to 
take a house in the country this summer. I said, no ; that I had 
for some time had such an intention, but had given it up. '' And 
why so ?" said he. I was hesitating upon an answer, when he 
relieved me from embarrassment by saying, ** Pcut-etre sont-ce 
des considerations de finance," As he said it in perfect good 
humor, and with a smile, I replied in the same manner. " Mais, 
Sire, elles y sont pour une bonne part." " Fort bien," said he ; 
'' vous avez raison. II faut toujours proportionner la depense a la 
recette." A maxim worthy of an Emperor, though few Emperors 
practise upon it. He then asked me if I had received any late 
news from America. I said I had. He replied that he also had 
lately received some very interesting dispatches from Count 
Pahlen, which had given him much pleasure. He asked how 
our affairs stood with England. I said they had a very hostile 
appearance, and that the English journals were threatening us 
with the last extremities, but that my own letters from America 
did not appear to expect that a war would ensue. '' It has, how- 
ever," said he, "very much that appearance — at least if we 
believe the French journals. But, au reste," he added, "we 
know how much the Moniteur is to be believed, and that cer- 
tain deductions are to be made from whatever that contains." 
I said, to be sure — people were very apt to publish as fact what 
they had an interest and a wish to believe. 

On this he made me his usual parting bow, or rather military 
salute, by raising his hand to his hat, and pursued his walk. 

Soon after six in the evening, I went and attended the third 
and last day's examination of the pupils at the Jesuits' school. 
The examination was of the four classes, and, being upon sub- 
jects more easily comprehended than the sublime mathematics 
of last evening, I was much better entertained with it. French 
and Latin Grammar, Geography, Mythology, Prosody; passages 
from Virgil's Eclogues, and from Gressct's French translation 
of them ; Rhetoric, with a recitation and illustration by analysis 
of Massillon's funeral eulogy upon Turenne and Cicero's Ora- 
tion pro Rege Dejotaro, furnished the materials for the exam- 
ination. The exercises closed by what we should call at our 
Colleges a conference, upon the respective merit of the infantry, 



i8ii.] THE hUSSrON TO RUSSIA. 269 

cavalry, artillery, and light troops for military service. Four 
of the young men delivered discourses on the superior merit 
which each of these modes of service might claim ; and a fifth 
opened the subject to the auditory and sat as umpire of the 
contest He adjudged the palm of utility to the infantry; 
assigned the next place to the cavalry, the third to the artillery, 
and regretted that he had not a fourth prize to bestow upon the 
Cossacks, Uhlans, and Hussars. The controversy was very well 
supported, and each of the young men delivered his part as well 
as would be done by most of pur College speakers. Oratory, 
however, is less cultivated here than with us, and in that respect 
the performances are inferior to ours ; as in the mathematics they 
are much superior. The printed notice of the exercises says 
that the discourses of the young martial disputants were com- 
posed by themselves ; but this must be taken as the Emperor 
takes the news in the Moniteur. After the performances were 
finished, the prizes (books handsomely bound) were distributed 
to the students who had excelled by application and success — 
two to each class. Their names were publicly proclaimed by 
one of the fathers, and the Minister of Public Instruction gave 
them the books. It .was about ten at night when all was 
finished. 

June 3d. This morning the Father-General of the Jesuits 
called on me before breakfast, with a letter to be transmitted to 
America; which I took. He sat and conversed with me, I be- 
lieve, more than two hours. He enquired about the numbers 
and character of our religious sects in America; and when I 
told him of them, he lamented the multitude of sects which 
had separated from the Holy Church, and urged with great 
earnestness upon me the necessity of unity as well ^ union in 
the Church. I indulged him in his remarks, and purposely 
stimulated him to controversy, by contesting his positions and 
hinting the answers to his arguments. I found him not so keen 
and skilful a controversialist as I should have expected. The 
necessity of a Church, and of a head to the Church ; the cer- 
tainty of the seven sacraments ; the express words of Jesus 
Christ to establish trans ubstantiation, and the duty of celibacy 
for the priesthood; he dwelt upon all these points with an 



270 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [June, 

appearance of strong conviction upon his own mind, and with 
no small show of a desire to produce it upon mine. He apolo- 
gized for talking to me on religious subjects, because it was a 
holiday of the Church, and told me that their Metropolitan, 
the Archbishop of Mohilcflf, would administer the sacrament 
of confirmation to several persons this day between twelve and 
one o'clock at noon. I went at the time and saw this ceremony 
performed. It has nothing peculiar in it, but was remarkable 
by the great solemnity of its forms. The Archbishop wore 
the embroidered robe, the mitre, and the crosier, which, after 
having finished the ceremony, he laid aside within the sanctuary, 
and he was conducted to the front doors of the church by 
seven or eight subordinate priests, with like solemnity. It was 
over in less than half an hour, and I walked home. 

4th. I had written yesterday a note to Count RomanzofT, 
requesting a conference with him, and this morning found on 
my table a note from him appointing this day at noon for that 
purpose. I went accordingly at that hour. The Count, as I 
entered, told me that he had just received a courier, who had 
passed through Paris, but who came from Madrid — an aid-de- 
camp of Prince Rcpnin, the Minister appointed from Russia 
to reside near King Joseph, but who never went there. The 
aid-de-camp had left Madrid after the King, who had now 
arrived at Paris, after having seen his brother, the Emperor 
Napoleon, at Rambouillet. I thanked the Count for the packets 
which he had sent me, brought by former couriers. He said 
he understood they were packets which he should be sorry 
for; as they were to occasion my return home. I told him 
that they contained notice of my appointment to an honorable 
office in my own country ; but that there was some tie which 
attached me so strongly to this country that I should probably 
not go yet. I then mentioned the situation of my wife, which 
would make it impossible for me to embark for America 
certainly until very late in the season, and probably before 
the next year. He asked me if the office was of a nature 
which would admit of being long vacant. I answered that I 
considered it would not ; that it ought to be filled as soon as 
possible ; and I could not go immediately to assume the dis- 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 27I 

charge of its duties. I had written to the President of the United 
States, requesting him to excuse me from accepting it, and to 
appoint another person. He then said that he should this 
evening ask the Emperor's permission to dispatch a courier to 
Paris, and should probably send him in the course of the day 
after to-morrow. If I wished to send any letter or packet to 
the Charge d' Affaires of the United States, he would be happy 
to forward it for me. I accepted his offer ; and I then observed 
that from the idea which since my residence here I had formed 
of the importance and mutual benefit of the commercial rela- 
tions between the United States and Russia, from the signal 
manner in which Russia had distinguished herself from all the 
other belligerent powers of Europe, in her treatment of the fair 
commerce and neutral rights of America, and from a wish to 
increase and render still more advantageous the commerce 
between the two countries, the idea and desire had occurred to 
me of cementing still further their amity by a treaty of com- 
merce. I had suggested this idea to the American Government, 
and was now authorized to propose the negotiation of such a 
treaty, if it should be agreeable to the Emperor. I had thought 
it most advisable to make to him at first this verbal communi- 
cation, instead of sending him an official note upon the subject. 
I requested him to consider it as confidential, so that at least it 
should be made known only when he thought it advisable ; as 
I had communicated the knowledge of it to no person whom- 
soever. 

The Count then asserted his great and long-settled attachment 
to the United States — the desire which he had so many years 
entertained of favoring American commerce. It was not only 
a thing to which he was attached by sentiment, but it had 
been with him long a maxim of policy. It was the interest of 
Russia to encourage and strengthen and multiply commercial 
powers which might be the rivals of England, to form a balance 
to her overbearing power. Russia herself had not the advan- 
tages for it. She could not be a great naval power. Nature 
had in a great measure denied her the means. She ought then 
to support and favor those who had them. The propriety of 
extending this spirit to the United States had become more 



272 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

obvious and strong by the decay and disappearance of the old 
commercial States. Holland, for instance ; how great a com- 
mercial power she had been even within our memory i Those 
sentiments he had often expressed, with a strong sense of con- 
viction, to the Emperor, who had always received them well 
and appeared impressed with the justice of them. He referred 
me to Mr. Harris for the proof that such had always been his 
system, or indeed to some other person even in preference to 
him. 

I observed that I was fully sensible of it myself; that I had 
frequently had the demonstration of it ; and I could assure him 
that the Government of the United States were by no means 
ignorant of it. He said that he would lay before the Emperor 
the proposition, which he presumed would meet with no diffi- 
culty whatsoever — unless, indeed, there was one, which he did 
foresee : which was, that in the violent and convulsed state of 
commerce and of the world at this time, he hardly conceived 
it possible to agree upon anything, if he might be allowed the 
expression, that had common sense in it. But, however, at 
any rate, this need not prevent him and me from debating the 
subjects which might be interesting to the commerce of our 
countries, and coming to an agreement if we could. This is 
precisely the object of the American Government. He said he 
would make his report of this conversation to the Emperor, and 
in a few days would send and ask me to call upon him again. 

Then he enquired how affairs stood between the United 
States and France on one part, and England on the other. I 
told him briefly the actual state of things. He asked me if 
Mr. Erving was now our Minister in France. I said Mr. Rus- 
sell was the Charge d*Affaires; Mr. Erving's mission was to 
Denmark. He said he had understood that Mr. Erving had 
some arrangements to make in France, which would detain him 
still some time at Paris. How were we likely to come out with 
England ? I told him that it would depend altogether upon 
England herself; that my letters from America did not appear 
to indicate an expectation of war there, but that the late accounts 
from England seemed to manifest hostile dispositions. 

He said he thought that was very probable. England, no 



i8ii.] Tim MISSION TO RUSSIA. 273 

doubt, would decide according to the ministerial opinion of 
what was most for her interest, and that would now more than 
ever be of adherence to their system. Their recent successes 
were calculated to give great strength to the Ministry, and to 
repress the opposition far more than had been seen for many 
years in that country. Indeed, he must say that for many years 
England had not exhibited such talents as those by which she 
was now governed. The two brothers Wellesley had certainly 
proved themselves extraordinary men, not only by the greatness 
and perseverance of the plan which they had pursued, and which 
seemed now to have at hand a great result — the denouement in 
Spain and Portugal was apparently not distant — but by the 
success with which it was likely to be attended. If, to be sure, 
it was only to begin over again, they would not appear to have 
done much ; but if the issue should be as important as now 
appeared probable, it would certainly be much to their credit. 
They would also be much elated by their successes, and he did 
not consider them as men who would be restrained by any prin- 
ciple from any enterprise that they might judge to be expedient. 

I told him I did not rely at all upon the expectation that 
principle would restrain them, but there might perhaps be 
interest to restrain them. If Spain and Portugal should be 
entirely evacuated by the French, the people there would as 
much as ever need supplies of grain and other provisions, 
and the English could hardly resolve to intercept them without 
famishing their allies, and even their own armies. 

The Count asked whether they could not obtain the same 
supplies from other quarters, particularly from the coast of * 
Barbary. I said that they undoubtedly had part of their supplies 
from that quarter ; but it did not suffice, and if they lost the 
American market, there was none that could take its place, 
unless it were that of the Baltic, from Dantzic to Riga ; and 
that, I believe, had been to a certain extent always open to them. 

He said that their supplies from thence had been very small 
indeed ; at least, there had been scarcely any exportation from 
thence. 

"That/' I replied, "was at least their only resource; and if 
they opened that, it could only be by coming to terms of accom- 

VOL. II. — 18 



274 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

modation with Russia ; and if they made peace with Russia, in 
the name of Heaven, what motive could they have for quar- 
relling with America?" 

The Count smiled, and said that it reminded him of something 
that had been said by another person, and which, therefore, he 
could not give as his own. It was that there were sea madmen 
as well as land madmen (dcs enrages dc mer, commc dcs cnrag6s 
de terre), and the English were the sea madmen. 

Here we rested the matter for the present. I mentioned the 
launching of the ships, which had failed last Saturday, and, I 
had heard, was intended for this day. He said he believed it 
would be to-morrow ; that the Minister of the Marine told him 
that he should have him waked at six in the morning to give 
him the notice. But he had authorized the notification to be 
opened at the Department, so that the foreign Ministers might 
be notified in time, without his having the trouble of being 
roused at that hour. He said the lowness of the water at the 
lower Admiralty was the cause of the launch having been post- 
poned on Saturday ; and that great complaints had been made 
at the time of the selection of that spot for a navy-yard, on 
account of its being exposed to such accidents. 

In the long entry of this day appears a notice of the fact that 
the writer had received information from home of an appoint- 
ment to a wholly new field of duty. 

Tliis is best explained by reference to the Executive record of 
the Senate, in which appears the following entry for Thursday, 
2ist February, 1811. 

The following written message was received from the Presi- 
dent of the United States by Mr. Coles, his secretary: 

To THE Senate of the United States: — . 

I nominate John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts, to be an 
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. 

James Madison. 

The message was read. 

Ordered, That it lie for consideration. 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 275 

* 

Fridny, Felmiary 22, 181 1. 

The Senate took into consideration the message of the 
President of the United States of yesterday, nominating John 
Quincy Adams to office, and 

Resolved, That the Senate do advise and consent to the 
appointment, agreeably to the nomination. 

The following is an extract from the official letter sent to 
Mr. Adams. It bears date the 26th February, 181 1 : 

Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to Mr. Adams. 

I have the satisfaction to inform you that the President has 
thought proper to avail the public of your services at home, and 
has accordingly appointed you, by and with the advice and con- 
sent of the Senate, to the seat on the bench of the Supreme Court 
of the United States, vacated by the death of Judge Gushing. 

This appointment will make it proper that you should return 
to the United States as soon as the public interest and your own 
convenience will permit You are accordingly herewith fur- 
nished with a letter of leave to the Emperor; and in presenting 
it you will be sensible of the propriety of giving not only such 
explanations and assurances as may be calculated to prevent the 
circumstance of your return from being misconstrued, but such 
as may be best suited to convince the Emperor of the continued 
friendship of the United States. 

To which the substance of the answer by Mr. Adams is as 
follows. It bears date the 2d June, 181 1 : 

" Deeply sensible of the honor done me by the President and 
Senate in the appointment to the bench of the Supreme Court 
I lament that circumstances beyond my control have prescribed 
to me the duty of declining it. As they are, for the most part, 
of a private nature, I have taken the liberty to explain them in 
a private letter to the President himself, enclosed, and which I 
have to ask of you the favor to deliver to him. One of them, 
itself decisive to dictate my determination, is the impossibility of 
my return to the United States during the present year, arising 



• 276 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

from the peculiar situation of my family, the length of time neces- 
sary to accomplish a voyage from the extremity of the Gulf of 
FinUnd to the coast of North America, and the short portion 
of the year during which such a voyage can be commenced." 

19th. In the evening, I went to the top of the round tower 
at a corner of the house in which we dwell, and saw the red- 
ness of the sun as evening and morning twilight at the same 
time. I returned again to the tower a little after midnight, and 
observed a second time the same phenomenon. I read a chapter 
of Savary's Koran, chiefly without a candle, and at midnight. 

2 1 St. After more than two hours of restlessness, finding that 
I had no prospect of sleep, I rose, dressed myself, and walked 
out to see the sun rise, on the day of the summer solstice. I 
took my stand on the quay opposite the Winter Palace, at the 
spot where last year, on the same day, I had seen the sun set. 
It rose at forty-six minutes past two, and I marked its bearings. 
There was, however, a low cloud bordering that part of the 
horizon, so that I could not see the sun until about a quarter 
of an hour risen. I then returned home, and, at about half- 
past three in the morning, went again to bed. I slept until 
nearly nine. 

22d. At twelve o'clock, noon, I went to the house of Mr. Gou- 
rieff, the Minister of the Finances, whom I found in his cabinet. 
I mentioned to him the object of my visit, which related to the 
two American vessels, the Horace and Superior, which have 
arrived at Cronstadt with prohibited articles. He told me that 
he had received a petition respecting only one of them — the 
Horace ; that the directions of the law were precise, requiring 
that all prohibited articles, upon their arrival at the ports, should 
be destroyed; but that, in consideration of the circumstance 
that these vessels were not originally destined for this place, but 
had come under a sort of compulsion, he should in his report to 
the Emperor, which he expected to make this day, recommend 
that permission should be granted for the re-exportation of the 
goods in the same vessels in which they were broug^ht — for he 
could not undertake to decide this upon his own authority; that 
as to the exportation by land, which had been requested in the 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 277 

petition of the commercial house, he did not think it could be 
granted ; for as the prohibition formed part of the system which 
had been established for the regulation of commerce during the 
present year, a departure from it in one case might be alleged 
as a precedent in others, which would make the whole system 
a mere nullity. 

I told him that I had not expected it would be possible to 
obtain the leave for exportation by land ; tliat in the note which 
I had written to Count Romanzoff on the subject, I had not 
asked it ; but that I had asked, as I did not know that it would 
be incompatible with the law of the country, that the permis- 
sion of re-exportation might extend to the employment of other 
vessels than those in which the goods were brought I said 
that in one of the cases I knew this would be a convenience 
to the owner, who had some time since ordered purchases of 
Russian merchandise to an amount of seven or eight hundred 
thousand roublest to be made here, and to be paid for by bills 
drawn here on foreign countries; that a considerable part of 
the purchases had been made, and some of them might be ex- 
ported by this ship if he could send away the hides in another. 

The Minister said that he would suggest this consideration 
to the Emperor, though he could not promise that it would 
be successful. He then assured me of his own disposition 
to favor as much as possible the commerce of the United 
States with his country, and observed that he had this day 
dispatched orders to Riga for the admission of an American 
vessel which had arrived there from Lisbon, she having sailed 
from that port in the month of April of the last year. 

I said I had addressed a note to Count RomanzofT also upon 
this case, which I presumed had been referred to him. He said 
he believed not. • He did not recollect that Count Romanzoff 
had referred to him any note concerning this affair from me. 
" And, indeed," said he, " excuse me for giving you the hint, 
but in any of these cases, if there is any facility which I can 
aftbrd your countrymen, and in which you take an interest, if 
you will apply directly to me the business will be more expe- 
ditiously settled than by a note to Count Romanzoff! Because, 
if it goes to him, you know, it must be treated diplomatically ^ 



278 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, (June, 

and then the afTaif takes quite another course. Even now, 
respecting this vessel at Riga, perhaps it may occasion further 
questions in future ; but that is a matter all settled — the orders 
are dispatched." 

I told him that, as officially I could, as a matter of right, cor- 
respond only with Count Romanzoff, I had addressed my note, 
of course, to him, and had forborne to call upon him, Mr. Gou- 
rieff, from the apprehension of being importunate; but that, 
having now his permission, I should certainly take the liberty 
of applying directly to him, and thanked him for the assurance 
of his good dispositions in regard to the American commerce. 

After this we entered upon general conversation, and the 
Minister manifested an earnest curiosity to be informed of the 
state of our relations with Great Britain and with France. I told 
him much the same as I had said to Count Romanzoff and to 
the Emperor. Mr. Gourieff expressed a very high opinion 
of the British Ministry, and particularly of their energy. I ac- 
knowledged that they had lately been favored with an extraordi- 
nary career of success, and I could not deny that they appeared 
entitled to the credit of eulogy ; but there was some part of that 
energy which I believed would ultimately prove very calamitous 
to their country. They were abusing the power of making 
paper money, until its depreciation had already run down to 
thirty per cent. ; they were accumulating the load of paper to 
support the burden of the war, and the Ministers in Parliament 
had frankly avowed that the war could not be carried on with- 
out it. 

He said that the Bank appeared to have issued not more 
than twenty-two millions sterling ; that they were already sensi- 
ble of its dangers, and seeking a remedy for it, which he believed 
they would find. I said that in addition to the Bank paper 
there was the enormous mass of the debt, to be considered as 
paper too. lie thought not. A pa^^r which bore interest, he 
said, never weighed upon the circulation : it was private cap- 
ital, like land or houses. Paper could be oppressive only 'as 
it was a representative without a constituent — a representative 
of specie when there was no specie to represent. As to the 
English funding system, he admired it as one of the most 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 279 

extraordinary inventions of the human understanding. There 
was not one of the mechanical inventions for which the English 
were famed which he thought more deserving of admiration 
than that. Recurring to our affairs with France, he said he had 
heard our vessels were now admitted there, and that a more 
friendly disposition to us had been lately professed than before. 
I told him I had heard so, but that, to be candid, I placed 
as little dependence upon the French Government as upon the 
English. He smiled, and appeared to be of the same opinion. 

26th. We had for several days past an engagement, post- 
poned until this day, to go upon a water-party with Mr. Fisher 
and Mr. Jones. They dined with us at an early hour; and about 
four in the afternoon we took boat at the landing opposite the 
Winter Palace, were rowed up the Neva and the Great Nevka 
to the island of CrestofTsky, where we landed, and took tea at 
a shady spot in the open air; we then embarked again and 
returned, rowed as before; we landed below all the bridges 
and at the end of the quay, just above the lower Admiralty. 
In returning we had floated down part of the time, while the 
boatmen were singing in concert the national airs, with a pipe 
resembling a clarionet, a tambourine, and a pair of cymbals. 
There were eleven of the rowers, and when they sang they sat 
in two lines, face to face, crosswise of the boat, each upon an 
oar, and their feet resting on the benches. They are all in 
uniform, and wear plumes in their hats. Their song is always 
the same, and appears to consist only of three or four notes. 
It was about ten in the evening when we returned. 

July 1 5th. Went to a diplomatic dinner at Count Romanzoff's. 
It was to take leave of Count Stedingk, and a dinner of recep- 
tion to the Chevalier Bezerra. I told the Chancellor that in a 
few days I should ask an interview with him, to present to him 
Mr. Hazard, who is appointed by the Government of the United 
States Consul at Archangel. He said that to save me the 
trouble of writing he would propose that it should be on Wed- 
nesday, at eleven o'clock in the morning ; to which I agreed. 

I had some conversation with the French Ambassador. He 
asked me how our affairs stood with England. I told him I 
thought it probable that his Government would make our peace 



28o MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

with England. " How ?" " By not keeping their word. They 
had promised to repeal the Berlin and Milan decrees, and had 
not kept their promise." "Oh I but you must seize two or 
three English vessels, and then I will promise you that you 
may come freely to France, and will never be troubled with the 
Berlin and Milan decrees. Only you must not bring English 
merchandise to us." 

"Americans will not bring you any English merchandise, 
except when you insist upon having it. But you give so many 
licenses for trading with England, that there is no temptation 
of profit to carry any English goods to you." " No, no ! we 
do not give any more licenses. Ay! ay! my spies" (he had 
said in a joke that his spies had not informed him that I had 
moved into his neighborhood), " my spies give me quite dif- 
ferent information. Well, if we get English merchandise, it 
is only to bum it" " Yes ; and you have burnt so much that 
now you are obliged to send for more for your own use." 

All this was said on both sides in a sort of banter; half jest, 
half earnest. Blome was standing by, and enjoyed it very much. 
I had forgotten to go with the mourning crape. But there were 
several others in the same predicament to keep me in counte- 
nance. 

25th. Mr. Hazard came as I had requested, at half-past ten. 
I went and introduced him at Count Romanzoff's. He had 
taken with him his commission, and a French translation of it, 
but the Count did not look at them. He said he thought it 
would be sufficient for me to write him a note, mentioning the 
appointment, and the necessary document would be expedited, 
he believed, from the Department of Foreign Affairs — certainly 
not from the Chancellor's office. But, as Mr. Borel was at the 
head of the Department of the Consulates, if there were any 
other formalities necessary he would send him to me to give me 
notice of them. " For, between you and me," said the Count, 
" there can happen nothing but what will be rightly done." 

As Mr. Hazard speaks scarcely any French, and the Count 
no English, he did not hold much conversation with him. He 
said, turning to me, " Je crois que nous allons vous enlever le 
Comte Pahlen, mais ce sera pour le remplacer." Then, laughing. 



l8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 28I 

he added that it seemed to be a kind of destiny for Count Pahlen 
to visit all the sovereigns of America ; and if another such 
power should arise in that hemisphere, he did not know but 
that they should charge him with commencing the diplomatic 
relations of Russia with it. But Count Pahlen himself seemed 
to be much afraid of this mission to Brazil, for he had accepted 
it on the condition, or with the earnest solicitation, that it might 
be limited to two years. The Emperor had read his letter, and 
had been diverted at his concern. It was, however, determined 
in the course of two years to provide some place for him here 
at home, and so the commission would be sent him according 
to his own' inclination. And hereafter, he was persuaded, the 
Count would thank him for having given him the means of 
becoming so extensively acquainted with both the American 
continents. As to such places as Cassel or Stuttgart, what 
could a Russian get by an appointment to them ? It was easy 
to visit them, and great numbers did visit them, without having 
diplomatic missions. But Count Pahlen, on his return, will have 
seen what scarcely any Russian can have seen, and none to the 
same advantage. 

I said I hoped he would at least have occasion to remember 
the country with pleasure. 

He said that with regard to our part of it he certainly 
would ; as all his letters very fully testified : they were strongly 
expressive of his satisfaction with his situation there. The 
Count then enquired whether I had any recent intelligence of 
the state of our affairs with England. I said I had received 
the official account of the American captain, of the action 
between the two ships, of which he had doubtless heard.* I 
had not seen the account of the English captain. If it should 
give a statement materially different from the other in regard to 
the facts, I could not say what would be the consequence ; but 
if the facts were as stated by Commodore Rogers, the British 
Government, I supposed, would disavow their officer's conduct, 
as they have done in so many cases before. In the present case, 

■ This relates to the encounter at sea on the 1 6th of May between the American 
frigate President, commanded by Captain Rogers, and the British sloop Little Belt, 
commanded by Captain Bingham. 



282 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [July, 

however, there was the diiTerence that their ship and men had 
been the greatest sufferers. 

He said he had seen accounts from England, with the gazettes 
down to the twenty-eighth of June. That there appeared to be 
great agitation in the public mind there on account of that 
event ; and it was said a squadron, commanded by an Admiral 
Yorke, had been ordered to sail for America. But then it 
appeared the struggle in Spain was all to be gone over again, 
very differently from what had been so lately expected. It had 
been thought that if the war in that country was not entirely 
at an end, at least the English had obtained a decisive pre- 
ponderancy. But now the French army under Marshalt Soult 
was reinforced and concentrated, and Lord Wellington had 
been obliged to raise the siege of Badajos, in order to draw all 
his forces together for another battle. Now the event of another 
general action was to be waited for. I said that from the late 
speeches of the Emperor Napoleon and of his Minister of the In- 
terior, it appeared that France did not give up the game for lost 
in Spain ; but that it remained to be seen whether the French 
armies there would be reinforced. He said that reinforcements 
had certainly been ordered, that troops had marched from 
Toulon and Marseilles, and he was informed by dispatches from 
the Ambassador at Paris, Prince Kurakin, that after a review 
lately of several regiments at Paris by the Emperor Napoleon 
they immediately received marching orders, and were gone to 
Spain. The Count told me that he had taken this place in the 
country in order to be near the Emperor ; but he found it so 
inconvenient for the transmission to and fro of all the papers 
that must pass under his inspection, that he should give it up 
after next week. 

26th. I have this day been married fourteen years, during 
which I have to bless God for the enjoyment of a portion of 
felicity, resulting from this relation in society, greater than falls 
to the generality of mankind, and far beyond anything that I 
have been conscious of deserving. Its greatest alloy has arisen 
from the delicacy of my wife's constitution, the ill health which 
has afflicted her much of the time, and the misfortunes she has 
suffered from it. Our union has not been without its trials, 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 283 

nor invariably without dissensions between us. There are many 
differences of sentiment, of tastes, and of opinions in regard to 
domestic economy, and to the education of children, between 
us. There are natural frailties of temper in both of us ; both 
being quick and irascible, and mine being sometimes harsh. 
But she has always been a faithful and affectionate wife, and a 
careful, tender, indulgent, and watchful mother to our chil- 
dren, all of whom she nursed herself. I have found in this 
connection from decisive experience the superior happiness of 
the marriage state over that of celibacy, and a full conviction 
that my lot in marriage has been highly favored. 

30tli. The whole morning was engrossed by one of those 
occasional occupations which so often divert me from business 
of more urgency. I found in an American newspaper a return 
of the whole population of the United States by the last census 
of 1 8 ID, and I engaged myself in calculations resulting from a 
comparison of it with the returns of 1790 and 1800. The pro- 
portion of increase between the second and third census is 
exactly the same as that between the first and second. It is 
between thirty-six and thirty-seven per cent, in ten years ; rather 
more than three per cent., and very near thirty-one per thousand. 
I do not think it possible that this proportion should continue 
even for the next ten years. It is a phenomenon which the 
world never witnessed before, and which probably will never be 
seen again. The state in which we have been the last twenty 
years is too happy a condition for human nature long to endure. 
Blessed be God for it, and may He still protract it, notwithstand- 
ing the ingratitude and other vices by which we have forfeited 
almost the right to ask his favor ! May He also protract the 
portion of virtue in the people which has hitherto contributed 
to preserve the blessings they have enjoyed ! May He continue 
to build up a state which shall exhibit a clear and permanent 
improvement in the existence of social man I When I reflect 
upon the capabilities of that people and that territory, I have 
no curb to enthusiastic hope, but in the recollection of the 
follies and vices which have proved so fatal to mankind in 
all former ages, and which threaten to destroy all the glorious 
prospects of my own country. Let me implore the aid of Heaven 



284 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Attgurt, 

to meditate further, and to some useful purpose, on this subject, 
so that this may not be a day lost 

August 3d. Peterhof Fete. At eleven this morning I went 
into my carriage, and at a quarter before two alighted at Peter- 
hof, at the small building opposite the palace, where the foreign 
Ministers are received on this occasion. The distance from my 
house is thirty-five wersts, or twenty-five miles. I went with 
four horses in front, and without stopping once on the road. I 
was alone, Mr. Smith and Mr. Gray having gone in another 
chariot with six horses. I took with me the message to Con- 
gress at the commencement of the last winter's session, and 
read part of the documents — that is, the whole of Mr. Pinckney's 
correspondence. The road was crowded with carriages of all 
kinds from the city gate to the palace at Peterhof. The invi- 
tation to the Corps Diplomatique was to a masked ball, supper, 
fireworks, illumination, etc. They were requested to alight, and 
to dine at the Pavilion^ destined to receive them. On arriving 
there, I found one of the aids of the Master of Ceremonies, and 
one of the running footmen of the Court, who showed me to a 
chamber where I could dress. I went immediately to the apart- 
ment of Mr. and Madame Bezerra, and gave her the card from 
Catherine, excusing herself for not going. They were to be 
presented to the Empress-mother and the Grand Duchesses. 
I then walked about an hour round the garden. The principal 
water-works were playing ; but, as they form only one of the 
various exhibitions of this day, I did not see them so well as at 
the visit we made to this palace on the twenty-fourth of last 
September. The preparations for the illuminations of the even- 
ing were all made, excepting the placing of the lamps. There 
were erected scaffoldings of planks in various forms, with rows 
of wire stuck on them in lines adapted to the figures to be 
represented, each wire stuck into the plank and rounded into 
a circle, distant about six inches from the plank. The lamps 
were glass tumblers filled with tallow, a wick passing through 
the centre, and the wick and surface of the tallow brushed over 
with spirits of turpentine. Each of the wire circles was to hold 
one of these tumblers. On the gulf, about a quarter of a mile 
distant from the shore, there were seventeen Imperial yachts. 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 285 

under full sail and dressed out in a full suit of colors. I saw 
Claud Gabriel and Nelson in the garden ; Nelson appeared to 
be unwell. I returned to the lodge, where I now found Mr. 
Smith and Mr. Gray. We dressed for dinner. M. de Maison- 
neuve, the Master of the Ceremonies, came into the parlor where 
we were assembled, with Mr. and Madame Bezerra, whom he 
presented to Count Lauriston, inviting him to lead her in to 
dinner. A Portuguese Minister's lady escorted by the French 
Ambassador was, in the present state of the world, a singular 
curiosity, and excited a smile throughout the company. The 
dinner ought regularly to have been presided over by Count 
RomanzofT, but, on account of his brother's death, he did not 
attend on this occasion. Mr. Weydemeyer, a member of the 
Council, attached to the Department of Foreign Affairs, and M. 
de Maisonncuve, the Master of the Ceremonies, presided, and 
did the honors of the table. The dinner was excellent, and 
the fruits of all climates in profusion ; cherries, strawberries, 
raspberries, apricots, plums, peaches, oranges, grapes, and pine- 
apples were served in abundance. The members of the Corps 
Diplomatique present were about twenty-five. After dinner we 
rode round the gardens in carriages provided by the Court. 
They are called Unes^ and resemble a double sofa, with a seat 
on each side for four persons. They were on four wheels, and 
tackled with two horses. We rode about an hour, returned to 
the lodge, and lounged or played away the time until eight 
o'clock. We then went in dominos and Venetians to the palace 
on the same Unes^ and assembled in the central chamber, 
painted all over the wainscoting with female portraits. There 
were already the nobility of both sexes who attend the Court, 
and within a quarter of an hour the imperial family appeared. 
The Emperor and Grand Duke Constantine first passed through 
the chamber to the dancing-hall, and about five minutes after- 
wards the Empress and Empress-mother, followed by the Grand 
Duchesses Catherine and Ann, the Grand Dukes Nicholas and 
Michael, and the Princess Amelia of Baden, and the Duke and 
two Princes of Oldenburg. The Court and Diplomatic Corps 
followed them into the ball-room, which was excessively crowded 
with people of all classes and descriptions. The imperial family 



286 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [August, 

and Court nobility walked a number of Polish dances; there 
was no room for any others. The Empress, with her sisters, 
took seats at the head of the hall. The Empress-mother 
played at piquet in an adjoining chamber; she played with 
the principal nobility and with the French Ambassador. Both 
Empresses spoke to most of the foreign Ministers. They asked 
me the same questions — ^whether my wife was there ? why she 
was not there? where we now resided? whether we had a 
comfortable house ? and whether Mrs. Adams would be con- 
veniently situated for her confinement ? Between nine and ten 
o'clock the illumination commenced. Count Litta said that the 
whole garden was lighted up in ten minutes; there were three 
hundred thousand lamps, and sixteen hundred persons employed 
to light them. Just after ten the Emperor passed back into the 
Hall of Portraits, and upon the balcony fronting the back garden. 
The fireworks were then played off. They were not, upon the 
whole, equal to those of the twenty-sixth of October last ; they 
were over in a quarter of an hour. We then passed through 
several of the halls to a very long gallery, over which was a 
soit of canvas roof, and in which was a long table on which the 
supper was served. There were about three hundred persons set 
down to this table, among whom were the Court circle and the 
foreign Ministers. The supper was equally excellent, and the 
fruit as plentiful and as various, as at the dinner ; it was over in 
about an hour. Miss Gourieff told me that if I returned home 
this night I should find the bridges raised ; but I thought she 
was joking. After supper we went down and rode round again 
for an hour and a half upon the Lines. Madame Bezerra, though 
the only lady of the Corps, and an entire stranger, presented 
this day for the first time at the Court, went through the whole 
with perfect propriety and without embarrassment. About a 
quarter-past one we returned to the lodge — to separate and 
retire for the night, or undress to return home. The daylight 
was already beginning to return, and many of the lamps were 
already extinct. Mr. Jones, who returned the last evening from 
Moscow, without having been able to reach Makarieff, came 
spontaneously to the lodge about seven in the evening, and 
from that time introduced himself everywhere as in the suite of 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 287 

tfie Corps Diplomatique. General Pardo was the only foreign 
Minister absent Navarro and Luxbourg were not there ; but 
they have taken leave at Court. Barons d'Arnim, Gremp, and 
Marechal were also absent. General Betancourt received the 
red riband of the order of St. Alexander Newsky while there 
at the ball. A curious part of the show was the Circassian 
deputies in their national dresses, when presented and spoken 
to by the Empress. 

4th. At half-past one in the morning I entered my carriage 
iEigain and returned home. I reached the lower bridge across 
the Neva just as the sun was rising, at a quarter before four. 
The lines of carriages on the road were almost uninterrupted 
from Peterhof to the city gate, and they were often two or 
three in front I passed upwards of two thousand, as I presume, 
on the road ; and during the first half of the way great mul- 
titudes of persons returning on foot The numbers of people 
who attend at this celebration are asserted to be at least fifty 
thousand. It has been usual to keep such a day here ever 
since Peter the First's time, but the day has occasionally been 
changed. I was present at this fete in the year 1782, but it was 
then kept on the festival of St Peter and St Paul, the twenty- 
ninth of June, old style ; being the then Grand Duke Paul's 
name-day. He was not present, however, being then upon his 
travels. The day is now changed to that of St Mary Magdalen, 
which is the Empress-mother's and her daughter Mary's name- 
day, the twenty-second of July, old style. The time is much 
better for an illumination, as there are now two hours in the 
night of darkness sufficient for the effect of the lamps. On 
the twenty-ninth of June there is no darkness at all. Ac- 
cordingly, the effect of the illumination this time was far 
more brilliant than, from my recollection, it was wheh I saw it 
before. There were then, I think, no fireworks. The company 
then was, I think, more numerous, and, from my impressions, 
more splendid in dress. Perhaps, however, it was because then 
magnificence of dress was not so familiar and common an object 
as it now is. I saw the Court then only at a distance and as a 
stranger. At present I know all the principal individuals. The 
Empresses and Grand Duchesses were attired with great splendor 



288 MEMO/RS OF JOHN QU/NCY ADAAIS, [Auguit, 

of jewels. The Empress-mother wore an imperial diadem en- 
tirely set in diamonds, and of immense cost The men were 
all plainly dressed, with their uniforms slightly embroidered. 
The ball finished much earlier now than formerly. The Em- 
peror abridges all the tedious festivities. On arriving at the 
lower bridge, I found, as Miss Gourieif had told me, that it was 
raised. I went to the upper bridge, and found it in the same 
situation. I now learnt, and not without concern, that they 
raise both the bridges every morning at two o'clock, to let the 
vessels pass through, and that they are kept raised from two 
to three hours. I was detained at them about an hour, and 
reached my house about a quarter before five in the morning. 
The weather had been fine the whole day and night; but I 
found a surtout convenient in the carriage as I returned. 

5th. I had a visit this morning from Count Luxbourg, who 
is going away in a few days. He waits only for the arrival of 
his successor, a Count Jennison, who was coming from Berlin, 
but was stopped at Polangen and not allowed to proceed until 
a passport from Count RomanzoiT could be sent to him. Lux- 
bourg took leave of the Court yesterday week, and he says 
that the Emperor, after charging him with his compliments to 
the King of Bavaria, said to him, "J'espere que la paix du nord 
de TEurope ne sera pas troublee. II y a beaucoup de dis- 
cours dans le public ; mais tout cela ne signifie rien. A quoi 
bon feroit-on la guerre? II est temps qu'on commence a se 
tenir tranquille. On ne croit pas, sans doute, faire des conquetes 
ici. A quoi cela pourroit-il mcncr? Au rcstc, nous sonimcs 
prets." Luxbourg says that he was quite surprised and embar- 
rassed at hearing the Emperor speak to him in this manner, 
and hardly knew how to answer him. He told him, however, 
that the sentiments so worthy of a great monarch he presumed 
were also shared by the other side (de I'autre part), and that 
peace was undoubtedly the object most desirable for suffering 
humanity. He says, too, that he has written an account of 
this conversation to his Government, leaving out, however, the 
expressions which import a readiness for war. I should have 
thought them by far the most important part of the report. 

6th. According to appointment, I went at half-past twelve 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 289 

to Count RomanzofTs. I reminded him of a note which soon 
after fny arrival here I had written him respecting the Com- 
merce and the Hector, and mentioned that I had lately received 
a letter from one of the owners making enquiries what was 
done with those cases. He asked me if I had never received 
from him any answer relating to them. I said I had not. He 
said he would immediately attend to it; that it had been 
referred to the Minister of Marine, and no report had yet been 
made by him. I spoke of a packet which I sent him in the 
beginning of June, for Mr. Russell, at Paris, which was to go 
by a courier; and as I had just received from Mr. Russell a 
letter, by which it appeared that packet had not come to his 
hands, I was afraid that by some accident, or perhaps some 
mistake of my servant, the Count had not received it. He said 
that he had ; but the delay in its transmission to Mr. Russell 
had arisen from another accident — an extraordinary length of 
time during which his courier had been detained before he had 
dispatched him. It was full two months after the time he had 
intended. Prince Kurakin complained of it very much ; but, 
after all those discussions had arisen, the Emperor had positively 
determined that he would not come to any definitive resolution 
to be communicated by courier until he should know of the 
Duke of Vicence's arrival at Paris, and what effect would be 
produced by his return. The courier, therefore, had not been 
dispatched until the day of the Tc Deum, and probably has 
but just now arrived in Paris. 

I said that with regard to the preparation of a Treaty of 
commerce, I had made no further communication to him, owing 
to the uncertainty both in the state of public affairs and of my 
own situation here — not knowing what the ultimate disposition 
of my Government with regard to this mission had been or 
would be. He said that from this uncertainty in the state of 
everything, it seemed really impossible to enter upon any dis- 
cussion relative to commerce. We could not know from day 
to day whether there would be any commerce. It would be 
impossible to do anything more than provide for the day that 
was passing over our heads. What would come to-morrow 

was beyond all human foresight. What, for instance, would be 
VOL. II. — 19 



290 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Auguil, 

the consequence of a war between the United States and Eng- 
land, which I had told him I thought probable, and which he 
thought so himself? However amicably disposed they were 
here to favor our commerce, and they continued as much so as 
they ever had been, it would obviously upon that contingency 
be totally stopped by the English. Ht was, therefore, sorry to 
see this prospect of that war ; for it protracted all the hopes of 
peace, and menaced a longer and a more extensive war. Did 
not I think so ? What was my opinion of the chances for a 
peace f 

This fashion of consultation is one of the Count's forms of 
civility. He supposes that I feel flattered by having my opinion 
asked, and that it will make me talk as much as he pleases. I 
always do give him my opinions as freely as he asks them ; not 
that I fancy he attaches so much importance to them as he 
imagines I do, but because I consider it as civility returned for 
civility, and because as long as my talk is not tiresome to him 
I suppose it to be agreeable. I asked him if he meant a gen- 
eral peace. " Ay, or at least a peace between France and Eng- 
land?" That was the same thing; I saw nothing like a prospect 
of it, or a disposition to it, on either side. There never was 
less reason to expect it. He said he was extremely sorry to 
be so nearly of my opinion. And I was extremely sorry to 
hear his Excellency acknowledge it; for it confirmed me in a 
belief which I should have been most happy to have had him 
shake. But it was too clear. The Emperor Napoleon, and his 
Mini.ster, MonUilivct, spoke of the war in Spain as likely still 
to occupy several campaigns. They talked of ten years, as of 
a matter for which France was prepared. No symptom of 
relaxation or yielding could be discovered there. In England 
such symptoms must come first from the people ; as long as 
their spirits could be kept up, their Government would not 
flinch; and as long as they had any successes to boast of, the 
spirits of the people would not flag. There was no appearance 
of that kind yet — no petitions for peace, no talk of a change 
of Ministry. There was, indeed, great anxiety for the issue of 
affairs in Spain and Portugal ; and until that affair was finished, 
the English nation would not begin to look round them and 



I8il.] THE MISSION 7V KUSSIA. 29I 

think of peace. The Count said that France was certainly now 
making another great effort there. Besides the success of their 
arms in taking Tarragona, and the junction of the two mar- 
shals, Soult and Marmont, he knew that the Emperor Napoleon 
had determined to send eighty thousand more men into Spain. 
The English army would probably be. obliged to resume its old 
position near Lisbon, and there time again might be gained. 
For it was remarkable that the Emperor Napoleon, who was 
always accustomed to announce quick dispatch and to threaten 
with thunderbolts, had in this case admitted that the subjuga- 
tion of Spain would still be an affair of time. 

He then asked me whether I knew if Mr. Bczcrra had any 
late news, and what his opinion was of the present state of 
things. I said that I had not seen Mr. Bezerra since the Peter- 
hof day, when he did not know of Lord Wellington's retreat. 

The Count then told me that the Ambassador had just been 
with him. He had received a courier, who brought him the 
account that the Ecclesiastical Council assembled at Paris had 
been dissolved, and three of the bishops arrested. He was a 
little surprised at this instance of resistance to the will of the 
Emperor Napoleon, but he did not expect it would be followed 
by any serious consequences. He believed there was very 
little religion in France. When he was last there he had made 
it a particular object of his personal observation. He had sup- 
posed before he went there that the result of the horrible revo- 
lution through which they had passed would have been to 
awaken religious ideas in the people, and to have given their 
minds a peculFar direction that way. He saw no such thing. He 
saw no disposition with regard to religion but that of profound 
indifference. It was not a fashion of infidelity such as had 
been known in France thirty or forty years ago — not a sectarian 
atheism, courting martyrdom ; but total indifference — a total 
absence of all thought concerning religion. He had mentioned 
it to the Emperor Napoleon, and perceived that the remark had 
displeased him. He asked him on what he founded his opinion. 
The Count answered that as he had before going to France 
entertained the theoretic idea that he should find strong symp- 
toms of religious propensities, he had made it a point to observe, 



292 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QC/IA'CY ADAMS. [Augiisl, 

and had repeatedly gone into the principal churches of Paris 
on Sundays and holidays in service-time. They were all abso- 
lutely deserted — scarcely a soul to be seen, except here and 
there an occasional straggler, who looked as if he had been sent 
on an errand and had come into the church and taken a chair 
to rest himself on the way. The Emperor had replied, " Per- 
haps it may be so, but I assure you it is not my fault. On the 
contrary, I know the importance of religious sentiments, and 
encourage the propagation of them as much as I can. There 
are even five or six popular writers to whom I give pensions 
for this purpose, and among them are Chateaubriand and 
Madame de Genlis." " Now," said the Count, *'he considers these 
people as drugs of the Imperial Pharmacopoeia — ingredients to 
be mixed up in the chemical mass of an Emperor's government. 
His own idea is political, and not at all religious. And as to 
his pensioners, for aught I know, Chateaubriand may be honest, 
but Madame de Sillery would preach any religion for which she 
could get paid. I know something of her, and I know her to 
be as false and unprincipled a woman as breathes. 

I said that Chateaubriand himself had lately shown some 
resistance against the Emperor's will, as I had heard, on a 
religious topic ; that he had written a discourse for his reception 
as a member of the National Institute, which he had not been 
suffered to pronounce, and which he had refused to alter. 

The Count said it was not a matter of religion. It related 
to the death of the King. Chateaubriand was received at the 
Academy in the place of Chenicr. Chcnier had voted in the 
Convention for the King's death, and Chateaubrfand, instead of 
pronouncing a panegyric upon Chenier according to custom, 
had written a violent philippic against him, and criminated him 
especially for his vote on the King's trial. The Emperor had 
forbidden its being delivered ; because he. Napoleon, had par- 
doHi'd all those who had voted for the King's death, and had 
among them several of his highest Imperial officers. Cam- 
baceres was one. Regnaud St. Jean d'Angely was another. 
He did not choose that any such allusion to that event should 
be made in a public oration ; especially by a man whom he 
patronized, and to whom he had been a benefactor. The 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 293 

Count added that he did think there was something very in- 
decent in the manner in which they managed some of these aca- 
demical receptions in France. He had attended one of them, 
where a man, whose name he did not recollect, was received 
in the place of a certain physician named Cabanis, who had 
written an atheistical book. The new member had observed 
the custom of eulogizing his predecessor, but the President in 
answering the discourse had severely censured him for praising 
such a book — for the recipiendary had included the book in his 
panegyric. The Count added, laughing, that these reception- 
speeches and answers had been well ridiculed by Piron, who 
said that they all amounted exactly to this, that the member 
said, " Messieurs, je vous remercie," and the President answered, 
" Monsieur, il n*y a pas de quoi." This Academy had occa- 
sioned him to make another indiscreet observation in conversing 
with the Emperor Napoleon. They had on some occasion, while 
he was at Paris, perhaps some affair of the Spanish business, 
sent a deputation to the Emperor, and the orator of the depu- 
tation had said, among other things, that " they were an invisible 
militia surrounding his throne." The speech was published in 
the next morning's Moniteur, where the Count read it. Seeing 
afterwards the Emperor the same day, he had told him that 
there had been to him a deputation from the Academy, and 
that he encouraged and countenanced those people, "I am not," 
said the Count, " remarkable for being incautious about what 
I say; but that day somehow it happened that all my caution 
forsook me. For I said, ' Yes, Sire, and I have read something 
as a speech of that deputation which struck me oddly, and gave 
me some pain.' 'And what is that?' said the Emperor.' 'Why, 
Sire, they said they were an invisible militia surrounding your 
throne. The meaning of which is that your throne derives sup- 
port and assistance from a club of Atheists. Now I think, in 
the first place, this is not true ; and in the next, if it were, that 
it is not becoming that it should be thus publicly announced.' 
The Emperor made little reply, but I saw," said the Count, 
"that what I had said was not agreeable to him. The next 
day, however, the orator's speech was published again in 
another gazette, and the pass.ige upon which I had animad- 



294 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QU/NCY ADAMS. lAupiM. 

verted was omitted. I had no doubt that my remarks to the 
Emperor had occasioned its being struck out. 

" Ever since my return from France at that time I have been 
persuaded that there was very little religion there. Now, indeed, 
this incident in the Council disconcerts a little my ideas 
(" derange un peu mes idees"), and we shall see what it comes 
to. But again I have considered that the Council, consisting 
principally of old men, may naturally have an extraordinary pro- 
portion of members more stubborn than the spirit of the times 
will be found to bear them out. The characteristic of the great 
mass was indil^rence, and it was not confined to France. It 
pervaded the great body of the Roman Catholics throughout 
Europe. Consider," said he, "what the Pope is, in the prin- 
ciples of that sect. You know the situation in which he has 
long been kept. How, but from this immovable indiHerence, 
can we account for it that not the slightest manifestation of 
interest or of sensibility to his condition has ap]x:ared in any 
part of the Catholic world? Yet the mass of population in 
several important European states were Roman Catholics. To 
instance only Austria." 

I said I did not know whether 1 could without indiscretion 
tell him what I thought of Austria. But he must be aware 
Austria had made her effort. She had struggled — she had 
motives of policy which would induce her to restrain the ex- 
pression of sentiments among her subjects which might impair 
her good understanding with France. 

He replied that the sentiments to which he alluded were 
precisely of a nature which the Government could not control. 
If they were felt, they would burst through all such restraints. 
He did not know, however, that any such restraint had been 
used, or attempted. There ceitainly hud been none Iiltc. 
Several provinces of the Russian Empire were inhabited by 
Roman Catholics; and the Emperor Napoleon knew — he had 
long since been infornied — that if any difference between him 
utd the Pope should arise, by which the consciences of that 
dMS ^ th« Russian subjects might be affected, the Russian 
Government would not side with him against them. 

I mentioned to the Count that I liad some time since seen a 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 295 

letter from the Roman Catholic Bishops in America to those in 
Ireland, concerning the situation of the Pope. He had never 
heard of it, and requested me, if it should again fall in my way, 
to send it to him ; which I promised. 

In the part of the conversation respecting the prospects of 
peace, I told him that besides the war between the United 
States and England, which, with him, I feared and lamented 
would be inevitable, the state of affairs between France and 
Russia, with the discussions they were agitating (at least as 
they were represented in the public opinion), had also a strong 
appearance of protracting the period when peace might be 
expected. He said that with regard to the relations between 
Russia and France there were undoubtedly many unfounded 
reports in public circulation ; but thus much he could say, that 
if the whole budget could be turned inside out (si on pouvoit 
tourner le fond du sac en dehors) and exposed to the view of 
everybody, it would not at all promote any other conclusion 
than is already drawn from what is known. 

loth. I dined at the French Ambassador's — his first great 
diplomatic dinner. Count RomanzoflT asked me to send him 
the three latest English newspapers; being later than any 
that he had seen. 1 accordingly sent them immediately on 
my return home in the evening. At table I sat between the 
Minister of War, General Barclay de Tolly, and the Emperor's 
aid-de-camp, Count Ozarowsky. My only conversation was 
with the latter. I mentioned to him that the late King of 
Sweden had returned from Heligoland into Holstein, greatly 
incensed against the English Governor and officers of the 
island. 

The Count said he was the most difficult man to deal with 
thtit he had ever met in the course of his life. When he came 
into Russia last autumn, the Emperor sent him. Count Oza- 
rowsky, to meet and compliment him. His orders were to do 
everything that the King pleased, and to facilitate anything 
upon which be should determine. Whether he chose to stay 
at Riga, or to come to St. Petersburg, or to go into the interior 
of Russia, or to embark for England, his pleasure was to be 
the rule for Ozarowsky 's conduct. But he was scarcely ever 



296 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [August, 

six hours together of the same intention. At one time he 
was for staying at Riga ; then for going to Sarepta, a Hcrrnhut 
establishment ; then for going to Bender — because Charles the 
Twelfth had been there ; and lastly, for going to England, and 
then to Spain. He did actually go to England, but did not stay 
there long. He came thence to Heligoland, and now has re- 
turned to the Continent. The Count says that he is disordered 
in the intellect to such a degree that he sometimes fancies 
himself to be Charles the Twelfth in person — and that was his 
motive for intending to go to Bender — ^a project which he car- 
ried so far that the horses and carriage were already tackled for 
his departure before he changed his mind. He has a sort of 
Bible, or rather a Herrnhut Calendar, with a text from the Bible 
for every day in the year. He consults this book every day as 
an oracle, and considers the text for the day as prescribing to 
him his rule of conduct for that day. But, as he gives a sort of 
mystical construction to these texts, he makes out of them a 
meaning of his own, which, instead of inspiring wisdom, as the 
natural operation of the Bible would be, leads him into a mul- 
titude of absurdities. Yet he has, withal, many good qualities 
— a proud spirit of honor, and generous sentiments. 

15th. It being the Emperor Napoleon's birthday, I dined in 
formal ceremony at the French Ambassador's. It was like the 
dinner on the same occasion the last year; but Count Lauris- 
ton's magnificence is not in so high a style as that of the Duke 
de Vicence. The ceremony of rising to drink the Emperor's 
health in champagne wine was re|)eated in the same manner as 
then ; and there was a band of music occasionally performing 
during the dinner. The preparations for the illumination were 
like those of that night. I sat between Counts Soltykofif and 
Bussche at table. The company were about fifty-five persons. 
The dinner was short, and the company all very soon afterwards 
retired. 

16th. I received a note from Count Maistre, the Sardinian 
Minister, requesting me to return him his manuscript transla- 
tion of Plutarch's treatise on the Delays of Divine Justice, which 
he lent me some weeks ago. I have read it, and been pleased 
with his preface and notes. The translation is too much dilated. 



iRii.J THE AtlSS/ON TO KUSS/A. 297 

The argument against Wittenbach, to prove that the Christian 
Scriptures were known to Plutarch, is weak. He commends 
Wittenbach's learning and ingenuity, but censures his infidelity. 
There are two points in the character of Plutarch's style which 
the French denominate bonhammie and naivete ; they are well 
represented in the old translation of Amyot, but I do not find 
them in that of Count Maistre. He has doubtless corrected 
some mistakes and elucidated some obscure passages. Plu- 
tarch reasons well, but leaves much of the mysterious veil over 
his subject which nothing but Christian doctrine can remove. 
If the existence of man was limited to this life, it would be 
impossible for me to believe the universe under any moral 
government; Prudence would be the only God, and Jupiter, 
according to the pagan doctrine, would be subject to Fate. It 
is not the affliction of the righteous, but the prosperity of the 
wicked, which would contribute most to stagger my faith in 
Divine justice. I cannot reconcile it to my own mind to see 
the crimes of a successful conqueror punished in the person of 
his innocent great-grandchild, and to take it for justice. There 
is one more idea which I think not unimportant. Taking 
a future state of retribution for granted, the imperfection of 
Divine justice in the present life necessarily follows. If it 
were complete here, there would be nothing to comf)ensate 
hereafter ; if the righteous were rewarded and the wicked pun- 
ished here, in this world, to the full extent of justice, there 
would be neither merit nor demerit left upon which justice 
could operate hereafter. Now, let it once be admitted that 
there is a balance of virtue and of vice to be accounted for and 
settled in another state of existence, and there will be no ques- 
tion left with regard to the delays of Divine justice ; because, 
however defective the measure may be found here, the prin- 
ciple supposes that it will be filled up elsewhere. I sent Count 
Maistre his book, with a note of thanks. 

28th. Mr. Montreal came again this morning, with some fur- 
ther information concerning the vessels arriyed at Reval, and 
spoke to me of a publication which he had heard was in aii 
English newspaper, and with which my name was said to be 
connected. I did not know to what he referred, but Mr. Harris 



2q8 memoirs of JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Auc^unt, 

afterwards, in the course of the day, sent me the London Cou- 
rier of the thirtieth of July, containing the publication. It is a 
stupid forgery, purporting to be a memoir, signed by the Duke 
de Cadore, thirtieth of October, 1810, addressed to the Russian 
Ambassador, Prince Kurakin, to be laid before the Emperor of 
Russia. It contains a clumsy imitation of the general accusa- 
tions of France against Britain and British policy, and asserts the 
necessity of changing the English Constitution or the dynasty 
on the throne. But for the rest it speaks in language suited 
only to the sentiments of George Rose, or any other ministerial 
tool. Its venom against the United States would be sufficient 
to betray its English origin. This miserable thing the Courier, 
a ministerial paper, announces with emphatic solemnity as per- 
haps the most important state paper ever laid before the English 
nation, asserts repeatedly that it is of unquestionable authen- 
ticity, and gives what it calls a history of its publication ; that 
it was sent by Prince Kurakin to St. Petersburg, where, not 
producing upon the mind of the Emperor Alexander the in- 
tended effect, it was communicated by the Russian Government 
to me ; that I sent a copy of it to my Government, and to my 
father, through whom it was first published. This is a lie from 
beginning to end. 

30th. The French Ambassador came, according to his ap- 
pointment. The Ambassador had seen the spurious memoir 
attributed in the English papers to the Duke de Cadore ; but he 
had seen it in the Pilot of the thirty-first of July, extracted from 
the Courier of the preceding day, where I saw it ; and he says 
that in the Pilot of the first of August there are some further 
remarks upon it. He supposes it to be a device of the British 
Ministry themselves; for he says that the extreme severity 
with which the laws of England punish forgery is only because 
their Government view it as a breach of their own exclusive 
privilege. 

I told him I had not much opinion of their virtue, but I could 
hardly suspect them of participation or connivance in so low and 
wretched a device as this. He said they were at their wit's end; 
that the King was dying, and the Prince had other favorites ; 
their paper was falling in value every day; their expenses, 



l8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 299 

especially in Spain and Portugal, increasing ; their merchants 
all turning to bankrupts. He had seen in the Statesman a list 
of bankrupts. It took up half the paper. And so the Ministers 
spread abroad one falsehood after another merely to maintain 
themselves. One day it was a victory in Spain ; the next, it was 
a naval victory and the destruction of a French fleet in the 
Mediterranean ; the third, it was the taking of Genoa. Now 
they were trying to coax America, and he saw they were begin- 
ning to hint that Captain Bingham's account of the attack upon 
the Little Belt was not fully confirmed. Then again they were 
coaxing Russia, and were sending frigates and store-ships with 
powder and saltpetre, which no sooner arrived than they were 
ordered away. 

I asked him if he was sure of that. 

He said the Emperor himself had told him so. It was a 
foolish attempt at a separate negotiation, which they had tried 
twice before and failed — once with the frigate which brought 
the prisoners, and once on another occasion, (He meant the 
frigate that brought the Portuguese Minister.) They were now 
not more successful than before, though it was said they were 
in great want of gunpowder. If they wanted it, he could not 
conceive why they wasted it Every day they had some fete 
or manoeuvre here at Cronstadt, when they burnt as much 
powder as would serve for one day of battle. But at least he 
was sure they did not intend war with France, and therefore 
that they would have no separate negotiation with England. 
It was, to be sure, an awkward way of doing business, if this 
was it. Russia had Voronzof and Smirnoff in England ; if 
they wanted to negotiate, it was very easy, but then they would 
not take such a ridiculous course as this. 

I told him I rejoiced to hear him say that there would be no 
war between this country and France, for I had for a long time 
been afraid there would. 

He said he came here with the same apprehension. He 
knew that France did not intend to begin ; but he heard so 
much before he came, and saw so much on his way, that he 
really feared they would begin here. The preparations were in 
themselves great and menacing — five divisions ordered away 



jOO MEMOIRS OP JOHN QUISCY ADAMS, [Ai^vt, 

from the Turkish army to Poland (I never beard of more than 
four) ; and then the paper about 0)denburg looked so much like 
a manifesto. But that had been explained. It was merely a 
reservation of rights, and would be got over. There were points 
about which Russia was obstinate ; she must show a little flexi- 
bility and give them up. The return of the Duke of Vicence 
had done much good. It was so much easier to explain and 
prove intentions, verbally and in person, than at a distance of 
eight hundred leagues. Besides, if it was thought that long 
residence in the country, and personal favors received, had 
made something of a Russian of him, when the reports of the 
new-comer perfectly agreed with those that he carried, they 
must be convincing. I might rely upon it therefore, with the 
most p<;rfcct certainty, that there would be no war for anything 
yet in discussion between the parties. "And now," said he, 
" we have sent eighty thousand more men into Spain, and are 
going to form a camp at Boulogne, and along the coast of the 
North Sea, opposite to England. We shall see if they do not 
think of calling their troops home to defend themselves." 

I said that it sccincil as if there would not be a very active 
campaign in Portugal. 

The Emperor, he replied, intended first to sweep all clear 
in Spain ; to wear out all the guerrillas, and take Valencia and 
Carthagena, which would not cost so much trouble as Tarragona. 
Cadiz would be left, and that was a strong place. Probably it 
would be the last hold ; but the Emperor had given great means 
(do grands moyens) to King Joseph, and all must before long 
be settled there. As to Portugal, the English would always 
have the position of Torres Vedras, which could not be forced. 
Probably the war would not be much pushed there. But if the 
English stayed where they were, at Portalegre, encamped in the 
marshes of Alemtejo, the pestilence would do among them the 
work of a T^rench army. Besides which, there were Generals 
quite competent to keep the field on a day of battle, but not 
qualified to plan successfully a whole campaign. (He must 
have alluded to Soult.) The result of the campaign was the 
only important object in war, and therein lay the great talent 
of the Emperor (Napoleon). A battle was to him only a 



i8ii.]. THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 301 

secondary object of consideration. It might almost be said it 
was unimportant. If he lost a battle to-day, he knew that in 
three weeks* time he would be ready to win the next. He was 
sure of the effect of an entire campaign — that was everything — 
and that, happily (hcurcuscmcnt), was what they wanted here. 
They had not got a single General fit to be named. Oh, if they 
had, with such soldiers as they have, he should be very much 
afraid of them. Hut how they went on with this war in Turkey I 
This year nothing done at all, but to return back to where they 
were two years ago. The year before last. Prince Bagration 
sends a pompous account of a victory, gets the blue riband, 
and the day after is recalled, because it turns out that his victory 
was a defeat. Last year, what did they ? Lost thousands upon 
ten thousands of men in storming two or three paltry fortresses, 
which, after having got, they could not hold. Why, the Em- 
peror Napoleon would not ask more than one campaign to go 
to Constantinople. As to the English, if we could but take 
away from them their Scotch soldiers and their Irish sailors, we 
should have cheap and easy work with the rest. The Irish are 
most excellent sailors, and the Scotch are equally good for the 
land service; but they have a national feeling very distinct 
from that of the English. " They claim me as a countryman 
to this day." 

I asked him whether he was directly descended from the 
celebrated John Law. " No ; but from his elder brother, who 
was my grandfather. John Law left no children. But I am his 
heir, and that of the family, and am still the proprietor of the 
jestate of Lawriston in Scotland. When I was in England on 
a mission, there was a great entertainment given in Scotland, 
at which they toasted me as a Scotchman ; and what is more 
curious still, they did the same for my son, when, for having 
distinguished himself at the battle of Wagram, he was promoted 
on the field of battle." The General then told me how the Em- 
peror had sent after him into Italy, where he had been employed 
upon a particular mission, to make him Ambassador here. He 
had never before been upon any but short and easy missions; 
always used to have it soon over, and receive nothing but testi- 
monies of satisfaction. But now it was altogether different. *' I 



302 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 

don't know how your Government does with you/' said he, 
" but for mine, I can scarcely ever get so much as a cold appro- 
bation. If you yield anything, if you seem even to set forth 
what is alleged on the other side in all its strength, they seem 
to think you are biased by the people where you are, and coaxed 
into their influence. I foresaw this, and told them so before I 
came aw<iy. I said I knew I should get more scoldings than 
complinicnls. 1 lowcvcr, 1 determined to accepl, and here I am. 
It must come to what it can." 

He now took his leave, and about two hours afterwards I had 
a visit from Count Bussche, the Westphalian Minister. He is 
of opinion that there is a separate negotiation between Russia 
and England ; that the sending of these store-ships was a con- 
certed thing ; and that Prince Lubomirski, whom he says he 
knows to be much in favor with the Emperor Alexander, was 
charged with a secret mission. It is certainly possible, and the 
suspicion is countenanced by the manner in which the Prince 
went from hence ; but the reception, or rather the rejection, of 
the store-ships upon their arrival is strong evidence either that 
he was not executing, or that he has not executed, his errand 
with sufficient address, or that, since he went, there have been 
changes of affairs which have operated a new change of policy. 

September 2d. After dinner I paid a visit at Mr. Laval's. I 
found Count Maistre and the Chevalier Brancia there, and Mr. 
Labensky — but a company smaller than usual. Madame de 
Laval was absent — went yesterday to Pavlofsky, and had not 
returned. She came home while I was there. I asked Mr. 
Laval some questions about the two institutions of cadets. Onq 
of them is to educate officers for the army, and the other officers 
for the navy. The army cadets are under the direction and 
management of the Grand Duke Constantine. They are taught 
the manual exercise in great perfection, and little or nothing 
else. The marine cadets are under the inspection of Captain 
Krusenstern and Mr. Laval; of the Captain for the practical 
part, and of Mr. Laval for the part of instruction. They enter 
from nine to eleven years of age, and remain there six years, 
after which they are obliged to serve as marine officers, with 
the appointment of midshipmen. The three last years of their 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. jqJ 

attendance at school they are bas-officiers and gardes-marines, 
and when the sea is open and free to them, are sent out on board 
frigates to cruise in the Baltic, to learn the practice of navigation. 
This part of their duty now is confined to the navigation between 
this city and Cronstadt. They are tnught the mathematics with 
great assiduity, and many of them make great and surprising 
proficiency in them. They are also taught the French and Eng- 
lish languages, and some of them German; but the greatest 
attention is paid to the French. There are thirteen teachers of 
that language alone. But then there are seven hundred pupils 
belonging to the institution. Their numbers occasion the great- 
est inconvenience. And another heavy misfortune is the de- 
preciation of the paper money. The funds remain the same as 
they were in the time of the Empress Catherine, while the money 
has depreciated to the rate of four for one. The masters have 
salaries of two hundred roubles a year, when they ought to 
have two thousand. Good masters, therefore, are not to be 
had. Notwithstanding which, this is the best naval school in 
the country. Mr. Laval promised me that he would some day 
accompany me and show me the buildings and arrangements 
of the institution. 

4th. I sent home the papers which the French Ambassador 
had lent me yesterday, with enquiries whether he* could see me 
this day, and at what hour. He sent me word that he should 
be at home the whole day, and would receive me when I pleased. 
I called upon him about one in the afternoon, and thanked him 
for the loan of the papers. I had then some conversation with 
him upon general subjects. His papers came by a Russian 
courier to Count Romanzoff. His own courier, whom he has 
some time expected, has not yet arrived. He complained that 
his couriers were all dispatched to him too late. I asked him 
if he was still as confident of peace as the last week. He said, 
yes ; at least there could be no war now — it was too late. He 
had heard, indeed, that the Emperor Napoleon had made a 
promotion upon his birthday, 15th August, of fifty Brigadier- 
Generals and several Generals of Division at once, which could 
hardly be true. There had very probably been, however, a 
promotion, and it might be unusually numerous, for there had 



304 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Septemlwr, 

been none since the last campaign against Austria. It was said, 
too, that the Emperor Napoleon had had a conversation with 
the Russian Ambassador, Prince Kurakin. That was very 
probable ; but as the substance of it had been reported to this 
Government by Prince Kurakin, and as neither the Emperor 
nor Count Romanzofr had told the substance of it to anybody, 
it was evident that there could have been nothing in it of 
an unfavorable nature; for if there had been, they certainly 
would have spoken of it. 

The Ambassador's reasoning must go upon the principle that 
by anything of an unfavorable nature he means express war. 

He said that when the Russian courier came from Paris, the 
Emperor Napoleon was going to Compi^gne, and perhaps to 
Holland, which would further increase the suspicions and alarms 
here. But he would be returned so soon after his departure that 
they would not have time to be alarmed long. He had heard, too, 
that the Generals had been appointed here ; but this was merely 
a rumor. On the whole, I saw that the General himself was 
not perfectly sure how affairs actually stood, and that although 
he really believes the peace will continue, he is not altogether 
without his doubts. 

9th. Four o'clock p.m. was fixed for the christening of my 
infant daughter. The company invited assembled at that hour. 
The Reverend Loudon King Pitt, chaplain to the English factory 
church, performed the ceremony. Levett Harris, Esquire, Consul 
of the United States in this city, was the godfather, and Madame 
Bezerra, the lady of the Portuguese Minister, and Mrs. Annette 
Krehmer, were the godmothers ; the witnesses present were the 
Chevalier Bezerra, General Watzdorf, and Count Bussche, Portu- 
guese, Saxon, and Westphalian Ministers, the Chevalier Navarro, 
Mr. and Mrs. Bentzon, Mr. Krehmer and his daughter Sally, 
Commodore Bainbridge, and Messrs. Blodget, Fisher, Gray, 
Harris, jun^ and Jones — together with our own family. The 
child was baptized by the name of Louisa Catherine ^ being that 
of her mother. The ceremony took about a quarter of an hour, 
and immediately after it was over we sat down to dinner. Great 
part of the company spent the evening with us, and we had 
cards. I played whist with Mr. Bezerra, Mr. Jones, and Mr. 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 30$ 

Gray. My oldest son and my daughter have been baptized 
according to the rites of the Church of England. My sons 
John and Charles were baptized at Boston, by my worthy 
friend Emerson, now deceased. I think the ceremony of bap- 
tism as performed in our Congregational churches much more 
proper and rational than that of the English Church. I have 
both in this instance and in that of my son George recurred to 
the ceremony in this form, only because I thought the rite itself 
essential, and because the forms of the English Church are the 
most like to those which I have considered as the best, and to 
which I myself was born, that I could have access to. The 
motives for my preference of our own form of baptism arc — 
I. Because it is done in church, a place devoted to divine wor- 
ship, and in the presence of the congregation. It is therefore 
more solemn and more public than a private baptism can be; 
both of which are characters peculiarly suited to this act. 2. 
Because it is much more simple, performed only with a previous 
and succeeding prayer of the clergyman, without any entangle- 
ment of creeds and controversial doctrines. 3. Because the 
father of the child is the only sponsor, and solemnly undertakes 
what it is his duty to perform — that is, to educate the child to 
virtuous and Christian principles; while the sponsors of an 
English christening are often strangers, who are never likely 
to have any control over the child, and therefore rashly enter 
into solemn engagements, the performance of which will never 
depend upon themselves. But the rite itself, the solemn dedi- 
cation of the child to God, I prize so highly, that I think it 
ought never to be deferred beyond a time of urgent necessity. 

19th. I received this morning a note from Mr. Craig, inform- 
ing me that h^ had heard that there was to be a ball this evening 
at the French Ambassador's, and requesting me to present him 
to the Ambassador and to allow him to accompany me there. 
I answered him that I regretted I could not present any Amer- 
ican at the French Ambassador's unless he had been previously 
presented at Court. I returned the visit of the Chevalier de 
Bray, where I found Mr. St. Genest and Mr. Harris. M. de 
Bray gave some particulars of the mode of courtly living at 

Paris, which made me doubly rejoice at having no call there, 
vol.. 11. — 20 



306 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

St. Genest complained of the manner in which the diplomatic 
establishment in France is organized, and said that if he or 
Rayneval were to go to Paris they could not be presented at 
Court, because they were not auditeurs — though Prevost, their 
junior, having that title, would be. They were refused it, and 
were told it was because they were above it. Besides which, 
to obtain it, proof must be given of having an income of six 
thousand livres a year. I called on Mr. Harris and had some 
conversation with him concerning this curious application to 
me of Mr. Craig. I told him that I had adopted as rules which 
experience had rendered necessary — I. To present no gentle- 
man at Court without first obtaining an express permission 
from Count RomanzofT. 2. To present in person no one to 
Count Romanzoff, to the foreign Ministers, or to anybody, 
except at Court. 3. To soliqit no letters for any one to per- 
sons in other countries. The ambition of young Americans 
to crowd themselves upon European Courts and into the com- 
pany of nobility is a very ridiculous and not very proud feature 
of their character. There is nothing, in my estimate of things, 
meaner than courting society where, if admitted, it is only to 
be despised. Yet such is this vicious appetite for great acquaint- 
ance, and so little delicacy has it, that an American Minister 
abroad can preserve himself from sharing in the scorn which it 
excites only by adopting some such general rules as these. 

26th. I called again at eleven o'clock this morning upon 
Count Lauriston, and this time found him at home. He had 
some . musicians with liim, and violins and a bass-viol, and 
music-stands, so that he was preparing for a family concert. I 
invited him and all his family to dine with us next Monday. 
They agreed to come. I asked permission to s^nd a letter to 
Mr. Russell by his next courier. He said he should send one 
on Sunday. He spoke of the Emperor Napoleon's being at 
Compiegne, where he said it was probable he would stay longer 
than had been expected ; that he would perhaps go to Holland, 
but probably not to Hamburg. He mentioned paragraphs in 
the English papers saying that he was trying to keep Count 
Romanzoff in office here, but that he would certainly be turned 
out. He also mentioned the English sloop-of-war and the 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 307 

store-ships at Reval. I asked him if they were gone. He 
said they were gone out of the harbor, but were still anchored 
below; and the Emperor Alexander had told him his naval 
force had not a superiority adequate to drive them from thence. 
He asked me if I had any late accounts from the United States. 
I told him, none — that scarcely any American vessels had 
arrived here within the last month, and that his countrymen, I 
believed, were in part the cause of it. How so ? A number 
of privateers, under French colors, had taken stand at the 
passage of the Sound, which was now not blockaded by the 
English ; one of those privateers had taken, to my knowledge, 
two American vessels coming here, and those which were going 
from here were considered as in great danger of being taken 
by them also. He said it was the difficulty of discriminating 
between our vessels and the English which made ours liable to 
capture. And the English themselves boasted of the use they 
made of our flag. He had but a few days ago seen a para- 
graph stating that Admiral Saumarez had permitted two hundred 
vessels to come under American colors from Gottenburg into 
the Baltic. I told him undoubtedly the English favored this 
deception as much as they could, for the sake of exposing our 
vessels to be taken for theirs and exposed to the same capture. 
It was their interest to prevent the discrimination; but it was 
the interest of France, as well as ours, to make it. I then 
repeated to him the means by which it is so easy to make the 
discrimination, wherever there is an American Minister or Con- 
sul. He asked me if I would furnish him with a list of those 
which had sailed from here this season, and which I considered 
as unquestionably American ; that he would transmit it to 
Paris, and then if any of them should be taken they might be 
more Sj[)ccclily liberated. I promised to furnish him such a list, 
and he said I had better send another copy of the same list to 
Mr. Russell. I mentioned to him that among the American 
vessels arrived at Cronstadt there were three with false papers, 
which we had detected, and which had been seized and would 
be confiscated. " But," said he, " I do not mean to speak of it 
by way of complaint — I do not wish to trouble anybody — but, 
between us two, there must be many more than three vessels 



3o8 AfEMOlRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Scplcmlier, 

under American colors which have come with false papers, or 
which at least have come from England." "Well, between us 
two/* said I, "speaking with the same confidence as you ex- 
press, there are many American vessels which I believe came 
from England; but they all came in ballast. Of loaded vessels, 
I assure you, not that there have been none^ but, to my full 
persuasion, scarcely any. As to vessels coming in ballast, the 
Government here hardly ask any questions — they come to 
export Russian produce and manufactures ; which is an object 
of so much importance here, that they do not trouble them- 
selves about the flag." I understood him to say that he had 
seen a list of fifty-five American vessels that had arrived with 
cargoes, and of thirty-three in ballast. He also said there had 
been within a few days a seizure of one or more loaded vessels 
which came under the Pappenburg flag. I have no doubt that 
in asking me for the list, besides the motive which he avowed 
to me, he had that of collecting information upon the subject, 
according to instructions lately received. I know that Mr. 
Lesseps has received such instructions. Mr. Longuerue walked 
with me as far as my door. 

Soon after returning home, I went out again to see the 
annual exhibition at the Academy of Arts. It is much inferior 
to that of the last year. The paintings are all very bad. There 
was a subject of national history, the Czar John Vasilievich 
giving a poor soldier to drink from a helmet, treated by several 
of the students at the Academy, of what they call the fourth 
age or class. The four prize pieces in painting, and the four 
in basso-rilievo, were exhibited. There were a few historical 
and fancy pieces exposed by persons to obtain the rank of 
Academician, and a few portraits. One of the best pictures 
there was a Repose of Suwarrow, by Mr. Swienin, the gentle- 
man who is gone out to America as adjoint Consul, and with 
whom I dined at Mr. Fisher's. A visit to this place is, how- 
ever, always interesting and agreeable, on account of the models 
from antique statues which are always exhibited. They are 
numerous, and many of them well executed. But the print- 
shop, and particularly the very bad prints exposed for sale in 
one of the halls, seem an incongruity. The indifferent pictures 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 309 

hanging in the halls is another. I observed again the full-length 
portrait of the Emperor Paul, which I had noticed last year. 
It is well painted, but the air of dignity attempted to be given 
him, with his countenance and person, is as incongruous as his 
purple tunic and imperial crown and robe, with an enormous 
pair of jack-boots armed with spurs. I then called upon the 
Chevalier de Bray, and invited him and Count Jennison to dine 
with us on Monday, which they promi.sed. The Chevalier told 
me that there was a verbal invitation to the Corps Diplomatique 
to attend at the consecration of the new church of Our Lady of 
Kazan to-morrow morning at ten o*clock. On returning home, 
I found that one of the aids of the Master of Ceremonies had 
been to give us the same notice. I sent word of it to Mr. 
Harris, and walked home. I asked the Chevalier de Bray 
whether he knew what were the particulars of the conversation 
held on the fifteenth of August between the Emperor Napoleon 
and Prince Kurakin. He said the Emperor began by speaking 
of the accounts from the Russian army, and told the Prince 
that although General Koutouzof had claimed the victory at the 
late affair of Rustchuk, it was evident by the result that he was 
not entitled to it, since he had been obliged to abandon Rust- 
chuk itself, to repass the Danube, and to give up everything 
that the Russians had gained in the last campaign ; that the 
reason why he. Napoleon, had claimed the victory at the battle 
of Essling, was because he had maintained his position upon 
the island and the head of the bridge on the opposite shore, so 
that he was enabled to rebuild his bridge and pass again as 
soon as he was in force ; that he could not help being surprised 
and somewhat uneasy at seeing the Emperor of Russia, of 
whose judgment and honor he had the highest sense, weaken 
so excessively his army where he was actually at war, to in- 
crease his armaments in Poland, where there was no danger of 
his being attacked; that with regard to the Duchy of Olden- 
burg, that was included in the Confederation of the Rhine; 
that the Duke had not fulfilled the obligations resting upon him 
in that capacity; that he. Napoleon, might therefore have put 
him to the ban of the Empire, and considered it as an affair of 
internal concern, in which no foreign power had a right to inter- 






3IO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QU/NCY ADAMS, [September, 

fere. But, out of regard and consideration for the Emperor of 
Russia, he had offered, and was still ready to give, ample in- 
demnity to the Duke of Oldenburg, and he asked Prince Kura- 
kin if he had powers to conclude a convention upon the subject. 
The Prince said that he had not Upon which the Emperor 
said that he was ready to make the arrangement whenever it 
should please the Emperor of Russia. But if he had not the 
highest confidence in that Prince's justice and honor, he should 
have been suspicious that he meant to attack him ; and in such 
a war he did not know upon what ally Russia could depend. 
This discourse naturally struck the Russian Ambassador with 
surprise and alarm; but the Duke of Bassano immediately 
afterwards gave the Ambassador the strongest assurances that 
it was not intended to indicate any hostile ihtentions; the sub- 
stance of it was again repeated in a circular dispatch from him, 
which has been sent to the French Ministers at all the Courts 
where the Russian protestation of last spring had been sent. 

27th. Went with Mr. Smith in full dress, and attended the 
consecration of the new church of the Mother of God of Kazan. 
We were there punctually at two o'clock, and found it difficult 
to get in, owing to the immense crowd. It was about eleven 
when the Emperor and imperial family came in, the Emperor 
having, according to his constant custom upon all holidays, 
begun the day by a parade of the troops. From that time until 
half-plast two the ceremonies were performing, so that we stood 
between four hours and a half and five hours. The stone floor 
of the church, too, was somewhat cold and uncomfortable. There 
was a large carpet for the Emperor and im|x:rial family to stand 
upon, and a narrow stair-carpet for the priests to pass over, 
upon which we had frequent and earnest notice not to encroach. 
We were placed, afler several removals to and fro by Count 
RomanzofT and the Grand Master of Ceremonies, Narishkin, 
at a stand opposite the place where the Enii>eror stood, and in 
full view of him. The services were performed by the Metro- 
politan Ambrose, and the other dignitaries of the Church who 
usually perform with him. The ceremonies were excessively 
long, and in very few particulars sufficiently significant to be 
understood by me. At one stage of it the priests, followed by 



1^1 1.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 311 

the Emperor and imperial family, went in procession out of the 
church, and marched round it, carrying the holy relics, and the 
sacred, miraculous image of the Virgin to whom the church is 
dedicated. At another, the four ends of the church, at the east 
one of which hung a full-length image of the Virgin, and the 
three others of which are the doors, were anointed with oil by a 
small brush at the end of a long pole ; the kneeling was twice 
repeated, and once continued longer than usual. The priests 
were in their customary garments, and the metropolitan mitre 
was studded with costly precious stones. The choir of singers 
performed their parts as usual. General Pardo and the Chevalier 
de Bray soon got weary after the ceremony commenced. Old 
Count Strogonoff stayed until the last half-hour, but was then 
obliged to retire. He had received us at first, and said to us, 
" Je suis charme de vous recevoir chez moi, car c'est encore chez 
moi." That is, the church has been built under his superin- 
tendence, as President of the Academy of Arts. It is one of 
the most magnificent churches that I ever saw. It has been 
about eleven years building, having been begun during the 
reign of the late Emperor Paul. 

October 4th. We dined with Count St. Julien, the Austrian 
Minister, at a great diplomatic dinner, the first he has given. 
Count Romanzoff, the Grand Master of the Ceremonies, Narish- 
kin, the two Masters of the Ceremonies, Laval and Maisonneuve, 
the French Ambassador, his aid, secretaries, and consul, and all 
the other foreign Ministers and their secretaries, were there, 
excepting Count Maistre, the Sardinian, and the Chevalier 
Bezerra, the Portuguese, Minister. The absence of these two 
gentlemen, with both of whom Count St. Julien is well ac- 
quainted, and who are always invited to Count RomanzofTs 
parties, was evidence clear enough of Austrian policy, and how 
its pride cowers before the power of France. There was in the 
dinner, and in everything connected with it, an effort of magnifi- 
cence, seemingly to equal or outdo that of the French Ambas- 
sador. The servants were nearly as numerous, and the same 
various styles of liveries, and equally rich. But the Count had 
behind his own chair two chasseurs in hussar dresses, bedizened 
with silver lace and tassels and sashes to such a degree that 



312 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUfNCY ADAMS. [October, 

scarcely any part of the clothing under them was visible. Their 
mantles, bordered with furs, hung crosswise' behind them from 
shoulder to shoulder, and both of them were tall, handsome 
men, with persons well adapted to set off their garments. This 
is a very handsome dress, but not more convenient than suitable 
to a footman waiting at dinner behind a gentleman's chair. The 
Count's house is also very magnificently furnished. He gives 
for it two thousand ducats a year rent. His table was hand- 
somely ornamented, but not so superbly as is customary at the 
Chancellor's or at the Ambassador's. His dinner was remark- 
able for a number of things of studied rarity, such as pineapple 
jelly served in cups of pineapple rinds. There was a band of 
music performing during the dinner, almost without intermis- 
sion. The music was very good, but fit only for the field ; the 
horns and drums and cymbals made such a thundering harmony 
that it was literally " rending with tremendous noise our ears 
asunder." It was impossible to hold any conversation with one's 
next neighbor. General Pardo told me after dinner that the 
only way he had been able to account for its not having been 
stopped after the first three minutes, by order of the master 
of the house, was that his cartilages were ossified. The Count 
was indeed the only person at table who did not appear sen- 
sible at all that his orchestra was too powerful. The Emperor 
Francis's health was drunk in champagne, the company all rising 
from table, according to the usage at the Chancellor's and at the 
Ambassador's. But it was curious that Count RomanzofT, after 
going through the ceremony of this toast, addressed himself 
before he sat down, across Count St. Julien, to the Ambassador, 
who sat on the other side of him, and toasted his master, the 
Emperor Napoleon. This was another act of homage to the 
supremacy of France, demonstrative of Russian policy. For 
this dinner was occasional — given on the Emperor Francis's 
name-daiy, and the honor was intended exclusively for him. 
Count Romanzofif never thinks of the Emperor Francis at his 
Alexander-day dinners, or at the Napoleon-day fetes at the 
Ambassador's. The attendance of the servants, like everything 
else at this dinner, bespoke the stiffness and awkwardness of 
novelty, and even the seating of the company was irregular and 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 313 

unusual. The Chevalier de Sturmer sat at the Ambassador's 
left hand. Almost all the foreign Ministers sat on the opposite 
side of the table. I sat between Count Bussche and the Chevalier 
de Bray. I observed the rule of temperance better than usual 
at these great dinners, to which I believe the stunning noise of 
the music in some sort contributed. For by preventing all con- 
versation it left my mind unoccupied by anything which could 
lead me to forget my resolution, and by confusing the brain it 
roused me to an extraordinary exertion to preserve it in as 
rational a state as was possible. The company all retired imme- 
diately after dinner, and I came home with a dull headache, 
occasioned by the noise, but which subsided as soon as I had 
enjoyed half an hour of quiet at home. 

7th. I walked before dinner over Count StrogonofTs garden, 
of which I now take my leave, and which has afforded me a 
frequent and agreeable walk the summer through. I examined 
again the ancient tomb, said sometimes to be that of Homer, 
and sometimes that of Achilles. It is of marble, eight feet long, 
forty-four inches high, and of the same width. The four sides 
are sculptured in basso-rilievo. At the east end is a centaur, 
with a bow, and a young man naked ; the two faces are directed 
each towards the other, and it seems intended to represent the 
training of Achilles by the Centaur Chiron. The long north 
side has four figures representing two centaurs in battle, one 
with a lion, and the other with a lioness, or tiger. In the centre 
and behind the animals there is a tree. On the short west side 
is a female figure seated, playing upon a lyre, and two others 
standing, one on each side of her. The long south side has ten 
human figures, of which two are women seated upon stools; in 
the centre is a young man with a shield upon his arm, in an 
attitude of starting to force himself away, and a female on her 
knees before him, as if imploring him to stay. I conjecture it 
to be Achilles discovered by Ulysses and summoned to attend 
the Greeks at the siege of Troy. The sculpture is in a style of 
very considerable refinement, but not of the most perfect period 
of the art. The heads of the centaurs, the form of the naked 
young man, and of the lions, and the draperies of all the attired 
figures, are executed in a style of great improvement. There 



3r4 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Oclobcr. 

are mouldings and cornices above and below the figures round 
three of the sides, but the long side with the two centaurs and 
lions is plain. At three of the corners are carved plain Doric 
pilasters, but at the fourth, the eastern corner, is an image like 
a human figure with the head of an ape. There is a marble lid, 
or cover, originally of the same length and width as the tomb, 
but one end of which has been broken off; it still, however, 
nearly covers the whole. It is shaped like the roof of an 
American barn — sharp-pointed at the top, as if to shed with 
most ease the snow or rain. It is uniformly sculptured in a sort 
of regular leaves, and is two feet in perpendicular height. On 
the face of its unbroken end there is a roynd medallion carved 
in the stone, upon which there may have been an inscription. 
There is not, however, at present, the trace of a letter. The 
sides of the monument themselves are not entire ; they have 
been broken in several places, but are put together with accurate 
adaptation. 

9th. Finished the third volume of the Bibliotheque dcs Phi- 
losophes. It contains a dedication to the King, by Dacier; a 
discourse upon Plato, with some account of the motives for the 
translation; a life of Plato; dissertations upon the doctrine, the 
style and method, and the interpreters and commentators of 
Plato ; the first Alcibiades, or concerning human nature ; and 
the second Alcibiades, or upon prayer. Voltaire says that 
Dacier was a mule loaded with all antiquity. There appears 
to be neither criticism nor philosophy in his own writings. I 
have not the means of judging of the merit of his translations; 
but they are in no high repute. It is strange that a man who 
had spent so much time and taken such pains to understand 
Plato himself, and to make him understood by others, should 
have caught so little of his spirit himself He has a profound 
admiration both of Plato and Socrates; but it is the admiration 
of a slave, or of an inferior being. His great anxiety seems to 
be to make saints of them. Yet I am under obligations to him 
for making me acquainted with Socrates and Plato, whom I 
have not Greek enough, or not leisure enough, to read in the 
original. I read the first Alcibiades at Auteuil, in 1784 or 1785, 
and it has been useful to me. The second Alcibiades might be 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 315 

called the Vanity of Human Wishes. It lays down the same 
principles and uses the same arguments as Juvenal and Dr. 
Johnson have thrown into the poetical and satirical form. The 
form of prayer recommended by Socrates is more comprehen- 
sive than that of Juvenal, and contains the substance of a part 
of the Lord's Prayer. The process of the Socratic reasoning 
is slow,' sometimes too diffuse, and too uniform in the manner. 
Cicero gives some importance to all the personages of his dia- 
logues ; Plato has but one personage, all the rest are automata. 

I read also several articles in the Edinburgh Review, and 
among the rest that upon the Philosophical Essays of Dugaid 
Stewart, published at Edinburgh in 1810. The whole article is 
curious, and highly interesting; but there is one part of it 
which gave me a mingled sensation of surprise, pleasure, and 
mortification. It is a train of reasoning on the subject of 
etymology and figurative language so similar to that of my 
Lectures 30, 31, and 32, that it would be difficult for a third 
person, reading both, not to suspect one to be a plagiarism 
from the other; the whole page 198 of the Review (No. 33, for 
November, 18 10) is so much like pages 274 and 275 of my 
second volume, that they seem almost copied from one another. 
I was surprised to find opinions, and even some of the forms 
of expression, which I had thought entirely my own, belonging 
as much to another as to myself I was pleased to find such a 
coincidence between my own sentiments and those of so dis- 
tinguished a writer as Dugaid Stewart, and I was mortified to 
find myself not alone in what I considered as among the few 
original parts of my book, and upon which my vanity has 
often flattered me as with a discovery. 

1 2th. The messenger from the Master of Ceremonies came 
with a card from Count Paul StrogonofT, announcing the death 
of his father. Count Alexander StrogonofT, the old nobleman 
who had received us at the consecration of the Kazan Church 
as at his home. He had just lived to witness its consecration, 
and on that day, in the church itself, had been elevated by 
the Emperor to the first class of the subjects of the empire, 
in wliicli there were only two persons besides himself — Count 
Strogonoff and Prince Kurakin, the Ambassador at Paris. He 



3i6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

was nearly eighty years of age, and had enjoyed every honor 
and dignity and pleasure of life, almost to its last day. It was 
probably, however, the fatigue and the chill of the consecration 
which cost him his life. His funeral service is to be performed 
at the Kazan Church on Tuesday next, and to be followed by 
a procession to the Monastery of St. Alexander Newsky. 

13th. Finished reading the fourth volume of the nil)liothcque 
des Philosophes. It contains the Theages, or on wisdom ; the 
Euthyphro, or on holiness; an abridgment by Dacier of the first 
and second Alcibiades, and of the Euthyphro; the Apology of 
Socrates, delivered upon his trial; the Crito, or upon the obli- 
gation of duty; and the Phaedo, upon the immortality of the 
soul — which I now read the second time. In the Theages, 
Socrates gives the account of his demon, or familiar spirit — a 
voice, he says, which occasionally warned him what he was not 
to do, but which never gave him any advice to act. It is not 
easy to say whether this was the effect of superstition or whether 
he spoke in figure. It is still more difficult to impute it to de- 
liberate deception. The instances which he gives of the occa- 
sions when he heard the voice, make it hardly possible to 
consider him as having intended only Prudence or Conscience. 
They are four; but they all relate to the conduct of others, and 
not his own. The Euthyphro is a discussion whether it be con- 
sistent with holiness for a man to appear as the accuser of his 
father for murder. Socrates here mentions that he himself 
was accused by Melitus of disbelieving the established gods and 
attempting to introduce new ones. lie certainly does ridicule 
the popular creed about the gods then in repute, and shows 
that holiness cannot be defined that which pleases them. The 
Apology is divided into three parts — what he said before the 
question upon the charge; after it, when he was to name his 
own punishment; and after the sentence of death had been 
passed upon him. The mildness of his tone and manner, the 
firmness and intrepidity of his adherence to his principles, the 
sportive playfulness of his satire, and the exalted purity of his 
doctrines, are all but divine. He repeats here the assurance 
that he is accompanied by a demon ; but there is no sub- 
stantial defence against the accusation of Melitus. He had no 



i8ii.] THE AflSSION TO RUSSIA, 317 

defence to make: the charges were substantially true. The 
Crito is the exposition of his motives for refusing to make his 
escape from prison when under sentence of death — sublime 
morality. Hume, I think, says it is the doctrine of passive 
obedience and non-resistance. Socrates argues in this dialogue 
from a dream that he had the night before. So that he believed 
in dreams. He lays down, however, and demonstrates the posi- 
tion, that evil is never to be returned for evil, and it is from this 
that Juvenal quotes that sentiment in his 13th Satire. I am 
better pleased with the Phaedo at the second reading than I 
was at the first. Its argument is still unsatisfactory. One of 
his principal reasons is the doctrine of the metempsychosis; 
another, the existence of the soul before the body — which is 
attempting to prove a doubtful point by data still more doubt- 
ful. We know them now to be false. The idea that spirit is a 
simple and not a compound essence, and therefore not liable to 
decomposition like matter, is ingenious, and the strongest that 
he gives. He refutes with sufTicient force the objection of Sim- 
niias, that the soul is only a hminony^ and that of Cebcs, that 
although the soul may last long enough for several bodies, it 
must at last wear out. But one of the most remarkable things 
in this treatise is the observation of Simmias, that to establish 
firmly the soul's immortality, a special revelation from Heaven 
is necessary. 

1 sth. Attended the funeral solemnities at the interment of the 
late Count StrogonofT. We went to his house about half-past 
nine in the morning. He was lying in state, under a splendid 
canopy, in an apartment hung entirely round with black cloth 
and lighted with tapers. All the principal nobility of the Court 
were there, but none of the foreign Ministers except Count 
Maistre. But Mr. Laval, Master of the Ceremonies, told me 
that it was considered as more of a compliment to the family to 
go first to the house. The corpse was removed from the house 
in about half an hour. The procession to the Kazan Church 
was performed entirely on foot, and everybody was bare- 
headed ; the house being too near the church to form a pro- 
cession of carriages. The crowd was so great that it was with 
difficulty I made my way into the church and found it to the 



3l8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [October, 

• 

place for the foreign Ministers. The ceremonies were similar to 
those I had seen at the interment of Prince Beloselsky, but 
longer, and with more magnificence. There was a funeral dis- 
course delivered by the Archimandrite Philaretus, said to be the 
most distinguished orator among the Russian clergy. It had 
the merit of being short — about twenty minutes ; but I could 
not understand him, and few of the assembly could hear. him. 
His manner was temperate, and his gestures graceful. He did 
not appear to attempt any excitement of the passions. The 
passport, as it is commonly called, is only a prayer for God's 
mercy to the deceased, and a sort of certificate of his character. 
It is rolled up and put into the right hand before the closing of 
the coffin. The body was clad in the uniform worn by the 
Count when alive, with the star of the order of St. Andrew upon 
the coat. A number of stools covered with cushions of crimson 
velvet were ranged on both sides of the stage on which the 
coffin was placed, and on each stool was laid the mark of some 
distinction which the Count had enjoyed — such as the ribands 
of the different orders, a gold medal struck by the assembly of 
the nobility of the province, of which he had been chosen eight 
or nine times successively the marshal, &c. Before the coffin 
was closed, his son, grandson, relations, friends, and servants 
went up and performed the usual ceremony of kissing his hand. 
The son and grandson prostrated themselves three times at the 
lowest step before they went up, and as they descended. One 
of the women of the family remained prostrate, with her face 
fixed down upon the first step, for a full space of ^wk: minutes, 
weeping and sobbing aloud as in extreme distress. Countess 
Litta, who is a distant relation of the deceased, was much affected 
during a part of the ceremony. She wept much, and sobbed 
heavily for some minutes, but recovered herself before the cere- 
mony was finished. It was past two o'clock when the procession 
from the church commenced; but I did not follow it. I returned 
home. 

I had some conversation at the house with Count Roman- 
zoff. I mentioned to him the appearance of French privateers 
at the passage of the Sound, concerning which I observed I 
knew that Mr. Harris had spoken to him. He said that Mr. 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO HUSSIA. 319 

GouriefT had laid the subject before the Emperor; that the 
Emperor had directed Mr. Gourieff to repeat the statement to 
him, the Chancellor, and had directed him to make represen- 
tations concerning it to the Danish Government, and he had 
accordingly entered into a correspondence with the Danish 
Government through Baron Blome about it. But what could 
be done ? If France had no possessions upon the Baltic, the 
old ground might be taken that the Baltic was a mare clausum ; 
but, however it might be closed with regard to other nations, it 
could not be so to the powers bordering upon it, and conse- 
quently not now to France. 

I told him that such considerations had induced me to spare 
him the trouble of a formal application upon the subject. I 
had not much expectation from what Denmark could do, though 
she would be the greatest sufferer by the event. Our vessels 
would not go through the Sound to pay the toll, for the sake of 
being taken by French privateers. They would sooner come 
with English convoys through the Belt. 

The Count said he hoped many of them would take their 
destination for Archangel, as he did not think they would be 
troubled by French privateers in that sea. And then he told 
me again, with an injunction to consider him as laying aside 
the character of Chancellor of the Empire, the story about the 
enrages de terre and the enrages de mer, which he had told me 
before, last June. He asked me if I had any late news from 
America ; and particularly with reference to a prospect of war 
between the United States and England. I told him I had none ; 
but if I could venture to give him my private opinion, it was 
that there would not be a war — that France was rendering us 
too many good offices, like that of stationing those privateers 
at the passage of the Sound, to make us very hasty in coming 
to extremities with England. He smiled, and said he thought 
so too. 

17th. Walking afterwards upon the quay, I met Mr. E. Plum- 
mer and Mr. Smith, of Boston, who informed me of the arrival 
of several American vessels. Met the Emperor, who asked me 
if I had returned into the city, and where I lived now. I told 
him in a corner house of the Vosnesensky and Little Officer's 



320 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [October, 

Streets. He said he knew well Where it was ; and after living 
thirty-five years in a place he ought to be well acquainted with 
it. He enquired whether Madame was confined. I told him 
she had been. " When ?" " More than two months ago." 
"What! in the country?" "In the country." He shrugged 
his shoulders and waved his hand, which is a fashion of gesture 
that he often uses to intimate that he did not know a thing you 
are telling him, without saying it. And he does not say it, 
because he cannot. I believe he knew my wife had been con- 
fined perfectly well. But he asked me the question for the 
sake of conversation, and to please me ; and after asking it, 
he could not seem to know anything about it. His mother 
does the same thing more remarkably still. He pursued the 
enquiries. Had her confinement been fortunate ? Entirely so. 
And what had she got ? A daughter. He then said he be- 
lieved I did not walk now so much as formerly. Just the same. 
" But," said he, " we have lived very near each other this sum- 
mer, and I do not know how it has happened that wc have 
never met." I said it was true, that it had been long since 
I had the honor of seeing him. ** Not once, that I recollect," 
said he, " the whole summer. Yet I was often riding and 
walking." I said I believed the cause of it was that I had 
generally been walking at his Majesty's hour of dinner. He 
finished by making an observation upon the weather. He said 
nothing upon any political topic. 

25th. I met the Emperor upon the Fohtanka. He observed 
I had no gloves on my hands, and asked me if I was not cold 
without them. I told him I had accustomed myself to going 
without gloves, and seldom wore any but in extreme cold 
weather. He appeared to be much surprised at this, for the 
wearing of gloves or of mittens is so universal in this countiy 
that I suppose it struck him as oddly to see a man with bare 
hands as it would have been had he met one barefooted. In 
general, the Emperor is extremely quick and particular in 
observing slight peculiarities in dress. He asked me whether 
there was an officer of the navy of the United States now here. 
I told him there was, but he was on the point of his departure. 
He enquired what had brought him here. I said his private 



I8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 32 1 

affairs. Had he come as master of a merchant vessel ? He 
had not. Merely as a traveller, then? As a traveller, upon 
business of his own, and with permission of the Government. 
Was it customary under the Government of the United States 
to allow their naval officers to go as masters of merchant vessels? 
Sometimes, when they were upon furlough. Most of our naval 
officers had been taken from among the captains of vessels in 
the merchant service. That, he said, differed from the English 
practice. In England, officers of the navy were sometimes 
allowed to sail on merchant vessels, but he believed they were 
never taken from merchantmen to be marine officers. I said 
they had an extensive system for the regular education of officers 
to the service of the navy, which on a smaller scale we now had 
also ; but that our navy itself was a recent institution, and in 
the origin it was necessary to take its officers among the persons 
best qualified for the service, which were obviously mariners 
experienced in the merchant service. He said it was his phy- 
sician (Dr. Wiley) who had told him that there was an American 
officer here. I suppose he also knew that I had applied to 
Count Romanzoff for a passport for him, but of this he said 
nothing. I met Dr. Wiley the other evening at Commodore 
Bainbridge's lodgings. He was attending him professionally 
under an attack of rheumatism. In the course of my walk I 
met General Pardo, who told me of the courier arrived last 
evening from General Koutouzof with advices of a splendid 
victory over the Turks. 

31st. Mr. Fisher had been over to the island to see Mr. Blod- 
get, who is very dangerously ill with a fever. This was the 
first day that he could go over since Sunday; the river not 
having been passable before. I went with him to the glass 
manufactory, which is just beyond the monastery of St. Alex- 
ander Newsky. It was so late that we could see only a small 
part of the works which they carry on. The most curious part 
of them is the making of looking-glasses, four of which had 
been cast this morning before we went there. They showed us 
the manner of coating the glasses with mercury and tin, and they 
were at work in polishing a number of them, which is performed 

with a stcani-cnginc — an invention of prodigious effect, in its 
VOL. 11. — 21 



322 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [November, 

application to manufactures. They also make here decanters, 
wine-glasses, tumblers, and colored glass dishes and vases of 
various kinds. I saw the various works of blowing, color- 
ing,* cutting, and gilding; but we were obliged to go over the 
whole in the space of half an hour; and I know not how to 
describe even what I saw. I wish I could visit a manufacture 
once a week, and spend three hours at every visit. If I learnt 
nothing else by it, I should have a perpetual lesson of humility 
in the consciousness of my ignorance from which it would not 
suffer me to escape. This manufacture belongs to the Crown, 
and I hope to see it again. 
« November 7th. I continued reading the first volume of Cha- 
teaubriand's Itineraire. It is merely a journal — ^but the journal 
of a man of genius. He alleges the motives of his journal — 
to look for scenery for his Martyrs, to visit Greece for the 
sake of its antiquities, and a religious pilgrimage to Jerusalem, 
This book is a good study for a traveller who wishes to give 
himself or others an account of what he sees. The two intro- 
ductory memoirs, and every page of the book, are full of eru- 
dition — book-learning. He thinks he has discovered the ruins 
of ancient Sparta. He mentions the trees and plants which he 
met on his way as a botanist. He paints with elegance and 
truth the manners of all the people with whom he converses 
— Turks, Greeks, Jews, Italians, janissaries, mariners, guides, 
&c. He reflects, perhaps, too much. Some of his reflections 
are ingenious and pleasing. Many of them are fanciful combi- 
nations of trivial occurrences in his journey, with incidents of 
antiquity. Some about the vicissitudes of human affairs have 
too much of the commonplace stamp. He says he carried 
with him no books but Racine, Tasso, Virgil, and Homer — the 
last with blank leaves to write notes upon — all poets. In his 
navigation from Trieste to Modon he met a cabin-boy who 
sang songs from Tasso's Jerusalem. It sounds to me as if he 
had said the Mousse kept a basin of Sevres china to eat his 
broth out of Popular songs are seldom taken from epic poems. 
I question whether even the odes of Horace or of Pindar were 
ever sung by Roman or Greek cabin-boys. A keen eye may 
see here and there traces of vain-glory piercing through the 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 323 

veil of Christian humility. The author glories in his country, 
in his religion, in his literary successes, and persecutions ; and 
he studiously sets off his own courage, and patriotism, and 
tender affections. His favorite association of ideas is between 
himself and any thing or person illustrious in antiquity. ' He 
generally puts in a qualifying disavowal of comparison, for 
form's sake ; but the next great man that occurs to his mind 
comes with the same company, — himself. All this, perhaps, is 
inseparable from a journal. 

9th. I finished reading this morning the Laws of Plato, and 
in the evening the first volume of Chateaubriand's Itineraire. 
Began, but did not finish, the Epinomis. I met in the Itineraire 
an account of an occurrence similar to that which happened to 
us on approaching the island of Bornholm. The writer makes 
an ingenious reflection upon it, on the continual transitions, not 
only of scenery but of fortune, the traveller witnesses, and in 
some sort participates — one moment upon the ocean, buffeting 
a storm, or drifting to a rock or quicksand, the next entering 
a house of sickness or mourning, and from that passing, per- 
haps, into another for a banquet or a ball, to the voice of feast- 
ing and of mirth — of the bridegroom and the bride. This 
thought is at once so striking and so obvious that I was vexed 
at having never made it myself He speaks of having met a 
number of American officers at Tunis. He blames Sparta for 
not having been sufficiently ambitious, and avows some sen- 
timents in favor of domestic servitude, which savor much of 
the soil and the season in which they originate. They are 
mingled with other sentiments of fervent Christianism and 
attachment to liberty which it may be difficult, but perhaps 
not impossible, to conciliate with them. 

lOth. I had only time this morning to finish reading the 
Epinomis, or Philosopher, at the close of Plato's Laws. As my 
acquaintance with Plato becomes more intimate, my admiration 
of his genius, and my regret for his errors, increase. I lament 
that I had not sought this intimacy sooner and more assidu- 
ously. In reading him it is necessary to be always upon one's 
guard, always winnowing the chaff from the wheat. His Laws 
might with more propriety have been called the Republic, than 



324 MEAWIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [November, 

the work which bears that name. The laws are professedly a 
project of a Constitution for a Cretan colony that was to issue 
from the city of Gnossus. As a project of government, it is, 
if possible, more absurd and impracticable than the Republic. 
He chooses to have five thousand and forty families, and pro- 
poses laws to prevent their increase not less than their diminu- 
tion. He makes laws for the most trivial domestic arrangements, 
and punishes with death more frequently than Draco. But 
some of his regulations are excellent, and many of his princi- 
ples are truly admirable. His argument upon the existence 
and nature of the gods, upon the immortality of the soul, and 
upon future rewards and punishments is inferior to nothing but 
Christianity, and stronger in logic tlian the Phajdo. The doc- 
trine upon Lave, peculiar to Plato, is fully set forth in this book, 
and, in spite of all ridicule, is both beautiful and sublime. The 
doctrine about numbers seems to me rather pedantic than pro- 
found. But the advice to study the mathematics and astronomy 
is well reasoned. I hope to be yet much better acquainted 
with Plato. 

At noon I went with Mr. Smith to the Winter Palace, and 
attended the Te Deum. The Emperor, Empress, and Grand 
Duke Constantine only were there of the imperial family. The 
Empress-mother is sick at Gatschina. I had some conversation 
with the French Ambassador, who hinted to me that with the 
help of about five thousand men we could easily take Canada. 
The Te Deum was finished about half-past two. 

13th. Mr. Fisher called on me and proposed paying a visit 
to Mr. Dubrowsky, the Librarian of the Imperial Library. 
While I was dressing to go with Mr. Fisher, Mr. Harris came 
in, and sat with me nearly an hour. It was thus past three 
o'clock before I went out with Mr. Fisher. I would have 
postponed the visit to Mr. Dubrowsky to another day, but 
Fisher was anxious to go this day, and I accompanied him. 
Mr. Dubrowsky received us in an obliging manner, and showed 
u^ a number of curious manuscripts — principally curious on 
account of the persons to whom they had belonged. Among 
them were a mass-book belonging to the unfortunate Mary 
Queen of Scots, which she used while in prison in England, 



l8il.] TUB MISSION TO RUSSIA. 325 

with many things written with her own hand upon the margins 
and blank pages; an English Chronicle, and some other books, 
with the names of James (,) Charles (,) and O. Cromwell 
written on their first and last blank leaves. There was another 
name, which I took to be Edvardus, and supposed to be that 
of Edward the Sixth. But Mr. Dubrowsky said it was Ricardus; 
and upon my asking him which of the Richards, he answered, 
Richard the Fourth — ^which gave me no very high opinion of his 
antiquarian knowledge. There was a small Latin Bible, written 
upon a soft and beautiful kind of vellum, which he pretended 
was human skin. I asked him when and where the manufactory 
of this material, in such a manner, had existed; which, however, 
he could not tell me. He only said it was done by the monks 
of the middle ages, and must be the skins of infants who had 
died without baptism. I have yet some doubts with regard to 
the fact, though it is obviously a kind of vellum far more thin 
and delicate than that of a calf There was a collection of letters 
written by Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth of England, James 
the First, and others, which I had not time to examine; a manu- 
script collection of poetry addressed to Louis the Twelfth of 
France and Anne de Bretagne, his Queen, with illuminated pic- 
tures between many of the leaves, two of which Mr. Dubrowsky 
says are by the hand of Raphael Sanzio. They are allegories, 
and very beautifully done. There were many other curiosities 
of the same kind, but it grew late and dark, and we were 
obliged to go away. I asked Mr. Dubrowsky's permission to 
call upon him again, to which he gave me an earnest invitation. 
He was an amateur of these curiosities, and formed a large 
collection of them, which the Emperor Paul purchased of him 
entire for seventy thousand roubles, and appointed him the 
keeper of them, as Librarian. 

14th. This forenoon Mr. Fisher called upon me with a collec- 
tion of Siberian minerals worked into knife-handles — six dozen 
of them — which have been purchased, he thinks extremely 
cheap, for fifteen hundred roubles. While he was here, Count 
Bussche came in, and sat with me more than an hour. In the 
evening we went to the ball at Count and Countess Besborodko's. 
We went about ten at night, and came home about one in the 



326 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [NoTember, 

morning. There were about five hundred persons there. The 
house is one of the largest, most magnificent, and most superbly 
furnished in St. Petersburg, but has not been opened to com- 
pany since the death of Prince Besborodko, the Count's elder 
brother, by whom it was built and furnished. He was at one 
time Chancellor, but has been dead these ten or twelve years. 
Three-fourths of the company, or more, were totally unknown 
to the inviters. There was a gallery of pictures, many of them 
by great masters, and nearly equal to that of Count Strogonoff ; 
antique busts and statues — one, particularly, of a Cupid stand- 
ing with his hand raised to his mouth, and the finger extended, 
to mark an intention to surprise, and the other hand slily draw- 
ing out an arrow from the quiver under him ; Japan porcelain, 
very rare ; a splendid dining-hall, with tables laid in the centre 
and round the sides for about two hundred persons, all served 
in solid plate; other halls, with tables laid and served in the 
same manner ; a hall where part of the company were seated 
at cards, hung round with the finest Gobelin tapestry ; three 
small apartments, being a bed-chamber, dressing-room, and 
boudoir, furnished with most of the furniture of the late Queen 
of France at the Grand Trianon ; Sevres porcelain coffee-services 
and vases ; bronzes of the most exquisite workmanship; a bar- 
rel clock studded with diamonds; a toilet service of solid gold; 
and last, but chiefest to my value, a miniature picture of Peter 
the Great, painted from the life, when he was in France, which 
Count Kotschubey showed me. Count and Countess Kotschu- 
bey did the honors in part. The lady of the house speaks only 
Russian; her husband very little French. The bride or her 
husband, Prince Labanoff, I did not even see. The Grand 
Chamberlain Narishkin told me that if that house and all 
those fine things belonged to him, he would have taken care 
to show them to advantage, and the furniture would not be in 
so good a state of preservation. Much of it, indeed, was as old- 
fashioned as it was rich. The supper was served about three 
in the morning. Two hundred and sixty persons sat down to it. 
About half the company had come away as we did. The ball 
finished about six in the morning. I was in bed about two. 
1 6th. Dined at the French Ambassador's, with a company of 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 327 

about thirty persons, among whom were Count Besborodko, 
the father of the newly-married bride for whom the ball was 
given, and Prince Labanofl) the father of the bridegroom ; Ad- 
miral Siniavin, Count Nesselrode, late Secretary of the Russian 
Embassy at Paris, and now one of the Emperor's particular 
secretaries, Count RomanzofT, and most of the foreign Ministers 
were there. I sat at table between Count Bussche, the West- 
phalian Minister, and Count Besborodko, with both of whom I 
had much conversation. Baron Armfeldt, now a Russian officer, 
and President of the Commission for the affairs of Finland, was 
also of the cpmpany. I had seen him at Berlin, in 1797 and 
1798, in a state of banishment, and with a very alarming, and 
almost despairing, condition of health. He is now robust and 
healthy, and, as a Russian nobleman, was seated at the Ambas- 
sador's left hand at table, Count RomanzofT being at his right. 
The Count, as usual, enquired of me whether I had any late 
news from America, and what were the prospects of our relations 
with England. I said I thought they were less warlike than 
they had some time since appeared. He said he thought so 
too — particularly as the American Government had declared 
they had given no orders which could have occasioned the ren- 
counter between the two ships of war, and had put Commodore 
Rodgers upon trial. 

19th. Before dinner, walked with Charles over to the Wa- 
sily Ostrow. We met Mr. Harris, Mr. Lebzoltem, Mr. Salters, 
and lastly the Emperor. Mr. Salters walked with us to the 
extremity of the quay in front of the Exchange, which was too 
far for Charles. We met the Emperor as we were returning, on 
the boulevard of the Admiralty. He accosted me by saying, 
" Vous voila en societe aujourd'hui ;" and then asked me \ithat 
(pointing to Charles) was his old acquaintance. I said it was, 
upon which he stooped and asked Charles, in English, if he 
spake English. Charles was too much intimidated to answer 
him at all, upon which he asked me what language Charles 
spoke. I told him a little English, a little French, a little Ger- 
man, and even a little Russian. *' Ah I" said he, " mais c'est un 
jeune homme tres-eclaire." But which of these languages did 
he speak best ? I answered that I believed it was the German. 



328 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [November, 

" How happened that ?" " He had a German woman who had 
him under her care." " I thought," said he, " that it was the 
American young woman, celebrated for her beauty, whom I 
once saw, and who I heard had been alarmed, as if young girls 
were liable to be dreadfully treated in this country." I said, 
laughing, that she had entirely recovered from all alarms of this 
kind, rie said, yes, he supposed she had found that nobody 
would hurt her here, and that she might go about in perfect 
security. Then, changing the subject, he made some remarks 
upon the weather, which is very dull, but mild. On my remark- 
ing that the sun had appeared a few minutes before, and led me 
to expect a change, he shook his head, and said no — he thought 
there would be no change until the next change of the moon : 
so that his Majesty is a lunarian. 

22d. Walked again, about an hour before dinner, upon the 
quay, and met a numerous company of walkers ; among them 
was the Emperor, who told me that he had made the acquaint- 
ance of a countryman of mine, a Mr. Fisher. I told him that Mr. 
Fisher had mentioned to me his having had the honor of seeing 
his Majesty. " So you know him, then ?" said he. " Yes, Sire, inti- 
mately." " From what part of America does he come ?" " From 
Philadelphia." " He speaks French very well." " Tolerably 
well, Sire." " Is the French language very common in your 
country ?" ** Not very common, and not at all so except in the 
commercial cities.^' " In England I have heard that the French 
is scarcely ever spoken, and in Germany it is extremely rare 
among the common people. But you, I suppose, have people 
of almost all nations mixed together." " Of most European 
nations. Sire. But chiefly Germans and Irish people ; a few 
French, but altogether fewer than is generally supposed." "And 
do they all amalgamate well together?" "Very well, Sire, 
in a length of time." "And does it not sometimes produce 
difficulties or confusion at the elections for your assembly?" 
"None that are of material consequence." "And if they are 
elected, how do they express themselves ?" " They sometimes 
make speeches in English, and often speak very well, only their 
pronunciation is a little laughed at. But one of our Ministers, 
for instance, was a German, and was many years a member 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 329 

of Congress, where he made speeches as well as any other 
member." 

December 9th. I walked only once this day, and that was be- 
tween two and four in the afternoon. I first met General Pardo, 
who told me that, from a particular source of information that he 
had, he doubted whether the peace with Turkey would come to 
a conclusion. Afterwards I met the Emperor on the Fontanka, 
who, on meeting me, said, " Monsieur Adams, j'ai Thonneur de 
vous presenter mes respects" — a mode of salutation which 
proved him to be in good humor and spirits. He proceeded, 
as usual, to remark upon the weather — this day it was fine, but 
that for some time past it had been like the climate of Portugal 
at this season. " And then," said he, " we have two comets at 
once." I said I had seen some such intimation in the news- 
papers, but had not seen the second comet. "Oh, that," said 
he, " is certain — c'est positif But, furthermore, I hear that one 
of the fixed stars, namely, Sirius, has sunk one degree in the 
firmament ; but for this I will give you my authority — c*est 
Monsieur TAmbassadeur de France." I said this was extraor- 
dinary news indeed. "C'est un bouleversement general du 
ciel," said he. " But," said I, " as it is generally understood 
that one comet portends great disasters, it is to be hoped that 
two must signify some great happiness to the world." " Or at 
least," said he, " that their mischief will operate mutually against 
each other, and by reciprocal counteraction destroy the evil 
efficacy of both." " I congratulate his Majesty on his happy 
solution of the portentous knot." He laughed, and said, " II y 
a moyen d'expliquer toutes ces choses la." 

20th. In my second walk before dinner I met the Emperor, 
who asked me if it was now cold enough for me. I answered 
him, very reasonably cold, though I had heard that the comet 
had been warming us for some months. He said that opinion 
would not answer now (the thermometer was at about fourteen 
of Fahrenheit). I asked him if his Majesty had any news from 
the fixed stars. He laughed, and said, none since the informa- 
tion given him by the French Ambassador, who had told him 
that some astronomer had announced the fall of Sirius one 
degree. But General Pardo, who was himself a learned astrono- 



330 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS, [December, 

mer, had told him that even if the fact were so, it could not 
have been discovered here, because the fixed stars have no 
parallax, and the variation of a degree in the position of them 
would not be perceptible to us. He was not astronomer enough 
to know whether this was correct. I said, nor I ; but I had a 
prepossession against making a wandering star of Sirius ; his 
movements had hitherto been so long regular, as well as the 
whole government of the heavenly bodies, that I did not readily 
credit their now beginning to change their character. He said 
he believed the best way was to let the heavens take their own 
course, without meddling with their management. 

2 1 St. Read the tenth Philippic, which is little more than a 
repetition of the eighth, superadding a violent invective against 
Aristodemus at the close. I cannot believe that these Philippics 
were all delivered as they are now published. The repetition 
of whole pages in the same identical words, twice or three times 
over, at assemblies held within one or two years of each other, 
is neither consonant to the perfection of the orator's composi- 
tions, the greatness of his powers, nor the fastidious delicacy of 
an Athenian audience. But they give rise to another scruple 
in my mind. Is it an indication of perfect compositions, that 
whole pages may be transported from one discourse to another, 
and be equally suitable for either? Blair says that Demosthenes 
never recurred to the loci communes. But the usurpations of 
Philip are the perpetual commonplace of all the Philippics, and 
you scarcely ever can discover the precise object of the delibera- 
tion on any one of the specific occasions of the discourses. In 
the tenth Philippic he argues in favor of the theatrical dis- 
tributions, which in the third and fourth he had urged to have 
appropriated to maintain the troops — a remarkable example 
of compliance with popular prejudices and passions. Philip's 
letter to the Senate and people of Athens is well written ; with 
much moderation and dignity of expression, and with provoking 
coolness, he details all his causes of complaint against them ; 
and in many particulars he appears to have reason and justice 
on his side. In all great human controversies the better side 
may be liable to the reproach of subordinate wrongs more than 
their adversary. The Athenians were not altogether blameless 



i8ii.] THE MISSION TO XUSSIA. 331 

in their proceedings towai-ds Philip. But their faults were all 
of petty extent, and in the nature of defence. Philip's wrong 
was enormous ; it was the design of subjugating to himself all 
Greece. He windd his web round them like a spider round a 
fly. When I ttzA those noble sentiments of Pemosthenes in 
which he compares the fortune of Athens with that of Philip, 
and prefers it upon the principle that truth and justice must be 
favored by Heaven ; when he contends that success and prosperity 
founded on fraud and treachery must be short-lived, I cannot 
avoid a feeling of sorrow that these maxims were not sanctioned 
by the event — that the triumph of fraud and treachery was 
complete, and that liberty sunk under the genius and industry 
of the tyrant. I remark, as an item in estimating the oratorical 
powers of Demosthenes, that there is nothing like learning in 
his orations. There is nothing that discovers a cultivated mind. 
There is little of philosophy, no indulgence to the imagination, 
no wit or humor, no attempt at ridicule; he is sufficiently 
figurative, but all his figures are taken from familiar objects. 
His eloquence is characteristic of democracy, as that of Cicero 
is of aristocracy. It is the Doric to the Corinthian pillar. 

24th. The Emperor Alexander's birthday. There was a 
parade in the morning, but, as there was a steady fall of snow, 
I did not go out The Court was announced as usual for noon. 
I went a little before one, entering at the Hermitage, as had 
been requested. The imperial family were already at the mass, 
and the Corps Diplomatique had gone into the Hall of the 
Throne. It was, however, near two before the Emperor came 
in, as there is always a Te Deum as well as a mass. Both the 
Empresses were dressed with extraordinary magnificence and 
an unusual profusion of diamonds and other precious stones 
— the Empress-mother especially. The circle was as short as 
ever — if anything, shorter. The Emperor and Empresses said 
very few words to the Ambassador and each of the Ministers. 
The Emperor noticed that I had at last left off" my wig. I said 
I had considered his Majesty's example as a permission, and 
accordingly followed it. He said it was not so showy, but 
more convenient, to go without it. Between eight and nine in 
the evening I went with the ladies again to the palace and 



332 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY 4DAMS, [January, 

attended the ball given by the Empress-mother. It was similar 
to those of the last two years on the same occasion, but the 
supper was more magnificent, being served in one of the largest 
halls of the palace. The Empress-mother, who does the honors 
of her own house, was, as usual, remarkably attentive to her 
guests, and spoke several times to the foreign Ministers, before, 
at, and after supper. The Emperor asked me whether dancing 
was not practised in America. . " Very much. Sire." ** Well, 
why do you not dance here ?*' " Because I have given it up. 
I am too old for dancing. Does your Majesty dance ?" " No ; 
I say, like you, I am too old." The Empress was unwell, and 
obliged to retire immediately after supper. About half-past 
one the Emperor came up and said, '* Je crois qu'il est temps 
de sonner la retraite," and, with his mother, left the ball-room. 
We got home a little after two. 

January 4th, 181 2. Mr. Raimbert also paid me a morning 
visit, and brought with him a present of porcelain for my wife 
and for Charles, and another for myself, of which he requested 
our acceptance. I gave him many thanks for us all, and assured 
him that, being fully sensible of his kindness and attention, I 
should feel an additional obligation to him if he would take 
them back — it being a principle which I had found it necessary 
to adopt from the first day that I became a public man, never 
to accept for myself or my family, while I hold any public 
ofHce, a present of more than trifling value from any person; 
that this principle was not only the result of my own sense of 
propriety, but was altogether conformable to the general senti- 
ment of my country, which was more punctilious on this subject 
than any European nation, and which was peculiarly strict with 
regard to their Ministers abroad. Mr. Raimbert accordingly 
took the things home with him again. He appeared to feci a 
little mortification, but he expressed his approbation of my 
motive. The refusal of presents is one of the occasions on 
which I have found it most difficult, ever since I have been in 
the public service, to act with perfect propriety; and that diffi- 
culty becomes not a little aggravated when they are offered to 
my family and not to myself Were it possible for me to pre- 
vent it, not the value of a dollar should be offered by anybody 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 333 

to any of us ; but those who forbear presenting anything to 
me sometimes address themselves where refusal may not be 
thought my duty ; and those who begin with trifles, which it 
would be affectation rather than virtue to reject, rise gradually 
to articles of cost and value, which render it indispensable to 
recur to the standard of spotless integrity. I have heretofore 
accepted from Mr. Raimbert presents of fruit and other small 
things, which it would have been ridiculous to reject on the 
ground of a scruple, and which I could not refuse on any other. 
But this time the gift would have been of a value which I could 
not have received without feeling uneasy for it hereafter. The 
perfect line between self-denial and self-indulgence may not 
always be clear, but the principle of temperance has self-denial 
for its essence, and even excess on that side is better than the 
slightest deviation on the other. I dined at the French Am- 
bassador's, with a company of about fifty persons — the common 
diplomatic company. My next neighbors at table were Count 
Bussche and the Grand Veneur Narishkin. Count RomanzofT 
told me that he had received a courier from Paris, and that 
there were two letters for me, which, if I had not already 
received, would be sent me this evening; that he had the 
papers containing President Madison's message, which recom- 
mended serious and energetic measures, but complained alike 
against both France and England. It also mentioned Russia ; 
but in terms peculiarly gratifying to him. I came home im- 
mediately after dinner was over, but was disappointed in 
the expectation of receiving the letters which the Count had 
promised me. 

1 2th. Conversation with General Watzdorf on the subject of 
the Bible. The other day, at the Chevalier de Bray's, in speak- 
ing of Chateaubriand's Itineraire, the Chevalier had told me 
that he had been more interested in his account of Athens than 
in that of Jerusalem, and I had expressed a preference on the 
other side. The Chevalier had then extended his observation 
to the two nations, and said he thought the Greeks a more 
interesting people of antiquity than the Hebrews. I had taken 
the other side of that question too, and said, without intending to 
derogate in the least from the merits of the Greeks, I thought 



334 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS. [January, 

that the Hebrews, whether historically or philosophically con- 
sidered, were the most interesting people of antiquity. This 
had led us into a considerable discussion of the subject, and the 
Chevalier had mentioned the conversation to General Watzdorf, 
who said he was on my side of the question generally, but he 
believed that the Greeks had excelled in the Arts, especially in 
eloquence. We had much conversation on this, in which I 
found that the General was more acquainted with the Scrip- 
tures than Mr. de Bray; and he has naturally founded on this 
better acquaintance a higher opinion of them and of the 
nation which produced them. For, setting prejudices and all 
party spirit aside, I believe that the respect and veneration 
of any person for the Bible will increase in proportion to the 
intimacy of his acquaintance with its contents. 

25th. At twelve o'clock I went with Mr. Smith to the Winter 
Palace, expecting an ordinary circle on account of the Empress's 
birthday, instead of which we were regaled with the most un- , 
pleasant and dangerous part of the ceremony, which had been 
postponed from the sixth, and which I had flattered myself we 
should escape this year. We were introduced first to the 
Hermitage, by the door from the Grande Millionne, and soon 
after were conducted to the Great Hall upon the quay to wit- 
ness the filing off of the troops before the Emperor. The two 
Empresses came sufficiently muffled up in furs, and went out 
upon the balcony. Reaumur's thermometer was from ten to 
twelve degrees below zero — ^the precise degree of cold which 
was alleged last week for omitting the parade and the Court. It 
was indispensable to follow them out upon the balcony, bare- 
headed, without pelisse, with silk stockings and thin shoes. 
They both immediately and strongly recommended to us to go 
into the hall, and after a very few minutes I took them at their 
word ; not, however, until I had been thoroughly chilled by the 
zephyr from the quay. The troops were more than an hour 
filing off; and Count Maistre and the Chevalier Bezerra stood 
it out almost the whole time. The other members of the Corps 
Diplomatique all withdrew into the hall, which was itself abun- 
dantly cold. The French Ambassador, who has been voy ill, 
and several days confined even to his bed, was out on horse- 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 335 

back in the suite of the Emperor. He came up, however, 
before the troops had all passed, and in time to make his com- 
pliments to the two Empresses. The true courtiers stuck to 
the balcony at the risk of their lives, but I thought my privilege 
as a republican would be an apology for me, and that I should 
be doubly ridiculous to stand there, cap in hand, shrugging my 
shoulders before the two Empresses, and my teeth chattering 
and my limbs shivering with cold. About three o'clock we 
were released, and I came home. 

February 4th. At noon I called upon Count RomanzofT, 
according to his appointment. He apologized to me for 
receiving me in his full dress, which he said was occasioned 
by his having just received a deputation of Cabardinians ; and 
I excused myself for not being in full dress — at which he took 
no displeasure. I began by informing him, with my thanks to 
him for the packets which he had sent me, brought by the 
courier from Paris, that 1^ had received in them dispatches from 
the Secretary of State, and a letter personally from the Presi- 
dent of the United States ; that the President, according to the 
request which my inability to return to the United States last 
summer had made necessary on my part, had nominated an- 
other person to the judicial office which had been previously 
designated for me^ and had instructed me to remain here : a 
circumstance which I thought it proper to communicate to 
this Government ; which was one of my motives in requesting 
the conference with him. 

The Count very civilly expressed his satisfaction at this 
arrangement, with which he said he was the more gratified 
as he had seen paragraphs in the English and German gazettes 
stating that I was to be removed to England. He had men- 
tioned it to the Emperor, and had thought it probable, as 
there appeared a manifestation of conciliatory dispositions 
towards the United States. 

I told him that the paragraphs in the English newspapers 
were probably taken from some of the American papers, where 
it was much the fashion to announce appointments by anticipa- 
tion, which never came to be realized; that I had not the slight- 
est insinuation of an intention of the President to remove me 



336 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [February, 

to England, but from the tenor of my dispatches I had every 
reason to believe that no appointment of a Minister would be 
made unless England should make further and far more im- 
portant advances towards conciliation than she had yet made 
or appeared disposed to make. He said that, on the other hand, 
it was understood at Paris that in France a better understand- 
ing with America was intended, and even professed ; that the 
entire revocation of the decrees of Berlin and Milan, so far as 
concerned the United States, was confirmed, and that with re- 
gard to American vessels which should arrive in France there 
would be little or no difficulty made a;5 to whence they came, 
or as to the nature of their cargoes ; that in the general view of 
the Russian policy this was very agreeable to him, because it 
showed something like a relaxation in favor of commerce ; but 
he referred me to our former conversations, in which he had 
given me his opinion upon the character of the Emperor Na- 
poleon. He did not think the permanency of anything to which 
he should assent concerning commerce could be relied upon : 
every resolution, every act, was the result of an impulse of the 
moment, the effect of an occasional impression. To-day the 
impression was of one sort, and the measure corresponded with 
it ; to-morrow the impression would be of an opposite nature, 
and the measure would follow that too. To make them con- 
sistent was not in the nature of the man. He never looked at 
commerce with commercial eyes; he never considered that 
commerce was an interest in which all mankind were con- 
cerned ; he saw in it nothing but the trade of a certain class of 
individuals. ''But in truth," said the Count, ''commerce is the 
concern of us all. The merchants are, indeed, only a class of 
individuals, bearing a small proportion to the mass of the people; 
but commerce is the exchange of mutual superfluities for mutual 
wants — is the very chain of human association ; it is the founda- 
tion of all the useful and pacific intercourse between nations ; it 
is a primary necessity to all classes of people. The Emperor 
Napoleon will never see it in this light, and so his commercial 
regulations and promises will never be systematic or consistent 
— you can place little dependence upon them." 

I said that his present measures appeared obviously dictated 



i8ia.] THR MISSION TO RUSSIA. 337 

by a political interest As he saw the situation in which the 
English Government had chosen to place themselves with re- 
spect to America, he was taking advantage of it, by assuming 
a course of an opposite character ; and I believed the British 
Government alone could prevent his succeeding in it completely. 
And in order to defeat him they must adopt measures to which 
they did not appear at all inclined, and of which I had little 
hope. 

He said that he should not dissemble to me, that he had seen 
the English newspapers to th^ seventh of January, which had 
been sent to him from Stockholm ; that the English Prince Re- 
gent's speech at the opening of the session of Parliament was 
in them ; that it spoke of the King's health ; said nothing at 
all about the north of Europe; mentioned that the affair of the 
Chesapeake frigate had been amicably arranged with the United 
States; that several other topics remained in discussion with 
them, upon which the most conciliatory disposition was enter- 
tained by him. 

I observed that the profession of conciliatory dispositions had 
always been sufficiently made by the British Government, but 
they had been so long the only things we had experienced from 
England that were conciliatory, that now something more would 
be necessary to produce the effect; and of this, I was sorry to say, 
I could scarcely discover any prospect. 

The Count said there were some intimations that a messenger 
had been sent over from France to England. It was reported 
that he was charged with overtures for a pacific negotiation. 
But that might perhaps be an ostensible measure, to excite the 
opinion he;-e of a negotiation between France and England — 
which, in the great and extraordinary armaments said to be 
now making in France and destined against Russia, might be 
thought calculated to produce a certain effect here. 

I said that as to negotiations between France and England, 
I did not much believe in them, or in their success, if really 
attempted ; but that I had heard there were prospects of war 
between France and Russia, which I lamented. He had men- 
tioned the Emperor Napoleon (the print of him, in all his im- 
perial accoutrements as Napoleon le Grand, was hanging at the: 

VOL. 11.-32 



338 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS. [February, 

side of the wall, over the sofa upon which we were sitting), 
and how much was it to be wished that it were possible the 
will of peace and tranquillity could be inspired into his heart 
The world might then be allowed to enjoy a little peadb. 

The Count shook his head, and said, " No ; it is impossible. 
Tranquillity is not in his nature. I can tell you, in confidence, 
that he once told me so himself. I was speaking to him about 
Spain and Portugal, and he said to me, ' I must always be going. 
After the Peace of Tilsit, where could I go but to Spain? I went 
to Spain because I could not ^ anywhere else.' And this," 
said the Count, ''was all that he had to say in justification of 
his having gone into Spain and Portugal. And now, as perhaps 
there he is not quite satisfied with his going, he may intend to 
turn against us, from the same want of any other place where 
to go." 

I said that one would think Spain and Portugal still furnished, 
and were likely long to furnish him quite room enough to go 
in, without making it necessary to gratify his passion in another 
quarter. 

The Count replied that there was no political consideration 
whatever upon which he founded a hope that peace might yet 
be preserved ; but there was a consideration of a different nature 
which might have its weight, and upon the effect of which he 
still rested some expectation. It was the scarcity of grain. He 
understood it was considerable at Paris. 

I said I had heard the same, and that the price of wheat and 
flour had much advanced, though not that of bread, which the 
Government kept down by payments of their own to the bakers. 

He said the scarcity was so great that there had been recently 
several riots at the doors of the bakers, both at Paris and Lyons. 
And as large armies could not be put in motion without very 
large supplies of such provisions, he still hoped that as the 
months of April and May should come on, the inconvenience 
and difficulty of procuring such supplies for these armies would 
ultimately arrest their march; "for which, however," added 
the Count, " the circumstances have rendered it proper for us 
to place ourselves in a state of preparation, as we have accord- 
ingly done." 



I8i3.] THE MISSION 70 KUSSIA, 339 

I then passed to another subject, observing that it ought 
perhaps to have been the first with which I should have com- 
menced — the removal of Count Pahlen from the Russian Mis- 
sion in* the United ' States to that of Brazil. I observed that 
my dispatches from the Secretary of State made it my duty to 
express to the Emperor the sentiments entertained by my Gov- 
ernmeAt, and their strong sense of the friendly policy constantly 
pursued by his Majesty towards them, and I had a letter from 
the President himself mentioning that Count Pahlen had taken 
leave, and speaking in terms of the highest satisfaction of his 
deportment during the whole period of his mission — with the 
assurance that he had conciliated by it the universal esteem 
and regard of all who knew him; that it gave me peculiar 
pleasure to communicate to him this information, as I was per- 
suaded it must be pleasing to the Emperor. 
. He said it certainly would, and that such a testimonial would 
contribute to raise yet higher the Emperor's good opinion of 
that officer ; that his letters had constantly spoken in the highest 
terms of the treatment that he had received from all classes of 
people in America ; and that he would iquit the country with 
the warmest regard for it. 

I observed that his mission to Brazil would place him in an 
advantageous situation for observation, not only in regard to 
that country itself, but to the scenes which were passing in 
the other parts of South America, particularly the Spanish 
provinces. 

He asked me whether our Government had taken any meas- 
ures respecting them, and in what light they were considered 
by us; and whether they had any Ministers in the United 
States. 

I said I was informed by my dispatches that there were 
deputies at the seat of our Government from the province of 
Venezuela; that the Government of the United States con- 
sidered with favorable sentiments the change which was taking 
place in those provinces, believing that it would prove generally 
advantageous to the interests of mankind ; and that I readily 
confided to him those views of my Government, because from 
former conversations that I had held with him, and from other 



340 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS. [February, 

• 

circumstances of which I had heard, I thought there was the 
most perfect coincidence between his views on this subject and 
those of my Government 

He said they were the same. There was only one doubt left 
on his mind, which gave him some concern. The people of 
those provinces had been kept in such a. state of grievous 
oppression, that he was afraid they would, in accomplishing 
their emancipation, exhibit examples of that sort of violence, 
and those scenes of cruelty, which experience had proved to be 
too common in such revolutions. He hoped, however, it might 
be otherwise. He had been for opening a free communication 
between them and this country, which would have implied a 
recognition of their new state, and he had made a proposition 
to that effect (in the Imperial Council) ; " mais en cela j'ai 
echoue. The apprehension of those disorders to which I have 
alluded prevented my success. On pourra cependant revenir 
sur cet objety 

8th. I dined at Mr. Laval's with a petit comite of about 
twenty persons, with about half of whom I was unacquainted. 
General Pardo came with Mr. Ballin de Ballu, a great Greek 
scholar, after we had sat down to table. Madame de Laval's 
mother. Princess Kazitzky, and her sister. Princess Beloselsky, 
were there. Count Maistre, his brother and son, were also of 
the company. Mr. Laval's antiques and his pictures were 
amusing. The statues are all mutilated, and restored — some 
well, others indifferently. There are busts of Cicero, Germani- 
cus in basalt, and the Emperor Balbinus, of the natural size ; 
a colossal one, said to be of Diana, and several smaller than 
life ; a conqueror at the Olympic games ; a Sabina ; two other 
Roman ladies ; a Bacchus and Ariadne upon one stone, Janus- 
faced ; a Pluto seated in his chair ; a Terminus ; a rostral column 
surmounted by a Victory ; a Quadriga, without reins or traces ; 
a suit of armor sculptured in porphyry; a Roman Consul, 
remarkable for the drapery of his robe ; a basso-rilievo, much 
in the style of the tomb in Count Strogonoff 's garden — the 
subject said to be from Homer — Nestor falling from his horse, 
and the Greeks coming to his assistance; but I think them 
mistaken in this; a sarcophagus, or votive altar, inscribed to 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 3^1 

Julia, the daughter of Augustus, with various sculptures on all 
its sides ; and various other articles, of which I took less notice. 
The pictures are most of them excellent, but, excepting three or 
four, I had seen them all before. The David with the head of 
Goliath, by Guido, struck me more this time than when I saw 
it last. The Salmacis and Hermaphroditus wading through 
the water, by Albano, and a Holy Family, by Fra Bartolommeo, 
were new to me. These curiosities furnish one large saloon. 
The rest of the house, though fitted up with equal magnificence, 
had no peculiar recommendation to my taste. It is merely the 
ordinary princely Style. » 

1 2th. I dined at the French Ambassador's with a company 
of twenty persons, the Ministers of the Diplomatic Corps. It 
was a parting dinner to Count Schenk. Mr. Jouffroy spoke of 
an inefiectual attempt he had made to obtain the admission of 
Silesian linens here for re-exportation to America, and of which 
he was instructed to give me information, as a matter in which 
I had taken some step — but this was a mistake. The Chevalier 
Brancia told me that he had received official communications 
of the fray and duel between Prince Dolgorouki, the Russian 
Minister, and the Baron de Durand, the French Minister, at 
Naples; and the other duel at the same time, between Mr. 
Benkendorf, the Secretary of the Russian Legation, and the 
King's (Joachim Murat's) Grand fecuyer ; and he related to me 
the circumstances as he was ordered to represent them, much 
to the disadvantage of Prince Dolgorouki. He added that he 
would call upon me in a few days and show me the representa- 
tions that he should officially make here on the subject. 

The Ambassador conversed quite freely with me on the state 
of affairs ; told me of the occupation by French troops of Swedish 
Pomerania and the incorporation of the Swedish garrison into 
the French army, which, he said, laughing, was following the 
example of Frederic II. ; and of the Swedish counter-measure 
of confiscating debts due to French subjects, including their 
loans in Holland. He spoke with contempt of the Prince 
Royal's (Bemadotte's) late report to the King ; said he hoped 
people would not now charge them (nous autres — ^the French) 
with having fixed the election of Prince Royal upon him ; said 



342 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS. [February, 

he supposed he was afraid of the nation, but then he ought to 
have bargained with them, and have refused to accept if they 
would not honestly and faithfully come into the Continental 
system. He also said he did not yet despair of preserving 
peace between France and Russia, but he should, unless some- 
thing was very soon done. He wished they had sent Nesselroc|e. 
He had not urged it, for it was a proposition of their own. But 
now they said it would look like making advances. What 
then? Prince Kurakin was sick. Nesselrode had been the 
Secretary of the Embassy. Now he was the Emperor's Secre-^ 
tary. They had given him " un galqp de plus ;" but what did 
that signify ? why not send him ? he might be the more accept- 
able for the added lace. Certain it was that something must be 
done, and that very soon, or the worst might happen. 

I had much conversation with General Pardo too; but that 
was upon Homer, Demosthenes, and Cicero. He insists that the 
Iliad and Odyssey are not works of the same author, and that 
the last five books of the Iliad are not of the same hand as the 
rest. 

1 8th. Went to dinner at the Chevalier de Bray's. Mr. Laval 
and Mr. Harris dined there, and a professor of the University at 
Porpat, with whom I had much conversation respecting that 
institution. Mr. Laval had got a small silver coin, or medal, of 
Balbinus, given him by a friend, and perfectly resembling his 
bust, with which he was in ecstasies of delight. He had also 
a copper coin with the head of Augustus Caesar, resembling, 
though not so strongly, another of his busts. The Chevalier 
de Bray gave me a copy of his Tour in the Tyrol, of his own 
edition, which, he told me, was not so good as the edition 
printed at Paris. 

I spent an hour with the Chevalier and Madame Bezerra, then 
half an hour at home, and finally about two hours at the French 
Ambassador's ball, where I conversed with several persons, but 
particularly with General Pardo, who made very light of the 
surrender of Valencia and General Blake with his army. Pardo 
is one of the first classical scholars in Europe — ^a military man, 
thoroughly versed in the science of war, with a fine taste for 
the arts, a brilliant imagination, much eloquence in conversa- 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 343 

tion, and withal the weakest head, the most abandoned to his 
feelings, and the memory the most treacherous to itself that I 
ever knew. He had often spoken to me of Blake as a sort of 
military prodigy. To-night he told me that he knew him 
perfectly well ; that he (Pardo) had formed him ; that he was an 
excellent gar^on, but no general. H is heroes now are Balasteros, 
L'Empecinada, Mina, and Mendizabal. He considers the patri- 
otic cause as so firmly established that he makes no scruple to 
speak of it as his own. He says, we shall be successful ; we 
have such and such places in our power; we have defeated 
Victor at Tariia — meaning by we the Spaniards in arms against 
King Joseph, whose commission and credentials are his only 
acknowledged titles at this Court, and by whom he has been 
loaded with dignities and offices, not to forget a bltishing riband 
which the General takes no displeasure in wearing. 

Count St. Julien was looking through his glass at the dancers 
and lamenting that the sex in Russia was not handsome — Mogul 
faces — nez camus— et des bouches qui se moquent des oreilles. 
Oh, at Vienna not a guingette of chambermaids but would 
show more handsome women than all Petersburg could produce. 
The Chevalier Brancia told me that he had called on me this 
morning to show me his correspondence respecting the affair 
of Prince Dolgorouki at Naples; and he promised to call again. 
I came home about one in the morning. 

22d. The question of this day was to ascertain the extent of 
the earth's circumference. The only English book I have at 
hand to consult in this case is Morse's Geography. There I 
find it stated at 25,038 miles, which, divided by 360, makes 
the degree = 69.55 miles. But by the admeasurement of the 
meridian between Dunkirk and Montjouy, the quarter of the 
earth's circumference was definitively settled to be 5,130,740 
French toises (toises de Perou), the ten-millionth part of which 
is the metre of the new French system. Taking, then, the 
English foot as .9386 of the French Pied du Roi, the circum- 
ference of the earth is = 131,193,01 1 English feet, or 24,847.25 
statute miles, and gives 69.02 to a degree. The quarter of the 
circumference is 32,798,252.7 English feet, and the ten-mil- 
lionth part of it is 3 feet 3 inches 358 tenths of an inch. 




'■ 345 

il over the city; and 
ru breakfast this day. 
■:!il the body of smoke, 
■ "Jcttlcd together, consti- 
sun totally, and continued 
liioly dissipated until past 

iicforc dinner, I met the Em- 

n me for a long time, and he 

X hours. I told him that I had 

- in the morning early, and some- 

:.nlow open in very cold weather. 

:<lo it a rule to rise in the morning 

■• upcn, I asked if he did not suffer 

-. on the contrary, he found it inured 

,; to the cold ; that in the time of the 

had been very much the usage to be 

. iti very hot apartments, and in that of 

. the contrary, to be continually out at the 

. ( I'c not, as at present, large buildings where 

icld. He had then worn a flannel waistcoat, 

i;itcd and fretted the skin so much, and made 

that he could not endure it. A physician 

liim to leave it off, and told him that either he 

operation of the change, or would have his 

He left off therefore the maudite veste de 

not die, but has had his health much better, 

ce from certain rheumatic complaints that he 

to before. " You are not of my opinion," 

innel ?" I said that I had so long been in the 

it in winter, that I believed if I should leave it 

nder the operation. " But," said he, " there 

-sicians here who think that flannel is a bad 

ion to the examination of the young ladies of 
he Convent was with notice to begin at nine 
:^rning. I went with -Mr. Smith before ten, 
id already begun. The examination was then 



344 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Fcbrowy, 

23d. I consulted Borel's tables of the Russian weights, meas- 
ures, and coins, to see how he states the metre. He has the 
arsheen right at 28 English inches, but he makes 71.19 metres 
= 100 arsheens, and 14048 arsheens=: 100 metres; the first 
of which makes the metre = 39.331 English inches, and the 
second, 39.334. This difference in the fraction is itself con- 
siderable, and would amount to five inches in a mile. But the 
metre, as I have found it, is yHv ^f ^ of an inch longer than 
either of these measures gives it; and ^ of an inch added to 
the shortest of these would only make the measure as given by 
Webster. This would make a difference of at least five feet in 
a mile. I drew diagrams of the French demilitre and of the deci- 
litre, according to the dimensions prescribed by the French law. 
The capacity of the first is 30.509 cubic inches, and of the second, 
6.1 cubic inches. I was then curious to compare them with the 
capacities of our glasses and bottles in common use. I measured 
the dimensions of a tumbler and calculated its contents, after 
which I adjourned this pursuit until to-morrow. 

25th. I was disappointed in my expectation of having time 
this clay to write. I began to read regularly through Paucton's 
Metrology. He says that what first turned his attention to the 
subject was a passion for the improvement of agriculture, which 
he resolved to study in books. He soon found that he could 
understand nothing in them without accurate ideas of weights 
and measures. The study of these took place of his first pur- 
suit — the accessory became the principal. He postponed, 
probably forever, his agricultural enquiries, and produced his 
Metrology. This is too much the progress of all my studies; 
but I shall never produce a Metrology. 

26th. In the evening I read further in Paucton, and find in 
him a strong recommendation of the use of decimal fractions 
and logarithms for the facility of practical calculations. A 
familiar and ready use of logarithms is one of the things that I 
have neglected to acquire, and I have not been aware with how 
much convenience they may be applied to the ordinary purposes 
of business. I am awkward in the management of them. 

29th. I had heard it said by Dr. Galloway that in cold and 
calm weather here the smoke from the chimneys, instead of 



i8i2.] TH& MISSION TO XUSSIA. 345 

ascending, was often depressed, and settled over the city ; and 
I witnessed this effect in my walk before breakfast this day. 
The atmosphere was perfectly clear until the body of smoke, 
formed from the fires in the' city, had settled together, consti- 
tuting a thick fog, which obscured the sun totally, and continued 
three or four hours. It was not entirely dissipated until past 
noon. 

March 3d. In my second walk before dinner, I met the Em- 
peror, who said he had not seen me for a long time, and he 
supposed we walked at different hours. I told him that I had 
adopted the practice of walking in the morning early, and some- 
times saw his Majesty's window open in very cold weather. 
He said that he always made it a rule to rise in the morning 
and dress with his window open. I asked if he did not suffer 
from the cold. He said, on the contrary, he found it inured 
him better than anything to the cold ; that in the time of the 
Empress Catherine it had been very much the usage to be 
shut up and confined in very hot apartments, and in that of 
the late Emperor, on the contrary, to be continually out at the 
parades; and there were not, as at present, large buildings where 
the exercises were held. He had then worn a flannel waistcoat, 
but he found it irritated and fretted the skin so much, and made 
him so delicate, that he could not endure it. A physician 
therefore advised him to leave it off, and told him that either he 
would die under the operation of the change, or would have his 
health much better. He left off therefore the maudite veste de 
flannelle ; he did not die, but has had his health much better, 
and been wholly free from certain rheumatic complaints that he 
had been subject to before. "You are not of my opinion," 
said he, " about flannel ?" I said that I had so long been in the 
custom of wearing it in winter, that I believed if I should leave it 
off I should die under the operation. " But," said he, " there 
are now many physicians here who think that flannel is a bad 
thing for wear." 

6th. The invitation to the examination of the young ladies of 
noble families at the Convent was with notice to begin at nine 
o'clock in the morning. I went with 'Mr. Smith before ten, 
and found they had already begun. The examination was then 



346 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS. [March. 

in Geometry, after which followed Experimental Philosophy, 
French Rhetoric and Literature, German language. Then the 
company were introduced into another hall, where were the 
samples of drawing, painting, needle-work, embroidery, and 
artificial flowers worked by the young ladies. Then we returned 
to the examination hall, and the musical performances com- 
menced, after which succeeded the dancing, and the whole 
concluded about four o'clock. Part of the company then went 
into another apartment, where a collation was provided, and 
the young ladies presented the plates round to the guests. The 
examinations were precisely the same as at the institution of 
St Catherine last year, and chiefly, if not altogether, by the 
same masters. The music, especially the singing, I thought 
better now than then ; the dancing and the works of art not so 
good ; the geometry, physics, literature, and languages much 
the same — lessons learnt by heart and generally well repeated. 
All spoke French well, and with evident facility. Several com- 
positions were distributed, of which I received three — two of 
them, however, by the same person : one a letter to a friend, 
with topics of consolation upon the loss of an aunt and her 
fortune ; one a sentimental eulogy of benevolence ; and one a 
short argument upon the existence of Deity, founded on the 
visible things of creation. The handwriting very good and 
entirely formed ; the style correct and easy — they are in the 
French language. The number of young ladies who quit the 
school and whose names were on tlie programme of the exhibi- 
tion was one hundred and four. There is also a certain number 
of demoiselles bourgeoises^ that is, not of noble &milies, educated 
at this same seminary; but their examination is to be to-morrow, 
and the foreign Ministers are not invited to attend it. They 
are educated nearly in the same manner, with the omission of 
logic, geometry, and experimental philosophy. It was observed 
now, as well as last year, that there were very few handsome 
girls among them, and Count St Julien, next to whom I sat, 
remarked that they had all ignoble countenances. But, he said, 
there was no nobility in this country ; that as the Government 
was a mere despotism-, every man was all or nothing, as the 
sovereign smiled or frowned. Birth was nothing. But, as he 



i8i2.1 THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 347 

came from the Court of Vienna, where birth was in high estima- 
tion, it was natural for him to entertain different opinions. This 
produced a conversation between us upon noble blood and noble 
faces, in which I did not much indulge the noble Maltese Com- 
mander's pride of birth, and in which he indulged himself with 
it to his own satisfaction, acknowledging at last that there was 
too much truth in the reasons which I assigned to him for not 
thinking that the alliance between noble blood and noble coun- 
tenances was universal or even general in any part of Europe. 
There were some Cabardinians, Tartars, there in the dresses 
of their country — two with large white turbans, and the rest 
with sharp-pointed velvet caps, like those in Chinese pictures 
— Georgians, Circassians, Mingrelians, Turks, and so forth, as 
usual. 

9th. I called upon the General of the Jesuits, Brzozowsky, to 
deliver him a letter I had received for him from New York — 
from one of the fathers he sent out last summer. I found the 
old father reading his breviary, and he made me excuses for 
asking mc to wait until he had finished, which he did in a few 
minutes. I told him that Father Malon, who enclosed to me the 
letter for him, had also written to me mentioning that they had 
commenced a school but were in great want of more teachers. 
The General answered that he could not supply them ; that 
from all quarters he was called upon for fathers, and had none 
to spare. The ecclesiastical life was now pursued by very few 
persons ; the military career was the only one in favor. He 
spoke to me about Waldstein, saying he had heard I had been 
robbed by a servant, and asked if he was a Russian. I said, a 
Livonian. "Ah I" said he ; " and so a Lutheran !*' But observing, 
I suppose, that I was not pleased with the remark by my looks, 
he added that it would have given him great pain if he had been 
a Catholic, because those who were Catholics ought to prove 
themselves worthy of their religion. It was evident, however, 
that the old man thinks a man's being a Protestant is a solution 
for every enormity committed by him. Madame de Bray, the 
other day, attributed it all to Waldstein's being an affranchi, 
" That," said she, " is the consequence of giving those people 
their freedom." Madame de Bray is the daughter of a Livonian 



348 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

nobleman, who probably relishes evidence against the emancipa- 
tion of his peasants, as the Jesuit is a Catholic churchman who 
thinks Luther the root of all evil. Such is the mode of reason- 
ing among pien and women. 

1 2th. The Chevalier Brancia called on me this morning and 
read to me all the official correspondence that has passed both 
at Naples and here respecting the duel between Prince Dol- 
gorouki and Baron Durand, the Russian and French Ministers 
at Naples, and he told me what he had done here on the occa- 
sion. It was at the Diplomatic Circle on New Year's day. 
The Neapolitan Minister of Foreign Affairs relates the transac- 
tion in an instruction to Mr. Brancia. That on the New Year's 
day, when the Corps Diplomatique was passing from the Salle 
des Ambassadeurs to the Salle du Trone, preceded by the 
Maitre des Ceremonies, Prince Dolgorouki and Baron Durand 
were going first, side by side, and the Prince having the right 
hand when they came to the door of the Salle du Trone, before 
the Grand Maitre des Ceremonies had taken the King (Murat's) 
orders to introduce them, and before the doorkeeper had opened 
the door, the Prince pushed it open and entered, which Baron 
Durand attempting to prevent, thb Prince, in presence of the 
King, struggled to keep his place, and laid his hand upon his 
sword. He maintained his place. The King had presence of 
mind to avoid manifesting his indignation at this indecent scene, 
but, addressing both the Ministers, said that he could only 
ascribe what had passed to their eagerness each to be the first 
to present his felicitations to him; and then conversed with 
them both on other topics ; but as soon as the levee was over 
he expressed his displeasure in the most energetic manner, and 
directed depositions to be taken, and enquiries of the other 
members of the Diplomatic Corps who had been present to be 
made, concerning the facts ; and finding them attested to be as 
above stated, although he had been on all other occasions per- 
fectly satisfied with the conduct of Prince Dolgorouki, he could 
not overlook a proceeding so offensive, and had forbidden Prince 
Dolgorouki's appearance at Court until the Emperor's orders 
could be taken. The letter then instructed Brancia to demand 
the Prince's recall. He omitted reading the instructions. With 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 3^5 

it were enclosed the depositions to the facts, and the correspond- 
ence between the Neapoh'tan Minister of Foreign Affairs and 
Prince Dolgorouki upon the subject — the former stating to the 
Prince the King's displeasure at the scene that had taken place, 
observing that if the King had not assigned to the foreign 
Ministers their respective ranks of precedence, he had a 
right to treat as a family representative the Minister of his 
august brother, the Emperor of the French, and that he could 
not but express his resentment at an insult offered to him; 
that the King, therefore, had determined to demand of the 
Emperor the Prince's recall, and in the mean time had directed 
the Minister to signify to the Prince that it would be proper to 
abstain from attendance at Court. 

The Prince, in his answer, expresses his great regret that the 
King should have taken displeasure at anything in his conduct; 
says that he was bound not to submit to any pretension of pre- 
cedence by the French Minister, and appeals to the express 
letter of an article in the Treaty of Tilsit, stipulating the most 
perfect reciprocity between the two powers ; that he, the Prince, 
having been at the right hand, and having oh a former occasion 
declared his intention to take his precedence of the French Min- 
ister in turn, had advanced up to the door of the hall, when the 
French Minister had thrown himself in his way, attempted to 
seize the handle of the door-latch and to stop his passage, say- 
ing, " Ah 1 pour cela — ccla ne sera pas ;" that he therefore was 
the cause of the struggle, in which the Prince necessarily was 
drawn to keep his place, and that if he had laid his hand on his 
sword it was merely to disengage it from between his legs ; that 
as to precedence on the principle of family representation, it was 
allowable only to Ambassadors, and could not be pretended to 
by Ministers of the second order. 

On receiving these papers, Mr. Brancia requested an interview 
with Count Romanzoff ; which he deferred one day later than 
usual, and in the mean time received a courier from Naples with 
Prince Dolgorouki's own account of the transaction. On this, 
he sent Mr. Brancia a note before the Conference, stating that 
the Emperor had learnt with much concern the dispute which 
had happened between Prince Dolgorouki and the French 



350 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March. 

Minister at Naples, and regretted that the King of Naples had 
thought proper, instead of simply asking his recall, to forbid 
his appearance at Court; that the Emperor might have used 
reprisals, but that, consulting only his magnanimity and his 
amicable dispositions towards the King of the Two Sicilies, he 
had resolved to continue his friendly relations with him as be- 
fore ; and he, the Count, was ordered to declare to Mr. Brancia 
that he should continue to be received and treated at Court as 
he had been heretofore, and as if the unfortunate occurrences at 
Naples had never happened. 

When the interview took place, Brancia found Count Roman- 
zofTstiir dwelling upon Prince Dolgorouki's exclusion from the 
Neapolitan Court, and expressing himself concerning it with 
some ill humor. He thought it therefore necessary to answer 
the Count's note, stating to him that it was not on account of 
the duel (the Count had spoken of that as the occasion of what 
had happened), but of the outrage committed in the King's 
presence, that the measure had been taken of interdicting the 
Court to Prince Dolgorouki, and quoting a passage from Vattel 
as authority for interdicting the Court to an offending foreign 
Minister, or even ordering him away from the country. After 
this. Count RomanzofT sent for Brancia again, and told him that 
his note had been laid before the Emperor, who had weighed 
the observations contained in it, and, recognizing that there was 
solidity in them, he had given orders that Prince Dolgorouki 
should be recalled, and had appointed Baron Budberg to reside 
at Naples in his stead as Charge d'Aflaires — and thus this matter 
is terminated. The duels were both subsequent to the inter- 
diction of the Court to Prince Dolgorouki. The day afterwards. 
Baron Durand sent Prince Dolgorouki a challenge ; the Prince 
answered him that while invested with a diplomatic character 
he did not think it proper to fight, but that he had already 
written home, offering his resignation to the Emperor, which 
he had no doubt would be accepted, when he should readily 
meet the Baron. The Baron replied that the Prince's excuse 
for not fighting was not suflficienf ; that as they were both diplo- 
matic characters, that circumstance took away the impropriety 
of a meeting between them in single combat, upon which he 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 351 

again insisted. The Prince then yielded. They fought, and 
were both slightly wounded. A French General there at the 
time likewise sent a challenge to Prince Dolgorouki, to which 
Mr. Benkendorf, the Secretary of the Russian Legation, an- 
swered that Prince Dolgorouki could not be expected to fight 
all the Frenchmen at Naples, but if the General was very de- 
sirous of a duel, he, Benkendorf, was ready to meet him in the 
Prince's stead. They fought accordingly, and they, too, were 
both wounded. The two duels were on the same day. Ben- 
kendorf has since had'the Order of St Wladimir conferred upon 
him by the Emperor. 

13th. This morning I finished the perusal of the German 
Bible, which I began 20th June last There are many differ- 
ences of translation from either the English or the French 
translation — some of which I have compared in the three ver- 
sions. Many passages, obscure and even unintelligible to me 
in the English, are clear in the French and German. Of the 
three, the German, I think, has the fewest of these obscurities. 
But the eloquence of St. Paul strikes me as more elevated and 
sublime in the English than in either of the others. In the 
German New Testament there is a transposition in the arrange- 
ment of the books, the Epistle to the Hebrews being separated 
from the rest of St. Paul's, and placed after those of Peter and 
John. There is a difficulty which obviously often embarrassed 
all the translators : it was how to render the significant proper 
names which abound in the Bible. For instance, in the text 
where Adam says to Eve in the English Bible that Eve " shall 
be called woman, because she was taken out of man," the 
name does not correspond with the reason assigned for giving 
it — Gen. ii. 23. The French Bible has it, "on la nommera 
Hommesse, car elle a ei€ prise de Thomme." The name and 
the reason here correspond ; but Hommesse is not the French 
word for woman — there is no such word in the language. The 
German Bible resorts to the same expedient of coining a word, 
and says, she shall be called Mannin. If the English translators 
had taken the same liberty they would have called her Manness. 
In expressions of this sort, the English translators, whenever 
they can, retain the very Hebrew word, and sometimes they 



352 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [March, 

give as proper names words which the other translators render 
as things. The more I read the Bible the more I feel that it 
ought to be accompanied with critical and explanatory notes. 
There are commentators and expositors enough, but they are 
too voluminous, and almost universally sectaries, whose labors 
are devoted not to exposition but controversy. The German 
Bible has one very useful kind of annotation. It is, that after 
every verse throughout the book all the other verses having 
reference to it are marked down. This is peculiarly convenient 
for consulting the mutual references between the Old and the 
New Testament — the prophecies and their fulfilment. The 
German New Testament also, besides the division of the books 
into chapters, marks the festivals at which particular Epistles 
and Gospels are to be read at the passages themselves. There 
is at the commencement both of the French and German Bibles 
an excellent discourse upon the manner and dispositions in 
which the Scriptures should be read. That of the German 
Bible is the best 

19th. Walked upon the quay, and met the Emperor. He told 
me he had seen one of our Americans this morning who must 
have very strong military propensities, for he had gone out 
when there were at least fifteen degrees of frost to see one of 
the regiments march, which were leaving the city. He meant 
Mr. Fisher. I said perhaps he had some acquaintance among 
the officers. " No ; not in that regiment. But he is acquainted 
with Mr. Fenshaw, who belongs to the regiment that will go 
next Saturday. And so it is," continued his Majesty, ** after 
all, that war is coming which I have done so much to avoid — 
everything. I have done everything to prevent this struggle 
(cette lutte), but thus it ends." "But," said I, "are all hopes 
vanished of still preserving the peace ?" " At all events," said 
he, " we shall not begin the war ; my will is yet to prevent it ; 
but we expect to be attacked." " Then," said I, " as your Ma- 
jesty has determined not to commence, I would fain hope it may 
still pass over without a war." " I wish it may," said he. '* Mais 
tous les indices sont a la guerre. Et puis — il avance toujours. 
II a commence par prendre la Pom6ranie Suedoise — voila qu'i 
present il vient d'occuper la Prusse — il ne peut pas beaucoup 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 353 

plus avaticer sans nous attaquer." I said it was to be hoped he 
would stop somewhere. " Oh ! oui — j'espire bien qu'il ne viendra 
pas jusqu'ici." Seven or eight regiments have already marched 
from St. Petersburg within the last three weeks for the frontiers, 
and others are following twice or three times each week. 

Paucton and the Metrologie primitive still engross all my 
leisure. I have been for years uncertain of the exact comparison 
between the length of the French and English foot ; which is 
yet essential to ascertain that of all the new French weights, 
measures, and coins. I have at last found that in the Philo- 
sophical Transactions of the year 1768, a Mr. Bird gives the 
English foot as equal to 1 35.1 161 154 lines ahd decimals of 
the pied de la toise du Perou, the identical measure by which 
the metre of the new French system was compared when finally 
established. I shall therefore in future take this proportion as 
the standard, though Paucton, Ricard, and Dubost make the 
English foot three ten-thousandths longer — Bird's calculation 
being carried to seven decimals of a line, and referring expressly 
to the toise du Pcrou. The difference between the two calcu- 
lations, trifling as it seems, produces one of eleven feet in a 
myriamitre, and nearly two feet upon an English mile. On 
the circumference of the earth it amounts to a difference of 
nearly ten miles. ** 

20th. I took this morning a longer walk than usual, for the 

purpose of measuring by the number of my paces and by the 

time taken to walk it the difference between the first and second 

werst column on the Czarskozelo road. I found il, as on a former 

occasion, thirteen hundred and sixty-six paces ; but I walked it 

in eleven minutes, the cold having quickened my step. Paucton 

states the pace of a man five feet two and a half inches, French, 

tall, to be two and a third feet, or twenty-eight inches pied 

du Roi, and at the rate of one hundred and twenty-one in a 

minute. My own height is five feet seven inches, English — 

about half an inch higher than Paucton's standard ; and I have 

found, by experiments frequently repeated, that my ordinary 

pace is two feet six inches and eighty-eight one-hundredths of 

an inch, or about twenty-nine French inches, and that in my 

ordinary pace I walk one hundred and twenty steps to a minute. 
VOL. II. — 23 



354 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

My height thus exceeds that of Paucton about one hundred and 
twentieth, and my gait advances upon his about one-fortieth. 
But I have never had an opportunity of comparing my step 
by a distance regularly measured, and I know the mile-stones 
and werst-stones have been carelessly placed. 

25th. Paucton and Callet still absorb all the time that has no 
indispensable occupation, and even encroach much upon that 
which ought to have one. Paucton engages my curiosity more 
and more ; but since I have detected him in a considerable error 
in his estimation of the English foot, my confidence in his cal- 
culations generally has been a little shaken. One strongly- 
marked character of his book is singularity, and his method 
is not that of mathematical precision. He is much addicted to 
digression, and sometimes turns to subjects the connection of 
which with that of his work is not easily traced. He has, for 
instance, a chapter to prove that the American continent was 
known to the ancients. What concern has this with weights 
and measures ? I have not yet found sufficient proof of what 
he affirms as his fundamental position, that the geometric foot 
of tlie ancients was the standard of all their weights, measures, 
and coins, and that it was originally one four-hundred-thou- 
sandth part of a degree of the meridian. He affirms also that 
all the measures of distance were formed upon the proportions 
of limbs of a man of middling stature. He does not give his 
authorities in proof, nor does he reconcile together his two 
principles. For what need was there of the degree, if the pro- 
portions of the human form were the standard ? and what need 
of the proportions, if the degree gave the measure ? There is 
frequent reference to the measures mentioned in the Bible, 
and an estimate of them all compared with the old French 
measures. 

April 5th. I read this day the remaining chapters of the first 
part of Watts's Improvement of the Mind. The seventeenth 
chapter, on improving the memory, is precisely the subject of 
one of my lectures, and contains so many of the same thoughts 
that any impartial reader of my lecture would certainly suspect 
me of having borrowed freely from the Doctor. I never read 
that chapter of his book until this day. Almost all his observa- 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 355 

lions are just, but there is occasionally an ejaculation of piety 
which he might as well have omitted. His argument against 
Shaftesbury's test of ridicule as applicable to sacred subjects is 
decisive, and his comparison of the principle with that of perse- 
cution is very just and ingenious. The chapter on the sciences 
and their use in the professions is full of sound sense and solid 
instruction. The caution against wasting time upon studies 
very laudabld in themselves, but which cannot be pursued with- 
out encroaching upon necessary occupations, I feel at this 
moment with peculiar force. If I do not profit by the advice, 
my fault will be the greater. The recommendation of poetry 
has the warm sensibility of a poet. The opinion that epic 
poetry would have been more perfect if interspersed with 
elegiac and lyric odes may be controverted ; but that it would 
have rendered the poems of Homer, Virgil, Tasso, and Milton 
more interesting I do fully believe. The advice to young 
men of a lively genius and a poetical turn to write poetry if 
they cannot possibly help it, has some pretension to pleasantry. 
I read also the sermons 14 and 15, vol. v., of the English 
Preacher — on Subjection to Civil Authority, and on the Crown 
of Righteousness for Christian Fortitude. This morning I read 
from Leviticus xx. to xxv., and particularly fixed my attention 
upon chap, xxiii., containing the directions for the several feast- 
days prescribed to the Jews. They were : the Sabbath— every 
seventh day throughout the year; the Passover; the feast of 
unleavened bread, which was the day after — ^whcn the first fruits 
of the harvest, a wheat-sheaf, was offered, and unleavened bread 
was to be eaten seven days ; the Pentecost, fifty days after, when 
loaves of bread from the new harvest were offered ; the feast 
of trumpets, the first day of the seventh month, when the 
beginning of the civil year was proclaimed; the feast of 
atonement or expiation, when the scape-goat Azazel was sent 
abroad — the tenth day of the seventh month; and the feast 
of tabernacles, beginning the fifteenth of the seventh month, 
and lasting seven days, during which the people were to dwell 
in booths. The Sabbath has been adopted (only with the change 
of a day) by all Christians ; the Passover and Pentecost by 
almost all. The three others have been considered as abolished 



356 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

by the Christian dispensation. The Jubilee was proclaimed on 
the expiation day every fiftieth year. The Jubilee was an excel- 
lent institution, which operated at once as an agrarian law and 
a law against slavery. The tenure of lands was equivalent at 
most to a lease of fifty years ; nor could the service of a Hebrew 
be engaged for a longer time. The precept to let the lands lie 
fallow every seventh year, and again on the year of Jubilee, is 
more difficult to account for, and in mere human institutions 
could not be admitted. I do not recollect that in the subse- 
quent history of the nation there is any notice of its effects. 

9th. In my walk before dinner I met the Emperor, who spoke 
to me of nothing but the weather — said we should have a very 
late spring, which would appear still later from the earliness 
of that of last year; that the floods would be extraordinarily 
high when the rivers would break up, the late snows having 
been so considerable. It had been snowing all the morning. 
The Emperor is to leave his capital in two days, to join his 
army. His manner to-day was graver and less cheerful than 
I have usually seen him^ 

1 2th. I finished reading the second part of Watts's Improve- 
ment of the Mind, and began his discourse upon the education 
of children and youth. The second part is on the communica- 
tion of useful knowledge ; much shorter than the first, and not 
equal to it. Watts was a dissenting clergyman. He is cautious 
never to say anything that could give offence to the established 
Church, but he indulges his passion with so much the more 
freedom against the Catholics. With transubstantiation it seems 
as if he never would finish. He insists strongly upon the dis- 
tinction between things above reason, which, as mysteries of 
religion, may and ought to be believed, and things contrary to 
reason, which he says must be false ; but I doubt whether this 
distinction will avail for the maintenance of any religious creed. 
For any part of the Christian faith I am persuaded it will not. 
The Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, the whole doctrine of atone- 
ment, all miracles, the Immaculate Conception of Jesus, and a 
devil maintaining war against Omnipotence, appear to me all as 
contrary to human reason as the Real Presence of the Eucharist. 
Religion, as it appears to me, is one of the wants of human 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 357 

nature — an appetite which must be indulged, since without its 
gratification human existence would be a burden rather than a 
blessing. Reason may serve as a guard and check upon the 
religious appetite, as well as upon our bodily necessities, to pre- 
vent its leading us into pernicious excesses. But it is presump- 
tion in human reason to set itself up as the umpire of our faith. 
My own reason is as fallible as that of the Pope, and probably 
much more so than the collective reason of ^n ecclesiastical 
Council. I cannot reject a doctrine merely because my reason 
will not sanction it. I must appeal to a higher tribunal, and 
believe what I want to believe, am taught to believe, and may 
believe, without injury to myself or others. The argumen- 
tum ex absurdo is conclusive only upon subjects of a finite 
nature ; excellent for mathematics and geometry, but incompe- 
tent for infinity. It is not the absurdity of the doctrine of tran- 
substantiation that proves its error, but, as I conceive, it is its 
pernicious tendencies to enslave the human mind, to subject it . 
to the arbitrary dominion of the priesthood — weak, corrupt, and 
fallible men like ourselves. Could I once bring myself to believe 
that by a special power from heaven a priest can turn a wafer 
into a God, and a cup of wine into the blood of my Redeemer, 
the next and natural step would be to believe that my eternal 
weal or woe depended upon the fiat of the same priest — that the 
keys of heaven were in his hands to lock and unlock at his 
pleasure, and that the happiness or misery of my existence in 
the world to come depended upon the chance of propitiating 
not the Deity, but His minister. All these tenets of the Romish 
Church are streams from the fountain of transubstantiation. The 
doctrine is pernicious— one motive for disbelieving it. Then I 
may examine it by the test of reason. The doctrine is not 
necessary for the general system of Christianity. It is counte- 
nanced by the letter of Christ's words : Matt. xxvi. 26 ; Mark 
xiv. 22 ; Luke 3|:xii. 19. (In St. John's Gospel it is not at all 
mentioned as an occurrence at the last supper, but with much 
more detail upon another occasion: John vi. 26-66.) And it 
appears that the words, when spoken even by himself, shocked 
his disciples so much that many of them, from that time, walked 
no more with him, though he told them,by way of explanation. 



358 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [April, 

that " his words were spirit ;" that is, as I believe, that they 
were to be understood in a spiritual or figurative sense. This 
of itself is sufficient to settle the question in my mind. If the 
words were figurative, there is no real presence. If they were 
not, if he performed a miracle, and the bread and wine of the 
last supper were really his flesh and his blood, it does not 
follow that the same miracle can be repeated by every priest 
at every commemoration of that event. He promises no such 
thing. I trace the doctrine therefore directly to priestcraft — to 
the obvious purpose of the priests to establish their dominion 
over the minds of men under the mask of holy mystery. I see 
that by the history of Christianity such has been its effect; 
that its consequences have been anti-Christian in the highest 
degree ; and that it is a mystery above, but not contrary to, my 
reason why Divine Providence has permitted the weakness and 
folly of men to turn the very words of Christ to such dreadful 
abuses. Such is my opinion of transubstantiation. Its abstract 
inconsistency with my reason is not my principal ground for 
disbelieving it The Doctor's remarks upon preaching are, as 
his editors remark, partly out of date. There is some satirical 
humor in them. His principles respecting the influence of 
human authority are a little embarrassed about the settlement 
of a difficult boundary. The chapters on writing books for 
the public, and on writing and reading controversies, are mere 
loose thoughts, scarcely skimming the surface. But the active, 
thinking, and judicious mind appears in them all. 

1 8th. I called upon the French Ambassador, and conversed 
with him about an hour. He was not sparing in his observa- 
tions upon the impolicy of the Russian Cabinet in accepting a 
Prussian province at the Peace of Tilsit — ^a province taken from 
their own allies. He thought it equally impolitic in the last 
peace between France and Austria that Russia had accepted the 
400,000 souls in Gallicia by a cession from Austria. Russia^ 
he said, was always temporizing; always on the watch for 
expedients; never ready to take a decisive part. If Russia had 
seriously and energetically threatened Austria, she would have 
prevented the last war between Austria and France. If she had 
now seriously threatened Sweden, there would not have been 



i8i20 THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, jjq 

the danger of the present war. When several powers were 
engaged in a common cause, they must be responsible for one 
another. He did not know for what Russia was going to war. 
They said it was not for the Duchy of Oldenburg. Count 
RomanzofTwas certainly desirous of peace; but they would not 
give any explanations. The Emperor Alexander had declared 
he would send Count Nesselrode to Paris. It had not been 
asked of him ; it was his own determination. Nesselrode had 
merely been a Secretary of Embassy. He was to have returned 
to Paris in the same capacity. It had been announced to all 
Europe that he was to be sent; yet he had not been sent. 
Czemicheff had been sent here with a letter from the Emperor 
Napoleon himself This letter, it was admitted, manifested 
pacific, at least, if not amicable, dispositions ; yet five or six 
weeks had been suffered to pass before any ans)ver to it had 
been sent. As to Austria, he himself had witnessed how they 
felt towards Russia. He had been at Vienna at the time of the 
marriage. He arrived there five days before the Prince of 
Neufchatel. From the moment of his arrival. Count SchuvalofT, 
who was then the Russian Envoy, waS deserted — nobody would 
go near him. But he, Lauriston, walked about with him arm 
in arm, to get him better treatment. The Austrian officers all 
told him they hoped soon to have, in concert with France, a 
war against Russia. In Prussia, too, they talked to him about 
Russia's having accepted, at Tilsit, one of their provinces, taken 
from their own ally. How could Russia expect friends in those 
(Quarters? I mentioned to him the Duke of Bassano's late 
report to the Emperor Napoleon, and told him that the Brit- 
ish Ministry now adhered to their Orders in Council only, as I 
believed, because they thought they would produce this war 
between France and Russia. He said that as to the principle 
in the Duke of Bassano's report, that vessels navigating under 
an enemy's convoy must be considered as enemies, there could, 
be no doubt of that. But, then, circumstances were to be taken 
into consideration; the necessity of having some trade; the im- 
possibility of having any if all convoyed vessels were excluded : 
all this was ground for discussion, explanation, negotiation, and 
that was what Russia now withheld. 



360 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

19th. I finished reading Watts's discourse on the education 
of children and youth. He gives a contrasted description of 
the excessive rigor and severity with which children had been 
usually brought up about a century before he wrote, and of the 
most profuse and unlimited liberty indulged to children in his 
age. Watts died before the middle of the last century, and tliis 
discourse must have been written some years before his death. 
The indulgence of fashionable education has become much 
more profuse and unlimited than it was when he complained of 
it as excessive, and it is much to be wished it were turned again 
towards rigor — not perhaps to the extreme of the seventeenth 
century, but to much more than I am able to practise. Watts 
himself inclines to the system of severity, and from my own 
experience I concur altogether in the opinion with him. The 
sections upon self-government, on collecting rules of prudence, 
and on the sports and diversions of children. He undervalues, 
1 think, the languages, both ancient and modern. But the 
course of my life has probably led me to overrate them. He 
prohibits plays, masquerades, assemblies, and the gaming-table, 
all of which, except the last, have now acquired such an as- 
cendency that no writer upon education would venture to pro- 
scribe them. Gaming, as a positive vice, must always be 
forbidden by prudent instructors, and avoided by prudent men. 
The directions for the education of daughters are very good in 
themselves, but not suitable to the spirit of the present age. 

20th. I had received last evening a note from Count Roman- 
zo(f, requesting me to call upon him at eleven o'clock this 
morning. I accordingly went. Count Czernicheff was with 
him, and I was requested to wait a few minutes. Czernicheff 
soon after passed through the antechamber where I waited, 
and, as he passed, stopped to ask me if I was not about to 
dispatch a courier to Paris. I suppose he knew Mr. John A. 
Smith had come as a courier, and, expecting I should send him 
back, wished to send something. There were some books 
lying in the chairs : a Projct pour un Code de Commerce, by 
Bouchet; a manuscript, as I conjecture, and, from its folio form 
and magnificent red morocco binding, I conclude, a present 
from the author; also two sets of Mr. Rayneval's book, De la 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 361 

Liberte des Mers. The Chancellor came in after a very few 
minutes, and told me. that the Emperor had fixed upon to- 
morrow for his departure, that he himself should be very soon 
afterwards obliged to follow him, and, as there might perhaps 
be before his return some discussions in which the interests of 
the United States as well as those of Russia might be involved, 
from his wish to defend and support both, he wished to know, 
as far as I was informed and might think proper to confide in 
him, what was the precise state of the relations between the 
United States and France or England, or both; and he had 
been the more desirous of this information before he should go, 
as he knew the courier I had expected from Paris was now 
arrived ; that some time ago Prince Kurakin had written that 
there was to be a treaty between France and the United States, 
and that arrangements favorable to America had actually been 
settled in France, but lately there seemed again to be some 
uncertainty upon the subject, and he had seen in one of the 
best journaux de I'Empire an article, dated at Baltimore, which 
seemed to hold out an angry and irritated language towards 
the United States. 

I told him that since my last conversation with him I had 
received no communication from my own Government of a 
more recent date than I had then ; nor had I any information 
from which I could infer that any change had occurred in the 
state of our political relations from that in which I had then 
suggested to him ; that with regard to France, all that I could 
say, from the letters I had received frohi Mr. Barlow, was, that 
no definitive arrangement had yet been agreed upon ; and with 
respect to England, none had taken, nor, as I believed, was 
likely to take place. I had heard that late English newspapers 
contained articles of intelligence from New York to the 14th 
February, and that they said Mr. Foster, the British Minister, 
was in negotiation with our Secretary of State, Mr. Monroe, 
and it was expected that a treaty would be concluded. I could 
say nothing on this subject from my own Government, but my 
own opinion was that no such treaty could be concluded. I was 
perfectly sure it could not, unless the revocation of the British 
Orders in Council should be one of its explicit conditions. If 



362 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

Mr. Foster is authorized to stipulate for the revocation ,of the 
Orders, a treaty is possible. 

The Count asked how I thought France in that case would 
take it. I said I did not know, but I believed the American 
Government would not enquire whether France would take it 
well or ill. It was the right of the United States as a neutral 
nation to trade with France that the American Government 
was bound to protect. It was denied them by the British 
Orders in Council, and unless restored by the revocation of 
those Orders, I had no doubt but the United States would 
vindicate it by war. But I did not anticipate a declaration of 
war by the United States at present. The measures that had 
been taken this winter were measures of preparation. Upon 
the ocean we could do nothing. If hostilities were to com- 
mence there, they must come from the part of England, and 
not from ours. To attack the British upon our continent we 
must be prepared. A bill for raising twenty-five thousand 
men had been passed by Congress. They must be raised by 
voluntary enlistment, for we had no system of conscription. 
It was a difficult and slow work to raise, organize, and discipline 
twenty-five thousand men. I did not think it could be done 
in less time than the present year, nor should we commit the 
folly of commencing or declaring war before we could do some- 
thing to maintain it But unless the Orders in Council were 
revoked, a war eventually must be their result. 

Did I think it probable they would be revoked ? 

No. Every present prospect was to the contrary. I thought 
their existence now depended solely upon that of Mr. Perceval 
as Prime Minister in England. 

Did I think Mr. Perceval would remain Prime Minister? 

I believed he would. 

Was it not probable that the Marquis of Wellesley would 
come in again, after the Catholic question shall be disposed of? 

I thought not. 

But how was it possible that the English Regent should be 
so fascinated (said the Count) by Mr. Perceval, un homme, a ce 
qu'il me parait, assez mediocre, in preference to Wellesley, whose 
career has been so much more brilliant, and who appears to have 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO J^USSIA, 363 

rendered real services to the nation ? a man especially so im- 
portant to the affairs in Spain ? 

I said I had my suspicions that the Catholic question was 
little more than the ostensible cause of Lord Wellesley's re- 
tirement, and that a much more efficacious r^al cause was the 
state itself of affairs in Spain. 

But how so ? 

There was a good deal of misunderstanding between the 
British Government and that of the Spaniards at Cadiz. It had 
already proceeded so far that the English had threatened to 
abandon them. Lord Wellesley must before this time have 
strong misgivings about the ultimate issue of their cause in 
Spain. He may be glad to retire from his particular stake 
upon it while it has yet the show of being unimpaired. 

The Count said he thought it very probable, and that the 
motive would be a very rational one. 

I then asked him if he expected very soon to leave the city. 

Very shortly — within two or three days. The Emperor 
had finally resolved to go and review the situation of his army 
on the frontiers. He should very shortly send me a written 
notice that during his absence the business of the Department 
of Foreign Affairs would again be entrusted to Count SoltykofT, 
as it had been heretofore — a person of great merit, and very 
deserving of the choice the Emperor had fixed upon him. 

I said that I could not but regret his, the Chancellor's, own 
absence, and wish that it might be short; but that if that 
must be, it Would have been impossible for any appointment 
of the Emperor's choice to have fallen upon a person whom I 
esteemed and respected more than Count SoltykofT, or with 
whom it would be more agreeable to me to have the usual 
official relations. 

He said that his own departure was necessary, though he 
regretted it much, and he intimated that his advice had been 
not to go. But the Emperor had decided otherwise. The 
forces which were assembled on the frontiers were immense, 
oh both sides. There was in history scarcely anything like it 
It was like romance. What it would come to he knew not. 
That perpetual restlessness and agitation of the Emperor Napo- 



364 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. . [April, 

leon was such that it was impossible to say how it would termi- 
nate ; and the most extraordinary of all was that there was no 
cause of war. On the part of this country the ^iTair of the 
Duchy of Oldenburg was the only object Russia had made a 
declaration in that case reserving her rights, but in that very 
declaration had explicitly stated that she did not consider it as 
a cause for renouncing the alliance, or for changing the course 
of her policy. 

I said that from the late report of the Duke of Bassano to the 

Emperor Napoleon it would seem that the principles assumed 

by France went to a total exclusion of all commerce from the 

' country of her friends, as the English Orders of Council went 

to a total exclusion of all commerce from France itself 

" But,*' said the Count, " a total exclusion of all commerce 
is impossible. You might as well set up a total exclusion of all 
air to breathe, or all food to subsist upon, from a whole nation, 
as a total exclusion of commerce. You must have commerce 
in some shape— either lawful and regular, or by contraband and 
licenses. The system of licenses is founded upon falsehood and 
immorality. A sovereign who countenances such vices is no 
longer a sovereign. It is a virtual abdication of his authority. 
He is a sovereign for that very purpose, to maintain justice and 
morality ; and to give his sanction to falsehood and injustice is, 
in substance, ceasing to reign. I urged this very argument to 
the Emperor in a case of individual concernment, but which, 
in principle, I consider as exactly resembljng this practice of 
navigating by licenses. On that occasion the Emperor did me 
signal justice. The person particularly interested was incensed 
against me to extreme bitterness, but, as he appears now alto- 
gether to have forgotten it and treats me in a friendly manner, 
I can without impropriety mention his name. It is Count 
Alexis Razumofsky." (N. B. This man is the Minister of Public 
Instruction, the superintendent of the schools, universities, and 
scientific academies throughout the empire.) 

22d. When I returned home, I found an official notification 
from Count RomanzofT that he was going away to accompany 
the Emperor, who was going for the ordinary review of his 
troops and the inspection of some of his provinces, and that in 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 365 

the interval Count Alexander Soltykoff was charged with the 
direction of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Bezerra 
and Count Lowenhielm were commenting on the phrase thaf! 
the Emperor was going for the ordinary review of his troops. 
Lowenhielm asked me what could be the motive of a great Court 
to lie for nothing. I told him it was the power of halnt; the 
Count had just observed that he was much attached to regular 
habits, and thsit it was better to have bad habits than none at all. 
23d. I walked twice the round through the Newsky Perspec- 
tive, down the Fontanka, and along the quay of the Neva — before 
and after dinner. In the morning I met the French Ambas- 
sador, who turned and walked with me, and with whom I had 
a long and free conversation upon political subjects. He does 
not yet talk of leaving the city. Prevost goes as a courier to^ 
morrow, and next week he sends another. He told me that 
Count Romanzoffhad assured him the Emperor was gone pour 
empecher ses generaux de faire des sottises — that is, by com- 
mitting any imprudence which might provoke a commence- 
ment of hostilities. I said it was strange that such a war should 
begin while both parties were protesting there was no cause of 
war between them. He said that the chances undoubtedly 
were high that the war would break out, but he could not 
abandon all hope that some arrangement might be concluded ; 
that he was sure at least the Emperor Napoleon would not 
leave Paris until the last of April ; but the greatest danger of 
war arose from the obstinate refusal here to come to any 
explanations. I told him that the principles asserted in the 
Duke of Bassano's late report to the Emperor Napoleon were 
such that, if pursued in their rigor, they must produce war. 
Their effect would be the total annihilation of the trade to the 
Baltic — Swedish and Russian. This it was impossible they 
should agree to. Neither of the Governments could accom- 
plish it. No Government could accomplish it. France and 
England were perfectly agreed in the theory of excluding all 
commerce between each other, and yet both were compelled to 
admit it again by the means of licenses. He said therefore it 
was that Russia ought to come into some explanations on the 
subject. The. principle undoubtedly was as laid down by th6 



366 AfEMOmS OF yOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [April, 

Duke of Bassano. But Russia might insist upon exceptions and 
relaxations which she might show to be necessary. So might 
Sweden. France would no doubt accede to such of these as 
should be reasonable. The object merely was to discuss, and 
not substitute obstinacy or temper in the place of reason. He 
told me the adventure of Longuerue, whom he sent off as a 
courier, and who, on the last stage before he arrived at Riga, 
fired pistols at two carriages successively, which were going the 
same way, and the drivers of which attempted to pass him. 
The first was a merchant, Mr. Amburger, and it was said one 
of his horses was wounded. The second was a courier of the 
Russian Government, who pushed on in spite of the pistol-shot, 
which Longuerue said he had fired in the air. The courier, 
however, had complained of him at Riga, and Longuerue, on 
his arrival, went to the Governor, Prince LabanofT. He said, 
to justify himself, that by the usage, nobody could pass by a 
courier. This was, to be sure, the usage in France, but it did 
not follow it was the usage here. Prince LabanofT hesitated for a 
moment whether he should not stop Longuerue, but he did not, 
and the Emperor, who knew it would mortify him (the Am- 
bassador), had forbidden, that any notice should be taken of it 
to him. So that for more than a week the Ambassador had 
disbelieved the whole story. It had mortified him beyond all 
expression. He had not only utterly disavowed Longuerue's 
conduct, but had declared that it was in direct opposition to his 
instructions, which were that he should conduct himself with 
peculiar reserve and discretion upon the road. He had sent 
Longuerue off by the £m{^ror*s Icnowledge and approbation, 
immediately after a long consultation the Emperor had had 
with him, and for the purpose of reporting it to his Government; 
and he was the more vexed at Longuerue's foolish adventure, 
because it had placed him, the Ambassador (Longuerue is his 
nephew), under the appearance of owing obligations to them 
here. I told him I had heard so many reports about Longue- 
rue's being arrested on his way, &c., that I had disbelieved 
them all. We also talked about Sweden, and I told him that 
there was but one way of explaining her present situation and 
accounting for her conduct, to my mind. When I saw a French- 




i8i2.] THE 'MISSION, TO RUSSIA, 367 

man, a French General, a family relation of the Emperor Napo- 
leon, taking such a decisive part against France, the only 
possible way of explaining it was by observing the harshness 
with which France treated every foreign nation negotiating with 
her. The total disregard to their interests and feelings, the 
perpetual sentiment of her own strength to which she resorted, 
left it impossible for any person in another Government to be 
her friend. She did so everywhere. We had experience of it 
in our own country. He said the subjects were treated no better 
than foreigners. But I must own the Prince of Ponte Corvo, or 
Prince Royal of Sweden, was un peu Bouillon too — un peu 
Bouillon (he did not say Brouillon), and his adventure at Vienna 
was a proof of it That, I told him, they ought not to reproach 
him with. " Why not ?" said he. " It was a great indiscretion, 
an imprudence, and has always been so considered in France, 
as well as elsewhere. Supposing I should do such a thing here 
now, what would you call it ?" " I certainly should not consider 
it as very prudent." "Well," said he, "Bernadotte had no in- 
structions for what he did at Vienna. He did it of his own 
head, and it is a proof that he is un peu Bouillon." The Am- 
bassador took in perfect good humor all the remarks I made 
upon the harshness of the French negotiations, though I ex- 
pressed myself in terms as strong as could, with decorum, be 
used ; we parted very amicably. 

2Sth. When I finally found out Mr. Severin's, I spent about 
two hours with him, examining his collection of Russian coins. 
He has them from the time of Peter the Great's grandfather, and 
a great variety of them. He has also a large collection of for- 
eign coins, which were packed up, as he is about to remove into 
another house. I therefore could not see them. He showed 
me, however, his Cromwell's guinea,* which looks perfectly new, 
and has a head of the Protector extremely well executed and a 
great likeness. The greatest curiosities of his Russian coins 
are the roubles with the heads of Peter and Ivan on one side, 

■ Scarcely the right name for this very fine twenty-shilling piece. Those of the 
same sort struck previous to that period had been called either sovereigns or units. 
It has been doubted whether it was ever issued as coin. The guinea came in with 
Charles II., in 1663. 



J 



368 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [April, 

and Sophia holding the sceptre on the other, and a rouble of 
Peter III., with a head of Catherine II. struck over that of Peter, 
whose profile is still discernible upon it. He has a Bank of 
England dollar with similar remnants of the Spanish coinage 
upon it. He has a rouble with the head of Paul, which he 
suppressed because he found it too ugly ; and seven different 
samples of the present Emperor's head which he never would 
approve — perhaps because none of them are handsome enough. 
There is not indeed among them one that can be called a favor- 
able likeness. He has also a rouble and half-imperial of Eliza- 
beth, which she suppressed because her head was so ill executed 
upon it. Mr. Severin invited me to come again and see other 
parts of his collection next Friday, which I promised to do. 

29th. I had never regularly read through myself before the 
twelve books of this fabulist,' whom the French critics extol as 
the most perfect writer of fables of any age or nation. There is 
a mixture of careless simplicity and rude sagacity, of indulgent 
good-humor and sly severity, of vulgar phraseology and ele- 
vated poetical beauty, which perhaps no other fabulist possesses 
in so high a degree, and which is peculiarly adapted to this 
particular species of writing. His versification is negligent, 
and seldom harmonious. But that also is excusable for these 
popular, unpretending stories written for children and for the 
ignorant. He has no merit of invention, for he took his sub- 
jects from anybody— even from the Duke de Bourgogne, a 
child of eight years old. The point in which he appears most 
deficient is precisely that which I deem the most essential. I 
mean the morality. It is either the old and hackneyed moral 
of his predecessors from whom he takes the story, or a half- 
indulged and half-suppressed satire upon kings, nobles, and 
priests (which I believe more than anything else has con- 
tributed to his excessive reputation in France), or frequent 
repetition of commonplace axioms, or inconsistencies with him- 
self, or finally, and worst of all, questionable or false principles. 
Examples of all these defects might easily be adduced, nor 
would the number be small of feeble and insignificant conclu- 
sions, not worthy of a story built upon them. La Fontaine, ia 

' La Fontaine. 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 369 

short, teaches very little virtue of any kind, and perhaps more 
vice than virtue. Of elevated or heroic virtue he seems not to 
have had a conception. His great merit is as a story-teller, and 
not as a moralist. The Two Pigeons, for instance, has a false 
moral. Its doctrine is, Never travel for improvement, because 
you may meet with disasters, and may be separated from your 
friend or lover. But it is full of charming strokes of tender- 
ness and affection-^not conjugal affection; for the pigeons arc 
brothers ; nor yet fraternal affection, for the poet himself applies 
his moral to happy lovers — boasts how much he has loved once, 
and laments that he is too old to love ag^ain. It is therefore 
licentious love that he substantially recommends ; and he has 
expressly and unnaturally avoided to make his pigeons mates, 
lest it should be mistaken for a case of marriage. He was tor- 
mented, it is said, by a termagant wife, and he expressly dis- 
avows all respect for marriage. He disavows, too, paternal 
affection, and, according to an anecdote related of him, did not 
know his own son when introduced to him at twenty-five years 
of age. He is said to have died profoundly penitent for his 
tales, which are indeed much more grossly licentious than his 
fables, but which perhaps do not show more moral laxity of 
mind. His flattery of Louis XIV., of the Dauphin, the Duke do 
Bourgogne, the Prince de Conti, and even of Madame de Mon- 
tespan, may be excused, for when you are obliged to say, " Let 
Horace blush, and Virgil too," it would be requiring too much 
of La Fontaine not to let him pass in the throng. On the whole^ 
therefore. La Fontaine is the first of story-tellers, but not of 
fabulists. As to his famous Two Pigeons, Moore's Sparrow 
and Dove may be placed in opposition to it, and in my estima- 
tion would bear the palm from it in every respect. 

May 2d. Two sailors came to me who had belonged to two 
of the vessels which came last summer under false American 
colors and have been seized by the Government here. It ap- 
pears that the vessels, all excepting one, are to be restored as 
English property to their real owners. The captains want to 
ship men again, and one of these sailors, who is unwilling to 
ship again in a vessel which he now knows to be no American, 
complained that he was threatened with being turned out of his 

VOL. II. — 24 



370 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [May, 

lodgings if he refused to ^hip-with some of these impostors. 
Mr. Harris came in while they were here, and thought this man 
turbulent and unreasonable. 

14th. In the morning I met and walked with the French 
Ambassador, and had much conversation with him. He still 
professes to hope that the war will not commence at present. 
But since the Emperor's departure he is in a manner left here 
with nothing to do. He says if Nesselrode had been sent to 
Paris there would have been no war this year. But I asked 
him whether the late trial at Paris, in which Nesselrode's name 
was a little involved, woultd not have hurt him. He said no ; 
the matter would not have been made so public. Czernicheflf 
was the only person who in that matter could have been pecu- 
liarly obnoxious, and it would have been enough to have ordered 
him away from France. The Ambassador, however, now speaks 
with some appearance of dissatisfaction of what is done here — 
dwells upon trifles — complains that Count RomanzofT is slow 
and irresolute — talks of oflensive publications in the Journal du 
Nord. He hinted that he had complained of them to Count 
SoltykofT, who had answered him by referring to the like pub- 
lications oflensive to Russia in the French gazettes. "Oh, 
you recriminate, do you ? Well, I despise les foUiculaires too 
much to say any more about it." He adds that he goes into no 
society ; visits nowhere — because he finds everybody so shy of 
him that he perceives his presence is irksome. He finds his 
situation, therefore, extremely insipid. 

15th. On returning home this evening, I found Count St. 
Julien upon a visit. He persists in his opinion that the scarcity 
will prevent the war. The Count was perfectly good-humored, 
and avowed his prejudices against the class of merchants with- 
out reserve. He ^iays they are the cause of all these wars, 
without ever taking part in them or suflering from them — they 
fatten and grow rich upon the misery and blood of nations; 
that they have no country but their counting-house, no God 
but gain ; that they will traflic with the enemy of their nation 
as readily as with their friends, and supply him with pro- 
visions, ammunition, arms, anything that he wants, to destroy 
their own countrymen. He was a nobleman, and it was natural 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 371 

he should not like merchants. It was the caste of society that 
he esteemed and respected the least of all. He was a military 
man, and there was a natural antipathy between the soldier and 
the pedlar. He had ransomed some towns and burnt some 
villages in the course of his profession ; but there was a reason 
of public necessity for it But the merchants burnt and de- 
stroyed by little and little. They consumed by defrauding on 
all sides. It was nothing to them who was victorious or who 
.vanquished. They made their profit with equal indiflference out 
of all. He had seen them'at Vienna after the French had been 
in possession of the city. To them it was as if nothing had 
happened. They sold their goods as freely to the Frenchmen, 
and took the money pressed out from the contributions of their 
countrymen as gaily, as if it had been a public jubilee. All this 
was said in a careless, rattling, good-humored tone, and is a 
sample of Austrian or High Dutch feelings, military arrogance, 
jand the radical prejudices of German nobility. The dark side 
of the commercial character does present features by no means 
amiable or respectable, and the Count seized them with suffi- 
cient sagacity. But the fair side would present others which 
restore the balance of comparative merit, and in the estimate of 
impartial justice place the commercial caste ^ if not upon a level 
with the rest, at least by their side and not far beneath them. 
Had a sensible merchant been present, if he could not have 
justified his profession from the Count's reproaches, he might 
have turned the tables upon him either as a warrior, a noble, 
a courtier, or a diplomatist, all of which classes have vices of 
condition at least as odious as any that can be imputed to the 
merchant, and from those vices the Count himself is by no 
means exempt. At my own house, and in the presence of my 
own family only, I did not think it proper to discuss the sub- 
ject with the Count, or to touch him in his tender parts, as the 
champion of the merchants. When he charged the merchants 
with being the causes of the present war, I asked him only why 
he did not allow its share to the island of Malta, The Count has 
a Commanderie in the old Order of Malta, and I knew it would 
give a different direction to the chain of his ideas. He did not 
at first understand me, for he had forgotten that the war began 



372 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [May, 

upon a question about Malta. But when reminded of it, he 
talked about the wisdom of Charles V. in giving the island of 
Malta to the Order, so that it might be possessed by no terri- 
torial power, because, small as it was, whatever territorial power 
should possess it must have the command of the Mediterranean. 

20th. We had received printed invitations from the General 
Betancourt to attend the annual exhibition of the students at 
the Institute of Ways and Communications, or, in other words, 
the School of Engineers, this day and to-morrow, from ten a.m. 
to two P.M. ; and between ten and eleven this morning I went 
with Mr. Smith. The examination was confined altogether to 
the mathematical sciences — ^Arithmetic, Algebra, Theory of 
Proportions and Progressions, with the construction of Loga- 
rithms and the use of the Tables, Elementary Geometry, 
Plane Trigonometry and the use of the tables of sines, and 
explanations of the instruments used in surveying. The students 
appeared to be from about fourteen to nineteen or twenty years 
of age, and the examination was a real and rigorous one. The 
problems given them for solution were entirely unexpected to 
them, and for which they could have no previous preparation. 
Some of them, which required long and complicated demonstra- 
tions, were proposed by strangers present, and not by their 
own teachers. They acquitted themselves of the demonstra- 
tions apparently with readiness and facility — ^with very little 
assistance from the teachers, and with as much correctness as 
could be expected from them as masters of their subjects upon 
sudden, unpremeditated calls. I say apparently, because the 
greatest part of the examination was beyond my own reach in 
mathematics, and I could not pursue their demonstrations so 
fast as they carried them through. 

2 1 St. I attended alone this morning at the second day*s 
examination at the School of Engineers. The oldest scholars 
were examined — young men of nineteen or twenty, who, I 
presume, are prepared to quit the institution. They were 
examined in the highest parts of the mathematics — the conic 
sections, infinite series, and fluxions. They were generally ready 
and quick in their solutions; but there was one instance of a 
failure, and several of some embarrassment in the procedure. 



I8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 373 

The principal examiners were four French officers, who have 
been engaged for this school, but who are now obliged to return 
to France. The whole institution is under the direction of Gen- 
eral Betancourt, a Spanish officer, who has been only about three 
years in the Russian service. There were only four or five of 
the young men examined, and it finished before two o'clock. 
Mr. Bezerra was the only foreign Minister who attended besides 
myself, and he was not there more than half an hour. We did 
not partake of the collation, but went and looked over the ^ 
designs and drawings and plans of the young men, which were 
in another hall. They appeared to be all well executed, but the 
name of the professor was annexed to each of the designs, as 
well as of the pupil who executed it. Mr. Thomond, the archi- 
tect, is one of the professors, and all the designs of architecture 
appeared to be his. The house where this school is kept was 
purchased of Prince Yussupoff, and is a magnificent building, 
with a large and elegant garden. The hall where the examina- 
tion was held is spacious, and is constructed for a large library. 
The book-cases are built all round the sides of the walls, and a 
gallery about eight or nine feet from the floor and extending 
round three sides of the hall gives the advantages of two stories 
to one room. The several apartments are lettered at the top 
alphabetically and according to an order of sciences. The 
theoretical order and arrangement of the hall is ingenious and 
convenient for a library, but there are scarcely any books. The 
cases are almost all empty. One of the doors opening to the 
next hall is painted in imitation of books, so that the whole ^ 
hall seems an emblem of promise without performance, and 
the imposture of learning. For such an institution, where the 
instruction seems exclusively confined to the mathematics, a 
large library cannot be necessary. But Prince YussupofT, to 
whom the house belonged, has a very voluminous library him- 
self, which I suppose he kept in this hall, and it has been left 
unaltered since the purchase of the house. There is an im- 
mense expenditure upon this school, but, like all the other 
foundations for education here, it is carried on by the means 
only of foreign teachers. Of nine or ten professors who con- 
ducted this examination, one only appeared to be a Russian ; 



374 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

and he was so continually interfering and intermeddling with 
the demonstrations of the pupils, sometimes to help them when 
they did not want help, and sometimes disconcerting instead 
of aiding them, that General Betancourt, after repeatedly mani- 
festing by looks and gestures his impatience and dissatisfaction, 
at last peremptorily ordered the Professor to let the young men 
alone to do their own work. 

31st I read this day in the English Preacher, volume vii., the 
/ sermons 3 and 4 — on Humility. Plain and sensible discourses on 
a subject of importance, but concerning which my mind is not 
settled to its own satisfaction. H umility, as this preacher remarks, 
is a mediate virtue between the excesses of Pride and Pusilla- 
nimity. He also well observes that although between those two 
vices, and perfectly distinct from them both, it resembles the 
latter more than the former, and that the former is the more 
general and predominating vice than the latter. He expatiates 
well upon the nature of humility, its excellence as a Christian 
virtue, and the duty and proper means of cultivating it. But 
the great difficulty with regard to all these intermediate moral 
qualities is in applying the principle to the practice of life. I 
cherish the virtue of humility in proportion to the scarcity of 
it in the world. When associated with active and energetic 
powers it is truly admirable. But there is great danger in that 
humility which implies the sacrifice of one's own judgment 
to the opinions and wishes of others. In all the relations of 
life, public and private, I have found this difficulty constantly 
recurring, and, when compelled to decide, have erred, sometimes 
in following the dictates of my own mind, and sometimes in 
yielding to the persuasions of others. The only true reliance 
is from above. 

yune 2d. I paid successively visits to the French Ambassador, 
to General Pardo, and to the Chevalier de Bray, with all of 
whom I had much conversation. The Ambassador is in a state 
of great uncertainty as to the event, and still professes to have 
hopes that the peace between France and Russia will be pre- 
served. He assured me with the most solemn protestation that 
no proposition of a derogatory nature had been made by France 
to the Emperor Alexander; that, indeed, there had been no 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 375 

propositions at all — que la negotiation est encore vierge. He 
spoke even with some appearance of expectation that there 
might be a negotiation for a general peace, and that it might 
prove successful. 

I told him I had no hopes of that with the present British 
Ministry. The system on both sides was wound up too high. 
Whenever there should be a serious desire for peace, both 
France and England must yield largely of their present pre- 
tensions — England much more than France, but both a great • 
deal. 

But why, said he, should not they take the basis of uti 
possidetis f Let them keep the colonies and do what they 
please with Portugal, and we will keep Hanover and Spain. 

I did not think the present English Ministry woyld abandon 
Spain. 

Why not? 

It would be precisely as it was before the French Revolu- 
tion. France and Spain under one family? I did not know' 
what another English Ministry might do, but the present one 
had pledged itself too much to their party in Spain and to their 
own country to retreat from that ground. 

The Ambassador said the accounts from Wilna were this 
day of a more pacific complexion than the last. The Emperor 
had sent Prince Trubezkoi, an Aide-de-camp General, with a 
letter to the Emperor Napoleon, he supposed to Warsaw, in 
answer to that which had been brought by Mons. de Narbonnc, 
also an Aide-de-camp General, to Wilna. I mentioned the 
ex-King of Sweden's journey to Vienna precisely at this junc- 
ture as leading to conjectures that there might be a project for 
restoring him. " Why not ?" said the Count. " If the present 
Swedish Government choose to be at war with us, why should 
not we support the late King, who has certainly a strong party 
in that country, and especially his son ?'* I agreed with him 
that there was nothing to be said against the policy, and ex- 
pressed my surprise at seeing the Swedish Government now 
falling into the identical political course which had hurled the 
late King from his throne. I asked the Ambassador to enclose 
a letter for me to Paris by his next courier, which he promised. 



376 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

I found General Pardo recovering from his illness, but looking 
very ill. His disorder has been a nervous fever. He told me 
he was going to take the waters at Egra, in Bohemia — ^that he 
should resign his office and live as a private man somewhere in 
the Austrian dominions. It was the only country where he 
could reside. He did not choose to go to France. En Espagne 
on ne veut pas de moi. The climate of this country was too 
severe for him. He did not like the English or their habits of 
society, though he liked very well to read their writings. So 
that there was no part of Europe where he could live cofh- 
fortably but in the Austrian dominions. The General's situa- 
tion is painful and distressing, and he has not energy of charac- 
ter adequate to the adversity which has befallen him. He told 
me some time ago that in case of the war he was determined 
to stay here at all events. As the crisis approaches, he sees 
the subject with other eyes ; and on the subject of the war 
itself I have never heard him speak rationally until this day. 
He thinks it possible yet that the storm may blow over ; though 
extremely improbable — not that there would be much difficulty 
in finding terms for a compromise, but because both parties must 
yield more than they can easily reconcile to themselves, with 
such forces at their backs; because they will come to the 
negotiation with an extreme distrust and jealousy of each other; 
because the Emperor Alexander, with the sentiment of his force, 
will feel a confidence that he had not^ before; because the 
Emperor Napoleon must make sacrifices for a compromise not 
verbal and ap|>arent, but great and real, to be seen and judged 
of by all Euro|)e. But then he is not upon a bed of roses. 
He wants peace, and must be ready to do much for obtaining 
it. And as to Russia, she has lost an immense advantage by 
adhering to her defensive system and not taking the line of the 
Vistula. That would have forced Prussia to an alliance with 
Russia. Now she was on the other side. The position of 
Russia was much more unfavorable. '' Et puis, tant bien que 
mal, cet homme (Napoleon) traine toute TEurope apr^s lui." All 
this is very sensible, but totally opposed to everything the 
General has oftentimes said to me before. He said nothing of 
the affairs in Spain. 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO JfC/SSIA. 377 

19th. I paid a visit to the French Ambassador, who is yet 
very unwell. His complaint is now a severe and incessant 
headache, which has afflicted him for several weeks. On 
political affairs I found him soured and exasperated, principally 
by the refusal to allow him passports to go to Wilna. I asked 
him what reason had been assigned. The interruption of the 
mails ; for it seems the French commanding officer at Memel or 
at Konigsberg, about a fortnight ago, stopped the post going 
from Russia to Germany and the south of Europe, and kept 
all the letters. He asked me if I had heard it mentioned as a 
reason that passports had been refused to Prince Kurakin at 
Paris. I said I had ; and also that Count Lieven, at Berlin, 
had met with the same refusal. He said he knew nothing of 
the refusal to Count Lieven, but the case of Prince Kurakin 
was thus. On the departure of the Emperor Napoleon from 
Pari§, Prince Kurakin had said, " I have nothing more to do 
here," and had asked for passports for himself and his family. 
The Duke de Bassano had furnished him the passports for all 
his family, including his pnpUs (natural children), but had urged 
him in an amicable manner, and for the sake of avoiding the 
conclusion which must inevitably be drawn by the public from 
his departure, not to insist upon having his own passport unless 
he had orders to that end from his Court The Prince had 
accordingly desisted. It was said that after the Emperor Napo- 
leon's arrival at Dresden the Prince had again asked for his 
passport, and had been again requested to say that it was by 
order of his Court, which he had declined. But his passport 
was not refused, and the motive for urging him to wait was 
altogether amicable. Prince Kurakin was exceedingly esteemed 
at Paris, and not only every right due to his character, but 
every possible accommodation that he could wish, would be 
afforded him. 

These facts show at once the extreme jealousy, suspicion, 
and distrust existing between the parties, and the reluctance 
they have to begin the war, with the anxiety on each side to 
throw the first act of aggression upon the other. 

The Ambassador told me that Count SoltykoflT had been to 
him in person, to inform him of the peace with Turkey^ and to 



A 



378 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [June, 

tell him how much satisfaction this event caused here. " Oh, I 
congratulated him upon it, and told him that news of peace 
was always good news. And I shall go to the Te Deum. 
Though I suppose they will look at me as they did last year at 
the Te Deum for General Koutouzofs aflair at Rustchuk. I saw 
them look at me when I kneeled, as much as to say, 'Ay, if 
you pray, it is not for us.' But, after all, they have not yet got 
the ratifications of this peace from Constantinople, and Greneral 
Andreossi is there. And certainly by the very last courier from 
Constantinople we were in high favor there. The Grand Signor 
may ratify the peace, and I suppose he will ; but, if he does, it 
will not be of much importance to Russia, for they have not 
more than twenty-five thousand men on the Danube." 

I said I had heard the ratifications were already received, and 
that there was not only a peace, but an alliance, ofTensive and 
defensive. "That is all Russian talk," said he. "And they have 
filled poor Count St. Julien's head with such stufT. He came 
and told me just such a story. But you may rely upon it they 
know nothing of the conditions of the treaty. All they have 
is a courier sent by Balachcff, the Police Minister, by the Em- 
peror's order, with a letter for the Empress, saying that the 
peace was signed, and the Pruth was to be the boundary. But 
they are waiting for the ratifications ; and that is the reason why 
the guns have not been fired, and the Te Deum is not to be 
next Sunday, but the Sunday after." 

I asked him if he had any news from Sweden. None. But 
he thought when the Prince Royal had time to grow cool and 
to reflect upon things, in the morning, abed, he would find* it 
advisable to change his course a little. He was a man of fiery 
temper, and had shown that at Vienna. But he dearly loved 
his bed, though he was a working man, too; and the bed was a 
very good place for cool reflection. He would at last ask him- 
self what it would all come to, and what he was staking upon 
the event. He did not think it would come to extremities. 

I mentioned to him the squadron ready to sail from Cron- 
stadt, and that it was said they were to land troops in Pomerania, 
and the Prince Royal was to command the joint expedition. Yes, 
he said ; so he had heard. The squadron were going to Swea- 



I8l2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. yj^ 

borg, to take in troops there; but he did not believe the Prince 
Royal would command them. He had even heard that General 
Moreau was coming from America to join them ; but neither did 
he believe that. At any rate, however, if they were to land in 
Pomerania, there were the Duke of Reggio, Ney, and the Duke 
of Bellune, Marshal Victor, each with thirty thousand men to 
receive them. And as for that one (the Duke of Bellune), he 
and the Prince Royal of Sweden " ne sont pas cousins." He 
asked me about the late changes in the British Administration. 
I told him what I had collected in the papers to 26th May. He 
had no account so late. I asked him where the Emperor Napo- 
leon was. He did not know — perhaps at Warsaw. He heard 
the Russians had concentrated their forces, because they said 
the Emperor Napoleon always attacks the centre. " There it is I" 
said he. " They think because he has done so before, he will 
do so again. But with such a man as that, they will find their 
calculations fail them. He will do something that they do not 
expect. He does not copy himself nor any other. He does 
something new." 

2 1st I read the sermons 7 and 8, volume vii., of the English 
Preacher — the first on Anxiety, and the second on Envy. That 
on Anxiety is by Atterbury — the text, "Take no thought for 
the morrow ;" and contains many observations of which I felt 

« 

the force. My own disposition has in it too much anxiety, 
and the experience of life has a great tendency to increase 
that propensity. The precept itself, as Atterbury remarks, is 
too strongly expressed in the English translation. A father of 
a fiimily in this world must take thought of to-morrow — not for 
what he himself shall eat of drink, or wherewithal he shall be 
clothed, but for his wife and children. The situations in which 
I have been placed since the obligation of providing for others 
has become incumbent upon me, have been almost perpetual 
temptations and stimulations to waste the means of provision 
bestowed upon me by the goodness of that Heavenly Father 
who feeds the fowls of the air and who clothes the lilies of the 
field. Had I not a constant, unabating, and unyielding thought 
for the morrow, my family would long ere this have been desti- 
tute, and my children without the means of obtaining a suitable 



380 AfEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

education. With all the thought that I do bestow, and all the 
precautions that I can take, resulting from it, frequent untoward 
events and unforeseen accidents disconcert all my prudence, and 
require new sacrifices of feeling, of pleasure, and even of indul- 
gence, to the thought for the morrow. When life must be one 
uninterrupted struggle against impulses of every kind to expense 
beyond income, what but an anxious thought for the morrow 
can be adequate to maintain it ? But the guard upon my own 
disposition, which it behooves me to seek, is against allowing 
this thought for the morrow to run to excess, and to prevent its 
degenerating into carking care and distrust of Providence. The 
discourse upon Envy was not very striking to me. I am not 
conscious of being much afflicted with this vice; and though 
I cannot deny that I sometimes have felt more of it than was 
comfortable to myself, I cannot charge myself with ever having 
indulged it 

24th. I came in the course of my Scripture reading this morn- 
ing to Psalm 37 — " Fret not thyself because of evil doers," &c. — 
and was much struck with its excellent and profound morality. 
The duty of reliance upon the retributive justice of God, without 
being staggered either by the transient prosperities of the wicked 
or by the afflictions of the good, is inculcated with a force of 
sentiment and an energy of expression such as I have never 
met with in any of the profane writers. Plutarch's Treatise on 
the Delays of Divine Justice, and Juvenal's 13th Satire, are not 
comparable to it. They contain, with more diffusion, a part of 
the same doctrine. But this Psalm was written centuries before 
Homer, and a thousand years before Juvenal and Plutar<fh. 
There is not indeed in the Psalm any recurrence to the rewards 
and punishments of another life, and it leaves the argument 
entirely open for the sublime improvement of the Christian 
doctrine. But it is to be observed that one of its promises of 
blessedness (to the meek, for they shall inherit the earth) is 
expressly quoted and repeated by our Saviour in his Sermon 
on the Mount (Matt. v. 5). There is so much prosperity to the 
wicked in this world, and the good, as iar as human nature can be 
called good, are followed by such great and manifold afflictions, 
that some consolatory principle of trust upon divine justice is 



/r% 



I8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 381 

necessary to the comfort of existence. I know of none equal 
to that in this Psalm, with the addition of the Christian faith. 

Afterwards I had a visit from the Ambassador himself, who 
told me that Prince Kurakin having a third time demanded his 
passports, they had been sent to him, and that it appeared the 
Emperor 9f Russia was determined not to negotiate at all ; that 
with his last demand for passports the Prince had sent a note 
offering, on condition of the total evacuation by French troops 
of the Prussian territories as a preliminary, " that the Emperor 
Alexander would then do what I," said the Ambassador, " have 
been urging and entreating them to do these twelve months — 
that is, send powers to treat about the Duchy of Oldenburg. 
And the Duke of Bassano has sent me an English newspaper, 
printed before Prince Kurakin presented his note, and containing 
not only the substance of it, but the very words, excepting that 
it says that if the French do not evacuate Prussia the Emperor 
of Russia will have war. This the Prince's note does not say ; 
but otherwise it is in the precise terms of the article in the 
English newspaper. As to the condition, how was it possible 
to suppose that we could comply with a preliminary dishonor- 
able to ourselves — a proposition which after the battle of Fried- 
land we never thought of making to Russia on our part? Count 
St. Julien, and all the members of the Rhenish Confederation, 
have asked for their passports also, and have received the same 
answer. Count Soltykoff had told me before that he was 
authorized to grant passports for us Ministers ; but now he tells 
me he has dispatched my demand to Wilna. I asked him how 
this happened, after what he had assured me. But he said, ' Oh, 
mais a present c'est autre chose.* So I suppose they keep us 
as hostages. As to Count St. Julien, he useU to say to me, 
' Ah, Monsieur TAmbassadeur, you are going away, and I shall 
have all the women to myself;* but he too has asked for his 
passports. For my part, as soon as I cross the line at Polangen 
I shall turn round, put on my uniform, and commence soldier 
again. I am sorry for it, but I should like to be, once for all, 
one thing or another. Thus it appears that the Rubicon is 
passed, and before this moment the dogs of war may be loosed.** 
The Ambassador asked me to take charge of some papers 



382 MEAfOIRS OF yOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [June, 

relating merely to individuals, and which might even be de- 
livered up if demanded. I told him I would with pleasure 
take them. 

27th. I asked Count Soltykoff if he had any news from Wilna. 
He said he had just received a letter from Count Romanzoif on 
a particular subject, and, as it was written with his o\«^ hand, he 
must have been tolerably well. But the great news is that which 
goes from here thither. "I suppose you know what 'ces 
Messieurs' have done ?" I knew he alluded to the demands for 
passports from the foreign Ministers, and said I had heard of it 
He said it gave him pleasure that in this great reduction of the 
Corps Diplomatique I was not among the departers. I told him 
that I was certainly very glad of it myself, and I believed there 
were among those who were, more than one who would be as 
reluctant at being included in the number as I should have been. 

28th. Mr. Rayneval, the Secretary of the French Embassy, 
called upon me this morning to take leave. He goes this night 
as a courier, with his wife, and is not unconcerned as to the 
safety of his passage out of the country. He told me that a 
courier had arrived last night from Wilna in forty-seven hours, 
with the news that hostilities had commenced — that the French 
had crossed the Niemen or Memel River at Kovno, which we 
found upon the great Russian map. On their passage the 
Russian troops there had retired. The two Empresses, it was 
expected, he said, would return to the city this evening, and 
would reside here. It was said to be customary in time of 
war — or at least in wars " un peu interessantes." They have 
not been more than a week or ten days in the country. I 
received the letter from Mr. Russell brought by Mr. Proud. 
The French Ambassador paid us a visit in the evening. He is 
yet waiting for his passports from Wilna. He thinks the passage 
of the river at Kovno a very formidable manoeuvre, and says 
that it cuts off four divisions from the Russian line. *' Now*' he 
says, " they are quite astonished at it here, because they expected 
to be attacked on the side of Grodno ; and naiu they begin to be 
sorry that passports were refused him for going to Wilna." 

30th. The St. Petersburg Gazette of this morning contains 
the Emperor's rescript to Count Nicholas Soltykoff, the Presi- 




i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 383 

dent of the Imperial Council, announcing the invasion of the 
Russian territories by the French, and his resolution never to 
make peace so long as an enemy remains in arms upon his 
territory. I had a visit from Count Frohberg, the Wurtem- 
berg Minister, who told me that he had not yet received his 
passports^ and did not know how it was intended they should 
go. • Some said they were to be sent off in a frigate and landed 
at Memel or Dantzic ; others, that they were to be directed to 
take their course roundabout to the Turkish or Austrian fron- 
tier. It was wished that they might not have the opportunity 
to observe the military state of the country, as it is supposed 
they would by passing through the very theatre of the war. 
The Count asked me to take charge of a small packet of papers, 
which I promised him I would do. I paid a visit to the Am- 
bassador, who is very anxious to be gone. Rayneval went off 
yesterday as a courier, with his wife. The Count still thinks 
that the passage at Kovno was a surprise upon the Russians, 
and a " superb debut." 

yuly 1st. I had a visit from Count Jennison- Walworth, the 
Bavarian Charge d' Affaires, one of those who depart with the 
French Ambassador. He told me that he and his family had 
lost their whole fortune by placing it in public national funds. 
It had been partly in the French funds, annihilated by the 
French Revolution; partly in Austrian funds, which the Austrian 
Government had now nearly reduced to nothing at all ; and, 
finally, the rest in a Swedish loan in Holland, of which for the 
last three years no interest had been paid, and which now the 
Swedish Government had declared they would not pay, on 
account of their quarrel with France. Count Frohberg had 
told me much the same thing of himself He was an Alsacian, 
and had been a page of Louis XVI. His father emigrated, and 
all his estates were confiscated. He then had entered the 
Austrian service, and had served in it for more than ten years. 
In 1803 he obtained admission into the Teutonic Order, and 
soon afterwards a Commandery in it He is now a subject of 
Wiirtemberg. I dined with the ladies at the French Ambassa- 
dor's. Count St. Julien, Baron Blome, Counts Bussche and 
Frohberg, Barons Gremp and Marechal, and the Chevalier 



384 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [July, 

Brancia were there. They are all going except Blome, who 
told me that he did not know whether he should finally go or 
stay. Probably the course of Denmark would depend upon 
that of Sweden, which was not yet definitively settled. Signeul, 
the Swedish Consul at Paris, had carried the last propositions 
from France to Sweden, inviting the alliance. That, offer was, 
Finland to the Neva, seven millions of francs in cash to equip 
a corps of twenty-five thousand men, and one million monthly 
to maintain them. This offer had been rejected by Sweden. 
She insisted upon neutrality. . But at the same time Lowen- 
hielm here had been pushing to the utmost for war, and Sweden 
had been urging England for joint invasion of the island of 
Zealand, which England had not yet consented to, and prob- 
ably would not. Perhaps Sweden might be allowed to remain 
neutral : and in that case Denmark would be so too. 

4th. I called according to appointment, at noon, upon Mr. 
GouriefT, and mentioned to him the complaint addressed to me 
by Mr. Hazard, the Consul at Archangel. He said he would 
enquire into the circumstances and inform me of. the result. 
He enquired respecting the situation of affairs between the 
United States and Great Britain, and spoke with much regret 
of the prospect of war between them. I told him I regretted 
it also exceedingly, and that the American Government had 
been brought to it with extreme reluctance ; but I now saw no 
reason to hope it could be averted. He mentioned the forma- 
tion of the new Ministry in England, and spoke in very favor- 
able terms of Lord Liverpool, Mr. Vansittart, and Mr. Rose. 
But he said they had met with a very heavy loss in Mr. Perceval, 
and that it was greatly to be lamented that Lord Wellesley had 
not joined them. I called at the (late) Ambassador's. He told 
me he had this time, for the third time, written to demand his 
passports. Perhaps they thought it a point of etiquette, as 
Prince Kurakin had three times asked for his, to make him do 
the same thing. So he had done it. But the difference was that 
the Prince's demands were before a declaration of war, and his 
own now were afler it He had also written to Count Soltykoff, 
requesting him to send some person to receive the house in the 
city and the country-scat at Kammenoi-ostrow (both of which 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 385 

were provided by the Emperor Alexander). The Count had 
answered that he would see to this, but had received no instruc- 
tions upon the subject. The Ambassador said if he was to be 
detained he should take lodgings at the Hotel du Nord. He 
made some remarks upon the publication concerning the war 
in yesterday's Gazette, and still considered the positions of the 
Russian armies as dangerous and very much exposed. But he 
did not exactly account for the five days lost by the French 
after their passage of the river without attacking any of the 
Russian corps. He said that in the positions stated by the 
publication, the Emperor Napoleon, whenever he might choose 
to attack, would have two men to one. He said, too, that there 
was not upon earth a General so particular in making his arrange- 
ments for the contingency of a defeat ; that whenever he went 
into battle you would suppose he reckoned upon nothing but 
being beaten. His retreat is always secure. He said he saw 
the plan of the Russians. Their point of defence was a chain 
of mountains. But those mountains were not insuperable, and 
to take them they were obliged to abandon all Courland. 

6th. Count Lauriston (who is no longer the Ambassador), Mr. 
Montreal, Mr. Harris, and Mr. Lewis paid me visits this morn- 
ing. The Count's third application, like the two former, has 
been dispatched to the Emperor Alexander, the last advices 
from whom were received on Saturday by the Empress-mother. 
The Emperor writes her from Vidzy, about forty-five wersts 
north of Swensiany, " Your son is alive and well. All is going 
on well. We shall fight them ; we shall beat them, and la ruse 
et la perfidie will have their reward." The Count informed me 
that he should this evening remove from his house to his lodg- 
ings at the Hotel du Nord, and should send to me to-morrow 
the chest of which he had desired me to take charge. He is 
extremely impatient to be gone, and says they now address their 
letters to him, "A Son Excellence, Monsieur le Comte de Lau- 
riston," without so much as an etcetera. He says Prince Bagra- 
tion has joined the central army with his advanced guard, but 
that both the Russian wings are very much exposed, and that 
the Emperor Napoleon never suffers his enemy to commit such 

faults with impunity. It does not appear, however, that the 
VOL. II. — 25 



386 MEAfOiRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [July, 

Russians have been molested in their retreat, or that they will 
be prevented from assembling all their forces. Mr. Montreal 
had heard a multitude of rumors circulating among the public, 
which only manifest the agitation of their feelings. Mr. Harris 
had some apprehensions that if Riga should be besieged it 
would not hold out more than a fortnight Mr. Lewis had 
received letters, from which it appeared that war between the 
United States and England was unavoidable. 

8th. After dinner I walked in the Summer Gardens, and, 
returning, met Count Lauristpn with Mr. Lerembours, his 
private secretary. He had told me he had been to Count Sol- 
tykofT again to-day to apply for his passports, but that he told 
him he was perfectly innocent of the detention ; that he had 
received from head-quarters not a line of any kind, neither 
respecting this affair nor any other. The Ambassador said he 
intended to send in to-morrow a written protest against this 
refusal to let him go. I met also Count Jennison and Baron 
Gremp. They are all yet in the same condition. 

9th. I called on Count Lauriston at the Hotel du Nord, where 
he has a good suite of apartments. I met Count Bussche there. 
The Ambassador said he had applied to Count Soltykoff to be 
informed whether he was to consider himself detained as a 
hostage or a prisoner. Count Soltykoff had told him that he 
was perfectly innocent; that he received himself no answers 
from head-quarters, not only on this, but on any subject. Talk- 
ing of the war, Bussche said he had been yesterday to purchase 
some fusees to make sport for his children ; that he had seen a 
very large board painted with a Fame and trumpets and many 
military trophies, as a transparency for an illumination. He 
asked what it was, and was told it had been ordered by the 
Empress-mother. " Ay !" said the Ambassador, "they prepare 
for illumination beforehand. I know they will illuminate, let 
the event be what it will. But I shall look, the next day after, 
upon the map, to see where the head-quarters are, and perhaps 
they will be at Smolensk." He mentioned, and Mr. Harris had 
told me the same thing before, that the Russians expected there 
would be a great battle to-day, because this was the anniversary 
of the battle of Pultawa. It was the anniversary, too, of the 




i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 387 

Peace of Tilsit, at which time the Emperor Alexander said to 
the Emperor Napoleon that it was the second time Russia had 
been saved on that day. Count Lauriston added, archly, " The 
Emperor laid up this remark in his memory ; he has not for- 
gotten it, and he probably has not waited for this day.*' 

nth. I am forty-five years old. Two-thirds of a long life are 
past, and I fiave done nothing to distinguish it by usefulness to,, 
my country or to mankind. I have always lived with, I hope, 
a suitable sense of my duties in society, and with a sincere 
desire to perform them. But passions, indolence, weakness, 
and infirmity have sometimes made me swerve from my better 
knowledge of right and almost constantly paralyzed my efforts 
of good. I have no heavy charge upon my conscience, for 
which I bless my Maker, as well as for all the enjoyments that 
He has liberally bestowed upon me. I pray for his gracious 
kindness in future. But it is time to cease forming fruitless 
resolutions. 

The Chevalier Brancia paid me a visit, and told me that 
Count Lauriston and the other allied Ministers had received 
passports last evening, accompanied with notes from Count 
Soltykoff, observing that as the military operations embraced 
the whole of the western frontiers of the empire, the Emperor 
had judged it suitable that they should embark and depart by 
sea, for which purpose a public ship would be provided for them^ 
to land them at such port as they should fix upon ; and that 
they should be furnished with accommodations at the palace of 
Oranienbaum, from whence they might embark. Brancia was 
deeply exasperated at this treatment, and said he had written to 
Count Soltykoff expressing his surprise at it, and demanding a 
guarantee from the Emperor that he shall not be taken on his 
passage by the English, with whom his sovereign is at war. 
The Ambassador told me he had done the same thing. I asked 
him what they had done with regard to Rayneval. He said 
that Count Soltykoff had written him that, his Majesty the Em- 
peror having disapproved his having given a courier's passport 
to Mr. Rayneval, he did not know what to say respecting him. 
They will probably not in fact be molested by any English ship 
of war, but the chances are two to one that they will meet 



388 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [July, 

some, and, upon English maritime principles, their protection 
will depend altogether upon the English captains' discretion 
and forbearance. 

1 2th. Read sermons 13 and 14 of the English Preacher, vol. 
vii. — on the irreligion usually attending on great riches, by 
Sherlock, and on the duty of charity, by Seed — ^both very good 
discourses. The commentary upon the parable of the rich man 
and Lazarus is ingenious, but whether just or not may be ques- 
tioned. Hard-heartedness, at least, as well as irreligion, may be 
inferred from the narrative as having been the rich man's crime. 
They naturally go hand in hand. A man without religion can 
never have a very strong feeling of humanity, nor can one 
truly religious be without it. 

15th: Called on Count Lauriston at the Hotel du Nord, 
where I met Count Bussche and Mr. Joufiroy. The Ambas- 
sador and his family, Mr. Lesseps, the French Consul, and his 
family. Count Frohberg, the Chevalier de Bray, Count Bussche, 
with their secretaries and families, and the Chevalier Brancia, are 
to be embarked at Cronstadt and to go by water to Memel ; 
but Count St. Julien, the Austrian Minister, Jouflroy and Colonel 
Scholer, the Prussians, General Pardo, and Count Bose, the 
Saxon Charge des Affaires, are permitted to go by land. Ray- 
neval, who was stopped at Mittau, must return here to go by 
water to Memel. These distinctions are no doubt intended to 
excite irritations among the allies, but their effect cannot be very 
extensive. Count Lauriston said he had yesterday written to 
Count Soltykofi*, and received in return from him a note, saying 
that the functions and character of French Ambassador having 
ceased by the passports furnished him for his departure. Count 
Soltykoff'could hold no further correspondence with him. There 
is to be a frigate, a corvette, and two transports, which are to 
be ready on Saturday or Sunday next. The Ambassador, as 
well as Brancia, had written to demand a guarantee that they 
should not be attacked on their passage by the English, to 
which Count Soltykoff" answered that it was to be presumed the 
Russian Government had taken all necessary precautions, but 
that they must be sensible he, Count Soltykoff, could answer 
them nothing but by the express command of the Emperor. 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO liUSSIA. 389 

The Ambassador and Count Bussche were very much exas- 
perated. JoufTroy was tickled with the distinction in his favor, 
and not very diplomatic to conceal his gratification. 

1 8th. Baron Gremp and Mr. St. Genest called upon me this 
morning, and brought with them the packages whicli the Am- 
bassador and Count Frohberg had requested me to receive in 
deposit; being the archives of the French Embassy, of the 
former Dutch Legation, and of the Wiirtemberg Legation. 
The French are in a very large wooden chest ; the Dutch in. a 
trunk equally large; and those of Wurtemberg in a small box 
about the size of a portable writing-desk and covered with oil- 
cloth. In case of my own departure, they are to be delivered 
to Messrs. Livio. I had afterwards visits from Count Lauriston 
and Count. Bussche, who expect to go down to Oranienbaum 
on Monday. Count Lauriston asked me if I had seen the 
Emperor Napoleon's proclamation to the army at the com- 
mencement of hostilities. I had, but, I said, there must have 
been a mistake in the copy or translation that I saw, which 
was in English. For it stated the proposition of Russia to 
have been that the French troops should retire beyond the 
Rfiifu previous to negotiations — whereas it was the Elbe that 
she had spoken of, and not the Rhine. Lauriston laughed, and 
said, "Oh, the proclamation est bien de lui — c'est bien la sa 
mani^re. My copy has it the Rhine, too — ^but do you know 
they did talk about the Rhine? Count Romanzoff himself said 
once to me that we must retire beyond the Rhine. I told him 
that he must surely mean the Elbe. But he said, ' Mais non, 
TElbe n'est pas votre frontiere.' But they mistake one thing 
for another. Count Romanzoff once complained to me that 
the French troops had crossed the Elbe and the Oder and 
entered Berlin. They had entered Berlin, but they had not 
then approached the Oder. But Romanzoff thought they must 
have crossed the Oder to get to Berlin." " But," said I, " it 
was the Elbe^and not the Rhine, that Prince Kurakin's note 
required you to pass previous to negotiation. Was it not ?" 
" Yes, mais qu'est-ce qu'il coute a TEmpereur Napoleon de 
dire que c'etoit le Rhin?" Lauriston has the same idea of 
Napoleon's veracity that Caulaincourt had; though he is a 




• 390 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [July, 

more enthusiastic admirer of him, and apparently more un- 
bounded in his devotion to him. Count Bussche told me that 
St. Julien lingered about going away; that Russia was still 
courting Austria; that Count Stachelberg, the Russian Min- 
ister, had obtained permission to remain at Vienna, and it had 
-been indirectly signified to St. Julien that he might stay here 
if it suited his convenience. Even yesterday, St. Julien told 
Bussche that it might be some time before he should go. But 
this morning Berks had called on him (Bussche) and told him 
St. Julien would positively go on Tuesday ; and Lauriston this 
morning told Bussche the same thing. Whence Bussche con- 
cluded that lauriston had given St. Julien a touch of the spur. 
General Pardo and Count Bose are gone. Mr. Raimbert paid 
me a visit likewise, and mentioned the report of an action in 
which Prince Bagration has suffered considerable loss, and the 
French were said to have entered Minsk. 

20th. Mr. Fisher came with Captain Hillard this morning. 
The Captain was much dissatisfied that I refused to lend my aid 
- officially to deceive the Russian Government and prevail upon 
them to deliver up a ship seized for a breach of their laws and 
liable to confiscation. The case stands thus upon the papers 
sent me by Mr. Hazard with the request for my interposition. 
In September, 1809, John Thomas, a merchant of Baltimore, 
made over to one Worthy, of Liverpool, in Great Britain, a 
ship called the "Thomas," owned by him, and a sea letter ship. 
But instead of giving Worthy a bill of sale, he gives him a 
power of attorney, irrevocable ^ to dispose of her, and makes 
Worthy supercargo. The ship goes then to Madeira, and 
returns to New York in January, 18 10. In February she sails 
for Archangel, taking St. Michael's and Madeira in her way. 
Worthy purchases at New York, of Noah Talcott, a cargo, as 
the agent, and as for account of John Thomas, but pays Talcott 
by bills of exchange upon the house of McSirr, Mc & Mc- 

Corkedale, of Liverpool. Worthy comes from New York to 
Archangel as supercargo, and with a passport as a citizen of the 
United States, real or forged, in the name of De Witt Clinton, 
Mayor of New York. The ship enters at Archangel as an 
American, in the name of John Thomas, with Worthy, as a 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 351 

citizen of the United States, for her supercargo. She was 
admitted as an American, sold her cargo, took in a cargo, as if 
to return, and sailed in the autumn of 18 10, but, being driven 
back by the weather, wintered in Archangel,' and before she 
could sail in 181 1, was seized by the Russian Government upon 
information lodged by a sailor that the property and the voyage 
were really for account of the house in Liverpool, and that the 
ship was bound thither from Archangel, and not to New York. 
While the ship was under seizure. Worthy's bills in favor of 
Talcott were returned from Liverpool to New York protested. 
Talcott sent to Archangel, and got the ship mortgaged to him 
by Worthy for security, and afterwards got a bill of sale of her 
in form, from John Thomas, at Baltimore, and no>V sends out 
Captain Hillard with a crew, on the expectation of having her 
restored, to take charge of her and carry her to New York. 
Mr. Harris had pursued the claim of this ship last summer, 
' and now continued it, considering the property and Worthy 
himself as American, and he had also claimed very heavy 
damages for her detention. But the Commission for Neutral 
Navigation not manifesting a disposition to restore the ship, Mr. 
Hazard wrote to me, and sent me the papers, with a suggestion 
that nothing but my interference could get the ship released 
this year. On the face of the papers Worthy appeared in the 
double capacity of a British subject, owner of the ship, and 
of an American citizen, supercargo for John Thomas. There 
was a notarial declaration and certificate that Talcott was a 
native American, and the same with John Thomas, with his 
declaration that he was heretofore sole owner of the ship, and 
that she sailed with a certificate in lieu of register in 1809. 
The papers all concurred to show that the property and the 
voyage were on British account, and that John Thomas gave 
only the cover of his name. Mr. Harris showed me the sen- 
tence of the Commission of Neutral Navigation here, by which 
it appears that since the seizure both Worthy and the Captain 
ran away from Archangel, and that among Worthy's papers 
were found letters to him from his wife and from the house at 
Liverpool, proving their interest in this ship, and in another 
which Worthy dispatched from Archangel under American 



392 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Joly^ 

colors. I declined interfering at all in the case, and have 
received three letters from Mr. Hazard on the subject The 
Captain asked me to give my refusal in writing, which I told 
him I had already done to Mr. Hazard. He said, too, that Mr. 
Harris told him that if he had not applied to me he would 
before this have had the ship. He complained that Mr. Hazard 
had been three post days without receiving my answer to his 
first letter. He gave another example of what I have before 
more than once remarked, that men who ask dishonest &vors 
are apt to be insolent upon finding them refused. I gave him 
the papers, on his promise to be answerable for them, and on 
Mr. Fisher's answering for him, and I dismissed him with little 
ceremony. 

2 1 St. I received from Count Jennison- Walworth a note with 
a trunk containing the archives of the Bavarian Legation,, 
and gave a receipt for them at his desire. So that there are 
now deposited with me all the papers of the French, thd 
former Dutch, the Bavarian, Wurtemberg, and Westphalian 
Legations. And in case of my own departure before they are 
duly called for, I am to leave them all with Messrs. Llvio, 
bankers. 

22dv Morning visit from Mr. Montreal. A new ordinance of 
the Emperor concerning foreigners, and particularly French- 
men, has spread a general alarm, and in its terms is so extremely 
rigorous that it has been thought necessary to send to the Em- 
peror for an explanation of its extent. Mr. Raimbert went 
yesterday to the military Governor, WiasmitinofT, to ascertain 
what was intended. The Governor received him politely, and 
told him he was waiting for orders, but at all events that 
he should make himself easy; there could be no danger for 
him. There is a new levy of five men to every five hundred 
in the four bordering governments, and a call for money and 
supplies of grain from others. My coachman was this morning- 
taken for a soldier, but in the evening was released again upon 
payment of twenty-five roubles by his master. The official 
news from the armies is all favorable, and according to the 
hand-bills they have had nothing but a series of successes from 
the first day of the campaign. But the Emperor with one army 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 393 

has been retreating from the Niemen River to the Dwina, and 
is completely separated from the second army under Prince 
Bagration. He has burnt and destroyed all the towns on his 
retreat, as well as all the grass and grain standing on the fields. 
And he must now be compelled to retreat still farther, or to 
give biattle with only a part of his forces, contrary to what has 
been officially declared to be his plan. There is great anxiety 
here, but as yet no symptom of discouragement Rumors of 
disasters both to Prince Bagration's army and to that of the 
Emperor himself are circulating in whispers, but without any 
mention of particulars. 

26th. At ten this morning, the hour appointed for the cele- 
bration of the Te Deum for the peace concluded with the Otto- 
man Porte, I went with Mr. Smith to the Kazan Church, and we 
were there waiting upwards of two hours before the Empresses, 
with the two Grand Dukes Nicholas and Michael, made their 
appearance. The mass preceded the Te Deum, and they were 
each more than an hour in performing. It was about half-past 
two when the services finished, and we returned home. The 
church was extremely crowded, but the only foreign Minis- 
ters present were Count Maistre, the Chevalier Bezerra, Baron 
Blomc, and myself. I saw there General Koutouzof, who signed 
the peace, and Count Lieven, late Russian Minister at Berlin. 
The Grand Master of the Ceremonies, Narishkin, read me, from 
the Russian, the hand-bill issued last evening concerning the 
military operations, and dated the ^ of this month. The com- 
mentaries upon the state of things were various. It was gen- 
erally agreed that the French army is wedged in between the 
first and second Russian armies, and in an extremely dangerous 
position. Count Maistre said, if the Emperor Alexander was 
in such a position we could not sleep for anxiety. " Mais — voila 
ce que c*est — I'etoile de cet homme. And, what is strange, the 
private letters from the officers in the army are written in the 
finest spirits imaginable — gay as larks ; wherever they go, the 
ladies and gentlemen of the vicinities go into the cities with 
them and make agreeable society; and they have charming 
music,'' &c. Mr. Bezerra could hardly believe that the Emperor 
should have gone to Moscow. But he knew Count Roman- 



3^ MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [Aacvt. 

2x>K had been some time at Veliki-Luki, and General Pfuhl 
was there too. General Pfuhi had lost all his influence with 
the Emperor. «Mr. Bezerra could not conceive, either, how the 
French should have taken the Russian magazines at Orsha. 
Why could not they have set fire to them ? Twenty days' pro- 
visions for the whole army! Very strange! In substance, 
nothing is yet done. The two Russian armies appear to be near 
forming their junction, but whether they will be able to effect it 
without separately giving battle is still to be determined by the 
event There was an illumination at night; not very general. 
At the church General WiasmitinoflT, the military Governor of 
St Petersburg, performing the functions of the Minister of War, 
read before the Te Deum a paper announcing the conclusion of 
the peace with the Porte at Bucharest After the Te Deum the 
Empresses and Grand Dukes went up and performed their 
prostrations to the image of the Holy Virgin of Kazan, which 
they very devoutly kissed. General Koutouzof himself also 
apparently had a private act of devotion of his own to perform, 
for he went alone into the sanctuary. 

August 1st. Notice had been given yesterday from die police 
to the inhabitants of the city that the Emperor being expected 
this day, in case of his arrival they must illuminate their houses. 
Mr. Harris told me he had just come from the square of the 
Kazan Church, where a great crowd of people were assembled 
waiting for the Emperor, that being the first place to which he 
would go to attend a religious service. He did not, however, 
arrive. 

2d. I read some pages in Watts's Logic on the doctrine of 
prejudices, which occasioned the reflection how excessively dif- 
ficult it is to divest one's self of prejudices, and how much more 
difficult still to discard prejudices without falling into indifier- 
ence with regard to important truth. I believe the best guard 
against prejudice is a frequent examination of our opinions and 
a cool estimate of the arguments opposed to them. You must, 
as Cicero says, identify yourself, in imagination, first with your 
adversary and then with your judge, and, above all, you must 
have resolution to abide by the result, even if it should be 
adverse to your preconceived opinions. The victory over preju- 



^ 



iSia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 355 

dice is a conquest of one's self. It is better than to be the ruler 
of a city. 

3d. The Emperor arrived here this morning about two 
o'clock — I suppose because this is the Empress-mother's name- 
day, and one illumination answered for both events. I walked 
before breakfast in the Summer Gardens, and in turning round 
the boulevard I perceived the Imperial flag flying over the 
palace, which first gave me notice of the Emperor's return. 

Sth. I met Don Francisco Colombi and Mr. Zea, who in- 
formed me that Count Wittgenstein had totally defeated Mar- 
shal Oudinot with great slaughter, and had taken his baggage, 
artillery, and three thousand prisoners. In Spain, too, he said, 
all was going on well, and Lord Wellington was at Salamanca. 
After dinner I had a visit from Claud Gabriel, the black man 
in the Emperor's service, who went to America last summer for 
his wife and children, and who is now come back with them. 
He complains of having been very ill treated in America, and 
that he was obliged to lay aside his superb dress and sabre, 
which he had been ordered to wear, but which occasioned 
people to insult and even beat him. Count St. Julien, the late 
Austrian Minister, had a fancy for appearing in public here in 
the Vienna fashion. So he drove about the streets last winter 
in a sledge of a different appearance from those here used. It 
was a sort of phaeton body, hung upon runners, perhaps six feet 
high, and ^ith clusters of bells at the saddle-place of the two 
horses. He drove himself, with a footman carrying an enor- 
mous muff behind him on the sledge. Although this is perhaps 
the spot of the globe where varieties of dress and of modes of 
appearing in public are most common, and where they of course 
excite the least attention, there was yet something so ludicrously 
fantastical in this anomaly of Count St. Julien's sledge, that he 
made himself the laughter of the Court and city by it I was 
once mentioning to him how dangerous it was to appear in the 
streets of London in any mode or dress different from those to 
which the eyes of the people are accustomed. " Then I sup- 
pose," said he, " my Iraineau would make a riot there." I told 
him I questioned Whether he Would ever have occasion to use 
it a second time in that city. It was said that he had asked the 



3^6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Aogvsl. 

Emperor Alexander's permission to exhibit this rarity about the 
town, and that the Emperor Alexander answered him that he 
had not the slightest objection, but added, " If the children in 
the streets should throw stones at it, I hope, Monsieur le Comte, 
you will not be surprised." There was so much sound sense in 
this remark that I know not how the idea had not occurred to 
the Emperor when he ordered Claud Gabriel to wear in public 
his magnificent gala Court dress when he should arrive in 
America. After wearing them once at Providence and once at 
Boston, he says, he was obliged to hide them ; and he looks as 
if even that wearing had cost him five or six of his front teeth. 
He says, however, he told the Emperor that he had been well 
treated, and that he had worn the dress all the time. 

6th. Mr. Proud dined with us, and brought with him the 
New York Commercial Advertiser of 2 2d June, containing the 
message from the President of the United States to Congress, 
communicating the sequel of the correspondence between Mr. 
Monroe and Mr. Foster, and recommending a declaration of 
war ; the report of the Committee of Foreign Relations upon 
this message, also recommending an immediate appeal to arms ; 
the act declaring war, approved i8th June; the proclamation 
of the President founded upon the act of Congress; and the 
yeas and nays in both Houses upon the act — seventy-nine 
to forty-nine in the House of Representatives, and nineteen to 
thirteen in the Senate; two Senators, Mr. Bradley and Mr. 
Whitesides, absent. Minturn and Champlin sent off a pilot- 
boat from New York to Gottenburg with this intelligence, for 
the purpose of securing their property there and here from 
British capture on this occasion. The vessel arrived at Got- 
tenburg 23d July, and Mr. Proud, who is an agent of Minturn 
and Champlin, received the paper by express from that place. 

9th. There was a Te Deum at the Imperial Chapel this day, 
and in the evening an illumination of the city, on account of 
General TormassoflT's victory over a corps of Saxons at Kobrin. 

loth. Mr. Brandel arrived last evening from Toropetz, the 
last place where Count RomanzofT had been. Count Lowen- 
hielm had followed the Russian army to Witebsk, but Mr. 
Brandel expects him back here soon. The Emperor and Count 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 397 

RomanzofT, Brandel says, are shortly going away again — prob- 
ably to be nearer the armies. The Russian head-quarters are 
at Smolensk. PlatofT is arrived there, and the two great armies 
have so far formed their junction that Count Romanzoff told 
Brandel this morning the two Generals, Barclay de Tolly and 
Prince Bagration, had dined together. Brandel had heard 
nothing of the Russian armies being defeated. 

14th. Mrs. Adams and Catherine, the two children, Mrs. 
Helm, the infant's nurse, and Martha, went with me to Ora- 
nienbaum. We left home at half-past nine in the morning, 
and precisely at noon stopped at a house kept by an English- 
woman, Mrs. Tringham, where we dined. The distance is 
thirty-five wersts, besides three to the werst-stone within the 
city, from which they begin their admeasurement — twenty-five 
English miles — which our horses ran without once stopping to 
rest or to drink. We had four horses in a line, driven by the 
coachman, and two leaders by the postilion. Seven persons, 
including the two children, in the coach. At Oranienbaum we 
went to see the palace, with its gardens and adjacent buildings, 
which, though smaller and less magnificent than those of Peter- 
hof, command a finer prospect and are kept in better condition. 
There is nothing, however, very remarkable to be seen in the 
palaces. The series of artificial hillocks, which, I believe, was 
invented and constructed in the time of the Empress Elizabeth, 
is now totally decayed and ruinous, so that without an explana- 
tion it would be impossible to conjecture what was its original 
intention. It was entire, though I believe no longer used, when 
I saw it before, in January, 1782. There are some indifferent 
paintings in some of the apartments, and in the choice of the 
subjects there appears a predilection for such as the Judgment 
of Paris, Venus and Adonis, Hercules and Omphale, Diana 
and Endymion, and the like. There is a billiard-room wain- 
scoted with the nine Muses ; tables inlaid with mosaic ; col- 
lections of old' china, Japan vases, and Dresden porcelain, 
the most ingenious of which is a concert of monkeys in por- 
celain figures — each figure with a different instrument and 
attitude, and all caricatures of the various kinds of affected 
melomania. The furniture is all very old, and exhibits mag- 



398 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Sq)Cember, 

niiicence in all its stages of decay, from the mere change of 
&shion to the perishing rags and tatters of crimson satin cur* 
tains and chair-covers. We dined about (our o'clock, and 
returned in .about the same time we had taken to go. We 
reached the city before eight in the evening, and I walked from 
the Fontanka home. The road as far as Peterhof is entirely 
plain ; but from thence to Oranienbaum there are several hills 
and dales. The view of Cronstadt, on the opposite side of the 
gulf, is most pleasant between the two places. The villages 
are both small and mean. 

15th. They are organizing the new armament for the defence 
of the country, and the nobility of the governments of St. 
Petersburg and Moscow have given one man in ten of their 
peasants for the army. I saw many of them this morning, just 
in from the country, with the one-horse wagons, and the families 
of the recruits taking leave of them. The number of volunteers 
is very great ; and if they find it as easy to organize and disci- 
pline them as they find it to raise the men, there is little danger 
for the country to apprehend from the invasion under which it 
now suffers. 

27th. Nothing is published respecting the late battles at or near 
Smolensk, of which there are now said to have been four. The 
reports concerning them are exceedingly various. The letters 
from the officers assert the advantage to have been constantly 
on the Russian side, and wonder why the Commander-in-Chief, 
Barclay de Tolly, ordered the retreat. There is now an extraor- 
dinary clamor against that General. Prince Bagration is not 
in much better credit. General Koutouzof, who was made a 
Prince after the Turkish peace, last week was appointed Com- 
mander-in-Chief of all the active armies, and left the city last 
Saturday night to go and take the command. The want of a 
single head to the Russian military force is a great misfortune 
to the country. 

September ist. In the evening, after a walk in the Summer 
Gardens, I sent for Mr. Strogofshikoff, my landlord, and gave 
him notice of the removal of part of the family into the country, 
of which he is responsible to give notice to the police. He told 
me that his family owned a small village in the neighborhood. 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO XUSSIA. ' 3^^ 

with one hundred peasants, out of which they had given ten 
for the new armament; and it was giving as great a propor- 
tion as one-fourth of the eflective men. He speaks with warm 
feelings as a Russian, and with sound sense. He has more 
confidence of final success to their cause than when I saw him 
last. 

2d. Visited the Chevalier de Bezerra and his lady. He knew 
a few particulars from the army and the Emperor which I had 
not heard, and was uninformed of others which I told him. It 
appears, by all the accounts from the army, that after four days 
of very severe battle, in all of which the Russians were victorious^ 
they evacuated and set fire to Smolensk, and have since been 
constantly retreating, but the whole blame is laid upon the then 
Commander-in-Chief, Barclay de Tolly. The loss of the French^ 
in killed, wounded, prisoners, and artillery taken, was much 
greater than that of the Russians, and General Koutouzof ar- 
rived at the head-quarters last Saturday. He met on his way, 
and took back with him. General Benningsen, who is to com- 
mand the first army in the room of Barclay de Tolly. Koutouzof 
is Commander-in-Chief of all the active armies. The Emperor 
Alexander has had his interview with the Prince Royal of 
Sweden (Bernadotte), at Abo, and is quite charmed with him. 

6th. I received this morning a note from Madame de Stael, 
requesting me to call upon her, at- the Hotel de TEurope, at 
four o'clock this afternoon, concerning something relative ta 
America. I found Lord Cathcart, the newly-arrived British 
Ambassador, with her ; also Admiral Bentinck, a young man 
who appeared to be an attendant upon Lord Cathcart, Madame 
de Stael's son and daughter, a son of Admiral Bentinck, a boy,, 
and two or three other men, whom I could not ascertain. Ta 
every soul in the room I was a total stranger. Madame de 
Stael was in very animated conversation with Lord Cathcart, 
and expressing in warm terms her admiration of the English 
nation as the preservers of social order and the saviors of 
Europe. She also complimented his Lordship very highly 
upon his exploit at Copenhagen. My Lord looked a little 
awkward at the size and rankness of the lady's applause ; to 
the personal tribute oflTered to himself he made no answer, but 



400 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [September, 

to the besmearing of his nation, he answered that his nation 
was a nation which, as such, felt itself bound by moral obli- 
gations, which it would always fulfil, and to which it would 
never be false. 

I thought of the moral obligations of the Copenhagen expe- 
dition, and of the American Revolutionary War. Lord Cath- 
cart had his share in both. 

The English talk much about their honor and national 
morality — sometimes without meaning, but generally with a 
mixture of hypocrisy and of self-delusion in about equal por- 
tions. Dr. Johnson, in one of his poems, honestly avows that 
in his lifetime English honor had become a standing jest ; and 
it has assuredly not since then improved. The Lord and Lady 
conversed also about his journey from Sweden to this place, 
upon which his carriage overset and rolled down hill; and 
upon her journey there, and her fears of a water passage. She 
is to leave the city to-morro\v. Admiral Bentinck seemed a 
little uneasy under the close siege of compliments which was 
laid to the Ambassador, and when his Lordship took his 
leave and went away, said, as if he felt relieved, "Thank 
God, that is finished!*' The Admiral himself immediately 
afterwards went away to his lodgings, where the Baroness was 
to go and take him up to go somewhere together to dinner. 

She had then leisure for some conversation with me. She 
has lands in the State of New York, upon Lake Ontario, and 
stocks in the United States funds, and she wished to enquire 
how she could continue to receive her interest in England 
while there is war between the United States and Great Britain. 
This introduced a conversation upon the war, which appeared 
to be to her a topic far more interesting than the affairs upon 
which she had sent to consult me. But, as she was going out 
to dinner, she desired me to come again to-morrow morning, 
and asked me why I had not been to see her before, having 
known her father by reputation. She said she had read my 
father's book' with great pleasure, and that her father had often 
spoken of it with great esteem. 

7th. I called again upon Madame de Stael this morning, and 

■ The Defence of the American Constitutions. 




i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 40I 

had a second long conversation with her upon politics. She is 
one of the highest enthusiasts for the English cause that I have 
ever seen ; but her sentiments appear to be as much the result 
of personal resentment against Bonaparte as of general views 
of public affairs. She complains that he will not let her live 
in peace anywhere, merely because she had not praised him in 
her works. She left the city this day for Stockholm. 

loth. I received from the Chancellor, Count RomanzofT, an 
official note, communicating two printed copies of the Treaty 
of Peace with the Turks, to be sent to the Government of the 
United States. The Count has, therefore, resumed his official 
functions without any formal notice of the cessation of those 
of Count SoltykofT. I paid him a visit of form this day with 
Mr. Smith, but did not find him at home. 

We also visited Lord Cathcart, who received us. He sent 
us yesterday cards announcing that he had presented his creden- 
tials as British Ambassador. I had not expected that in a state 
of declared war between Great Britain and the United States he 
would, have sent to us ; but, as he did, I concluded to return the 
civility in the usual form, which I might the more regularly do^ 
not having received officially from my Government the declara- 
tion itself He mentioned to me the latest news from England 
and the account of Mr. Foster's arrival there from America. 
He professed to have a particular attachment to America, with 
which he felt a strong personal relation (alluding, I suppose, to 
his having married there an American lady), and to cherish a 
wish that the political differences between that country and 
England might yet be amicably settled. I assured him that 
my own sentiments in this respect altogether coincided with 
his. I believed peace and friendship to be easily attainable be- 
tween them, and highly important to the best interests of both. 
He sent me the newspaper in the evening, with a polite note. 

2 1 St. At seven this evening I called by appointment upon 
Count RomanzofT, who told me that he had asked to see me 
by the Emperor's command ; that, having made peace and 
re-established the relations of amity and commerce with Eng- 
land, the Emperor was much concerned and disappointed to 
find the whole benefit which he expected his subjects would 

VOL. u. — 26 



I 



^2 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September. 

derive commercially from that event defeated and lost by the 
new war that had arisen between the United States and Eng- 
land; that he had thought there were various indications that 
there was on both sides a reluctance at engaging and prose- 
cuting this war, and it had occurred to the Emperor that per- 
haps an amicable arrangement of the differences between the 
parties might be accomplished more easily and speedily by 
indirect than by a direct negotiation; that his Majesty had 
directed him to see me and to enquire whether I was aware of 
any difficulty or obstacle on the part of the Government of the 
United States if he should offer his mediation for the purpose 
of effecting a pacification. 

I answered that it was obviously impossible for me to speak 
on this subject otherwise than from the general knowledge 
which I had of the sentiments of my Government ; that I was 
so far from knowing what their ideas were with regard to the 
continuance of the war, that I had not to this day received any 
official communication of its declaration, but that I well knew 
it was with extreme reluctance they had engaged in the war ; 
that I was very sure that whatever determination they might 
form upon the proposal of the Emperor's mediation, they would 
receive and consider it as a new evidence of his Majesty's regard 
and friendship for the United States ; and that I was not aware 
of any obstacle or difficulty which could occasion them to 
decline accepting it. For myself, I so deeply lamented the very 
existence of the war, that I should welcome, any facility for 
bringing it to a just and honorable termination. I lamented it, 
because I thought that the only cause which had made it abso- 
lutely unavoidable was actually removed at the moment when 
the declaration was made. If the course which had been 
adopted by my Government had been such as I could not in 
my own mind approve, it would not become me to censure it. 
But it was not so. The Declaration of the English Regent in 
April, and the letter which Mr. Foster had written to the 
American Secretary of State in communicating it, had, as it 
appeared to me, left the American Government no alternative 
but an immediate appeal to arms or a dishonorable abandon- 
ment of all the unquestionable rights for which they had con- 



i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 403 

tended, and eveii the essential characteristics of an independent 
nation. The blame of the war was therefore entirely on the 
English side, but the war itself was not the less disagreeable to 
me. I lamented it particularly as occurring at a period when, 
from my good wishes for Russia and the Russian cause, I 
should have rejoiced to see friendship and harmony taking 
place between America and England, rather than discord and 
hostility. I knew the war would aflect unfavorably the inter- 
ests of Russia. I knew it must be highly injurious both to the 
United States and England. I could see no good result as 
likely to arise from it to any one ; nothing but mischief, and 
gratification to the makers of mischief 

The Count said he had considered it altogether in the same 
light ; and so had the Emperor, who was sincerely concerned 
for it, and who had himself conceived the idea of ofTering his 
mediation. He thought an indirect negotiation conducted here, 
and aided by the conciliatory wishes of a friend to both parties, 
might smooth down difficulties which, in direct discussion 
between the principals, might be found insuperable. To a 
mutual friend each party might exhibit all its complaints and 
all its claims without danger of exciting irritations or raising 
impediments. The part of Russia would only be to hear both 
sides, and to use her best endeavors to conciliate them. 

I said, the Count was aware there was a third party to be 
consulted as to the proposal — the British Government 

He said the .proposal had already been suggested to the 
British Ambassador, and he had yesterday dispatched an ac- 
count of it to his Court. I asked if I could obtain a courier's 
passport to communicate the information to my Government 
He said it might be furnished in a manner, that the person 
should be dispatched as a Russian courier. I asked him if 
he could obtain from Lord Cathcart any paper which should 
operate as security from capture by British cruisers, as in that 
case I presumed I could find an American vessel here to carry 
the dispatches. He said he' would ascertain and inform me in 
the course of a very few days, and he should write to Mr. 
DaschkofT to report the same proposal to the Government of 
the United States. 



i 



.04 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Sepiember, 

The Count dwelt earnestly on the Emperor's regard for the 
United States, and added that the Emperor was fully sensible 
of the great advantage to the interests of his people resulting 
from the commercial relations with America. He said it mani- 
fested itself even in objects of a light nature. He, the Count, had 
received from Mr. DaschkofTa picture, a view of Mr. Jefferson's 
seat, and upon his mentioning it to the Emperor, his Majesty 
had insisted upon seeing it himself. The Count was obliging 
in his enquiries and condolence upon my domestic misfortune.' 
His countenance retains strong traces of the illness he had at 
Wilna, and he complained of having taken cold at the funeral of 
Baron Budberg, one of his predecessors in the Department of 
Foreign Afiairs. He read me a note which he received while 
I was with him, from Lord Cathcart, with news from England 
and Spain — of the English and allies having taken Madrid. 

23d. Captain Bates called upon me this morning for a pass- 
port. He was in great anxiety on account of debts due to him 
in Moscow, and from rumors that the French are in possession 
of that city. These rumors have been prevailing these three 
days, and with them other reports, that the French had been 
repulsed and the Emperor Napoleon mortally wounded. Mr. 
Harris paid us a visit in the evening, and told us that official 
accounts were now received that the Russian army had retired 
behind Moscow fifteen wersts, on the road to Kazan, and that 
Moscow had been surrendered by a sort of capitulation to the 
French; that the King of Naples (Murat) with eight thousand 
men took possession of the city on the fifteenth or sixteenth of 
this month, and that the Emperor Alexander was informed of 
it three days afterwards. The French Emperor with his great 
army had not entered Moscow, but was still in pursuit of the 
Russians. There has been no battle since that of the seventh^ 
which Prince Koutouzof reported as a splendid victory, for 
which he was made a Field Marshal and received from the 
Emperor a present of a hundred thousand roubles. The result 
of this great Russian victory was to put the French in pos- 
session of Moscow. 

24th. The reports that {he French are in possession of 

' The death of the infant born in Russia. 




i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 405 

Moscow continue to obtain credit, and it was said there was a 
formal capitulation, but nothing has yet been officially published 
by the Government respecting it 

25th. At nine o'clock this morning I went with Mr. Smith to 
Field-Marshal General Count SoltykofTs house, and attended 
the funeral of his wife, Countess Natalie. The ceremonies were 
the same as I have seen them several times before. About ten 
the procession moved from the house, and was an hour and 
three-quarters in reaching the Monastery of St Alexander 
Newsky. The service, including a short sermon, was an hour 
and a half long, and it was about two in the afternoon when 
we got home. The procession was large, and the attendance 
numerous. The principal change that I perceived was in the 
Diplomatic Corps. Lord Cathcart, with a suite of seven gen- 
tlemen, attached to the British Embassy, Mr. Zea, as Spanish 
Minister, the young Duke of Serra Capriola, as attached to the 
Legation of the Two Sicilies, and Mr. Hochschild, as Charg6 
d* Affaires from Sweden, were there. Count Maistre, Baron 
Blome, and myself formed the only remnants of the former 
diplomacy. The courtiers were as assiduous to the British 
Ambassador as eighteen months ago they had been to the 
Duke of Vicence. Mr. Fisher called upon me after I came 
home, much alarmed and anxious about his present situation 
here. The English are all preparing to leave the country; 
their fears are greater than I believe there is occasion for. My 
landlord, Strogofshikofl*, also came to me much alarmed and 
mortified at the present condition of his country — hinting, but 
afraid expressly to say, that Moscow is in the hands of the 
French, and still reposing confidence in the cunning of General 
Koutouzof. Nothing official has yet been published by the 
Government concerning the occupation of Moscow^ and the 
rumors are innumerable. Several persons, it is said, have been 
made to sweep the streets for having said that Moscow was 
taken ; so that the people are afraid of talking. 

27th. Anniversary of the Emperor Alexander's coronation. 
There was one yacht upon the river dressed out with colors, 
and in the evening an illumination. No other notice of the day 
was publicly taken. 




4o6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

28th. Had morning visits from Mr. Raimbert and from Mr. 
Pierre de Poletica, who was in America as Secretary of Legation 
to Count Pahlen. He was appointed to go with him to Brazil, 
but declined accepting the office, and returned home a few 
weeks since. He left the United States in May, and came 
through England. He is now appointed to go to Spain, and is 
to depart in ten days or a fortnight. I had a conversation of 
nearly two hours with him about the affairs of America, Russia, 
France, and England. His opinions and sentiments are those 
now prevailing here — of course anti-Gallican and Anglomanian. 
That a Russian should abhor France and adhere to England at 
this time is very natural and very proper. With respect to 
American affairs, Mr. Poletica's opinions are favorable to the 
federalists, most of his acquaintances having been of that party. 
He said he had intended to publish here a statistical account of 
the United States, and had collected materials for the purpose, 
but that he should now be obliged to postpone it until after his 
return from Spain. He said there was an old ukase of Peter 
the Great forbidding any person employed in the Department 
of Foreign Affairs from associating with the foreign Ministers, 
and that he had asked Count Romanzoff* whether he might visit 
me, to which he received for answer that he might see me, but 
not frequent me. He said the Chancellor had told him of the 
Emperor's offer of mediation between the United States and 
England, which he hoped would be successful. 

29th. I dined with Mr. Smith at Mr. Harris's. The company 
consisted of Mr. Laval, Mr. Labensky, the late Russian Consul- 
General in France, the Abbe , and Mr. Rapatel, formerly 

an aid-de-camp of General Moreau, lately arrived from America. 
He has entered the Russian service, and said he should '' en- 
dosser I'uniforme" to-morrow, and go to join the army in about 
eight days. At table he talked much and without reserve. 
Speaking of the Prince Royal of Sweden, Bernadotte, he said, 
'' II a une belle haine pour le monstre ; et je le sais deja depuis 
douze ans." He added that the same Bernadotte, whom he saw 
a few weeks since, at Stockholm, on his way here, said to him, 
" C'est moi qui ai etc le premier a lever I'^tendard contre ce 
coquin la." Mr. Laval asked him how it happened that the 




i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 407 

French Charge d'Aflfaires remained at Stockholm. He said he 
did not know ; " mais c'est un imbecile," which he certainly is 
not. This Mr. Rapatel is supposed to be here with a view to 
obtain th^ employment of General Moreau in the Russian 
service. He spoke of the General's remaining in America as an 
uncertainty, saying, if he remained there, he would probably 
build again his house at Morrisville, which was burnt down last 
winter.' 

After dinner I had some conversation with Mr. Laval. He 
is going, with his family, and Princess Beloselsky and hers, to 
Sweden; He told me that since the loss of Moscow the very 
idea of negotiating for peace was offensive to the Emperor, and 
so it would continue, unless his army should be defeated, which 
it has not yet been. If they should be victorious, the persever- 
ance in the war would follow of course. But in case of one or 
two defeats, and one would probably produce two, the change 
of sentiment and of policy might be very sudden and complete, 
and the desire for peace as strong as the aversion to it now. I 
asked him if he could tell me why the war was commenced. 
He said, women ! women ! women I Women had been the cause 
of all the late disastrous wars against France. It was unques- 
tionably the late Queen of Prussia who had caused the Prussian 
war ; it was the late Empress of Austria who had produced the 
last Austriah war ; and it was the Grand Duchess Catherine who 
had occasioned the present war. I asked him how it was possible 
that the proposition should have been made to France to with- 
draw all the French troops behind the Elbe as an indispensable 
preliminary to negotiation. Because, said he, it was feared that 
a more moderate proposal would have been accepted. I said 
I had very much feared that such was the fact, and I was 
sorry to have it confirmed by him. He said that when the 
Emperor left this city for Wilna he intended and expected to 
have preserved the peace ; but when he got to Wilna, General 
Barclay de Tolly laid before him a long roll of the troops that 
had been assembled, and of the preparations of all kinds for 
the war. An extraordinary confidence in his own power and 
resources was the first effect upon the Emperor's mind. Then it 
happened that just at that moment General Armfeldt had acquired 



I 



^08 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [September, 

a momentary influence (he had none now), which he had used 
to stimulate and incense, and he had been a mere instrument of 
the Grand Duchess Catherine. Then, unfortunately, Napoleon 
had sent to Wilna the Count Narbonne, an old courtier of the 
old French monarchy under Louis XVI. It would have been 
better to accomplish the purpose of preserving peace if he had 
sent a corporal. The very politeness and courtly formalities of 
Narbonne were taken as evidence that Napoleon was overawed 
by the greatness of the Russian force, afraid and unable to begin 
the war. The spirit of exultation was at its height, and in the 
first twenty-four hours Narbonne was convert de ridicules, and dis- 
missed. Mr. Laval further told me in confidence that they gave 
out they were going to England, but they should probably not go 
farther than Sweden. At the times that might be approaching 
he had many motives for wishing to be absent. He said if the 
Court should leave this place, which they would certainly do as 
late as possible, and for which he thought there was even yet no 
determinate plan, he supposed that I should be left at my option 
either to follow the Court or to remain here. But he spoke 
without any knowledge of what was intended ; it was merely 
his own conjecture. He asked me to call upon him to-morrow 
and look at a fine picture of Claude which he has lately pur- 
chased and will pack up in a few days. I promised him I would. 
The occupation of Moscow by the French is at length officially 
announced by a report from Prince Koutouzof, and by a procla- 
mation of the Government. It is attenuated into a circumstance 
of trifling importance as to the ultimate issue of the war. 

30th. I called at one this afternoon upon Mr. Laval. I found 
Mr. Harris there. Madame de Laval talked much about going 
to England. I saw the pictures, and the remainder of the 
statues and busts, all of which were packing up. The Claude 
is called a ''Cascade of Tivoli," and is a fine picture. It is 
difficult to admire with sufficient fervency the last purchased 
picture of Mr. or Madame de Laval. Their ecstasies are more 
moderate whenever a new purchase concentrates them upon 
itself I have witnessed a succession of these favorites since 
my acquaintance at the house, and have seen the reign of six 
or seven of them superseded in turn by a new-comer. • But 




y 



1812.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 409 

their owners can never endure a critique or even a suggestion 
of an imperfection in any of them. This Claude is of a size to 
require a carriage for itself, and is to travel with them through 
Finland and Sweden. I had some further conversation with 
Mr. Laval. He says there are dreadful accounts of the burn- 
ing of Moscow since the French entered it. There were two 
attempts made to bum the houses next to that in which he 
(Napoleon) had taken his quarters, in consequence of which his 
troops set fire to the city in many places at once, and it is feared 
that the whole city may be destroyed. The Emperor Alexander, 
since the loss of Moscow, has said publicly at his own table, 
** II n'y a qu*un coquin qui puisse prononcer actuellement le 
mot de paix." His spirit stiffens with adversity. The situation 
of the French army in the midst of their triumphs is considered 
as absolutely desperate; it is supposed that Napoleon wishes to 
negotiate, and this is the strongest reason for the determination 
not to negotiate here. But the Emperor Alexander is not satis- 
fied with the conduct of his Generals, nor pleased that he made 
Koutouzof a Field Marshal and gave him one hundred thousand 
roubles for a victory the immediate result of which was the loss 
of Moscow. Koutouzof says in his last report that in the coun- 
cil of war, by advice of which he abandoned Moscow, some of 
the principal Generals were of a different opinion. There were 
three, Benningsen, Konovnizyn, and Doktoroff, for fighting 
another battle. Benningsen has written that until and in- 
cluding the battle of Borodino, his advice was followed in 
everything — ^since then, not at all. The defensive and Fabian 
system is certainly painful and costly in its operation, and may 
perhaps not be calculated for a country situated like Russia. 
But it has not yet had its full trial. The time of real danger 
to the invader is now but just commencing, and it is a species 
of warfare to which Napoleon is not accustomed, and for 
which he may not be prepared. If, however, the system is 
good for the old Russian provinces, it is far more questionable 
for the recovery of Courland and of Poland. 

October 2d. There is this day a publication here by authority, 
to assure the public that St. Petersburg is in no danger of being 
taken by the enemy, and explaining the motives for taking now 



i 



4IO MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

the precaution of packing up and sending away the necessary 
things which they are doing in open day at the Hermitage and 
the public offices. There are also three encouraging bulletins 
of news from the army, and reports still more encouraging. 

5th. Mr. Harris called on me this morning, and asked Mr. 
Smith and me to dine with him this day, which we did ; Prince 
Koslofsky, Mr. Poletica, and Mr. Krehmer were the company. 
Mr. Rapatel was to have been there, but was sent for to dine 
with the Emperor. He came in after dinner ; as did a son of 
Baron Rail, and Mr. Slade. Mr. Rapatel was in his uniform, 
and is to go to-morrow to join one of the armies. The Abbe 
Fremont, who lives with Mr. Harris, was at table, and obliged 
to hear all the bitterness of Prince Koslofsky and Mr. Poletica 
against the French : it was as inveterate as might be expected 
from the rancorous war they are waging. The Prince is ap- 
pointed Minister to the Court of Sardinia, where he was for- 
merly Charge d'Aflaires. Notwithstanding his abhorrence of the 
French, he manifestly takes pleasure in being reminded that he 
is a member of the Legion of Honor. He professes to think 
himself disgraced by it ; but the complacency with which he 
returns to the idea shows that it is a disgrace which he w6uld 
be sorry to lose. He says that Prince Kurakin is still detained 
at Paris ; that before Count Lauriston went away he had officially 
declared that Prince Kurakin had not only received his pass- 
ports, but that every attention had been shown him to facilitate 
his journey, and yet that now there were letters received from 
Prince Kurakin, and dated 30th August, complaining that he 
had not received and could not obtain his passport. 

9th. Mr. Laval sent me word that he had returned home, and 
I called on him again. I had drawn his certificate according to 
a form which he had sent me, being the same that had heretofore 
been used by the French Consul. But it purported that Mr. 
Laval's Acte de Naissance had been presented to me, and I 
accordingly asked him to show it to me. He said he had given 
it to Mr. Lesseps, who had not returned it. I observed that I 
could not then certify that it had been presented to me. He 
thought that those were mere words of form, and that I might 
certify in confidence upon his statement. In the form Mr. Les- 



I8i2.] TlfE MISSION TO RUSSIA. ^n 

seps had used, those words were underscored and minuted as 
indispensable. I told Mr. Laval that my confidence in his 
assertion was perfect, but it could not justify me in certifying 
what was not the feet. I would either omit the words or insert 
in their stead " deposited at the French Consulate in this city." 
He preferred the latter, and we appointed seven in the evening 
for me to call upon him with the new certificate. At seven I 
accordingly went with it, and he signed it. I lefl it with him, 
to be signed by four witnesses as the French law requires. It 
is for an annuity which his mother receives upon . his life. 
Madame Laval was present, and Count Maistre was there. They 
are to go in five or six days. They both appear to be much 
dejected. They are fugitives from one of the most magnificent 
establishments in St Petersburg, a house where splendor and 
hospitality went hand in hand. They are going with a family 
of small children literally they know not where^ and to return 
they know not when. Madame de Betancourt and all her 
children went the day before yesterday ; they go to England. 
We shall have scarcely an acquaintance lefl. 

Baron Blome paid me a long visit; he is much out of health, 
and no less out of spirits. He thinks the Swedes are going to 
attack the island of Zealand, and he is very apprehensive they 
will succeed in taking it. He says they have not the shadow 
of a complaint against Dehmark, and that it will be an attack 
more treacherous and profligate than that upon Spain. He 
appears fully convinced that Koutouzof had really won the 
battle of Borodino, though the world will never believe it. I 
do not yet believe it myself The Baron, however, gives credit 
to all the stories they circulate here, many of which are with- 
out foundation. 

1 5th. I received this morning a note from Count RomanzofT, 
requesting me to call on him at his house on the quay at seven 
o'clock in the evening. I accordingly went, and he said he 
wished to consult me as to the manner of sending to the United 
States dispatches to Mr. DaschkofT, containing the proposal of 
the Emperor Alexander's mediation between the United States 
and Great Britain ; that with regard to my dispatching a courier 
directly, he had spoken to the English Ambassador to ask if he 



i 



412 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

would furnish a passport or paper to secure such a person from 
being taken by the British, which Lord Cathcart answered he 
could readily do, provided the courier should go by the way of 
England. But the Count said that he had replied that he could 
not propose to me to agree to such a condition. 

I thought it not advisable on my part to agree to it, but 
mentioned to the Count that I should in a few days apply to 
him for a courier's passport for an American whom I should 
charge with my dispatches, and who would take his for Mr. 
Daschkoff, if he thought proper to trust them to this convey- 
ance. He said his dispatches were all ready, and the passport 
could be furnished as soon as I should ask for it. He asked 
if there would not be an opportunity to send direct to the United 
States from Archangel. I told him I believed it was too late. 
He said upon reflection he believed it was, and it reminded him 
of an answer of Admiral TchitchagofT, after a visit he had made 
to Archangel, to the Emperor, who asked him how long he had 
stayed there. He said he had spent the whole summer there. 
The Emperor, knowing his absence had been very short, said, 
with some surprise, " How so ? — the whole summer ?" " Three 
days. Sire," said the Admiral. I told the Count that I should 
probably ask for the passport towards the close of the next 
week. The courier would probably be obliged to go through 
England. If he was stopped, the English Government might 
perhaps read the dispatches ; for that I could not answer. The 
Count said that as to his dispatches, it would not be of any 
consequence ; they would only read over again in the identical 
words the proposition that had been made to themselves. 

I asked him if he had any good news from the armies. He 
said, none of any consequence, nothing but what was in the 
bulletins. He enquired concerning a report circulating here, 
that a suspension of hostilities had already taken place between 
the United States and England. I mentioned my information 
from Mr. Russell directly to the contrary, and that a propo- 
sition made by him to that effect had been rejected by the 
English Government. He said this would not discourage him 
from the proposition of the Russian mediation, but, on the 
contrary, would rather make him more earnest in the proposal. 




i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 41 j 

from the confirmed opinion that an indirect negotiation would 
not be liable to the mutual irritations which had attended the 
direct attempts. He also mentioned the account he had seen 
in the newspapers that the American troops had taken the town 
of Sandwich, in Canada. I told him that was nothing morct 
than that they had entered the province. There had been no 
fighting. 

I was with the Count about half an hour, and spoke to him 
of Mr. Fulton's letter to me, with his wish to obtain an exclusive 
privilege for constructing steamboats in Russia. I asked him 
if exclusive privileges were granted here to the inventors of 
useful machines. He said they sometimes were, not by a gen- 
eral law, but by a special grant from the Emperor, of which 
there was one recent example. I explained to him the nature 
of Mr. Fulton's steamboats, the very advantageous experience 
of them in America, and my own persuasion that the introduc- 
tion of them between St. Petersburg and Cronstadt would be 
not only useful but important to the commerce of this city. 
He asked if I had any memoir upon the subject from the in- 
ventor which I could give him to show to the Emperor, after 
consultation with the Minister of the Marine. I told him I had 
only a letter from Mr. Fulton himself, and I would send him 
an abstract of his proposals in that. The Count appeared welt 
disposed to favor an application of this sort, and asked some 
questions respecting the operation of our patent laws, as whether 
they did not give frequent occasion to litigation as to the fact 
of a new invention, how the claims to patents were examined, 
and upon what conditions they were granted. He asked also 
whether Mr. Fulton's steamboat could stem rapids in rivers as 
well as currents. I said I believed not That, he said, would be 
a most important invention indeed to this country; where, owing 
to a few very insignificant falls of water, they were obliged to 
break up and burn for common fuel all the boats that brought 
merchandise down their rivers. 

19th. Mr. Rapatel told me that he had just left Baron Arm- 
feldt, who informed him that a courier arrived in the night, who 
left the Russian great army engaged in a general battle with 
the French. He thinks that the French army are about to 



i 



^1^ MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [October, 

abandon Moscow and retire back into Poland. He himself is 
going to Sweden. He says the Emperor had intended to send 
him to the great army, but he had requested to be employed 
either upon this expedition from Sweden, or at General Tormas- 
sofTs army, which is opposed chiefly to Austrians and Saxons. 
He has a scruple against active service in opposition to French* 
men. Mr. Harris also called upon me. His nephew will be 
ready to go next Sunday. I mentioned to him my idea of 
asking Count RomanzofT for a courier's passport as bearer of 
his dispatches to Mr. DaschkofT, as it might afford him more 
certain protection from British capture than if h^ went as an 
American courier. He was gratified with the proposal. Mr. 
Harris told me that Dr. Creighton had mentioned to him that 
Sir Robert Wilson, when he was here, had said to him at his 
table that Mr. Perceval, just before his death, had assured him, 
Sir Robert Wilson, that it was his intention to make war 
against the United States of America, and that he had good 
grounds for the expectation that it would end in the restora- 
tion of the British authority over the Narthent Provinces of the 
American Union. 

2 1st. Mr. Harris spent great part of the evening with us. 
He says that Mr. Laval told him that he had been informed 
by Mr. BalachefT, the Minister of the Police, that since Prince 
Volkonsky*s return from the army the Emperor had less con- 
fidence in Marshal Koutouzof than he had before; that Murat 
had made some proposals tending to a negotiation for peace, 
which, if the Russian army should be defeated, the Emperor 
Alexander would perhaps incline to consider; that the peace 
party about the Court was growing stronger ; that the English 
Ambassador, instead of treating directly with Count RomanzofT, 
was endeavoring to obtain access to the Emperor through the 
medium of Count Tolstoy; that the joint Swedish and Rus- 
sian expedition was certainly and indefinitely postponed — at all 
events not to take effect this year. Almost all this information 
appears to me extremely questionable. Prince Volkonsky is 
one of the Emperor's aid-de-camp generals, and was sent off 
to the army very suddenly, on the Emperor's hearing of the 
surrender of Moscow. He returned four or five days ago. It 




. i8i2.] THB MISSION TO RUSSIA, 415 

was rumored, when he went, that he was sent to feel the way 
for negotiation. Now Mr. BalachefT says that proposals have 
been made by Murat. It is more probable that he was sent to 
inspect, and report to the Emperor, the real state of the army 
and of affairs, and it is not unlikely that* he has returned with 
accounts differing essentially from Koutouzofs reports. The 
rest of this news must be taken with cstution. 

22d. I called at eleven o'clock this morning upon Count 
Romanzoff, and told him that young Harris was going to 
America, and tliat I proposed sending by him duplicates of my 
last dispatches to the American Government I asked him if 
he would by the same occasion send duplicates of his dis- 
patches to Mr. DaschkofT, and on that account give him a 
passport as a messenger dispatched by him. This the Count 
said he could not do. Mr. Harris being an American, he 
could not give him a passport as a Russian courier, and if 
he should, the English would pay no regard to it. He had 
already found himself engaged in a discussion with the British 
Ambassador on the subject of passports. He had asked the 
Ambassador for his visa to one. The Ambassador had answered 
in the most obliging manner possible as to the forms, but had 
been, " quant au fond, assez sec." He had offered very readily 
to give his indorsement, but observed at the same time that the 
English cruisers might pay no attention to it, as they acted 
under their instructions from home, governed by the English 
laws. But, the Count said, he would send duplicates of his dis- 
patches to Mr. Daschkoff by Mr. Harris, and in his courier's 
passport would have it inserted that he was also bearer of his 
dispatches to the Russian Minister in America. The Count 
himself had, in our first conversation concerning the mediation, 
proposed to me to give the messenger I should send a passport 
as a Russian courier, and it was on that suggestion that I asked 
it for Mr. Harris. But the Count then did not know the diffi- 
culties started by the British Ambassador. Perhaps the inser- 
tion which he offered may answer the purpose as well as a 
formal passport ; and I readily accepted the offer. Afler I came 
home, young Mr. Harris called upon me, and I informed him of 
what the Chancellor had said to me. 



^l6 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

24th. I called this morning upon Count Lowenhielm, at the 
Hotel de TEurope, to ask him for a passport for young Mr, 
Harris to go through Sweden, which he promised he would 
send me. I ijaund the Marquis de Paulucci with him, an officer 
who has been of somt note the last spring and summer. The 
Count told me the news, which he said was not a little impor- 
tant. Wittgenstein had taken Polotzk by storm — ^two thousand 
Frenchmen killed — and Wintzingerode was at Moscow, and his 
Cossacks fought with the French in the streets of Moscow. Witt- 
genstein would now cross the Dwina and form his junction with 
the armies of Tormassoflfand TchitchagofT, and then, je prevois 
des douleurs (to Bonaparte). The Count is as sanguine as he 
was last spring ; he thinks the destruction of the Emperor Napo- 
leon and his army inevitable. Making every allowance for the 
exaggerations of prejudice and passion, it is obvious they are 
in great and imminent danger, and their inaction so long after 
the occupation of Moscow is very unlike the former practice of 
Napoleon. Paulucci said that he had committed the same im- 
prudence in 1797, and had extricated himself from it by the 
peace which he was compelled to ask, and to which Austria 
then assented. But for that, he was then perdu sans ressource. 
I have often heard this before. But he had then, and has now, 
his greatest of all resources, a battle. His fortunes and exist- 
ence are staked upon that, and he has so long abused the favors 
of Fortune that she will certainly finish by jilting him ; or rather 
Providence (such is my belief), after using him for the purposes 
he is destined to answer, will exhibit him, like another invader 
of Russia, " to point a moral or adorn a tale." 

25th. Received a notification, from the Grand Master of the 
Ceremonies, of a Court to be held to-morrow at the Winter 
Palace, at noon, it being the Empress-mother's birthday, and at 
the same time a Te Deum for the victory of the General of 
Cavalry, Count Wittgenstein, over the French commanded by 
Marshal Gouvion St.-Cyr, and for the taking by storm of the 
fortified city of Polotzk. I had visits from Mr. Montreal and 
from Mr. Laval, who has postponed his departure for five or 
six days longer. He is not quite so sanguine as Lowenhielm 
that the French army will inevitably be destroyed; but he thinks 




i8i2.] THE MISSION TO ^C/SSI^. 417 

the present prospects of the Russian cause superb. He still 
dreads the genius and resources of Napoleon more than they 
deserve. The accounts are so numerous and so uniform that 
his army is famishing, that he has proposed to Koutouzof, by 
Count Lauriston, an armistice, that his retreat through Smo* 
lensk is impossible, that they are no longer mere rumors. Kou- 
touzof has received a reinforcement of tWenty-four regiments, 
eighteen thousand men — Don Cossacks. The Novogorod arma- 
ment, eighty thousand men, are rapidly advancing to Moscow 
from, this side. Many of Napoleon's couriers, and mails with 
letters, have been intercepted; all complaining that they are 
in want of everything— one from the Bavarian General to the 
King of Bavaria, in which he complains that the al/ies are not 
allowed to forage, and that they are starved that tlie French 
soldiers may be fed. Koutouzof has reorganized the army and 
filled up the vacancies in the regiments from the Moscow arma- 
ment. The answer to the proposal for an armistice was a mere 
reference to the Emperor Alexander's declaration at Wilna 
that he would not make peace while an armed enemy should 
remain on the Russian territory. Such is the change from 
despondency to confidence effected by the storm of Polotzk. 

26th. At twelve o'clock Mr. Smith and myself attended at the 
Winter Palace, according to the notification. The Te Deum com- 
menced between one and two. There was no Court held after 
it, notwithstanding the notice. The new Diplomatic Corps were 
there — Lord Cathcart, the British Ambassador, with his suite 
of seven persons ; the Duke de Serra Capriola, with his son ; 
Mr. Zea, as Spanish Minister, and Captain Guedes, as Charge 
des Affaires from Portugal ; Baron Lowenhielm, as Minister from 
Sweden, with the Russian riband of St. Anna of the first class, 
which the Emperor gave him at Abo ; Mr. Brandel, as Secre- 
tary of Legation. Baron Blome and Mr. Krabbe, from Denmark, 
and Count Maistre, from Sardinia, were, with us, the only rem- 
nants of the former corps. There was a Comte de Noailles 
there, an emigrant, lately from England. Lord Walpole, the 
Secretary of the British Embassy, asked Lord Cathcart to in- 
troduce him to me; which he did, and I had some conversation 

with him about architecture and sculpture, Guarenghi's build- 
voL. II. — 27 




41 8 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [October, 

ings, and the statue of Peter the Great The T^ Deuiri was 
like all the others I have heard in the chs^pel. Baron Blome 
told me he hoped the expedition against the island of Zealand 
was postponed, but he did not venture yet to be confident 
Met Messrs. Willing, Redwood, Fisher, and Plummer, who all 
told me thq story of the capture of the British frigate '' Guer- . 
riere" by our frigate Constitution. I considered it as a joke 
invented by some of the Americans here, and had indeed been 
told that it was. 

27th, About noon this day the report of cannon from the 
fortress announced that important and pleasing intelligence 
from the armies had been received ; about half an hour after, 
Mr. Harris, the Consul, came in. He had just come from Count 
RomanzofTs, where he had been with his nephew upon a visit 
of taking leave^ The news was a great victory of Marshal 
Koutouzof over the King of Naptes (Murat), and the retaking of 
Moscow by General Wintzingerode's corps, though in achieving 
it Wintzingerode was himself taken prisoner. In the evening I 
received from the Grand Master of the Ceremonies a notification 
to attend a Te Deum to-morrow morning at the Kazan Church, 
on account of these events. The city was illuminated by night 
Mr. Harris lent me an English Courier of 6th October, which 
he had borrowed from Count RomanzofT, containing a confirma- 
tion of the capture of the " Guerriere" frigate ; but with it an 
account of the surrender of General Hull and his army, and 
of the taking of Fort Detroit by the British. It would be use- 
less, and the attempt would be vain, to express my sensations 
upon this event There are scarcely any details of the affair 
given. The honor of my country — O God! suffer it not to 
go unredeemed. 

28th. About noon I went with Mr. Smith to the Kazan 
Church, and attended the Te Deum for Marshal Koutouzof 's, 
or rather for General Benningsen's victory, and foi* the delivery 
of Moscow. The Duke of Serra Capriola and Baron Armfeldt 
were in the highest exultation of glory. Armfeldt had a letter 
from his son, who was with Benningsen at the battle, written 
the day after, in all the insolence of victory. Armfeldt went 
about reading it to anybody who would hear him. Without 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. ^xg 

moving from where I stood, I heard him read it seven times. 
Prince Plato ZubofT, the last favorite of Catherine, was also 
there. I had seen him at Berlin in 1797 and 1798. I did not 
know him again, and asked who he was. He has been in dis- 
grace ever since the present Emperor's accession, but his estates 
in Poland, where he resided, being now overrun, he is again 
admitted at Court. Count RomanzofT apologized to me for 
having permitted Mr. Harris yesterday to take me a paper with 
bad news. I congratulated him on the occasion of the Te Peum, 
which he said it was to be hoped ivould be followed by impor- 
tant consequences, and Especially that it would correct some 
opinions concerning the Russians, which had been industriously 
disseminated. I supposed he alluded to the. reputation of the 
military skill of their generals. The music of the Te Deum was 
remarkably fine. After it was finished, the Emperor, the Empress 
and Empress-mother, the Grand Dukes Constantine, Nicholas^ 
and Michael) and the Grand Duchess Ann, made their prostra- 
tions and adorations to the miraculous image of the Virgin. 
When the Emperor left the church to return to the palace, he 
was greeted with three shouts by the crowd of people who 
surrounded the church. The city was illuminated again in 
the evening. 

29th. Mr.-Krehmer told me there was a further report re- 
ceived this day from Count Wittgenstein; that the corps of 
Gouvion St.-Cyr, united with that of Macdonald, had been pur- 
sued, overtaken, and almost totally destroyed. Mr. Krehmer 
invited me to dine with him next Wednesday, to meet Sir 
Fraiicis d'lvernois, who has expressed a. wish to be acquainted 
with me. 

November 2d. Dined at Count Romanzoff's with a diplomatic 
company — about forty-five persons. The Count told me before 
dinner that he believed the grant I had asked for Mr. Fulton 
would be made ; that the Emperor had only thought proper 
to fix a different modification of time. Mr. Fulton asked an 
exclusive privilege for twenty years. But the grants of patents 
in America and in England were only for fourteen years, and 
the Emperor thought proper to allow one year more — the 
privilege therefore would be for fifteen years. At table I got 




420 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [November, 

between Count Maistre and Count Lowenhielm, and conversed 
about the American Indians, about creation, and about the des- 
perate condition and almost certain ruin of the French Emperor 
and army. Baron Blome told me that the Swedish expedition 
against the island of Zealand was probably postponed, but they 
now threatened the invasion of Norway. Blome himself has 
yet the deportment of an assiduous courtier, and is treated in 
return with a coldness bordering, to say the least, upon incivility. 

4th. Went out to Ochta, and dined at Mr. Krehmer's. Mr. 
Harris was there, Mrs. Pitt, the wife of the English clergyman, 
and two Mr. Gisbornes, sons of Dr. Gisborne the author, who 
live with Mr. Krehmer. There was much political conversation, 
characteristic as well of the present state of affairs as of the feel- 
ings of the speakers. The passions of almost all the politicians 
whom I now^ see and hear are concentrated upon the head of 
one man. It seems almost universally to be considered that 
the destinies of mankind hang upon his life alone ; and in pro- 
portion to the force of this sentiment is the ardor for his death. 
I know not how it has been with former conquerors during 
their lives, but I believe there never was a human being who 
united against himself such a mass of execration and abhorrence 
as this man has done. There is indeed, on the other hand, an 
admiration of him equally enthusiastic, as for every great con- 
queror there always must be; but I have never yet seen the 
person by whom he was regarded with affection. 

6th. The official account of the battle of Malo Yaroslawetz, 
24th October, is now published. Koutouzof, as usual, claims 
the victory ; but his army again retreated after it. As yet, no 
decisive proof appears whether the object of the French army 
was to cover its own retreat, or to penetrate farther into Russia. 
That they do not expect or intend to return to Moscow appears 
certain. 

9th.' On taking my usual walk this morning, I found the two 
bridges of the Neva gone, and the river about half full of float- 
ing ice. The Fontanka Canal was almost everywhere frozen 
over. There has been yesterday and the day before a con- 
siderable fall of snow, so that the sledges pass upon it. The 
thermometer (Reaumur's) has been from five to seven below 



^ 



i8ia.] THE MISSrON TO RUSSIA, ^| 

zero, the temperature at which the river usually freezes. Mr. 
Harris called upon me, and brought with him some English 
newspapers containing the English official account of the cap- 
ture of the British frigate Guerriere by the Constitution, Cap- 
tain Hull, and also the dispatches from General Brock, and the 
shameful capitulation of General Hull and his army in Upper 
Canada. The Countess Colombi and her sister, Frederica 
Bode, visited the ladies, and mentioned the decease of General 
Pardo, the late Spanish Minister here. He died at a small, 
mean hovel of an inn, upon his journey from this city. Gen- 
eral Essen, at Riga, has taken his daughter, a child about 
fourteen, who was left friendless and alone when her father 
died. Madame Colombi intends sending for her. Pardo, I 
believe, died of a broken heart. He had connected himself 
with the French party in Spain inextricably, while his feelings 
were all on the other side. He accepted office, military rank, 
and a blushing riband from Joseph Bonaparte, and yet in all 
his conversation with everybody was enthusiastically zealous 
for the patriots. There was a contrast between his conduct 
and his discourse greater than I ever witnessed in any other 
man. He had lost his fortune and several of his near relations 
by the war in Spain ; he had been two or three years without 
pay from the Government that he had consented to serve ; and 
by the new war he was dismissed, even from nominal employ- 
ment, without any present provision, or any prospect of future 
supply, so much as for the subsistence of himself and his 
daughter, besides a son of sixteen or seventeen, who is at Paris. 
He was a learned classical scholar, a well-taught connoisseur in 
the fine arts, a profound theoretical proficient in the art of war, 
a lively and pleasant convivial companion, and a man of strong 
and brilliant genius. I believe if he had possessed firmness 
and energy of character he would have taken an active part, 
and been a highly distinguished leader, in the Spanish cause. 

loth. I read the remainder of Gisborne's Principles of Moral 
Philosophy, and his remarks on a decision in the British House 
of Commons, in April, 1792, on the abolition of the slave trade. 
He is a very zealous advocate for this abolition, which has 
been since legally decreed in England, as well as in America. 



i 



^22 AtEAtOIRS OF JOHtT QUINCY ADAMS, [November, 

Whether it will be eventually abolished in fact is yet a problem. 
The tr&de is beyond question an abomination, disgraceful to the 
human character, but there are so many powerful passipns and 
interests concurring to support it, sLnd the efforts' to obtain its 
abolition are themselves so much composed of fashion and 
Miction, that I still doubt whether the abolition will be accom- 
plished. I say the motives of the abolitionists are in*a great 
degree fashion and faction ; for the impressment of seamen is 
to all intents and purposes a practice as unjust, as immoral, as 
base, as oppressive and tyrannical as the slave trade. It is in all 
its most heinous features identically the same crime ; in some 
particulars it is more aggravated ; and yet the same members of 
the British Parliament who have been the greatest zealots for 
abolishing the slave trade are not only inflexible adherents to 
the practice of impressments among their own people, but are 
now waging a rancorous war against the United States to 
support the practice of their officers in impressing men from 
American merchant vessels on the high seas. Every particle of 
argument that can bear ag;iinst the slave trade bears with equal 
force against impressment. Dr. Gisborne is at least consistent. 
He admits that the impressment of seamen is a violation of the 
general principles of the English constitution ; and he speaks 
of It, even as applied to British subjects, with disapprobation. 
He says nothing of the abuse of extending the practice to 
Americans and upon American vessels, and even his censure 
*upon it as applied only to British subjects is very faint and cold 
compared with his fervor of passion against the slave trade. 

25th. This morning I received a notification from the Grand 
Master of the Ceremonies, Narishkin, that a Te Deum would 
be performed at the Cathedral Church at Kazan, at half-past 
eleven o'clock this forenoon, to return thanks for the defeat of 
the enemy's corps under the command of the Marshals Davoust 
and Ney. I went with Mr. Smith accordingly at this hour. It 
is the greatest victory that the Russians have gained since the 
war commenced, and is perfectly decisive of the fate of the 
campaign and of the Emperor Napoleon's main army. It is 
now morally impossible that the remnant of them should escape. 
In every probability they are at this hour all prisoners of war. 




i8i2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. . 423 

He is lost without resource. The trophies, among which is 
Davoust's Marshal's truncheon, were exhibited in the church. 
CzernichefT, who has highly distinguished himself, was present, 
as were General Wintzingerode and his aid-de-camp, young 
Narishkin, the Grand Chamberlain's son, who were taken pris- 
oners by a hiost extraordinary accident when Wintzingerode's 
corps took Mostow, and were retslk^h by another accident no 
less extraordinary, oii their way as prisoners to France. A few 
Cossacks of CzernichefT's detachment released them. • Czemi- 
cheff has been promoted to the rank of a Major-General, and 
Aide-de-Camp General to thd Emperor, and appeared in his new 
uniform. Joy and triumph Were upon every countenance ; but 
upon none with duch transport as Upon that of Madame Na- 
rishkin, who went about with her son by the hand, presenting 
him to all her friends, and saying she had nothing more to ask 
of Heaven. The Emperor and imperial family performed their 
prostrations to the miraculous image of the Virgin, and the 
Emperor, on leaving the church, was greeted with loud shouts 
of the populace. Mr. Harris visited us at the close of the 
eveiling. There have been rumors of internal commotions at 
Paris in circulation some time. They were much exaggerated 
in the reports, but accounts from Sweden ascertain that they 
did take place even before the end of October, and before Napo- 
leon's disaster had commenced. They were then suppressed ; 
but they afford a presage of violent convulsions, when the real 
events of the last month shall be suflliciently known to produce 
their effects. The crisis is great and awful beyond all example. 
Almighty God, grant that it may turn to good I to peace ! to 
the relief of mankind from the dreadful calamities of unbridled 
ambition I 

December ist. The ladies were to have gone to the theatre, at 
which a French Opera had been announced. It was changed, 
however, for a Russian play. Great efforts have been made to 
obtain the dismissal of all the French players ; and it has been 
repeatedly said that the Emperor had determined to dismiss 
them. The Russian public have manifested some uneasiness at 
their continuance here, and everything French, even the lan- 
gusige, has become an object of their abhorrence. 



424 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, [December, 

« 

3d. I dined at Count RomanzofTs with a company of about 
forty persons ; among whom were the ladies of the celebrated 
Generals who are now dispelling, as Count Litta remarked^ 
like the fog before the sun, the immense armies of the Emperor 
Napoleon, and levelling with the dust his colossal military repu- 
tation, Princess Koutouzof Smolenski, Countess Wittgenstein, 
Baronesses Benningsen, Wjntzingerode, and several others. The 
day was rendered peculiarly joyous to them by the news of a 
fresh, splendid victory over the porps of the French Marshals 
Victor and Oudinot, by Count Wittgenstein, which arrived this 
morning. Within the compass of ten days the Russian armies 
have taken between forty and fifty thousand prisoners, with 
cannons, baggage, and ammunition in proportion. There is 
nothing like it in history since the days of Xerxes. I sat at 
table next to Admiral Koutouzof, a nephew of the Prince of 
Smolensk, "le vainqueur du vainqueur de la terre," whc^ 
entered into conversation with me, and told me some anecdotes 
of his uncle, who he says is as good as he is great He has 
been more than fifty years in the service, employed in important 
military and diplomatic stations, successively, by the Empress 
Catherine and the Emperors Paul and Alexander. He said 
that just before the Prince went away on this last appoint- 
ment he (the Admiral) was enumerating the multitude of mili- 
tary commands and important embassies upon which he had 
been for so long employed; when the old Prince, with a 
grave countenance, told him that he had forgotten one of his 
high offices. What was that? Director of the German theatre. 
It was remarkable, the Admiral observed, that Napoleon's 
present disasters were owing to his having despised his enemy, 
and Prince Koutouzofs success might be due to the opposite 
cause, for he was an enthusiastic admirer of Napoleon's oiilitary 
genius, and on going away last summer, told him that when he 
considered whom he was going to oppose, he felt overpowered 
by the magnitude of the responsibility he was taking upon him- 
self; and he had lately written him that notwithstanding he 
had now the pleasure of beating day after day the first Captain 
of the age, and notwithstanding the honors that were heaping 
upon him, he longed for the time when he could return here to- 




i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 425 

his friends. The Admiral told me there had been here an 
English Admiral named Bentinck, a vaingloriotiS, boasting sort 
of man, and he and Madame de Stael one day said to him that 
Prince Koutouzof was destined to be a second Wellington. But 
they were mistaken in supposing he should take it as a compli- 
ment If his uncle had doiie nothing more thail .Wellington, 
he would sink low indeed from the summit of his merited fame. 
I said that the English were apt to make much of small suc- 
cesses by land, but I thought they might be allowed a little 
pride upon the battle of Sklamanca. "Thanks," said he, "to 
the random shot that carried away Marmont's arm before the 
battle began. But here is Wellington with his whole army 
stopped for weeks before' a paltry little fori at Burgos, with a 
garrison of two thousand men, which- he cannot take. And if 
it were not for bur victories in the north, I would lay a wager 
the French would be now again in Madrid." 

The Admiral was equally severe in his remarks upon the 
Spaniards, and was peculiarly sarcastic upon Mr. Zea, who sat 
opposite to us at table. He first asked me who he was. I said, 
Mr. Zea, the Spanish Minister. "Spanish Minister. What? 
Joseph Bonaparte's?" No; Ferdinand the Seventh's; the 
Minister of the Cortes who had signed a Treaty with Count 
RomanzofT. 

"Oh, yes ; the Gargon de Comptoir of Colombi, the merchant. 
Why, what a diplomatic tone he assumes I You smile, I see ; 
but I am no diplomatic man. I say just what comes into my head." 
' I said that Mr. Zea had been connected with the house of 
Colombi » but that I believed he had been a diplomatic char- 
acter, sub rosa, even then— as Mr. Colombi himself had been 
while he lived ; that his widow had since his death been made a 
Countess by the Regency for his services. Upon all which the 
Admiral spoke with as little respect for Ferdinand the Seventh 
and the Cortes as he had of the English and Lord Wellington. 

I told him that I had witnessed with interest and admiration 
the spirit manifested by all classes of people in this nation under 
the struggle from which they are issuing with such triumphant 
glory ; that I had never entertained a low idea of Russia, but 
that the conduct of the nation upon this severe trial had far 



J 



^26 AfEAtOJRS OF JOHN QUJNCY ADAMS, [December, 

• 

exceeded my expectations. He said, " Monsieur, la Russie, bien 
gouvernee, est faite pour commander a TEurope." 

I think she will not lose the opportunity. I observed, how- 
ever, that the circumstance that appeared most to gratify the 
Admiral, in speaking of the conduct of the nation, was that the 
peasants had not shown the least disposition to avail themselves 
of the occasion to obtain their freedom. I see that this is what 
most touches the feelings of all the Russians with whom I have 
conversed on this subject. This was the point upon which 
their fears were the greatest, and that upon which they are 
most delighted to see the danger past. The Admiral, whose 
name I did not know, until upon enquiry after dinner I ascer- 
tained it, professed to be so pleased with my remarks that he 
told me he hoped to have the opportunity of introducing me 
personally to his uncle when he should come home. 

Count RomanzofT told me that he had sent the last letter I 
^rote him to the Emperor, who had been well pleased with it. 
I asked him if he had received any answer from England on 
the proposal of mediation. He said it had not been rejected, 
but they had intimated an opinion that it would not be accept- 
able to the American Government ; that they expected some- 
thing might be done after the new election in America, by 
which the Count said he understood them to mean that Mr. 
Madison, after being reelected, would be more pacifically 
inclined than he is at present. 

I said the English Government were much misinformed con- 
cerning American affairs. I believed the Emperor's proposal 
would be very acceptable, whatever the event of our election 
might be. Lord Cathcart also said to me that the elections for 
the new Parliament in England were now over, "but," said he, 
** they are more anxious there, I believe, about your elections 
than about our own." I said that our election was of a differ- 
ent description from theirs ; it being not only of members of 
the legislature, but also of the head of the Executive Depart- 
ment. He said he was glad to observe that there did not 
appear to have been anything to excite rancor on either side. 
I told him, from the complexion of the newspapers, I thought 
there was more of that in England than in America. 



i8t2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, 427 

7th. On returning thid morning from my walk I found a note 
from Count Romanzoff, proposiiig a change of the time and 
place which he had fixed for seeing me, and asking me to call 
upon him between one and two o'clock this afternoon at the 
Hotel of Forei'gn Affairs, which I accordingly did. 

I told him that my motive for desiring this conversation with 
him was, that since I saw him last I had received from my 
Government official notice of the declaration of war by the 
United States against Great Britain, together with a letter from 
the Secretary of State, dated first July'; that I had not received 
any instruction to make an official commuilication on the subject 
to this Governhient, but the Secretary of State had explicitly 
expressed the views 6f the Government ' at this juncture on 
several points, which I thought it important to communicate to 
him. The first was the desire of the United States that this 
war might be confined to them and Great Britain, that no other 
power might be involved in it ; that the United States wished 
to preserve unimpaired their relations of dmity with all other 
powers, and that this wish was declared in a particular manner 
in regard to Russia ; that the war between Russia and France, 
though it could not then be known in America to have com- 
menced, was anticipated as inevitable, and was a subject of great 
regret to the Atnerican Government ; that the state of our 
affairs with France Was said to be ih an unsettled condition, and 
there was not much expectation of any speedy settlement of 
them satisfactory to us ; but that, whatever course they might 
take, the American Government did not contemplate any more 
intimate connection with France ; nor was it aware of any occur- 
rence whatsoever which could induce it to enter into any such 
connection. This sentiment, I said, was expressed in terms as 
strong as language could employ, tod the desire of the United 
States to maintain in their full extent the friendly and commer- 
cial relations with Russia was in terms of equal earnestness. 

The Count said he was obliged to me for the communication, 
which- he was sure would be peculiarly agreekble to the Emperor, 
before whom he should lay the substance of it ; that the Em- 
peror's desire to maintain the friendly and commercial relations 
with the United States was entirely reciprocal to those of the 



M 



428 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

American Government, and it was the apprehension that they 
might be interrupted by the English which had made him wish 
so sincerely the termination of this war; that we might be 
assured that no circumstances could induce the Emperor to 
interrupt the friendly relations of Russia with the United States, 
even if he were prepared to enter into more intimate engage- 
ments than he is at present inclined to form with any power 
whatsoever. And with regard to the assurance that the inten- 
tion of the American Government was not to form any more 
intimate connection with France, as it would afford particular 
gratification to the Emperor, he wished to ascertain precisely 
whether he had understood what I stated as having been, ex- 
pressed to me in the communication from my Government. 
He then repeated over in substance, and correctly, what I had 
said, and I assured him that he had perfectly understood me. 
He asked me whether I had any objection to his communi- 
cating to the British Ambassador, Lord Cathcart, this part of 
what I had said to him. 

I answered him that, far from having any objection, I thought 
it might do good, and could not believe it would produce any 
unfavorable effect; that in the discussion of our differences with 
Great Britain previous to the war, the British Ministers had fre- 
quently believed, or professed to believe, that the American Gov- 
ernment were partial in favor of France, and were actuated by a 
French influence in opposition to England. If they really enter- 
tained such a prejudice, the frank and explicit declaration of my 
Government's intentions after the declaration of war against 
them, and precisely at that time, must, if they were capable of 
giving it a candid consideration, tend to remove a prejudice and 
to produce a more pacific disposition. 

The Count replied he did not mean to say that he thought 
this the only obstacle to the restoration of a good understanding 
between the United States and England; but he thought it a 
great one, and that it would be a favorable circumstance to 
have it removed. He then asked me whether I had any late 
intelligence from America indicating the determination of the 
American Government after the revocation of the Orders in 
Council was known. 



i8l2.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. 429 

I said I had not, but that although I was satisfied, if that re- 
vocation had been known, the declaration of war would not have 
been made, yet war being once declared, there were other points 
of collision upon which an accommodation became essential for 
the restoration of peace ; and upon the chief of these, the im- 
pressment of seamen from our merchant vessels, it appeared the 
British Government would listen to nothing. I then explained 
to the Count the nature and character of this practice, as exer- 
cised by the British naval officers — ^the impossibility that any 
nation * having a sense of independence, and of* the protection 
due to its own citizens, should submit to it, or endure it without 
indignation, and I told him that two several proposals had been 
made by our Government to the British for a suspension of 
hostilities; the Orders in Council to stand revoked, and they 
stipulating to discontinue the practice of impressment from 
American vessels ; the United States prohibiting by law the 
employment of British subjects, either in their public ships or 
in private merchant service. 

He said he thought the latter part of the proposal could not 
easily be carried into execution. 

I told him I did not think it could meet with much difficulty; 
but that at any rate the American Government, having made the 
proposal, would have been responsible for its execution. The 
British Minister, however, had rejected it, and until they should 
be willing to come to some accommodation upon the point I 
saw no prospect of a peace. I was aware, and did not wish to 
disguise, that there was an inherent difficulty which made the 
British adverse to a compromise. 

The Count asked if they did not complain that they lost great 
numbers of their seamen by their becoming naturalized as 
Americans. 

I said it was not exactly that. There were very few British 
sailors who ever were or could be naturalized as Americans; 
and I mentioned to him the conditions of naturalization by our 
laws, and the character of them, which makes it sure that few 
foreign seamen can avail themselves of them. But, I said, the 
American sea service, public and private, was more attractive 
than the British, for our common seamen were better fed, better 



430 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

paid, and better treated than English seamen are wont to be 
in their own service.* It was natural therefore for English 
sailors to prefer our service to their own, and to seize every 
opportunity they could of entering it This the English Gov- 
ernment consider, and complain of, as seduction, and they 
have no other remedy against it than that violent and tyran- 
nical practice of their naval officers, of stealing men from our 
merchant vessels. I did not know that it would be possible 
ever to come to a compromise with them upon it ; but I hoped 
if we could not *hit upon any expedient for arranging it, he, the 
Count, would furnish us with one. 

He said, ''il (audra travaillcr a cela," and concluded by . 
promising to give the Emperor an account of this conversation, 
after which, he said, he would see me again. 

8th. Mr. Montreal called upon me this morning. He told 
me there was a report circulating in the city that Bonaparte 
(he is now nothing more than plain Bonaparte) was killed. We 
afterwards, in the course of the day, heard the same report from 
two other quarters; and even that his body had been found 
after a battle ; that a courier brought the news last night ; and 
that the fortress guns were fired for it in the night. There is 
said to be a bulletin, on the other hand, from Admiral Tchit- 
chagoff, admitting that Bonaparte, with seventy thousand men, 
had passed beyond him. 

9th. The news of the Emperor Napoleon's being killed is 
not authenticated; that of his having effected his escape be- 
comes more credited ; though, if true, his situation must still 
be extremely perilous, and almost desperate. The disappoint- 
ment here at the belief of his escape is very great, and has 
given rise to various rumors, that one, and even two of the 
Russian armies have been defeated ; of which there is prob- 
ably no foundation. 

loth. On returning this morning from my walk, I received 
a note from the Chancellor, Count RomanzofT, requesting me 
to call upon him at twelve o'clock, noon ; which I did. He said 
he had sent for me to show me the draught of a dispatch to 
Count Lieven, the Russian Ambassador in England, which he 
had prepared to lay before the Emperor for his approbation ;. 




i8ia.] THE MISSlOtr TO RUSSIA, 431 

and as its object was to communicate to Count Lieven the sub- 
stance of what I had said to him in our last conversation, he 
wished me to peruse it, and to point out any inaccuracy or 
variation from what I had said, and that he would immediately 
correct it. I found there were several passages differing from 
the ideas I had intended to convey to him, which he imme- 
diately struck out of the draught, inserting others in their steady 
exactly conformable to what I now repeated, and explained as 
having said, or intended to say, before ; the Count observing 
that he was desirous of not using one expression; either stronger 
or weaker, than I had meant to use. The first variance was, 
that he had written Count Lieven that I had called upon him,. 
by order of my Government^ to communicate to him the declara- 
tion of war by the United States against Great Britain. I had^ 
on the contrary, said to him that my Government had not 
ordered me to make any official communication here of this 
declaration; but that, having just received it, together with a 
dispatch from the Secretary of State, indicating the views of 
my Government on this occasion in relation to other powers, 
and particularly to Russia, I had felt it a duty to communicate 
the substance of it to him. 

The second difference was, that in reporting what I had men- 
tioned of the state of our affairs with France, he had used 
expressions of resentment and reproach, such as, that France 
used us as ill as Great Britain, that she gave us nothing but 
"des belles paroles," which I told him might be very just 
inferences from the facts, and might even express my own 
sentiments, but which I had not intended to use, because my 
object had been merely to state the purport of the dispatch I 
had received, in which no such expression of asperity, no senti- 
ment even of irritation, was to be found. It simply said that 
the principal subjects in discussion with France remained un- 
settled, and there was little reason to expect a settlement of 
them satisfactory to us. On the third point, I observed that 
the Count's expressions were not so strong as those I had 

• 

repeated from the Secretary of State's letter. • He had accu- 
rately noted the determination of the American Government 
not to enter into more intimate connections with France, even 



432 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [December, 

if a satisfactory adjustment of those differences should be ob- 
tained ; but he had omitted the additional assurance, that they 
. did not foresee any event whatever that could produce such a 
result. 

The Count immediately struck out every one of the passages 
which I noticed as inaccurate, and inserted others in their stead, 
exactly conformable to my present repetition and explanation 
of what I had said to him in our last conversation. I then told 
him, in consenting to the making of this communication to the 
British Government I was aware that it might possibly produce 
an effect, different from that which he intended and which I 
desired ; that, supposing the British Ministers should be actuated 
by dispositions which might without any breach of candor be 
imputed to them, the certainty that the American Government 
would in no case seek or accept a community of cause with 
their most dreaded enemy, might render them more careless or 
indifferent to a pacification with us, as leading them to think 
less formidably of our hostility ; that I believed, however, the 
operation of this intelligence upon their minds would be of an 
opposite kind — that its tendency would be to promote the spirit 
of conciliation ; and that I was in this rcsix:ct happy to have the 
concurrence of his judgment. 

The Count said there was a possibility that the effect might 
be contrary to his wishes and intentions, but he trusted it 
would not ; that his instruction to Count Lieven was to inform 
Lord Castlereagh of this conversation with me, with the purpose 
of removing the prejudices entertained by the British Govern- 
ment, and of promoting the peace which he (Count Lieven) 
knew the Emperor had much at heart, as believing it most for 
the interest of both powers as well as of his own empire ; that 
he had not told Count Lieven that he was authorized by me to 
repeat this conversation, but appeared to relate it altogether 
without my privity ; that as the affairs of the British in Spain 
were not so prosperous as they had lately been, they would 
probably be under the necessity of making further efforts there, 
and might therefore be more disposed to accommodation in 
another quarter. He was quite anxious, he said, to hear from 
England. He had no accounts from thence later than 3d 




i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, ^33 

November, and now the only course of inrormation, even with 
regard to the internal state of France/ was through England. 

I asked him if there was no communication through Sweden 
and Denmark. He said there was — but very precarious and 
dilatory, for even before the war between Russia and France 
the usual course of the post between Paris and Copenhagen 
was through Moscow. I spoke to the Count of the answer 
the English Government had given to the Emperor's proposed 
mediation. He said they had neither accepted nor rejected it, 
but had hinted that it would not be acceptable in America ; that 
they thought the time was not yet come. But it appeared they 
had sent out Admiral Warren with powers to negotiate. Did I 
know what the result had been of this ? I said I did not, but 
I augured very little from this mode of negotiation. Admiral 
Warren had been known here in a mere diplomatic capacity, 
and I had heard his personal character spoken of as amiable 
and conciliatory; but there, he went also as commander-in- 
chief of a hostile squadron of ships, a character in itself far 
from portending conciliation. If we were vanquished indeed, 
an Admiral might signify to us the terms to which we must 
subscribe, as well as any other ; but until then, it was no good 
aspect for juciging favorably of the proposals; to be oflered 
from an Admiral making his first appearailce in hostile array, 
with ships of the line and frigates. 

The Count replied, that was true, but to the amiable and con- 
ciliatory disposition of Sir John Borlase Warren he could bear 
ample and willing testimony. He was as free from pride and 
from prejudices, both personal and national, as any Englishman 
he had ever known. At an early period of his embassy here, 
he (Count Romanzoff) had told him that the commercial rela- 
tions between Russia and England might be continued on a 
foundation of mutual advantage to both nations, but not upon 
the basis of former times ; not by viewing things under the 
varnish of the English factory ; not on the scale of maintaining 
here a dominion something like that they had in India. Sup- 
posing the Russian commerce upon the Black Sea were to 
become important, was the English factory to say that there 
must be none but at St. Petersburg? It could not be endurod. 

VOL. II.— 28 



^34 AfEAfOIJlS OF JOHN QUIKCY ADAMS. [December, 

It was absolutely necessary to remember that times and things 
had changed. Sir John did not say anything in answer to this 
at the time, but afterwards, when he was going away, he told 
the Count that he had remembered that conversation, and was 
fully satisfied of the correctness of his opinion. From the general 
tenor of the Count's remarks, I conjecture that he does not now 
very cordially harmonize with the English Ambassador, or fall 
into the present commercial or political views of the English 
Government He said that he was happy to find that the Brit- 
ish Ministers did full justice to the sentiments of the Emperor 
Alexander — " more justice, indeed," said he, " to the Emperor 
than they do to his Chancellor." He told me that Mr. Zea had 
lately sent him a dispatch of an old date from Mr. DaschkofT, 
and asked me whether I knew how it came to Mr. Zea's hands. 
I suppose Mr. DaschkofT sent it through the Spanish Minister 
by a cartel-ship to England, from whence it was transmitted to 
Mr. Zea by a courier. 

1 2th. Charles has learnt Addison's versions of the 19th and 
23d Psalms. The first of them I think the best. The second of 
J. B. Rousseau's sacred odes is a paraphrase of the same 19th 
Psalm, or rather of the first part of it. The French and English 
poetry is beautiful; but there is a sublime simplicity in the 
original Psalm itself, more energetic than anything in either of 
the imitations. Addison says that there is no real voice or 
sound in the firmament and stars. I am not sure that the Psalm 
says so. Plato's idea of the music of the spheres does not 
appear to have struck the Psalmist, but the Psalmist's idea that 
they declare the glory and handiwork of God was above the 
reach of Plalo. Shakspeare's idea that they sing choiring to the 
young-eyed cherubim is almost inspiration. Addison's astron- 
omy is adapted, perhaps, to the age when the Psalm w^s com- 
posed, and may pass for poetical astronomy in any age. But 
the Psalm does not say that the stars and planets move round 
the earth. In the 23d Psalm, Addison's introduction of the 
crook displeases me; ''fainting in the sultry glebe" is awk- 
wardly expressed, and "faint" will not rhyme with "pant," 
either to the ear or to the eye. In both the versions the 
thoughts are weakened by expansion and repetition. Yet the 




s 



i8ia.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA. ^35 

23d Psalm in Addison's poetry is delightful by its rural 
imagery; and the 19th is elevating by its grandeur. 

19th. The Emperor Alexander left this city early this morn- 
ing to go to the army. There have been for some days rumors 
of his departure, but they were so much contradicted that Jt 
was finally quite unexpected. 

24th. The Emperor's birthday, which, for the first time since 
I have been here, passed over without any celebration and 
almost without notice. There was a petty illumination of the 
streets for about two hours in the evening, and nothing more. 
The country has suffered so much by the last summer's inva- 
$ion, and there have perished such great multitudes of the 
people and armies, while other multitudes still greater are 
reduced to ruin and beggary, that the Emperor himself has 
determined there should be no expensive festivities this winter 
at his Court, and he particularly forbade the customary celebra- 
tion of his birthday. I was playing at ombre with the ladies, 
when I received a note from Mr. Harris, with a London gazette 
extraordinary of 27th November, containing the official ac- 
count (British) of the total defeat of the second American 
attempt to invade Upper Canada, and the surrender of General 
Wadsworth and nine hundred men. The symptoms disclosed 
by these repeated shameful terminations of impotent assaults 
are distressing to the feelings of one who loves his country. 
The reliance of man in all cases can only be upon Heaven. 
God grant that these disasters instead of sinking may rouse 
the spirit of the nation, and that they may learn, though from 
adversity, the skill and discipline which will be the pledges of 
their future prosperity I 

25th. I dined at Count RomanzofTs with a company of about 
sixty persons, the Corps Diplomatique, and the principal Min- 
isters of the country. I was seated at the table between Count 
Maistre and the Duke de Polignac, with both of whom I had 
much conversation. The news was the evacuation of Courland 
by the French, and the taking of three thousand Prussians 
prisoners d^ the Marquis de Paulucci, the Governor of Riga. 
This was so small an affair amidst the multitude of great and 
brilliant successes of the Russian arms that it was spoken of 



J 



^36 MEMOIRS OF JOHlf QUINCY ADAMS. [1812. 

rather contemptuously. Count RomanzofT, laughing heartily 
and apologizing to me for laying aside the reserve of the 
Chancellor, told me that the boys in the streets who sold the 
bulletins, when they followed persons and found them slow 
to take their goods, would urge them by saying, " Oh, take 
it! take it| It is not from Paulucci, but from Wittgenstein." 
The new-comer, Count Lowenhielm, appeared to be in a soit 
of ecstasy after dinner, at the band of music, particularly the 
horns, in the chamber adjoining the dining-hall. Admiral 
Bentinck complained that they smelt too strong of human 
nature. The Admiral told me that Napoleon had confiscated 
in Holland property belonging to him worth a hundred thou- 
sand pounds sterling. 

31st. I offer to a merciful God at the close of this year my 
humble tribute of gratitude for the blessings with which He has 
in the course of it favored me and those who are dear to me, 
and I pray for a continuance of his goodness. Above all, I pray 
that He who worketh in us both to will and to do, may grant 
to me and mine that temper of heart and that firmness of soul 
which are best adapted duly to receive all his dispensations, 
whether joyous or afflictive. It has pleased Him in the course 
of this year to lay his chastening hand upon me, and to try me 
with bittef sorrow. My endeavors to quell the rebellion of the 
heart have been sincere, and have been assisted with the bless- 
ing from above. As I advance in life its evils multiply, the 
instances of mortality become more frequent, and approach 
nearer to myself. The greater is the need of fortitude to 
encounter the woes that flesh is heir to, and of religion to sup- 
port pains for which there is no other remedy. Religious sen- 
timents become from day to day more constantly habitual to 
my mind. They are perhaps too often seen in this journal. 
God alone can make even religion a virtue, and to Him I look 
for aid, that mine may degenerate into no vicious excess. For 
the future time may the favor of God, which passeth all under- 
standing, rest upon my parents, my wife, and all my children, 
my kindred, friends, and country ; nor at this moment can I for- 
bear to include in my petitions the welfare of all human kind I 
For myself, may the divine energies be granted to perform fully 



I8i3.] THE MISSION TO RUSSIA, ^37 

all my duties to God, to my fellow-mortals in all the relations 
of life, and to my own soul I 

February ist, 18 13. At nine in the evening I went to Count 
RomanzofTs^and had with him the conversation I had requested. 
My object was to ascertain whether any commercial arrange- 
ments were making between this country and Great Britain 
which might affect the trade between Russia and the United 
States, chiefly upon suggestions in a letter I have received from 
Mr. Hazard. I mentioned to the Count the present state of our 
aflairswith England; the failure of all attempts to negotiate for 
a suspension of hostilities, and the prospect that the war must 
continue at least through the greatest part of the ensuing 
summer, even if the Emperor's mediation should eventually 
succeed in accomplishing a peace. Under these circumstances, 
I had been questioned in behalf of persons interested in the 
commerce between Russia and the United States, whether there 
had been, or was likely to be, any understanding between Russia 
and Great Britain, particularly with regard to the subject of 
articles of contraband. 

The Count said there neither had been, nor was likely to be, 
any such understanding ; that with England Russia had simply 
made peace, and the events of the French war had since so 
entirely absorbed their attention that they had not yet had time 
to talk about commerce ; that with regard to articles of contra- 
band, "you know," said he, "that our religion here is different 
from that of the English. But there have been a great many 
faults committed in Europe. Such is the pressure of the most 
important interests that it is impossible to have more than one 
ally. There is but one power on each side. If questions about 
articles of contraband arise in England, we shall adhere to our 
own system, and make our claims accordingly. But they will 
probably adhere to their side too. Thefe is no list of contra- 
band adjusted between us ; nor will they perhaps consider them- 
selves bound by that stipulated in our Treaty of Commerce with 
them, to which the subsequent war with them has put an end. 
They may recur to their most comprehensive list of contraband, 
and at this time we can hardly think of contesting with them on 
that point." 



438 MEMOIRS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. [Fcbnuiy, 

I said that in regard to the interest of Russia in her trade 
with America, almost all her articles of export, hemp, sail-cloth, 
and even iron, were articles which the English styled contra- 
band. But my business only was to know the iact, as he had 
candidly stated it to me, and I should, with his permission, make 
it known to those who had consulted me concerning it, and 
they must arrange their commercial speculations accordingly. 

He said that, without naming him, I might give this as the 
real state of things from the best information I could collect ; 
that there was no caution valide that the English would recog- 
nize or respect any list of contraband other than that which they 
had always allowed ; that with respect to commerce, no change, 
had yet been made in the tariff of the last two years. Probably 
little or none would be. made. The tariff had indeed not yet 
been renewed ; but it would be decided upon in another fort- 
night, for he knew the Emperor had again been applied to for 
his decision. He himself knew of it no more than what was 
current about the town, for he attended none of the meetings of 
the Council. When he went away with the Emperor last 
spring, all his presidencies (in the Council) had been trans- 
ferred to Marshall Soltykoff. He still retains them ; " and I," 
added the Count, " being still in the condition of a man for whom 
the Emperor may send from day to day the order to join him, 
though I do not know whether he will, yet in the mean time 
cannot attend at the meetings of the Council, appearing under 
the Presidency of Marshal Soltykoff, my equal in rank, but 
over whom my previous situation in the council had given me 
precedency." He then asked me some questions with regard to 
the popu