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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

The Purple Blood of "Holy Russia."

page 33

The Purple Blood of "Holy Russia."

Peter the Great was succeeded by his grandson Peter the Second, son of Alexis, offspring of his first marriage. Ill's two daughters, Anna and Elizabeth, were illegitimate, Peter having had another wife and Catherine another husband at the time of their birth.

Peter the Second was succeeded by Anne, second daughter of Ivan the Third, elder brother of Peter the Great, her elder sister being passed over.

On the death of Anno the infant grandson of this elder sister, was proclaimed by the title of Ivan the Fourth. The revolution of Lestocq, 6 December 1741, consigned Ivan the Fourth to a dungeon at the age of fifteen months; from which he was only liberated in 1764, when Catherine the Second put him to death exactly two years and one day after the murder of her own husband.

Ivan was deposed to make way for Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Peter the Great; the son of the eldest daughter, afterwards Peter the Third, being passed by. It is therefore evident that hereditary right was held of very little account; the cabinet appointed the sovereign at their discretion.

Elizabeth was raised to the throne in December 1741. On 18 November 1742, Peter, being fourteen years of age, and having publicly adopted the Russo-Greek religion, was proclaimed Grandduke, Imperial Highness, and successor to the throne; to which, if he had any claim at all, he had a title prior to that of the reigning empress.

The gross debaucheries of Elizabeth, who could scarcely be got to attend to the necessary routine of business, were well suited to the requirements of a cabinet not yet strong enough to impose a yoke upon a sovereign of capacity. Means were taken to prevent Peter from acquiring the habits or the knowledge fitted for his station. A wife was however sought for him, who combined the depravity of Elizabeth with the talents necessary for an intelligent instrument. The Princess Sophia of Anhalt Zerbst repaired to Saint Petersburg in 1747, and was married to Peter, having been baptised in the Russian church as Catherine-Alexievna.

The marriage appearing likely to be unfruitful, a lover page 34 was provided for Catherine, and Soltikoff became the father of the future Emperor Paul. No sooner was the child born than Soltikoff was sent out of Russia, first as envoy-extra-ordinary to Stockholm to announce the birth of the young prince, and then as minister-plenipotentiary to Hamburg. This was in 1754. Three or four years afterwards (for dates differ) Catherine was delivered of a daughter, who lived only fifteen months, and whose paternity was attributed to Poniatowsky, afterwards king of Poland.

On the 5th of January 1762, Peter the Third was pro-claimed emperor. On the 9th of July he was dethroned by his wife. On the 17th of July he was put to death.

Catherine, a German descended from a Holstein family, and therefore a foreigner, with a son known to be spurious, with talents for government rare in either sex, and with habits such as are forbidden in every other court in Europe, was exactly the instrument which the Russian cabinet required to consolidate their power. She died a natural death on the 17th of November 1796, being, as is believed, the last Russian sovereign who has done so.

The Russian royal family are thus bred, trained, and slaughtered like horses or hounds. Such is the family which is now doubly allied to England—directly through the descendants not of Romanoff but Soltikoff, and indirectly through the usurping King of Denmark.

In the design of universal empire it is a vast step to ally in one family—Denmark, that is, the Sound; Greece assaulting the Dardanelles; Sweden, whose royal family bids fair to be shortly extinct; England, the neighbor of Russia and as yet her necessary prop; and Russia herself, who is to utilise all these acquisitions.

Russia has nothing to fear from the Church or the Parliament or the Press of England, and very little from her People. The one obstacle in her path has been the patriotism and courage of the Queen. This obstacle for the next reign appears to have been converted into a weapon by the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the sister of the future Czarina.

(Anon. 1864.)