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to fuch a degree, that he could not even bear to hear them mentioned.
After one bloody war, he rafhly entered upon another, in which the interefts of Ruffia were no way concerned. He entertained an infuperable averfion to the regiments of guards, which had faithfully ferved his illuftrious ancestors, and made innovations in the army, which, far from exciting in their breafts noble fentiments of valour, only ferved to difcourage troops always ready to fpill their best blood in the caufe of their country. He changed entirely the face of the army; nay, it even feemed, that by dividing their habits into fo many uniforms, and giving them fo many different embellishments, for the most part fantaftical to the greateft degree, he intended to infuse into them a fufpicion that they did not, in effect, belong to one mafter, and thereby provoke the foldiers, in the heat of battle, to flay one another; although experience demonftrated that uniformity in dress had not a little contributed towards unanimity.
Inconfiderately and inceffantly bent on pernicious regulations, he fo alienated the hearts of his fubjects, that there was fcarce a fingle perfon to be found in the nation who did not openly exprefs his difapprobation, and was even defirous to take away his life: But the laws of God, which command fovereign princes to be respected, being deeply engraved on the hearts of our faithful fubjects, reftrained them, and engaged them to wait with patience, till the hand of God ftruck the important blow, and by his fall delivered an oppreffed people. Under those circumftances, now laid before the impartial eyes of the VOL. V.
public, it was, in fact, impoffible, but our foul should be troubled with thofe impending woes which threatened our native country, and with that perfecution which we, and our most dear fon, the heir of the Ruffian throne, unjustly fuffered: being almost entirely excluded from the imperial palace; in fuch fort, that all who had regard for us, or rather thofe who had courage enough to fpeak it (for we have not been able to find that there is one perfon who is not devoted to our intereft) by expreffing their fentiments of refpect due to us, as their emprefs, endangered their life, or at least their fortune. In fine, the endeayours he made to ruin us, rofe to fuch a pitch, that they broke out in public, and then charging us with being the cause of the murmurs, which his own imprudent measures occafioned, his refolution to take away our life openly appeared. But being informed of his purpose, by fome of our trusty subjects, who were determined to deliver their country, or perish in the attempt, relying on the aid of the Almighty, we chearfully exposed our perfon to danger, with all that magnanimity which our native country had a right to expect, in return for her affection to us. After having invoked the Moft High, and reposed our hope in the divine favour, we refolved alfo either to facrifice our life for our country, or fave it from bloodshed and calamity. Scarcely had we taken this refolution, by the direction of favouring Heaven, and declared our affent to the deputies of the empire, than the orders of the ftate crouded to give us affurances of their fidelity and fubmiffion.
It now remained for us, in purfuance of the love we bore our faithful fubjects, to prevent the confequences which we apprehended, in cafe of the late emperor's inconfiderately placing his confidence in the imaginary power of the Holftein troops, (for whofe fake he stayed at Oranjebaum, living in indolence, and abandoning the most preffing exigencies of the state) and there occafioning a carnage, to which our guards and other regiments were ready to expose themfelves, for the fake of their native country, for ours, and that of our fucceffor. For thefe reafons we looked upon it as a neceffary duty towards our fubjects (to which we were immediately called by the voice of God) to prevent fo great a misfortune, by prompt and proper measures. Therefore, placing ourfelves at the head of the bodyguards, regiment of artillery, and other troops in and about the royal refidence, we undertook to disconcert an iniquitous defign, of which we were, as yet, only informed in part.
But fcarcely were we got out of the city, before we received two letters from the late emperor, one quick on the heels of the other.The first by our vice-chancellor the prince Gallitzin, entreating us to allow him to return to Holftein, his native dominions; the other by major general Michel Ifmailoff, by which he declared, that of his own proper motion he renounced the crown and throne of Ruffia. In this laft he begged of us to allow him to withdraw to Holftein with Elizabeth Worontzoff Goudowick. These two laft letters, fuffed with flattering expreffions, came to our hands a few hours after he had
given orders for putting us to death, as we have been fince informed from the very perfons who were appointed to execute those unnatural orders.
In the meantime, he had ftill resources left him, which were ta arm against us his Holftein troops, and fome fmall detachments then about his person; he had, also, in his power feveral personages of diftinction belonging to our court; as he might therefore have compelled as to agree to terms of accommodation fill more hurtful to our country, (for after having learned what great commotions there were among the people he had detained them as hoftages at his palace of Oranjebaum, and our humanity would never have confented to their deftruction, but, to fave their lives, we would have rifked feeing a part of thofe dangers revived by an accommodation) feveral perfons of high rank about our perfon requested us to fend him a billet in return, propofing to him, if his intentions were fuch as he declared them to be, that he should instantly send us a voluntary and formal renunciation of the throne, wrote by his own hand, for the public fatisfaction.-Major general Ifmailoff carried this propofal, and now behold the writing which he fent back.
During the fort Space of my abfolute reign over the empire of Ruffia, I became fenfible that I was not able to fupport fo great a burthen, and that my abilities were not equal to the task of governing so great an empire, either as a fovereign, or in any other capacity whatever. I also foresaw the great troubles which must have from thence arofe, and have been fol lowed with the total ruin of the empires
pire, and covered me with eternal difgrace. After having therefore ferionfly reflected thereon, I declare, without constraint, and in the most folemn manner, to the Ruffian empire, and to the whole universe, that I for ever renounce the government of the faid empire, never defiring hereafter to reign therein, either as an abfolute fovereign, or under any other form of government; never wishing to afpire thereto, to use any means, of any fort, for that purpose. As a pledge of which I fwear fincerely before God and all the world, to this prefent renunciation, wrote and figned this 29th of June, 1762, O. S.
It is thus, without fpilling one drop of blood, that we have afcended the Ruffian throne, by the affiftance of God, and the approving fuffrages of our dear country. Humbly adoring the decrees of Divine Providence, we affure our faithful fubjects, that we will not fail, by night and by day, to invoke the Most High to blefs our fcepter, and enable us to wield it for the maintenance of our orthodox religion, the fecurity and defence of our dear native country, and the support of juftice; as well as to put an end to all miferies, iniquities, and violences, by ftrength ening and fortifying our heart for the public good. And as we ardently wish to prove effectually how far we merit the reciprocal love of our people, for whofe happiness we acknowledge our throne to be appointed, we folemnly promife, on our imperial word, to make fuch arrangements in the empire, that the government may be endued with an intrinfic force to fupport
itself within limited and proper bounds; and each department of the ftate provided with wholfome laws and regulations, fufficient to maintain good order therein, at all times, and under all circumstances.
By which means we hope to esta blifh hereafter, the empire and our fovereign power, (however they may have been formerly weakened) in fuch a manner as to comfort the difcouraged hearts of all true patriots. We do not in the leaft doubt but that our loving fubjects will, as well for the falvation of their own fouls, as for the good of religion, inviolably obferve the oath which they have fworn to us in presenee, of the Almighty God; we there upon affure them of our imperial favour.
Done at Petersburg, July 6, 1762.
Her imperial majesty's declaration,
&c. on the death of the emperor her husband,
WECatherine II. by the grace of
God, emprefs and autocratrefs of all the Ruffias.-Greeting, &c.
The 7th day after our acceffion to the throne of all the Ruffias, we received information, that the late emperor Peter III. by the means of a bloody accident in his hinder parts, commonly called piles, to which he had been formerly fubject, obtained a most violent, griping, cholic. That therefore we might not be wanting in Chriftian duty, nor difobedient to the holy commandment by which we are obliged to preferve the life of our neighbour, we immediately ordered that the faid Peter fhould be furnishad with every thing that might be judged neceffary to prevent the dangerous
dangerous confequences of that accident, and to reitore his health by the fuccours of medicine. But to our great regret and affliction we learned yesterday evening, that by the permiffion of the Almighty, the late emperor departed this life. We have therefore ordered his body to be transported to the monaftery of Newsky, in order to its being buried there. At the fame time with our imperial and motherly voice, we exhort our faithful fubje&ts to forget and forgive what is past, to pay the last duties to his body, and to pray to God fincerely for the peace of his foul; befeeching them, however, at the fame time to confider this unexpected and fudden death as a special effect of the Divine Providence, whofe decrees prepare for us, for our throne, and for our country, things only known to his holy will."
to a conclufion, are, on the contrary, gathering fresh ftrength to the great misfortune of the feveral nations; and that mankind has so much the more to fuffer from this fcourge, as the fortune of arms, which has been hitherto fubject to fo many viciffitudes, is equally expofed to them for the future
Wherefore his imperial majesty, compaffionating, through his humane difpofition, the effufion of innocent blood, and being defirous, on his part, of putting a top to fo great an evil, has judged it neceffary to declare to the courts in alliance with Ruffia, that, preferring to every other confideration, the firft law which God prefcribes to fovereigns, which is the prefervation of the people intrusted to them, he wishes to procure peace to his empire, to which it is fo neceffary, and of fo great value; and, at the fame time, to contribute, as much
Done at St. Petersburg, July. as may be in his power, to the reestablishment of it throughout all Europe.
It is in order to this, that his imperial majefty is ready to make a facrifice of the conquefts made by the arms of Ruffia, in this war, in hopes that the allied courts will, on their part, equally prefer the restoration of peace and tranquility, to the advantages, which they might expect from the war, and which they cannot obtain but by the con
tinuance of the effufion of human blood. And to this end his imperial majefty, with the best intention, advises them to employ, on their fide, all their power towards the accomplishment of fo great and fo falutary a work.
Papers relating to the re-establishment of peace.
Declaration delivered by the emperor of Ruffia's order, to the imperial, French, and Swedish minifters refiding at St. Petersburg.
on his happy acceffion to the throne of his ancestors, looks upon it to be his principal duty to extend and augment the welfare of his fubjects, fees with extreme regret, that the flames of the prefent war, which has already continued for fix years, and has been for a long time burthenfome to all the powers engaged in it, far from tending now
St. Petersburg, Feb. 12, 1762.
The anfwer of the empress-queen to the foregoing declaration. THAT animated with the fame zeal, and being of the fame opinion, as his imperial majefty, with regard to the falutary work of peace, and to the putting an end to the troubles and ravages that defolate Germany, fhe was ready to concur with him therein; but that, for that end, the defired his imperial majesty to furnish her with the means of beginning the negotiation, by imparting to her the propofed terms of peace, which he would, without lofs of time, communicate to her high allies, who, as well as herself, would be always ready to co-operate in a matter fo much defired, provided the terms were not inadmiffible, and contained nothing injurious either to their honour, or her honour.
The answer given by the French court to the declaration.
tion of his fubjects a duty to him, cannot make him forget the first law that God prescribes to fovereigns, even that which conftitutes the public fafety, and fixes the condition of nations and empires, fidelity in executing treaties, and punctuality in performing engagements to their full extent, preferably to every other confideration.
THE king maintaining, with
regret, these fix years paft, a two-fold war for his own defence and that of his allies, has fufficiently manifefted, on every occafion, how much he abhors the effufion of
human blood, and his conftant defire to put an end to fo cruel a fcourge. His perfonal difinterestednefs, the fteps which he thought could be taken confiftent with his dignity, and the facrifices which he did offer, in order to procure to Europe the defireable bleffing of peace, are fure pledges of the humane fentiments with which his heart abounds. But, at the fame time, his paternal tenderness which makes the happinefs and preferva
'Tis with this view, that, after having given fo great examples of conftancy and generofity, his majefly declares that he is ready to liften favourably to propofitions for a folid and honourable peace, but will always act in the most perfect concert with his allies; that he will receive no counfels but fuch as fhall be dictated to him by honour and probity; that he should think himfelf guilty of a defection, in lending a hand to fecret negotiations; that he will not tarnish his glory, and that of his kingdom, by abandoning his allies; and that he refts affured each of the a will, on their part, faithfully adhere to the fame principle.
Answer given by the king of Poland, elector of Saxony, to the fame declaration.
LL my allies with as much as myfelf, that the public tranquillity may be restored upon folid foundations. It is well known to all Europe, that I did not feek the war; but,on the contrary, e.nployed every means to keep the calamities of it at a distance from my dominions. My love to mankind in general, and to my own fubjects in particular, ought to engage me to facilitate as much as in me lies, the refloration of peace, and to exer