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rine, resolved upon building a palace for himself. The gorgeous magnificence of Zarsco Zelo, and of the Winter palace, and all the Oriental voluptuousness of the Hermitage, were hateful to him ; indeed, to such an elevation had his abhorrence of these places attained, that he had determined to reduce them to the dust, that only
the blackness of ashes should mark where they stood." His fate, which was fast approaching, prevented the accomplishment of this irretrievable act of delirium. The Emperor and his family resided, at the time when the confederacy had resolved upon his removal, in the new palace of Saint Michael. It is an enormous quadrangular pile, of red Dutch brick, rising from a massy basement of hewn granite; it stands at the bottom of the Summer Gardens, and the lofty spire of its Greek chapel, richly covered with ducat gold, rising above the trees, has a beautiful appearance.
As Paul was anxious to inhabit this palace as soon after he was crowned as possible, the masons, the carpenters, and various artificers, toiled with incredible labour by day and by torch-light, under the sultry sun of the summer, and in all the severity of a polar winter, and in three years this enormous and magnificent fabric was completed. The whole is moated round, and when the stranger surveys its bastions of granite, and numerous draw-bridges, he is naturally led to conclude, that it was intended for the last asylum of a Prince at war with his subjects. Those who have seen its massy walls, and the capaciousness and variety of its chambers, will easily admit, that an act of violence might be committed in one room, and not be heard by those who occupy the adjoining one; and that a massacre might be perpetrated at one end, and pot known at the other. Paul took possession of this palace as a place of strength, and beheld it with rapture, because his Imperial mother had never even seen it. Whilst his family were here, by every act of tenderness endeavouring to soothe the terrible perturbation of his mind, there were not wanting those who exerted every stratagem to inflame and encrease it. These people were constantly insinuating, that every hand was armed against him. With this impression, which added fuel to his burning brain, he ordered a secret stair-case to be constructed, which, leading from his own chamber, passed
under a false stove in the anti-room, and led by a small door to the terrace.
It was the custom of the Emperor to sleep in an outer apartment next to the Empress's, upon a sopha, in his regimentals and boots, whilst the Grand Duke and Duchess, and the rest of the Imperial family, were lodged at various distances, in apartments below the story which he occupied. On the tenth day of March, 0. S. 1801, the day preceding the fatal night, whether Paul's apprehensiou, or anonymous information, suggested the idea, is not known, but conceiving that a storm was ready to burst upon him, he sent to Count Pnor of the city, one of the noblemen who had resolved on his destruction : “ I am informed, P-," said the Emperor, “ that there is a conspiracy on foot against
think it necessary to take any precaution ?” The Count, without betraying the least emotion, replied, “ Sire, do not suffer such apprehensions to haunt your mind ; if there were any combinations forming against your Majesty's person, I am sure I should be acquainted with it." " Then I am satisfied," said the Emperor, and the Governor withdrew. Before Paul retired to rest, he unexpectedly expressed the most tender solicitude for the Einpress and his children, kissed them with all the warmth of farewell fondness, and remained with thern longer than usual: and after he had visited the centinels at their different posts, he retired to his chamber, where he had not long remained, before, under some colourable pretext, that satisfied the men, the guard was changed by the officers who had the command for the night, and were engaged in the confederacy. An hussar, whom the Emperor had particularly honoured by his notice and attention, always at night slept at his bed-room door, in the anti-room. It was impossible to remove this faithful soldier by any fair means. At this momentous period, si. lence reigned throughout the palace, except where it was disturbed by the pacing of the centinels, or at a distance by the murinurs of the Neva, and only a few lights were to be seen distantly and irregularly gleaming through the windows of this dark colossal abode. In the dead of the night, Z-- and his friends, amounting to eight or nine persons, passed the draw-bridge, easily ascended the stair-case which led to Paul's chamber, and met with no resistance till they reached the anti-room, when the
falthful hussar, awakened by the noise, challenged them, and presented his fusee: much as they must have all admired the brave fidelity of the guard, neither time nor circumstances would admit of an act of generosity, which might have endangered the whole plan. 2-- drew his sabre and cut the poor fellow down. Paul, awakened by the noise, sprung from his sofa : at this moment the whole party rushed into his room; the unhappy sovereign, anticipating their design, at first endeavoured to entrench bimself in the chairs and tables, then recovering, he assumed a high tone, told them they were his prisoners, and called
upon them to surrender. Finding that they fixed their eyes steadily and fiercely upon him, and continued advancing towards him, he implored them to spare his life, declared his consent instantly to relinquish the sceptre, and to accept of any terms which they would dictate. In his raving, he offered to make them princes, and to give them estates, and titles, and orders, without end, They now began to press upon him, when he made a convulsive effort to reach the window : in the attempt he failed, and indeed so bigh was it from the ground, that had he succeeded, the expedient would only have put a more instantaneous period to his misery. In the effort he very severely cut his hand with the glass; and as they drew him back he grasped a chair, with which he felled one of the assailants, and a desperate resistance took place. So great was the poise, that notwithstanding the massy walls, and thick double folding doors, which divided the apartments, the empress was disturbed, and began to cry for help, when a voice whispered in her ear, and imperatively told her to remain quiet, otherwise, if she uttered another word, she should be put to instant death. Whilst the emperor was thus making a last struggle, the Prince Ystruck him on one of his temples with his fist, and laid bim upon the floor ; Paul, recovering from the blow, again implored his life ; at this moment the heart of Pi Zmy relented, and upon being observed to tremble and hesitate, a young Hanoverian resolutely exclaimed, “We have passed the Rubicon; if we spare his life, before the setting of to-morrow's sun, we shall be his victimis!" Upon which he took off his sash, turned it twice round the naked neck of the emperor, and giving one end to Z-, and holding the other himself, they pulled for a considerable time with all their force, until their miserable sovereign was po
more: they then retired from the palace, without the least molestation, and returned to their
respective homes. What occurred after their departure can be better conceived than depicted; medical aid was resorted to, but in vain, and upon the breathless body of the emperor, fell the tears of his widowed empress and children, and domestics ; nor was genuine grief ever more forcibly or feelingly displayed than by him on whose brow this melancholy event had planted the
So passed away this night of horror, and thus perished a prince, to whom nature was severely bountiful. The acuteness and pungency of his feeling was incompatible with happiness: unnatural prejudice pressed upon the fibre, too finely spun, and snapped it.
'Tis not as heads that never ache suppose
CowPER The sun shone upon a new order of things. At seven o'clock the intelligence of the demise of Paul spread through the capital. The interval of time from its first communication to its diffusion over every part of Petersburg, was scarcely perceptible. At the parade Alexander presented himself on horseback, when the troops, with tears rolling down their rugged aud sun-browned faces, hailed him with loud and cordial acclamation. The
young emperor was overwhelmed, and at the moment of mounting the throne of the most extensive empire under heaven, he was seen to turn from the grand and affecting spectacle, and weep.
What followed is of very subordinate consideration : but perhaps it will be eagerly asked, to what extremity did the avenging arm of Justice
perpetrators of the deed ? Mercy, the brightest jewel of every crown, and a forlorn and melancholy conviction, that the reigning motive was the salvation of the empire, prevented her from being vindictive. Never upon the theatre of life was there presented a scene of more affecting magnanimity; decency, not revenge, governed the sacrifice. PZ- was ordered not to approach
the imperial residence, and the governor of the city was transferred to Riga. As soon as Madame Chevalier was informed of the demise of her imperial patron, she prepared, under the protection of her brother, a dancer, for flight, with a booty of nearly a million of rubles. A police officer was sent to inspect and report upon her property : amongst a pile of valuable articles, he discovered a diamond cross of no great intrinsic value, which had been given by Peter I. to a branch of the imperial family, and on that account much esteemed; it was to recover this that the officer was sent, who obtained it, after the most indecent and unprincipled resistance on her part. Passports were then granted to Madame Chevalier and her brother. Thus terminated this extraordinary and impressive tragedy.
DOM. NOEL D'ARGONNE. This Carthusian Monk, of Gallion in Normandy seems the only one of his venerable fraternity who has ever written upon subjects of Belles Lettres. The first two volumes of that learned and agreeable miscellany “ Les Melanges de la Literature,” which go under the name of Vigneuil de Merville, were compiled by him. The third volume was put together by the Abbé Banier, perhaps from the papers of the elegant Carthusian, who appears to have lived very much in the world. He occasionally speaks of his travels to Rome; and his observations seem replete with that knowledge and discrimination of character which a secluded life can never afford.
“ The Painters,” says he, in the second volumes of his Melanges, “who are enraptured with their art, take every opportunity of sketching any fine heads they happen to meet with, particularly when they have something extraordinary about them. An humble imitator of those Artists, I make pictures of those persons in whom I pera ceive any thing remarkable. Mr. M. N. is now under my pencil. He is a man of quality, sensible, handsome, and genteel. He is extremely pleasant in society, but knows not what it is to love, or to have a real regard for any one.
He is of opinion, that the heart is given us merely to purify the blood, to set it in motion, and to render it perfect, and not to receive any impressions of tenderness or of attachment to mankind. He looks upon