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the public curiosity which so troubled him at Zaandam. The next day, at a meeting of the directors of the East India Company, it was resolved to allow “ a high personage, present here incognito,” to work at the wharf, to assign him a house in which he could live undisturbed within the precincts, and that, as a mark of their respect, they would proceed to the construction of a frigate, in order that he might see the building of a ship from the beginning. This frigate was to be one hundred or one hundred and thirty feet long, according to the wish of the Tsar, though the Company preferred the length of one hundred feet. The Tsar was at the dinner of state given to the embassy by the city of Amsterdam when he received a copy of this résolution. He wished to set to work immediately, and was with difficulty persuaded to wait for the fireworks and the triumphal arch prepared in his honor; but as soon as the last fires had burnt out, in spite of all entreaties he set out for Zaandam on his yacht in order to fetch his tools. He returned early the next morning, August 30, and went straight to the wharf of the East India Company, at Oostenburg.
For more than four months, with occasional absences, he worked here at ship-building, under the direction of the Baas Gerrit Claes Pool. Ten of the Russian “volunteers” set to work at the wharf with him. The rest were sent to other establishments to learn the construction of masts, boats, sails, and blocks, while Prince Alexander of Imeritia went to the Hague to study artillery, and a certain number of others were entered as sailors before the mast. The first three weeks were taken up with the preparations of materials. On September 19, Peter laid the keel of the new frigate, one hundred feet in length, to be called “the Apostles Peter and Paul,” and on the next day wrote to the Patriarch at Moscow as follows:
“We are in the Netherlands, in the town of Amsterdam, and by the mercy of God, and by your prayers, are alive and in good health, and, following the divine command given to our forefather Adam, we are hard at work. What we do is not from any need, but for the sake of learning navigation, so that, having mastered it thoroughly, we can, when we return, be victors over the enemies of Jesus Christ, and liberators of the Christians who live under them, which I shall not cease to wish for until my latest breath.”.
Peter allowed no difference to be made between himself and the other workmen, and it is said that when the Earl of Portland and another nobleman came from the king's chateau at Loo to have a sight of him, the overseer, in order to point him out, said: “ Carpenter Peter of Zaandam, why don't you help your comrades ?” and Peter, without a word, placed his shoulder under the timber which several men were carrying, and helped to raise it to its place. In the moments of rest, the Tsar, sitting down on a log, with his hatchet between his knees, was willing to talk to any one who addressed him simply as Carpenter Peter, or Baas Peter, but turned away and did not answer those who called him Sire or Your Majesty. He never liked long conversations.
When Peter came home from the wharf, he devoted much of his time to learning the theory of ship-building, for which he had to make additional studies in geometry. His note-books, which have been carefully preserved, show the thoroughness with which he worked.
In his hours of recreation, Peter's curiosity was insatiable. He visited factories, workshops, anatomical museums, cabinets of coins, botanical gardens, theatres, and hospitals, inquired about everything he saw, and was soon recognized by his oft-repeated phrases : “What is that for? How does that work? That will I see.” He journeyed to Texel, and went again to Zaandam to see the Greenland whaling fleet. In Leyden he made the acquaintance of the great Boerhave, and visited the celebrated botanical garden under his guidance, and in Delft he studied the miscroscope under the naturalist Leeuwenhoek. He made the intimate acquaintance of the Dutch military engineer Baron Van Coehorn, and of Admiral Van Scheij. He talked of architecture with Simon Schynvoet, visited the museum of Jacob de Wilde, and learned to etch under the direction of Schonebeck. An impression of a plate he engraved—for he had some knowledge of drawing-of Christianity victorious over Islam, is still extant. He often visited the dissecting- and lecture-room of Professor Ruysch, entered into correspondence with him, and finally bought his cabinet of anatomical preparations. He made himself acquainted with Dutch home and family life, and frequented the society of the merchants engaged in the Russian trade. He became especially intimate with the Thessing family, and granted to one of the brothers the right to print Russian books at Amsterdam, and to introduce them into Russia. Every market day he went to the Botermarkt, mingled with the people, studied their trades, and followed their life. He took lessons from a travelling dentist, and experimented on his servants and suite; he mended his own clothes, and learned cobbling enough to make himself a pair of slippers. He visited the Protestant churches, and of an evening he did not forget the beer-houses, which we know so well through the pencils of Teniers, Brouwer, and Van Ostade..
The frigate on which Peter worked so long was at last launched, and proved a good and useful ship for many years, in the East India Company's service.
BORN in St. Louis, Mo.
SOME REMINISCENCES OF LANDOR.
[Last Days of Walter Savage Landor.— The Atlantic Monthly. 1866.] TT was a modest house in a modest street that Landor inhabited during I the last six years of his life. Tourists can have no recollection of the Via Nunziatina, directly back of the “ Carmine,” in the old part of Florence; but there is no loving lounger about those picturesque streets that does not remember how, strolling up the Via dei Seragli, one encounters the old shrine to the Madonna which marks the entrance to that street made historical henceforth for having sheltered a great English writer. There, halfway down the via, in that little two-story casa, No. 2671, dwelt Walter Savage Landor, with his English housekeeper and cameriera. Sitting-room, bed-room, and dining-room opened into each other; and in the former he was always found, in a large arm-chair, surrounded by paintings; for he declared he could not live without them. His snowy hair and beard of patriarchal proportions, clear, keen, gray eyes, and grand head, made the old poet greatly resemble Michel Angelo's world-renowned masterpiece of “Moses”; nor was the formation of Landor's forehead unlike that of Shakespeare. “If, as you declare,” said he, jokingly, one day, “I look like that meekest of men, Moses, and like Shakespeare, I ought to be exceedingly good and somewhat clever.”
At Landor's feet was always crouched a beautiful Pomeranian dog, the gift of his kind American friend, William W. Story. The affection existing between “ Gaillo" and his master was really touching. Gaillo's eyes were always turned towards Landor's; and upon the least encouragement the dog would jump into his lap, lay his head most lovingly upon his master's neck, and generally deport himself in a very human manner. “Gaillo is such a dear dog!” said Landor, one day, while patting him. “We are very fond of each other, and always have a game of play after dinner; sometimes, when he is very good, we have two. I am sure I could not live if he died; and I know that when I am gone he will grieve for me.” Thereupon Gaillo wagged his tail, and looked piteously into padrone's face, as much as to say he would be grieved indeed. Upon being asked if he thought dogs would be admitted into heaven, Landor answered : “And, pray, why not? They have all of the good and none of the bad qualities of man.” No matter upon what subject conversation turned, Gaillo's feelings were cortsulted. He was the only and chosen companion of Landor in his walks; but few of the Florentines who stopped to remark the vecchio con quel bel canino knew how great was the man upon whom they thus commented.
It is seldom that England gives birth to so rampant a republican as Landor. Born on the 30th of January, two years before our Declaration of Independence, it is probable that the volcanic action of those troublous times had no little influence in permeating the mind of the embryo poet with that enthusiasm for and love of liberty for which he was distinguished in maturer years. From early youth Landor was a poor respecter of royalty and rank per se. He often related, with great good-humor, an incident of his boyhood which brought his democratic ideas into domestic disgrace. An influential bishop of the Church of England, happening to dine with young Landor's father one day, assailed Porson, and, with self-assumed superiority, thinking to annihilate the old Grecian, exclaimed: “We have no opinion of his scholarship.” Irate at this stupid pronunciamento against so renowned a man, young Landor looked up, and, with a sarcasm the point of which was not in the least blunted by age, retorted: “We, my Lord ?” Of course such unheardof audacity and contempt of my Lord Bishop's capacity for criticism was severely reprobated by Landor senior; but no amount of reproof could force his son into a confession of sorrow.
“At Oxford,” said Landor, “ I was about the first student who wore his hair without powder. "Take care,' said my tutor ; 'they will stone you for a republican.' The Whigs (not the wigs) were then unpopular; but I stuck to my plain hair and queue tied with black ribbon."
Of Landor's mature opinion of republics in general we glean much from a passage of the “ Pentameron,” in which the author adorns Petrarca with his own fine thoughts :
“When the familiars of absolute princes taunt us, as they are wont to do, with the only apothegm they ever learnt by heart--namely, that it is better to be ruled by one master than by many—I quite agree with them; unity of power being the principle of republicanism, while the principle of despotism is division and delegation. In the one system, every man conducts his own affairs, either personally or through the agency of some trustworthy representative, which is essentially the same : in the other system, no man, in quality of citizen, has any affairs of his own to conduct; but a tutor has been as much set over him as over a lunatic, as little with his option or consent, and without any provision, as there is in the case of the lunatic, for returning reason. Meanwhile, the spirit of republics is omnipresent in them, as active in the particles as in the mass, in the circumference as in the centre. Eternal it must be, as truth and justice are, although not stationary.”
Let Europeans who, having predicted the dismemberment of our Union, proclaimed death to democracy, and those thoughtless Americans who believe that liberty cannot survive the destruction of our Republic, think well of what great men have written. Though North America were submerged to-morrow, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans rushing over our buried hopes to a riotous embrace, republicanism would live as long as the elements endure
-borne on every wind, inhaled in every breath of air, abiding its opportunity to become an active principle. Absorbed in our own peculiar form of egotism, we believe that a Supreme Being has cast the cause of humanity upon one die, to prosper or perish by the chances of our game. What belittling of the Almighty! what magnifying of ourselves !
Though often urged, Landor never became a candidate for Parliamentary honors. Political wire-pulling was not to the taste of a man who, notwithstanding large landed interests, could say: “I never was at a public dinner, at a club or hustings. I never influenced or attempted to influence a vote, and yet many, and not only my own tenants, have asked me to whom they, should give theirs.” Nor was he ever presented at court, although a presentation would have been at the request of the (at that time) regent. Landor would not countenance a system of court-favor that opens its arms to every noodle wearing an officer's uniform, and almost universally turns its back upon intellect. He put not his faith in princes, and of titles says: “Formerly titles were inherited by men who could not write; they now are conferred on men who will not let others. Theirs may have been the darker age; ours is the duller. In theirs a high spirit was provoked ; in ours, proscribed. In theirs the bravest were preëminent; in ours, the basest.” . . .
It was impossible to be in Landor's society a half-hour and not reap advantage. His great learning, varied information, extensive acquaintance with the world's celebrities, ready wit, and even readier repartee, rendered his conversation wonderfully entertaining. He would narrate anecdote after anecdote with surprising accuracy, being possessed of a singularly retentive memory, that could refer to a catalogue of notables far longer than Don Giovanni's picture-gallery of conquests. Names, it is true, he was frequently unable to recall, and supplied their place with a “ God bless my soul, I forget everything"; but facts were indelibly stamped upon his mind. He referred back to the year one with as much facility as a person of the rising generation invokes the shade of some deed dead a few years. I looked with wonder upon a person who remembered Napoleon Bonaparte as a slender young man, and listened with delight to a voice from so dim a past. “I was in Paris,” said Landor one day, “at the time that Bonaparte made his entrance as First Consul. I was standing within a few feet of him when he passed, and had a capital good look at him. He was exceedingly handsome then, with a rich olive complexion and oval face, youthful as a girl's. Near him rode Murat, mounted upon a gold-clad charger, and very handsome he was too, but coxcombical.”
Like the rest of human kind, Landor had his prejudices; they were very many. Foremost among them was an antipathy to the Bonaparte family. It is not necessary to have known him personally to be aware of his detestation of the first Napoleon, as in the conversation between himself, an English and a Florentine visitor, he gives expression to a generous indignation, which may well be inserted here, as it contains the pith of what Landor repeated in many a social talk. “This Holy Alliance will soon appear unholy to every nation in Europe. I despised Napoleon in the plenitude of his power no less than others despise him in the solitude of his exile : I thought him no less an impostor when he took the ermine than when he took the emetic. I confess I do not love him the better, as some mercenaries in England and Scotland do, for having been the enemy of my country; nor should I love him the less for it had his enmity been principled and manly. In what manner did this cruel wretch treat his enthusiastic admirer and humble follower, Toussaint l'Ouverture? He was thrown into a subterranean cell, solitary, dark, damp, pestiferously unclean, where rheumatism racked his limbs, and where famine terminated his existence.” Again, in his written opinions of Cæsar, Cromwell, Milton, and Bonaparte, Landor criticises the career of the latter with no fondness, but with much truth, and justly says that “Napoleon, in the last years of his sovereignty, fought without aim, vanquished without glory, and perished without defeat."
Great as was Landor's dislike to the uncle, it paled before his detestation of the reigning Emperor-a detestation too general to be designated an idiosyncrasy on the part of the poet. We always knew who was meant when a sentence was prefaced with “that rascal” or “that scoundrel"; such were the epithets substituted for the name of Louis Napoleon. Believing the third Napoleon to be the worst enemy of his foster-mother, Italy, as well as of France, Landor bestowed upon him less love, if possible, than the majority of Englishmen. Having been personally acquainted with the Emperor when he lived in England as an exile, Landor, unlike many of Napoleon's enemies, acknowledged the superiority of his intellect. “I used to see a