Puslapio vaizdai

calmed, but refused to listen to his wife's | In a hall in Buturlín's house a throne was prayers. On the 27th of November, at erected, covered with striped material, on ten o'clock in the morning, Mons and his which Bacchus presided, seated on a cask. sister were taken in sledges to the place of In the next room, where the "conclave" execution. Mons calmly bowed whenever assembled, fourteen boxes were constructed, he noticed his acquaintances in the crowd while in the midst was a table with repreof people standing about; with a show of sentations of a bear and a monkey, a cask courage he ascended the scaffold, took off of wine, and dishes of food. After a solemn his fur coat, listened to the sentence of procession, the Emperor shut up the "cardeath for receiving bribes, bowed once dinals" in the room of the conclave, and more, and placed his head on the block. put his seal on the door. No one was His sister, Metrena Balk, was punished with allowed to come out until a new "pope" eleven blows of the knout, and sent to had been chosen, and every quarter of an Tobolsk. Two others were whipped and hour the members of the conclave were sent to hard labor at Rogerwik. After obliged to swallow a large spoonful of the execution, Peter drove out with Cather- whisky. The next morning, at six o'clock, ine and passed close by the stake on which Peter let them out. They had disputed the head of Mons was exposed. He forced among themselves for a long time, and as his wife to look at this bloody trophy, and it is they could not decide on a pope, had reported that, looking the Emperor straight been obliged to ballot for him. The lot in the eyes, she said: "How sad it is that fell on an officer of the commissariat, who there should be such corruption even at was then placed upon the throne, and all court!" were obliged to kiss his slipper. In the evening which followed, the guests were served with meat of wolves, foxes, bears, cats, and rats.

On the 27th of January, Peter, who had again caught cold at the blessing of the Neva, was forced to take to his bed, under the care of Doctor Blümentrost. On the 2d of February he confessed and received the sacrament. On the 6th, he signed a proclamation freeing all persons who had been exiled to hard labor, and pardoned all criminals except those who were condemned for murder and for heinous offenses. Catherine, by her entreaties, obtained the pardon of Menshikóf. The next day he expressed a wish to write out his intentions with regard to the succession to the throne. The paper was given to him, but he succeeded in writing only two words-"Give all," when the pen dropped from his hand. He called for his daughter Anna, in order to dictate to her, but when she appeared he was no longer able to pronounce a single word. The next day, the 8th of February, at six o'clock in the morning, he expired.

Next came disclosures about Makórof, the secretary of the cabinet, who was accused of taking bribes for the reports which he made to his master, and about Menshikóf, who had before on two occasions been pardoned for his corruption and extortion, and who, on this new accusation, was removed from his position as president of the War Board. Meanwhile, on the 5th of December, the name's-day of the Empress, Peter celebrated the betrothal of his daughter Anna with the Duke of Holstein. In accordance with the decree by which Peter reserved to the sovereign the right of appointing his own successor, the Princess was obliged to renounce for herself and her posterity all claims to the Russian throne. A strange destiny made this renunciation of no effect, for the son of Anna, as Peter III., was the founder of the house of Holstein-Gottorp, now reigning in Russia..

Peter's health, instead of improving, grew every day worse, and he developed aggravated symptoms of a disease of the bladder. Nevertheless he controlled himself, attended to public affairs, and even indulged in some of his favorite occupations. At the end of December he took part in one of those coarse farces which seemed to satisfy a certain side of his nature, but which, as he grew older, seemed so incongruous with his character and his position. He proceeded to elect a new "prince-pope," the head of his college of fools, in place of Buturlín, who had died some months before in consequence of his drunkenness and gluttony.

When it became known that the state of the Emperor was hopeless, the senators and other magnates assembled in one of the halls of the palace, to take measures for the succession. Many of them still clung to the old feeling in favor of hereditary succession, and declared themselves on the side of the little son of Alexis. Others, and the more influential, felt that this would be a dangerous risk for them. Tolstói knew that the nation hated him and accused him

out protest, but the terror and awe inspired by Peter's name were still too great for any decided opposition. On the roth of February the embalmed body was placed in one of the smaller halls in the palace, on a bed of state, covered with robes given by Louis XV. on Peter's visit to Paris, and the people were admitted to view it. On the 24th of February, the coffin of Peter was transferred to another salon, which had been decorated as a hall of mourning, and not long afterward there was placed beside it another coffin, containing the body of his little daughter Natalia. On the 19th of March, with imposing ceremonies, the coffin was transferred to the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul in the fortress, and after the liturgy a sermon was preached by Theophán Procópovitch. The body was sprinkled with earth according to the Russian rite, the coffin was closed, the imperial mantle was thrown over it, and it remained on the catafalco, under a canopy in the center of the church, until the 1st of June, 1731, in the reign of the Empress Anna, when it was consigned to the vault where it now reposes.

of being the murderer of the Tsarévitch; Yaduzhínsky owed everything to Peter and Catherine; Menshikóf was sure that if Catherine ascended the throne he could manage affairs at his pleasure, and he had taken the precaution to surround the palace with two regiments of guards, after having previously assured himself of their fidelity. The dispute was long and bitter, and Prince Repnin, the field-marshal in command of the army, stood out long for the young prince. At last he yielded to the view of Tolstoi that, in the absence of any written or oral declaration of his will by the Emperor, the oath given by them to Catherine on her coronation should be considered binding. The Senate therefore decided that, when Peter died, they would recognize Catherine as Empress. When this was done, they all went into the next room, where the dying Emperor lay, and remained there until all was over. They then withdrew, and a little after, Catherine, leaning on the arm of the Duke of Holstein, came in and besought them to protect and defend her. When she had finished speaking, Apráxin threw himself on his knees before her and announced the decision of the Senate. The hall resounded with cries of acclamation, which were repeated in the streets by the guards, and the announcement of the accession of Catherine was spread through the city as soon as that of the death of Peter. The oath of allegiance to the Empress was not administered everywhere with

People breathed more freely in the West when the news came that Peter was dead. Rudakofsky wrote from Poland in February, addressed to Peter himself, that his enemies had spread the news of his death. "The dead flies," he says, "have begun to raise their noses again, and think that now the Russian Empire is going to destruction.

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There is everywhere the greatest joy, everywhere firing of musketry and banqueting." The Russian minister at Stockholm wrote that he had seen that the King and his partisans were greatly delighted, and that there was every where the conviction that there would be the greatest disturbances in Russia. Bestuzhef wrote from Copenhagen that, at the news of Peter's death, all, even the first at court as well as the common people, got drunk from delight." The Queen sent a thousand ducats to the poor, ostensibly on account of the convalescence of the King, but really, it was said, to express her joy at Peter's death. The King, he added, was, however, very angry at such manifestations, but that people in general expected there would be anarchy in Russia. King Frederick William I. of Prussia was an exception. He shed tears when Golófkin gave him the news, wore mourning, even in Potsdam, and ordered the official signs of grief to be continued for three months, as if he himself had died. We have seen the feeling of the Russian people toward Peter. Since that time he has passed into legend. His severity has not been forgotten, but the awe is tem

pered with admiration, and in the popular imagination he is a hero like Iván the Terrible.

Among the higher classes it is the fashion to speak of him as a demi-god, and writers scarcely mention his name without adding "that man of genius." Even those who blame the way in which he forcibly warped the current of Russian history render homage to his great qualities. As Kostomarof says: "He loved Russia, loved the Russian people-loved it not in the sense of the mass of Russians contemporary with and subject to him, but in the sense of that ideal to which he wished to bring the people. For that reason, this love constitutes that great quality in him which causes us, even against our will, to love him personally, leaving out of view his bloody tribunals and all his demoralizing despotism, which has exercised a baneful influence even on posterity. For the love of Peter to the ideal of the Russian people, a Russian will love Peter as long as he does not lose himself this national ideal, and for this love will pardon in him all that lies with such heavy weight on his memory."


It was at the beginning of the revival of classical literature, and appropriately enough, about 1450, the year generally accepted as that of the invention of typography,-that Aldus Manutius, the greatest of early printers, was born. His birthplace is not certainly known: it is supposed to be Sermonetta, a little town of the Roman States. Although educated in the best schools of

this peaceful life, and, with little money in his purse, but with liberal promises of patronage from the princes, went to Venice, and there, some time near 1490, began to edit and prepare for printing the works of almost forgotten Greek authors. To a prudent man printing Greek texts must have seemed most quixotic of enterprises. Printing had already been overdone. When Aldus

reached Venice, there were, or had been, one hundred and sixty printers and publishers in that city; most of them were diligently engaged in glutting the market with books of uncertain sale. The state of the trade at Rome was no better. Sweinheym and Pannartz, the oldest printers of that city, had petitioned the pope for help to save them from the bankruptcy about to follow their over production of Latin texts. What need was there of books in Greek-in a language then untaught at Oxford, neglected at the University of Paris, and read in Italy only by her ripest scholars and the few Greek refugees who had fled before the Turks ?


Rome and Ferrara, Aldus did not give any early promise of marked ability. Even when he reached full age, he was so shy, taciturn, and awkward, that he refused to qualify himself for any of the learned professions. He had leanings to the priesthood, but accepted without murmur the quiet duties of student and teacher, and for nearly twenty years was a tutor in the houses of the princes of Carpi. He was about forty years old when he abandoned VOL. XXII.-70.

Nor were the times propitious for business enterprise. All Italy was disturbed by rumors of impending war, of which Aldus must have had repeated forewarning, but its fears did not change his purpose. He went to printing, because he believed it was his appointed work; it was in the line of his duty as an educator of the people. His way to the teaching of a larger school, and to more appreciative scholars, was through the door of a printing-office. Diligent study of the classics had made him emulous of antique sages, whose lives were models of zeal and disinterestedness. His motives are fairly enough stated in this extract from the preface of one of his early books:

"I have made a vow to devote my life to the

public good. God is my

witness that this is my * I leave a peaceable life, preferring this which is laborious and exacting.


most earnest desire.

Man was not born for pleasures unworthy of an elevated spirit, but for duties which dignify him. Let us leave to the vile the lower life of animals."

The duties of a printer and publisher of the fifteenth century were more arduous than they are now. The modern printer waits for orders to print; the modern publisher invites or receives the works he publishes; neither of them pretends to edit the books he produces. The early printer had to hunt them up and have them edited; his merit as a printer was gauged by his ability as an editor. The manuscripts he needed were scarce; most of them were full of errors made by ignorant copyists; all of them called for a critical reading before they could be given to the compositor. To buy or borrow different copies, to compare them, and prepare a new text for printing, could not be done without much time, money, and learning.

A great difficulty in Aldus's path was his ignorance of printing and publishing, for he did not enter the trade through the regular door of apprenticeship. There is no evidence, no probability, that he ever composed a page of type or printed a quire of paper with his own hands, either before or after his entrance. From the technical point of view, he was not a printer; yet he was better qualified for his work than any of his rivals. Printing, as then practiced, did not suffer for lack of mechanical skill. There was no need of steam-presses, type-setting or paper-making machines. In every branch, from type-founding to presswork, the machinery was amply good enough for the work to be done, and was worthily used. But there was need of greater scholarship-need of a printer who could do something more than servilely multiply the texts he handled. Aldus was the man for the time-the first of the craft who dignified it with marked editorial ability. The field in which he labored never could be worthily occupied by a mere trader or mechanic.

Aldus had to create the Greek types he needed. Clumsy Greek types had been made at Rome, Milan, and Florence; one was fitted to capitals more Gothic than Greek; one was entirely in Greek capitals; all of them were meanly provided with accents and full of badly formed and almost

unreadable characters. It was difficult to get a good model. Some copyists wrote in uncials, some in cursive, some in the old mural capitals; some combined different styles, and added mannerisms of their own.


The old saying, "It's Greek; skip it," must have arisen not so much from the strangeness of the language as from the changeable forms of the written letters. Aldus thought it necessary to design, cut, and cast an entirely new character, in which he tried to combine the legibility and grace of the small cursive letters of Demetrius of Crete, as shown in the Greek grammar printed in 1476, by Paravasinus, of Milan, with the severe dignity of the old capitals as they were soon after shown in the "Anthology," printed at Florence in 1494. This was a graver task than making types for a text to be printed in Roman or Gothic character. A text in Latin or Italian could be acceptably printed from twenty-four capital and twentyfour small letters (J and U were not then in use), and a few signs for punctuation and abbreviation-in all about sixty characters;

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