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Maria, princess of Baden, now the reigning empress, and was crowned at Moscow on the 15th of September 1801, having ascended the throne on the 12th of March of that year.
Since his accession, his empire has been increased by the acquisition of three fine provinces:
Belostock containing four hundred thousand inhabitants: Swedish Finland containing eight hundred and fifty thousand, and Georgia containing upwards of three hundred and fifty thousand. The incorporation of which countries has raised the population of the Russian empire (in 1808) to forty-four million eight hundred thousand inhabitants.
A less equivocal benefit than the extension of its territory has been conferred on Russia, by opening the communications of the interior.
Thus a connexion has been formed between the Baltic and the Black sea, a distance of two thousand miles, by means of the canal of Beresin, begun in 1799, and completed in 1806, and which now joins the Dnieper and the western Dwina.
A second canal, called the canal of Oguinskoye was finished in 1804, and connecting the Niemen, which empties into the sea of Prussia, with the Dnieper, which discharges itself into the Black sea, forms a communication between those two waters. The canal of Mariynskoy has opened a route from the Baltic to the Caspian seas, by a new communication between the Volga and the Neva. This was begun in 1799, and finished in 1806; besides which, others have been begun or completed during the present reign.'
The new organization of the government is also the work of his present majesty.
The ministry is now divided into the following departments: -Ist, of foreign affairs 2d, of war-3d, of the marine-4th, of the interior, to which is attached that of commerce-5th, of justice-6th, of finance-7th, of public instructions-Sth, of general police.
To these are annexed the departments of the treasury; the controllership of accounts; the direction of the communications of the empire; and the department of the ecclesiastical affairs of the different religions.
The ministers of these departments render an annual account of each to the council of state. The first of these accounts ever published was that of the minister of commerce, count Romanzoff, at present chancellor of the empire. The council of state, which has a superintending power over the rest of the government is a permanent institution, the more immediate objects of which are: The improvement of the civil and criminal code; the guardianship of the system of finance, and the public credit; to keep within their proper sphere and to fix the labours of the respective departments; the discussion of all new laws and establishments, and the extraordinary measures of the executive such, as declarations of war or treaties of peace, before they receive the final sanction of the emperor.
In this subdivision of the executive authority may be evidently traced a disposition not avaricious of power, while at the same time the creation of so many departments may furnish the means of resisting or evading or weakening the immediate pressure of the sovereign. The publication of the accounts of the national affairs is itself a great advance towards the improvement of them.
The highest honours are due to the emperor for his exertions to ameliorate the laws of his country. The commission on the laws established by the great Catherine, the progress of which was stopped during several years, has resumed its labours under the auspices, and with the constant encouragement of the emperor. All the laws and decrees since the time of Jaroslaff in 1017, have been examined and formed into a code, the first part of which was finished in 1810.
Among the most important laws of this reign, is that relative to commerce, which fixes the rights and privileges as well as the duties of merchants, whether natives of the country, resident foreigners, or transient traders. What is more characteristic of the liberal views of the emperor, is the privilege granted in 1802 to the nobility of engaging in trade, either personally or by the investment of their funds in commercial houses, without any derogation from their prerogatives or their dignity. Of the same character is the law for the naturalization of the Jews, SO persecuted in many parts of the continent, which provides
the means of instruction for thein,-invites them to share in agriculture and trade; and without restraining, in the least, the liberty of their religion, extends to them the rights and protection of other Russian subjects.
The public instruction has kept pace with the other improvemegts. During this reign five universities have been founded; and a great number of colleges and primary schools established throughout the empire. " For these institutions a sum of a million and a half of roubles is appropriated annually by the government, and several individuals have either established free schools at their own expense or contributed largely to those already in existence. The effect of these establishments is visible in the various literary and benevolent institutions which have rapidly followed them, and the zeal with which the nation pursues the path' which is indicated by the emperor. As the ministers of public instruction, the order of the Jesuits has received continued protection, and a college has been founded for them at St. Petersburg. With views equally enlightened two frigates were sent on a voyage of discovery round the world, and their commanders, captains Krusenstern and Lissianskoy, liberally rewarded on their return.
The condition of the lower classes in Russia has, in several provinces, undergone a great amelioration, and many thousands of peasants (serfs] have been freed by their seigneurs, with their lands and property, under a mutual contract; in consequence of an imperial decree authorising and sanctioning this enlightened and philanthropic measure.
Of the physical force of Russia some estimate may be formed from the war of 1806, when on an imperial manifesto, declaring the necessity of a sudden levy for the safety of the state, a militia of six hundred and twelve thousand soldiers was raised and organized in the space of two months: followed by patriotic offers amounting to several millions of roubles.
It is under this reign that the political and commercial relations between the United States and Russia have been established, in a manner which promises to both nations permanent advantages. Nor is it the least auspicious omen of their future connexion, tha, this recent intercourse has been commented on
the part of Russia, by persons who have practically refuted the injurious reproaches on their country, and that the character of the sovereign is already known and appreciated in the new world, to whose judgment distance may, in some measure, supply the in pa jality of time. !
REVIEW.-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
CUM TABULIS ANIMUM CENSORIS SUMET HONESTI.-Hor.
Reflections, Notes, and Original Anecdotes, illustrating the Character of Peter the Great. To which is added a tragedy in five acts, entitled Alexis, The Czare witz. By Alexis Eustaphieve, Boston. Published at Boston by Munroe and Francis, pp. 215.
TE MPERANCE is by rigid moralists denominated a virtue, and they do not fail to enjoin its observance at all seasons. Whether we employ the terms of panegyric, or of censure, they inculcate the necessity of a cautious and guarded phraseology. Undoubtedly such circumspection is not without its use; but there are still certain subjects on which to be cool is little less than to be criminal. At the name of Washington, every American heart anticipates on this subject more than we can utter—there is a sanctity about his mouldering relics that seems prophaned by the cold breath of dastardly panegyric. After his death we embody those sensations of gratitude, reverence and love, which his own great actions have excited, and to this dazzling personage we affix the name of Washington. This does not appear to be the man who led our forefathers to the field of battle and of glory; who guided our councils, for this associates him with human infirmities. There is something still higher-all our best feelings are combined into an almost palpable representation of his character, and to this august being is paid our homage and reverence.
That Washington had some defects is a proposition inevitably included in his mortality; but to an American, its avowal appears almost sacrilege. The reason is obvious; those sensations that we have thus associated and embodied, are exempted from
all human defects, and now stand as the representative of Washington.
This is the highest possible tribute that can be paid to departed excellence. Under these impressions the ancients worshipped their heroes as gods. Of such transcendant merit we preserve a sort of intellectual apotheosis--it is a beautiful and brilliant phantom, which we conceive was as perfect, when allied to human nature, as it is now. We look, and no soil of humanity tinctures its purity and lustre.
Seldom are such combinations formed--seldom, indeed, does it happen, that the unanimous' voice of the wise and the good confers such a boon; but when once conferred, it is as imperishable as adamant. History delivers down the precious treasure from generation to generation, and it brightens in its descent. With feelings like these, does this author, a native of Russia, undertake the eulogy of Peter.
We make the preceding observations to raise the mind of the reader to that high state of excitation under which the author manifestly wrote. We confess we were highly pleased with such testimonials of love of country-we delight to see, and more especially in our day, patriotism flow in copious streams.
The reader will therefore be disposed to pardon the grateful effusions of an honest heart, while warmed with the contemplation of the benefits which his country enjoyed under the fostering influence of Peter, and which he might, under other circumstances, consider a species of extravaganza.
“Superior in skill, and inexhaustible in means, nature neglected nothing that might raise her darling son to an eminence, once only granted to a mor. tal. The situation, contrast, disposition of light and shade, were all managed with wonderous dexterity and judgment. She gave him a cold and inhospi. table country, that the climate might be indebted to him, and not he to the climate: She made him rule over a people more, than the climate, stubborn and barbarous; that, in softening and polishing them, he might achieve a work of inconceivable difficulty. She placed him amidst a host of foes, foreign and domestic, that, by crushing both, the vast powers of his mind might be more forcibly displayed. She gave him strong passions; that, by commanding them, his magnanimity and beroism might shine the more conspicuous. She implanted in him antipathies, that, by overcoming even these, he might accom. plish that, which no mortal ever yet accomplished, She denied him council,