John Paul Jones: Man of Action

By Phillips Russell | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XXXIII
Back to Western Europe

How long in that same fit I lay, I have not to declare; But ere my life returned, I heard, and in my soul discerned, Two voices in the air.


I

IN his loneliness he was glad to accept the invitation of Littlepage to come to Warsaw; and there the attentions of the Polish court, which had no love for Russia, were so soothing that he remained two months. Littlepage condoled with him on his misfortunes at Catherine's court and informed him it had been whispered to him that the plot against Jones had been " conducted by a little great man behind the curtain." Mrs. de Koven1 identifies this "little great man " as the Austrian envoy to Russia, Count de Cobentzel, who, though representing a court allied with Catherine's, was himself an Anglophile who had been denounced by Count de Vergennes, the French foreign minister, for his " indecent servility " to England. Cobentzel's appearance is described as " short, gross, obese." He was an intimate and a flatterer of Potemkin during Catherine's reign, and was later the Austrian envoy to France under Napoleon's regime. His wife was a relative of the Madame de Genlis, herself an Anglophile, who meantime had come between the Duke and Duchess of Chartres.

At Warsaw he formed or renewed several friendships. One of them was with the Countess de Valery de Tomatis, to whom

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1
Life and Letters of John Paul Jones.

-263-

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