FROM the outset of his relation to Catherine II, which on her part began with such flattering eagerness for his services, Paul Jones showed an extraordinary desire to merit her good opinion.
From the first page to the last of the long journal which relates the history of his Russian services the note of personal regard for the autocrat of the north is strangely evident, showing that the great personality had laid a strong hold upon his imagination. In Catherine, the woman, holding in her hands the promise of the fulfilment of his ultimate ambitions, his worship of the feminine, and his undying love of glory, found their united realization. No praise, no honor among the many which he cherished, had so exquisitely flattered him as the notice of the Empress. It constituted in his mind a personal tie, whose responsibilities he instantly and unreservedly recognized; and like a knight of old he hastened to her call.
Although many apprehensions of difficulty and disaster, like warning whispers, haunted his mind, he dwelt persistently upon the idea he had formed of her "glorious character," and put his future in her hands. In his letter of acceptance to Baron Krudener, written before his departure for Russia, he confesses his "irresistible