The Memoirs of Catherine the Great

By Catherine II; Dominique Maroger et al. | Go to book overview

VIII. LETTER TO COUNT RUMIANTSEV

Concerning a project of marriage between the Grand Duke Constantine, Catherine's grandson, with a Princess of Baden. ( 1792)

[As Elizabeth had done before for Catherine's son, Catherine now undertakes the education of Paul's children, Alexander and Constantine. But instead of a 'cotton-wool education', as Paul's was, Catherine submitted her grandchildren to a spartan one such as Locke would have approved. To conquer their sense of fear they had to get used to the roll of guns and in consequence Alexander became deaf in one ear and half-deaf in the other. But there was also the rosy side: Catherine herself wrote her grand- children's first story books and they learnt to read them with her help. Later on she edited books on Russian history for them; they were taught languages while playing with foreign children. Later she arranged their marriages and the letter below concerns one of them.]

Count Rumiantsev!

I received with the last post dispatched from Coblenz your letter of 1/12 May, concerning your journeys to Karlsruhe.

I read in it with pleasure that in accordance with my last instructions you have taken suitable steps to put in motion the matter which interests me, that these instructions arrived on time, and that you were able to prevent all other arrangements that could have counteracted my intentions.

The details you relate concerning the two Princesses, Louise and FrU+00E9dU+00E9rique of Baden, are intensely interesting and leave

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