Napoleon Series Archive 2015

Secret memoirs of the Court of St. Petersburg

Secret memoirs of the Court of St. Petersburg…
Masson, Charles François Philibert, 1762-1807

“A stranger, who has heard the name of Suvarof, wishes, on his arrival, to see this hero. An old man is pointed out, of a weather-beaten and shrivelled figure, who traverses the apartments of the palace, hopping on one foot, or is seen in the streets, followed by a troop of boys, to whom he throws apples, to make them scramble and fight, crying himself, “I am Suvarof! I am Suvarof!” If the stranger should fail to discover in this old madman the conqueror of the Turks and the Poles, he will at least, in his haggard and ferocious eyes, his foaming and horrid mouth, readily discern the butcher of the inhabitants of Prague [Praga, a suburb of Warsaw]. Suvarof would be considered as the most ridiculous buffoon, if he had not shown himself the most barbarous warrior. He is a monster, with the body of an ape and the soul of a bull-dog. Attila, his countryman, and from whom he is perhaps descended, had neither his good fortune nor his ferocity. His gross and ridiculous manners have inspired his soldiers with the blindest confidence, which serves him instead of military talents, and has been the real cause of all his successes.”

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Secret memoirs of the Court of St. Petersburg
Charles François Philibert Masson.