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STATE OF RUSSIA.
PETER I. was the creator of the Russian marine. It is not the least extraordinary circumstance in the character of this great man, that in his youth he discovered the most decided aversion to navigation. It was even remarked that he carried his dread of going on the water to excess. No one could, at that period, have imagined, that to triumph on that element would afterwards become one of his ruling passions.
On his return from Holland he undertook the establishment of a navy at St. Petersburg. The project was attended with so many difficulties, that, in 1713, his fleet consisted of only four ships of the line and six frigates. But he surmounted all obstacles, and in 1718 was able to send to sea 22 ships of war.
It would appear, however, that even at the close of his reign his fleet did not exceed 24 ships of the line, since his naval staff consisted only of an admiral in chief, 2 admirals, 2 vice-admirals, and 24 captains.
This establishment was considerably diminished under the Empresses who immediately succeeded him; and the marine was much neglected, until the accession of Catherine II. the principal object of whose reign was to carry into effect all the enterprises of Peter I. Her design was in many respects successful.
In 1778 she had increased the Baltic fleet to 40 sail of the line, carrying from 100 to 64 guns each; 15 frigates, from 46 to 24 guns; and 12 sloops of war, from 18 to 16, exclusively of about 70 yachts, pinks, and bomb-ketches, making a total of 137 vessels
of all sizes.
This force composed the principal department of the marine. The second was established at Sisterberg, near Petersburg. It consisted of no more than 100 gallies, the object of which was to make the Russians better skilled in the navigation of the coasts, and to facilitate their descents on the Swedish dominions.
The invasion of the Crimea furnished the Empress with the means of forming a third navy on the Black sea.
In 1793 the force in that quarter consisted of $4 sail of the line, and 12 large frigates, fit for sea. Of the ships of the line 8 carried 100 guns each, and the oldest were built in 1783. These 8, and a third part of the lower rates, were entirely of oak. These were constructed at Petersburg and Cronstadt. The remainder, of fir, were built at Archangel Adding to this force the 6 sail of the line, and 4 frigates, which went from Archangel in 1794, the total of the fleet in the Black sea will amount to 40 ships of the line and 16 frigates,
It was some time ago proposed to make the caliber of the marine artillery one third larger. Guns of this weight of metal, however, can only be intended for the oak-built ships, for those of fir could not support them.
The depot of this newly constructed navy was, at first, at Cherson, a city recently built in the bed of the Dniester, on a spot where the river, forming a great number of islets, divides its stream into an infinity of canals of but very little depth.
The original plan of this city was formed upon ideas too gigantic to be carried into execution. The air is extremely unhealthy; the channels are so shallow that no vessel, even without guns, stores, or ballast on board, can be launched but by the assistance of the machines called camels; and as nothing could leave Cherson without passing under the guns of Oczakow, it was evident that no permanent naval establishment could be formed at this port, while that fortress remained in the hands of the Turks.
Soon after this inconvenience was removed. Intrigue, corrup tion, and force, joined to the imbecility of the Turks, added the whole of the Crimea to the Russian territory, and with it a great number of excellent ports on the Black sea. Among these may be particularly distinguished, that port formerly known by the name of Actiar, afterwards by that of New Cherson, and at present by the name of Sebastopolis. The Russian marine was soon removed to this harbour, which is of vast extent, commodious, sheltered from every wind, and so deep, that the largest ships can moor alongside the beach. But all these advantages were counterbalanced by the destructive progress of the worm in that
The Russians were consequently obliged to seek another depor for their marine, and began to construct a new harbour at the mouth of the Dniester. The plan of this undertaking was conceived by M. Koiser, but the execution was intrusted to M. Voland; both of them Dutchmen, and officers of engineers. No accounts have yet been published of the progress of the work.
The naval force of the Russians in the Caspian sea is scarcely worthy of notice; and nature prevents it from becoming at any time considerable. The vessels employed in this sea are con structed at Casan, which produces abundance of oak, and launched into the Volga. But this grand river, which possesses considerable depth and breadth, through a navigable course of 800 leagues, enters the Caspian sea below Astracan, by a number of channels, the largest of which is only nine feet deep. This circumstance renders it necessary to build the vessels with flat bottoms, which of course prevents them from being good sailers.
The Russian squadron, in the Caspian sea, consisted in 1788 of only 3 frigates, a bomb-ketch, and a corvette. These frigates are employed, from time to time, in visiting the different ports in that sea belonging to other nations, in destroying their vessels and docks, and filling up their harbours.
VOL. 2.-No. 7.
In a statement of the Russian navy, drawn up in the year 1778, the expence of building and fitting out their vessels of war is as follows, in French money :—
ACCOUNT OF THE DEATH
There is no reason to suppose that the price of raw materials and workmanship has been materially increased to the Russian government since that period.
THE LATE EMPEROR PAUL.
IT is certain that the Counts
have been desired to withdraw from Petersburgh, on account of their having been accessary to the apoplexy of Paul I. Whether the Emperor Alexander means to desire all the noblemen concerned in that transaction to travel abroad, we know not; but, according to the most authentic advices, there were more than thirty conspirators of distinction implicated it it, that drew lots who should undertake the office. The lot fell on Counts S. and O. and an Hanoverian general; but from the ready access they found to the deceased Emperor's apartments, there is no doubt but that some who were in his personal service were accessaries on the occasion. It is even said, that a nobleman who had supped with Paul on the night of his death, was not much surprised on hearing what had passed.— Indeed who could be the friend or confidant of such a tyrant, except from necessity?
The manner in which the conspirators gained the royal chamber, was by a most private stair-case used only for the purposes of his intrigues; they had a false key to it. Paul was alarmed by their approach, jumped out of bed, concealing himself behind a large screen in his room. The conspirators were extremely uneasy on searching the bed, and finding their victim had escaped. They searched the apartment, and in attempting to fold the screen, the Emperor was discovered behind it. At first, he made every possible concession, offering to abdicate, and retire wherever it was most convenient. He was shewn the order he had signed, to shut ap the Empress in a convent, and to transport the present Emperor to Siberia; and was told that his reign had been so unjust and tyrannical, that the monarchy would be endangered by his con
tinuing to live. Finding that the intercession was in vain, Paul determined not to die without defending himself, and made use of every possible resistance, until he was at length strangled with his own sash. The whole horrible affair did not take up much more time than an hour, and happened between half past twelve and two in the morning.
FOR THE UNION MAGAZINE.
This scene took place in the new palace built by Paul I. upon which he had expended the enormous sum of 19 millions of roubles. The building was.furnished with so much haste, that a great deal of the most costly tapestry and furniture has been spoiled. The kingdom is impoverished so much by his extravagance, that the treasury cannot find the means even to defray the expences of repairing our shipping, according to the promise which was made in a late royal ukase.
DR. DARWIN, in his celebrated Poem, " The Botanic Garden,"
has a note in the following words:
"If the nations who inhabit this hemisphere of the globe, instead of destroying their seamen, and exhausting their wealth in unnecessary wars, could be induced to unite their labours, to navigate the immense masses of ice into the more southern oceans, two great advantages would result to mankind; the tropical countries would be much cooled by their solution, and our winters, in this latitude, would be - rendered much milder, for perhaps a century or two, till the masses of ice again became enormous.”—Part I. Canto I.-Note to line 529.
This note has given occasion to a very ludicrous letter, which lately appeared in an American Journal, devoted to the Federalist party. It is addressed to "Henry Dearborne, secretary of war, but acting as secretary of navy, in the room of a better, under the new order of things;" and suggests that, instead of selling the vessels lately armed against France, they should be employed in realizing the philanthropic project of Dr. Darwin.
This mode of disposing of the American navy he supports by the following whimsical arguments:
Now, sir, I insist upon it, that our ships of war shall be put to the North and South Poles, with orders for each one to tow to the tropics a large island of ice, where it must be left to melt, and COOL THE CREATION;-Two or three of these voyages can be made in a season, and though the wages of sailors, the expence of provisions, with the wear and tear of ships, will be considerable; yet what are those things when placed in competition with the benevolence of the scheme. The poor negroes, who have been for ever scorched by the sun, 'till they are burnt as black as a boot, will grow cool as cucumbers, leave off sweating, and probably, in three or four thousand years, they will lose that hogo which they now carry, and smell as sweet as white folks.
"In the next place, when the ice is all towed away from both the poles, circumnavigators will be able to sail round the globe the other way; we shall then hear from the antipodes twice where we do now once.
Thirdly, "the fish in the hot seas will be deliciously regaled with something equivalent to ice-punch, which will be an enjoy ment as pleasant to them as it will be new.
Fourthly, "when the warm climates have become thoroughly cooled, the woolen trade will extend to a vast portion of the globe, the inhabitants of which now go naked; and the cotton and linen trade will also experience the like benefits from softening the atmosphere of the frigid zones. If, however, this last advantage should savour too much of "British Influence," I will give it up.
Fifthly, it is as likely as not, that some sharp sighted philosopher, may take passage with Commodore Truxton, and hunt out the source of the light in the north, or as it is called, the Aurora Bo realis. This phenomenon has been supposed by many to spring from the icy region; and it would not be at all strange, if some one of the vessels should tow away the very cake of ice which con tains it.
Sixthly, "I think it altogether probable, that when the ice is all removed from the poles, whilst the moon goes from east to west, the sun will turn his course and go from south to north. This will shorten the Greenland, nights, and keep the passages for ever open.
"I might go on to enumerate the advantages of this plan all day, by shewing that in this trade, free ships will make free goods, &c. &c.; but the above will convince any reasonable man of its wis dom and utility."
THE PORT-WINE TRADE of portugAL,
Extracted from a Paper in the Third Volume of the MEMORIAS ECONOMICAS, printed at Lisbon.
IN 1681 the upper Douro was as yet but little cultivated, and
very poor. At that time the English, as well as other European nations, loved sweet wines, to which but few parts of this district are adapted. Lisbon then exported it in considerable quantities, nor did the exportation of port-wine increase immediately after the treaty of Methuen in 1703; but s on the taste for red-wine began constantly to increase, and the English, who now settled in the country in great numbers, encouraged the cultivation of the vine in order to have wine cheaper; which succeeded so wel', that from 1750 to 1755, a pipe of the best wine was sold for only ten milreas. At this even the members of the English factory were