Portrait of Count Alexey G. Bobrinsky as a child – by Fyodor S. Rokotov – c.mid-1760s. Count Alexey G. Bobrinsky (1762-1813) was the illegitimate son of Catherine II (the Great) and Count Grigory G. Orlov.
I praise loudly. I blame softly.
The more a man knows, the more he forgives.
Power without a nation's confidence is nothing.
In politics a capable ruler must be guided by circumstances, conjectures and conjunctions.
A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.
I beg you take courage; the brave soul can mend even disaster.
I shall be an autocrat, that's my trade; and the good Lord will forgive me, that's his.
I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
If Russians knew how to read, they would write me off.
You philosophers are lucky men. You write on paper and paper is patient. Unfortunate Empress that I am, I write on the susceptible skins of living beings.
Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia 1762 - 1796