“Memoirs of Catherine ‘the Great’ II of Russia” As Written in Her Own Hand – Ch. 10-11
Commonplace Book – Pages: 150-151
- New Year’s Day, 1750: Catherine’s Kalmuk hairdresser catches smallpox
- March 17: The Empress went to Gostilitza; the seat of Count Rasumovski, “to celebrate the Count’s birthday and we were ordered to Tsarkoe Selo.”
- Mlle Balk, lady-in-waiting to the Empress, married M. Serge Saltikov, the Grand Duke’s Chamberlain.
- Easter: After being made to eat a dozen oysters the night before, Catherine suffers from a “violent colic” and remains in bed.
- The Empress is caught between four favorites: Count Rasumovski, Shuvalov, a chorister named Kachenevski, and Beketov.
- The Count de Bernis, the Austrian Ambassador, Count Lynar, the Belgian envoy, and General Arnheim, the envoy from Saxony, all arrive in Russia. Count Hamilton, Knight of Malta, is in Bernis’ retinue.
- Count Lynar: erudite; foppish; tall; fair; “almost red-haired”; “very white skin”; had 18 children; “wore clothes of the lightest shades”
- M. Choglokov: “a disagreeable toad;” blond; fat; stout; “heavy in mind”
- The Grand Duke gives her a small, English poodle
“Memoirs of Catherine the Great” – Chapter 11: Awaiting the Heir (1751-1753)
- Her and the Grand Duke become friends with the Count de Bernis.
- Count Beketov takes a fancy to some choirboys, and is ordered to stay in Peterhof, but suffers from a brain fever. He is then transferred to the Army.
- September, 1751: The Empress appoints M. Leon Naryshkine as Gentleman of the Bedchamber (his father, Semyon, was the Marshal whom welcomed Catherine to Russia)
- M. Leon Naryshkine: “a born clown;” witty; “superficial but widespread knowledge and a unique way of interpreting everything;” “capable of giving dissertations on any subject”
- They move to the Winter Palace in September. Count Zakhar Chernishev came back to Petersburg. He corresponds flirtatiously with Catherine until the end of 1751.
- Lent: She has a violent altercation with Mme Choglokov. She had given to the Empress two pieces of rich material sent to Catherine by her mother.
- Serge Saltikov: 26; distinguished gentleman; vain; a Russian dandy; ignorant; “without taste or merit” (He was only driven by ambition, in vain did Catherine expect tenderness from him)
- At this time, the Grand Duke falls in love with Marthe Chafirov.
- December 14, 1752: The Court leaves Petersburg for Moscow. Catherine left with a few slight symptoms of pregnancy.
- Catherine arrives in Moscow, but having violent hemorrhages along the way. Meanwhile Mme Choglokov remains in Petersburg and has her eighth child, a girl.
- April 25: The Empress celebrates the anniversary of her coronation in Moscow.
- Zakhar Chernishev and Nikolai Leontiev challenges each other to a duel. Count Chernishev is badly wounded in the head, Leontiev is arrested.
- May, 1753: Catherine shows signs of pregnancy; she goes to Liberitsa. Towards St. Peter’s Day, it ends in a miscarriage in Moscow.
- During their time in Moscow, several lackeys and minor courtiers go insane. They are placed near Boerhave’s apartments.