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[106] council of nobles; towards foreign powers he was
Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Aug.
free from rancor. It had been the policy of France to save Poland by stirring up Sweden and Turkey against Russia; yet Panin did not misjudge the relations of Russia to France. Nor was he blinded by love for England; he wanted no treaty with her except with stipulations for aid in the contingency of a war with the Ottoman Porte, and as that condition could not be obtained, he always declined her alliance. His weak side was vanity, and Frederic of Prussia was said to have chained him to his interests by frequent presents of small value, and autograph letters filled with delicate flatteries. But Panin was thoroughly a Russian statesman, and to win his favor Frederic submitted to promise subsidies against Turkey.

The British minister relied on the good — will of Alexis Orloff, who had been a principal person in raising Catharine to the throne; but his influence was on the wane, and his brother, who remained for about ten years her favorite concubine, had been recently superseded and dismissed from the court.

His successor was Potemkin, who, to the person of a Titan joined a resolute ambition, and a commanding will, that became terrible to the empress herself; so that when she dismissed him from her bed, she found herself more and more subject to his control in the administration. Never did a favorite rise so rapidly, but at this time he cultivated the greatest intimacy with Panin, whose opinion he professed to follow.

The indifference of the king of Prussia on the relation of England to her colonies, extended to the

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