Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/60
Southern Historical Society Papers.
motives which animated our leaders, and which deserve a place in; the history of the times, as illustrating the character of the "Rebels" and "Traitors" who were moving spirits in our struggle. We quote the following from the columns of the Richmond Enquirer of November 21st, 1861 :
We have the pleasure of publishing below a very interesting correspondence between the Grand Duke Constantine, Grand Admiral of Russia, and a distinguished citizen of our own State. It will be read with pleasure and pride. Pleasure, that so eminent a person in a distant empire should have paid such homage to science in the person of one of our own philosophers; and pride, that the flattering and generous proffer should have been so nobly responded to.
In the eyes of the wise and good, such respect as the Grand Admiral has thus exhibited for learning, adds a grace to royalty, and sheds lustre upon diadems. But this exhibition, we are informed, is only characteristic of him; for, of all the Princes of Europe, the Grand Duke of Russia is by for the most renowned for enlightened, liberal and progressive sentimeits.
There is, indeed, no government in the world which is doing more for the advancement of science than the Russian Government is at this moment. In everything that relates to the sea, the improvement of navigation or the navy, her Grand Admiral is sure to be found where he ought to be, in the van, taking an enlightened and an active part. His largesses to science are dispensed with a princely munificence.
A private letter has, we understand, been received from a member of his household explaining in detail the exact relations in which he desires Lieutenant [Matthew Fontaine] Maury to be placed towards the Government of Russia. They are those of perfect freedom. The pay and perquisites which he received in Washington are to be repeated in Russia without conditions. Should he desire to renew there the researches which have been interrupted in Washington, the most ample means and facilities for so doing are to be placed at his disposal; and should he at any time desire to return to America, he will be perfectly at liberty to do so. Indeed, it is desired that he should occupy very much such a position in Russia as Humboldt did in Prussia.
A most delicate and graceful compliment is this to our fellow citizen; like that precious quality that is "mightiest in the mightiest," this invitation "blesseth him that gives and him that takes."
The reply of Lieutenant Maury is such as becomes the patriot. His first duty is to his country. When his native State is in danger and calls to him, he recognizes it as no time to seek ease and advantage in a distant land. The wooings even of philosophy are, under such circumstances, less attractive than the rude thunderings