Robert K. Massie

“It is not as easy as you think,” she replied. “In the first place, my orders would not be carried out unless they were the kind of orders which could be carried out. You know with what prudence and circumspection I act in the promulgation of my laws. I examine the circumstances, I take advice, I consult the enlightened part of the people, and in this way I find out what sort of effect my laws will have. And when I am already convinced in advance of good approval, then I issue my orders, and have the pleasure of observing what you call blind obedience. That is the foundation of unlimited power. But, believe me, they will not obey blindly when orders are not adapted to the opinion of the people.” She was aware that aspects of her personal life were criticized; her reply was that her life had been unique. “Before I became what I am today, I was thirty-three years the same as other people. It is only thirty years since I have become what they are not, and that teaches one to live.” After”

Robert K. Massie, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
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Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
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