From the Address upon the Accession of Alexander I by Metropitan Platon Levshin

[excerpted from Anthology of Russian Literature From the Earliest Period to the Present Time, Leo Wiener, ed. and Tr. Pt. 1 (New York, 1902), pp. 304-305]

Thus has the Lord granted to us the privilege of seeing our Emperor crowned and exalted above men. But we, sons of Russia, what is our part in this solemnity ? Do not our thanksgivings resound in gratitude to the King of kings for the grace He has bestowed on our monarch and upon us? Yes, they resound with heartfelt fervour, warmed with hopes of a future reign of national glory and happiness! . . .

This crown, Sire, on your head, is a pledge to us of honour, fame and renown, but imposes upon you duties and labours which can only cease with your life; this sceptre in your right hand, a guarantee to us of repose, demands of you incessant vigilance for our protection; this emblem of empire in your left hand, a promise to us of security, exacts of you little but anxiety and care; this purple, for us a shield and defence from our enemies, challenges you to war and contests; finally, this whole Imperial attire, to us a source of consolation and confidence, is for you a burden wrought with danger and toil-yes, a burden and a labour. For see, to your eyes there will appear an empire the largest upon which the sun has ever shone; from your wisdom it looks for the harmonious connection of its parts, the regulation of the whole. You will see flocking to your feet widows, orphans, the most destitute, the victims of the abuse of power, of favour, of corruption and of crime. . . .

But, alas! that near the angels of light the eye should discover the fiendish spirits of darkness. Flattery, calumny and cunning, with all their wretched brood, will surround your throne, and foolishly imagine that their hypocrisy will beguile you. Bribery and partiality will raise their glossy heads and labour to lower the scale of justice. Luxury, adorned with every voluptuous charm, presents the intoxicating draughts of perilous joys to lead astray from the path of virtue the pure spirit, and engulf it in the slough of indolence and sensuality. Besieged by this riotous band, you will undoubtedly turn to truth, justice, wisdom and religion, and, united with you, they will raise their voice to God that He may rise again in you, and scatter your enemies.

Monarch of Russia! This struggle awaits you. For this contest gird on your sword! Draw it with valour, young hero! Fight, conquer and govern! The omnipotent arm of the Almighty will wonderfully protect you. We say rightly " wonderfully "; for here not to fall, here to conquer, here to maintain order and peace, truly I for this is more than human strength required; and, though the decree of the Eternal Being has appointed for you an exalted rank among men, you are nevertheless a man like any of us.Given in Grahame's The Progress of Science, Art and Literature in Russia.