- Everything is turned upside down at once . . . It is impossible for me to enumerate all the madness . . . in a country that had become a plaything for the insane . . . the army wastes all its time on the parade ground . . . Power is unlimited and exercised perversely. You can judge how I am suffering.
— Alexander, grandson of Catherine the Great, about his own father, Paul, Emperor of Russia from 1796 (when Catherine died) to 1801