For the illustration of the ideas of the author upon this subject, I had prepared a note, in which I had collected together various instances of the prompt display of that subtle and penetrating talent which detects the possession of qualities undiscernible to ordinary eyes. To avoid, however, engaging in too long a discussion, I shall confine myself to a single instance. A person well acquainted with anecdotes relating to the Russian court, gave me, while I was at Petersburgh, the following account of the origin of the success of the High Chancellor Besborodko:---Being still in a subordinate office belonging to the chancery, one day, when he had presented various ukases to the Empress (Catherine II.) he perceived that he had forgotten to compose one that he had been particularly commanded to prepare. His first alarm being over, he determined how to act, and pretended to read the ukase in question, though he held in his hand only a sheet of blank paper. The Empress was so well satisfied with the performance, that she desire to sign it immediately. The disconcerted clerk was compelled to acknowledge his neglect. The Empress, less offended with the imposition than struck by the presence of mind which it displayed, forthwith placed him at the head of the department, in which before he had held only a subordinate situation.---Dumont.

RR Book 1 Chapter 2