The empress Elizabeth of Russia during the war with Sweden commanded the old hetman of the Cossacks to come to court on his way to Finland. " If the emperor, your father," said the hetman, "had taken my advice, your majesty would not now have been annoyed by the Swedes." "What was your advice ?" asked the empress. "To put all the nobility to death, and transplant the people into Russia." "But that," said the empress, "would have been cruel." "I do not see that," he replied quietly; "they are all dead now, and they would only have been dead if my advice had been taken."