As an official and a man of non-Russian extraction he had to be extremely reticent, but to his intimate friends he condemned severely the ignorance and light-hearted recklessness of those around him.
The event justified his sombre previsions, but did not cure the recklessness of the so-called patriots.
He sat at first on the Extreme Left; but his philosophic and critical temperament was not in harmony with the recklessness of French radicalism, and his attitude towards political questions underwent a steady modification, till the close of his life saw him the foremost representative of moderate republicanism.
In spite of his warnings, the pauperes began hostilities against the Turks; and Peter returned to Constantinople, either in despair at their recklessness, or in the hope of procuring supplies.
He himself delivered in the House of Commons many speeches unrivalled in parliamentary history for wit and recklessness; and one of them still lives in history as the "champagne speech."