Catherine the Great was one of the most capable and humane rulers that the people of Russia ever had, (considering some of her competition, that really isn't saying very much). However, more than 200 years after her death, the only thing most people *think* they know about her is a thoroughly vile slur put out by her political opponets. For the record, Catherine had a cerebral hemmorrhage, and died in her own bed.
Is there a moral to this story? Yes, two.
1. A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth gets out of bed in the morning, and
2. There is *NO* lady so fine- not even an *Empress*, but that her reputation can't be damaged by slander.