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produce of the country. Russian manu- and loyalism, could not fail to make a facturers were unable to compete with for- lasting impression upon the Grand Duke. eign producers even in Asiatic markets, The disillusions brought on by the Turkish and the Government tried to supplement war pushed him still more into opposition by force of arms the deficiency in indus- against the reigning system. He knew trial skill.

better than any one that the accusations This may be so, but the result is in any of peculation directed against the Comcase the same, viz., constant conquest, mander-in-Chief, his uncle Nicolas, were and Stepniak himself admits that all well founded, and he was indignant that the support that Moscow industry can the legal process taken against the frauduhave from the opening of Central Asian lent firms that had cheated the soldiers of markets—such as the Khanates, Penjdeh, their victuals should be stopped because and even Herat—is very limited,' and it those firms threatened to unmask their was certainly not for acquiring new mar- superiors. He keenly felt the disasters of kets that Russia was driven into the war the improvident attack against Plevna, against Turkey in 1877. The fact is that where the Russian army was only saved the Government by this policy sought to from utter destruction by the Roumanians, divert the population from the unsatis- and he was disgusted with the inactivity factors internal condition, but the result of his father, who remained at Gornyhas not answered the expectation, for it Studen for weeks with his mistress, Prinwas the Turkish war which laid open the cess Dolgorouki. He did his military gangrene of official peculation, and what duty bravely, but failed in his endeavor was gained by the Treaty of Berlin did to establish a committee of inquiry into not at all compensate for the enormous the faults committed, and for handing sacrifices whicb Russia had to bear. Re- over the leadership of the operations to volts broke out which had to be crushed

more competent generals. So he returned with much bloodshed, conflagrations dev- to St. Petersburg in a pessimist humor, astated whole quarters of cities, the im- which was not rernoved when the Conpoverished nobility was in a state of latent gress of Berlin tore up the Treaty of San mutiny, Nihilism became rampant even in Stefano, followed, as it was, by a series the higher classes, as was shown by the of Nihilist attempts, which brought a attempts against the life of high officials panic upon the Court, the capital, and the and the Czar himself, and the juries ac- provinces. quitted criminals who frankly avowed their Even a strong and well-balanced inind guilt, like Vera Sassulitch.

might have been shaken by such experiIt was in this state of internal anarchy ences, but the Grand Duke—excluded and blighted hopes of reform that Alex- from all practical participation in the ander III. grew up.

Until his twentieth business of the State which was to furm year he had no prospect of ascending the the task of his future life, exposed to the throne, and was educated exclusively as a disintegrating influences of various parties, soldier, without any preparation for his and without confidential relations with future vocation. But the events passing his father, -was wavering, and distrusted under his eyes could not fail to make a his own forces. The system followed by deep impression upon him, and when, by his grandfather having broken down, and the death of his elder brother, he became the opposite one which Alexander II. had heir-apparent, it was but natural that the initiated seeming destined to a similar dissatisfied tried to gain hin for their fate, what was he to do in this chaos of ideas. Moreover, the man who was conflicting views and interests ? charged to initiate the young Grand Duke in this condition that he was unexpectedly into Russian policy, Podobenoszew (of called to the throne by the catastrophe of whom we shal, have to say more pres- March 13th, 1881. ently), was a convinced adherent of au- According to an apparently authentic tocracy and orthodoxy as the only solid report in the Cracow paper Czax, * confoundations of the Russian commonwealth, firmed by later publications, the Emperor and the energy with which he preached Alexander II. had signed the very mornthis doctrine to his pupil, so different from the fickering uncertainty of official

* Extract of the unpublished reminiscences statesmen wavering between liberalism of a former Minister.

It was

ing of the day on which he was murdered system was only caused through governing a C kase addressed to the Senate, by with Ministers of German origin. He is which a committee was to be appointed seconded by Count Tolstoi, the Minister for realizing Count Loris Melikow's pro- of Internal Affairs (who replaced the more ject of a general representative assembly liberal Saburow),* to whom belong the composed of delegates from the provincial questions concerning the foreign, i.e., assemblies. On March 20th Alexander non orthodox, confessions. These two, III. convoked a grand council of the supported by the Minister of Justice, principal dignitaries, asking their opinion Manassein, bave enacted persecutions on Loris Melikow's proposal. A lively against Catholics, Uniates, Protestants, discussion took place, of which the Czas and Jews, which seem incredible in our gives a detailed account, the result being age, but which are well attested. Thouthat, besides the author, Count Adlerberg, sands of persons who bave committed no Miljutin, Walujew, Abasa, Giers, Nabo- wrong other than that of being faithful to kow, Saburow, and Solski voted for the their inberited creed have been driven measure, while Prince Lieven, Count from their homes, and exiled to Siberia, or Stoganow, Makow, Possiet, and, above to distant regions without any means of all, Podobenoszew voted against it. The livelihood. As regards Catholics, these Emperor, thanking the members, said that measures are principally directed against the majority had declared for the con- the clergy ; but the Uniates, i.e., the vening of an assembly elected by the na- Catholics who bave the Slav liturgy, are tion for discussing the affairs of the State, unsparingly deported if they refuse to bare adding, “ I share this opinion of the ma- their children baptized by an orthodox jority, and wish that the reform Ukase Pope, and this is done with inen, women, shall be published as under the patronage and children, peasants and merchants. of my father, to whom the initiative of Twenty thousand Uniates alone have been this reform is due.” The Ukase, how- removed from the western provinces to ever, was not published, Podobenoszew Szaratow. Those who remain at home and Ignatiew having succeeded in dis- have Cossacks quartered upon them, and crediting it in the eyes of the Czar, as- all sorts of compulsory means are used to serting that it would only create excite- stamp out this sect. A heartrending ment and increase the existing fermenta- story of this persecution is told in an artition. On May 13th a manifesto appeared, cle of the Revue des Deux Mondes (August in which the Czar declared his will “ to 1st, 1889), “Simple Récit par Madame keep firmly the reins in obedience to the Marguerite Porodowska,” which is evivoice of God, and, in the belief in the dently taken from life. In the Baltic force and truth of autocratic power, to provinces the German language is supfortify that power and to guard it against pressed as much as possible, their instituall encroachments.” A few days later tions are destroyed under the shallow preCount Ignatiew, the head of the Slavophil text of drawing the population nearer to party, was appointed Minister of the In-' the great Russian family, and the same terior, and by-and-by the other more lib. process has been begun against Finland ; eral Ministers of Alexander II. disap- while the Catholic priests are forbidden peared.

to use the Polish language in their serBy far the most important personage vice. The Press is fettered, the foreign under the present Government is Podo- creeds are insulted and calumniated, and henoszew, High Procurator of the Holy not permitted to answer the faise charges Synod, an office equivalent to a Minister made against them ; apostasy from The of Public Worship for the State Church, ruling Church is visited by criminal punLaborious and of unblemished integrity, ishment, but the orthodox propaganda is this man is a fanatic by conviction. Una favored by every means. Strange to say, der Alexander II., who was too much of in face of such proceedings, there is a a European to like him, he had but a sec- single exception allowed de facto—the ondary position, but under his pupil, the propaganda of Islam, which on the southpresent Emperor, he has become all-pow- ern Volga makes thousands of converts, erful, the more so because his orthodoxy so that in those eparchies there are many wears the national garb, and he insists that the break-down of the Nicolas I.

* Ignatiew's successor,

more mosques than Christian churches. Carnot, but as soon as French diplomatists Tracts of the most aggressive character propose a real alliance, which may lead to against Christianity are freely circulated, war, they are met by a fierce rebuff from and the Russian authorities, who in the the Czar, as lately happened to M. de West and South persecute all who do not Laboulaye, who in consequence has to bow to orthodoxy, here allow the Mollahs leave his embassy in dismay. With all to do as they like.

this, however, he is surrounded by PanIt is pretty certain that Alexander III. slavists and allows them to carry on au is ignorant of the atrocities committed in underground warfare against the Balkan his name, for he is not a man to sanction States. There is, perhaps, no example deliberate injustice or to tolerate persons in the annals of modern history of a dipof manifest impurity in important offices. Womatic envoy abusing so flagrantly the Though the Czar insists upon having per- privileges of his position as has been done sonally honest Ministers, mere honesty is by M. Hitrovo, Minister at Bukarest, not sufficient for governing a great em- whose house was the rallying point of all

a pire. Truth does not penetrate to the Panslavist agitators against the Bulgarian ear of the autocrat; the Russian Press Government and even of the Roumanian does not reflect public opinion with its anti-dynastic opposition. But at last, currents, but is siinply the speaking-tube having quarelled with his secretary, Jacobof the reigning coterie, which has sup- sohn, this worthy made revelations so pressed all papers opposed to it, while the compromising for his former chief that foreign Press is only allowed to enter the Governinent was obliged to transfer mutilated by the censorship. Some peo- Hitrovo to Lisbon. ple have, indeed, the privilege to read It is evident that under such circumforeign papers in their original shape, but stances, notwithstanding the personal tenthe Autocrat of All the Russias does not dencies of the Czar, the maintenance of belong to them. His reading is, on the peace remains doubtful. Russia indeed contrary, subjected, by the persons who is isolated, so much so that two years ago surround hiin, to careful selection, and if Alexander III., in a public toast, called there is anything disadvantageous to Rus. little Montenegro her only friend. He is sia in the papers be is allowed to read it strongly opposed to all Western ideas of is explained away as the outcome of ha- civilization, very irritable, and unfinching tred and calumny against his dominion. in his personal dislikes, as he has shown It is said that he was greatly astonished in the case of Prince Alexander of Batwhen, on his late visit to Copenhagen, his tenberg ; and, with his narrow views, he mother-in-law, the Queen of Denmark, is unable to calculate the bearing of his put into his hands Pastor Dalton's Open words and actions, which often amount to Letter to Podobenoszew, in which this pa- direct provocation against his neighbors. triotic clergyman exposed the frauds and If, nevertheless, tolerable relations with violences committed against the Protes. England, Austria, and Germany have been tants of the Baltic provinces, and that he maintained, this is for the most part the sent an order to the Procurator to justify merit of M. de Giers, the Foreign Secrehimself in face of these accusations. But tary, an unpretending, cautious, and pernothing has been heard of that gentle- sonally reliable man of business, whose man's answer, who remains in power and influence with the Czar lies in the clevercontinues to act as before, casting down ness with which he appears not to exercise every opposition to his system by the as- any. He has a perfect knowledge of all sertion that autocracy can only be upheld political relations, but no specific proby orthodoxy and nationality.

gramme. He never takes any step wbich It is the sanie with Russia's foreign commits the Emperor, but confines himpolicy. The Emperor is peaceful and will self to the practical questions of the monot hear of war; he has, in fact, sub. ment, and thus enables his master to apmitted to many humiliations arising from pear the real leader of Russian foreign Russia's conduct toward Bulgaria, where policy. By these means this Finnish noStambuloff always had the best of it, rather bleman, hated by the Panslavists, has not than provoke a conflict. He accepts the only contrived to become Foreign Secrecajoleries of the French Republicans and tary, but to remain so for years. Among sends the Star of St. Andreas to President the other Ministers and high officials only

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a few enjoy the personal confidence of the peror William I, and also for soothing Emperor. The Minister of the Imperial the discontent in the Baltic provinces, in House, Count Woronzow-Dasbkow, is a which mission, however, he entirely failed rich man of ancient family and unblem- owing to the instructions inspired by ished integrity, who never meddles with Podobenoszew. His wife, the Mecklenpolitics. Prince Obolenski, Court Mar- burg Princess Maria Paulowna, is certainly shal, is an influential personage, but has the most gifted person of the Imperial never any idea of possessing an opinion family, who had the courage to stipulate differing from that of his sovereign ; and as a condition of her marriage that she General von Richter, Commander of the should remain a Protestant, the first time Imperial headquarters and President of in one hundred and fifty years that this the Coinmitice for Petitions, bated as a bas occurred in Russia. Her position is German and a Protestant, strictly confines therefore a difficult one, but she maintains himself to bis business, and is esteemed it with firmness and tact, and the accusaby the Czar for his honesty and loyalty. tion of the so-called Count Vasili—now The present Finance Minister, Visboe- unmasked as a French spy, Mondion-in gradski, is in his way a clever man, who his book La Société de St. Petersbourg, has contrived to raise the rate of ex- that she played the part of Bismarck's change, and converted 5 per cent. loans agent and dabbled in German inuigues, is into 4 per cent. ones, but only by vastly simply ridiculous. Two other German increasing the capital of the debt, and by princesses marrying Grand Dukes also reextending the period of the sinking fund inained Protestants, Princess Elizabeth of froin twenty-five to eighty-one years, Hesse, wife of the Emperor's brother, while he has scraped together every avail- Sergei, and Princess Constantin of Altenable rouble by the barshest taxation, and burg, but the first nawed embraced the so impoverished the mass of the agricul- orthodox creed when her husband was tural population. The Ministers of War made Governor of Moscow. and Public Instruction, General Wan. Personally, the Emperor is said to be nowski and Count Deljanow, are without kind-hearted, though at the same time political inportance. The chief of the hot-tempered, while a strange vein of general staff, General Obrutchew, is con. timidity pervades his character. He does siidered the principal advocate of a French not like new faces, and prefers to comalliance, but has been obliged to renounce municate with his Ministers and generals his journeys to Paris, wbich be made for by writing rather than by word of mouth, promoting his ideas under Alexander II., because he does not like discussions for the present Emperor allowing no similar which he is not prepared. He is, of interferences, which might hamper his course, obliged to receive hundreds of future policy.

persons, but avoids long conversations, if The Empress Marie Feodorowna (orig. he feels unable to cope in argument with inally betrothed to his elder brother), an his interlocutors. His personal commerce anniable and popular woman, of a naturally with those in whom he bas confidence is gay temper, is the head of all Court fes- therefore very limited, and he dislikes in. tivities, but she does not pretend to exer- tercourse with erninent men, because he cise

any influence over her husband, which fears the influence they may exercise upon explains why the domestic life of the Im- , him, being very desirous of appearing inperial couple is so happy. Her nerves are dependent. For instance, be has discarded said to have been inuch shaken by the Count Adlerberg, a real man of business, railway catastrophe of Borki and the late who always accompanied Alexander II. in attempt on the life of the Czarevitch in bis travels, and when he goes abroad he is Japan, as well as by the illnesy of her surrounded only by those who have no younger son. The heir-apparent is too opinion of their own. Yet the Emperor young, and seems too insignificant, to is very accessible to the advice of fanatics have any present importance. The eldest like Podobenoszew, because their resolute brother of the Emperor, Grand Duke convictions impose upon him, and because, Vladimir, is a man not without talent, above all, he fears foreign influence. who has been frequently chosen by the After all, Alexander III., notwithstandCzar to represent him at foreign Courts, ing his private virtues, is far from being a as on the ninetieth anniversary of the Em. happy man a successful ruler. He

or

feels his life to be in constant danger, as discontented, which expects a change for evidenced by the immense apparatus of the better only from revolutionary events police and military force by which he is

or war, has enormously increased. surrounded, particularly when travelling. Russia has certainly vast natural reThe Nihilist plots have somewhat abated, sources, but they cannot be turned to acbecause the conspirators have been ruth- count for the benefit of the population unlessly put down, but no one knows whether der the present system of government, the danger of Nihilism has been dimin- which rests on violent suppression of every ished. According to a well-informed ob- free opinion, official corruption, and a server,* acute Nihilism has become chron- perverse fiscal policy. Unless this misic, the hot-headed fanatics ready to risk government and the aggressive foreign their lives in attempts of violence have de- policy cease, the condition of the great creased, and the omnipresence of politi- Russian Empire will remain precarious, cal spies has suppressed the free discussion and the prospects of European peace unof political affairs ; but the mass of the settled.-New Review.

ACCIDENTAL CONVERSATION.

Conversa

Mr. Besant will probably find plenty however, it is a most precions possession, of people to agree with bim when he says, for it relieves the tedium of self-transport as he does in his “ Voice of the Flying immensely. Occasionally, no doubt, one Day,” that after some six weeks of coun- may pass a day, or even a week, without try solitude there comes a strong longing hearing anything worth hearing ; but, on the townsman for the talk of the peo. then, there is always the delight of the huntple in trains and omnibuses, on park seats er--the quest for the good thing, and the and in penny steamers. Many people let sense of double delight when it is found. the listening for amusing things said by Before, however, attempting to indi. strangers become part of their daily life, cate the best way of encouraging accidenand when away from town for long, miss tal conversations, and illustrating by exthis accidental conversation as they miss ample the sort of game run down, we the play or the opera. And by accidental must clear up a point of honor connected conversation we do not mean

with the subject. It may be urged that tions with strangers, but those conversa

it is mean and dishonorable to sit behind tions which take place in one's presence, your paper listening hard all the time to and of which one is a silent spectator. what some old gentleman is saying to his To the men and women who cultivate a niece as to glories of his youth, and that taste for this accidental conversation a a self-respecting person would endeavor journey by train or omnibus is as good as to distract his mind-if necessary, with the theatre. If you once get bitten with the shipping intelligence. the love of this form of dramatic repre- sition we must give a distinct denial. sentation, you have only to sit quiet in a Without stooping to the excuse of the corner and witness many a delightful witnesses in Court, who “just set the door comedy enacted before your eyes.

It a wee bit open, and then declare that will be said, perhaps, that the scenes are 'the voices forced themselves upon their apt to end abruptly, and the plots are ears in such a way that, do what they often not sufficiently indicated; but would, they could not help bearing every against this must be set the perfection of word, we boldly declare that a man has realism displayed by the actors, and the im- a right to listen and to overhear all accimense variety of the stories. Possibly, dental conversations, subject to this limitain many cases, the taste for accidental tion, that he does so with the bonâ-fide conversation has to be acquired ; but this intention of getting therefrom the amusecan be said of a hundred good things, ment which is expected at the theatre, and from oysters to tobacco. When acquired, nothing but that. Any other reason for

listening is to be condemned. A man has * A. V. Samson-Himmelstjerna, St. Peters

no business to listen to anything which is burger Schilderungen und Briefe, Leipzig, 1891. being said about himself or his friends or

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