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frankness and goodness, promised to do so most sincerely." And undoubtedly if the Poles had not been the tools of Russia's enemies, from Napoleon to the modern Communist, who only made use of them for very different ends, the question would have rested there, and Poland might at the present moment have enjoyed a larger share of material prosperity and political independence. The report of the British Consul in 1826, the observations of Marshal Marmont the same year, and the testimony of M. Brystnowski, and Mr. Jacob, show that she had never increased so fast in population, public works, and wealth, as in the peaceful period between 1814 and 1830, after she was finally annexed to Russia ; and the same rapid development was displayed during the short space after the Crimean War, and before the Polish War of 1863, which was perhaps the most disastrous consequence of that twelvemonth's campaign.

“ This nation,” wrote Coxe from Poland in 1779, before the partition, "has scarcely any commerce, a king without authority, the nobles living in uncontrolled anarchy, the peasants groaning under a feudal despotism far worse than the tyranny of an absolute monarch. Poland appears to me of all countries the most distressed. I never before saw such inequalities of fortune, extreme riches, and extreme poverty; wherever I gaze, luxury and wretchedness are constant neighbours.”

“In a court and capital such as Warsaw,” wrote Sir N. Wraxall, three years earlier, “it is not easy to resist the seduction of example added to the torrent of immorality. Here all that I see, announces not less the internal dissolution than the external destruction of Poland." He describes the prisons as horrible; gambling as carried to a greater extent than in any country in Europe. “ The Poles seem scarcely to be conscious that the Vistula is navigable, and it is rare to see upon it a vessel of any kind, though at Warsaw it is broader than the Thames at Windsor. A bridge of boats conducts to Praga on the eastern side. A wretched collection of cottages or huts built of wood, and scattered irregularly in the sand, without order or plan, such as Tartars, and only Tartars, could construct or inhabit. Yet this is the principal object seen from the windows of the Royal palace on the opposite bank in front of which the smell is pestilential. The people accord in their appearance with the aspect of everything around them. I never beheld so many objects of horror or compassion as present themselves in the streets. Warsaw is also crowded with Jews, who

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form a considerable proportion of the inhabitants. From time to time they are plundered, exiled, imprisoned, and massacred.”

There were neither lamps nor any pavement in Warsaw; for the nobles always rode, and cared nothing for the comfort of the common people, who waded through sloughs of filth and mud on foot in the streets. “Hardly a single public monument of art, taste, or devotion," continues Wraxall, “exists in this metropolis. The very churches and palaces are unfinished or fallen to decay."

Tweddel, Sir James Harris, and other travellers, confirm this description. “ There are no houses, but huts, in the villages," writes Sir James, “all the family in one miserable room.

The greatest poverty reigns.” The roads were mere tracks between Leipsic and the Russian frontier, till four good high roads were constructed, intersecting the whole of the Duchy of Warsaw, within ten years of its annexation to Russia ; and during that period many charitable institutions were founded, and various manufactures opened, which have now made Warsaw the chief manufacturing and commercial centre of the whole Empire.

The soil of Poland is more fertile, and its climate more genial than any part of Russia; but as it had been laid waste, and drained of its resources, while Napoleon ruled it between 1806 and 1813, the Russian government must have been better than that of its independent rulers, to produce the great improvement which Marshal Marmont observed in 1826, since he had known it in 1813.

“ The name of Poland still remains," wrote Archdeacon Coxe in 1779, “but the nation no longer exists, a universal corruption and venality pervades all ranks of people. Many of the first nobility do not blush to receive pensions from foreign courts. There is a nominal fine imposed on a man who kills his slave, but it is scarcely ever exacted, on account of the numerous difficulties which attend the conviction of a noble for this or any other enormity : so far indeed from being inclined to soften the servitude of their vassals, the nobles have asserted it, and established it by new laws.”

With such a deplorable state of things in their own country, it is not surprising that the richer nobles preferred to live in S. Petersburg, Vienna, and other gay cities. The curse of absenteeism weighed on the serfs of these landholders, who drew fortunes from their estates, through the medium of German stewards, while the owners mingled in the best and most intellectual society in France and England, and


were educated at Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, and Paris. A cosmopolitan chivalrous theoretical clique grew up in their sons ; Poles only in name and descent; indulging the hope of establishing a future Utopia in their native land, for even the laws and institutions of Great Britain were too antiquated, too exclusive to suit them; severely criticising the shortcomings of every other country, yet utterly ignoring the ingrained defects in their own, which in fact they hardly knew, unable to brook the idea of a master, and therefore each indulging the hope of being president, prime minister, or king of a "restored Poland ;” and while to carry out these views in the Revolutions of 1830 and 1863, they were forced to accept the aid of the ultra-democratic and communistic societies of Europe, they still chafed at the companionship, and scorned such “low-bred allies.” The last, however, have been the active workers in these Revolutions, the first would have contented themselves by stabbing Russia with their pens, and for this purpose agents to disseminate reports to her discredit have been established at different times at Bucharest, Cracow, and other neighbouring towns, but the Czartoriskis and Polish nobles of their rank have remained in Paris, or Vienna, during active disturbances in Warsaw, sending money to urge their retainers or hired mercenaries, to carry on the fray, but carefully keeping out of it themselves. It has been often observed that the most severe punishment which could be inflicted on them would be to compel them to abandon the pleasures of Western Europe, and reside under any circumstances in their native land.

The Polish poet, Mickiewicz, who was one of the tutors to Alexander II., in his childhood, and falling into disgrace with the Emperor Nicolas, afterwards supported the insurrection of 1830, gives us proofs throughout his writings of the illogical ideal views of the ordinary exiled Polish noble of that day. He compares his own country in its misfortunes to our suffering LORD, but sees in the inundation of S. Petersburg in 1824, a Divine judgment upon the Czar and his people. He gazes on the winter palace at eleven o'clock at night, where every light was extinguished except in one window which he believed to be the Emperor's. (Early hours, and no night-lights, must have been the fashion in S. Petersburg at that date.) He soliloquises to the effect that “the Emperor's uneasy conscience prevents him from sleeping, though he would fain do so, while every one else can sleep. Providence ever patient is about to give him one more warning. How many times

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formerly was he warned by his guardian angel in still clearer and more positive visions. He was not always so perverse. He was formerly human, then he descended by degrees into a despot. The holy angels have abandoned him, and the older he grows the more he falls into Satan's power.

His poorest subjects in their humble cabins will be struck first for his misdeeds. Pride is always punished by the most terrible chastisement-insanity," (Mickiewicz adds in a note,) and having been thus severe on Alexander I., he describes a bitterly cold day three years later, when the Emperor Nicolas reviews his troops ; in a charge over the frozen ground, a soldier fell, and the cannon went over him, but his dead body was carefully covered up; “ for if by chance the Czar is witness in the morning of such an accident his courtiers perceive a change in his temper, he returns to the palace vexed, and mournful, and has no appetite for the breakfast which is waiting for bim.” Unfortunately for the lesson against despotism this story is to convey, a royal salute is bardly ever fired even in England without an accident, a great crowd is seldom gathered, or a great military spectacle held, in Russia, France, Germany, Great Britain, or elsewhere, without some fatal casualty ; but whether the knowledge of them would always take away the appetite of a German or French prince in command is questionable; for if an absolute monarch has advantages he has also a responsibility when things go wrong, which weighs much more heavily on himself alone, than when shared by a constitutional cabinet.

There are some still living in Warsaw, who remember the cold wet day in May, 1829, when the Emperor Nicolas was crowned King of Poland, and all the ominous signs supposed to portend the great insurrection which broke out within little more than a year from that time. How the Emperor having a bad cold was interrupted by a fit of coughing in the middle of a long prayer for the Divine help to preserve the constitution, which in Slavonic countries takes the place of a coronation oath! How the provincial deputies kept a grim silence instead of repeating Vivat rex in æternum after the primate, as the Polish ceremony prescribed, when that dignitary bad crowned the Empress, and the Emperor had crowned himself; and how a Pole came straight up to Nicolas directly after the ceremony, and abruptly asked him to be good enough to inform him of the fate of his brother, the Emperor Alexander I.; if he had been murdered or was still immured in a Russian dungeon; adding some disparaging remark about the other members of the Imperial family. How the Emperor's face



was so much swelled the next day by the toothache that he did not appear at a ball to which he had invited the Polish magnates, and which they regarded as a gratuitous insult! Even the young Alexander, a handsome boy of eleven in a light blue Cossack uniform, who stood by his father's side at the coronation and with his mother represented him at the ball, failed to attract them, though having bad a Polish tutor, he spoke the language with ease. Two years later just before the insurrection of 1830-1 was finally crushed, the prince was riding with Colonel Mörder in the Park of Zarco-Selo, when a bullet fired by an unknown hand (supposed but perhaps erroneously to be a Pole’s) struck him on the ankle, and stirrup, but left no permanent injury. It was however fatal to Mörder, for the fright it gave him, confirmed an incurable disease of the heart.

The Revolution in Paris of 1830 was ré-echoed in Poland; the nobles who had sworn fealty to the Czar, and received from him honours and rewards, now turned against Russia, fearing lest the success of the insurgents led on by their priests, should imperil their own fortunes and estates, and 120,000 Russian soldiers perished in the civil war. The revolt was vigorously and fiercely repressed; the Roman Church disestablished, as the Poles had received much encouragement from Rome; and the Duchy of Warsaw which had enjoyed self-government, the expenditure of its own revenues, and had been only united to Russia in the same way as the Southern States of America are united to the Northern States, was made a mere dependent province. The Polish peasants, always inimical to their old nobility, were taught to look to Russia for the privileges of free men, and the Russian portion of the kingdom was so completely subdued, that it remained passive when in 1846, and 1848, the Prussian and Austrian Polish divisions rose in revolt. Till 1846, one part of Poland had been preserved in complete independence, the little republic of Cracow which had been erected into a separate state by the Emperor Alexander I. of Russia, to satisfy that party among the Poles who supported republicanism. Austria took the first opportunity when her Polish subjects revolted, to annex this oldest capital of Poland ; and at the same time crushed the insurgents quite as effectually as they had been crushed in Russia, and was only prevented by the remonstrance of her neighbours from giving up the city to plunder. Prussia showed no less vigour in subduing her discontented subjects in Posen ; and from that period, as agitations in Germany and Austria receive no countenance from the neighbouring

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