Puslapio vaizdai

“ the

man, of the name of Michayloff, was about this bility the language held was of an unheard-of time exiled to the Siberian mines. His proscrip- boldness. tion raised a storm of indignation. Altogether, if Demands for some kind of a duma, or Parwe compare the banishments to Siberia under liament, were brought forward by the assembled Nicholas and Alexander II., we find that of late nobiliary orders of Moscow, Smolensk, Novgoyears the number of exiles sent thither has been rod, Pskov, Saratov, Tula, and Tver. Instead incessantly increasing, so that it is now four of giving simply the desired answer to the questimes larger than under the rule of a monarch tions addressed to them on the subject of serf who stands in history as the very type of unmiti- emancipation by the Home Secretary, Mr. Valugated hard-heartedness.

ieff, they combined their replies with a demand

for a charter. They also insisted on strict reX.

sponsibility before the law of every government THE Crimean war, bringing to light, as it official; on protection for the rights of person did, the inner weakness of imperialist rule, was and property through the introduction of spoken calculated to embolden the centrifugal tenden- evidence in judicial proceedings, and of trial by cies among the discordant nationalities of the jury, in the place of the accustomed written and empire. The Baltic provinces have for some clandestine forms of procedure; on the publicatime past been looked upon as the mainstay tion of a detailed budget of revenues and exof the Russian administration. Yet, even there, penses, so as to allay the fears of a financial Bishop Walter, the Superintendent-General of crisis; and on liberty of the press in the discusLivonia, was heard to say, by way of reply to sion of economical and administrative reforms. governmental encroachments upon local char- At St. Petersburg an address was proposed, ters and privileges: “In religion we shall always which, under outwardly respectful forms toward remain Protestants. In politics we shall continue the Emperor, spoke out strongly against to be Germans.” His deposition followed quick- oppression exercised by those who represent the ly upon the significant speech.

sovereign power.” The address said : “Every In Finland, which in nationality, speech, his- violation of the principles of justice; the irretory, and culture, stands out distinctly from the sponsibility of men in the enjoyment of his Mabulk of the Muscovite Empire, there were signs jesty's confidence; all the irregularities, persecuwhich Government could not ignore. Toward tions, and abuses which are practiced destroy the the end of the Crimean war, Sweden-Norway people's confidence in the Government, shake had bound herself by a defensive treaty to Eng- their loyalty toward the monarch, and even sap land and France. It was considered necessary, his supremacy.” Stress was further laid on the at that time, to provide against the possibility of tendency which shows itself in certain parts of Russia claiming the important Norwegian har- the empire to withdraw from the general unity." bor of Hammerfest, which lies opposite the Eng- The address concluded with these words : “Replish coast, and, though situated in the semi-Arc- resentatives ought to be convoked from all the tic region, is ice-free during winter. The news provinces of the empire, so that the Sovereign of this treaty made an impression all over the might learn the wants of the people, and that North. There was some apprehension in the legislative questions and important state affairs councils of Alexander II. that Finland, which might be discussed before being settled. Withhad been robbed by Russia of her special consti- out such a general popular representation we tution, would gravitate back toward a connec- must fear for the stability of the empire, and can tion with the Swedish Crown. The Finnic Diet foresee its speedy dissolution." was, therefore, restored. Though the autonomy Unlike the resolutions in the other nobiliary thus allowed was more a name than a strong corporations, the address just mentioned was not parliamentary reality, the fact itself could not but put to the vote at St. Petersburg. The majority serve to bring out all the more glaringly the dead of the members there were too much under the level of political slavery in Muscovy proper. fear of persecution. On the other hand, the no

Among the Russian nobility the desire for bility of Tver, which for some time past had parliamentary rule was fed by the concession to been in the vanguard of the progressive moveFinland. Some of the nobles wished to indem- ment, drew up, in its sitting of March 14, 1862, nify themselves by political privileges on the oli- a resolution of seven points, containing a free garchal principle for any losses that might befall and voluntary surrender of all its aristocratic them through serf emancipation. Others, of a privileges, and an offer to make to the peasantry more liberal turn of mind, wished to benefit the large grants of land ; insisting at the same time interests of the community at large by the intro- on “the convocation of a national assembly duction of full representative government. In chosen by the whole people, without distinction almost all the corporations of the Russian no- of classes.” The resolution was adopted by one



hundred and twenty to twenty-three votes. Im- slavists, who wishes to see the sway of the Czar mediately afterward, thirteen justices of the peace extended over Austro-Hungary and Constantiof Tver, who had acted in consonance with these nople, appreciated the situation more correctly views, were arrested and led as prisoners to St. when, even after the overthrow of the rising of Petersburg

1863-'64, he wrote : “No one can imagine that Alexander II. neither would grant the convo- the Polish question is in reality settled. All its cation of a national Parliament, nor did he allow component parts are quite as alive now as for-, even the petitioning in favor of such a reform, merly. . . . The western provinces of Russia, in without giving practical proofs of his sovereign their present condition—and not only the kingdispleasure and imperial wrath.

dom of Poland, but even the province of Volhynia as well, where the Catholics number only ten per

cent. of the population-will certainly become While Muscovy proper was occupied and thoroughly Polish and hostile to Russia on the agitated by these demonstrations for the parlia- first appearance of a foreign foe." mentary principle, and by the widely ramified The insurrection of 1863 was undoubtedly the conspiracies of the “Red Cock," the Polish prov- work of a conspiracy-led, not by the older stock inces were excited by a renewed movement in of Polish patriots or emigrants, but mostly by favor of nationality and self-government. very young men. The Democratic Committee

Many had assumed there was an end of Po- at Warsaw which prepared, and the Secret Naland. Ignorance repeated the famous but false tional Government which officered, the rising, and forged word (Finis Polonia !) which is were wellnigh exclusively composed of men of attributed to Kosciuszko.* The Russian General the younger generation. This is an important Fadeyeff, one of the most uncompromising Pan- fact, in so far as it testifies to the vitality of the

national elements in Russian Poland. Nor had * Owing to the persistence with which this falsehood 'English statesmen and politicians of all parties always crops up afresh, it may be useful to give once any doubt, at that time, either as to the righteousmore the text of the letter addressed by Kosciuszko to ness and practical nature of the Polish cause, or Count Ségur, the author of the “ Décade Historique,”

as to the atrocious character of the Government under date of Paris, 20th Brumaire, year XII. (October 30, of Alexander II. The news of the simultaneous 1803). I have translated it from the French original, which is in the archives of the Ségur family, and which rising all through Poland on January 21, 1863, at has been communicated to me by Mr. Ch. Ed. Choiecki. once revived English sympathies for a downKosciuszko wrote :

trodden nation. Lord Ellenborough and Lord " Ignorance or malignity, with fierce persistence, has Shaftesbury, Mr. Disraeli

, Lord Stratford de put the expression · Finis Polonia' into my mouth-an Redcliffe, and Lord John Russell, the then Forexpression I am stated to have made use of on a fatal day. Now, first of all, I had been almost mortally eign Secretary, were strong upon Polish grievwounded before the battle was decided, and only recov

In both Houses of Parliament pictures ered my consciousness two days afterward, when I found of Russian atrocities were drawn, which fired the myself in the hands of my enemies. In the second in- heart of England with indignation. Mr. Forster stance, if an expression like the one alluded to is incon. declared in the House that England was hencesistent and criminal in the mouth of any Pole, it would have been far more so in mine. When the Polish nation forth freed from the compact by which she had called me to the defense of the integrity, independence, sanctioned the Czar's sovereignty over Poland. dignity, glory, and freedom of our fatherland, it knew At an enthusiastic meeting in St. James's Hall, well that I was not the last Pole in existence, and that Sir John Shelley in the chair, the question as to with my death on the battle-field, or elsewhere, Poland whether, in case Russia persisted in her course, could not

, and would not, be at an end. Everything the England ought to declare war against the AuPoles have done since, or will yet do in the future, furnishes the proof that if we, the devoted soldiers of the tocrat, was answered by a tremendous cry of country, are mortal, Poland herself is immortal ; and it “Yes !”* is therefore not allowed to anybody either to utter or to repeat that insulting expression (l'outrageante épithète) * Having myself been called to Scotland to speak at which is contained in the words ' Finis Poloniæ.' What Glasgow, and in other towns, on the situation in Gerwould the French say, if, after the battle of Rossbach, in many and the rising in Russian Poland, resolutions were 1757, Marshal Charles de Rohan, Prince de Soubise, had passed there to the following effect : Rupture of all dipexclaimed, • Finis Gallia !' Or what would they say if lomatic relations with the Russian Government; recogsuch cruel words were attributed to him in his biogra- nition of Poland as a belligerent nation ; declaration of phies ? I shall therefore be obliged to you if, in the new British sympathy with Germany in her efforts at gaining edition of your work, you will not speak any more of the her own freedom and unity; formation of a committee 'Finis Polonia'; and I hope that the authority of your destined to receive subscriptions for the Polish rising ; name will have its due effect with all those who in future transmission of a petition to the House of Commons, may be inclined to repeat those words, and thus attribute and of an address to the Hon. Arthur Kinnaird, with the to me a blasphemy against which I protest with all my object of promoting the Polish movement. (See Louis heart."

Blanc's “ Lettres sur l'Angleterre,” Paris, 1866, vol. i.)




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In the House of Commons it was shown that, his life, and down to his last days, attacked the according to a statement made by the Town communistic doctrines in frequent writings.' Nor Council of Warsaw, on July 20, 1862, the num- did he organize the Polish insurrection. To this ber of men and women thrown into a single I can personally testify. He was in contact with prison in that city since the beginning of the patriots and exiles of many nations; and he, toyear, under a charge of political offenses, had gether with Ledru-Rollin, and a few others in been 14,833; that such had been the ravages of London, were informed of what was coming in forced conscription that in November, 1862, only Russian Poland, some time before the rising. 683 persons had been left at Warsaw for the The Warsaw committee had their trusty agent pursuits of commerce in a population of 184,000 here, through whom we learned the day of the inhabitants; that Prince Gortchakoff had threats intended insurrection. Opinions were exchanged ened to inaugurate a policy of extermination, and between well-wishers in London and the leaders to make of Poland a heap of ashes; that the bar- at Warsaw; but the organization and the diracks and fortresses had been transformed into rection entirely proceeded from within Poland. dungeons for political prisoners; and that in the Shortly before the Polish patriots rose, Mazzini terrible night of January 15, 1863, the houses of had even given the distinct counsel to delay the the citizens were surrounded and invaded at one rising. But the tyrannic decree of conscription, o'clock in the morning, in order to fill the ranks or rather proscription, by which the Polish youths of the Russian army with unfortunate kidnapped were to be all seized in the dead of night and

transported as recruits into the interior of RusSo strongly did English public opinion then sia, left the Warsaw committee no choice. Unpronounce against the Government of Alexander der these circumstances, Mazzini's counsel could II., that Lord John Russell at last presented “Six not possibly be followed. Points" to the Cabinet of St. Petersburg. They So far from communism having been at the asked for a complete and general amnesty; a bottom of the insurrectionary movement, the national Parliament of Poland, in conformity with leaders aimed at nothing but national indepenthe treaty of Vienna of 1815; an Administration dence, combined with a land reform, such as exclusively composed of Polish officials ; full lib- France and Germany have carried long ago, and erty of conscience; the use of the Polish language as England still stands in need of. Equality beon all public occasions and in the education of fore the law, freedom for all creeds, and other the people; and a regular system of military re- liberal measures were mentioned in the published cruitment, instead of the arbitrary seizure of per- decrees of the Secret Government at Warsaw. sons. As a preliminary measure, an armistice The rest would have had to be done by a freelywas insisted on by the English Government, who elected assembly had the revolution been sucalso proposed a conference of the eight signatory cessful. The members of the Secret Government powers of the treaty of Paris.

were adherents of the democratic creed ; at least, Need it be said that Alexander II. utterly de- at the beginning of the rising. Gradually, a clined to discuss these proposals ?

change became observable, but certainly not in A sudden change, it is true, came one day the communistic sense. I have mentioned more over Lord John Russell's views in this Polish amply on another occasion that differences, albeit matter, when he declared, in a tone of great ex- only of a passing character, showed themselves citement, that the insurrection had been organized in the leading committee a few months after the by the "cosmopolitan party of revolutionists"- revolution had been begun. It was on the quesmore especially by Mazzini and his friends—and tion of intervention and foreign alliances. that the object was to introduce communism into Louis Napoleon, ever on the lookout for an Poland! A more erroneous, nay, on the face of opportunity of meddling with affairs abroad, flatit, impossible statement could scarcely have been tered himself with the hope of being able to inmade. It is difficult to understand how a states- duce England to effect, in company with him, an man of the age and experience of Lord John intervention in Poland. To my knowledge, some Russell could allow himself to be thus deceived. go-betweens of his made an attempt to see He may have found it necessary to oppose the whether a Polish demand for French intervendemands for armed English intervention in Po- tion could not be addressed to him, so that his land when he saw that Louis Napoleon wished own ambitious policy might find a readier acto improve the occasion for an attack on the ceptance in the public opinion of Europe. The Rhine. But then Lord John was not entitled to Jeromist or Plon-Plonist connection was used as produce arguments which were the reverse of a lever for that purpose. This move, coupled facts.

with a change of persons then just going on in So little was Mazzini inclined to communism the composition of the Secret Government at that he, on the contrary, during the best part of Warsaw, gave rise to a temporary dissension, which for a while paralyzed the insurrectionary Poles; “but the officers,” Mr. Golovin adds, activity. Finally, the Napoleonistic tendency was “were Poles or Catholics, and not the tenth part entirely thrown out, and the old programme was were real Russians.". . Lastly, the Secret Governmaintained, which aimed at deliverance by Po- ment at Warsaw hoped that the constitutional lish forces only.

conflict then ging in Prussia between the liberAll this had nothing to do with communism. al House of Commons and the reactionary GovLord John Russell was egregiously mistaken. ernment of King William and Herr von Bis

marck would result in a practical aid to the PoXII.

lish cause by preventing the King of Prussia BEFORE the rising there were two chief com- from taking action in favor of the Czar. mittees at Warsaw—both clandestine, according It is a matter of notoriety how these various to the nature of the situation. The one was a hopes were disappointed. As to the manifestoes democratic Committee; the other an aristocratic which it was alleged by Herzen had been issued one—the so-called Committee of the Szlachta, by Russian officers as a pledge of sympathy with or Nobility. The latter mainly sought to bring Poland, they proved to be mere words, if not a about peaceful but impressive manifestations in downright invention. Carrying on a struggle of the streets, while the former aimed at revolu- despair, without any support, the Polish patriots tionary action. When the Szlachta Committee yet kept the whole power of Russia fully occufound that, in order to obtain the aid of the peas- pied for nearly a year and a half. Toward the antry, it would be necessary to hold out prom- end of the insurrection, the more advanced party ises of a land reform, its members lost heart. which had organized it found itself compelled, Finally, they withdrew altogether from the direc- through increasing difficulties, to enter into closer tion of affairs. Then the Democratic Commit- relations with the Moderate, or so-called Aristotee obtained the upper hand and the sole man- cratic, party of Polish emigrants abroad, whose agement of the movement. , Its members and political connections and financial means, it was adherents, too, belonged partly to the lesser no- supposed, might give some aid to a sinking cause. bility; and, as the landholding class and the com- It was all of no avail. The agony was a long paratively few towns in Russian Poland are al- and tragic one. At last the catastrophe came; most exclusively the representatives of political and with feelings of deep emotion we greeted thought, of national aspirations, and of general General Langiewicz on his arrival in London as progress, it will easily be understood that even a fellow exile. the Democratic Committee could not go too far I will not unroll here the picture of the fresh in its measures of social revolution lest it should horrors that followed upon the overthrow of a alienate its best allies and create division in its rising which had been the result of unbearable own ranks.

atrocities. To do so would require the brush This also Lord John Russell might have been of a Breughel, the painter of hellish demons. expected to know.

“There are no innocent persons," General So- , I will not enter here into the causes of the bolewski said in 1863, when presiding over one failure of the Polish rising, on which I have be- of the Commissions of Inquiry at Wilna—“there fore expressed myself, beyond indicating a few are no innocent persons; we only inquire to what noteworthy points. The leaders of the conspir- degree every individual is guilty.” acy calculated, first, upon a more energetic par- “ The law?” exclaimed General Murawieff, ticipation of their own peasantry than had been with a satanic leer—"I am the law !” He was, the case on former occasions. Secondly, they according to the well-known phrase, not of the counted upon the promised passing over to the Murawieffs who get hanged, but of the Murarevolutionary cause of Russian troops, especially wieffs who hang others. He, Berg, Anjenkoff, of officers, and upon the outbreak of a popular and other military executioners of the Torquemovement at Moscow and at St. Petersburg. I mada school, did their sanguinary business effiknow that assurances to that effect had been ciently all through this terrible period. The very freely given to the leaders of the Polish rising, name of Poland was struck from the official phrathough I always doubted that they would be seology in Russia. There was henceforth only a made good. The spirit of Pestel and Murawieff Department of the Vistula. The Polish speech had, in 1863, not been revived yet among any was proscribed in public. The tyrant tried to noteworthy number of Russian officers. Mr. tear out the very heart from a nation's bosom. Ivan Golovin, in 1870, stated in his book * that At Nice, Alexander II. afterward shed tears Alexander Herzen had given an assurance that at the sight of the misery of an exiled Polish the Warsaw garrison would pass over to the family. When asked whether his Majesty would

not, in the fullness of his power, do something to *“ Russland unter Alexander II.," Leipsic, 1870. mitigate the sufferings, he replied, "I have given

VOL. VII.-18



my word of honor to Murawieff not to interfere monarch, and inseparably bound up with his in such matters !” The quality of the imperial God-conferred autocratic power; that no class tears in question need not be described.

was lawfully entitled to speak in the name of anMr. Golovin writes: “Ivan the Cruel has not other, or to plead before the throne for public acted differently toward Novgorod from what concerns and wants of the state; and that irregAlexander II. has done to the Poles. A proof ularities of this kind could only delay the execuis thus furnished that Russian Autocrats have tion of the planned reforms.” changed their names but not their principles. In It would have been impossible to lay down Germany it has been truly said that Germans the despotic principles of the Czar-Pope with a still see in the Poles fellow men, while the Rus- more uncompromising severity. In the midst of sians act inhumanly against the Poles.” I quote the public indignation thereby created, Karakaby preference the opinion of a prominent Russian soff-formerly a student at the Moscow Univerwriter, who, though exiled himself, speaks se- sity, and whose father belonged to the class of verely against the Nihilists, and who is so far the titled nobility—on April 16, 1866, made an from systematically opposing the Russian Gov- atte against the life of the relentless and ernment policy as to say, in the work in question, scheming Autocrat. that “the present Emperor has only followed the This was the first personal warning to him footsteps of Alexander the Great as far as Samar- who had always feared that he would die a viocand, and that it remains reserved to Alexander lent death. IV. to conquer India."

Many were the men whom a suspicious desThis was written by Mr. Golovin before potism arrested, after Karakasoff's deed, as probAlexander II. had made an attempt to get, by a able or possible accomplices—the best evidence back door, into Afghanistan.

that autocracy, at the slightest show of danger, feels the soil insecure under its feet. Thus the poets Nekrassoff and Lawroff were imprisoned

for a time. Karakasoff was executed. ThirtyIn spite of its failure, the Polish rising had a five alleged accomplices of his conspiracy were remarkable effect. It actually brought a reform, sentenced to imprisonment or transportation. not to the crushed Poles, but to the Russians.

In the following year, during .Czar AlexanVarious symptoms in some of the Great Russian der's visit to Paris, the Pole Berezowski pointed and Little Russian provinces, as well as in Lith- the pistol at his breast. A French jury taking a uania, has shown, during the insurrection, that lenient view of the matter, the life of that woulda dangerous spirit of discontent was rife there be avenger of his country's wrongs was spared. also. It required all the crafty arts of govern- Perhaps the jury thought of the countless hosts ment and all the violent declarations of Katkoff that had had to make the pilgrimage into the and his sort to keep even the Muscovites up to Valley of Death, in order that a single man the desired mark of hatred against the Poles. might uphold his irresponsible rule over many Among a section of the Russian nobility the enslaved nations. treatment awarded to the latter was strongly I shall have to speak, in a concluding article, blamed.

of the time between the attempt of Berezowski It was as a sop to these feelings of unrest and that of Solovieff. With the obstinacy of the that the Czar issued, on January 21, 1864, a Autocrat the fierce resolution of his foes has ukase for the introduction of provincial (depart- grown-a very natural law of action and reacmental and district) assemblies for the discussion tion, which it would be useless to deny, sad as of local economical questions. Politics, of course, the outlook is for the cause of humanity. The were strictly forbidden.

atmosphere of blood, which has for ages hovered Russian liberalism, misled for a time during over the Imperial Palace of Russia, has spread the Polish Revolution, revived after this peril now over the country at large. A strange aurora

A portion of the Russian land-own- borealis of mysterious fires once more illumines ing class began asserting again that "it was but the horizon with its dark-red arrows. Nihilists right the Crown should give up some of its des

are at work. Fire-raisers are at work. Peasants potic privileges after the aristocracy had been also have broken out into revolt. We can only shorn of their former power over the serfs.” The hope that these are the inevitable thunder-clouds Corporation of the Moscow Nobility being on

of a necessary storm destined to purify the air, the point of asking the Emperor once more to to drive away the foul mists of tyranny, and to grant representative government, its session was confer upon long-suffering Russia the blessings hurriedly closed by a peremptory order. An im- of Light and Right. perial ukase declared that “the right of taking the initiative in any reform was vested in the KARL BLIND, in the Contemporary Review.

was over.

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