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the religious faith of Poland, by transplant- pectant grasp into its own; for whilst the ing its population into Asia. This, how- sovereign of Prussia leaned for support on ever, is not the worst effect of these pro-German states, in the visionary hope ol' uniting
Nicholas to take a prominent lead amongst the ceedings, for our author well observes:
and heading a homogeneous German people, "Political violence and cruelties, the mere
Nicholas himself. hy marriages, intrigues, and extirpation of races or of creeds, would be bribes, has made that progress for his own innothing, however, to the condition to which his teresis, to effect which the Prussian Cabinet
sold itself to him.' own subjects are reduced-comparatively nothing; because races are doomed according
Our author divides the Russian people to the law of nature 10 perish, and creeds flour. ish and wither, and, being immaterial, spring into three great classes; first, the landed arisagain from their ashes. But the dull, monotun- tocracy; second, all those who are, or have ous, hopeless, all-pervading oppression to which been employed by the government; third, his subjects are reduced, producing the same the peasantry, whether private serfs, crown moral effect on the human mind, as the slough serfs, or freed men. Of these three classes, of his norihern boys on the human frame, sinking into it, blinding the eyes, silencing the
he gives the following description : tongue, and paralyzing the agglutinated limbs, The first of these classes, more polished is infinitely more terrible-doubly terrible, be than civilized, generally given to licentiouscause it is a destiny the sufferers must not only ness and extravagance, and crushed by a sense endure, but propagate by foreign conquest, and of its humiliatiny condition, is insignificant by by the natural re-production and increase of its want of spirit, and numbers, and by the fact population.
of a paramount influence which destroys that
which it once possessed over its serfs, and which Such a system destroys all generous, it has not even the means of counteracting by manly feeling. Our readers, therefore, will the dissemination amongst them of such ennot be surprised to learn that there is no larged and liberal ideas as its own comparative national interest in Russia; there only the civilization might suggest, and which mighi interest of the house of Romanoff prevails. which is weighing it down, though without
weaken the power of that arbitrary tyranný However obvious, therefore, the interests
strengthening its own. Its menibers must, and wishes of the nation, they are always therefore, naturally bear in their hearts a bitter sacrificed to those of the autocrat, who enmity to the oriental despotism which crushes treats Russia as the Duke of Newcastle them in the dust. At the close of the late Emused to treat East Retford, -i. e., does peror Alexander's reign, they made a final efwhat he likes with his own. But, notwith-fort to shake off this galling tyranny, and the standing this unlimited power, and the
numerous secret societies which were conspirscrupulous use made of it, Russian influ- ing against the imperial authority, included
in their ranks some scion of every noble family ence and conquests extend not because of in the empire, and with each were the hearts the power
she does possess, but of that which and wishes of the stock to which he belonged. she is thought to possess. The influence These efforts terminated in a hasty and pueilof Russia, at the courts of Sweden, and lanimously conducted attempt at rebellion on Berlin, is thus accounted for :
the accession of the present emperor; but he
overturned it by his energy, and has since kept “The suspicion of his subjects which the late his heel upon the throats of the helpless prosKing of Sweden entertained to the last, gave trate aristocracy, who atteinpted to subvert his Prussia all the ascendency at Stockholm, that aristocratic power. it was impossible for her to possess in a con. • This haired is not, however, perceptible to stitutional country. In Russia, her present the casual observations of the traveller; and sovereign led away by his fears for his Rhenish few lips dare utter it in a state where, Veniceprovinces, and the hope of being able to walk like, the very walls have ears; and it is only alone when he should have obtained that as on a more intimate acquaintance, that he can cendency over the petty German states, which catch the accent of those universal curses, 'not he hoped to dispute wiih Austria, entered into loud, but deep. The conquered nobility may a strict alliance, so repugnant to his natural therefore now be considered harmlessly inimifeelings and personal antipathies, with the cal to the imperial crown. Russian cabinet; he has surrendered himsell, • The second class—the nobility of officem as Faust, to Mephistopheles; coil after coil raised in the very hot bed of corruption and winds around him, and compromises his posi- venality, and divested not only of all public tion in that civilized Europe in which he would virtue, but of all private honesty, may be conhave wished to play the liberal leader, whilst re sidered incapable of a patriotic idea, and can taining the power and the sweets of despotism; be animated by none but the most selfish and its Byzantine crali must smile as it sees leelings, which would naturally lead them to the very advantages for which he prostituted side with the strongest party in the event of a his obeisance and digoity escaping from his ex- | national commotion. The inferior ranks of
this class, which constitute the great bulk of it, | external refinement of the society of other have been brought up traditionally to regard countries ; and as they are apt and imitathe regal power as the most solid and unshak- live to a certain extent, they often contrive able of human institutions.
• The third of these three great classes into to gloss over the Sclavonian savageness which the Russian nation may be naturally
with a little European varnish, or more divided, many times more numerous than the commonly with what we would call the other two united, constitutes the bulk, the mere ‘Plaster of Paris' of politeness; but power, and the name of the Muscovite people. before you have associated with these hyIt is composed of a peasantry on whom civili perborean boyars half a dozen times, you zation has yet made no impression, and know- discover that i hey have no solid instruction, ledge thrown no ray of light. For, that a few and still less, to use the very phrase of our can read, who are now allowed to read nothing but those prayers which were formerly read author, of those feelings inherited by othto them, and that they are now acquainted er nations from the chivalrous institutions with the use of sugar and tobacco, will scarce which for so many centuries teinpered ly invalidate the assertion which we boldly their feudal darkness, tinging the public venture to make, that they are as barbarous mind unconsciously with an admiration for now as previously to the days of the first Pe- what was noble, an abhorrence of what was ter; that they are, in fact, identically the same base.' In the education of the Russian as a century and a half ago, in ideas, in manners, and in costume; as blindly superstitious, noble every thing is calculated for show. as servilely devoted as then; and have only He is a proficient in music and dancing, and transferred this feeling from their patriarchs can speak the Manuel du Voyageur, in ihree, and boyars to the person of a single ruler. four, or five languages hy heart; but he is de
* Counting its millions, as this class does, ficient in all solid, useful knowledge-knows to the thousands of the preceding two, and nothing at all of classical Jore, andis almost animated as it is by the blind zeal of barba- always deficient in historical, geographrism, it lies a ready and tremendous instru- ical, and political knowledge. a
His ambiment of good or evil, in the hands of one man, to execute his commands with a reckless and tion generally is to imitate the French; fanatical devotion. This man is the Emperor but, notwithstanding the appearance of veNicholas.
neering and polish, you cannot be in his
company for a week without perceiving, to The description of this race is admirable, use the expressive phrase of Madame d'Aband to the letter true:
rantes, the paw of the bear. He is the slave • The type of this class may be seen in
of his own sensualism and crapulousness,
every goveryment office. A personage who sits in spending his nights and days in drinking a coat with the Imperial button, his green or lokay and champagne, and eating sterleipurple velvet collar designating the deparl-pies, and cutlets, at the period when that ment to which he is attached; but who be- fish sells extravagantly dear. Five-sixths neath this insignia of his rank, eschews a shirt; of his time is spent in playing at cards and who wraps his feet in a tattered rag instead dice; at which if he happen to take a disof stockings, using his fingers for a pocket
, honorable advantage, the only disgrace is handkerchies, and smelling strongly of vodika (corn-brandy) and onions. He must be ad- in detection, which can in a few months be dressed as · vashe blagarodié,' 'your nobility got over. Fortunes of 10, 20, 30,0001. per He rejoices in a salary of 15l. per annum, and annum thus, in a few years, utterly disapmaintains the dignity of the imperial service pear, principal and interest, and without as by unblushingly pocketing a bribe of a grionik, much' show as the mere entanglement of a coin of the value of threepence halipenny the annual revenue would have occasioned English-withoui wbich, if you have occasion to ask him even a question, he will not open
in England. In heart and soul the Rushis lips: this class of employés are to be found sian noble is a mere barbarian. In his in every grade, from the individual just de- profusion it is evident that he esteems all scribed up to the minister of the imperial court things by the money they cost, and not for -whose salary is 4,0001. and who is calculat- their intrinsic beauty or excellence. At ed to sell bis favors at 100,0001. per annum St. Petersburgh and Moscow he will give more: they differ indeed in fortune, and in ex- from one to five guineas a lb. for the celeternal refinement, but
, in point of corruption; brated sterlet, a fish not superior to a brill. venality, and servility, may be unhesitatingly He will thus often expend 'fifiy guineas on
, , ranked together.'
a fish, and have two of them at his table The real nobility of Russia, however, as boiled down to soup in oceans of chamcontradistinguished from these harpies, has pagne. On the spoi where the sterlet is tried hard to adopt the tone, manners, and caught,- where it is in perfection,-he
rarely touches it. He purchases tokay at for the new. The Emperor, the greatest ten guineas a bottle, gives 2,000 guineas proprietor in the empire, holding twenty for a Cachmere shawl, which he sells a few millions of serfs, or as much as all his noweeks after for 1,5001. : wears cambric bles together, is an abolitionist as far as reshirts, and places the summum bonum of gards the slaves of all other proprietors. life in perfumes and essences, in expensive If a Russian noble is pressed for money, jewels, furs, and rings. If he be a man of the government grants mortgage after mortfamily and fortune his conversation will gage, which his extravagance seldoin alamuse you for an hour, for he appears lows him to redeem ; and thus his slaves high-bred and gentleman-like; but talk pass away from his control. After having with him for one thousand hours, and the stated these facts, the author shrewdly obo theme is always the same-Champagne, serves : cards, and French actresses. “Make your way into his confidence,' says the author of
"The inquiry naturally suggests itself, when the Revelations, and learn the nearest free these serfs, and couple it with the fact that
we hear of the efforts the Emperor makes to wish of his heart, and a hundred to one it he himself so large a slaveholder, why he is to get rid of his uniform.
does not begin by emancipating his own. But These volumes supply abundant evidence how ought we to characterize his vaunted liof the wretched social state of Russia. berality, when on examination we find that in There are few robbers in Russia, says the three-fourths of the eventualities which free
the slave from the yoke of his private master, author, but how many Russians are there
he passes direcıly into the domain of the who are not thieves ? As to the condition
crown.' of the sers, he is as completely at his master's mercy as any slave has ever been at The unblushing venality and corruption any period. He can sell him, he can strip of all who wear the Imperial button, and him of his property, he can separate fami- who are employed in any capacity, high or lies for ever, he can torture him to death: low, in any branch of the administration,
is demonstratively set forth in these vol'It is true,' says the author, 'be must evade umes. From the door of the Emperor's the law to do these things; but this evasion ante-chamber, to the sentinel at his gate, entails not even a risk, but merely an addition- every man is an extortioner and a public al formality: An ukase forbids, under severe robber, and all are united in one vast conpenalties, the sale of any slave without the spiracy to deceive the only man in the emland to which from protective motives it attaches him; but the owner may let out slaves pire who cannot be bribed – the possessor on a 90 years' lease, to work in the mines of of it. In Russia, every man has his price Siberia. The law does not give him the direct in money ;-the minister, the judge, the right of seizing his slave's property; but he general, the admiral, the long list of suborhas a thousand ways of extorting it, which he dinates, which completes the link of this may employ without the necessity of evading chain, down to the petty chenoonik, the the law, since the law gives him absolute dis serjeant, the boatswain, the bontuschnik, posal of his serl's time and labor. The author and the executioner, must all be included has seen a nobleman amuse himself by making in the censure. his slaves stand for hours on one leg.'
From high to low all
equally conspire to rob the government by It is a fact generally well known, that their peculations, and the public by their some of the wealthiest men, whose word is extortions; making the power (in the very good for £100,000 on the exchange of Pe- words of the writer under review) with tersburg, are mostly slaves. The proprie. which an arbitrary system invests them
, tor of these slaves can order them into his down to the last refraction of sub-delegated scullery or kitchen, or send them as swine- authority, a matter of notorious purchase. herds or miners to their village, as well as No inhabitant of Western Europe can form their children, brought up in all the refine- an idea of the extent of the universal corments of luxury.
ruption of Russian employés. This author Our readers have but to open these vol. agrees with Custine in attributing the allumes, to be convinced that servitude exists pervading vice to the absence of that chiin the Russian empire with more severity valric feeling which has influenced all than slavery has ever done between any classes in modern Europe. The author's masters and slaves, not only of the same denunciations might be considered too race, but of the same origin, in any coun. neral if he did not cite specific instances. try, or at any period, either in the old world It is thus he introduces the subject :
The author feels that the reader may con- • A poor nobleman had been carrying on a sider him as almost too sweeping in the pre- lawsuit for several years, when he received an cediny denunciations, until he shall have intimation from the secretary of the tribunal, shown him one of the principal favorites of that unless he paid over 10.000 rubles (4501.) the Emperor Nicholas-a man whose power to the president, the case would be decided exceeds that of half a dozen German princes against him. The unfortunate litigany who united; till he has shown him a personage could not raise as many pence, hethought him whose name has become celebrated in history, of applying to Count Benkendorf, the chief of who was many years the intimate friend of the secret service, whom he had been led to one of the first crowned heads in Europe, and believe was personally anxious to make an exis now elevated to one of the most lucrative ample of the delinquents, and who is one or posts in the empire; till he shows that indivi- the four or five men holding office in the emdual connected with the court, holding his dai. pire who are deemed incorruptible by the comly levees, and receiving a crowd of contractors, mon rumor,-or at least, if the Russians utsuitors, German tradesmen, French artistes, terly disbelieve in the existence of an unlimited actresses, and courtesans, with whom he bar integrity, of whom they say, "We do not not gains for the amount of the perquisite which think even such a sum would buy him! The is to secure the Imperial custom and his pro party relerred to offered the count 10 surnish tection; till he has shown a general officer, a him with an unquestionable proof the venality judge of one of the highest courts, unblush-of the president of the Court of Appeal; and ingly, and in a business-like manner, naming for that purpose proposed that he should be the amount of the bribe he requires; colonels entrusted with the amount of the bribe de and majors in rank pocketing for the same pur- manded. He undertook that these notes pose a five-rouble note (45. 61 ); a senator should be found on the president's person. giving up his own favorite nephew to the exe. The count consented. Since the good old cutioner, when half-frozen by spending part of times of the reign of Alexander, neither the a winter's night under the arch of a bridge, secretaries, vice-presidenis, nor presidents (the and just escaped from the massacre of the parties who in the courts of law receive all 25th of December, he sought an hour's resuge bribes affecting the immediate decision of beneath his roof; and further, though not last. civil or criminal cases) ever make their barly, till he shows the family of Troubetzkoi, gain, or receive any money, before a third whose claim is more legitimate to the throne party, their dread of the anger of Nicholas of the Tsars than that of the Romanoffs, all even occasions them to report to many precaulicking the dust beneath the Emperor's foot- tions, formerly not dreamed of; and in this steps, and fawning and flattering, through instance the president declined receiving the every humiliation, whilst the head of the house money in his house, but proposed that the litiis kept in Siberia, with an unrelenting hate gant should invite him to dinner at a tavern that no suffering of his heroic wile could touch which he indicated, and there pay over the --no length of years or enduring devotion amount to him. However, the judge's proposoften.
sition was acceded to ; and his host caused an It has been asserted that the Emperor, here officer of gendarmerie to be stationed in an adand there, at long intervals, punishes these jacent closet. The president made his appearmalpractices; but almost always the cases he ance; he signified, by the action of his fingers, selects, or which come to his notice, are com- that their pecuniary iransaction had heiter preparatively far from flagrant, and the punish-cede the gastronomic entertainment: the host ment is utterly useless as a warning. Here gave him over a small roll of bank-notes; the are two instances:-A fire took place in Cron- president counted them in a very business-like stadı, in the summer, and it was found that way, and tossed them into his hat. As this was there was not a horse on the island in which is not yet quite satisfactory, in the hope that his is situated, although the police-master had for guest would finally transfer the money to his years charged for the keep of a large num-person, his Amphytrion deferred giving the ber; he was degraded to a private sailor. signal for the appearance of the secret police The very instalment of his successor began agent, and they sat down to dinner. At this moby the extortion of a bribe.
ment some one knocked; it was the president's 'Two years ago, the bank surveyor in the nephew, come to him with some trifling mesmortgaging department was applied to, by an sage from his lady. The judge gave him a aid de camp of the Emperor's, to value a house brief answer, and bowed him out. At the conhe intented pledging to the bank. The bank clusion of their dinner, he was preparing to desurveyor observed, My charge is 2,000 rou- part; he had pulled on bis shube, and put his bles, (£90); pay them down, and I will give signal the officer of gendarmerie rushed into
hat upon his head: when on the preconcerleil a good valuation without looking at the place, the apartment with an order from Count Benkotherwise it shall not be valued at all for three weeks,-and undervalueil then. The aid-de- endorf
, whose dictum every dignitary in the camp reported the affair to the Emperor; empire must obey, 10 search liis person. Do the surveyor was sent to the galleys. Three not give yourself the trouble to search him, days alter, in the game office, a similar demand said the excited noblenian, you will find the was made to a fresh applicant.
bank-notes in his hat.' The president smiled
blandly, and took off his hat at once ; it was tongues cut out for pasquinades which they empty. When his nephew went out he had never wrote, (p. 218 ;) that a wholesale taken up his uncle's hat instead of his own. The judge thus not only avoided the trap laid system of murders is carried on, (p. 219,)
in which the lower villains of the police are for him, but secured the bait, and doubly punished the informer: firstly, hy deciding the participant, and that a constant emulation case against him; and, secondly, because, not is kept up in crime. These are some of having substantiated his charge, he was oblig. the blessings consequent on an autocratic, ed to refund the ten thousand roubles advan- irresponsible rule. The very enumeration ced by the police. Can any one doubt that of them causes the blood to run cold. We this worthy minister of public justice had re-confess we can hardly venture to write on ceived a private hint from Count Beckendorfs them with temperance and moderation; officer ?"
for we cannot think on them without loath
ing and indignation. That we have exagFrom these and other instances adduced gerated no statement-set down nothing in in these pages, it appears that nine-tenths malice, will plainly appear from a referof the income of official persons is made ence to the pages which we have cited from up by fraud;—that functionaries, from the the first volume. The individual, whoever highest to the lowest, are purchased by hard he be, who has brought these infamies of cash;-nay, that the senate itself three the Russian system to light deserves well, times altered its decision in consequence of not alone of England and Englishmen, but the spirited bidding of the parties. Thus of the civilized world. In the second volwas justice openly prostituted, and in a ume, however, there are more important manner put up to sale in the public mar- 'Revelations concerning the army, navy, ket. This, however, will seem the less ex- and secret police of Russia ; but on these traordinary when it appears, as it does at p we cannot now enter, but must content our118 of the first volume, that a notorious selves with recommending the book to the burglar caught in flagrant delict actually attentive perusal and consideration of our turned out to be a member of the senate! readers. It is certainly the most copious, Such a system as this is the fruitful parent correct, and searching account of Russia of every crime, of every baseness, and of and her political system, that has hitherto every conceivable turpitude. It is there. appeared. fore not wonderful that the seeds of distrust and deceit are sown in the very social habitudes, amidst the lares and penates of this peculating, prostrate, corrupt, yet most suffering people. It is not wonderful that,
ON THE ORIGIN OF THE Aurora BOREALIS, under such a system, the bridegroom ques- by the Rev. G. Fisher.—The author professes to tions (vol. i. p. 171) whether the bride does establish the following propositions : “ The prinnot consent to be his to worm from him cipal displays of the aurora occur near the edge, some secret; that a father (vol. 1. p. 189) process of congelation goes on with the greatest
or exterior limits of the frozen sea, where the betrays his own son to the police; that rapidity. The aurora is an electrical phenomemore robberies and assassinations are com- non, and arises from the positive electricity demitted in St. Petersburgh than in Paris, veloped by the congelation of humid vapors and London, nay, in all the European capitals the
consequent induced negative electricity of the
surrounding portions of dry atmosphere. It is the together, (p. 215;) that the friend runs to accompanying indication of the restoration of the the police to betray all his associates, (p. electrical equilibrium, which is effected by the 288;) that the nephew who seeks refuge in intervention and conducting power of minute the house of his uncle Lanskoi, is given up minous by the transmission of the electricity, and
frozen particles, which particles are rendered luby that uncle (p. 288;) that an unfortunate thereby gives rise to the phenomenon of the aulady is hurried off to Siberia, from a ball, rora.--Athenæum." in her ball dress, (p. 195;) that a foreign merchant is obliged to pay £8,000 to offi
Sea Volcano.—On the 18th ult. the ship cial persons, not to be harassed in his Victory, Capt Caithness, encountered a remarka
ble phenomenon in the Mediterranean, lat. 36o business, (p. 207 ;) that the tavern-keepers 40-55'' and long 130 14 36"; whilst quite calm, of Petersburgh have from forty to sixty per a sudden blast of wind carried off her top-gallani cent. of their gains wrung from them by and royal masts, and the gale continuing, the the police, (p. 211;) that thieves are taken crew were almost choked with sulphurous exha
lations and dust, accompanied by intense heat, into custody for thesis which they never and the issue of balls of fire from the sea.-Lit. committed, (pp. 217, 218;) and men's Gaz.