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lace must effectually add to the power of the circumspection. Hence also arises that in. possessor. 'It is an ill wind that blows no veterate disorder which characterizes every good ;' and Russia is a warning to other department of public business. One noble nations, that the satisfaction of bestowing personage, for example, unites in his weatherrewards which cost the giver nothing is a beaten person as many functions as would dear pleasure in the end. But in truth the amply occupy half-a-dozen stronger officers. very honesty of the motive at the outset may Commander-in-chief of the Army, Aide-debe questioned, when it is known that the camp General, head of the whole gens-d'sum paid into the treasury, where brass armerie of the empire-head of the whole medals are more plentiful than silver roubles, police of the empire-head of the secret at each investiture, is such that many decline police of the crown-member of the council the expensive distinction.
-member of the senate,-all the noble Whoever has partaken of that dead-hearted count's spare moments are further ingeniously feeling, that positive dejection of spirit which filled up with the office of censor to the must follow any considerable observation of theatres, which includes the obligation of the social system in Russia, finds it refreshing reading every play before acting ; and, lastly to turn to the sturdy masses of the peasantry, -we lose our breath in the enumeration whose position places them, no matter wheth- with the charge of the emperor's person, er above or below, at all events without the including not only participation at every pale of such influences as these. Safe by fête, review, parade, and masked ball, but the very fetters they wear from the artificial corporal attendance in the emperor's carexperiments of the crown-enjoying, as far riage or kibitka, in his majesty's whirlwind as it goes, a healthy sphere of expansion, and expeditions' from Tobolsk to Warsaw, from removed, by their dependence on their lords, Finland to the Black Sea. When, besides from any frequent contact with the laws of all this, it is remembered that the military the State, we repeat that in this class alone service is one of ceaseless punctilio and imthe elements of loyalty and promise of civili- mense bodily fatigue, that the civil one is sation are found in vigour. But at the same encumbered in the way we have described, time we cannot allow the nobility the full and that in Russia there are no such things benefit of this argument: for it is an incon- as sinecures, some faint idea may be gathered trovertible fact that in other qualities, equally of how much there is to do, and how little as in these, they are beneath their boors. there can be done by the most responsible Unlike his serf," the Russian noble rarely officers. respects anything that is national. He de- Those who, like the excellent nobleman preciates the real merits of his country, to whom we have alluded, endeavour by the apostatizes from her real virtues-abjures her devotion of their whole time and energies to rich and energetic language—and, in short, master their many-headed employments, soon glories in nothing that belongs to her, except become as dispirited in mind as they are her domination. His aim in rebellion has no exhausted in body: for not only does the reference either to her wants or her resour- sum total of their duties surpass their powers, ces. His help, when obedient, is not the but, in that which they might accomplish, co-operation of conviction. Profiting gene- they find themselves sore let and hindered rally of the imperial rage for the outer sem- by the negligences and perversions of other blance of civilisation, to graft only its sapless bureaux. ‘On nous perd le tems, tantôt branches, its mere fashionable luxuries, upon avec des méchancetés, tantôt avec des bétises,' his own barbarity—the Russian noble, even was the remark of one of the highest in birth if not tainted by the all-pervading corruption and talents in the empire. To this false of place, is too ignorant to form any schemes standard of exertion the emperor's own unreof real benefit to the country. Of what mitting but injudicious efforts have not a materials are the Russian rebellions com- little contributed : for, instead of remedying posed? Of the most villanous designs, or an evil obvious to the simplest observation, the most impracticable visions-of men he has lent the whole weight of his own whose sole aim is self-aggrandisement, or Herculean frame and will to uphold and whose philanthropy is but a name or a dis- justify a measure of personal taxation which guise for imbecile folly?
his Majesty, perhaps, is alone qualified by Again, the crown invariably heaps upon Nature to fulfil. its ministers and superior servants more voca- The character of the present Czar-for tions than any one individual can possibly having crept through the various steps to the fill; and thus, whilst the drudges of office throne, we find ourselves on a level with have leisure in plenty for their machinations, that pedestal which sustains the awful Matheir chef has not a moment for the barest | jesty of Russia-is one which must excite VOL. LXIX.
lively curiosity, and will repay careful in- Emperor was little suspected. No one investigation; but the result, we think, must deed disputed the morality of his domestic be, that he is remarkable rather in the stern life; but the irascibility of his temper, and exercise of a few sound moral qualities than the abruptness of his manners, held out infrom the possession of any extraordinary ducements neither to the worthy nor to the powers or talents. His firmness is unaltera- unworthy to approach him, and he was, in ble—his industry unfailing-his justice, as it fact, popular in no circle. With regard to emanates from himself, strict—his preferences his temper, no Revolution in Russia was ever steady-his consistency rigid. He brought more unforeseen than that which took place with him to the throne 'a strong will and a in the bosom of the new Monarch, who, mind of activity.' Not a few will say, here impressed with a religious sense of his reare already the prime materials of a great sponsibilities, felt an inducement to selfman! But we have added neither the culti control which had never before existed. Not vation of mind that should lead to clear that the comparative moderation of this au• views and sound judgment, nor the native gust personage would be greatly appreciated intelligence that might supply their place. by those who are unacquainted with the And both these necessary qualities being fail. real brutality of hasty passion which is so ing, those we have enumerated are as often common among the higher classes of Russia; seen violently impelled in a wrong direction nevertheless, it is a noble thing to say of as in a right—as often expending their him, that the strength of his absolute will strength in the rectification of mere non- was first exercised
upon himself. senses, as in wrestling with deep-rooted After all, it is very questionable whether
As was said of him by one of the an infusion of gentler virtues would benefit most enlightened and, moreover, loyal of his the community, such as it now is. Hitherto, own nobility, ‘Pour bien faire du bien il with one exception, the Russian monarchs y a trois qualités essentielles-la puissance, have been as barbarous as their age, and, la bonne volonté, et la connaissance—il pos- with the same exception, as corrupt. But it séde les deux premières, mais il lui man- may be doubted whether the soft heart of que la dernière--en un mot, il est IGNORANT.' Alexander the Blessed did not entail as
The emperor's chief characteristic is power many vital mistakes as the wilful head of his of will--not that firmness upon principle brother. Both evince the same thorough and conviction which bears gentleness and devotion to their people-with this difference, repose as its outer synonyme, but that abso- that the one's aim was to enfranchise them, lute inflexibility of persistance and purpose the other's is to discipline them. Alexander's which under one aspect shows itself majestic, character was highly Christian and chivalunder another puerile. In the one light we rous-his successor's is rather that of a stern may view his conscientious, however ill. self-denying pagan hero. Alexander was directed, desire to promote the good of his pre-eminently in advance of his age, and people—his own intense application, both therefore not national—Nicholas is the ideal mental and physical-his undaunted perse type of his people, the most faithful repreverance through all obstacles; and last, sentative of their virtues and their vices. though not least, his control over a nature in The same love of exhibition which characwhich all the rude violence of his ancestors terizes the Russian nation is nowhere seen appeared originally to be revived and embo- stronger than in the person of their Emperor; died. In the other, we cannot but consider and while he astounds all strangers, and the degrading frivolity and extravagance of captivates most, by the dazzling splendour of his court--the emptiness and vanity in which his court, they little suspect what filthy rags his own family have been educated—the compose the under-garments of the State. child's play of his military tastes--the im- Moreover, misled by the very system of mense importance attached to the length of parade he himself upholds, no one is a former a spur or the breadth of a button; strange believer than his Majesty—we question diversity of symptoms, but the source still whether any are so firm—in the magnificent the same!
statements set forth by the official estimates It is matter of surprise among the Russians respecting the increased prosperity and mul. themselves, who are not much in the habit tiplying production of the empire--one-half of reasoning on such subjects, that the of which, were it strictly true, would preclude strength of will and frequent excellence of the necessity, and well nigh the possibility, purpose which now distinguish his Majesty of a much greater advance. So far from should have remained altogether unmani. this being the case, there is no department fested down to the time of his accession. of Russian industry, the humble range of the When Grand Duke Nicholas, the latent peasant always excepted, where the element of spontaneity is traceable. On the contrary, the necessity of confidence, and consequently the present commercial activity seems rather for honesty. These two qualities are so a prescribed part which the nation has learnt nearly allied that it is difficult to decide by rote—a fountain supplied by artificial which begets the other. Now there may be means, whose waters will dry the moment much latent honesty in the people, but it is those cease.
obvious that there is not one grain of confiIt is truly pitiable to see so much power dence in the government. The state keeps and zeal thus misspent, though it need hardly its subordinates poor, in order to secure their be repeated that his Majesty himself gives dependence-a very grievous mistake. If all the chief impulse to this factitious system by the money spent in these ineffectual journeys the prodigies he attempts; which, as a ne. --but a tithe of that lavished in the most reckcessary consequence in such a state, are re- less court extravagance- -were applied in peated with more pretension and less success augmenting the salaries of an ill-paid middle by all the subordinate rulers. Such were the class, a different principle would immediately truly righteous intentions with which Nicho- arise. A Russian proverb says, "Skupost ne las ascended the throne, that he formed the glupost,' i. e. 'covetousness is no foolishness,' resolution, easier made than kept, of himself --but, however its immediate application in inspecting the reports of every criminal case. certain splendid palaces overlooking the Neva The number of which proved to be such, that may be justified, it is plain it works but badly had his Majesty given his attention to this in the humbler lodgings of public business. department exclusively, and that without in- It is true the sudden apparition of the Emtermission for the four-and-twenty hours peror in the uttermost parts of his empire, round, there would have remained to him and the knowledge that, like the lowest of only an average of two minutes and a half his subjects, he minds neither heat nor cold, to devote to each document. At best, till fatigue nor hunger, excites a magnificent enmore confidence can be placed in the work- thusiasm amongst those very classes, and tells ing departments, the office of chief can be well in other lands; but, as to the more imbut superficially performed. We are far, in mediate practical ends he has in view, the deed, from questioning the sincerity of de- good results are but skin-deep-nay, even votion which so many millions recognize in the very abuses which his Majesty sees with his majesty's fiery-paced journeys and forced his own fine eyes, and rectifies with the vivå marches through all parts of his dominions. voce ukas of his own tongue, are reinstated The thorough purification of any one chan- before the post-horses that whirled him away nel of the legislature would, however, work are returned to the same station. The con. more beneficially upon the whole, than the tempt attending his orders, the number of inpresent slovenly brushings-up which alone stances of officers either not fulfilling or exthe most zealous subdivision of his time can ceeding their instructions, is more than would permit him to bestow on the many distant be credited beneath the terror of an absolute sinks in the empire. 'Driven by the neces- government. Where the subject is likely to sity of seeing things with his own eyes, he meet his attention at every turn, there, of spends,' so says Captain Sterling's little offset course, the most scrupulous fulfilment takes from the tree of knowledge, “a great portion place; but where the grievance is remote of his time on the wing, in rapid journeys from sight, and, above all, where the rectifithrough the provinces. Very true; but he cation has already lashed the imperial temat most succeeds in seeing the mere externals per into certain alarming indications, there of things, which in nine cases out of ten the transgression may be renewed with imhave nothing beyond that to recommend punity. them. His national foible, that love of ex- A flagrant instance of this kind may be hibition we have mentioned, multiplies itself cited in the conduct of M. Ouvaroff—a miin numberless aspects through a people who nister whom even the Russians do not scruare proverbially fonder of show than of sub-ple to call' un grand Bavard'--towards the stance; and, we believe, the thought that his University of Dorpat, of which Captain SterMajesty himself may at any time pop in, or ling makes mention. On this occasion the pass through, excites far more of the parade venerable Baron Bruning, then Marshal of of obedience than the principle of honesty. the Livonian noblesse, himself repaired to St. We all know that in every situation of au- Petersburg, and there, in the Imperial prethority, whether public or private, a generous sence, pleaded the rights of the University as willingness to place confidence in those be openly, and denounced M. Ouvaroff as boldneath us is an absolute sine quâ non. Were ly, as if he had been haranguing his brother there twenty Czars of Russia, and those all barons in the Ritter-Haus at Dorpat. At as active as Nicholas, it would not obviate last the Emperor, much annoyed at the ex.
posure, assured to him the restitution of their reign, which were marked by a spirit of great rights, and, reprimanding the Minister of severity. Throwing himself into the army, Public Instruction in no measured terms, where he well knew all sympathies to be broke up the conference with some temper. swallowed up in discipline, he there by the Upon this, the Russians, who had hitherto most rigid regulations appeared to revenge looked upon Bruning's heroic expostulation himself upon the wilfulness of Russian manas a piece of fool-hardiness only calculated kind, who had returned him evil for good, to make bad worse, now hailed the venerable and would none of it. Different as are the patriot with respect, and began to doubt characters of the two brothers, we should be whether after all, honesty might not be the inclined to impute somewhat of the same better policy. But alas !—scarce was the soured motives to the present Emperor in old Baron returned to his countrymen, who his increasing and most senseless military almost deified him as their successful cham- mania—a mania which seems ominous, for it pion, than the identical obnoxious measures has marked the last days of both his predewere re-enforced. It may be easily credited cessors. Unlike his brother, however, Nichothat, after the promises made to Bruning, no las's affections are engrossed in his domestic one could be encouraged to a second trial. circle—or at least have been. Her Majesty, Nevertheless, there is not an individual in indeed, was never known to meddle in state the province who does not exonerate his Ma- affairs ; but the circumstance of her being jesty from all participation in this breach of the first's king's daughter who ever mounted faith.
the throne of Russia, and that king the late It is impossible to withhold respect from a King of Prussia, was considered in some monarch who in no way spares himself- small degree to supply the absence of that who, as the expression goes, se met en qua- essential element-public opinion. tre pour son devoir,' and often excites the As to any influence upon the tone of soastonishment of the hardiest soldiers by his ciety in general, her present Majesty's doimmense powers of activity and endurance. mestic habits have been about as beneficial Like a second Saul he soars above his subjects to the cause of morality in Russia, as the 'from the shoulders upwards,' or like his bet- Empress Elizabeth's repugnance to shedding ter prototype Agamemnon
blood was to the cause of humanity. Not • Majestically tall, that the private example of an Imperial RusTowers o'er his armies and outshines them all — sian matron is unavailing upon the classes
immediately around her; on the contrary(and the moral similitude with both monarchs it is all-despotic; but her Majesty, not conmight be further carried out,) while his sidering that all that is sin in appearance is strength appears to be of an equally colossal sin in reality, and that it is infinitely less standard. "His Majesty can sleep anywhere, harmful to public morality that vice should and eat anything; or he can watch and he assume the mask of virtue than that virtue can fast if needful ; till, measuring the pow. should sport in the garb of vice, has spread ers of others by his own, the health of the over Russian society a mantle of frivolity, officers immediately under him is frequent- wide enough to screen the vices as well as ly sacrificed to their over-exertions. At the the follies of her female subjects. The Emsame time ludicrous instances have occurred press Catharine II., and the present, stand in of gentlemen of highly apoplectic inclina- strange conjunction and opposition-the one tions, whose lives have been considerably I was all vice, the other is all purity; yet lengthened by the anti-plethoric requirements who may say that she who rendered vice less of the Emperor's service.
odious has done more harm to the women of With this frame of strength, and utter ab- Russia than she who renders virtue less lovesence of all sentiment in the mental structure ly? Catharine II. ‘drew sin as it were with also, there is no fear that the health of Nicho- a cart-rope ;' but alas ! the present illustri, las should be affected by the same causes ous matron has hooked the .cords of vanity' which undermined that of the more sensitive on to the car of virtue. The one deserves Alexander. For we are not of those who the execrations of her fellow-creatures, but believe that the life of the latter was cut the other gives matter to make the angels in short by the hand of a Taganrog assassin :- -heaven weep! It is no paradox to say that we blame the slow poison of perpetual disap- had the present Empress been less virtuous, pointment, which turned to gall and bitter- her example had been less pernicious. ness a mind naturally overflowing with the milk of human kindness. This did not dis- better suits you to conceive than us to speak
Enough, perhaps, of a subject which it play itself so much in his private relations, of.' No one can give a glance at the state as in the public acts of the last years of hisl of the high society in Russia without deeply
deploring that, in borrowing all the extrava-, loud of its denunciators, viz. the Russian Lugance and vanity--in short all the empty theran church, whose own spiritual condition froth which everywhere encumbers the cup unfortunately offers the strongest argument of civilisation—they have managed to ap- in favour of its antagonist. For who will not propriate so little of the precious elixir be- prefer a soil choked with rubbish, to one too neath.
sterile for even the weeds of faith to find nouBut in our investigation of the various rishment? Is it more painful for the scripstrata of Russian soil most congenial to the tural believer to view the genuflexions--trigrowth of civilisation, we have hitherto omit- ple crossings, shifting of garments, &c., in the ted one of the most important—the only sound Greek service—all of which have a spiritual national element, indeed, that intervenes be- meaning—or even the prostration to saints ; tween the sovereign and the serf-viz. the or, the most absurd of all, the spitting into a ancient national church. It is absurd, nay, pan of charcoal at a baptism, to exorcise the worse, profane, to ascribe solely to the igno- devil—than to attend a church where not the rance or indifference of the people the sturdy least symptom of outward reverence is obmaintenance of the national religion through- served—where not a syllable of Scripture is out all ages and all changes. That the Greek introduced in the Liturgy--where the Ober.
church has never taken the lead in temporal pastor, or head-minister, mounts the pulpit affairs is matter of gratulation in a country only to extinguish any stray gleams of faith where liberty has suffered, and still suffers, in his audience, by a sermon of very quespersecution under every form save that of tionable moral benefit, and of worse than Soreligion ; but that it should at all have im- cinian tendency-and where, to close the peded the country in the race of advance- scene worthily, that same Ober-pastor, that ment is an idea utterly without foundation. same Sunday evening, receives from his partOn the contrary, as the progress of the nation, ner across the card-table his honorarium for to be safe, must be strictly national, the the administration of the Sacrament, together church, in her passive immobility, may be with the gains of his last rubber! looked upon as a fortunate dead weight, to The history and state of the Greek church counterbalance that restless, fermenting irri- are so deeply interesting, that it would have tation which so many imprudent'skips and been a great acquisition to his work if Capt. bounds'-attempts to run before they could Jesse had applied himself, even at the exwalk-have excited. Besides this, to say pense of a page or two on the Macrocephali, nothing of the moral value of her existence, to a closer investigation of a subject on which she has been the faithful guardian of those his conclusions are hastily drawn and carestores of language and history which increas- lessly expressed. ing intelligence and civilisation will duły Upon the whole, we rise from the perusal appreciate.
of this work, as from that of most of its preIt is a pleasing fact, that the Russian clergy decessors, with the firm impression, that the are among the most improving classes in the motives and policy of the Russian governempire, and that the present generation (like ment may be summed up under two princiour own) are entering upon their duties with ples. The one, that of ascertaining what much more enlightened and solemn views. every individual of the empire is about-the On occasion of the crown-prince attaining other, that of supplying that gorged leviathan, his majority, the emperor, as another speci- the Russian army, with a perpetual succesmen of the deficiency of the last of those sion of human victims. Whatever the ukas, three qualities we referred to a few pages or institution, however ostensibly humane, back, directed that his heir should take his religious, or politic, one or other of these place in the deliberations of the Synod, in aims is distinctly traceable. The rules for order to acquaint himself with the forms of registering and reporting births—the legal their business. But tacitly reprimanding the obligation of taking the Sacrament once aabsolute monarch for the assumption of rights year--the difficulties in obtaining a pass, not his to confer, the Synod peremptorily were it only for a native family to move into refused to admit the young prince. There the next government—the civil formalities is no doubt but that the Russian Greek church which accompany the mere changing of a is encumbered with a crust of superstitions servant--the very entries in the post-houses and non-essential observances which greatly ---with a host of other regulations, all cloakobscures its light: nevertheless, among its ed, more or less, beneath the specious garb enemies, the most embittered will be found of public security--will be found to bear those whose vehemence against its errors is upon the first ;-while the insatiable thirst only equalled by their indifference for its for soldier-making is so obvious, that to illustruths. And we refer especially to the most | trate it we need only mention the mainte