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Mr. Carlyle walked away in a fit of musing. The revelation had given him pain (and possibly a little bit of flattery into the bargain), for he was fond of pretty Barbara. Fond in his way; not in hers; not with the sort of fondness he felt for his wife. He asked his conscience whether his manner to her in the past days had been a tinge warmer than we bestow upon a sister, and he decided that it might have been, but he most certainly had never cast a suspicion to the mischief it was doing.
"I heartily hope she'll soon find somebody to her liking, and forget me," was his concluding thought. "As to living and dying Barbara Hare, that's all moonshine; the sentimental rubbish that girls like
He was passing the very last tree in the park, the nearest to his house, and the interruption came from a dark form standing under it.
"Is it you, my dearest ?"
"I came out to meet you. Have you not been very long ?"
"I think I have," he answered, as he drew his wife to his side, and walked on with her. "We met one of the servants at the second stile,
but I went all the way."
"You have been intimate with the Hares ?"
Cornelia is related to them."
"Do you think Barbara pretty?"
"Then-intimate as you were-I wonder you never fell in love with
Mr. Carlyle laughed; a very conscious laugh, considering the recent interview.
"Did you, Archibald ?"
The words were spoken in a low tone, almost, or he fancied it, a tone of emotion, and he looked at her in amazement. "Did I what, Isabel ?"
"You never loved Barbara Hare ?"
"Loved her! What is your head running on, Isabel? I never loved but one: and that one I made my own; my cherished wife."
PRINCE DOLGOROUKOW'S RUSSIA.*
RUSSIA is in our days, thanks to the enlightened impulse given by the Emperor Alexander II., entering upon indispensable reforms-reforms which Prince Dolgoroukow aserts can alone save her from a political cataclysm. Hence many questions surge to the surface which can only be solved by the aid of publicity, and many grievances remain to be alleviated which will probably only become so by exposure. The princely author, who now takes up the pen for this double purpose, is himself an example of a very extraordinary and anomalous state of things. He says, to write upon Russia a man must be a Russian, his country having no resemblance with any other, and its historical development having taken place under utterly exceptional circumstances. Yet he writes in France, compelled to do so by the censure, which in his own country, he says, is afflicted with two sore diseases-fear and idiocy. Again, there are five or six Russian printing-presses in Europe, and yet he writes in the French language. This, he tells us, because the retrograde party, backed by the bureaucracy-protectors of mystery and falsehood-are far more in fear of the publicity of exposure attendant upon publicity in the French language than of anything that is simply limited to the Russians themselves. Hence it is that civilisation is often as much derived from pressure coming from without, as from purely national susceptibilities.
Russia, says Prince Dolgoroukow, is, in a political and administrative point of view, a vast edifice with a European exterior, but furnished and conducted within after an Asiatic fashion. The greater portion of the Russian functionaries, disguised in more or less European costumes, exercise their powers like true Tartars. As at Naples-it is not that there are not plenty of good laws-there are fifteen volumes of one thousand pages each of laws and decrees; but the first article, by placing the emperor above all law, transforms these fifteen thick volumes into a very voluminous and a very bad joke. Russian administration reposes on the equality of all; not before the law, as in Europe, but before the capriciousness of power and the venality of the administration, as in Asia. If a law in Russia is useful to the court, or to the bureaucracy, it will be carried out with zeal; if useless, it will be neglected; if opposed to their interests, it will never be put into execution at all. The emperor reigns, the bureaucracy governs; and the latter, again, is itself swayed by allpowerful lucre. Between a people of most admirable qualities, and a sovereign full of good and generous intentions, interposes a corrupt, greedy, thievish bureaucracy-triple extract of the worst and vilest passions. The emperor is thus deceived, and knows less of Russia than many of his humblest subjects; and official and organised falsehoods are propagated from the lowest to the highest functionaries. What must they be by the time they arrive at the highest functionary of all? A governor-general lately carried his contempt of the law so far as to publicly marry his daughter, although she was already provided with a
* La Vérité sur la Russie. Par le Prince Pierre Dolgoroukow. Paris: A. Franck.
June-VOL. CXIX. NO. CCCCLXXIV.
husband. The emperor only heard of the circumstance accidentally, and even then the governor's influence was so great that he sent off the newly-married couple, not furtively, but comfortably, and even ostentatiously, by the high roads of the empire. "Russian administration," says the prince, "is an organised venality reposing upon a state of permanent anarchy, concealed from the eyes of the emperor and of Europe by the veil of official falsehood."
Even justice, we are told by the cynical prince, does not exist in Russia. To obtain justice, if one is an honest man, or to commit an act of injustice for selfish purposes, bribery is of first necessity. Only it is of no use bribing the wrong person.
A stranger, established at St. Petersburg, wished to obtain a situation as contractor. He applied to the chargé d'affaires of his own country, a person bigh in esteem and of great intelligence, and asked his support. The chargé d'affaires explained that diplomatists could not be responsible for contractors, but, he added, he ought to be aware as to how these things are managed in Russia: that he must give money to Count So-and-so, and make presents to the mistress of the count's father; that the latter being the head of the department he sought to supply, his success would then be certain. Alas, sir!" said the merchant, in reply, "I have already given so much to the count, and so much to the mistress of the count's father; they took my money, made me promises, and have done nothing."
In Russia, justice is written and secret. There are no public courts, no open trials, and, consequently, no advocates or barristers. In 1835, his Royal Highness Prince Peter of Oldenbourg founded a school of jurisprudence at his own private expense; the pupils are, however, still in a minority at the ministry of justice. The present minister of justice said to Prince Dolgoroukow that it would be dangerous to admit counsel to plead at the bar in Russia, as it might tend to spread the knowledge of the laws beyond the circle of public functionaries! Yet are the public supposed to know the law, and to be amenable to it. This same minister abrogates the rights of the emperor himself; proscribes foreign travel, except after a certain number of years' service; orders the superiors to watch the private life of their inferiors, and even forbids their having recourse to law to defend their rights without his sanction.
The military, or exceptional jurisdictions, are amongst the most intole rable evils connected with the administration of the law in Russia. An example will best explain the working of this system. It occurred in 1856:
A landed proprietor in the province of Nijni, Mr. R., informed his serfs that being in want of money he was under the necessity of selling them. The peasants made him a present of a considerable sum of money, upon the condition that they should not be sold. The miserable man took the money, and sold his land and serfs to M. P. When the latter came to take possession of his newly-acquired property, the peasants refused to obey him, affirming, with reason and justice, that they had paid not to be sold. Government despatched a young aide-de-camp of the emperor's to the spot, but he, instead of limiting his functions to an inquiry, as was his duty, and wishing to conciliate M. P., whose son-in-law is one of the most important functionaries of the political police, had the impudence to prescribe to the government and council of regency of the province of Nijni to exile to Siberia such among the peasantry as he designated by name. Luckily for them, and for the province of Nijni, the governor happened to be, very exceptionally, a man as well known as he was
esteemed for his noble and enlightened sentiments, and for his generous and liberal views-General Alexander M., brother to the conqueror of Kars. He refused to obey the orders of this little pasha, and referred the matter to the minister of the interior. It would have been supposed, and with reason, that this aide-de-camp, who had dared to trample the laws of the country under his feet, and who had of his own free will elected himself into a criminal tribunal, would have been erased from the army list. Quite the contrary. Strongly protected by the camarilla, he received a decoration, and was appointed to the vice-chancellorship of the ministry of war!
In 1849, a society of young men who read prohibited books and wrote political squibs were denounced, tried by a military tribunal, and ordered to be shot. Their lives were spared, but they were sent, some to Siberia, and others to serve as soldiers in the Caucasus. Such as remain alive were not restored to their friends, even by the amnesty of 1856. Certain brothers once disputed the right of the elder to an inheritance on the ground of illegitimacy, and declared that he was their serf. The litigation lasted a long time, and the young man would have been doomed to slavery all his life had not a high functionary thought it worth while to gamble part of his patrimony from him, and then to instal him in his rightful possession, so that he might be duly paid. The papers referring to this affair were accidentally destroyed by a fire at a post-house.
A landed proprietor in one of the central provinces of Russia had a suit in the civil chamber of the province, presided over by his uncle. Knowing the venality of the latter, he was irritated, but noways surprised, to learn that his adversary had made over 10,000 roubles to his uncle, and had gained his cause. He went to the president and reproached him with the act. "My dear nephew," said the old man to him, " you are a great deal too excitable in the first place; and, in the second, you know nothing about business. If I had decided in your favour, your adversary would have appealed to the senate, and I should have got nothing by the transaction. I am not such a fool as that. I took 10,000 roubles; 5000 are for myself, the other 5000 are yours; take them. With that money you can appeal to the senate, and I know you will gain your suit."
A merchant, arbitrarily detained in prison at Moscow by an officer of police, insisted that he should be tried. "What!" exclaimed the official, as surprised as irritated, “ you dare to ask to be put upon your trial? After that, the first come will ask to be tried! Why, it is frightful! Can any one conceive such audacity !"
Contempt of the laws, and an utter indifference to all sense of right among the lower classes, leads to a similar state of feeling with regard to the superior classes of functionaries. We are, however, surprised to read the following of the well-known Prince Woronzow, from whom we had expected better things:
In a southern province Count M. had a suit, and won his cause, before the senate. The governor-general of that country, who administered it for thirty years, and who had been brought up in England, the classic country of legality, refused to put the ukase of the senate into execution. After the lapse of a certain time, another ukase arrived, ordering the verdict to be at once carried into force. One of the principal employés of the government remarked upon this: "Well, prince, I suppose the order of the senate must be obeyed." My dear fellow," laughed the prince, "you are very simple; who is going to put the orders of the senate into execution? Don't pay the slightest attention to them, and it is all over."
The administration in Russia has for basis the most absolute despotism, sometimes clothed with an appearance of legal forms, but at others exercised without the slightest attempt at concealment. In all the numerous steps of the ladder, from top to bottom, it is robbery and deceit. The most curious thing is, that such portion of the rural population who are supposed to enjoy civic rights are more oppressed than the serfs. The methods of obtaining money are sometimes, as far as ingenuity is concerned, not worthy of even a Tartar:
In a district tilled by crown peasants, a colossal stone, weighing several thousand kilogrammes, lay in the midst of the fields. One day the head of the district arrived, assembled the peasants, and told them that he had received the emperor's order to remove the stone to St. Petersburg. The peasants protested, appealing to the immense weight of the mass, and begged their chief to save them from such a task. The latter consented, and promised to obtain the revocation of an order that had never been issued, upon their disbursing a large sum of money.
A little more ingenuity is, however, at times displayed:
In the province of Viatka, about thirty years ago, the secretary of the council of regency had a habit, when addressed by a citizen or a peasant in reference to any matter of business, of saying, "Go to the d-1!" and then turning on his heel. An employé would then address the disconcerted petitioner, and ask him what the secretary had said to him. "He told me to go to the d-1!” Why then you should go there." "I do not understand you." What, don't you know that the d-1 gives audiences twice a week, at a certain hour in the evening, in the house of a back street! Take my advice, go there, and you will benefit by it, only you will have to pay Monsieur le Diable." The petitioner went to the place indicated, was introduced into a large room badly lit up, and divided by a partition. On the other side of the partition a voice asked the petitioner what he wanted. "Monseigneur le Diable, I come upon such or such a business." And the objects were explained. The pretended demon, always behind his partition, replied: "Deposit such a sum on the table that is near you, and run away as fast as you can. Your bequests shall be granted."
Prince Dolgoroukow says he knew the man personally who played the part of demon when he was secretary to a provincial regency. After having made a considerable fortune by such means, he went to St. Petersburg, bribed the proper parties, and got appointed vice-governor in his native province, where he indulged in almost daily exactions.
The process is much more simple at times. The wife of the governorgeneral of one of the largest cities of the empire purchased certain public baths. Wishing to enlarge her property, she offered the proprietor of an adjoining house half its value. Being refused, she gained her point by declaring that the governor-general would send him into exile for imprudent words and political opinions. A stranger was one day run down by an infuriated ox in the streets of a provincial town. The injured man was taken to an hospital, where he remained two months. On his recovery the police mulcted him in the charge for feeding the ox for that period, it having been detained as implicated in wounding and otherwise injuring him.
In the historical portion of his work, Prince Dolgoroukow emits doubts upon the legal marriage of Catherine with Peter I. No act, he says, attesting to the legality of the union has ever been found.