페이지 이미지

novel right of protest, in the name of the nation, bers at the St. Petersburg University rose almost against the evils and oppressions of the Govern- immediately to twelve hundred, and at Moscow ment. The more enlightened classes suddenly to fifteen hundred. became aware of the immense power of the peo- M. Golownine, known for his liberal opinple, which had hitherto lain dormant. But un- ions, succeeded the obnoxious Admiral Poutjafortunately, in consequence of political inexperi- tine as Minister of Education, and at once reence, they were unable to give it a proper direc- laxed all the severe regulations and discipline by tion.

which the students had previously been con. Again, the ill-considered educational changes trolled. Latin and Greek were declared to be recently introduced by the Government have had no longer necessary for university and Governportentous effects. A Russian youth, more than ment examinations; and in their stead the study any other, requires to have his studies regulated of realism and abstract science was introduced. for him. Although remarkable for intelligence Professorships of Natural History and Philosoand quickness of perception, he is unfitted for phy, which until then had been badly taught by serious work by want of perseverance and by his insufficiently instructed priests, were instituted. proneness to exaggeration. Thus, for instance, In imitation of the German universities, student a Russian boy, on having the astronomical chart associations and clubs, reading-rooms, and even explained to him, will perhaps ask why such and debating unions, were not only allowed, but even such animals had been selected for the definition encouraged by the Government. The discusof the various constellations. Unless an ener- sion of politics, until then strictly forbidden, was getic hand brings him back to his studies, the now openly carried on, and the consequence was precocious youth, who is scarcely able to de- that the students began to devote much more of scribe three constellations correctly, will surprise their time to the events of the day, and to critihis parents and teachers with a new astronomi- cism of the acts of the Government, than to cal chart of his own making, entirely different their studies. They gradually became accusin its arrangement from that in his atlas. In- tomed to consider themselves as “the coming stead of repressing this conceit, he is praised for race” destined to regenerate Russia, and entihis cleverness, and the teachers who venture to tled to treat with contempt the conservative nodoubt his genius are accused of being crotchety tions of their parents and superiors. and narrow-minded. Naturally the lad who im- The Government, however, soon began to agines that he has commenced by bettering the open its eyes to the fact that all these favors and existing astronomical chart is disinclined to ap- privileges had been dispensed both too suddenly ply himself to the dull routine of mathematical and too lavishly, and that the young men were study; conscious of his own genius, he considers making a bad use of the independence which that intuition will enable him to dispense with they had obtained. Some very serious disturbfurther investigation. And so it is with other ances, in which students were implicated, and departments of study. At the age of thirteen Karasoff's attempt on the Czar's life brought he will have already worked out a constitution matters to a climax; and in 1866 M. Golownine for Russia; at fourteen he will have written an was obliged to resign. essay on the physiological and anatomical failings Count Tolstoy, by whom he was succeeded, of the human body, while at fifteen he will have and who still remains in office, has the reputation invented a new religion. What we should pun- of being the best-hated man in Russia. We are ish as conceit in England is praised as genius in assured that he has done more to render the Russia.

Government unpopular than any official now liva The knowledge of Latin and Greek, which ing; and the following letter which he received formerly constituted a sine qua non of all uni- last year from the Central Committee of the Niversity and Government - service examinations, hilists goes far to prove the truth of the asserhad served to a certain extent to compel proper tion : “ Your excellency has nothing to fear from application on the part of the Russian youth; us. We fully acknowledge the value of the serfor their study demands downright hard work vices which you have rendered and still continue and perseverance. In 1862, however, Alexander to render to our cause. We promise that your II., desirous of maintaining the reputation of life shall always be very precious to us.” liberal-mindedness which the abolition of serf- His first act on entering office was to rule dom had earned for him, caused great reforms that Latin and Greek should again take an indisto be made in the Department of Public In- pensable place in the university and civil-service struction. The law limiting to three hundred examinations. The effect of this order can hardthe number of students at each of the seven uni- ly be imagined. Most of the students at Russian versities was repealed, and the colleges and gym- colleges and universities are the sons of small nasiums thrown open to all classes. The num- government officials, of priests, and of trades


people; and it may safely be asserted that at an order that, whenever any one of the professors least four out of five of them are so poor that should be prevented by sickness from teaching, they are allowed to pursue their studies free of his colleagues should all take it in turn to leccost. Their only prospect in life was, and still ture in his stead, no matter what their specialty is, to pass the necessary examinations, and then might be. The result was, that on one occasion to be admitted to the lower grades of the Civil a priest who taught logic was called upon to lecService. For it must be borne in mind that in ture on obstetrics, while at another time the Russia the Government service is the only career celebrated accoucheur Richter was obliged to which allows any scope for ambition. In other hold forth on theology. Another pious old gencountries, commerce and industries of all kinds tleman, curator of the Kazan University, ordered offer a vast field of enterprise to young men. that detached portions of human bodies, which But, in Russia, trade and manufacture are but had been used for the study of anatomy, should little developed, and agriculture, which remains be afterward solemnly interred with funeral rites. in the hands of the liberated serfs, constitutes The curators strongly disapprove of all intimacy almost the sole industry of the country at large. between the students and their professors, and Nor do the learned professions offer any great attach much more importance to the political advantages, for the white clergy (as the priests ideas of the latter than to their capacities for are called, to distinguish them from the black teaching. An excellent regulation ordains that clergy, or monks) are utterly despised in Russia, professors of universities and Government coland in fact only treated a little better than the leges should be called upon to retire after twentycommon peasant; the army is almost entirely five years' service on a full-pay pension. They reserved to the nobility, and trial by jury and may, however, be reëlected for a further term of freedom of discussion in courts of justice are of ten years, in which case they draw both their too recent introduction and too little appreciated salary and their pension. This regulation has to afford much scope to the advocate ; while a always been held out as a great inducement to literary career is even less remunerative in Russia men of talent and learning; and formerly the than elsewhere.

various “chairs were creditably filled. Now, Despairing of being able to pass the neces- however, the curator has the power of vetoing sary examinations in consequence of their igno- their reëlection; and this, together with the rance of classics, many of the students thought strict supervision to which they are subjected, it best to leave the universities and colleges at has latterly caused a scarcity of competent proonce. Without means of existence, without po- fessors. sition, and without any prospect in life, they be- The administration of the educational departcame ready converts to Nihilism, the ranks of ment has been accused, with some justice, of which were constantly augmented, not only by being more anxious to propitiate the Government students who had failed to pass, but also by of the time being than for the welfare of the those who, having succeeded, were nevertheless youth committed to its charge. And this may unable to obtain admittance to the Civil Service. in a certain measure account for the otherwise For, since the number of the students at the va- inexplicable changes which are of so frequent rious universities had so largely increased, the occurrence. Government was no longer able to provide situa- On one day privileges are withdrawn, on the tions for all the young men who had creditably next others are granted ; now certain studies are passed their examinations.

specially favored, a few months subsequently enCount Tolstoy rendered himself further un- tirely different ones will have the preponderance. popular to the students by repealing and abol- This continual uncertainty and change have a ishing many of the privileges which had been most discouraging and irritating effect on the granted by his predecessor in office. Most of students. Naturally disinclined to serious study, the former obnoxious regulations were restored. these interruptions both confirm and excuse their Professors and students were again forced to natural indisposition to serious work, and it is wear uniforms and subjected to military disci- not to be wondered at if they discuss among pline, and the hated curators were reappointed. themselves the injustice with which they are These curators are officials who represent the treated. Subjected to a system of espionage, Imperial Government at every university, and are there is a risk that any unfavorable expression of for the most part retired generals and colonels. opinion concerning Count Tolstoy's administraStudents, professors, and even the senate and tion may reach his ears, in which case it will the rector, are all alike subject to their orders probably be looked upon as treason; and, inand frequently to their eccentricities.

deed, apart from any evidence of disaffection, Herzen tells us of a Prince Galyzin, who, students are frequently expelled and even exiled, when curator of the Moscow University, issued on the merest suspicion and without any hearing.


Thus, for instance, a student at the St. Peters- He belonged to a rich boyard family, favoraburg University, named Organoff, was suddenly bly known both at court and in the army. One seized by night in 1876, and detained for over of his nearest relations is at the present moment two years in a distant town by the police, merely an aide-de-camp-general of the Czar, while anbecause he had had the misfortune to incur the other cousin occupied until quite recently the post displeasure of his superiors, nor was he ever able of Governor-General of Eastern Siberia. to obtain any hearing, or even explanation of Born in 1814, Michael Bakunin, in accordance the severe treatment to which he had been sub- with the traditions of his family, was destined for jected.

a military career in the Imperial Guard. At the The Government, on the other hand, consider age of twenty he entered the School of Gunnery themselves justified in adopting very severe and at St. Petersburg, where, however, he already even harsh measures in dealing with these insti- began to show signs of discontent and insubortutions, which they regard as the very hot-bed of dination. The consequence was that, although discontent. This has especially been the case he passed an excellent examination, he was resince the trial of Netchaieff and Solowjew brought fused admittance into the Guards, and appointed to light the fact that at least three quarters of to a line regiment quartered in some out-of-thethe Nihilist party are composed of graduates, way part of the country. In order to fully apstudents, and young men and women who, for preciate the hardship which this treatment enone reason or another, have been unable to com- tailed, we must explain that while the Guards plete their academical career. The history of are stationed at St. Petersburg and Moscow, the the ex-student Solowjew, who attempted to as- officers of line regiments have the prospect of sassinate the Czar on the ad of April last, is spending their whole lives in some small Russian merely that of most Nihilists. He was the son village or provincial town, Thoroughly disgusted, of a poor village apothecary on one of the estates Bakunin now became a complete misanthrope, of the late Grand Duchess Helena. After spend- and neglected his military duties to such an exing several years at the St. Petersburg Gymna- tent that he was obliged to leave the army. sium, he matriculated at the university, the Grand Thus he found himself, at the age of twentyDuchess very kindly defraying all the expenses two, without any occupation or prospect in life. of his education; but, for some reason or other, Taking up his abode in Moscow, he joined Alexhe was obliged to leave without having completed ander Herzen and several other well-known Rushis studies, and consequently experienced great sians in forming a club for the discussion and difficulties and delays in obtaining a situation as study of Hegel's social philosophy, which was village schoolmaster at Toropez. While there then in vogue. He soon became the acknowlhe became a convert to Nihilism, and was dis- edged chief of his circle, and surpassed all his missed in 1875 for having been in communica- friends in enthusiasm for this new German phition with suspected persons. In imitation of M. losophy; in fact, he began to consider that it Tschernyschewsky's Rakhmetoff, he now devoted was his special mission to propagate its teaching his time to wandering about the country disguised in Russia. In 1841 he went to Berlin in order as a common laborer, occasionally working at to pursue his philosophical studies at their very the anvil and propagating revolutionary doctrines source. Hegel himself was already dead, but his among the people. In 1876 he married a young tenets still enjoyed the utmost consideration. woman of the name of Catherine Tschelichteff Bakunin lived here for a time with the celemerely in order to render her independent of her. brated novelist, Ivan Tourgeneff; but he soon parents' authority. They separated soon after frightened all his Russian friends by the wild the marriage, and Solowjew continued his wan- fanaticism with which he sought to adapt Hegel's derings under an assumed name till 1878, when theories to every-day life. In 1843 we find him he came to St. Petersburg and took up his abode at Dresden, writing the most rabid articles for a there. He remained busily occupied in distribut- socialistic review, under the pseudonym of Jules ing Nihilist proclamations, pamphlets, and books, Elizard. A year later he went to Paris, informuntil April, when he made his attempt to assassi- ing his friends that there was nothing more to nate the Czar. It may be added as characteristic learn in Germany. of this Nihilist, who was hanged a few weeks Paris was then regarded as the spot whence later, that he spent the night preceding his crime the social reorganization of the world would in a house of ill fame.

originate ; and Proudhon and Louis Blanc were Before proceeding further we would now draw then at their height of influence. The Russian the reader's attention to the history of Michael Government, however, which had begun to look Bakunin, the founder of the doctrines of Nihilism, upon Bakunin with suspicion, now thought fit to some of whose speeches we have quoted in the request his return to Russia, and refused to reearly part of this article.

new his passports. Disregarding his recall, he spent the next five years of his life partly in United States to England. Here he was reFrance and partly in Switzerland, dependent to ceived with open arms by his former friends, a certain extent on the good will and pleasure of Alexander Herzen, Ogareff, and the little Rusthe police, owing to his being without papers. sian colony of political refugees established in In 1847, however, he was formally expelled from London. French territory at the request of the Emperor Herzen was at that time engaged in editing a Nicholas, in consequence of his having made a Russian newspaper, called the “Kolokol" (the speech at a banquet on the anniversary of the Bell), directed against the despotism of the GovWarsaw insurrection, urging the overthrow of ernment. The illegitimate son of a Prince Jathe Czar's Government, and the establishment kowleff, and possessing a large fortune, he was of a confederate republic in its place. Tracked at all times much more moderate in his political everywhere and constantly watched by the police views than Bakunin, whose twelve years of prison agents of the Russian Government, which had had only had the effect of developing more thoroffered a reward of ten thousand rubles for his oughly his doctrine of universal chaos. Herzen, capture, he was forced to wander about from although what we should call an ultra-radical, one place to another, until the Revolution of 1848 was never at any time of his life an adherent to rendered his return to Paris possible. But he Nihilism. Notwithstanding the fact that his was greatly disappointed when the Provisional paper was strictly forbidden in Russia, it was Government turned a deaf ear to his tempting extensively read and appreciated throughout the proposals that France should take the lead in empire until the time of Bakunin's arrival in revolutionizing all Europe; and he soon received London. The coöperation of the latter in the significant hints which caused him to leave France editorship had a most injurious effect upon it. again toward the end of the year.

The comparatively moderate views which it had Proceeding to Prague he made an abortive until then professed were discarded, and Nihilism attempt to incite the youth of that city to revolt and universal anarchy preached in every number. against the Government. Pursued by the Aus- In consequence it speedily lost the consideration trian police, he escaped to Dresden, where he and influence which it had enjoyed. After takarrived just in time to take a very prominent part ing a prominent part in the organization of the in the serious disturbances of 1849. The insur- Polish insurrection of 1863, Herzen and Bakunin gents were in possession of the city, and only transferred their quarters to Geneva, where the surrendered after a three days' siege to the Prus- “Kolokol" shortly afterward died a natural death, sian and Saxon regular troops. Bakunin, whose Soon after their arrival in Switzerland, Bakunin proposal to set fire to the city when its defense separated from his friend Herzen (who died in was no longer possible had exasperated even 1870, leaving behind him several works of much the insurgents against him, was captured on the interest, which are being published by his son), ioth of May, 1849, at a short distance from Chem- and lost no time in actively interesting himself in nitz. After a year's imprisonment he was con- the various European revolutionary organizations. demned to death by the Saxon court-martial. In 1867 we find him not only a prominent memHowever, before the sentence could be carried ber of the “ Internationale,” but also on the perinto effect, the Austrian Government demanded, manent committee of the “ League of Universal and obtained, his extradition. Sentenced to death Peace" in Switzerland. The attempts which he a second time by the Austrian judges for his do- made to convert these two organizations to his ings at Prague, he again escaped the penalty, in views met with but little success, and in 1868 he consequence of a request made by the Emperor was formally expelled from both associations. Nicholas that he should be transferred to the Thereupon he founded the “ Alliance InternaRussian Government for punishment. From tionale de la Révolution européenne,” in connec1851 to 1856 he remained a close prisoner in the tion with the Nihilist party in Russia, of which dungeons of the St. Peter and St. Paul fortress he now became the acknowledged chief. A year at St. Petersburg

later we find him in personal communication with Owing to powerful intercession made in his the notorious Netchaïeff, whom he ended by sendbehalf, Alexander, on the occasion of his corona- ing back to Russia accredited as the emissary of tion, commuted his punishment to banishment the chief committee of the Nihilists. for life to the eastern part of Siberia. Being In 1870, after the fall of the empire in France, nearly related to Count Mouravieff, the Governor- he published a pamphlet entitled “L'Empire General of the province, he was treated with com- Knouto-Germanique et la Révolution sociale,” in parative leniency, and even allowed a certain which he summons the proletarian classes of all amount of liberty on parole. In 1861 he man- Europe to assist France in bringing about a soaged to escape in an American trading schooner' cial revolution, and to free her from the governto Yokohama, whence he traveled through the ment which German bayonets had imposed on



[ocr errors]

her. It also advocates the dismissal of all offi- important revelations which he was good enough cials, the imprisonment of all landed proprietors, to make, his sentence was commuted to penal capitalists, and priests, the distribution of govern- servitude for life in the mines of Siberia. ment and private property, and concludes by According to a preconcerted arrangement, the recommending that all Bonapartists should be one hundred and eighty-three persons implicated transported for life. After the publication of this by his confessions were all seized on the same piece of literature, he betook himself to Lyons, day, the 20th of May, 1875. They consisted hearing that the Commune had been proclaimed chiefly of the sons and daughters of priests, in that city. He arrived there on the morning tradespeople, Jews, and small officials, and were of the 20th of September, and, after having been accused of having sought to propagate Nihilism most warmly received by Cluseret, Richard, and among the lower classes of the people. Some other Communists, assisted at the storming of very curious facts came to light during the trial. the Hôtel de Ville by the insurgents.

One of the accused, a girl named Idalia Polheim, Twenty-four hours later the National Guards acknowledged that she had received orders from had recaptured the Hôtel de Ville dispersed the central committee to become the paramour the provisional government established there. of a wealthy old landed proprietor, and then to Bakunin himself was conducted to the railway- poison and rob him of his riches in favor of the station and seated in a train which brought him cause. On another occasion the same girl had back direct to Geneva. The remaining years of been instructed by the committee to become the his life were spent between Berne, Zurich, and mistress of a certain Larinoff, who had threatened Geneva, and actively employed in directing the to desert the revolutionary party. A student of revolutionary work in Russia. He died a few the name of Ituschin also confessed that a boy months ago at Geneva, and has been succeeded, at Moscow had been persuaded to murder and as leader of the Nihilist party, by a M. Drogo- rob his own father, and to hand over the plunder monow, who resides in the same city.

to the committee. Some astonishment has been Netchaieff, whom we have referred to in con- expressed at the large number of young girls nection with Bakunin, was a déclassé student of implicated in all these Nihilist conspiricies, who the St. Petersburg University. In 1869 he came seek to emulate the conduct of M. Tschernyto Geneva, saw Bakunin, and obtained from him schewsky's Vera. We would, however, remark a card bearing the following mystic words: “Al- that in Russia, as elsewhere, women are apt to liance révolutionnaire européene; le Comité Gé- rush to extremes in politics as well as in religion ; néral, 12 mai, 1869.” Armed with this document, with them the heart is stronger than the head. he returned to St. Petersburg and spent the next It is greatly to be regretted that this monster four years in comparative ease, living at the ex- trial, which lasted over eighteen months, should pense of others. Russians still retain much of have taken place with open doors, for the conthe Asiatic weakness for conspiracies, and Ne- duct of the judges who presided was so weak, tchaieff had only to show the card in order to be and even unseemly, that the dignity of the Court received with the utmost enthusiasm by students must have suffered in the eyes of the auditors. and the discontented youth of both sexes, who The most extraordinary scenes were of daily regarded him almost in the light of a supernatu- occurrence. The accused were not only allowed ral being, and were ready to obey his slightest to address the Court, but even to preach the behest.

most rampant Nihilism from the prisoners' dock. He greatly impressed them by frequently The lawyers for the defense not only seized every talking about his “secret chief,” and succeeded opportunity to vituperate the Government, and to in swindling many people out of large sums of hold up the accused as martyrs to its despotism, money, which he demanded in the name of the but also to excite the popular feeling against the revolutionary committee. Whenever there was gendarmerie and police, who, after all, had only the slightest hesitation about complying with any obeyed orders in arresting the prisoners. On one of his demands, he dropped hints about the dead- occasion some of the counsel were even allowed ly vengeance of the committee. In 1873 a young to go so far as to insist on the withdrawal of an man of the name of Ivanoff, having declined to officer of the gendarmerie from the court, on the submit any longer to his extortions, and threat- ground that the sight of his hated uniform exened to betray him to the police, Netchaseff cited the public." The proceedings were not stabbed him in the back, wounding him mortally. terminated until the month of December, 1877, Although he managed to escape to Zurich, the when ninety-nine of the accused were sentenced Swiss Government made no difficulty about sure to penal servitude in Siberia, thirty-six subjected rendering him to the Russian authorities as a to police supervision for a certain number of common murderer, and in 1874 he was tried with years, and the remainder acquitted. closed doors at Moscow. In consideration of the The great trial was scarcely over, when the

« 이전계속 »