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chorus of reproach that was ever ringing in their ears -"with your red tape, your Chinese formalism, and your principle of lifeless, unreasoning, mechanical obedience! You asserted constantly that you were the only true patriots, and branded with the name of traitor those who warned you of the insane folly of your conduct. You see now what it has all come to. The men whom you helped to send to the mines turn out to have been the true patriots."* And to these reproaches what could they reply? Like a child who has in his frolics inadvertently set the house on fire, they could only look contrite, and say they did not mean it. They had simply accepted without criticism the existing order of things, and ranged themselves among those who were officially recognised as "the well-intentioned." If they had always avoided, and perhaps had a hand in persecuting, the Liberals, it was simply because all “ wellintentioned" people said that Liberals were "restless" and dangerous to the State. Those who were not convinced of their errors simply kept silence, but the great majority passed over to the ranks of the Progressists, and many endeavoured to redeem their past by showing extreme zeal for the Liberal cause.

In explanation of this extraordinary outburst of reform enthusiasm, we must further remember that the Russian educated classes, in spite of the severe northern

* It was a common saying at that time that nearly all the best men in Russia had spent a part of their lives in Siberia, and it was proposed to publish a biographical dictionary of remarkable men, in which every article was to end thus: Exiled to in 18-." I am not aware how far the project was seriously entertained, but, of course, the book was never published.

climate which is supposed to make the blood circulate slowly, are extremely impulsive. They are fettered by no venerable historical prejudices, and are wonderfully sensitive to the seductive influence of grandiose projects, especially when these excite the patriotic feelings. Then there was the simple force of reaction-the rebound which naturally followed the terrific compression of the preceding reign. Without disrespect, the Russians at the commencement of the present reign may be compared to school-boys who have just escaped from the rigorous discipline of a severe schoolmaster. In the first moments of freedom it was supposed that there would be no more discipline or compulsion. The utmost respect was to be shown to "human dignity," and every Russian was to act spontaneously and zealously at the great work of national regeneration. All thirsted for reforming activity. The men in authority were inundated with projects of reform-some of them anonymous, and others from obscure individuals; some of them practical, and very many wildly fantastic. Even the grammarians showed their sympathy with the spirit of the time, by proposing to expel summarily all redundant letters from the Russian alphabet!

The fact that very few people had clear, precise ideas as to what was to be done did not prevent, but rather tended to increase, the reform enthusiasm. All had at least one common feeling-dislike to what had previously existed. It was only when it became necessary to forsake pure negation, and to create something, that the conceptions became clearer, and a variety of opinions

appeared. At the first moment there was merely unanimity in negation, and an impulsive enthusiasm for beneficent reforms in general.

The first specific proposals were direct deductions from the lessons taught by the war. The war had shown in a terrible way the disastrous consequences of having merely primitive means of communication; the Press and the public began, accordingly, to speak about the necessity of constructing railways, roads, and riversteamers. The war had shown that a country which has not developed its natural resources very soon becomes exhausted if it has to make a great national effort; accordingly the public and the Press talked about the necessity of developing the natural resources, and about the means by which this desirable end might be attained. It had been shown by the war that a system of education which tends to make men mere apathetic automatons cannot produce even a good army; accordingly the public and the Press began to discuss the different systems of education and the numerous questions of pedagogical science. It had been shown by the war that the best intentions of a government will necessarily be frustrated if the majority of the officials are dishonest or incapable; accordingly the public and the Press began to speak about the paramount necessity of reforming the Administration in all its branches.

It must not, however, be supposed that in thus laying to heart the lessons taught by the war and endeavouring to profit by them, the Russians were actuated by warlike feelings, and desired to avenge

themselves as soon as possible on their victorious enemies. On the contrary, the whole movement and the spirit which animated it were eminently pacific. Prince Gortchakof's saying, "La Russie ne boude pas, elle se recueille," was more than a diplomatic repartee -it was a true and graphic statement of the case. Though the Russians are very inflammable, and can be very violent when their patriotic feelings are aroused, they are, individually and as a nation, singularly free from rancour and the spirit of revenge. After the termination of hostilities they really bore little malice towards the Western Powers, except, perhaps, towards Austria, which was believed to have been treacherous and ungrateful to the country that had saved her in 1849. Their patriotism now took the form, not of revenge, but of a desire to raise their country to the level of the Western nations. If they thought of military matters at all, they assumed that military power would be obtained as a natural and inevitable result of high civilisation and good government.

As a first step towards the realisation of the vast schemes contemplated, voluntary associations began to be formed for industrial and commercial purposes, and a law was issued for the creation of limited liability companies. In the space of two years, forty-seven companies of this kind were founded, with a combined capital of 358 millions of roubles. To understand the full significance of these figures, we must know that from the founding of the first joint-stock company in 1799 down to 1853, only twenty-six companies had

been formed, and their united capital amounted only to thirty-two millions of roubles. Thus, in the space of two years (1857-58), eleven times as much capital was subscribed to joint-stock companies as had been subscribed during half a century previous to the commencement of the present reign. The most exaggerated expectations were entertained as to the national and private advantages which must necessarily result from these undertakings, and it became a patriotic duty to subscribe liberally. The periodical literature depicted in glowing terms the marvellous results that had been obtained in other countries by the principle of co-operation, and sanguine, credulous readers believed that they had discovered a patriotic way of speedily becoming rich.

These were, however, mere secondary matters, and the public were anxiously waiting for the Government to begin the grand reforming campaign. When the educated classes first awoke to the necessity of great reforms, there was no clear conception as to where the great work should be commenced. There was so much to be done that it was no easy matter to decide what should be done first. Administrative, judicial, social, economic, financial, and political reforms seemed all equally pressing. Gradually, however, it became evident that precedence must be given to the question of serfage. It was absurd to speak about progress, humanitarianism, education, self-government, equality in the eye of the law, and similar matters, so long as a third of the population was subjected to the arbitrary will of the landed proprietors. So long as serfage

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