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was to depress the German or Petersburg | of a gallant people, but for years it has party, which is always thinking of Russia's been perfectly clear that the subjugation or expulsion of these brave barbarians was position in Europe, and to exalt the national or Moscow party, which looks to only a question of time. The disorder of Russia's finances, as to improvement in Russia by means of local self-government, and which, full enough of which the reader should consult M. WolPansclavic aspirations, adjourns the com-owski's recent work, tells naturally more mencement of its Pansclavic victories for on her capacity for offence than for defence. a long time. Again, the organization of It is much to be hoped that the disorder provincial assemblies of a constitutional in her affairs may induce her, ere long, to kind, which is already far advanced, will revise her whole fiscal and commercial tend to increase the interest in in- system. Fortunately the free trade party ternal reforms; while the great judicial is growing rapidly, and we do not think changes which are already carried, or about that Russia will be the last country in Euto be carried into execution, will entail rope to abandon false economical views. others, and tend still further to occupy the national mind with its own affairs. The intense desire for increase in material prosperity, which burst out after the Crimean war in so many bubble speculations, has only been checked, not stopped by the recent commercial crisis. Vast educational reforms have been rendered more necessary than ever by the emancipation which has created, so to speak, many millions of persons in Russia, where before these were only fractional parts of, or dependents on, persons. Lastly, let it be remembered that a profound self-distrust may be observed in the conversation of all Russians who know anything of Western Europe, and we think we have accumulated reasons enough to show that it will not be a trifle that will make Russia engage in an aggressive war, for many a day to come.
Our hopes of Russia becoming a good, instead of what it has long been, an evil force in the world, depend of course entirely on the non-resurrection of the system which prevailed up to the death of Nicholas, and the success of the wiser portion of the liberal party.
The liberals in Russia, as elsewhere, are divided into several sections. Of these we may count four: 1. The bureaucratic Liberals; 2. The Constitutionalists; 3. The moderate Republicans; 4. The Socialists. The first of these is headed by the Grand Duke Constantine. It is relatively strong in men of ability, and is the party which at this moment has far more power than any other. Indeed it may be said just at present to govern Russia. The second has its centre at Moscow, and is strong in several of the provinces. The For the purposes of a defensive war she landed proprietors of Twer and of Toola is of course enormously strong, and is be- more especially, have shown themselves coming stronger. Nor will it do too much strongly in favor of its views. The western Fin-reader is fortunate in possessing an excelto reckon upon joints in her armor. land already possesses a sort of constitu- lent guide to these, in the works of Prince The traces of strong pertion of her own, and although there is a Dolgoroukoff. Swedish party, consisting chiefly of personal resentment break out continually in sons of Scandinavian blood, the mass of his writings, but the very fact that these the people is by no means inclined to sep- occur so often, puts those who use them on arate from Russia. It will be the fault of their guard. In helping to complete the the czar himself if he ever loses that prov- picture of Russia as it is, his books are ince. If it is decently governed, it will most valuable, being full of matter which become in time as dependable as Livonia, it is difficult to procure elsewhere, and they Esthonia, and Courland, which are about are characterized very often by sound as likely to break their connection with sense and political knowledge. Russia as the Shetlands are to break theirs with Scotland.
A remarkable article in the Quarterly Review for January, 1863, brings out into strong relief the too unfamiliar fact that, although we are accustomed to associate Russia with ideas of an almost Asiatic despotism, parliamentary government has been, in former ages, by no means unknown on these wide eastern plains. Taking the courtly Karamsin and the more ultra
As to Circassia, we cannot do better than refer the reader to an article in a recent number of Fraser's Magazine, on the Russian side of the question, as compared with one in the last Quarterly, which is vehemently hostile to Russia. Every humane person must regret the misfortunes
national Aksakof, with some other writers, | him of having favored any of the wilder chiefly Russian, for his principal guides, views of the party, and although he is utthe author shows us how "the Sclave terly disclaimed by its most advanced memworked out his earlier civilization very bers. M. Herzen has long been the severmuch like the Germanic races;" how, as est and the most dreaded censor of Rusearly as 997, we hear of a Veché or Wit- sian misgovernment. Not only has he by tenagemote at Kief; how, in 1219, the publishing his memoirs given the Western Veché of Novgorod the Great told their world a most curious picture of the diffiprince, "If you forget your oath, we will culties which beset the man who was bold bow you out of the city." We follow the enough to think for himself under the rule writer with interest as he points out how of Nicholas; not only has he printed the the great bells which summoned the citi- secret memoirs of Catharine II., and traced zens to deliberate on their common affairs, the development of revolutionary ideas in continued to sound, though becoming ever Russia; but he has by means of his newsrarer all through the period of the Tartar paper, the Kolokol or Bell, kept up an undomination, until, in 1510, the liberties of ceasing warfare against all those proceedPskof were overthrown by Basil IV. ings, either on the part of the government Within a generation after this commenced or of individual functionaries, which did the period of those assemblies irregularly not appear to him to be politic or just. It summoned, and varying from time to time has been said that the emperor himself in their character and powers, which may was one of his readers during the earlier be called the Russian States - General. part of his reign; and there is no doubt These reached almost to the accession of that M. Herzen's newspaper was, in spite Peter the Great, with whom began the of rigorous prohibitions, very generally period of purely autocratic rule, broken, circulated in Russia. Since the commencebut hardly broken, by the short-lived Com- ment of the Polish insurrection, however, mission of 1767, called by Catharine II. to his popularity has much diminished. Bedraft a new code, consisting of 565 depu- fore it broke out he was thought to be only ties, and "a parliament all but in name. a stern monitor of his country. Of late he From that time to the death of Nicholas, has been too generally considered to be little indeed was heard of representative her enemy. The views of M. Herzen, government; but the reader should bear which, as we have seen, are more or less these facts in mind before he too rashly deeply tinged with Socialism, have shared concludes that a government like that his unpopularity, and since his name has which Prince Dolgoroukoff desires is not ceased to be one which it was dangerous suited for Russia. The third or moderate to pronounce, and he has been freely quoted republican party desires to see Russia di- and criticised by the Russian press, he has vided into several great federative repub. lost that prestige which always attaches lics, and this is the programme which to what is forbidden and mysterious. He would be generally supported by the rev- is in some sort the Mazzini of Russia, alolutionary party in the rest of Europe. though differing in many and most essenThis section is not very strong in point of tial particulars from that remarkable man. numbers, but it is increasing. Its views We do not think that the views which he are well represented in some documents advocates, and which will be most readily quoted in the appendix to Les Reformes gathered by the reader from his work, Du en Russie. The fourth or Socialist section Développement des Idées Révolutionnaires is very strong amongst young men, much en Russie, are likely to prevail either in stronger than the preceding. Many of its Russia or elsewhere, but his name should adherents are, no doubt, persons of good always be mentioned with respect. The intentions, but it comprises in its ranks a Lettres à un Anglais of his friend M. great many dangerous lunatics. A ridic- Ogareff should also be consulted by those ulous and detestable document, proceed- who desire to know the views of this most ing from this seetion, may be read in Le important fraction of the Russian emigraVéridique. tion.
It is, we presume, with the Socialists that we ought to class a man who has been long well known in England, and has done very great services to his country, though, of course, we do not for a moment suspect
The anti-liberal party is by no means large, chiefly because the czar has put himself at the head of reforms, and partly because an immense number of the landed proprietors who were no friends to the
emancipation of the serfs, have since that event determined to try whether, in return for their loss of material advantages, they could not obtain greater political rights, and have in consequence joined the Constitutionalists.
the face of creation, the better. "Who is the devil?" said a Russian peasant's child to his father. "The chief of all the tchinovniks," was the ready reply. A considerable check to the unrighteous gains of this class has resulted from the abolition of the brandy farming.
Without entering the government service, nobility is not retained for more than three generations. Those who desire to inform themselves about the few families amongst the Russian nobility which have anything like historical illustration to boast of, will find a full account of them in a book by Prince Dolgoroukoff, which has been translated. They are, however, few and far between. "The only aristocrat in my dominions," said the Emperor Paul, "is he to whom I speak while I speak to him." It must be said to the credit of the Russian nobility that, while it reckons amongst its ranks the worst enemies, it contains also the warmest friends of liberty, and this is true of all its fractions. Almost a nation in point of numbers, it is divided into as many parties as divide the nation at large.
One of the first acts of Nicholas was to intrust to the eminent jurist, Speranski, the codification of the Russian law. A full and interesting account of the circumstances which led to this measure, and the manner in which it was carried out, will be found in Schnitzler's Histoire intime de la Russie, a book which deserves to be better known in England.* Although, however, Russia is more favorably situated than our own country in respect of the form of her law, her code must be completely re-modelled before she can be called by any enlightened man a thoroughly civilized state. It has been well observed, that it would be an immense boon, not only to
No attempt to cast the horoscope of Russia will succeed, if we fail to remember that that great empire rests on a democratic basis. The middle class is altogether insignificant. We doubt whether there are half a million of people who could be with propriety included in it. The nobility is a body utterly different from our own, and just as different from that of Germany. Primogeniture is recognized neither by law, nor by custom, except in a very few families. The extraordinary wealth of certain great houses, and the recklessness which makes many Russians of moderate means appear very rich when they travel, because they are spending their capital, deceives the nations of "the old civilization." We suspect that out of St. Petersburg and Moscow £2000 a year is a large fortune for Russia. The attainment of a very low tchin or rank in the government service gives personal nobility. The higher ranks give hereditary nobility, which before the emancipation carried with it the right of possessing serfs.
The so-called Russian nobility, in the widest sense of the term, consists, according to Buddeus, of more than two million persons, but of these not much more than one hundred thousand were owners of serfs, and even in this class an enormous number were extremely poor. Very many, again, of the members of old families have hardly any property at all. Of the one hundred and twenty Prince Galitzins, for example, a large proportion are princes only in name. It is unlucky indeed that the word Kniaz cannot be translated by some word less hopelessly misleading to English ears.
*This writer, whose Herodotean naïveté often makes his readers smile, knows probably more The venality and incapacity of the about the larger or Russian portion of Europe than tchinovniks or functionaries, all of whom any inhabitant of the smaller or historical portion · above a certain class are, as we have seen, de Bernhardi, M. Bodenstedt, and others, are doubtof it, although in some departments of research M. noble in virtue of their offices, does scant less superior to him. Up to this time France and credit to their order, and is one of the Germany have done most to make us acquainted greatest difficulties in the way of the em- with Russia. We much want a good American pire. The organization of this powerful between it and the United States. Railways, that work on that country, to bring out the analogies body, introduced by Peter the Great, but greatest material blessing of the future to the em much modified since, has been often ex- pire of the czar, will no doubt give us this. Scotplained, and is found in all the common land, at least, has done her duty, as the names of books about Russia. It was borrowed wrote the Life of Peter the Great, of Wylie, of BremGordon of Auchlenchries, of his namesake who from countries whence it has long disapner, and last, not least, of Murchison, sufficiently peared, and the sooner it is improved off prove.
England, but to mankind, if this country, which has incomparably the best system of law in the world, could only point to some series of volumes, not requiring the study of a life, from which that law could be learned. It sounds like a paradox, but we do not hesitate to say, that the codification of the English law would do more to advance good government in Russia and over the whole of the Continent, than any other measure that occurs to us.
frightful cruelties in the very heart of Russia only two hundred and fifty-two years ago. Yet in spite of all this, we think that ere long the conductors of the Moscow Gazette will feel that they went too far, and will acknowledge that men like Waloujeff and Suvaroff, who did not quite wish to "eat up the Poles alive," were wiser than they. Nobler work lies before them, and we hope and think they will do it, although M. Herzen, in two remarkable articles in the Kolokol, prophesies evil things.
The Russian press is still subjected to a severe censorship, but of late this has been exercised with so much tact as to make Another remarkable figure among RusEurope imagine the expression of opinions sian journalists is M. Aksakoff, who, since hostile to the views of government to be the death of his brother, has been the most easier than it really is. In truth, a great conspicuous of the Sclavophiles. The studeal of latitude is allowed, provided cer- dent of contemporary history may compare tain limits are not transgressed. For a with great advantage the Oxford movehistory of Russian literature in recent ment of 1833 with that of which he was times, in its bearing on politics, the reader the Coryphæus. As that was an attempt should compare the work of the absolutist to fall back upon old English, so this was Gerebtzoff upon Civilization in Russia, an attempt to fall back upon old Russian with M. Herzen's book on the Growth of ideas. What William III. was to our Revolutionary Ideas, to which we have al- Tractarians, that Peter the Great was to ready alluded. Mr. Sutherland Edwards, the Sclavophiles. The liberalism which whose Russians at Home is, for the Eng- Dr. Newman hated so heartily was closelishman who wants to read only one book ly allied to those "Western ideas," which on Russia, far the best we know, better were the bugbears of his representatives even than Mr. Tilley's, gives much inter- in " Moscow the Holy." The beautiful esting information about Russian newspa- description of that sacred city, which is pers and reviews. M. Kaikoff, editor of quoted by Mr. Sutherland Edwards from two very important periodicals at Moscow, the History of the Russian Church, by the is perhaps at this moment one of the most brother of the terrible Dictator of Lithuapopular persons in the whole empire. One nia, is conceived in the very spirit of Faof these is a newspaper, the Moscow Ga- ber's Sonnets about Oxford. zette, which has taken the lead in the antiPolish and patriotic crusade of the last eighteen months. In its eyes the Grand Duke Constantine is what "Clemency Canning" was during the Indian Mutiny to the Calcutta Press. It has exalted Mouravieff into a national hero, and fostered the enthusiasm which reached its culminating point when his admirers presented him with a statue of the Archangel Michael! Before we too severely condemn this effervescence of patriotic savagery, let us reflect how we should feel if there was a serious insurrection in Ireland. Those of us who most fully admit that there has been, in times past, much atrocious injustice there, and that all is not even now as it should be, would, we fear, be hardly as humane as Cromwell, who at least offered his enemies the alternative of "Hell or Connaught." And the Irish, it should not be forgotten, have never invaded England, while the Poles perpetrated the most
The oldest Russian University has only existed for about a century. In the twenty-second volume of the Statistical Journal will be found a paper upon the Russian Universities, which we recommend, not only because it contains a concise and intelligible account of those institutions, but because its tone represents extremely well the current views of the best class of young men in Russia. Its author, M. Kooloomzine, would certainly have been inter primos amongst his contemporary Oxonians. We learn from him that in 1856 the whole number of students at the Russian Universities was over 4000; thus divided-2634, sons of nobles and employés ; 181, sons of priests; 316, sons of merchants; 797, sons of persons above the rank of serfs. "The freedom of speech of the professors in their lectures," says M. Kooloomzine, "and the perfect freedom of the students, causes their general spirit to be very high and liberal." It should be observed that this
paper was written before the disturban- | solent triumph at home, and lowered inces at the University of St. Petersburg, fluence abroad, followed by conspiracies, which attracted some attention in England, outbreaks, and revolution. and which gave an opportunity to the reactionary clique to try to alarm the emperor. Since those events, the Russian University system has been in confusion, but plans have been considered for its reorganization, and it is hoped that these, under the management of M. Golownin, the present Minister of Public Instruction, who is a man of ability and liberal inclinations, will soon be in thorough working order.
The education of the higher classes in Russia is conducted to a great extent at home, a custom of which Nicholas naturally enough disapproved. Their proficiency in modern languages has often been remarked. This arises much more from the fact that they travel a great deal, and are accustomed from their earliest years to speak several languages, than from any peculiar aptitude. It is said, and probably with truth, that their attainments are somewhat superficial; but we are inclined to think that a Russian of good family at twenty-two will in general be more really educated, as well as more accomplished, than an Englishman who has gone through Eton and Oxford with no more than the usual knowledge of those who only aspire to take an ordinary degree. It is later in life that an Englishman who has been an idle boy at school, and an idle man at college, is forced by the pressure of competition, or by the duties that are thrown upon him, to become fit for something, while the young Russian, hampered by a vicious political system, too often sinks into a lounger or a debauchee. It is English public and professional life which reflects light on our wretched English education.
The dark side to all this progress, and to all those inclinations toward improvement, does not reveal itself till we know how brilliant was the promise of the years from 1815 to 1826, and how terrible was the period which succeeded to that premature spring. Liberty has hardly yet struck roots in the Russian soil. Let but the autocrat give the sign, and many of the wise words which we now hear will cease to be uttered. Luckily, humanity has a hostage in the interest of those in power, no less than in their good-will. A return to the system of Nicholas means political ruin. It means a period of in
Buddeus mentions that the czar constantly repeats the words, "Better from above than from below." If So, he is, as Cavour once said to the writer of this paper, when speaking of Louis Napoleon,
Un homme habile qui connait son peuple et son temps." "We hope everything for Russia; but our hopes are mingled with fears, which the reader who has accompanied us through the preceding pages will hardly think unreasonable. What M. de Custine said is, we fear, still true: "Russia is the country in Europe where men are most unhappy." Before she reaches the point at which we in England have arrived, great as are the still uncured evils of our society, she has many a difficult crisis to traverse. Will she ever succeed in reconciling Poland to her sway, or in cutting adrift and converting into a peaceful and friendly neighbor so much of that country as she cannot assimilate? Will she be able to substitute for her communal organization, so unfavorable to individual enterprise, a system like that of the West, without creating a mass of pauperism worse than that with which we are struggling; or, if not, will she succeed in a new experiment, and reconcile the commune with advanced agriculture and civilization? Will the empire hold together under one central authority; or, if not, will its surface be covered by independent communities, which will keep the peace, and do no hurt each to the prosperity of each? Will the Russian Church shake off those unnumbered superstitions, and rise from that abasement which makes it, for all purposes of influencing human conduct, far inferior to Rome, although it has never committed itself to .the worst Roman absurdities? Will, in short, the high and pure form of Christianity, which is held by the best minds in Germany and England, be substituted, in any reasonable length of time, for the delusions which now prevail? Will the universal venality of the functionaries be gradually amended? Will the army be reduced within reasonable limits, and military service cease to be a curse and a scourge to the population? Will justice and law be soon substituted for the arbitrary decisions of power? Will the Russian government, while asserting its fair claims as a European power, more