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religion might be heard by his rebellious people. The cross shook in the hands of the aged prelate, who was almost a septuagenarian, and little accustomed to such tumultuous scenes. But the rolling of drums drowned his voice, his white hairs were reviled, and he was obliged to retire, with the clergy who surrounded him, from the scene of disorder.
Pale, downcast, but always intrepid, and present wherever his presence was useful, the emperor resolved at length to have recourse to more active measures. He ordered a charge to be executed from the square
of the admiralty, upon the centre of the
while its flanks were threatened at the same moment. But the insurgents made a vigorous resistance, and the firing was very sharp for a few minutes. The
young colonel, Baron Velho, had his arm broken by a ball, at the moment he was drawing his sword. Kakhofski, who had shot Miloradovitch, also killed the brave Swiss, Colonel Sturler, who commanded the grenadiers of the guard, and afterwards threw away his pistol, as if in a fit of re
Küchelbecker would infallibly have cut down the grand-duke Michel in the tumult of the insurrection, if the marines of the guard, terrified at such audacity, had not arrested his arm. Iakoubovitch, on his side, sought in vain to approach the emperor, for whom he had reserved his dagger.
The struggle had now lasted several hours, and night was coming on, when at length several guns were sent for and brought to bear, loaded with canister shot, upon the rebels, from the square of the admiralty. They were not, however, fired till another summons had been made to surrender, which only met with a disdainful refusal. The first gun was then fired over the crowd, and in consequence only increased their violence. M. Golovine has stated that it was the grand-duke Michel who fired the first gun. It is certain, that not more than ten shots were fired altogether. At the second discharge, the whole group of rebels broke
began to disperse, when they were pursued by the horse-guard to the Vassili Ostrof, an island on the opposite side of the Neva, along the whole length of English Quay, and along the street called Galernaïa, where many of them were cut down. About 500 bodies were gathered up at the time. The other fugitives dispersed in various directions, in houses, and upon the frozen bed of the Neva. A small number took refuge in a house not far from the palace of the senate, where they were surrounded and captured ; others, pursued along the streets, encumbered them with their bodies ; a few sought refuge in the more distant portions of the town. About 150 individuals were made prisoners during the night, and several of the conspirators were arrested. The grenadiers and the marines of the guard returned in troops to the barracks, to implore the clemency of the conqueror, whom they had braved on this disastrous day. The real number of victims is unknown, for the bodies were thrown hastily under the thick coating of ice with which the Neva is covered during four or five months of the year.
The conduct of Nicolas during the insurrection as described by Schnitzler, is very different from that depicted to us by the author of the “ Revelations of Russia," who describes the emperor as retiring from the field of action, the moment the troops were called upon to act, and seeking a place of safety ; thus offering a spectacle of moral firmness and of physical timidity; which is not impossible although seldom
Schnitzler's account agrees, however, best with the known and tried character of the emperor, and this historian was also an eye-witness of the affair, which does not appear to have been the case with the author of the “ Revelations."
VII.-THE EXPIATION. SURROUNDED by the most distinguished ladies of the city, the empress was in the meantime awaiting the issue of the struggle with intense anxiety. Nicolas, apprehensive of the effect upon so sensitive a person, had sent to warn her when it was necessary to have recourse to the artillery, and when the first gun was fired, she burst into tears and continued in an attitude of prayer until the revolt was at an end.
After receiving the last wishes of Miloradovitch, the emperor returned to his palace. The touching scene that ensued may be imagined. “What a beginning of a reign?" they both exclaimed together. The same evening a solemn Te Deum was chanted in the chapel of the winter palace in the presence of the emperor, the empress, and the whole court.
The troops remained under arms all night. Several regiments bivouacked around large fires upon the open squares, and guns were placed at the head of the adjacent streets. Detachments of Cossacks were at the same time dispersed throughout the city, to maintain order, and to pick up fugitives. The next morning the emperor quitted the palace accompanied by only one aide-de-camp, thanked the troops for their fidelity and discipline, and ordered them a reward in money, victuals, and spirits. Notwithstanding the losses experienced, Nicolas was determined to act with clemency. He more particularly exercised this noble prerogative towards the soldiery, who had been seduced or led astray. He granted them at once a politic and generous pardon. The most guilty alone were sent for a brief time to the army of Caucasus, to wash out, in fighting the enemies of their country, the stain upon
their colours. Prince Troubetzkoi, whose papers had been seized at his residence, was brought in the course of the morning before the emperor.
The prince, who had kept away from the insurrection, now prostrated himself at the emperor's feet, implored his pity, and begged for his life. “Let it be so!" answered Nicolas, with dignity; "sit down and write to the princess, I will dictate the letter." Troubetzkoi wrote almost mechanically “Ia sdarof”-I am well—but when he heard the next words, “i ia boudon sdarof”—and I shall have my life spared - he did not dare to continue. The emperor said, in a most imperious tone, “write and seal!" The guilty man tremblingly obeyed, and for a long time afterwards the severe remarks that followed remained in his memory;
courage to support a dishonoured life, with nothing but remorse before
shall have it, but it is the only thing that I can promise.” After saying this, the emperor turned from him with contempt.
The city having been surrounded with soldiery very few of the conspirators made their escape. It is supposed, indeed that Küchelbecker was the only one, and he was caught at Warsaw and sent back to St. Petersburg, but this is scarcely credible. The indications found in the papers of Prince Troubetzkoi facilitated very much the arrests.
They implicated an infinite number of persons, and the different fortresses of the city were soon filled with prisoners. Among these unfortunates
were princes, high civil functionaries, superior officers, academicians, literary men, &c. &c. Ryléïef, Prince Obolenski, Kakhofski, and all the chief conspirators had joined Troubetzkoi in their separate dungeons.
Among those whom Nicolas subjected to a private interrogation were Alexander Bestoujef, Colonel Boulatof, and others. He learnt from these examinations many salutary truths, although painful to an autocrat's ears. Some such as Tchernychef, a young officer, the pride of an illustrious house, he vainly endeavoured to save by recalling to a sense of his fealty and allegiance; others, as in the case of a great-grandson of the renowned Suvarrow, he embraced and pardoned when the young man disclaimed all connexion with the conspirators.
A commission of inquiry was instituted by an imperial ukase to try the guilty, and with especial orders to distinguish the seduced from the real conspirators. It was a duty of exceeding difficulty, for many of the most distinguished persons and of the most illustrious families of the empire were compromised. The commission proceeded, however, earnestly and steadily in its labours, and although the lives of the conspirators were generally spared, it was only to transmit them for the remainder of their days to remote Siberia.
The wives of many of the condemned followed their husbands into exile. It has even been said that a Frenchwoman set the example of such affectionate devotion, and M. Alexandre Dumas has founded his novel, Les Memoires d'un Maitre d'Armes, upon such a tradition, the history of which is said to have been given to him by M. Grisier, who was a celebrated teacher of the art of fencing. But among the conspirators there were two Russians, Ivachef and Bassarghine, who both met with similar testimonies of conjugal devotion on the part of Frenchwomen. It was, however, the mistress of the first, who was lady's companion to his mother. The Frenchwoman who joined Bassarghine in Siberia was of less distinguished social position, but possessed the same nobility of heart. Many great Russian ladies must have blushed at their egotism, when they learnt the resolution of these two humble but self-sacrificing strangers !
Ryléïef and Kakhofski were condemned to be quartered, a punishment which was afterwards transmuted to hanging. The last sentence of the law was carried into execution at the same time against the celebrated Pestel and his confederates in the insurrection of the south :-a very remarkable movement, little known and understood in this country, and to which we propose to devote a few pages at a future opportunity.
A scaffold was erected at two o'clock of the morning of the 25th of July, of such magnitude that five individuals could be hanged at the same time. The spot chosen was the rampart of the fortress overlooking the little church of Trinity, upon the borders of the Neva, at the commencement of the quarter called Old St. Petersburg. Each regiment of the garrison sent one company to witness the sad scene about to take place at sunrise. At three in the morning, the regimental drums announced the arrival of the condemned, whose lives had been spared, and who distributed in groups upon the glacis in front of the scaffold. Obliged to kneel down, their epaulets and decorations and afterwards their uniforms were torn from off their backs, a sword was broken over each of their heads, and they were clothed in the coarse grey cloaks of convicts.
This accomplished, the five condemned appeared upon the rampart. They were clothed in grey cloaks, with hoods covering their heads. The fatal rope was adjusted to their necks, and the executioner had no sooner retired, than the platform was withdrawn from beneath them. Pestel and Kakhofski were put at once out of pain, but the rope
of Isaac, and solemn service was publicly performed by the aged Metropolitan, which was attended by the emperor and empress, the court, the whole of the garrison, and a vast proportion of the population of St. Petersburg. The spot was purified, and thanks were returned to the Almighty for having saved the country from anarchy. A hundred and one guns announced the end of the ceremony. The expiation was complete, and all traces of the crime were for ever effaced.
LEAVING it to antiquaries to trace the origin and migrations of the Servian race, by combining languages and myths with fragmentary traditions, it is certain that we find that race occupying, from the earliest historical times, the country in which they are found to this day.
The heights of a portion of the lofty range of mountains, which extends from the Alps to the Black Sea ; their declivities, with the rivers and streams flowing from them, and the valleys they form, have ever constituted the Servian territory, between the Danube on one side and the Adriatic and the Archipelago on the other. The successive heights of these mountain-ridges-described in the national songs as variegated woods, where the darkness of the forest is relieved only by white rocks, or by the unmelted snows-have ever been in possession of the Servians.
Unlike the rest of the Sclavonians, the Servians, however, did not constitute a distinct state, but they acknowledged the supremacy of the eastern Roman emperor, upon condition that they should never be subject to a government proceeding from that capital, and they thus preserved a patriarchal form of government, living for centuries under their Shupanes and elders, regardless of the policy of surrounding nations.
The Sclavonian apostles, Methodius and Cyrillus, who, about 860 A.C., traversed all the countries bordering on the Danube, distinguished them
* A History of Servia and the Servian Revolution, from Original MSS. and Documents. Translated from the German of Leopold Ranke, by Mrs. Alexander Kerr. John Murray.
selves from most of the early missionaries by their endeavours to elevate the standard of the national languages, by using them in the churchservice. The records of Christianity were thus given to the Servians in their vernacular language and writing, and they enjoyed the advantage of a liturgy which was intelligible to them.
The Servians were thus taught Christianity by Greek teachers from Constantinople, at the very time when the schisms of the Latin and Greek churches first broke forth. From the first they imbibed, in consequence, that aversion towards the formulæ of the western church, which Ranke justly observes, where it has once taken root has never been conquered. But the result entailed to the country of being thus ever politically opposed to the eastern, and ecclesiastically to the western divisions of Christendom, has been the main cause of the absence of that progressive development which depends so materially on the relations into which a newly-emerging people enters into with nations already in a state of civilisation, and of the indifference with which a hardy, pious, and warlike people have been allowed by all Christendom to be ground down, crushed, and nearly annihilated for centuries by Moslem fanaticism and tyranny.
From the earliest times the unfortunate Servians have been called upon to strain every nerve against the attempts made from the east to bring them into perfect subjection. One of their most decisive victories obtained over the emperors was in 1043, when Constantine Monachus sent a numerous army to subject them. The Servians encountered the Greeks of the Low Empire in their mountains, and the entire Greek
army was annihilated in their impassable defiles.
In these wars, it was an advantage to the Servians that they were settled on the borders of western Christendom; as they derived from it if not always open aid, at least a certain degree of support. The grand Shupanes sought eagerly to ally themselves in marriage with the princely houses of western Europe, more especially with Venice, the relations of which with the eastern empire were somewhat similar to their own. Το Frederic Barbarossa they displayed, on the occasion of the crusade of 1189, the most perfect devotion, and they offered to hold Nissa as vassals of the German empire. The Servians, at times, addressed themselves not only to the emperor, but also to the court of Rome, which never relinquished its pretensions to the Servian and Illyrian dioceses. Yet Servia was strong within itself, and at a time when all Russia had fallen under the dominion of the Mongols, the Servian Krales—the kings of the forest-mountain-remained in unconquered isolation.
The most distinguished of the early princes of Servia was Stephan Dushan, who, at first an ally, became afterwards a formidable enemy to John Cantacuzenus, defeating the Osmanli allies of the perfidious Greek, overrunning Macedonia, repelling a formidable invasion of Hungarians under Louis I., and extending his power along the whole eastern shores of the Adriatic. In 1347, Stephan achieved independence between the eastern and western worlds, and called himself “ Emperor of the Roumelians; the Macedonian, Christ-living tsar.”
Servia was then in that state which constitutes one of the most important epochs in the existence of every nation-one of transition from patriarchal traditions, handed down from the darkest origin, and fettered by local prejudices, to a legal order of things, founded on spiritual knowledge, and corresponding with the general development of the human