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from Moscow, and they kept up a correspondence with the outer world.
In September 1827, when all the convicts (including Prince Trubetskoy and those from Nertschinsk) were united in the large new prison, Princess Trubetskoy joined the other ladies at Tchita. Her fate had been the hardest of all.
'Princess Catharine Trubetskoy, born Countess Laval, had followed her husband to Siberia in 1826, immediately after his departure, accompanied by a secretary of her father. At Krasnojarsk her carriage broke down and her companion fell ill. Not choosing to stop, she got into a wretched cart without springs, and in this manner, after a weary journey, reached Irkutsk. Trubetskoy had already been sent on to his destination at Nertschinsk, about 700 versts beyond Irkutsk. The Princess applied to the Civil Governor, named Zeidler, to obtain from him the means of proceeding farther; but here began a series of fresh trials to this noble and gallant woman. The governors of districts had received orders to use all possible means to prevent the wives of State criminals from fulfilling their intention of joining their husbands. Governor Zeidler first represented to the Princess the difficulties which would surround her in a place where 5,000 great criminals were collected, amongst whom she would have to live in barracks, without attendance or any of the conveniences of life. This prospect did not daunt her; she declared she was prepared for every privation, if she could only be with her husband. The next day the Governor informed her that he had received orders to exact from her a written renunciation of all her rights of nobility, and of all property, moveable or immoveable, which she might possess or which might hereafter accrue to her by inheritance. Catharine Trubetskoy signed the paper without hesitation, and hoped that she had thus cleared the way of all obstacles. But the series of her trials was not yet over.
For some days the Governor refused to receive her, under the pretext that he was unwell. The Princess became impatient, and Zeidler was again obliged to see her, when, after intreating her to give up her enterprise, he informed her that she could only be allowed to proceed to Nertschinsk with one of the weekly gangs of convicts, which were despatched thither, bound with cords, and following them from station to station. The Princess consented with the utmost resignation to this last condition also. But the Governor could no longer master his own emotion; he burst into tears, and exclaimed, “You shall drive to Nertschinsk.” It was about that time that Colonel Leparsky came to Irkutsk; he was profoundly affected by the conduct of the Princess Trubetskoy, and no doubt contributed to facilitate her journey. A woman of less energy would have hesitated, made conditions, written to St. Petersburgh, and in short allowed obstacles to accumulate which would have deterred the other ladies from undertaking so formidable a journey,
Without underrating their courage and merit, it must be said that Princess Trubetskoy was the first, who not only forced her own way to join her husband in Siberia, but actually conquered the opposition of the Russian Government.' (P. 186.)
One of the young officers among the convicts, named Annenkow (the same whose troop covered the battery of guns before the Senate House in St. Petersburgh), was engaged to be married at the time of the revolt. His affianced bride asked the Emperor at a review for leave to join her lover, which was immediately and ostentatiously conceded to her. Seven other convicts were in the same position, but they heard no more of their future wives; and, what was worse, eight of Rosen's fellow-sufferers were married men, whose wives not only did not follow the heroic example of Princess Trubetskoy, but took the opportunity to provide themselves with other husbands.
The next move of the caravan was to the neighbourhood of the great iron-works of Petrowsk, near the town of WerchneUdinsk, where an enormous prison had been erected to receive them. They started on foot to perform this journey of 700 versts, which lasted forty-eight days. The country they traversed was indescribably rude and wild, and inhabited chiefly by wandering tribes of Burjates—a race of men as uncivilised as in the days of Tchengis-Khan, pagans, dwelling in tents, not even cultivating the soil, and living chiefly on roots and fish. Herds of wild horses were seen from time to time on the vast plains. The Burjates knew nothing of civilised life but the game of chess, which they had learned from China. In that they excelled, in so much that one of these savages beat the best chess-player of the Russian party.
Three weeks before leaving Tchita, Baron Rosen had learned by a letter that his wife was on the way to join him. She too had been compelled to renounce her rights of nobility, and had been informed that she would never (even in the event of her husband's death) be allowed to return. But, nothing daunted, she parted from her first-born son, who was not allowed to accompany her, and started on her journey, surmounting great difficulties on the way.
On the 27th of August we were halting at Quonsky-Bor, a small village, where we were quartered in a leather tent. We had lain down to sleep in the afternoon, but I was unable to close my eyes. The tent was by the side of the road, which led across a brook into a wood. I heard the bells of post-horses, looked through the aperture of the tent, and saw a green veil. I threw my coat over my shoulders and rushed out to meet the carriage. Nicholas Betuschew ran after me, but was unable to catch me. The sentinels on guard over us threw themselves across my path, but I escaped them; a few yards farther on the carriage stopped, and in a moment my wife was in my arms. The sentinels drew back, and the first moment was one of indescribable joy. But what to do with my wife? She was so exhausted with the journey, she could hardly walk.' Happily, the commanding officer gave orders
that I should be quartered with her in a peasant's house near. She had only a maid and a travelling bag with her, having been obliged to leave her own carriage near the Baikal Lake by an inundation. My companions shared my joy, and relieved me from my duty, which was to distribute the provisions of the troop for supper. On the following day she proceeded in the post-cart, and I walked to Petrowsk by her side.' (P. 219.)
The aspect of the prison at Petrowsk again dashed the hopes of the prisoners, and caused them to regret even their rough quarters at Tchita. It was an enormous pile, built from plans which had been expressly approved by the Emperor, and could not be altered, but without external windows, in so much that the cells were quite dark and inexpressibly comfortless. Yet here at least the ladies were, for the first time, allowed to share the gloomy abode of their husbands, and it was cheered by the light of domestic life. Baroness Rosen declared afterwards that she looked back to her sojourn in that dark cell with delight, for nowhere else could she have had half so much of her husband's company; and her conjugal devotion seems not only to have survived the pangs of separation, but—what is sometimes harder to bear—the trial of a monotonous existence. In about a year
birth to a second son, who was followed in due course by four other little Siberians.
Thus time wore away in this strange community, and on the 11th of July, 1832, the period of Baron Rosen's forced imprisonment (which had been somewhat shortened) came to an end. Thenceforward he was free to settle in a dwelling of his own in Siberia, and he selected Kurgan, on the western side of Irkutsk, for that purpose.
The adventures which befell both his wife and himself on this westward journey are related with great spirit, especially his recrossing the Baikal Lake, but our limits warn us that they are not essential to this sketch of the narrative.
They reached Kurgan in September 1832, another child having been born upon the road, and here they seemed doomed to pass their existence. A wooden village of some 2,000 inhabitants, in the midst of a vast sandy plain, holding communication with the world of Central Asia by means of annual fairs, governed by the thirteen invariable representatives of the Russian administration, who lived amongst themselves and with the exiles a hospitable and convivial life-Kurgan is in no other wise known to history than as the place to which it pleased the Emperor Paul to send for one year's banishment the luckless sentimentalist Kotzebue—who might have written here a book of • Tristia.' The incomes allowed to the married ex
iles were limited to 600 roubles-about 1001.; but the excessive cheapness of the necessaries of life, and the absence of all occasions of expense, rendered even this sum sufficient. A house was bought. Leave was obtained to hold and cultivate a small farm. The study of medicine occupied part of their time, for in this part of the globe the Government provides but one apothecary to 40,000 inhabitants on an area of 500 versts, so that every man must be, if he can, his own doctor. Moreover, Rosen applied himself to the education of his boys, and set to work to translate Sismondi's • Italian Republics into Russian. And thus life passed not unhappily for four more years.
In December 1836 this even course of events was interrupted by a severe accident.
Rosen slipped one night upon the ice in front of his house, and sprained himself so severely as to lose for months all power of motion. The case was beyond the ken of local practitioners or amateur surgeons, and he suffered irreparable injury. It seemed in that black hour that the last stay of the future existence of his family, his bodily activity, and life itself were about to give way.
But the dawn was breaking. Early in 1837 a report spread that the Cesarewitch, now the Emperor Alexander II., would pass through Kurgan in the course of a tour he was making in Siberia, and in April everything was prepared for his reception:
“When the news arrived that the Prince was already in Tobolsk, that he would only visit the western zone of Siberia, passing through Kurgan to Orenburg on the 6th of June, my anxiety became extreme. For myself I had nothing to ask, but I had to think of the future of my poor children and my faithful wife, the more so as the decline in my own strength, consequent on my accident, led me to fear they might soon be left without a protector. Three days before the arrival of the Prince I drove round to my friends and told them that I had made up my mind to beg an audience, and personally to intreat His Imperial Highness to befriend my family, if I should fail them. I should not have forgiven myself had I neglected such an opportunity of endeavouring to alleviate their future condition in life.
It was midnight before the Prince arrived; but an enterprising speculator had laid in an abundant supply of lights, on the chance of the entry occurring at night. The people were all on foot and illuminated the road. At length a courier dashed into the village, and shortly afterwards the Prince reached the house of the chief magistrate, where he was to sleep. There was no time to be lost, for he was to proceed on his journey at six the next morning. At four I drove to the house, and dragged myself on my crutches, through a crowd of people, to the door. Here I was informed that the Adjutant of the Governor-General had given the most peremptory orders that none of the political convicts
were to have access to the Prince. I observed that I doubted whether any such order could have been given without notice to us; but on applying to an officer on the staff of the Prince, I was informed that although my request for an audience could not be granted, he would receive a petition and lay it before His Imperial Highness.
• Just at this moment a dignified-looking man in a cloak came up to me and said, “You are doubtless Baron Rosen. My friend Krutow solemnly charged me, if I passed through Kurgan, to see you and do what I can for you. Come into my room ; I am Jenochin, the Prince's body-surgeon.” In a moment I found myself skilfully stripped. Jenochin examined my limb and pronounced it to be no more than a bad sprain, which had been aggravated and made permanent by the blundering treatment of the local doctor. After his inspection I saw the Prince's Adjutant Kamelin, who advised me instantly to prepare a petition or memorial.
"At the door of my house stood a carriage, and on my asking who had come in it, I found to my inexpressible joy that the gallant and accomplished Wassily Andrijewitsch Shukowsky, well known as a poet, and the tutor of the Prince, had come to call on me. When I told him my story and my disappointment, he replied, "You have no time now to write a memorial, we are just starting; but never fear, I will relate everything to the Prince. I have been with him day by day for thirteen
you may rely upon it his heart is in the right place; when he can do a good action, he does it willingly.” Our conversation was necessarily short. The poet was gratified to find that even in Siberia we had read and admired his last work, “ Undine," and he said the Prince had been surprised by the flourishing aspect of Siberia, the more so as he had been received as loyally by the exiles of Tjumen and Tobolsk as he would have been at Rybinsk or Jaroslaw, in the heart of Russia.
• While Shukowsky was at my house, the church bell was ringing for the early service. The Cesarewitch had told the staff-officer of gendarmerie to take measures that “these gentlemen " (by whom he meant the political delinquents) should be in the church. "There only,” said he, I see them.” The instructions from St. Petersburgh had not provided against that contingency. The head of the police immediately sent word to tell us to assemble in the church. The Prince with his whole suite stood before the high altar; on the right, along the wall, stood my comrades; on the left Princess Naryschkin (who with her husband was in Kurgan); the employés and people stond back along the side altars, but the mass of the populace were in the street looking at the carriages. During the service the Prince looked round several times at my companions in misfortune with tears in his eyes.
I was unable to reach the church in time, and as I came out of my house with my children, a loud hurrah announced the departure of the Cesarewitch, the only stranger whose presence could throw a beam of hope. and joy over our place of banishment. The people shouted at having seen their future ruler; some of the old women, awestruck at the sight, crossed themselves, saying, 16 God be praised that we are still alive! (P. 300.)