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as Protestants. At last, in 1864, the Government tacitly allowed the inhabitants of the Baltic provinces freedom of confession with regard to children born in mixed marriages. The Moscow press attacked this decision as a wilful injury done to the most sacred interests of Russia and her Church; and in spite of the complaints of the wretched converts, who vainly implored permission to return to their original creed, the Russian party never ceased to complain of the oppression of the Greek Church in Livland. The Greek clergy opposed a passive resistance to every concession, by refusing to perform the marriage ceremony between persons of the Orthodox and the Lutheran faith ; and in the following year the Government sanctioned this refusal as against the Lutherans. In 1867 the Orthodox Archbishop of Riga publicly insulted the Lutheran Church in a pastoral letter which put the whole country in commotion; but he was simply translated to a bishopric in Southern Russia. But a Protestant clergyman was deposed from his office because many years before he had censured the worship of pictures. In like manner, the Lutheran Bishop of Livland, Dr. Walter, having ventured to allude in a sermon to the necessary and natural Germanisation of the Letts and Esths, was immediately deposed. The national party is constantly endeavouring to prove that the interests of the Empire demand the degradation of the Lutheran Church in the Baltic provinces to the position of a tolerated heresy, which it holds in the rest of Russia. They therefore encourage different sects which have recently appeared, particularly the Baptist immigrants, who, molested in Prussia, have come in considerable numbers to Curland.
Especial zeal was displayed against the German tendency and character of the Baltic school-system. Russian schools were established, not only in Riga, but in other towns, where scarcely any Russian population exists, and in all national schools instruction in the Russian language is rendered obligatory. The provost of the University of Dorpat, who is at the head of the educational department in the provinces, has been coupled with a Russian colleague, specially appointed to watch over the interests of the Russian language-i.e., its extension, and the gradual extinction of German in the schools. The University itself, as one of the strongest bulwarks of German civilisation and Protestantism, is of course an object of particular hatred to the Moscow party. No pains are spared to undermine it, and to transform it eventually into a Russian institution. The natural consequence of these principles is that the introduction of Russian language in the Courts of law and in the administrative departments is demanded in the name of equality and progress. The old law of the country, confirmed by the capitulation of 1702, distinctly established a purely German administration. Even a decree of 1845, regulating the civil administration of the Baltic
provinces, acknowledged that public affairs were generally to be transacted in German, except that in the parish vestries the prevailing local idiom—i.e. the Esthnic or Lettish languagewas to be adopted. In 1850, for the first time, the Emperor Nicolas prescribed that in all transactions of the Government authorities the Russian language was to be introduced. This decree remained a dead letter, because not one in fifteen of the civil functionaries could speak or write Russian. In 1867 the edict of 1850 was renewed; henceforth only persons conversant with the Russian language were to be appointed as officers of the Crown. The Governor-General notified that for the future letters written in Russian would alone be received by the public authorities. This notification was sent in Russian to the senates of the cities, to the local courts and justices of peace, who in their turn sent back these rescripts, because they could not understand them. After much dispute the Government was obliged to give way so far as to send a German translation with the original text. In St. Petersburg, indeed, men were not wanting, able to discern how deeply the forcible introduction of a difficult foreign language must disturb all private and public interests, and injure the transaction of business. They saw that it was impossible to enforce such a system from the want of a staff of officials who could speak and write the Russian language; and they knew that it was equally impossible to introduce into the Baltic provinces the ignorant and corrupt functionaries of the interior of the Empire. But these more moderate men were few and isolated, whilst Katkoff's party numbered numerous adherents at the head of affairs, and exercised great influence. The remonstrances of the moderates and the indignant protestations of the Baltic population have alike been overruled; and thus one by one the intelligent and highly-deserving Baltic statesmen have been removed from the higher posts and replaced by Russians who know nothing of the country. When the magistrates and the Diets complained of breach of privileges, their addresses were answered by severe rebukes or not received at all. The Baltic press was restricted from any effectual defence of the interests of the country; for whilst the press of Moscow had unlimited liberty of attack, the censorship was maintained in Riga, Dorpat, and Reval,
The provincial newspapers could therefore only answer their opponents so far as the Russian censor would allow it, and whoever resorted to foreign journals was declared a traitor, conspiring with Count Bismarck to sever the provinces from the Empire. For the Esthnic and Lettish prints there is only one censor in the three provinces, the manuscripts of all books, papers, prayer-books, &c., edited in those languages, must be sent to Riga, to receive his imprimatur.
How long the Baltic provinces will be able to stand this siege of the democratic party, backed by the autocratic authority of the Czar, nobody can tell. They have little to hope for from foreign intervention. Sweden, which would have a right to interfere as a party to the peace of Nystadt, by which the privileges of the provinces were confirmed, has neither the power nor the interest to quarrel with so dangerous a neighbour for such a cause. Prussia has no right to interfere, but looks of course with pain at this war of extermination against a German race; neverthless she is anxious to remain on good terms with Russia. It is however remarkable, that Peter the Great, after the peace of Nystadt, claimed a vote in the German Diet at Ratisbon, because he had become sovereign of a province which belonged to the Empire and had never ceased to do so; and the time may come, perhaps it is come already, when the Germans will seek to resist this odious
persecution of the property, the religion, and the language of their northern brethren. But the final issue of this strugrle will depend mainly on the internal policy of Russia. Whilst railways are progressing, agriculture is fast retrograding in the Empire. The communist tenure of land and the system of temporary distribution of holdings, above described, was possible only as long as the peasants were serfs and could be forced to work in the fields by their masters. But now being free to do as they like, they only work as much as is necessary to keep themselves from starvation; the rest of their time, which formerly belonged to the masters, is spent in the brandyshops. Drunkenness is increasing in frightful proportions. The peasant moreover knows that his bankruptcy does not place him in embarrassment, but the village ; according to the communist system, the community, not the individual member of it, is responsible. This is enough to check all assiduity and improvement. The nobility is nearly ruined; it has lost immensely by the abolition of serfdom; and the highest wages will not induce the peasants to undertake the regular cultivation of the lands of their former lords. In short, if the picture drawn by Dr. Eckardt and the other writers before us
VOL, CXXXII, NO. CCLXIX.
is correct, Russian landed society is in a state of moral and economical dissolution, which sooner or later must produce a terrible crisis.
To this disordered society, instead of trying to cure the dangerous disease which consumes its best forces, the Moscow party is preaching a crusade against the heterodox boundary provinces. Five millions of Catholic Poles, two and a half millions of Protestant Swedes, Germans, Finlanders, Letts, and Esths, are to disappear, in order to realise the Emperor Nicolas' shibboleth, one God, one Czar, one language. We doubt the success of the experiment, even though it be attempted by all the power of the Court of St. Petersburg, backed by the enthusiasm of the Russian democrats. The absorption and assimilation of nationalities is one of the slowest and most difficult processes in history. It has not been accomplished in these islands. It has not even been accomplished in France. Least of all can it be effected by persecution or by the brute ascendency of an inferior over a superior and more civilised race. But the nationalities against which the Moscow press declares war in the name of democratic progress, stand on a much higher level than the Russian people. Professor Schirren, in his able answer to Juri Samarin, who accuses the Baltic provinces of conspiring against Russia, says with perfect justice:
"Our culture is our conspiracy: we have always been faithful to the Emperor; we have never shrunk from the greatest sacrifices, even when they were required of us in support of a bad system; we even are willing to be Russified if you can do so by legal means, and by convincing us of the superiority of your intellectual culture; but we protest against the method which you adopt. As long as you have nothing to offer but an agricultural system, which would turn our country into a wilderness, a Church which sanctions the most abject Cæsaro-papism, and as long as you have no other means of propagandism but brute force, we shall maintain our institutions and our autonomy to the very last. We have not been incorporated by conquest, but by a bilateral contract, by which the country acknowledged under certain and well-defined conditions the Russian Czar as its master, whilst he solemnly promised to maintain these conditions. Our ancient privileges were confirmed by the Capitulation of 1702, which is published in the general collection of Russian laws, which has been acknowledged by all the Emperors of Russia, and which, up to this day, forms the only basis of our political relation to the Russian Crown. You may induce the Government to violate our rights, and we may be obliged to submit, but whilst obeying the ascendency of force we shall never cease to protest against it. What you attempt now has been equally tried by Polish and Swedish kings—both in their turn the most powerful rulers in Eastern Europe; we have been
obliged to give way for the moment, but our right proved stronger than the power which had curbed it. We are convinced that also in this century it will be strong enough to outlive your aggression. The inhabitants of a country which for seven hundred years has lived under German influence, cannot in a few years be transformed into Russians; you may cripple the strength of an aged tree, you may cut it down, but you cannot transplant it like a sapling, nor compel it to produce another kind of fruit by compulsory grafting.' The rage which Schirren’s pamphlet provoked in the Moscow press, compelled the Government to dismiss him from the professorship of history in Dorpat, but his answer has never been refuted.
The respectful petition which the Diet of Livland has lately addressed to the Emperor, enumerating the violations of the constitution and praying for its re-establishment, has received a negative answer. The country is obliged to suffer in silence, and bide its time, but no pressure will extort from it a voluntary abandonment of its right. The people of the Baltic provinces are confident that the experiment of Russifying by compulsion five different nationalities must in the long run prove a disastrous failure and recoil on its authors. They maintain that their cause is that of Western civilisation, against Russian barbarism, to which the theories of Herzen and Katkoff have only given a superficial varnish, and they answer to every new aggression of the Moscow fanatics, · You may oppress us, but you will not subdue us.'
Art. III. - The Chief Victories of the Emperor Charles V.
designed by Martin Heemskerck in M.D.LV, and now illustrated with Portraits, Prints, and Notes. By Sir WILLIAM STIRLING MAXWELL, Bart. London and Edinburgh. Privately printed for the Editor. 1870. T. THE sale of a rare copy of Boccaccio, commemorated in
enthusiastic language by Dr. Dibdin, sufficed to give a name and a celebrity to the Roxburgh Club, which owed its origin to that circumstance. In like manner the Philobiblon Society, one of the younger associations formed in Britain for the encouragement of a taste in choice books, and consisting of a small number of the most distinguished book-collectors of the present day, may boast that it: possesses in this volume a proud and lasting claim to distinction, which it owes to the liberality and learning of one of its most accomplished members. To them chiefly, if not exclusively, has this magni