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at right angles to each other. His ut. be that those were all measures which terances were uniformly conciliatory the Cabinet had a formal right to and his acts were nearly always provo adopt; but they certainly did not favor cative. The promises he made were the theory of free elections, and, what constitutional and reassuring, and the is more to the point, while discreditcirculars he issued were arbitrary and ing the Government and embittering irritating. He undertook to let the the people, they defeated the object population choose its own representa for which they were taken. tives freely, but his subsequent action Nor was this all. M. Stolypin, or his justified the assumption that his defi- coadjutor, M. Kryshanoffsky, went nition of freedom was inadequate; for much further. Recognizing the fact he disqualified as candidates 180 of that the electoral law was a two-edged the obnoxious deputies of the first Par- sword, they naturally sought to clutch liament, and he disfranchised as voters the handle which their enemies were many categories of peasants and labor. holding. Some officials were for reing men whose sympathies were revo- pealing the statute and drawing up anlutionary. Yet he went about the un- other on narrower lines; for the Act congenial task in a clumsy, ineffectual had originally been framed with a view way, drawing a sharp line at down to giving the peasantry a decisive part right illegality.
in the elections, on the assumption that In this work of weeding out, Rus- the tillers of the soil must necessarily siau bureaucrats are inexperienced. be the staunchest supporters of the To "fudge the ballot-box" is an elec- altar and the throne. In the meantime, toral manquvre the intricacies of however, that belief had been exploded. which they have yet to learn. Hence The mooshiks in the first Duma had the means taken by M. Stolypin to proved as revolutionary as any other compass his end were petty, circuitous, element except the workmen; and now unavailing. He eliminated really good the authorities would have been demen whose presence would have been lighted to undo what it had done for helpful to the cause of law and order, them-to disfranchise several catesuch men as Prof. Kovaleffsky, who gories of voters, deprive the peasantry was excluded on a technical issue; and of a part of their influence, and invest he opened wide the Duma portals to the landed proprietors with a larger professional revolutionists. Members share. Butunluckily, their hands of secret and public organizations, who were tied; the electoral law cannot be scoff at the milk-and-water methods modified without the consent of the of a legislative Chamber and believe Duma. This barrier, although raised in blood and fire as means of regenerat- with the sanction of the Tsar, the ing the nation, were elected to the bureaucrats would have cleared at a Duma and welcomed by the people. bound. But their intention remained a Then the Premier arbitrarily divided pious desire owing mainly to the steady the political parties into legal and il- refusal of the Premier to break the legal. the former being privileged be bounds of legality, which he considered cause they were expected to vote with it his duty to respect; and between riothe (Government, and the latter unpriv- lating that guarantee and executing it ileged because they were not. Civil there seemed no third course, for, conservants were forbidden to belong to formably with the solemn promise given the illegal parties, althougb, the ballot by the Tsar, neither that particular being secret, they could not be kept statute nor any of the fundamental from roting for them. Now it may law's may be modified without the Du
na's express consent. In this matter, proclaimed freedom of elections, and then, where to stretch a point would therefore of electioneering agitation, he perhaps have been to score a brilliant nevertheless allowed martial law to victory, M. Stolypin was inexorable; supersede the maxims of jurisprudence and his self-abnegation merits ungrudg- and to take away the elementary ing praise.
rights of the citizen. A voter, a canBut he tried immediately afterwards didate, anybody in fact, was liable, in to effect by hook what was impossible virtue of that summary code, to be by crook; he contrived to rule out arrested or sent out of the district several classes of indocile voters in a without rhyme or reason, delay or aproundabout way; and, while respecting peal, the will of the provincial govthe letter, he violated the spirit of ernor sufficing. And this was done the Tsar's promise. The expedient in the name of order and for the purlooks like one of those petty sub- pose of putting an end to incipient reterfuges to which politicians have bellion and growing anarchy. The first recourse in everyday life, and which duty of a government, it was argued, reveal the meannesses of the hu- whatever its political programme, is man mind. The Government drew up to ensure respect for law and to maina list of desirable changes in the elec- tain public peace. That is true; but toral law; and the Senate, which the strength of the principle lies in the is the highest court of appeal in the universality of its application. There Empire, effected them noiselessly. A must be no islands of anarchy in a panumber of senators were officially citic ocean of order. M. Stolypin, howasked to clear up certain doubtful ever, tolerated, and still tolerates, a points that might arise in interpreting whole archipelago. the law; and, as their answers were His guiding motive is not sympathy invariably restrictive in tendency and with this party or antipathy for that; obligatory in character. they differed he cares only for the good of the comlittle from new statutes. Friends of munity. It is opportunism pure and the Government have sought to show simple, that unalloyed opportunism that even here M. Stolypin had formal which, in latter-day Russia, is subverright on his side; and in respect of sive of authority. Some of his colsome of the questions referred to the leagues, for instance the Minister of Senate, the contention may be upheld. Public Instruction and the Minister of But it has been reluctantly admitted, Commerce, truckle to the students of even by political supporters of the Gov. various high schools who ostentatiously ernment, that in at least two cases the defy the Government, openly insult the Senate's interpretation was opposed to monarch, and perseveringly plot the terms as well as to the spirit of against the régime. Crimes perpethe law. And this admission casts a trated within the walls of educational slur on the consistency, although not establishments are minimized, conthe good faith, of the Premier.
doned, or glorified, like the offences Against M. Stolypin's policy much committed by the gods and goddesses worse things have been said with equal of Olympus. Quod licet Jovi non licet reason, even by his fellow-workers. bovi. In those sanctuaries of "science," For instance, he has been frequently revolutionists may hold public meetaccused of worshipping God, so to say, ings and secret sittings, plotting and lighting a candle to the devil, of against the State in a State building severing a branch of an evil and pour- and at the public expense. It is being water on its roots. Thus, having come one of the privileges of their caste. That is an island on the left. sults, are but a few. He has also to On the extreme right a similar kind reckon with the reactionary tendenof indulgence is practised. The re- cies of the Court party, with the sensiactionary League of the Russian peo- bilities of the Crown, and with the unple, whose principal aim is to put back solicited and often mistaken advice of the clock of time and recall the halcyon candid and importunate friends of days of the autocracy, was allowed a Russia among foreign nations. With degree of liberty which even a Talmud such a variety of obstacles a statesist could hardly distinguish from li- manlike policy would be the result of cense.
a miracle or a fluke. Hence, in the This bowing to the right and genu- Minister's occasional successes, chance flecting to the left on the part of an plays a part more considerable than administrator professing to abhor all calculation. acceptation of parties is more charac- It is on record that several times in teristic of the hero of a comic opera the course of his half-year's tenure of than the head of an Imperial Gov. office M. Stolypin made urgent proernment. An extreme case is fairly posals to the Crown in favor of a line described in one of the Moscow reac- of action which he honestly believed intionary journals as follows: "Two of- dispensable to the weal of the comfenders are in their prison cells. One munity. When his suggestions were of them having just been elected to categorically rejected, though on the Duma, the Governor of the prov- grounds which the Premier deemed ince bastens to release him and most inadequate, he withdrew them with a respectfully enquires, 'To what party good grace. It is clear then that, do vou belong?' 'I am a bombist.' whatever general policy, what“Very well, here is the money for your ever particular projects, M. Stolytravelling expenses. I wish you God- pin may wish to carry out, he never speed and thorough success.'” This feels at liberty to consider them solely equilibristic policy may succeed for a on their merits. Like certain poets of while and enable M. Stolypin to steer the Renaissance, who undertook to clear of dangers to himself and his compose verses without employing Cabinet, but the destinies of a great certain letters of the alphabet, he has nation cannot fitly be made dependent to govern the Empire with a limited upon the outcome of such petty make use of a limited number of means, any shifts. It saps the throne, the altar, of which is liable to be set aside on and the Duma, and puts nothing in grounds that are admittedly irrelevant. their places. It is a policy which only Under such conditions it would be ungross flatterers or sarcastic critics of fair to expect a firm, rounded policy the Premier term Machiavellian.
which, restoring law and order, will But Russian politics are even more engraft constitutional institutions on bewilderingly entangled than might be the Russian nation. Fitfulness must inferred from the foregoing outline. still characterize the acts of the GovThe wheels within wheels are count: ernment; uncertainty will remain the less. Even the Prime Minister has to keynote of the situation; unforeseen inchoose his words and shape his acts cidents will continue to shape the in accordance with a set of considera- policy. tions among which awe of certain ex- What the Russian press emphasized tremists, zeal for the public good, and and the people grasped in all this was indulgence for the parties on whose the conflicting character of M. Stolysupport he relies for parliamentary re- pin's policy; and, as it was open to two explanations, they naturally re- there was a throng of socialists, revolufused the Minister the benefit of the tionists, unemployed working-men, and doubt. Quite naturally; for in Russia hooligans; and from their midst came the representative of the Government shouts of "hangmen, murderers, is, to the bulk of the nation, what the scoundrels, blood-suckers, cannibals," devil was to medieval Christians. Ev. as Ministers or Conservatives went by. ery stick is good enough to beat him It was a detachment of the proletarian with: all means, however criminal, are army, containing a sprinkling of indipermissible if they help to upset his viduals with blotched faces, bloodshot power. Consequently the belief took eyes, heads which Lombroso would root that the Cabinet was resolved to have photographed for his album of destroy with its right hand what it degenerates, mostly unkempt, unwas fashioning with its left. Bebind washed, embittered creatures, who had the scaffolding where political builders emerged from the depths to watch the were at work the Government was beginning of a social upheaval. On really erecting a vast barracks in lieu the return of the revolutionary depuof a permanent parliament house. ties, splutters of enthusiasm broke out Such being the gloomy foreboding, sur- in various places. The dwarfed figure prise was naturally great when a series of a socialist member, for instance, of significant facts belied it. The un- was lifted high above the level of the expected was again happening; and crowd, his pale pinched features now this time it was a pleasant surprise. rising now falling on the crest of the The autocracy then had really disap human wave-an idol of the moment, peared, and the millennium was at a symbol of the new order of things. hand. From one extreme people “And after a fiery speech he was solrushed into the other, in both cases emnly borne away," says an eye-witirrationally. A little encouragement, a ness, "as a miracle-working image is slight pretext, was all that they needed. borne aloft in religious processions." Before the deputies arrived in St. Other human symbols-mostly socialPetersburg the outlook had been black ists--were also devoutly carried away, and dismal. Once they had come to under the shadow of red flags and kergether, spoken, voted, and behaved chiefs, to the accompaniment of revoluthemselves in European fashion, the tionary songs chanted by mutinous world's verdict was not merely schoolboys and nominal students. quashed, it was reversed, and what Speeches too were delivered in many had been black became white in a tones and strange accents, the gist of twinkling. And yet the premisses them all being that the Duma had from which the public drew these con- come to usher in a new order of things, clusions were but episodes too slight and that its deputies rely upon the peoto serve as the basis for such weighty ple, who must therefore unite, discuss. inferences.
arm, and be ready to defend them. In Take for instance the opening of the one part of the street an officer was Duma. It was characterized by an being roughly maltreated by students utter absence of pageantry, a minimum and working-men. Freeing his hand of ceremony, and a noteworthy falling he drew his sabre and brandished it off of public interest. The monarch high above the heads of his assailants. kept away from the Tavrida Palace; The mounted gendarmes, catching sight and the people refrained from gather of this military man who appeared to ing in the streets. In one thoroughfare be in danger, cantered forward, whereonly, hard by the Parliament House, upon the surging throng dashed against the houses, burst open the gates, and the second Duma sustained its charactook refuge in the courtyard of the ter and played its part. But it is not German church. The troops were yet one with the nation either in hissed; the mounted police were thought or act. The Constitutional greeted with the words, "murderers, Democratic party, which is incontesthangmen"; and almost every recog. ably the best disciplined, the most thornized servant of the Government was oughly trained and enlightened group treated as a public enemy. These in in the Chamber, uniting with the retroductory scenes were significant. volutionists, elected a member of its
Inside the Tavrida Palace proceed- own party to the post of president, and ings were orderly and ominous. At the afterwards chose two vice-presidents, very outset the sheep and the goats one secretary, and five assistant secwere separated. From the "Te Deum" retaries, all from the Opposition which was chanted by the bishops the groups, none of which possessed as members of the Opposition kept away. many members as the United Right. "They honor neither God nor the Yet the United Right was excluded abTsar," was the comment of their ad- solutely from each of the eight offices versaries. They ought perhaps to have of the Duma, and this with the active added, "in public." When the mon- assistance of that Centre without arch's greeting was being read in his whose collaboration the second Rusown words by his Secretary of State, sian Parliament will be no more than only the Conservative deputies rose to a public meeting. By friends of Rustheir feet, all the others remaining sian freedom this strange act, and the seated, although this mark of respect still stranger spirit that inspired it, has been universal in Russia for cen- were deeply deplored; for such intolturies. At the end of the words of the erance may well be fatal to that comImperial welcome a member of the munity of thought and feeling without Right cried, “Long live the Emperor!" which the Russian Sphinx question and in response a loud "hurrah” was will not be bloodlessly solved. The beuttered by the members of the Con- ginning of parliamentary wisdom is servative and Moderate parties, all the the fear of intolerance; and that others continuing silent and seated. “Tu salutary fear has yet to be instilled quoque, fili mi," was the ejaculation into the hearts of Muscovite politicians, of a distinguished dignitary when made eren of those who possess such long aware that ex-Minister Kutler, the experience and cherish such high asTsar's present pensioner and recent of- pirations as the "Cadets," who might, ficial adviser, deemed the monarch un- if they were well advised, become the worthy of any external marks of re- real leaders of the Duma. spect. Such tokens of anti-dynastic There had been reason to suppose feeling were noted all the more observ- that they were well advised and would antly and regretted all the more keenly rise to the role assigned to them; for, that ex-Minister Kutler and his party shortly before the Duma met, it was constitute the only possible nucleus of announced that these friends of cona working Duma, the future centre of stitutionalism in Russia would change the legislative assembly, the group their tactics in the new Parliament. without whose efficient co-operation no eschew clamorous attacks on Ministers. parliamentary work can be accom- and discountenance treasonable ap. plished.
peals to the people. It was added that, Passing from ceremony to business. instead of trying to take the GovernNovoye Vremya," March 7, 1907.
ment citadel by storm, they would lay