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them to organize, unite, keep their powder dry, and rely upon their own right arm. The speech was a vade mecum for Russian malcontents, the quintessence of the revolutionary catechism, an inflammatory appeal to the people of Russia composed for circulation through the length and breadth of the Empire. Intense and ruthless class hatred was the keynote of this warsong, the like of which was never before chanted in the hearing of the Tsar's subjects, in one of the monarch's own palaces. The series of similar discourses which have followed will do more for the cause of revolution in Russia than all the secret agitation and all the millions of leaflets by means of which anarchists, revolutionists, and socialists are rousing the people to revolt. Comrade Tseretelll is a Tyrtseus whose chants are in prose. The Christian meekness and rapt attention with which his Majesty's Cabinet listened to this call of the muezzin of the revolution from the minaret of the Duma constitute one of the bitterest of the many bitter ironies of the present situation.
Comrade Tseretelli's speech was not the only exhortation to the people. Other extremists took up the song of subversion right lustily, the stirring strains of which caused the hearts of millions to thrill on the morrow. And the Cabinet Ministers looked on the while, as the child described by Victor Hugo contemplated and enjoyed the pretty flames that were devouring the house in which it was playing. The rhetoric of the deputies of the Right was just good enough to serve as a foil for the vigorous eloquence of these political iconoclasts. One Conservative speaker had the doubtful taste to sneer at the foreign accent of the Georgian socialist, instead of expressing satisfaction that members of other nationalities should be able to utter their thoughts in the language of their rulers. One
remark, however, it is difficult to suppress: the principal spokesmen of tlif revolution on that memorable day were two Caucasians and one Mohammedan. all three of whom claimed to speak iu the name of the Russian people. "Tn l'as voulu, George Dandln." The only clever comment made that day by a member of the Right was that, If the people is to settle all its affairs Itself, the Duma has no longer a raison d'Hrt. At last the Prime Minister, taking everybody by surprise, rose and delivered the short, dignified sp:-ecli which has made him famous. The acceptable moment had come, and he utilized it. He and his colleagues had spent several hours in the stuffy air of the Duma, attentive, collected, respectful; and the general impression was that they had had quite enough of word-weaving and would gladly retire. But the impression was erroneous. M. Stolypin had carefully followed the debates, perceived his opportunity, and then said a strong word at the right moment. The gist of his utterance was this. "If you have come here to work for the people who delegated you. I will stand by you and co-operate. with you. Even if your schemes should conflict with mine, unfold them none the less. I will bring an open mind, a sympathetic disposition, and a spirit of compromise to the study of your projects. Give me a trial and you will find me even better than my word. But, if you have not come for legislative work, if your mission is subversive—well, you will find me prepared for that contingency also. As for the long speeches of the revolutionary orators, they may be summarized in two words, which they address to the Government—'Hands upl' To those two words I make answer. 'You shall not frighten me.' Bear well in mind that this Ministerial bench is not a prison ers' dock. Here sit the members of
his Majesty's Government, which is.
and shall continue to be. Russian ami resolute."
Sucb was the drift of the speech of the day. There was no statesmanship in the ideas or eloquence in the words; but everybody felt that there was a living and self-respecting man behind them, who had spoken with sincerity and would act with energy. And the crowd bowed down before him. After that M. Stolypin rose to his full height, a Brobdingnagian among Lilliputians. That same day the Tsar, who was kept well-informed of everything that was going on at the Tavrida Palace, sent a letter of thanks to the Premier such as no other Russian Minister had ever received from his imperial master. it was couched in terms which are said to have caused intense pleasure to the recipient. Flushed with success. M. Stolypin forgot his caution and actually walked down the Nevsky unescorted and unattended.
Since then the Duma has witnessed tournaments of rhetoric and contests of strategy, but has done no stroke of solid work. Day after day the Ministerial benches have been occupied by officials who fret and chafe at the life of forced idleness—a life made almost intolerable by the obligation of listening with seeming respect to the lisping of political children at their lessons. Everybody feels impelled to speak, nobody is moved to work. The Left alone is accomplishing its mission steadily, delivering violent speeches, having them printed and distributed, and keeping in close touch with the revolutionary organizations in the country. For the deputies of those groups the Tavrida Palace is a sort of Roman College of the Propaganda, where black cardinals meet in council, deliberate and direct the campaign. The Prime Minister, sitting motionless for hours in the shadow of the tribune, is impatient to be up and doing, and literally jumps at every opportunlty
offered him to proceed to business. Thus one day he impulsively applauded the motion of an adversary tending to rescue the Government from the fire and lay it on the gridiron; another day. when asked for his opinion about a proposal before the House, he rose to offer it, but was snubbed by the Speaker gratuitously.
The Parliament is become a mere political meeting. For two days of seven hours each the Duma debated a question which it was eager, yet admittedly incompetent, to solve. A motion had come before the Chamber to repeal, within twenty-four hours, the law creating military field tribunals for the trial of terrorists. A business man would never have begun the discussion, unless, like the revolutionist members, he had ulterior aims in view; for the obnoxious law, being extra-parllamentary in its origin, must be extra-parliamentary also in its end. Promulgated by the Administration acting on its own responsibility, it remains in force for two months after the meeting of the Duma, and is then abrogated automatically. Even if the Duma had been theoretically qualified to raise the question. it would have been well advised to waive its right, because nearly two months would have been needed to carry the motion through the two Chambers and obtain the sanction of the monarch, whereas, in less than two months the law will have ceased ipso facto to have any force. But the Duma acted like the traveller who. having missed his train, refused to wait four hours for the next, and impatiently set out to walk a hundred miles. The level of the debates was below that of a third-class country meeting in England or France. Peasants, working-men, youths, possessed by a fixed idea, uttered aloud snatches of their day-dreams.
The Duma itself resembles a series of numerators to which no common denominator has yet been found. And It is not easy to find one. Patriotism will assuredly not serve the purpose, because 40 per cent, of the deputies are non-Russians. Nor is loyalty to the monarch—a sentiment which supplies the centripetal force iu Austria—likely to provide the common denominator for Muscovy; for, If to-morrow the Duma had its choice, it would abolish the Empire and proclaim a democratic republic by a large majority. The present regime is drifting towards its Tsushima rapidly, unconsciously. The horizon of the Duma is narrow. Bach fraction or group of fractions is absorbed by its own little Interests, which, like Archimedes, It wishes to shield from destruction, whatever fate may befall the community. Hence, while It might be possible to unite the fractious of the Duma on some destructive "reform"—and not only possible, but more feasible than people imagine—there is little hope of coalition among them for the purpose of doing solid legislative work.
Indeed the Duma, as at present constituted, would seem to lack both the mental equipment and the political dispositions without which no assembly could make useful laws for a nation in straits. Sixty-five per cent, of the five hundred deputies already elected are said to be uneducated, Ignorant of the rudiments of politics and the elements of legislation. The peasants' notion of the functions of a legislative Chamber would make a British schoolboy smile. Many conceive of it as a vast politico-ethical clearing-house, the clerks of which are wonder-working overmen to whom nothing is impossible. Hence petitions to the deputies keep coming in from various parts of the Empire, asking to have all manner of blessings bestowed and a variety of grievances redressed. One petition, for instance, calls upon the Parliament to tear up a lease pos
sessed by certain Jews, take the laud from them, parcel it Into lots and rent It to the peasants at a rate specified. Another petition beseeches the Chamber to deprive the local gentry of their estates and give them to the peasants. who alone should possess the land. Then there is the humble prayer of the peasant who asks permission to marry his sister-in-law, and the supplication of a nun who sets forth how she has been betrayed by a sinful monk and would now like to know what the Duma can do for her. And as the peasants think and feel in their villages, so they continue to think and feel in the Duma. For them there has been no Pentecost between the elections and the sittings.
One of the most reasonable of Russian reformers. Prince E. Trubetskoy. whose name and efforts are well and favorably known in Great Britain, describes the members of the Duma in the following terms:
"The elections to the Duma" (he writes) "offer scant promise of solace in the near future. Our pessimistic predictions have unhappily come true. The Centre has suffered defeat, and the two wings have been formed at its expense. Speaking generally, the election returns may be characterized In two words. They signify the victory of nihilism and, at the same time, the defeat of constitutionalism and of culture.
"The victory is with that current which is the negation of the Duma And in this trait the extreme Right agrees with the extreme Left The members of the one strive to annihilate the Duma in the name of the autocracy, while those of the other, who discern nothing in legislative work except the soiling of paper, appear in the Duma for the purpose of demonstrating its impotency as a legislative assembly. It is the meeting of two equally subversive currents of Russian life. God grant that they may not combine In a general destructive flood in the Duma."
There are many other and more sanguine seers who confidently expect that the legislators now assembled on the banks of the Neva will evolve order out of chaos. They hold that, if the Constitutional Democrats, who seemed destined to form the Centre, would but modify their tactics and use their influence with the Left, everything else would move like machinery with newly oiled wheels. But not only is this contingency very remote, but, even if it were realized, the results would be still substantially unchanged.
"If. is not difficult" (writes Prince Truebetskoy) "to perceive that the mass of the Left wing will be found to consist of individuals whose education does not go beyond an acquaintance with halfpenny pamphlets and whose intellectual equipment amounts to cut and dried formulas learned by rote. People of this calibre are incapable of giving laws, even if they are willing. Their refusal "on principle" to set themselves to organize work is very convenient for them, inasmuch as it screens their incapacity and ignorance."'
None of the parties in the present Duma seems numerically strong enough, morally influential enough, or politically clever and enterprising enough, to take the lead, stamp its character on the Duma, and prove practically to the world that Russia is ripe for parliamentary or even constitutional government. Not one. The United Right, composed of moderate Liberals, moderate Conservatives, and fanatical reactionaries. is said to be actuated by patriotic motives, for its three groups have agreed, to forget their differences and support the Government so long as the policy pursued is tolerable. The point of view is certainly commendable. But how long the parties would continue to hold it. if
'" Moakovaky Yeshenedyeinik." Cf. also "Oraabdanin," March 7,1907.
M. Stolypin's programme were being fairly and squarely carried out, it is uot easy to divine. For that programme is decidedly liberal, so liberal indeed that its embodiment in working institutions would of necessity entail all the other concessions demanded by the Left, including the formation of a new democratic government of the South American type. This change would follow from that inevitably. When, in the fairy-tale, the young owner of the magic tablecloth, on which abundant viands appeared whenever it was spread, offered to barter it for the box out of which an unconquerable army of invisible and irresistible soldiers might be despatched anywhlther on any errand, he weH knew that the box. if he once had it. would soon bring back the tablecloth. And, when the owner of the unsc'u army naively exchanged it for a miraculous piece of damask which he might have readily obtained by force, he merely found his level in this fluent world. in like manner, if M. Stolypin were, for peace' sake, to bestow upou the revolutionaries power enough to uproot the regime stock and branch, it is hardly to be expected that those Conservatives who are Russian patriots first and supporters of the Cabinet afterwards would haul down their colors and surrender their fortresses, for they claim that they are not mere hirelings. They feel conscious that they are fighting for Russia, not for this or that class of the population: for the monarchy, and uot for this or that member of the dynasty. For these and kindred reasons, which will suggest themselves to the observant. it is manifest that the United Right could not lead a Chamber composed of a majority of deputies for whom even M. Stolypin's programme is not sufficiently liberal nor his method of realizing it sufficiently expeditious.
if the Conservatives are unable to take the Duma in hand, with a view to making it work, the groups of the Left are both unable and unwilling, for thy are the enemies of the present coustitution. Republicans, socialists, or fanatical revolutionists—their first impulse would be to have the Duma abolished, just as the first aim of the rebellious students used to be to get the universities and high schools cloned. But they have since come to see that the Chamber, like the high schools, may be made subservient to their purposes. They are excellent accumulators of revolutionary forces. Hence the Duma has become to them as the apple of their eye. They are minded to utilize it to the fullest extent. "With this object in view." writes an eminent Russian journalist, "they have changed the word 'revolution' into 'opposition.' and militant outhreaks are forbidden." They are even said to be ready to make concessions to the Cabinet, to listen to its Bills, to discuss them with a semblance of seriousness, to ask questions respecting them. in order, after a long lapse of time, to throw them out. And during all this, the revolutionary propaganda will go on briskly, successfully. For the revolutionists are neither hirelings nor weaklings, but selfless apostles who often seek and seldom recoil from martyrdom.
These tactics are not only cleverly thought out, but skilfully executed. Every speech delivered by a prominent member of the Left is a judicious mixture of all the ingredients required for arousing the dormant passions of the mob; and in every district there are organizations ready to store the accumulated electricity. The debates of the Duma are the revolutionary seed: and it is being sown by the sack. in a word, the Duma has become a political pulpit: the press is a mechanism for the printing and publishing of diatribes against the regime: while the
representatives of that regime hospitably harbor these throne-destroyers, and pay them regularly ten roubles a day for their subversive activity. The results are abundant. Daily, new recruits flock to the revolutionary camp, fresh converts to anarchy or terrorism abjure the doctrines and traditions which hitherto cemented the Russian uation, and even those who still rally round the standard of Monarchism are furtively making ready to go over to the enemy. Revolutionary preachers are laboring for the cause in the army; revolutionists in considerable numbers have taken service among the police; even the detective department found that some of its employes were terrorist spies; and a vast network of antigovernmental organizations is spread over the Empire.
Who can seriously entertain the thought that the chosen representatives of the bodies who have accomplished, and are still accomplishing, so much to revolutionize the nation will now slink back and undo their own handiwork? What order of considerations will furnish the motives for such a penance? Legislative work in the Duma would necessarily entail tranquillity in the country; and tranquillity in the country would spell ruin to the subversive societies which live on disaffection and thrive on rebellion. An official document of the Russian socialist Labor Party, which has been read in the Duma, lays it down that. "Only under the pressure of great masses of the people, only under the stress of a national insurrection, will the army, on which the Government leans, give way. and the citadel of autocratic despotism fall." When the army has become mutinous and the strongholds are taken, the party—according to this document —intends to put an end to the present regime and establish a democratic republic. Yet this is one of the parties from which optimists anticipated use