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about seventeen, were drawn up in the square of the fortress, their épaulettes torn from their shoulders, the string of honours, which every Russian has, cut from their breast, their swords broken, their names changed, and their coats seized ; after this public exhibition, they were sent off to Siberia to work in the mines, or to clean streets.
I believe I shall not subject myself to contradiction when I affirm, that there is scarcely one family of any distinction in Russia which has not some relation exiled in Siberia; and, what is still stranger, that the family of the exile never long bewail his loss, but give parties soirées as usual : it is the will of the emperor, and his will be done. The very first lesson imprinted on a Russian's head is passive obedience.
As I shall have occasion hereafter to mention anecdotes of some of the exiles, I shall here, as it is connected with the law of Russia, give some account of the Police, and of their vigilance. Murders are not uncommon in Russia ; the reason so little is ever heard on this subject is, that the public prints are probibited making public any murder, or theft ; the whole business is left in the hands of the police. At a large party in Moscow, the subject of “ crimes" in different countries became the subject of conversation. To England was assigned the preference. “ Every paper,” said a certain poetical Prince, “is crowded with accounts of horrid murders, rapes, thefts, forgeries, and suicides ; it is less in France and in Germany, and here nearly unknown.” A general of very high talents, an historian and a poet, wisely remarked that it was owing to the public press being filled with these reports that foreign nations had imbibed the erroneous notion in regard to England -" Had,” said he, "an affair I witnessed about eight months ago occurred in England, the papers would have teemed with the subject till this time. An officer in R 's regiment requested leave of absence, it was denied by the general, and the next day on parade the disappointed officer advanced to his general and shot him dead on the spot.” “What! R- killed !" was the universal shout; not one of the party, although some of the highest in Russia, had heard of the subject before. This is exactly the reason; for if Lady Betty Jenkins's dog happened to fall out of the window of its carriage, as the dear thing was getting" aired,” it would be a-subject of more importance in the English newspapers than the cutting to pieces of the Russian regiment near Shumla. The report even of the killed did not arrive until more than two months afterwards; and I was at dinner with a celebrated beautiful Countess in Moscow, when, on opening two letters brought by the Petersburgh post, she was informed of the death of two of her brothers, one of whom had been killed five months before the reception of the intelligence.
· If hasty punishments will prevent crime, the police of Petersburgh ought to have little to do. A gentleman well known in England, and holding a high official situation in Russia, was robbed in his own house of property to a considerable amount. The slaves were all examined by the police, and one was selected as the probable thief. The master well knew the honesty of this man, and gave him a character which would have exonerated him from the charge, and ventured to suggest that he suspected another. But no; the police determined that he was the thief, and actually flogged him to the comfortable number of three thousand lashes. Scarcely was this received before the true thief was discovered to be quite another person; the poor slave, instead of being
consoled for the severe flagellation he had received, was sent out of the city in order that the business might be forgotten, I had this anecdote from the mouth of the English gentleman, who is at present residing in the Russian capital.
The French minister, during the reign of Alexander, was robbed of a snuff-box of very considerable value, and, like a prudent man, he mentioned the circumstance to the Emperor, hinting his fears that he should not easily recover it. It is well known that he publicly spoke of the lax state of the Russian police, comparing it with the French. The Emperor spoke to the chief of the police, and a few weeks after the robbery a nobleman holding a high situation in the police called on the Ambassador, and remarked how erroneous his excellency was in his opinions, saying, “ Here is your snuff-box."-" I am very glad to see it again,” said his excellency, " and I shall trouble you to return it to me.”-“ No," said the police officer, “ we have a number of forms to go through before this can be returned;" in short, such a number that the Ambassador never got it back again.
The excellency of the Russian police must be seen in the admirable order of the streets. In the night a Russian city is as quiet as a small village : no watchmen call the hour ; the frail sisterhood are in bed betimes, and you may walk from one end of the city to the other without hearing a word. Attempt to make a disturbance, you are surrounded by people who pop out of curiously painted boxes, (the Emperor's colour,) and who hand you off in one second. A stranger is in no danger from the intrusion of those gentlemen, notwithstanding Rae Wilson is of a different opinion. I have been through Petersburgh and Moscow at all times, at all hours; I have measured public statues, &c. and never but once was molested: this was in Moscow, when I attempted to count the number of guns left by, and taken from the French during that unfortunate and desperate retreat. I was in plain terms told to decamp, as there was an order that no stranger should touch or count them.
It was the endeavour of Catherine II. that every one should be judged by his equal; worthy as is the idea, the execution of it is impossible, where half are nobles and the other half peasants. Thus in the tribunal of civil or criminal crimes, in which gentlemen or peasants may be concerned, the court consists of a judge and two assistants, triennially elected, and chosen from the nobles, to which are added two assist. ants, chosen from the peasants. If the trial is a contest between two merchants, two burgomasters and four assistants are chosen from the commercial class to form the court. This looks extremely just and proper upon paper; and if justice was fairly administered, the country could never be said to be ruled by despotism ; but those who have resided in Russia, know the iinmense distance which exists between the noble and the peasant, and it is quite impossible that the pea. sants should oppose a decision of the nobles with any effect. “Can it be imagined,” says Mr. Ancelot, “from the relative situation of the two classes of society, that when the peasants sit in a tribunal by the side of gentlemen, they should be able to act as free and independent judges? Can the former drop all at once their habits of slavishness ? and can the nobles, though made their associates in passing judgment, as suddenly forget the superiority which they hold by the chance of birth, or the caprices of fortune? No; the functions of the peasant arbitrators are limited to the charge of taking care that the apartment is well warmed," &c. I am quite of Mr. Ancelot's opinion on this subject, and I have heard and seen quite enough to believe that the peasants might as well be otherwise employed, as silently sit for judges, without the power to vote or to contradict. If a false judgment is given, the whole Court may be prosecuted immediately their three years of mock justice is concluded. For this reason, the Court elude as much as possible the giving judgment; for he must be a clearheaded man who can give a just opinion according to the Russian law, when every ukase becomes a law the instant it is promulgated, “ De-là viennent les interminables lenteurs des affaires en matières civiles ;” and when we consider the very low salaries paid to the judge, the short time which he is in office, and the general greediness of the Russians in money affairs, the client finds it his best course graisser la patte, if he wishes to be sure of success.
In the Criminal Tribunal, of course, criminal cases are only tried, and the judgment of the court must have the sanction of the governor of the province. If the case is of very high importance, it is always referred to the Senate. The Police-office manages minor offences with an off-hand facility which would astonish our magistrates. Cases relative to the disturbance of public tranquillity; the very high crime (I wonder this is not in the criminal court) of being without a passportfor which offences the minor knout, or imprisonment to forgetfulness, are bestowed-come under the sanction of this office. There is a court of appeal from the judgment of the first court, and likewise a tribunal of conscience, * above described—a great misnomer for any court in Russia.
Prisoners for debt are released at the expiration of five years; but may be instantly arrested again at the expiration of that time by a new creditor, who is always obliged to pay fifty rubles a year for the maintenance of his victim. It is, as Mr. Ancelot says, “mille fois mieux en Russie d'avoir des créanciers, que des débiteurs ;" for should your debtor be on service, you cannot touch his person or his property; and on the property he can still raise money at high interest, the usury law (for there is one) being seldom put in force, and he can almost always contrive to be in some manner connected with the public service, by which he is in perfect security.
( To be continued.)
EPIGRAM AFTER MARTIAL.
* Slovestnoy Sood.
For the publication of these memoirs we are indebted to the same inde fatigable and enterprising parties to whom we owe Evelyn and Pepys-two books which better familiarized the public with the chief persons who figured in their times, and more completely disclosed their motives of action, and the secret springs of events, than all the histories of the period, save only Burnet's, that had appeared before. Calamy's memoirs, though glancing pretty generally at public events and political leaders, foreign and domestic, and that with great freedom and intelligence, are yet, in point of details, directed more particularly to matters connected with theology and the church, and especially to the state and vicissitudes of Dissent-a branch of the story of the times which requires illustrating, and which nothing but contemporary information can accomplish. In Calamy's time, Dissenters were perpetually the subject of anxiety and legislation-alternately courted and persecuted. Charles pestered them, the better to screen the Catholics and get money ; James favoured them for more insidious purposes; William, as far as he dared, protected them as his best allies; Anne, giving herself up soul and body to the Church, pursued them as her worst foes, and had she lived longer would have ground them to powder; while George, amidst his distrust and his ignorance, exaggerated their importance, and welcomed their loyalty, but gave more hopes than he realized-more pledges than he redeemed. It is altogether a most instructive story: even yet governments seem little to understand how to deal with these matters; but the more we contemplate them, the more peremptory becomes the conclusion, that the rule at last must be, and in this case without exception, the one recommended by certain economists in matters of trade-Leave them alone.
The author of these memoirs was himself a Dissenter, born and bred, of the Nonconformist class. His grandfather, the well-known Edmund Calamy, the friend and associate of Baxter, and his father, another Edmund, were both of them deprived of church preferments by the Act of Uniformity of 1662. The elder Edmund, on that occasion, refused the Bishopric of Lichfield and Coventry; had he accepted it, observes his grandson in a very worldly tone, he might as easily have had 20,000l. to leave his family, or expend for pious uses, as Dr. Hacket (who had that Bishopric on his refusal) had that sum to lay out in repairing his cathedral. Young Calamy was born in London, where his father then preached, in 1671, and commencing the labours of his history not till 1727, traces back his reminiscences to a very early period. The first public matter of which he took distinct notice, and this was early enough-he was not eight years of age-was the “discovery of the Popish plot, just at the conclusion of the treaty of Nimeguen." The reality of the plot, he tells us-it must be presumed he is giving us the judgment of his maturer years—“is very plain from Colman's letters." The Test Act of 1673, he adds, proved the great apprehension of danger from the Catholics; but this discovery threw the whole kingdom into new fermentation, and filled people with unspeakable terror. “To see,” says he,“ posts and chains in all parts of the city-the trained bands drawn out, night after night, well armed, and watching as anxiously as if an insurrection was expected before morning—and to be entertained' from day to day with the talk of massacres, and assassins, and foreigners to help them, was very surprising. The murder of Godfrey, too, and the black Sunday that followed so black that ministers could not read their notes in the pulpits without candles—the frequent execution of traitors, and the circulation of dismal stories, made the hearts of young and old quake with fear.” Though so young, he can himself never forget how much he was affected with seeing several that
* An Historical Account of my own Life, with some Reflections on the Times 1 have lived in, (1671-1731.) By Edmund Calamy, D. D. Now first printed. Edited and illustrated with Notes, Historical and Biographical, by John Towill Rutt. In 2 vols. 8vo. Dec,- VOL. XXVI. NO. CVIII.
were condemned for the plot, such as Pickering, Ireland, and Grove, go to be executed at Tyburn; and at the pageantry of the mock processions on the 17th of November, (Queen Elizabeth's birth-day.) Roger L'Estrange, he adds, (who used to be called Oliver's fiddler,) formerly in danger of being hanged for a spy, and about this time the admired buffoon of High Church, called them hobby-horsing processions. Calamy, himself, however, thought more gravely of them, and thus describes one of them :
6 In the midst of vast crowds of spectators, that made great acclamations, and showed abundance of satisfaction, there were carried in pageants upon men's shoulders through the chief streets of the city, the effigies of the Pope, with the representative of the Devil behind him, whispering in his ear, and wonderfully soothing and caressing him, (though he afterwards deserted him, and left him to shift for him. self, before he was committed to the flames,) together with the likeness of the dead body of Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey, carried before him by one that rode on horseback, designed to remind the people of his execrable murder. And a great number of dignitaries in their copes, with crosses, monks, friars, and Jesuits, and Popish bishops in their mitres, and with all their trinkets and appurtenances. Such things as these very discernibly heightened and inflamed the general aversion of the nation from Popery ; but it is to be feared on the other hand, they put some people, by way of revulsion, upon such desperate experiments, as brought us even within an ace of ruin."
When the tide turned, and the Court trumped up a Protestant plot, in one form or other, the Dissenters were very rigorously dealt with, especially in the city. The restraints put upon them were represented not so much a matter of religion, as of safety to the government: a reproach fabricated, Calamy says, to justify the designs that were planning for farther oppressions; according, he adds, to the way of the soldier, who said the countryman whistled treason, when he had resolved to plunder him. Sometimes, he proceeds, liberty of conscience was in vogue; but when a session of Parliament came, and the King wanted money, the Dissenters were sacrificed to the Church, as the price of it, and this seldom failed of effect; they were, in short,- he is quoting Burnet," the jewels of the crown, pawned when the King needed money, and redeemed at the next prorogation.” After the dissolution of the Oxford Parliament, they were “ generally run down and treated with severity, and numbers imprisoned.” Young Calamy was himself often sent to Newgate, New Prison, and other gaols, with small presents of money to such dissenting ministers as were clapped up-Mr. Stretton, Mr. Franklin, &c. who used to talk freely with him, and give him good advice, with their blessings and thanks. His own father was never confined, but warrants were often issued against him, and he escaped only by skulking in holes and corners, and changing his dress and his lodgings. With several others, however, “he was kept in the Crown-office a considerable time, and found it very chargeable.”
At this early age he remembers thinking it very strange, that praying, as they did, very heartily for King and government, and disturbing nobody, they could not be suffered to live in quiet. Though commonly run down as enemies of royalty, he never, at any of their private meetings, heard them inveigh against those in power. These meetings were constantly liable to interruption by the justices, and constables, and soldiers ; he himself was present twice when they broke in “very fierce and noisy, and made great havoc." While the public meetings were shut up, he used to frequent the church, and give his father an account of the sermons he heard ; but even then, the preaching of the Dissenters used to be more agreeable to him ; he thought “it came most home to the conscience, and had the greatest tendency to do good.” So very precocious was the youth's sagacity, and premature his opinions; but of course, so surrounded, so employed, bearing of nothing but oppressions, and complainings, and justifyings, the bias was inevitable.
The execution of Lord Russell in 1683, on which he dwells considerably, occasioned, he observes, great consternation; no man of worth or eminence that did not fall in with the measures of the court, could think himself secure.