Page:Patriotismchrist00tols.djvu/16

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10
PATRIOTISM AND CHRISTIANITY

most reverend dean replied that the prayers of the French clergy for the Imperial Family were joyously echoed by all the Russian people, lovingly attached to the Tsar, and that as the Russian nation also worships the Holy Virgin, France may count upon it in life and death. The same kind of messages were sent by various generals, telegraph clerks and shopkeepers.

Everyone sent congratulations to everyone else, and thanked somebody for something.

The excitement was so great that some extraordinary things were done; and yet no one remarked their strangeness, but on the contrary every one approved of them, was charmed with them, and as if afraid of being left behind, made haste to accomplish something of a similar kind in order not to be outdone by the rest.

If at times protests, pronounced or even written and printed, against this madness made their appearance, proving its unreasonableness they were either hushed up or concealed.[1]

 
  1. Thus I am aware of the following protest which was made by Russian students and sent to Paris, but not accepted by any of the papers:—

    "A Open Letter to French Students.

    "A short time back a small body of Moscow law students, headed by its inspector, was bold enough to speak in the person of the university concerning the Toulon festivities.
    "We, the representatives of the united students of various provinces, protest most emphatically against the pretensions of this body, and in substance against the interchange of greetings which has taken place between it and the French students. We likewise regard France with warm affection and deep respect, but we do so because we see in her a great nation which has always been in the past the introducter and announcer of the high ideals of freedom, equality, and brotherhood for all the world; and first also in the bold attempts to incorporate these high ideals into life. The better part of Russian youth has always been prepared to acclaim France as the foremost fighter for a loftier future for mankind. But we do not regard such festivities as those of Constadt and Toulon as appropriate occasions for such greetings.
    "On the contrary, these receptions represent a sad, but, we hope, a temporary condition—the treason of France to its great historical role of the past. The country which at one time invited all the world to break the chains of despotism, and offered its fraternal aid to any nation which might revolt in order to obtain its freedom, now burns incense before the Russian Government, which systematically impedes the normal organic growth of a people's life, and relentlessly crushes without consideration every aspiration of Russian society towards light, freedom and independence. The Toulon manifestations are one act of a drama in the antagonism between France and Germany created by Bismarck and Napoleon III.
    This antagonism keeps all Europe under arms, and gives the deciding vote in