Page:Patriotismchrist00tols.djvu/17

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PATRIOTISM AND CHRISTIANITY.

Not to mention the millions of working days spent in these festivities, the widespread drunkenness of all who took part in them involving even those in command; not to speak of the senselessness of the speeches which were made, the most insane and ruthless deeds were committed, and no one paid them any attention.

For instance, several score of people were crushed to death, and no one found it necessary to record the fact.

One correspondent wrote that he had been informed at a ball that there was scarcely a woman in Paris who would not have been ready to forget her duties to satisfy the desire of any of the Russian sailors.

And all this passed unremarked as something quite in the order of things. There were also cases of unmistakable insanity brought about by the excitement.

Thus one woman, having put on a dress composed of the colours of the Franco Russian flags, awaited on a bridge the arrival of the Russian sailors, and threw herself into the river, and was drowned.

In general the women on all these occasions played a more prominent part than, and even directed the men. Besides the throwing of flowers and various little ribbons and the presenting of gifts and addresses, the French women in the streets threw themselves into the arms of the Russian sailors and kissed them.

Some women brought their children, for some reason or other to be kissed, and when the Russian sailors had granted this request, all present were transported with joy and shed tears.

This strange excitement was so contagious that, as one correspondent relates, a Russian sailor who appeared to be in perfect

 

European affairs to Russian despotism, which has ever been the support of all that is arbitrary and absolute against freedom, and of tyrants against the tyrannised.
"A sense of pain for our country, of regret at the blindness of so great a portion of French society, these are the feelings called forth in us by these festivities.
"We are persuaded that the younger generation in France is not allured by national Chauvinism, and that, ready to struggle for that better social condition towards which humanity is advancing, it will know how to interpret present events, and what attitude to adopt towards them. We hope that our determined protest will find an echo in the hearts of the French youth.
"(Signed), The United Council of Twenty-four Federate Societies of Moscow Students."