From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

if he has not come under the hypnotic influence of the Government. People speak of the Russian's love for his faith, Tsar, and country ; and yet a single community of peasants could not be found in Russia which would hesitate one moment had they to choose of two places for emigration—one in Russia, under the "Father-Tsar " (as he is termed only in books), and the holy orthodox faith of his idolized country, but with less or worse land and the other without the "White-father-Tsar," and without the orthodox faith, somewhere outside Russia in Prussia, China, Turkey, Austria, only with more and better land—the choice would be in favour of the latter as we have often had opportunity to observe.

The question as to who shall govern him (and he knows that under any Government he will be equally robbed) is for the Russian peasant of infinitely less significance than the question (setting aside even the matter of water), is the clay soft and will cabbage thrive in it?

But it might be supposed that this indifference on the part of Russians arises from the fact that any Government under which they might live would be an improvement on their own, because in Europe there is none worse. But that is not so; for as far as I can judge, one may witness the same indifference among English, Dutch and German peasants emigrating to America, and among the various nationalities which have emigrated to Russia.

Passing from the control of one European Government to another—from Turkish to Austrian, or from French to German—alters so slightly the position of the genuine working classes that in no case would the change excite any discontent, if only ct be not effected artificially by the Government and the ruling ilasses.


Usually, for a proof of the existence of patriotism one is referred to the display of patriotic sentiment by the people on certain solemn occasions, as in Russia, at the coronation of the Tsar, or his reception after the railway accident on October 17; in France, on the proclamation of war with Prussia; in Germany at the rejoicings after the war; or during the Franco-Russian festivities.

But one ought to take into consideration the way these manifestations are arranged. In Russia, for example, during every pro-