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Forth on each fresh, glad enterprise he
fared, And toiled and served, and sowed and
reaped and dared.
Not yet the spring-tide cometh. Not
although Soft breathes the wind, and watery
sunbeams creep Over the billside with its pasturing
sheep. And touch the tree-tops with a twilight
glow. Not yet the spring! Chill winter turns,
and lo! Too soon again her frozen lids will
lift And forth once more her busy envoys
go, Dim children of the snow-cloud and
the drift. Yet with a fleeting, all-pathetic grace The world smiles, by some kindly
spirit stirred, To hear her woodlands, for a little
space, Ring to the music of the speckled
bird; Like one who bears, beneath a smiling
face, The bitter burden of a hope deferred.
S. Cornish Watkins. Temple Bar.
With eyes unveiled he saw God's earth
afresh,Love without lust and Beauty with
out stain. And lo! the phantoms that allured the
flesh Lay silent in the darkness, crushed
and slain, Like Pharaoh's hosts upon the Red
Sea shore; And his own soul was his for evermore.
W. H. Savile. The Spectator,
A voice beside the dim enchanted river Out of the twilight, where the brooding
trees Hear Shannon's Druid waters chant
for ever Tales of dead Kings and Bards and
Shanachies; A girl's young voice out of the twilight,
singing Old songs beside the legendary stream; A girl's clear voice, o'er the wan waters
ringing, Beats with its wild wings at the gates
A SOUL'S VICTORY.
Too long he strove to parley with the
foe; Each morrow brought the shadowy
legions back, Each setting sun beheld his force laid
low, Borne down by their confederate
attack. Around the citadel from day to day Those watchful troops in deadly am
The flagger-leaves whereon shy dew.
drops glisten Are swaying, swaying gently to the
sound, The meadow-sweet and spearmint, as
they listen, Breathe wistfully their wizard balm
around; And there, alone with her young heart
and heaven, Thrushlike she sings, and lets her
voice go free, her Her soul of all its hidden longing
sbriven Soars on wild wings with her wild melody.
Till from a life of smooth, inglorious
ease He plunged into the world of men
and things, And as the vessel on the open seas Leaps to the gale that round her
seethes and sings,
THE LIVING AGE: A Weekly Magazine of Contemporary Literature and Thought.
Tokens of the coming storm are now find a less harsh term than criminalmany and unmistakable, and cries are that the real and only danger lies. heard that the Russian ship of State To point out that danger and help is in danger. But they are the fears to ward it off were the legitimate obof men of little faith. It is not the jects of my former article'; and the ship of State that is in peril. That means I used were honestly adjusted stout vessel will weather worse storms to those ends. If I pitched my voice than any as yet experienced in Europe, in too high a key, it was for fear I not excepting the tempest of 1789. should fail to strike ears that had long Manned by a hardy, buoyant, resource, been deaf to loud warnings; if I ful crew, it has nought to fear. Noth- touched my imperial master with uning is now at issue beyond the present gentle hand, it was because I believed trip and the rights and duties of the he was on the point of drowning. skipper. And on those questions a Honi soit qui mal y pense. I may have decision must soon be taken. For com- been mistaken. Coming events will pass and chart have been put aside perhaps soon enable my critics to and we are drifting towards rocks and measure the distance that separated sandbanks. Of the crew-with no goal my judgment from political wisdom to attract, no commander to inspirit and my intentions from enlightened them—some are indifferent and many loyalty. Meanwhile I am solaced by sluggish while the most active are pre- the thought that history knows of felparing to mutiny. They all merge low countrymen of mine, honored by their welfare in the safety of the ship, rulers and ruled, who caused far and as a consequence would persuade greater pain than I have done to in. or if necessary compel the captain to dividual Tsars and Tsarivitches, in
ke a pilot on board. It is in that i see "The Tsar” in The Living Age, August temper-for which history may perhaps 27, 1904.
order to safeguard the Tsardom. To filial respect more generously than the day a broader view than that of the followers of Confucius, having freeighteenth century is permissible and quently submitted not his will only but a Russian official may now hearken to also his judgment to that of his august the dictates of patriotism, even when mother. A model husband, he leaves they clash with the promptings of little undone to ensure the happiness of loyalty to his Tsar. If we have not his imperial consort. A tender father, yet wholly forgotten our national says he literally adores his children with an ing: “whose bread I eat, his song I almost maternal fervor, and often sing," we are at least beginning to magnanimously deprives himself of the render unto Russia the things that are keen pleasure which the discharge of Russia's without refusing to the Tsar the clerical duties of kingship confers the things that are the Tsar's.
in order to watch over his darling little My sketch of Nicholas II. has been Grand Duke and Grand Duchesses yery favorably received throughout the and to see that sunshine brightens world as harmonizing in essentials those lives dear to millions. What, for with the Emperor's public words and instance, could be more touching or acts. But it has been found fault with sympathetic than the picture-which too as all attempts to fix for ever what courtiers draw for us--of the dread is ever in flux will and should be. autocrat of all the Russias anxiously "The very truth," says our poet, superintending the details of the bathTiutcheff, “when clad in words be- ing of his little son, the Grand Duke comes a lie.” How much more an at Alexis, at the height of the diplomatic tempt to outline a character, whose es- storm raised by the North Sea incident? sential traits so far elude analysis that What could be more idyllic than the even to close observers it seems little pretty human weakness betokened by more than a negation. The very the joyful exclamation with which the courtiers who claim to know the Em- great potentate suddenly interrupted peror best are unable though willing to Rojdestvensky who was making a re credit him with any of those positive port on the Baltic Squadron: “But are qualities which psychologists designate you aware he weighs 14 lbs.?" "Who. as the groundwork of virile character. your Majesty?" asked the Admiral, his Indeed in their sincere moods they mind still entangled in questions of speak of him as susceptible less to displacement, quick-firing guns, and clear-cut motives than to vague in other kindred matters. “The Heir to fluence and ascribe his acts to emd. the throne,” answered the happy tional impulse rather than to reflective father. Touches of nature like this will.
offer a refreshing contrast to the Another difficulty was created by the Byzantine stiffness of the autocrat limitations of my task. I had to do bending over his table and writing with the visionary autocrat only, pre- marginal glosses. scinding almost entirely from the man. A most obliging disposition also Otherwise, I should have gladly brought marks his intercourse with foreign out in relief certain engaging features dynasties, and perhaps warrants the of the individual, Nicolai Alexandro- sharpness with which some of their vitch Romanoff, which form a pleasing members censured my uncourtly set-off to the forbidding aspect of the frankness. For Tsar Nicholas has Tsar Nicholas II. Thus, I would have often gone out of his way to do them emphasized the fact that he is an un- a good turn, and never willingly recommonly dutiful son, who interprets fuses their requests for concessions
industrial, commercial, and political. at the sight of Voltaire illegally jobbing Indeed, he has been known to grant with a Jew in Saxon securities. them when compliance involved tre- To be severely frowned down by cermendous sacrifices on the part of his tain of those august personages, whose much-enduring subjects. In proof of fondness for our Tsar is thus solidly this amiable trait, were it called in grounded, I was quite prepared. Noquestion, I could give the names and blesse oblige. Neither was I surprised summarize the letters of princes, prin- by the strictures of the few Englishcesses, and monarchs who have re- speaking critics who thrust aside the peatedly tested the good nature of sketch I drew as a mere fancy picture, their worthy cousin, by craving for in- because they failed to recognize in it dustrial concessions, shipping subsidies, the statesmanlike traits of the great and lucrative trading privileges-to and good monarch who in his inscrutasay nothing of territorial grants—to ble wisdom had once admitted them to bestow which even a Russian autocrat his presence for twenty and thirty sometimes needs a strong tincture of minutes respectively. But I was aswhat courtiers would term moral tonished that one fault should have courage.
been found with my drawing, which To these amiable traits I was pre- even a hasty comparison with the origcluded from doing justice. I could inal would have disproved. I had hardly even touch upon the broad in charged the Tsar, it was said, with sins dulgence shown by Nicholas II. to the of commission, while his self-appointed shortcomings of his Russian kith and advocates plead guilty in his name at kin, which in degree oftentimes borders most to sins of omission. His Majesty, upon participation. It was thus that, they urged, may be gifted with a will after he had forbidden the Grand which like pure gold, is most malleaDucal band to begrime themselves in ble; he may wear his heart too often the mire of Corean concessions, he first on his sleeve, and political daws may withdrew the prohibition and then peck at it, but to describe him as defyhimself became a shareholder in the ing his Ministers and overriding the venture, risking his millions and majority of his Imperial Council, is to what ought to have been of greater lampoon, not to portray him. It runs value than money's worth-his fair counter to his character. For Proviname. For no one who knows the dence, out of love for its chosen people Emperor will for a moment ascribe this of to-day, endowed him with "the temfaut pas to any such sordid motives as perament of an Imperial Hamlet.” those avowed by his uncles and Here facts alone, I submit, should turn cousins. It was the kindly act of a the scale, and facts in support of my man who feels that blood is thicker thesis are plentiful and decisive. than water, and wishes to express the One of the most striking is the isolasentiment in deeds. Unfortunately his- tion of the autocrat who stands on his tory, which deals summarily with men lofty pedestal like Simon Stylites on and motives, will be scarcely less his pillar or the ex-Dalai Lama in his shocked at finding Nicholas II. among monastery. There is not one minister the profit-hunters of the Far East than now in the Emperor's Council Chamber
One, I am told, is widely and favorably truthful denizens that he was once spoken of in known as the amateur photographer of the Russiajas a possible successor to M. Philippe money-bags of our Treasury, and another has as Medium-in-waiting to the Tsar. “Sed dis acquired so thorough a knowledge of the un- aliter visum est.” seen world and such intimacy with its most
sufficiently magnetic in manner or daz- ter, his aims, and the part he was zling in mind to fascinate the will or playing in the State. And I wrote my sway the intellect of his imperial mas first article to keep him on that plane. ter. Not one. Formerly there were not The bomb which blew up V. K. von wanting such conspicuous officials in Plehve exploded that idea, and pulled the immediate environment of the au- down with it the pillars of the sanctocrat, men who might have been tuary in which at critical periods the thought capable of throwing an irre- Emperor might take refuge. And at sistible spell over him. One of these present one cannot contemplate withwas K. P. Pobedonostseff, who for a out a tinge of pain the sight of the time was taken for the substance be slender figure of the self-complacent auhind the Imperial shadow. Another tocrat standing over against the elewas M. Witte, misnamed the Russian mental force of a seething mass of men. Richelieu, and fabled to have his own of whom all seem discontented, and way in all things political and financial. many are menacing. It affects one like Later still it was V. K. von Plehve, the sight of a stone-deaf man saunterwho was known to be the wire-puller ing cheerfully along a railway line of the bureaucracy and was suspected while the express is rushing up behind of being also the inspirer of the Tsar. him and the onlooker can warn neither And thus for several years a succession the pedestrian nor the engine-driver. of pre-eminent men gave color to the Since Plehve's death the word has gone widespread view that Nicholas II. was forth that Nicholas is Tsar, the Grand a passive tool in the hands of others. Dukes are his Viziers, and the ministers For that reason the elements of the are but the menials of both. And conrevolutionary opposition held his min- gruously with that dogma Russia's desisters and certain unofficial counsel- tiny will be henceforth worked out. lors answerable for the lamentable Thus Prince Sviatopolk Mirsky is but plight of the people. Nicholas II. was the executor of the Emperor's comfor them a misguided but well-inten- mands, honestly eager to help, yet truly tioned youth, who if advised by honest, willing to retire, a clean-handed official patriotic and enlightened men might imbued with what is best in Russian make a beneficent or, at any rate, a culture and in modern tendencies, but harmless ruler. To him, therefore, without claim or ambition to pass as a their resentment never extended. In statesman or a theorist. Loyalty to the long list of murders which consti- the Emperor and good-will to the nation tute their panacea for all our political prompted him to lend his name to the ills, they never once raised their blood. autocracy and devote his efforts to the stained hands against the person of the welfare of the people. Thus, like the monarch. Balmashoff, the assassin of nettle of the fable, which borrowed the Minister Sipyaghin, said to the the scent of the rose, the Government judges who condemned him to death; received for a time the perfume of the "For the present we harbor no designs Prince's name. But actual contact soon against the Emperor.” Minister, revealed the sting. governors, and members of the police Clearly, then, it is not Prince Sviatowere shot, stabbed, or blown to pieces polk Mirsky who can be accused of in turn. But the Tsar was raised to bearing the odious part of tempter. a higher plane--a plane of safety-be- M. Pobedonostseff long stood forth in yond the arena of strife. His elevation that unenviable capacity, and was one to that fastness was the result of the “condemned to death” in consequente impression prevailing about his charac- by the cold-blooded criminals who