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despotism. The manner, therefore, and the circumstances of Russia's participation in the European movement of that age, became the cause of her separation from this movement during the succeeding centuries. The commercial, intellectual, and spiritual activity consequent on the discovery of America, the invention of printing, and the Reformation, never reached Russia ; for the material upon which these great events were able to work was the youthful energy of the middle class, and Russia had no middle class. Hence, while the West was discovering new worlds in space, thought, and faith, into which no man could enter without an increase of his individual force, Russia was starting on her new life, defining patriotism to consist in implicit obedience at home and incessant encroachment abroad. That conquest should be the ideal of a nation which for so long had groaned under the yoke of a conqueror, was not unnatural: those who have themselves submitted to wear chains strive to forge them for others, especially when their limbs have been freed rather by the weakness of their gaolers than by their own strength: but that this conquering, aggressive instinct is still the characteristic of Russia, may possibly be traced to the character stamped on her polity by Ivan III., who so organised it as to leave no other course to the energies of her people. Russia, since this prince, is hardly the same Russia as that which existed before him. He was the first Czar; – there is much in the name, for its meaning is

the measure of authority. Thus, the difference is marked between kniaz (head-horseman), the ancient Russian title of their rulers, derived from a word signifying horse, and Czar, the old Selavonic word for despot, the title given by the Russians to the Tartar khans, and before their time applied by Nestor to the Byzantine Emperors. If he did not abolish the hereditary transmission of offices, Ivan III. at least rendered it uncertain; he also subjected the nobles to the punishment of the knout; thereby striking at the privileges both of place and person, without which an aristocracy ceases to be a caste. Lastly, building the gorgeous but gloomy Kremlin, and establishing in it a court of oriental magnificence and ceremonial, • he made use,' as Karamsin says, ' of all possible external means to strike forcibly the imagination of his subjects, and thus became, as it were, a terrestrial God in their eyes.'

We have alluded to the resemblance between our Henry VII. and Ivan III. ; a still more striking parallel might be drawn between Henry VIII. and Ivan's grandson, Ivan the Terrible, with his seven wives, his ungovernable passions, his force of will, and his rule becoming more and more suspicious and tyrannical

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as he grew older. We pass over the reign of Basil, but a long and troublous minority ushered in the reign of the fourth Ivan, renewing by its anarchy the desire of the people for a single despot; and the first public evidence of his ferocity,—the tossing of the hated favourite of his mother into the street to be torn by dogs, -gained him no slight favour with the populace of Moscow. After this, under the influence of his first wife, the excellent Anastasia Romanoff, the cruelty of his disposition was for a time concealed, and his subjects saw only his energy; but at her death his real nature broke out, and the remaining twentyfour years of his reign were marked by acts of wholesale murder and torture, each more dreadful than the other. We will not dwell on these horrors; but the wonderful servility and eagerness of self-devotion with which the Russians submitted themselves to such oppression does demand our notice.

Suddenly, during the winter of 1564, the rumour went through Moscow, that the Czar, with his family, his treasure, and his chief officers, had departed, no one knew why or whither. For a month the citizens continued in alarmed suspense, when two letters arrived from their sovereign, one to the metropolitan, and the other to the burghers; the former declaring that he had abandoned the government because he could no longer endure the treachery and iniquities of the boyards and the high functionaries, and the latter stating that his discontent and his wrath had not the people for its object. At this news,' writes Karamsin, “a general consternation took possession of Moscow,

for anarchy appeared even more terrible than tyranny. «“The Czar has forsaken us," cried the inhabitants. “We

“ are lost! who will defend us against the attacks of the €“ foreigner? What is to become of sheep without a shep«" herd?” The clergy, the boyards, the high officers of State, implored the metropolitan to employ every means to change the purpose of the Czar. “ Let bim punish,” they cried, as . with one voice, “ the conspirators and seditious persons! Has "" he not the power over us of life and death? The State cannot ce be left without a head! He is our lawful sovereign, whom c“ God has given to us; we acknowledge no other. We will «« all follow you ; — we will offer him our heads ; — we will "“ prostrate ourselves before him with our faces on the earth; «« we will melt him by our tears.” The merchants and burghers

held the same language. "Let the Czar tell us who they are «« that betray him; we will do justice on them ourselves." Accordingly, a deputation of the clergy, nobles, and people sought him out. For a long time he resisted their entreaties, but at length he consented to resume the sceptre, on the condi

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tion that he should be absolutely free to punish the traitors by disgrace, by death, or by confiscation, without being troubled by representations or importunities on the part of the clergy.'

This return of Ivan the Terrible was, as it were, the inauguration of autocracy in Russia by universal suffrage; and the power thus recklessly given was ruthlessly stretched to its utmost limit. As he re-entered his capital, the people began to repent of what they had done; for there was such rage in his countenance that it could scarcely be recognised : proscriptions and massacres followed, and as instruments of his fury he gathered around him a band of mercenary guards, – that corps which, known afterwards by the name of the Strelitz, was eventually destroyed by Peter the Great with a cruelty as ferocious as that which actuated its formation.

It was during this dreadful reign that, after centuries of mutual ignorance, the intercourse between England and Russia was again renewed. Under the influence of Sebastian Cabot, and in the hope of emulating the discoveries of the Spaniards and Portuguese, Edward VI. sent Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor round the North Cape on their voyage to

Cathay.' The heroic Willoughby was found by the Laplanders frozen to death, with his log-book before him ; but Chancellor was more fortunate, and reached the mouths of the northern Dwina, hardly heard of by any of his countrymen since the time when Alfred the Great thought it worth while to record the relation by the Vikings Ottur and Ulfstein of their voyage to the country of the Biarmians. From this expedition dates the Russian trade with England, the formation of the Russian Company in London, and the consequent foundation of Archangel. Embassies between the States became frequent. We read in Hakluyt, of the ambassador from the Russ' to Philip and Mary being met twelve miles from London, by fourscore merchants * with chains of gold and goodly apparel, and entering the city ' in great procession, the lord mayor and all his aldermen receiving him, and a great number of merchants and notable personages riding before, and a large troop of servants and * apprentices following. Letters, also, passed between Queen Elizabeth and her dearest brother and friend the most excel• lent Prince and Lord John Basilovitch, Emperor of all Russia.' A project was started for despatching to him Mary Hastings, the Queen's niece, to be his eighth wife, though, fortunately for the lady, the scheme was not realised; but Elizabeth acceded to his request to afford him an asylum in England, should an outbreak of his outraged subjects drive him from Russia.

* Karamsin, tom. ix. cap. ii.

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These embassies to the ruler of the ' barbarous Russes' were not, however, altogether without danger. An answer of Sir Jeremy Bowes so much ‘misliked 'the Czar,' that he tolde him • that were he not an ambassador, he would throw him out of • doors. But this predecessor of Sir Hamilton Seymour, noways abashed,' answered that he might doe his will, for he was • now fast within his country; but he had a mistresse who (he · doubted not) would be revenged of any injury that should be • done unto him.' * George Tuberville, Ambassador Randolf's secretary, wrote to his friend Parker, in a rhyming despatch:• Then judge of us thy friends, what kinde of life we had, That neere the frozen Pole to waste our weary dayes were glad, In such a savage soile, where lawes do beare no sway, But all is at the king bis will to save or else to slay.' |

Recent as had been the emancipation of the Russians from the yoke of the Tartars, we find evidence in Hakluyt that fears of Russian invasion had already assailed the Western world. Chancellor, after saying that the power of the Duke of Muscovia is ‘marveilous great,’ in that he is able to bring into the field *two to three hundred thousand men,' adds, if this prince had * within his countreys such men as could make them to under• stand the things aforesaid, (that is, could train them to order and knowledge of civill wars), I do believe that two of the best or greatest princes in Christendom were not wel able to match

with him, considering the greatnes of his power and the hard• nes of his people, and straite living both of people and horse, . and the small charges which his warres stand him in : for he • giveth no wages, except to strangers.' Again, in 1559, we find Sigismund II. of Poland writing to Queen Elizabeth, forbidding her subjects to trade to Narva, a port in the Gulf of Finland lately conquered by the Russians, because thereby the

Moscovite, enemy to all liberty under the heavens,' would obtain not only wares, but also weapons heretofore unknown to • him ;' and so, ' puffed up in pride,' and ' made more perfect in warlike affaires, with engines of warre and shippes, he will make assault this way on Christendom, to slay or make bound * all that shall withstand him : which God defend.'

These passages are curious, not merely as marking the first dread of Russia in the west, but as proving that even then Russia was dreaded just in proportion to the power over his subjects possessed by its autocrat. In most other countries, despotism -that is, the destruction of all individual independence—the • Hakluyt's Voyages, vol. i. p. 519.

. † Ibid., p. 436.

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sacrifice of the many to the one, has been a cause of national weakness. In Russia, on the contrary, the extent to which the Czar has been able to enslave his people, has always been the measure of the power he could direct against his neighbours. Patriotism, or rather national pride, may therefore seem to explain how the name of this frantic tyrant, though not unworthy of the odium of a Nero, has yet fastened upon the popular mind of Russia as that of one of its greatest monarchs.

But even this explanation is not required, for in the records of Ivan's reign, as well as in the experience of human nature, afforded by the lives of similar tyrants—such for instance as the Khalif Hakem, worshipped by the Druses as a god by reason of his ferocity,-- we find too ample evidence, that men, who have consented to offer up their manhood to the will of their ruler, are not long in learning to measure his greatness by the enormity of his vices or his crimes. A century afterwards, the Arab Priest Macarius, who travelled through Russia in the train of his father the Patriarch of Antioch, writes of this monster, who for his amusement let loose bears on the townsfolk, and who stirred with his own hand the fires into which he had cast prisoners of war, as of —- A man of great abilities, devoting his • treasure to God, making war for the love of the Christian • religion;' though he acknowledges him to have been so fond of shedding blood, that he put to death his son with his own hand.** It is evident that in the popular traditions, from which alone Macarius could get his information, the name of Ivan the Terrible had eclipsed that of Ivan III., his far abler and more successful predecessor, not because he completed the consolidation of the empire, utterly destroying Novgorod, and torturing to death 30,000 of its inhabitants; not because he humbled the boyards in the dust, maiming his courtiers in fits of frenzy, insulting their wives, even subjecting them to the knout for want of success in war; not even because he made some few good laws, nor because during his reign Siberia was conquered, but because by the grandeur and energy of his ferocity, he filled the debased imagination of his subjects, personifying to their souls the attributes of divine vengeance, and thus justifying in their eyes the description of himself, which he caused to be written up in the churches of Livonia, 'I am your natural Czar, and' (that is as) my Czar is Jesus Christ.'

With Feodor, the weak son of Ivan, the dynasty of Rurik expired; and convulsions ensued, during which further proof was furnished of the unfitness of the Russians for libertj, by

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* Travels of Macarius, book ix. sect. 1.

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