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favours by the emperor, strenu- oath of fidelity to a new sovereign, ously manifested an eager desire to and to new laws ; but that all be the assassin, objecting to all was irreparably lost.” The indelay; and it was decided that the telligence, however, that the grand regicides should proceed to Tagari- duke Constantine persisted in his rog, where his imperial majesty refusal of the crown, gave fresh resided: but, upon further de life to the hopes of the conspiraliberation, it was agreed to delay tors': ''they flattered themselves the enterprise till the month of that they could deceive the troops May, 1826, when the conspirators and the people, by persuading them supposed he would review the that the grand duke never had troops in the neighbourhood of renounced the crown, and, under Bela Tserkoff. In the autumn, this pretext, excité them to overtoo, of 1825, another conspirator turn the government. The facarrived at Petersburgh, from the tion was then to take advantage extremities of Russia, and, having of the confusion, to establish a been affiliated in the northern as- provisional government, which sociation, offered his arm to assas should order chambers to be formsinate the emperor.

ed throughout the provinces for It is impossible to conjecture the election of deputies..... Two what might have happened, if legislative chambers were to be Alexander had lived to review his instituted, the highest to be comtroops at Taganrog, where such posed of permanent members. discoveries had already been made They were next to proceed to to the emperor of the machina- form provincial chambers, which tions that were going on, as led to were to have a local legislation ; the immediate adoption of mea to convert the military colonies sures of precaution, and gave the into a national guard; and place first information of the plot to the the citadel of St. Petersburg in government at St. Petersburg. the hands of the municipality. His unexpected death, however, According to another plan, de took them altogether unprepared, veloped by Batenkov, the conspiand, joined to the knowledge that rators were to separate, some propart of the plot had been already claiming the grand duke Constandetected, induced them to act tine, and others Nicholas; and if tashly, in the hope that the con the majority should be in favour fusion the moment might sup- of the foriner, the latter was either sight. The submission of Con- ling of the public institutions, and stantine' deprived them of one to the establishment of a provigreat hold upon the army. Baten- sional government, or to have kov, who, when the attempt was postponed his accession to the actually made, was one of the first throne; and then the conspirators, to desert his party, exclaimed declaring such postponement to be “ That the opportunity which they an abdication, were to have prohad suffered to escape would not claimed the grand duke Alexanrecur in fifty years; that if there der, his son, as emperor. Batenhad been any 'wise heads in the kov assumed that, at the moment council of state, Russia would, at of this revolutionary explosion, an that moment, have been taking an attempt would be made against

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the life of Nicholas, and Rieliev It was decided that their chief embracing Kahovsky, said to him, should go the following day to the "My dear friend, you are alone senate-house, and head the troops in the world; you ought to sacri- who refused to take the oath ; but fice yourself for the sake of so- the two captains, who were to ciety: assassinate the emperor." command under his orders, conAt the same instant the other con- trived to be absent; the one, bespirators embraced him, and he cause, having been but newly promised to do it. He was to initiated into the conspiracy, he have gained access to the palace, did not thoroughly understand its disguised as an officer of grena- object; the other, because he sus. diers, or to have waited on one of pected the majority of the leaders. the steps which his majesty was Of the principal conspirators who to have passed ; but he discovered were to have appeared at the rensubsequently that the project was dezvous to take the command of not feasible, and the conspirators the troops, Bulatov presented concurred in his opinion,

himself merely as a spectator; ! It was known that the manifesto Yakubovitch did not remain an of the emperor Nicholas on his instant; and prince Trubetsky accession to the throne would ap- hastened to take the path pear on the 26th of December, Nicholas, thus hoping to efface a and that day was fixed upon by part of his crime; and then fled the conspirators for the out-break to the Austrian minister, his wife's ing of the revolt ; trusting, not- brother-in-law, where count Neswithstanding their want of con- selrode claimed him by order of cert, that their own military in- the emperor. Batenkoff followed fluence, and the name of Constan. his example. The inferior traitors tine, the legitimate heir of the behaved with greater courage, and, throne, whose refusal of the crown at least, did not betray their cause, was to be represented as a false- wicked and impracticable as it was, hood, or as the effect of compul- in the moment of danger. Riesion, would seduce the soldiery in liev had succeeded in seducing the the critical moment when they officers in the marine barracks, were about to take the oath to who, after a long resistance, deNicholas. Even on the 25th they termined to take part in the inwere sanguine as to their success. surrection; and the sailors, led Baron Steinbell had already be- away by them, refused to take the gun a manifesto, announcing that oath. General Schipo, who had the two grand-dukes had given up been commissioned to administer it, to a noble band of patriots the placed the officers under arrest ; nomination of a sovereign ; that but they were speedily liberated the senate had ordered a general by the conspirators, exclaiming, convocation of the deputies of the “Do you hear those yollies? your empire; and that in the interval comrades are being massacred !" there was to be a provisional go- At these words, the battalion vernment. As the moment ap- darted from the barracks, and met proached, the greater number of with a lieutenant of the regiment the iconspirators exhibited impa- of Finland, who cried out to them, tience, and their leaders betrayed “Form against the cavalry." irresolution, remorse, and fear. Prince Stchapine, after having

encouraged his soldiers, directed revolt in the southern provinces, them to fill their cartouche-boxes were arrested in consequence of and load their armis with ball the discoveries which had been cartridge, to seize the grenadiers made even before the death of flag, and to drive back the troops Alexander. Some disturbance was who remained faithful. In doing excited at Vossilkov, by the brothis, i general Fredericks, major thers Muraviev, who from the general Sehenschin, and several beginning had been active in the other officers were wounded. The conspiracy ; escaping from their rebels succeeded in seizing the prison, and, in conjunction with flag, and moved towards

the senate some other officers, endeavouring house. Yet this traitor Stchapine, to seduce the military, instead of notwithstanding his conduct in the seeking safety in flight The mubarracks, in the morning when he tiny was immediately quelled by rose had addressed the following a detachment of hussars: the conprayer to God:4"Oh God! if spirators being given up by their our enterprise is just, grant us men, or killed in the action.o bat thy support ; if not, may thy will Such was the substance of the be accomplished.". Nearly similar information collected from the means caused the revolt of the papers and evidence of the conguard of grenadiers, who united spirators themselves regarding the themselves to the companies se- character, the constitution, the obduced by prince Stehapine; and jects, and the proceedings, of these many persons armed indiscrimi- traitorous associations, from their mately with pistols, poignards, and first institution in 1816 down to sabres, mixed in their ranks. But their first open attempt at revolt in

the fidelity of the great body of 1825. The success with which ther troops in Petersburgh, the they were concealed for ten years,

energetic measures 'immediately gradually augmenting their numzadopted by those at their head, bers, and extending their ramificaand the intrepidity and presence tions, exposed all the time to la

of mind of the new emperor hin- strict and active vigilance, would sself, instantly crushed the moment- lead us to think that their miemary success of the mutineers; they bers must have been persons of no had no longer a plan or leaders, ordinary tact and prudence, were and any farther struggles were it not, that the consuming of these

the mere efforts of individual ten years, without having formed frenzy or despair. A conspirator even the rudiments of any feasible s named Kahovsky, who mortally plan-the fantastical arrangements dwounded i general Miloradovitch, and classifications of their internal

after committing another murder economy-theirvague and mystical oby killing colonel Sturler, threw philanthropy, while they looked

away his pistol, saying "I have upon assassination with indulgent done enough to day ; I have al- eyes the rashness of the attempt. a ready stwo upon my c conscience.” 1 on which they at last resolved 2: The enterprise having failed, those and the want of concert and fideli> who had been concerned "in it 'ty among themselves when it was

shástened to give information actually madecompel us to acagainst each other. The conspi- knowledge, that they neither knew vrators who were preparing for very distinctly what they wished

to attain, nor had formed any ra. that it might apportion the pu tional judgment how it was to be nishment of the guilty. By their attained. They were exagger. sentences, out of one hundred and ated copies of German originals; twenty convicted criminals, who, but they were more dangerous, by the laws of Russia, were all wor. because their strength lay in the thy of death, five were condemned army, to whose voices if it once to the pain of death, to be inflicted spoke in the language of disaffee- by their being quartered, and thir, tion, nothing could be successfully tytone, to death by decapitation; opposed, and because they num nineteen were condemned to por bered v

vamong their adherents à litical death, and to hard labour greater number of men whose during life; thirty-eight, to labour rank and situation gave them in- hard for a limited term, and, at

fluence, and ought to have given its expiry, to be exiled for life them education. With the most to Siberia ; eighteen, to perpetual contemptible means, they specula- exile in Siberia, being first deprived ted on carrying through the most of their nobility and disgraced ; one extensive schemes, beset with individual, to serve in the ranks as innumerable difficulties. Their a common soldier, being first deleaders : acknowledged that their graded, and deprived of his nobility, ideas were neither understood nor with the faculty of future adyance relished by the citizens of Peters- ment, according to his service; burgh and Moscow: yet these citi- eight individuals, to serve as comzens are wealthy, powerful, and mon soldiers, without deprivation well informed; but they displayed of their nobility, and with the no predilection for the political faculty of future advancement. theorists. To shake the fidelity The clemency of the emperor, of the army was the only hope of however, interfered to lessen the the conspirators; that object itself number of the capital punishments. -was to be effected by a momentary The law was allowed to take ti

its illusion acting on that very fidelity; course only against Pestel, Serg ánd the whole plot, from its open- ' Muraviev, and Rumeni, who, ing to the catastrophe, proved that from the first institution of the a military revolution was the only societies, had been their most acone which Russia had as yet to fear. tive and dangerous leaders; Rìeliev, 32. To the report of the commission who had proposed, and Kahovsky, bof inquiry was subjoined a scale of who had undertaken, the assassinthe different degrees of guilt which ation of Nicholas, the last, moreit thought imputable to the va- over, having likewise been the rious parties implicated; but it had murderer of general Miloradoviteh been made no part of its duty to and colonel Sturler, on the 26th pronounce sentence. For this lat- of December. Even in regard to i ter purpose the emperor appointed these the sentence of being quara special tribunal, whose members tered alive was changed into the were taken from the council of punishment of the gibbet. " The

the empire, the directing senate, sentences of the other prisoners cand the synod, with the addition of condemned to death were comsome ot

persons both civil and muted, in the greater number of inv militarý. To this high court was re stances into hard labour forlife with b ferred the report of the commission, degradation and loss of nobility, in

a few cases into hard labour for Soloviev, and twò lieutenants, twenty years with a similar degra- being condemned to death, their dation, and exile for life to Siberia, sentence was commuted into hard after these twenty-years shouldhave labour; one officer was sent to expired. Pestel and his accomplices Siberia, and four were degraded were executed on the 26th of July; to serve as common soldiers in and, on the same day, in front of their distant garrisons. As those of gibbet, the ceremony of degrada- Muraviev's band, who had fallen tion was performed on the pri- in the conflict with the troops who soners of whose sentence that pun- dispersed them, were beyond the ishment formed a part, except the reach of the executioner, gibbets, naval officers, who were sent to with their names, were ordered to Cronstadt, to be degraded on board be placed upon their graves instead a man of war. The fate of the of crosses.

Of the officers not enofficers condemned for life to labour gaged in the conspiracy, prince in the mines, or drag out existence Meschtchaki, and several others, in Siberia, was scarcely to be envied were punished with imprisonment in comparison with the lot of on account of their cowardice. those who suffered on the scaffold. The whole progress of this juAny man may nerve himself to dicial inquiry, as well as its termeet the mere extinction of life, mination, was most honourable to and every man does it at last, whe- the character of the Russian gother he meet it on his couch, or on vernment, and the new emperor. the scaffold; but protracted death, It was begun in no passionate or the lingering torture of hopeless vindictive humour ; it was prosebanishment, the privation of all cuted steadily and calmly, without that can render life itself accept- those tedious delays which in some able, permission to breathe, when countries prevent the infliction of every moment brings with it the punishment till the impression wish to die, is an accumulation of made on the public mind by the misery at which the heart sickens. guilt of the accused has been almost Yet this was the destiny to which effaced by lapse of time. The many staff and superior officers of sources of evidence, too, on which Russia were doomed, had not the the commission seems to have rewell-judged policy of the emperor lied, were trust-worthy. An alleintervened. After a careful in- gation of political crime, under a quiry into the extent to which despotic government, generally sup, they had approved, or actively for- plies the place of proof; fear and warded, the treasonable viewsof the suspicion serve the purposes of conspirators with whom they were conviction : but here there was disinvolved, he ordered them to be played no disposition to condemn discharged from any sentence pro- at random ; no inclination to exnounced by criminal courts, and to aggerate imputed guilt, no atbe liable only to correctional pun- tempt to force an improbable meanishments. The same merciful dis- ing upon actions and words, to position, not more humane than combine artificially circumstances wise, was manifested in the pun- which had no connexion with each ishment of the conspirators impli- other, and, in the absence of that cated in the insurrection excited precision and particularity, without by Muraviev at Kiev. Baron which there can be no evidence, to

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