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Excerpt from Through Russia on a Mustang
Individuals have no rights in Russia. They exist in peace and breathe the air outside a prison cell solely on the sufferance of the police, whose authority over them is practically that of deputy despots in their capacity as representatives Of the Czar.
When I first reached St. Petersburg, I wrote home of the agreeable impression that was made on me by see ing the Czar driving freely about the streets, with scarcely any escort. Before leaving Russia, however, I discovered that in order to make this sort of thing possible, the Czars Chief of Police summarily expels from the capital no less than fifteen thousand persons every year, or an average of over forty a day. Tourists and casual visitors from America and Europe see the Czar driving about in this manner, but they know nothing of the other side of the picture - Of the steady streams of suspects and others driven from the city, three fourths of whom are probably innocent Of evil intent, and so they come away with rosy a'nd erroneous impressions, thinking they have seen Russia.
Those who have seen merely St. Petersburg and Moscow, have seen little or nothing of real Russia, nor even if they have made the grand tour across the country by rail, and up or down the Volga. These tourists have glided over the surface of Russia, their path made smooth and agreeable by the imported polish of the West; but they have not been in it.
Russia has within its vast area resources that should make its future as promising as the future of the United States. The development Of the country from this time forward offers a field of profound speculation for prophetic statesmen and political seers. That a nation of people, chieﬂy Caucasians, are to be kept in bondage forever is out of the question. Hopeless as the outlook seems at present for the masses of the Russian people, all history teaches that the day of their emancipation will, sooner or later, come. The best solution of the situation that could be hoped for, would, perhaps, be a progressive and liberal Czar, who would have sufficient courage and energy to give the country a constitutional govern ment, a free press, and religious liberty. If this be too long delayed, and the autocracy should survive the fall of European militarism, which is inevitable, civili zation will develop an age of humanitarianism when the American, the Englishman, the Frenchman, and the Teuton, will recognize the Russian as a brother, and see to it that he is relieved of his shackles.
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bound: 382 pages
publisher: Forgotten Books (May 8, 2017)
isbn: 133029419X, 978-1330294192,
weight: 1.1 pounds (