DIRECTOR   Valentin Butch


Russia is in our days, thanks to the enlightened impulse given by the Emperor Alexander II., entering upon indispensable reforms—reforms which Prince Dolgoroukow asserts can alone save her from a political cataclysm. Hence many questions surge to the surface which can only be solved by the aid of publicity, and many grievances remain to be alleviated which will probably only become so by exposure. The princely author, who now takes up the pen for this double purpose, is himself an example of a very * La Veriti sw la Bwsie, Par le Prince Pierre Dolooroceow. Paris: A. Franck. extraordinary and anomalous state of things. He says, to write upon Russia a man must be a Russian, his country having no resemblance with any other, and its historical development having taken place under utterly exceptional circumstances. Yet he writes in France, compelled to do so by the censure, which in his own country, he says, is afflicted with two sore diseases—fear and idiocy. Again, there are five or six Russian printingpresses in Europe, and yet he writes in the French language. This, he tells ns, bocause the retograde party, backed by the bureaucracy—protectors of mystery and falsehood—are far more in fear of the publicity of exposure attendant upon publicity in the French language than of any thing that is simply limited to the Russians themselves. Hence it is that civilization is often as much derived from pressure coming from without, as from purely national susceptibilities. Russia, says Prince Dolgoroukow, is, in apolitical and administrative point of view, a vast edifice with a European exterior, but furnished and conducted within after .iii Asiatic fashion. The greater portion of the Russian functionaries, disgmsed in more or less European costumes, exercise their powers like true Tartars. As at Naples—it is not that there are not plenty of good laws — there are fifteen volumes of one thousand pages each of laws and decrees; but the first article, by placing the emperor above all law, transforms these fifteen thick volumes into .1 very voluminous and a very bad joke. Russian administration reposes on the equality of all not before the law, as in Europe, but before the capriciousness of power and the venality of the administration, as in Asia. If a larw in Russia is useful to the court, or to the bureaucracy, it will be carried out with zeal; if useless, it will be neglected; if opposed to their interests, it will never be put into execution at all. The emperor reigns, the bureaucracy governs; and the latter, again, is itself swayed by all - powerful lucre. Between a people of most admirable qualities, and a sovereign full of good and generous intentions, interposes a corrupt, greedy, thievish bureaucracy—triple extract of the worst and vilest passions. The emperor is thus deceived, and knows less of Russia than many of his humblest subjects; and official and organized falsehoods are propagated from the lowest to the highest functionaries. What must they be by the time they arrive at the highest functionary of all ? A governorgeneral lately carried his contempt of the law so far as to publicly marry his daughter, although she was already provided with a husband.