Russia

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Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1855 - Russia - 532 pages
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Page 136 - I have been a representative sovereign,* and the world knows what it has cost me to have been unwilling to submit to the exigencies of this infamous government. To buy votes, to corrupt consciences, to seduce some in order to deceive others ; all these means I disdained, as degrading those who obey as much as those who command, and I have dearly paid the penalty of my straightforwardness ; but, God be praised, I have done for ever with this detestable political machine.
Page 86 - This combat between the primitive dignity of the man and the affected gravity of the sovereign, appears to me worthy the attention of an observer; it occupied mine the greater part of the time I passed in the chapel. " The emperor is above the usual height by half a head ; his figure is noble, although a little stiff; he has practised from his youth the Russian custom of girding the body above the loins, to such a degree as to push up the stomach into the chest, which produces an unnatural swelling...
Page 165 - do not distress yourself because the Russians have no desire for knowledge ; if I institute schools, it is not for ourselves but for Europe, in whose estimation we must maintain our standing ; but if our peasants should really seek to become enlightened, neither you nor I could continue in our places.
Page 86 - His carriage and his attitudes are naturally imposing. He expects always to be gazed at, and never for a moment forgets that he is so. It may even be said, that he likes this homage of the eyes. " He passes the greater part of his existence in the open air, at reviews, or in rapid journeys. During summer, the shade of his military hat draws across his forehead dread of banishment, the knout, the axe, or the bayonet.
Page 135 - I can truly say, sire, that one of the chief motives of my curiosity in visiting Russia, was the desire of approaching a prince who exercises such power over men.'' — ' The Russians are amiable, but he must render himself worthy who would govern such a people.' — ' Your majesty has better appreciated the wants and the position of this country than any of your predecessors.
Page 132 - I did nothing extraordinary. I said to the soldiers, Return to your ranks; and on passing the regiment, I cried, On your knees ! They all obeyed. What made me strong was, that the moment before I had resigned myself to death. I am thankful for the success — I am not proud of it, for it was not owing to any merit of mine.
Page 46 - The prevailing taste here is the brilliant and the striking: spires, gilded and tapering like electric conductors; porticoes, the bases of which almost disappear under the water; squares, ornamented with columns which seem lost in the immense space that surrounds them; antique statues, the character and attire of which so ill accord with the aspect of the country, the tint of the sky, the costume and manners of the inhabitants, as to suggest the idea of their being captive heroes in a hostile land;...
Page 52 - God and the Prince have willed it!" are the ordinary expressions among them. ... I do not know whether it is the character of the Russian nation which has formed such autocrats, or whether the autocrats have stamped this character upon the nation.
Page 521 - ... miseries of a whole nation, ferments in the heart of the Russian people. That nation, essentially aggressive, greedy under the influence of privation, expiates beforehand, by a debasing submission, the design of exercising a tyranny over other nations : the glory, the riches, which it hopes for, console it for the disgrace to which it submits.
Page 7 - I am writing at midnight," observes the Marquis de Custine, " without any lights, on board the steam-boat Nicholas the First, in the Gulf of Finland. It is now the close of a day which has nearly the length of a month in these latitudes, beginning about the 8th of June, and ending towards the 4th of July. About an hour ago, I beheld the sun sinking in the ocean, between the NNW and N.

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