Welsh Newspapers

Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles

Hide Articles List

17 articles on this Page




[No title]







Family Notices

[No title]


RUSSIAN EXPERIMENTAL GOVERNMENT. There is no country where large schemes of change find such ready acceptance as in Russia. Without doubtthis is largely due to the system of government. The Baying may appear paradoxical to those who have been ac- customed to think of the Russian Government as an unchanging despotism, holding with blind pride to forms of procedure and principles of conduct be- queathed from autocratic sire to son. The despotism has been changeless in this respect, that it has all along remained a despotism. Everything has been referred to the will of one man. But since the time of Peter the Great the succession of individuals in Russia, by whom alone, in generation after generation, change could be initiated, have by no means been content to walk humbly each in the footsteps oi his predecessor. The tradition which Peter originated for the Imperial house when he awoke to the fact that his empire was behindhand in the march of civilisation, and scoured Europe for the means of bringing it abreast of the time, has not been allowed to drop. So far from having been change- less, except in one respect, the history of Russia since his time has been the history of a series of revolutions, effected from above and not from below. Russia was the neglccted child in the European family. She had grown up to the full stature of adult age, when suddenly her §uu1^ £ rang$/sc2^?zars fconstitufed themselves her i-rang zars c n tu emse schoolmasters. They did not merely aim at reforming her on the model of civilised European children they sought to profit by the mistakes that had been made in the education of her neighbours, to pick out and apply to her everything that had gone to make them Btrong and well-favoured, and to avoid everything that seemed to have harmed their development. Hence for nearly two centuries Russia has been a field for great governmental experiments, the ultimate aim being to give the backward nation com- merce, art, laws, the most perfect possible system of government-to bring her at last to a level with other nations, by copying from each of them the very best of their institutions. We need not pause to consider whether a great nation can be artificially developed in this way. It is enough for our present purpose to note the fact that this is how the attempt has been made to develop her, that she has been taken in hand as a neglected child, that for two centuries a succession of the most eminent political doctors have prescribed for her, and that she has been compelled to follow various prescriptions in turn. Hence itcomes that the Russians have been made familiar with the idea of changes upon a great scale, and have been taught to look rather to the abstract suitability of a proposal than to practical difficulties in the way of carrying into effect. They have been taught, in short, to believe any change practicable if only it is theoretically com- mendable.-The New Quarterly. THE ARCTIC SUMMER.—The contrast between the appearance of the land in the vicinity of our harbour on this our second visit and what it was four weeks before, was very remarkable. Then, the whole country was covered in a great white sheet of snow, but in the month of July this bad all disappeared, leaving the valleys and table lands carpeted with a rich and luxuriant vegetation hardly conceivable in such a climate. I had seen nothing like it before in the Arctic regions; long stretches of green sward in which the draba, the astragalus, the papaver, the saxifrage, the petentilia, the myosotis, and other floral beauties of varied bright hues, many possessing delicate per- fumes, lay scattered about in the richest profusion; whilst herds of reindeer grazed peacefully on the grasees and mosses that clothed the slopes of the hills; down theee, rivulets of water were rushing, which, on reaching the plains, meandered more quietly towards the sea. It was the nearest approach to an Arctic Paradise I had ever seen and I could not help lament- ing its brief duration. In less than six short weeks the vegetation would wither, the streams would freeze, the whole country would again assume its wintry garb, and the poor reindeer would experience great difficulty in cropping even a mouthful of the vegetation which then seemed so profusely to abound. The summers in Novaya Zemlya are indeed brief, and every living thing muet necessarily make the most of their short term of exist-eiiee.- -Good Words. EXPULSION OF LICHARD OTEELE. oceeie spoke for three hours. His friends and the leaders of the party appear to have been afraid to trust him with the preparation of bis speech they expected that the imprudent humourist would only acquit himself in such a fashion as to call down coals of fire upon his head, and Joseph Addison was requested to prepare the defence. Addison declined, and said he would not have Steele treated like a schoolboy; so, accepting very naturally suggestions from the wiee and wary Walpole, Steele appears to have been in every way his own orator on the occasion, and it is said spoke with very much of the same artless sensibility which still enchants the reader of the Tatltr and the Guardian, At the close," eays Steele, I made the best and most respectful obeisance I could to the Speaker, and with a very awk- ward and unwilling air I withdrew." He went to the Temple, whence he wrote a line to his shrewish wife: Dear Frue,-I have made my defence, and am ordered to withdraw." His friends sent Addison after him, perhaps partly to cheer him up, and partly to keep him out of the way until the issue should be known, and there can be no doubt that the genial pair of immortal essayists solaced themselves with a bottle. Meantime, in the House the storm raged high. Robert Walpole and Lord Finch were his chief defenders, but the majority declared his publication (on the Peace of Utrecht) a scandalous libel, and voted that the author should be expelled the House by 245 against 152. Somebody carried the news to Steele in the Temple, for after that best bow which he gave to the Speaker on his retirement he says, The next news I heard was that I was expelled." And yet, for all that and all that, we find the political martyr and expelled member returning to Parliament again as Sir Richard Steele, and far more eminent and distinguished for the expulsion, which only disgraced the men who caused it. But how remarkable it is to find in con- junction such names as those of the majestic and high- souled Sir John Eliott and Sir Richard Steele, the light principled and easy humourist, as the vindicators, and martyrs for their vindication, of the freadona of epeech in the English House of Comttowi—Leisure