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process of time, Constantine and Novosiltzoff became the leaders. Without confidence, without energy, and without authority, the Ministers had accomplished much if they could but lay the storm, and prevail upon the mighty conquerors to slacken the pace of a profoundly meditated system. The nation, aware of their impotence, felt thankful for their very imperfections; for it soon perceived, that, with a hostile master supported by a million of bayonets, ministerial responsibility was to the people a safeguard equally vain and ridiculous; and if there was a time when it sought to have recourse to that safeguard, it was to complete the rupture between the affections of the people and those of the Sovereign, by that constitutional formality.
From the very outset of his mission, Novosiltzoff never ceased to cry his "Delenda est Carthago," war against the prosperity, war against the constitutional liberties granted to Poland. He was thoroughly aware of the danger which would arise for Russia, from the patriotism and love of independence of a nation so formidable as the Polish- - a patriotism which he was pleased insidiously to denominate a fondness for agitation and innovation. At the present day, Nicholas, convinced of the correctness of Novosiltzoff's system, acts accordingly, and makes war upon the prosperity and the liberties of Poland. The struggle is at least open. There are but two chances for Poland-extermination and independence. The question, therefore, is, whether Europe, sufficiently enlightened by the avowal of the Autocrat himself, will suffer the horrid spectacle of massacres and cruelties exercised upon a nation of twelve millions of souls to be exhibited to the world, or will unite its efforts for restoring to that nation those rights which divine and human justice have so long claimed.
DESPATCH OF PRINCE LUBECKI TO THE EMPEROR OF RUSSIA.
Defence of Prince Lubecki against the misrepresentations of M. Novosiltzoff, Commissioner of the Emperor of Russia in the kingdom of Poland, now Chancellor of the Empire, and on a Visit to England; * addressed to the Emperor Nicholas.
Dec. 28, 1828.
Authorised by your Imperial and Royal Majesty to address myself directly to you, whenever I should consider it expedient for the public service to do so, I felt the necessity of pursuing this course, both in my character of minister and of subject, as well when I had only conjectures to rely upon, as when positive facts placed me in a situation to express myself in a more formal manner. I embrace then with ardour this occasion, to express to your Majesty all that my conscience would reproach me for concealing. By a natural impulse of the noble disinterestedness of his character, his Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Czarewitch (Constantine) has just charged the General Rozniecki to intimate to me how much he disapproved of my conduct in the affair of “the High Court;" + conduct which he attributed principally to the necessity in which I felt myself to
* M. Novosiltzoff and Admiral Mordwinoff arrived in London in the present month of July, on an extraordinary and unexplained mission.
By the Constitution of Poland, of 1815, parties accused of high treason were tried by the Senate. This body had recently acquitted eight Poles, charged by the Moscovite government with being parties to a Russian plot against the life of the Emperor Alexander. Nicholas, dissatisfied with the sentence, called for the opinions of his Polish Ministers upon it, with a view to set it aside. Prince Lubecki incurred the Imperial displeasure by defending, in this instance, the constitutional privileges of the Senate.
conciliate that public opinion which my fiscal measures had excited against me, at a moment when (as it was alleged) the finances had fallen into a complete state of disorganization, if not into a bankrupt condition, under my management.
In addition to this, his Imperial Highness caused to be expressed to me the opinion he entertained, that a favourable opportunity was alone wanting to your Majesty's Polish subjects, to declare themselves your Majesty's enemies; but that all these designs, as well as my conduct, would not remain concealed from the Sovereign.
Discovering in this communication a flattering proof that his Imperial Highness intended to offer me a means to soften, if possible, the unfavourable impressions which he had received, I began by manifesting to the General the gratitude which I felt for so much kindness. Then, grappling with the subject matter itself, I declared that the written and oral communications of the Imperial Commissioner always made me dread lest he should take advantage of the better feelings of his Imperial Highness: and that I beheld these painful forebodings realized with greater regret, because nothing could be more easy than to demonstrate the falsehood of every statement that he had advanced. In fact, the question seemed to me to separate itself into two principal divisions.
1. That which concerns the management of the finances, and my individual opinion of the affair of the High Court.
2. That which has reference to the little reliance which can be placed on the loyalty of the Polish nation.
First. Monseigneur thinks that I have disorganized the finances. But, as up to the present time neither the civil service nor the army has experienced any delay in receiving their pay, and as these administrative details are not brought under the cognizance of his Imperial Highness by the Council, this notion of disorganization must have been suggested
to him by the only person whose office it is to carry to him what is passing.
To ascertain how far this accusation can be maintained, it is necessary to examine what was the state of the finances before I joined the ministry; and, without going farther back, we need only cast a glance on the accounts of the year 1821-an epoch at which the whole financial machine moved under the impelling power of the Imperial Commissioner himself. It will at once be apparent that the salaries of the civilians and the pay of the troops were a month and a half in arrear,—that the deposits and securities placed by individuals in the public chest were exhausted,-in short, that the receipts were insufficient to cover the expenditure. Such was the order maintained then. As to the disorganization of the present time, not only do the stated accounts prove that since 1822 the receipts have constantly increased by bringing into the treasury of the state sources of revenue which were previously appropriated to individual purposes; but the elements of prosperity are such, and show themselves so distinctly in every department, that an increase of comfort in the whole country may be confidently predicted, while the government, by a series of operations, will succeed in discharging its debt without augmenting the burden of taxation. In matters of this sort, phrases and words are not the things to be dealt with. Arguments, insinuations, criminations, have nothing to do with figures. Let the books be examined-let the chests be opened-and facts will speak for themselves. Well! it is just the facility of such a verification which must have induced his Imperial Highness to give credence to that which the Imperial Commissioner told him. How could it be believed that a man clothed with the confidence of the Monarch, and who, step by step, traces every movement of the Government, should not see things as they really are? How could it be suspected that he would dare
to give to the august brother of his master fictions for realities? Honesty does not suspect falsehood when it presents itself with the boldness of truth. In addition to this, the acts of my administration sufficiently prove that I have ever preferred the well-being of the public service to an ephemeral popularity; and, if I am charged with any responsibility whatever, I by no means seek to avoid it, and I take upon myself all the consequences. As to my opinion in the affair of the High Court, I should have considered that I betrayed the Monarch, if I did not obey the dictates of my conscience; and my documents are at hand, to explain the opinion I gave.
Secondly. His Imperial Highness sees, in the Polish nation, a mass of disaffected men, who only wait a favourable opportunity to declare themselves enemies of their sovereign. When no act of the subjects of the kingdom of Poland which bears this criminal character has come to the knowledge of the government, how can I avoid recognizing the type of the opinion thus expressed by his Imperial Highness, in the words pronounced in full council by the Imperial Commissioner, when he declared that revolt was an innate vice in the Poles, and that sons inherited it naturally from their fathers? If I now examine what the sovereign has done to excite his subjects to so black a defection, I see that his first engagement to the Poles was a pledge for the preservation of the institutions which the Emperor Alexander of glorious memory had magnanimously granted to unsuccessful heroism. The better to preserve the remembrance of a generosity so touching, your Majesty has willed that the current money of Poland shall record it from reign to reign, with the likeness of the regeneration of the kingdom.*
This coin has since been called in, and a new one has been issued, on which the arms of Poland adorn the black eagle of Russia jointly with those of the Asiatic provinces of the empire: viz., Georgia, Grusia, Siberia, &c.