Nations, like men, are judged by their appearance. The despotism which rules the Russian people is naturally regarded as the outcome and expression of the national character. It is true that of late years Russia has produced both men and women who, in patriotic zeal and devotion to freedom, have never been outdone; yet, in the seeming futility of their efforts, the public opinion of Europe sees but an additional proof of the stubborn servility of the masses, equally unable to understand any liberal aspiration and unwilling to take part in any liberal movement.
The facts cannot be gainsaid. The tillers of the soil, who form the bulk of the Russian nation, still profess devotion to an ideal Tzar - the creature of their own imagination - believe that the day is at hand when he will drive all landowners out of the country, and bestow their possessions on his faithful peasants.