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PROCURATOR OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF RUSSIA
TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN
WITH A PREFACE BY
SEVERAL years ago, Mr Kinglake, the author of the “Crimean War," whom we, his friends, generally called “Eothen," wrote to me suggesting that I should make a study of the Decay of Parliamentarism. Here is a part of his letter :
“Now I am going 'to set you a subject,' as your governess would have said in the days of the schoolroom.
“I think it might suit your position to write on the 'Fall of Parliamentary Government. You would please Moscow, please Petersburg, please your Emperor, and though not exactly pleasing England, you would win her attention, and perhaps put her on her mettle, and teach her to mend her ways. Let me know what you think of this, and if I hear that you incline to the subject I will revert to it.”
Mr Froude urged me to do the same, but the task to which I was invited was far beyond my power. Besides, I should only have repeated what was so much better said by Carlyle, Sir Henry Maine, Mr Lecky, and others. But that difficult duty was undertaken by a Russian, who possesses all the scientific qualifications for such an examination. The book, which Mr Pobyedonostseff published in Russian, and which was immediately, translated into German, French, and Italian referring principally to that subject, has been extensively circulated on the Continent. It has not until now been translated into English.