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The Russian Secret Police

The Russian Secret Police image
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It is ooe great obstacle to the progressof reform in Knsüia thal her vsrious polilical institutions are linked together so cloely as to render it difficult, if not iiupossible, to touch out without deranging all iho rest. Tb'i8 f'act is aptly illustrated by the propowd abolition of the secret poline. tho most useless and odious feature of' that exploded systein of abuse which the Kussians cali " government. " ft forins an organized brotherhood of politioal spie, .sueh a9 that maintained by Napoleon during the first empire or hy Austria in the generation preceding 1848. lts avowed misssion is to detect and eradlos te every symptoin of disaffectioo. This duty empciwers its agents to enter private houses, to arrest private individúala, to óverride, in a word, all personal rights whatever. There is no redres no appeal. The talisluanic ord)s,"On the itoverniuent service," sufEce for every emergcpcv. The extont to whieh such powors might lm almsed to irratil'y personal hatred or aynrice neods no dcmonstration. Iodeed, this hateful system is suffieiently described by the fact In'kt its name and character have inorn than once been assumed by professional llueves as an aid to soiue unusually daring n'bbery. A striking instancc of thia occurrel some years ago in Moscow. A well-drewed stranger presented hime!f at tlie bttuM of a rich uierchaot as an agent of the secret pólice, and prodnoing a earch-warrant, proceeded to rummage the whole house, exatuining even the merchant's wardrobe, writing desk aud safe, after which ho declared himself satisfied, and withdrew. Soon after his doparture the pietehdod agent wa.s discovered to be a Doted tbief, his warrant a furgery, and the reduit of lus yi.sit the abstraolion trom the safe of vur ities to the value of many thousand dol lars.