THE ROAD TO FREEDOM
In so far as the barren reports which come out of Russia are certain, it is evident that the revolution shows tendencies, unformed but not the less foreboding, towards the course of the French Revolution. Already the Czar is held in that dark prison which, with grim satire, is dedicated to two Christian fathers. Already the mobs go up and down the street, shrieking for the liberty they cannot comprehend. The rule of the mob is always terrible, for under it all that is lofty vanishes. If only through the rule of the mob may the rule of the people find stability, then we must consign ourselves to the maxim of the Jesuits, and trust that the end justifies the means.
Attacks against property have been sporadic as yet. When will the time come for the proclamation of a universal participation of wealth, as of land? When will the time come for a denial of religion, a defiance of constituted governments, and usurpation of war against the world?
It is a foolish assertion that history repeats itself. But it is that men are much alike from generation to generation. The peasants of Russia are no wiser than were the peasants of France twelve decades ago. They have as great a wrong to right, as far a journey to go on the way which lends to stability and strength. Is liberty always to be bought with blood? And are rapine, anarchy, and destruction the price wherewith democracy is attained? If so, they are well bought; but they are dearly bought.
It will be fortunate, it will be fortunate for Russia and the world, if no Napoleon arises, mad for conquest in the name of liberty.