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confined in childbed, and who from terror miscarried, and for a whole year was in danger of her life from the consequences. This barbarous order of the Grand Duke ruined the fortune of this unhappy man, and the amount of property destroyed may be estimated at least at from 70,000 to 80,000 gilders. Biernacki was imprisoned for a whole year, after which he was dismissed to weep over the sufferings of his wife and his ruined fortune. The poor offender was punished with eight hundred blows of the knot, of which he died in a few days.' Such was the system of administration, which Constantine applied to the Poles.
In France, or England, or any country where public measures are a subject of discussion in public debate and the newspapers, a course of monstrous mal-administration would draw after it the natural consequence of being denounced in the press and the tribune, and the people would be gradually wrought up to the proper pitch of resolution for redressing their grievances, by constitutional or other means. In absolute governments, where freedom of the press does not exist, and freedom of speech is suppressed by means of organized espionage, the same result is reached by the medium of secret conspiracies. Thus was it in Poland in the time of Alexander: -thus it was there again in the time of Nicholas.-Two young Poles, Wysocki and Schlegel, stimulated by the example of Soltyk and his associates in 1825, exerted themselves to form a pat
riotic club, which kept alive the hope of independence under every discouragement, waiting only for a favorable moment to rend asunder the chains which fettered their nation. Five years elapsed before anything occurred to fan the spark into a flame. That potent influence, which aroused the feelings of the nation, and quickened into madness their sense of injustice and oppression, was supplied by the revolution of the Three Days in France.
It is inconceivable what extraordinary effect that revolution exercised over the sympathies of other nations. We say sympathies; for it was only through
them that the heroism of the Parisian populace operated upon the inhabitants of Warsaw. The Poles and the French had no community of interest, nor any community of cause, except as each aspired after freedom. Warsaw was not stirred up to rebellion by propagandists of liberalism from the revolutionary schools of Paris. Nor was it through French influence, persuasion, inducement, or advice, that Poland took arms against her Tartar tyrant. It was the moral effect of the barricades of Paris, acting upon the sympathetic attachment of the Poles to liberty, which produced commotion in Warsaw. This moral effect was discernible from the very first moment, when intelligence of the events of the three days was received in the north. A great battle had been fought in Paris for freedom, and tyranny had shrunk into congenial obscurity before the majesty of the awakened people. The news
came upon the Poles like a flash of lightning. It roused their en ergies, it kindled their patriotism, it excited them to strike a blow themselves in the good cause, when they knew their ancient brothers in arms to be fighting once more under the tri-colored flag. But while the revolution of the Three Days filled the patriotic Poles with enthusiastic joy, it was in the same degree a sound of terror to the Russian oppressors of Poland. Constantine and his agents redoubled their vigilance and their tyranny, in order to keep down those rising energies, which they saw at work in the breasts of the agitated Poles. Arrests became more and more numerous every week; and on a single day, forty students were seized in their beds, and consigned to the prisons.
When the revolutionary spirit was communicated from France to Belgium, the agitation among the Poles acquired new intensity, but the revolution was precipitated in Warsaw less by the effect of the Belgian revolution upon the Poles, than by its effect upon the policy of Nicholas. The Russian despot brought insurrection upon himself by his purpose of interfering to suppress it in remote countries, no wise dependent upon his empire. It is now an authenticated fact, and we trust that France, the Netherlands, and reformed Britain, will remember it as they value their future independence, it is an authenticated fact, that Nicholas had entered into preparations, in concert with Prussia and Austria, to make war on France and Bel
gium in behalf of the dethroned dynasties. Modlin and Warsaw were stored with the requisite military supplies from Russia. The Polish army was destined to form the van-guard of the expeditionary forces, in which event Poland would have been occupied immediately by Russian troops, so that Poland and her army being separated, neither could act on the other, and each must have become a hostage for the other's fidelity. The plan was an ingenious one, it must be avowed, which should have made the Poles the instruments for subjugating themselves, the Belgians, and the French, all by a single effort. The patriotic Poles saw plainly that there was but one way to prevent this, and that no time must be lost in taking their measures, if they would anticipate the departure of the army, as the regiments were all completed, and the orders for marching expected every moment.
The time for action had now arrived: that for deliberation was passed. Most of the students in the civil and military schools were already gained over to the cause of revolution, together with the young Polish officers in garrison at Warsaw. The great body of the citizens, and the principal nobles and men of distinction, were counted upon as friendly to the main object of the conspirators, but do not appear to have been consulted by them previous to the breaking out of the insurrection To have done it, indeed, would have compromitted the safety of the best among the Poles, without accomplishing any useful end
Still it is evident that all Warsaw must have anticipated the approaching movement, some time before it actually took place; for it was impossible to mistake the signs of the times. The immediate inducement was the arrest of eighty young students under the following circumstances. The patriotic Poles were accustomed to assemble every year for secret prayer and other religious rites, in commemoration of the melancholy event of the storming of Praga by Suwarrow in 1796, when that sanguinary and merciless agent of tyranny put to death 30,000 of the inhabitants, sparing neither age, sex, nor condition. The Grand Duke had prohibited all public commemoration of this day of sorrow; but he could not prevent the Poles from mourning in secret over the desolation and abasement of their country. These eighty students were detected in their forbidden devotions, and arrested at the altar, being bound by the Russian soldiers as they knelt; for they disdained to change their position, when the soldiers entered the place of prayer. This outrage filled the measure of endurance among the patriots; for the news of it spread through Warsaw with the quickness of thought, and prompted the conspirators to fix on the day of vengeance without further delay. They resolved to commence the revolution on the 29th of November, because one of the Polish regiments, which comprised many of their number, was then to keep guard in Warsaw.
Most of the active conspirators, it will be remembered, were young
men and students. They assem→ bled on the morning of the 29th to make their final arrangements, and agreed on the hour of seven in the afternoon of that day for commencing the revolution. It was arranged that a wooden house, situated conspicuously near the Vistula, should be set on fire as a signal, a party of about one hundred and twenty cadets being posted in the southern part of the city, ready to strike the first blow, and others being dispersed in different parts of the city, so as to co-operate with their associates. When the signal flame was seen reflected against the sky, parties of students and officers rode through the streets of the Old Town as it is called, shouting Poles! Brethren! The hour of vengeance has struck. The time to avenge the tortures and cruelties of fifteen years is come! down with the tyrants!—to arms! to arms! our country forever!'At this animating cry, the citizens rushed together from all quarters shoutingPoland for ever!'And this glorious sound was the opening prologue of the revolution.
Although the cadets, one hundred and twenty in number, would seem to be a handful only for such a purpose, yet, headed by Wysocki and Schlegel, with the impetuosity and ardor of youth, they resolved to make the barracks of the Russian guards their first point of attack, and the arrest of the Grand Duke their grand aim. Hastily proceeding to the barracks, they found the troops in all the confusion of a sudden alarm, and after increas
of the Russian troops, killing or taking prisoners a considerable number of generals and inferior
ing it by firing a few rounds, they rushed to the charge with their national hurrah, and routed a body of infantry, hulans, and officers.-Their ultimate purpose hussars, of more than ten times was to gain possession of the their number. A detachment bridge across the Vistula, which then traversed the gardens to- unites Warsaw and Praga. wards the palace called the Belvidere, where the Grand Duke resided, in order to secure his person; it being rightly conceived that, if in their possession, he could be beneficially employed as a hostage or mediator in making terms with the Emperor. But unfortunately the Grand Duke had been apprized of his danger by a domestic, in season to effect escape; and the cadets were obliged to return into the city without him, fighting their way along through squadrons of Russian guards, among whom the excited Poles produced great havoc by their impetuous courage. Without loosing a single man, the cadets arrived at a part of the city called the Nowy-Swiat, where they found two companies of Polish light infantry, and with them two Polish generals, Stanislaus Potocki and Trembicki, giving orders for arresting the assembled inhabitants. At the salutation of the cadets, the soldiers ranged with the insurgents, deserting their generals, who, after withstanding the most earnest entreaties to act with their countrymen, were torn in pieces by the enraged populace. The cadets marched through the streets, singing patriotic songs, and shouting Poland forever,' -a cry, which was everywhere responded to enthusiastically by the citizens, and so gradually freed the south parts of the city
During these movements, others of the conspirators had been equally busy and triumphant in the other quarters of the city.They stormed the prisons, releasing numerous victims of Russian tyranny, who had been incarcerated on political accusations; and attacked and defeated the Russian infantry stationed in several barracks, falling upon them with the terrible hurrah, and driving the panic struck officers and soldiers before them in extreme disorder. Thus, by the united efforts of cadets, students, citizens, and a few Polish soldiers, Praga and Warsaw were speedily delivered from the immediate presence of their Russian tyrants, not a few officers of rank, and large numbers of privates falling victims to the first onset of the patriotic Poles. The people obtained an ample supply of arms, in the course of the night, by a successful attack on the arsenal, where they found 80,000 muskets, pistols, and other weapons;-and before daylight order was re-established by means of patroles stationed at suitable points all over the city.
Before morning the patriots assembled in the Ulica Dluga or Long street, to review the progress they had made, and to consult on the movements of the coming day. The scene is represented as having been of the most impressive description. There is
a kind of exalted enthusiasm, a romantic and lofty spirit, displayed in the devotion of the Poles to their country, which has few parallels in the history of our race. They had crossed the Rubicon. They had rushed into rebellion against the colossal power of Russia, carried forward by the zeal of a few young men, and they saw themselves in arms against the oppressors of Poland before they had waited to count the cost, regardless of everything but the sympathies of country and the love of independence. After listening to the animated address of their leaders, the assembled multitude filled the air with cries of 'Poland forever,' swore to fight
for her freedom whilst a single drop of blood warmed their breasts, and. then knelt down in the vivid light of fires kindled in the streets, to render thanks to the Almighty for the victories they had thus far achieved, and to beseech his continued blessing on their cause. It must have been a spectacle to rouse a fervid patriotism in the breasts of the most phlegmatic, and to change cowardice itself into heroism. To the Russians it was the rehearsal of the great drama of public justice on oppression, which they had anticipated day by day for months past:-to the Poles, it was the realization of their long hoarded hopes of independence.