10 NOVEMBER 1883, Page 2

• The Standard publishes an account of the present position

of the Nihilists, derived, it states, from "one of the most pro- minent Russian statesmen now in office." According to this authority, the party has of late become weak and disorganised.. Many of their leaders have been condemned, and the police recently succeeded in arresting at Kharkof their executive chief—or supreme Head Centre, as the Fenians would say—a lady of extraordinary endowments, named Vera Philipora. It was she who devised the scheme of a mili- tary revolt, and succeeded in winning over some forty officers,. principally in Tiflis,—and, the prominent Minister might have added, many officers in the Navy. She has within the last two weeks revealed the entire plot, in a confession which fills a volume, and is much better done, the narrator says, than any official in this Ministry could have done it. The story sounds wild to Western ears, but no Minister would have fabricated the statement that a lady was at the head of the movement,. which, nevertheless, is entirely in accord with all we know of Nihilist ways and Russian society. Moreover, Tiflis is just the place to be chosen as the nucleus of a military revolt, for it is the head-quarters of the Army of the Caucasus, which is full• of officers sent there as a punishment and for disciplinary reasons. There is ground for believing, too, that discontent in Russia, like population and wealth, accumulates in the southern provinces. We all make the mistake of thinking of Russia as a sort of Arctic Power ; while, since the emancipation, the popula- tion has been yearly quitting the Northern governments for the pleasanter and more cultivable South.