3 MARCH 1855, Page 9




Yesterday afternoon the town was startled by intelligence of the serious illness of the Emperor of Russia, and the statement that his physicians had given up all hope of his recovery. Within an hour or two of the publication of this report, which was doubted by many persons, mindful of "the fall of Sebastopol," ' there came another report, more than con- firming the first—the Emperor had died early yesterday morning. When the House of Lords assembled, the Peers showed unusual ex- citement. A motion by Lord Lyndhurst stood for that evening, " to call the attention of the House to the position of Prussia with reference to the approaching negotiations at Vienna."

At the outset of the proceedings of the House, however, the Earl of CLARENDON made a statement on the subject uppermost in all minds.

"My Lords, I feel it my duty to communicate to your Lordships the con- tents of a telegraphic despatch I received half-an-hour ago from her Ma- jesty's Minister at the Hague. It is as follows— 'The Emperor Nicholas died this morning, at one o'clock, of pulmonic apoplexy, after an attack of influenza.'

"I have also received a despatch from her Majesty's Minister at Berlin, stating that the Emperor of Russia died at twelve o'clock. About an hour before these despatches arrived, I received accounts from Berlin, from my noble friend Lord John Russell, in which he stated that the Emperor was on the point of death, and had already taken leave of his family. I apprehend, my Lords, although this event occurred so short a time ago as between twelve and one o'clock this morning, that there can be no doubt as to its au- thenticity. Under these circumstances, as this unexpected event must ex- ercise so important and immediate an influence on the war, on the negotia- tions for peace that are now going on, and possibly on the policy of Russia, I think my noble friend will agree with me that it might be attended with much inconvenience if he brought forward his motion this evening. I therefore trust that he will not, on public grounds, object to the request I take the liberty of making."

Lord LYNDRUEST at once assented ; saying- " After the statement of my noble friend, it is impossible that I can pro- ceed with my motion : but I shall not withdraw it, I shall only postpone it. Unless I find, as the result of the negotiations said to be going on at Berlin, that the Prussian Court accedes to the treaty of the 2d of December, or to an equivalent treaty with France and this country, I shall bring forward the motion of which I have given notice, on a future occasion."

In the House of Commons, Lord PALMERSTON made a similar reply to Mr. FRENCH- " The Government have received two telegraphic messages, one from Berlin and another from the Hague, stating that the Emperor of Russia died. in the course of the forenoon."

The following telegraphic despatch was received this afternoon.

"Berlin, Saturday Aforning.—The Czezarewitch Alexander assumed the Government at Petersburg yesterday afternoon, and received homage as Emperor. Prince Charles of Prussia leaves Berlin tomorrow, to be present at the funeral of the late Emperor."

On receipt of the intelligence of the death of her fathers the Grand Duchess Olga, and the Prince Royal of Wurtemburg, immediately started for St. Petersburg.

Leaving speculation on the political consequences of the removal of the Emperor Nicholas to future opportunities, we subjoin a memorandum of the principal dates in his long and eventful career. Nicholas Paulowitch was born at St. Petersburg, on the 7th July 1796. He was the third son of the Emperor Paul, by a second wife, Mary of Wur-

temberg. In his early life he displayed no striking abilities • and, except when absorbed in military studies, his great passion, he trifled away the hours. In 1814 he visited the battle-fields of the Continent, and came to England in 1816. In 1817 he married the sister of the present King of

Prussia; and Alexander, his eldest son, was born in the following year. In. 1825, his brother the Emperor Alexander died at Taganrog. The next heir was Constantine, but he had already, it was understood, renounced the throne, in consequence of a disqualifying marriage with a Polish lady, whom he would not repudiate; and Nicholas took possession. The troops

had taken the oath of fidelity. to Constantine . and, denouncing Nicholas as an usurper, they called aloud for "Constantine and the Constitution." Milarodovitcll, the Governor of St. Petersburg, and the veteran favourites of

the army, were sent to parley with them. The Archbishop appealed in his ecclesiastical robes ; but all in vain. The populace began to sympathize with

the troops ; and the scene which followed has been described as follows—

"The tide and tumult of death swept on to the Imperial palace. The Emperor and the Empress had proceeded alone to their chapel, and on their knees upon the altar-steps had mutually sworn to die as sovereigns. Then, placing himself at the head of the guard, that yet remained loyal, the Czar rode out and confronted the rebels. Standing before them with haughty bear- ing, he cried in a firm tone, Return to your ranks—obey—down upon your

knees !' The energy of his voice—his countenance calm, though pale—and the veneration with which every Russ regards the person of his sovereign— prevailed. Most of the soldiers kneeled before their master, and grounded

their arms in token of submission." The revolt was quelled, and the ascendancy of the Emperor established. It was never after shaken. The

new Czar speedily showed his military ambition. He made war on Persia, soon after he was crowned; he made war on Turkey, almost before he had made peace with Persia; and, in 1829, dictated the treaty of Adrianople to the Sultan. In 1830, be quelled the Polish revolution; in 1832, his troops camped in the Bosphorus, and he negotiated the treaty of Unkiar Skelesa; by Oriental intrigues, in 1840, he nearly brought about a war between England and France; and in 1854 his insidious policy reacted in arraying these two powers together against himself. His reign extended over thirty years : and he lived longer than the term allotted to the other sovereigns of the house of Romanoff.