28 AUGUST 1880, Page 2

The administration of General Loris Melikoff in Russia has certainly

succeeded in alleviating the extraordinary tension of the situation, chiefly by measures of relaxation ; and the Czar is so well satisfied with the result of the Special Commission entrusted to General Melikoff on February 24th, that though he dissolves it, as having served its purpose, by a ukase dated. August 18th, he appoints him Minister of the Interior, and puts the chief of the secret police under him, as his assistant. General Melikoff's chief idea seems to have been to lighten pressure, to diminish the number of exiles, to allow more freedom to the Russian Press, and to render the secret police less of a nightmare to the people's imagination, instead of to heighten its terrors. The acute Armenian sees that nothing is so full of criminal desperation as political despair, and that by opening to the people a prospect of a milder regime, he diminishes greatly the stimulus to conspiracy and assassination. There is a point of political passion at which the fear of retri- bution altogether fails to prevent treason, and where that point is passed, as it has been in Russia, the only rational course is

to lessen the incitements to crime instead of multiplying its penalties.