AN APPEAL TO RUSSIANS.
about in the towns, but you, the great, real, hundred-million
agricultural people ?
The old Government of the Tsar says to you : " Do not listen
to the rebels ; they promise much, and will deceive you. Remain
true to me, and I will satisfy all your wants."
The rebels say: " Do not believe the Tsar's Government, which
has always tormented you, and will continue to do so. Join us
help us—and we will arrange for you a Government like that of
the freest countries. Then you will choose your own rulers, and
will govern yourselves, and right all your wrongs."
What are you to do ?
Support the old Government ? But, as you know, the old
Government has long promised to lighten your burdens, but
instead of lightening them, it has only increased your greatest
evils : lack of land, taxes and conscription.
Join the rebels ? They promise to arrange for you an elected
Government such as exists in the freest countries. But
wherever such elected Governments exist, in the countries that
have most freedom, in the French and American Republics for
instance, just as among ourselves, the chief ills of the people arc
not remedied : as among us, or to an even greater degree, the land
is in the hands of the rich ; just as among us the people are laden
with taxes and customs-duties without being asked, and as among
us, armies are maintained and wars declared when those in power
desire it, without the people being consulted. Moreover, our new
Government is not yet established, and we do not know what it
will be like.
Not only is it not to your advantage to join either Government,
but you cannot do it conscientiously before God. To defend the
old Government means to do what was done recently in Odessa
Sevastopol, Kief, Riga, the Caucasus, and Moscow, i.e. to capture,
kill, hang, burn alive, execute, and shoot in the streets, killing
children and women. But to join the Revolutionists means to do
the same: to kill people, throw bombs, burn, rob, fight with
soldiers, execute and hang.