The Coming Conquest of England eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 309 pages of information about The Coming Conquest of England.
his ultimate aims.  It would be the task of our diplomatic representative at the Court of Berlin to assure himself on this point.  But it is quite another question whether Russia really needs an alliance either with Germany or with the Western Power just referred to, and my view of the case leads me to answer this question in the negative.  Russia is, at the present time, the last and sole bulwark of absolutism in Europe, and if a ruler called by God’s grace to the highest and most responsible of all earthly offices is to remain strong enough to crush the spirit of rebellion and immorality which here and there, under the influence of foreign elements, has shown itself in our beloved country, we must, before all things, take heed to keep far away from our people the poison of the so-called liberal ideas, infidelity, and atheism with which it seems likely to be contaminated from the West.  In like manner, as we, a century ago, crushed the powerful leader of the revolution, so also shall we to-day triumph over our foe—­we single-handed!  Let our armies march into Persia, Afghanistan, and India, and lead throughout all Asia the dominion of the true faith to victory.  But keep our holy Russia uncontaminated by the poison of that heretical spirit, which would be a worse foe than any foreign power can be.”

He sat down, and for a moment absolute silence reigned.  The Grand Duke made a serious face, and exchanged a few whispered words with both his nephews.

Then he said:  “All the gentlemen who have here given us their views on the situation are agreed that a declaration of war upon England is an exceedingly lamentable but, under the circumstances, unavoidable necessity; yet before I communicate to His Majesty, our gracious Lord, this view, which is that of us all, I put to you, gentlemen, the question whether there is anyone here who is of a contrary opinion.  In this case, I would beg of him to address us.”

He waited a short while, but as no one wished to be allowed to speak, he rose from his chair, and with a few words of thanks and a gentle bow to the dignitaries, who had also risen in their places, notified that he regarded the sitting, fraught with momentous consequences for the destiny of the world, as closed.

II

THE OFFICERS’ MESS

The place was Chanidigot, in British East India.  The blinding brightness of the hot day had been immediately followed, almost without the transition to twilight, by the darkness of evening, which brought with it a refreshing coolness, allowing all living things to breathe again freely.  In the wide plain, which served as the encampment ground for the English regiment of lancers, all was alive again with the setting of the sun.  The soldiers, freed from the toil of duty, enjoyed themselves, according to their ideas and dispositions, either in playing cards, singing, or merrily drinking.  The large tent, used as a

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The Coming Conquest of England from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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