For many years I had felt a great desire to visit Russia. The mere circumstance that the whole width of country between the Pacific and the Baltic— between the Frozen Ocean and the Black Sea—should be inhabited by one nation, speaking one language, owning one faith, and subject to one sovereign, appeared to me of singular interest. A residence of two summers in Bohemia made me acquainted with the fact that nearly half the subjects of the Austrian empire are rather Russian than German by affinities of language and thought, and by political sympathies. Even my scanty studies in Bohemian literature were sufficient to show me that the nation which commenced reform in Europe, and stood single-handed for thirty years against the world, was still inferior in its real powers to none among the peoples of Western Europe. It became, therefore, a new problem whether or not a third civilization was to rise, and a third development to be added to the Roman and German influences which Europe has undergone. From all I read of Russia I felt 2convinced that, even judging it from the Slavonic point of view, it was still many years behind France and England in the essentials of national life; but I was also inclined to believe that it was capable of growth. Naturally, therefore, I watched carefully the strong reaction in favour of internal reforms which appeared to be occupying the nation after their mad but heroic struggle in the East.