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It was signed: "The mercy-imploring criminal, Michel Bakunin." Deitch quotes a few passages to show how the great revolutionist degraded himself before the Czar.

"My Lord King, by what name shall I call my past life? I have squandered my life in fantastic and fruitless strivings and it has ended in crime. A false beginning, a false situation, and a sinful egotism have brought me to criminal errors. I have done noting in my life except to commit crimes. I have dared to raise my powerless arm against my great Fatherland. I have renounced and cursed my errors and faults. If I could rectify my past by an act, I would ask mercy and the opportunity to do this. I should be glad to wipe out with blood my crimes against you, my Czar. To you, my Czar, I am not ashamed to confess my weakness. Openly, I confess that the thought of dying in loneliness, in the dark prison cell, terrifies me more than death itself, and from the depths of my heart and soul I pray your Majesty to be released, if it is only possible, from this last punishment, the heaviest that can be. No matter what sentence may await me, I surrender to it in advance and accept it as just. And I permit myself to hope that this last time I may be allowed to express the feeling of profound gratitude to your unforgettable father, and to Your Majesty, for all the benefits that you have shown me."

There are other documents of a similar character addressed to high officials.

In 1854, at the beginning of the Crimean War, Bakunin was transferred to the casemates of the dreaded fortress of Schlusselburg, which actually lie beneath the level of the Neva. When Alexander II. ascended the throne in August, 1856, he half-pardoned many political refugees and conspirators. With grim satire he included the surviving Decembrists of 1825. A royal pardon after thirty years of torture! Bakunin was not amongst the pardoned.

In 1857, Bakunin was released from prison and removed to Western Siberia as a penal colonist. Three years later Bakunin asked to return to Russia. The emperor refused this request as he saw in him "no signs of remorse." After eight years imprisonment and four years in exile, he had to look forward still to a series of dreary years spent in Siberia. Two of these had gone when, in 1859, the Russian Government annexed the territory of the Amur. Bakunin was given permission to settle here and to move about as he pleased. This was not enough. A new flame had been kindled throughout Russia. Garibaldi had unfurled the Italian flag of seeming freedom. Bakunin, at forty-seven years of age and with his pulse full of vigour, could not remain tame and distant spectator of these revolutionary events. His confessions were forgotten. The titan was himself again. He determined to escape. His excursions were extended gradually as far as Novo-Nikolaievsk. Here at last, he secretly boarded an American clipper and reached Japan. He was the first political refugee to seek shelter in the land of the cherry blossom. From there he proceeded to the Devil's Kitchen, San Fransisco. He crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached New York. On the 26th December, 1861, he landed at


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