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Above the Battle

Lettish and Esthonian nations, would regard the absorption of these provinces into Germany as the worst of calamities. We know well what German domination means. I am a Lett and can speak with authority, for I know the deepest feelings and hopes of my own countrymen.

The Letts are akin to the Lithuanians. They inhabit Courland, Livonia, and a part of the province of Vitebsk. Their intellectual centre is Riga. There are colonies of them in all the principal towns of Russia. Last year the Annales des Nationalités of Paris devoted two numbers to these two sister nations. Owing to the geographical situation of their country, which is only too desirable, they had the misfortune to be under the yoke of the Germans, before they were under the yoke of the Russians. To understand how much they suffered under the former it will be sufficient to say that, in comparison with the Germans, we think of the Russians as our liberators. By sheer force the Germans kept us for centuries in a state equivalent to slavery. Only fifty years ago the Russian Government set us free from this bondage; but, at the same time, it committed the grave injustice of leaving all our land in the hands of German proprietors. Nevertheless, within the last twenty or thirty