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The Lesser of Two Evils

years, we have succeeded in reclaiming from the Germans a part at least of our land, and in reaching a considerable level of culture, thanks to which, we are considered, together with the Esthonians and the Finns, as the most advanced people in the Russian Empire.

German papers often accuse us of ingratitude, and reproach us with our lack of appreciation of the advantages of the culture which they boast of having brought us. We listen to such accusations with a bitter smile, and in writing the word Kulturträger (bearer of civilisation) add an exclamation mark afterwards, for the behaviour of the Germans has brought the expression into contempt. We have acquired our culture in spite of their opposition, and against their will. Even to-day it is the German representatives in the Russian Duma who veto the occasional suggestions on the part of the Government to make reforms in the Baltic provinces. These provinces are administered in a manner that differs, and differs for the worse, from that adopted in the other provinces of Russia. We still submit to laws and regulations which no longer exist in other parts of Europe—laws which were made in the feudal ages and have been rigorously maintained amongst us, thanks to the exertions of the big