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[194] peculiar courtesy toward women, and is justified by no precedent, or vestige of precedent, in the horrible annals either of despotic repression or warlike success. Tilley and Wallerstein have not left in history a character for exaggerated tenderness—but no such disgrace as this attaches to their name. The late Grand Duke Constantine was not a sentimental Governor. It is said of him that on one occasion he sent to prison the husbands of all the Polish ladies of rank who refused to dance with Russian officers at a state ball. But when we come to speak of guilt such as that of the Republican General, even Constantine's blood-stained crime is spotless. He would have driven from his presence any officer—if any such European officer could have been found—who should have suggested to him the decree that the Polish Countesses might be treated as ‘women of the town.’ We can do nothing in England to arrest such proceedings. (We can only learn from them what South America might have taught us already—how Civil war can double its horrors when waged by a government of democratic origin. But, at all events, we can wash our hands of complicity in this guilt.) Unless the author of this infamous proclamation is promptly recalled, let us hear no more of the ‘ties that bind us to our transatlantic kinsmen.’ No Englishman ought to own as kinsmen men who attempt to protect themselves from the tongues of a handful of women by official and authoritative threats of rape. The bloodiest savages could do nothing more cruel —the most loathsome Yahoo of fiction could do nothing more filthy.

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