The English in Russia.
--An Englishman can scarcely form an idea of the petty annoyances to which a foreigner is subjected on his arrival at St. Petersburg
He is first required to give in writing a long and circumstantial declaration on a variety of subjects.
He has then to undergo a personal examination at the bureau of the secret police; and woe be to him if he falter or make a single false step, or say anything that seems inconsistent with his written, and perhaps forgotten, declaration.--If his examination prove satisfactory to the police, he will receive a passport at the foreign office.
This precious passport system, now happily abolished by the other Northern powers, is carried to absurd lengths in Russia
; indeed, if you wished to invent a practical burlesque on the principle of passports, you could not do better than adopt the Russian
plan of surveillance.
You cannot legally enter a town, or sleep at an inn, or even spend a night at a friend's house, without a passport.
You cannot change your residence, even if you were going to live next door, without first sending your passport to the police office.--Once a Week.