« on: March 19, 2017, 01:24:02 AM »
"Les Derniers Années de la Cour de Tzarskoe Selo" Gen. Alexandre Spiridovitch, Payot Paris. Vol. 2, Ch. 19
Prince Vladimir Petrovitch Metchersksi, Chamberlain of His Majesty's Court, owner and editor in chief of the newspaper "Grazdanyin" ("The Citizen" weekly monarchist newspaper in Petersburg, pretending to be reactionary) was dead.
The Prince had lived in the country house of Nicholas F. Bourdukov, Equerry to the Court, who had been his great and loyal friend.
The death of the Prince was an event. With his passing a man disappeared who, thanks to his exclusive position, could freely criticize, by means of his famous newspaper, any he wished of the high functionaries of the State and their actions, including the Ministers. It was a well known fact in Russia that the Emperor himself was a longstanding reader of the "Grazdanyin".
The Prince was a great man of politics, a great person under the last two Emperors. He died at the age of 77.
Prince Metcherski loved Emperor Nicholas II as both the monarch and the son of Alexander III, with whom he had had a great friendship since his youth, starting when Alexander Alexandrovitch was still Tsarevitch.
In the Prince's office one could see a portrait photograph of Tsar Alexander III with the following dedication: "In memory of past years and of our evenings. Your devoted, Alexander."
And on the photograph of Emperor Nicholas II, given to the Prince on January 14, 1910, was inscribed:
"To the indefatigable combatant for the maintenance of the historical foundations necessary for the continuing development of the Russian State."
The Emperor respected the Prince as a friend of his father, great patriot and personal friend. He often desired to know the Prince's opinions on political matters, but always guarded his independence. The Emperor called him once "the Minister without a portfolio." However, there were two matters which the Emperor prohibited the Prince from touching: the Jewish question and external politics
"Why are you going to ask these questions as the last ones?"
"It is because they are the most serious ones" the Prince replied, "I am going to everything possible to tell the Emperor my thoughts, and my opinions. But at the same time I am afraid that the Emperor will be displeased that I have ventured into the forbidden circle. You know well that every time I have tried to touch on the question of the Jews, the Emperor has become angry and for some time afterward would change the tone of his letters written to me. But, I have very little time left to live, and I must tell my beloved Tsar the truth one last time. I greatly love our Minster of the Interior, Maklakov, but he is quite wrong on that matter. He is very young and quite presumptuous, and I will speak out this time against him. I will warn him. His obstinance is harmful to the Emperor. Many measures against the Jews must be eliminated as useless, fictitious, unreasonable and quite harmful to the Supreme Power." ....
In the car, alone with just his friend, the Prince sighed profoundly.
"You don't know, my friend, how difficult it was to speak to the Emperor…Even thinking about that reception is painful for me...I spoke about the Jewish question. The Emperor listened to me without interrupting me and with great attention. From time to time, in his kind face, I saw the shadow of displeasure. I did everything I could to force him to respond to me. But he kept silent. Knowing well his intelligence, the fineness of his spirit, I was wounded that he did not want to face the evidence. When I had finished with the Jewish question, the Emperor thought for several minutes, looked me fixed in the eyes and slowly smiled as if he wanted to soften his response, said to me: 'Excuse me, my old friend, but I am not in agreement with you. I thank you very much for the advice which you have given me and which has been dictated by your devotion to me, by the love for our Mother Russia, but…you know that it is often that I do not wish to follow your advice. I must take into consideration many other circumstances which you do not know about, which escape your attention…My responsibility towards Russia is so great that I do not have the right to consider a question of such great importance to the State on just one side alone, although I should find it personally desireable. You do not know all of these circumstances which I do, which I do not have the right to ignore, and which, quite to the contrary, I must take into consideration…"