Page 3772

3772 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

of German arms. All over Germany the

newspapers said that Riga was at heart a

German town and would forever remain

a part of the Empire. Kaiser Wilhelm

issued an address of congratulation to the

victorious army and spoke of Riga as a

town "founded by the spirit of the old

German Hanseatic League" and now "liberated from long oppression."

The loss of Riga created profound

excitement in Russia and produced a new

political crisis. Many patriotic Russians

had become convinced that the Kerensky

Government could not save Russia, and

a coup d'etat was attempted against his

authority. The leader was General Korniloff, who had succeeded Brusiloff as Commander in Chief. Korniloff was a Cossack by birth and was a man of energy and

good intentions. He was not personally

hostile to Kerensky, nor did he intend to

restore the old regime; he merely wished to

set up a strong government which would

rescue Russia from impending destruction.

In a proclamation he said that "overwhelming consciousness of the impending ruin of

the Fatherland compels me in this menacing moment to summon all Russians to

save perishing Russia from domestic anarchy

and foreign foe."

But the attempt speedily collapsed.

Kerensky acted with energy, and expressions of loyalty came to him from

many sources. Kerensky himself

assumed the powers of Commander

in Chief and made General Alexieff

Chief of Staff. Korniloff moved with

a small force against the capital,

but some of his troops deserted, and

he became convinced that his effort

could not succeed. He gave up the

attempt and surrendered, but was

subsequently released. With his failure ended the last hope of a Russian

revival. Events in that unhappy

country speedily moved toward a

tragic climax, and liberty degenerated

into license.

Gradually all of the restraints of law

and order disappeared, and the country

fell into complete anarchy and chaos.

A Petrograd correspondent of the

Paris Temps wrote the following

amusing sketch in October, 1917, of

certain phases of life in the Russian

capital:

"One morning recently I was awakened by the cries of my neighbor in

the next room. His boots had been

stolen. The same day the manager of

a newspaper office told me that he

had been robbed of six pairs of pantaloons.

What use could any one have for six nether

garments? The star reporter came in with

eyes bulging. 'Four hundred thefts every

night!' he cried; 'that is the average for the

last two weeks. The Petrograd militia

are vainly seeking for the 18,000 criminals

who are living in liberty among us. It is

frightful!'

"Under the old regime we were guarded

by 5,750 police agents-large, strong