THE SHADOW OF THE GLOOMY EAST A INTRODUCTION S a Pole I was an alien in Russia, where I lived for many years, and I looked upon that huge country with all the detachment of an unprejudiced foreigner. I knew Russia from her Western confines right to the Pacific and the Pamir, and I think I understand the psychology of the peoples of that vast, mysterious land, where modern civilisation of the West and the ideology of Mongolian nomads, the asceticism of or thodox Christianity and heathenism exist together in weird confusion to this very day. The Russian intelli gentsia, spiritualised and rising to the loftiest idealism, has long ago cut adrift from the people it could not understand the great mass and contemptuously dis dained to notice its qualities, hostile and dangerous to mankind, which nevertheless remained. Tolstoy has cast upon the ant-heap of the country a new idea, which to his mind defined the pith of his people. He called the common people the carriers of God 1 and considered that all the qualities, the fine as well vi INTRODUCTION as the terrible, were the means of searching after God and His truth. This formula appealed to the minds of the educated classes and inspired a highly poetic view of the com mon crowd. When warning voices were raised against this ab stract and most unreal idealism, when writers like Rodionov, Kuprin, Gorky, Chehov pointed this out with set purpose or incidentally, their warnings evoked only the indignant ire of dim-sighted dreamers. Sober reality wrote with a blood-stained hand Its verdict on the visions of the intelligentsia. I hope that the same severe judge will not pass the same sentence on the Christian civilisation, which has been sapped bymaterialism, and is passing at present through its twilight of death or new birth, unable to rouse itself with new strength and impulse to loftier ideals. In face of the danger threatening from Russia these should be our strength and stay, for in them lies the only salvation from the peril coming tip from the East, with its passion for evil and showing its true face since the mask which deceived mankind for so long is torn off. My sketches of the Shadow of the Gloomy East 1 are an attempt to lay bare before the civilised world the true face of the Russian people, which must be enlightened, converted to Christianity, to European culture, strengthened in true morality, and then, only INTRODUCTION vii then, admitted as an equal to the great comity of nations which aims at perfection, spiritual beauty and strength. PROF. DR. FERDINAND A, OSSENDOWSKI. WARSAW, November, 1923. CONTENTS PAGE INTRODUCTION v CHAPTER I. THE MASKS I II. THE FACE LAID BARE n III. THE SHADOWS OF THE VILLAGE 19 IV. THE TREASURE HUNTERS 44 V. THE POISONERS 47 VI, HEATHENISM 51 VII. WITCHCRAFT 55 VIII. THE ECHO OF THE DIM PAST 59 IX. THE BOLD INDUSTRY 66 X. THE LORDS OF THE SEA 69 XL IN THE DUSK OF THE PALACES 74 XII. BLACK SHADOWS 83 XIII. PHANTOMS OF THE APOCALYPSE 90 XIV. ASCETICS VERSUS ANTICHRIST 103 XV. FACTORIES OF IMMORALITY 106 XVI. WOMAN AND THE CHILD 116 XVII. DEATH OF THE ROMANOVS AND THE MYSTICAL MOVE MENT 123 XVIII. BLACK RAVENS 130 XIX. OLD GODS IN CHRISTIAN WORSHIP .... 136 XX. THE SIMPLEST OF ALL GODS 144 XXL THE DEVILS FEAST 148 XXII. WITTE, STOLYPIN, AND GOREMYKIN .... 160 XXIII. THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS 178 XXIV. FETISHISM OF THE WORD 187 XXV. CHAOS 191 CONCLUSION i9S INDEX ... w - w w w w 99 ix THESHADOW OF THE GLOOMY EAST THE SHADOW OF THE GLOOMY EAST CHAPTER I THE MASKS TpHE civilised world knew Russia by those of her representatives who were deservedly admired and respected in Western Europe...
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