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PAGE 4

A Prince Who Would Not Stay Dead
by [?]

He was able, without much difficulty, to interest the King of Poland in his behalf, and to secure a declaration of war by that potentate against Czar Schnisky. He invaded Russia, won battles, captured Smolensko, invested Moscow, and finally entered the city.

About this time Dmitri appeared in several other places, but only one of him was in Moscow at the head of a victorious army; and in behalf of this particular one Schnisky resigned his crown and retired to a monastery, whence he was soon removed to a dungeon.

At this juncture the King of Poland, having plans of his own for the union of Russia and his own kingdom, withdrew his countenance from Dmitri; and that prince retired from the business of governing, and devoted himself for the rest of his life to the less honorable, but perhaps equally lucrative, profession of highway robbery. He was again killed after awhile, this time by a Don Cossack. But even this public killing had small effect. A dozen or more new Dmitri’s appeared, claiming the throne; and some of them, says the historian Bell, “actually touched the sceptre for a moment, but only to recoil in fear from the dangerous object of their insane ambition.”

After awhile, having found the task an unprofitable one, perhaps, Dmitri seems to have made up his mind to stay dead; but in due course a race of his sons sprang up quite as mysteriously, if not quite as persistently, to pester the Russians, and peace came to them only through the elevation of the Romanoffs to the imperial throne. Connected as they were by ties of blood with the race of Rurik, they brought legitimacy to the rescue of a land long torn by faction. The loyalty of the people to sovereigns whose right to rule was derived from Rurik, gave the dynasty a strength sufficient to maintain itself; and after a little while Peter the Great taught his Russians civilization, and a new era in Russian history was begun.