DEATH IS HIS.
Alexander Has Gone to Rest.
NICHOLAS THE CZAR.
Sits on the Throne of His Fathers.
PEACEFUL AT THE LAST.
The Dying Emperor Blessed His Family.
ALL RUSSIA PLUNGED IN GRIEF.
Whatever the Worlds Estimate of Him, the Moujiks Loved Their Little Father.
St. Petersburg, Nov. 1. --The angel of death, in the shadow of whose pinions the autocrat of all the Russias has been lying for many days, to-day beckoned and the soul of the man who had in his hands the lives and destinies of millions upon millions was borne away.
Calmly and peacefully as a drowsy babe, he who, by his slightest word, could have plunged Europe into war, the horrors of which would defy description, fell into dreamless sleep.
He, though the head of the church whose members number over 70,000,000 persons, took his last rites a few days before death claimed him from all his greatness. At 2:15 o'clock this afternoon the summons came, and a few hours later the thunderous booming of cannon at Livadia and St. Petersburg announced that the Czar was dead, and that he who had been the Grand Duke Nicholas reigned in his stead.
On lightning wings this news of Russia's loss spread throughout the world and it is safe to say that everywhere the intelligence created sympathy for the family of him who, by his policy, had maintained the peace of Europe. From America came words of sympathy, for the dead ruler had always been a friend of the great republic of the West, and Americans have not forgotten how well his father's friendship sustained the North in the time of the rebellion.
Among the peasants of Russia he will be mourned with a deep and abiding sorrow, for was he not the "Peasant Czar"? None of the grand eloquent titles borne by him was thought as much of as the one bestowed upon him by his lowly subjects, whose virtues were magnified in him, and whose vices in him were entirely lacking.
He who denies the popularity of the Czar among the lower classes of Russia is blinded by prejudice. His kind acts to them in their seasons of plague and famine will never be forgotten, and tonight in thousands upon thousands of homes, from Vladivostock on the Pacific to the Vistula, and from Archangel to the fortresses of the Caucasus, millions of people as they kneel before their icons will pray from the bottom of their hearts for the repose of the soul of their "Little Father," who was to them as great in soul as he was in stature.
There will be sincere mourning, too, in the royal and imperial families of Europe. Not the conventional mourning prescribed by rule, but the mourning of little children. For who has not heard of the annual visits of the Czar to Copenhagen, the home of his beloved Czarina, where, with the children of Emperors, Kings and Princes around him, he was the biggest child of them all, joined in all their sports and romping with them like a big boy. His death will be a most bitter loss to the wife he loved so well that it was a proverb in St. Petersburg that he was "the only Russian who was true to his wife." His home was an ideal one and all his pleasure was found with his own family.
But as the Czar, and not the man, be could be as relentless as stern fate itself. He has banished men and women to Siberia, but they were men and women who sought to kill him or to overturn the Government of which he was the absolute head, and which he, by the most solemn oaths in the mother city of Russia -- Moscow -- had sworn to maintain in its integrity.
Since Tuesday, when the doctors informed the Czar that there was not longer room for hope, his Majesty composedly waited for the end, attending to necessary state and family affairs in short intervals of consciousness and freedom from pain. These were necessarily brief, the doctors having had recourse to sedatives to procure sleep and allay pain.
On Wednesday the Czar was still able to be taken to a window of the palace, whence he gazed out upon the country he loved. The night passed with all the symptoms and dry cough. Dr. Zaccharin remained in attendance upon him throughout the night, only snatching brief intervals for sleep in the anterooms.
The morning broke with rain and wind and heavy clouds, and the weather was much colder. As the day advanced weakness increased so rapidly that the Czar himself recognized that he could only live a few hours. He expressed a desire to receive the sacrament, which was administered to him by Court Chaplain Yanisheff and Father Ivan, in the presence of the whole family.
The Czar then conversed long and earnestly with Father Ivan, concluding by asking his family to again gather around him. He spoke to each member separately and at greatest length with the Czarina. He blessed all his children present. The scene was one of deep pathos, all present save the imperial patient being in tears. At this time his Majesty was sitting up in an armchair. After taking leave of his family he grew weaker gradually, and hit voice became so indistinct that it was scarcely audible.
About noon a convulsive fit of coughing was followed by a slight rally. Then until the end the Czar remained quiet, seemingly free from pain. At 2:15 o'clock he heaved a deep sigh and breathed his last in the arms of the Empress, who then broke down with the weight of her grief. The doctors fear the results of the reaction on her already exhausted system.
The body is being embalmed. It will probably be laid for a couple of days in the palace chapel, but what arrangements will be made for the funeral are still unknown.
It is believed tha remains will be embarked on the imperial yacht Polarnaia Zvezda (Polar Star) at Yalta, where the Seventh Army Corps will render military honors. The whole Black Sea fleet will escort the body to Odessa, whence the body will be conveyed by railay to St. Petersburg, stopping at the important towns en route to enable the troops to render honors to the dead. The State mourning will commence on Saturday and the funeral will probably be held two weeks later.
The arrival of the Prince and Princess of Wales, now en route to Livadia, is anxiously awaited. A special train awaits them at the frontier. It is believed the presence of the Princess of Wales will afford great comfort to her sister, the Czarina, and it is said she will make a long stay in Russia.
An Imperial decree announcing the accension to the throne of the Grand Duke Nicholas (the Czarovitz) is espected from Livadia in a few days.
The theaters and restaurants were closed this evening, but the streets were as busy as usual. Crowds stood about the places where the bulletins from Livadia have been posted, reading the official announcements of hid Majestys death.
The office of the Official Messenger was besieged all day by immence crowds anxious to hear the latest news. The bulletin showing that the last hope had been abandoned was silentle scanned by the mournful crowd, many of whom were in tears. Passing carriages stopped to anable their occupants to read the bulletins.
The first news of the death of his Majesty was posted shortly before 7 oclock. A quarter of an hour later a salute of guns from the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul confirmed the sad news. Later a telegram stating that the Czar was quite conscious when he took the last sacrament at 10 oclock this morning was received.
The members of the Council of the Empire and other hight officials of both civil and military departments and many private citizens assembled at 10 oclock to-night in the Cathedral of Montebello, where a solemn mass was said for the repose of his Majestys soul.
The French Embassador to Russia, who is now in Paris, will return here forthwith.
The Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Duchess of Edinburgh), only sister of the Czar, arrived at Yalta this morning.
St. Petersburg, Nov. 2. -- 1 A.M. -- It is reported here that the populace of Moscow, indignant at what they believe the malpractice of Dr. Zaccharin in the case of the Czar, are wrecking the doctor' house in that city.
The telegrapg offices here are crowded with newspaper correspondents seeking to send their reports, and merchants are waiting for the news from Livadia.
The garrisons at Cronstadt and St. Petersburg have taken the oath of allegiance to the new Czar.
Livadia, Nov. 1. -- When all was over the Czarovitz, Grand Duchess Xenia and other imperial relatives approached the bedside in turn to take a last farewell. The court officials and members of hid Majestys suite were afterward admitted. The flag over the palace was placed at half-mast, and a salute was fired by the vessels in the port.
Shortly after 4 oclock the members of the palace guard were marshaled in the square in front of the palace chapel for the ceremony of swearing allegiance to the new Czar. They were the first to take the oath. The Grand Dukes were the next to swear allegiance and they were followed in the order of precedence by the high court functionaries, court officials, military officers and civil officials.
The Morning Call [San Francisco], Friday Morning, November 2, 1894, p. 1.
Reprinted in the Holy Trinity Cathedral LIFE, Vol. 2, No. 3, November 1994.