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ceeling when another was tired out ; but nothing could overcome his constancy, and his last words were a prayer to implore his God to have mercy on his master and forgive his desertion.

His praise came even from the tyrant, who wrote to Kourbsky “Let thy servant Vaska* shame thee. He preserved his truth to thee before the Tzar and the people. Having given thee his word of faith, he kept it, even before the gates of death.”

After the flight of Kourbsky, the rage of Ivan continued to increase with each year of his life. He had formed a sort of body-guard of a thousand rutfians, called the Oprichnina, who carried out his barbarous commands, and committed an infinity of murders and robberies on their own account. He was like a distorted caricature of Henry VIII., and, like him, united violence and cruelty with great exactness about religious worship, carrying his personal observances to the most fanatic extravagance.

In the vacancy of the Metropolitan See, he cast his eyes upon the monastery in the little island of Solovsky, in the White Sea, where the Prior, Feeleep Kolotchof, was noted for his holy life, and the good he had done among the wild and miserable population of the island. He was the son of a rich boyard, but had devoted himself from his youth to a monastic life, and the fame of his exertions in behalf of the islanders had led the Tzar to send him not only precious vessels for the use of his church, but contributions to the stone churches, piers, and hostelries that he raised for his people ; for whom he had made roads, drained marshes, introduced cattle, and made fisheries and salt-pans, changing the whole aspect of the place, and lessening even the inclemency of the climate.

On this good man the Tzar fixed his choice. He wrote to him to come to Moscow to attend a synod, and on his arrival made him dine at the palace, and informed him that he was to be chief pastor of the Russian Church. Feeleep burst into tears, entreating permission to refuse, and beseeching the Tzar not to trust “so heavy a freight to such a feeble bark.” held to his determination, and Feeleep then begged him at least to dismiss the cruel Oprichnina. “How can I bless you,” he said, “ while I see my country in mourning ?."

* The abbreviation of Vasili or Basil.

Thé Tzar replied by mentioning his suspicions of all around him, and commanded Feeleep to be silent. He expected to be sent back to his convent at once, but, instead of this, the Tzar commanded the clergy to elect him Archbishop, and they all added their entreaties to him to accept the office, and endeavor to soften the Tzar, who respected him; and he yielded at last, saying, “The will of the Tzar and the pastors of the Church must, then, be done."

At his consecration, he preached a sermon on the power of mildness, and the superiority of the victories of love over the triumphs of war. It awoke the better feelings of Ivan, and for months he abstained from any deed of violence ; his good days seemed to have returned, and he lived in intimate friendship with the good Archbishop.

But after a time the sleeping lion began to waken. Ivan's suspicious mind took up an idea that Feeleep had been incited by the nobles to request the abolition of the Oprichnina, and that they were exciting a revolt. The spies whom he sent into Moscow told him that wherever an Oprichnik appeared, the people shrank away in silence, as, poor things! they well might. He fancied this a sign that conspiracies were brewing, and all his atrocities began again. The tortures to which whole families were put were most horrible ; the Oprichniks went through the streets with poniards and axes seeking out their victims, and killing from ten to twenty a day. The corpses lay in the streets, for no one dared to leave his house to bury them. Feeleep vainly sent letters and exhortations to the Tzar, — they were unnoticed. The unhappy citizens came to the Archbishop, entreating him to intercede for them, and he gave them his promise that he would not spare his own blood to save theirs.

One Sunday, as Feeleep was about to celebrate the Holy Communion, Ivan came into the Cathedral with a troop of his satellites, like him, fantastically dressed in black cassocks and high caps. He came towards the Metropolitan, but Feeleep kept his eyes fixed on the picture of our Lord, and never looked at him. Some one said, “ Holy Father, here is the prince; give him your blessing:

“No,” said the Archbishop," I know not the Tzar in this strange disguise, still less do I know him in his government.

O Prince! we are here offering sacrifice to the Lord, and beneath the altar the blood of guiltless Christians is flowing in torrents. .... You are indeed on the throne, but there is One above all, our Judge and yours. How shall you appear before His Julgment Seat ? — stained with the blood of the righteous, stunned with their shrieks, for the stones beneath your feet cry out for vengeance to heaven.

Prince, I speak as shepherd of souls; I fear God alone.”

The Archbishop wis within the golden gates, which, in Russian churches, close in the sanctuary or chancel, and are only entered by the clergy. He was thus out of reach of the cruel iron-tipped staff, which the Tzar could only strike furiously on the pavement, crying out, “Rish monk, I have spared you too long. Henceforth I will be to you such as

you describe.”

The murders went on in their full horrors ; but, in spite of the threat, the Archbishop remained unmolested, though broken-hearted at the cruelties around him. At last, however, his resolute witness became more than the tyrant would endure, and messengers were secretly sent to the island of Solovsky, to endeavor to find some accusation against him. They tampered with all the monks in the convent, to induce them to find some fault in him, but each answered that he was a saint in every thought, word, and deed; until at last Payssi, the prior who had succeeded him, was induced, by the hope of a bishopric, to bear false witness against him.

He was cited before an assembly of bishops and boyards, presided over by the Tzar, and there he patiently listened to the monstrous stories told by Payssi. Instead of defending himself, he simply said, “ This seed will not bring you a good harvest”; and, addressing himself to the Tzar, said, “ Prince, you are mistaken if you think I fear death. Having attained an advanced age, far from stormy passions and worldly intrigues, I only desire to return my soul to the Most High, my Sovereign Master and

yours. Better to perish an innocent martyr, than as Metropolitan to look on at the horrors and impieties of these wretched times. Do what you will with me! Here are the pastoral staff, the white mitre, and the mantle with which you invested me. And you, bishops, archimandrites, abbots, servants of the altar, feed the flock of Christ zealously, as preparing to give an account thereof, and fear the Judge of Heaven more than the earthly judge."

He was then departing, when the Tzar recalled him, saying that he could not be his own judge, and that he must await his sentence. In truth, worse indignities were preparing for him. He was in the midst of the Liturgy on the 8th of November, the Greek Michaelmas, when a boyard came in with a troop of armed Oprichniks, who overawed the people, while the boyard read a paper degrading the Metropolitan from his sacred office ; and then the ruffians, entering through the golden gates, tore off his mitre and robes, wrapped him in a mean gown, absolutely swept him out of the church with brooms, and took him in a sledge to the Convent of the Epiphany. The people ran after him, weeping bitterly, while the venerable old man blessed them with uplifted hands, and, whenever he could be heard, repeated his last injunction, Pray, pray to God.”

Once again he was led before the Emperor, to hear the monstrous sentence, that for sorcery, and other heavy charges, he was to be imprisoned for life. He said no reproachful word, only, for the last time, he besought the Tzar to have pity on Russia, and to remember how his ancestors had reigned, and the happy days of his youth. Ivan only commanded the soldiers to take him away ; and he was heavily ironed and thrown into a dungeon, whence he was afterwards transferred to a convent on the banks of the Moskwa, where he was kept bare of almost all the necessaries of life : and in a few days' time the head of Ivan Borissovitch Kolotchof, the chief of his family, was sent to him, with the message,

“ Here are the remains of your dear kinsman, your sorcery could not save him!” Feeleep calmly took the head in his arms, blessed it, and gave it back.

The people of Moscow gathered round the convent, gazed at his cell, and told each other stories of his good works, which they began to magnify into miracles. Thereupon the Emperor sent him to another convent, at a greater distance. Here he remained till the next year, 1569, when Maluta Skouratof, a Tatar noted as a favorite of the Tzar,

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