RUSSIA: Debauchee's Daughter

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"It was like watching some horrible reptile die—something that writhed and spit slime though dead a thousand times."

Rasputin's Prophecy. To Nicholas the Last a cryptic prophecy was made by Gregory the Debauchee:

"Sire, my murder will be your murder."

On May 8, 1918, the Imperial Family, then setting out for Siberian exile, chanced to drive through the village of Pokrovskoie, where Rasputin was born, and as they clattered past the murdered Monk's house, the Tsaritsa Alexandra waved to his daughter, Mme. Soloviev, who was standing in the doorway. Boris Soloviev, was serving at this time as a secret emissary between the Tsar and his White Russian adherents. Some historians maintain that he betrayed a project for the rescue of the Imperial Family to the Bolsheviki, thus precipitating the mass murder of the Romanovs, at Ekaterinburg, on July 16, 1918.

Whether or not Son-in-Law Soloviev was the means of carrying out his father-in-law's prophecy, it is significant that he was gifted in lesser degree with the prodigious hypnotic powers of Rasputin.

Two statesmen of strongest will who testified that they could barely resist these powers were onetime President of the Duma Michael Rodzianko and onetime Prime Minister Peter Arcadevich Stolypin.

The latter thus describes an encounter with the Monk, who had been summoned to answer to the Cabinet for his gross immorality. "He ran his pale eyes over me," declared Stolypin, "mumbled mysterious and inarticulate words from the Scriptures, made strange movements with his hands, and I began to feel an indescribable loathing for this vermin sitting opposite me. Still I did realize that the man possessed great hypnotic power, which was beginning to produce a fairly strong moral impression on me. ... I was able to pull myself together."

President of the Duma Rodzianko, a man of huge physique, told thus of a similar encounter: "Rasputin faced me and seemed to run me over with his eyes; first my face, then the region of the heart, then again he stared me in the eyes. ... I, speaking literally, felt my own eyes starting out of my head. ... I felt myself confronted by an unknown, tremendous power."

*His Imperial Majesty once distractedly exclaimed, "I prefer twenty Rasputins to one hysterical woman" [—the Tsaritsa Alexandra].

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