There is a famous, 19th century painting of Ivan the Terrible clutching his
dead son. He looks not just bereaved, but absolutely demented (we are to
infer: by reason of the grief). It is not possible for me to absolve Ivan
the Terrible for what he did. Dead is dead. Unless I have missed something,
that particular book is closed.
The heightened rhetoric of all this becomes tedious. One person demanding
apologies from Americans for not being monarchists. Another saying the one
who started (and keeps starting) this line of reasoning reasons "like a
Of course, he does. He was educated by them. There was created a Homo
Sovieticus. There is an analogous situation in those of us who graduated
from Jesuit schools: We think the way they taught us to think.
Since, as a young man, Tsar Nicholas, II, kept a mistress, shall we refer to
that ballet dancer as "the sacred mistress of the sacred monarch"?
I doubt it. That is why, trying to remove this from something that
"matters" to an historical reference, I repeated the scoffing remark of the
wag who said of His Brittanic Majesty King Charles, II, "It must always be
remembered that His Majesty uses the chamber pot."