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They Didn’t Know How to Make a Rope

Kondraty Ryleyev was sentenced to be hanged for his part in an unsuccessful uprising against the Russian czar Nicholas I in December 1825. But the rope broke and Ryleyev, bruised and battered, fell to the ground, got up, and said, “In Russia they do not know how to do anything properly, not even how to make a rope.” An accident of this sort usually resulted in a pardon, so a messenger was sent to the czar to know his pleasure. Nicholas asked, “What did he say?” “Sire, he said that in Russia they do not even know how to make a rope properly.” “Well, let the contrary be proved,” said the czar.

Today in the Word. March 13, 1993