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.