This anecdote was widely popular during the reign of the Russian Emperor Alexander the First. Now, years ago, it is difficult to say how plausible this case was, but the story is instructive enough.
During a trip around the country, the emperor visited one of the provincial cities. Among the places where Alexander looked was the local prison. Moreover, the ruler did not confine himself to a conversation with the authorities, the guards, but decided to personally communicate with the prisoners, to find out in what conditions they are being held and whether they do not tolerate offenses from the prison administration.
In the conversation, Alexander decided to be curious about why the prisoners were here. It is not surprising that in response I heard the most touching stories. For example, one of the prisoners said that he ended up in prison by pure chance: a church was robbed in the village, a sexton was killed. And when the servants of justice arrived at the scene of the crime, they did not understand for a long time, they seized those who fell under the hot hand. So an innocent person suffers, although, according to him, he did not know anything.
The second convict said that a peddler was stabbed to death near his village. Naturally, he ended up here by pure chance, and has nothing to do with the commission of this atrocity.
The third "sufferer" told an equally touching story: a neighbor harbored a grudge against him and decided on an insidious plan. He got hold of a bundle of counterfeit banknotes somewhere, planted them on a crystal honest person, and then reported him to the police. So a man is suffering, accused of making counterfeit banknotes by an evil slander.
Alexander Pavlovich talked to almost all the prisoners, and it turned out that everyone who was in prison had got here completely undeservedly and together asked the emperor to sort out their affairs.
Suddenly, already before leaving, the sovereign noticed a peasant, modestly sitting in a corner, not addressing the governor with any requests. Alexander and he decided to find out the reason why he ended up in prison. To the surprise of everyone, the peasant said that he was sitting absolutely deservedly: he stole a horse from a merchant, therefore, he admits his guilt and does not ask for leniency. Turning to the governor, the emperor threateningly ordered: “Immediately release him on all four sides. There is no place for a scoundrel among honest people "