I'm reading Orlando Figes' Revolutionary Russia.
Prince Mirsky was appointed Minister for the Interior by Tsar Nicholas and was much more progressive than his predecessor. He convened a congress of middle-class liberals and they drafted some proposals for reform to present to Nicholas, including the suggestion of an advisory parliamentary body. Nicholas rejected this proposal on the grounds that it undermined his god-given right to rule over the people.
After this rejection, Mirsky said, 'Everything has failed. Let us build jails!'
What did he mean by this?