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vance of their own laws and ordinances, which are too often a dead letter. Let the Porte be made to feel that the maintenance of friendly relations with all Europe is at this price. The difficulty, however, lies, not in the conditions we ought to ask, but in the means by which the conditions are to be enforced. If Russia insists on what she terms a
material ‘guarantee,' in the shape of a territorial invasion, that is, just as it was in 1853, an act of war; and the Porte will treat it as such, just as she did in 1828 and in 1853, though all Europe were against her. She may not object to the conditions in themselves, but unless she be extinguished as a Sovereign State altogether, she cannot accept that mode of imposing them. It seems to us preposterous to expect that the Government of a great empire should subscribe to its own extinction, at the hands of a portion of its own subjects and of its bitterest enemies, until it is reduced by war to the last stage of weakness and defeat. And as long as Russia alone is preparing, perhaps reluctantly, to take the field against her, Turkey has not much to fear. As for the joint action of Europe, she knows perfectly well that France and Germany will not act at all, that Austria will not help the Russians to cross the Danube, and that England will not attack the Turkish fleet.
If the Turks are wise they will take advantage of the present crisis to introduce real reforms into their administration. We cordially agree with Sir George Campbell, that it is at the bottom, and not at the top, that they ought to begin. Give the Christians a full share of powers in their village communities; abolish the tax-farmer, and establish a land settlement (Sir George says the actual rate of taxation is considerably lower than that we raise in India); put restrictions on the sale and use of arms; introduce, in short, the administrative reforms which a few Bengal civilians would establish in six months, and we should hear much less of political grievances threatening to rend the whole fabric of an empire asunder. These are substantially the proposals included in Lord Derby's despatch of November 4th, and it would be the height of unwisdom and injustice on the part of the Turks to reject them, though it would be equally absurd for us to seek to introduce changes of this nature by force of arms.
Our readers will perceive that although we have not the slightest disposition to declare war against Russia, or to assume the defence of the Turkish Government, we are equally opposed to measures of war to be executed conjointly with Russia against the Porte. Our distrust of Russia, our own public engagements by treaty, and our national interests appear to us to forbid altogether such a course ; and we are wholly at a loss to understand how the enthusiastic partisans of peace, who describe the horrors of war in such vivid language, can advocate a course which leads straight to hostilities, and to hostilities against a friendly Power. If the policy of this country is, as we take it to be, not to act by force of arms either on behalf of Turkey or against her, then we think that the charge to which the present Administration is most obnoxious is that they have spoken and done too much. Perhaps our own position would have been stronger if we had shared the reticence and abstention of Germany and France, who have certainly not suffered at all by standing aloof. The great activity of the press of this country, and the excited state of public opinion, doubtless render such strict non-intervention more difficult in England than elsewhere. Yet non-intervention is still the professed principle of our foreign policy, and we are not sure that we have gained anything in this instance by departing from it. It is certainly an entire delusion to suppose that this country has stronger interests in the government of Turkey than any other, or that we are called upon to administer its affairs.
Within a few weeks Parliament will meet and these matters will be discussed with an animation which will, we fear, consume for the sake of Bulgarians and Turks a vast deal of the time of a session which is always too short for the practical legislation of the country. The apprehension of a war, in which we ourselves are likely to be actively engaged, may, we think, be dismissed for the present; we have only to follow the precedent of 1828, when a much greater man than Lord Beaconsfield was at the head of the British Government.
If the Conference leads to practical results without the use of force, Lord Salisbury will have rendered an eminent service to all parties, to Russia as well as to Turkey, to Great Britain and the rest of Europe. Nor, if he falls short of success, should we be disposed to attribute his failure to any defect of the ambassador, but to insurmountable difficulties in the case. But it seems probable that the Conference will lead to no practical result at all, except that of preventing a good deal of mischief which might otherwise have occurred.
The opinions we have expressed in these pages are, we have reason to believe, in the main, those which are held by that portion of the Liberal party which has not allowed itself to take part in declamatory meetings or to be excited by angry pamphleteers. We yield to none in sympathy with the Chris
VÜL. CXLV. NO, CCXCVII.
tian races subject, for the last four centuries, to the Turkish power, and our influence has not unfrequently been exerted beneficially in their behalf. But we cannot in a moment redress these secular wrongs, in a foreign country, by abandoning the traditions of our policy in Europe and Asia, or by setting at nought engagements framed by ourselves and entered into by all the Great Powers. Above all, we desire the maintenance of peace; and we are perfectly convinced that peace is not to be secured by acts of force or violence. These doctrines are, we cannot but know, extremely unwelcome to those more enthusiastic members of our own party who desire the immediate overthrow of the Turkish Empire, and who would cast themselves into the arms of Russia to accomplish so desirable an object. But these ebullitions of feeling are by no means shared by the whole Liberal Party, and they are certainly not shared by the Liberals of France and Germany, to whom much that has recently occurred in England has been a matter of amazement and ridicule. Foreign nations sometimes see us better than we see ourselves. * We have great confidence in the power of Parliamentary debate to winnow the chaff from the wheat, and to separate what is real and practical in this movement from what is visionary and enthusiastical, and we have no fear that the House of Commons or the House of Lords will lose sight of the true interests of this empire. But if the Liberal Party is to exert its proper influence in the discussion of these important questions and to perform the duties of a statesmanlike Opposition, it must be by a steady adherence to the principles of its leader, and by a firm resolution to maintain the policy of moderation, good faith, and
* One of the best papers we have read on the subject entitled 'Die Lage in Orient,' is to be found in a recent number of the Deutsche • Rundschau'; and we believe it is correctly attributed to an eminent German diplomatist, long resident in this country. We perceive with pleasure that his views exactly correspond with our own.
No. CCXCVIII. will be published in April.
Art. I.-1. The Works of Sir John Fortescue, Knight, Chief
Justice of England und Lord Chancellor to King Henry the Sixth. Now first collected and arranged by THOMAS (FORTESCUE) Lord CLERMONT. London: Printed for Private
Distribution. 1869. 2. A History of the Family of Fortescue, in all its Branches.
By THOMAS (FORTESCUE) Lord CLERMONT. London:
Printed for Private Distribution. 1869.
remarkable collection of portraits gathered from the principal country houses of Devonshire and Cornwall, and exhibited at Exeter during the visit of the Archæological Institute to that city in 1873, will hardly have forgotten the earliest picture in the assemblage--the portrait of Henry VI.'s Chief Justice and Chancellor, sent from Castle Hill by his representative and descendant the present Earl Fortescue. The portrait, which seems to have formed one of the wings of an altar-piece, of which Sir John Fortescue may have been the donatore,' represents him with his hands clasped in prayer. The face is closely shaven, and the hair, cut short in front, falls from under a plain black cap. The face, grave and pleasant, is not that of the old judge who died at the age of ninety, but shows us the laudator of the ‘leges Angliæ in his younger days, long before he fought at Towton, or passed across the sea to share the exile of Queen Margaret and her son. The picture was possibly designed by some artist of the school of Mabuse, after an earlier portrait; but however this may be, it reniains the only authentic representation of a great man-not the least among those worthies’ of whom Devonshire is so justly proud—and it is impossible to regard it with other than the highest interest.
VOL. CXLV. NO. CCXCVIII.
Sir John Fortescue was not the first of his race to distinguish himself, but he is the first whose distinction is still recognised among us--one of the earliest to set forth, in anything like an abstract treatise, the excellence of English law and constitution; quite the first, unless we choose to regard in the same light the • Tractatus de Legibus' of Randolph Glanville, the Justiciar of Henry II. ; * and the treatise which he composed for the instruction of the young prince who was killed in the fight at Tewkesbury may still be read with pleasure and profit. Since his time, the family to which he belonged has thrown out various branches and offsets from the parent stem; and few of the more ancient houses of this country can prove a more undoubted descent, or can point to a greater number of illustrious sons distinguished alike in camp and in court, than this
' long-lined race of honoured Fortescue.' Its greatest honours (if accession to the ranks of the peerage is thus to be regarded) have been attained in comparatively recent times. The English barony dates from 1746, and the earldom from 1789. In Ireland, the barony, viscounty, and earldom of Clermont were first held by a Fortescue in 1770, and the titles having become extinct, the barony was revived in 1852, in favour of the present Lord Clermont. But from the time, not long after the Conquest, when we first find them settled in the South Hams of Devon, to the present day, there has hardly been a stirring period in the history of this country during which a Fortescue has not come to the front.
It was not, at first, one of the greater or more wealthy houses of Eng·land; but 'land and beeves' speedily came to the various branches, especially to that which migrated, as the result of a marriage with a great heiress, to the north of Devonshire; and, whatever we may think of the Hastings story, the 'posy' of the race, as old Westcote calls it, expresses what is certainly true with regard to such Norman families as that of the Fortescues during the earlier days of their settlement in the West. · Forte scutum salus ducum. The gradual approach of Normans and English after the Conquest was materially influenced, and the final blending of the races was no doubt hastened, by the spreading through the country of these smaller landowners. They were brought into sharper and closer contact with the English than the greater lords, who were seldom for any length
Glanville's treatise is, however, of a very different aim and character; nor can the famous “Dialogus de Scaccario’ of Richard Fitz-Nigel be compared, in any fair sense, with Fortescue's book.