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American missionaries among the Nestorians, new enmity and rivalry with a foe at the in Persia, referred to by Mr. Badger, have other side of the world, a country with which, acted, and apparently with signal success. though we once fought in conjunction, we as The Bible is translated into their modern yet know but little, and which knows us still tongue, modern religious books are distributed, less ? schools established, and the gospel preached The most durable things in history are, in the living language of the people. Mr. after all, national enmities. Dynasties rise, Badger's work, we may add, is deeply inter- fall, and succeed each other ; liberty Aourishes esting throughout; but he is, in our opinion, or fades ; countries are now warlike, now much too hard on the American missionaries, commercial ; their taste is at one time for and disposed too little to value their labors, turbulence, and at another for servility. There because they are not Episcopalians. We are pious ages and profane ages, as every presume the lively volume of Mr. Curzon has literature attests. One thing alone seldom been seen by most of our readers. It contains or never varies. And that is national eninity. valuable information concerning the Eastern When did the English begin to bate and to forms of Christianity, and humorously, yet fight the French? Since ever there were Eogaffectingly, describes the living death of the lish or French, and that is at least sis cenSyrian and other monasteries in these re- turies ago. gions.
The old rule of the world seems to have We conclude with an expression of hope been that we should hate our neighbors. that the field to which we have introduced And Christians as we call ourselves, we folour readers may soon be occupied by dili- lowed the rule. But now the progress of gent laborers. Dr. Burgess, in particular, has things has at least brought the one wholedevoted himself, apparently amid many diffi- some conviction, that it is inconyenient to culties, to a department of literature in which hate our neighbors, or to war with them. he bas few companions. He is an enthusias- Fifty or seventy years ago a war with France tic Syriac scholar. His book is a real con- was generally pleasunt to think of. People tribution to our knowledge of the Christian liked the idea. But who is there now that is life and literature of the East in the fourth not shocked at the idea of cannonading Boucentury; presented too in a manner well fitted logne, as Nelson did, or throwing shells into
ar reading. In these hymns Havre, we paying all Europe to attack the and metrical homilies of the Edessan teacher French, whilst the emperor threatened all
– many of them fit utterances of the tender- Europe with the rod if it took our merchanest and liveliest emotions of a Christian dise or received our vessels ? we see vividly how Christianity, after its The world sbrinks from the idea of quarthree centuries of tremendous struggle, had relling with one's neighbors. But as enemies conquered its way to the world's heart, and must exist, and national hate must have an became the moving principle of their life to object, we must seek them as far as possible. thousands in the regions of Syria. We are This necessity for having an enemy at all is grieved to think, with Dr. Burgess, that there unfortunate. But there is at least some gain are some good people among us who look with in baving one at a distance. We can harm suspicion, at least, on literary labors like his each other less, and the opportunities for
fitted as these labors are to remove exclu- whetting mutual hate by contact must be siveness by an incursion among past and dis- less. If, however, the respective means of tant forms of religious thought and worship. irritation and annoyance be lessened, the Surely those who tremble at the resuscitation complete knowledge of each otber, which best of an Ephraemn or a Chrysostom, cannot be removes prejudices, and explains away causes easy among the more daring foes of these of difference, becomes far more difficult. Let irreverent days. In truth, every historic us remedy this, as far as we ourselves are light struck out between the time we live in concerned, by studying the Russians, and and the time of the humiliation of the Son of knowing what is their power, what are their God, throws some part of its radiance on the peculiarities, and whether the causes, which great objects presented in the New Testament, huve placed the two nations in antagonism, and may help us to grasp these more firmly can be removed, or softened, or explained. as historic facts.
And, first of all, let us not blink the true and serious part of the case.
People go about saying that the cause of quarrel does From Bentley's Miscellany. not concern us ; that it touches Austria far
more ; and that France, who stirs up the RUSSIA, ITS COURT AND CABINET.
quarrel by fostering the Latin Church in JeruARE we really going to reverse 1812, to salem, ought to be the principal in the quarshake hands with Jaques Bonhomme, with rel, and England but the accessary. whom we have been fighting since Crecy, if not fall into error, thus, at the very comnot since Hastings; and open altogether a mencement, by supposing that the real cause
of quarrel is about who shall have the keys | elements of freedom and civilization, Germany of the Holy Sepulchre, or whether the Hos- came next in that race, whilst Russia is, or podars of Bucharest or Jassy own the Czar will be, last to enter upon the same career. or Sultan for Suzerain. The real object of Now, the fact is, that, as far as political freedispute is at present the empire of the East, dom and as commercial institutions and 80and the first place in the East. England and cial gradations are concerned, the Sclavon Russia alone aspire to that. England does people of the East of Europe were as far adfO reluctantly, and unconsciously, perhaps. vanced as the people of the West. They had But still the power, whose flag floats at De independent princes, the population of each shawur and in Pegu, in the islands of district tilled the soil in common, and were Borneo and Canton - this is the power which free. All were, in fact, what the Cossacks the Russians look on as their rival, and with alone are now. It is no more than two hunwhom principally they seem to desire, at the dred and fifty years ago since the peasants present moment, to try a fall. England, in were made serfs. It is infinitely later since fuct, pretends to dispute with Russia the the Boyards, or nobles, were deprived of all empire of Asia, and the paramount influence power. And it is not very much more than in Europe. She has a double reason for a century ago since Peter the Great completed rivalry. Austria has nothing whatever to do the existing despotism. The present despotic with the East or with Asia, France has power or autocracy of the Czar is thus not little. Her quarrel with Russin, then, is of an old institution, indigenous in the land, much smaller dimensions and narrower scope and natural to the population. It is rather than ours.
an exception to all the rest of Sclavonian hisThe struggle that is now commencing, and tory and nature. It more strongly resembles of which the present century will not see the the semi-military, semi-religious despotism, end, is, thus, for no less than the supremacy to which Mahomet fashioned the tribes of over two quarters of the globe. A great Arabia, than any natural result of Russian or many are already appalled by the seriousness Sclavon character and development. The and risk of such a struggle, and the present political and social enslavement of the Rusing them in naked truth is calculated to appal sians only dates from 1600, and whilst, since still more.
But, enter upon it or not, it is that period, the rest of Europe was progressbest to know fully what we avoid, or what ing to liberty, Russia was retrograding so we enter upon. Our statesmen, indeed, far, that it was only a decree of Alexander who are most intimately acquainted with that prevented the establishment of a Rusthe resources of the country, and the ma- sian slave-trade by a decree, ordaining that chinery of the government, are more alarmed, no men, women, or children, should be sold, and more reluctant to
war, than any unless along with the land on which they others. They will avoid it if they can. lived. They may, but will their successors ? Or It is one of the strongest arguments used will the nation, which is one of great spirit by our Manchester party for not interfering and great resources, and whose commonalty with, or resisting the designs of, Russia, that are just the soldiers to march boldly to an the present despotism of that country is tenassault, even over the bodies of leaders who porary and immaterial, and likely to give way had refused to bead them?
to other systems of government, under which The Russians have, unfortunately, a dogma, division of empire and relaxation of tyranny which not only exists in the brains of their may take place. But, unfortunately for such statesmen, but which forms part of the pride arguments as these, the Russian empire is and fanaticism of their people. They believe held together by that identity of race and they are destined to subdue the earth, and to creed which is fully capable of surviving impose upon it the verities of their religion. even despotism, and which, making a Russian The Turks set out with that idea many cen- and Sclavonian population on the Bosphorus turies ago, and weat a great way with it. sympathize with each other, could as fully The Czar is fortunately dragged after the act on Russian and Finnish populations on belief, instead of leading it, as the Caliph did. the Baltic. But still the impulse is not less forinidable Peter the Great may be considered as the from being a popular, instead of being a polit- true founder of the present Russian system. ical, one.
The enslavement of the peasantry had reached The existence of this popular superstition, its completion before his time. But he reacted on and encouraged by the moment, is duced the aristocracy to an equal state of subnot the only point of similarity between the servience with respect to the crown. The Russians and the Turks. Persons generally tendency of a Sclavonian population is to be make the mistake of considering Russia as a industrious, to till, to sow, and to reap, and to country which has for centuries been im- respect a local lord. To political considerations mersed in tyranny and barbarism, and that, of a high kind a Sclavon with difficulty raises as England and France first acquired the his mind. The educated classes alone can
do this. An aristocracy of Boyards is not despotism. Rome and Athens may give the for extending empire, but for dominating lie to this for ancient times ; but for modern their locality, which forms the natural state ones it holds irrefragably good. If France of the Sclavons. Servia, Wallachia and has rounded her territory and reached her Moldavia, are fair examples. But Peter the full frontier, she owes it to Louis the FourGreat established institutions and laws which teenth, as she might have owed more to the undermined the independence of the Boyards. despotism of Napoleon. What has become He decreed that no noblesse should exist or of Germany as a great empire ? and of Poland descend, unaccompanied with serving the for want of a compact and full submitting to a state in either a civil or a military capacity: despotism? Russia has equally profited by a The son of a peasant became noble by high despotism that has given consistency, policy, place, and was entitled, indeed, to wear hered- fixedness of purpose, a standing army, and a itary honors. But all titles of noblesse were permanent government, when all other and abolished at the third generation for them freer nations have wanted them. who did not repeat and renew them by serv- With the exception, however, of his one great ing the Czar, and rising to high position at act, the establishment of complete despotism, his court or under his government.
Peter the Great has engaged his country in so This was the principle of aristocracy in the many paths of contention and aggrandizement Greek empire, so different from that in the that the very multiplying of them endangers old Latin republic, where aristocracy was them all. Thus, instead of leaving Russia an formed by achievements, and kept by wealth Asiatic power, Peter made it a European one. and by birth ; it is equally distinguished from He removed the seat of empire from Moscow the principle of feudal aristocracy which pre- to St. Petersburg, approximating the seat of vailed in Western Europe, where birth, government to German provinces and German founded on a first fortunate chance, became institutions, that has since indeed caused everything, securing wealth to the heir, and Russia to become mistress of Poland, and to endeavoring also to train, by early education weigh with overwhelming force upon Gerand ideas, the young noble in those habits of many, but which, in both instances, has honor and courage which depend on pride placed Russia in a position of antagonism to and self-respect. The Russian aristocracy central Europe. This must lead to a war - a since Peter, like the Turkish, depends, on the war in which Russia cannot prevail over the contrary, not on birth, but on employ - on development, the enlightenment, the courage, the faculty of pleasing superiore - command and the numbers of Western Europe, and in ing inferiors, and being an adroit and suc- which it must succumb. cessful accomplisher of political designs. The same mania of Peter to Europeanize
The attempt of Peter the Great to imitate Russia led him to shave the beards of his the Greek empire, and make his magnates Moudjiks, to create a feet, to decree that dependent on the will of the sovereign, will there should be towns, though there was no never succeed. The Greek emperor and the middle class to fill them, and although the Turkish sultan carried on such a system no peasants and agriculturists had neither the doubt, but it was by ruining landed property, wants nor the surplus which go to supply and or allowing it to be ruined, so that there was feed a true middle class. Peter thought he no secure succession in
nothing that the could accomplish all these things by ukases. fiscal power could not grasp. When high Instead of accomplishing them by his decrees, families are thus reduced to invest their chief he rendered the accomplishment more difficult wealth in movables or jewels, of course it be- by his tyrannical institutions, which certainly comes a thing for despotism to decapitate and have retarded the internal iinprovement and despoil. But in Russia there is the land, and development of the country. there are the serfs to cultivate it. The one is Argue with a Turk about his harem babits, not ravaged and allowed to lie desolate and and exclaim against the seraglio system, and unproductive as in Turkey, nor are the serfs he will not fail to adduce, on one side, the swept of the land by war, or by famine. The regular succession of sultanic descendants element of aristocracy therefore remains in from Othman, claiming indisputable alleRussia, and will finally triumph over all the giance by birth, and seldom wanting in either efforts of despotism to crush it.
spirit or intelligence. On the other side, he Peter the Great was looked upon as a great will point to you the mad and immoral
The Russians worship him as the princes that have held the Russian throno ; founder of their empire. Certainly it was a Anne, with her favorite Biren, Peter the feeble and a poor one before his reign, and it Third, and Catharine. Russia was reduced has been a growing and a powerful one since. to obey a mere woman, a German, a HolsteinInstead of being the prey of its neighbors, Gottorp, with all the defects of womankind Russia has preyed upon them since his time. exaggerated in her. If a Russian be listening The truth unfortunately is that the best state to the argument, he will observe that as in which a nation cản be for conquest is Catharine the Second procured for Russia the
possession of Lithuania and the Crimea, two las. The former received a most cultivated of its most important conquests, there is no education, under the direction of his grandRussian that will not hail Catharine by the mother Catharine, and, of course, a German endearing name of Mateuschka, or mother. and foreign education. He was taught phi
The Emperor Paul, who was he? A mad- losophy - a dangerous thing for an autocrat, man in brain, a Finn in feature. There, to be who had so much reality to look to, and so sure, followed, born of a beautiful princess of little time dream, Nicholas at the same Wurtemberg, two great princes, brothers, time, being a third son, received no education Alexander and Nicholas. But what will en. at all. He was left as nature made him, that sure to Russia a succession of princes pos- is, a Russian. Alexander's early dreams, bis sessed of their ascendency, constancy, and youthful friendship with Czartoriski, and the prudence ?
schemes which he loved to devise with that Catharine the second was the Louis the amiable and patriotic man for the liberties of Fourteenth of Russia. She was for it its best Poland, and even of Russia, are well known. prince, made her empire respected and ele- Although his autocratic system of governvated, notwithstanding her own voluptuous-ment obliged and bound him to suspicion and ness, and created a court, in the splendor and tyranny, still he always bad generous ideas power, the dissipation and the luxury, of and liberal leanings, whilst the Russians did which the Russian noble was caught and not forgive what was good in him, and which shorn of his independence.
made them look on him as a foreigner. The It was in the mad brain of Paul, not mad invasion of Russia by Napoleon was the most on this occasion, that germed the idea that fortunate occurrence for Alexander. It piqued Russia might admit a partner in the great his pride, gave him confidence to resist, and and final aim of dominating the world. The forced him to become a hero. It reünited star of Napoleon, his victories, his superiority, him to bis people, who did not forgive his compelled Russia to abandon the idea that she failure, with such excellent opportunities, to could ever lord it over Western Europe. But push the empire to the Danube. When we by abandoning Europe to the modero Charle- consider that Napoleon gave Wallachia and magne, or at least the half of Europe, Russia Moldavia to Russia at Tilsit, the marvel is, might more certainly succeed in the retention not that it grasped at the principalities now, of her power eastward. This dream of Paul but that it had withheld from devouring them his son Alexander long withstood and dis- so long. believed. German in his leanings, his read- Nicholas has none of the disadvantages of ing, he could not permit Austria as well as an over-refined education. He is a genuine Prussia to be trodden under foot by France. descendant of Peter. He thinks liberty beresy, Even Austerlitz did not reconcile him to the and despotism a part of the religion which thought — Friedland and Tilsit did.
his country is destined to establish. He affects The greatest escape that ever Europe had Greek orthodoxy with almost fanaticism, was at Tilsit. The powerful emperors who wbilst Alexander seemed to think Roman met on that memorable raft, personally pleased Catholicism and even Protestantism someeach other. Alexander was affectionate and thing quite as good. Unable to mount the romantic, open to personal predilection; Na- throne without sweeping down whole regipoleon, like a true son of the South, incapable ments of the soldiers, who clamored for Conof any such feeling, was insincere. He only stantine, with grape, he seemed to have wanted to make use of Alexander, gain tem- gathered from that fated field a severity which porary power - for his armies had, for the marks all his acts. Never was a severer man, first time, been roughly handled. He ilattered and even his kindness to his family is marked Alexander by holding out to him the pros- by considerable severity of manner. The only pect that he would give up to him the empire one of his family who can venture to be of the East, or at least share it. Had Napo- familiar with him, or to brave his choler in leon been sincere, the friendship and alliance small things, is the grand duchess, wife of the of Alexander would have endured, and the heir to the throne. She alone can take liberworld would foally have been divided between ties with Nicholas, or keep him waiting, and the two. What made the world escape a turn away his anger by cajolery. yoke at that time was the grain of insincerity The birth and fortune of this princess are which made part Napoleon's character. well known. One of the princesses of HesseThe Corsican could not be a true and frank Darnıstadt, she was, though avowedly the friend and ally. By that little grain of cbar- daughter of the duchess, not considered or acter Europe was saved, Napoleon lost, and treated as the daughter of the reigning duke. France reduced to a state in which it can never When the heir to the imperial throne of again pretend or hope to share the world with Russia, therefore, visited Darmstadt, and Russia.
other German palaces, in search of a wife, There could not be two characters more she remained clothed in simple wbite, and different than those of Alexander and Nicho- apart, somewhat like a Cinderella, whilst her
sisters, in all the splendor of jewellery and bereditary policy towards Turkey. From brocade, were presented to the Russian prince. Nesselrode still proceeds that language of He asked who was the Cinderella in simple plausibility, which represents Russia as utterwhite ; and being told, he proposed for her, ly and honorably disinterested in its dealings and married her without a remonstrance from with Turkey, and disdaining either to crush Nicholas.
her, or despoil her of territories. It is not unThe visit of the two brothers with the amusing to observe the truly aggressive and Duchess of Oldenburg will be well remembered even insolent nature and ideas of Nicholas in England, whither she came with the allied clothed in the soft and plausible language of sovereigns in 1815. It is well known Russia Nesselrode, which excuses and conceals and was much annoyed at the prospect of the almost contradicts them. marriage between the Prince of Orange and The minister supposed to be the most the Princess Charlotte. No sooner did the opposed to Count Nesselrode is Prince MensDuchess of Oldenburg arrive in London than chikoff, minister of marine and admiral. He she set all her Russian knowledge of intrigue has always bad the character of being sarcasto work to break off the match. The task tic and insolent, and though descended from was not difficult, for the Prince of Orange the noblesse of a German province, he has showed all the nonchalance that was then the nevertheless identified himself with the old fashion in English high life, whilst the Russian party. It was a Prince MenschiPrincess Charlotte, naturally prone and easily koff who presented the Czar Peter with inspired by her mother to thwart whatever Catharine, at the time one of his serfs. Mensappeared to be a plan of her father, was quite chikoff was at the time governor of Courland, ready to fall into the hands of the designing. The present prince is said not to be a personal The Duchess of Oldenburg achieved her vic- favorite with Nicholas, who dislikes his tory, at all events, and married the Prince of freedom of tongue. But Menschikoff has Orange, thus_ linking Holland to Russia, in- always paid assiduous court to Tschernicheff stead of to England. And Amsterdam has and Orloff
, who have been the personal ever since been a most useful bank to the favorites, as well as ministers, of Nicholas. Czar, whilst the Czar, at the critical period Both these men proved their attachment to the of 1831, did nothing whatever for the House emperor on the trying day of the military inof Orange. Poland, to be sure, gave him surrection of St. Petersburg: Orloff was made something to look to at home.
police minister. Tschernicheff is war minisWhilst engaged in sketching the portraits ter. He served in the campaigns of 1811 and of the Russian court, let us not forget him 1812, and maintains the respect of the army, who is at present the man most looked to, if to which he represents the imperial will and not the most influential, in the Russian ad- predilections. The great blot on the character ministration. Count Nesselrode, the veteran of Tchernicheff is the inveteracy with which he of the cabinet of St. Petersburg, is of German followed up the trial and execution of Count origin; his family is of Westphalia, and his Tchernicheff
, the head of his family, implicated present title is that of Count of the Holy in the great conspiracy. Tchernicheff was to Roman empire. He is said to have been born have the confiscated property of the head of at sea, off Lisbon, on board an English vessel. his house. He was asked in the council of His parents were then in the service of Russia. state by what law this transfer of property His family, and, we believe, the count bim- took place. By the law, observed a councillor self, is still a Lutheran. He first entered the present, by which the clothes of a man navy, and quitted it for the dragoons. His hanged fall by right to the executioner. physiognomy struck the Emperor Paul as The only troublesome man in Russia, that that of one more formed for diplomacy than assumed the attitude, or professed the opinarms, and he was sent as chief clerk to the ions, analogous to those of Kollowrat and Foreign Office, where the genuine Russians Stadion in Austria, was Kisseleff. These were found not sufficiently apt or alert. Nes Austrian statesmen found fault with the selrode then married the Countess Gourief, government of Metternich, as retrograde, or daughter of the finance minister, a rich and at least as stationary and illiberal. Count profitable match, which facilitated his rise. Kisseleff avowed the same opinion of the adCount Nesselrode, chiefly trusted by Alexan- ministration at St. Petersburg.
He was der in his negotiation with the other powers minister of the public domains, and in this of Europe, has been long considered the head office he attempted to follow out some of the of the German party, of which the principle liberal aims and designs of Alexander. He is to advance the influence of Russia, and ex- was for extending to all Russia those edicts tend its territory westward without pursuing for the emancipation of the serfs, that Alesany active or conquering policy towards Tur- ander issued with respect to the Baltic and key; He is thus reproached for having con- serni-German provinces. The result of Count cluded the treaty of the 15th of July, which Kisseleff professing such opinions was his was considered an abandonment of Russia's quitting the cabinet, to occupy the post of