Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

Russian minister in Paris, a climate more | as couriers, that he might question them, and suited to his principles.

see that their accounts tallied with his The opinions of Nesselrode and of the general's despatches. Russian statesmen of his party with respect The success of the Hungarian campaign to the affair of Constantinople and the East and its great results have rendered the Czar are sufficiently manifest in the state papers more predominant in the councils of Austria, which have been issued from his pen. They and, of course, of Europe, had the effect of repose on the belief that the provinces of at making Nicholas far more absolute and far least Turkey or Europe, as well as the littoral more confident in his own judgment than in of the Black Sea, must fall into the hands of any of his ministers, and more reliant upon Russia without an effort on her part, and by quick judgment than upon old experience. the mere natural decadence of the Ottoman. Count Pahlen once remonstrating with NichoAll required, then, is to prevent other las because he would employ him in civil powers interfering. So strongly impressed administration, he who had always been a was Nesselrode with the necessity of being military man, and knew no other science, passive in the affairs of the East, that when "Never mind,” said the Czar, “I never Vicovich, that famous agent, who labored so studied politics till I became emperor, and you zealously to excite aversion for the English in see I manage very well.” all the countries between the Caspian and The personal management of political rethe Indus, returned and had his first interview lations by the emperor leads to this result, with Nesselrode, his reception was such that that the most serious consequences are often Vicovich went home, and hanged himself im- found to arise from an expression, or a jest, or mediately.

a man, to whom or to which the emperor Nesselrode's principles, which once fully may take a personal dislike. Nicholas, for harmonized with those of Nicholas, were, that example, entertained a great aversion to the greatest dangers which menaced Russia Radowitz, the favorite of the King of Prussia. were likely to proceed from the spirit of revo-When Russia interfered to thwart the scheme lution, and of revolutionized countries. Such of Prussia to erect a German confederation, was the political task which Nesselrode pro- independent of Austria, Radowitz, who was posed to himself as a Russian statesman. In foreign minister at Berlin, made use in one 1828 and 1829, Nicholas, secure of France, of his despatches to Warsaw of the expression fung off for the first time Nesselrode's policy, of wir werden nicht dulden, “ We will not and plunged into a war with Turkey, in suffer interference of this kind." The Emwhich the emperor showed a lack of military peror Nicholas no sooner read this phrase ability, and from which he extricated him- than he burst into a fit of choler, declaring self successfully, more by a happy chance the expression an insult, and stormed in a than by decided superiority in arms. The manner so contrary to his usual habits, that events of 1830 followed, and Nesselrode re- it was represented to the King of Prussia that covered his sway. The first event which he must either sacrifice Radowitz or lose the subsequently shook Nesselrode's ascendency friendship and forbearance of Nicholas. Raand the high opinion of his wisdom, was the dowitz was dismissed. The Russians point successful insurrection in Hungary. He was him out, and repeat, nicht dulden. against intervening, and it appears that even Nicholas had a similar prejudice to Lord the old Russian party was against interven- Stratford, who, for his name more than for ing: They preferred seeing Hungary assert any other reason, he refused to receive as the its independence of Austria, deeming that it British ambassador at St. Petersburg. That could not for all that ever be successful or he had no objection to a man for being either establish a democratic government- that the liberal or ill-tempered, there is sufficient aristocracy would recover their sway, and proof in his cordial reception of Lord Durham, Russia be as influentia: 1.8 Austria in Hun- who used to swear by the disinterested politigary. The Emperor Nicholas would not cal character of Nicholas. Another personlisten to these Machiavelic ideas. The first age who was an object of extreme personal duty he acknowledged was to suppress revolu- dislike to Nicholas - a dislike that very much tion, and to formally demand that his troops influenced the policy of Russia on many occa8!lould enter Hungary. For this very reason,

sions was Louis Philippe. It is believed as it was a decision of his personal will, the that, on his accession, Louis Philippe sent the emperor removed to Warsaw, and watched Duke of Montemart to St. Petersburg, with with keen anxiety the progress of the war. the assurance that he only accepted the Ile used to receive personally, and question throne to keep it for the legitimate heir. The clusely, the weekly couriers that were sent utter falsity of such a promise, so gratuitously by his generals, and when he found that they made at the time, rose always up to preclude could not answer his questions with any in- any amicable relationship between Russia and telligence or pertinence, he ordered that the chief of the house of Orleans, as long as o.licers and aides-de-camp should be employed he was on the throne.

[ocr errors]

There is at the present moment especially Nicholas looked like a giant in a fable, and no part of the character and sentiments of the accoutred much as the author of Tom Thumb Emperor Nicholas more interesting to ex- would accoutre him. It was thus that he amine and to solve, were that possible, than came chivalrously to lay his sword at the his feelings towards the Bonaparte family. queen's feet, and his army at her disposal, in Alexander's tenderness for Bonaparte was case of an attack from France. The offer was great, and he ever entertained a kind of well meant and nobly inspired, although it remorse for the part which he played in the was difficult to reply to it without a smile. dethronement of the family in 1814 and 1815. The origin of the present movement of diHis visits to Josephine, at Malmaison, were plomatists and armies is, in many people's remarkable, and the act of Nicholas in giving opinion, occasioned merely by the fact that his daughter to the son of Euguene Beau- the Grand Duke Constantine is of an age to be harnais was certainly very unaccountable ; provided for, and that, moreover, he and the this prince, however, is now no more.

And Cesarevitsch do not very cordially agree. If Nicholas, although he observed the tone of Constantine is ever to get the throne of the cold civility towards Napoleon the Third, is East, with Constantinople for his residence, still, it is now generally believed, favorable to of course he must owe it to Russian armies. the hopes of the Orleans family. All the Any ill-will on the part of Nicholas' successor organs of the family at least are Russian, would completely mar such a scheme. And whilst the Bonapartist prints are both anti- the Emperor Nicholas is therefore obliged to Russian and anti-Austrian.

set about it, and accomplish it in his lifetime. There is an opinion prevalent at present, There is a story of young Constantine, who is and made considerable use of, which would in- in the Russian navy, and in command of a sinuate that there is a secret accord between ship, having one day caught his elder brother France and Russia, and that the chief of the on board of the ship, and put him under former country is not to be depended on in arrest there, saying that on board at least he case of an open rupture. We cannot but was superior. think the report as false as it is foul. The Why should not a younger branch of the French prince and people, with the exception Roumanoff's reign at Constantinople, as well of the Orleanists, are sincere in the defence as a younger branch of the. Bourbons reign at of the Porte ; but as, on the other hand, there Madrid ? Why not the Balkan be as effectual is every reason to suspect that Russia and a barrier as the Pyrenees to divide three Austria understand each other, and that in kingdoms? All Europe leagued to punish revenge for the joint rebuffs and enmity that and prevent Louis the Fourteenth establishing the Porte showed them in the protection of his grandson on the throne of Spain, although Kossuth, they have determined each to have that prince was asked for, and defended by a slice of Turkey.. If that be really the case, the Spanish people and noblesse. Long war it is to be feared that the defence or independ- ensued, war in which Louis the Fourteenth ence of Turkey or Greece becomes improbable, was not always successful, but still his grandfor England and France have neither troops, son kept possession of the Spanish throne. loans, nor armaments, to despatch the force Why may not Constantine equally succeed? that would be required for the defence of even Such are the historical and domestic calculaRoumelia.

tions of the Court of St. Petersburg. The design of Nicholas is sufficiently mani- As it is good to hear what the Russians say, fest to all acquainted with his previous pro- as well as what they are, we will mention visions. That design is to place the crown another of their modes of argument, put forth of Turkey upon the head of his second son, lately in print. In what, ask they, are our the Grand Duke Constantine Nikelvitsch. demands and advance upon Turkey different He is considered to be the most clever and from those of England upon Burmab? The petulant of the family, and to have received cause, or the pretext, of the English having an education adapted to the very end of his invaded that country, is so small and insigruling over Greeks, and wearing an oriental nificant, that it is difficult even to state. It

Nicholas himself, indeed, affects to was some insult offered to some British vessel inherit the kingdom of the Eastern empire. at Rangoon, nothing equal to the oppression He wears the Grecian helmet on great days, put upon the Russian and Greek religionists instead of the European general's hat and at Jerusalem. If we, Russians, have marched feathers. Many of our readers must have into Moldavia and Wallachia, the English seen his fat person at the review of the have occupied Pegu, which they insist on Guards in Windsor Great Park, belted up, keeping, whilst Russia, as yet, has offered to and but ill covered with a scanty green jacket, evacuate Moldavia and Wallachia, if her just whilst his large head was crowned with an demands were acceded to. It is said the enormous brazen helmet.

Thus accoutred, Peguites cannot be abandoned. Why should and riding between the Duke of Wellington the partisans of Russia in the principalities and Prince Albert, both men of a middle size, either be forsaken? If the King of Ava will

crown.

a

[graphic]

not consent to lose Pegu, the English threaten | knows that be never can be but what he is, a to march on Ava. Is the Russian threat to serf in uniform. The Russian, though ready march upon Constantinople more arrogant or to sacrifice his life with a kind of passive spoliatory?

courage, has not that active impulse which The Russians altogether leave out of the makes a first-rate soldier. The Emperor argument the fact that English possession Nicholas is admitted to have amazingly imof either Pegu or Ava will not augment her proved all the collateral services of the army, strength — much the contrary - or render the commissariat, the equipment; but his inher more formidable to her neighbors, whereas creased severity has not improved the Russian Russian possession of Constantinople, either soldier, who never showed more backwardness per se or by the sovereignty of a Roumanoff than in the Hungarian campaign. Indeed, prince, closes the Black Sea against the world, the general opinion is that whenever Russian augments one hundredfold the existing troops shall again meet German troops in constrength of Russia, giving her formidable Alict, the superior spirit of the latter will be means for further extension.

manifest. But the Turks have an undisciplined It is to be feared that, with the numerous and raw infantry, soldiers young, and officers advantages that Russia possesses, it will be untaught, an army in fact that should go impossible to withstand her. As to the Turks, through the schooling and the life of a camthey fight with one band tied, that is, with paign in order to become an efficient one. only one half the population to recruit from ; The one hundred, or the one hundred and fifty whilst Russia's aim is to gain rich provinces thousand soldiers in the pay of the Sultan do in which to plant soldiers. The political as not form an army sufficiently numerous to go well as military quarrel between Russia and through such an ordeal. Turkey is, that the provinces they are contend- If the Russians do not fight well in southern ing for are the richest for thousands of miles climes, neither do they fight well in mounaround, clustering on both sides of the fertile tains, which disturb their ranks and their Danube, whilst, as the country recedes from habitudes. It was thought that the Russian that river north or south, the amount of popu- soldier, being accustomed to a cold climate, lation and fertility largely decreases. When would prove invincible, especially under SuTurkey held these provinces, she used them as warof, amongst the snows and glaciers of a garden, an estate, as a provision field. They Switzerland. But Massene and his little agile were bound to keep the fortress provisioned, Frenchmen beat Suwarof and his grenadiers and to amass their stores, which were dis- at Zurich, because the Russians were unaccustributed in every fort of the Balkan. The tomed to mountain warfare. Tyrolese regiprincipalities were thus for centuries the ments would have been better. Whether this inilitary magazine of the Turks. No wonder is sufficient to explain the prolonged resistanco that the Russians seek to get hold of them. of the Circassians I kaow not, for this resist

The Russian army is the most dangerous ance remains still an enigma, which no one army that can be encountered of a winter's even tries to explain. We have heard that day. Cold converts soldiers into mere automa- the Tartars and other Mahometan tribes, in tons and machines, to give fire and to stand this part of Russia, now of course forming the fire. On such occasions the Russians are greater part of the force employed against the superior to any. But in summer climes and Circassians, are reluctant to achieve a victory weather, where the soldier is free of his limbs over them, and that the mountaineers are thus and actions, where so much depends upon not only able to resist the Russians, but are light troops, or even upon heavy troops moving able to gain frequent victories over the want and attacking, destroying what they disperse, of zeal of Mahoinetans in the service of Rugor rallying themselves after they have dis- sia. persed; in all these manoeuvres a Frenchman There is one school of tacticians in Russia, is far superior to a Russian. Yet Napoleon who recommend to the emperor to abandon brought his Frenchmen to combat Russians in or defer the idea of a military advance over times and climes where the Russians were the Danube and the Balkan to the conquest necessarily superior, and had thus thrown of the Ottoman Empire. They say that away bis natural advantages.

European powers will interfere to defeat such The Russians never fight so ill as they do in an advance, and that even if they are too late, Turkey or in the south. The Turks had in the maritime powers can always render Congeneral the best of it in the last campaign. stantinople an insocure position. For even if If there were enough of Turks, and sufficient fleets be prevented from penetrating the Darprovision for them, they would soon be better danelles, troops can be landed at a spot westsoldiers than the Russians. The Turks have ward of the Chersonese, and the new capital greater incentives than the French had in menaced or molested. They recommend as 1792. Each soldier is sure of becoming an preferable the invasion of Asia Minor, partly officer, and of rising, if he displays courage, through the isthmus and by Erivan, partly skill, and command ; the Russian soldier from the Crimea direct to the opposite shore.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

No European power, they allege, could here in a state of dissolution to which no moro intervene or intercept. The scattered tribes than galvanic life could be given. To enter and scant population of Asia Minor would upon a war to prevent such a natural course make small resistance. The country does of things as the annihilation of Turkey by not contain a single fortress, and the Turkish Russia, would, in Lord Aberdeen's opinion, metropolis thus cut off from all aid in men or be madness ; madness, first of all, because in means from the provinces in Asia, would our interference would not prevent the catasespire of helplessness and inanition, without trophe, and, secondly, because our doing so the trouble or risk of a combat.

would avert Russia from aiding any further Asia Minor, however, would not confer a in the preserving the independence of Belgicapital and a crown on the Grand Duke Con- um from France. We should then, in all stantine; whilst a long and desultory war probability, see Russia in possession of Conwith the different tribes, amidst their moun- stantinople, and France in possession of Anttains and fastnesses, would prove a Circassia werp, without its being possible to attempt the multiplied by a figure soinething like a thou- recovery of either by arms. If, then, a choice sand." To render the communication sure is to be made, Lord Aberdeen would prefer between the Crimea and the opposite coast, the independence of Antwerp, not despairing between Sebastopol and Trebizond, it would at the same time of coming to soine accord be necessary to close the Bosphorus and Dar- with Russia as to the existence of Constandanelles, and that could only be done by tak- tinople as a free city, or the capital of an ining possession of Constantinople. As to the dependent state. land communication between Turkey and În opposition to Lord Aberdeen in the cabieastern Asia by the Caucasus and Armenia, net is known to stand Lord Palmerston, who nature has placed two great barriers between thinks that when wrong is perpetrated and Europe and Asia by this route. There is the danger threatens, it is better to face it, and harrier of lofty mountains, peopled by war- not be deterred by fear of contingencies. Fais like tribes, and there is the barrier of the ce que tu dois, adviens qui pourra, is his lordsteppes, peopled by Nomade and Turtar tribes, ship’s motto. If Russia be strenuously requite as little to be depended on. Russia is sisted and compelled to retire behind the striving her utmost at this moment to form a Pruth, the German powers will take courage series of fixed abodes, agricultural population, to assert their independence, and their conand civilized habits, thereby to bridge over cert is quite sufficient to assure the status quo the steppes for the purpose of war and trade in the west of Europe. By shirkiog war Her progress, however, in this task is slow, now, or even the approach to it, it would not and the result uncertain. All here is loose, be avoided, but rather rendered certain at no and floating over the whole breadth of the distant time. All the other well-known arAsiatic continent, and, as Kohl tells us, "a guments follow for preventing the Russians calf born at the foot of the great Chinese wall from ever becoming masters of the keys, might eat his way along till he arrived a well- either of the Black Sea or the Baltic. The futtened ox on the banks of the Dniester." Sound and the Bosphorus must both be kept

Having thus explained and expatiated on open. Russia as a power, upon its imperial family, In the first division of the cabinet on these its court, its cabinet, as also upon its popular matters, Lord Clarendon, though a whig, tendencies and wilitary renown, let us say with Lord Granville and Lord Lansdowne, soinething upon the different lights in which are said to have coincided with the opinion of leading politicians in England regard Russia, Lord Aberdeen, whilst several of those who her ambitious projects, and those important entered the cabinet with Lord Aberdeen, such territories which are the objects of her ambi- as Mr. Gladstone and the Duke of Newcastle, tion.

seemed to think the policy of their chief The British ministry is known to contain pusillanimous. A8 Lord John Russell rallied all kinds and diversities of opinion on this to Lord Palinerston, the spirited portion of subject ; 80 that the great diversity of views the cabinet is said to have carried the first which exist have led to more discussion with- resolution for supporting Turkey, and advisin the cabinet than without. In fact, silence ing her to resist. In subsequent divisions, has been iinposed upon Parliament, chiefly such as that as to whether the fleet should because it was known that ministers were not enter the Dardanelles on learning the passage agreed, and that debates could not take place of the Pruth, on this it is considered that the in both houses without leading to great dis- Aberdeen opinion prevailed. And if this crepancies in ministerial speeches - discrep- recommendation to forbear was based on ancies that must necessarily produce a disso- what is generally credited, viz., that Austria lution of the ministry.

promised, in case of English and French The premier, Lord Aberdeen, is known to forbearance, to bring the difference to a terentertain the iden, that Louis Philippe and minntion, then, perhaps, the public will be M. Guizot entertained, that Turkey is a body contented with it and applaud it.

YOL. II. 50

a

CCCCLXXXVIII.

LIVING AGE.

[graphic]

Whilst on this point of the question a And they have really no one benefit to confer. very remarkable fact is to be noticed, which The Bulgarians, though they pay tribute to is, that the tory party have universally taken the Porte, are not serfs. The ills they comthe side of national spirit, and have recom- plain of under the régime of Turkey might be mended resistance to Russia. Lord Derby easily remedied. But decidedly worse, bespoke strongly, the veteran Lord Lyndhurst cause irrevocable, ills would follow their subeven more strongly, and all the organs of jugation to Russia. the party have thundered against Nicholas, A Russian of the lowest peasant-class is, as the writers of the same party might have in many respects, a slave. If he gets perdone against Napoleon forty years ago. We inission to quit his country abode for a town. make no comment whatever upon this cir- bis time and his gains still belong to his mascumstance, but merely note it as a remark- ter. There is thus a strong line of demarcaable fact. In case of the question of peace tion drawn between the peasant and the or war with Russia being formally brought townsman. Whilst the townsmen amongst before Parliament, it would seem that the themselves are equally fettered by the existence Derby tories and the Palmerston whigs of guilds and restrictive laws, a serf or peasant would divide aguinst the Aberdeen tories cannot be a priest, cannot receive education, and the Manchester radicals; as strange a cannot rise in life. Every impediment, in division of parties and opinions as ever could short, to that greatest of all impulses, viz., the have been expected of a British Parliment in facility for one of the lower classes to push the year 1853.

amongst the higher, is forbidden in Russia. However singular and indicative of a great Every man, not inerely politically, but socially change in opinion and in the relative posi- and industrially, has a strait-waistcoat on. tions and tendencies of parties in England, To force such a system upon the Serbs or the there is another symptom shown by the armed Roumans, would be not emancipating, but force and by the government of another country, degrading them. which marks a still greater change. A ship The strongest case, however, is that of the of war, belonging to the United States, is said clergy. It is in the name and in the behalf to have entered the Dardanelles, and obtained of the Patriarch and the Greek clergy that permission to accompany the Turkish fleet Russia has advanced her present pretensions. into the Black Sea. Another captain of the The effect of an invasion or conquest of same nation has claimed a noted follower of Turkey by Russia would be to assimilate the Kossuth as an American citizen. This man Greek clergy to the Russian. Now, at preshad been seized by the Austrian police at ent, the Greek clergy is free; it is governed Smyrna. The American threatened to fire by a synod, which elects a Patriarch, and into the Austrian, if be attempted to carry with the Patriarch appoints the clergy, and the prisoner away. The fact is, our brethren Christian church property is reserved to the of the United States aro English, in despite church by the Sultan's decrees. of themselves, and adopt the English feeling The church and churchmen are in a very in the affairs of Turkey, with their usual different position in Russia. The arbitrary warmth and exaggeration. All we can say is, act of Peter confiscated the greater part of that it is nobly felt and nobly done of them, the church property to the state, and suband shows that when the Americans do again jected the synod to a civil officer, called a interfere in the afairs of Europe, which they general procurator, named by the emperor. are evidently most anxious to do, they will The Russian Patriarch is nothing. The Czar decidedly be for the right side, that is, for is the real head of the national church, and the side of liberty and humanity.

her present procurator, General Protassof, But to return to Russia. Her great, her rules the synod as much in ecclesiastical dogonly claim to advance and to invade is, that mas as in appointments and fiscal matters. she does so in the cause and for the further. When the emperor and Protassof insisted on ance of civilization. The cross is on her ban- proinoting Saint Stanislaus to be a saint of ner, and the subjects of the empire she attacks the Greek Church, the Greek upper clergy rewelcome it not as converts, but as ancient monstrated, and declared that they knew not and long-oppressed votaries. But such pre- the saint. Protassof replied, that Stanislaus texts are not true. The Christian provinces was a Polish saint, highly esteemed in Poland, into which the Russians now march are and that as Poland and Russia were to be already independent. They have their native united, the first Polish saint should be reprinces, councils, armies, taxes, professions. ceived as a Greek one. The Patriarch replied Serria has, in her present organization, a that this might be good policy, but it was great many of the elements of civilization, neither orthodoxy nor sound tradition. And which its occupation by either Russia or Stanislaus was, we fear, a Roman Catholic Austria would stile. Both these powers, saint, which rendered him odious in the eyes instead of progressing in civilization of late of the Greeks. Protassof, however, carried years, have, on the contrary, retrograded. I bis saint.

« ElőzőTovább »