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passage of the Danube, but was repulsed by the Turks at Oltenitza and Citate. He had seized the Principalities as a material guarantee of his demands on the Porte, but he has been compelled to evacuate them altogether. He laid siege to Silistria, but failed to carry the place. He exerted his whole personal and diplomatic influence to obtain an assurance of the neutrality of Germany, but failed to secure it; and the triple alliance of the Northern Crowns crumbled to pieces, when Austria openly allied herself against Russia with the Western Powers. Having begun this war by the invasion of the Turkish Principalities, and by the most violent menaces to the Porte, within nine months he is reduced to abandon all these pretensions, to disclaim his policy, and to fall back on purely defensive operations. The Greek insurrection, fomented by Russian agents, was a disgrace and a failure. From Austria he receives the keenest affronts without daring to resent them. His armies have never yet encountered an enemy in the field but to be beaten; and on two or three occasions they have sustained reverses of so signal a character that their defeats will ever be ranked amongst the proudest achievements of British valour allied to French gallantry. His fleets have not been beaten, because not a ship has ventured out of harbour, but they have been sunk to block up his ports; and in the meantime the Russian merchant flag is absolutely excluded from every sea. To set off against this long catalogue of humiliations, which have suspended the political influence, and shaken the military reputation of Russia, all that can be said is, that the Russians have, in two or three instances, repelled attacks more vigorously than was expected.
The Allied Powers have, on the contrary, succeeded at once and without difficulty in the first objects of the war. It soon became evident that no attack upon Constantinople or the Turkish Empire was any more to be apprehended; and before our troops had fired a shot the Principalities were evacuated. To strike a blow at Russia at all, it became necessary to pursue her into her own dominions; and the point selected for attack was that on which she possessed the strongest means of aggression. Her trade has been interrupted, her credit impaired, the whole empire impoverished, and compelled to expiate, by incredible hardships and sacrifices, the infatuation of its ruler. The most ancient and the most confidential alliances of Russia have been dissolved, and the position which the Emperor Nicholas filled in Europe is for ever lost to him. Happen what may, he can never hope to regain what this war has cost him; and so terrible has already been the lesson to his ambition and his imprudence,
that it will be long before a Russian sovereign again dares to ally the whole of Europe against him. At the present moment, if the war is not speedily terminated by the sincere acceptance of the terms agreed upon by the Western Powers, it is evidently about to assume a more extensive European character; and from that instant it is scarcely possible that territorial questions and conditions of far greater magnitude and difficulty should not arise. Between Russia and the German States the dismembered provinces of Poland must either be the closest bond of union, or the keenest subject of difference. Already throughout Germany the insecurity of its eastern frontier is a subject of terror and resentment. Russia, which succeeded in 1815, by the treachery of Prussia, in appropriating the duchy of Warsaw to herself, in spite of the resistance of England, Austria, and France, has spent the interval of forty years in fortifying herself on a colossal scale in the wedge which separates Silesia from Gallicia, whence she can threaten the capitals of Northern and Southern Germany. The fire already smoulders in the ashes: should it break out, another war of German independence will be fought on that ground; and it is not impossible that the present apparent lull of public excitement in Germany precedes some such explosion.
But we cannot desire that these terrible evils should break upon the world for the sake of the indefinite objects which might one day follow the termination of such a contest; we advert to them rather as warnings of the future, which it is a sacred duty to avoid, if peace can be restored on a secure basis by any other means. In the present temper of our countrymen, flushed with the excitement of unaccustomed efforts and with the heroic achievements of the army, it may require some courage in a Minister to speak of peace on any terms, not absolutely inconsistent with the strength and the rights of the Empire to which we are opposed. Yet peace is still our object, and our only object. We have bound ourselves by treaty to France, as she has bound herself to us, to seek no territorial aggrandisement or advantage in this war which shall not be common to the interests of Europe. No one has ever yet attempted to show that any exclusive or preponderating British interest was engaged in the quarrel; though British interests of the first order are identified with the independence of the East. and with the general cause for which we are contending. Those interests and those rights being defined by our alliances with the Powers pursuing the same objects, we have no motive to put forward any pretensions different from theirs; and if the people of this country were so unreasonable as to attempt to
prolong the horrors of war, and to impose incalculable sacrifices of treasure and of life not only on this nation but on the rest of Europe, after the essential objects of the war have been obtained, we should ourselves become an object of distrust and alarm to other nations, and we should lose that influence in Europe which, thanks to the disinterestedness and temper of the British Government, has never been more conspicuously displayed, or more beneficially exerted, than at the present time. There is no fear that too much will be conceded to Russia, for the four great principles wisely established by the Notes exchanged on the 8th of August stand immutably fixed in the public engagements of Europe; and although in the event of rapid and unbounded successes they would doubtless have been assailed for their moderation, yet they constitute a landmark in this question from which we see no reason widely to depart either in prosperous or in adverse fortune. present situation of the belligerents does not justify us in going materially beyond them; and if that situation were less favourable we should resolutely refuse to abate one jot of these terms. By Russia, indeed, they were indignantly rejected in August last as conditions which nothing but the close of a calamitous and exhausting war could bring her to accept; yet before the close of November she has professed to tender her acceptance of them-a proof amongst many others that she is conscious of her defeat, and alarmed by the prospect of still greater perils.
When once the proposition is firmly established in the mind, that this war is, at present, not a war of conquest, and not a war of revolution, we may dismiss from our thoughts the extreme views which are not unfrequently put forward to aggravate the present situation of Europe. We have not to consider what is to be done with the Crimea, because it is not yet conquered; and Lord John Russell declared with authority on the last night of the short Session, that it was not the policy or the desire of the Allied Governments to attempt a territorial dismemberment of the Russian Empire. We have not to discuss the results which might possibly be obtained by an appeal to 'compressed nationalities, or to those revolutionary elements. which lurk in so many portions of the European continent; for France and England repudiate these instruments, which would only betray the hand that seeks to wield them. If questions of this magnitude were now to be settled, we must indeed prepare for an age of war and bloodshed; but they have not been raised by us, and they will not be raised, unless the pride and obstinacy of the Court of St. Petersburgh force additional causes of war upon Europe. But in the judgment not only of
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the British Cabinet, but of France with her high sense of military honour, and of Austria with her extreme caution and strong local interest in these questions, the essential conditions of peace would be obtained if Russia consents to relinquish her separate protectorate of the Principalities, to secure the navigation of the Danube, to revise the Convention of 1841 in the interest of the balance of power, and to concur with the other Christian States in obtaining from the Porte securities for the equal rights of all its subjects. The Three Powers allied by the treaty of the 2nd December, are agreed not only on these general propositions, but on the meaning to be affixed to them. They consider that Russia must no longer have the right which she possessed under the treaties of Akermann, Adrianople, and Balta Liman, to enter the Principalities, to change their government, and to deal with that portion of the Sultan's territories as if she enjoyed a joint, or rather a paramount, sovereignty there. They consider that the navigation of the Danube must be secured not by treaty only, as it is already, but by an independent authority at the mouth of that stream. They consider that Russian preponderance in the Black Sea, as established at Sebastopol, is incompatible with the maintenance of the Ottoman Empire, and consequently with the equilibrium of Europe. They consider that it is impossible to renew that part of the treaty of Kainarji upon which the Emperor of Russia based his claim to interfere between the Sultan and twelve millions of his Christian subjects, so as in fact to render himself the head of that vast population, and to become the dominant authority in the European provinces of Turkey. Such are the terms they require, and with less they cannot be satisfied. These concessions, moderate as they are, would suffice to extinguish the pretensions out of which the present war has arisen; and it may be a question whether it is expedient, with a view to a lasting peace, to render its conditions too onerous and humiliating to a great Power, which will then take the first opportunity of breaking through them. We cannot alter the nature of things; we cannot suddenly make Russia weak and Turkey strong; we cannot restore to the Moslem that empire of the sword which once ruled the Eastern world, or stop the irresistible advance of the Christian population; but we shall have taken those measures which prudence and policy imperatively require when we have deprived Russia of the weapons both of diplomacy and of war, by which she has attempted to annihilate the independence of the Ottoman Empire, and when we have shown her that the road to Byzantium is closed against her by the united will of Europe.
1855. Note to the Article on Cardinal Mezzofanti.' ·
SINCE this Article was printed, we have received the Trans'actions of the Philological Society' (Nos. vii. viii. and ix. 1854), which contain an additional paper by Mr. Watts review of M. Manavit's Life of Mezzofanti' (pp. 133-150). Mr. Watt's estimate of the philological value of this work exactly coincides with our own. He enters, with a minuteness which our limits rendered impossible, into a critical examination of the two authorities - the writer of the Giornale di Roma,' (whose list he prints, pp. 136-7.), and that of the Civiltà Cattolica'-on which M. Manavit relies; and demonstrating by many examples their vague and unscientific character, he shows that, in determining the actual extent of the Cardinal's attainments, their unsupported representation, not only cannot safely be accepted as decisive, but is at variance with the ascertained and unquestioned facts of the case.
To the valuable collection of sketches of the Cardinal, by different travellers, contained in his former paper, Mr. Watts has added two new and interesting extracts, which we should very gladly have included in our notice. He writes throughout, as in his former essay, with a thorough love of the subject; and one of the objects of his paper, as of our own, is to guard the genuine fame of an illustrious man from the danger in 'which it is placed by the exaggerations of ill-informed and ' uncritical admiration.”
No. CCVI. will be published in April.