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The author discusses these objects with singular clear-sightedness and ability. He strips the diplomatic professions which have been hitherto made by the Autocrat of all their outward covering; subjects them to the test of facts, and of probabilities which almost assume the character of facts; and lays down a chart of Russian policy, which, perhaps, may not be altogether infallible, but which nevertheless, will, we trust, induce the people of this country to open their eyes to the dangers by which our national interests are at this moment surrounded.
We do not affect to penetrate the councils of our cabinet; but we must express our apprehension that it has not as yet paid sufficient attention to the strides which Russia has been, for some time, making, and is now pursuing with more energy than ever, in the East. The immense tracts of territory which it has conquered from Persia, ought to have already warned our government of the line of aggrandizing policy upon which the young Emperor has resolved, and upon which he has, undoubtedly, the means of acting, to as great an extent as the wildest visions of ambition could desire. To give implicit credit to his state papers-framed only for the purposes of delusion-to pin our faith on his vague expressions of generosity, and disinterestedness, and magnanimous moderation, would be as gross a piece of folly as ever was committed. Our true guide in all such cases, is to be found, in the first place, in a calm view of the interests which the invading party has to promote; and, in the next place, in a calculation of the prepara+ tions which he has made in order to secure them. For we may depend upon it, that expensive armaments by sea and land are not provided for the mere purpose of display. Heavy artillery and numerous waggons are not moved over hundreds of leagues merely to be rolled back again to the place from whence they came. When we see such formidable instruments of conquest poured into an enemy's territory, when we see them attended by multitudinous armies, well provisioned, and led on by a young and gallant soldier, who is, at the same time, their Emperor, we may readily believe that something more than the mere enforcement of a treaty, or even than the acquisition of a principality or two, must be within his contemplation.
Such also is the decided opinion of Colonel Evans, and the object of his present work is to select and examine the leading facts which bear upon this momentous question. We regret that he has not arranged his ideas in a somewhat more methodical form. He has a very happy talent of conveying his sentiments in guarded and apposite language; but in the proper disposition of them he is lamentably deficient. He appears to have written in a desultory and hasty manner, though the matter which he has collected would seem to be the fruit of extensive information, fully digested in his own mind. His work, however, is a most valuable one, and at the present moment must be peculiarly acceptable
to every person who wishes to become acquainted with the designs of Russia, and to contribute towards resisting them, as far as they can be injurious to the true interests of our country. We shall proceed to give our reader some notion of its contents, and in doing so we shall endeavour to arrange the different topics, which present themselves in a more natural and intelligible order than that in which the author has placed them.
We apprehend no person can doubt that the Grecian revolt, justifiable as it certainly was in every point of view, was originally kindled by Russian agents; at least it has been long encouraged by the Court of St. Petersburgh, and has lately received its most public and unequivocal sanction. Cotemporaneous with the commencement of that revolt was the collection of an imposing Russian army on the Pruth, which was continually augmented, until after being subjected to a due process of fermentation, it was at length led across the frontier. That army, supported by a maritime squadron, is now carrying every place before it; it will soon cross the range of the Balkan, and may, without much difficulty, take possession of Constantinople. Coupling the encouragement given to the revolt of the Greeks in the South, with this actual invasion of the territory of the Sultan in the North, the consequence is obvious, that Russia intends to subvert the Turkish power in Europe. This is a design transmitted to the present Emperor, through the portfolios of his late brother, whom he succeeded, and of his grandmother, the Empress Catharine. With respect to Nicholas, our author has the following pertinent obser
When with the armies in France and Germany, he was scarcely twenty years of age, and not being heir to the crown, attracted little observation. His fondness, however, for the kingly profession of arms, or at least for the semblance of it, military organization and arrangement, especially in the higher and more scientific branches, have been constantly and unequivocally displayed; while his personal intrepidity and firmness were no less conspicuous during the insurrectionary movement at the period of his accession; and which, it is averred (by those who appear not unacquainted with the state of that country), had considerable ramifications; but the immediate explosion of which we may certainly attribute, in a very great degree, to the fermenting inaction of the army. A large unemployed army is everywhere a dangerous implement. The remedy has been now adopted.
'On the accession of Nicholas, an opinion, pretty nearly in the following words, was expressed by one of the highest functionaries of the empire, whose name, were it right to be mentioned, would carry with it, even in this country, a degree of authority. "Russia has now an emperor, whose character is marked by much stronger traits, and who is of a far higher ambition than distinguished his late brother; but those qualities will not suddenly reveal themselves. They will be gradually disclosed by his public conduct." The truth or inaccuracy of this opinion will soon, from the greatness of the pending events, be resolved.
• Few instances, I presume, if any, can be pointed out, of a sovereign succeeding, in the most vigorous spring-time of life, to unlimited power, -to the command of an immense, well-appointed, and warlike army, with difficulty restrained from action-who has not allowed these elements to develope themselves-who has not given the reins, in some degree, to his or their ambition.
But it surely must have required something like credulity, or at least a determined resolution to discard all thought of precaution-to have placed any stress on the upright political intentions of Alexander,-observing, as all must have done, that the general pacification of 1815-an epoch, when all the governments were unnerved, and exhausted by excessive and prolonged exertion, when every people sighed for repose, was precisely that wherein the northern cabinet commenced the organization of a greater armament than any that had been hitherto embodied during the war; and for which there is no possible mode of accounting, unless we suppose that some great ulterior project was in contemplation, or that some renewed and desperate attempt upon the existence of the empire was apprehended; which, as every one knows, was out of all question. In fact, no sooner was peace restored, than the greatest of all the military powers immediately converted the whole of her south-western frontier into one vast military camp; thus giving the most substantial grounds of inquietude, and imposing heavy burdens and expenses on several of the continental states.
And with respect to the reigning autocrat, although it is but the other day the diadem has descended to him, has he not already found time to prosecute successfully an aggrandizing policy? The ink is scarcely dry which has signed away to him, by means of a most indefensible exercise of force, the banks of the Araxes-and yet it is concluded that the same hand will gratuitously reject the splendid, and incomparably superior prize that now lies nearly prostrate for acceptance. We presume then, not only that a luxurious court will prefer the frozen swamps of the Neva, with their worse than hyperborean atmosphere, to the superb and unequalled shores of the Marmora; but also that a young military monarch will be so reluctant to give umbrage to other nations, that he is so averse to war, so enamoured of peace, and altogether so imbued with a fine sense of abstract right, that although this transcendant achievement (the ultimate aim of all the national conquests) be now ripe for execution, and, as it were, courts him on, he will yet forbear to give it effect. This is to be more than moderate.
"It will be to disregard the fervent aspirations of his officers; the desires of his clergy; the wishes of his people (for on this subject even the serfs have an anxious sympathy); it will be to decline what comes recommended to him by every great name of Russia; to be unmindful of his own glory; to contemn the substantial interests of the empire, and even, not improbably, to hazard what we may well conceive to be one of the chief bonds of union between the throne to which he has been preferred and the chiefs by whom it is upheld and surrounded, and who, it is no more than reasonable to suppose, now ardently and sanguinely look forward, through the medium of this very operation, to the possession in their own persons, or those of their descendants, of high appanages, lordships, and princely satrapies, amidst the softer climes and wealthier and more inviting regions of Southern Europe.
"Therefore I contend, that there was nothing in the conduct, character, or circumstances of the late Monarch, which afforded a guarantee that views of aggrandizement were not contemplated, and would not be pursued ; and no less so, that there is nothing known concerning the temper or situation of the reigning Prince, which can justify a similar confidence being reposed in his political abstinence and rectitude.'-pp. 114-119.
As to the emperor's means of effecting the designs which he has in view, we are already aware that he has them in abundance. That the Ottoman sovereign is without the power of offering any thing like effectual resistance, seems equally evident.
By a return said to have just issued from the Grand Vizier's office, the army of the Sultan, regular and irregular, for garrisons and frontiers, amounts to one hundred and seventy-seven thousand men. Of these, eighty thousand only are stated to be in the pay of the Porte, and consist of raw levies or reformed Janissaries, whom it has endeavoured to drill after the European system. This half-organized force might overcome troops of an inferior order, but cannot be expected to confront, with effect, the sustained fire and combined movements of any tolerably constituted army.
The ninety-seven thousand irregulars are the armed followers of the tributary Pachas; and these, particularly the Asiatic portion, are generally speaking, a disorderly, ferocious, and intractable banditti, who repair to the standard of the Prophet, partly under the cloak of religion and partly in the hope of plunder.
By this statement,-forty-seven thousand are allotted for the defence of Asia; sixty-two thousand five hundred for the Dardanelles, Bosphorus, the capital, and Adrianople;-there would thus remain sixty-seven thousand five hundred, for the defence of the Balkan, Bulgaria, and the Danube. But this is the strength of the army on paper. And if we reduce the nominal force by at least one-third, or even one-half, we shall probably be much nearer the effective numbers.-Rapidly, too, will even this diminished strength decrease as the campaign advances.
"The formation of an army according to the present scientific European system, is not the work of a day, and requires elements beyond the reach of the Othman chief.
The Russians have been more than a hundred years in making the one they now have; and even yet, almost the whole energy, and almost every faculty of the empire, have been directed to the perfection of that single department or machine, it is deficient in an important ingredient, superior intelligence or mind. Numbers, docility, and hardiness, both as to enduring courage, and physical constitution, make up in a degree for this defect.
'The Portuguese of the last war were good troops under British officers; -the Hindoos and Musselmauns of India are so, with the same assistance; the Persians were so under Macedonian officers; -the Italians of the late kingdom of Italy were chiefly under French officers.
On the other hand, several years elapsed before the energetic and indefatigable Peter could enable his devoted and brave Muscovites to withstand the Swedes; although, on all occasions, immensely outnumbering them, and covered to the teeth with entrenchments, to which he was obliged to resort, even up to Pultawa.
So also the Spaniards, who are not inferior in manliness to any nation,-who are superior to most in constancy and fortitude, and who,
though actuated by the strongest feelings,-were up to 1814, after six or seven years' experience, scarcely capable of meeting, in the open field, the youngest conscripts of France.
'The Turkish cavalry, which in former times was the most brilliant and redoubtable portion of their armaments, still occasionally display a fiery individual valour; but they cannot break steadily formed squares. Their infantry was never good for much, except in skirmishing, or in the defence of walls or entrenchments. Their artillery is represented as still worse.
• When the country attacked is not very extensive,-when the invading army has the means of supplying itself from without,-and there are some points and lines of imperative consequence to be held, a superior cavalry (even if that of the Ottomans were such) will not avail against a superior infantry and artillery. The Turkish empire in Europe falls, as a matter of course, if the lines of the Danube and Hemus, the passage of the Bos phorus, and the capital, are possessed by Russia. It is true, that the Ottomans will not probably abandon their towns and fastnesses without a contest. But as they have no adequate idea of the use of fire, even with small arms, much less cannon, nor any notion of the combinations requisite for rendering a general attack either in the field or against a fortress abortive, their bravery on the breach can have no other effect in the present instance than the effusion of blood. When they undergo a decisive defeat, it is well known to be a very difficult matter to rally them; and they seldom, afterwards, make a firm stand in the field during the remainder of the campaign.'- pp. 24-28.
We may therefore even now assume it as a matter concerning which there can be very little doubt, that the Russian eagle will be planted on the towers of St. Sophia before many months elapse. The first question, then, which we are to ask ourselves is this, whether it be compatible with the interests of England, that such a formidable accession of territory as would thus accrue to the Emperor, should be permitted to pass quietly under his yoke;-whether, in fact, a new empire shall be created which threatens to be more extensive than that of the Constantines, more powerful even than that of ancient Rome. For it will ultimately come to this, if Constantinople be made the capital of the Russian dominions.
There are those, we know, who suspect that the true cause of the present Grand Duke Constantine's abdication of the throne of Russia, is to be found in a secret family treaty, whereby Nicholas has bound himself to erect a new Christian state out of the ruins of Turkey, of which Constantine is to be the sovereign, and that the city, whose name he bears, is to be given to him for his capital. If this be the fact, it deserves much more consideration than we can at present afford to give it. Besides, events are not yet sufficiently matured, to yield rational data upon which such a speculation could be founded. But we must take leave to observe, that the idea here hinted at seems bottomed in very strong probabilities, and it would appear to give rise to arrangements of a much less objectionable nature, than those which would necessarily attend the incorporation of European Turkey with the dominions of the