Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

districts on the surface. From the Danube to the Rhine is no great distance. It has been long projected to connect these rivers : the expense, it appears, would be moderate. Buonaparte estimates it, in the Memoirs ascribed to him, at about seven hundred thousand pounds. All this traffic now enumerated, may, and probably will, be carried on, without the least participation on our parts--except on the Indian Seas. The relief from anarchy and spoliation, and the improved condition of the Lesser Asia, &c., granting that such will ensue, might no doubt be highly beneficial to our manufacturing interests, could we go into their markets on equal terms with the subjects of the dominant State. But the prohibitory system, already unscrupulously resorted to by the latter, for the protection of her infant manufactures, and of her trade generally, leaves not a doubt that our passage through the Bosphorus will, after a time, be gradually so hampered and impeded with restrictions, that British merchants will not find it for their interest to persevere in the attempt. On this point some further developement will be found in a subsequent note.

By means of the intimate intercourse that may thus subsist between Constantinople and the East, connexions and correspondence will be established with Caubul, Lahore, Sird, the Mahratta's, &c. Emissaries will penetrate into those countries ;-the project of re-establishing the overthrown musnuds of every class will be diligently disseminated; the more warlike and dissatisfied portion of the population will be incited to prepare and organize themselves, under the intimation that a general attack is contemplated against the British ascendancy, both in Europe and Asia; auxiliary aid, too, will of course be tendered, and the fidelity of our native troops tampered with.

• Thus will the public mind of those countries be thrown into a state of bigh excitement and effervescence; for, notwithstanding the ameliorative character of the British sway, from various circumstances, some of them beyond control, others unintentional, India is filled throughout every part of its extent, with the families of ruined zemindars-defeated chiefs chastised Pindarries—and dethroned rajahs or nabobs, with their numerous followers, relatives, and adherents. A large population of disbanded soldiery also exists, in many of the central or north-western states, whose caste and destination by inheritance is that of arms—accustomed to military adventure, to lawless and predatory habits, individually daring, who are now without resource, and who sigh for action and revenge.

Neither, perhaps, would the idea of restoring to a portion of his ancient supremacy, the Mogul Emperor, still holding by our permission his nominal court at Delhi, be without effect, at least amongst the ten millions of Mahometans scattered over the Peninsula.

• Those proceedings alone would compel us to add to our Indian army by at least fifty thousand men (European or native); and thus will commence a rapidly increasing expenditure, with as rapid a diminution of receipts.'--pp. 131–138.

The dismemberment and loss of our Indian empire would be, of course, the ultimate consequence of this new state of things. And it is hardly necessary to add, that such an event would soon be necessarily followed by the total decline of our commerce, and our

6

seas.

power, both at home and abroad. Changes in our constitution, from freedom to mere monarchism—the destruction of our parliament—the manacling of our press—the diminution of our revenue

-the spoliation of the church, and of the property of the land and fundholders, and furious civil commotions, are the topics through which the gloomy, and we hope only imaginative speculations of our author next conduct him.

He then supposes that at length England would be driven into a war for its very existence with Russia, and he considers how that contest might be affected by the state of Ireland.

• Now, if Ireland should be then in a disaffected or insurrectionary state-should some imitative phantom of a presidentiary government have been created within it, and be in a condition to fulminate, from any beleaguered fastness,* seditionary decrees, resembling those now sent forth from the nascent republic of EGINA-in what better mode could the American general promote the aggressive views on his own borders, than by preparing a number of small fast-sailing vessels or steamers, for the successive conveyance, as they are wanted, of arms, ammunition, and stores to the insurgents? How are we to prevent these supplies being landed in some of the multitude of fine ports which everywhere indent (especially to the westward) the Irish coasts? American cruisers or privateers would also, under those circumstances, swarm in the Irish Channel and

A more obvious, an easier, cheaper, or more decisive diversion against the British power could not, it is manifest, be effected. IS IT BY VAINLY ATTEMPTING TO CONCEAL THESE MATTERS THAT THEY ARE TO BE GUARDED AGAINST ?

Whether, however, at the time now referred to, the sister island may be in the ascending vigour of a youthful prosperity, the citadel of our strength, and a new source of financial aid, or, on the other hand, the breach through which every enemy will seek to pass to the heart of the national power- is, it may be presumed, totally dependent on intermediate circumstances, which are wholly foreign in their nature to the subject of these pages, and such as the writer is not conversant with. But the actual condition of Ireland, without any reference whatever to its causes

* That there really exists any positive likelihood of this sort, is more than I can pretend to say, having no other data to go by than the accounts which go to this point in most of the public prints. But if these are not great exaggerations, it might be well to remark that though Ireland, being of limited extent, is the easier held by a regular army—that though, in some parts, it is not very mountainous, it still contains not only an overwhelming population, desperate from want, believing itself aggrieved, and characteristically susceptible of enthusiasm—but also presents a very observable peculiarity of surface, offering, with very little spade labour and no expense, numerous, extensive, and almost inexpugnable positions for entrenched retreats as places of depôt, drilling, organization, &c. Many of these are unapproachable to cavalry and artillery: or even infantry, except in files and with guides. But there are several military considerations most seriously connected with this topic, that seem to have been as yet uninquired inio. A civil war can yield no military:glory; soldiers, therefore, cannot touch upon such themes without regret.

or possible remedy, is not by any means an exclusively domestic concern; on the contrary, it is obviously and intimately connected with our external defence and foreign relations : perhaps far too much so.'-pp. 173–175.

It is but justice to the author to observe, that he admits his hypothetical narrative of consequences to be open to the charge of being visionary. He looks upon them, however, as 'grounded solely on the presumed, uninterrupted progress, during some years to come, of the commercial, maritime, and territorial power of Russia. * The real intention is not that of vainly presaging the occurrence of specific future events, but of endeavouring to embody something resembling what may be expected to be among the results of certain premised contingencies.'

In order to prevent the foundations from being laid for the formidable changes which our author apprehends, he suggests that Great Britain should have recourse to an 'armed intervention,' 'in wbich it would, most probably, be joined by France, Austria, and the various European powers. The objects which he proposes to attain by this intervention, he states as follows:

First, The inviolable freedom of commercial transit between the Mediterranean and Black Seas, as far, at least, as mutual rights, mutual safety, and the mutable nature of such affairs, admit of.

Second, A fair indemnity to Russia for the sequestration of ships or cargoes in the Ottoman ports, supposing that she can establish a claim on that score.

· Third, An equitable territorial adjustment between the Turks and Greeks,--such as may lead to permanent security, by means of the eventual establishment of a new Christian state, or confederacy of states, on this side the Hellespont, -and such as is consistent with the general interests of civilization. Henceforth, also, Turks to live within the Greek territories, and Greeks within those of the Turks, without a right of appeal for protection to foreign states.

. These, or at least the greater part of them, are what Russia, above all other powers, could not, with any colour of propriety, object to. If she does, then the mask is discarded, and the whole universe must see what her real purpose is. They are, with very little modification, the ends she proclaims to be her own.

• The next question is, how these desirable arrangements might be accomplished. On this point it is not presumed to mark out any specific plan; but the following suggestions are thrown out for the consideration of those better qualified to judge of their practicability, or of devising other and more applicable expedients.

• The splendid monarchy of the Moors extended during many ages over Spain and Portugal, a rocky nook of the Asturias alone excepted. The empire of Morocco, on the other side of the Strait, was possessed by the same people. The Christian Visigoths, by successive struggles, recovered possession of their country. Gradually the Moslem frontier receded, and becamed limited to the province of Grenada.

· It is almost exactly the same course of events which now appears to be in progress in European Turkey. Thus cause and effect follow, and are reproduced with unvarying regularity. What the gallant, generous, enlightened, and magnificent Arabian of the Iberian peninsula was not

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

exempt from, neither will the brutal Turk of the Thracian promontory. What is, at all events, then about to take effect, even without any foreign intervention, namely, the recession of the Ottoman frontier,—but not (if left to its own course) without long strife, suffering, and probable confusion,-might surely be advantageously, justly, and even, perhaps, bloodlessly accelerated, by negotiation, supported by a great and imposing force, on the parts of France, England, and their allies.

• Humanity, as well as the general repose, forbids that the Greek and Mussulman should any longer inhabit the same soil. Let then a division of territory, proportioned to their respective numbers, take place.

* In this case an European domain might remain, and be guaranteed to the Sultan, bounded on the one side by a line running along the summit of the Balkan, and on the other by some natural demarcation ; or, if that cannot be conveniently found, by a line due north and south, passing westward of Adrianople, or by the Maritza river. This would leave to the two or three millions of European Turks, a square several fold more fertile than Scotland, not above a third less than it in area, and fully capable of supporting double the above population.

• Let the Greeks be the people who shall, at some distant period, drive these irreclaimable fanatics out of Europe, as Ferdinand and Isabella did, with such infinitely less reason, the Moslems from Grenada.

As yet the Greeks are not strong enough to be intrusted with the gates of the Bosphorus.

According to the idea of partition above thrown out, there would be ample means for creating a federacy of considerable Christian states, whose principal towns might be Bucharest, Philopolis, or Salonica, Athens, &c. *Only let them be protected by the great powers during a short minority, and they will ere long be enabled to protect themselves.

• The unqualified commercial freedom of the canals of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus in favour of all nations, might, it is presumed, be adequately established by treaty; and the observance of it, sufficiently secured by procuring the cession of one of the islands of the Marmora to such secondary maritime state, as may at once be least dependant on other powers, and least obnoxious to jealousy. Were any such idea adopted, the choice might, perhaps, fall upon Denmark or Naples. As for the recent occupation of the Neapolitan territory by Austrian troops, that was no more than a usurpation on the part of the Northern league, to which every continental state was equally liable.'-pp. 177-181.

Whatever may be thought of the suggestions of our author, it is clear that something must soon be done, with a view to the prevention of the formidable consequences which might accrue, if the Russian army were allowed to acquire, and to keep possession of, Constantinople. That England must take a leading part on this occasion, seems to be absolutely required. That she is still able to maintain her reputation and her position in the world, we have not the slightest doubt. For it can hardly be true that a country like ours, which, as our author states, has, within the last few years, lent such prodigious sums of money to the New World and the Old, can be deficient in resources, or unwilling to use them, when the dignity of the crown, as well as the interests of the community, call aloud for protection.

[ocr errors]

NOTICES.

Art. XIII.- Whim-Whams, by Four of Us. London and Boston. 18mo.

pp. 204. 1828. This is an American production, republished in England, which will, we dare say, amuse and gratify the admirers of transatlantic wit. It consists of a hodge-podge of prose and verse, the ingredients of which bear to have been contributed by four dealers in such articles, whose various claims upon our notice, we shall best sum up by describing them as severally very zealous and hardworking imitators, of no less distinguished prototypes than Lord Byron, Mr. Moore, Mr. Hood, and Mr. Horace Smith. If there be any person who would like to see the style of each of these celebrated writers americanised, and adapted to the latitude of Boston, we recommend him to this little volume, where the thing is really done with very considerable tact and success. Judging of the book abstractly, and without reference to this consideration, we should say, there is a good deal of cleverness in it, and some poetic feeling, which with time and cul

shoot into very tolerable poetry. The mirthful passages are rather too strongly impregnated with a species of salt, which is not exactly attic, for our taste: but here and there we have a pun either so happy as really to amount to a bon mot, or so execrably bad as to be the next best thing to a good one. Too often, however, we are sorry to say, the performances of the ingenious authors in this department have all the flatness of mediocrity.

ture may

up

ART. XIV.-The Pleiad, a Series of Abridgments from Seven distin

guished Writers on the Evidences of Christianity. By the Venerable Francis Wranghan, M.A. F.R.S., Archdeacon of Cleveland. Edin

burgh: 12mo. 1828. This publication, which forms the 26th volume of Constable's Miscellany, consists of treatises on different parts of the evidences of Christianity, abridged from Leland, Leslie, Doddridge, Watson, Butler, Paley, Jenyns, and Watts. The object of the Editor has been, not only to collect together and comprehend within moderate compass some of the principal productions of these able defenders of our faith, but in many cases also to simplify the arguments they have employed, and by a slight alteration of the form of their works, to render them more popular and more generally useful. Judging by the parts of the volume into which we have looked, we think the venerable Archdeacon has shown much tact and judgment in the accomplishment of his task, which we agree with him in considering, although of a humble description, as not on that account an inglorious one.' The public are already well acquainted with the liberal and benevolent piety of this learned dignitary ; and his present performance, if it should not add much to his fame as a profound or elegant scholar, will not at least diminish the respect he has earned for himself by his exertions in the path of Christian and professional usefulness.

« AnteriorContinuar »