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and their precursors in all the wars, which took place between the two empires, until the peace of Kainardji in 1774, gave a decisive ascendancy to Russia in those countries. Even this ascendancy was insufficient to protect altogether the Southern provinces of the empire, from the incursions of the Tartars, who from a conformity of religion and ancient habits, retained a marked partiality for the Ottomans. The possession of the Crimea became therefore indispensable, if it be true that security is the supreme law of nations;—and we find in it, politically speaking, nothing reprehensible but the circumstances which accompanied the conquest. When these are said to surpass in atrocity, the horrors which have lately desolated Spain and Switzerland—we must observe, that no treaty of alliance offensive and defensive, united the Russians and Tartars previously to the occupation of the peninsula;—that the latter, far from being the faithful allies of Russia, had in every instance, been prodigal of their blood and their treasures, in the cause of her enemies,—and consequently that there exists a most material difference between the objects of comparison.
Here again we are struck with the contradictions of our author.—After informing us that the Russians "laid -waste the country—cut down the trees—pulled down the houses" &c, (p. 380) he tells us, that in his visit to the Karaite Jews he was " highly entertained—by the singularity of having found one Jewish settlement, perhaps the only one upon earth, where that people exist secluded from the rest of mankind, in the free exercise of their ancient customs and peculiarities." (p. 387.) And further, (p. 422,) " Soon after the capture of the Crimea, precisely at the time of terrible earthquakes in Hungary and Transylvania, a large portion of the immense cliff above the village of Kutchuckoyfell down, and buried it. The late Empress caused the place to be restored at her own expense, indemnifying the inhabitants at the same time, for the losses they had sustained."
As Dr. Clarke has undertaken to explain on several occasions the meaning of Russian words, and to determine their pronunciation and orthography, we think ourselves obliged to correct some of his errors, in order to show the degree of confidence he ought to inspire as a linguist.
The Russian sandals are not called Labkas, but lapti. The v/ord Celo or Selo, (p. 140,) does not signify a church, but a pillage in which there is a church. Speaking of the capital of tihe Don Cossacks which he calls Tscherkaskoy instead of TTsherkask, its true name, he with great gravity, announces tttiat " the terminating syllable Koi signifes a town," whereas it is simply the inversion by means of which, the substantive is declined in the genitive case; for instance Tsherkaskoy gitele, inhabitant of Tsherkask. The word town is, without exception, rendered by Gorod. But enough on this subject, which we might greatly extend, if we chose to animadvert on all the mistakes of a similar description.
Our traveller takes great pains to inspire a belief, that he was exposed to numberless persecutions, from the police-officers in Russia. We have noted all the incidents which hate given occasion for his complaints. Having attentively marked his progress from St. Petersburgh to Odessa, where he embarks for Constantinople, we ascertain from his own statements, that all the molestations endured by this martyr to despotism, may be reduced to the following occurrences:—1st. Being conducted before the commandant of Moscow to exhibit his passport.—2d. His quarrel with the post-master, between Moscow and Soula, who insisted on the doctor's taking off his hat before the emperor's picture, (p. 142).—3d. The insolence of the procurator of the government among the Don Cossacks, who would not allow a foreigner to rifle the public archives at Tsherkask, (p. 212.)—and lastly the indiscreet loyalty of commodore Billings, (Dr. C's own countryman by the by,) who as an officer in the service of Russia, would not perjure himself by favouring criminal researches in the harbour of Sebastopol, (p. 394-5,) for which any stranger whatever would have been shot in France, and hanged in England. To these atrocities may be added the bad supper given him, by the poor commandant at Asof, during which the officers of the garrison annoyed him with their impertinent questions, while the old general Pekin endeavoured to amuse him by performing, in spite of his 73 years, the Russian national dance.
With the exception of the above mentioned instances, we find that our travellers, far from meeting with interruptions in their progress, from the officers of government, experienced a reception and assistance, from the commandants of the places they visited, which they were not entitled to expect, considering the then political relations between Russia arid Great Britain.—Before leaving Moscow the British ambassador, secretly conveys to them, letters of recommendation, from the governor of St. Petersburgh to the govemoA of that capital, and to general Michelson, commander in chief! in the Crimea, (p. 139.) By means of these letters they pur-i chase the long-wished for Podorojnaja, and in order to leave! the country by the shortest route, and to get rid of the "vigiJ lant eye" of the police, they determine to visit the territory of the Don Cossacks, Kouban, Circassia and the Crimea. They traverse the country under an escort of cavalry, which scarcely suffices to quiet their fears of banditti and highwaymen. At Oxa-i and at Tsherkask they rest for a few days, and partake of good dinners on services of plate. In the country of the Cossacks of the Black Sea, they meet a general Drashkowitz, who treats them with the amusing spectacle of an expedition against the Lesguis, who are mistaken by Dr. Clarke for Circassians, (p. 293-4.)—At last they reach the Crimea— professor Pallas (who by their account was banished there for indiscreet conduct,) is not afraid of lodging them for months in his prison, which proves to be a palace.—He even accompanies them in their excursions upon the coast of Sebastopol:— prince Viasemskay, the governor, provides apartments for them in a palace belonging to the crown, and a gun is fired to announce to the garrison the arrival of these illustrious personages, (p. 362.)
Such is the treatment Dr. Clarke receives every where after his departure from Moscow.—It must be confessed that all travellers are not thus persecuted; but then too they do not all, like him, take their revenge by turning spies. Fortunately for Russia the British admiral, Lord Keith, who at that time commanded in the Mediterranean, and to whom Dr. Clarke hastened to present the fruits of his illicit researches, upon the coasts of the Crimea, did not think proper to execute our traveller's brilliant military conceptions, for the conquest of the peninsula with one thousand men, (p. 443);—otherwise our countrymen would have paid dearly for the hat stolen at Moscow, and the unpleasant day passed at Azof.
Having now concluded our remarks on Dr. Clarke's Travels, so highly extolled by the Edinburgh Reviewers, we believe every unprejudiced reader will think with us, that the latter have grossly erred in their review of that work. As foreigners we pretend not to judge of the author's style;—but whatever may be the manner in which he has clothed his ideas, taste and decency are frequently offended by the comparisons he employs, and the disgusting details of his descriptions. To compare Russia to an enormous toad, and its inhabitants to two-legged hogs, is assuredly not refined, and gives no exalted opinion of the habits of life and sort of society, to which the author has been accustomed.
The vogue which his book has obtained, is chiefly attributable, to the character given of it by the Edinburgh Reviewers. Praise was unexpected from a quarter, whence had issued deserved censure upon other literary productions of the same kind.—Can they have forgotten their own declarations, on the subject of the accusations brought by Sir Robert Wilson, against the head of the French government, and their remarks on Acerbi's Sweden? The very extensive circulation of their journal, which is read in every country, without excepting Russia, would enable them to exert a salutary influence, in correcting the prejudices which separate nations, and which foment reciprocal animosities. The present circumstances of Europe would render such an application of their talents peculiarly meritorious,—for never did national antipathies manifest themselves with more virulence; never was the voice of conciliation more necessary. But deaf to these considerations, the Edinburgh Reviewers have taken pains to render the Russians odious and despicable ia the eyes of Englishmen, for the purpose of maintaining the proposition, that it is not Russia but Austria, that ought to be made the point of support, in Great Britain's political arrangements on the continent of Europe. However plausible this opinion of theirs may be, it can in no manner justify them, for giving weight to the calumnies of a libeller, such as Dr. Clarke. Less alarmed by these literary thunderbolts, than surprised that they should be launched, from what we have been accustomed to regard, as the sanctuary of liberal principles, we lament the fatality, by which party-spirit exercises such sway over the most enlightened minds.—Their example confirms the maxim, that to repose blindly on the judgment of others is at all times dangerous, and that great reputations are often least to be depended upon.
A Sketch of the Military System of France, comprising some observations on the character, and designs of the French government; to which is added, an inquiry into the probable duration of the French power.—pp. 102. Baltimore, 1812.
The title alone of this pamphlet is fitted to awaken the curiosity of persons, who take even a much less lively interest than ourselves, in the important topics of which it professes to treat.—Our attention was drawn to it, however, not merely by the complexion of the subject matter, but by some few extracts from the body of the work, which were inserted, with an appropriate eulogium, in a Baltimore gazette, some days before its publication. These were of a nature to prepossess the lovers of good writing very strongly in favour of the author, and to excite in our minds, expectations by no means usual in relation to American literature, of the same, or any other purport. We cannot say that we were feasted to the full extent of our hopes, when the pamphlet itself came into our hands, but. we may remark with truth, that we were on the whole, edified, and grateful for the repast with which we were furnished.
One of the principal reasons, why we have not hitherto noticed, the productions of this sort, which have occasionally issued from the American press, since the commencement of our critical labours, is, we must honestly confess, the extreme difficulty, if not impossibility, under which we have laboured, of reconciling the only language we could wish to hold,—that of commendation,—with the dictates of our judgment, and the duty we owe to the public.—We do not pretend to assert that this has always been the case, or that we may not have erred in a few instances; but we have not often found, particularly in the style of our political pamphlets, that stamp of excellence, which, conformably to our code of official morality, alone justifies us in appearing as panegyrists.—The present pamphlet is, we think, in several respects, above the common order, and deserves to be recommended to public attention, not solely as a repository of many ideas equally just and instructive, but as a specimen, with exceptions indeed, of vigorous, and elegant diction.
When we meet with productions of real merit, we shall never be wanting in the disposition to exhibit them to the best advantage, nor hesitate to encourage their authors, as far Vol.. III. Q