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ART. VIII.-1. The Speech of Lord Lyndhurst, delivered in the House of Lords on Monday the 19th June, 1854. London. 1854. 2. The Russians in Bulgaria and Rumelia in 1828 and 1829; during the Campaigns of the Danube, the Sieges of Brailow, Varna, Silistria, Shumla, and the Passage of the Balkan by Marshal Diebitch. From the German of Baron von Moltke, Major in the Prussian service. 1854.

THE

HERE is an instinct of self-preservation in all communities. That instinct has overcome the aversion to war which is one of the prevailing sentiments of our time. The present conflict with Russia is regarded in England as essentially a people's war, upon the principle affirmed in the brief old maxim that princes fight for victory, the people for safety. The issues of this strife, no matter how glorious to our arms, involve no gain to our power. The contest demands immediate and costly sacrifices: the sacrifices are yielded without a murmur. It proffers no accession of dominion; dominion was proffered as the reward of peaceful connivance. Egypt and Candia did not tempt our diplomacy, and the knowledge of the meditated bribe has inflamed still more the resentment of the nation. Yet the danger we apprehend from the enemy does not menace us in our more evident and material interests apart from the general cause of the human race. We fear no invasion of our shores-there is no ancient grudge of rival commerce. Even an attempt on our Indian possessions seems to us too remote and chimerical for substantial alarm. Nor, on the other hand, is the dormant military spirit aroused by the remembrance of hereditary contests. Here, our remembrances are of alliances, not warfare.

It may be said that political differences supply the place of hostile reminiscences; that between England and Russia there is the necessary antagonism between free opinion and despotic rule. Unquestionably such antagonism exists, and contributes towards that enthusiasm for the war, which, nevertheless, it could never in itself have created. All educated men recognise the same distinction as the Greeks did between the established order of states and the individual ambition of rulers. The Greeks called Polycrates, who subjugated his native Samos, a tyrant; they did not call Xerxes a tyrant, but the Great King. National animosities when purely political are felt rather for those who have risen to be autocrats than those who receive autocracy in right of birth, and exercise it by the sanction of the governed. Yet the Emperor of France is popular, and his alliance, the boast of the former government, is the strength of the present; while all men, educated or ignorant, join in their dread of the Czar, who is calledfather" by

his people, and who, till recent events, enjoyed a high reputation even among free states for constitutional temperance in the exercise of hereditary power. Nor is the war with Russia popular alone amongst those portions of our community who consider themselves the warmest admirers of democratic liberty, and would fain be the iconoclasts of all images embodying the idea of irresponsible authority. While Mr. Cobden and Mr. Bright have done what lay in their power to damp the ardour of the populace they have been accustomed to sway-while Whigs have been hesitating and Reformers timid-the chiefs of that party held to be the least fascinated by abstract theories of liberty, and most disposed to respect the forms of established convention, have been the first to insist upon vigour in the prosecution of the war and guarantees in the re-establishment of peace. We must look then to some cause for the favour which a conflict at once so vast and so indefinite-so onerous in exactions so barren in profit to dominion and commerce-has found with all classes and sections of our people. The cause is concentered in one word-a word that comprises a thought more important than dominion or commerce-than hereditary rivalship-than even liberty itself-for it is the end and development of liberty; that word is Civilisation. The people have felt that this is a war in which all states that can boast to be civilised—all that desire fair expanse for internal energies, and complete independence of foreign obstacles in the way of domestic progress, have a vital and permanent interest. We repeat that the popular feeling enlisted in this contest has. been the instinct of self-to preserve what?-Civilisation.

No sympathy so intense and universal is ever in the main erroneous. It is to the multitude what the advocates of mesmerism contend that clairvoyance is to the uninstructed individual-often erring in detail, and blundering in the remedy prescribed, but strangely correct in the general diagnosis of disease. Here, what is detected by clairvoyance is approved by science. What the people obey as instinct, all true statesmen confirm as policy. That which the throne of the Western Casars was to Theodoric, the throne of the Eastern Cæsars would be to Nicholas. The barbarian would pass from the outskirts of civilization into its citadel; the destinies of the world would be gradually changed; and if, as in those primal conflicts of nature typified in the old Greek theogony, light were to return at last, and a Helios come to replace the Hyperion it had dethroned, it would be as a new sun looking over a new condition of the earth. The consequence to Europe of such a calamity it would be impossible to exaggerate. Russia, at this time, happily for mankind, is proverbially

inert

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inert and feeble for the purposes of aggression. A mode of conscription so odious that her recruits must be kept in chains until they are broken into drill—a length of march across her own dominions that exhausts and decimates her armies before they arrive at the place of action-the necessity of transporting vast magazines of food, with a commissariat as defective as is that of all nations where human life is held in contempt-these and many other causes, too well known to require detail, justify that report of her weakness as an invading power, which the four great military authorities of Europe made to their respective states. Give her Constantinople-let the Osmanlis be expelled or exterminated—and these causes cease, or become but of trivial importance. On the frontiers of the civilised world, amidst the granaries of the East, distances vanish; Nature supplies the defects of the commissariat. It is one thing to march an army from Moscow, another to launch it upon Europe, fresh and vigorous, from the barracks of Stamboul. No country in the globe unites like Turkey in Europe facilities for extension of empire and security from assault. The difficulties which a Russian army has now to encounter in the invasion of Turkey may give some notion of what Turkey would be in the hands of a Russian conqueror: earth could scarcely afford a mightier stronghold for a mightier ravager. Ever since the time of Peter the Great the tendency of Russia is invariably towards maritime outlets for its gigantic resources: but what outlet like the Bosphorus ? to use the words we have seen ascribed to a Russian writer, St. Peter thirsts for the bath of St. Constantine.'

6

That the Czar should have disavowed all immediate intention to occupy.permanently the capital of the Bosphorus is natural enough; that the policy of any statesman should have been influenced by such disavowal seems to us not more an unwise credulity in the professions of an individual who had every motive to deceive, than a blindness to the inevitable action of natural circumstances upon national ambition. Take from the cabinets of France or England any one of their most sagacious ministers, place him in the councils of the Russian Czar, suppose him asked for his opinion as a politician what should be the object to which Russia should aspire for the fullest development of her own resources, and the most commanding influence over the fate of her neighbours-would he not answer, Constantinople'? It is true, if you permit him a conscience, he might say with Aristides, on the proposition for destroying the fleets of the Hellenic allies, 'the most advantageous, but not the most honourable.' Individuals have conscience, dynasties have none.

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No political calculator puts forth his ultimate objects: he

seeks,

seeks, on the contrary, to propitiate opposition to the intermediate steps by concealing the final goal. Nay, he often conceals it from himself. We see this every day in the policy which is called sometimes Reform, and sometimes the Movement. The man whose favourite theory is a democratic republic does not invite the House of Commons to extend the franchise, or substitute the ballot-box for open voting, on the ground that such changes will lead the way to the form of commonwealth he affects. On the contrary, he seeks to conciliate apprehension and counteract resistance by declaring that the measures he advocates would best strengthen the aristocracy and secure the throne. So it is with schemers for the opposite extreme of politics. The democrat and the despot alike steal to their end. But there is this difference between the two: the prudent statesman does often preserve the most valuable elements of order and duration by compromise with the claims of liberty and innovation; but never yet has any statesman served the ends of liberty by conceding the first demands of the despot.

The Czar was, no doubt, however, sincere when he assured the British Minister that he had no intention to seize Constantinople. Seize it! No; he desired simply to weaken, and so to surround it, that Constantinople might, in the inevitable progress of events, rather melt into a treaty than be captured by the sword. To establish a protectorate over the large majority of the European subjects of the Porte-akin to Russia itself in religion-was so obviously to leave the ultimate conquest of the Ottomans to the lottery of political discontent and religious animosities; so obviously to arrogate the power that might incite the rebellion and incapacitate the control; so obviously, whenever the time arrived, to appear -Deus ex machinâ-as the champion of the one party and as the dictator to the other; and in some excess of Moslem fanaticism, or in some crisis of Ottoman anarchy, make the usurpation of ambition seem the triumphant revolution of Christianity, or the sole guarantee of social order,- that there is scarcely a mechanic in England who did not solve the enigma which so strangely bewildered the Cabinet. Frankly enough-when the Czar said to Sir Hamilton Seymour that he would not tolerate the permanent occupation of Constantinople by the Russians — he stated that he would never permit whatever alternative was left to that occupation. It shall never,' he declared, be held by the English, French, or any other great nation. I will never permit any attempt at the reconstruction of the Byzantine empire, or such an extension of Greece as would render her a powerful state; still less will I permit the breaking up of

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Turkey

Turkey into little republics, asylums for the Kossuths and Mazzinis, and other revolutionists of Europe. Rather than submit to any of these arrangements I would go to war, and as long as I have a man or a musket I would carry it on.' But if the Ottoman rule is to cease, as the Czar predicted and prepared for; if no other great nation is to hold Constantinople; if the empire-whatever it be called, Greek or Byzantine-is not to be reconstructed by a people amalgamated from its various tribes, nor, on the other hand, be parcelled out into petty commonwealths: what remains for Constantinople except to be sunk into the Bosphorus? or, much as the Czar might regret the force of circumstances which thrust greatness on him, to merge into the appanage of Russia? True, the adjacent territories might be conveniently disposed of; the great nations' might receive each an accommodation,' without altering the relative balance of power. The provinces to one, Egypt to another, and so forth. But Constantinople !—but the unrivalled harbour, which can float all the armaments of Europe, yet be guarded by a chain at its entrance-but the sublime fortress that overlooks two quarters of the globe- but the emporium of a commerce which flows thither as by the spontaneous law of nature, without effort, without fail-what of Constantinople? The Czar might divide amongst all legitimate claimants the property of the dead man; but, with usurpation as with murder, the grand difficulty would remain-how to dispose of the body!

We must be pardoned if we appear to insist overmuch upon a view of the subject so superficial and familiar, because that is precisely the view which we fear more refining politicians may disdain hereafter as they have disdained hitherto. All the real substance of this war - all the future consequences to result from the mode in which the war is to be terminated are involved in our adherence to the conviction that the ultimate object of Russia is the acquisition of Constantinople: all the objects for which we engage in the conflict will be lost, victory could achieve nothing to compensate the waste of treasure and blood, if the articles of peace leave to Russia the same stealthy facilities for that acquisition, which have been hitherto the weakness of the Porte, and the terror of the Christian nations. Even if we grant that previously to the war the Czar held the conquest of Constantinople too remote for practical consideration, the war itself has necessarily forestalled the ordinary progress of time. If he first armed merely to occupy the provinces, we could scarcely now suppose that he would forbear from occupying the capital if the fortune of the war

could

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