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troops imposes, except in case of the most urgent need, a practical limitation upon the number that can be employed with advantage: yet we feel convinced that England's European influence has been increased, and her military position strengthened, by this dramatic disclosure of her unforeseen Indian resources. Previously, India had been regarded as a perpetual drain on our small army; almost a third part of our regular forces was constantly engaged in supplying that vast · dependency with a garrison; and there was no lack of gloomy prophets, who pointed to Russian approaches towards its frontier as the slow but certain operations of a gigantic siege. The Asiatic deserts, which formerly lay as a neutral zone between the empires, were being gradually added on to the vast bulk of Russia ; diplomacy and force were, they said, completing the work of annexation, and we might any morning awake to find ourselves in perilous proximity to a most dangerous foe. But, though wandering tribes may be brought into subjection, the nature of those arid steppes is not susceptible of sudden improvement; the difficulties to Russia of waging an Indian war would be undiminished ; and, even were Russian territory to creep up the northern slopes of the Himalayas, India would still be, in a military sense, nearer to England than to Russia—so true is it still, as in Lord Bacon's time, that the command of the seas is an abridgment of monarchy.
When it seemed probable that our critical relations with Russia would result in war, the alarmists about India lost both confidence and voice; and the last satiric touch' was given to their groundless fears by this flank march of Indian forces from Asia into Europe. Of the quality of these troops conflicting opinions have been expressed ; and it is only natural to suppose that, in a country of such vast extent, including such different climates and such various races, there should be great differences in the aptitude of the inhabitants for warlike pursuits. The Bengalee is not generally accredited with any excess of pugnative zeal; but the Sikhs are, as England may well remember, unsurpassed in self-sacrificing valour by any soldiers in the world. All Oriental troops fight much better side by side with English soldiers than they do when opposed to them; yet the memory of such a victory as Sobraon should still be sufficient to vindicate in English eyes some part, at least, of the native forces from any calumnious aspersion.
This, it is true, 'is the first time that Indian soldiers have been called on to bear arms in Europe; but there are many precedents for their employment in Asiatic and African campaigns. Affghanistan, Persia, China, Egypt, and Abyssinia, saw them
ranked as brothers in arms beside English troops: and, as we have no reason to suspect that the qualities which they then displayed have since forsaken them, we add the tribute paid to their excellence by Lord Cavan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army in Egypt in 1802:
Their excellent discipline and obedience, and their patience under great fatigue and hardship, have been equalled by their exemplary conduct in the correct and regular discharge of every duty of soldiers; and, though they may lament that circumstances rendered it impossible for them to have taken part in the brilliant actions of this country during the last campaign, it must be a satisfaction for them to know that their services in Egypt have been as important, and as essential to their country, as those of their brother soldiers that gained such distinguished victories in it.'
The troops thus praised in high terms consisted of contingents drawn from the three Presidencies in about equal proportions, and may be assumed to have fairly represented the Indian forces of the day.
It is with deep regret that we have noticed an argument against the employment of Indian troops, founded on the dominant position of England over India. Nowhere has it appeared in a more reprehensible form than in Mr. Gladstone's violent invectives in the pages of the Nineteenth Century. He seems to regard England as a press-gang, the Indian troops as the unresisting citizen forced into the service of the country. He asks, Will India be content ? Can India be content ? Ought India to be content ?' And he stigmatizes the whole proceeding as 'gross and monstrous injustice.' We are, he says, masters, not allies,' and we are not only a nation ruling a nation, but an army ruling an army.'
India has herself given no doubtful response to his questions. She has already not only accepted the action of the Government with contentment, but welcomed it with acclamation. Not only have the native forces of the Crown shown their eagerness to participate in the expedition, but the feudatory Princes have sent to the Queen the most reassuring expressions of their loyalty, coupled with offers of practical assistance. Throughout the length and breadth of India the prevailing sentiment has been one of legitimate pride at being treated, not only as allies, but as equal fellow-subjects of the same Queen.
But Mr. Gladstone's argument seems to us to rest on a fundamental misconception of the relations between England and her dependencies. Though we have treated the subject technically, and have purposely confined ourselves to an examination of the criticisms which have been directed against the policy of the Govern
ment, we do not disguise from ourselves the truth, that the real issue is far deeper, wider, and more vital, than that which was recently raised by Her Majesty's Opposition. If the conclusions of the Opposition are to be adopted, if the spirit by which Mr. Gladstone and other Liberal leaders are animated is to prevail, then the future of the British Empire must of necessity be very different from what we ourselves, in common we trust with the majority of Englishmen, desire and expect. The ideal towards which the most earnest Liberals yearn, is Equality in the most rigorous and uncompromising form of self-government. The individual is the unit of their scheme, the alpha and omega of their political system. Whatever forms of social organization or central authority impede the development of their moral ideal, they consider to be relics of tyranny and barbarism. They contemplate man apart from society, and each member of the body politic apart from the body itself. Thus Mr. Gladstone regards India as an individual abstraction clothed with a selfconsciousness of her own; Canada as another moral individual of a different species ; Australia as a third independent and reflective atom. And so, too, he would doubtless individualize every municipal corporation, and every parish vestry, as organisms complete in themselves, and readily to be distinguished from the country to which they belong; while he would conceive of every man in these boroughs and parishes as constituting a moral government in his own person. Doubtless there is a sense in which this method of thought is just, but it is a religious, not a political one; if practically applied to the English Constitution, it would logically lead to a return to the Heptarchy. Equality, except in the minds of philosophers, can never be an elevating political principle ; its fruits are, not the perfecting of individual natures, but the disestablishment of churches, the destruction of ranks, and the disintegration of Empires.
These are not the conditions to which we desire to see our country reduced. We look on the individual and the parish as the base, not the climax, of our Constitution. Every great nation must have something of the character of an army, a coherence between its several parts, a recognized code of discipline, a due gradation of authority, and one acknowledged head. The freedom and public spirit, encouraged by her local institutions, help England to cement her world-wide Empire : the citizen takes pride in his borough ; the countryman identifies himself with his county; the colonist carries abroad with him the manners · and affections of his mother country; all Englishmen see in their Sovereign the guardian of their ancient liberties and the representative of their collective greatness.
ale in collision of aima field for their homs that found in termen
ART. IX.- The People of Turkey: Twenty Years' Residence
among Bulgarians, Greeks, Albanians, Turks, and Armenians. By a Consul's Daughter and Wife. Edited by Stanley Lane
Poole. In 2 vols. London, 1878. N OW that the deliberations of the Berlin Congress are
all but concluded, and while Europe is watching the result of these deliberations and of the Anglo-Turkish Treaty in the shaping of the new destinies of the East, it is of the first importance for us to gain some insight into the elements that are undergoing transformation. Partisanship, and all its blinding rancour, may, it is to be hoped, give way to a spirit more ready to see good as well as evil, less eager to utter sweeping condemnations, more cautious about the application of drastic remedies. Hitherto a great part of the Eastern Question has been the gauging of the ambitions that found in the East and its disturbances a field for their own satisfaction: it suggested a collision of aims, mutual suspicion, rival claims to undertake the task of reform. Now we may be presumed to have reached a new stage. The Congress has fixed the limits of encroachment in European Turkey, and it will be for England, under the Treaty, to trace the conditions under which, in a reconstructed East, reformed institutions and improved government are to be attempted. But the work of reform itself only begins here. When the deliberations of diplomacy have fixed the landmarks, the slower process of reconstruction must begin. If we are to follow this—above all, since as a nation we are to have the foremost part in it, it is necessary to spare no pains to understand the elements which are to be dealt with.
But this it has not hitherto been easy to do. For the most part, as the editor of the volumes before us remarks in his Preface, one is struck, in all discussions upon the Eastern Question, with the wide difference of opinion held on things which ought to be matter of certainty-on which two opinions ought to be impossible.' And the cause is not far to seek. In the words of one who knew his subject well, “ After living in Turkey ten months a man thinks he knows the people thoroughly. After living there for ten years, he begins to find out that he knows nothing about them. But our informants are in many cases those who have only the confidence that ten months beget. The untrustworthiness of the numerous accounts of Turkey which have been current for some years past, might well make us speak of our informants as Lady Mary Wortley Montague spoke of those in her own day :
• 'Tis certain,' she says, writing in 1717 from Adrianople, that we have but very imperfect accounts of the manners and religion of these people, this part of the world being seldom visited, but by merchants, who mind little but their own affairs, or travellers, who make too short a stay to be able to report anything exactly of their own knowledge. The Turks are too proud to converse familiarly with merchants, who can only pick up some confused informations, which are generally false, and can give no better account of the ways here, than a French refugee, lodging in a garret in Greek Street, could write of the Court of England.'
Since Lady Mary's sprightly narrative was written, we have had plenty of new informants. Amongst these there is one source of information, whose trustworthiness varies, namely, the newspaper correspondents; but, however much we learn from their enterprise or their industry, it is at least impossible to avoid being to some extent misled by the information so rapidly gathered, and necessarily so one-sided in its bias. It is inevitable that a newspaper correspondent should be prejudiced by the views of the journal he represents. He can rarely be selected for any special knowledge of the East, which he comes to for the first time, most commonly, on the eve of describing its manners and customs to his readers at home. In one case he judges with a political bias; in another, he views the country with the eye of a military critic. So with the ordinary traveller; he is for the most part occupied with some scheme of improvement after a Western pattern, or intent upon some commercial enterprise; and, in the light of his own occupations, he forms a rapid surface judgment of a people of whose temperament he remains ignorant to the end.
While we acknowledge our obligations to these various informants, there is a value of a peculiar kind in the volumes now before us. They give us, not the rapid survey of a traveller, but the slowly-formed judgment of a dweller amongst the races of Turkey in Europe. We have no mere jottings of a tour, setting down the superficial observations that strike the attention from their novelty ; but the fruit of long and intimate knowledge, which sees the inner side of a strange custom, can compare the peculiarities of one race with those of another, and can distinguish between the practice of some odd survival that has lost its meaning, and retains a 'sort of automatic hold upon a people naturally averse to change, and the usages that are linked with the deepest life of Eastern society. And the authoress speaks not only as one who has been an inhabitant and not a traveller in Turkey, but as possessing those advantages of a public position which alone can open the inner door of Turkish life to a Vol. 146.–No. 291.