Слике страница
PDF
ePub

our decision and our action hang the immediate fate of Turkey, and it may be the prospective destinies of India and of England herself.

From the Times, Oct. 3.

Her majesty's ministers, suddenly and specially convoked from their various pursuits or retirement in different parts of the kingdom, held a cabinet council yesterday, at the Foreign office, which was numerously attended. At this unwonted season of the year, the fact that a cabinet has been summoned by direction of Lord Palmerston for the despatch of serious business, is a sufficient indication of the importance attached by that minister to the late occurrences at Constantinople; for we believe that the threatening state of the relations between Russia and the Porte, and the last despatches received from Sir Stratford Canning, are the sole cause of this deliberation of the government. The promptitude with which this call on the responsible advisers of the crown has been made and obeyed, augurs well for the spirit which ought to govern their resolutions in such an emergency, and we trust that the next few hours will send forth to Constantinople the fullest assurances that, if these menacing and unjust demands of Russia are to be enforced by more menacing and injurious acts on the part of the Northern power, they will have awakened in the government, as well as in the people of England, a determination to show that such pretexts are ill chosen to cover an aggression on the sultan's independence. That independence has been placed, by repeated acts of the diplomacy of Europe, under the joint protection and recognition of all the powers ; and if ever there was a moment when it could not be assailed without peculiar ignominy, it is when the Porte invokes the rights and usages of nations for the protection of defeated fugitives, intent only on escape from the scene of an unsuccessful contest. To intimidate and to degrade the sultan and his ministers into the commission of a mean action, at the command of a Russian aide-de-camp, is an outrage which might have been spared by the sovereign of one empire to that of another; and in this instance Europe will acknowledge that the principles of honor, humanity and civilization, claim her support for Turkey against pretensions dictated either by the cruelty of revenge or the designs of a still darker policy.

It is most fortunate that, at such a crisis, the British ambassador at Constantinople should be a man whose sedate character, unshaken firmness, and long experience, command the profound respect, not only of all parties in this country, but of all nations abroad. Sir Stratford Canning is not an envoy to be moved to rash or inconsiderate actions; he represents, with the greatest authority, the stable and dignified policy of this country, and if he is ever led to take a great resolution, it is by some positive interest and some great emergency. It becomes the country, therefore, to give its unreserved support to an ambassador who enjoys our unreserved confidence; and though Sir Stratford

Canning has care'..sly abstained from implicating the home government directly in a foreign dispute, he has given his opinion and his counsel in a manner which claims the entire sanction of his sovereign and of Britain. It is stated that the Turkish minister of foreign affairs addressed to the English and French ambassadors several momentous questions, after the receipt of the Russo-Austrian ultimatum. These questions were answered by a collective note, in which Sir S. Canning and General Aupick affirmed that the treaties of KutshukKaimarji, and of Passarowitch, do not justify the demands for the surrender of the Polish and Hungarian fugitives; that the refusal of the Porte would, therefore, not amount to a breach of these treaties, or to a lawful cause of war; that the assistance of the armed forces of France and England, in the event of war, could not be promised without special instructions, but that these states would readily proffer their mediation to avert a rupture between the Porte and the two emperors. At this stage the matter rests. Prince Radzivil immediately set out for St. Petersburg, and will be followed thither by Fuad Effendi, charged to explain to the Emperor Nicholas the scruples of the Divan, so that at the very moment the British government is called upon to decide upon the course it may hereafter have to pursue in the East, the Russian cabinet is resolving the question of peace or War. It is impossible not to be struck by the extreme inadequacy of the cause which has given rise to this turmoil. A few enthusiastic Magyar patriots, who have outlived a struggle which has been more fatal to their country than to themselves, and who appear to have ended in plunder what began in imposture, have taken refuge under the guns of the fortress of Widden, accompanied by certain Polish soldiers of fortune, who have participated freely in every civil broil of the last eighteen months. These men have obviously no object but to effect their escape through Turkey to the West of Europe, where their delusions and their conspiracies may ferment at a vast distance from their native scenes of action. To intercept such fugitives would seem more embarrassing than useful even to their enemies, for we cannot credit Prince Radziwil's brutal threat of a wholesale execution of the band. Turkey may be bound not to harbor the mortal enemies of Russia or Austria on their respective frontiers, but all that is asked for these persons is leave to depart; in fact, their removal from the Ottoman dominions would terminate the quarrel, just as the departure of Louis Napoleon from a Swiss canton put an end some years ago to the menacing requisition of the French for his immediate expulsion. But when we consider how paltry and unreal the cause is for which so much wrath has been put on ; when we observe that, instead of having recourse to the more subtle influences of Russia, which are not unknown at Constantinople, Prince Radzivil delivered his message in the tone of a bully and the terms of a challenge, and thereby rendered it impossible for the Porte to comply with such demands without grievous humiliation, we cannot entirely divest ourselves of the apprehension that the Russian government has taken this opportunity and these means to fasten a quarrel on the Turkish empire for its own purposes. The nature of the assistance given by Russia to Austria in the Hungarian war, has effectually paralyzed the opposition she would heretofore have encountered in that quarter. France is too much engrossed at home and in Italy to embark on a very bold and energetic course of foreign policy; and Mr. Cobden's late absurdities, added to many fruitless and feeble passages in our own foreign policy, have raised doubts abroad as to the efficacy and sincerity of Britain. These temptations to reënter upon the favorite scene of Russian aggression had long ago been pointed out ; we know not even now to what extent the Emperor of Russia is disposed to follow them ; but certainly the tenor of Prince Radziwil's commission, and the subsequent ultimatum, lead to no other conclusion than that a course of policy adverse and insulting to Turkey may be pursued to actual hostility. If these intentions have been entertained at St. Petersburg, and if this quarrel has been sought for a more sinister purpose than even the sacrifice of a few poor refugees, the moment is come when the vigorous and united action of England and France is the best chance of arerting war. On a less striking occasion, Lord Palmerston proposed that the combined fleets should take up their position within the Dardanelles; and the rejection of that scheme by France was held to be the source of her subsequent miscarriage in 1840. Louis Napoleon is bound in an especial manner to let no such opportunity slip again. He has lived the life of an exile under the protection of those very usages which are now violated by despotism on the track of revenge; and Switzerland did for him what Turkey is still proud enough and strong enough to do for other victims of political agitation. Whatever, then, the mature resolutions of the court of St. Petersburg may be on the receipt of the refusal of the Porte, the resolutions of the faithful allies of the sultan will not, we hope, be less firm or less effective. To abandon the Turkish Divan, would be to abandon our own principles, our own envoy, and the future integrity of the Ottoman empire; but if this cause be maintained with the spirit and dignity which it requires, there is great reason to believe that the pretensions of the Emperor of Russia will subside, and an affair which has had a formidable commencement, may still be brought to a pacific termination.

From the Times, Oct. 5.

Paris, Oct. 4, P. M. I believe I can assure you, on the best authority, that the French and English governments are decided in acting together to the last in the affairs of Constantinople. I noticed a day or two ago the existence of a feeling here, not exactly of o, but of doubt, as to whether in the extreme

case England would cooperate with France. This feeling did not arise, at least in the eyes of rational and fair men, out of any belief of insincerity on the part of England; but it was doubted whether the English government would be supported by public opinion in England in any measures showing a determination to resist to the last the pretensions of the czar. The French government naturally hesitated at the chance of being drawn into a quarrel with Russia, being then left alone to sustain it, and acting single-handed. These fears, considering what is to be done at home, can scarcely be blamed. It is necessary to observe that the proceedings of the Peace Congress in England and in Paris, led parties here to suppose that, on no account, and in no cause, would the English people approve of their government having recourse to extreme measures. The unanimous opinion of the press in England, however, and particularly that portion of it which is known to give faithful expression to public opinion, has removed all hesitation on that score. It is now believed that though John Bull may have little objection to occupy his leisure hours, or to vary the monotony of commercial pursuits, by a little harmless theory, yet the old spirit of the Saxon is still alive as ever, and that it wants only some act of outrageous and manifest wrong, on the part of a powerful despot against a weak and inoffensive neighbor, to call forth the ancient energy of his character and his love of fair play. The French government seem now convinced that England will be true to herself and to France, to the last, in this quarrel of injustice; and the instructions addressed to the French minister at St. Petersburg are, I am told, not a whit less energetic than those which, I presume, have been addressed to the English ambassador. There is reason, however, to hope that the affair will terminate otherwise than in a hostile manner, and that the Emperor of Russia will be convinced not only of the injustice of his pretensions in the present instance, but that it is his interest at this moment, as much as that of any other sovereign, not to do anything that would again throw Europe into confusion or war. The decided attitude of the two governments of France and England will convince the emperor that his pretensions will not be tolerated with impunity. The divided state of parties in France renders her action more difficult; why, it is superfluous to say. But the existence of these difficulties will not, I believe, deter her in such a cause, or prevent her from joining frankly with a friendly government in resistance to injustice.

From the London Chronicle, 5 Oct.

The feelings of the French towards Russia form a curious anomaly amongst popular tendencies, and a remarkable illustration of national character. The colossal power of the czar dazzles them : their imagination is irresistibly captivated by the notion of a sovereign ruling over thirty degrees of latitude by the simple declaration of his will ; and many think they see in him a chosen instrument of vengeance against la perfide Albion—a coadjutor who will infallibly aid them, sooner or later, to wipe out the mortifying recollections of Waterloo. Thus, M. de Lamartine, in his “History of the Revolutions of 1848,” maintains that only two modes of forming “a French system” were open either to the government of the restoration, or to his own. France might unite with Austria against Russia and England, or with Russia against England and Austria. In the first case, France would have obtained developments in Savoy, in Switzerland, and in the Rhenish provinces of Prussia, by concessions to Austria in Italy, and on the Lower Danube, and on the shores of the Adriatic. In the second case, France would have stifled Austria between herself and Russia. She could have spread freely in Italy, retaken Belgium and the frontiers of the Rhine, and gained influence in Spain. Constantinople, the Black Sea, the Dardanelles, the Adriatic, conceded to Russian ambition, would have insured her these augmentations of territory. The Russian alliance —it is the cry of nature ; it is the revolution of geography; it is the war alliance for the eventualities of the future of two great races; it is the equilibrium of peace by two great weights at the extremities of the continent, comprising the middle, and exiling England, like a satellite power, to the ocean and Asia. It never appears to have so much as suggested itself to this apostle of liberty, equality, and fraternity, that alliances or combinations of this kind take rank, in morals, with the partition of Poland; nor, we believe, would they be repudiated for that reason by his countrymen. The spirit in which he writes is emphatically their spirit. It explains General Lamoriciere's late abortive mission to St. Petersburg, which would otherwise seem made for the express purpose of inviting the marked insult to the president and the republic which it brought down upon them. It also explains the otherwise unaccountable calmness or tameness with which the news from Turkey has been received in Paris beyond the immediate precincts of the Bourse. Where are the friends of the oppressed races of the great European family What has become of the philanthropic democrats, who so lately rivalled Anacharsic Clootz in the extravagance and cosmopolitan character of their demonstrations ! Surely, all cannot have followed the fortunes of M. Ledru Rollin' Are they reluctant to uphold the sultan, because they have assailed the president for restoring the Pope And do the legitimists, on their side, shrink from the antithesis of contemporaneously defending both the Cross and the Crescent 1 Not a single interpellation has been addressed to M. de Tocqueville ; nor, with rare exception, has the affair formed the prominent subject of discussion in any of the journals which are regarded as the organs of the leading parties. This looks very much as if no party—republican, legitimist, Orleanist, Bonapartist, or socialist— was particularly eager to commit itself against Russia, even in a cause appealing to the warmest sympathies of an impulsive and excitable peoPle. At the same time, they must have been

perfectly conscious all along that they stood committed as deeply as ourselves; the French and English ambassadors having pledged their respective nations to back the Sublime Porte in every way short of an armed intervention, for which, as they said, it was of course impossible for them to engage without special instructions for the purpose. We note this seeming indifference as a phenomenon well deserving the grave attention of Lord Palmerston. We by no means infer from that, on the present occasion, the cause of justice and humanity will be abandoned by the French government, which, it is understood, has approved the line taken by General Aupick, and intimated its readiness to coöperate with England for the protection of the Porte. We retain, however, our original opinion, that there is but little cause to apprehend an actual rupture. It is very seldom, indeed, that a declaration of war follows a deliberate conference of ambassadors, or a timely reference to courts; and the judicious course followed by the sultan, in throwing the chief responsibility of his refusal on Sir Stratford Canning and General Aupick, is his security. We must give them credit for requiring the fullest information as to facts and documents before answering the question ; and it is, therefore, most important to observe that, in their opinion, “the treaties of Kutschah-Kaynardi and Passarowitch do not confer on Austria and Russia the right of demanding the extradition of the Hungarian refugees.” We assume, for the sake of argument, that each emperor, in point of form, demanded only his own subjects; and we say that the utmost they can demand, jointly or severally, under the treaties, or under any recognized doctrine of international law, is, that the fugitives shall not be harbored in Turkey. The last advices from New York state that Bem and Dembinsky were expected in the United States; and the gordian knot will probably be untied, by suffering them and their companions to leave Widdin without beat of drum, and quietly embark on board some French, English, or American vessel in the Bosphorus. There is no necessity for bringing matters to extremities, nor for driving the czar to throw, Brennus-like, his sword into the scale. The sultan has done no more than duty and honor required of him in saving these unhappy men from death, or (worse than death) Siberian exile ; and if (which remains to be proved) the imperial demand is only the first step in a scheme of aggression, which is to end in reducing him to the condition of a viceroy, his firm and chivalrous resistance, backed by the universal sense of justice in mankind, can hardly fail to cause the indefinite postponement, or, most probably, the eventual abandonment, of the scheme.

From the Daily News, Oct. 5. The Emperor of Russia has evidently been misled into his outrageous and impolitic challenge to the Porte by the vile flatterers who, in his own court, and in our press, belauded his magnanimity,

extolled his military prowess and skill, and**

their fullest support and approbation to the cause of imperial tyranny against Hungarian freedom and independence. During that memorable struggle the press of London and of Paris deserted its duty, and instead of representing the sentiments and sympathies of the people, led, on the contrary, to a belief that the English and French condemned all kinds of popular resistance even on behalf of the most prescriptive freedom. And the czar was induced to suppose that in the crushing of Hungary and the immolation of its champions he was doing that which the respectable and influential classes of England and France approved. One presumption led to another. If Bem and Dembinski were but ambulating revolutionists, if Kossuth was a mere rioter and plunderer, as the Times to this day does not blush to call him, Russia certainly was warranted in claiming the extradition of men so branded. The silence of the French public, the malignity of our press, the known dissensions of our own government, and the boasts of foreign diplomatists in London, (that they could get up an émeule at any time either in the press or in Parliament against Palmerston,) misled the czar to believe that he might bully the Porte with the most complete impunity and success. Marvellous will be his rage when he discovers his mistake ; and most natural his fury against those vile partisans that backed him through every act of invasion, oppression, cruelty, and military tyranny, in order to desert him at the last moment, and expose him to a rebuff from the sultan and his constitutional allies. The most galling circumstance to Russia is, however, not so much the escape of Kossuth, and the presence in Western Europe of a statesman well acquainted with the weakness and insecurity of eastern despotism—its mortification is to find France and England once more drawn up in one line of defence before Constantinople against Russian aggression. What blunders the czar must have made to have produced this sentiment and demonstration of resistance on the part of two powers, grown so indifferent to foreign policy and to each other " With respect to England, we doubt if Russia could have quarrelled with the Porte for any other cause that would have enlisted English sympathies so strongly for it. Had Russia annexed the principalities, closed the Danube, renewed the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, it is to be doubted if it could have stirred either our diplomacy or our public opinion to interfere. But the outrageous demands of the Russian Envoy, inspired apparently by a mere carniverous and sanguinary appetite, together with the spontaneous resistance of the sultan, on the principles of humanity and just pride, have so rallied England and France, both government and public opinion, to the side of Turkey, that the czar must recoil. He may indeed higgle about

the principalities, send his agents to excite disturbances in Bulgaria and in Bosnia, and sow in Turkey that same insurrectionary spirit, which he declares to be heresy north of the Danube. But war the czar will not make. With oppressed nations writhing beneath the fangs of despotism from the Baltic to the Danube, these military tyrants durst not venture on war with Western Europe, which would be felt not only by the resuscitation of Poles and Hungarians, but by the destruction of that export trade which alone brings the Russian landed proprietors their revenues. Were the flax, the hemp, the tallow, and the corn, shut up to rot in the ports of St. Petersburg, Riga and Odessa, as they would soon bo in case of war, Russia would find that imaginative wealth, which scribes are so fond of exaggerating fail her altogether. Holland would scarcely venture her annual loans. While Russian proprietors, as well as Russian serfs, would begin to ask why they were to be mulcted or sacrificed, in order to set up again the shadow of an Austrian empire, or to avenge upon brave Hungarians the imbecility and treachery of the house of Hapsburg. We see it reported that Gen. Lamoriciere is returning to France. We should not be surprised. The conduct and the language of the czar to that envoy was known to be a capricious alternation of cajolery and menace, one day calling Louis Napoleon his friend, the next hinting that he might find it convenient to set up the Duke of Bordeaux, or some more pliant pretender. Notwithstanding the leaning of more than one French statesman to a Russian alliance, we do not see the possibility of either the French government condescending to the required meanness, or the French public resigning themselves to the required indifference. In both countries, indeed— of England and France—whether governments go too fast or too slow, the people will be found to go right at the critical and serious moment. And the present is one of these.

A LETTER from Com. Voorhees, of the United States ship Savannah, dated San Francisco, Aug. 31, says—“There are about two hundred and fifty vessels in harbor, many of them large ships, and mostly abandoned and going to ruin. They will all be wrecked in the course of the coming winter if they be not taken care of in time. It is a most woful pity to look upon the shameful waste and ruin of so much valuable property. The owners and underwriters of New York and the other cities of the Union ought to petition the president for a man-of-war, whose special duty it should be to take care of the abandoned vessels by taking down some of their yards and spars, and moor them safely, so as to prevent them from going on shore or dragging against each other. Such is the position of these vessels, crowded together, that, if the windward one were to take fire, the whole fleet would be burned, without the possibility of saving any of them.”

1. Mornings among the Jesuits - - 2. What Becomes of Discharged Prisoners? 3. German Travellers on North America, 4. Nature's Ice Caves, - - - 5. Language of the Tombs, - - 6. Water in London, - - - - 7. The Modern Wassal, Chap. v., - 8. Story of a Family, Chap. xv.111., - 9. Maiden and Married Life of Mary Powell, 10. Turkey and Russia, - - -

- Christian Observer, - - - 287 - Chambers’ Journal, - - - 249 - Spectator, - - - - - 250 - Chambers’ Journal, - - - 253 - 4 & 44 - - - 256 - Spectator, - - - - - 260 - John Wilmer, - - - - 262 - Sharpe's Magazine, - - - 275 - ( & 4 * - - - - 279 - London Times, - - - - 283

ILLUSTRATION.—The Great Sea Serpent of 1848, from Punch, 273.

PoETRY. — Three Days of Christopher Columbus, 251. — Peace, 261. — The Fountain in Winter; Blessing, 272.-The Red Flag, 278.-A Few Short Years, 282.

NEw Books, 282.

Prospectus.-This work is conducted in the spirit of Littell's Museum of Foreign Literature, (which was favor. ubly received by the public for twenty years,) but as it is twice as large, and appears so often, we not only give spirit and freshness to it by many things which were excluded by a month's delay, but while thus extending our scope and gathering a greater and more attractive variety, are able so to increase the solid and substantial part of our literary, historical, and political harvest, as fully to satisfy the wants of the American reader.

The elaborate and stately Essays of the Edinburgh, Quarterly, and other Reviews; and Blackwood's noble criticisms on Poetry, his keen political Commentaries, highly wrought Tales, and vivid descriptions of rural and mountain Scenery; and the contributions to Literature, History, and Common Life, by the sagacious Spectator, the sparkling Eraminer, the judicious Athenarum, the busy and industrious Literary Gazette, the sensible and comprehensive Britannia, the sober and respectable Christian Observer; these are intermixed with the Military and Naval reminiscences of the United Serrice, and . the best articles of the Dublin University, New Monthly, Fraser's, Tait's, Ainsworth's, Hood's, and Sporting Mag. azines, and of Chambers' admirable Journal. e do not consider it beneath our dignity to borrow wit and wisdom from Punch ; and, when we think it good enough, make "ase of the thunder of The Times. e shall increase our variety by importations from the continent of Europe, and from the new o of the British colonies.

The steamship has brought Europe, Asia and Africa, into our neighborhood; and will greatly multiply our con: nections, as Merchants, Traveliers, and Politicians, with all narts of the world ; so that much more than ever it

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

now becomes every intelligent American to be informed of the condition and changes of foreign countries. And this not only because of their nearer connection with ourselves, but because the nations seem to be hastenin through a rapid process of change, to some new state o things, which the merely political prophet cannot compute or foresee. Geographical Discoveries, the progress of Colonization, (which is extending over the whole world,) and Voyages and Travels, will he favorite matter for our selections; and, in general, we shall systematically and very fully acquaint our readers with the great department of Foreign affairs, without entirely neglecting our own. * While we aspire to make the }. Age desirable to all who wish to keep themselves informed of the rapid progress of the morement—to Statesmen, Divines, Law: i. and Physicians—to men of business and men of eisure—it is still a stronger object to make it attractive and useful to their Wives and Children. We believe that we can thus do some good in our day and generation ; and hope to make the work indispensable in every well-informed family. We say indispensable, because in this day of cheap literature it is not possible to guard against the influx of what is bad in taste and vicious in morals, in any other way than by furnishing a sufficient supply of a healthy character. The mental and moral appetite must be gratified. We hope that, by “winnowing the wheat from the chaff.” by providing abundantly for the imagination, and by a large collection of Biography, Voyages and Travels, History, and more solid matter, we may produce a work which shall be popular, while at the same time it will aspire to raise the standard of public taste.

Agencies.—We are desirous of making arrangements, in o arts of North America, for increasing the circulation of this work-- and for doing this a liberal commission will be allowed to gentlemen who will interest themselves in the business. And we will gladly correspond on this subject with any agent who will send us undoubted references.

Postage.—When sent with the cover on, the Living Age consists of three sheets, and is rated as a pamphlet, at 4} cents. But when sent without the cover, it comes within the definition of a newspaper given in the law, and cannot legally be charged with more than newspaper postage, (14 cts.) We add the definition alluded to :

A newspaper is “any printed publication, issued in numbers, consisting of not more than two sheets, and published at short, stated intervals of not more than one month, conveying intelligence of passing events.”

Monthly parts.-For such as prefer it in that form, the Living Age is put up in monthly parts, containing four or five weekly numbers. In this shape it shows to great advantage in comparison with other works, containing in each part double the matter of any of the quarterlies. But we recommend the weekly numbers, as fresher and fuller of life. Postage on the monthly parts is about 14 cents. The rolumes are published quarterly, each volume containing as much matter as a quarterly review gives in eighteen months.

WAshingtoN, 27 Dec., 1845.

Of all the Periodical Journals devoted to literature and science which abound in Fol. and in this country, this

has appeared to me to be the most useful.

It contains indeed the exposition only of t

e current literature of the

English language, but this by its immense extent and comprehension includes a portraiture of the human mind in

the utmost expansion of the present age.

J. Q. ADAMS.

« ПретходнаНастави »