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ment cannot be in reality indifferent to the dangers that threaten, desists from the expression of that interest and alarm which, if expressed, would render impossible the continuance of the present apathy and inaction.


Blätter für Literarische Unterhaltung.


Here then are the mysterious Papers, so pompously announced, whose contents have incessantly occupied foreign Journals, and have excited the curiosity of the Germans, especially since it was announced that they would treat also of Germany. Their exterior at once distinguishes them from all other periodicals, inasmuch as they announce themselves by their form and by their title as intended to become a work, and each Number stalks abroad in a deep-blue cover with a simple title in gold letters. The Editors still persist in their incognito, which is perhaps not so difficult to see through, and in their silence on the


question, much more difficult of solution, whence these documents were procured. The more we are accustomed in our days to see every period of modern history elucidated from archives by the fortunate industry of inquirers, the more are we surprised at this exposure of events which are passing almost before our eyes. No small astonishment was excited last year when Klüber in a supplementary volume of the acts of the Congress of Vienna, furnished us with the secret Triple Alliance between England, Austria, and France, of Jan. 3, 1815. But this document was already historically known, and the authenticity of it was guaranteed by the well known and respected name of one of the oldest among the German political writers. Of another kind was the communication, which surprised the world last autumn, viz. the copy of the Secret Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, which had found its way, we know not how, into the pages of an amusing, tattling and harmless book, “A Steam Voyage down the Danube by Michael Quin.” And now this Portfolio !It will remind the German reader of the fate of the Bulletins of Kotzebue, or more forcibly of those Despatches which the

penury of a Saxon Secretary once betrayed to a Prussian

Ambassador, and by which Frederic the Great justified the seven years war.

Such discoveries occur per fas et nefas, but this is an affair which does not concern us. The question then remains with regard to the right of making use of that which has actually become accessible. In the last instance we quoted the conqueror ordered search to be made in the Dresden archives for the originals, and Herzberg made it clear that an injured or threatened party had the right to procure the requisite means of proof. We are reminded of this case, because we cannot allow ourselves to be persuaded that the contents of the “Portfolio” have remained a secret to the English Government, and as coinciding with this conviction we have certain recent nominations in the eastern diplomacy of Great Britain which have given ground for serious reflection.

So far as regards the authenticity of the documents before us, it must be left to the decision of a province which lies beyond the reach of literary criticism. Still perhaps it may be allowable to the critic to offer a few hints. Above all every article must be considered singly, according to its own claims, and for itself. No one will be willing


to insure unexamined the cargo of this craft, however proudly its British streamers wave.

The Declaration of Independence of the Circassians, which has just gone the round of the German newspapers, is the Document, the authenticity of which it is most difficult to admit. It is not to be denied that the tone has something apocryphal, however rhetorical the effect. A half confession lies in the remark of the Editor, that the Declaration of the Circassians would speak for itself, though it had not yet been communicated in an ostensible

Herein perhaps we may perceive an indication that it was unnecessary to attach to this memoir the same official origin, that is maintained of the others. It may be questioned whether the Editors act wisely in allowing it to be supposed, that it is with them a matter of indifference whether or not they make use of fiction by way

of variety. This arrangement may have been adopted to bring out with greater effect the answer to the question “Who are these Circassians ?They are the only people from Nova Zembla to Tangiers, from the Caspian to the Atlantic, who have dared to oppose Russian iniquity with valour and resistance.At all events, the object of directing attention to the



state of these tribes is fully attained, and the notices which are given in the Memoir itself and in an explanatory article (i. 231 — 244.) are clearly in earnest. They go more into detail, but in general they accord in essentials with what Balbi has said of the tribes of the Caucasus. The principal fact, their position towards Russia, is less unknown than the Editor perhaps thinks, at least in Germany, where a manual (Volger’s) which is in every hand, thus conclusively expresses itself:

The Nations of the Caucasus are almost all sworn “foes of the Russians, and many of them are in " continual warfare with the latter.” Of the importance of this fact no doubt can be entertained. A glance at the map shows the gates of the Caucasus, the passes of Vlady-Caucase and Dariel, each of which (i. 233.) can be closed by a hundred men. The road leads immediately to Tiflis, to the headquarters of the army of Georgia.

If nothing therefore contradicts the supposition that the Declaration of the Circassians was drawn by a person not unacquainted with their relations, without having the intention to deceive, it might be far more difficult to carry through the same supposition with respect to the first document,

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