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cils of England a field-marshal of her own, in order to strike to the heart the revolutionists and demagogues of Ireland; and that thenceforth England would cordially act in concert with the Emperor in preserving order, from the German Ocean to the Pacific. Thus the hatred of millions against the Russian name was paralyzed through fear of displeasing England.
When a distinguished Oriental traveller, who had traced throughout the East the progress of Russian deceit, explained eighteen months ago to the Duke of Wellington the extent of Russian designs, he was looked upon and persecuted as an enthusiast, or an impostor; and yet the very event which has just taken place was distinctly predicted by him to the Duke. It was represented that, unless England put an end at once, by energetic action, to the system of imposture by which our interests and our honour were daily and hourly prostituted to the furtherance of Russian ambition, we should find at the fitting time Persia turned against us. The proposition appeared absurd, when it was considered that the monarch of that country owed his crown and security, the country its civil and military organization, and the people their repose, to British influence; and the very fact of Russia patiently contemplating the growing strength, union, and civilization of the country, was adduced as a proof that her influence had been entirely overthrown.
"But is not Russian complacency to be accounted for on other grounds?" was the traveller's reply. "Has Russia no interest in the strength, union, and military organization of Persia? Is not her present repose the test of her confidence in her own diplomatic influence? Does she not wish Persia to be powerful in her own hands against India?" The idea was startling. Events have proved its truth.
A brilliant Embassy, sent from England to compliment the Shah on his accession, has just terminated, after more
than a year's negotiation; and the result of our diplomacy is the supreme control of Russia over the counsels of the Shah, the retirement of our officers from his service, and the march of a Persian army to Herat, in defiance of the British Envoy.
The triumph of Russia in this instance cannot fail to be followed by the most disastrous effects on our influence throughout the whole of Asia. The independent Potentates of Tartary, the subsidiary Princes of India, the maritime populations of the Persian Gulf, the Mahometans of Hindostan, all aroused by the innumerable emissaries of the Emperor, will not fail to spread through the Oriental world the humiliation of the British name; whilst to the accumulated difficulties of the British Government will be added the natural consequences of their neglect of our diplomatic interests at Constantinople, which it required but a stroke of the pen to arrange, at least three months ago.
The following extract from that admirable pamphlet, "The Progress of Russia in the East," will serve to illustrate the importance of the question.
"The interest which Great Britain has in the preservation of Persia is more immediately with reference to her Indian empire, and her interest in Turkey is more immediately connected with the state of Europe; but the influence of each on the other is such, that the sacrifice of either would almost necessarily involve the fall of both. The resources of Persia in the hands of Russia would suffice to neutralize the whole remaining power of the Sultan in Asia; and the control of the resources of Turkey by Russia would lay Persia prostrate without a blow. The whole interest we have in both is, therefore, ultimately at stake in each, and that double interest taken in all its bearings, political and commercial, in Europe and in Asia, is perhaps as important as any we have to defend beyond the limits of these islands."
[It is some consolation, amidst the realization of evils so clearly predicted, to record the labours of those who have made the East the field of their special inquiry; and we feel that the following Memoir of Lieutenant-Colonel Chesney, drawn up three years ago, may not be uninteresting to the generality of our readers.]
OBSERVATIONS ON PERSIA,
AS AN ALLY,
AND AS THE CHEAPEST AS WELL AS MOST IMPORTANT
BY LIEUT.-COLONEL CHESNEY.
DRAWN UP IN THE YEAR 1833.
The interests of Persia and of England are so closely connected and of such mutual importance, that the very existence of the former as a nation depends solely on its continued connection with England, and if ever this shall cease by the withdrawal of our fostering care, that enfeebled and powerless, but still capable, kingdom will become not only dependent upon, but tributary to, Russia; which power would then be possessed of a lever which must shake our moral strength in the East, and threaten directly the ultimate loss of the richest jewel in the British diadem.
As every step which encroaches on the power of Persia, or the provinces which once belonged to her (especially towards the Indus), tends directly towards this fatal result, it would seem to follow, as a natural consequence, that it becomes a para
VOL. IV. NO. XXXII.
mount object with Great Britain not only to maintain the integrity of Persia, as to its ancient limits in that quarter, but also to endeavour to render her strong, united, and prosperous.
England does not appear to have pursued any very decided line of policy in Persia of late years, and, either from negligence, or more probably from a consciousness of the purity of her own intentions, she seems to have been indifferent to, or fearless of, the ultimate results of the slow and insidious advances made towards our territory, which, if permitted, will, like a petty stream, continue to increase, undermining the banks in its progress, until in the sequel it would become a mighty torrent, capable of bearing down all before its course, and certain of unhinging the moral and social ties, by which we at present secure the happiness of millions of mixed and prosperous nations inhabiting our Asiatic Empire, now become, in a greater degree than ever, the envied object of intrigue to more than one leading European Power.
Russia gives her undivided attention to the future, and is contented with slow and gradual advances, organizing by little and little, as she proceeds in a carcer which in all likelihood is at
present limited to the possession of a counter-check upon the East, rather than fixed on so daring an enterprize as that of its conquest, for which her limited revenue of fifteen or sixteen millions is not at all adequate, whilst a protracted contest must be altogether ruinous; but as she has encroached, and will continue to encroach, upon the weaker countries situated upon her Asiatic frontiers, until some power of equal strength shall be opposed to her progress, the time seems to be nearly arrived when it becomes of infinite importance to consider whether we should take any, and, if so, what steps, to arrest the natural march of the Scythians towards the attractive regions which lure them irresistibly to the South East; whether, in short, it is not in our power, by a little judicious expence and by diplomatic exertions in Persia, to keep the country out of the hands of Russia, and thus avoid a comparatively enormous expence in having to adopt the alternative of making a barrier in Afghanistan, with a great increase of European troops to support it on our Western and Northern frontiers.
With a view to the consideration of this important question, so as to place some of the main