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for the selfish benefit of this aristocratic fraction of the people, that the Polish nation suffered for twelve months the horrors of civil war, was thrown back in her career of improvement, and has since had to endure the rigours of a conqueror's vengeance."
Our only reason for quoting this passage at full length is because the author himself has given it in italics. Now, in the kingdom of Poland, where the revolution of the 29th of November, 1830, broke out, the law no longer recognizes the aristocracy even in the upper chamber of peers, which does not possess the privilege of hereditary rank: civil equality is common to all the inhabitants, and the political rights are exercised with so much liberality in their conditions, that it is only necessary to acquire the smallest funded property in order to be an elector, and to pay sixty francs of direct taxes in order to be eligible.
But, in order to please the Manchester author, who maintains that the aristocratic fraction alone made and carried on the revolution of 1830 for its own profit, let us at once admit, since we cannot discover this aristocracy constituted in the kingdom of Poland, that it has really been predominant in the two chambers composing the Diet, which pronounced the dethronement of the Emperor Nicholas, and substituted its own power in his place. Without continuing the discussion about words, it would be for the Manchester Manufacturer, in his turn, to show some acts of this Diet, indicating the slightest intention to secure to itself special advantages and privileges which it did not possess before the revolution. Now, we defy the writers most hostile to the Polish cause to find in the acts of the Diet of Warsaw, which have been sufficiently made known to the public, the slightest tendency (we will not say egotistical or speculative) but even aristocratic. God only knows the thoughts of men, but if the Polish aristocrats of 1830 cherished the designs
imputed to them by the Manchester Manufacturer, we must at least agree that they have known how to conceal them perfectly, as long as they were in power, in order, no doubt, to find a compensation on the road to Siberia.
"Poland has suffered twelve months of civil war," says the author of "Russia." A singular civil war certainly, in which out of a national army of thirty thousand men, and a population of four millions of inhabitants, all of whom had taken the oath of fidelity to the Emperor Nicholas, this legitimate and benevolent Sovereign, dethroned by a simple aristocratic faction, was unable to rally under his standard during the whole campaign one single detachment of his Polish subjects!!!
These few words appear to us sufficient for the object for which they are intended.
We have shown that Mr. Cobden's arguments on the subject of Poland are glaringly inconsistent with historical truth, and with the events that have taken place in that country.
The general character of the pamphlet is such as to meet with the entire approbation of Russia, and we feel convinced that the Russian Government will not fail to bestow on its author the testimony of its satisfaction in a manner the most agreeable to the Manufacturer himself, and the most encouraging to all who may henceforth follow in the same line. * Paris, 25th September, 1836.
We allude to Blackwood, Tait, and some other imitators of the "Northern Bee."
To the Editor of the Portfolio.
Constantinople, 14th of September, 1836.
Never has England had a more favourable opportunity of establishing a commanding influence in Turkey than at the present moment. Our Ambassador, left alone to fight his own battles, under circumstances which might have appalled any diplomatist, has yet kept his ground without support from his Government. The desire of the Divan is even unequivocally manifested to place their reliance in us, and to strengthen the connection between the two countries-though one Minister remains in office who is an eye-sore to Lord Ponsonby. Not the least remarkable proof of the indifference to censure from Russia is the attention lately shown to Sefer Bey, the Circassian chieftain, who, after remaining here several years undistinguished, has been honoured with a diamond snuff-box, as a present from the Sultan. All the sentiments by which he was actuated, and which he wished to proclaim, may be easily comprehended. This fact announces to the Circassians that he considers the contest in which they are engaged legitimate, and their cause his own.
It is, assuredly, not less our own cause, if India has any value in our eyes; and the way in which Russia has just put forward the Persians as her pioneers is sufficient to show that the danger predicted has not been imaginary; while the very means she would use were anticipated. Her communications with Persia, however, are yet unsafe and imper
fect, while she has enemies in the Caucasus, who may gain possession of the passes. The news of the fall of the Castle of Souljook was, I am happy to say, premature; though the situation of the Circassians is distressing, from the occupation of so much of the coast between Anapa and Ghilingik by the enemy. They are entirely dependent on their communications with the sea for their supplies of salt, besides other wants, which can only be supplied by commerce.
Numerous applications have been made to Mr. Green, an English merchant here, to employ a steamer under his charge to convey passengers and goods between this and the coasts of Abasia and Mingrelia. He presented, in consequence, a memorial to the Ambassador, detailing the encouragement offered, and the capabilities for a valuable intercourse with those countries, now closed to us by the Russian blockade. The laws of nations admit of no such indefinite blockade, still less of one which has never yet been regularly communicated to other Governments. Nor can Russia, without manifest absurdity, claim a country as her own, where she never had a foot of ground, except the soil on which her soldiers stand, and make war on it, at the same time, as an enemy. The question will, I believe, be speedily put to the test; and it is full time to ascertain whether the British flag, and the rights of commerce, are to be violated with impunity, by the usurpers of the seas in the neighbourhood of their Cimmerian Bosphorus, from whence a century ago they could not have sent a single gun-boat.
Wherever new channels open on their frontiers favourable to real civilization and the prosperity of nations, by increased facilities of intercourse, Russia determines that barbarism shall interpose, and blasts the prospect by every means at her command. It was expected in England that, after the discussion on Mr. P. Stuart's motion, the obnoxious quarantine at the mouth of the Danube was to be
abolished; your readers may be assured that, so far from this being in contemplation, Russia is only trying to gild the pill and make it more palatable, having not long since submitted her last modified regulations to our cognizance for approbation. Not an iota of her usurped sovereignty is thus relinquished; and her efforts to obtain, by a side-wind, this acquiescence in her pretensions, must surely have met with a proper repulse from our Cabinet. So long as Lord Palmerston is Foreign Minister, and alive to the necessity of our obstructing Russian aggrandizement, and protecting Turkey, for which he is known to be a cordial advocate, we ought not to expect a concession compromising our participation in the freedom of river navigation, as established by the Treaties of Vienna, and founded on universal rights, if these treaties had never existed. The stipulations concluded at Adrianople between the Porte and Russia are only valid as far as these two Powers are concerned, and cannot invalidate the independent privileges of other nations, without their sanction by a general Congress of the parties to the Treaty of Vienna. Russia, by the extension she has given to her authority, is actually making war on them; thus a British ship, on any pretext or suspicion, may be dragged out of her course to perform quarantine at Odessa, in virtue of the unrepealed Ukase. Yet this vessel may be bound to a Turkish or Austrian port on the Danube, and only passing by a portion of the Russian territory, where she can have guards all along the shore to prevent communication. The purposes to which the article in the Treaty of Adrianople regarding quarantines might be applied was, of course, like every other usurpation of Russia, overlooked by us at the time. She had, however, well made her calculations as to the importance of seeming harmless formalities for protection against infection. Why is it that only after the establishment of the steam navigation between Constantinople