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The Balkans Forced.
The Russians passed the Balkan with only forty thousand men, of whom, in ten days afterwards, ten thousand were in the hospitals. If the Turks had shown front from place to place, the Russians must have retreated towards the sea for provisions.
Thus the famous Balkans, with the Great Gate of Constantinople, as we may fairly term Schumla, were effectually turned. The fall of Adrianople succeeded, and Turkey appeared for the first time prostrate under its conqueror. It is very doubtful how far this was really the
The Russians at Adrianople could not bring forty thousand men into the field. *Their line of communication was insecure, and their troops were dying off by thousands.
O six thousand sick at Adrianople, enty one died in three months. The total loss of the Russians in the two campaigns is calculated at the frightful number of one hundred and forty thousand men and fifty thousand horses.'*
It is quite clear from the above narrative that the Balkans ought not to have been forced, and that the success of this daxing passage of arms was due rather to the skill of the general than to the want of bravery or of ability in the defenders. It was an event which may or may not recur, but with strong chances against the repetition. The forces, moreover, very unequally matched, and yet the Turks lost but little ground in the first campaign, and, but for their misfortune at Pravadi, would probably have lost but a few fortresses in the second. The Russians again had the entire command of the sea, on which their left flank rested, with Varna as their base, and their fleet was of incalculable service in the siege and capture of
Sizepoli, a fortress on the coast commanding the harbour of Bourgas, in the early part of the campaign, which gave them a ready communication with the sea for provisions and ammunition after crossing the Balkan.
We have in the above accounts gone somewhat into detail, in order to bring before our readers the real state of the matter, as it has been
laid open by past wars. We confess, at the same time, to having another and more immediately important object, -to inspire a wholesome confidence in the public mind, not only in the justice of the cause on which this great country has (virtually) embarked, but also in its perfect ability to uphold the same, if necessary, by force of arms, as we now hope to show.
Out of the five campaigns above sketched, the Russians gained a decisive success in but one. It by no means appears that they would have gained this but for two circumstances—their command of the sea, which, with the possession of Varna and Sizepoli, ensured in some degree their communications and supplies, and, as we have before said, a very successful stroke of generalship, What, then, would have happened had there been forty thousand French and British troops covering Adrianople? What, if British and French fleets had maintained the line of the coast, and prevented any Russian squadrons or transports from accompanying or supplying their troops on the march? It is obvious the thing could not have been attempted at all. It is not, indeed, equally obvious that Varna would not have been captured; but it is not impossible that in Turkish hands, with the assistance of a friendly squadron, that most important place, with respect both to land and sea operations, would have proved a second Acre. Varna, as covering the right flank of the great positions on the Balkan, and as, conjointly, with Constantinople, a basis of naval operations against Odessa and Sebastopol, should be defended, it is clear, to the last, in any war of defence undertaken by the western nations on behalf of Turkey.
ADRIANOPLE, the second city in the empire, next claims our attention. Placed at the confluence of the Maritza, the Toundja and the Arda ; being the point to which the roads from the various passes of the Balkan converge, with exception alone of that from Aidos ; possessing water communication with the Levant for vessels of moderate tonnage,
* It is only proper to observe that 'the account given in The Portfolio, from which the parts above quoted are drawn, appears essentially Turkish. rely, however, on the general facts here stated.
by the Maritza and the Gulf of Enos; thus at once covering the approaches on Constantinople and sup. porting the positions of the Balkanseems marked out by its position as the last bulwark of the empire. Marshal Marmont, who in the earlier part of his career had made Turkey his special study (having been ordered by Napoleon, after the treaty of Tilsit, to send officers into the country on various pretexts, to examine and report upon its military capabilities), and who in the latter part of his life, when an exile, revi. sited the scene of his former labours, has left us an instructive chapter on the relations of that empire to the various European Powers, and on the strategical advantages of Adrianople in particular. The picture, indeed, which he draws is the exact reverse of what is now the case—he presumes the Russians to have entered Turkey, and, with the consent of the Turks, to be holding it against Austria, France, and England. After providing for the security of the Dardanelles and of Constantinople, he proposes to place the 'remainder of the army, that is to say, forty thousand men at Adrianople, and to form there an entrenched camp, similar to the fortifications around Lintz, consisting of an extended system of towers, and with due advantage taken of the rivers which there flow into the Maritza. Eighteen or twenty towers would render that post unassailable; an army of thirty to forty thousand men could not be shut up within it, while it would hold one of eighty thousand in check, who could not venture to leave it in their rear.'* The accomplished author subsequently considers the opposite case, of the western nations becoming the defenders of Turkey, and candidly admits that the brilliant advantages he had depicted as accruing to the Russians from a presumed defensive position taken in Turkey with the consent of the Turks, belong in truth to the first occupant. The sentence which follows is so curiously illustrative of (in part at least) the present situation, that we cannot resist trangcribing it verbatim, merely premising that the work was published in 1837:
En effet, si une flotte française et as glaise, passe le détroit des Dardanelles, et arrive à Constantinople ; si en même temps un corps de cinquante mille hommes de l'alliance, autrichien ou français, vient prendre position à Andrinople, et y établir le camp retranché dont j'ai parlé, alors les Russes ont d'immenses difficultés à vaincre pour enlever ces positions à leurs ennemis ; dès ce moment leur escadre rentre à Sébastopol, et n'en sort plus, &c. &c. +
Put ‘British' for 'Austrian,' in the category of troops which should be opposed, if the worst come to the worst, to Russian aggression, and the picture would seem not unlikely to be realized.
We have purposely abstained from touching on the grave question, • What is to be done with Turkey?' It is, indeed, a question the responsibilities of which may well nake statesmen tremble. But we fail to perceive that the course of Providence has yet put it to us. What we do know is our present plain path of duty. No verbal sophisms, no diplomatic niceties, no risk even to our own beloved land, must keep us from that. A nation, like an indi. vidual, has an end for which to live. Better to cease to live than give up that end for which it came into being. • Death before dishonour.' Right is at this moment invaded by unjust power, and the strong arm of the brave must come if needs be to the rescue. A 'wilful king' aims at interference with the manifest course of Providential government, to turn its righteous decrees to his own account. He invades under the name of peace. To justify his violence he pleads facts that never had being, and principles that have no place save in the mind that blinds itself to the real truth of things. Let the wise take warning. What will be the end we know not yet. But our hope is in Him who giveth not the race to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. And with truth and justice, and that sympathy which was not withheld even from the outcast Samaritan-all these for us, we may surely quote against the northern invader his own biblical motto for the war, if to war we at last be driven-DOMINE IN TE SPERAVI, NE CONFUNDAR IN ÆTERNUM.
* Voyage du Maréchal Duc de Raguse, ii. 121.
+ Ibid. p. 126.
Adams's Spring at the Canterbury
or, Dartmoor Prison, 577
Cyprinus Auratus, 75; Cyprinus
79; Cyprinus Cobites, 79
End of, 92
Sketches of, 445
mencement of the Works, 609; As-
Babæuf's Memoirs, 429
well Church, Northamptonshire, 31
the House of, 445
rection in China, 597
Darien Company, the, 133
Navy of France, 15
of France, 13
du Cardinal, 418
respecting the Navy of France, 11
Glencoe, the Massacre of, 128
Australia, 511; a Commissioners
Devonshire Coast, 388
Eccentricities of Genius, 575
Paper, 371; Second Paper, 489
et l'Organization des Services de la
among the Islands of the Western
New South Wales in 1853, 507; Want
in the Jungle, 186
Aristocracy, and of Prussian Diplo-
to the Extinction of the last Jacobite
of the Tuski, 256
the Navy of France, 8
Feria, MS. Journal of the Duchess of,
or White Fish, 80; Pike, Salmon,
Napoleon at St. Helena, 143
Second Paper, 205
Letter from, 305
Images and Conceits, difference be-
pour servir à
Jacobite Insurrection, 139
Marine Française, 2
in 1853, 507; Part II., 634
Kennedy's Narrative of the Second
Voyage in Search of Sir J. Franklin,
Labrador Fisheries, 591
the Navy of France, 11
Parlementaire, 3; Analysis of the
to, 506; Part II., 654
Index to Vol. XLVIII.
O'Meara's Voice from St. Helena, 143
220; Part III., 326; Part IV., 401
Part V., 659
Legend of the Swedish Counts of Piper,
Bruxelles et à Coblentz, 422
parte and Dr. O'Meara, 143
through the Argentine Provinces, 249
the French Navy, 6
South Wales, 641
North-West Passage, 536
Souvenirs de l'Emigration, 423
Queen Elizabeth, 387
Earl of Leicester, 493
Paper, 371; Skill of Modern His-
Captain Hardbargain, 156
Joinville's Pamphlets, 2; Import-
Paley's Propertius, 518
114 ; The Demon Chain, 707 ; Nero,
Fowls, 647; Cochins, 651; Game
655; Breeding, 657
tocracy of, 59
Queen Elizabeth, Morals of. First
Paper, 371; Second Paper, 489
Raikes's Notes on the North-West Pro-
vinces of India, 262