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feared, from the catalogue of nations, are events so clearly announced, that we may already look upon them as facts simply waiting to be recorded in the marvellous annals of that people.
For what purpose those Asiatic Normans were permitted, in the sixth century, to abandon their native mountains in Tartary, to raise themselves to freedom from a state of slavery, to overrun and retain in subjugation some of the finest portions of that continent and of Africa, and ultimately, in the twelfth century, to establish the seat of their power in one of the principal capitals of Europe, it may be no difficult task for the future historian to conjecture. To us, with the information which we at present possess, and under the limited extent of reasoning to which we are confined by the darkness of the future, it appears as if those rude, though warlike, sons of the North found their way into Asia Minor and Europe, only to check the natural progress of civilization wherever they appeared. They came to destroy the fertility of the soil on which they trod, to root out from it every trace of the arts by which it was once embellished, to put down the system of Christianity for six long centuries, in nations where it had once flourished in peculiar splendour, and to substitute for all the refinements of Greek and Roman intellect and manners, the vice, the sloth, the grossness, and the foul stagnation of barbarism in its most repulsive form.
The Turkish empire may be said to have already ceased to exist; and we should be lost to every sense of dignity, and even of national interest, if we did not rejoice at such a consummation. If we look to our character at home or abroad, it must be confessed that we have not gained, indeed, never could gain, any respectability, or the slightest addition either to our moral or physical power, by our alliance with the Turks. Speaking commercially, they deprive us of more than ten times the trade which we actually carry on with the Levant, by the restrictions which their ignorance, their indolence, and their pride, have imposed upon the natural fertility of the districts which they occupy. By holding in their hands the Dardanelles, which they can shut against us whenever they please, they prevent us from undertaking commercial enterprises of consequence in the Black Sea, the shores of which offer so many prospects of successful adventure to our merchants. By their rashness and stupidity in the management of their affairs, they have brought the arms of Russia within a few days' march of Constantinople; after defying that
power in the most insolent manner, they have at last placed themselves in the attitude of its most pusillanimous slaves, and have so shaped the course of events, that nothing at this moment prevents the Emperor from taking permanent possession of that capital, save an apprehension that the happy moment for a result, by him so much desired, by himself and his ancestors so elaborately prepared through a series of consistent and well-planned measures, is not yet arrived. Europe is not yet sufficiently accustomed to such an idea ; the moral rail-road on which his chariot is to pass the Balkan is not yet strong enough to bear the imperial equipage. But the day is even now marked in the Russian calendar to which the wily ministers of his cabinet look forward, as destined to behold him seated on the Byzantine throne—the great object to which the counsels of Russia have tended since the reign of Catherine II.
No official copy, indeed no copy in any shape, of the treaty in question has yet appeared before the world. Its existence, however, is admitted on all hands, and the expressed object of it seems to be to establish a system of mutual protection against foreign or domestic enemies. Therefore, if it should happen, and nothing is more likely to occur, that the subjects of the Sultan should revolt against him at Constantinople, the Emperor is bound, on receiving intelligence of such an event, to pour in his troops into that capital by land, and to protect it by his fleet at sea. Suppose such an insurrection to take place, and that the Sultan happens to be assassinated in the midst of the rebellion, there is then nobody to succeed him but an infant heir. It would be a violation of the spirit, if not of the letter of the treaty, to abandon the minor to the mercy of his enemies. The Russian troops would thus be obliged to remain at Constantinople for ten or fifteen years at the least, and, at the end of that time, we should like to know how they are to be got out of the garrisons on both sides of the Dardanelles !
If the infant son of the Sultan should be menaced also with assassination--and we all know how easily conspiracies are concocted by a little management on the part of the police-it will be the duty of the Emperor to remove him for safety to one of the imperial palaces at Moscow or Petersburgh, where the child may be amused with a bauble crown and sceptre, and detained on a liberal pension until he dies. If he should perish, there will be no heir to the Ottoman throne, and there is no longer any recognized body in Turkey, accustomed either to exercise legitimately, or to usurp, the power of electing his successor. The janissaries, who had long acted in that capacity by dethroning or murdering Sultans at their good pleasure, have been dissolved. The chief men of the religious, military, and civil orders of the country have no power for such a purpose as that of settling the succession; and, even if they had, it is not very probable that they would be called upon, or permitted, to exercise it freely in the presence of a Russian army. It is impossible, therefore, not to see that this is a state of things contemplated on the Russian side of the contract. There being either an infant successor to the Sultan, or no successor at all, it will be perfectly natural that the Emperor should protect Constantinople from insubordination and pillage; and this protection must of necessity be converted into sovereignty. Then will come out a plausible manifesto from the Imperial cabinet, showing the spotless purity of motive with which the Emperor had acted throughout the whole affair; insisting that the presence of his troops was rendered inevitable by the treaty; that it was decreed by Providence that the Turkish power should fall; that he found himself compelled by the wishes of the people, and by the necessity of the case, to extend his dominions to the Bosphorus; that this event had long been foreseen by Europe, as the natural result of circumstances, over which he had no control ; and that it would be henceforward his pride and his glory to render Constantinople, as it was destined to be, the emporium of the civilized nations of Europe. Vessels of all countries and of all classes will be allowed free passage through the Dardanelles, and the commerce of the Euxine will be thrown open to all the world_until it shall suit the policy of Russia to shut out the said world, and monopolize the whole trade to itself.
We ask the reader, whether, if the Sultan and his son were no more, it is likely that any very great surprise would be felt even now, in this country, upon the publication of a manifesto of this description? It is
only four or five years ago since a Russian army marched as an enemy to Adrianople. It is about a year ago since the Russian squadron sailed into the Bosphorus, and landed 20,000 men on the Asiatic side of the strait, as the very best friend of the Sultan ! who came to his assistance at the seasonable moment when Ibrahim was about to march with his Egyptian soldiers upon Constantinople! It is true, that the squadron and the Russian troops have since returned home; but the fact of their having been, we may say, at Constantinople, for the purpose of protecting it from the grasp of a revolted vassal of the Porte, tends of itself to accustom us to the idea of this novel species of intercourse between nations, which have hitherto been almost constantly at fierce war with each other. It is a precedent for another and another visit of the same kind. If Ibrahim be restrained behind the chain of the Taurus, there are abundant chieftains in Asia Minor, who are ready, upon the slightest encouragement from Russian agency, to threaten the Sultan in the recesses of his seraglio, and thus to give birth to new petitions for the assistance of his faithful friend and ally the Emperor !
The positions of France and England, with relation to the sort of alchymical process now going on in the East, is, to say the least of it, singular and perplexing in the extreme. As soon as they hear of the conclusion of the secret treaty--they express themselves against it in the most indignant terms. The French Minister's note to Count Nesselrode, and the reply of that able diplomatist, have been published. The former declared that his sovereign protested against the treaty, and was determined to act as if that document had no existence. The Count replied, that the treaty simply changed the relations of war between Turkey and Russia into the intercourse of peace and friendship, with which no other country had any kind of concern, and that his Imperial Master would act as if the note of the French Minister had never been written. Lord Palmerston's protest was possibly conveyed and answered in similar terms; but our Foreign Office keeps its secrets better than the French, especially when they are not of an agreeable nature.
After the first sally of anger was over on both sides, it appears that certain explanations have been given both by Turkey and Russia, with - reference to the treaty, from which it is to be understood that Russia gains nothing more than the other European nations already possess, as to the passage of the Dardanelles. It has been long the practice of Turkey not to allow ships of war, under any flag but her own, to pass the Dardanelles, in time of peace, without her special consent. This law is not altered by the treaty. But it is not denied that if there should be a war, for instance, between England and Russia, the ships of war belonging to the latter would be allowed free ingress and egress through the strait, while those of England would be altogether shut out. There is good reason, therefore, for our Ministers stating, that, although the explanations given with respect to the treaty have modified the impressions under which they at first regarded it, nevertheless it is a document which they do not like, and which they would be glad to hear was entirely rescinded.' Negotiations, it seems, are going on between our Government and the two new aļlies for this purpose, the result of which may be easily foreseen. The treaty may be altered in letter, but in sub.stance it will still remain the same, and what can we do to prevent it? Here are two independent nations-nominally independent, it is true,
so far as one of them is concerned—who choose to enter into a certain contract. What third party has a right to prevent them from doing so if they please ? Our Ministers already content themselves with saying that the treaty makes no alteration in the navigation of the Bosphorus during peace, and that, in a time of war, our ships will be enabled to prevent it from being carried into execution. We can have no doubt upon this point; but then this does not at all counteract the real effect of the treaty, which is to place Constantinople in the power, and before long in the possession, of Russia.
France, we regret to say, has already backed out of the negotiations which she had begun with so much energy. When M. Bignon expressed, in eloquent and manly language, the insulted feeling with which his constituents and his countrymen in general viewed the clandestine manæuvres of Russia, the whole Chamber of Deputies applauded his sentiments, and the Duke de Broglie, in the capacity which he then held of minister for foreign affairs, declared, in the enthusiasm of the moment, that the ideas expressed by M. Bignon were those entertained by the cabinet. Some mysterious communication was immediately held between the Duke and the Count Pozzo di Borgo, in consequence of which M. de Broglie had the intrepidity to declare in the Chamber the next day, that his signification of adhesion to M. Bignon's remarks were intended to apply only to that particular part of his speech in which he recognized the approaching dissolution of the Turkish empire, and expressed his wish that it should not be dissolved solely for the benefit of Russia! What! then a plan for partitioning the Ottoman dominions is in agitation, it seems ! Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli-perhaps even Egyptare to be the prize of France. Doubtless, Austria and Prussia, who appear to look on with folded arms while the grand drama is in preparation, will also come in for their share; the lion's portion is of course destined for the Autocrat.
Besides his division of the spoil, Louis Philippe has something to gain from Russia. For example, the Emperor has scarcely yet recognized his throne—certainly has entered into no cordial intercourse with him. At one time the new regime was seriously threatened with opposition by the northern potentates; and, if Poland had not fortunately preoccupied the arms of Russia, they might have glistened once more in the capital of France, as the precursors of a third restoration of the Bourbons. The cause of Poland has been abandoned by the French Government. That was one step towards mitigating the wrath of Nicholas against the king of the barricades. Turkey is now sacrificed on the same altar of self-interest;-we have no doubt that Louis Philippe will be immediately hailed as one of the legitimate brothers of the northern monarchs. This will be a great thing for a new sovereign, who, though not quite a parvenu, like Bernadotte, nevertheless is the creature of a revolution, and therefore under a taint which nothing but the most submissive conduct on his part can remove.
What, then, is to be done with Turkey? How is the future condition of that country to be regulated with reference to its own permanent interests, and its independence of Russia ? Are we to wait patiently until the Sultan shall consummate the course of clandestine negotiation which he has already commenced? Are we to wait until he shall actually deliver up to Count Orloff, or some other wily representative of the
Emperor, the keys of Constantinople? We know that the bargain is already concluded ; we must presume that the price will soon be paid, and the assignment executed in due form-unless some decided measures be adopted for rescinding the transaction, and for providing against its repetition. If we are ever to take counsel from history, this is a crisis in which the active interposition of England may influence the destiny of the world.
It is no longer a question what could our Ministry have done to resist the march of events which thus, in different parts of the titular empire of the Sultan, have combined to produce the present state of things. We see nothing in that state to be lamented, except its tendency to facilitate the ambitious projects of Russia. If Ibrahim had crossed the chain of the Taurus, and marched upon Constantinople, it is probable that he might have taken possession of the seraglio, and expelled the Sultan. But this would be a mere change of names, not things. The fall of the Ottoman throne is an event that must inevitably happen; for the seeds of decay are too far advanced towards maturity throughout the whole system of its power to be checked by the rude energies of a warrior, however successful he may have been in the field. The conquest of Constantinople by Ibrahim might have postponed the ruin that awaits the sovereignty ; but it could not have prevented a catastrophe which is clearly prefigured in all the modern annals of that country.
Alexander familiarly described Constantinople as the key of his own house. We look upon it also as the key of our house in India. It would enable Russia to become a formidable maritime state, to contend with us in the Mediterranean, to cut up our trade in the Levant, and to prepare those resources which may enable her to maintain a vast army on foot in India. Shut out from the Dardanelles, we should have no means of reaching her fleets in the Black Sea, whence provisions and stores might be supplied in abundance for her troops employed in the East. These are all serious consequences, against which it is our positive duty to guard in good time, even though that duty may be attended with difficulties of an extraordinary nature.
It has been suggested that the Roumeliotes, who have recently evinced some signs of civilization, should be substituted for the half military rabble who now occupy the capital, and that in this manner a new state should be gradually formed in confederacy with a number of others, somewhat upon the principle of the Jonian islands. This would, of necessity, be a work of time. It would be strenuously opposed by Russia and Austria. It would not be cordially supported by France; and we fear that even if it were strongly urged by France and Eng.land, there are not materials at present in the European or Asiatic provinces of Turkey, for the construction of solid federal governments, either monarchical or republican.
Let this be, however, as it may, no man can hesitate to declare, that whatever consequences are likely to follow, it is the interest of England to prevent Constantinople from ever becoming the capital of the Russian empire, or the seat of sovereignty for any prince connected either by family or political ties with the dynasty of the Czar. No art of diplomacy-and we may feel assured that Count Nesselrode will exhaust all the great resources of his talents on this occasion—can now veil the intentions of his government. The treaty of July, in every feature of