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Russia, as it will to every brave and independent country that is true to itself, the means of resisting the subjugation contemplated by the invader: and although the discussion is rather more connected with party politics at home than could be wished, we cannot in justice altogether omit the consideration of the probabilities that Russia will be true to herself, which are to be found in M. Eustaphieve's reflections on the supposed vacillating character of his government.
The conclusion of the peace of Tilsit is the principal ground upon which this charge of vacillation is supposed to rest; and M. Eustaphieve fairly enough observes, that Russia entered into that war only in the character of an ally, ready, in conjunction with England, to assist the weaker powers threatened by France; but the sudden dispersion of the Prussian forces, the apathy of Austria, and the change of policy in the British cabinet, consequent upon the death of Mr. Pitt and the accession to office of Lord Grenville's and Mr. Fox's administration, at length reduced the emperor Alexander to the absolute necessity of consulting his own interests and safety by a separate peace. The patience of the emperor under his multiplied disappointments from the British cabinet is thus pourtrayed by M. Eustaphieve, with the indignant feelings of a true Russian, though in language somewhat more coarse than the occasion called for, or than is exhibited in the general style of his pamphlet.
“ One battle followed another; yet not a jot of the promised supplies was obtained by the emperor. Even when the chief object of his being so urgent was understood to be the relief of a distressed ally, the same niggardly economy, the same ungenerous, penny-wise policy, was still pursued on the part of the British administration; as if to exhibit a striking contrast between his disinterestedness and their meanness, between his noble perseverance and their sordid obstinacy.
“ They left nothing undone to probe his feelings to the utmost, and bring his magnanimity to the most desperate trial, still he remained faithful to their cause.
“ Scorning the idea of subsidy, he, at length, applied for a loan of five millions sterling, offering ample securities for the payment of interest and principal; and though he was refused, he still remained faithful to their cause.
“ To the injury of refusal they added insult, by pretending to grant the loan, but declining to be security to the British stockholders, who, of course, could not, without such security from their own government, gratify their own wishes by complying with those of the emperor : still he remained faithful to their cause.
“ In the attempt to relieve Dantzick, they prevented him from employing his ships, by promising to send their own; which promise not being performed, Dantzick, so important to future opera
to the cause.
tions, fell into the hands of the French : still he remained faithful
“ Instead of making a descent on the coast of the Baltic, they thought of conquests for themselves; and sent out their
puny peditions to Egypt and Constantinople, as if to convince the world, by a succession of ill luck, of their eagerness for political depravity, and of their want of ability to execute even their own schemes: still the emperor remained
faithful to their cause. They suffered him to be lampooned, and laughed at his sim-, plicity in fighting for no object at all: still he remained faithful to
“ In face of the world, in the august presence of parliament, they dared to plead the necessities of Russia in defence of their deserting her; and to assume as the ground of such desertion, her being forced to fight in consequence of their · bringing war to her door: still he remained faithful to their cause.
“ By their withholding all assistance, and thereby extinguishing all hopes, till then indulged, of effectual co-operation from England, Prussia was not able to collect even the wrecks of her army; and Austria, who, by interposing her forces between France and Buonaparte, might have decided the fate of Europe, remained irresolute, and lost the only opportunity she ever had of recovering her independence. In consequence of this, the emperor of Russia found himself alone, and deserted by the very powers for whose particular interest he entered the lists with France: still he remained faithful to the cause.
« While he was shedding the dearest blood of his subjects, the ruling party in England had the cruelty of pretending to doubt the sincerity of his professions, and the hardihood to disregard the strongest proofs that can be given by a sovereign loving his people: still he remained faithful to their cause.
“Buonaparte, possessing all the wisdom they wanted, and much more, perceived at once the situation of Alexander; and finding his own invincibles sufficiently feasted on hard blows, professed his friendship for Russia, disclaimed every purpose of hostility, sought every opportunity of reconciliation, urged the criminal duplicity and selfishness of the British administration, and the self-immolating indifference of Austria ; offered even a share of his conquests and, in short, exerted all his means, and they were great, to detach Russia from a cause so unprofitable and hopeless: still the Russian emperor hesitated to comply, still he would have persisted in his sacrifices; but at this time he had arrived at a point beyond which patience was a crime, and perseverance nothing less than treason against his people. He therefore yielded ; and at Tilsit concluded that peace, which in justice to his own interests ought to have been made much sooner. (P. 28.)
It is certain that Buonaparte offered to Russia all the country eastward of the Vistula; but Alexander declined it, and accepted a small portion merely for the sake of a more regular boundary.
It is with regret that á necessary act of justice to the Russian nation obliges us thus to renew recollections of so painful and degrading a nature, and we shall now dismiss them with the full adn.ission, that Russia could not justly incur the imputation of a vacillating policy by concluding a separate peace, when she found herself (her hopes and expectations being disappointed) engaged unprepared as a principal in a war, which she had only undertaken as an auxiliary.
We should consider it as an absolute insult to the Russian nobles and people, if after what has passed we could condescend to enter into any justification of them against the third charge noticed by M. Eustapbieve, that of being open to the effects of foreign influence and corruption. We cordially agree in the position, that not only the Russian nobles and gentry, but even “the peasantry would laugh at the French rhapsodies which have misled and ruined so many nations. It may well be said they would laugh, because they have actually done so whenever a few partial attempts have been made to seduce them from their allegiance. The point of the sword is the only weapon that can be used in penetrating into Russia." We shall be glad to find that even Count Romanzoff constitutes no exception to this general observation.
With respect to the fourth head of accusation concerning the deficiency of military skill and energy in the Russian officers and troops, we freely confess, that if the battles of Cassano, Novi, Trebia, Pultusk, and Eylau, in which the Russians were victorious against the French, when contrasted with those of Zurich, Austerlitz, and Friedland, where victory was on the side of the French, are not, upon the whole, sufficient to establish the competency of the Russian army, at least to defend its own territory, nothing that we can add is capable of overcoming scepticism upon ihese subjects.
We cannot close this article without making some allusion to a circumstance which adds a tenfold interest to every incident materially affecting the ultimate success of the contest; we, mean the personal character of the Emperor Alexander.
This prince, if we may judge from late events, appears to have. jinbibed a spirit of enlightened piety and benevolence far beyond the age and country in which he lives. M. Eustaphieve informs us in a note, that
“ It was reserved for this truly benevolent prince to complete the happiness of Russia by devising a plan which, in a short time, will emancipate every portion of its population. He has caused a considerable fund to be laid 'apart, and augmented every year, from the general revenue, for the sole purpose of taking on mortgage and redeeming the estates with peasantry; and of purchas
ing such as are offered for sale, by means of agents established for that end in every province of the empire. The success has answered the most sanguine expectations; and several hundreds of thousands have already been emancipated, and restored to their proper ranks in society." (P. 38.)
After the long night of moral and political darkness which has lowered upon the population of Russia, it makes the heart sick to reflect upon the interruption which this sanguinary contest must interpose in the way of so promising a system of improvement; and it would be almost more than human nature can bear, should the light which is now beginning to dawn upon fifty millions of men, under the auspices of a mild and legitimate christian sovereign, be suddenly quenched in the vortex of cruel and unprincipled ambition. But let us hope better things; let us exclaim in the language of Alexander *, which, we trust, will not be the less affecting, because it breathes a spirit of devout bravery,
“In the present disastrous state of human affairs, will not that country acquire eternal fame, which, after encountering all the inevitable desolations of war, shall, at last, by its patience and intrepidity, succeed in procuring an equitable and permanent peace, not only for itself but also for other powers; nay, even for those who are unwillingly fighting against us? It is gratifying and natural for a generous nation to render good for evil.
Almighty God! turn thy merciful eye to thy supplicating Russian church! Vouchsafe courage and patience to thy people struggling in a just cause, so that they may thereby overcome the enemy; and in saving themselves may also defend the freedom of kings and nations.”
Later events have shewn that the prayer was heard!--have established a glorious truth, which the nations in general, and the higher ranks of Spain in particular, cannot too religiously embrace;--viz. that entire and practical devotion to God and their country is all-sufficient, and that nothing else is competent, to rescue them froin the gripe of the destroyer.
ART. VIII.-1. Thoughts on the Utility and Expediency of
the Plans proposed by the British and Foreign Bible Society. By Edward Maltby, D.D. Prebendary of Leighton Bussard, in the Cathedral Church of Lincoln, &c. Cadell. London.
1812. 2. Observations, designed as a Reply to the “ Thoughts” of Dr. Maltby, on the Dangers of circulating the
* See the conclusion of the Emperor of Russia's address 10 his subjects on the fall of Moscow.
Whole of the Scriptures among the lower Orders. By J. W. Cunningham, A.M. Vicar of Harrow on the Hill, and late Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. London. Hatchard. 1812.
From the time of that Roman emperor, who valued himself for no imperial virtue, save that of playing on the fiddle, down to this very hour, half the mischief, and more than half the nonsense with which the world has been oppressed, may be ascribed to the same preposterous vanity, which prompts men to contemn the talents bestowed upon them by nature, habit, and education; and to aim at distinction, precisely in that department for which they are the least qualified. That the author of the first of these pamphlets, a gentleman, a scholar, a good classical tutor, a politician, and an active magistrate, should have undertaken to discuss points connected with any of those offices, would neither have surprised us, nor, perhaps, disgraced himself. But that a reverend person, who in every page exhibits strong indications of ignorance concerning the religious state and capacities of the poor, must needs discuss the extent to which, by the grace of God, they can understand the scriptures; that he must wantonly throw his gauntlet upon the floor, and offer to maintain against all gainsayers, that it is expedient to shut out from the poor and ignorant Gentiles the writings of that very Apostle, who was specially commissioned by the founder of our religion, to instruct them and them only; and was, moreover, directed as to the peculiar doctrines which he should teach;-does appear to us to be a crime no less against the dictates of common sense and common prudence, than against the religion which the learned author has faithfully promised, and which he is moreover paid, to uphold and to defend. It is as though the king's guards should turn their bayo-, nets against the prince whom they have sworn to protect. Indeed, when we perceive any attempt to withhold the Scriptures either entire or in part from any description of our fellow-creatures, particularly from that class to whom our Redeemer emphatically declared, that the gospel should be preached, we are filled with grief; and we earnestly deprecate all such attempts, which, we think, we are not colouring too strongly in stigmatizing them as a species of spiritual treason.
In the same proportion then, as we have been pained by the perusal of Doctor Maltby's pamphlet, we have felt pleasure in reading Mr. Cunningham's answer, which appears to us to be fraught with sound sense, and written in a truly Christian spirit. We shall by and by produce some extracts from it; but must first take a short review of that to which it professes to reply.
We think it an uncandid mode of proceeding to impute to any