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gour of Turkey, but, on the contrary, in its final if not early destruction.
But France has a project of her own, as idle and chimerical as it is false and flimsy. She takes much pains to enforce one dogma, which is this, "that the questions of the East should be decided by the East," for the purpose of hiding from the public eye her real intentions. She proclaims that Europe ought not to interfere in Oriental questions. Why? Because it does not yet suit her to interfere herself. "Hereafter," she says, "that interference may become necessary," —and then, when her Algiers shall be extensive and mighty-when Tunis and Tripoli shall be levelled to the dust-when nothing shall stand in the way of a French attack on Egypt, -when Asia Minor or Cyprus shall be valuable and gainable acquisitions, then France will discover that the Eastern question is European as well as Asiatic, and the ports of Toulon, Marseilles, Bona, Algiers, Tunis, &c., will pour forth her vassals to the Mediterranean war. As, however, the projects of France for the future "settlement" of the affairs of the East it was necessary to keep from public observation, and as every one feels that the Eastern question is now, in 1839, one that admits not of delay, France has invented the following scheme or project, which we have called flimsy, idle, chimerical, and false. It is that of an EASTERN CONFEDERATION.
"An Oriental confederation, which shall unite under the hardy and decided protection of Western Europe all the scattered members of the ancient Ottoman empire ;-Egypt, by the title of hereditary pachalick; Greece, as an independent kingdom; Walachia and Moldavia by the title of Hospodorates; with Constantinople for the centre and the capital, and the Sultan Mahmoud for suzerain and president;-a confederation of this sort would certainly be infinitely better than the impossible resurrection of the integrity of Ottoman empire."
This is the scheme of the French Government, court, and perhaps dydasty. One more senseless could not be devised and an élève of the college of Henri IV. would have merited dry bread and close confinement had such been his plan in reply to the question of his historical professor," What
are the best means to be pursued for preserving the integrity of Ottoman empire?" We are friends of peace, we are supporters of the French conservatives, and we have made many sacrifices of our sympathies and tastes to assist the government of LouisPhilippe; but we did expect some better "programme" than this.
This is indeed expecting order to spring out of disorder, and conflicting interests to co-operate for the same object. The Sultan-the robbed, spoliated, insulted Sultan-unable to open the Dardanelles without the permission of the Czar-unable to obtain the payment of the tribute of centuries from Egypt-cajoled out of Walachia and Moldavia, and tricked out of Syria, Greece, and Egypt-reduced by the treaty of Kutahai to a mere fourthrate European power-and by the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi to play the part of a municipal governor at Constantinople;-this Sultan is to be the suzerain and president of an Oriental confederation.
From the pretensions and policy of FRANCE, if we turn to those of RUSSIA with regard to the Porte and to the question of the East, we shall find nothing to encourage or to cheer.
"Russia,' ," said M. de Boutenief (the Russian ambassador at Constantinople)" Russia had no middlė course to take between these two parts-either to be the first friend or the first enemy of the Porte." And feeling this to be her position, Russia is equally ready to play either part, as her interests and as circumstances may point out for in the Crimea and at Odessa she has always a fleet and an army, ready to hasten to protect, or equally to hasten to crush, the dying remains of the Ottoman Porte.
But what means M. de Boutenief by Russia being the "first friend of the Porte?" What has been the avowed policy of Russia towards the Ottoman empire from the time of Peter the Great downwards? The policy of encroachment. "Yes," says M. Pozzo di Borgo, "but not that of the encroachment of others-only of her own." This is not strictly true-for if so, how happened it that Russia consented to the treaty of Kutahia. The alphabet is not so commonly known in Russia as the fact, that the Government of that country has for centuries kept one object steadily in
view the making Constantinople the southern capital of the Russian empire. The policy of Russia has been to weaken Turkey, since by so acting it rendered, on the one hand, resistance to her plans impracticable, and, on the other hand, it got rid of the chance of one day being opposed by a rival empire.
And if we look at the histories of the wars of Russia with the Ottoman Porte, one prominent fact will strike us, and that is, that she always undertook and carried on these wars when Europe was engaged with other and more pressing subjects. The reason was evident. Her wars with the Porte have not been those of vengeance, of sudden and quick quarrel, of the wrath of an enemy who has been provoked to combat, and who seeks to satisfy the demands of his dignity and his honour. Nothing of the sort. The wars of Russia against the Porte, especially those of the last hundred years, have been those of deliberate encroachment on its territory-of asystematic resolution to weaken its power and diminish its influence; not all at once, so as to create anxiety or alarm, but by degrees-now a little and then a little sometimes laying by for a series of years, but always returning to the charge. The policy of Russia towards Poland has been of a similar character. Thus Russia has, by degrees, destroyed the nationality of both countries. In pursuance of this system of gradual destruction, or of gradual incorporation, Russia obtained the treaty of Adrianople, and subsequently that of Unkiar Skelessi. From that moment she proclaimed herself the guardian of the Porte and Turkey became not the ward but the vassal of the Russian empire. Since the signature of the last-named treaty, six years have passed awayand we now approach the consideration of the present position of affairs. Turkey, bound down, fettered, and feeling her chains, has been, on the one hand, solicitous of destroying the treaty of Kutahia, whilst Egypt has been endeavouring to extend its effects and advantages. England has been anxious to diminish the evil consequences of the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, whilst Russia has sought to fortify it. France and Austria, supremely anxious to avert a general war, as neither power was prepared to engage in it, have exerted all their in
fluence to prevent a collision between Great Britain and Russia. Thus the labour of six years has been, on the part of France, England, Austria, and Turkey, to gain time; and on that of Russia and Egypt to push on the advantages secured by their respective treaties. Turkey has endeavoured in vain, single-handed, to regain possession of Syria by means of the revolt of the Druses. Ibrahim Pacha has preserved his conquests; and his father Mehemet Ali has been willing to make every sacrifice to preserve Syria. Two thousand years ago, says Mehemet, Alexander the Great marched against Egypt before proceeding to submit Upper Asia to his dominions. There is a mysterious connexion, he maintains, between Syria and Egypt. The Lagides of Alexandria and Seleucides of Antioch were ceaselessly at war, he will tell you, for the same reason. Egypt is only an empire when she has Syria," exclaimed Ibrahim.
My father was the Pacha of the Sultan till I was master of Aleppo," cried this same mighty warrior;" but now he is the Emperor of the East!'
When Russia was informed of the intention of Mehemet Ali to proclaim the independence of Egypt, her reply was just such as might have been anticipated. If, said the Russian Government, this event shall occur, and the fleets of France and of England shall blockade the coasts of Egypt and Syria, and shall obtain the revocation of their independence, Russia will make no demonstration to succour the Porte; but, on the contrary, if the fleets of England and of France shall remain neutral, Russia will find herself obliged, in conformity with the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, to afford her aid. Thus faithful to her immemorial policy of considering the affairs of the East as independent of those of Europe, she separated her cause and her policy from those of the other powers, resolved, as she was, to pursue her course of gradual but effective encroachment, until the moment should arrive when Constantinople should become the southern residence of the Czar. In the East, Russia will be ambitious at her ease; always ambitious, and always progressing, but by degrees-slowly-surely-and never for one moment deviating from her purpose. It was, therefore, that in 1828, in her famous manifesto, she proclaimed-" Que nul pacte de ga
rantie, nulle solidairte politique, ne rattachent les destinées de l'Empire Ottoman aux stipulations réparatrices de 1814 et de 1815." Russia will never allow that the concerns and interests of Turkey can be discussed and decided on by European powers. Turkey is always "the East," in the eyes of the Court of St Petersburgh; and the Emperors Alexander and Nicolas have within the last twenty years, on several occasions, declared that, geographically as well as politically, Russia was the protectress of the Porte. Russia insists that the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi was a natural and necessary Oriental arrangement. "Settle the affairs of Spain as you will," the present Czar is reported to have said to an ambassador of France, "but leave the affairs of the East to the East itself." This policy, if acquiesced in, would tend to destroy the commercial relations of Great Britain and France, and would reduce those powers to the mere secondary parts of watching the movements of their territorial neighbours.
cept its provisions, or that, accepting them, they would ruin his revenue. The consequences have been different. The Pacha would not quarrel with England by refusing to accept the treaty, nor with his subjects, by fulfil ling its conditions. As far as Egypt is concerned, the treaty of commerce is a dead letter.
The Czar, during the last year or two, has acted with even more than ordinary prudence in the affairs of the East. Perceiving that the attention of Great Britain and France was not wholly occupied with the affairs of Western Europe, the Emperor of Russia has contented himself with preparing fleets, organizing armies, refusing to make any concessions to either of the powers in question, or to the Porte as to the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi; and has not thrown any very important difficulties in the way of the negotiations of those powers with the Sultan for commercial treaties, because he has felt that his relations with the Porte were of a very different cha
The conduct of Austria, during the last six years, has been embarassed and contradictory. This is easily understood. Austria has no sympathy with France either as to French policy or French political institutions, or as to the affairs of Belgium, Holland, Spain, or Italy; but Austria owes some obligations to Louis-Philippe for his conduct with reference to Switzerland, and for the expulsion of demagogues and propagandists from those cantons
The treaty of Unkiar Skelessi destroyed the independence of Turkey, under the pretext of saving the integrity of its territory; and the possession of the Bosphorus, with all its attendant advantages, has been one of the consequences of that treaty. The Governments which acquiesced in the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, or which, if they did not acquiesce in, did not oppose, its conditions by an armed resistance, have been, for six years, seeking to modify or to mitigate its and Austria has an interest in mainprovisions. This has been the labour taining the status quo in Turkey. of the diplomatists of France, Great Austria thinks with Russia on all Britain, and Austria-but especially northern and on all western questions; of Great Britain. Has it been suc- but on the question of the East she cessful? No. The treaty subsists. thinks with France; not that their The treaties of commerce concluded interests are similar-not that their between the Porte and the Govern- ultimate views have the least resemments of St James's and the Tuileries, blance; but for the moment Austria have in no respect changed the poli- would prefer a total inaction on the tical relations of Constantinople and part of the more immediate comba St Petersburgh; and the Czar is as tants, Mahmoud and Mehemet Ali; much as ever the "protector of the and is one of the loudest in demanding Sultan" and the master of the Bosthe status quo. The recent commerphorus. These are hard truths to be cial treaty between Great Britain and told and sad verities to be recorded; Austria, is said to have modified the but truth cannot gain from conceal- views of the court of Vienna as to ment. The commercial treaty of Lord Eastern affairs, and that she is more Ponsonby was not without its merits; disposed than ever to think and to act but it has not produced the results with England. We are not disposed which the Sultan anticipated. He to place much confidence in this report. believed that the Pacha would not ac- Austria possesses a wise and prudent
government, which acts on fixed and conservative principles, and the events of recent years have not been of a character, either in England or Ireland, to afford her satisfaction or encourage ment. But as a prudent and wise government, Austria has felt that the moment had not arrived for making any hostile demonstration on the subject of the Russian influence at Constantinople; and although she would have no objection to find Bosnia and Albania in her possession, yet she would not purchase that possession at the price of the capture by Russia of the capital of the Ottoman empire. To her, indeed, the neutrality of the Bosphorus is of the last importance, as the Bosphorus is the issue of the Danube; and on the liberty of that mighty stream depends the future commercial and political prosperity of Austria. But the Court of Vienna deliberates before it acts, and reflects long and deeply before it negotiates. It is fully convinced what are its interests, and it will steadily maintain them. Still its maritime interests in the Eastern question are, for the time, of less importance than the gradual and general tranquillizing of its Polish, and its Italian and Tyrolean states; and, unless in the event of a general war, Austria will not take any very important part in the Eastern question. The future government of France, the settlement of the Hanoverian question, the gradual calming down of the Germanic states, the question of Spain and Portugal, and the progress of democracy in some of the Swiss cantons, are of much more importance to Austria than the destinies of Syria, or the hereditary government of the Pacha of Egypt. The day will come, and that perhaps sooner than Austria desires, when the increasing power of Russia in the east and south of Europe, as well as in Asia, must attract the attention, and engage the mind, of the Court of Vienna; but, we repeat, for the present she is more alive to the events in Western and Central Europe, than to those of the East or of the South.
The present state of the Eastern question now opens broadly to our view. Russia requires that the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi shall remain intact. England and France desire its modification. Austria looks on, not with indifference, but with a mind
preoccupied by other more pressing interests. Turkey feels that her existence depends on the annulling of the treaty of Kutahia. Egypt is prepared to risk all her future hopes and present greatness in the defence of that treaty, and in the retention of Syria. The English Government wishes to secure to itself the favour of Mehemet Ali, and his friendship in our overland arrangements for India, by promising him that the throne of Egypt shall be hereditary in his family. As the price of this negotiation, it has obtained a treaty of commerce, which will be a dead letter, and has the adjournment, for the moment at least, of the Pacha's intention of declaring Egypt and Syria independent of the Porte. But this adjourn ment is only momentary; and Mehemet Ali, since his return to Alexandria from the gold mines of Fachiangora, has declared, "that from the day that the Porte shall attack his power in Syria, he will proclaim the independence of Egypt." France has acquiesced in the hereditary demand of Mehemet Ali, but has protested against the notion of the independence of the Pacha from the suzeraineté of the Sultan; and even at the price of her support to the hereditary question of Egypt, she has insisted on a treaty of commerce, and on the payment by the Pacha of the khazneh or tribute to the Porte. The payment of the khazneh has, however, been refused by the Pacha within the last few weeks-and Mehemet Ali replied to the Consul-General of Russia, when charged to press this payment upon him, "That under present circumstances, the Sultan might wait for the payment of the tribute, since, as the Porte had manifested its hostile intentions towards Egypt, it would be impolitic on his part to supply him with the means of realizing more promptly his inimical designs.'
But what were these hostile inten tions of the Porte towards the Pacha, which have led the latter to make this declaration? Let us see. strip of all its verbiage and repetitions the intelligence we have received for some weeks past from Alexandria, Aleppo, Beyruth, and Constantinople, it amounts to this, that a large body of the Turkish army, without any apparent or satisfactory motive, has crossed the Euphrates at Byr, on
the confines of the Syrian frontiers, and has, by this unaccounted-for act, demonstrated the well-known desire of the Ottoman Porte to regain possession of Syria. The Pacha of Bagdad is thought to act in concert with the Sultan; and Ibrahim Pacha is so satisfied of the hostile designs of the Turkish Government, that he has concentrated all his Syrian troops in the environs of Aleppo, and is preparing for the attack which he expects will be made upon him. Thus Turkey, ranged in battle along the Euphrates, from the Persian Gulf to Asia Minor, is presumed to have the design of at tacking Egypt by her Eastern flank. It is a promised renewal of the old conflict between the Arab tribes and those of Upper Asia-between Cambyses and Egypt-between Bagdad and Cairo in the middle ages; only that, in this immemorial conflict be tween the Euphrates and the Nile-in this dispute for the possession of Syria and Lebanon, when the Euphrates has seen ranged on her banks the tribes from Upper Asia, savage and uncivilized as they have been, the Euphrates has ordinarily triumphed. But when these Turkish, Median, or Scythian tribes, or by whatever other name history has called them, have passed too long time at Bagdad, at Persepolis, or at Babylon, where they have lost their mountain and active rudeness, and their primitive energy, victory has been uncertain-and they have been often defeated. To-day, in the divided state of the Turkish empire, the influence of Russia in the Ottoman army, and when that army is half-civilized and half-barbarous, all the chances of success are in favour of Egypt. Mehemet Ali and his son Ibrahim are aware of this-fully aware; and although, in obedience to Russia, France, and Great Britain, they have promised not to commence the attack on the Turkish troops so assembled on the extreme frontiers of the dominions ceded to Egypt by the treaty of Kutahia, still Egyptian forces continue to concentrate in the environs of Aleppo, and the cry of Ibrahim in Syria is, "To arms!" "To arms!" And what do the Syrians reply to the demand? They fly from Aleppo-rush from Ibrahim and sigh for any deliverance from their Egyptian task-masters.
Before we proceed finally to ana
lyze the points at issue, and the proposed modes of resolving the various difficulties in this Eastern question, we must be allowed to approach with sacred awe and holy veneration the pages of prophecy, and the declarations of holy writ. The most clear and indubitable prophecy relating to the decay and gradual downfal of the Turkish empire, and admitted as such by all Christian theologians of all Christian countries, is to be found in the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th verses of the 16th chapter of the Revelation of St John the Divine. After having, in the 10th and 11th verses, announced that the 5th vial is poured out-in which the votaries of Papacy are represented in a distressed and agonized condition-(under which vial we are now living)—and after having emblematically described the hatred of Papal Rome to that increasing and irresistible progress of knowledge, which demonstrates the absurdities and errors of the Papal religion, without producing reformation, and repentance, the inspired writer proceeds as follows:
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the East might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his ground, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
Had any doubts been entertained, by the learned and pious members of the orthodox and protestant churches as to the meaning of this prophecy, we should have more than hesitated as to introducing it into this political investigation; but as its applicability to the decay of the Turkish empire has been universally admitted, we have not dared to banish from our contemplations this prediction of sacred writ.
The learned and profound Towns