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and have ever asserted, from the days of the seven first (Ecumenic Councils, their equal and independent rights; but on that ground, much more than on the narrow question of doctrinal difference, they denied the supremacy of Rome, and to this hour their detestation of the Papacy is as bitter as it has been in any former period. Does any one suppose that a clergy or a people who resist to the death the supremacy of Rome, will accept the supremacy of the Synod of St. Petersburg ? or,
that a Church, boasting of independent government by its - Patriarchs from apostolic times, and even through the dark ages
of Turkish bondage, will acknowledge the Emperor of Russia to be its head, or submit to the Erastian condition of the Russian establishment? Throughout the Eastern populations, both Slavonian and Greek, these religious elements have undoubtedly enormous power. There, far more than in Western Europe, they are likely to become the guiding principle of great political events. But, dear as the Churches are to the faith of the people, they are not less dear as the symbols of national independence; and from that point of view, neither Greeks nor Slavonians are more ready to merge their apostolic confession in the ecclesiastical ordinances of St. Petersburg or Moscow, which they justly regard as Churches of inferior rank and antiquity, than they would be to place themselves under the control of the Russian police or the dreadful conscription of the Russian army. On the contrary, if these countries were emancipated from the Turk and in possession of a free church and a free constitution, it is probable that their independence would be as zealously defended against Russian supremacy, as against the insidious aggressions of Rome. The Church of the East has at all times repudiated the subjection of her liberties to foreign authority, and whilst Rome centralised the Western world, she lost her control over the oldest Churches of Christendom. The discipline of the Latin Church is a formidable weapon in the hands of those powers which have sought to crush the traditions of national freedom; but the Greek Churches have, on the contrary, successfully defied every form of central authority which has been directed against them, and when every other species of independence was lost, the Church still preserved the existence of the nation.
We support the Turkish Government against the unjust pretensions of Russia, and we do well, because we cannot be indifferent to the destruction of that concert of the Great Powers which has prevailed for many years in the affairs of the East; we cannot assent to the forcible detention by Russia of a foreign territory; and we cannot admit that she has claims to
the protection of the Christian subjects of Turkey superior to those of the other Christian Powers. But our position is one of extreme difficulty.; for it cannot be the policy of England or France to throw the Christian subjects of Turkey entirely into the arms of Russia by backing the high Mussulman party in its unqualified resistance to demands made ostensibly and speciously for their benefit. On the contrary, the high Mussulman party are our habitual opponents, and Redschid Pasha has in all his successive ministries been their constant antagonist. In that capacity he was considered during the past summer to be the Minister most favourable to peace, and most awake to the dangers of the war which the ulemas and his own political rivals were resolved to provoke. In the course of these negotiations, Redschid Pasha seems to have discovered, however, that the war party was getting too strong for him, and he had not the moral courage, perhaps he had not the physical force, to resist the storm which was rising against him in the Divan, and even, as was said, among the people. Towards the close of September he convoked an assembly of an almost unprecedented character in Turkey, for it consisted of no less than 172 of the chief officers of the state and the heads of the law. No doubt existed as to the decision of such a body. It was, in fact, unanimous— that is, the opinion of the minority was unexpressed. The ministers retained office, but they remained to execute the designs of their rivals, and to pursue all the hazards of war. The mosques were ready to open their stores; the treasure reserved for the sacred cause of war against the infidel was appropriated to the public service; and Omar Pasha took the field at the head of an army far exceeding in numbers and in discipline the expectations of the friends of Turkey or the apprehensions of her enemies. Thus far his operations have not been defeated, and we are unwilling to predict a too speedy reverse. But it is not the less true that the extreme war party, directed by the ulemas, has prevailed, not only over the more cautious policy of Redschid Pasha, but even over the intentions of the Christian Powers; and that we shall, ere long, have to consider the effect of this policy, not only on the quarrel with Russia, but on the Christian populations of the Empire. Whatever may be the abilities of Omar Pasha, it may be said of him as was said of the far more brilliant triumphs of Heraclius, that the Empire has been rather exhausted than exercised by these efforts. Troops have every where been withdrawn from the provinces ; in many parts of
extremover the intentions. Consider the one the Christies of om inte
vails; and as soon as the Ottoman forces meet with any serious
reverse, they will probably find that the Russians are not their most formidable enemies. If such a movement on the part of the Christian populations does take place, as we may anticipate that sooner or later it will take place, it would become impossible for the two most enlightened states of Western Europe to support the cause of Mahomedanism, despotism, and barbarism, against the just demands and growing strength of an overwhelming majority of the people. This, we shall be told, is not the present question. True, but it lies behind it, and in close connexion with it: and with a view to the permanent settlement of the East, it is of more importance perhaps than the recent aggressions of Russia. Indeed, if we were to seek any deep-seated political motive for the extraordinary proceedings of the Russian Cabinet towards the Porte, it might perhaps be found in the increasing evidence that the Christian populations of the south were outgrowing in intelligence and wealth the tutelary power Russia has assumed over them. We need hardly express our concurrence in all measures necessary to keep the Russians out of Constantinople, and to resist the pretensions they have raised. But we are not bound by the same considerations to keep the Turks in.' On the contrary, it is the weakness of the Turks which alone makes the Russians formidable ; and though the Ottoman Einpire has been for ages in possession of the finest regions and the strongest positions in the world, the use it has made of those splendid territories is such that its existence has seemed for the last few months to depend on the presence of a squadron from a foggy island in the North Sea. What we desire to see is a powerful and independent State, not being Russian, in possession of those magnificent dominions, which are formed by nature for commerce, for empire, and for the happiness of mankind. But it is utterly chimerical to suppose that a nation whose presence in those regions has literally blasted the natural fertility of the soil, and which is debarred from all real change or improvement by the fundamental obligations of its religion and its laws, can become such a State. Turkey has been kept alive by the injection of Christian blood, but her own life-spring is already cold. The last quality she retains is that dogged valour and enthusiastic contempt for life which has never yet failed her soldiers in presence of an enemy.
It will be inferred from the opinions we have expressed on the present condition of the Ottoman Empire, which are derived from the concurring testimony of all the writers and travellers who appear to us most deserving of credit, that we are not disposed to regard with much confidence the first successes of
Omar Pasha's army on the Danube, and that His Majesty Abdul Medjid appears to us to have assumed the title of ElGhaji,' the Victorious, with rather too much precipitation. Omar Pasha's movements have been viewed with a good deal of superficial enthusiasm by the daily press, for although they were certainly creditable to that general and to the Turkish troops, they amount in reality to little more than an affair of outposts, in which the Turks repulsed an attack on their entrenched position at Oltenitza, covered by batteries which were quite unassailable as long as they fired across the Danube. As yet the Turks have attempted no field maneuvres in the presence of the enemy, and although, like all Orientals, they are very formidable behind an entrenched position, the result of a campaign depends on a power of movement which they are not yet shown to possess. Their chiefs, however, seem perfectly aware that the greatest danger to which they are exposed would be that of fighting a general action in an open country, where their artillery would be less effective, and the want of cavalry would be more severely felt. The gorgeous old cavalry of the Ottomans, splendid in horses and arms, skilful in the use of the scimitar, and irresistible in a charge, is totally extinct; and the attempt to substitute for it a bastard European light cavalry, armed with lances and riding with long stirrups, has failed. The cavalry is the worst part of the Turkish army; its equipments are wretched; and the men, incapable of learning our modes of equitation and exercise, can hardly keep their seats. Omar Pasha has repeatedly stated to European officers that he rests the fate of his campaign on Schumla, and there is no doubt that the position now occupied by his centre in the triangle formed by Schumla, Silistria, and Rustchuk, or by Silistria, Schumla, and Varna, is one of immense strength. Schum itself is an entrenched camp capable of receiving a large army, admirably situated, and judiciously defended by art; but it is not equally certain that it may not be turned, and the Russians will not again sit down before it, if they can do otherwise. If the issue of the war rested on military operations to be carried on by the Russians against that position and the fortified passes of the Balkan, we should be fully prepared for a protracted resistance, and very probably a failure on the part of the assailant. But there are other lines of operation open to an invading army; there is the increasing danger of insurrection amongst the Christian populations and the progressive exhaustion of the Turkish Government.
The reconquest of the Danubian principalities by the Turkish arms alone is an idle dream; and what their future condition
they can do to be carried on the Balkan,
educe the forest was free ago by popire Ottom of defethat the ed when
will be must depend on the general results of the war. To Turkey herself, since the loss of the Crimea and of Bessarabia, these principalities have been rather a burden than an advantage. She draws from them no troops, and the tribute, which was somewhat irregularly paid up, has proved a most inadequate compensation for the expense of defending them. They have imposed on the Porte all the most onerous duties of sovereignty, with no corresponding advantage to its own interests.
The reason, indeed, for which they have been so long retained, seems chiefly that they were regarded as a sort of appanage by the great families of the Fanariote Greeks, who used to conduct the foreign relations of the Porte, and the first dragoman of the Porte was frequently promoted to the office of Hospodar. It was remarked long ago by Baron de Beaujour in his excellent • Voyage Militaire dans l'Empire Ottoman,' that the possession of the principalities and the necessity of defending them was a great cause of weakness to Turkey, and that the military strength of the empire would be materially increased when drawn within limits more fitted by nature to resist invasion. The interest of Europe and the interest of Turkey herself is not that these provinces should retain their anomalous and embarrassing connexion with the Porte, but that they should not be Russian ; and the Porte would gain far more by the interposition of an independent barrier between her dominions and the Russian frontier than by the maintenance of a profitless supremacy which cannot be defended against Russian attack. It would be highly desirable that these provinces should, for their own sake, and for that of their neighbours, obtain a more definite political constitution under the protection of the public law of Europe; for however little they may fall within the grasp of Turkey, we assume it to be clear that Russia will not be suffered to annex those provinces to her empire, if the rest of Europe can prevent it. They are already the granary from which a large proportion of the corn imported and consumed by the more densely peopled states of Western Europe is obtained. Nothing can exceed the productive power of the soil, but such is the want of roads that the transport of a load of wheat from the neighbourhood of Bucharest to the nearest port on the Danube, a distance of some fifty miles, costs as much as its freight to England. Moreover, these unhappy countries have scarcely ever enjoyed ten consecutive years of tranquillity, but have perpetually suffered all the hardships of war from Russian occupations, forced contributions, and Turkish retaliation. The protection Russia affects to have secured to them consists in little more than in making them the scene of her encroach