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is, under the present system of mankind, a more sacred guide even than honesty itself-have abandoned the cause of his principal, still less that of his country; he must make some excuse-he could not say she was insulted, for that would have been a lie, and (pacè Sir Henry Wootton) a man of honour, even though an ambassador, must not lie. Neither could he say that France had been isolated, for that was absurd, and a man of genius, though an ainbassador, will not disgrace himself by an absurdity. He had only then to adopt the expedient of complaining of something undefinable either by honour or genius-and he hit on a ' mauvais procédé '--for manners and forms are purely conventional, and a mauvais procédé is that which any party may choose to think so; and undoubtedly M. Thiers must have thought it a mauvais procédé on the part of his friend Lord Palmerston to allow him, on the 13th July, officially and publicly to congratulate himself and the world that he had settled the Eastern question, when, on the 15th of July, was to appear the éclatant proof that he had settled nothing and unsettled everything; and that he was the deepest of all dupes, a presumptuous and self-made one.
Before we close this, which may be called the formal part of the question, we must observe that so long ago as August the Duke de Valmy hinted at a secret agent,' whose information M. Thiers had preferred to M. Guizot's; and in one of M. Thiers' recent speeches he has had what we should call the ungenerous frankness of saying that the late Lord Holland (who had died in the interval between the rupture and the speech) had always taken the part of France in the English cabinet. The words are remarkable:
Not only have we found sympathies in the English nation' [Doubleday, Cardo, and Co.), ‘hut even in the English Cabinet I can praise one man-for he is dead who did not fear to support OUR cause, and to pronounce that we were in the right.'-Speech, 25th Nov..
Of this, whether true or false, most indecorous imputation and, if true, most ungrateful betrayal of confidence-we are sorry to be obliged to express our opinion that, however mauvais M. Thiers' procédé may be in divulging the fact, the fact itself is probably too true. Lord Holland did, we know, talk very extravagant (to say the least of it) nonsense on this subject; and we can easily believe that his sentiments may have been repeated, though we hope not authoritatively communicated, to the French-at that moment become the hostile-minister. We should never have thought of alluding, after Lord Holland's death, to the strange reports of his indiscretion which reached us at the time; but when M. Thiers promulgates the encouragement he received from that English cabinet minister as an ingredient in his detestable attempt to excite a war against England, the fact is too curious, too important, and we believe we may say too unique, not to be recorded in every account of the transaction. If the friends of Lord Holland can give the lie to M. Thiers it is their most sacred duty to do so. We hope they may-we fear they cannot!
But we now arrive at the more serious and substantial question, what really is all this agitation about? cui bono? Why are the two most Western nations of Europe to be embroiled in exasperating controversies, and overwhelmed with enormous expenses, and subjected to accumulated taxation, to say nothing of other inappreciable risks, because the Pacha of Egypt revolts against the Sultan of Constantinople ?
The first and obvious reason is the jealousy which the rest of Europe has that Russia should, from the danger of the Porte, have an opportunity of aggrandising herself in that quarter. For our own parts, unpopular as it may be, we hesitate not to say that we have little fear of Russia-she is a great power, but she is not so great as she appears. Her limbs are too large for her muscles; and we believe that she would be weaker and less formidable, if she were so ill advised as to possess herself of Constantinople, than she is at this hour. She is already unwieldy; any considerable increase of territory would render her unmanageable. For her own sake then, as well as for that of the rest of Europe, it is desirable to maintain the Sultan at Constantinople; and as the Sultan's empire is not so much one of territory as of religion, his power can be maintained only by preserving to him the supremacy of the adjacent Mahometan world. It was really a relief to the Porte to be freed from the laborious and feverish custody of Christian Greece; and if Egypt were to become Christian to-morrow, we should say, for the sake of both parties, emancipate her immediately; but with what possible justice can we profess to maintain the integrity of Turkey, which must always mean the integrity of the Mahometan empire-while we would lop off from her the best portions of the Mahometan people-Syria, Arabia, and Egypt? We do not forget that there are Christians in Syria, but they are at present in no proportion to make an exception to the general rule. And Mehemet Ali, for whom it is proposed to subtract these great provinces from the Ottoman sovereignty, is not only a Mussulman but a Turk. Preserve then, we say—humbly echoing the determinations solemnly promulgated from the ihrones of England and France,--preserve the INTEGRITY of the Ottoman empire under its present dynasty ;' it is justice, it is policy; on that point all mankind are, at least in terms, agreed. But, as we have seen, the French choose to have a strange notion of their own as to the import of the word integrity. The Turkish empire consists of five great divisions, which may be denominated European, Asiatic, Syrian, Arabian, and Egyptian. It is determined to preserve the integrity of this empire; and the French scheme for doing so is to lop off from it the Egyptian, Arabian, Syrian, and part of the Asiatic branches, and that part precisely of the Asiatic branch which opens the rest of Asiatic, and eventually of European, Turkey to a Syrian invader. Again we say we cannot argue such a question-il saute aux yeux.
What, then, can have blinded a clever and clear-sighted people like the French to the gross absurdity of such a scheme? The answer is, they are not blinded at all; they see its absurdity as clearly, and feel its impracticability as strongly, as we do, and have never contemplated any such result. But the unfortunate leven of Buonaparte, their innate hatred of England, and their anxiety to thwart any object which they fancy we may have, are fermenting in their hearts, and create—to quote again M. Thiers’ important confession—a national instinct towards Egypt. Thence they fancy that England is vulnerable eastward; and there they suppose, or affect to suppose, that England wishes to establish herself. Papa! England has no more desire for Egypt than she has for Switzerland or Piedmont : she wishes for good roads through them all, with a sufficient local police, and she does not care a fig in whose governing hands they are ;-always excepting France, who longs for Egypt, with the avowed object of injuring her. In any other respect, so far as English interests are concerned, France would be as welcome to Egypt as to Algiers: and if we were enemies of France—if we could, by her late outbreak of frenzied hostility, be driven to form a wish to her detriment—we should be glad to see her embarrassed with both Egypt and Algiers,—two cancers instead of one. But we have no such wishes. We respect the power, we admire the talents, we love the social qualities, of France,—though not, certainly, of that turbulent and unprincipled mob which calls itself la Jeune France; we rejoice in her prosperity; we acknowledge-and, if our aid were needed in a just quarrel, would assist to vindicate her high and influential position in Europe. Can she ask us for more of sympathy and respect than we have always expressed and shown towards her; and never more than during the recent agitation, when all her unjust imputations, her violence, her calumnies, her scurrilities, have not provoked from the English press or people one retaliatory word,—though retaliatory words
scold never, winted, the emet
would not have been wanting if we were not too proud and too much in the right to condescend to scold?
This French folly about Egypt—and never, we believe, was there a greater-- has been, as we have before hinted, the real motive of all their proceedings. What care they about Mehemet Ali—who made his first reputation by opposing them? How are they the better or the worse for his holding Egypt, or Egypt and Syria, héréditaire or viagère? What is it to them more than to us ?-Nothing at all, if their professions were sincere. But they dream of establishing themselves in Egypt. Mehemet Ali is seventy-two years of age: his possession cannot be long. If Egypt be now re-attached to the Turkish Empire, under the mediation and guarantee of all the powers of Europe, and particularly if France herself were to join in the arrangement, there was an end of her prospect of possessing herself of the country, either at Mehemet's decease, or at any other early period. She therefore withdrew herself from the possibility of being implicated in any such guarantee, and has exerted her utmost arts, both of intrigue and intimidation, to prevent the other powers from erecting that barrier to her ambitious designs.
Lord Palmerston has been blamed by some who approve the rest of his recent conduct in this affair and who are sincerely anxious for the maintenance of peace, because, after M. Guizot's accession to office, he renewed his altercation with the French Government by replying (Ind November) to a note which M. Thiers had addressed, on the Sth October, to Lord Granville, and which reply night tend to embarrass the new minister by reviving a controversy which seemed terminated by M. Thiers' retirement. Those who make this objection have not looked accurately at the case. They have perhaps confounded M. Thiers' general reply to Lord Palmerston, dated 3rd October, to which was added a postscript, dated 8th October (neither of which we admit required any answer), with the note from M. Thiers to Lord Granville, dated also 8th October, which it was absolutely impossible that Lord Palmerston could leave unacknowledged- not only from courtesy, but from its intrinsic and extrinsic importance. First, this note of the 8th October was the first professed exposition of the views of France, and while it affected to adhere to the reasonings and inferences of M. Thiers' former despatches, it was in fact a new view of the case-a French ultimatum, consenting to leave the question of Syria to be determined by the fate of war, but laying down as a casus belli any attempt to dispossess Mehemet Ali of Egypt. Secondly, this note was adopted by M. Guizot and the New Ministry as the basis of their policy; and, on both those grounds, it was indispensable that the English Government should
meet it as the new and final proposition on which the affair must thenceforward stand. Lord Palmerston's reply, therefore, of the 2nd November was unavoidable, and it was executed, as it seems to us (and as, indeed, the French confess), with considerable ability, and with so much moderation that frankness was, in some degree, sacrificed to the desire of enabling the new French Government to arrange the difficulty without appearing to abandon M. Thiers' position. Lord Palmerston expresses great satisfaction at being able to see in this note a full admission, on the part of France, of the principle of preserving the integrity of the Turkish Empirethe main point, as he observes, and to which all details are subordinate objects for ulterior arrangement. He takes no direct notice of the casus belli to arise out of an attack upon Egypt, but treats
the deposition or pardon of the Pacha as a matter for the consideration of the Sultan, as between him and his vassal, in which no European power has any right to interfere, except in the way of adrice.' And it soon became known that the arlvice of the Four Powers to the Porte was that it should not insist on the actual deposition of Mehemet from the pachalik of Egypt. Thus Lord Palmerston's note would rather fortify than embarrass the new French Cabinet, by enabling them to conclude the affair in the spirit of M. Thiers' own ultimatum. But let us surther add our conviction that M. Guizot neither needs nor wishes for the aid of foreign diplomacy: he stands on his own high character, on his patriotism, on his honest views of the past proceedings, the present state, and the future prospects of France. He is the minister of a new and better policy in France, and cannot, we hope, be weakened or embarrassed because Lord Palmerston does not choose to submit in silence to the tergiversations and quibbles of M. Thiers.
Another somewhat similar point has arisen in this æfair. M. Thiers, after all his bluster, has been obliged to admit that there was no insult either intended or offered to France ; but he says France, having gone so far, requires a “concession quelconque, to salve her honour. Whát! M. Thiers picks a quarrel about, as he asserts, great national interests and delicate points of national honour, and finding, at last, that he has outwitted himself, he humbly asks for a concession quelconque,' no matter what, to soothe his amour-propre. We really wonder that France, susceptible as she is, and laudably so, on points of honour, does not herself resent such a proposal. Is her dignitythe dignity of a great and powerful people--to be satisfied if offended, or gratified where there was no offence, by an empty and ridiculous concession quelconque? No-if we had done France the slightest injury--if even we had involuntarily offered