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1855.]

Crimean War.

119

indolent and procrastinating. He hates details, and therefore does not understand them. When he has given an order he does not see to its execution; indeed, he cannot, for he does not know how it ought to be executed. He directed a fleet to be prepared to cooperate with us in the Baltic in the spring. Ducos, his Minister of Marine, assured him that it was ready. The time came, and not a ship was rigged or manned. He asked us to suspend the expedition for a couple of months. We refused, and sailed without the French squadron. If the Russians had ventured out, and we either had beaten them single-handed, or been repulsed for want of the promised assistance, the effect on France would have been frightful. We have reason to believe that it was only in the middle of February that he made up his mind to send an army to Bulgaria. They arrived by driblets, without any plan of operations, and it was not until August that their battering train left Toulon. It ought to have reached Sebastopol in May. In time, , however, he must see the necessity of either becoming an active man of business himself, or of ministering, like other sovereigns, through his Ministers. Up to the present time many causes have concurred to occasion him to endeavour to be his own Minister, and to treat those to whom he gives that name as mere clerks. He is jealous and suspicious, fond of power, and impatient of contradiction. With the exception of Drouyn de l'Huys, the eminent men of France, her statesmen and her generals, stand aloof from him. Those who are not in exile have retired from public life, and offer neither assistance nor advice. Advice, indeed, he refuses, and, what is still more useful than advice, censure, he punishes.

But the war, though it must last longer, and cost more in men and in money than it would have done if it were managed with more intelligence and activity, must end favourably. Ill managed as it has been by France, it has been worse managed by Russia. It is impossible that that semi-barbarous empire, with its scarcely sane autocrat, its corrupt administration, its disordered finances, and its heterogeneous populations, should ultimately triumph over the two most powerful nations of Europe, flanked by Austria, and disposing of the fanatical valour of Turkey. If Louis Napoleon pleases the vanity of France by military glory, and rewards her exertions by a triumphant peace; if he employs his absolute power in promoting her prosperity by further relaxing the fetters which encumber her industry ; if he takes advantage of the popularity which a successful war, an honourable peace, and internal prosperity must confer on him, to give to her a little real liberty and a little real self-government; if he gradually subsides from a Τύραννος to a Βασιλεύς ; if he allows some liberty of the press, some liberty of election, some liberty of discussion, and some liberty of decision ; he may pass the remainder of his agitated life in the tranquil exercise of limited, but great and secure power, the ally of England, and the benefactor of France.

' If this expectation should be realised—and we repeat, that among many contingencies it appears to us to be the least improbable- it affords to Europe the best hope

1855.)

English Alliance.

121

of undisturbed peace and progressive civilisation and prosperity. An alliance with England was one of the favourite dreams of the first Napoleon. He believed, and with reason, that England and France united could dictate to all Europe. But in this respect, as indeed in all others, his purposes were selfish. Being master of France, he wished France to be mistress of the world. All that he gave to France was power, all that he required from Europe was submission. The objects for which he desired our co-operation were precisely those which we wished to defeat. The friendship from which we recoiled in disgust, almost in terror, was turned into unrelenting hatred ; and in the long struggle which followed, each party felt that its safety depended on the total ruin of the other.

• The alliance which the uncle desired as a means of oppressing Europe, the nephew seeks for the purpose of setting her free. The heavy continued weight of Russia has, ever since the death of Alexander, kept down all energy and independence of action, and even of thought, on the Continent. She has been the patron of every tyrant, the protector of every abuse, the enemy of every improvement. It was at her instigation that the Congress of Verona decreed the enslavement of Spain, and that in the conferences of Leybach it was determined to stifle liberty in Italy. Every court on the Continent is cursed with a Russian party; and woe be to the Sovereign and to the Minister who is not at its head: all the resources of Russian influence and of Russian corruption are lavished to render his people rebellious and his administration unsuccessful. From this peine forte et dure we believe that Europe will now be relieved; and if the people or the sovereigns of the Continent, particularly those of Germany and Italy, make a tolerable use of the freedom from foreign dictation which the weakness of Russia will give to them, we look forward to an indefinite course of prosperity and improvement. Unhappily, experience, however, forbids us to be sanguine. Forty years ago, an event, such as we are now contemplating, occurred. A Power which had deprived the Continent of the power of independent action fell, and for several years had no successor. Germany and Italy recalled or re-established their sovereigns, and entrusted them with power such as they had never possessed before. How they used it may be inferred from the general outbreak of 1848. A popular indignation, such as could have been excited only by long years of folly, stupidity, and tyranny, swept away or shook every throne from Berlin to Palermo. The people was everywhere for some months triumphant; and its abuse of power produced a reaction which restored or introduced despotism in every kingdom except Prussia and Piedmont, and even in Prussia gave to the King power sufficient to enable him, up to the present moment, to maintain a policy, mischievous to the interests, disgusting to the sympathies, and injurious to the honour of his people. But while the Anglo-Gallic alliance continues, the Continent will be defended from the worst of all evils, the prevention of domestic improvement, and the aggravation of domestic disturbance, by foreign intervention. That alliance has already

1855.)

Lessons of History.

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preserved the liberty of Piedmont. If it had been established sooner, it might have preserved that of Hesse, and have saved Europe from the revolting spectacle of the constitutional resistance of a whole people against an usurping tyrant and a profligate minister crushed by brutal, undisguised violence.

We repeat that we are not sanguine, that we do not expect the tranquil, uninterrupted progress which would be the result of the timely concession on the part of the sovereigns, and of the forbearance and moderation on the part of their subjects, which, if they could profit by the lessons of history, would be adopted by both parties. The only lesson, indeed, which history teaches is, that she teaches none either to subjects or to sovereigns. But we do trust that when the ruler and his people are allowed to settle their own affairs between one another, they will come from time to time to coarse and imperfect, but useful arrangements of their differences. Rational liberty may advance slowly and unequally ; it may sometimes be arrested, it may sometimes be forced back, but its march in every decennial period will be perceptible. Like an oak which has grown up among storms, its durability will be in proportion to the slowness of its progress.'

CORRESPONDENCE.

Tocqueville, June 30, 1855. I have only just arrived here, my dear Senior, after wandering for nearly a month from friend to friend all through the Touraine and the Maine. As you may think, I am, on returning home after so long an absence,

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