« НазадПродовжити »
spirits about his vessel, and feared some great disaster. However, she did well at Kinburn.'
'She suffered little at Kinburn,' said Chrzanowski, 'because she ventured little. She did not approach the batteries nearer than 600 mètres. At that distance there is little risk and little service. To knock down a wall two mètres thick from a distance of 600 mètres would require at least 300 blows. How far her own iron sides would have withstood at that distance the fire of heavy guns I will not attempt to say, as I never saw her. The best material to resist shot is lead. It contracts over the ball and crushes it.'
Kinburn, however,' said Tocqueville, surrendered to our floating batteries.'
Kinburn surrendered,' said Chrzanowski, 'because you landed 10,000 men, and occupied the isthmus which connects Kinburn with the main land. The garrison saw that they were invested, and had no hope of relief. They were not Quixotic enough, or heroic enough, to prolong a hopeless resistance. Scarcely any garrison does so.'
We talked of Malta ; and I said that Malta was the only great fortification which I had seen totally unprovided with earth-works.
*The stone,' said Chrzanowski, is soft and will not splinter.'
'I was struck,' I said, with the lightness of the arma
common cause, whereas the Rouges or Mazzinists were bitterest against the Constitutional Liberals. Such an army, even if there had been no treason, could not have withstood a disciplined enemy. When it fell a victim to its own defects, and to the treachery of Ramorino, Chrzanowski retired to Paris.'—(Extracted from Mr. Senior's article in the North British Review.')
Chrzanowski died several years ago.—ED.
Defences of Malta.
ment; the largest guns that I saw, except some recently placed in Fort St. Elmo, were twenty-four pounders.'
*For land defence,' he answered, “twenty-four pounders are serviceable guns. They are manageable and act with great effect within the short distance within which they are generally used. It is against ships that large guns are wanted. A very large ball or shell is wasted on the trenches, but may sink a ship. The great strength of the land defences of Malta arises from the nature of the ground on which Valetta and Floriana are built, indeed of which the whole island consists. It is a rock generally bare or covered with only a few inches of earth. Approaches could not be dug in it. It would be necessary to bring earth or sand in ships, and to make the trenches with sand-bags or gabions.'
I asked him if he had read Louis Napoleon's orders to Canrobert, published in Bazancourt's book?
*I have,' he answered. They show a depth of ignorance and a depth of conceit, compared to which even Thiers is modest and skilful. Canrobert is not a great general, but he is not a man to whom a civilian, who never saw a shot fired, ought to give lectures on what he calls “the great principles” or “the absolute principles of war."
He seems to have taken the correspondence between Napoleon and Joseph for his model, forgetting that Canrobert is to him what Napoleon was to Joseph. Then he applies his principles as absurdly as he enunciates them. Thus he orders Canrobert to send a fleet carrying 25,000 men to the breach at Aboutcha, to land 3,000 of them, to send them three
leagues up the country, and not to land any more, until those first sent have established themselves beyond the defile of Agen. Of course those 3,000 men would be useless if the enemy were not in force, or destroyed if they were in force. To send on a small body and not to support them is the grossest of faults. It is the fault which you committed at the Redan, when the men who had got on to the works were left by you for an hour unsupported, instead of reinforcements being poured in after them as quickly as they could be sent.
In fact,' he continued, the horrible and mutual blunders of that campaign arose from its being managed by the two Emperors from Paris and from St. Petersburg. Nicholas and Alexander were our best friends. Louis Napoleon was our worst enemy.
*There is nothing which ought to be so much left to the discretion of those on the spot as war.
Even a commander-in-chief actually present in a field of battle can do little after the action, if it be really a great one, has once begun.
'If we suppose 80,000 men to be engaged on each side, each line will extend at least three miles. Supposing the general to be in the centre, it will take an aide-de-camp ten minutes to gallop to him from one of the wings, and ten minutes to gallop back. But in twenty minutes all may be altered.'
Kensington, August 20, 1856. My dear Tocqueville,—A few weeks after my return to London your book reached me-of course from the time that I got it, I employed all my leisure in read
Nothing, even of yours, has, I think, so much instructed and delighted me. Much of it, perhaps, was not quite so new to me as to many others; as I had had the privilege of hearing it from you—but even the views which were familiar to me in their outline were made almost new by their details.
It is painful to think how difficult it is to create a Constitutional Government, and how difficult to preserve one, and, what is the same, how easy to destroy
Mrs. Senior is going to Wales and to Ireland, where I join her, after having paid a long-promised visit to Lord Aberdeen.
I like the conversation of retired statesmen, and he is one of our wisest. Thiers has just left us. I spent two evenings with him, but on the first he was engrossed by Lord Clarendon, and on the second by the Duc d'Aumale and by Lord Palmerston. They were curious rapprochements, at least the first and third. It was the first meeting of Palmerston and Duc d'Aumale. I am very much pleased with the latter. He is sensible, well informed, and unaffected.
Kindest regards, &c.
A. W. SENIOR.
Tocqueville, September 4, 1856. I have read, my dear Senior, your letter with great pleasure. Your criticism delights me, for I rely on your judgment and on your sincerity. I am charmed that you have found in my book more than you had learned from our conversations, on my view of our history. We have known one another so long, we have conversed so much and so unreservedly, that it is difficult for either of us to write anything that the other will think new. I was afraid that what may appear original to the public might seem trite to you.
The Reeves have been with us; we have passed together an agreeable fortnight. I had charged Reeve to bring you, whether you would or not. Did he make the attempt? I am sure that you would have enjoyed your visit, and we should have rejoiced to have under our roof two such old friends as you and Reeve.
I am glad that you have printed your article ; pray try to send it to me.
It seems that you intend this winter to anchor in Rome. It increases my regret that I cannot be there. It is out of the question. My wife's health and mine are so much improved that the journey is not necessary, and business of all kinds keeps us at home. If you