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to Russia. But as Dr. Eckhardt can produce no proof of this, he unceremoniously confines himself to persistent insinuations. The object of the national party was not the annexation of the Balkan Peninsula, but its liberation. They objected to the Treaty of San Stefano because it left that liberation incomplete. They objected still more to the Treaty of Berlin because that incomplete liberation was rendered still less so. It was not because it did not make annexations -the annexations of San Stefano were almost entirely ratified at Berlin. It was the best instincts, the most unselfish aspirations of the Russian race that were thwarted at the Congress. The Treaty of San Stefano was considered in Russia a humble half-measure,' because it left so many Christians still subject to the Turk.
Mr. Aksakoff, who is recognised as the best authority by Dr. Eckhardt, accurately stated the views of Russia when he wrote: The East of Europe belongs to Oriental Europeans, the Slav countries belong to the Slavs. It is not a question of territorial conquests for Russia; it is a question of caliing to an independent existence (political or social) all these different Slav groups which people the Balkan Peninsula.'
It is absolutely false to assert of the national party, as the Pall Mall Gazette did, in professing to give an account of the contents of this work, that their sole aim was to annex as much of Turkey as could be conquered, and to prepare the way for the seizure of all the territories of the Sultan.' To bear false witness against one's neighbour is a sin in individuals, but it seems to be accounted patriotism in nations. The stories which Dr. Eckhardt tells of Prince Tcherkasky in Bulgaria rest vpon the unsupported testimony of Mr. E. Utine, a Jew,
and a bitter enemy of the Slavs. It is impossible to believe that Prince Tcherkasky could ever have told the Bulgariars that · Bulgaria had no National Assembly, and would not obtain any." Even if he had done so, he did not express the views of Russia, for the Treaty of San Stefano expressly stipulates for the independence of Bulgaria, and the summoning of the National Assembly. As for the ill-treatment of the Bulgarians by the Russians, Mr. Utine's evidence is directly opposed to that of Sir Henry Havelock, who said, • In the dealings of the Russians with the Bulgarians, he had remarked at all times the greatest gentleness and abstinence from violence. He not only saw them in large masses, but in distant villages, at the roadside, where soldiers were under no control, and the presence of a stranger like himself would have no effect on their action. Their conduct was the most admirable he had ever seen in his life.' Sir Henry Havelock's testimony is corroborated by that of the Bulgarians, who not only have made no complaint, but have overwhelmed us with demonstrations of gratitude. Bulgaria is free, thanks to Russia, but not so free as she would have been under the Treaty of San Stefano, thanks to England ; and in face of that great fact, this petty carping at the indiscretions of an individual is un
Dr. Eckhardt concludes by a significant hint to English electors to renew Lord Beaconsfield's lease of power. If there is to be war between the two empires, in spite of all our efforts to avert it, I am on this point for once, almost for the first time, in cordial agreement with Dr. Eckhardt. If we were to fight, we can wish for nothing better for Russia than that England's destinies should be in the hands of the statesman who has been styled in Russia 'the avenging angel of the Slavonic world. If, however, the English people desire to revert to the true traditional policy of their country, and enter into a cordial alliance with Russia, the advice of Dr. Eckhardt will hardly secure Lord Beaconsfield a majority at the coming election. THOMAS HENRY BUCKLE.
THE celebrity of the author of the · History of Civilisation’ is one
of the most curious things in contemporary literature. It rests, no doubt, on some true instincts of appreciation, but in other respects it is very unintelligible. He was not in any sense a memorable man. He talked brilliantly, we are told. He wrote, after much study and pains, clear, irreproachable, satisfactory English, not specially picturesque or brilliant so that his writings should be quoted as examples of literary eloquence, but yet good, limpid, and clear. He loved with much quiet domestic devotion one woman, his mother; he was fond of children; be possessed a library of 22,000 books, and had read them all. These were his qualities; and his achievements in this world were comprised in one book, the · History of Civilisation, which attracted a great deal of immediate attention, and has survived to this day, and gone through six or seven editions in England besides a great deal of translation and republication abroad. All this is extremely satisfactory to hear of. But it does not justify the innumerable sketches of which Mr. Buckle has been the hero. However ingenious and startling his theories and generalisations, and however clear and occasionally eloquent his style, he was not possessed of striking genius, nor originality of any marked kind. His mind was of the type of the counting-house, though it happened that his life was detached from that natural and hereditary sphere, and diverted into another channel; and he was a somewhat narrow and prim celibate, bearing the evidences of that dry condition in every line of lines as distinctly as the primmest middle-aged lady ever laughed at as an old maid. One thing, however, told powerfully in his favour. He had the luck to be appropriated by the most vigorous sect of the present day—that eager and ardent army which aims at the destruction of religious faith, and has in the meantime secured possession of so many of the heights of society from whence to pour down, not only legitimate lead in the shape of bullets, but buckets of molten metal, hot water, and such like less dignified means of warfare
upon us. It is not long since we had to consider the loud and somewhat clamorous claims of Professor Clifford, whose sad but not unexampled fate in dying at thirty, and dying without any hope of a life to come, has been curiously enough made the grand plea in his case for honours seldom awarded to those whose promise, however brilliant, has had but little crown of fulfilment.
Clifford was young, and he was unfortunate; he
soldier, sticking at nothing, and with all the certainty of youth in his conclusions, philosophical or otherwise; and he was the pet of society, furnishing to a great many highly refined people a spectacle more thrilling than any that is now put upon the stage. But the apotheosis of Buckle is more wonderful still, for he had none of these attractions. He was not even thorough in his unbelief, but clung without reason to an emotional faith, the immortal soul and another life, and even the idea of a God, omniscient if not omnipotent. But whatever the reason of it inay be, we cannot but look upon this new attempt to raise the neat prim mercantile figure of the Historian of Civilisation to the pedestal of a hero with a suspicion which we are half afraid to express. Here are, we humbly imagine, the very conditions under which the philosopher himself would have seen the formation of the myth and legends of the old world. To our own vision unassisted nothing can be more clear than the matter-of-fact outlines of Buckle against an ordinary grey English sky, but so much has been said of him, and the air is full of so many confused voices attributing to him the qualities of an intellectual demigod, that, being a modest individual, we begin to distrust our own perceptions. Probably in a few years more, if Mr. Huth's book should come to two or three editions, and be supplemented by some translation and much reviewing, the sober figure will rise to a visionary assumption, with the bewildered mind able to stand up against such a body of authority no more.
While, however, we have some sort of hold upon fact and daylight, we may survey the actual aspect of the philosopher before we lose the use of our faculties in the contagion of a growing creed. Mr. Huth does well for us, but badly for his own ecstatic view, in prefixing to his volumes the two engravings which represent Buckle in youth and maturity, with his smug bourgeois countenance, which is more like the shop even than the counting-house. Photography is a very unfavourable medium, and handsome is as handsome does in all circumstances; but the portrait is curiously unrefined and ignoble beyond the ordinary licence of nature in that way, and could not be hung in any shrine without a great and painful sense of inappropriateness, which the worshippers, we feel sure, would have hard ado to suppress. And the man himself, though good and true, was not much more heroic than his picture. He was self-educated, wbich is no doubt to his credit, yet not so much to his credit as if he had been a poor man, and there had been an evident necessity for it. Throughout his life he never had that prick of necessity which sharpens so many wits, but which, according to Mr. Buckle, is incompatible with real research and philosophical production. He speaks with a little contempt of the writers who have not his comfortable competency to fall back upon, way which, however permissible in an ordinary lay critic, is ungenerous and almost unpardonable in a man who had the feu sacré and fifteen hundred a year to keep it up upon. Even with that income he had occasion to practise the greatest economy, his biographer assures us, though he was a spare celibate, without chick or child, or--so far as appears—even the sting of a poor relation to remind him of an ordinary man's liabilities. What then should we do, who have not perhaps fifteen hundred pennies to procure fuel for that sacred flame? Extinguish it, probably Mr. Buckle would have said, instead of using it to keep the domestic fire alight and cook our humble victuals. But we fear that the world would suffer a good deal in instruction, and a great deal more in amusement, if only those writers exercised their gifts who could prove themselves able to command beforehand, and keep out of debt upon, an income of fifteen hundred a year. His education was not so good as his circumstances. philosopher at eighteen knew nothing but those three R's' which we have been so long accustomed to hear of as the sum of rustic acquirement. But he took to letters, like the poor Scotch scholar,
when his ain deevil bade,
How it was that this impulse came we are nowhere informed. His father placed him at seventeen in his own office, but his death shortly after released the boy, who knew no language but his own, and as little literature, so far as we can make out, as it was possible for a lad of his years to know. He then went abroad with his mother and sister, learned (apparently) all the modern languages on his travels, and, returning, leapt at once, without preface or interval, into his great work. 'I am determined,' he says, “ from this day to devote all the energies I may have solely to the study of the History and Literature of the Middle Ages;' an idea afterwards modified into the book which is the single achievement of his life. 'I am led to adopt this course' (he explains, cetat. 21) not so much on account of the interest of the subject-though that is a great inducement-- but because there has been, comparatively speaking, so little known and published upon it. And ambition whispers to me the flattering hope that a prolonged series of industrious efforts, aided by talents certainly above mediocrity, may at last meet with success. Thus the young economist made his calculation with admirable seriousness and steadiness. He did not like the office when he was there, having been all his life a spoiled child, trained to do what he liked, but the atmosphere of the office was in his very soul. A more distinct commercial programme was never drawn out. With a little change it would do for one of the circular compositions with which we are all familiar. There is