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ments; and the result of the present struggle will probably decide whether they are to be permanently annexed to her empire, or whether they are to be effectually preserved from these attacks.
The question which the Emperor Nicholas has unadvisedly raised no longer lies between himself and Turkey; for since he rests his claims on the necessity of protecting the Christian subjects of the Porte, that is a right and a duty in which other Christian Powers concede no precedency to Russia. There is, however, this important difference, that we think ourselves entitled to require that Christians shall be protected by the Porte, under whose government they are born; Russia has attempted to protect them against the Porte, which is their sovereign. Hitherto it is deserving of observation, as a fact creditable to the Turkish Government, that in the course of the preparations for this war, and even amidst the excitement of actual hostilities, compara
and where they have occurred they have been instantly repressed and punished by the civil and military authorities. The Turks have learned by experience, and in some degree, perhaps, from a greater spirit of tolerance, that the consequences of exciting religious warfare are eminently dangerous; and the Porte is perfectly aware that the first outbreak of Moslem fanaticism would be answered by an explosion of Christian enthusiasm from European races amounting to thrice the number of its Mahomedan subjects. It is a mistake into which we are surprised to find that so acute an observer of Eastern life as Mr. Layard should have fallen, to suppose that the Christians are prepared to afford any practical support to the Turkish Government. The language of addresses from the Patriarch of Constantinople and certain Greek houses has been cited in support of this opinion; but a nearer examination of the facts would show that these demonstrations have been got up for effect, and that they are parts of the system by which the reforming Turkish statesmen hope to retain their hold on Europe. The choice of the Patriarch Anthimos, which took place this autumn on the death of his predecessor, was dictated by motives of political influence, in which the feelings of the leading Greeks, even of the capital, were not consulted; for in all the perplexing combinations of Turkish politics there seems to be an under current of far greater force than the movement on the surface, flowing in the opposite direction. Beneath the attempts at reform lie all the symptoms * of decay,- beneath the pretence of enlightened patriotism lies scandalous corruption, - beneath the avowed. principles of toler
certain because i hent can ron,
between Turkish rulers and Greek subjects is ás probable as a hearty reconciliation between the Orangemen and Roman Catholics of Ireland, to whose relative condition the Ottoman Empire in Europe offers some analogy. A brave, fierce, and intolerant minority maintained for centuries their sway partly by their own prowess, partly by exclusive laws, and partly by the support of a neighbouring country, which was pledged to perpetuate their dominion. That state of things has resisted, even to the present time in Ireland, the influence of education, of justice, and of freedom: what must it still be in Turkey, where those three conditions of social progress are all equally unknown?
We purposely abstain, on the present occasion, from any attempt to discuss the political conduct of the other governments of Europe which have interposed in this complicated question, because the materials on which a correct judgment can be formed are not before the public, and because the position of affairs in the East is still too uncertain for us either to congratulate our readers on the preservation of peace, or to prepare them for the hazards and sacrifices of war. At the present moment little could be added to the facts which are known by the daily press, and probably before these lines are published some fresh and more decisive change will have occurred in the current of events. The cannon of Sinope has shattered and sunk the protocols of Vienna as well as the Turkish frigates, and the time for more active measures on the part of the Maritime Powers has indubitably arrived. At present, however, we can only discuss the main principles which have throughout these negotiations formed the basis of the policy of Europe, and which even the perils of impending war have not yet destroyed. Never was the desire of peace more universal, or the determination to avoid all unnecessary changes in Europe more complete; and it cannot but be remarked as a circumstance of great and unlooked-for good fortune, that in such an emergency the Ruler of France should have thrown the whole influence of his government on the side of public tranquillity and public law. This pacific policy had, in the first france, the effect of uniting the cabinets of Great Britain and France; and secondly, though by slower steps, it obtained the entire and active concurrence of the German Powers, and consolidated a more complete union between the four principal courts of Europe. That point could only be attained by extreme patience and moderation; for if the Maritime Powers had assumed a more belligerent attitude at first, instead of remaining in the position of mediators, they ran great risk of throwing Austria and Prussia on the
the performed the principles At pres part of the rigat
side of the antagonist of the Ottoman Empire. As long as this union is preserved, it may be hoped that no events of a permanently disastrous character will occur. War itself cannot be long maintained by one Power against the rest of the world, and the dangers of such a struggle are not so much in the East as in the division and the jealousies of the West. The fate of the Ottoman Empire as a Mussulman Power will not be permanently averted or long delayed by any arrangements to which the present crisis may give rise, but there will be less reason to look with apprehension or distrust on the future revolutions of the East, as long as the great Powers of Central Europe persevere in the united policy they have hitherto pursued. If, on the other hand, the influence of Russia should be such as to detach either the Austrian or Prussian Governments from the alliance which is the last hope of peace, the war would indeed assume a general character, and would probably not end until it had produced very important changes in the political condition of Europe.
Whatever may be the artifices of diplomacy or the vicissitudes of war, it is certain that henceforth Europe has bound herself to an active interference in the affairs of the Turkish Empire, until they are placed upon a more secure and lasting foundation. The duties of this undesirable position may be onerous and embarrassing, but it is too late to recede from them, and every step we have already taken binds us more closely to fulfil them. From the moment that the territorial integrity of the Turkish Empire could only be defended by the support of foreign Powers, its independence was at an end, for independence which rests on foreign succour is a contradiction in terms; and in exactly the same proportion in which we contribute to uphold Turkish authority we are bound to direct that authority to humane and liberal objects. What the reconstruction of the Eastern Empire by Russia would be may be inferred from the condition of her own dominions, and from the extraordinary acts of falsehood and violence which have marked her conduct in this transaction. May we rather aspire, ... common with the most enlightened states of Western Europe, to effect the regeneration of the Ottoman Empire, or by whatever other name the Empire of the East may be called, on no principle of selfish advantage ; and may it not be a hopeless or impracticable task gradually to restore those magnificent territories, by the joint influence of Europe, to civil freedom and to Christian laws.
That this regeneration may be effected by pacific measures, and with the concurrence of all the great European Powers, Russia not excepted, is our devout wish. Since the unjust and unprovoked aggression of Russia upon Turkey, all means which negotiation could afford for settling the dispute between the two countries have been exhausted. Every effort has, we believe, been made, in perfect sincerity and good faith, by the Government of Her Majesty, first, for averting war between Russia and Turkey, and, subsequently, for confining hostilities to those two countries, and for bringing about a satisfactory adjustment of differences, without a recourse to arms on the part of the other European Powers. If, however, violent counsels should continue to prevail at St. Petersburg, and if the Emperor should persist in the career of aggression upon which he has blindly entered, we trust that England may not arm in vain. If she engages in a Russian war, her past conduct evinces conclusively that she engages in it with reluctance. Such a war will not be undertaken with ambitious views, for purposes of territorial aggrandisement, or in order to add to the naval triumphs of Britain. Still less will it be undertaken for a mere sentiment; however warmly every manly heart must sympathise with a feeble nation attacked by a constantly encroaching and unscrupulous neighbour. If England should unhappily find herself involved in hostilities with the Russian Empire, the war must be made for sustaining the solid interests of our own country : it must be made for preserving the equilibrium of Europe, and for guarding against a dangerous extension of the European dominions of Russia. It must be made in order to prevent Russia from enlarging that protectorate which she already exercises over Germany; from converting Constantinople into a new centre of conquest, in which commanding position her arms would soon be stretched from the Rhine and the Danube to the Indus; from founding, by gradual aggression, a universal monarchy more extensive and more easily held in subjection than that of Napoleon, England will not stand alone in the contest; and it must be borne in mind, that a war between such Powers as France and England on the one hand, and Russia on the other, cannot be a petty war; that gigantic forces must be set in motion ; and that a chain of causes, of which no man can see the last link, must be forged. Every Minister of the Crown who advises, and every Member of Parliament who votes for, a war with Russia, must, if he understands the true interest of England, be prepared to make the utmost exertions, to strike the hardest blow, and to inflict the deepest wound which the vast resources of this country will permit.
NOTE TO ART. I. SINCE our First Article was printed, we have (chiefly through the kindness of Alexander Oswald, Esq., of Auchincruive), obtained some additional information respecting Mr. Richard Oswald, which we annex in a note, as there is no account of him in any of the ordinary books of reference.
Richard Oswald, of Auchincruive, in the county of Ayr, (probably born about 1710,) was a younger son of the Rev. George Oswald, minister of Dunnet, in Caithness. He was for many years a merchant in the City of London, and (through his wife, Mary Ramsay,) was owner of considerable estates both in the West Indies and on the continent of America. During the Seven Years' War, he took extensive Government contracts, and not being satisfied with the manner in which his agents in Germany performed their duties, he went to Germany himself, and acted for several campaigns as Commissary-General of the allied forces under the Duke of Brunswick. In 1759, he purchased the estate of Auchincruive, and other estates in Ayrshire. On account of his connexion with America, he was often consulted by the Government during the American war. He died at Auchincruive, Nov. 4. 1784, without issue. His acquaintance with Lord Shelburne, which led to his being employed as a negotiator in 1782, originated in a letter of introduction from Adam Smith.
We have been favoured by Mr. Alexander Oswald with a copy of a Diary kept by Richard Oswald of his two journeys to Paris in 1782, as well as of a journey in September of a previous year (apparently on some private business of his own), in which, however, he had an interview with Franklin, and also with the Comte de Vergennes. The entries in this Diary are very brief. Franklin arrived in France in Dec. 1776, and as Oswald's first visit was before 1782, and in a year in which the 7th and 14th of September fell on a Sunday, it must have been in the year 1777. It is, however, remarkable that Franklin in his . Journal,' (Works, vol. ix. p. 240.) speaks of Oswald as if he had seen him for the first time in April, 1782; he says that Oswald was then introduced to him by . an old friend and near neighbour of * mine many years in London :' Oswald also brought a letter of introduction from Mr. Laurens, as well as the letter from Lord Shelburne; nevertheless, Oswald describes himself as reminding Franklin of this first visit in an interview which probably took place before the Journal' was composed.