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advance of the frontier has been looked upon at | act of Russia has been an act of treachery. As St. Petersburgh as an approximation to India. an example, let us by way of digression relate the But the thread of the narrative here becomes far unhappy story of Captain Vicovich. At the time too complicated to be pursued with minute accu- that our Indian government had dispatched its agent racy. It must suffice to delineate it with some to Kabul to negotiate with Dost Mohammed Khan, few general strokes, which may possibly induce the Russia considered it for her interest to have an reader to enter upon the investigation for himself, agent there, and Captain Vicovich was sent in that while we will at least enable him to comprehend capacity. Furnished with an autograph letter from the aim of the policy at this moment pursued by the emperor and very considerable supplies of gold, the Emperor Nicholas.
he assailed our political agents and inflamed the In the east Russia has always considered her- Affghan chiefs with the most rancorous hostility self emancipated from the sway of all moral and towards this country. Having been made aware political principles, has hesitated at no act of base of his proceedings, the British foreign secretary ness, has shrunk from the avowal of no treachery wrote to Count Neselrode, to demand, categoriwhen it was safe to make it, has invaded friendly cally, whether the individual we have named was countries in the midst of peace, has set neighbor an accredited agent of the Russian government or against neighbor, friend against friend, subject not. No menace was added, but Russia understood against sovereign, corrupting, purchasing, degrad- what was implied, and it not being then convenient ing, calumniating, and practising every diabolical to engage in war with Great Britain, Captain act and machination within the reach of profligate Vicovich was recalled and strangled in prison. ambition.
No comment is necessary; we return to the progWhen Catharine died Paul had first seemed ress of affairs in Persia. desirous of acting upon more just principles, but We suppose that if Niccolo Michiavelli were SOOR relinquished his intention. Alexander fol- consulted he would advise all governments to lowed in his footsteps, and the present emperor avoid, if possible, placing on its frontier a number evinces no inclination to behave more justly or of subjects analogous in religion to the inhabigenerously. No one who has visited Persia, even tants of a neighboring state, jealous or inimical. the more secluded provinces of the south, car The Georgians, after a fashion, were Chrishave failed to encounter these Russian spies and tians, and therefore it was the more easy to seduce emissaries, ostensibly travelling for the purpose of them from their allegiance to a Mohammedan serving the cause of science.
Some are antiqua- power. The same remark precisely applies to ries, some geologists, some botanists, some geogra- the Armenians, from among whom Russia has phers. They study the nature of the country ; long been in the habit of selecting its agents and they discover over what roads artillery may be emissaries. At first the Georgian prince was taken ; they make sketches of passes ; they take flattered by receiving a golden crown from St. plans of fortifications ; they scatter money liberally Petersburgh, but he soon found that this nominal among the humbler classes, and intimate adroitly sign of sovereignty was in reality the badge of how much happier they would be under the gov- slavery, since his power was circumscribed by ernment of the czar. This course was pursued one encroachment after another till it was at last by a well known agent amongst the Turkomans to dispensed with altogether. He then too late unvery little purpose as it turned out, for the agent derstood the policy of which he had been the is now in disgrace in Europe, and the Turkomans victim, and retiring into obscurity died there of as inimical as ever to Russia.
vexation. His widow had more heroism ; she With what object these expensive enterprises contended long against the Russian general, and are undertaken we well know. Persia is scarcely one day at a conference, having been roughly worth conquering, except as the highway to India, treated, chafed, and insulted, she drew forth a towards which, from the moment in which the dagger and stabbed him to the heart. Prince Nassau Sieger presented his plan, to the Still worse was the fate of the Mohammedan present hour, Russia has been advancing with un-chiefs in the subdued provinces. Russia boasts wearied patience and steadiness. Above all other of her toleration, but all who have tried it well European powers, therefore, we are interested in know her practice is never consonant to her theory. arresting her progress, because, though others have At first the professors of El Islam were coaxed, much to lose, they have not like us to contend for flattered, and induced to believe that they had the empire of Asia and supremacy in the councils risen from servitude to independence. But the of the whole civilized world. At the same time price of treachery must be paid sooner or later. there is no European state, however small or in- They had been false to their country, and to the signifieant, which must not feel itself compromised interests of their creed, and speedily found, what, by the adoption of such political principles as Rus- had they possessed the slightest prudence, they sia has always acted on. Her successive contests might have foreseen, that Russia would prove a with Turkey have unveiled her iniquity not a little; far harder task-master than the shah with his but it is in Persia that it stands forth naked and fluctuating and capricious despotism had ever onblushing in all its hideousness. From the mo- proved. One by one they were removed from all ment the Russian missionaries made their appear-offices of trust; their authority was undermined ; ance in Ossetia down to the siege of Herae, every their dependents were encouraged to treat them
with insolence, while the Russian officers lorded | hammedans, in spite of all we may wish to persuade it over them with a pride and arrogance altogether ourselves to the contrary, is held infinitely more intolerable. Everything connected with their sacred than houses or land—we mean their wives religion was treated with ridicule and scorn. Their sacred edifices, in which they had probably offered up to God a much purer worship than that of the Russians, were converted into stables or taverns, so that horses neighed and drunkards revelled and brawled where their prayers were wont to be offered up, or the truths of their faith explained by the Moollahs. Such indignities were not patiently to be endured. Taking up arms, therefore, the last resource of the oppressed, they sought to throw off the Russian yoke; but in vain. Like the horse in the fable, they had taken a master upon their backs which it soon appeared they would never be able to shake off.
and daughters; under Persian rule these at least were left to them. Their private honor was not invaded by the shah. The laws of nature, the morals of the country, the tenets and precepts of their religion, teach the Muslims to respect each others' wives. But with the Russians all these reasons have no weight, and the scenes which took place in the conquered provinces in the sacred recesses of the harems filled the cup of bitterness for the vanquished to the brim. If terrible deeds of vengeance followed we cannot wonder; we must rather wonder that the whole population did not rise like one man and make a Sicilian vespers from the Araxes to the Kuban. In Georgia and Mongrelia, fathers and husbands were more complaisant, and allowed their daughters and wives to waltz with the Russian officers, which the Muslims looked upon as the ne plus ultra of female degradation, which indeed in most cases inevitably followed. Upon this topic, however, we cannot here enlarge; it may be sufficient to say that there are few families of distinction in the Caucasian provinces which have not unpardonable injuries to revenge, and that the entire population pants for the day when they may wash out these stains with blood.
In some cases we meet with curious illustrations of the way in which these poor Mohammedans, child-like in the midst of their violence and wretchedness, labored to ensure the clemency of their conquerors: to enjoy their protection during life they named certain powerful Russian nobles as their heirs. But instead of thus bettering their condition they held out a premium to the worst of crimes, as was exemplified in the instance of Medhee Khan. This unfortunate chief, in obedience to the policy we have just described, selected a Russian for his heir, in the vain expectation that he should thus ensure his gratitude and friendship. It would be easy to render this more revolting, He quickly discovered his error. The Russian both in a public and private sense, by entering who was to succeed him in his property quickly into details on the subject of Russian encroachbegan to think he lived too long, and to regardments and atrocities in Turkey. But these have him in the light of an enemy, for spitefully con- been perpetrated more within the view of Western tinuing to exist when his death would be far more Europe, and are therefore better known to the profitable to his successor. Means were therefore public. Most readers of history may remember, taken for hastening his exit. Poison seems not for example, the terrible massacre of the Krimea, to have been thought of, or else it was found as well as those repeated ministrations which inconvenient to administer it. The means taken, Russia has inflicted upon the Sublime Porte, therefore, were these-Medem Khan had an merely because she had the power to do so. Her enemy, that is to say, a man with whom for some object is, and has been for nearly two centuries, to time he had not lived on friendly terms, though it reduce Turkey to the condition of a province, and was not to be inferred from this that he was dis- it conceived that the present would have supplied posed to make an attempt upon his life. The an opportunity favorable to its most ambitious Russians, however, determined to suppose what views. In conjunction with Austria, it had supthey pleased, and at night stationed a body of pressed a formidable insurrection in Hungary, men, whom they caused to attack the khan's ene- and under various pretexts pushed forward large my as he was travelling from one part of the bodies of troops into the Transdanubian provinces. country to another. The khan was accused of Paralyzed by revolutions or by the apprehension of the crime, of which, however, it would have been them, it believed Western Europe to be in no coneasy for him under ordinary circumstances to clear dition to engage in a war. It therefore calculated himself; but considering who were to be his that the moment was at length arrived for extinjudges, who the witnesses against him, and who guishing the Turkish empire and seizing upon its his prosecutors, he came to the resolution, inno- territories without the slightest regard to justice cent as he was and perfectly free from all reason- or the common laws of nations. It commenced able grounds of apprehension, to fly into Persia, by offering the sultan so grave an insult that it and throw himself upon the mercy of the sovereign whom he had betrayed, rather than abide the justice of the new friends for whose sake he had betrayed him. The khan was pardoned by the shah, but the Russians did not pardon him; his escape from their hands and confiscation of his estates were all they wanted.
was hoped he would not forgive it. A number of Polish and Hungarian exiles had taken refuge in his dominions, where, as the czar well knew, they were protected by those laws of hospitality which from the earliest ages have been held sacred in the East. Under similar circumstances Russia had refused to yield up refugees to the sultan, There is yet another possession which among Mo- and consequently must have felt that it was on no
grounds of reciprocity he addressed his demands of human nature, all the laws of society, and, if
anywhere on the surface of the earth we may take
Sporting “ Face.”—Mr. Gurney (Mrs. Fry's and renders them subservient to the determination father) was a strict preserver of his game. Upon of an individual.
one occasion, while walking in his park, he heard Between these mighty representatives of liberty the spot, and his naturally placid temper was con
a shot fired in a neighboring wood; he hurried to on the one hand, and despotism on the other, an siderably ruffled on seeing a young officer, with internecine contest must, we say, sooner or later, a pheasant at his feet, deliberately reloading his inevitably take place; and the only consideration gun. As the young man, however, replied to his now is, whether or not it be desirable to put off rather warm expressions by a polite apology, Mr. what we must no doubt call the evil day, for by Gurney's warmth was somewhat allayed ; but he much evil it will be attended, whatever principle would do if he caught a man trespassing on his
could not refrain from asking the intruder what he may triumph in the end. For ourselves we cannot premises. “I would ask him in to luncheon," for a moment doubt the issue of the struggle, since was the reply. The serenity of this impudence all the tendencies of civilization, all the aspirations was not to be resisted.
From the Edinburgh Magazine.
him out of his notion, and said it was childish, and FATAL PRESENTIMENTS.
unworthy of a man who had so often beheld the
eye of the enemy, to harbor such forebodings. 'Tis the sunset of life teaches mystical lore, The next day, after the heat of the action, the two And coming events cast their shadows be foré.
young men met by accident, and he who the day
before had derided the gloomy imagination of his Mr. Editor,—It is a common practice with friend, accosted the other with “ What, M.! I sceptics, and other narrow-minded persons, to re- thought you were to have been killed ; did I not ject as fabulous every fact, however well authenti- tell you that you should not ?" The unfortunate cated, for which they are unable to account, and to young man replied that nothing could convince bestow sundry hard epithets upon those who are him that he would ever see the sun of that day go weak enough to believe that there are things, both down; and, strange as it may seem, the words had in heaven and earth, which are not dreamt of in scarcely escaped from his lips, when he was struck our philosophy. As one of the latter class, I in the left shoulder by a cannon-shot, and instantly must, of course, be content to be pronounced cred- expired. ulous and imbecile, for entertaining a firm belief in There are few regiments in the service which many things which the wise men of this genera- have not some anecdotes of this sort to record. I tion will probably pronounce incredible, or set shall mention one or two more, which were comdown to the account of some morbid affection of municated to me by officers of great respectability the mind; but having a great faith in human testi- and intelligence, who only stated such facts as mony, when it is honest, disinterested, and consist- were consistent with their own personal knowlent, and when the facts recorded fell under the edge. A Lieutenant M’D., of the 43d regiment, immediate observation of those by whom they felt this presentiment so strongly on the eve of one were related, and who could have no possible of the battles in the Peninsula, that he sent for an motive to embellish or mislead, I must be excused officer, (Captain S.,) a countryman of his own, but for not suffering any antecedent improbability, belonging to a different regiment, (the 88th,) and resulting, in a great measure, if not altogether, requested him to take charge of several little from the imperfection of our knowledge, to weigh things, and see them conveyed home in safety to against such unexceptionable evidence. In my his relations, particularly his mother. Captain S., view of the matter, nothing can be more unphilo- in surprise, asked him the reason why he, who sophical than to refuse assent to a statement merely was in perfect health, should think of making such because it is extraordinary or uncommon, and arrangements ? To which M'D. replied, “ Yes, I although the testimony in support of it be ever so am in perfect health, but I know I shall never clear, consistent, and trustworthy; for, admitting return from the field of battle.” Knowing M'D. that a statement of this kind will require more to be a particularly brave man, (at that moment he evidence to authenticate it than one of an opposite wore on his breast several medals which had been kind, and in some measure conformable to our given him by the commander-in-chief, in testiprevious experience, it does not surely follow that mony of the high approbation which his conduct in mere abstract improbability, which is only relative, the field had repeatedly called forth,) and never is sufficient to neutralize all evidence, and destroy having heard him express himself in such terms every ground of reasonable belief. This were, before, Captain S. was lost in astonishment, and indeed, to cut off one of the most important sources his first impression was, that poor M’D. had of human knowledge, and, by leading us to make caught some febrile infection, and that his mind our own experience the measure of our faith, to was wandering. He therefore proceeded to reseal up the instruction derivable from history, and monstrate with his young friend, though in the to oppose an effectual bar to human improvement. gentlest terms, and to endeavor, if possible, to rally
No fact is better authenticated than this, that him out of that desponding presentiment which apmany men, distinguished for personal bravery, and peared to have taken such deep hold of his imthe most intrepid contempt of danger in its most agination. M’D. heard him calmly, and, without appalling forms, have, on the eve of battle, been taking any notice of what he said, repeated his overwhelmed with a fatal presentiment that they request in such a cool and collected manner, as to would not survive the combat; and, that, in no leave no doubt that he was in the full and perfect instance, so far as I have been able to learn, has exercise of all his faculties ; Captain S. having this presentiment been falsified by the event. The therefore given him a promise that all his wishes self-doomed victim has, in every case, fallen as he should be complied with, they separated, and each had foretold and anticipated. I shall mention a went to his post. On the following day, after the few of the numerous accounts of this prophetic tumult and melée of the battle had subsided, the anticipation of death which have come to my British arms being, as usual, victorious, a number knowledge, and then adventure a few remarks on of the officers met, to congratulate one another on a phenomenon as singular as it is interesting. their safety. When Captain S. joined the party,
A young officer of great merit, belonging to the he immediately inquired after his friend M'D., but 92d Regiment, was observed, on the day before the none of the survivors had seen him, or knew anybattle of Corunna, to be peculiarly low-spirited thing of his fate. The conversation of the preand dejected; which was the more readily re- ceding day now rushed upon his mind, and, withmarked, as he was in general gay, cheerful and out saying a word, he instantly returned to the full of spirit. Several of his brother officers field to search for him among the wounded, the inquired the reason, and received no answer ; but dead, and the dying. Nor was the search in vain. on getting an opportunity of conversing alone with He found him already stript of part of his regione of them to whom he was much attached, being mentals, but knew him at once, his head and face of the same name, and from the same part of the being untouched. Captain S. became deeply country, “M.” said he, “ I shall to a certainty be affected, and could not help melting into tears as killed to-morrow; I know I shall, and you will he bent over the lifeless body of the brave and see it." His friend and countryman tried to laugh gallant youth, foredoomed to so premature a fate.
The same thing happened in the case of Ser-Jout at once, man,” said Mr. M. “It is borne in geant Macdonald, from Lochaber, one of the bravest upon my mind that I shall fall to-morrow,” rejoined fellows who ever drew a sword or carried a hal- Mackay; “ here are ten dollars; will you take bert, and who had been at least in ten or twelve charge of them, and send them to my mother? general engagements, in each of which he had dis- You know where she resides ; and—and—if it tinguished himself. On one occasion, however, he were not too much trouble," he added, his voice was so greatly overwhelmed with the presentiment faltering, you might tell her, her son never of death, that, on the day of battle, when his regi- ceased, till his last hour, to implore the blessing ment was ordered to advance, his limbs refused to of Heaven on her aged head, or to reproach himdo their office, and his comrades had literally to self with having disobeyed, and left her solitary support and assist the man to whom they had been and destitute." The tears now flowed down his accustomed to look up as an example and model of weather-beaten cheeks. Mr. M. was deeply afa brave soldier. In about an hour thereafter he fected, and, taking the money in silence, broke away was shot through the head, and died without a from Mackay, in order to conceal his emotion. Mr. struggle.
M. retired to his quarters, oppressed with the melA private of the name of Mackay, a man of the ancholy feelings which this strange scene had ocmost reckless, daring, and eccentric characters used casioned, but anxious, at the same time, to perto be the delight of the bivouacs of the 42d, dur- suade himself that it was a mere hallucination of ing the Peninsular war. He had a great deal of fancy, and that the poor fellow's mind was touched. that coarse but effective wit and drollery, which On the succeeding day, however, when the remains never fail to call forth a peal of inextinguishable of the regiment were mustered, after the battle, laughter : he abounded in anecdotes and stories, which had cost so many valuables lives, Mackay which he told with a remarkable degree of naiveté was missing; but the tears of his surviving comand humor; and often did he beguile the watches rades sufficiently indicated that his presentiment of the night, as poor Allan did to Mungo Park, had been fulfilled. He had fallen late in the ac" by singing the songs of our dear native land.”' tion, beside one of the redoubts, pierced with more The moment Mackay made his appearance, hunger, that twenty bullets. and thirst, and fatigue were forgotten; the soldiers The last instance of this kind I shall mention is clustered around him, like a parcel of schoolboys one which will probably make a greater impression eager to witness a cockfight, and, seating them- than any of the preceding, as it is derived from an selves around the watch-fires, thought only of lis- authority which, on such a subject, must, I should tening to the joke, the tale, or the song. Even suppose, prove decisive. Napoleon, on the 7th some of the officers did not disdain to mingle in of May, 1796, had surprised the passage of the Po these parties, and to acknowledge the powerful at Placenza, while Beaulieu was expecting him at fascination which hung on the lips of this unlettered Valeggio; and General Laharpe, commanding the soldier. Nor was his humor, mirth, and song, grenadiers of the advanced guard, fixed his headconfined to the march and camp; in the thickest of quarters at Emmetri, between Fiombio and the Po. the enemy's fire he was the same person as in the During the night, Liptay's Austrian division arrived bivouac. “Never," said the officer who commu- at Fiombio, which is only one league from the nicated to me these particulars, “ never shall I for- river, and having embattled the houses and steeples, get the impression made upon my mind by hearing filled them with troops. As the position was strong, Mackay's full and deep-toned voice pealing forth and Liptay might receive reinforcements, it became • Scots wha ha’e wi' Wallace bled,' under the de- of the utmost importance to dislodge him ; which structive diagonal fire from the enemy's artillery on was effected after an obstinate contest. Laharpe the heights above the village of St. Boes. I sol- then executed a retrograde movement, to cover the dier only knows the effect of such an incident at roads leading to Pavia and Lodi. In the course such a moment!” Yet this singular man was of the night, a regiment of the enemy's cavalry seized with one of those fatal presentiments of appeared at his outposts, and created considerable which I have been speaking. On the eve of the alarm, but, after a few discharges, retired. Nevbattle of Toulouse, he suddenly became thoughtful ertheless, Laharpe, followed by a piquet and sevand silent. His previous character rendered this eral officers, went forward to reconnoitre, and parchange more apparent, and his comrades crowded ticularly to interrogate, in person, the inhabitants round him to inquire the reason, being at first in- of the farm-houses on the road. Unfortunately, clined to gibe him with what they called his" meth- however, he returned towards the camp by a differodist face;" but, on observing his dejected look, ent road from that by which he had been observed the wild and unearthly expression of his eye, and to set out; and the troops being on the watch, and the determined obstinacy with which he resisted all mistaking the reconnoitring party for a detachsolicitations to join their party, as usual, they ment of the enemy, opened a brisk fire of musketry, stared at each other with astonishment, and ceased and Laharpe fell dead, pierced with the bullets of to annoy him. It was, moreover, his turn to go on his own soldiers, by whom he was greatly beloved. duty to the outposts, and he soon left them. On “ It was remarked, that, during the action of Fiomhis way to his post he met a young officer, who bio, throughout the evening preceding his death, he had shown him much kindness, and whose life he had seemed very absent and dejected; giving no had been instrumental in saving. “Ha! Mackay!" orders, appearing, as it were, deprived of his usual said the officer, “is it you? Bless me, how ill faculties, and entirely overwhelmed by a FATAL PREyou look !—what is the matter with you—are you SENTIMENT.”. General Laharpe was one of the unwell ? Stay—I will go to the colonel, and re-bravest men in the army of Italy; "a grenadier quest him to allow some one else to take your both in stature and courage ; and, though a forduty.”—“I thank you kindly, Mr. M.,” said Mac- eigner by birth, (a Swiss,) had raised himself to kay, respectfully saluting the officer ; "I am not the rank of a general officer, by his skill and ga). unwell, ard had rather go myself. But I have a lantry.' (Napoleon's Memoirs, III. 172.) favor to ask of you ; you have been always kind
* Not remotely connected with this subject is the fol. very kind—to me, and I am sure you will not re- lowing anecdote, upon the authenticity of which the reader fuse it.”—“What is it? What is it? Speak it may rely: On the night before Massena's attack on Lord