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Persians; to extend still further her influence and their deliverance, under the auspices of a her views of a future commerce with a part of the world with which she was in contact along a vast in matters of religion. Thus was an addi
power with which they could claim kindred line of frontier ; lastly to contrive that she should be reckoned for something in the affairs of the
tional means of aggrandizement afforded to west, so that the Tsar might cast a certain weight Russia ; and she has not failed to avail herinto the balance wherein are weighed the interests self of it with unceasing industry. In 1779 of the great sovereigns of the great Christian fami- we find Russia arbitrating between the Emly: such was the programme already devised by peror of Germany and Frederick the Great. Peter, amidst the almost inextricable embarrass- In the reign of Paul 1. Muscovite armies ments in which his passion for reforms had en
were beheld in Italy and Holland; and the tangled him in the interior of his empire. “ This programme was put in execution. Each
continent submitted to the imperative beof the successors of the great man, often forced hests of that monarch, backed as they were
Paul's examalong, in spite of himself, by the mighty impulse by the exploits of Suvorof. of the governmental machine which Peter had or- ple was not lost on his son. He too assumganized and put in motion, contributed his part; ed to be the dictator of Europe ; nay more : but it was a woman, nay more, a foreigner, that though occupying a throne the succession to crowned the work.
which was fixed by no rule, and was geneUnder Catherine II. the west became habitu- rally determined by violence, he set himself ated to take account of the new power it had so long scarcely deigned to notice. We used to ne- up as the champion of legitimacy, and unglect its immensity,' said the Marquis d'Argenson, dertook the defence of the old monarchies
in our contempt for its barbarity ; but it is now against the French Government. become formidable; and it is high time that its ex
“Even this was not enough for the ambition of cessive power should be curtailed. The times in that power of yesterday's growth. Under Alexdeed were changed; to deny the greatness of the ander, in the time of the prodigies of the French emnew power, was not equivalent to suppressing it
. pire, it held the balance between the latter and its Europe was constrained to modify her system; as
numerous adversaries. Accordingly Napoleon, she will do again at no distant date, when she sball after having, for a while, accepted it as mediahave more exactly comprehended the dangers to tor between himself and England (1803), soon which she is exposed by the daily aggrandizements thought of sharing with it the civilized world, and of an empire that is now not very, far from the so anticipating the march of time, which, if we Oder. If Peter the Great made Russia an Europe. may judge from certain symptoms, would seem to an power in manners and acquirements, Catherine be preparing for Europe a partition into two lots, , caused it to be recognised as such by her arms and the one compact, the other perhaps grouped togeher diplomacy; and inspired the world with so ther as a confederation. After Napoleon's fall, high an idea of her resources, that her alliance was Russia, availing herself of the lustre she once more soon eagerly courted. The partition of Poland derived from the personal qualities of her sovebrought into close union with her Prussia, and reign, played the first part in the congress of kings even Austria—the proud possessor of the sceptre assembled at Vienna. * Thenceforth nothing was of the Cæsars, which was then wielded by Maria done without her, not even the pacification of Theresa, a woman of less ability, certainly, than Spain, which, if it was not to be left to that Catherine, but whose personal conduct was a liv.
country itself, was, at leasi, one would suppose, a ing reproach to the licentiousness of the Russian question exclusively French and English, with autocrat. Nevertheless, the pact of iniquity, un- which Russia, at the other extremity of Europe, paralleled in history, and pregnant with disasters could have no reason to concern herself. for Europe, was concluded ; and the three courts of Under the present reign, the treaty of Adrianople the north have ever since been bound together by (1829), and other skilful acts of diplomacy, have the bond of a common complicity. It is but a few further augmented the preponderance of Russia.” months since that bond has been drawn closer by the suppression of the republic of Cracow—the Now comes the important question : Is last fragment of Poland; and it will constitute their this preponderance established on a solid strength against the west, until the time comes basis, or is it to be regarded as factitious when all equilibrium between them shall have and transient ? been destroyed, and fear of one shall force the two others to separate their cause from hers, and seek « The basis is large, it must be owned, for a support elsewhere, or from each other. The Russia is a world in itself. Its extent is more partition of Poland was a first revolution in the than half that of all Europe, more than ten European system ; Catherine prepared another, times that. of France. In Asia it is prolonged that is still imminent, by the humiliation of Tur- without interruption over another territorial surkey, and its extinction as a power.”
face, forming a third of that division of the Catherine's victories by sea and land globe. To speak more exactly; the surface of
European Russia is nearly five millions and a half produced an intense effect on the minds of square kilomètres ; that of Russia in Asia is of the Greek and Slavonic subjects of the hardly less than fifteen millions; and that of Porte ; who thenceforth began to dream of American Russia is about one million ; total, twenty-one millions of square kilomètres, or more combines extreme skill in the prime mover with than the double of Europe (the whole surface of extreme docility in the instrument. This is most which does not coinprise ten millions of square true; and beholding the colossal proportions of kilomètres), and nearly a sixth of the whole an empire endowed with such expansive power, habitable globe. No doubt the Russian posses- it has been asked, with much show of reason, sions in Asia and America, situated under an what are France, Great Britain (isolated from her inclement sky, are nothing but a colonial territory, immense colonies), Germany, Italy-what are all still in so desert a state that if we suppose the those old seats of a perhaps decrepit civilization whole population, spare even in its western and in comparison with this theatre of a new, active, southern regions, to be spread over all its vast ex- exuberant, energetic life ?" tent, we should not even find three inhabitants 10
This question Schnitzler meets by asking the square kilomètre, whilst the proportion is nearly twelve in European Russia, and in France sixty
another. Where in Russia are the vigorous five. But this colonial territory is contiguous to characters, the mighty minds that make the mother country, and forms with it one unbroken great nations ?
Can numerical strength whole. A fifth, at least, of Siberia is susceptible make up for the want of moral energy? of good cultivation, and the earth there contains the The very bulk, too, of the empire may be treasures that most tempt the cupidity of man, not unfavorable to its stability, and another to mention platina, and what are called the common metals, though in reality they are much the germ of dissolution may perhaps lurk in most precious. În European Russia there are its precocious and superficial civilization. vast tracts void of culture and inhabitants; yet it
“We affirm nothing," he says, “ only we contains on the whole about fifty-six millions of think that looking closely into the matter souls; and to give an idea of the importance to we may see the remedy beside the danger, which this new world, still so imperfecily peopled, and we are at a loss to account for Napoand partly plunged in the torpor of barbarian life, leon's prediction, if indeed he really put it may rise at no distant day, we need only say that forth, that in ten years Europe would be the births are to the population in the proportion either Cossack or Republican.", of one to twenty-three or twenty-four, whilst in France the proportion is only one to thirty-four or “What we do very well understand, is the thirty-five, and that the annual increase of the alarm at this moment manifested in all parts of population by births exceeds two millions, whilst Germany. The knot of the Russian question is among us it has not yet reached one million. evidently Poland. * * It has been well said by an Such is the rapidity with which the Russian popu- anonymous writer--One of two things will haplation augments, that less than a century, not so pen, either Poland will remain an ulcer and a much perhaps as eighty years, will suffice to dou- danger for Russia, or it will become a great danger ble it, that is to say, to change its sum of inhabit- for Europe. Let us translate this proposition into ants from sixty to 120 millions. And even then other terms. With respect to Poland, the Emperor the last limit will certainly not have been reached, of Russia is engaged in a great work of assimilafor great is the fertility of the Muscovite soil, tion, begun before the invention of Panslavism, great the variety of its productions, and fruitful in but which this novelty that has recently emerged resources the genius of its people, Though want- above the European horizon, and which certain ing the creative faculty, we cannot deny them a Poles have caught at with unexpected ardor, may marvellous aptitude for all kinds of work, and an efficaciously aid. The Emperor will succeed in extreme facility of imitation. Remarkable for his task or he will not. In the latter case we shall their native vigor, they easily accommodate them- perhaps witness the fulfilment of M. de Chateauselves to all situations. Placid in temper, cheer. briand's prediction : · The Muscovites will only ful, and inaccessible to the thought of danger, they cure themselves of Poland by converting it into a are at the same time greedy of gain, habituated to desert.' But before the silence of death shall suspicion as well as to submission, and have all brood over an immense mass of ruins, how many the defects that flow froin that source,craft, love convulsions will have preceded the catastrophe, of intrigue, a moral suppleness equal to their manual and to what fresh embarrassments will a righteous suppleness, and which unhappily never hesitates at retribution have condemned the three partitioning a lie or an act of dishonesty. Russia is the seat of powers! In the former case, that is, if the work a young, active, stirring, ambitious civilization, of assimilation succeeds, either by the triumph of which
every day achieves some new step in ad- Panslavism, directed in accordance with the views
It is, moreover, united, compact, subject of Russia in concert with a part of the Polish to one law, a living law in some sort, and to nobility, or by the system hiiherto pursued in which religion, still in possession of all its power, which the refractory nobles are altogeiher passed notwithstanding its want of enlightenment, lends over, and the Tsar acts in preference on the midthe full force of its potent sanction.
dle and lower classes, which regard him with less « « This empire, placed on the confines of Eu- aversion), will not Russia have achieved a vast rope and Asia,' says M. de Bonald, - presses on advantage? Will she not have worked her way them both at once, and never since the Ronjans close to the very heart of Europe? And when has any power shown a greater expansive force. the kingdom of Poland shall have become the So it is in every state in which the government is advanced guard of the Muscovite power, then enlightened and the people barbarous, and which decorated with the title of Empire of the Slavons,
how will it be then with Galicia and Posen, our little philosophy for the exact measure countries more hostile to the Germans than has of all things in heaven and earth, and conbeen commonly supposed, notwithstanding the benefits they have received from them? Does any
cluding that what we cannot forecast can one imagine that these other fragments of the olů never be. Our modern civilization is a republic of Poland will hang back, and be content complex work, effected in the course of to bend beneath the Gerinan yoke, so abhorrent to many centuries by numerous agents, each their race ? Is it not to be feared that the whole performing its distinct work. It is only in monarchy of the Jagellons will then be reconsti- retrospect that we can understand the tuted in favor of a people, until that time the mighty plan ; the future is too vast and ininveterate foe of the Poles, but which shall have tricate for our comprehension; only we skilfully profited by the incurable levity of the know that the work must still go on, since latter, and the inconsistent and unstable character of the Slaves in general? No doubt this great human improvement has not reached its empire of the Slaves, supposing it should arise, apogee. would exist but for a time; no doubt its creation All the great nations of Western Europe would, even more than the long projected and have had their special missions, and each still apparently remote acquisition of Constantino has fulfilled its part. To Italy we owe the ple, angır.ent that principle of dissolution to which revival of literature and the arts. The dewe have already alluded as lurking in the frame velopment of navigation and the invention would have become of the balance of power in of the colonial system were the work of Europe? Especially, how could unfortunate Portugal and Spain, and it was in the latter Germany preserve herself from the talons of the country that modern warfare was first eledouble-headed eagle, that never loose their hold vated to the rank of a science. Holland on the quarry they have once clutched? The set an early example of what stubborn inmere apprehension of such a danger, -chimerical, dustry may accomplish, even in defiance of we would fain hope, as yet, but which nevertheless nature;
and, like Switzerland, it exhibited involves no impossibility, and which begins to occupy the serious attention of Germany, allests the the spectacle of a free people successfully power of that divine Nemesis which visits with maintaining their rights against the most vengeance every misdeed of nations as well as of fearful odds, and of a popular government individuals."*
commanding respect at home and abroad
without the costly and corrupting parapherThese are momentous considerations, and nalia of courts.' Germany, the mother of must be grappled and dealt with thoroughly, those barbarians who regenerated the West and in no purblind spirit of routine, by the by infusing their own native energy into cabinets and parliaments of Europe. But the decrepit frame of the Roman empire, putting aside for the present all such anx- had her thriving burgherhoods, among ious and perplexing prognostications in the which was nurtured that free spirit of indomain of politics, there remains another and a most interesting aspect under which quiry which triumphed over the intolerant and a most interesting aspect under which dogmatism of Rome, and emancipated the we may contemplate the future career of
human mind. In the domain of intellect, Russia. Can we doubt that it is destined Germany occupies a peculiar field; it is to be the scene on which shall be played
out hers to explore, compare, and elaborate a new act in the great drama of human civili- details of all kinds, gathered from the zation? Surely it is not unreasonable to
She mainsuppose that a whole moiety of Europe will whole range of the universe.
tains at once an immense storehouse of the not for ever content itself with mere imitation and wholesale borrowing of foreign intellectual commerce of the whole world,
raw materials of thought, accessible to the ideas and forms, without ever contributing and a vast laboratory in which she is peranything on its own part to the rich inherit- petually operating on those materials, exance of the nations. That it has contri- tracting their subtlest essences, and searchbuted nothing as yet to the common stock ing out the primary laws of their existence. is no reason why we should despair for the If France exhibits but a moderate share of future ; nor must we in this case fall into originality and inventiveness, on the other the
vulgar error of mistaking the range of hand she possesses in a remarkable degree * On signing the project of partition, in 1772, the faculty of popularizing the ideas she Maria Theresa added the following words in her receives from abroad. Her language too, own hand : " Placet, since so many men, and men which is curiously symbolical of the
characof such understanding, require it of me; but long ter of her people, has taken the place forviolation of all that has hitherto been regarded as merly occupied by Latin, as the general just and sacred.”
medium of communication between the
widely-dispersed members of the great selves prepared to assert their rights. The family. Súch are a few only of the more awakening of the Slaves, not only in the Ottoman prominent services rendered to mankind empire, but in Bohemia, Hungary, and the Illyrian by some of the European nations. To enu
and Dalmatian provinces, is the work of Russia ; merate the manifold offices fulfilled by the blows inflicted on the infidels by their co-reli
every heart among them has thrilled at the sound of England as one of the co-operating agents gionists of the north, against whom even the efforts in the mighty work, would be, to say the of Napoleon failed; and the dim legends of bistoleast of it, superfluous.
ry have revived among them, recalling to Bohe
mia her ancient literary and political glory—John “ Each people has contributed its part towards Huss and Ottokar, the rival of Hapsburg; reviving the laborious work of their common advancement. the images of the ancient kings of Bulgaria, mas*** Treasures of all kinds were thus amassed ters also of the provinces of the Danube ; and the before Russia was even cognisant of that labor of krals (kings) of Servia, that last rampart of Chrisages, by which she has profited gratuitously; and tendom, the somewhat mythic kralevitch, Marko, it is hard to say what possible addition yet remains the grand kral, Stephen Dushan, and the glorious to be made to the amount already accumulated. rout (1449) of the Blackbird's Field (Campo Cos. Still, we repeat, that Russia, too, must have her sovo); and prompting Ragusa to a sorrowful re. peculiar mission; and amongst so many positions trospect of her past prosperity, and the share she already occupied she will no doubt at last find the forinerly' took in the commerce of the Adriatic. one marked for herself. But this is a subject
, All this numerous race, extending from that gulf 10 which we cannot advance beyond mere conjec- the White Sea, and from the Erzgebirg to the Bal. tures. We conceive, for instance, that the mission kan, was in a manner regenerated and tempered of Russia must relate to the order of things tempo- anew by the noble sentiment of nationality. It ral much more than to that of things spiritual — counted its masters, the Germans, the Madiars,* that it must be more analogous to that of England and the Turks; and what was its surprise to find than to that of Germany; and more than either, itself almost in a majority, and yet enthralled ! perhaps, to that of the United States, a country. The reciprocal position of the victors and vanindeed, infinitely superior to Russia in a moral quished was immediately changed, especially in and intellectual point of view. We have not the Turkish empire, where the new attitude of much hope that ihe Muscovite genius will wrest these rayahs, who boldly turned their eyes tofrom the arts and sciences their hitherto impenetra-wards the north, and no longer disguised their ble secrets; or that, finding the solution of the re- sympathies and their hopes, broke the last sinews ligious questions that hold us in suspense, and re- of a power which was losing faith in itself. conciling the desire of authority and certainty with
“ To raise up a whole race, and secure for it its the just requirements of reason, it will open a new place in Europe beside the Germanic and the Roera to the gospel, and bring about that Christian man family, such ought to be the first great effect renovation hitherto vainly expected, though long of the accession of Russia as a European power. announced. We know not if the empire of the This task, which Poland has been unable to fulTsars is destined to establish on a grand scale in fil, Russia is noiselessly prosecuting, and already Europe, the patriarchal system, in which the we can foresee that she will accomplish it to the sovereign, according to the views of certain Polish
end. Will it be for her own benefit, or for that illuminati, dispensing with all written law, and of another political combination? The future will disdaining our paper precautions, will govern the reply to this question, but assuredly it will be for nations by . spontaneity," imbibe wisdom from in the benefit of civilization, and of ihe general adspiration, and have for the basis of his authority vancement of humanity; for, according to the de
the law of love, whereby a reciprocal attraction crees of Providence, all the movements of the nashall be established between him and his subjects. tions tend to that ultimate result. Neither do we know whether or not its vast ex
“ Besides this task, however, there is another tent is to be the scene of new experiments in social which Russia must pursue. It is one not less organization, such as the working out on a grand fundamental, and is peculiarly connected with her scale of the principle of Communism, almost im. geographical position. This second task, on possible in our regions, but perhaps more practi- which Turkey might have anticipated the empire cable in new countries, nearly in the state of pri- of the Tsars, had she been less obstinate in her meval wildness, where everything is still to be prejudices, consists in blending Europe and Asia done, and where the sovereign is himself proprie together
. Placed on the confines of those two tor of a great portion of his subjects, as well as of quarters of the globe, Russia sees them mutually the lands they till. Of all this we are ignorant; confronted within her own limits, and her arm but what we see more clearly is the influence can reach the heart of the primeval continent. which Russia exercises, or will exercise, by-and-She has for neighbors all the nomades of the by, on the populations around her. The Eastern steppes of Upper Asia, besides nations until this Church having lacked a potent protector until the day almost isolated—the people of Khiva, Bokhacommencement of the last century, her children ra, and other Turcomans—the Chinese, along a remained subject to the Turkish or the Austrian sway; but, since Russia assumed that protectorate, lish writers commonly call Magyars. The Ger
* The true name of the Hungarians, whom Engthey have again become conscious of their num- mans write the word Madjar (in the singular), but bers and their strength, and have shown them. I their j is pronounced as our y
range of several hundred leagues, and even the virulent maturity. How its germs will impenetrable Japanese, with whom she is con- quicken and fructify in the rank congenial nected by her maritime causeway of the Aleutian soil of Asiatic barbarism' Archipelago. Before she could be fit 10 accom
It is impossible to conceive a system of plish this task, it was requisite that Russia should turn her face towards Europe, become penetrated
administration more thoroughly immoral in with its spirit, and be initiated by it into the arts and essence and practice than that of Russia : sciences. She has done so against her will, con- from first to last it is based upon the most strained by the stern hand of Peter the Great flagrant venality, too universal to be put Now inbued with all our ideas, engaged like us | down by the desultory and chance-directed in all branches of industry, in possession of all blows of imperial indignation, and deemed our secrets, and adding to them that of a perse. too natural and necessary an element of poverance which no difficulties can subdue, she may again turn towards Asia, allure and win her by litical life to be made matter of personal the lights she can communicate, and quicken by opprobrium. There are multitudes in Rusthe excitement of new interests all the races of sia, into whose imaginations it has never that vast portion of the globe, now plunged in le entered to conceive the existence of such a thargic stupor or isolated by religious fanaticism. phænix as a servant of the state, in any of being an object of fear to Europe, she would capacity, civil or military, who should
the same time an honest man. It was the render her an immense service, and make an ample return for all the benefits she has received consciousness of this deep-rooted and widefrom her.
spread evil, and of his impotence to con“Whatever may be the fate of these hopes, one tend against it, that chiefly produced that thing is certain, namely, that the apparition of profound melancholy which clouded the Russia on the stage of the world must soon or latter years of Alexander's life. He knew late produce a total change in all the old routine of the stuff his loyal subjects were made of, the system of equilibrium. Already the propor: and used to say of them, tions are no longer the same; what was formerly
They would great is now singularly dwindled in our eyes. Eu- steal my ships of war if they knew where to rope is doubled as it were : the consequence is a put them; if they could draw my teeth derangement of forces, which obliges the old states without my awakening, they would steal of the west to seek new points of support abroad them while I slept." Alexander's reign in Asia, Africa, and America, where another co presented in its home administration two lossus is rising. Assuredly the future of our phases as opposite in their appearance as part of the world will be different from what its day and night, but linked together by as past has been.”
natural a sequence. The first was a couleur We admit, with Schnitzler, the proba- de rose liberalism: the last a harsh and bility that to Russia is committed the task sordid tyranny, exercised by proxy. Reof disciplining some at least of the rade coiling in despair from the rough work of races of Asia, especially the nomades of the practical reforms, he left his ministers and vast central wilderness. She has already their subordinates to revel in their iniquimade a certain progress in this work as re- ties to their hearts' content. The dragon gards the Kalmucks, Bashkirs, Nogai Ta- of corruption was not to be slain by such a tars, and other tribes; and among her carpet knight as he. His barren sentimenmany instruments and appliances for its tality and his high-flown professions of phiprosecution, she possesses in the Cossacks lanthropy and devout conscientiousness, an army of rough and ready missionaries only misled the most generous minds in his and schoolmasters, singularly well adapted realm, and betrayed them in the ill-advised for carrying on the business of primary in- and abortive enterprise of 1825. Ponderstruction among the kibitkas of the Hippo- ing over the intense depravity of all the phagi. But it is the sad inevitable condi- existing institutions of the country, and tion of Russian propagandism, that it taints maddened by the hopelessness of any whatever it touches. Wherever her influ- peaceful issue to a better state of things, ence is established, she spreads the conta- the conspirators thought that even the gion of that moral gangrene that preys on most frightful and desolating convulsion her own vitals. The civilization she im- was to be preferred to that chronic state of parts is superficial, fragmentary, and facti- systematized corruption. tious, hardly carrying within it any vital Nicholas is a man of far different mould principle, any power of self-sustainment from Alexander-stubborn in purpose, and and development. Not so the corruption of restless energy. Wo be to the funcshe communicates; that is a thing of native tionary whom Nicholas detects in any growth, and flourishes in the full bloom of fraudulent practice : for him there is no