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plain melancholy quite as well. "Thus to doubt and thus to mock," says M. Jules Lemaître, "is merely to deny; and this Nihilism, however elegant, should be a mere gulf of blackness and despair. True it may be festive it is not.' But M. Renan finds it festive. Why?
Well, M. Renan is gay because he finds life so amusing. He has been thoroughly successful. His fame is to him what her beauty is to a beautiful lady. He sees it acknowledged and reflected in all men's eyes, and in the eyes of women. He has enjoyed the greatest of all delights, a life of study and discovery. He has had the very prime of these "provisional little historical sciences, at which he throws his pebble, sciences which are certainly provisional, but certainly (if one who peeps wistfully within the gate may pronounce) are also full of pleasantness. He has been at once popular and a scholar, a cup given in like measure to one man only, to Charles Darwin. Now he lays by the oars of his scholarly galley and paddles a light popular caique. Could any life be luckier, any part more diverting? It is natural M. Renan should find the world amusing; it is not necessary, perhaps, that he should toss his jeers at serious things among the crowd. Perhaps they do no great harm; one may doubt whether a single student who would have been sober goes off with Mimi and Musette because he has read M. Renan. Not much is done, for good or evil, by preaching, yet one might prefer from M. Renan a different sort of sermon. He has his responsibilities; some of his works do not leave the world happier than they found it. From some he has taken the living friend and counsellor, and has put in his place a Syrian sentimentalist. Amid their grief he laughs, but it is as the doomed wooers laughed over their latest supper. M. Renan and Mr. Darwin both did much to destroy the old edifice of faith. But M. Renan picnics smiling among the ruins of his cathedral, listening amiably to the musical bells from the church beneath the sea. Mr. Darwin did not play thus with the hopes and fears which many thought that he had ruined: he did not offer jocose pamphlets on morality. It is a difference of constitution,
of temperament, perhaps of taste. Renan, among his other causes of gayety, has drunk very deep of L'Eau de Jouvence, from that singular fountain whose waters slake the Late Youth of Philosophers. Most philosophers, recluses at twenty, begin to amuse themselves at sixty. If they have become fashionable they dine out, and flirt, and have a pleasant St. Martin's summer. This fountain of Late Youth may be too intoxicating; M. Renan had tasted of it freely when he wrote L'Abbesse de Jouarre. But all these paper bullets of the brain will drop and be forgotten. The fame of the scholar will endure when the babble about the wit is silent, and Averroes et l'Averröisme will outlive Caliban.
I had finished this little study of M. Renan's lighter books, and was consoling myself for my failure to take pleasure in them by the thought that they were only" by-works," & πaрépyov, the distractions of a scholar, when I chanced to pick up a volume by P. Cesare A. de Cara. The name of this volume, very sensible in its general criticism, is Esáme Critico del Sistema Filologico e Linguistico applicato alla Mitologia e alla Scienza delle Religioni. Having to do with the science of religion, the learned father encounters M. Renan, and how angrily does he rebuke him! For M. Renan's ignorance of Hebrew" he refers us to excellent article of P. Bourque
the noud somewhere; but who are we to judge between Hebraists? He writes, Not historical truth, not the connection of ideas, not the establishment of principles, and the severe skill of drawing logical conclusions, but the art of making phrases, of producing a twilight of ideas and words, of charming the ear and blinding the intellect, of mixing truth and error, real and false, God and Nature, Nature and human dreams about her," these are the arms and arts of M. Renan, according to P. Cesare de Cara (Esáme, p. 252).
This is the language of a priest, a learned man I believe, a man of great critical power I am certain, but still a priest, one of the garrison of the old fort that M. Renan has abandoned. But it is a curious thing to note that a young French author, no priest, with no pretence to orthodoxy nor severity, judges
M. Renan not more kindly. "As Macbeth murdered sleep, so M. Renan, twenty times, a hundred times, in each of his books, has murdered joy, has murdered action, has murdered peace of mind and the security of the moral life."
This is the verdict of M. Jules Lemaître. The newer generation somehow shares at least some of the sentiments of Catholics if it does not share their beliefs, and it does not adore M. Renan.—Fortnightly Review.
IS CONSTANTINOPLE WORTH FIGHTING FOR?
BY AN OLD RESIDENT.
THIS is an old question, and it has generally been the policy of the Russians to assure the world that it was not a practical question, that the supposed testament of Peter the Great was a forgery, and that Russia did not desire Constantinople. Within a few months all this has changed, and the Russian press has explained pretty fully to the world that Constantinople belongs to Russia, that Bulgaria is the bridge which leads to it, and that she proposes to take what belongs to her-by force, if necessary.
It is not the city of Constantinople alone which is to be annexed to Russia, but Bulgaria, Roumania, and all the territory occupied by Slaves in southeastern Europe. With the occupation of Constantinople and the Dardanelles, the Asiatic coast of the Black Sea will necessarily fall under Russian rule, and thus the historic destiny of Russia will be fulfilled.
Such, in brief, is the scheme of conquest which is involved in what is now the Bulgarian question, but which will soon be the Constantinople question. I cannot pretend to foretell the steps which Russia will take in carrying out this scheme. Probably the Czar himself does not know what course events will take, so much depends upon the attitude of other Powers. But it seems plain that he has determined to secure Bulgaria at any cost: This done, the other steps will be easy. The probabil ity is, that after a brief period of uncertainty and hesitation, the Bulgarian difficulty will end in war. Firm and concerted action on the part of the Powers in defence of Bulgarian independence would prevent a war, but in view of the past history of Europe, this is hardly to be hoped for.
Sooner or later war must come, and the question is, whether England will resist the advance of Russia upon Bulgaria and Constantinople, or not. til within a short time it has been an accepted principle of European politics that Russia should not be allowed to possess Constantinople. Such men as Frederick the Great and Napoleon had very decided views on this subject. The Crimean War was fought in defence of this principle, and the Congress of Berlin sent the Russian horde from the gates of Constantinople, and established an independent kingdom in the Principalities, to gain which Russia has undertaken so many wars.
There have been some months this year, however, when it has been difficult for me to persuade myself that I have not slept the sleep of Rip Van Winkle. For a time it seemed as though all Europe had abandoned this established principle, and, for some mysterious reason, had determined to seat the Czar upon the throne of the old Eastern Empire. Astonished at finding myself so far behind the times, I sought diligently for some explanation of this change. In the course of my inquiries, I came upon a distinguished English statesman, who expressed the opinion that England would not fight for Constantinople, and justified this opinion somewhat as follows. England is no longer ruled by her statesmen. people rule, and the statesmen can do nothing but follow public opinion. This new democracy knows but little of other European States, and cares nothing for the balance of power. It is deeply interested in its own affairs, and is quite willing to leave other States to manage theirs as they think best. It has, however, very decided ideas in regard to
the Turks, acquired at the time of the Bulgarian atrocity agitation. It looks upon them as a hopeless race, and it will never lift a finger to help them. It does not believe in wasting men and money in foreign wars, or in foreign alliances of any kind. Moreover, it can never be roused to action by any appeal to its interests. It can only be moved by some moral principle which appeals to its sense of duty. So far as this is a statement of fact, I have nothing to say. If the people is king, then to the people I appeal, with quite as much assurance as I should to the statesmen, for so far as this statement is prophetic, I venture to doubt whether any one can say what the English democracy will or will not do. If it does not some day astonish its own leaders, it will be unlike any other democracy that has ever existed. It is true that a democracy is likely to busy itself about small things, and its leaders are generally inclined to encourage this in their own interests, as followers rather than leaders of public opinion. But when the people once grasp a great question they are capable of acting with the greatest energy, of making any sacrifice, and of holding out to the end. This was demonstrated in the civil war in America. The English democracy may or may not fight in defence of Constantinople; but if it does not, it will be from no lack of spirit. It will be because it has failed to understand its interest and its duties, or because it has no leaders who are bold enough to trust the wisdom and courage of the people. It may be quite true that the average English voter neither loves the Turks nor hates the Russians. Why should he? As a matter of sentiment he would as soon see the Czar as the Sultan at Constantinople-and it would not disturb him to know that both of them were at the bottom of the Black Sea. But, if I am not mistaken, the average Englishman is much more likely to take a practical than a sentimental view of this question. If need be, he will fight for a principle, and he will fight in defence of his own interests. If it is really the duty of England to defend Constantinople, it will be defended as well by the democracy of to-day as by the aristocracy of thirty years ago, and, I expect, with less grumbling. NEW SERIES.-VOL. XLV.,
For a fair understanding of this question in any one of its various bearings, it is essential to grasp the full significance and extent of the conquest which is involved in the capture of Constantinople by way of Bulgaria. The frontier of Russia is to be advanced to the Ægean and the Adriatic; the Black Sea is to become a Russian lake; at least the coast of Asia Minor from Trebizond to the Egean is to be Russian. But this advance of the frontier involves the annexation of some of the richest provinces and the most important commercial centres in Europe, with a population of twenty millions. The strength and the wealth of Russia will be increased in a much greater proportion than her territory. It is not like the annexation of the wastes of Central Asia, which, so far as Europe is concerned, weakens the power of Russia. Great armies, and the means of supporting them, are to be found in this territory. It would be possible for Russia to add a well-equipped force of 125,000 men to her army, within a month after her occupation of Bulgaria and Roumania, from these two provinces alone. With the occupation of Constantinople and the whole territory she could depend on at least a quarter of a million, and would tax the people to support them. They could pay this tax more easily than the Russian peasants pay their taxes. As a naval Power the position of Russia would be totally changed. She would be better situated than any other Power to control the Mediterranean. nean. Holding the Dardanelles, with the Marmora and the Black Sea behind it, and all the advantages of Constantinople as an arsenal, she would have a naval position which is unsurpassed in the world. She would become supreme in Europe. No one Power and no ordinary coalition of Powers would be able to resist her will, or to act in any direction without consulting her wishes.
the Emperor. Arrangements had alArrangements had already been made to bring Eastern Roumelia and Macedonia under Russian control, and now nothing but the armed intervention of Europe can prevent the speedy success of Russia in the full execution of this grand design.
It is plain that such an extension of the Russian Empire must seriously affect British interests, both political and commercial. With the Czar at Constantinople and the Sultan ruling as his vassal at Broosa, what would become of the British Empire in India? Some persons have fondly imagined that if Russia were allowed to occupy Constantinople she would be content to let India alone. Why should she? With vastly increased advantages for overthrowing the British power in India, why should she refrain from doing so? If the Czar did nothing, the very knowledge of the changed circumstances-the vast increase of Russian power, the occupation of Constantinople, the vassalage of the Caliph, and the increased difficulties of England-would shake the power of England in India. But the Czar would improve his opportunity. He would not be Russian or even human if he did not. He would threaten, if not control, the Suez Canal. It would not be for the interest of other Mediterranean Powers to oppose him in this or anything else. He would use the Sultan to make trouble among the Mohammedans. At the same time there would be nothing to oppose his advance on the line where he is acting now in Central Asia. England might still hold India in spite of the Czar, but it would be at such a cost as would make it hardly worth holding. She would have to increase both her naval and military expenses enormously and permanently. No doubt Russia will some day attack India whether she occupies Constantinople or not, but she can certainly do it far better after than before.
It is not for a Constantinopolitan. however, to discuss this question of India, and the only thing that I wish to insist upon is, that the conquest of Constantinople would not in any way weaken the desire of the Czar to overthrow the British power in the East. It would rather strengthen it. And the great increase of the political power of Russia
in Europe which would result from this conquest would correspondingly diminish that of England, making it most difficult for her to secure the moral or material support of other Powers in a conflict with Russia, and destroying her prestige in the East. It does not require any special knowledge of India to see the truth of these statements.
The commercial interests of England would be even more seriously affected by this advance of Russia. There is no city on the Continent where English commercial interests centre as they do at Constantinople, and, under favorable circumstances, it is destined to become far more important than it is now. Nature has destined Constantinople to be one of the greatest commercial centres of the world. It is true that of late years the mistakes of the Turkish Government have reduced its importance, but this is only a temporary thing. Even the Turks are beginning to realize their blunders. Under Russian rule, or as a free city, it would rise again at once, and become the emporium of the East. A shrewd and successful American merchant, who had travelled widely in this part of the world, expressed the opinion not long ago, that within a hundred years Constantinople would be the largest and richest commercial city in the Old World. He may be mistaken, but his opinion is good evidence to show how Constantinople impresses an impartial man who looks at it from a purely commercial standpoint. Under Russian rule its growth would contribute nothing to the commerce of England. On the contrary, England would lose what she now has. The markets of all this part of the world would be practically closed against her. English goods would, to a great extent, disappear from south-eastern Europe, and probably also from Asia Minor. This would result not simply from the fact that Russia has a protective tariff. The United States has a protective tariff, and is at the same time England's largest customer. But Russia goes further. She makes a special effort to exclude British goods. A dozen English steamers pass up the Bosphorus every day for Russian ports, but nearly all are without cargo. There was formerly an important commerce in English goods between Con
stantinople and Central Asia. It has
ceased since the advance of Russia over these countries. The trade with Persia has also been cut off, so far as it has been in the power of Russia to stop it.
Just fifty years ago Mr. Cobden published a pamphlet to prove that it would be a great advantage to England to have Russia capture Constantinople and annex the whole Turkish Empire. He maintained these views at the time of the Crimean War, and his pamphlet was republished, with approval, by the Cobden Club in 1876. The argument is chiefly from the commercial point of view. So far from sympathizing with Mr. Arnold-Forster (Nineteenth Century, Sept.), who would have England look to her colonies as her great hope, Mr. Cobden says the colonies are nothing but the costly appendages of an aristocratic Government,' and the sooner they are left to themselves the better.
But he argues that, while under the Sultan the decaying provinces of the Turkish Empire consume British goods to the amount of only half-a-million, and will consume less, the trade of England with Russia is always increasing with its wealth, and that the annexation of Turkey would be followed by a wonderful development of British trade in the East. He claims that Russia cannot become a manufacturing country, and that she is specially dependent on England. No country can carry on great financial transactions except through the medium of England." These are the speculations of a great theorist fifty years ago. Now, let us look at the facts. English trade with Turkey, notwithstanding the continued reign of the Sultan, has steadily increased. Mr. Cobden says it was £500,000 in 1835. Now the single small province of Eastern Roumelia is reported to consume half that amount of British goods, and the imports of these goods into Turkey in 1884 amounted to nearly £7,000,000. The total of British trade with what was Turkey in 1835 is now about £32,000,000. During these same years has the consumption of British products in Russia increased in the same proportion? He does not give the amount in 1835, and I have no official statistics, but Black gives the sum at £1,750,000.
In 1880 it was £8,000,000, with a steady decline to 1885, when it was £5,000,ooo, or £2,000,000 less than Turkey.
During these fifty years Turkey has grown smaller in territory and population, while Russia has increased her population from 60 millions to more than 100 millions. According to Mr. Cobden's theories, making full allowance for the general increase of trade throughout the world, Turkey ought to be still importing to the amount of about £500,000, while Russia ought to be buying at least £35,000,000 worth of British produce. As to his other statements, the produce of Russian manufactures is not less than £250,000,000; and Berlin has much more to do with Russian finance than England has.
Time has proved Mr. Cobden's remarks to be unfounded, and his conclusion is equally false. The capture of Constantinople and the advance of Russia to the Adriatic will practically put an end to English commerce in this part of the world. This is the fixed policy of the Russian Government, and it will be applied here as vigorously as it has been in the countries annexed during the last ten years. An old English merchant, who has dealt with those provinces for many years, and who has lately visited them, assures me that he can buy there as freely as ever, but that he can sell nothing.
At the present time Russian trade with Turkey is small, but the capture of Constantinople would give her the prac-tical control of the Empire and she would take the place of England. If she is kept within her present frontiers, there is no reason why English commercewith Turkey should not continue to steadily increase. If left to themselves, the small States of south-eastern Europe will rapidly increase in wealth and population, and, notwithstanding the weakness of the Turkish Government, it is a fact that Asia Minor is every year a better customer of England. With the railways which are now projected commerce will rapidly increase. We have but little patience with the Turks and speak contemptuously of their reforms, but those who have lived for thirty or forty years in Asia Minor know very well that there has been great progress in building roads, in the administration