w which, like a mere mathematician, a - se mere lawyer, a mere theologian, a ... quid mere scholar, or a mere anything else,

call is a monster always with a most reliWeds Mr gious instinct to be shunned. Would Liwatrac- Professor Ferrier, who evidently reads . swued Greek- not at all a necessary accom

be a plishment in a Scotch professor of we whole Moral Philosophy - perhaps be so ishings, kind as work out for us an elegant

it, uagined exposition of the philosophy of Plato w row which it in its principles and its applications ? 'Twild this dis- Or shall we still be indebted for all

ulu essentially our good books, on such subjects, to u vrowledge, we the Germans, with their eternal prosy

bemedits to me- interminable tomes, and complex

nder this form, overladen sentences, the very aspect

basi va standing of which in a healthy-minded Briton T ed & baunted tower, produces horror ? Shall it be said that

would union with itself, philosophical scholarship is to be found i vols of its own con- nowhere within the bounds of broad

i forth lustily, and Scotland, save in the brain of Sir w dnevis, and history, and William Hamilton ? After two such we do the eloquence of names as Dr ADAMS of Banchory, and The very soul of music, and Colonel MURE, may not Scottish schol

olan beauty of green fields. arship at length aspire to rise from du as no distant day, from those“ grammatic flats and shallows"

Wwwse of the present volume, in which it has been floundering, and T h ere waor Ferrier engaged in a dare to wing its way into those higher

mwe a larger field for “con- regions of thoughtful learning which

u suphy than the subtle dis- have hitherto been swept almost exw we the present volume pre- clusively by birds of German feather? ** We have already said that he Is it altogether beyond the power of

un the pen gracefully, and that he our five universities to produce a T raws but a dry bloodless spe- Stanr, a BRANDES, or a SCHLEIERsowi "mere metaphysician ;'- MACHER ?



The question has doubtless ere Caspian to the Black Sea on the this been asked, How could it for a north, by the coast of the Caspian on moment have entered into the heads the east, by the coast of the Black of any of her Majesty's Ministers, Sea on the west, and the Russian that it was possible to remodel the province of Georgia on the southconstitution of the country by a new west and south, and thus assailable Reform Bill, and at the same time, by by sea or by land by a power possessway of a light employment between ing the resources of both, in every its heavy readings, to conquer the part of it. Russian empire, a distance on the Nor must it be forgotten that Russurface of which may be measured sia has long established her garrisons equal to half the diameter of the in the outer works of this great forworld at least, with a contingent of tress; that many of its original desome twenty-five thousand men? The fenders bave succumbed to her, and only answer to such a question must have even co-operated with her be, that Russia's powers of resistance against their neighbours; and that it have been greatly underrated, or at is only, as it were, the central keep or least that they have been measured natural donjon which has held out in so by her apparent powers of aggression. unparalleled a manner. If we exaAnd her powers of aggression have mine the conditions which bave made been measured by her inability to such a state of things possible, our completely subdue a little mountain- attention is primarily directed to two ous corner of her vast dominions. It facts. The first is the easy defensibiis quite true-while Russia was in lity of a country which is both mounamity with the Western powers, tainous and wooded; the second is while England was busy spinning the overwrought and uncompromising cotton and France was busy settling religious fapaticism of the inhabitants. and unsettling her domestic affairs, Now, it appears that there is but as she is wont when she bas nothing one way of effectually subduing a better to do, just as fastidious house- country that is both mountainous and keepers move their furniture and re- wooded. This is to pierce the mounhang their pictures, never satisfied tains with military roads and destroy with the last arrangement that all the bush. But as the country must be this time the whole military power of subdued to a great extent before this monster empire, unbroken and either of these measures can be taken, updistracted, was kept at bay year we are reminded of a means of birdafter year by a ridge of mountains, catching familiar to all nurseries. and a handful of semi-barbarous tribes That even mountains comparatively garrisoning them. And this fact ap. bare present great military obstacles, pears the more surprising when we has been abundantly proved, as they consider that the Caucasus has been constitute natural fortresses of the for a long time nothing more than a very strongest kind-the deficiencies large fortress completely invested, of which, where they exist, the very having Russian land to the north and rudest kind of art is capable of sup. south of it, and Russian lakes to the plying, east and west of it; nor even thus a Nowhere do we get a better notion compact fortress, but a long line of this than in the picturesque narrarequiring defence cut through the tive of Xenophon, where he describes middle by the pass of Dariel, and di- the march of the Ten Thousand through viding diagonally the trapezoid figure the mountains of Kurdistan before formed by a line drawn from the they debouched on the wintry table

Schamyl als Feldherr, Sultan und Prophet und der Caucasus. Schilderungen der Völker und Länder Kaucasiens. Von Dr FRIEDRICH WAGNER. Leipzig, 1854.

Die Kaukasischen Länder, mit Illustrationen und Karte, Carl B. Lorck, in Leipzig

lands of Armenia. Wherever there consist in keeping close to it, added is a defile there are heights above it, to the occasional whistle of a ball from The army must march through the de- before or bebiud, and a puff of smoke file, and the heights are in posses- from some tree or other, and as there sion of the enemy; so it is neces- are trees everywhere, any one of them sary to storm the heights, in the face may screen the next assailant. Thus, of all opposition, before the defile as we should expect, history abounds can be used; and even in case of with instances of regular forces being the best success, when the heights bewildered and cut off in woods by are stormed and the main army has irregular, who of course are the best safely passed - unless the storming suited to this kind of work. Besides party are prepared to occupy the many modern instances, one of the heights for ever-they must expect most striking of which was the misannoyance in retiring, as the enemy fortune of the French general Vanwill probably immediately occupy the damme, in a cul-de-sac of wooded vantage-ground they have left. But hills at Culm in Bohemia, we have difficult as it may be for a military an abundance of such cases before the power to act in a bare mountain invention of firearms; such as the country, this difficulty is incalculably loss of the Athenian force, under Demosincreased by the existence of woods. thenes the general, in the woods of In naked mountains, the enemy, Ætolia; the defeat of the Roman army though often difficult of access, may at the Caudine Forks; and the destrucbe found when looked for, and at tion of the legions of Varus in the Westtacked ; for where one man can climb, phalian forest, which was part of that another can. Nor are even caverns an Hercynian wood which then covered eflicient protection, as a poor North tbe face of balf Germany. But sopAfrican tribe once found to their cost, posing the wood to be on even ground. when, as has probably happened in and of limited extent, it is possible to more instances than one, they were clear it of the enemy, by a line of skirsmoked out. But it is otherwise in mishers advancing across it. Not so the case of woods. This any one who when it climbs the side of a snow. bas been in the habit of fox-hunting covered ridge, and extends far away may judge of from his own expe- over the horizon. This is perhaps the 'rience. Every sportsman knows the greatest condition of difficulty to an average extent of the largest covers, attacking army; and it is with this and how small they appear in compa- that the Russians have had to conrison with a genuine continental wood. tend in the Caucasus. With a counHe also knows that he may bave the try of such a nature, it requires no bad luck to be kept in one a whole great amount of courage in the defendday, galloping in every direction, for- ers to give much trouble. But supposwards, backwards, and sideways, ing courage and resolution in the depushing through thickets, plunging fenders superadded to the difficulties through quagmires, with his horse all of the ground, the unequal nature of thorng, and sweat, and excitement, the contest is increased, and we do pricking up his own ears at all kinds not wonder that, in this way, mere of strange noises which give alternate bandfuls of men have often put to hope and disappointment, till at last flight large battalions. The most hla temper fails, and he begins to striking case of this that occurs to us Think Lord (hesterfield right, who was the battle of Morgarten in Switzerwhen asked why he did not go hunt. land, in which a large body of Austrian ing, replied, "I have been.” Now, men-at-arms, amounting to some this will give no bad notion of thousands, was attacked and discomwhat war must be in the bush ; the fited by a few hundred herdsmen of only ditforence being--and that no Schwytz, Uri, and Unterwalden. To alight one, even to the strongest arrive at Schwytz from the plain counnerves - that each party is pursuer try of Switzerland, it was necessary and pursued. It is hunting an for the invading army to pass along onomy, who will never break cover if the shore of the Lake of Egeri, at the ho can help it, for the good reason, that end of which they found the passage his means both of offence and defence closed by a wooded mountain dipping

[ocr errors]

down to the water's edge. As they undisturbed under Pio Nono or Mazwere defiling round this corner, diffi- zini. We do not wish to pursue this subcult enough of itself, on a sudden they ject further here, than merely to observe were astonished by an avalanche of that, however agreeable it would have rocks and tree-trunks rolled down been to ourselves to represent the Cauupon them from above by invisible casian tribes as actuated by a stern hands; and, while in confusion, made attachment to liberty in their resistmore inextricable by the encumbrance ance to Russia, it is perhaps more of armour, they were attacked and consistent with truth to say, that such slaughtered hand to hand by the light- resistance was principally brought limbed mountaineers, who drowned about by religious fanaticism, kept at those they could not cut to pieces, and, boiling-point by a series of personally stopping both ways of retreat, left few interested chiefs. This is a case in to tell the tale of the day.

which we must, it is to be feared, We have mentioned the first condi- part with romance for the sake of tion which has enabled the Caucasi- truth, as Aristotle parted with ans to hold their own so long against Plato's theory of ideas, alleging that Russian aggression, and to keep their Plato and Truth being both his friends, highlands standing dry in the deluge his conscience obliged bim to prefer of her dominion, like a hog's-back reef Truth, in a case where they clashed. in the sea. We now come to the We should be delighted to make other condition-the animus of the in- Schamyl and his people appear purehabitants, a strong independent feel- minded and unselfish champions and ing fostered by a religious fanaticism, martyrs of liberty at war with despotkept at its highest pitch by a succes- ism. We fear that they must be looked sion of prophets pretending to divine upon chiefly in the light of bigots of inspiration. Now we know tbat it is the first water, puritan Mussulmans, most poetical to refer heroic deeds hating everybody and everything done by small forces against large, to Christian, and objecting to the Czar the simple inspiration of the love of for a very different reason from that liberty; but we question whether this for which we object to him-pamely, feeling has not been immensely over- because they consider him as the very rated as a motive of action. No people embodiment and quintessence of Chrisin the world, always excepting our tianity. They oppose him to the friends of the Peace Society, like to be death, because they believe that his murdered and robbed without resist- object is to convert them to his faith. ance; and no less than this has gene That they think he means also to subrally been the alternative of fighting, vert their ancestral liberties, has in cases where resistance has commonly doubtless a force with them, but a sebeen attributed to an innate love of condary one. freedom. The story of Tell, who is Before we proceed to speak of looked upon as the champion of Swiss Schamyl, the chief instigator of the liberty, is quite a case in point, crusade against Russia-if that, inwhether it be true in fact, as we most deed, can be called a crusade, which sincerely believe, or a myth, as literary is a war of the Crescent against the heretics love to think. Tell only flies Cross-wewill just observe, by the way, to arms when the tyranny of Gessler that with the Circassians, properly so has become personally inconvenient called, this movement has little to do. to himself. The abstract love of free- The Circassians or Tcherkesses indom is the result of education, and habit the mountains west of the Elburz, capable of becoming a strong motive which overhang the coast of the of action only with the educated and Black Sea; while it is in the mounrefined. Hence the indifference of tains east of the Elburz, and even the great mass of the Italian people farther still, east of the pass of Dariel, to the efforts of the revolutionary agi- that the chief resistance to Russian tators, and, consequently upon that, power has been kept alive, the country the speedy exbaustion of the revolu- to the westward baving more or less tionary fire. It is difficult to move submitted to Russia, and baving been the peasant of the Campagna, as long bridled with a set of frontier fortresses, as his siesta may be taken equally extending from Redout Kalè to Anapa.

This limitation must be carried still casian tribes to Russia is not new. farther. We see by the map that the We find in 1711 that the murder of Caucasus ends to the east in a point several merchants' families by the called Cape Apscheron, in the Cas. Lesghians, induced Peter the Great pian. From this point westward the to march against them at the head of mountains increase in extent and twenty thousand men, supported by height, and being more accessible for vessels in the Caspian. He punished some distance, from this point west- the Lesgbians effectually ; built the ward, bave been Russianised, so that fort of Sviatoikrest (Holy Cross) on Dagbestan is virtually joined to the Sulak; took Derbend; ordered a Georgia for nearly half its length; and descent on Baku, a town to the south to that extent the Russians may boast of Cape Apscheron, where the roads “il n'y a plus de Caucasus," as the from Georgia and Daghestan meet French boasted once with regard to round the mountains, and pointed out Spain, “il n'y a plus de Pyrenées." the spots most favourable for the plac

Thus the really independent tribes in- ing of castles. The Empress Anne habit a comparatively small portion of lost all her possessions in the Caucathe Caucasus. They are included in sus, and contented herself with found. a loop formed by the Terek to the ing Hisliar, on an arm of the Terek of north and west of the main chain of the same name, as a boundary to the mountains to the south, and the Russian possessions in this direction. Koïssu to the east, and are called by The Empress Elizabeth endeavoured the general names of Tchetchenzes and to reduce the Ossetines, by sending Lesgbians. Amongst these tribes are missionaries to convert them ; but laid the principal scenes of the life and their success was not equal to her exploits of Schamyl; and it will be wishes : they built a church, but could seen by the map that the neighbour- not fill it. The Empress Catherine hood of Tiflis in Georgia is more ex- II., however, was more successposed to their inroads than other parts ful. She took possession of Habardah, of that Russian province. By this it and founded Mosolok, on the northern appears how much more the subjection curve of the Terek, and several of the or independence of mountain tribes surrounding tribes submitted to ber, depends on geographical than on moral The power of Russia gradually inconditions. Thus the recesses of the creased all about the Caucasus, until Caucasus have proved, in modern the end of the eighteenth century; but times, as effectual a barrier to Russian the heart of the country still remained conquest, as those of the Grampians untouched. About the year 1812, did in ancient times to Roman, or in General Jermoloff received the comthe middle ages to English ; in mo. mand of the Caucasian province, and dern times, the improvement of the he has left a reputation second to none means of offence requiring for the de- of his predecessors. Yet it must be fence greater inaccessibility. Of these taken into due consideration, that the Caucasiaps the Ossetines are said by bostilities between Russia and the Dr Prichard to be probably of the mountaineers were not so important purest and most ancient blood. These then as they have become since, beinbabit as nearly as possible the centre cause at that time the different clans of the chain, close upon the country of were at feud among themselves. Jerthe Tchetchenzes, whom we must moloff conciliated the submissive therefore conclude, taking also into con. tribes, but showed great severity tosideration the difficulty of their coun- wards those which still held out against try, to partake in a great measure of him. The Schamyl of that time was the same characteristics. It is not Amulad Bey, who excited ipsurrection probable that the Tartar and other in Daghestan. He was taken prisoner, conquerors of the East found the cen- but managed to escape. Jermoloff, tral Caucasus easier to subjugate tban nevertheless, succeeded in suppressing the Russians, who, whatever may be the rebellion, and put a price on the head their barbarism in otber respects, are of Amulad. He, however, contrived quite as forward, as we find to our to avoid all pursuit, and to vanish from cost, as any pation of Europe in the the scene of action, leaving no trace art of war. The hostility of the Cau- behind him. In the year 1818, this

« VorigeDoorgaan »