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He hid himself at evening behind his chamber-door,
The stately dame of Dynevor awhile in silence stood,
F. R. MacDONALD. EUROPEAN POLITICS.
SINCE we last wrote, the horizon the first Congress, was resolute to of foreign politics has only grown vote with Russia again. France was darker. Persia, backed by Russia, quite willing to take the same course; has attacked Affghanistan and cap- and her ambassador at Constantitured Herat, the outer gate of India; nople has acted in concert with the and our Indian Government, after Russian embassy in a vain but viodeclaring war against the Russianised lent effort to overthrow Lord de Redcourt of Teheran, has despatched an cliffe and British influence at the expedition to secure a point d'appui Porte. Sardinia, duped by lying for future operations in the Persian promises of Russian aid against Gulf. Meanwhile a Russian army of Austria, and duly informed of the 40,000 men, which has been slowly course which France meant to take, concentrating in that quarter since likewise agreed to favour Russia's the war closed in Europe, is cantoned non-fulfilment of the treaty. And on the shores of the Caspian, ready so the Czar, elated, might have exto advance to the support of the claimed in his palace at St PetersPersians; and at the same time a burg, like Soult at the battle of determined effort is being made by Orthes, " At last I have them, those another Russian corps to conquer the English !" But in both cases the Circassians, break down the barrier rejoicing was premature. Nowhere of the Caucasus, and open a broad does British pluck shine out more path for Muscovite aggression into strongly than in fighting a lost battle. the region of Anatolia. Nearer home, Russia was triumphant--the battle the Neufchatel question has assumed was lost; but as Hardinge thought a grave aspect; and Sicily has given at Albuera, there was time to win one of those premonitory throes which another. And the British GovernSo frequently prelude more serious ment, rapidly taking up a strong commotions. And as to the relations position, exerted so firm a presbetween the great European Powers, sure upon her recalcitrant allies, what do we find but a rivalry and that the latter thought it better to hostility less disguised than before? resume their old position by her side. The Peace settled nothing. It simply Whether the renewed allegiance of gave Russia the means of getting rid France and Sardinia to the British of the Allied armies, and of thereafter side of the question be genuine or acting as fraudulently and defiantly as feigned, remains to be seen. After before. Russia has good reason to be- what has happened, we cannot believe lieve that the Grand Alliance will not it hearty; and we wish we felt asagain coalesce to oppose her, France, sured that the British party in the that fought so gallantly by our side new Congress will prove sufficiently while the war lasted, now anxiously powerful to foil the onset of Muscopropitiates Russia, and, though refus- vite diplomacy. ing to abandon the English alliance, There are some who fancy that the acts rather as a drag than as an auxili- present difficulties of our national ary. The proceedings preliminary to position are merely factitious. With the new Congress expected at Paris, eyes blind to the deeper springs and sufficiently indicate the change that grander movements of European has taken place in our relation with politics, they profess to regard the the Continental Powers, since the gathering troubles abroad as not the Peace virtually broke up the anti-Rus- product of natural causes, but as all sian alliance. When Russia, in August, the work of individual conjuring. first proposed to refer the Boundary They fancy that a soothing breath, questions to a new congress, so far a soft word from Downing Street, from standing alone, it appeared that would blow them all away! Alas, she had won a clear majority of they know not the helplessness of the the Powers to her side! Prussia, individual when brought face to face who was her covert helper during with the movements of a continent. the war, and her humble slave at The mistake is a serious one ; for it seeks to put the country on a wrong tage in the expectation of the weaktrack, and to lull it into a most base- ened citadel being left in security. less dream of security. It bids us V ery few persons indeed, in Janregard the overcasting of the politi- uary last, would have anticipated cal horizon as a matter of no moment, the change that a twelvemonth has as a danger against which we need wrought on the political aspect of make no preparation, seeing that a Europe. A man would have found puff of diplomatic courtesy, a soft- only incredulous hearers had he then worded protocol, is capable of turning ventured to predict that ere January the gathering storm to sunshine. The 1857 Russia, despite her defeats, idea is absurd, superbly conceited, would have emerged so little dameminently dangerous. It may be aged from the struggle,– her soil very popular in the salons of the freed from the 200,000 soldiers that Tuileries, but it will find little accept- then encamped around the ruins of ance in this country. The French Sebastopol, or garrisoned the capEmperor, surrounded with embarrass- tured strong points of her Black ments, and bent on peace at any Sea coasts,—and herself, backed by price in order to avoid them, may some of her old foes, stronger than foster in others views which his own ever in the councils of Europe, and penetration knows to be false, and ready to re-enter the lists with us in by professing universal friendship, Asia. How this has come about we seek to postpone the evil day. And bave explained in former articles : he does right-for he thereby attends we simply note the circumstance in to his own interests. But the very order that the country may not be eagerness with which he acts as a unprepared if changes as great or balance, leaning now to one side, now greater take place before the present to another—now supporting Russia, year reach its close. now acting as a friendly dragon England is prone to peace. The England - shows his sense of the trade-spirit is eminently pacific; it critical nature of the “situation.” is slow to take offence, and never He knows the danger, and doubtless allows pride to interfere with gain. is preparing for it as well as he Commerce is an international comcan, but he wrestles against its munion of self-interest, and therecoming. He has shown himself fore the most potent antagonist of ready to abandon the terms of the all wars. England is the worktreaty rather than risk a new struggle shop and commercial centre of the with Russia France has assumed, world. Hence her sympathies are since the Peace, the position which all in favour of a reign of peace, Austria held during the war. It without which her world-wide trade becomes this country to consider of buying and selling is cramped and these things. Already, since the rendered less profitable. Therefore Peace, there has been a wavering to it is that, alone of all the countries in and fro among the Governments of the world, England exhibits a Peace the Continent. The balance has Party--a class of politicians whose begun to incline again to the side of supreme and distinctive business it Russia. A popular rising, which is to oppose all war, and advocate may happen any day, would probably peace “at any price." The error of range all the Absolutist Courts on these men consists in believing that her side. In these circumstances, all nations are as far advanced in, what does it become us to do? and as peculiarly devoted to trade Clearly to stand well with the Con- and commerce as ourselves ; wheretinental Governments as long as we as the refusal of other nations to can-as long as they will let us. adopt our principles of Free Trade, But do not let Britain delude herself and the fact that no other country with the belief that she can rely has a Peace Party but our own, upon any of them for aid, or that ought to apprise them of the peculimeekness on our part will suffice to arity of our position. Moreover, they disarm hostility. “Our only security are so ignorant of human nature that for the future lies in our own strength; they pay no regard to moral differand it would be only madness to ences. Commerce trades as freely surrender any outwork or post of van- ith oppressors as oppressed, -it
makes no difference between slave munication -- ever tends to throw and free; and the Peace Party down local barriers, to draw the nacannot understand why slave and tions into friendlier bonds, and enfree should not be equally friendly gage all in a communion of selfwith one another. Hence they shut interest. Acting first upon indivitheir eyes to the fact that between duals and single communities, its Great Britain and many of the Con- tendency is ever to widen its sphere tinental States there is a great gulf of influence, and ultimately emfixed. They hold it to be our duty to brace all States belonging to the allow the despotic courts to extin- same platform of national existence. guish, if they can, every spark of Look at the transition from England liberty on the Continent; and believe under the Heptarchy to the United that though the regime of absolutism Kingdom of the present day. Gradureigned supreme up to the shores of ally local prejudice and antagonism the Channel, free Britain would be have disappeared or become sublet alone. As if, when two opposites ordinated to higher influences : the come together, the greater will not Heptarchy has merged into a united seek to destroy the less! As if England-Scotland and England have England, which the late Czar called coalesced into Great Britain and Ire"a foyer of revolutions," can ever be land, at first welded in by force of arms, other than a thorn in the side of has at length voluntarily associated Continental absolutism, a sympathiser herself with the sister states, forming with the oppressed, a living example the United Kingdom, Other counof freedom whose very existence is a tries have experienced similar changes constant incentive for other nations from a similar cause. Burgundy, to throw off the yoke. Holding their Normandy, Provence, once separate peculiar opinions, indeed, the Peace states, have become merged in a party are consistent enough when united France; the crowns of Casthey clamour for disbandment of tile, Arragon, and Navarre, are now fleet and army, and urge England to united on one head in Spain ; the go to sleep unarmed in presence of Germanic Confederacy and commerher foes; but their principles, we cial bonds of the Zollverein are the trust, are alike too sordid and too commencement of a corresponding Utopian, too utterly inconsistent with aggregation among the still unconthe great facts that surround us, to solidated Teutonic States. As this find acceptance with the practical work of internal consolidation and good sense of the community at large. national development goes on, the
The end of civilisation is Peace. civilised energies of a people project The goal of civilised progress is themselves beyond the seas or their peace among the nations, even as own frontier, and seek to form compeace among individuals is its begin- mercial union, founded on self-intening. What history shows us accom- rest, with other countries. For long, plished in single communities, will English capital has sought and found ultimately, we trust, be established investment in every country of Euamong the States of Europe. Slowly rope, thereby increasing our interest but steadily the work of national in the preservation of tranquillity ; development is going on, elevating and other countries have of late bethe units of the masses from the gun to follow in our steps. France, automatic condition of early society within the last few years, has made into thinking and self-acting beings; an extraordinary start in this direcso that nations are becoming more tion. Her gigantic Credit Mobilier and more conscious of their true Company has undertaken to make wants and interests, and more and railways for the whole Continent; and more powerful to enforce and secure the dread of interrupting and ruining them. Civilisation, that short phrase the over-venturous speculations of for many ideas for increase of po- this enormous financial project, is pulation, improvement of agriculture, one of the most potent influences growth of commerce, rise of wealth, which now bind the French Governdevelopment of law and justice, ment to peace at any price. It is spread of knowledge, and increase of easy to see that as this intercomlocomotion and international com- munion of commerce and speculation