Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Oh! because she's the masterest fellow, had fallen into a brown study on hand for fun and carryin' on that ever ye the subject of the Colonel's inost transsee, I expect; and she must a known him, parent motives for secrecy. though it seems he didn't know her, sar “ The beatinest cretur for carryin' on tin. Ye see, he was here and staid six that ever ye see,” replied the deacon, weeks or two months last summer, takin'

waking up:

“The Kurnel says she's a picters, and he undertook to shin up to hull team and a hoss to let, besides a big Miss Jemima Smith, Cap'n Bill's sister, a dog under the waggin. I heerd him say reglar old maid as ever ye see, and they so myself, last spring, when she driv du say, the old cretur actilly agreed to Squire Eliot's Morgan colt through the marry him; but it was all kep secret as streets, the first time he was ever in hara hen stealin' a nest, from the Cap'n, un ness, to go out of the yard at any rate. til Mary got home from the Springs and She got Simon Adams, the squire's hired about, where she'd been all summer a man, to put him intu the buggy, and what travellin' round with the Eliots;

but jist

does she do, before he knows it, but takes as soon as she got home, she larnt all the lines right out of his hand, and gets about it, and the upshot was that the same in and drives right up the hill, and round night, or the next night, I dunno which, the square, and back agin, and the way but Miss Curtiss knows and can tell ye all she handled that are colt was surprisin’. about it, the feller was round serenadin', The sowin' circle didn't talk of nothin'else or suthin', and Cap’n Bill sot his dog on for a fortnit, so Miss Curtiss said, and him and gin him Aleck, and the feller she orter tu know, for she allus goes, no turned round and brought a breach of matter ef the house is full o'company and promise suit agin the hull family, the runnin' over ; though I often tell her, that Kurnel says, dog and all, and it's to be though I'm in favor of the heathen, I don't tried this tarm, and that's what he's here believe they'll suffer, in them warm for now.”

climits, ef they go without woollen jackets Of course the last cloud of doubt exhaled and yarn stockins and mittins a day or in the light of the deacon's explanation, two, while she's tendin tu company tu and the identity of the fair lady passenger hum. But she says it's a dooty, and she and Miss Mary Smith was clearly mani can't in conscience neglect it, and so she fest.

goes all weathers. Yes, I tell you, squire, “But it's the queerest thing on airth," Mary Smith's one on 'em now. She continued the deacon," why the Kurnel bosses Cap’n Bill, and that's a pretty conkep so clus about tellin'."

siderable of a chore when he's rampin. I didn't think so. On the contrary, it “I expect I've been a keepin' ye up, seemed to me the most natural thing in squire.” the world that Mary Smith should wish So, bidding good night again, as he to let Mr. Fitzhoward remain in ignorance softly turned the handle of the door, of the fact that he had ridden with her in audibly wondering what on airth could the stage from the city. “That accounts make the Kurnel so dumb ?the deacon for the fun the girls had to themselves,” departed. thought I, "and, by Jove! after we get Just to think of that lovely creature better acquainted will have a laugh in breaking a colt,” thought I, as I bolted which I can join."

the door and again sat down in the rock“The dumbdest queerest thing,” mut

ing chair. tered the deacon, rubbing his head.

* But she had fire in that dark blue “So Miss Smith is rather given to high eye of hers,” said I, aloud, unlacing my spirits, is she?” said I, affecting a yawn, patent leathers—“ And such eyes," I addby way of a hint; for I was getting a ed, untying my cravat. little weary of the deacon, who, stupid

(To be continued.)

[ocr errors]

WHAT WE HAVE TO DO WITH THE EASTERN QUESTION.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

AI

DISTINGUISHED editor, who is also Holy Land,—of a guaranty for the security

à general, in certain letters from of the Russo-Greek church in Turkey, London addressed to his readers, takes it and for the Ision of political refufor granted that the Americans are all on gees harbored at Constantinople and the side of England and France, in the other places. As the Porte had already great European controversy now raging, guaranteed to France, in behalf of the and urges them to give some visible ex Latin Church, the restoration of the key pression of their sympathies. Now it is to the principal gate at Bethlelem ; and quite natural that one who eats the mut had replaced, at the same instance, a certon of British ministers, and lives in the tain silver star in the grotto of the Nafocus of a warlike excitement, should tivity, with a Latin inscription (which speak and urge in this wise ; but we, who had been displaced in 1847); and had conare away from the field of action, who are sented that the cupola over the Sacred not permitted to see how lovingly the Sepulchre should be constructed in the dapper guards of the saloon take the huge ancient and not in the Byzantine order of paws of the street-sweepers, and press architecture ;-and as, moreover, the Porte them with all the fervor of a common en had granted to Austria, consequent upon thusiasm, may consider the matter with the Montenegrin insurrection of which more coolness, and, like the mouse in the she complained—the harbor of Kleeck fable, suggest modestly whether there and the Sutorian ports, with a control of may not be a cat in the meal tub.

the Bosnian Catholics, and a few commerIt is, no doubt, of considerable im cial facilities,—while at the same time the portance to England that America should Sultan was getting more and more thick, think well of her present movements; we as the schoolboys say, with the clever Engbelieve, too, that any little contribution lish ambassador, -- Russia supposed it a of ours in the way of sympathy or active good opportunity for asserting some of assistance, will be thankfully received by her own old claims of a similar character, Lord Clarendon, Louis Napoleon, and a She accordingly sent Prince Menchikoff to good many others, yet we are not so clear

Constantinople, to make a parade of the m the conviction that it would be quite following points: "Look you! oh Sultan so well for America to take up their cud Medul Abjid, illustrious Padisha of all the gels. We cannot discover, either in the mo Mohammedan faithful, --my august mastives of the original dispute, avowed or ter Nicholas, the transparent protector of concealed, or in the characters of the all the true believers of Græco-Christenchief parties to it, or in the objects of dom, not wishing that France or England the powerful Alliance which has taken should take the wind out of his sails, dethe quarrel upon itself, any causes that mands these things: 1st, a common posought to move us to so much as even a session with the Latin believers of the key sympathetic participation in the melée. of the gate at Bethlehem, of the silver Remote as we are from the theatre of star on the subterranean altar, and of the trouble, disdaining as we do, the selfish, rites of worship, with a supremacy over petty, and malignant policy of the foreign all interlopers; 2d, the immediate repair dynasties, holding in equal contempt and of the cupola of the sepulchre, which lets abhorrence the principles of despotism, the rain in on the bare heads of the dewhether the machinery be controlled by vout, and the walling up or destruction of a Czar, a Sultan, a usurping Emperor, an certain harems which overlook that sepulhereditary aristocracy, or a corrupt mass chre, sometimes to the scandal of the monks of bureaucrats, -we are at liberty to and pilgrims; and 3dly, and finally, a Sened treat their squabbles with the utmost in or convention for the guaranty of the difference, or to mingle in them only privileges of all the Catholic Greek worso far as it may advance our own solid shippers and their priests and their sancinterests, or our own distinctive princi- tuaries, both in Turkey and in the East." ples, or give an impulse to the civiliza “But," added the good Menchikoff, "since tion of the world.

you have been considerably remiss in The ostensible grounds of dispute be this part of your duties hitherto, my tween Russia and Turkey at the outset august master proposes to take most of were,—the demands of the former, for a the trouble off your hands and see to it more efficient protection by the latter, of himself !” To which the Padisha, the a few lazy and dirty Greek priests in the mighty and the illustrious! through his

chief Vizier for Foreign Affairs—may he always be blessed! replied, “that there was nobody in the world for whom he, the Father of the Faithful, had an intenser admiration and respect than for his amiable friend, the most Pious Autocrat, Guardian and Protector of all the Russians, but that he could hardly consent to his demands. As for the Holy Shrines and Holy Places, he had attended to them as well as he could; considering the several classes of vagabonds, lay and clerical, with whom he had to deal, and, as to the Christians, he had always taken the best care of them, even to cutting their heads off when they were refractory, and he always meant to, being very much obliged meanwhile to his illustrious Brother, for his kind intentions and offers of assistance,—but he had rather not, if it were all the same to him. Besides, the internal affairs of Turkey were in his keeping, and he would thank his illustrious Brother, with the profoundest deference, if he would just mind his own business.” Menchikoff, then, in the blandest way, requested precisely the same things, only in different terins, and the Sultan made precisely the same answer, only in different terms. Menchikoff got huffy, and threatcned to go home, -the ambassador of Austria thought he had better not: Count Nesselrode wrote a plaintive yet furious dispatch to all the foreign governments, calling the Sultan names, and threatening to trounce him if he did not come to reason in eight days: France replied spunkily that there were two who could play at trouncing, and that the good Sultan was his friend : England remarked; “Gentlemen, do not let us tread upon each other, there is enough of Turkey for all of us, and let us have an amicable talk over the whole matter." They accordingly went to work at Vienna and talked, and then they talked again,-talked for a whole year,and first Abdul Mejid wouldn't, and then Nicholas wouldn't, -and, finally, neither of them would,—and so they all ordered out their gunboats for

a free and general fight. France and England, that had never before done any thing but void their superfluous rheum in cach other's faces, shook hands like brothers, fell upon each other's necks, swore a lasting friendship-swore that they would never more allude to Waterloo or to Perfide Albion, and sent their fleets into the Baltic and Black Seas, where we will leave them for the present.

These are the ostensible grounds, we say, of the controversy, as they strike an independent observer, who simply

reads the documents and the journals; but it is to be confessed, at the same time, that, as in so many other disputes, the outward pretexts are only guys or coverings for a real and serious secret hostility. Every body who has read the history of the last fifty years, is aware, that the “ Eastern Question” is not a question of recent date. It is as old as the century at least, and, in various shapes, now breaking out as a question of maritime jurisdiction in the Black Sea, now as a question concerning the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, and now again as to the respective rights of the worthless and donothing churches of Jerusalem,-involves a complicated theory of politics, and a profound antagonism of interests and principles. Standing between Europe and Asia, -as an oriental European power, with a government borrowed from the Caliphs and a religion borrowed from Mohammed,—Turkey forms the barrier to the eastward progress of Christian commerce and civilization. It is, therefore, the seat of battle and intrigue to all those western powers, whose simulated zeal for religion, and real zeal for“ proviant,” leads them to covet that mysterious and dazzling abstraction called The East, which, from the earliest time, has had a strange power in captivating the imaginations and bewildering the judgments of rulers. · No Crockford's or Pat Hearn's was ever a more desperate scene of play than Constantinople has been. The ambassadors of every power gather there, as the sporting-gentlemen and legs gather in the betting-houses of London, or round a sweat-cloth at a race-course. Every one is loud in professing his attachment to the Porte, and every one alternately uses the Porte as the cat’s-paw of his own rapacious designs. Ready at all times, too, for any reckless foray, any scheme of warlike aggression, while they are too proud and foolish to discover their own abasement, the Osmanlis have been just the tools to be used. Now, France would inflame their resentment against the Muscovite, and then the Muscovite would stir them up against France. England would impel them one way, to check the advances of Russia, and Russia threaten them another, to embarrass the commerce of England. But the uniform and remarkable result of every movement, of every battle, whether instigated by others, or undertaken of their own savage ferocity, has been a loss of some part of their territory. Conquerors or conquered, these infatuated noodles always managed to make a cession of lands to the enemy. They fought

516

Eastern Question.

[May

has be coasts backs ufactu entire has ha perfec ed mic troge the ed donat tions, of th or de

from

the a prese be 1 inost cies live fiere Im fata era but und tio lea in

Peter the Great, and gave him Transyl- manly, we think, to announce this provania ; they fought Venice, and gave her spective division, at the outset of the gamethe Morea ; they fought Poland and re to enter openly upon the negotiation as stored Podolia and the Ukraine; they Catharine and Joseph did when they met fought Austria and surrendered Belgrade on the Wolga, eighty years ago-but and a part of Wallachia, and Servia ; honesty, as we have seen, is not the pre

fought the Empress Catharine and vailing weakness of those who conduct yielded the free navigation of the Turkish the “Eastern Question." seas and the passage of the Dardanelles ; Is it not obvious now, from this view they fought Mehemet Ali and left him of the origin and progress of the existing Egypt; they fought Alexander and pre war, that the American people can have sented him the mouth of the Danube ; no sympathy with any of its motives or and they fought Nicholas, and handed objects? But can they have any more over to him the fortresses of Asia ; in with the characters of either of the prinshort, the Turks, with every struggle, cipal combatants ? An effort, we know, vigorous as it may have been, and bril is made by the English press, and by liant as the warlike qualities which they some of our own journals,—who too often, displayed, shook off some portion of their alas ! merely reflect the sentiments, -or own dominions and found themselves if not the sentiments, the one-sided inforweaker from the effort. Yet, all their mation, of that press,—to enlist our feeltreaties with foreign powers have guar ings in behalf of the Turks. But who anteed the integrity of their empire. are the Turks? A race of lazy, corrupt, “ The Integrity of the Ottoman Em truculent and semi-barbarous Mohammepire” has been the shibboleth, from the dans, who cherish a rooted aversion to beginning, of every one of their allies. A all the arts of civilized life, and an invetmore sounding yet hollow pretence was erate hatred of Christianity. Since their never urged ; for while every European first appearance on the plains of Europe, nation agreed to it, as a check upon every

their whole career has been marked, first other nation, and a cloak for its own de by brutal conquests, and secondly, by a signs. --every nation was the more busily rotting and sensual indolence. Lamartine plotting in consequence of it, for a slice said truly, that “the Turks for four of the common spoil !

centuries had been merely encamped in This famous "eastern question," then, Europe,” for their stay there has not been is a long-continued scuflle between the one of residence but of military possesgrcat powers for an extension of Einpire. sion. Appropriating to themselves by Russia especially, from the acquisition of violence, one of the most beautiful and Azof by Peter the Great, has had no other fertile regions of the globe, –a region ambition in her thousand and one inter whose soil is as productive as that of the ferences with Turkey. Her recent scru United States, and whose climate is as ples in regard to the Holy Shrines and genial as that of Italy,-surrounded by the protection of the Greek Christians, seas, intersected by rivers, -rolling up have been the veriest rigmarole conceiv from the richest valleys into fine woodable—the most transparent duplicity. And crested mountains, -abeunding in mines now that the battle is about to be joined of copper, silver, iron and salt, -yielding with England and France, and it is found to the first touch of the rudest plough, necessary to defend her course, she open plentiful harvests of the cereals, of cotton, ly confesses that religious zeal was only of tobacco, and of fruits which range from one of her motives. An official article in the olive and pomegranate of the South, the Journal de St. Petersbourg, replying to the apple and cherry of the North,to Lord John Russell's speech in the furnished to luxuriance with aromatic House of Commons, declares that it was shrubs and useful plants,—and supportthe impression of the Czar long since, and ing by its luscious pastures the best before Menchikoff negotiated, that Turkey breeds of cattle in Europe, -what use have had been harassed to death and that it the Turks made of it all to justify their was time for him and the other sovereigns, stewardship? What has the Mussulman to look out for the pieces. "Let Eng returned for the ten talents Providence land," he says, in his magnanimity committed to his care? What new cul" take a wing, and France a leg, and ture has he introduced; what arts has he the smaller powers some of the feathers, discovered or improved, what inroads has while, as for me, I shall be satisfied with he made upon the unfriendly influences the other leg, the other wing, both side of nature; what wilderness has he rebones, and a piece of the breast.” Illus claimed, what marsh redeemed, what hostrious Czar! It would have been more tile sea disarmed; what distant regions

[merged small][ocr errors]

has he connected by roads, what desert coasts planted with commerce, what naked backs supplied with new products of manufacture ? None ! His ceaseless and entire activity has been that of war. He has hated and despised industry with a perfect hatred. He has not only remained without improvement, but he has retrograded. The arts and manufactures, the edifices and public works, "precious donations of former Christian

generations,”—which he found at the conquest of the Eastern Empire, he has neglected or destroyed,—the jets of trade, which from time to time have sprung up, under the attraction of foreign example or the pressure of local and domestic want,he has suppressed, and none but the inost desultory, precarious, and rude species of industry have been suffered to live under his hands. His government, a fierce and unmitigated military despotism, --his religion, a fanatical and brutal fatalism, disdaining every impulse of tolerance and every weapon of propagation but the sword,—he has degenerated, under a mingled tyranny and self-corruption until he has become the poorest, the least vital, and the most unpromising race in Europe. Struggling all his life to introduce a baneful superstition into the West, resisting with determined bigotry all the better influences of the West, there is surely nothing in his history or character to conciliate our good will or maintain our respect. We do not deny, that he has the virtues of a semi-barbarous people; we do not forget that his hospitality was nobly extended to the exiled Ilungarians; but we cannot find in his rare and single instances of greatness,—an apology for his long-protracted career of carnage and oppression. We strive to recall the good that he may have done to the world, but, in the midst of the effort, and before we are aware, images rise before us, of bloody cimeters' flashing terror through the darkness of unhappy Greece, and of armed horsemen scouring the plains of Egypt like a hot wind from the desert. Turkey may have suffered wrong at the hands of Russia, --and God forbid us from wishing her evil on account of her past transgressions,—but do not, an' you love us,' do not call upon us for any special admiration of the Turks. Let them fight their own battles, if they will—but ask no Christian man to lend them a finger of help! No! the wails of Scio still ring in our ears, and the manes of Bozzaris are yet unappeased! You will

, perhaps, reply that Turks are as good as the Russians any day, as wise,

as pure, as tolerant, as industrious, and as agreeable to their fellow-men; but, we rejoin emphatically that they are not. The government of Russia is an abominable absolutism, we admit,-atrociously inhuman in its principles and its effects; and the people of Russia are very much imbruted and shrivelled by the practical workings of that absolutism ; yet, as a race, the Russians are alive, vigorous, hearty, progressive. Next to the Americans they are the most “go-ahead” nation on the face of the earth. They are growing faster in population, in commerce, in manufactures and art. in all the elements of civilization, despite the obstacles raised by tyranny, than any other people on the continent. While other nations are retrograding, or remain stationary, or increase only by imperceptible degrees, the Russian race discovers a vitality like that of the old Norman or AngloSaxon races. It is perpetually doing something for itself or for others; it does not rot in its hole; but it is pushing forward innumerable works of internal or selfamelioration, and for the external redemption of warlike tribes. A vast, almost chaotic mass of savages, one century since,—unheard of in the politics of Europe, -contending against a niggardly soil, a rigorous climate, anarchical government and enemies on all sides,—the Muscovites have made themselves, not only a most formidable military power, but what is better, they have worked out a gigantic and growing civilization. They have built cities, founded flects, developed agriculture, fostered manufactures, introduced the sciences, the fine arts and belleslettres, -and, in short, appropriated to themselves, in lar

measures, whatever was good and great in the civil and social life of Europe. It is true, that they have done much of this by ineans of an imperious domination ; that, in their march to the goal they have set themselves, they have rudely trampled on many a noble and generous, many a gentle spirit; that they have crushed to the earth the Tartars, the Poles, and the Georgians who stood in their way; that they have peopled the distant frozen zones of Siberia with the victims of their statecraft and policy, our hearts loathe them utterly for it,-but our reason tells us, at the same time, that this trenchant crushing despotism is but an incident in their course-an ugly and venomous but necessary feature of their transitional development, out of Oriental wildness into European culture; and that they will themselves, sooner or later, throw it off, and then stand before

« PoprzedniaDalej »