Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Φιλοσοφίαν δε ου την Στωικήν λέγω, ουδε την Πλατωνικήν ή την Επικου-
ρείον τε και 'Αριστοτελικήν· αλλ' όσα είρηται παρ' εκάστη των αιρέσεων τούτων
καλώς, δικαιοσύνης μετά ευσεβούς επιστήμης εκδιδάσκοντα, τούτο σύμπαν το
'ΕΚΛΕΚΤΙΚΟΝ φιλοσοφίαν φημί.-CLEM. ALEX. Strom. L. Ι.-C. vii. ED. PorT.
VEN. 1757, p. 338, L. ΙΙ.

NEW SERIES.

VOL. IX.

LONDON:

WARD AND CO., 27, PATERNOSTER ROW.
W. OLIPHANT AND SON, EDINBURGH: R. JACKSON, GLASGOW;
G. AND R. KING, ABERDEEN; AND J. ROBERTSON, DUBLIN.

LONDON:

SAVILL AND EDWARDS, PRINTERS, 4, CHANDOS STREET,

COVENT GARDEN.

THE

Eclectic Review.

JANUARY, 1855.

ART. I.--Turkey; its History and Progress. From the Journals

and Correspondence of Sir James Porter, fifteen years Ambassador at Constantinople. Continued to the present time, with a Memoir of Sir James Porter, by his Grandson, Sir George Larpent, Bart.,

&c. &c. In Two Volumes. London: Hurst & Blackett. 1854. 2. Histoire de la Turquie. [History of Turkey). Par A. De

Lamartine. Tomes premier et deuxième. Paris : Librairie du

Constitutionnel. 1854. 3. History of the Ottoman Turks. From the beginning of their

Empire to the present time. Chiefly founded on Von Hammer.
By E. S. Creasy, M.A., Professor of History in University
College, London. In Two Volumes. Vol. I. 8vo. pp. 413.

London: Longman & Co. THESE works derive no ordinary interest from the grand and singular spectacle now entrancing the attention of mankind,-of England and France combating side by side, against Russia, and on behalf of Turkey. The character of the Turks is a fundamental element in the war of giants' now waging in the Baltic, the Pacific, the White, and the Black Seas, and threatening at an early day, or at latest in the coming spring, to extend still further its lines of blood and fire, and spread around our planet its panoramic scenes of romance and horror. A

supreme crisis in the history of the whole world invests with its own importance the study of the history, the characteristics, and the prospects of the Ottomans and their empire. Sir George Larpent has rendered an acceptable and well-timed

N. S.-VOL. IX.

B

service to the public in the form of a pious homage to the memory of his grandfather, by sending to the press the observations of Sir James Porter, made during fifteen years' residence as British ambassador at Constantinople. Of all the forms assumed by the pride of family, or by piety for the memory of the dead, the most useful, worthy, and influential, is a biography, or the publication of the letters and writings of the deceased. The marble tablet, the lofty monument, and the gorgeous tomb, may gratify a vulgar pride, or assert a local importance, but a book containing the essence of the experience of a life is a monument doubly beneficial, both honouring the family which produces it, and instructing the persons who peruse it.

Sir James Porter was the son of a captain of a troop in the service of James II., who lost his property in Ireland on the defeat of the Stuart interest, and whose name was La Rogue or La Roche, which the family changed for the name of an uncle, who belonged to the successful party, called Porter. Of literary and theatrical tastes, James Porter, while in a house of business in London, studied the Latin, French, and Italian languages; belonged to a debating society called the 'Robin Hood,' and frequented the theatres. At the theatre he made the acquaintance of a young lawyer of the name of Adams, who afterwards became a baron of the exchequer. Born in 1710, by the time he was six-and-twenty, he had become acquainted, through Mr. Adams, with Lord Carteret, afterwards Earl Granville, and was employed by him in confidential missions connected with continental commerce. In 1741 he was associated with Sir Thomas Robinson, the British minister at Vienna, in supporting Maria Theresa, and after nine years' employment on the continent, was appointed ambassador at the Ottoman Porte. His embassy lasted from 1746 to 1761, and he owed to the fees he received from aliens, Jews, and Armenians, for British protection, the independence which he acquired. He was afterward British minister at Brussels for two years, and spent the last twenty years of his life in a villa at Ham, in the enjoyment of a pension of £1200 a-year. His general information and jovial humour, made his society agreeable to many distinguished members of what has been called the three aristocracies of London-the aristocracies of rank, of wealth, and of intelligence.

The works before us are compilations which have been produced to gratify the curiosity and interest excited by the war respecting Turkey and the Turks. Some of the facts and opinions of Sir James Porter have been disproved by more recent information ; but no intelligent man can collect his observations on a nation during fifteen years without having to record facts of permanent value. The compilation which accompanies his observations completes the picture up to the present time, and brings together many particulars which make the work one of useful reference for the wealthier readers of the newspapers. The financial and commercial information will be deemed valuable by those who wish to have a general view of the resources and capabilities of the Ottoman empire. Military and naval men are provided with an account of the organization and administration of the Turkish army and navy; and biographical sketches of Omar and Curschid Pachas, or Messieurs Lattas and Guyon, originally Greek and Anglican Christians, who have now attained high commands in the Turkish army.

M. de Lamartine's work is a brilliant narrative. In addition to a competent acquaintance with the modern works of greatest authority on his subject, by von Hammer, Caussin de Perceval, Mouradja d'Ohsson, and Sir John Malcolm, M. de Lamartine has the advantage of having travelled among the populations whose history he recites, and of having seen the localities of the picturesque events he describes. The style of the historical publications of M. de Lamartine, and especially of this work, is easy, elegant, various, harmonious, coloured, dramatic,—combining in short almost every charm of the magic of words. Style is the gift of his nation: Frenchmen excel in making what they call resumés or abridgments; and M. de Lamartine is in this art a master in a country of masters.

* The Sultan Mahmoud,' says M. de Lamartine, 'wept when he learnt the news of the battle of Navarino,' that contradiction and suicide of the western powers. “See,' said he, to a diplomatist, who was apologizing for the participation of his country in the cold blooded murder of Navarino, see Europe, whicho I alone defend against the irruptions of the Moscovites, joins these Moscovites to annihilate me. Europe wishes, then, to be inundated and subdued after me? "It is true,' replied the diplomatist to the Sultan, but do not despair of Europe. The time will come when she will tardily recognise your efforts, and will burn in your seas the Russian vessels along with which they have burnt your ships at Navarino.' God is God,' said Mahmoud, covering his brow with his hands, and no doubt thinking of his son ; ' may His will be done.'

M. de Lamartine's view of the Oriental question is very simple and peremptory. "Shall Russia take the place of Turkey? The Ottoman empire must rest in its place, or France must lose her place. Thus says France; thus says England; thus says Asia, Africa, Spain, and Italy; and thus will Austria herself say when she shall soon become, if she remains inactive, the victim of an ambition which caresses her to suffocate her in her turn. This war," he says, “is not war, but the defence of peace. The sacred

« PoprzedniaDalej »