Obrazy na stronie

will never consent that it shall forfeit the high place which it has obtained among the magazines of the day, or make it a vehicle for ministering to the gratification of base passions and a corrupt taste.

We do not conceal that we hope ultimately to make our work a source of pecuniary profit to ourselves; but united with that motive we have another, and a higher, in view. We seek - as from the beginning we have professed to do,

we seek to encourage and promote an elevated standard of public taste, and thus to aid in counteracting the injurious influence of much that is called periodical literature. The best mode of accomplishing this has appeared to us to be, to furnish at the lowest possible price a work which shall always be possessed of interest, but every page of which shall tend to ennoble the mind, to improve the taste, and to purify the heart, of readers in every condition of life. With this design we commenced the publication, and with this design we shall continue to carry it on; and we are encouraged to do so by the communications which have reached us from various highly esteemed correspondents, expressing the hope that no consideration will induce us to lower the tone of the work.

If, however, this aim of the Daguerreotype is to be accomplished, the sphere of its influence must be extended far beyond its present limits, and that through the coöperation of those whose views on these subjects coincide with our own.

It is very true that we have no reason to complain ; for; considering that no extraordinary means bave been used for promoting the circulation ; that it has stood indebted to no puffing, and has rested entirely upon its own merits; that even the legitimate modes of making it known have only been employed in a few localities ; considering, we say, these circumstances, our list of subscribers is perhaps larger than we had a right to anticipate. But these very circumstances prove what might be done if greater efforts were made; and we do not, therefore, we hope, ask too much if we invite all those who wish well to our publication, all who have at heart the important objects for the advancement of which we are laboring, to exert their influence in their respective localities, and, by promoting the success of the Daguerreotype, promote in some small measure the moral and intellectual culture of their fellow-citizens.

Translated for the Daguerreotype.


There is no empire in the world which is uni- | to show that England would never without her versally regarded with so much suspicion as that constitution have been what she is; but we do of the Autocrat of all the Russias. And yet not now purpose to investigate the reasons which Russia takes the greatest pains to banish the have induced the Emperor to constitute himself terrors which fear and hatred, those frequently the champion of autocracy, but to examine inseparable sisters, have called forth among all whether the power of Russia is really as great who are not Russians. No expense is shunned; as it is daily affirmed to be. hundreds of thousands are scattered with prodi And first, let us consider the enormous terrigal liberality in order to win over public opinion torial extent of the Russian empire. It is true in the civilized countries of Europe ; panegyrists that the area of the lands which it includes are rewarded with truly imperial generosity; but amounts to not less than one thirtieth of the all works which evince any sympathy with Rus-whole surface of the earth, and one seventh of sia, only inflame the hatred which exists; they the dry land; they embrace portions of three bave injured rather than raised her in public quarters of the globe, and are more than twice estimation. The personal appearance and man as large as Europe. At no period, as far as hisners of the Emperor, and of all the members of tory reaches, has there existed an empire of such the imperial family, exercise an imposing influ- enormous magnitude; the Roman empire, when ence upon all, whether friends or foes; more on the pinnacle of its greatness, included all the than one anti-Russian has been won by the ami- countries which were then known, but yet its ability and majesty of the Autocrat; at least extent can scarcely have been one fourth of that temporarily. Germany, Italy, and not least of the Russian empire, which stretches over two England, have more than once had occasion to hundred degrees of longitude, and reaches from admire the lavish and almost extravagant gen- the icy regions of the North Pole to beyond the erosity of the Ruler on the shores of the Neva; thirty-eighth degree of north latitude. not only were surprise and wonder manifested, But this huge colossus ceases to be terrible but even public opinion seemed for a time to when we reflect, that its territory of 360,000 change in favor of Russia. But a few weeks geographical square miles contains but little only elapsed, and the old hatred of the colossus more than sixty millions of inhabitants ; and is of the North awoke again in all its strength. still less imposing when we consider of what

If we ask what are the causes which have kinds of men these sixty millions are composed. called forth this hatred, especially in England, In the more civilized countries of Europe there and with scarcely less of vehemence in Germany are on the average from three to four thousand and France, we find principally the two follow- inhabitants to the square mile, while in the Rusing. First, the magnitude of the Russian empire, sian empire the same space is occupied by less and the external power which it thereby pos- than two hundred. The scantiness of its popusesses; and secondly, the absolute principle which lation is of service when a powerful enemy the autocrat of all the Russias seeks to maintain crosses its boundaries, and endeavours to traverse in its integrity.

its wide prairies and uncultivated tracts; the At a period when all civilized nations are numerous irregular troops, known by the name striving for representative governments, the of Cossacks, are then highly useful; and, either monarch who opposes this, the favorite idea of voluntarily or under compulsion, swarm around the age, with all the might which is at his com- the enemy. Even if Russia then gives up to mand, cannot claim to be regarded with affec- the enemy the few towns which lie in his road, tion. But the Emperor Nicholas has more than it will not yet be conquered; even if its capital once openly declared that there are only two is lost, the Russian, almost like Abdel-Kader in forms of government which he can respect, the the desert, finds in the eastern steppes a safe autocratical and the democratical; and these in refuge, where he can quietly wait until the enetheir purity and without any constitutional ad- my, destitute of provisions, is obliged to commixtures; he has even spoken with contempt of mence a retreat; nowhere can he find the necesall constitutions, and has affirmed that a country saries of life, and to procure them from Germany with a representative government has never or from the seashore would require almost as accomplished any thing great. It would be easy strong an army as that which has to contend

against Russia. Was it otherwise in the year , ble to them than to the Turks. Russian officers 1812? Was the army of Napoleon annihilated have acknowledged that the entire army would solely by the bravery of the Russians ? They have been lost, if peace had not ensued, and that take great pains to ascribe to the patriotism and it was only rescued from its desperate condition valor of the Russians what was due to higher by the inopportune cowardice of the Divan at causes; but can there have been any patriotism, Constantinople. when even in the immediate neighbourhood of It is said that in 1812 there were, including Moscow, and in the capital itself

, whole troops the irregular troops, a million and a balf of solof Russians committed greater acts of violence diers in arms; but though Russia made the than did the French invaders ? Can there have most strenuous exertions not more than one been any valor when all the armies of Russia half of this force really existed ; then, as now, were unable to arrest the rapid, victorious march the moiety was only there on paper. It is of Napoleon to Moscow, and only then tri- equally difficult to say with any degree of accuumphed, when hunger, cold, and misery became racy what the amount of her forces is at the their allies? If York and the Prussians had present day; she has from seven to eight hunnot arisen, the year 1813 might not have been dred thousand men on paper : but it is probable so propitious to Russia.

that, inclusive of all the Cossacks, Bashkirs, NogBut it would be very different if Russia should yars, and other barbarous nations, they do not be called upon to maintain a foreign war for exceed half a million. Although it is said that several years. It is true that she has great re out of five hundred inhabitants only one is every sources at her command. She alone has suc

year chosen by lot to serve as a soldier, a second ceeded in converting her soldiers, and to cer- levy would be attended with very great difficultain extent her officers, into a machine, which ties, and a third would probably be impossible. the engineer, the commander, has only to touch In the spring of 1846 it was found necessary to in order to give to it the necessary motion. It dissolve an entire corps in order to fill up the is also true that during more than a century ranks of the regiments which were engaged in Russia has been the conqueror in every war in the war on the Caucasus. which she has been engaged, and that during But Russia cannot even employ this force of this period scarcely a year has elapsed which half a million against a foreign enemy. The has not seen an addition made to the extent of Caucasian lands require an army of a hundred her empire. But the times have changed; en-thousand men; a similar force must always be croachments, at least on the western boundary, ready for action in the Polish provinces, and are no longer possible; there is not another fifty thousand are required for the defence of country, like Poland, so miserable within itself, the southern boundary in Asia. In order therethat Russia could fix upon it her longing eyes. fore to bring even a quarter of a million into Prussia and Austria are her western neighbours, the field, Russia would bave to leave the Eastand both stand in an attitude of defence, suffi- ern provinces entirely unprotected; and this is ciently prepared to repel every attack. Only if a force to wbich either Prussia or Austria could Germany should again be disunited, if Austria oppose one of equal strength. It must also be should rejoice over the humiliation of Prussia, remembered that there are only three roads in or Prussia over that of Austria, would it be pos- Russia, namely, from Tauroggen to Riga, from sible that, with the aid of a crafty policy, Russia Petersburg to Moscow, and from Petersburg could be victorious in such a contest. But even to Warsaw, which are at all times passable; and in that case it would be necessary that the con- with respect to railroads she is yet more behind test should be a short one; for Russia is wholly her western neighbours; so that it would be a unable to carry on a long war beyond the limits work of time and of very great difficulty, to of her own territory; even if it were requisite send, if it were necessary, reinforcements to to reinforce but once the troops which had al- join an army engaged in foreign warfare. ready marched into a foreign country, innumer It is necessary, however, that we should say a able difficulties would ensue.

few words respecting the soldiers of whom the The pages of modern history present no in- Russian army is composed. The regular troops stance of Russia having carried on a war of consist almost entirely of Russians, Finns, Poles, long duration. With Napoleon she fought on each Germans, and Jews. During the long years of occasion but for a short time; more recently she military service the men sprung from these differhas been engaged in war with Persia and with ent races entirely lose their nationality; the Turkey; but although these countries have for Jew, the German, and the Pole is merged in the many years been far from flourishing, the situa- Russian soldier, and becomes, like the native tion of the Russian forces at Adrianople was Russian, a part of a great machine. Russians such, that a speedy peace was even more desira are proud of this circumstance, and think that it

makes them the best soldiers; but the boasted but the government has to pay for it from eight valor of the Russian soldier exists only in imagi- to ten. nation. It is true that he is whollly passive, and Russia is however said to be very rich, and in with unbounded apathy will let himself be push late years her gold mines have been extraordied to the mouth of a cannon. The recruit bids narily productive. It is a question whether the an eternal farewell to his family; great as be- whole of this treasure really exists otherwise fore had been his dread and his detestation of a than on paper, as has been found to be the case soldier's life, these feelings are speedily changed with the schools entered in the report of the into complete indifference. From the moment Minister of public worship. But admitting that in which he becomes a recruit, the Russian the gain is as great as is represented, we must ceases to live for himself, for his family, and for remember that Russia requires an enormous inDature. It fortunately happens that his nat come to defray the expenses of her civil and vrally submissive temper, and a certain de- military administration, and that the industry of gree of fatalism usually gives him strength to the people yields no return as it does in the endure all the toils, privations, and hardships, other countries of Europe. To judge of the to which, in war and in peace, he is equally wealth of Russia we need only remark that she subjected.

has not even been able to furnish the necessary Where the issue of a battle depends upon the capital for the construction of a railroad from preponderance of a mass, and where a skilful Petersburg to Moscow. She has a few enorgeneral knows how to make good use of his mously wealthy families, but on the other hand, forces, a Russian army derives a great advantage in no other country, with the exception perhaps from this submissiveness; but as soon as the of Ireland, is there such utter destitution and contest becomes more complicated, and victory poverty; and she is wholly without those middle depends upon the skill of the subordinate lead- classes which constitute the strength of other ers, or the bravery of individual soldiers, it will nations. seldom be successful. History affords one ex Lastly, there is one more circumstance to be ample of a Russian army extricating itself from considered, which detracts from the power of the a very precarious situation; but this is a splen- Russian empire ; we mean the want of patriotism ded exception, and there will not soon be and public spirit. Patriotism in the true sense another Suwarow.

of the word requires a certain degree of educaThe irregular troops are, as we have already tion, an education which cannot be found in mentioned, of the greatest service, when an Russia, except among the very highest ranks, enemy has penetrated into the interior of Russia, and among the few families in the middle classes but in a foreign war would be much less useful. who are of foreign extraction. But even supAll these hordes are brave, so long as they are posing the Russian peasant to be able to read successful, and especially so long as there is and write, how can he have any love for his abundance of booty; but as soon as fighting be- country when he may any day be sold and sent gins in earnest, they take to flight, and often to a distance of hundreds of miles. He generalthrow the main army into confusion.

ly, if well treated, is attached to his master, but But war costs money, and is more expensive he has no idea of those higher qualities which to Russia than to any other country. Tables patriotism requires. And even the more refined have been constructed showing the cost of each Russians appear to be incapable of those lofty soldier in different states; and Russia in these deeds of self-devotion, which patriotism has calculations appears to have very cheap soldiers. called forth among all civilized nations, and in But a closer examination proves that the advan- all times. General Passek and Colonel Schulze, tage is not so great as it appears to be. It is who have within the last few years played so true that the Russian soldier, and even the conspicuous a part in the Caucasian war, are Russian officer, receive less pay than, for in- cited as instances to the contrary; both were stance, the Prussian; but in the first place they Germans, whose hearts could not have glowed are exempted from the universal taxation, which with love for a country, the national character accordingly falls so much the heavier upon the of which is so different from that of their own. nation, and in the next place no account has How in fine can there be any idea of patriotism been taken of the impositions which are notori- among the numerous Germans, Frenchmen, and ously practised by the government employés, Englishmen, who are in the Russian service, and and which amount to a sum equivalent to the who have especially distinguished themselves in entire cost of the army.

The colonel of a regi war? How can there be Russian patriotism ment generally becomes a rich man in the course among the Georgians, Finns, Poles, and all the of two or three years. A pound of salt meat other heterogeneous nations who are subjects of can, for instance, be purchased for four kopeks, I the Emperor ?

From all these considerations it will be suffi- tions of Europe, so long as these continue true ciently clear that, great as is the power of the to themselves and to their own best interests. Russian empire, and vast as are its resources, it

- Berliner Literarische Zeitung. need not be an object of terror to the other na


The Prose Writers of America. By R. W.

The obstacles to American literary progress GRISWOLD. Bentley.

have been many. Some are of a social and

political character, - others of a merely merThis volume presents a fair opportunity for cantile description. The refusal of the Amerestimating the degree of progress, and the exist- ican government to protect the copyright of ing amount and value, of American literature. foreigners has, in particular, had an almost fatal The New World would seem to have started reaction on the native author. While the with many advantages : the language, the expe American publisher can get English books from rience, the literature of England had been real- England for nothing, he will scarcely deem it ized, as it were, for her benefit, — and were so worth his while to pay for those of home manumuch capital available as the basis of further facture. This “even-handed justice” operates enterprise. Little, however, for a long time still more to the injury of the trans-atlantic was done with it. One great want seemed, like writer than might have been expected. Amerithat of Hunger, to absorb all other consider can bibliopoles refuse not only to purchase, but ations. The means of political and social life even to publish, his book. They combine against had to be secured before the rarer luxuries of him to suppress his production – it being their mind and heart could be indulged; and accord- evident interest to prevent competition with the ingly, while the national intelligence was busy fame of foreign authors. It behoves, therefore, in erecting the requisite public institutions and the American littérateur to advocate to the fullcarrying out a system of commercial speculation, est extent an equitable law of international copyit lacked both time and inclination for the en- right; and we gladly recognize in the work becouragement of philosophy and art. This slow fore us the presence of this argument wherever progress becomes the more remarkable when the subject admitted of its introduction. The compared with German development. German American mind, as we have seen, is essentially literature, like American, traded first on English of a dependent character, and refers to Europe authorship. The Teutonic poets in and about for authoritative origin. The American writer the period of Klopstock drew their inspiration has looked commonly to the English for his confessedly from English sources. They had model and exemplar. "England," says Mr. not, however, the advantage of themselves writing Griswold, " has continued to do the thinking of in the same language, - they had to conquer the a large class” in the United States;- a class differences of idiom and whatever else impeded consisting, according to the same writer, “of the transfusing of the spirit of one tongue into men who have arrogated to themselves the title another; yet, the German having once received of critics” — “our sham sort of men,” he adds, the impulse, prepared to compete, as described in all departments.” Mr. Griswold himself is by Klopstock in his well-known ode on "The an evidence of the truth of his own charge: Two Muses,' wi the English mind, and suc- his very "speech bewrayeth him" - the turn of ceeded in establishing a rivalry — not, indeed, expression italicized smacks of Teutonic-Anto be feared, yet commanding profound respect. glican Carlyleism. Mr. Griswold desires someWe turn to America, and ask in vain for her thing truly American, and opines that American Klopstocks and Kants, her Stolbergs, Schubarts, institutions, with the political conflicts involved, Bürgers, Vosses, Holtys, Gotters, Lessings, Her are favorable to literary production; and sees, ders, Wielands, Werners, Schillers, Goethes, - indeed, nothing but the want of a proper law of to say nothing of her Schellings and Hegels. copyright to impede the natural effect of their We find in America worshippers and imitators influence. He deserves great credit for his bold of these writers, — and also of English bards assertion of principle. But he has conceived an and sages, such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, and idea of national literature which would deprive Carlyle; but not men who take the same un us of its main characteristics, - having set forth equivocal standing as original thinkers and doers its claims on the ground of its being national in in the field of literary emulation.

spirit rather than subject. A national literature

« PoprzedniaDalej »