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that a British or French army would have danced round the Muscovites during the formations, the author goes on to say
“The Russians bave some good qualities as soldiers; they are easily fed and lodged, are patient of hardships, and immovable under the heaviest fire. They are not, however, well calculated (the infantry I mean) for aggressive movements. Tbe tallest and best made men are generally selected for the guard and cavalry: the general run of the infantry is far below the standard of other European nations. They are clothed in thick warm coats, suited to their climate, but very beavy; and their arms and accoutrements are of the same kind, useful but ponderous. They are, in a measure, physically unfit for very rapid movements, and the soldiers are, besides, wanting in individual intelligence, so that, once broken or put into confusion, it is next to impossible to bring them into shape again. The Russian armies also labour under two heavy disadvantages—their medical staff and appliances are very defective, and the commissariat absolutely nil. Frugal as they are, a Russian army would have absolutely starved in Spain. The military resources and power of Russia have of late been the subjects of much discussion in this country, and, as usual, where information is difficult to be obtained, reports and statements are liable to great exaggeration. The progress of that people depends more on their intrigues, and the apathy of the other nations of Europe, than in anything they possess as a military power. More than another age will elapse before she can compete in the field with the nations of Europe, principally from the causes I have stated above. In confirmation, I would point out, that nearly all the actions in which the Russiads have gained, or nearly gained, success, have been those in which there was the least occasion for manæuvres; Trebbia, Prussish Eylau, Borodino, Malo Jaroslavitz, were all fought in defensive positions. Leipsic was an offensive action, but it scarcely differed from the others, inasmuch as there were no movements required; it was a fight in a cock-pit. Russia could not have taken an active part in the inva. sion of France, if English money had not put her armies into motion, both in the campaigns of 1814 and 1815. When left to herself, after the experience gained in these wars, what a poor figure she cut in her attack on Turkey! She lost the first campaign, with one hundred thousand men, and would never have passed the Balkan, opposed by any other enemy than the degenerate Turks. Even now, we see this so called mighty empire held at bay by a handful of brave mountaineers of by Circassia.”
Our author saw Sir Walter Scott in the gallery of the Louvre during the infliction of the great moral lesson;" that is, the packing up and restoring to their owners in Italy all the glorious pictures and statues which the French republicans and Buonaparte had taken par le droit du plus fort ; and this meeting with Sir Walter leads to a mention of an amusing mistranslation from the ballad of Bessy Bell and Mary Gray, quoted in one of the novels.
Bessy Bell and Mary Gray,
Which the Frenchman rendered—“ Bessy Bell et Mary Gray étaient deux jolies filles; ; elles se battirent une petite chaumiere, et en chassèrent les importuns. The rashes were a stumbling-block, but he came to a conclusion that they were rash, troublesome lovers; and that stickit meant thumping. Our vagabond is very
upon French faces and busts, but he does justice to the legs of the Parisians. Upon this subject he is also very philosophical.
“ The legs are, however, in general very good. This I have heard attributed to the badness of the pavé in Paris, which obliging the dear creatures to walk always tiptoe, strengthens the muscles of the calves of the legs, and makes the ankles fine and well formed. This most people who have walked the streets in the French metropolis can vouch for, as the ladies are not at all chary about showing their legs.
I walked once through a very dirty street; there was a well-dressed female in front
Her drapery was tucked up not far from the order of the garter, and although the street was nearly floating in mud, there was not one speck on either of the white stockings that were delighting my vision. They have since constructed trottoirs (footways) along the sides of the principal streets, which will allow people to walk on the soles of their feet. I hope they will not deteriorate the ladies' legs."
We shall not widely depart from the spirit of our vagabond's arrangement, if from ladies' legs we proceed to Prince Talleyrand.
“ It was the peculiar talent of Prince Talleyrand to catch a view of these before the rest of the world, and he might have been, with great reason, called a political prophet. He not only saw what was likely to happen, but had the tact to profit by the events when they took place. It has been somewhat exaggerated to say that be. bad the talent to steer clear of all the changes of the revolution. He certainly cleverly adapted himself to the successive changes that took place latterly, but there was a period when all his abilities would not have saved him bad he remained in France. He very wisely took French leave of absence for a considerable period, and, to help him to pass the time, married another's man's wife, about whom so many ridiculous stories have been told. Notwithstanding his various connexions with republicans, and their forms of government, there was not a higher aristocrat in Europe than the Prince of Benevento, of which nearly his last words were a strong proof. When the king visited him in his last illness, he said it was the greatest honour his house had ever received."
Our vagabond is very much of a gentleman, and one given to reflection. All that he says about the state and prospects of France is well worthy of attention. And here we should observe, that he has been in the habit of visiting the capital and some of the provinces frequently since the time of the military occupation. His last visit seems to have been quite recent, and he draws what appears to us a correct comparison between the condition of the country in 1815 and its present condition. On the whole, this parallel is very encouraging. There is much to do, and there are some grand obstacles to remove; but the French are evidently in the right way, and another quarter of a century of peace and good understanding with their neighbours will work wonders.
Most of our readers must have heard of the asphalte, or bitumen pave. ment. Here is what our author says on the subject.
They have lately laid down a pavement or road in the neighbourhood of les Champs Elysées, consisting of blocks laid on sand, and the interstices filled up with asphalte or bitumen. This has been found to answer very well, and a good road is such an entire novelty, that it has put all the Parisians in a fancy for this natural production. Twenty companies have been formed for working asphalte, and all the papers contain advertisements to that effect. It will be rather curious, if the usage becomes general, that we should be so long before taking advantage of a practice of such great antiquity. Pliny mentions that the walls of Babylon were cemented with this fluid. It has always been the custom in the Balearic Islands to construct the bouses first, and then pour in a bituminous fluid, called guiche, which in a few days becomes as hard as stone. If this bituminous fancy continues, it ought to be of benefit to the land-owners in Trinidad, where there are lakes of some extent of this substance.”
In the next extract the observations of a military man on railroads, as means of war, are entitled to notice. It has always appeared to us that railroads must be rather valuable as means of preventing war by rapidity of communication and an increased friendly intercourse, than as means of active hostility.
“ The railroads next struck the fancy of our Gallic neighbours, and they have entered into the projects with the greatest enthusiasm. Their heated fancies could not be satisfied with one line to commence with, they must have a grand réseau to cover all the territory of France. It serves to show the military bias of the French, that one of the principal, and indeed the first, advantage of railways pointed out by the speakers on both sides, would be the rapidity with which armies could be despatched to the frontier. This, bowever, is somewhat problematical. A hired emissary might, in the night, stop the march of troops by very simple means. It would appear that the powers of steam, applied to warfare, are rather limited ; there can be no fighting steam-vessels, unless they are made shot proof, and railways on the continent would always be liable to destruction, either by spies in the country, or incursions of light troops. A pickaxe, or a few ounces of gunpowder, would impede all locomotion in a very short time. The French had better then set about putting their high roads into good order, and if this bituminous cement answers, they will have internal means of communication which they never possessed before. They are beginning to be aware of the value of putting one part of the country in contact with another, and are now looking up' their old canals to make them available. When they have done all this, they will turn to general commerce, and take more liberal views of that subject. There are many men who understand the principles of reci. procity in trade, but the mass is still full of prejudices. They can neither believe that our abolition of the slave-trade is effected on principles of philanthropy, or that we have not some secret object in reserve for our particular benefit. They are ultra on the idea of encouraging their manufactures coute qui coute ;—the whole of the projected railroads could be laid down with iron from England at one third of the ex. pense; but no, they must bolster up the iron trade at home, although, from physical reasons, it is quite impossible it should be ever able to compete with ours. We have lowered the duties on their wines, and the only thing they have done in return is to admit into the northern ports British coal (they could not do without.) A bottle of porter costs two francs in Paris, and a bottle of French brandy in England seven shilings; being; in both cases, five times the intrinsic value of the things, and this is called protecting home manufactures. It protects bumbug."
We have been wonderfully tickled by the following little anecdote. Never was anything more French than this Frenchman's answer. The convenience of the footpaths in London being pointed out to a Frenchman, he said, “ Oui, c'est assez joli ; mais pour moi
j'aime la totalité de la rue. We will take our leave of this little volume, which merits far more attention than it is likely to meet, with another interesting passage about internal communication.
“Even now (1838) there is no improvement. In a recent discussion in the Chamber of Deputies, one of the ministers stated that the great bigh-road between Chalons and St. Menehould was nearly impassable, and to confirm it, another mem ber stated, that if a carriage was upset on this route there would be no danger of breaking the window-blinds, the mud was so soft and fluid. It was also acknowledged at the same time that the road from 'Bordeaux to Bayonne, across the great Landes, had been impassable these last fourteen years. Such being the deplorable state of the roads, it is little wonder that the French should seize with avidity all the railroad projects offered to them, and, with their naturally sanguine feelings, imagine their country all intersected with works of this kind, of which they see an epitome in the newly-made railway to St. Germain and Versailles. But they are, as I have said, at once at issue with the government as to the mode of effecting their object. In this respect the ruling powers in France are very different from our own. With us, government will have nothing to do with anything unless it pays them, or, in the official phrase, yields revenue; while the government of our neighbours wish to interfere everywhere. In this affair, however, of the railroads, there is a slight approximation, as the government chose for its own share the most profitable line, that from Paris to Brussels, with a branch to Calais,– probably the only one that will ever pay. They have been defeated in their object, but had they succeeded, it would have been very hazardous to have formed any conjecture with regard to the time it would have been completed in. I have shown that thirty years were required to build a stone arch, within a mile of Paris ; it may from thence be probably calculated how long it would take to run a railway for two hundred miles.”
The Shajrat ul Atrak, or Genealogical Tree of the Turks and Tatars.
Translated and Abridged by COLONEL MILES.
A valuable contribution to Eastern history--a guide which Gibbon would have delighted to have had when engaged in the composition of some of the grandest and most perfect chapters of his wondrous work. The Shajrat ul Atrak appears to have been copied from the compilation of Turkish or Mogul history made by order of Alugh Beg Mirza. Colonel Miles's translation seems to be done with unusual care and elegance. The way in which he preserves the oriental style and character is really admirable. We are occasionally puzzled by his odd way of spelling the names of eastern places and people; and cannot help wishing that some fixed and unvarying standard, like that recommended by the high authority of Mr. Lane, could be adopted.
The traditional portion of this oriental history is not the least interest, ing part of it. It appears to be chiefly a fanciful variation of the narrative in our Old Testament.
" It is related,” says the annalist, “ that Cain for a long time, not knowing what to do with the body of Abel, carried it about with him, till one day he arrived at a place where two ravens were fighting ; and one being killed, the living one hid him beneath the earth—and this taught Cain to bury his brother Abel. Until this period, Adam did not know what death was; but when he became aware of its nature, he wept bitterly, and in his grief composed certain verses in the Syriac language, and the learned' have translated them into the Arabic verses— Death will change and destroy cities, and those governing them, and disfigure the face of the earth. It will change everything possessing colour or nourishment, and even the divine countenance of man is nought but corruption. Great is my grief for my son Abel-he is slain and laid in his narrow grave.' Iblis (Satan) after this persuaded Cain that fire was angry with him because he did not prostrate himself before it: that if he did, fire would be satisfied, and his sacrifice would burn. These words threw Cain into doubt and perplexity, and he at length offered his adorations to ire. Murder and fire-worship are, therefore, derived from Cain. And whoever commits these crimes bereafter, one register of them will be entered against Cain, and one against the perpetrator, and at the last day they shall receive their appropriate punishment."
In the narrative of merely mortal affairs, the author of the “ Shajrat ul Atrak” is simple and clear, not without an occasional touch of grandeur. Armies of half millions each sweep across the stage in all the pomp of the Orient, and every conqueror pretends to be an instrument of Fate, and every vanquished king exclaims—" It is the will of God!"
The following passage about the introduction of bank-notes, or papermoney, by the Tatar conquerors of Persia in the fourteenth century, is curious.
“In the year of the Hejira 693, the use of jade or stamped paper-money, was introduced into Persia, but subsequently abolished. It is related in the histories of those times, that stamped paper to serve as current money was first introduced in commercial transactions in Persia by the advice of Ab-ud-deen Muzzuffur: these notes were long slips of paper, stamped on both sides with the arms or seal of the prince, and on both sides also were written the profession of faith, and the names of two witnesses, and between them the names of the king of kings. But by the introduction of these jades, the resort of merchants to Persia was interrupted, and the buying and selling of all merchandise stopped ; and so the Emeers assembled and represented these things to the king of kings, and he ordered bis jades to be abolished.”
In China the Tatars had introduced the use of paper-money as early, at least, as A.D. 1240. In multiplying bank-notes out of all proportion, our Mr. Pitt only imitated that illustrious potentate Jin-Tsong, of the dynasty of Kin, emperor of China, and kinsman of the Sun and Moon. Thus there is nothing new under the sun-nothing new even in Pitt's strange system of finance, always excepting his taxing the blessed light of heaven! The forgery of a bank-note in China was visited with death as with us, and as the Chinese notes were as easily imitated as our own, the Old Bailey of Pekin could make out as respectable a list of executions as the Old Bailey of London-in the good old times !
An Abridged Account of the Misfortunes of the Dauphin, followed by
some Documents in support of the Facts related by the Prince ; with a Supplement. Translated from the French by the Hon. and Rev. C. G. PerciVAL, Rector of Calverton, Bucks.
When we reflect on the measureless credulity of the world, or of a very large part of it, we are perfectly astonished at the small number of impostors that are in it. Surely these rogues are over-modest, or they lack courage, and a proper acquaintance with their profession. If recently, upon the demise of the great Thom, any well-informed juggler had taken upon himself to do the resurrection part of his business, and given himself out for Thom risen from the dead, after a complete digestion of the musket bullet or bullets, we have no doubt whatever that he would have found some dupes. · The slightest personal resemblance would have been enough to serve that purpose, or to establish an identity; for it is not unreasonable to expect that somesm all changes must be produced in a man's person hy death and burial.
There are probably few of our readers that have not heard of sham dauphins, or vagabonds pretending to be the son and heir of the unfor. tunate Louis XVI. These fellows have been everywhere! Not long ago there were three of them at once in London. The boldest of them used to parade his rags and tatters in Leicester Square ; and the last time we saw his soi-disant royal highness, he had no shoes or stockings to his feet. We might say of dauphins as Coleridge once said of ghosts—that he had seen too many of them to believe in their real existence. The French government, at different times, has taken the trouble of exposing some half dozen of these miserable Perkin Warbecks, sending them afterwards to prison or the bagnio ; but it has never been able to put a stop to the speculation. The most remarkable of these adventurers was the prisoner of Milan in 1821, who is described by Silvio Pellico, and of whom some further account may be found in a curious little work, published some two years ago, under the title of “The Book of Table Talk.” This pretender (whose pretensions led him to an Austrian state prison) was a man of most elegant manners, highly educated, and strikingly like the Bourbon family. His story was consistent, and indeed perfectly convincing, to all persons of a lively imagination, who could forget that the death of the real dauphin in the Temple was a fact as well proved as that of his father being beheaded in the Place Louis XV. But, indeed, there is not one of the dauphin-stories we have heard of, but is incomparably better than the one now set forth by this honourable and reverend English gentleman, whose reasoning upon the subject is, if possible, more lame than the story itself. The honourable and reverend gentleman disavows all political motives and designs whatever, and protests that he has not the most distant intention of overthrowing the present dynasty of France. Certes, that very weak and helpless sovereign, Louis Philippe, ought to be very much obliged to him! And yet, upon looking into the matter, we find that the honourable and reverend gentleman is rather restrained by the want of a proper feeling for legitimacy in this country, than by any fixed principles of his own. England, he says, has for many years done