صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

the home government, in the hope of obtaining an additional sum. As might have been expected, England lost much more than she gained by thus withdrawing, so shabbily and without any reasonable pretext, what she had herself volunteered to give. Once more the Russians got into favor, and in a short time exercised a more powerful influence in the councils of the Shah than ever, the English falling into disgrace in a corresponding ratio. Of this and its consequences we have abundant evidence in the dispatches of the British envoys, who warned the home government that the Russian agents, accredited to the Shah, were openly engaged in efforts to excite both Persia and Afghanistan against British India. The character of these efforts can be readily under stood from the following letter from Captain Burnes to the Secretary of the Indian Government :

“ Cabool, 15th November, 1837. "I do myself the honor to transmit, for the information of the GovernorGeneral, the copy of a letter received some time since by the Ameer of Cabool from his Excellency Count Simonich, the Russian Ambassador at Tehran; likewise one from the Ameer's agent forwarding the same.

“ His Lordship is already aware, by the dispatches of Her Majesty's Ambassador in Persia, that a communication was also addressed by the Russian Ambassador to the Chief of Candahar. A double opportunity is now offered of judging of the designs and intentions of Russia in this quarter.

“If any thing were wanting to bear out the correctness of Mr. M'Neil's views, as expressed in his dispatch of the 30th June last, Her Majesty's Secretary for Foreign Affairs, regarding the encouragement given to Persia by Russia to extend her influence to the countries eastward, these papers now forwarded carry the clearest proof of it, for the Russian Ambassador himself commences the correspondence with the Chief of Cabool, and tells him that, if the Shah of Persia will not assist him, his court is ready to do


16. INOLOSURE 1. 6. The Russian Ambassador, at Tehran, to Ameer Dost Mahomed Khan of Cabool:

“In these happy days, the respectable Hajee Ibrahim Khan, one of your people, arrived at the door of His Majesty the Shah. He has now got leave to return to you, and I embrace the opportunity to write to you, being induced to do so by the praises which I am always hearing of you, and the friendly conversation which has passed between your man and myself. Through him, therefore, I send this friendly letter, and hope that you in future will keep up a correspondence with me.

[ocr errors]

Considering me your friend, I trust that you will strengthen the bonds of friendship by writing to me, and freely commanding my services, as I shall always be happy to do any thing for you. “Look upon me as your servant, and let me hear from you.

(Sealed) "Count IVAN SIMONICH, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Russian Government.

16. INCLOSURE 2. Letter to Ameer of Cabool, forwarding the preceding, from Hajee Ibrahim, his agent at Tehran :

"I reached the camp of the Shah in the month of Jumad-ool-val. When his Majesty learned the contents of your letter, he was happy and kind to me; at that time the Shah was at Cushma Ali, seven marches from Tehran, near Dam Ghan; he stated that on arriving at Khalpush he would discharge me with some messages to you. On his reaching Khalpush, he went to punish the Turkomans, and I accompanied His Majesty as desired. When we returned to Sharood the winter set in, and the Shah, by the advice of his counsellors, left his artillery there, abandoned the intention of going to Herat this year, and returned to Tehran. He ordered his nobles to get ready by Noo-Roy, for an expedition to Herat.

"The Shah directed me to inform you that he will shortly send an Elchee, who, after meeting you, will proceed to Runjeet Sing to explain to him, on the part of the Shah, that if he (Runjeet) will not restore all the Afghan countries to you, the Ameer, he must be prepared to receive the Persian army. When the Shah takes Herat he has promised to send you money and any troops you want.

"The Russian ambassador, who is always with the Shah, has sent you a letter, which I enclose. The substance of his verbal messages to you is that if the Shah does every thing you want, so much the better; and if not, the Russian Government will furnish you (the Ameer) with every thing wanting.

" The object of the Russian Elchee, by his messuge, is to have a road to the English India, and for this they are very anxious. He is waiting for your answer, and I am sure he will serve you. The letter you sent through Aga Mahomed Kashee pleased the Shah very much, and he (Mahomed Hossein) will soon return to you.

"The Ansef-ud-Dowlah, the ruler of Khorassan, has written to the Shah that he saw Gar Mahomed Khan on this side of Turrah; he says that he has not power to oppose the Shah, but he will not serve him until the Shah gives him money to take Candahar and bol.

"'I send you the letter (Firmann) of the Shah, which will, I trust, meet approbation."

To these we might add numerous similar documents, writ

inferior may be the civilization of the Russian people, the ruling classes are at least equal in enlightenment and intelligence to those of any other country in the world. Indeed, this is no longer denied, except by the thoughtless and prejudiced. Nor is the fact strange ; for nowhere else is diplomacy taught as a science as it is in Russia, especially that peculiar kind of diplomacy that is required to deal successfully with Orientals. Even in thoughtful and learned Germany, there is not so much attention paid to the Oriental languages as in Russia. In recent years, considerable attention has been paid in England to the study of Sanscrit and Hindostanee. It has become necessary, as a condition of success, for any one aspiring to become a functionary of the East India government, to understand, at least, a smattering of the two languages mentioned; but even these are studied to much greater perfection in Russia than in England. 4.6. Rarely, if ever, is a Russian ambassador sent to any country, either of Europe or Asia, of whose language he is ignorant. It is ten to one that the Russian ministers at Vienna and Berlin not only understand German but speak it fluently; the minister at the Court of St. James is almost invariably a good English scholar, capable of conversing freely in English; while there is no educated Russian who does not understand French. And nearly the same may be said of the Russian ambassadors to the different Oriental courts-certainly to those accredited to Persia and China ; whereas it is but seldom that English ministers know any thing of the languages of the courts to which they are accredited--scarcely ever of the Persian, or the Chinese--a remark which, we are sorry to add, is equally applicable to American ministers. If the assertion of Charles V., that a man knowing four languages is worth four men, be true, in any case, it is so in that of the diplomat; who, if he understands the language of the court to which he is accredited, can certainly forward the interests of his government, and protect its rights, more effectually than four who do not. And may this not account, at least in part, for the superior success of Russia in her diplomacy?

At all events, such are the facts, and now we proceed to adduce other evidence of the enormous development of the Russian empire that to be found in the increase of population. Judged by her population, Russia would not seem to the ordinary observer to be one-tenth as large as she is ; but even in this respect she is truly gigantic. At the accession of Peter the Great, Russia had already begun to be regarded as a powerful nation; her population in 1689 being 15,000,000. At the accession of Catharine II., in 1762, it had increased to 25,000,000, and she added to it 11,000,000; so that at her death, in 1796, the population of the empire was over 36,000,000. A still greater increase was made in the reign of Alexander I., at whose death the population was over 58,000,000. At the death of the Emperor Nicholas, it had increased to 75,000,000; and, now that the extensive territory of the Amoor River has been annexed, the population of the whole empire cannot be less than 100,000,000 of souls.

This vast increase will seem the more wonderful, if we bear in mind that there are powerful antagonisms operating in Russia. In no other country are there more parties, or parties more violently opposed to each other. The principal of these are the native and German parties. The former, as the name implies, are opposed to all interference from abroad in the affairs of the empire. They protest against the employment of foreigners in any of the offices of honor or emolument under the government. In a word, they are quite as exclusive, in this respect, as were the Know Nothing party, in this country, some two or three years since. In this respect they are antagonistic to the Emperor as well as to the German party, because the Czar is always ready to avail himself of talent, let it come whence it may. No sovereign in the world is more liberal in this regard; and it is a policy which has not been confined to any particular occupant of the imperial throne, from the time of Peter the Great to the present. The German party is foreign only in name. No other party are more faithful, more attached to the sovereign, or more ready to devote their lives and fortunes to the aggrandizement of the empire. Indeed, all parties agree on this point; but they differ widely as to the means that ought to be used for its accomplishment. One will oppose a measure, if only because it originated with another; nor does the opposition always cease in time of war with foreign nations, but has often been the cause of disasters which would have proved the ruin of nations possessed of less' recuperative energy.

The Czar is regarded as a despot; but, in reality, he is so only in the eyes of foreign nations. The great nobility consider themselves as the guardians of the sovereign, and hold that he must be guided by their wishes and advice. Sometimes, indeed, he has set both their wishes and advice at de

ten at different periods from 1800 to 1861—all tending to prove beyond dispute, first, that Russia has framed her whole Eastern policy for nearly a century, and does so still, with a view to the ultimate acquisition of India, and, secondly, that England has framed her Eastern policy so as to throw all possible obstacles in Russia's way. We do not mean that Great Britain is to blame for this; on the contrary, we hold that it is her duty to protect her possessions by all means in her power.

Stili less do we mean that it would be better for the cause of liberty or civilization that Russia should succeed in her efforts to possess herself of British India, for we do not believe it would.

That the East India Company has cruelly oppressed, nay, tortured, the Hindoos much more recently than the time of Burke and Sheridan, is but too well known. But this is no longer the case; at least, the use of torture has been discontinued; for none have protested more strongly against it than Englishmen. At all events

, we point out the progress of Russia to the eastward only as an important political fact -a fact which, as we have already intimated, may exercise a considerable influence on the present war.

Perhaps it is well for England herself, for more than one reason, that she knows, from experience, that she has need, even in time of peace, to keep an ever-vigilant eye on the movements of Russia. Had she not to be always on the alert to guard against the intrigues of the great despotism of the North, it may well be doubted whether she could have remained at peace with us as long as she has, for be it remembered that in not a single instance has any difficulty arisen between this country and England, but leading members of both Houses of Parliament—some of her ablest statesmen-have openly warned those, disposed to war, against such complications as it was in the power of Russia to bring about at any time, as soon as she found Great Britain engaged with a power like the American Republic.

If Russia had made no progress in the East but what she has made within the last year, her movements might well be regarded with anxiety, if not with alarm, by England, who cannot forget that the same power that confronts her everywhere in the East, also confronts her in the North ; that, in short, the Russian Empire is not confined even to the whole of Northern Asia and Northern Europe, but also extends into North America. An alliance, therefore, on the part of

« السابقةمتابعة »