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may leave a portion of his army to invest the place and advance with the rest. If he leaves a small force behind him, you can beat it and cut off his communications; if he leaves a large force, what remains will not suffice for a decisive advance. In any case, a part is less than the whole. If you leave Schumla, you bring down the whole after you; if you remain there, you have to face but a part. As long as you are at Schumla, there is no danger for Constantinople. If the Russians advance on Adrianople, it is an additional reason for you to remain at Schumla. They will take Adrianople or not; in the former case, they must hold it with a great part of their forces; in the latter, they have lost the game, for they cannot leave Adrianople in their rear. In either case Constantinople is safe. But if at last you are compelled to evacuate Schumla, what should be your line of retreat ? withdraw upon Constantinople, the main body of the enemy will follow you; you will concentrate his attack, instead of dividing it. If you throw yourselves into the valley of the Maritza, half the Russian army must follow you, and the other half will not be strong enough to march on the capital. Meanwhile, the fall of the year will come on, and the Russians will have to retreat. To fight no battle against the advance of the enemy—to divide his forces—to harass him without ceasing—to stick close to the Danube-to bring all the strength you can to bear on his rear--these are your principles. The climate, hardships, and sickness will have consumed half his army before the end of the campaign. Io not be afraid of the naval operations of the Russians. A Russian squadron in the Black Sea is much too precarious an instrument to serve as a base for operations by land. Constantinople cannot be attacked, even though it be ill defended, with less than 100,000 men; and it is absolutely impossible to enable 100,000 men to subsist for four weeks before Constantinople on the magazines of Wallachia and Moldavia.'

By adhering to these sound principles, as the Duke of Wellington declared, the Turks did succeed in beating off the Russian attack in 1828; and in 1829, a little more resolution and activity on their part might (to use the words of Count Moltke) “have hurled Diebitsch from the summit of victory and success to the lowest depths of ruin and destruction.'

To these remarks we will only add one short passage from Count Moltke himself:

Sultan Mahmoud, in the years 1834 and 1836, rebuilt Varna, the most important fortress of his empire, according to a plan in favour of which there is not much to be said. Schumla, which has lost nothing of its strategical importance, has been materially strengthened by the stone forts of Strandscha, Tchally, Veddai, and Tchengel

, as well as by the erection of large massive barracks, hospitals, and storehouses. Pravadi may be temporarily fortified with very slender means (this is now also a strong place], and these three places will in future be able to arrest the progress of an army of 50,000 or 60,000 men for months beneath their walls. In 1828–9 the passes of the Balkan

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mountains were not defended at all. Were the Porte to establish military colonies of Ottoman race on the plains of Aidos and Karnabat, the Balkan would unquestionably become a very formidable barrier.'

This last suggestion of the great Prussian strategist has been acted upon, to some extent, by establishing the Circassians, who were driven out of their native land by Russia, on lands south of the Balkan range.

Of the possibility of an attack on Constantinople itself, little need at present be said, for it is wholly unnecessary. In order to invest Constantinople, says Moltke, it would be necessary to have two armies in Europe, one in Asia, and a fleet in the Sea of Marmora. Such an undertaking is one of the greatest operations of war, and would require preparations both by land and sea of enormous magnitude. The defence of the city is, on the contrary, comparatively an easy task-indeed, if held by a maritime Power, with the assent of the existing Government of the place, it is impregnable.

We have entered into these military details, in which we have merely adopted the views of the Duke of Wellington, Count Moltke, and Lord Sandhurst, not because we believe war to be inevitable-still less because we desire that it should take place. We are, on the contrary, persuaded that the use of armed force for the purpose of effecting some amelioration in the condition of the Christian subjects of the Porte is an expedient of the most dangerous nature, which would probably lead to what the Duke of Wellington justly called portentous consequences. Our object has been to show, as a matter of fact, that the Turks have one of the strongest military positions in the world, and that they are probably better prepared than ever they were before, to defend it. The occupation of • Bulgaria ’ is therefore not the simple affair which some people in this country have supposed. It involves the continuous passage

of a difficult river, the reduction of four or five great fortresses, and the defeat of a very considerable army. It is possible that if Russia employs all the resources of her vast empire in such an operation, she will in the end exhaust the resources of the Ottoman Empire and defeat it. But this would probably require two or even three campaigns not less onerous to Russia herself than to Turkey; and what Russia wants is a speedy and decisive triumph. That is highly improbable in a war of positions against a Turkish army.

Even if the invasion were successful and the resistance less protracted, the mere occupation of the country would require the presence of a very large army ; and all this must be accomplished, and the country itself ruined by war, before the beneficial results of a Russianised administration of these provinces could so much as begin. It is all very well for Indian civil servants or English travellers to devise philanthropic schemes for the government of Turkey. We heartily wish they had the power to apply them, and we do not question their success. But they have not the power. Russia alone might have the power. Russia alone could occupy the country, if it is to be occupied. Russia would establish there, not a British but a Russian administration. Where Turkey ends, Russia begins. And again we say, who is to bear the expense of such operations as these? What is Russia herself, who must take the chief part in them and bear the chief burden, to gain by such an enterprise ?

We cordially sympathise with the Bulgarians; we wish them well, and we are glad to learn that there is an intelligent, industrious people springing up in that country. The whole influence of the British Government at the Porte ought to be used to assist and protect them, and as long as we are on friendly terms with the Porte that influence is great, because it is disinterested. But we presume that the British taxpayer is not to be called on to pay a farthing more because the Bulgarians are an interesting and oppressed people, still less that the British nation is to go to war to avenge their wrongs and redress their grievances.

The value of these facts is that they are great dissuasives from war, and we are happy to perceive indications that they are not without their effect on the Russian Government. If, indeed, it could have persuaded Austria to join the attack by occupying Bosnia, or England by forcing the Dardanelles, breaking a European treaty, and perhaps destroying the Turkish fleet, the work would have been half done. But for warlike purposes she has met with no support in Europe; on the contrary, the attitude of all the Powers is uncertain, of some adverse; and their opposition would probably increase in proportion to her success. If the Turks repelled the attack, well and good; if not, more than one hand might be put forth to snatch from her the fruits of victory. Moved by these considerations, the Russian ambassador at Constantinople has shown great moderation in the Conference, and a desire to cooperate with England in obtaining improved conditions for the Christian population, to which we cordially respond as long as the means of promoting these laudable objects are confined within the limits of peace. Let us by all means obtain for the Christians all that it is reasonable for us to ask and for the Porte to grant; let us, above all, insist on the faithful obser

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vance of their own laws and ordinances, which are too often a dead letter. Let the Porte be made to feel that the maintenance of friendly relations with all Europe is at this price. The difficulty, however, lies, not in the conditions we ought to ask, but in the means by which the conditions are to be enforced. If Russia insists on what she terms a “material ‘guarantee,' in the shape of a territorial invasion, that is, just as it was in 1853, an act of war; and the Porte will treat it as such, just as she did in 1828 and in 1853, though all Europe were against her. She may not object to the conditions in themselves, but unless she be extinguished as a Sovereign State altogether, she cannot accept that mode of imposing them. It seems to us preposterous to expect that the Government of a great empire should subscribe to its own extinction, at the hands of a portion of its own subjects and of its bitterest enemies, until it is reduced by war to the last stage of weakness and defeat. And as long as Russia alone is preparing, perhaps reluctantly, to take the field against her, Turkey has not much to fear. As for the joint action of Europe, she knows perfectly well that France and Germany will not act at all, that Austria will not help the Russians to cross the Danube, and that England will not attack the Turkish fleet.

If the Turks are wise they will take advantage of the present crisis to introduce real reforms into their administration. We cordially agree with Sir George Campbell, that it is at the bottom, and not at the top, that they ought to begin. Give the Christians a full share of powers in their village communities; abolish the tax-farmer, and establish a land settlement (Sir George says the actual rate of taxation is considerably lower than that we raise in India); put restrictions on the sale and use of arms; introduce, in short, the administrative reforms which a few Bengal civilians would establish in six months, and we should hear much less of political grievances threatening to rend the whole fabric of an empire asunder. These are substantially the proposals included in Lord Derby's despatch of November 4th, and it would be the height of unwisdom and injustice on the part of the Turks to reject them, though it would be equally absurd for us to seek to introduce changes of this nature by force of arms.

Our readers will perceive that although we have not the slightest disposition to declare war against Russia, or to assume the defence of the Turkish Government, we are equally opposed to measures of war to be executed conjointly with Russia against the Porte. Our distrust of Russia, our own public engagements by treaty, and our national interests appear to us to forbid altogether such a course ; and we are wholly at a loss to understand how the enthusiastic partisans of peace,

who describe the horrors of war in such vivid language, can advocate a course which leads straight to hostilities, and to hostilities against a friendly Power. If the policy of this country is, as we take it to be, not to act by force of arms either on behalf of Turkey or against her, then we think that the charge to which the present Administration is most obnoxious is that they have spoken and done too much. Perhaps our own position would have been stronger if we had shared the reticence and abstention of Germany and France, who have certainly not suffered at all by standing aloof. The great activity of the press of this country, and the excited state of public opinion, doubtless render such strict non-intervention more difficult in England than elsewhere. Yet non-intervention is still the professed principle of our foreign policy, and we are not sure that we have gained anything in this instance by departing from it. It is certainly an entire delusion to suppose that this country has stronger interests in the government of Turkey than any other, or that we are called upon to administer its affairs.

Within a few weeks Parliament will meet and these matters will be discussed with an animation which will, we fear, consume for the sake of Bulgarians and Turks a vast deal of the time of a session which is always too short for the practical legislation of the country. The apprehension of a war, in which we ourselves are likely to be actively engaged, may, we think, be dismissed for the present; we have only to follow the precedent of 1828, when a much greater man than Lord Beaconsfield was at the head of the British Government. If the Conference leads to practical results without the use of force, Lord Salisbury will have rendered an eminent service to all parties, to Russia as well as to Turkey, to Great Britain and the rest of Europe. Nor, if he falls short of success, should we be disposed to attribute his failure to any defect of the ambassador, but to insurmountable difficulties in the case. But it seems probable that the Conference will lead to no practical result at all, except that of preventing a good deal of mischief which might otherwise have occurred.

The opinions we have expressed in these pages are, we have reason to believe, in the main, those which are held by that portion of the Liberal party which has not allowed itself to take part in declamatory meetings or to be excited by angry pamphleteers. We yield to none in sympathy with the ChrisVÜL. CXIV. NO, CCXCVII.


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