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The Invasion of the Crimea, its Origin, and an Account of its Pro

gress down to the Death of Lord Raglan. By Alexander William Kinglake. Vols. I. and II. Edinburgh and London :

Blackwood and Sons. 1863. Lettres du Maréchal de Saint Arnaud. Paris : Michel Lévy Frères.

1855. Letters from Head- Quarters on the Realities of the War in the

Crimea. By an Officer of the Staff. Third edition. London:

Murray. 1858. The_Story of the Campaign of Sebastopol, written in the Camp. By Lieut.-Col

. E. Bruce Hamley, Captain Royal Artillery. With Illustrations drawn in Camp by the Author. Edinburgh and

London: Blackwood and Sons. 1855. Précis Historique des Opérations Militaires en Orient de mars

1854 à octobre 1855. Par A. du Casse, Chef-d'Escadron d'Etat

Major. Avec Cartes et Plans. Paris : E. Dentu. 1857. Atlas Historique et Topographique de la Guerre d Orient en 1854,

1855 et 1856; entrepris par ordre de S. M. l'Empereur Napoléon III; rédigé sur les Documents officiels et les Renseignements authentiques recueillis par le Corps d'Etat-Major; gravé et publié par les soins du Dépôt de la Guerre, S. Exc. le Maréchal Vaillant étant Ministre de la Guerre, et le Colonel Blondel

Directeur du Dépôt de la Guerre. 1858. MR. KINGLAKE has enjoyed great advantages in the composition of his history. Six years ago Lady Raglan intrusted him with the whole of her husband's papers, including the reports addressed to the commander-in-chief by his subordinates, and his correspondence of all kinds, with sovereigns, ambassadors, generals, adventurers, and personal friends. Not only would it “seem as though no paper addressed to the English head-quarters was ever destroyed," but all this mass of matter was found to be arranged in perfect order. What, therefore, Lord Raglan knew, Mr. Kinglake knows. This has not been all. Information has “poured in upon him” from all quarters; and nowhere has he found any Englishman who has wished to conceal either our errors or shortcomings. The French wardepartment was, however, not unnaturally indisposed to allow its archives to be examined by “ a gifted friend” of Mr. King, lake's. To have done so would have been to lend a quasi-official character to his statements; which, considering the temper in which he scrutinises every thing which emanates from the French authorities, would have proved, now that his book has been published, to say the least, extremely embarrassing. But surely the “ most courteous, clear, and abundant answers" which he has received from every French commander whom he has interrogated, and still more, the despatch to this country of an “ accomplished soldier” of great experience to make clear to him some of the French operations, might have saved the Imperial government from the charge of concealment.” From Russia he received a translation of the narratives of the three generals of division who commanded under Prince Mentschikoff at the Alma. And besides all this, Mr. Kinglake is obviously brimming over with that sort of story which circulates in society on the best authority,-authority which is, of course, anonymous, but may well tremble to learn that it has been recorded by the historian in black and white, and will hereafter be revealed on the house-top as the source of his statements. This vast mass of material, it is needless to say, has been digested into a brilliant narrative, which conclusively proves its author a consummate—rhetorician. It is not meant that he is altogether deficient in the qualities necessary to the historian. Many of the highest of them,—an ardent love of truth and justice, and the power of welding facts into their proper historical connexion, though too often warped and perverted by his violent personal hatreds and partialities, -he unquestionably possesses in a high degree. But these are obscured, overweighted, choked, by his powers as a rhetorician. Thus the principal feature of his book is its style. We are made to feel that we are in the hands of a great master of words. Every thing must be formed into a picture. Every body must be painted with all his accessories; and masterly as these portraits are, they are out of place when the battle of the Alma halts, in order that we may learn the birth, education, life, and even bodily defects, of each officer whom there is occasion to name.

So every statement must be placed before the reader in its most perfect form ; and as Mr. King

l lake's art is not of that highest kind which conceals itself, even his simplicity,—and his narrative can, when he chooses it, be very simple,-comes at last to seem studied and affected; so that it may well be doubted whether, while there is scarcely a passage in these volumes which, separately quoted, would not seem an admirable piece of writing, they have really been improved by the six years' labour he has bestowed upon them. For all smells of the lamp; and, under the influence of the terror with which he is said to regard the author of Euthen, his style has been polished and decorated, until, unlike Gibbon's in every thing else, it resembles it in this, that it wearies by continuous splendour. And yet, even in saying thus much, one almost dreads to be unjust, so lively is the impression produced by its animation, its clearness, its copiousness, its fire; and with such remorseless power does he wield in turn his favourite weapons—bantering humour, invective, and, above all, his terrible irony. In short, despite all the faults that may justly be attributed to it, the book remains a great intellectual effort; and while we feel that Mr. Kinglake has set himself to dazzle our imaginations, disarm our judgments, and carry us away the helpless captives of his literary skill, it is impossible to deny him the praise of, at all events, a temporary success.

It is the more necessary, however, to allude to these characteristics of Mr. Kinglake's style, because they are the result of habits of thought. This perpetual effort at picturesqueness does not indeed alter facts, but it may marshal them, give to this undue prominence, and keep that too much in the background. Even where it does not, it makes us suspect that it has done so, and so destroys our trust in the narrator. But when this love of word-painting is combined with an intense love of estimating character, of scrutinising men's motives and feelings and passions, it betrays a writer into statements which, if not quite, are at least very nearly, incapable of proof. It would, for instance, be very curious to know how Mr. Kinglake obtained so complete a knowledge of the feelings which influenced the Czar and Lord Stratford in the duel which he so dramatically depicts. In sober reality, such statements are mere inferences, such as all men draw erroneously every day, even in the case of their most intimate friends, and which should never be put forward by a historian except hesitatingly, and with a statement of the facts on which they rest. For instance, soon after Lord Stratford returned to Constantinople, Prince Mentschikoff received despatches from St. Petersburg; and he then began to use a tone of violence to the Porte to which he had not before resorted. Will it be believed that Mr. Kinglake proceeds to infer, “ from the known bent and temper of the Czar's mind," what were his instructions to his ambassador, and actually writes for him a long imaginary despatch?“By the time you receive this," Count Nesselrode is supposed to say, “ Stratford Canning will be at Constantinople. He has ever thwarted his majesty the Emperor. The inscrutable will of Providence has bestowed upon him great gifts of mind, which he has used for no other purpose than to baffle and humiliate the Emperor and keep down the orthodox church.

... Again, the Emperor commands me to say you must strike terror. Use a fierce insulting tone." Mr. Kinglake cannot




of course imagine that any Russian statesman ever did write, or even that the Czar ever consciously thought in such a strain as this; still, as a piece of sarcasm, it is certainly powerful. But what would be well enough in a novelist is out of place in a grave historian. The supposed despatch has not even the kind of truth which is to be found in the imaginary speeches of Thucydides or Livy.

So in the second chapter of his book Mr. Kinglake reminds us, that under the law of nations any state has the right by force of arms to prevent or redress a wrong done to another state, but that its duty is not coextensive with its right. Whether it will interfere, depends on whether it is its interest to do so, and whether it has the power to wage war with suc

In other words, nations are actuated in redressing the wrongs of other nations by those ordinary motives of expediency by which human beings generally are actuated. That this is stated with great clearness and force is true enough, but it does not seem to be a doctrine which contains any great mystery or remarkable novelty. Still it is absolutely necessary that Mr. Kinglake, if he states it at all, should state it in a way which will strike the fancy; and it is accordingly throughout his book dressed out as the Usage, and the great Usage. In this pompous form, and with a capital letter, it really bears, until closely examined, a very fair resemblance to a great discovery in politics. But surely this resort to the expedients of Sir Bulwer Lytton is a little beneath him. And as this

perpetual straining after effect, being executed with vigour and success, at first fascinates the reader, so, when its influence has passed off, the mind suffers from a sort of reaction, and unconsciously avenges itself by undervaluing what before it had set too high. Mr. Kinglake's earliest critics could see no faults; perhaps now the tendency is to depreciate him more than is just. For this, however, he must thank himself,--and that the more because he himself sets the example of partiality. In the Emperor of the French and his abettors he can see no merit. Nothing ever emanates from them that is wise or honest. Certainly it is not wonderful that any man should look with horror on the perpetrators of the massacre of December; but still it is hard to believe that every soldier who held command in the army of Paris during the week of the coup-d'état was of necessity a bungler and a fool. Yet this is apparently the moral of the book, set forth with a trenchant scorn which cannot but be mischievous. For Mr. Kinglake is not unknown,-not a mere literary man; but his words borrow notoriety, and perhaps to the apprehension of foreigners weight, from his parliamentary position. But it is a sufficient comment on the spirit in which


these volumes are written, that in Paris they should have been regarded as endangering the entente cordiale, and that the English Government should have thought it desirable to take the first fitting opportunity which occurred after their publication to convey to M. Drouyn de Lhuys its desire to draw yet closer the ties which unite not merely the two nations but their governments.

In the year 1850 an exaggerated notion of the decrepitude of Turkey prevailed in Europe. The efforts of the later sultans to reinvigorate the nation by imitating the more civilised peoples of the West, had deprived the upper classes and inhabitants of the capital of the strength which comes of simplicity, but had not as yet given them the strength which comes of cultivation. Without even the tradition of an aristocracy, it was the custom of the Porte to choose statesmen and officers from the dregs of the Byzantine populace, and it was nothing unusual that one who had been born the slave of a pasha should die the equal of his master. Thus the vices of barbarism and civilisation were met together; and to those who judge a people by its rulers, the Turks seemed utterly corrupt. Only a few English travellers, who “going to Eastern countries in early life," had been “charmed with the grand, simple, violent world that they had read of in their Bibles," knew better; knew that “the Ottoman people still upheld the warlike spirit which belongs to their race and faith.'

“Experience showed that the Turks could generally hold their ground with obstinacy, when the conditions of a fight were of such a kind that a man's bravery could make up for the want of preparation and discipline. In truth they were a devoted soldiery, and fired with so high a spirit that when brought into the right frame of mind they could look upon the thought of death in action with a stedfast, lusty joy. They were temperate, enduring, and obedient to a degree unknown in other armies. They brought their wants within a very narrow compass, and without much visible effort of commissariat skill or of transport power, they were generally found to be provided

We rest this assertion on the following facts. Mr. Kinglake's book was published on January 15th. On the 25th the Emperor, distributing the prizes to the French exhibitors in the London Exhibition of 1862, spoke in praise of English liberty. On the 29th, the Moniteur announced that'“ Lord Cowley had been instructed to express to M. Drouyn de Lhuys the satisfaction felt by the British Government on account of the late speech of the Emperor, and its strong desire to see sentiments of mutual esteem daily strengthen the ties of friendship which unite the two nations as well as their governments.” And the Constitutionnel of the same evening spoke of this message of Lord Russell as requisite to secure the peace of the world.” But surely the Emperor's speech had in no way endangered it. Of course it is open to any one to set aside the inference here drawn, as an instance of the old fallacy of post hoc, ergo propter hoc; but we are sure Mr. Kinglake will not do so,- at all events, if he recurs again to the notes he has appended to pages 369 and 382 of his first volume.


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