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which other nationalities complain of, have soon experienced their effects in internal dislong since been cicatrized ; the people have cord and the introduction of foreign influence. become assimilated by the lapse of centuries As long, indeed, as the Jaghellons reigned, to the systems from which they would fain and the election of the monarch was, as tear themselves ; nor could the fulfilment of elsewhere, only treated as a simple formula or their wishes afford any advantage, but in some theory, Poland was considered as a power of cases be attended with detriment, to their the first rank; her kings were treated with neighbors : wheras Poland is yet bleeding the highest consideration by foreign courts ; from her recent mutilations, and her resto- their alliance was courted, and their armies ration is necessary as a shield to European feared ; but when this dynasty became extinct civilization. During the last sixty-two years and the Poles insisted upon the actual realizashe has undergone eight modifications, and tion of elective monarchy and of exclusive every storm which bursts over Europe never obedience to laws passed by a unanimity of fails to lead to some re-adjustment of her ter- votes, then faction stalked abroad, dissension ritory. What care we about the Doges of crept into their diets, and Russian gold decided Venice, the Vladislaves of Hungary, or the the policy of the country. If the Poles concharter which Rienzi drew out for his Roman sequently erred, it was on the side of conserconfederates, or the compact which the first vatism. They steadfastly adhered to instituLeopold entered into with the Magyar? tions which had become obsolete, and expeThese things are all past redemption ; but rienced the usual penalty of such an error, we do care about the violation of treaties in subjection to foreign domination. The galwhich at present harasses Europe ; which lant endeavor, however, on the part of the keeps a nation of twenty millions of gallant Poles to retrieve this mistake, which led to people continually upon the eve of insurrec- the constitution of 1791, and their unantion, and threatens the world with future imous support of order and rational liberty complications. In removing this state of from 1806 to 1830, during the period they things, by admitting the Poles to their for- enjoyed a national government, sufficiently mer rank among nations, instead of stimulat- demonstrate that no people are fitter to be ing revolutions we shall only give an addi- trusted with independent action, or are so tional guarantee to peace and order in Europe. likely to turn their freedom to proper account. We shall prevent wild and visionary dreamers If a century and a half of internal weakness from allying their cause with that of a con- and disupion is to form an argument for deservative people, and remove that foul blot priving any country of self-government, what from the scutcheon of sovereigns so often cited nation in Europe would stand the test ! in extenuation of the most scandalous excesses The mistakes of the Poles sprung from the of democracy - the partition of Poland. best qualities of their naturo ; and, in their
But a question akin to the one we have efforts to repair them, they risked their best been considering, is, whether oland, once lood, provoked the most relentless hostility, reconstructed, will be able to carry out the and endangered their national existence. objects which the Western Powers would They fell, not from being a prey to internal bave in view in restoring her nationality ? anarchy, but from twenty-five years successDo not her former dissensions lead to the ful effort to ameliorate their government ; supposition that she would again become a which, had the Western Powers done their prey to intestine discord and relapse into the duty, would have been permanently accompower of Russia ? We have no wish to plished, and Poland might have attained her extenuate the anarchical excesses into which former rank among the most prosperous Poland fell during the former period of her nations of the age. If Catherine had been government, but very slight reflection will prevented from arresting all attempts at suffice to show that these are to be attributed internal improvement, — had she not been not to the character of the people, but to the allowed to make the change from an elective nature of their institutions. While other to an hereditary monarchy and the abolition nations, in their advance to a higher civiliza- of the liberum veto a pretext for subverting tion, had rid themselves of the mediæval sys- the national existence of Poland, there is no tem of elective monarchy and the liberum reason to suppose that the Poles at the pres. veto, the Poles retained these usages, and ent day, in the wisdom of their laws and
the regularity of their internal administra- they were equally culpable with Catherine in tion, would have been inferior to any of their the crime of the partition of Poland. But neighbors. The gallant army of 70,000 men the fact is, Frederic and Maria Theresa, in that the little duchy of Warsaw placed at allowing Catherine to take her first share of the disposal of Napoleon, which proved a the spoil, in return for the provinces which model of discipline and bravery, even to his bordered upon their dominions, only acted in own soldiers; and the heroic achievements the interest of the balance of power. They in the insurrection of 1830, which covered knew that Poland had already become de facto the Polish arms with glory, show that, in a dependency of Russia. The inundation of the efficiency of their military measures, the Polish provinces with Russian troups, – they are not likely to be surpassed by any the removal of senators from the diet by Cosnation in Europe. Let us not, then, visit sacks, - the submission of the country to a the effects of our own shortcomings on the king chosen by the Czarine, and the exercise Poles, but recognize their independence, and of supreme power by her ambassador, showed give them a strong and enlightened govern- them that if they did not close with the offers ment; and we may rely upon it that they of Catherine, that empress would take posseswill be the last nation in the world to forfeit sion of the entire country. Instead therefore their independence.*
of regarding these possessions as conquests, But the great obstacle to securing Turkey they looked upon them simply as pledges, to on the western side, and inflicting an incura- be restored to Poland when that country ble blow upon Russian encroachment, is sup- should be in a condition to reclaim its own. posed to be the likelihood that Prussia and The subsequent encroachments of Russia, Austria would fling their swords into the until she appropriated one half of the Polish Russian scale, and bring their combined forces territory, leaving to each of her German accegto operate on Poland, with a view to the se- sories only one-fourth ; the intrigues of Alexcurity of the duchy of Posen and Gallicia, in ander with Napoleon, who did not scruple to which case we should only render the cause sacrifice the Polish dominions of his German of the Poles more hopeless, and diminish our allies, in order to keep his own intact; and own chances of bringing the contest to a suc- the claims which the same Alexander enforced cessful termination. Undoubtedly, if such with respect to the duchy of Warsaw at the results would follow, it would be as well to congress of Vienna, opened the eyes of German restrain our hands ; but are we certain that statesmen to the designs of Russia, and proved Prussian and Austrian interests lie in the di- that they had only become the tools of her rection which such forebodings point out, or ambition. By consenting to the partition of that circumstances are so changed since the Poland, all that Prussia and Austria finally Congress of Vienna as to lead the two leading obtained was the accession of a few leaguee German States to regard as a curse that which of territory to their dominions, while Russia in 1815 they would have considered as a bless- advanced her empire by several degrees of ing? The popular idea with regard to the longitude to the west, and placed her armies duchy of Posen, Dantzic, and Gallicia, is that in the position they now occupy, threatening the sovereigns of Prussia and Austria volun- Moravia and threatening Berlin. Instead of tarily entered into a joint intrigue with Rus- a peaceful neighbor, Germany found herself sia for the purpose of annexing these states in contiguity with a warlike power, who usec to their dominions, with no other view than the immense vantage-ground her new posses that of territorial aggrandizement, and that siops gave her to domineer over Turkey, and
to coerce Germany into acquiescence with her * It is amusing to hear Mr. Cobden talk about the anarchy of the Poles during the former period of their history, and declare them, on this account, unworthy of self-government. If there was one thing more than another that led to their subjugation it was their reliance on pacific measures, the absence of federal alliances with other states, the to have a policy of her own; and Austria neglect of their national defences, and the reduction of their army in fine, the adoption of the very course of policy which Mr. Cobden so earnestly impresses upon this country as the only means of securing its greatness. Instead of reviling the Poles for the course they pursued from the end of the sixteenth to the middle of the eighteenth century, Mr. Cobden ought, if he places any faith in his theorios, to adopt them as his pet nation.
land as a barrier between these states and their
nestless neighbor, we should really be doing glad of the exchange ; but as long as the belthem the most inestimable service in the world, ligerents are ready to compensate them in and realize the wishes that their highest states- kind by the grant of far richer provinces than men hate entertained during the last half those they would be invited to surrender,* it century, whose names they yet pronounce becomes a positive mystery to determine in with reference -- whose policy they yet regard what respect the reconstruction of Poland with hopor. We should restore to them inde- could give chagrin to these states.
Must they pendent action, and preserve them from the be deemed so desirous of dishonor, such absodegrading condition of being the cat's-paw to lute candidates for disgrace, as to hug their Russia's aims at universal conquest, and secure, fetters as things beyond all price, and resotheir existence.* Instead of exciting their lutely to strive against a course of events hostility by such a line of action, we should which must ensure to them perfect freedom really ensure their secret sympathies and sup- of action, remove a dangerous aggressor from port. The fact of their giving no encourage their boundaries, and release them from a ment to the work, is only another proof of thousand fretful fears, contumelies, and anxhow much they stand in need of it. A Rus- ieties, and that without the loss of a single sian army concentrated at Lenczyca would rood of territory, or the diminution of a thaler be sufficient to blow up the Prussian monar- to their exchequer ? Can these two states be chy. A victory gained by the Russians in deemed so dead to their interests as to draw the vicinity of Moravia might break the the sword against the only power that can Austrian empire in pieces. If the Polish eventually save them from being swallowed banner was unfurled to-morrow in the plains up by the greedy cupidity of Russia, - against of Samogitia, the German states would no the power which has been the champion of doubt bluster, menace, and — do nothing, their liberties in a hundred hard-won fields of until they saw the independence of the coun- battle, and struggled for their rights when try and their own security firmly established, they had not a gun to fire in their defence ? when they would be as ready to join in the It is true that Austria still remembers the shout of triumph over Russia as ourselves. revolt of her Hungarian subjects, and that
Were Austria and Prussia to receive no Prussia has not forgotten the conduct of her equivalents for the loss of two millions of sub- Polish subjects in 1848; but Prussia will recoljects and the loss of a few thalers of revenue lect that the excesses of the duchy of Posen which they would cede to Poland, still, con- were the natural consequences of the violation sidering the immense benefits which the of her own solemn pledges at the dictation of affranchisement of that country would confer Russia ; and Austria cannot but acknowledge opon them, it surely cannot be for a moment that the alliance of the Western Powers supposed that they would be otherwise than affords as good a security for the integrity of
The policy of Russia, as respects the seizure of Poland, her dominions as that of Russia, – that the kod ber aims with regard to the German powers, are effec- reconstruction of a state only recently tively portrayed in the following articles of the testament of Peter the Great:
"Art. 4. - Divide Poland, by fomenting internal dis * The territories that Austria and Prussia might receive order and dissensions ; gain over the nobles by the power in exchange for their Polish dominions are so patent that of gold ; exercise influence over the diets ; act upon the everybody divines them. The Danubian principalities, elections by means of bribes; introduce your partizans into which Turkey proffered to cede to Russia in payment of the dietines; protect them; introduce Russian troops into the expenses of the last war, would very readily be placed the country, and cause them to sojourn there until an op- by the same power at the disposal of Austria, in return for portunity occurs for fixing them there forever. Should her compliance, and would serve, in the hands of Vienna, the neighboring powers raise difficulties, satisfy them for as a constant shield against the encroachments of Russia. the moment, by dismembering the country, until you are Turkey might, in that case, be indemnified in return by the able to retake in detail whai you have been obliged to restitution of a portion of her possessions in Asia and on
Austria has before volunteered to resign Gal"Art. 10.- Court and carefully preserve the Austrian licia for Illyria ; why should she now refuse a much better alliance, ostensibly favor her plans of dominion in Germany, exchange? The Poles are quite ready to forego their claims and secretly excite against her the jealousy of the provin- to Dantzic and that part of the Baltic shore formerly termed ces. Do everything to induce both parties to seek the in- Polish Russia, which is almost indispensable to Prussia, on tervention of Russia, and to enable her to exercise a kind account of its geographical position; as it would not be deof guardianship over the countries which may facilitate sirable for sovereigns so powerful as the kings of Prussia Itare dominion.
to be reduced to the necessity of requesting a Polish pass*Art. 11. – Gain over the House of Austria to the proport when they chose to visit their eastern provinces. Por ject of driving the Turks out of Europe ; and after the cap the duchy of Posen that gift of Danaé, from which Prusture of Constantinople, trick it out of its part of the booty, sia has received more trouble than profit — she might, as either by engaging it in wars with the old states of Europe, Chevalier Bunsen suggests, receive excellent indemnifica oby leaving it in possession of part of the conquests, to be tion by the annexation
of some of those small principalities Tregted from it at a latter perioci."
which separate her from Holstein in the north, and which Has Germany sufficiently weighed the import of these are locked up within her possessions on the side of The clauses !
destroyed in the interest of order and conser-| They need only unfurl the Polish banner tovatism, is not likely to lead to a counter morrow, to gain over from the enemy 60,000 revival of long-forgotten claims in the interest or 70,000 of his most effective troops ; and of confusion and anarchy, - that between the ranks of these would be enormously two populations so alien in blood, language, swelled by the band of emigrants who would and religion as the Poles and the Magyars, flock to the standard. The descent of such there is not the remotest chance of fraterniza- a force, reinforced by a detachment of the tion or collusion of feeling. Of course there allied army, upon Samogitia, and supported is nothing done without risk, from the cross by the operations of a moderate fleet, would ing of a street to the governing of a kingdom; suffice to raise Poland in a few days. Were but it is the custom of nations as well as indi- Riga seized, - an open town, but the fronviduals rather to hazard dangers which are tiers of which might be easily fortified, - the more remote and contingent, than entangle military road to St. Petersburg would be themselves in the meshes of those that stare interrupted, and any scattered detachments them in the face. Are Austria and Prussia in Samogitia would be obliged to retire, and prepared, for the sake of the slightest possible the insurrection of Lithuania assume a regucontingency of insurrection, to continue in lar form. The success of this movement their present state of dependence, and risk might be expedited by a diversion in the the certain danger of losing their estates in South, outflanking Russia on the side of perpetuity ? Let us form a juster estimate of Bessarabia, and forcing her to retire upon their situation, and judge of their future con- Poldovia or Ukraine. No matter what may duct more in consonance with nature. If they be the actual amount of soldiers in Poland; declare their unwillingness now to be a party no large army could interfere to check the to any pacification which shall aim at depriv- advancing career of such forces, as the hosing Russia of a single rood of territory, it is tility of the country would keep the greater simply because the enemy is only a few days' number of the Russian troops dispersed in march off their capitals, and they do not find garrisons over 40,000 square miles of territory, themselves in a condition to arrest his pro- and preclude their assuming any combined gress. Like the dwarfs in the tale, they form of defence. The enemy, pushed back threaten and storm because they know if they by the invading army, and hampered by the acted otherwise their giant oppressor, when the spreading insurrection, in order to adopt any fight was over, would pommel them for their regular plan of military operations, would, want of allegiance ; but if we despise their as in 1812, be under the necessity of concensimulated menaces, and lay the tyrant on his trating his forces behind the Dneiper. The back, they will be the first to thank us for ground might in this manner be won in a their deliverance.
handful of days, with the exception of a few But the Western Powers have it at their fortified places, which might take some time disposition to avoid a settlement with Ger- to reduce, but which would not hinder the many until they have reclaimed Russian Poles from assuming the attitude of a nation, Poland, and all intimidation on the side of and exercising legislative authority in the Russia shall have ceased. The Poles, who country. No doubt it is easy to beat an are ready enough to enter into any arrange- enemy on paper ; but we do not know that ment with a view to extricate themselves from we have stated anything that has not been their present difficulties, would willingly already accomplished under legs favorable ciragree with their compatriots in Posen and cumstances. In 1812, Russia was supported Gallicia to allow these provinces to remain as by England on the side of Turkey, and she they are, until the remainder of the country had the assistance of her powerful fleet to had been wrested from the enemy, an army ilank her operations in Lithuania ; yet, as formed, and a central government established soon as the French crossed the Niemen, at Warsaw, to exercise supreme authority as though Russia had only to defend a single the embodiment of the national will. With front, she was obliged to relinquish half her respect to the ability of the Western Powers European possessions and fight her first batto accomplish these objects, it would be tle at Smolensko. Surely what France effectabsurd to question it. Ministers can as easily ed single-handed against Russia supported by revolutionize Poland as call a hackney-coach. the armaments of England, France and Eng
land combined can achieve against Russia ish Mussulman while we leave the chivalrous isolated. If we judge from the past, a strong follower of our own creed to rot in misery and force need only show itself in the neighbor- disgrace. If the security of Turkey be good hood of Vilna, to find the entire country at as an end, as a means necessary to obtain it their feet. Their subsequent career would the independence of Poland is surely far more not be one of conquést, but of bloodless ova- worthy of the efforts of a free Christian tion and triumph.
nation. We cannot ensure our safety withHaving, then, the power, it is for the out protecting Turkey ; we cannot effectually nation to inquire why ministers restrain their protect Turkey without reconstructing Pohands; it is for the people of this country land. The greatest captain of modern times to inquire why those parts of the enemy's saw at a glance the vulnerable side of Russia dominions remain untouched which not only lay in that part of her dominions ; but havafford a facile and tempting conquest, but ing driven her legions out of the country, which, when secured, would put an end to he neglected to resuscitate its nationality ; his restless schemes of spoliation and aggran- and, when bound to the ocean rock, he dizement. In the hands of the British peo- attributed to that oversight his speedy fall ple lie the mighty issues of the present con- from the high elevation to which he had test. The book of the past is before them, attained. He clanked his own fetters, fraught with lessons to instruct and to guide. because he neglected, with the means in his By the apathy of past generations with hands, to strike off the fetters of the people regard to the foreign rule of the minister, who had helped him to greatness. Shall we, hundreds of millions have been added to the in like manner, blindly shut our eyes to the debt, for no other purpose than to blot the opportunity, and only wake to discover our records of this country with ignominy and error when it has produced the mischiefs disgrace, — with wars so conducted as to natural to it? Shall we leave it to the defeat their object, and so terminated as to future historian to point the same moral at lead to more disastrous outbreaks in future. us, and in writing our epitaph, say, - here Is the present generation prepared to swell is a nation who, in the days of its power, saw this awful catalogue with another page of the liberties of a weaker state extinguished calamities, and to transfer the burdens imposed without raising an arm in its defence; and on them by an unwise ancestry, with an when the time came in which it could have additional load, to posterity? If ministers retrieved its error, as a means of securing its persist in the narrow policy hitherto pursued, own safety, it slighted the opportunity and such, infallibly, will be the result. The fell under the yoke it might so easily have Butes and Harleys are still in the ascendant, averted from the neck of others. The decis
- court intrigue and back-stair influence are ion of such questions must depend on the yet in operation : but let the nation raise its atttitude which the people assume at the voice, and these phantoms will be laid. present juncture. If they prove themselves Nerer did a crisis more momentous call for equal to the emergency, they will convert a the interference of the people : never have calamitous present into a noble future, - into they possessed the power to interfere with so a future which, in the enjoyment of the much effect. Not only their own welfare accumulated blessings transmitted to it, will and security are at stake, but the destinies of look back on the present age as illustrious, Europe, the interests of humanity, tremble not only in having humiliated an overbearing in the balance ; let them exert the influence power, and freed defenceless countries from which their advanced state of civilization has its grasp; but in having disentangled our given them, to place the war upon its proper war policy from the meshes of court intrigue footing, and compel the ministry whom they and political faction, and established it on the have forced to draw the sword to wield it broad basis of the nation's interests, securing with effect. They already have nobly evinced to the power of England a vitality as indetheir sympathy in behalf of Turkey ; but structible as the justice which supports the is Poland less worthy of their regard? Let foundations of her greatness. us not have two weights and two measures ; or be so bcnighted in our philanthropy as to [We add, from the same Review, part of their enfeeble our resources to protect the heathen- Epilogue on Affairs since, &c.]