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forbidden Austrian steamers to and the necessity of keeping its land on the shores of the Danube; hands free to deal with France, at another we find Russian and could hardly have ventured upon. Austrian journals breathing violent The 'Gazette' spoke out forcibly on hostility-the latter congratulating the position of affairs, and without Turkey on its change of Govern- hesitation, early in the events which ment, with a decided leaning mani- succeeded the conference at Berfested towards the English view of lin. It insisted that the melanthe situation.
choly position of Turkey “is not If the indications of growing so desperate as painted by those antagonism between Russia and interested in the decay of the OttoAustria were striking, hardly less man empire;" for in spite of the marked was the uneasiness felt in reckless maladministration and exGermany. The Berlin correspon- travagance of the late Sultan, Turkdent of the 'Times' was perpetually ish revenue doubled itself in the sounding a note of warning, and last twenty years. It urged that drawing attention to warlike pre- the Turks were strong enough to parations, not merely in Servia and deal with their subject nationalities Montenegro, but also in other petty if diplomatists would only abstain surrounding states not generally from intervention. “Favoured by believed to be eager for the fray. circumstances, Russia again occupies The German Government main- as powerful a position as she did in tained an ominous silence; its organs the days of Nicholas I. Germany in the press declared that Germany has become a mighty empire; but, was not immediately interested in gratefully remembering past serpending events. Decisive action vices, anxiously avoids what might on either side of the question was give offence to the Czar. France hardly to be expected from either has long been courting the friendGermany or Austria. The one has ship of Russia for her own purthe fear of France perpetually be- poses. Italy, saddled with domesfore its eyes; the other has not yet tic difficulties, has no time to attend buried all grounds of serious differ- to foreign politics unless some little ence with Italy. But the Govern- piece of territory can be gained by ments of both countries, by an atti- the act. Austria is too weak to tude of reserve and cold disappro- resist Russian cunning on the bation, have materially assisted in Lower Danube, and every now and checking the aggressive and warlike then actually helps Russia in the spirit which was rising fast in the short-sighted hope that she too will East.
The German newspapers, be regarded as a Sclavonic State for instance, have not yielded to and a convenient patron by the our own in sympathy for the Rayah. To-day she looks upon the Rayah, and distrust of Turkish rule. Bosnian rebellion as a danger to But they, equally with our own, herself, and asks Turkey to put deprecated strongly the new policy the insurgents down; to-morrow which the Berlin Note was evi- she allows arms for the insurgents dently intended to usher in. The to pass from Austrian territory. ' Cologne Gazette,' said to be a Thus England is left alone to speak good specimen of the German press, out openly upon Russian doings, expressed what is understood to be and to resist them in case of exthe public feeling of Germany, in a treme necessity. English statesway that the Government, hampered men decline to feign belief in by its understandings with Russia, Russia's sincerity when she speaks of her wish to preserve Turkey. sires. Moreover, it was impossible They call a spade a spade, and des- not to look backwards upon the ignate it as an outrage on common- occurrences which had been skil. sense that the Servians and Monte- fully conducted to this conclusion. negrins are allowed to assist the The obstinacy of resistance, and the insurgents, and to brag of their sources of its vitality, were as mysteridoing so, while the Turks are for- ous as the character of the unknown bidden to go to war with the two settlement, which seemed as vague recusant principalities. English and uncertain as ever. Under these statesmen, too, are frank enough circumstances a new Ottoman ruler to declare that Russia's real motive sprang into existence; he announced, in exacting excessive reforms is to with the approval of Great Britain, encourage the rebels, and to ac- and probably of other European celerate the dissolution of the State Powers, his intention to preserve to which they belong."
his sovereignty unimpaired and his With this state of feeling amongst empire intact; he has granted of his two of the nations responsible for own free-will an amnesty and arthe production of the Berlin Note, mistice; and for a time, at least, the the refusal of the British Ministry whole question has fallen from the to give in its adhesion to it was not hands of the Northern Powers. If likely to place this country for any the new Sultan can pacify the inlength of time in a position of iso- surgents on the lines of the Anlation. The immediate effect of such drassy Note, the difficulty will be at refusal was to strangle the last rest; but there are far too many production of imperial diplomacy rival interests at work without, and before it saw the light, and to range desperate antipathies within, to the whole of Europe, including the render us sanguine of the result. two cosignatories of Russia, in op- The course which Russia adopted, position to the further development directly its manæuvres stood detecof an aggressive policy. Moreover, ted before the world, was unhesiwhen the implied justification of the tating and decided. It beat a retreat Note was that peace had not been at all points ; as soon, at least, as it restored to the revolted provinces, was convinced, by the determined and that the Porte was hopelessly resistance of England and the deincapable—that the insurgents were fection of Europe, that the game was continuing their resistance, and even up.
up. It received, according to Mr raising their terms; when the Turk- Disraeli “in no unfriendly spirit," ish Government was required by a the dissent of this country from the prolonged armistice virtually to re- Berlin Note; it took no offence at cognise the independence of the in- the despatch of the British fleet to surgents, and to abdicate the func- the Bosphorus, for that was tions of sovereignty in favour of measure of precaution justified by others ;—the extreme gravity of the the massacre at Salonica ; it joined situation was sufficient to prevent with the other Powers in formally any Government from sharing re- recognising Murad V.
The key sponsibility, while it was not in to the whole position was found a position to control the future in Servia. The crisis was at hand course of events. The
when Mr Disraeli informed the direction of the new policy must House of Commons that the great inevitably have centred in the hands Powers, including Russia, had joined of Russia- - a Power which has in impressing upon Servia the never yet defined its aims, or the importance of temperate conduct. precise settlement which it de- According as Russia joined in this
representation with sincerity or oth- sure, it was stated that the Russian erwise depended the issue of peace finance department had even to its or war. She chose the former, and own loss placed a prohibitive duty Europe is freed from impending upon English and German rails-a calamity.
serious blow in the present state of That obscure principality was at commercial depression upon German the moment the cynosure of all manufactures, and not by any means eyes. It held momentous issues in a conciliatory measure to ourselves. its grasp. Its conduct for some The three Emperors' alliance was demonths increased the anxiety of the scribed as a mere arrangement for situation. Every day had brought the exchange of friendly communinews of some warlike preparation ; cations; and when Russia was held the Slavic press breathed nothing responsible for what occurred, she but war. Seventy thousand men found herself alone. The reproaches were ready to take the field, armed levelled at this country were at first with breech-loaders and good modern somewhat wild; and the result of rifles. Preparations were hurried England's interference was repreon for crossing the frontiers ; the sented to be that brute force and a Government was said to have refused struggle of extermination would its tribute, and could not be with- alone end the scene. " What is held from a declaration of war. asked of Mr Disraeli and Lord Suddenly Servia was quiescent. It Derby is to say what they want.” gave to the Ottoman Government That is the question of Russian satisfactory explanations, and reiter- newspapers—a compliment which, ated its pacific intentions. The so far as we recollect, was never Berlin correspondent to the Times' paid to Mr Gladstone's Government. stated openly that Prince Gortsch- The answer might probably be given akoff had given the word to desist, in the very words which have been and that accordingly the Servo-Mon- used to describe the ostensible purtenegrian troops could not imme- poses of the three Emperors—viz., diately cross the frontier and make "(1) The maintenance of the poliopen war upon that Turkey which tical status quo, which cannot be they had been attacking so long tampered with without endangerunderhand, and in the capacity of ing the peace of the East and volunteers; and that the insurgents Europe ; (2) Effective amelioration would be obliged to submit. The of the condition of the populations, reason hinted at “is that the rapid so as to dry up a source of permaequipment of several squadrons, and nent agitation as fatal to Turkey the preparations in manning the en- as to the tranquillity of her neightire navy, were considered so many bours and the general peace.” unmistakable symptoms that Great The total result of these importBritain was making ready to encoun- ant events is that, with the virtual ter any contingency.” It was all rejection of Prince Gortschakoff's but asserted, that before setting to proposal, Count Andrassy's Note, to work she had secured a Continental which the six Powers have given ally; that otherwise the spirit shown their adhesion, becomes once more promised a prolonged conflict, in the base of operations, until it which she would be sure to obtain is superseded by the miracle of assistance. Germany, it was stated, Turkish resurrection. France is could not help to restore the mouth represented to be active in endeaof the Danube to Russia ; and as a vouring to soothe down asperities proof that Germany as well as Eng- between England and Russia, and to land had incurred Russia's displea- modify the Berlin stipulations so as
to insure to them the same approval reality means the vigorous correction as was accorded to the Austrian of abuses. The third alternative, Note. The difficulty is mainly, as which, under the like title, means it always has been, and always will the effective substitution of Russian be, with regard to the necessary authority, has just been rejected by guarantees. With the accession of all Europe as inadmissible. While Midhat Pacha to his present office, the six Powers, equally with the the Turkish Government may be Sultan's Government, unanimously credited with greater willingness to accept the integrity and independcarry out a policy of reform ; but so ence of the Ottoman Empire, and long as the Bosnians and the Her- the amelioration of the status quo, zegovinese remain subject to the as the end and aim of their policy, Sultan, they cannot conclude a no two Powers seem to have the treaty or obtain guarantees. The same ideas of the meaning of those six Powers must, if the difficulties terms. And the difficulty with are now to be solved, act as trustees which public opinion has to contend for both sides of the controversy is, that the former expression has in a matter of that delicacy and all along been taken to mean someimportance, and must regulate the thing quite different from what, as nature of the arrangement which applied to other European countries, may eventually be arrived at. At would be meant by the term, and present the instructions of the new which, therefore, is vague and indeGrand Vizier to the Ottoman Com- finite; and that the latter expresmissioners in the two provinces re- sion comprehends detailed and main. They are directed, quantum minute arrangements in dealing valeant, to carry out, without delay with circumstances foreign to the and very actively, the reforms ordinary experience of Europe. But, granted by the Government. The nevertheless, the present is an local authorities are ordered “to opportunity, which may not speedily listen with justice to the re- favourable to arriving at some quests and legitimate grievances satisfactory understanding with reof the delegates who will be nom- gard to Turkey—its internal relainated on the part of those who tions and its future course. There wish to make their submission." has been a silent trial of strength Turkey, therefore, has assumed the between the two principal actors, initiative, and it remains to be seen which has terminated amicably. what she is willing and able to do, With the aid of the new Sultan and for the six Powers to decide and his Government, from whom what, in the event of her failure, is Europe, which absolutely and sponthe course which they can agree taneously recognised them, has a upon pursuing. The alternative is right to expect the utmost conbetween the establishment of a con- sideration, it ought not to be beyond dition of things which, under the the reach of political science to inimposing name of the integrity and stitute the first beginnings of a independence of the Ottoman Em- settlement. pire and the amelioration of the It would, for instance, be a monsstatus quo, shall in reality per- trous conclusion to recent events if petuate the miseries and degrada- Turkey, leaning as she is compelled tion with reports of which the to do on European, and especially newspapers teemed a short time
on English, alliances, should be al. ago; and the establishment of an- lowed to settle scores with her reother condition of things, which, bellious subjects and disloyal vassals under the like imposing name, in in any manner that she pleases.
The atrocities which have been com- circle of competing ambitions must mitted already-the arming of Bashi become responsible for the settleBazooks and of wild Circassians, ment of conflicting hopes and pasthe desolating vengeance which the sions within the inner circle of the Turk would be willing to inflict, Turkish Empire. All the Powers are would be a worse scandal than the agreed that the policy of maintaintriamph of Russian intrigue. It is ing that Empire must include what of the utmost importance to dis- is called the amelioration of the tinguish between the maintaining status quo, which will be successful the Ottoman Empire, on the one only so far as it succeeds in drying hand, and allowing its rulers, on the up the causes of disputes and disother, to exercise without super- turbances. vision and control the rights of We deny, then, that the work of government. To meet the wishes pacification can honourably be abanof Europe, the pacification of the doned to the Turkish authorities disturbed provinces must ostensibly without control or supervision by be the work of the Ottoman Govern- the signatories to the Andrassy ment; but the Allies, by whose aid Note. That would be placing a that work alone can be accomplished, wholly erroneous construction on must be held responsible at the bar the policy of preserving Ottoman of public opinion for the manner in independence, on the duty of nonwhich it is effected. Nothing comes interference in her internal affairs. out clearer in the prolonged discus- The successful execution of the policy sions upon this subject than this, involves the duty of interference, that the independence of the Otto- unless the policy is to be branded man Empire means simply that Eu- with the most execrable selfishness. rope insists upon its independence To preserve another's independof Russia. With that proviso, its ence is a contradiction in terms. actual position is“one of dependence And when we inquire what is the amounting virtually to tutelage.” nature of the independence which No doubt the recent treaties of all Europe in this case is upholding, guarantee only bind the contracting we cannot cite more authoritative Powers to repel external aggression, testimony than that of Lord Stratand do not extend to justify inter- ford de Redcliffe. According to ference in internal quarrels between that evidence, Turkish dependence the Ottoman Government and either dates back for more than one hunits tributary vassals or its provincial dred years. Not merely has the population. But considerations of Empire been from time to time dispolicy cannot be bound down by membered by the withdrawal of the guarded phraseology of treaty vast provinces from its direct authostipulations. If Russian aggression rity, but in the remainder, in spite involves an assumed protectorate of of energetic reforms, the recovery of Christian races to an extent which its power was hopeless. “Disunion, invites them to arm against the ignorance, corruption, a debased fanaticism and tyranny of the Turk, coinage, a diminishing population, British resistance to that aggression and financial mismanagement, could cannot in justice, or with a view to hardly fail to override, if not to inour own future security, involve the crease, the weakness originating in riveting of the chains of Mussulman causes less capable of correction.” supremacy, or the abandonment of The disaffection of the Rayahs is a the tools of Russian intrigues to growing cause of weakness, especibecome the victims of Ottoman re- ally as they advance in numbers, venge. The victors in the outer knowledge, wealth, the sense of de