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accepted as sufficient preventives of war, ought to content us as its issue. Such pedantic ethics not only disregard the lessons of historical experience, but would secure to us all the curses of conflict without a hope or a compensation. The dissension of states is, in its very essence, their transition from one state of equilibrium to another; it attests the worn-out condition of the old adjustment; it is the tempestuous prayer of nations for a better;-and to advise relapse into the proved instability, and bar the search after any truer centre of repose, is to insure disturbance in perpetuity; it is to open the furrows of the present only to fling in dragons' teeth for the future. What is the use of the last forty years' experience, if it has not proved to us that the Treaty of Vienna secures no balance, but a monstrous overweight to the rudest, least scrupulous, steadiest, and most grasping power in Europe? What lesson have we learned from the chancery of St. Petersburg, if we still trust to its Cretan veracity, and look only to a revision of its moral guarantees ? What are we the better for the 6000 guns and captured stores of Sebastopol, if we yet imagine that the Mediterranean is safe, and that no Byzantine empire can retrace its steps to Rome? Unless France and England are weak enough to believe “in the paramount destinies of Russia," it is their duty to address themselves to the whole problem of her overweening power, and direct the war towards its preconceived solution. This involves no abandonment of the original definite objects of the contest, no attempt at a universal re-settlement of Europe; but only a final clearance of illusions, a firmer grasp of the real conditions, and a resolute seizure of the most efficient resources.
It may be admitted that Lord Aberdeen was unjustly blamed for seeking in the first instance the alliance of Prussia and Austria. In resisting an aggression on the public law of Europe, all the great Powers have the same ostensible interest; and the partners to its establishment are the natural partners for its defence. There cannot be a doubt about the general rule, that a contumacious member of the family of states should be brought to reason by the joint action of all the rest. And however reasonable the suspicion may be, that the appeal for co-operation will, in certain instances, be made in vain, the duty remains of at least presenting the opportunity, and throwing the responsibility of refusal on the evasive states. It would have been an unpardonable error to force Vienna into union with St. Petersburg by presuming her unwillingness to take a better course, and overlooking her intense interest in the preservation of the general peace. Nor is it justifiable to break away at once from the existing bases and combinations on which the European equipoise has depended, till by every fair experiment their inadequacy has been proved.
It was necessary to try whether the engagements and habits of common understanding, established at the commencement of the peace, would still avail for its protection against new dangers. The time and forbearance spent in working out the answer have not been lost. The demonstration is complete. No one henceforth will expect from Austria any thing but the most direct selfpreservation ; she believes in Mr. Cobden's creed, and simply minds her own business, reduces her military establishments, and lets the world's right and wrong find their “natural level," without bias from her to their “free competition.” In the political exigencies of the new time, in the problem now opening on half the globe, the German governments disclaim all interest. They have no objection to have it settled for them; but the particular turn of the solution is a matter of indifference. To them it would be equally agreeable to see the Czar abated to a style of less oppressive patronage, or France pale and harmless from loss of blood, and England's civil freedom overmatched by the model despotism of the world. We know, then, precisely what the chance of their alliance is worth. Against a common danger to the system of which they are parts, it is nothing at all; and, to render it available, the scene must be laid nearer home. The first effect of their neutrality was to keep the war at a distance; the second should be to bring it to their frontier-posts.
In fact, the political combinations of 1815 were established with one view; those which we now want must take their form from another. Then it was the France of the Revolution, of the Consulate, of the Empire, against which precautions or penalties were taken; now it is the Russia of 1853 from whose encroachments protection is sought. It would be strange if the barrier thrown up to face the West were equally efficient to shield us on the East. The alliances natural then among fellow-sufferers in the general danger and comrades in the same field, have become in many ways unnatural now, under the changes of the interval and the exigencies of the hour. Besides the one great difference that France and Russia have changed places, and the protector of 1812 appears as the aggressor of 1853, the events of 1848 have altered the affinities of Europe, and awakened in the Western nations sympathies and antipathies which statesmen cannot permanently neglect. The fact cannot be disputed, that, beyond the ranks of professional politicians, Englishmen of all parties look with aversion on every form of Austrian alliance, and feel it an infinite relief to be delivered from the chance of so questionable a partnership. So strong and general is this shrinking, that we are convinced the spirit of the country would not long support any enterprise into which the double-eagle imported its black omen. Geographical position and political antecedents, however, imposed the necessity of overtures now happily declined. Austria, on her eastern outposts, has the option of a plain duty or a public crime; she must either accept the office of guarding Europe against Muscovite encroachment, or become accomplice in the guilt. She has chosen the latter course, and is entitled to no further consideration. We are not insensible to the strength of her temptation and the manifold difficulties of her position. But if they mitigate the sentence on her unfaithfulness, it is only by enhancing the sense of her incapacity. She cannot do the duty of a frontier state. She is next neighbour to the world's great danger; and can only wheedle and coax it to keep still. She wants her army for her subjects, and has only intrigues and professions for her rivals and allies. Living in the memory of mankind chiefly by the reformations she has quenched and the kingdoms she has ruined, and representing to the imagination of to-day little else than a sleeping mass of bigotry, bankruptcy, and insurrection, she can bring us only the infection of distrust and hopelessness; and, of all the larger states, has the most certainly precarious and diminishing stake in that future of Europe for which we are called to provide.
We have, then, done, and overdone, our duty to the old Castlereagh combination, and are fairly free of Hapsburg trammels. In looking out for new alliances, it is to be hoped that regard will be had to the natural genius of our people and the manifest calling of the western and northern nations. It is in vain that statesmen of the old school deprecate a " war of principles;" and, relying on material interests and moral indifference, group the most heterogeneous states together in the same political bond. In such arrangements, as there is nothing spontaneous, there is nothing self-sustaining, nothing durable. They differ from a true adjustment as a railway-board from a family; the one united for an outward business, the other in the inner life. The sense of a common peril, or the indignation at a common wrong, may, no doubt, band together for a time the most incongruous elements ;-it only needs that they be human. Of this kind is our connection with the Turks; founded on the accident of their station at the propylæum of the civilised world, and morally confirmed by just anger at the treatment they have received, it is nevertheless unsupported by the slightest social affinity, and could exist only in the presence of a threatening alternative. In the higher antipathies that inspire our resistance to Muscovite advance Constantinople has no share. We avail ourselves of its people's instinct of self-preservation for ends that look far beyond their probable term of existence in Europe. Of this kind, we trust, is not our connection with Sardinia. Recommended, no doubt, by a joint interest in the freedom of the Mediterranean, it has a far deeper significance; and by expressing a sympathy of social development in addition to mere partnership of external defence, awakens a sentiment of pride and promise out of all proportion to its material weight. Such states it is that can best help each other,-most efficiently, most cheaply for themselves, most nobly for the world. These invisible and ideal ties, twined into the very heart of nations with living fibres of mutual respect and common admirations, are worth whole fleets and armies,-nay, will create whole fleets and armies, which no joint-stock political company could raise. A country indeed that has come to disclaim all preference and passion, that represents nothing but itself, that acknowledges no trust, that hangs neutral amid the sweep of contending enthusiasms, and only stops its ears until the storm be past, is but a withered member on the organism of humanity, whether lingering to dwindle or hastening to be struck off. The instinctive consciousness of some special function to perform,-a function identified with its very essence, -is to a people as the pulse of life, and may be found in instances most remote from our own approval. Even the rudeness of Russia feels the stirring of an idea. She is the champion of the Greek Church against the heterodox and infidel. The Austrian house inherited the dream of the “Holy Roman Empire,”—to defend western Christendom against the Saracens. Spain took her vow to Catholicism against the Protestants; the Low Countries and Sweden to Protestantism against the Catholics. With powers moved by such inner springs, we believe that scarcely any advantage of material resource will enable a people without faith, or governments blind to its force, permanently to contend. We admit the difficulty of applying this general doctrine to the particular conjuncture at which we stand. We feel the want of any definite rallying-cry like that which united and divided states in the days of Gustavus Adolphus. We know not how to shape into expression the latent faith and feeling which give a distinctive character to the temper of our own country or of any other. It is an age of indeterminate and composite tendencies, of aspirations suppressed and disguised. But this only complicates the problem, without removing it, or rendering its solution of less momentous consequence. The elective affinities of human societies, even where they defy statement and analysis, remain; and with or without our recognition will actually determine the future. Nor are we, after all, so much at a loss for a cause" as we are apt to imagine ; so much more indefinitely placed than the forerunners—in the sixteenth cen. tury, for instance—whose course now seems quite sharply marked out and easy to see, though severe to follow. There was no "side" for the Reformers to take until they shaped and formed it for
themselves,-no“ Protestantism" for Saxony and Zürich to support till Luther and Zwingle created it. That age, too, like the present, had its dim and doubtful dawning of new consciousness; alive with groping sympathies, drawn to this, repelled from that, ere yet any outline of traceable conviction defined the sunrise and proclaimed the day. It is precisely by fidelity to incipient intimations of higher truth and good, by tampering with no moral disgust, by opening the heart freely to young nobleness and keeping up no visiting acquaintance with hoary lies, that little by little a faith grows up, a principle is disengaged to view, and the standard is raised which assembles the army of the future. Of what elements in Europe that army would be naturally composed may be surmised by help of certain signs and instincts of the time.
Over the greater part of the European continent two very marked phenomena must strike every observer who can compare the opposite extremities of five-and-twenty years; viz. the dependence of social order on great armies, and the increasing power of organised priesthoods. High military doctrine and high church doctrine are in the ascendant from Königsberg to Messina, from Normandy to Kherson. Could we enumerate all the cities and provinces which, at different times within the last ten years, have been declared under “ state of siege,” the list would be an astonishing one, and would run, we believe, through every country except the Netherlands and Sweden. Yet there has been no foreign war, with the exception of the short affair that closed with the battle of Novara; the outlay for ordnance-stores has been every where for home consumption. Even Louis Philippe, -the commercial traveller of kings,-went into the fortification-line, and thought it a prudent investment. The Austrian rule lives virtually encamped on a great portion of its territory, and administers from head-quarters. Italy is a series of garrisons. The King of Prussia decorates his officers and flatters his priests, and calls honest members of parliament (among them Vincke himself) “his enemies !” In most foreign governments the army is less an external protection than a domestic institution; and their Horse-guards and Home-office are pretty much the same. Still more remarkable,- indeed portentous,- is the advance of the clerical power. Even in Protestant Germany it threatens at once civil rights and scientific theology; it chokes the healthy ventilation of thought ; sickens the upper atmosphere with perfumes of pietistic cant and ecclesiastical arrogance; and burdens the whole spirit of society. Hopeless and even ludicrous as the attempt may seem to institute a hierarchy and high-priesthood under the genial, human, unsystematic Luther, men are found to perpetrate such