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the Agamemnon on the port side, but slightly in advance of both. A few miles below the mole the signal was given to form line abreast, and at cable length from each other the line from end to end extended for more than three miles. At 2:40 the signal was given to "chase," and later in the afternoon the review ended with a mock engagement between the principal vessels. The weather was fine, and the spectacle from the point of view of those who regarded it as a great warlike demonstration was magnificent. Most of the members of the House of Commons with the speaker went to see the great show by special steamers provided for their accommodation. It was said that a hundred steam-boats carried spectators, and the royal circle included the three grandduchesses, the Crown-prince of Wurtemburg, the Duke of Mecklenburg, and the Prince of Prussia, so there were plenty of witnesses to report the proceedings not only to the two neutral powers, but to the Emperor of Russia himself. Prince Albert afterwards wrote to Stockmar: "The great naval review has come off, and surpassed all that could have been anticipated. The gigantic ships of war, among them the Duke of Wellington with 131 guns (a greater number than was ever before assembled in one vessel), went, without sails, and propelled only by the screw, eleven miles an hour, and this against wind and tide! This is the greatest revolution effected in the conduct of naval warfare which has yet been known. Steam as well as sailing vessels will of necessity be cast aside as useless, and menof-war with the auxiliary screw will take their place. This will cost a great deal of money till the change is effected, and render many fleets, like the present Russian one, useless. We have already sixteen at sea and ten in an advanced state. France has no more than two, and the other powers none. On Thursday 300 ships and 100,000 men must have been assembled on one spot. The fleet carried 1100 guns and 10,000 men. The weather, moreover, was magnificent, and the impression which the spectacle presented sublime."
Those people in London who had not been to the naval review were soon to witness what to them came nearer in significance-the de
parture of troops by railway or by transport ships, the marching of well-known regiments through the streets, the clang and fanfare of military bands, the tramp of men, and the "shrill squeaking of the wry-necked fife" or the drone of the bagpipe. They were to have part too in leave-takings, that were sad enough, and were remembered afterwards when, during the terrible winter, there came home tidings from the British camp which made men and women wail, and utter complaints that were little short of imprecations against a government which had prepared so ill for war that while men were upon the field to fight the foe, they had to fight cold and hunger and disease also, because food and drink, shelter and clothing, and medicine, and even mules and horses, had either not arrived or were beating about on shipboard at some port where they were useless, or were landed where there were no means of conveying them to the soldiers who starved and froze and sickened, but would not yield till death itself vanquished them.
Before war had been formally declared both France and Russia had sent considerable forces to the East for the protection of Turkey, and to act as might be required for that object. The British army consisted of four divisions commanded by Lieutenant General Sir George Brown, and Major-Generals the Duke of Cambridge, Sir de Lacy Evans, and Sir Richard England, and a division of cavalry under the Earl of Lucan. Altogether 10,000 of our troops left England at the end of February, 1854, and landed at Malta, where they remained till the 31st of March, when they proceeded to Gallipoli, in European Turkey, where the French were already arriving in detachments, Marshal St. Arnaud, former minister of war, being in command, and under him General Canrobert and General Bosquet; a brigade of cavalry under General d'Allonville, and reserves under Prince Napoleon, General Forey, and General Cassargnalles. The number of the French troops was at that time 20,000, or twice as many as our own. The choice of Gallipoli as a basis of operations was that of the Emperor of the French, who had
PUBLIC EXCITEMENT-PALMERSTON, COBDEN, AND BRIGHT.
determined that to fortify that place would be to prevent the Russians from crossing the Balkan; but as a basis of operations it was too far from the Turkish armies and from Constantinople. The emperor had, however, instructed General St. Arnaud that though Gallipoli should be the strategical point and the place of depôt for arms, ambulances, and provisions, that need not prevent the troops from marching forward or lodging one or two divisions at the barracks at the west of Constantinople or at Scutari; while, if, after having advanced towards the Balkans, a movement in retreat should become necessary they would regain the coast of Gallipoli instead of that of Constantinople, because the Russians would never venture from Adrianople to Constantinople with an army of 60,000 good troops on their right flank. These instructions and the attitude afterwards assumed by the French general looked a little too much like taking the initiative of command of the entire allied army for the taste of some people here, but matters soon assumed a regular course. Lord Raglan did not arrive at Gallipoli till May, when more active measures than merely protective dispositions had to be adopted. The war may, in fact, be said to have begun much as it continued. The results were attributable more to the soldiers than to the generals. The French and English worked together harmoniously in a cheerful hearty spirit of emulation in making the seven miles of line of entrenchments on the crest of the ridge from the Gulf of Saros to the Sea of Marmora, just as they afterwards fought like brave comrades whenever there was fighting to be done, and they were allowed to support or relieve each other amidst the tempest of shot and fire. When the works were finished the forces moved to the Bosphorus, the French occupying the European side near Constantinople, and our men landing on the eastern side of the narrow Strait of Scutari.
The positions taken by the allied fleets and the allied armies can only be estimated by reference to the map of Europe, and an acquaintance with the conformation of the territory where hostilities were likely to be commenced. The northern shores of the Black
Sea and also a part of the eastern shore belonged to Russia; the southern, the Asia Minor, and the greater part of the western shore was the territory of Turkey. The Black Sea itself was therefore little other than a lake, but it was the only outlet for Russia on the south, its own sole escape being the deep and narrow channel of the Bosphorus, seventeen miles long and repeatedly contracted to not more than half a mile in breadth, but deep enough to carry large ships of war close to the shore throughout its entire course. This channel passes between Constantinople and Scutari, and, flowing into the Sea of Marmora, may be said to reappear as a westward waterway under the name of the Dardanelles, which flow for forty miles till they reach the Mediterranean. It is little to be wondered at that the sultans of Turkey had always claimed the right to exclude foreign ships of war from both these channels,-a right which was confirmed by the five great powers of Europe in the treaty of 1841, which was the latest of several treaties having the same object. By its provisions the sultan had power to close the straits against all foreign vessels of war, and at the same time was bound to exclude any such force in time of peace. In time of war, however, he might admit a foreign fleet; and this proviso enabled him, in such a contingency, to shut up the western outlet of Russia, and actually to confine the Russian fleet to the Black Sea. No other equitable arrangement would have been possible except that of leaving the straits entirely open to the navies of the world, and that would have illsuited Russia, since it would have abolished the exclusive policy which left her influence foremost in Eastern Europe, and enabled her eagerly to watch for an opportunity of absorbing not only the straits, but Constantinople itself, or at all events of holding both in subjection by her influence on the Ottoman government.
We have already tried to show that it is no part of the purpose of these pages to give prominence to deeds of war, or to show to each reader the soldier standing in front and becoming the figure
"That hides the march of men from us."
And yet such was the position which the nation chose to take during the earlier part of the Crimean war, that comparatively little attention was paid even to some important measures brought before parliament, and other equally important occurrences in society. Our soldiers and sailors deserved all the honour that they received, for they were actuated by a simple desire bravely to do their duty, and they did it nobly; but the war fever had hold of the body of the nation. People suffering from its delirium, would talk of little else than the Crimea and Sebastopol. Lord Palmerston had, as he was sure to do, made a distinct reputation as home secretary. He gave his mind to the work with his usual originality and blunt determined common sense, and he was as indifferent as ever to opinions with which he had no sympathy. Yet by his never-failing bonhomie and shrewd wit he contrived to avoid making enemies. Only very earnest and deeply serious people, who would not accept his worldly philosophy for true wisdom, were long at variance with him, and even these could scarcely be proof against his inveterate good humour. Between him and Cobden and Bright, and men of their school, there could be no real agreement, and Palmerston himself did not pretend that any such agreement was possible. He seems almost to have gone out of his way to make himself appear as flippant and irreverent as he was accused of being, for the purpose of showing how little he cared for the remonstrances and the opposition of Mr. Bright; and though during his home secretaryship he said and did things which were afterwards incontrovertible, he contrived to say them in such a way as to appear to carry a contemptuous expression to strait-laced and orthodox persons who (as he clearly saw) regarded him with suspicion, while they sought to influence his proceedings. In cases where most other ministers would have thought it prudent merely to make a brief statement or to give a simple reply, Palmerston could not refrain from giving his reasons, for the sake, as it would seem, of challenging an adverse opinion. There was an Irish side of his character which constantly
came uppermost; and his humour, the quality which made him popular, and often not only saved him from defeat but secured his success, had in it much of the Irish quality. It was amusing, although it is somewhat painful, to note the thrill of aversion with which people holding certain dogmatic opinions were affected by some of Lord Palmerston's sayings, that were uttered in perfect good faith as maxims of practical experience and without any reference whatever to so-called religious doctrines. This of course does not wholly apply to his answer to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, who had written to be informed whether it was proposed, on account of the epidemic of cholera, to appoint a day of national fast and humiliation. His reply gave great offence at first, and it was probably designed as a smart rebuke. "There can be no doubt," it said, "that manifestations of humble resignation to the Divine will and sincere acknowledgments of human unworthiness are never more appropriate than when it has pleased Providence to afflict mankind with some severe visitation; but it does not appear to Lord Palmerston that a national fast would be suitable to the circumstances of the present moment. The Maker of the universe has established certain laws of nature for the planet on which we live, and the weal or woe of mankind depends upon the observance or the neglect of these laws. One of these laws connects health with the absence of those gaseous exhalations which proceed from overcrowded human beings, or from decomposing substances whether animal or vegetable; and these same laws render sickness the almost inevitable consequence of exposure to these noxious influences. But it has at the same time pleased Providence to place it within the power of man to make such arrangements as will prevent or disperse such exhalations so as to render them harmless, and it is the duty of man to attend to these laws of nature and to exert the faculties which Providence has thus given to man for his own welfare. The recent visitation of cholera, which has for the moment been mercifully checked, is an awful warning given to the people of this realm that they have too much neglected their duty in this respect,
THE KING OF PRUSSIA'S WHINING LETTER.
the army of the East, a sum which was calculated to represent £50 a head for 25,000 men.
It may be very well understood that to make these large demands on the country at a time when, but for the growing demands of army and navy, he would have been looking forward to further important reductions of taxation was a deep disappointment to a statesman who shared the reluctance of Lord Aberdeen and others to enter into hostilities at all. There was, however, as he believed, no other course to adopt, as war was inevitable, than so to provide for it as to make it effectual towards the speedy settlement of a lasting peace. Probably Mr. Gladstone differed from Mr. Cobden and Mr. Bright only inasmuch as he could not admit that the utmost moral interposition might be used and yet that material interference as a resort to physical force could seldom or never be justified. With regard to the approaching war with Russia for the defence of the Ottoman Porte he may reasonably have considered that whatever might have been the circumstances in the past which had led to the existing situation, the demands of Russia were such as menaced not only Turkey but the integrity of European States, and that the cause of justice as well as the observance of international obligations, made it the duty of England to oppose by strong diplomatic representations, if such might be successful, but in the last resort by determined material opposition to a gigantic physical power, the unwarrantable attempts of the czar practically to add the Turkish possessions to his empire. This perhaps would be the outline of the argument held by the large moderate section of people who deplored and would have made great sacrifices to prevent rather than to maintain the conflict. This was the position taken during negotiations which had failed one after another, and the continuance of which even after the repeated evasions and attempted overbearing of the Emperor of Russia, was now recommended by the King of Prussia in a letter to the queen, in terms which may have been intended to be pious but were singularly inappropriate.
In England the character ascribed to the King of Prussia was that of a weak and self
indulgent sovereign, with just enough culture to be dilettante, and with a decided liking for the pleasures of the table. He was nicknamed "Clicquot" because he was supposed to be fond of champagne, and the common caricatures represented him dividing his attention between that exhilarating beverage and Strasbourg pie or German sausage. There was no sufficient reason for this estimate of his habits, and it is pretty certain that he really possessed considerable culture and liked intellectual pursuits; but he was weak in more than one respect, and his subsequent mental disorder in 1858 was perhaps not very surprising. Had his brother William been on the throne in 1853 instead of becoming his regent in 1858 and afterwards succeeding him, there is no telling what might have happened. Probably there would have been no Crimean war, but as it was, Prussia occupied the unenviable position of alternately crouching before Russia, and endeavouring to justify the attitude by asserting a right to sustain a moral and political neutrality. After having, by his anxiety not to offend his brother-in-law, reduced Prussian influence to a mere feeble coincidence with our remonstrance against the misinterpretation of the Vienna note, Frederick William appeared to be alarmed lest the czar should suspect him of being too decidedly opposed to him. The feeling against him in England was unmistakable. "The irritation here against the Prussian court," said Prince Albert, "is very great, and not undeserved. After it had caused intimation to be made of its dread of France, and we had procured a declaration for them that no territorial aggrandizement of any kind would be accepted by that nation, they now affect a fear of Russia, as though Prussia must be swallowed up in a moment." But it was at this juncture that the King of Prussia thought he might interpose by sending two letters, one of a private and one of an official character, to the Queen of England. These were specially despatched by a cavalry officer almost immediately after the czar's proposals had been negatived at Vienna, and their avowed intention was to induce the queen to reconsider those proposals, as though she could in any sense act independently of the decisions
of her ministers. It seemed that the King of Prussia was prepared to act outside the conference of ambassadors and of ministers of state, and he pretended to think, or was ignorant enough to think, that the English sovereign might do the same, "in a spirit of conciliation and a love of peace." He was-he saidanxious to co-operate with her majesty in every effort for the preservation of peace, and though he could not hope that war would be averted, its sphere might be restricted, and the duration of the calamity averted, by the four powers continuing to be firmly united in their policy and course of action. This was the language of the sovereign whose policy had been feeble and pusillanimous, and whose untrustworthiness had encouraged Russia and embarrassed Austria.
The more official letter was long, elaborate, and tainted with obvious duplicity. "I am informed that the Russian emperor has sent proposals for preliminaries of peace to Vienna, and that these have been pronounced by the conference of ambassadors not to be in accordance with their programme. Just there where the vocation of diplomacy ceases does the special province of the sovereign begin." Was it not most strange, he asked, that England seemed for some time past to have been ashamed of what had been the special motive for the conflagration? The war would now be one for a distant and ulterior purpose. "The prepon
derance of Russia is to be broken down! Well! I, her neighbour, have never yet felt this preponderance and have never yielded to it. And England in effect has felt it less than I. The equilibrium of Europe will be menaced by this war, for the world's greatest powers will be weakened by it. But above all suffer me to ask, 'Does God's law justify a war for an idea?"" The letter goes on to implore her majesty for the sake of the Prince of Peace not to reject the Russian proposals. "Order them to be probed to the bottom, and see that this is done in a desire for peace. Cause what may be accepted to be winnowed from what appears objectionable, and set negotiations on foot upon this basis! I know that the Russian emperor is ardently desirous of peace. Let your majesty build a bridge for the prin
ciple of his life-the imperial honour! He will walk over it extolling God and praising him. For this I pledge myself.
"In conclusion, will your majesty allow me to say one word for Prussia and for myself? I am resolved to maintain a position of complete neutrality; and to this I add, with proud elation, my people and myself are of one mind. They require absolute neutrality from me. They say (and I say), What have we to do with the Turk? Whether he stand or fall in no way concerns the industrious Rhinelanders and the husbandmen of the Riesengebirg and Bernstein. Grant that the Russian taxgatherers are an odious race, and that of late monstrous falsehoods have been told and outrages perpetrated in the imperial name. It was the Turk and not we who suffered, and the Turk has plenty of good friends, but the emperor is a noble gentleman, and has done us no harm. Your majesty will allow that this North German sound practical sense is difficult to gainsay. Should Count Gröben come too late, should war have been declared, still I do not abandon hope. Many a war has been declared, and yet not come to actual blows. God the Lord's will decides."
There is no need to analyse or to characterize this letter, but it is little to be wondered at if it was read with impatience and even with indignation. Even now, that large numbers of people are more and more convinced that the Russian war, if it were just, might have been prevented, the terms in which the letter is couched will be regarded as offensive to English notions when the words are accompanied with some knowledge of the position occupied by Prussia at that time. The very spirit of time-serving, and of a selfishness the more stupendous because it is half-unconscious, seems to pervade the language employed. There could be only one kind of reply to it. The queen wrote without delay.
"The recent Russian proposals came as an answer to the very last attempt at a compromise which the powers considered they could make with honour, and they have been rejected by the Vienna Conference, not because they were merely at variance with the language of the programme, but because they