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attempted; and this resolution was formally embodied in a protocol at the outbreak of the war by the allies and by Austria. The conclusion of the peace in 1856 fell to the lot of Lord Palmerston and his colleagues. In the interest of the Porte and of the general peace of Europe they cancelled the rights of separate interference previously possessed and claimed by Russia. They took the principalities under a direct European protection. On behalf of the subject races generally they embodied in the treaty the record of the Hatti-humayoum, or edict issued by the sultan, which purported to establish securely the civil equality of all races and religions in Turkey. This was undoubtedly a covenant on the part of the sultan. But it was a covenant without penalty for breach; for the powers expressly renounced any right to call him to account-not, however, generally, but only as growing out of the communication he had made. It was thus, in cancelling the Russian treaties with the Porte, that the powers of Europe first became, by the treaty of Paris in 1856, responsible in the last resort for securing the government of the subject races in Turkey on principles of civil equality. The terms demanded from Russia before the war had been exceedingly moderate. When the war had broken out the allies justly availed themselves of their understood right to enlarge these terms. Now in July, 1854, appeared on the ground for the first time the celebrated Four Points. After the fall of Sebastopol they were again enlarged; a territorial cession, the extinction and not merely the limitation of naval power in the Black Sea, and some provisions relating to the Baltic, were exacted from Russia."
A "day of prayer and supplication" for the success of our arms by sea and land had been held on the 26th of April, 1854. It would have been called, according to precedent, a "day of humiliation;" but to this the queen had objected in a letter to the prime minister, which said: "Were the services selected for these days of a different kind from what they are, the queen would feel less strongly about it; but they always select chapters from the Old Testament and Psalms, which are so totally
inapplicable that all the effect such occasions ought to have is entirely done away with. Moreover, to say (as we probably should) that the great sinfulness of the nation has brought about this war, when it is the selfishness and ambition and want of honesty of one man and his servants which has done it, while our conduct throughout has been actuated by unselfishness and honesty, would be too manifestly repulsive to the feelings of every one, and would be a mere bit of hypocrisy. Let there be a prayer expressive of our great thankfulness for the immense benefits we have enjoyed, and for the immense prosperity of the country, and entreating God's help and protection in the coming struggle. In this the queen would join heart and soul. If there is to be a day set apart, let it be for prayer in this sense."
In a second letter on the same subject her majesty wrote: "The queen had meant to speak to Lord Aberdeen yesterday about this day of 'prayer and supplication,' as she particularly wishes it should be called, and not 'fast and humiliation,' as after a calamity. Surely it should not be a day of mourning. The queen spoke very strongly about it to the archbishop, and urged great care in the selection of the service. Would Lord Aberdeen inculcate the queen's wishes into the archbishop's mind, that there be no Jewish imprecations against our enemies, &c., but an earnest expression of thankfulness to the Almighty for the immense blessings we have enjoyed, as well as of entreaty for protection of our forces by land and sea, and to ourselves in the coming struggle? If Lord Aberdeen will look at the service to be used at sea he will find a beautiful prayer, 'To be used before a fight at sea,' which the queen thinks (as well as other portions of that fine service) would be very applicable to the occasion, as there is no mention of the sea."
This opinion was supported by the national feeling, and the prayers used on the occasion were such as were deemed suitable for a people entering upon a great conflict which they believed to be justifiable, and the issues of which they desired humbly to leave to the divine wisdom and to Him who judgeth
AUSTRIA'S LATER MOVE-SIEGE OF SILISTRIA.
righteously. At the end of the year the determination for war had not abated. There was a general demand that a blow should be struck at Russia by direct invasion of the Crimea for the purpose of seizing Sebastopol. This was the course recommended by the Emperor of the French, and Lord Palmerston had by a circular addressed to the cabinet considerably influenced the action of the government. He believed that some heavy blow should be struck at the naval power and territorial dimensions of Russia, and that if that were not done during the year it would become much more difficult, and that the reputation of England and France would materially suffer. It had become evident enough that the whole brunt of conflict would be left to the two nations. Prince Albert, deploring the war in a letter to his stepmother, the Dowager-duchess of Coburg, said, "If there were a Germany and a German sovereign in Berlin it could never have happened." And the opinion was probably shared by the majority of the people of England.
The invasion of the Crimea would have appeared less difficult but for the necessity to support Omar Pacha in raising the siege of Silistria, which had been invested by the Russians. The garrison of that place was suffering from the effects of a prolonged resistance, but the allied forces were not able at that time to transport troops to the scene of action, and Lord Raglan was expecting to hear that the defenders had been compelled to surrender. Palmerston had, as Cobden implied, miscalculated the defensive strength of the Russian fortifications. He thought there were not more than 40,000 of the troops of the czar in the Crimea, and that if 25,000 English and 35,000 French could be landed somewhere in the large bay to the north of Sebastopol, they would be able to take the fort on the hill on the north side of the harbour, and would then command the harbour, fleet, and town. The capture or destruction of the Russian fleet would of course imply the surrender of the Russian troops forming the garrison of the place, or their evacuation of the Crimea by capitulation; but if the attack
were deferred the Russian government would have time to strengthen the defences of the place and to increase the garrison. The allied troops, he argued, were fresh, eager, and ready for enterprise. If they remained inactive till the following spring their health might give way, their spirits flag, their mutual cordiality and good understanding be cooled down by intrigues, jealousies, and disputes; while public opinion, which now stood by the two governments and bore up the people of the two countries to make the sacrifices necessary for the war, might take another turn, and people might grow tired of the burdens which had produced no sufficient and satisfactory result. Palmerston's firm conclusion was that our only chance of bringing Russia to terms was by offensive and not by defensive operations. We and the French ought to go to the Crimea and take Sebastopol and the Russian fleet the moment our two armies were in a position to go thither. Sixty thousand English and French troops would accomplish the object in six weeks after landing. There was, he said, not the slightest danger of the Russians getting to Constantinople. The Turks were able to prevent that; but even if they could not, the Austrians would be compelled by the force of circumstances to do so. Austria had, as usual, been playing a shabby game. When she thought the Russians likely to get on, and while she fancied England and France needed hastening, she bragged of her determination to be active against Russia. As soon as she found our troops at Varna she changed her tone, and according to a despatch received by Lord Clarendon, stated that she should not enter the principalities, and that the Russians must be driven out by the English and French. She could hardly think us simple enough to do her work for her; but the best way to force her to act would be to send our troops off to the Crimea.
These were Palmerston's conclusions, but they were not altogether accurate-he had not received an intimation of the latest events. When the czar refused to retire from the principalities, Austria had concluded a convention with the Porte, by which she began to move a large and well-disciplined army into the
principalities for the purpose of restoring there the state of affairs which had existed previous to the Russian invasion. This was followed by two striking and unexpected events. The resistance of the Turks to the continued assaults of the Russian forces had excited a good deal of surprise and admiration. The whole efforts of the Russian generals were now directed against Silistria, and at the very time when its fall was considered to be imminent, and after the Duke of Newcastle here received intelligence that it was about to surrender, there came news that the garrison there had repeatedly repulsed the besiegers. Urgent representations had come from Silistria itself that the place must be taken unless the defending force could be supported by the allied forces, but Lord Raglan had found it impossible for want of the means of land transport to move any of his troops from Varna to the scene of action. As many as 70,000 Russians were engaged under Prince Paskiewitsch in the siege and bombardment Silistria, and tremendous preparations had been made for taking a place which was in reality the gate through which Turkey was to have been invaded. The chief fortifications of Silistria were earthworks, the principal of which was about 2000 yards in advance of the ramparts, while about midway was another. All the conventional resources of a siege were brought against them, but were ineffectual. As often as the enemy entered they were driven back in spite of mines and a storm of artillery, and the works were repaired almost as soon as they were destroyed. Nothing could overcome the dogged obstinacy of the fighting Turks. Omar Pacha, fully alive to the importance of the position, sent reinforcements to the almost overwhelmed garrison, and on the 4th of June 30,000 men went to the rescue, broke through the Russian lines, and entered the outworks. Four days afterwards 1000 Turkish soldiers stole in at midnight over the corpses of the Russians who had fallen in heaps during the repulse. The end was near, and it was perhaps to be attributed to the presence of two British officers to whom the Turks yielded the command when their own general Mussa Pacha was slain by a cannon-ball, that the
result was so speedily effectual. These officers, Captain Butler and Lieutenant Nasmyth, both belonged to the East India Company's service, and had offered themselves at Silistria as volunteers. Their services were at once accepted as invaluable, and to their abilities no less than to their courage the defenders owed the success of the defence. The Russians had to prepare their own defences against the expected attack of the allied forces from Varna, and they had so to concentrate their troops as to be able to retreat in case of not holding their ground. They therefore determined on a grand assault on the 13th of June, and after a tremendous cannonade and the explosion of mines, the Russian order was given to advance; but the men were suffering from sickness, they were dispirited and unwilling, and the assault was postponed to the following day. When the time came they were twice driven back from the earthworks. In vain their commanders threw themselves in front of the wavering and halting troops. Prince Paskiewitsch was slightly and Prince Gortschakoff seriously wounded, and so were Count Orloff, General Luders, and General Schilders, who had taken Silistria in the war of a quarter of a century before. Nearly all the leaders were struck down, and others had to take the command when, on the 18th, the Russians advanced to the assault towards a gap twelve yards long which had been made in the Turkish parapet. The breach seemed to promise a successful attack, but on reaching it they discovered that a new wall had been constructed behind it, manned by ready troops and bristling with guns. They fell back, and as they retreated the Turks rushed out and repaired the damage on the outer wall amidst a heavy fire of musketry. With all the enormous appliances for a regular siege, and with the loss of 12,000 men either during the assaults or by disease, the Russians had not been able to get beyond even the first earthwork. They were disheartened, and the siege was raised without much further attempt. Lieutenant Nasmyth survived the terrible conflict to receive the rewards of his gallantry, but his fellow-officer Captain Butler died of the exhaustion of endemic fever brought on by his exertions and
LORD LYNDHURST DENOUNCES THE CZAR.
the privations which he in common with the rest of the garrison had to endure.
No one was more surprised than Lord Raglan at the news that the siege of Silistria had been raised, and soon afterwards another reverse was given to the Russian arms by the complete defeat of General Soimonoff at Giurgevo on the 7th of July, after which the whole of the Russian forces precipitately retired beyond the Pruth, their movements having probably been accelerated by the preparations made by Austria, added to the necessity for giving all their resources to the defence of Sebastopol and the prevention of the advance of the allied armies in the Crimea.
The retreat of the Russians from Silistria made the invasion of the Crimea easier, because the Turkish garrison was released, and there was no longer need to send troops from Varna to their assistance. In any case an attack on Sebastopol would have taken place; all England seemed to be crying out for it, and the popular voice was represented in the House of Lords by no less a personage than the aged Lord Lyndhurst, who spoke with much fire and enthusiasm, his words being hailed with repeated cheering.
"Look," he said, "at her whole conduct, and then, if any person can be credulous enough to trust in any statement of Russia, or in any engagement into which she may enter contrary to her own interests, all I can say is, that I admire the extent of his faith. Let me recall to your lordships' recollection what took place at St. Petersburg. . . . Sir H. Seymour heard that Russian troops were being collected on the Russian frontier: he was satisfied with his authority, and he mentioned the circumstance to Count Nesselrode. The count contradicted the statement; he said to Sir H. Seymour: 'Do not believe what you hear, believe only what you see; all that is taking place is only a change in the position of our armies, which is usual at this season of the year. I assure you, you are mistaken. . . . Is this the system, and are these the persons on whose assurances we are to depend. . . .? "When the interests of millions are at stake, when the liberties of mankind are at issue,
away with confidence. Confidence generally ends in credulity. This is true of statesmen as of individuals. My lords, the history of Russia, from the establishment of the empire down to the present moment, is a history of fraud, duplicity, trickery, artifice, and violence. The present emperor has proclaimed himself protector of the Greek Church in Turkey, just as the Empress Catherine declared herself protector of the Greek Church in Poland. By means of that protectorate she fomented dissensions and stirred up political strife in the country. She then marched into Poland under the pretence of allaying tumults, and stripped the kingdom of some of its fairest provinces. We know the ultimate result; it is too familiar to require more particular reference.
"Look at another instance of Russian policy of more recent occurrence. Russia agreed to a treaty with Turkey, by which she recognized the independence of the Crimea. Nevertheless she stirred up insurrections in that country, under the old pretence of protecting one party against another, and when the opportunity offered she sent Suwaroff, one of her most barbarous generals, into the Crimea, who murdered the inhabitants and despoiled them of their territory, while a line of Russian ships invested the coast, and cut off all communication with Constantinople. At the very moment when this was being done Russia was not only at peace with Turkey, but was actually negotiating a treaty of commerce with her. . . . Russia has doubled her European territories within the last fifty years, and yet she is bent on possessing herself of Khiva. The loss of two armies does not deter her from prosecuting this purpose, although the place cannot be of the slightest value to her, except as affording her the means of annoying us in respect to our Eastern possessions. In this way does Russia go on for ever. Take the most recent instance. While Nicholas was pretending to act the part of protector of Turkey, and trying to cajole the sultan with professions of friendship and esteem, he was at the time planning the partition of his empire. This is the emperor with whom you are now dealing, and on whose statements and representations we are to rely."
to have understood it. There were four ambassadors at Vienna, representing England, France, Austria, and Prussia; and these four gentlemen drew up the Vienna note, and recommended it to the Porte as one which she might accept without injury to her independence or her honour. Louis.Napoleon is a man knowing the use of language, and able to comprehend the meaning of a document of this nature, and his minister of foreign affairs is a man of eminent ability; and Louis Napoleon and his minister agree with the ambassadors at Vienna as to the character of the Vienna note. We have a cabinet composed of men of great individual capacity; a cabinet, too, including no less than five gentlemen who have filled the office of secretary for foreign affairs, and who may therefore be presumed to understand even the sometimes concealed meaning of diplomatic phraseology. These five foreign secretaries, backed by the whole cabinet, concurred with the ambassadors at Vienna and with the Emperor of the French and his foreign secretary in recommending the Vienna note to the sultan as a document which he might accept consistently with his honour and with that integrity and that independence which our government is so anxious to secure for him. What was done with this note? Passing by the marvellous stupidity, or something worse, which caused that note not to be submitted to Turkey before it was sent to St. Petersburg, I would merely state that it was sent to St. Petersburg, and was accepted in its integrity by the Emperor of Russia in the most frank and unreserved manner. We were then told-I was told by members of the government-that the moment the note was accepted by Russia we might consider the affair to be settled, and that the dispute would never be heard of again. When, however, the note was sent to Constantinople after its acceptance by Russia, Turkey discovered, or thought or said she discovered, that it was as bad as the original or modified proposition of Prince Menschikoff, and she refused the note as it was, and proposed certain modifications. And what are we to think of these arbitrators or mediators-the four ambassadors at Vienna, and the governments of France and England-who,
after discussing the matter in three different cities and at three distinct and different periods, and after agreeing that the proposition was one which Turkey could assent to without detriment to her honour and independence, immediately afterwards turned round and declared that the note was one which Turkey could not be asked to accede to, and repudiated in the most formal and express manner that which they themselves had drawn up, and which only a few days before they had approved of as a combination of wisdom and diplomatic dexterity which had never been excelled?"
It might be said that in making these statements Mr. Bright either knew too much or not enough of the actual conditions which were influencing the cabinet, and there is no need to comment on them, as they are quoted to show what was his expressed opinion at that time an opinion, as we have seen, which differed essentially from that of many others who yet deplored the war and the occasion of it, and would have made any sacrifice for the sake of restoring peace, except that which they deemed would involve the national honour and lead to a tacit abandonment of international obligations undertaken apart from any selfish motive or for the maintenance of "British interests" in any material sense. But Mr. Bright had at least "the courage of his convictions" when he went on to say he very much doubted whether Count Nesselrode placed any meaning upon the note which it did not fairly warrant, and that it was impossible to say whether he really differed at all from the actual intentions of the four ambassadors at Vienna. Mr. Bright's explanation of the course taken by the Russian minister was this: "Seeing the note was rejected by the Turk, and considering that its previous acceptance by Russia was some concession from the original demand, he issued a circular, giving such an explanation or interpretation of the Vienna note as might enable him to get back to his original position, and might save Russia from being committed and damaged by the concession, which, for the sake of peace, she had made. This circular, however, could make no real difference in the note itself; and