ePub 版
[ocr errors]

south and west Russia, are said to have undergone no slight improvement. The forests cover 486,000,000 acres of ground, of which 326,000,000 are crown property,--notwithstanding, too, that vast injury has been inflicted upon many of them through immoderate or injudicious cutting. The average export of timber may be stated at £400,000 per annum, of which at least a moiety comes to ourselves. Manufacturing skill is in its transitionary state, perhaps requiring factitious protection, until the different products attain greater excellence. The number of manufactories has augmented prodigiously, from 2270 in 1801, to 3724 in 1820, to 6450 in 1837, and to 6855 in 1838, employing 412,931 masters and workmen. Of these establishments 606 were for woollen goods, 227 for silks, 446 for weaving, 1918 for leather-dressing, 444 for candle-making, 486 for metallic hardware, and the rest for saltpetre, sugar, potash, chemical, color, tobacco, and paper works. The internal trade circulates through the means of such busy and crowded fairs as are held at Novogorod, whither goods are often brought to the value of nearly £8,000,000, of which at least one-tenth comes from China ! "The five other fairs of Korennaja, Irbit, Rostow, Kretchensk, and Romny, in the governments respectively, of Kursk, Perm, Poltawa, and Jakutzk, presented wares, taken altogether, in 1838, to the estimated amount of £2,500,000. The total of Russian imports from foreign countries for 1838 came to something under £11,000,000, of which one-twelfth came by land; one-fourth consisted of consumables, one-half was for the use of manufactories, and one-fourth was manufactured goods. The gross exports for the year 1838 came to nearly £14,000,000, of which a fifth passes through Riga, a tenth through Odessa, a twentieth through Archangel and Taganrog.

As to Foreign Policy, the able diplomacy of the cabinet at St. Petersburg has grown into a proverb all over Europe. It cannot be reproached with losing by the pen what was won

with the sword.' Scions of the aristocracy must consult national and not class interests there, or else they quickly find their way

to the snows and wildernesses of Siberia. Nature herself seems to have traced the boundaries of a stupendous empire within the Baltic, the Icy Sea, the Ural Mountains, the Caspian, the Caucasian range, the Black Sea, and the Carpathians : in the west alone she left it open for the arms and policy of nations to diminish or increase its extent: for Siberia Proper can only be regarded as a wide and waste court-yard attached to the main edifice of the Russian state: but southern Siberia is capable of improvement, and will probably serve as a base of operations from whence European culture may penetrate into central Asia, which, though now benumbed, is not hopelessly dead. When the Russian power reached the gates


of the Caucasus, which were barred against it by the rude and proud independence of the mountain tribes, it could not but feel tempted both to burst through, and to pass round the obstacle. This natural boundary once overcome, the invading power flowed like water down its southern slope.'--pp. 93, 94.

Circassia still defies the Czar both in word and deed. General Weljaminow in 1837 demanded the unconditional surrender of her gallant inhabitants, assuring them that the British were deceivers, and asking them haughtily, 'whether they did not ' know that were the heavens even to fall, Russia had bayonets ' enough to prop them up? However the best generals and regiments have hitherto failed in crushing these noble mountaineers; but ultimately, without question, the latter will have to give way; upon which they will be swept“ into the mighty stream of European existence, by which they are on all sides surrounded, and against which they set themselves in solitary

grandeur, like the giant pinnacles of their native land. Cracow still floats upon the tide of affairs, as a fragment of Poland; or rather of what it once was.

Meanwhile Moldavia and Wallachia, Servia, Bosnia, and Monte Negro, are falling more or less under Russian influences. Nesselrode keeps a watchful eye upon all the members of the great and increasing Sclavonic family. He will try and exclude Austria, as far as possible, from the embouchure of the Danube, and interpose between her and the main territories of the Ottoman Porte. Towards France and Germany there would appear to exist a mingled feeling. Newspapers, in both those countries, receive Muscovite bribes; and towards the eastern provinces of Prussia the Czar manifests no favorable commercial policy, at all events. He is shutting them up from the mouths and regions of the Polish rivers, by opening an enormous road from the south-west angle of Poland to the Baltic. A railway has also been commenced, which will convey to the harbors of Windau and Libau all the commodities which formerly found their way to Tilsit and Memel. Russia evidently takes for the type of all these efforts our own more fortunate country. We are to prove,

beyond other nations, the rival she chiefly fears : nor is the idea uncommon amongst many circles within the two metropolitan cities, that what the ocean is to Queen Victoria, the vast European and Asiatic continent is to Nicholas the First,--an area of enormous extent, where suitable preparations may be made for future triumphs and aggrandizements. Diplomacy, however, having history for its principal study, will bear in its recollection that whatever people can continue dominant at sea, will always in the long run culminate as to the general objects of its policy on land. The conflict of interests, meantime, between Great Britain and Muscovy become daily conspicuous

[ocr errors][merged small]

enough. Sweden and Norway, Turkey and Persia, Central Asia, China, and Japan, are the geese to be plucked, one after the other, as the game goes on.

It remains to be seen who will get the most feathers, make the best supper, and repose the most soundly afterwards. The press is issuing its paper missives, war is casting his largest cannon, steam is blowing up its preparatory fires, and ambassadors are sinking mines and countermines in every conceivable direction. The Ottoman power may probably be suffered, through the operation of various causes, to waste away in slow consumption : but the states of Middle Asia will have to undergo a struggle, at once violent, complex, and uncertain. Toryism, now once more at the helm of our own affairs, no doubt gloats over the anticipated result. A moral lift, as Canning used to say, may be given to that system which promotes strong government, at the expense of liberalism and democracy. Nevertheless we are slow to believe that what Tacitus said of the Romans shall ever be correctly applied to ourselves : ruitur omnibus in servitium! Our hopes predominate over our fears. In going over, once and again, the universal history of mankind, -in looking back upon past follies, and forward upon the glowing, though perhaps shadowy prospects ultimately opening over the world, we rest our hopes, under divine providence, upon the middle classes of this and other countries, who, armed with the power of knowledge, and held in check by their own interests, shall build up a glorious fabric amidst the overthrow of despotisms and aristocracies! And until that era arrives, the eloquent and imaginative author of Ion, one of the finest dramas of the age, has taught us what to guard against :

• We must look within,
For that which makes us slaves ; on sympathies
Which find no kindred object in the plain
Of common life,-affections that aspire
In air too thin,--and fancy's dewy film
Floating for rest : for even such delicate threads
Gathered by fate's engrossing hand, supply
The eternal spindle, whence she weaves the bond
Of cable strength, in which our nature struggles !

classification was not so much an organized distinction and distribution of parts, as a mere mechanical separation of them. His famous hierarchy constituted so many steps of stone to an inner sanctuary, where religion, or at least that which was so called, sat suffocated with ceremonial and pageantry at the feet of a barbarous czar, holding bribes in one hand, and the knout in the other. Even the hereditary nobility enjoyed no other real distinction than that of being oxen with larger horns and fatter sides than the rest of the vulgum pecus, chewing the cud, or lowing in most uncouth dignity around the throne of the Russian Polypheme! So many of its members became absorbed in official situations, and so many of its privileges extend to subordinate agents of the executive government, that there will never be a field of Runnymede within the vicinity of St. Petersburg. The rank of Burghers underwent some re-arrangement, but according to an entirely accidental and superficial scale, namely, that of fortune. In fact, civil position is settled upon military principles; nor can it be otherwise, where liberty and knowledge are substantially rare, if not altogether unknown. The sceptre of absolutism will never be aught else than a sword, either sheathed or naked. Millions of our fellow-creatures, scattered over the regions and steppes from Archangel to Astrachan, may be considered as so many armies in a sort of domesticated encampment, told off by divisions in an unchangeable order, and yielding blind obedience to their imperial commanderin-chief. Their present potentate maintains this idea in its severest rigor. His predecessor Peter borrowed for their use the intelligence of other lands; Nicholas, actuated by the same genius of autocracy, rather endeavors to develope to the uttermost that power of every various kind which he thinks his slaves have already acquired. Internal peril, however, perpetually appears to cross the spirit of his dream. The diadem was placed upon his brow amidst the tumults of metropolitan insurrection; and he must be dining every day of his life, like Damocles, with some weapon of destruction suspended over his head, too often by only a single horsehair.

The employment of foreign masters or governesses in families is now prevented as much as possible; nor can even the nobility remain abroad more than five years---for which term of absence, moreover, they must have imperial permission. In 1840, a member of the Russian embassy at Rome was appointed inspector over all the artists of his country resident in that interesting capital. The eye of Muscovite espionage possesses even a sharper sight than that of the ancient Caledonians, or the celebrated man in the Mauritius! Nicholas is declared to have a strong will of his own, with a mind full of activity. Personal mobility is a necessary characteristic of his govern

The Domestic Management of the Sick Room. By Anthony Todd Thomson, M.D., F.L.S., &c., &c. pp. 506. Longman and Co. 1841.

In the volume before us, which is intended more especially for the perusal, or rather study, of the softer sex, the author has endeavored to convey that information which is essential to aid the medical treatment of disease, not to cure it.' Much is to be done in the sick chamber by means generally regarded as extra-professional, which may be readily understood and easily practised by attendants of ordinary competency; and which are in many instances of as much value to the patient as the sagest nostrum that was ever prescribed, albeit under the auspices of a gold-headed cane. We do not mean to underrate medical science and skill, but we do mean to contend that these derive their full efficiency in the treatment of disease only as they have the co-operation of suitable domestic management; which, it is too obvious, is but little understood by those to whom it is usually assigned. Dr. Thomson's work is a plain and concise compendium of the duties to which we refer; we therefore recommend it as an available antidote for much of the embarrassment to which they are frequently exposed who have the charge of invalids; and as a book of reference in cuses where medical aid is instantly required but cannot be as promptly obtained. The subjects of which our author treats are necessarily numerous, and generally of sufficient importance to deserve grave consideration ; but we should direct the attention of the English reader more especially to the remarks on ‘ventilation,''bathing,' and administration of medicines.' Dr. Thomson might have given the profession a more scientific work, but he could not have exerted his abilities with more advantage to the public at large.

A Dictionary of the Art of Printing. By William Savage, Author of

Practical Hints on Decorative Printing, and of a Treatise on the Preparation of Printing Ink, both Black and Colored.' London : Longman and Co.

This is a work of immense labor and of great utility, upon which the author has been employed, directly or indirectly, upwards of fifty years. His opportunities for collecting the requisite materials have greatly exceeded those of most men, whilst his diligence and skill are amply proved by the publication before us. The object of the volume, as stated by the author, ‘was that of making a purely practical work : one that might meet every exigence of the printer whilst in the exercise of his art, and one that would serve as a book of reference to the author, the librarian, and in fact to every one interested in books or their production. Every branch of the art of printing is treated with fulness, the details and illustrations being admirably adapted to subserve the practical aim of the author. Mr. Savage has supplied what was previously much needed, and his volume is so complete as to prevent all fear of his labors being superseded. We strongly recommend it as a book of reference to those who are interested in such matters.

« 上一頁繼續 »