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such undertakings with caution; the present emperor of Russia is no friend to their dynasty. From her machinations in Caubul we have nothing to fear; that court is too sensible of its own interests and our power to be drawn into ennity with us by a state which could afford neither protection nor support in the time of danger and adversity. . As France, therefore, has the power to perplex and distract our eastern policy, it is incumbent on us to watch her with jealousy and attention; to penetrate her designs, and by speedy counteraction render harmless those events over the origin of which we have no control. ! To the late Marquis of Londonderry great censure attached for his neglect of our eastern policy. On the accession of his successor to office considerable expectation was created that this longdisregarded, but important subject, would engage the immediate at. tention of government; but as yet how little has been done to forward our interests or strengthen our power in that distant region ! By the treaty of Paris, in 1814, all that could be desired was achieved for the safety of our eastern possessions; and, conscious of the security and advantages it has gained for a free and unmolested maritime communication with Hindostan, for the future, government appears to be satisfied with the safeguards which this treaty ensures, and either to neglect or overlook the necessity of strengthening our power and our influence on the continent of Asia itself. I shall, perhaps, be asked, does the position of any Asiatic state command our attention to these objects? I reply ; It does : the position of the greatest; the most powerful, and the most ambitious of all Asiatic states, Russia, requires the unremitting attention of the British cabinet. - The zealous friends and partisans of this power will feel displeased, nay, they may probably treat with ridicule, my 'assertions of meditated aggression ou her part; they will assert that the intentions, just before attributed to her, are exaggerated; or perhaps that they are wholly without foundation. They rely on her assurances of friendship ; on our ancient alliance with her, and on the great benefit which she derives from it. The commerce with England, say they, is absolutely necessary to her; the revenue arising from it is too great to permit her becoming our enemy. Let us examine the validity of this argument, at least the latter portion of it, which, being founded on self-interest, is the only part which requires particular notice. I allow the advantages she derives from her commercial intercourse with us to their utmost extent, as well as that her true policy should be to cement more closely the friendship that has so long existed between the two countries; but we must remember that Russia has imbibed the prevalent, though false, notions respecting the boundless value of British India, to a greater extent than any other power; that its possession has for a considerable space of time formed a primary object; and that she has even deliberated on the probability of des priving us of it. Now suppose that Russia, viewing, as she is known to do, our settlements in India as the great cause of our wealth and prosperity, should conclude that her advantages would be more increased by their possession, than by the retention of British commerce and British friendship, what then becomes of this argument founded on self-interest ? The answer is obvious. As for friendship or antiquity of alliance, they are points of less weight than a feather, in affairs of this nature; nations are friends and allies just so long as they derive benefit from their mutual connex. ion; self-interest is the object of each ; and should time or other circumstances cause this object to cease, or should one of greater apparent benefit present itself, though its attainment be at the cost of one of the allies, the friendship would disappear along with the benefit in the first case, the friend and ally would be cooly sacrificed in the other.
Greedy of empire ; envious of our eastern ascendancy, but sen sible of the difficulty which exists to effect any operation to our disadvantage, while Persia remains entire and independent between her and India, she has adopted a system of policy towards the former power which must eventually ensure her overthrow. It is to Persia then, that the real interests of England direct her atten tion. Here is the only unguarded point in our system ; and though danger, from this side, be a remote apprehension, still, having already achieved so much for our Asiatic security, I would not have one approach left unprotected, while we have it in our power to fortify it and render it impregnable. To strengthen this kingdom; to preserve its integrity; to promote its welfare and civilisation, are objects of paramount importance to the British cabinet, who should regard her as the Poland of the East; the barrier to Russian aggrandisement, and Russian ambition in Asia ; as a point of transcendant importance in our commercial and political views in the eastern hemisphere. Our relations with Persia have been few and unimportant; those of Russia have been increasing both in frequency and magnitude ; our settlements on the Persian Gulf have been nearly abandoned; while Russia has opened new marts for the encouragement of eastern commerce.
It appearsamuch wiser course of policy, as well as more consonant to the best interests of a great commercial nation, like England, to push her trade all over Persia; to revive her settlements on the Persian Gulf; from whence that country might be supplied with many of those articles of European manufacture (most of them British) which are now.furnished by Russia, and on térms so greatly reduced, that competition with us must be rendered hopeless. I am convinced that she must from her immediate vicinity enjoy the trade of the north of Persia ; but it is in our power to supply the other parts of the kingdom, or at least to divide a very large proportion of the supply with her. .. With the exception of the enbassy of Sir Gore Ouseley, and the residence of Mr. Morier, who were accredited by the court of St. James's direct, all-intercourse with Persia has been transacted by the East India Company, whose views being chiefly commercial, has almost entirely neglected to attempt the acquisition of a political ascendency in that important country. But India is a stake too valuable to be played thus listlessly away; her military force should be increased to such an extent as should render all hopes of conquest chimerical; she should be guarded by every means of internal strength which we can devise, and externally by the skill of a firm, dignified and resolute diplomacy,
The advantages of a resident ambassador from our government to the court of Teheran direct would be incalculable. By a ju. dicious management of the prejudices of the Persians, I feel satisfied, that he might effect considerable amelioration in the condition of the people, by inducing the Shah to introduce many institutions to which he is now a stranger, but which he would readily adopt if it were proved they would be advantageous to him. Some dormant points and offices in their law might also be revived with considerable advantage to the subject, and increase of his personal security. The ambitious designs of Russia, who always employs men of great talent at this court, and the mischievous policy of France, might be hourly watched, and often immediately counteracted. Besides, with a resident minister to protect the mercbants in all cases of injustice, a confidence would be raised that might determine many persons to found establishments in the principal cities, which, if conducted with fairness, would impress the people with favorable ideas of us; and the commerce thus introduced would, by a judicious management and direction, form a valuable addition to our Asiatic trade. Numerous opportunities would continually arise which an active and intelligent diplomatist might seize to forward our commerce and strengthen our political interests in that kingdom, as well as to promote the welfare and improvement of its population, the two main objects of his mission. "Some persons will object that such an interference in the affairs of Persia, as that here proposed, would be injudicious, and likely to raise jealousy concerning our real views; while others will assert the impossibility of battering down a wall of prejudices as hard as adamant, which must be done before it could be accomplished ; in fact that the Persians are an impracticable people.
These opinions are supported by great and highly respected names, from whom I dissent with the utmost deference; but having also studied the character and history of the Persians, I feel no hesitation in saying that there is a key which will unlock the most inveterate prejudices of this people, and which, applied with judgment, would open to us manifold benefits. Besides, where one point has been ceded, it is neither chimerical nor unreasonable to expect that time and prudence may gain others : water by continual dropping will wear away marble. The introduction of European discipline among the troops augurs well; the advantages of the measure were properly explained to the Shah, and the prejudices of the East vanished before the superior customs of Europe. Where a sovereign admits a change in so important a branch of government as that which appertains to the defence of his kingdom, there is no just ground for holding him an impracticable man, when other benefits shall be fully laid before him. :: Our ambassadors appear to have taken little trouble of this sort; their only attempts at the introduction of improvements have consisted in throwing out a few hints, which their delicacy prevented then from following up or renewing, leaving it to the miud of the Shah to seize and comprehend the nature, operations and effect of institutions of which he never before had heard ; whereas représentations, clearly and simply explained, would have made them available to his comprehension, and would have probably insured their adoption. Another strong inducement to attempts of this nature is the character of Prince Abbas, in whom the prejudices of his country are by no means deeply rooted; well disposed, and very anxious for the establishment of any measures that would tend to improve the condition of the kingdom, he will on his accession to the throne have uncontrouled power to effect the beneficial changes which his prudence and his judgment dicu tate. To him therefore we may look with confidence as a zea. lous seconder of our views. It is the opinion of many persons who have studied the political state of Persia, that this prince will not eventually succeed to the throne, but will be supplanted by his brother Mahomed, a prince of a haughty, cruel and turbulent disposition; inimical to changes and improvements of all sorts, and strongly bigotted to every thing Asiatic. He has always opposed the introduction of European tactics into the army; he despises the soldiers thus disciplined, and courts the irregular troops, on whom he intends to rely for the success of his scheme of usurpation. Should victory declare in his favor, the circumstance will form an evil of the utmost magnitude to Persia, and one of equal moment to all Asia, particularly should Russia be suffered to accomplish her designs against Turkey., In the future
views of Russia upon the Ottoman state additional motives present themselves for the immediate despatch of an ambassador from this country to Persia, to watch the motions of the former power; to protect our own interests, and to support the party of Abbas Mirza, should circumstances render assistance necessary. By the expulsion of the Turks into Asia, Russia would gain such an immense increase of power as would completely destroy the equilibrium between the different states of Europe; nor would this be the only advantage acquired by her, for the Turks being then entirely an Asiatic power, and having no relations with Europe whatever, would be goaded into a war against Persia, between which pation and the Turks a long settled hatred, founded in the most inveterate of all prejudices, a difference in religious opinion, continues to exist. Russia will make continual use of this national hatred to keep the subjects of it in almost perpetual hostilities with each other; when by allying berself to whichever side best suits her views, she will cause the opposite party to be vanquished, while at the same time she will not neglect, on the signing of a treaty of peace, to weaken her ally by exorbitant demands for her friendship and support. This will sow the seeds of a new war, in which she will ally herself to the opposite party, and in the end obtain from her the same extravagant concessions, thus playing the one off against the other, till she eventually reduces them both under her own power. How necessary is it then to check this aggrandising spirit of the Russian policy; how essential to put a final stop to it, by a bold and determined resistance. Are the powers of Europe afraid of Russia ? do they believe with De Pradt, that she is unattackable amidst ber eternal frosts and snows? or can they even still think that she has any other means of accomplishing her gigantic schemes than are afforded by her own bullying, de termined, and threatening attitude, and their crouching fearfulness and imbecility?
Surely Great Britain, so deeply interested in the integrity of the Persian monarchy, will use the most resolute and determined means to prevent its dismemberment; and as to Turkey, it is a point of the highest political importance to Europe generally, that Russia obtain not a single additional province out of that empire; and rather than she should do so, the European powers would be fully justified, as a measure of self-preservation, to carry the same spirit of aggression which she exercises upon the territories of her neighbors to her own door, and prove, by actual experiment, how far the valor of her troops and the strength of her treasury are capable of supporting the haughtiness, the insolence, the injustice and the hypocrisy with which she continues to treat the independence of nations and the political liberty of the human race,