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knows how to be humble or insolent as may best suit the occasion, her position strikes terror into her enemies, and commands from her friends a degree of respect almost approaching to fear, But the time approaches when Russia, with augmented resources, will be really enabled to execute those vast schemes of aggrandisement that she has so long contemplated; when the states of Europe must shake off the apathy with which they have been so long accustomed to view her gigantic strides to universal influence and power; or they will find themselves blotted out of the map of Europe, and their dominions overrun by hordes of barbarians from the North. It is difficult to conceive any thing more degrading to a great nation than the confession of M. de Villele, that France was goaded into the unjust war against Spain, in order to avoid a visit from the armed barbarians of Russia, What a reflection for the states of Europe ; that this France, once so great, so powerful, should be now so degraded, so humble, so fallen as to be obliged to lick the hand which insultingly forces her to commit an act of injustice! In making these remarks on the policy and conduct of Russia, it is not intended to attach blame to her sa much as to reprobate the course pursued by those states who have suffered themselves to be cajoled and wheędled, by her crafty representations, into becoming the victims of their own baseness and treachery. Her object is, and always has been, since she first acted a part in European politics, under Peter the Great, extension and aggrandisement of territory; and this object she continues to pursue at the expense of both friends and enemies. She seizes on the jealousy, the envy and the hatred of states towards each other, and by uniting herself first with one and then with the other, eventually ruins or subjugates them all. These are some of the means through which Russia has attained to her present pre-emi. pent power over Europe ; but it is time to speak of her future Asiatic policy, and the extent of its views.
When the emperor Paul seceded from the alliance against Buon naparte, he immediately joined that usurper, and became the implacable enemy of England. He entered into all his views of con quest, and became a willing and ready instrument for their further ance and success. Among other means of injury to this country, it was proposed by Buonaparte to make a descent upon our East Indian possessions, which was acceded to by the Russian Emperor, A plan was laid ; the probability of its success was discussed and concluded; and the quota of troops which each potentate was to furnish for the enterprise was actually settled. This was an ill return on the part of Russia for those numerous benefits which an old and valuable ally had conferred upon her. The death of Paul, however, frustrated this scheme of rapine, and the present sovereign changed
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the policy of the state on his accession to the throne, and allied himself with England. But, after the peace of Tilsit, Alexander joined Buonaparte, and lent a willing ear to all his projects of rapine. Their interviews became frequent; and among other points discussed between them, was the conquest of the British settlements in India. To this subject Alexander listened with greediness, and assented to the practicability of the undertaking; but why the attempt was never made, it is not in my power to explain. Perhaps he bad not sufficient confidence in his coadjutor, from whose character he knew that, should the enterprise succeed, but a small portion of the spoils would have fallen to his share; and so reserved the attempt to be made under more promising circunstances and in better company. However, it is very certain that Russia is extremely envious of our easteru empire; and its conquest, as M. Say has recently asserted, has occupied the cabinet of St. Petersburg twenty times. If he had added that most of these deliberations have been made during the time of profound peace with this country, the assertion would have been incapable of refutation. . · It is easy enough to devise plans, but it is not always so easy to execute them; yet in this instance it must be allowed that Russia, from her geographical position, has advantages which are not possessed by any other European power ;-it is her vicinage, viewed in conjunction with the national character of the Persians, that would constitute her a more powerful opponent than the rest, in case of actual hostilities. In an attempt upon India, Russia- must have a passage through Persia to the Persian Gulf; for an overland expedition is now generally admitted to be quixotic and impracticable : the only point therefore to be considered is, whether she would be able to gain the requisite passage for her army? There are two ways of accomplishing this end; either to obtain permission from the Shah for a free passage of her troops through his territory; or, in the event of a refusal, to assume a hostile character, and take, by force, that which was denied to friendly entreaty. But I wish here to be understood not as asserting the fall of India, should this passage be obtained; but merely as stating that such a passage is indispensably necessary, in order to enable her to make the attempt. No: precarious as it is, and notwithstanding all the alarming representations of instability, and gloomy forebodings of destruction, which have for some time past issued from various quarters, I hold the British empire in India to be erected on a basis too firm and solid to be so easily shaken to its foundation, and hurled prostrate at the foot of a conqueror.
Suspicion of further hostile views upon the empire ; the hatred, the disgust, and, above all, the fear entertained of the Russians ; added to the difficulty which 'might arise of expelling these unwel. come guests, should the failure of their enterprise oblige them to repass through his dominions, would form powerful motives in the mind of the Shah to withhold the permission required, and would certainly deterinine him to refuse it, were it not for the known avarice of the Persian character, a vice which would doubtless be turned by Russia to her own advantage. If she appear with solemn promises, backed by a weighty bag of gold; if the contest in the mind of the Shah be between avarice and fear, it will be ada mitted by all those who understand the Persian character, and particularly that of the present monarch, that it is probable the former passion would gain the ascendency. · On the contrary, should the Shah' pursue a different course of action to that just now surmised, by the refusal of a free passage for the troops of Russia through his empire, and existing circumstances be such as to afford her a reasonable ground of hope for the success of her enterprise, or what she may deem a reasonable ground, scarcely a doubt can be entertained but she would endea, vor to force the passage denied to her, rather than lose an assumed favorable moment for the accomplishment of a long. cherished object. The consequences of such a measure would be fatal in the extreme to Persia, for she would be stripped of some of her finest remaining provinces, if not completely annihilated as an independent power. The Persians, as gasconading and cowardly as they were in the days of Xerxes, would be scattered like chaff before the wind, by the steady and well disciplined troops of their antagonist; while on his part the event would never even assume a doubtful character. · It must be remembered that these remarks apply to the present state of the military force of Persia. I know that in any future war much expectation has been created by that portion of it which has been disciplined after the European method, as well as on the talents of Prince Abbas its commander; and although it would prove a highly gratifying circumstance to find it making a noble and vigorous stand before its enemies, in defence of the country; still we must not shut our eyes to the fact that it is composed of troops, as yet, wholly untried in the field, except in the case of a few unimportant skirmishes. In the event of extreme danger the irregular troops, composed of the erratic tribes, would probably be found, under the existing state of the country and the population, to be the surest bulwarks of defence. These observations are not made under the apprehension of Russia making any immediate attempt upon our East India settlements, but merely to show the importance of Persia to her in the event of such an undertaking, and the incapacity of the latter to offer any effectual resistance to her should she feel disposed to do so. Strengthen Persia and make her capable of opposing a Russian force, and you place a barrier between Russia and India, which would render her as little to be dreaded as any other European power. This should form one of the chief points in our Asiatic policy: it has hitherto been grossly neglected by the British cabia net, while that of St. Petersburg has been indefatigable in pros moting the interests of Russia in that quarter, where it has inanaged to gain a fearful ascendency.
There is great probability in the supposition that Russia will pursue her former line of policy, which has for its object the extension of her frontiers. Vast and extensive as are the do minions of the Russian autocrat, no distant settlements or colonies, divided from the ancient hereditary dominions by the sea or the territories of other powers, form any portion of it; and it is to the circumstance of its unity, more than to the nature of its government, that it has been so long held together. A close vicinage to this power is, perhaps, the greatest evil that can happen to a state; it is like living next door to a robber, who is continually quarrelling with you, and inaking inroads upon your property. Those who expect tbat Russia will ever make one mighty and formidable attack on the Persian empire with a view to its subjugation, will most likely find themselves disappointed in their conjecture. The method she will pursue, as the one most likely to succeed, will consist in the gradual dismemberment of the state, by the seizure of portions of it, from time to time, as circumstances may favor her designs. Some recent occurrences would lead one to apprehend that, ere long, operations of importance may be looked for in this quarter ; the recent visit of the emperor to that part of his dominions bordering on Persia; his courteousness to the khans of some of the tribes ;, the reinforcement of the Georgian army, which before consisted of 60,000 men, and the recent movements which it has made, are so many warnings to the adjacent provinces of Persia to stand prepared for their fate, which will be annexation to the Russian empire. It is probable that the next object of Russia will be the conquest of Erivan, Ghilan, and Mazanderan, as the two latter would give her the entire command of the southern shores of the Caspian sea, an acquisition long desired by her. These provinces are in the government of Abbas Mirza, a liberal and enlightened prince, under whose management they have been cultivated and greatly improved, and it becomes the duty of all those interested on this subject to endeavor to preserve to him the benefit of his valuable exertions, as well as to prevent bis rapacious antagonist from adding so largely to his means of public annoyance. Since the arrival of General Guilleminot at Constan
tinople as ambassador from France, several diplomatic agents have been despatched by him to various countries of the East. Her relations with eastern states are so few, that it is no easy matter to discover any beneficial object these persons can have to accomplish. Buonaparte sent French officers into Persia to discipline her troops after the European manner, and to take military surveys and plans of the country, with a view of injuring our eastern possessions ; but it cannot be supposed that the present government of France can entertain, for a moment, a subject so ridiculous and untenable. As to commercial objects, to which I have heard these expeditions attributed, there appears as little ground for the conclusion, as that of meditated hostility, France never could succeed in establishing a commercial intercourse, with Persia when she had extensive empire in the East; por does a single treaty, I believe, exist between the two countries: her fa cilities are now reduced to nonentity, and she is not likely to achieve that with diminished means which she was unable to carry during the plenitude of her eastern reign. She is now, however, already actively engaged in drilling the Persian soldiery, and using all the artifices in her power to gain an influence at the court of Teheran. For what end then is this influence to be used ? Let the events which have arisen in the Birman empire, into which some of these agents have penetrated, answer the question. The real object of France, in, this diplomatic inundation, is mischief for its own sake ; a desire to be active to the injury or perplexity of others, though she gain no advantages by such conduct herself, Ever elated with ideas of her own greatness and importance, she thinks it necessary to play a part in the transactions of nations all over the world, under the false impression that, by so doing, she obtains eclat, and national respect. But although she may have succeeded in harassing our eastern government in the affair of the Burmese war; and although that contest has been prosecuted with shameful lukewarmness, yet the perplexity will prove but tempo rary, and the termination I doubt not will be such as becomes the dignity and honor of a great nation. Let all chance of future intrigues against our Indian possessions, from this quarter, be rendered nugatory, by the reduction of the Burmese under British subjection; the intrigues of our enemies will then have rendered us an essential service, by increasing the stability of our power. :
In improving the state of the military force of Persia France confers a real benefit on that country, by increasing its means of self-defence; for every advantage which tends to that end is au additional bulwark raised against the ambitious desigus of Russia, to whom all interference of this description must be extremely displeasing. The French Bourbons would do well to proceed in