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King of Saxony, the remaining 3,000 miles he transferred to Russia In 1089, by the treaty of Schoenbrunn, 20,000 miles which had bee stolen by Austria, was restored to the Duchy of Warsaw. In thi way Napoleon proved that what he could recover by conquest h intended to give up liberally to Poland. The Duchy of Warsa at the time when Napoleon had attained to his greatest power, con prised about 63,000 square miles. It was an instalment of whi he intended to give. He has been accused by one party of robber and, by the other of ingratitude and breach of faith towards th Poles. Both charges were undeserved. If robbery consists in vil dicating the rights of the weak against the barbarous aggression the strong, then Napoleon was a robber, in forcing Austria ar Prussia to disgorge some of the booty they had shamelessly swa lowed. · But the world, fortunately, is not any longer willing endorse the estimate of Napoleon's dealings with Poland, put fort by such sanctimonious hypocrites as were the monarchs of Russi Austria and Prussia. We cannot see in what Napoleon show lack of gratitude or faithfulness in dealing with the Poles. Thi he did not secure more was through mistaken policy rather tha through want of will to re-establish Poland. When he commencé in 1812 what he called the "second Polish war," he issued a d claration addressed to the Poles, in which he states that Polar would be greater than she had been under Stanislaus, and that ti Archduke, who then governed Wartzburg was to be their sovereig In reply, a Polish deputation told him truly, as he and all pol ticians saw afterwards-“The interest of your empire requires th re-establishment of Poland ; the honour of France is interested it.” He answered the deputation, that he had done all that dut to his subjects allowed, to restore their country ; that he wou second their exertions, and that he authorized them to take up arn everywhere, but in the Austrian prorinces, of which he had guarai teed the integrity, and which he should not suffer to be disturbed The language savours somewhat strongly of the cold cautiousne of diplomacy. But there can be no question at all that Napolec fully purposed making the Russian campaign a means of restorir Poland. There were no less than 70,000 Poles in the army whit he led forth on that disastrous occasion. The whole of these me in common with the rest of their countrymen, rejoiced at t entrance of the French into Russia, the consequence of which the confidently expected would be a renewed and glorious nation existence. The end of the Russian campaign was the end Poland's hopes. Nothing more was to be looked for from Napoleo A considerable number of Poles continued true in his service to the battle of Waterloo.
When the Congress of Vienna commenced its labours, there wa some intention to re-adjust the affairs of Poland. If this intentio
I been strong and honestly acted upon, the difficulties in the way settling this complicated matter would have disappeared. But Members of the Congress, lacking a disinterested determination leal justly with Poland, it was very easy for them to shelve their
y cherished good intentions in favour of the dishonest and arrot demands of Russia. The Duchy of Warsaw was a free terri1, over which the Congress in strict right had no kind of control. ugh there was no right, yet there was a determination to parcel this, the only portion of Poland remaining intact. There does appear to have been before the Congress at all the question as hat was right, but merely what was agreeable to the ambitious aggrandizing policy of the great powers represented. Nations • divided and carved out with a free and unscrupulous hand.
proud absolutist representative of England, Lord Castleh, declared that it was necessary to make an example of the g of Saxony, who had received the sovereignty of Poland from oleon, “A cause de ses tergiversations, et parce qu'il a été le devoué des vassaux de Buonaparte.” The result of the labours e Congress, as far as regards Poland was, that, of the Duchy of saw, 13,500 square miles were given to Prussia, 2,800 were ned to Austria, and the remaining 46,000 miles bearing the
of the kingdom of Poland were annexed to Russia. The reing 500 square miles including and surrounding Cracow was ituted into the Free Republic of Cracow. These territories
not given up willingly by Lord Castlereagh to Russia and sia. He was desirous of punishing the King of Saxony by ng out his dominions from the map of Europe, but he was not ady to concede what Russia demanded. Castlereagh did not by interest in the fate of Poland. The only things he cared ere the degradation of every one having had even the most te connection with Napoleon, and the maintenance of the ice of power. As soon as the design of Russia on Poland was fest, he sought to bring about an agreement between Austria france; but Alexander was fully prepared to claim with the I what he had demanded in Congress. In reply to the pro8 of Lord Castlereagh, he said, “I have 200,000 men in id, and cannot agree to the proposal you have made." In conion with Prussia, he would have gone to war with England to his claim to Poland, but just then Napoleon broke loose from and drove the European powers into combination once more. Emperor of Russia, however, before giving his adhesion to the lon, demanded a settlement of the Polish question on his own · As soon as Alexander had secured Poland, he granted to it arter of Constitution, which was issued in December, 1815. By barter the Roman Catholic religion was established, perfect y was granted for all other sects, complete freedom of the
Emperor, andis Polish subja rather keep
press, the national use of the Polish language, the reservation public offices for the Poles, the inviolability of person and propert except after regular process of law, liberty and publicity of discus sion in the courts of law and in the Diet. T'he franchise was grante to men in all professions, and to mechanics of certified talen These were the chief provisions of a charter which promised we for Poland. The Poles appreciated the liberal tendencies of th Emperor, and he prided himself on the peaceful and harmoniou conduct of his Polish subjects. The Emperor, however, showed i different ways that he would rather keep guard over the Poles throug the presence of his soldiers, than allow them, as he had stipulate the free exercise of their political rights. A Russian army ( occupation, was, contrary to the Treaty of Vienna, placed on Polis territory, and this led gradually to many infractions of the constitu tion on the one side, and to discontent on the other. In 181 Alexander issued an ordinance abolishing the freedom of the press illegal arrests were made, and they rapidly increased. Thus di the Emperor proceed from good to bad, and from bad to wors until his tyranny became unbearable. Mr. Kinglake, in his “In vasion of the Crimea,” has put in a very distinct form his explan! tion of the strange and opposite tendencies seen in every membe of the Romanoff family. He says that the men of that family ur dergo “a deterioration which shakes the ascendant of the bette nature," and they then “disclose the odd purposeless cunning of gipsy or a savage, who shows by some sudden and harmless sign his wild blood that he is not completely reclaimed.” As to th cunning being purposeless, and sign of wild blood being harmles there are other and widely different opinions from those entertaine by Mr. Kinglake. According to this theory, perhaps we must es plain the strange treatment which Alexander accorded to Poland.
Nicholas succeeded Alexander in 1826. “Of his coronation has been said, that he went to the altar, preceded by the assassin of his father, followed by those of his brother, and accompanie probably by his own.” To the Poles, he said, “Je jure devan Dieu j'observerai l'acte constitutionel, et que je mettrai tous me soins à maintenir l'observation.” If ever a man were guilty meditated deliberate perjury, Nicholas was that one. He hated a liberal institutions, and the name of freedom was to him an offence If he were surrounded on the day of his coronation by assassina he was himself purposing at the moment, when be received the Crown, and took this oath, to strangle Poland. For the sake a appearances, he did call one Diet. It was only a mockery. H only intended to deceive. Before the Diet was summoned, he had determined to quarrel with it, and thus supply himself with pretext for breaking through one of the fundamental articles o the constitution. His rule was oppressive and cruel. Disconten
spread among all classes. Influenced in part by the French Revolution of July, 1830, and the commotion which prevailed generally through Europe, the Poles rose to cast off the yoke off Nicholas. They performed prodigies of valour. The Grand Duke Constantine was beaten and obliged to pray the Poles to allow him to leave the country in safety. After attempting in vain to come to terms with Nicholas, they prepared for a vigorous assertion of their nights. During many months, they were victorious. Hope was widely entertained that the day of the liberation of Poland had come. But through lack of men and the munitions of war, and partly through jealousies in their own ranks, the scale turned in favor of Nicholas. The Poles were defeated. Nicholas solemnly promised an amnesty. On the strength of this promise, the gates
Warsaw were thrown open to his troops. Then was supplied another glaring humiliating instance of the perfidy of the Robaroffs. As soon as the army was inside the walls of Warsaw, Vengeance was wreaked upon the people in every conceivable form. the property of the Poles was confiscated; and vast numbers of the principal officers in the Polish army were driven into Siberia. Orders were sent to some of the Russian governors in Poland, to put to immediate death any whom they might deem guilty. * We See by the papers how Prussia acts as a lacquey to Russia-tramping on every principle of right and honour. A few facts from the history of the rising in Poland, in 1830, will shew that Prussia is kde same despicable Power that she was then. Her border terribory was given to Russia as the basis of operation, and 15.000 Poles, to whom asylum had been promised by Prussia on condition
their giving up their arms, were actually driven back at the point of the bayonet into Poland, those who refused to go were shot down by Prussian soldiers, or handed over to Russia as deserters.
We have given a hurried but reliable sketch of the history of Poland, since the first dismemberment. We need not relate recent events. They are well known to all. The question which now demands an answer is,-shall Poland be restored ? It has been admitted by Lord Palmerston, that the people of England and france are perfectly unanimous and deeply earnest in favor of her restoration. We hold that England and France ought to give immediate and emphatic expression to this feeling. It is mockery to ek Russia to return to the constitution laid down for Poland, at the Congress of Vienna. Russia has repeatedly sworn to observe
As we write, the papers inform us of the proclamation in Petersburg, of amnesty for the Poles. But surely the people of Poland are not to be gain deceived, nor will they lay down their arms when there are good grounds we expecting a complete triumph over Russia.
that constitution, and as frequently has broken her oath. Why as a renewal of an engagement, when we know it only means renewe perjury. An engagement or an oath of an Emperor of Russia i worth just as much as those which the lowest of costermonger would make. It is perfectly absurd and worse, merely to deman from Russia that she govern Poland, as yras stipulated at Vienna Nothing short of the restoration of the kingdom of Poland in it integrity will satisfy. Russia has repeatedly broken the treaty all her claims are forfeited, and so the European Powers are moi ally and legally at liberty to demand that Poland be set free. W go a step further. Not only are the European Powers at libert to demand that Poland be set free, they are morally bound t bring about a widely different arrangement from that which ha hitherto existed. As parties to the Vienna Treaty, they are unde obligations to the Poles, and also to Europe. The Treaty wa made in the interests of the Poles and Europe. It is not for th interests of either that the Treaty broken by Russia should b renewed. Russia has abolished that by virtue of which alone sh held Poland. We must go even further still. The Poles are em nently fitted to have given to them the power of self-governmen This power is theirs by natural right. But admitting the usus line of argument on this point, it cannot be denied for a momen that the people of Poland are fit to be entrusted with the reins government. Whatever may have been the defects of their ol national constitution, or their own failings as a people, they ar all things of the past. The constitution has been swept away There is no desire to renew its defects. The people have profite by their painful experience. During the last seventy years th Poles have shown greater patience, devotion to their nations cause, and capacity for advance in knowledge and commerce, tha has ever been exhibited by any people placed in similar circum stances. If the governments of England and France demand tha Poland be set free, Russia dare not, will not refuse.
THE solidity of the present number of the Spectator is such fron beginning to end that the younger portion of our readers will perhaps not be unwilling to pass on from the mysteries of Mr Hinton's metaphysics, the curses of St. Athanasius, the sorrows of dismembered Poland, and the excellent intervening discourses, to