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herself is concerned, it is obviously her interest that the superiority should be on the side of that power which is most remote from her: from whom she has, therefore, a less immediate danger to apprehend, and with whom her good understanding is less likely to be interrupted. It is even desirable for her that this more distant strength should be so great and alarming as to draw the whole jealousy and fear of Europe into one direction, and to confer on England the inestimable advantage not only of having a most powerful ally against the envy of her immediate neighbour, but of having her friendship courted by that neighbour. It is far better for her that, instead of being called on to succour and subsidize the German states against France, she may leave it to the interest and fears of France herself to support, with all her power, the independence of those states against the encroachments of the Russian Eagle. It would be even desirable for England (so far as her private interests are concerned) that this necessity should become still more urgent and apparent; that the Vistula, or even the Oder, should, with the Carpathian Mountains, be the boundary of the new Polish kingdom, in order that the impossibility of reciprocal advantage should shut up the avenue to that too good understanding between Russia and France, which would infallibly end in a partition of the continent. And the advantage to us is still more evident of that policy and those connexions which unite the former monarchy to the Netherlands, and not only bring her in contact with our ancient enemy, but assign to her, and not to us, the defence and patronage of Belgiuni.
On the whole, we look forward with a pleasing hope, founded, in some degree, on the personal characters of the sovereigns of Russia and France, and still more on the obvious advantages which both their kingdonis must derive from a continuance of tranquillity, -to a far longer respite from bloodshed and aggression than Sir Robert Wilson seems to augur.-- But let the storm come when it will,-it is obvious, we think, that the present position of Great Britain is singularly favourable either to a happy neutrality or an efficient interposition. There never was a time when this country enjoyed a greater share of peace and glory, and political estimation, than when the House of Austria, in possession of one third of Europe and of all the treasures of America, occupied a situation in many respects resembling that of modern Russia; when Naples, the Milanese and Genoa, were the Poland, the Netherlands and the Switzerland of our present politics, and the larger states of Italy played a similar part to that which is now assigned to Prussia, Austria and Bavaria. The only difference is that the naval power of Spain and the pretensions of Philip to the English throne, conspired, with the prejudices of religion, to give us a greater jealousy
of his power, and to involve us iu a more complicated and vacillating policy than we shall be now tempted to adopt in the future disputes between France and Russia.
To this more favourable picture of the present state and future prospects of Europe, we are only aware of three objections which may be made.-The first concerns this country alone, which is called on to anticipate from Russia, attacks on our commercial preeminence and our East Indian colonies, in which she would be so far from meeting any effectual opposition from the other continental powers, that, it is probable, they would many of them rejoice in seeing her successful at our expense.—We know there are many in England who entertain such fears as these,-and those nations on the continent who believe our territory to consist in nothing else but bales of cotton, and sugar, may reasonably conclude that our greatness essentially depends on what they are pleased to call our monopoly.- Let us see, however, in point of fact, what Russia has done, and what it is in her power to do, to prevent our selling a single yard of broad-cloth for which we have now a regular customer; or to prevent our market extending itself with the growing prosperity and luxury of mankind. It is not, we conclude, apprehended that she will fit out fleets to burn our merchant ships,that she will make a descent on the Commercial Road and send in a horde of Cossacks to our West Indian warehouses. It is said that she will prohibit our commerce from the ports under her influence.
- This experiment she has tried, (not indeed for her own pleasure, but for the amusement of Buonaparte,) and we have a tolerable guarantee that she will not do so again, because after all which has been said of our advantages in that intercourse, the fact is that the balance of trade is now and always has been in favour of Russia herself, whose landed proprietors can have no vent for their hemp and tallow, if they do not take some proportion of our marketable commodities in return.—That she will trade with any other nation, in preference to ourselves, is certainly to be expected in every instance (but in those instances only) where other nations can snpply her wants cheaper, and offer her a greater reciprocal advantage.- And that she will encourage her own manufactures and her own merchants rather than ours, is a measure of which we, certainly, cannot complain, and which, in the present situation of affairs, need not fill us with any great apprehensions.-The worst which can befall us, (and it is an event which is no longer contingent, but has for some time taken place,) is that she will raise as much revenue as possible from the merchandize which we send ber, and that the custom-house duties will be only limited by a sense of her own interest; but we are greatly mistaken if this is not a treatment which we may expect from every nation upon earth, whether great or small, and for which, therefore, the enormous power of Russia is by no means to be accounted answerable.
On the probabilities or possibilities of an Indian invasion, we have already said enough in our remarks on Sir J. Malcolm's History of Persia.-Even, if successful, we have not, we confess, so much of the usual continental prejudices as to believe that the safety of our native land is bound up with the authority of the Honourable Company in Bengal, or to suppose, as Sir Robert Wilson may perhaps have heard from his foreign friends, that (instead of EngJand advancing money for the defence of India) they were the annual millions derived from thence which enabled us to carry on the war. Supposing our armies driven from Bengal and Surat, it is evident that Bombay, Pulo-Penang and Ceylon, would give us the command of the sea and the commerce of the East; the Emperor Alexander's Dutch allies might have some reason to apprehend that we should indemnify ourselves in Batavia; and it would be in our power, if not able to rule ourselves over Hindostan, at least to take good care that no other European power had any firm authority there. But, in good truth, the more is known of our real situation in the East and the difficulties of the intervening country, the less will such an enterprize be contemplated as a party of pleasure,' or as a speculation of pecuniary advantage. It has never, in fact, been seriously conteinplated in either of these lights, by those who knew any thing about the matter. It was regarded by Buonaparte as a means whereby an effectual blow might be aimed at our interests, and it was projected by the Emperor Paul in the same spirit of resentment against us. But, whatever may be the anxiety of young and hot, and needy adventurers to enrich themselves with the spoils of Bengal, no wise government can ever meditate an expedition to India for its own sake; and though the attempt, as a war-measure, is certainly not impossible; yet, where no other interests interfere, a war on this account is not to be reasonably apprehended; and, as we shall presently shew, so wide and advantageous a field is opening itself in another quarter to the ambition of Russia, that she will daily have less leisure and less inclination to interfere with us is that heritage which our right hand has won, and which, thank God, is not yet likely to be an easy prey to any invader.
Another objection to the continuance of that European system which was established in the late congress is taken from the present state of the public mind in France.—If France,' it is said, 'were under a stronger and more popular government, it might be possible that she would take the part which we bave described in the common defence of Europe. But, it can never be the interest of the present dynasty to awaken her armies from their sluruber,
or, by uniting her strength to that of Austria; to renew, in the minds of her soldiery, those dangerous recollections which are connected with the younger Napoleon.' On the state of the public mind in France, we have already spoken. It may here be enough to remark, Ist. That he kuows little of that which is the peculiar excellence and in some degree, the weakness of the French character, who does not know how mere a trifle with them is domestic faction, or even domestic happiness and freedom, in comparison with the public greatness and foreign renown of their country.—And 2dly, he is still more ignorant of the bent of men's passions and prejudices, if he does not know that the present bias of the disaffected in France is not towards an Emperor but a Republic.The king, then, may with perfect safety, raise an army to any amount in a popular cause, and he may send this army where he will, without the least apprehension that a boy bred up in Austria will ever again become the favourite of the French people and soldiery.
The last objection, and, we will own, by far the most plausible, is that, though the actual strength of Russia may not greatly exceed that proportion which is desirable as a counterpoise to France, yet, from the principles of improvement and increase which are at work in her provinces, and which have a wider field for their development than any other country can shew, except, perhaps, America,—this proportion must soon be lost between her and regions which, like France and Austria, are already densely peopled, and whose internal wealth and external commerce must have nearly reached their limit. This is true, and this is what we meant by our admission that the empire of the Czars bad not yet attained the eminence to which it is destined. It is not merely probable, it is little less certain than a law of nature, that a few generations more will see the governments of Tobolsk and Irkutsk as well peopled and cultivated as the present governments of Moscow and Kalouga; that Otchotsk will be the seat of an extensive and valuable commerce; that the language of Russia will be spoken along the whole coast of north-west Ainerica; that Owhyhee will be her Ceylon, and the Japanese islands her Hindostan. But, while we foresee all this, we foresee it without alarm or envy, since we behold in her the probable instrument of disseminating Christianity and science through regions the farthest removed from their ordinary direction, and since we are convinced that her advances in commerce and colonization are events of all others, the most favourable to the independence of Europe.
We do not mean that this end is to be immediately obtained by the revolt of her colonies. This is an event, indeed, which must in the course of things at length take place, but we wish well enough both to Russia and her colonies to desire that it may be yet
far distant. But long before that time arrives, the more the character of Siberia becomes European, the more she rivals the pa rent state in civilization, wealth, and number of inhabitants, the more incessant attention will the management of her affairs require, and the less power, we may say, the less inclination, will her sovereigns possess to extend their frontier on the side of Europe. When the banks of the Amour shall be as well peopled as those of the Don, and the frontier of Kolhyvan be cultivated like that of Poland, the protection of territories so important will require a different force from the Cossacks who now patrole there, and the armies of ancient Russia will be still more called forth, to repress or subdue the predatory hordes of Tartary, to calm the ferments of the Altaian mountaineers, and overawe the wealthy and suspected inhabitants of the plain. The government, which is already on the wing to returu from Petersburg to Moscow, will transfer its perch
till farther eastward to Nisbnei-Novogorod or Casan ; and the white Khan,' as his Asiatic subjects call him, will grow more and more detached from the inore distant concerns of western Europe. It is a circumstance well worth observing in the history of nations that, when an empire has passed a certain limit, it always ceases to be so formidable to its neighbours as while it was yet in its commencement; that, if it does not fall asunder with its own weight, it becomes at least disjointed and unwieldy; that domestic jealousies begin where foreign dangers end, and that the power which seemed likely to give laws to the universe, concludes very often by soliciting the aid of foreigners, against its own satraps, its own subjects, the children or brethreu of its own sovereign. It was not by Persia but by Macedon that the liberties of Greece were overthrowi.
In the mean time, however, (for a change like this is not the work of a day,) and while Russia is fulfilling the splendid destiny which nature seems to have appointed her,-it is plain, that the South of Africa, that New Holland and Ceylon, and the Indian islands afford a field if not so extensive, yet by no meanis less advantageous to our commerce and colonies; and that hers and ours may live and grow together, not only without mutual interference, but with mutual support and countenance. Nor is this all,the more her colonies on the Pacific Ocean increase in extent and value; the greater and richer the stream of intercourse between the mouth of the Amour and Japan or China; the more obvious will be her interest to cultivate a close friendship with the only power which can assist, or, if provoked, endanger her remote possessions. It is impossible, as Sir Robert Wilson well knows, that, on the strength of the Euxine or the Baltic, a great naval force can be erected or perpetuated. And it is idle to say that this want can be