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long-continued persecution of Catholics, and the blood of the saints red yet on her hand, all are registered against her, and demand vengeance, and, if there be justice in heaven, will obtain it. She did a noble deed in receiving and cherishing the exiled French clergy, and in reward she has had the offer of returning to the bosom of Catholic unity. Many of her choicest children have heard the offer, and have returned. The Catholic world is praying for her conversion. If she listens to the offer, and returns to her old faith, once her glory, and to which she is indebted for all that is noble or useful in her institutions, she may hope for pardon; but if she remains obstinate and deaf, if she continues to be puffed up with pride, trusting in her own wisdom and strength, in the multitude of her ships, her merchandise, and her riches, let her reflect on the fate of Tyre, the hanghty Island Queen of antiquity, or at least of the once brilliant spouse of the Adriatic, now the humble slave of the Austrian kaiser.
THE TURKISH WAR.*
(From Brownson's Quarterly Review for July, 1854.]
We have no intention of reviewing these works, each of which in its way is worthy of more than ordinary attention; we have merely cited their titles as a convenient introduction to some remarks which we cannot very well avoid making on the interminable Eastern Question, and the war between the western powers and Russia, which cannot fail to affect, if continned, the interests of the whole world.
The eastern question is now the eastern war, and nothing is more natural than that impartial spectators like ourselves should ask, What are the parties fighting for? The western powers, France and England, tell us that they are fighting to sustain the independence and integrity of the Ottoman empire, and to maintain the balance of power threatened by Russian aggression. But as to this there is evidently some mistake, for the fact of Russian aggression is not made ont; and as to the policy of sustaining Turkey in her independence and integrity, and maintaining the present territorial adjustinent of Europe, there is no difference between them and Russia. She tells them that she has no designs against the independence of Turkey, that she is as much interested in sustaining the Ottoman empire as they are, and that she believes that the peace and interest of Europe require it to be sustained in its independence and integrity as long as it can be. There is as to this no dispute, no difference of opinion, no conflict of claims, and therefore neither cause nor occasion of war. What then are the parties fighting for?
*1. Russia as it is. By COUNT A. DE GUROWSKI. New York: 1854. 2. Turkey and the Turks. By ADOLPHUS SLADE, Admiral of the Turkish Fleet. New York: 1854.
Are they fighting for the holy places in Palestine, to settle whether they shall be restored to the Latins, to whom in right of property they belong, or be held by the Greek schismatics, wlio have usurped a part of them? Not at all, for the question raised with regard to thein by the French embassy at Constantinople in 1851 has been settled to the satisfaction of Russia by the “moderation” of France. The conduct of France with regard to the holy places has disappointed all her friends, and has done more than any other one thing to weaken confidence in the religious character of the present government. It was dastardly, and proves that, when the interests of religion are supposed to conflict with those of politics, they weigh not a feather with imperial France. She yielded every thing Russia demanded, even after having obtained a decision from the porte in her favor, and she is very careful to have it understood that religious interests enter for nothing into the present contest. That Catholic interests can count for nothing is evident from the fact that she and Great Britain, the anti-Catholic power par excellence, are acting in perfect concert. Certain it is, then, that the original question as to the holy places, in which England takes no interest, or, if any, an interest on the side of Russia, is not the matter in dispute, and therefore not about that are the parties fighting. What then, once more, are they fighting for?
It is certain that the pretended answer of the western powers to this question is not the real answer. The secret of the war is not to be found in their manifestoes. Prior to the proffers of assistance to the porte by France and England, against Russia, in case of need, no act of Russia had menaced either the balance of power or the independence and integrity of the Ottoman empire, as the British ministry have more than once avowed in their own justification for not having offered an earlier resistance to the czar. Threats, if you will, had been thrown out to intimidate the porte, but this was only the usual way of treating with the independent Turkish government. England on many occasions had done the same ; France had done it in the case of the holy places ; and Austria had just done it in the mission of Prince Leiningen. Justice can be obtained of the faithless and procrastinating Ottoman porte only by intimidation. Russia had, or pretended she had, certain causes of complaint against Turkey, and she made, if you will, certain demands of the porte, in a very peremptory manner. Ytt were these demands just as between Russia and Turkey! Were they such as Russia could enforce, or Turkey could concede, without danger to the European balance of power? The western powers-France. Great Britain, Austria, and Prussia,- in the Vienna conference, have settled these questions, and rendered it unnecessary for us to reopen them. The Vienna note was drawn up by the French court, amended by that of St. James, and submitted by them conjointly to the conference of the four powers. That note conceded in substance all the demands of Russia, as is obvious on its face. Here was the solemn judgment of the four powers, including France and England, the" allies and protectors of the Ottoman porte, that the demands of Russia could be accepted without disturbing the balance of power, or destroying the autonomy, the independence, or the integrity of the Ottoman empire; and beyond this they had no right to intervene in the dispute between Russia and Turkey. By that judgment these powers are bound, and they cannot now go behind it, and allege that the demands of Russia were dangerous either to Turkey or to Europe. They have on that issue closed their own mouths, and must allege a new cause of action, and commence a new suit, or desist from all further proceedings.
The conference of the four powers submitted their adjudication in the case between Russia and Turkey, and Russia without a moment's hesitation accepted it. What further fault had they to find with Russia ? She accepted their judgment, and was ready to comply with the conditions they prescribed. Nothing more prompt, more fair, more honorable; and what remained but for Turkey to do ing it?
the same! But Turkey refused. Was this the fault of Russia? Was it not the fault of Turkey ? and was not the duty of France and England, her allies, either to force her to accept it, or to leave her to her own responsibility, to settle her quarrel with Russia as best she could, without their assistance? But strange, but incredible as it may appear, these saine western powers, France and England, recede from their own terms, and prepare by armed force to suistain the Ottoman porte in its rejection of them! Was the adjustinent agreed on in the diplomatie note of the conference unjust to Turkey and dangerous to Europe? If it was, why did France and England propose and assent to it? If not, with what face could they sustain Turkey in reject
But it is said the note was ambiguous, and susceptible of an interpretation more favorable to Russia than was intended. If so, whose the fault? Will it be believed that the French and British courts submitted to the conference of Vienna a note, the purport of which they did not fully understand, and the natural and obvious interpretation of which they did not foresee? Believe that who will; we believe not a word of it. But suppose the western powers did make a blunder, Russia offered to bind herself in the most solemn manner to take no advantage of it, for she of. fered to bind herself to understand the note in the sense contended for by the conference. This seemed to remove every difficulty. The conference appeared to be satisfied, and it was supposed that the eastern question would be solved without war. But in the mean time Turkey, emboldened by the proffered assistance of France and England, prevents it by declaring war against Russia. What is the course of the western powers now ? Russia has complied with their terms, consents to all their demands as made through Austria, the inediating power. And what do they do? Do they say to their protégée, You must make peace with Russia on the terms agreed upon, or we withdraw our protection, and leave you to your own resources ? Not at all. They sustain her, and order their fleets to pass the Dardanelles and to anchor in the Bosphorus. Who, in view of these facts, will believe that war from the first was not a foregone conclusion, that the anxiety of the western powers for the peaceful solution of the eastern question was not all a pretence, and that negotiations were not protracted merely to gain tine and make preparations for hostilities? That such was the fact, at least so far as France was concerned, in case she could make sure of the coöperation of Great Britain, we have not the shadow of a doubt.
We are told that there was the aggression of Russia in occupying with her army the Danubian principalities, and that alone was a justifiable cause of war on the part of Europe. We doubt that. Whether as between Russia and Turkey that occupation was justifiable or not, we shall not undertake to decide; but as between Russia and the western powers it was no justifiable cause of war, because Russia declared positively that the occupation was not intended to be permanent, that she had taken possession of them only temporarily, as “a material guaranty," and that she would evacuate them as soon as Turkey had complied with her demands,-demands conceded, as we have seen, by the western powers, in the Vienna note, to be compatible with the independence of Turkey, and the safety of Europe. Even Turkey had not herself regarded this occupation as a casus belli, and the Vienna conference make no complaint of it, and do not even hint that evacuation of the principalities must be regarded as one of the conditions of settlement. Moreover, that occupation did not take place till France and England had proffered the porte the assistance of their fleets. While the English and French fleets were in Turkish waters, or ready at any moment to enter them, with hostile intentions to Russia, and Turkey refused to comply with the demands of Russia, or to accept terms proposed by the conference in their note, nobody could expect her to consent to evacuate the principalities. The priinary aggression was not in occupying the principalities by the Russians, but in the menace of force against her by the western
owers; and had it not been for this menace, which preceded the crossing of the Pruth by the Russian army, the principalities, we may rest assured, would not have been occupied. Powers like Russia, France, or Great Britain are not very ready to yield what they consider their rights at the menace of force by a third party. It comports neither with their honor nor their interests, neither with their self-respect nor their autonomy.
But when the western powers had made their preparations, filled the Baltic and the Euxine with their formidable fleets, thrown off the mask, and declared war against the czar, he does not lose his moderation, or his manifest desire for peace. He makes new overtures of peace, which are