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taken to play suited Lord Beacodsfield's love for the picturesque and the theatrical. It seemed a proper culmination to his career that he should take his seat at a great European council-chamber, and there help in dictating terms of peace to Europe. The temptation was irresistible to a nature so found of show, and state, and pomp. Lord Beaconsfield went to Berlin. His journey thither was a sort of triumphal progress. At every great city, almost at every railway station, as he passed, crowds turned out, drawn partly by curiosity, partly by admiration, to see the English statesman whose strange and varied career had so long excited the wondering attention of Europe. The Congress was held in the Radzivill Palace, a building, with a plain unpretending exterior, in one of the principal streets of Berlin, and then in the occupation of Prince Bismarck. The prince himself presided. and, it is said, departed from the usual custom of diplomatic assemblages by opening the proceedings in English. The use of our language was understood to be a kindly and somewhat patronizing deference to the English Prime Minister, whose knowledge of spoken French was supposed to have fallen somewhat into decay of late years. The Congress discussed the whole or nearly the whole of the questions opened up by the recent war. Greece claimed to be heard there, and after some delay and some difficulty was allowed to plead in her own cause.
The Congress of Berlin had to deal with four or five great distinct questions. It had to deal with the condition of the provinces or states nominally under the suzerainty of Turkey. It had then to deal with the populations of alien race and religion actually under Turkey's dominion. It had to take into its consideration the claims of the Greeks; that is, of the kingdom of Greece for extended frontier, and of the Greek populations under Turkey for a different system of rule. Finally, it had to deal with the Turkish possessions in Asia. The great object of most of the statesmen
who were concerned in the preparation of the treaty which came of the Congress, was to open for the Christian populations of the south-east of Europe a way into gradual selfdevelopment and independence. But, on the other hand, it must be owned that the object of some of the powers, and especially, we are afraid, of the English Government, was rather to maintain the Ottoman Government than to care for the future of the Christian races. These two influences, acting and counteracting on each other, produced the Treaty of Berlin. That treaty recognized the complete independence of Roumania, of Servia, and of Montenegro, subject only to certain stipulations with regard to religious equality in each of these states. To Montenegro it gave a seaport and a slip of territory attaching to it. Thus one great object of the mountaineers was accomplished. They were able to reach the sea. The treaty created, north of the Balkans, a state of Bulgaria; a much smaller Bulgaria than that sketched in the Treaty of San Stefano. Bulgaria was to be a self-governing state, tributary to the Sultan and owning his suzerainty, but in other respects practically independent. It was to be governed by a prince whom the population were to elect, with the assent of the Great Powers and the confirmation of the Sultan. It was stipulated that no member of any reigning dynasty of the great European Powers should be eligible as a candidate. South of the Balkans, the treaty created another and a different kind of state, under the name of Eastern Roumelia. That state was to remain under the direct political and military authority of the Sultan, but it was to have, as to its interior condition, a sort of “administrative autonomy," as the favorite diplomatic phrase then was. East Roumelia was to be ruled by a Christian governor, and there was a stipulation that the Sultan should not employ any irregular troops, such as the Circassians and the Bashi-Bazouks, in the gar. risons of the frontier. The European Powers were to
arrange in concert with the Porte for the organization of this new state. As regarded Greece, it was arranged that the Sultan and the King of the Hellenes were to come to some understanding for a modification of the Greek frontier, and that if they could not arrange this between themselves, the Great Powers were to have the right of offering, that is to say, in plain words, of insisting on, their mediation. The Sultan also undertook “scrupulously to apply to Crete the organic law of 1868.” Bosnia and the Herzegovina were to be occupied and administered by Austria. Roumania undertook, or in other words was compelled to undertake, to return to Russia that portion of Bessarabian territory which had been detached from Russia by the Treaty of Paris. Roumania was to receive in compensation some islands forming the Delta of the Danube, and a portion of the Dobrudscha. As regarded Asia, the Porte was to cede to Russia Ardahan, Kars, and Batoum, with its great port on the Black Sea.
The Treaty of Berlin gave rise to keen and adverse criticism. Much complaint was made of the curious arrangement which divided the Bulgarian populations into two separate states under wholly different systems of government. This, it was said, is only the example of the Congress of Paris over again. It is just such another futile attempt as that which was made to keep the Danubian principalities separate from each other in the hope of thereby diminishing he influence of Russia, and securing greater influence for Turkey. The simple and natural arrangement, it was urged, would have been to unite the whole of these populations at once under one form of government. To that, it was insisted, they must come in the end, and the interval of separation is only more likely to be successfully employed by Russia in spreading her influence, because each division of the population is so small as to be unable to offer any effective resistance to her advances. On the other hand, it was
argued by the supporters of the treaty that the Bulgarian question was not so simple and straightforward as might have been supposed; that there was a considerable variety of races, of religions, and of interests inclosed in what some people chose to call Bulgaria, and that no better arrangement could be found than to keep one portion still under the protection of the Porte, while allowing to the other something that might almost be styled independence. The arrangement which gave Bosnia and Herzegovina to the occupation of Austria became, afterward the subject of sharp controversy. The Prime Minister himself at a later day actually declared that this step was taken in order to put another power, not Russia, on the high road to Constantinople if the succession to the Porte should ever become vacant. On the other hand, Austrian statesmen themseves denied that any such intention was in the mind of the Emperor of Austria. They insisted that the occupation was accepted by Austria out of no feeling of individual advantage, but, on the contrary, at much inconvenience and some sacrifice, and soley in the interest of the common peace of Europe. Very bitter, indeed, was the controversy provoked by the surrender to Russia of the Bessarabian territory taken from her at the time of the Crimean War. Roumania, the gallant and spirited little state which had thriven surprisingly under her new system of government, was thus plundered in order to satisfy Russia's self-love. Russia had set her heart upon recovering every single one of the advantages, real or only nominal, which she had been compelled to sacrifice at the close of the Crimean War. This was the last remnant of the victory obtained over her at so much cost and after such a struggle by the combined Powers of the West. Now she had regained everything. The Black Sea was open to her war-vessels, and its shores to her arsenals. The last slight trace of Crimean humiliation was effaced in the restoration of the territory of Bessarabia.
Profound disappointment was caused among many European populations, as well as among the Greeks themselves, by the arrangements for the rectification of the Greek frontier. The impression left in the minds of the Greek delegates was that the influence of the English ministers had in every instance been given in favor of Turkey and against the claims of Greece.
Thus speaking roughly, it may be said that the effect of the Congress of Berlin on the mind of Europe was to make the Christian populations of the south-east believe that their friend was Russia and their enemies were England and Turkey ; to make the Greek believe that France was their especial friend, and that England was their enemy; and to create an uncomfortable impression everywhere that the whole Congress was a prearranged business, a transaction with a foregone conclusion, a dramatic performance carefully rehearsed before in all its details, and merely enacted as a pageant on the Berlin stage.
The latter impression was converted into a conviction by certain subsequent revelations. It came out that Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury had been entering into secret engagements both with Russia and with Turkey. The secret engagement with Russia was the occasion of a good deal of scandal. The secret engagement was prematurely divulged by the heedlessness or the treachery of a person who had been called in at a small temporary rate of pay to to assist in copying dispatches in the Foreign Office. The authenticity of his revelation was denied, in the first instance, with what appeared to be genuine earnestness, but it came out that the denial was a mere quibble as to the meaning of the word “authentic." The version of the agreement thus prematurely published by the Globe, a London evening paper, was to all intents and purposes perfectly genuine. The secret treaty proved to be almost exactly as it had been described in advance. It was signed at the Foreign Oflice on May 30th, some days before Prince Bis