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ages long passed away, there is no hope, we fear, for her, either from the expiring power of the Porte, the rising fortunes of Mehemet Ali, or the tender mercies of the Cabinet of St Petersburg.
We think the reader of the foregoing pages will now be prepared for the contemporary history of TurkeyEgypt-Syria-the Sultan-the Pacha-and the approaching dénouement. Let us briefly recapitulate the events of the last very few years.
We have said that the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, which was that of 1832, between Turkey and Russia, made Turkey the vassal of the Russian empire; and now we add, that the treaty of Kutahia, previously signed between the Porte and the Pacha, destroyed the integrity of the Ottoman empire, and constituted Egypt an independent province or nation. Yet the great Lord Chatham exclaimed, "I do not take the pains to discuss the question of the East with any man who does not perceive that the independence of the Ottoman empire is a question of life and death to Great Britain." Was Lord Chatham rightor is Lord Palmerston a better patriot, an abler diplomatist, and a more profound statesman? We shall see hereafter.
The treaty of Unkiar Skelessi tied and bound the Ottoman Porte, and placed it in the hands of its old enemy, Russia. The treaty of Kutahia gave Syria to the Pacha of Egypt. The Porte had lost all but Syria. Moldavia, Wallachia, Greece-allall had been taken ;-Russia was mistress de facto of the Dardanelles,Egypt was only nominally subject to the Porte, to whom it even refused the payment of the tribute; but Syria was left. Well, Syria was sacrificed also -and the Porte stood alone. The former treaty rendered the old ally of Great Britain helpless, and dependent on their common antagonist-Russia: the latter treaty, that of Kutahia, conferred power on that Pacha whose ambition knows no bounds, and who will be the first to throw all impediments in the way of Great Britain in her land approaches to her Indian possessions, if he can only make such arrangements with Russia as shall secure to him and his descendants the here
ditary empire of Egypt and Syria,
Thus Turkey was weakened to help lessness, and Egypt was strengthened and fortified, whilst Great Britain, under Whig domination, looked on at the dismemberment of the Turkish empire, and at the creation of an Egyp. tian dynasty, and pronounced no prohibition, uttered no veto.
France boasts that the treaty of Kutahia was favourable to her views, and satisfactory to her policy. "She gained by the treaty of Kutahia," says the French ministerial organ, "because it is the interest of France to maintain the grandeur of Egypt." But why is France interested in maintaining the "grandeur of Egypt ?"
First, That she may carry on with Egypt an extensive and most profitable
Second, That she may carry on with Syria a large and beneficial trade.
Third, That the new French possessions in the Barbary States may have a powerful and independent ally on the north of Africa.
Fourth, That France may, by her alliance with Egypt, be able to exercise a control over the maritime influence of England, and, above all, may possess sufficient influence with the Egyptian Government to prevent Great Britain from greatly profiting from her proposed land communica tions with India.
Fifth, That France may concur with Egypt, when powerful and independ ent, iu preventing the northern powers of Europe from gaining any footing in the north of Africa, or in Asia Minor, and any permanent and im portant influence in the Mediterra
tact. But what does France mean by intact? Simply that Austria shall not possess Bosnia and Albania, and that Russia shall not take open and avowed possession of Constantinople. But is this sufficient to restore life to Turkey? Is this to be the compensation for the loss of Egypt, Greece, and Syria, as well as of Walachia and Moldavia?
"La France," says one of the ablest writers of the new school of politics in that country, "dans la question d'Orient est une puissance mediatrice. Ce qui lui donne ce caractère aux yeux de tout le monde, c'est qu'il est évident qu'elle n'a en Orient aucun intérêt de conquête et d'agrandissement. Elle n'a qu'un intérêt de civilisation."
But what is this interest of France, when examined closely, and searched to its heart? We are told that such interest is to maintain the Ottoman empire in its present state-and we are assured that such state is one of independence. It is no such thing. The Ottoman Porte is dependent. It is dependent on Russia on the one hand, and on the Pacha of Egypt on the other. The French politicians tell us, that the present independence of Turkey is necessary to the preservation of the European equilibrium. But we reply that the equilibrium was destroyed by the treaties of Kutahia and of Unkiar Skelessi. When Turkey had not bowed her neck to the Pacha of Egyptwhen Syria yet belonged to the Porte
when Russia did not exclude from the Dardannelles whom she thought fit to proscribe; when Wallachia and Moldavia were not under her real domination; when the Black Sea was not the private property of the Czar; there was something like an European equilibrium as to the affairs of the East; but such equilibrium exists no longer-and Turkey must fall, if the status quo be preserved. "But," it is said, "France protested against the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi and she could do no more." And what was the reply of Russia to her protest? "That, whenever the case hould arrive that the Porte should require her aid, in virtue of the condi tions of that treaty, that she should fulfil those conditions in the manner and to the extent she might think fit, paying no attention to that protest
The interest of France, we are told, is not one of conquest. Granted. But what is it? It is the erection of an Egyptian and Syrian empire as opposed to Turkey. This is what France calls the status quo. 66 Egypt is to become a civilized state. She is on her way. France must take care not to interrupt her progress, and not to allow it to be interrupted." But why this anxiety for the progress of Egypt? The secret has escaped the French politicians of the 19th century. It is this:-for the moment, the progress of Egypt is favourable to French commerce and to French conquests in Africa;-and eventually Egypt and Syria may be worthy of French ambition! "Commençons par fonder notre colonie d'Alger," cries the monarchical organ of the Revolution of July. And what afterwards? Listen to the following announcement :
"Tant que la guerre sera contenue: entre l'Egypt et la Turquie, tant que: le traité de Kutahia seulement sera en question, la question sera encore touta-fait Orientale."
Yes; but when it shall cease to be wholly Oriental, when that war, as to the East, which Marshal Soult, the Premier of France, has just declared at the French tribune to be sooner or later inevitable, shall break out, what will then be the position and conduct of France? Hear, again, the govern
"Mais dès que la guerre sortira de ce circle, dès que le traité d'Unkiar Skelessi sera aussi remis en jeu, la lutte alors s'engagera entre l'Angle terre et la Russie, la question devien. dra Européenne, and Dieu seul sait le dénouement."
Thus the policy of France is for the moment for the time being-for some years to come, to favour the progress of Egypt in Syria; to assist the developement of what she calls "Egyptian to maintain intact the civilisation; treaties of Kutahia and Unkiar Skelessi; to preserve a nominal and sham, but not real peace, between the Porte and the Pacha; to profit from this state of things in her trade and commerce; to exert her influence in preventing Great Britain from completing her arrangements for her overland expeditions to India; and then, when the time shall come to decide whether there shall be a Turkish or an Egyp
tian empire, to be able to say, "I have the north of Africa under my control. Algiers is mine: Tunis is mine: Tripoli is mine. It is now time that Egypt should be mine also; and that thus both coasts of the Mediterranean should be subject to my sway, and obey my domination.” And is this a new project on the part of France? Is this the policy of 1839 only? No; it was the policy of the Directory, of the Consulate, and of the Empire; and if we may believe the declarations of the opponents of the Restoration, it was not foreign to the views of those who undertook, in 1830, the expedition against Algiers. *
The French politicians, and the best French writers on this Oriental question, are perpetually speaking of the "interior regeneration of the Ottoman empire!" What does this mean? What has France to do with the interior regeneration of the Ottoman empire? Let us see. Has this "regeneration," as it is termed, been productive of weakness or of strength to the Ottoman Porte? Has it attached the populations of Turkey in Europe, Turkey in Asia, or Turkey in Africa, to the Ottoman government? No. Have the changes introduced fortified the alliances of the Sultan, concentrated the national spirit, bound the Mussulmans together as one man, and given life and vigour to a decaying frame? Just the reverse. We speak not as amateurs when we say this, but on the information of the most able and enlightened travellers and residents of modern days. The bankrupt noble, who has no longer his chests filled with guineas and his title-deeds free from mortgage-who can no longer meet the pressing demands of enraged creditors with a diminished revenue and lessened estates-will perhaps inveigh against the extravagance of former years, and the villainy of his dismissed stewards. The banquets of gone-by days will be condemned as absurd, and the splendours of his more wealthy years as madness and folly. But why did not the nobleman entertain these opinions when his resources were vast, and his means of existence and happiness indubitable? No, no; he is still a spendthrift by choice, and reformed only from necessity. Thus it is with the Sultan Mahmoud and his Turkish subjects. They have no taste for the penury, the reductions, the occi
dentalism, the journalism, the budgetism, the parliamentaryism of the 19th century. The times of Soliman are still those to which they look back, and refer with Ottoman pride and Eastern delight. They know and feel that Turkey is fallen. They know and they feel that the Turkey of 1839, is but the shadow of the Turkey of former generations. The “ regeneration" of the Ottoman empire, to which French writers so often refer, is nothing more than the expedient of the bankrupt noble-the disgust of a wornout voluptuary-the affected disapprobation of lust, which time and circumstances no longer allow to be enjoyed. The "regeneration" in question is the evidence of weakness, not of power-of fallen grandeur, and not of rising glory. When France
thus proposes that Turkey shall be left to herself-she places the escutcheon beforehand on the gates of that once mighty empire, and inscribes on the sign of dissolution, "REQUIESCAT IN PACE!" When France proposes that the treaty of Kutahia shall be maintained, and that Turkey shall be left to pursue the work of her own regeneration, she merely seeks to gain time for the working of her own policy, which is that of suffering Turkey to expire, that Algiers in the mean time may become a wide and a mighty colony, and that, when the East shall have to be divided, her share may be Egypt. With such convictions as to the nature of French policy in the East, we have undertaken the preparation of the preceding and following observations on the Eastern question; and we now propose to examine, deliberately but briefly, the present state of the Eastern crisis.
The history of Turkey has shown us, that in all ages Russia has been the enemy of the Ottoman Porte. This is a fact of vast importance.
The history of Egypt has shown us, that the Porte has never voluntarily abandoned that province of its mighty dominions; and that Mehemet Ali is still in revolt against his legitimate sovereign.
The history of Syria has shown us, that never did it belong to Egypt; that for centuries it belonged to Turkey; and that, at this very moment, the Syrian Christians have decidedly less partiality for Ibrahim Pacha than even for the Porte and the Crescent,
Yet what is the present state of things in Turkey, Egypt, and Syria? Why, that Turkey is "protected" by her bitterest foe; -that Egypt is encouraged in her rebellion against the Porte, even by those who profess (as does France) to maintain the status quo;· and that Syria is to be required, and if necessary compelled, to submit to the domination of Egypt; and the mere advance of a Turkish corps to the frontiers of that province, is to be magnified into a cause for legitimate war on the part of all Europe against the Sultan.
We have said that Egypt is encouraged in her rebellion against the Sultan, and we say so advisedly. The French Government never protested against the treaty of Kutahia. The French Government has encouraged the Pacha of Egypt in his Syrian victories. The French Government now, to this day, requires that Syria shall remain attached to the territories of the victorious Ibrahim. But more than this: the Pacha of Egypt claims to be "independent" of the Sultan, and France encourages him in his ambitious projects. We know well that we shall be told that, in August last, when Mehemet Ali announced his intention of asserting that independence, the French Consul was the first to protest to the Pacha against the adoption of such a resolution; and that the Consul-General of France represented to the Viceroy, that to proclaim his independence" at that time" would be to rekindle war, and that, if necessary, the powers of Europe would oppose it by force. But what did this protest mean? The words, "at that time," embody all its sense and application; and the reply of the Pacha proved that he well understood his position.
"The Pacha," said the diplomatic note, "fully relies on the excellent intentions of the four powers with respect to him. He regrets to see them opposed to his views; but be predicts that the time is not far removed when they will change their opinion. He hopes, above all, that the hereditary question of the throne will be resolved in his favour. He will be satisfied if it shall be terminated without war, and by means of negotiations; but if he cannot thus succeed, and if he shall be forced to have recourse to arms, he will then proclaim not only
the hereditary rights of his crown, but the entire independence of Egypt. He is firmly resolved not to allow himself to be delivered up to the Porte by the European powers. He is old, and perhaps there is nothing better for him to do than to fall honourably in the conflict, rather than to leave his family, his servants, and his people, to the hazard of events. He has, in the course of his life, been obliged to shed much blood, in order to establish that which he has done, to obtain that which he possesses. He is resolved that such blood shall not have been shed in vain. Besides this, his views are in harmony with the in. terests and the policy of Europe. Why then sacrifice them? He is not of their religion—but he is a man like themselves, and he should be treated like a man; that is to say, he should be allowed to provide for the destiny of his children, for whose future fortunes he would provide. If the great powers of Europe do not approve of these reasons-if they will not give him any guarantee for the stability of the state of things existing in Egypt-if they reduce him to the necessity of following only his own inspirations, and of taking counsel only of himself he is decided on sacrificing the rest of his life and of his strength to put an end to a state of uncertainty which is unsupportable, because, above all, it weighs down upon his children. Besides this, he knows well, that if the great powers are agreed on oppress ing him, he must succumb; but these powers are already so powerful and great, that such a victory will add nothing to their renown, and that even the consequences of that victory may embarrass them. As to himself, there are ninety-five against, and but five for him; but that is of no moment. In war the dice are always uncertain; and if hazard should cause them to be favourable to him, he leaves to the great powers the duty of considering the consequences of a victory which no one then will have the right to con trol or to moderate."
And what says France to this protest of the Pacha? Does she remind him of the conditions of Selim, of the character of all pachalick governments, of the impossibility of Europe to encourage revolt, and of the fact that the Porte, who conquered Egypt, and instituted a pacha there, has alone the
right of altering the form and direction of the government? No such thing.
"The hereditary rights of Mehemet Ali," cries the French Government organ, is an acquired right. It could not be disputed. We must desire ourselves to see civilisation by degrees gain possession, little by lit tle, of all the coasts of the Mediterranean! Thanks to our arms! civilisation has regained a footing in Africa; in Egypt, thanks to Mehemet Ali; in Greece, thanks to the Treaty of London; and at Constantinople, thanks to the reforms attempted by the Sultan!!"
Thus France has settled for herself the "hereditary" question of the throne of Egypt; and until the future events in the East shall enable her to take possession of that country for herself, she proclaims to Europe the necessity for changing the form of Government in the Egyptian dominions of the Sultan. Thus are whispered away the "rights" of the Ottoman Porte, and "civilisation" and "the progress of reform" are the cant phrases of the French politicians. But that the whole of the views and reasonings of France on this important question of the hereditary throne of Mehemet may be fully understood, we transcribe the following observations from the Government organ of that country.
"It would be painful to think that Egypt, after the death of Mehemet Ali, was to be restored to barbarism. Thus the hereditary throne of Egypt, in the family of Mehemet Ali, is an acquired fact. His children will endeavour to maintain it. Who is the pacha that would dispute their rights? We add, that this regular and peaceable manner of creating new states, appears to be one of the maxims of our times. It is thus that Greece became, by little and little, an independent kingdom. It is thus that Walachia and Moldavia have acquir ed, by a series of treaties, an independence certainly greater with regard to the Sultan, their former master, than with regard to the Czar, their new protector. The recognition of the hereditary throne of Egypt, in the family of Mehemet Ali, will be thus one of those regular and peace, able acts which prepare the way for the new life of states,
This is open and undisguised propagandism and democracy. There is no revolution, however unjust-no revolt, however savage or blindthat may not be vindicated and approved on such principles as these. At this rate the Belgian insurrection may be defended, because it is succesful, as one of the "regular and peaceable means" of creating new states.
But what says the organ of the French Cabinet as to the rights of the Ottoman Porte? Are they actually neglected or passed over by the writers in question? Certainly not; but the manner in which they are treated is at once anarchical and deplorable.
"The Porte will preserve its suzeraineté, and it will, assuredly, be stronger, aided by the power of its hereditary vassal, than it is to-day; for to-day the force of Egypt is injurious to Turkey, and hereafter it will, on the contrary, serve it."
This short paragraph contains as many errors as it does words;-and each of those errors is dangerous and insidious. 1st, When the Porte shall no longer have a voice in the appointment of a pacha, its suzeraineté in Egypt will be at an end, except so far as the khazneh or tribute-money may be concerned. 2nd, When Egypt shall be governed by an hereditary pacha independent of the Porte, except perhaps the simple payment of the khazneh, not only will that pacha not be the vassal of the Sultan, but he will be his equal. 3rd, The force of Egypt to day, is only injurious to Turkey, because it has usurped a force which does not belong to it, and has annexed to it dominions belonging to the Ottoman empire. 4th, The Pa cha of Egypt has already announced three conditions of peace with the lifeless remains of the once-powerful Ottoman Porte, which are 1st, The annexation of the whole of Syria to Egypt; 2nd, The hereditary throne of Egypt secured to his family for ever; and 3rd, The eventual total independence of Egypt. How, then, would the mere recognition of the hereditary throne of Egypt, in the family of Mehemet Ali, secure the force of Turkey? And, finally, the erection of Egypt into a powerful, independent, and hereditary monarchy, must necessarily terminate, not in the force and progress, strength and vị,