The disturbances in Poland are still a leading European topic
; but the information respecting them afforded by the journals, is still meagre, confused, and contradictory. The accounts are derived from the newspapers of countries where a strict censor- ship is exercised ; and consist either of the scanty and one-sided revelations of the Government, or the gossip of hasty and often not very intelligent travellers retailed at second or third hand. The great outline of events appears, however, with sufficient dis- tinctness. There can be little doubt that a conspiracy has been in active progress both among residents in Poland and "the emi- gration," with ramifications through all the provinces of former Poland in which the Polish race still constitute either the ma- jority or a numerous portion of the inhabitants. The object of this combination was to establish a Polish national government. The detailed organization of the intending insurgents, and the form of government they contemplated, are unknown ; but there can be little doubt that the statements made respecting them by the Austrian authorities, and with the tacit permission of the Prussian, are in part at least untrue, for they are self- contradictory. The Russian Government has been long aware of the existence of the conspiracy ; but it was only in the course of last autumn that it gave intimation of it to either the Austrian or the Prussian Government. Credit is claimed for Prussia, in circumstantial narratives in some German papers, for having rejected the proposal made by Russia to allow the insurrection to break out with a view to justify in the eyes of the world the severest punishment upon all participators. How- ever this may be, it is clear from the proceedings in Posen, that the Prussian authorities did anticipate and prevent the outbreak. It is not so clear that they have entirely succeeded ; for recent accounts from that quarter notice an attempt by an armed band to penetrate into the capital of the dutchy and release the pri- soners confined there, giving rise to a skirmish in which hves were lost. There is also evidence of desultory movements among the peasantry of the district, and of Poles quitting Konigsberg, Breslau, and other surrounding towns of consequence, to approach the Russian frontier. Within the Prussian territory, however, the cause is evidently hopeless. The outbreak at Cracow appears to have been precipitated by the movements of the Austrian com- mander on the Gallieian frontier. In the latter part of February, General Collin, at the request of the Senate of Cracow, entered their territories, and occupied the capital with a body of Austrian troops, before any insurrectionary movement had taken place. Great excitement was produced among the inhabitants by this step ; and, warned, too late, by the temper of the citizens and the insufficient number of his own soldiers' , the General kept them together and on the alert in the public place. The excite- ment spread to the country : bands of armed men began to ap- proach the town; but before an assault was made, the soldiery and citizens began to fire upon each other; and the Austrians, eutnumbered and worn out with watches, were obliged to retreat across the Vistula. The insurrection was forthwith proclaimed in Cracow, and a government organized, which addressed a manifesto to the whole Polish people. General Collin at first fell back some leagues from the frontier. Attempts to rouse the Gallicians were made by the nobles, their land-stewards, bailiffs, and other retainers, in almost every circle of the province. The Government officers offered a reward for the delivery of any insurgent, dead or alive; and the peasants rose killed or cap- tured, and delivered up for the reward, along with some leading insurgents many who had taken no part in the movement. From the statements in journals notoriously under the influence of the Austrian Government, it is clear that the authorities are themselves perplexed and alarmed at the spirit they have awakened among the peasants. Active measures were taken without loss of time both by the Austrian and Prussian Govern- ments to concentrate troops on the frontier of Cracow : but, before reinforcements could reach him, General Collin again occupied Podgorze, a kind of suburb of Cracow on the Austrian side of the river. He also opened a communication with the Prussian. commander on the Prussian frontier. Meanwhile, the insurgents crossed the Vistula in three columns. One, which entered the province to the East of General Collin's position, was encountered and defeated, at Gdow' by the officer in command at Bochnia ; another, which crossed to the West of him, was also defeated, on the road to Jordanow, in the Carpathian mountains. The third, which took a still more Westerly-route, has not yet been account,. ed for : it is uncertain whether it has marched towards Moravia, or crossed the Carpathians into Hungary by the pass of Jablunka. After the insurgent bands had left the city, negotiations for its surrender were opened with the Prussian and Austrian command- ers; but, according to the last accounts, during- their progress a Russian corps advanced and took possession of it without resist- ance. From Russian Poland there is no intelligence except of an attempted rising not far from Warsaw, which. MO immediately suppressed.
The insurrection has been prevented from coming to a head. The insurgents are mere isolated bands, thinly scattered over the Selavonian provinces of Russia, Austria and Prussia : but these provinces are obviously in a most unsatisfactory state. In Posen, a very large proportion of the nobles are prisoners : what will the Prussian Government do with so many, who have committed no overt act? In Gallicia, almost all the nobles are implicated : will the Austrian Government proscribe the whole patrician class ? What is to be done with Cracow? it is an "independent" state, and its Government has been guilty of no offence against the allied Powers. From some indications in the Austrian mani- festoes, it would almost appear that scarcity of provisions has had a share in rendering the peasantry so truculent. The Prussian frontier has of late been so harrassed by shoals of famishing beg- gars (to the number of thousands) from Russian Poland, that the military have received orders to drive them back. The three Powers are evidently able at present to prevent the establish- ment of a national Polish government ; but can they give the Polish provinces, in its stem], any efficient government which humane and enlightened men may contemplate without disgust?