17 JANUARY 1842, Page 11


WHEN the scholar of whom so many wise tales are told went to see a sick friend, he found him speechless. " Oh " he cried, " if you won't speak to me when I come to see you, when I am ill and you come to see me I won't speak to you." The learned gentle- man has found an emulator in M. KISSELEFF, the Russian Charge d'Affaires at Paris. When the diplomatic body at St. Petersburg went up to present their compliments to the Emperor during the fetes on the 6th December, M. PERIER, the French Ambassador, found himself indisposed. The Autocrat was enraged. He did not, however, carry his revenge so far as to retire to a sick bed himself: as budding kings are whipped by proxy, so, it appears, emperors can be sick by proxy ; and as M. PERM was too ill to pay his respects to him on the 6th December, NicaoLss commanded

M. Smarm to be too ill to pay his respects to Louis PraLrerx on New-year's Day. M. KISSELEFF obeyed, and astonished all Paris with his sudden indisposition.

The diplomatists are all furor and delight. Nothing pleases them so well as something infinitesimally small, which can be made to bear a terrible significancy. Reprisals, declarations of war, are vulgar resorts of angry monarchs; but there is an exquisite refinement in this new lex talionis. The " lords so intellectual" know how to dread the hysterics of their ladies; but nations may learn to tremble at the qualms of Charges d'Affaires. France, it seems, owes Russia a grudge—why, is not very clear : some histo- rians, who go so far back, attribute it to the recall of M. PAHLEN from Paris, ostensibly to be at the receipt of negotiations to take a place in the Russian Ministry, but really, say the initiated, to de- prive France of the honour of having a full Russian Ambassador at her Court. From whatever cause, however, France owes Russia a grudge; and so, whereas NAPOLEON marched to Moscow, now Louis PHILIPPE at St. Petersburg allows his functionary to

take pains To prove a weakness in the reins."

NICHOLAS, no whit dismayed, countermarches M. KiisszLxrr to bed. M. PERIER gallantly advances and swallows an opiate : M. KISSELEFF rushes to the front with a saline draught. M. Pzaxnn lays a mine of Dover's powders : M. KISSELEFF drives the enemy from his position with a terrific burst of Seidlitz. The cool- ness and intrepidity of the two monarchs under these trying cir- cumstances are unsurpassable : and there is no doubt that M. PEWEE'S retreat from St. Petersburg will eclipse the retreat from Moscow ; the passage of the Beresina will pale its ineffectual fires before a passage in the Moniteur. But matters may not reach that pass. While the two countries seem inextricably embroiled in these coughs and colds—while LOUIS PHILIPPE assails St. Petersburg with an invalid corps, M. Rinuna's body, and NicHoLes occupies Paris with a sneezing de- tachment—even while these wars are raging, M. BOUTENIEFF, the new Russian Minister to Constantinople, while at Paris on his way, is cunningly employed to negotiate a peace. Surely the diplomatic profession never had such glorious times: here M. Prima faints "like a green girl," and that means invasion and cannonades ; there M. RISSELEFF cries, "Give me some drink, Titinius !" in tones implying a Pharsdia ; and M. BOUTENIEFF, who seems only journeying onwards to Turkey, is really settling these in- testine commotions among the Ministers. It is all trifling above, mystery around, and the fate of empires below. The phial of doctor's stuff is suspended over Russia ; France totters in the druggist's scale ; while the smile of ROUTE/HEFT already dispels the clouds which his fellow diplomates have raised, and Europe will rise from the way of Ambassadors unconscious of all the horrors through which she has passed.