26 MARCH 1853, Page 7



Up to the present moment no decisive news has arrived from Constan tinople, although it is hourly expected. This is partly accounted for by the severe storms which have swept over the Mediterranean. It is true that letters from Constantinople, received yesterday in Paris, spoke of the friendly manner in which an interview between Menschikoff and the Sultan passed off on the 9th; that this news had produced a favour- able effect on the Bourse ; and that it was further reported that the diffi- culties of the question had been greatly exaggerated, so that a pacific so- lution was to be expected. Some reports positively state that the Porte has conceded to the full the demands of Menschikoff. But meanwhile we are without authentic information.

The following paper has been sent to us by a friend on the Continent who enjoys opportunities for observation, and has an excellent judgment for the purpose. It will be seen from what we have said elsewhere that our own view is different ; but it is an advantage to have so concise and clear an expression of a view which is entertained by many who are well informed.

"His Imperial Highness the Padishah was once the wolf whose every movement threw Europe into a panic. That the present empires of Aus- tria and Russia remained safe from him, those empires have to thank the monarchs, the heroes, and the soldiers of Hungary and of Poland. Hungarians and Poles fought the Turks and kept them at bay, when the Austrian could not preserve Vienna from siege, and when Russia kept head with difficulty against the circumscribed means of such a power as Sweden.

" But times are changed. Poland is no more, and eke Hungary. The military power of the Turks has dwindled also. And superiority is no longer the result of skill or courage, but attends the sovereign who can contrive to keep continually five hundred thousand drilled and disciplined men under arms. Turkey is as well able to do this as either of the co- lossal powers opposed to her. The revenues of Turkey are not inferior, or need not be inferior, to those of either ; nor need her armies. But the Turk, unfortunately for him, has acquired none of those qualities of ci- vilization which show themselves in the art of government more than in any other science : the Turk is still a child and a barbariau. That is to say, he is capable of doing anything under excitement and impelled by enthusiasm ; but when unexcited and unenthusiastic, he is good for no- thing but slumber : he is a disinflated foot-ball, not worth even kicking. Foreign governments, or rather that one foreign government which sin- cerely desires the independence of Turkey, which might give it good ad- vice, and aid it in establishing an efficient military force—this country, England, has, instead of teaching Turkey bow to arm, taught her to dis- arm. It has insisted on the Turks being more liberal in their courts of justice, their administration, their tariffs, their treatment of subject pro- vinces and rayahs. In fact, it has taught the Sultan to be amiable and good at a time when the lesson ought to have gone towards making hint formidable and fierce. The English Government has acted towards Tur- key like a member of the Peace Society, labouring to instil principles of charity and humility to one who was threatened by a fierce antagonist, and whose life and existence were at stake.

" To complete the folly of such advice, no sooner is Turkey threatened by invasion or expeditions, or no sooner are proposals made to be accom- panied by such alternative, than France and England, instead of allowing Turkey to put forth its own strength, forthwith despatch fleets and ma- rines to her succour, with orders to repel the bold invader. This has been so often repeated, that Turkey does not feel the necessity of having a sufficient army on the Bosphorus, nor yet a navy capable of resisting a formidable attack. The Bosphorus is most defensible. The Turkish fleet is far from deficient. The Turkish soldiers might be brought to fight as well as the Russian ; whilst in artillery practice the Turks are not inferior to other people. Why not leave Turkey, at least in appear- ance, to herself? Why not let her Minister and Sultan feel that they must depend upon their own efforts, their own foresight ? This would strengthen the Turks, and would avoid the discreditable sight of the French and English fleets running every twelvemonth to the mouth of the Dardanelles, where they are not permitted to enter, merely to give courage to the Sultan to resist those dictates and demands of surrounding autocrats, that are after all but fanfaronnades, empty displays of power, and bursts of diplomatic choler. "Although the British fleet under Admiral Dundee is at present, at the call of Colonel Rose, anchoring in the bay of Smyrna, and the French fleet is proceeding even near to the Dardanelles, we are far from thinking that the Sultan has need of the support of either. The power that is really ambitious, and has given rise to all this excitement, is Austria. The young Emperor Ferdinand is more impatient than any former Emperor to add a province to those scores of provinces which be has shown him- self so incapable of governing. Ho is anxious of the glory rather than the profit of annexing Bosnia. He therefore marched a large army to the frontier, and sent a blustering ambassador, to make a great noise but not very important demands, merely aiming at displaying himself to the Bosnian Christians as the same protecting power which Russia has shown herself to the more Eastern provinces of Turkey on the Danube. It is in all probability to outdo this bidding of Austria for the protector- ate of Christians that Russia has made a similar move, and that Prince Mensehikoffi after warlike preparations at Sebastopol, has descended with a military suite to Constantinople. What so groat a demand can Russia have to make of the Sultan ? Equality with France at Jerusa- lem? Surely a very short despatch might secure that without any mili- tary preparation or solemn embassy ? Are further cessions beyond the Danube demanded ? The request were idle. Moldavia, Wallachia, and even Servia, are as much under Russian suzerainty as a formal cession could make them. What, then, can Prince Mensehikoff desire to pour jinto the Imperial ear ? what injunction can it be that he refuses to trust to the venal ear of the Reis Effendi Fuad? It must be that the Czar wants to inform the Sultan solemnly but privately that he will suffer no suzerainty or patronage over the Christian population of the Ottoman empire to be wielded by other than himself; that he will not admit of either Austrian or French interference in this respect ; that if the Sultan chooses to admit the rights of these other powers, then he must con- sider Russia as his decided enemy. " If such be the mission of Prince Menschikoff, (and such we believe it to be,) it is certainly a case in which, as the Times observes, England has very little to do. England scouts the whole:system of making religious opinions the groundwork of political interference in other countries. It is also a case which forebodes no very seriems,,misfortune to the Ottoman empire. When France, Austria, and Russia, make their appearance at the Sublime Porte, each bent on separate ,i,p.terests, and pressing contra- dictory demands, it surely cannot be difficult'for a Turkish Minister of or- dinary ability, to assume a patient, a pacific, and tolerant attitude between them. The Turk has but to supplicate the Christians to come to some understanding amongst each other, and that then he will be happy to deal with them."