The Times announces that a Russian expedition, organised with great
secrecy, has started to occupy Merv, and is probably by this time in possession of a city which is the best stepping- stone to the conquest of Herat. Russia cannot, however, even if she can hold Merv, attack Herat from thence without resources which as yet she has no means of accumu- lating on the Attrek, and it is very doubtful whether it is towards Herat that her statesmen are looking. The posses- sion of Mery would give her immense influence among the riding tribes of Khorasan, who are easily amenable to money, and through whom she may exercise a new and most disorgan- ising influence upon Persia. It is, we believe, for mastery at Teheran that St. Petersburg is now striving, and it is in Persia, and not in the desert beyond Herat that, if we are alarmed at her progress, we must intervene. There is, however, no use in pre- cipitating events, or striking before Russia has clearly shown her hand. We can always land on the shore of Persia, and always lend officers, rifles, and money for the proteetion of Herat, which Mohammedans are not likely either to betray or sell to the per- manent enemies of their creed. Waiting is not always feebleness.