13 JANUARY 1855, Page 1


ONCE more Vienna eclipses the interest of Sebastopol, and is the scene of as curious a vicissitude as any that has happened in the course of the Russian quarrel. The opening week brought the an- nouncement that Russia had accepted the "four points,' with the

• interpretation put upon them it the interview of the 28th Decem- ber—accepted -unreservedly as the basis for further negotiation. is ,lli' interpretation" we have not had in detail ; a probable but ' anent intietted_ account has been supplied to a French journal, iich implies the complidat that the terms are hard upon ' Annie.; and there is certainlin-tr-reason to suppose that it dimin- isliet: the force of the four points,'--which comprised abolition of the Russian protectorate of the Principalities-, revision of the treaty of 1841 in the interest of the balance of Europe, free navigation of the Danube, and merging of the Russian pro- tectorate of the Greek Christians into a joint protectorate by -all the Powers. On that basis Russia professes her willing- ness to treat. Coupling this consent with the previous obstinacy of the Russian Government, the new course of action is naturally regarded as only a fresh device to circumvent what Russia finds it inconvenient and costly to take by force, or simply to gain time. Some colour is lent to this latter suspicion by the strong complaint of a Belgian journal devoted to the Russian influence, that not- withstanding these pacific overtures from Russia, the three Powers

continue their aotion,—as if it had been expected that they would

suspend action on the mere proffering of overtures for peace. i The position of Prussia s still problematical. A report had been circulated that she had given her adhesitin to the treaty of December 2; but that report has been traced tttan untrustworthy source. It does not much matter, either way ; for whatever Prussia did, we could not acquire any sudden confidence in her purpose. While she declines to join the full alliance, she confesses her scanty friendliness; if she &I join, we might only be obliged to welcome to-the conference the retained counsel of Russia. She musters her forces; but Prince William tells them it is for the King to order

on which side they shall fight. - These are the antecedents of that Congress which is announced, informally, to meet about the beginning of February, to settle the subjects of dispute between the belligerents.