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than ever from the native he governs. ing that the mere suppression of the The small link connecting the two, mutiny is but a very small part of which seemed strengthening, has our difficulty, and the statesman who been rudely torn asunder, and how shall set our rule upon a firm and anything like union can be estab- secure basis will indeed deserve well lished is a problem remaining to be of his country. solved. 'Tis impossible to help feel
A PLEA FOR THE PRINCIPALITIES.
The question of the Principalities, name of Great Britain now is at which has received much attention Bucharest and at Jassy. in several countries of the European One of the main objects of the continent, and has been extensively Crimean war was to protect from discussed by the foreign press, has in Russian encroachment the fertile and England obtained little notice; and wealthy provinces of Wallachia and has been disposed of by English Moldavia, an to secure them to statesmen, in the opinion of the Turkey, the suzerain, but not the parties most immediately concerned, sovereign power. The policy of in a manner at once unfair and un- England, since the war, seems diwise. The Moldo-Wallachians are rected, the Roumans say, to alienate extremely angry with this country them more and more from Turkey, for having, as they allege, not only and to throw them into the arms of abandoned them, but raised their Russia. This has, of course, not hopes to a high pitch, and then dashed been her aim, but they protest that them to the ground. They recall it will be the inevitable result. In words spoken by Lord Clarendon in England, owing to graver cares and the Paris Conference of 1856, others to domestic topics, few persons have uttered by Lord Palmerston in the gone to the pains of sifting the House of Commons; and they point subject ; few know anything about to the manifest contradiction be- the provinces in question, or trouble tween those expressions and the themselves to investigate their past line of conduct since pursued by history and present condition. There those statesmen. They feel them- is a general notion that they are selves the more aggrieved by what corn-producing, semi-civilised, and they term England's desertion of their corrupt, a bone of contention amongst cause, because they are convinced adjacent powers, and that the amount that, had she been true to them, of trouble they give is altogether their wishes would have been fulfilled. disproportionate to their size and Austria and Turkey must have yield- real importance. The aspirations of ed to the will of the other five powers. their inhabitants to the union of England's defection is believed to Moldavia and Wallachia, and to bave influenced France, and the their erection into a small state Roumans look upon their cause as under a foreign prince, have been lost for the present. More than this, looked upon as visionary and imthey believe, with or without reason, practicable. Altogether, the strain that if England threw them over- of argument adopted has been geneboard, it was to oblige Austria, that rally unfavourable to the plan for inveterate foe to struggling nation- the consolidation of Rouman nationalities, and the power above all ality. Audi alteram partem is a others unpopular, and even execrated, fair and wholesome maxim ; and it in the Principalities. Some idea is not uninteresting at this moment, may therefore be formed of the ex- when the Paris Conference is actually cessively bad odour in which the sitting for the settlement of this
Lettres sur les Principautés, à Monsieur le Chev. Vegezzi Ruscalla. Paris et Genève, 1858. Pp. 172.
intricate and long-debated question, them a question to which a satisfacto hear what a Rouman has to say tory reply may perhaps be derived of the condition of his country, and from other portions of the work. The of the rights and wishes of his first chapter rapidly throws together countrymen. Early in the present some salient points of the history of month of June there was printed at the Principalities, from the cessation Geneva the pamphlet named at foot of the rule of the Fanariots in 1821 Its anonymous character robs it of to the_commencement of the late no weight with us, because we hap- war. From 1731, the first year of pen to have ascertained its author- the Fanariot sway, a national governship, and to know that this has been ment has been unknown in Moldoconcealed from no unworthy motives. Wallachia. True, that in 1822 the We know it to be from the pen of a hospodaral crowns were taken from man of honour and intelligence, of the Greeks; but, instead of being sincere patriotism, and of moderate handed to the Roumans, to be by views, and who is, moreover, a mem- them decerned, in conformity with ber of one of those great Boyard treaties, to the most worthy, they families, to whose errors and crimes were given by the Porte to Boyards his present publication shows that of its selection. The year 1828 arhe is neither blind nor lenient. He rived, and these were replaced by two is neither a practised writer, nor a Russian generals; for Russia had politician of much practical experi- declared war upon Turkey, and was ence, but it will be seen that he in military occupation of the propossesses straightforward good sense, vinces, over which the treaty of and a fluent and pungent pen; and Adrianople gave her a right of prohis readers may rest assured, how. tectorate. From that date until ever much they may differ from his 1854, the aspirants to the hospodar's views or dissent from his conclusions, dignity were to be sought in the that his facts are perfectly trust- antechambers of the Russian geneworthy, that his opportunities of ob- rals and consuls. General Kisseleff servation have been of the very best was charged to organise the adminpossible, and that he is incapable of istration of Moldo-Wallachia, and it seeking to further, by misstatement or seems generally admitted, even by exaggeration, the cause he ardently the most anti-Russian, that he did advocates, and of whose justice he is this with great talent, and displayed profoundly convinced. "The editor both energy and integrity during his of the pamphlet, which is, in fact, a five years' government of the Princismall volume, says no more than the palities. “Even at the present day," truth, when he remarks, in his brief says the writer now before us, “and preface, that were it possible to whatever the sufferings that Russian publish the name of the author, policy has inflicted on the Roumans, the public would understand how these are far from confounding in well he is qualified to know, and one common sentiment of hatred the pertinently to judge, the matters of name of that great administrator, which he treats.
and the execrated names of Messrs As we can afford but a very limit- Rückmann, Datchkoff, &c., &c. By ed space to the subject now before acting in a manner as conformable us, it would appear the most natural to the prosperity of the country as to course to enter at once upon the the true interests of Russian policy, political question. Nevertheless we did M. de Kisseleff carry out the views think it advisable to devote a few of his government? I believe that be pages to certain chapters of the did not, and in proof of this I need pamphlet, which are rather retro- but refer to the sort of disgrace in spective and narrative than argu- which he found himself during the mentative : and this we do, first, be- whole reign of the Emperor Nicholas.” cause they contain statements and In 1834 the Boyard Alexander Ghica revelations which are particularly (the present Caimacan) succeeded curious as proceeding from a Rou- Kisseleff in the government of Walman pen; and, secondly, with the lachia, and Michael Stourza (a name view of grounding upon some of odious and infamous in Rouman ears) obtained that of Moldavia. Ghica pelled to take refuge on Austrian was weak, incapable, and surrounded territory. In Moldavia, Stourza was by robbers; the corruption and rapa- more fortunate. An attempted movecity of Stourza are to this day pro- ment there was promptly and violently verbial in the Principalities. In suppressed. Stourza's immense wealth, such hands, the administrative ma- amassed by extortion and iniquity, chine created by Kisseleff, and which had made him powerful friends at had worked so well under him, gave St Petersburg and Constantinople. but negative results. It must also At Bucharest a provisional governbe said that the Russian consuls, ment was installed, to cries of " Down with an object easy to understand, with the Russian protectorate !" and did their utmost to impede its action. "Vive le Sultan !" The insurrection The idea of Russia has always been was not against Turkey, but against to take advantage of the superiority that secret Russian influence to which of Kisseleff's administration over that the Wallachians were sufficiently of his indigenous successors, to con- clear-sighted to trace all their suffervince Europe of Rouman incapacity ings. At first, Turkey recognised the for self-government; whilst at the provisional government, and invited same time it contributed to render the foreign consuls to do the same, the Roumans sufficiently unhappy to which all did except the Russian make them regret Russian domina- agent, who left Bucharest. “You tion.” Ghica seems to have been promised to protect us, and it is weak and obstinate rather than him- against you only that we now need proself positively bad, but he allowed his tection," were the last words he heard relatives to plunder the country. After before his departure. A Constituent eight years' rule the General Assembly Assembly was to be convoked, the of Wallachia drew up an address de- country was regaining its tranquillity; picting the state of that principality but the new government, unpractical -robbery and injustice exercised in and over-confident, wasted its time, the face of day, the people wretched and lost its opportunity. The finances beyond description, and a revolution remained in the state in which Bibesco in perspective. Russia had waited had left them; thousands of Walonly for this. She ordered her lachian volunteers returned to their ambassador at Constantinople to de- homes; twenty thousand Turks were mand Ghica's dismissal. The Turks, allowed to cross the Danube and always well pleased at changes of hos- encamp at the gates of Bucharest; podars, which are a source of bribes Fuad Pasha, the Turkish commisand bakshish, made no objection, and sioner with this force, was prodigal Ghica was removed from his post, of promises and friendly demonstrathe firman of dismissal declaring him tions. One day he invited the faithless and dishonest, and passing provisional government and all the the severest censure on the man chief men of Bucharest to his tent, to whom, a few years later, the Porte receive an important communication. again placed at the head of bis native They håd hardly entered the camp province. It is scarcely to be won- when they were surrounded by troops dered at if, during his second term and artillery. The Turks poured into of power, he has given even better the city, and passed the night in grounds for such censure than during plunder, bloodshed, and outrage. We his first. Bibesco succeeded Ghica will let the Rouman writer speak. as hospodar, and exceeded him in
“A great number (foule) of old misgovernment. He was devoted to men, women, and children, were Russia, to which power he owed his killed. A week previously, an order nomination. Relying on the support of the triumvirate had sent away, to of Russian bayonets in case of need, a distance of thirty leagues, the he did not fear to drive the Wal- whole garrison of the city, consistlachians to extremity by his tyranny ing of a regiment of infantry, two and exactions. But he erred in his squadrons of cavalry, and a battery calculation. In June 1848 the country of artillery. There remained in the rose against him, and, before the capital but two hundred firemen Russians could come, he was com. (pompiers). Ten thousand Turks bravely attacked this handful of men. twice before crossing the Pruth. The The Wallachians defended themselves more Turkey feels herself feeble inwith the courage of despair and of ternally, the more ought she to forindignation, and fought till they tify her frontiers. When an army were all killed. Omer Pasha, who has been decimated, it no longer commanded the Turkish army, slept awaits the enemy in the field; it that night on the field of battle. It seeks the shelter of intrenchments. was not until the next day that he Where could be found a better obordered the occupation of the bar- stacle to the encroachments of Slaracks of St George, in front of which yonic power than five millions of the fighting had taken place. His Latins, contented with their lot, and troops there found a solitary Walla- sincerely attached to Turkey? And chian sentinel. He was on guard over it is Turkey herself, and it is Austria, the colours, and as no relief had who wish to sever this dyke, thrown come, he had remained there twelve by Providence before the flood of hours. After seeing all his comrades Slavonianism !” fall, he had the whole night to escape Whilst allowing a due margin for in; but this noble soldier would not the patriotic partiality of which a abandon his post before the enemy. Rouman writer may find it difficult, Such heroism and self-devotion even whilst earnestly seeking the should have found favour in the eyes truth, entirely to divest himself
, it of the conquerors. The Wallachian must, we think, be admitted that a sentinel was dragged into the middle well-drilled, well-commanded army of the court, and there shot.”
of fifty thousand Moldo-Wallachians We well remember to have heard would form a highly valuable adthis anecdote from various persons, vanced guard for Turkey against her two years ago at Bucharest, and tó dangerous northern neighbour. And have visited the spot where the two Moldo-Wallachia, which has nearly hundred gallant firemen made their as large a population as the Sardinbrilliant and desperate defence. The ian States, and immense resources in Roumans have a high opinion of their its rich soil (as yet but very partially own military capacity, and there is cultivated), would, under a good no reason, that we are aware of, for government, and if delivered from believing it to be ill-founded. What exactions, have no difficulty in mainis certain is, that on various occa- taining such a force. But to return sions during the late Austrian occu- to the pamphlet : “To the sound of pation, brawls and skirmishes occur. the musketry,” says the writer, the red between parties of Roumans and Ottoman commissioner proclaimed Austrians, and that the former, ex- the dissolution of the provisional cept when, as at Buses, in June 1856, government, and, desiriny M. Conthe odds against them were over- stantine Cantacuzene to step forward, whelming, usually had the advan- he proclaimed him Caimacan of Waltage. It is probable that, well lachia, in the same tone that Caligula officered, the Moldo-Wallachs would doubtsess adopted when he named make excellent troops. The author his horse consul.” Cantacuzene, of the “ Letters
is evidently notorious for his cupidity and unthoroughly convinced of this, and scrupulousness, had but a short his opinion, as that of a man well reign. A few months later Stirbey acquainted with his countrymen, and replaced him, and Gregory Ghica who has himself seen hard fighting was appointed to the hospodarship in a foreign land, merits due weight. of Moldavia. These nominations “Supposing,” he says, in his Chapter were agreed upon by Russia and the on the Future of the Principalities, Porte. Stirbey is å brother of the “that in 1848 and 1853 the Roumans, ex-hospodar Bibesco. They are men instead of relying on a suzerain im- of low extraction. Bibesco owed potent to protect them, had been able his fortune and position to his wife, to rely upon themselves, the Russian who was of wealthy and noble family; army would have lost thirty thousand his brother changed his name for that men before reaching Bucharest; per- of a boyard who adopted him, and haps even it would have thought left him his fortune. Stirbey was a pet candidate of the Russian am- founded. From our own recollecbassador at Constantinople. “ The tion, and on incontestable evidence, Turks would have preferred to him we could add, to the many flagrant a man less openly devoted to the instances he mentions—to the shameCzar; but some sixty thousand less iniquities he chronicles-numerducats, judiciously distributed, tri- ous traits and incidents well vouched umphed over their scruples.” Stirbey for in the countries where they ocserved Russia faithfully until he saw curred, which place in the strongest fortune going against her; then he light the scandalous evil-doings of became the servile tool of Austria. the men who, by intrigue and briThose who were at Bucharest dur- bery, and in virtue of foreign influing his hospodarship, and especially ences, have in turn been placed over during its latter portion, and at the the luckless Principalities. One hosmoment of his fall
, will fully confirm podar, not content with the enorthe truth of the following bitter pas- mous sums his position enabled him sage: "Corrupt and corrupting, in- to appropriate, went so far as to be satiable and vindictive, devoid of a sleeping partner with a notorious every sentiment of shame and of band of brigands. This might be patriotism, Prince Stirbey beheld his difficult to prove, but it is not powers expire amidst the hatred and doubted in the province he governed ; contempt of his fellow-countrymen. and even that such a suspicion A worthy emulator of Michael should attach to him, suffices to show Stourza, like him he acquired, in a the reputation he had won. The few years' reign, and by identical same man, when leaving the country, means, a colossal fortune and an appropriated, on his way from his odious name.” Gregory Ghica, in capital to the frontier, the parish Moldavia, was honest, but feeble. funds of every place he passed He did his utmost for his coun- through. A somewhat similar trait try, and left power poor, but beloved is recorded in the book before us of and esteemed. The author of the an ex-hospodar. “Dismissed, and "Letters” thus sums up the history flying from the legitimate resentof the hospodars since 1834: “The ment of the Moldavians, he provided reign of Alexander Ghica was that himself, before departing for a foreign of ineptitude and disorder; the reign country, with a bundle of blank paof Bibesco, of immorality and vio- tents of nobility, which he sold on lence; that of Stirbey was an era the road to persons who had not yet of degradation and corruption ; the heard of his disgrace.” Stirbey was reign of Stourza was shameless pil- a traitor par excellence. He began lage, skilfully organised ; and that by disobeying the orders of the Sulof Gregory Gbica, the reign of weak- tan, which enjoined him to retire ness and good intentions. Of all on the approach of the Russians. these men, one only is dead-it is the Dismissed, nevertheless, by the last; one only is worthy of regret—it Russians, he went to Vienna, and is also the last. Of the four others, returned with the Austrian army, Alexander Ghica, the present Caima- during whose occupation of the Princan of Wallachia, is the least hated; cipalities he gave Austria most unand it is he whom the Wallachians equivocal proofs of his devotion. will prefer, if-which Heaven avert! "Nearly two hundred murders of in--they bé condemned to choose a offensive inhabitants, committed by ruler amongst the men of the past.” Austrian soldiers, remained unpun
Persons who have not been in the ished. Far from demanding justice, east of Europe, and who have not he dismissed the Minister of the Inacquired, by reading and inquiry, a terior for having communicated to a correct notion of the abuses and cor- foreign consul the official list of these ruption there too general, will per- assassinations.” This reminds us of haps tax the author of these “Letters” a stinging retort made (if we mistake with exaggeration in some of the not) by the same minister whom strange details he gives of what has Stirbey thus dismissed, to Coronini, occurred, and still occurs, in his own commanding in chief the Austrian country. The charge would be un- army of occupation. The minister,