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Europe, and well calculated to check the influence of Russia. The British ministry evidently viewed the conduct of the allies in its true light; and it would be doing them injustice, as men of ability, to suppose that they were really deceived themselves by the slight appearance of plausibility, which they were able to give to their policy in parliament, on principles too, which the allies themselves did not pretend to assert. The real justification, as well as the real cause of this neutrality, both in France and England, was the impossibility of opposing any effectual resistance to the determinations of the allies. It was the wholesome terror of the Cossacs, which at once backed the progress of the Austrian army in Italy, and neutralized the resistance of the cabinets of London and Paris. France had' even a still stronger interest than England in supporting the Italians on account of her continental position, which makes the preservation of a balance of power much more important to her safety. Accordingly, the reaction of public opinion in France, against the neutrality of the cabinet, was so strong, that it was on the eve, at one moment, of producing a new revolution there; or at least a complete change in the policy of the cabinet. Had the cause of liberty been better supported in Naples, this result would unquestion


ably have happened, and not improbably a similar one in Belgium, Prussia, and some other parts of Germany. In this case a general struggle for life and death between the governments of the east and the nations of the west of Europe would have followed ; and the battle of independence, which must come sooner or later, would have been fought at once; and perhaps under circumstances more favourable to the success of the western powers, than may soon occur again. The cowardice and treachery of the Neapolitans, and the terror of Russia, which paralyzed the cabinets of France and England, gave a different turn to these events, and left the great final struggle to future years, perhaps to future generations.

It only remains, in order to complete this view of the balance of power, as it exists, or rather as it does not exist at present, to inquire what probability there is of a change in this state of things, which I have been describing, what means are still at the disposition of the western powers for resisting the preponderance of Russia, and what are the chances that they will be employed in the best possible way. Although Russia already rules in the west by terror, she does not yet rule by actual force. If the influence of the Cossacs is felt in France, their tents are not permanently pitched in

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the Elysian fields. The war of western indepen-
dence is still, as I have said, to be fought; and
until it has been actually fought and decided in
favour of Russia, there will be room for hope and a
chance of success for the other powers ; because, if
we even suppose these materials of resistence to be
in themselves wholly inadequate, they have still in
their favour the possibility of some fortunate occur-
rence of an accidental character. Accidents, how-
ever, being, as such, beyond the reach of anticipation,
it is only upon an estimate of the existing mate-
rials of resistance, as they will probably be em-
ployed, that any calculation can be formed upon the
subject; and the chance of success for the western
upon any

such calculations, appears at present to be extremely small. What these materials are has already been stated in a general way. The basis of the true European system has been shown to be a strict alliance between the three great continental powers and the cooperation of Great Britain and the states of a secondary order. This system is, as I have also observed, completely vitiated at present by the unnatural and anti-European union of Austria and Prussia with Russia. For, if Russia alone is more than a match for all the rest of Europe together, it is evident enough, that when she is aided by Prussia, as a passive ally,


and Austria as an active one, the latter carrying with her the effective command of the whole of Germany and Italy, the possibility of resistance by the remaining western powers is entirely out of the question. If, therefore, there is any chance of a restoration of the balance of power, it can only be in consequence of the detachment of Austria and Prussia from the triple alliance. But this event is highly improbable; for the same cause which created or rather consolidated this alliance will continue to operate, for a long time, with increasing force, and as long as it operates, will of necessity prevent the dissolution of the treaty.

Notwithstanding the persecution to which the liberal political opinions are now exposed on the continent of Europe, there is very little doubt that they will continue to gain ground among the people. This very persecution is, in fact, one of the principal causes which will promote their progress; and as it is pushed to a greater excess in Germany than it is any where else, so it is in Germany that the progress of liberal opinions will be most rapid. This circumstance might at first view appear very favourable to the independence of the western powers, since, if all the German states, including Austria, assumed a decidedly liberal political aspect, it may be supposed that they

would fall off from the Russian alliance and attach themselves to the constitutional states in the west. This, in reality, would be the case if the principles of liberty could be brought into operation instantaneously in every part of Germany; and the governments of the several states be changed in the twinkling of an eye, without there being any possibility of the interference of Russia in the events connected with such a change. But this being impossible, and it being certain, on the contrary, that such a result, though rapidly approaching, must still be preceded by an intervening period of disunion, and of bitter and obstinate struggles between conflicting factions for ascendancy in the several states, it is evident that the development of liberal principles in Germany will tend to strengthen the influence of Russia in the west of Europe, and to draw more close instead of loosening the bands of the triple alliance. This influence already operates so strongly in Germany, as to prevent the quiet and natural ascendancy of liberal principles, and to leave them no other form in which to display their force, except that of violent explosions or revolutions. Such events, therefore, are quite probable; but their results would be ruinous instead of favourable to the independence of the nations, where they occurred. Suppose, for example, an explosion to oc

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