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think it politic, since the succession of his own throne is so doubtful, to secure, at all events, to young Oscar the quiet enjoyment of the vice-royalty of Sweden, when it shall become a province of Russia. Should this happen, Russia would have a line of sea-coast from the Gulf of Finland to Behring's Straitfrom the German Ocean to the Pacific. For what purpose, then, does Russia keep in commission so large a fleet in the Baltic as eighteen sail of the line and as many frigates, which she paraded last summer fully manned and well equipped ? She has no enemy at home-she has no foreign possessions to protect-she has no interests in the Mediterranean that require a single ship-she has neither port, nor island, nor a foot of territory, nor any trade in that quarter that calls for her interference or protection.

Turning our attention to the Black Sea-although every possible caution is used for concealment of what is there going on, it is nevertheless well known that, for some time past, the most active operations have been in progress preparatory for some hostile movement: she has no enemy there that can touch her—she is in possession of all the shores of that close sea, except where her humbled ally still keeps a few leagues on the southern coasts—she has taken care that no foreign ship of war can even approach that sea; yet warlike preparations are inaking with the utmost activity. We have seen a sketch of the works which are constructing round the naval arsenal of Sevastopol, and which when finished will completely protect it against any force ever likely to be brought against it. From private information, on which we are disposed to rely, we are told, as far back as December, 1834,

• Extensive military preparations are making by Russia in the Black Sea, where she has put twenty-five ships of the line on the stocks, and intends increasing her fleet there to sixty sail of different sizes. Workmen are employed night and day in adding to the fortifications of Sevastopol.'

From another correspondent we learn that—.

· All the docks in the Black Sea are in great activity; a great number of naval officers arrive daily from the ports of the Baltic at Sevastopol overland; and since the summer (of 1834) no less than 12,000 men have been constantly employed in rendering the position of this fortress impregnable. They are also increasing the number of their steam-vessels. They expect six from England, armed and manned by Englishmen, who are well paid, and hired for three years. One has already gone by way of Lisbon and Malta, the “ Peter the Great,” Captain Fox.

To enable Russia to carry on her operations unseen, and without being under the necessity of making application for supplies to any foreign state, that might create suspicion, her provinces adjacent

VOL. LIV. NO, CVIlI.

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to the Black Sea furnish abundance of the required materials, timber, iron, copper, and cordage may be procured at small cost and almost to any extent; and when ships are brought down to the Sea of Marmora or the Dardanelles, she will find no difficulty in getting them manned from the islands of the archipelago, by some of those amiable Greeks whose trade as pirates and pilots has at length nearly been destroyed. The Greeks, indeed, have a bond of union with the Russians in their common religion; and good pay will not be wanting in so vital a service, whenever the crisis may arrive—not of contesting for the supremacy in the Black Sea, which they already have-the wanton affair of Navarin* gave them that; but for the far nobler object of ambitionthe supremacy in the Mediterranean! Ten years ago all this would have appeared a chimera; but friends and foes have unfortunately alike contributed to realize the audacious projects of Catharine; and unless Turkey should regain her independence through the aid of England and France, which we think they are bound to give, so as to be enabled to oppose an effective barrier to the passage of a Russian fleet through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, we may ere long see the full completion of those long contemplated designs. It is not altogether concealed that the anxious wish of the Russians is to be released from their imprisonment in the Black Sea—and who doubts that this, on accomplished, would open a new era to Russia, to the development of her internal resources, and the vast extension of her foreign influence ?

This release can only follow the occupation of the Dardanellesthat is, the acquisition of an advanced position that renders her invulnerable, and which gives her in addition an immense empire, men, treasures, materials, and a fleet. One hundred sail will be ready a month after the occupation to issue from the straits. What then would happen it is not difficult to foresee.

Greece thrown into utter confusion--the puny monarchy of the Bavarian boy destroyed—the imbecile government dissolved—the Ionian Islands insulted and plundered - the Levant trade cut up, and for a time annihilated. France, equally unprepared with ourselves, would be pretty much in the same predicament.

We see all this and much more coming ; time is all that is required for the consummation ; time wears on-yet what are we doing-what is to be done? Lord Durham is gone to St. Petersburg-what can he do there that will change the progress of events? It has been whispered that the Emperor was to be requested to disurmmodest and amiable assurance! Imagine the yell of laughter that wonld arise from the Sclavonic millions if they were told to disarm!' Imagine Lord Durham-another Æschines addressing another Philip-requesting Nicholas to DISARM! No, we must play our game, and strive to win it—not ask our antagonist to remove his pieces from the board. Russia plays for conquest; her existence, perhaps voluntarily at first, but irrevocably now, is involved in her success. The northern hordes sigh for Asia Minor, the Russian nobles for the Bosphorus. Her navies await the signal to unmoor, her million of soldiers the word to march; if they wait patiently it is to make more sure. Ask the Emperor for any proof of his moderation, his generosity, or his condescension'—any pledge, any guarantee, on any point, and you will receive a gracious reply. You may receive, as 'proofs of his imperial condescension, a few firmans for the passage of the Dardanelles, or even a commercial treaty with Persia, or a shorter quarantine on the Danube ; but all these advantages will be sacrificed if the word disarm is only whispered.

* The fleet of an ally peaceably at anchor in the bay of Navarin, consisting of three sail of the line and nineteen frigates, was attacked by ten sail of the line and ten frigates, led on by three admirals; and the cruel havoc which they were able to make, magnified in quackish and gasconading phrase into utter destruction, was rewarded as a victory! The high character and renown of the British navy were not gained by such victories as this.

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We cannot afford to follow Mr. Quin through the rest of his travels. He has some entertaining chapters on his ride across the Balkan-on Adrianople and Constantinople—on Smyrna-on Athens-on the Ionian Islands and their late governor, Lord Nugent, whose administration is highly lauded-and, finally, on Venice, Rome, and Naples. But these regions have been so often described of late years, and most of them by such able writers, that we may without disrespect pass over the results of Mr. Quin's rapid progress homewards. It appears from various passages, that he is a Roman Catholic, and from many more that he is rather a keen Whig; but still we are bound to say, that he deserves the title, in its true and best sense, of a liberal traveller-and we therefore hope to hear more news of him in this capacity.

Art. X. - Ion; a Tragedy. London. 1835. (Privately

printed.) THIS poem, to which we hazarded an allusion in our last

Number, has been placed at our disposal ; but as the writer persists in not publishing it, we should hardly consider ourselves justified in making it the subject of a minute critical examination. We embrace, however, the opportunity of gratifying our readers with a few specimens of a tragic composition, which, after re2 L 2

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peated perusal, we are satisfied must ultimately fix the name of Mr. Talfourd on a very high station in contemporary literature. We know, indeed, of no work of this class, produced in recent times which affords more complete evidence of its author's capacity to place himself, if he chose, in the rank of our classical dramatists. . He has studied the art thoroughly, and apprehends its resources and its difficulties as nothing but severe meditation can enable any man to do: in what he has attempted he has succeeded admirably; and though he modestly doubts whether he could have adequately fulfilled a harder task, we are persuaded that few who study his piece will participate in that suspicion.

The beautiful. Ion' of Euripides has suggested the name of the hero, and some circumstances of his position at the opening of

Like the fatherless and motherless' boy of the Greek tragedian, he is a foundling, who has been nursed and reared within a temple, and is now employed in the services of the place ; but with these exceptions, and that of a few scattered images, the modern author has taken nothing from that particular play. With the spirit of the high Greek drama, however, his whole mind and manner are deeply imbued ; and yet, as genius never did nor can display itself without some bearing on the thoughts, and feelings, and tastes of its own age, he has given us a tragedy which, while it must afford peculiar and exquisite delight to the classical scholar, might, we think, with some slight alterations, be produced with extraordinary effect on our own stage ; that is to say, supposing us to be in possession of two or three actors qualitied to embody the lofty and graceful conceptions of a true tragic poet.

The object and general plan of · Ion' are thus opened to us m a short preface :

• The idea of the principal character,-that of a nature essentially pure and disinterested, deriving its strength entirely from goodness and thought, not overcoming evil by the force of will, but escaping it by an insensibility to its approach-vividly conscious of existence and its pleasures, yet willing to lay them down at the call of duty,-is scarcely capable of being rendered sufficiently striking in itself, or of being subjected to such agitations as tragedy requires in its heroes. It was necessary, in order to involve such' a character in cireumstances which might excite terror, or grief, or joy, to introduce other machinery than that of passions working naturally within, or events arising from ordinary and probable motives without; as its own elements would not supply the contests of tragic emotion, nor would its sufferings, however accumulated, present a varied or impressive picture. Recourse has therefore been had—not only to the old Grecian notion of Destiny, apart from all moral agencies, and to a prophecy indicating its purport in reference to the individuals involved in its chain, ---but to the idea of fascination, as ati engine by

which Fale may work its purposes on the innocent mind, and force it into terrible action, most uncongenial to itself, but necessary to the issue. Either perhaps of these aids might have been permitted, if used in accordance with the entire spirit of the piece; but the employment of both could not be justified in a drama intended for visual presentation, in which a certain verisimilitude is essential to the faith of the spectator. Whether any groups surrounded with the associations of the Greek mythology, and subjected to the capricious laws of Greek superstition, could be endowed by genius itself with such present life as to awaken the sympathies of an English audience, may well be doubted; but it cannot be questioned that except by sustaining a stern unity of purpose, and breathing an atmosphere of Grecian sentiment over the whole, so as to render the picture national and coherent in all its traits, the effect must be unsatisfactory and unreal. Conscious of my inability to produce a work thus justified to the imagination by its own completeness and power, I have not attempted it ; but have sought, out of mere weakness, for · Fate and metae physical aid' to crown withal' the ordinary persons of a romantic play.'-Prefaco, p. ix.

We are of opinion that to real genius an audience would freely grant all and more than Mr. Talfourd has feared to ask for himself. But we shall not at present enter into any vexed questions.

The destiny of this piece hangs over the royal race of Argos; and the prophecy announces that the vengeance which their misrule has brought down on their people, in the form of a wide and wasting pestilence, can only be disarmed by the utter extirpation of the guilty house. The reigning king, Adrastus-whose character and history have from the beginning been darkened by his kuowledge of such a prophecy-conceives bimself to be a childless man; and maddened with the sense of this terrible doom being concentrated on his head, he has felt and acted as one cut off, from the hour of his birth, from all possibility either of human sympathy or of divine compassion. While the plague is ravaging his city, and the senators and priests are sending their deputations to Delphi, in hopes of grace or guidance, the prince continues shut up in his palace, apparently insensible to the calamity around its gates, deaf to the cries of his people, inaccessible to his councillors, and plunged in a reckless career of debauchery, in which the captaius of his guard are his sole companions. The pestilence spreading more and more fiercely, and the mission to Delphi not having returned within the expected time, the priests and elders of Argos resolve to send once more to the palace, and implore their king to come forth and join with them in some solemn ceremonial calculated to appease the divine wrath; but the last messenger u bo bad gone on such an errand had been beaten and scourged, and brought back for answer, that the next should be instantly put

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