lie continues his favour to his own confidential agent (Mr.
Strangways), who ha^ commended the act so denounced, and
volunteered his testimony against any misconstruction of my
conduct respecting it — then do I assert, not indeed tliat I
am uujustly treated, but that the prhiciplesof Eastern policy,
of which I was the advocate, and which had previously
triumphed in London, were to be overthrown through my
disgrace. Lord Palmerston was to escape from the conse-
quences of the part he had taken therein by marking me as
the guilty victim, by the sacriiice of which harmony was to
be restored between his language in 1836, and his deeds in
That no misunderstanding may possibly exist as to the
value of the only allegation against me contained in Lord
Palmerston's letter of June 20th — namely my encouragement
given to Mr. J. Bell (which rests only on my own testimony,
and on a private letter which ought neither to have been
communicated nor used) — I must state that the step which
I encouraged was entering the territory of the independent
Circassians, in violation, of course, of any supposed Russian
regulations ; that offence, if offence it be, has been over and
over again repeated, afid as often approved by his Ijordship.
In 1834, I, confidentially employed by the British Govern-
ment, with the sanction and by the advice of His Majesty's
ambassador at Constantinople, did so enter that country. I
was not censured for so doing, but on the contrary my con-
duct was approved, my views adopted, and I was advanced
in a manner that extraordinary services and important views
could only justify. In 1836, Mr. Stewart, as alluded to in
Lord Palmerston's letter, admitting my statement on the
subject, was sent into the same country, equally in defiance
of all Russian regulations, by Lord Ponsonby. At the end
of the same' year Mr. Bell and the Fixeit were sent by tht
joint concurrence of tlie Foreign Office, nnd of tlie ambas-
sador at Constantinople. After the capture of the Vixen,
Mr. Strans2:\vaYs wrote to me to get some person fitted to
describe Circassia, and to send him to tliat country, which
communication has been in Lord Pahnerston's possession
since September 20th, without leading to the removal of that
officer, rinally. Lord Ponsonby has held communication
with that country through individuals sent there by himself
(one of them a discarded servant of my own, of the name of
Andrew, who has recently been accused of abstracting the
corrcspondcucc of the Englishmen in Circassia), in equal
violation V the Regulations under which the illegality of tlie
voyage lias been assumed, and English property confiscated.
To this letter there was an elaborate reply from Mr.
Backhouse, but no statement or inference here contained was
Statement of Lord Palmerston in the House or Commons,
March 1st, 1S48 :—
" In those circumstances a certain Mr, Bell imagined tiiat
he would take a shipful of salt to Circassia, and ' try the
question.' The Bussian Government had i-wned an edict
p'ohlbitirig tlie importation of salt, or I belie^^ rather
generallij establishinf/ a blockade a(jaiud tlie coast; and Mr.
Bell determined to take a shipful of salt, of which the Cir-
cassians wore greatly in need, and to see what Russia would
do ; intending, if the ship were seized, to demand restitution
from the Government, and that being refused by Bussia, that
Great Britain should send a fieet to the Baltic, endeavour to
destroy the Bussian arsenals — in short, that there should be
a regular ' set-to ' between this country and Bussia. I have
been accused frequently of being too warlike ; but I own
that my courage did not rise to that point. I did not fancy
it. Not liking the matter, I gave to Mr. Bell the answers
which were published — which I knew very well would be
published next day in the papers — which were charged with
being evasive, and like some answers which one gives in this
House, when one's official duties prevent him gratifying the
curiosity of an hon. Member. However, the result icaa tJuit
Mr. Bdl was so discourafjed iJiat lie gave up all intentions of
(joiiKj io the Circassian coast, lie had gone to Constantinople;
880 THE DANUBE AND EUXINE.
but lie was warned by Lord Ponsonby, our Ambassador, to
take care not to violate the Kussian blockade. He did tlien
give up his intention of going to Circassia. All of a sudden,
however, he took it up again. His ship was seized by a
THE EASTERN POLICY OF ENGLAND AND
FROM THE BAEON V, PROKESCH, PRESIDENT OF THE
Note to p. 303.
M. V. Prokesch is not only the first diplomatist of Austria
but the first writer, perhaps, I might say, the first German
writer. His works not being accessible to the English or
French public, I subjoin some extracts from the third volume
of his Memoirs, in which he has recorded his contemporary
opinion of that Treaty by which England and France first
bound themselves to concert their "policy " with Eussia. The
details connected with the Battle of Navarino well deserved
to be recalled.
It is astonishing that an individual who has so extensively
used the Press should not be disqualified for the highest
official stations in Austria, and that in the diplomatic branch ;
and the more so when we consider the nature of his works,
which are not confined within the pale of the abstruser
orders of literature, and are addressed and adapted to the
most popular portion of the Public. They are not the out-
pourings of a fertile imagination, nor the accumulation of an-
unquiet and industrious spirit. Seldom, indeed, is the didactic
tone assumed, but throughout there is evidence of a mind
at work for an end, to advance which labour is undergone,
incidents are accumulated, and pictures drawn, to serve as
NOTES. "^ '"^^^T 831
vehicles for thought. He spares no toil, and will write a
Tolume to slip in a phrase. The end in view is neither a
political purpose nor a speculative theory ; it is to urge the
mind of his reader to a useful effort, and, himself above them,
his war is with the doctrines of our times and the fallacies
of our opinion. • He has not hesitated to enter upon the
transactions in which he has bortie so prominent a part, and
on the interests and objects of the governments of Europe,
He has not disguised what it was important for the nations
of Europe to know ; he is indeed cautious but not reserved.
M. V. Prokesch has been able throughout a long and
laborious life to stand by himself and to suffice for himself ;
he has advanced from station to station in the government
considered the most umbrageous at home and servile abroad
whilst incessantly addressing himself to the public and avow
ing opinions in reference to Eussia which severally must
have excluded him from public service in England or in France,
This in itself is a fact, second in importance to none of those
that hav^ agitated the world in latter times ; it is a flag of
hope held out at a moment when the few who see are crushed
by despondency ; Austria is not lost when she possesses such
a man and dares to trust him ; Europe is saved for the pre-
sent, at least when the policy of any government is directed
by a man combining capacity and character.
Baron von FroJcescWs Memoirs, vol. iii, p. 538.
Smyrna, Oct. 3c?, 1827.
I have, in judging of the future, invariably found that th
simple, clear, "immediate view, the first impression, canied the
day over the best planned scheme for which I have not unfre-
quently been tempted to give up my original plan. In the
same manner, unless I am altogether mistaken, England and
Erance are miserably deceiving themselves and are working
out the plans of the Cabinet of St. Petersburg. They say
they are binding Russia, and see not that it is they who are
bound. They desire to prevent Ilussia's making war, so they
endeavour to gain for her objects. I fear that even Greece,
the immediate pretext, but in reality a subordinate matter,
will not be the gainer, but will deeply rue the Treaty which it
882 THE DANUBE AND EUXINE.
has received witli such rejoicing. The news of Carming^s
death reached us on Sept. 7th. . . . Russia will not rejoice
a little thereat, for it makes her success the more certain.
Smyrna, Nov. 3^, 1827.
The London Treaty has led to becoming results. There is
now only the Russian war remaining. How greatly wall the
crime and madness of the battle of Navarin be praised in
Europe. How loud will be the accusations and regrets, and
how completely will men's eyes be opened. Public opinion
is usually led by passion, never by reason, and rarely even
by instinct. . . . Every word that appears in the European
papers about the battle is false. The battle was necessary as
winter was coming on, and the west coast of the Morea is,
to say the h:ast, an inconvenient cruising ground. It was
necessary since ordinary means of coercion were found
insufficient, and because the iniiuence of public opinion was
making itself dreaded. Codrington was led by ambition to
commit this crime. Rigny looked only at the English, and
felt himself a Frenchman. Heiden alone acted as a man who
knew what he was about.
As a pretext for the battle, the Admirals on the 19th
demanded ths immediate return of the Turkish Eieet to
Constantinople, and of the Egyptian to Alexandria, as well
as the cessation of all acts of hostility within the Peninsula.
The grounds given were, that Ibrahim had broken his word
in making the attempt to supply Patras wdth provisions, and
that therefore further security was necessary. That Pafras
had been attacked by the Greeks during the truce enforced by
the allies, and that the Turkish Chief sailed from one Turkish
haven to another, went for nothing. Equally little did it
avail that Ibrahim w^as in the interior, and that his officers
asked for time to consult him. Hamilton had found Kiaja-
Bey fighting with the Mainotes in the Gulph of Corinth ; he
ordered him to desist — the Turk obeyed, yet even this was
used as a pretext. Under pretence of taking in water on the
19th an English frigate was sent into the harbour to observ^e
the position of the Turkish fleet ; and on the 30th the whole
allied fleet with Codrington's ship the Asia leading, sailed in
and took up a position within a pistol shot of the Turkish
anchors, each vessel having a spring on the cable. The
Turks anticipating no attack, but at most a menace, and
detennined to ^ive no excuse for hostilities, made no
opposition. Tlicir land batteries which might have disputed
the eutrance, were silent as the ships. When all was ready
the frigate Dartmouth ordered two Turkish lireships to raise
their anchors and move to a greater distance — The Com-
mander replied, that it was the custom in every harbour in
the World that the ship last arrived should anchor where
there was room and should not disturb ships already moored.
The Dartmouth threateued to cut their cables — The Turk
replied he would not endure it without exercising his right
of firing on the boat that attempted it. The boat was sent
the fire ship opened upon it with musquetry, the Dartmouth
replied with cannon — Codrington gave the signal, and the
attack began along the whole line. . . . The Turks fought
with desperation, in spite of their confined position, their
being surprised, and their want of men, besides they had only
three line of battle ships against ten. The action began at
22" — by sunset the destruction was complete. The Armida
had taken three frigates, on board of which the Turkish
wounded and prisoners were placed, but prisoners made in
peace being looked upon as an embarrassment, orders were
£2:iven to sink the three frigates, which was instantly done.
During the night the Turks destroyed many of their own
ships. The rising sun of the 2 1st shone upon wrecks and
corpses, the remains of three line battle ships, three iirst-rate
frigates and eighteen second-rate, the corvettes and six
smaller vessels. The first blossoms of the Cairo schools, the
Egyptian youth, was destroyed. The victors were embarrassed
by no prisoners.
The news of this philanthropic battle reached ns on the
27th. We warned the Pasha to prepare for the burst of fuiy
which this treason would produce amongst the Turks both of
town and country. The immediate effect was terrific,
thousands of Christians, men, women, and children huiTying
in wild panic to the ships, fearing that the 80,000 Turks in
the city would rise to avenge their countrymen and their
faith. The panic was felt through all Asia Minor, but no
outrage occurred, and we observed with wonder and respect
the bearing and self-restraint of the Turks.
Poor Greece, only a miracle can save thee ! Abuse of
power, bold arrogance, and the trampling under foot of all
rights — these are midwives which can bring nought but a
334 THE DANUBE AND EXUINE.
slave into the world. The independence which you had
neither virtue nor courage to gain for yourself is lost for ever.
Instead of a Turkish you will find yourself a Bussian province,
and a thousand times, with tears in your eyes and without
hope in your heart, you wiU look back with regret to your
former state. Europe looks on at your destruction and claps
her hands, for by the bills posted on the walls the play ift-
called " Ths Fueedom of Greece.'*
Treaty with Austria for the Free Nam^jation of
W HEN the first cargo which arrived under it was seized,
this Treaty was discovered to be the "most extraordinary-
proceeding in the history of this or any other country."*
Yet, to the sagacious mind of an Ex-Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer the perusal of the subjoined clause ought to have
suggested that conclusion long before.
" All Austrian vessels piwceeding from the Harbours of tJie
Danube as far as Gdatz, inckisive, as well as their cargoes,
may sail direct for the 2^orts of Great Britain, and of all other
possessions of her Britannic Majesty, as if tliey came direct
from the Harbours of Austria ; and, reciprocally, all English
vessels, as well as their cargoes, shall be admitted into tJie
Austrian Harhours, and depart therefrom with the same inr-
munities as Austrian vessels."
If this age is modest as to diplomacy, it is somewhat con-
fident in its geography. Was there no " Penny Cyclopaedia"
in the House?
Below Galatz the Danube flows between Turkish and
Hussian territories ; above Galatz it flows through Turkish
territory, up to the frontiers of Hungary, where the Iron
Gate arrests the upward navigation as completely as if the
height and foam of Niagara interposed. Neither above nor
below Galatz is there an Austrian port.
This is a "Reciprocity Treaty," granting the faculty of
importing the produce of their own territory, and the non-
enumerated articles, the pj-oduce of other countries of Europe,
• Mr. Hemes.
336 THE DANUBE AND EUXINE.
on tlic payment of no higher duties than British vessels ; but
in this case the privilege is to extend to all ports of the
Danube, as fcir as Galatz, that is, to ports not Austrian ; yet
the treaty is with Austria, and admits to these harbours
English vessels as Austrian. Every man connected with
commerce or politics knew that a Hcciprocity Treaty could
not have effect in neutral tenitoi-y ; but, to their minds^
•' the mistake was too gross to be committed in a Treaty,'*
and credence f>Tew from incredulitv- The world is now at
least six thousand years old ; but tutrrc has never yet ap-
peared, maturity such as this, of contemptuous invention —
dotage such as tV.is, of decrepit belief.
When people say that a thing is extraordinary, they would
generally imply that to them it is incomprehensible. When,
therefore, after the. announcement from the throne or this
Treaty and that with Turkey, they believe it to be deep as it
was dark, it was only that they feared that any one should
suspect they had not fathomed it. After a time, however,
an adventurous spirit arose among the leaders of the people,
and they approached the stream. They stripped and plunged
in, and each in turn, baffled by his own lightness, reboimded
to the surface, and back to the bank, dry. The darkly-
rolling Danube, the while, bore on to futurity, the mystery
in its troubled breast.
The first who rushes in, of course, is Lord Aberdeen, who,,
on the 8th of Eebruary, 1839, sought Vo find ''how under
this Treaty British vessels could be admitted as Austrian
into Turkish ports ? "
A voice like Lord Melbourne's answers from the waters :
" That adcantarje must be procured by another Treaty''
I am ashamed, yet constrained, to explain.
The professed object was to admit into England Austrian.
vessels bringing Turkish produce from Turkish ports on the
same terms as if they brought Austrian produce from
Austrian ports, that could be effected only by a concurrent
Treaty with Turkey, and a Bill in Parliament. Lord
Aberdeen does not ask how this is to be effected, but some-
THEATY Vv^ITlI AUSTRIA. 857
thing else whicli has no analogy to the Treaty, or the facts.
Lord Melbourne's answer has as little to do with the question
as the question with tlic Treaty. Indeed, he answers the
question tliat Lord Aberdeen ought to have put, and for
whieh he was prepared. However, the ex-foreign minister is
perfectly satisfied, and believes he has suggested, or hastened,
a negotiation to confer on English bottoms an Austrian
natioivility in Turkish ports !
Two days later in the Commons, Lord Palmerston states
that the contemplated purposes are to be earned out by
"MUTUAL CONSENT."* If the omissiou of Treaties can be
thus repaired, why treat?
What mutual consent could bring Austrian vessels in
against the Navigation Laws. Now the "Austrian harbours "
have dissolved into " Turkish ports."
Sir Robert PceL after an eulogium on the document and
negotiation inquires, *' Whether another Treaty mtU Turlcf/
was not necessary to secure the full ' advantages of the
Austrian Treaty ? *' Lord Palmerston tells him that " Nothing^
of the kind is required, as to the footing on which ships
coming from the Danube are to proceed, and no engagement
necessary between Austria and England. Sir Robert Feel is
refractory, and again asks, " whether Turkey cannot imposs
restrictlo7is on the Danube, \mless she is a concurrent party in
the Treaty ? On Lord Palmerstou's emphatic " she cannot,'*
the matter drops.
But one unquiet spirit being settled, another rises : to the
knight of Tamworth, succeeds the thane of Haddo, who-
rides fiercely in, and charges on his adversary unchivalrous
tergiversation. But he himself has shifted his grounds,
when he asserts that it is clear that without the concur-
rence of the Forte, British vessels co?ild not be received into
* " By mutual consent the benefits oi'tlic treaty are to be applied
to the ships of either eountiy coming not direct from the porlcs of the
other country, but from any ports above Galatz, that is, the Turkish
ports of the Danube."
338 THE DANUBE AND EUXINl!;.
Lord Melbourne's answer is worthy of a place in the
British Museum. The Ti-eaty was a bad Treaty, the stipu-
ation a worthless stipulation, and he apprehended that
nothing repugnant to this view had been said in the other
House ; it was, in fact, a freak of Austria, who wished to do
something impossible, and which the English Go-vernment,
for peace and quietness, consented to.* So that it was only
a schoolboy-romp with the Austrian plenipotentiaries, and a
practical joke on the Queen, the Opposition, and the mer-
chants of the Danube.
At least here is the avowal of Austria's anxiety to do
something in reference to the Danube which England had
frustrated. Lord Melbourne would make it appear that this
was a Treaty with Turkey, and that the other Treaty to
allow British vessels to enter as Austrian into Turkish ports,
was therefore still necessary. Lord Palmerston declares it
was not ; that everything was to be settled by " mutual
consent." All this while no one perceives that the whole
question lies in the state of the law at home. They ai*e
bandied about from post to pillar, from Austria to Turkey,
and from Turkey to Austria, and back again into the river,
in order that they may not see that they have got before them,
a Mutilated Treaty,
The shippers of the Danube dive also ; they get through
the foam and surge of " Austrian " and " Turkish ports," of
*' Turkish prohibitions to the navigation of the Danube ; " and
opening their eyes in the clear water, perceive what the
gladiatorial intellects of the British senate had never di'eamt
* ** That the stipulation complained of was an Austrian stipula-
tion — that it was prepared by the Austrian Pleni]3otentiary, and
insisted upon by him — that those eiigaged in the negotiation on tho
part of this country saw that it was hable to this objection ; yet, as it
was the wish of the Austrian Goveriiment, the stipulation wa»
inserted. Therefore there was no question but that there was a sti-
pulation to do a certain thing vipon the ^art of Austria^ wliich
Austria had no povrer to do, and therefore -which was not binding
upon Austria, and he apprehended that notldng repugnant io iltis
7iad heen stated in tlie other Jlonse" — Lord Ilelbourne,
TREATY WITH AUSTRIA. ^59
of, — a relaxation of the Navigation Laws. Scarcely had six
weeks elapsed from the announcement from the throne, and
the skinnishiug in the Houses of Parliament, when the seizure
at Gloucester of a cargo of Turkish produce, shipped at a
Turkish port, in an Austrian bottom, reveals the hoax.
Did then, the Austrian shippers misconceive the Treaty ?
Not in the least. But into whose mind could it have then
entered that the English Government should set down as a
stipulation in a Treaty, a concession which they never made ?
Now (25th of March), Lord Aberdeen has discovered
" that the advantage of the Treaty cannot be enjoyed without
a relaxation of the Navigation Laws/' Lord Melbourne
*' admits" that this relaxation ought to have been made;
** confesses " that he cannot teU why it has not ; is " not
able " even to ascertain what the reason has been — for Mr.
Poidett Thomson is in Canada. But he " supposes " " that
as negotiations icere on foot with TurJiei/" he did not think
fit to apply to Parliament " twice iijpon the same subject." —
And again the subject drops.
The vessel is released under a nominal fine, and the
leaders of the Opposition are satisfied that matters are put
straight ; but again there is a difTerence between them and
the shippers of the Danube. They will no longer trust to an
English Treaty, or take the explanations of an English minister,
and consequently no more cargoes of grain are shipped from
the obnoxious Danube. A powerful opposition, meanwhile,
believe that they had taken steps to realise the "full
advantages " of the measures which they had applauded to
This transaction is the counterpart of the one we shall
presently have to examine with Turkey. Eussia, indeed,
did not prevent, by menace, the exportation of Austrian
produce ; but she stopped its passage through the Danube.
Austrian Ministers were not apprehensive for their lives ;
tut they were hampered by other considerations.* Like
* The highest pereonages had pensions, and influential ladies were
in debt to the Czar.
S40 THE DANUBE AND EUXINE.
Turkey, Austria, holding England to be the antagonist of
Eussia,* applied to her, wishing that the measure should
come as her proposal. Prince Metternich and Count Koh>
■wrat adopted precisely the same course as Achmet Pasha and
Perteff Pasha. They had the co-operation of the ambassador,
Lord Beauvale, and, througli him, of his brother, the Prime
Minister; the Foreign Minister found himself, as in the
Turkish Treaty, placed under the necessity of accepting
ostensibly a project which he was resolved secretly to frus-
Austria, to remove every possibility of delay or miscon-
ception, offered to place her interests in the negotiation with
Turkey, in the hands of the English negotiators ; and the
g-entleman who was to have charge of it was hurriedly
despatched to Milan, where the Emperor then was with
Prince Metternich, the Treaty being to be sent after him the
next or the following day. It v.-as delaj^ed and altered.
* On tlio person of Latom* was found a letter to M. Prokcscb,
clited Athens, 30th of August, 1S48, which sliows tliis delusion was
not universal at Vienna : — " What makes me most mieasy are our
unfortunate relations tviih rerjard to Hungary. I think we ought