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have no right to claim exclusive possession,”! “*M. Basily, the Russian consul-general, was the verdict which our ambassador de continues Mr. Finn, afterwards called on clared as being “equitable." The Sultan the commissioner at his house, and insisted accordingly issued a firman, sanctioning and upon the great firman being read. The confirming this decision. Copies were ad commissioner inquired, What firman? That dressed to the contending parties, and to which you yourself drew up with your own the governor at Jerusalein, with strict in- hands, as second secretary at Constantinople, junctions “to attend scrupulously to the 'declaring that the Latin claims to the sancexecution of its contents, and to have it tuaries are pull and void. The Bey exduly registered in the records of the court plained that he had no directions to read of justice.” The Sultan, however, gave it, and could not go beyond his special inM. Titoff a vizierial letter, pledging that the structions.' “ Latins should not pass through the great “Such was the method adopted by the door of the church at Bethlehem” (B. B., Ottoman government to realize the jast part i., p. 47). A well-known lecturer thus expectations of the Russian minister and the describes the proceedings relative to the Greek community - expectations founded publication of the firman:
upon a firman invested with the solemnity " To render the decisions embodied in the of a hatti-sheriff, and which would, if it firman effectual, it was indispensable that had been honestly granted and honestly they should be made public at Jerusalem, executed, have been a charter of religious around which city the holy places are rights, which, while confirming the privileges situated, so that the members of the differ- of the Latins, would have secured to the ent Christian churches might know how the Greeks all which either they or the Czar disputed questions had been settled, and had ever demanded. We afterwards make how, for the future, they were to conduct the discovery-and it is one which inspires themselves in relation to the sanctuaries the utmost disgust-that the Porte, while and to each other.
giving the firman to the Greeks, gave at the “ On this subject we have a despatch of same time a pledge to France, that it should Colonel Rose, in which he says:
not be read at Jerusalem (B. B., part i., “It was contended by the Russian am- p. 50), in other words, that it should be bassador that if the firman be not read, practically a dead letter. according to usage at Jerusalem, before the “Colonel Rose, Sir Hamilton Seymour, and pasha, cadi, members of the council, and even the ministers of the Sultan, admit that patriarchs of the different sects, it will be a breach of faith, altogether indefensible, valueless and a dead letter, and that conse was committed, and that all principles of quently faith will bave been broken with honour, as well as all rules of ordinary Russia' (B. B., part ii., p. 46).
decency, in the conduct of government “Afif Bey, an Ottoman functionary of supe- affairs, were flagitiously violated." rior rank, was appointed to convey to the The next important proceeding was that governor and council of Jerusalem the im- projected by the Czar, a feature in this conperial firman, and the supposition was that troversy undeniably establishing the fact he was charged to see it published with all that he was determined to preserve peace due forin and solemnity." That this was at any cost, unless all hope of fair and not done, is proved by a despatch written by honourable dealing was at an end. He Mr. Finn, the British consul at Jerusalem, accordingly despatched Prince Menschikou who was in the city at the time of Afif to Constantinople on a special mission. On Bey's arrival, and was a witness of his pro- this head a clergyman, partial to the war, ceedings. He says:
|thus speaks:-"Mr. John Bright says that “* Afif Bey then invited all the parties he (M. Lavalette, the French ambassador) concerned to meet him in the Church of the urged his demands in language more insallo Virgin, near Gethsemane. There he reading than any which have been shown to an order of the Sultan's for permitting the have been used by Prince Menschikott. U Latins to celebrate mass once a year.' the softness or asperity of diplomatic lan
“ But not a word was heard of the firman guage I will be no judge, but the demands which had been specially prepared, with the urged upon the Sultan by the French alprofessed design of settling all disputes.
bassador were of a very different nature to hasty perusal enables me to form an opinion, those insisted upon by the Russians. The no exception, I should say, can be taken to French asked for privileges connected with the language of this document. It is written the holy places, the right for the Latins to in language of remonstrance rather than of enter by the door which was turned in the menace, and contains a temperate, though proper direction of the compass, and for a serious, enunciation of the grievances of bunch of keys, but Menschikoff asked the which the Emperor has to complain, in conSultan to recognize his master as the lawful sequence of the concessions made to the protector of the Greek Christians in Turkey" | Latin church at the expense of those inter(the right to which he possessed by ests which the Emperor is especially bound "treaty ").
to protect” (B. B., part i., p. 150). Of The first step taken by the French am- Menschikoff, M. E. Pisani, the Turkish bassador on the arrival of the prince at interpreter, says:-"His Highness (the SulConstantinople (without knowing what were tan) told me the language now held by the objects or instructions of Menschikoff) Prince Menschikoff is exceedingly mild and was to order “the French fleet immediately very friendly” (p. 107). The objects for to sail from Toulon to Salamis” (p. 98). which the prince had set out were, first to Admiral Dundas was also directed to “move secure an amicable settlement respecting his fleet from Malta to Vourla,” by order of the holy places, and to procure that "the the English ambassador, though that med- recognition of the rights to be secured to the dling and self-sufficient functionary had Greek church should be sanctioned by such been previously admonished by Lord John formalities as would give it the character of Russell to “take no part one way or another” an international engagement between Russia. (p. 77). The reason for this step was and Turkey” (B. B., part i., p. 141). because the Prince did not call upon the From the last quotation it might be inOttoman Minister for Foreign Affairs, this ferred by our readers, as it has been argued being improperly represented as an insult to by our opponents, that there was no necesTurkey. We are told that this was done sity for any interference between the Sultan “in pursuance of the orders of the Emperor and the Christians. Let us see. Lord of Russia, because His Imperial Majesty Clarendon, June 24th, 1853, says :-“ Your was of opinion tbat the Turkish minister Excellency is instructed to state to the had acted with bad faith to Russia.” Men- Porte, that it is the deliberate opinion of schikoff declared that “he intended no dis- Her Majesty's government that the only respect to the Sultan by the oinission of the real security for the continued existence of customary visit to his minister" (B. B., Turkey, as an independent power, is to be part i., p. 93). The hostile proceedings of sought by enlisting the feelings of its Christhe British ambassador referred to was tian subjects in its preservation; . . . and thus censured by Lord Clarendon on the that it is impossible that any true sym23rd of March :-"The circumstances re- pathy for the rulers will be felt by the ported in your despatch did not, in the Christians, so long as they are made to opinion of Her Majesty's government, render experience, in their daily transactions, the it necessary for you to request that the inferiority of their position, compared with British fleet should come to Vourla, and they that of their Mussulman fellow subjects, have entirely approved of the conduct of because they are deemed a degraded race, Admiral Dundas in not coinplying with your unworthy to be put in comparison with the request" (p. 112).
followers of Mahomet. Your Excellency Prince Menschikoff was the bearer of two will plainly and authoritatively state to the documents--an autograph letter from the Porte that this style of things cannot be Czar to the Sultan, and a note verbale, or a longer tolerated by Christian powers” statement of the demands claimed by Russia. (p. 294). So much for the country we are Lord Clarendon says of the former that “it fighting for. was written in a most friendly spirit, and At this period of the dispute, there apexbibited much respect for the authority of pears on the part of the British governHis Highness" (p. 93). Sir H. Seymour, ment a system of duplicity and double speaking of the latter, says: “As far as a dealing (even according to their own state. ments), which must disgust every impartial | but that of unqualified compliance with His · observer. The first fraud perpetrated was, Excellency's demands” (p. 151). M. Drouyn that we were in ignorance as to the inten- de Lhuys told Lord Cowley that his instructions of Russia. This statement is made in tions to the French ambassador at Conthe teeth of Menschikoff's announced mission, stantinople were, “that he is not to take being the bearer of a note verbale, and yet upon himself the responsibility of exciting we are told that a copy of the self-same the Ottoman government to refuse the denote was spontaneously sent from St. Peters- mands of Russia” (p. 175). The French burg to Baron Brunnow, " for the purpose of ambassador was of a somewhat kindred being communicated to Her Majesty's govern opinion, for our ambassador says, “ On comment” (p. 140).
paring notes the next day with M. de la Of this note it has been said that it con Cour, I found him under an impression tained demands of the most extraordinary that the Turkish ministers were disposed to character, insolent, audacious, and aggres- | shrink from encountering the consequences sive; that it placed the Sultan completely of Prince Menschikoff's retirement in disat the mercy of the Czar; and that the pleasure” (p. 177). Our ambassador, howOttoman empire and its independence were ever, evidently determined to neutralize the sacrificed for ever, if that note were complied pacific disposition of the Sultan and his with.
ministers, and to stifle the honest and sensiLord Stratford himself appeared perfectly ble advice of his diplomatic colleagues; for satisfied with the second and third points, on the following day he told the Sultan for, in a note to Rifant Pacha, giving his privately :-“I added, that in the present opinion as to what Turkey might accept in critical juncture of affairs the case might be relation to the four points of the note ver- different, and His Majesty might like to bale, he voluntarily concedes the two just know what I thought from my own lips. named; the fourth was one of form only. I then endeavoured to give him a just idea The first point, then, it is which has pro- of the degree of danger to which his empire voked all the tremendous invective and was exposed..... I concluded by apprising denunciatory declamation at the “insolence His Majesty of what I had reserved for his of Russia." For our own part, we confess our private ear, in order that his ministers inability to discover that insult in the first might take their decision without any bias point, which the keen perceptive faculties of from without, namely, that in the event of our opponents has so readily suggested to imminent danger I was instructed to request their own distorted vision. We give it at the commander of Her Majesty's forces in full length :-“The orthodox religion of the the Mediterranean to hold his squadron in East, its clergy, its churches, and its pos- readiness ” (B. B., part i., p. 213). sessions, as well as its religious establish Let us distinctly impress on the attention ments, sball enjoy for the future, without of our readers the fact that this gratuitous any detriment, under the protection of His and fatal advice was given in the teeth of Majesty the Sultan, the privileges and im instructions defined with great perspicuity munities which are secured to them ob and precision, more especially when the antiqua, or which have been granted to undue pressure and coercion at first resorted them at various times by the imperial to by the French was being withdrawn altofavour, and on a principle of high equity gether. shall participate in the advantages accorded Our ambassador's instructions were:to the other Christian sects, as well as to “He was to proceed to Paris, and there the foreign legations, accredited to the Sub- represent to the French government the fatal lime Porte by convention or special arrange- embarrassment to which the Sultan would ment." So satisfied was the Austrian be exposed if unduly pressed by France upon minister with this note, that we are told by a question of such vital importance to Lord Stratford-"I found, in conversing Russia. with M. de Klezl, * * * that he was “From Paris he was to go to Vienna, not prepared, in case of the Russian am- and to represent to the Austrian governbassader's threatening to withdraw, to adrise ment, that the increasing tendency to disany other couse for the Porte to pursue I order and weakness in the Turkish empire
called for moderation and forbearance from 1854, as published in the Journal des the Sultan's allies.”
Debats. Non-compliance with these instructions. Let it be remembered that this note, has involved us in the bloody strife now " although its general sense differs in nothing raging at Sebastopol; and it is certainly from the sense of the proposition of Prince not going too far to say, that such wilful Menschikoff,” originally excited our indigand culpable disregard should have been nation, and extorted the threat of bringing visited with the immediate recall of our up “Her Majesty's forces in the Mediterambassador. Count Nesselrode, writing ranean," a proceeding opposed alike to all to Baron Brunow, says of the proceed- principles of common sense. The above note ings of the British ambassador,—"At the being unsatisfactory, the celebrated Vienna last moment, when Prince Menschikoff Note was drawn up, and after “several had consented to abandon even the modi- alterations proposed and adopted," it was fied sened, and to content himself with finally agreed to by the Four Powers, and a note; when Reschid Pacha himself, transmitted to St. Petersburg and Constanstruck with the danger which the departure tinople. M. Drouyn de Lhuys wrote to the of the legation might entail upon the Porte, French ambassador, “instructing him to use earnestly conjured the British ambassador all his influence with the Porte to obtain its not to oppose the acceptance of the note assent to the project" (B. B., part ii., p. 39). drawn up by Prince Menschikoff, Lord Of this same note we are told:Redcliffe prevented its acceptance, declaring “ The Earl of Clarendon writes to Lord that the note was equivalent to a treaty, Stratford de Redcliffe from the 'Foreign and was inadmissible” (p. 243).
Office, August 2nd, 1853. Her Majesty's Another note was subsequently drawn up government have, in preference to all other by the French ambassador, and agreed to by plans, adhered to this project of note as the our government. Lord Clarendon says of means best calculated to effect a speedy and Count Buol's note, afterwards the celebrated satisfactory solution of the differences. They Vienna Note,"We can give no positive consider that it fully guards the principle sanction or support to the proposed note for which throughout we have been contenduntil we know in what manner it differs ing, and that it may therefore with perfect from the French Note, to which we have safety be signed by the Porte; and they already agreed" (B. B., part ii., p. 1). further hope that your Excellency, before
“Now, M. Drouyn de Lhuys, who was the | the receipt of this despatch, will have found original framer of the note, ought surely to no difficulty in procuring the assent of the be assumed to know in what sense it was Turkish government to a project which the intended to be understood. Well, this minis- allies of the Sultan unanimously concur in ter, in writing to St. Petersburg to urge the recommending for his adoption' (p. 27).” acceptance of his note, says:- They (the Did Russia accept this note?" We shall French government) submit it to the cabinet see:of St. Petersburg, with the hope that it will “Sir G. H. Seymour, in a despatch to the find that its GENERAL SENSE DIFFERS IN Earl of Clarendon, dated 'St. Petersburg, NOTHING FROM THE SENSE OF THE PRO- | August 5th, 1853,' says:— It is my agreePOSITION PRESENTED BY PRINCE MEN- able duty to acquaint your lordship, that SCHIKOFF, and that it gives satisfaction upon waiting upon the Chancellor this mornon all the essential points of its demands. ing, he stated that he had the satisfaction The slight variation in the form of it will of informing me that the Emperor had signot be observed by the masses of the people, nified his acceptance (acceptation pure et either in Russia or in Turkey. To their simple) of the projet de note which had eyes, the step taken by the Porte will pre- been received from Vienna, and a copy of serve all the signification which the cabinet which was despatched on the 24th ultimo of St. Petersburg wishes to give to it; and His from Vienna to Constantinople. Intelligence of Majesty the Emperor Nicholas will appear the Emperor's decision will be sent off to-morto them always as the powerful and respected row to Baron Brunnow, and has already been protector of their religious faith.” —Cited in conveyed by telegraph to Vienna' (p. 43).” Count Nesselrode's Memorandum of March 2, How did the Porte act? It did not take
the slightest notice of it, and gave no reply | stated, through Lord Stratford, “ that it to any of the ainbassadors at Constantinople. rejected the note, declaring it to be their Lord Clarendon loudly complains of this firm intention to reject the new proposal, even “ neglect.” The Czar, previous to leaving if amendments were introduced” (p. 71). Olmütz, and on taking leave of Lerd West- “ Again, Lord Clarendon writes on Octomoreland, told that functionary “that he ber 7th, 1853, to Lord Cowley, to this wished to give an additional proof of his effect:-On the 4th instant, Count Walew. desire to meet every legitimate wish which ski informed me that the assurances, as to was expressed to him by those powers. the intentions of Russia contained in Count
“ The following note, "explaining and Buol's project of note, appeared satisfactory restricting' the meaning of the Vienna Note, to the French government, who were prewas accordingly adopted:”
pared, with the concurrence of Her Majes. "In recommending unanimously to the ty's government, to agree to the signature of Porte to adopt the draft of note drawn up at that note by the four representatives in ConVienna, the Courts of Austria, France, stantinople, that it should be offered to the England, and Prussia are convinced that Porte in exchange for the note originally that document by no means prejudices the sent from Vienna' (p. 140). sovereign rights and dignity of His Majesty “ But our government peremptorily rethe Sultan."
Liected the proposal. Lord Clarendon writes "That conviction is founded on the posi- to Lord A. Loftus, requesting him to state tive assurances which the cabinet of St. to Baron Manteuffel, 'that it is quite imposPetersburg has given in regard to the inten sible for Her Majesty's government now, tions by which His Majesty the Emperor of | under any circumstances or conditions whatRussia is animated, in requiring a general ever, to recommend the adoption of the guarantee of the religious immunities granted Vienna Note to the Porte' (p. 132)." by the Sultans to the Greek Church within Negotiations were still continued; for we their empire.”
are told that “ Lord Stratford, writing on “It results from these assurances that November 17th, 1853, after telling Lord in requiring, in virtue of the principles | Clarendon, that a new proposition, prelaid down in the treaty of Kainardji, that sented by himself and the French ambasthe Greek religion and clergy should con- sador to the Porte, had no chance of acceptinue to enjoy their spiritual privileges under tance, even in a modified shape,' adds:the protection of their sovereign the Sultan, I have hitherto exerted my almost solitary the Emperor demands nothing contrary to efforts in favour of peace under every conthe independence and the rights of the ceivable disadvantage, including even that Sultan, nothing which implies an intention which results, in Turkish estimation, from to interfere in the internal affairs of the the presence of the allied squadrons in these Ottoman empire.”
waters' (p. 271). Writing later on the “What the Emperor of Russia desires is same day, he says: Your lordship may be the strict maintenance of the religious status assured that I omitted nothing which my quo of his religion, that is to say, an entire instructions, my recollections, or my reflecequality of rights and immunities between tion could suggest, in order to make an imthe Greek church and the other Christian pression on his (Reschid Pacha's) mind. I communities, subjects of the Porte; conse- lament to say that all my efforts were unquently, the enjoyment by the Greek church availing.... I did, however, the only thing of the advantages already granted to those which remained for me to do at the moment. communities. He has no intention of resus- | I took my leave with evident marks of discitating the privileges of the Greek church appointment and dissatisfaction, expressing which have fallen into disuse by the effect in strong terms my apprehension, that the of time or administrative changes, but he Pacha would one day have reason to look &requires that the Sultan should allow it to back with painful regret on the issue of our share in all the advantages which he shall interview' (p. 281).” hereafter grant to other christian rites'! To sum up. We are told that “the next (p. 129).”
communication from Lord Stratford to the In reply to the amended note, the Porte Earl of Clarendon, dated" Therapia, August