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dare, she could any day find a pretext for reducing the viceroy of Egypt to a state of complete subserviency. Great pains have been taken to excite hopes of French aid in the whole Christian population, not only of the Mediterranean islands and of Syria, but of Abyssinia and the more southern Christian settlements in Africa. The port of Zula has lately been acquired by France as a station in the Red Sea, and as the key to maritime communications with Abyssinia. The Imam of Zanzibar has very recently been compelled by armed force to yield certain claims pressed on him by the French consul, and within the last few years two attempts have been made to get*a hold on Madagascar. We cannot absolutely disregard these things, and it is foolish to deny their possible importance. We may reasonably hope to take s>uch defensive precautions as will keep the Mediterranean and the Red Sea open to English commerce; but we shall not make it more easy to do so by treating with too superb a contempt the political designs of a country that possesses half a million of armed men, and that burns to rival and eclipse us.
We do not the least wish to thwart the legitimate influence of France, nor have we any reason to complain if Greeks turn Latins to please her, and if Latin Christians look up to her for protection. What we object to is that she should use her power to close our communications with India, and shut us out of the commerce of the East. This, we may be sure, is her secret aim in the formation of the great dependency of which she is dream ing. We can only resolve to do our best to prevent it, and we have a very fair chance of succeeding. We have the great advantage of being on the defensive. Something must be changed to our loss before we can be in serious danger: We hold the best positions. Malta and Corfu in the Mediterranean, Perim and Aden in the Red Sea, and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, are incomparably better positions than any the French have got, or can get without beating us at sea. It is true that, if France and Russia were to combine, we should have hard work to hold our own, and we could not prevent the Ottoman Empire falling to pieces at once. But there is a great deal that must happen before France and Russia can really combine. It is a standing maxim of Napoleonic policy that France can never permit Constantinople and St. Petersburg to be held by the same Power; and unless Constantinople is to be the price of Russian assistance or connivance, why should it be given ? M. de Remusat has very truly remarked, that the Eastern question is so complicated and so alarming, that when
the moment of action comes each of the riral powers is likely to shrink from attempting to solve it by force. If the Emperor resolves on a French intervention in Syria, he will be obliged to proceed very cautiously, and at each stage of the process we shall have the time and opportunity to make his intervention as harmless as possible. If he intervenes, we can intervene; and if he stays there, we can stay there. The Turks may be driven out of Syria, and it is not easy to see how the Porte can escape the terrible alternative of quarrelling either with its Christian friends or its Mahometan subjects ; but we can take care that the overthrow of the Turks shall not mean simply the incoming of the French.
From The Saturday Review, 28 July.
The acquiescence of the English Cabinet in the French attack upon Syria seems to have been at the same time unwilling and hasty, while it was, perhaps, ultimately inevitable. Lord John Russell properly required that a convention should be signed with the Porte, but it docs not appear that he succeeded in obtaining any promise that the forms of international la}y should be even ostensibly respected. The French Ambassador relied, with admirable coolness on the treaty of 1856, which expressly provides for the exclusive sovereignty of the sultan in his own dominions by excluding all right of interference on the part of foreign powers; and an expedition into the heart of Asiatic Turkey was organized before it was thought necessary to go through the form of asking the assent or co-operation of England. The disembarkation of the first corporal's guard on the coast of Syria, without the previous authority of the Porte, would be an act of war, as it would undoubtedly be the commencement of an intended territorial conquest. According to the semi-official Constitutionnel, "the most energetic adhesion will reply in Europe, as in France, to the noble initiative of the sovereign who governs us. No one will be surprised to hear that. French troops will be immediately embarked to bear succor to the Christians in the East." It is true that the sovereign who affects to govern Europe, and who is now making his first attempt upon Asia, would excite little surprise if he disturbed the peace of the world by a sudden assault on any unoffending neighbor or stranger; but it is not altogether satisfactory that England should take a part in the " energetic adhesion " of which his organs naturally boast. Another Parisian journal amiably suggests a motive for the submission of the English Government, in the remark that the respect paid by the Druses to the English Consul at Damascus might be regarded as an insult to a nation •which hesitated to assist the vengeance of , France. It is pleasant to be treated as accomplices in the crimes of savage tribes, and at the same time, to be the humble auxiliaries of civilized ambition. Nevertheless it may be I prudent to obtain from the aggressor the | fragile security which may be furnished by diplomatic courtesies and by formal pledges. More than thirty years have passed since a French army took temporary possession of another dependency of the Forte, and Syria •will be more tempting than Algeria to the national cupidity and vanity. It remains to be seen whether the promises of the Emperor Napoleon will be more definite or better kept than the vague assurances which were utterly disregarded by Charles X. and his successors.
The pretext for the invasion of the sultan's dominions has probably already disappeared. The Marouites seem to have renewed, by some kind of compact, the peace which they probably broke under the instigation of their priests. The ferocity of the Druses may have appeared more formidable than the arms of the distant ally and protector •who is now prepared to use their sufferings as an excuse for his own ambitious projects. Long before the French army can reach Damascus, the authors of the massacre will have retired to their mountains; nor will it be possible to punish the culprits except by a war of systematic extermination. The expedition is designed not for the adjustment of disputes among the tribes of the Lebanon, but as the means of converting Syria into a French province or dependency. If the object is attained, a similar operation will take place in Egypt—perhaps on the pretence of securing the rights of French shareholders in the imaginary Suez Canal. The passage from Alexandria to the Red Sea may possibly be left open for Indian traffic as long as England " energetically adheres to the noble initiative of the sovereign who governs us." On the whole, it has been • thought safer to disturb the peace of the East than to pursue the Rhenish intrigue after the interview of Baden, or to attempt the annexation of Belgium in defiance of the recent national manifestation. The general disturber hopes that the ignorance or jealousy of Europe may enable him once more to carry on a single-handed conflict with an isolated opponent. Sooner or later, England must resist the meditated conquest of the East, but the other great powers may possibly be lulled into neutrality, or even bribed into acquiescence. In Syria as in
Italy, a selfish enterprise is decorated with a show of disinterested generosity; but in the present undertaking the imperial idea will be still more visibly connected with an object of material aggrandizement. The emperor's designs on Savoy and Nice were kept secret during the Lombard campaign, but the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire must be the obvious result of a successful struggle in Syria. French patronage will be as necessary to the Maronites after they have been avenged on their enemies as at the landing of the army on the Syrian coast. The tenacity of a French Protectorate has been sufficiently displayed during the long occupation of Rome.
The extent of the danger which threatens the peace of the world can only be duly estimated when it is known how far the other neighbors of Turkey are implicated in the Imperial plot. Although Russia can scarcely regard with complacency a project for establishing Latin ascendency in Syria, her repugnance may not improbably have been bought off by some secret compact of partition. When Prince Gortsehakoff received the eager support of the French Ambassador in his overture for creating a disturbance in European Turkey, the war in the Lebanon may probably have been anticipated at Paris, although it was not yet meditated by the Druses. Several months since, the probability of Eastern commotions was openly discussed at the Tuileries with that prophetic sagacity which belongs to soothsayers who have the means of carrying out their own predictions. If the Prince Regent of Prussia had entered into negotiations for a treasonable partition of Germany, the mountaineers of the Lebanon would perhaps never have been employed to prepare the disruption of the Ottoman Empire. The Russian alliance of 1859, although its terms have never been divulged, has always remained in force for the purposes which perhaps are now about to be accomplished. In 1840, the linion of the four powers defeated M. Thiers" attempt to detach Syria and Egypt from Turkey, under the dominion of a French dependent. If Russia now thinks it expedient to offer France the same bribe which the Emperor Nicholas held out to England in 1854, the division of the sick man's chattels may probably be soon commenced.
The allegation that Austria assents to the French expedition requires to be confirmed or explained. Notwithstanding the pressure which has been used by France and Russia, the Austrian government can scarcely be blind to the danger of an aggressive war undertaken for the benefit of her two ambitious neighbors. The recent approximation of Austria to Prussia would be utterly inconsistent with an alliance which would be alarming to Germany, and almost openly hostile to England. The squabbles of the tribes of the Lebanon concern the Governments of the continent far less nearly than the restless intrigues of France; nor is any statesman deluded by the sympathy which looks for objects at Damascus, while robbery and murder perpetrated by the pious Christians of Montenegro are habitually countenanced and protected. If Russia and France have determined on a joint robbery of Turkey, any other power which joins in the undertaking deserves the reward which will inevitably follow on its dishonesty and folly. The barbarism of Syria and the miserable weakness of the Turkish government unfortunately furnish a color of justification for French interference. It would have been difficult to oppose in the first instance a pretended act of generosity, which must nevertheless afl'ect all serious English politicians with grave uneasiness. As the French policy develops itself, the pretence of sentiment will be gradually laid aside, and it will become evident that the question turns on the expediency of creating a French province on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. The expedition which has been prepared so quickly was either organized beforehand, or has been rendered feasible by the chronic readiness of the French army and navy for war. On either supposition, the suddenness with which an unexpected military enterprise can be commenced ought to shame even the obstinate relics of the peace party into salutary and necessary vigilance.
From The Saturday Review, 28 Jaly. THE BELGIAN DEMONSTRATION. The best feature in the demonstration with which the Belgian people have met the appeals and rebuked the intrigues of French annexationists is the enthusiasm displayed .by the working men. The excitement of discontent among the working classes in the adjoining states is the great instrument by which Louis Napoleon and his confederates hope to pave the way for their aggressions. That the Frankenstein they are thus raising would in the end destroy their own government too, and make Europe, not one vast French Empire, but one vast Jacquerie, is a matter 6f little consequence to them. They live for the day. The morrow may take care of itself. To their neighbors, Imperial Socialism is a weapon almost as formidable as it is diabolical. There is too much in the lot of the working man in every country to make him an apt listener to any devil of revolution that whispers into his ear. Everywhere those who exhort him to order and
patience must appeal to him as much in the interest of society-as in his own interest; and the interest of society is a motive which it requires some education and intelligence, and, perhaps, also, some degree of affluence, to feel. But the Belgian press has done its duty well in setting before the people the real cha»acter of that socialism which reigns at the Tuileries; and the result is, that, if the French government means to annex Belgium, it must evidently be done by the process — which, in these days, is distasteful — of open rapine, not by "universal suffrage." It was somewhat disturbing to read confident assertions in the French propagandist press that the loyalty shown to King Leopold was only that " of official circles ;" that the king's consciousness of the fact rendered his tone " rather one of resigI nation than of hope ;" and that, if the Bei| gian people could be polled, it would pronounce, by a great majority, for annexation to France. Now these assertions are an; swered. It is only a pity that the Belgian operatives cannot send a deputation, first to Compiegne, to see the socialist emperor in his blouse amidst his simple household of proletaires, and then to Cayenne, to see the leaders of the French operatives in the enjoyment of their socialist elysium.
"Belgium cannot have to fear an odious attack on the independence of a free people. It must regard as impossible the very thought of an attempt the iniquity of which would be denounced by indignant Europe." These words of the Belgian Chamber are not merely a convenient mode of deprecating an apprehended crime—they are an appeal to the morality of Europe, which Europe must answer if it would not have all morality trodden under foot by violence. And Europe will not have all morality trodden under foot. The force of opinion in international affairs is not so great as it ought to be; nor, thanks to technical diplomacy, are , international ethics so sound as those of common life. But even among diplomatists there is now a feeling that it is better, in the long run, to have the heart of the world upon your side. France herself would have to think twice before she murdered a nation. Perhaps 'even among Frenchmen there are not a few who, when the dagger was uplifted, would remember, in a manner inconvenient | to their government, that France in her happier hour had contributed, and been proud ; of contributing, to give Belgium life. The i fear was that Belgium, prepared for self-betraval by the arts of French agents, and Gallicizing priests, might protest so faintly and succumb so easily as to give the murder the appearance of a suicide. That fear is now past, and with it the real danger. Exposed as Belgium lies to the overpowering military force of France, it is impossible to say that, if the struggle should begin, the tide of conquest might not for a moment sweep over her, as it often swept over her in those centuries during which she was the battle-field of Europe. King Leopold's expressions show that the possible recurrence of such disasters is painfully present to his mind. But a people resolutely bent on being a nation may bo conquered, not once, but many times, without being destroyed.
Perhaps, indeed, the fear that Belgium would commit suicide was always chimerical. The Belgians have certain reminiscences pretty fresh in their minds. The sweets of French domination are not to them untasted. They know the bliss of which people become partakers when embraced by the "ardent fraternity" of the great "Christian" nation. Among them, as in other countries over which it spread, French annexation, in return for what it took away in cash and blood, has left one invaluable lesson. "Belgium," says a Belgian journal, "was confiscated in its own despite by the French Republic, which had promised it a fraternal alliance, absorbed in a great empire, and condemned by the right of the strongest to sacrifice its interests and treasures to interests not its own." Force may of course be used twice to do the same wrong; but treachery leaves its life in the first sting. Besides, when the "fraternal alliance " of the French republic was offered and accepted, Belgium was, and had been for three hundred years, under alien domination. She has now known thirty years of freedom. The game of Danton and " mon oncle," is being played over again at a double disadvantage — first, because it has been found out; and secondly, because the circumstances are altered. Some military observers have pronounced that the defences of Cherbourg are calculated for the art of •war as it was in the time of the first Napoleon, and not for the art of war as it is now. In the same way, the propagandist machinery of the second empire is calculated for Europe as it was in the time of the first empire rather than for Europe in its present state. An army of seven hundred thousand men is never obsolete; but the political causes which carried the flood of revolutionary conquest over the surrounding countries as the tide runs in over a flat, are past and gone. There is much that is unsound, and much that ought to be altered, in the relations between continental rulers and their subjects; and even the threat of French aggression, appealing to hearts hardened against justice, may be an agency not with
out its use. But rare indeed are the instances of a European population in the ; present day to whom French conquest or occupation would be any thing but a manifest 1 curse.
Nor must it be supposed that Belgian i nationality is merely the artificial creation
• of diplomatic convenience, and that Belgium
• is a portion of France partitioned off by the paper wall of a treaty. If this were so, we might doubt whether, in struggling to maintain Belgian independence, we were not struggling against natural tendencies as strong as fate. Such, of course, is the aspect which
j French propagandists would fain give the
J question. According to their effusions, the separate existence of Belgium is a mere bub
fble inflated by diplomatic breath, which, having floated for its appointed time, is now about to burst, and be lost in the great sea of French unity and fraternity. Nothing* can be more erroneous. It is true that Belgium is not separated from France by any clear geographical frontier; but neither is it separated by any clear geographical frontier from Holland. If Europe is to he rectified on these principles, geography will indeed become an important science; but to prevent misadventures, France must have the supervision of the atlas. It is true, also, that the Flemish language having, unfortunately, no literature, French is the language of the Belgian cities, and will probably become, in
i a short time, the language of the whole coun
| try. But if identity of language is necessarily to involve identity of government, the pretensions of England, as time goes on, will become absolutely terrific. The philological test, like the geographical will require to be regulated in the interest of the "sun of nations." It is true, again, that there is a superficial community of religion between Belgium and France; but the Belgian Catholics are sincerely freligious, while the powers that rule France are atheist, using religion merely as the degraded instrument of conquest. The Belgians have a separate government and institutions of their own to which they wish to adhere—this is the cardinal point of nationality and the root of the whole matter. They are, in the main, of a different race from the French, and in their short period of freedom have shown superior self-command, vigor, and perseverance. Indeed, one of the reasons alleged for incorporating them by the imperial pamplileteer is, that their peculiar qualities are required to temper the national character of France. They have
! also a history of their own, though it has been much overlaid by Burgundian, Spanish, Austrian, French, and Dutch domination.
I The core of their state consists of those great cities of Flanders and Brabant—the rivals of the Italian cities as early abodes of liberty, commercial wealth, and the attendant arts —which stand in the annals of human progress above any thing that the French Celt has had energy to produce. Why is all this to be tied up in a bundle and put under the feet of French vanity? Why is Brussels, now a distinct centre of political life, to be j thrust into the long schedule of mediaeval capitals -which Parisian "unity" exults in having extinguished_? Why are all the public men to whom independence has given birth in Belgium to be superseded by a French prefect? Why is the independent experience, political, economical, and educational, which Belgium as a separate state is
contributing to the store of human enlightenment, to be merged and lost in a mass of population already too large for the interests of humanity? Why are those who have not shared the crimes and errors of French politicians to share the present political punishishment of France, and be committed -with her to the dark chances of her uncertain and louring future? No answer can be given to these questions but that the annexation would please the Parisians, and, by turning their minds from their political degradation, help to secure the emperor and his associates in the enjoyments of Compiegne. This is an answer which the Belgians do not deem sufficient, as they have given France and the world clearly to understand.
Baptismal Names.—There is a family existing in this neighborhood, two Sods of whom were called Thankful nntl Tranquil (Joy),—the former still living, I believe; and in the adjoining county (Dorset) the triad, Faith, Hope, nnd Charity arc not uncommon. Much of the peculiarity of choice in selecting such names is due, I conceive, to the veneration observable in country districts for Scriptural names, and not to the lingering remains of Puritanical customs, as is sometimes supposed. Two at least of the names of Job's three daughters may be occasionally seen. I have a faint recollection of once meeting with the third. (Job xlii. 14.)
Portswood Park. . Henry W. S. Taylob. —Notes and Queries.
Urchin.—Allow me to submit to yonr correspondent the following derivation of the word urchin. Urchin is derived from <he Armorlc Heureuchin, and appears to have been applied to a boy in the same manner as the word hog to a man; that is, as a designation of his disagreeable, uncivilized propensities. The word, I think, Is seldom, if ever, employed as the cognomen of a little boy without some idea of aversion, although ic indeed sometimes amounts only to mere contempt. —Notes and Queries. \V. B.
Henpecked.—I am not fortunate enough to possess a copy of the First Series of " N. & Q.," and sm unable to say if the phrase " henpecked" has at any time been discussed in it. I have also carefully examined each number of the second series of the same work, but havo not fouud
any question of the word, either in any numbers yet issued or in the indices. Under the circumstances I have, at the risk of troubling you with a matter which has very possibly already come under your notice, to ask of your correspondents the origin of the expression, or how it first camo in use. Arbroath. K.
[It may bo said of the term " henpecked" (as it may of many other vernacular expressions), that though it be deem°d trivial it is grounded on actual observation, and is true to nature nnd to fact. The ordinary cock of the farm-yard, however bold and rightful in his bearing towards other barn-door cocks, will sometimes submit to bo peeked by his hens without resistance. Reaumur relates how two hens being shut up with a cock, they both together attacked him, nnd finally succeeded in killing him. Several corks were "afterwards stint up successively with the sante two hens, and would have experienced itio fate of the first, if not withdrawn in time. "The extraordinary part of this case was, that the cocks were strong nnd bold, and would easily have governed thirty rebel hens at large, yet, cooped up, did not attempt either to defend themselves, or even to avoid the attack of thefuries, their wives." (Mowbray's Practical Treatise, 1830, p. 93. See also D'Orbigny's Dictionnairc, 1844, iv. 208.) Hence the peculiar import and significance of the term "henpecked." Cf. Swift's " Cadgell'd husband : "—
"Tom fought with three men, thrice ventured
Then went home, and was cudgelled again by his wife."!