« AnteriorContinuar »
GERMANY'S INFLUENCE AT CONSTANTINOPLE.
At present there are two the blows of Russia, but she can Powers which possess a prepon- do so no longer. She has had derant influence at Constanti- warnings in many ways and on nople — Germany and Russia. frequent occasions that EngThe former the Sultan regards land cannot be relied upon to as his most reliable friend take her part against Russiaamongst the Great Powers of in fact, that the British Lion Europe, the only one which has would be a passive spectator in no interest in appropriating her future conflicts with the any part of his dominions. Russian Bear. . From France, The recent visit of the Em- now the enthusiastic ally of peror William II. to Sultan Russia, Turkey expect Abdul - Hamid emphatically nothing. Austria is appreciastrengthened the bonds of ted as a well-disposed Powerfriendship between the two sov- inclined to be friendly in its ereigns. It is a personal sym- policy, but unable to back up pathy on the part of the Sultan that policy by force.
Nor can which does not extend to the she be looked upon as a disinGerman nation; and what his terested friend. She already Majesty does for the interests of occupies the two former Turkthe latter is done solely to please ish provinces of Bosnia and the German Emperor and to Herzegovina, and her longing secure his political support. eyes are known to be turned
Very different is the nature towards Salonica, resolved that of the influence of Russia at should that important seaport Constantinople.
It is based ever change masters, it shall upon fear, not love. It is the become hers. consciousness that she possesses Such being the situation, we the means, when she wills it, to cannot but admire the wisdom hit hard—nay, even to destroy of Abdul Hamid in bidding for, utterly-which is the secret of and his ability in securing, the Russian influence at Yildis. In firm friendship of the German this respect, it may at any time Emperor. He is quite astute prove itself to be the most enough to realise that Germany potent, but at present, when would not save him from Russia the policy of Russia is not ag- if he were engaged in a life-orgressive towards Turkey, it is death struggle with that Power; not so.
The Far East, with its but, for the moment, and as political complications and its long as the contest is only diplofinancial requirements, is a matic, Germany is all he needs. sufficient preoccupation for the In the German Emperor the Government of the Tzar, and it Sultan (who is really his own is likely to remain so for some Minister of Foreign Affairs) has years.
an enlightened and well-inThere was a time when Tur- formed counsellor and an effeckey could and did look to Eng- tive advocate to plead his cause. land and France to ward off German officers discipline the
Ottoman army, and it will be Minor the more Germany beadmitted have done so with comes interested in the preserconsiderable success. What of vation of the Ottoman Empire, European varnish is visible in and the greater will be her inTurkish Government offices is centive to keep off Russia. of German make. It is neither Unfortunately the absorpbright nor effective, but it passes tion of capital for industrial muster to proclaim a progres- enterprises at home is so large sive tendency.
that the pecuniary resources When Prince Bismarck first available in Germany for investreceived with favour the friendly ment in foreign countries are overtures made to him through limited, and in consequence full Count Hatzfeldt, he only advantage cannot be taken of thought of the increased politi- the benevolent dispositions of cal influence his Government the Sultan. Railways in Asia would acquire in the Councils Minor, traversing a country of Europe, and the positions, sparsely populated and poorly military and civilian, which he cultivated, cannot for long years could secure for his country- to come be expected to prove
He did not foresee the self-supporting; and, so far, inlarge part which Germany was vestors in them have to rely to be called upon to play in the upon the subventions of the development of Turkey. A Turkish Government to obtain friendship which began by be- a modest return of 5 per cent ing Platonic has ceased to be interest upon their outlay.
German financiers have These subventions have hitherto been smart enough to see that been freely and generously prothe intimate relations existing mised and paid. But the pracbetween their Emperor and tical German man of business Sultan Abdul Hamid might be realises that, in the state of the turned to profitable account, Turkish Treasury, these suband they have availed them- ventions may be felt to be too selves of their opportunities to onerous, and, in any case, cannot secure all manner of concessions, much exceed their present proand to enlarge their commercial portions. In the railways from relations with Turkey. Grati- Haidar Pasha to Angora and fying these natural desires, the Eski-Chehir to Koniah, rather Sultan has induced German more than 600 miles, the Gercapital to embark in extensive mans have invested about nine railway enterprises in Asia millions sterling, and of the 5 Minor, and he would fain see per cent paid upon this capital, these enterprises carried farther. 2 per cent is derived from the He is continually urging them Turkish Government subvento complete their railway to tion. To
forward the Bagdad, and he gives them to railway to Bagdad will necesunderstand that to attain this sitate a further outlay of at object he will accept any con- least fifteen millions sterling, and ditions. In this he shows his a subvention nearly twice as wisdom. The more German great as the amount which is capital is engaged in Asia at present paid with difficulty.
The financial resources of Berlin this from no fault of our amcannot face this increased outlay, bassadors. Very naturally the and the extension of the line, just indignation excited in Engso much desired at Yildis, must land by the Armenian massacres be deferred for the present. alienated from her the symMeantime the Germanshavevery pathies of the Sultan; and wisely secured the concession to more recent events have inBagdad, thus preventing its creased the estrangement. The passing into other hands. part played by the energetic
There are some in England British admiral in Crete, which who regret the abandonment of led to the withdrawal of the what was once the traditional Turkish garrisons, and our espolicy of Great Britain—namely, pousal of the cause of Prince the support of Turkey to pre- George, added fuel to the fire. vent Russia becoming a Mediter- But these are now all byranean Power. This object is gones, and there seems still certainly as desirable as it probability of a recurrence of
But a little reflec- similar causes of friction betion will convince impartial tween English diplomacy and minds that such a policy is no Ottoman sensibility. Time will longer practicable. The alliance gradually efface the irritation in between France and Russia has the past, and a truthful diplomodified essentially the situa- macy, friendly without being obtion. As long as the neutrality, sequious, will assist the process. if not the co-operation, of
The moment is, however, opFrance could be counted upon, portune for us to recognise the task of supporting Turkey the consequences of the Russoagainst Russia was compara- French alliance, and to adapt tively easy; but with France our policy, in regard to Turkey, espousing the cause of Russia, to the new circumstances of the England would have two ene- situation. Let us frankly set mies to face — France in the aside all jealousy of the GerMediterranean and Russia in the influence at ConstantiBosporus. Even in these cir- nople. That influence is decumstances the naval power of veloping, by the construction England might triumph, and of railways, the material proswould do so ultimately; for as perity of Turkey, and opening Lord Beaconsfield truly said, it up to civilisation. In this England is the only Power lies the true remedy for the which financially could main- deplorable events of recent tain two or three campaigns. years, and for the misrule and The struggle would, however, poverty of the Ottoman Embe long, arduous, and costly, pire. It is a highly humaniand, in view of the rickety tarian object, and, as such, so nature of the structure to be much deserves the sympathy of upheld, the verdict of most all, that it matters little by minds will be that “le jeu ne whose influence and by what vaut pas la chandelle.”
means it is attained. Further, At present British influence let us realise that the investat Constantinople is nil; and ment of German capital in
Asia Minor is an important most likely to be brought about factor in the preservation of under German inspiration. By the Turkish empire — both as all means let it have full and an obstacle to Russia and as
On political and giving
hope for the humanitarian considerations, it amelioration of the economic deserves the cordial and uncondition of the country itself. selfish support of England. Germany thus becomes a sen- We may resume, in a few tinel, watchful against attack lines, the grouping of the six from without and an organiser great Powers in regard to of internal improvements. The Turkey which can be already task already upon the shoulders foreseen. On the one hand, of England for the spread of Russia, never losing sight of, civilisation is sufficiently great although temporarily suspendin other parts of the world, ing, her traditional policy of that she may well content her- gravitating towards Constantiself with the humbler role of nople; and France, in gratitude sympathetic co-operator in the to the Power which rescued her work of Germany in Turkey. from a depressing isolation, Chance circumstances have supporting Russia with a halfgiven Germany an exceptional hearted enthusiasm. On the influence with the Sultan, and other hand, Germany espousing it is undoubtedly advantageous the cause of Turkey, partly for us that she should use that from the personal sympathy of influence to the full.
its Emperor for the Sultan, but Politically, the situation of mainly in virtue of its large Turkey is reassuring. The stake in the preservation of the pacific dispositions of the Tzar Ottoman Empire; and Engare apparent in his attitude to- land, Austria, and Italy cowards the Sultan. Thanks to operating with Germany, bethe readiness which the Russian cause their interests are equally Government has shown to fa- concerned in that preservation. cilitate the Turkish Treasury, a It is unnecessary to enlarge settlement has been come to of upon the consequences of such the pressing and long-pending a grouping. The moral weight claims which Russia had in of the second group is irresistconnection with the war in- ible; and although it may not demnity; and this fact, as well now represent a material force as the cordial relations existing resolved to defend the object it between the two Powers, tend has in view, it is impossible to to the belief that in the near deny that circumstances may future no serious complications favour the development of such are likely to arise between a force in the future. As far at Russia and Turkey. The pres- least as England is concerned, ent political calm is favourable there can be no doubt that her to economic development, and true place is that we assign to this desirable result is certainly her in the second group.
Printed by William Blackwood and Sons.
The following narrative was written in the year 1822 by a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. In the manuscript copy it is preceded by a dedication to Vice-Admiral Sir George Cockburn, G.C.B. Compiled in truth,” says the dedication, “my story is plain and unvarnished; no literary embellishments show it off.” It is here somewhat abbreviated, and such necessary corrections of sentence and phrase have been made as fit it for publication. Moralising reflections and outcries against the iniquity of Napoleon have been omitted ; but no incident of any real importance is lost, and no detail has been added. If errors as to proper names, dates, &c., occur, the writer, whose name- -attached to the dedication—was never known to literature, is responsible for them. Had the manuscript containing the present narrative fallen into the hands of R. L. Stevenson, it might have provided him with material for a brilliant tale. Its ill fortune has placed it in the possession of an editor who has no gift of invention.
ON BOARD THE RAMBLER.
I shall commence this narra- Esq., commander, and was just tive at the time when I was a turned fifteen
age. midshipman on board H.M. Although so young,
I was sloop Rambler, Thomas Innes, thought competent for any VOL. CLXV.-NO, MIV.