Chap. point in the annals of mankind ; not less memorable than YI11' the overthrow of the Roman Empire—not less prolific of 1815, consequences than the Reformation in Europe, and the discovery of America. Nor have the gifts of Providence been wanting to aid in the mighty movement, and carry it out in accordance with the welfare and happiness of mankind. If to the age of Columbus it gave the compass and the art of printing, to that succeeding Napoleon it gave steam navigation, railway communication, and the electric telegraph; and if the activity of the former period was stimulated by the grant to man of the silver mines of Potosi and Mexico, the enterprise of the latter was still more powerfully aroused by the discovery of the goldladen fields of California and Australia.

Vast and powerful as the Russian empire was when its increase of children, in emulation of those of Numantium, applied the treaties the torch to the palaces of Moscow, or carried their vici8i5.14 *nd torious arms to the heights of Montmartre and the banks of the Seine, it had not then attained half the influence and importance which it has since acquired. The victory of Alexander doubled his power—the overthrow of Napoleon halved his enemies. Independent of the immense increase of influence and importance, which necessarily and immediately resulted from the destruction of the vast armament which Napoleon had marshalled for its destruction, and the proud pre-eminence conceded to it in the diplomatic negotiations of Vienna, the physical resources and territorial extent of Russia had been enormously augmented during, and by the results of, the struggle. It was hard to say whether it had prospered most from victory or defeat. The carnage of Eylau, the overthrow of Tilsit, led only to the incorporation of Finland with its vast dominions, the acquisition of a considerable territory from its ally Prussia, the consolidation of its power in the Caucasus and Georgia, and the incorporation of Wallachia and Moldavia, and extension of its southern frontier to the Danube. And although, during the first agonies of the French invasion, these valuable provinces Chap. were in part abandoned, and the Pruth was fixed on as Ym" the boundary in the mean time of the empire, yet it was 1815, at the time evident, what the event has since abundantly proved, that this unwonted retirement of the Russian eagle was for a time only; and that their march towards Constantinople, conquering and to conquer, was destined to be not permanently arrested.

But the great and lasting acquisition of Russia, from the results of the war, was that of the Grand-duchy Op important

Russian outposts within a comparatively short distance duenyof of both Vienna and Berlin, and renders the influence ofVVar3awits diplomacy irresistible in eastern Europe, was virtually annexed to Russia by the treaty of Vienna in 1815; for although, by the strenuous efforts of Lord Castlereagh and M. Talleyrand, its immediate incorporation with the dominions of the Czar was prevented, yet this was done only by its establishment as a state nominally independent, but really part of his vast territories. The grandduchy of Warsaw was erected into a separate state, but the Emperor Alexander was at its head; his brother, the Grand-duke Constantine, was his viceroy, and Russian influence was predominant in its councils. A constitutional monarchy, and the form at least of representative institutions, were, by the strenuous efforts of France and England, established at Warsaw; but it was the form only. National habits and character proved stronger, as is ever the case, than diplomatic changes; freedom was found to be unavailing to a nation when it was conferred, not by domestic effort, but by foreign intervention; and the prosperity communicated to the Poles by the vigour of Russian rule, and the organisation of Russian power, proved only an addition to the strength of Russia, when, after an unsuccessful and ill-judged revolt, the grandduchy was formally incorporated with her dominions. The grand-duchy of Warsaw, which the treaty of


Chap. Vienna in this manner handed over to Russia, contained, VIH' in 1846, 4,865,000 inhabitants; it extends over 47,000

J®15, square geographical miles (about half more than Ireland), Statistics of the people being thinly scattered over it, at the rate of 100 to the square mile; and the land under cultivation Warsaw. its limits amounts to 5,444,000 dessiatines, or

14,000,000 English acres, being at the rate only of 1.12 dessiatine (three acres) to each inhabitant.* As the soil is generally rich, everywhere level, and for the most part capable of yielding the finest wheaten crops, it is evident that the inhabitants might be five times their present amount, not only without any diminution, but with a great and durable increase in their comfort and wellbeing. But the character of the Poles, like that of the Celts, ardent, enthusiastic, and daring, but gay, volatile, and insouciant, had rendered these gifts of nature of little avail, and retained the nation in a state of internal poverty and external weakness, when the means of attaining the reverse of both were within their power. Great part of the country was overshadowed by dark forests of fir ; vast iTeeob. swamps extended along the margin of the rivers, and kRussie"!.formed morasses and lakes in the interior, which chilled Hilithau- tne atmosphere around; and even where cultivation had sen, sut.^ crept into the wilderness, it was in such a rude and imi. 227. 'perfect manner as bespoke rather the weakness of savage than the powers of civilised man.1 , The new kingdom of Poland, on the throne of which Establish- the Emperor of Russia was placed, was proclaimed at kingdom of Warsaw on the 20th June 1815. It consisted of the jmT'2o, grand-duchy of Warsaw, as it existed in the time of 1815. Napoleon, with the exception of the city and little territory of Cracow, which was erected into a separate republic, the salt mines of Wicleiza, which were ceded to Austria, and the grand-duchy of Posen, which was set apart to Prussia. Still the portion left for Russia was

* The Russian dessiatine, by which all their land is measured, contains .2$ acres nearly, the acre being .37 of a dessiatine.

very great, and formed an immense addition to its already Chap. colossal strength; for it brought its dominions almost into Ym" the centre of Europe, and left the capitals of Austria and 18J5" Prussia within ten days' march of its frontiers, without a fortified town or defensible frontier between. It added, too, the military strength of a warlike race, celebrated in every age for their heroic exploits, to the Russian standards—men whom Napoleon has characterised as those of all Europe who most readily become soldiers. They formed at this time a willing and valuable addition to the Muscovite legions, for the Poles clung to this little kingdom, as a nucleus from which might arise the restoration of their lost nationality; and the benevolent dispositions and known partiality for Poland of the Emperor Alexander inspired the warmest hopes that this long-wished-for result might take place. The strength and vigour which were ere long communicated to the new kingdom by the Russian administration, caused the country rapidly to prosper in the most remarkable manner in all its material interests; while the shadow, at least, of 1 Maite representative institutions, which was obtained for it by u^w'^eog' the efforts of Lord Castlereagh at the Congress of Vienna, u^^f flattered the secret hope that, with its lost nationality, Homines the much-loved liberties of Poland might one day be u. 227.' restored.1

The Grand-duke Constantine, who was placed as viceroy at the head of the government of this infant Biopiphy kingdom, was one of those strange and bizarre characters Grand-duke which occur but seldom in history, and can be produced {^Jf*"1' only by a temporary, and, in some degree, fortuitous blending of the dispositions of various races, and the feelings produced by different states of society. The second son of the Emperor Paul I. and the celebrated Empress Catherine, he was born on 8th May 1779, and christened Constantine, from the design of that aspiring potentate to place him on the throne of Constantinople, and restore the Byzantine empire, as an appanage of the

Chap. imperial house of Russia. He was married on 26 th


!_ February 1796 to a princess of the house of Saxe-Coburg;

1815, but the marriage proved unfortunate, and was soon followed by a separation. The savage manners and despotic inclinations of the Grand-duke were speedily felt as insupportable by a princess accustomed to the polished and considerate maDners of European society.* He soon after entered on the career of arms, and in it from the very first he greatly distinguished himself. His first essay in real warfare was in 1799, under Suwarroff on the banks of the Po, where his daring character and headlong valour were very conspicuous. Subsequently he joined the allied army, at the head of his splendid regiment of cuirassiers, in the plains of Moravia in 1805 ; and by the glorious charges, in which he defeated the best regiments of the imperial guard, and captured an eagle, had all but changed the face of Europe on the field of Auster1 Hist, of litz.1 Subsequently he arrested the triumphant march of axTss Napoleon at Eylau, and nearly closed his career amidst 130, I . ^ snows of Poland He went through the whole campaigns of 1812, 1813, and 1814 in Russia, Germany, and France, and attended the victorious march of his countrymen from Moscow to Paris.f He did not accomHomS'vw pany tuem to London, but attended the Congress of ii. 227. 'Vienna, from whence he proceeded to take possession of his new kingdom in June 1815.2

His character and habits but ill qualified him for the Hischarac- task. Born on the confines of Europe and Asia, inheriting the Tartar blood, warmed by the Slavonian temperament, his Oriental character had never yielded to the manners or civilisation of Europe. He was an emblem of the nations of which he was so nearly the head:

* The author has been informed by a lady, to whom the Grand-duchess herself recounted it, that, in some of his fits of passion, he used to make her rise during the night, and lio across tho threshold of the door of thoir apartment!

t Tho author met him frequently there in 1814, and tho chief traits in this description are token from his own observation.

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