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-the three first essentials of war—are three most prominent deficiencies in the wide but thinly inhabited regions of Russia.
Mr. Sabouroff's Letter on rural affairs, at the conclusion of this book, will furnish some interesting suggestions on this head. “ Time and money,” says he (in one word, capital), “ are generally the very things of which landed proprietors in this country have least at their disposal.” And again, “Owing to our total deficiency in the means of internal communication it sometimes happens that while in one part of the country there is a superabundance, another part is suffering from dearth.”
It must not be forgotten that Tamboff, the province more especially alluded to by Mr. Sabouroff, is stated by him to be by comparison peculiarly fortunate in the possession of channels of communication. It is, moreover, the very province which was spoken of some years ago in our own parliament as the inexhaustible granary of Russia; and the justice of this character is to a considerable degree borne out by Mr. Sabouroff's descriptions of the great fertility and abundant produce of the district.
The natural inference from all we know of Russia leads us to conclude that the country must already be greatly impoverished, and its resources fearfully strained by the war. Russia therefore cannot but earnestly long for peace. At the same time we must presume that, while on the one hand little sympathy is probably felt with the ambitious designs of the late Emperor, and with the aggressive policy of which the Grand Duke Constantine is now regarded as the champion ; yet, on the other hand, no indifference to the national honour of Russia is likely to stain any important class or body in the community.
At the present moment prospects of peace have somewhat
unexpectedly opened upon us. The great question will doubtless have been decided before these pages issue from the press. All will rejoice if the expectations now confidently entertained be realised, and if the result of the pending negociations be peace—such a peace at least as shall secure the great ends for which we and our gallant allies have fought. All will rejoice if such terms of peace be ratified as shall prove Russia to be convinced that Europe will never permit the political abasement of the Crescent under the hypocritical pretext of exalting the Cross—that holy symbol, in sincere veneration for which we nevertheless at least equal Russia herself. All will rejoice if such a peace shall have been secured ; and if secured, it will be, with God's blessing, because we have boldly fought for it. The Russian has much of the Asiatic in his character, and he chiefly respects those who know how to make themselves respected. We shall be all the better friends with him hereafter, because he has seen that, though reluctant to draw the sword, we have been prepared to wield it when drawn-being always, whatever our alleged errors of strategy, or our temporary defects of organization, eager to fight, and able to fight well:
Nec cauponantes bellum, sed belligerantes. Nor is it only the terror of our naval power, or the indomitable courage of Alma, or the heroism of Inkerman, or the fearless charge of Balaclava, or the unflinching toil and sleepless guards in the trenches before Sebastopol, or the not less glorious, though less fortunate defence of Kars, which will have been duly appreciated by our foes. The firm determination of the English people at home, the cordial support which the nation has invariably given to every energetic measure for pressing on the war, the undaunted attitude of the country, will not have been thrown away. Neither will Russia have failed
to note the comparative ease with which the internal wealth and the unrestricted commerce of England have enabled her to meet the lavish expenditure of the war; not exhausting but displaying her vast resources. Lastly, Russia will have learned that England and France united in a common cause can fight for it side by side with all their ancient spirit; and that their enemies have nothing to hope from divided counsels or revived animosities.
If these lessons have been already taught, as we trust they have, then the time is ripe for peace, and then the waste, and havoc, and bloodshed of another campaign may well be spared.
If not-grievous as are the calamities of war—the responsibility of its continuance, as of its commencement, will rest on other heads than ours. We are embarked in a just quarrel, and we cannot but fight it out to the end, if we have not done so already, now when we are in every way prepared. We cannot end our great contest by an inconclusive result. We cannot assent to peace—much as we love it-on terms which would leave the risk of our being forced at no distant period to re-engage in hostilities-perhaps at a disadvantage.
“ Peace is no peace if it lets the ill grow stronger,
God defend the right, and those that dare to claim it!
F. LUSHINGTON. Points of War.
R. L. V. January 30th, 1856.
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.
I CANNOT venture to add another to the numerous books on Russia which have already appeared, without pleading as my apology that I visited that country under circumstances affording opportunities, not usually within a stranger's reach, of observing the habits and character of the people. I am therefore induced to publish the following Letters, under an impression that some account of domestic life in the Interior may be, to a certain degree, interesting from its novelty.
Being nearly connected by marriage with several Russian families, I accompanied my wife into that country in the summer of 1837, for the purpose of visiting her relatives, among whom we spent twelve months, either in private houses in the Interior, or in habits of constant intercourse at St. Petersburg
In the Letters now offered to the public I have given a simple detail of our sojourn in Russia, interspersed by a few general remarks and observations.
The court, the capital, the army, and the public institutions of the country, together with its political position and views, have occupied the pens of far abler travellers. My object has been to give some description of private life, national customs, and domestic habits in Russia.