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THE HOPE AND TIIE DESIRE OF rEACE. I lvhile the Peace Tarty has been haranguing, the Mi- nisters have been acting. While one section of the opposition has been vituperating the Government for its stubborn determination to carry on the war at all hazards and at any cost, and while another section has been pertinaciously endeavouring to persuade the country that the object of hostilities had been gained, and that there was no longer any purpose or excuse for their prolongation, those on whom rested the grave responsibilities of power have been diligently, unfeignedly, and silently labouring in their true vocation, and manifesting an earnest and practical desire to unite the restoration of peace with the real attainment of the purposes of war. Conscious that they would at once be unfaithful to their trust and would derogate from their high position, alike if they were to continue the conflict one hour beyond the period at which satisfactory terms of accommodation were attainable, or if they were to sheathe the sword one hour before,—they have done that %Yliieli will, we think, satisfy all Europe that, if the strife should unhappily be prolonged, the responsibility of that prolongation will n;it rest wi tli them and which, wo arc sure, onj/it to silence forever the misrepresentations of those enemies aL home who would fain hold them up to public odium as men greedy of conquests and careless of blood, who refuse to be contended and harshly reject the proffered olive branch. Our successes have made no difference whatever in our wish for peace as soon as such a peace as alone could hallow and justify the war became attainable. Therefore as soon as Austria—anxious to terminate a state of tilings which kept her in perpetual alarm and put her to a perpetual and frightful expense, and aware also of the great exhaustion of Russia and the proablc imminence of her entire defeat —proposed again to the Allies to offer conditions of peace, both the English and French Govern- ments acceded to the wish of a Power (which in truth had deserved no such consideration at our hands), and consented, not to open negotiations—which, after what passed at Vienna, would have been weakness unworthy of their position,-but to frame terms such as we could decorously accept, and such as Russia, if she be really sincere in her desire for peace and in disclaiming the ambitions projects attributed to her, ought to have no difficulty in welcoming with cordiality. And so clearly has our sincerity been shown, that the terms proposed are those suggested by Austria herself to the Alius, and with only such slight modifications introduced by England as were necessary to secure their practical realisation. A distinct ultimatum containing the offer of these terms has been forwarded by Count Esterhny to St Petersburg, so drawn up as to necessitate a yes" or "no" answer;—and we may probably look for the Czar's decision in a fortnight. The Morning Post says the contents of this uUiinutum are no secret. The terms are precisely those which, more than eighteen months ago, the Economist argued were the most gentle and favourable to Russia on which a wise, durable, or even decccnt peace could be founded,—and which we have never since ceased to hold forth as the ■minimum with which England or France ought to be satisfied. They may be saidgto t e not only moderate but magnanimous terms they excuse the acgressor those indemnities with which aggression ought always to be punished but it cannot be denied that they will go far to secure Turkey and lo break the prestige of Russia both in the East and in the West. The Euxine is to be made a commercial sea no ships of war arc to navigate its waters; all Russian fortresses on its coasts are to be destroyed; consuls are to b2 established in all its ports to watch over the faithful performance of these conditions; all forms and notions of "Protectorate, whether over the Principalities or the Christian subjects of the Porte, Russia is uttaly to renounce; and the mouths of the Danube, with a sufficient slice of Bessarabia to make this cession a secure reality, arc to be given back to Tui kcy. Now, no one who has been a regular reader of the Econo- mist will epect us to admit, that we regard these terms as u-Itolly tutisfuctory we do not think that they give to the Allks what their manifest superiority in arms: warrant them in demanding; we do not think that they entirely clear away the possible occasions and pretexts for future quarrels. The Crimea still remr.ins to menace Turicey t',ae posession of the only available harbours On the Black Sea still gives Ru-sia too much the virtu 1! command or mono- poly of that sea, even though vessi li of war are forbidden to navigate its waters. The trans-Caucasian Provinces still remain in her grasp, and will ensure the continuance of her chronic state of warfare with the Circassian tribes and a perpetual renewal of her intrigues in the direction of Persia,Afghanistan,and India. But on the ot her hand, the acceptance of these terms would be an acknowledg- ment of defeat, and, therefore, a severe and salutary shock both to the ambition and the overawing influence of Russia and the enforcement of them would enable Turkey t,) reco,er nn,l the Principalities to develop their resources vr j 5"\HJ! iree, national (jtovcrn- ment there tuight in the course of twenty years prove a permanent security for the Ottoman Empire. The imme- diate objrc:s of the war will thus no doubt be oltained. However, we are bound to say that the terms proposed, though not in every respect satisfactory, are such as we can understand that those who are invested with the grave responsibilities of the decision could not feel waianted in declining whcn our ally insisted upon accepting them. They are not a very great good-but war is a great evil. It seems very questionable, however, whether Russia has any serious intention of closing with them. There is, no reason to believe that she has been consulted upon the matter. In any case our part has been dutifully done. If she accepts, a co,tly and sanguinary conSict will have terminated in the discomHture of the Potentate who pro- voked it, and the triumphant assertion of the public law of Europe. Justicc will have been vindicated, and the weak and oppressed will have been rescued and revenged. If she refuses, the Allies will be able to stand fc.rth, with hands clear from every possibility of accusation, as the moderate, clement, dignified protectors of a righteous cause, willing to forgive much, and seeking to exact lit tie. Oa Russia henceforth rr-ust lest the whole moral onus of the prolonged contest. We dot suppose that her rejection of the ultimatum will induce Austria to give any active assistance to the Allies neither now nor ever do we expect from that selfish and narrow despotism the smallest voluntary or effective aid to a good or generons cause:—" she will withdraw her ?i?d to a !oo, from St. Petersburg-vot1d <ov?. But at j  n- b ass.idor least she can never again ask or advise us to offer better terms to Russia than those which she herself has now proposed and sanctioned :—at all events no decorous or consistent Government could do so. Whatever be the issue, our future course is clear. The question of peace or war is thencefoith taken out of our hands. We shall accept the rejection of this ultimatum by the Czar as a proclamation that he is resolved to persist ill those designs of aggrandisement which originally caused the war ;—and the next terms of pcace will have to be, not hive to be, rot offered, but imposed, and will be as far in advance of those just despatched to his capital as these were in advance of the Four Points he, so fortunately for the world, rejected at Vienna,— Economist,


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