NATURE, CLIMATE, AND SOIL.
Difficulty of Knowing Russia--Description of the Land--In What does it
Differ from Western Europe?--In What is it European?
IGNORANCE of all that is foreign has always been one of France's chief blemishes, one of the chief causes of her disasters. This vice of our national education we are at present seeking to remedy: we are making up our minds to let our children learn the languages of our neighbors; but, if it is effectually to benefit us in our politics, our knowledge of foreign things must not be limited to those nations only who actually touch our boundaries. Like ancient Greece, modern Europe forms one family, the members of which, even in the midst of their quarrels, keep mutually dependent on one another. The interests of external politics are common to all; not much less so are those of internal politics.
There is, amidst the European states, one which, notwithstanding its remoteness, has more than once weighed heavily on Western Europe. It is backed up against the East, and, between it and France, there is only Germany. It is the largest of European