"Nec a festinante et vehementer occupato elegantiam orations, quam ne mediatatus quidem et otiosus praestare possem, aequum est requirere. Me quidem consolabitur nullins mendacii sibi conscius animus; quod est in hujusmodi narrationibus praecipue spectandum."






I am indebted to the friendship of THE AUTHOR OF THE ANNALS OF COMMERCE, for one of the chief improvements of this new edition, the map of the Turkish empire, which was composed, with the strictest appropriation for the work, by his eldest son, MR. WILLIAM WALAYS MACPHERSON.

The extent, the minuteness, and the accuracy of research which have been employed in its composition, will be obvious on comparing the map with any of those which have been hitherto published in this country. Respect for the memory of the author, whose early promise of excellence in his profession I have frequently witnessed, and whose death I deplore as a public loss, induces me to enumerate the authorities for the principal alterations.

The latitudes and longitudes of places are corrected throughout the whole map from the best and latest observations. It includes the Turkish empire both in Europe and in Asia, together with Hungary, Lower Egypt, and the frontiers of Russia.

The provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia, the frontiers of Russia, with Circassia and Georgia, are taken from the large map of Russia, lately published at St. Petersburg in a hundred sheets, which was lent to me for the purpose by MR. VAUGHAN, of All-Souls College, Oxford. The coasts of Albania and Dalmatia are much improved from the large Venetian chart. The coasts and islands of the Archipelago are from the best modern charts, and those of the Black Sea from the French and Russian observations.

A plan of the city of Constantinople and its environs also accompanies the work.




THE great number of books which have already been written on the government and institutions of the Turkish empire, seems to render superfluous any further attempt to elucidate the subject. The accounts of different authors are, however, so various and discordant that it appears no less difficult to reconcile, than impossible to credit, their relations.

Some travellers have avowedly neglected any research into the peculiar customs, manners, and opinions of the Turks, while others, less ingenuous, have observed them superficially and even falsely, have guessed at what they have not understood, and have described rather what they have imagined than what they have beheld.

2 The European provinces of Turkey, interesting as they are from their past celebrity and their actual importance, are, however, scarcely better known, except in the mere geographical outline, than the forests of America or the deserts of Africa. The foreign traveller, unfamiliarized with the manners, and unacquainted with the language, of the people whom he studies, can have only a distant view, or a transient glance, even of the most prominent features of his subject: his descriptions are necessarily hasty and imperfect, and, when compared with the original model, resemble rather the dreams of a diseased brain than the ideas treasured up in the memory from intelligent and minute investigation.

"He who tells nothing exceeding the bounds of probability, has a right to demand, that they should believe him who cannot contradict him." But while the traveller is allowed the exercise of so extensive a privilege, he becomes responsible, in 3 an equal degree, for any abuse of the authority with which he is invested. As I claim for my labours, in common with my predecessors in this career, the same indulgence, I have consequently hazarded assertions which can derive support only from a reliance on the veracity of the author. The remoteness of my subject from general observation, leaves, however, the right of censure or contradiction in so few hands that the reader is justified in with-holding his assent, until I adduce proof, that the means which I have possessed, and the circumstances in which I have been placed, have qualified me for the task which I have undertaken.

A residence of fourteen years in the British factory at Constantinople, and about fifteen months at Odessa on the coast of the Black Sea; occasional excursions to the provinces of Asia Minor and the islands of the Archipelago; a familiar intimacy with the most respectable of the foreign ministers and their 4 interpreters; a long and not unemployed leisure; and a knowledge of the languages of the country sufficient for the purposes of ordinary communication; must have furnished opportunities for original observation, and have enabled me to discriminate, with greater accuracy than the inexperienced reader, between the imaginary and the real in the relations of former writers.

For the general confirmation of these facts I may refer to gentlemen of rank and respectability, not only in this country, but on the Continent, and may presume with confidence, that His Majesty's ambassadors at the Porte, as well as the representatives of the Continental powers, who honoured me with their friendship in Turkey, will justify my appeal to their testimony.

The state of society in the capital of the Turkish empire is such, that a mere personal acquaintance is the necessary effect of the relative position of all classes of Europeans. 5 But I may boast of having obtained, and preserved uninterruptedly, the friendship of His Excellency Mr. Liston, of Sir Sidney Smith, and his brother and colleague in the embassy, Mr. Spencer Smith, of the Imperial Internuncio Baron Herbert Rathkeal, M. Van Dedem the Batavian ambassador, M. de Knoblesdorff the Prussian envoy, and M. Descorches (formerly Marquis de Sainte Croix) ambassador from the French republic. I have had the satisfaction of being personally acquainted with the most distinguished of the modern travellers in Turkey, and have been gratified by having it in my power to assist their inquiries, and to point out to their observation objects connected with their different pursuits. Some gentlemen have done me the honour to acknowledge, that they derived advantage from my communications; and I hope it will not be imputed to vanity, that I record with a melancholy satisfaction the last grateful expressions of a scholar whose heart glowed with every virtue, and whose mind was both 6 enriched by literature and enlarged by philosophy.

The name of TWEDDELL is dear to many who knew his worth: he distinguished himself at the university of Cambridge by the elegance of his genius: he had visited the northern courts, and had travelled over some of the most interesting countries of Europe: if he had lived to complete his tour, his name would have descended with honour to posterity: and although the materials which he left were dispersed and unconnected, those which remained were still sufficient, if collected and arranged by the hand of friendship, to form a monument which might rescue his memory from unmerited oblivion. He died at Athens, and was buried in the temple of Theseus. Three days before his death he wrote me the following letter, which I value from my respect for its amiable author, and preserve the more carefully as it is the last which he ever wrote.


14th July 1799. "I write to you, my dear Sir, on board of a ship in the harbour of Piræus; which in half an hour hence will transport Mr. Neave to Smyrna, from whence he will proceed to Constantinople. I am desirous, that he should not set sail without taking charge of half a dozen lines for you, because I recollect with continued satisfaction the resources which I derived from your society during my residence at Pera, and promise myself at the same time, that you will thank me for having procured you the acquaintance of this gentleman. I do not add a syllable upon any other subject. There is so much noise 'above, around, and underneath,' that I do not know whether the few words which I have written will be intelligible to you. I hope at least you will understand, even though you should not be able to read it, that my best wishes attend you and Mrs. Thornton, and that I am, my dear Sir, ever very truly yours,



Placed by circumstances in a country where the general appearances of nature, and more especially the general manners of the inhabitants, are so exceedingly different from those to which I had been familiarized, I was consequently led to observe, though without having formed any fixed design, the occurrences that were daily passing before me. General manners more particularly attracted my notice, whether from natural taste and the bent of preceding studies, or because, from the means which were in my power, I judged myself qualified to prosecute my inquiries in this department with greater prospect of success. I read the works of preceding travellers, who, by pointing out what chiefly merits attention, shorten the labour of observation: I selected from their writings such remarks as I found corresponding with the original model; and having thus ascertained their accuracy, I treasured them up in my own mind, and considered them as a legitimate augmentation of the stock of my own knowledge. Attached to no system, 9 having no hypothesis to defend, and being influenced neither by affection nor animosity, I merely accumulated observations and amassed ideas. I studied effects in their different relations without hastily inquiring after causes. It required a long familiarity with the usages of the country, and experience in the manners of the inhabitants, to be able to discriminate between what is genuine and habitual, and what is adventitious and adulterated. It was necessary to observe the same conduct in different persons, to compare it in its various operations, and to identify it under dissimilar circumstances, before incorporating it with that distinguishing mass of peculiar habits which constitute the national character, and from which particularities and individual features are to be excluded. In the possession of means, adequate to the accomplishment of the task which I had set to myself, consisted the superior advantage of my position over that of the cursory traveller, who must derive his information almost entirely from inquiry. 10 He has previously arranged a series of questions, and he writes down in his tablets such information as he is able to obtain, which must frequently he vague, incorrect, or exaggerated. In his eagerness for information he cannot expect to penetrate beyond the surface: the folds of the human heart cannot be developed by a transient glance; nor are the distinguishing characteristics of mankind written in a language which he who runneth may read.

While I acknowledge my obligations to those whose labours have removed the difficulties which perhaps would have wholly impeded, and certainly would have considerably retarded, my progress, I must however declare, that in almost all the writers who have preceded me in the description of Turkish manners, I discover partiality or prejudice, a redundancy or a dearth of information. I have observed, in some instances, that accuracy is sacrificed to the beauties of style, 11 and even to trifling conceits and absurd comparisons.

The European, attached to the peculiar usages of his own country, condemns whatever is irreconcileable with them. On the other hand the Turkish national historian, whose conceptions have never been enlarged by general study, has neglected to mark the nice discriminating traits of the Oriental character, has overlooked defects with which he was familiarized, and has even mistaken deformity for beauty.

In order to learn with precision, it was necessary to return to the state of childhood wherein every object that presents itself is a lesson, to gather together a comprehensive mass of information, to examine it with patience, to review it with care, and, as experience advanced, to reject whatever had been hastily adopted or only superficially surveyed. I read the human character, not through a verbal translation, but as depicted 12 by its own unequivocal expressions when acting free from restraint, unguarded by suspicion, unconscious of exposing itself to examination, and exhibiting alternately its different features, as they were alternately put in motion by the predominance of different passions.

Such were my means of acquiring information, and such my mode of employing them. The result of my observations I now submit to the judgment of an enlightened public. In the course of my work I have obtruded myself as seldom as possible on the notice of the reader. If I appear, it is to support assertions which rest on my sole authority, or to give authenticity to facts by vindicating the correctness of my own statements.

In representing foreign manners I have divested myself of national prejudices: in describing foreign religions I have not confronted them with the opinions and practices 13 of other sects or persuasions. I have endeavoured to avoid those expressions of malevolence which sully the pages of preceding Christian writers. I am not, however, conscious, that I have glossed over any error, concealed any absurdity, or misrepresented any dogma, practice, or ceremony. The doctrines of Islamism, founded as they are on the religion of nature and the revelations of both our scriptures, must necessarily possess a considerable portion of intrinsic worth; but this acknowledgment by no means implies respect for the artificial and heterogeneous superstructure which peculiarly constitutes Mahometanism.

I have contemplated my subject under the guidance of my own reason; but I trust, that it has seduced me into no error which can corrupt the heart or mislead the judgment. I flatter myself, that the reader will perceive, throughout my work, zeal in the cause of virtue, morality pure though not morose, respect for order in human society, 14 reverence for religious and civil institutions, and, above all, a love of liberty, the characteristical virtue of the nation to which I esteem it an honour to belong.

I am aware, that it may be said I have forfeited my title to indulgence by the severity with which I have animadverted on the writings of preceding travellers. I have perused some works in which not a single fact is justly stated, nor a single conclusion fairly deduced. I have said so without reserve or equivocation; but the accuracy of each of my assertions may be judged by the proofs which accompany it. I have expressed without reserve the feelings which have been excited by studied misrepresentations, by falsifications of which the author himself was conscious, and by arguments rendered specious in order to mislead; but if in any instance I have censured unjustly, if I have presumed to decide where I was unqualified to judge, if I have been actuated by any other motive than the love of truth, the severity of my 15 own remarks may justly be retorted with ten fold exacerbation. In some instances I may appear to have cut the Gordian knot by too unmasked a blow; but the fallacy of its artifice did not seem deserving of a more elaborate process of disentanglement. I have not sought controversy, but I felt it my duty not to avoid it; and I shall acknowledge the propriety of reproof only when it is demonstrated, that any remark could be omitted without injury to truth. My personal acquaintance with several of the modern travellers has neither seduced me into undeserved praise, nor provoked me into bitterness. I have dismissed from my mind every consideration of private partiality or resentment, and having undertaken a work, whose only merit must be its intrinsic accuracy, I have sacrificed every inferior motive to the love of justice and of truth.

March 2, 1807.




THE events which took place about the period of the first publication of this work, having interrupted the usual intercourse with Turkey, it has hitherto been impossible to ascertain the veracity of its statements by confronting them with the institutions and manners which it describes. The book has however, been perused with minute attention by persons conversant with the subject both from study and experience, and however dubious may be its merit in other respects, it has been generally acknowledged to bear the character of truth. It has received commendation, certainly not inferior to its deserts, for accuracy and impartiality of observation, and it has been criticized, with no less justice than severity, for want of perspicuity in style and arrangement. The praise and the censure have equally prompted me to aspire after a less qualified approbation for the edition which I now offer to the world.


On comparing the present, with the former, edition, it will be evident, that I have studied to improve it by the fruits of my own reflection and reading, and by the suggestions of the most learned and judicious of the public writers. I have expunged whatever seemed objectionable, have endeavoured to supply what was deficient, to illustrate what was obscure, and to methodize what was confused. I should feel shame and regret at having published so imperfect a performance as the first copy, if I were not conscious, that its defects were not owing to negligence or precipitation, but solely to immaturity of judgment, and want of experience in the art of literary composition.

The introductory chapter of the present work, which is professedly an inquiry into the causes which led to the former aggrandizement and actual debility of the Ottoman power, incidentally deduces the history of the Turks from the remotest ages to the 18 commencement of the nineteenth century. The necessity of connecting the past with the present state of the nation, in order to a thorough comprehension of the subject, must be the excuse of my temerity in venturing to trace the recent footsteps of Voltaire and Gibbon in so difficult and intricate a path.

In the arrangement of the succeeding chapters, I have not implicitly followed the opinion of writers to whom the public looks with deference. A general view of the manners, arts, and government of the Turks, in which the whole subject is laid open, appeared to be a useful preliminary. I have therefore retained this chapter, and with the less hesitation, because its contents are perfectly intelligible without any acquaintance with the subsequent matter.

The Ottoman government has been generally supposed to be a theocracy; and on this hypothesis it has been pronounced, that 19 a previous attention to the religion of the prophet Mahomet is necessary in order to discuss the power of the sultan and the political establishments of the empire. I have, however, persisted in considering the subject of religion solely as it influences and modifies the opinions and manners of individuals, and have adhered, in this respect, to the arrangement which I had originally adopted.

The government of Mahomet and the Caliphs was indeed a theocracy: that of the Ottoman sultans is feudal; and is the same which existed among the Turks before their conversion to Islamism. This feudal government has since incorporated the theocratical powers of the successors of the prophet, which now form a branch of the Ottoman constitution. The sultan was already despotic: Mahometanism sanctified, but did not moderate, his absolute power. In this respect the political and religious constitutions 20 perfectly coincide; and therefore, though theocratical powers are superadded, they neither restrain, nor extend, the exercise of temporal authority.

The second chapter, therefore, treats of the Ottoman constitution, and the third, of the administration of justice; although I again expose myself to censure for thus separating subjects which some persons assert to be intimately and naturally connected. As, however, the religious code is the only rule observed in the administration of justice, it seems, so far from being impossible, to be even necessary, to distinguish from the exercise of authority which is independent and without controul, this simple application of paramount law, beyond which the sovereign or his delegates cannot constitutionally interfere.

It is admitted, that the military force, and the finances, of the Ottoman empire, occupy, 21 with sufficient precision and distinctness, the fourth and fifth chapters; and, as, together with the preceding part, they comprise the whole subject of the Ottoman constitution and government, I have placed immediately after them the chapter on the situation of the empire with respect to the neighbouring states. It has indeed been proposed to terminate the work with this discussion, but as the succeeding chapters relate only to religion, and the manners of private and domestic life, I have judged it no less proper to conclude whatever is connected with politics before a new and distinct subject engages the attention.

The manners and customs of the men, and the domestic economy of the women, are reserved for the seventh and eighth chapters: a separation which has already been pronounced to be singularly injudicious, because the subject of both is so nearly the same. I have, however, in compliance with 22 the general opinion of the East, been induced to consider the harem as wholly distinct from the male establishment of a Turkish family.

December 26, 1808.


PREFACE … i-xxii


I. General View of the Manners, Arts, and Government of the Turks. … 1
II. Constitution of the Ottoman Empire. … 107
III. Administration of Civil and Criminal Law. … 188
IV. Military Force of the Ottomans. … 232


V. Finances of the Ottoman Empire and Revenues of the Sultan. … 1
VI. Progress and Decline of the Ottoman Power. … 51
VII. Religion, Morals, Manners, and Customs of the Turks. … 104
VIII. Women, and Domestic Economy. … 226
IX. Moldavia and Wallachia. … 297



Origin and monarchy of the Turks in Asia.—Empire of Mahomet and the caliphs.— Usurpations and dynasties of the Turks and Turcmans.—Kingdom of Roum or Anatolia.—Embassy of the Byzantine emperor to the council of Placentia.—The crusades.—Conquests of Jenghiz Khan.—Emigration of the Othmanidce.— Osman, son of Ertogrul, founder of the Ottoman dynasty:—his military, political, and civil, government, —Orkhan.—Murad the First.—Bajazet the First.—Interregnum.—Mahomet the First.—Murad the Second.—Mahomet the Second.—Bajazet the Second.—Selim the First.— Soliman the First.— Selim the Second.—Murad the Third.— Mahomet the Third.—Ahmed the First.—Mustafa the First. —Osman the Second.—Murad the Fourth.—Ibrahim.—Mahomet the Fourth.—Soliman the Second.—Ahmed the Second. —Mustafa the Second.—Ahmed the Third.—Mahmud.— Osman the Third.—Mustafa the Third.—Aldulhamid.— Selim the Third.

[Origin and monarchy of the Turks in Asia.]

THE high antiquity of the Turks is attested by the Persian and Arabian writers, as well as by those of their own nation. The Persian traditions relate, that Turc, who gave his name to Turkistan, and Iredj, to whom xxiv the Persian kings ascribe their origin,. were sons of the same father. Abulfaragius, an Arabian author, in his universal history of dynasties, enumerates the Turks among the seven original races of mankind, who, according to his account, are the Persians, Chaldaeans, Greeks, Egyptians, Turks, Indians, and Chinese. The Turkish writers assert their descent from Japhet by Turc, the eldest of his eight sons, the founder of the Tartar race, who fixed his residence at Selinkiah, allured by the salubrity of the air and the purity of the waters. The Greeks confounded this people under the general 'j name of Scythians, and their country under that of Scythia; but the oriental geographers divide it into four parts, the most fertile and populous of which borders on the Caspian sea, and is watered by the Oxus. The hordes who over-ran the western parts of Asia and the eastern division of the Roman empire, issued chiefly from this district*N_01.

[[N_01* See Jenisch, de fatis ling. Orient, prefixed to Meninski'i lexicon, edit. Vienna 1780. Pliny, in the 7th chapter of the 6lh book of his natural history, makes mention of the Sarmatians, inhabitants of the country about the Tanai's, among whose families he enumerates the Turks. " Turcae, usque ad solitudines laltuosis convallibus asperas, ultra quas Arimphsei, qui ad Riphaeos pertinent monies." xxv Also Pomponius Mela, towards the end of the 19th chapter of the 1st book, de situ orbis. " Foe-cundos pabulo juxta Msotim, at alias steriles nudosque campos tenent Budini: Geloni urbem ligneam habitant: juxta Thyssa-getse Turcseque vastas silvas occupant, alunturque venando." Constantine Porphyrogenftus, in the book de administrando im-perio, at the beginning of the 37th chapter, says, that " towards the end of the ninth century the Uzi, uniting with the Charazi, expelled the Patzinacitse from their country beyond the Volga ; these, in search of a new settlement, fell upon the Turks, and drove them out of their country near the Tanai's." Such was the imperfect knowledge which European writers possessed of the Turkish nation even so late as the middle of the tenth century. These tribes, of whom they barely mention the names, inhabited the eastern coast of the sea of Azoff, and the plains which lie between the Don and the Dnieper: they were separated from the great body of the nation, and continued to retrea1 before the invaders across the Dniester and the Danube, until they reached Great Moravia (now called Transilvania and Hungary), where they settled and became incorporated with the ancient inhabitants. (See Peyssonnel, observations historiques et geographiques sur les peuples barbares qui ont habile les bords du Danube et du Pont-Euxin, p. xxxviii. 4to. Paris 1765.) In the year 1068 the Uzi, a Moldavian horde of the Turkish race, served in the Roman armies, and Under the same name, or that of Gozz, as they are called by the orientals, they appear on the Volga, and in Armenia, Syria, and Khorassan. (See Gibbon, hist, of the decline and fall of the Roman empire, v. x, p. 218, note 40; and p. 355, note 31. 8vo. London 1802.) The Charazi are said to be the same as the Magiars, by which name the modern Hungarians are known to the Ottoman Turks. (See Peysonnel, p. xxxix.) The Patzinacitas are supposed by Leun-clavius to be the inhabitants of Bosnia, who still call themselves Botzinaki, but it must be observed, that the inhabitants of Bosnia are Slavi, and that De Guignes (hist, des Huns, t. i, part, i, p. 230. Paris 1756 a 1758) derives the Patzinacitas from the Turks or Huns.]]


[before Christ 1200]

The most remote ancestors of the Turks, of whom authentic history makes mention, were the wandering tribes of Hiong-nou, or Huns, who dwelt under tents, and occupied with their flocks and herds the extensive plains which lie to the north of China. The foundation of their first empire is carried back to the year 1200 before the birth of Christ. It included the whole of Asiatic Tartary, and was dissolved by the dissensions of the reigning family, and the victories of the Chinese. The dispersed Huns emigrated to different countries. Part of them invaded Europe in the reign of the emperor Valens, and founded an empire which subsisted till the year 468. The rest were confounded with the Avars*N_02.

[[N_02* See De Guignes, t. i, part, i, p. 215—218. The subject of the epic poem of Ferdusi (shah nameh] is the war of Cyrus with Afrasiab, the Turkish or Hunnish monarch. (See Sir William Jones's works, v. v, p. 594. 4-to. London 1799.) A celebrated system of unwritten laws called yasac (which in modern Turkish signifies forbidden or prohibited) anciently prevailed in Tartary, and was republished by Jenghiz Khan. Tamerlane is said to have almost preferred it to the koran. (See Jones's works, v. i, p. 65. Gibbon, Roman hist. v. vii, p. 287; v. xii, p. 43, note 68.)]]


The Turks, a branch of the ancient family of the Huns, continued to inhabit the Altai mountains, but were subject to the Geougen Tartars, until the year 552, when their chief renounced his allegiance and made war upon his master, wrested the empire from him by repeated victories, and assumed the sovereign title of khan. The Turkish empire which was thus established in Tartary, extended eastward as far as China, and thence, along the frontiers of India and Persia, to the lake Maeotis and the confines of the Roman empire. Its influence on the affairs of the Romans was felt only so far as the Turks impelled the tribes whose country they invaded towards the Roman, frontiers, or in the occasional alliances of the two nations, and the powerful diversion which the Turks made on the side of the Oxus, against their common enemy the Persians. The history of their foreign or domestic wars, the subversion or dissolution of their empire after a duration of two hundred and eleven [A. D. 763.] years, and the subsequent dispersion of their families, are little connected with the subject of the present work*N_03, until about the middle xxviii [A. D. 868.] of the third century of the hegira, when a considerable body of Turkish youth, expelled from their country, taken in war, or purchased in trade, were enlisted in the service of the Arabian caliphs of the house of Abbas, and were embodied for the purpose of guarding the person of the sovereign and domestic factions. This transient relief entailed on the successors to the cahphat a permanent evil of a more grievous nature; for we read, immediately after, of the seditions of the Turkish guards on account of their pay being in arrears, of their combinations in acts of regicide and rebellion, and of their uncontrolled dilapidations of the public treasure: they seized upon every lucrative or honourable office, assumed to themselves the effective government of the state, the com--mand of the armies and the provinces, and, wherever employed, they gradually advanced from offices of public importance to the sovereignty over their former masters*N_04.

[[N_03* See De Guignes, t. i, pa-t. 1, p. 225, 227- The Altai mountains were productive of minerals, and the mines were worked by the Turks during a period of 450 years for the use of thee great khan of the Geougen. From the name of the moun-tains, and that of the lake Altyn, which lies at the foot of them, I suppose, that they contained gold mines. The royal camp, or residence of the Turkish kham, was on the same mountains, and was situated, according to the observation of a Chinese astronomer, in the latitude of forty-nine degrees. (See Gibbon, Rom. hist, v.vii, p. 28.5, 289.)]]

[[N_04* See De Guignes, t. i, part, i, p. 237. Abulfaragii hist, comp. dynast, p. 175, 176. ed. Oxon. 1663.]]


The empire founded in Arabia by the pro-phet Mahomet, and extended by the rapid conquests of his successors as far as mount [Empire of Mahomet and the caliphs.] [Date of the hegira, July 16th, A. D. 622.] Atlas and the Pyrenees, had been weakened by division, and shaken by the contention of powerful parties for the right of succession to the caliphat*N_05. Moavia, governor of Syria, refused to acknowlege the sovereignty of Ali, the fourth caliph, and declared war against him in order to avenge the blood of his predecessor Othman. He obtained, rather by artifice than by force, the cession of Syria and Egypt, and, on the assassination of Ali and the abdication of his son Hassan, transferred the caliphat, in the forty-first year of the hegira, to the family of Ommias, the uncle of Mahomet, from whom he was descended †N_06. Fourteen princes of this dynasty, whose seat of government was in the city of Damascus, -swayed the Mussulman sceptre for about a century, notwithstanding some partial insurrections in favour of the house xxx of Ali, whose pretensions expired with Mehhdy, the twelfth imam, who disappeared in the year of the hegira two hundred and fifty-five, and, as the Persians believe, still exists upon earth, and will again appear to assert the rights of his house, and to establish his caliphat over the whole world*N_07. Abd'ullah the First, surnamed Seffah, the descendant of Abbas the cousin of Mahomet,, restored the caliphat to the race of Haschim, by the extermination of all the Ommiades who fell into his power †N_08. It continued in the family of the Abassides for the space of five hundred and twenty-three years, under the dominion of thirty-seven successive caliphs. Bagdad was the capital of their empire, which consisted of Armenia, Syria, Persia, xxxi Arabia, Egypt, and a part of India*N_09. Their reigns were however disturbed by the pretensions of the Fatimites, the presumed, descendants of the house of Ali by Fatima the daughter of Mahomet, who, regarding their ancestor as the rightful heir to the caliphat, on account of his relationship and his early and constant attachment to the prophet, branded not only the Abassides, but the immediate successors of Mahomet, with the name of traitors and usurpers, as the Abassides had, in their turn, stigmatized the caliphs of the house of Ommias. The dynasty of the Fatimites was first established in Africa. In the year 358 of the hegira they conquered Egypt, and built the city of Cairo for the seat of their government. Their spiritual supremacy was, however, acknowledged only by their own subjects, and, at the end of three centuries, it was again restored to the house of Abbas †N_10. xxxii The caliphs of this latter dynasty, even after the death of Mostasem and the almost total extinction of [A.D. 1258.] their family in Bagdad by the Mogol Tartars, retired to Egypt, and continued to exercise spiritual dominion over the faithful, until the reduction of that ancient kingdom to a province of the Ottoman empire*N_11.[A.D. 1519.]

[[N_05* The word caliph signifies vicar or lieutenant. The dignity was instituted by Mahomet himself, during his occasional absences from Medina, in the second year of the hegira. (See D'Ohsson, tableau general de l'empire Othoman, t. i, p. 214. 8vo. Paris 1788.)]]

[[N_06† See De Guignes, t. i, part. 1, p. 324. Tab. Gen. t.j, p. 216—223.]]

[[N_07* The Ottomans believe, that Mehhdy will be the precursor of the day of judgment, and the vicar of Jesus Christ in calling all nations to the knowledge of Islamism. (See Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 267.)]]

[[N_08† He collected together ninety-two princes of this unfortunate family, and sent in among them his servants armed with heavy clubs, who despatched them all. He then ordered carpets and mats to be spread over the heap of bodies, and made a sumptuous entertainment amidst the groans of his expiring enemies. Abd'ur-rahman was the only one who escaped : he fled into Spain, where he founded the caliphat of the beno-ummeye. (See Tab. Gen. t. t, p. 238, 239.)]]

[[N_09* See De Guignes, t. i, part. 1, p. 327. Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 232.]]

[[N_10† The Fatimites, as well as the Ommiades who reigned in Spain, are considered as anti-caliphs by the orthodox Mussulmans. (See Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 235.)]]

[[N_11* See De Guignes, t. i, part. 1, p. S31, 332, 369. Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 233—238.]]

The prophet Mahomet, who left no male issue, appears to have felt but little anxiety to ensure to his successors the temporal authority which he himself had exercised over his followers. A few days before his death he commissioned Abubekir to preside in his stead at the public prayers†N_12, but though he foretold, that the perfection, or legitimacy, of the caliphat would be destroyed after thirty years, and that it would give place to governments established by force, usurpation, and tyranny‡N_13, he omitted to establish any order of succession to the priesthood and the throne, either from an ignorance of the science of government, or from an unwillingness to weaken the authority of his divine mission by admitting the xxxiii contingency of his own death; and in fact, according to the Arabian historians, the angel of death, who attended on Mahomet in his last moments, did not dare to receive his soul till the agonizing prophet had himself signified his assent *N_14. Abubekir and the two succeeding caliphs founded their title, not on the appointment of the prophet or their connexion with his family, but on their own influence in the state, and the choice of their companions. The right of Ali, who tmited to his title of kinsman of the prophet the free election of the Mussulmans, would have been undisputed, if he had not been implicated in, or at least accused of being accessary to, the murder of Othman. The unwarlike disposition of the son of Ali, and his resignation of the sovereignty to his rivals, interrupted the order of hereditary succession, but this principle of government, when once admitted, continued afterwards to be acknowledged *N_15.

[[N_12† See Mignot, hist, de 1'emp. Ottom. t. i, p. 29. 12mo. Paris 1771. Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 214, 278.]]

[[N_13‡ This prediction was accomplished by the murder of the caliph Ali, after whom Mussulmans acknowledge only an imperfect caliphat. (See Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 212, 225.)]]

[[N_14* See Tab. Gen. t.i, p. 199. The death of Mahomet was doubted, and even denied by the most zealous of his disciples, after the event had taken place. Omar drew his scymetar in the midst of the assembly, and threatened to put to death any one who should dare to assert, that the prophet was no more. The faithful multitude would have submitted to the impression, if Abubekir had not convinced them by his eloquence, that not Mahomet, but the God of Mahomet, was the only infinity and immortal being. (See Mignot, t. i, p. 28.)]]

[[N_15* See Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 279, 281, 282.]]


The Abassides, as well as the Ommiades, ran the usual round of despotism. The few political maxims which had been transmitted by tradition from Mahomet to the caliphs, were insufficient for the regular government of their extensive empire. They passed from the labours of conquest and the acquisition of wealth to the criminal indulgence of their passions and the total neglect cf the duties of -royalty. At the end of three centuries their temporal sovereignty was taken from them, and though they retained the title of caliph, and the ostensible exercise of spiritual authority, even this powerful engine was wielded only to strengthen the authority, or to gratify the caprice, of the slaves who ruled over the empire and its master †N_16. [Usurpations and dynasties of the Turks and Turcmans.] The most powerful of the Turkish families who thus usurped the sovereign authority, were the Toulonides in Egypt, and the Sa-manides and Ghaznevides in Persia‡N_17. Nu- xxxv merous hordes of the same people continued, however, to wander over the plains which border the Caspian sea and the Persian empire. The Turkish kings, unmindful of the instruction to be derived from the history of their own elevation, resorted to the dangerous practice and policy of the caliphs, en-Jisted in their service the robust youth of the Turcman tribes, and were in their turn supplanted on the throne of Persia by the shepherd kings, who established the dynasty of Seljuk, and extended their empire from Sa-marcand to the confines of Anatolia and Syria*N_18.

[[N_16† See Voltaire, essai sur les mosurs, chap. liii. 8vo. Paris 1784. See in the Tableau General, t. i, p. 237—245, the character and the crimes of many of these caliphs and their generals.]]

[[N_17‡ See De Guignea, t. i, part, i, p. 237—239, for the Tou-lonides and their successors the Ikshidites: p. 239—240, for the Ghaznevides: p. 404—406, for the Samanides.]]

[[N_18* See Gibbon, Rom. hist. v. x, p. 333, 342, 343, 344.]]

The Roman empire was first invaded by [A. D. 1035.] the Turks about the middle of the eleventh century. Their conquest of Asia Minor was authorized, and even suggested, by the caliph of Bagdad, in order to settle a dispute between the Seljukian sultan, Malek Shah, and his kinsmen, the five sons of Cutulmisch who had fallen in battle against his father. Soliman, the eldest of these sons, accepted [Kingdom of Roum or Anatolia] the royal standard, and by his rapid victories established his hereditary command over xxxvi the new kingdom of Rotim, which, with the exception of Trebizond, comprehended the several provinces of Asia from Antioch and the eastern boundaries of Armenia to the Bosphorus and the Hellespont*N_19. The eldest branch of the family of Seljuk continued to fill the throne of Persia, and commanded the fealty of the royal brethren, who/ under the common- name of Seljukian princes, ruled over the kingdoms of Kerman, Syria, and Bourn. The city of Nice in Bithynia, within an hundred miles of Constantinople, was chosen by the sultans of this latter dynasty to be the metropolis of their kingdom and the seat of their government. These provinces, irretrievably sacrificed on the fatal day when the emperor Romanus Diogenes was defeat-ed†N_20, were ceded in a formal manner by the -treaty of Chrysopolis, or Scutari, and it was not till after the death of Sultan Soliman, with whom the treaty had been made, that the emperor Alexius extended the eastern Boundary of the Roman world as far as Nico- xxxvii media, about sixty miles from Constantinople. In the distress occasioned by the near ap- [Embassy of the Byzantine emperor to the council of Placentia. A.D. 1095.] proach of so formidable an enemy to the seat of the Byzantine empire, Alexius was induced to send his ambassadors to solicit succour from the princes of Europe, and to represent his case, as involving the general interests of the Christian world, before the council of Placentia, which was at that time assembled by Urban the Second. The resentment of Christendom had been already excited against the Turks by their conquest of the city of Jerusalem, and their molestation of the pilgrims who resorted in numerous bodies to perform their devotions at the holy sepulchre ; and a confederation of the princes of Europe was resolved upon for the purpose of expelling them from Palestine, to which design the relief of Constantinople was necessarily subordinate.

[[N_19* See D'Herbelot, bibliotheque Orientale, p. 721, troc. Roum. fol. Paris 1697. Cantemir, history of the growth and decay of the Othraan empire, p, 20, note 6. fol. London 1734. Do. spription of Asia in Sir William Jones's works, T,'T, p.584.]]

[[N_20† See Gibbon, Rom, bisu i. x. p. 358.]]

By means of the crusaders, whose first [The crusades. A.D. 1095-1099.] achievement, the siege and capture of Nice, was followed by a decisive victory over the sultan's troops in the battle of Dorylseum, Alexius was enabled to regain the sovereignty over several of the maritime and inland fortified cities of Asia Minor. The Turks were xxxviii expelled from the islands of Rhodes and Chios. Ephesus, Smyrna, Sardes, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, were restored to the empire, which now extended over the entire circuit of the coast of Anatolia, from Trebi-zond to the Syrian gates. The Seljukian sultans, who were thus removed from communication with the sea by the conquests of the emperors, were also separated from their Mussulman brethren by those of the crusaders, and especially by the establishment of the Christian principality of Antioch and the kingdom of Jerusalem, with their fiefs and dependencies. Indeed their power was so shaken by the victories of the Franks, and their empire so contracted by the encroachments of the Byzantine emperors, that they were compelled to remove the seat of government to Iconium, or Com/a, an obscure and inland town, above three hundred miles from Constantinople. In the mean time, the transitory dominion of the Franks in Asia, though supported by seven ill-conducted expeditions from Europe, and the mutual jealousy of the Fatimite caliphs of Egypt and the Turkish sultans of Damascus, was subverted by the efforts of the Saracens and Turks, and the genius xxxix of the atabek sultans Zenghi, Noureddin, and Saladin*N_21. This event was facilitated by their conquests over the Fatimites, which united under their sceptre the countries from the Tigris to the Nile. On the death of Saladin, the unity of his empire was broken: the hostile interests of the governors of Egypt, Damascus, and Aleppo again revived, and again subsided under the reign of the Mameluke sultans of the Baharite and Bor-gite dynasties, a race of Turcman and Circassian slaves, whose sway, supported by valour and discipline, and transmitted not to their heirs, but to the most deserving of their dependents†N_22, extended over Egypt, Nubia, Arabia, and Syria, and who effected, after a struggle of two centuries, the expulsion of the Franks from Palestine and the termination of the holy war.

The general confusion of the age introduced [Conquests of Jenghiz Khan.] [A.D. 1206-1227.] by the incursions and ravages of Jenghiz Khan and his successors, who conquered every thing between the AEgean and the Yellow sea, induced the emirs, or governors of the pro- vinces of Anatolia which had escaped the ravages of the Mogols, to renounce their allegiance to the sultans and to assume independent power*N_23.

[[N_21* See Abulfaragius, p. 250—267. D'Herbelot, bibl. Orient. voc. Atabek. De Guignes, t. ii, part.ii, p. 14-7—281.]]

[[N_22† See D'Herbelot, bibl. Orient, voc. Mamlouk.]]

[[N_23* See Cantemir, Ottom. hist, preface p. xii; p, 60, note 7,]]


[Emigration of the Othmanides.]

Such was the general state of Asia and the Greek empire when, in the 6llth year of the hegira and 1214th of the Christian sera, the great ancestor of the Ottoman princes, Soliman Shah, encouraged by the example, or alarmed at the progress, of Jenghiz Khan, quitted his settlements in Kho-rassan, a province of Persia, and his native city Mahan, and leading forth his subjects and associates to new conquests, first approached the confines of Anatolia. His conquests and his life were terminated by the river Euphrates, which he attempted to pass on horseback. His forces were divided among his four sons, and again united under Ertogrul, the eldest, who employed them in aiding the sultan of Icomum to conquer and expel the dispersed Tartars of Jenghiz Khan's expedition. He merited, by preserving and extending the sultan's dominions, the rank of generalissimo of his armies, which he bequeathed to his son Osman, whose ambition, assumed no higher title until, on the abdica- xli tion of the second Aladin, he seized and retained the sovereign power over the district which had been confided to his government*N_24.

Osman, the founder of the empire which [Osman, son of Ertogrul, founder of the Ottoman dynasty:] is still honoured with his name, was led in early life by the love of piety and learning to seek improvement in the society of sheiks and ulema, venerable for the austerity of their manners or the extent of their knowledge. A sheik in the neighbourhood of Eski Shehr, named Edebaly, possessed still greater attractions for the young prince in the personal charms of his daughter, Malhun-hatynn. Osman had seen her by chance or by design, and was smitten with her beauty, but he was deterred from marrying her by the apprehension of his father's displeasure, and restrained by the lady's prudence from a clandestine engagement. The governor of the city, whom Osman had entreated to use his good orifices in order to obtain the approbation of his father, was inflamed by his description, and privately sought, but failed in obtaining, the lady's hand. His treachery and the resentment of Osman involved the citizens in the horrors of civil war. The anxious desire of possessing his beautiful mistress, and the necessity of obtaining his father's consent, suggested to the prince an artifice which was justified by the manners of the age and the credulity of Ertogrul's character. He dreamed, or invented a dream:—a meteor, beaming with a mild light like that of the moon, arose from the side of the sheik, and rested on the navel of Osman, whence sprang a tree, whose top reached to the skies, and whose branches, bending under rich foliage and delicious fruit, extended to the furthest extremities of the universe: one bough, distinguished from the rest by a more lively verdure and resembling a sabre 'in its form, stretched out to the west towards Constantinople : all the riches and beauties of nature were spread out under the canopy of this wonderful tree, and invited the various tribes of mortals to enjoy the sweets of prosperity without the necessity of toil. The natural interpretation of such a prodigy pointed out the sheik, who was himself skilled in the art of developing mysteries, as the future father-in-law of a monarch, already united to him in community of faith, whose race, as was typified by the mysterious tree Tuba, one of xliii the wonders of paradise, should multiply their possessions, and extend their sway beyond the capital of the eastern empire. Such reasoning, seconded by the blooming beauties of Malhun-hatynn, was irresistible. Osman was submissive to the divine decree, and it even carried such full conviction to the devout Ertogrul that he was no less impatient than his son to hasten the accomplishment of the prediction*N_25.

The relaxed state of government and military discipline among the Romans, encouraged the inroads of the Turks, which continued with unremitting success, till Mahomet the Second, in the year fourteen hundred and fifty-three, placed himself on the throne of the C sesars. The power of the Ottoman sultans gradually extended from the banks of the Dnieper to the cataracts of the Nile, and from the Adriatic sea to the Persian gulf, over that portion of the globe which seems most favoured by nature, and which has been the parent, or the nurse, of all the sciences and all the arts of civilized life. [his military, political, and civil, government. A. D. 1299—1326.]

[[N_24* See Cantemir, p. 2—14.]]

[[N_25* See Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 353—359. Knolles, Turkish history, v. i, p. 9*. 6th edit. London 1687.]]


When we survey an empire of this vast xliv extent reduced to the subjection of a family which but three centuries before had sought refuge at the head of four hundred outcasts from the sultan of Iconium*N_26; when we reflect, that the conquests of this small band of adventurers were made in countries, over a small portion of which the allied powers of western Europe, from Rome to Britain, animated with native valour and the enthusiasm of religion, had with difficulty succeeded in establishing themselves even for a short period ; our inquiries are naturally directed towards the means which were employed, and the conduct which was pursued, in the accomplishment. We are led to expect in the history of the Ottomans the practice of the same virtues, and the development of the same talents, which, after a longer and more obstinate struggle, had given to the Roman people the dominion of the world. We find indeed in the earlier history of both people many strong traits of resemblance, both in their habits of life and their modes of warfare †N_27; and if the Turks had adopted the Roman maxim of renouncing their own, as xlv soon as they had discovered any better, usages, and of profiting by instructions which they might receive even from their enemies, the Ottoman dominion would perhaps have been distinguished both by its universality and its permanence.

[[N_26* See Gibbon, v. xi, p. 432.]]

[[N_27† See Montesquieu, considerations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains, et de leur decadence, chap, i.]]

One great cause of the prosperity common to both empires in their incipient state and their early progress, was, that both were governed by a succession of rulers of extraordinary talents, of which no example is to be found in any other Asiatic dynasty besides the Turkish. To the genius of the kings of Rome may indeed be ascribed the superior merit of having elicited the martial qualities and latent energies of their subjects, while the Ottoman sultans were themselves cast in the mould of pre-existing institutions. Commanding a 'people possessed neither of industry nor skill, neither of commerce nor arts, but dependent, almost for their subsistence, on robbery and violence, desirous of war from education, from habit, and the confidence of superiority, restless from the near prospect of enjoyments, which werf with-held from them only by nations corrupted by wealth and enervated by luxury, the sultans were naturally led to gratify the xlvi predominant propensity of their nation, because it favoured at once the extension of their empire, the propagation of their religious belief, the pride of victory, and the lust of domination. Every thing conspired to make them consider the moments as lost which were not devoted to ambition, or occupied in the conquest of the infidels.

The first attack of an army stimulated by such powerful motives, was furious and generally irresistible. The Turks living amid the havoc of perpetual hostilities, were necessarily superior in strength, in experience, in skillj and more especially in that confidence of success by which victory is so often won, to a people averse from war, which they regarded as an interruption of their ordinary and more agreeable pursuits, and who, after repelling an imminent danger, immediately relapsed into their former habits of luxury and indolence. Hence the Turks became the terror and the envy of their antagonists and rivals: and when they had discovered the means of supporting a body of regular troops who were continually in the field, it operated as a new invention in the art, and gave them an infinite advantage in the conflicts, of war*N_28.

[[N_28* See Tab. Gen. t. iv, p. 437. Mignot, hist. Ottom. t. i, p. 101- Gibbon, v. xi, p. 435, 446.]]


The immediate cause, the chief engine, of their success were, as may be remarked in several other instances in history, a rigorous attention to military discipline, and a consequent accession of military skill†N_29. At an earlier period, the military science of the Greeks, and the numerous armies of Persia, had been forced to yield to the compact pressure of the Macedonian phalanx: the phalanx in its turn was vanquished by the legion, the last and chief improvement of ancient warfare, which, if its discipline had not been relaxed, would have upheld the Roman empire against external enemies for an unlimited period. On the abolition of the legion a barbarian system succeeded, and the west of Europe was covered with warriors, who, though possessing individually the greatest address in warlike exercises, emulated only the personal achievements of heroic warfare, and led on the great bodies of their soldiers by imitation and example, ra- xlviii ther than by an adherence to any principle of tactics or any system of combined operations.

[[N_29† See in Cantemir,p. 25, and in the Tab. Gen. t. iv, p. 116, the first establishment of regular pay and uniforms (though only with respect to the colour and shape of the turban) among the Ottoman troops.]]

The high spirit which animated the descendants of the Normans and Germans had now retired from distant and fruitless crusades, and was occupied chiefly in the wars, or the domestic feuds, of Europe. The eastern empire had protracted its feeble existence by arts calculated to debase the ruler, and to extinguish every spark of manly fire in the breasts of the people. The court of Constantinople had practised perjury and treachery, had submitted to insult and public reprimand: it had averted evil by degradation, by the payment of tribute, and by alliance with the petty captains of savage hordes. The Byzantine emperors opposed to the hardy and ferocious bands of Turkish warriors, to the keen swords and close array of the youthful and vigorous janizaries, only foreign mercenaries or natives acting from mercenary motives; " strangers without faith, veterans without pay or arms, and recruits without experience or discipline*N_30." The contest could not long remain doubtful, and by the natural xlix operation of those immutable laws which regulate human affairs, the timorous precautions, the delays, the intrigues, the conflicting passions, of a vitiated, declining, and debilitated, government, necessarily sunk before the boldness of conception, the unity of plan, the promptitude of execution, of a mind fixed on the attainment of extended sovereignty, and opposing to idleness and luxury the vigorous habit of exercise and temperance.

[[N_30* Gibbon, i. x, p. 352.]]

The unwarlike Greeks were not, however, the only enemies with whom the Ottomans had to contend. The downfal of the Byzantine empire was retarded by the fears, or the jealousy, of the emirs who still exercised independent power over the fairest provinces of the Seljukian monarchy. The territory of Sugut, on the banks of the Sangar, the hereditary lordship of the Ottomans in Bi-thynia, was inferior in extent and importance to many of those governments which were held by princes of the house of Aladin*N_31. The sovereignty of the emir of Cara- mania, which derives it name from the mountain Amanus, extended over Cilicia, and part of the frontiers of Lycaonia, Pamphilia, Caria, and the greater Phrygia, Ionia Ma-, ritima, as far as the city of Smyrna, obeyed the family of Sarukhan. The chief part of Lydia, with some part of Mysia, Troas, and Phrygia, formed the principality of Caraz or Kars. Aidin consisted of the greatest part of Mysia, together with some part of Lydia. The principality "of Mentes derived its name from a city in Caria called Mendos or Myn-dus. The city of Boli was the seat of government of the sons of OmuV, whose sway extended over Paphlagonia and Pontus, comprising the cities of Heraclea, Castamona, Sinope, and several others on the Euxine sea"*N_32. li These were the chief divisions of the Seljukian territory, which was peopled by a race of men united by their common origin* by the use of the same language, and the profession of the same religion. Their princes inherited the spirit of independence and love of war which, in that age, seemed to be congenial to the Turkish character; but tranquillity was preserved among them by a maxim, sanctified by the Mahometan religion and revered by its professors, that the swords of Mussulmans should not be drawn against orthodox believers*N_33. There were, however, several maritime and inland cities and castles in Asia Minor, and more especially on the borders of Osman's territory, which were still possessed by the Christian subjects of the Byzantine emperors, and were intermingled with those of the Turks, with whom continual and mutual aggressions produced constant war†N_34.

[[N_31* The Turks call it diminutively Suguchic (Cantemir, preface P- xiii), or Seugutdjik. (Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 355.) Ertogrul was buried in this town, and his tomb is to this day held in veneration by the Ottomans.]]

[[N_32* See Nicephorus Gregoras, 1. [273]ii, i. Leunclavius, historiat Musulmanics Turcorum, p. 23. fol. Francofurti 1591. ChaJ-condylas, 1. i. Knolles, v. i, p. 89. D'Herbelot, bibl. Orient, voc. Carman, Carax Hi, Aidin, Soli. De Guignes, t. ii, part, ii, p. 7S, 77. Mignot, t. i, p. 91. Gibbon, v. xi, p. 436.

The names or titles of the several governors, exclusively of the sultan of Iconium, are thus enumerated in the Turkish annals (seeCantemir, preface, p. xiij; but it would be impossible to ascertain the boundaries of their respective territories. " Churzem Shah (which, he says, signifies king of Caspia), Caramanogli, Azefbejan, Germiafiogli, Hamidogli, Kutrum Bayezid, Isfindarbey, Ahmedholamir, Tekkebey, Zuulcadirbey."

For the present divisions of these principalities, which now compose the beylerbeylik, or vice-royalty, of Anatolia, see Marsigli, stato militare dell'imperio Ottomanno, t, i, p. 105—109. Haya 1732.]]

[[N_33* See Mignot, t. i, p. 103, also Cantemir, p. 27; and p. 149, note 13.]]

[[N_34† See Knolles, v. i, p, 95, 96, 98. Cantemir, p. 26.]]


Osman had been authorized by the sultan of Iconium to extend his conquests on the side of the infidels, and to annex to his own dominion whatever he could wrest from them by force or policy*N_35. The Asiatic Greeks, thus insulated among powerful and irreconcileable enemies, could not protect themselves by union or confederacy, and despaired of succour from the Byzantine emperors, who, after the feeble effort .of Andronicus to raise the siege of Nice, withdrew their attention from Asia to the distracted state and domestic broils of their capital, and to their few remaining European provinces, while they left their subjects in Asia to the weak defence of their own territories†N_36. In the mean time Osman, by frequent and important acquisitions in Phrygia, Mysia, and Bithynia, laid the foundations of his empire: in his own life-time he extended it to the shores of the Hellespont, and established his seat of government in the city of Brusa. The Seljukian emirs saw with envy the extension of Osman's dominion over the cities of the Greeks, and endeavoured, rather by secret policy than open hostilities, liii to check his progress and disturb his tran-. quillity. But Osman had so terrified the Christians, by his consummate skill and san-guiuary practice in war, that they cautiously-avoided giving him any cause of offence. Before his power was firmly established he prudently connected himself, by a general treaty of amity, with the surrounding chieftains: but while the terror of his name enforced on the weaker members of the confederacy the strict observance of the conditions, he reserved to himself the right, as he possessed the means, of punishing real or supposed aggression by the seizure and confiscation of castles and territories, until his dominion was gradually extended over the whole, and his power was raised to an equality with that of the Mussulman princes his rivals*N_37.

[[N_35* See Purchas his pilgrimage, chap, via, sec, 3, p. 319.]]

[[N_36† See Knolles, v, i, p. 99. Cantemir, p. 18.]]

[[N_37* Sec Knolles, v. i, p. 100.]]

Formidable only to his enemies, Osman endeavoured to soothe into loyalty the subjects whom he had acquired by force, and to reconcile the conquered Christians to his government by the exercise of justice and of mercy; by leaving, in some instances, the ancient laws of the country without abrogation or change, or by the establishment and impartial admi- liv nistration of new and salutary regulations. He neglected no means, which the wisest policy could dictate, of alluring the conquered people to return to their settlements. Among the captives, the women and the children were taken under his peculiar protection. Submission ensured safety to all, and conversion to Mahometanism led to dignity and affluence. Their name and nation were no longer dear to the Greeks. Many who had fled from the arms of Osman, returned under his protection to the enjoyment of safety and repose in their ancient dwellings, and many were even allured, by the virtues or the blandishments of the Mahometans, to renounce the faith, together with the allegiance, professed by their forefathers*N_38.

[[N_38* See Knolles, v. i, p. 128. Mignot, t. i, p. 96,. 102 Gibbon, v. xi, p. 436.]]


The civil and military virtues of Osman were not the only causes of his success. The Turkish subjects of the neighbouring emirs flocked to the standard of a victorious prince, who distributed among his soldiers the fruits of his conquest, in whose success the favour of heaven was visible, and the continuance of whose prosperity was announced by the koran itself, which declares, that at the commencement of each century, a period which corresponded with the origin of the Ottoman monarchy, God will send to his people a chosen servant in order to renew their faith. This application of the prediction was further strengthened by a judicious interpretation of his name, the three first letters of which forming the word asm which signifies the breaking of bones, announced, according to the wisdom of the age, the hero Osman as one predestined to break in pieces the iron sceptre of the idolatrous princes, to crush the rivals of his power and the enemies of his house*N_39.

{Orkhan A. D. 1326-1360.}

[[N_39* See Tableau General, 1.i, p. 360.]]


Orkhan, in imitation of his father's prac-tice and in obedience to the precepts of the — ^so-Mahometan religion, made war only upon the Greeks. His avowed motive for extending his empire was not so much to acquire worldly greatness as to enlarge and support the fabric of heavenly worship†N_40. He did not, however, limit his ambition to victories over infidels. While he increased and cemented his power, the Seljukian emirs had, in many instances, weakened their states by dividing them among their children. The protection of the house of Osman was solicited in proportion as it grew formidable. Ork-han was invited to arbitrate between the heirs of the neighbouring provinces, whose dominions became the price of his interference, and gradually and imperceptibly dropped into his possession, by force or by fraud, by marriage or cession. The emirs resigned their independence, and sunk into vassalage by the acceptance of the standard and the robe of honour, which, while they assured to them the possession of their hereditary estates, not only bound them to the performance of military service to their liege lord, but confirmed the resignation of the distinctive prerogatives of royalty among Mussulmans, the mention of their name in lvii the khutbtè or public prayer, and the insertion of it on the current coin of the country*N_41.

[[N_40† See in the Tableau General, t. ii, p, 460, and in Cantemir's Ottoman history, p. 20, the discourse which Osman, on his death bed, addressed to his son Orkhan.

Tindal, the translator of Cantemir, says (p. 20, note 6), that Osman, by enjoining his son " to exercise a just friendship to-wards the Rumaen kingdoms," doubtless meant obliging the Christians of Europe to embrace Mahometanism, which, he adds, is, in the opinion of the Turks, the greatest kindness or friendship that can be shown to Christians. But it appears to me, on the contrary, that the injunction relates wholly to the line of conduct which Orkhan was counselled to hold towards the Seljukian emirs.]]

[[N_41* " Le droit du khoutbè et celui de faire battre monnoie, ont de tout temps forme les seuls droits regaliens des potentats Mahometans, chez lesquela le litre le plus caracteristique de l'autorite supreme est encore aujourd'hui celui de sahhib Ihoutbè ve sikkè c'est a dire, possesseur des droits du khoutbè et de la monnoie." (Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 207.) See also Knolles, v. i, p. 99, 141. Cantemir, p. 25, 178. Mignot, t. i, p. 103—106. Gibbon, v. x, p. 79. Jones, introduction a 1'histoire de Nader Chah-, in his works, T. v, p. 10.]]

{Murad the First. A.D.1360-1399.}

While the Ottoman empire was limited to Asia, its preponderance silenced jealousy, or it crushed opposition, but when the son of Orkhan had effected his passage across the Hellespont, and the Ottoman armies were engaged in frequent and obstinate warfare on the opposite continent, the Asiatic princes united their arms for the purpose of recovering their independence. It was for this reason, that Brusa continued to be the seat of the Ottoman government even after the capture of Adrianople, and that Murad erected his European conquests into a beylerbeylik, or vice-royalty, as he deemed his own presence to be more necessary in Asia in order to restrain the rebellion of his subjects†N_42. The princes lviii of Caramania, whom the great extent and natural resources of their country rendered the most powerful among the Seljukian emirs, maintained a long and obstinate contest with the Ottomans for supremacy or independence*N_43. By their influence over the minor princes of Asia, and by their coalitions with the Greek emperors and the Christian princes beyond the Hoemus and the Danube, they stirred up war alternately on either continent, and on that frontier of the empire from which the Ottoman army was furthest removed†N_44. Their revolts greatly retarded the progress of the sultans in their fo- reign conquests, and protracted the final overthrow of the Greek empire: indeed the true beginning of the Ottoman greatness dates from the victory of Murad over the Caramanians and their allies in the field of battle near Iconium, a plain which had been signalized by the prowess, and whose name still records the success, of the crusaders*N_45.

[[N_42† See Cantemir, p. 35, Knolles, v. i, p. 133, 136. Gib- bon (T. xi, p. 444) indeed relates from the Byzantine annals, that Murad the First established the seat of empire at Adrianople. D'Ohsson (Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 361) dates this event in the year 1365, and say?, that Murad acted by order of a celestial spirit, who even pointed out the spot on which the imperial palace was to be built: but Lonicerus (hist. Turc. 1, i) attributes the first removal of the government into Europe to Bajazet the son of Murad: " regni Hadrianopolim sedes sibi legit ut esset."]]

[[N_43* The ancient Isauria is part of Caramania. Its inaccessible mountains, a branch of the Taurus, were the seat of the descendants of the pirates who were subdued by Pompey. They were afterwards the asylum of a few mutineers, who revolted from the ttandard of the emperor Gallienus, and preserved themselves for two hundred and thirty years in savage independence in the midst of the Roman armies. (See Gibbon, v. i, p. 454; f. vii, p. 130.)]]

[[N_44† See Cantetnir, ^ 48, *9[273] 88. Mignot, t. i, p. 206.]]

[[N_45* See Knolles, v. i, p. 135, 136. The plains near Dory-laeum, where the crusaders gained a decisive battle over Soliman, sultan of Roum, in the year 1097, were afterwards called firenk svalare.]]


The wars wherein both parties were orthodox Mussulmans, were, however, carried on with comparative mildness. Murad had ordered, that none of his soldiers, under pain of death, should use violence to the country people, or take any thing from them by force, in order that it might appear to the world, that he made war against Mahometans rather to repel injury and wrong, than from any lust of ambition or of avarice; and in further confirmation of the purity of his motives, he not only punished some Christian auxiliaries for transgressing his orders, but even permitted the conquered emirs to retain their territories. They were admitted to renew their tokens of homage and oaths of allegiance, and after lx patiently submitting to remonstrance and admonition, they again received the investiture of their principalities*N_46.

[[N_46* See Knollcs, v. i, p. 136.]]

Murad having thus intimidated and pacified Asia, extended his conquests, not only over the whole province of Thrace to the verge of the capital, but even into Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Servia, and Albania, when he was assassinated on the field of battle, after gaining the victory of Cossova over the confederated army of the Sclavonian tribes, headed by Lazarus. prince of Servia†N_47. " The soul of this blessed lxi sultan," says the historian Sad'ed-dinn Ef-fendi, " decorated with the titles of conqueror and martyr, flew to the highest region of eternal bliss, marshalling under his triumphant banner the martyrs of that glorious day*N_48."

[[N_47† See Gibbon, v. x, chap. 65, for the emigration of the Sclavonian tribes from the countries between the Volga, the Don, and the Dnieper, and their conquest and occupation of the Roman provinces on the Adriatic sea, and the south of the Danube.

Laonicus Chalcondylas (de origine et rebus gestis Turcorum. Basil. 1556) thus describes the extent of the kingdom' of Bulgaria, and the distribution of its provinces among the zupans or feudatory lords. " Macedoniam, qua finitima est Axio flumini, [rex] commisit Zarco, viro apud ipsum dignitate primario. Earn regionis partem, quse a Pherris tendit usque ad Axium flumen, Pogdano tribuit, viro bono et rei militaris peritissimo. Regio-nem, quse a Pherris excurrit ad Istrum, Chrati et Unglesi fra. tribus concessit, quorum alter regius pocillator, alter regiorum equorum curator erat. Regionem Istro adjacentem nactus est, contribuente rege, Bulcus Eleazurus, Pranci films. Trica et Castoria obvenere Nicolao Zupano. AEtolia decreta est Prialupi. Ochridem et regionem Prilisbseam dictam Placidae, viro haud ignobilij regendam dedit. Commemorates modo tiros accepimus Europas regionibus prxfectos esse a rege Stepano, qui, ubi exhalavit animam, singuli suas regiones, quas a vivo gubernandas. acceperant, retinuere, fcederibusque inter se ictis, a se mutuo bello abstinuerunt. Gracis vero, ut cuique opportunum erat, admo-dum bellicis armis molesti eiant. Michaelem Mysiorum ducem, qui imperavit locis Istro subjectis et- regni sui sedem Trinabum constituit, Stepano antiquiorem extitisse audivi, prseterea Bul-garos, quos Mysios vocamus, ibi sedes tenuisse accepi. Service autem et Tryballos a se discretes tandem ad istum nomen emersisse." (1, i, p. 8, 9.)

The Sclavonian language (or the Illyric) is spoken, at this day, over a greater extent of country than any other living language ; for, exclusively of many countries of Asia, it prevails in Dalmatia, Croatia, Epirus or Albania, Bosnia, Servia, Bulgaria, Russia, Poland, Bohemia, and Silesia. It has no affinity with the Turkish or Hungarian.]]

[[N_48* See Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 350.]]

The Mahometan princes of Asia had been subdued by force, but their minds were not -li yet moulded into slavish submission. Baja-zet was diverted from the prosecution of his wars against the infidel nations of Europe by their intrigues and their insurrections, till at length, finding it impossible to reconcile them, he resolved to keep no longer any lxii measures with treacherous allies or disaffected subjects. He openly renounced the peaceable maxims of his predecessors, and forcibly annexed to his empire the territories of the emirs, from the Mediterranean to the Euxine sea*N_49. The princes themselves were sacrificed to his ambition or his safety. All, except those who had gained his confidence by their tried fidelity and their implicit obedience* were slain, imprisoned, or expelled from their cities and governments. By these usurpations, and by his conquests in Armenia and on the banks of the Euphrates, Bajazet had now reached the term of his greatness, the frontiers of the Mogul empire.

Timour, or Tamerlane, a Mussulman prince, renowned for his austerity and his justice, ruled over the eastern world, and held liis imperial court in the city of Samarcand. The Asiatic emirs, oppressed by tyranny and misfortune, fled from the power of Bajazet by different routes and under various disguises;— they met together in the court of Tamerlane, recounted their grievances, and pre- lxiii sented their petitions, at the foot of his throne. Tamerlane, though attentive to the progress of Bajazet, had felt no envy at his -prosperity, but had witnessed with approbation his active and successful warfare against their common enemy, the Christians. He was unwilling to interrupt the holy occupations of Bajazet, who was at that time engaged in besieging Constantinople, and he affected to disbelieve, that a prince so zealous in the cause of religion, and so observant of justice, could exercise violence and oppression towards his friends and faithful associates. His jealousy was, however, awakened by the intelligence, that Bajazet, after subjecting the whole of Asia Minor, was meditating the conquest of Syria and Egypt, and had even made preparations for carrying on war against the sultan of Cairo: his resentment was also aroused by the protection and promise of support which Bajazet had given to Ahmed Djelair, khan of Bagdad and. Irak, whom Tamerlane had despoiled of his sovereignty; and his irresolution was fixed by the appearance of a comet, which, from its situation in the west of the heavens, wau pronounced by his astrologers to portend misfortune to the arms and the dominion of lxiv the Ottoman monarch*N_50. The ambassadors whom Tamerlane sent to the court of Brusa, were instructed, not only to claim from Bajazet the surrender of the rebel prince of Bagdad, but also to offer him the robe of vassalage, and to command, as the first proof of his obedience, that he should respectfully acquiesce in his sovereign's decision on the cause of the Seljukian emirs†N_51. Bajazet indignantly rejected the humiliating present, and having vented his resentment in studied expressions of reproach and insult, he dismissed the ambassadors, and prepared to vindicate in the field his independence and his conquests‡N_52. In the meantime, Tamerlane, lxv confident in his superiority and deliberate in his vengeance, judicially pronounced, that the Turkish princes had been unjustly dispossessed*N_53. He then marched against Sivas, or Sebaste, demolished the fortifications, razed the city to the ground, trampled the citizens under the hoofs of his cavalry, and again sent a summons to the sultan, exhorting him to return to the duties of religion and the practice of virtue, and to restore the princes to their rights. He admonished him to testify his submission by substituting the name of Tamerlane for his own, on the coinage and in the public prayers, throughout all his dominions, and finally he ordered him to contribute, for the immediate service of the invading army, a large supply of provisions and military stores†N_54. Bajazet refused and resisted, but resistance was in vain. His defeat in the plains of Angora may be attributed to the more numerous forces, and the superior skill, of Tamerlane, and to the defection of his own troops, many of whom, being collected from the conquered provinces lxvi of Anatolia, fled in the beginning of the battle to the standards of their lawful princes, and left the weight of the conflict to the inflexible, but unavailing, courage of the janizaries and native Ottomans*N_55. Tamerlane planted his victorious standard at Kutahia, and dispersed his troops, without further resistance, over the greatest part of the Ottoman empire in Asia. The captivity and the iron-cage of Bajazet are too well known, as the subjects of history or romance, to need further mention or refutation†N_56. He accepted from the hands of a master the robe of honour and the investiture of his rightful inheritance, but his haughty spirit sunk under the humiliation of dependence‡N_57. The Ottoman empire again assumed its ancient name of Roum, and was numbered among the twenty-seven kingdoms which acknowledged the sovereignty of the mighty Tamerlane*N_58.

[[N_49* See Cantemir, p. 4-7, 4-8, 49. Bajazet acquired the sur--name of ilderim or lightning from the frequency and quickness of his alternate marches from his European, to his Asiatic, frontiers.]]

[[N_50* See Knolles, v. i, p. 145. Cantemir, p. 53. Tab. Gen. 6. i, p. 863, 364. Gibbon, v. xii, p. 16, 17.]]

[[N_51† See the Institutes of Timour, p. 147. 4to. London 1783. Chalcondylas, 1. ii, p. 33. Knolles (p. 145) has knowledge of the robe sent by Tamerlane, but supposes it to be an act of kindness, instead of an assertion of superiority and a claim of homage. Cantemir, p. 54, (adopting the wilful ignorance of the Ottoman historians on a subject dishonourable to their nation, see p. 59, note 4; p. 100, note 11) despatches the whole of Tamerlane's expedition in three lines.]]

[[N_52‡ " Porro quod ad vestem attinet, regi vestro nunciate, ne posthac et genere opibusque prasstantioii hujusmodi munera mit-tere in animum inducat."—" tlxc ut relata sunt ad regem Temi-ntm Seraarchandam, ira graviter accensum ferunt vestitus con-Amelia." Chakoudylas, 1. ii, p. 35.]]

[[N_53* See Chalcondylas, 1. ii, p. 33.]]

[[N_54† See Chalcondylas, 1. ii, p. 34. Knolles, v. i, 'p. 149. Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 366. Gibbon, v. xii, p. 19.]]

[[N_55* For the accoutit of the battle of Angora, see Knolles, v. i, p. 151. Gibbon, v. xii,-p. 26. Cantemir (p. 5i, note 22) asserts, that the battle was fought near the city of Brusa in Bithynia; and the abbe Lechevalier (voyage de la Propontide et du Pont-Euxin, t. i, chap, v, p. SO. Paris 1800) arrogates to himself the merit of having decided this historical problem, from the discovery of some human bones a nd rusty weapons in a field near Brusa.]]

[[N_56† See an able discussion of this question by Gibbon, V. xii, p. 30—86.]]

[[N_57‡ See Mignot, t. i, p. 152. Gibbon, v. xii, p. 31.]]

[[N_58* See the institutes of Timour, p. 163. It would appear by the following passage, that Gibbon did not rightly apprehend the tystem of Tamerlane's government. " His most destructive wars were rather inroads than conquests. He invaded Turkestan* Kipzak, Russia, Hindostan, Syria, Anatolia, Armenia, and Georgia, without a hope, or a desire, of preserving those distant provinces. From thence he departed laden with spoil, but he left behind him neither troops to awe the contumacious, nor magistrates to protect the obedient^ natives. When he had broken the fabric of their ancient government, he abandoned them to the evils which his invasion had aggravated, or caused, nor were these evils compensated by any present or possible benefits." Cante-mir so entirely misconceives the policy of Tamerlane that he bursts out in rapturous admiration of " the unparalleled generosity of the barbarian." (See Ottom. hist. p. 53, and p. 59, note 5.)]]


{Interregnum. A.D. 1409-1413}

The sons of Bajazet, and the Seljukian emirs were re-instated in their, hereditary dominions, and confessed, by the homage of the coin and prayer, their own dependence, and the clemency of their common lord. Soliman, the eldest of Bajazet's sons, had escaped from the field of battle into Europe: he was enabled, by the interposition of the sea, and the refusal of the Greek emperor to facilitate the passage of it to the Tartars, to preserve the Ottoman name from the ignominy of total submission‡N_59. Mussah was lxviii appointed by Tamerlane to the government of Anatolia, and Issa to that of Angora, Sinope, and the neighbouring countries on the Euxine sea. Mahomet had been entrusted by his father with the government of Amasia, which formed the Turkish frontier against the Christians of Trebizond and Georgia, and which, though it appears to have escaped the notice, or at least not to have excited the resentment, of Tamerlane, required the continual exertion of prudence and valour to defend it from the ravages of the Tartars*N_60.

[[N_59 ‡ Cantemir (p. 59) relates, that, on the arrival of Tamerlane'sambassadors at Adrianople, Soliman refused to receive from them the investiture of his government, and drove them from his presence with contempt and insult; and that Tamerlane, in order to; punish his refractoriness, conferred the government on Mussah. Gibbon, however, who, in order to acquire a jutt idea of these events, has compared the narratives and prejudices of the Moguls, Turks, Greeks, and Arabians, says, that So-liman, the son of Bajazet, soothed the pride of the conqueror with tributary gifts, and accepted, by a red patent, the investiture of the kingdom of Romania, which he already held by the sword. (Rom. hist. v. xii, p. 37.)]]

[[N_60* See Cantemir, p. 59—61. He, however, omits the mention of Issa, whose name, together with those of several other Ottoman princes, the sons of Bajazet, he supposes to have been introduced by the ignorance of Phranza and other Christian writers, (p. 59, note 6.) Gibbon (v. xii, p 48, note 7*5) appeals to the testimony of Arabshah (torn, ii, c. 26) and Shere-fedden (1. v, c. 57) for the existence of Issa, who is also noticed by Leunclavius (hist. Musul. Turc. 1. viii, p. 371), by Knolles, v i, p. 159, and by D'Herbelot, bibl. orient, voe. SaiaziJ) p. 175.]]


The Ottomans, though they omit the name of Tamerlane in the catalogue of their mo-narchs, consider this period of their history as an interregnum. None of these princes, on account of the division and the dependent nature of their power, are classed among the Ottoman sultans, nor honoured with the title of padisliah. They are merely distinguished by the appellation of chelebi. The death of Tamerlane, the division of his empire among his sons, their discord, and the ambition of his great captains, relieved the Turkish provinces from the Tartar yoke. Eleven years, however, elapsed in the mutual endeavours of the sons of Bajazet to supplant each other, before Mahomet effected his final triumph, and assumed the title of sultan*N_61.

[[N_61* Gibbon (v. xi, p. 449) shows from the history of Ben Schounah, a contemporary Syrian, that Bajazet first received the title of sultan from the caliphs of Egypt. D'Ohsson (tab. gen. t. i, p. 233) mentions Bajazet's embassy to the caliph Mohammed XI, for the purpose of obtaining his benediction and the grant of the countries which he had inherited or conquered. Cantemir (p. 14) asserts, that Osman assumed, and impressed on his coin, the title of sultan: the title of emir-ul-wmera (imperator imperatorum) was, however, that which was conferred upon him by the last of the Seljukian sultans (tab. gen. t. i, p. 255), with which he appears to have remained satisfied, (See Knolles, v. i, p. 99.) Mignot (t. i, p. 100) says, that Orkhan first took the title of sultan, as being more suitable to the extent of country which he governed than that of emir, with which, however, it is in some respect synonimous, as indicating only the temporal power.]]


The permanence of the Ottoman government during this long suspension of its regular exercise, is, perhaps, the most remark-aBle circumstance in the history of the nation. The empire had been dismembered by the policy of the conqueror. The union between the several governments was not only dissolved, but they were put in declared opposition, in order to counterbalance each other's power: and to prevent defection or revolt. The prevalence of a prejudice among the Turks which connects the prosperity of the empire with the Ottoman government, preserved the attachment of the subjects to the blood and family of its founder, and prevented competition among the neighbouring princes for the dominion of its hereditary possessions, and its acknowledged and legitimate conquests. The vital principle of the Ottoman government was, however, more especially preserved in the European provinces of the empire by the institution of the military order of janizaries, which had been formed, in the reign preceding that of Baja- lxxi set, by a levy of every fifth captive taken in the Thracian or Sclavonian wars:—an improvement of the military system first introduced and established by Orkhan*N_62.

This permanent body of infantry served as a rallying point to the dispersed Ottomans, and kept up the spirit and discipline of their armies†N_63. To the overawing influence of this establishment are also to be attributed the supineness of the Byzantine emperors, and the inattention of the governments of Christendom to a juncture apparently so favourable to the extermination of the Turkish power in Europe, and to the reduction of it in Asia. No combined attack was made upon the European Turks, although, in their insulated situation, it could hardly have failed of success. No means were even used to intercept the communication of Europe with Asia, which-a fleet, stationed at the Hellespont, could so easily have effected. The Greeks, on the contrary, assisted the passage of Mahomet mto Europe, and irrecoverably lost, on his accession to the throne of Bajazet, the opportunities which they had neglected during a long and stormy interval*N_64.

[[N_62* See Cantemir, p. 25. Tab. Gen. t. iv, p. 116. Voltaire, cssai sur les moeurs, chap. Ixxxvii.]]

[[N_63† Cantemir says (p. 62, note 11), and the remark- evinces that deficiency of criticism which characterises the oriental historians, that " it is matter of astonishment to the Turks, that Soliman, who was immersed in every vice, was so successful in his affairs ; whilst Mussah, endowed with so many virtues, was very unfortunate in war, so that, either out of pusillanimity or caution, he never durst come to a pitched battle."]]

[[N_64* See Cantemir, p. 77, note 19. Gibbon, v. xii, p. 51, 54.]]


{Mahomet the First. A.D. 1413-1421.}

Mahomet the First restored the inte-grity and the peace of the Ottoman empire. A few days before his death he summoned Murad, who was governor of Amasia, to come and take possession of his inheritance, and concluded his letter by a distich of his own composition in the Persian language. "Night has overtaken me, but a bright day will succeed: my rose is faded, but it will be replaced by a flower of more delicious fragrance*†N_65."

[[N_65† See Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 481.]]

{Murad the second. A. D. 1421—1451. }

Mustafa, the eldest of the sons of Bajazet, had fallen in the battle against lamerlane; but an impostor (for such the Ottoman historians have determined him to be), from a strong resemblance of shape and feature, assumed the name and character of the heir of the empire. The princes of Wallachia were the first to encourage and promote his pretensions, but their army was routed by lxxiii Mahomet, and their country was at once exposed to ravage and subjected to tribute. The life of the impostor was preserved by the timid policy of the Greek emperors, who no longer dared to oppose the Ottomans in the field, but endeavoured to weaken their strength by intestine broils*N_66. Murad the Second, in the very commencement of his reign, was reduced to the greatest difficulties by the victorious progress of Mustafa. The artifices of the impostor could be counteracted only by the artifices of superstition ; and the final success of the sultan was owing more to the predictions of a Mahometan saint, than to the superior courage of his troops, or the stronger attachment of the Ottomans to his government†N_67. The Christian princes of Europe and the Asiatic emirs were implicated, equally with the Greek emperor, in the guilt of this treachery ; and justice, no less than policy, dictated to the victorious sultan the necessity of completing Bajazet's system, by depriving the emirs of their governments, and by lxxiv re-ducing under his sceptre Servia, Macedonia, Thessaly, Albania, and the whole of Greece to the north of the isthmus of Corinth*N_68. By these conquests the frontiers of the Ottoman empire were extended to the borders of Hungary, the entrance into whose plains was defended only by the fortress of Belgrade, and the valour and military resources of the celebrated Hunniades. The resistance and the inroads of the Hungarians compelled the sultan to conclude a truce of ten years, by which the Danube was declared to be the common boundary of the two countries†N_69. Murad, having thus restored .peace to the empire, resigned the government to his son Mahomet,, who was then only in his fifteenth year, but he soon after resumed it in order to punish the treachery of the king of Hungary, who, in contempt of the solemn engagement into which he had recently lxxv entered, suddenly renewed the war, and invaded the Turkish territories, instigated by, or confederated with, the Caramanian emir, who, though frequently chastised, continually renewed his attempts to shake off the Ottoman yoke*N_70. The Byzantine emperors had entered into the league with the Hungarians, and the Hellespont was occupied by the gallies of the Franks. But Murad either purchased the connivance of the Catholic admiral, or forced the passage of the Bos-phorus, and advanced by rapid marches to oppose the invaders†N_71. The event of the battle of Varna, in which Ladislaus lost his army and his life, was considered by the Turks as the visible interposition of heaven, and foreboded to the Christians the annihilation of the liberty and independence of Europe‡N_72.

[[N_66* See Phranza, 1. i, c. 39, 40. Cantemir, p. 74. Gibbon, T. xii, p. 47, 48, 51, 55.]]

[[N_67† See Tab. Gen. t; i, p. 369, Cantemir, p. 80.]]

[[N_68* See Cantemir, p. 82—87. Caramania was not, however, entirely subdued until the reign of Mahomet the Second (Cantemir, preface, p. x, and Ottom. hist. p. 110), or that of his son Bajazet the Second. (Knolles, v. i, p. 304.) Chalcondylas, in describing the state of the Turkish empire under Mahomet the Second, seems to confirm the assertion of Cantemir. " Asiam autem distribuit in semaeas (i. e. sanjacs) sive signa." (l. viii, p. 137.)]]

[[N_69† See Mignot, t, i, p. 206.]]

[[N_70* See Cantemir, p. 88, note 37.]]

[[N_71† See Gibbon, v. xii, p. 161, 190. Canterair (p. 89) says, that Murad passed through Gallipoli into Europe.]]

[[N_72‡ "Ten thousand Christians were slain in the disastrous battle of Varna: the loss of the Turks, more considerable in numbers, bore a smaller proportion to their total strength (60,000 men, see j>. 161) j yet the philosophic sultan was not ashamed to confess, that hit ruin must be the consequence of a second and similar Victory." (Gibbon, v. xii, p. 163.) A strange diffidence in the resources of his empire.]]


European writers have assigned, or conjectured, various motives for this monarch's abdication of the government. It has been called philosophy, bigotry, and indolence*N_73: but Murad, who'was literally frightened to death by a dervish, who met him on the road near Adrianople as he was returning from hunting, and announced to him, that the angel of death was already at his door, can have but little claim to the character of a philosopher†N_74. Gibbon erroneously supposes him to have retired into a monastery, and to have joined in the religious dances of the dervishes, in order to expiate the sins of his government‡N_75: but bigotry, in a Mussulman prince, can point out the performance of no ceremonies so efficacious to such an end as perseverance in the path of victory over infidels; and Murad's resumption of the sovereignty, merely to rescue the state from foreign war and domestic faction, acquits him of not attending to his duties, or of resigning himself to the allurements of debauchery and idleness.

[[N_73* See Voltaire, essai sur les moeurs, c. Ixxxix, p. 283, 284-. Gibbon, v. xii, p. 152, 153, note 15. Mignot, t. i, p. 214, 217.]]

[[N_74† See Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 371.]]

[[N_75‡ Gibbon quotes the authority of Chalcondylas (1. vii, p. 286), whose assertion is disproved by the silence of the Ottoman historians (see Cantemir, p. 88, 91, 92, note 43), and by his own imperfect knowledge of the religion and customs of the Turks. The ztehidt of Chalcondylas (unless, as I believe, it be the word sheik written according to the modern Greek pronunciation) are not recognizable in any of the thirty-two societies of derv'uhes enumerated by D'Ohsson. (See Tab. Gen. t. iv, p. 622—626.)]]


{Mahomet the Second. A.D. 1455-1481.}

The admirable situation of Constantinople, the walls and suburbs of which, under Con-stantine Palseologus, comprised the whole of the Roman world, and the history of its last memorable siege, are familiar to every reader. The events of this siege have been related both by the victors and the vanquished, and consequently with all the disagreement to which their opposite feelings on the occasion must have given rise. It is, however, probable, though the Turkish soldiers were unsparing in their search after private property, which, by the sultan's proclamation, was consigned to them as their lawful prize, and were unrestrained in the gratification of their appetites, that, as they experienced no further resistance after their entrance into Constantinople, the capture of the city was attended with less bloodshed than any other which is recorded in the Ottoman history*N_76. The final subversion of the Byzantine empire, the subjugation of the principalities in the Morea, and the resignation of the sovereignty of Trebizond by David Comnenes into the hands of Mahomet the Second, immediately followed the conquest of the imperial city*N_77.


[[N_76* See Gibbon, v. xii, p. 231, 236.

It is confirmed by the unanimous testimony of the Greek and Turkish writers, that Mahomet, in order to Attack the city on the side of the harbour, transported a flotilla overland from the Bosphorus. This bold and extraordinary plan was executed in a single night, though the intervening space of ground is hilly. The distance is, however, erroneously stated to be about ten miles; for it is even less than two miles from Beshiktash on the Bosphorus to Cassim Pasha on the harbour. (See Cantemir, p. 98, note 8, Gibbon, p. 220, note 48.)]]

Mahomet the Second acquired the surname of fatih, or the vanquisher, from the number and the importance of his conquests. He subdued, according to, the account of the national historians, two empires twelve kingdoms or principalities, and two hundred fortified cities†N_78. He united under his sceptre all the provinces in Europe which had formerly belonged to the eastern division of the Roman empire, and the whole of Asia on this side mount Taurus. He expelled the Genoese colony from Kaffa in the Crimea, and confirmed the khan of the Tartars in the dominion over the hordes which were diffused throughout that peninsula, and the deserts on the north of the Euxine sea from the Dniester to the Cuban. The khan submitted, however, to receive from the sultan the investiture of his dominions, and bound himself to military service in defence of the rights, or the pretensions, of his sovereign*N_79. After the death of Mahomet his generals were recalled from the conquest of Italy, which they had already successfully commenced by the sack of the city of Otranto.


[[N_77* See Gibbon, v. xii, p. 246—251.]]

[[N_78† See Cantemir, p, 107, note 24.]]

[[N_79* Cantemir, though he acknowledges, that the khutbi was >aid throughout the Crimea in the name of the Ottoman emperof (see p. 113), yet inconsistently asserts, that the khan is permitted to coin money with his own name inscribed on it. (See p. 11, note 9.)]]

{Bajazet the Second. A. D. 1481-1512.}

Bajazet the Second rather consolidated than enlarged the dominion which he had inherited from his ancestors. He wrested, however, some important cities on the sea coasts of Albania and the Morea from the Venetians, who ratified the possession by treaty for the preservation of some commercial advantages, which, in the opinion of the historian Mignot, constituted not merely an, equivalent for the loss of honour and terri-tory, but even exhibited the triumph of weakness and industry over physical and military strength*N_80. He restrained the piracies of the Moldavians on the Black Sea, by the capture of the strong fortresses of Kilia on the Danube, and Akkierman on the Dniester†N_81. He annexed to the Ottoman empire the cities of Tarsus and Adana, and the district which lies between Caramania and Syria, which, till then, had maintained its neutrality and its independence‡N_82.


The beginning of the reign of Bajazet had been disturbed by the pretensions of his brother Djem, who founded his title to the succession on the circumstance of his having been born the son of a sultan, whereas the birth of Bajazet had preceded the elevation of his father to the imperial dignity. Djem, who held the government of Magnesia, raised a powerful army, but was defeated by the grand vizir Ahmed. He then fled to the sultan of Egypt, who offered his mediation with Bajazet, but did not encourage nor assist his pretensions. He next excited the Caramanians to rebel, but the war -terminated in their subjection to the power of the sultan. He finally escaped by sea to the island of Rhodes, and took refuge among the knights of Saint John of Jerusalem.

[[N_80* See Knolles, v. i, p. 312—315. Cantemir, p. 133. Mig-not, t. i, p. 348—351. It was indeed a series of such triumphs which led the effeminate and virgin city to the ludicrous consummation of her Gallic nuptials in the eighteenth century.]]

[[N_81† See Knolles, v. i, p. 303. Cantemir, p. 125.]]

[[N_82‡ See Knolles, v. i, p. 304. Cantemir, p. 125—129. It appears, however, from Cantemir's history (p. 114, sec. xxxi, and note 47), that the father of Bajazet had already taken this district.]]


This military and religious order was instituted about the middle of the eleventh century for the purpose of succouring pilgrims, and of protecting them in their dangerous journey through Palestine. When Jerusalem was abandoned, the knights took up their residence in the island of Cyprus, where the house of Lusignan continued to reign; but the obligation of their oath, the restlessness of the military spirit, and the love of glory, prompted them to acquire by arms an independent establishment. They obtained possession of the island of Rhodes after an obstinate contest with the inhabitants, who, aided by the Saracens, had shaken off the yoke of the Byzantine emperors ;—here their navy continued to harass the commerce, and ravage the coasts, of the Turkish empire. Their power had become so formidable as to excite the attention, and repulse the attack, of Mahomet the Second*N_83.


[[N_83* See Knolles, v, i, p, 113. M'gnot, t. i, p. 261 — 267, 291—306, 310—355.]]

The grand master of the order received and protected the fugitive rival of the sultan, and firmly resisted both the solicitations and the menaces of Bajazet, but consented at length to remove him to a greater distance from the Ottoman territories, in consideration of an advantageous treaty which was offered him by the porte. Djem embarked far Italy, and resided at Rome in safe but honourable custody, until the French king Charles the Eighth, having seized upon the kingdom of Naples, and extended his schemes of conquest to Greece and European Turkey, claimed possession of his person, and removed him to Naples, where he was soon after murdered by an emissary of the sultan†N_84.

[[N_84† See Cantemir, p. 119—123.' Such is the relation of the Turkish historians. Mignot, on the authority of the Christian writers, attributes his death to Alexander the Sixth, who was bribed to perpetrate this atrocious action by a sum of three hundred thousand ducats sent him by Bajazet.]]


Bajazet, from a wish to secure the sue* cession to his son Ahmed, unadvisedly declared his intention of resigning the government. He was himself suspected by the janizaries of disaffection to their order: they compelled him therefore to execute his purposed resignation; but they conferred the sovereignty on Selim, his youngest son, who had already given proof of his enterprising turbulence by taking up arms against his father and sovereign*N_85.

[[N_85* See Knolles, v. i, p. 302. Cantemir, p. 136—138. Migv *ot, t.i, p. 331, 332, 367, 368.]]

{Selim the First. A. D. 1518-1519.}

Selim the First, surnamed Yavuz or the Cruel, having defeated and strangled his brothers, who were competitors for the throne, saw himself the undisputed master of an extensive empire, mighty in itself, and defended on every side by rivers, mountains, and deserts. The Julian Alps, the Save, and the Danube, formed the Turkish frontier on the side of the Venetian and Hungarian territories. The lofty range of mount Taurus, a natural boundary between the Ottoman empire and the kingdoms of Persia and Syria, was possessed, from the borders of Amasia to the extremities of Caramania, by the princes of Lesser Armenia, and by the wandering tribes of the Kurds and Turc- mans*N_86. The kingdom of Shah Ismael, founder 01 the family of Sefi, consisted at that time of Persia, Media, Mesopotamia, and the Greater Armenia†N_87; and the Borgite dynasty of the Mamelukes reigned over Egypt and Syria, from Cyrene to the banks of the Euphrates‡N_88. The Mahometan faith was diffused over these powerful Asiatic monarchies; but its purity was corrupted in the kingdom of Persia by the introduction of new doctrines, which had been promulgated by a recluse whom the Turkish historians contemptuously style the slave of Satan, and embraced with equal zeal by the sovereign and his subjects§N_89. Their heresy excited the devout resentment of the Ottoman sultan, and urged him to punish, and to avenge, the injuries which his father and grandfather had received from the Persian king by his encroachments on the Ottoman territories, and the protection which he had' recently afforded to the bro- thers of Selim*N_90. He forced a passage over the mountains, encountered the perils of the desert, and having obtained a signal and decisive victory over the Persians in the plain of Chalderan, marched against the city of Tauris, which immediately opened its gates to the conqueror†N_91.


[[N_86* See Knolles, v. i, p. 344, 345, 853. Mignot, t. i, p. 383, 391. Volney, voyage en Syrie et en Egypte, t. i, p. 359 —365. Sme edit. Paris, an vii.]]

[[N_87† See Knolles, v. i, p. 319, 352. Mignot, t. i, p. 383.]]

[[N_88‡ See Knolles, v. i, p. 306, 359.]]

[[N_89§ See Knolles, v. i, p. 316, 350. Cantemir, p. 136, 139, 145. Mignot, t. i, p. 354—363. Tab. Gen. t, i, p. 123.]]

[[N_90* See Knolles, v. i, p. 321—324, 341, 343, 344, 346, 350. Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 125, 133.]]

[[N_91† See Knolles, v. i, p. 343, 344, 345, 348. Mignot, t. i, p. 383. Tab. Gen. t. i, D. 134.]]


The sultan led back his victorious army to Amasia, loaded with booty, but diminished in numbers, and depressed by suffering and disease. The Kurds and the inhabitants of the mountains harassed them in their retreat, attacked them with advantage in the defiles, while they eluded pursuit in their inaccessible retreats‡N_92. Selim, whose ambition projected the entire conquest of Persia, no longer dared to leave in his rear such faithless allies, or such dangerous enemies. He gratified at once his resentment and his policy by subjugating Armenia, Mesopotamia, and the territories of the Kurds and Turcmans, from the lake of Van to the confines of Syria*N_93.


[[N_92‡ See Knolles, v. i, p. 346, 349. Cantemir, p. 151. Mignot, t. i, p. 390.]]

[[N_93* See Knolles, v. i, p. 351, 404. Cantemir, p. 152—155. Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 378.]]

The Mahometan, as well as the Christian, potentates felt a just and natural alarm at the continued success, or approximation of a neighbour at once §o turbulent and so enterprising. Selim put a stop to their progress by the rapidity of his movements, or awed them by the magnitude of his preparations. He marched from mount Taurus to the Danube, and by his menacing aspect dissipated the intended confederacy of the Emperor and the kings of Hungary and Poland against the Ottoman power†N_94. He stationed a strong army on the borders of Persia, and found employment for the arms of Ismael by exciting the Hyrcanians and the Tartars of the plains which lie between the Don and the Volga, to attack the Iberian and Albanian nations which were under the protection of Persia‡N_95. He then led a numerous army to Aleppo, with the real, but dissembled, intention of subverting the whole Persian monarchy, which, notwithstanding, he feared to attack, till he had secured the fidelity, or had disabled the enmity, of the Egyptians*N_96.

[[N_94† See Knolles, v. i, p. 354, 355, 357.]]

[[N_95‡ See Knolles, v. i, p. 352, 378.]]

[[N_96* See Knolles, v. i, p. 357. Mignot, t. i, p. 333—355.]]


Egypt, the civilization of which had begun at such an early period that even before the time of Abraham its government had degenerated into absolute monarchy, has patiently endured, during two thousand three hundred years, the successive dominion of strangers. It flourished in opulence and splendour under kings of the Persian and Macedonian dynasties, and from the era of its submission to the arms of the Caesars, was considered the most valuable and important province of the Roman empire, until Amrou, lieutenant of the caliph Omar, {A. D. 638.} conquered it from the Byzantine emperors. The government of the Saracens succeeded to that of the caliphs, and the last king of the race of Ayub, which was the name of the father of Saladin†N_97, was dethroned and mur- {A. D. 1250.} dered, soon after the defeat and capture of Saint Lewis at the battle of Mansura, by the Turcman Mamelukes, his body-guards, the most valiant, hut the most disorderly, soldiers in Asia. A Turcman occupied the vacant throne, and the Mamelukes thenceforward arrogated to themselves the privilege of electing and cashiering the sovereign of Egypt. Their history, for two hundred and fifty-seven years, is a series of crimes and disorders. The Turcman, were supplanted by the Circassian, Mamelukes. Thirty-three military despots succeeded to each other, and few among them except the first, who occupied his troops in the conquest of Syria, either enjoyed a long reign or experienced a natural death*N_98.


[[N_97† Saladin was by birth a Kurd, his army was composed principally of cavalry, called in the Arab language serrâdjin, whence the crusaders formed the national appellation of Saracen.]]

[[N_98* See in Volney (t. i, p. 244, note) a synopsis of an Arabian manuscript in the national library, No. 786, containing the history of the governors of Egypt from the caliph Omar to the Turkish jiasha, the representative of the Ottoman sultan, in the year 1620.

Amrou, in a letter to the caliph, thus describes the country of Egypt. " Prince of the faithful! paint to thyself a beautiful champaign country situated between deserts, and two ranges of mountains, one of which appears a sand-hill, and the other re-sembles the back of a camel or the belly of a starved horse. Such is Egypt. All its riches and productions, from Syene td Mensha, are owing to a blessed river which flows with majesty through the midst of it. The periods of its rise and fall are as regular as the courses of the sun and moon. At a certain season of the year all the sources in the universe pay to this king of ri~ vers the annual tribute to which Providence has subjected them,. Then its waters swell till they overflow their bed, and cover the land of Egypt, depositing on its surface a prolific slime. Commerce between the villages is carried on at that time only by means of light boats, which are as numerous as the leaves of the palm-tree."


" When the moment arrives that its waters are no longer necessary for fertilizing the soil, the docik river re-enters the bounds which Nature has prescribed to it, in order that ihe treasure may be collected, which it has laid up in the bosom of the earth."

" A people protected by heaven, and which, like the bee, seems destined to labour for others without profiting by the fruits of its toil, lightly opens the ground, and depositing the seeds, awaits their fecundation from the bounty of that Being who causes them to germinate, to grow, and to ripen. The seed develops itself, the stalk rises, and the ear is formed, by the aid of an abundant dew, which supplies the want of rain, and keeps up the nourishing moisture with which the soil is imbued. A rich crop- is immediately succeeded by sterility. Thus, O prince of the faithful, Egypt offers by turns the image of a powdery desert, a liquid and silvery plain, a black and slimy marsh, a green and waving meadow, a garden blooming with flowers, or a field covered with yellow harvests. Blessed be the creator of so many wonders."

" Three things, O prince of the faithful, essentially contribute to the prosperity of Egypt, and the happiness of its inhabitants. The first, not lightly to adopt projects engendered by fiscal avidity for increasing the taxes: the second, to employ a third of the revenue in keeping up the canals, the bridges, and the dikes : the third, to levy taxes only in kind, 'on the fruits which the earth produces."]]

The seeds of war, which Selim had matured by his conquest of Tauris, and his victories over the princes of the mountains, had been sown in the preceding reign by xc Bajazet's seizure of the intermediate country, and by Caitbey's protection of Djem. Both nations, although they had engaged in actual warfare in behalf of their dependents or their allies, were, however, restrained from open or avowed hostilities by mutual respect for the number, the strength, and the prowess, of their enemies. The Ottoman sultans were superior in the physical robustness of their infantry, in their steady valour and rigorous discipline; while the Mameluke cavalry, which has preserved its reputation through all the successive improvements in the art of war, constituted the main support of the Egyptian armies. The Mamelukes of that age were chiefly of the Circassian race: they greatly excelled the Turks in military exercises, in the skilful management of their horses and arms, and in the precision and celerity of their manoeuvres : their courage was moreover fortified by the remembrance of the advantages which they had recently obtained over the armies of Bajazet, in their skirmishes on the frontiers of Caramania and in the mountainous district which separated the two monarchies*N_99.

[[N_99* For the constitution and discipline of the Mamelukes see Knolles, T. i, p. 355, 356. Volney, t. i, p. 142—158.]]


Cansou Ghawry, the sultan of Egypt, advanced with equal forces to meet the army of Selim, and, according to Cantemir, offered his concurrence in the pious attempt to extirpate the heresy of the Persians*N_100. Other historians assert, with greater probability, that he was in league with the Persians, and had led out his army in their defence†N_101. Selim, however, preferred his submission to his alliance, and profiting by the secret, but inveterate, enmity of the governors of Damascus and Aleppo, he encouraged their desertion from the standard of Egypt. The power of the Mamelukes was dissolved by the decisive battle of Meritz Dabik, in which the Egyptian sultan was slain with the flower of his army. The submission of Syria and Palestine, the defeat of the new king ot Egypt, Touman Baih, with the conquest of that country, immediately followed. Mecca sent her keys to the conqueror in token of submission, and her scherif received the orders of Selim which regulated the succession to the principality. Even the Arabs of the desert did homage to the sovereignty of the sultan*N_102.

[[N_100* See Cantemir, p. 156,157. Volney, t. i, p. 85.]]

[[N_101† See Knolles, v. i, p. 354, 357. Mignot, t. i, p. 403. Tab. Gen. t.i,p. 134.]]


[[N_102* See Knolles, v. i, p. 359, 360, 361, 362, 375, Cantemir, p. 158, 167—169. Volney (t. i, p. 370) thus describes the .^Arabian deserts. " Pour se peindre ces deserts, que Ton se figure sous un ciel presque toujours ardent et sans nuages, des plaines immenses et a perte de vue, sans maisons, sans arbres, sans ruisseaux, sans montagnes: quelquefois les yeux s'egarent sur un horizon ras et uni comme la mer. En d'autres endroits le terrein se courbe en ondulations, ou se herisse de rocs et de ro-cailles. Presque toujours egalement nue, la terre n'offre que des plantes ligneuses clair-semees, et des buissons epars, dont la solitude n'est que rarement trouble par des gazelles, des lievres, des sauterelles et des rats. Tel est presque tout le pays qui s'etend depuis Alep jusqu'a la mer d'Arabic, et depuis I'Egypte jusqu'au golfe Persique, dans un espace de six cents lieuee de longueur trois cents de large."]]

Selim confirmed, with certain modifications, the form of administration which al-Yeady prevailed in Egypt. He chose from among the Mamelukes who had survived the shock of his arms and the ebullition of his resentment, twenty-four beys, or chiefs, to whom he again confided the government of the Egyptian provinces, the collection of the tribute, and the regulation of the police; but he subjected their authority to that of the divan, or council of regency, which was composed of the pasha†N_103 and the military xciii chiefs, and was supported by a standing army of twenty thousand infantry and twelve thousand cavalry*N_104. Syria and Palestine were divided into pashaliks, and became more immediately incorporated with the Ottoman empire by the similarity of their govern-ment†N_105.

[[N_103† The Turkish word patJia is formed of two Petsian word's pa-ikah which signify literally vice-roy.]]

[[N_104* See Volney, t. i, p. 92—94., 98, 99, HO, 141, 142. The government established by Selim subsisted till the year 1746, when Ibrahim Kiahya effected a revolution which transferred to the Mamelukes the reality of power, and reduced the authority of the Ottoman porte and the pasha to a nullity and a pageant.]]

[[N_105† See Volney, t. ii, p. 39.]]

The sultan returned to his capital, leading with him the last caliph of the house of Abbas, by whose resignation he obtained for the princes of the Ottoman dynasty the title of caliph, so important in the eyes of Islamism as conferring the powers of sovereign pontiff, administrator of justice, and doctor of legislation. The rights of the caliphat had indeed been exercised by his ancestors from the foundation of the Ottoman monarchy, but under titles which indicated only temporal power, such as bey, emir, and sultan‡N_106. He died while projecting new conquests.

[[N_106‡ See Mignot, t. i, p. 419.]]


As a conqueror, Selim in his conduct, his activity, and enterprise, merited the highest praise; but the concurring voice of posterity condemns his inhumanity to his family, to his friends, and even to his enemies*N_107. The mind of Selim was, however, adorned or vitiated by the literature, and the philosophy, of his age and country; while his character was marked by the most revolting incongruities. The same man, whose vengeance reared, on the banks of the Nile, a pyramid of human skulls, constructed and embellished the pavillion of the nilometre. The inscription in Arabic verse was of the sultan's own composition. " All the riches and the possessions of men belong to God, who alone disposes of them according to his will. He overturns the throne of the conqueror, and scatters the treasures of the lords of the Nile. If man could claim as his own the smallest particle of matter, the sovereignty of the world would be divided between God and his creature*N_108."

[[N_107* Cantemir relates (p. 163), that on Selim's march toward* Cairo, one of his vizirs, encouraged by the familiar conversation in which he was engaged with his officers, jocularly asked, when they were to enter a certain village in the neighbourhood of that city. " We shall indeed enter," said the sultan, " when God pleases, but for thee, it is my pleasure, that thou stay here," and thereupon ordered the vizir's head to be instantly struck off.]]

[[N_108* Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 382.]]


{Soliman the First. A. D. 1519-1566.}

Soliman ascended the throne of his father under the most favourable auspices. He was born in the nine-hundredth year of the hegira, and was himself the tenth sultan of the Ottoman race;—this combination of perfect numbers was considered by his subjects to presage the splendour of his reign and the prosperity of his empire. His father, the victim of superstition, had acknowledged on his death-bed, that a holy man of Damascus, who enforced his belief by foretelling his victory, had also predicted, that, though his own reign should not exceed nine years, that of Soliman should extend through half a century. " If heaven in its mercy," exclaimed the merciless sultan, " would grant me so long a reign, it should equal that of Solomon." The same prediction which had certainly shortened the life of his father, incited Soliman to engage, with the assurance of success, in those enterprises which have illustrated his reign, and have rendered it the most brilliant in the annals of the Ottoman monarchy†N_109.

[[N_109† See Tab. Gun. t. i, p. 387.]]


The conquests of Selim had secured the empire in Asia from the apprehension of external attack, and left to Soliman the choice of extending its boundaries either to the east or the west. The Hungarians waited his determination with anxiety, but without using the precautions which their own situation and the affairs of Europe seemed to require. Belgrade, which had successfully repelled the attacks of Mahomet the Great and his father Murad, and was considered not only the bulwark of Hungary, but the chief barrier of the Christian commonwealth, was, nevertheless, left with a garrison insufficient for its defence, and ill-supplied with provisions and military stores. Soliman began his attack on Hungary by the siege of this important fortress, which he captured in less than a month, and thus opened a passage into the heart of Christendom and laid the seat of future war beyond the ancient bounds of the Ottoman empire*N_110. But he deferred xcvii his schemes of continental aggression until he had obtained a second triumph over the memory of his great ancestor, by compelling the knights of Saint John to surrender the island of Rhodes; a sovereignty possessing every advantage of climate, of soil, and situation, which they had held in the midst of the Turkish empire for two hundred and twenty years, and which they at last relinquished by honourable capitulation after a furious and protracted siege*N_111.

[[N_110* See Knolles, v. i, p, 882, 405. Cantemir, p. 176. Mig-not, t. i, p. 430. Mr. Coxe, however, who has had the advantage of consulting the histories of national and contemporary writers, says (History of the house of Austria, v. i, p. 549. 4to, London 1807), that " the garrison was well provided with every means of defence," and that, " after a siege not distinguished by any remarkable event, the place was surrendered by treachery to the infidels."]]

[[N_111* See Knolles, v. i, p. 382—404. Cantemir, p. 176. Mig-not, t. i, p. 430—469.]]

Though Rhodes, while in the hands of the knights, was acknowledged to be the only defence of Italy against the fleets and armies of the Turks, it had received no assistance from the Christian princes in its last great struggle. Venice was in league with the porte. Italy, Germany, France, and Spain, were distracted by civil dissensions, by religious disputes, by mutual distrust, and by implacable hostility†N_112. The general politics xcviii of Europe, and the incomplete union of its states in any plan of defence against the common enemy, precluded the expectation, and even the possibility, of effectual co-operation among them. In this posture of affairs, the councils of Soliman were decided by the peculiar inaptitude of Hungary for resisting, unsupported, the shock of the Turkish arms. That kingdom, now left open to his incursions, was governed by a prince whose youth, whose inexperience, and incapacity, prevented him from exerting any authority over the nobility and clergy, who engrossed all the wealth and power of the kingdom*N_113. Soliman stationed an army of sixty thousand men under the command of the beylerbey of Anatolia for preserving the tranquillity of Asia: he sent a strong fleet of observation into the Archipelago: he appointed a large convoy of transports to proceed up the Euxine and the Danube for the supply of his army; and he himself advanced towards Hungary at the head of two hundred thousand men†N_114.

[[N_112† See Knolles, v.i, p. 388, 391, 394,402, 404. Robertson, history of the reign of the emperor Charles V, v. ii, p. 201* 8vo. London 1802.]]

[[N_113* See Knolles, v. I, p. 40*, 405, 422. Robertson, v. ii, p. 373. Coxe, v. i, p. 548.]]

[[N_114† See Knolles, v. i, p. 405. Mignot,t. i, p. 428.]]


In the meantime Lewis, embarrassed by the tedious forms of the feudal constitution, assembled the states of his kingdom, whose previous sanction was necessary to enable him to summon the Hungarian nobility to take up arms in defence of their invaded country. He endeavoured to animate and to unite the resistance of the whole community by the revival of an ancient custom— the carrying about of a bloody sabre, as a signal of the danger which threatened the lives of the inhabitants and the independence of the state*N_115.

[[N_115* See Knolles, v. i, p. 405. Coxe, v. i, p. 549.]]

The military force of Hungary consisted almost wholly of cavalry, composed of the nobles or possessors of fiefs, their vassals, and servants. Infantry, whose superiority in war was again beginning to be felt in the west of Europe†N_116, not being provided by the feudal institutions, could be supported only by taxes, which the king could not levy, as the great paid no imposts, and the people had neither industry nor commerce. Every proprietor of land was obliged, in consequence of his military tenure, to march with a proportionate number of vassals under the c standard of the officer of his district. These forces, which were not consolidated by any identity of discipline and skill, could make but a feeble resistance against a regular army, even if they had been united under one command. But though every consideration of prudence and of patriotism evinced the imperious necessity of repressing faction and of adhering to the sovereign, the nobility still continued to make their own pri-r vileges the primary object of their concern. The king could command the attendance of the nobles only in extraordinary circumstances, and under peculiar conditions. He could summon all the armed force of the country to his camp when the state was acknowledged to be in danger; but the service of the feudal vassals was for a limited time, and they could not be compelled to carry on war far beyond their own frontier. They were privileged to serve only about the person, and under the immediate command, of the king, and not in flying camps, nor detached bodies; and on this ground they refused to occupy passes which might arrest the progress of the Turks, preferring the conservation of an injurious distinction to the interest of the commonwealth. The soldiery ci were impatient of the restraints and the privations of a camp: they were prepared for sudden and hazardous enterprises, but not for strenuous constancy even in the defence of their country. Their country to the great body of the inhabitants was indeed a term void of animation: considered as the property of the nobles, they were exposed to the rigours of aristocratical oppression, and were noticed by the law no further than as they were prohibited from pleading against, their masters.

[[N_116† See Robertson, v. i, p. 112, 137.]]

In the ordinary affairs of government, the prerogative and authority of the king were circumscribed and impeded by the powers and privileges of the diet and the nobility In military affairs, his commands were obey. ed only as far as they were agreeable. The nobles and their vassals, boiling with intemperate courage, would consent to be led to action only when and how they chose Their impatience compelled the king to quit an advantageous position, and to descend into the plain to the attack of an army eight times greater than his own*N_117. The officer who carried the standard of Hungary before cii the king, had his spurs taken off in compliance with an ancient custom*N_118; nor did the behaviour of the troops belie this demonstration of desperate courage, but Lewis was killed, and his army was destroyed, by the event of the battle of Mohatz, in which { A. D. 1526.} upwards of twenty thousand Hungarians fell. The capital, the chief fortresses, and the open country, surrendered to the mercy of conquerors inflamed with zeal, with avarice, and revenge. Soliman led back his army, loaded with booty and encumbered with captives, and left the impoverished and depopulated country deprived of regular government, torn by domestic factions and the contentions of foreign princes for the vacant throne†N_119.

[[N_117* See Knolles, T. i, p. 405. Mignot, t. i, p. 479, 480.]]

[[N_118* See Mignot, t. i, p. 481.]]

[[N_119† See Knolles, v.i, p. 406. Cantemir, p. 180, 181. Mignot, t. i, p. 482, 483. Robertson, v. ii, p. 373. Coxe, v. i, p. 550.]]

The male race of the royal family of Jagellon became extinct by the death of Lewis. John de Zapoli, count of Zips and vaivoda of Transilvania‡N_120, being at the head of a re- ciii spectable body of troops, convoked an assembly of the states at Tokay, and by his influence with the nobility, who were averie from the dominion of foreigners, obtained for himself the ejection to the throne of Hungary. He was, however, opposed by a strong party headed by the great palatine, Stephen Battori, who caused Ferdinand archduke of Austria, brother of the emperor Charles the Fifth, to be elected by a diet assembled at Presburg. Ferdinand, who by the cession of his brother united under his sway and in his own person all the German dominions, and all the pretensions, of his house, founded his claim to the succession of Bohemia and Hungary on ancient treaties in favour of his family, and on his own marriage with the princess Anne, the only sister of Lewis the Second: but as the feudal institutions existed in their full vigour in these kingdoms, he cautiously avoided the assertion of his rights, and obtained both crowns according to the usual mode of election. The causes which contributed to the elevation of Ferdinand, were, on the one part, the calamities of the kingdom and the necessity of providing additional nieans of security, and on the other, the civ envy which was naturally excited among the Hungarian nobility by the preferment of the vaivoda. In these circumstances, the. personal merit and great resources of the brother of the emperor, aided by the intrigues of his partisans and of his sister Mary, the widow of Lewis, prevailed over national prejudices, and secured a considerable majority of the nobles in favour of the foreign candidate.

[[N_120‡ " Transilvania was annexed to the kingdom of Hungary by king Stephen in 1002, and governed by vice-roys appointed by the king, under the name of vaivoda" Coxe, T. i, p. 559, note.]]

John found himself unable to maintain by arms the ascendancy which he had acquired. He abandoned his capital, and flying from province to province before the armies of Ferdinand, took refuge at last in Poland with his brother-in-law Sigismund. Thence he despatched an able emissary to Constantinople, who succeeded in interesting the sultan in his behalf, by offering to hold the kingdom as a fief of the Ottoman empire which it had gained by the law of arms*N_121. Soliman indeed needed no intreaties to make the crown of Hungary really dependent on-the porte by this seeming act of magnanimity and generosity. It was a natural policy rather to surround his empire with weak and- cv tributary states than with powerful and independent kingdoms*N_122. He refused to acknowledge the election of Ferdinand, contemptuously dismissed his ambassadors, who had not only endeavoured to assert and to justify his claim and title, but had presumed to demand the restitution of the Hungarian fortresses which the Turks still held, and encouraged the partisans of John by a solemn promise to restore him to' the throne†N_123. The Ottoman army marched to Buda without meeting resistance. The German garrison {A. D. 1529.} capitulated, but was put to the sword on pretence of some infringement of the articles of the treaty‡N_124. Soliman captured with the same facility the principal fortresses along cvi the Danube r he advanced into Austria, and laid siege to Vienna, but his operations were frustrated by the loss of his heavy artillery, which had been intercepted on its passage up the Danube and sunk by the garrison of Presburg. He was finally compelled by the approach of the rainy season, and the scientific and vigorous resistance of the governor and garrison, to draw off his army and to, leave the work unfinished, though, to as-swage his disappointment or to expedite his retreat, he issued a general order for the murder of all the prisoners before raising the siege*N_125.

[[N_121* See Knolles, v. i, p. 407—409.]]

[[N_122* Knolles (v. i, p. 409) wholly mistakes both the Ottoman policy and the character of Soliman: he asserts, that " the sultan was not so desirous of kingdoms as of glory and renown, being naturally carried away with that windy vanity."]]

[[N_123 See Knolles, v. i, p. 410. Mignot, t. i, p. 495. Mr. Coxe (v. i, p. 553) has given a more particular account of Soliman's answer to the ambassadors, from the historical works of John Zermegh, a native of Sclavonia and a contemporary writer. (Hist. rer. gestarum inter Ferdinandum et Johannem. Schwandtner, scriptores rer. Hungar> t. ii, p. 394.) The speech of the sultan is, however, so inconsistent with the established style and ceremonial of the Ottoman court that it seems scarcely deserving of credit.]]

[[N_124‡ See Cantemir, p. 185.]]

[[N_125* See Knolles, v. 1, p. 411—414. Cantemir, p. 190—193. Mignot, t. i, p. 496—500.]]

The sultan, piqued at the dishonour done to the Ottoman arms by the resistance of the Austrians, still cherished the ambitious project of subduing, not only the hereditary dominions of Ferdinand, but the whole of {A. D. 1532.} Germany†N_126. The army which he again assembled and led through Hungary, was computed to consist of five hundred thousand cvii men*N_127, but its effects were shamefully dis-proportioned to its magnitude. It was occupied for twenty-eight days in the fruitless siege of Guntz, an insignificant and badly fortified town in Styria, was deterred from approaching Vienna, the avowed object of the expedition, by the forces which Charles had conducted from Italy, Spain, and the Low Countries and augmented by the contributions from the states of Germany, and was finally disbanded, after wasting the open country of Styria and Carinthia, and carrying many thousands of the country people into captivity†N_128.

[[N_126† See Cantemir, p. 175. " Viennara quidem alio nomine quam dedecui et ignominiam suam designare non lolet." i: us-becpii epist. p. 264. 12mo. Oxon. 1660.)]]

[[N_127* See Knolles, v. i, p. 417. Robertson (v. iii, p. 58) says 300,000 men.]]


[[N_128 See Knolles, v. i, p. 416—420. Coxe, v. i, p. 556— 558. Mr. Coxe is of opinion, that, in the first irruption of 1529, " nothing perhaps could have prevented the subjugation of Hungary, had not Soliman been compelled to withdraw and direct his arms against the Caramanian princes, who on a report of his death had risen in rebellion" (seev. i, p. 551): and that, in the campaign of 1532, " the retreat of the sultan was hastened by a diversion of the imperial fleet under Andrew Doria, who alarmed the coasts of the Archipelago, captured Corona, one of the fortresses commanding the Dardanelles, and threatened Constantinople itself." (Seep. 558.) I have not extracted these passages from a work of acknowledged merit for the invidious purpose of pointing out their obvious inaccuracy, but for the sake of removing a difficulty which repeatedly occurs to the readers of Turkish history, by an attempt to explain the cause of the frequent retreats of the Turkish armies from conquered countries, and their renewal of the same series of operations in suc-cessive campaigns. Such conduct is inexplicable except by the information which is derived from an acquaintance with the feudal, and particularly with the Ottoman, policy. The feudal syttem, which is admirably adapted for retaining conquests in a country which has been previously and totally subjugated, is, how* ever, so far repugnant to the spirit of extending dominion that it necessitates the settlement of an army of feudal proprietors in the conquered country, sufficient to hold in subjection the ancient and dispossessed inhabitants; and consequently so complete a conquest as to enable the victors to make a new distribution of the whole of the landed property. Now the Turkish army consisted principally of persons possessed of military fiefs at home, whose term of service in each campaign was limited, and who were desirous, at its expiration, to return to their domestic occupations. To these the sultan could offer no inducement to remain in garrison in a country only partially subdued. His regular soldiers were not sufficiently numerous for the purpose, and his revenues were inadequate to the maintenance of a large body of the volunteers, even if they would consent to be retained, and the defence of the country could be safely entrusted to them. Hence then the enemy's country, though entirely over-run in the course of the campaign, was constantly evacuated on the approach of winter, until by the repeated incursions of the Turkish armies it became so completely ravaged, and the courage and resources of the inhabitants so exhausted, as to have prepared it by degrees for an incorporation with the empire. It is obvious, that the subjugation of a country so warlike and so populous as Hungary was incomplete, even after one or two successful campaigns so that no garrison of regulars or mercenaries which the sultan could leave behind, would have been sufficient to maintain their ground, and therefore it was, that Soliman repeatedly withdrew the whole of his army, and not on account of the depredations of free-booters in Turcomania and Kurdistan (see Cantemir, p. 181, note 19), nor the "successes of the Italians in the Morea." (See Cantemir, p. 195.) ]]


The retreat of Soliman gave to Ferdinand another opportunity of reclaiming the dominion of Hungary, but he was prevented from availing himself of it by the immediate return of the greater part of the foreign and auxiliary troops, and by the departure of Charles for Italy and Spain, in spite of the intreaties of his brother to leave his army at his disposal, or to employ it in his cause*N_129.

[[N_129* See Knolles, v. i, p. 420—422. Coxe, v. i, p. 559.]]

Hungary was ravaged by all the evils consequent upon a contest for the sovereignty. The rival kings, unable to support their pretensions without the assistance of the emperor and the sultan, persisted, however, in carrying on a desultory warfare in the frontier provinces of each other's territories. The German army penetrated into Sclavonia, notwithstanding a league of amity into which Ferdinand had entered with Sohman, and attempted to surprise the Turkish garrison at Esseg on the river Drave, but was repulsed with loss and disgrace by the troops of the pasha of Belgrade†N_130. The interference of the Turks in the affairs of Hungary exposed the wretched inhabitants to all the calamities of a hostile invasion. " In vain had nature blessed this kingdom with mines of gold, and with the real treasures of corn and wine; in vain had she favoured the inhabitants with strength of constitution and quickness of understanding ; the country now appeared as a vast desert, which exhibited only towns in a state of ruin, fields which the husbandmen tilled with the sword in one hand, villages' dug under ground where the inhabitants concealed themselves with their corn and cattle, and a hundred fortified castles the possessors of which disputed their independency with the Turks and Germans*N_131." John, however unwilling to renounce the royal dignity, wept over the success of his cause and the distresses of his country: he endeavoured to terminate, or to diminish them by secretly covenanting with Ferdinand, that he should retain the title of king of Hungary with the territory actually in his 'possession, but that, on his demise, if he left no heirs, and he was then unmarried, the dominion of the whole should devolve to Ferdinand†N_132. This treaty procured only a temporary relief; for the king, though advanced in, years, afterwards married Isabella, daughter of Sigismund king of Poland, and though he survived his marriage only a short time, he left an infant son, who was acknowledged by the greater part of the Hungarian nobility, and was crowned under the revered name of Stephen, the founder of the monarchy. The regency, {A.D. 1540.} during his minority, was entrusted to his mother and guardians*N_133. Ferdinand' laid claim to the kingdom in virtue of his compact with John, who, however, appears to have considered it as annulled by the birth of his son, an event against which no stipulation had been made; but trusting as much to negociation as to force, he offered to So-liman to hold it as a fief of the porte,* and to pay the same tribute as his predecessor, while, at the same time, he sent an army to demand the surrender, or to undertake the siege, of the capital of Hungary. The queen, who possessed ambition and spirit to support the rights of her family, rejected the claim of Ferdinand, and appealed to So-liman, the lord paramount, for protection and support. Soliman imprisoned the German ambassadors, who had presumed to approach him with words of peace, while their master was carrying on war in the kingdom of his vassal and ally: he encouraged the citizens of Buda to hold out, until, by the assistance of the troops whom he detached from his grand army, the Germans were compelled to raise the siege by night, and to retreat with great slaughter*N_134.

[[N_130† See Knolles, v. i, p. 455—462. Cantemir, p. 195. The Turkish annals celebrate the victories of this campaign, and the subsequent submission of the princes of Sclavonia, with the surrender of upwards of twenty cities and towns.]]


[[N_131* Voltaire, essai sur les moeurs, chap. cxix.]]

[[N_132† See Knolles, v. i, p. 468, Mignot, t. i, p. 506. Robertson, v. iii, p. 216. Coxe, r. i, p. 559.]]


[[N_133† See Knolles, v. t, p. 469, 470.]]


[[N_134* See Knolles, v. i, p. 4.70–4-78. Cantemir, p. 204. Mignot, t. 11, p. 6–10. Robertson, t. iii, p. 216–219. Coxe v. i, p. 560, 561, 562.]]

Soliman arrived before Buda in the autumn. Affairs now seemed ripe for the consummation of those ambitious projects which he had meditated from his first invasion of Hungary. His conquest was insecure while the government of the kingdom was vested in the house of Zapoli, which had always shown itself impatient of tributary subjection, and was now become peculiarly incapable, on account of the sex and youth of Isabella and Stephen, of overawing faction, or defending it from the Austriaris. The sultan continued to reside in his camp, as he was prohibited, by the customs of his nation from lodging within a walled town which did cxiii not acknowledge his jurisdiction, and restrained by decency and the etiquette of the Ottoman court from visiting, or receiving in his pavillion, a lady who was the daughter of his ally and the widow of his vassal. He therefore invited the queen to send her infant son to the imperial camp, to receive in person the assurances of his powerful protection. The vigilant anxieties of a mother foreboded the consequences of- the visit, but the imperial basilisk fascinated her into compliance. A magnificent entertainment was prepared for the nobles who escorted their sovereign, and they were detained in the camp; whilst the janizaries, silently and without resistance, seized upon the principal gates of Buda, and disarmed the guards. The child was kept as a hostage until the regency had summoned all the military commanders of the fortresses and provinces to submit to the Ottomans, and the queen was directed to retire with her son into Transilvania, which, by way of compensation, he was to hold as a fief. Soliman entered the capital of {A. D. 1541.} Hungary in triumph, and converting its principal churches into mosques, consecrated the success of a stratagem which, as is justly observed by a dignified historian, " suited the cxiv base and insidious policy of a petty usurper, rather than the magnanimity of a mighty. conqueror*N_135." He ordained, that Buda should thenceforward be kept by a Turkish garrison, and that the kingdom of Hungary itself should constitute a beylerbeylik of the Ottoman empire†N_136.

[[N_135* Robertson, v. iv, p. 45.]]

[[N_136†See Knolles, v. i, p. 478 - 482, Cantemir, p. 184, note 24, p. 205. Mignot, t. ii, p. 10 - 13. Robertson, v. iii, p. 219.]]

The seizure of the kingdom of Hungary, however repugnant to every principle of honour or morality, was sanctioned by the policy and practice of the Ottoman cabinet. I am not disposed to exculpate this act of treachery; but it should be recollected, injustice to the character of Soliman, that Hungary was acknowledged to be his own : his right to it had been acquired by his arms, and confirmed by the actual homage of John and the proffered submission of Ferdinand. If, according to the feudal maxims, the detection of treachery on the part of the vassal, or an evident incapacity to discharge the functions of royalty, justified the resumption of the government into the hands of the lord paramount, the conduct of John and the cxv state of affairs under his successors furnished Soliman with such a plea. It would indeed have beerv more consistent with the imperial dignity to have openly asserted this prerogative, and Soliman could have harboured no doubt, in the situation of the country at that time, of the ultimate success of whatever measures he might employ in order to effect his purpose. It is possible, that motives of humanity concurred with those of policy in dictating a deviation from the laws of honour. The garrison might have protracted its resistance, until the season should arrive when the authority of the sultan over the greatest part of his troops would cease, and his influence be insufficient to prevail upon them to remain in the field: on the other hand, if Buda should be taken by assault or be compelled to surrender after standing a siege, the sultan himself could scarcely restrain his exasperated soldiery from plundering and demolishing the city, and murdering the citizens.

The Hungarian nation was not attached to the reigning " family by the remembrance of a long line of illustrious ancestors, or of any actual services which they had rendered to the state. The people were naturally cxvi averse from " bringing inevitable desolation upon the country in the hopeless defence of an infant king, who could not, even by a successful resistance to the Turks, remove the impending danger of a foreign, and not less odious, dominion. The greatest part of Hungary thus became incorporated with the Ottoman empire: the people were consoled by the enjoyment of repose, and the nobles were reconciled to the loss of national independence by the preservation of their religion, their privileges, and their possessions*N_137.

[[N_137* See Knolles, v. i, p, 479. " Absoluta Turcarum imperia EOndum [253]ensit; eorum tamen sub patrocinio degit, ac veluti po-tentiorum arnica, inandatis eorumdem obsequitur." Montal-kinus, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p, 93.]]

The transactions at Buda excited the fearful apprehensions of Ferdinand for the safety of that division of Hungary which acknowledged his sovereignty, and even of his hereditary dominions. He endeavoured to conciliate the favour of Soliman, and to arrest the further progress of his arms, by sending a splendid embassy to the Turkish camp, and renewing his fruitless solicitations for the grant of the kingdom on the humiliating conditions of homage and tribute. He was even ultimately compelled by the perilous cxvii situation of his affairs, to consent to pay a yearly tribute of thirty thousand ducats, in order to obtain a truce of five years, and to preserve his footing in Hungary*N_138.

[[N_138* See Knolles, v. i, p. 481, 482. Robertson, v. iii,p. 220. Coxe, v. i, p. 562.]]

The possession of this kingdom continued to be the object of desire and anxiety both to the German and Turkish monarchs. While Soliman, relying on the observance of the truce, was carrying on war in Persia, Ferdinand obtained from Isabella, by force and by artifice, the cession of Transilvania, which he afterwards lost through the hatred occasioned by the infamous and impolitic assassination of the vicerroy, Cardinal Martinuzzi, who had obtained it for him from the queen, and had defended it against the Turks†N_139. The Turks, on the other hand, captured and fortified Temeswar, Quinque Ecclesiae, Alba, and Gran‡N_140. On the death of Ferdinand; {A. D. 1563} cxviii and the accession of Maximilian to the imperial dignity, Hungary became again the theatre of war. Soliman was now advanced in years; he nevertheless prepared an expedition to complete the conquest of the country, but he died during the siege of Szigeth, which was however taken under his auspices, before his death was proclaimed, or known to the army*N_141.

[[N_139† See Knolles, v. i, p. 551. Mignot, t. ii, p: 32. Robertson, v. iv, p. 47–49, 128. Coxe, v. i, p. 563–565.]]

[[N_140‡ See Knolles, v. i, p. 501, 511. Cantemir, p. 206. " It is difficult to distinguish the different districts occupied by the Christians and Turks; but it is probable, that the House of Austria possessed the north, as far as Neuhausel, and the course of the Danube down to Comorn, with a portion of the frontier bordering on Croatia, as far as Szigeth. The Turks, the whole course of the Danube from Belgrade to Gran, and the country from the Raab to the Theis. The House of Zapoli, the part beyond the Theis, and Transilvania." Coxe, v. i, p. 563, note.]]

[[N_141* See Knolles,v. i, p. 554, 555, 557. Cantemir, p. 215.]]

The conquest of the kingdom of Hungary, though the most important event in the history of Soliman, did not exclusively occupy the attention of that ambitious and high-minded monarch. He himself conducted his army into Persia, prosecuted the war through several destructive and disastrous campaigns, obtained by his perseverance and by his victories an augmentation of territory beyond the Araxes and the Tigris, and forced the princes of Georgia, who were tributaries of the Persian monarchy, to surrender their strongest castles and to acknowledge the sovereignty of the porte†N_142.

[[N_142† See Knolles, v. i, p. 435–439, 508. Cantemir, p. 196–199, 207 – 211. Mignot, t. i, p. 510 – 516; t. ii, p. 31.

Bagdad was surrendered to the sultan in 1534, after two cam-paigns, in which the Turks are said to have lost 200,000 men on account of the peculiar hardships of Persian warfare; the insalubrity of the climate, and the scarcity of water, provisions, and forage. Van was besieged and taken in 1548, and Erivan, the seat of the Persian king, was sacked and destroyed in 1553.]]


The victorious progress of the Ottoman sultans in Egypt and Persia, produced an unexpected collision of interests with the states of the European continent bordering upon the Atlantic ocean. The Portugueze, following up the discoveries of Vasco di Gama by schemes of territorial aggrandizement and commercial monopoly, had projected the establishment of a mighty empire over the vast extent of Hindostan, had prohibited the navigation of foreign vessels in the Indian ocean, and seized upon the island of Ormus in the Persian gulf and Aden on the Red sea. The greater facilities which the passage by the cape of Good Hope afforded to the western countries of Europe, had diverted the trade of India into the port of Lisbon, and had deprived Egypt of an important branch of revenue, arising from the duties on the productions of India, which were formerly imported by the Arabian gulf, cxx and, after being carried over land From Suez to Cairo and thence by the Nile to Alexandria, were dispersed throughout the markets of Europe by the Venetian merchants. The Mameluke government felt the injury, and determined to resent it. It was assisted in fitting out a fleet at Suez by the industry and ingenuity of the Venetians, who foresaw, in the success of the Portu-gueze, the ruin of their commerce and the downfal of their power. Albuquerque, the vice-roy of the king of Portugal, counteracted their projects by taking possession of the island of Socotora near the straits of Babelmandel, and appointing a Portugueze squadron to cruize off the entrance of the gulf and intercept the expeditions from Egypt. Impelled by a mistaken patriotism, he conceived the monstrous idea of engaging the emperor of Ethiopia to turn the course of the river Nile, and to open for it a new passage into the Red sea:–a scheme which, if it had been practicable, would have reduced the fertile and populous kingdom of Egypt to a barren solitude*N_143. The same cxxi policy induced the successors of Albuquerque to assist the Persians in their wars against the Ottomans, by furnishing them with arms and ammunition, and instructing them in the use of artillery and musketry. Soliman, on the other hand, by an exertion of singular industry, equipped a strong fleet at Suez, which was built from timber cut in the mountains of Caramania, and carried on the backs of camels across the desert, after being transported to Egypt and floated up the Nile. The Ottoman admiral appears to have co-operated with the king of Cambay in the siege of Diu, on the coast of Guzerat, but was repulsed by Juan de Castro, and constrained to cover the ill success of his expedition by treacherously seizing upon Aden and other cities on the Arabian gulf, and thus subjecting a great part of Yemen to the dominion of the sultan*N_144.

[[N_143* See Job! Ludolfi historia jEthiopica, 1. i, c. 8. fol. Franco-furti ad Mcenum 1681. Alf. d'Albuquerque in comment, ejued. part. 4, c. 7, ailegante Tellezio p. 20. Raynal, histoire philoso-phique et politique des etablissemens et du commerce des Ea-ropeens dans les deux Indes, t. i, 1. i. 8vo. Geneve 1783.]]

[[N_144* See Lazarus Soranzus, de milit. cop. Turc. in Turc. imp. statuap. Elzevir, p. 257. 12mo. Lugduni Batav, 1634. Knolles, v. i, p. 451. Cantemir, p. 201. Mignot, t. ii, p. 4. Raynal, t. i, p. 176–178.]]

By his personal prowess and his incessant activity Soliman had extended his empire in cxxii Hungary and Persia, but he owed the submission of Moldavia solely to the terror of his name*N_145, and the homage of Algiers to the renown of his power†N_146.

[[N_145* See Cantemir, p. 186–189. Mignot, t. i, p,501.]]

[[N_146† See Cantemir, p. 196. Robertson, v. iii, p. 94.]]

Two brothers, Arouclg and Khairuddinn, natives of the island of Mitylene, who, under the name of Barbarossa, had become formidable to the Christian states by their suc-cessful and systematic piracies in the Mediterranean sea, j^ere invited by Selim ebn Toumi to assist him in expelling the Spanish garrison from a small fort, built by the governors of Oran on a rocky island, which commanded the entrance of the harbour of Algiers, and overawed the city.‡N_147. The pirates were prompted by this avowal of his weakness to murder the king, and to usurp the dominion of Algiers. Khairuddinn succeeded to the throne on the death of his brother Aroudg, and in order to confirm his cxxiii dominion and to accomplish his project of extending it over the whole coast of Barbary, he offered to hold his kingdom as a fief of the Ottoman porte. Soliman accepted his homage, and sent to his assistance a powerful naval and military force in token of his favour and protection*N_148. Khairuddinn was afterwards induced to resign the government of Algiers, on being raised to the dignity of capudan pasha and the chief command of the Ottoman fleet, but he generously stipulated, that the vice-royalty of Algiers should be conferred on his comrade Hassan, to whose co-roperation he had been greatly indebted for his success, and who afterwards evinced his worthiness by his repulse of the emperor Charles the Fifth*N_149. The courage, conduct, and experience of Barbarossa in maritime affairs, were deemed necessary at this important crisis in order to oppose the united navies of Spain and Italy which were commanded by the Genoese ad-miral Doria, and to retaliate on the defenceless shores of Italy the ravages committed on the coasts of Greece and Epirus. Barbarossa supported the reputation of the Ottoman arms, and of his own valour and skill, in several weJl-contested naval combats. He retook Castelnuovo in Dalmatia, notwithstanding the desperate defence of the garrison, which consisted of four thousand Spanish veterans, who all perished with their captain Sarmiento. He reduced Napoli di Romania and Malvasia, cities in the Peloponnesus, and by the conquest of these important places, and of several islands in the Archipelago, so terrified the Venetians, who had been induced to join the maritime confederacy against the Turks, that they purchased a separate peace by the resignation of cxxv Syra, Patmos, Paros, Egina, Naxos and other islands*N_150. He suddenly invaded Tunis under pretence of re-establishing Raschid who had been expelled by his younger brother Muley Hassan, and partly by force of arms, and partly by treachery, subjected the whole kingdom to the dominion of the porte. The king, who was abhorred by his subjects on account of his cruelty and his vexations, fled on the approach of the Turks without attempting resistance. The depredations of Barbarossa against the Christian states were now increased in proportion to his greater means of annoying them. The emperor, apprehensive that he would extend his inroads into Spain, Italy, and Sicily, and urged by the complaints of his subjects, and the solicitations of the dispossessed prince, who offered to become his vassal as the price of his restoration, formed a powerful coalition of the Christian states, and placed himself at the head of the expedition for the purposes of restoring security to Christendom, and of re-establishing the legitimate sovereign on the throne of Tunis. The complete success of an enterprise to which he was excited by such generous motives, raised the fame of Charles to an unrivalled superiority among the kings of Europe. His victory was, however, stained by the atrocities of his soldiers. Muley Hassan was re-instated in his capital streaming with the blood of his hereditary subjects. But his government was detested, and his person despised, from his baseness in submitting to become the vassal of a stranger and an infidel. However necessary such conditions might be for the tranquillity of Christendom, they were so humiliating to the regal dignity, so insulting to the prejudices, and so injurious to the interests, of the people, that, during the reign of Muley Hassan, they fomented insurrections among his subjects, encouraged the usurpations of his children, and finally occasioned the extinction of his family, and the reduction of his kingdom to a province of the Ottoman empire*N_151.

[[N_147‡ In the year 1509 the cities of Bujeya, Oran, Tripoli, and other maritime places on the Barbary coast were conquered for Ferdinand, king of Spain, by his admiral Don Pedro Navarro. –Gran was taken from the Spaniards by the Algerines in 1708. –Tripoli, together with the island of Malta, was given by Charles the Fifth to the knights of St. John, who held it till the year 1551 when it was taken by the Turks.]]

[[N_148* See Regni Algerii descript. compend. e var. author, collect, in Turc. imp. statu npud Elzevir, p. 310. Diego de Haedo, topographia e historia d'Argel. p. 47–61. fol. Vallad. 1612. Lays del Marmol, description general de Africa, t. ii, p. 2l5, 216. fol. Granada 1573. Knolles, v. i, p, 428, 429. Mignot, t. i, p. 518, 519. Robertson, v. iii, p. 91–94. Laugier de Tassy (histoire du royaume d'Alger, preface, and p. 11–28. 8vo. Amsterdam 1725) has composed, or, as he asserts, has translated from the Arabic of Cidi Ahmed ben Haraam, the history of the amours of Aroudg and the beautiful Zaphlra, widow of the unfortunate Selim, for the love of whom he perpetrated the murder of hey husband. Knolles also relates (v. i, p. 432) an idle etory of Khairuddinn storming the city of Fondi in the kingdom of Naples in order to obtain possession of Julia Gonzaga, the paragon of Italy. Ambition and avarice, and not lore, were, however, the passions which agitated the souls, and influenced the conduct, of these aspiring corsairs.]]


[[N_149* See Knolles, v. i, p. 488. Cantemir, p. 196. Robert-ion, v. iii, p. 91.]]

[[N_150* See Knolles, v. I, p. 422–426, 429, 431, 453, 454, 455, 465. Cantemir, p. 196. Mignot, t. ii, p. 2. Robert-son, v. iii, p. .94.]]


[[N_151* See Regni Tunetani compend. descript. ex I. B. Gram-maye, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 341–343. Knolles, r. i, p. 432–435, 440–451, 503–506. Mignot, t. i, p. 521–532. Robertson, v. iii, p. 94–107.

"Alger, Tunis, Tripoli, re9urent la merae legislation. C'est une espece d'aristocratie. Le chef qui, sous le nom de dey, conduit la republique, est choisi par la milice, qui est toujours Turque, et qui compose seule la noblesse du pays." Raynal, t. vi, p. 16.]]


Soliman the Magnificent held a distinguished rank among the contemporary princes of the sixteenth century. He established the discipline of his armies not less by his example than by his authority, and headed them in their victorious career from the extremities of Persia to the centre of Germany. His navy was equal in number and in strength to those of the Spaniards and Italians, and his admiral Barbarossa acquired no less reputation than his opponent, the celebrated Dqria. His name was great and his power was acknowledged over an extensive territory and among tributary nations. His political and military administration, while it excited the envy of his rivals, commanded the approbation of the most intelligent observers; and the Ottoman constitution appears to have attained, during his reign, the greatest perfection of which it is susceptible. Learning and the arts were encouraged by his patron-ao-e and munificence, and his enlightened policy opened or invited a commerce with the remotest nations of the west.


The, magnitude and the splendour of the military achievements of Soliman are surpassed in the judgment of his people by the wisdom of his legislation. He has acquired the surname of Canuni, or instituter of rules, not, as has been erroneously asserted, on account of his having promulgated a civil and criminal code*N_152, which, in Mahometan communities, is unalterably fixed by the founder of their religion, but on account of the order and police which he established in his empire. He caused a compilation to be made of all the maxims and regulations of his predecessors on subjects of political and military economy. He strictly denned the duties, the powers, and the privileges, of all governors, commanders, and public functionaries. He regulated the levies, the services, the equipment, and the pay, of the military and maritime forces of the empire. He prescribed the mode of collecting, and of applying, the public revenue. He assigned to every officer his rank at court, in the city, and in the army; and the observance of his regulations was imposed on his successors by the sanction of his authority. The work which his ancestors had begun, cxxix and which his care had completed, seemed to himself and his contemporaries the compendium of human wisdom. Soliman contemplated it with the fondness of a parent and conceiving it not to be susceptible of further improvement, he endeavoured to secure its perpetual duration*N_153. But human institutions require, from their very nature, a progressive amelioration.–The Western na tions of Europe, from an intimate connexion with whom the Turks were removed by the mutual accusation of infidelity and barbarism, had hitherto indeed acquired no actual superiority over the Turks†N_154; but they were placed at the opening of an unbounded career. New incentives were offered to the strongest passions of our nature, cupidity and ambition, a wide field was exposed to curious investigation and philosophical research, by the successful navigation of Vasco di Gama and Columbus, the discovery of a new heaven and a new world, by the invention of the art of. printing and of optical glasses, by improvements in mechanism and in chemistry, and chiefly by the speculations of that illustrious philosopher who, rejecting the petulance of dogmatism and the vanity of hypothesis, pointed out experiment and observation as the basis of truth and the way to useful discovery. Polite literature and the elegant arts of painting and music were cultivated and encouraged, particularly in Italy. Europeans were already beginning to assert the superiority of intellect, and were occupied in every inquiry which could diminish the sway of prejudice and enlarge the sphere of the understanding. But the institutions of Soliman placed a barrier between his subjects and future improvement. He beheld with complacency and exultation the eternal fabric which his hands had reared; and the curse denounced against pride has reduced the nation, which participated in his sentiments, to a state of inferiority to the present level of civilized men. From the reign of Soliman, and the promulgation of his imperial constitutions, we are to date the decline of the Ottoman power. The empire continued, however, to support itself by physical strength and the renown which it had previously acquired. Even at the present day its degeneracy is not obviously perceptible by a mere comparison of its actual state with the more flourishing periods of its history. Its inferiority in the scale of nations can be detected only by comparisons which the confined views of the Turks render cxxxiii them incapable of making. Thus they continued to whet the sword and to bend the bow, when their adversaries shot death from a greater distance, and frustrated the efforts of their valour or their skill by combinations which they had neither science to unravel, nor power to resist.

[[N_152* See Mignot, t. i, p. 470.]]

[[N_153* See Cantemir, p. 174, note 1. Toderini, t. i, p. 34. The canon nameh, or code of Sultan Soliman, as far as relates to the finances and military orders, is translated by Count Marsigli in his military state of the Ottoman empire.]]

[[N_154† This assertion is warranted by the concurring testimony of writers of the sixteenth century. Busbequius, who had studied the Ottoman institutions with peculiar diligence, wrote a treatise (Exclamatio: sive de re militari contra Turcam instituenda con-silium) for the express purpose of showing how far they surpassed those of the Christian kingdoms. The art of war, the order of battle, together with offensive and defensive weapons, were very different then from what they are in our days. The use of artillery, though it frequently determined the result of a battle, was generally stigmatized as " cruel, cowardly, and murderous." (Knolles, v. i, p. 352). Light skirmishes, either between individuals or companies, continued to be the favourite mode of warfare. " Both armies would many times forbear for cxxx hours to shoot any :shot on purpose to see those gallants, with true prowess, prove their yalour and manhood one Upon another tvitk their spears and swords only." In these combats the Turks displayed such superior address that the Christian general Found it niccssary to prohibit them on pain of death, to the disheartening of his own men and the encouragement of the Turks, *' who would sometimes brave- the Christians upon the top of their own trenches." (p. 477.) The Turks, however, were not yet inferior to their enemies even in the use and management of ordnance. During the siege of Nice in Provence, when they cO-operated with the French in consequence of a treaty made be-tween Soliman and Francis, Barbarossa left it to the choice of the allies either to attack the castle, or to keep the field for the purpose of defending the besiegers and repulsing the sallies of the besieged, " The French standing in doubt of which to make choice, the proud old Turk scorning their slow resolution, and them also as men unfit for the ready accomplishment of any martial exploit, caused seven pieces of battery, whereof two were of wonderful greatness, to be placed in a trice in a place most convenient, and the same quickly intrenched and fortified, to the great admiration of the French, with which pieces he had quickly beaten down the battlements of the walls and centinel houses, so that no manswas able to shew himself upon the walls."—" Vas-tius (general of the imperial army) and the Duke of Savoy coming to Nice, commended the captain of the castle, and wondering at the cunning manner of the Turks fortifications, preferred, them in that point before the Christians." (p. 502, 503.) Guic-ciardini (histor. 1. xv, p. 266) says, that the Italians learned the art of fortifying towns from the Turks. Knolles also (v. i, p. 482, 4*99) acknowledges their superiority to the Germans in this respect, as well as in the disposition, the order, and the discipline of their camps. Marsigli (t. ii, p. 56) informs us, that we are indebted to the Turks for the improvement in the cxxxi shape and the materials of tents. Doria, the Genoese admiral, confessed, that a more firm or orderly fleet (than Barbarossa's) could not have been brought out by any expert captain." (Knolles, v. i, p. 464). " Quae cogitantem" (says Busbe-quius, epist. Hi, p. 115, with a despondency which the long contemplation of the excellences of the Ottoman system naturally induced in the mind of a German) " horror corripit, quid postremo futurum sit, cum hanc nostram rationem cum eorum compare: superare alteros, alteros interire necesse est; ambo certe incolumes non possumus. Ab ilia parte slant immensse imperil opes, vires integrx, armorum usus et exercitatio, miles veteranus, victoriarum assiduitas, laborum patientia, concordia, ordo, disciplina, frugalitas, vigilantia. Ab hac nostra, publica egestas, privatus luxus, diminutse vires, fracti animi, laboris et annorum insolentia, contumaces milites, duces avari, discipline contemptus, licentia, temeritas, ebrietas, crapula; quoque est pessimum, illis vincere, nobis vinci lolitura. Et dubhamut etiam quid eventurum sit?"]]


Selim the Second, on his accession to the throne, received an ambassador from the em-peror Maximilian with overtures of peace. He himself was desirous of a suspension of hostilities, that he might restore tranquillity to the provinces, and security to the frontiers, of his empire. Maximilian, as a preliminary to the negociation, paid the arrears of his tribute for Hungary; and obtained from the sultan an armistice for eight years on the condition, that both parties should retain the territories of which they were in actual possession. The prince of Transilvania was also invited or compelled to accept peace on similar terms*N_155.

[[N_155* See Knolles, v. i, p. 560, 562, 565. Cantemir, p. 219, 220. Mignot, t. ii, p. 161. Coxe, v. i, p. 638. " In Un-garia Caesar, ut pace frueretur, Turcge ejus regni nomine, si recte memini, solvebat 45000 talerorum." Lazarus Soranzus, de milit. cop. Turc. in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 264.]]


The Ottoman sultan was impatient of re-pose. He meditated an expedition against Persia in order to restrain and chastise the incursions of that Power; but that he might diminish lhe difficulties of the march, and facilitate the conveyance of his military stores, he Projected to form a canal between the Volga and the Don, which would have enabled him to Penetrate into the Caspian sea with his fleets and armies. The Turkish soldiery were already discouraged by the length of tne labour and the impediments to its accomplishment, when the emissaries of the Tartar khan caused the scheme to be abandoned by artfully suggesting, that the higher latitudes are interdicted to Mussulmans, because of the shtortness of the nights in summer prevents their observance of the pre-cepts of their religion*N_156. In the meantime the king of Perisa sent his ambassador to the porte' and averted the indignation of the sultan by conciliatory presents and pacific proposals†N_157.

[[N_156* See Cantemir, p. 220. Relatio incerti in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir. p.143. Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 186.]]

[[N_157† See Kolles, v. i, p. 567.]]

Selim had scarcely confirmed the league which Solimart ^is father had made with the cxxxv Venetians, when he was urged by the desire of conquest to complain of the infraction of the treaty, by the protection which they afforded to the pirates of Istria, and by the admission of the gallies of Malta into the harbours of Cyprus.

{A.D. 119.}

Richard the First, king of England, obtained the kingdom of Cyprus by conquest, and exchanged it with Guy, the titular king of Jerusalem. In the year 1423 it became tributary to the sultans of Egypt, and was ceded to the republic of Venice by the widow of the last king of the house of Lusignan. The Venetians continued to pay the stipulated tribute both to the Mamelukes and the Ottomans. Selim, however, considered the acquisition of this fertile and commodious island to be necessary for the convenience of his subjects, the safety of his empire, and the honour of his crown. He therefore arrogantly claimed it from the Venetians as a dismemberment of his kingdom of Egypt, and meeting with a spirited refusal, pre^ pared an expedition to wrest it from them by force*N_158.

[[N_158* See Knollcs, v. i, p. 570—572. Mignot, t. ii, p. 163, 166. Relatio incerti, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 146.]]


In all the Greek islands which were possessed by the Franks, the arrival of a Turkish army was welcomed by a host of insurgents, desirous of a change of masters and anxious to ensure the success of the invaders. The villages and open country were inhabited by peasants of the Greek communion, the descendants of the ancient inhabitants, who, though in some instances the most numerous part of the population, continued unconnected by interest or affection, t or by any communion of principles or opinions, with the existing government. In the domestic administration of the affairs of Venice, the general interests of the people were in some degree necessarily combined with the preservation of the state and the privileges of the nobility, while a system exclusively and oppressively aristocratical was adopted in the colonies. The military, ecclesiastical, and administrative, functions were exercised solely by Venetian citizens, who absorbed the riches of the country, and discouraged the emulation, and even the industry, of the natives by their tyranny and rapacity*N_159.

[[N_159* See Mignot, t. ii, p. 170.]]

It is a policy which seems congenial to all the ecclesiastical establishments of the Chris- cxxxvii tian religion, to compel the professors of heterodox opinions to retire to humble life and rustic occupations. When the government of the Roman empire became Christian, the name of pagan, or peasant, was soon peculiarly appropriated to that class of the inhabitants who refused to renounce the religion of their ancestors. The villages have been successively peopled by adherents to the Greek or Roman communion, in proportion as either church has attained the superiority, or has yielded to foreign force and domestic schism. The predominance of the Catholic religion, which was that of the Venetian state, injured and offended the partisans of a rival and persecuted church, who were not only excluded from a participation in the honours and the emoluments of public office, but were taunted with the reproach of ingratitude and disloyalty, because they felt the degradation of their sect, and did not acknowledge the justice and clemency of that toleration which abstained only from active persecution. The sense of inferiority was embittered by the haughty deportment of the professors of the favoured religion; by the studied pomp of their ceremonials, the wealth of their establishment, and the luxury cxxxviii of their clergy; by the spirit of their public discourses, and the insolence of their private exhortations. The Greeks became indifferent to the prosperity of the commonwealth. Resentment for. undeserved humiliation made them even regard as a deliverer, the enemy who, without aggravating their temporal subjection, would confer spiritual freedom; and from the delusions of this unreasoning sentiment, they resigned into the hands of a tyrant the political independence of their country*N_160.

[[N_160* See Voyages du Sieur A. de la Motraye, t. i, p. 234, 462 (fol. A la Have 1727), for the aversion of the Greeks to the Venetian government.

The religious disputes of the Greeks and Latins continued in their full vigour even while the Turks were besieging the city of Constantinople. The great duke, a partisan of the monk Gen-nadius who was a determined enemy to the union of the churches, publicly declared, that he would rather see the turban than the tiara in the church of Sanaa Sophia.—" He was certainly in the right," say the compilers of the Universal History (v. xii, p-143, note). But can the politician approve, can the patriot or the Christian even comprehend the grounds, of this bigotteddeci-sion? " Esto perpetua," were the last words of Father Paul, who poured out his soul in prayers for his country, and who taught his countrymen, that though the duties of religion and morality are of paramount obligation, yet the preservation of a church establishment is subordinate to the prosperity of the commonwealth. " Siamo Veneziani, poi Christiani."]]


The invading army of the Turks was abundantly supplied with provisions, while the cities occupied by Venetian garrisons, were almost destitute of common necessaries*N_161:—a convincing proof of the existence of a system of government bad in itself, and hateful to the majority of the nation. The means of defending the island were consequently inadequate to resist the mighty preparations of the Ottomans. They became masters of Cyprus, together with the capital and fortified cities, and gratified the religious animosities of the Greeks by an indiscriminate massacre of the Latin nobility and clergy†N_162.

The Venetian navy being singly unequal to a contest with that of the Turks, had afforded no effectual relief to the besieged is*, landers, but idly attempted a diversion in their favour by ravaging the Turkish cities on the coast of Dalmatia‡N_163. After the reduction of Cyprus, the Ottoman fleet scoured the gulf of Venice, blocked up the ports, and threw the city itself into the utmost con-sternation§N_164. In the mean time, a league cxl for common defence against the Turks was concluded, chiefly by the address and ex-hortations of Pius the Fifth, between the Venetian republic, the king of Spain, and the pope*N_165: but the jealousy of Philip and the diffidence of the Venetians retarded the, preparations, and weakened the exertions, of the confederates. The union of their navies was effected with difficulty, and the disputes and dissensions of the commanders consumed an important season, which ought to have been employed in deliberations for the accomplishment of a common object†N_166. The allies were unwilling to hazard an engagement where the consequences of a defeat would have been irreparably injurious. The Ottomans, on the other hand, though their fleet was stronger than the united squadrons of the Christians, were induced by the appearance of so formidable an armament to change their plan of operations, and to act on the defensive. The meeting of the hostile fleets, and the battle of Lepanto which ensued, were occasioned rather by inaccurate cxli observation, and an erroneous estimate of each other's strength, than by a design on either part to contend with the whole force of the enemy*N_167. The allies gained a decisive victory. They captured, burned, or sunk two hundred vessels†N_168; and the wreck of the Turkish fleet, which fled to the ports of the Morea, spread dejection and alarm through-t out the capital and the empire‡N_169.

[[N_161* See Mignot, t. ii, p. 170, 172.]]

[[N_162† See Knolles, v. i, p. 573—587. Mignot, t. ii, p. 173, 190.]]

[[N_163‡ See Knolles, v. i, p. 574, 578. ' Mignot, t. ii, p. 182.]]

[[N_164§ See Knolles, v. i, p. 589. Dissertatio ex Honorio, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p, 152.]]

[[N_165* See Knolles, v. i, p. 579, 581, 582. Mignot, t. ii, p. 178 '—182. Voltaire, essai surles moeurs, chap. clx.]]

[[N_166† Dissertatio ex Honorio, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 152. Knolles* T. i, p. 591, 592.]]

[[N_167* " Nemo etiam ignorat, exploratorum vitio factum fuisse, ut navale certamen committeretur: uteiusque enim partis exploratores retulerant, minorem esse navigiorum numerum quam utrinque habebatur." (Dissertatio ex Honorio, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 153.)]]

[[N_168† See Knolles, v. i, p. 594—599. Cantemir, p. 223, 224. " This calamity," he says, " seemed to be foretold by the fall of the wooden roof of the temple at Mecca, according to the interpretation of the wise men, which, that it might be a more firm emblem of the empire, Selim ordered it to be rebuilt with brick."]]

[[N_169‡ " Hisce temporibus superba opinio ilia, quam Turcae animis suis impresserant, se a Christianis oppugnari ac vinci non posse, ablata et abolita est." Relatio incerti apud Honorium, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 125.]]

The states of Christendom indulged in universal festivity on the occasion of this first signal defeat which their common enemy had sustained§N_170. But the allies do not appear distinctly to have perceived the efficient cxlii cause of their success, nor to have derived from it such confidence in their superiority as the greatness of the event ought naturally to have produced. In seamanship they were superior to their adversaries*N_171; but this advantage was less important than it would be in the present state of maritime warfare. A sea-fight in those days was more a trial of strength than of skill. A land army was always embarked on boiJrd the fleet, and the service of mariners was accounted of little \ralue in comparison with that of soldiers†N_172. Vessels of war were managed chiefly by oars, and gallies were preferred to larger ships, on account of their lightness and activity‡N_173. A beak, of metal was fixed on their prows for the of stemming the enemy's ships, against the sides of which they were forcibly impelled, so as to disable or overset them. Grappling and boarding immediately succeeded the attempt to sink or destroy. The soldiers fought hand to hand cxliii with sword and pike, or annoyed the enemy from a short distance with muskets, bows, and slings. The use of fire-arms had not entirely superseded that of ancient weapons, nor induced such improvements in the construction of ships and the ordering of a fleet, as to constitute any essential variation from the practice of antiquity. The squadrons were arranged in order of battle in the form of a half-moon, or in lines parallel to each other. It was considered an essential advantage to have the sun in the rear, and to get to windward of the enemy. Before the engagement began, the admiral of each division went in his barge from ship to ship, and exhorted the captains and the soldiery to exert themselves with valour. The commander in chief hoisted the signal for action, and directed the continuance of the battle, as well as the pursuit or the retreat, by different movements of his standard, or by martini music. It was, however, left in a great degree to the discretion or the choice of each captain, to single out from the enemy's line the ship with which he judged himself best able to contend*N_174.

[[N_170§ Purchas (pilgrimage, p. S23) says, that " our gracious sovereign King James has written a poem ef this battle."]]

[[N_171* " Non ea quse nobis maritimarum reruns est illis facilitas." Montalban. in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 23.]]

[[N_172† See Knolles, v. i, p. 589, 593. " Militia fere omnis in-compta et rudis, nisi qua; consalto destinatum ad facinus emit-titur; ejusmodi namque occasionibus terrestres jubentur militiz." Montalban. in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 23.]]

[[N_173‡ See Montesquieu, grandeur et decadence des Remains, chap. iv.]]

[[N_174* See Knolles, v. i, p. 594*, 595. Mignot, t. ii, p. 196, 197. Dissertatio ex Honorio, in TUEC. imp. statu ap. Elzevir. p. 152, 153.]]


The Turkish force in the battle of Le-panto consisted wholly of gallies, while the Christians had cautiously strengthened their armament by six galeasses of larger dimension and more solid construction, the use of which in war was hitherto unknown to their enemies. These vessels were furnished with heavy ordnance and fortified like castles, but as they were too unwieldy to perform the necessary evolutions, they were anchored in the front of each division of the fleet, at the distance of about a mile, and so disposed as to cover the whole line of their own squadrons. They kept up a heavy and destructive fire on the Turkish fleet, as it passed them in order of battle, and by throwing it into confusion be* fore the commencement of the general engagement, contributed essentially to the victory*N_175.

[[N_175* See Knolles, v. i, p. 591, 595. Mignot, t. ii, p. 194, 196.]]

From such imperfect essays of the advantages of artillery, and its adaptation to the purposes of naval warfare, a gradual and total change has been effected in the maritime system of Europe. The strength and the size of vessels have been increased, in order that they may support the weight, and resist the shock, of cannon. A ship of cxlv war is become an immense and complicated machine which mere strength is no longer capable of managing. Naval superiority is connected with ,the general improvement of knowledge: it can be attained only by the diligent study of the principles on which it depends, by an intimate acquaintance with the rules, and the habitual practice, of the art.

A whole reign is at present insufficient for the formation of a navy capable of keeping the sea before a power already in possession of its empire; but though the Turfcs had losr almost all their experienced officers in this disastrous battle, yet, in the interval of a single winter, they rebuilt and equipped their fleet, which immediately sailed from Constantinople in the full confidence of victory. The discouragement occasioned by defeat is generally more injurious to a state than the loss which is really sustained. The Turks felt and acknowledged the whole extent of the injury and the disgrace; but the vast resources of the empire, and the manly character of its inhabitants, rendered them eager to restore the lustre of the Ottoman arms, and roused the sultan from Ms momentary despondency. He exerted himself cxlvi with energy in the prosecution of the war, of which the succeeding events and the final issue made it appear as if the Ottomans themselves had gained the battle of Lepanto*N_176.

[[N_176* See Cantemir, p. 224, 225. Dissertatio ex Honorio, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 123. Voltaire, essai sur les moeurs, chap. clx.]]

The Venetians were anxious to avail themselves of their victory for the recovery of the island of Cyprus, but Philip withdrew his squadrons and turned his attention from the wars in the east to an expedition against the kingdom of Tunis. He sent only a small part of his contingent for the ensuing campaign, and instructed his captains to thwart, instead of assisting, the designs of the Venetians. His whole conduct appeared to be dictated rather by the apprehension of increasing the power of the republic than by the wish of diminishing the strength ef the Ottomans†N_177. The senate determined to abandon the prosecution of hostilities which the cxlvii doubtful faith and feeble co-operation of the allies rendered unavailing and disgraceful. They directed their ambassador at the porte to negociate a separate treaty even during the existence of the league, and they eagerly accepted peace from the sultan, though purchased on the humiliating conditions of confirming his conquests and contributing to the expenses of the war*N_178.

[[N_177† See Knolles, v. i, p. 601—610. Mignot, t. ii, p. 203— 205* Dissertatio ex Honorio, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir. p. 154, 155; also two MSS. in the Harleian collection, numbered 1869 and 1870, entitled Giustificatione de' Venetian! per la pace fatta col Turco, and, Risposta alle giustificationi dell* menisSiraa eignoria di Venetia per la pace fatta col Turco.]]

[[N_178* See Knolles, T. i, p. 611—613. Mignot,t. ii, p. 205—207. ]]

Selim the Second did not assume in person the command of his armies, but his subjects did not ascribe his inactivity in this respect to neglect of duty or deficiency of valour. He is indeed censured by historians for the intemperate indulgence of his appetites. His councils were, however, actuated by the same spirit, and his measures were executed with the same vigour,' as those of his father. He recovered Tunis from the Spaniards, preserved the integrity of his Hungarian frontiers, and quelled the insurrection of the Moldavians†N_179. He was, notwithstanding, addicted to the most ridiculous superstition. He was alarmed for the safety of the empire and the security of his reign by uncommon cxlviii appearances in the sky, or by excessive rains; and it is worthy of remark, that, contrary to the usage of preceding astro-loo-ers, who interpreted every phenomenon to the honour and the increase of the Ottoman power, the wise men of Selim's reign, either * from a contemplation of his personal character or of contemporary events, discovered malignancy in every aspect of the heavenly bodies, and in every occurrence of ordinary life. The monarch himself was intimidated into a melancholy which caused his death by a fire which broke out in the kitchens and offices of the seraglio and consumed some valuable porcelain*N_180.

[[N_179† See Knolles, v. i, p. 613—620. Canterair, p. 226, 227. Mignot, t. ii, p. 210—221.]]

[[N_180* See Tab. Gen. t, i, p. 387-389.]]

Murad the Henry de Valois having abdicated the {Murad the Third. A. D. 1574-1595} throne, of Poland on the death of his brother Charles the Ninth, king of France, the Emperor Maximilian was chosen by a party of the nobility, and was even proclaimed king by the primate. Murad the Third determined, however, to prevent the house of Austria from obtaining an accession of strength , which might endanger the safety of the Ottoman dominions in Europe. He recommended the vaivoda of Transilvania to the choice of the diet, and his interference prevailed upon cxlvix them to revoke the election of Maximilian, and to decree, that the vaivoda should be crowned, on the condition of his marrying the princess Anne, sister of the late king Sigismund. The merits and virtues of Stephen confirmed the allegiance, and gained the affection, of the Polish nation. Maximilian refused to acknowledge his title, but was prevented by death from disturbing his reign, or from establishing his own pretensions*N_181. Murad, in the mean time, entered into a league of amity with the new king of Poland, and being now at peace with Christendom, he directed his whole attention to the affairs of the East†N_182. He resolved upon carrying the war into Persia, though experience had shown it to be an enterprise of , difficult execution, and of doubtful advantage even when attended with victory. That {A. D. 1576.} kingdom, on the death of Shah Tahmasp, was embroiled by the dissensions of the royal family and the hostilities of their respective partisans, was enfeebled by the defections of the provincial governors, and wasted by the inroads of the Usbek Tartars‡N_183, Murad was excited to avail himself of the opportunity afforded by the calamities of Persia, to extend the dominion of the house of Osman, and to restore the pure religion of Mahomet.

[[N_181* See Knolles, v. i, p. 651, 652. Mignot, t. ii, p. 228, 229. Coxe, v. i, p. 643, 644.]]

[[N_182† See Knolles, v. i, p. 656, 657.]]

[[N_183‡ See Knolles, T. i, p. 652—654. Mignot, t. ii, p. 221—233. Modern Universal History, v. v, p. 430, also a M.S. in the- Harleian collection, No. 1872, entitled Relatione dello stato nel quale si ritruova il governo dell' imperio Turchesco quest' anno 1594.


The Ottoman sultans had attempted in their former expeditions to invade Persia through the desert countries which lie beyond the Euphrates and the Tigris, but had uniformly been compelled to abandon their enterprise by the difficulty of procuring sub-sistence, or even water, for their numerous armies, in plains naturally barren, or purposely reduced to sterility on the retreat of the former inhabitants*N_184, Murad relinquished cli the attempt of making conquests, which he could not preserve, in countries which were separated by deserts. Instead of dividing his armies so as to invade Persia by several passages at the same time, he appointed Erzerum to be the general rendezvous, and assembled the whole.of his forces in Armenia in order to penetrate at once into the heart of Georgia and Media*N_185. He collected great store of corn which he sent by sea to Trebi-zond†N_186, and built castles on the coast of Mingrelia in order to favour the expedition, and to open a passage by water into Georgia‡N_187. He secured the borders of his own dominions, as a preliminary to offensive opera- clii tions, and first announced his hostile projects by reconstructing the fortifications of Kars, which' had [been demolished in consequence of the treaty made between Soliman and Tahmasp*N_188. The Turks persisted in completing the works, notwithstanding the attempts of the Persians to interrupt or destroy them. The frequent skirmishes and mutual inroads of the troops which were in garrison on the frontiers, led to an open declaration of war, and the first campaign of the Ottomans was marked by the compulsive or voluntary submission of the most powerful princes , of Georgia, the capture of Tiflis, and the conquest of the province of Shirvan†N_189, which gave them possession of Derbent, and enabled them to effect a junction with the Tartar khan, who had been directed, in expectation of the event, to, proceed with his army to the north of the Caspian Gates *N_190.

[[N_184* Alexander Severus invaded Persia by different roads with three Roman armies, one of which entered the plains of Babylon towards the conflux of the Euphrates and the Tigris, another penetrated into Media through Armenia and a long tract of mountainous country, while the main body marched through Mesopotamia to invade.the centre of the kingdom. (See Gibbon, v. li p. 339.) The event of these several expeditions was similar to those of the Turkish sultans Selim and Soliman. Tke difficulties of each are well described by Montesquieu (Considerations sur les causes de la grandeur des Remains et de leur decadence, chap. XT.) " Prenoit-on le chemm de l'Armenie, vers les sources du Tygre et de 1'Euphrate, on trouvoit un pays montueux et difficile, oò l'on ne pouvoit mener de convois, de façon que l'armee étoit demi ruinee avant d'arriver en Medie. Entroit-on plus bas, vers le midi, par Nisibe, on trouvoit un desert affreux qui sepa-roit les deux empires. Vouloit-on passer plus bas encore, et aller par la Mesopotamia, on traversoit un pays en partie inculte, en partie submerge; et le Tygre et 1'Euphrate, allant du nord au midi, on ne pouvoit penetrer dans le pays, sans quitter ces fleuvet, ni guere quitter ces fleuves sans perir."]]

[[N_185* Murad in advancing with his whole force through the mountains of Armenia (quse ferme sola, seu facilior tincendi via est. Aurel. Viet.) inadvertently executed the project of Julius Czsar and imitated the conduct of Trajan and Galerius. (See Gibbon, v.ii, p. 146.)]]

[[N_186† See Knolles, v. i, p. 658.]]

[[N_187‡ See Knolles, v. i, p. 669. Chardin, voyage en Perse et aux Indes Orientales, par la Mer Noire et par la Colchide, part. ? p. 143, fol. Londres 1686.]]

[[N_188* " Nelli capitoli che furno tra di loro fu detto, che la for, tezza di Charso fosse gittata & terra, et che per otto miglia dali* una et 1'altra parte fosse fatto deserto, a fine che in alcun tempo potesse mancg nascere tra convicini dissensione, cosi mai l'uno contra l'altro mosse l'armi." (Relatione di Persia, l'anno 1580. a M.S. No. 1874, in the Harleian collection.)]]

[[N_189† See Knolles, r. i, p. 659, 660, 662, 663. Canterair, p. 229, 230.]]


[[N_190* See Knolles, v. i, p. 662, 664. " Et hsc quidera hac-tenus de Tartaris dicta sunto; de quibus hoc uflicum adjiciam, quod memoria et eonsideratione dignissimura est, videlicet Tar. taros Europseos Romanorum tempore in Persiam per Demir Capi (id est, per porta* ferreas, per q\ias Alexander Magnus ad Georgianos transiit) copias traducere solitos esse, quorum estigiis nostra memoria Osman Bassa institit et eadem via in Persiam tetendit." (Lazarus Soranzus, de milit. cop. Turc. in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 252.) The Mahometan religion inculcates a particular respect for the Caspian Gates, which is founded on the belief, that the famous wall Scdd-Islendsr was built by the angel Gabriel. They are called by the Orientals Derbend-Cal'assy, Demir Capou, or Bal'ul Eb-wab. (See Tab. Gen. t. iii, p. 311.) The importance of this passage to the strength and security of the Asiatic provinces is described by Tacitus, annal. vi, 34, by Strabo, geograph. 1. xi, p. 764, and by Pro-copius, bell. Per*. 1. i, and was acknowledged by Sultan Murad, to whose presence Osman Pasha related the success of his military expeditions, and received such marks of favour as had nerer before been conferred on a subject. (See Tab, Gen.t. i, p. 318 —322.)]]

The greater resources of the Ottoman empire in money, in artillery, and in regular forces, enabled the sultan to carry on an offensive war against the Persians with ad~ vantage. The Persian cavalry was held in deserved estimation, but the Persians, on account of their remoteness from Europe, remained almost wholly uninstructed in the use of fire-arms and the improvements of modern cliv warfare*N_191. They placed their principal security against foreign invasion in the natural advantages of their country, which was defended by a sultry climate, by craggy mountains, and sandy deserts. They retreated before the Turks to their inaccessible fastnesses, and wasted the immediate seat of war, so as to leave nothing for the subsistence of their enemies. They harassed the Ottoman armies on their march, intercepted their convoys, and cut off their foraging parties; drew them into ambushes by judicious feints, attacked them during the passage of rivers, or in the straits of the mountains, and falling upon them with collected force in their retreats, frequently succeeded in cutting off their rear, and capturing or destroying their artillery and baggage†N_192. Murad sought to avoid the calamities which his predecessors had experienced, by adopting a more dilatory, though less hazardous, plan of operations. Instead of venturing on uncertainties, and exposing his armies to the clv power of the enemy in countries fortified by nature, he projected the establishment of permanent garrisons as he advanced, so as to command the roads and passes, and to facilitate the means of regular communica- Ition between his armies; but his treasury was unequal to the construction of fortresses and the maintenance of garrisons in desolated and unappropriated countries*N_193, and his plans were baffled by the refractoriness of his soldiers, who peremptorily refused to subject themselves to servile labour and the hardships of garrison-service†N_194. The war was protracted through twelve campaigns, and though it was not rendered memorable by any great event nor any decisive battle, it was fatal to the Ottomans on account of the mortality occasioned not less by famine and sickness than by the temerity and obstinacy of their generals. The Persians adhered to clvi their plan of defensive war, and deferred their chief attacks until the winter season, when they fell upon the Ottomans, after the main army was disbanded, cut to pieces their dispersed garrisons, and re-occupied the countries which had submitted to their arms. Both parties were, however, exhausted by the long duration of such destructive hostilities: the sultan was at length induced, from the necessity of confirming his conquests by distributing them among his soldiery, to accede to the proposals of the king of Persia, who resigned to his dominion the cities of Erivan, Tauris, and Ganja, together with the territory which he had conquered in Armenia, Georgia, and Shirvan*N195.

[[N_191* See Elzevir. Turc. imp. status, p. 295. Mignot, t. ii, p. 230.]]

[[N_192† See Knolles, v. i, p. 660-707. Cantemir, p. 233. Mig-not, t. ii, p. 235.]]

[[N_193* " Costano ad Amurath un thesoro per li presidij che vi convien tenere, et la grossa provisione di yettovaglie, poich«s il paese non ne cava; et non ne ha utile dagli habitant!, sendo questi ritirati alle montagne, et altri luoghi de' Giorgiani." (Re-latione dello stato, &c. M.S. No. 1872 in the Harleian collection.)]]

[[N_194† See Knolles, v. i, p. 662, 666, 667, 679, 681, 686, 688, 705. Cantemir, p. 233, See also M.S. No. 1872 in the Harleian collection} Relationc dello stato, &c.]]

[[N_195* See Knolles, v. i, p. 707. Cantemir, p. 231—234. " Fertur, Turcam, bello quod cum Peraa gessit, tantum sibi terra subjecisse, ut quadraginta Timarrorum millia in ea erexerit, institueritque novum gazophylacium Tauruii, unde aureorum millio ad ipsum redit." Elzevir. (ex politeia regia) p. 285.]]

The Turks thus maintained the ascendancy which they had formerly acquired over the nations of the East, and were as yet untaught by experience, that they were no longer superior in arms to the Western Chris-tians. The military commanders on the borders of Hungary and Croatia, although the clvii Ottoman and Austrian monarchies were presumed to be at peace, encouraged or permitted incursions into the neighbouring territories, for the purpose of procuring plunder and exercising the courage of their soldiers. In these savage inroads castles were surprised and villages destroyed: the cultivated country was spoiled of its cattle and produce, and the peasantry were driven into slavery. It was, however, only when they were carried to excess, that they attracted the attention, or excited the remonstrance, of either government*N_196.

[[N_196* See Knolles, v. i, p. 705, 706, 708, 714, 716.]]

Croatia, a province on the frontiers of Turkey, was( transferred as a fief to Charles, duke of Styria, who, in order to maintain it in an adequate state of defence, and to check or retaliate the aggressions of the Turks, built the fortress of Karlstadt, and distributed lands among a colony of freebooters whom he formed into a militia†N_197. The Uscocks, another band of adventurers, obtained a settlement in Styria, whence they infested both the sea and land, and harassed the Turks with desultory, but unremitted, hostilities‡N_198.

[[N_197† See Coxe, v. i, p. 679.]]

[[N_198‡ See Knolles, v. i, p. 713, 714. Coxe, v. i, p. 680, 681.]]


Christian historians accuse the sultan of having first violated the league which he had made with Rodolph the Second on the death of Maximilian. But, however desirous he might be of annexing to his kingdom of Hungary the towns and castles which were still possessed by the house of Austria, it was for the avowed purpose of punishing the injuries which his subjects had received from the Uscocks, that he authorized the pasha of Bosnia, without any previous declaration of war, to invade Croatia with an army of fifty-thousand men*N_199. The Austrian troops, under the command of the arch-duke Matthias, attempted the siege of Alba, and though it was raised by the pasha of Buda, they took Filec and Novigrad, and were besieging Gran when they were completely routed by the grand vizir, who, in his turn, made himself master of Raab, one of the strongest fortresses of Lower Hungary, which was esteemed the bulwark of Vienna†N_200.

[[N_199* See Knolles, v. i, p. 714, 715. Coxe, v.i, p. 621.]]

[[N_200† See Knolles, v. i, p. 721-724, 726, 734. Mignot, t. ii, p. 252—256. " Jattavano di voler passare l'Austria, et voler andare in Bohemia, nel qual regno havevano molte loro spie per torre in nota li fiumi, le fortezze, il sito del paese, sperando per quella loro alterezza Turchesea d'acquistar facilmente tutti quei paesi." Relatione dello stato dell' imperio Turchesco, nel anno 1594.]]


The vaivoda of Transilvania, from considerations of personal advantage, formed an alliance with the enemies of the porte, and prevailed upon the princes of Wallachia and Moldavia to join in the confederacy*N_201. The affairs of the Ottomans, notwithstanding their successes in Hungary and Croatia, were so endangered by this combination as to require the presence of the sultan at the head of his troops. Murad, in spite of his reluctance to expose his person to the fatigues and dangers of a campaign, was preparing to join the army, when he was seized with a fever and died†N_202.

[[N_201* See Knolles, v. i, p. 736, 737. It was stipulated in the treaty of offensive and defensive alliance between Sigismund and Rodolph, that Transilvania should be made a fief of the empire, hereditary in the reigning family and, on the failure of natural heirs, in that of Austria; that the vaivoda should marry a princess of the imperial family, be made prince of the Roman empire and knight of the order of the golden fleece, and that an asylum should be granted to him in the hereditary dominions, with a revenue suitable to his dignity, in the event of his being forced by the success of the Turks to abandon his principality. The Transilvanians were, however, dissatisfied with the conduct of their prince, and laid a scheme to seize upon his person, and to deliver him into the hands of the Turks. Sigismund pre-rented the conspiracy by apprehending, and condemning to death, fourteen of the principal nobility, whom, for that purpose, he had invited to a public entertainment.]]

[[N_202† See Mignot, t. ii, p. 258—261. "All the Turkish historians I have seen," says Cantemir, p. 235, "strangely pass over in silence clx the character and manners of this emperor, contrary to their constant custom." D'Ohsson, however, appears to have been more successful in his researches, and we learn from him, that Murad the Third, who was naturally credulous, became, on account of the disaster* of his reign, a slave to the most gloomy superstition, so that even his public conduct and the decisions of his cabinet were influenced by the prognostications of'dreamers, soothsayers and astrologers. The vices of his character, among which avarice was the most predominant, arose, in a great degree, from the same cause, which gradually generated such an infirmity of mind that his death wa* occasioned, in his fifty-fourth year, by the shock of so trivia] an accident as the breaking of a pane of glass. (See Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 389—405.) His constitutional rigour is scarcely less extraordinary than his mental imbecility. According to D'Ohsson he distributed his favours among forty ladies of the imperial fiarem, and sa' occupied them as to leave neither leisure nor inclination for interference in politics and court-intrigues. " Vengo al secondo capo della libidine " (says the writer of the state of the Turkish empire in the year 1594) " nella quale cede poco a Tiberio, a Nerone et a Caligula, percioche oltre la moglie ha 23 schiave di maravigliosa bellezza per concubine or-dinarie, ed altre extraordinary, alle quali attende cosi bene che si sono vedute muovere in un' istesso tempo trenta-due cune con 32 figluoli dentro d'esso signore."]]

{Mahomet the Third. A. D. 1595-1603.}


The Hungarian war continued throughout the reign of Mahomet the Third*N_203, and the events of almost every campaign, subsequently to the defection of the Transilvanians and their confederates, tended to destroy the opinion which had been hitherto common both to the Imperialists and the Turks, that the Ottoman armies were invincible*N_204. In the hostile and irregular inroads which preceded the war, and the'success of which depended on the secrecy of preparation and the celerity of execution, the Turks were frequently intercepted on their return by the troops of the neighbouring garrisons or the armed inha-bitants of the country, were stripped of their spoil, and cut to pieces or driven out of the province with loss and confusion. In the more regular warfare they evinced an evident inferiority to their enemies in the scientific attack of fortified places†N_205, or the systematic disposition of their forces in the field; in employing or counteracting military stratagems; in guarding against, or recovering from surprise; in availing themselves clxii of advantages with judgment and promptitude, or in showing constancy and fortitude under difficulties and defeats. They relied principally on their disproportioned superiority of number. The infidels in many instances pillaged their camps while their armies remained inactive, and even drove them from their fortifications almost without meeting resistance *N_206.

[[N_203* Sultan Murad left nineteen sons, " who being all strangled by command of the eldest, followed their father to immortality." (Cantemir, p. 235.) It was probably in allusion to this event, which perhaps was recent when Shakspere wrote the second pan of Henry the Fourth, that the prince of Wales, with a sovereign disregard of chronology, says to his brothers, in ordar to reliev* their anxiety on the death of the king,
" This is the English, not the Turkish court:
Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds,
But Harry Harry."

[[N_204* See Knolles, v. i, p. 743.]]

[[N_205‡ " Duo haec maxime milites in universum Bella horrent; Persicum, ob longinquitatem, desertaque terrarum qua necessario transeundum est; Hungaricumque, ob arcium obstacula crebra, diversumque bellandi genus; quo, nisi cominus, ut ipsi dicunt, Igne pugnatur." Montalbanus, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 86.]]

[[N_206* See Knolles, v. i, art. Mahomet the Third, passim, p. 741 —836.]]

In former wars Transilvania had facilitated the passage of the Turks and the Tartars into Hungary, and, by dividing the forces, had weakened the exertions, of their enemies. But the Tartars, in consequence of the revolt of the vaivoda and his confederates, and the refusal of the Poles to allow them to pass through the territories of the republic, were obliged to force a passage through an enemy's country, in order to form a junction with the Turkish armies†N_207. The Austrians were left at leisure, by so strong a diversion, to pursue their plans of conquest. While the common miseries of war were aggravated to the Ottomans by famine and disease, which were occasioned by the privation of supplies clxiii from the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, on which they chiefly relied for the subsistence of their armies in Hungary*N_208. The war which they themselves had solicited, would probably have terminated by their expulsion from the territories beyond the Danube, if the emperor had shown wisdom in the administration of government equal to the conduct of his generals, and the courage of his soldiers-†N_209.

[[N_207† See Knolles, v.i, p. 725, 727, 728, 755, 812.]]

[[N_208* See Knolles, v. i, p. 742, 744, 754, 755, 756, 760, 764, 769, 804, 812. Coxe, v. i, p. 682.]]

[[N_209† The loss of the strongest fortresses and chief cities in Upper and Lower Hungary, in Croatia, and Wallachia, induced a general desire in the Ottoman ministry and the nation, that Sultan Mahomet would put himself at the head of his armies. But such was his known aversion from sharing in the hazards of war, that no one dared to insinuate to him the necessity of the measure ; until the sheik, or preacher, of Sancta Sophia publicly exhorted him, in an animated discourse, to rescue the affairs of the faithful from imminent destruction. The general sense of the assembly was in unison with the words of the preacher, and was so emphatically expressed that the sultan was induced to accede to the wishes of his people. (See Tab. Gen. t.ii, p. 571.) Mahomet commanded during three campaigns. He took the fortress of Agria, and obliged the archduke Matthias to retreat with a severe, though mutual, loss. (See Knolles, v. i, p. 768. Cantemir, p. 236, 237.)]]

The confederated feudatories suspected each others fidelity, and occasionally returned to their allegiance and took up arms clxiv against their colleagues, or renounced obedience to the sultan and joined the standard of his enemies*N_210. The dominion of the porte was, however, eventually re-established in Wallachia and Moldavia. Transilvania was ceded by Sigismund to the house of Austria; but the Austrian government was odious tor the inhabitants. Sigismund again resumed, and again relinquished, the sovereignty. The insurgents, under a succession of patriotic leaders, alternately triumphed over, or fled before^ the Imperial generals; but the national cause finally prevailed, and the Austrian garrisons were expelled from the principality by the successive efforts of Botskay, Bathor, and Gabor†N_211. The Hungarians also were excited to resent the unconstitutional intrusion of foreigners into their highest offices, the licentious outrages of the German soldiery, and the general severity and intolerance of the Austrian administration: they rose up at the instigation of Botskay, arid aided by the co-operation of the Transil- clxv vanians and the Turks, they drove out their opponents, extended their conquests over almost all the imperial division of Hungary, .and re-established their national govern-ment*N_212. The sultan, in the meantime, was harassed by seditions in his capital, and insurrections in his Asiatic provinces, by the revolt of the Georgians, and the hostilities of the Persians, who recovered the cities of Tauris and Bagdad†N_213. The emperor was not less embroiled with his own family, his hereditary subjects, and the states of Germany, in consequence of his despotic and intolerant proceedings. He was at Jength compelled, by the exhausted state of his finances, the ravages of the Turks, and the evils of intestine war, to conclude a peace with Botskay on conditions favourable to,the independence and the religious liberties of Hungary. The pacification of Vienna and the intervention of ^.j, 1606j Botskay led to a truce for twenty years with Sultan Ahmed, who had succeeded to the throne on the death of his father Mahomet, in which it was stipulated, that the fortress {Mustafa the First. Osman the Second. A. D. 1617 - 1623.} clxvi of Vakhia should be restored to the emperor, and that the sultan should retain possession of Gran, the ancient boundary of his Hungarian territory*N_214. The Ottomans, being thus freed from the embarrassments of European warfare, quickly suppressed the tumults in Asia, and reduced the Persian king to acquiesce in terms of accommodation, which were honourable and advantageous to the empire†N_215.

[[N_210* See Knolles, v. i, p. 745, 769, 770, 778. Mignot, t,if, p. 277. Coxe, v. i, p. 683, 684.]]

[[N_211† See Knolles, v.i, p. 769, 770, 773, 776, 783—790, 7S5 —797, 798, 815—819, 831, 839, 840, 843, 853, 854, Coxe, v. i, p. 683, 684, 636, 687.]]

[[N_212* See Knolles, v. i, p. 841, 853—876. Coxe, v. i, p. 694, 702, 703.]]

[[N_213† See Knolles, v. i, p. 761, 809—812, 825, 839, 845, 957. Mignot, t. ii, p. 286. Tab. Gen. t.1, p. 405, 406.]]

[[N_214* See Coxe, v. i, chap. 43, 44. Knolles, 7. i, p. 876—878. Mignot, t. ii,p. 319—322.]]

[[N_215† See Knolles, v. i, p. 880, 881. Grimston (in continuation of Knolles) p. 905, 913. Mignot, t. ii, p. 325—347.]]

The government of the Ottoman empire had been hitherto transmitted in regular suc-cession from father to son; but on the decease of Ahmed, whose children were still in their minorit}7, the divan, in conformity with the spirit of the Mussulman law, proclaimed his brother Mustafa to be the rightful successor‡N_216. Mustafa was the first of the clxvii collateral princes who had been confined in the Seraglio, where no pains were taken to remove his natural imbecility*N_217. He evinced an utter incapacity for public business, and was dethroned after a reign of four months†N_218. Osman was proclaimed sultan though he had scarcely attained the age of twelve‡N_219; he held his precarious sovereignty during four years, when he excited a general insurrection of the janizaries by persisting in measures which indicated an intention to enfeeble or abolish their order§N_220. They compelled him to resign the throne to his uncle, and conducted him with every mark of ignominy to a public prison, where he was soon after murdered by the ministers of Mustafa¦N_221.

[[N_216‡ Knolles (v. i, p. 946) says, that Mustafa refused at first to accept of the empire " which rightly belonged to the eldest son of Ahmed." Canterair (p. 241) says, that " Osman had more right to the empire than Mustafa, who was chosen as a contemplative and inoffensive man." Even D'Ohsson, notwithstanding he acknowledges, that the nomination of Mustafa was " d'apres l'esprit da la loi," considers this event as a dangerous innovation. " C'est la l'epoque ou l'ordre de succession au trône, fut, pour ainsi dire, interverti." (Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 284.)]]

[[N_217* See Knolles, v. i, p. 945. Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 285,411.]]

[[N_218† See Cantemir, p. 241. Series imperatorum Turcicorum, ex annalibus Turcicis a Leunclavio editis, atque aliis scriptoribus, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 274.]]

[[N_219‡ See Knolles, v. i, p.^)45. Cantemir, p. 241, 242, says, that Osman was but eight years old: but this age is irreconcile-able with that which he assigns to Murad,his younger brother (see p. 243.), and with Osnfen's subsequent determination to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca, which cannot be undertaken by a minor. (SeeTab. Gen. t. iii, p. 59.)]]

[[N_220§ See Knolles, v.i, p. 969, 971,972. Mignot, t.ii.p. 419 —424. Tab. G6n. t. i, p. 409. Series imperat. Turc. in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 274.]]

[[N_221¦ See Knolles, v. i, p. 970. Cantemir, p. 242. Mignot, t. ii, p. 439. Tab. Gen. t, i, p. 299. Series imperat. Turc. in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 275.]]


The severity of discipline which so preeminently distinguished the Ottoman armies during three centuries, gradually vanished under the successors of Soliman, whose concessions to the refractoriness of the feudaj militia, and whose connivance at the irregularities of the standing army, encouraged and diffused a general spirit of licentiousness; s6 that, both in the provinces and in the capital, the soldiery, and particularly the janizaries, insulted the majesty of the throne and the person of the monarch by open sedition and by the violation of every duty *N_222.

[[N_222* Murad the Third was so intimidated by the frequent sedition* of the janizaries (ten of which are enumerated by Mignot,. t. ii, p, 261.) that for two years he'did not'dare to go out of the Seraglio. (See Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 201.) 'See also Knolle», T. j, p. 690, 707, 708, 736. Lazarus Soranzus, de miift, cpp,.Turc. in Turc, imp. statu ap. Elzeyir, p; 233.]]

As the interests of a standing army are seldom blended with those of the public weal, the janizaries were easily seduced from their allegiance, and stimulated into revolt, by the artifice of faction, or the impulse of re-sentment. But the proprietors of military fiefs, though they had sometimes refused obedience to the sultan's' commands, were clxix interested in upholding the constitutional prerogatives of the imperial family, and the established order of succession to the thronci The Asiatic provinces heard with indignation of the atrocities which were committed in the capital, and of the usurpations of the soldiery. They disclaimed allegiance to Mustafa, and took up arms to avenge the murder of Osman*N_223. Their zeal excited general emulation, and the justice of their cause attracted multitudes to their standard. Even the divan and the members of the ulema, who perceived, that they held their lives and dignities at the mercy of the soldiery, assisted the progress of the revolt by secret co-operations and public discourses, while they disseminated jealousy and dissensions among the janizaries, whom they artfully induced to abandon the cause of Mustafa, before they adopted measures to subdue, or to reconcile, the insurgents†N_224.

[[N_223* See Knolles, v. i, p. 975, 980. Rycaut, history of the Turkish empire from the year 1623 to the year 1677, in continuation of Knolles, v. ii, p. 1. Mignot, t. ii, p. 444, 461.]]

[[N_224† See Knolles, v. i, p. 974. Rycaut, v. ii, p. 2, 3, 5.]]

Contemporary observers, on comparing the events which occurred since the death of Ahmed with the disorders occasioned by the clxx licentiousness of the Roman soldiery, were led to assimilate the establishment of the janizaries to that of the Praetorians, and to predict the downfal of the Ottoman empire from their lawless interference in political deliberations*N_225. But though there has been, in many instances, an apparent uniformity in the conduct of these two military bodies, yet there was an essential difference in the object of their institution and the nature of their services. The government of the Roman empire was constitutionally elective†N_226, and the situation of the monarch was necessarily dependent. The Praetorian bands, who retained the same name as the general's guard of honour in the armies of the republic, were permanently established in the vicinity of Rome for the purpose of protecting the emperor, subduing faction, and over- clxxi awing the senate and people*N_227. But in the intoxication of uncontrolled power they assumed to themselves the exercise of rights which they were appointed to repress, and became the masters, instead of the guardians, of the person of the prince.—:The prerogative of the sultans requires no external support: it is founded on the Mussulman religion, and is interwoven with the very existence of the Ottoman community. The order of janizaries was instituted, not for the purpose of maintaining the authority of the monarch over his natural subjects, but for extending his dominion over foreign nations†N_228. Though, however, their establishment be not clxxii a necessary part of the system of Ottoman despotism, it has sometimes proved no less fatal in its consequences to the individual sovereign than that of the Praetorians. From their union under one command the janizaries became conscious of their strength, and from their station in the capital, during the intervals of foreign war, they acquired a preponderating influence in domestic broils*N_229. They were, however, restrained by the presence of other bodies of regular troops, the cavalry, artillery-men, armourers, and marines, against whom they have sometimes been engaged even in open-hostilities, on account of the contrariety of their views or the opposition of their interests. Either of these bodies can occasionally form a rallying point for the populace of Constantinople, which does not consist of enervated artisans, but of men professedly soldiers, who are used to arms, and are scarcely inferior to the regular troops, especially since the general neg- clxxiii lect of discipline*N_230. The Ottoman nation constitutes one great military community, and is naturally adverse to the exercisej or the establishment, of military despotism. The janizaries cannot therefore*, like the Praetorians, trample with impunity upon the constitution, usurp the sovereign prerogatives, and put up the empire to sale†N_231. The sanction of law can alone justify their conduct in the eyes of the nation; and it is worthy of remark, that, in the midst of their excesses, they have always evinced a tender regard for clxxiv the curiously complicated frame of their po-litical constitution*N_232. The mischiefs which they have introduced have been partial in their effect, and temporary in their duration. They have never aimed at the subversion of principles, nor the abolition of institutions, which are sanctioned by the constitution; and instead of hastening the decline of the empire, it may be doubted whether they have not more frequently restored, than de-rapged, the order of government: neither have their domestic disturbances materially affected the gensral prosperity of the empire. Perhaps the only .evil which has resulted from the seditions of the janizaries, is the licence which they have assumed of resisting the endeavours of government to restore discipline, clxxv and to ameliorate the military system. They have sanctified even the errors of their ancestors. They reprobate the introduction of European tactics and resist the organization of new levies. They will neither adopt improvement, nor tolerate innovation; and if government be not awed by their indirect menaces into the abandonment of its measures, they revolt from their allegiance, and take up arms, in order to crush the institution in its infancy, which might endanger their supremacy in its more mature state.

[[N_225* See Series Imperat. Turc. in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 275. See also p. 5, 230—233, 285. Knolles, v. i, p. 980, 983—985, and a quotation in Robertson, v. i, p. 475, from Nicolas Daulphiaois who accompanied M. d'Aramon, ambassador from Henry the Second, of France, to Soliman, and who predicted, that the janizaries would one day become formidable to their masters, and act the same part at Constantinople as the Prsetorian bands had done at Rome. (Collection of voyage* from the Earl of Oxford's library, t. i, p. 599.)]]

[[N_226† See Gibbon, v. 5, p. 170.]]

[[N_227* See Gibbon, v. i, p. 168.]]

[[N_228† Dr. Robertson (v. i, p. 226) says, that " an armed force must surround the throne of every despot, to maintain his authority and to execute his commands." This maxim is, however, irreconcileable with the theory, as well as the practice, of the Ottoman government: for it may be obierved in many pas-iages of the Turkish history, that, whenever the authority of the sultans was wavering, they declared a foreign war, in order to have a pretence for removing the armed force from the seat of government, and for restoring the authority of the laws. It is also an assertien unwarranted by the Turkish historians (though Dr. Robertson quotes Cantejnir in support of it), that Murad the First instituted the order of the janizaries " in order to form a body of troops de-voted to hit will, that might serve as the immediate guards of his person and dignity."]]

[[N_229* The janizaries may be compared with greater propriety to the legions, than to the Prxtorian bands, 'of Rome; except that the main body of the janizaries, instead of being encamped, like the legions, on the frontiers of the empire, habitually reside in the capital, whence they are draughted to join the grand army on the opening of the campaign.]]

[[N_230* M. de la Motraye relates (t. i, p. 353), that in a revolt of the janizaries and spahls, during the reign of Soliman the Second, the inhabitants of Constantinople remained quiet spectators as long as the insurgents continued to respect the property of individuals; but on their pillaging some of the merchants warehouses, the people assembled in arms, under the walls of the Seraglio, to the number of an hundred thousand men, who immediately quelled the revolt, and restored the cause of the sultan, which before seemed hopeless.]]

[[N_231† Montesquieu very properly compares the power and functions of the Pmorian prefect, after the time of Severus, with those of the grand vizir, or generalissimo of the Ottoman forces, and not of thejanizar-aga, or general of the corps of janizaries. (See Grandeur et decadence des Remains, chap, xvii.)—There exists, however, a strong analogy between the Prsetorians and the Mameluke guards of the Egyptian sultans, whose power was founded only on force, and v.ho, like the Roman emperors, had broken down every barrier between the sovereign and the army, by depriving the people of the use of arms, and the right of deliberating on the conduct of government.]]

[[N_232* The following observation on the conduct of the janizaries is extracted from the papers and despatches of Sir Thomas Roe, his Majesty's ambassador with the Grand Signer during the reigns of Mustafa and Osman. (See Knolles, v. i, p. 972.) " The mutineers having no head or direction, kept that re-legement, that they took oath in their fury, in hot blood, in the king's yard, not to dishonour, tpoil, nor sack the Imperial throne: neither committed nor suffered any inso-lency or violence in the city to the neutrals, but rather proclaimed peace and justice."—A striking instance of the fidelity of the insurgents to the constitution, and their refusal to violate the order of sueccssion, is also recorded by Motraye, in t. i, p, 330.]]

Murad the Fourth was but fourteen years {Murad the Fourth. A. D. 1628-1640 } old on his accession to the throne. The dis-orders which had originated from the feeble and impolitic administration of his predecessors, could not immediately be repressed by the authority of a child. The public treasury was empty*N_233, the ordinary resources of the empire were exhausted, while the janizaries continued mutinous and insolent, and the provinces were in a state of declared rebellion. The Tartars refused to acknowledge the khan who had been nominated by clxxvi the porte. They defeated the sultan's troops, and expelled his garrison from Kaffa: n$r did they return to their allegiance till he had signified his acquiescence in their choice*N_234. In the mean time the Persian armies invaded the empire, and conquered or ravaged the frontier provinces from Arabia to the Euxine sea†N_235. But that which exhibited in the strongest light the weakness to which the state was reduced in consequence of civil discord, was the expedition of the Cossaks, who* fitted out an armament of a hundred and fifty boats on the Dnieper, and entering the Bosphorus, where not a single galley was left to oppose them, continued, during several days, to insult the capital of the Turkish empire, and to plunder the neighbouring villages, almost without molestation‡N_236. Murad, clxxvii during a reign of seventeen years, revived the glory of the Ottoman name. The dilatory proceedings of his generals obliged him to take upon himself the command of his army and the conduct of the Persian war, which he terminated, after four campaigns, by forcing the Persians to cede the cities and territories which Shah Abbas the Great had wrested from the Ottoman empire*N_237. His bravery and skill in war procured him the surname of Gazi, or the ConquerorN_238†: but his most important victory was that which he obtained over his own subjects. He humbled the arrogance, and punished the outrages, of the janizaries, by exposing them, under every disadvantage of number and circumstance, to the armies of the Asiatic insurgents, and compelled them, after a series of disasters, --to accede to terms of reconciliation with their avowed enemies, whose chief he received into favour and rewarded for his fidelity to the clxxviii throne*N_239. The character of his government . was inflexible severity. Not only the superior officers of the state and army felt the weight of his displeasure, but even the subalterns and privates of the janizaries, who had been the boldest promoters of former seditions, could no longer skreen themselves from his resentment by the obscurity of their stations†N_240: He exacted from all the public agents a strict observance of their duty‡N_241. He tolerated no exemption from military service, but inexorably punished the disobedient soldiers, and confiscated the estates of the feudal militia who failed to appear at the general muster§N_242. By his peremptory enforcement of military law he ensured the regular complement of his levies, and habituated his armies to that severe subordination which recalled victory to the Ottoman standards¦N_243. At the beginning of his reign clxxix his indignation had been excited against the standing army; but when he had subdued the haughtiness of the janizaries by rigour and discipline, he encouraged their obedience by his favour, and stimulated their enterprise by his example. He assisted at their public exercises, and contended with them in feats of strength or address. He marched at the head of their corps, dressed in the uniform of their order, made his saddle his pillow, endured suffering with patience, and encountered danger with intrepidity*N_244. He sanctioned the severity of his government by subjecting even himself to its salutary discipline; and notwithstanding the occasional excesses of his intemperance, and the habitual ferocity of his character, his army served him with zeal and. his subjects regarded him with veneration†N_245

[[N_233* Rycaut (v. ii, p. 2) says, that the porte demanded a loan of thirty thousand sequins from the four Christian ambassadors who were resident at Constantinople, "in order that they, as friends, might assist in the urgency of affairs."]]

[[N_234* See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 3. Mignot, t. ii, p. 463—466, 468.]]

[[N_2358244; " The Persian king divided his army into four parts. The first was dispatched into Mesopotamia, commanded by the king himself. The second made incursions into Palestine. The third infested the coast of the Black Sea, and the fourth marched towards Mecca, with hope and design of sharing all the parts of the Eastern empire." (Rycaut, v. ii, p. 6, 7.) See also Mig, not, t. ii, p. 471.]]

[[N_236‡ See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 4. Mignot, t. ii, p. 466. " To curb these insolencies, the Turks gave orders to build two forts at the mouth of the Black Sea: the Polish ambassador made complaint hereof, and protested against it, as an act contrary to die capitulations of peace," (Rycaut, t ii, p. 11.)]]

[[N_237* See Rycaut, v. ii, p.*28, 37, 45. " No ether difficulty arose in the negociation for peace besides the dispute concerning Reran (Erivan), which at length was agreed to remain unto the Persian, as Bagdad was confirmed to the Turk." Cantemir (p. 249) says, that " this was the last overthrow of the Persians, since which they have not dared to be revenged, nor to lift up their heads against the Ottoman power."]]

[[N_238† See Cantemir, p. 243.]]

[[N_239* See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 10, 11, 12. Cantemir, p. 244, note 2.]]

[[N_240† See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 12, 15, 19, 20, 23, 32, 48. Mig-not, t. ii, p. 470, 4,86—490, 508. Cantemir (p. 250) mistakes the sultan's policy for wanton cruelty.]]

[[N_241‡ See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 28.]]

[[N_242§ See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 37. Mignot, t. ii, p. 497, t. iii, P. 16.]]

[[N_243¦ See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 31. Mignot, t, iii, p. 21.]]

[[N_244* See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 31, 41. Cantemir, p. 251. Mignot, t. ii, p. 473, t.iii, p. 2, 24, 26.]]

[[N_245† The character of this great sultan is to be collected rather from the events of his reign, than the partial judgment of his historians. Rycaut says, that " he was so bad that he had scarce any allay of virtue." Cantemir has collected from accounts which he acknowledges to be partly fabulous, some ridiculous and improbable anecdotes; and Voltaire (essai sur les moeurs, chap, cxci) erroneously asserts, that " in the opinion of the Turks he had no other merit than his valour."]]


{Ibrahim. A. D. 1640-1648. }

Ibrahim, the brother and successor of Mu-rad, was the only surviving prince Of the Ottoman family. He resigned himself to the indulgence of his appetites and the pleasures of the harem*N_246; while his ministers, encouraged by the success of their expedition against the Cossaks of the Don whom they expelled from tne city of Azoff†N_247, prepared a formidable armament under pretence of invading Malta and clearing the Mediterranean Sea from pirates. Venice, conscious of her comparative weakness, beheld the Turkish preparations with anxiety, and trembled for the safety of her insulated colonies : but the divan soothed the apprehensions of the senate by assurances Of unshaken friendship, clxxxi and honoured their ambassador at the porte with every mark of courtesy*N_248. The Turkish fleet even put into the island of Tino for water and refreshments, and the Ottoman admiral claimed from the inhabitants of Ce-rigo the customary present, in token of the amity which existed between the two governments†N_249. The Venetians did not, however, wholly neglect to provide the means of defence, but they endeavoured, with their characteristic policy, to avoid indicating suspicions which might give umbrage to the porte, and provoke hostilities‡N_250. The Turkish fleet, in the meantime, entered the harbours of Candia, and disembarked an army of seventy-four thousand men, furnished with every necessary instrument of war and siege, who immediately invested and captured the cities of Canea and Retimo, and reduced the whole island in less than two years, with the single exception of Candia, the capital§N_251.

[[N_246* The Turkish and Christian historians agree in describing this prince to have been wholly addicted to luxury, and inactive in the administration of government. They relate, and probably with great exaggeration, many particulars of his conduct, which are inconsistent with Turkish manners and many which no person could have witnessed. I haVe passed them over, as wholly unworthy of history. The fact of Ibrahim's deposition is slightly noticed by Cantemir, it is also alluded to by D'Obsson (Tab. Ge'n. t. i, p. 287), I must therefore admit it to be authentic, though the cause and circumstances of it, as related by Rycaut are certainly fabulous.]]

[[N_247† See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 52,52. Cantemir, p. 252. Mignot, t. iii, p. 53, 55, 56.]]

[[N_248* See Rycaut, v. ii, p, S7, 58, 59. Cantemir, p. 252~* 25i. Mignot, t. iii, p. 66—69.]]

[[N_249† See Rycaut, v, ii, p. 60, Mignot, t, iii, p. 70, 71.]]

[[N_250‡ See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 57, 60. Mignot, t, iii, p. 71.]]

[[N_251§ See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 59, 61, 74. Cantemir, p. 254. Mignot, t. iii, p. 69, 72, 73.]]

Ibrahim was put to death by his subjects. clxxxii {Mahomet the Forth. A. D. 1648-1697.} Mahomet the Fourth succeeded to the throne of his father when he was only seven years, old*N_252. The early part of his reign was disturbed by the factions of his ministers and the mutinies of his soldiers, until the wise, though severe, administration of Kioprili Mehemed, and that of his son Ahmed, restored confidence to the nation, and infused vigour into the councils of government†N_253.

[[N_252* See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 81. Motraye, t. I, p. 346. Can-temir, p. 255. Mignot, t. iii, p. 98.]]

[[N_253† See Rycaut, v, ii; p. 82, 84, 88, 104, 105, 112,113. See also his Present state of the Ottoman empire, chap. iv. Motraye, t. i, p. 346, 3-17. Canterair, p. 255, 256. Mignot, t-Ui, p. 127, 131.]]

{ A. D. 1657-1664}

The war of Transilvania, which was provoked by the disobedience of the vaivoda Ragotski, was terminated by his defeat and death. The Turks seized upon Great Vara-din and a circuit of territory sufficient for the maintenance of the garrison, as a reimbursement for the expenses of the war; while the Transilvanians, who were irritated by this encroachment on their territories, deposed the vaivoda whom the porte had appointed, and conferred the principality on Kemeni, one of Ragotski's generals, Kemeni implored the protection of the emperor Leo- clxxxiii pold, and admitted German garrisons into his principal fortresses, in the vain hope of confirming his authority and maintaining his elevation against the power of the Turks: but he was killed in a skirmish with the troops of the pasha of Buda, and Michael Abaffi, the vassal of the porte, was elected vaivoda by the states of Transilvania*N_254. After a tacit suspension of hostilities between the Ottomans and the Austrians, and an interval of insidious negociations, the war was suddenly renewed by the irruption of the vizir into Hungary, who besieged and took Neu-hausel, Neutra, Novigrad, Leventz, and Freystadt, while a detachment of his army entered Moravia and Austria, and intimidated the emperor into a removal from Vienna, The success of the Turks was counterbalanced in the ensuing year by the recapture of Neutra and Leventz, and by the defeat and slaughter of their bravest troops at the passage of St. Gothard on the Raab†N_255. clxxxiv Both parties were, however induced, by motives of policy independeent of the circum stances of the war, to concur in a truce for twenty years, by which it was stipulated, that Great Varadin and Neuhausel should remain to the porte in right of conquest, and Transilvania be confirmed to the vaivoda Abaffi*N_256.

[[N_254* See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 105—111. Cantemir, p. 256.]]

[[N_255† " While the hostile troops were preparing for the engagement, a young Turk, mounted on an Arabian courser, and co[253]Tered with splendid habiliments, darted from the ranks, flou, rishing his scimitar, and in the spirit of ancient chivalry, defied the brayeit of the Christians to single combat. He, was opposed by the chevalier de Loraine, who, in a few minutes, extended him lifeless on the earth, and led off his horse in triumph." (Coxe, v. i, p. 994.)]]

[[N_256* See Coxe, chap. 62, also Rycaut, v. ii, p. 140_145, 149, 151-160, for the proceedings of the war in Hungary. Rycaut says, that the 600,000 dollars which Abaffi, by the fourth article of the treaty, was to pay to the Ottomans for the expenses of the war, were actually paid by the emperor, though the dishonor of it was covered with the name of Abaffi.]]

The reduction of the city of Candia con-tinued to be an object of solicitude to the Ottoman cabinet. The maritime superiority of the Venetians had enabled them to convey regular succours to their own troops, while they obstructed the conveyance of supplies and reinforcements to the army of the besiegers†N_257. But on the termination of the clxxxv Hungarian war, the vizir resolved to conduct in person the operations of the siege, and to employ the whole force of the empire in its accomplishment. The Venetian garrison opposed bravery and skill to the assaults and the stratagems of the Turks, but were reduced to yield up the city by capitulation, after two years and four months, when they had exhausted all the military resources of {A. D. 1669.} the age in its defence*N_258.

[[N_257† See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 82, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, for the successive defeats of the Turkish fleet. The Venetians took the islands of Tenedos and Lemnos, Which were, however, retaken by the Turks in 1657. In the year 1659 the vizir built the lower forts which are situated at the entrance into the Dardanelles (p. 92).]]

[[N_258* For the history of the siege of Candia, see Rycaut, 7. ii, p. 185—188, 195—220. Cantemir, p. 256—262. Mignot, t. iii, p. 213—216.' 225—235.

Marsigli (part, ii, chap, xxiv) says, that during this "war the Turks first learned the art, and adopted a new method, of car. rying on sieges, by means of which they made themselves masters not only of the fortress of Candia, but of Neiihausel in Hun. gary and Kaminiec in Podolia ; and were seduced by the expert, ence of its efficacy to undertake the siege of Vienna.]]

The evacuation of the island of Candia, {A. D. 1670-1679.} and the adjustment of the dispute respecting" the frontier in Dalmatia, removed all obstacles to a peace with Venice. The Ottomans now took up arms in the cause of the Cossaks of the Ukraine, who refused their homage to the crown of Poland, and solicited the protection of the porte. The result of the war was advantageous to the Turks: they obtained by force the posses- clxxxvi sion of Kaminiec*N_259, and acquired by treaty the sovereignty over Podolia and the Ukraine‴N_260. But the Cossaks, a turbulent and versatile people, refused obedience to the porte, on the first exercise of its authority, and yielded themselves to Russia, by whose co-operation they defeated the armies and abolished the authority of the sultan‡N_261.

[[N_259* Cantemir says (p. 265), that " this was the last victory by which any advantage accrued to the Ottoman state," and the remark remains uncontradicted after the lapse of a century, except in the instance of the re-conquest of the Morea from the Venetians.]]

[[N_260† See Cantemir, p. 284—286.]]

[[N_261‡ See Cantemir, p. 287—295.]]

The antipathy of the Hungarians to the dominion of the house of Austria, involved the sovereign in continual disputes with the states of the kingdom. The nobility stickled for the privilege of electing the king and for the licence of the feudal constitution, while the emperors endeavoured to render the crown hereditary and to abolish the restrictions which were imposed on the exercise of their authority. Some of the principal nobles, who, under sanction of the constitution, formed an association in defence of their privileges, were convicted of rebellion and punished with death; but their public execution animated their countrymen to vindicate clxxxvii their liberty and independence. Emeric Te-* keli assumed the command of the insurgents, and was elected prince of Upper Hungary. His victories over the Imperial forces had so far established his power, that the porte was induced to acknowledge his title, and to der clare war against Austria in support of his pretensions *N_262.

[[N_262* See Manley ap. Rycaut, v. ij, p, 277—282. Rycaut, v. if, p. 15—94. Cantemir, p. 295—299. Coxe, v. i, p. 989— 991, 1070—1075.]]

Ahmed Kioprili, who inherited from his father the office of grand vizir and held it till his natural death, maintained the honour of the Ottoman arms rather by the successful issue of his negociations than by his military talents. But he left the forces, as well as the finances, of the empire unimpaired†N_263. clxxxviii His successor, Cara Mustafa, reviewed the army at Belgrade, which consisted of two hundred thousand fighting men*N_264: he summoned a council of war to deliberate on the plan of the campaign, but he rejected the counsels of Tekeli and of his own officers, who advised the previous and total conquest of Hungary, and persisted in his determination to carry the war into Austria†N_265. The Duke of Lorraine retreated before the Turks, and, after throwing a reinforcement into Vi-enna, encamped beyond the Danube, where he waited the arrival of succours from the king of Poland and the electors of Saxony and Bavaria‡N_266. The grand vizir opened his A m tees, trenches before Vienna on the fourteenth of July, and prosecuted the siege till the twelfth of September, when the generals of the Christian army, which was now strengthened by the accession of all the auxiliaries, reconnoitred the positions of Che enemy, and resolved to attack them. In the conduct of the siege, in the order of their camp and the clxxxix distribution of their forces, the Turks betrayed such ignorance of the science and the practice of war as removed at once whatever apprehensions had been excited by their superiority in number. The allied army de? scended from the mountains, and formed in order of battle as they reached the plain. The Turks fought in disorder, and, after a short and partial resistance, abandoned their camp, together with their artillery, their baggage and magazines*N_267. They fled with such precipitation, that, on the following day, they crossed the bridges of the Eaab, which is at the distance' of fifty-five miles from Vienna, where the wreck of the Ottor, man army encamped round the single tent which had been preserved with difficulty for the accommodation of the vizir†N_268.

[[N_263† See in Motraye, t. i, p 346—348, and in Cantemir, p. 256, note 3, the character of Ahmed Kioprili. He is called by the Turks the vicar of God's shadow, breaker of the bells of the blasphemous nations, the terrible leader, &c. &c. He was grand vizir from the age of thirty-three to fifty. He died, fortunately for his own reputation, in the year 1681, before the empire was overwhelmed by those evils which perhaps his prudence might have averted, but which the desultory energies of the Ottomans could never have resisted with success. Voltaire (essai sur les moeurs, chap, cxci) says, that he was one of the best generals in Europe, yet his conduct of the war in the Ukraine excited the contempt of Sobieski. (See Histoire de Pologne, t. i, p. 251. 8vo. Paris 1807.)]]

[[N_264* See Manley ap. Rycaut, v. ii, p. 287. Rycaut, v. ii? . p. 99.]]

[[N_265† See Cantemir, p. 300—304.]]

[[N_266‡ See Manley ap. Rycaut, v. ii, p. 289. Rycaut, y. ii, p. 100—103. Cantemir, p. 306.]]

[[N_267* For the operations during the siege of Vienna, see Manley ap. Rycaut, v. ii, p. 289—302. Rycaut, v. ii, p. 103—120, Cantemir, p. 304—311. Mignot, t. iii, p. 326-^-341. His, toire de Pologne, t. i, p, 273—280. See also Marsigli, t. ii, p. 75, 84, 119—122.]]

[[N_268† See Cantemir, p. 310. Marsigli, who had been taken prisoner by the Turks, was carried away with them on their retreat. They lost sight of Vienna about an hour before sunset, and continuing their march by moon-light, arrived at day-break at the river Leyta, .which they crossed, but did not stop, till they passed the Raab in the afternoon, (Stato militare, t. ii, p. 121.)]]


The emperor Leopold, who was wisely diffident of his military talents, left the ostensible command of the army to his ally the king of Poland, to whom the citizens of Vienna decreed the honours of the triumph*N_269; The heroism of John Sobieski arid the gallantry of the Polish troops justly entitled them to the gratitude of Christendom : But the merit of this celebrated victory must be ascribed principally to the judgment and experience of the Imperial general, and to the steady valour of the German regiments; for the Poles were neither habituated to subordination, familiarized with tactics, nor instructed in military science†N_270: while the war of thirty years, in which almost all the Continental nations were engaged, had introduced and established those improvements in cxci the art of destruction which, during the seventeenth century, gave to Germany a succession of soldiers and generals who may vie with the heroes of Macedon and Rome in bravery, in discipline, and skill*N_271. The Turks, with the exception of an expedition against Poland in the year 1621, which was altogether unimportant in its result, had consumed this season in bloody, but unin-structive, hostilities with the nations of the East*N_272. Their enemies immediately perceived, and availed themselves of, the superiority which they had acquired. The flight of the Turks from Vienna, and their subsequent defeats, unveiled their weakness to the world, and encouraged the republic -of Venice and the czar of -Muscovy to enter into the confederacy against them, and to assist the operations of the war in Hungary by invading the maritime provinces of Greece, and by diverting; the forces of the Tartars†N_273.

[[N_269* See Mignot, t. iii, p. 3437 Histoire de Pologne, t. i, p. 280. Coxe, v. i, p. 1079.]]

[[N_270† See in Voltaire, histoire de Charles xii, liv. ii, a description of the military force of Poland, which, in the year 1710, consisted of 100,000 cavalry " without discipline, subordination and experience," and 48,000 infantry, 'ill-armed and half-naked, without regular pay or uniform. " Toutes ces troupes etoient braves sans doute, mais tellement indisciplinees que, malgre 1'autorite du grand general de la couronne, de leurs autres chefs, et celle du roi meme, ils firent trop souvent autant de mal a'leuf propre patrie qu' a ses ennemis." (Histoire de Pologne, t. i, p. 16.)]]

[[N_271* The Poles indeed assumed to themselves the greatest share of the victory at Vienna, and, in consequence of it, claimed the right of marching in the van of the army; but they proceeded without order or caution, till they fell in, near Gran, with a body of 6000 Turkish horse and 2000 janizaries, whom they inconsiderately rushed forward to attack: when, however, the Turks perceived, that they acted without the Germans, they halted; and not only repulsed, but surrounded and would hare cut them to pieces, if the Duke of Lorraine had not arrived with some German regiments to their relief. (See Rycaut, t. ii, p. 125, 126. Cantemir, p. 311, 312. Mignot, t. iii, p. 34*8, 349.) Mr. Coxe says (v. i, p. 1080), that, " on the following day, the ardour of the Polish hero being tempered by thepk/egm of the German chief, they wip£d off their temporary disgrace by a complete defeat of the enemy." The Turks, however, had already so tempered the ardour of the Polish troops that, on the very night of their defeat, they were desirous of yielding the right wing (which was nearest to the enemy) to the Germans, and on the morrow were hardly prevailed upon to make trial of another engagement, and that not till they had changed their station (the post of honour), and mixed their troops with those of the Imperialists. " Fortune seemed favourable to them abroad," says Rycaut, " whilst they were directed by the auspicious conduct of the Duke of Lorraine, and other the greatest captains in the world; but being left to themselves, we shall hear of no great achievements. The Turks made only weak preparations against them, and left them to the Tartars, who proved a sufficient match for their neighbours, the Poles." History of the Turks, v. ii, p. 132. See also Cantemir, p. 320, 325, 334, 335, ,336.]]



The Turks were routed and cut to pieces in every battle: their strongest fortresses were surrendered, and Buda was taken by storm *N_274. In the fourth year of the war the Germans had driven them and their auxi* liaries from Hungary, Transilvapia, and Scla--vonia; while the Venetians, besides possessing themselves of several places in Dalmatia and Albania, had conquered the whole of the Morea†N_275. The energies of the Ottomans sunk under such accumulated misfortunes; and though their native valour remained .unimpaired, the incapacity of their generals was so obvious, even to the private soldiers, cxciv as to promote a spirit of insubordination which rendered their measures ineffectual. The army, after sustaining a signal defeat on the plains of Mohatz, fled towards Belgrade, and on reaching a place of safety, immediately revolted against their commanders. The vizir escaped from the camp and fled for protection to the sultan, who excited a general insurrection of the Turkish populace by endeavouring to screen his minister from their resentment*N_276. He was deposed by his subjects on the ground of his having brought down the anger of heaven upon the nation by the perverseness of his councils and the sins of his government†N_277. {Soliman the Second. A. D. 1687-1689.} His brother Soliman who succeeded to him, was insensible almost to stupidity, though eminent for the austerity of his life and the fervour of his devotion‡N_278. The public mind xcv was depressed by a succession of disasters: the people confidently hoped, that the prayers of the sultan would avert the evils which threatened the empire with ruin; and they libelled his administration when they discovered their mistake *N_279. The Germans pursued their career of victory; took Belgrade by assault, and penetrated into Bosnia, Ser-via, and Bulgaria†N_280. Soliman humbled himself so far as to send ambassadors to Vienna to sue for peace, but his proposals were rejected with disdain, or answered with arrogance‡N_281. In the mean time the king of France made {A.D.1689.} a diversion in his favour by invading the palatinate and engaging Germany in war, which not only interrupted the ambitious projects of the emperor, but favoured the {Ahmed the Second. A. D. 1690 -1694.} {Mustafa the Second. A. D. 1695 — 1703.} cxcvi efforts of the grand vizir, who restored a transient lustre to the Ottoman arms by the recovery of Nissa, Viddin, and Belgrade, and reanimated the nation by his wise and vigorous measures*N_282.

[[N_274* Rycaut, p. 217, says, that "Prince Eugene of Savoy, who served at the siege of Buda, was deaf to the cries of the conquered; for hearing that the town was entered, and unwilling to lose any part of the glory, or that his sword should appear dry and not coloured with the blood of his enemies, at the end of the action forsook his post and let loose his soldiers, crying out to give no quarter to the janizaries." M. Rollsset, in his military history of Prince Eugene, observes, on the contrary, " How worthy of ad-miration was it to see an officer but twenty-three years old, that is, at an age when men are all fire 4nd impetuosity, cry out like Czsar in the midst cf victory, parce civifau. ; and carry his esteem for valour so far as to respect it in his enemies," Certain, however, it is, that the conquered Turks, throughout the whole of this war,' expiated, under the'sword of the Christians, the cruelties of which their ancestors have been accused, " It was grievous " say. Rycaut, p. 312, " to see poor old men made prisoners, dragged by their beards ; and women, covered with blood and dirt drawn by the hairs of the head, and made the sport and pastime of military insolence."]]

[[N_275† See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 250, 265, 264, 270, 31S-327, Cantemir, p. 339, 340, 341. - Coxe, v. i, p. 1081-1085.]]

[[N_276* See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 251—256. Cantemir, 341—349. Motraye, t. i, p. 349, 350, 351.]]

[[N_277† See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 221, 222. Cantemir, p. 337, 346— 349.]]

[[N_278‡ See Cantemir, p. 375. Rycaut, v. ii, p. 293. " His deposed brother, Sultan Mahomet, who had always used much exercise, began, by an unaccustomed confinement, to be tainted with- the scurvy; his legs swelled and gave symptoms of the dropsy. Wherefore he sent to his brother, the present sultan, desiring that some physicians might be permitted to come to him for his cure. But grave Soliman returned him answer, that in case he should allow that, and he miscarry, the world would say that he was an occasion of his death ; so that in lieu of the phy sicians he would pray to God for him, and he who sent the" sickness could give him a cure.*' (Rycaut, v. ii, p. 261 )]]

[[N_279* See Cantemir, p. 355. Mignot, t. ii, p. 411. The people, on their part, abstained from the use of wine and from innocent indul-gences : but they did not discover, from theinefficacy of all these means, that the promises of heaven, even in a good cause, are ex-clusively contingent on the exercise of wisdom and courage.]]

[[N_280† See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 303. Cantemir, p. 359, 362.]]

[[N_281‡ See Cantemir, p. 355—357, 359, 360. Rycaut, v ii p. 292, 309, 312, 319, 329, 347, 53, 3S4. Mignot, t. iii p. 410.]]

[[N_282* See Rycaut, v. ii, p. 314, 316, 378, 382, 383. Cantemir,p. 360, 369 — 375. Mustafa Pashawas the third grand vizir of the illustrious house of Kioprili : he was slain in the battle of Salan-kanen in 1691. According to Marsigli (t, i, p. 28) he used to say, that all the sultans since Soliman the First, were fools or tyrants, that it was time to abolish the Ottoipan race, and to in-stitute another, which, says Marsigli very unintelligibly, is not lets foolish In the conduct of civil and military affairs.]]

Ahmed, the youngest son of the family of Sultan Ibrahim, succeeded to Soliman, whom he resembled in the mediocrity of his talents and in his zeal for religion†N_283; the events of his reign corresponded with the feebleness of his government, and excited even the contempt of his enemies.

[[N_283† Rycaut (v. ii, p. 398) says, that " Ahmed was lively, free, and jocund in his humour ; that he was both a poet and a musician, made verses and sang them." Cantemir says (p. 380), that he knew not how to return any other answer to what wai proposed to him but khoth, khosh, good, good.]]

Mustafa censured the inactivity of his fa-ther and his uncles, and took upon himself the conduct of the Hungarian war ; but he was no less deficient than his predecessors in those talents and acquirements which were cxcvii now become essential to the success of military operations. He witnessed, from the opposite bank of the river Theis, the defeat and the slaughter of his army at Zenta*N_284: and in a general congress of the belligerents, which was held at Carlovitz under the mediation of England and Holland, he afterwards confirmed the degradation of the Ottoman power by relinquishing Transilvania and al- cxcviii most the whole of Hungary and Sclavonia to the emperor, the Morea and some places in Dalmatia to the republic of Venice, Podolia and the fortress of Kaminiec to the Poles, and {A..D. 1698. } Azoff to the Russians *N_285.

[[N_284* See an account of the battle of Zenta in the military history of Prince Eugene, p. 29—42. See also in Marsigli's stato militare, cap. xxiii, t. ii, p. 119—131, an account of the principal military operations during the war of Hungary, which concludes with the following observation :—" Da tutta questa enume. razione di fatti d'arme seguiti fra 1'esercito Cesareo, ed Otto-manno molte volte comandato dull' istesso sultano, si e sempre veduta una grandissima confusione per mettersi in battaglia, un modo precipitoso, ed inordinate di attacare i Christiani, e non altra ritirata, che di una fuga infairse.—In fine felice quel generale, che comandara ad un esercito Cesareo anche la meta meno nu-meroso di quel de' Turehi, perche con la di lui fermezza, ed ordine, e di piu coll' abituazione fatta a quelli urli, ed a quell' aspetto per altro fiero di quelli attacchi coriciabola alia mano, sara sicuro delle vittorie attesa l'impossibilita ne Turehi di gua-dagnare mai una."

In ascribing the superiority which the Germans acquired over the Turks to the methodical process of their operations, and the mechanical precision of their manoeuvres, I am not unaware, that military genius may be cramped by a strict adherence to the formalities of service and the rules of art; and that intellect which has been improved by science and experience, is alone equal to combine and to direct the exertions of an army, to as to meet every possible emergency of war.]]

[[N_285* See in Rycaut, v. ii, p. 567—602, the treaties of peace made with the Germans, the Russians, the Poles, and the Venetians. See also Cantemir, p. 427.]]

A peace purchased with loss and dishonour, though it rescued the European portion of the empire from imminent destruction, brought no pledge of future safety, but rather inflamed the ambition, while it excited the contempt of the neighbouring potentates†N_286. The Ottoman cabinet prudently adopted a system of moderation, from a conviction that they must fail in any attempt to recover the ceded provinces by a cxcix renewal of the war *N_287. But the populace were no sooner relieved from the apprehension of immediate danger, than they were exasperated by the feeling of national disgrace, which was incensed into sedition, and led to the dethronement of the sultan†N_288.

[[N_286† The Polish ambassador made his public entry into Constantinople in April, 1700, and was escorted by 600 soldiers, many of whom wore coats of mail which had been stripped from the bodies of the spahis who were killed at the battle of Vienna, The ambassador and his suite were lodged in a palace which looked upon the Hippodrome; and, as a further insult to the Turks, either they, or the servants of the German ambassador, broke off and conveyed away, during a dark night in the month of June, the two remaining heads of the brazen serpentine monument, which the Christians imagined to be considered by the Turks as a talisman on which the safety of their metropolis depended. (See Motraye, t. i, p. 278).]]

[[N_287* See Cantemir, p. 429, sec. xcvi. The new vizir Dal-taban Mustafa was put to death by order of the sultan on an accusation, that he wished to excite the soldiers to demand the rupture of the peace. (See p. 431, sec. cvii, cviii.) Count Tekeli was banished to Nicomedia because, at the instigation of the French ambassador, he had suggested to the porte the possibility of recovering Hungary while the emperor was engaged with the French in the war for the Spanish succession. (See Motraye, t. i, p. 281, 282.) Even the insurrection which was actually excited in Hungary by Prince Ragotski, could not seduce the porte into a deviation from its system of neutrality. (See Motraye, t. i, p. 378. Coxe, v. i,p. 1139—1142, 1149, 1245—1250).]]

[[N_288† For the origin and progress of the rebellion against Sultan Mustafa, see Cantemir, p. 428, 432—438. Motraye, t. i, p. 323—334.]]

The conduct of the czar excited the first {Ahmed the Third. A. D. 1703-1730.} alarm. Peter Alexiovitz had abolished the antiquated institutions of his country, had introduced discipline and order into his armies, and assimilated his general government to that which prevailed among the states of Christendom. Scarcely had he ratified the treaty of Carlovitz when he infringed its implied conditions by building cc forts along the Don and the Dnieper for the purpose of annoying, rather than of restraining, the Tartars; and he announced a spirit of systematic hostility against the Ottoman power by fitting out a fleet of gal-lies on the sea of Azoff, and thus aspiring to the dominion of the Black Sea *N_289. Though the Turks observed with anxiety his continual encroachments both in Poland and on their own frontiers, yet they dissembled their fears and stifled their resentment, till at length they were precipitated into hostilities by the remonstrances of the Tartar khan, and of the king of Sweden, who, after the battle of Pultowa, had escaped into the dominions of the sultan, where he continued, during three years and a half, to perplex the Ottoman councils by his presence, and by his intrigues†N_290. The Russian army was commanded by the czar in person, who, however, acted ostensibly only as the lieutenant of General Czeremetoff. He advanced in- cci cautiously into Moldavia, where, after suffering severe losses, as well from the want of food and forage as from incessant skirmishes with the Tartars, he was surrounded, in an angle formed by the river Pruth, by the whole force of the Ottomans, and was saved from destruction, which seemed inevitable, only by the fortitude and the address of the czarina. The object of the war on the part of the Turks was to restore security to their northern frontier; and when the vizir had obtained the removal of establishments which gave umbrage or jealousy to the porte, he became indifferent to the interests or the animosities of the king of Sweden. He allowed the czar to purchase provisions for his army and to retreat unmolested to his dominions, on his engaging to evacuate Poland and to yield up Azotf, besides destroying his fleet and demolishing his fortresses on the confines of Tartary*N_291. { A.D. 1711.}

[[N_289* See Cantemir, p. 428, 429, Motraye, in the year 1699, observed the surprise and alarm which were occasioned at Constantinople by the arrival of the Russian envoy in a ship of war from Azoff.]]

[[N_290† See Voltaire, hist, de Charles xii, liv. 5. Motraye, t. i, p. 414—422, t. iijp. 1—3. Cantemir, p. 448—451. Coxe, T. ii, p. 60.]]

[[N_291* See Motraye, t. ii, p. 17—21, 23—28. Cantemir, p. 452, 453. Coxe, v. ii, p. 164.]]


Among the stipulations of the treaty of Carlovitz, that which most severely wounded the pride of the Ottomans, was the cession of territory to so inconsiderable a power as the state of Venice, which was unable even to support the defence of its conquests*N_292. The Turks were allured to attempt the recovery of the Morea, at a time when the forces and finances of the Austrians seemed to be so exhausted by the war in Flanders, which they had just concluded by the peace of Radstadt, as to prevent the active interference of the emperor in behalf of his late confederates. They concealed their design till they were prepared for the execution, when they over-ran the peninsula, and reduced the Venetian garrisons, in a short campaign†N_293.

Contrary to the expectation of the porte the emperor determined upon war, to which he was prompted no less by considerations of interest, than by motives of honour and resentment. He recruited his armies, of which he gave the command to Prince Eugene, cciii who confirmed the ascendancy of science and discipline by his brilliant and decisive victories at Petervaradin and Belgrade *N_294, which again forced the Ottomans to solicit peace through the mediation of England and Holland. The conferences were opened at Passarovitz, where the emperor, though he had taken up arms professedly in the cause of the Venetians, admitted as the basis of the treaty of peace, that the beNigerents should respectively retain possession of their conquests. Thus the dominion of the porte was again established over the whole of continental Greece, in exchange for the bannat of Temeswar and the territory and fortress of Belgrade, which were re-annexed to the kingdom of Hungary†N_295.

[[N_292* The Turkish plenipotentiary at the congress of Carlovitz, in an apologue which he adapted to the occasion, compared the conduct of the Venetian republic to that of a thief, who, while two wrestlers were engaged together, came upon them unob-served and contrived to carry away their clothes. " But," added he, "an opportunity may come when the republic shall find what difference there is between a lion and a fox." (See Cantemir, p. 426, note 35.)]]

[[N_293† See Mirsigli, t. ii, p. 198. Mignot, t. iv, p. 202—210.]]

[[N_294* For the battles of Petervaradin and Belgrade see the military history of Prince Eugene of Savoy, p. 110—134.

The loss of the battle of Petervaradin, in which the vizir was killed, led to the surrender of Temeswar and its dependencies, as that before Belgrade immediately occasioned the garrison to capitulate. " The garrison, by virtue of the third article of the capitulation, might have marched out in rank and file, drums beating, and colours flying, bat they did not value such punc- tilios. The soldiers were for the most part married, arid they bent their thoughts much more on securing their families and their effects, than on marching out in parade."]]

[[N_295† See Mignot, t. iv, p. 239—242. Coxe, v. i, p. 33.]]


{A. D. 1713.}

The Persian monarchy, which had been gradually declining since the death of Abbas the Great, was, at length, subverted by the Afghan Tartars, who rebelled against Shah Hussein, the last independent sovereign of the house of Sefi. Mahmud, their general, usurped the regal power, and by a series of assassinations, proscriptions, and civil wars, plunged this once flourishing kingdom into {A. D. 1722.} the deepest misery *N_296.

Tahmasp, one of the sons of Hussein, escaped, during the siege of Ispahan, to Tauris, and adopted, in the desperate situation of his affairs, the dangerous expedient of imploring military succour from the Russians and the Turks. The Afghans were Mussulmans of the Sunnite sect; and the ' porte was restrained by the religious prejudices of the Ottoman-people from opposing even the usurpation of true believers over a nation of heretics : but the czar of Russia undertook to drive out the rebels, in return for which he was to hold the cities of Der-bent and Baku, and some of the northern pro- ccv vinces*N_297. The distracted state of the Persian government did not, however, fail to excite the ambition and the cupidity of the sultan, who poured his troops into Georgia and Armenia, of which he endeavoured to secure the possession by the conquest of the principal cities†N_298; yet even these acquisitions did not allay the dissatisfaction which was occasioned by the settlement of the Russians in the adjoining territory. The porte protested against the alienation of dominion by a prince so precariously situated as Tahmasp, but was prevented from declaring war against Russia by the mediation of the French; ambassador, who even prevailed upon the cabinets of Constantinople and St. Petersburg to concur in a treaty for the partition of Persia, and the re-establishment of the house of Sefi over the remnant of the monarchy‡N_299. The contracting parties evinced fidelity to their engagements by extending their conquests as far as the limits which they had assigned to themselves ; but ccvi the Ottoman soldiery were averse from carrying the war into the dominion of a sovereign who was orthodox in his profession of faith, and, in compliance with their wishes, the sultan consented to a peace with Ashraf, successor of the usurper Mahmud, on the condition, that he should confirm the principal conquests of the Ottomans, and acknowledge the imameth, or his spiritual su- {A.D. 1727.} premacy*N_300. Persia was rescued both from the Afghans and the Ottomans by a Turc-man shepherd, named Nader, whose great and successful exploits, in defeating the rebels and reducing the revolted provinces, procured for him from the gratitude of the shah the title of Tahmasp Culi Khan, and extorted from his weakness the virtual exercise of the sovereign power†N_301. Nader displayed the talents of an able minister and an experienced general in the administration of the government and the conduct of war. He sent an embassy to Constantinople to reclaim the sovereignty of the Persian pror vinces which were occupied by the Turks, and on the refusal of Ahmed to restore them, ccvii he began the war anew by expelling the Ottoman forces from Tauris and the province of Aderbigian*N_302. Ahmed was dethroned by the populace of Constantinople, while he was collecting an army to oppose the progress of the Persians†N_303. The leaders of the insurgents were intoxicated with their success, and continued to harass the reign of Sultan Mahmud, his successor, till they were successively ensnared by his policy and punished with death‡N_304. Mahmud obtained { Mahmud. A. D. 1739-1754.} peace from the shah by resigning the con- quests which the Ottomans had made beyond the Aras, but Nader disavowed a treaty which left Armenia and Georgia to the porte§N_305. He even deposed the shah, his master, whose infant son he raised to the throne, though only as preparatory to his own elevation¦N_306; he made a treaty with the czarina, by which he regained possession of the provinces which had formerly been ceded to Russia*N_307, he then resumed the war against the Turks, and prosecuted it with so much vigour and success that, of all the conquests of their ancestors, he left them at the peace {A. D. 1737.} only the city and territory of Bagdad†N_308.

[[N_296* See Voltaire, chap, cxciii. Mignot, t. iv, p. 255—386. Modern Universal History, v. vi, chap. viii. Histoire de Nader Chah, introduction, sect, i—vi.]]

[[N_297* See Modem Universal Hist. v. vi, p. 73. Hist, de Nader Chah, intr. sec. vii.]]

[[N_298† See Modern Universal Hist. v. vi, p. 84. Hist. de Nader Chah, intr. sec. viii.]]

[[N_299‡ See Modern Universal Hist. v. vi, p. 77.]]

[[N_300* See Modern Universal Hist. v. vi, p. 85. Hist, de Nader Chah,vintr. sec. ix.]]

[[N_301† See Modern Universal Hist. v. vi, p. 85—87. Nader Chah, p. 53,60, 63,64—66.]]

[[N_302* See Hist. de Nader Chah, p. 108, 111, 151, and chap xiii.]]

[[N_303† See Mignot, v. iv, p. 319—341. Hist. de Nader Chah, p. 120.]]

[[N_304‡ See Mignot, v. iv, p. 342—354.]]

[[N_305§ See Modern Universal Hist. v. vi, p. 90, 91. Hist. de Nader Chah, chap. xxiv.]]

[[N_306¦ See Modern Universal Hist. v. vi, p. 91—93. Hist. de Nader Chah, liv. iii, chap. i.]]


[[n_307* See Modern Universal Hist. v. vi, p. 92. Mignot, v. IT, p, 371, 386. Hist, de Nader Chah, p. 157. Tooke's View of the Russian Empire, v. ii, p. 447.]]

[[N_308† See Modern Universal Hist. v. vi, p. 95- Hist. de Nader Chah, liv, v. chap. ii. Mignot, .t. iv, p. 386.]]

Peace with Persia had probably been accelerated by the menacing attitude of Russia, for it was scarcely concluded before the czarina declared war against the Turks, on the alleged pretence of their having thwarted the designs of Peter the First against Persia, and having encouraged, or at least permitted, the inroads of the Tartars into the Ukraine. The publication of her manifesto was followed by the siege and capture of Azoff, and the invasion of the Crimea by a formidable Russian army‡N_309.

[[N_309‡ See Mignot, v. ir, p. 387,388. Coxe, v. ii, p. 164.]]

The Turks, though provoked by the aggression, were unwilling to enter into war, and even sought to prevent it by recurring to the mediation of the emperor of Germany. But the cabinet of Vienna was actuated by the same avidity of extending its dominion ccix as that of St. Petersburg. The emperor yielded to the solicitation, for the sake of abusing the confidence, of the porte, and even carried his perfidy so far as to appoint a congress, which was held at Nimerova, a town on the confines of Poland, while he marched his forces towards the frontiers of Turkey, and watched the opportunity of announcing, by actual hostilities, his co-operation in the schemes of conquest which he had projected jointly with the czarina*N_310.

[[N_310* See Mignot, t. iv, p. 389—395. Coxe, v. ii, p. 164, 1]]

Russia demanded the surrender of the extensive wastes which encompass the Crimea and are bounded by the Dniester and Cuban rivers, while the emperor claimed as the price of his good offices the cession of Bosnia, Wallachia, and Moldavia†N_311.

[[N_311†, See Coxe, v. ii, p. 198.]]

The finances, as well as the forces, of the emperor Charles the Sixth were considerably diminished by the war in which he had been engaged against France, Spain, and Sardinia, which was only just terminated‡N_312: but the ccx hope of wresting from Turkey an equivalent for his recent losses in Italy, stifled the suggestions of prudence, and rendered him regardless of the deficiency of his means for supporting the contest. His army in Hungary was thinned by disease and desertion, and according to the report of the commander who was sent to conduct the war, had been deprived by venality and peculation of every thing necessary to make it efficient. A circumstance, however, which argued a more radical defect in the sys-, tem of the Imperial government, was, that many of the generals themselves, notwithstanding the continuity of war in which the empire had been engaged, were found to be incapable of fulfilling the duties of their station*N_313. These evils, and the consequent disasters were ascribed to the injudicious interference of the council of war at Vienna, which was invested with the authority of regulating and controlling the military proceedings, though it was incapable of wise deliberation or prompt decision, on account of the want of knowledge and even of union among its members. The council, at the very opening of the campaign, counter- ccxi manded the plan of operations which had been concerted with the allies, and in consequence of its feeble measures and contradictory orders the Imperialists were uniformly unsuccessful in the conduct of the war, while the Turks derived encouragement from the faults of their enemies, and opposed firmness and vigour to their indecision and imbecility. They resumed the spirit as well as the prowess of their ancestors, and again conceived hopes of conquering Belgrade and extending their empire over the kingdom of Hungary *N_314.

[[N_312‡ The preliminaries were signed at Vienna on the third of October, 1735, but the signature of the definitive treaty of peace was protracted till the eighth of November 1738.]]

[[N_313* See Coxe, v. H, p. 166,167.]]

[[N_314* See Mignot, t. iv, p. 397. Coxe, v. ii, p. 169 note.]]

The Russians were indeed successful* in capturing Oczacow and Kilburn, but in the second year of the war their flotilla on the sea of Azoff was blockaded by a Turkish squadron, and was burned to prevent its falling into their power, while their armies were forced to evacuate the Crimea and were harassed by the Tartars on their retreat†N_315. The Austrians opened the war by marching with their main body to Nissa, a fortress at the extremity of Servia, but their army was wasted in the expedition ccxii by want and disease; they were forced to surrender Nissa almost immediately after occupying it, to raise the siege of Viddin, and finally to evacuate both Servia and Wallachia. The Ottomans, notwithstanding a defeat which they sustained at the beginning of the second campaign, took Orsova, and drove the Imperialists before them beyond Belgrade, which they invested and besieged in form. Their triumph was complete, for the German commander answered the summons of the vizir by a proposal to make the surrender of the fortress one of the conditions of peace between the two empires *N_316. The court of Vienna partook of the despondency of the army, and despatched an agent to the camp of the Ottomans with full powers to. conclude a peace through the mediation of the French ambassador at the porte; a skilful, but insidious negociator, who availed himself of the successive errors of the Austrian plenipotentiary to obtain for the Ottomans the cession of the whole of Servia, in which Belgrade is situated, together with the island and fortress of ccxiii Or-sova, and that part of Wallachia which borders on the bannat of Temeswar*N_317.

[[N_315† See Mignot, t. iv, p. 400, 401.]]

[[N_316* See Coxe, v. ii, p. 170—173, 177—179,185—188.]]

The czarina also was compelled by the secession of the emperor to concur in the treaty of Belgrade. The motive which had principally induced her to enter upon the war, was to efface the remembrance of the failure of Peter the First's expedition. She was therefore satisfied with having retrieved the military character of her nation, and stipulated without difficulty to restore Ocza-cow, to demolish the fortress, and abandon the territory, of Azoff, and to waive the privilege of navigating the Black Sea even for the purposes of commerce†N_318. The achieve- {A. D. 1749.} ments of her armies left however on the minds of the Ottomans so strong an impression of terror, that Sultan Mahmud did not even dare to show resentment at the open anfl continued infringement of the conditions of the treaty; and though Osman, his suc- {Osman the Third. A. D. 1754—1737.} cessor, remonstrated with some degree of firmness, he was easily prevailed upon to avoid a renewal of hostilities by accepting ccxiv the mediation of the English ambassador*N_319.

[[N_317* See Mignot, t. iv, p. 4^1—433. Coxe, v.ii, p. 188—201.]]

[[N_318† See Sir James Porter, Observations on the religion, law, government, and manners of the Turks, p. 250. Mignot, t. iv, p. 433—441. Coxe, v. ii, p. 197.]]

[[N_319* See Observations on the religion, &c. of the Turks, p. 250 —254.]]

Catherine the Second was scarcely seated on the throne of Russia before she developed to an alarming extent the schemes of ambition which her predecessors had planned. Throughout the whole of her reign she directed the measures of her government to the subversion of the Polish republic, and to the expulsion of the Ottomans from Europe.

Poland, owing to the vices of her constitution, and the disorders of her government, had already fallen from the high rank which she formerly held among the powers of the North. Every spark of disinterested patriotism was extinguished among the nobles, who were divided into factions which impeded the public business and frustrated the most salutary plans, while they became subservient to the ambitious views of foreign potentates, whom they assisted in subverting their national independence†N_320.

[[N_320† See Coxe, v. ii, p,492.]]

The predominance which Russia affected among the states of Europe and actually ccxv acquired in Poland, enabled the empress, on the death of Augustus the Third, to effect the exclusion of the house of Saxony from the sovereignty of the republic, and to secure the election for her favourite Count Po-niatowski, who was crowned king of Poland under the name of Stanislaus Augustus*N_321. In the meantime, notwithstanding her professions of regard for the rights and privileges of the Polish nation, she studiously fomented the internal disorders, which she converted into a pretext for over-running the provinces with her troops, and even for establishing a garrison in the neighbourhood of Warsaw†N_322.

[[N_321* See Coxe,v. ii, p. 494. Histoire de Pologne, t.ii, chap. 17. Life of Catherine the Second, v. ii, p. 1—5. i]]

[[N_322† See Histoire de Pologne, t. ii, p. 103—105. Life of Catherine the Second, v. ii, p. 22, 23.]]

The predominant religion of Poland was that of the church of Rome, and the Gather lies, by an abuse of power which seems inherent in every religious society, had enacted laws to exclude their countrymen, who adhered to the Greek or Protestant communions, from sitting in the national diet and from exercising public employment‡N_323. ccxvi {A. D. 1767.} At the instigation of the agents of Russia the dissidents, who confederated together under protection of the empress*N_324, petitioned for the repeal of the disqualifying laws, and for the re-establishment of their civil rights. England, Prussia, and, Denmark, in quality of guarantees of the treaty of .peace of Oliva, seconded the remonstrances of Russia†N_325, and urged the diet by their ambassadors to yield to., the demands of the dissidents‡N_326. Passion and prejudice ccxvii perhaps instigated the members of the diet to refuse justice in the first instance to their fellow-citizens, but reason and policy afterwards excited them to oppose so flagrant a violation of public law as the interference of foreign Bowers in behalf of factious subjects, however legitimate might be the motive of their discontent.

[[N_323‡ See Coxe, v. ii, p. 496. The act for excluding the dissidents from the diet was passed in the year 1733.]]

[[N_324* Catherine the Second was the first of the Russian sovereigns whose imperial title was acknowledged by all the powers of Europe.]]

[[N_325† It does not appear, that Mr. Coxe is correct in enumerating Russia among the mediating powers who guarantied the treaty of Oliva in the year 1660. The empress herself, in her declaration in behalf of the dissidents, appeals to a treaty made in 1686 for her right of interference.]]

[[N_326‡ Mr. Wroughton, the British Minister at Warsaw, delivered a declaration on the part of his Majesty " in favour of that oppressed part -of the Polish nation, known by the name of dissidents ;" in which he forcibly pointed out " the injustice and the impolicy of excluding the professors of Christian doctrines from honourable employments and from the means of serving their country;" and expressed the confident expectation of his Majesty, " that the wisdom of the nation assembled would consider the cause of the virtuous but unhappy dissidents as closely connected with the fundamental interests of the republic, and by re-establishing them in the possession of their rights and privileges, would provide a remedy for the evils which distracted the state."]]

The danger of their common country roused the Polish nobility to assert their independence, but the opposition of the diet was rendered ineffectual by the arbitrary proceedings of Repnin, the Russian ambassador, who, relying on the security which he derived from the proximity of an imposing-body of Russian troops, usurped an authority, beyond that which the sovereign dared to exert, by seizing the most obnoxious members, and sending them into Siberia*N_327. The impunity with which he cornmitted, and the arrogance with which he defended, this act of unprecedented violence, humbled the spirit of the assembly, and showed to the Polish people the extent of their disgrace and wretchedness. The diet crouched in abject servility to the power which they were no longer able to resist: they appointed a committee to confer with the Russian ambassador, and to accede to whatever he should propose respecting the adjustment of the contested points *N_328. The representatives of the other mediating powers sanctioned the tyrannical measures of their colleague by assisting at the conferences which he held with the national deputies. They even affixed their signatures to the treaty, and thus confirmed to the world the humiliation of an independent state by, exacting the adoption of laws which were dictated by a foreign power†N_329.

[[N_327* See Coxe, v. ii, p. 496. Life of Catherine the Second, v. ii, p. 24—26. Histoire de Pologne, t. ii, p. 186—189.]]


[[N_328* Mr. Coxe says (v. ii, p. 496), that " this committee was induced by bribes and threats to arrange a body of articles, which not only restored the privileges of the dissidents, but perpetuated the elective monarchy, the liberum veto, and the other abuses in the constitution."]]

[[N_329† See Life of Catherine the Second, v. ii, p. 27. Hist, de Pologne, t. ii, p. 190—192. " Ce traite portait aussi qu'il etait conclu entre l'impe'ratrice de Russie, les rois d'Angleterre, de Prusse, de Dannemarck et de Suede d'une part, et de l'autre le roi et la republique de Pologne."]]


The object of Russia was however accomplished, for Poland became the theatre of civil war ‡N_330. The dissidents, in order to screen themselves from the just indignation of their countrymen, petitioned the empress not to withdraw her forces from the territories of the republic*N_331, while the Catholics, on the other hand, formed themselves into armed confederacies for the defence of their civil and political liberties. But their cause was hopeless: the military force of the republic was unavailing on account of its defects, both in organization and in discipline: the resources of the state were weakened or perverted by the disunion or the anarchy of the citizens; and foreign assistance was implored in vain, while a hostile army was already established in the heart of the country. The desultory efforts of patriotic enthusiasm were unequal to sustain the regular attack of the Russian soldiery, who pursued a uniform course of victory through more than barbarian atrocities, and aggravated the horrors of war by indiscriminate carnage and oppression†N_332.

[[N_330‡ It is evident, that this was the object of Russia, since the empress afterwards " urged those very disorders and miseries in which she had contributed to plunge the unfortunate Poles, as the motive for her violation of the rights of nations." See Coxe, v. ii,: p. 503.]]

[[N_331* See Hist, de Pologne, t. ii, p. 196.]]

[[N_332† See Coxe, v. ii, p. 496, 497. Life of Catherine the Second, v. ii, p. 90, 91. Hist, de Fologne, t. ii, p. 197—199.]]

Amidst the indifference of the govern- ccxx ments of Europe to a course of proceedings so unjust in itself and so pregnant with future evils, the cabinet of Constantinople alone deserves the praise of foresight and magnanimity. The Porte remonstrated against the outrages and the usurpations which were committed in Poland in contravention to the treaty of the Pruth, and being further exasperated by a violation of the Ottoman territory, published a declaration of war against Russia*N_333. The Ottomans took up arms to vindicate the rights of independent nations. The purity of their motives was acknowledged not only by the Polish nation, but by the empress herself†N_334. Even their want of success en- ccxxi hances rather than diminishes the glory of their interposition, for they knew and they dreaded the enemy whose resentment they dared to provoke. But they took the field under all the disadvantages of their ancient military system, and the Russians consequently exhibited in every engagement the decisive superiority of modern tactics. The Turkish armies were routed, their fleets destroyed, their castles taken, their cities razed, and their provinces ravaged, by enemies, whose knowledge of war served only to increase its devastation, and whose thirst for slaughter was unabated by victory *N_335.

[[N_333* See the Turkish manifesto in the appendix to the Life of Catherine the Second, v. ii, p. 514, and in l'Histoire de Pologne, t. ii, p. 210.]]

[[N_334† " The conduct of the grand signer," (says Mr. Tooke, Life of Catherine the Second, v. ii, p. 93) " in regard to the transactions in Poland, was blameless and Irreproachable." He however considers it ridiculous that " the disciples of Mahomet should fight in a cause which bore the name of Christ." (See p. 28). Mr. Tooke's statement of facts is more valuable than his opinion, and he shows (p. 31. note), that the Ottoman cabinet was not bribed into a declaration of hostilities against Russia. The empress also confessed, in the treaty which she entered into with Austria and Prussia for the dismemberment of Poland, that the war was undertaken on the part of the Turks solely on account of her usurpations in that country. A still more honourable testimony of the good faith of the Turks was given by the confederacy of Bar, which deposited its manifesto in the hands of the sultan, and declared, that the safety of the republic depended entirely on the success of his generous efforts in their cause. (See Hist, de Pologne, t. ii, p. 248, 250, 305.)]]

[[N_335* A succinct account of the operations of this war is given in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, art. Turkey, which perhaps it may be gratifying to recapitulate. In the campaign of 1769, Azoff was taken: Chotin was invested, but the siege was raised. The Russians, however, took possession of it when the Turkish army, which was repulsed in ks attempts to pass the Dniester, retreated to Bender. They also reduced Moldavia as far as Yassy, the capital. In 1770 Romanzoff defeated an army of Tartars commanded by the than, near the Pruth, and an army of Turks commanded by the vizir, near the Danube. Kilia and Akkier-man capitulated. Bender was stormed. Ibra'il was abandoned by the Turkish garrison on its being invested by the Russians. A Russian fleet from the Baltic entered the Archipelago, and after an engagement with that of the Turks, obliged it to run into the harbour of Tcheshmeh, where it was entirely destroyed by fire-ships. In the year 1771 the rebellion excited by Pugat-chef, and the breaking out of the plague at Moscow, obliged the Russians to act only on the defensive. The Turks took the fortress of Girgiova, and beat the Russians in their attempt to dislodge them. They again became formidable in Wallachia, until RomanzofF, by a train of masterly dispositions, surprised and totally routed two considerable bodies of Turks on the right of the Danube, beat the vizir, and took the town and castle of Babadagh. General Essen retook Girgiova, and drove the Turks out of Wallachia, while the Russian fleet spread ruin throughout the islands of the Archipelago. The year 1772 was consumed in negociations, and in a desultory warfare along the banks of the Danube, which, as the Russian army could not easily be recruited, was generally advantageous to the Turks. In July. 1773, the Russian grand army crossed the river, but failed in the attempt against Silistria. The remainder of this campaign was less glorious than the preceding to the Russians. In 1774-, they again passed the Danube, and by defeating the Turks in every engagement, so intimidated them that they refused even to face their enemies. The vizir was at length hemmed in by RomanzofF at Shumla, where he was forced to accept of the terms of peace which were dictated to him by the Russian general, and to sign the treaty of Kainargik.]]



During the continuance of the Turkish war, the king of Prussia had occupied a considerable district of Poland, under pretence of forming lines to prevent the spreading of the plague, and he availed himself of the disposition which Austria had manifested of opposing the further progress of the Russian arms, in order to concert a plan for the dis- ccxxiii memberment of the Polish republic. The cabinets of Vienna and St. Petersburg were induced to acquiesce in this iniquitous measure,—of which the almost immediate consequence has been the humiliation of the partitioning powers, and the overthrow of all the Continental governments. In its first effects it was, however, beneficial to the Ottomans; for Catherine, with the view of quieting the apprehensions of the cabinet of Vienna, and detaching the empress-queen from the defensive alliance which she had formed with the Porte, consented to purchase her concurrence in the partition of Poland by restoring the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia to the dominion of the sultan *N_336, while she detached the Crimea from his temporal sovereignty, under pretence of securing its independence : she, however, retained her conquests in European and Asiatic Tarttfry as far as the mouths of the Bogh and the Cuban, besides obtaining the navigation of the Black Sea, and the free passage of the Dardanelles for her merchant ships†N_337.

[[N_336* See Coxe, v. ii, p. 497—502.]]

[[N_337† See Coxe, v. ii, p. 509.]]


The principles, whether of morality or honour, which had hitherto restrained the more powerful members of the European confederacy from violating the common rights of independent nations, were forgotten in the shameless Injustice which the combined courts had exercised in their spoliation of the Polish territories. Their aggressions excited a general indignation among the people of Europe, but produced only fruitless remonstrances from the cabinets of London, Paris, Stockholm, and Copenhagen *N_338. ccxxv Thus was the political system of Europe virtually overturned from its foundation, and the balance of power, which had been considered as the safeguard of all the states of Christendom, was held up to the world as ideal or fallacious*N_339. A selfish ambition, wherever it could be avowed with safety, became the ruling principle of every government. The possession of power authorized the exertion of violence, and the success of an encroachment served at once to excite and to justify the commission of new enormities†N_340.

[[N_338* Mr. Tooke says (v. ii, p. 116), that " the powers of Europe might have maintained the treaties of which they were the guarantees; but they were so easily deceived, or so indifferent to the fate of other nations, that Catherine said to Prince Henry of Prussia ' I will frighten Turkey ; I will flatter'" (or rather I will bribe) "'England; do you take upon you to buy over Austria, that she may amuse France.'"—It would be foreign to my subject to enumerate the means which were employed, and the motives which were suggested, in order to reduce the Continental powers to such a humiliating silence; but ' Iliacos intra muros peccatur et extra,' and it would be uncandid to attempt to conceal the blame which justly attaches to England. . In her relations with Russia she seems to have acted only from sordid considerations. The hope of making a treaty of commerce, and the fear of losing it, have induced her, at different periods, either to cooperate with Russia in preparing the ruin of Poland, or to reject the overtures which were made by France in order to prevent the dismemberment of that country. We even see reason to suspect, that in 1787, when she involved the Ottoman empire in a contest which brought it to the brink of ruin, she was stimulated only by resentment against the empress of Russia on account of her refusal to renew her commercial engagements. (See Coxe, v. ii, p. 609. Life of Catherine the Second, v. iii, p. 808.) In honour to the public spirit, though not to the wisdom, of the English nation, it should however be recorded, that while the king of Prussia was employing the subsidy which he received from Great Britain in annihilating the republic of Poland, the people of England were raising subscriptions for the purpose of assisting the king and'the republic to maintain their independence.]]

[[N_339* Volney, who prostituted his talents in writing for hire a justification of the measures of Russia (see Considerations sur la guerre des Turcs, en 1788), expressly says, " Aujourd'hui l'Europe est divisee en trois ou quatre grands partis, dont les interets sont tellement compliques, qu'il est presqu' impossible d'etablir un equilibre." -—"II faut le reconnaitre, et il est plus dan-gereux de se le dissimuler, il n'y a plus d'equilibre en Europe."]]

[[N_340† Volney says, " L'on peut considerer le traite de 1774-" (that is, the treaty of peace of Kainargik) " comme l'avant-coureur de ce choc" (the war of 1787).]]


The infamy of the new doctrine prevented its immediate and open promulgation in Christendom, but its adaptation to the relative circumstances of the Ottoman empire was universally admitted *N_341. Hence it excited neither surprise nor reprobation when the empress of Russia abolished by her manifesto the nominal independence of the Crimea, and united it to her own dominions†N_342. The apathy of Europe encouraged the Imperial courts to re-establish their ancient connexion, and to extend their views to the conquest of the whole of Turkey. The plan for the seizure, though not for the ultimate appropriation, of the Ottoman territories, appears to have been arranged in the personal interviews of Joseph and Catherine during their journey to the Crimea ‡N_343. While, how- ccxxvii ever, they were concerting their measures, and carrying on their preparations for opening the campaign with an attack along the whole line of the Turkish frontier in Europe, the Turks themselves determined upon declaring war against Russia, in the hope of defeating the execution of designs which their good faith and moderation had been unable to prevent. It is uncertain whether they were instigated by England to adopt so precipitate a measure, or whether they were driven into it by the danger which kept on increasing every day, and necessitated all the preparations for war, while it left them exposed to all the disadvantages of peace *N_344.

[[N_341* " The emperor Joseph," says Mr. Coxe, v. ii,p. 614, " published a declaration of war, in which he did not even attempt to varnish his aggression with the slightest colour of equity: he did not charge the Turks with a single infraction of the peace."]]

[[N_342† See Coxe, v. ii, p. 593. See also the Russian manifesto in the appendix to the Life of Catherine the Second, v. iii, p. 471. " En effet," says M. de Volney, " qu'importe aux 6tats eloignes une revolution qui ne menace ni leur surete poli-tique, ni leur commerce ?"]]

[[N_343‡ See Volney, considerations sur la guerre des Turcs. Coxe, v. ii, p. 611, 612. Life of Catherine the Second, v. iii, p. 291—296. " Leurs majestes imperiales" (says the Prince de Lignein his letter from Baktcheserai in the Crimea, June 1, 1787) " se tatoient quelquefois sur les pauvres diables de Turcs. On jetoit quelques propos en se regardant. Comme amateur de la belle antiquite et d'un peu de nouveautes, je parlois de retablir les Grecs; Catherine, de faire renaitre les Lycurgues et les Solons. Moi, je parlois d'Alcibiade ; mais Joseph ii, qui etoit plus pour l'avenir que pour le passe, et pour le positif que pour la chimere, disoit:—Que diable faire de Constantinople ?"]]

[[N_344* The war was injudiciously declared on the 24-th of August 1787, at the end of the campaign, so that before the Turks could act, their enemies were prepared for resisting them.]]

Time alone had repaired whatever injuries the Ottomans had sustained in their recent struggles with the power of Russia, for the government had neither inquired into the ccxxviii cause, nor sought out the remedy, of their past defeats. Yet so great are the resources which the porte derives from the population and the wealth of its dominions, that it was able to support the unequal contest with both empires during four campaigns*N_345. While the Russians were diverted from a co-operation in the affairs of the campaign by an unexpected attack on the part of the Swedes, and the German forces were commanded by the emperor in person, the Turks beat them from the field and even pursued them {??? the ??? 1789-1797?} into the bannat†N_346: the confederates, how-ever, ultimately triumphed over the ill-concerted efforts of the Ottoman armies, but were prevented from accomplishing their final object by the insurrection in the Low Countries, and by disturbances in the hereditary dominions of the emperor, but more especially by the jealousy which the nations of Europe began to conceive on account of the increase of power which the two Imperial courts were on the point of acquiring ‡N_347. The emperor was ccxxix compelled by the intervention of England, Holland, and Prussia, to enter into an armistice, and finally to conclude a separate peace, with the porte, on the basis of reestablishing the territorial limits and the political relations which subsisted between the two empires before the war. The empress persevered in hostilities, and disregarded the threats of the mediating powers, whose efforts were indeed broken by the opposition of the people of England to the measures of government; at length, however, she yielded to their solicitations that she might accom- plish the final partition of Poland, and concluded a definitive treaty of peace with the porte at Yassy, by which she added to her dominions only the steppe, or desert, which lies between the Bogh and the Dniester *N_348.

[[N_345* " Pouvoit-on croire" (says the Prince de Ligne, in one of his letters from the camp before Oczacow), " que cet empire Musulman delabre eut pu mettre l'empire Russe dans le plus triste etat ?"]]

[[N_346† See Coxe, v. ii, p.616, 617.]]

[[N_347‡ See Coxe, v. ii,p. 624.]]

[[N_348* Mr. Tooke's calculation of the losses sustained by the belligerents in men and money, is rather curious than satisfactory. Austria, he says, lost 130,000 soldiers and spent 300 millions of florins; Russia lost 200,000 soldiers and spent 200 millions of rubles; while Turkey lost 330,000 soldiers and spent 250 millions of piastres. The history of the war is as follows. The main body of the Austrians was assembled on the banks of the Save, and that of the Russians on the Bogh, in order to open the campaign with the sieges of Belgrade and of Oczacow. The Russians accomplished their object, though not till the month of December; but the grand vizir, by advancing with his whole force against the Austrians, repulsed them with disgrace, and followed up his advantages bymaking anincursionintotheemperor's dominions. Chotin, however, surrendered, after a brave defence, to the division of the Imperial army which was commanded by Prince Cobourg; while Marshal Loudon, who was sent to command the army in Croatia, reduced Dubitza, Novi, and Gradiska. In 1789 the main army of the Turks, which had crossed the Danube at Ruschiuk, was defeated, with prodigious loss, at Fokshany and at Rimnik. Loudon again invested Belgrade, and forced the garrison to surrender. While the Austrian army took possession of Walla-chia, that of the Russians occupied Moldavia and Bessarabia, together with the fortresses of Bender, Akkierman, Kilia, and Isaczi. " By these conquests," says Mr. Coxe, v. iii, p. 624, " the allies became masters of the whole line of fortresses which covered the Turkish frontier,—and the three grand armies, originally separated by a vast extent of country, were rapidly converging to the same point." The reduction of Orsova* in April 1790, was, however, the only military event which took place after the death of Joseph the Second, for Leopold showed a desire for peace, and the transactions on the Prussi frontiers soon occasioned the conclusion of an armistice. The Russians Continued the war with cruelty at least equal to their success. They finished the campaign by the capture of Ismael and the mjirder of 30,000 Turkish prisoners. In 1791 they gained a signal and decisive victory over the Turks at Matchin, but as the empress, according to Mr. Tooke, now began to see, that her victories were ruinous, and might occasion the loss of the provinces which she possessed in Poland, she authorized Prince Repnin to sign preliminaries of peace with the grand vizir, which were soon followed by the definitive-treaty of Yassy.]]


The Ottomans endeavoured to keep aloof from the storm which was produced by the French revolution and convulsed the govern- ccxxx ments of Europe ; but the invasion of Egypt compelled them to depart from their system of neutrality. {1798} The French retained pos- ccxxxi session of that country during three years; and it was restored to the dominion of the porte only by the victories of the English. The circumstances which led to these memorable events are intimately blended with the general history of Europe; and the interest of the narrative could not be preserved without a review of the changes which had taken place among the Continental states, during a period of almost universal hostility. The plan of the present work forbids me to enter upon the subject, and further obliges me to pass over without notice the expeditions which were afterwards {A. D. 1807.} undertaken by the English themselves against Constantinople and Alexandria.




National character.—Conduct compared with that of the Romans; —and of the Arabs.—Foreign learning and arts adopted and imitated.—The Ottoman sultans patrons of learning.—Estent and imperfection of Turkish knowledge.—Language.—Literature.—Printing.—Husbandry and productions.--Manufactures.---Architecture.—Sculpture.— Painting.— Chronology. —Geography.—Astrology.—Medicine.--Surgery.—Navigation.—Commerce.—Roads and travelling.— Couriers.—Abuse of power.—Evils of despotism,—Practicability of improvement.

1 THE character of the Turks, as it has been , observed in different points of view, has either been extolled as a pattern for imitation, or reprobated as an object of abhorrence. We have been invited to emulate their military virtues, and to copy them in their administration of justice ; we have also been called 2 upon to detest their undistinguishing severity, and to ridicule their efforts for opposing their enemies.. Their government has been envied by Christian monarchs, as pursuing its object with the fewest deviations; and it has been decried by philosophers, as the exercise of unorganized power.

The genius of a people, and the spirit of their institutions, are best learned from the study of their history ; and the annals of the Ottoman nation represent this horde of Tartars issuing from the deep forests which skirt the Caucasus, impelled by their native turbuIence and love of war; inflamed with the thirst of universal conquest by the precepts of their religion ; terrible to their neighbours, but restrained in their domestic excesses by veneration for the law, which enforces reverence for the state, though it fail in insuring respect for the monarch.. For amidst the most outrageous exertions of violence against individuals, the sovereign power, the rights of the military and the great body of the people have always been sacred. The maxims. of Turkish government, like those of more polished nations, are rather the dictates of caprice than the deductions of reason; and the soil of the most fertile countries in the 3 World, wetted with the tears and the blood of the inhabitants, reproaches the legislators with their barbarity and their ignorance.

To describe with impartiality a people among whom every thing is contradictory to our usages, though not perhaps more, repugnant to reason, requires a superiority to prejudice, a sobriety of observation, and a patience of inquiry, which few travellers possess. In the scarcity of information we have not hesitated to receive, as the authentic history of an illustrious nation, anecdotes collected by chance, assertions unsupported by evidence, and facts perverted by design.1

The national character of the Turks is a composition of contradictory qualities. We find them brave and pusillanimous ; gentle and ferocious; resolute and inconstant; active and indolent; passing from devotion to obscenity, from the rigor of morality to the grossness of sense ; at once delicate and coarse ; fastidiously abstemious and indiscriminately indulgent. The great are alternately haughty and humble ; arrogant and cringing; liberal and sordid : and in general it must be confessed, that the qualities, which least deserve our approbation, are the most predominant. On comparing their limited acquirements with the learning of the Christian nations of Europe, we are surprised at their ignorance : but we must allow that they have just and clear ideas of whatever falls within the contracted sphere of their observation. What would become of the other nations of Europe, if, in imitation of the Turkish government, the highest offices in the state were filled by men taken from the lowest rank in society, and unprepared by education or habit to discharge their important duties2

1 consider the Chevalier D'Ohsson as a native historian; for he is an Armenian, born in Turkey, and a tributary subject of the Porte. His general description of the Ottoman empire, of which the religious code is the only part yet published, gives a correct account of the ceremonies and customs of the Turkish nation. But their morality, it must be allowed, is in many in-stances represented rather as it ought to be in conformity with their religious precepts, than as it is actually found to exist. The passages of the koran inculcating the fundamental virtues of men in society, because they are continually in the mouths of the Turks, are asserted by D'Ohsson to be deeply engraven on their hearts, and so to regulate their conduct, as to make them the most humane and the most charitable of all the people of the earth. (Tableau General de l'empire Ottoman, t. iv, p. 302.) Foreigners indeed run into the opposite extreme, and describe them as universally savage and barbarous,
" Monstrum nulla virtute redemptum
A vitiis,"
on account of the cruelties and excesses committed by the soldiery is time of war.

2Leunclavius (procem. de prxsenti rerum Turcicarum statu) says, " Est in hisce barbaris pudenda quxdani minim barbara, tam ex usu, quam memoria rerun comparata;"

5 The Romans, when they had subdued the states of Greece, were not insensible to the charms of Grecian literature ; and the hither— mans, to unconquered warriors confessed the superior force of science and of art. The Romans were already illustrious in domestic and military virtues, renowned for the gravity of their manners and the severity of their practical morality : their republic was founded on law, and was rich with the spoils of conquered nations, though temperate in the use of them ; and if the citizens disregarded the productions of elegance and taste, it was less from ignorance of their value, than from observing in other nations their fortuitous connection with effeminacy and vice. The Turks, though, previously to their emigration, they must have possessed, in common with other savage nations, a probity natural to their simple modes of life and the absence of temptation, yet suddenly becoming masters of some of the richest countries of the earth, they soon rioted in enjoyment with the keenness of newly excited appetite. If the adoption of a common religion promoted intercourse between them and the inhabitants of the kingdom of Persia, the profession of jarring and mutually intolerant opinions prevented communication with the Christian subjects of the Eastern empire; and the knowledge which the Greeks possessed was beheld by the conquerors with the same con-tempt as their persons. They conquered to inherit; but they knew no honourable means of subsistence besides arms, and left to slaves and cowards the cultivation of the earth and the practice of the arts. The indefinite extension of their empire, and the universal propagation of their faith, were the avowed objects of their warfare; and they had consequently a sufficient number of enemies to exercise their courage. The intervals of peace were the seasons of unrestrained indulgence; but these were too frequently interrupted to allow them to sink into effeminacy : thus, they passed from idleness to rapine, and, under different circumstances, they alternately exhibited the ferociousness of barbarian courage, and the vices of luxury.

6 The conduct of the Turks has also been Contrasted with that of the Arabs, who, after extending their conquests to the western boundaries of Europe and Africa, cultivated the sciences with success, and preserved a ray of literature, which was almost extinguished among Christian nations. But the Arabs, long before the age of Mahomet, were a polished and learned nation; and the attention which they paid to science, when they rested from their conquests, was merely the resumption of their ancient habits.

7 The intermarriages between the Moors and the Christian women, which it is sair Atinanzor encouraged in Spain, have, with much gallantry and ingenuity, been regarded as the cause of that taste for literature which distinguished the Arabs of the eighth century3; but as the same taste prevailed in all the conquests of the Moors throughout the three divisions of the ancient continent, and as their acquirements in literature kept pace with the progress of their arms, it may be doubted, whether it be not more just to attribute the invention of algebra and the improvement of medicine, as well as the establishment of colleges in Arabia, Syria, Persia, 8 Africa, and Spain, where the sciences were s5 successfully cultivated, rather to the refine-merit of the court of Baghdad, and the encouragement which learning received from the Caliphs, than to the connubial happiness which the Spanish ladies conferred on their unchristian husbands 4. The Turks indeed cannot be accused of having neglected these extraordinary aids of science ; for, after the siege of Nice, when the Grecian ladies, in the presence of Sultan Orkhan, bewailed the loss of their husbands, the generous conquerer, appointed honourable successors from among 'tie officers of his court and army, and the grateful widows spread the fame of his humanity over the neighbouring regions5.

3 Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 14.

The peculiar ferocity of the Turks has been rashly attributed to the arrogant and barbarous dictates of their religion. The leading features of the Mahometan religion are, however, very much misrepresented by such expressions. Mahomet not only permitted, 9 but advised, his followers, both male and female, to apply themselves to learning. He even seems to have considered its acquisition as the performance of a religious6 duty, for among his sayings, which were preserved by his companions, is this remarkable one, that the "ink of the learned, and the blood of the martyrs are of equal value in heaven." The historian D'Ohsson, who had at least as good an opportunity of knowing the true character of the Turks as any other writer, says, that the humanity, the beneficence, and the hospitality, which, during so many ages, have been the characteristic distinction of the nations, which are subject to the law of Islamism, are the necessary consequence of the precepts of the koran7 ; and though, from a ridiculous opinion, which still prevails in Europe, that ignorance is the groundwork of Mahometanism, we persist in considering the Turks as rude and savage, not only unacquainted with the advantages of learning, but even avowedly persecuting it in obedience to the precepts of their religion ; yet we cannot deny that the Arabs, a people equally favoured 10 by both Minervas, professed the same religion, and probably with more ardent zeal, as new converts, and with stronger attachment, from the circumstance of its being first propagated in their own country. We know the Persians to have been, from remote antiquity, a polite and ingenious people ; and we find, that as soon as they had recovered from the first shock of the Mahometan arms, and had embraced the religion of their conquerors, they followed their natural bent, and resumed their former studies, which were chiefly poetry and the improvement of their language. The introduction of the Mahometan religion into India did not diminish in any degree the reputation of that wise and inventive nation. Even the Tartarian princes, and chiefly Tamerlane who was a patron of the poet Hafez, were so far from discouraging polite letters, like the Goths and Huns, that while they adopted the religion and the language of the conquered country, they promoted the fine arts with a boundless munificence8. " This prejudice against the Turks, absurd as it may seem, is of very ancient growth : it was first brought into Europe at 11 that memorable period when letters began to revive in the West, and has continued to this day without any diminution. It was the fashion of that age to look upon every person as barbarous who did not study the philosophy of the old academy ; and because the Turks had driven the Greeks from their country, it was immediately concluded, that they persecuted even the language, and learning of that nation9."

4 See note A. at the end of the volume.

5Cantemir, p. 26. I may also instance the conduct of Sultan Orkhan himself, who married the daughter of the Byzantine emperor, and that of his son Murad, who married the daughter of the prince of Servia. See Mignot, Hist. Ottom. t. xy j. 110, 118.

6See D'llerbelot bibliothcque Orientale, roc. elm, p. 312.

7See Tab. Gen. t. iv, p. 301.

8See Hist. of the Persian language, by Sir William Jones: `Vorks, V. ii, p. 325.

9 See prefatory discourse to an essay on the history of the Turks, by Sir William Jones, in the appendix to his memoirs published by Lord Teignmouth, p.607.—Sir William Jones's conjecture as to the origin of this prejudice, (which is also suggested by D'Herbelot,) is strengthened by the testimony of Sir John Mandevil, whose travels were undertaken in the century preceding the conquest of Constantinople; at which time no opinion was prevalent in Europe, that the pursuit of knowledge was restrained by the precepts of the Mahometan religion. Man-devil served in the army of the Saracen sultan of Egypt, with whom he enjoyed such intimacy, as frequently to be admitted to private and familiar conversation. On one occasion the sultan pronounced a severe, but, in Mandevil's opinion, a just, censure on the civil and ecclesiastical government, and the manners of Europe at that period. The traveller was surprised at the ex-tent and accuracy of the sultan's information, and naturally inquired whence he could have obtained it.—" Domine, salva reverentia, qualiter potestis ita plane hoc noscere? De hominibus (ait) meis interdum mitto ad modum mercatorum per terraset regiones Christianorum, cum balsamo, gemmis, sericis, ac aromatibus, ac per illos singula exploro, tam de statu imperatoris, ac pontificum principum ac sacerdotum, quam pralatorpm, nec non aquora, provincial ac distinctions earum. Igitur peracta collocutione nostra satis producta, egressos principes in eameram revocavit, ex quibus quatuor de majoribus juxta nos advocans, fecit eos expresse ac debite, per singulas divisiones in lingua gallicana distinguere per partes, et singularum nomina partium, omnem regionem terra Anglia, ac alias Christianorum terras multas, ac si inter nostros fuissent nati, vel niulto tempore eonversati. Nam et ipsum soldanum audivi cum cis bene et directe loquentep idioma Francorum."—Mandevil, ap. Hakluyt. cap. 23, p. 45. An instance of similar conduct is recorded by Timour in his Its, atitutes.


The antiquity of the Arabic language, and its superiority to all others in copiousness and elegance, have been demonstrated by men of the greatest erudition among Europeans ; some of whom have even thought, that if the works of Arabian writers were alone preserved in the otherwise universal destruction of literature, every kind of useful learning might thence be sufficiently restored. Of this opinion were Clenardus, Postellus, and Scaliger. Nor will their opinion be censured with extraordinary severity by those who reflect upon the progress which the Arabians have made iii almost every department of literature. The excellence of the Arabic language is confessed by all who are able to comprehend its copiousness and extent, the precision of its expressions, and the nice distinctions of its meanings. Some idea may be formed of its 13 richness from the testimony of Pocock, who tells us, that to enumerate and define the diversified appellations of a single idea or object would, in some instances, furnish matter for a volume : and in corroboration of his assertion may be cited a learned grammarian, Ibn Chalevaih, who composed a whole chapter on the names of a lion, which are five hundred, and another on those of a serpent, which are two hundred. Firuzabad mentions his having written a book on the names and properties of honey, and says, that he had not completed his task, though he had enumerated upwards of eighty. The same author asserts, that there are in Arabic a thousand distinct names for a sword.

The Arabic language had reached this state of improvement rather by use than by any established method. Its historians relate, that it was not subjected to grammatical rules until the first century of the hegira, when the Caliph All, son of Abu Taleb, the fifth in order of succession, a prince equal in virtues and accomplishments (according to Reiskius10) to any whom Rome can exhibit, appointed Abul Kswed El Dull to compose a 14 grammar, in order to prevent the language from becoming corrupted in consequence of its wide diffusion among nations which professed the religion of the koran. The Arabic dictionary was compiled in the first century of the hegira, and was gradually improved by succeeding lexicographers, particularly by Firuzabad, who has deservedly acquired the highest reputation by the excellence of the plan and the ability of the execution. The words are carefully deduced from their origin, and not only are their various significations accurately described, and their uses illustrated by passages from the best authors, but the nature and properties of the things themselves are investigated into and explained, after the manner of an encyclopedia. When thus in the very infancy of Islamism, while the propagation of its doctrines and the increase of their empire were the chief cares of the successors of Mahomet, the rules of the Arabic language were so elaborately discussed, and the meanings of its words so accurately defined, is it to be wondered, that a superstructure of knowledge should be erected on foundations so firmly established, and that the value of learning should be acknowledged throughout the Mahometan world, as soon as foreign conquest had secured internal tranquillity ?


10In dissertatione de principibus Mohammedans, qui aut ab amore literarum ab ansore literarunt et literatorum, claruerunt, clatileruat. Lipsize 1746.


The reign of Abulgiafar Almansur, the second caliph of the family of the Abassides, was the epoch not only of the restoration of Arabic learning, but of a new direction and wider extension in the pursuits of the learned11. The seventh caliph, Abd'ullah Almansur, son of Haroun el Raschid, perfected the plan which his predecessors had described. This illustrious protector of the sciences and patron of learned men, in obedience to the precept of Mahon-let, who orders his disciples to seek learning though it be in China, dispatched his ambassadors to foreign courts, and his emissaries to distant countries, for the purpose of collecting, from whatever source and at what-ever expense, the treasures of learning and philosophy which were dispersed, or hoarded up, in Persia, Chaldala, Armenia, Greece, Syria, and Egypt. From so vast a collection whatever was judged to be useful was not only translated into Arabic, under the care of the most learned of his doctors, but illustrated and commented upon by them ; 16 so that whatever learning or philosophy the Greeks possessed, or whatever discoveries had been made in knowledge by foreign nations, were transfused by the Arabs into their own language, and thus became naturalized among them. Under such encouragement, and with such ample means of gratifying the thirst after knowledge, learning necessarily flourished; and Erpenius asserts, that Athens itself could scarcely boast of having possessed, at orLe time, more eminent scholars, in the department either of the elegant or severer sciences, than Arabia, in his time, could. produce. It is indeed true, that the application of the Arabs to general learning declined with the power of their caliphs, and though the works of preceding authors were preserved, the study of them was, in a great degree, discontinued ; so that, in process of time, few books were valued or understood except those which relate to medicine or jurisprudence.

11Abulfaragius in hist. dynast.—Leo Afer, in libello de viris yuibusdam. illustribus spud Arabes, iu biblio. Grxca Joannis Alberti Fabricii, lib. 6, cap. 9.

Persia, whose tranquillity was overturned., whose ancient language and literature were confounded and obliterated, by the irruptions of the Arabs, and the introduction of the Arabic language together with the religion of Nahomet, did not recover from the disorders, which were occasioned by the evils 17 of conquest, till the age of Mamum, when the governors of the Persian provinces, shaking off the yoke of the caliphs, established new dynasties. The Persian language awed its restoration to the poets, who, by correcting its irregularities and enriching it with the treasures of the Arabic, have brought it to its present state of perfection. Scientific pursuits did not accord with the lively genius of Persia, so much as poetry. Its poets were indeed so numerous, that, according to Reviczki12, there is not a province which cannot boast of having given birth to some illustrious poet; but the district of Fars, or Persia proper, which gave its name to the whole kingdom, was unequalled in the number of its native poets, and the unrivalled excellency of their performances. The genius of the Persians was not, however, wholly employed in so seductive a study : philosophy and the sciences obtained some share of their attention. Even in the reign of Chosroes, one of the kings of Persia before the age of Islamism13, the writings of Plato and Aristotle were made familiar to the Persians ; and Mohammed, the son of Mahmud, published a 18 comprehensive, scientific work, in which the principles of an hundred and twenty liberal arts and sciences were explained.

12 In specirn. Poes. Pers. Vindobonae, 1711.
13Agatia. 1.2.

The Turks, possessed of Arabian and Persian literature, even at so early a period as that of their initiation into the doctrines of Mahometanism,- do not perhaps deserve severe reproach for having overlooked, on their conquest of the eastern empire, the chaster beauties of Greek and Roman learning, which were concealed from their research by the obscurity of an unknown language. They indeed rejected, as useless, the dogmatical knowledge on which the Greeks valued themselves : but, unless we suppose them to have been previously instructed, they learned all that the Greeks could teach them of agriculture, of navigation, of mechanics, and of those arts which are subservient to . the purposes of utility, or even of luxury.

The destruction of the ancient monuments of art is not to be imputed to the Turks. Soliman, says Leunclavius, paused at Troas, and admired the remains of stately edifices which had been destroyed by the irruption of the Goths14. Preceding irruptions had in 19 like manner annihilated the celebrated labours of Phidias and Praxiteles ; and the Turks are blameable only for having completed the work of destruction, by employing the fragments of ancient buildings in modern edifices, or for common purposes.

The Turks are reproached have, not having imitated the architecture of ancient Greece, and with not having corrected one fault, or conceived any idea of proportion, from the perfect models which they have daily before their eyes15. But a slight recollection of history must convince us, that in the capital the Turks could have found no remains of ancient Greek architecture. They have however copied the most perfect model existing there, and have built all their principal mosques in close imitation of the cathedral of Sancta Sophia16. Statuary and painting, it 20 is true, are discouraged by the spirit of their religion ; and to their intemperate zeal we must attribute the destruction, or. defacing, of all the monuments of ancient art which the Greek emperors had collected for the ornament of the metropolis, which had been spared by the rage of faction and the pillage of the crusaders.17

14 Leunclavius, Hiet. Musul. Turc. lib. iv, p. 206. edit. 1591, Gibbon's Rom. Hist. v.i, chap. 10, p. 431.

15Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 208.
16" Ad hujus templi formam omnia fere Turcarum templa stint constructa." (Bu,bequii Epist. i, p. 27.)
" If they have fine mosques, it is because they had a fine model before their eyes, the church of Sancta Sophia." (Tournefort, V. ii, p. 181.)
" There are even mosques, particularly those of Sultan Ahmed in the Hippodrome, and of Shahzade, which are of a lighter construction than Sancta Sophia; and though built on the plan of that ancient Greek church, have surpassed their madel. This model, indeed, is far from being a msster-piece." (De .Ott, V. i, p. 228.)

Though war and conquest were the chief occupations of the Ottomans, the early sultans do not appear to have been wholly insensible to the advantages of learning. Sultan Orkhan, in the year thirteen hundred and thirty-six of the Christian sera, founded an academy at Brusa, which became so illustrious by the learning of its professors, that students, even from Arabia and Persia, did not disdain to become the disciples of the 21 Othmanidae18. It is remarked by their own historians, that the monarchs of this dynasty, from Osman its founder to Ahmed the First, though they did not all equally illustrate their reigns by their achievements and their virtues, yet were all distinguished by their erudition, and the encouragement which they gave to learning19. The Augustan age of Turkish literature was the reign of Soliman, surnamed the Lawgiver, the great-grandson of Mahomet the Second whose victories terminated the Roman empire. This prince also was a protector of the Persian poets. Under his patronage was composed the poem on the loves of Joseph and Zelihka, the work of Noureddinn Jami, which is considered by competent judges of oriental literature to be the finest composition extant in the East, and scarcely inferior to the most polished productions of Europe. The conqueror of . Constantinople was renowned among the nations of the East for his piety, his learning, his knowledge of foreign languages, and his acquirements in general science It is recorded in the history of his life, that, when 22 he entered the deserted palace of the last of the Caesars, he repeated an elegant and appropriate Persian distich on the instability of human grandeur.

17" On sait que long-temps avant la chute du bas-empire, les fureurs des Iconoclastes, soutenues par le fanatisme de Leon l'Isauricn, et du prince Theophile, avoient pone les coups les plus funestes a is peinture et a la sculpture." (Tab. Gen. t, iv, p. 457.)
A minute and curious description of the ancient statues destroyed by the crusaders, when they took and pillaged Constantinople in the year 1204, is given by Nicetas, an historian who held several important offices in the court of the Greek emperor at the time. (Nicet. ap. Fabricii Bib. Gra:e. V. vi, p, 405. See also Gibbon's Roman History, V. xi, p. 239.)
18Cantemir, p. 26.
19 Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 478.

"Perde dary mikuried ber kysr Kaisar ankebut ; "
" Bumy neubet mizened her kunbeti Efrasiab."
The spider holds the veil in the palace of Ciesar ;
The owl stands sentinel on the watch-tower of Efrasiab20."

Christian writers have, notwithstanding, represented him as cruel, perfidious, and bloody ; without faith, humanity, or religion ; and considering piety and justice as virtues belonging to the vulgar. He is accused of having defaced, with a single stroke of his battle-axe, in proof of his 23 extraordinary strength, an ancient monument, which is still to be seen in the Hippodrome of Constantinople ; a brazen column, formed by three serpents twisted spirally, whose heads, spreading on the sides, composed a kind of capital. It is supposed to have been brought from Delphi, where it supported the famous golden tripod which the Greeks, after the battle of Platwa, found in the camp of Mardonius21. Nor is this the most serious accusation which is alleged against Mahomet the Second, on the credit of popular and 24 uncertain tradition, and in defiance of the testimony of contemporary historians. His victory over the Greeks, and the sack of their capital, are said to have been stained with the commission of all the crimes which unbridled cruelty could have suggested.

20Cantemir, p. 102, note 16.. Sir William Jones translated these lines before he was acquainted with the customs of eastern courts, or he would have preserved in his translation the characteristic }figures which constitute the chief beauty of the original. Perde is the curtain which is spread before the throne, or at the entrance of the hall of state, which the pages draw aside when strangers are admitted to all audience: but here the office of chamberlain is assigned to the spider. Neubet, the martial music, which from the turrets of the imperial residence announces the evening re-treat, is replaced by the screechings of the owl. (See Tab. Gen. t. iii, p. 49, for the introduction of the neubet by L'"rtogrul, father of Osman the First, at that time governor of Angora.)
21See Gibbon, Rom. Kist. v. xii, p. 239, " The three en-twisted bodies only of the serpents now remain; one of the heads was broken off by Mahomet the Second." Dallaway, Constantinople ancient and modern, p.168. It is curious that Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, in her account of this column, should describe the serpents as, at that time, with their mouths gaping ; (V. ii, p. 2.50.) particularly as Tournefort, who preceded her ladyship in his visit to Constantinople, expressly says, " that the remaining two heads were taken away in 1700." (Vol. ii, p. 196.) Fie accuses Sultan Murad of having broken off the first head. Lord Sandwich says (p. 128.), that " Sultan Amurath, one day passing this way, to make an experiment of the strength of his arm, beat off the head of pne of the serpents with his topouz, after which his followers, in imitation of their sovereign, destroyed the remaining two." From these examples it may be seen, how little the traditions of Constantinople are deserving of credit ; and they may serve to guide our judgment, in determining upon other crharges which rest upon similar testimony.

Mr. Eton, in his historical account of the siege and taking of Constantinople, says, that the Greeks who fled for safety to the church of Sancta Sophia were all slain, and the church was converted into a stable. Three long days and three long nights the air was shaken with the cries of the vanquished. The sultan heard it in his camp, and it lulled him to sleep. The dogs ran into the fields howling with compassion, or leaped into the sea." After three days the sultan entered the city. He made a sumptuous feast for his pashas and officers in the holy temple of Sancta Sophia ; and as he sat banqueting he caused to be killed, for his diversion and that of his guests, great numbers of his prisoners of the first distinction for birth, eminence and learning, among whom were many of the late emperor's relations ; and these feasts he repeated daily, till he had destroyed all the Grecian, nobility, priests, and persons of learning who 25 had fallen into his hands, of both sexes, and of all ages"22.

Cantemir, the Turkish historian, was ignorant of the commission of these horrible enormities : and even Gibbon had not the advantage of consulting the documents, whence Mr. Eton has collected the materials for so pathetic a picture. I must confess however, that the effect of this history is somewhat weakened by the knowledge we have, that the church of Sancta Sophia was converted into a mosque on the very day of the conquest of the city, and that, consequently, the sultan was not lulled to sleep during three days in his camp, while his soldiers were slaughtering the citizens ; that the church was not converted into a stable, or a wine-house ; and what is still more consolatory, that it needed no purification from pollution by human blood2324. It is indeed difficult to imagine, that a mind furnished like that of Mahomet the Second, which, in the midst of slaughter, and the exultation of victory, could pause from a generous feeling, at reflections se humiliating to imperial greatness, should either wantonly indulge in the unprovoked murder of his newly conquered subjects, or in the destruction and mutilation of the most venerable monuments of antiquity24.

22Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 145.
23 See Tab. Gen. t. iv, p. 589. Gibbon, v. xii, p. 240. 2 See Tab. Gen. t. ii, sec. 2, liv. i, chap. i. des purifications.


A natural consequence of that love of learning which distinguished many of the Arabian caliphs and Mahometan potentates of different families, was the desire to diffuse and perpetuate knowledge by multiplying copies of the works of their most esteemed authors, and depositing their collections in public libraries, which they endowed with funds for the salary of the librarians and the support of the edifices. The example of these princes has been imitated by the Ottoman sultans, and by several of their grand vizirs. A medresse, or college for the education of students, and a kitab khans, or library, are considered as append-ages indispensably necessary to a janti, or 27 mosque of the first order. In the metropolis of the Turkish empire there are reckoned thirty-five public libraries, famous for the number of their scarce and valuable manuscripts ; in the least considerable of which the number of volumes exceeds a thousand. The books are written with great care on vellum paper; the text of each page is enclosed in an highly ornamented frame-work, and the beginning of each chapter or section is splendidly illuminated. Each volume, besides being bound in morocco leather, is preserved from the dust and worms by a leathern case, on the outside of which, as well as on the edges of the leaves of the work itself, the title is written in a large and legible character. All these libraries are open to the inspection of the public. There are, besides, within the walls of the seraglio, two libraries for the use of the imperial household, founded by Ahmed the Third, and Mustafa the Third, and enriched with books of their own acquisition, and that of all their successors, obtained by purchase, plunder, contribution, or confiscation.25

24 The memory of this cruel sultan, according to Tourneffort, continues to spread terror through the Seraglio ; and " the pages dare not enter the kitchen gardens, ever since Mahomet tke Second caused seven of them to be ript up, to discover who had eaten one of his cucumbers." (V. ii, p. 246.)
Gibbop (V. xii, p. 184.) calls it a melon, and 'has fourteen pages.
25Tab. Gen. t. ii, pp. 488, 498. The public library founded under Mustafa the Third, by the vizir Raghib Pasha, is the most modern; and yet De Tott says, that before it there was no such tieing at Constantinople. (V. i, p. 146.)

28 The Abbe Sevin, who was sent by Lewis the Fifteenth into the Levant for the purpose of collecting manuscripts, was so little curious as to desist from making any inquiry into the state of these libraries, because some persons assured him, that Murad the Fourth had burned all the Greek manuscripts which they contained28. Other travellers, relying up-on assurances equally undeserving of credit, have asserted, that in them were preserved the ancient collections of the Greek emperors. But the Abbe Toderini, a learned Venetian, who occupied himself, during his residence in Turkey, exclusively, and successfully, with researches into the Turkish literature, pro-cured a catalogue of the books in the imperial library ; among which it appears, that there are indeed Greek and Latin manuscripts, but no trace of the lost decades of Livy, nor of such parts as are wanting to complete the works of other ancient authors27.

26 Mem. de l'acad. des belles lettres, t. vii, p. 334.
27 Toderini, de la litterature des Turcs, t. ii, p. 49. Paris, 1789.

In thee public libraries at Constantinople 29 there are catalogues giving the title, and a short account of the subject, of each volume which they contain : but a more curious work is a general catalogue executed on the same plan, which comprehends, under the name of essami'y kutub, all the works in literature of any celebrity in the three learned languages of the country ; the subjects of which are, for the most part, theology, jurisprudence, moral philosophy, medicine, rhetoric, history, and poetry28.

If we call the Turks an illiterate people, it is not because learning is universally neglected by individuals : for, on the contrary, the ulema, or theological lawyers, undergo a long and laborious course of study ; the Turkish gentlemen are all taught certain necessary, and even ornamental, parts of learning ; and few children, at least in the capital, are left without some tincture of education29.

28 Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 491.
29 The studies in the medrersh, or public colleges, are con-ducted with much order and method. `They are divided into tea classes under the common denomination of ilm, which signifies science or knowledge; that is, grammar, ilm-rarf; syntax, ilmnahhw ; logic, ilm-manntik; morals, ilm-adab; the science of allegories, (which is in the stead of rhetoric) i1m-meuny; theology, Um-he/am, or ilm-illahy; philosophy, iln-hikmeth; jurisprudence, ilrmfikihh ; the koran and its commentaries ilm- tefrir; the oral laws of the prophet, ilm-Nadirs. Most of the works in which these sciences are studied are written in the Arabic language, the knowledge of which is indispensably necessary, and can be learned only by a constant application for many years. The private studies of the children of the ,demd are conducted on the same plan as in the colleges: those, of persons of quality are confined to oriental history, and such, philosophy, as is in vogue in the Ottoman empire. (See Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 467.)


It must be acknowledged, however, that the objects of Turkish study the rhetoric and logic, the philosophy and metaphysics, of the dark ages, do in reality only remove men further from real knowledge. The instruments, without which the researches of the acutest natural philosopher would be imperfect, are either entirely unknown in Turkey, or known only as childish playthings to excite the admiration of ignorance, or to gratify a vain curiosity. The telescope, the microscope, the electrical machine, and other aids of science, are unknown as to their real uses. Even the compass is not universally employed in their navy, nor are its common purposes thoroughly understood. Need it then be observed, that navigation, astronomy, geography, agriculture, chemistry, and all the arts which have been, as it were, created anew since the grand discoveries of the two 31 last centuries, are either unknown, or practised only according to a vicious and antiquated routine.

The Turks possess, in their own language or in Arabic, the philosophy of Aristotle and the works of Plato, together with innumerable. treatises on astronomy and chemistry, as well as on astrology and alchymy30. But they have no books calculated to advance their progress in the arts, nor to teach them the rudiments of science: and a skill in jurisprudence, founded, not on reason and nature, but on positive and imperfect precept ; a knowledge of controversy, and the imaginary capacity of ascertaining with precision whether Abubelir, Omar, and Othman were impostors and robbers, or the true successors of the prophet ; the being able to determine whether it be necessary, on rising from bed, to wash the feet with water, or only to rub them with the bare hand ; though in Turkey they are thought to involve the dearest interests, yet attract from strangers as little respect, as the intricate and inexplicable difficulties which occupy the leisure and disturb the peace of our own domestic sectaries.

30Peyssonnel, response a M. de Volney, p. 14.

32 Elementary knowledge, so highly appreciated by their ancestors, was already lost to the Greeks before their necks had bowed to a barbarian yoke : and it requires historical testimony to convince us, that the descendants of the people, whom we respect as the inventors of all that is exquisite in the fine arts, could be guilty of so wide a deviation from the principles of taste, as we see in the design and execution of the paintings, the coinage, the sculpture, the architecture, the writings, and even the amusements, of the later Greeks. At the period of the con-quest of Constantinople elementary know-ledge had not revived in the west of Europe: in Arabia it had never existed. Whence then could the Turks have derived it ? They looked around for instruction ; but there was no one to teach them : and yet we reproach them for not having restored what the Greeks had shamefully suffered to perish31.

31 The Greek prince Cantemir tells us, (p. 99.) " We are not to imagine, with the generality of Christians, that Greece is so far sunk in barbarism, as not in these later ages to have pro. duced men little inferior to the most learned of her ancient sages:" and he proceeds to enumerate a long list of persons who flourished in his time, famous for their learning, doctors of great piety, preachers, divines, controvertists, and philosophers of all the old uncorrupted Greek sects; men, whose doubtful utility was bounded by their parishes, and whose names have not outlived their anniversaries. In his zeal for the vindication of the honour of modern greece, he gives an instance of the bathes, which outrivals even Blackmore. "The Greeks," said a Persian courtier to Sultan Murad, "who now obey your sceptre were once our lords, and I have this day found, they justly deserved that honour I had heard of their fame in our historians, but never happened to meet with any one of that nation worthy the character formerly given them. But it has been my fortune today to know a Greek, whom if the rest are like, that race was truly deserving as well of our empire as of your service. For though I am second to none among our countrymen in music, I am scarce worthy to be called the scholar of this Greek." (Cantemirk p.247.)

33 The government of the Turks has been accused of extinguishing the light of science, and forcing their subjects to decline in rational improvement and mechanical skill. But I doubt the truth of the assertion; and I do not hesitate to believe, that, with the single exception of Grecian literature, knowledge is as successfully cultivated and the rules of art as accurately observed, as on their first invasion of the metropolis, The minarets of Sancta Sophia, erected immediately after the conquest of Constantinople, are of less elegant construction than others of more modern date. The early imperial mosques, built by Greek architects, are in no respect superior to the alter ones; and men may at this day be found in Constantinople 34 capable of equalling whatever monument was erected by the lower Greek emperors. The Turks still possess whatever knowledge they once inherited : their patrimony is still unimpaired in their hands : nor are they averse from improvement. Their friendly reception of intelligent foreigners might be adduced as a 'proof of their docility ; and if the instructions which they have occasionally received from them have not produced their full effect, it is because the principle of the improvement introduced was never sufficiently explained : the work was left unfinished, and no successor was appointed in the school to continue the instruction.

The improved state of the mechanical arts in Christendom, where they are cherished and extended by the rapid communication of the discoveries of innumerable professors of science, makes us regard with contempt the condition of them in Turkey, where they are neither founded on principles, nor connected with each other, but appear merely as the fragments of a dilapidated system, while their practice is a servile imitation, rather than a process of art conducted by any intellectual rule. In a country which is destitute of theoretical .or speculative know ledge, 35 we look in vain for architects, for navigators, for mechanicians, for agriculturists. But it would be rash to presume an inferiority in their capacity from the imperfection of their knowledge ; or to conclude, that they are so besotted by ignorance as even to be vain of it, and because they possess not, that they therefore despise foreign improvements. Though, indeed, there be wanting the mind to guide, we must not think, that mental superiority would be despised ; though there be no judgment to direct their operations, we must not sup-pose, that such a director would be treated with neglect. The Turks, on the contrary, are deficient neither in capacity to comprehend instruction, nor in docility to adopt'-it. If we find a skilful mason, can we suppose, that he would execute the plans of genius with more difficulty than the rude conceptions of ignorant caprice? If the plough-man can draw out his furrow, in an uncurved line, for a quarter of a league, would he unwillingly pursue an improved system of husbandry?32

32De Tott, v. iv, p. 118.


If the mariner have the courage and the skill to conduct his vessel through the dangers of navigation by the mere in-formation of his senses, would he become less capable if his efforts were aided by principle, and directed by science ? If the mechanic, with a rude instrument, can fashion matter so as to answer useful purposes, would he relax in his ingenuity if the difficulties of labour were removed by better-adapted methods ? Their aptitude for improvement is unquestionable : the industry which can persevere through rugged paths beset with brambles, would move on with increased rapidity over a smooth and level road. Let it not then be said, that because the Turks believe in predestination33 they necessarily resist instruction ; nor let us suppose, that' because they find their way in the dark, they must necessarily become blind upon the approach of light.

33" Perpetually heated with the fever of predestination, they despise whatever is not agreeable to the manners of their nation the necessary result of which is pride and ignorance." (De Tott. Preliminary Discourse.)


Such has been, and still continues to be, the contrariety of opinion on this subject, from which however we must form our judgment as to the rank which the Ottomans hold in the scale of civilization, that it be-comes, not merely a matter of curious inquiry, but of indispensable necessity, to re-view the progress which they have made in the various branches of learning, to examine into the actual state of their literature, the theory and practice of the elegant and useful arts, and to survey the establishments existing among them for the improvement, the advantage, or the convenience, of life. Candour will perhaps compel us to acknowledge, that, though they be confessedly inferior to the Europeans in the severer sciences, which indeed have remained among them in the same state of infancy as among the Arabs from whom they received them, yet their literature is far from contemptible, their knowledge, though superficial, is general ; and though in every department of art or .of science there be much to improve, there is no one with which they are wholly unacquainted.

If there exist among the civilized nations of Christendom a sincere desire of introducing improvement into the institutions of the Turks, it is essential, that their prejudices be respected, however their errors may be la, rented. Let their religion and their customs 38 remain unchanged ; let them but be taught principles, in order to correct and methodize what they already know, and the great work of civilization is performed. If, on the contrary, the study of principles be neglected, or overlooked, in the eagerness to introduce civilization, it is to be apprehended, that, instead of attaining the object, we shall but see a second instance of the desire of stational improvement giving more development to vicious habits, than to the useful or liberal arts.

The Turkish language, considered in its greatest purity, unmixed with the Arabic or Persian, is only of secondary formation : it wants the essential characteristic of a primitive language, that of being intelligible in itself and reducible to its own simple elements. Its .expression is soft and musical, arising from the harmonious arrangement of the vowels, which are so modulated in the oblique cases and the other inflections, la to decline gradually according to,. a scale of proportions34. In its construction it is 39 artificial and laboured, and its transpositions are more remote from the natural order of ideas than even. Latin or German35. Its grammar 40 is combined with such art as to appear the result of a profound knowledge of the principles of general language, and seems formed rather from the reasonings of philosophers than the casual combinations of a rude and savage race36.

34 The radical syllables of a word, or those syllables which remainhar unchanged through all its inflections, are those alone in which the vowels are ever written. The vowels expressed in the inflections are dependent upon the radical vowel immediately anterior, with which they are made to accord, conformably to those fundamental maxims of harmony wonehich regulate the pronunciation of the Turkish language. This language admits of eight distinct vocal sounds, which may be expressed by the following letters of the French alphabet, a, e, è, i, o, ou, eu : their harmonic combinations take place in the relation of four to one or of two to one. Thus a, e, o, ou, relate to the vowel a ; and e, i, eu, u, to the vowel e ; a and e to the vowel e; o and ou to the vowel ou ; e and i to the vowel i ; eu aad u to the vowel u which the following examples will sufficiently explain : Zeman, time, kech, winter; col, the arm, boulout, a cloud, have respectively in the dative case zemana, kecha, cola, boulouta : ev, a house, kilid, a lock, guieuz, the eye, yuz, the face, have in the dative eve, kilide, guieuze, yuze. In the accusative zeman and leech make zemane and keche; col and boulout, colossi) and bouloutou ; ev and kilid, evi and kilidi ; guicuz and yuz, guicuzu and ruzu. This harmony of the vowels is observed not only in the declension of nouns and pronouns, but also in the conjugation of verbs, and in the postpositions : it is evident, that without an accurate knowledge of its rules, the reading or pronunciation of the Turkish language, must present only intricacies and difficulties.
35An example from familiar conversation will show the difficulty of Turkish construction : Sans guiel demeyen adca:in ardesera duchm?, Tibi, adesto, non dicentis hominis post (tergum) ne cadas. A general rule of construction is to place the word governed before the governing word ; the nominative at the beginning of a phrase, and the verb at the end; the adjective before the subs ctantive, and the oblique cases before the word on which they depend.
36 Sce Elemens de la Iangue Turque, par le pere Viguier, p. ix. Constantinople, 1790.

The Turkish language discriminates with great nicety between certain and positive knowledge, or only conjectural and unauthenticated information, concerning the circumstances of an event or an action. One of the tenses in the conjugation of their verbs supposes in the speaker an absolute and precise knowledge of the truth of his assertion, unrestricted in any of its relations by doubt or uncertainty : if, on the contrary, the knowledge of the fact be merely acquired from report, and though supported by testimony or its own probability, be not known to the speaker from the evidence of his own senses or experience, he -expresses, by a different inflection, the modification with which his report is to be received. I think it not unreasonable to presume from this peculiarity in their language, that the 41 primitive Turks felt the same reverence for truth as the Tartars and the Huns from whom they descended, and whose inviolable attachment to this fundamental virtue is so highly celebrated by historians37.

The common Turkish language, though sufficiently copious for the purposes of ordinary intercourse, is defective in terms of art, and expressions adapted to philosophical ideas.

The natural barrenness of their language was not, however, the only cause that the Turks borrowed so freely from the Arabians and Persians. When the religion and language of Mahomet were spread over the greatest part of Asia, it became a fashion for the poets of Persia, Syria, Egypt, Mauritania, and even of Tartary, to write in Arabic38. The Persians and Turks have reciprocally enriched and improved each other's language ; and as the Persian language was cultivated and spoken by the Ottoman sultans, so the princes of Persia, and especially the family of Sefi, adopted the Turkish, which still continues to be the language of their court. 39

37See Sir William Jones's discourse on the Tartars. Works, V. i, p. 65.
38 See Jones's Essay on the poetry of the Eastern nations. Works, V. iv, p. 538.


The written Turkish language, from the mixture of unnaturalized exotics, necessarily exhibits the harshnesses of pedantry : but the language, as spoken in good company by men of learning, even by those accustomed to the study of the Persian and Arabian dialects, is free from those forced turns of expression which are admitted into, and even admired in, composition. Men of the greatest erudition, when conversing with their families or their friends, instead of those revolting difficulties which seem to indicate a barbarous idiom, not guided by rules or principles, adopt a language full of charms, whether considered as to the delicacy and nicety of its expressions, or the majestic fullness and regulated cadence. of its sounds. No language is indeed better suited for colloquial purposes ; but it is from the conversation of polished society alone, that a clear, just, and precise idea can be formed of the genius of the genuine Turkish language. The Turks, the Arabs, and the Persians use characters fundamentally the same to 43 represent their different languages ; but the mere knowledge of these common characters by no means enables the Arab or the Persian to pronounce, or to connect them together in a Turkish manuscript, if he be not previously instructed in the meaning of the terms of this latter language. The. continued mission of the points and stops ; a single, word of w,-hick the letters are separated with-put even any regard to the syllables ; several words of different or contradictory meaning united and confounded so as to appear but one word ; the vowels frequently suppress-,ed, or when written, not having a constant sound, or even constantly the power of a vowel ; the same character employed to ex-press consonants which have not the least analogy, and are perfectly distinct in their pronunciation :--such are the difficulties which embarrass and discourage the student in his first attempts to obtain a knowledge of Turkish letters : but the Turk, in reading his mother-tongue, or the stranger who has familiarized himself with the language of conversation, discovers readily, and almost without effort, the vowels which are omitted, fixes the variable pronunciation of the written vowels and the consonants, reunites a 44 termination which is often separated from the principal word, distinguishes the line of demarcation between several expressions which appear to be connected together, marks the different members of a period, though it be not divided by stops or points, and comprehends the whole arrangement of a discourse. On the contrary, when he peruses the more laboured compositions, which are enriched with pure Arabic or Persian words, and some-times even with whole sentences, he pauses not only to collect the meaning, but the true pronunciation, of the words : he feels the same difficulty which the Arabs and Persians experience in reading Turkish, and he hesitates and deliberates as he proceeds. The mere reading of the characters employed by these three nations pre-supposes therefore, without distinction of nations, an acquaintance with their respective idioms. 40

39 See Jones's History of the Persian language, V. ii, p. 32S.
40 The characters of the English alphabet are insufficient to express the various sounds and powers of Turkish vowels and consonants, which, though only twenty-eight in number, possess thirty-six distinct sounds. They may be sufficiently represented by means of the letters of the French alphabet, partly in conformity with the usual French orthography, and partly according to a conventional modification of them. The necessity for such an extension of their powers must be apparent when it is considered, how impossible it would be to mark, by any character known in Europe, the power of the letter air:, which Meninski attempts to explain by describing it as the bleating of a calf: " vox vituli matrem vocantis." In the Turkish alphabet there are five vowels, and of these, two only, elf and an, are always and without exception vowels; and so variable are their powers that troth of them are made to express no less than eight distinct sounds. Vav and ye, when employed as consonants, are like our v and y, but, as vowels, they are each susceptible of four distinct sounds. He sometimes expresses a or e and sometimes at or it. The consonants themselves are of so unfixed a nature, that the letter kef represents either k, g, gui, y, nasal n, or n.


Mr. Eton says " it is astonishing that they have not perfected their alphabet :" but this reproach does not justly attach to the Turks ; they have- adopted the Arabian alphabet, which, for ages before the emigration of the Turkish nation, had been found sufficient for all the purposes of science and literature. The oriental scholar will exculpate the Turks from the charge of being farther removed from perfection in their alphabet than any other nation, and will not' expect from them an effort to improve it41.

41 See Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 212. I venture to pronounce that De Tott, though he resided twenty-three years its Turkey, and was able to express himself in Turkish with tolerable fluency, yet possessed but a superficial knowledge of the language. His proficiency may be judged of by his own declarations; and there are many oriental scholars in England, who will easily detect the ignorance, or the exaggeration, of the following passages.—"When the whole life of a man is scarcely sufficient to learn to read well, little time remains to choose what he shall read for his instruction and advantage." (V. i, p. 9.) " No care can effect the improvement of the Turk , while the difficulties of their language confine all their learning to reading and writing." (V. i, p. 146.) D'Ohssou, a professed oriental scholar, in speaking of the Turkish language, and the difficulties of learning it, observes, that " an application of four months is sufficient for learning both to read and to write it, the Turkish orthography being much more simple and more conformable to the pronunciation than either the French or the English." See Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 474. See also Sir W. Jones's opinion on this subject in the " dissertation sur la litterature orientale." Works, V. v, p. 525, 526.


A critic, deeply versed in oriental literature, has pronounced the languages of Asia to be no less suited to poetry than the genius of the inhabitants. The three learned languages of western Asia, while they differ essentially from each other in their formation and the order of their construction, are all distinguished by a peculiar character of beauty. The Persian excels in sweetness and melody : the Arabic in copiousness and strength : the Turkish in gravity and dignity. The first seduces and delights : the second is more vehement in its expression, and rises to greater sublimity ; whilst the third attains and supports a graceful elevation. The Persian is more fit for the expression of dalliance and love : the Arabic for heroic poetry and the 47 higher kinds of eloquence : the Turkish for didactic and historical composition.42

It is remarked by Lord Bacon, that the fundamental difference of character observable in the history of the two most celebrated nations of antiquity, the Greeks and the Romans, is also discoverable in the peculiarities of their respective languages43. Latin was the language of a people chiefly conversant in war and public business, and, therefore, it is in its genius averse from the use of those compound words which are so frequent in the language of the Greeks. The habitual occupations of the Greeks, a people of great ingenuity and lively imagination, were the study of philosophy and the principles of the elegant and mechanical arts, which must necessarily occasion a multiplicity of compound terms ; whereas a. language more de-void of artificial combinations was better adapted to those civil and military trans-actions which constituted the highest employment of the Roman people. A similar characteristic difference may be observed not only in the language, but in the disposition and manners, of the. Persians and Turks. Lady MaryWortley Montagu indeed remarks, 48 that our language is deficient in those compound words which are very frequent and forcible in the Turkish. The remark has been even praised for its justness44 ; though to me it appears inaccurate, not less in its character of the English language, which is rich in compound expressions, than of the Turkish, which is distinguished by the great simplicity of all its words which are really of Scythian extraction. Lady M. W. Montagu, whose knowledge of the Turkish idiom must be estimated less from her 'own report than from the contradictory evidence contained in her writings, was not capable of discriminating, in the Turkish compositions of which she has given translations, the native from the foreign expressions ; and Sir William Jones's opinion, decisive as it must be on questions of Arabian and Persian literature, can scarcely be considered, in the present instance, as coinciding with hers, for his notice of it is slight, and apparently introduced for the sole purpose of suggesting an amendment of some expressions in her translation. I venture therefore to oppose to it my own imperfect knowledge 49 of oriental literature, which is little blended with either Arabian or Persian ; and it is of the unmixed Turkish language that I mean to speak, when I assert the simplicity of its expressions.

42 See goes. Asiat. Comment. 1. i, c. i, p. 360.
43De Augm. Scient. vi, i.
44 See Essay on the poetry of the eastern nations. Jones's Works, V. iv, p. 545.

The polite literature of the oriental nations, whether considered in the original compositions of the Arabians and Persians, or in those of the Turks, which are modelled from them with such scrupulous fidelity as to appear mere translations, is not to be appreciated by our rules. European writers principally study ease and perspicuity. They copy nature rather in her habitual operations, than in her occasional excentricities. In European poetry, those figures or metaphors which are introduced for the sake of ornament or illustration must be sparingly used, must be unforced in their application, and demonstrate genius in selecting, rather than diligence in discovering, or difficulty in appropriating, them. The Asiatics, on the contrary, impelled at pleasure by the capricious wantonness of a luxuriant imagination, form the most heterogeneous combinations, and bring the most remote and discordant imagery into a reluctant union in their compositions. The distinguishing 50 features of the Asiatic style must of course be so modified, by a translation into languages so ill-adapted as ours to their expression, that hardly .any idea can be formed of their characteristic peculiarities. The sumptuous variety of the diction, the subtle texture of the phrases, the elaborate disposition of the words, are lost in the transmutation. Nor is a knowledge of the language the only requisite to a competent judgment of oriental poetry : the European must carry to the perusal the views and the sentiments of an Asiatic. Indeed when all the sources of poetical imagery are so essentially different from those of Europe, it must be rash in any one to attempt a criticism on the subject, unless he have previously instructed himself, by experience or by study, in the natural history of Asia, the modes of life of the Asiatics, their civil and religious institutions, and the chief events of their history ; to all which such frequent allusions are made by their poets and historians! Without this knowledge it is obvious, that the more recondite beauties, the intuitive observance of ,which exalts the interest and multiplies the charms of poetical composition, must entirely disappear. When it is 51 recollected, that the Asiatics live in a coun2 try abounding in productions and phenomena which are in a great degree confined to their own continent, and that not only the properties of nature, but the customs and habits of the people, differ so essentially from those which our peculiar civilization has introduced among us, it must be evident, that many images which are distinct to them, may appear confused to us ; that what they deem apt and familiar, we may think incoherent and remote ; what they prize as bold, we may consider rash ; what they admire as accurate, regular, gay, or sublime, we may reject as extravagant, abrupt, luxuriant, or hyperbolical. A comparison which frequently occurs in Persian poetry is that of the slender form of a young girl with the box-tree, which, to those who have formed their idea of this tree from the stinted shrub which creeps round the borders of a parterre in English gardens, must appear unnatural and ridiculous, though highly appropriate to the Asiatics, who see it rise in their forests into the most graceful and delicate proportions45. Amriolkais, an Arabian 52 poet, describes " the taper and delicate fingers of his mistress, sweetly glowing at their tips, like the worm of Dabia creeping in the sand." But who can understand these allusions, unless he be informed, that it is a general custom with the women in the East to tinge the extremities of their fingers with a dye called henna, and that hence arises the propriety of comparing them with the crimson head and long white body of the sand-worm ?

45See Roes. Asiat. comment. cap. vii. Jones's Works, V. If, p. 439.

"Many of the Eastern figures are common to other nations, but some of them receive a propriety from the manners of the Arabians who dwell in plains and woods, which would be lost if they came from the inhabitants of cities : thus, the dew of liberality, and the odour of reputation, are metaphors used by most people, but they are wonderfully proper in the mouths of those who have so much need of being refreshed by the dews, and who gratify their sense of smell by the sweetest odours in the world."46 Some of their similitudes, which are drawn from natural objects, even Europeans must confess to be just and elegant.

46See Essay on the poetry of the Eastern stations. Jones's works, V. iv, p. 530.


Hafez, with the same enthusiasm as Shakspeare's Romeo, compares the ringlets of his mistress to the night, and her cheeks to the morn. " She shines through the darkness of the night like the lamp of the religious solitary." The blue eyes of a beautiful woman bathed in tears remind the Persian poet of a violet dropping with dew. They are not, however, so correct in all their allusions, for as they eagerly catch at objects of comparison, they often employ those in which there is scarcely any general similitude ; as Hafez resembles the down forming about the lips of a beautiful youth, to the hours of Paradise sitting round the fountain Salsabil.

In love-poetry they delight in similitudes taken from nature. They compare the curling locks of their young girls to hyacinths, their cheeks to roses, their eyes, sometimes, because of their colour, to violets, and, some-times, because of their sweet languor, to narcissuses, their teeth to pearls, their breasts to pomegranates, their caresses to wine and to honey, their lips to rubies, their stature to lofty shoots, their face to the sun, their hair to the night, their forehead to the dawn, and the girls themselves, from their graceful attitudes and motions, to antelopes and fawns47.

47See Poes. Asiat. Comment. cap. Vii.


It would be a task of no difficulty to select from the works of the oriental poets instances of all those beauties, whether of sublime description or of delicate allusion, which we admire in our best writers. Both the Greeks and the Orientals describe the beauties of nature, with which they are surrounded, with a vivacity which equals the original. They both drew from this source, instead of catching ideas from reflection ; and both possessed, in a high degree, that fertile invention, that creative genius, which is the soul of poetry. If the observation be just, that whatever delights the senses must please in description, and that in describing what is agreeable, agreeable words present them selves of their own accord, it is not surprising, that poets, surrounded with all the luxuriance of nature, under the influence of an ardent imagination, should sometimes transgress those limits, which the severity, of European criticism has prescribed even to the flights of poetical enthusiasm.

Hafez, in a strain of extravagance which the wildest passion of love can scarcely justify, says to his mistress ; " If I might sleep for one night on thy bosom I would strike the heavens themselves with my lofty 55 head : I would break the arrows in the hands of Sagittarius ; I would snatch the crown from the head of the moon : I would trample on the globe of the earth with the foot of arrogance, and would ascend in the pride of my strength to the ninth heaven. But if, when there, I possessed thy beauty, if, in heaven, I could resemble thee, lovers destitute of help would pray to me for protection, and wretches worn with care should receive from me relief."

In some of the countries where the Persian language has been adopted for works of literature, and the Persian models have been imitated, the imitators have far out-stepped the boldest strides of their prototypes. A poet of India, in addressing a Mogul prince, used the following bombastic expressions : " Whenever thou pressest the back of thy swift courser, the affrighted earth begins to tremble, and the eight elephants, the columns of the world, bend under the weight of thy ascent." Bernieri, an European, who was physician to the prince, and who had the honour to be near his per-son at the time, advised his highness to abstain from an exercise so prejudicial to the happiness of his subjects, who must 56 necessarily feel alarm at such a frequency of earthquakes. "You are in the right," re-plied the prince, "and it is indeed for their sakes that I generally prefer taking the air in a palanquin."48

Personification, and that of the boldest kind, is the figure in which the Asiatics principally delight. In their writings every natural object assumes the powers and faculties of rational beings. Flowers, trees, and birds discourse familiarly together : the meadows laugh, the woods sing, the heavens are glad. The rose commissions the zephyr to bear her message of love to the nightingale, and the enamoured nightingale warbles back his affection for the rose, Not only such abstract notions as beauty, justice, joy, and sorrow, are embodied, but even the scimitar of a conqueror, studded with diamonds, addressing itself to the moon, says, " thou art my crown ; and to the pleiads, you are my garment." Thus the immensity of nature is but as a vast theatre, in which every thing, however re-mote from sense and life, occasionally assumes a person, occupies the stage, and speaks with the human voice.

48See Bernieri de statu Imp. Mogolici. ap. Jones, V. p. 552.


Some of the more scrupulous Mahometans, offended at the wanton imaginations of their poets, in whose verses are so constantly repeated not only the delights of love, with all its desires, with its concomitants of anxiety and grief, of hope and joy, but also the pleasures of odours, of wine, and of feasting, have however reconciled themselves to the perusal by supposing in them an occult and mysterious signification. " If I am inebriated," says Hafez, "what remedy can be proposed? Bring me another cup that my senses may be wholly absorbed : whether it be a sin or a meritorious action, bring it." Of the true meaning of this and similar pas-sages there is a great variety of opinion. Some maintain, that the extacy of divine love, from the inadequacy of human language to its expression, is compelled to borrow those images which have the greatest affinity with its conceptions; for since those who are inflamed with divine love are abstracted from the sense of the mind, nothing can more aptly represent such a state than intoxication by wine. The poets themselves give a colour to this interpretation in several passages of their works. " Thy head is not affected with the ebriety of love," says Hafez 58 to the profane. " Hence! thou art drunk with the juice of the grape." It is, however, difficult to understand for what reasons the poets should wish to conceal virtue under such immoral disguises, and veil the beauty of piety and religion under the mask of gross and libidinous depravity.

It is not, however, wholly under such disguises that moral and religious instruction is conveyed in the poetical compositions of the Eastern writers. Reviczki highly commends the satirical works of Ruhi Bagdady, a Turkish poet; and from many others may be selected passages highly valuable for their morality and their elegance. The praises of the prophet Mahomet are described, in the be-ginning of the book Bustan, with a grandeur and brevity of expression truly sublime, and under images which offer to the mind an uncertain idea of something awful, magnificent, and infinite, which the narrowness of the human intellect can with difficulty conceive. " He was carried in one night high above the aetherial regions, there where the angels themselves are unable to ascend: He halted not in his celestial journey, even where Gabriel was compelled to pause. Keep on thy course, said the lord of the temple of 59 Mecca to the bearer of the divine oracles, thou host merited my perfect friendship; why dost thou hesitate to accompany me, and why breakest thou off our conference ? There is- no longer any footing for my steps, replied the arch-angel with humility, I- stop there where my wings want power to carry me onwards. Should I dare presumptuously . to proceed further, they would dissolve like wax before the brightness of thy glory. Can believers," says the devout poet, " who have so great a prophet for their guide, remain long immersed in the pollution of sin ?"

" Human life," says one of their moral writers, " is but as the fever of ebriety, whose sweetness quickly evaporates, and nothing remains but its nausea."

"The ignorant die even before death : their bodies, though not inhumed, are but the sepulchres of their souls."

"There is nothing more great and useful than travelling. Leave therefore your country and travel. Water, unless it flow, cannot long retain its sweetness. Gold in the mine is only a clod of earth, and aloe-wood, in the forest where it grows, is but an ordinary tree."

Asia has been the theatre of the most 60 memorable events, and is been illustrated by a great number of experienced warriors, of wise counsellors, and of virtuous kings, whose actions, real or fabulous, are recorded in the writings of Asiatic historians, but in a style rather of mystic allegory than of simple truth. The Mahometans in general, and more especially the Turks, are passionately fond of history. The Ottoman historians, who have compiled their works from the authentic records of their own nation, however they may deviate in their style and manner from the more correct standard which has been established by European nations, have deserved the first praise which can be be-stowed on historical compositions, that of fidelity and impartiality. They seem to have aspired rather at being useful to their fellow-citizens, than at gaining the favour of their princes by flattery and misrepresentation for they ingenuously expose, and unreservedly censure, the vices of their sultans, and the rash counsels and injurious measures of their ministers. The Turks are not even destitute of books, in their own language, which treat of the history of foreign nations. Leunclavius mentions a work of Ahmed Molla, who lived in the reign of Soliman 61 Chelebi, in which the actions of Alexander, king of Macedon, are recorded in measured stanzas. Much praise cannot however be bestowed on their communications in this department of literature, on account of the scantiness and confusion of their geographical and chronological information. Their acquaintance with dates is indeed so imperfect, that the Asiatics in general do not distinguish between the son of Philip, and a more ancient, or wholly imaginary, king, called Skender, whose marvellous exploits they ridiculously confound with those of Alexander the Great49. The Turks, as well as all other Mahometans, are unrestrained by their religion or the laws of their country in the pursuit of any study to which their inclination may lead them. The wisest perhaps are those who adopt the counsel which Abet Yusef, a learned Arabian, gave to his children on his death-bed, when he advised them to regulate themselves in the choice of their studies by their taste and inclination, and to avoid only judicial astrology, alchemy, and controversy ; for the anxious anticipation of 61 the future serves only to aggravate the actual evils of life ; riches are dissipated in the pursuit of an ideal source of wealth, and a captious investigation of truth itself, by encouraging the growth of scepticism, tends to subvert the security and to destroy the comfort of religious belief50.

49See Memoirs of the life, writings, and correspondence, of Sur W. Jones, 8vo, p. 544.

Enough, it is hoped, has been said to demonstrate, that the Turks are not withheld from useful learning either by the principles of their religion, or an innate propensity to barbarism of which they have falsely been accused; and that, so far from contemning literature or the arts, there is perhaps no people among whom superior acquirements in general knowledge obtain greater distinction51. If this assertion be thought to re-quire further proof, it may be found in the opinion of a Turkish poet on the subject. Nabi Effendi, an esteemed writer, who died about a century ago, and whose works have been translated by M. Cardonne and inserted in his miscellanies of Oriental literature, in a poem, addressed to his son, advises him to " consecrate the dawn of reason to the study of the sciences." 63 " They are of infinite re. source," he says, " in all the occurrences of life. They form the heart, refine the under-standing, and instruct men in their duties. It is by them that we arrive at dignities' and honours. They delight us in prosperity and console _us under adversity. It would be impossible to enumerate their advantages, or to possess them without exertion and assiduity. They are the daughters of labour, and it is through him alone that you can hope to obtain them. Endeavour therefore to adorn your mind with all kinds of know-ledge. How immense is the distance between the learned and the ignorant ! The. brightest light compared with the thickest darkness, death compared with life, or existence with annihilation, , express but feebly the interval which separates the man of instruction from the ignorant. Ignorance is the poisoned source of all the evils which afflict the universe. Blind superstition, irreligion, and barbarity, the destructress of the arts, march by her side, and baseness, shame, and contempt, follow in her train."

50 See D'Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. von. elm, p. 312.

51See Todorini, de la litterature des Tura, t. 1, p. 4.

A renegado of the name of Ibrahim, encouraged by the grand vizir Ibrahim Pasha and the mufti Abd'ullah Effendi, first intro- Priutii 64 duced a printing press at Constantinople, in the year 1727. The fetwa of the mufti, corroborated by the opinion of the first magistrates and most distinguished doctors, declares the undertaking to be of the highest public utility; but the khatt'y sherif of the sultan, Ahmed the Third, or letters-patent authorizing the establishment, spew a per-feet conviction of the advantages of printing. The sultan felicitates himself that Providence has reserved so great a blessing to illustrate his reign, and to draw upon his august person the benedictions of his subjects and of Mussulmans to the end of time52. M. Ruffin, in the dissertation which he has prefixed to the memoirs of De Tott, asserts, that, " the ulema oppose printing, jealous of that pre-eminence which their science, such as it is, secures them over the people ;" and that, " from this cause the nation is kept in ignorance, as the elementary manuscripts in every branch, from the dearness of copies and their small number, are insufficient to enlighten them." It is however a most certain fact, that the ulema53 publicly testified their approbation of the new establishment, and imposed no 65 restrictions on the press, except such as would naturally operate to the advancement of learning. Only the koran, and books treating of the law and the doctrines of. the prophet, were forbidden to be printed ; a useful and salutary prohibition, which, at the same time that it preserves religion in its purity, stifles, even in embryo, that jealousy with which M. Ruffin upbraids, the ulema. "In Turkey there is no scarcity of manuscripts ; the great number of them, on the contrary, is supposed to operate as an impediment to printing : but the rudiments of knowledge do not yet exist there. Let these first be naturalized, or printing itself will be attended with no utility."

Turkey depends upon no foreign country for its subsistence. The labour of its inhabitants produces, in an abundance unequalled in the' other countries of Europe, all the alimentary productions, animal and vegetable, 66 whether for use or enjoyment. The corn countries, in spite of the impolitic restrictions of the government, besides pouring plenty over the empire, secretly export their superfluities to foreign countries. Their agriculture, therefore, though neglected and discouraged, is still above their wants. Their corn, their maize, their rice, are all of superior quality : their wine and oil, though deprived of half their excellence by the unskilfulness and negligence of preparation, are sufficient, not only for the demands of an extensive consumption, but for the supply of several foreign markets. The large exportation of the most valuable merchandize, which they possess beyond the demand for the internal trade of the country, sufficiently pro-claims their industry. Their silk, cotton, wool, flax, drugs, coffee, sugar, wax, honey, fruits, hides, tobacco, and other articles of commerce are distributed over the continents of either hemisphere ; and the produce of their toil supports and embellishes the existence of those who reproach them with idleness. The capital of the empire, as the soil in its immediate vicinity is barren and ungratefull54, receives from the neighbouring 67 villages, and from the surrounding coasts of both the seas which it commands, all the culinary herbs and fruits of exquisite flavour, which the most fastidious appetite can re-quire ; and from the Asiatic coasts of the Black Sea, all materials necessary for fuel, or for the construction of ships and houses.

52Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 500.
53M. Ruffin's remark is the more ridiculous, as the manuscripts containing that science, which gives the ulema their supposed pre-eminence, are not written in sacred and unintelligible characters, nor is the perusal of them forbidden to the people. The war against their pre-eminence may be even now carried on, without imposing a heavier tax on the public than the difference of price between a manuscript and a printed book.

I know not whether turope can equal, but certainly it cannot surpass, them in several of their manufactures. The satins and silk stuffs, the velvets of Brusa and Aleppo, the serges and camelots of Angora, the crapes and gauzes of Salonica, the printed muslins of Constantinople, the carpets of Smyrna, and the silk, the linen, and the cotton stuffs of Cairo, Scio, Magnesia, Tocat and Castambol, establish a favourable, but not an unfair, criterion of their general skill 68 and industry55. The workmen of Constantinople, in the opinion of Spon, excel those of France in many of the inferior trades. They still practise all that they found practised ; but, from an indolence with respect to innovation, they have not introduced or encouraged several useful or elegant arts of later invention. They call in no foreign assistance to work their mines of metal, or mineral, or fossile substances. From their own quarries their own labour extracts the marble and more ordinary stone, which is employed in their public buildings. Their marine architecture is by no means con. temptible, and their barges and smaller boats are of the most graceful constructiont.56. Their 69 foundery of brass cannon has been admired57, and their musquet and pistol barrels, and particularly their sword blades, are held in great estimation, even by foreigners.

54See Dr. Wit man's Travels, p. 20, Olivier's Travels, v.i,p. 63. The circumstance of the poorness of the soil is not sufficiently attended to by travellers, who are offended at the negexeelect of agriculture on the land ride of the city of Constantinople. " Voila comme sont, et contme doivent titre les avenues de la principale residence d'un peuple, aussi paresseux et aussi ignorant, clue devastateur." (Voyage a Constantinople, p. 147,) The shores on both sides the Bosphorus ?resent a very different scene: the ground forms a chain of schistose hills, covered with vineyards and gardens, and beautiful trees and shrubs; and the vallies, which are exceedingly fertile, are in the highest state of cultivation. Mandfatv, tares.
55" Is it not matter of astonishment," says Mr. Eton, " that, since the first establishment of their manufactory of carpets, they have not improved the designs, and particularly as they are not forbidden to imitate flowers? The same may be said of their embroidery, and of the stuffs made at Brusa, Aleppo, and Damascus." (p.208.) It must however afford equal matter of astonishment, that the designs of Turkey carpets are copied in England; and that, in our imitations of the Cachemire shawls, we should still adhere to the designs of flowers as grotesque as those on Turkey carpets.
56" We went on board the Sultan Selim with Mr. Spurring, the English ship-builder at Constantinople, and found her to be a remarkably fine vessel." (Dr. Wittman's Travels, p. 37.) Dr. Wittman was present at the launch of a seventy-four-gun ship, which, he says, "being conducted in a very masterly manner, afforded us much pleasure." (p. 96.)
57Olivier says, that " they were taught by the French to cast cannon; but Tournefort, a century before, had pronounced their cannon to be good. a They use good stuff, and observe a just proportion; but their artillery is as plain as possible, without the least ornament." (Vol. ii, p, 191.)

The degradation of the arts into mechanical trades, from ignorance or neglect of scientific principles, is in no instance more discover-able than in their architecture. Their buildings are rude incoherent copies, possessing neither the simplicity nor unity of original invention. They are the attempts of admiration, ignorant of method, to emulate perfection and sublimity ; and not the effect of that combination of results, into which a creative people have been successively led by a series of reasoning. Heavy in their pro-portions, they are imposing only from their bulk : the parts do not harmonize, nor are they subservient to one leading principle : the details are bad, both in taste and execution : the decorations, which are fantastical and directed neither by reason nor nature, have no use, no meaning, no connexion with 70 the general design : there is nothing which indicates the conceptions of genius. But in these masses of monstrous magnificence, though we discover the vast inferiority' of un: principled practice to scientific method, we must still admire the skill and industry which have reared and constructed them. The builder may merit our approbation, though we ridicule the architect.58The superiority 71 of their workmen is chiefly apparent in the construction of the minarets, the shafts of which are surmounted by a gallery whence the people are summoned to public prayer. They do not indeed convey the idea of strength or solidity, the chief end of architecture, yet they please from their picturesque lightness, and the graceful boldness of their elevation.

The monotony of Turkish habits, and the austerity of their customs, chill and repress the energies of genius. Their cities are not adorned with public monuments, whose object is to enliven or to embellish. The circus, the forum, the theatre, the pyramid, the obelisk, the column, the triumphal arch, are interdicted by their prejudices. The ceremonies of religion are their only public pleasures. Their temples, their baths, their fountains, and sepulchral monuments, are the only structures on which they bestow any ornament. Taste is rarely exerted in other edifices of public utility, khans and bezestins, bridges and aqueducts.

58 Cantemir says, " that in the mosque of Sultan Selim elegance and art so shine, that to describe its proportions must he acceptable to the sons of Daldalus. It is square and built with square stones, the length of the side being fifty, and the height seventy, cubits. The roof contains the same space with the floor. No arches are drawn from the angles, but the round-peas of the roof rises from the walls themselves, so that from the point of the angles is drawn the arch of a circle almost horizontal." (p. 182.) " Sulimanie is built with so much art and elegance, that no structure deserves to be compared with it. This I have heard affirmed not only by Turks, but by foreigners of several nations." (Cantemir, p. 215.) " Sultan Ahmed excels Sancta Sophia in magnificence, though not in largeness." (Cantemir, p. 297.) But these are the descriptions of a Greek. The mosque of Sultan Ahmed is more correctly described by Lord Sandwich, who says, " It might justly be esteemed a most magnificent edifice, if it were built more according to the rules of architecture, of which the Turks have not the least knowledge. The figure of this mosque is a square, the roof of it composed of one large flat dome, and four of a less size ; the large one is sup-ported on the inside by four marble columns of an immense thickness, being more in circumference than height ; which, though fluted, cannot be reckoned an imitation of any of the orders of architecture. All are much of the same model, differing only is extent and magnificence." (Travels, p. 128.) See a description of the Sulimanie in Grelot. Relation d'uu voyage de Constant. p. 330. Paris 1681.


Sculpture in wood or in stucco, and the en. graving of inscriptions on monuments or seals, are performed with neatness and admirable precision. The cielings and wainscoting of rooms, and the carved ornaments in the interior of Turkish houses spew dexterity and even taste. Their paintings, limited to landscape or architecture, have little merit either in design or execution : proportion is ill observed, and the rules of lineal and aerial perspective are unknown.

They reckon time by lunar revolutions, so that in the space of thirty-three years the Turkish months pass through every season. In religious affairs they are restricted to this mode ; but in order to conciliate it with the revolutions of the sun, they are reduced to use the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes. As clocks were unknown at the birth of Mahometanism, the hours of prayer were regulated according to the diurnal course of the sun ; and the custom is religiously pre-served among the Turks, though the use of watches has become general. The civil day begins at sunset, so that the hours which indicate mid-day and midnight continually carry. To remedy this inconvenience, and to ascertain the hours of prayer, the faithful 73 make use of almanacs, which calculate, ac-cording to the degree of longitude of every province, the precise time of the hours of prayer.

Their knowledge of geography does not extend beyond the frontiers of their empire. Men in high public offices scarcely know the relative situation of their immediate neighbours, and have no conception that astronomy may be applied to ascertain geographical positions.59 74 Astrology. Astrology, even 'in the estimation of the common people of most countries in Europe, is expunged from the list of. sciences. This phantom, which has so frequently in former ages drawn men from the blameless tenor of life, and allured them to the commission of crimes, still influences the public councils, and interrupts the private happiness of all classes in this nation60. The munedjim bashi, chief of the astrologers, is an officer of the seraglio, or sultan's household, and is consulted on all occasions which relate to the health, the safety, or the convenience, of the 75 sultan. It is even considered essential to the public welfare to follow his opinion in determining the day, or the precise instant, when any important public business is to be under-taken ; such as the march of an army, the fitting out or the sailing of a fleet, the launching of a ship of war, the laying of the foundation-stone of a public building, the confer-ring of any new dignity, and especially the appointment of a grand vizir, The Ottoman sultans religiously perpetuate this custom, which was delivered down to them by the ;caliphs, notwithstanding its repugnance with the general spirit and positive institutions of the doctrine and law of the prophet, who expressly denominates astrology a false science, and stigmatizes its professors as liars.61

59 It has been said, that " it is an article of faith, from the mufti to the peasant, that Palmyra and Balbec were built by spirits, at the command of Solomon." (Survey of the Turkish Empire, p. 200.) The eccentricities of error are indeed infinite, and even greater absurdities have entered the heads of several half-learned Turks : but with respect to this particular article of belief, though I believe Wood mentions it as prevalent among the Arabs who had built their huts among the ruins of Palmyra, yet I may say, that the Turks are entirely ignorant of the existence of these cities.
Dr. Wittman's Journal, so far as relates to what he himself saw and understood, is a valuable collection of facts ; and it is to be regretted, that he has admitted some anecdotes upon the authority of vague and popular report. I do not particularly allude in this remark to the following one, though I question the accuracy of it, from knowing that the interpreter, Mr. Vinchenzo, was too ignorant, even of the Turkish language, to communicate intelligibly the substance of such a conversation as General Koehler held with the grand vizir.—" The general told his Highness, among other particulars, that the earth was round. This information caused no small degree of surprise to the Turkish minister; and it appeared, by his reply, that he was disposed to doubt the truth of the assertion. ' If,' he observed, ' the earth is round, how can the people, and other detached objects on the half beneath, be prevented from falling off ?' When he was told, that the earth revolved round the sun, he displayed an equal degree of scepticism, observing, that if that was the case, the ships bound from Jaffa to Constantinople, instead of proceeding to that capital, would be carried to London, or elsewhere." " So much," con cludes Dr. Wittman, rather too generally perhaps, -'" so much for the astronomical and geographical knowledge of a Turkish states-man." (Travels, p. 133.)

60I remember that the Abbe Beauchamp mentioned, in a company where I was present, that, when passing through Aleppo on his return from Bagdad, the pasha, having heard of his arrival, and knowing his reputation for astronomical learning, sent to in-quire what means might be employed with success for the recovery of a favourite horse, which had wandered into the desert a few weeks before.
61 See Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 416. Dr. Wittman asks, " Can such a people be formidable ?" To which I do not scruple to answer affirmatively: for the greatest and most formidable nations, even to no very remote period in modern history, have believed in the influence of the stars on human in actions.

It is an acknowledged fact, that astronomy was extended and improved from the studies and observations of the Arabian philosophers, who, as is evident from existing monuments, inquired into the magnitudes, the intervals, the courses and wanderings, of the heavenly 76 bodies ; yet perhaps their principal inducement to the pursuit was not so much a scientific spirit of discovery as a desire to unravel, together with the intricacies of the planetary system, the order of providence. in the moral government of the universe, Many of the caliphs are famed for their attainments in astronomical learning, but from their imperfect and unsteady views of the nature and limits of the human intellect, they were less anxious to ascertain the revolutions of the heavenly bodies and to discover the laws of their motions, than to predict from their changes and aspects the fate of kingdoms and monarchs, and even of families and individuals. The Turks possess at least sufficient astronomical knowledge to enable them to indicate in their almanacs the courses, revolutions, and eclipses, of the sun and moon ; and it must he imputed to a stubbornness of zeal, that their theologians have decided, that, in a religion which is sup-ported rather by testimony than its own intrinsic evidence, any improvements in science do not obviate the necessity of living witnesses to determine the appearance of the new moon which regulates the ramazan, and the principal festivals of the Mahometan church.

77 I have constantly observed, that they consider the skill of a physician as of the nature of sorcery, and expect from him solutions of difficulties which could be obtained only by supernatural means. I have read of a physician, who acquired great reputation with his patient from ascertaining the nature of his food by the motion of his pulse : and every pretender to medicine is expected to announce, from the first visit, with the precision of a soothsayer, the minute when death, or a favourable crisis, is to relieve his patient.

Their surgery is rude, from want of science, of skill, and of instruments. But though Christian surgeons are in general employed by persons of rank, there is a Persian at Constantinople, who has acquired great reputation, even among the Franks, for setting dislocated bones.62

In navigation the Turks are, in my opinion, equal to the Greeks in address, and superior 78 to them in courage and perseverance63. f judge of both, not from their evident inability to conduct their ships of war, a task to which neither of them are equal, but from their management of the smaller coasting vessels, to which both are familiarized, and in which they are by no means inexpert. I have at different times crossed the Black Sea and the Archipelago in Greek and Turkish boats, and have observed the character of both people in danger and in escapes, in seasons of fair and tempestuous weather. I have admired the equanimity of the Turk ; but should be cautious of trusting my safety another time to the bragging temerity and 79 unavailing despondency of a Greek reis. I embarked for Constantinople, with two other gentlemen, at the port of Varna on the Black Sea, in the month of November. Our voyage was tedious, but attended with no danger, till we incautiously made towards the mouth of the Bosphorus on a stormy night. I cannot describe the consternation and the dismay of the crew, when, soon after midnight, they observed the land at no great distance ahead. We might have avoided it by the common manoeuvre of going about ; but the sea ran high, and every object was seen through the medium of their fears : confusion prevented the execution of the necessary orders ; their intercessions to heaven were interrupted by curses on the passengers, to whose bad for-tune they attributed the effects of their own negligence. The pilot was the only Turk on board ; and he alone was steady : he alone animated the people to exertion by example and authority, and in a single tack we found ourselves out of danger64.

62" Sitot qu'un barbier sait un secret, it s'erige en medecin." (Spon, Voyage, p. 205. ) The bastinadoe, according to De Tott, enters into the Turkish pharmacopeia. A pasha had honoured a European merchant with his intimate friendship : the merchant had a fit of the gout ; the pasha had studied a little physic, and desirous of curing his friend, directed two of his domestics to give him fifty blows on the soles of his feet. The merchant, though he would willingly have dispensed with the administration of the medicine, found it deserving praise, for it soon effected a perfect cure. (Memoirs, V. iv, p. 109.) Since the former edition of this work, I have been so fortunate 43 to meet with a more correct copy of the prescription in the memoirs of the Chevalier d'Arvieux. (t. i,p. 72. Paris 1735.)
63The propriety of my assertion on this subject has been questioned. It is, however, confirmed by the testimony of Dr. Pouqueville, who was passenger on board a Greek vessel, commanded by Captain Guini, of the island of Spezzia, whose in-habitants, and those of Hydra, have the reputation of being the best sailors in the Archipelago. " Tant est grande la maladresse des matelots Grecs, qui ne le cedent presqu'en rien aux Turcs ea fait de navigation." (Voyage en Moree, t. i, p. 580.)
64They had undertaken the voyage with some unwillingness, as the Black Sea, during the winter, is much more stormy than the Propontis and Archipelago. From Eneada to the Capes of the Bosphorus there is no harbour, so that many of the boats of those who dare to navigate during the five winter months, are dashed by the north-north-east and north-west winds against the rocks and sands of the southern coast. Their vessels are of the kind called saiques, which are so constructed as not to be able to keep the sea when the wind is strong ; and they are obliged to bear away right before the wind, and run for a harbour.


On a former occasion I had crossed the Black Sea, from Odessa to Constantinople, in a Greek passage-boat. As we approached the promontory of the Hcemus, a thick fog arose from the vallies and defiles of that chain of mountains, and spread over the sea, so as to prevent our ascertaining the bearings of the coast. In this state of anxious uncertainty an expedient was resorted to, which, I apprehend, is peculiar to the Greek nation. The cabin-boy, the youngest, and therefore probably the most innocent, person in the vessel, brought a censer with incense, and visited every corner of the boat, and perfumed every passenger, calling for the interference of heaven in our behalf, by incessantly repeating the kyrie eleyson. The clavous, or pilot, was appointed, because of his age and experience, to lower down into the sea a hollow gourd, or pumpkin, in which was fixed a lighted taper ; and we looked, with devout confidence, for the miraculous dispersion of, the fog. The approach of evening prevented 81 the full effect of the miracle ; but, providentially, it was calm, and the sea was smooth. Our refs, a profligate scoundrel in fair weather, chid the boy with some severity for omitting to light the lamp which ought to have been burning in the cabin before the tutelary saint of the vessel. " I am the more attentive to this duty," said he, " since a circumstance happened to me, which 1 shall never forget. I was sleeping on the deck, in a harbour, with my people all round me. In the middle of the night I was awakened by some smart blows applied to my shoulders: I started up, and saw a venerable personage, with a flowing beard as white as snow, whose countenance expressed anger, and who continued beating me, in spite of my tears and intreaties, till my body was one continued bruise, and I fainted under the discipline with anguish and terror. When I recovered I found the people still sleeping ; they had heard no noise, and had seen nobody ; and it was not till I went into the cabin to restore myself by a glass of raki, that I discovered the lamp untrimmed, and confessed the justice of the punishment inflicted upon me." Devotion immediately became the order of the day ; and every one 82 doubled his evening prayers, and multiplied his crossings and prostrations. An unfortunate " esprit fort," who, while we were at., anchor in smooth water, had quoted Voltaire, a name of the same import as Antichrist, was shunned as infectious, and left to perform his solitary, but sincere, penance ; whilst the pious circle hung upon the lips of his opponent, listened with edification to the crudity of his reasonings, and evinced their faith by a submission to all the absurdities of his legendary histories.

When the minister Colbert inquired of the French merchants in what manner government could best interpose for the benefit of commerce, they advised him to leave to their own management the care of their own interests. `The maxim which that enlightened statesman adopted, from a conviction of its utility and its importance, is followed, unconsciously indeed, by the Turks, from its coincidence with their inertness and apathy. No restrictions are laid on commerce, except in the instance of a general prohibition of ex-porting the articles necessary for the support of human life to foreign countries, especially from the capital, where alone it is rigorously 83 enforced ; and this impolitic restraint will no doubt be removed, when the Turkish government shall become sensible, that what is intended as the means of securing abundance, is in fact the sole cause of that scarcity which is sometimes experienced. With this one exception, commerce is perfectly free and unfettered. Every article of foreign, or domestic, growth or manufacture is conveyed into every port, and over every province, without any interference on the part of the magistrates, after payment of the duties. On this subject I speak from actual experience, and may appeal to every foreign or native merchant in Turkey for its general truth.

The ideas relative to trade, entertained by all ranks in Turkey, if they are truly represented by Mr. Eton, would appear no less narrow and absurd than all their other opinions. " We should not trade," say they, " with those beggarly nations who come to buy of us rich articles of merchandize and rare commodities, which we ought not to sell to them : but with those who bring to us such articles without the labour of manufacturing, or the trouble of importing them on our part. Upon this principle it is, that Mocha coffee is prohibited to be sold to 84 infidels." Without presuming to question the accuracy of this representation (of which indeed it is difficult to ascertain the precise meaning) we may be allowed to ask, who among the Turks have ever held such language.--Is it the law? The law interdicts commerce with no nation.---Is it the goner nors or magistrates? They exclude no foreigner from their markets.---Is it the Turkish proprietor ? He confounds all Europeans under the general name of Frank, and knows no other distinction.

The high roads in Turkey are rarely traversed by individuals for other purposes than those of business. The caravans of merchants, both in Europe and Asia, are composed of horses and camels ; and merchandize is transported, by these conveyances, from the Hungarian frontiers to the Persian gulph. Wheel carriages are not unknown, but are disused from their not being adapted to the nature of the country.

The Tartars are public couriers, much respected for their good conduct and fidelity' Their name by no means indicates their origin, as they are taken indifferently from Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 268. 85 all the provinces in the empire, and are distinguished by the Tartar calpac, which they wear instead of the turban. They are strong and hardy ; and perform their journies with remarkable celerity. As there is no such establishment as a general post, a certain number of these Tartars are attached to the court, to the army, and to the governors of provinces, and are occasionally despatched to all parts of the empire. The post-houses in the European part of the empire, through which I have travelled, are well served with horses, and every requisite accommodation is afforded to the Tartars, which their habits of life require.65

65 Mr. Griffiths, in order to obtain a knowledge of genuine Turkish manners, travelled in the character of a Greek. He complains of the boorish behaviour of these Tartar guides ; but he should not complain, since he chose to assume a character as little respectable as that of a wandering Jew in our country. A gentleman, who in travelling supported the dignity of his character, speaks of them as I have always found they deserved. " La bonne foi avec laquelle ce Turc fit accord avec nous m'a frappe. Il mettoit a nous procurer ce qu'il nous falloit un zele incroy. able, ctant plus ache que nous, lorsqu'il nous manquoit quelque chose." " Les Turcs offrent milk traits de probite pareille II y a desprofessions, ou elle est comme un esprit de corps. Les kiradjis de Salonique transportent sur leurs chevaux 50, 60 mile piastres sans donner de recus, et paient sans difficulte ce qui se perd eq themin." (Voyage a Constantinople, F. 13 .)


{Abuse of power.}

The most prominent feature in the Turkish establishments, and that which first forces itself upon the attention of the observer, is the abuse of power. Whether this abuse be moulded into that perfection of tyranny which is denominated despotism, has been. differently determined by different authors Their disagreement, however, arises rather from different conceptions of the meaning o the term, than from any variety of opinion as to the nature of Turkish policy. With us the word despotism has so odious a signification, that we connect with it, almost involuntarily, the ideas of violence and injustice : but despotism, considered abstractedly and in itself, is neither more nor less than pure monarchy, one of the three regular modes of administering government, not necessarily including any abuse of authority, or cruelty of proceeding, and differing from the most perfect system of liberty only the circumstance of the legislative and executive authorities being both vested in one person, instead of flowing from the general will and collected wisdom of the society.66 The 87 objects, however, which the law and the power tend to promote, are, professedly at least, in both cases, the happiness of the community ; calculated, in one instance, according to the nature and habits of the people, and in the other, rendered subservient, in a chief degree, to the maintenance and support of the monarchical establishment. Yet " under governments of this latter species, unless when some frantic tyrant happens to hold the sceptre, the ordinary administration must be conformable to the principles of justice ; and if not active in promoting the welfare of the people, cannot certainly have their destruction for its object".67

" A despotism," says Sir James Porter, " I take to be a government in which there exists neither law nor compact, prior to the usurped power of the sovereign ; a sovereign, on whose arbitrary will the framing or the execution of laws depends, and who is bound neither by divine positive injunction, nor compact with the people." And comparing the Turkish 88 government with this standard, though he admit, that it is not perfect, or totally exempt from despotism," yet he asserts it " to be much more perfect and regular, as well as less despotic, than most writers have represented it; in a word, to be much superior with regard to the regularity of its form, and the justness of its administration, as well as much less despotic, than the government of some Christian states.68

66 "Je suppose trois definitions, ou plutot trois faits : Pun que le gouvernennent republicain est celui ou le peuple en corps, ou seulement une partie du peuple, a la souveraine puissance; le monarchique, celui oir un seul gouverne, mais par des loix fixes et etablies ; au lieu que, dans le despotique, un seul, sans loi et sans regle, entraine tout par sa volonte et par sec caprices." (Esprit des loix, liv. ii, ch. 1.)
67 Robertson's History of Charles the Fifth, p. 388, note

But though we admit this definition, as descriptive of despotism in theory, to be sufficiently correct, and allow to the full extent of the assertion, that it is moderated in its general practice by regularity of form and justness of proceeding, yet we can distinguish the Turkish government by no other name than that of despotism.

68Observations on the religion, laws, government of the Turks, Preface, p. 14, 19.
69 The nature of a government, is that which constitutes it what it is. Thus in a despotic state, it is essential that there be no law besides the will of the tyrant. The principle of a government, is that which supports and actuates it; and this in despotism is fear: for it can neither use, nor listen to, modification or remonstrance ; it can only command and threaten, and muse be obeyed.


Despotism is in the nature and principle of a government, rather than in its actual and general practice69. The power of the monarch is not continually exerted in acts of violence: the great, in some degree above the reach of common law, are indeed exposed to all the caprices of the prince ; but to the body of the people laws must be administered, con-formable to the great principles of justice, or the state itself will be involved in dangerous confusion.70

Pure despotism, unmitigated in its exercise by any species of moral or physical restraint, to the honour of human nature be it said, is but an ideal existence, a meta-physical abstraction. AEsop the fabulist, and the president Montesquieu, when they would raise our abhorrence of so degrading a system, are obliged to delineate it, not as it is observed to subsist in human society, but by comparisons drawn from the ignorant or savage abuse of power over brutes or inanimate matter71. It would therefore be an 90 unfair conclusion, that, because we characterize the Turkish government as a despotism, from an examination both of its nature and principle, we should therefore admit all its possible atrocities as really existing in practice.

70Il faut que 1e peuple soft juge par les loix, et les grands par la fantaisie du prince ; que la tote du dernier sujet soit en surete, et celle des bachas toujours exposee." (Esprit des loix, 1w. iii, chap. 9.)
71See Phardrus's fables, book i, fab. 3.
The following is the chapter in 1'esprit des loix, entitled " idee du despotisme."
" Quand les sauvages de la Louisiane veulent avoir du fruit, its coupent 1'arbre au pied, et cueillent le fruit. Voila 1c gouverAemeut despoticjue." (Liv. v, c. 13.)

If by despotism," says Mr. Eton, " be meant a power originating in force, and upheld by the same means to which it owed its establishment; a power scorning the jurisdiction of reason, and forbidding the temerity of investigation ; a power calculated to cramp ' the growing energies of mind, and annihilating the faculties of man, in order to insure his-dependence ; the government of Turkey may be most faithfully characterized by that name."72 It is almost unnecessary to point out the incorrectness of this passage. The Ottoman national power indeed originated in force, was founded on conquest, and must still be upheld by force. But the power of the Ottoman sultans over their subjects, whit is the matter of the present discussion, is a8 legitimate in its origin and its progress, as that of every other sovereign in the world. In its present state, so far from supporting itself by force, it appeals only to reason ; the 72 reason indeed of the nation, which bounds investigation by the precepts of the koran. Mr. Eton's representation of its effects may perhaps be thought exaggerated, upon a more familiar acquaintance with the nation which is governed by it.

72Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 17.

The Turkish government has been said to be free from despotism, because, in a despotic state, the law can be nothing but the will of the master, and because universal fear of the monarch is essential to its existence ; whereas the sultan is bound by paramount religious law, and the army exerts a power which the sultan himself is constrained to fear. But the law, as it is called in Turkey (improperly, so far as it regards the monarch, unless we really deceive ourselves into the opinion of its divine origin), is but a code of maxims promulgated by the first despot, and transmitted to his successors, as necessary to uphold the existence of that species of tyranny which he himself had usurped. It is still the will of the despot, rendered permanent as an inheritance to his posterity, and it does not diminish or change the character of despotism. The mere terror of a name could never hold a people in subjection : an armed force at the disposal of the 92 sovereign is necessary to insure its efficacy. But, because an army, however nearly it m approach to it, can never become merely passive instrument in the hands of a monarch, is it therefore to be considered as counteracting or restraining his power, though it cliff from other instruments only in its capacity being seduced by selfish motives to saver from the object of its institution? In t ordinary acts of government neither religion or the army are any restraints upon despotism, and certainly not so much so, as t aversion to oppression and spirit of resistance implanted in the nature of man would be, these restraints were removed. They do ii then even mitigate despotism, except on themselves, and in no respect in its exert over the people. But when these powers feel the oppression of tyranny, and interfere to alleviate it, despotism itself is overthrow and a temporary anarchy is introduced.73

73" Un gouvernement modere peut, tant qu'il veut et s peril, reacher ses ressorts ; it se maintient par ses loix et par force meme. Mais lorsque, clans le gouvernement despotiq le prince cease un moment de lever le bras ; quand it ne p pas aneantir a 1'instant ceux qui ont les premieres places, tout perdu : car le ressort du gouvernement, qui eat la crainte, tant plus, le peuple n' a plus de protecteur." (Esprit des 10 !ir. iii, chap. 9.)


Dr. Robertson says, " there can indeed be no constitutional restraints on the will of a prince in a despotic government ; but there may be such as are accidental. Absolute as the Turkish sultans are, they feel themselves circumscribed both by religion, the principle on which their authority is founded, and by the army, the instrument which they must employ73 Montesquieu also is of opinion, that religion may sometimes be success-)ally opposed to the will of an arbitrary prince." " The subject," he says, " will abandon his farther, he will even murder him, if the despot orders it : but the bigot will not drink wine, however his prince may threaten or command him. The laws of religion are of paramount authority : they are imposed equally on the prince and on his subjects.74"

But what is the whole weight of the restriction which religion imposes on the actions of princes? It requires from them conformity to established rites and ceremonies. It in-deed preaches virtue ; but no religion sub-jests the moral conduct of governors to the judgment of the people. It addresses itself 94 to the conscience of the individual, directl and immediately. Its language, to those who would interfere with its august functions, is, " let him among you, who is with-out sin, east the first stone."

The Mahometan religion inculcates the reciprocal duties to be observed by the prince and his subjects ; but though it teaches, it cannot enforce, a just administration of, government. The only conditions imposed upon the sultan are the profession of the Mahometan faith, and conformity to the ceremonial of the Mahometan church ; and though the practice of every regal virtue be more consistent with these duties, yet they are not incompatible with the exercise of the-most atrocious tyranny.

The army, though it be granted, that it curbs the authority which it supports, yet re-strains it only in the commission of such acts as immediately concern its own welfare or. ambition. The praetorian bands in Rome, and the janizaries in Constantinople, though both in the most wanton manner have dethroned, murdered, and exalted princes, have never by their interference, either designedly or accidentally, mitigated the violence, or softened the severity of despotism.

73History of Charles the Fifth, p. 189.
74 Esprit des loix, liv. iii, chap. 10.


De Tott, in compliment to the theory of Montesquieu (a flattery which that dignified author would have disdained), has distorted even the hideousness of arbitrary power. Fear is the principle of a despotic government ; and " the Turk, incited to violence by despotism, wishes, but fears, to commit murder, until intoxication puts' him on a level with the despot.." The indolent Turk indulges in the natural taste of reclining under the shade of great trees, because despotism," which suffers him to pass on almost unwrinkled from infancy to decrepitude, " will not allow him to wait the growth of trees." " " His compassion for brutes arises from the pride of despotism, which, while it confounds all beings, chooses its favourites from among the weakest." Thus we see. the same person, alternately, the tyrant, and the slave of despotism; incited to violence by the possession of power, and deterred from exerting it by that very power, to which at the same time he himself is preposterously subject.

Honour, the leading principle in a monarchy, is unknown under despotism ; and be Tott, in contradiction, I may say, to his °'vn positive knowledge, denies even the existence of' the word in the Turkish vocabulary.


De Tott seems desirous of paving such a compliment to Montesquieu, as that which the French philosophers, sent by the court of Versailles to measure an arch of the meridian in different parts of the world, paid to Newton on their return, when they had ascertained, by their labours, the accuracy of his theory respecting the true figure of the earth.

Our respect for Montesquieu cannot be diminished by an exposure of the disingenuousness of De Tott's admiration. The name and reputation of Montesquieu must be immortal ; but our deference for hiss system, however ingenious, however reason-able, should never tempt us to abuse it like the bed of Procrustes, or to forswear the evidence of our senses in obedience to his authority75.

Montesquieu, probably misled by an author of the name of Perry, indeed says, that. honour is unknown in despotic states, 97 where frequently there is no word even to express it." With respect to Turkey, the position is false. D'Ohsson, in refutation of De Tott, says, those who pretend, that the word honour does net exist in the language of the Ottomans, prove only their own imperfect acquaintance with the idiom, and the manners, of this people. Otherwise how could they have been ignorant of those words which correspond with honour, dignity, reputation, consideration, and which are constantly used by the Turks in any discussion which relates to probity, honesty or justice."76

75 Compare Esprit des loix, Iiv. iii, chap. 9, with Memoirs of `, Baron de Ton, Preliminary discourse, p. 8; Esprit des loix, liv. iii, chap. 8, with Memoirs, V. iii, p. 140. See also Men] oit4' V. i, p. 62 and 907.
76Irz, namouz, schann, scheuhhreth. See Tab. Gen. t.. iv, p.374.

So much for the existence of the word : as for the sentiment of honour, as existing among the Turks, I would beg to know of those who do not admit its influence in a despotic country, upon what other principle they can account for the conduct of, the Turks, in an instance related by Dr. Witt-man. " On the 17th of June, discontents broke out among the janizaries, on account of the British troops under Colonel Stewart, and the corps of Turks commanded by Taher Pasha, being advanced in their front." If 98 this be not honour, I am at a loss to characterize it. But indeed wherever there is a sense of pride or shame, there must be a feeling of honour; and to suppose, that an army can exist without it, that men who are urged on to perform great actions without other recompence than the fame of their exploits should be insensible to honour, is too gross a contradiction, to need refutation. The Prussian officer, who discharged his one pistol at the feet of the king, and shot himself with the other, rather than survive the infamy of a blow; expressed in the same moment an absolute submission to despotism, and the quickest sense of honour. The sentiment of honour, which is the rule of private conduct, is as pure and sacred in retired life, and under republican or despotical governments, as in monarchies. It however appears to me, that by honour, of which Montesquieu denies the existence under despotism, he means a principle different from those which I have described. He calls it the public virtue of a monarchy, the source of all vigour and all action, inherent in the very nature of limited government ; which prompts men to support the privileges of their hereditary nobility, as of equal sanctity with the prerogative of the sovereign, 99 and which urges others to claim distinction of rank and pre-eminence from their own personal merit. This kind of honour could not indeed be suffered in despotic countries, and it would disturb the economy of a democracy. Philosophically speaking, how-ever, this sentiment of personal preference, notwithstanding its utility, is but a false honour : the principle of true honour, which leads to virtue from a contempt of vice, is not less pure from being wholly unconnected with it, and is not confined to any climate or any system of government.

One of the evils, and by no means the least those necessarily accompanying despotism is, that it represses the spring of improvement, which there is in society. 'Whatever talents may have been called forth, during the struggle which despotism was making to establish its dominion, become stationary at best, or more probably retrograde, when once it has perfected its plan, and stretched itself out to repose on the summit of its power. We behold with wonder in the history of the world the empire of China, which has been arrested many centuries ago in its career of improvement, still resting upon its plan of imagined perfection, occupied only in 100 supporting the sameness of its existence, and surveying with indifference the superior elevation of foreign knowledge. In every country where despotism is established, every art and every useful institution date from a period antecedent to its introduction. In no one, is it possible to trace the rays of science to one common centre in the zenith : the source of light is sunk beneath the horizon, and only a few scattered rays faintly point out some partial and imperfect method, followed without being understood. In process of time the evil becomes incurable ; those who should apply the remedy are themselves contaminated.77 " See," says Montesquieu, " with what eagerness the Russian government endeavours to throw off its despotism, which is become more oppressive to itself than to the people."78 In despotic' countries, 101 if arts continue to be practised, there is no Science in the method : the artisan knows not the principles on which he proceeds ; he gropes on in routine, but stumbles into the most ridiculous absurdities when he quits the beaten track. To the inherent quality of despotism itself, and not to any natural incapacity, we are to attribute all that is incoherent and grotesque in Turkish knowledge.

77"Toute la diferencs est que, clans la monarchie, Is prince a des lumieres, et que les ministres y sent infiniment plus habiles et plus rompus aux affaires que clans Past despotique." (Esprit des loix, liv. iii, chap. 10.)
78The memoirs of Baron de Tott present us with an interesting picture, in the fruitless attempts of Sultan Mustafa to arnelio' rate the system of his government. He was sensible of the existing evils : a wonderful progress, when we consider how far he was removed from information by his rank and education. u Had he lived," says De Tott, " he would have sacrificed even his despotism," but is the disease of despotism the patient cannot minister is himself; he flounders under his own u mess, but he cannot shake it off: he may scarify his bloated substance, but he deforms instead of healing it."

D'Ohsson, having observed the mischievous tendency of some of the ramifications of despotism, attributes to them the evils which afflict the Turkish empire, and does not penetrate as far as the radical cause. " The law," he says, " which subjects the minor princes of the blood to a state of imprisonment, enervates all the elasticity of the heart and the mind. Its influence extends to the people, and strikes all with sterility ; suspending, as well with the subjects as the prince, all progress in the arts and sciences." But this cause is evidently inadequate to the effects produced : for, in a despotic country, the public conduct, even of a reigning prince, 102 can never operate as an example to his subjects; and still less can the conduct, observed towards him during his minority, influence the public manners. The assertion is further disproved by an appeal to history ; for the evils which oppress the country, and which D'Ohsson enumerates as originating in a law made under Soliman the First, did equally exist in all the preceding reigns79.

The Roman empire groaned under the same evils, and sunk to the same debility. En-lightened and virtuous despotism may pro-cure a transient felicity ; but at the same time when the Roman historians were celebrating the blessings of Trajan's government, " the splendour of the cities, the beautiful face of the country, cultivated and adorned like an immense garden," the latent cause of decay and corruption, " the uniform government of the Romans" was gradually reducing the minds of men to the same level, 103 extinguishing the fire of genius, and causing even the military spirit to evaporate.80

79Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 483. a Hence, continues D'Ohsson, popular prejudices, or rather the superstitious respect of the nation for its ancient customs ; the want of communication with Europeans ; the slow progress of the press ; the prejudice against foreign languages ; the neglect of translating the works of European writers ; the aversion to travel beyond their empire, and the System of not sending ambassadors to foreign courts.
80Hadrian and the Antonines were themselves men of learning and curiosity, and the love of letters was fashionable among their subjects ; yet, " if we except the inimitable Lucian, this age of indolence passed away without having produced a single writer of original genius, or who excelled in the arts of elegant composition." The long festival of peace contributed less to damp the military ardour, and stop the growth of military talents, than the natural jealousy of despotism, " Germanicus, Suetonius Paulinus, and Agricola, were checked and recalled in the course of their victories. Corbulo was put to death. Military merit, as it is admirably expressed by Tacitus, was in the strictest sense of the word, imperatoria virtu.." (Gibbon, V. i) p. 5.)

In Turkey, even the most worthy members of society perform their duty coldly and officially ; all tremble at the public censure, and dare not aspire to innovation or reform, lest they should expose themselves to the shafts of envy and calumny. Under despotism talents must remain insulated, the very nature of the government militates against the idea of an aggregation of knowledge, or a national fund of acquirements. That the Turks labour under no natural inferiority, there needs no argument to prove; and a testimony, by no means to be suspected when it condescends to praise, assures us, that 104 they possess " the bold and vigorous grasp of native genius."81 De Tott found in the Turks an aptitude and an eagerness for mathematical know 105 ledge ; and if domestic tranquillity and external peace allowed an extensive and well directed study of the mathematics, they would, in a few years, be little inferior to any nation in Europe. No branch of science is of such universal application and such general utility, and no study so effectually roots out prejudices and inculcates method, On the mathematics depends the first great science without which all others are useless, the science of national defence : from the mathematics flow all public and private works, all that distinguish civilization from barbarism ; and by them men are prepared for all situations in life. Without them even learning bewilders itself in the mazes of subtlety, and philosophy wastes itself in conjectures82.

81 Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 87.-Climate and the government, in the opinion of De Tott, have formed this people such as he describes them. " The power of moral causes predominates over that of physical;" but, " under the yoke of actual tyrants, physical causes must regain their influence. The climate which the Turks inhabit relaxes the fibres and perverts the effect of their prejudices, so far as even to make them rash, from a cause which, in a cold country, would have made them brave." (Memoirs, Preliminary discourse, p. 4.) It cannot certainly be thought unfair to confront with De Tott's reasoning, the moral and physical portrait of a Turkish subject of Upper Egypt, taken from common life.—" On peut dire qu'individuellement 1'Egyptien est industrieux et adroit, et que manquant, a 1'egaI du sauvage, de toute espece d'instrument, on doit s'etonner de ce qu'ils font de leurs doigts, auxquels ils sont rcduits, et de leurs pieds, dont ils s'aident merveilleusement. Its ont, comme ouvriers, une grande qualite, celle d'etre sans presomption, patients, et de recommencer jusqu'a ce qu'ils aient fait a-peu-pres ce que vous desirez d'eux. Je ne sais jusqu'a quel point on pourroit les rendre braves; mais nous ne devons as voir sans effroi toutes les qualites de soldats qu'ils possedent; eminemment sobres, pietous comme des coureurs, ecuyers comme des centaures, nageurs comme des tritons: et cependant c'est a une population de plusieurs millions d'individus, qui possedent ter qualites, que quatre mille Fran pis isoles commandoient imperieusement sur deux cents lieues de pays! Tant 1'habitude d'obeir est une maniere d'etre comme celle de commander, jusqu'a ce que Ies uns s'endormant dans 1'abus du pouyoir, les autres soient reveilles par le bruit de leur chaine." (Devon, t. i, p. 822.)
82Mathematical knowledge must indeed hare been in a degraded state, if we are implicitly to credit De Tott's account of the conference, which he held by command of the sultan, with the chief of the geometricians. " I modestly asked them, what was the value of the three angles of a triangle, I was requested to Propose the question once more, and, all the learned having looked on each other, the boldest among them replied with firmness, " It is according to the triangle." " The ignorance of these pretended mathematicians," continues he, " needed no demonstration; but I must do justice to their zeal for the sciences they all requested to be received into the new school, and 106 nothing was now thought of but its establishment." His scholars were " captains of ships, with white beards, and others of mature age;" and yet these men, though the charge of indocility is so unsparingly cast on the whole nation, " were able, at the end of three months, to work, in the field, all the problems which result from the four theorems of plane trigonometry; which was as much of this kind of knowledge as was required." The affectionate parting of the baron and his scholars does equal honour to both, and who, on reading it, will not spurn at the insinuation that the Turks are inferior to those men " whom Peter Great taught to conquer the Swedes." " The vessel," says De Tott, "that was to convey me to Smyrna, had already weighed anchor, and set her sails, when several boats came about us, I saw myself surrounded by all my pupils, with each a book or an instrument in his hand. Before you leave us, said they, with much emotion, give us, at least, a parting lesson: it will be more deeply impressed on our memories than all the rest. One opened his book to explain the square of the hypothenuse; another with a long white beard elevated his sextant to take an altitude; a third asked me questions concerning the use of the sinical quadrant; and all accompanied me out to sea for more than two leagues; where we took leave of each other with a tenderness the more lively, as it was unusual, and to me unexpected (Memoirs, V. i, p. 204.)




107 Multeka, or religious code of laws.--Canon-nameh, or imperial constitution.--Authority and prerogatives of the sultan.--Laws of succession.--Princes of the blood.--The sultan's vicegerents.--Classes of the ulema.--Order of legal dignities.--Subordination of the priesthood.--Privileges,-- and powers of the ulema.--Grand vizir.--Divan, or council of state.--Sublime Porte, or Ottoman cabinet.--Government of provinces.--Revenues of pashas:--their modes of life:--precariousness of their offices.--Reflections on the sultan's direct interference in government,--in administering justice,--in conducting war.--Subjection of the people.--Political, civil, and religious distinctions.--Means of redress against tyranny and oppression.

The Ottoman empire is governed by a code of laws called multeka, founded on the precepts of the koran, the oral laws of the prophet, his usages or his opinions; together with the sentences and decisions of the early caliphs and the doctors of the first ages of islamism. This code is a general collection of laws relating to religious, civil, criminal, 108 political, and military affairs: all equally spected, as being theocratical, canonical, and immutable; though obligatory in different degrees, according to the authority which accompanies each precept. In some instances it imposes a duty of eternal obligation, as being a transcript of the divine will, extracted from the registers of heaven and revealed to Mahomet: in others it invites an imitation of the great apostle in his life and conduct. To slight the example is indeed blamable, but does not entail upon the delinquent the imputation or penalty of guilt; and a still inferior authority accompanies the decisions of doctors on questions which have arise since the death of the prophet2.1. This sacred deposit is confided to the sultan in his character of caliph and chief imam; and he is invested with the sovereign executive command2.2.

2.1Of the first kind, are the interdictions of the use of wine, the flesh of hogs, the blood of animals, &c, &c.--Of the second kind, are the prohibitions against clothes made of silk, vessels of gold or silver, &c, &c.--and of the third, the opinions respecting the use of opium, coffee, tobacco, &c, &c.

2.2Le texte du cour'ann et celui du hadiss, recueil du toutes les lois orales de Mohammed, portent le nom du nass, qui signifie le texte par excellence, et leurs commentaires celui du tefsir. Le texte de tous les ouvrages théologiques et canoniques qui ont été faits d'après l'esprit de ces deux premiers livres, s'appelle methn; les commentaires qui les accompagnent, scherhh; les explications qui en ont été faites depuis, haschiyé, et celles qui leur servent encore de développement, talikath. Le code multéka qui embrasse l'universalité de la législation religieuse est le résumé de cette immensité d'ouvrages. (Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 336.) For the history and more detailed account of the code multeka, see the introduction to the Tableau Général, p.--124.
M. Ruffin, on the authority of M. le Comte de St. Priest, denies that the multeka is a code, since it is only the sum of the opinions of an infinite number of commentators, who never made one single law. "If the koran," he says, "be not the code of the Mahometans, they have none, and have at most only a jurisprudence." (De Tott, Appendix, p. 41.)

109 On matters unforeseen, or unprovided for, by the first promulgators of the law, the sultan pronounces as the interest of religion, and the advantage or honour of the state require. The temporal power of Mahomet over his followers was founded solely on their persuasion of the divinity of his mission2.3; while that of the Ottoman sultans, and of the several chiefs who usurped dominion in the dismembered empire of Mahomet's successors, was derived from conquest or from hereditary pre-eminence, and was intrinsically independent of the Mahometan religion. As, however, the exercise of authority over Mussulmans can be justified only by the actual or presumed delegation of the 110 caliphs, it naturally follows, that, in all nations which have adopted the religion of Mahomet, the political system is modified by laws originally made for the support and propagation of the faith, and is itself subordinate to the religious constitution. The theological law contains a few general precepts, though it by no means prescribes the former mode, of government, in its minute branches, or in cases of ordinary occurrence; and it expressly concedes to the legislation of the prince an absolute authority on all matters which do not relate to the belief, or the practical duties, of religion2.4. His power, in the opinion of their most learned civilians, is restricted only in the observance of the religious institutions; for, in civil and political matters, the law admits such a latitude of interpretation, that his will alone is sovereign, and is subject neither to control nor censure. The code multeka is, however, alone considered as paramount law: the imperial decrees (or khatt'y sherif), of which a general compilation was made by Sultan Soliman under the name of canon nameh, or teshrifat2.5, are considered as emanations from 111 human authority, are susceptible of modification, or even of abolition, and remain in force only during the pleasure of the sultan or his successors. They cannot however be revoked or annulled on slight grounds, or without sufficient reason; for it is believed by the multitude, that what is said or done by the sultans is so firm as not to be retracted on any human account.

2.3See Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 264.

2.4See Tab. Gén. Introduction, p. 44.

2.5See Cantemir, p. 174, note 1. Toderini, t. i, p. 34.

Thus, by the constitution of Mahometan government, not only the executive, but the legislative, power essentially resides in the sovereign. His spiritual and temporal authority are indicated, in the language of the jurists, by the titles of imam and sultan2.6. The Ottoman emperor, who unites under his sacerdotal authority all the Mahometan princes and states of the four orthodox rites, assumes, in virtue of this prerogative, the titles of padishah-islam (emperor of islamism), imam-ul-musliminn (pontiff of Mussulmans) and sultan dinn (protector of the faith)2.7.

2.6See Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 257.

2.7See Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 263. The sunnys, or orthodox mussulmans, are those who follow the rites of the four imams Hanifé, Schafiy, Malik and Hannbel.

The law, indeed, requires that the imam shall be of the race of the Koreish, the descendants 112 of Abraham by Ismael. The defect in the title of the Ottoman sultans is, however, supplied by the resignation of the caliphat, and the cession of all the other rights of the imameth, to Selim the First, by the last caliph of the house of Abbas and the sherif of Mecca, both of whom were descendants of the Koreish by the families of Haschim and Ali, the kinsmen of Mahomet. Independently of these titles, the Mahometan doctors acknowledge the spiritual rights of the reigning family to be legally established by their power and the success of their arms2.8.

2.8See Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 268.

At court, when mention is made of the sultan, the appellation of alem-penah (refuge of the world), is usually added to his title of padishah, or emperor. His loftiest title, and the most esteemed because given to him by the kings of Persia, is zil-ullah (shadow of God); and the one the most remote from our manners, though common among all ranks of his subjects, is hunkiar (the manslayer); which is given to him, not, as has been asserted, because "in the regular administration of government, he executes criminal justice by himself, without process or 113 formality2.9," but because the law has invested him alone with absolute power over the lives of his subjects. The Turkish casuists indeed attribute to the emperor a character of holiness, which no immoral conduct can destroy; and as he is supposed to perform many actions by divine impulse, of which the reasons or motives are inscrutable to human wisdom, they allow, that he may kill fourteen persons every day, without assigning a cause, or without imputation of tyranny2.10. Death by his hand, or by his order, if submitted to without resistance, confers martyrdom; and some, after passing their lives in his service, are reported to have aspired to the honour of such a consummation, as a title to eternal felicity2.11.

2.9Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 30.

2.10See Cantemir, p. 71, note 2. Toderini, t. i, p. 35, note i. "Les vices ni la tyrannie d'un imam n'exigent pas sa déposition." (Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 288.) Rycaut says, that "the grand signor can never be deposed or made accountable to any for his crimes, whilst he destroys, causelessly of his subjects under the number of a thousand a day." (Present state of the Ottoman empire, p. 7.)

2.11Rycaut, p. 8.

The sultan is the universal proprietor of all the immovable wealth in the empire, except the funds destined to pious purposes. He is however restrained, both by law and 114 custom, in the exercise of this right over the property of subjects not immediately employed in the service of the government, and it is only in the default of natural heirs that such property lapses to the crown2.12. The sultan is also the sole fountain of honour: from his pleasure flows all dignity, all nobility, and all power. Birth confers no privileg: he raises to hounour, or debases, whom he pleases: he seldom interposes his authority in the ordinary course of affairs; but he decides upon the conduct of his ministers or his lieutenants with military promptitude, and constant interference of absolute authority, threatening in its denunciations, and rigorous 115 in its exercise, seems necessary for enforcing the obedience of governors, invested with sovereign authority, throughout an empire so widely extended2.13.

2.12Sir William Jones (V. iii, p. 511.) answers in the negative the question, "whether, by the Mogul constitution, the sovereign be not the sole proprietor of all the land in his empire, which he or his predecessors have not granted to a subject or his heirs," because, in the opinion of the lawyers and in the language of the koran, the absolute right of ownership is admitted in proprietors, and acknowledged to descend to their heirs. "Even escheats," he says, "are never appropriated to his (the sovereign's) use, but fall into a fund for the relief of the poor." The law, which is common both to the Mogul and the Ottoman empires, is, indeed, explicit on this point, but it does not seem to affect the question of the sovereign's right of universal proprietorship, for as both empires were ganed by conquest, it follows, that all lands must have been originally held as grants from the sovereign.

2.13Mr. Eton says, (p. 27.) "the forms of administration are purely military. This is so thoroughly the case, that the grand seignior is still supposed to reign, as formerly, in the midst of his camp; he even dates his public acts from his imperial stirrup." I have searched with some care for the authority on which Mr. Eton quotes this fact; but I am still compelled to leave to him the "onus probandi."

It is a constitutional maxim that the Ottoman empire never falls to the spindle2.14. The succession is established in the two principal branches of the families of the Oguzian tribe, the Othmanidæ and the Jenghizians. In case of failure in the Ottoman race, a successor to the empire must be chosen from the sovereign family of the Crim Tartars, which is derived from the same common stock2.15.

2.14"Point de félicité," says the prophet himself, "point de salut pour un peuple gouverné par une femme! Ces paroles sont devenues depuis une loi fondamentale, et une des premières maximes de l'état." (Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 275.)

2.15See Cantemir, preface, p. 14, 15. Rycaut, p. 58. Mignot, t. ii, p. 442. Gibbon however observes (V. xii, p. 58.), that "the kindred of the Ottomans with the Tartar khans of the house of Zingis appears to be founded in flattery rather than in truth." Marsigli (t. i, p. 7.) asserts, that "the Tartar branch, according to the Ottoman constitution and laws, has no title to the throne; but that inheritance, in case of the extinction of the male race of sultans, would pass to the eldest son of the eldest daughter of the last of the Ottoman sultans." Cantemir, however, expressly says, that "they acknowledge no other heirs than those of the male line;" and indeed Marsigli should have known, that the male children of the sultanas, or princesses of the blood, are condemned to death from the instant of their birth. (See Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 286.) Mignot records a curious fact, that in the reign of Ibrahim (A.D. 1640.) the on of the Tartar khan of the Crimea was put to death by the pasha of Rhodes for having said, that if the sultan should die without male issue the Ottoman sceptre would belong to his house. (Hist. Ottoman. t. iii, p. 48.)

116 The empire does not descend in a right line from father to son, but devolves to the oldest surviving male of the Imperial family; as in the instance of the reigning emperor, Selim the Third, who ascended the throne to the exclusion of his cousins, the sons of Abdulhamid, his immediate predecessor. This law, which was intended to guard against the inconveniences of a minor's reign, is so far religiously observed; but the right of seniority, even among princes of mature age, has not always been respected. Osman, the founder of the monarchy, was the first who deviated from its observance: on his death-bed he appointed his second son Orkhan to succeed him, instead of Aladin Pasha, who was set aside, because of his love for retirement, and his attachment to speculative studies2.16.

2.16Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 284.

117 The veneration of the Turks for the reigning family is coeval with the foundation of the monarchy; it has continued undiminished throughout five centuries, and may be considered as the chief, if not the only support of the Ottoman power. The purity of the succession, and the plenitude of power, are guarded by the religion, and the universal prejudices, of the nation. The janizaries, no less powerful and no less licentious than the prætorians, have dethroned, but have never usurped the privilege of electing an emperor. The reaction of the same principle, while it tends to the stability of the throne, contributes no less to the personal safety of the great officers of government. The jealously of the sultan can never been excited against his vizirs or his generals; nor can the ambition of a subject ever dare to aspire above the footsteps of the throne. The imperial majest slumbers in the arms of a minister, who is invested with all the pomp and all the power of royalty; to whom nothing is left to covet except the imperial dignity, and whose precarious existence is dependent on the favour of his master2.17.

2.17"Cum nihil sit amplius, præter imperatorium fastigium, quod eoncupiscere vizirius posse videatur: tunc levissima quaque de causa vel summovetur ab onere, vel interficitur." (Montalbanus, ap. Elzevir, p. 19.)

118 Yet though every motive of ambition and self-preservation, together with the possession of such ample means, may seem to suggest the consummation of treason and rebellion, the Ottoman annals do not record an attempt, or any intimation of an attempt, to transfer the sacred diadem to a private head.

The unity of the sovereignty is essential to the very existence of a Mussulman community. The Mahometan church acknowledges no legitimate form of government except the monarchical, because of the necessary union of the sacerdotal with the temporal power. It admits of no division of authority, no partition of dominion: the sovereign power is irreconcileable with curtailment or association, and like the state which is subject to its sway, is one and indivisible. Cara Mustafa Pasha, the vizir who conducted the siege of Vienna in the reign of Mahomet the Fourth, is indeed accused by historians of the design of assuming to himsel the title of sultan of Vienna, and founding a Mussulman empire in the west. The charge of treachery against an unsuccessful 119 general is easily credited. His attempt is reprobated by the Turks; but the authenticity of the accusation may be questioned, as it rests merely on the report of a rival, and is not supported by the evidence of any overt act2.18.

2.18Cantemir, p. 304.

The presumptive heirs to the empire live in honourable confinement in the palace called eski serai, and are placed by the law under the more especial protection of the janizar aga (general of the janizaries), whose duty it is to guard them from the cruelty or jealousy of the sultan: hence he is honoured by them with the name of lala, tutor or foster-father2.19. The custom of imprisoning the minor princes is repugnant to the spirit of Mussulman legislation, and is a law of the Seraglio dictated by fear and cruelty, the ruling passions of an effeminate tyrant. These victims of corrupt political institution are sequestered from general society, except when they momentarily quit their prison during the festival of the bairam in order to 120 present their homage to the sultan. Sensual gratifications, it has been said, constitute their only enjoyments; but sensual pleasures are an inadequate compensation for the want of liberty, and even these are embittered by the reflection, if men so educated are capable of reflection, that the offspring of their luxury is condemned to be torn from the first embraces of its parents by the hands of an inexorable assassin2.20.

2.19Lord Sandwich says, (p. 210.) that "upon the death of one of these princes, the janizar aga, with the cul kiahyazi, and the two cadileskers, go to the seraglio, where they examine the corpse naked, in order to discover if their are any marks of violence."

2.20"Le jour de la naissance de l'enfant est en même temps celui de sa mort: la sage femme qui le reçoit, est tenue, au risque de sa tète, de ne pas le laisser vivre.--Elle n'ensanglante cependant jamais ses mains; ce seroit un attentat contraire au respect dû au sang royal: mais elle s'interdit ses fonctions; elle ne noue pas le cordon ombilical. Tel est le grenre de mort réservé à ces tendres rejetons du sang Ottoman." (Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 286.)
Dr. Pouqueville (Voyages, t. ii, p. 164.) affirms, that "the noblest passions of the Ottoman princes are designedly perverted during their imprisonment in the eski serai." But on what authority does he assert such calumny? Charles the Twelfth of Sweden, gives us a useful caution against admitting reports on the mere credit of a traveller in Turkey. "M. Fabrice ayant dit à sa Majesté," says M. de la Motraye (Voyages, t. ii, p. 11.), "que j'étois un voyageur, elle lui répondit en souriant, j'ai remarqué que les voyageurs usent du privilège des poëtes, et nous en donnent bien à garder."

The sultan's delegates are the sheik islam or mufti, chief doctor and interpreter of the koran and the canonical laws2.21, and the vizir 121 azem or grand vizir, who, as keeper of the seal of the empire, exercises all the temporal authority, and presides over the political administration.

2.21See Tab. Gén. t. iv, p. 496.

The ulema, the guardians of the religion, the administrators and interpreters of the laws, of the empire from which order the mufti is chosen, form a body highly respected and powerful. The venerable title of ulema, insamuch as it signifies doctors or learned men, is common to the whole order, which is however divided into three distinct classes, comprehending indeed the ministers of religion, but distinguishing them from the foukahha, or jurisconsults, who are again subdivided into muftis, or doctors of law, and cadis or ministers of justice; and to these the title of ulema is more peculiarly appropriated.

An error of the first consequence, and which has misled most writers in their speculations on the nature of the Turkish government, is that which represents the ulema as the ministers of religion, exercising control over the minds of men, still more unlimited than that of the Christian clergy in the darkest ages, and in the plenitude of their temporaral power. The functions of the 122 foukahha, the doctors and expounders of the law, are however perfectly distinct and unconnected with those of the imams, or immediate ministers of religion. These do not even belong to the order of the ulema, in the restricted meaning and general acceptation of the word: their service is confined to the mosques, and to the duties and ceremonies of public worship2.22.

2.22This distinction of powers is plainly inferred in the following passage: "Un imam mineur n'a le droit d'exercer par luimeme aucunes fonctions relatives a l'imameth, ni de fair aucun acte juridique; prive de ce droit, il ne peut le deferer ni aux khatibs et aux imams-pretres, pour l'exercise de la religion, ni aux mollas et aux cadys, pour l'administration de la justice." (Tab. Gen. t. i, p. 276.)

The mere recapitulation of the degrees, by which the students of the colleges rise to the highest professional dignities, must show, that the lawyers and the judges are wholly unconnected with the ecclesiastical order; and that they are theologians only inasmuch as the multeka derives its origin from the precepts of the koran, and takes cognizance of whatever relates to faith or practice. The ministers of religion, indeed, receive their education in common with the ulema in the colleges, and together they form the class of students, called softa. When the students 123 have attained a proper age, and have acquired a sufficient stock of learning, it is left to their own choice to devote themselves either to the ministry of religion, the interpretation of the laws, or the administration of justice:2.23 but, when they have once entered upon the ministry, so distinct are they from the body of lawyers, that they are even arranged under a separate jurisdiction. The kislar aga, or chief of the black eunuchs, and not the mufti, is the delegate of the sultan's authority in the ecclesiastical department; for it is he who is superintendant of all the royal mosques, and receiver of their rents and endowments. To each of these he constitutes an officer named mutevelli, or administrator, who collects the revenues, and disburses the necessary expenses for keeping the buildings in repair, maintaining the priests, and providing whatever the splendour of public worship requires.

2.23"Les deux premiers etats n'offrent a l'ambition qu'une carriere assez bornee, mais aussi ceux qui se destinent au troisieme, sont tenus a de plus longues etudes et soumis a des formalities plus rigoureuses." (Tab. Gen. t. iv, p. 487.)

The offices in the Turkish government, partaking of their peculiar policy, cannot be properly compared to any similar ones among 124 Europeans; and much misapprehension has been occasioned by the attempt to render every foreign custom or establishment intelligible by comparison. Cantemir says, we may compare the mufti to the pope, the cazy-asker to a patriarch, the molla to an archbishop or metropolitan, the cadi to a bishop; and to complete the hierarchy, he overlooks the separation of the professions and compares the imam to a priest and the danischmend or scholars to our deacons. With equal propriety he might compare the sovereign manslayer of the Ottomans with the first magistrate, the beneficient father, of a great, enlightened, and high-spirited people2.24.

2.24Cantemir, p. 32, note 10.--The merit of this notable discovery is not due to Cantemir: he is however accountable for the greater absurdity of having adopted it. I find it first mentioned by Leunclavius, (in Turc. imp statu ap. Elzevir, p. 201.) "Lu dovicus Bassanus Jadrensis in hunc modum comparat eos cum nostris ecclesiasticis. Primum, muphtim, dicit esse inter ipsos instar vel papæ vel patriarchæ Græcorum. Quippe juris omnis et sacrorum rex est, uti veteres etiam Romani loquebantur. Huic proximi sunt cadelescheri, id est, supremi judices, qui Arabum Maurorumque lingua dicuntur cadi asker. Bassanus hos cum archicpiscopis nostris comparat. Sequuntur cadü, veluti proximum post archicpiscopos locum obtinent episcopi. Secundum hos sunt hoggie, qui seniores dicuntur, ut Græcis et nostris presbyteri. Excipiunt hoggias talismani, ceu presbyteros diaconi. Ultimi sunt dervisii, qui monachis nostris respondent. Talismani Mahumentanos ad preces interdiu et noctu quinquies dicendas excitant. Clepsydris veteri more Græcorum utuntur, ad distinguenda tam diurna quam nocturna temporum spatia."

125 Much outward honour, and many important functions are bestowed upon the ulema. They are educated under the care of professors, called muderriss, in the academies, called medressés; annexed to the jamis or greater mosques, and chiefly of royal foundation. From these schools are chosen the mehhkémé kiatibi, or clerks of tribunals; naïbs, or substitutes of the judges; cadis, or judges of lesser towns; mollas, or judges of the principal towns or cities; the istambol effendi, judge and inspector general over the city of Constantinople; next to whom are the two cazy-askers, or supreme judges of Romelia and Anatolia, who sit in the divan on the right hand of the vizir: and the highest in dignity is the mufti, who is also called sheik islam, prelate of orthodoxy, and fetwa sahibi, giver of judgements. The mufti always performs the ceremony of girding on the sabre, which answers to our coronation. He alone has the honour of kissing the sultan's left shoulder; and the sultan rises up, and advances seven steps towards him; whereas the vizir, who is met only with three 126 steps, with a more profound reverence kisses the hem of his garment2.25.

2.25Cantemir, p. 36, note 7.--"De tous les grands de l'empire les oulémas du premier ordre, tels que le mouphty et les caziaskers, sont les seuls qui aient la liberté d'aller en voiture. Celle du mouphty est couverte de drap vert, et celles des cazi-askers le song de drap rouge." (Tab. Gén. t. iv, p. 181.)

The ministers of religion throughout the Turkish empire are subordinate to the civil magistrate, who exercises over them the powers of a diocesan. He has the privilege of superseding and removing those whose conduct is reproachable, or who are unequal to the dignified discharge of the duties of their office. The magistrates themselves may, whenever they judge proper, perform all the sacerdotal functions, and it is in virtue of this prerogative, joined to the influence which they derive from their judicial power and their riches, that they have so marked a pre-eminence, and so preponderant an authority, over the ministers of public worship.

From the influence of the ulema with the people, they have sometimes been used by the heads of factions to stir up rebellion, to direct the public opinion against the throne, and to justify usurpation, but though, when 127 united with the janizaries, they may occasionally have thwarted the measures of government, their power is little formidable in itself. The honour and the prerogatives of their order, which form and enviable distinction between the ulema and the other classes of the nation, give them an important rant in the state, and a powerful ascendancy over the minds as well of the court as the people. They pay no taxes or public imposts, and by a peculiar privilege their property is hereditary in their families, and is not liable to arbitrary confiscations. The preservation of these rights and immunities consequently unites the rich and powerful families of the ulema, and makes them forget their mutual jealousies, and relinquish their schemes of private ambition, whenever it is though necessary to guard against a common danger. Despotism has, however, sufficient range without invading their privileges, and the fetwas of the mufti, in unison with the wishes of the government, have never been refused, but when the sceptre was falling from the grasp of an unsuccessful or enervated sovereign.

The power and dignity of the ulema is are said by Sir James Porter to be perpetual and 128 hereditary2.26: but these expressions, if literally understood, may lead to an important error; for the power and dignity are not hereditary in individuals but in the order. Formerly the ulema held their offices for life, but about the end of the seventeenth century they were made removable at pleasure like all other public functionaries. They now hold them only for a year. Each individual enjoys, however, all the privileges of the order, independently of his holding any office, or exercising any public employment2.27. Their power has been much magnified by different writers. Mr. Eton calls them "a powerful priesthood:--the teachers of religion, combining the offices of priest and lawyer:--posessing, like the priests under the Jewish theocracy, the oracles of both law and religion, and uniting in themselves the power of two great corporations, those of the law and of the church." "The Ottoman princes," he says, "committed a political error, when they resigned the spiritual supremacy into the hands of the theological lawyers, who now share with the sovereign the direct exercise of the legislative, executive, 129 and judicial powers;" and he asserts, that "if the sultan were to omit the indispensible preliminary of the fetwa to any political act, the mufti, motu proprio, would declare him an infidel2.28." Sir James Porter considers the ulema as "equal, if not superior to any nobility," and balancing the power of the sovereign. "Their persons," he says, "are sacred," and "they can separately, by availing themselves of the implicit respect of the people and the soldiery, rouse them to arms, mark out the point of limitation transgressed by the prince, and proceed to a formal deposition; nay, of such high importance is their intermediate power in the state, that a grand signor can never be deposed without their concurrence2.29." Peyssonnel also considers the power of the ulema so to counterbalance that of the sovereign as to take from the Ottoman government the character of arbitrary power; for with such a constitutional check there can be no despotism2.30.

2.26Observations on the religion, laws, government, &c. of the Turks, introduction, p. xxxi.

2.27Tab. Gén. t. iv, p. 545.

2.28Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 20, 21, 24, 37, 121.

2.29Observations on the religion, &c. of the Turks, introduction, p. xxxiii.

2.30Strictures and remarks on De Tott's memoirs, p. 208.

De Tott, however, speaks with greater accuracy when he says, that, though indeed 130 the ulema can interpret the law as they please, and animate the people against their sovereign, he, on the other hand, can with a single word depose and banish the mufti, with as many of the ulema as may fall under his displeasure2.31.

2.31Memoirs, V. i, p. 189.

The law, it is said, authorizes the sultan to banish the ulema, but not to put them to death: and if any part of the law could, by the collective or separate efforts of its ministers, be kept inviolate, it certainly would be that article which so much interests themselves; and yet we find, that Murad the Fourth commanded a mufti to be pounded to death in a marble mortar, and justified this extraordinary punishment by saying, that "the heads, whos dignity exempts them from the sword, ought to be struck with the pestle."2.32 Nor is it the respect of the people 131 or the soldiery so implicit, but that they have exercised, in all its atrocity, their sovereign power against the ulema who had incurred their high displeasure. During an insurrection in the reign of Mustafa the Second, not only they put to death, with horrid cruelties, a mufti who had, in their judgment, misled the sultan; but they went so far as to excommunicate him, denied him the rights of sepulture, and delivered his mangled body to be insulted over by the mock ceremonies of a Greek priest2.33. But though there be no positive law which declares the persons of the ulema to be sacred and inviolable, and ancient prejudice, founded on the respect due to religion and its ministers, protects individuals of this order from judicial inflictions entailing infamy or dishonour. Imprisonment or exile are the only punishments to which they are now exposed, unless the enormity of their offence be such as to require severer reprobation, and even 132 then, before government denounces its sentence against the criminal, it compels him to abdicate his profession, and to quit the turban which particularly distinguishes it.

2.32Cantemir, p. 184, note 25.--The fact is mentioned by Cantemir, though he does not quote his authority for it. D'Ohsson acknowledges it to be a popular tradition among the Turks, that this punishment is reserved for criminal or refractory members of the ulema; but he can discover no example in the annals of the Ottoman monarchy of its have been executed. (Tab. Gén. t. iv, p. 604.)
It has been said, that the marble mortar, appropriated to the express purpose of braying the bones of the ulema, was deposited in the seven towers (Rycaut, p. 107.); but Dr. Pouqueville, who was himself confined as a state prisoner in that fortress, assures us (Voyages, t. 2, p. 80.) of the contrary, "tandisque le plus grand nombre des Turcs assurent qu'il est dans le sérail, et que les hommes les plus raisonnables pensent qu'il n'existe pas, et que c'est un être de terreur qu'on ne connoît plus depuis bien des siècles."

2.33Cantemir, p. 437. De la Motraye, t. i, p. 333.

It is difficult to account for the introduction of the opinion, that the powers of the Ottoman sovereigns and the Mussulman hierarchy are in a state of continual opposition and warfare. "These two powers," says De Tott, "have the same source, and it is easy to perceive the disagreement and contention which must arise, since their right is equal and their interests different."2.34 The abstract power of the ulema, as well as that of every corporation necessary for upholding society under any particular form, must consequently have the same common basis as the monarchical power; the fundamental laws or constitutional usages of the empire. But, though derived from the same source, there is this essential difference between them, that, in the one instance, the constitution, having established the order of succession, interferes no farther in the election of the individual who is to exercise the sovereign authority; while it leaves to the discretion of the monarch the partition and appropriation 133 to individuals of the authority to be exercised by the different members of a corporation: so that, though it be admitted, that the power of the ulema is co-existent with the constitution, no individual of that body can hold it immediately, or otherwise than from the good pleasure of the sultan; nor can he legally exert it independently of, and still less, contrarily to, his pleasure. Can men thus dependent on the caprice of the sultan, not only for their appointment and continuance in office, but for their existence, form a balance to his power, which is founded on the absolute command of the empire, and the influence which its universal patronage must bestow? Rycaut properly estimates this so much vaunted constitutional check. "Though the mufti," he says, "is many times, for custom, formality, and satisfaction of the people, consulted with, yet when his sentences have not been agreeable to the designs intended, I have known him in an instant thrown from his office to make room for another oracle better prepared for the purpose of his master."2.35 And indeed it is 134 admitted by Mr. Eton, that "the power which the sultan has reserved to himself of nominating and deposing the mufti, creates for him, among the ulema, as many partisans as there are candidates aspiring to the pontificate,"2.36 that is, the whole body of the ulema, unless we suppose, that the doctors of islamism, the followers of the ambitious Mahomet, are less aspiring than the humble professors of more self-denying doctrines.

2.34Memoirs, V. i, p. 28.

2.35Present state of the Ottoman empire, p. 6.--An anonymous writer, who appears to have filled the honourable station of bailo, or ambassador from the Venetian republic to the Ottoman porte, in a memoir addressed to the senate, describes the authority of the mufti as a passive instrument in the hands of government. "Id tamen non ignorandum est, hunc Mofftim perpetuo adulari principi et ad ejus placita opinionem suam accomodare, suasque sententias ex temporum opportunitate immutare." De urbe Const. et imp. Turc. relatio incerti apud Honorium in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 136.

2.36Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 23.

It is inconceivable on what is founded the assertion, that the interests of the ulema are different from those of the sultan: they neither legislate nor execute the laws; but merely expound them, administer justice, and settle differences between individuals, giving sentence according to law, with a latitude of interpretation which is indeed allowed them, but which is regulated by precedent and the usages of their tribunal, and checked by the right of appeal, which in cases of 135 irregularity or injustice, is left open to either party from their decision to the sovereign in council, where the vizir, his representative, confirms or reverses the sentence2.37. Their power can scarcely be supposed to interfere with any act of the sultan, as in cases of treason, or which in any manner regard his authority, he decides for himself without reference or appeal to them. We are told, that the grand signor cannot sign a treaty of peace without their consent2.38; and in the same sense it may be said, that the signature of a minister is necessary to give validity to the proclamation of a Christian prince; but if the sultan require the public sanction of the mufti to any political act, can we doubt whether, if the mufti refused his apporbation, the sultan would hesitate between annulling the act or deposing the mufti? If a successful 136 usurper wish to gloss over his rebellion by a fetwa, would he relinquish the sovereign ty, or not rather re-instate the marble mortar, if the mufti persisted in his loyalty?

2.37"The prime vizir, as he is the representative of the grand seignor, so he is the head or mouth of the law; to him appeals may be made, and any one may decline the ordinary course of justice, to have his case decided by his determination--by virtue of his unlimited power he can reverse the verdict and determine as he pleases." (Rycaut, p. 44.)

2.38"A Constantinople, quelque despotique que soit le grand seigneur, il ne peut souscrire à un project de paix, sans l'avis du mufti et le consentement des gens de loi." (Hist. des négociations pour la paix conclue à Belgrade, t. i, p. 157.)

The object of government in taking the opinion of the mufti on public affairs is solely to ascertain, that the purposed decree of the sultan contains nothing repugnant to the doctrines of religion, or the obligations of the canonical law2.39: but that the fetwa is not an indispensable preliminary is evident; for in the reign of Mahomet the Fourth, when the mufti joined with the dowager empress in protesting against an unjust infraction of the treaty made with the emperor of Germany, his opinion was over-ruled by the vizir and the army; and war, unforunately 137 for the Ottoman empire, was resolved upon2.40.

2.39"To this body," says Sir James Porter, very inaccurately and erroneously, (preface, p. 33.) "the grand signor appeals for a sanction to every important act of state, whether relative to peace or war; and in every criminal cause, even in those in which his own servants are concerned, he cannot take the life of a single subject, without the mufti's decree."
"In rebus politicis," says the Venetian bailo (Relatio, p. 136.) with a more profound knowledge of the subject than the English ambassador, "princeps ejusdem (sc. mofftis) autoritate utitur ut se justum ac religiosum ostentet. Ipsius enim petit responsum cum de bello hostibus inferendo, tum etiam de cæteris quibuscumque rebus, quæ ad imperium spectent: quo scilicet religionis medio subditos disponit promptius ad sua jussa peragenda."

2.40The Ottoman court long deliberated whether they should grant assistance to Tekeli, who had revolted from the emperor of Germany and engaged almost all the people of Hungary in his rebellion, or whether the rebels shoudl be only supported in a private manner, until the twenty years truce, made by Kioprili Ahmed Pasha, should be expired. The latter opinion was approved by all the ulema, togehter with the sultana-mother, who declared it to be unjust to wage war with a prince, who had given no cause of complaint, but had hiterto strictly observed the conditions of the truce. (Cantemir, p. 296.) I willingly take this opportunity of shewing, that breach of faith with Christians is not systematic with the Turks; in contradiction indeed of the assertions of Baron Busbeck (de re mil. cont. Turk. inst. cons. p. 271.) and of Mr. Eton, but in unison with the opinion of the Turkish populace, who attributed to the perjury of the porte the ill success of the expedition against Vienna, and afterwards dethroned the sultan for having broken the peace before the expiration of the truce.

Neither religion, nor the law, nor the political constitution of the empire, impose upon the monarch the obligation of consulting the mufti on the ordinary acts of his government. Piety, or superstitious weakness, or more properly an habitual conformity with established practice, induces the sultan to appeal in general to the approbation of the legal authorities; but in most instances such proceedings are rather dictated by caution and policy, especially in troublesome times, or in novel and hazardous enterprises. The 138 determination of the sultan, if justified by the unanimous opinion of the chiefs of the ulema, obtains more implicit respect from the people; and being thus supported by the authority of divine and human law, removes from the sovereign and his ministers all responsibility as to the evils which may eventually result from it. Princes of more haughty temper and greater firmness of character, such as Selim the First and Murad the Fourth, have, notwithstanding, places themselves above such considerations, and not only neglected these formalities, but treated with disdain the wisdom and the counsels of the mufti and ulema2.41.

2.41Tableau Général, t. iv, p. 513

On the whole, though, when goaded on by a turbulent soldiery against an irresolute or luxurious prince, their holy clamour may have increased the uproar of insurrection, yet never, in any period of their history, did the gentlemen of the ulema, either collectively or separately, motu proprio, dispose of the Ottoman sceptre2.42.

2.42Rycaut (p. 19.) in his account of a popular tumult at Constantinople during the minority of Mahomet the Fourth, gives an instance of the passive compliance of a mufti. "He feared," says he, " that if he gave not his concurrence, he himself should be killed, and the rather because he overheard a discourse to that effect.--Pen and ink being brought, the mufti wrote the sentence."

139 Intelligent travellers, who have latterly observed the actual state of the ulema, have noticed, that their power in the Ottoman government is by no means equal to that which is attributed to them by former writers; but not suspecting any inaccuracy in these representations, they have imagined causes to account for what they suppose to be the declension of their influence. Sir James Porter syas, "they admit no one into their order that is not recommended by some extraordinary merit or favour; not even of the first pasha's family, except one perhaps in a century, and then not without some foundation or claim2.43." But now, says Olivier, "the sultan creates ulema at his pleasure, and these appointments, where favour supersedes desert, have diminished the consideration which they once enjoyed2.44." The fact however is, that the children of mollas are admitted into the body of the ulema with the consent of the sheik islam, even though they have not gone through the regular course of study, nor taken their degrees in 140 the colleges, whereas it requires an express order of the sultan to obtain admission, under the same circumstances, for the children of other families however illustrious from their rank or dignities. But the custom is by no means an innovation, for it has existed as long as the monarchy itself, and the superior offices of the law and the magistracy have been usually filled by privileged members of the ulema2.45.

2.43Observations on the religion, &c. of the Turks, preface, p. xxxiii.

2.44Olivier's travels, V. i, p. 178.

2.45Toderini, t. ii, p. 29.

Such is the theocratical, of Mussulman branch of the Ottoman constitution, which has been hitherto generally considered as forming a check to the absolute power of the sultans. I do not, however, know in what sense it can abe said, that their authority is restrained by the precepts and institutions of the religious code. The sultan may riot freely in wantonness or cruelty. He may murder his father and his brothers, his wives and his children. He may shed the blood, and seize upon the substance, of his subjects, if not directly, at least by methods so little indirect, that no motive nor passion need be disguised. He may indulges the most vicious inclinations without any dread of censure, or control, if, 141 in his general government, he be sufficiently vigilant to provide for the wants, or sufficiently sever to restrain the murmurs and seditions, of his people. If he guard his frontiers from encroachment, if he occupy and reward his soldiery, if he cause justice to be administered in cases where the interests of his subjects only are concerned, his government will be loved, his person will be sacred, his crimes will be palliated, his injustice will be forgotten, and his memory will be dear to his people. Can we then consider as limitations to the exercise of this extensive prerogative, the duty of daily prayers, ablutions, fastings, and public ceremonies; the nature and qualities of food, or the observance of stated periods of festival or penance? In all these ceremonial performances, the sovereign is probably not less devotedly sincere than the most ignorant of his imams: but, if it be otherwise, the case which he might hope to obtain by throwing off these restraints, would be too trivial to be regarded by a politician, or a philosopher, when placed in competition with the prejudices which they gratify and the reverence which they procure.

Montesquieu justly observes, that the seraglio of a despotic prince is always increased 142 in proportion to the extent of his dominions, and consequently the greater his empire, the more is he detached by the seductions of pleasure from the cares of government. The establishment of a vizir is therefore a fundamental law of despotism. That such has been universally the custom of the East, is proved by history2.46, and the concurring testimony of travellers; and still more by a game of eastern invention, the origin of which is lost in the darkness of antiquity. In the game of chess the moves of the king are made solely with a view to his own personal safety, while the vizir (which is the original name of the piece we call the queen) moves rapidly in every direction, and regulates and conducts the campaign2.47.

2.46"And again Pharao said to Joseph: Behold, I have appointed thee over the whole land of Egypt. And he took his ring from his own hand, and gave it into his hand: And the king said to Joseph: I am Pharaoh: without thy commandment no man shall move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." Genesis, chap. xli, ver. 41, 42, 44.

2.47See Dissertation on the Indian game of chess, in Sir William Jones's works, Vol. i, p. 521--527.
Chaturanga (the four members of an army) is the word by which chess has been immemorially known in Hindostan. The old Persians corrupted it into chatrang, which the Arabs afterwards adopted; but, from the deficiency of their alphabet, they altered it into shatranj, and gave it back, under that name, to the modern Persians. Hence are evidently derived not only the Turkish word satranj, but the Latin latrunculus, which is formed by a change of its first letter and the addition of a Latin termination, in order to make it significative. By successive changes the same word has been transformed into axedrez, seacchi, échecs, and chess; and not the least honourable, though the most extraordinary, of its derivatives, is the exchequer of Great Britain.
Sir William Jones is convinced, from the total difference between the language of the Brahmins, the inhabitants of the Indian plains, and that of the Tartars, or savages of the mountains, that these two races of men are wholly distinct from each other. (See Discourse on the Tartars, in Vol. i, p. 61.) Yet in chaturanga, which is a pure Sanscrit word, we find chatüri, the number four, of the Slavi, and angar, the wing of an army, of the Mogols and Tartars. (See D'Herbelot, bibl. Orient. p. 898, col. 1, voc. Turk).

The vizir azem, in the full exercise of his authority, is restrained only by the will of his master, and the fundamental religious laws of 143 the empire. He exercises, over all the subjects of the sultan, the power of life and death, though he is bound to the observance of certain forms when he proceeds against men united with the great or powerful associations of the state. His responsibility is equal to the importance of his office; and the evils which result from the errors of his administration, or from the vicissitudes of fortune, are equally imputed to him. Hence it becomes essentially his duty to exercise a personal inspection 144 into the state of the public markets, and the conduct of the magistrates appointed to superintend the provisioning of the metropolis. His interest, and indeed his safety, depend upon his vigilance in this department of the public service; for, in his official character, he is held accountable not only to the sultan, but to the people, whose resentment, in seasons of dearth and calamity, breaks out, in the first instance, against the person and administration of the grand vizir. In time of war he commands the armies, and a caïmacam, or lieutenant, is appointed in his stead for the home administration2.48.

2.48See Tab. Gén. t. iv, p. 45.--"Nihil aliud vezirio præscribitur, quam ut videat ne imperium aut imperator aliquid detrimenti patiatur." (Montalbanus, in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 28.) "In illo imperio alia non est auris, ad quam propositiones, responsiones, et mandata, novitates omnes, quæ ex tot regnis nuntiantur, referantur. Ipse solus omnia munera, omnes gradus, officia omnia et honores imperii totius, qui nihilominus infiniti esse videntur, distribuit. Solus audit, solus consulitur, et legatis respondet solus, omnibusque regnis providet, omniaque ipse ordinat: ad postremum ab ipso cuncta civilia, criminalia, politica dependent; neque aliud quam capitis ejus consilium attenditur, attamen in tanta auctoritate, cum timore, ac summo respectu, minimam quamque rem tractat, nempe quia variabilem principis naturam suosque æmulos passas veretur."
(De Urbe Const. et. imp. Turc. relatio incerti apud Honorium in Turc. imp. ap. Elzevir, p. 133.)

145 The vizir azem, whose most important duty is to keep the empire and capital quiet, gives public audience every day in his own divan for the administration of justice, and the decision of controversies among the grand signor's subjects. He is assisted on certain fixed days by the two cazy-askers, or by the istambol effendi, and the mollas of Eyub, Galata, and Scutari. The reïs effendi, among other important duties, performs the functions of secretary of state for foreign affairs, and has subordinate to him in that department the dragoman of the porte, a Greek interpreter, of one of the noble families, whose next promotion is usually to the principality of Wallachia or Moldavia. All the great officers of state remain,during the day only, at the vizir's palace, and superintend the affairs of their several departments.

Those who love to represent the Turks as a horde of barbarians, living without order, without laws, without morality, and sinking under the debilitating yoke of arbitrary power, describe the porte "as a cabinet, not under the guidance of enlightened politicians, but a set of wretches, continually fluctuating between the hope of amassing plunder by means of war, and enjoying it in the tranquility of 146 peace"2.49. We are, however, compelled to acquite them of the absurdity of acting upon such principles; for surely no minister of state was ever so little enlightened as to renounce the soli emoluments of his office for so precarious an advantage as the booty which he might acquire by war and plunder. Indeed we know from better authority, that the Turkish ministers are sufficiently sagacious, and understand so well the interests of their own country that few can over-reach them in their treaties2.50. The failings with which they are reproached, are not peculiar to Turkish statesmen, thought it be admitted, that with them the preservation of their own authority is paramount to every other consideration, and that it is useless to urge the interest of the empire when their personal advantage or safety is endangered2.51.

2.49Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 108.

2.50Rycaut, p. 32.

2.51See Observatrions on the religion, &c. of the Turks, p. 120.

The frequent changes, in the higher departments, occasion very little interruption in the order of public business: the different offices are accurately and minutely subdivided: every thing is transacted with admirable conciseness, exactness, and despatch; and the inferior 147 officers remain when their superiors are removed2.52.

2.52"Ils ne connaissen: point cet encombrement d'écritures, cette multitude de lettres, de placets et de requêtes, qui inondent les cabinets des ministres de l'Europe. Un simple carré de papier renferme l'ordre laconique d'un vézir, qui sanctionne ou rejette un acte. Les commis, assis sur un sopha , les jambes croisées, la pipe à la bouche, fument et écrivent tout à la fois. Un simple carreau leur tient lieu de table, et une petite boite est le secrétaire où ils renferment leur papier, l'encre, et la plume de roseau dont ils se servent, et ils travaillent aussi machinalement qu'ils fument." (Pouqueville, t. ii, p. 202.)

The grand vizir is the ostensible president of the divan or great council, which on solemn occasions is called upon to direct the sovereign by their advice. The sultan himself, though present or suposed to be present behind a curtain or latticed window, takes no active part in their deliberations2.53.

2.53"Dominus ipse--nullam in consilio sententiam profert, sed velo tantum discretus, quod visum adimat, aditum non interdicat, silentio consulentes observat." (Montalban. ap. Elzevir, p. 5.)
"Suleyman, qui assistoit au divan, c'est-à-dire derrière la jalousie placée au dessus du siége du grand-vézir, entendoit tout, &c." (Tab. Gén. t. i, p. 156.)
The spirit of the customs and institutions of the Ottomans eludes the transient observation of travellers. This latticed window which conceals the grand signor while he overlooks the divan, and which is essential to the nature of the Ottoman government (ne habeant quem sequantur, vel ne revereantur imprudentes ab eo dissidere. Montalban. p. 5.), is supposed by some gentlemen, who have been admitted in the suite of an ambassador, to be there for no other reason than to give the sultan an opportunity of "gratifying an unprincely curiosity" by peeping at foreign ministers. De Tott (V. i, p. 23.) still more ridiculously asserts, that he is placed there from the mutual fear of himself and his vizirs, as in that situation he can neither assassinate nor be assassinated.

148 Formerly the divan was composed, besides the grand vizir, of six officers, called kubbeh vizirs from the hall in the seraglio where they usually hold their sittings. The subordinate members of the divan are now the capudan pasha, or lord high admiral; the two cazy-askers; the grand treasurer of the empire; the second treasurer, chief of the war department; the grand purveyor; and the nishandji effendi, who affixes the tughra, or cypher of the grand signor, to public acts2.54.

2.54I do not offer this as a correct list of the cabinet ministers of the present day: they are so described in an account, printed at Constantinople, of the first audience of M. Verninac, envoy from the French republic to the Ottoman Porte in the year 1796.
The grand signor's signature called tughra is affixed by the nishanji effendi, not at the bottom, but at the beginning, over the first line of the mandate. If the emperor intends are more than ordinary confirmation, he writes with his own hand over the tughra, "according to the underwritten be it done." Such a khatt'y sherif is held in great veneration by the Turks, who religiously kiss in when they touch it, and wipe off the dust on their cheeks.

The powers of the kubbeh vizirs, or vizirs of the bench, were limited to sanction, though 149 not to direct, the measures of government2.55. Of late years the council has infringed upon the authority, but diminished the responsibility, of the vizir, and has assumed a dictatorial and restrictive voice on questions of public importantce. This change in the system of government, which has been introduced under the name of nizami djedid, or new constitution, was effected soon after the close of the last Russian war by three ministers, the reïs effendi, the minister of the war department, and the validé kiahyasi, steward of the dowager empress. The avowed object of its insitution was the augmentation of the standing army, to be disciplined according to the improved system of European tactics, and supported by the imposition of new and extraordinary taxes. No benefit, however, has hiterhto resulted to the state from this establishment; and indeed it appears to be inconsistent with the constitutional power of the vizir, or that power which 150 best harmonizes with a despotic establishment. I shall not be suspected of pleading the cause of despotism when I declare it to be my opinion (founded on events which I myself have witnessed in Turkey), that more beneficial, or rather less injurious, consequences result from its being maintained in its integrity, than when it is impeded in its progress, and checked in its exercise by institutions so foreign to its nature; institutions which take away the chief and only support of despotism, its promptitude and inflexibility of decisions; which enfeeble the energies of government; create an interest foreign to that of the monarch, and open a wider field for corruption.

2.55The nullity of the constitutional powers of the great council may be judged of from the following passage in Rycaut. (p. 44.) "The vizirs of the bench, because their riches are but moderate, and the office they are in treats not much with the dangerous parts of the state, live long without envy or emulation, or being subject to that inconstancy of fortune and alteration, to which greater degrees of place are exposed."

Mr. Eton, who could have known the grand council only before the infusion of aristocratical principles into its composition, describes it, however as discussing every important act of government, and deciding by a plurality of votes. But Mr. Eton is predetermined that he ulema are priests, and that the interference of ecclesiastics in the affairs of government is both injurious to the subject and odious to the sovereign. In his opinion the folly of submitting to their guidance has, in no instance, appeared more 151 disgustingly conspicuous than in the Turkish nation; and on no scene are the mutual contentions of the sultan and the ulema carried on with more virulence than in the divan, which, "as its members are swayed either by the party of the sultan, or by that of the priesthood, serves to determine the relative power of these two distinct bodies2.56." The cazy-askers, the only members of the ulema who have seats in the divan, are not, however, the representatives of the priesthood, but, as their name imports, the judges of the army; a dignity created by Murad the first, and after the taking of Constantiople, divided between two magistrates by Mahomet the Second. He first summoned them to assist in the deliberations of his council, which until that period had consisted only of four vizirs: but he limited their functions to that of superindending, in the presence and under the control of the grand vizir, the judicial proceedings of his sovereign tribunal. The mufti, though head of the law and the Ottoman magistracy, never attends the divan, as it is thought derogatory to his dignity to exercise any judicial power.

2.56Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 25.

152 The palace of the grand vizir, by a metaphor familiar to most of the Eastern languages is called the porte, or king's gate2.57, and hence the Ottoman court assumes the name of the Sublime Porte in all public transactions. It has been said, that this appellation is derived from the gate of the seraglio, bab-humaïun; and Dr. Dallaway in some degree confirms it by asserting, that the Sublime Porte resembles a bastion2.58. But, though it be true, that, in the east, the gate of a palace is the principal and most magnificent part of the building, and under its vestibule the princes and nobles, like the chief of a horde of Arabs at the door of his tent, exercise hospitality and administer justice; yet the inconvenience of such a situation for transacting the business of a great empire must soon have suggested the necessity of a separate establishment for the vizir. The name of the porte was, however, continued to that part of the city to which the public 153 business was transferred, on account of the sameness of its political uses, and from its continuing to serve as the door of communication between the sultan and his subjects2.59. The Sublime Porte, however, so little resembles a bastion that it even follows the person of the sovereign; and Soliman the First, in conformity with this opinion, when at the head of his army in Persia he ordered an officer convicted of treachery to be sent to him for punishment, directed that he should be brought in irons to the porte2.60.

2.57"Der, mot persan, qui signifie porte, désigne dans tout l'orient la cour d'un prince souverain." (Tab. Gén. t. ii, p. 99.) See also a conjecture on the hundred gates of Thebes, in a note in Volney's Ruins.

2.58See Constantinople ancient and modern, p. 20. The comparison indeed is unfortunate, for there is no part of fortification which the imperial gate less resembles than a bastion.

2.59Mr. Eton, though he had passed through Constantinople, appears ignorant even of the local situation of the palace called the porte. He says "all the business of government is transacted in the seraglio: the council itself is called the divan, and the place of public audience the porte, or gate." "Besides the vizir, all the other great public officers of the empire resident at Constantinople, inhabit the seraglio, or at least have their offices there." (Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 26, 27.) Mr. Griffiths, who was engaged in making observations "on the same subject and occurrences, and at the same time" as Mr. Eton, (see Travels, p. 168.) differs however, in this instance, so far from him in the result of his researches as to mistake the porte or gate, for the port or harbour. (Page 174, line 18.)

2.60See Cantemir, p. 209.

Until the reign of Soliman the First, the sons and brothers of the reigning emperors were intrusted with the government of provinces; but the frequent rebellion of Soliman's 154 children, and the necessity he was under of punishing his fourth son Mustafa with death, occasioned him to ordain by law, that in future they should be confined in the palace, called eski serai, until, in the order of events, they might be called to the succession. The greater governments are now confided to the sultan's lieutenants, who are honoured with the title of beylerbey, or prince of princes, because, being at the head of the military and financial establishments of the viceroyalty, and delegated by the sultan to watch over and preserve the component members of the federation, their authority extends over the governments comprehended as subdivisions of the beylerbeylik, and the lesser provinces which are administered by the pashas, the beys and the agas2.61. All 155 pashas of three tails are called by courtesy beylerbeys, but the title, by way of eminence, is properly conferred only on the pashas of Romelia, Anatolia, and Damascus. The other pashas of three tails have at court no higher title than desdur mukerrem, plenipotentiaries, because they are authorized to issue mandates in the sultan's name, and to affix to them the sultan's cypher within their own jurisdiction2.62. The secondary and inferior governments are distinguished by the names of pashalik, agalik, musselimlik and vaivodalik. Those of the greatest extent are pashaliks, and agaliks are the smallest. Musselimliks are dependencies of the beylerbeys or pashas, and are administered by their deputies. Vaivodaliks, in general, are small districts, or single cities and towns, separate from the greater government as being, in most instances, the appanage of a sultana, or of a great officer of state2.63. But 156 though unequal in point of dignity there exists no subordination, as to matters of police or internal regulation, between the magistrates who preside over the greater or lesser divisions of dominion. Every governor is considered as representing the sovereign within the limits of his own jurisdiction, is invested with his authority, and exercises his prerogatives in all their plenitude. Contentious jurisdiction, the power to determine differences between the subjects, is left to the cadi, in conformity with the fundamental principles of Mussulman government, and in imitation of the practice of the sultan.

2.61See Marsigli, stato milit. dell' imp. Ottom. t. i, p. 19.
"Vox illa Turcica beglerbeg idem valet, quod dux ducum seu princeps principum. Hi enim supremi sunt duces et præfecti, quibus reliqui omnes, qui alicui in provincia sibi commissa præsunt imperio militari, subjecti sunt." (Lazarus Soranzus, de militar. cop. Turc. ap. Elzevir, p. 255.)
"Per legitimo diritto del'uffizio ponno (i beylerbey) commandare alli bey d'insorgere co' loro stendardi popolati di quelle milizie che gli sono assegnate." (Marsigli, t. i, p. 92.)
"Les beys, les chefs, &c. versent les tributs entre les mains du pacha beglier-bey."--"La direction de la force armée est confiée aux beys en sousordre du pacha (beglier-bey): toutes les semains des détachemens de chacun des sangiaks (ou baronnies) se rendent devant lui pour passer la revue." (Pouqueville, voyage en Morée, t. i, p. 230, 240.)

2.62See Cantemir, p. 85, note 24.

2.63The agas assume the title of bey, though it properly belongs to governors of a rank superior to their own. The following is the order of precedency: first the vizir azem or grand vizir: next to him the beylerbey, or pasha of three tails, who has also the title of vizir; the pasha of two tails; the bey who is honoured only with one horse-tail; and the aga, or military governor of a district, who has the sanjac or standard, and is thence called sanjac or sanjac-bey in his military character.
The title of vaivoda is not absolutely confined to governors administering a vaivodalik, considered as an appanage, for the chief magistrate of Galata, a district or a suburb of Constantinople, is called vaivoda, as are also the princes of hospodars of Moldavia and Wallachia.

Their revenues arise from the rents or produce of lands assigned for their maintenance, and from certain fixed imposts on the cities, towns, and villages, of their district, in some instances levied immediately by themselves, 157 and, in less independent governments, intermediately by officers of the sultan2.64.

2.64See Marsigli, Stato milit. dell' Imp. Ottom. t. i, cap. 49, p. 93

It would be impossible exactly to describe the various means of collecting wealth, employed by governors, exercising such absolute powers. Though despotism may be more severely felt in the provinces, as redress is more difficult, yet we should hesitate before we admit the exaggerated assertion, "that the principal occupation of every pasha is to suck out the very vitals of his province."2.65 The real worth of pashalïks is indeed in proportion to the number of tributary inhabitants with respect to whom, the Turkish officers may abuse their power, and indulge their avarice, so as to extort from them all that exceeds the first wants of life. This matter will however be best elucidated by a particular example, for which I am indebted to a gentleman who held the officer of French consul at Salonica, and who has written on Turkish affairs with more truth, and more intelligence of the subject than any auhtor whose works I have consulted. "The pasha of Salonica," says M. 158 Beaujour, "holds by direct tenure about twenty villages, from which he receives the tenths of their yearly produce; this revenue he farms for about sixty or seventy thousand piastres: he collects, besides, at least an equal sum from casualties: he makes by avanias or extortions, a hundred thousand piastres, and if he be not a man of singular humanity, he gives even a greater extension to this branch of revenue: if he be covetous and rapacious, he absorbs the riches of the country. Mustafa Pasha, brother-in-law to the sultan, who goverened Salonica in the year 1799, remitted to the sultan, his wife, a monthly pension of fifteen thousand piastres: his household establishment consisted of five hundred men, and a hundred and fifty horses, the maintenance of which must have been attended with at least an equal expense. So that the pashalik yielded to him a revenue of three hundred and sixty thousand piastres, (or twenty-four thousand pounds sterling) without having recourse to compulsory or tyrannical measures; for, in the opinion of the inhabitants, he was accounted humane and disinterested, which I also," continues M. Beaujour, "can affirm to be true from my own 159 knowledge and experience of his character and conduct."2.66

2.65Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 52.

2.66Tableau du commerce de la Grèce, t. i, p. 47.
"Les revenus les plus réels du pacha sont des dotations consistantes en fermes attachées à sa place; les réquisitions en cevaux, meubles et denrées qu'il peut exiger; la succession des fonctionnaires publics, dont les biens retournent au sultan, en cas de mort; l'installation des évêques, celles des papas (prêtres Grecs); enfin, les avanies qui sont, pour tout homme en place, une mine qui rend en raison de l'avidité et des extortions toujours impunies." (Pouqueville, t. i, p. 239.)

To the Mussulman inhabitants, who are protected by the civil or military associations to which they are united, and whose complaints can always reach the throne, no jurisdiction can be more mild and paternal, no government more humane2.67. The Turkish, as well as the tributary cultivators, pay a quit rent, in consideration of which, the Turks at least, are free and independent.

2.67In the provinces the interests of the Turkish community are protected by a council composed of the ayans, or overseers, who are men of the greatest power and influence in the district. The word ayan properly signifies eyes, and denotes, in a figurative manner, the duties of these public guardians. "On appelle à ce conseil dans les affaires importantes, un ou deux vieillards de chaque orta de janissaires." "Tout Turc est ici (à Salonique) janissaire et tout janissaire est soldat." (Beaujour, t. i, p. 48, 52.) "Chaque art, chaque métier est soumis à des loix particulières; et ceux qui les exercent forment des corporations distinctes et séparées, sous le nom d'essnaf." (Tab. Gén. t. iv, p. 228.)

160 No people are less oppressed, nor less subject to contributions: their conduct is under no control, but that of partial and indulgent law: their rivers, their plains, and their forests are common property; and all have the right of hunting, shooting and fishing.

The mode of life and occupations of a pasha, governor of a province, are correctly described by Dr. Pouqueville, who, during his detention in the Morea as a prisoner of war, lived in the palace of the pasha of Tripolitza, and was employed as physician to his household. "They rise," he says, "at daybreak to perform their morning devotions, which are preceded by ablution. Pipes and coffee are then served. The pasha sometimes mounts his horse, and amuses himself with seeing his pages exercise the dgerid, and sometimes he gives public audiences. He then administers justice in person, and pronounces judgment on whatever regards the public government: he imposes fines or penalties, sentences to the bastinado or the gallows, condemns or acquits, according to his pleasure; for all power is in his hands. At noon, public prayers and dinner: at three hours after mid-day, prayers again, military 161 parade and music. He then enters his selamlik or drawing-room, receives visits and amuses himself with listening to storytellers, or with laughing at the grimaces and antics of his buffoons and jesters, or with chanting verses of the koran. At sun-set prayers and supper, and afterward pipes and coffee. An hour and a half after the close of the day he performs his fifth and concluding devotions; and immediately the military music sounds the retreat, and the whole family retires to rest."2.68 The agas, at least those in Macedonia, reside in their castles, surrounded by a guard of Albanians, and live in a state of constant warfare with each other, like the ancient barons. The victorious aga burns the plantations of his enemy, and carries away whatever he can seize upon, his wives or his cattle. Their ravages are seldom intermitted, or their animosities suspended, except during certain festivals of their religion, which operate in the same beneficial manner, though they occur less frequently, than what was formerly denominated the truce of God, the pious invention of the 162 Christian clergy to restrain the mutual contentions of the feudal nobility2.69.

2.68Voyages en Morée à Constantinople, et en Albanie, t. i, p. 53.

2.69See Tableau du commerce de la Grèce, t. i, p. 56.

All the officers of government owe their appointment to the sole favour of the sultan, without respect to birth, talents, services, or experience. They are deposed or punished without the liberty of complaint or remonstrance; and, at their death, the state inherits their property. Such is the constitution of arbitrary power: but the immediate appointments of the sultan must necessarily be confinded within the narrow circle of his personal acquaintance, which scarcely extends beyond the limits of his palace: the nomination to offices is consequently delegated to his ministers and favourites. It is a fact of public notoriety, that governments of every description are sold at the porte: they are held for the term of one year only, and at the ensuing baïram the leases must be renewed, or transferred to a less parsimonious competitor. In the public registers the precise value of every important post under government is recorded; and the regular remittance of the taxes and tribute is the only acknowledged criterion of upright administration.

163 If the stipulated revenue duly enter into the coffers of government, no inquiry is made whether it has been collected by harsh or by lenient measures, whether it has been extorted by tyranny and oppression from a wretched and diminished population, or willingly contributed from the superabundance of private wealth, as a homage to virtuous administration2.70. Hence it is that governors of distant provinces, availing of the resources of their districts, have, in frequent instances, so firmly established themselves as to resist efficaciously the right of the sovereign to eject or dispossess them. When a pasha, from a sense of his own strength or of the weakness of government aspires to independency, he withholds the contributions due to the porte: he however negotiates while he threatens, and if the attempt fails of checking his insolence by the interposition of a capigi bashi as an executioner, the same officer is commissioned on 164 the part of the sultan to confirm him in his dignity, to sanction, and even to recompense his revolt by conferring on him additional honours. In this manner the pashas of Scutari and Yanina in Europe, and of Bagdad and Damascus in Asia, besides several others, have made themselves independent of the porte, in one sense only, and may perhaps suceed in rendering their fiefs hereditary in their families2.71. This conduct, which in Christendom would be called rebellion, the porte in its parental kindness considers rather as the capirce of a splenetic child. Its maxim is to yield to necessity, and to sooth the undutiful subject, instead of irritating him into avowed rebellion: but the contempt of its authority leaves an indelible impression. While they accumulate honours on the fortunate usurper, they constantly keep in view the heinousness of his offence; and if once his 165 circumspection is lulled to sleep, if once he can be seduced by the allurements of ambition to abandon his strong holds, and to accept of a government of a higher order, the tardy by persevering minister of veneance unexpectedly presnets himself, and terminates his golden prospects in death2.72. On the invasion of Egypt by the French, the pashas of several important provinces were considered as in open rebellion against the porte, yet, though each asserted his independece, none of them refused to obey the summons of government, and to furnish their contigent of troops2.73: nor are they obedient in this respect only; each of them maintains at court his agent or capi 166 kiahya, through whom he regularly remits the taxes, due to the miri, and through whom he solicits, as a token that he has not incurred his sovereign's displeasure, the honour of being legally appointed to collect the haratch, or poll-tax levied on the rayahs, within his own jurisdiction. There are however some fiefs, as well as in Europe as in Asia, which by original donation are hereditary in certain families. Mehemmed Bey was created by Selim the First, beylerbey of Diarbekir, and the province was given to him malikiane, that is, for the term of his own life, and with the privilege of transmitting it by descent to his male children. In this manner Cara Osman Oglu governs at Magnesia in Asia Minor, and the family of the Ghavrinos, who conquered Macedonia, still possess several agaliks in that province by virtue of similar concessions2.74.

2.70"On sçait que les vicerois, pachas, gouverneurs de places, es autres officiers de l'empire Ottoman, sont des fermiers qui, sous peine d'envoyer leurs têtes au trésor royal, sont obligez d' y faire remettre les sommes dont ils sont convenus avec le grand visir. On ne reçoit point d'excuse sur cela. Il faut trouver de l'argent n'en fût-il point; et comme leur vie et leur fortune dépendent de leur exactitude à payer, ils mettent tout en usage pour en venir à bout." (D'Arvieux, t. iii, p. 99.)

2.71"Depuis le règne d'Abdul-hamid, qui est l'époque d'une plus grande accéleration dans la décadence de l'empire Ottoman, les agaliks de la Grèce soni souvent conquis de vive force par des aventuriers Albanais. La Porte donne alors l'investiture qu'elle ne peut refuser. Quelquesuns de ces agas heureux ont même usurpé dans ces derniers tems des vaïvodaliks; et à juger de leur conduite future par la manière dont lils ont débuté dans leur entreprise, il est à craindre qu'ils n'envahissent bientôt des pachaliks." (Beaujour, t. i, p. 12.)

2.72This mode of proceeding is proverbially said by the Turks to be hunting the hare in a waggon drawn by oxen.

2.73Dr. Pouqueville, (t. iii, p. 179.) in describing the preparations for war against the French in the year 1800, enumerates the reinforcements which were to be sent from the different provinces to the grand vizir's army. It is curious, that in the following list he merely recapitulates those provinces, which, in a preceding note, (p. 176.) he had pronounced to be in rebellion.
"Le pacha de Bagdad va se soumettre, il conduit une armée levée sur les bords de l'Euphrate; le pacha de Damas, ennemi juré du nom Français, commande des forces considérables; le farouche Djezzar a rassemblé vingt mille hommes; les bords du Jourdain doivent voir tant de guerriers réunis sous les ordres du vézir suprème. La Mecque, Médine, les Arabes se sont armés et traversent la mer Rouge. Unis aux Nubiens et aux sheiks de la Haute Egypte, ils attaqueront les Français dans le Saïd."

2.74Cantemir, p. 153. Rycaut, chap. xii, p. 52. Tab. Gen. t. ii, p. 533. Beaujour, Tab. du commerce de la Grece, t. i, p. 11.

It has been said, and no assertion has been more generally credited, that no sooner have they amassed property, than they are cut off by the sultan, in order to enrich his own treasury2.75. 167 It is however difficult to suppose, that avarice, the mere desire of hoarding up trasure, can ever be the vice of an Ottoman sovereign; and it would be difficult to prove, in the whole history of the empire, that a sultan was ever actuated by such a sordid passion. It must be recollected that the miri or public treasury, and not the sultan, is heir to the officers of government. The sultan, whose private wealth exceeds the bounds of his capirce, is restrained from direct misapplication of the public funds, which are reserved for the exigencies of the state. The courtiers, indeed, may inflame the mind of their master against a wealthy pasha, whome they wish to supplant; but unless he errs in making too sparing a distribution of his presents, the courtiers and ministers of state derive more benefit from his gifts, than they could hope from the confiscation of his property.

2.75See Toderini, t. i, p. 60.

In the history of the former ages of the Ottoman empire, we find that the sultans frequently interfered in the ordinary administration of government, and generally headed their armies in person. But whatever advantages the Roman world might derive from the superintendance of such enlightened emperors, as Trajan or the Antonines, the ignorant 168 zeal of the Turkish sultans only heightened the evils and horrors of despotism. What advantage could, indeed, be expected from the superficial inquiry, and hasty decision, of men ignorant of the first principles of justice, intoxicated with absolute power, and whose ears no remonstrance against their own conduct had ever reached, except such as is faintly conveyed in the passive groans of miserable men? A vizir may be checked in the exertion of his delegated authority by the apprehension that truth, or calumny, may disclose, or blacken, his conduct to his master; but the will of a tyrannical monarch can be restrained only by the menaces of religion, and the dread of insurrection, which scarcely enter even into his contemplation, until they are announced by the approach of death, or by the tumults of the populace. Though the sovereign, on his tribunal, be superior to any consideration of personal interest; yet the mind of a despot is not less assailable by motives foreign to the abstract merit of the cause, than that of a plebeian judge. Though he be sincere in the investigation of truth, yet the boldness of conscious integrity may to him appear shameless effrontery; the pertinacity of truth may seem the obstinacy of 169 error; and the confusion of modesty, the confession of guilt. Would calumniated innocence dare to exert her eloquence before such a tribunal? Could she hope to smooth the angry brow, to dispel the cloud of prejudice and to inspire the mind with candour to condemn a precipitate judgment, or to retract a hasty sentence? The despotic judge will appeal in vain for guidance to the learned and the wise. Even the ministers of religion resign the inflexibility of their virtue, and become the obsequious instruments of the will of the monarch. Thus, when Soliman and Peter, the legislators of Turkey and Russia, determined to put their sons to death, they found no difficulty in obtaining the fetwa of the mufti, or the sentence of the patriarch2.76.

2.76"Ahmed the Second affected to appear a lover of justice, though, by reason of his stupidity, he could not perfectly discharge the functions of a judge, and believed everything which his friends, bribed by the contending parties, represented to him." (Cantemir, p. 394.)

In their eagerness to do justice, some of the wisest sultans have been hurried into cruel and disproportioned retaliation. Soliman the First, disappointed in his endeavours to apprehend some Albanians, who had committed theft and murder, ordered all of that nation in Constantinople 170 to be sought after to a man, and put to death, for the crime of their countrymen; and again, because the molla and cadis were killed at Aleppo by the populace, he sent an army, indiscriminately to destroy all the inhabitants without inquiring after the perpetrators of the murder2.77. Theodosius, a wise, human, and Christian emperor, and the republic of Athens, the most enlightened and the most liberal of nations, had precipitately authorized similar excesses. The evils of rashness, in which the sovereign indulges, are aggravated in Turkey by the irrevocability of the sentence. The brow of the tyrant may express, as that of Soliman did to the penetration of Busbequius, the anguish of his mind: but the sultan cannot, like Theodosius, expiate criminality by public penance, or like the Athenians, arrest the execution. May I be permitted to offer this tribute of respect to the memory of this illustrious people! The general assembly of Athens had condemned to death, in one undistinguishing sentence, the inhabitants of Mitylene in the island of Lesbos; but the reflection of a single night produced repentance and remorse: the orders 171 for the execution were already despatched, when the assembly resumed its sitting, to discuss the justice and propriety of its decisions. With what igenuousness did they confess their fault, with what eagerness did they proceed to repair it, and with what celerity was the galley despatched to Lesbos, with the mitigated sentence? How truly great and amiable was this people! The world can produce but this solitary instance of unforced repentance in a popular assembly. When criminality is sub-divided, it is lightly felt; but every Athenian citizen imputed to himself the whole guilt of this public act of injustice, in which he had concurred. Who, from such examples, would wish that absolute power should be confided to the erring judgments of mortals, either separately or collectively? Rather let it riot in the comparatively innocent luxuries of the seraglio, than aim at augmenting the happiness of a nation by the best intended administration of government.

2.77Cantemir, p. 183.

The sense of duty in an Ottoman sultan may be judged of by the objects with Soliman sighed for the ability to accomplish;--the building of the mosque with bears his name, the reconstruction of Valen's aqueducts, 172 and the conquest of Vienna2.78; objects, which, in his judgment, were most highly conducive to the glory of God, the comfort of true believers, and the extirpation of heresy, and error. The sultan still presides, or is supposed to preside, in his own tribunal, ghalibé divan, which is held every Tuesday; but the whole is only the harmless shadow of former usage. The affairs are of little consequence, though every thing is conducted with show, and ceremony, and ostentation. For the edification of the people, and as a convincing proof that the grand signor interests himself in the concerns of his subjects, the vizir is frequently summoned during the course of a trial to attend his sovereign, and receive his instructions as to the sentence. At the beginning of a reign, to impress his good city of Constantinople with a favourable opinion of their new monarch, some human sacrifices are constantly offered. Sometimes a Mussulman, invested with an office of emolument, who may have formerly incurred the displeasure of some of the new favourites, is brought forward, accused by his sovereign of malversation, and beheaded in his presence: 173 or more frequently an infidel, who, by wearing slippers of a forbidden colour, is presumed to have usurped the privileges of the Mussulman people, is punished with death, and trampled upon for three days in the public street.

2.78Busbeq. Epist. p. 264.

When the sultans headed their armies, the fruits of the earth failed, and the face of nature withered at their approach. Busbequius had traversed the conquests of Soliman: "the corn," says he, "which such a calamity has depressed, will never again rear its head."2.79 Their voice was the voice of desolation; their language, extermination and death. "The city," said the agonizing sultan, with heartfelt regret, "the city, whose hearth is to be extinguished, is not yet taken:" and, on his deathbed, he devoutly addresses "the God of all worlds, the sovereign and lord of all creatures, to have pity on the host of the faithful, and graciously assist them, in accomplishing"--this work of hell2.80. According to their belief, no war should be undertaken without a just cause; but the propagation of the faith was the broad mantle, which hid from their sight every unjust and dishonourable motive. Hence their wars have all had the character 174 of religious wars, and they rushed out, glowing with holy zeal, to murder the aged parent, and the helpless infant; but reserved their mercy for the tender maidens, who, as vessels which had providentially escaped contamination, were capable of being applied to holy purposes. To the noble feelings of sovereigns on these glorious occasions, we are to attribute the murderous barbarities of Jenghiz Khan, and the comparative clemency of Tamerlane. The warrior is indeed placed between heroism and crime, and the best conquerors hold but a middle rank between cruelty and justice. We may be shocked at the severities exercised by them, yet since the world has agreed to worship conquerors, we are no less wrong in imputing to them the evils which are inseparable from war, than in expecting from them those virtues which can flourish only in a state of peace. Let us not, however, regret, that, since the decline of the military spirit among the Turks, their sovereigns, somewhat less enamoured than formerly of the glories of warfare, have sacrificed their fame to their repose, and sunk into insignificance in the voluptuous gratifications of the harem.

2.79Busbeq. de re mil. cont. Tur. insut. consilium, p. 273.

2.80Cantemir, p. 215.

The Turks, indulgent to the follies, the vices, and even the crimes of their sultans, 175 are nevertheless severe in arraigning the conduct of those, whom they consider as too much addicted to the pleasures of the chace. I am at a loss to account for an intolerance so singular and so little agreeable to reason, unless perhaps it owes its origin to one of the popular sayings, which are familiarly and generally used in ordinary conversation among the Turks, as among all the eastern nations, although, in many instances, their authority is owing rather to a certain alliteration or a jingle of the words, than to the shrewdness or profoundness of the though. "He that kills a sportsman or a gamester," says the proverb, "shall be accounted a hero:" and assuming this as an irrefragable truth, the ulema, when they were incited to foment a rebellion against the unfortunate Mahomet the Fourth, represented to the people, that the divine wrath against the Ottoman nation was manifest, since the sultan was become so infatuated as to suppose, that the bounds of the Ottoman empire, which had been extended by the labours and the blood of so many Mussulmans, could be defended by hounds and falcons2.81.

2.81Cantemir, p. 337.

176 In the opinion of Mussulmans, the law of the koran is no less binding on the prince than on the meanest of his people. While this law is religiously observed, and history furnishes no instance of its infringement in any essential point, the devotion of the subject corresponds with the unlimited authority of the monarch: every one acknowledges obedience to the absolute power of the sultan, and every one practises it. The rebellion of pashas, as has been shown, is not an abnegation of the sultan's authority; for they always name him with reverence and obey his commands, except when he requires the resignation of their own power, or the weakening of their own stability: their revolt affects only the ministers and courtiers, who indeed suffer by the independence of a pasha, as they are thereby deprived of their dues of office, and the annual presents which they are entitled to on every new appointment. Submission to the sultan, both as spiritual and temporal chief, is universal in theory, but from the remoteness and indistinctness of its proper object, it is naturally transferred to more immediate superiors. Yet we have seen the body-guard of an usurper stopped in the act of taking vengeance on an assassin, by his 177 producing the sultan's mandate for the execution of their master. Armed with this alone, he gains admission into the household, or insinuates himself into the confidence, of a rebel. Relying on no other protection, he disregards the fierce aspects of his myrmidons, and their professions of inviolable attachment: he singles out his object from the midst of them, he aims his blow, and, if it be well directed, the baseless structure of power is in one instant demolished, and the current of popular loyalty, no longer obstructed, re-assumes its legitimate direction. I have heard, that the officers of the sultan proceeding on such commissions have been detected, and have themselves undergone this punishment which they were ordered to inflict: but I recollect no instance of any one having suffered from the effects of resentment after the accomplishment of his errand: like the children of the Spartans, they are punished only for the failure of their stratagems.

The enthusiasm of loyalty may have prompted individuals to romantic proofs of their attachment to the person of their sovereign; but I do not dare to confirm the assertion of Rycaut, that they carry their 178 obedience to such an extreme as to perform whatsoever the sultan signifies to be his pleasure, "though he command whole armies of them to precipitate themselves from a rock, or build a bridge with piles of their bodies for him to pass rivers, or to kill one another to afford him pastime and pleasure."2.82

2.82I do not know whether Rycaut is to be understood as asserting, in the following passage, that he himself had witnessed such extravagancies. "They that have been where they have seen and known the manner of this blind obedience, may well cry out, O homines ad servitutem paratos!" (Present state of the Ottoman empire, p. 9.)
In the catalogue of printed books in the British museum is a work in French, published at Paris, under the title of "Extrait dune lettre que ung Chrestien qui demeure en turcquie a escript et envoye a ung sien cousin Chrestien, escript le premier Decembre l'an 1527." The publication is undoubtedly of the antiquity to which it lays claim, but the information which it contains should be cautiously received, as its inaccuracy in many passages proves it to be a compilation of erroneous or exaggerated opinions, and not the genuine performance of the person to whom it is ascribed, who is represented as having resided in Constantinople, and as being married to a woman of the country. The following story would indeed corroborate Rycaut's assertions, if it were not itself unsupported by any proof, and if any testimony could make such improbabilities credible. My own opinion as to the facts in question is independent of the authority of both authors. Je ne crois pas même les témoins oculaires, quand íls me disent des choses que le sens commun désavoue.
"Item le peuple en turcquie est tenu si tresubiect et en si grosse craincte que quant il plaist a lempereur mander quelque homme riche soy destituer: abandonner demme et enfans et lui dict ou faict dire quil sen aille tenir en exille en quelque isle de la mer; ou qui se aille getter en la mer et soy noyer. Incontinent le bourgeoys ou quelque austre quel quil soit: Riche ou poure obeist et se gette au plaisir de l'empereur: soit pour soy tuer ou noyer. Et affin dentendre que ainsi est. Puys peu de temps enca aucun Roy chrestien envoya son ambassadeur pardeca vers demonstrer l'obeissanse des siens: mande querir six notables personnaiges gens vieulx et anciens grandes et longues barbes grises. Iceulx arrivez devant lempereur eulx prosternant jusques a bayser la terre: comme nostre coustume est. Et ainsi quilz estoient tous nudz chascun une espee trenchante en la main: lempereur leur commanda que incontinent et sans delay en la presence dicelluy ambassadeur ung chascun deulx se boutast lespee parmy le corps: a grant peine eut lempereur finy la parolle que iceulx six se bouterent chascun lespee parmy le corps: Moururent sur la place et furent emportez mors. Lembassadeur bien estonne: et croyez que incontinent quil viendra au pays il en fera le rapport a son seigneur. Ce sont choses execrables: parquoy vous qui avez bon seigneur debuez bien louer dieu."

179 The education of the seraglio is represented as the systematic warping of the mind to the principles of slavery; and, as it is asserted, that young men so educated are destined to fill the highest posts of honour and to undertake the government of provinces, it is concluded, that the prejudice of absolute resignation to the will of the sultan is by their means universally diffused throughout the empire2.83.

2.83Rycaut, Present state of the Ottoman Empire, Chap. iii--v.

This however is erronous; for, comparatively 180 speaking, few are selected from among the pages to fill these important situations. Young men, whose chief recommendation in the first instance is their personal comeliness, are admitted into the colleges of the ichoglans, of which one is within the walls of the imperial palace, and the other, called Galata seraï, is in the suburb of Pera. They are educated under the care of masters appointed by the chief of the white eunuchs, capi aga, at the private expense of the sultan: but the object of the institution is not to prepare men for holding the highest offices of the state, but merely to educate pages for the service of the court.

The greatest number of them never quit the seraglio, and some even grow grey in the colleges. Their education favours the requisite attainments of a Turkish courtier: they are taught to please by the graces of their person and manners, and the politeness of their conversation and diction: passive obedience is the lesson which is constantly inculcated, and such severe chastisement is inflicted for the commission of the slightest fault, that he who has passed through the several degrees, may be truly said to have his passions mortified, and his manners 181 moulded to slavery. The highest dignity in the seraglio to which they can attain is that of coltuk vizir, a compound word, which denotes both their actual privilege of supporting the sultan under the arm and assisting him when he mounts on horseback, and also indicates, by anticipation, the rank which they are entitled to hold on their being dismissed from attendence on the emperor's person. Only the pages, who by merit, favour, or length of services have arrived at the dignity of coltuk vizir, have a prospect of being raised on vacancies to the post of pasha of three tails: but though, when they quit the court, they have as much power in their respective pashaliks as other governors, yet they are distinguished by an opprobrious appellation, expressive of their want of experience in civil and military affairs, from those who have raised themselves by their courage and implied virtues2.84.

2.84I may here be permitted to observe, that Gibbon, in his sketch of the Turkish education and discipline (Vol. xii, p. 58-62), has copied too faithfully the errors of Rycaut and the other guides whom he professes to have followed.

The national education, or rather the national manners, by no means, inculcate a slavish disposition. The Ottoman government 182 is, in its exercise, a military aristocracy, where every Mussulman imbibes some portion of the haughtiness of the military character with respect to those who are deprived of the use of arms, but is courtly and civil to his comrades, and obedient and respectful to his superiors. Accordingly we distinguish in the Turks the leading features of aristocracy, not only pride in their port and defiance in their eye, but candour in their character and generosity in their conduct. The disposition of mind generated by aristocracy is unquestionably preferable to that produced by slavish habits; and on the most superficial view, as well as on a more intimate acquaintance with the various classes of men who acknowledge the authority of the Ottoman sultans, we cannot hesitate in assenting to the truth of the remark, that the Turks are the best people in their Empire2.85.

2.85See Observations on the religion, laws, &c. of the Turks, p. 73.

The Mussulman law divides into two classes all the inhabitants of the earth: those who profess the faith of Mahomet are called, without distinction of rites, sects, heresies, or opinions, by the general name of musslim, an arabic word signifying a person resigned 183 to God; the dual of which is musulman, and the plural musliminn: the nations, who deny the divine mission, and reject the doctrine, of the prophet, are confounded under the common denomination of keafir, infidel or blasphemer, a wretch wandering in darkness, whose eyes are shut to the light of revelation. Thus all infidels form but one and the same people. The inhabitants of the Ottoman empire and the nations by which they are surrounded, are, however, discriminated with greater accuracy: the infidels, subject to their dominion and paying the capitation tax, whether Christians, Jews, or Pagans, are called zimmys: strangers, who, relying on the faith of treaties and the acknowledged laws of nations, either pass through their territories or reside within the empire, are called musteeminns, (men who have solicited mercy): it is however presumaable, that such expressions are not meant to convey insult to foreign nations, as they are also applied to Mussulmans travelling beyond the empire or settled abroad: nations unconnected by treaty, or in actual hostility with the Ottoman porte, are described under the common denomination of harby, a word derived from harb, which signifies war. These expressions, 184 which it must be confessed are harsh and unbecoming, are to be ascribed rather to the primitive Mussulmans, from whom they were borrowed, than to the Ottomans themselves, although the Turks, in common with all nations professing the same faith, still adhere to the use of them. The etymology and true meaning of the terms are unknown to the greatest part of the people; and it should perhaps be recollected, in extenuation of the conduct of the Turks in this respect, that modes of expression, scarcely less offensive, have prevailed among the people whom we are taught to admire and to reverence, who distinguished, with no less pride than the Turks themselves, between Greeks and Barbarians, Jews and Gentiles. The Turkish national appellation is osmanli, which we translate Ottoman; the word Turk is not unknown to them, but is applied on to persons of rustic and uncivilized manners. A rayah is an Ottoman subject of any nation, liable to the haratch or capitation tax: the Turkish peasantry are properly comprehended under the general name of rayahs, though, in the modern and more common acceptation of the word, it is restricted to that class of subjects whom the law denominates zimmys.

185 Ghiaour is the opprobrious expression which the Turks address to infidels; but the word appears to have been originally guebre, or worshipper of fire. The Persian heretics are distinguished from the sunni (or orthodox) by the name of schiys, a name odious o the Turks, as they are taught to believe it to be more meritorious in the sight of God to kill in war a single Persian, than seventy infidels of any other religion2.86.

2.86"Alia res est, inquit Rustanus. Nos enim, ne sis nescius, magis aversamur Persas, magis profanos habemus quam vos Christianos." (Busbeq. Epist. iii, p. 126.)

When the inhabitants of a city or a province are dissatisfied with the pasha, they present their complaints at the porte in a memorial or petition, called arz mahzar: but unless they accompany it with a larger sum than the pasha finds it convenient to give for his re-appointment, they seldom succeed in their application for his removal. Contestations of this public nature, as well as those between private individuals, are determined, not by the evidence of facts or the force of arguments, but by the specific quantity of gold which either party can produce in support of his cause. In the capital, inaccessible as the sultan personally is to the 186 complaints of his people (since all memorials on what business soever ought first to pass through the hands of the grand vizir), his attention is notwithstanding sometimes aroused by the clamours, and other unequivocal proceedings of his turbulent subjects. In his passage to the mosque every Friday, he receives, through the hands of one of his attendants, whatever petitions are presented to him. It was in this manner, that M. de Villelongue succeeded in delivering into the hands of Sultan Ahmed an accusation, in the name of Charles the Twelfth, against the vizir and the principal ministers of state, which was supposed to have effected the complete change in the Turkish cabinet, which soon after took place. Rycaut mentions a method of appeal to the grand signor which ancient custom had tolerated, but which I apprehend is now disused, as I have never heard of its being practised. "The aggrieved person," he says, "putting fire on his head, enters the seraglio, runs in haste, and can be stopped by nobody until he comes to the presence of the grand signor, to whome he has licence to declare his wrong."2.87 The method which is most 187 commonly adopted, and which I have seen followed up with the most persevering obstinacy, is to set fire to different parts of the city: when it is discovered, from their frequency, that these fires are not accidental, the sultan is alarmed, inquires into the cause of the public discontent, discovers it through his emissaries from public conversation, and is ultimately compelled to yield to the wishes of the factious. Insurrection is the misfortune to which unlimited power is most subject: it is frequently the work of an instant, the produce of accident; but when once excited, it seldom stops at the redress of grievances: the insurgents must be subdued by force, or the monarch must descend from his throne: happy if he may be allowed to wear out the remainder of his days in the vacant prison of his successor.

2.87Present state of the Ottoman empire, p. 46. Rycaut, who considers himself bound to pray equally for the honour of his Majesty's embassy, and the profitable returns of the Levant Company (see p. 216), highly approves of the compliance of Sir Thomas Bendysh with this degrading and slavish custom. The worthy ambassador, he says, ordered pots of fire to be put on the yards of eleven English ships then in port, in order to represent to the grand signor the grievances suffered by the merchants. Mignot (Hist. Ottom. t. iii, p. 76.) divides the demerit of this measure with the French and Dutch ambassadors, but he attempts to extenuate the humiliation by adding, "Cette flotte présentoit l'idée de la menace plutôt que de la plainte."





Justices and magistrates.-Mehhkémé or tribunal.-Practice of the courts of law.-Administration of civil law.-False witnesses.-Inaccuracy of investigation.-Avania.-Proceedings in criminal cases.-Torture.

{Justices and magistrates.}

The Mussulman law ordains, as a fundamental maxim of state, that in all countries, provinces, or cities, into which the Mahometan religion has been introduced, or whereever believers are united together by the institutions of civil society, two superior offices of magistracy shall be established, to which the judicial administration and the public force are confided. Both departments are comprehended, in strictness of expression, under the denomination of hakim, but, in general, this term is applied only to ministers of justice of all orders and classes, while that of zabith distinguishes and comprehends all civil governors and offices charged with the 189 execution of the laws, the care of the police, and the maintenance of public order. From the word hakim is derived mehhkémé, the name of the Turkish tribunals, which signifies the sanctuary of justice.

{Mehhkémé or tribunal.}

In Constantinople every district has its Mehhkémé, in which a cadi, attended by his naïb, sits, and hears causes. These magistrates, as well as those of the superior classes, hear and determine all causes, civil and criminal. They also take cognizance of whatever relates to ecclesiastical dogmas, rites, morality, or discipline. They judge all suits respecting the vacufs (or church possessions) within their respective jurisdictions. They perform moreover all the functions of a public notary; and they legalize and register marriage-contracts, powers of attorney, wills, and covenants of every kind.

Nothing can be more simple and expeditious than the forms of proceeding in all the Turkish courts. Each party represents his cases, unassisted by counsellors, advocates, or pleaders of any kind, and supports his statement by the production of evidence. The deposition of two competent witnesses is admitted as complete legal proof, in all 190 cases whatever, whether concerning property, reputation, or life.

{Practice of the courts of law.}

It has been asserted, that "it is the general characteristic of the Turkish government to be loaded with forms and regulations, which are of no effectual service." How little this censure is applicable to the Turkish courts of law, is evident from the simplicity with which law-suits are conducted in the divan haneh, or vizir's tribunal. Before the vizir takes his seat, all the parties assembled in court are ranged in two rows, with a chaoush1 at their head. The trial begins by reading the case of the plaintiff who is first in order of precedence; after which, both parties are publicly heard; a proper officer of the court briefly sums up the whole matter, and declares what sentence, according to the divine judgment, ought to be passed. If the vizir approves the sentence, 191 it is inserted in the vacant space of the arzuhal (or petition), and is confirmed by the vizir's signature. The arzuhal itself, be the case ever so intricate, must be comprised in about half a page, in order that room may be left on the other half for inserting the substance of the consultation on the subject, and the ilam (or sentence) of the judge. During the examination of one case, the parties and papers, necessary for elucidating the next in order, are put in a state of preparation; so that a new cause immediately commences; and so on until all are despatched. An oda (or company) of janizaries is appointed to guard the vizir's palace; they are employed to bring accused persons into court, and to watch over the prisoners. They are called muhzur from their office, and the nature of it may be discerned from the form of a citation "Go," says the muhzur aga, "and order such a person immediately to appear; if he hesitate to obey the summons, cleave him through the head and the eyes, and produce him in that state."

1There are two sorts of chaoushes among the Turks. Some are employed, in the divans of the vizir and the pashas, to receive the petitions of the plaintiffs, to communicate the orders and decisions of the court, and to see that the sentences are carried into execution. Others, in time of war, do the duty of adjutants in carrying the verbal or written orders of the sultan, the vizir, or the general in chief, to the officers of the army. (See Cantemir, p.407, note 19. Marsigli, t. i, p.89)

{Administration of civil law.}

It is erroneous to suppose, "that the judges are not bound by any preceding decrees, but that they have the application of the law in 192 their own breasts." On the contrary, we learn from Abulfaragius, that, in ancient times, when any doubt arose as to the legality of an opinion or an action, the lawyers, in the first instance, had recourse to the koran, and if they found a text which applied to the case before them, they immediately determined it. If it were unnoticed in the koran, they sought for a solution of the difficulty among the traditional precepts of the prophet: if these too were silent, they founded their sentence on the opinions of the imams, and the commentaries of the orthodox doctors. The code multeka, ever since the period of its compilation in the reign of Soliman the First, is almost the only book, made use of by the cazy-askers, the mollas, the cadis, and the naïbs, in all the tribunals and courts of law throughout the whole extent of the Ottoman empire. It is expressly enjoined to the cadis, in the sultan's diploma which invests them with their judicial powers, to follow the most prevailing opinions of the imams Hanefys in the administration of justice; and although the instructions given to the mollas are not so explicit in this respect, they are nevertheless restricted to the 193 observance of the same rule in their practice2.

2"Although Abu Hanifah be the acknowledged head of the prevailing sect, and have given his name to it, yet so great veneration is shown to Abu Yusuf and the lawyer Muhammed that, when they both dissent from their master, the muselman judge is at liberty to adopt either of the two decisions, which may seem to him the more consonant to reason, and founded on the better authority." (Jones's Works, Vol.iii, p.510.)

The distribution of fetwas, or decisions on questions in law and equity, whether of a public or private nature, forms an important branch of the office of mufti; yet even in the exercise of this function, if any question is presented to him on a subject which has not been discussed by the fathers of Mussulman legislation or their commentators, the mufti does not dare to give a decision, but simply declares, that he finds nothing of similar nature in the canonical books. Government alone has the privilege of consulting the law on points which relate to the administration of public affairs. Individuals of all classes may, however, apply to the mufti for information and advice on cases of conscience, or of civil and criminal law: and previously to engaging in a lawsuit, it is customary for both parties to take out a fetwa on their case, as stated by them 194 selves. The fetwa, therefore, in civil causes, should be considered, not as the sentence of a judge, but as the opinion of counsel, in which the difficulty and the solution are presented under the form of question and answer, written in a small character on a sheet of paper nine inches long and four inches broad, and delivered to the parties on the payment of five paras, or about two-pence of our money. The collection of fetwas issued by a succession of muftis, as it embraces all the subjects of the code multeka, is now so extensive that Toderini counted fifty-five volumes in the library of Sancta Sophia3. The most celebrated of these compilations are used in every tribunal as a commentary on, or illustration of, the general code of laws, and for the guidance of the magistrate, who, however, exercises a discretion as to the admissibility of their authority, or their application to the point in dispute. I once saw a fetwa produced by the plaintiff on a trial, while I was attending at the house of a magistrate. He read it with great respect, and commended the justness of it; but "I am mufti here," said he, and placing it under the cushion on which he sat, 195 determined the cause, without any appeal or reference to it. Another opinion of the mufti, as I was told, was produced in court, in a case in point, and the person appealing to it, said, "such is the wil1 of God." "Be it so," said the cadi, " but if the will of God were to be always observed, the world would stand still4."

3See Tab.Gén. t.iv, p.510-530. Toderini, t.i, p.40.

4It must be observed, that the muftis, or doctors of the law, occupy only the second rank in the Mussulman hierarchy. In every city of the Ottoman empire, with the exception of the capital alone, they yield the precedency to the cadis, or judges.

Sir James Porter says, "it is not the Turkish laws, but a corrupt administration of them, which brings opprobrium on the empire." But the most necessary laws, and without which any code is defective, are those which provide for, and secure, an upright administration. In Turkey the laws indeed are simple, and by no means numerous; and the forms are little complicated. Their administration, however, differs according to circumstances of the parties, or their rank in a political point of view. The Turk has rarely to complain of injustice; and, generally speaking, the decision of the judges, in causes wherein both parties are Mussulmans, is unbiassed. Public opinion, 196 which is no where more free or more energetic than among the Turks, checks the voluntary commission of any injustice with respect to them. I have seen the cazy-asker, in his own tribunal, abused by women, with a licence which nothing could equal but the patience and submission with which be bore it, while the inferior officers were endeavouring to pacify them, and gently get them out of the court.

{False witnesses.}

The Christian and Jewish subjects of the empire are an inexhaustible treasure, not only to government, but to individuals. From this source a tribe of extortioners, false witnesses, and embroilers, all who are too idle to dig, and too proud to beg, draw, without the imputation of infamy, the means of subsistence. It is impossible to conceive an idea of the effrontery of the false witnesses, who are encouraged by impunity. The punishment appointed for a false witness is only the shame of being led through the streets, seated upon an ass, with his face towards the animal's tail. But even this punishment, which cannot be supposed to have much effect upon such abandoned profligates, is scarcely ever put in execution. The vizir alone can punish them; the other 197 magistrates are compelled to pronounce according to their deposition, unless they can detect them in duplicity, or embarrass them by their questions5.

5Busbequius supposed, that the Turkish false witnesses were actuated only by hatred against Christians. "Turcæ magnæ pietatis loco ducunt dicere falsum testimonium adversus hominem Christianum. Non expectant ut regentur; injussi adsunt, seque ultro ingerunt." (Epist.iv, p.227.) "All the learned lawyers of Mohammed's religion, with whom I have conversed in different parts of India, have assured me with one voice, that an oath by a musliman is not held binding on his conscience, unless it be taken in the express nane of the Almighty, and that even then it is incomplete, unless the witness, after having given his evidence, swear again by the same awful name, that he has spoken nothing but the truth. Nor is this abstruse or refined learning, but generally known to Mohammedans of every degree, who are fully apprized, that an imprecation on themselves and their families, even with the koran on their heads, is in fact no oath at all; and that, if having sworn, that they will speak truth, they still utter falsehoods, they can expiate their offence by certain religious austerities; but that, if they forswear themselves in regard to evidence already given, they cannot, except by the divine mercy, escape misery in this world and in the next." Sir William Jones's charge to the Grand Jury, Calcutta, June 10, 1785. Vol.iii, p.14.

Among the Mahometans written testimony is of no avail, when opposed by living witnesses. But the treaties with all the Christian powers set aside this law in favour of their subjects, who are accordingly allowed 198 to support their claims by written evidence. The executors of a person under the English protection claimed from a certain sultana the payment of a sum of money, in virtue of a written obligation certifying the loan. The defendant denied the debt, alleging, that she had paid the principal before the decease of her claimant, but that he had detained the notes and pledges, with a view of compelling her to pay interest, which she had resisted, on the ground of its being contrary to the divine law. Her witnesses asserted, that the money had been paid to the deceased in their presence: the judge affected to give credit to their testimony, and urged to the plaintiffs the necessity of admitting so clear a proof; but suddenly turning to the witnesses, "what," said he, "was the name of the deceased merchant's father?" The abruptness of the question threw them off their guard, and they confessed, that they could not tell. " Not tell," said the judge, "how then can you expect, that I shall admit your evidence?" and immediately ordered an ilam in favour of the plaintiff.

The judge was indeed authorized by the usage of the Turks to require the witnesses 199 knowledge of such particulars; for as they have not among them surnames or family distinctions, it becomes necessary, in order to prevent confusion, to insert in a contract or official instrument not only the names of the parties, but also those of their parents. I have heard it asserted, that the judge is supposed to invalidate the testimony of a witness, if he can put to him any question whatever relating to the business in discussion, to which the latter is found unable to reply. In the case which I have related, the judge had been preconvinced of the futility of the defence, or he would not so readily have determined upon the case.

Peyssonnel, in his zeal to vindicate the Turks, attempts even to excuse their toleration of false witnesses. "Testimony," he says, "is the basis of all proceedings in criminal affairs, and is of great weight in civil affairs. Among all people, unfortunately, false witnesses are every where too numerous." But it is in Turkey alone, that the profession is avowed, and the individual personally known in every tribunal.

{Inaccuracy of investigation.}

The prompt decision of the Turkish tribunals has been praised by men who may have observed, that patience and property 200 are frequently exhausted by the forms, delays, and expenses, attending law-suits Christian countries, but who have not reflected, that where injustice is authorized, promptitude of decision only assimilates it the more to an act of violence. Some idea may be formed of the precipitancy with which law-suits are determined in Turkey, by the following instance. Cantemir, in commendation of the vizir Chorluly Ali Pasha, with whom he was personally acquainted, says, that "when the was sitting in the divan no one could behold him without admiration; for he was a person of so much quickness and dexterity, that he could attend to three things at once, if he had divided himself into three parts. For the quicker despatch of business, he ordered two petitions to be read at the same time, and understood each cause as perfectly as if has had heard it three or four times, giving thereupon a suitable sentence. In the mean time he hearkened to others that were pleading before the cazy-asker, and delivering back the arzuhal to him, told him what sentence he was to give. He was so great a lover of justice that many affirm, that he never gave an unjust sentence6."

6Cantemir's Ottoman History, p.446, note 6. It appears from the "Extract of the letter written from Constantinople in the year 1527," that even in the reign of Solyman the Lawgiver the administration of justice in Turkey was no less corrupt than at present. "Pour fait de question ou cas litigieux qui surviennent aulcunes foys Nous en avons telle custume quant il ya deux personnes en question la deduction sen fait par devant celuy qui de ce en a la charge de par le Turcq: et fault que tout ainsi que iceluy juge en determinera soit bien ou mal prendre ou donner il le fault aussi ensuyr. Et combien que le juge ordonne de par le turc soit si merveilleusement enioinct et sur peine destre brochie den faire bonne justice si advient il souvent que a grant peine peult au poure homme demeurer a la tierce partie de ses biens. Et dont il se doibt gouverner et encore luy va bien quil ne pert point la vie. Vous nestes pas seulz pardela qui se complaindent de jistice je vous asseure quelle est bien petitement administree pardeca je nose dire que lon juge plus par fauveur pardeca que vraye justice."


The European merchant, obliged to appeal to the laws of the country, is, equally with the rayah, exposed to the consequences of their venal administration, and must hope for success, not from the justice of his cause, but from undue influence, or from bribery. Hence the aversion from carrying disputes before the Turkish judges, and hence also credit and confidence, the bases of commerce, are undermined and destroyed7.

7A fetwa, extracted by the Chevalier D'Ohsson from the collection published by the mufti Behhdje Abd'ullah Effendi, will shew how precarious are the means which an European can employ to obtain justice in Turkey. "If Zeid, a stranger in a Mussulman country, having a law-suit with Amr, offers in favour of his cause the evidence of Bekir and Beschir, both of them strangers, can their depositions be received in justice? Answer: No." (Tab. Gen. t.iv, p.526.)



In civil causes, the Europeans, in virtue of the capitulations, pay three per cent. on the amount of the sum which constitutes their claim: the subjects of the country pay ten per cent. But, as the gainer pays the costs of suit in order that the judge may not lose his fees, the privilege granted to the European is in fact a disadvantage. The evil consequences of the gainer being burthened with the expenses of a law-suit, besides the injustice of such a mode of satisfying the court, are evident. A Turk will institute a vexatious suit against a rayah, in which he risks nothing, and may eventually avail himself of all the uncertainty of the law: the rayah is placed in a dilemma, from which he cannot escape without injury: he may be un- successful in his suit; and the least disadvantage he can hope for, is the payment of the costs; so that, in most cases, he finds it expedient to compound the business. I knew a person against whom an annual claim was made for a room in the upper part of a house, which he had built himself. He had bought off the first action; and this concession 203 was construed, by the opposite party, into an acknowledgment of his right, and the rayah was subjected, in consequence of it, to the payment of a tribute till his death. This species of robbery, which constitutes the chief riches of the Turkish populace in the great cities, is distinguished by the name of avania. The law indeed is equal, and, in the true spirit of it, extends the same protection to the believer and the infidel; but, in its administration, the household of faith enjoys peculiar privileges. The testimony of a Mussulman outweighs the clearest proof which a rayah can adduce, and a conviction of perjury, which entails severe, if not capital, punishment on the one, procures for the other only a gentle admonition to combine circumstances with less confusion in future8.

8The superior validity of a Mussulman's testimony will be more evident from the following examples. The emperor Bajazet the First, who was much addicted to wine and debauchery, submitted to a reprimand from the cadi of Brusa, who refused to admit his evidence, because he neglected to perform the five daily prayers in common with the faithful. "Les Musulmans non-circoncis semblent porter une sorte de réprobation aux yeux des autres Musulmans. On les appelle aklef, et dans différentes matières, soit civiles, soit criminelles, leur témoignage n'est jamais recevable." (Tab. Gén. t.ii, p.287.) Such defects, which can invalidate the testimony of a Musulman, must necessarily operate with much greater force against that of a Christian, who lives habitually and constantly in a state of reprobation.

The Mahometans themselves seldom seek legal redress for an insult. If not able to take revenge with their own hand, they quietly 204 submit to the oppression. Much less can a stranger expect justice: for, even if the judge were disposed to sacrifice his national prejudices to the duty of his office, the suffering party is induced by secret insinuations, and indirect menaces, to abandon his suit, and prefer suffering in silence.

{Proceedings in criminal cases.}

Although capital executions are frequent in Turkey, criminal justice can scarcely be said to be administered at all. The life of man, concerning which no deliberation can be too long, is hastily sentenced away, without reflection, according to the influence of passion, or the impulse of the moment. A complaint was preferred to the vizir against some soldiers who had insulted the gentlemen of the Russian embassy: the vizir made a horizontal motion with his hand, and before the conference was over, seven heads were rolled from a sack at the feet of Prince Repnin9. A man, caught in the act of pilfering 205 property during a fire, has been thrown into the flames by order of the vizir10. A housebreaker, detected in robbery, is hanged up, without process, at the door of the house which he has robbed. Shopkeepers, or dealers, convicted of using false weights or measures, are fined, bastinadoed, or nailed by the ear to their own door-posts: but punishment it frequently inflicted on the innocent, while the guilty enjoy the fruits of criminality. A Swedish gentleman of my acquaintance, walking one day in thy streets of Constantinople, saw the body of an Armenian hanging in the front of a baker's shop. He inquired of a by-stander for what crime the poor wretch had suffered. "The vizir," said he, "in passing by early in the morning, stopped and ordered the loaves to be weighed; and finding them short of weight, immediately ordered the execution of the person in the shop." 206 "Good God," said the Swede, "how severe a punishment for so slight a crime!" "It was thought severe," replied the Turk, "for the Christian was but a servant, whose wages were twenty paras a day, and whose master derived the whole benefit from the deficiency in the weight of the bread." And yet other Armenians had already occupied the vacant place, and were serving the customers with the greatest indifference. In September, 1792, the Greeks who had been taken on board Lambro's squadron in the Archipelago, were brought to Constantinople, and several of them were hanged on the yard-arms, or under the bowsprits of the prizes. Others were detained a few days in prison, and at length led out, and separately executed at the corners of different streets in Constantinople. A person, who was accidentally present, told me, that they were driven along by the Turks with the most unfeeling barbarity: by a push on the back the criminal fell on his knees, with one stroke of a knife his head was cut off, the body fell forward, the head was thrown between the legs, and the executioner passed on to inflict the same punishment on the others. A prisoner in the bagnio, during the last Russian war, was witness to 207 the execution of two Turks, who for some crime had been condemned to die. The order for their death was concealed from them, the gaoler congratulated them on their deliverance. "Go," said he to one of them: "thank God you are free." And as the man stooped to pass through a low door, a cord was thrown about his neck, and he was instantly strangled. The other was told to sit down, that his irons might be knocked off, and was strangled while the smith was performing the work11.

9See Voyage à Constantinople, p.166. I give this story on the credit of a French gentleman, whom I saw at Constantinople, but whose name I have in vain endeavoured to recollect. He travelled in company with Emile Gaudin, who afterwards officiated as secretary to the council of five hundred in the memorable sitting at St. Cloud. I have also heard other instances of similar atrocities.

10De Tott (p.20) ridiculously says, that "they consider this death as little different from dying in their beds, because they often see a multitude of unhappy wretches perish accidentally in the same manner."

11See the account of the revolution at Constantinople in the year 1730, published in Lord Sandwich's Tour, which bears every mark of authenticity and correctness. The same illusory method of proceeding was employed to take away the lives of the chief courtiers, who were obnoxious to the rebels.

The punishments, usually inflicted on criminals throughout the Turkish empire, are re-presented by the more ancient writers as the refinement of barbarous cruelty12. But, as far as I have been able to judge from the practice of the metropolis, there seems in general to be no intention of wantonly prolonging the sufferings of the condemned person. If he be sentenced to death, the readiest mode of execution is instantly adopted. Strangling, beheading, and drowning, are the only capital punishments used in Constantinople 208 for all classes of offenders, though impaling is sometimes practised in the provinces on public robbers13.

12See Montalbánus, apud Elzevir, p.31,32.

13The manner of impaling and of fleaing alive is described by the Chevalier d'Arvieux, who was an eye-witness of the infliction of both these punishments at Rosetta in Egypt. (Memoirs, t.i, p.220-222.) The following extraordinary account is supported only by the authority of Purchas, (Pilgrimage, chap.x, sec.i, p.335.) but the parson of St. Martin's, though he appears to have believed, does not vouch for the authenticity of the story. "They have also another invention to twitch the offender about the wast with a towell, enforcing him by often pricking to draw up his breath, till they have drawne him within the compasse of a spanne: then tying it hard they cut him off in the middle, and setting the body on a hote plate of copper, which seareth the veynes, up-propping him during their cruell pleasure: who not only retayneth sense, but discourse also, till hee bee taken downe, and then departeth in an instant."

In the provinces of Greece, the villages, which are peopled by the rayahs, are made responsible for all highway robberies and assassinations which are committed within their districts, on the presumption, that, by proper vigilance, they might have prevented them. If a Turk or an agent of government be robbed or murdered, the inhabitants are fined, and if they are suspected of complicity, their village is sentenced to military execution. On information being given to the pasha, he sends out a detachment of his body-guards with full powers to search after, and apprehend, the offenders. They surround 209 the village nearest to the spot where the crime has been committed, and immediately summon the heads of it to appear before them, to give in a list of the present number of inhabitants, which they compare with the last returns, and to declare, and surrender, all the strangers who may be found among them. Those who are unacknowledged by the primate of the village, are seized, and led away for examination, or are instantly put to death. The requisite number of victims must be produced to the pasha on their return; and if they fail in apprehending those on whom suspicion can justly alight, they complete the list by beheading any unprotected persons who are so unfortunate as to fall into their hands, and thus they sometimes satisfy the demands of justice without inflicting punishment on any one of the guilty14.

14See Pouqueville, t.i, p.239, 324.

Laws for preventing the abuse of authority in parents or masters and the exertion of individual revenge, either do not exist in Turkey, or are slightly enforced, and easily evaded. The Mussulman governments, in general, do not seem to be sufficiently aware, that society itself is injured by offences committed against individuals; and that justice 210 is not satisfied by a mere reparation of the injury to the sufferer. Private revenge is tolerated by the express declaration, and by the example, of Mahomet, who indeed recommends forgiveness to his followers, but acquits them of sin, if the measure of vengeance do not exceed the measure of injury15.

15See Maracci, prodrom. ad refut. alcorani, cap.xxiv, p.65.

"Murder," says Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, "is never pursued with the king's officers, as with us. 'Tis the business of the next relations to revenge the dead person; and if they like better to compound the matter for money (as they generally do), there is no more said of it." It is indeed true, that the robber and the murderer, when detected in the commission of the crime, are hanged up, or shot, or impaled without mercy; yet, if they escape the first fury of pursuit, or wish to retreat with their earnings into society, they are readmitted without difficulty, and almost without a reflection on their past conduct.

A Greek calfa (or builder) in the service of the present sultan, died in the month of June, 1792, leaving about twenty thousand pounds sterling, which he had amassed during his continuance in employment. His 211 effects were seized by government, as is usual, on the supposition of their having been gained in its service. His widow, reduced from affluence, in the first transports of her grief, accused her son of the murder of his farther. The young man had intrigued with a servant girl of the family, and would have married her; but the father, to prevent it, had dismissed her from his service. Upon his mother's accusation, he was imprisoned, and would have suffered; but the mother's tenderness awoke, and her conscience was alarmed; she threw herself at the feet of the judge, retracted all that she had before said, accused herself of precipitancy, occasioned by grief for the sudden death of her husband, and now as strongly asserted her son's, innocence. The judge, however, was hard to be convinced: he had his doubts and scruples, which there remained but one mode of dispelling. The remains of her husband's fortune, which her prudence had preserved from the vigilance of government, afforded the only hope of carrying home conviction to the breast of the conscientious judge; and the sacrifice of two thousand pounds was necessary to procure the reversal of the decree.



Torture is secretly, but not unfrequently, practised. The motive for inflicting it is generally to extort the confession of concealed property; and the scene of these inhuman proceedings is a building within the walls of the seraglio, called the oven because it was formerly used as such by the bostangis. The rich rayahs are frequently employed as bankers to the vizir and other great officers of state, a charge hazardous at best, and sometimes fatal: for though the advantages of it are great, and the influence which it procures is flattering to vain or ambitious men, yet they are exposed to the prying eyes of a suspicious court, and are usually involved in the ruin of their employer. The minister, knowing the uncertainty of his continuance in office, and apprehensive, that his riches will be swallowed up in his disgrace, secretly lodges money with some confidential person, from whom, through caution, he takes no written acknowledgement. This he keeps in reserve against the evil hour, or, should his life terminate with his office, directs the disposal of it to those for whom no provision can legally be made. On the deposition of a public minister, therefore, his 213 bankers, and others suspected of intimacy with him, are applied to for the delivery of all which they possess in his name. If the sum fall short of expectation, they are tortured, till they either confess, that they have more, or till they supply the sum required from their own capitals: but, if they are rich, even this confession does not always save their lives. I was acquainted with an Armenian, who had been confined and tortured into the renunciation of all his hereditary and acquired property16. His partner, more resolute, had resisted, even to death, all the horrible means employed to force him into a confession; and by this means he left his fanmily in affluence. I have listened with horror to the relation of their sufferings, which were aggravated by the constant presence of the executioner, who would insultingly complain of the fatigue of his morning's duty, and exact from them the most menial services, and at every repeat dip into the same dish with them his hand reeking with their blood.

16This was Couléli, banker to Raghib Pasha, whose sufferings are mentioned by De Tott, p.187.




Military divisions of the empire. —Feudal system of the Ottomans.—Ziantets and timars. Janizarics. Agemoglans.—Other bodies of infantry receiving pay from the porte;--topgis, gebegis, sakkas.—.Cavalry receiving pay from the porte.—Serratculy or troops receiving pay from the pashas. —Order of encampment. Tents and camp-equipage.—Method of supplying the army with provisions—Order of march, and battle.—Modes of fighting, and of defending their fortresses.,—Recapitulation.-Turkish laps qt' war.--Treatment of prisoners.—Turkish naml. [214]

The military establishment of the Turkish empire is an extensive militia, which was exceedingly formidable before standing armies were introduced among other nations, and when the constant practice of war had inured the Ottomans to hardships, taught them discipline, and familiarized them with danger. Their maintenance was provided for by a suitable allotment of land, according to the [215] feudal system. The empire, as its boundaries were enlarged by successive conquests, was divided into the great and lesser pashaliks, whose governors united the military with the administrative powers, and in each province a third part of' the lands were distributed as military benefices among the soldiery1. The beylerbeys, considered as military commanders, were subordinate only to the vizir, and presided over all the other governors. The pashas, according to their dignity and the extent of their districts, summoned to their standards the begs, the agar, and the possessors of lordships under the names of ziamet and timar; besides whom, there was generally a crowd of needy or fanatical adventurers, who repaired to the place of rendezvous, equipped and armed ac. cording to their fancy or their means2.

1See Mignot, discours sur les finances, t. iv, p. 448.

2A pashalik is divided, as to the military part, into districts called sanjacs. The governor, or sanjac bey, assembles the janizaries, spahis, zaïms, and timariots, of his jurisdiction, and waits the orders of the pasha.

Sanjac properly signifies, a standard denoting the authority of the commanding officer; by a natural transition the same name is used for the military division of a department, and by ellipsis for the officer himself. (See Busbeq. epist. 1, p. 7. Marsigli, t. 1, p. 19, Cantemir, p. 116, note 1.)

[216] The feudal system (of the ottomans), as established in Turkey, though it resembled in its leading features that which was introduced in all those parts of Europe where the Northern nations settled themselves, was in several particulars essentially different from it. In those countries the victorious chief assigned to his principal officers extensive tracts of land, which they subdivided among their inferior officers, and they again among the soldiers; each superior exacting from his immediate vassal the same fealty by which he had bound him-self to his own immediate superior, whether the sovereign or a mesne lord, Hence arose the great power of the barons, in whose defence, or at whose instigation, their subordinate vassals have sometimes taken up arms, in opposition to, or in defiance of, the authority of their common sovereign, In Turkey all the land is held immediately from the sultan, and all grants, on the demise of the incumbent, vest anew in him. The reciprocal feudal obligations, which confirmed and cemented the relations between the nobles and their vassals, are there unknown: so that between the pashas and the inferior feudal proprietors, there exists no tie of generosity and benevolence on the one hand, or of gratitude and affection [217] on the other; and though there be indeed subordination of rank, there is no concatenation of dependence. When inconveniences were felt from the abuse of the power of the lords, and the oppressed vassals, though they obeyed the summons to the field, were yet indifferent and even hostile to the cause in which they were engaged, a remedy was adopted in several European states by making the fiefs hereditary, and taxing the lands with the condition of furnishing a certain number of soldiers, armed and equipped; so that a numerous and powerful army was instantly assembled, and at once ready for action. In this era of the feudal history, when knight-service was introduced, the system more resembled that of Turkey, except that there the grants always continue precarious, and dependent on the pleasure of the sultan, as universal proprietor, who, however, in order to encourage his subjects to spill their blood in his service, usually confers the fiefs with all their privileges and advantages on the children of those who die in battle, and allows a veteran, disabled by age or the accidents and hardships of war, to send his son as his substitute, who succeeds to the estate of the death of his father3. [218] Vassalage, properly speaking, does not exist, as all are equally crown-vassals; and from their being independent of each other, they can never form a counterpoise to the power of the sovereign4.

On the conquest of a country the most powerful among the ancient inhabitants either fled, or were prevented by death from giving umbrage or jealousy to their new masters: a new race of Turkish colonists supplied their places, who exacted the services and received the homage of the conquered people. The lands of these newly created ziamets and timars were cultivated by the rayahs, who paid to the lord of the manor, as the rent of their farms, the tenths of the produce and the increase of their stock. To the people of Europe, who were groaning under the tyranny and rapacity of the nobles, such [219] terms appeared advantageous, and such servitude light. "I have seen," says a contemporary writer, "multitudes of Hungarian rustics set fire to their cottages, and fly with their wives and children, their cattle and instruments of labour, to the Turkish territories, where they knew, that besides the payment of the tenths, they would be subject to no imposts or vexations5." The institution of these military fiefs is so essentially necessary for the support of the Ottoman government, by distributing over the conquered provinces a body of proprietors who are perpetually ready to take the field, and who are impelled by the sentiment of self-preservation to watch the motions of the people and to enforce their obedience to the sultan, that the conquests which were made in Persia by Murad the Fourth were considered as even injurious to the state on account of the universal emigration of the ancient inhabitants. The Turkish soldiers refused to accept of timars in a depopulated country, and the sultan was obliged to maintain, at a great expense, from the public treasury, the troops and garrisons necessary for the defence of that frontier6.


3See Marsigli, t, i, p. 96.

4"Les sultans ont conservé en Europe l'ancien usage qu'ils avoient pratiqué en Asie, de donner à leurs soldats des fièfs à vie. Its ne prirent point cette coutume des califes Arabes qu'ils détrônèrent. Le gouvernement des Arabes toit fondé sur des principes différens. Les Tartares Occideptaux partagèrent toujours les terres des vaincus: mais les Ottomans ne donnèrent jamais que de petites terres. Leurs zaïmats et leurs timariot sont plutôt des métairies que des seigneuries. L'esprit guerrier paroit tout entier dans cet établissement." (Voltaire, essai suf les moeurs, chap. xci, t. 17, p. 448. Paris, 1783. Syo.

5 Leunciavius, apud Eizevir. in Turc. imp. statu, p. 85.
"Domino timarrotae decimam tantum frugum animaliumque praebent, ac nihil ultra tenentur." (Montalbanus, ap. Elzevir. p. 68.)

According to the canon nameh (or imperial constitutions) compiled by order of Soliman the First, the number of ziamets (or estates estimated at the value of five hundred acres of land or upwards7), amounted to three [221] thousand one hundred and ninety-two; and the number of timars (or estates valued from three to five hundred acres of land8), amounted to fifty thousand one hundred and sixty; and the whole furnished a revenue of nearly four millions of rix-dollars, which was appropriated to the maintenance of an army of upwards of a hundred and fifty thousand men8. Each of the feudal lords, whether zaims or timariots, were enjoined, by the charter by which [222] they held their estates, to take up arms on the summons of the sultan; to remain encamped as long as he judged it expedient, to return home, at their own charge, and, at the same time, to maintain their stipulated contingents of cavalry or infantry. In case of disobedience, or neglect to join the standard of their district, the feudal lords of Asia were fined the amount of one year's revenue, and the timariots of Europe were punished by being deprived of their rank and emoluments during two years9. By this institution the sultan was provided with an inexhaustible supply of soldiers, continually augmenting as the empire became more extended, and was thereby enabled not only to carry on war without any additional expense, but even to derive from war itself the means of increasing his finances 10: for whenever vacancies happen, whether from death or forfeitures the sultan immediately becomes invested with the power of filling them up with new appointments; and it is asserted, that the same lordship has been eight times successively disposed of in the course of one campaign. During the [223] continuance of the war the ziamets and timars are granted to those among the volunteers who, in hopes of obtaining such rewards, have signalized their valour; but it is probable, that the number which remains to be disposed of at the peace, according to the usual traffic of the porte, must always be considerable.

6"Ma quello, che lo fa temere piu d'ogn' altra cosa it Persiano, è la spesa grande, ch' egli fa nel paese conquistato, et negli regni che gli ha tolti. Onde si può quasi con ragione dire, che questa a lui sia la Fiandra del re di Spagna o la Candia di Veneziani; perciochè la spesa è grandissima, et la rendita di poco momento, essendo in questo accaduto a' Turchi quello che non è occorso mai in altri regni o provincie acquistate, di non poter far timari et feudatarij à quasi poi sia raccommandata la guardia del paese, et accresciuti con questa nova militia li esserciti dell' imperatore. Il che è proceduto dal mancamento d'huomini, li quali parte fuggiti alle montagne parte salvati in altre città del re di Persia hanno privato it paese d'habitanti, però li soldati Turchi non vogliono accettare timari perchè non hanno il modo di far lavorare i terreni, con i quali possano tenere i cavalli descritti per nuovi timarioti in augmento dell' essercito. Et per questa istessa cagione le gabelle delli paesi acquistati sono indebolite; anzi non rendono alcuno utile. Onde conviene ad Amurath pagare li presidij del suo cazna et questi sono motto grossi come conviene alli stati di conquista, et confinati con inimico tanto potente, et d'incertissima fide." (See a manuscript in the Harleian collection in the British museum, No. 1872. Relatione dello stato, nel quale si ritruova it governo del imperie Turchesco quest' anno 1594.)
7Toderini (t. 1, p. 51, note 2) in quoting this passage from Marsigli (t. 1, p. 27, note) substitutes perches for acres. Marsigli, in another passage (chap. lii, p. 95) says, that the revenue of a ziamet, arising from the tenths of the estate, cannot be less than 20,000 aspers, and that the proprietors are bound to arm one man for every 5000 aspers exceeding that sum. The smallest revenue of a timar is fixed at 5000 aspers, but if it do not exceed that amount, the proprietor alone is bound to join the army. This account agrees with that of Rycaut. (book iii, chap. 2, p. 172.)

8See Marsigli, Stato militare dell' impèrio Ottomanno, t. i, p. 134. "Equites enim centum quadraginta quinque mille detinet: quorum octua inta mille quasi in hybernis per Europam distributi sunt, cxteri quinquaginta mille per Asiam. Hi sunt qui spachi timarrotae vocantur; quia non annuo stipendio pecuniario sustentantur, sed assignatis agris detinentur eo pacto, ut tot equos ad bellum aunt quot agrorum assignatorum proportio postulat." (De urbe Constant. et imp. Turc. relatio incerti apud Honorium in Turc. imp. statu ap. Elzevir, p. 117.)

Olivier (v. i, p. 190,) says, "it is computed that there are in the European part of the empire 914 zeims and 8356 timars: the number in Asia is nearly the same; and the whole furnish a militia of above 60,000 men."—Mr. Eton, whose statement is incorrect, though perhaps not entirely imaginary, reckons 132,000 men. (Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 65.)

9Marsigli, t. i, p. 95.

10Montalbanus, ap. Elzevir, p. 16, 17, 25.

All the lands were not, however, exhausted by these partitions: the revenues of some were appropriated to mosques, to the great officers of state, to the mother and mistresses of the sultan, to children of the imperial family, or to the sultan himself; and the residue, burthened with a territorial impost or land-tax, was left by an undefined tenure to the ancient proprietors. These, if Mussulmans, had the privilege of going to war: others, whether Turks or infidels, who, from choice, or from civil incapacity, devoted themselves exclusively to the arts of peace, and enjoyed their estates under the common protection of the crown, were called beledis or rayahs, and their military service was commuted by a tribute. The Mussulman proprietors of this description thus formed the national, and the feudal proprietors, the feudal militia. Enthusiasm and the hopes of [224] reward or plunder formerly collected and held together the great bodies of men, whom the Ottoman sovereigns were enabled to call into the field: but now, as it has been justly stated, if their enthusiasm do not even evaporate during the preparation for the expedition, it seldom survives their arrival at the camp, where they soon learn the difficulty of conquering, and the greater probability of being overpowered and plundered by the infidels11.

Upon a declaration of war, all the inhabitants of a district, from sixteen to sixty, are summoned to join the standard of the pasha, and to rendezvous at a certain place. The feudal soldiery join from duty, and the obligations of their charter; but the national militia consult their inclination, both as to the nature, and the term of their service. If they like the war or the commanders, they join the army; but are not, even then, obliged to serve out the campaign12. The feudal institutions were once consider with justice as the chief support of the empire: but the services of neither militia can now be depended upon when required, nor are they as advantageous, when obtained, as they formerly were. There is a general disinclination to the military service, and the obligation to remain in the field is not permanent even upon the feudal troops. Their expeditions are regulated by the festivals of the Christian saints, George and Demetrius whom they denote by the names of Hydyrliz and Cassim. A soldier is punished by mulct or disgrace, who delays to join the army beyond the twenty-third of April, old stile but having served to the twenty-sixth of October, the judge of the camp cannot re-fuse him his certificate, and he may return to his home without being subject to pain or penalty13. This radical defect, according to [226] the modern system of warfare, vitiates, or rather annihilates, the utility of the institution; and, though the sultans have not yet claimed the right of imposing taxes as a substitute for that of commanding the services of their subjects, they are nevertheless forced to maintain a standing army.

11See Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 69.

12"Le gouvemement militaire est devenu la constitution fondamentale de tous les états Musulmans. Chaque individn s'y recommit soldat: toujours it est prêt à prendre les armes et à marcher sous l'etendard du prophète. On doit enfin considerer la nation entière comme un grand corps d'armée dont le souverais est le generalissime." (Tab. Gen. t. iv, p. 202.) See also, Observations on the religion, law, &c. of the Turks, preface, p. xxv.)

13Cantemir, p. 247. "Hybernam abnunnt militiam" (Montalban. ap. Elzevir, p. 26.) If Dr. Wittman had been acquainted with this circumstance, he would have been enabled to account for a conduct which he has misrepresented from the want of such previous knowledge. "November 25th. There had been latterly frequent desertions, both from the great encampment at Jaffa, and from that of El-Arish. It ought, notwithstanding, to be observed, that these desertions were not to the common enemy, but into the interior of the country. It frequently happened, that the troops went off in large bodies." (Travels, p. 121)


The military order of the janizaries was instituted in the year 768 of the Hegira, or 1362 of the Christian wra. They were first ” formed into a body of twelve thousand men, composed of captive Christians, of whom a fifth part, chosen from amongst the most. comely and most robust, were appropriated to the service of the emperor. Their education, from their childhood, was such as to inspire, them with courage and hardiness, and obedience to the strictest military discipline. Hagi Bektash, a religious Turk, famous for his miracles and prophecies, gave his benediction to the corps, at the request of Sultan Murad. Placing the sleeve of his gown on one of their heads, he prophesied, "that their hand should be victorious, their sword keen, and their spear hang over the heads of their enemies:" and his prediction was literally [227] rally fulfilled, as long as victory depended on personal prowess, together with the skilful management of hand-arms13 Their common general is the janizar aga, whose court and palace are in the capital. His rank gives him access to his sovereign, whom he is privileged to assist in public ceremonies, as he alights from his horse. His power over the subalterns is unlimited, and supersedes that of the civil magistrate, and even of the vizir. All promotions depend on him, and he is empowered to inflict punishment, even to death, upon the disobedient soldiery.

Of the janizaries, those who are quartered in their odas (or barracks) at Constantinople, those who ate in garrison, and who have followed their kettle, are entitled to pay. Their number, according to the disbursements of the treasury, is forty thousand. In time of peace they watch over and secure the public and domestic tranquillity in the frontier and garrison towns, and exercise all the functions of police officers.

The janizaries have the privilege of being judged and punished for misconduct by their [228] own officers. The lieutenant of the company has power to put them under arrest: the place of their confinement is the kitchen, where they are left in irons under the charge of the cook. The captain may sentence them to the bastinado, and the sentence is executed under the inspection of the lieutenant. The time of inflicting the punishment is after the evening prayer: the offender is conducted to an inner chamber, and stretched out with his face towards the ground: two of the oldest janizaries hold him down by the neck and the feet: the vekil hardj (or commissary) attends with a lighted candle; and care is taken, in distributing the blows, which seldom exceed forty, not to disable the sufferer from marching. After the execution of the sentence, the lieutenant exhorts the bystanders to avoid the commission of such faults as have subjected their comrade to a disgraceful and rigorous chastisement. When, a janizary is sentenced to death, it is customary (out of respect to the corps which ought to be kept exempt from ignominy) to strike his name off the lists before his execution. Whatever crime he may have committed, his punishment is invariably that of strangling. At Constantinople the execution [229] is always performed with the greatest secrecy, and the body is thrown into the sea and carried away by the current of the Bosphorus. In provincial towns the custom is still continued of announcing the death of a janizary by firing a gun; but it has long since been abolished in the capital14.

13"Etenim post Amurathis tempora, qui pritnus janizarorum ordines instituit, nunquam eos acie integra pugnantes fuisse fugatos ifvenimus." (Jovius, Turc, rer. comment. Paris, 1538. 12mo.)

14Marsigli, t. i, p. 75. What shall we say to Dr. Pougneville? He has worked up in his best manner a pathetic representation of his own feelings, when, in the middle of a fine night, just after the equinox of autumn, his meditations in the garden of the Seven Towers were interrupted by the report of a gun. I confess myself unequal to the task of doing justice by a translation to the doctor's description of the beauty of the scene, —the moon suspended like a chandelier in the starry vault of the sky, the oscillation of the waters of the Bosphorus, and the universal stillness of nature. The doctor was giving a loose to his imagination: he was thinking of the gayeties of Paris and the comforts of a family party, when suddenly his ears were struck with the noise of a cannon, and his hair still stands on end at the recollection. The tender hearted doctor immediately conjectured it to be a signal of distress from a vessel which was suffering shipwreck (an idea which could have occurred to no other mortal besides himself, in a night such as that which he has just described: but another gun, which re-echoed along the shores of Europe and Asia, disconcerted the doctor so much that he applied to the guards in order to learn the cause of it; and "they told him, that this dreadful language of battles announced to the vizir, who was sleeping in his harem, the execution of his orders. Some jani, zaries had just undergone the punishment of death; and their bodies delivered to the maddening currents of the Bosphorus already rolled down the Propontis." "The number of guns," the doctor observes, "corresponded with that of the persons executed." (Voyages en Moree, &c. t. ii, p. 140.) I am sorry, that truth compels me to dissipate so pleasing a fiction. I myself was at Constantinople at the period which Dr. Pouqueville has fixed upon as the date of this event, and I know, that no gun; were fired in the night; for so unusual a circumstance would have excited universal alarm, and would have furnished conversation to the whole town. And again, even though the doctor might not have known, that the janizar aga alone has power to condemn a janizary to death, and that such executions are secretly performed in the capital, yet the guard could not have been so ilk informed as to have misled him into such inaccuracies; and the doctor himself must certainly have known, that the vizir, instead of slumbering in his harem, was in all probability kept waking with anxiety in the camp of Jaffa, and brooding over the inefficiency of his army.

[230] The muster-rolls of the janizaries, as well ns those of every corps of Ottoman troops, magnify their numbers beyond the truth, for the privileges annexed to the military profession engage most of the Mussulmans to enrol themselves; but those who do not join their standard, are called yamaks and receive lno pay. The reason of their attaching them-selves to military bodies, is this; the Turkish population is divided into askeris (or warriors) and beledis (citizens or townsmen), and according to the law, a Mahometan, unconnected with any military corps, is, equally with infidels, subject to the capitation tax, and must equally contribute to all imposts on the cities, towns, or villages; and though [231] this law be not rigorously enforced, it still engages most Turks to enrol themselves. The embodied janizaries follow the canons of Sultan Soliman for their regulation and discipline; but the yamaks, who, though enrolled, are not embodied into odes, are dispersed throughout the empire, living as burghers, mixed with the people, and following different trades and professions, or idle vagabonds, or at best but labouring peasants.

The writers on Turkish affairs have been led into misrepresentation on this, as well as on every part of the Turkish institutions, by taking too confused a view of the subject. Sir James Porter considers the army to be composed of the body of the people, and the janizaries to amount to two or three hundred thousand men, independently of those who get themselves enrolled to enjoy the privileges. Peyssonnel supposes, that they may consist of many millions. Baron De Tott calculates them to be four hundred thousand; and finally Mr. Eton, who asserts, that he has made his calculation "from the concur-ring testimony of several persons who had the most intimate acquaintance with it, from an application of many years, and with means of acquiring the best information," computes [232] them to be an hundred and thirteen thousand four hundred15. But the number of effective janizaries is best determined by the amount of their pay. Two thousand four hundred purses are issued every six months from the treasury; a sum which allows thirty piastres a man for an army calculated at forty thousand16. This allowance, which is commonly distributed to them in quarterly payments, was equal, at the institution of the corps, to about a shilling sterling a day; but it is now reduced, by the debasement of the coin, to about one quarter of its original value.

15See Observations on the religion, laws, &c. of the Turks, pre. face, p. xxiii, xxiv, and xxviii. Peyssonnel's Strictures and remarks on De Totes memoirs, appendix, p. 259. De Tott, v. iii, p. 134. Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 65.
I have quoted the precise words with which Mr. Eton pre. faces his estimate of the military force of the Turks. I have how-ever discovered with no small degree of surprize, that the estimate itself is (with the addition indeed of thirty-five men to every four companies) a copy of a schedule, which was published in a work entitled "The present state of the Ottoman empire, translated from the French manuscript of Elias Habesci, many years resident at Constantinople in the service of the Grand Signor: London, 1784." Now who is Elias Habesci, on whose labours. Mr. Eton founds his claim to the gratitude of the public? An ignorant impostor, who calls himself a Greek, and yet pretends to have written his work originally iq the Arabic language (pre-face, p. iv.); who abuses the nation to which he pretends to belong, and even dares to say (p. 367.), that "their priests are the most abominable rate of men upon earth;" an idea which perhaps was never conceived, and certainly was never expressed, by a Greek of Constantinople. But this pseudo-greek betrays himself by his language; he compares the porte to Westminster-hall, and tells us, that the Bosphorus is somewhat broader than the Thames at London (p. 354). His ignorance is unparalleled: he says (p. 422.) "the city of Constantinople has Moldavia for its boundary to the North; the Hellespont and the Black Sea on the East; Bulgaria and part of Macedonia on the West; the AEgean Sea on the South." It would be an insult to common sense to make further extracts from such a work, and I even feel it necessary by way of apology to explain, in some degree, the motives which have induced me to draw such a wretched performance from the obscurity into which it seems to have sunk from the moment of its birth. I have discovered the author by


the internal evidence of the book itself: but to name him would be to hold him up not only to general contempt, but to general indignation; for the book is the work of an assassin, who from his dark retreat has directed his envenomed shafts against the reputation of individuals and the peace of families. I do not however extend this censure to the author of another publication under the name of Elias Habesci, printed at Calcutta; a chaos of absurdities, which, to the disgrace of the English name in India, is dedicated, by permission, to Earl Cornwallis. This author confesses, that his real name is not Elias Habesci, which, he says, is an enigma (though probably he means an anagram) on sahib-el-sicia, which in the Arabic language, he tells us, means friend of the unfortunate; but I believe we need not seek for its derivation in the Arabic language: alias A, B, C, is the ridiculous conceit which has seduced this " par nubile fratrum" into the unbecoming practices, of which I earnestly desire they may now repent.
I omitted, in the former edition of this work, the real names of the authors alluded to in the preceding note, because I thought the allusion itself would be sufficiently intelligible. If, however, curiosity still remain ungratified, I may be allowed to mention, that not only all doubt on the subject is removed from my mind, but that the alphabetical series of the imposture is completed, by the publication of the letter to the Earl of D (London, 1807), and the acknowledgment (p. 97), that the schedule of the military force of the Turks, inserted in Habesci's work, was procured in the year 1777 by a Greek of the name of Figa.

16See in confirmation of this estimate, Montalbanus, ap. Elzevir, p. 6. Cantemir, p. 219, note 4. Sandys's travels, p. 48. ed. 1627.


It is said, that " the preservation of their colours in battle is not an affair of such momentous concern with the janizaries as that of the two large copper kettles which are constantly placed in the front of the tents of each regiment, and which are accompanied by a skimmer, a ladle, and a kind of halbert. On a march their kettles are carried in front of each respective regiment, and the company, who should suffer them to be taken by the enemy, would be covered with infamy." It is from this practice, says De Tott, that the colonel is called the giver of soup, the major is stiled head of the kitchen, and the scullions and water-bearers are adjutants. But De Tote, who was himself enrolled in the company of janizaries who were garrisoned at Perecop, should have known better, or should have disdained to sacrifice truth to such a pitiful jest. The captain or commander of a company is indeed called tchorbaji, probably from his superintending the distribution of the daily rations of soup to the men, but no other [235] subaltern officer is distinguished by a name denoting menial occupations.. The cook is simply called by his proper appellation, although he occasionally acts in the capacity of a gaoler17.

In Constantinople the janizaries receive their pay within the second court of the seraglio. The money, which is put in bags of yellow leather, each of which contains five hundred piastres, is first brought into the divan, and the purses are piled up in heaps before the vizir: it is then told out and distributed in proportionate lots to the tchorbajis of the different odas. The bags composing each of these lots are laid on the pavement before the door of the divan, and on a signal being given, the janizaries of the company appointed to receive them rush forward, and each man endeavours to collect as many [236] purses as possible, although he derives no other advantage from it, than the honour of carrying them on his shoulder to the barracks, where the distribution of their pay is made to the privates.

17(See Marsigli, t. i, p. 69. Dr. Wittman's Travels, p. 236. De Tott's Memoirs, v. ii, p. 70, and v. iii, p, 106.) The officers belonging to each company of janizaries are distinguished, by the following names. Tchorbaji, or captain; oda bashi, lieu-tenant (literally the head of the chamber); vekil hardj, commissary; bairactert ensign; bash eski, standard-bearer (literally the head of the veterans, from the office being generally conferred oil the oldest janizary of the company); and aschgi, or cook. The superior officers, from the janizar aga to the chaoush (who may be considered as an adjutant), have titles which accurately express the nature or duties of their respective posts,

An indiscriminate censure has been passed on the whole body of janizaries, from an observation of that part, which is only nominally attached to it. Their degeneracy is differently accounted for; by some it is attributed to their being for the greater part married and settled; to their practising mechanical arts; to their being allowed to exempt themselves from military service for money, or under various pretences; to their enrolling their children in their company or oda; and to their being enervated by the luxury of the capital and weakened by indolence18. But individually considered, the janizaries are in [237] no respect inferior to the Christian soldiers, either in bodily strength, in the capacity of supporting fatigue, or in promptitude of obedience to their officers19. The luxury of the capital, the least luxurious in Europe, can scarcely have an enervating effect on men whose pay, even when augmented by the profits of labour, can with difficulty procure them the necessaries of life. I rather impute their present inferiority to the insufficiency of the constitutional laws of their establishment, which, from the prejudice against innovation, it has been found impossible to new-model, and which did not provide for future improvement, proportionate to the progress of European tactics. Their ancient discipline has been relaxed from an experience of its insufficiency; and their past reputation has now no other support than native valour and enthusiasm, dispirited and overawed by the wonders of modern warfare, and the acknowledged superiority of European sciences.

18I have copied these reproaches verbatim from the works of modern travellers; but the reproaches themselves are not of modern invention, for I find them expressed to the same effect in a treatise (Ex politeia regia) in Elzevir's collection. "Hxe militia nostro tempore multum eviluit, quia etiam Turca; in janizzaros assumuntur, sunt et Asiatici, quum primum non alii quam Christiani Europa; admitterentur: deinde, quia uxores ducunt, prxter antiquum morem, nec id ipsis vetitum est: turn, quod propter Iongam moram Constantinopoli (qua non alia orbs magis est deliciis dedita) multum viluerunt: segniores insokntes, info intolerabiles evaserunt."

19"I jenizeri anno avuto sempre per iscopo la dipendenza totale de' loro uffiziali; perciò nelle lore operazioni si sono resi in ogni tempo illustri." (Marsigli, t. i, p. 69.) "Du reste on se peut souhaiter dans des troupes plus de discipline, d'obéissanae, de ponctualité et de respect pour leurs officiers." (D'Arvieux, t. i, p. 448.) "Tribus vero de causis Turcæ, quam milites nostris meliores sent, prima est, quia prompte obediunt imperantibus: quod inter nostros rara Tertia, quia absque pane et absque vino diu vivere possunt, oriza et aqua contenti. Sýpenumero etiam æquo animo cerent carnibus." (Jovius, Turc. xer. comment. p. 49.)


The sultans themselves have been accused of bastardizing and rendering contemptible the corps of janizaries, by cutting off the most eminent of their leaders, and supplying their places with the meanest creatures of their court, and by introducing among the soldiery men occupied in the lowest employments, and stained with the most infamous crimes, till at length they have succeeded in extinguishing every spark of that fire which alarmed their fears20. The historical event to which Mr. Eton seems to allude, is the conduct of Ahmed the Third, who in the year 1703 succeeded to the throne, after the deposition of his brother Mustafa. The dethroned sultan communicated to his successor, together with the tidings of his elevation, the admonition not to suffer the treacherous rebels, the instruments of his advancement, to escape with impunity; and although Ahmed, by inheriting his resentment, certainly contributed to the debility of the empire, yet his revenge was directed, not against [239] the institution of the jamzaries, but against the promoters of the insurrection, in whatever department of the state, who might be tempted, by the success of their late rebellion, to plot new treason against himself21. We learn indeed from history, that the power, and consequent insolence, of the janizaries have frequently excited in the sultans apprehensions as to their personal safety, and have induced them to attempt by secret and insidious measures to weaken their authority, or even to abolish the order. Osman the Second was suspected of concealing, under the avowed intention of performing the pilgrimage to Mecca and of paying his devotions at the tomb of Mahomet, the design of aiming at the destruction of the corps of janizaries with the aid of a new militia, which he purposed to establish in Egypt. The ulema, the ministers of state, and the officers of the army, remonstrated in vain: the sultan persisted in his pious design; but his violent [240] deposition and premature death more firmly riveted the power, and confirmed the arrogance, of the janizaries22. Mahomet the Fourth, urged by similar motives of jealousy, is said to have given the first mortal blow to the power and reputation of the janizaries, By the advice of his grand vizir Kioprili Oglu, he connived at the introduction of abuses into their establishment. The daily exercises of the different companies were no longer rigorously enforced, nor the reviews at stated periods regularly observed. The soldiers sunk into indolence 23 : they consumed in sloth and dissipation the hours which ought to have been devoted to discipline and the military duties : they even quitted the laborious exercise of arms to follow mechanical or other lucrative occupations24. To this cause Count Marsigli, who surveyed the military state of the Ottoman empire in the camps and capital of Mahomet the Fourth, imputes. the discredit into which the janizaries had already fallen. He must indeed be allowed to be a competent judge of the effects of that [241] negligence which he condemns; but he may perhaps err in attributing to the jealousy or timidity of Mahomet the deterioration of this military order. The whole reign of Sultan Mahomet was passed in war, and his authority with the army was so great that, when at last he was irritated by the obstacles and delays which had protracted the siege of Candia, he ordered it to be proclaimed in the camp, that not a soldier should appear alive in his presence, unless the city was taken; and such was the effect of his menace, that the Turks, by a more vigorous effort, effected the reduction of a place which had occupied the chief force of the empire during the long interval of thirty years25. It is possible, that under Mahomet less attention was paid to the discipline of the janizaries, and that less care was bestowed on the choice and education of recruits ; but I think it by no means probable, that his conduct was dictated by fear, or by a deliberate wish to en-feeble the forces of his empire26.

20Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 29.

21" Le nouveau sultan, pour toute récompense d'une couronne qu'il devoit aux ministres, aux généraux, aux officiers des janissaires, enfin à ceux qui avoient eu part à la révolution, les fit tous périr les uns après les autres, de peur qu'un jour ils n'en tentassent tine seconde. Par le sacrifice de taut de braves Bens it affoiblit les forces de l'empire; mais il affermit son trône, du moins pour quelques années." (Voltaire, Hist. de Charles XII, liv. iv.)

22Tableau Général, t. i, p. 409.

23"Ut armorum desuetudine longa imbelles redderentur arrant namque otia Turcæ." (Montalban. ap. Elzevir, p. 98.)

24Stato militare dell' impèrio Ottomanno, t. u, p. 5.

25Cantemir's Ottorrfan history, p. 258, note 1.

26The Venetian bailo (who appears from a passage in his memorial, p. 117, to have written it soon after the conquest of Cyprus in the reign of Selim the Second, and more than a century before the vizirahip of Kioprili 0glu) describes the janizaries as


To the care which was formerly bestowed during the noviciate on habitual preparation for the hardships of the military life, and to the strictness and severity of subsequent discipline, may be ascribed the martial character and long supported reputation of the janizaries. The boy destined to be enrolled in this honourable corps was chosen on account of his athletic make and vigorous constitution: he was instructed and trained with as much care as were the Roman soldiers. The corps of agemoglans was the great school whence alone it was lawful to select recruits for the army of the janizaries.

The constitutional laws established by Sultan Murad, the founder of this military Institution, directed, that no one should be received among the janizaries unless he were of the race of the versemé (tributary children), and had been previously educated among the agemoglans27. The custom which was first introduced by that monarch of keeping up [243] the number of the janizaries by a seizure of every fifth prisoner, fell gradually into disuse, probably on account of the discontents which it occasioned among the captors. When it was abolished, a tax of five piastres a head was levied on all slaves brought into the city for sale: But the necessity for increasing the standing army afterwards gave birth to a new law which ordained, that the tenth son of the Christian subjects of Greece and Romelia should be taken for the service of the sultan, and en-rolled among the agemoglans28.

having already fallen from the virtue and merit of their predecessors; and consequently, as their debasement was confessedly gradual, it cannot be wholly imputed to Mahomet the Fourth. "Antiquam nihilominus virtutem deserentes, paulatim corrumpi videntor: propterea. quod plerique Turcarum OH, qui militariter educati non Bunt, ad hujusmodi milldam passim admittuntur; ac proinde ita perfeeti non; ez/adunt, ut veteres fuere janizzari, qui es admirandasgessere." (Relat. incert. ap. Elzevir, p. 122.)

27See Marsigli, t. i, p.67.

28See Cantemir, p. 88, note 12. I have followed Cantemir in his account of this conscription; but it may be necessary to show in what particulars he differs from other authors. Busbequius, (de re mil. cont. Turc. instit. consilium, p. 298) says, " Mittit quotannis Turcarum princeps certos homines in diversas provincias, qui de paucis e Christianis hominibus natis tertium aut quartum quemque legant," Rycaut (p. 80.) says, "It was the custom formerly amongst the Turks every five years to take away the Christians childrep:" In this particular Rycaut's testimony is confirmed by a work entitled "La genealogie du grand Turc, et la dignite des offices, et ordre de sa court, avec l'origine des princes, et la maniere de vivre, et cerimonie des Turcz. A Lyon, par Benoist Rigaud, 1570," but it differs somewhat from the account given by the author of the letter written from Turkey in the year 1527. "Item il fault tousjours donner de trois filz lung a lempereur et ont ses ppascha le choix lequel quilz veullent prendres et diceulx enfans lempereur en faict des gens de guerre quilz nom. me janitzery: les ungs a chevaulx les austres de piedz selon que on appèrcoit son inclination."


An inference has been drawn, from the operation of this law having been confined to Europe, that theTurks had learned from experience, that soldiers were not to be sought in the climates of effeminate Asia29. But whatever inferiority might anciently have been discovered in the Asiatics, when softened by the long enjoyment of riches and tranquillity, and the enervating effects of a despotic government, it is now obvious to common observation, and is confirmed by the events of the Otto-man history, that the Turkish subjects of the Asiatic provinces are not less hardy and war-like than the bravest of the Europeans30. Sultan Murad could never have intended, by limiting his claim only to the prisoners made in Europe, to cast reproach on the continent which had given birth to his ancestors, and to infer, that the native Turks were inferior in military capacity to the nations whom they had subdued. Conquest had already diminished the captives of Asia, and the more extensive propagation of the Mahometan faith in that division of the empire, did not permit the same stretch of authority over, the strongest and tenderest affections of nature. [245] The inhumanity of this tribute, which was sufficiently grievous in itself, was augmented by the unrestrained abuse of power in the officers appointed to collect it. They not only selected those children whom the parents appeared most anxious to retain, but they far exceeded the number which they were authorized to levy, and thus be-came rich from the sums which they exacted for the admission of substitutes, or for the redemption of the supernumeraries31. The rayahs complained during a long peri9d, but their complaints were unheard or disregarded. The custom was, however, finally, though gradually, abolished by Murad the Fourth, at the instance of the feudal proprietors, who at length discovered, that the value of their estates was diminished by the oppression of the cultivatorst32.

29 Gibbon, V. xii, p. 59.

30f See Volney, voyage en Syrie et en Egypte, t. ii, chap. xi.

When once enrolled in the books of the agennoglans, the youth were placed in the service of the prince or his pashas, or delivered over for a term of years to serve under the Mussulman peasantry in the labours of [246] agriculture, and to be initiated in the doc, trines of islamism: their bodies were thus habituated to endure the inclemencies of the seasons, and to undergo the fatigues of war: they were prepared by penury and abstinence to support hunger and thirst, and were improved in obedience by the discipline of servitude. Their masters were summoned to produce them whenever the service required supplies, and they were drafted into the chambers or companies of the janizaries. Those who had been received into the sultan's household, were employed in the laborious services of the seraglio; in cleaving wood for the use of the kitchen, or in rowing the gallies across the Propontis to load and transport, from the coasts of Asia Minor, the materials necessary for the repairs of the palace or the construction of public edifices; six hundred were employed under the carpenters and caulkers in the imperial dock-yards; and upwards of ten thousand, under the name of bastanjis or gardeners, were distributed in the seraglio, and other palaces of the sultan in Asia and Europe. On the first admission of a recruit among the janizaries, he performed the menial services of the kitchen and offices; but at the same [247] time he was daily initiated in military exercises and the use of arms by the most skilful of his comrades. His pay was gradually augmented, but he was not admitted to a perfect equality with the other janizaries, or considered deserving of the pay of a veteran, until he had signalized his courage in actual warfare33. A spirit of emulation was thus diffused among the troops, and cherished by successive promotions; nor were military honours their only recompense: there are examples in history of men being raised from the ranks to the highest dignities in the state, and Soliman the First even gave his sister in marriage to Ibrahim, whom, from a private of the nihth company of janizaries, he had created grand vizir34.

31"Car un pauuvre Chrestien despendra aucunesfois tout ce qu'il a au monde à ce qu'il ne perde son fils et avec ce son ame," (Généalogie du grand Turc, &c. p. 53.)

32See Marsigli, t. i, p. 27. Cantemir, p. 255, note 1.

It is the opinion of an impartial observer that "the janizaries of the present day, however they may have relaxed from the discipline which in ancient times rendered theirs so formidable, may still be considered as the most select and regular of the Turkish troops, They are at the same time better and more uniformly dressed and equipped than the other soldiers35."

33See Busbeq. de re mil. cont. Turc. instit. consilium, p. 298 x, 503. Marsigli, t. 1, p. 77. Rycaut, chap, x.

34Cantemir's Ottoman history, p. 178.


The body of janizkries is divided into a hundred and ninety-six companies, which are distinguished by the devices on their colours, and by numerical order, according to the arrangement of their respective chambers in the barracks at Constantinople and that of their tents in the field: certain companies have likewise names descriptive of the offices which they hold in the court of the sultan, and the privileges with which they are honoured36. Some companies, from the merit of former services, enjoy a kind of hereditary pre-eminence, particularly the thirty-first, The order of janizaries furnishes also the only [249] example of public anathema, or excommunication, in the whole history of the Ottomans. In the insurrection which dethroned Osman the Second a soldier of the sixty-fifth dared to lift his impious hand against the person of his fallen monarch, and insulted over his misfortune in the public streets of the city. Murad the Fourth, the brother and successor of Osman, punished the sacrilege by annihilating the company. The memory of the crime and the punishment is preserved and renewed twice in every month. On the Wednesday, when the distribution of candles is made to the different chambers, the sixty-fifth is summoned to receive its ration ; but at the second citation, an officer solemnly pronounces, "let its voice be silenced; let it utterly perish37."

35Dr. Wittman's Travels, p. 235.

36The janizaries of the 64th are called zagargis, keepers of the sultan's hounds: the 71st are called samsongis, keepers of the mastiffs. In like manner the tumagis, keepers of the greyhounds and falcons, are the 68th company. The seymeny avgilar, huntsmen or sportsmen, are the 14th, 35th, and 49th. The captain of the 35th must have previously passed through all the ranks and offices of the company; and the oda bath; pr lieutenant of the same company is the only one of that rank to whom it is permitted to marry. The solaks of the 62d and 63d march on each side of the sultan: their name, which is derived from so! the left hand, is given to them from their being equally expert in the use of their bows with either hand, so as never to turn their backs toward the sultan. (See Marsigli, t. 1, p. 71.)

37Tableau General, t. 1, p. 299.,—It would be an injustice to the body pf the janizaries, were I thus to leave them under the imputation of mutiny and rebellion, without extenuating, in some degree, the conduct which stains the annals of their earlier history, by confronting it with that of the modern janizaries. Dr. Wittman (p. 206.) relates the circumstances of an insurrection occasioned by a scarcity in the camp at Jaffa. "In the midst of their discontent they were willing, they said, to agree to two things, namely, that the English should have barley for their horses, because they were good friends; and that, the horses which drew the guns should also be furnished, with provender, as such a supply was necessary to the public service: but they could not consent, that any part of what was in store should be iasued for the use of the great officers of state, as they could afford to make the requisite purchases."

38 Olivier, Travels in the Ottoman empire, Egypt, and Persia, v. i, p. 195.


The janizaries form the principal branch of that division of the Turkish army which is distinguished from the toprakly, or feudal militia, by the appellation of capiculy, a word which properly signifies a slave of the porte, but which nearly corresponds with the modern term of soldier, inasmuch as it de-motes that class of troops who receive their tovais, pay from the treasury of the prince. Next to the janizaries, the most important military establishment upheld by the Ottoman porte is that of the topgis (gunners or artillery-men), whose number is not fixed in the canon nameh of Sultan Soliman, but they are stated in the account of a modern traveller, who possessed talents of the first rank and all the means of acquiring information, to consist of thirty thousand men, dispersed throughout the empire like the janizaries, and obliged to join their standard when ordered38. Their general is the topgi bashi, whose authority is absolute in the different departments. The [251] barracks of the topgis, and the principal foundery of cannon, are situated on the northern shore at the entrance of the hare hour of Constantinople, opposite to the seraglio, in the district called Tophana. The superintendance of the topgi bashi extends to all the fortresses and garrison-towns of the empire, which he supplies, according to the orders of the grand yizir, with artillery stores and ammunition, and keeps a register of the state of their respective magazines, The service of the topgis is not confined to the exercise of the great guns: part of them are employed in the foundery, and others fort a corps of artificers, and construct gun-carriages and artillery waggons. De Tott describes the topgis as being subject to no discipline and never embodied, although forty thousand were enrolled and paid. It is to himself, we are told, that the Turks are indebted for the establishment of a new corps of artillery, for whose regulation he drew up a code, which was sanctioned with all due formality by the grand signor. I know not whether this account be exact or not; but pertain it is, that the Turkish topgis of the present day, compared with those whom De Tott describes, are prodigies of improvement. [252] "The officers of the British military detachment witnessed the artillery practice, and found it better than they had been led to expect. The Turkish artillery-men beat down the target several times, and their mortar-practice was by no means contemptible39."

The gehegis, or armourers have their bar-racks in Constantinople near the mosque of Sancta Sophia: they are divided into sixty odas: they guard the public arsenal or repository of arms, gebhaneh, and their duty is to furbish and keep in proper order the different warlike instruments, and to distribute them on the day of battle to the janizaries. Their number is not correctly ascertained, but the sum appropriated for their annual pay is registered in the canon nameh at a hundred and ninety-two purses, or ninety-six thousand rixdollars40.

"The Ottomans," says Dr. Wittman, "have introduced into their armies, among other beneficial regulations, the establishment of a corps of sakkas, or water-carriers, who attend in the field and on a march to supply the troops with water." Their number [253] is unfixed, and they have no particular effacers among them; but they obey the officer of the company to which they are attached. They carry water in leathern budgets slung across a horse, and as the consumption of water in a Turkish camp is prodigious, on account of the frequent ablutions which the Mahometan religion enjoins, the sakkas are in constant activity, and are distinguishable, even in a Turkish army, by the darker tinge of their complexion41.

39See De Tott, v. iii, p. 132. Dr. Wittman's Travels, p. 8.

40Marsigli, t. i, p. 83.

Among the capiculy are also to be comprehended a corps of cavalry, consisting of fifteen thousand men, divided into spahis of the right, and left, wing, and distinguished by their red, or yellow, standards: they are paid out of the public treasury, from which two thousand and seventy purses are annually issued, and distributed among them in quarterly payments. The reputation of the Turkish cavalry has thrown lustre on the history of their armies, and perhaps, when in its most flourishing state, it was not inferior to that of the Mamelukes, which Denon calls the best cavalry of the East, and per- [254] are, daily resorted to in Constantinople, as in every populous and luxurious capital.

41See Dr. Wittman's Travels, p. 303. Marsigli, t. i, p. 80.

If a Christian be detected in a criminal intercourse with a Turkish woman, he is obliged not only to marry her, but to espouse her religion, otherwise he is irremissibly condemned to death42. The only intrigue with a foreigner ever mentioned to me on undoubted authority, and with circumstances analogous to Turkish customs, was with an English officer, employed in the Turkish service at Ruschiuk on the Danube during the last Russian war; and nothing could be more simple than its contricance. The lady, who knew no language but the whose knowledge of the language did not facilitate communication between them: the exposure of her visit. Their intimacy was detected: the gentleman sought protection from Sir Robert Murray Keith, who was [255] then negociating the peace at Sistove, and the lady, as he afterwards heard, justified her conduct, or at least was pardoned by her husband.


42Lord Sandwich says (p. 158), that "their measures for procuring opportunities of frequent interviews are always so well laid that a discovery is next to impossible." But, as his lordship candidly confesses, that he does not speak from his own experience, his testimony only authorizes a suspicion, that a secret so well kept has no foundation in reality.

It cannot be denied, that the severity of the Turkish institutions must be productive of incorrectness of taste and irregularity of conduct in both sexes43. Whether these partial inconveniences are overbalanced by more general advantages, it would be a matter of great difficulty and delicacy to decide. The great corrective of public depravity is domestic manners, and if the women be too scrupulously, yet they are effectually, removed from the chief seductions to irregularity. The interior of their houses is pure and untainted with vice and obscenity. Domestic virtue is honoured with public approv-[MISSING?]

43"Cum vero vulgus mulierum promiscuis sui sexus balneis utatur, eo plures, cum servae tum liberae, aggregantur; in quibus puellae multae sunt eximia forma, ex diversis orbis regionibus variis casibus collectae, quae cum nudae ut in balneis reliquarum oculis exponantur, miros n quibusdam excitant amores, nihilo minores quam quibus qaud nos adolescentim animos virgines commovent." (Busbeq. Eqist. ii, p. 122.)

"Quod de mulieribus, idem et de pueris sentiunt, quorum amoribus, si qua alia gens, praecipue Turcae indulgent." (Georgii Dousae iter Constant. ap. Gronovium, t. vi, p. 3350.)

[MISSING?] at Constatinople, in the French language, an accont of themilitry establishemtns of the empire; but their effective force may be better estimated from the inefficiencyof their operations, in conjunction with the allies, during the late Egyptian campaign.

General Koehler, who afterwards commanded the British detachment which joined the grand vizir's army in the expedition against the French in Egypt, mentioned to me, that he had made inquiry of a renegado from our own country named Inguiliz Mustafa, respecting the order observed in the arrangement of a Turkish camp, and that Mustafa answered only by scattering about on the table a quantity of the small pieces of Turkish money called paras. But Mustafa, from a long residence among the Turks, had adopted so much of the figurative inaccuracy of Oriental language, that he willingly sacrificed a considerable portion of truth to the attainment of a jest, or a conceit. As such his reply must be allowed to possess some merit, particularly, as it does not ill describe that general state of confusion which has been observed of late years to exist in the camps of the Ottomans; but we shall err if we adopt as a certain truth, what should be [257] considered only as a sally of the imagination.

"The Turkish troops at Jaffa were oh-'served to be encamped in the most confused and irregular manner, without any order in, the positions' they occupied; each individual having pitched his tent on the spot which was most agreeable to his inclination. The only regulation, that seemed to border some-what on system, was that each pasha was surrounded by his own men. The carcasses of dead animals, such as camels and horses, were scattered in great abundance among the tents, and mouldered away without giving the smallest concern, or occasioning. any apparent inconvenience to the Turkish soldiery44." It may perhaps be thought not uninteresting, to confront with this accurate description of the last Turkish camp which was formed the account which has been given of that of Soliman by Baron Busbeck, who surveyed it, by permission of the grand vizir, in the disguise of an oriental dress. This afforded him ample opportunity for making observations, and at the same time screened him from the impertinent curiosity of the [258] Turkish soldiers. He found the different bodies of infantry and cavalry arranged in the most admirable order: the most respectful silence and decency of behaviour prevailed in the camp: there was no brawling nor contention, no drunkenness nor licentiousness. But that which he chiefly commends, is their great attention to cleanliness: every thing, he says, which could offend the senses. was carefully removed out of sight, or buried in the earth45.

44Dr. Wittman's Travels, p. 121, 123. VOL. I.

45Busbeq. Epist. iii, p. 167.

When the formation of a camp is deter-mined upon, for the purpose of collecting an army previously to its marching to the scene of action, a proclamation is issued to all the pashas and military governors, summoning there to repair to the imperial standard, with their respective bodies of troops.

According to an invariable rule, when the sultan or the grand vizir takes the field, their tents are pitched on the plains nearest to the imperial residence, and on that continent in Which the war is to be prosecuted: the place of general rendezvous is indicated by their standards, consisting of seven, or of five, horse-tails. The troops from the different [259] provinces muster at the appointed time, and arrive at the destined place, either singly, or in small bands formed from motives of private convenience and held together by mutual consent: so that this operation among the Turks, from the little order which is observed in it, cannot be considered as a military movement.

The routes of the troops from the most distant provinces are traced out according to the direction of the high roads. The pasha of Anatolia, when the war is in Europe, crosses the Bosphorus from Scutari, and forms his camp in the environs of Constantinople, keeping the city on his left liar. The troops of Media cross the Hellespont at Gallipoli, and leaving Adrianople on their right, march towards Philippopolis, where they wait for, or join, the grand army, Those from Aleppo, Damascus, and Egypt, embark at the nearest sea ports and proceed to Salonica in Macedonia: their cavalry how-ever performs the journey by land, and passes over into Europe through Gallipoli.

From Salonica the Asiatic and Egyptian troops continue their march, through the city of Sophia and the valley formed by the river Vardar, to the borders of Lower Al- [260] bania, where they encamp in the plains of Nissa, and are joined .by the Albanians who descend from the high mountains of their province. Those of Bosnia cross the Save at Brod, and are joined by different small companies of Sciavonians, with whom they proceed to the general rendezvous. Rycaut asserts, that " no abuses are committed on the people in the march of a Turkish army; all is bought, and paid with money, as by travellers that are guests at an inn ; there are no complaints by mothers of the rape of their virgin daughters, no violences or robberies offered on the inhabitants." And it must be observed, that Rycaut spake from experience; for he was sent by the English ambassador, the Earl of Winchelsea, to meet the grand vizir on his return from the wars in Hungary, and he not only remained several days in the camp, but returned together with the army from Belgrade in Servia to Adrianople46. But though the presence of the vizir, and the severity of the discipline established by him, might, in this instance, have enforced due subordination and proper conduct during the march of his army, yet a contrary practice [261] seems not only to have prevailed, but even to have been connived at by government, during the irregular marches of troops to join the great body of the army. Their progress has been compared to that of a torrent of burning lava. I have myself seen a small part of the devastation which they occasion, and have witnessed the cruelties which they commit. It is true, that in their journies they avoid molesting the Turkish inhabitants, but they enter into the villages and the cottages of the rayahs as into their own houses, and not only apply to their own use or to their own pleasure whatever attracts their attention, but exact a pecuniary recompense for the wear of their teeth, in return for their violation of the rights of hospitality. This I have seen; and I have also seen the inhabit-ants of a populous village abandon their houses, and fly to the mountains or the woods with their families and household furniture, disperse their herds of cattle, and bury their corn in pits, to avoid the ravages of a company of twenty warriors of whose approach they had received previous intimation.

46Present state of the Ottoman Empire, p. 205.

The troops destined to compose the Ottoman army under the command of the pashas, beys, and other officers, are already in full [262] march on every side to reach the, place as-signed them for a rendezvous, when the grand vizir, in the beginning of the month of May, takes public leave of the sultan, and proceeds to his head quarters in the camp, with a suite of about three or four thousand men. "It is impossible," says, Dr. Wittman, " to contemplate these pompous ceremonies, and not to contrast them with the secrecy and silence with which the first movements of European armies are undertaken. It must be a trifling nation which can delay an expedition of importance, even for a single day, lest some little rite or ceremony should be omitted: and it is truly impolitic thus to advertise an enemy, for even months beforehand, of the advance of an army47." The observation, such as it is, is not to be attributed to Dr. Wittman, for he had not arrived at Constantinople when the yizir passed over to the camp at Scutari: but the charge against the Turks appears frivolous and unfounded, for whatever. ceremonies may precede the vizir's quitting the capital in order to put himself at the head of the army, they do not serve to convey more [263] speedy or more correct intelligence of such an event than an official notice to the same effect in the court gazette: and to require, that the vizir and the grand army should steal out from the extremity of Europe, and fall unawares upon a vigilant enemy on the confines of Africa, is, I think, imposing on the Turks a task, which find it impossible to perform. The grand vizir first encamps in the neighbourhood of Constantinople, in the plains about Daout Pasha. The office of conakgi bashi corresponds with that of quarter-master-general in our service. The importance of his duties must be evident, when it is considered how much the safety and prosperity of an army depend upon an intelligent system of castrametation. Every body knows, that a camp planned by able and experienced generals is as the order of battle: but that of the Turks is too frequently only a confused heap of tents and baggage, traced out in the form of a crescent, but huddled together without order or regularity, Such negligence, which nothing can excuse, becomes more deserving of consure, when it is considered. [264] dered, that it is a dereliction of ancient practice, a deviation from the military statutes of their ancestors. The conakgi bashi, having received his orders from the vizir, or in the vizir's absence, from the sevaskier (or general in chief), proceeds to trace out the camp, accompanied by the conakgis of the different pashas. The written orders delivered to the conakgi basli relate only to the distribution of the janizaries, the infanfry of the serratculy, the artillery, and the cavalry of the capiculy. As for the toprakly cavalry, the ammunition and provision waggons, and the head-quarters of the grand vizir, their stations are always uniformly ascertained, what-ever may be the general plan of the cane. The central point, and that which determines the relative position of every other part of the army, is the tent called leylek tcliadir (tent of the stork). It is higher than any other tent, and is erected on a single pole, which is painted red and supports a ball or globe of the same colour. Under the leylek tclzadir the divan assembles, the councils of war are held, and justice is administered. In the front of it is the place of public execution, where death or lighter punishments are [265] inflicted; and there also the heads are exposed of those who have been pat to death in the provinces.

47Dr. Wittman's Travels, p.10.

When the sultan takes the field, the lerglek tchadir is covered with cloth of different colours, white, green, and red. When his Highness does not head. the army, the tent of the grand vizir, which is formed on the same plan as that of the sultan, is situated immediately behind the leylek tchadir; the tents of the officers of his household, and the extensive stables for his horses are adjoining to the head-quarters. The military chests are piled up in front of the leylek tchadir. The officers of the treasury and the chancery, the cazy-askers, the imams, and the kubbeh vizirs occupy tents disposed in right lines, so as to form streets leading to the vizir's pavillion. The baggage and ammunition waggons are placed in a circle, which encloses the head-quarters of the grand vizir and the body of the camp.

The spahis of the capiculy are divided into two bodies, and posted on the right and left wings; the artillery and the toprakly infantry form a line in front; and the toprakly cavalry, headed by their respective pashas, are arranged in a semicircle which makes [266] the exterior boundary of the tamp. Between the head-quarters and the advanced guard, which is commanded by the janizar aga, are two corps of cavalry, whose horses are kept constantly saddled: the camp of the rear guard is also removed to a certain distance from the main body.

Such was formerly the general arrangement of the camp, which has been admired by military observers for the grandeur of its appearance which corresponded with that of a beautiful city: the tents of the chief officers resembling the palaces and mosques, those of the soldiers the private houses, while those of the tradesmen were disposed in imitation of a bazar or market place. But as to any order in the arrangement of the tents, it appears to have been unknown or disregarded: they were turned to the right or the left, according to accident or caprice; and the tents of the pashas themselves, though distinguished from those of the privates by their shape and size, and the ensigns of their dignity which were planted in front of them, indicated nevertheless the same contempt of method and regularity.

The stately pavillion of the grand vizir is not less distinguished from those of the principal [267] officers of the porte by richness of ornament than by its spacious dimensions. It has been described as surpassing the magnificence of a palace the materials being of the most costly stuffs, and the furniture resplenient,with gold and jewels. For though the precepts of the Mahometan religion prohibit the men from indulging in the vanity and luxury of personal ornament, yet the Turks display in their armies a magnificence entirely opposite to the modesty of their usual appearance. The officers of the cavalry are mounted on horses whose harness is studded with gold and silver, and covered with housings of the most costly embroidery. The arms, the chief boast of the soldier, are in most instances provided by himself, and adorned with a profusion of expense.

The insignia of a vizir, governor of a province, are---the alem, a large broad standard, the staff of which, instead of a spear-head, is surmounted with a silver plate in the form of a crescent ;—the tabl, or military music, consisting of nine drums, nine fifes, seven trumpets, and four cymbals ;---the tugh, consisting of three horse-tails artificially plaited ;—one sanjac, or standard, of green silk, and of the same forma and size with Maho- [268] met's standard ;--and two large standards called bairak. Other pashas, who are not honoured with the title of vizir, have two horse-tails with the other insignia. A bey has but one horse-tail, together with the standard, Agas, and others of an inferior order, are allowed only one sanjac, and no horse-tails.

The bash-tchadir, or pavillion of the grand vizir erected in the body of the camp, is encircled by canvas, so disposed as to resemble in some degree the walls and battlements of a castle, and so high as not to be overlooked. The chief advantage of this kind of intrenchment is, however, that it prevents the inconvenience or disturbance which might be occasioned by men or other animals stumbling in the night time over the cords of the tent.

The pashas also surround their tents with an enclosure of the same kind, but only breast high, lest, by too close an imitation of the magnificence of the vizir, they might seem to fail in the respect which is due to. his exalted station. The tents are heavy and bulky: the conveyance of them occupies a considerable number of camels, horses, and mules, besides waggons drawn by oxen and buffaloes; so that if we form our opinion of [269] the expedition of the Turks in their military operations from the nature of the animals which they employ, it must necessarily be unfavourable. As it requires a length of time to erect these moveable palaces, it is customary to have always two sets of tents, one of which is sent on the day before, so as to be prepared and ready for the reception of the grand vizir and the pashas on their arrival. The exterior ornaments of the bash tchadir, are a globe of gilded copper supporting a crescent, and a green cotton cloth which is spread over the upper part of the tent: the stakes and props are painted of the same colour; and an ornament peculiar to the grand vizir's tent, which no other officer libwever elevated in dignity dares assume, are garlands or festoons of crimson fringe, which are suspended between the stakes of the exterior enclosure and the poles or columns which support the tent.

The grand vizir's tent is open towards the direction of the line of march of the army, and his tughs, or horse-tails, are planted on each side of the entrance. The ground in the inside of the tent is covered over with carpets, and surrounded on three sides with an elegant sopha. It is hung round with a kind [270] of patchwork tapestry, composed of different pieces of stuffs of various colours, sewed together so as to represent wreaths of flowers and branches of trees. All the other tents of the people of rank are decorated in the same taste, and furnished in the same manner, but with more or less splendour, according to the dignity and authority of those who occupy them. Even the tents of the common men have their sheep skins, and cushions stuffed with wool or hemp, which answer the purposes of a sopha.

The due supply of the army with provisions, as it is an object of the first importance, was formerly regulated with judgment and enforced with severity. Proper officers were appointed, and furnished with money, to procure, from the provinces nearest to the seat of war, the cattle and other necessary provisions, at a maximum fixed by the sultan's order. The pashas provided for themselves and their followers on the same terms as the sultan, who only furnished them with waggons, and other means of conveyance. But it appears from the report of Baron de Tott, that such is the ignorance or want of foresight of the commanders that, in their late campaigns, this essential [271] duty was so ill performed that the Ottoman army was always placed in the extremes of excess and waste, or of want and discontent; and Dr. Wittman likewise observed in the camp at Jaffe, that every essential arrangement in the establishment, of depots and magazines was neglected.

Busbequius, in his survey of the Turkish camp, examined the state of the butchery, where sheep and cattle were killed and distributed to the janizaries. He expressed surprize at the small quantity of animal food consumed by them, for there were not more than four or five sheep for upwards of four thousand men. He was told, that in general they preferred making' use of the stock of provisions brought from. Constantinople; and on inquring of what those provisions consisted, they pointed out to him a janizary, who was preparing in an earthen dish a mixture of different kinds of vegetables with a sauce of vinegar and salt: "but hunger," says Busbequius, "gave it its truest seasoning, and to the abstemious soldier it appeared more delicious than pheasants and partridges to panpered luxury48." His drink was the wholesome beverage of nature. Wine was strictly prohibited to be brought into the camp, and so sensible were the Turks of the irregularities which the free use of wine introduces among soldiers, that officers were usually despatched to shut up the taverns, and to forbid by proclamation the sale of wine, in any town through which the army was to pass. The provisions furnished at the expense of government are, flour, bread, biscuit, rice, bulgur (or husked wheat), butter, and meat, for the men, and barley for the horses. When circumstances permit they bake fresh bread every day, in ovens dug in the earth, and distribute it to the soldiers in portions of a hundred drachms (some-what less than three quarters of a pound) per day: at other times they serve out biscuit, of which fifty drachms are a L. allowance, besides sixty drachms of beef or mutton, twenty-five of batters and fifty of rice or bulgur. The cook of each company of janizaries receives the total of the rations, and distributes them in two meals, one at eleven in the morning, and another at seven in the evening, to messes consisting of seven or eight persons. In addition to the ration which is regularly allowed them, they receive a moderate pay, which does not exceed a crown per month.


48Besbeq. Epist. iii, p. 167.


An authentic document, preserved by Count Marsigli, will best explain the order of march, as it was formerly observed by a Turkish army. The advanced guard, consisting of Tartars and other irregular troops, were supported by the pashas of Romelia and Anatolia, and were placed under their command. The seraskier, or lieutenant-general of the vizir, followed with the troops and the pa, shas of Erzerum and Bosnia. Immediately after them came the janizar aga at the head of all the odas of janizaries. Then came the topgi bashi with the artillery, and the gebegis with the ammunition. The infantry of the provinces escorted their provision waggons. The beylerbeys and pashas followed in the rear of the provincial infantry. The capiculy spahis, of both the red and yellow standards, followed the provincial cavalry. Then came the grand vizir with the officers of the court and the ministers of state, who accompany him in his military expeditions. The provision waggons, each of them escorted by three foot soldiers, and the other baggage waggons were under the care of the commander of the rear guard, who accompanied [274] them to the camp, and who closed the march with four thousand men. The military march of the grand army is regulated by the vizir, whose orders are committed to writing by the clerks of his chancery, and are distributed to the different commanders by the officers under the control of the chaoush bashi.

When the Turkish army marches through the sultan's dominions, they observe so little order that, provided every man arrives at the camp in time for the evening prayers, each may pursue his march alone, or in company, in the manner most agreeable to him-self, and may stop to rest himself on the road wherever he pleases. The advanced guard usually consists of five or six thousand horse, of the best troops in the army: their commander is called the kharcagy bashi: they are usually seven or eight leagues before the main body, and if there be Tartars in the army they disperse themselves on all sides, and pillage wherever they pass49.

49"Et quidem natura ipsa maximi et crudelissimi latrones suns. Militiam non nisi spe prmdm exercent. Quum aliquo tundum est, itinere unius diei aut duorum reliquum exercitum prmcedunt, igni ferroque omnia devastantes. Nonnunquam numerum triginta millium oxcedunt, quibus omnibus dux unus militari prudentia prmditus prmficitur. Enimvero ex hoc ordine extitere ii qui anno superiore, Solimano Viennam oppugnante, trans urbem progressi, regionem Lincio adjacentem memorabili Glade aff'ecerunt, miserisque senibus crudeliter interfectis, ac locis igne consumptis, quam plurimos captivos abduxerunt." (Jovius, Turc. rer. comment. p. 48.)

50Serden guiechidi signifies persons devoted to desperate undertakings. In the Turkish armies they forni what in other countries are called enfans perdu:, or the forlorn hope. Meninski explains the word in his dictionary by " Caput non curans, exponens, voluntarius." They are better known by the name of delhi, which, as Rycaut justly says, signifies, as much as a mad fellow or a Hector. They are however brave, determined, and enterprizing. Those who enlist among the Serden guiechdi, receive an augmentation of ten aspers a day for each campaign.


The alai, or marshalling of the troops, is a march of ceremony, in which the Ottomans display the greatest pomp and magnificence. When the pashas arrive at the place of general rendezvous, they each perform their respective alai, which answers to a review: but in the general alai the whole army is divided into five parts: the right and left wings, sagh col and sol col; the main body, dib alai; the van, kharcagy; and the rear dondar. In the front are the serden guiechdi50 , followed by the janizaries led on by their aga. After these, the great guns, guarded and served by the topgis and gebegis: then the vizir, with his court and segbani, or guards of the baggage; on his right hand, the Asiatic horse, and on his left, the Euro- [276] pean. After the vizir comes the emperor, surrounded by his courtiers and his body guard of bostangis; the spahis of the red standard on his right, and on his left the spahis of the yellow. Then follow the military chests and provision waggons, with the company of merchants and artificers, who, by the imperial mandate, follow the camp, and furnish all the conveniences and luxuries of a city. The dondar, or bringers back, form the rear, and close the ceremony.

Their ancient order of battle was to form a kind of pyramid, the point of which was presented to the enemy. Few vacancies were left in the main body of the army, as the evolutions were chiefly made on the wings. The serden guiechdi bashi at the head of his desperadoes, consisting of about a thousand horse taken indifferently from the capiculi or the feudal troops, always formed the extreme point. They were supported by the beglerbeys of Romelia and Anatolia; the first on the right, and the second on the left, at the head of the European and Asiatic troops. The pashas commanding the militia of the distant provinces occupied the middle space. The grand vizir, with the infantry and artillery, formed the centre of the base; the [277] timariots and zaims, the extremities; and a corps de reserve, composed of spahis, terminated the whole. With this arrangement they marched to, the attack, or they received the shock of the enemy. The serden guiechdi, animated each other with their war shout of allah, allah. If after three repeated charges they failed in making an impression on the enemies line, they spread out to the right and left and opened a greater front, which in like manner gradually enlarged itself if it became necessary. If they succeeded in breaking the first battalions, they took in flank those who had not been exposed to their onset.

A spirit of emulation prevailed between. the troops of Asia and Europe. Those who had been repulsed and dispersed, made the greatest efforts in order to rally and return to the charge. If the cavalry was broken and scattered, the artillery opened upon the enemy, and, by keeping up a heavy fire, gave time to the fugitives to recover themselves: there have been instances where they have renewed the fight with such a desperate valour as even to snatch the victory from the hands of the enemy. It has also happened, that the rear guard, engaged by oath to Shed the last drop of blood in defence of the [278] sacred standard of the prophet, has opposed the enemy with such determination as to give time to the broken troops to form anew, and thereby become masters of the field of battle. It is said to be from the jealousy of the other troops, who frequently saw the vanguard carry off all the honour of the, victory, that this order of battle was changed for that of a crescent; and to this alteration their own chiefs have attributed the ill success of the Ottoman arms.

The Turkish method of warfare is described by a traveller, who observed it during the last year of the war against Austria and Russia. The Turks, he says, who are represented as not possessing common sense in military affairs, nevertheless carry on war with some kind of method. They disperse themselves about, in order that the fire of the enemies battalions or artillery may not be directed against them: they take their aim with admirable precision, and direct their fire always against men collected in a body; masking their own manoeuvres by their incessant firing: sometimes they intrench themselves in ravins or hollows, or conceal themselves upon trees; at other times they advance in several small companies, consisting [279] of forty or fifty men, carrying a banderole or little flag, which they fix onwards in order to gain ground: the most advanced kneel-down and fire, and fall back to reload their pieces; supporting each other in this manner, until, upon an advantage, they rush forward and advance their standard progressively, Such is their constant method: the different small bodies carefully observing a line or order in their progress, so as not to rover each other. The repeated shoutings and cries of allah encourage the Mussulmans, and together with the immediate decapita, tion of the wounded who fall into their power, produce an effect which sometimes alarms and disheartens the Christian soldier51. Dr. Whittman condemns the employment of such a multiplicity of standards, banners, and flags, which, he says, the Turks suppose to have the effect of inspiring the enemy with terror and dismay: but as it appears from his journal, that he had no opportunity of [280] observing the Turks when actually engaged with the enemy, he probably may have exaggerated the inconvenience of these standards, though he justly stiles them trivial objects; for perhaps they do not in any considerable degree diminish the effective force which otherwise would be brought into action, nor do they seem to shackle and impede the military operations in the field of battle52.

51"L'instinct des Turcs, qui vaut souvent mieux que 1'esprit des Chretiens, les rend admits et capables de faire tous les metiers a la guerre. Mais ils n'ont que la premiere reflexion: ils ne sont pas susceptibles de la seconde, et apres avoir depense leur moment de bon sens, assez juste, assez adroit, ils tiennent du fou et de l'enfant." (Voyage a Constantinople, p. 197.)

I have heard Russian officers commend the active valour and address of the Turks in their skirmishes with the loose troops and Cossaks, as well as their persevering courage in the defence of their fortresses: but it re, quires the actual presence of danger to in-duce them to use precaution, or to introduce regularity into the performance of military duty in their garrisons. When the Russian army was approaching Ismael, General Suwarow, wishing to know the state of defence in the Turkish fortress, despatched a few Cossaks, with orders to seize and bring away some person of the garrison. The Cossaks, under favour of the night, approached close to the wall of a battery, where the Turkish sentinel, after having finished his pipe, was [281] sitting cross-legged on one of the guns, and amusing himself with singing: his entertainment was interrupted by a rope with a slip knot, with which they pulled him, to the ground, and dragged him away to the Russian head-quarters. An officer, who was, present, assured me, that when the man's apprehensions as to his personal safety were removed, he indulged in a hearty fit of laughter at the ridiculousness of his own capture.

52See Dr. Wittman's Travels, p, 232.

The mode in which the Ottomans wage war, appears vicious and imperfect when compared with later improvements in military science. Their system was, however, confessedly superior to the unmixed feudal institutions, which were contemporary with it in the other countries of Europe and Asia. The sultans owed the success of their arms during four centuries to the ameliorations which had been introduced into their establishments. Modern nations have, however, so far outstripped the Turks in the career of improvement, and their own confidence in their ancient modes of attack and defence is so weakened by a series of misfortunes, that they are generally considered, not merely as inferior to the enemies who are opposed to [282] them, but as having degenerated from their warlike ancestors. The charge cannot indeed be wholly denied; yet I must declare, that, as far as my unbiassed, though perhaps imperfect, observation enables me to judge, a diffidence in the talents of their generals is all that distinguishes the modern from the ancient Turkish armies. We have seen them under different commanders, in the course of a single campaign, heroes at Acre, and most contemptible cowards at Aboukir. It is a just and true remark, that a nation suffers no real nor essential loss but when it loses-the character to which it owed its success. Now when we consider, that this character among the Turks, as individuals, is unchanged, and that it is not impossible, that circumstances may arise which may call forth the talents of some great leader who may yet rekindle the spirit and organize the force of the nation, we should care-fully guard, especially in such critical times as the present, against an indulgence of that contempt which some writers endeavour to excite53.

53My opinion on this subject is further confirmed by the following observation of a military traveller. " La religion et 1'habitude sont deux barricres dni empechent autant les Tuns d'avancer que de reculer. Je crois qu'on les accuse à tort d'avoir dégénéré. Les Turcs, qui ont fait deux fois le siège de Vienne, ressembloient, à peu de choses près, aux Turcs qui ont été vainqueurs à Karansebès, et vaincus a Martinesti. Les Turcs, qui ont rendu Ismaël, étoient aussi braves et aussi ignorans que ceux qui ont pris Rhodes. Its sont à peu près au même point: ce sont les autres peuples qui ont fait des progrès." (Voyage à Constantinople, p. 155.)

54De Tott's Memoirs, v. iii, p. 181.


If we may credit the Baron de Tott (and his sprightly egotisms seem to me to possess more veracity than his remarks show candour or judgment), we should place but little confidence in any of the tables which some authors have exhibited, as a view of the effective military force of the Turks. Indeed what information can a stranger hope to derive from any means within his reach, when the vizir was obliged, in order to ascertain the state of his own army, to have recourse to the reports in the Vienna gazette54? If we reflect upon the disorders, which have been before enumerated as having insinuated them-selves into the Turkish armies, and the con-fusion which is inseparable from them, we must be convinced, that, although the Turkish nation be individually brave, it is less surprizing, that they are inefficient when united than that they do not disband immediately [284] after being collected together. According to the modern system of politics, which exhausts the wealth of the independent kingdoms of Europe by maintaining a standing army, greater, in many instances, than was formerly thought necessary for the defence: of the Roman empire in the three parts of the globe, the military power of the Turks. may perhaps be considered as disproportionate to the vast extent of their dominions. Marsigli calculated the total effective force of their armies, or that which could be brought into service against a foreign enemy, at about a hundred and sixty thousand men, after deducting those whom the public safety re-quires to be employed in the provinces and in guarding the high roads, and allowing for the fraudulent returns of the toprakly militia; an abuse which is now become so familiar that, in ordering levies, the state itself scarcely dares to count upon raising more than half the number of men who are entered upon the public registers55. The capiculy [285] are the only part of the Turkish armies susceptible of such improvement in discipline and tactics as to become capable of opposing in the field the regular troops of Christendom; and their number, from the limited revenues of the-sultan, must always be inadequate to any great undertaking, or any efficacious resistance. The toprakly soldiery, being untaught and undisciplined, do not seem to merit a higher estimation than the provincial militia of the Christian states, and, on a [286] review of the disposable force of the Ottoman empire, should scarcely be taken into aceount; but to an invading army they oppose a resistance by no means to be despised. Every motive of enthusiasm, patriotism, and private interest, confirms the aversion of the Turks to the dominion of foreigners. In our own time the inhabitants of Bosnia, Albania; and Croatia, a hardy and warlike race, have successfully defended their religion and their country against the disciplined troops of the Emperor of Germany; and the French armies in Egypt met with more obstinate resistance from an armed yeomanry than they have since experienced in traversing the most war-like countries of Europe. The volunteers of Mecca, undismayed at the conquest of Lower Egypt, came, at their own expense, to at-tack a people of infidels. Armed with their lances, their daggers, and their fire-arms, they attacked with courage and resisted with obstinacy: though mortally wounded, their Zeal and their animosity were unabated; and Denon saw one of these determined patriots wound two French soldiers, while they held him, pierced through the body with their bayonets, against a wall. It is pleasing to contrast the energies of an independent people [287] with the slavish submission of those who see nothing but a change of governors in the subjugation of their country. The fellahs of Egypt, a race of people still more abject than the rayahs of Turkey, withheld their' contributions from the French, as they formerly had done from the Mamelukes, until they discovered by the blows which were inflicted on them, that the rights of their former tyrants were transferred to their conquerors. But the ojakli, or householders, no less than the feudal proprietors, fought with valour, undiminished by the want of success, from the ruined walls of Alexandria to the ancient, Roman frontier, Syene. The language of the historian bears unequivocal testimony to their patriotic virtue. Alexandria was taken by storm: the besiegers left two hundred soldiers in the breach through which they entered: but of the besieged none fled, they fell with glory on the spot which they had failed in defending56. With such examples before our eyes, we may be permitted to question the facility of subduing a people, whose country, from its very nature, must encourage their exertions and protect [288] their independence. "The allied nations of Europe have only to march," says Count Marsigli, "their greatest difficulty will be to divide the conquered country57." But though we now discover, since the blaze of the Ottoman power has decreased, that their former conquests were the chastisements of divine justice for the sins of Christendom, and that the sultans never were, and never will be strong in their own might; it perhaps still remains to be discovered, whether, in spite of the acknowledged debility of the empire, a people who would refuse to obey even their sultans if they ordered them to renounce their possessions in favour of a stranger, and whose country from the difficulty of forming magazines affords no facilities to the invader, would not give ambition cause to repent of its insatiable thirst of conquest.

55I am justified in rejecting as inaccurate the details of the Turkish military force as published by Mr. Eton, but I acknowledge the justness of his concluding censure of their armies (Survey, p. 72. ), in which we find "none of those numerous details of a well-organized body, necessary to give quickness strength, and regularity to its actions, to avoid confusion, to repair damages, to apply every part to some use: nothing, as with us, the result of reasoning and combination, no systematic attack, defence, or retreat, no accident foreseen or provided for."

Marsigli, whose calculation though made a century ago is perhaps the most correct of any which have hitherto been published, divides the whole military force of the Ottomans into two classes, and estimates the number of each as follows.
The capiculy consists of infantry and cavalry: the infantry, composed of janizaries, agemoglans, tohgis, gebegis, and stakes, amounts to 58,864 men, of whom 21,426 janizaries are required for the garrison and frontier towns : the cavalry, consisting of sphis and chaoushes, amounts to 15,284. The feudal militia, or the total of the contingents of all the Jiashaliks, the ziantets, and the timars, amounts to 126,292: besides which the Tartars formerly furnished 12,000 tributary soldiers; and the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia 8000 men, but these should not be considered as soldiers, as they were chiefly employed in servile labour, and many of them carried only a spade and pickaxe. The serratculy cannel be calculated, as they were enlisted only In time of war, and in such numbers as the service required. (See Stato militare dell' imperio Ottomanno, t. i, p. 90, 134.)

56Denon, Voyage dans la nasse et la Haute Egypte, t. t, p. 48, 223.

War, in its mildest form, is a continued violation of justice and humanity: but the Turks have been reproached with systematic cruelty, and premeditated breach of faith. It is however untrue, that the Turkish laws of warfare condemn all the prisoners to death for captives were always esteemed the most [289] valuable part of the booty, and quarter was seldom refused to the submissive, unless danger was apprehended from the number of the prisoners, or the irruption of an enemy prevented their being carried off. All the riches of a city taken by storm are usually promised by the emperors to the soldiers, and they reserve to themselves only the buildings and the government. To this cause is to be attributed the too frequent breach of treaty, or the murdering of prisoners contrary to capitulation. Cantenlir says; that "if a garrison are to lay down their arms, and only a knife or a hatchet is found on any one, the Turks immediately call out, that the treaty is broken, and butcher their defenceless enemies." But though it be certainly better for Christians to perish fighting, and with arms in their hands, than to experience such treachery, yet, even in these instances, the chiefs must be acquitted of duplicity. Subordination, in such moments, is almost entirely dissolved, and the commanders, even the sultans themselves, are frequently compelled to yield to the violence of the soldiery, who are flushed with success, or infuriated by resistance58. The in [290] fraction of the treaty, made by Mahomet the Fourth with the emperor of Germany, is supposed, by pious Mussulmans, to have been the effective cause of all the subsequent disgrace of their armies, and the misfortunes of their empire: therefore I doubt, and even venture to contradict, the assertion, "that this sentence of the ulema, with thousands more of the same kind, stands on record, that a treaty, made with the enemies of God and his prophet, might be broken; there being nothing so worthy a Mahometan as to undertake the entire destruction of Christians59."

57Stato militate dell' imperio Ottomanno, t. ii, p. 199.

58"Ce n'est pas aux principes du cour'ann qu'il faut attribuer les excès qui leur sont justement reprochés, ils sont l'effet néces-saire de 1'insubordination des troupes, de la férocité du soldat, sur-tout quand it est victorieux, et d'une foule de circonstances, absolument étrangères aux loin de l'Islamisme." (Tab. Gén. t. iv, p. 303.)

59Survey of the Turkish empire, p. 109.

The treatment of prisoners who are considered as private property, consequently varies according to the passions of the captor: that of public prisoners is indeed deserving of reprobation. I have seen them in the bagnio, loaded with irons, coupled with the vilest felons, and forced to common labour, with the same undistinguishing inhumanity. The prisoners of their own nation are abandoned to the mercy of their enemies: [291] the Turkish government expresses no anxiety as to their fate: they are neither ransomed, nor exchanged; and their Christian conquerors condemn them to a state of slavery, with no compassion to alleviate their sufferings, and no hope, however distant, of deliverance60.

60Denon (t. i,p. 27.) thus describes the joy of the Turkisk prisoners in Malta on being released by the French. "Pour prendre une ides de leur extreme satisfaction dans cette circonstance, it faut savoir que leur gouvernement ne les rachetoit et ne lea echangeoit jamais, que leur esclavage n'etoit adouci par aucun espoir; ils ne pouvoient pas meme rever la fin de leurs peines."

As I have not had the advantage of travelling in Italy, I must quote Mr. Griffiths with caution. He says, (p. 11.), " in the prisons of Genoa I beheld the very lowest pitch of human wretchedness and degradation! A number of aged Turks were chained to the wall in stone recesses, at a short distance from each other; and some still more aged, in cells, so low that they were never able to stand upright! Many of these men of misery appeared to have lost all sense or recollection; and one, who particularly attracted my attention, had counted no less than twenty-seven years of captivity."

The Turkish forces at sea have always been contemptible. During the siege of Constantinople, their navy, consisting of three hundred vessels, was baffled by one Imperial, and four Genoese, ships, which threw succours of men and supplies of provisions into the capital. Sandys says, " that they did not hazard the revenue of Egypt by sea, for [292] fear of the Florentines, who, with six ships, had kept the bottom of the straits for three years." Their disasters, in their several sea-fights with the Venetians and the Russians, are well known; and in their late cooperation with the English, during the Egyptian campaign, the contrast was striking, between the beauty of their ships, and the ignorance and timidity of their officers and people.

Mr. Eton, and Mr. Griffiths in a still more recent publication, venture to describe the present state of the Turkish navy from the remarks of Baron cue Tott, or from their own transient observations made twenty years ago. The Turks, indeed, although the canon narnek of Sultan Soliman contains many regulations for the improvement of their navy, considered it as an object of inferior importance, until the destruction of their fleet by the Russians in the harbour of Tcheshmeh. Since that event the government has occupied itself seriously in the establishment of a respectable naval force, and the zeal which the celebrated Hassan Pasha first displayed in this branch of service, has been inherited by all who have succeeded him in the post of capudan pasha: so that such language as the following cannot now be applied with truth to any [293] department of the marine service of the Ottomans. "High-decked vessels, the lower tier laid under water with the least wind, entangled rigging, bad cordage and pullies, thirty men in the gun-room to move the tiller, encumbered decks, and guns without equality in the calibre61."

61See De Tott's Memoirs, v. iii, p. 20. 62Memoirs, v. iii, p. 178.

I went on board some ships of war on their return from a cruise in the Black Sea, in the year 1790, and certainly saw a confusion which it is impossible to describe. It was a perfect bazar, or market-place, and shops were erected all round the between-decks, with no apparent intention of removing them. De Tott says, with an affected levity, which is highly unbecoming when describing the manners of a nation, "that the proposition to lower the decks was rejected, on account of the height of their turbans, and that of raising The mast, because it would occasion the vessel to heel, and incommode the crew62." But the fault was in those who suggested such improvements without sufficiently correcting the pertness of manner which outweighed, at least in the estimation of Turks, the merit of their advice. Why should improvements, [294] so evidently necessary, have been rejected, at the same period, when, upon proposing a new school for mathematics, it was immediately established? Upon pointing out the use of the bayonet, the bayonet was adopted. Upon De Tott's suggestion, a machine was erected for masting vessels. A new foundery of cannon was built. A body of artillery-men was instituted, and forts were erected on the northern shores of the Bosphorus, to secure the passage of the Black Sea. The mildness of manners of a French ship-builder of the name of Le Brun63, whom Hussein Pasha engaged in the Ottoman service, removed every obstacle to the exertion of his great abilities, and in a short space of time a complete reform was introduced into the department which he superintended.

63This gentleman is now in the service of the emperor of Russia. His talents may be appreciated by Englishmen, as he built the Commerce de Marseilles, a first-rate ship of very large dimensions, now in our service.

Their navy now consists of several good ships, built by Europeans, or from European models, but manned by people unaccustomed to the sea. They have not yet formed any plan for educating and training up seamen, though the Propontis is well [295] adapted for naval evolutions, and might be made an excellent school of practical navigation. Their officers, not having passed through the different ranks, merit no higher estimation than the common men; indeed almost the whole business of the ship is performed by the slaves, or by the Greeks who are retained upon wages.

Those accustomed to the strict subordination and punctilious formalities established in the armies and navies of other European powers, may smile perhaps at hearing, that the captain of a man of war has been cuffed in public by the admiral's own hand for a slight offence. I remember too to have seen a journal kept by an Englishman (an adventurer who served on board the Turkish fleet in the Black Sea, during a cruise in the year 1790) which contained the following remark. " This day the admiral amused himself with playing at chess on the quarter-deck with a common sailor."


Note (A) page 8.

SIR WILLIAM JONES announced his intention of publishing a dissertation on the manners of the Arabians before the time of Mahomet, illustrated by the seven poems which were written in letters of gold, and suspended in the temple of Mecca about the beginning of the sixth century. It is much to be regretted, that, though the poems were published in 1783, yet he could not command leisure for the composition of the intended dissertation. The general criticism 'which he has passed on each of these seven poems, in his commentary on the Asiatic poetry64, will however show, how very different must have been the state of manners and society in Arabia from that which prevailed in Asiatic Scythia, previously to the establishment, or the introduction, of the Mahometan religion. Sir William Jones does not hesitate to compare them with the song of Solomon, as well in animated gayety and floweriness of diction, as in the various and [297] delicate comparisons, the exquisite choice of words, and the neat lustre of images. An exposition of the general argument of these idylls, and a selection of some particular passages will serve to illustrate the subject of ancient Arabian manners, and will show, that the Arabs, instead of learning from the Spaniards, rather communicated to them the romantic character, which it seems their new religion, had not eradicated.

64See Foes. Asiat. Comment. cap. iii.

It is necessary to premise, that Yemen, or the happy Arabia, is situate between the eleventh and fifteenth degrees of north latitude, under a serene sky, and exposed to the most favourable influence of the sun, enclosed on one side by vast rocks and deserts, - and defended on the ether by a tempestuous sea; so that all the images of beauty or sublimity, whatever natural objects can affect the senses with lively and pleasing, or with gloomy and terrible, ideas, are equally familiar to the imagination of its inhabitants.

The ancient Arabians had fallen almost universally into the common error of paying divine worship to the firmament and the heavenly bodies; yet the religion of the noble and the learned appears rather to have been theism, for their poets, in verses of [298] undoubted antiquity, utter sentiments of the purest piety towards Allah, the supreme being65.

The Arabians honoured no arts except skill in military atchievements (to which horsemanship was subservient), and poetry and rhetoric. They aspired to no fame except from the display of valour, the exercise of hospitality, and the practice of eloquence66. The learning of the nation was comprised in their poems. To poetry was consigned whatever was judged worthy of being rescued from oblivion; the series of their genealogies, the exploits of their families, and the history of their tribes. They laboured to refine and enrich their language in order to give perfection to their poetry, and the perfection of their poetry gave back stability to their copious idiom : so that poetry became the repository and the term of their knowledge, to which all that was useful was contributed, and whose stores of instruction were open for all the purposes of life67. The birth of a son, or the fall of [299] a foal of a generous breed, was a subject of congratulation to an Arabian family; but the tribe derived its greatest honour from the celebrity of a poet. Gellaleddinn relates, that the surrounding tribes offered their felicitations on the occasion, they themselves instituted feasts and public solemnities, and their women, adorned as for nuptials, beat their tymbals before their husbands and children, congratulating their tribe, that its name would now be safe from decay, and the exploits of its heroes be perpetuated to the latest posterity68. The moallakâf itself (which was the name given to the seven poems from the circgmstance of their being hung up in the temple of Mecca, as they were called modhahab4t, or the golden, from their having been written in letters of gold on folds of Egyptian silk69), as it proves the high honour in which poetry was publicly held, indicates also a high degree of civilization among the people of Arabia. Indeed if civilization be estimated not according to the usages or the prejudices of temporal authority, were appointed the political overseers of their flock, and were the only authorized and acknowledged organ of the people70.

68Ebn Raschik, apud Pocock. Spec. p. 160.

69See D'Herbelot, bibl. Orient. voc. Moallacat, p. 386. Pocock. Spec. p. 159, 381, et in calce notarum in carmen Tograi, p. 233.


65See Discourse on the Arabs. Jones's works, t. i, P. 42.

66See Herodotus, lib. iii. Pocock. orat. ante carmen Tograi, p. 10. Discourse on the Arabs, p. 48.

67See Pocock. orat. ante carmen Tograi, p. 10,

The pride or the indolence of the Turks, which made them disdain, or rendered them averse from attending to, the details of business, encouraged a mercenary emulation among the rayahs, to whom they confided the administration of several lucrative, through subaltern, departments. The rayahs thus became the bankers, the merchants, the contractors, the agents, of the porte, of the pashas, and of the farmers of the different branches of the revenue. They retaliated [301] upon their countrymen the humiliations which their employers forced them to endure, and they practised every refinement of tyranny stimulated by avarice71. Custom and precedent, which in Turkey soon acquire the force of law, have established the Jews in the offices of collecting the customs and of purchasing whatever is required for the use of the seraglio, while they have conferred on the Armenians the direction of the mint: these, however, are the highest civil employments to which either of them can attain.

70"Les Turc traiterent avex le patriarche Gennadius comme avec une puissance; ils l'admirent dans leur consiel, et en lui rendant sa dignite ils s'assurerent de l'obeissance du peuple entier qu'ils venoient de conquerir." (Chevalier, voyage de la Propontide et du Pont Euxin, t. i, p. 117.)

"The influence of the patriarch with the porte is very extensive, as far as his own nation is concerned. His memorials are never denied, and he can, in fact, command the death, the exile, imprisonment for life, deposition from offices, or pecuniary fine, of any Greek he may be inclined to punish with rigour, or who has treated his authority with contempt." (Dallaway, p.101.)

The Armenian patriarch and the khakham bashi or chief rabbin of the Jews, are in like manner the temporal and spiritual heads of their respective communities.

It has been supposed, that the Turks, in order to console the Greek descendants of the imperial family for the loss of empire, [302] gushed the tears from my eyes, through excess of regret, and flowed down my neck till my sword-belt was drenched in the stream. His friends, in order to alleviate his affliction, urge several topics of consolation: they remind him, not only, that he had before suffered disappointment equally painful, but, that he had enjoyed his full share of happiness. The recollection of past enjoyment suspends his present griefs, and kindles his imagination: he relates with how many spotless virgins, whose tents had not yet been frequented, he has held soft dalliance ; how he visited the bower of his mistress, though it was surrounded by guards, and in the midst of a hostile tribe who would have been eager to proclaim his death, while the night covered with darkness, as with the waves of a boundless ocean, the arid and pathless desert, whose silence was interrupted only by the howlings of the tyger ; how he passed over the summits of rocks where the ostrich wanders, and where the spirits of the mountains utter their heart-piercing cries72. "I approached--she stood expecting me by [303] the curtain, and, as if she was preparing for sleep, had put off all her vesture but her night-dress. She said, by him who created me (and gave me her lovely hand), I am unable to refuse thee ; for I perceive, that the blindness of thy passion is not to be removed.---I drew her towards me by her curled locks, and she softly inclined to my embrace73."

71"Le Grecs ont leurs plus grands ennemis parmu eux. Ce sont ces codja-bachis, Grec d'origine, prosternes aux pieds des Turcs, qui vexent avex plus de durete ceux qu'ils dexroient cherir et consoler. Par leur insolence, par leur fierte, et par la bassesse qui les caracterisent eminemment, ils ont etabli une ligne de demarcation entre eux et la nation Grecque. Espece degeneree, ils ont tous les vices des esclaves, et ne se dedommagent des humiliations que les Turcs leur prodiguent qu'en exercant le monopole, ladelation, et le brigandage le plus revoltant. Dans les temples ils occupent la place voisine de l'autel, ils y deploient l'orgueil du donheur de leurs compatriotes." "Sous le sabre du Turc, le Grec est esclave; mais sous la puissance de son compatriote, il est spolie et cent fois plus malheureux." (Pouqueville, voyages en Moree, &c. t. i, p. 106, 359.)

72See Traitc sur la poesie Orient. sect, 1.

But love, however powerful its influence must be on souls made of fire," on men living in the contemplation of the most delightful objects, and the enjoyment of perpetual spring74, is not the exclusive and predominant passion of the Arab. The honour and the interest of his family and his tribe-engage him in continual war. His own fortitude, and the swiftness of his horse (to which, and to the immensity of his plains, the Arab is indebted for his freedom75), are equally the subjects of his commendation. He describes the beauty, the speed, and the spirit of this noble animal with the same luxuriance of [304] fancy, with the same accumulations of imagery, as the charms of his mistress; and the toils of the chace are depicted with the same enthusiasm as the success of an amour."

73Poem of Amriolkais, ver. 24, 25, 28.

74See La Roque, voy. dans I'Arabie heureuse, p. 121, 123, 153.

75Pocock. in calce notarum ad carmen Tograi.




System of finance under the feudal government.-Divisions of the Turkish exchequer.- Public treasury.- Sources of revenue;-land-tax,-property-tax,-customs,-poll-tax,-monopoly,-mines,-esheats and forfeitures,-coinage,-tribute.- Expenditure of the public treasure.- Sultan's revenues, fixed and casual.- Doweries and pensions.- Nizami djedid.

{System of finance under the feudal government.}

1 In reviewing the financial resources of the Turks, it must first of all be considered, that many of the expenses, with which treasuries of more regular governments are burthened, are among them sufficiently provided for by the arrangements of the feudal system; and indeed, according to the spirit of its original institution, every establishment, whether calculated for internal utility or for external defence, was upheld by a competent assignment of landed property. Perhaps the chief inducement to the adoption of the feudal-system, with a warlike people unskilled in 2 the art of conducting the operations of finance, was, that it enabled them to support their numerous armies without levying taxes for their pay. An assignment of lands, involving the condition, that the possessor shall be constantly prepared to take the field at the call of the sovereign, is in itself a military pay; and the Turkish exchequer issued no other to its soldiery until the institution of the corps of janizaries1. In like manner, the condition of keeping in order the national establishments was imposed on the governors of the provinces to the extent of their jurisdiction, and adequate assignments of the national domain were made to them for the purpose: hence neither the army, nor the administration of justice, the police, public worship, the building nor repairing of public edifices, of fortresses, mosques, arsenals, bridges, and high roads, are kept up in the provinces at the expense of the grand signor. The establishment of the janizaries was first superinduced upon the general plan. Being 3 considered as the body-guards; or standing army, of the sultan, their head quarters and fixed residence were in his capital, and they were maintained from his treasury as a part of the imperial household. The necessity of a naval force, when the conquest of Constantinople was projected2, obliged the sultan to assign a portion of his peculiar treasure for its creation and maintenance: but besides the marine forces, the janizaries and other similar bodies of regular troops, no part of the national establishments was supported from the imperial treasury.

1"Hic rerum est ordo, hæc distributio - aic ut faciles inexhaustæque bello copiæ adsint, quotidianæque pro eisdem alendis pecuniæ cura levetur imperator, ut nullum ob bellum consueta ex magnificentia vel sumptibus quicquam untermittere cogatur." (Montalban. ap. Elzevir. p.16.)

2See Cantemir, p. 56, note 23.

{Divisions of the Turkish exchequer.}

The Turkish exchequer consists of two parts: the miri, which is employed in collecting and receiving the public revenues and in disbursing such sums as the public service requires, and the hazné or sultan's treasury. The former under the administration of the defterdar effendi, and the latter under that of the hazné vekili, a black eunuch second in official rank to the kislar aga. The revenues of each may be divided into fixed and casual: those of the miri are generally estimated at three millions three hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds sterling, 4 communibus annis3. Mr. Eton has given a schedule of the revenue in greater detail, which, in result, somewhat exceeds the sum allowed by Cantemir, and which wants only the merit of accuracy4. I do not pretend to give a correct account of the Turkish finances, and I believe, that few Europeans 5 in Turkey possess the means of obtaining it: but as Mr. Eton declares, "that he reasons only from facts, and trusts the impartial reader will draw the same conclusions," it may perhaps not be thought superfluous to examine the merit of the facts themselves, which form the basis of his reasonings.

3I have taken this amount of the Turkish finances from Cantemir, who indeed says (p.170, note 53), that in his time "there were brought yearly into the two treasuries twenty-seven thousand purses, each containing five hundred rix dollars:" but as I find that Count Marsigli, who appears to have had access to the public registers, estimates the revenues of the miri alone at 28,272 purses (See stato milit. t.ii, p.179), I must suppose the apparent disagreement in their computations to be occasioned only by an inaccuracy of expression. Toderini (t.i, p.90) says, that "the revenue of the miri, of which the defterdar effendi has the direction, amounts to about twenty millions of Turkish piastres." De Tott (v.iii, p.135) agrees with Cantemir, and fixes the revenue at 3,900,000l. sterling. Olivier says (v.i, p.24), that the revenues of the miri and the sultan, which are annually paid into the treasuries of Constantinople, amount to 150 millions of livres, besides 50 millions from the revenues of mosques and from casual sources. Motraye (t.i, p.225) calculates the total receipts of both treasuries at 36,ooo,ooo of piastres, or 9,000,000l. sterling, according to the value of Turkish money in his time. Chalcondylas (lib.viii) estimated them, in the reign of Mahomet the Second, at four millions of gold staters, which, according to the calculation of Artus his translator (t.i, p.172), amount to eight millions of ducats.

4"Total of the revenue of the empire, or public treasury called the miri, 44,942,500 piastres, or about 4,494,250l. sterling." (Survey of the Turkish empire, p.47.)

Mr. Eton comprehends among the sources of revenue collected by the miri, in the rear of a formidable list of Turkish words, haremein hasinesi, and sherifein hasinesi: but as far as can be collected from the meaning of the words themselves, they must signify the rents of vacuf, property consecrated to the service of public worship or charitable institutions: they are however by no means under the control of the officers of either of the departments of the exchequer; the miri or the hazné.

The founder of a mosque or other pious establishment, or the individual who enriches it by subsequent benefactions, has the privilege of appointing to the administration of his bequest an officer under the title of mutevelly, and a superior officer, or overseer, under that of nazir. These, more especially in the instance of mosques founded by the sultans, are the chief ministers of 6 state, the heads of the ulema, or the principal officers of the seraglio; and in the case of private donations, are frequently the children or natural heirs of the testator, who enjoy, by the tacit consent of the law, such part of the rents as is not specifically appropriated, though, when this surplus is considerable, it does not escape the vigilance of government, but is adjudged to belong to the public treasury. The administrators, and chiefly those of the mosques and hospitals in Mecca, Medina, and Constantinople, are authorized, on receiving an adequate assignment of property in buildings or landed estates, to make loans to individuals, whether Mussulmans or infidels, from the public finds of the establishment which is committed to their care. The borrower still retains the use or enjoyment of his property on the payment of an inconsiderable rent, and cannot be deprived of it by his creditors in the event of his subsequently becoming a bankrupt: he may even sell or transfer it to strangers with the consent of the mutevelly, and on the payment of certain dues to the mosque, without being subject to the claim, which in Turkey every neighbour is allowed to make, to a preference in the sale of property contiguous 7 to his own: he transmits it, on his decease, in equal portions to his immediate descendants. On the gradual, or total, extinction of such heirs, the absolute property of the several portions, or of the whole of the estate, becomes vested in the lender.

The coffer in which the revenues of the vacufs are collected, to the amount of several millions, is called harémeïnn dolaby, and is deposited in the seraglio under the care of the kislar aga, and strictly guarded. It is wrong to represent these treasures as "sums taken from the active and efficient capital of the nation, and either wholly unemployed, or appropriated to uses which cannot be supposed to have a very direct relation to the necessities of the state5;" for, on the contrary, without deviating from the intentions of the founders, or violating the essential clauses of their charters, that part of the revenue of vacufs which remains after the religious uses are satisfied, is considered as appropriable to the urgencies of the state, and might afford essential succour, if economy and fidelity were employed in administering it. In times of public distress the sultans occasionally apply these funds to the 8 necessities of government, but under the form of a loan and the solemn engagement of the minister of finance, who, in the name of the sultan and the empire, binds the state to the payment of so sacred a debt6.

5See Survey of the Turkish empire, p.40,41.

6See Tab. Gén. t.ii, chap.v, sec.3. The grand vizir Kioprili Mustafa Pasha first brought the treasures of the jamis into the public treasury: and when the mutevelly charged him with sacrilege, he insisted that the wealth, designed for religious users, ought to be employed in maintaining the defenders of the holy edifices. (Cantemir, p.367.)

The haratch, or capitation tax imposed on the rayahs, is improperly called by Mr. Eton "the annual redemption of the lives of all the males above fifteen years of age, who do not profess the Mahometan religion7." 9 The haratch is, however, simply a poll-tax, of the same nature as that imposed upon the English in the reign of Richard the Second: it is levied not only on the Greeks and Armenians, who were conquered by the Turks, but also on the Jews, who were protected by Turkish hospitality when they fled from the persecutions of the Christians. He inserts among the cities and places which contribute to the haratch, "the Morea and its five jurisdictions;" and he taxes separately Napoli di Romania, though a city of the Morea, and consequently within those jurisdictions. It is indeed a curious circumstance, that Mr. Eton's schedule of the Turkish finances and the memoirs of the Baron de Tott should both contain so gross a geographical error. The Turks know, that the peninsula of the Morea is not formed by the gulf of Napoli, but by the gulfs of Lepanto and Egina, which by almost meeting make the isthmus of Corinth. Could Mr. Eton's deference for the Baron de Tott seduce him into a belief, that "the peninsula of the Morea is formed by the gulf of Lepanto, and by that which takes its name from the city of Napoli di Romania which stands at the bottom of it8?" 10 Dr.Pouqueville possessed means of obtaining information respecting the Morea superior to those of preceding travellers, and therefore his testimony must, at present, be admitted as conclusive. Now it appears, that the Morea, instead of containing five separate jurisdictions, is united under the jurisdiction of a pasha of three tails, and subdivided into twenty-four cantons, governed by codja bashis or elders9. Oczacow is said to have furnished ninety purses; though Oczacow was a fortress garrisoned only by Turks, who consequently were not liable to the capitation: but, what is singularly ridiculous, is, that he estimates the contributions from the body of gypsies to be almost equal to that from the city of Constantinople and its environs, 11 and thence I am inclined to suspect, that the schedule itself is an incorrect copy of some account composed by the Russian mission at Constantinople, by orders front the court of St. Petersburg, as it seems calculated to convey to the empress a contemptible idea of the Ottoman empire, by stating the number of male gypsies, above fifteen years of age, at three hundred and thirty-six thousand two hundred and fifty.

7See Survey of the Turkish empire, p.41.-It is with much regret, that I feel myself compelled, from a respect for truth, to declare, that Dr. Wittman's account of a conversation which he held with me at Buyukdéré (See Travels, p.28) is wholly inaccurate. A person who, like myself, had resided many years in Turkey, could never have "comprehended under the general denomination of rayah, the Greek and Armenian subjects of the grand signor and every description of Franks." Still less could I have so far adopted Mr. Eton's errors, and even have borrowed his language, as to assert, "that the haratch is considered as the redemption of the heads of the rayahs, which were forfeited in perpetuity by their subjugated ancestors." Dr. Wittman has also made me pronounce a very florid panegyric on the modern Greeks; but though I had read Mr.Eton's work while I was in Turkey, it had made so slight an impression on my memory that I must have spoken from the same inspiration as Mr. Eton himself, if I could have amused Dr. Wittman by the misrepresentations which he has attributed to me.

8See De Tott's Memoirs, v.iv, p.150.

9See Voyages en Morée, &c. t.i, p.67. The whole of Greece is divided into four great pashaliks; Tripolizza, Egripo or Negropont (the ancient Eubœa), Yanina, and Salonica. The pashalik of Tripolizza comprises all the Morea; that of Egripo, the island whence it derives its name, besides Bœotia and the eastern part of Phocis; Yanina, the whole of Epirus; and Salonica, the southern division of Macedonia. The north of Macedonia is governed by beys; Naupactus (or Lepanto) gives to its governor the title of pasha; Athens and Livadia are administered by vaivodas; Larissa by a musselim; and Zagora (the ancient Magnesia) by its own primates. Pieria is dependent on the aga of Katherin, who now rules over Olympus in the place of Jupiter. (See Beaujour, Tab. du commerce de la Grèece, t.i, p.24.)

Confiscation and inheritances, which we have been taught to consider as the sponge by which the grand signor absorbs the wealth of his subjects, yield, under the pressure of his mighty hand, only one thousand three hundred and twenty-seven purses (about forty thousand pounds sterling), an inconsiderable drop, compared to the rivers of wealth which flow through every province of his extensive dominions.

The consequences which Mr. Eton deduces from this fanciful statement are, that "the present state of the Turkish finances is incompatible with the permanence or prosperity of the state, and that the future prospect is still less promising." "The expenditure," he says, "has so much increased that it is not probable the miri can discharge its debts 12 without a donation from the treasury of the sultan, a measure which does not enter into the policy of the seraglio. Here then we are to consider the probable consequences of a deficiency in its treasury, to a government which knows nothing of the financial provisions of modern politics, and consequently will be totally unprepared for such a conjuncture."

To those who are unacquainted with the natural and abundant fertility of the Turkish provinces in general, it may indeed appear, that the revenues of the sultan are insufficient for the support of his armies, and the maintenance of his establishments: but when it is recollected, that the Turks are from their infancy habituated to privations which to the European soldier would he intolerable, that wine and other spirituous or fermented liquors are prohibited in their camps, that to them a moderate ration of bread or Indian corn with a few black olives is a delicious and ample repast, that most of them neither carry knapsacks nor have the least occasion for them, and that accustomed as they are to sleep in the open air enveloped in their thick capots or cloaks, they hardly feel the want of a tent as an inconvenience; when 13 all these things are taken into consideration it must be evident, that the porte can keep in the field an army of a hundred thousand men with less expense than any prince in Christendom can maintain a third of the number. I instance only the standing army, which the Turks, in imitation of the European states, feel the necessity of augmenting, for every other establishment of magnificence or use may be still supported by the means which were originally assigned for that purpose, and which, though indeed diminished, are not inadequate to their object.

{Public treasury.}

Under the general control of the defterdar effendi, there are thirty-three offices, or chanceries, each superintended by its proper officer: in these are collected all the income, tribute, and customs of the empire: and thence the different expenditures are issued.

{Sources of revenue; land-tax,}

The chief sources of revenue are - The miri, or territorial impost levied on the whole empire, which is one tenth of the produce of lands. The whole of this tax, though registered in the books of the office, and calculated at about twenty millions sterling, is not paid into the imperial treasury: the greater part is detained in the provinces, and regularly accounted for among the expenses 14 of administration, and keeping up the national establishments. The cazy-asker of Romelia takes cognizance of whatever concerns the exchequer: the miri kiatibi, of his deputies, holds his court in the office of the defterdar effendi, and judges definitively all fiscal suits10.

10See Beaujour, Tab. du commerce de la Grèce, t.i,p.46. Cantemir's Ottoman history, p.307, note 52. Olivier says (v.i, p.190), that the quit rent paid by the Mussulman subjects amounts to one seventh of the produce of their lands, and that paid by the rayahs to one fifth.


Rayahs, or persons subject to the payment of the haratch, pay also a tax on moveables: it is levied on their personal property and the produce of their industry; on hearths or houses, farms, warehouses, and shops: it appears to be unequally and arbitrarily imposed, and is estimated, by those who pay it, at a quarter of the clear produce of their gains. Women are exempt from payment of the haratch, but their property, consisting either of lands or merchandize, is, equally with that of the men, subject to the payment of both the other taxes11.

11See Pouqueville, Voyages en Morée, &c. t.i, p.232.


The customs on the importation and exportation of merchandize form another 15 principal branch of revenue. They are chiefly farmed, and are collected throughout the empire with mildness and moderation. "These legal imposts," Mr. Eton says, " are but a small part of what the merchant pays. Foreigners indeed," continues he, "are, in all countries, more liable to imposition than the natives12". But from this general accusation he should have excepted Turkey, as there the Frank merchant pays only three per cent. on the value of his importations, and has the privilege, if grieved by an over estimation, of paying in kind. The natives, or at least the rayahs are taxed five per cent., and are sometimes further a aggrieved by an unfair evaluation13.

12See Survey of the Turkish empire, p.56.

13"Rara per imperium vectigalia, exiguaque portoria, hæc defraudantibus, geminandum est tantum vectigal debitum." (Montalban. ap. Elzevir. p.41.) "Tous les négocians Européens établis à Constantinople et dans les principales échelles du Levant, paient des droits beaucoup plus modiques que les nationaux euxmêmes." (Tab. Gén. t.iv, p.211.) See also on the subject of the custom-duties, Chardin's Travels, p.72, and Peyssonnel in refutation of De Tott (Appendix, p.209).


The haratch, or capitation tax on rayahs, is felt as a grievance only from the mode of collecting it, which subjects the passenger 16 in the public streets to the repeated and insolent examination of his certificate by the tax-gatherers. The male Christian and Jew subjects pay the haratch from the age of twelve years to their death. The heaviest contribution does not exceed thirteen piastres a year, the lightest is four piastres, and they are rated according to the rank in life and circumstances of the subject. The sum levied on individuals in consequence of this exaction has varied at different periods, and the age at which persons become liable to the payment of it is, even at this time, so undetermined that, in the provinces, the male children born in the cities are not rated until they are eight years old, while those in the villages are subject to the impost from the age of five years. Cantemir says, that it in enjoined by the law of the koran, that every male shall pay yearly thirteen drachms of pure silver when he becomes of a ripe age, and chooses to remain a subject of the empire without being obliged to profess the Mahometan religion. Under the first Turkish emperors of Constantinople this sum was increased to three rix dollars, and was augmented or diminished at pleasure under their successors, until the grand vizir Kioprili 17 Mustafa Pasha established three proportionate rates of payment, and ordered, that rayahs of the first class should pay annually ten piastres, those of middling fortunes six, and the poorer sort three piastres, and this regulation was generally observed. Motraye travelled in the Morea after it had been ceded to the Venetians by the treaty of Carlovitz, and heard the Greeks, as Sandys predicted that they would, regret the dominion of their former masters. "When we obeyed the Turks," said they, "we enjoyed all possible liberty on paying the moderate contribution of three or four crowns, which to the most opulent among us was never increased above ten. No greater burthens were imposed upon as either in peace or war, and on these terms we were indulged in the free exercise of our religion, and the practice of our respective professions14."

14"A Pégard de leurs femmes et de leurs filles, quelque riches qu'elles soient, elles en sont toujours exemptes, et leurs garçons ne le payent que lorsqu'ils sont censés en état de gagner leur vie." (See Voyages de M. de la Motraye, t.i, p.234,319.) "Quand le père d'un petit Grec veut chicaner, les percepteurs mesurent la tête de l'enfant avec une corde qui leur sert de toise; et comme ils peuvent raccourcir la corde à volonté, le pauvre Grec a toujours tort. Ces percepteurs sont des vieillards qui ont l'œil si exercé, qu'ils lisent la condition d'un homme sur sa physionomie. Jamais un seul raya ne leur échappe; mais ils ne demandent jamais deux fois le haratch au même individu.- Le taux du haratch varie suivant la richesse: (à Salonique) 1600 individus paient 11 piastres; 2500, 6 piastres; et 2000, 2 piastres 3/4." (Beaujour, Tab. du commerce de la Grèce, t.i, p.51.) "If a Christian or a Jew asks the mufti by a fetwa, how much tribute he is to pay yearly? he will be told, that according to the law of the koran, he is to pay but thirteen drachms of pure silver. But if, relying upon this, he refuses to comply with the other impositions laid upon him, he will immediately be seized, and the same mufti will justify by a fetwa the punishment which will be inflicted on him for his disobedience to the sultan's commands." (Cantemir, p.366, note 19.)

18 If the total produce of this tax could be accurately ascertained, it would still form but an unsteady basis, on which to found our calculations as to the number of the tributary subjects of the Turkish empire: for with respect to many districts, the contributions which are levied upon the rayahs and paid into the sultan's exchequer are invariably the same, whatever be the state of population, and are at this day equal in amount to what they were when they were first established on the conquest of the country. The price of each certificate consequently varies in proportion to the number of the tributary inhabitants of a district: accordingly we 19 find, on comparing the rate of the haratch in the island of Cyprus with that in the most fertile parts of Thessaly (which two places exhibit the extremes of population in Turkey), that while individuals in Cyprus are taxed twelve piastres, the rayahs of Thessaly pay only two piastres and a half per head. This, however, is not the case in the capital: the rayahs there have been denominated free and happy, when their condition has been compared with that of the tributary subjects who are placed at a greater distance from the centre of this vast monarchy. The payment of the legal taxes is indeed enforced with no less rigour than in the remotest provinces, but the more immediate presence of the sovereign protects the rayahs from extortions practised in the name, and under the authority, of government. The amount of the capitation tax is therefore levied on the inhabitants of the metropolis in its due and legal proportions, and being carried to account in the public registers conformably with the certificates issued, must represent with tolerable precision the state of the rayah population within the circuit or jurisdiction of the capital; and if it do not enable us to ascertain the number of the inhabitants, may at 20 least assist us in forming a judgment on the accuracy of results from other calculations. Now it has been asserted in a late publication, that the total population of the city of Constantinople does not amount to three hundred thousand souls, and this conclusion is said to be drawn from calculations founded on the a annual consumption of corn and cattle, the number of deaths within the city and the extent of ground which it occupies. But the same author asserts, that he has ascertained the receipts of the haratch in Constantinople and its environs to be two thousand nine hundred and sixteen purses, or about a million and a half of piastres; therefore, on taking six piastres as the medium contribution, and one rayah in four as subject to this tax, we shall find, that the number of tributary inhabitants alone, which is confessedly inferior to that of the Mahometans, amounts nearly to a million of souls. Again if we compare the result of the receipts of the haratch for Romelia and Anatolia with the total population of the empire, according to the statements of both as given by the same author, we shall be scarcely less astonished at the difference. The total of the revenues arising from the haratch is 21 asserted to be about twenty millions of piastres, which, according to the proportion before established, should correspond with a population of between thirteen and fourteen millions: but what a vast disagreement between this conclusion, which respects the rayahs alone, and the total population of the Ottoman empire, as estimated by the same author! "If we take it for granted," he says, "that there were fifty millions of people on the continent two centuries ago" (which indeed must be considered as the maximum of the population of Turkey when in its most flourishing state), "that the births are to the burials as twelve to ten, or that one in thirty-six die every year in the common course of mortality, or that the number of births to the living are as one to twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight, or any calculation more favourable to the increase of population, we shall still find the mortality occasioned by the plague, taken on an average, would reduce these fifty millions to little more than ten at this day15." But the 22 progress of depopulation, in countries so productive and so favourably situated as are those which compose the Ottoman empire, is infinitely over-rated in this calculation. The errors of government, to which even the existence of the plague is to be attributed, are combated and extenuated by the vigorous fecundity of nature: under the most faulty and depraved system of administration, a genial climate and a luxuriant soil animate the human race to bear up against tyranny and oppression; and in spite of all the excesses of arbitrary power, the intolerance of fanaticism, and the madness of superstition, the bounties of nature, diffused over the smiling vallies of Europe and of Asia, continue to encourage industry, to alleviate toil; and to charm, almost into the forgetfulness of misery, an inexhaustible succession of native inhabitants.

15See Survey of the Turkish empire, p.41, 45, 272, 279, 280, 283. I find, in Rigaud's généalogie du grand Turc, &c. p.46, the following notice of the rayah population in the Turkish empire in the fifteenth century. "On fit le compte au temps du Sulthan Baiazie, on trouuoit qu'il auoit sous son empire vn million cent et dix mille Chrestiens, payans tribut, sans les autres Chrestiens qui sont ses vassaulx, qui sont petits et ne sont point encores en aage de payer tribut."


The public treasury is also augmented by the produce of monopolies, as in the instance 23 of bread-corn, which the grand signor receives from the provinces, at a very low rate, and sells out in retail to the bakers, at such prices as he thinks proper to fix.

The general evils of vicious administration are augmented by the limitations which are imposed by government, not only on the exportation of native produce necessary for the support of life, but on its free circulation through the different parts of the Turkish empire: and no regulation is more injudicious than the arbitrary fixation of the price and other conditions of sale between the dealer and the purchaser. The corn-trade at Constantinople is under the inspection of the istambol effendi, a magistrate of the order of ulema, to whom are confided the ordinary government and civil jurisdiction of the metropolis: his naïb presides in the office called un capan, which is situated on the shore of the harbour between the Seraglio point and the Fanal. All ships loaded with grain, whether from the Black Sea or the Archipelago, discharge their cargoes at this wharf. The naïb keeps a register of the quantity delivered, and after fixing the price to the merchant, distributes the corn to the bakers in such quantities and on such terms as he judges 24 proper. Private monopolies are not tolerated; and indeed the primary motive of government in subjecting the corn trade to such pernicious regulations, was to prevent the evils arising from forestalling the necessary articles of human subsistence. No individual is therefore permitted to lay up corn in his magazines in order to resell it with greater profit, and there are not even any granaries or warehouses in Constantinople properly constructed for such speculations16. Among the many inconveniences of this system may be reckoned, the long detention of merchant vessels to the great detriment of their cargoes, the violent measures which are occasionally employed to compel the bakers to receive a larger quantify of corn then the sheds, which serve them instead of warehouses, are fitted to preserve from 25 injury, and the inevitable consequence of unwholesome bread being sometimes distributed to the public; not to mention the losses sustained, in the frequent fires which desolate the capital of the empire, from the destruction of great quantities of corn thus exposed in wooden buildings. Since the treaty of Kainargik, which opened the Black Sea to the commerce of foreign nations, vessels which have taken in cargoes from the Russian ports, or have loaded the produce of Hungary brought down the Danube, are allowed the free passage of the Bosphorus and the Hellespont, in order to convey their merchandize to the sea-ports of the Mediterranean, if it be not found advantageous to dispose of the cargoes to the miri at Constantinople. This privilege of treating with the miri, instead of being forced to submit to terms calculated only with a view to the convenience or benefit of government, is so important that I have known ships, which had surreptitiously loaded wheat, the produce of the Turkish provinces, sail to the Russian port of Odessa, and subject themselves to the delays and expenses of performing quarantine, paying the harbour fees and custom- house duties, for no other 26 purpose than to obtain a certificate of their cargo being the produce of Russia, and thereby rescuing it from the vexations and extortion of the officers of the Turkish miri.

16"Les Turcs sont aussi extrémement circonspects sur la vente des bleds. Il est défendi sur peine de la vie d'en transporter hors du pays, n'y même d'en vendre dans les maisons particulières, et pour empêcher que cela ne puisse arriver on met des gardes dans le marché public, qui n'en laissent point emporter à moins qu'on n'ait un billet du naïb ou lieutenant de police, qui ne permet jamais un achat de plus de quatre muids à la fois; et si un paysan étoit convaincu d'avoir vendu son bled à un Chrétien, il n'en seroit pas quitte pour cinq cens coups de bâton." (Dumont, Nouveau voyage au Levant, p.165. A la Haye, 1694.)

The provinces which are the most fertile in grain, such as Volo, Salonica, Rhodosto, Cara Aghatz, Varna, &c. are obliged to furnish to the officers of the grand signor quantity of wheat, equal to about the twelfth part of the produce of their harvests. This contribution is called istira: the officers commissioned to collect the emperor's dues (who are usually the capigi bashis, or chamberlains of his court) are called istiragi, or mubaïagi which signifies purchaser on public account. The istiragi, on receiving the corn from the proprietor, pays him a the rate of twenty paras for every killo (a measure containing about sixty pounds weight). The total quantity of corn thus purchased for the supply of the capital amounts to about a million of killoes annually. It is sent by sea to Constantinople and lodged in public granaries situated on the north side of the harbour near the arsenal. As this stock is considered to be a resource against times of scarcity, it is not distributed till it begins to be damaged, unless when it 27 can be sold with considerable benefit. Indeed, as the ordinary price of wheat is three or four piastres the killo, the advantage to government, after making ample allowance for the freight and charges, cannot, under any circumstances, be estimated at less than two or three millions of piastres17. The istiragi also derives considerable profit from his office: for though he is reimbursed by government only according to the same rate which he pays for the corn, so that he does not benefit by the price, he gains considerably by the measure, which is always heaped up when he receives the corn, and scanty when he delivers it into the sultan's granaries. He is besides authorized to receive, for his own account, and at the same rate as government, a quantity of wheat equal to the tenth part of the public istira; this he immediately resells at two piastres the killo, and consequently obtains a clear profit of three hundred per cent. These may be considered as the legal profits of his office; but, besides extorting money from the proprietors by harassing them with arbitrary exactions, 28 and forcing them to carry the amount of their contribution to the seaport at their own cost, the istiragi, in contempt of the duties of his office, generally sells a tenth or a fifteenth part of the public corn, for which he substitutes an equal quantity of barley, rye, or even chaff; and he frequently deteriorates the remaining corn by swelling it with sea water, or the vapour of boiling vinegar, in order to conceal his fraud. These and similar malversations are generally connived at by the superintending magistrates of the department; and they must be carried to a glaring excess indeed, before they bring down any punishment on the offender.

17Olivier (v.i, p.233) estimates the produce of this monopoly at ten thousand purses, or five millions of piastres.

Though punishment may remove a faithless steward, it by no means insures the fidelity of his successor; the excess of peculation is even resorted to as a precedent; the same nefarious practices are continued, and hence, as is generally observed in Constantinople, the corn served out by government is inferior in its quality and condition to that purchased from private merchants18.

18See Tableau Général, t.iv, p.220. Tab. du commerce de la Grèce, t.i, p.111.

The Turks, in imposing on the provinces 29 contribution of corn for the supply of the capital, did but adopt a custom which had received the sanction of both the Eastern end Western emperors. Africa poured out her rich harvests as an homage to her conquerors, and Constantine imposed on the industrious husbandmen of Egypt an annual tribute of corn, which served only to nourish a spirit of faction and licentiousness in the indolent populace of his new capital19.

19See Gibbon, v.iii, p.27.

The imposition of the istira is not in all cases to be considered as a peculiar hardship on the provinces liable to this contribution. The territory in Macedonia ceded by Murad the Second to his general Gazi Ghavrinos, as freed from every other tax or contribution, except that of the istira, and is transmitted to the descendants of this illustrious family with the same franchises. The Ghavrinos have so well supported the reputation of their great ancestor that, to this day, one of their family is commonly appointed istiragi of the district of Salonica, which comprises the territory situated chiefly between the Vardar and the Strymon.

I have instanced only the contribution of bread-corn; but the Turkish government 30 purchases in like manner, from several of the provinces, other necessary articles of consumption. In the spring of every year a company of purchasers, composed of Turks and Greeks, arrive in the two provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia, with firmans from the porte, and buy up, in the most vexatious and oppressive manner, five or six hundred thousand sheep, for the use of the corps of janizaries and the households of the sultan and his principal officers; others, under the name of capanli, authorized by letters of the grand vizir, purchase butter, cheese, wax, tallow, and smoked provisions, at their own price. In these two provinces, the fat of upwards of eighty thousand oxen, sheep and goats is melted down every year, to supply the capital with tallow. The wretched inhabitants are also forbidden to export their corn from any other ports than Galatz and Ibraïl on the Danube, where the Turkish merchants (chiefly the Lazes of Trebizond, a race of men infamous for their cruelty and injustice) make their purchases with less regard to honesty and good faith than even the agents of government20.

20See Osservazioni storiche, naturali, e politiche, intorno Ia Valachia, e Moldavia. Napoli, 1788. p.120-123.


31 The produce of mines is carried to the public treasury, or partially assigned, as in the instance of the copper mines of Diarbekir, to the use of the imperial establishments, the arsenals and founderies, at Constantinople. It is certain, that several of the chains of mountains, which bound or intersect the Turkish provinces, contain mines, not only of the useful, but of the precious, metals. The torrents which fall from the Transilvanian Alps, or Carpathian mountains, are impregnated with particles of different metals: the chinganehs, a race of gypsies who are very numerous in the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, collect, from the beds of the rivers, pellets of gold mixed with a small quantity of silver, by means of which they are enabled to pay into the prince's treasury the annual tribute of a drachm of gold imposed on each man. The ignorance of the people in the art of working mines with economy is perhaps one cause of the neglect with which the Ottomans appear to treat this source of wealth; but the chief obstacle to exploration is the rapacity of government, which would seize upon the advantages of any new discovery, and subject the provincialists to the unrecompensed 32 labour of opening the mines, and extracting the ore21.

21De Tott (v.ii, p.104) imputes to this cause the neglect of the gold mines of Tchadir dagh in the Crimea, which at that time acknowledged the sovereignty of the porte. "In molti siti (dei Monte Carpazzi) vi soni tutti gl'indizi di minerali; molte acque sono impregnate di particelli di diversi metalli; in tutti i fiumi si trovano pagliette d'oro mescolato con un poco d'argento, che sono raccolte dai zingari, essendo obbligato ogni uomo di costoro di portarne una dramma l'anno al tesoro del principe. Ultimamente nell'angolo della Moldavia che ora appartiene all' Imperatore" (cioè la Buccovina ceduta dalla Porta Ottomana alla casa d'Austria Panno 1776) "si sono poste in valore delle miniere di ferro." (Osservazioni storiche, naturali, e politiche intorno la Valachia, e Moldavia, p.109) For an account of the gold mines at Crenidæ in Macedonia, see Diodor. l.xvi, c.9, Justin, l.viii, c.3, or Gillies's History of ancient Greece, v.iv, p.34.

{escheats and forfeitures,}

It has already been observed, that the patronage of the whole empire annually reverts to the crown, and that all posts of dignity or emolument are conferred anew at the festival of baïram, according to purchase or favour: the advantages arising from this immense sale of offices cannot however be considered as a revenue to the state, since both the purchase-money and the fees on new appointments are distributed without passing through the public treasury22. In 33 like manner, the profits arising from the escheats and forfeitures of the lands held by the zaïms and timatiots are but indirectly advantageous to government, for though they relieve the state in some degree from the expense of paying its officers, they cannot be considered as a branch of revenue23. Confiscations, however, belong of right to the miri, or public treasury, as, with the exception of the janizaries and the ulema, every Mussulman subject, exercising an employment 34 of what nature soever under government, virtually stipulates, that the sovereign shall inherit the whole of his property at his death. The ulema may bequeath their property to their natural descendants. The company in which a janizary is enrolled inherits his effects. The coffer of each company is placed under the protection of the captain, lieutenant, commissary, and ensign: the monies thus collected are considered as a public fund, and are employed for the relief of the sick and aged, the ransom of captives, the purchase of tents, harness, and such implements as the service requires.

22De Tott says (v.i, p.83), that the grand signor stipulated, that his share of the profits, arising from the appointment of Bishop Calinico to the patriarchate of Constantinople, should be paid to himself in new sequins, and that he afterwards divided them with his niece. But some better authority than De Tott's seems requisite for giving credit to the secret history of the seraglio.

23Dr. Dallaway (p.37) says, that "the officers of state have neither salary nor pension."-Mr. Eton (Schedule, No.2) even subjects the vizir and other ministers to the annual payment of 1800 purses for their offices. Cantemir (p.147) asserts, from his own knowledge, that the defterdar effendi receives 200,000 imperials, and pays 50,000 to the officer of his department immediately under him, kietchuda bey. But the grand vizir, he says, may justly get every year six hundred thousand imperials, exclusively of presents. Rycaut (p.57) instances a reïs effendi, who was executed for some conspiracy against the grand vizir, and left so great a treasure arising from the emoluments of his office (all of which was confiscated to the grand signor) that it would have been sufficient to enrich and raise his prince, had he been impoverished, and in a declining condition. -See also Tab. Gén. t.ii, p.539).

This law of confiscation, which is so repugnant to the usages of other nations that it appears more like the outrage of tyranny than the calm proceeding of regular government, is not, however, different from those which prevailed in Europe when fiefs were not hereditary24. In Turkey no one questions the justice of it. Those who accept of office tacitly acknowledge the right of the sovereign to dispose of their places, their property, and their lives. The greatest part of 35 of the wealth of the nation must consequently pass through the coffers of government in the course of a single generation; and though the receipts of each year taken separately may vary considerably, yet the amount of a certain number of years must be uniform, and may be calculated with tolerable precision in estimating the revenues of the Turkish exchequer25.

24See Voltaire, essai sur les mœurs, chap.xciii, t.xvii, p.451.

25Marsigli (whose account of the revenues of the Ottoman empire, t.i, p.52,55, is very confused and inaccurate) says, that the wealth of pashas, on their decease of deposition, passes into the coffer destined to supply the private wants of the sultan, which is under the care of the haznadar bashi, or sultan's private treasurer, a black eunuch of the seraglio. I have ventured to contradict him from my own experience, as I have observed in many instances, that property lapsing to government by confiscation or inheritance is always seized upon in the name of the miri.

In all cases, whether of confiscation or inheritance, the property of the wife or the widow is considered as belonging to her exclusively, and is not transferred to the public use. A Mussulman, holding no administrative nor military appointment under government, is allowed to dispose of his possessions by will: if he has children or relations he is compelled by the law to leave two thirds of his property to them; but if he has no heirs, 36 he may then dispose, to whom and in such manner as he pleases, of the whole of his personal property, and of such part of his real property, as is termed mulk, or free, in opposition to vacuf, or that which is mortgaged to religious uses. On the death of any person, who has left no will and whose legitimate heirs are unknown, the miri interferes, and holds the unclaimed property in behalf of the absent or unknown proprietors. There is, however, a want of precision, if not in the letter of the law, at least in the usual course of proceeding, especially in the concerns of the rayahs; for I have known the property of Armenian subjects forcibly taken from them during their lifetime, and disposed of to other persons, or seized upon at their death to the exclusion of the widow and orphans26.

26The instances to which I more particularly allude, are those of a rich Armenian banker of the name of Sakka Oglu, whose widow was stripped of all her husband's property because he had left no children. Another Armenian banker named Rafaël Murat, with whom I was acquainted, lost his house in the fire at Pera in 1799. An Italian physician of the name of Ruini, knowing, that Murat, because of great losses which he had sustained, could not immediately rebuild his house, asked a grant of the ground from Tchelebi Effendi, whose family he attended, and built a house upon it for himself, in contempt of common honesty, and in spite of the reclamations of the injured rayah.


37 The mint is under the direction of the zarpkana eimini, who farms the bullion at rate of delivering a certain number of purses daily into the treasury: it is consequently a profit to the state. The alteration and debasement of the coin were long since resorted to as a branch of revenue by the Ottoman sultans. I learned from a Polish merchant at Lemberg in Galicia, that the Turkish coin which he received from Moldavia as remittance in the year 1797, contained only fifteen thirty-second parts of pure silver; and it has been since further adulterated every year27.

27Dr. Wittman (Travels, p.37,367) says, that the silver coin of Constantinople contains thirty hundredth parts of pure silver, and that of Caire only twenty-five.-At the time when Theodorus Spanduginus wrote his account of Turkey (soon after the year 1500), 8 pieces of the copper coin called mangur were equal in value to a silver asper: 4 aspers to 1 drachm: 9 drachms or 36 aspers to a German thaler: the sultania (a gold coin containing 45 aspers) was equal in weight and in fineness to the Venetian sequin.-When Leunclavius wrote his Pandects, the prices of things, he says, had increased so much, in consequence of the burthens of the Persian war and other causes, that after the lapse of forty of fifty years, 1 asper was exchanged for 24 mangurs; 5 aspers made 1 drachm; 12 drachms a German thaler; one thaler and an half, a Venetian sequin or 90 aspers. So that 1 drachm of 5 aspers was equal to 6 kreutzers; 10 drachms or 50 aspers to 1 florin; 12 drachms or 60 aspers to 1 thaler; and very soon after the thaler rose even to 80 aspers. (See Leunclavius's treatise "de variis monetis" in Elzevir's collection, p.178. See also another, and different, estimation of the Turkish coins, in p.228, by Lazarus Soranzus.)-Marsigli (in his chapter delle monete d'oro, d'argento, e di rame, che si battono d'entro l'impèro Ottomanno, t.i, p.45) says, that mangurs and ghediks are the only copper money in use: the silver coin consists of aspers, paras, beshliks, onliks, and solottas (or piastres): the sherifs (or ducats) are of gold. The following table will show their relative value: 4 mangurs make 1 asper, 3 aspers 1 para, (beshlik expresses five, and onlik ten aspers) 80 aspers 1 solotta, 270 aspers an Hungarian ducat.-The money at present in use in the Turkish empire is divided into paras, and gurush (or piastres) which consist of forty paras. The coin bears no other impression than that of the titles of the reigning sultan, the date of the year of the Hegira, and the name of the city where it was struck. According to the present rates fifteen piastres per pound sterling may be considered as the par of exchange.

38 The Ottoman government is not sufficiently enlightened to perceive the inconvenience and injury which commerce sustains by such continual fluctuation in the value of the common standard. When the vizir Kioprili held the reins of government, he was advised by certain Christians to coin mangurs of an inferior intrinsic value to those at that time in currency, and to give them a higher value in circulation, ordering, that two mangurs should be received for an asper. By these means he relieved the state from its temporary embarrassments, but introduced 39 at the same time so much confusion among the dealings of the people that the populace and military of Constantinople were forced into insurrection28. The treasury derived a further profit from establishing two different rates for receiving, and issuing, payments. In the payment of tribute from the provinces the rix dollar was passed only at eighty aspers, but was reckoned at a hundred and twenty aspers in all disbursements of the public money. The profit to the state was, however, momentary and illusory; but ministers amassed wealth, and the subjects were ruined.

28"Me presente," says Marsigli, from whose work (t.i, p.46) I have extracted the passage.


The tribute paid by the princes, or vaivodas, of Wallachia and Moldavia may be considered as a substitute for the territorial impost, the haratch and all other taxes: it is annually paid into the miri or public treasury. The tribute is, however, but a small part of the contributions exacted from both principalities. The yearly purchase of the confirmation of the princes authority, the presents at baïram to the sultan and the officers of the porte, and the expenses of maintaining agents to counteract the schemes 40 of their rivals, and maintain their influence with the ministry and the courtiers, absorb the greatest part of the revenues29. The tribute originally stipulated to be paid by the principality of Moldavia, which voluntarily submitted itself to the sultans, was four thousand crowns; but the great disparity between the contracting parties, and the want of a guarantee to the treaty, consequently left the Moldavians at the mercy of a master. The tribute in the year 1770 was only sixty-five thousand piastres, while the presents which accompanied it exceeded half a million. Wallachia was reduced by the arms of the Ottomans: its subjection is not, however, more galling than that of Moldavia: the tribute in the year 1782 amounted to three hundred thousand piastres, and together with the indirect expenses and the charges of administration, bore nearly the same proportion to the total expenditure of the principality, as those of Moldavia30. The little republic of Ragusa, a 41 town in Dalmatia, anciently called Epidaurus, foresaw the greatness of the Ottoman power while yet in its infancy, and sent ambassadors to Sultan Orkhan desiring to become his tributaries, and to receive his powerful protection. It has flourished for centuries under the protection of the porte: for the treaty has been religiously observed by the Turks. It pays a annual tribute of twelve thousand five hundred sequins in token of submission, which has never been augmented, nor have the privileges and immunities granted them, been infringed31.

29"Vallachorum, Moldarumque principes-tributa pendunt, pecuniaque comparatas dignitates pecunia tueri coguntur, unde maximis semper conflictantur curis, ne artibus iisdem a se feliciter in antecessores expertis, a provincia extrudantur, et nova onera subire vel ob calumnias perire compellantur." Montalban. ap. Elzevir. p.21.)

30See Cantemir, p.186,187,188. Prince Cantemir governed Moldavia, and therefore must have written this part of his history with a perfect knowledge of the subject: he feelingly says, "that though at present there are paid into the imperial treasury sixty thousand crowns by way of tribute, and twenty-four thousand as an Easter offering, many more are exacted by these insatiable blood-suckers. For as there is no law against avarice, so there is no end of the Turkish demands and extortions. All depends on the will of the prime vizir, and to make any remonstrance against his pleasure is deemed capital."-See also Osservazioni storiche, naturali, e politiche, intorno la Valachia, e Moldavia, p.185, 199.-Rycaut, Present state of the Ottoman empire, chap.xiv.-Marsigli (t.i, p.55) says, that the tributes of Wallachia and Moldavia are not mentioned in the canon nameh because they are chiefly designed as perquisites of office to the vizir. He estimates the part which is paid into the treasury at 820 purses.

31Rycaut, p.65.

An important branch of revenue, which it 42 is however difficult to calculate with precision, is a tax upon certain provinces which is levied in kind. The object of it, so far as regards the public, is to provide materials for keeping up the navy; besides furnishing stores and provisions necessary for the service of the sultan's household. The benefit which the treasury derives from this source has been estimated at two thousand purses; but when it is considered, that almost all the materials necessary for the arsenal are procured by contributions of this nature from the provinces, and that the dock-yards and store-rooms are so abundantly provided as to excite the admiration of strangers, it is evident, that the means of keeping on foot a navy, consisting of fifteen ships of the line and as many frigates, are by no means overrated by Marsigli at a million of piastres32.

32The district called Kogia, situated on the gulf of Ismit in the Propontis, sends 21,000 pieces of timber. Smyrna, Salonica, and the Asiatic provinces on the Black Sea, 12,050 kintals of hemp (each kintal weighing 120 pounds). Cairo 1000 kintals of tow, 100 jars of lintseed oil, 2000 pieces of sail-cloth, and 40 kintals of sewing twine. Athens 1500 ells of sail-cloth. Samakoff (on the Black Sea) 1895 kintals of bar iron. Salonica 2000 ells of woollen cloth (which was formerly used in making awnings for the gallies). Karaboghaz, Boli, and Isnic, 2430 oars for the gallies, and 5200 kintals of boxwood. Sultania and Osar 500 kintals of tar, &c. (See Marsigli, t.i, p.52,56,150; t.ii, p.179.) "Je parcourus successivement la salle des coupes, située dans le jour le plus favorable pour les desseins en grand qu'on y exécute; je pus me convaincre de l'état des chantiers qui étoient parfaitement approvisionnés, aussi bien que les magazins de la marine. On s'étonne comment la Porte, sans plan de finances, avec des revenus que les révoltes des pachas rendent incertains, fait face à ses dépenses, sans former d'emprunt." (Pouqueville, Voyages en Morée, &c. t.ii, p.210.)

{Expenditure of the public treasure.}

43 The treasure thus collected, over which the defterdar effendi presides, is called beïthul-mali musliminn, or the public money of the Mussulmans, no part of which the emperor himself can expend without the most urgent necessity, or apply to his own private use without danger33. The law is so strict in this respect that it is not even permitted to the sultan to appropriate to pious uses any part of the money consecrated to the necessities 44 of the state. It is for this reason, that the imperial mosques are founded chiefly by sultans who have obtained victories and made conquests, and who are therefore presumed to devote the spoils of war, gained from enemies of their religion, to the service of public worship, the instruction of youth, and the relief of the poor. This is invariably the case with respect to all the imperial mosques built within the walls of Constantinople. The sultans, who, not having merited the surname of gazi, or conquerour, are yet desirous of perpetuating their memory by founding a mosque from the savings of their household expenses, usually build it in Scutari on the opposite coast of Asia, or in some other city in the neighbourhood of the imperial residence.

33It has been asked, in what manner this separation is kept up, and how a prince so absolute as the grand signor is prevented from viewing the whole treasure as hazné? The answer is obvious; for as the sums issued from the miriare for the pay of the soldiery and the public and present occasions of the empire (see Rycaut, chap.ix), the sultan dares not misapply them; or when he does so, the people always murmur, and sometimes openly rebel. (See Cantemir, p. 170, note 53.) Mignot (Hist. Ottom. t.ii, p. 396) relates, that Mustafa the First was accused of having dissipated the public treasures, and was deposed after a reign of three months. "La crainte d'être déposé est un plus grand frein pour les empereurs turcs que toutes les lois de l'alcoran." (Voltaire, t.xvii, p.453.)

The disbursements of the miri chiefly relate to the military stipends of the capiculy and their dependencies, the salaries and maintenance of the officers and workmen of the arsenal, and the purchase of such materials or stores as are necessary for the building, repairing, or equipment of vessels, which the country does not furnish, nor the skill of the inhabitants enable them to manufacture. The tershana eimini, or steward of the 45 arsenal, has the care of providing all necessaries for the navy, and superintends the receipts and expenditures, as the tophana nazeri regulates all the expenses of the ordinance. The miri also provides for the fortifying or keeping in repair the walls and buildings necessary for fhe defence of the capital, besides a variety of current expenses34.

34Mr. Griffiths has copied "from the estimable labours of his friend Mr. Eton" thirteen quarto pages on the subject of the Turkish finances. Such undistinguishing commendation, as it gives no additional importance to those labours, does not deter me from observing, that his schedule of the annual expenditure is equally liable to objection with that of the revenues. "The expenditure of the miri," he says (p.40), "embraces a variety of objects, viz. the expenses of the army and navy, in war as well as peace; the pay of all officers, civil and military; the erecting and repairing of fortifications, of public edifices, high roads, bridges, &c. together with a great part of the expenses of the sultan's household, and several other extraordinary disbursements." I avoid as superfluous the pointing out with how many restrictions each of these assertions is to be received; and I shall only observe, that, in the more detailed account of the annual expenditure of the miri (p.48), there appears to me the insertion of a wilful error:- the pay of the garrison at Viddin is put down at 1250 purses, that of all the other fortresses in the Ottoman empire 18,000, besides the pay of those who guard the Danube 3521.- But why is Viddin, a fortress on the Danube, thus distinguished from all the other fortresses in the Ottoman empire? Viddin is not a frontier garrison of singular importance in the ordinary state of affairs in Turkey; but Viddin, at the time when Mr. Eton published his work, was noised in Europe because of the rebellion of Passwan Oglu.

{Sultan's revenues, fixed and casual.}

46 The treasure called ich hazné, which is devoted to the private use of the sultan, is administered by the officers of his household. The imperial domains, hass humaïun, furnish the fixed part of this revenue, and it has other eventual sources of augmentation. The sultan condescends to accept presents from his servants on certain festivals, or on occasion of great solemnities, such as the birth or circumcision of a son35. On the nomination to great offices he receives, under the name of peshkesh or gift, a pecuniary homage, proportioned to the dignity conferred. It is a common opinion, that the sultan's revenues are so ample as to enable him, after providing for all the expenses of the court and household, to lay aside a considerable sum of money every year; and we are even told by respectable authors, that "after the death 47 of every sultan, the treasure so amassed is inclosed in a certain chamber shut with an iron gate, the key-hole of which is stopped with lead, and over the gate is written in letters of gold, the treasure of such a sultan." I am unwilling to believe the assertion, though unable to contradict it on the authority of more correct information obtained by my own inquiries36. This however may safely 48 be credited, that there can never be a deficiency in the sultan's treasury, nor can it ever be found inadequate to the purposes of its establishment, so long as it is carefully guarded from dilapidation on the part of the administrators, and the state continues free from public commotions, which alone can prevent the collection, and retard the remittance, of the revenues. Its riches are not to be estimated by the amount of its receipts in specie. The purveyances which are exacted from the provinces comprehend every article of provision, sufficient for the numerous train of attendants attached to the court. Egypt sends an ample contribution of rice, sugar, coffee, drugs, and spices, from the produce of its own fields, or the commerce of Arabia and India. The mastic produced in Scio, which is so considerable as to give its name sakis to the island, is reserved for the use of the seraglio and the harem, with the exception of that part only which is 49 allowed to the Turkish collectors and officers. It may be asserted, that the supplies from the provinces are such that nothing which the empire produces is ever bought with money for the service of the seraglio.

35"Il est d'usage d'envoyer, en ces occasions, des lettres circulaires aux paschas, aux gouverneurs, aux intendana, aux magistrats de toutes les provinces et de toutes les grandes villes de l'empire. Par ces lettres, le sultan leur fait part de la cérémonie et les invite à s'y trouver. Ils y assistent en effet par des substituts qui, ce jour-là, les représentent à la cour, et font en leurnom de riches présens au jeune prince, en signe d'hommage et de servitude."(Tab. Gé. t.ii, p.289.) Cantemir (p.281) estimates the presents, sent to the emperors on the circumcision of their sons, as equal to half the yearly tribute of the empire.

36See Rycaut, Present state of the Ottoman empire, p.57.- I may indeed appeal to the respectable authority of the Venetian ambassador, who, in his memoir to the senate, when speaking on the subject of the sultan's treasure, says, in opposition to the vulgar report of their being an annual saving of two millions of sequins. "Quæ res parum credibilis mihi visa est, quia rex ille in toto suo imperio nullas habet aurifodinas, et ab ejus ministris repugnantia intellexi." (De urbe Constant. et imp. Turc. relatio incerti apud Honorium, in Turc. imp. statu, ap. Elzevir. p.128.) It would appear, from the credulity with which the most improbable stories are received by the most sensible men, that a longer residence in a country than a traveller usually allows himself, is necessary to familiarize him with foreign customs, so as even to enable him to draw pure information from the best sources. Lord Sandwich, the posthumous publication of whose voyage round the Mediterranean is honourable to his memory, and ranks him in the first class of travellers in Turkey, has notwithstanding admitted, without hesitation, an account of the sultan's private property, which surpasses belief. "To conceive," says his Lordship, "the almost incredible value of this immense treasure, it will be necessary to figure to oneself the vast riches of the whole series of the Greek emperors, which, together with their capital, fell into the hands of Sultan Mahomet; as also the wealth of the many conquered provinces, annexed to the Turkish empire, besides all the magnificent presents, that have, for these many ages, been made by different sovereigns, who have been desirous of paying their court to the chiefs of this powerful monarchy; which, being daily increased by the continual forfeitures of the pashas and vizirs, must undoubtedly constitute a treasure of an inestimable value." (Voyage round the Mediterranean, in the years 1738 and 1739, p.175.)

The establishment of the female branches of the imperial family is, in a great degree, imposed upon the vizirs or pashas who are honoured by an alliance with their master. The mother of the sultan supports her dignity by an appanage adequate to her rank. The administration of it is confided to an officer of importance in the state, under the name of validé kiahyasi (steward to the empress dowager). Her revenues are called pashmaklik (sandal money), and consist of streets in the metropolis or provincial cities, of towns, villages, and islands, throughout the whole empire. All the taxes and dues of the domains thus set apart for the maintenance of the sultanas are annually rented to the best bidder among private purchasers. In these districts the pasha of the province exercises no authority, except so far as regards the general police; since the revenues belong exclusively to the sultanas, and are collected by the farmers, who are generally the vaivodas or magistrates. The inhabitants 50 are not however exempt from taxation in case of extraordinary impositions, or war-taxes levied by order of government.

{Nizami djedid.}

Attempts have been made, since the establishment of the nizami djedid by the imposition of an excise tax, to improve the vast financial resources of the empire. This tax was created in order to produce a fund for the support of the great addition to the standing military force; a plan which has been first carried into execution by the present sultan. But whether from the want of clear views on the subject, or from the general aversion of the Turks to innovation, much disgust has been excited, and even insurrection. The scheme, however, is not yet abandoned, although it has by no means acquired solidity; but the standing army of the sultan, which is slowly improving in discipline, can alone give vigour to the system37.

37According to the regulations of the nizami djedid, every head of lesser cattle is taxed a para, an ox pays a piastre, wine two paras the oke (a quantity equal to two pounds and three quarters English), raki, or brandy, four paras the oke: and in like proportion the excise law extends to every object of stock and production.




Greatness and extent of the Turkish dominion.- Alarm of Christendom.- Consequences of the invention of gunpowder.- System of Turkish government over the tributary subjects,-and over Mussulmans.- Partition of lands to the conquerors.- Sources of revenue.- Inefficiency of the military system.- Considerations on the probable destinies of the Turks;-on the justice or policy of expelling them from Europe;-on the emancipation of the Greeks.- The modern compared with the ancient Greeks;- the Athenians, and the Spartans.- Causes of the superiority of the ancient Greeks,-and of the decline of the national spirit.- Character of the modern Greeks.- Apprehensions of the Turks from the power of Russia.- History of the first war with the czar of Muscovy.- Consequences of the conquest of Turkey to Russia,-to the other states of Europe, and to the Ottoman subjects.- Russian church.- Russian government.- Examination of the arguments for dispossessing the Turks.- Remoteness of amelioration.

{Greatness and extent of the Turkish dominion.}

51 ABOUT two centuries ago the historian Knolles contemplated the mighty power of the Ottomans sovereigns, when they united under their sceptre the empires of the Saracens 52 and Greeks, and had subjected part of Hungary and Persia. "If you consider," says he, "its beginning, progress and uninterrupted success, there is nothing in the world more admirable and strange; if the greatness and lustre thereof, nothing more magnificent and glorious; if the power and strength thereof, nothing more dreadful or dangerous; which, wondering at nothing but the beauty of itself, and drunk with the pleasant wine of perpetual felicity, holdeth all the rest of the world in scorn1."

1Knolles's preface to the history of the Turks.

{Alarm of Christendom.}

Busbequius, ambassador from the emperor Ferdinand the First, had before been aware of the danger which threatened Germany and all Christendom, and, in the true spirit of patriotism, had endeavoured to rouse his countrymen to sense of their situation. "We are not called upon to resist enemies of the same stamp with ourselves: the blind may contend with the blind, and their common errors may pass unobserved: but we have now to oppose the Turks, a vigilant, industrious, sober, and disciplined enemy, inured to military labour, skilful in tactics, and obedient to the rigours of service. Led on by these virtues, and forcing their way through desolated empires, 53 they have subdued every thing from the frontiers of Persia, and, trampling over the mangled bodies of hostile sovereigns and their subjects, have reached the frontiers of Austria, and threaten Vienna itself.2" Sandys, who travelled through Turkey and Egypt during the reign of Ahmed the First, expresses less apprehension; "for surely," says he, "it is to be hoped, that their greatness is not only at the height, but near an extreme precipitation: the body being grown too monstrous for the head; the sultans unwarlike; the soldiers corrupted with case, wine, and women; their valour now meeting opposition; and empire so got, when it ceaseth to increase, doth begin to diminish.3." It would be rash, at this distance of time, to controvert the opinion of a traveller so respectable, and who was an eye-witness of the facts from which he has drawn his conclusions; but the Turkish power, at the commencement of the seventeenth century, had not reached its highest pitch of elevation. Ahmed, himself a warrior, was succeeded by other warlike sultans; and the Ottoman armies continued to bear down the 54 opposition of European valour, till the gallant Sobieski forced them to abandon their ill-omened siege of Vienna, and changed the destinies of the world4. The latent cause of the failure of their extensive plans of conquest are to be traced in the history of remote nations and preceding ages: these were silently maturing in the sequestered cells and studious labours of Christian monks, even during the full blaze of their meridian splendour, and amidst their triumphs over the worship of Christ5.

2Busbeq. de re militari contra Turcam instituenda consilium.

3Sandys's Travels, p.51. ed.1627.

4Cantemir's Ottoman history, p.310.

5Bartholomew Schwartz, a German monk, is commonly said to have invented gunpowder in the year 1320, though it is certainly known, that this composition is described in a treatise written by Roger Bacon about the year 1280.

{Consequences of the invention of gunpowder.}

Mahomet the Second, during the siege which terminated in the conquest of Constantinople, employed modern artillery, the secret of which had been revealed to him by a Dane, or Hungarian, of the name of Urban6. But, whatever fugitive advantages the Turks may have derived from this auxiliary, the invention of gunpowder may be considered as the principal obstacle to the progress of the Turkish power, and the chief cause of its decline.

6Gibbon, v.xii, p.197.

55 From the heroic ages to the days of chivalry, bodily strength and skill in the use of arms had constituted the perfect soldier. But, though art and tactics gave a disciplined army a prodigious advantage over multitudes without order, and courage without skill, and though experience, even then, had shown, that the event of a battle depended more on intellectual sagacity than on corporeal exertions, yet war was less a science: it could neither be studied in privacy and retirement, nor could a nation long maintain its martial vigour under the debilitating influence of repose, nor retain a familiarity with military exercises sufficient for any perilous emergency. The interval of peace between the first and second Punic wars rendered the Romans inferior to the Carthaginians, and the luxuries of Italy in a short time enervated the victorious armies of Hannibal. But, on the discovery of gunpowder and the introduction of fire-arms, the boiling courage, whether the effect of physical or moral causes, whether from strong nerves and high spirits, from the heat of patriotism, or the effervescence of fanaticism, which before had given to one soldier a superiority over another; the excess of bodily strength, which alone, in 56 some instances, had constituted the hero; lost their advantages: and a steady and obedient courage on the part of the men, coolness and deliberation on the part of the officers, became the virtues of the soldier. The efforts of individual heroism and the thirst for personal distinction, which were formerly encouraged and had produced such great and surprising effects, were now to be moderated and restrained; and it became erroneous or criminal to overstep the line which was traced out for the general conduct. The impetuosity of the Turkish soldiers could ill brook such restraints; and the feeling of individual worth concurred with the memory of their illustrious ancestors to endear their ancient habits and modes of warfare. They possessed the adventurous, though not the gallant, spirit of chivalry, and, like the knights-errant, regretted, that personal prowess was made subservient to an invention which gave to artifice and cowardice an advantage over bravery and skill7. Busbequius noticed the 57 aversion of the Turks from the use of fire-arms, and their preference of ancient weapons, but when he wrote, he could not foresee the evils which their prejudices have occasioned.

7Ariosto has transmitted to us their sentiments in his beautiful poem of Orlando Furioso. He represents his hero as having rescued the dominions of Olimpia, a princess of Friza, from the usurpation of Cymosco, who had baffled the efforts of former adventures by the superiority of his newly invented weapons. Orlando however defeated him, and bore away his musquet as a trophy; not to use it, but to bury it in the sea, and to remove it from human research. L'intenzion, non già, perchè lo tolle,
Fu per voglia d'usarlo in sua difesa,
Che sempre atto stimò d'animo molle
Gir con vantaggio in qual si voglia impresa;
Ma per gittarlo in parte, onde non volle
Che mai potesse as uom più fare offesa.
E la polve, e le palle, e tutto il resto
Seco portò, che apparteneva à questo. (Canto nono.)
His execrations against the invention, which were repeated by Don Quixote in terms equally bitter, are characteristic of the spirit of chivalry. O maladetto, o abbominoso ordigno;
Che fabbricato nel tartareo fordo
Fosti per man di Belzebù maligno,
Che ruinar per te disegnò il mondo.
All' inferno, onde uscisti, ti rassegno. (Stanza 91.)

A Dalmatian horseman (one of those called by the Turks delhi, from their intemperate courage or rashness) rode express to Constantinople, and reported to the divan the unfortunate result of an incursion into Croatia, where two thousand five hundred Turks had been surprised by a party of five hundred musqueteers, and routed with great slaughter. 58 The Ottoman pride was more affected by the dishonour which the arms of Soliman had sustained than by the loss of troops, who, the divan supposed, had acted in a manner unworthy of the Turkish name. "Have I failed in making myself understood?" the delhi, unmoved at the reproach. "Do not you hear, that we were overpowered by musquetry? We were routed by the force of fire, and not by the bravery of the enemy. The event of the battle would have been very different if it had been really a contest courage: but they took fire to their aid, and we acknowledge ourselves to have been conquered by its violence. Fire is one of the elements, and indeed the most powerful; and what is the strength of man, that it should resist the shock of the elements?" "Hence," says Busbequius, "I learned, that the small arms used by our cavalry are peculiarly formidable to the Turks8."

8"Idem usu venire audio Persis. Ex quo fuit non nemo, qui suaderet Rustano, ad bellum adversus Persas cum suo rege proficiscenti, ut turmam ducentorum equitum ex suis domesticis institutam sclopetis armaret, magno terrori futuram hostibus, et stragem magnam facturam. Nec consilium aspernatus Rustanus eam turmam instituit, sclopetis instruit, curat exercendam. Sed nondum dimidiam partem itineris confecerant, cum aliud ad sclopeti usum necessarium deficere cœpit. Amittebatur qoutidie aliquid aut frangebatur, raris qui possent reficere. Sic bona sclopetorum pars jam inutilis reddita erat: et cum ea de causa pœnitebat ejus teli, tum quod munditiei, cui valde student Turcæ, adversabatur, conspiciebantur manibus fuligine infectis, vestitu maculoso, informibus thecis et pyxidibus undique pendulis, ut risui essent commilitonibus, et ab eis per ludibrium medicamentarii vocitarentur, ita cum nec sibi nec aliis cum hoc habitu placerent, Rustanum circumsistunt: mancos et inutiles sclopetos proferunt: quemnam ex his fructum speret, ubi ad hostes ventum sit: rogant ut se illis deoneret, arma reddat usitata. Re diligenter considerata, non putavit causam esse Rustanus ut refragaretur. Sic cum bona ejus venia sagittas et arcus resumpserunt." (Busbeq. Epist. iii, p.132.)


While discipline and attention to the military exercises could insure success in war, the Turks were the first of military nations. When the whole art of war was changed, and victory or defeat became matter of calculation, the rude and illiterate Turkish warriors experienced the fatal consequences of ignorance, without suspecting the cause. Accustomed to employ no other means than force, they sunk into despondency when force could no longer avail; and, having now almost abandoned the hope of recovery, they present to their own astonishment, and to the mockery of Europe, "the mighty shadow of unreal power."

{System of Turkish government over the tributary subjects,}

Their system of government was still less scientific than that of their warfare. To constitute a community, interested in the 60 preservation of the empire, from the various and discordant classes of people comprehended in its vast extent, was a task which called for a genius of the highest order, for the most profound acquaintance with human affairs, and the most extensive knowledge of mankind. To harmonize them was not, however, the wish of the Ottoman legislators. "The bended head," according to a maxim of Turkish justice, "is not to be struck off9." But, though submission to their power averted the stroke of death, nothing short of embracing the religion of their prophet could exonerate the vanquished from fines and personal subjection. The conquered people, if they obstinately refused the offer of conversion, became, together with their possessions, their industry, and their posterity, virtually the property of their masters. "Their substance," says the law, "is as our substance; their eye as our eye; their life as our life10." 61 In such a state of subjection their claim to justice and security was precarious, and their lives and fortunes were made subservient to the necessities of the state, and the interests of the superior and privileged class, who strove by every means, however injurious and insulting to their feelings, to suppress, instead of exciting their energies, to debilitate their minds to the level of slavery, and to insure their submission to the forms of government established by themselves. The state haughtily rejected their active services; as, at best, they must be languid in its defence, or more probably hostile to its cause11

9Cantemir, p.72.

10Cantemir, p.276. It was asked of the mufti, "if eleven Mussulmans, without just cause, kill an infidel who is a subject of the emperor and pays tribute, what is to be done?" The mufti subscribed with his own hand, "though the Mussulmans should be a thousand and one, let them all die." (Cant. p.183.) But it may truly be said, "quid leges, sine moribus?" for the protection of the law avails nothing to the oppressed infidel.

11In judging of the exercise of government in Turkey, it is necessary to bear in mind this great political distinction of Turks and rayahs. It is evident, that the government should be considered as it is exercised over the natural subjects or Turks, and not over the aliens or rayahs. It would be unjust to characterize the Spartan government only from its treatment of the Helotea.

{and over Mussulmans.}

The Turks, on the contrary, were attached to the constitution by every motive which fanaticism or self-interest could urge: favourites of heaven, and lords of the earth; the infidel tributary subjects were sacrificed without scruple to the interest, the convenience, or the caprice of the faithful. The precepts 62 of the koran, and the decrees of the sultan secured to the Turkish subjects equal right to all posts of trust or dignity, equal justice, and the undisturbed enjoyment of the fruits of rapine or of industry. The public force was lodged in the bands of the Mussulman people; and frequent examples occur in history of their having directed it against the heads of the state or the church, when they apprehended injustice, or felt oppression. Party rage has led them to acts of violence, and even rebellion, against their legal sovereign; but to change or new-model the system of government, could never have entered into the minds of men who acknowledge no superiority but that of official rank, to which all may hope to attain, and who lord it over the subjected rayahs, every one in his own sphere, with undisputed, and almost uncontrolled authority.

{Partition of lands to the conquerors.}

The empire, like one great manor, was parcelled out according to feudal usages; and all the natural and improvable advantages of soil, climate, and productions, were held out as incitements to their warriors, from their captains of thousands and captains of hundreds to the private volunteers, as a foretaste of the sweets of paradise to those who 63 had not obtained martyrdom in the propagation of their faith and the extension of their power. These military tenures, on the death of the incumbents, lapsed to the crown; and, as under no circumstances, except in the possessions of the church, the grants were hereditary, there could be no thought of a distant futurity, no care for the posterity of a stranger; the hope of preserving, or the desire of improving estates was confined to the term of a single life; and all ate and drank, to exhaustion and impoverishment, for on the morrow they were to die12.

12See Rycaut, p.78. Mignot, t.i, p.394. Pouqueville, however (t.i, p.358), seems to draw a different conclusion from the institution of timars: though the fact may be, that, as property of this kind is still less precarious than that which is not so assigned, the only ameliorations, if they can deserve the name, which are observable throughout the Turkish empire, may be on the estates of the feudal proprietors. "The Turks," says Olivier, "enjoy every where with the indifference of tenants." Busbequius too observed, on passing through Buda, the capital of Hungary, that the Turks suffered the palaces which they inhabited to fall into decay, without troubling themselves about even necessary repairs. "Ils bâtissent le moins qu'ils peuvent; ils ne réparent jamais rien: un mur menace ruine, ils l'étaient; il s'éboule, ce sont quelques chambres de moins dans la maison; ils s'arrangent à côté des décombres: l'édifice tombe enfin, ils en abandonnent le sol, ou, s'ils sont obligés d'en déblayer l'emplacement, ils n'emportent les plâtras que le moins loin qu'ils peuvent." (Denon, t.i, p.198.)

{Sources of revenue.}

64 The spoils of war, the contributions from the natural riches of the country and from the industry of the rayahs, which, however, was much repressed by the uncertain enjoyment of their acquisitions, furnished government with the means of supporting all its establishments, whether of utility, of luxury, or splendour: but the financial operations were as rudely conducted as they were, in the same period, in western Europe. The direct extortions of government were practised only upon the great and powerful. The means of raising revenue from the provinces were left almost to the discretion of the governors; and they, and their inferior agents, restrained in their tyranny over the Turks, exerted their unlimited authority over the rayahs, in employing the endless inventions of oppression to force the proprietors of money, the husbandman, the artisan, and the merchant, to disclose and surrender their concealed property.

{Inefficiency of the military system.}

The force of the Turkish empire is a militia composed of the total mass of the Mussulman subjects; but uninformed, undisciplined, and intractable: if compared to an European army, they are merely a disorderly crowd. The finances, in the calculation of which 65 violence and extortion always formed a principal part, are incapable of being improved, so as to be sufficient for the support of a regular standing army, by any constitutional means, or by any means which the people, instigated by turbulent and ambitious leaders, would not efficaciously oppose: so that, notwithstanding the efforts of the porte towards ameliorating their military system and introducing European improvements, there is little ground for expecting, that they will ever again bring their armies into the field, on this side of the Bosphorus, against a foreign enemy, unless impelled by despair or aided by a powerful ally. To oppose a rebel in a distant province, a neighbouring pasha must be stimulated by the allurement of conquest and plunder, or incited by rewards and the promise of new dignities13. The governor of an insignificant fortress, at no very great distance from the capital, not long ago insulted the government, almost at the gates of the seraglio, and baffled the utmost efforts of the porte: the 66 late capudan pasha, Hussein, was compelled to sacrifice his own honour, together with the dignity of the sultan, to the humiliation of treating with a revolted subject; and, at this time, there is no province in Romelia, where troops of licentious banditti do not annually intercept the caravans, interrupt communication, plunder the husbandman, and desolate the country14.

13Mr. Eton, however, gives too degrading an idea of the weakness of the porte, when he asserts (p.290), " that in the country about Smyrna, there are great agas, who are independent lords, and maintain armies, and often lay that city under contribution."

14I have travelled through several provinces of European Turkey, and cannot convey an idea of the state of desolation in which that beautiful country is left. For the space of seventy miles, between Kirk Kilisé and Carnabat, there is not an inhabitant, though the country is an earthly paradise. The extensive and pleasant village of Faki, with its houses deserted, its gardens over-run with weeds and grass, its lands waste and uncultivated, and now the resort of robbers, affects the traveller with the most painful sensations.

{Considerations on the probable destinies of the Turks;}

At a period like the present, when the fate of Turkey is fluctuating in uncertainty, when its inferiority to the nations of Europe is become so evident, and when it is surrounded by neighbours whose power it great as their ambition, it seems to require no supernatural foresight to announce an approaching revolution. But is Turkey no longer to exist as a nation, or is the most numerous part of the people to resign the sovereignty into the hands of their emancipated subject, and in 67 their turn to submit their necks to the yoke?

{on the justice or policy of expelling them from Europe;}

Are we to admit, with Mr. Eton, that the expulsion of the Turks from Europe, and the re-establishment of the Greek empire, are what sound policy and even justice require; for, "according to the laws of nations, the Turks have not, by length of possession, acquired a right to the dominion of the countries they conquered15." This, I apprehend, is carrying up the question too high; for, on such principles, every people must first examine the ground on which they themselves stand, and it would then be difficult to determine what nation has a right to attack and dispossess the Turks.

15Survey of the Turkish empire, preface, p.9. Denon, I think, reasons better. "Si la terre que nous foulions leur étoit mal acquise, ce n'étoit pas à nous à le trouver mauvais; et au moins plusieurs siécles de possession établissoient leurs droits." (Voyage en Egypt, t.i, p.284.)

{on the emancipation of the Greeks.}

Mr. Eton is positive, "that the Greeks will emancipate themselves from the yoke of Turkey16." "They are then," says Volney, " to recall the arts and sciences into their native land, to open a new career to legislation, to commerce, to industry, and to efface the glory 68 of the ancient East, by the brighter glory of its regeneration17."

16Survey of the Turkish empire, preface, p.10.

17Volney, considérations sur la guerre actuelle des Turcs.

{The modern compared with the ancient Greeks;}

But can men who, "in the revolution of ten centuries, made not a single discovery to exalt the dignity, or promote the happiness of mankind, who held in their lifeless hands the riches of their fathers, without inheriting the spirit which had created and improved that sacred patrimony18," and have since lain, "vanquished and weltering," through the long space of three hundred and fifty years, lost even to the love of liberty or the faculty of employing it; can such men suddenly recover from the stupor of so tremendous a fall, and emulate the virtues of their remote and illustrious ancestors? If indeed they be the descendants of the ancient Greeks; for how fallen, how changed from those who, alone in the whole history of man, have left one bright page, have illustrated one short period, and have held up to the insatiable admiration of posterity the only models of human nature which approach to perfection! Who are the modern Greeks? 69 and whence did Constantine collect the mixed population of his capital; the herd of dogmatists, and hypocrites, whom ambition had converted to the new religion of the court? Certainly not from the families which have immortalized Attica and Laconia.

18Gibbon, v.x, p.161.

{the Athenians,}

They never sprang from those Athenians whose patriotic ardour could not wait the tardy approach of the Persian army, but impelled them over the plains of Marathon to an instantaneous charge, which forced the superior numbers of the invader to seek refuge in the sea. The lofty and independent spirit of the Athenians could not brook the mild yoke of Persian despotism: they refused to dishonour the soil of Attica by offering the smallest particle of it as a tribute to a foreign sovereign; though their enlightened patriotism could, upon a great emergency, rise superior even to the natural attachment which so powerfully binds men to their native soil: they abandoned their city, with the temples of their deities and the tombs of their ancestors, to the fury of the barbarians, and embarked on hoard their navy, what really constituted the Athenian common-wealth, the whole of the Athenian citizens.

The invitation of Constantine attracted no 70 philosopher from the banks of the Ilissus, where literature and science flourished, even when the use of arms was prohibited to the citizens of Athens. The capital, with all its allurements of splendour and of luxury, excited no interest in comparison with the more enchanting scene of groves and gardens which had been consecrated to philosophy: and, until finally expelled by Theodosius, they continued to study the doctrines of the Academy, the Lyceum, the Porch, and the Garden, in the same shades in which they were first taught.

{and the Spartans.}

Still less can the modern Greeks be supposed the descendants of those Spartan citizens to whom a state of actual warfare was repose, when compared with the intervals of peace, which were spent in gymnastic exercises and the most toilsome duties of a military life. Formed by the rigid observance of the laws of Lycurgus, and animated with the most exalted enthusiasm which the love of liberty can inspire, Leonidas and his little band of ever-memorable patriots made a generous sacrifice of their lives at the defiles of Thermopylæ for the independence of Greece. But the Spartans were the terror of all the neighbouring states, except those who 71 were their dependent allies. At length the devouring fire of their valour consumed itself: and long before the seat of government was removed from Rome to Constantinople, the Spartan families, if not wholly extinct, could no longer be distinguished among the mass of submissive subjects of the Roman empire.

{Causes of the superiority of the ancient Greeks,}

The climate of Greece has been supposed to be peculiarly favourable to the birth and expansion of talents: but it seems unreasonable to ascribe to climate or to physical constitution effects which cannot be the result of any organization. The Athenians indeed were peculiarly characterized by a quick and accurate perception of beauty or deformity, by a delicate and distinguishing taste. But taste is less the gift of nature than the effect of study. Demosthenes addressed his eloquent discourses to the general assembly, composed of the Athenian populace; the poets enriched the Athenian stage with the sublimest and most pathetic tragedies; the labours of the statuary and architect were submitted to the judgment of the people; and they presided over the public exhibitions of strength, of skill, and agility. They were early formed in the gymnasia and 72 public schools to the contemplation of beauty and grace; each citizen was ambitious to excel in athletic vigour at the public games, in oratory at the general assemblies, and in music and dancing on the public festivals. Drawing and the arts of design formed essential parts of the public education; and sculpture furnished the objects of their public and private devotion, the ornaments of their houses, and the history of their families. What was so generally useful, was necessarily attended to: and judgment, if not skill, in the liberal arts was indispensable to the comforts, the pleasures, and the respectability of every citizen.

{and of the decline of the national spirit.}

National character is entirely modified by circumstances. The loss of liberty and political independence had, even in the time of the early Roman emperors, sullied this beautiful portrait; and the Greek had already dwindled into the Græculus esuriens, the hungry parasite, fawning, intriguing, subtle, argumentative, and loquacious. For the display of such talents the imperial court was the proper sphere: the degenerate Greeks crowded to the new capital in Thrace, in numbers sufficient to fix the language and stamp the national character: under weak and superstitious 73 monarchs they exercised their licentiousness in morals, and their intolerance in religion; and from degradation to degradation, they fell at length under subjection to the turban, which they had deliberately preferred to an union with the western Christians.

That the same spirit is preserved among the modern Greeks, may be demonstrated from several passages in the journals of travellers; among whom I shall quote, in confirmation of my own assertion, only the last and most impartial observer of the Greeks, Dr. Pouqueville, who says, that their hatred of the Turks is less than that which they bear towards those Christians who acknowledge the supremacy of the pope19. A passage in the history of Cantemir strongly corroborates this assertion, and shows, that passion and prejudice are the only guides of the Greeks whenever their religion is concerned. "I am apt to believe," he says, "that Phranza was impaired in his memory by age, cares, and calamities, when he began to write his history20;" and he takes every occasion to 74 reject his testimony and to controvert his statement of facts. The grounds of this illiberality, towards an historian who, in the opinion of the judicious Gibbon, has recorded contemporary events, of which, from his high situation, he was a competent judge, in a manner deserving of credit and esteem21, are not to be sought in the writings, but the biography, of Phranza. He was one of the conforming Greeks, who, from patriotic motives, joined with the Latins in the church of Sancta Sophia in the communion of prayer and praise; and though Phranza acknowledges his own insincerity, and almost expresses contrition for having consented to the union of the churches22, the lapse of two centuries and a half had not in any degree extenuated the deep stain of his apostacy; and Cantemir, though more enlightened than the mass of his countrymen, execrates his memory, and abjures communion with the Azymites, with all the zeal and fury of the senseless 75 populace, whose bigotry and intolerance precipitated the downfal of their country23.

19See Voyages en Morée, &c. t.i, p.246.

20See Ottoman history, p, 83, note 11.

21See Decline and fall of the Roman empire, v.xii, p.177, note 48. p.204, note 31. Phranza was protovestiare, or great chamberlain of the emperor Constantine.

22Phranza (l.iii, c.20) acknowledges, that the measure was adopted only propter spem auxilii.

23The Greeks, according to Leonardus Chiensis (de captiv. Constant. ad calcem Chalcondylæ, p.318, 314), persisted, after the loss of Constantinople, in ascribing their misfortunes to the union: the good bishop discovers equal ingenuity in unfolding the secrets of Providence. "Non unio facta, sed unio ficta, ad fatale urbem detrahebat excidium, quo divinam iram maturatam in hosce dies venisse cognovimus."

Long before the final conquest of the Roman empire, the co-operation of various causes had suspended or corrupted the arts, and had perverted the very sources of science. The study of natural causes had given place to theological subtleties; the science of government had sunk under tyranny; and the arts administered only to effeminacy. The few remains of ancient learning were tinctured and connected with dogmas and superstitions which the Turks held in contempt or abhorrence, as being contradictory to the precepts of their own religion. They therefore, like the unlettered warriors who overspread the western countries of Europe, established, in their new conquests, the feudal system of government, with which they were familiarized, without deigning to modify it by institutions previously existing 76 among the ancient inhabitants. Depriving their conquered subjects of their political existence, they allowed them a limited and imperfect exercise of their civil rights on the payment of an annual tribute, and tolerated their peculiar modes of worship in a restrained and private manner. The sense of present degradation, overwhelming the recollection of past independence, humbled the minds of the Greeks to the level of their abject situation; and the vices, peculiar to a state of domestic slavery, were superadded to those which luxury and superstition had before generated.

{Character of the modern Greeks.}

Mr. Eton, in his chapter on the political state of Greece, gives the history of some skirmishes between the pasha of Yanina, and the Greek inhabitants of the mountains of Sulli. The particulars were communicated to him by a Greek interpreter, of the name of Amaxaris, who served on board the Tigre under Sir Sidney Smith, during the Syrian and Egyptian campaigns. These, and the piracies, of a Greek of the name of Lambro, are "the struggles which," according to Mr. Eton24, "show, that Greece is about to 77 awake to the assertion of her native rights." But the details present a disgusting picture of the warfare of the modern Greeks, which is in fact, in a political point of view, only the devastation of banditti, and wholly undeserving the notice of history. I blush, while I quote Mr. Eton's eulogium of the gallant Lambro, who pillaged and ransacked the Greek islands of the Archipelago, and molested the trading ships of all nations, even after the peace of Yassy was signed, when he was disavowed by Russia, and declared a pirate25. The account of his defeat by two French frigates is given by Olivier. Mr. Eton says, "the Greeks proved on this occasion their love of liberty, their passion for glory, and a perseverance in toils, obedience to discipline, and a contempt of danger and death, worthy of the brightest pages of their history: they fought with, and conquered, very superior numbers, and when at 78 last they were attacked with an inequality of force, as great as Leonidas had to encounter (Leonidas! great, injured name), they fought till their whole fleet was sunk, and a few only saved themselves in boats26."

24Survey of the Turkish empire, p.334.

25Mr. Eton, in a recent publication (see Letter to the Earl of D***, p.93), says, that this man "was received by the empress in the most honourable manner - the rank of a full colonel and large estates were given him; he is now a Russian nobleman, and decorated with the military order of St. George." If this account be true, the Russian government is, I think, safe from calumny.

26See Survey of the Turkish empire, p.368.

That I may not be accused of calumniating the modern Greeks, it will, perhaps, not be improper to review the opinions of former writers on the subject. Sandys says, "but now their knowledge is converted, as I may say, into affected ignorance (for they have no schools of learning among them), their liberty into contented slavery, having lost their minds with their empire. For so base are they, as thought it is, they had rather remain as they be, than endure a temporary trouble by prevailing succours; and would with the Israelites repine at their deliverers27."

27See Sandys's travels, p.77.

"I thought it," says De Tott, "a well-grounded observation which Manoly Serdar, himself a Greek, made, 'that his nation in nothing resembled the ancient empire of the Greeks, except in the pride and fanaticism which caused its ruin28.'"

28See De Tott's memoirs, p.91. "C'est une belle idée s(?) le papier, " says a very intelligent observer, "que de voir les Russes à Constantinople y rétablir l'empire Grec. Mais ceux qui forment de si beaux plans ignorent que les Grecs modernes sont comme ces vins, dont il ne reste que la lie; qu'ils n'ont conservé des Grecs anciens que les vices, sur lesquels ils ont encheri; qu'ils sont deux fois plus fanatiques que les Turcs, s'il est possible, et qu'ils seroient, par cette raison, mille fois plus cruels, s'ils devenoient, je ne dis pas mâitres, mais plus libres." (Voyage à Constantinople, p.162.)


Mr. Eton may be considered as the champion of the Greeks. He asserts, that "a Grecian state will quickly attain a proud preeminence among nations." "Strengthened by such an alliance, we should maintain that ascendancy in the Mediterranean, of which the union of France and Spain threatens to deprive us"-"which if Great Britain does not embrace, her influence and weight in the Mediterranean, and perhaps in the scale of Europe, must speedily sink29."

29See Survey of the Turkish empire, p.437, 440, 441. In the letter to the Earl of D***, p.12, (London, 1807) is the following curious passage. "In 1798, I published my survey of the Turkish empire, and I therein foretold, if the measures I had proposed were not adopted, a state of things would be produced which I distinctly described, and that prophecy has been in a great part most minutely fulfilled, and the little that remains, there is, I fear, too much reason to apprehend is fast accomplishing."

Mr. Eton proceeds to analyze the Greeks, and arranges them in distinct classes, beginning 80 with the Greeks of the Fanal, from whom are appointed the dragomans of the porte, and the vaivodas of Wallachia and Moldavia. "They are continually intriguing to get those in office removed, and obtain their places; even children cabal against their fathers, and brothers against brothers. They are all people of very good education, and are polite, but haughty, vain, ambitious to a most ridiculous degree. As to their noble extraction it is a matter of great uncertainty. They have in general all the vices of the Turks of the seraglio; treachery, ingratitude, cruelty, and intrigue which stops at no means. When they become vaivodas, they are in nothing different from Turkish pashas in tyranny. In such a situation the mind must lose its vigour, the heart its generosity. They do not weep over the ruins which they cannot restore, nor sigh to rear others of equal magnificence." "But," adds Mr. Eton, "they are the only part of their nation, who have totally relinquished the ancient Grecian spirit." In the second class are the merchants and lower orders of Constantinopolitan Greeks, who indeed have no very marked character; "they are much the same as the trading Christians in all 81 parts of the empire, that is to say, as crafty and fraudulent as the Jews." Of course, neither of these classes are meant by Mr. Eton when he says, "the Greeks retain so much energy of character, and are so little abased, for like noble coursers they champ the bit, and spurn indignantly the yoke; when once freed from these, they will enter the course of glory30." We must not therefore be discouraged, but follow Mr. Eton in his characteristic descriptions, and we shall find, that, in the third class, "the Greeks of Macedonia are robust, courageous, and somewhat ferocious. " "Those of Athens and Attica are still remarkably witty and sharp. All the islanders are lively and gay, fond of singing and dancing to an excess, affable, hospitable, and goodnatured; in short they are the best31."

30Mr. Eton's idea of the Olympic games is as incorrect as his idea of Grecian liberty. What opinion can we form of either from his metaphor of wild horses running about without yoke or bit?

31See Survey of the Turkish empire, p.340, 342, 344, 345.

I must here be permitted to observe, that the travellers who have visited Athens and the Greek islands, do not give unqualified 82 praise to their inconsiderable population. Tournefort, Spon, and Wheler, made the complete tour of these islands, and faithfully describe the inhabitants, as a low, plodding, persecuted, and miserable race. - But to return to Mr. Eton.

"The Greeks of the Morea are much given to piracy." "Those of Albania and Epirus, and the mountaineers in general are a very warlike, brave people, but very savage, and make little scruple of killing and robbing travellers32."

32See Survey of the Turkish empire, p.346.

Such is Mr. Eton's picture of the Greeks from whose future alliance Great Britain is to promise herself such certain advantages. "Allies who long ago would have enabled his Majesty and the Emperor, in all human probability, to have humbled a foe which now threatens all Europe with total subversion33."

33See Survey of the Turkish empire, p.371.

{Apprehensions of the Turks from the power of Russia.}

Spon, who published his travels in 1679, has observed, that "of all the princes of Christendom, there was none whom the Turks so much feared as the czar of Muscovy34." But, were it not for the testimony 83 of a contemporary writer, it would have been difficult to imagine, that the want of success in one short campaign could have struck the Turkish troops with such a panic, or have excited apprehensions, which, at that time, must to all others have appeared imaginary and vain.

34Voyage fait aux années 1675 et 1676 par Jacob Spon, (?) teur médecin, agrégé à Lyons, et George Wheler, gean(?) komme Anglois, p.270, ed.1679.

{History of the first war with the czar of Muscovy.}

The revolt of the Cossaks from the dominion of the porte was the cause of the first war between the Russians and Turks: and a review of the few events of that war will serve, in some degree, to explain the motives of that well-founded apprehension of the growing power of Russia which was then first suggested.

The following passage from Voltaire describes the state of the Cossaks, at the period now alluded to.

"The Cossaks inhabit the Ukraine, a country situate between Little Tartary, Poland, and Russia. It extends from north to south about a hundred leagues, and as many from east to west. The Borysthenes, or Dnieper, which runs through it from north-west to south-east, divides it into two equal parts. The northern provinces of the Ukraine are rich and cultivated. Its southern part, which lies in the forty-eighth degree of latitude, 84 is the most fertile, but the most desert, country in the world. A bad government counteracts the bounties of nature. The few inhabitants on the borders of Little Tartary neither plant nor sow, because their country is open to the ravages of the Tartars and the Moldavians, nations of robbers, who would destroy their harvests, and pillage their houses. The Cossaks have always aspired after independence, hut the situation in their country, surrounded by the dominions of Russia, Turkey, and Poland, reduces them to the condition of dependent allies of one or other of these great states35."

35Histoire de Charles XII, roi de Suède, liv. iv. See also in Peyssonnel (Observations historiques et géographiques sur (?) peuples barbares qui ont habité les bords du Danube et du P(?) Euxin, p.126), an account of the four principal branches in which the family of the Cossaks is divided. The Romans, as it appears probable from the epitaph of Tiberius Plautius given for Montfaucon (l'Antiquité expliquée, t.v, part.i, p.1(?), planche 114), drew contributions of wheat from the Ukraine. (?) marble fragment with an inscription was discovered in Little Tartary, in the year 1804, near the lazaretto of Dubazar, on the left bank of the Tyras or Dniester, which mentions the reconstruction of magazines in the reign of the emperor Traj(?) by the solders of the fifth Macedonian legion under Q. P(?)peius Falco, the proprætor of Dacia, "apothecas cum porti(?) vetustate conlapsas a solo restituit superposito secundo statu."

The Cossaks, though a nation of Christians 85 resembled the Tartars in their modes of life and habits of war. Their hetman, Doroshenskoi, had revolted from Poland and sought the protection of the Ottoman porte; but, piqued at the refusal of Mahomet the Fourth to employ him in his expedition against the Poles, he had subjected his nation to Russia, with an army of sixty thousand men of approved valour. The czar, who, besides gaining over such powerful auxiliaries and obtaining an extension of territory beyond the Dnieper, secured his own frontiers from their incursions, willingly accepted their allegiance, and promised to protect them against their enemies. The honour of the sultan, and the safety of his empire (for the Cossaks had sometimes extended their depredations even into the suburbs of Constantinople36), compelled him to revenge this breach of faith. But, though the Russian power at that time was depised by the Turks, a war in an unknown and inhospitable country, where cold and hunger would impede the progress, and waste the strength, of an invading army, was reluctantly 86 resolved upon, and not actually begun until all means of reconciliation with the Cossaks had been tried in vain. Sixty thousand Russians and Cossaks, entrenched near the capital of the Ukraine, prevented the junction of the Tartars with the Turks. The Turks, alarmed at the defeat and slaughter of their confederates, and not daring to risk an engagement, fled with precipitation and repassed the Bogh. Turkish perseverance was soon exhausted by difficulties; and the vizir was eager to conclude a war, in which success could he procured only by the endurance of hardships which he thought too severe for mortals37. Fortune was now 87 beginning to abandon the Ottoman arms in other quarters; and the despondency of the Turks, which Spon had observed, might be founded on the remark, that the first formal renunciation of territory which had been consecrated to Islamism by khutbé and ezann, was made to an hitherto-unknown enemy, against whom attack could not, in any age, avail38, and whose means of overpowering resistance must have been exaggerated in their minds, if computed, according to the Tartar reports, by the extent of his dominions. The sense of their danger must, however, have been confused and inaccurate, or the heroic wife of Peter the Great could not so easily have rescued the Russian empire from the 88 imminent danger which threatened it at the battle of the Pruth39. The genius of the Ottoman empire slumbered at the signing of the treaty, and seems still desirous of perpetuating his lethargy till the consummation of its destiny. Every event has since 89 confirmed the forebodings of the Turks, and increased their apprehensions: and it seems now to be a popular opinion, that the city, now abounding in faith40, will shortly be contaminated by the presence, and polluted by the supremacy of the emperor of Russia41.

36Chardin's Travels, p.48,64,65.- The fortress of Oczacow, at the entrance of the liman formed by the confluence of the Dnieper and the Bogh, was built to prevent the piracies and incursions of the Cossaks on the Euxine sea.

37Cantemir's Ottoman history, p.291.- Voltaire describes the country to the east, between Grodno and the Borysthenes, all(?) covered with marshes, deserts, and immense forests. It was here, that Charles the Twelfth and the czar carried on war, in the middle of the winter of 1709. The Swedes and the Russians each led on by their warlike sovereign, accounted all seasons alike. The importance and the difficulties of the campaign were expressed by Charles on a medal, prematurely struck after the battle in(?) Hollosin, "silvæ, paludes, aggeres, hostes, victi;" for the vi(?)gours of the season were so great that, in one march, the king lost two thousand men by the severity of the cold, and his army was so much reduced, during the winter, that he was forced to yield his laurels to the czar, at the battle of Pultowa. I travelled through the Ukraine in the summer of 1805, and witnessed the general truth of Voltaire's description of its physical geography, and its exuberant fertility.

38Darius Hystaspes boldly invaded the Scythian wilds 513 years before Christ, with 700,000 men. His army, exposed during five months to hunger and thirst and the darts of a flying enemy, lost the greatest part of its strength, and would have been wholly destroyed, if the advice of Miltiades, to destroy the bridge of boats on the Danube, had not been rejected. While Darius was regretting the temerity of his undertaking, an ambassador from the kings of Scythia arrived, who, being introduced to the Persian monarch, delivered, in solemn silence, the gifts of his masters, which consisted of a bird, a frog, a mouse, and five arrows. The situation of Darius, and his experience of unavailing hardships, made verbal explanation unnecessary: he hastily withdrew his troops, and abandoned his schemes of Scythian conquest. (Herodot,l.iv.)

39The czar, relying on the succours promised him by Cantemir, the rebel-prince of Moldavia, had penetrated far into that country, when he found himself on the banks of the Pruth, surrounded by an army of 200,000 Turks and Tartars: his own troops, which at first had consisted only of 80,000 men, were reduced by desertions to less than 30,000, exhausted by fatigue and in absolute want of provisions and forage. In this situation, after giving orders for a general attack at daybreak, the czar had retired to his tent, anticipating in an agony of despair the event of so unequal a battle. The czarina alone dared to disobey his orders and break in upon his retirement: she had summoned a council of the general officers, and had prepared a letter for the grand vizir with proposals for peace: this letter she prevailed upon Peter to sign, and collecting all her money and jewels, she immediately despatched an officer to the Turkish camp. Her negotiations were so successful that, in spite of the remonstrances of the Swedish king and the intrigues of his agent Poniatowsky, the treaty was begun, concluded, and signed, on the 21st of July 1711. The czar stipulated to surrender the fortresses on the sea of Azoff, which had been ceded to him at the peace of Carlovitz in 1700, but he never performed his engagements. In the ukaze, or imperial proclamation, by which he afterwards solemnly admitted Catherine to a participation in the sovereignty and the honours of the coronation, he acknowledges with gratitude the important services which she had rendered to the Russian nation on this memorable occasion. (Voltaire, histoire de Charles XII, roi de Suède, liv.v.)

40Islambol, one of the names of Constantinople.

41Mr. Eton says (p.200), "they have among them a prophecy, that the sons of yellowness, which they interpret to be the Russians, are to take Constantinople." The expression of the sons of yellowness certainly gives this assertion somewhat of an oriental tinge: but the truth is, that the Turks, ever since their defeats by the emperor Leopold (see Cantemir, p.244), have among them a persuasion, that their footing in Europe is unstable, and that Asia is the country in which the true faith will longest flourish. It is much to be regretted, that Dr. Wittman should have sullied his interesting journal by the insertions of the idle curiosity of their masters. I do not deny, that a Turk, in a moment of despondency, may have believed the existence of the tradition mentioned in page 233; but I doubt, that any Turk invented it. There is nothing Turkish in the composition, except the ignorance which does not discover, in the extent of the intervening country, a single point of resistance between the right bank of the Dnieper and the walls of Constantinople.

{Consequences of the conquest of Turkey to Russia,}

Though such an accession of territory might gratify the ambition of the sovereign, the interest of the Russian nobility strongly militates against it. The imagination can scarcely contemplate a power which, from the frozen marshes of the Neva, shall extend 90 its icy sceptre over the savages of Tchouski(?) Noss, and the glowing inhabitants of the Arabian deserts. Nevertheless, the establishment of such a power, if the idea can be realized, would follow from the annexation of Thrace to Russia: for what boundary could then be placed to its ambition? The Black Sea would furnish a navy which would command the Mediterranean; and the resistance of Asiatic troops would scarcely retard the march of a hardy and strictly disciplined soldiery. The consequence of such extension of dominion would be, either that the Russian empire would be divided into northern and southern, or, the seat of government being removed to a more genial climate, the north would again be neglected and relapse into its former barbarism. Sweden might then discover, that conquest, except it be founded in justice, cannot he legally retained, and might demand the restitution of its ceded provinces. Civilization, which all the cares of a vigilant government cannot naturalize in Russia, and which, among the people, has made almost no progress, would again wither under the benumbing influence of the climate; and an eternal separation, except for the purposes of a limited commerce, 91 would be established between the northern and southern worlds. Mr. Eton, from his situation at St. Petersburgh, must have possessed superior advantages in studying the politics of the Russian cabinet: and the colossus of power, which the utmost stretch of an ordinary imagination can scarcely comprehend, shrinks to a diminutive size when compared with the gigantic proportions of that which Mr. Eton assures us was actually designed. "The empress's vast views of aggrandizement extended to the conquest of all European Turkey; the re-establishment of the Greek empire, and placing her grandson Constantine on the throne of Constantinople; of making Egypt an independent state; of incorporating Poland into her own empire; of making a conquest of Japan and a part of China, and establishing a naval power in those seas42."

42Survey of the Turkish empire, preface, p.xi.- And what next? was the sensible, though natural question of Pyrrhus's secretary, when his master had unfolded to him a similar scheme of conquest. Certainly, if the enjoyment or the communication of happiness be the ultimate end and highest gratification of life, the epicurean philanthropist, instead of feeling himself circumscribed by the line of the Russian frontiers, might find ample space for exhibiting his good-will towards men, without even descending from the heights of the little republic of St. Marino.

{to the other states of Europe, and to the Ottoman subjects.}

92 Volney and other speculative political writers, considering the events, which they themselves had predicted, as inevitable, have felicitated mankind on the augmentation of happiness which must necessarily ensue on the accomplishment of their prophecies. Our fancy is dazzled, and our reason is subjugated by the fascination of their eloquence, and the subtlety of their arguments. The dislike of other Christian states to so dangerous an innovation is soothed by the suggestion, that nothing is to be apprehended from triumphant Christianity; and opposition is silenced by representing resistance as vain. "Russia," we are told, "is now possessed of all the means, so long and so perseveringly pursued from the time Peter the First took Azoff to this day, of annihilating the monstrous and unwieldy despotism of the Ottoman sceptre in Europe. The empress has also conceived the vast and generous design of delivering Greece from its bondage, and of establishing it under a prince of its own religion, as a free and independent nation."-"Another war must totally extinguish the Turkish power in Europe; an event desirable to most Christian nations, and particularly to Great Britain." Poussielgue, who accompanied the 93 French expedition to Egypt, and whose talents are confessed, as well by the commander in chief as by the English editor of the intercepted correspondence, professes a contrary opinion. "It must eternally be the interest of France, of England, of Prussia, and even of the Emperor, to oppose the downfal of the Ottoman empire43." I will not undertake to determine the degree of respect which may be due to these different authorities, nor will I examine how far the circumstances which have arisen since the publication of these opinions, may have diminished the means, affected the interests, or changed the dispositions, of the states of Europe. But I question whether either religion or humanity would feel much cause for triumph, in the extension of the secular power of Russia, or in the enlargement of her ecclesiastical pale.

43See Volney, considérations sur la guerre actuelle des Turcs. Survey of the Turkish empire, p.193,397. Intercepted correspondence from Egypt, part 3d. London, 1800.

{Russian church.}

I have observed the Greek religion in Russia and in Turkey. I am indeed unlearned in its peculiar doctrines, but, judging of it from its practice, I confess it to be justly characterized, as a leprous composition of 94 ignorance, superstition, and fanaticism44. Voltaire describes, as antiquated superstitions, which the reformation, introduced by Peter the Great, had abolished, some customs and opinions so extraordinary that human reason can hardly be believed to be so degraded as to submit to their influence and to acknowledge their authority45. I have met with Russians among whom intoxication seems a precept of religion, but who would suffer martyrdom rather than smoke tobacco, because the holy scripture declares, that that which enters into the mouth of man does not defile him, but that only which comes out of his mouth. These are men of the old uncorrupted sect, who break the uniformity of a street rather than perform their devotions in a temple which is not built due east and west; who wear their beards in spite of Peter the Great; and who drink brandy with as much devotion as that monarch himself. Many, even of the reformed Russian church, abstain from eating pigeons, because the holy 95 spirit is represented under the form of a dove. Their confession is a mockery, if not even an encouragement to iniquity. The priest recites a catalogue of sins, the penitent roundly confesses himself guilty of the whole, and removes the whole load from his conscience by obtaining one general absolution. The priests are ignorant and base beyond what can be imagined. I have more than once turned away with contempt and disgust from the clergy of a parish staggering from house to house to confer their Easter benediction on their flock, and to congratulate them on the return of the festival in repeated draughts of brandy46. These reproaches cannot indeed be applied to the Greeks of Turkey. Their superstitions are somewhat less gross and offensive, though scarcely less absurd. Both the Russian and Turkish divisions of the Greek church unite in refusing even the name of Christian to men of other communions.

44See Voyage à Constantinople, p.217.- Such an assertion may be thought too general and too severe. The truth of it may even be doubted by those who have not seen Russia, as the state of religion in no country in Christendom can prepare a traveller for what he will there observe.

45See Histoire de Charles XII, liv.1.

46The patriarch of Georgia, a prelate of the Greek communion, is reported by Chardin (p.191) to have declared, "that he who was not absolutely drunk at great festivals, such as Easter and Christmas, could not be a good Christian, and deserved to be excommunicated."

{Russian government.}

I assent to the opinion of Mr. Eton, that the court of Russia is sufficiently justified in 96 taking possession of both Tartaries, and reducing the inhabitants to something a state of social subordination. The safety of Russia required it. The Tartars were constantly making incursions into Russia, Poland, and Moldavia, to carry off the inhabitants, and plunder and burn the villages.

The ramparts of the Tartars were their deserts: their retreats were in the boundless expanse of their naked plains. It was difficult to conquer, or to check them: the idleness and the independence of their mode of life were insuperable difficulties to their settling and becoming cultivators: want and privations were accounted slight inconveniences, compared to peaceable, laborious, and unagitated, life: nothing could be offered to them equivalent to the pleasures and advantages of rapine and of freedom. Wherever there was booty, there they discovered enemies; and their enemies themselves constituted their most valuable booty: but, though a change of life might be a severe punishment to their captives, they never treated them with intentional severity; they either sold them, or employed them, under the care of their women, in menial services, in keeping their flocks, or in pitching and 97 removing their tents: the slaves, however, shared only the same hard fare which satisfied their masters, and experienced from them neither haughtiness, nor ill usage.

The conquests over the Tartars were in some degree necessitated by the geographical position of Russia, and it is probable, that the sum of human happiness is increased by their subjugation. It may, however, admit of a doubt, whether the same beneficial consequences would attend the further conquests of Russia, and the establishment of its government over the wide and various countries which have already been enumerated. In the opinion of Mr. Eton, there are two kinds of good government, placed, it is true, at opposite extremes of the scale, but both equally conducive to happiness, and between which there is no medium. "A nation must be perfectly free, or perfectly passive." "Liberty," he says, "has been no where understood, no, not in Athens, but in this happy island." And if in this respect he be in an error, at least the motive is commendable. But though Mr. Eton does not mean to recommend for imitation the other state of perfect government, as established in Russia, since 98 unfortunately those who have once removed from it cannot go back again, yet he affirmed that the whole mass of the people is more happy in Russia than any which he has seen in three parts of the globe; "because there the peasantry look upon the monarch as a divinity, styling him God of the earth ZEMNOI BOG; ignorant of any government but a despotic sceptre, and of any condition but vassalage; happily deprived of all means (?)of evil information. The soldiery, content with rye-biscuit and water; the nobility unable to offer the least opposition to the crown, depending on it for every honourable distinction of rank, civil or military, conferred, but not inherited, and which he who bestow can take away, while they who suffer more bless his name. There is no law but the express command of the monarch, who can debase the highest subject to the condition of a slave, or raise the lowest to the first dignity of the empire. But this autocratic sceptre exercises no despotism over the subject insulting to mankind. The Russian monarch is not, like the stupid Ottoman, seated on throne involved in black clouds of ignorance, supported by cruelty on one 99 hand, and by superstition on the other, at whose feet sits terror, and below terror, death47."

47Survey of the Turkish empire, p.433.- This happy system of government was, in part, formerly enjoyed by Poland. "Là le paysan ne seme point pour lui, mais pour des seigneurs, à qui lui, son champ, et le travail de ses mains, appartiennent, et qui peuvent le vendre et l'égorger avec le bétail de la terre." (Hist. de Charles XII, liv.2.)

Such is Mr. Eton's picture of a real, not an imaginary, Utopia. Fortunately, he does not descend to the minutiæ of the blessings which we, equally happy Britons, enjoy: but let us endeavour to suppress envy, and while we rejoice in the consummate happiness of thirty millions of people, let us rejoice no less in Mr. Eton's assurance, "that other nations, being once removed from such comforts, need never expect to enjoy them48."

48Two years after writing this eulogium on the Russian government, Mr. Eton wrote his postscript, though both were published together. The Empress Catherine was then dead; and we are now told, "that it is time the voice of truth shall be heard. It is only in foreign politics that she appears great: as to the internal government of the empire, it was left to the great officers, and they inordinately abused their power with impunity. Hence a most scandalous negligence, and corruption in the management of affairs in every department, and a general relaxation of government from St. Petersburgh to Kamschatka."(p.450.) "She knew their conduct; but was deaf, and almost inaccessible, to complaint."(p.451.) "The institution of general governments was a new burthen on the people of fifty millions of roubles, more than the ancient simple regulations, a sum equal to three fourths of the whole revenue of the empire. The increase of vexation was still greater."(p.451.) Utrium honum(?)mavis, accipe.

{Examination of the arguments for dispossessing the Turks.}

100 As the Ottoman porte has long since abandoned all schemes of ambition, and religiously observes its treaties with the neighbouring states, the expulsion of the Turks from Europe must be founded only on some of the following ostensible reasons: either because they are not Christians; or, because the title by which they hold the dominion of their vast empire, though acknowledged by every potentate in the world, must now be submitted to judicial examination; or, because their government is despotic, and a great proportion of their subjects are deprived of the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty, on account of their dissenting from the established creed49. Upon the same principles the invasion of a regenerating army may be 101 justified in any other country, in which the reins of government are as loosely held, and as unskilfully managed. I do not, indeed, believe, that any European power would publish a manifesto grounded on such puerile arguments. If the invasion of Turkey be commanded, the ratio ultima regum will silence argument, and enforce conviction on those who cannot immediately comprehend, that the conqueror is acting for their benefit. Besides, if the Turkish title to dominion in Europe be ill-founded, I do not see how the case is altered by the interposition of the Bosphorus and the Hellespont. Asia Minor formed, no less than Thrace, a part of the Roman empire, subjected to Rome by unprovoked invasion, by forced or forged concession, and all the arts to which the most civilized nations resort for the extension of territory. The reasoning against the Turkish power applies no less to Asia than to Europe. And must we recur to mouldy records, to ascertain in what corner of the world the Turks are to be consigned to peace and to oblivion50? Must they 102 ramble about in search of Eden, the first seat of the common ancestors of mankind? or retrace their steps to Selinginskoy, whence M. Bailly deduces the origin of learning? or must the summary Roman method be resorted to, and peace be proclaimed only when then country is reduced to a solitude51?

49Busbequius indeed gives another reason, which, whether it be so openly avowed or not, will be the chief inducement for carrying into execution "the vast and generous design" of conquering Turkey. "Sed si nec laudis nec honesti pulchritude animos torpentes inflammativ; certe utilitas, cujus hodie primo ratio ducitur, movere potuit, ut loca tam præclara, tantisque commoditatibus et opportunitatibus plena, barbaris erepta, a nob(?) petius, quam ab aliis vellemus possideri." (Epist.i, p.43.)

50"We wished," says Olivier (p.192), "that the Turks might be forced to return to the wild and distant countries whence they issued."

51"Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant." (Galg(?) Orat. in Taciti Vit. Agric. c.30.)

{Remoteness of amelioration.}

The Chevalier D'Ohsson is of opinion, that a revolution of principle, and a change in the system of government, may easily be introduced into Turkey. It requires only a sultan free from prejudices, superior to the institutions of his country and the influence of education, assisted by a mufti animated with the same zeal for the public good, and seconded in his views by a vizir of prudence, courage and probity52. He ought to have known, that the revolution of many ages cannot be expected to produce such an assemblage of virtuous and vigorous minds, endowed with knowledge so diametrically opposite to the principles of their education. The example of Peter the Great, who for a time divested himself of the pomp and the 103 power of sovereignty, in order to study the sciences and the art of government in countries more advanced in civilization than his own, is a singular phenomenon in the history of mankind; and a similar instance must not be expected to recur in every thousand years. Conjectures are not to be as assumed as facts: neither can I presume to venture any opinion on the probability of either event; though I sincerely wish, that the punishment which Volney denounces against the empire of the Ottomans may be averted, either by their own prudence or by providence. According to this author, "the sultan equally affected with the same ignorance as his people, will continue to vegetate in his palace; women and eunuchs will continue to appoint to offices and places; and governments will be publicly offered to sale. The pashas will pillage the subjects, and impoverish the provinces. The divan will follow its maxims of haughtiness and intolerance. The people will be instigated by fanaticism. The generals will carry on war without intelligence, and continue to lose battles, until this incoherent edifice of power, shaken to its basis, deprived of its support, and losing 104 its equilibrium, shall fall, and astonish the world with another instance of mighty ruin53."

52Tableau Général, Discours préliminaire, p.xxxiii.

53Considérations sur la guerre actuelle des Turcs.




Physical constitutions and general habits.- Moral and religious education.- Popular belief and practice.- Priests.- Dervishes.- Emirs.- Pilgrimage to Mecca.- Predestination.- Invocation of saints.- Belief in the efficacy of amulets, relics, and enchantments.- Faith in omens and dreams.- Prejudice against pictures.- Punishment of apostacy.- Morality.- Proselytism.- Modes of proposing the faith to unbelievers.- Public charities.- Hospitality and alms.- Tenderness towards brute animals.- Character of the Turks;- their austerity,- irritability of temper,- intemperance in the use of wine- and opium,- covetousness,- ambition,- hypocrisy,- behaviour to strangers.- Virtues of the middles class.- Clothing of the Turks.- The warm bath.- Turkish luxuries and amusements;- conversation,- story-telling,- ombres chinoises,- dancers and gladiators,- athletic exercises.- General health.- The plague.- Mourning.- Interments and funeral monuments.

{Physical constitutions and general habits.}

105 The Turks are of a grave and saturnine cast; they are in general well made and robust, patient of hunger and privations, capable of enduring the hardships of war, but not much inclined to habits of industry. 106 The early hours and the regular lives of their mothers, their own habitual temperance an general freedom from violent passions, contribute to the preservation of their health, and the regularity of their features. Their way of living is simple and domestic: they prefer apathy and indolence to active enjoyments; but when moved by a powerful stimulus they sometimes indulge in pleasures to excess1.

1"Pauci exercendo agro vel aliis artibus tolerare vitam. Non enim arare terram aut expectare annum tam facile persuaseris, quam vocare hosstes, et vulnera mereri. Pigrum et iners omnino videtur sudore acquirere quod possit sanguine parari." (Montalban. ap. Elzevir. p.24.) Denon, in his review of the different physiognomies of the inhabitants of Egypt, says, "Les Turcs ont des beautés plus graves avec des formes plus molles; leurs paupières épaisses laissent peu d'expression à leurs yeux: le nez gras, de belles bouches bien bordées, et de longues barbes touffues, un teint moins basané, un cou nourri, toute l'habitude du corps grave et lourde.- A parler en artiste on ne peut faire de leur beauté que la beauté d'un Turc." (Voyage, &c. t.i, p.140.) De Tott, in his preliminary discourse, supposes, that their fibres are relaxed and their bodies enfeebled by the heat of the climate. Can the climate of Thrace, the country which produced the gigantic Maximin, whose extraordinary strength and courage procured to him from the Roman armies the names of Ajax and Hercules, and even the imperial dignity, be supposed to relax the fibres of its inhabitants? What more convincing proof can be given of the natural strength of their constitution, than the instance, which De Tott relates, of a Turk drinking off two bottles of lavender water without intoxication or injury to himself? (See Memoirs, v.i, p.3.)

{Moral and religious education.}

107 The moral character is fundamentally formed in infancy and childhood, not by precept, so much as by the absence of evil; for the Turks receive their early education under the care of their mothers and their female attendants, who are secluded from the promiscuous society of men, and removed from the contagion of vicious example. Their religion, which is simple, is taught them by their parents in the harem. The minds of the children, as in other countries, are moulded into the dogmas of a particular system; they are inflated with the idea of their own religious superiority; and they are taught to cherish the delusion, till they regard the religionists of other denominations with feelings of contempt or even of abhorrence.

{Popular belief and practice.}

The revelations of heaven, and the precepts of the prophet equally inculcate on the minds of Mussulmans this exalted idea of themselves, and this sentiment of disdain and aversion for those who are strangers to their faith. "The prayers of the infidel are not prayers, but wanderings," says the koran. "I withdraw my foot, and turn away my face," says Mahomet, "from a society in which the faithful are mixed with the ungodly." Nor is the uncharitableness of the sentiment extinguished, 108 nor even weakened, by the death of its object. "Pray not for those whose death is eternal," is a precept of the Mahometan church, "and defile not thy feet by passing over the graves of men, the enemies of God and his prophet2." These commandments are precise and positive: they regulate principles and the conduct of all classes of Mussulmans. It is vain to suppose their pernicious and uncharitable tendency counteracted by passages of scripture which breathe a milder spirit, or by the example of the prophet, who is known to have frequented the society of unbelievers. The Mahometan, who has risen above the prevailing prejudices of his religion and country, will alone appeal to these more tolerant precepts, in order to justify his conduct to his own heart, or to sanction it in the eyes of the public: but the vulgar mind, the great majority of the nation 109 in every class of society, will always give a scrupulous preference to those parts of religion in a which there is the greatest mixture of human imperfection; where savage intolerance furnishes an excuse for malice or for pride3.

2"It is not allowed unto the prophet, nor unto those who are true believers, that they pray for idolaters, although they be of kin, after it is become known unto them, that they are inhabitants of hell. Neither did Abraham ask forgiveness for his father, otherwise than in pursuance of a promise which he had promised unto him: but when it became known unto him, that he was an enemy unto God, he desisted from praying for him. Verily Abraham was pitiful and compassionate." Koran, chap.ix, ver.115,116. Sale's translation, v.i, p.263. Maracci, p. 317.

3In the reign of Abdullah the Third, surnamed Meemounn, Bagdad was afflicted with a great drought. The caliph enjoined a public penance, and went himself in procession, at the head of his Mussulman subjects, to perform, in the neighbouring plains, the prayers prescribed by religion on such occasions. The ceremony was repeated on three succeeding days, but without effect. Heaven withheld its blessings, and rejected their petitions. The caliph then ordered the Jews and Christians to unite their supplications with those of the faithful; when lo! to the great scandal of Islamism, the rain fell in abundance, the earth was refreshed, but the caliph was astounded. He felt the affront even more than he acknowledged the favour, and his faith staggered with resentment. The ulema were assembled, and the caliph proposed his doubts; when a reverend doctor, no less learned than pious, arose, and enforcing his reasoning with the seductions of eloquence, calmed his disquietude, and brought him back into the stedfastness of truth. The Mahometan doctors attribute to inspiration the discourse which he pronounced. "What is there," said the holy man, "so extraordinary in this event, or so inimical to the religion of Mahomet. God," continued he, "so loves the Mussulmans his chosen people, their prayers and their petitions are so grateful to his ear that he even abstains from an immediate compliance with their requests, in order to compel them to renew their pious addresses: but the voice of infidels is harsh and dissonant: and if he grant their petitions, it is from disgust at their nauseous supplications, and to rid himself of their importunities." (Tab. Gén. t.ii, p.250.)

110 The namaz, the prayer the most obligatory on Mussulmans, and the most pleasing to the Supreme Being, is chiefly a confession of the divine attributes, and of the nothing-ness of man; a solemn act of homage and gratitude to the eternal majesty. The faithful are forbidden to ask of God the temporal blessings of this frail and perishable life: the only legitimate object of the namaz is to adore the Supreme Being, by praying for spiritual gifts and the ineffable advantages of eternal felicity4. Confident in the efficacy of belief and the virtue of prayer and legal purification, the Mussulmans feel no humility on account of the imperfections of human nature, and no repentance on account of actual transgressions5. The unity of the Supreme Being, and the divine mission of the prophet, are all that are insisted on as necessary to justification with God6; and as these 111 imply no contradiction, and involve no mystery, the mind seems to comprehend both points without an effort, and to hold them with steadiness. Hence their consciences are never alarmed at the weakness or insufficiency of their faith; nor can they ever doubt of their acceptance with God. Their religion consoles and elevates them through life, and never disturbs their dying moments7.

4See Tableau Général, t.ii, p.70-99. "The prophet himself was so filled with divine love, when he performed his devotions, that his pure and holy heart was said to boil like water in a cauldron on a strong fire." (Tab. Gén. t.ii, p.76.)

5That is, no repentance considered as an act of the mind, for they have many penitential rites and ceremonies.

6"Nous croyons, nous confessons, nous attestons, qu'il n'y a de Dieu que Dieu seul, Dieu unique, lequel n'admet point d'association en lui; croyance heureuse à laquelle est attachée la béatitude céleste.- D'après ce principe, quiconque meurt dans la foi Musulmane est sûr de gagner le ciel. Est-il chargé de péchés, a-t-il transgressé la loi, a-t-il negligé le culte et la pratique des bonnes œuvres, il ne s'expose qu' à des peines toujours soumises à la volonté suprême du Créateur, qui est le maître de pardonner entièrement les plus grands crimes, comme de punir sévèrement les moindres fautes. Or le Musulman pécheur venant à être rangé dans la classe des enfans rebelles qui lui sont destinés pour l'expiation de ses péchés. Ainsi purifié par le feu de Penfer, il se trouve en état de paroître devant la face de son créateur, et de jouir dans la société des élus, du bonheur qui leur appartient." (Tab. Gén. t.i, p.146. t.ii, p.214.) The heresy of the Kharidjys, against which the caliph Ali displayed a zeal which occasioned his death, consisted chiefly in the doctrine, that enormous sins counteract, and even annul, faith, which can only be meritorious when accompanied with the constant practice of morality.

7The death of the vizir Ahmed Pasha by order of Sultan Soliman, as related by Baron Busbeck (Epist.ii, p.90), is a remarkable instance of Turkish fortitude. "Cum mane in divanum venisset, mox affuit qui ei regis nomine mortem indiceret, qui nuncius Achomatem haud multo magis commovit, ut erat incredibili magnitudine animi, quam si nihil ad ipsum pertineret. Carnificem tantum munus suum exequi parantem, a se repulit, haud convenire existimans tanto honore modo usum pollutis illius manibus attrectari: cumque oculos ad eos qui adstabant circumtulisset, hominem honestum, sibi amicum, oravit, ut hoc sibi daret, ut ejus manibus necaretur, futurum id sibi magni et postremi muneris loco; quod ille, etiam atque etiam rogatus, non recusavit. Verum Achomates eum monuit, ne statim atque una vice astricto nervo se suffocaret, sed eo remisso, semel respirare pateretur; quo facto, nervum adduceret donec exanimaretur."

112 The general opinion among Mussulmans is, that the koran is uncreated, that it has existed from eternity, either in the divine essence, or in tablets of immense magnitude laid up in the throne of God, in which the complete and perpetual series of events is described. Mahomet himself was to convinced of its superiority to all human productions that he declares, in the seventeenth chapter, that if the whole race of men and dæmons were to unite in order to produce something similar to the excellences of the koran, they could never succeed. A difference of opinion on this subject has, however, in former ages, disturbed the peace of the Mahometan church, perverted the judgment even of the commanders of the faithful, and given rise to controversy and persecution. Hannbel, the founder of one of the orthodox sects, resisted the heresy of the caliphs, and 113 was a martyr to the doctrine of the divinity of the koran. Mahomet the Third was present at his execution, and beheld with astonishment the constancy of his faith, and his insensibility to bodily pain during the infliction of the torture8.

8See Maracci, de alcorano, p.38. Sale's koran, v.ii, p.108. Tab. Gén. t.i, p.91. "Tutissime illi incedebant, qui verbis Corani adherentes dicebant illum esse positum, vel demissum, et de creatione ejus silebant." (Reland, de religione Mohammedica, l.i, p.18, n.) The learned father Maracci (de alcorano, p.41,42) delivers it as his serious opinion, that the koran is the work of the devil. A discovery to which he was led by observing its resemblance with the style and manner of the same author in other more openly avowed performances.

Many of the learned Turks are said to refuse an implicit belief to all the miracles recorded in the koran9; but none of them so far contradict the national prejudices as publicly to withhold their assent10. An effendi, skilled in mathematics, was asked, how he 114 could believe, that Mahomet broke the star of the moon, and caught half of it falling from heaven in his sleeve. He replied, that indeed it was not only not agreeable, but contrary, to the course of nature; but that, as the koran affirmed the truth of the miracle, he could not refuse it his assent; for, added he, God can do whatever he pleases11. They admit with equal facility the wonderful stories related by Christians, and on some occasions conform to the popular prejudices even of this despised sect; as in the instance given by Cantemir, of the lord of a village, who suffered no work to be done on St. Phocas's day, because formerly the saint, in revenge for the profanation of his festival, had burnt their standing corn12. The opinion, 115 that sanctity of life, independently of any particular religious persuasion, is sufficient for salvation, is silently embraced by a few liberal Turks, though it is condemned by the Mahometan church as a heresy13.

9The minutiæ of Turkish belief are indeed as little reconcileable to common sense as the fables of ancient mythology. But as Voltaire justly observes, "les Turcs sensés rient de ces bêtises subtiles; les jeunes femmes n'y pensent pas; les vieilles dévotes y croient."

10Khodjea Behhay'ud-dinn Nakschibendy, the greatest saint of Turkistan, bequeathed to the faithful this maxim for the regulation of their conduct: "the exterior for the world, the interior for God." (Tab. Gén. t.i, p.307.)

11The story is from Cantemir, who affirms (Ottoman history, p.31, note 7), that he himself held this conversation with the effendi; and his general veracity is proved from the internal testimony of his writings. Cantemir, however, shows himself in this, as well as in other instances, to be but superficially acquainted with the koran, or at least to have read it under that prejudice of which a Greek can never divest himself. The story of the fraction of the moon is in the 54th chapter of the koran; and it is alluded to in the Tableau Général, t.i, p.199, and t.iii, p.295. See also Gibbon's Roman history, v.ix, p.272.

12"Ils ne se livrent à aucun acte extérieur de dévotion envers(?) Jésus Christ; mais aussi ne se permettent-ils jamais la moindre irrévérence, ni même le déplacement d'aucune relique Chrétienne. Ce seroit, disent-ils, attirer sur nous la colère et la malédiction de (?)ce grand prophète." (Tab. Gén. t.ii, p.401.)

13See Busbeq. Epist. iii, p.126. Reland, de relig. Moham., l.ii, sec.2.

It has been observed, that, in all ages, those who are satiated with enjoyments are most inclined to become atheists, and that superstition is most apt to make those its prey who are oppressed with misery and want. But atheism, whether speculative or practical, is rare among the Turks; for when the doctrines of the existence of God and the immortality of the soul have been implanted in the mind by early education, they cannot be eradicated, unless, perhaps, by intense and perverted study and reflection, of which the Turks, from habitual indolence, are incapable14. The terrors of conscience, which 116 generate in the vicious and profligate a wish to disbelieve, and at last, perhaps, a wavering consciousness, that they do disbelieve these doctrines, operate but little on the minds of men who are firmly convinced, that the divine favour is never a withdrawn from those who are stedfast in their profession of faith, and constant in their practice of 117 religious rites. The belief and the performance of both are simple and easy, and not only may exist unconnected with virtue, but may even seem to expiate vicious conduct. Hence that tranquillity with respect to futurity which never abandons the Turk; and hence his neglect of palliatives for an evil, of which, so far as regards himself as a believer, he cannot consistently suspect the existence.

14"Ceux même qui ne sont pas bien convaincus de l'apostolat du prophète, n'en sont pas moins attachés au dogme de l'unité de l'être suprême, ni moins pénétrés de son existence et de ses attributs infinis." (Tab. Gén. t.iv, p.464.) I find myself at variance, both in my assertions and my reasoning, with Sir James Porter, who says (p.39), "that it is certain there are among the Turks many philosophical minds:- that they have the whole systems of the Aristotelian and Epicurean philosophy translated into their own language; and finding the latter, which they call the Democritic, to cut more effectually at the root, and to be more conformable to their present indolence, ease, and security, they generally adopt it; so that, perhaps without their knowing it, they are at once perfect atheists and professed Mahometans. Superstition, and its train," continues Sir James Porter, "are a true basis for atheism; there is no medium; from the one extreme the mind is forcibly, though imperceptibly, driven to the other: hence the Turks easily plunge into it." Sir James Porter, who was so little acquainted with the Turkish language as to assert, "that it is composed of the very dregs of the Persian and Arabian tongues," cannot be supposed to have derived his information from the purest sources. It appears indeed to have been communicated to him by his dragomans (mere men of words, who are always prepared to answer every question, on every subject, rather than confess their ignorance, and who always accommodate their answers to the wishes of the inquirer), and as such, it may be dismissed without further remark. I am much disposed to doubt, that superstition necessarily leads to atheism; but it is unnecessary to discuss the merits of the position, as fanaticism, and not superstition, is the prominent feature of the Mahometan religion.

The popular religion of the Turks consists in belief, prayers, ablutions, and fastings at stated periods.

They are called to namaz (prayers) five times a day, by the muezzinn (chanter), who recites, from the highest tower of the jami, the hymn ezann, containing a confession of faith, in the following form. "God most high! I bear witness, that there is no God but God. I bear witness, that Mahomet is prophet of God. Come to prayer; come to the asylum of salvation. Great God! There is no God but God."

The canonical hours for the morning prayer are from the first dawning of the day to sunrise. This prayer was first performed by Adam on his expulsion from Paradise, when he returned thanks to God on being delivered 118 from the darkness of night, and again permitted to behold the approach of day. Towards the conclusion of the morning ezann, the muezzinn exhorts the faithful to be diligent in their devotions, by repeating, immediately after the words, come to the asylum of salvation, "prayer is preferable to sleep, prayer is preferable to sleep15." The namaz of noon, which may be said at any period of the interval between the meridian and the next succeeding namaz, was instituted by Abraham after his purposed sacrifice of his son Isaac. The afternoon namaz, in which the prophet Jonas first expressed his gratitude on being cast up from the belly of the whale, begins when the shadow projected on the dial is of twice the length of the gnomon, and it may be said as long as the sun continues above the horizon. The evening prayer is believed by Mahometans to have been instituted by Jesus Christ: the hours appointed for the performance of this namaz 119 are from the setting of the sun to the extinction of the twilight, when the night-prayer is performed, in imitation of Moses. On Friday, which is consecrated to public worship commemoration of the creation of man, the Mahometans recite an additional namaz, and a prayer salath' ul-djuma between sunrising and noon.

15Enthymius accuses the Mahometans of worshipping the morning star under the name of cobar; "which," says Sir William Jones (who is merciless towards those who write on such subjects without possessing the Oriental languages), "is a palpable lie, arising from the ignorance of the writer, who heard the criers on the mosques calling the people to morning prayers by the words allah acbar."(Works, v.v, p.546.)

In the namaz there are several prostrations, some of which must not on any account be omitted, being farz, or the immediate command of God: others may be omitted, though not without some degree of sin, being sunneth, institutions of the prophet, or rather an imitation of his practice16.

16Busbequius misrepresents the devotions of the Turks, when he says, (Epist.iii, p.178) "Sacerdote Mahumetis nomen pronunciante, pariter una omnes capita ad genua usque submittebant. Cum nomen Dei proferetur, in faciem venerabundi procidebant, et terram deosculabantur."

The Turks admit of purgatory, araf, in which the believer is to repeat the prayers which he omitted in his life, or neglected to say at the appointed times. Even martyrs, according to the most prevailing opinion of Mussulmans, are doomed to expiate in purgatory the sin of disrespect towards their parents17. They assert, that the sinful soul 120 is greatly benefited by the prayers of the living, and still more so by the reading of the koran, whereby the angel Gabriel is assisted in guarding the soul from the devils, during the forty days of its hovering about the grave wherein the body is laid.

The abdest, or ablution of the hands, face, mouth, head, neck, arms, and feet, accompanied with suitable prayers, is performed by the Turks in a. particular manner to distinguish them from the Persians, and is an indispensable preparation to the namaz or prayer*17a. Ghoussoul is the purification of the whole body, in cases which are specified, in the religious code of the Mahometans. Ghassl, or simple washing, is ordered for 121 removing any visible or substantial impurity, from the clothes or the person, of a nature to invalidate or annul the virtue of prayer.

17a"A reïs effendi, or secretary of state, reputed of great ability and learning, sent for a Christian dragoman, or interpreter, on very urgent business ; he attended, and found the secretary deeply engaged in dispute with his son-in-law on the important question, to what exact height their hands or arms, feet or legs, should be washed, to render themselves truly acceptable to God." (Observations on the religion, &c. of the Turks, p. 9.) Such is Sir James Porter's story, who boasts of his superior means of obiaining information, and yet we see fell into the error of believing a dragoman. Now the mode of performing all the ablutions is so minutely described, and in several instances with that naivete which modern European manners will scarcely tolerate, that no doubt or dispute can possibly arise between Mussulmans on this subject.

The fast of the month of ramazan consists in abstaining from food or drink, or any gratification of the senses, during the whole time of the sun's continuance above the horizon.

The immediate ministers of religion make {Priests.} no part of the body of ulema. In the larger mosques there are sheiks, or preachers; kiatibs, readers or deacons, who, in imitation of the prophet and caliphs, and in the name and under the sacerdotal authority of the sultan, discharge the functions of the imameth or high priesthood; imams, who recite the namaz; and muezzins, who summon the people to prayers; besides cayyims or sextons. In villages, or small parishes, the duties of the whole are performed by the imam, who is sometimes also the hogia, or schoolmaster for the children: but he owes this appointment to his being the only person possessing sufficient leisure or the necessary qualifications.

The priests in their habits of life are not distinguished from other citizens; they live in the same society and engage in the same 122 pursuits18: they sacrifice no comforts, and are compelled to no acts of self-denial: their influence on society is entirely dependent on their reputation for learning and talents, or on their gravity and moral conduct. They are seldom the professed instructors of youth, much less of men, and they are by no means considered as the directors of conscience. They merely chant aloud the church service, and perform offices, which the master of a family or the oldest person in company, as frequently, and as consistently, performs as themselves. The Turks know nothing of those expiatory ceremonies which give so much influence to the priesthood: all the practices of their religion can be, and are, performed without the interference of the priests19.

17See Tab. Gén. t.i, p.142.

18When Baron de Tott was fortifying the Dardanelles, the pasha strongly recommended to his notice a muezzinn, or crier of a mosque, as a man who had a surprising genius for throwing bombs, and to whom he intended to give the post of first bombardier. (Memoirs, v.ii, p.51.)

19"On entretient dans les hôtels publics, dans les grandes maisons, des imamset des muezzinns particuliers, à titre de chapelains ou d'aumôniers. Ces muezzinns annoncent l'ezann sur le haut de l'escalier ou vers la porte de la pièce destinée à la prière, se mettent ensuite dans une des lignes de l'assemblée, où ils récitent la seconde annonce, ikameth; après quoi l'imam, placé comme dans les temples à la tête du corps, commence le namaz. Ces ministres particuliers n'ont rien de commun avec les ministres publics voués au service des mosquées. Ce sont de simples citoyens, nommés par les chefs des familles, sous le nom et l'autorité desquels ils président à ce religieux exercise, comme ayant eux-mêmes le droit de s'en acquitter en personne. Cette prérogative est commune à tout Musulman dans les assemblées particulières." (Tab. Gén. t.ii, p.175.)


123 The institution of the different orders of dervishes is foreign to the genuine spirit of the Mahometan religion. Some of the Ottoman ministers have even attempted their suppression; but the vulgar, who certainly consider their ceremonies to possess the force of incantation, submit to their caprices, and court their benediction by respect and liberality.

I apply the epithet vulgar to the character the mind, the constituent part of the man, rather than to the rank in life; for Selim the First, the conqueror of Egypt, was himself no less a slave to this absurd superstition than the meanest of his subjects. When he had made himself master of Syria, his greatest anxiety was to seek out, and heap presents and benefits on, the sheïks and dervishes, in hopes of being aided in his future expeditions by their blessings and prayers. His devotion led him to visit an anchorite, 124 who dwelt in a corner of the mosque of Damascus. The sultan bowed himself down before the saint, and stood in the humblest attitude, not daring to break silence: the pious solitary, on the other hand, held his peace from respect for the monarch. After a long pause an officer of the court broke the charm, and relieved them both from this ridiculous state of suspense: but Selim, before he dared to solicit the prayers of the sheïk for the prosperity of the Ottoman arms, severely rebuked the favourite for his unholy impatience20.

20See Tableau Général, t.i, p.312. Gibbon finds this superstitious reverence for saints and astrologers so little reconcileable with the possession of a sound understanding on matters of mere human concern that, notwithstanding the many examples which the histories of Europe as well as Asia furnish of their actual union in the same person, he supposes it to be affected as an instrument of policy. (See vol. xii, p.43.)

The word dervish, derived from the Persian and signifying the threshold of a door, the spirit of humility, has been improperly translated monk, since some of the orders are allowed to marry, and none profess celibacy. In the Ottoman empire there are thirty-two distinct orders. Hagi Bektash, a sheïk of distinguished piety, founded among the Turks the order which still bears his 125 name: the institution and the memory of the saint are in high repute in Turkey, from their connexion with the military order of the janizaries, who were consecrated and named by Hagi Bektash. Eight dervishes of this order are lodged and maintained in the barracks at Constantinople: their office is to offer up prayers every night and morning for the prosperity of the empire and the success of its arms. In public ceremonies they march on foot before the horse of the janizar aga, the chief of them constantly repeating with a loud voice kerim ullah, (merciful God), to which the others reply in chorus by the word hou, one of the ninety-nine names, or attributes, of God, an acknowledgment of his eternal existence, of the same signification as Jehovah among the Hebrews21. The mevlevi turn round in their dances for a long continuance22, and cultivate vocal and instrumental 126 music: their neïh (a pipe made of an Indian reed) is exceedingly sweet. The cadri, or howling dervishes, repeat the name of God so long, and with such vehemence, that at last they fall down, exhausted with fatigue and foaming at the mouth. The novitiate of these fellows is degrading and painful. Uveïs, the founder of a sect in the first century of the hegira, required of his followers to draw all their teeth, in honour of the prophet, who lost two of his teeth at the battle of Ohud23. So severe a probation left no room for hypocrisy, and the weakness of human nature gradually operated the extinction of this sect; but the institutions of the dervishes are upheld and perpetuated by the generally received opinion, that there exists continually among Mussulmans the legion of three hundred and fifty-six saints, which is composed of the members of these different fraternities, and which constitutes, in an invisible manner, that spiritual and celestial order which is consecrated under the august name of ghavs alem, refuge of the 127 world. Enthusiastic and pious Mahometans apprehend, that the abolition of the order of dervishes would draw down upon the empire and the faithful the curses of this holy association; and the boldest free-thinkers consider this mixture of austerity and immorality, of devotion and profaneness, as a mystery which the Mussulman should adore in silence.

21See Reland, de relig. Moham. l.ii, p.156. See in Toderini (t.i, p.20) a list of those names, which compose the tespih, or Mussulman rosary.

22Volney asserts, that "the sacred dances of the dervishes are an imitation of the movements of the stars." (See Voyages en Syrie, et en Egypte, t.ii, p.289, note.) The Turks, however, certainly do not think so, or they would be guilty of idolatry in being spectators of them. The dances of the dervishes more aptly represent the confusion of an enthusiast's ideas, than the order of the heavenly bodies, which indeed may, with no greater impropriety, be considered as the prototype of our national hornpipe.

23Tableau Général, t.iv, p.620.


The emirs derive their descent from Fatima, the daughter of Mahomet: they are sometimes called evladi resul allah, sons of prophet of God, and in their pilgrimage to his shrine at Medina, they invoke him by the name of their ancestor. They are dispersed all over the empire, through every rank in society, and are distinguished by wearing a green turban. Cantemir relates, that "a circumstance hardly credible, but however true, is observed in this family. The emirs before their fortieth year are men of the greatest gravity, learning, and wisdom; but after that, if they are not quite fools, yet they discover some sign of levity and stupidity24." Our countryman Sandys too asserts, "that there lives not a race of 128 ill-favoureder people, branded, perhaps by God, for the sinne of their seducing ancestor, and their own wicked assuming of hereditary holiness25." The Turks, on the contrary, believe, that a true emir can have no corporal defect nor blemish, as the whole race is constantly favoured with the grace and protection of the prophet. I am compelled, however, to declare, that the emirs differ neither in intellects nor features, nor any other mark of distinction, except their head-dress, from their fellow-citizens: the miracle would therefore be contradicted by the observation of the present day, and to admit its authenticity at any period, we are reduced to the dilemma of allowing a still greater miracle, the undeviating fidelity of all the mistresses of this ill-favoured race since the days of the incense-breathing Fatima26.

24Cantemir's Ottoman history, p.94, note 50.

25Sandys's Travels, p.64.

26"Le prophète au retour de ses expéditions guerrières ne manquoit jamais de donner à Fathima, sa fille, des marques de sa tendresse, et de lui baiser le front, en disant chaque fois qu'il sentoit en elle l'odeur du paradis." (Tab. Gén. t.iv, p.264.) "Accepimus per traditionem a patribus nostris" (says an Arabian author of the life of Mahomet, quoted by Marracci, in vita et rebus gestis a Mahumeto, p.31), "legatum Dei Mahumetum consuevisse multiplicare oscula in ore Phatemæ (filie sua), dominæ mulierum omnium sæculorum: ita ut dixerit ei Aisa (uxor ejus, zelotypia tacta): O legate Dei, ego video te valde frequenter osculari os Phatemæ, et intrudere linguam tuam in buccam ejus. Respondit ille: ita est, O Aisa; nam postquam nocturno tempore translatus fui in cœlum, introduxit me Gabriel, cui sit pax, in Paradisum, et adduxit me ad arborem Tuba et præbuit mihi unum ex pomis ejus, et comedi illud, et conversum est in sperma in lumbis meis. Cum autem descendissem in terram, concubui cum Chadige, quæ concepit Phatemam. Quotiescumque ergo subit mihi desiderium Paradisi, osculor illam, et ingero linguam meam in os ejus, et sentio ex ea auram Paradisi, et odorem arboris Tuba, qui est mixtus ex terreno et cœlesti."

{Pilgrimage to Mecca.}

129 The hadj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is the principal act of devotion, and is accounted so meritorious as to cancel, and obtain a remission of, even the greatest sins. All Mussulmans, both male and female, of free condition, having attained the age of majority, and being in health both of body and mind, are commanded by the koran to undertake this journey once in their lives, and that at a time when their substance is such that half of it will suffice for the expense of the pilgrimage, and the other half is to be left behind for an honest subsistence at their return. The koran declares, that the performance of the pilgrimage to the temple of the Lord is a duty imposed on all Mussulmans. "Those who neglect it hurt themselves alone, for the defection of the universe cannot 130 diminish the happiness of the Self-existent." Mahomet enforces this duty on his followers by pronouncing, that those who die in the wilful neglect of it are no less liable to perdition than Jews and Christians; and the caliph Omar was so firmly persuaded of its indispensable necessity that he not only refused the name of Mussulmans to those who neglected to perform their pilgrimage, but even declared, that if the wretches were known to him, he would burn their property, their houses, and their persons, as a punishment for their impiety. There are, however, certain impediments which are acknowledged to be legitimate: the slave, the minor, the infirm, the insane, and the poor, are justified before God for the non-performance of this religious duty. Nor is the believer compelled to expose himself to imminent danger; nor the woman allowed to undertake the journey, except under the guardianship of her husband or near relation, who may defend her honour and her person from insult or attack27.

27Mr. Eton complains, that the Turks do not travel. He says (p.196), "this great source of expansion and improvement to the mind is entirely checked by the arrogant spirit of their religion." But does not their religion, on the contrary, by enjoining the pilgrimage to Mecca, promote travelling, and bring Mahometans, even from India and the extremities of Africa, to meet in one great assembly in that city?

131 The black stone, the chief object of the pilgrimage to Mecca, is called by the prophet a ruby of Paradise. "Verily," says he, "it shall be called upon at the last day; it shall see; it shall speak, and bear witness of those who shall have touched it in truth and sincerity of heart." This stone is the pledge of that covenant which was entered into between the great creator, and all the orders of spiritual existence. "Am not I your God?" said the Supreme Being at the moment of the creation, and all replied, "yes, thou art." This act of universal faith was deposited in the centre of the stone; and at the last judgment its testimony will confound those who have slighted, or have corrupted the purity of their original belief.

Thus, say the Mahometan doctors, it is demonstrated, that Islamism is congenial to the nature of man; and human reason, unsubdued by human sophistry, must yield immediate assent to the divinity of its doctrines. But happy, in the opinion of the faithful, are those who have confirmed by the devout kisses of their lips; their strict 132 adherence to the first and most holy of their engagements. They are honoured, during the remainder of their lives, with the veneration of their fellow-citizens; they are distinguished by the appellation of hagi; and their beards, consecrated by their devotion, are carefully nourished in their full growth, visible tokens of their obedience to the precepts, and respect for the example, of the prophet. These advantages, which the frigid devotion of Europeans is almost incapable of appreciating, can be conceived only when we estimate the exertions employed to obtain the m; when we consider the nature and extent of the country which the pilgrims are obliged to traverse, the sufferings and privations which they must undergo in their long and terrible journies, and the mental energies which must be excited in order to rouse oriental indolence to such a perilous and fatiguing enterprise. The African pilgrims returned through Cairo while the French were in possession of the country, worn to the bones with hunger and misery, so that one could with difficulty be distinguished from the other; as meagre as the deserts were arid, as extenuated as prisoners forgotten in their dungeons28.

28See Denon, voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte, t.i, p.144.


133 Every person is believed to bear on his forehead, in characters not legible indeed man, but inscribed by the finger of God, the accidents of his life, and the appointed time of his death; and nothing, good or evil, can happen contrary to the divine decree. Hence their common sayings, such as, acajak can damarda dourmaz, "the blood predestined to flow will not remain in the artery." Yet they allow a free-will in man, in order that infidels may be left without excuse at the last judgment. "All," they say, "may be saved who will; but no man is saved, whom God has not destined to salvation.29."

29"Le Musulman qui voit sa fortune réduite en cendres on enlevée par une main avide, l'individu frappé de la contagion, le marin qui périt au pied d'un rocher par l'inhabileté du pilote, le malade victime de l'ignorance d'un empirique, le sujet enfin qui se voit écrasé sous le poids d'une autorité arbitrairem tous se soumettent à leur malheuréux sort avec une égale résignation. Le moindre murmure est taxé d'irréligion, d'attentat, de doute criminelle contre les décrets célestes. Ils regardent leur meurtrier, l'auteur de leur infortune, comme un instrument entre les mains de la Providence, qui exerce sur eux l'arrêt irrévocable de leur destinée, arrêt, disent-ils, écrit sur leur front dès avant leur naissance, et dont l'événement est par-là même au dessus de toute sagesse et de toute prévoyance humaine. Ce fatalisme est consacré sous le nom de takdir ou kissmeth; dans tous les événemens de la vie, heureux ou malheureux, ces mots sont toujours dans la bouche des Musulmans de toutes les (?)classes et de toutes les conditions." (Tab.Gén. t.i, p.169.) "Que le musulman essuye une grande perte; qu'il soit dépouillé, ruiné, il dit tranquillement: C'étoit écrit, et avec ce mot il passe sans murmure de l'opulence à la misère: qu'il soit au lit de la mort, rien n'altère sa sécurité; il fait son ablution, sa prière; il a confiance en Dieu et au prophète; il dit avec calme à son fils: Tourne-moi la tête vers la Mekke, et il meurt en paix." (Volney, voyages en Syrie et en Egypte, t.ii, p.331.) "Though the Mahometan law obliges them not to abandon the city, nor their houses, nor to avoid the conversation of men infected with the pestilence where their business or calling employs them, yet they are counselled not to frequent a contagious habitation, where they have no lawful affair to invite them." (Rycaut, p.116.)

134 The doctrine of fatalism, which is sufficiently powerful, when combined with their natural indolence, to prevent their taking the necessary precautions for guarding against the infection of the plague, is however weak too weak to withstand actual and imminent danger. They expose themselves to contagion with indifference; but have precipitated themselves into impassable torrents, and even into the sea, to avoid the fire or the bayonet of their enemies.

It is difficult to ascertain their precise opinion of this fatality. They say it an overrules human purposes, and seem to think, that it blindly follows the direction which it has received, overturning or disregarding circumstances, which in the natural order of 135 events should have diverted its course; and that it sometimes adheres so closely to the letter of the sentence which it is commissioned to execute, as to mistake the real spirit and intent. My house was burnt down; and a Turk of my acquaintance made me a visit of condolence. "A misfortune," said he, "was predestined to you. Thank God. It was directed against your head; but it has fallen only on your property." A pasha, to whom mischief seemed to be portended, has been removed from his office, in order that the threatened calamity might affect only himself, and be averted from the public30.

30"Constat aliquando amotos ab officio bassas propter equi lapsum, ac si magni alicujus infortunii id portentum esset, quod abrogatione officii a publica calamitate in caput privatum averruncaretur." (Busbeq, Epist. i, p.54.)

The doctrine of predestination obtained much credit as the nurse of heroism, while success was its concomitant in the Ottoman armies, and it was considered as being peculiarly calculated to inspire and perpetuate military ardour. It is indeed true, that, in countries where it prevails, it must be a powerful engine in the hands of government for raising or recruiting armies, as it supplies unanswerable arguments to call men 136 into the field; but I doubt its efficacy to convince the coward, that he is not more exposed to danger or death in the front of battle than in camp or in quarters. In the heat of action, while flushed with success, their situation alone is fully sufficient to inspire soldiers with all the necessary impetuosity. If predestination could urge motives for unceasing exertion, when they are dejected by misfortune and dispirited by unconquerable resistance, the national prejudice would indeed be most valuable. But, on the contrary, the certainty of dying, the firm persuasion, that we are arrived at the term of life, so far from preparing us for resisting death, only relaxes our endeavours to protract our existence. Religion, indeed, teaches, that the sentence inscribed on men's foreheads is illegible to themselves and to their fellow-mortals; but, in the moment of despondency, all pretend to decypher it. The janizaries, after three unsuccessful attacks, are persuaded, that they are fighting against providence, and cannot legally be compelled to attempt a fourth31. The timid sultan, alarmed at the progress and insolence of rebellion, imagines, that he hears the decree 137 of God in the voice of popular tumult: and a treacherous courtier, who has succeeded in effecting the ruin of a colleague, produces the order of the sovereign for his death as the appointment of divine providence, which a Mussulman, instead of querulously resisting, should patiently adore.

31Cantemir's Ottoman history, p.310, note 55.

{Invocation of saints.}

The Turks acknowledge it to be meritorious and becoming to reverence all departed saints, and religiously visit their monuments: but they are chiefly commanded by their law to invoke the names of Mahomet and the four caliphs his immediate successors, and to write them in neat characters on tablets, which they hang up in the mosques and other buildings. The blessings of paradise they suppose to be in common, and therefore assign no particular station to their saints; and they deny to all, except Mahomet himself, any compassion for human miseries, as thinking it would be a hindrance to the perfect felicity at which they are arrived32: 138 yet the weak and the vulgar admire in living idiots an enthusiastic devotion, an insensibility to the enjoyments and conveniences of life, and the voluntary adoption of evil. After the decease of these imaginary favourites of heaven, they hang about their tombs their votive offerings for the cure of diseases, and the removing of sterility and impotence33.

32Cantemir's Ottoman history, p.81, note 7. p.124, note 22. Such indeed appears to be the popular opinion: and the Mahometan pronounces neither the election nor the reprobation of any mortal, except those whom the prophet himself has declared to be in the enjoyment of beatitude. These are ten persons, who were co-operators with the prophet, his apostles or his scribes, and chiefly the four caliphs, his immediate successors. On them, indeed, he has conferred a weight of glory, sufficient to make the stoutest of them tremble. "Ils ont pour partage les régions les plus élevées et les plus enchantées du ciel. La félicité, dont ils jouissent dans ce séjour ravissant, est au dessus de l'intelligence humaine. L'Eternel a destiné à chacun d'eux soixantedix pavillons superbes, tous éclatans d'or et de pierreries: chacun de ces pavillons immenses est garni de sept cents lits éblouissans, et chaque lit est entouré de sept cents hourys ou vierges célestes." (Tab. Gén. t.i, p.318.)

33Locke, in his essay concerning human understanding (book i, ch.3, §9), has quoted from the voyage of Baumgarten, in the language in which it was published, a passage concerning the saints who are canonized among the Turks, similar to the following story from Leunclavius, which Mr. Eton has presented to his readers in all the nudity of the English idiom; and yet, I must confess, I doubt the accuracy of the information. The indecencies of the Egyptian saints (and those sufficiently disgusting) are indeed mentioned by modern travellers, but it would require undeniable testimony to reconcile me to the belief, that such depravity is not only tolerated but approved. "Veniebant ad nos Constantinopolim ex Ægypto, Sebastianus ab Haunsperg, et Johannes a Salagasto, viri nobiles. Horum alter Salagastius nobis narrabat, Alexandriæ, quum istic ipse degeret, hujusmodi quemdam sanctum virum opinione Mahumetanorum, quum præ foribus balnei muliebris stans exeuntem e balneo fœminam quandam attentius intuitus esset, in eam furore quasi quodam correptum involasse, ac protinus humi prostratam, nec admodum fortasse repugnantem, in oculis omnium compressisse. Maritum eo facto se beatum duxisse, quod vir sanctus, impulsu divino, præ aliis cum uxore sua coïvisset." It must be recollected, that the manners of the Orientals are less changeable than those of the European nations, so that what was true in the time of Leunclavius would still be found to exist with little or no modification: now Denon, who had the best opportunities of observing the manners of the Egyptians, and who certainly would not have passed over so striking a peculiarity, gives us however reason to suspect, from his silence on the subject, that both Locke and Leunclavius have been misled by inaccurate or exaggerated information. "The greatest part of the santons," says Denon, "pass their lives crouched in the angle of a wall, incessantly repeating the word allah, and receiving, without returning thanks, the means of subsistence. Others beat themselves on the head with stones: others again only tell their beads and sing hymns; while the most fanatic remain motionless, naked without being indecent, exposed to the violent rays of the sun without showing any feeling of uneasiness, and receiving charity without expressing satisfaction." (See voyage, &c. t.i, p.231. t.iii, p.45.)

{Belief in the efficacy of amulets, relics, and enchantments.}

139 They have confidence in amulets and charms for preventing or delivering from mischief; and as they sometimes charitably recommend the use of them to strangers, they must suppose their virtue to operate independent of belief in Islamism34.

34Among the ignorant inhabitants of Turkey there seems to be a community of the advantages of talismans. I have known a Jew apply a Venetian sequin to an obstinate ulcer; a remedy which had been recommended to him by a Greek Christian out of respect for the figures of the Virgin and the Infant.

140 That virtue may be communicated to inanimate matter from its contact with the persons of saints, or from having been used for the purposes of religion, has been an opinion universally received among Christians and Turks. The sanjac sherif, or standard of Mahomet, which no unbeliever should look upon with impunity, is considered as the palladium of the empire. In time of peace it is deposited in a kind of chapel within the seraglio, and religiously guarded, together with the other relics of the prophet. When the sultan in person, or the grand vizir, leads the armies against the enemies of the faith, the sanjac sherif is taken out of its shrine with great ceremony and many prayers, and carried to the camp, where a superb tent is erected for its reception, and forty officers, chosen from the capigis, or chamberlains of the palace, are appointed to carry it by turns. It is placed order the protection of all the possessors of military fiefs, and more especially confided to the care of four regiments, which derive their name from the performance of this service. The whole Mussulman population poured out from the city to salute it, on its safe return from the late Russian war. I was deterred from going 141 myself on account of the danger which had attended some Christian spectators on a former occasion; but I was desirous of learning from a Turk, with whom I was acquainted, what this famous standard was. He evaded my question by assuring me, that he was seized with a tremor when he beheld it, so as not to be able to gaze stedfastly upon it; and was displeased with my rallying him on the firmer nerves of the enemies of the Mussulman faith35. The veil which is annually sent by the sultan for covering the caaba of Mecca, becomes intrinsically holy, and is distributed over the empire as most valuable gift. A slip of it is sewed into the pall which is furnished from the mosques at funerals. Pieces of it are worn by the faithful, as one of the means of grace and an assurance of the divine protection; and these perishable materials accompany their fond possessors to the grave, as tokens of undeviating attachment to Islamism.

35I confess I do not feel less respect for this sacred standard from knowing, that, in its original destination, it served as the curtain of the chamber-door of Aïsché, the favourite wife of the uxorious Mahomet. (Tab. Gén. t.ii, p.379.)

The belief of the baneful effects of the evil eye and of envious commendation, is prevalent 142 among all ranks and sects of people; and as it has reigned from remote antiquity in the countries which the Ottomans possess, they may be supposed rather to have adopted than introduced it. Virgil's shepherd attributes to the malicious glances of an enemy the diseased appearance of his flock; and Pliny relates, that the Thessalian sorcerers destroyed whole harvests by speaking well of them. In Turkey, the barge of state of the sultan, as well as the pile of firewood in the court-yard of a public bath, is preserved from accident by a head of garlick. Every object, which can possibly attract attention or excite jealousy, is secured by some counteracting influence. The eye of the malicious observer is seduced into benediction by the sacred exclamation masch-allah, written in conspicuous characters, and placed the most obviously to view in the front of a house. The horse carries his rider with safety among the envious populace, while a string of blue beads dangles on his chest36. 143 But the anxious mother doubts even the effect of the talisman, and spits in her infant's face, that it may escape unhurt from the admiration of the childless, or the jealousy of less happy parents37.

36"Omnibus (pullis equinis) cervicem ambit, veluti monile, fascia amuletis plena, adversus fascinium quod præcipue metuitur." (Busbeq. Epist.iii, p.110.) A French writer, pleasantly enough, compares these talismans to the conductors placed on buildings in order to carry off lightning.

37It is an opinion in Turkey (more common, indeed, among the Greek islanders), that a rival, by repeating certain mystical words, or performing certain magical ceremonies, at the moment of the celebration of marriage, can disappoint the wishes of the parties by suspending the exercise of virility.
"Ami lecteur, vous avez quelquefois
Ouï conter qu'on nouait l'aiguillette.
C'est une étrange et terrible recette."
Such opinions have been adduced in all countries, in order to account for the temporary embarrassment, sometimes occasioned by the novelty of situation. I knew an instance of a young and vigorous Turk, who, imputing the insipidity of his honeymoon to the influence of sorcery, crossed the Bosphorus, in order to consult a dervish, renowned for his skill in baffling the arts of the devil. Unfortunately the success of the experiment could never be known. A sudden squall of wind overset the boat, within sight of his native village, and left his unfortunate widow to bewail her virginity.

{Faith in omens and dreams.}

Islamism, which operated such astonishing revolutions in the moral and political state of society, was nevertheless forced to bend under the influence of the irrational opinions which had immemorially prevailed among the nations of Arabia; and Mahomet, the destroyer of idolatry, fulminated in vain against the illusions of magic, and dreams, 144 and augury. The Turks are superstitious observers of omens, and think, that the pure soul of a Mussulman foresees, and is admonished of, future events in his dreams38. They carefully notice the first expressions, or the first action, of their new sultan on his accession to the throne, and thence predict his character and future government. Murad the Third, having heard of his father's death, set out from Magnesia, the capital of the province which he governed, and arrived in the night at the seraglio. The officers of the court and the ministers of state did homage before his throne, and listened with anxiety to the first words which he might utter. "I am hungry," said the sultan, "let me have something to eat." Every one was immediately seized with horror and dismay, an foresaw, at the very commencement of so inauspicious a reign, the famines, the wars, and civil dissensions, which disturbed and desolated the empire during the whole period of its continuance.

38The same opinion appears to be equally prevalent among the Persians. The historian of the life of Nader Shah (book i, chap.13) relates a dream of his Highness, when his soul, delivered from the incumbrance of the body, received in the region of sleep illuminations of the divinity, which showed on the mirror of the vision the face of truth.

{Prejudice against pictures.}

145 The Persians paint whole pictures, and commonly insert them in their historical writings. But the Turks, in general, consider it unlawful to paint, though not to describe in words, any other parts of the human body than the hands and feet of Mahomet, the body of the prophet being always concealed by the wings of legions of angels; and they firmly believe, that angels can enter no house where there are portraits of men39. The Mussulman, in the performance of the namaz, is ordered to throw off any parts of his dress which are made of stuffs on which are represented the figures of men or other animals, and to turn his face, during his devotions, from the sight of portraits or 146 pictures, unless they describe only the heads of irrational animals, or pieces of inanimate nature; but foreign coin, though bearing the impression of human figures, does not invalidate their prayers, and may be carried about them even during their journey to the holy city of Mecca. The standards of many of the companies of janizaries, the ships of war, and even the coffee-houses and shops of tradesmen, are decorated with rude and grotesque representations of birds and quadrupeds, and the barge of the sultan supports a golden eagle on its prow40. We have the authority of Prince Cantemir and the Chevalier d'Ohsson for the existence of a regular series of the portraits of all the Ottoman sovereigns in the seraglio; and I have seen a pocket-book belonging to the present sultan, containing engraved portraits of the most distinguished characters of our own time. It was sent to Sir Sidney Smith, that 147 he might communicate some historical anecdotes of Admiral Lord Nelson; and I remarked among the prints the likenesses of Lewis the Sixteenth, Catherine the Second, and Marshal Suwarow.

39"The Mahometan religion," says Mr. Eton, "has no medium of communication with the arts, and is fundamentally gloomy." (p.194, 196.) If Mr. Eton means the arts of painting and statuary, he is right; for they are banished from the mosque as rigorously as from the synagogues of the Jews, or the churches of several denominations of Christians. But, as the subjects, on which these arts are generally exercised in the churches of the Christians who admit the use of them, are tortures and death, it may be apprehended, that they throw somewhat of gloom, even upon our holy religion. Architecture and the ornamental arts are consecrated as much to Islamism as to Christianity. But such is the connexion between the arts that all become vitiated in practice from the partial exclusion of any one of them.

40"Nous citerons encore l'usage constant et général des ombres chinoises, et le débit continuel, quoique toujours clandestin, de figures d'hommes et de femmes dessinées sur du papier. Les obscénités qu'elles représentent sont tellement du goût de la nation, que ceux qui paroissent avoir le plus de répugnance pour les productions du pinceau, ne se font pas scrupule de remplir leurs porte-feuilles de ces dessins scandaleux." (Tab. Gén, t.iv, p.440.)

{Punishment of apostacy.}

The Turks are not only encouraged to persevere in the profession of the orthodox faith by civil distinctions and the assurance of paradise, but are deterred from apostacy by the temporal punishments denounced against it. Those who abjure the Mahometan faith are stigmatized by the law with the appellation of murtedds, and to them no clemency can be shown: they cannot sink into the class of zimmys or tributary subjects, and redeem their fault by the payment of the capitation-tax. Nothing can deliver them from death but the abjuration of their errors, and a renewal of their faith in the doctrines of Islamism. "If the rites of the established religion are performed, and a convenient conformity observed, the Turks inquire no further about it," and an inclination to change is indeed so rarely avowed as almost to authorize the assertion, that "executions, tortures, pains, and penalties, inflicted on account of religion, are never 148 heard of among them."41 The loss of the apostate's head has, however, in some rare instances, been the penalty of preferring the gospel to the koran42.

41Observations on the religion, &c. of the Turks, p.33.

42See Cantemir's Ottoman history, p.181.- Tableau Général, t.i, p.153.- See also (in t.iii, p.175) the history of the punishment of the first apostate Abd'ullah ibn-Hélal by order of Mahomet himself.


Lessons of morality are communicated to the Turkish youth in proverbs and parables; a mode of instruction than which nothing can he conceived more equivocal and injudicious. An infinite number of sayings have obtained credit and authority among the Turks; and though abstractedly good, a colour may be given, under their sanction, to actions the most perverse tendency. The conciseness of a proverb occasions the wrong application of it more easily to escape detection: it dazzles by the neatness of its expression; and the opponent, perplexed and unable to reply, finds himself outwitted, and imagines himself to be convinced43. The mischief is greater when the quotation is from scripture, whose authority is too sacred to be 149 questioned; and few suspect, that a sentence may bear a contrary signification when separated from the content. The Turkish morality, however, though imperfect and limited, is not fundamentally perverted, except with respect to unbelievers.

43I might quote the example of Sancho Pança, to show of how little use is this concentrated wisdom of ages in the conduct of common life.


Of all good works, zeal for the propagation of the faith seems to be esteemed the most meritorious. No requiem is necessary for the souls of men slain in war, for they have conquered paradise by martyrdom. Their funeral rites are different from those of men deceased according to the order of nature: they require neither ablution nor burying sheet: the blood with which they are covered stands in the stead of legal purifications. "Wash not their bodies," says the prophet, "every wound which they bear will smell sweeter than musk in the day of judgment."

"If a man's feet have been sprinkled with dust in the path of the Lord, him will God preserve from hell-fire," is one of the hadiss or oracular sayings of the prophet. Bajazet the Second, understanding the passage in its literal sense, carefully collected the dust which had adhered to his clothes during his military expeditions, and in his last moments 150 conjured the by-standers to make a brick of it, and place it in his coffin under his right arm, instead of a cushion44.

44Cantemir's Ottoman history, p.142.

{Modes of proposing the faith to unbelievers.}

If to the duty of extending Mahometanism were added the vanity of making converts, and if the Turks had possessed the same spirit of loquacity and argumentation as the Greeks, the situation of those who survived the independence of their empire would have been deplorable indeed. In the ordinary commerce of life, every question among the Greeks, during their domestic discussions of the subtleties of their faith, was answered by an exposition of some mysterious and intricate doctrine45. But how much more would such impertinence, on the part of the Turks, have been aggravated by the political superiority of the teacher to his scholar! Fortunately, the contemplation of his own excellence gives the Mahometan only the sentiment of pride: he performs an act of charity in proposing his faith to the acceptance of 151 the uninitiated; but his confidence in it is too firm for any vanity to be gratified by multiplying its adherents. "The conversion of the heart," say the Mussulmans, "belongs to God alone:" and though, from motives of duty, they hold out to strangers the advantages of their faith, they do not disturb the harmony of social intercourse by disputation on its superiority, or by sophistry in its defence. They think, that they have done enough when they have cast the seed; and they leave it to produce fruit in its own good time46.

45"If you desire a man to change a piece of silver, he informs you, wherein the Son differs from the Father: if you ask the price of a loaf, you are told, by way of reply, that the Son is inferior to the Father; and if you inquire whether the bath is ready, the answer is, that the Son was made out of nothing." (Jortin's Remarks on Eccles. hist. v.iv, p.71.)

46"Turcæ pietati et officio suo convenire existimant, ut homini Christiano, de quo bene sentiant, sacrorum et religionis suæ communionem semel deferant, ut servent, si possint, certo exitio de stinatum." (Busbeq. Epist. iii, p.126.)

In their public prayers the Mahometans never ask of God the conversion of other people: but in private it frequently happens, that a pious Turk, instigated by zeal or by personal attachment to a Christian or a Jew, lifts up his hands, and exclaims, "Great God! enlighten this infidel, and graciously dispose his heart to embrace thy holy religion." When devout persons, from a sense of duty, propose their faith to the acceptance of a youth whom they esteem for 152 his talents or his knowledge, they do it with a smiling air, and in words carefully studied so as not to give offence. The zeal of the missionary is bounded by the rules of good breeding, and a vague answer, or the abstaining from a reply, is received as an indication, that the subject ought not to be resumed. The doctrine of Mahomet owes its progress less to persuasion than to force. The scimitar was the powerful instrument employed for extending it. The Jews and Christians are distinguished by the name of kitaby (people of the book or possessors of scripture) from the idolater, whether worshipper of the heavenly bodies, or of fire, or of idols. The operation of the scimitar, with respect to them, extended no further than to overcome the stubbornness of their hearts, and to dispose them to listen with submission, if not with conviction, to the reasoning of the doctors. Only the heathen and the idolater were threatened with extermination; while the writings of the old and new testament, revered even by Mahometans, were sacred titles, which established a distant relationship between the disciples of the law and the gospel, and their conquerors47. The 153 Doric dimensions of the Jewish column are first to be lengthened according to the rules of evangelical proportion, in order to be fitted to receive the Corinthian capital of Mahometan perfection; but the spot, on which it is to be erected, must first be cleared by fire and the sword from the rank luxuriance of polytheism48.

47"The prophet of Mecca rejected the worship of idols and men, of stars and planets, on the rational principle, that whatever rises must set, that whatever is born must die, that whatever is corruptible must decay and perish." - "The chain of inspiration was prolonged from the fall of Adam to the promulgation of the koran. During that period - six legislators of transcendent brightness have announced to mankind the six successive revelations of various rites, but of one immutable religion. The authority and station of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, and Mahomet, rise in just gradation above each other; but whosoever hates or rejects any one of the prophets is numbered with the infidels." (Gibbon's Rom. hist. v.ix, p.262, 263, 264.) The stranger, and even the Mussulman, who utters blasphemy against either Moses or Jesus Christ, is sentenced to death by the law. (See a fetwa to this effect, extracted by D'Ohsson from the collection published by the mufti Behhdjé Abd'ullah Effendi, in the Tab. Gén. t.iv, p.520.) The conversion of a Jew is not reputed sincere and real; "because," say the Mussulman doctors, "he rejects Jesus Christ, which alone constitutes an act of heinous impiety."

48"Kill and exterminate all the muschrikinns" is a precept of the koran. Muschrikinn is an Arabic word, signifying worshippers of plurality. Where Islamism is predominant, the command has sometimes been executed literally and to the full extent of its meaning. But where the Mahometan church bends under a foreign yoke, the meaning is restricted to the Arabian pagans.

154 A difficulty which checked, in some instances, the progress of Christianity among the barbarians, was ingeniously eluded by the author of Islamism. In the moment of agony, when the powers of the body and the faculty of speech can no longer be exerted, it is still allowed, that a sudden ray of divine inspiration may break in, and dispose the soul to a mental acknowledgment of the truth; which tardy conversion effectually secures the proselyte from final perdition49. No convert is called upon to suppose, or to admit, the damnation of his ancestors: the Jew and the Christian are spared the mortification of recanting former errors, or making retrograde motions, the most difficult of any in matters of religion50. The alternative offered to the 155 nations who had submitted to the sabre, was, either conversion to the religion of the conquerors, or tribute as the price of retaining their own. Only the idolaters, the Sabians, and the disciples of Zoroaster were excluded from the indulgence granted to the professors of every other religion. No community of opinion or belief connected them with the Mahometans; and extirpation appeared the only security against the propagation of their infectious doctrines.

49"C'est l'état où se trouvent les hommes au moment de leur mort, qui met le sceau à leur caractère de fidélité ou d'infidélité. Quelle qu'ait été leur vie passée, elle n'y influe pour rien. Ainsi quiconque auroit vécu toute sa vie infidèle, s'il se convertit, est dès-lors réputé fidèle." - "La récitation de la confession de foi (qu'il suffit que l'agonisant fasse d'intention) met le sceau au salut éteernel, selon cet oracle du prophète: Celui dont ces paroles, Il n'y a point de Dieu si non Dieu, sont les dernières que sa bouche profère, a certainement le paradis pour partage." (Tab. Gén, t.i, p.165. t.ii, p.296.)

50"The heroes of the North had submitted, with some reluctance, to believe, that all their ancestors were in hell:" but "Radbod,king of the Frisons, was so much scandalized by this rash declaration of a missionary that he drew back his foot, after he had entered the baptismal fount." (Gibbon's Rom. hist., p.278.)

{Public charities.}

The professors of Islamism, in the genuine spirit of piety, consider, that religion is best characterized by acts of public utility. They have been accused of ostentation in their charities, and of being actuated only by the spirit of pride or superstition; but if we judge of their motives by their own declarations we shall be surprised at the injustice and uncharitableness of this censure. Charity is compared by the poet Jami to musk, whose substance, though concealed from the sight, is discovered by the grateful odour which it diffuses: another Turkish poet has left the 156 following precept. "Let the stream of liberality flow so silently from your hand that its sound may not reach even to your ears." It is, however, a pardonable, if not even a laudable, superstition, to suppose the author of all good looking with complacency on the humble imitation of his perfections; and a justifiable pride, to feel the heart swell upon seeing the weary and the hungry fed and refreshed, the ignorant instructed, and the sick healed, by our beneficence. A khan or caravanserai for the accommodation of travellers51, a mosque with its schools and hospitals, 157 a fountain, a bridge, or a public road, cannot be unostentatiously established without abridging their utility. "We must not attribute their erection," says Mr. Eton, "to patriotism or public spirit52." Be it so: but I have galloped across a scorching desert in hopes of discovering a fountain to allay thirst of myself and my horse, and have blessed the philanthropy which had searched out, and erected a monument on, the only spot which furnished water. One of the fountains in Constantinople bears the following inscription. "This fountain tells thee its age in verses composed by Sultan Ahmed. Unlock my pure and inexhaustible stores and call upon the name of God: drink of my limpid and untroubled waters and pray for Sultan Ahmed." The namaz giahs, or places for ablution and prayer erected on the road side, consist of a kind of altar, a monument of stone decorated with the figure 158 of a lamp, in colours or in low relief, which serves to point out the direction of the temple of Mecca, the kebla or visible point of the horizon to which the eye and the thought should be directed during the exercise of prayer. These signals, erected in imitation of those which regulate the positions of the faithful in every mosque and almost in every private house, are usually elevated on a platform or terrace, adjoining to a well or a fountain, and shaded with trees. I can assert from my own experience, that the traveller in Turkey meets with no objects which excite in him more agreeable sensations than these pious or philanthropic establishments. De Tott asserts, that "they are worth a great number of indulgences, for which the Turks, who obtain them, find a ready sale53." But the Turks are unacquainted with indulgences: they indeed allow, that the merit of good works may be transferred or sold; and their historians relate, that Sultan Bajazet, after vainly endeavouring to prevail on a pasha to yield to him the merit of having erected a bridge over a torrent which interrupted the communication between Constantinople and 159 Adrianople, struck off the pasha's head, swam across the torrent at the hazard of his life, and ordered his army to halt till the waters had abated54.

51The best description of the public buildings called caravanserais is given by Busbequius. (Epist. i, p.17.) "Diverti in diversorium publicum. Caravansarai Turcæ vocant. Hoc genus in ea regione usitatissimum. Vastum est ædificium, longius aliquanto quam latius, in cujus medio patet area ponendis sarcinis, et camelis, mulis, carrisque collocandis. Hanc aream plerumque circumcirca murus ambit, tres plus minus pedes altus, parieti, quo totum ædificium clauditur, hærens et inædificatus. Ejus muri summa superficies æqua est; patetque in latitudinem pedes circiter quatuor. Hic Turcarum cubilia sunt; hic cœnacula; hic rem expediunt culinariam (nam in pariete, quo totum ædificium contineri dixi, foci subinde sunt inædificati) nulla re a camelis, equis, reliquisque jumentis, alia sejuncti, quam ejus muri spatio, quinimo ad muri pedem ita ligatos habent equos, ut capite et tota cervice supra eum emineant; dominisque se calefacientibus aut etiam cœnantibus adstent, veluti ministri; interdum panem vel malum, sive quid aliud, de manu corum capiunt. In codem muro lectos sibi sternunt. Tapetem in primis explicant, quem oa de causa aptatum ephippiis fere circumferunt: huic injiciunt penulam: cervical præbet equestris sella. Veste talari pellibus suffulta, qua vestiuntur diu, teguntur noctu. Sic illi somnum capiunt nullis lacessitum blandimentis. Nihil ibi secreti: omnis fiunt in propatulo, neque quicquam ab omnium conspectu, nisi noctis tenebris, submovetur."

52Survey of the Turkish empire, p.121.

53De Tott's memoirs, v.i, p.154.

54Cantemir's Ottoman history, p.171.

{Hospitality and alms.}

Hospitality to strangers and giving alms to the poor, are virtues to which the oriental nations are much habituated. In imitation of the patriarchs, and with unaffected simplicity, the tables of the rich and great are daily open to all who can with propriety present themselves; while inferior persons of every class range themselves around the tables of the officers of their household and their domestics, and the fragments are distributed at the door to the poor and the hungry. A servant would blush at the idea of making a perquisite of them: even the peasant will offer the of his hut to the traveller, and rather than refuse him a welcome, will put himself to considerable inconvenience to entertain him. The right of proprietorship is seldom exerted to exclude from a garden, an orchard, or a vineyard, any person who may choose to enter them, and to pluck and eat the herbs or the fruit.

{Tenderness towards brute animals.}

160 I will not wholly attribute to the same principle their tenderness to the inferior classes of animals, as in some cases they seem to be restrained from molesting or destroying them as much by indolence as humanity55. The dog, as an unclean animal whose contact produces legal defilement, is rigorously excluded from their dwellings and the courts of their mosques. But they allow dogs to increase in their streets till they become an intolerable nuisance, even in the day time, and are really a formidable evil to those who have occasion to pass through the Turkish quarter of the town at night. These animals have divided the city into districts. They jealously guard 161 from encroachment the imaginary line which bounds their native territory, and they never transgress it, either in their pursuit of an invading dog, or in their attack on the passenger, whom they deliver over at their frontier to be worried by the neighbouring pack56. Constantinople may be considered as the paradise of birds: the doves feed unmolested on the corn which is conveyed in open lighters across the harbour, and they luxuriate in such security that they scarcely yield a passage to the boatmen or labourers. The confused noise of the harbour is increased by 162 the clang of sea-birds: to shoot at them in the neighbourhood of the city, would be rash; and even in the villages on the Bosphorus inhabited by Franks, where the Turks can only censure, they never fail to reprobate the destruction of them as an act of wanton cruelty57. The hog, alone of all animals, excites in the Turks a sense of loathing 163 and abhorrence; and though permitted in the infidel quarters of some provincial towns, is scrupulously banished from the capital and its suburbs58. The hog, however, is a creature destined by nature to live in filth and mire, and to cleanse the neighbourhood of the habitations of men; and it may be worth inquiry, whether the absence of so useful an animal, by deranging the order of nature, may not tend to the production, or facilitate the progress, of the plague.

55The question scarcely appears deserving of a controversy. De Tott, whose object in writing his memoirs was to debase the Turkish character, imputes to a childish fondness for amusement their care of providing food for cats and dogs. (See Memoirs, v.i, p. 212.) D'Ohsson, on the other hand, asserts (Tab. Gén. t.iv, p.25), "that they are restrained from ill-treating brute animals by a principle of compassion, the influence of which is so prevalent among them that, according to the Turkish historians, many of the earlier princes, who were unable to resist their inclination for hunting, condemned themselves, from a scruple of conscience, to give away in alms to the poor the value of the game which they killed." Certain it is, that no one is allowed to overload beasts of burthen, or to use them with cruelty. Every person who has lived in Constantinople must have remarked, that the city guards frequently interfere (and have a right to do so), and insist upon an overloaded horse or a mule being eased of his burthen.

56The law of the koran prohibits the slaughter of dogs and other domestic animals, except such as are fit for food. But, as I have observed also in Tartary and in several cities of Russia, that the streets are filled with filthy and unowned dogs, I suppose, that the Turkish toleration of them proceeds rather from custom than precept. In the capital of Turkey dogs are not without their use: they devour every digestible offal, with which the streets would otherwise be contaminated. Indeed, it is chiefly owing to them, and the declivities on which the city is built, that some degree of exterior cleanliness is preserved. The ordure of dogs is an useful article in the manufacture of Morocco leather. All the supposed causes of canine madness seem to exist in the greatest abundance in Turkey, yet that dreadful calamity is entirely unknown. Nassuh Pasha, grand vizir to Ahmed the First, from some motive of superstition which he never chose to explain, removed all the dogs from the streets of Constantinople, and sent them over by boat-loads to the opposite coast of Asia.

57"Ils regardent comme une inhumanité criminelle, non seulement l'action de tuer les animaux, mais encore celle de les priver de leur liberté, sur-tout ceux dont la chair est interdite sur leur sable. Plusieurs les achètent et les villes des cages remplies d'oiseaux que l'on vend sous le nom d'azad-couchlery, c'est-à-dire, oiseaux à affranchir, dont les dévots paient la valeur pour les remettre en liberté." (Tab.Gén. t.iv, p.309.) "Est e regione diversorii nostri procera platanus, amplitudine ramorum et opacitate frondium spectanda: sub ea interdum consistunt aucupes, cum magno avicularum numero: accedunt multi, et parvo ære captivas redimunt, quas singulatim deinceps manu emittunt. Illæ fere in platanum subvolant, ubi se a carceria squallore et sordibus purgant, pinnasque explicant, pipilantes interim. Tum Turcæ qui redemerunt, audin', inquiunt alter alteri, ut sibi gratulatur, et mihi gratias agit? Quid ergo? Adeone Pythagoræi Turcæ ut omne animal apud cos sacrosanctum sit, nulloque vescantur? Minime, imo fere a nullo abstinent, quod sit appositum, sive elixo sive assato. Ovem quidem lanienæ nasci dicunt, sed non ferunt ex earum cruciatu et tormento voluptatem quæri. Minores quidem aves, quarum cantu rura campique celebrantur, sunt qui nulla ratione adduci queant ut interficiant, imo ut caveis inclusas teneant, nimiam libertati earum injuriam sic fieri existimantes. Sed non est omnibus una sententia." (Busbeq. Epist. iii, p.119.)

58An exception is made in favour of the "corps diplomatique," to whom a firman is granted for the admission of hogs into the district of Pera during the Carnival. But they make their entry at midnight, and by the light of torches.

{Character of the Turks;}

The physical effect of climate upon the character, trough its operation cannot be wholly denied, is yet so much over-ruled by moral causes that they alone form the line of demarcation between the different inhabitants of this great empire.

{their austerity,}

The austerity of Mahometan religion gives to its votaries a certain moroseness of character, which, towards persons of a different persuasion, is heightened into superciliousness. The gravity of deportment which such a religion necessarily generates, is left without its proper corrective, the gayety inspired by the presence 164 and conversation of women.

{irritability of temper,}

The Turk is usually placid, hypochondriac, and unimpassioned; but, when the customary sedateness of his temper is ruffled, his passions, unmitigated by the benign influence of female manners, are furious and uncontrollable. The individual seems possessed with all the ungovernable fury of a multitude; and all ties, all attachments, all natural and moral obligations, are forgotten or despised, till his rage subsides59. De Tott represents them as "seeking celebrity by murder, without having courage to commit it deliberately, and deriving only from intoxication sufficient resolution for such a crime60." But intoxication itself is a vice so rare among the Turks 165 that it is evident De Tott must have drawn his general conclusion from some particular instance. It has been asserted with more truth by a more ancient author than De Tort, that "brawls and quarrels are rare among the Turks: assassinations are unheard of: and though among men striving onward in the same career there must necessarily exist a spirit of envy and secret rancour, yet the base means of supplantng a rival candidate by slander and detraction are seldom resorted to61." The point of honour so much insisted upon, and so pernicious in its consequences, among Europeans, exerts a very feeble influence over the minds of the Turks. De Tott's observation applies rather to the Italians or the Greeks of the Ionian islands62 than to the Turks, among whom it is certain, that anger generally evaporates in abuse. The practice of duelling is confined to the soldiers and galiongis (or marines), if a combat can deserve the name of duel which 166 for the most part is decided on the spot where the offence was given, and with such weapons as are nearest at hand, or the parties may happen to wear. The man of rank may insult his inferior by words or even blows; and as the one derives impunity from his situation, so the other feels no further than the real, or physical, extent of the injury. An affront received from an equal is retorted without any variation of form, and is almost immediately forgotten, if the friends of the parties interfere and propose a reconciliation. There must indeed be some exceptions to this remark, though they occur so rarely that I cannot recollect a single instance which can justify the general assertion of Sir James Porter, that "they are vindictive beyond conception, perpetuating revenge through successive generations63: "and indeed we may appeal to the general experience of human nature, whether such a temper be not inconsistent with the constitutional apathy of the Turks; or whether the resentment which explodes in sudden fury, be not generally of very short duration. D'Ohsson indeed asserts, that individuals have exhibited 167 such depravity of heart as to cherish their projects of vengeance, and sacrifice with unrelenting barbarity the object of their resentment after an interval of forty years64. I cannot question a fact supported by such respectable testimony; neither can I consider it as an illustration of the national character, but rather as a departure from that conduct which the Mussulman law, and the manners of the Ottoman people, more naturally generate. If the circumstances of the case had been more minutely detailed, I have little doubt but we should discover, that this long continued anger of the Turk had been first excited by the insolence of a rayah, the creature or the favourite of a man in power. An affront of this nature is seldom forgotten, but is indeed as rarely given; for the rayah, however puffed up with arrogance towards his fellows, cautiously avoids the expression of superiority towards a Turk even in the humblest situation, as knowing, that in the ordinary course of events he may be raised to posts of the highest dignity. But if we admit among the features of the national character an 168 implacability of temper, we may oppose to it, what is more frequently exhibited, the exercise of gratitude. A benefit conferred on a Turk is seldom forgotten: the greater his elevation, the more does he feel and acknowledge the desire and the duty of repaying benefits. "I have received kindness from him in the days of humiliation and distress: I have eaten his bread and his salt:" and the obligation, so simply yet so energetically expressed, is too sacred ever to be annulled.

{Intemperance in the use of wine.}

Drunkenness is condemned by the Mussulman law and the customs of the Ottoman nation. It is, however, considered but as a venial crime, and has been indulged in by some of their greatest sultans. Selim the Second was so addicted to it that he even obtained the surname of Mest, or the Drunkard; but the Turkish historians observe, in extenuation of his excesses, that they never caused him to omit his daily prayers. Intemperance in wine had come to such an ungovernable excess among the Turks in the reign of Soliman the First, that that virtuous prince, says D'Ohsson, was obliged to check the use of it by the most rigorous penalties. He even carried his severity so 169 far as to order melted lead to be poured down the throats of .the obstinate transgressors of the precepts of the koran. But, as a Turkish writer has well observed, "the religion of a nation is as the religion of the monarch:" for Selim the Drunkard, the son and immediate successor of Soliman, seduced the nation by his example into the most unblushing debauchery. "Let others put their trust in man," said the jovial sultan, "I throw myself into the arms of the Almighty, and resign myself to his immutable decrees. I think only of the pleasures of the day, and have no care for futurity." Murad the Fourth, seduced by the gayety and example of Becri Mustafa, not only drank wine in public, but allowed the free use of it to his subjects, and even compelled the mufti and cazyaskers to drink with him.

The practice of drinking wine, is generally reprobated; but as drinking a large quantity entails no greater curse than moderation, those who have once transgressed, proceed without further scruple to perfect ebriety. Busbequius saw an old man at Constantinople, who, when he took the glass in his hand, summoned his soul to take refuge in some corner of his body, or to quit it entirely,