Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

dignity which befits his situation. were chiefly of a chronic nature,

There is not, either in his coun- depending partly upon his age, tenance or speech, that formal partly upon circumstances in his and unyielding apathy, which is former life, with other symptoms the characteristic of the Turks as that I learnt more from my own a people; but more vivacity, lu- observation than his report, which mour, and change of expression. required the use of preventive His laugh is very peculiar, and its means, to obviate eventual dandeep tone, approaching to a growl, ger. might also startle an ear unac- In those interviews, however, customed to it.

which were very frequent during · A day or two afterwards he the last week of our stay at loanagain sent for us to the Seraglio, nina, the conversation was not and, some general conversation confined to medical matters alone, having taken

place, he asked seve- but went into other topics of a ral questions which evidently had more familiar kind. Situated as relation to his health, and formed I now was with him, I could feel a sort of exercise of his judgment perfectly at ease in this intercourse, upon me.

which every circumstance contriAfter this preamble, he entered buted to render highly interesting. upon a narrative of his complaints, He usually sent for me to the which, though I could only dis- Seraglio in the afternoon or eventantly follow it in his own lan- ing; sometimes alone, or occaguage, yet was evidently marked sionally with my friend, when he by good precision and force in had nothing to say about his comthe manner of relation. He con- plaints. At whatever time it was, tinued speaking for about fifteen the approaches to the Seraglio minutes, and afforded me during were always crowded with the this time a fine occasion of mark- singular groups already described. ing the feature of his countenance The Vizier was rarely to be found and manner. The narrative was in the same room on two successive translated to me with little abridg- days; and, during my present stay ment, and much seeming 'accu- at Ioannina, I was with him in racy, by the dragoman Colovo. In eight different apartments. His its substance, I may remark ge- dress was not greatly varied; and nerally, that there was a good only on one occasion I saw him deal of caedulity and prejudice with a turban instead of the blue displayed on some points; on cap, which he wore at the time of others, more soundness of judg- our first interview. His attitude ment than is common to the Turks also was very uniform, according as a nation. For various reasons to the Turkish habit. I seldom I do not feel myself at liberty to saw him rise from his couch, give the particulars of this nar- though once he did so, while exrative, nor would they afford any plaining to me the decline of his thing new to the medical reader. bodily powers, striding firmly at It may suffice to say, that at this the same time across the chamber, time he was suffering under · no as if to show that still much of acute disorder ; that his symptoms energy was left. His manner of VOL. LVII.

2 G

reception

reception was always polite and cially on the latter point, to which dignified. There was evidently I observed him always to attach a more form intended, when many peculiar interest. He remarked, persons were present, and his that he had heard that the Indians manner became more easy and and Chinese live to a great age, familiar when we were alone. and asked whether I knew this to

The most frequent topics intro- be the case, or was acquainted with duced by the Vizier in conversation, any particular means they used were those relating to general po- for the purpose. Seeing him inlitics, and in these it was evident clined to follow this topic, I stated that he was inore interested than the remarkable instances of lonin any other. The conversation gevity in our own countrymen, was usually carried on by question Parr and Jenkins ; at which he and reply; and his inquiries, though expressed surprise, and much deoften shewing the characteristic sire to know if there were any ignorance of the Turks in matters means in nature by which this end of common knowledge, yet often might be obtained. It was evialso were pertinent and well con- dent, that in this question he had ceived, and made up by acuteness reference to himself; and I took what they wanted of instruction. the opportunity of enforcing upon Some of these questions, which I him some of the medical advice I noted down, may serve as specie had before given. He gave assent mens of their usual style. We to what I said ; but at the same were talking about England. He time pursued the question, whether inquired the population of the there were not some more direct country; and whether I thought means of procuring long life. I it as populous as those parts of Al- mentioned to him generally the bania I had seen? The answer to attempts that had been made some this question led him to describe centuries ago, to discover the briefly the northern parts of Al Elixir Vitæ ; and stated that this bania, as being much better inha. was a project which had now boen bited than those to the south of abandoned by all men of reflection. Joannina. He then pursued the Alluding accidentally, at the same former subject; asked what was time, to the search after the phithe size and population of London; losopher's stone, he eagerly foland expressed surprise when in- lowed this subject, and wished to formed of its magnitude. He en know whether there were not quired the number of our ships of some secret methods of discoverwar ; the comparison of their size ing gold, which gave their posa with the frigates he had seen on sessor the power of procuring any his coast, and where they were all amount of this metal. There was employed.

a strong and significant interest in He inquired the distance of his manner of asking this question, America from England and France; which greatly struck me; and it its extent; and to whom it be- was accompanied by a look tolonged. He asked respecting its ward myself, seeming to search population and the longevity of into the truth of my reply. I anits inhabitants, and dwelt aspe- swered, of course, that there were

no no means of making gold and Turkish empire from this source, silver ; that these metals were ob- he was well informed; and he; tained only from the earth ; and as well as his sons, had felt and that the advantage of philosophy known the weight of the Russian was in being able to employ the armies pressing upon the Danube. best means of raising them from He understood, too, that all fomines, and purifying them for use. reign attempts at the restoration I doubt whether he was satisfied of Greece, whether with selfish with this reply, or did not still or honourable motives, must of believe in further mysteries of the necessity imply a previous attack alchemic art. The desire of gold upon his power; and I believe he and longevity are natural to a was fully sensible of his incapadespot; and especially to one city of resisting permanently the who, like Ali Pasha, has been ever efforts of a regular European pursuing a seheme of ambitious army. At various times I have progress.

heard him converse, more or less Our conversation had often a directly, on these topics; and in reference to the politics of the day, general there was an air of sound on which I found him well and judgment in his remarks, which accurately informed. It was at implied as well sagacity, as freethis time that Bonaparte was pur- dom from the prejudices of his suing his memorable campaign in nation: Russia; in all the events of which I happened to be with him at Ali Pasha felt a lively interest, na- the Seraglio, on the evening of the turally arising out of his relation day when he received information to the two great Powers concerned. of the French having entered It was obviously for his advantage, Moscow. He was evidently in low that they should mutually wear spirits, and discomposed by the ont their strength, without either intelligence. I spoke to himn of of them obtaining the prepon- the perseverance and resources of derance. While at peace, they Russia, and of the evils that migłt checked each other as to Turkey; arise to the French army from ite when at war, if either were emi- burning of Moscow, and the arpently successful, there was even- proach of winter. He was nit tual danger to him. The vicinity satisfied by these arguments, but of the French in the Illyrian pro- alluded in reply to the pacific tema vinces would speedily give effect per of Alexander, to the mistakes

any designs they might adopt which had been committed in the in that quarter, either from views last Pulish campaign, to the treaty of general ambition, or from mo- of Tilsit, and above all to the tives of personal hostility to him- character of Bonaparte, which he self, which he might be well justly characterized “ as one that aware that he had created by his the world had never before seen." conduct at Prevesa, his recent The assiduity with which he connection with the English, and applies himself to all his business by other circumstances of less is very great. He rises commonly notoriety. Of the power of Russia, before six, and his officers and and the ultimate danger to the secretaries are expected to be with

LG 2

him

cases

him at this hour. There are no despot, would infallibly cost them pauses in business during the day, their heads. except at twelve o'clock, when he The adherence of Ali Pasha to takes his dinner, sleeping after- the tenets of the Mahomedan reliwards for an hour; and again at gion, is by no means rigid, and eight in the evening, which is his probably depending more on hour of supper. I have found sense of interest, than upon any him as late as nine o'clock, with zeal or affection for these tenets. three secretaries on the ground He has few of the prejudices of a before him, listening to the most Mussulman; and in regarding minute details of that branch of those around him, his consideraexpenditure which relates to the tion obviously is, not the religion post-houses ; each article of which of the man, but whether he can accounts he separately approved. be of service to any of his views. His hours of pleasure are also in I have seen a Christian, a Turkish, part subservient to the furtherance and a Jewish secretary, sitting oa of business. I have seen him in the ground before him at the the gardens of his pavilion sur- same moment,-an instance of the rounded by petitioners, and giving principle which is carried throughjudgment on that were out every branch of his goversbrought before him. Even when ment. In Albania especially, the retiring to the Haram, he still Christian and Mussulman popupreserves his public capacity; lation are virtually on the same and, in the petty discords of footing as to political liberty; all three hundred women secluded indeed slaves, but the former not from the world, it is not won- oppressed, as elsewhere in Turkes, derful that his occupation and by those subordinate agencies of authority as a judge should still tyranny, which render more gralbe required.

ing the chain that binds them. It In his habits at table, Ali Pasha may fairly be said, that under this is temperate, though by no meang government all religions find a so strict a Mussulman as to refuse ample toleration. I have even himself wine. He almost always known instances where Ali Pasha eats alone, according to the custom has directed Greek churches to be of Turks of high rank, and at built for the use of the peasants, the hours already mentioned. His as in the case of one or two of the dinner usually consists of twelve villages on the plain of Arta. for sixteen covers, which are sepa- Truth compels the addition of rately placed on a tray before him. other features of less pleasing The dishes, are chiefly those of kind; and to the general picture Turkish cookery; in addition to of eastern despotism must be an

which a whole lamb, provided by nexed some traits peculiar to the his shepherds, is served up at his man. The most striking of these

table every day in the year. His are, a habit of perpetual artifice, appetite is not at all fastidious; shewn in every circumstance of and I have been told that his his life; and a degree of vindictive cooks, in providing for him, take feeling, producing acts of the most liberties which, under a luxurious unqualified ferocity. The most

legitimate legitimnate form his cunning as- religious mendicant, instead of sumes, is in political matters, taking a part in those contests for, where, according to frequent usage, power into which all his brothers it might perhaps have the name of and near relations had entered, sagacity and adroitness. He is shut himself up in a mosque, and eminently skilled in all the arts of forbad any person to disturb his

intrigue, and his agents or spies religious meditations. He also · are to be found every where in the refused to accept the share which

Turkish empire, doing the work had been left to him of his father's of their master with a degree of wealth. " Take it,” said he to, zeal which testifies at once his those who brought it to him, “to own talent in their selection, and the managers of the public chas the commanding influence of his rities. Bid them reimburse with powers over the minds of all that it, as far as they can, those from surround him. His political in- whom it was extorted. I can formation, derived from these never consent to stain my hands sources, and from the ample use with money that has been obtainof bribery, is of the best kind; ed by violence." The same writer and it may, I believe, be affirmed who states this fact, asserts, that as a fact, that not a single event he attired himself in the coarse of importance can occur at Con- dress worn by those who suppiistantinople, even in the most secret cate for mercy, and, having hung recesses of the Divan, which is a sword round his neck, he pro not known within eight days at ceeded to every quarter of the the Seraglio of loannina. city of Bokharah, imploring, with

tears in his eyes, the forgiveness

and blessings of the inhabitants ACCOUNT OP BEGGEE JAN. for his deceased father, and offer

ing his own life as an expiatory From Sir J. Malcolm's History sacrifice for any sins or crimes of Persia.

which the Ameer Daniel might

have committed. The character Beggee Jan was the eldest son of Beggee Jån already stood high of the Ameer Daniel, who had, among the learned and religious ; during the latter years of his life, for he was deeply versed in theoby possessing himself of the per- logy, and had written many var son of the nominal prince, exer- luable tracts; but this was the cised an almost absolute authority first time he had presented him. over those tribes of the Usbegs self to the people. These, at once which inhabit the territories im- astonished and delighted at seemediately dependant upon Bok- ing such proofs of humility and harah. When that noble died, he sanctity in a person of his rank, divided his great wealth among crouded around him as if he had his numerous family, but declared been a prophet, and, all joined Beggee Jan his heir. That chief, with him in prayers for blessings however, who had for some time upon his parent. After having, before clothed himself in the hy this proceeding, eradicated patched garment of a fakeer, or those feelings of reyenge which

the

« AnteriorContinuar »