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we learn, that so entirely is the city dependent on a foreign supply, and so completely have the means of bringing in water and retaining it been neglected, that a besieging army might compel it to capitulate, from this cause alone, in a single week. The present Sultan has, by the summary process of decapitating a considerable company of the bakers and mealmen, supplied the city with corn; and we almost wonder that a similar process has not been tried with a few members of the water-companies, if there be any. We may however wonder more that even the most ignorant Turk has not enough of common sense, if not of political philosophy, to know, that though such arbitrary and unjust punishments may succeed for the moment, they in the end defeat their own object, and increase the evil they are intended to remedy. Who would deal in corn if his occupation exposed him to lose his head in a scarcity? Even much lighter disabilities and restrictions which fetter either the producer or the vender, under the idea of benefiting the purchaser, eventually injure all. We have above objected to the maxim that Christians ought not to be politicians (mere politicians they ought not to be); and we may equally object to the maxim, that they ought not to be political economists; for the first article of true political economy is justice, and doing to others as we would that others should do to us. When the family of Louis the Eighteenth were at Hartwell, and were told that they had broken the law by purchasing eggs and poultry of the neighbouring farmers, and were threatened that both the buyers and the sellers should be taken before the magistrates, and punished as regrators and forestallers, if, instead of making their bargain at once on the spot, they did not spend a day once or twice a week in riding to the next town, the one carrying the articles thither as venders, and the other bringing them
back as purchasers, they might justly think, that if the English are not as cruel as the Turks, they are not much wiser. We see the absurd laws or customs of other nations in a vivid light; but how little do we consider absurdities in our own! Do the Turkey manufacturers of carpets starve in time of peace, with their warehouses breaking down, and the merchants of Odessa longing to receive their commodities in exchange for bread?
In passing along the banks of the river which washes the suburbs of the town, our author narrowly escaped a sudden and forcible termination of his wanderings, by the flight of a cannon ball close to his head. He takes occasion to notice from this circumstance the little value set on human life by the Turks. This fact, which is unquestionable, at once evinces the slight hold which a future and eternal life has upon their faith. As Mr. Hall says, "Murder is no more to an infidel, than diverting the course of a little red fluid, called blood."
The notion of fatalism tends to the same contempt of life. If one man kill another, he charges it not upon his negligence, but either upon his own destiny, or that of the person destroyed; and so dismisses the thought, and smokes another pipe.
The author gives, in this part of his work, a very full and interesting account of the localities of Constantinople. The city is built on a triangular promontory; two sides of which are washed by the sea, and one is fortified by a now halfdilapidated wall. This wall was built by Constantine; and it was through this that Mohammed entered when the Turkish armies first took possession of the city. In one of the breaches then made, fell Constantine Paleologus; and a magnificent tree marks, as Dr. Clarke says, "the sacred spot where the last of the Paleologi fell." Constantinople has been frequently the object of attack: first, unsuccess
fully, by the Saracens, in the years 668, 669, and 729; then, as unsuccessfully, on four different occasions by the Russians; then, on an eighth occasion, successfully, by the Crusaders; and on a ninth and tenth by the Turks, into whose hands it fell in the year 1422. The same approach which admitted the crescent may, on some future occasion, admit the Cross. Popular opinion among the Turks appears to lean to this conjecture. It has been said, that the erection of their sepulchres on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, originated in the expectation that they are to be driven back to Asia whence they came. Certain prophecies extant among them serve also to confirm this impression. A superstitious fancy, founded upon a coincidence of names, our author thinks, is also among the causes not unlikely to contribute to the same result. His judgment, as to the probable result. of the present, or some other Russian expedition, is as follows:
"But, indeed, it does not require these portentous things to warn the Turks of their threatened destiny. The actual progress of the Russians ought to be a natural source of serious alarm. From the time that Peter the Great captured Azoph and advanced into Moldavia, they seem never to have abandoned their project of finally planting the Russian standard on the walls of Constantinople, and every succeeding year has been a persevering and sanguinary struggle to advance their object."
Having in successive campaigns annexed irrevocably to Russia all the Turkish possessions on the north of the Euxine, and strided from the Don to the Danube, their next and final step will be from the Danube to the Bosphorus; and there is every reason to apprehend they are now about to take it." pp. 51–53.
The fourth chapter gives a very interesting account of the life and death of Ali Pasha, with whose name Dr. Clarke's travels, as well as every newspaper for a succession of years, have made the public familiar. The history of his death conveys so forcible a picture of the total destitution of moral feeling and humanity, among the followers CHRIST. OBSERV. No, 330.
of Mohammed, that it may be useful to give a brief abstract of it.
Ali, having by his bold usurpation, and by an act of the most flagrant assassination, provoked the anger of the Sultan, was deposed; an army was sent against him; and he was driven from post to post, till at length he was locked up in a small fortress; the upper story of which was occupied by himself, the middle by his treasures, and the lowest by combustibles, ready to be exploded at a moment's notice. The Pasha himself would have been left to explode at his pleasure; but the Sultan's command to his officers was, to get rid of the usurper, but to secure his wealth. And this double object was soon accomplished.
When locked up in his tower, he was visited by many persons; among others, by the governor of the Morea, Mohammed Pasha.
"The conversation continued in terms of great amity, and Mohamed rose to depart, with expressions of affectionate good will on both sides. As they were of the same rank, they rose at the same moment from the divan on which they were sitting, and the Pasha of the Morea, as he was retiring, made a low and ceremonial reverence: the Pasha of Yanina returned it with the same profound inclination of the body; but before he could recover himself again, Mohamed drew his yatigan from his girdle, and plunged it into the back of his host with such force, that it passed completely through his heart and out at his left breast. Ali fell dead at his feet, and his assassin immediately left the chamber with the bloody yatigan in his hand, and announced to those abroad that he had now ceased to exist. Some soldiers of Mohamed entered the apartment, severed the head from the body, and bringing it outside held it up to their own comrades and the soldiers of Ali, as the head of a traitor. Finding themselves thus betrayed, the soldiers of Ali instantly attacked their adversaries, headed by the lame Albanian Kutchuk Achmet. He was soon killed, and the rest were overpowered, who now finding all resistance fruitless, made no further opposition, but joined in the cry of Long live the Sultan, and his Vizir Hourchid Pasha!' Such was the termination of Ali Pasha's ca
reer." pp. 61, 62.
The author saw the head of Ali handed about the city on a dish.
It was merely a scalp; but the face was so skilfully preserved, and the stuffing of the shell so accurately managed, that a spectator might almost suppose himself to Pasha lying asleep in his presence.
As Ali had made much noise in the world, a Constantinopolitan merchant made a grand effort to buy the head for exhibition in London; and had he not been outbidden by a friend of the usurper, it is possible that, with the assistance of the bones of Tom Paine, an exhibition might have been got up, on which no admirer of atheism and assassination could have refused his attendance.
The fifth chapter contains a highly interesting account of the destruction of that peculiar body of mili. tary force called the Janissaries, under the present Sultan. They had long usurped almost the whole authority of the empire; suffering no law to have effect, and no monarch or great man to die a natural death, except with their permission. This chapter supplies striking evidence of the influence of Mohammedanism, in extinguishing every feeling of pity and tenderness for the human species. The public mind in our own country was shocked some time since by the well-meant, but ill-executed scheme of putting to death a mad clephant. In Turkey, by a similar process,about ten thousand Janissaries were put to death; and ten thousand more were butchered by any Turk who might encounter them, and aim a blow without much risk of another in return. The following brief statement is a specimen of the story, as recorded by the author::
"The number of janissaries destroyed on this occasion is variously reported: besides those who perished at the Etmei
dan barracks, and in the public streets, multitudes were caught and privately strangled in the houses where they were found, or brought to appointed places where they were beheaded together. These slaughterhouses, as represented by eye-witnesses, were very horrible. None of the large body assembled were supposed to have escaped.
All the officers, with the exception of a few of high rank who had joined the rished; and the general opinion is, that Sultan's party, were known to have pe20,000 were sacrificed on the occasion. Arubas and other machines were em
ployed for several days in dragging down the mangled bodies, and casting them into the harbour and Bosphorus. Here they lay, till becoming buoyant by corruption, they again rose to the top, and were floated into the sea of Marmora, where still water; covering the surface with the eddies frequently carried them into large putrid masses, in which boats and ships were sometimes entangled and delayed; exhibiting, in nearly the same place, the reality of that which the poet only feigned of the vessel of Xerxes impeded by the bodies of his own soldiers— Cruentis
Fluctibus, ac tarda per densa cadavera prora.
"Those who were not destroyed in the attack, or afterwards in the houses, were banished from Constantinople to the different parts of Asia from whence they came. A certain number were put together in the same Teskerai, or passport, and they were transported across the sea of Marmora to the gulf of Ismid or Mondania, where they were landed, and They had generally amassed money, which thence proceeded to their own country.
was taken from them, and a small sum allowed for their several expenses to their places of abode. In this way 20 or 30,000, the first massacre, were permitted to who had concealed themselves and escaped leave Constantinople; and as they had suffered before from wounds, privations, and anxiety of mind, numbers sunk under debility, and died on the road; so that it is supposed not half of them ever reached their own country." pp. 91-93.
In the sixth chapter we have an account of the author's progress to Silyvria; in the seventh, he passes on to Erkeli, the ancient Heraclea, and crosses the site of the celebrated wall built by Miltiades, to repel the incursions of the barbarians, when Thrace was settled by the Athenians. The history given of the depopulation of this fine country by various causes,-and especially by the constant annoyland proprietors, the moment their ance, and even destruction, of the prosperity awakens the jealousy or avarice of the Porte,-is most affecting. Property appears to be nearly as insecure,and quite as pernicious, to the possessor in Turkey, as in New Zealand. "At two o'clock," says
1829.] Review of Walsh's Journey from Constantinople to England. 379
the author," we arrived at Kinlikli. It was a large flourishing town, twenty years ago. It now consists of two or three miserable houses. ....It is one of the numerous melancholy memorials of the rapid decay of this empire, and the extinction of its population. In twenty years a large town is reduced to three houses, and scarcely a trace left of the former town and its inhabitants." There is a curious account in this chapter, of the dread entertained by the Turks of enchantment, especially by an evil eye." This is among the innumerable evidences that ignorance, and not religion, is the mother of superstition. Lucretius and the other atheistical writers
identify superstition and religion, and then proceed to charge upon the one the crimes and follies of the other. But men are often superstitious in the precise degree in which they are irreligious.
manner opposite to our usage.
always stands; the scribe wrote on his
The ravine into which the traveller first enters in the passage of the Balkan, he thus describes:
"This ravine is, perhaps, one of the most magnificent and picturesque in Europe, and far exceeds the Trosachs of Lough Catherine, or any that I had ever seen before. Its perpendicular sides ascend to an immense height, covered with wood from the bottom to the top, and leaving a very narrow stripe of blue sky between. For some time we pursued the bed of the river, descending still deeper into this gorge; and I supposed we intended to follow it the whole way, in the dim twilight
As the traveller approaches the Balkan mountains, which are the Mount Hæmus of the ancients, the limits of ancient Thrace, and the modern barrier between Russia and Turkey, he discovers some improve-in ment in the character and circumstances of the population. fact which accounts for this, is that the Bulgarians, a simple pastoral Tartar and Christian tribe, who properly inhabit the country north of the Balkan, have in some places crept across the mountains, and gradually extended their farms over Romelia or the plains on its south. Haydhos is a town at the southern foot of the best pass over the Balkan ridge. The picture of the contrast between Christian and Turkish habits, which the author gives in a short passage at this point of his progress is curious.
"I found Mustapha had indulged in the luxury of those classic springs, and was now under the hands of the barber; and here I had occasion to remark the strange aptitude of a Turk to differ from a Frank, even in his most trifling habits. The house next to the barber's shop was in progress of building, and there was a man writing down some inventory. All the persons I saw engaged were working in a
which we were involved, till we should emerge with it at the other side of the mountains; but after a short time we left it, and began to ascend gradually, till we reached the summit of this second ridge. Here we found the masses of clouds, which had appeared so picturesque, were diffused into a uniform haze, which circumscribed our view to a very small distance, and poured down torrents of rain. The road was now become disagreeable and dangerous: it was sometimes very steep, and so slippery that the horses could not keep their feet, but were continually falling. We passed several ravines, over tottering bridges of slight boards, which were so loosely put together, that they rose at one end while any weight pressed the other." pp. 175, 176.
The lower Balkan properly extends to Shumla, the fortified city lately invested by the Russian army, and the point at which the invaders were defeated in 1774 and 1810. The passage of the higher Balkan is about twenty-seven miles ; partly through the ravine just described, partly over the mountains; and presenting, if tolerably defend3D 2
380 Review of Walsh's Journey from
The account given by Dr. Walsh of the population of Bulgaria, the large province lying between the Balkan and the Danube, is highly interesting. Distinguished in ancient times for their courage, these once almost ferocious borderers upon the Wolga have now cast aside their belligerent habits, and adopted those of a pastoral life; are kind to strangers, peaceful among themselves, and would seem to be planted by Providence on the borders of Turkey, to display a living proof of the opposite influence of Christianity and Mohammedanism upon the happiness of mankind.
The following extract, giving some account of these people, will be interesting to our readers.
"The Bulgarians speak a language which has not the smallest affinity with either that of the Turks, Greeks, Jews, or Armenians, with whom they mix. It is the language they brought with them from Sarmatia, and is a dialect of the Sclavonian, having a nearer resemblance to Russian, perhaps, than to any other. When they established themselves in this district, they embraced Christianity; and have ever since continued members of the Greek church, subject to the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, who appoints their bishops. These are always Greeks, and they have by a natural preference, established their own language, as that of the service of the church, universally on the south side, and generally on the north, of the Balkan. Where it is not in Greek, it is in the ancient written language; and as the modern Bulgarians understand neither one nor the other, the offices of religion are performed for them in an un
Constantinople to England. [JUne, known tongue. Even in the few schools established in towns, the books introduced are exclusively Greek, though that lanpeople. The consequence of this is, that guage has made no progress among the they use is merely oral, never having been they are entirely illiterate; the language mentary books have been lately printed in reduced to grammatical rules. A few eleit, but I did not meet with them; those I vonian for the churches. There is generally saw were, Greek for the schools, and Selavillages, who attends and performs the a priest attached to every two or three duties of religion in each occasionally; but unless in a very few places, they have neither churches, nor schools, nor books; and, with the exception of the baccûl, or shopkeeper, who is generally a Greck, it is probable there was not a person, in any of the villages through which I passed, who could read or write; yet, like the people of the Golden Age, Sponte sua, sinè lege, fidem rectumque and the traveller who passes through their colebant.' Crime is unknown among them; country is not only secure from the effects of vice, but experiences the kindness resulting from the most amiable virtues." pp. 202-201.
ed under the influence of a blazing This picture was probably sketchand is no doubt of the most favourfire and a good meal on the spot;. able colour. Every now and then, sort of bewitching sketch of a comsome flattering limner gives us this paratively barbarous people. he who should set out in the romandominence of virtuous habits, except tic hope of finding any strong prewhere religion is in a decidedly pure and active state, will find that good nature rather than accurate knowledge guided the pencil. Whatever the Bulgarian may be however, he seems to be scarcely a being of the same species with the Turk.
chuk, a strong town on the Danube, The author soon reaches Rutand frequently the object of attack and defence in the last war with the Russians were detained for six Russia. On the banks of this river years; and, although they lately passed that river without serious of Varna, the events of the camopposition, and made the conquest paign of 1810 may lead us to believe that Constantinople will never be reached without an expenditure of human life which it is awful to