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levy another million for themselves. Of these taxes our author says that,
The most annoying was the karatch, or capitation-tax, levied on all males above a certain age: which varied in particular provinces in the mode of its imposition, and, as to its amount, professed to be regulated by the wealth of the subject. In some it was collected from all above the age of five years, and in others from those of eight, twelve, and even fifteen; whilst thirteen piastres were demanded in some cases, and in others merely four. On the whole, the sum extorted was by no means so great a source of discontent as the mode in which it was levied: two pounds sterling were usually sufficient to defray the demands for an entire family, but each individual of the rayahs, or those subject to the impost, were liable to frequent and insolent examination in the streets; and on failing to produce his legal receipt, was forced to pay the stipulated tax to the nearest official authority. Should any dispute arise as to the age of the sufferer, his head was measured with a cord, by which the valuators pretended to calculate with the nicest precision; but as accuracy was only to be expected on one side, the Greek had generally the worst of the scrutiny. Besides, though liable to these variations, the same amount continued from year to year to be raised in the same province, as the levy was made according to an ancient census; and when the population decreased in number, the wealth of the residue was made answerable for the deficiency.
Of the other branches of the revenue, the most important were the miri, or land-tax, amounting to one-twelfth, or, according to others, a tenth, or a seventh of the produce of the soil; the duties paid at the entrance of every town on consumable commodities, cattle, provision, wine, and fire-wood; and the taxes on merchandise and moveable property, which being arbitrarily assessed, consumed in many cases one-fourth of the gains of the rayah. Besides these, were the restrictive imposts upon commerce; the tributes demanded from the towns and villages of each Pachalic; angaria, or composition for exemption from forced labour at the public works; the purchase of dignified and official situations; and arbitrary requisition of horses, provender, and provisions for the service of the Sultan. Legal proceedings were burthened with a duty of one-tenth of the value in dispute; escheats, forfeitures, and confiscations were all a source of profit to the Grand Seignor; and an indefinite but immense sum was raised by frequent avanias, or sums paid to prevent vexatious prosecutions, or demanded from the natives of those districts in which a murder or a misdemeanour had been committed, on the grounds that they might have prevented the enormity. The istira was a tax imposed on the agricultural and wealthy districts, such as Salonica, Volo, Varna, and others, to supply a proportion of wheat, amounting to about one-twelfth of the entire produce, to the Porte, at an arbitrary or rather nominal price: and this, when shipped to Constantinople, was either stored up as a resource against scarcity, or sold to the populace at an extravagant profit. 'These are, however, merely a few of the most prominent exactions of the Ottomans; but so undefined was the system of extortion, and so uncontrolled the power of those to whom its execution was entrusted, that the evil spread over the whole system of administration, and insinuated itself with a polypous fertility into every relation and ordinance of society,
till there were few actions or occupations of the Greek that were not burthened with the scrutiny and interference of his masters, and none that did not suffer, in a greater or lesser degree, from their heartless rapine.'— vol. i. pp. 291-297.
Mr. Emerson continues his account of the intellectual and moral state of Greece for a considerable way in his second volume, tracing minutely the condition of its national church, of its language and literature, and of the various branches of the fine arts, from the earliest epochs to the commencement of the eighteenth century. At that period, which is signalized in the dark and melancholy history of modern Greece by some manifestations of a political revival of the people, our author resumes the thread of his historical narrative. These favourable symptoms are traced to the growing importance which the Russian monarchy had now acquired amongst the powers of the eastern world. The Greeks and the Russians, from being attached to a common religion, were led to sympathise in other respects, and accordingly we find that, as the power of Russia began to be respected, the Greeks became more confident and aspiring. The hopes of the Greek population that Russia would prove an efficient protector to them, were strengthened by a popular prophecy, which assured them that their liberty would be sooner or later won by a fair-haired nation of the north.
This was one of those prophecies which are always so well calculated to realize themselves. An excellent account follows of the wars between the Russians and the Porte; and though the former appear to have occasionally remitted their exertions in favour of Greece, still it must be allowed that they always manifested a sincere and zealous sympathy for their protegés. The political history of the country is continued down to 1819; after which our author takes a view of the progress of education, commerce, and other of those moral causes which ultimately led to the Greek revolution. The detail which Mr. Emerson so copiously furnishes on this branch of his subject, is intentionally pointed to the illustration of an opinion which the author was induced on ample grounds to adopt, namely, that the Greek revolution had its origin much less in the pressure of practical political abuses, than in that spirit of independence which always accompanies advancing knowledge. If ever, indeed, falsehood can by possibility be regarded as venial, it must surely be when exaggerating the crimes of oppression. That the description of the sufferings of the Greeks from their Turkish masters, even immediately before the revolution, was infinitely worse than the reality, Mr. Emerson, in our opinion, distinctly shows. At all events, it would appear that no permanent system of cruel persecution existed in the Morea, since it is but natural to believe, what indeed our author has shewn, that the resident Turks in the latter peninsula differed very little in character, manners, language, &c., from their Greek neighbours. Upon this subject we quote, from the Preface to this
work, a portion of a letter which was sent to the author by Mr. Green, his Majesty's late Consul at the Morea.
"It is a fact, which I can vouch for," says he, "that during the three years and a half of my official residence in the Morea, previously to the breaking out of the Greek revolution, only two executions took place within the pachalic, and these at the seat of government, being of Greeks convicted of robbery and various outrages.
"The power of life and death was vested exclusively in the Pacha of the province; but the Vaivodes of districts could punish minor offences by imprisonment, fine, or the bastinado. It is true that the administration of justice was so open to corruption, that in cases which merited capital punishment, the culprit, whether Turk or Greek, generally found means, by sacrificing part of his property, to persuade the Pacha, Cadi, or Vaivode, that he was innocent, or at most that his offence only called for a trifling punishment; but I can assert, that in cases where Turks had been found guilty of offences, no partiality or different mode of treatment was adopted from that generally in use.
"I had heard much of the overbearing arrogance and tyrannical conduct of the Turks towards the Greeks; in the Morea, most assuredly, this evil did not exist to any extent, and in cases where wanton insult had taken place, it generally proved to have been given by some Turk on his journey through the country. Indeed, the generality of Turks born and residing in the Morea, appeared to possess much more of the character of the Greek than that of their own nation, and in most instances could neither speak, read, nor write their own language, having adopted the modern Greek.
"Continental Greece was undoubtedly increasing rapidly in cultivation and wealth; the town of Patras, from its favourable position and being the residence of the foreign consuls, had become not only the chief trading port of the Peninsula, but also the entrepot of Greece. The principal part of the commerce with Europe was carried on by Greek merchants, many of whom had amassed great wealth; and two-thirds at least of the valuable currant and olive plantations, and other landed property, belonged to them.
"For several years preceding the revolution no military force had been quartered in the Morea, with the exception of the Pacha's body-guard at Tripolizza, a few Albanian mercenaries in some of the towns, who constituted the police, and those stationed to guard the defiles. The fortified towns possessed no other garrisons than what was afforded by their Turkish population. The fortresses were for the most part in a ruinous state, and apparently the most perfect security prevailed on the part of the Turks. Two years previously to the revolution, an order was issued from Constantinople for the general repair of all the fortresses in the Morea, and some inspecting officers were sent for that purpose, but, whether from want of funds or other causes, the order, with one or two exceptions, was never carried into effect.
"In respect to religious toleration I have no hesitation in asserting, that as far as my personal observation went, the Moreot Greeks uninter
ruptedly enjoyed the exercise of their faith; the only prohibition I am aware of was that of the use of church bells. At Patras and the other principal towns in the Morea, the number of Greek churches far exceeded that of Turkish mosques, in proportion to the resident professors of the two faiths, and in the villages the former only were to be found.
"The most extraordinary accounts have been circulated, and, in many instances, believed, respecting the constant endeavours of the Turks to convert the Greeks or other Christians to their faith. On this subject, I consider it most important to state, that during the whole period of my residence in Greece I do not recollect having heard of a single attempt of the kind having been made; and I was assured that in those very few instances where Greeks had apostatized, it had been entirely their own act. Indeed, it is a well known fact, and one which I perfectly remember, that where persons who had apostatized appeared in public, the finger of scorn was pointed at them, not only by Christians, but by Turks."'Preface, viii-xii.
Prefixed to the first volume is a rapid summary of the events of the Greek Revolution, down to the latest period, which leaves nothing to be desired in this publication.
From the brief extracts which we have made from the work, the reader will perceive that the style in which it is executed is bold, vigorous, often eloquent, and always perspicuous. The warmth of imagination, however, which this character implies, does not in the least interfere with that sober and impartial discretion which it becomes an historian implicitly to observe. Along with being a learned inquirer, Mr. Emerson appears to be a diligent one. We think then that in these volumes the author has supplied a very desirable requisite to our historical literature; and to him we are indebted for the first complete and consecutive account of a people, whose fortunes will for a long time to come continue to interest the feelings of mankind.
ART. XIII.-On Financial Reform. By Sir Henry Parnell, Bart., M.P. Third Edition. London: Mur
Ir gives us particular satisfaction to find our praises of this admirable work so far sanctioned by the public voice, as well by the unanimous opinion of the House of Commons, as that a third edition has been rendered necessary within an unusually short period. Inasmuch as we were the first to analyse and exhibit the merits of this production, and to predict the success with which it would be crowned, we may be excused for feeling a sort of parental pleasure in seeing our hopes so speedily and so amply realized. The volume has been lately quoted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the authority by which he was guided in proposing the reduction of the duties on Advertisements, Glass, Tallow, and other articles; and although the Noble Lord has not been able to carry into effect the whole of the suggestions which have been made by Sir Henry Parnell, we strongly entertain the hope that they will hereafter be acted upon as soon as the legitimate sources of taxation shall be rendered more productive. Among these we do not, and never will enumerate a duty upon the transfer of the public funds. For this proposition no justification will be found in Sir Henry Parnell's book. On the contrary, the Honourable Baronet insists, with Mr. Ricardo, upon the necessity of keeping inviolable faith with the public creditor, at the same time that he acknowledges the pressure upon the country of the weight of taxation which the interest of the debt im
poses. In its present shape this "Manual of Finance," as we may now denominate it, resembles a volume of the "Family Library." It is beautifully printed; a new Index is added; and possessing, as it does, the advantage of having been thoroughly revised and in some essential respects extended, we have no doubt that it will find its way to every part of the empire.
Every body asks the question, and no body has yet given an answer to it, why the author of such a work as this, more competent as he must be than most men to a financial office, has not yet been seated upon the Treasury bench? It cannot be by accident that the name of Sir Henry Parnell was omitted in the formation of the new ministry, and they may be assured that it is one of their acts which have been noted down to their disadvantage.
ART. XIV.-American Stories for Little Boys and Girls: intended for Children under Ten Years of age. In three volumes. 16mo. Edited by Mary Russell Mitford. London : Whittaker and Co. 1831.
WE much wish that instead of editing the productions of transatlantic writers, Miss Mitford had composed tales of her own, for the amusement and instruction of her juvenile friends. There are many things in these volumes which we think extremely unfit to be read by children under the age she has specified. We would refer particularly to the vulgar dialect in which some of the characters introduced are made to speak, and the coarse sentiments