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the Turks d, which was formerly animated by religious fanaticism, has been long in a state of decline, and the members, which compose the vast body of their empire, are feeble and disunited.
In 1774, with its utmost efforts the Turkish empire could only bring 142,000 men into the field o; and these numbers, resembling a
Turkish power in European event desirable to moft Christian nations, and particularly to Great Britain. The Russian fleet at Sebastopolis in the Black Sea is now strong enough to risk the loss of half its numbers in an attack on Constantinople, and the remainder alone might be more than a match for the Sultan's navy." In the last war the grand fleet of the Turks consisted of only seventeen or eighteen ships of the line, and they have not now near so many. Eton, p. 81, 193.
4" The institution of the Janizaries [by Amurath I.) gave at that time a decisive fuperiority to the Turkish arms, as they presented a system of discipline, and a permanency of organization, till then unknową in Europe. These haughty and celebrated legions were long the terror of surrounding nations, and continued to be looked upon as formidable, until the middle of the seventeenth century. At that time the Turkish power ceased to aggrandite itfelf; it made a pause in its conquefts, a paufe prophetic of that downfal toward which it has since fo rapidly verged, and which seems now to threaten a speedy approach. The steps which led to this degradation are easily discernible.". Eton, p. 62. • Eton, p. 67. VOL. II.
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mob assembled; rather than an army levied, were soon lefsened by desertion. In 1773, when the Porte sent 60,000 Janizaries towards Trebizonde, to be embarked for the Crimea, all but 10,000 dispersed themselves on their route f. “Their cavalry (which is the only part of their army that deserves the name of regular forees) is as much afraid of their own foot, as of the enemy; for in a defeat they fire at them to get their horses, in order to escape quicker. Their force lies in their attack, but for that they must be prepared; taken unawares, the smallest number puts them to Hight; and when their sudden fury of attack is abated, which is at the least obstinate resistance, they are feized with a panic, and have no rallying as formerly.”
" Casting our view over the pafhaliks, or governments moft immediately connected with the seat of empire, we shall find them distracted, disorganized, and scarcely yielding more than a nominal obedience to the Sultan : fuch are the palhaliks of Asia Minor and Syria. With regard to the more distant provinces, they may be considered connected with the *.$« The horđes of Tartars, which formerly affifted the regular troops, are now principally under the dominion of Russia."
Porte rather by treaty than as integral parts of the empire. In this light I view Moldavia and Walachia in the north, and Egypt in the fouth. These unfortunate countries (unfortunate in their political regulation, however blessed by the bounty of nature) suffer, though in different degrees, from the harpy touch of despotism 8.” The Sultan is the nominal sovereign of Bagdad; but the Palha' has the real power in his own hands. “In Armenia Major, and all the neighbouring countries, there are whole nations or tribes of inde. pendent people, who do not even acknowledge. the Porte, or any of its palhas. The three Arabias do not acknowledge the sovereignty of the Sultan, who only possesses in these countries a few unimportant towns h.”
The Palhas of Ahiska, of Trebizonde, and Acri, often set the Porte at defiance. Near Smyrna the great Agas, or independent chiefs, maintain armies, and often lay that city under contribution. All the inhabitants from Smyrna to Palestine are independent, under different lords, and of different religions, and are considered by the Porte as enemies. In Syria the Sultan i virtually possesses the ports of Latachia
3 Eton, p. 287.'ni i n Eton, p. 289.
" Eton, p. 292.
H 2 (Laodicea,),
(Laodicea,) Alexandretta (or Scanderoon), the port of Aleppo, Tripoli, Sidon, Jaffa, and a few insignificant places : but the country belongs to the Curds; and the caravans from Scandaroon to Aleppo are obliged to go round by Antioch, as they will not suffer the Turks to pass through it. In Europe the Morea, Albania, Epirus, and Scutari, are more or less in a state of rebellion. Bofnea, Croatia, &c. obey the Porte only as long as it suits them to defend themselves againft its enemies, in the war with Germany. “ Lately we have feen all European Turkey in arms against the Porte : Adrianople in imminent danger, and even Constantinople itself trembling for its fafety." The advances of Paswan Oglou become every day more formidable; but the fatal-blow will perhaps be struck by a power the least suspected by the deluded Mahometans. And when we consider the astonishing decrease in population throughout the Empire, and the failure of every attempt to
* The number of inhabitants in Constantinople is estimated by Mr. Eton at less than 300,000; and he supposes the population of the empire to hold the fame proportion with the common calculation. After fome inquiry into the causes of this astonilhing decrease, he adds, “ It is therefore reasonable to conclude, that depopulation could
revive the antient military spirit of the people, fince the period allotted for the decline of its power ; such a combination of circumstances not only justifies the expectation of its fall upon every principle founded on human experience, but holds out a most striking example of the accuracy of Prophecy, for the contemplation of the present age. The testimony of this unbiassed writer is too valuable to be easily abandoned ; and I am much de. ceived, if the Reader will not see ample confirmation of the fystem, respecting the three
not formerly have made so rapid a progress as at present, and that in a century more, things remaining in their present situation, the Turkilh empire will be nearly extinct. It is worthy of remark, that the Curds in the mountains, and other independent tribes who do not mix with the Turks, are exempt from the mortality occasioned by all the calamities, which afflict the countries more immedi. ately subject to the Porte.” Eton, p. 270, &c.
Many attempts have been made within the last century, principally by French officers, to renew the antient inilitary spirit of the Turks, and to instruct them in European tactics. Gazi Hassan, the celebrated Pasha, tried, with unlimited power for nineteen years, to inspire his own spirit into the troops; but he found all his efforts ineffectual. 'The present Sultan, Selim, has attempted to abolish the
Janizaries, and introduce the European disciplinie into the army gradually, by instituting a new corps trained to the musket and bayonet ; but this attempt is not likely to fucceed to any extent. Eton, chap. iii.