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each obliged to have in their arabas or waggons for the inevitable repairs which their miserable vehicles require along the route. When the
When the young Turk had wounded several of them he quietly replaced his weapon in his girdle; but drew it quickly out again to use it on the engineers for having strongly remonstrated with him on his conduct. But he put it back again in double quick time when he saw the strangers handling the arms which they were accustomed to carry on their
This, be it again remembered, did not happen durng the recent disturbances ; it is one of the ordinary incidents in the every-day life of the Bulgarian Christian. And the sad feature in the case is that the Turk, in most cases, does not understand that he is guilty of any cruelty, or even of misconduct. His religion, combined with the brutalising sense of unbridled tyranny instilled into him from his infancy, makes him regard the Rayah as a creature belonging to a totally different order of being from himself—a creature who holds all that he possesses, even life itself, not as of right, but by the favour of his Mussulman master, who may withdraw that favour when it suits his convenience or pleasure to do so. The young Turk who hacked the unoffending Buigarian waggoners with his kandjiar, possibly for the mere fun of the thing, may have been gentle and kind-hearted in other relations of life. It simply did not occur to him that he was acting brutally in slicing the body of a Rayah any more than it seems to an Englishman in India that he is acting brutally when he is enjoying the sport of pigsticking. Re
| La Question d'Orient dévoillé, ou La Vérité sur La Turquie,
2 This comparison has more point than appears on the surface,
A FALLACY ABOUT THE TURK.
monstrate with a Neapolitan vetturino for ill-using his horses, and he will probably reply, with a shrug of wonder at your ignorance, Che avete, signore? Non sono Cristiani ! Such is the feeling of the dominant Turk towards the subject Rayah. His behaviour to Christians who are not subjects of Turkey, and who are consequently out of his power, and will probably return his blow with interest, is quite different. To them the Turk is courteous enough, especially in Constantinople and other towns under the influence of Western power. And so they come home full of admiration for the Turk and of indignation against his libellers. Let them go into some Turkish province and disguise themselves as Rayahs, and they will soon return with a very different opinion of the object of their admiration. Let us hear what Consul Hankey, with his long experience, has to say upon the subject :
• In their daily relations the Rayah is made to feel the small estimation in which he is held by his masters. A Turk will not rise to receive him ; he will be kept waiting for hours, although the master of the house is unoccupied. In travelling, if an educated Turk meets with a Christian who can converse with him, he is extremely cautious so long as he believes himself to be talking to a foreigner; should he discover his fellow
Pig' is one of the opprobious epithets employed towards the Christian subjects of the Porte even in official documents.
Ubicini quotes the following from an official report of a certain Pertew Effendi to the Sultan :-'Et comme dans les règlements du porc, que l'on nomme le pape,
&c.'-. .. 'Par l'effet de ces mille ruses et cajoleries, qui sont d'accord avec la nature perverse de cette troupe de cochons, 8c.'-Lettres sur la Turquie, vol. ii. p. 445.
The italics are not mine. “Le pape' is of course the parish priest. Mr. Nassau Senior gives corroborative evidence in his Journal kept in Turkey and Greece.
traveller to be a Rayah, his demeanour instantly changes, and in many cases he will not afterwards acknowledge the other's salutation.
• The petty vexations to which Rayahs are subjected are of hourly occurrence, and patent to all unprejudiced observers.
• In the last eighteen years I have been resident in different parts of Turkey; and this is, I believe, without exaggeration the actual position of the Christian subjects of the Sultan in European Turkey–in places, too, where the conduct of the local authorities is subject to the criticism of foreigners and foreign consulates.
'In Asiatic Turkey, except in some seaport towns, the only protection a Rayah has for person and property is what he purchases from some influential member of the Turkish community. His complaints are answered by blows, and he is the humble slave of any Mussulman
So much as to the amount of security for life and person enjoyed by the Rayah of Turkey.
SECURITY FOR HONOUR.
INSECURITY of honour is a grievance harder to endure even than insecurity of life; and the higher the standard of female virtue is, the deeper of course is the wrong inflicted by its violation. Now all respectable writers are agreed that nowhere in the world is the standard of female virtue higher than among the Slave
Consular Reports of 1867, p. 4.
population of Turkey. “The Bulgarian women,' says
" Ranke, the well-known historian, who lived among them and knew them intimately,' are gentle, compassionate, and laborious. The motherly and sisterly care they bestow on the stranger-guest in their cabins is really affecting. Their demeanour towards him is marked with the perfect confidence of innocence, for their virtue has no need of the precautions which are elsewhere necessary. He sleeps on the same floor with the mother, the wife, and daughters of the household. They are, next to the Greeks, the handsomest women in European Turkey, and are specially remarkable for the length and luxuriance of their hair, with which they could literally cover themselves as with a garment; it often sweeps
the ground below their feet. The young girls let their tresses flow loosely, and their only head-dress is a wreath of flowers or a single rose.'
Mr. Barkley, who has spent five years among the Christians in Bulgaria, confirms Dr. Ranke's testimony
It will be apparent from a remark on a previous page that I do not rank Messrs. Brophy and St. Clair among respectable writers. On the comparative chastity of Turks and Christian Rayahs, as on other questions, they are at variance with all respectable authorities.
Here is their testimony :- When you find Bulgarian or Greek villages in close proximity to Turkish settlements, the women are moral, and the men as honest as Rayahs can possibly be ; but when there are some villages purely Christian clustered together, the women are Messalinas and the men scoundrels ! *Turkish rule alone keeps the poison under. Woe to these people if the Turks ever leave them !'— The Eastern Question in Bulgaria, p. 314.
It is sad to see two men, one of whom appears to have bome her Majesty's Commission, and the other to be now employed in our Consular Service, allowing their maniacal hatred of Russia to drive them into these brutal and wantonly mendacious calumnies against a people so singalarly chaste as the Slaves of Turkey.
* Slave Provinces, p. 460.
to the letter. "I never lived,' he says, "among any race where female virtue is more highly prized than it is among the Bulgarians, and I can safely assert that though our English workmen, men of all sorts and all characters, lived for months at a time in Bulgarian villages on the most intimate terms with the women, yet there was never the faintest whisper of scandal. The village girls, though always ready for a laugh or a talk, never drift into levity of conduct, but seem innately to possess virtue and self-respect. As a race, both men and women are well-grown and good-looking, and one can see, from their lissom erect carriage and healthy appearance, that from infancy they have been well fed and well clothed. If only absolute security for person and property could be obtained, I believe Bulgaria would be one of the most prosperous countries in Europe.'
“The Bulgarians are a most virtuous people,” says Bianconi, a French engineer, who has also lived among them for years. The young girls are remarkable for
their modesty.' Again :— Bent under the yoke for so
-long a time, the Bulgarians have forgotten their rights and their power ; nor, indeed, have they the means of combining in self-defence. Their character, rendered pusillanimous by oppression, makes them accept without anger all the humiliations and injustice heaped upon them; and meanwhile they are a most industrious people, and their manners are pure in spite of their servitude and in spite of the frightful and infamous corruption of their masters.' ?
The Consular Reports are equally emphatic in bearing testimony to the virtue and industry of the
I Five Years in Bulgaria, p. x.