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this political paradox will become apparent | It is certainly not our imperative duty to those who peruse our introductory chap- to act like the generous knight-errants of ter on Turkey and Russia. A glance, swift old, who rode about the world to destroy its and sweeping, of the history of the past is giants and oppressors; but the interests of necessary to a justification of the belligerent | England are involved in the present quespowers of Europe in the present. Many tion, and must ever be concerned in every people, indeed, are surprised, if not shocked, question which threatens to overturn the at our alliance with a Mohammedan power equilibrium and peace of Europe. The against a Christian one. Some have even con- affair is less one of Turkey than of Russia; demned it as an unnatural association, and an and the former must be supported, unless it unnecessary war. Politicians, who do not be- is determined that it shall fall a prey to long either to the Cobden school or the Peace the latter. Such an event as that, or Society, have concurred in the latter censure. a near approach to it, must be regarded In a debate upon the Eastern question in as a step which casts an ominous shadow the imperial parliament, Earl Grey blamed over the tranquillity and civilisation of Euthe ministers for having allowed themselves rope. Russia is now strong enough to to be drawn into the quarrel between Russia threaten the subjugation of Turkey, and to and the Porte. "I agree in all that has been offer "her protection" to such powerful said," exclaimed the earl, "in condemnation states as her neighbours, Austria and Prusof the conduct of Russia towards Turkey in sia. What, therefore, may she not be, when this case; but it does not follow, because her gigantic resources shall be more fully Russia had done wrong, that it was expedient developed, and when her present scanty or proper for us to undertake the defence of but rapidly-increasing population shall be Turkey. It is no part of our duty, as a doubled? The war certainly might be nation, to undertake (like knight-errants of deferred; but if we avert it, the struggle old) the general redress of grievances, and will fall with increased severity upon our to protect every weak state which may be children. Evils that are evaded instead of oppressed by a more powerful neighbour. being wrestled with, ever return with a more We have no business to interfere in the dis- alarming aspect. Russia now, as a civilised putes of other nations, unless we are called nation, is but a youth: let us, by a seasonupon to do so, either by some engagement able check, prevent its manhood from bewhich we have contracted, or by some great coming dangerous. To quote the language interests of our own which are involved." of the Earl of Clarendon:-"Certainly, we might have avoided the state of things which now exist and aggravates men's minds, by allowing Russia to assume a protecting power over eight to ten millions of the
The noble earl added, that it was universally admitted that we were not bound by any treaty to assist Turkey, and that an enlightened regard for our interests counselled us to abstain from interference. As to main-sultan's subjects; but such a course would taining the independence and integrity of have placed the throne and empire of the the Ottoman empire, he denied that we could sultan completely at the power of Russia. sustain that which had no real existence. Then, at any moment, do what you like to The state of avowed and lamentable weak- prevent it, she might have become the misness to which Turkey had been reduced, her tress of Constantinople. Afterwards, difinancial embarrassments, and the gradual recting all her energies to the increase of diminution of her population, had destroyed her naval force, nothing could have preher independence, and made her lean for vented her (after becoming a great Meditersupport on such states in Europe as felt dis- ranean, as well as Baltic, naval power) from posed to assist her. He also considered the giving the law to Europe, but such an amount prevalent apprehension of Russia to be a de- of naval superiority on the part of this lusion. "A nation of slaves," he truly ex- country as it would have been a constant claimed, "never can have the energy, intel- drain on our resources to maintain." ligence, or wealth of a nation of freemen; and, in modern war, it is not the mere brute strength of so many millions of men which is really effective: intelligence and wealth enter into the conflict more effectually than mere numbers; and that is becoming more apparent every day."
We hasten to bring these few introductory remarks to a close. The question, we have said, is a complicated one; and, in order that it may be clearly understood, we shall lay before the reader a brief and rapid glance at the past history and connexions of Turkey and Russia.
TURKEY-ITS EXTENT, NATURE, AND POPULATION.
of imperial Rome familiar to us as the Empire of the East) is the Turkish capital. It is situated on the banks of the Bosphorus, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmora, on the verge of the narrow channel separating Europe from Asia, and is considered one of the finest harbours in the world. It is the residence of the sultan, the mufti, the ministers, and of all the dignitaries of the empire. The city is built upon an undulating declivity, and three-fourths of it face the sea. Seen from a little distance, it presents a noble and beautiful ap
THE dominions of Turkey comprise a portion of three-quarters of the earth-Europe, Asia, and Africa. Altogether, it is estimated to contain 35,000,000 inhabitants, and to embrace a surface of upwards of 600,000 square miles. The subjects of the Turkish empire consist of many nations and races. According to the census of 1844, there were -Ottomans or Turks, 12,950,000; Greeks, 2,000,000; Armenians, 2,400,000; Jews, 150,000; Sclavonians, 6,200,000; Roumani, 4,000,000; Albanians, 1,450,000; Tartars, 66,000; Arabs, 4,700,000; Syrians and Chaldæans, 250,000; Druses, 30,000; pearance. 30,000; pearance. Its mosques, cupolas, and minaKurds, 1,000,000; Thurcomans, 90,000; rets, interspersed with dark waving cypresses Gypsies, 214,000: making a total of and gaily-painted houses, surrounded by 35,500,000. luxuriant gardens containing mulberry, acacia, palm, and fig-trees, together with the placid sunlit sea, on which ride thousands of vessels and gondolas, produce an effect not to be seen in any other city in the world. On entering Constantinople, however, you see the reverse of the picture. Internally, it consists chiefly of a labyrinth of crooked, ill-paved, and dirty lanes, and a crowd of low-built and small houses, formed of wood or roughly-hewn stone. The streets are cleared of filth and offal by an immense number of dogs, which constantly parade them, and act as scavengers. Constantinople contains fourteen imperial mosques, and 332 others; 183 hospitals, thirty-six Christian churches, several synagogues, 130 public baths, 500 fountains, and eighty bazaars. The extreme point of the city is occupied by the seraglio, or private domain of the sultan, which comprises an area of about three miles in circuit. Within it are the divan, the hall of justice, the arsenal, and all the state-offices. The court is entered from the city by a large and heavy gate, called the Porte, a name which has thence been applied to the divan of the Turkish sultan. It was an ancient custom of eastern monarchs, when administering justice, to sit, as the scriptural expression runs, "at the gate." The term "gate" thus became synonymous with court or office; and for the sake of distinction, the sultan's court was called the Exalted or Lofty Gate. This phrase, in the transla
TURKEY IN EUROPE is 910 miles in length, 760 in breadth, and contains 182,560 square miles. It is situated between 16° and 32° east longitude, and between 36° and 49° north latitude; is bounded on the north by Russia, Buckovina, Transylvania, and Selavonia; on the east by Little Tartary, the Black Sea, Marmora, the Hellespont, and the Archipelago; on the south by the Mediterranean; and on the west by the same sea and the Austrian dominions. The Turkish empire is divided into ejalets or eyalets-that is, large provinces; in the same manner as England is divided into counties. European Turkey contains fifteen of these ejalets.
TURKEY IN ASIA is 1,120 miles in length, 1,010 in breadth, and contains 470,400 square miles; it is situated between 26° and 45° east longitude, and between 28° and 44° north latitude; is bounded on the north by the Black Sea and Circassia; on the east by Persia; on the south by Arabia and the Levant; and on the west by the Archipelago, the Hellespont, and the Sea of Marmora. It is divided into eighteen ejalets.
TURKEY IN AFRICA contains only three ejalets; namely-Egypt, Tripoli, and Tunis. Algiers was also a Turkish province; but it now belongs to the French, though the Sovereignty has never been ceded to that nation by the sultan.
Constantinople (formerly called Byzantium, and then the chief city of that moiety
tions of the Dragomans, who were mostly Kilid-Bahr, the most important fortress Italians, became La Porta Sublime, whence on the European side of the Dardanelles, the title of the Sublime Porte. Scutari, has 155 cannons; the opposite fortress, situated on the Asiatic shore, and just Sultani-Kalessi, in Asia, has 196 cannons. opposite to Constantinople, is regarded as a The batteries on the European shores suburb of that city; so also is Pera, on the number 332 cannons and four mortars; European side. The harbour of Constan- those on the Asiatic coast have 814 cannon tinople, called "The Golden Horn," is so and four mortars: making, together, 1,497 constructed, that ships may anchor close to cannons and eight mortars. the houses.
It is necessary also to mention the other principal cities and towns in European Turkey. Adrianople is the second metropolis of the empire, and possesses 160,000 inhabitants, of whom about one-half are Turks; the other, Greeks, Jews, and Armenians. Still Adrianople is considered the most essentially Turkish town in the empire. It is beautifully situated on the Maritza river, in the centre of a country possessing great natural wealth. Around it is Tschirmen, with 8,000 inhabitants; Dschisr Mustapha, on the banks of the river Maritza, with 200 inhabitants; Demotika, with 15,000 inhabitants, and the seat of a Greek archbishopric; Kirkhilissi, with 16,000 inhabitants; Burgas, a little town on the Black Sea, containing only 7,000 inhabitants, but possessed of a harbour, which renders it important in time of war.
In the interior of Roumelia (that division of the empire containing Constantinople) is the large town of Philippoli, containing 80,000 inhabitants, and important manufactures of silk, cloth, and cotton: also the towns of Tatar-Basardschick, with 10,000 inhabitants; Eski-Sagra, near the Balkan Mountains, with 20,000 inhabitants; Kasanlik, at the foot of the Balkan, with 10,000 inhabitants; Selimnia, situated near that important pass of the Balkan called DemirKapu, or the Iron Gate, containing 20,000 inhabitants, a considerable manufactory of arms, and one of the most important fairs of the empire; Urudschowa, possessing an important fair and a considerable trade; and Enoss, a port with 7,000 inhabitants.
Gallipoli, now rendered famous by the present contest, is also situated in this important province. It stands on the peninsular of Gallipoli, at the entrance of the Dardanelles, across which the ancient poets tell us that the love-inspired Leander swam, night after night, to meet the beautiful priestess of Venus. It has a harbour, an extensive trade, a victualling magazine for the supply of the Ottoman fleet, and 70,000 inhabitants.
Rodesto is a flourishing commercial town, and the residence of a Greek archbishop. It contains 35,000 inhabitants.
The principal town in Macedonia is Salonica, its capital, which possesses a very imposing appearance, with its domes and monuments, and is second only to Constantinople in commercial importance. others are Sedes, a village possessing mineral baths; Jenidsche-Vardar, a town with 6,000 inhabitants; Karaferia, a manufacturing town with 20,000 inhabitants; Vodina (the ancient Odessa), containing 12,000 inhabitants; and Seres, with 30,000 inhabitants. Near to the latter is Mount Athos, which has sixteen monasteries, and more than 300 chapels, cells, and grottos, containing as many as 4,000 monks.
Thessaly is a mountainous region with deep valleys, such as Tempe, and plains that appear like dried-up lakes. Its capital is Larissa, containing a population of 20,000. It is the residence of a Greek archbishop.
Albania is a picturesque region, and has been the theatre of incessant revolutions, in consequence of its having been divided into several independent pachalics. Much of it is only nominally dependent upon the Porte. The Albanians mostly profess to be Christians of the Greek or Roman churches; but many of them are Mohammedans. In the north and on the table-lands, maize and potatoes are grown. Smoked mutton, sheepskins, wool, cheese, tallow, bacon, wax, and live-stock are sent to Cattaro in return for wine, spirits, salt, oil, iron, and manufactured goods. The climate is exceedingly beautiful, though very hot in the summer; but destructive storms are frequent in the south. The olive, orange, and citron thrive in the maritime plains of Albania. Its chief town is Janina, a meanly-built place, with a population of 36,000 inhabitants. Its principal edifice is the fortress, containing the palace of the pacha. Mezzova, Delvino, Suli and Paramithia, Argyrocastro, Ochrida, Dukagin, Perserendi, Alessio, Croja, Dulcigno, Antivari, and Scutari are the other important towns. The latter is a wealthy
and flourishing town, containing about 40,000 | the Turks in 1392. Varna, its capital, is a inhabitants. Immediately adjacent is a lofty fortified port on the shore of the Black Sea, height, crowned by a citadel, and containing and one of the best on that coast. Bulgaria the residence of the governor, with an arsenal is generally well wooded, and abounds in and barracks. Scutari has a large bazaar, rich pasturage; its inhabitants are mostly many mosques, Greek and Roman Catholic attached to the Greek church, and are a very churches, several bridges, yards for building industrious people. coasting-vessels, and manufactories of cotton goods and fire-arms.
Moldavia and Wallachia, the Danubian principalities, are Turkish provinces according to the map; but although dependent on the Porte, still they are governed by their own hospodars or princes, and, upon payment of an annual tribute to the sultan, enjoy perfect freedom of internal administration. In this condition they have remained, overshadowed on one side by Russia, and on the other by Turkey, and retained their limited independence for above 300 years. The yearly tribute which Moldavia pays to the Porte is 1,000,000 of piastres, or £10,250; that of Wallachia is double the sum. This tribute has been confiscated by the Russians, to pay themselves for their present military occupation of those provinces. Let us relate a few particulars concerning these now interesting districts.
Moldavia is bounded, east and north, by the river Pruth, which separates it from Russia; south by Wallachia and the Danube, which separates it from Bulgaria; and west by the Austrian empire: it comprises 17,020 square miles, and contains 1,400,000 inhabitants. With the exception of a considerable number of Jews and Gypsies, they are followers of the Greek or Roman Catholic churches. The country is covered with vast forests and pasture lands, on which great numbers of horses and cattle are reared. In summer the heat is very great; and the soil produces grain, fruits, and vines in great abundance. Jassy, the capital, is the seat of a Greek archbishop, and the residence of the foreign consuls.
Bosnia is a partially mountainous district, and the soil is in general not very well suited for cultivation, except in the valley of the Save. On the north slopes of the Dinaric Alps are extensive forests, yielding valuable timber; and the pasturage is excellent. The mountains contain mines of gold, silver, mercury, lead, and iron; but the government only permit the working of the two latter. Bosnia-Serai, the capital, has 70,000 inhabitants, and a considerable trade; indeed it is one of the principal industrial towns of Turkey. The other most important towns are Travnik, Vraduk, and Maglai, Zivornik, Mostar or Monastir, Bihaez, Novi, Jaicza, Banjaluka, Derbir, Livno, and Trebinje.
Servia is a mountainous province, in many parts densely wooded, and interspersed with numerous fertile valleys. The vine is cultivated, but the people make but indifferent wine. Hemp, flax, tobacco, and cotton are also reared. Ten millions of hogs, fed upon acorns in the grand old oak forests, are annually exported. Valuable mines are to be found; but few, if any of them, are wrought. Belgrade, its capital, is an important fortified city on the right bank of that noble river, the Danube. The city had formerly quite an oriental appearance; but it is now almost abandoned by wealthy Turks: churches are taking the place of mosques, and new buildings are being constructed after the German fashion. Servia was conquered by the Turks, and annexed to the Ottoman empire in the year 1385. The Servians are descendants of the ancient Sclavonians, and are described as a high-spirited and majestic people.
Wallachia is bounded on the south-east, south, and south-west by the Danube, which separates it from Bulgaria and Servia, and on the north by Moldavia and the Austrian empire: it contains a surface of 27,500 square miles, and a population amounting to 2,600,000 inhabitants. It is well watered, and generally very fertile; but the greatest
Bulgaria is a province of some interest, as it is only separated from the Danubian principalities by the broad waters of the Danube. It is subdivided into the pachalics of Widdin, Varna, Silistria, and Sophia, besides which it comprises the towns of Nicopolis, Rust-part remains uncultivated. The chief crops chuk, Sistova, Shumla, Babatag, Kustendje, are wheat, maize, barley, rye, hemp, tobacco, &c. From the seventh century till 1018, and vines. It has immense forests and fine and again, from 1196 till the middle of the pasture-lands, on which cattle and sheep are fourteenth century, Bulgaria formed an in- extensively reared. The climate is hot and dependent kingdom; it then became subject moist in the summer, and extremely cold in to Hungary, and was finally conquered by the winter. The inhabitants are chiefly
Wallachians; but a mixture of Gypsies, Jews, | Turkey have become famous; they are Greeks, and Armenians reside amongst them. wrought by hand in the style of the GobeThey are adherents of the Greek church, and lins tapestry, and are largely manufactured speak a corrupt dialect of the Latin language. | in Bulgaria and Servia. The women of the Bucharest, the capital, bears some resem- south are also very expert at embroidery. blance to a large village; for the houses are Cotton-printing works exist in some localisurrounded by gardens; but it is badly paved, ties. Tanneries are numerous; and estabadly built, and very dirty: it possesses blishments for the distillation of brandy ninety-five churches, a foundling, and six from prunes are common throughout the other hospitals, a college, a museum, and a country. public library. It is the entrepôt for the commerce between Austria and Turkey,
The climate of European Turkey is mostly temperate, and well adapted to the activity and perfect development of the human race. Extreme cold, however, prevails during winter; and in the recesses of the highest mountains, the snow lies the greatest part of the year. With a more active population, the most prolific parts of Turkey might become the paradise of Europe. It is diversified by mountains, valleys, forests, plains, rivers, and arms of the sea. Its chief river is the Danube, which (including its many windings) is 1,725 miles in length: with the exception of the Volga, it is the largest in Europe. Its principal mountains are the Balkan, the Hellenic, the Acroceramian, and the Dinaric Alps. Some of these mountainranges are covered with noble forests, and abound in deep ravines and wild romantic scenery. The Balkan is an important chain, extending from the plain of Sophia to Cape Emineh, on the Black Sea. The summits of many of its peaks are covered with grass and fruit-trees. The deep and narrow gorges permit of paths difficult even for beasts of burden.
We have spoken thus fully of European Turkey, because some brief knowledge of it is necessary to the comprehension of the war of which it is at present the theatre. Turkey in Asia we shall dismiss in a few words; the more so, as the sovereignty of the sultan is so much weakened in that quarter, as to be little more than nominal. It includes AsiaMinor (Anatolia, Karamania, and Rum-ili, Trebisonde, Marash, Adona, &c.), Syria and Palestine, Armenia, Kaizik, Kars, Al-Jezeerah or Mesopotamia, Koordistan, and IrakArabi. The population of Asiatic Turkey has been estimated at 20,922,900; of these, not more than 6,000,000 are actually subject to the Ottoman government. On the shores of the Black Sea, Turkey has some valuable ports, amongst which is Sinope, the scene of a recent tragedy, which we shall shortly relate.
Agriculture, in Turkey, is conducted in a very rude and imperfect manner, and the greatest part of the country is forest and waste land. The principal wild animals are the brown bear, the wolf, the wild boar, the chamois, the stag, and the hare. The buffalo is common in some parts of Turkey; and cattle are reared very extensively. The horses are small, but active. Goats are more abundant in Turkey than in any other country in Europe. Fish are plentiful in the rivers, and leaches (which abound in the marshes) form an important article of export. Turkey has valuable mines, but none of them are worked to advantage. Its manufactures comprise saddles, copper and tin utensils, fire-arms, swords, coarse woollen Mohammedan cemeteries and the edifices cloths, linen and cotton spinning. Shawls known as "the tombs of the kings and the are made only in the Asiatic provinces, judges:" to the east, in the valley of Jehoespecially at Damascus. The carpets of sophat, are numerous other tombs, together
Amongst the chief towns or cities of Asiatic Turkey are Bagdad, Aleppo, Tripoli, Akre or St. Jean d'Acre, Damascus, and Jerusalem. The interest attaching to this celebrated and sacred city, and its connexion with the original cause of the war now waging against Russian aggression in the East, demand a few words of brief description. The modern city is about two miles and-ahalf in circumference, and surrounded by stately walls of hewn stone. Its population does not exceed 40,000 inhabitants, most of whom are extremely poor. All its public buildings are of a religious character. Amongst them is the gorgeous church of the Holy Sepulchre, erected by Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, over the reputed site of the sepulchre of the Saviour. The church of St. Anna, and the supposed birth-place of the Virgin Mary, on Mount Bezetha; the elegant mosque of Omar, or "dome of the rock;" and the mosque of El Aksa, also attract attention. Outside the walls of Jerusalem, to the north lie the