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body of prisoners they made in the war of ply the wants of the central government 1877, exceeding two hundred thousand in and the sultan, the consequent excessive number. They treated them with great taxation, the need of security for life and kindness, fed 'them far better than they property. were accustomed to in the Turkish army, The governors of provinces, as in past and released them eventually warmly clad times, still oblain their appointments by and well shod. A friend told me in illus. means of heavy backshish to officials at tration of this that his servant, a Turk, the palace. They hold them for no cerwho had been in the war, told him that at tain period, and are removable at any its close he was discharged from the army moment by intrigues in the same quarter penniless and half-starved, with scarcely a as that where they obtained them. They rag to cover him and with no shoes. “I must necessarily make hay while the sun was not so fortunate as my brother," he shines, and they can do so only by exacsaid; "he had the good luck to be taken tions and backshish, similar in kind to prisoner, and the Russians gave him a that to which they have themselves been good suit of clothing and a spare pair of subjected. They are left at their posts so boots, and he returned home in good short a time that, as a rule, they have no health. If I am ever drawn for the army opportunity to effect improvements, if that again, I shall take good care to be taken be their desire; but in fact no initiative prisoner as soon as possible.” Two hun- for good is allowed them; everything has dred thousand men returning to their to be referred to the capital, and nothing homes in Asia Minor have spread, it is is done which can be put off or avoided. believed, something of the same opinion It is alleged that there are capable and among the Turkish peasantry.

honest and patriotic men among the class The danger to Turkey in this quarter, from whom the governors are chosen, but as also in what remains to it of its Euro- they have a less chance of appointment pean provinces in Macedonia and Epirus, than the worst, because shey can less is the comparison between the condition afford to bribe. If the sultan were to of those who were freed in 1877 from the direct a part of his energies to breaking sultan's rule, and who have become self-dowo this system of corruption and to governing, as in the case of the Bulgarians, selecting honest and capable men as govor have gone under the rule of Austria, ernors in the provinces, some of the evils Russia, or Greece, with those who still of his country might be cured and many remain the subjects of Turkish rule. dangers in the future avoided. When on one side of mere geographical Let us not, however, underrate the dif. lines, without any physical differences, ficulties which the sultan labors under, the people are flourishing and content, Surrounded by men who have been improvements of all kinds in roads, rail. brought up under and who live in this ways, harbors, schools, etc., are going on, corrupt system; embarrassed by the rival. brigandage at an end, and the cultivation ries of the great powers; limited in a of the land extending, justice is equally hundred ways by foreign jurisdiction upadministered, and security to life and der the capitulations, and the concessions property afforded by the authorities, and to the Greek and Armenian patriarchs in all these improvements date from the time derogation of his sovereigu rights, his when they ceased to be under Turkish position must be one more full of difficul. rule; or when, on the other side of these ties and pitfalls than that of any arbitrary lines, the conditions are the same as for. ruler. That he has shown skill of a cermerly, or even worse, and no improvement tain kind in threading his way through of any kind has taken place, the contrast these perils and difficulties cannot be must inevitably be such as to lead to fresh denied. aspirations of the peasantry, to renewed He showed political sagacity in assentpolitical difficulties, to threats of intervening to the union of Bulgaria and eastern tion, and further schemes for disintegrat. Roumelia, and in refusing to act on the ing the empire at no distant date.

advice of Russia to occupy the latter The real defects of the Turkish govern province for the purpose of preventing ment appear to be the same as ever, this union. He has followed up this namely, not so much the laws themselves policy by showing a friendly feeling to as the administration of them, or the want Bulgaria and by granting berats, or exof administration, the excessive centraliza- equaturs, carrying with them important tion, the want of honest and capable gov. civil jurisdiction, to the Bulgarian bishops ernors, the corruption which infects all in parts of Macedonia. On the other official classes, the want of money to sup. I hand, the last concession, which has been at the expense of the Greek bishops, has tinople we cannot say; the precedent of caused the greatest jealousy on the part the Byzantine Empire shows that the of Greece, and the sultan has greatly in Turks themselves beld Adrianople for creased this by taking the same opportu, ninety years before they succeeded in oity of curtailing the privileges enjoyed capturing the capital itself. It may well from time immemorial by the Greek bish. be that the Turks will long retain the ops in other parts of the Turkish Empire. Bosphorus and Stamboul after they have Generally, the policy of the Porte to lost substantial hold on their ropean Greece seems to be unnecessarily hostile. provinces. As they fall back on those The late prime minister of Greece, M. provinces where a great majority of the Tricoupis, complained to me that, with population are Moslems, they become po. every desire to keep on good terms with litically stronger, in the sense that they Turkey, bis government found it impossi- raise fewer controversies founded on race ble to do so, as no concession of the aod religion. smallest kind was ever made to them. It is obvious to any one who visits Con. Nothing but fear, he said, would induce stantinople that the material and commer. the sultan to do or to settle anything. cial interests of Austria and Germany are

Looking at the present map of Turkey, extendiog greatly in the Balkan Peninsula it is obvious that the area in which Chris. and in Asia Minor, and that those of Entian races now predominate is not large. gland are rather on the decline. Immense Macedonia, Epirus, Crete, and the islands efforts are made by German firms to of the Ægean Sea, constitute the main obtain hold of the trade in Bulgaria and points of difficulty. There are also the Servia, also in Asia Minor. Their agents provinces of Van and Erzeroum, where thoroughly acquaint themselves with the the condition of the Armenians presents a languages and inform themselves as to most serious difficulty, all the greater be- the wants of the people — a course which cause they are a minority of the popula. does not appear to be taken by English tion.

merchants. German capitalists have conThe jealousies of Greece and Bulgaria structed the railways to Constantinople are such that it would not seem to be a and Salonika, and have recently obtained very difficult task for the Porte to play off a concession of great importance for a ope against the other, and to postpone line from Ismid to Angora, which will tap awbile the claims of either to the inherit the centre of Asia Minor. The granting ance of Macedonia. Nor does it appear of this concession was connected with that the Russian government is at present what seems very like a confiscation of the anxious to precipitate events in the east interests of a British company in a line of Asia Minor, or to use the Armenian from Scutari to Ismid. German influences question as a pretext for a further advance with the Porte for such purposes appear in this direction. If only decent govern- to be all-powerful. ment could be secured for these provinces It is obvious, then, that the destiny of in the direction of ordinary protection for Constantinople, both from a commercial life and property, the putting down of and political poiot of view, is becoming brigandage, and the lightening of the bur. more and more a matter which primarily theos of taxation, there might yet be a affects Austria and Germany. It is said further period of rest and respite for Tur. to be a political axiom in Russia that the key before the Eastern question is re- way to Constantinople is through Vienna. opened in an acute form.

As regards England, it is certain that lo tbe absence, however, of those con. its hands are free; not the slightest apditions, and for want of capable and proach has been made towards complying honest governors and officials, the condi. with the conditions of the Treaty of Ber. tion of ihese provinces, and the contrastlin or the Cyprus Convention with respect betwecn them and those freed from Tur. to general reforms and to the special treatkey in 1877, are such that neither the skill ment of the Armenians, and we are as far of diplomacy nor the jealousies of rival as ever from the realization of the object claimants will long be effective to keep the of Lord Stratford's policy, namely, “the people from rising or to prevent a further constitution of a new Turkey - a state disintegration of the empire.

worthy to be defended on moral as well Whether this will necessarily involve as material groupds as a barrier against the question of the destination of Constan. the encroachments of its enemies.”

G. SHAW LEFEVRE. 3751

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LIVING AGE.

VOL. LXXIII.

I.

From Blackwood's Magazine. concerning the Druses, which has been THE DRUSES OF THE HOLY LAND. banded down amongst the ignorant and

bigoted Christian sects of the Lebanon

for many centuries. This report accuses Of all the various tribes and races which the Druses of habitually marrying their at present inhabit the Holy Land, there own daughters, and of carrying on licenare none more distinctive and interesting tious orgies with promiscuous intercourse than the Druses. The interest attaching under the name of religious worship. As to them is due to several causes. In the far as I can discover, the first person who first place, they are one of the most exclu- promulgated this absurd idea was Benja. sive races upon earth. They keep reli- min of Tudela, an inaccurate and untrustgiously and rigorously to themselves, worthy writer of the Crusading period; dever intermarrying with outsiders, never and it is a curious evidence of the tenacity interfering with the religious opinions of with which ignorant fanaticism will cling others, and never allowing others to inter. to scandalous insinuations affecting other fere with theirs. It would be equally im- sects and religions, that such a ridicupossible to convert a Druse to any other lously false charge as this should have religion, as it would be to become a Druse survived against the Druses even to the one's self. They have one great saying present day, in the very country and diswith reference to their religion : "The iricts which they still inhabit. A striking door is shut; none can enter in, and none parallel to this is to be found in the popcan pass out.” They would on no account ular belief amongst the Christian peasadmit a proselyte into the mysteries of antry of Hungary, Poland, and Roumania, their faith, nor accept a convert from aby that the Jews sacrifice human lives and other religion. It is equally out of the drink human blood at certain of their reliquestion to attempt to pervert any of the gious ceremonies. A like accusation was Druses to another creed. It is true that commonly entertained against the early in many parts of the Lebanon, and espe- Christians, but we should scarcely have cially in the neighborhood of Beyrout, expected such fanatical ignorance to have many Druse children may be found in existed at the close of the nineteenth centhe missionary schools of the Roman tury. It is, however, to be in a great Catholics, Greeks, and Protestants. They measure accounted for by the jealous are allowed to be instructed in the cate- secrecy with which the Druses in Syria, chisms of the various schools where they like the Jews in the east of Europe, and may be placed; and, not unfrequently, the the early Christians in the Roman Emteachers and pastors of the missions have pire, guard the celebration of their reli. fondly imagined that they have secured gious rites; for secrecy always engenders promising lambs for their fold from among suspicion, and human nature is ever prone the children of Druses. But as soon as to conceive the worst idea of that which ever they arrive at the age for leaving is concealed from its view. This very school, when the girls are marriageable secrecy, whilst it has been fruitful in enand the boys ready to assist their fathers gendering idle and suspicious beliefs conin the labor of the field, they are taken cerning them, has undoubtedly surrounded back to their Druse village and home, and the Druse religion and race with a certain become as strict and exclusive in their halo of attraction for those who have come religion as if they had never heard of any into contact with them. other. One could fearlessly challenge any. There is a third feature of special intermissionary to produce a genuine case of est for Englishmen in connection with the a convert from Drusedom who had arrived Druses. Should England ever find it at years of maturity.

necessary to attempt an armed occupation Another feature of interest in the case of Syria, the Druses are the only purely of the Druses is the mystery which, to native tribe on whose fidelity and support most people, surrounds their history, the British forces could rely. creed, and principles. Books and treatises Under these circumstances, some have been written, full of vague conjec. count of this remarkable race from one tures and theories as to their origin and who has lived amongst them for several history, and binting at still wilder and years, and has had unusual opportunities more absurd beliefs as to the mysterious for observing their inner life, may be not practices which are carried on at their without some amount of interest and in. secret gatherings for the celebration of struction. The broad outlines of the oritheir religious rites. Take, for example, gin of the name and religion of the Druses one outrageous and utterly false report are tolerably familiar to those who take

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any interest in the races of the East. But Duruzi, Hamzé fed from Egypt, and arriv. their real ancestry has, up to the present, ing in Syria, he attempted to promulgate been veiled in mystery and doubt; and in the new religion. He asserted that order to make clear this interesting point, Hakim was not dead, but that he had it is necessary briefly to recapitulate what miraculously disappeared from amongst may be well known to many.

his subjects, who had proved themselves In the year 996 A.D., a certain Hakim, unworthy of such a divine and holy be. surnamed Biamrillah, ascended the throne ing; that he was immortal, and that in the of Egypt, at the early age of eleven years, fulness of time he would come forth from as the third caliph of the Fatimite dy: his place of secret retirement in power nasty. He reigned twenty-five years, and and majesty, attended by a mighty army, during that time he displayed such a wild and would victoriously assert his position mixture of vice and folly that grave doubts as the incarnate of God. have existed as to his sanity. Amongst Hamze met with no success in his misa other acts he solemnly cursed the first sionary enterprise till he arrived at the caliph in the Mohammedan mosques of western slopes of the Lebanon. There Cairo, and afterwards revoked the curse ; he found a remarkable race, living quite be compelled his Jewish and Christian separate and distinct from all surr

arrounding subjects to abjure their religions, and peoples, without any fixed code of reliafterwards permitted them to resume gion of their own, and ready to embrace them; he burnt the half of Cairo, and his doctrines. This race, who accept gave his soldiers free license to pillage the Hamzé as their great prophet, and regard remaining half; he forbade the sacred Hakim as the divine Messiah, are to this pilgrimage of El Haj to Mecca, the fast day known as Druses, after Duruzi, Hamof Ramadan, the five daily prayers, and zé's tutor. all other Moslem rites; he ordered all And now comes this interesting and shops to be kept open the whole night abstruse question: From whom were dethrough; he uprooted all the vines in scended this separate and distinct race Upper Egypt; he forbade the manuface whom Hamzé found on the slopes of ture of shoes ; he put the most rigid re. Lebanon? It is my object in this paper straint upon women, forbidding any female to answer this question. And bere let above the age of thirteen to go out of me say, that it is not without careful indoors at any time on any pretext what. vestigation, a close examination into the ever; he persecuted all his subjects of doctrines and religious practices of the every raok, degree, and kind with every Druses, and much private conversation sort of annoyance that his ingenuity could with some of the most learned and insuggest; in a word, he behaved in such structed of their priests, or khateebs, that an outrageous manner that his throne and I have arrived at the conclusions which I life became endangered ; and at last, as a believe to be true. In one word, the happy thought, he tried to cover all his Druses are, according to my researches, misdeeds and to impose upon his subjects, neither more nor less than the direct de: by giving himself out as an incarnation of scendants of the subjects of Hiram, kipg the Deity. This absurd doctrine was of Tyre, who assisted Solomon in the taken up by a Persian named Mohamed building of the Temple. Ibn Ismail Duruzi, who thought to gain These subjects of Hiram were, of the caliph's favor by pandering to his course, Phænicians. But the Phænicians eccentricities. His endeavors to bolster were of two classes, the maritime trad. up his royal master's pretensions were, ers of the seaboard, whose fame is so rehowever, futile amongst the Egyptians. nowned, and the less-known mountaineers Hakim's character was too well known to of the Lebanon district. The former, as admit of any of his subjects being duped the natural result of their mercantile life by bis blasphemous claims to divinity, and their intimate intercourse with forand both he and Mohamed Duruzi were eign nations, have long since lost their murdered. Hakim fell under a conspiracy individuality and become merged in other against his life, headed by his own sister ; races. The latter, who were really those be was assassinated in the year 1021. that were principally employed in hewing

Probably nothing more would have been down the cedar-trees of Lebanon, quarryheard of this insanely vicious monarch ing and fashioning the stones, and perand his pretensions, had it not been for a forming other services in aid of the man named Hamzé Ibn Ahmed, who had erection of the Temple, were, from the been a disciple of Mohamed Ibn Ismail very nature of their homes and occupaDurazi. On the death of Hakim and I tions, less liable to change their habits of

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life or to become intermingled with other, which contains the main essence of his tribes and nations. Thus, long after the teaching, is full of the most beautiful and recognition of the Phænician race, as a lofty thoughts, - mingled, it is true, with race, was lost to Europeans, these people much that is false and absurd, and yet were still quietly occupying their same breathing, as a whole, a far different spirit mountain settlements, preserving their in- from that which pervaded the life and tegrity of blood, and keeping themselves pretensions of Hakim. The mere fact of distinct from surrounding influences. Hamzé's creed being new and unique

With the decline of Tyre, Sidon, and might not, perhaps, have proved sufficient the other Phænician maritime ports, the of itself to induce his hearers to accept worship of Baal and Astarte had gradually his teaching, if they had not also been died out; and when Hamzé came amongst greatly influenced by his own personal this primitive race, occupying the secluded character and example. Be this as it slopes of Lebanon, he found them prac. may, the life of Hamzé amongst his distically without a religion ; though they had ciples was, so far as one can gather, a life amongst them certain customs and tradi- of great self-sacrifice, humility, and purity; tions which, taken in connection with and it is an evidence of his self-abnegation other circumstances which I shall pres that he bestowed on his new converts the ently point out, were in the highest degree name of his master, Duruzi, instead of his significant of their connection with Sol own. It is curious, d, that that name omon, and which also indicate a close should be theirs, for the Druses regard relation between their ancestry and the Duruzi as the incarnation of all that is originators of the mystic rites cf Freema. evil. It would have been far more appro. sonry. They were in the habit of holding priate, though perhaps less euphonious, if secret assemblies, and they had pass they had been known as Hamzé-ites. words, signs, and degrees of initiation. The Druses then, according to my be. But as far as a definite religious creed was lief, are merely the modern representaconcerned, they do not appear to have lives of the illustrious Phænicians of old, been in possession of any fixed code of - genuine and lineal descendants of the belief, beyond their faith in the existence subjects of Hiram, king of Tyre. To of a Deity:

state in full all the process of reasoning It is not difficult to see why Christianity and investigation by which I have arrived and Mohammedanism had failed to attract at this conclusion, would occupy more them. That rigid exclusiveness, which is than my allotted space. I must therefore continually cropping up as the great dis content myself at present with summing tinctive feature of their race, had hindered up the principal causes of my belief. (1.) them from embracing any religion which This people had lived from time immewould have brought them into contact morial where Hamzé found them on the and communion with outside races. Their slopes of Lebanon towards Tyre and chief desideratum was a creed which they Sidon. (2.) Their one great hero of Old could enjoy to themselves alone, - which Testament history is Solomon, about had been adopted by no one else, and whom they will tell you marvellous stories which none but themselves should be reminding you of the Arabian Nights. allowed to enter. So then Hamzé, on his (3.) They themselves stouty maintain

that arrival among them, found disciples ready they built Solomon's Temple. (4.) Their at hand to listen to his teaching, unbiassed religious rites and ceremonies are, to the by preconceived beliefs, dissatisfied with present day, very intimately associated their destitute religious condition, and in with the mystic rites of Freemasonry ; a word, as it were, "empty, swept, and which, as is well known, is supposed to garnished" for the reception of his doc. have taken its rise at the building of Solo. trines. The very fact that these doctrines mon's Temple; Solomon, Hiram the king, were new, and that they had hitherto been and Hiram, the widow's son of Tyre, being accepted by no other nations, was, in all the first grand masters. The Druses have probability, one of the most important their different degrees of initiation, their factors in inducing this people to listen to signs and passwords. Their khalwehs them, and, finally, to adopt them as their or places of sacred assembly) are very

like Masonic lodges; the symbols on their Hamzé was undoubtedly a very different walls are distinctly analogous 10 Masonic character from either Hakim or Duruzi, symbols. An outer and an inner guard whom be professed to follow.' The “ Book watches on either side of the closed door of Testimonies to the Mysteries of the during their sacred meetings (or lodges) Unity," which was composed by him, and I and if these are not sufficient to indicais

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