Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 334, August 1843 online

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dine: I sat next a little man on the opposite side, an Englishman, one
of their best players, as active as a monkey, who had caught out three
of our men in succession. He talked big about his play, criticised
Willingham's batting, which was really pretty, and ended by discussing
Clara Phillips, who was, he said, "a demned fine girl, but too much of
her." I disliked his flippancy before, but now my disgust to him was
insuperable. I asked the odds against us, and took them freely. There
was champagne before me, and I drank it in tumblers. I did what even in
my under-graduate days was rarely my habit - I drank till I was
considerably excited. Hanmer saw it, and got the match resumed at once
to save me, as he afterwards said, "from making a fool of myself." I
insisted, in spite of his advice "to cool myself," upon going in first.
My flippant acquaintance of the dinner-table stood _point_, and I knew,
if I could but see the ball, and not see more than one, that I could
occasionally "hit square" to some purpose. I had the luck to catch the
first ball just on the rise, and it caught my friend _point_ off his
legs as if he had been shot. He limped off the ground, and we were
troubled with him no more. I hit as I never did before, or shall again.
At first I played wild; but as I got cool, and my sight became steady, I
felt quite at home. The bowlers got tired, and Dick Phillips, who had no
science, but the strength of a unicorn, was in with me half-an-hour,
slashing in all directions. It short, the tide turned, and the match
ended in our favour.

I was quite sober, and free from all excitement, when I joined Clara,
for the last time after the game was over. "I am so glad you played so
well," said she, "if you are but as successful at Oxford as you have
been at the boat-race and the cricket, you will have no reason to be
disappointed. Your career here has been one course of victory." "Not
altogether, Miss Phillips: the prize I shall leave behind me when I quit
Glyndewi to-morrow, is worth more than all that I can gain." "Mr
Hawthorne," said she kindly, "one victory is in your own power, and you
will soon gain it, and be happy - the victory over yourself."

I made some excuse to Hanmer about letters from home, to account for my
sudden departure. How the party got on after I left them, and what was
the final result of our "reading," is no part of my tale; but I fear the
reader will search the class-lists of 18 - in vain for the names of Mr
Hanmer's pupils.



[Footnote A: Fact.]


No. X.


The Ottoman empire, exhausted by its strenuous and long-continued
efforts in the death-struggle of Candia, had need of peace and repose to
recruit its resources; but the calm was not of long duration. A fresh
complication of interests was now arising in the north, which, by
involving the Porte in the stormy politics of Poland and Russia, led to
consequences little foreseen at the time, and which, even at the present
day are far from having reached their final accomplishment. Since the
ill-judged and unfortunate invasion by Sultan Osman II., in 1620 the
good understanding between Poland and the Porte had continued
undisturbed, save by the occasional inroads of the Crim Tartars on the
one side, and the Cossacks of the Dniepr on the other, which neither
government was able entirely to restrain. But the oppression to which
the Polish nobles attempted to subject their Cossack _allies_, whom they
pretended to regard as serfs and vassals, was intolerable to these
freeborn sons of the steppe; and an universal revolt at length broke
out, which was the beginning of the evil days of Poland. For nearly
twenty years, under the feeble rule of John Casimer, the country was
desolated with sanguinary civil wars; the Czar Alexis Mikhailowitz,
eager to regain the rich provinces lost by Russia during the reign of
his father, at length appeared in the field as the protector of the
Cossacks; and, in 1656, the greater part of their body, with the Ataman
Bogdan Khmielniçki at their head, formally transferred their allegiance
to the Russian sceptre. This fatal blow, which in effect turned the
balance of power, so long fluctuating between Poland and Russia, in
favour of the latter, failed, however, to teach moderation to the Polish
aristocracy; and the remainder of the Cossacks, who still continued in
their ancient seats under the Ataman Doroszenko, finding themselves
menaced by a fresh attack, embraced the resolution of "placing
themselves under the shadow of the horsetails," by becoming the
voluntary vassals of the Porte, of which they had so long been the
inveterate enemies. In spite of the violent reclamations of the Polish
envoy Wizoçki, the offer was at once accepted, and a mace and kaftan of
honour sent to the ataman as ensigns of investiture, while the Poles
were warned to desist from hostilities against the subjects of the
sultan. The refusal to accede to this requisition produced an instant
declaration of war, addressed in an autograph letter from Kiuprili to
the grand chancellor of Poland, and followed up, in the spring of 1672,
by the march of an army of 100,000 men for Podolia. The sultan himself
took the field for the first time, attended by Kiuprili and the other
vizirs of the divan, and carrying with him his court and harem, and the
whole host, after a march of four months from Adrianople, crossed the
Dniester in the first days of August.

The distracted state of Poland, where the helpless Michael Coribut
Wieçnowiçki bore but the empty title of king, precluded the possibility
of even an attempt at resistance, and the grand marshal of the kingdom,
the heroic John Sobieski, who, with only 6000 men, had held his ground
against the Cossacks, Turks, and Tartars, through the preceding winter,
was compelled to withdraw from Podolia. The whole province was speedily
overrun; the fortresses of Kaminiec and Leopol were yielded almost
without defence; and the king, terrified at the progress of the
invaders, sued for peace, which was signed September 18, 1672, in the
Turkish camp at Buczacz. Kaminiec, Podolia, and the Cossack territory,
were by this act ceded to the Porte, besides an annual tribute from
Poland of 220,000 ducats; and Mohammed, having caused proclamation to be
made by the criers that "pardon for his offences had been granted to
the rebel _kral_ of the _Leh_,"[B] (Poles,) returned in triumph to
Adrianople, leaving his army in winter quarters on the Danube.

The Diet, however, indignantly refused either to ratify the treaty or
pay the tribute; and hostilities were resumed the next year with
increased inveteracy on both sides. The sultan accompanied his army only
to the Danube, where he remained engrossed with the pleasures of the
chase at Babataghi; while Sobieski, who had accommodated for the time
his differences with his colleague and rival Paç, hetman of Lithuania,
and was at the head of 50,000 men, boldly anticipated the tardy
movements of the Turks, who were advancing in several separate _corps
d'armée_, by crossing the Dniester early in October. He was forthwith
joined by Stephen, waiwode of Moldavia, with great part of the Moldavian
and Wallachian troops, who unexpectedly deserted the standards of the
crescent; and, after several partial encounters, a general engagement
took place, November 11, 1673, between the Polish army and the advanced
divisions of the Ottomans under the serasker Hussein, pasha of
Silistria, who lay in an intrenched camp on the heights near Choczim. A
heavy fall of snow during the night, combined with a piercing north wind
had benumbed the frames of the Janissaries, accustomed to the genial
warmth of a southern climate; and the enthusiastic valour of the Poles,
stimulated by the exhortations and example of their chief, made their
onset irresistible. The Turkish army was almost annihilated: 25,000 men,
with numerous begs and pashas, remained on the field of battle, or
perished in the Dniester from the breaking of the bridge: all their
cannon and standards became trophies to the victors: and the green
banner of the serasker was sent to Rome by Sobieski, in the belief that
it was the _Sandjak-shereef_, or sacred standard of the Prophet - the
oriflamme of the Ottoman empire. Never had a defeat nearly so
disastrous, with the single exception of that of St. Gotthard, ten years
before, befallen the Turkish arms in Europe; and the other corps, under
the command of the grand-vizir and of his brother-in-law, Kaplan-pasha
of Aleppo, which were marching to the support of Hussein, fell back in
dismay to their former, ground on the right bank of the Danube. The
Poles, however, made no further use of their triumph than to ravage
Moldavia, and the death of the king, on the same day with the victory at
Choczim, recalled Sobieski to Warsaw, in order to become a candidate for
the vacant crown. On his election by the Diet, in May 1674, he made
overtures for peace to the Porte, but they were rejected, and the
contest continued during several years, without any notable achievement
on either side, the war being unpopular with the Turkish soldiery; while
the civil dissensions of his kingdom, with his consequent inferiority of
numbers, kept Sobieski generally on the defensive. In his intrenched
camp at Zurawno, with only 15,000 men, he had for twenty days kept at
bay 100,000 Turks under the serasker Ibrahim, surnamed Shaïtan or _the
devil_, when both sides, weary of the fruitless struggle, agreed upon a
conference, and peace was signed October 27, 1676. The humiliating
demand of tribute was no longer insisted upon; but Kaminiec, Podolia,
and great part of the Ukraine, were left in possession of the Turks,
whose stubborn perseverance thus succeeded, as on many occasions, in
gaining nearly every object for which the war had been undertaken.

Before the news, however, of the pacification with Poland had reached
Constantinople, Ahmed-Kiuprili had closed his glorious career. He had
long suffered from dropsy, the same disease which had proved fatal to
his father, and the effects of which were in his case, aggravated by too
free an indulgence in wine, to which, after his return from Candia, he
is said to have become greatly addicted. He had accompanied the sultan,
who had for many years remained absent from his capital, on a visit,
during the summer months, to Constantinople, but, on the return to
Adrianople, he was compelled, by increasing sickness, to halt on the
banks of the Erkench, between Chorlu and Demotika, where he breathed
his last in a _chitlik_, or farm-house, called Kara-Bovir, October 30,
at the age of forty-seven, after having administered the affairs of the
empire for a few days more than fifteen years. His corpse was carried
back to Constantinople, and laid without pomp in the mausoleum erected
by his father, amid the lamentations of the people, rarely poured forth
over the tomb of a deceased grand vizir. The character of this great
minister has been made the theme of unmeasured panegyrics by the Turkish
historians; and Von Hammer-Purgstall (in his _History of the Ottoman
Empire_) has given us a long and elaborate parallel between the life and
deeds of Ahmed Kiuprili and of the celebrated vizir of Soliman the
Magnificent and his two successors, Mohammed-Pasha Sokolli; but we
prefer to quote the impartial and unadorned portrait drawn by his
contemporary Rycaut: - "He was, in person, (for I have seen him often,
and knew him well,) of a middle stature, of a black beard, and brown
complexion;[C] something short-sighted, which caused him to knit his
brows, and pore very intently when any strange person entered the
presence; he was inclining to be fat, and grew corpulent towards his
latter days. If we consider his age when he first took upon him this
important charge, the enemies his father had created him, the
contentions he had with the Valideh-sultana or queen-mother, and the
arts he had used to reconcile the affections of these great personages,
and conserve himself in the unalterable esteem of his sovereign to the
last hour of his death, there is none but must judge him to have
deserved the character of a most prudent and politic person. If we
consider how few were put to death, and what inconsiderable mutinies or
rebellions happened in any part of the empire during his government, it
will afford us a clear evidence and proof of his greatness and
moderation beyond the example of former times: for certainly he was not
a person who delighted in blood, and in that respect far different from
the temper of his father; he was generous, and free from avarice - a rare
virtue in a Turk! He was educated in the law, and therefore greatly
addicted to all the formalities of it, and in the administration of
justice very punctual and severe: and as to his behaviour towards the
neighbouring princes, there may, I believe, be fewer examples of his
breach of faith, than what his predecessors have given in a shorter time
of rule. In his wars abroad he was successful, having upon every
expedition enlarged the bounds of the empire: he overcame Neuhausel,
with a considerable part of Hungary, he concluded the long war with
Venice by an entire and total subjugation of the Island of Candia,
having subdued that impregnable fortress, which by the rest of the world
was considered invincible; and he won Kemenitz (Kaminiec,) the key of
Poland, where the Turks had been frequently baffled, and laid Ukraine to
the empire. If we measure his triumphs, rather than count his years,
though he might seem to have lived but little to his prince and people,
yet certainly to himself he could not die more seasonably, nor in a
greater height and eminency of glory."

The deceased vizir left no children: and the sultan is said to have
offered the seals, in the first instance, as if the office had become in
fact hereditary in the family, to Mustapha, another son of
Mohammed-Kiuprili, a man of retired and studious habits, who had the
philosophy to decline the onerous dignity.[D] However this may have
been, (for the story appears to rest on somewhat doubtful authority,)
within seven days of the death of Ahmed, the vizirat had been conferred
on Kara-Mustapha Pasha, who then held the office of kaimakam, and had
for several years been distinguished by the special favour and
confidence of the sultan. The new minister was connected by the ties
both of marriage and adoption with the house of Kiuprili. His father
Oroudj, a spahi, holding land at Merzifoun, (a town and district in
Anatolia contiguous to Kiupri,) had fallen at the siege of Bagdad, under
Sultan Mourad-Ghazi in 1638: and the orphan had been educated in the
household of Mohammed-Kiuprili as the companion and adopted brother of
his son Ahmed, one of whose sisters he in due time received in marriage.
The elevation of his patron to the highest dignity of the empire, of
course opened to Kara-Mustapha the road to fortune and preferment - from
his first post of deputy to the _meer-akhor_, or master of the horse, he
was promoted to the rank of pasha of two tails - and after holding the
governments successively of Silistria and Diarbekr was nominated
capitan-pasha in 1662 by his brother-in-law Ahmed; but exchanged that
appointment in the following year for the office of kaimakam, in which
capacity he was left in charge of the capital on the departure of the
vizir to the army in Hungary. His duties in this situation, as
lieutenant of the grand-vizir during his absence, gave him constant
access to the presence of the sultan: and being (as he is described by
the contemporary writer above quoted) "a wise and experienced person, of
a smooth behaviour, and a great courtier," he so well improved the
opportunities thus afforded him, as to obtain a place in the monarch's
favour second only to that of Kiuprili himself. This excessive
partiality was, however, scarcely justified by the good qualities of the
favourite; for though the abilities of Kara-Mustapha were above
mediocrity, his avarice was so extreme as to lay him open to the
suspicion of corruption: and his sanguinary cruelty, when holding a
command in Poland in the campaign of 1674, drew down on him the severe
reprobation of his illustrious brother in-law. The predilection of the
sultan for his society continued, however, unabated: - and during the
visit of the court to Constantinople in 1675, he was still further
exalted by becoming, at least in name, son-in-law to his sovereign,
being affianced to the Sultana Khadidjeh, then only three years old. The
fêtes of the betrothal, which were celebrated at the same time as those
for the circumcision of the heir-apparent, (afterwards Mustapha II.,)
were unrivalled for splendour in a reign distinguished for
magnificence: - and on the death of Ahmed-Kiuprili in the following year,
this fortunate adventurer found little difficulty in stepping, as we
have seen, into the vacated place.

The first cares of the new vizir were on the side of the newly acquired
frontier in the Ukraine; for, though all claim to that part of the
Cossack territory had been expressly resigned by Poland at the treaty of
Durawno, the Czar of Muscovy had never ceased to assert his pretensions
to the whole Ukraine, in virtue of the convention of 1656 with
Khmielniçki; and during the Polish campaign of 1674, his troops on the
border, under a general named Romanodoffski, had several times come into
collision with the Turks - an era deserving notice as the first hostile
encounter between these two great antagonist powers. The defection of
Doroszenko, who had gone over to the Russians at the end of 1676, and
surrendered to them the important fortress of Czehryn, the capital and
key of the Ukraine, and the repulse of the serasker Ibrahim before its
walls in the following year, showed the necessity of vigorous measures:
and, in 1678, the grand vizir in person appeared at the head of a
formidable force in the Ukraine, bringing with him George Khmielniçki,
son of the former ataman, who had long been confined as a state prisoner
in the Seven Towers, but was now released to counteract, by his
hereditary influence with the Cossacks, the adverse agency of
Doroszenko. Czehryn, after a close investment of a month, was carried by
storm, the garrison put to the sword, and the fortifications razed. But
though the war was continued through another campaign, it was obviously
not the interest of the Divan to prolong this remote and unprofitable
contest at a juncture when the state of parties in Hungary bid fair to
present such an opportunity as had never before occurred, for
definitively establishing the supremacy of the Porte over the whole of
that kingdom. Negotiations were accordingly opened on the Dniepr between
the Muscovite leaders and the Khan Mourad-Gherni; and a peace was signed
at Radzin, Feb. 12, 1681, by which the frontiers on both sides were left
unaltered, while the Porte expressly renounced all claim to Kiow and
the Russian Ukraine, which had been in the possession of the Czar since
1656. The ratification of the treaty was brought to Constantinople in
the following September by an envoy, whose gifts of costly arctic furs,
and ivory from the tusks of the walrus, might have unfolded to the Turks
the wide extent of the northern realms ruled by the monarch whom they
even yet regarded only as a tributary of their own vassal the Khan of
the Tartars, and scarcely deigned to admit on equal terms to diplomatic

Though the truce for twenty years, concluded between the Porte and the
Empire after the defeat of Ahmed-Kiuprili at St Gotthard in 1564, had
not yet expired by nearly three years, the political aspect of Hungary
left little doubt that the resumption of hostilities would not be so
long delayed. To understand more clearly the extraordinary complication
of interests of which this country was now the scene, it will, however,
be necessary to take a retrospective glance at its history during the
seventeenth century, after the treaty of Komorn with the Porte, in 1606,
had terminated for the time the warfare of which it had almost
constantly been the theatre since the occupation of Buda by Soliman the
Magnificent in 1541, ad had, in some measure, defined the boundaries of
the two great powers between which it was divided. The Emperors of the
House of Hapsburg, indeed, styled themselves Kings of Hungary, and Diets
were held in their name at Presburg; but the territory actually under
their sway amounted to less than a third of the ancient kingdom,
comprehending only the northern and western districts; while all the
central portion of Hungary Proper, as far as Agria on the north, and the
Raab and the Balaton Lake on the west, was united to the Ottoman Empire,
and formed the pashaliks of Buda and Temeswar, which were regularly
divided into sandjaks and districts, with their due quota of spahis and
timariots, who had been drawn from the Moslem provinces of Turkey, and
held grants of land by tenure of military service. The principality of
Transylvania, (called _Erdel_ by the Turks,) which had been erected by
Soliman in favour of the son of John Zapolya, comprehended nearly
one-fourth of Hungary, and (though its suzerainté was claimed by Austria
in virtue of a reversionary settlement executed by that prince shortly
before his death,) was generally, in effect, dependent on, and tributary
to the Porte, from which its princes, elected by the Diet at
Klaucenburg, received confirmation and investiture, like the waiwodes of
the neighbouring provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia. During the
interval between the death of John Sigismond Zapolya in 1571, and the
election of Michael Abaffi in 1661, not fewer than thirteen princes,
besides nearly as many ephemeral pretenders, had occupied the throne;
and, though at one time the family of Batthori, and, subsequently, that
of Racoczy, established a kind of hereditary claim to election, their
tenure was always precarious; and, on more than one occasion, the prince
was imposed on the states by the Turks or Austrians, without even the
shadow of constitutional forms.

This modified independence of Transylvania, however, often gave its
princes great political importance, during the endless troubles of
Hungary, as the assertors of civil and religions liberty against the
tyranny and bad faith of the Austrian cabinet; which, with unaccountable
infatuation, instead of striving to attach to its rule, by conciliation
and good government, the remnant of the kingdom still subject to its
sceptre, bent all its efforts to destroy the ancient privileges of the
Magyars, and to make the crown formally, as it already was in fact,
hereditary in the imperial family. The extirpation of Protestantism was
another favourite object of Austrian policy: and the cruelties
perpetrated with this view by George Basta and the other imperial
generals at the beginning of the century was such, that a general rising
took place under Stephen Boczkai, then waiwode of Transylvania,
Wallachia, and Moldavia, who extorted from the Emperor Rodolph, in 1607,
the famous _pacification of Vienna_, which was guaranteed by the Porte,
and which secured to the Hungarians full liberty of conscience, as well
as the enjoyment of all their ancient rights. This agreement was soon
violated; but the Protestants again found a protector in a Transylvanian
prince, the celebrated Bethlen-Gabor;[E] who, assuming the royal title,
occupied Presburg and Neuhausel in 1619, formed an alliance with the
Bohemian revolters under Count Thurn, and was narrowly prevented from
forming a junction with them under the walls of Vienna, which, if
effected, would probably have overthrown the dynasty of Hapsburg. He is
said to have entertained the design of uniting all Hungary east of the
Theiss, with Transylvania and Wallachia, into a modern _kingdom of
Dacia_, leaving the west to the Turks as a barrier against Austrian
aggression - but his want of children left his schemes of aggrandizement
without a motive, and at his death in 1630 they all fell to the ground.
The Thirty Years' War procured the Hungarian subjects of Austria a
temporary respite; but Leopold, who was elected king in 1655, and
succeeded his father Ferdinand in the empire three years later,
stimulated by the triumph of his predecessor over the liberties of
Bohemia, resumed with fresh zeal the crusade against the privileges of
the Magyars. Not only was the persecution of the Protestants
recommenced, but the excesses of the ill-paid and licentious German
mercenaries, who were quartered on the country in defiance of the
constitution after the twenty years' truce, under the pretence of

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