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Title: Herzegovina - Or, Omer Pacha and the Christian Rebels
Author: Arbuthnot, George, 1836-1912
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: A MOONLIGHT BIVOUAC.]






[Illustration: Official Seal of Omer Pacha]




The wanderings of an unknown in an unknown land may not be a subject of
universal interest, and as such require a few words of apology, or
possibly of defence.

To convey an accurate idea of a country the inhabitants of which differ
from ourselves in creed, origin, and in all their habits of life, it
would be necessary to have passed a lifetime amongst them. It may
therefore be deemed presumptuous in me to attempt so comprehensive a
task, upon the meagre experience of a few short months. And such it
would be, did I entertain such aspirations. The impossibility, however,
of identifying myself with a people, with whose very language I have but
a slight acquaintance, would banish such a thought. My object is rather
to describe briefly and simply everything that presented itself to my
own notice; upon the evidence of which, coupled with the observations of
the few who have devoted any attention to the condition of these
countries, I have founded my views and opinions. Far be it from me to
assume that they have more claim to be regarded as correct, than the
opinions of others who may differ from me. Above all, if any of my
remarks on the subject of the Greek and Latin religions should appear
somewhat severe, I would have it clearly understood, that nowhere is
allusion intentionally made to these churches, save in the relation
which they bear to the Illyric Provinces of European Turkey.

[Illustration: Signature of Author in Turkish Characters]



Object of Travels--Start--Mad Woman--Italian
Patriot--Zara--Sebenico--Falls of Kerka--Dalmatian
Boatmen--French Policy and Austrian Prospects--
Spalatro--Palace of Diocletian--Lissa--Naval
Action--Gravosa--Ragusa--Dalmatian Hotel--Change of Plans    Pages 1--15


Military Road to Metcovich--Country Boat--Stagno--Port of
Klek--Disputed Frontier--Narentine Pirates--Valley of the
Narenta--Trading Vessels--Turkish Frontier--Facilities for
Trade granted by Austria--Narenta--Fort Opus--Hungarian
Corporal--Metcovich--Irish Adventurer--Gabella--Pogitel--
Dalmatian Engineer--Telegraphic Communication--Arrival at
Mostar--Omer Pacha--Object of Campaign                            16--32


Herzegovina--Boundaries--Extent--Physical Features--
Mountains--Mineral Products--Story of Hadji Ali
Pacha--Forests--Austrian Timber Company--Saw-Mill--
Rivers--Towns--Villages--Population--Greek Catholics--
Church Dignitaries--Roman Catholics--Monks--Franciscan
College--Moral Depravity--Fine Field for Missionary Labour        33--49


Introduction of Christianity--Origin of Slavonic
Element--First Appearance of the Patarenes in Bosnia--Their
Origin--Tenets--Elect a Primate--Disappearance--Dookhoboitzi,
or Combatants in Spirit--Turkish Conquest--Bosnian
Apostasy--Religious Fanaticism--Euchlemeh--Commission under
Kiamil Pacha--Servian Emissaries--National Customs--Adopted
Brotherhood--Mahommedan Women--Elopements--Early Marriages        50--64


Agricultural Products--Cereals--Misapplication of
Soil--Tobacco--Current Prices--Vine Disease--Natural
Capabilities of Land--Price of Labour--Dalmatian
_Scutors_--Other Products--Manufactures--Commerce--Relations
with Bosnia--Able Administration of Omer Pacha--Austria
takes alarm--Trade Statistics--Imports--Exports--Frontier
Duties--Mal-administration--Intended Reforms                      65--75


Government--Mudirliks--Mulisarif--Cadi of Mostar--Medjlis--
Its Constitution and Functions--Criminal and Commercial
Tribunals--Revenue and Taxes--Virgu--Monayene-askereh--
Customs--Tithes--Excise--Total Revenue--Police                    76--83


Omer Pacha--Survey of Montenegro--Mostar--Bazaars--
Mosques--Schools--Old Tower--Escape of Prisoners--Roman
Bridge--Capture by Venetians--Turkish Officers--Pacha's
Palace--European Consulates--Clock-Tower--Emperor's
Day--Warlike Preparations--Christian Volunteers--Orders
to March                                                          84--93


Bosnia--Turkish Invasion--Tuartko II. and Ostoya
Christich--Cruel Death of Stephen Thomasovich--His
Tomb--Queen Cattarina--Duchy of Santo Saba becomes a Roman
Province--Despotism of Bosnian Kapetans--Janissaries--Fall
of Sultan Selim and Bairaktar--Mahmoud--Jelaludin
Pacha--Expedition against Montenegro--Death of
Jelaludin--Ali Pacha--Revolted Provinces reconquered--
Successes of Ibrahim Pacha--Destruction of Janissaries--
Regular Troops organised--Hadji Mustapha--Abdurahim--
Proclamation--Fall of Serayevo--Fresh rising--Serayevo
taken by Rebels--Scodra Pacha--Peace of Adrianople--Hussein
Kapetan--Outbreak of Rebellion--Cruelty of Grand Vizier--Ali
Aga of Stolatz--Kara Mahmoud--Serayevo taken--War with
Montenegro--Amnesty granted                                      94--117


Hussein Pacha--Tahir Pacha--Polish and Hungarian
Rebellions--Extends to Southern Slaves--Congress
convened--Montenegrins overrun Herzegovina--Arrival of Omer
Pacha--Elements of Discord--Rising in Bulgaria put down by
Spahis--Refugees--Ali Rizvan Begovitch--Fall of Mostar, and
Capture of Ali--His suspicious Death--Cavass
Bashee--Anecdote of Lame Christian--Omer Pacha invades
Montenegro--Successes--Austria interferes--Mission of
General Leiningen--Battle of Grahovo--Change of
Frontier--Faults of new Boundary                                118--127


Insurrection of Villagers--Attack Krustach--Three Villages
burnt--Christian Version--Account given by Dervisch
Pacha--Deputation headed by Pop Boydan--Repeated Outrages by
Rebels--Ali Pacha of Scutari--His want of Ability--Greek
Chapels sacked--Growth of Rebellion--Omer Pacha restored to
Favour--Despatched to the Herzegovina--Proclamation--Difficulties
to be encountered--Proposed Interview between Omer Pacha and
Prince of Montenegro--Evaded by the Prince--Omer Pacha
returns to Mostar--Preparations for Campaign                    128--140


Leave Mostar for the Frontier--Mammoth Tombstones--Stolatz--
Castle and Town--Christian Shopkeeper--Valley of the
Stolatz--Disappearance of River--Temporary Camp--My
Dalmatian Servant--Turkish Army Doctors--Numerical Force of
the Turks--Health of the Army--Bieliki--Decapitation of
Prisoners--Christian Cruelty                                    141--164


Tzernagora--Collusion between Montenegrins and Rebels--Turks
abandon System of Forbearance--Chances of Success--Russian
Influence--Private Machination--M. Hecquard--European
Intervention--Luca Vukalovich--Commencement of
Hostilities--Dervisch Pacha--Advance on Gasko--Baniani--
Bashi Bazouks--Activity of Omer Pacha--Campaigning in
Turkey--Line of March--Pass of Koryta--The Halt--National
Dance--'La Donna _Amabile_'--Tchernitza--Hakki
Bey--Osman Pacha--Man with Big Head--Old Tower--
Elephantiasis--Gasko--Camp Life--Moslem Devotions--Character
of Turkish Troops--System of Drill--Peculation--Turkish
Army--Letters--Scarcity of Provisions--Return of Villagers      155--173


Expedition to Niksich--Character of Scenery--Engineer
Officers--Want of Maps--Affghan Dervish--Krustach--Wallack
Colonel--Bivouac--Bashi Bazouks--Pass of Dougah--Plain of
Niksich--Town and Frontier--Albanian Mudir--Turkish
Women--Defects of Government by Mudir and Medjlis               174--189


Return to Gasko--Thunderstorm--Attacked by Rebels--Enemy
repulsed--Retrograde Movement--Eventful Night--Turkish
Soldiers murdered--Montenegrin Envoy--Coal-Pit--Entrenched
Camp assaulted--Return of Omer Pacha to Mostar--Distinctive
Character of Mahometan Religion--Naval Reorganisation--
Military Uniforms--Return to Mostar--Dervisch Bey--Zaloum--
Express Courier--Giovanni--Nevresign--Fortified Barrack--
Mostar--Magazine--Barracks--Wooden Block-houses--European
Commission--Tour of the Grand Vizier--Enquiry into Christian
Grievances--Real Causes of Complaint--Forcible Abduction of
Christian Girls--Prince Gortschakoff's Charges--The
Meredits--Instincts of Race                                     190--214


Excursion to Blato--Radobolya--Roman Road--Lichnitza--
Subterraneous Passage--Duck-shooting--Roman
Tombs--Coins and Curiosities--Boona--Old Bridge--Mulberry
Trees--Blagai--Source of Boona River--Kiosk--Castle--Plain
of Mostar--Legends--Silver Ore--Mineral Products of
Bosnia--Landslip--Marbles--Rapids--Valley of the Drechnitza     215--226


Wealthy Christians--German Encyclopædia--Feats of
Skill--Legend of Petral--Chamois-hunting--Valley of
Druga--Excavations--Country Carts--Plain of Duvno--Mahmoud
Effendi--Old Tombs--Duvno--Fortress--Bosnian
Frontier--Vidosa--Parish Priest--National Music--Livno--
Franciscan Convent--Priestly Incivility--Illness--Quack
Medicines--Hungarian Doctor--Military Ambulance--Bosna
Serai--Osman Pacha--Popularity--Roads and Bridges--Mussulman
Rising in Turkish Croatia--Energy of Osman Pacha                227--242


Svornik--Banialuka--New Road--Sport--Hot Springs--Ekshesoo--
Mineral Waters--Celebrated Springs--Goitre--The Bosna--Trout
Roads--Brod--The Save--Austrian Sentry--Steamer on the
Save--Gradiska--Cenovatz--La lingua di tré Regni--Cūlpa
River--Sissek--Croatian Hotel--Carlstadt Silk--Railway to
Trieste--Moravian Iron--Concentration of Austrian
Troops--Probable Policy--Watermills--Semlin--Belgrade           243--258


Its Social, Political, and Financial Condition                  261--285

CONCLUSION                                                           286

APPENDIX                                                        287--288


A MOONLIGHT BIVOUAC                                    _Frontispiece._

OFFICIAL SEAL OF OMER PACHA                           _On Title-page._


MAP OF MONTENEGRO                                     _To face page_ 1


[Illustration: Map of Montenegro.]



     Object of Travels--Start--Mad Woman--Italian
     Patriot--Zara--Sebenico--Falls of Kerka--Dalmatian Boatmen--French
     Policy and Austrian Prospects--Spalatro--Palace of
     Diocletian--Lissa--Naval Action--Gravosa--Ragusa--Dalmatian
     Hotel--Change of Plans.

_'Omer Pacha will proceed with the army of Roumelia to quell the
disturbance in Herzegovina.'_ Such, I believe, was the announcement
which confirmed me in the idea of visiting the Slavonic provinces of
European Turkey. Had any doubts existed in my mind of the importance
attached by the Ottoman government to the pacification of these remote
districts, the recall to favour of Omer Pacha, and the despatch of so
large a force under his command, would have sufficed to remove them. As
it was, the mere desire to keep myself _au courant_ of the events of the
day, together with the interest which all must feel in the condition of
a country for whom England has sacrificed so much blood and treasure,
had made me aware that some extraordinary manifestation of feeling must
have occurred to arouse that apathetic power to so energetic a measure.
Of the nature of this manifestation, little or no reliable information
could be obtained; and so vague a knowledge prevails touching the
condition of these provinces, that I at once perceived that personal
observation alone could put me in possession of it. The opinions of such
as did profess to have devoted any attention to the subject, were most
conflicting. Whilst some pronounced the point at issue to be merely one
between the Turkish government and a few rebellious brigands, others
took a far more gloomy view of the matter, believing that the first shot
fired would prove the signal for a general rising of the Christian
subjects of the Porte, which, in its turn, was to lead to the
destruction of Turkish suzerainty in Europe, and to the consummation of
the great Panslavish scheme. To satisfy myself on these points, then,
was the main object of my travels,--to impart to others the information
which I thus obtained, is the intention of this volume.

On August 31, 1861, I left Trieste in the Austrian Lloyd's steamer,
bound for Corfu, and touching _en route_ at the ports on the Dalmatian
coast. Having failed in all my endeavours to ascertain the exact
whereabouts of the Turkish head-quarters, I had secured my passage to
Ragusa, reckoning on obtaining the necessary information from the
Ottoman Consul at that town; and in this I was not disappointed.

It is not my intention to enlarge upon this portion of my travels, which
would indeed be of little interest; still less to tread in the steps of
Sir Gardner Wilkinson, whose valuable work on Dalmatia has rendered such
a course unnecessary; but rather to enter, with log-like simplicity, the
dates of arrival and departure at the various ports, and such-like
interesting details of sea life. If, however, my landsman-like
propensities should evince themselves by a lurking inclination to 'hug
the shore,' I apologise beforehand.

My fellow-passengers were in no way remarkable, but harmless enough,
even including an unfortunate mad woman, whose mania it was to recount
unceasingly the ill-treatment to which she had been exposed. At times,
her indignation against her imaginary tormentors knew no bounds; at
others, she would grow touchingly plaintive on the subject of her
wrongs. That she was a nuisance, I am fain to confess; but the treatment
she experienced at the hands of her Dalmatian countrymen was
inconsiderate in the extreme. One who professed himself an advocate for
sudden shocks, put his theory into practice by stealing quietly behind
his patient, and cutting short her lugubrious perorations with a deluge
of salt water. This was repeated several times, but no arguments would
induce her to allow her wet clothes to be removed, so it would not be
surprising if this gentleman had succeeded in 'stopping her tongue'
beyond his expectations. The only other lady was young and rather
pretty, but dismally sentimental. She doated on roses, was enamoured of
camelias, and loved the moon and the stars, and in fact everything in
this world or out of it. In vain I tried to persuade her that her cough
betrayed pulmonary symptoms, and that night air in the Adriatic was
injurious to the complexion.

The man-kind on board included an Austrian officer of engineers, a
French Consul, and a Dalmatian professor. Besides the above, there was
an Italian patriot, whose devotion to the 'Kingmaker' displayed itself
in a somewhat eccentric fashion. With much mystery, he showed me a
portrait of Garibaldi, secreted in a watchkey seal, while his waistcoat
buttons and shirt studs contained heads of those generals who served in
the campaign of the Two Sicilies. It was rather a novel kind of
hero-worship, though, I fear, likely to be little appreciated by him who
inspired the thought.

_September 1._--Landed at Zara at 6.30 A.M., and passed a few
hours in wandering over the town and ramparts. These last are by no
means formidable, and convey very little idea of the importance which
was attached to the city in the time of the Venetian Republic. The
garrison is small, and, as is the case throughout Dalmatia, the soldiers
are of Italian origin. The Duomo is worthy of a visit; while the
antiquarian may find many objects of interest indicative of the several
phases of Zarantine history. Here, in a partially obliterated
inscription, he may trace mementos of Imperial Rome; there, the
Campanile of Santa Maria tells of the dominion of Croatian kings; while
the winged lion ever reminds him of the glory of the Great Republic, its
triumphs, its losses, and its fall. On leaving we were loudly cheered by
the inhabitants, who had collected in large numbers on the shore. A few
hours' run brought us abreast of Fort St. Nicholas, and ten minutes
later we dropped anchor in the harbour of Sebenico. Here the delight of
the people at our arrival was somewhat overwhelming. It vented itself in
an inordinate amount of hugging and kissing, to say nothing of the most
promiscuous hand-shaking, for a share of which I myself came in. My
first step was to negotiate with four natives to row me to the Falls of
Kerka, about three hours distant. This I had succeeded in doing, when,
having unfortunately let them know that I was English, they demanded
seven florins in place of four, as had been originally agreed. Resolving
not to give way to so gross an imposition, I was returning in quest of
another boat, when I met a troop of some six or seven girls, young,
more than averagely good-looking, and charmingly dressed in their
national costume. I presume that my T.G. appearance must have amused
them; for they fairly laughed,--not a simpering titter, but a good
honest laugh. To them I stated my case, and received a proper amount of
sympathy. One offered to row me herself, while another said something
about 'twenty florins and a life,'--which, whatever it may have meant,
brought a blush to the cheek of the pretty little volunteer. At this
juncture the boatmen arrived, and on my assurance that I was perfectly
satisfied with the company to which they had driven me, which my looks,
I suppose, did not belie, they came to terms. Leaving the bay at its NW.
extremity, where the Kerka flows into it, we proceeded about four miles
up that river. At this point it opens out into the Lake of Scardona,
which is of considerable size, and affords a good anchorage. There is an
outlet for the river to the N., close to which is situated the little
town of Scardona. The banks of the river here begin to lose their rocky
and precipitous appearance, assuming a more marshy character, which
renders it unhealthy in the summer. The Falls are approached by a long
straight reach, at the end of which they form a kind of semicircle, the
entire breadth being about 250 feet. In winter, or after heavy rains,
the effect must be very grand; but at the time of my visit they were, in
consequence of the great drought, unusually small. Below the falls is a
mill worked by a Levantine, who appears to drive a flourishing trade,
grinding corn for Sebenico, Zara, and many other places on the coast.

The Dalmatian boatmen are a very primitive set in everything save money
matters. One asked, Are the English Christians? while another asserted
most positively, that he had taken an Englishman to see the Falls in the
year _1870_. Their style of rowing resembles that in vogue among the
Maltese and Italians, excepting that they make their passenger sit in
the hows of the boat. This, at any rate, has the advantage of keeping
him to windward of themselves, which is often very desirable. Another
point of difference is, that they wear shoes or slippers,--the latter
being, in some instances, really tasteful and pretty.

The moon was high ere we reached the ship, where I found all the
passengers assembled upon deck. One after another they disappeared
below, until I was left alone. I know no spot so conducive to reflection
as the deserted deck of a ship at anchor on a lovely night, and in a
genial latitude. In this instance, however, my thoughts assumed more of
a speculative than retrospective character, large as was the field for
the indulgence of the latter. The shades of emperors and doges faded
away, giving place to the more terrestrial forms of living sovereigns;
and the wild shouts of the Moslem conquerors resolved themselves into
the 'Vive l'Empereur' of an army doing battle for an idea. Let Austria
look to herself, that, when the hour of struggle shall arrive, as arrive
it will, she be not found sleeping. Should Napoleon once more espouse
the Italian cause, should he hurl his armies upon the Quadrilateral, who
can doubt but that a diversion of a more or less important character
will be attempted in the rear of the empire? But even though he should
let slip the notable occasion presented to him by a rising among the
Italian subjects of Austria, the evil day will only be postponed. I
believe that, not content with the humiliation of that power at
Villafranca, he will take advantage of any opportunity which disorder in
the neighbouring Turkish provinces may offer him to aim a blow at her on
her Dalmatian frontier, as a means to the gigantic end of crippling her,
and with her ultimately the entire German Confederation. It is a great
scheme, and doubtless one of many in that fertile brain. If Austria
should resolve to defend her Venetian territory, as it may be presumed
she will, she should spare no labour to strengthen her fortresses in the
Adriatic. On the Dalmatian coast, Zara, Lissa, Pola, and Cattaro are all
capable of making a very respectable defence in the event of their being
attacked; while, to quote the words of Rear-Admiral Count Bernhard von
Wüllersdorf and Urban, 'An Austrian squadron at Cattaro would be very
dangerous to any hostile squadron on the Italian coast, as its cruisers
would cut off all transports of coal, provisions, &c. &c.,--in a word,
render the communication of the hostile squadron with the Mediterranean
very difficult.... Lissa is the keystone of the Adriatic. This island,
the importance of which in former times was never denied, commands the
straits which lead from the southern to the northern half of the
Adriatic.... The naval force at Lissa ought to be a local one,
consisting of light fast gun-boats to cruise in the narrow waters, to
which might be added some plated ships to keep open communications, on
the one hand, between Lissa and the mainland, and on the other hand
acting with the gun-boats to bar the passage to hostile vessels.' The
publication of the article from which the above is extracted in the
'Oesterreichische Militar Zeitschrift,' proves sufficiently that the
Austrian government is aware of the necessity which exists for taking
precautionary measures; and the lesson which they learnt in 1859 ought
to have induced them to adopt a more energetic policy in their military
and naval affairs.

The defences of Sebenico consist of three small forts: St. Nicholas,
containing seventeen mounted guns, is at the entrance of the bay, while
San Giovanni and Santa Anna, situated on rising ground, command the
town, harbour, and land approaches. The precise number of guns which
they contain, I was unable to learn. The very meagre character of the
information which I am in a position to impart on these subjects
requires, I am aware, some apology. The difficulty of obtaining it
during the short stay of a steamer must be my excuse. May it be

_September 2._--Steamed into the port of Spalatro at 10.30 A.M.
There is both an outer and inner harbour, the latter affording a good
anchorage to vessels of any burden; yet, notwithstanding this, we were
compelled, for the first time since leaving Trieste, to lie off at some
distance from the quay. The origin of Spalatro dates from the building
of the palace of Diocletian in 303, A.D. This glorious pile,
however much it may offend against the rules of architecture, is well
entitled to rank among the noblest monuments of imperial Rome. Its
mammoth proportions, the novelty of conception evinced in many parts,
together with its extraordinary state of preservation, render it alike
unique, while the circumstances connected with its building impart to it
an unusual interest. Wearied with the affairs of state, Diocletian
retired to Salona, where he passed the remaining nine years of his life
in profound seclusion. Of the use to which he applied his wealth during
that period, a record still exists in the golden gate and the Corinthian
columns which decorate that regal abode; while we learn what were his
pursuits from his own memorable reply to Maximian, when urged by him to
reassume the purple. 'Utinam Salonis olera nostris manibus insita
invisere posses, de resumando imperio non judicares;' or, as it has been
somewhat freely translated by Gibbon--'If I could show you the cabbages
I have planted with my own hands at Salona, you would no longer urge me
to relinquish the enjoyment of happiness for the pursuit of power.'[A]

Nor has nature been less bountiful than man to this most favoured spot.
The description given by Adams conveys a very accurate impression of the
character of the surrounding country. 'The soil is dry and fertile, the
air pure and wholesome, and, though extremely hot during the summer
months, the country seldom feels those sultry and noxious winds to which
the coasts of Istria and some parts of Italy are exposed. The views from
the palace are no less beautiful than the soil and climate are inviting.
Towards the W. lies the fertile shore that stretches along the Adriatic,
in which a number of small islands are scattered in such a manner as to
give this part of the sea the appearance of a great lake. On the N. side
lies the bay, which led to the ancient city of Salona, and the country
beyond it appearing in sight forms a proper contrast to that more
extensive prospect of water, which the Adriatic presents both to the S.
and the E. Towards the N. the view is terminated by high and irregular
mountains situated at a proper distance, and in many places covered with
villages, woods, and vineyards.'[B] Like most other relics of antiquity,
the time-honoured walls of Spalatro have been witnesses of those varied
emotions to which the human heart is subject. Thither Glycerius the
prelate retired, when driven by Julius Nepos from the imperial throne.
There, too, in a spirit of true Christian charity, he heaped coals of
fire on the head of his enemy, by affording him a sanctuary when
dethroned in his turn by Orestes, the father of Augustulus. Again, a
little while, and within the same walls, where he had deemed himself
secure, Julius Nepos fell a victim to the assassin's knife, and
subsequently we find the houseless Salonites sheltering themselves
within its subterraneous passages, when driven from their homes by the
fury of the invading Avars. The memory of all these is passed away, but
the stones still remain an undying testimony of a happy king.

Having passed some hours in the town and palace, I adjourned to one of
the few small _cafés_ in the principal street. While sipping my
chocolate, I was accosted by an elderly priest, who most civilly
enquired whether he could help me in any way during my stay at
Spalatro. He proved to be a person of much intelligence, and,
notwithstanding that his knowledge of English extended only to a few
conversational words, he had read Sir Gardner Wilkinson's work on
Dalmatia, and, as his remarks showed, not without profiting thereby. At
4.30 the same afternoon we arrived at Lissa, the military port of
Austria in this part of the Adriatic. It is interesting to English
travellers, its waters having been the scene of a naval action in which
an English squadron, commanded by Captain Hoste, defeated a French
squadron carrying nearly double as many guns. During the great war the
island belonged to England, and indeed a portion of it is called to this
day the Cittá Inglese. It at one time acquired a certain importance in a
mercantile point of view, sardines being the staple article of commerce.

The same night we touched at Curzola, and at 4 A.M. on
September 3 anchored at Gravosa, the port of debarcation for Ragusa.
Taking leave of my friends on board, I landed at about 5 A.M.,
and, having committed my luggage, a small bullock trunk, saddle-bags,
and a saddle, to the shoulders of a sturdy facchino, and myself to a
very rickety and diminutive cart, I proceeded on my way to Ragusa. The
drive, about a mile and a half in distance, abounds with pretty views,
while the town of Ragusa itself is as picturesque in its interior
detail as it is interesting from its early history. The grass-grown
streets, the half-ruined palaces, and the _far niente_ manners of the
people, give little indication of the high position which the Republic
once achieved. Yet, despite all these emblems of decay, there are no
signs of abject poverty, but rather a spirit of frugal contentment is
everywhere apparent.

Arriving at an hour when, in the more fastidious capitals of Europe,
housemaids and milkmen hold undisputed sway, I found groups of the
wealthier citizens collected under the trees which surround the café,
making their morning meal, and discussing the local news the while.
Later in the day ices and beer were in great demand, and in the evening
the beauty and fashion of Ragusa congregated to hear the beautiful band
of the regiment 'Marmola.' The hotel, if it deserve the name, is scarce
fifty yards distant; it possesses a _cuisine_ which contrasts favourably
with the accommodation which the house affords.

The _table d'hôte_ dinner is served in a kind of vaulted kitchen, the
walls of which are hung round with scenes illustrative of the Italian
campaign. The series, which comprises desperate cavalry charges, death
wounds of general officers, and infantry advancing amidst perfect
bouquets of shot and shell, closes appropriately with the pacific
meeting of the two Emperors at Villafranca.

Here, then, I proposed to take up my quarters, making it the
starting-point for expeditions to the Val d'Ombla, the beautiful Bocche
di Cattaro, and Cettigne, the capital of Montenegro; but it was destined
otherwise, and night found me on board a country fishing-boat, the
bearer of despatches to Omer Pacha at Mostar, or wherever he might
happen to be.

[Footnote A: Gibbon, chap. xiii.]

[Footnote B: Adams' 'Ruins of Spalatro,' p. 6.]


     Military Road to Metcovich--Country Boat--Stagno--Port of
     Klek--Disputed Frontier--Narentine Pirates--Valley of the
     Narenta--Trading Vessels--Turkish Frontier--Facilities for Trade
     granted by Austria--Narenta--Fort Opus--Hungarian
     Corporal--Metcovich--Irish Adventurer--Gabella--Pogitel--Dalmatian
     Engineer--Telegraphic Communication--Arrival at Mostar--Omer
     Pacha--Object of Campaign.

The change in my plans, and my precipitate departure from Ragusa, were
the results of information which I there received. From M. Persich, the
Ottoman Consul, whom I take this opportunity of thanking for his
courtesy and kindness, I learned that the Turkish Generalissimo might be
expected to leave Mostar for the frontier at any moment, and that the
disturbed state of the country would render it perilous, if not
impossible, to follow him thither. This determined me to push on at
once, postponing my visit to Montenegro to a more fitting season. To
make some necessary purchases, and to engage a servant, was the work of
a few hours, and, being supplied by the Captano of the Circolo with the
necessary visés and letters of recommendation to the subordinate
officials through whose districts I should have to pass, it only
remained to decide upon the mode of travelling which I should adopt,
and to secure the requisite conveyance. My first point was Metcovich, a
small town on the right bank of the Narenta, and close to the frontier
lines of Dalmatia and Herzegovina. Three modes of performing the journey
were reported practicable,--viz. on horseback, by water, or by carriage.
The first of these I at once discarded, as both slow and tedious; the
choice consequently lay between the remaining two methods: with regard
to economy of time I decided upon the latter. But here a difficulty
arose. The man who possessed a monopoly of carriages, for some reason
best known to himself, demurred at my proceeding, declaring the road to
be impassable. He farther brought a Turkish courier to back his
statement, who at any rate deserved credit, on the
tell-a-good-one-and-stick-to-it principle, for his hard swearing. I
subsequently ascertained that it was untrue; and had I known a little
more of the country, I should not have been so easily deterred, seeing
that the road in question is by far the best which exists in that part
of Europe. It was constructed by the French during their occupation of
Dalmatia in the time of Napoleon, and has been since kept in good order
by the Austrian government. Being thus thwarted in my plans, I made a
virtue of necessity, engaged a country boat, and got under weigh on the
evening of the day on which I had landed at Gravosa. The night was
clear and starry; and as my boat glided along before a light breeze
under the romantic cliffs of the Dalmatian coast, I ceased to regret the
jolting which I should have experienced had I carried out my first
intention. Running along the shore for some ten hours in a
north-westerly direction, we reached Stagno, a town of small importance,
situated at the neck of a tongue of land in the district of Slano, and
which connects the promontory of Sabioncello with the mainland; ten
minutes' walk across the isthmus brought us again to the sea. The
luggage deposited in a boat of somewhat smaller dimensions, and better
adapted for river navigation, we once more proceeded on our journey.

A little to the north of Stagno is the entrance to the port of Klek, a
striking instance of right constituted by might. The port, which, from
its entrance, belongs indisputably to Turkey, together with the land on
the southern side, is closed by Austria, in violation of every principle
of national law and justice.

Previous to 1852, many small vessels used to enter it for trading
purposes, and it was not until Omer Pacha in that year attempted to
establish it as an open port that Austria interfered, and stationed a
war-steamer at its mouth.

In 1860 the restriction was so far removed that Turkish vessels have
since been allowed to enter with provisions for the troops.

To the isolated condition of these provinces, coupled with the ignorance
which prevails at Constantinople relative to the affairs of the
interior, must be attributed the indifference which the Porte has as yet
manifested regarding the preservation of its just rights. The importance
to be attached to the possession by Turkey of an open port upon the
coast cannot be overrated, since through it she would receive her
imports direct from the producing countries, while her own products
could be exported without being subjected to the rules and caprices of a
foreign state. Nor are the Turkish officials in these quarters at all
blind to the injury that accrues to Turkey, from the line of policy
which Austria is now pursuing; but while they see and deplore the
mildness with which their government permits its rights to be thus
violated, they neglect to take any steps which might induce it to appeal
to the arbitration of Europe. Were this done, there could be little
doubt of the result; for, since the land on one side of the harbour,
without question, belongs to Turkey, it would appear only just that she
should have control over the half of the channel. But even were this to
be accorded (which is most improbable, since it would prove dangerous to
the trade of Trieste), the point at issue would still be far from
settled. Any concessions will be unavailing so long as the present line
of demarcation between the two countries shall exist; for while Turkey
draws the line of limit from a point near the entrance of the harbour to
the village of Dobrogna, Austria maintains the boundary to run from that
village to a point farther within the port, by which arrangement she
includes a small bluff or headland, which commands the entire harbour.
She asserts her right to this frontier, upon the grounds of its having
been the line drawn by the French during their occupation of Dalmatia.
The Turks deny the truth of this, and state that the lines occupied by
the French can still be traced from the remains of huts built for the
protection of their sentries. Moreover, since the Austrians have also
stated that the French, when in Dalmatia, did not respect the rights of
the Sultan, but occupied Suttorina and Klek, the argument that they
assume the frontier left them by the French is hardly entitled to much
consideration. That Austria is very unlikely to open Klek of her own
free will, I have already said; nor can she be blamed for the
determination, since she must be well aware that, in the event of her
doing so, English goods at a moderate price would find a far readier
market than her own high-priced and indifferent manufactures. In a word,
she would lose the monopoly of trade which she at present possesses in
these provinces. But, on the other hand, were Turkey animated by a
spirit of reprisal, she might throw such obstacles in the path of her
more powerful neighbour as would almost compel her to abandon the system
of ultra-protection.

The military road from Cattaro to Ragusa and Spalatro encroaches upon
Turkish territory, and the telegraphic wire which connects Cattaro with
Trieste passes over both Suttorina and Klek. The Austrian government
would find it very inconvenient were the Porte to dispute the right of
passage at these points. Should Turkey ever be in a position to force
the adoption of the frontier, as defined by herself, the value of Klek
in a military point of view will be immeasurably increased; for, while
the port itself would be protected by her guns, the approach to it is
perfectly secure, although flanked on either side by Austrian territory.
The waters of the harbour open out into the bay of Sabioncello from
seven to eight miles in width, so that a vessel in mid-channel might run
the gauntlet with impunity.

Towards evening we entered the Narenta, the principal river of Dalmatia
and Herzegovina, by one of the numerous mouths which combine to form its
delta. Its ancient name was the 'Naro,' and it is also called by
Constantine Porphyrogenitus 'Orontium.' Later it acquired an unenviable
notoriety, as being the haunt of the 'Narentine Pirates,' who issued
thence to make forays upon the coast, and plundered or levied tribute on
the trading vessels of the Adriatic. At one time they became so powerful
as to be able to carry on a regular system of warfare, and even gain
victories over the Venetian Republic, and it was not till 997
A.D. that they were reduced to submission by the Doge Pietro
Orseolo II., and compelled to desist from piracy.

The valley of the Narenta is but thinly populated, a circumstance easily
accounted for by the noxious vapours which exhale from the alluvial and
reed-covered banks of the stream.

The lowlands, moreover, which lie around the river's bed are subject to
frequent and rapid inundations. Excepting one party of villagers, who
appeared to be making merry around a large fire close to the bank, I saw
no signs of human habitation.

The croaking of many frogs, and the whirr of the wild fowl, as they rose
from their marshy bed at our approach, were the only signs of life to be
perceived, though higher up we met a few rowing boats, and one of the
small coasting vessels used for the transport of merchandise. These
boats are generally from twenty to thirty tons burden, and are employed
for the conveyance of ordinary goods from Trieste, whence the imports of
Dalmatia, Bosnia, and the Herzegovina are for the most part derived.
Their rates of freight are light, averaging from 10_d._ to 1_s._ per
cwt., chargeable on the bulk. The more valuable or fragile articles are
brought to Macarsca, a port on the Dalmatian coast, near the mouth of
the Narenta, in steamers belonging to the Austrian Lloyd's Company,
whence they are despatched by boat to Metcovich. The expense attendant
on this route prevents its being universally adopted. Insurance can be
effected as far as Metcovich at 1_s._ 4_d._ to 3_s._ 4_d._ per cwt. on
the value declared, according to the season of the year.

Metcovich may be regarded as the _Ultima Thulé_ of civilisation in this
direction. Once across the frontier, and one may take leave of all one's
preconceived ideas regarding prosperity or comfort. Everything appears
at a standstill, whether it be river navigation or traffic on the land.
The apathy of the Turkish government presents a striking contrast to the
policy of Austria, who clearly sees the value to be attached to the
trade of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and who, while throwing every obstacle
in the way of competition, evinces unwonted energy to secure the
monopoly which she now possesses. During the past few years she has
granted many facilities for the growth of commercial relations between
Herzegovina and her own provinces. Thus, for instance, the transit dues
on the majority of imports and exports have been removed, a few articles
only paying a nominal duty on passing into Turkey. Wool, skins, hides,
wax, honey, fruits, and vegetables, are allowed into Dalmatia free of
duty. A grant of 1,200,000 florins has, moreover, been recently made
for the regulation of the channel of the Narenta, with the view of
rendering it navigable by small steamers, which will doubtless prove a
most profitable outlay. It is to be hoped that the Turkish government
will take steps to continue the line to Mostar, which is quite
practicable, and could be effected at a small expense.

The Narenta takes its rise at the foot of the small hill called Bolai, a
spur of the Velesh range of mountains. Its route is very circuitous, the
entire distance from the source to its mouth being about one hundred and
thirty miles, while its average width is computed at about one hundred
and forty yards. It is subject to rapid rises between the months of
September and May, caused by rains in the mountains and the melting
snow, and a rise of twelve feet in three or four hours is by no means
uncommon. As a source of communication it might be invaluable to the
province, but in its present state it is perfectly useless, since the
hardness of its waters renders it unfit for irrigation. It has many
tributary streams, amongst the most important of which are the Boona,
Bregava, Rama, Radopolie, Trebitza, and Cruppa.

On its right bank, and some miles above the mouth, is a small town,
which rejoices in the imposing name of Fort Opus, albeit it possesses
neither walls, fortifications, nor other means of defence. As the night
was already far advanced when we arrived, I resolved to stay there a
few hours before continuing the row to Metcovich, which I should
otherwise have reached before daylight, and have been compelled to lie
off the town during the damp hours of morning. Neither sentry nor health
officer appeared to interdict our landing; and having found a miserable
outhouse, which served as a cabaret, I was preparing to snatch a few
hours' sleep as best I might, when an Hungarian corporal, employed in
the finance department, came to the rescue, and undertook to find me a
bed. Of its quality I will abstain from speaking; but such as it was, it
was freely given, and it took much persuasion to induce the honest
fellow to accept any remuneration. His post can hardly be a pleasant
one, for malaria and fever cause such mortality, that the station is
regarded much in the same light as is the gold coast of Africa by our
own government servants. As a set-off against these disadvantages, my
friend was in receipt of 2_d._ per day additional pay. May he pass
unscathed through the ordeal!

By 2 A.M. I had again started, and reached Metcovich at 5
A.M. on September 5. Here M. Grabrich, the principal merchant
of the place, put me in the way of procuring horses to take me to
Mostar, about nine hours distant. My destination becoming known, I was
beset with applications for my good offices with Omer Pacha. Some of
these were petitions for contracts for supplying the army, though the
greater number were demands for arrears of payment due for the supply of
meal, and the transport of horned cattle and other provisions to the
frontier. One of the complainants, a Greek, had a grievance of a
different and much more hopeless nature. He had cashed a bill for a
small amount offered him by an Irish adventurer. This, as well as
several others, proved to be forgeries, and the money was irretrievably
lost. Although travelling under an assumed name, and with a false
passport, I subsequently discovered the identity of the delinquent with
an individual, whom doubtless many who were with Garibaldi during the
campaign of the Two Sicilies will call to mind. He was then only
remarkable for his Calabrian costume and excessive amount of swagger.
When at Niksich I learned that he had escaped through that town into
Montenegro, and he has not, I believe, since been traced.

No punishment can be too severe for a scoundrel who thus brings English
credit into disrepute, and disgraces a name which, although little known
in these regions, is deservedly respected.

From Metcovich the traveller may proceed to Mostar by either bank of the
river. I was recommended to take the road on the northern side, which I
did, and ten minutes' ride brought us to the frontier, where a
custom-house official insisted upon unloading the baggage so recently
arranged. In vain I remonstrated, and brandished my despatches with
their enormous red seals in his face. His curiosity was not to be so
easily overcome. When he had at length satisfied himself, he permitted
us to depart with a blessing, which I acknowledge was far from
reciprocated. The first place of any importance which we passed is
Gabella. It stands on an eminence overhanging a bend of the river, by
whose waters three of its sides are washed. In former days it was
defended by two forts, whose guns swept the river in either direction,
and commanded the approach upon the opposite bank. In A.D. 1694
it was taken by Cornaro, and remained in the hands of the Venetians
until A.D. 1716, when they evacuated it, blowing up the greater
part of its defences.

Immediately above the town, the Narenta traverses the plain of Gabella,
which is one of the largest and most productive in the country.

The plains of Herzegovina are in reality nothing more than valleys or
basins, some of which are so hemmed in by hills, that the streams
flowing through them can only escape by percolation, or through
subterranean channels. This last phenomenon frequently occurs, and no
better example can be given of it than the Trebinitza, which loses
itself in the ground two or three times. After the last of these
disappearances nothing is known for certain of its course, although a
large river which springs from the rocks in the Val d'Ombla, and empties
itself into the Adriatic near Ragusa, is conjectured to be the same.

Gabella, as well as Popovo, Blato, and other plains, is inundated in the
winter, and remains in that state during three or four months.

They are traversed by means of punts, and excellent wild-duck shooting
may be had by those who do not fear the exposure inseparable from that

From this point the river entirely changes its aspect, losing the
sluggish character which distinguishes it during its passage through the
Austrian territory. Indeed, throughout its whole course, from its rise
until it opens out into the plain of Gabella, its bed is rocky, and the
current rapid and even dangerous, from the number of boulders which rise
above the surface, or lie hid a little below the water line. It here
receives the waters of the Trebisat or Trebitza, and the Bregava, the
former flowing from the NW., the latter from the district of Stolatz in
the SE. A few miles higher up is a narrow valley formed by two ranges of
hills, whose rocky declivities slope down to, or in some places
overhang, the river's bed. From one spot where the hills project, there
is a pretty view of the town of Pogitel on the left bank. A large
mosque, with a dome and minaret and a clock-tower, are the principal
objects which catch the eye; but, being pressed for time, I was unable
to cross the river, and cannot therefore from my own observation enter
into any accurate details. The position is, however, exactly described
by Sir Gardner Wilkinson as follows: 'It stands in a semicircular
recess, like an immense shell, in the side of the hill, and at the two
projecting extremities the walls run down from the summit to the river,
the upper part being enclosed by a semicircular wall, terminated at each
end by a tower.'

Half way between Metcovich and Mostar is a little village, which boasts
an humble species of Khan.

Here I found the engineer in charge of the telegraph, a Dalmatian by
birth. His head-quarters are at Bosna Serai, but he was then making a
tour for the purposes of inspection and repair.

The telegraphic communication throughout the Ottoman Empire is now more
general than its internal condition would warrant us in supposing.
Indeed, in travelling through the country, one cannot fail to be struck
by the strange reversal of the general order of things. Thus, for
instance, both telegraph and railways have preceded the construction of
ordinary roads.

And therein lies one of the principal causes of the hopelessness of
Turkish civilisation; that it has been prematurely forced upon her, and
that, in order to keep a position among the European nations, she is
driven to adopt the highest triumphs of European intelligence without
passing through the intermediate stages by which they have been
acquired. The rapidly remunerative nature of a telegraphic service is
obviously sufficient reason for its being thus early established; but
its duties devolve entirely, not upon Turks, but upon the foreign
employés of the government. It is, moreover, little used by the
Mussulman population, and consequently tends but little to the
enlightenment of the masses. On the subject of roads, I shall have
occasion to speak hereafter, and must therefore beg the indulgent reader
to accompany me along the bridle-path which takes us to the capital of

Descending from the hills our progress became more rapid; yet, despite
this, it was some hours after sunset before we entered the suburbs. As
usual in a Turkish town, dogs and gravestones were to be found in
abundance, the latter with their turbanned heads looking spectral and
grim in the cold moonlight. Saving an occasional group of Mussulmans
sitting silent and pompous in the dusty road, the city appeared
perfectly deserted; and, as my now jaded ponies scrambled over the
ill-paved streets, I began to speculate on the probability of passing
the night _al fresco_. As may be conceived, then, it was with
considerable satisfaction that I found myself, chibouque in hand,
awaiting the arrival of the Pacha, who, notwithstanding the lateness of
the hour, had expressed his intention of seeing me immediately. No one
can have a greater horror than myself of that mania which possesses
some travellers for detailing conversations with Eastern dignitaries,
which, for the most part, consist of ordinary civilities, imperfectly
translated by an half-educated dragoman.

In the present instance, however, I deem no apology necessary for
dwelling upon this first or subsequent conversations; since anything
from the lips of such a man at so critical a moment must, to say the
least, be of interest, even though it should be without any actual
political importance. Having discussed the relative attitudes of the
European powers with regard to Turkey, and spoken most unreservedly on
the subject of French and Russian intrigues, he expressed great interest
in the opinions formed by the public of the different countries on the
Herzegovinian and Montenegrin question. The principal topic of
conversation, however, was the campaign then about to be opened against
the Herzegovinian rebels, and the preparations which he had made for
carrying it out.

While fully alive to the difficulties attending his task, resulting from
political complications, and the physical features of the country, he
ever spoke with confidence of the ultimate success of the Turkish armies
and the general pacification of the country. If any man be competent to
bring about this desirable consummation it is himself; for he possesses,
to an eminent degree, that caution which is indispensable to the
successful conduct of an offensive war in a mountainous country, and
which is so much at variance with the haphazard arrangements usually
found among Turkish generals.

In using the words _offensive war_, I mean to imply operations carried
on from a regular base, and in accordance with the generally accepted
rules of warfare, in contra-distinction to the guerilla fighting as
practised by the insurgent mountaineers. In its more literal sense, Omer
Pacha's mission can hardly be deemed offensive; his object is, not to
overrun territory, nor even to seek a combat with the enemy, but rather
to place the country in such a state of defence as will render it secure
from the incursions of those brigands who, having thrown off the Turkish
rule, have sought a refuge in the fastnesses of Montenegro, whence, in
conjunction with the lawless bands of that province, they make forays
across the frontier, carrying fire and sword in their wake, respecting
neither age nor sex,--rebels to their sovereign, and a disgrace to


     Features--Mountains--Mineral Products--Story of Hadji Ali
     Pacha--Forests--Austrian Timber
     Catholics--Church Dignitaries--Roman Catholics--Monks--Franciscan
     College--Moral Depravity--Fine Field for Missionary Labour.

Herzegovina[C] or Bosnia Inferior, formerly the duchy of Santo Saba, is
bounded on the N. by Bosnia, on the E. by Servia, on the W. by Dalmatia,
and on the S. by Montenegro and the Adriatic.

Its greatest length, from Duvno in the NW., to Priepolie in the S., is
about a hundred and twenty miles, and its greatest breadth from Konitza,
on the Bosnian frontier, to the port of Klek, is about seventy-two
miles.[D] It contains an approximate area of 8,400 square miles, with a
population, of about thirty-five souls to the square mile.[D] A glance
at any map, imperfect in detail as those yet published have been, will
convey a tolerable idea of the nature of the country.

The ranges of mountains which intersect the greater part of the province
are a portion of the Dinaric Alps. Along the Dalmatian and Montenegrin
frontiers these are barren and intensely wild, and in many places, from
the deep fissures and honeycomb formation of the rocks, impassable to
aught save the chamois, the goat, or the indigenous mountaineer.

Proceeding inland, the country assumes a more habitable aspect: plains
and pasture-lands capable of high cultivation are found at intervals,
while even the mountains assume a more fertile appearance, and have a
better depth of soil, which is well adapted for the cultivation of the
olive and the vine. Dense forests, too, of average growth cover the
mountain sides as we approach the Bosnian frontier, which, although
inferior to those of Bosnia itself, would prove most remunerative to the
government were they properly worked. But, unfortunately, the principle
of isolation which the Porte has adopted with regard to these remote
provinces, together with the want of enterprise among its inhabitants,
the result of four hundred years of indolence on the one hand and
oppression on the other, renders it problematical whether their ample
resources will ever be developed. Should Turkey, however, arise from her
lethargy, should genuine civilisation spread its branches over the land,
we may then confidently anticipate a glorious future for her
south-Slavonic provinces, doubting not that they will some day become
'the noblest jewel in their monarch's diadem.'

To convey an accurate idea of a province so little known as the
Herzegovina, it will be best to enumerate the various physical features
by which it is distinguished. Thus the highest and most important
mountains are Dormitor in the district of Drobniak, on the Montenegrin
frontier, and Velesh, which forms a rugged background to the plain of
Mostar, the highest point being 6,000 feet above the level of the sea.
Besides these, there are many others of nearly equal altitude, viz.
Flam, Hergud, Prievolie, Vrau, Hako, Fartar, Belen, Stermoshnik,
Bielevoda, Chabolie, Vrabcha, and Zavola. The perfect sea of rock which
the southern part of the province presents to the eye is of grey
limestone, varied however by a slatey stratum. Of the mineral products
of the mountains little accurate knowledge prevails; gold, silver, and
lead are said to exist, but I could not hear of their having ever been
found to any extent. A firman was granted some years ago to one Hadji
Ali Pacha, ceding to him for fifteen years the privilege of exploring
Bosnia and Herzegovina, and working any mines which he might there
discover. His application for this firman does not, however, in any way
prove the existence of these minerals throughout the country generally,
since it has proved to have been a mere cloak for diverting suspicion
from many previous dishonest actions of which he had been guilty. His
story is worthy of narration, as being no bad instance of the career of
a Turkish _parvenu_, whose only qualifications were a little education
and a large amount of effrontery.

Hadji Ali Pacha commenced his career as a clerk in the pay of the great
Mehemet Ali Pacha, Viceroy of Egypt, but, having deserted to the Turks,
he was employed by them in the capacity of Uzbashee or Captain. Fearful
of falling into the hands of the Egyptians, he fled from his post, and,
having made his way to Constantinople, contrived, by scheming and
bribery, not only to efface the memory of the past, but to secure the
appointment of Kaimakan or Lieut.-Colonel, with which grade he was sent
to Travnik in command of a regiment. Tahir Pacha, the Governor of
Bosnia, had about this time been informed of the existence of some gold
mines near Travnik, and ordered Hadji Ali to obtain samples for
transmission to the Porte. This he did, taking care to retain all the
valuable specimens, and forwarding those of inferior quality, which, on
their arrival at Constantinople, were declared worthless. No sooner was
this decision arrived at, than Hadji Ali imported the necessary
machinery and an Austrian mechanic, to separate the gold from the ores,
and in this way amassed immense wealth. Rumours having got abroad of
what was going on, and the suspicions of Tahir being aroused, the
unfortunate Austrian was put secretly out of the way, and, as a blind,
the unprincipled ruffian procured the firman to which allusion has been
made. It need hardly be said that he never availed himself of the
privileges which it conferred upon him. Some time after these
transactions, he applied for leave to visit Austria, on the plea of
ill-health, but doubtless with the view of changing the gold. This was
refused, and he was obliged to employ a Jew, who carried it to Vienna,
and disposed of it there. In 1850, when Omer Pacha came to restore order
in Bosnia, which had then revolted, Hadji Ali was sent with two
battalions to the relief of another detachment; upon this occasion he
communicated with the enemy, who cut off his rear-guard, and otherwise
roughly handled the Turkish troops. Upon this, Omer Pacha put him in
chains, and would have shot him, as he richly deserved, had he not known
that his enemies at Constantinople would not fail to distort the true
features of the case. He therefore sent him to Constantinople, where he
was shortly afterwards released, and employed his gold to such good
purpose, that he was actually sent down as Civil Governor to Travnik,
which he had so recently left a prisoner convicted of robbery and
treason. He was, however, soon dismissed for misconduct, and entered
once more into private speculations. In 1857 he purchased the tithes of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, and employed such ruffians to collect them as to
make perfect martyrs of the people, some of whom were even killed by his
agents. Exasperated beyond endurance, the people of Possavina rose en
masse, and although the movement was put down without difficulty, it
doubtless paved the way for the discord and rebellion which has been
attended with such calamitous results. This is precisely one of those
cases which has brought such odium on the Turkish government, and which
may so easily be avoided for the future, always providing that the Porte
be sincere in its oft-repeated protestations of a desire for genuine
reform. Ali Pacha was at Mostar in the beginning of 1858, when the
movement began, but was afraid to venture into the revolted districts to
collect his tithes. The Governor, therefore, made him Commandant of the
Herzegovinian irregulars, in which post he vindicated the character
which he had obtained for cruelty and despotism. Subsequently he was
appointed Kaimakan of Trebigné, but the European Consuls interfered, and
he has now decamped, owing a large sum to government, the remnant of his
contract for the tithes.

The sides of some of the mountains are covered, as I have before said,
with dense forests of great value. There the oak, ash, elm, beech,
walnut, red and white pine, and the red and yellow maple, grow in rich
profusion, awaiting only the hand of man to shape them into 'the tall
mast' and the 'stately ship.' But man, in these benighted lands, is
blind to the sources of wealth with which his country teems, and to
nature it is left in the lapse of years to 'consume the offspring she
has herself produced.' The difficulty of transporting the timber to a
market has been always alleged by the natives as their reason for
neglecting to turn the forests to account; but this is a paltry excuse,
for with abundance of rivers to float it to the coast, and a neighbour
so anxious to monopolise the trade of the country as Austria has shown
herself, little doubt can be entertained of the possibility of its
advantageous disposal. As far back as 1849 an Austrian Company,
foreseeing the benefits which would accrue from the employment of
capital in these parts, obtained a concession of the pine forests for
twenty years. Saw-mills were built near Mostar, and roads and shoots
were constructed. About 5,000 logs had been cut and exported, when the
works were stopped by Omer Pacha on his arrival to suppress rebellion in
the country in 1850. This arbitrary measure on his part has been much
reprehended, and does without doubt require explanation.

It should, however, be remembered that the contract, which was likely to
prove most remunerative to the Company, and of but little advantage to
the Turkish government, had been granted by Ali Pacha of Stolatz, the
last Civil Governor, to whom a tithe of the products was being paid. He
had in the meanwhile thrown off his allegiance, and consequently the
only blame which can attach to Omer Pacha is a want of judgement, caused
by over-zeal for the interests of his government. The case was
afterwards litigated, and the Porte was mulcted 200,000 florins as an
indemnity for their breach of the contract. This was liquidated from Ali
Pacha's property, and the firman has been renewed for fourteen years
since 1859. The Austrian government has, however, forbidden the Company
to avail themselves of it, as its members are engaged in legal
proceedings. The only saw-mill which I met with in the country was one
at Boona, worked by an Hungarian, who is apparently doing a lucrative

The rivers in the country are of no great size or importance, but might
in most cases be turned to account for the transport of timber or for
irrigation. The waters of some of the large rivers, it is true, are
injurious to vegetation from their hardness, but this does not apply to
all. After the Narenta, the following are the most important:--the
Trebenitza, Pria, Taro and Moratcha, Yanitza, Boona, Boonitza, Bregava,
Kruppa, Trebisat or Trebitza, Drechnitza, Grabovitza, Biela,
Kaladjin-Polok, and the Drina. It might be expected from its vicinity to
Bulgaria, where such fine lakes are found, that the same would be the
case in Herzegovina; but it is not so: Blato, which is marked as a lake
in all maps, is only such in winter, as with early spring the waters

The only towns in the province worthy of mention, besides Mostar, are
Fochia and Taschlijeh. They each contain about 10,000 inhabitants. The
other towns are nothing more than large villages, with a bazaar. They
are the seats of the district governments, such as Stolatz, Trebigné,
Konitza, Niksich, Duvno, Chainitza, and others. The houses in these are
not conspicuous for cleanliness, while those in the smaller villages are
still less desirable as residences. They generally consist of some
scores of huts, built of rough stones, without windows or chimneys, and
roofed with boards, which are again covered with straw. They seldom
contain more than one room, which the family occupies, in conjunction
with the poultry and domestic animals. The furniture of these luxurious
abodes consists of a hand-loom, two or three iron pots, a few earthen
vessels, and some wooden spoons. The bedding is a coarse woollen
blanket, which serves as a cloak in rainy or wet weather, and as a
mattress and coverlet for the whole family, without distinction of sex.

The population of the Herzegovina amounts to about 182,000, divided as

Catholics                   52,000
Greek Church                70,000
Mussulmans                  60,000

Originally these were all of the same stock; and their present
divisions, while constituting an element of safety for Turkey, are most
prejudicial to the well-being of the country. The Greek faith
predominates in the southern and eastern parts of the province. Its
adherents are distinguished for their activity and cunning,--qualities
which have rendered them far wealthier than their brethren of the
Catholic communion. The possession of comparative wealth, and the
consciousness of the moral support granted them by Russia, has made them
presumptuous and over-bearing, hating alike all sects and creeds which
differ from their own. Their ignorance is only equalled by the
fanaticism which often results therefrom; and so bitter is their
detestation of the Roman Catholics, that more than one instance has been
known of its leading to foul acts of murder. Unoffending peasants have
been taken in the revolted districts, and ordered to kneel and make the
sign of the cross, to prove the truth of their assertions that they were
not Mussulmans. The wretched creatures confidently did so in accordance
with the Roman Catholic form, and their lives were unceremoniously
forfeited to the bigotry and ferocity of their unrelenting judges. Nor
are either tolerance or humanity in any way advocated by the priests,
who are generally as illiterate and narrow-minded as their flocks, and
whose influence, which is very great, is generally employed for evil.
The priesthood are divided into Archimandrite, Igumens (chiefs of
monasteries), Monks, and Priests, all of whom are natives of the
province, where their whole lives have been passed. Of late years,
however, many have been sent to receive their education in Russia. Some
of these have now returned, but have not given signs of any desire to
ameliorate the spiritual condition of the people. The Church has always
been governed by a Vladika or Metropolitan, named from Constantinople.
Like most other appointments from that capital, this was generally paid
for, and its possessor consequently did not hesitate to employ every
means in his power to reimburse himself. This, and the fact that he was
never a native of the country, rendered him most unpopular; so that
while the priests (little as they may deserve it) are regarded with
reverence by the people, the Vladika was respected by neither the one
nor the other. At present the office is vacant, none having been
appointed since the demise of the last who occupied the episcopal chair.
That event occurred in the commencement of 1861, and his attempts at
extortion were so frequent and undisguised, that his death must have
been felt as a great relief by the people. Petitions were sent at that
time to Constantinople, praying for the appointment of a Slavish
Metropolitan; but, independently of the difficulty of finding anyone of
sufficient education among the Bosnian clergy, political considerations
have induced the Porte to prevent the Patriarch complying with the
demand; for, however bad in other respects they may have been, the
Metropolitans have always remembered that their allegiance was due to
the Patriarch of Constantinople, and not to the schismatic branch of the
Greek Church, over which the Czar exercises both temporal and spiritual
sway. Were a Slavish Metropolitan appointed, Russian influence would be
dangerously augmented, and the task of transferring the allegiance of
the people from their proper ecclesiastical head to the Russian Emperor,
as has been attempted in Bulgaria, would here become easy of

In the N. and W. the Romish faith finds the greatest number of
supporters, who look to Austria as their guiding star in all matters
connected with religion. In their ranks are comprised the
agriculturalists and artisans of the province, few being engaged in
commerce. As regards education or enlightenment they are no farther
advanced than their Greek compatriots: few can read or write their own
language, and the knowledge of any other tongue is most exceptional.
Learning, in its broader sense, is indeed confined exclusively to the
convents, and, until very recently, no attempt of any kind was made by
the priests to promote a desire for education or advancement among the
people, their whole thoughts being bent on self-aggrandisement, and the
acquisition of personal wealth. Careful enquiry has established the fact
that no less than 60,000_l._ is annually paid in fees, penances, and
gifts to the Church by the Roman Catholic section of the population; and
we may fairly infer that the Greek priests extort an equally large sum.
Of late schools have been established in different parts of the
province, but the subjects of education are too confined to work any
salutary change in the rising generation. Nor is it probably intended
that such should be the case.

The Roman Catholics cordially return the hatred of the Greeks, marriages
with whom are forbidden by the Catholic clergy. They are also inimical
to the Mussulman population, by whom they are regarded as serfs. But
this hostility is nurtured in secret, rarely displaying itself in overt
acts of aggression. Four hundred years of oppression have completely
broken their spirit, and they only ask to be allowed to enjoy in peace a
fair portion of the fruits of their labour.

The Church is governed by two bishops. One, resident at Mostar, bears
the title of Bishop of Azotto, and Vicar-Apostolic of the Herzegovina.
The other, called the Bishop of Trebigné, lives at Ragusa, which is also
included in his see. He has, however, a Vicar resident in the district
of Stolatz. As in Bosnia, the monks are all of the Franciscan order.
Considerable attention is paid to their education, and they are in every
way immeasurably superior to the parochial clergy. In connection with
that brotherhood a college has been for some years established, about
twelve miles distant from Mostar. The subjects of education there are
Latin, Italian, Slavish, Church History, and Theology. From this college
the students proceed to Rome, where they are admitted into the
Franciscan order.

In the above remarks, I have endeavoured to show that the Christianity
which exists in these provinces is merely nominal, since it is devoid of
all those gentle and humanising principles which should distinguish it
from Islamism, whose tenets have been ever propagated by conquest and
the sword. The vices which more especially accompany and mar the beauty
of true Christian civilisation here hold unrestrained dominion, and both
Greeks and Catholics present a painful combination of western cunning
and intrigue and oriental apathy, while they are devoid of that spirit
of devotion and dignified resignation to the will of Providence which
preeminently characterise the religion of Mahomet. Living on the
confines of the two hemispheres, they have inherited the sins of each,
without the virtues of either the one or the other. Nearly all adults
are addicted to drunkenness, while the use of foul and indelicate
language is almost universal,--men, women, and children employing it in
common conversation. So long as such a state of things shall prevail, it
is clearly impossible that any material improvement can be brought
about; and until the people show some inclination to improve their own
condition, the sympathy or consideration of others is uncalled-for and
misplaced. The perpetual Russian whine about eight millions of
Christians being held in galling subjection by four millions of Turks is
a miserable deception, which, although it may serve as a pretext for
their own repeated acts of interference, cannot mislead those who have
seen anything of these countries, or who have been brought into contact
with their Christian inhabitants. The most effective course, probably,
which either the bitterest enemy or the warmest friend of the Ottoman
government could pursue, would be to disseminate the seeds of true
Christianity throughout the length and breadth of the land. And I say
this advisedly; for on the future conduct of the Porte would depend
whether such a course might lead to the establishment of Turkish
supremacy, or to its irretrievable overthrow. That an enlightened
nation, 'at unity in itself,' could cast off the yoke of an oppressive
and tottering despotism can easily be imagined, while, on the other
hand, a throne based upon principles of justice and progression would
acquire fresh stability with each step made by its subjects in the path
of civilisation. It is, indeed, strange that so fine a field for British
missionary labour has been so long uncared-for and untried. Nowhere is
there more ample scope for exertion of this nature than in the European
provinces of Turkey; for while the Christian population could not but
contrast the simple purity of the missionary life with the vicious
habits and grasping avarice of their own clergy, the Mussulmans would
see Christianity in a very different light from that in which they have
been accustomed to regard it. Nor would any obstacles be thrown in the
way by the Turkish government; nay, instances have even occurred of
Protestant missionaries receiving encouragement and support: for,
whatever may be said to the contrary, no nation is more tolerant of the
exercise of other religions than these same much-abused Moslems.
Whatever is to be done, however, should be done at once, for never was
it more urgently needed. The American struggle seems to have paralysed
the missionary labours of that nation, which had heretofore displayed
much energy in proclaiming the glad tidings of great joy in these
benighted lands. For England, then, it would appear, is reserved the
noble task of rescuing these unfortunates from a state of moral
darkness, as profound as that which envelopes the savage tribes of
central Africa, or the remotest islands of the Pacific. That we have
remained so long indifferent to the urgent appeals of the talented and
earnest, though somewhat prejudiced, advocate of Slavonic institutions,
Count Valerian Krasinski, is a matter of surprise and deep regret; for
surely no country can be more replete with interest to Protestant
England than that which may be regarded as the cradle of Protestantism,
and whose fastnesses afforded a refuge during four centuries of
persecution to the 'early reformers of the Church, the men who supplied
that link in the chain which connected the simplicity of primitive
doctrines with the present time.'

The affinity which exists between the Church of England in the early
days of the Reformation and the Pragmatic section which glory in Huss
and Jerome, is too close to be easily overlooked. Nor need Bosnia (taken
collectively) succumb in interest to any Slavonic province, whether it
be regarded as the stronghold of freedom of religious opinion, or as the
scene of one of the greatest and most important triumphs of Islamism.

[Footnote C: Or the territory governed by a Herzog or Duke.]

[Footnote D: This includes Austrian subjects, who are not included in
the statistics.]


     Introduction of Christianity--Origin of Slavonic Element--First
     Appearance of the Patarenes in Bosnia--Their Origin--Tenets--Elect
     a Primate--Disappearance--Dookhoboitzi, or Combatants in
     Spirit--Turkish Conquest--Bosnian Apostasy--Religious
     Fanaticism--Euchlemeh--Commission under Kiamil Pacha--Servian
     Emissaries--National Customs--Adopted Brotherhood--Mahommedan
     Women--Elopements--Early Marriages.

Authorities differ as to the time when Christianity was first introduced
into Bosnia. Some say that it was preached by the apostle St. James,
while others affirm that it was unknown until the year 853
A.D., when St. Cyril and Methodius translated the Scriptures
into the Slavonic tongue; others again say that it dates back as far as
the seventh century, when the Emperor Heraclius called the Slavonic
nations of the Chorvats or Croats, and the Serbs or Servians, from their
settlement on the N. of the Carpathian Mountains, to the fertile regions
S. of the Danube. The warlike summons was gladly obeyed by those valiant
men, who had unflinchingly maintained their independence, whilst their
Slavish brethren, inhabiting the country between the Volga and the Don,
had submitted to the iron yoke of the all-conquering Avars. These last
were in their time expelled by the Croats and Serbs, and thus was
Slavism established from the Danube to the Mediterranean. But these
important results were not achieved without great sacrifice; and,
wearied of war and bloodshed, the successful Slavonians devoted
themselves to agriculture and industry, neglecting those pursuits which
had procured for them a permanent footing in the Greek empire. Taking
advantage of this defenceless state, resulting from their pacific
disposition, Constans II. made war upon the country of Slavonia, in
order to open a communication between the capital on the one side, and
Philippi and Thessalonica on the other. Justinian II. (685-95 and
708-10) also made a successful expedition against the Slavonians, and
transplanted a great number of prisoners, whom he took into Asia Minor.
The Greek empire having become reinvigorated for some time under the
Slavonian dynasty, Constantine Copronymus (741-75) advanced in his
conquest of Slavonia as far as Berea, to the S. of Thessalonica, which
is evident from an inspection of the frontiers of the empire, made by
order of the Empress Irene in 783. The Emperor Michael III. (842-67)
sent an army against the Slavonians of the Peloponnesus, which conquered
them all with the exception of the Melugi and Eseritœ, who inhabited
Lacedæmonia and Elis, and they were all finally subjugated by the
Emperor Basilicus I., or the Macedonian (867-86), after which the
Christian religion and Greek civilisation completely Hellenised them, as
their brethren on the Baltic were Germanised.[E] That the Latin faith
subsequently obtained a permanent footing in these provinces, is due to
the influence of the Kings of Hungary, who took the Bosnian Bans under
their special protection; and thus it happened that the Bosnian nobles
almost universally adopted the religion of their benefactors,--not so
much from conviction, it is surmised, as from an appreciation of the
many feudal privileges which it conferred, since they afterwards
renounced Christianity entirely, rather than relinquish the rights which
they had begun to regard as hereditary. The remote position of these
countries, however, and the antagonism of the Eastern and Western
Churches, combined to retard the development of the Papal doctrines,
while a still more important counterpoise presented itself, in the
appearance of the sect of Patarenes, towards the close of the twelfth
century. The sect was founded by an Armenian doctor, named Basil, who
was burnt for his opinions by the Emperor Alexius Comnenus, and whose
followers, being banished, retired into Bulgaria, where they made many
converts, and took the name of Bogomili--'chosen of God,' or 'implorers
of God's mercy.' They thence spread their tenets into France by means
of pilgrims and traders, who were on their return to that country, and
by degrees laid the seeds of doctrines subsequently taken up by Peter
Bruysius, and afterwards by Henry and by Peter Valdo, the founder of the
Waldenses, and by others in other places. Availing themselves of the
various Caliphs' tolerance of all Christian sects, they carried their
opinions with their commerce into Africa, Spain, and finally into
Languedoc, a neighbouring province, to Moorish Iberia, where Raymond,
Count of Toulouse, gave them shelter and protection.[F]

The same opinions were held by the Paulicians of Spain, who, having
received much encouragement from the Kings of Arragon and Castile, also
disseminated their doctrines throughout France, in the southern
provinces of which they met with great success. There they received the
name of Albigenses, from the town of Albiga or Alby. They afterwards
spread into Italy, where they received the name of 'Patarenes,' as some
suppose from the 'sufferings' which they endured, though other fanciful
reasons are assigned for the bestowal of the name. The tenets of these
early reformers 'have been transmitted through various sects under the
different denominations of Vallenses, Paulicians, Patarenes, Cathari
(Puritans), Bogomili, Albigenses, Waldenses, Lollards, Bohemian Brethren
or Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, and other Protestants to the present
day.' No very lucid account of their articles of faith has been handed
down to our times, and some suppose that they entertained the Manichæan
doctrines of the existence of the two principles, and of the creation of
the spiritual world by the good, and of matter by the evil One.
Krasinski appears to favour this supposition; but it is far more
probable that, with the name indiscriminately bestowed as a term of
opprobrium upon all who differed from the canons of the Romish Church,
they have received the credit of supporting the doctrines of the
Manichæans. This much, however, is certain,--that they denied the
sovereignty of the Pope, the power of the priests, the efficacy of
prayers for the dead, and the existence of purgatory;[G] while they
rejected all images, relics, and the worship of the saints. Whether the
advent of the sect into Bosnia was from the Bulgarian or Italian side is
unknown; but, be this as it may, it is beyond a doubt that they were
most favourably received (in 1197) by Kulin, who was at that time Ban of
the province. His wisdom was so great, and his reign so prosperous, that
long after his death it was a proverbial saying in Bosnia, upon the
occurrence of a fruitful year, 'the times of Kulin are come back.' Both
he himself, his wife, and Daniel, Bishop of Bosnia, embraced the new
doctrines, which consequently gained ground rapidly in the country.

In obedience to a summons from Pope Innocent III., Kulin repaired to
Rome to give an account of his conduct and faith. Having succeeded in
diverting suspicions about his orthodoxy, he returned to Bosnia, where
he gave out that the Pope was well satisfied with his profession of
faith,--a slight equivocation, which will hardly bear an enquiry,--and
thus induced many more to join the Patarenes. Hearing of this, the Pope
requested the King of Hungary to compel Kulin to eject them from the
country, at the same time ordering Bernard, Archbishop of Spalatro,
publicly to excommunicate Daniel, the refractory Bishop.

    'Never was heard such a terrible curse.
          But what gave rise
          To no little surprise
    Was, that nobody seemed one penny the worse;'

though possibly the believer in the validity of Papal bulls, bans, and
so forth, may plead in excuse that the curse was never actually
pronounced. The King also contented himself with a friendly caution to
the Ban, who thenceforward demeaned himself with more circumspection. On
the death of Kulin, Andrew, King of Hungary, gave the Banate of Bosnia
to Zibislau, under whom the doctrines of the Patarenes continued to
flourish. The fears of Pope Honorius II. being aroused, he sent
Acconcio, his Legate, into Bosnia to suppress them. So far from
effecting this, he saw their numbers daily and hourly increase, until in
1222 they elected a Primate of their own, who resided on the confines of
Bulgaria, Croatia, and Dalmatia, and governed by his Vicars the filial
congregation of Italy and France.[H] They destroyed the cathedral of
Crescevo, and Bosnia became entirely subject to their influence. From
that time, until the latter part of the fourteenth century, they
contrived to keep a footing in the country, although subjected to much
persecution by successive Popes and the Kings of Hungary, and oftentimes
reduced to the greatest straits. Occasional glimpses of sunshine buoyed
up their hopes, and the following anecdote, quoted by Sir Gardner
Wilkinson, is illustrative of the sanguine view which they were
accustomed to take of the ways of Providence. 'Many of the Patarenes had
taken refuge, during the various persecutions, in the mountains of
Bosnia; and on the eve of St. Catherine (November 24) in 1367, a fire
was seen raging over the whole of the country they occupied, destroying
everything there, and leaving the mountains entirely denuded of wood.
The Roman Catholics considered this event to be a manifest judgement of
heaven against the wicked heretics; but the Patarenes looked on it as a
proof of divine favour, the land being thereby cleared for them and
adapted for cultivation.' In 1392 the sect flourished under Tuartko
(then King of Bosnia), and, further, made great progress during the
first half of the following century. Their cause was openly espoused by
Cosaccia, Duke of Santo Saba, or Herzegovina, and by John Paulovich
Voivode of Montenegro. So far all went well; but Stephen, King of
Bosnia, having in 1459 ordered all Patarenes to leave his kingdom or
abjure their doctrines, their cause received a severe shock, and 40,000
were obliged to take refuge in the Herzegovina, where they were welcomed
by Stephen Cosaccia. From that time no farther direct trace remains of
this important and widely-spreading sect; though Krasinski speaks of the
existence of a sect in Russia called 'Dookhoboitzi,' or combatants in
spirit, whose doctrines have great affinity to those professed by the
Patarenes, and whom he believes to have been transplanted from Bosnia to
Russia, their present country.

But this triumph of Papal oppression was not destined to be of long
duration. Already was the tide of Mussulman conquest threatening to
overrun Germany; and Bosnia, after suffering severely from the wars
between Hungary and the Turks, was conquered, and annexed by the latter
in 1465. The religious constancy of the Bosnian nobles was now sorely
tried, for they found themselves compelled to choose between their
religion and poverty, or recantation and wealth. Their decision was soon
made, and the greater portion renounced Christianity and embraced
Islamism, rather than relinquish those feudal privileges, for the
attainment of which they had originally deserted their national creed.
Their example was ere long followed by many of the inhabitants of the
towns, and thus an impassable gulf was placed between them and the great
body of the people, who remained faithful to Christianity, and regarded
the renegades with mistrust and abhorrence. These for the moment were
benefited greatly by their apostasy, receiving permission to retain not
only their own estates, but also to hold in fief those belonging to such
as had refused to deny Christ. With the bitterness characteristic of
renegades, they now became the most inveterate enemies of those whose
faith they had abjured, oppressing them by every means within their
power. The savage tyranny which they exercised would doubtless have
driven very many to emigration, had a place of refuge presented itself;
but in the existing condition of the surrounding countries such a course
would have in no way profited them, but would rather have aggravated
their misery. A few, indeed, succeeded in escaping into Hungary, but
the mass submitted to their fate, and were reduced to poverty and

The rancorous ill-treatment which they experienced at the hands of their
fanatical oppressors, was without doubt increased by the fact that these
found themselves a small and isolated band, all-powerful upon the
immediate spot they occupied, but surrounded by states which were
implacable enemies to their religion; while the remote position of these
provinces, and the difficulty of communication, have combined to render
the people, even now, less tolerant than the more legitimate devotees of
Mahometanism. That idea of superiority over other peoples and religions,
which the Mussulman faith inculcates, was eagerly embraced by them at
the time of their first perversion, and conspired to make them zealots
in their newly-adopted creed. The feeling was inherited, and even
augmented, with each succeeding generation, until it has become the
prominent feature of the race. To such an extent has this been indulged,
that the Bosniac Mussulmans of the present day not only despise all
other religions, but look upon the Mahommedans of other parts of the
empire as very little superior to the Christians. The apathy and
indifference to progress which has inevitably ensued upon the adoption
of Islamism, has made its effects strikingly apparent in these
provinces; and although entirely deprived of all those Seignorial
rights which their ancestors possessed, the Mussulman population appear
perfectly satisfied with the lazy independence procured for them by the
produce and rents of the land, of which they are the sole proprietors.
The Christians, on the other hand, are invariably the tenants, as it is
beneath the dignity of a Mussulman to turn his hand to any kind of
manual labour, i.e. so long as he can find a Christian to do it.

The Euchlemeh, or arrangement for the tenure of land, has long existed
in this part of the empire, and has worked well whenever it has not been
abused. The original terms of the contract provided that the proprietor
should give the land and the seed for sowing it, receiving in return
one-third of the produce in kind. The commission of which Kiamil Pacha
was President in 1853, endeavoured, whilst regulating the taxation of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, to ameliorate the condition of the tenant as
regards the rental of land. They decreed that he should be supplied with
animals, implements, seeds, and also a house in which to live, while
yielding to the proprietor in return from 25 to 50 per cent. of the
products, according to the more or less prolific nature of land in the
different parts of the provinces. These terms were cheerfully accepted
by the agriculturalists, by whom they were considered just. The internal
state of the Ottoman empire, unfortunately, renders it impossible that
these conditions should in all cases be adhered to, and without doubt
the tenants are often compelled to pay from 10 to 20 per cent. more than
the legal rent. These instances, however, are less frequent than they
were a few years ago, and very much less frequent than the depreciators
of Turkey would have us to believe. The most scrupulous observance of
the terms of the Euchlemeh will be enforced by the Ottoman government if
it be alive to its own interests, and the more so that the infraction of
it has been, and will always be, turned to account by those who would
fain see rebellion and discord prevailing in the Turkish provinces,
rather than unity and peace.

In 1860 no fewer than nine Servian emissaries were caught in the
Herzegovina, who were endeavouring to fan the discontent and ill-feeling
already existing amongst the agricultural classes. That province has
indeed been for a long time employed by the advocates of Panslavism, or
by the enemies of Turkey in general, as a focus of agitation, where
plans are hatched and schemes devised, the object of which is to
disorganise and impede the consolidation of the empire. The conduct of
Servia, as well as of greater and more important nations, has been most
reprehensible, and with it the forbearance of Turkey, notwithstanding
the corruptness of her government and the fanaticism of the Mussulman
population, has contrasted most favourably. Little wonder, then, that
ill-blood should have existed between these rival factions, and that the
party possessing power should have been prompted to use it for the
oppression of those whom they have had too much reason to regard as
their implacable foes. Yet, in spite of these opposing elements, many
points of striking resemblance still remain inspired by, and indicative
of, their former consanguinity of origin and identity of creed. The most
important of these, perhaps, is their retention of the Slavonic tongue,
which is employed to the exclusion of Turkish, almost as universally by
the Mussulmans as by the Christians. Some of their customs, too, prove
that a little spark of nationality yet exists, which their adoption of
Islamism has failed to eradicate. Thus, for example, the principle of
adopted brotherhood is eminently Slavonic in its origin. The tie is
contracted in the following manner:--Two persons prick their fingers,
the blood from each wound being sucked by the other. This engagement is
considered very binding, and, curiously enough, it is sometimes entered
into by Christians and Mussulmans mutually. Again, a man cuts the hair
of a child, and thus constitutes himself the 'Coom,' or, to a certain
degree, assumes the position of a godfather. It not unfrequently happens
that a Mussulman adopts a Christian child, and vice versâ.

In their domestic arrangements they vie in discomfort and want of
cleanliness, notwithstanding the post-prandial ablutions common to all

The Mussulman females, up to the time of their marriage, show themselves
unreservedly, and generally appear in public unveiled; while in one
respect, at any rate, they have the advantage of many more civilised
Christians than those of Turkey,--that they are permitted, in the matter
of a husband, to choose for themselves, and are wooed in all due form.
Parents there, as elsewhere, are apt to consider themselves the best
judges of the position and income requisite to insure the happiness of
their daughters, and where such decision is at variance with the young
lady's views, elopement is resorted to. Of the amount of resistance
encountered by the bridegrooms on these occasions, I regret that I am
not in a position to hazard an opinion. Polygamy is almost unknown, a
second wife being seldom taken during the lifetime of the first. Since
it is to the expense attendant upon this luxury that such abstinence is
probably to be attributed, it really reflects great credit upon the
Bosnian Benedicts that the meal-sack has been so seldom brought into
play,--that ancient and most expeditious Court of Probate and Divorce in
matrimonial cases. After marriage, the women conceal themselves more
strictly than in most other parts of Turkey. Perhaps in this the
husbands act upon the homœopathic principle, that prevention is better
than cure; for divorces are unheard of, and are considered most
disgraceful. Marriages are contracted at a much earlier age by the
Christian than by the Mahommedan women, and it is no uncommon thing to
find wives of from twelve to fourteen years of age. This abominable
custom is encouraged by the Roman Catholic clergy, whose revenues are
thereby increased.

[Footnote E: Krasinski.]

[Footnote F: See Sir G. Wilkinson's 'Dalmatia,' Napier's 'Florentine
History,' and Sismondi's 'Literature du Midi de l'Europe.']

[Footnote G: Sismondi.]

[Footnote H: Gibbon.]


     Agricultural Products--Cereals--Misapplication of
     Soil--Tobacco--Current Prices--Vine Disease--Natural Capabilities
     of Land--Price of Labour--Dalmatian _Scutors_--Other
     Products--Manufactures--Commerce--Relations with Bosnia--Able
     Administration of Omer Pacha--Austria takes Alarm--Trade
     Duties--Mal-administration--Intended Reforms.

The agricultural products of the Herzegovina are wheat, barley, rice,
linseed, millet, tobacco, and grapes. Of the cereals, Indian corn is
most cultivated, and forms the staple article of consumption, as is also
the case in Servia and the Danubian principalities. The little wheat
that is grown is found in the northern and eastern parts of the
province, where the soil is better adapted for it; but nowhere is it
either abundant or of good quality. The best which is sold in the towns
is imported from Bosnia. Barley is more extensively grown, and horses
are fed upon it here and throughout Turkey generally. Linseed is only
grown in small quantities in the northern parts, while the district of
Gliubinski is almost entirely devoted to the culture of rice. As the
quantities produced barely suffice for home consumption, no exportation
of cereals can be expected to take place. This circumstance, together
with its rugged appearance, naturally procures for the province the
character of being sterile and unproductive, and such it doubtless is
when compared with Bulgaria, Roumelia, or the fruitful plains of
Wallachia; but it has certain resources peculiar to itself, which, if
properly developed, would materially change the aspect of the country,
and obtain for it a more desirable reputation. It is eminently adapted
for the cultivation of those articles of Eastern necessity and Western
luxury, tobacco and the vine. Numerous patches of land, now either
fallow or sown with grain, for which they are neither suited by their
size or the nature of their soil, might be turned to good account for
the growth of tobacco; and such would doubtless be the case were there
an outlet for its exportation, which at present, unfortunately, does not
exist. Only a sufficiency, therefore, is grown to meet the local
demands, and to supply the contiguous Turkish provinces. Three qualities
are produced, the prices of which have been for some time fluctuating.
Previous to the Christian outbreak the best of these, grown in the
district of Trebigné, sold for about 11_d._ per pound, while the
cheapest was to be procured at 3_d._ per pound.

In alluding to the capabilities of the province for the production of
the vine, I might also have mentioned the olive and the mulberry, both
of which would thrive. Of these the vine alone, however, has as yet
occupied the attention of the agriculturalists; and though it is largely
cultivated in the southern and western parts, not one-tenth part of the
land adapted to it is thus employed.

The same obstacle which impedes the more extensive cultivation of
tobacco, is also in a measure applicable to the manufacture of wine, at
least as far as regards its quality. At present quantity is far more
considered, and the result is that, in place of manufacturing really
valuable wines, they poison both themselves and all who have the
misfortune to partake of it. It is only fair to add that one
description, which I tasted at Mostar, appeared to be sound, and gave
promise of becoming drinkable after some months' keeping. The vine
disease, which showed itself some years back, has now disappeared; and
the crops, which during six or seven seasons deteriorated to an
astonishing degree, have now reassumed their former healthy appearance.

The numerous hills which intersect the province might also be covered
with olive groves, and it would be of great advantage to the country
could the people be induced to follow the example of their Dalmatian
neighbours, who have covered almost inaccessible points of their country
with that useful tree.

The climate is well adapted to the nurture of the silkworm, and the
mulberry-tree flourishes luxuriantly throughout the province: were these
turned to account there can be little doubt that in a few years large
quantities of silk might be exported. A few of the natives have reared
worms successfully for several years, and the silk thus obtained has
been employed for domestic purposes. The disease, which for so many
years inflicted such serious loss on the silk producers of Europe, is
unknown in the Herzegovina. Whether this immunity is to be attributed to
the climate, or the nature of the leaf upon which the silkworm feeds, it
is impossible to say, but it is none the less a veritable fact. Cotton
might also be grown to a small extent, but the same drawbacks would
apply here as elsewhere in Turkey, viz. the difficulty of obtaining, and
the high price of labour.

This has been rapidly increasing during the last twelve years. In 1850,
a mason or carpenter received five piastres or 10_d._ a day, while a
common labourer obtained 6_d._ Now the former finds no difficulty in
earning 2_s._ per diem, while the latter receives 1_s._ 4_d._ for short
days, and 1_s._ 6_d._ for long days. The shorthandedness consequent upon
the Christian rising, has of course contributed to this rise in wages;
but the province was at no time self-supporting in this respect. A large
number of _scutors_ or labourers from Dalmatia cross the frontier in the
spring, and hire themselves out during the summer months. The decrease
in the number of these was, I am told, very perceptible during the
Italian war, in consequence of the demand for recruits.

The other products of the country are wool, hides, skins, honey, and
wax, which are exported to Austria. Large numbers of sheep and horned
cattle are, moreover, annually exported to the Dalmatian markets.

The only manufactures of which I could find specimens were coarse
woollen blankets, twist, and carpets. The blankets and carpets are
mostly exported to Dalmatia, Bosnia, and Servia. Besides these, a kind
of cotton cloth is made in the houses by the women, from imported
cotton, and is applied solely to domestic uses, and is not regarded as
an article of commerce.

In considering the question of the trade of the Herzegovina, the
attention should be directed, not so much to what it actually is, as to
what it might be under the fostering care of an enlightened government.
And yet, it is not to the producing and consuming capabilities of the
province itself that its possible importance in a commercial point of
view is attributable, but rather to its position on the confines of the
East and West, and to the fact of its containing within its limits the
natural outlets for the trade of that portion of the Ottoman empire.

It is, in fact, in its relation to Bosnia, that it is entitled to most
attention; and if we deplore that such natural resources as it
possesses have not been more fully developed, we have still greater
reason to lament that the world is thus debarred communication with the
most romantic and beautiful province of European Turkey. It is also the
natural route for the commerce of a portion of Servia, whose exports and
imports would thus quickly pass to and from the sea. Its value, however,
appears never to have been properly appreciated by the Turkish
government, and Omer Pacha, in 1852, was the first employé of that power
who ever appreciated its importance in a commercial point of view. He
appears to have indicated the measures necessary for developing its
resources, and for attracting the trade of the neighbouring provinces
from their expensive and indirect channel into their legitimate route.
The prospects of the province were rapidly brightening under his
sagacious administration, when Austria took alarm, and effectually
impeded all farther progress by closing the only port adapted for the
transmission of its mercantile resources. She thus secures for herself a
monopoly of trade, forcing the inhabitants of all the Turkish provinces,
in that quarter, to purchase their imports at high prices from her, and
to sell their produce to Austrian merchants, who, fearing no
competition, themselves determine its price. The object of Austria in
thus retarding the development of Bosnia is sufficiently obvious, since
that which would be a gain to Turkey would be a loss to herself. And
were events so to dispose themselves as to render this probable, she
would doubtless find a pretext to justify a military occupation of the
country. This she has done on several occasions, and the large force now
massed upon the northern bank of the Save only awaits some national
demonstration to effect an armed intervention. This is, however,
trenching upon another subject, to which I may have hereafter to allude.

Approximate calculations of the trade of the Herzegovina show that the
imports amount annually to about 150,000_l._, while the exports do not
produce more than 70,000_l._ This comparison proves that a very large
amount of specie must be extracted every year from the country, for
which no material counterpoise exists, since the merchandise imported is
to supply the wants of the people, and does not consequently tend to
enrich the province. It follows therefore, naturally, that it is
becoming daily more poverty-stricken, and in place of advancing with
advancing civilisation, it is stagnating or even declining in

These imports are computed to amount to about 70,000 horse-loads in
quantity, while the transit trade to Bosnia is estimated at 50,000 more.
Of these about 10,000 horse-loads are of salt from Dalmatia.

The main source whence these provinces are supplied is Trieste, where
large depots exist, established expressly for this purpose. Thither the
traders proceed once a year, to lay in a supply of goods for the ensuing
twelve months. They purchase at credits varying from six to twelve
months, paying high prices for a very indifferent class of goods. These
consist for the most part of cotton and woollen manufactures, cotton
twist, silks, iron in bars sheets and plates, tin, lead, brass,
hardware, glass, sugar, coffee, and other colonial products. Gold lace,
velvet, and silks are also imported from Bosna Serai, and silks and some
kinds of cotton prints from Constantinople by way of Salonica and
Serajevo. Like most semi-civilised nations, the people of Herzegovina
are much addicted to showy colours in their dress. Those most in favour
are scarlet, green, and blue; but the dyes soon fade, and the cloth is
anything but durable. It is invariably of French or German manufacture;
is of coarse quality, and is worn next the skin by the country people.
In the towns, grey long cloths, dyed dark blue, constitute the principal
article of clothing among the Christians, the general character of dress
being the same throughout the province. The exports consist of sheep's
wool, hides, sheep and goats' skins, furs, and wax, to Trieste; cattle,
sheep, goats, pigs, tallow, and eels, to Dalmatia; woollen blankets, red
and yellow leather prepared from sheep skins, carpets, tobacco, wine,
and fruits, to the neighbouring Turkish provinces. Pipe-sticks are also
sent from Bosna Serai, to Egypt, through the Herzegovina, while knives,
manufactured at Foulcha from country-made steel, are also sent in
considerable quantities to Egypt. All imports and exports pay a duty of
three per cent. on their value, and until recently produce exported to
the neighbouring Turkish provinces paid the unreasonable duty of ten per
cent. This grievous impediment to commerce has, thanks to the efforts of
the European Consuls, been abolished, and they now pay the same duty as
exports to other countries.

It may be noted, as a symptom of the centralising policy which the Porte
is adopting, that the government now farms the customs of these
provinces, in place of selling the right of doing so to the highest
bidder, as was formerly the case.

Having thus contrasted the actual with the possible condition of the
province, we cannot but enquire the causes which lead thereto; and it is
impossible to disguise from ourselves, that to mal-administration is
primarily attributable this deplorable state of things. Add to this the
total absence of all means of internal communication, and we have quite
sufficient to cripple the energies of a more industrious and energetic
people than those with whom we are dealing. The first object of the
government, then, should be to inspire the people with confidence in its
good faith, and to induce them to believe that the results of their
labour will not be seized by rapacious Pachas or exorbitant landowners;
and, above all things, it is necessary that Turkish subjects, even if
they are not accorded greater favours in their own country than those of
other powers, should at least be placed upon a footing of equality,
which is far from being the case at present.

It would appear that the government is really sincere in its intention
of making roads through the country generally, and when this is done a
new era may be anticipated. In the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, only
one road has until very recently existed. It was made by Omer Pacha in
1851, and connects Bosna Serai with Brod, a town situated upon the
southern bank of the Save. From Metcovich to Bosna Serai, which is the
high road for the trade of the country, the line of route is but a path
formed by the constant traffic, and, while always difficult to traverse,
is in winter frequently closed altogether. It is indispensable that a
central high road should be made, and no point could be more
advantageously adopted as a base than the port of Klek, near which
asphalte is found in large quantities.

Were a good trunk-road established, connecting that point with Bosna
Serai, branch roads might soon be made throughout the province. The
nature of the country is not such as would render the difficulty of
doing this insuperable, and the rivers over which it would pass are
already spanned by good and serviceable bridges, the relics of better
days. That the expense attending it would soon be defrayed by the
increased traffic is acknowledged by all, and we may therefore hope ere
long to see the deficiency remedied.


     Government--Mudirliks--Mulisarif--Cadi of Mostar--Medjlis--Its
     Constitution and Functions--Criminal and Commercial
     Tribunals--Revenue and

The Herzegovina is divided into fourteen districts or mudirliks, named
as follows, viz.:--

   Districts               Chief Towns     No. of Villages in
                                              each District
   Mostar                  Mostar                  45
   Duvno                   Duvno                   25
   Gliubinski                                      31
   Stolatz                 Stolatz                 22
   Trebigné                Trebigné                51
   Niksich                 Niksich                 28
   Tashlijeh               Tashlijeh               16
   Priepolie                                       22
   Chainitza               Chainitza               14
   Kolashin                                        56
   Fochia                  Fochia
   Gasko                   Gasko                   20
   Nevresign               Nevresign               14
   Pogitel                 Pogitel                 13
[I]Konitza                                         19

These districts, with the exception of Mostar (which is the seat of the
Central Provincial Government), are under the supervision of a Mudir,
who is assisted by a Council, a Cadi or Judge, and a Tax-collector. The
province is governed by a Mutisarif named from Constantinople, who is
subject in certain things to the Pacha of Bosnia. The Mudirs are
appointed by the Mutisarif, subject to the approval of the government at

The Cadi of Mostar is a very important personage, and has all the
district Cadis under his orders. He is an unsalaried officer, his
remuneration consisting of the fees of office, and whatever else he can
lay hands on.

The Medjlis, or Council for the province, was selected by Kiamil
Effendi, the Turkish Commissioner in 1853, and vacancies have since been
filled up by the votes of the majority of their number, subject to
confirmation at Constantinople.

The Medjlis consists of about ten native Mussulmans, one Roman Catholic,
and one Greek, so that the Christian interests are but indifferently

Appeal can be made against its decision to the Medjlis Kebir at Bosna

All legal matters are arbitrated by the Medjlis since the abolition of
the various tribunals, which were founded in 1857. One of these was for
the trial of criminal causes. It consisted of a President, and six
members, and another was a commercial tribunal for the settlement of
petty commercial disputes. These have both fallen into abeyance; and,
seeing that Christian evidence is not accepted in the civil causes, it
is difficult to understand how the Christian population could ever have
benefited, at any rate by the latter.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Revenues and taxes._--The revenue of the province is derived from the
following sources, viz.--

_Virgu_ (income tax).

_Monayene-askereh_, or the tax paid by the Christians in lieu of
military service. It is, however, one of the grievances alleged by the
Christians, who declare their willingness to serve; but as many
Mussulmans would willingly pay the tax to be exempted from the chance of
enlistment, the hardship applies to all parties.

_Customs, tithes, excise._

The Virgu is a species of income tax, inasmuch as it is a rate levied
ostensibly on the wealth of individuals; but, instead of being a per
centage on the income, it has resolved itself into a mere capitation
tax, and is ill-adapted, as such a tax must always be, to the relative
wealth of individuals. A certain sum was arbitrarily fixed upon to be
paid by the province. The government appears to have omitted to enquire
whether the wealth of the country would enable it to pay so large a sum
as that demanded. In 1853, the tax was divided into three portions,
according to the numbers of each persuasion, and has been thus collected
ever since.

In the same sweeping manner these sums have been equally apportioned to
each household, poor and rich paying alike. Thus the Mussulmans, who
possess nearly all the land in the province, and who are generally in
affluent circumstances, but who form the smallest portion of the
population, pay least. The Virgu has been unscrupulously levied, and has
given rise to much discontent, more especially among the Latins, who are
the poorest classes.

These complain bitterly, and harrowing stories are told of women, about
to become mothers, being compelled to pay the tax on the chance of the
infant being a male. Such things may have occurred some years ago, but
the spirit of cruelty appears to have died out, or is at all events kept
in the background by the Moslems of the present day.

The Monayene-askereh was first imposed when the people were relieved
from the Haradj. It is levied on males from fourteen to seventy, and was
found so grievous, that the Porte has seen fit to direct that only about
one-half of the original amount shall be raised. This alleviation has
existed during the last three years.

_Customs._--These consist of a duty of three per cent. ad valorem on all
imports and exports to and from foreign countries, as well as the same
amount demanded under the form of transit dues for goods passing from
one Turkish province to another. This has lately been reduced from 12
per cent. to its present rate.

The next source of revenue is the amount realised by the tithes. Since
1858 these have been farmed by the government, but previous to that year
they were sold by auction, as in other provinces, to the highest bidder.
The arrangement was complicated enough, for they underwent no less than
four sales: 1st. In each district for the amount of the district. 2nd.
At Mostar, where each district was again put up, and given to the person
offering 10 per cent. above the price realised at the first sale. 3rd.
At Bosna Serai for the entire province. And lastly at Constantinople,--the
highest bidder in this fourfold sale becoming the farmer. This system
exposed the tithe payers to much oppression, for it not uncommonly
happened that the farmer found he had paid more for his purchase than
he could legally claim from the people, so that, instead of 10 per
cent., 15 or 20 per cent. could alone remunerate him; and this he found
no difficulty in getting, as the government unfortunately bound itself
to help him. None but the farmers of the tithes really knew what the
produce was, so that any demand of theirs was considered by the
government to be a bonâ fide claim, and was upheld.

The government was frequently cheated, and, further, defrauded of large
sums of money, as in the case of Hadji Ali Pacha; but it is a question
whether so much will be realised by the present system, since greater
facilities exist for roguery on the part of the agriculturalists, to say
nothing of the corruptness of its own officials.

The excise consists of a per centage on the sale of wine, spirits, shot,
lead, earthenware, snuff, tobacco, and salt; of tolls on produce brought
into the towns for sale; of fees for permission to distil, to roast and
grind coffee, and to be a public weigher; also of a tax on taking
animals to the grazing grounds,[J] and of licenses to fish for eels and
leeches: these are caught plentifully in the plain of Gabella when
flooded, and are of good quality.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Revenue._--The taxes of the province produce annually about 9,135,000
piastres, taking the piastre at 2_d._ English.

This sum may be divided as follows: viz.--

Virgu                                    1,700,000
Tithes                                   5,000,000
Monayene-askereh                         1,285,000
Customs                                    600,000
Excise                                     550,000
             Total                       9,135,000

The above shows that the province yields to the imperial treasury a
yearly sum of about 79,000_l._ sterling, from a taxation of about 8_s._
per head on the population. The amount may appear small; but when it is
considered that the taxes are not equitably levied, that the heaviest
share falls upon the poorest inhabitants, and that a great part of the
amount is in direct taxation, it cannot be considered light. The burden,
too, weighs with undue severity upon the faithful subjects of the Porte,
since they are compelled to pay the share which would fall upon those
who have rebelled against the Turkish authority.

There is one branch of the public administration which eminently
requires readjustment. This is the police force. Ill-paid and badly
organised, it follows as a matter of course that it is inefficient to
perform the duties required of it. It is divided into horse and foot,
and is paid as follows per month:--

    Horse                                  Piastres
Binbashee (or Chief Officer)             1,000 per month
Uzbashee (or Captain)                      600     "
Tchonch (Corporal or Sergeant)             250     "
Nefer (Private)                            150     "

    Foot                                   Piastres
Tchonch                                    100 per month
Nefer                                       75     "

The Zaptiehs have frequently duties to perform which should only be
intrusted to men of honesty and sagacity, and it is consequently of
great importance to render the service attractive to trustworthy men. To
effect this the pay, more especially in the lower grades, should be
increased, and circumspection used in the selection of recruits. At
present this is far from being the case, many men of notoriously bad
character being employed, and these are driven to peculation and theft
for the means of supporting life. The mounted portion find their own
horses and forage, is very dear in many parts of the province.

[Footnote I: Many of the villages on the Montenegrin frontier no longer
exist, having been fired by the insurgents.]

[Footnote J: These are principally on the western banks of the Narenta,
outside Mostar.]


     Omer Pacha--Survey of
     Montenegro--Mostar--Bazaars--Mosques--Schools--Old Tower--Escape of
     Prisoners--Roman Bridge--Capture by Venetians--Turkish
     Officers--Pacha's Palace--European
     Consulates--Clock-Tower--Emperor's Day--Warlike
     Preparations--Christian Volunteers--Orders to March.

During the week which intervened between my arrival and the removal of
head-quarters to the seat of war, I had several interviews with Omer
Pacha. On these occasions he showed much kindness of disposition, and
took great trouble to explain to me the arrangements which he made for
the prosecution of the war against Montenegro in 1852, and to describe
the nature of campaigning in that province.

He expressed himself much pleased with a map of Montenegro which I had
presented to him, drawn by Major Cox, R.E., British Commissioner for
determining the new boundary line, but detected the absence of one or
two traversable paths, the existence of which I found to be correct when
I subsequently accompanied the army to those districts. The map,
however, I may observe, is very superior, both in accuracy and
minuteness of detail, to any other survey which has as yet appeared.

While awaiting the departure of the Generalissimo for the seat of war,
to which he had kindly invited me to accompany him, I employed myself in
wandering about those crooked byways, and studying the many phases of
Turco-European humanity. That my impressions of the town were very
favourable, I am not prepared to state; but I believe that in point of
cleanliness it is superior to many. It is situated on both banks of the
Narenta, in a gorge which opens out into two small plains, at its N. and
S. extremities. The eastern and larger part is built on an acclivity,
and contains the bazaar, government offices, and the houses of the
traders and the richer inhabitants. The western part is occupied by the
poorer classes, who are for the most part Catholics, and are employed in
agricultural pursuits. The gardens, which supply the town with
vegetables, are upon this side, and the soil is more fruitful, though
marshy and feverish. On the eastern side it is healthy, sandy, and dry.
The dwelling-houses are generally small and comfortless, indifferently
built, and roofed with stone. As in India, they are always surrounded
with a compound--for it cannot be called garden--which gives the town a
rambling and extended appearance.

The shops are small and ill-supplied, and the streets narrow and
tortuous, except the two main ones, which are tolerably broad, and run
parallel to each other in a nearly straight course N. and S. They have
raised footpaths, roughly constructed, and swarming with animal life, as
is to be expected in the luxurious East. There are no fewer than thirty
mosques in the town, whose minarets give it a beautiful and picturesque
appearance, albeit that the buildings themselves are imperfect, and
ungainly in architectural detail. The Mussulmans have a school in the
town, where Turkish and Slavish are taught. Girls are, however, debarred
this advantage, and indeed no institution of any kind exists throughout
the province for their training or instruction. The result is that the
female population is, if possible, in a lower state of degradation than
the male. The religious and secular education of the Christians is as
little considered as that of the Mussulmans. Thus the only place of
worship which the Greeks possess is a small chapel on the outskirts, to
which is attached a school for boys, which is attended by about two
hundred children. Since Omer Pacha's arrival during the past year, a
peal of bells has been placed in this chapel. The superstition which
prevails amongst Turks, 'that bells drive away good spirits from the
abodes of men,' renders this concession the more grateful, and it is
only another proof that the Mussulmans of the present day are not so
intolerant as they are represented. No restrictions, indeed, are placed
upon religious ceremonies or public processions of any kind. With
regard to church bells, I may add that their use has always been
considered tantamount to a recognition of Christianity as the
established religion of the place. In some towns, where Christians
predominated, the concession had been made long before their
introduction at Mostar.

The Roman Catholics have no church in Mostar. Service is performed at
the Austrian Consulate, and also at a convent, about two miles distant,
where the Bishop of Mostar resides. This circumstance has led to the
concentration of the Catholic community in that neighbourhood. The
Catholic school for boys adjoins the convent; it is, however, thinly
attended, and but indifferently conducted.

The British Consulate being closed in consequence of the absence of the
Vice-Consul, M. Zohrab, who was acting as temporary Consul at Bosna
Serai, I took up my abode at a khan overlooking the river. The situation
was pretty, and the house newly restored; but this did not deprive it of
some relics of animal life, which somewhat disturb the equanimity of the
new comer, but which he soon learns to regard with indifference.
Descending the stairs, and passing through the stable, which is, as is
usually the case, immediately beneath the lodging rooms, we must turn
sharply to the right; and, after clambering up some rough and broken
steps, we arrive at the main street, which runs for about a mile
through the centre of the town, varied only by arched gateways placed at
intervals along its course. Against the first of these a Turkish sentry
indolently leans, if he be not seated on the kerbstone at the corner.
Passing through this we come to a second gate, where the peaceful
traveller, unconscious of offence, is angrily accosted. The meaning of
all this is that he is requested to throw away and stamp upon his
cigarette, the old tower on the left being used as a magazine. Round it
a weak attempt at a _place d'armes_ is apparent, Omer Pacha having
ordered some of the neighbouring houses to be pulled down. Nor was this
done before it was necessary, a fire having broken out a short time
before in its vicinity. On that occasion the inhabitants destroyed a few
houses, and imagined the fire to be extinguished. The wind rose, and it
broke out again, taking the direction of the magazine. Upon this, the
whole population took to the country, and the prisoners, who were
located close by, escaped in the general confusion. Had it not been
providentially extinguished, the _place of Mostar would have known it no
more_. The prison is a plain white house, which does not look at all as
if it had ever been the sort of place to have long defied the ingenuity
of a Jack Sheppard, or even an accomplished London house-breaker of our
own day.

The tower to which allusion has been made is built on the eastern side,
and immediately above the beautiful bridge which spans the Narenta, and
for which Mostar[K] has ever been famous. The Turks attribute its
erection to Suleyman the Magnificent, but it was probably built by the
Emperor Trajan or Adrian, since the very name of the town would imply
the existence of a bridge in very early days. The Turkish inscriptions,
which may be traced upon the abutments at the E. end of the bridge,
probably refer to some subsequent repairs. At any rate too much reliance
must not be placed in them, as the Turks have been frequently convicted
of removing Roman inscriptions and substituting Turkish ones in their
place. The beauty of the bridge itself is heightened by the glimpse to
be obtained of the mosques and minarets of Mostar, washed by the turbid
waters of the Narenta, and backed by the rugged hills which hem it in.
'It is of a single arch, 95 ft. 3 in. in span, and when the Narenta is
low, about 70 feet from the water, or, to the top of the parapet, 76

There is a second tower at the extremity of the bridge on the left bank,
which is said to be of more modern construction.

Mostar is not a fortified city, nor is it important in a strategical
point of view. The only traces of defensive works which exist are
portions of a crenellated wall of insignificant construction. This
accounts for the ease with which the Venetians were enabled to take
possession of and burn its suburbs by a sudden raid in 1717. 'The town
was built,' says Luccari, 'in 1440, by Radigost, Major-Domo of Stefano
Cosaccia;' but in asserting this, he overlooks the existence of the
Roman road to Trebigné, which is very superior to anything built by
either Slaves or Turks, and places its Roman origin beyond a doubt. Some
suppose it to be the ancient Sarsenterum. That it was selected by the
Turks as the capital of the province immediately after the conquest, and
considerably enlarged, appears very probable, and the towers which flank
the bridge were probably built at that period or a little earlier,
though the eastern one is said to be raised upon a Roman basement.

Continuing our ramble we pass through another gate, and come to an
uncomfortable looking hill. We have not to mount far, however, before we
approach an archway, with two sentries, rather more alert than the
others whom we have seen. Officers are passing backwards and forwards,
looking fussy and important, as Turks always do when they get rid of
their habitual apathy. In their small waisted coats _à la Française_,
surmounted by the _inevitable fez_, they present a strange combination
of the Eastern and Western soldier.

The house in the interior of the court-yard is the palace, usually
occupied by the Mulisarif, but devoted, during his stay in these parts,
to Omer Pacha, the Serdar Ekrem and Rumili Valessi, or Governor-General
of European Turkey. In the vicinity of the palace may be seen the
flagstaffs of the Prussian and Austrian Consulates, while that of Great
Britain appears at no great distance, and in the rear of the
clock-tower, which distinguishes Mostar from most other Turkish towns.
Let us now return to the main street, which continues in unbroken
monotony for something less than half a mile. If gifted with sufficient
patience to continue our stroll out of the town, we come upon the
principal burial-ground. On the E. high hills hem us in, while the tiny
stream of the Narenta comes winding from the N.

During my stay at Mostar the town was enlivened by the occurrence of the
Emperor Alexander's birthday, or the 'Emperor's day,' as it is called.
In celebration of this auspicious event, the Russian Consul kept open
house, everyone who could muster decent apparel being admitted. After
the ceremony of blessing the Muscovite flag had been performed by the
Greek Bishop, a select few sat down to a kind of breakfast, which did
credit to the hospitality of his Imperial Majesty's representative.
Thither I accompanied Omer Pacha, who was attended by a small suite.
This was the only occasion on which I ever observed anything like
display in the Turkish General. His gold-embroidered dress resembled
that of a Marshal of France; his breast was literally covered with
decorations, in the centre of which was the Grand Cross of the Bath, and
he carried a magnificently-jewelled sword, the gift of the late Sultan,
Abdul Medjid. He did not, however, remain long, and on emerging I could
not help contrasting the festivities within with the signs of warlike
preparation which jostled one at every turn, the first fruits, in great
measure, of Russian imperial policy. Strings of ponies laden with
forage, and provisions for the army on the frontier, passed
continuously, and the streets presented a more than usually gay and
variegated appearance. Omer Pacha was throughout indefatigable.
Detachments of irregulars arrived daily, some of which were immediately
pushed up to the scene of operations; others were retained at Mostar;
but whether they went, or stayed behind, he inspected them alike, and
was always received with marked enthusiasm. I must not omit to mention
that amongst these reinforcements was a body of 1,000 Christians, who,
however, were never sent to the frontier. Fine fellows they were, all
armed with rifles of native construction. These arms of precision are
mostly made in Bosnia, where there are two or three establishments for
that purpose.

Thus the days wore on; and, having provided myself with horses, and such
few things as are deemed indispensable for campaigning, I was delighted
to receive a message from the Generalissimo, on the night of the 13th,
intimating his intention of leaving Mostar at 8 (_à la Franca_) on the
following morning.

But before I enter upon my personal experiences in the camp of the
Osmanlis, I would fain give some account of the previous history of this
agitated province; passing in brief review those causes which combined
to foster a revolutionary spirit in the country, and dwelling more
especially on the events of the last four years, during which that
spirit has so culminated as to convince even the Porte of the necessity
which exists for the immediate employment of coercive measures.

[Footnote K: Mostar, from 'Most Star' Old Bridge.]

[Footnote L: Sir G. Wilkinson.]


     Bosnia--Turkish Invasion--Tuartko II. and Ostoya Christich--Cruel
     Death of Stephen Thomasovich--His Tomb--Queen Cattarina--Duchy of
     Santo Saba becomes a Roman Province--Despotism of Bosnian
     Kapetans--Janissaries--Fall of Sultan Selim and
     Bairaktar--Mahmoud--Jelaludin Pacha--Expedition against
     Montenegro--Death of Jelaludin--Ali Pacha--Revolted Provinces
     reconquered--Successes of Ibrahim Pacha--Destruction of
     Janissaries--Regular Troops organised--Hadji
     Mustapha--Abdurahim--Proclamation--Fall of Serayevo--Fresh
     rising--Serayevo taken by Rebels--Scodra Pacha--Peace of
     Adrianople--Hussein Kapetan--Outbreak of Rebellion--Cruelty of
     Grand Vizier--Ali Aga of Stolatz--Kara Mahmoud--Serayevo taken--War
     with Montenegro--Amnesty granted.

The history of Bosnia under the Roman empire is possessed of too little
interest to call for any particular observation; but, considered as one
of the most fertile and beautiful of the European provinces, overrun by
the Moslem armies, it is well entitled to the mature consideration of
all who take an interest in the important question now at issue, to wit,
the fusion of the Eastern and Western worlds.

The immediate cause of the invasion of Bosnia by the Turks, was the
dispute between Tuartko II. and Ostoya Christich for the throne of that
country. The former called the Turks to his assistance; Ostoya, the
Hungarians. A war between these two nations was the consequence, and
the Turks gained considerable footing in Bosnia about 1415. Ostoya and
Tuartko being both dead, Stephen Thomas Christich was elected King, and
was obliged to promise an annual tribute of 25,000 ducats to Sultan
Amurath II., thirteen years after which he was murdered by his
illegitimate son, Stephen Thomasovich, who was crowned by a Papal legate
in 1461, and submitted to the Turks. But having refused to pay the
tribute due to the Porte, he was seized and flayed alive, by order of
Sultan Mahomet, and at his death the kingdom of Bosnia was completely

Previous to this, the Turks had frequently menaced the Bosnian kingdom,
but it was not until June 14, 1463, that they actually invaded the
country, to reduce Stephen to obedience. In vain did Mathias, King of
Hungary, endeavour to stem the advancing torrent. The Turks carried all
before them, until they besieged and took Yanitza, the then capital of
the province, and with it the King and the entire garrison. Nor was this
effected in fair fight, but through the treachery of Stephen's first
minister, who opened the gates of the fortress by night, and so admitted
the Turkish soldiers.

With more generosity than was usually shown by these Eastern barbarians,
Mahomet agreed to leave the King in possession of his throne on
condition of his paying an annual tax to the Porte. The payment of this,
as I have said, was evaded by his successor, although the old national
manuscripts do not even allow this apology for the barbarous treatment
which he experienced at the hands of the Turks. These affirm that the
King and all his troops, as well as the townspeople, were invited by
Mahomet to hear the official ratification of the agreement. But, at a
given signal, the Turkish soldiers, who had been in concealment, fell
upon the helpless assemblage, and massacred them in cold blood, shutting
up the King Stephen in a cage, where he subsequently died of despair;
and thus ended the Bosnian kingdom. That his position was sufficiently
hopeless to bring about this calamitous result, can scarcely be doubted;
but unfortunately the tomb of Stephen still exists, which proves
tolerably conclusively that his death was of a more speedy, if not of a
more cruel, nature. An inscription is upon it to the effect, 'Here lies
Stephen, King of Bosnia, without his kingdom, throne, and sceptre, and
without his skin.' Of all the family of the unfortunate monarch, the
only one who escaped was his Queen, Cattarina, who fled to Rome, where
she lies buried in the Chapel of Santa Helena.

After the death of Stephen Thomasovich the Turks destroyed Michiaz. The
nobles, driven from their estates, fled to Ragusa; and Stephen,
'Herzog' or Duke of Santo Saba, seeing that Turkish garrisons had
occupied Popovo, Rogatiza, Triburio, Tzeruitza, and Kerka, became so
alarmed, that he offered to pay increased tribute; when, his ministers
refusing to consent to this arrangement, he was obliged to send to
Ragusa for his eldest son Stephen, and give him up as a hostage to the
Porte: he having afterwards abjured Christianity, received the name of
Ahmet, married a daughter of Bajazet II., and was made a Vizier. The
Kingdom of Bosnia and the Duchy of Santo Saba from that time became
provinces of Turkey, the latter under the name of Herzegovina, which it
still retains, and which it had received from the title of 'Herzog' or
Duke, given by Tuartko to its first Governor.

The apostasy of the Bosnian nobles which occurred shortly after the
Turkish conquest, may be regarded as the only event of importance which
has since marked the history of these provinces. The deteriorating
effects which have ever followed the adoption of Islamism are here
conspicuously apparent; for in proportion as the country has sunk into
insignificance, so the moral state of the people has fallen to a lower
standard. Nor is this so much to be attributed to any particular vices
inculcated by the Mahomedan creed, as to the necessary division of
religious and political interests, and the undue monopoly of power by a
small proportion of the inhabitants. That this power has been used
without mercy or consideration must be acknowledged; but be it
remembered that

                    'Their tyrants then
    Were still at least their countrymen,'

and that the iniquities perpetrated by the renegade Beys cannot be with
justice laid to the charge of their Osmanli conquerors. It would,
indeed, be strange had four hundred years of tyranny passed over this
miserable land, without leaving a blight upon its children which no time
will ever suffice to efface.

As years wore on, other and more important conquests absorbed the
attention of the Mussulman rulers, and the rich pasture-lands of Bosnia,
and the sterile rocks of Herzegovina, were alike left the undisputed
property of the apostate natives of the soil. Thence arose a system of
feudal bondage, to a certain extent akin to that recently existing in
Russia, but unequalled in the annals of the world for the spirit of
intolerance with which it was carried out. Countless are the tales of
cruelty and savage wrong with which the old manuscripts of the country
abound, and these are the more revolting, as perpetrated upon those of
kindred origin, religion, and descent. The spirit of independence
engendered by this system of feudality and unresisted oppression could
only lead to one result--viz. the increase of local at the expense of
the central authority. The increasing debility of the paternal
government tended to strengthen the power of the provincial Magnates;
and the Beys, the Spahis, and the Timariots, stars of lesser magnitude
in their way, could not but be expected to adhere to the cause of the
all-powerful Kapetans rather than to the transient power of a Vizier
appointed by the Porte.

This last-named official, whose appointment was then, as now, acquired
by successful intrigue or undisguised bribery, was never certain of long
tenure of office, and invariably endeavoured by all the means in his
power to remunerate himself while the opportunity should last.

The disregard entertained for life in those times, and the indifference
manifested by the Ottoman government for this portion of the empire,
often rendered it the safer policy for the Vizier to make common cause
with the recusant Kapetans, who were too powerful to be subdued by
force, and too wily to be entrapped by treachery or fraud.

But another and more self-subsistent power had taken deep root
throughout the Ottoman dominions, and nowhere more than in those
provinces which lie between the Save and the Adriatic. 'In Egypt,' says
Ranke, 'there was the power of the Mameluke Beys revived immediately
after the departure of the French; there was the protectorate of the
Dere Beys in Asia Minor; the hereditary authority of the Albanian
chieftains, the dignity of the Ayans in the principal towns, besides
many other immunities--all of which seemed to find a bond of union and a
centre in the powerful order of the Janissaries.' Of all the provinces
of the empire Bosnia was perhaps the most deeply imbued with the spirit
of this faction, the last memento of that ancient chivalry which had
carried fire and sword over a great part of civilised Europe.

But to that same spirit of turbulent independence, the very germ of
existence of the Janissaries, and so predominant among the natives of
Bosnia, may in a great measure be attributed the successes of the
Turkish arms in Europe in the campaign of 1828, an era fraught with
danger to the whole Ottoman empire, dangers which the newly-organised
battalions of the imperial army would have been unable to overcome but
for the aid of the wild horsemen of the West. That the same spirit
exists as did in bygone times I do not say; but whatever does yet remain
of chivalrous endurance or reckless daring is to be found among the
Mussulman, and not amongst the Christian, population.

Towards the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth
century, affairs assumed so critical an aspect that it became incumbent
upon the central government to adopt some coercive measure. Sultan Selim
was the first who endeavoured to suppress these turbulent spirits. He
was unequal to the task, and fell a victim to their revengeful
displeasure. 'Bairaktar, the hero of those times,' was equally
unsuccessful, and the imperial authority bid fair to perish from the
land; but in those days there arose one who, like our own Cromwell,
moulded circumstances to his will, resolute of purpose, fearing and
sparing none. But if Mahmoud was stern and inexorable to rebels, he is
entitled to more praise than is usually accorded him, for the
steadfastness of purpose with which he applied himself to the
restoration of system and order, in the place of the chaos which he had
himself brought about. And let us not omit to mention the dignified
courage with which he prepared to meet the calamities which now crowded
thick upon him. With the mere nucleus of a semi-organised army he held
out for two years, both in Europe and Asia, without one ally, against
the herculean efforts of Russia to overthrow his kingdom.

There are not wanting those who, besides stigmatising him as deceitful
and cruel, cast in his teeth that he failed to carry out the schemes of
reform, which they consider to have been visionary and unmeaning. But
these, while commenting on what he left undone, forget how much he did,
and how little aid he received from without. Well would it be for Turkey
this day had either of his sons inherited the vigour, the perseverance,
or even the honesty of old Mahmoud.

Since the accession of Mahmoud to the throne, Bosnia and Herzegovina
have been the seat of perpetual, though intermittent, warfare. Short
time did he allow to elapse before he gave unmistakable signs of his
determination to effect a radical change in the state of these
provinces. With this view he sent as Vizier Jelaludin Pacha thither,
with orders to punish with extreme severity all who should show any
signs of discontent. This man, who is said to have belonged to the sect
of Bektashi, an order of Mahomedan monks, did not live like other
Pachas. He neither kept a harem nor a court, and devoted himself
exclusively to fulfilling the duties of his mission. To do this more
effectually, he used to go about in disguise, visiting even the
Christian places of worship, and thus obtaining a real knowledge of the
feelings and wishes of the people. Now as he practised incorruptible,
inexorable justice, his rule was as popular among the Rayahs as it was
odious to the Bosnian nobles, against whose independence all his laws
and measures were directed.

Having taken Mostar and Trebinitza by storm, he at length succeeded in
subduing the whole country. Although nominally recalled, in deference to
a petition preferred by the nobles of Bosnia, Jelaludin was in reality
advanced to a more exalted position of confidence. To him was intrusted
the conduct of an expedition against Montenegro, which failed; and
little more is heard about him until 1821, when he died, as some think,
by poison administered by his own hand.

In conformity with a preconceived plan of operations, an expedition was
sent in 1820 against Ali Pacha, the most powerful of those who had
ventured to throw off the Ottoman rule.

The operations were successful both by sea and land, and at first all
appeared to be progressing satisfactorily. But the extraordinary
fertility of resource which characterised the old man, saved him once
more; and while the Suliots in his pay overran Epirus in 1821, he
succeeded in rousing the whole Greek population to revolt. Although he
himself fell during the outbreak, the disastrous results which he had
succeeded in effecting lived long after him, not only in Greece, but in
Bulgaria, Bosnia, and other parts of the Turkish empire.

The death of Jelaludin, and the revolutionary movement which had spread
throughout the empire, led to the restoration of the old state of things
in Bosnia. The powerful nobles once more resumed their sway, and the few
supporters of the Sultan were compelled to fly the country.

The reconquest by the Porte of the revolted countries, and the mighty
change which the iron hand of Mahmoud effected in the internal condition
and administration of all parts of his empire, cannot be more forcibly
described than in the words of Ranke. He says: 'We must recollect that
the Sultan succeeded in extinguishing all these rebellions, one after
another, as soon as he had put down the most formidable. We will not
enquire by what means this was effected: enough to say, that he at last
re-established his authority on the Danube, as in Epirus. Even the Morea
seemed doomed to a renewal of the Moslem sway. Ibrahim Pacha landed
there with the troops from Egypt in 1825. He annihilated rather than
subjugated its population, and changed the country, as he himself said,
into a desert waste; but at least he took possession of it, step by
step, and everywhere set up the standard of the Sultan.'

Having been so far successful, the Sultan adopted a more comprehensive

Mahomed Ali's successful enterprises served as his model from the first.
Mahomed Ali led the way in Egypt by the annihilation of ancient
privileges, and it was not until he had succeeded that Mahmoud resolved
to pursue a similar course.

'A fearful rivalry in despotism and destruction then began between the
two. They might be compared to the reapers in Homer, cutting down the
corn in all directions. But the vassal had been long engaged in a
process of innovation. In spite of the opposition of his Janissaries, he
had accomplished his purpose of establishing regular regiments, clothed
and disciplined after the European system.' The fact that it was these
troops which, after so many fruitless attempts, at last conquered
Greece, made a profound impression on the Sultan. He reverted to the
ideas of Selim and Bairaktar, and the establishment of regular troops
seemed to him the only salvation of his empire. Therefore, on May 28,
1826, in a solemn sitting of his Council of State, at which the
Commissioner who had lately been in Ibrahim's camp was present, was
pronounced the 'fetwah,' that, 'In order to defend God's word and
counteract the superiority of the unbelievers, the Moslems, too, would
submit to subordination, and learn military manœuvres.' The subversion
of ancient privileges, then, was the fundamental basis upon which his
reforms rested, and to this the destruction of the Janissaries put the
finishing touch.

If Mahmoud found difficulty in carrying out his plans at Stamboul, how
much more hard must they have been to accomplish in the provinces; and
of these, as I have before said, Bosnia was the most strongly imbued
with a spirit of independent feudalism.

In Bosnia, therefore, as was anticipated, the greatest resistance to the
innovation was experienced.

Upon the death of Jelaludin, Hadji Mustapha had been appointed Vizier, a
man of small capacity, and little suited to those stormy times.

He, and the six commissioners who had been sent with him from
Constantinople, were driven out, and compelled to take refuge in
Servia, whence they returned to Constantinople.

Again the dominion of the Sultan in these provinces appeared to hang
upon a slender thread; and indeed it was only saved by the sagacity of a
single man.

Upon the ejection of Hadji Mustapha, Abdurahim, the Pacha of Belgrade,
was appointed Vizier of Bosnia. Gifted with great penetration and
ability for intrigue, he contrived to win over many of the native
chieftains, while he worked upon the jealousy entertained by the Prince
of Servia for the Bosnian nobles, and thus succeeded in raising a small
army, with which he took the initiative in hostilities. Ranke tells us:
'He was fortunate enough to secure the assistance of the Kapetan
Vidaitch of Svornik. Svornik is regarded as the key of Bosnia. It seems
that the Agas of Serayevo had already conceived some suspicion of
Vidaitch, for they were themselves about to take possession of the
place. But Abdurahim anticipated them, and Vidaitch admitted him into
the fortress.'

A paramount advantage was gained by this. Abdurahim now felt strong
enough to speak in a decisive tone in the Bujurdi, in which he announced
his arrival.

'I send you from afar,' he therein said, 'O Mahomedans of Bosnia, the
greeting of the faith, and of brotherly union. I will not call to mind
your folly: I come to open your eyes to the light. I bring you the most
sacred commands of our most mighty Sultan, and expect you will obey
them. In that case I have power to forgive you all your errors; choose
now for yourselves. It rests with you to save or to lose your lives.
Reflect maturely, that you may have no cause to repent.'

This proclamation, which may be regarded as a model of terseness and
expressive earnestness, had a wonderful effect. Still Serayevo was not
gained without a struggle, confined however principally to the citizens
within its walls.

Upon gaining possession of the town, the new Vizier carried out to the
letter the judgements which he had pronounced against the contumacious.
All who were taken in arms were put to death without mercy, and it was
not until he had taken a bloody vengeance on his enemies that he
consented to make a triumphal entry into Serayevo.

During the feudal times, when the Sultan's authority was more nominal,
the Vizier was only permitted to remain a few hours in the capital,
whence he returned to his palace at Travnik; but Abdurahim deemed it
necessary to establish the seat of government in that very town, which
had ever been the focus of feudality and rebellion.

'Thus there was once more a master in Bosnia. No one ventured now to
mention the Janissaries. The uniforms arrived; the Kapetans were
obedient, and put them on. The whole land submitted to the new

Notwithstanding the high pressure system adopted by the Sultan, the
spirit of rebellion was still rife, and it manifested itself on the
first opportunity that occurred.

The Machiavellian policy of endeavouring to hold both the Servians and
Bosnians in check, by pitting the one against the other, was of doubtful
expediency; and, as the event proved, tended materially to weaken the
imperial cause by depriving it of the aid of the Bosnian irregulars, who
had acquired a name for reckless daring second to none. The outbreak of
the Russian war was the signal for another attempt to obtain the
independence of which Abdurahim had robbed them. At this juncture, too,
they displayed the mixture of violence and cunning, so essentially the
character of barbarous nations.

From every castle and town, the troops marched to the Eagle's Field,
Orlovopolie, close by Bielina, their appointed rendezvous. The Vizier
intended soon to repair thither with forces from Serayevo. Whilst
preparing to do so, it happened that the people of Visoko, an
unimportant place about six German miles from Serayevo, arrived before
that capital, instead of marching direct to Orlovopolie, as they should
have done. The Vizier sent out his Kiaia, and some of the principal
inhabitants of the city, to call them to account for the unauthorised
change in their line of march. A Kapidji Bashi, who had just arrived
from Constantinople, accompanied the mission, and gave it still more
importance; but it was unquestionably a concerted scheme amongst the
leading men of Visoko and Serayevo. Thousands of inhabitants had already
gone, many no doubt from mere curiosity--for it was Friday, a day on
which the Turks do not work--but others with a distinct purpose. When
the mission angrily demanded that the force should march off forthwith
to the appointed place, some poor inhabitants of Visoko stepped out of
the ranks and declared that, without money, they were not in a position
to proceed a step farther; that even only to equip themselves, and march
as far as they had already arrived, some of them had been obliged to
sell their children. The Kapidji Bashi and the Kiaia thought that such
language was not to be borne. Without hesitation, therefore, in
accordance with the principles of Turkish justice, they ordered their
followers to seize the speakers, to take them away, and behead them. The
order, however, was not so easy of execution. 'Help, true believers in
the Prophet!' exclaimed the men; 'help, and rescue us.' All seized their
weapons, the comrades of the prisoners as well as the inhabitants of
Serayevo, who were privy to the scheme, and those who were hurried along
by their example. The Kapidji Bashi and the Kiaia had not time to mount
their horses, but were obliged to run to the city on foot, with bullets
whistling after them. The furious armed multitude arrived there with
them. The Vizier's force, about two thousand strong, attempted for a
while to stem the torrent. They tried to stand their ground wherever
they found a position, such as a bridge, a mosque, or a house, but were
far too weak to maintain it. Only a small number had time to retire into
the fortress, where the Vizier was, and thence they fired with the few
cannon they had on the lower town. But the Bosnians, with their small
arms, did far more execution, singling out their enemies, and bringing
them down with sure aim. The fighting continued for three days. At last
Abdurahim found himself compelled to think of his own safety. The
Bosnians, who found themselves victorious, would gladly have refused him
leave to retire; but the older and more experienced among them,
satisfied with the success they had obtained, persuaded the young people
to let him go. On the fourth day, a Thursday in July 1828, Abdurahim
marched away. He took the road to Orlovopolie, being allowed to take
with him the cannons he had brought. There, however, he found that the
spirit of disaffection had gained such head, that nearly all the
soldiers, whom he had expected to find, had dispersed and gone to their
homes. He thereupon repaired to Travnik, and was shortly afterwards
replaced by another Vizier of milder temper.

The state of the empire now appeared more settled, both in its domestic
and foreign relations, the peace of Adrianople having at any rate saved
the capital from fear of an attack. What success the Sultan might have
had in his endeavours to consolidate his rule in Bosnia, we are unable
to judge; since he found an antagonist to every species of reform in
Mustapha Pacha of Scutari, commonly known as Scodra Pacha, the most
mischievous, as well as the most powerful, of all the provincial
magnates since the fall of Ali Pacha. Young, warlike, and of good
descent, he constituted himself the champion of hereditary privileges,
and as such virtually threw down the gauntlet to his imperial master.
Open rebellion, however, was not the plan which he proposed to himself
by which to attain the object dearest to his heart--the re-embodiment of
the Janissaries, and the establishment of the old order of things. To
this end he consented, in 1823, to make a demonstration against the
Greek rebels, but took very good care not to render too much service to
the cause which he espoused. Thus, too, when he marched in the autumn of
1828 to the vicinity of the Danube, at the head of an army of 25,000
irregulars, it was not with the intention of attacking the Russians, but
rather under the expectation that the necessities of the Sultan would
afford him an opportunity of procuring the re-establishment of those
'Prætorian guards of Turkey.' The arrogant pretensions of Scodra Pacha
were very strongly exemplified in the attitude which he assumed at the
close of the campaign of 1829. Having in the first instance shown much
dilatoriness in entering the field, he remained inactive near Widdin
during the latter part of 1828 and the commencement of 1829, when, by
operating in the rear of the Russians, he might have been most useful to
the Turkish Seraskier. The treaty of peace, however, had been signed,
and forwarded for ratification to Russia, when Scodra Pacha suddenly
electrified both parties by objecting to its terms, and announcing his
intention of continuing the war. He even marched to Philippopolis,
whence he sent a message that he would arrive at Adrianople within eight
days. This naturally caused Marshal Diebitsch some anxiety, since he was
unaware of the Pacha's real policy, and believed him to be sincere in
his protestations of vengeance against the invaders. A hasty summons was
therefore sent to General Geismar, who consequently crossed the Danube
at Rachova; and having turned, and subsequently forced, the Pass of
Anatcha in the Balkans, easily defeated the Pacha, who made but small
resistance. This and the approach of General Kisselef from Schumla put a
finishing stroke to hostilities, and Scodra returned home to brood over
the ill-success of his undertaking, and plan farther means of working
mischief to the hated Mahmoud.

The opportunity soon presented itself. Having succeeded in ridding
himself of some of the Albanian leaders, the Sultan applied himself with
vigour to the subjection of those in Bosnia who were adverse to his
rule. In 1830 he sent uniforms to Travnik, which the Vizier immediately
donned. This kindled the spark, and in the beginning of 1831 several
thousand insurgents, under the command of Hussein Kapetan, the 'Sonai od
Bosna,' or Dragon of Bosnia, attacked him in his fortress, and made him
prisoner. So great was the abhorrence professed for the adoption of
Christian clothing, that the unfortunate Vizier was compelled to perform
solemn ablutions and to recite Moslem prayers, in order to purify
himself from contamination. The standard of rebellion was now fairly
unfurled, and within a few weeks a force of 25,000 men had collected. At
the same time Mustapha Pacha, with 40,000 Albanians and others, made his
appearance on the scene of action. Without delay an advance was made _en
potence_, and it was confidently anticipated that Stamboul would fall
before the insurgent arms. But the Sultan possessed both a cunning and
able lieutenant in the Grand Vizier Redschid. This functionary contrived
to dispense bribes so judiciously among the inferior Albanian
chieftains, that they deserted en masse to the Turks, and thus rendered
it imperative on Mustapha to take refuge in his fortress at Scutari.
This he did in the anticipation of speedy relief by Hussein Kapetan and
the Bosnians, who, despite the dissuasion of the Servian Prince Milosch,
had already marched to the rescue. Hussein's answer to Milosch, as given
by Ranke, is very characteristic of the man: 'Take heed to thyself,' he
said; 'thou hast but little food before thee: I have overturned thy
bowl. I will have nothing to do with a Sultan with whom thou canst
intercede for me; I am ready to meet thee, always and anywhere; my sword
had smitten before thine was forged.' More modest and unpresuming was
the burden of the song which they are reported to have chanted on the

    We march, brethren, to the plains of Kossovo,
    Where our forefathers lost their renown and their faith.
    There it may chance that we also may lose our renown and our faith;
    Or that we shall maintain them, and return as victors to Bosnia.

Animated by principles which would have done credit to a Christian host,
these undisciplined Mussulmans easily overcame the Grand Vizier's army,
partly, it must be acknowledged, by the defection of the Albanians, who
had previously deserted the cause of Scodra Pacha. Had they now pushed
on, their independence would have been established; but, unfortunately,
what the Grand Vizier could not effect by force of arms he brought about
by guile. With great tact and cunning he sent emissaries to Hussein,
demanding to know the terms which they required. These were the
permission to remain in statu quo, with the appointment of Hussein as
Vizier. These conditions he was fain to grant, and so far worked upon
the Bosnians by private and official stratagem, that they commenced
their homeward march, leaving Scodra Pacha to his fate. Shortly
afterwards he was compelled to surrender. Individually his life was
spared, but his partisans did not meet with the same clemency. For the
truth of what I am about to relate I am unable to vouch, but can only
give it as it is recorded by the chroniclers of the events of those
times. Projectile machines are said to have been erected, and the
prisoners, being placed upon them, were flung against a wooden framework
studded with great iron hooks, and wherever the body of the unfortunate
victim was caught by them, there it hung until he perished by the
terrible, torturing, and protracted death.

The destruction of Scodra's power was a great feather in the cap of the
Grand Vizier, who now lost no time in undermining the authority of
Hussein. In this he was assisted by the imprudence of the latter, who
committed the error of admitting Ali Aga of Stolatz into his confidence,
a man who had always adhered to the Sultan, and was distrusted
accordingly by his compatriots. Universal as was the partisan warfare
in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there was no chieftain who had supported the
brunt of so many onslaughts as Ali Aga. His castle at Stolatz, although
incapable of resisting the weapons employed in scientific warfare, was
impregnable in those times, and against such an enemy.

In addition to the distrust engendered by Hussein's intimacy with All,
the absence of any ratification by the Porte of the recent treaty of
peace tended to produce discord in the province. Taking advantage of
this, the Grand Vizier nominated a new Pacha, Kara Mahmoud, a creature
devoted to government interest. He invaded the country with 30,000 men,
and finally succeeded, in spite of a gallant resistance, in taking
Serayevo, the capital. The perseverance which he employed in a sinking
cause did credit to Hussein, who was nobly supported by the faithful and
brave Al Pacha Vidaitch, who had no less than eight horses killed under
him in the battle which took place before the walls of Serayevo.

Kara Mahmoud established himself there, and deposed in succession all
the Kapetans except Ali Aga of Stolatz, who had made his appearance at a
critical moment of the battle before Serayevo, and thus turned the
tables against his former friend, Hussein Pacha.

Having thus far succeeded in his undertaking, Redschid Pacha turned his
attention to Montenegro, which had been the source of chronic
heartburnings since 1804. The nature of the country, and the want of
organisation in the Turkish forces, however, once more enabled the
mountaineers successfully to repel the invaders. A more important
expedition against them was in contemplation, when the Egyptian war
broke out, and the services of the Grand Vizier and his army were
required to combat their former ally, Ibrahim Pacha. Previous to
quitting the country, the Grand Vizier promulgated an amnesty to all
those refugees who had fled into Austria, except Hussein Kapetan, Ali
Vidaitch, and Kruppa Kapetan. A firman was subsequently given,
permitting even these to return to Turkey, although interdicting their
residence in Bosnia. On arriving at Constantinople they received their
pardon, and Ali Vidaitch returned to Bosnia; Hussein's fate is more
uncertain. From that time until 1849 order prevailed in Bosnia,
although, as subsequent events proved, a rebellious spirit still existed
amongst the more important chieftains, with whom personal aggrandisement
took precedence of the interests of the Sultan, their sovereign.

[Footnote M: Krasinski.]


     Hussein Pacha--Tahir Pacha--Polish and Hungarian
     Rebellions--Extends to Southern Slaves--Congress
     convened--Montenegrins overrun Herzegovina--Arrival of Omer
     Pacha--Elements of Discord--Rising in Bulgaria put down by
     Spahis--Refugees--Ali Rizvan Begovitch--Fall of Mostar, and Capture
     of Ali--His suspicious Death--Cavass Bashee--Anecdote of Lame
     Christian--Omer Pacha invades Montenegro--Successes--Austria
     interferes--Mission of General Leiningen--Battle of Grahovo--Change
     of Frontier--Faults of new Boundary.

And so time wore on, and Bosnia enjoyed a kind of fitful repose. There
and in Herzegovina the feudal system had lost much of its primeval
vigour, although a barbarous independence still prevailed, more
especially in the latter province, where Ali Aga of Stolatz showed
symptoms of forsaking the _treacherous fidelity_ which had secured for
him his high position. Whatever feeling of disaffection might have been
cherished, either in Bulgaria or Bosnia, was effectually checked: in the
former by the judicious tyranny of Hussein, Vizier of Widdin, in the
latter by the iron yoke of Tahir Pacha, who fully entered into the
Sultan's projects for reform.

The social condition of these two provinces rendered necessary a certain
variety in the policy of their rulers. Thus, while Hussein may be
regarded as the apostle of political Islamism in Europe, Tahir
endeavoured to introduce the European element. He consequently
identified himself, to a dangerous extent, with the Christian
population, abolishing forced labour, equalising the taxes, and
effecting other reforms calculated to upset the old, and establish the
_Nisame Jedid_, or new order of things.

At this juncture the flames of revolutionary war broke forth in Poland
and Hungary. The proximity of these countries, and the affinity of their
Slavonic origin, could not fail to disseminate the same spirit on the
southern bank of the Save. A wild enthusiasm took possession of both
Serbs[N] and Bulgares, before which the aged and decrepid Viziers felt
themselves powerless.

If it be difficult to realise the position of the Sultan, who thus found
himself at variance with his Christian subjects in Bulgaria, and his
Bosnian Spahis, the attitude assumed by these factions is equally
incomprehensible. Blinded by one insane desire to throw off their
allegiance to the Sultan, they espoused the Russo-Austrian cause,
demanding their annexation to some Slave country. Thus, by a clever
stroke of policy, Austria contrived to secure to herself the cooperation
of both the Hungarian and Serb Slaves. And here we may note a curious
coincidence, which still farther complicated matters. Whatever may have
been their prejudices against the Slavonic Christians, the Bosnian
Spahis found it expedient to demand the assistance, not only of the
Servians, but of the Montenegrins, the most implacable of foes to the
Turkish rule. These at first appeared likely to respond to the summons.

So numerically strong, and so complete, were the preparations for war
made by the Bosnians, that, when they took the field under Ali Kieditch,
Tahir found it impossible to stem the torrent of rebellion. Never did
the prospects of the Porte wear so gloomy an aspect, for there were
ranged against it all classes of Slaves and Bulgares, irrespective of
religion or denomination. As a last resource government convened a
Congress, comprising representatives of all classes of subject Slaves.
As might have been supposed, little unanimity prevailed in their
counsels, and no tangible advantages were thereby attained. And now a
combination of unforeseen circumstances conspired to rescue the Porte
from the pressing danger which threatened it. The neutrality preserved
by Servia, or rather its Prince, Alexander Guirgievitch, infected not
only the Bulgarian Christians, but even the Montenegrins themselves, who
actually overran Herzegovina and a portion of the Bosnian frontier
during the absence of the Mussulman Spahis of those districts. Undaunted
however, by these mishaps, the members of the Congress returned to
their homes; and, although powerless to act in concert, succeeded so
well in stirring up a feeling of animosity against the government, that
the spring of 1850 found the malcontents in a better position than ever
for the renewal of the war. But rebellion had now reached its
culminating point, and the sudden appearance of Omer Pacha, who threw
himself with impetuous daring into the heart of Bosnia, gave a very
different colouring to events. To form a just estimate of the
difficulties which he had to overcome, ere order could be re-established
in this confused chaos, it is necessary briefly to recapitulate the
various conflicting elements, revolutionary and otherwise, which had
been brought into play, the aim and inevitable result of which must have
been the utter destruction of this unhappy empire.

There are those who profess to believe that Russia has no malevolent
designs upon Turkey, and who bring forward many plausible reasons in
support of their opinion; but this number has very materially diminished
since the disclosures which preceded the late Russian war. The character
of the Turkish people, their religion, and their social and political
institutions, may all have tended to produce the calamitous state of
affairs. Yet when we probe the matter to the bottom, there we find the
root of all evil--Russian policy and imperial ambition. It is not to say
that this monarch or that was desirous of annexing by conquest, and
holding by force of arms, a gigantic empire. Such a thought were
madness. Far more subtle is the scheme which was, and is, inherent in
every Russian ruler. It has been, and still is, their own
aggrandisement, direct or indirect, based upon the ruins of Turkey. Ably
and laboriously have they worked to effect that which still seems as
distant as ever. No sooner were the bloody days of 1828-9 past, than
they applied themselves afresh to the work of disorganisation, and in
this appeared to succeed too well. They had launched the Slave against
the Turk, and then the Christian Slave against the Mussulman Slave,
whilst at the same time the Asiatic Turk--the Turk _pur sang_--was
struggling throughout Anatolia against the reformed and European Turk.
It now remained to find a pretext to justify her in effecting an armed
intervention, that cloak for so much that is arbitrary and aggressive.
This was soon found in an insignificant rising of the Bulgarians,
brought on by her roubles lavishly dispensed by old Milosch Obrenovitch,
the ejected Servian Prince, and the sympathy felt for Kossuth and
Dembinski, who had taken refuge at Widdin. This rising, however, which
was at first directed only against the Turkish Spahis or landowners,
soon acquired more important dimensions, and on January 8, 1850, the
three Nahias of Widdin, Belgradchitch, and Verkovats, were under arms.
Having failed in an attack upon the fortress of Belgradchitch, they
retired and entrenched themselves at different spots in the adjacent
country. Better armed and provisioned, and of greater physical courage,
the Spahis soon succeeded in overcoming these disorganised masses, and
bloody was the vengeance which they took.

'Victors in every encounter,' says Cyprien Robert, 'the Mussulman Spahis
began to visit on horseback the villages, more than two hundred in
number, which had taken part in the insurrection. The devastation that
ensued was worthy of the most barbarous time. Neither age nor sex was
spared. All the young were carried off to the vulture-nests of the
Spahis of the Balkan. In vain did Redschid Pacha enjoin milder measures;
neither he nor the Sultan could check these bloodthirsty tigers. There
needed to that end the unexpected arrival of Omer Pacha at Nish. He fell
among them like a thunderbolt, and all was silence. The Bulgarians
ceased to flee, the Spahis to pursue, and, what was more, the Russian
army of Wallachia halted at the moment it was about to cross the Danube.
That terrible Omer, the queller of so many revolts, had at Bucharest an
opportunity of making his qualities felt by the Russian Generals, and
they were completely disconcerted by his sudden arrival at Nish, when
they thought he was hemmed in by the insurgent Serba in the gorges of
Bosnia, without the means of making his way through them. The Russian
troops paused, awaiting fresh orders from St. Petersburg: orders came,
and the whole scheme was quashed. Cleverly as the Russian plot had been
laid, it was completely baffled by the rapidity of Omer Pacha's
movement.' Once again order was re-established. Serayevo was again made
the seat of the provincial government, and numerous reforms were brought
into force, all of which tended to ameliorate the condition of the
Christian population.

Such of the chieftains as refused to make their submission were pursued
without mercy, until the province became too hot to hold them. A few,
too proud or too obstinate to yield, took refuge in the Herzegovina,
where Ali Rizvan Begovitch, then an old man, opened his fortresses to
them. But all resistance was vain before the iron will and temperate
judgement of Omer. Mostar fell, and old Ali was made a prisoner and sent
in chains to Serayevo. That place he never reached, for he was shot,
accidentally it is alleged, by a Turkish soldier while on his way
thither. The circumstances of his death will hardly bear an enquiry, and
do not reflect much credit on the successful Omer, to whom the blame, as
well as the glory he acquired in all else, must attach. It is true that
the old tyrant fully deserved his fate, since even to this day the
enormities which he committed are well remembered. The old tower on the
Narenta at Mostar used to look grim with the distorted heads of the
prisoners whom he had captured on the Montenegrin frontier. The habit of
decapitating the dead was revolting enough, but this aged sinner was not
satisfied with that: he used to drive sharp wooden poles through their
living bodies, and then leave them to die a lingering and agonising
death. Some are said to have survived their impalement as much as
forty-eight hours. The example set by the Pacha was readily followed by
those about him. Numerous are the tales of murder done by his followers,
one of whom vied with his master in deeds of murder and ferocity. This
man, the Cavass Bashee, lived entirely by plunder and rapine. A spot was
pointed out to me in the valley of the Drechnitza where a Christian was
killed by him while stooping down to drink. I also heard an amusing
anecdote regarding him, when he was completely outwitted by a poor lame
Christian. The latter was riding through a river, where the stream was
somewhat rapid. On the river's bank he was overtaken by the Cavass
Bashee, who allowed him to reach the middle of the stream, when he
ordered him to dismount, threatening to shoot him if he did not comply.
In vain he pleaded his lameness; the ruffian was obdurate. Nothing
remained but to obey. This he did, and with difficulty reached the
opposite bank. The Mussulman followed, but scarcely had he reached the
deep water when the Christian, who carried a pistol concealed, drew it,
and, aiming at his persecutor, ordered him to dismount under pain of
death. So aghast was he at this audacious effrontery, that he not only
obeyed, but departed without farther comment, leaving the Christian
master of the field. Whether he took warning from Ali Pacha's fate is
unknown, but he certainly died in the odour of sanctity, after
performing a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Having thus established the power of the Sultan in both provinces, as
well as in Bulgaria, Omer Pacha turned his attention to the
Montenegrins, whose incursions into the Herzegovina were becoming
frequent and audacious. Penetrating the country from two converging
points, he defeated the mountaineers on every occasion, who found that
they had a very different foe to contend with from those to whom they
had been accustomed. Already had he advanced close upon Cettigne, the
capital, when the Austrian government interfered. Operations were
suspended, and General Leiningen proceeded to Constantinople, where he
demanded the total withdrawal of the Turkish forces. This was acceded
to, and Turkey thus lost the hold which it had acquired upon the lawless
Montenegrins. The idea of Ottoman decay acquired daily fresh strength,
and a maudlin sentimentality was excited in behalf of these Christian
savages. Taking advantage of this, they made constant forays across the
border, stirring up by their example such of the borderers as were
disposed to rise, and using force to compel those who would have
preferred a quiet existence under the Turkish rule.

Such was the position of affairs when the battle of Grahovo took place
on May 13, 1858. Although the affair has been grossly exaggerated, and
the blame wrongfully imputed to Hussein Pacha, the military Commander of
the Ottoman forces, it cannot be gain-said that the Turkish power was
much weakened by the event, and the arrogance of the Christians
proportionately increased, while the change of frontier to which it
conduced tended rather to aggravate than diminish the evil. The new
boundary line was defined by an European mixed commission, which decided
on increasing Montenegro by the annexation of territory on the western
frontier, including Grahovo, which they had held since Hussein Pacha's
disaster. Whether the new frontier is calculated to promote a pacific
settlement of the question admits of debate, as the province is
penetrated almost to the centre by Turkish territory on either side:
this, if it give the latter the advantage in a military point of view,
exposes the occupants of the country, flanked by the Montenegrin
mountains, to constant visits from their unwelcome neighbours, who dash
down, kill, burn, and carry off all that they can lay hands on, and
retreat to their fastnesses before the arrival of succour.

[Footnote N: People occupying Bosnia, Servia, Herzegovina, and


     Insurrection of Villagers--Attack Krustach--Three Villages
     burnt--Christian Version--Account given by Dervisch
     Pacha--Deputation headed by Pop Boydan--Repeated Outrages by
     Rebels--Ali Pacha of Scutari--His want of Ability--Greek Chapels
     sacked--Growth of Rebellion--Omer Pacha restored to
     Favour--Despatched to the Herzegovina--Proclamation--Difficulties
     to be encountered--Proposed Interview between Omer Pacha and Prince
     of Montenegro--Evaded by the Prince--Omer Pacha returns to
     Mostar--Preparations for Campaign.

We now arrive at that period when rebellion actually broke out among the
Christians of the Herzegovina, and when things, in short, assumed the
aspect which they now wear.

Before entering upon any account of the various risings which have
occurred, I would remark that much blame attaches itself to the Porte,
not only because of long years of misgovernment, but also on account of
the supineness shown by its officials, who, in the presence of the most
positive proofs to the contrary, treated the idea of a rising with
supercilious disregard. Frequently whole villages came in to declare
that they should be compelled to rise, unless they received protection
and support. This was of course promised liberally, but the promises
were never redeemed, and so they were driven to rebellion against their
will, as a means of safety from the fanatical fury of their lawless

After two years of indecisive skirmishing, in which the Turks, always
exposed in small parties, generally fared the worst, the Ottoman
government appeared to awake to the necessity for pursuing more
energetic measures. This resolution was hastened by the revolt of the
villagers of Yassenik, Lipneh, Garevo, Kazantzi, Doulatchi, Vralkovitch,
Golia, Krustach, Beronschitzi, Yenevitza, Danitzi, and others in the
neighbourhood of Gasko, who joined bands of Uskoks, with whom and the
Montenegrins they attacked the blockhouse of Krustach. As a punishment,
three of these were burnt by the Turkish troops. The version of the
affair given by the opposing parties varies considerably, as may be
supposed. The Christians affirm that, after repeated acts of aggression
on the part of the Bashi Bazouks, they took refuge in the mountains, but
returned thence on being promised protection. That they were one day
astonished by perceiving the heights covered with soldiers, who entered
and sacked the village of Beronschitzi. No blood was shed, but the six
sons of one Simon Gregorovitch were taken before Ali Pacha, who ordered
them to instant execution. The seventh son is reported to have been
taken to Metokhia, where, after being tortured, he was executed. The
people escaped from Yassenik and Yenevitza, but in the former two women
are said to have been killed and thrown into the flames of the burning

The whole of these villagers affirm that their only crime consisted in
having united with other villagers in posting videttes, to give warning
of the approach of Bashi Bazouks and Uskoks.

This somewhat improbable story is denied by Dervisch Pacha, who gives
the following account of the matter:--The occupants of twenty-one
different villages revolted in the spring of 1859, and interrupted the
communications between Gasko and Niksich and Grasko and Mostar. They
then attacked those villages occupied by Mussulmans in the plain of
Gasko, and made raids into the district of Stolatz, from which they
carried off 6,000 head of cattle, the property of the Roman Catholics of
that district. They further compelled many Christians to join in the
revolt, who would otherwise have remained quiet. Dervisch Pacha
therefore sent Ali Riza Pacha, a General of Brigade, to restore order.
He, after taking and garrisoning Krustach, advised the rebels to send
deputies, to show the nature of the grievances of which they complained.
These were sent accordingly, headed by one Pop Boydan, a priest, and a
leading mover of the insurrection; but in place of lodging any
complaints, the delegates appeared rather in the light of suppliants
demanding pardon and favour. Meanwhile the villagers returned, but not
to live peaceably--merely with the view of getting in their crops.

While the deputation, however, was at Nevresign, the villages of Lipneh,
Samabor, Yassenik, Yenevitza, and Beronschitzi revolted again, and cut
off the communications between Gasko, Krustach, and Niksich. They also
posted guards along a line of frontier, which they said that no Turk
should pass. When called to account by Dervisch Pacha for this breach of
faith, the deputies replied that the Christians acted through fear,
which feeling was taken advantage of by a few evil-disposed persons for
their own ends. They, however, undertook to pacify them, and wrote a
letter professedly with that object, but without effect. The disorder
increased, and numerous outrages were committed. Seven soldiers were
murdered whilst cutting wood about four miles from Metokhia; Ali Pacha's
aide-de-camp and five soldiers were cut to pieces between

Niksich and Krustach, and seven other Mussulmans were killed. Still the
Turks hesitated to act with severity. They appealed again to the
deputies, who wrote another letter, which, as the bearers of it
affirmed, only enraged the rebels, who tore it, and trod it under foot.
But this affords little proof of the intensity of their feelings, as it
has since transpired that an arrangement had been made by the deputies
that all letters written voluntarily and in sincerity should bear a
private mark; and the letter in question was not so distinguished. Upon
the discovery of their treachery the deputies were imprisoned, and
energetic measures at once resolved upon. To give these effect, Ali
Pacha advanced at the head of a small force, and summoned the rebels to
surrender. They replied by firing on the advanced guard. The three
villages were then taken, and five men and two women killed, while a few
prisoners were made. These last were released, but one died in prison.
Such is the story told of the affair by Dervisch Pacha.

It does not appear that Ali Pacha acquired any great credit by his
method of conducting the operations. Quitting a strong position in the
afternoon, he arrived at the villages to be attacked after nightfall.
Having fired them, he was compelled to make a precipitate retreat, which
might have been most disastrous, had he been opposed to an enterprising

With reference to the discrepancy manifested in the two accounts, we may
feel assured that both are highly coloured. But the deception resorted
to by the rebels, and the simple explanation given by the Turkish
officials, would tend to impart to their story the greater appearance of
truth. Had the Turks, moreover, wished to avenge the deaths of their
soldiers, or to vent their hatred of the Christians, they would have
maltreated the people of the first villages at which they arrived, in
place of marching seven miles through a difficult country to the borders
of a district which had for two years defied their efforts at reduction.

The implication of the villagers in the numerous murders which had
occurred was proved by the discovery of some of the Turkish bayonets at
Beronschitzi, while they actually made an offer to restore the property
of the murdered aide-de-camp, provided a reward was paid for them. They
even sent a list of the effects to Ali Pacha, with the sum which they
demanded for the restoration of each article.

I venture to give these details even at the risk of incurring the charge
of too great prolixity, as hitherto a one-sided account only has been
given to the world. Every channel of information, whether it be the
telegraph from Ragusa or the Slavonic press, does its best to mislead
the general public, by exciting sympathy for the Christians, as unjust
as it is undeserved. Even in the affair in question much stir was made
by the Slavish newspapers about the death of seven Christians, while, as
Dervisch Pacha very fairly complained, no notice was taken of the murder
of thirty-seven Mussulmans during the same period.

Another event, which afforded a handle for the ill-wishers of Turkey,
was the pillage of the four Greek chapels of Samabor, Dobrolie,
Kazantzi, and Grachantzi. This occurred in July 1859, and the case was
investigated by the Russian Consul at Mostar, who imputed the act to
Turkish soldiers, producing in evidence the fact of a sergeant having in
his possession a kind of church vestment. The sergeant, however, did not
attempt to conceal the vestment, and accounted for his possession of it
in a manner which was deemed satisfactory by the British and other

It was more probably done by Uskoks, who gutted a chapel near Nevresign
a few years before, or by the rebels themselves, at the instigation of
others, for the purpose of bringing odium upon the Turks in the eyes of

By these and other no less unworthy means was the agitation fostered
throughout the province, until the whole frontier became denuded of
Mussulman inhabitants, who were compelled to take shelter in Klobuk,
Niksich, and other places capable of some sort of defence.

By the spring of 1861 affairs had assumed so serious an aspect, that
even the Porte could not but awake to the danger which threatened that
portion of the empire, and to the necessity for immediate and strenuous
measures. This danger lay not so much in the aggressive power of the
rebels themselves, as in the ulterior results which it was calculated to

It required little foresight to understand that the movement was
destined to be the germ of a general insurrection of the Slavonic
Christians of Turkey, which would lead to the partial or entire
dismemberment of her European provinces.

In this dilemma the Sultan's government bethought them of appealing to
the only man in the empire who was capable of grappling with the
difficulty. Omer Pacha was taken once more into favour, and was
despatched to the scene of discord. A Slave by birth, but tied to the
interests of his imperial master by the devotion of a lifetime, no more
fitting choice could have been made. With alacrity he proceeded on his
mission--a mission which required both courage and address, energy and

He commenced his task by issuing the following proclamation, in which he
called upon all to return to their allegiance, in full assurance that it
was the intention of the Sultan to carry out the reforms which had been
guaranteed by the Hatti Humayoun of 1855.

     'What this proclamation is I let you all know.

     'His Majesty the Sultan has appointed me the chief of his armies in
     the Roumelian provinces, and has sent me here to carry out in this
     mission all the just privileges, which have not hitherto been
     fulfilled. In obedience to the commands of the Sultan, I have come
     here to show to you how kind and good are the intentions of our
     sovereign to his subjects, and to announce without distinction to
     Mussulmans, Greeks, and Catholics together, the following

     '1st. Every village has the power to name one or two chiefs as
     representatives, whom I will acknowledge.

     '2nd. Every district has the power to name one or two
     representatives whomsoever the people of the district may choose.

     '3rd. The Christians shall have full religious liberties, and shall
     be permitted to build churches and place bells therein, like all
     the rest of the subjects in the empire.

     '4th. The Zaptiehs (police) shall not be permitted to locate
     themselves in your houses, but an appointed place shall be set
     apart for them in every village.

     '5th. The arrangement which has been made at Constantinople
     touching landowners and the agriculturists, and to which both
     parties have assented, shall immediately be put into execution.

     '6th. The taxes shall be collected by your own chiefs, and
     consigned by them to the officers sent by our Sultan to receive

     '7th. I will further recommend to the Greek Patriarch at
     Constantinople that a Bishop of your own nation should be
     nominated, who knows your language and customs.

     '8th. I will take such measures as shall secure you the right of
     purchasing landed property.

     'When this proclamation shall have been promulgated to you, and
     you should still have some farther favour to ask at my hands, you
     may do so in writing, or by word of mouth. All that is possible for
     your welfare I will endeavour to fulfill.

     'Furthermore, it is your bounden duty to submit yourselves to your
     sovereign, and to show humility to him.

'From the Divan Marshal &c. &c. &c. &c.
--at Mostar.

     'When you shall have heard what I have promised, see that everyone
     know of it, and what is necessary to execute let me know, and it
     shall be fulfilled.'

This proclamation, was disseminated in all the Nahias (districts),
towns, and villages, and in many instances produced a favourable result.
But it could not be expected that these assurances, even though they
should have reached them, could have made much impression on a set of
lawless brigands, who loved plunder for plunder's sake, and who were
supported both morally and practically by the agents of civilised
European powers.

Having allowed a sufficient time to elapse for all to make their
submission, it now remained to employ force where it was requisite. But
the difficulties which Omer Pacha had to encounter were prodigious. An
unprecedented drought rendered an unusually sterile country more
incapable than ever of sustaining life, while the period which
generally elapses between the autumn rains and the killing frosts of
winter, renders the time available for military operations short and
uncertain. Add to this, the total want of provisions, stores, and other
necessaries, which his predecessors had neglected to procure, and an
empty treasury, and we may not be surprised that his mission is as yet
uncompleted. But another and still greater difficulty presented itself
to him. This related to the attitude which he should assume towards

The shortest and most efficient line to pursue, in order to arrive at
the root of the evil, would have been to have invaded and subjugated
that province. But even had he felt confident of his power to effect it,
he remembered too well the lesson of former years, when his successful
advance was checked by political interference. There was little reason
to suppose that the same power, which then intervened, would allow him
greater latitude in the present instance. The idea, therefore, was
discarded, and endeavours were made to bring about a pacific
understanding, which should result in the re-establishment of order. A
meeting between Omar Pacha and the Prince of Montenegro was consequently
agreed upon at a point close to the Lake of Scutari. Omer Pacha,
accompanied by the European commission, travelled to the spot. All
appeared to be going well. Though nothing definite was ever
promulgated, there is good reason to believe that the Turkish
Plenipotentiary would have offered the most advantageous terms to the
Prince, including an accession of territory to the NW. and W., and the
possession of Spizza, a seaport, had the meeting taken place. But at the
last moment the Prince evaded his share of the arrangement, on the
shallow excuse that his people would not permit him to cross his own
frontier. He well knew that the Sultan's representative would not demean
himself by pandering to the caprices of one by rights a subject, and
that the only way in which Omer Pacha would ever pass into Montenegro
would be at the head of his soldiers.

In vain did the European Commissioners try to change his decision. In
vain they asserted the sincerity of the Sultan, and the safety with
which he might fulfill his agreement. They could only elicit a surly,
'Faites comprendre ces gens-là.' The indignant 'C'est assez, Monsieur,'
of the French Commissioner brought the interview to an abrupt
conclusion. The rejection, for such it must be deemed, of the Turkish
overtures, together with the boast which escaped the Prince, that he
could pacify the frontier in fourteen days, are quite sufficient proofs
of his implication in the disturbances, and would fully justify the
Turks, were they to sweep this nest of hornets from the face of the

Unfortunately, the principle of non-intervention between a sovereign and
his subjects is a chimera, refuted as it has so signally been by the
very author of the principle.

The Commissioners now saw that nothing more could be done save by force
of arms, and were dissolved accordingly.

Omer Pacha returned to Mostar to continue his preparations for carrying
on hostilities, not against the Montenegrins, but against the rebellious
Christians on the Turkish side of the frontier.


     Leave Mostar for the Frontier--Mammoth Tombstones--Stolatz--Castle
     and Town--Christian Shopkeeper--Valley of the
     Stolatz--Disappearance of River--Temporary Camp--My Dalmatian
     Servant--Turkish Army Doctors--Numerical Force of the Turks--Health
     of the Army--Bieliki--Decapitation of Prisoners--Christian Cruelty.

Day dawned on September 14, 1861, on about as cheerless a prospect as
can well be imagined. A chilly drizzle, swept hither and thither by
strong gusts of wind, did not tend to enhance the beauty of the
surrounding country, while it portended rather ominously for the success
of the operations, the first important step in the prosecution of which
may be considered to have been begun upon that day. By nine o'clock, the
hour fixed for our departure, the wind had fallen, and the rain began,
to descend in torrents, defying all precautions in the shape of cloaks
and waterproofs. So it continued until past noon, when the clouds
cleared away, and the sun shone out bright and warm.

There is little to interest the traveller in this part of the
Herzegovina, unless it be the existence of clusters of old tombstones,
which occur very frequently throughout the province. About one hour
before reaching Stolatz, which was our destination, we came upon one of
those ancient cemeteries, which is well worthy of notice from the
mammoth proportions of the tombstones. These are, as is usually the
case, adorned with primitive sculptures of men clad in armour, horses,
and dogs, and decapitated heads; dates are seldom found, but the
character of the work and the frequent occurrence of the cross confirms
the supposition that they were erected previous to the Turkish conquest.
On our approach to Stolatz we were met by a deputation of the country
people, and by bands of children sent out to greet the arrival of him
who is regarded as the general pacificator. The anxiety displayed by
these to do homage by kissing his stirrup-iron when mounted, or the hem
of his trousers, was by no means appreciated by Omer Pacha, who
possesses very Europeanised views on these subjects. The enthusiasm with
which he was received, however, could not be mistaken, and forms an
important element in his prospects of a successful termination of the
affair. Outside the walls a battalion of regulars was drawn up, and
every here and there some detachments of irregular soldiers.

Stolatz is charmingly situated on both banks of a small stream, which
are covered with fig and olive trees, and at the northern extremity of
the ravine in which it is built is the old castle for which it is
famous. This was put into repair by the rebellious Ali Pacha, and was
the last position held by him before he was taken prisoner by Omer
Pacha. It is simply a rectangular enclosure, with square towers at
intervals in place of bastions, and would afford little security against
an army provided with artillery. In addition to the weakness of its
defences, it is so situated as to be formidable only to the town which
lies beneath it, since it is commanded by several points on the
surrounding hills, where batteries might be safely erected at short
ranges. On the towers and their connecting curtains are many old guns,
some mounted, and others lying as they have probably lain for centuries.
Some of these are of the time of Maria Theresa, and nearly all were
ornamented with inscriptions and designs. The custom of naming guns or
giving them mottoes is very ancient and widely spread. I remember seeing
a number of Sardinians grouped round a gun in Capua upon the day of its
surrender to the Garibaldian and Piedmontese forces. They appeared much
amused, and on enquiring the cause of their merriment, I found it to be
the result of their appreciation of the motto upon the gun, which ran as
follows:--'Ultima ratio regum.' (the last argument of kings), an
argument which at any rate told with little effect in the case of
Francis II., for the simple reason that it was introduced at the wrong
moment. Doubtless some of these relics of Eastern warfare possessed as
pointed and applicable dicta as that of Capua, and had I had sufficient
time I should have scraped off the mould and rust of accumulated ages,
and have copied some of the inscriptions. That they could be fired was
placed beyond a doubt by the promiscuous medley of explosions which
greeted us, and which I purposely abstain from calling a salute, so
unlike was it to everything one has been wont to classify under that

Omer Pacha passed that night in the house of an opulent Mussulman, while
I was billeted upon the principal Christian inhabitant, a Greek[O]
shopkeeper. These men, one of whom is to be found in most of the
principal towns and large villages, may be regarded as the Parsees of
Turkey. Their shops are tolerably well supplied with European
commodities, and their owners are far in advance of their
fellow-townsmen in cleanliness and civilisation. Yet, in spite of this,
some of the modes in which they delight to honour even the passing
stranger are far from acceptable. Among the least objectionable of these
is the encouragement of their children to seize and slobber over his
hands, the only manner of avoiding which is to keep them thrust deeply
into his pockets--an odious custom elsewhere, but here indispensable.
Before bidding a last farewell to the house of my entertainer, I must
pay a grateful tribute to its comfort and cleanliness. In vain I
pressed him to accept some return for his hospitality, and it was at
length only in the form of a present to one of the aforesaid children
that I could induce this kind-hearted family to take any memento of
their grateful guest.

On leaving Stolatz, our route lay in a SE. direction along the
bridle-path upon the right bank of the river. During the first two
hours, the rocks on our left were quite bare and devoid of all signs of
vegetation. Afterwards they assumed a far less barren appearance, being
covered with good strong brushwood, which grows down close to the
water's edge. The water is itself clear and shallow, and at one point
suddenly disappears--an instance of that phenomenon so common in these
countries, to which allusion has already been made. Above the point of
disappearance, the valley has all the aspect of the dry bed of a river,
with its sloping banks and pebbly bottom.

Our force, which on leaving Mostar had consisted only of a small body of
cavalry for escort purposes, and some hundreds of irregulars, was
augmented at Stolatz by half a battalion of regular infantry. That the
picturesque effect produced by these Bashi Bazouks (conspicuous among
whom were the Albanian levies) was heightened by the addition of the
regulars, in their soiled garments and woollen great coats, I cannot
pretend to say; yet let no one endeavour to depreciate the Turkish
infantry who has not seen them plodding gallantly on beneath a broiling
sun, and in a country which, by its stony roughness, would tax the
energies of the stoutest Highlander.

Those first marches, before we joined the main army, were for us, who
were mounted, pleasant enough. Taking advantage of any clump of trees
which we might encounter--and these were not very numerous--the halt
would sound, and in an incredibly short space of time coffee and pipes
would be served to the General, his Secretary, and myself, the staff
forming themselves into a group a few paces distant.

During these halts children or curious adults would be seen peeping from
behind the trees, bent on catching a glimpse of the Serdar Ekrem. I
noticed that he never missed an opportunity of conversing with the
country people, who would tremblingly obey his summons to come and
receive 'Bakshish,' until reassured by his kind tone and gentle manner.

In thus speaking of Omer Pacha's moral qualities let me not be mistaken:
I do not wish to infer that he possesses a very refined mind, still less
that he is gifted with those elements which go to form the
philanthropist; but that which he does possess is much good nature, a
long-headed shrewdness, which shows him the policy of toleration, and a
general disposition to support the weak against the strong. Thus, if he
has been accused of squeezing the faithful subjects of His Imperial
Majesty the Sultan, I venture to say that these attentions on his part
have been devoted entirely to those whom he knows to have amassed money
by grinding extortion, and thus he pays them off in their own coin.

On the night of the 15th we halted in a small encampment about five
hours beyond Stolatz, where tents were already pitched for our
reception. Here one of those sights met our view so characteristic of
the country, and so unlike anything one is accustomed to see in regular
armies. A certain amount of hay and barley had been collected, and,
having been warned to do so by one of the staff, I ordered my servant to
push on ahead, that he might make sure of a portion of the spoil. On my
arrival I went down to watch operations, and vastly amusing it was to
see the scuffle which was going on--black servants, privates of
dragoons, and staff officers all helping themselves in a manner that
would have wrung the heart of the most generous forage contractor or
commissariat officer. Here I discovered the sort of stuff of which my
servant, a Dalmatian, was made. Some one, it appears, had told him, with
what truth I know not, that a party of Greek Christians had lately made
an incursion into this very camp, killing several Turks. This, and the
reports of a few muskets, so completely unmanned him, that he stoutly
declared his intention of remaining awake during the night; and it was
only by allowing him to lie in the tent by my side that I could induce
him to try and sleep. The abject cowardice of this youth on subsequent
occasions gave me but a poor impression of the modern Dalmatian--an idea
which was confirmed by the conduct of his successor, who was, if
possible, a more pitiable poltroon than Michaele. That the position of a
servant whose master was without bed or coverlet was not particularly
enviable, I am ready to admit, and many a time did he come to complain
of incipient starvation; but at the moment it was difficult to make
allowance for these little inconveniences, which were common to us all.

We were now approaching Bieliki, where a considerable body of troops was
massed under Dervisch Pacha, a General of Division. The character of the
country through which we passed continued the same--stony and rough,
varied only by a little low wood.

The last march was doubly as long as its precursors, and it was late in
the evening before we reached the camp. Excepting several detachments of
irregulars posted at intervals, the country presented a most deserted
appearance; and, from accounts which I have since heard, I cannot help
fancying that the cause and effect were very closely allied, or, in
other words, that the presence of the irregulars accounted for the
absence of the general population. The semi-feudal spirit, which was in
great measure extinguished elsewhere with the destruction of the
Janissaries, is still rife in this portion of the empire; and it seems
to me that more real danger is to be apprehended by the Porte from this
independent spirit in the Mussulman population than from the
bloodthirsty hatred of the Christians.

About four hours from Bieliki we were met by Dervisch Pacha. Here,
again, we found more Bashi Bazouks, both horse and foot, as well as a
battalion of chasseurs of the army of Constantinople. On arriving in
camp, I was told off to share the tent of a Colonel-Doctor, by name Rali
Bey, who received me most hospitably. He is a young Greek, who has
served about eight years, having entered as a Major-Doctor. (Be not
horrified, O Surgeon-Major, at so unheard-of a proceeding! Doubtless
your privileges are far greater than his, save that you have the Major
as an appendage in place of a prefix.) The aforesaid Rali Bey was far
the best specimen of a Turkish military doctor whom I ever met. As a
rule, they are not an attractive set. Almost invariably
Constantinopolitans, they jabber execrable French fluently enough, and
affect European manners in a way which is truly disgusting: add to this
a natural disregard of cleanliness, and an obtrusive familiarity, and
nothing more is wanted to complete the picture. Of their professional
capacity I am unable to speak, never, I am thankful to say, having been
compelled to intrust my constitution to their hands; but, judging from
the fact that, on leaving college, they dispense with books, I felt
inclined to attribute the singularly small amount of sickness in camp
more to fortuitous circumstances than to the _ars medendi_, as practised
by these ingenuous young men.

The sanitary state of the army at that time contrasted very favourably
with its condition some two months later in the year. At the first
period to which I allude there were only seventy men actually in
hospital, the whole force at Bieliki amounting to 8,047 regulars and
2,900 Bashi Bazouks. Of the twelve battalions of regular infantry which
composed the force five were armed with rifles, and were termed
chasseurs in consequence. At the same time, it is fair to add that
special attention has been paid to this arm, and the naturally keen eye
of the Turkish soldiers renders their education a matter of comparative

The night which followed our arrival at Bieliki was, I think, the most
sleepless I have ever experienced. So thoroughly tired was I, that the
deafening crashes of thunder, the forked lightning, and the deluge of
rain, which poured in torrents through the tent, might have passed
unheeded, but for the mass of minute life, which defied sleep. With
early dawn I wandered off, too glad to escape from my tormentors, and
went through the hospitals, surgery, and other buildings connected with
the permanent encampment. The irregular lines of tents gave a
picturesque appearance to the camp, which was heightened by the
configuration of the surrounding hills. Far off to the SE. rise the
rugged mountains of Montenegro, at the foot of which lies the plain of
Grahovo, a spot fraught with disastrous reminiscences to the Turks.
Important as that affair was, since Grahovo was ceded to the
Montenegrins in consequence, its details have been grossly exaggerated.
It is currently accepted that 7,000 Turks were cut to pieces by 4,500
mountaineers, the real truth being that the latter were probably nearly
as numerous as their opponents. The Turkish force consisted of two
entire battalions and a portion of a third, and, from the impracticable
nature of the country, it would have been strange had the result been
otherwise than it was. Hemmed in and mowed down from all sides by an
unseen foe, the Turkish soldiers lost all self-reliance, it is true, and
the panic which ensued must have tended considerably to increase the
magnitude of their loss. In justice to Hussein Pacha, the Turkish
General, it should be known that the operations which placed his army in
this false position were not of his planning, but were carried out in
deference to the wishes of the Civil Governor, and against his advice.
From the above remarks I would not have it supposed that I am desirous
of detracting from the well-merited praise to which the Montenegrins are
entitled for their long and successful resistance to the Turkish arms.
Their gloriously stalwart frames, and their independent spirit, both of
which they inherit with their mountain air, entitle them to admiration
and esteem; but an undue appreciation of these should not be allowed to
warp the judgement or prejudice the mind. Some there are who invest them
with almost supernaturally noble qualities, while they attribute every
conceivable enormity to their enemies the Turks. Each of these views is
incorrect. The Osmanlis, whether it be from a consciousness of their own
decrepitude, or some other cause, appear to have lost the spirit of
cruelty which characterised their more successful days; and it is a
matter of fact that the atrocities committed by their Christian
antagonists in the Greek War of Independence, during the incursion of
the Hellenic bands into Thessaly and Epirus in 1854, or in the present
_émeute_, equal, if they do not surpass, anything which they can lay to
the charge of the Turks. Travellers are apt to form their opinions upon
the evidence of their own senses; and when such is the case, their
verdict cannot fail to be favourable to the Moslems: for things seen
with one's own eyes will always make a deeper and more lasting
impression than the most harrowing details, the scene of which is laid
in times gone by.

It may be urged that the want of power has caused this increased
humanity; and in part it may be so, for the nature of a people can never
undergo a sudden and entire change. But I can myself vouch for the
lenity which they displayed when they have had the power, and to wit
great provocation, to have acted otherwise. The incontrovertible facts,
too, remain that Mussulman Turkey has been the first to relinquish the
unchristian custom of decapitating prisoners, and other inhuman
practices, which the so-called Christians appear little inclined to
renounce. This will, of course, meet with an indignant denial on the
part of their supporters; but it must be a strong argument which can
overcome the disgust occasioned by the sight of women without ears,
children without noses, and bleeding corpses of soldiers literally hewn
to pieces with knives, all of which I have witnessed with my own eyes.

In matters which do not immediately concern England, no opinion is
probably entitled to so much reliance as that of a Briton, even allowing
for a certain tendency, which he often has, to measure all people and
things by his own standard; and for this reason, that he is probably
free from all political and religious bias, while we know that he cannot
be actuated by prejudices resulting from community of origin, which
invalidates the testimony of the subjects of so many other European
states. However narrow-minded Englishmen may be in their own affairs,
they are generally capable of taking a broader and sounder view of those
of their neighbours than any other people. I think, therefore, that it
speaks strongly in favour of the opinions which I have advanced, that
they are shared by all those few Englishmen whose calling has brought
them into connection with these countries, or the still smaller number
who have gone thither for their own gratification. To the former class,
more especially, I can unhesitatingly appeal, to bear me out in the
heterodox assertion that the Christians are, as a mass, greater enemies
to progress than the Turks.

[Footnote O: I.e. of the Greek Church.]


     Tzernagora--Collusion between Montenegrins and Rebels--Turks
     abandon System of Forbearance--Chances of Success--Russian
     Influence--Private Machination--M. Hecquard--European
     Intervention--Luca Vukalovich--Commencement of
     Hostilities--Dervisch Pacha--Advance on Gasko--Baniani--Bashi
     Bazouks--Activity of Omer Pacha--Campaigning in Turkey--Line of
     March--Pass of Koryta--The Halt--National Dance--'La Donna
     _Amabile_'--Tchernitza--Hakki Bey--Osman Pacha--Man with Big
     Head--Old Tower--Elephantiasis--Gasko--Camp Life--Moslem
     Devotions--Character of Turkish Troops--System of
     Drill--Peculation--Turkish Army--Letters--Scarcity of
     Provisions--Return of Villagers.

If the past history of Tzernagora or the Black Mountain is deserving of
our admiration and wonder, its future prospects afford a no less open
field for doubt and speculation. So far all has gone well with her: the
manly character of her people, and their apparent invincibility, have
enlisted the sympathies of the world in her behalf, while identity of
religion and race have procured for her the more tangible advantages of
Russian protection.

That the last-named power is disinterested in pursuing this policy is
not for a moment to be supposed. The price she has ever demanded for her
protection has been one too willingly paid by these lawless
mountaineers, an unremitting hostility to Turks and Turkey. For
centuries this was open and undisguised on the part both of the people
and the Vladika, by whom, despite his religious calling, the destruction
of Turks was rewarded as a distinguished national service. Such,
however, is no longer the case; although their hatred is not one whit
diminished, or their depredations less frequent than of old, they mask
them under the garb of a feigned neutrality and an unreal friendship.
Thus they protest, in the face of the most damning proofs to the
contrary, their innocence of all connivance with the Herzegovinian
rebels. Corpses of those who have been recognised as accredited leaders
they declare to be Uskoks, proscribed brigands, whom it behoves every
lover of order to hunt down and destroy. But none are deceived by these
shallow excuses, which ill corroborate the assertion which, in an
unguarded moment, escaped from the young Prince, that he would
undertake, upon the fulfillment of certain conditions, to pacify the
frontier within fourteen days.

This tacit admission of collusion with the rebels is quite sufficient to
justify the Porte in endeavouring to overrun the province, and thus
trample out rebellion in its principal stronghold. Presupposing its
ability to effect this, we then arrive at the real debatable point,
whether such a course would be allowed by the other powers. In the case
of England the answer can hardly be doubtful; for it would ill behove a
country, in whose Parliament all religions are tolerated, to interfere
in the matter, abandoning that policy of non-intervention which she has
so openly confessed and so successfully pursued, upon the narrow grounds
of the inexpediency of permitting a Mussulman power to overrun a
Christian province, and a province, be it remembered, which legally
composes an integral portion of the Turkish empire.

The candid announcement made by the Porte of its intention to abandon
the policy of forbearance towards Montenegro, which it has as yet
pursued, betokens the existence of a small spark of its ancient spirit,
and augurs well for its success. Should the belligerents be left to
themselves, I believe that it will succeed; but the web of political
intrigue which has grown around the question, fostered by hereditary
policy, imperial ambition, and private machination, render it difficult
to foretell the issue. The chances which render success probable are the
deference which France has of late shown to the wishes of England, the
want of union prevalent throughout the Austrian empire, and the internal
movement in Russia, which incapacitates her from doing mischief in this
part of Europe. Yet, let us not disguise from ourselves the self-evident
fact, that the views of Russia remain unaltered, that the policy of
Peter is still maintained inviolate, and that, although the last war may
have convinced her that actual self-aggrandisement will not be
tolerated, she still holds one object ever in view--the destruction of
Turkish supremacy on both banks of the Danube and the substitution of
dependent Slavism.

Throughout European Turkey, and nowhere more than in Montenegro, has her
influence waned since the Eastern war; yet so long as she shall possess,
and so freely use, the golden key, she must and will have very great

Of the three causes which, as I have said, tend to complicate the
Herzegovinian-Montenegrin question, private machinations have recently
been the most successful, and consequently the most injurious to order
and the general weal. The energy of some of the foreign employés has
been truly astounding, while their glib tongues and manœuvring minds
have worked metamorphoses worthy of Robin or the Wizard of the North.
This distortion of facts was somewhat naïvely described by a French
colleague of M. Hecquard.[P]

'Montenegro,' said the former gentleman, 'c'est une invention de
Monsieur Hecquard.' Instances of such duplicity have been frequently
brought to light. These, while they reflect little credit on the
individual, speak badly for the good faith of the government
represented, as discovery is rarely followed by punishment--frequently
quite the reverse.

The high-handed policy which the Porte is now pursuing is the most
likely to be attended with beneficial results; for, as experience has
shown us, the system of concession is entirely useless, each addition to
their territory only making the Montenegrins the more grasping and more
avaricious. That a solution of the difficulty must in some way be
arrived at is clear. Should Turkey fail in effecting this by the means
she is now adopting, Europe will be called on to interfere; for while
things exist as at present, the developement of those countries in
agriculture or commerce is as impossible as in civilisation and

The disorganised condition of the Herzegovina, with its attendant
incubus of half a million of debt, renders it certain that one of two
results must inevitably ensue: either Turkey will be compelled to
surrender that province, and possibly Bosnia also, or she will sustain a
still severer blow to her already shattered finances. Of the two evils,
the latter is the least in the opinion of the Ottoman government, and it
was this consideration which induced it to determine on the prosecution
of hostilities in 1861. Several causes combined to retard the
commencement of military operations until late in the year. The
principal reasons were, the almost unprecedented drought which prevailed
during that year, and the deference shown by Omer Pacha to the wishes
of the European Commission, then sitting at Mostar, whose members did
all in their power to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion without having
recourse to arms. In the meantime troops were being massed, and stores,
provisions, and magazines provided at Gasko, Bieliki, and Trebigné. The
country infested by the insurgents extended from Bosnia round the
frontier as far as Suttorina, in the vicinity of which Luca Vukalovitch
had established his quarters. This man, who has acquired a certain
notoriety, was a blacksmith by trade, but, preferring a life of lawless
indolence to honest labour, betook himself to his present calling. He
appears to be quite devoid of that chivalrous courage which has
distinguished many of his class, and consequently deserves neither
sympathy when free nor mercy from his captors when taken.

On September 3 the first move was made. Columns left Bieliki and
Trebigné, which, after scouring the district surrounding Grahovo,
returned without effecting any important results. A re-distribution of
the troops then took place. Trebigné was almost denuded of regular
soldiers, its defence being intrusted to Bashi Bazouks, while the entire
force was distributed at other points of the frontier, Bieliki and Gasko
constituting a permanent base of operations. At the former of these
Dervisch Pacha was in command, a man of considerable military talent,
though thoroughly unscrupulous, while another General of Division, Osman
Pacha, had his head-quarters at Gasko.

Such was the position of affairs on September 18, 1861. Upon the morning
of that day, intelligence was received of such a nature as to render an
immediate move advisable. An order to this effect was issued at 2
P.M., just as I had succeeded in rendering habitable a very
smart little tent, which had previously belonged to the Spanish General
Prim, and had been given by him to Omer Pacha after the campaign on the
Danube. At 3 P.M. six battalions paraded with eight guns, and
some sappers, the whole under the command of Ali Pacha of Scutari, a
General of Brigade. For some hours our course lay in a NE. direction
along a ridge, and separated only by the intervening gorge from the
mountains of the Baniani, which ran parallel on our right. These were
known to be infested with rebels, traces of whom were found by a force
of irregulars sent to attack them during the chilly hours of morning.
Here I, for the first time, saw Omer Pacha throw off the air of easy
carelessness habitual to him, and apply himself _con amore_ to the work
before him. He selected the positions to be occupied by the outposts and
picquets, indicating to his staff such points as he considered most
worthy of their attention, and endeavouring, by his own exertions, to
atone for the shortcomings of his subordinates. The force bivouacked
that night on the side of a hill overhanging a hollow, in which was
pitched one of the small camps with which these districts are now
interspersed. The choice of ground was certainly most injudicious, and
the General expressed his annoyance in no measured terms.

From this time the privations endured by the troops were very great.
Long marches over an almost impracticable country by day, the most
intense cold by night, without tents or extra clothing, and with little
food, were endured with uncomplaining devotion. In some measure I could
sympathise with them, having passed all the nights since leaving Mostar
without bed or blanket. Thus many a cold morning hour did I eke out in
vain search for wood to kindle a little fire; and had I to undergo the
ordeal again, I should certainly prefer to pass the night _à la belle
étoile_, with my toes to the smouldering embers of a camp fire, and my
head well wrapped up after the manner of all Easterns.

On the second day after leaving Bieliki, our course lay due N. through a
perfect wilderness of rocks, varied only by an occasional basin, formed
by surrounding hills, and covered with a species of dwarf vegetation.
The appearance of the force, as it straggled over this wavy expanse of
stone, was curious enough, and it certainly baffles all attempts at
description; so I must ask my readers to allow their imagination to
people the _mer de glace_ with some thousands of Oriental soldiers,
regular and irregular, pipe-bearers, and household servants formidably
armed, and they will not be far from a just conception of the case.
After marching for five hours over this inhospitable tract, we halted at
the mouth of a valley where the hills open out into a small plain. This
forms the entrance to the Pass of Koryta, whence we had just emerged. It
is a spot of ill repute even amongst the barbarous inhabitants of these
regions; and more Turks have received their death-wounds from behind the
boulders, which have served to screen the assassins, or from the knives
of the ever-ready Greeks in that fatal gorge, than in any other spot of
these disordered lands. The Pass is formed by the extremities of Banyani
and Pianina, and is of much strategical importance. It was one of the
first points subsequently occupied by Omer Pacha. Many a disaster has
been brought about by the incautious recklessness of those in command of
Turkish troops, and it was with some satisfaction that I saw the heights
both in front and rear crowned by Turkish battalions, before the
remainder were allowed to pile their arms, and betake themselves to
sleep or any other recreation. It was impossible not to revert in
imagination to the scenes of blood and strife of which Koryta has been
the site, as contrasted with its appearance at that moment. Groups of
Turkish soldiers were amusing themselves by dancing a national dance,
with as much gaiety as though they had not marched a yard, and with far
more activity than one would be disposed to give them credit for
possessing. The dance, a kind of jumping reel, was accompanied by
droning music not unlike the pipes. A little farther a regimental band
was murdering the two or three European airs with which it was
acquainted. One of these, to which they showed a good-natured antipathy
by frequently murdering, was 'La Donna è Mobile,' or 'La Donna
_Amabile_,' as Omer took pleasure in calling it. And thus the day wore
on, until, late in the evening, we arrived at Tchernitza, a little town
of about 600 inhabitants. Our camp was formed on a level plot, which
looked green and pleasant after the barren country through which we had
passed. Just above the spot where the men bivouacked was a lofty mound
surmounted by a turret, from which an armed sentry of a regiment of
redif (or militia) kept watch over the surrounding country. While taking
a bird's-eye view from this point, I heard myself accosted, to my no
small astonishment, in very fair English by a Turkish officer. My new
acquaintance proved to be one Hakki Bey, a Major of Engineers, employed
on the staff of Osman Pacha. He told me that, after having passed ten
years at the Turkish Military College, he had been sent to England for
five years to complete his education. What can the world say of Turkish
education after this stupendous example? He was an officer of much
intelligence, and soon worked himself into Omer Pacha's good graces. On
the following morning I met Osman Pacha at breakfast in the
Generalissimo's tent. He answers fully to the latter's description of
him, as being a man of much feeling, and very much the reverse of what
he is represented by Mr. Oliphant. That gentleman, in his narrative of
the Trans-Caucasian campaign, calls him 'a thorough Moslem, and a hater
of all Feringhees.' Now I am at a loss to conceive on what grounds he
can base that assertion; for, excepting that he speaks no language but
his own--a very common circumstance with English gentlemen of a certain
age--he is thoroughly European in his ideas and tendencies. Of his
kindness to myself under circumstances of difficulty and danger I shall
ever entertain the most lively recollection.

While peering about in the single street of Tchernitza, I observed a
crowd collected in one corner. The centre of attraction proved to be a
man with a big head. The unfortunate creature seemed to experience very
much the same treatment as he would have met with had he been turned
loose in the streets of London. Everybody stared, most people laughed,
and some jeered at his terrible affliction. He may have numbered some
five-and-forty years, stood about five feet four inches high, with a
head of about twice the natural size. The idiotic appearance produced by
this deformity was increased by the dimensions of his tongue, which
protruded from his mouth, and hung down at the side in the most
woe-begone manner. The poor wretch accepted the banter of the spectators
with that good-humoured indifference which leads one to hope that the
victims of such freaks of nature are insensible to the full weight of
their calamity. To the SE. of the town or village stand the ruins of an
old castle, once the favourite resort of the Dukes of Herzegovina.
Nought save the remnant of the walls remains to mark its importance in
days gone by.

The remainder of our march to Gasko was in the plain, and presented few
objects to attract attention, unless it was another victim of fell
disease. A poor girl, suffering from elephantiasis, was one of the only
women whom I had seen for many days. Her foot was swollen to an
incredible size, and I have been since informed that it is not an
uncommon complaint in those countries. As usual, we found the force
already encamped at Gasko drawn up to receive us, four mountain guns on
either flank. These were mounted, and drawn by two mules. In places
inaccessible to wheeled carriages, they are carried, as in our own
service, by two mules, viz. the gun on one, and the carriage on the

The infantry presented a more creditable appearance than any I had yet
seen, and the encampment generally looked clean and orderly. Camp life
is under no circumstances a very agreeable phase of existence, and least
of all in Eastern countries, when divested of the excitement resulting
from the probability of an attack. In other lands there is sure to be
something to attract the mind. Staff officers in gay uniforms pass and
repass in all the importance of official haste, cornets of cavalry bent
on performing the onerous duties of galloper, and the pompous swagger of
infantry drum-majors, all combine to vary the scene and amuse the eye.
But in Turkey this is not so. All are equally dirty and unkempt, while
the hideous attempts at music have very far from a soothing effect. An
attentive listener may hear a single voice four times in the day calling
to prayer, a custom which, under no circumstances, is ever omitted. Of
the internal response to this appeal I am of course unable to judge, but
from outward appearance I should imagine it to be small. The Pachas, it
is true, indulge in the somewhat unintellectual amusement of twiddling a
chain of beads, talking on indifferent subjects the while; but I never
observed even this small tribute of respect amongst the inferior
officers. And thus the day wears on in dull monotony, until at sunset a
crash of many voices may be heard from the centre of the camp, rising up
to heaven, and calling down a blessing on their Sultan's head.

Immediately upon his arrival at Gasko, Omer Pacha had betaken himself to
the only habitable house in the adjacent village, coming down to camp
with early morning. I consequently became the guest of Osman Pacha, who
treated me with uniform kindness. It is a strange coincidence that
almost every Turkish Pacha, whatever may have been his origin, however
low his moral character, possesses a dignity of deportment and a charm
of manner which among Europeans is deemed an infallible test of a kind
heart and high breeding. This, however, does not apply in its full sense
to Osman, for a more amiable and moral old gentleman never breathed.
Indeed, I much fear that the good qualities of his heart somewhat
eclipsed those of his head, as subsequent events will show. Many of his
remarks, however, were shrewd and pointed enough; thus, while comparing
the English with the Turkish soldier, he very candidly admitted that the
former carried off the palm in the matter of fighting, with the
following reservations--that the Turk is content to serve with a very
considerable arrear of pay, and with very little in the way of clothing
or nourishment; that he is able to endure equal if not greater fatigue
and hardship; and lastly, that he does not indulge in strong drinks. All
this must be admitted by the most prejudiced arbitrator; nor is it the
highest eulogium to which the Moslem soldier is entitled. Habits of
order and obedience, which are only sustained in European armies by the
strictest discipline, form part of the national character, and therefore
render the minuter details of military economy unnecessary. That they
will ever become sufficiently familiarised with their European clothing
as to present a smart appearance, is improbable; yet their parade
movements are even now performed with considerable accuracy and rapidity
in the loose shuffling manner in vogue amongst the French, while of
their prowess in the field we have had ample proofs on divers
occasions--whether in the European campaign of 1828, when, despite the
confusion resulting from the recent destruction of the Janissaries, they
beat the Russians at all points; or in Asia during that and the
following years, where, if not so successful, they often displayed a
heroism unsurpassed in history. Or, coming down to the present time, we
have but to recall the noble stand made at Kars and Silistria, which,
almost without defences, they held for months against the most
determined efforts of Mouravieff and Paskievitch. Singularly enduring,
brave, and obedient, they require only good leading to form them into
one of the most effective armies of the world. But this is precisely the
one thing in which they are most strikingly deficient, and of which
there is little hope of any permanent amelioration.

In no department of the public administration are the baneful effects of
that spirit of insincerity and rapacity, which is almost universal at
Constantinople, more apparent than in the army. Money drawn upon the
authority of false returns, and eventually appropriated by the highest
people of the land, affords an example of peculation and dishonesty
which is carried out through all ranks, and the result is that the
greater portion of the army has received no pay for more than
six-and-twenty months. There is reason to believe that this system of
sending in false numerical returns has been of late carried to an
incredible extent. The nominal strength of the Turkish army is as
follows:--6 corps d'armées, each consisting of 6 regiments of 4
battalions, each battalion numbering 1,000 effective men, with a
proportion of cavalry and artillery to each corps d'armée.

This gives us 144,000 regular infantry; and yet I have good authority
for saying that, should Turkey enter upon a war to-morrow, she would do
so with less than 80,000 regular infantry. Of these 29 of the strongest
battalions were in the Herzegovina during the past autumn, and that
force has received a slight increase during the winter months. To the
merits of these troops I have already borne testimony. Against those by
whom they are officered I would now raise a protest, since they appeared
to be so selected without regard to any one qualification which may
entitle them to the rank. Even were the finances of the empire restored
to a flourishing condition, and other reforms instituted, the army
cannot be thoroughly effective until it is re-officered, and the new
officers duly impressed with a conviction of the just distribution of
rewards and punishments. It is deplorable that so low a sentiment should
be the only one with which to inspire the officers, in order to secure
the zealous fulfillment of their duties. But so it is: their birth and
education, and the flagrant instances of bought rewards, which are
constantly before their eyes, combine to render it the best sentiment of
which they are capable. This applies principally to the regimental
officers in the lower ranks, upon whom the efficiency of an army so much
depends. Great good is anticipated from the extended scale introduced
into the Military College, and it is said to be the intention of the
government to appoint as soon as possible officers to commands who have
passed through it, to the extinction of the old system of conferring the
highest rank upon Pachas, whether fitted for the position or not.

Excepting the chief of the staff, and some of the aides-de-camp, the
staff in the field was composed of engineer officers, most of whom had
passed some years in France or Belgium, while one had remained five
years in England. But these are men of a very different stamp from the
general run of regimental officers, who appear to think it the greatest
privilege of their position to get very drunk whenever the opportunity
offers itself, thus presenting a curious contrast with the remarkable
sobriety of their men. One evening I chanced to witness a scene as
amusing as it was characteristic of the people among whom I lived. A
post had arrived, and Osman Pacha's private Secretary was occupied in
dispensing the letters. The officers were admitted to his tent, and the
childish glee which they displayed was diverting in the extreme. Not
only did they mark their gratitude by kissing every portion of the
Secretary's garments on which they could lay hand, but danced about,
showing the epistles to all who approached. Fortunately, perhaps, few of
these could read, so the breach of confidence was not very great. I have
often noticed that an Oriental, when he does shake off the apathetic
reserve habitual to him, becomes more excited and enthusiastic than
warmer-blooded nations. At any rate they seem to possess a full measure
of that natural instinct of joy at receiving tidings of loved ones in
far distant lands. One of these letters was from the wife of an officer,
who had not heard from her for many months, and whose last reports had
informed him of the destruction of his house by fire. The apparent
indifference with which he had received the first announcement
completely gave way to a flood of happiness on hearing of the safety of
those he loved. Verily they are not so devoid of feeling as is generally
supposed--these fatalist Turks.

The arrival of Dervisch Pacha with six battalions from Bieliki, which
was now occupied by two battalions of redif, converted Gasko into the
sole base of operations. The rain, which had for the past few days
fallen in torrents, would have enabled Omer Pacha to have commenced
hostilities on a greater scale, but for the dearth of provisions, which
should have reached the frontier long since. It now became apparent that
little could be done during the remaining months of the year, for nature
had effected for the rebels whatever the indolence of the Turkish
commanders had left undone. The magnificent harvest of the preceding
year, which the rebels had appropriated, and the extraordinary drought
which had prevailed during the spring and summer of 1861, combined to
diminish the Turkish prospects of success. Moreover, the object of the
Generalissimo was not so much to hunt down the rebels as to inspire them
with confidence in the leniency of the Sultan's rule, while he, at the
same time, occupied the country in such force as to convince them of the
necessity of eventual submission. Already were the good effects of this
measure manifested in the rapid return of the inhabitants to the
surrounding villages. Metokhia, Aphtoria, and Lubniak, all in the close
vicinity of the Turkish camp, had been deserted by their occupants, who,
like the majority in the plain of Gasko, are of the Mussulman religion.
These now returned to their desolated homes.

[Footnote P: The French Consul at Scutari and member of the European
Commission, a man as remarkable for talent as for cunning and love of


     Expedition to Niksich--Character of Scenery--Engineer
     Officers--Want of Maps--Affghan Dervish--Krustach--Wallack
     Colonel--Bivouac--Bashi Bazouks--Pass of Dougah--Plain of
     Niksich--Town and Frontier--Albanian Mudir--Turkish Women--Defects
     of Government by Mudir and Medjlis.

The ennui produced by a long halt after a series of consecutive marches
had by this time taken such a hold on me, that with delight I heard Omer
Pacha's announcement of his intention to send a force with provisions
for the town and garrison of Niksich, whose proximity to Montenegro
placed them in the position of a beleaguered garrison, and rendered them
dependent upon the government for the ordinary necessaries of life. For
this duty Osman Pacha was detached, taking with him seven battalions and
four guns, which were subsequently reinforced by an eighth battalion
from Krustach. For the first three hours our route lay in the valley of
Gasko, which looked green and fertile, though showing few signs of
cultivation. The ruins of a church were the only antiquarian relics
which I noticed on the march. At the extremity of the valley the pathway
winds to the SE., having the rugged Piwa, looking bleak and bare, on the
left, and the more wooded heights of Baniani on the right. The
configuration of the hills, and the sharp outline of the country
generally, combined with the indescribably wild and rocky character of
some parts of the foreground, and the sloping grass banks in others, to
produce a picture at once grand and picturesque; but it was a picture of
which the eye soon wearied and the appreciation palled. There, as
throughout the whole march to Niksich, the country abounds with the most
magnificent defensible positions; natural parapets, whence a most
destructive fire might be poured upon an advancing foe, and incapable of
being turned by any flank movement; positions, in short, constructed for
the enactment of a second Thermopylæ. No signs of humanity were to be
found in that barren region. Here and there the carcass of a stray
horse, which had died probably of pure inanition, and afforded a scanty
meal to the birds and beasts of prey, was the only sign of aught that
had ever beat with the pulse of life. Leaving the main body, I came up
with a small party of engineer officers, employed in taking the angles
on the line of march. The serious inconvenience resulting from the want
of a good map of these countries is now much felt. True, it was
partially removed by the existence of a map of Montenegro, including a
portion of the Herzegovinian frontier, drawn by Major Cox[Q], R.E., and
published by the Topographical Department, a copy of which I had
presented to Omer Pacha, and which was much appreciated by him. Very
properly, however, he proposes that the country shall be surveyed by
Turkish officers, and a map constructed upon their observations. Its
accuracy will be somewhat doubtful, if we may judge from the crude
manner in which they set to work. The only instruments employed were
prismatic compasses, with which they jotted down angles at all the
salient points, an orderly dragoon counting his horse's paces in the
intervening time, which was occasionally as much as twenty minutes.
Passing these I reach the advance guard, and still pressing on I soon
find myself alone. No, not quite alone; another turn of the rocks brings
me abreast of a strange companion, his long flowing dress of yellow
surge, and Dervish's hat, with its hair-fringe, proclaim him to be one
of that large class of religious devotees who live in indolence by
working upon the superstition of their co-religionists. My friend,
however, was a man of some affluence, and very superior in all respects
to the generality of his order. By birth an Affghan, he has spent many
years in the Herzegovina, and had followed the army for some weeks
before I chanced to meet him. Wherever there was a prospect of work or
danger there were his little bay stallion and tufted lance always to be
seen. There was something weird-like in his presence, as he now sat
like a statue on his horse, and anon darted forward with a flourish of
his lance, sending up wreaths of blue smoke from the inseparable
chibouque. We thus rode in company until we overtook the small force of
irregulars, who had been sent in advance of the main body. This constant
use of, and great reliance on, the Bashi Bazouks, is most prejudicial to
the efficiency of the service; for while it tends to deteriorate the
spirit of the regulars by depriving them of the first chance of meeting
the enemy, it exposes the others to the influence of bribery, which
constitutes so prominent a feature of Oriental warfare. Omer Pacha well
understands the disadvantages resulting therefrom, and will soon have
established a more healthy system. Already he has succeeded in inspiring
the troops with a degree of self-confidence, quite unprecedented, by
merely avoiding that error into which Turkish Generals so often fall, of
detaching small bodies of troops, who are cut up by the enemy without
object and without result. Individually, he is perhaps somewhat
destitute of the _élan_ which is generally associated with the character
of a Guerilla chief, and yet without detracting from his character as a
master in the art of modern war, there is no species of campaigning
which he understands so well as that which he has successfully waged in
Montenegro and the other hill countries of the Turkish empire. Energy
and caution are the two qualities indispensable to success in these
countries, and these he possesses to an eminent degree. It may be deemed
presumptuous in me to pass an opinion upon one whose fame is world-wide;
but that very fact must be my excuse, that those who are entitled to
universal admiration are likewise subject to universal criticism. I have
heard it urged that Fuad Pacha, the present Grand Vizier, who displayed
much ability in the conduct of the war against the rebels in Thessalyand
Epirus in 1854, would have succeeded better in the present hostilities.
But, on the other hand, if the Grand Vizier be gifted with a greater
amount of dash, Omer Pacha possesses a cooler judgement and a larger
experience than any man in the Turkish empire; and before leaving the
subject, I would call attention to the meritorious service which he has
rendered to the Sultan under all circumstances. Disgraced without cause,
he has faithfully adhered to the country of his adoption, displaying
through good report and evil report an integrity which does honour to
his principles. For, be it remembered, that he is bound by no ties of
blood or nationality, and that treachery to Turkey would probably serve
as a passport to the highest honours in Austria or Russia.

Apologising for this digression, I would now return to Osman Pacha and
the column whom I have left so far to the rear. Late in the afternoon we
arrived at Krustach, a position somewhat similar to Koryta, and of
equal importance as regards the military occupation of the country. The
valley is at this point shut in on either hand by hills of just
sufficient height to give an advantageous command to a defending force;
these are connected by a cross range, that present an apparently
impassable barrier to an advancing foe. This position is surmounted by a
small fort with a court-yard, whose walls are pierced for musketry. Four
guns of indifferent quality are here mounted, commanding the approaches
on either side, while three guard-houses, each capable of holding two or
three companies, have been built on the most elevated positions,
flanking the approach from the NW. The garrison consisted of two
battalions commanded by a Wallack colonel, who might have passed but for
his fez for an officer in the Russian service, so much did he resemble
one of that nation in physiognomy. He appeared to be an active and
intelligent officer, and had, I heard, rendered good service during the
Eastern war. The appearance of the valley that night was strange and
picturesque. Hundreds of fires stretched far up the sides of the cradle
of hills in which our bivouac was formed, while a regular line of light
marked the chain of outposts which crowned the surrounding heights.
Head-quarters might be recognised by a large paper lantern suspended on
a high stick close to the camp-fire, around which lay Osman Pacha, one
of his staff, the Affghan Dervish, and myself, all sleeping quite as
comfortably as though we had never known a bed. Trumpets sounded at 5
A.M. for a start; and, having ascended to the fort, we found
the sun struggling for the mastery with the clouds on the tops of the
adjacent hills. The army was now in full motion; the regular infantry
defiled in something like order down the narrow path, which had been
imperceptible to us on the preceding evening. The Bashi Bazouks, on the
other hand, might be seen streaming down the hill-side, jumping,
rolling, and tumbling in strange confusion. Having inspected the fort we
joined in with these, and rode down a descent, which would have been
impracticable for any save the sure-footed iron-plated horses of the
East. After traversing the valley for some miles, the rugged line of
Piwa closed in upon us on the left, and a black impenetrable mountain
seemed to bar our farther progress. After three quarters of an hour's
ascent we were glad to halt. Clambering to a grassy knoll, we made a
frugal meal of the hardest of biscuit soaked in muddy water, the only
food, by the way, which the troops tasted from the time of leaving Gasko
until their return. These biscuits are manufactured at Constantinople,
and are so hard as to be uneatable unless soaked; they, however, form a
good substitute for bread, which is seldom to be procured. But we must
not linger too long, for already the sun is high in the heavens. On,
on, once more, brave little horses and unflinching men; your labours
will soon be rewarded: and thus they toiled on, until, with sobbing
flanks and perspiring brows, the highest requisite point was reached.
Stretching away to our right front was a grassy glade, looking like
velvet after the stony wilderness we had just left: a pine wood on the
left gave it all the appearance of an English park, which was only
dispelled by the extraordinary sight which now met the eye. Behind a dip
in the ground were collected a considerable body of irregular horse and
foot, who were awaiting our approach in all the magnificence of banners,
kettledrums, sackbuts, psalteries, and all kinds of possible and
impossible instruments of music. No sooner did we approach than away
they went, horse and foot, shouting and blowing and waving their flags.
The idea seemed contagious, for it was instantaneously followed by Osman
Pacha and everyone who bestrode any kind of beast, prominent amongst
whom the Affghan might be seen, flourishing his lance well to the fore.
The glade opened out into a valley of inconsiderable size, which has
witnessed more than one encounter between the Christians and Turks. Only
the previous winter an engagement took place, in which the Turks,
notwithstanding that they remained masters of the position, had from
forty to fifty men put _hors de combat_. The timber here was of far
finer growth than any I had yet seen, and the numerous oaks and elms
lying with uptorn roots betokened the violence of the storms which rage.
Many of them were lying midway across our line of march, and it was
found necessary to remove them to admit of a free passage. This was soon
effected, though perhaps with a little more noise than is consistent
with English ideas of order. We had by this time entered the Pass of
Dugah, formed by the extremities of Piwa on the left, and Banian on the
right. The slopes on either hand are wooded, that of Banian to much the
greatest extent. It is some fifteen miles in length, and consists of a
series of open spaces, connected by narrow defiles, whose bottoms
resemble the bed of a dry stream. The scenery is generally pretty, and
abounds with interest from its being a constant bone of contention
between the rival factions. As a defensive position it is undoubtedly
strong; but there is nothing in the nature of the ground in reality to
impede the advance of a determined force. While halted in one of the
open spaces which I have mentioned, we discovered a hole or cavern in
the side of the hill, capable of holding at least two hundred men.
Doubtless this is a constant resort of the freebooters and other lawless
ruffians who infest this part of the country. It was here that the
European Consuls were nearly meeting their deaths, although accompanied
by the Secretary of the Montenegrin Prince, when employed in making
arrangements for the relief of Niksich, which was then invested.

It was dark before we reached the extremity of the valley, and little
did we then think under what circumstances we should next see it. The
latter portion of our march lay through a wood of hazel and other small
trees, intersected here and there by pathways. Here we were met by more
irregulars, and, debouching from the high land, we found a portion of
the garrison of Niksich drawn up on the opposite bank of a little stream
which flowed beneath us. The contour of the surrounding country is very
remarkable: the gray heights of Piwa behind us, Drobniak to our left,
and Banian looking green by comparison on the right, while the rocky
mountains of Karatag form a dark and gloomy foreground to the picture.

During the ensuing night the rain descended in torrents, rendering the
spongy ground on which we had bivouacked very much the reverse of a
desirable resting-place. In vain I waited for an improvement in the
weather, which only became worse and worse; and eventually I started in
pursuit of that portion of the troops which had left at early dawn in
charge of the provisions for Niksich. These consisted of 65,000 okes of
meal and biscuit, with a few head of horned cattle. The last commodity
appeared to me to be scarcely necessary, as we met some hundreds of
bullocks being driven out to graze in the valley, while the presence of
our force rendered such a measure safe. How these were generally
supplied with forage I am at a loss to conjecture, since the Mussulman
population were unable to venture more than one mile from the town,
except in bodies of 500 armed men. The distance to the town from the
commencement of the valley is about six miles, through a broad and
well-watered pasture land. In parts this has been ploughed and devoted
to the produce of grain, burnt stubble of which denoted the destructive
ferocity of the neighbouring Montenegrins. The new line of frontier
recently defined by the European Commission scarcely tends to promote a
pacific adjustment of existing difficulties. On the contrary, the line
of demarcation as it now is must inevitably lead to further
complications. Situated at the apex of a triangle, the town and plain of
Niksich offer a tempting bait to the lawless brigands, who infest the
mountains which form two of its sides, and who keep the unfortunate
Mussulman population in terror of their lives. At the south-eastern
extremity of the plain stands the town of Niksich, a small, dirty, and
irregular collection of buildings, all huddled together in the closest
possible vicinity to the ruined fort, as though seeking the protection
of its mouldering walls. Of the origin of the fort I could learn little,
save from an inscription over the arched entrance, from which it
appears to have been built by the son of an old and influential Albanian
chieftain about 200 years ago. Two square towers, containing five pieces
of ordnance, form the principal feature in the defensive works; but the
whole place is in so ricketty a condition that, were a cannonade to be
opened from its walls, they would inevitably come down about the ears of
their defenders. From the easternmost of these towers the town runs out
some few hundred yards towards the Montenegrin frontier; but all egress
upon that side is out of the question, as there is ever a bullet in
readiness for anyone who may be so rash as to cross a certain green
patch of grass, which appears to be accepted as the legitimate boundary
of the two provinces, although not precisely specified as such. At this
point the Turkish sentries are withdrawn, but farther to the south a
small white building serves as a guard-house, whence sentries are
supplied to form a cordon round that portion of the frontier. On
arriving at Niksich, we--that is, Osman Pacha's principal staff officer
and myself--paid a visit to the Mudir, whom we found sitting in
dignified conclave with his whole Medjlis. The Mudir, a magnificent
Albanian, standing about six feet four inches, and of proportionate
girth, welcomed us most cordially, and appeared a person of far greater
intelligence than most of his class. He bitterly lamented the increase
of suffering, resulting from the change in the line of frontier.
'Attacks by the Montenegrins and their friends,' said he, 'are now of
daily occurrence, and there seems to be no chance of any improvement in
our condition.' He expressed great confidence, however, in the
advantages to be derived from Omer Pacha's arrival, and took a clear and
sound view of things generally. He argued, correctly enough, that the
rebels would stand a good chance of being literally starved into
submission during the ensuing winter and spring, since the occupation of
the country by the Turkish troops had prevented them from getting in
their harvest, while the benighted frenzy which they had themselves
displayed in the wanton destruction of the crops had deterred the
neighbouring landowners from cultivating their fields. But the open
intelligent face of our friend, the Mudir, lit up, more especially when
telling us of some of the dours which he had made against the rebels;
and in good sooth he looked better fitted for such employment, judging
from his great length and breadth, than for sitting hour after hour on
his haunches, emitting clouds of tobacco-smoke, and reflecting upon the
individuality of God, and the plurality of wives, reserved in the next
world for all those who say their prayers regularly, and kill a
sufficient number of Feringhees in this. These stereotyped notions,
however, regarding the tenets of Mahometanism are fast losing credence,
just in proportion as the growth of European ideas is undermining its
very foundation. I do not say that Mussulmans are becoming more
religious or more elevated from their contact with Christian peoples.
Indeed, I rather incline to the opposite opinion; but the European
tendencies which prevail are marked clearly enough by the facile
adroitness with which the followers of the Prophet contrive to evade the
injunctions of the Koran, whether it be in the matter of wines and
strong drinks, or the more constitutional difficulty touching loans,
debts, and the like. For myself, I rather incline to the view of the old
Pacha, who, after listening with his habitual patience to the
long-winded arguments of a Protestant missionary, completely
dumb-foundered that excellent divine by remarking that he (the Pacha)
felt quite convinced of the similarity of their creeds, since the only
apparent difference was, that the Christian has three Gods and one wife,
while the Mussulman has three wives and one God. Even in this last
matter, the plurality of wives, a marvellous amendment is visible. It is
probably owing to the expense attendant thereon, and also to the little
fact, that it is not quite in accordance with the spirit of the age to
drown, or otherwise destroy, those women who indulge their very
pardonable and womanly frailty of wrangling and fighting one with
another. But, granting all this, it is impossible not to perceive that
the position of Turkish women is daily improving. All of a certain
class receive some education; and I never yet spoke to any intelligent
Turk on the subject without hearing him deplore the existence of those
laws in the Koran which would deprive the world of that which renders it
most enjoyable. That the time will come when the religious influences of
Mahometanism will cease to offer a bar to all progress and advancement,
is sufficiently evident, and it consequently behoves Europe to guard
against the re-establishment of moral heathenism on the ruin of
fanatical Islamism.

Returning to the council-chamber of the Mudir of Niksich, I would call
attention to the similarity of expression and venerable appearance of
nearly every member of the Medjlis. This is one of the faults of the
system, that an undue preponderance is thereby given to the ideas of a
certain class.

From the experience of those Europeans who have had good opportunities
of forming an opinion, it would seem that this double government of
Pacha and Medjlis works badly, owing to the ignorance and want of
capacity of those from whom the latter are selected. It would,
therefore, be far more salutary were they only permitted to advise in
place of having a vote; absolute authority being vested in the Pacha,
who should be held personally responsible that the rights of the people
be not infringed, and rigorously punished if convicted of malpractices.
Many will doubtless deny the advantages to be thus derived; but it is
self-evident that in half-civilised countries power should be in the
hands of as few as possible.

It is not my intention to enter the lists as the champion of the Ottoman
Government, whose apathy and insincerity cannot be too strongly
condemned; but I contend that governments, like everything else, must be
judged by comparison, and that the only true measure of the merits of a
government is the moral and social condition of the people whom it
rules. The Turkish Government, whether regarded in its central or
provincial bearings, is decidedly in advance of its subjects. In its
diplomatic relations, in monetary and financial schemes, Turkey has at
any rate acquired a certain amount of credit, while an increase of the
revenue from four to nearly twelve millions within the past thirty
years, and the continued increase of the Christian population, is a
certain proof of the diminution of oppression, and proves conclusively
that a remnant of vitality still exists in her veins.

[Footnote Q: The British member of the European Commission for defining
the frontier of Montenegro.]


     Return to Gasko--Thunderstorm--Attacked by Rebels--Enemy
     repulsed--Retrograde Movement--Eventful Night--Turkish Soldiers
     murdered--Montenegrin Envoy--Coal-Pit--Entrenched Camp
     assaulted--Return of Omer Pacha to Mostar--Distinctive Character of
     Mahometan Religion--Naval Reorganisation--Military Uniforms--Return
     to Mostar--Dervisch Bey--Zaloum--Express
     Barrack--Mostar--Magazine--Barracks--Wooden Block-houses--European
     Commission--Tour of the Grand Vizier--Enquiry into Christian
     Grievances--Real Causes of Complaint--Forcible Abduction of
     Christian Girls--Prince Gortschakoff's Charges--The
     Meredits--Instincts of Race.

On our return from the town we found the leading battalions in the act
of crossing the stream which separates the valley from the overhanging
woodland. The 900 ponies, now deprived of their burden, carried in lieu
thereof sick soldiers from Niksich, or such as preferred riding to
walking. Little order prevailed, and it is only wonderful that the
consequences of entering a defile more than an hour after midday should
not have proved more disastrous than they actually did. In vain I added
my remonstrances to those of some of the staff, who were intelligent
enough to predict evil. The order had been issued. The advance guard had
already marched, and it was too late to countermand the departure. Thus
saying, Osman Pacha crossed the stream and ascended to the high ground,
now covered with a confused mass of bipeds and quadrupeds. At this
moment the rain, which had ceased during the past hour, began to descend
once more in torrents, accompanied by vivid flashes of lightning and
thunder, which, though still distant, reverberated through the woods
with grand effect. In the midst of this we retraced our steps until
about 4 P.M., when the centre of the column, with the baggage
and head-quarters, defiled from the woods into one of the open spaces,
of which mention has been made. The General informed me of his intention
to halt there until the morning; and he could not have found a spot
better calculated for the purpose, since, by massing the troops in the
centre, they would have been out of range of the surrounding heights,
and a double line of sentries would have been the only precaution
absolutely necessary. For some reason he, however, subsequently changed
his mind, and the delay which had taken place only made matters worse.
The advance guard of four battalions, under Yaya Pacha, had continued
the march in ignorance of the halt of the main body, and were ere this
out of hearing or chance of recall. Scarcely had we recommenced our
advance when a dropping shot in the rear gave us the first announcement
that the enemy had taken advantage of our false step, and was bent on
harassing what would now assume the appearance of a retreat.

The shots, which were at first few and distant, soon increased, and by
the time that the Affghan and myself had reached the rear of the column
the action appeared to have become general. Ali Pacha, who commanded the
rear-guard, now committed the grave error of halting the three
battalions of his brigade, and wasted most valuable time in performing
desultory movements, and in firing volleys of grape and musketry,
without arriving at any practical results. At one point, however, the
rebels, who were advancing in force with loud cries of fanatical
vengeance, received a substantial check. Two companies of Turks had been
concealed on either side of the defile, which was narrow at this point.
Concealment was facilitated by approaching darkness, and it was only at
a given signal that they rose and poured a deadly volley into the ranks
of the advancing foe, who immediately fell back. This circumstance
appeared to damp their ardour, and they contented themselves with
running in small parties along the flank of our line of march; two or
three would dash down the sloping banks, and, having discharged their
pieces without aim or precision, would return to the safety afforded by
the rocks and trees. It was between 6 and 7 o'clock before the order to
resume the march was issued. And now began a scene which none who
witnessed are likely to forget to their dying day: deeply tragical it
might have been, but fortunately circumstances combined to render it
merely ridiculous, as reflected in the mirror of memory. The rain still
fell heavily, lying in places to the depth of nearly a foot, and
converting all the ground that was not rocky into a slippery quagmire.
So profound was the darkness, that it was literally impossible to see
any object six inches from one's eyes, and it was only by the occasional
flashes from the firelocks of the persevering enemy and the forked
lightning that we could realise the surrounding scene. By the light of
the last were revealed horses and men falling in all directions, and I
may safely say, that some of the 'crumplers' received that night would
have shaken the nerve of the hardest steeplechase rider. For my own part
I preferred walking, after my horse had fallen twice, and with this
object proceeded to dismount, but on bringing my leg to the ground, as I
imagined, I made a rapid descent of about eight feet. On clambering up I
was met with a sharp blow on the face from what I believe to have been
the butt of a Turkish musket, and my horse was not to be found. About
half an hour later, while feeling for the road, to my great
satisfaction, I placed my hand upon my English saddle, and thus
repossessed myself of my steed. No need to dilate farther on the events
of that disastrous evening. Suffice to say that, after some hours more
of scrambling and toiling, falling frequently over the stones and trees
which were strewn plentifully across the path, we reached the spot
where the advanced body had arrived some four hours previously, and had
succeeded, in spite of the rain, in kindling a few fires. It was close
upon midnight when Ali Pacha arrived at head-quarters to report that the
rear-guard had reached the bivouac, though nothing was known as to the
losses incurred in men, horses, or provisions. All that was certain was
that one gun had been abandoned, the mule which carried it having rolled
down a ravine. This was never found, as the rebels, who passed the night
within ten minutes' walk of our bivouac, had carried it off before the
arrival of the force sent back at daybreak to effect its recovery. Our
loss, however, proved to be insignificant--two killed and six wounded,
and a few ponies, &c., missing. As might be supposed, the Slavish
newspapers magnified the affair into a great and decisive victory for
the rebels. It is true that it reflected little credit on Osman Pacha;
and it might have been fully as disastrous to the Turks as their worst
enemies could have desired, had not the intense darkness of the night,
the heavy rain, and the want of pluck in the Christians (a fault of
which they cannot in general be accused), combined to get them out of
the scrape without any serious loss. The two whose deaths it was
impossible to disallow, as their mangled bodies gave evidence thereof,
were foully butchered by these long-suffering Christians. It came about
as follows:--An officer and three soldiers had remained a little in rear
of the column, being footsore with the march. As the rebels came swiftly
and quietly along, one of the soldiers, believing them to be a Turkish
regiment, made some observation. In a moment he and his comrade were
seized, and, while receiving many assurances of safety, were stripped to
the skin. The officer and the third soldier instantly concealed
themselves behind some of the projecting rocks, within ten yards of the
spot, and thus became auditors of the ensuing tragedy. No sooner had the
rebels stripped their unfortunate captives, than they fell upon them en
masse, literally making pin-cushions of their naked bodies. Throughout
that long and painful night did those two men lie hid in jeopardy of
their lives, and glad must they have been when they saw the rebels
retracing their blood-stained steps on the following morning, and more
grateful still when the arrival of the Turkish force enabled them to
feel assured of life and liberty. The following afternoon we returned to
Krustach, where we found a Montenegrin emissary, who was journeying
homeward, having had an interview with Omer Pacha. He was a finely built
and handsome man, dressed in his national costume, with a gold-braided
jacket, and decorated with a Russian medal and cross, for his services
against Turkey at a time when Russia was at peace with that power. He
had been Superintendent of the Montenegrin workmen at Constantinople,
and had consequently seen something of European manners, although
unacquainted with any language save Slave and some Turkish. He told me
that he had left 400 followers in Piwa; but this I found did not exactly
coincide with a statement he had made to Omer Pacha, and it subsequently
transpired that his body guard amounted to about double that number.
This worthy asked me to accompany him to Cettigne, but circumstances
conspired to prevent my accepting the invitation; and so we separated,
he to Cettigne, we to Gasko on the following day.

During one of the halts on the line of march, I found the mouth of what
must have been a coal-pit of large dimensions. The entrance of this was
on the bank of a dry stream, and several masses of what appeared to be a
concrete of lignite and coal betokened the existence of the latter in a
purer form within the bowels of the surrounding country. This I showed
to Omer Pacha, who said that he would adopt my suggestion of having it
worked by military labour for the purpose of consumption during the
winter months. In several places, I subsequently came across the same
characteristics, which convince me of the existence of a spurious
description of coal in large quantities in the province. In Bosnia it
is plentiful, and of a very superior quality.

Some miles before we reached the camp we were met by Omer Pacha and his

As may be supposed, the most extravagant reports of the extent of our
disaster had preceded us. The most moderate of these involved the death
of Ali Pacha (no great loss by the way), and about 1,000 men put _hors
de combat_. Omer's face wore a grave expression when we met, and his 'Eh
bien, Monsieur, nous avons perdu un canon sans utilité' boded ill for
the peace of Osman Pacha. It was a pleasing duty to be able to refute
the assertion that this last had lost his head on the occasion in
question. Although guilty of grievous error of judgement, the other more
pitiful charge could hardly be laid to his account, since he never for a
moment lost his habitual sangfroid and self-possession.

The subsequent operations during 1861 were scarcely of a more decisive
nature than those in the early part of the campaign. They consisted for
the most part of slight skirmishes, which, though unimportant in
themselves, tended to establish the Turks in their occupation of the
country, and produced a good moral effect.

One event, however, deserves notice, as giving fair evidence of the
respective merits of the belligerent parties. In pursuance of the plan
which he had originally devised, Omer Pacha established a permanent
fortified camp in Piwa. Twelve battalions under Dervisch Pacha were
concentrated at this point; and at the time of the contest which I am
about to describe, Omer Pacha was himself present. Reduced to the
greatest straits by famine and the presence of the Turkish troops, and
inspired doubtless by the knowledge of the Generalissimo's presence in
the camp, the rebels resolved to make a desperate onslaught upon the

On the morning of October 26, a strong force was despatched from camp to
procure forage, wood, and other necessaries. While thus employed, the
enemy, favoured by the formation of the surrounding country, made a
sudden and well-sustained attack upon this force, in conjunction with a
consentaneous assault upon the entrenchments. With more judgement than
is generally found amongst Turkish commanders, the foraging party was
brought back to camp, though not before it had suffered a considerable
loss. In the meantime charge upon charge was being made by the
half-naked savages who formed the Christian army, against the enclosed
space which was dignified by the name of an entrenched camp. Three times
they forced an entrance, and three times were they driven out at the
point of the bayonet, while the guns mounted on the works made wide gaps
in their retreating columns. After several hours' hard fighting, in
which both sides displayed exemplary courage, the assailants were
compelled to withdraw, leaving many hundred dead upon the field. The
Turkish loss was something under a hundred, owing to the advantage they
derived from fighting under the cover of their guns and walls.

Shortly after this event Omer Pacha returned to Mostar, contenting
himself with holding the various passes and other points on the
frontier, which enabled him to keep an unremitting watch over the
disturbed district.

Early in the spring of 1862 he returned to the frontier, which he will
doubtless pacify before the extreme heat and drought shall have forced
him to suspend military operations. With this view eighteen battalions
of infantry and 3,000 irregulars have been concentrated at and about
Trebigné, which he has this year made his base of operations. The
judicious disposal of his troops, which he has effected, have driven
Luca Vukalovitch and his band of hornets to take refuge in Suttorina,
adjacent to the Austrian territory. This circumstance caused the
Austrians at the end of last year to enter that district for the purpose
of destroying certain batteries, which were considered to be too close
to the Austrian frontier. The legality of this measure is doubtful; yet
it may be believed that the step was not taken with any view to
promoting hostilities with Turkey.

The final success of the Turkish arms can scarcely be long delayed,
since starvation must inevitably effect all in which the sword may fail.
The armed occupation of the country during the past year has at any rate
so far worked good, that it has effectually prevented the rebellious
Christians from getting in the crops which belonged to themselves or
their weaker neighbours, while it has enabled such of the Mussulmans as
chose to do so to reap their harvest in security. Should these
expectations, however, not be realised, the result would indeed be
serious to the Ottoman empire. In such case either her already rotten
exchequer must receive its death-blow, or she will be compelled to
evacuate the Herzegovina, a course which would be gladly welcomed by her
enemies, since it would probably be but the first step towards the
dismemberment of the whole empire.

Before quitting the army, I would fain pay a passing tribute to the good
qualities of the Turkish soldiers. Having seen them under circumstances
of no ordinary difficulty and privations, I found them ever cheerful and
contented with their unenviable lot. Uninfluenced by feelings of
patriotism--for such a word exists not in their language--unaffected by
the love of glory, which they have not sufficient education to
comprehend, the only motives by which they are actuated are their
veneration for their Sultan and the distinctive character of their
religion. It would be well for their Sultan did he appreciate the
sterling military qualities of his people. With good management and
honest reform, an army might be created which, if inferior in _matériel_
to those of certain European powers, would in the matter of _personnel_
be sufficiently good to render the Turkish dominions perfectly secure
from hostile invasion, which is now very far from the case. At present,
unfortunately, his whole attention is devoted to the manning and
equipment of the navy, for the amelioration of which large sums of money
are paid and heavy debts incurred. The visionary character of his
ambitious projects on this head is apparent to all but himself, since
the Turkish navy can scarcely be expected ever to attain more than a
fifth or sixth-rate excellence. The recent changes in the dress of the
army betoken that some attention has been devoted of late to the
subject. Nothing can be more desirable than an assimilation of the
uniform to the natural style of costume; and the loose Zouave dresses of
the army of the Turkish imperial guard[R] are not only better adapted to
soldiers who do not indulge in the luxury of beds and the like, than the
tight-fitting garments heretofore in use, but present a far more
workmanlike appearance, for the simple reason that they understand
better how to put them on.

After a month's sojourn in the tents of the Osmanlis, the rapid
shortening of the days warned me of the necessity for pushing on if I
wished to see the more peaceable portion of the country, before the
snows of winter should render travelling impossible. Already the day had
arrived when the first fall of snow had taken place in the previous

Despite the hardships indispensable from the kind of life we had been
living, it was with much regret that I bade farewell to my hospitable
entertainers, and started once more on my solitary rambles. For the
first day, at least, I was destined to have company, as the Pacha of
Bosnia's private Secretary was about to return to Bosna Serai, having
fulfilled a mission on which he had been sent to the camp of the
Commander-in-Chief. My object was to return to Mostar by way of
Nevresign, which, as well as being new ground to me, forms a portion of
the projected line of defence. After waiting no less than five hours and
a half for an escort of Bashi Bazouks, who, with true Turkish ideas of
the value of time, presented themselves at 12.30, having been warned to
be in attendance at 7 A.M., we at length got under weigh. These
irregulars were commanded by Dervisch Bey, one of the principal Beys in
that neighbourhood. Some twenty years ago his father, a devout
Mussulman, and a cordial hater of Christians, whom, it must be
acknowledged, he lost no opportunity of oppressing, built for himself a
large square house flanked with towers, and otherwise adapted for
defensive purposes. This is situated about six miles from Gasko, and
here he lived in considerable affluence. Taken one day at an unguarded
moment, he was murdered by the Christians, and his mantle descended upon
his son, who, if he has not the same power or inclination to oppress,
shows himself perfectly ready to do battle on all occasions against the
murderers of his father. This individual, then, mounted on a good
useful-looking horse, and loaded with silver-hilted daggers, pistols,
and other weapons of offence, was destined to be our guide. Our road lay
through a long narrow defile, which, like most parts of the Herzegovina,
abounds with positions capable of defence. After five hours' travelling
we arrived at Zaloum, a small military station situated at the highest
point of the pass. I did not see any attempt at fortifications; but, as
all the villages are built quite as much with a view to defence as
convenience, these are hardly necessary. Every house is surrounded by a
court-yard, in most cases loopholed. Taking up our quarters at the only
house capable of affording the most ordinary shelter, we passed the
evening, as far as I was concerned, pleasantly enough. The Secretary, a
middle-aged and very affable Slave, was also somewhat of a _bon vivant_,
and, with the help of sundry adjuncts which he carried with him, we made
a very good meal. The habit of drinking rakee, eating cheese, and other
provocatives of thirst before dining, is quite as rife in these parts of
the empire as at Stamboul, and it frequently happens that the
dinner-hour of a fashionable man is later than in London during the
height of the season. Breakfasting at twelve, they do not touch food
again till dinner-time, and even then their repeated nips of rakee taken
in the hour previous to the repast renders them little disposed for
eating. Shortly after we had commenced dinner at Zaloum, a great
chattering and confusion in the court-yard proclaimed a new arrival.
This proved to be Asiz Bey, an aide-de-camp of Omer Pacha, who was on
his road to Mostar. Snatching a hurried meal, he once more mounted, and
pushed on in the darkness, with the intention of not pulling rein again
until his arrival in Mostar. Later in the evening an excited
agriculturist made his appearance, and with much humility demanded the
return of his pack-saddle, which he affirmed that one of my servants had
stolen. It fell out in this wise: I had engaged a certain youth of the
Greek faith, named Giovanni, to look after my baggage-ponies, which he
invariably allowed to stray whenever most required. On the occasion of
our leaving Gasko one of these was, as usual, absent without leave, and
on his being discovered, the pack-saddle in which these long-suffering
animals pass their existence had been removed. Giovanni, whose
pilfering habits were only equalled by his disregard of truth, replaced
the missing article in the simplest way, by doing unto others as they
had done unto him, and appropriated the first saddle he came across. To
allow the saddle to return to Gasko was impossible, as I could not have
proceeded on my journey without it; so I induced the owner to part with
it at a considerable profit, mulcting Giovanni of the same. The
following morning we descended into the plain of Nevresign, one of the
seven or eight large plains in the province.

The road approaching the town passes between two cemeteries--that of the
Mussulmans on the right being the most pleasantly situated, for thus it
was that, even in death, they were more regarded than their
less-favoured Christian brethren. On the outskirts I noticed a very
primitive movable house, strongly characteristic of the kind of life led
by the people: it consisted of two skates, with a hurdle laid across for
flooring and others for walls, the whole being thatched. In this the
shepherd sleeps when he pens his cattle: this he does in a very small
space, shifting his position every night, and thus practically manuring
the country. The town itself has little worthy of notice, save the new
fortified barrack which the Turks are constructing. No labourers were,
however, engaged upon it at the time of my visit: it consists of an
oblong work, with bastions at the angles, on each of which it is
intended to mount three guns. It was proposed to build accommodation
for 1,600 men, but the size of the work did not appear to me to warrant
the belief that it would hold so many. There will be no necessity for
the townspeople to take shelter within its walls in the event of an
attack, as it immediately overhangs the town, and is itself commanded by
the hills in its rear. The engineer officer who conducted me over it
informed me that an earthwork would be thrown up on the most commanding
position, and two block-houses built at other points. The arrangements
for obtaining a supply of water appeared simple; and as it is the only
attempt at modern fortification which I have seen in Turkey, I shall be
curious to hear of its completion.

Leaving Nevresign one crosses two mountains, which, with the exception
of about an hour and a half distance, are traversed by a road. Save one
in course of construction from Mostar to Metcovich, it is the only
attempt at road-making in the province. It is bad enough, as all Turkish
roads are, their engineers having not the slightest idea of levelling.
They take the country as they find it, apparently thinking that a
zigzag, no matter at what slope the angles may be, is the highest
triumph of their art. Until our arrival at Blagai, six miles from
Mostar, an escort was deemed necessary, though it was really of not the
slightest use, since the rebels, if so inclined, might have disposed of
the whole party without once showing themselves. On nearing Mostar I
looked with curiosity for any signs of progress in the new powder
magazine or barracks, which are situated in the plain outside the town.
They both appeared in precisely the same condition as when I left, save
for the absence of some hundreds of ponies, which were at that moment
eating mouldy hay at Gasko and its vicinity. In the barrack square
several block-houses which Omer Pacha had ordered appeared to be in a
state of completion. These are made of wood and have two stories, each
house being capable of containing about two companies of infantry. The
walls are loopholed and of sufficient thickness to resist musket balls:
the use to which they were to be applied was the protection of working
parties and small detachments during the construction of more permanent
defences; and as the rebels are without carcases or liquid fire-balls or
other scientific implements of destruction, it is possible that they may
answer their purpose well enough.

At the British Consulate I found Mr. H., the Consul at Bosna Serai, who
was on his road to Ragusa, where the European Commission for carrying
out reforms in Turkey was about to reassemble, with the view of watching
the progress of events. Little good could be expected to result from
their deliberations, for matters had not been in any way simplified
since their adjournment two months before. The sincerity of the
individual members of the Commission cannot be called in question; but
what avails that, when other agents of the governments so represented
apply themselves with assiduity to stultify the very measures which
their colleagues are endeavouring to effect. As might have been
anticipated, their sittings at Ragusa proved as ineffectual as those at
Mostar, and in three weeks' time they once more adjourned, and have not
since reassembled. Whatever difference of opinion may have existed
amongst the members on this point, at any rate they professedly agreed
that it is for the interest of these provinces that the Turkish rule
should remain inviolate, but that this rule must be very decidedly
ameliorated. Of its sincerity in wishing to bring this about the Porte
will find it difficult to convince the Christian malcontents, so deeply
rooted is their mistrust. Secret agents are not wanting to check any
spirit of wavering which may show itself in the insurgents. In the
meanwhile both Bosnia and Herzegovina are being rapidly exhausted. Even
in peaceable times, the people of the Herzegovina had to draw their
supplies of grain from Bosnia, while the import trade of both provinces
more than doubled the export in value. The demand for horses for
military purposes has of late still farther crippled commercial
enterprise, as the people are thereby deprived of the only means of
transport in the country. At Mostar, even, it was impossible to buy
coals, as the peasants were afraid of exposing their horses to the
probability of being pressed, with the certainty of remaining unpaid.

The foregoing remarks may appear to corroborate ill my oft-repeated
assertion of the immunity of the Christians from persecution by the
constituted Mussulman authorities. A distinction should be made between
oppression and misgovernment, the existence of which last is fully
admitted on all hands. It applies in an almost equal degree to the
professors of all religions in Turkey; and when the Christians have been
induced by designing minds, as has sometimes been the case, to pour out
to the world a torrent of grievances, these have been proved in almost
all instances to have been as much imaginary as real; such at least was
the opinion of the Grand Vizier, after his visit of enquiry through
European Turkey in 1860; and his views, which might otherwise be deemed
prejudiced, were supported by Mr. L----, the Consul-General at Belgrade,
who was deputed by the British Ambassador to attend the Ottoman
functionary. That gentleman's opinion--concurred in, as it is, by almost
all British officials--is especially worthy of attention, since the
greater part of his life has been passed in the Turkish dominions, and a
large share of his attention devoted to this particular subject. At
Widdin, a petition was presented, signed by 300 persons, complaining of
the local authorities. These names were mostly forgeries, and even the
alleged grievances were of a trivial nature; outrages, and forced
conversion to Islamism, could nowhere be proved. The source whence the
petition emanated may be shrewdly guessed, since M. Sokoloff, the
Russian Consul at Widdin, was removed to Jerusalem only a few days
before the commencement of the enquiry. One subject of complaint was the
appointment of the bishops by the patriarch at Constantinople, which
strongly confirms the supposition of its Russian origin. The petition
was moreover presented by one Tuno, a Rayah, who had been turned out of
the Medjlis for corruption, and was at the time a hanger-on at the
Russian consulate. Those few who acknowledged to having signed the
document, stated that they believed it to have been a remonstrance
against the pig tax.

The second ground of complaint was that the Cadi had interfered in the
affairs of the Christians; i.e. in matters of inheritance, and in the
administration of the property of minors. This also proved untenable,
although, in the course of the enquiry, it transpired that something of
the sort had occurred at Crete, which was ingeniously perverted to suit
their purpose on the occasion in question.

Thirdly, it was alleged that the Christian members of the Medjlis were
allowed no voice in its deliberations. This the Bishop even denied. Had
they said that their opinions were of little weight, it would have been
nearer the truth. Nor can we wonder at this, since it is in vain that we
look for any spirit of independence among the Christian members; and
this not more in consequence of the domineering spirit of the Turks,
than from the natural disposition of the Christians, which is cringing
and corrupt. Time and education can alone effect a change for the
better. The government may, by the promulgation of useful edicts, and by
the establishment of schools common to all religions, materially hasten
this desirable end; but in the present condition of the Christian
population, it is questionable whether more harm than good would not
result from the proclamation of social equality.

The veritable grounds of complaint, on which the petition in question
did not touch, it is within the power of the government to remove; and
this, we may confidently anticipate, will be done.

Equality before the law is the principal and first thing to be
established, and such at present is not the case. Christian evidence,
for example, is received in criminal, but not in civil causes, i.e. in
questions concerning property. Moreover, even in criminal causes of any
importance, the decision of the inferior courts, where Christian
evidence is admissible, is referred for confirmation to superior courts,
where such testimony is not accepted. In defence of this it is urged,
that Turkish property would be endangered, if, in the present
demoralised state of society, Christian evidence were admitted. But,
while advancing this argument, it is forgotten that this state is
traceable to the lax and vicious system pursued in the Mussulman courts,
where, as the only way of securing justice for the Christians, Mussulman
witnesses are allowed to give false evidence.

Another abuse, of which the most is made by the enemies of Turkey, is
the forcible abduction of Christian girls by Mussulmans. The practice
has, however, almost died out, except in northern Albania; and yet it is
this alone which formed the groundwork of the most important of Prince
Gortschakoff's charges, viz. the forced conversion of Christians to
Islamism. It would, doubtless, fall into disuse in that part of the
country, were the offence dealt with as an ordinary police affair; but
the clumsy machinery of Turkish law, however sincere may be its object,
has done little to diminish the evil. Many schemes have been devised for
its prevention. One was to make the girl appear before the court which
rejects Christian evidence, and declare herself a Christian or
Mussulman. If she confessed her faith, she was returned to her friends,
and the ravisher nominally punished; but, as they almost always declared
themselves to be Mahomedans, the Christians complained that fear or
other undue pressure had been put upon them. To obviate this, it was
decided that the girl should be sequestered in the house of the Bishop
for three days previous to her making her profession of faith. This has,
however, been discontinued, as it produced much scandal; and the
question remains undecided.

Instincts of race are far stronger in Turkey than is generally supposed.
In Albania, where the Mussulmans are deemed more fanatical than
elsewhere, these are more powerful than even the instincts of religion.
Thus, while other Christians are looked down upon and treated with
severity, the Miridits, who are of Albanian blood, are allowed to wear
their arms, and admitted to equal privileges with their Mahomedan
fellow-countrymen. In Bosnia, more than anywhere throughout the empire,
the question has been one of feudal origin, that is to say, of a
privileged and unprivileged class, analogous to that which now occupies
the Russians; although in Bosnia the former class has been gradually
losing importance, and sinking into a lower position.

To the demoralised condition of the Christians themselves, then,
combined with Turkish misgovernment, resulting from their
semi-civilisation, may the existing unsatisfactory state of affairs be
attributed, and not to any systematic oppression. It is the want of
this, which renders it difficult for the Porte, now that the central
power has been strengthened at the expense of the local, to take any
decided steps for improving the position of the Christians; all that it
can do is to place all upon a footing of legal equality, to encourage
education, and to promote everything which shall have for its object the
developement of the natural resources of the country.

[Footnote R: The 1st Corps d'Armée of the empire.]


     Excursion to Blato--Radobolya--Roman Road--Lichnitza--Subterraneous
     Passage--Duck-shooting--Roman Tombs--Coins and
     Curiosities--Boona--Old Bridge--Mulberry Trees--Blagai--Source of
     Boona River--Kiosk--Castle--Plain of Mostar--Legends--Silver
     Ore--Mineral Products of Bosnia--Landslip--Marbles--Rapids--Valley
     of the Drechnitza.

The week following upon my return to Mostar was devoted to excursions to
different spots in the vicinity of the town. In one instance the
pleasure was enhanced by the anticipation of some duck-shooting; for, as
the event will show, the expectation was never realised. Our destination
was Blato, a plain about nine miles distant, which all maps represent as
a lake, but which does not deserve the name, as it is only flooded
during the winter months. The party consisted of M. Gyurcovich, the
Hungarian dragoman of the British consulate; the Russian Consul; his
domestic, a serf strongly addicted to the use of ardent drinks, of which
he had evidently partaken largely on the occasion in question; a French
doctor, who had many stories of the Spanish war, in which he had served;
two other individuals, and myself.

About one hour from Mostar, we arrived at the source of the Radobolya,
which flows through Mostar and falls into the Narenta near the old
bridge. The road was sufficiently well defined, although needing repair
in places. The walls on either side, as well as its general
construction, proclaim its Roman origin. It was doubtless a part of the
great main road from the east to Dalmatia. It is only at occasional
points that it is so easily discernible, but sufficient evidence exists
to show that on quitting the Albanian mountains it passed Stolatz,
crossed the bridge at Mostar, and continued thence by a somewhat
circuitous route to Spalatro. On emerging from the defile through which
we had been marching, the plain of Blato lay extended before us, some
nine or ten miles in length and four in breadth. The land, which must be
extremely fertile, is cultivated in the spring, but only those cereals
which are of the most rapid growth are produced; such as millet, Indian
corn, and broom seed, from which a coarse description of bread is made.
The Lichnitza, which runs through it, is a mere stream. It takes its
rise near the Austro-Bosnian frontier, and loses itself in the hills
which surround Blato. The plain is porous and full of holes, from which,
in the late autumnal months, the waters bubble up. This continues until
the river itself overflows, covering the entire plain to a considerable
depth, in some parts as much as thirty-six feet. The original passage
under the hills, by which the water escaped, is said to have been
filled up at the time of the Turkish conquest. If such be true, it might
be reopened with little cost and trouble, and the plain would thus be
rendered most valuable to the province.

Arrived at the scene of operations, we lost little time in getting to
work. A still evening, and a moon obscured by light clouds, promised
well for sport; and we should doubtless have made a large bag had
ordinary precautions been taken. These, however, were not deemed
necessary by the majority of the party, who walked down in the open to
the river's edge, smoking and chattering as though they expected the
'dilly-dills to come and be killed' merely for the asking. The result, I
need not say, was our return almost empty-handed. Late in the evening we
assembled round a large fire, to eat the dinner which our servants had
already prepared; after which we courted sleep beneath the soothing
influences of tales of love and war as related by our Æsculapian friend,
who undeniably proved himself to have been a very Don Quixote. Early the
following morning we were again afoot, and a few partridges, hares, and
quail rewarded our exertions. Amongst the hills, where most of the game
was shot, I noticed several old Roman tombs. Many of these were merely
large shapeless blocks of stone, while others were of the proper
sarcophagus form, ornamented with sculptures of considerable merit. On
some were depicted men in armour, with shields and long straight swords,
while others had two men with lances aimed at a deer between them. The
absence of anything like moulding on the sides proves their great
antiquity. In its place we find a rather graceful pattern, vines with
leaves and grapes predominating; or, as in other cases, choruses of
women holding hands and dancing. In no instance did I detect anything
denoting immorality or low ideas, so prevalent in the sculptures of
intermediate ages. Amongst these tombs, as also on the sites of the
ancient towns, curiosities and coins are found. Of the last, small
Hungarian silver pieces, and large Venetian gold pieces, are the most
numerous; although Roman copper coins are by no means rare. Stones
engraved with figures of Socrates and Minerva were shown to me, as
having been found in the province, and it is only two years since, that
two golden ear-rings of fifteen drachms weight, and about the size of
pigeons' eggs, were dug up in the neighbourhood of Blato. About the same
time a ring was found, of which the Pacha obtained possession. It was of
iron, set with a stone only three tenths of an inch in diameter, on
which were most beautifully engraved no fewer than nine figures of
classical deities.

The ensuing day I devoted to a double expedition to Boona and Blagai.
The former of these is about six miles distant, on the plain from
Mostar. It consists of a few houses built by the rebellious Ali Pacha,
who was Vizier at the time of Sir Gardner Wilkinson's visit to
Herzegovina. That functionary's villa, which is now the country-house of
the British Consul, is a moderate-sized yellow house, with little to
recommend it save its situation at the confluence of the Boona and the
Narenta. The former is spanned by a large bridge of fourteen arches,
upon one of which is a Turkish inscription, from which it appears that
it was repaired by the Turks in the year of the Hegira 1164--that is to
say, 113 years ago.

The bridge is in all probability of Roman construction, though the
Turkish habit of erasing all inscriptions, and substituting others in
Turkish in their place, renders it impossible to fix precise dates. Near
the villa stands a square house intended for the nurture of silk-worms,
while a garden of 30,000 mulberry trees shows that Ali Pacha had
pecuniary considerations in view as well as his domestic comfort. From
Boona to Blagai is about six miles, and here also is a bridge of five
arches across the Boona. Leaving the village, which stands on the banks
of the river, we proceeded to its source. Pears, pomegranates, olives,
and other fruit trees grow in great luxuriance, and two or three mills
are worked by the rush of water, which is here considerable. The cavern
from which the river pours in a dense volume, is about eight feet high,
and situated at the foot of a precipitous cliff, under which stands a
kiosk, the abode of our fighting friend the Affghan Dervish. Thence we
proceeded to the castle, which stands on the summit of a craggy height,
overlooking the village on the one side, and the road to Nevresign on
the other. Speaking of this, Luccari says, 'Blagai stands on a rock
above the river Bosna, fortified by the ancient Voivodas of the country
to protect their treasure, as its name implies, Blagia (or Blago)
signifying treasure.'[S]

It was governed by a Count, and the Counts of Blagai performed a
distinguished part in the history of Herzegovina. Some of them, as the
Boscenovich and the Hranich, are known for their misfortunes, having
been compelled to seek refuge in Ragusa at the time of the Turkish
invasion; and the last who governed 'the treasure city of Blagai' was
Count George, who fled to the Ragusan territory in 1465.[T] The view to
the southward over the plain country is extremely picturesque, but this
portion of the battlements are completely ruined. On the north side they
are in good preservation, and there wells exist, the cement of which
looked as fresh as though it had been recently renovated.

In one of the batteries a brass gun was lying, of about 9lbs. calibre,
with vent and muzzle uninjured. In the interior of the fort, shells of
dwelling-houses, distributed angularly, denote the part of the building
which was devoted to domestic purposes. In these the woodwork of the
windows may still be seen, as well as stones projecting from the walls,
on which the flooring of the upper stories must have rested. At the main
entrance an oak case is rivetted into the wall to receive the beam,
which barred the door. At the foot of the hill is a ruined church, in
which some large shells of about thirteen inches diameter were strewed
about. One of these was lying on the road side, as though it had been
rolled from the castle above.

Having now seen all the lions of the neighbourhood, I bethought me of
leaving Mostar once more, but this time with the intention of working
northward. The ordinary route pursued by those whom business calls from
Mostar to Bosna Serai is by Konitza, a village situated on the frontier,
nearly due north of Mostar. To this course I at first inclined, but was
induced to change my plans by the prospect of some chamois-hunting, in
the valley of the Drechnitza. Having laid in a supply of bread and other
necessaries, we, i.e. M. Gyurcovich and myself, made an early start, in
hopes of reaching our destination on the same night.

Following the right bank of the Narenta, our course lay for a short time
through the northernmost of the two plains at whose junction Mostar is
situated. These, from the smooth and round appearance of the stones,
with which their surface is strewed, lead to the supposition that this
at one time was the bed of an important lake: this idea is confirmed by
the legends of the country, which affirm the existence of rings in the
sides of the mountains, to which it is rumoured that boats were moored
of old. Whether this be true or not, the appearance of the place lends
probability to the statement.

Shortly after leaving the town, there is a small square tower close to
and commanding the river, which is here fordable. As we proceeded
farther north it becomes rocky and narrow, and some small rapids occur
at intervals. The bad state of the roads, and the ill condition of our
baggage horses, rendered it necessary to halt several hours short of the
point which we had intended to reach that night. Having, therefore,
cleared out an outhouse devoted in general to looms, green tobacco,
hens, cats, and the like, we made our arrangements for passing the
night. While thus engaged a peasant brought me a tolerably large
specimen of silver ore, which he stated that he had found in the hills
on the Bosnian frontier, where he assured me that any amount was to be
obtained. His veracity I have no reason to doubt, although unable to
proceed thither to confirm his statement by my own testimony. It is
certain, however, that the mountains of Bosnia are unusually rich in
mineral products. Gold, silver, mercury, lead, copper, iron, coal, black
amber, and gypsum, are to be found in large quantities; silver being the
most plentiful, whence the province has received the name of Bosnia
Argentina. The manifold resources of the country in this respect have
unfortunately been permitted to remain undeveloped under the Ottoman
rule, while the laws laid down relative to mining matters are of such a
nature as to cripple foreign enterprise. In this proceeding, the Turkish
government has committed the error of adhering to the principles and
counsels of France, which is essentially a non-mining country. In three
places only has any endeavour been made to profit by the secret riches
of the earth, viz. at Foinitza, Crescevo, and Stanmaidan, where iron
works have been established by private speculation. The iron is of good
quality, but the bad state of the roads, and the difficulty of procuring
transport, render it a far less remunerative undertaking than would
otherwise be the case. Good wrought iron sells at three-halfpence the
pound. Were a company formed under the auspices of the British
government, there is little doubt that they might be successfully
worked, since there is nothing in the nature of the country to render
the construction of a road to the coast either a difficult or expensive
operation. Continuing our course on the right bank of the Narenta, we
arrived at a lofty mound, evidently of artificial construction, situated
at a bend of the river. Traces of recent digging were apparent, as
though search had been made for money or curiosities. It was just one of
those positions where castles were built of yore, its proximity to the
river being no small consideration in those days of primitive defences.
A short distance from its base were two tombstones, sculptured with more
than ordinary care and ability. One of these represented a man with a
long sword and shield, faced by a dog or fox, which was the only portion
of the engraving at all effaced.

At a spot where a spring issued from the rocks, we were met by a party
of Irregulars, shouting and firing their matchlocks in a very indecorous
manner. They were doubtless going their rounds, bent on plunder, as is
their wont; and living at free quarters. The place where we encountered
them was wild in the extreme, and well adapted for deeds of violence. It
was indeed only in the preceding spring, that a murder was committed on
that very spot. Nor was it the first murder that had been done there.
Some years previously two Dalmatian robbers concealed themselves behind
the adjacent rocks, with the intention of murdering two Turks, who were
carrying money to Bosna Serai. These Turks, however, detected the
movements of the assassins, and as one of the Christians fired, one of
the Turks returned the shot, each killing his man. Sequel: the second
Christian ran away; the surviving Turk carried off his companion's money
in addition to his own.

At one part of our route a landslip of large dimensions had taken place,
covering the slope to the river with large stones and blocks of red
marble. This, as well as white, black, and gray marble, are found in
large quantities in the surrounding hills. The river at this point is
turgid and rocky, and there are two or three rapids almost worthy of the
name of falls. The narrow rocky ledge, which constitutes the only
traversable road, immediately overhangs the water, having a sheer
descent on the right of nearly 200 feet. The edge of this precipice is
overgrown with grass and shrubs to such a degree as to render it very
dangerous. Indeed it nearly proved fatal to my horse and myself: the
bank suddenly gave way, and but for the fortunate intervention of a
projecting ledge, which received the off fore and hind feet of the
former, we should inevitably have been picked up in very small pieces,
if anyone had taken the trouble to look for us.

Having now journeyed about ten hours from Mostar, our road wound to the
left, leaving the Narenta at its confluence with the Drechnitza, which
waters the valley of the same name. Close to its mouth, which is
spanned by a neat two-arched bridge, a Ban is said to have lived in
former days; and a solitary rock projecting from the hills on the left
bank is pointed out as his favourite resort. The summit of this is
smoothed off, and traces of an inscription still exist, but too much
defaced to be deciphered.

[Footnote S: Luccari.]

[Footnote T: Gardner Wilkinson, vol. ii.]


     Wealthy Christians--German Encyclopædia--Feats of Skill--Legend of
     Petral--Chamois-hunting--Valley of Druga--Excavations--Country
     Carts--Plain of Duvno--Mahmoud Effendi--Old
     Tombs--Duvno--Fortress--Bosnian Frontier--Vidosa--Parish
     Priest--National Music--Livno--Franciscan Convent--Priestly
     Incivility--Illness--Quack Medicines--Hungarian Doctor--Military
     Ambulance--Bosna Serai--Osman Pacha--Popularity--Roads and
     Bridges--Mussulman Rising in Turkish Croatia--Energy of Osman

The family with whom we purposed spending the succeeding days were
reputed to be the wealthiest of the Christians in that part of the
country. It will perhaps convey a more correct impression of their
means, if we say that they were less poverty-stricken than others. A few
cows, some half-dozen acres of arable land, and a fair stock of poultry,
constituted their claim to being considered millionaires. The household
consisted, besides father and mother, of two rather pretty girls, two
sons, and their cousin, who cultivated the land and hunted chamois
regularly every Sunday. Besides these there were some little boys, whose
only occupation appeared to be to bring fire for the pipes of their
elders. Our arrival, and the prospect of a bye day after the chamois,
threw all the men of the party into a state of great excitement. Minute
was the inspection of our guns, rifles, and revolvers, the latter
receiving much encomium. An old Turk, who had been summoned to take part
in the morrow's excursion, eyed one of those for some time, and at
length delivered himself of the following sentiment: 'They say there is
a devil: how can this be so, when men are so much more devilish?' I am
afraid the salvation of Sir William Armstrong, Mr. Whitworth, &c. &c.,
would be uncertain were they to be judged on the same grounds. While
waiting for our dinner of fowls made into soup and baked potatoes, the
sons brought a book, which the priest, with more regard for preserving
his reputation for learning than veracity, had told them was a bad book.
It proved to be a German Encyclopædia. On hearing this one remarked,
'Oh, then it will do for cigarettes.' While regaling ourselves on wine
and grapes, which one of the hospitable creatures had walked twelve
miles to procure, we received visits from the male population of the
village, who, like all the people of the valley, are much addicted to
chamois-hunting. Their conversation, indeed, had reference exclusively
to sport, varied by a few feats of skill, hardly coming under the former
name. One villager asserted positively that he had seen a man at Livno
shoot an egg off another's head. This was instantly capped by another,
who affirmed that he had witnessed a similar feat at the same place. His
story ran thus: 'At the convent of Livno, all the Roman Catholic girls
of the district are married. On one occasion a young bride was receiving
the congratulations of her friends, when a feather which had been
fastened across her head became loosened, and waved around it. A
bystander remarked that he would be a good shot who could carry away the
feather without injuring the head. The girl upon hearing this looked
round and said, "If you have the courage to fire, I will stand." Upon
which the bystander drew a pistol and shot away the truant feather.'

The valley of Drechnitza is wild and rocky, but sufficiently wooded to
present a pleasing aspect. The timber is in many places of large girth,
and might easily be transported to the sea. It is invested also with
more than common interest by the primitive character of its people, and
the legends which associate it with the early history of the province.

At present only four villages remain in the valley; that where our hosts
lived being the most ancient. They indeed spoke with pride of having
occupied their present position since before the conquest, paying only a
nominal tribute of one piastre and a half until within the last thirty
years, since which time their privileges have been rescinded.

On the left bank of the Drechnitza, about half-way between its
confluence with the Narenta and the house of our hosts, is a small
valley named Petral; it derived its name from the following
circumstances:--For seven years after the rest of Bosnia and the
Herzegovina had been overrun by the Turks under Mehemet II., the people
of this valley maintained an unequal combat with the invaders. The
gallant little band were under the orders of one Peter, who lived in a
castle on the summit of a height overlooking the plain; this plain could
only be approached by two passes, one of which was believed to be
unknown to the Turks. In an evil hour an old woman betrayed the secret
of this pass, and Peter had the mortification one morning of looking
down from his castle upon the armed Turkish legion, who had effected an
entrance during the night. Like a true patriot, he sank down overcome by
the sight, and died in a fit of apoplexy; whence the valley has been
called Petral to this day.

A few ruins mark the spot where the church stood of yore, and four
tombstones are in tolerably good preservation. Beneath these repose the
ashes of a bishop and three monks; the date on one of them is
A.D. 1400.

Early the following morning we started for the bills, where the chamois
were reported to be numerous. After about three hours' climbing over a
mass of large stones and rocks, the ascent became much more precipitous,
trees and sand taking the place of the rocks. In course of time we
reached a plateau, with an almost perpendicular fall on the one side,
and a horizontal ridge of rock protruding from the mountain side
beneath. Four of the party, which numbered eight guns in all, having
taken up positions on this ridge, the remainder, with a posse of boys,
made a flank movement with the view of taking the chamois in reverse.
The shouting and firing which soon commenced showed us that they were
already driving them towards us from the opposite hills. The wood was
here so thick that occasional glimpses only could be obtained of the
chamois, as they came out into the open, throwing up their heads and
sniffing the air as though to detect the danger which instinct told them
was approaching. Two or three of the graceful little animals blundered
off, hard hit, the old Turk being the only one of the party who
succeeded in killing one outright. The bound which followed the
death-wound caused it to fall down a precipice, at the bottom of which
it was found with its neck dislocated, and both horns broken short off.
If the ascent was difficult, the descent was three-fold more so. The
rocks being the great obstacle to our progress, the mountaineers managed
well enough, jumping from one to another with the agility of cats; but
to those unaccustomed to the kind of work, repeated falls were
inevitable. How I should have got down I really cannot say, had I not
intrusted myself to providence and the strong arm of one of those sons
of nature.

The strong exercise which I had taken rendering me anything but disposed
for a repetition of the sport on the ensuing day, M.G. left me on his
return journey to Mostar, while I proceeded on my solitary way. This,
however, was not so cheerless as I had anticipated, as the two sons of
the house expressed a wish to accompany me as far as Livno on the
Bosnian frontier, where their uncle, a village priest, held a cure. For
several hours we remained on the left bank of the Drechnitza, which we
forded close to its source. On the heights upon our right, fame tells of
the existence of a city, now no more; and it is certain that a golden
idol weighing 23 lbs. was found in the locality. Buoyed up by hopes of
similar success, fresh gold-diggers had been recently at work, but with
what result I am unable to say.

Bearing away now to the W. we entered the valley of the Druga, a little
rocky stream. Two roads were reported practicable, the longer taking a
winding course past Rachitna, the other, which I selected, being more
direct, but far more rocky and difficult; the ascent at one point was
more severe than anything I ever recollect having seen.

Leaving Druga we descended into the plain of Swynyatcha, a small open
space, which is again connected with Duvno by a pass. The hills on the
left of this pass are called Liep, those on the right Cesarussa. Here,
too, report speaks of the existence of a city in former days, and the
discovery of a large hag of gold coins, like Venetian sequins, has
induced some speculative spirit to commence excavations on a large
scale. But these, I regret to say, have not as yet been attended with
any success. A very fair road has been recently made through this pass,
and the traffic which has resulted from it ought to convince the people
of the utility of its construction. We met many ponies carrying
merchandise from Livno to Mostar, while long strings of carts drawn by
eight bullocks were employed in carrying wood to the villages in the
plain of Duvno. These carts are roughly built enough, but answer the
purpose for which they are intended, viz. slow traffic in the plains.
The axle-trees and linch-pins are made of wood, and indeed no iron at
all is used in their construction. The plain of Duvno is one of the
largest in the province: its extreme length is about fifteen miles, and
villages are placed at the foot of the hills, round its entire
circumference. The most important of these is the seat of a Mudir, to
whom I proceeded at once on my arrival. Although afflicted with a
hump-back, he was a person of most refined manners. His brother-in-law,
Mahmoud Effendi, who is a member of the Medjlis, was with him, and added
his endeavours to those of the Mudir to render my stay at Duvno
agreeable. Having complimented the great man upon the appearance of his
Mudirlik, he laughingly replied, 'Oh, yes, they must work because it is
so cold'--a statement which I felt anything but disposed to question.
The wind was blowing down the plain at the time in bitterly cold blasts,
and I understand that such is always the case. The vegetation appeared
good, in spite of a seeming scarcity of water.

The people of the district are nearly all Catholics, which may be
attributed to its proximity to Dalmatia and the convents of Bosnia. They
are orderly and well-behaved, according to the Mudir's account; but I
also gathered from some Catholics to whom I spoke that this good
behaviour results from fear more than love, as the few Turks have it all
their own way. In the centre of the plain are some old tombs, some of a
sarcophagus shape, others merely rough flat stones, whilst here and
there interspersed may be seen some modern crosses--a strange admixture
of the present and the past. After a somewhat uncomfortable night in the
one khan which the town possesses, I presented myself with early dawn at
the house of the Mudir. Although not yet 8 o'clock, I found him with the
whole Medjlis in conclave around him. Thence the entire party
accompanied me to inspect the fort, or such part of it as had escaped
the ravages of time. It was rather amusing to see the abortive attempts
at climbing of some of these fur-coated, smoke-dried old Mussulmans, who
certainly did not all equal the Mudir in activity. The fort is a
quadrilateral with bastions, and gates in each of the curtains; in two
of the bastions are eight old guns, dismounted: these are all of Turkish
manufacture, some having iron hoops round the muzzles.

In the SW. corner is a round tower, evidently copied from the Roman, if
not of genuine Roman origin. For what purpose the fort was built, or by
whom, I was unable to learn. It is said, however, to have been
constructed about two centuries ago[U], and there is a Turkish
inscription on it to that effect; but, as I have said before, no
reliance can be placed upon these. There are many buildings within the
walls, and one mosque is reputed to have existed a hundred years before
the rest of the fort.

Shortly after leaving the village we arrived at the frontier line of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is, however, unmarked. Already the country
presented a greener and more habitable appearance, which increased as we
continued our journey. Towards evening we stopped at a little village
named Vidosa, where the uncle of my hunting companions held the post of
parish priest. Having sent one of his nephews in advance to warn him of
my arrival, he was waiting to receive me, and invited me to stay at his
house with great cordiality. Notwithstanding that the greater portion of
it had been destroyed by fire a few months previously, I was very
comfortably housed, and fully appreciated a clean bed after the rough
'shakes down' to which I was accustomed. That the kitchen was
luxuriously stocked, I am not prepared to say; but the priest was
profuse in his apologies for the absence of meat, proffering as an
excuse that Roman Catholics do not eat it on Friday, a reason which
would scarcely hold good, as I arrived on a Saturday. Of eggs and
vegetables, however, there was no lack. Vegetable diet and dog Latin are
strong provocatives of thirst, and the number of times that I was
compelled to say '_ad salutem_' in the course of the evening was
astonishing. The old priest appeared more accustomed to these copious
libations than his younger assistant, who before he left the table
showed unmistakable signs of being 'well on.' Both vicar and curate wore
moustachios, and the flat-topped red fez, which distinguishes their
profession. The curate had received a certain amount of education at one
of the Bosnian convents, whence he had been sent to Rome, where he had,
at any rate, attained a tolerable proficiency in Italian, and a few
words of French. Another occupant of the house, who must not be allowed
to go unmentioned, was the priest's mother, a charming old lady in her
ninety-seventh year. Age had in no way impaired her faculties, and she
was more active and bustling than many would be with half her weight of

In the evening the nephews made their appearance, having dined with the
domestics. The remaining hours were devoted to singing, if such can be
termed the monotonous drawl which constitutes the music of the country.
In this one of the brothers was considered very proficient: the subjects
of the songs are generally legendary feats of Christians against the
conquering Turks, which, however little they may have conduced to bar
the progress of the invaders, sound remarkably well in verse. Sometimes,
as in the present case, the voice is accompanied by the guesla, a kind
of violin with one or three strings.

The priest, although a man of small education and strong prejudices,
appeared to be possessed of much good sense. He deplored the state of
things in Herzegovina, and said that much misery would ensue from it,
not only there, but in all the neighbouring provinces. As an instance of
the severity of the government demands, he mentioned that 1,400
baggage-horses had been recently taken from the district of Livno alone,
as well as more than 400 horse-loads of corn, for all of which promises
of payment only had been made. For the accuracy of his statements I am
not prepared to vouch, but I give them as they were given to me. He did
not, however, complain so much of the quantity, as of the injudicious
mode of proceeding, in making such large demands at one time.

A few hours took me to the town of Livno, on the outskirts of which is
the Catholic convent. Mass was being performed at the time; but I found
the Guardiano, 'Padre Lorenzo,' and one of the Fratri disengaged. After
keeping me waiting for some time in a very cold vaulted room, these two
came to me, though their reception of me contrasted very unfavourably
with that of the simple village priest. The convent is for monks of the
Franciscan order, of whom there were five besides the Superior. It is a
large, rambling, and incomplete building of white stone, and in no way
interesting, having only been completed about six years. After mass came
dinner, which was provided more with regard to quantity than quality,
and at which the holy men acquitted themselves _à merveille_. Excepting
a young priest of delicate appearance and good education, the brethren
appeared a surly and ill-conditioned set. So ill-disguised was the
discontent conveyed in the ungracious 'sicuro' vouchsafed in reply to my
petition for a bed, that I ordered my traps to be conveyed forthwith to
the best khan in the town, and, having failed to find favour with the
Christians, sought the aid of the Mussulman Kaimakan, from whom at any
rate my English blood and Omer Pacha's Buruhltee insured me advice and

The Austrian Consul also received me with much civility, and most
obligingly placed his house at my disposal, although compelled to start
for Spolatro on business. For some reason best known to himself, he
begged of me to return to Mostar, insisting on the impracticability of
travelling in Bosnia in the present state of political feeling. This,
coupled with the specimen of priestly civility which I had experienced
in the convent of Goritza, inclined me to alter the route which I had
proposed to myself by Foinitza to Bosna Serai. In lieu of this route, I
resolved upon visiting Travnik, the former capital of Bosnia, before
proceeding to Bosna Serai (or Serayevo, as it is called in the
vernacular), the present capital of the province. In fulfillment of this
plan, I started on the morning of the 21st, though suffering from fever
and headache, which I attributed to a cold caught in the damp vaults of
the Franciscan convent. With each successive day my illness became more
serious, and it was with difficulty that I could sit my horse during the
last day's journey before reaching Travnik. At one of the khans en
route, I put myself into the hands of the Khanjee, who with his female
helpmate prescribed the following remedies:--He directed me to place my
feet in a basin of almost boiling tea, made out of some medicinal herbs
peculiar to the country, the aroma from which was most objectionable. He
then covered me with a waterproof sheet which I carried with me, and,
when sufficiently cooked, lifted me into bed. Though slightly relieved
by this treatment, the cure was anything but final; and on my arrival at
Travnik I was far more dead than alive. There an Hungarian doctor, to
whom I had letters of introduction, came to visit me, and prescribed a
few simple remedies. One day I hazarded the remark that stimulants were
what I most required; upon which the learned doctor observed, with
proper gravity, that brandy would probably be the most efficacious
remedy, as he had often heard that English soldiers lived entirely on
exciting drinks. Ill as I was, I could scarcely refrain from laughing at
the drollery of the idea.

After a few days' stay at Travnik my medical adviser began, I fancy, to
despair of my case; and on the same principle as doctors elsewhere
recommend Madeira to hopeless cases of consumption, he advised me to
continue my journey to Bosna Serai. The difficulty was to reach that
place. Here, however, the Kaimakan came to my help, and volunteered to
let out on hire an hospital-cart belonging to the artillery. I accepted
his offer, and after a few days' stay at Travnik set forward on my
journey to Bosna Serai. The carriage was a species of Indian dâk ghari,
with side doors, but without a box-seat; it was drawn by artillery
horses, ridden by two drivers, while a sergeant and gunner did escort
duty. Fortunately the vehicle had springs, which must have suffered
considerably from the jolting which it underwent, although we only
proceeded at a foot's pace.

After three days' journey we reached Bosna Serai, where I was most
kindly received by Mr. Z., the acting British Consul, and by M.M., the
French Consul, with whom I stayed during the three weeks that I was
confined to my room by illness.

Bosna Serai, or Serayevo, is probably the most European of all the large
towns of Turkey in Europe. It is not in the extent of the commerce which
prevails, nor in the civilisation of its inhabitants, that this
pre-eminence shows itself; but in the cleanly and regular appearance of
its houses and streets, the condition of which last would do credit to
many a Frankish town. This happy state of things is mainly attributable
to the energy and liberality of the present governor of Bosnia, Osman
Pacha, who, notwithstanding his advanced years, has evinced the greatest
desire to promote the welfare of the people under his charge. In the
nine months of his rule which had preceded my visit, he had constructed
no less than ninety miles of road, repaired the five bridges which span
the river within the limits of the town, and introduced other reforms
which do him honour, and have procured for him the gratitude and
goodwill of all classes of his people. The system which he has
introduced for the construction of roads is at once effective and
simple. By himself making a small portion of road near the capital, he
succeeded in demonstrating to the country people the advantages which
would result from the increased facility of traffic. By degrees this
feeling spread itself over the province, and the villagers apply
themselves, as soon as the crops are sown, to making new portions of
road, which they are further bound to keep in repair. This is obviously
the first and most indispensable step in the developement of the
resources of the country. It would be well for the Sultan were he
possessed of a few more employés as energetic, able, and honest as Osman

I regretted that the rapidity of his movements prevented my taking leave
of him and his intelligent secretary. But, a few nights before my
departure, an express arrived bringing intelligence of a rising in
Turkish Croatia, near Banialuka. The news arrived at 9 P.M.,
and the energetic Pacha was on the road to the scene of the disturbance
by 6 A.M. the following morning. The émeute proved trifling;
not being, as was at first reported, a Christian insurrection, but a
mere ebullition of feeling on the part of the Mussulmans of that
district, who are the most poverty-stricken of all the inhabitants of
the province.

[Footnote U: This can scarcely be correct, as everything implies far
greater antiquity.]


     Svornik--Banialuka--New Road--Sport--Hot Springs--Ekshesoo--Mineral
     Waters--Celebrated Springs--Goitre--The
     Roads--Brod--The Save--Austrian Sentry--Steamer on the
     Save--Gradiska--Cenovatz--La lingua di tré Regni--Culpa
     River--Sissek--Croatian Hotel--Carlstadt Silk--Railway to
     Trieste--Moravian Iron--Concentration of Austrian Troops--Probable

The shortening days, and the snow, which might now be seen in patches on
the mountain sides, warned us of approaching winter, and the necessity
for making a start in order to ensure my reaching Constantinople before
the Danube navigation should be closed. My illness and other
circumstances had combined to detain me later than I had at first
intended, and I was consequently compelled to abandon the idea of
visiting either Svornik or Banialuka, two of the largest and most
important towns in the province. The former of these places is
interesting as being considered the key of Bosnia, in a military point
of view; the latter, from the numerous remains, which speak eloquently
of its former importance. The navigation of the Save, too, having
become practicable since the heavy rains had set in, I resolved upon
the simplest route of reaching Belgrade, viz., that by Brod. In coming
to this decision, I was influenced also by my desire to see the valley
of the Bosna, in and above which the road lies for almost the whole
distance. No site could have been more judiciously chosen, than that in
which Serayevo is built. Surrounded by beautiful hills and meadows,
which even in November bore traces of the luxuriant greenness which
characterises the province, and watered by the limpid stream of the
Migliaska, its appearance is most pleasing. As we rattled down the main
street at a smart trot on the morning of the 16th November, in the
carriage of Mr. H., the British Consul, it was difficult to believe
oneself in a Turkish city. The houses, even though in most cases built
of wood, are in good repair; and the trellis-work marking the feminine
apartments, and behind which a pair of bright eyes may occasionally be
seen, materially heightens the charms of imagination. The road for the
first six miles was hard and good. It is a specimen of Osman Pacha's
handiwork, and is raised considerably above the surrounding fields, the
sides of the road being rivetted, as it were, with wattles. At the end
of that distance, and very near the confluence of the Migliaska and the
Bosna, I separated from my friends, who were bent on a day's shooting.
From the number of shots which reached my ear as I pursued my solitary
journey, I should imagine that they must have had a successful day. The
love of sport is strongly developed in the people of these provinces,
and nature has provided them with ample means of gratifying their
inclination. Besides bears, wolves, boars, foxes, roebucks, chamois,
hares, and ermines, all of which are plentiful in parts of the country,
birds of all kinds abound; grey and red-legged partridges, blackcock,
ducks of various kinds, quail, and snipe, are the most common; while
flights of geese and cranes pass in the spring and autumn, but only
descend in spring. Swans and pelicans are also birds of passage, and
occasionally visit these unknown lands. The natives are clever in
trapping these animals. This they do either by means of pitfalls or by
large traps, made after the fashion of ordinary rat-traps.

Before continuing my journey, I visited the hot springs, which rise from
the earth at a stone's throw from the main road. Baths were built over
them by Omer Pacha, on the occasion of his last visit to Bosnia, for the
benefit of the sick soldiers, and such others as chose to use them.
Besides two or three larger baths, there are several intended for one
person, each being provided with a kind of cell, as a dressing room. The
waters are considered most efficacious in all cases of cutaneous
diseases, and were at one time in great request for every kind of
disorder, real and imaginary. From what I could gather from the
'Custos,' I should say that they are now but little frequented. Leaving
the Migliaska, which is here spanned by a solid bridge of ten arches, we
crossed the Bosna in about half an hour. Scattered along the river bank,
or in some sheltered nook, protected by large trees alike from the heat
and the eyes of curious observers, might be seen the harems of various
pachas, and other grandees connected with the province. After four hours
farther march, we arrived at Ekshesoo, where 1 located myself in the
khan for the night. My first step was to send for a jug of the mineral
water, for which the village is famous, and at one period of the year
very fashionable. The water has a strong taste of iron, and when fresh
drawn, effervesces on being mixed with sugar, wine, or other acids. It
is in great repute with all classes, but the Jews are the most addicted
to its use. No Hebrew in Serayevo would venture to allow a year to
elapse without a visit to the springs; they generally remain there for
two or three days, and during that time drink at stated hours gallon
after gallon of the medicated fluid. The following night I arrived at
Boosovatz, where I left the Travnik road, which I had been retracing up
to that point. The water of the Bosna is here beautifully transparent;
and at about an hour's distance is a spring, the water of which is
considered the best in Bosnia. The Pacha has it brought in all the way
to Serayevo, yet, notwithstanding this, I saw many persons in the
village suffering from goitre, a by no means uncommon complaint in
Bosnia. The cause for the prevalence of this affliction is difficult to
understand, unless we attribute it to the use of the river water, which
is at times much swollen by the melting snow.

10th November: rain fell in torrents, much to my disgust, as the scenery
was very beautiful. The road, which is a portion of the old road
constructed by Omer Pacha, skirts the banks of the river, which winds
sometimes amongst steep wooded hills, at others in the smooth green
plains. At one point we were obliged to ford it; the stream was rather
deep and rapid, and I certainly experienced a sensation of relief when I
saw my baggage pony fairly landed on the opposite bank, without further
injury to his load than a slight immersion. The fishing of the Bosna is
not so good as that of the Narento and some other rivers of Bosnia and
Herzegovina. Let me not be accused of a partiality for travellers'
tales, when I say that trout of 60 lbs. have been killed in the latter
province. In external colour these are veritable trout, the flesh,
however, having a yellowish appearance, something between the colour of
trout and salmon; the smaller fish are of excellent quality and are
very abundant. Three hours after leaving Boosovatz we reached Tzenitza,
a small town where a little trade is carried on. While sitting in the
public room of the khan, the post from Brod arrived en route to Bosna
Serai. The man who carried it came in wet and mud-bespattered, and
declared the road to be quite impassable; a bit of self-glorification
which I took for what it was worth. Had I not been pressed for time I
should have myself been inclined to give way to the importunities of all
concerned, to postpone my journey to Vranduk until the following day;
but seeing no prospect of any improvement in the weather, I deemed it
prudent to push on.

Another difficulty, however, here presented itself. The Tchouch of
Zaptiehs positively declined to give me a guide; and it was only by
sending for the Mudir, and threatening to write a complaint to the
Serdar Ekrem, that I succeeded in obtaining one. This escort duty is the
principal work of the mounted Zaptiehs. Ten piastres a day, or twenty
pence, is what is usually paid them by those who make use of their
services. They, of course, pay for the keep of their own horses out of
their regular official salary. The rain now gave place to snow, which
fell in considerable quantities for two or three days. The cold was
intense, and it was only by halting at every khan, generally about three
hours apart, that it was possible to keep the blood in circulation. On
the morning of the 20th the sun shone out bright and comparatively warm,
although everything bore a most wintry aspect. Beautiful as the scenery
must be when spring has clothed the trees with green, or when the early
autumnal tints have succeeded the fierce heat of summer, the appearance
of the country clad in its snowy garments might well compare with either
of these. The hills, rugged in parts, and opening out at intervals into
large open plains, trees and shrubs groaning with their milk-white
burden, or sparkling like frosted silver in the moonlight, and above all
the river, now yellow and swollen, rushing rapidly along, produced an
effect characteristic and grand.

About ninety miles from Serayevo the river becomes much broader, and
swollen as it was by the recent rain and snow, presented a very fine

On its right bank stands the town of Maglai, which is prettily situated
in the side of a basin formed by the hills, a craggy eminence apparently
dividing the town into two parts. Behind these, however, the houses
meet, sloping down close to the river's edge. On the very summit of the
central mound is an old fort mounting five guns, which command the
river, but would otherwise be of little use. The only means of
communication between either bank, is a ferry-boat of rude construction.
After leaving this town there still remained four hours of my journey
to be accomplished, before arriving at Schevaleekhan, where I intended
passing the night. Unaccustomed as I was to anything like luxury, I was
positively staggered at the total absence of even the commonest
necessaries of life. At Maglai I had endeavoured without success to buy
potatoes, fruit, and even meat; but here neither bread, eggs, nor
chickens, which are nearly always procurable, were to be found. Having
received the inevitable 'Nehmur' to every one of my demands, I could not
help asking what the inhabitants themselves eat; and being told that
they lived upon vegetables, asked for the same. Judge, then, of my
astonishment when told that there were none. Fortunately my kind friends
at Bosna Serai had not sent me away empty-handed, or assuredly I should
have felt the pangs of hunger that day.

At all times a khan is a painful mockery of the word hotel, as it is
often translated. Picture to yourself a room about eight feet square,
with windows not made to open, a stove which fills one-third of the
entire space, and a wooden divan occupying the other two-thirds; the
whole peopled by innumerable specimens of the insect creation, and you
have a very fair idea of an ordinary khan. If there be a moment when one
is justified in the indulgence of a few epicurean ideas, it is when
inhabiting one of these abodes of bliss.

About an hour from Schevaleekhan we crossed an arm of the Bosna by means
of a ferry-boat; a little farther on the left bank stands a town of 300
houses, built very much after the same principle as Maglai. Like that
place it has an eminence, around which the houses cluster. This is also
surmounted by a fort with three guns, two small and one large. The Mudir
told me with no little satisfaction that it was the last place taken by
the Turks, when they conquered Bosnia. Profiting by my experience of the
previous day, I took the precaution of buying a chicken, some bread, and
a few more edibles, on my way through the town. Provisions were,
however, both scarce and execrable in quality. Meat is indeed rarely to
be obtained anywhere, as sheep are never killed, and bullocks only when
superannuated and deemed unfit for further physical labour. Chickens are
consequently almost the only animal food known. The method of killing
them is peculiar. The children of the house are generally selected for
this office. One secures a very scraggy fowl, while another arms himself
with a hatchet of such formidable dimensions as to recall in the
beholder all sorts of unpleasant reminiscences about Lady Jane Grey,
Mauger, and other historic characters. The struggling bird is then
beheaded, and stripped of his plumage almost before his pulses have
ceased to beat. The first occasion on which I saw one of these
executions, I could not help thinking of a certain cicerone at Rome,
who, albeit that he spoke very good French and Italian, always broke out
in English when he saw a picture of a martyrdom of any kind soever;
'That one very good man, cut his head off.' The man had but one idea of
death, and the same may be said of these primitive people, who look upon
decapitation as the easiest termination to a half-starved life.

Leaving Kotauski, where I passed the night of the 21st, at 7
A.M., I reached Brod at 8.30 in the evening. The distance is
considerable, but might have been accomplished in a far shorter time,
had not the country been one sheet of ice, which rendered progression
both difficult and dangerous. Each person of whom I enquired the
distance told me more than the one before, until I thought that a
Bosnian 'saht' (hour) was a more inexplicable measure than a German
'stunde' or a Scottish 'mile and a bittoch.' At length, however, the
lights of Brod proclaimed our approach to the Turkish town of that name.
On the left bank of the Save stands Austrian Brod, which, like all the
Slavonic towns near the river, is thoroughly Turkish in character. Late
as it was, I hoped to cross the river the same night, and proceeded
straight to the Mudir, who raised no objections, and procured men to
ferry me across. But we had scarcely left the shore when we were
challenged by the Austrian sentry on the other side. As the garrisons
of all the towns on the frontier are composed of Grenzer regiments, or
confinarii, whose native dialect is Illyric, a most animated discussion
took place between the sentry on the one hand, and the whole of my
suite, which had increased considerably since my arrival in the town. My
servant Eugene, who had been educated for a priest, and could talk
pretty well, tried every species of argument, but without success; the
soldier evidently had the best of it, and clenched the question with the
most unanswerable argument--that we were quite at liberty to cross if we
liked; but that he should fire into us as soon as we came into good
view. There was therefore no help for it, and unwillingly enough, I
returned to a khan, and crossed over early the following morning. At his
offices, close to the river, I found M.M., le Directeur de la
Quarantine, and general manager of all the other departments. He
accompanied me to the hotel, which, though not exactly first-rate,
appeared luxurious after my three months of khans and tents. I was
somewhat taken aback at finding that the steamer to Belgrade was not due
for two days, and moreover that the fogs had been so dense that it had
not yet passed up on its voyage to Sissek; whence it would return to
Belgrade, calling at Brod, and other places en route.

It therefore appeared the better plan to go up in it to Sissek, than to
await its return to Brod. By this means I was enabled to see many of the
towns and villages on the Bosnian, Slavonian, and Croatian frontiers.
Leaving my servant and horses at Brod, I went on board the steamer as
soon as it arrived. The scene I there found was curious. In a small
saloon, of which the windows were all shut, and the immense stove
lighted, were about thirty persons, three or four of whom were females,
the remainder merchants and Austrian officers. The atmosphere was so
oppressive that I applied for a private cabin, a luxury which is paid
for, in all German companies, over and above the regular fare. I was
told that I might have one for eleven florins a night. To this I
demurred, but was told that any reduction was impossible; it was the
tariff. At length the inspector came on board; to him I appealed, and
received the same answer. After a little conversation, he agreed to
break through a rule. I might have it for seven florins. No! well, he
would take the five which I had originally offered; and so I got my
cabin. That it was the nicest little room possible, I must admit, with
its two large windows, a maple table, a large mirror, and carpeted
floor; and a very much pleasanter resting-place than the hot saloon. The
night was rainy and dark, and we lay-to throughout the greater part of
it, as is the invariable rule on the Save, and even on the Danube
during the autumn months. At eight on the following morning we touched
at Gradiska. There are two towns of the name, the old one standing close
to the river, and embellished with a dilapidated castle; the new town
being about an hour's distance inland.

About noon we reached Cenovatz, which, like the other towns and villages
on the frontier, might be mistaken rather for a Turkish than a German

The Castle of Cenovatz is an irregular quadrilateral, with three round
and one square tower at the angles. It is now occupied by priests. It is
interesting from its connection with the military history of the
country. There, on a tongue of land which projects into the river, waved
the flag of France during the occupation of the Illyrian provinces by
the old Napoleon, while on the main land on either side the sentinels of
Austria and Turkey were posted in close juxtaposition. Hence it has
received the name of "la lingua di tré regni."

At six o'clock the same evening we entered the River Cūlpa, at the mouth
of which is the town of Sissek.

It has a thrifty and cleanly appearance, and possesses two very fair
inns. The saloon of one of these appeared to be the rendezvous of the
opulent townspeople. Music, chess, billiards, and tobacco-smoke,
appeared to be the amusements most in vogue; the indulgence in the
latter being of course universal. Here I took leave of my companions of
the steamer, whose loss I much regretted, especially M. Burgstaller, a
gentleman of much intelligence, who requested me to examine his silk,
manufactured at Carlstadt, for the International Exhibition. On the
ensuing morning, I crossed the Cūlpa, and inspected the works connected
with the new railway to Trieste. It is intended to be in a state of
completion by the end of the coming autumn. Several Englishmen are
employed on the line, but I did not happen to come across any of them;
every information was, however, given me by a Croatian gentleman, who
has the superintendence of one-half of the line. Moravian iron is used
in preference to English, although its value on delivery is said to be
the greater of the two.

Sissek was in ancient days a place of no small importance. There, Attila
put in to winter his fleet during one of his onslaughts on the decaying
Roman empire. Traces of the ancient city are often dug up, and many
curiosities have been found, which would delight the heart of the modern
antiquarian. The return voyage to Brod was not remarkable for any
strange incident, the passengers being almost entirely Austrian
officers. The number of troops massed by that power on her Slavonian and
Croatian frontier would infer that she entertains no friendly feelings
to her Turkish neighbours. These amount to no less than 40,000 men,
dispersed among the villages in the vicinity of Brod, and within a
circumference of fourteen miles. At Brod itself no fewer than 4,000
baggage-horses were held in readiness to take the field at any moment.
It requires no preternatural foresight to guess the destination of these
troops. They are not intended, as some suppose, to hold in check the
free-thinking Slavonic subjects of Austria. Nor is that province used as
a penal settlement for the disaffected, as others would infer. The whole
history of Austria points to the real object with which they have been
accumulated, viz. to be in readiness to obtain a footing in Bosnia, in
the event of any insurrection in that province of sufficient importance
to justify such a measure. The utility of such a step would be
questionable, as climate and exposure have more than once compelled the
Austrians to relinquish the idea, even after they had obtained a
substantial footing in the province. The motives which would induce them
to make another attempt are palpable enough; for, besides the advantages
derivable from the possession of so beautiful and rich a country,
Austria sees with alarm the increase of revolutionary principles in a
province in such close proximity to her own. And yet she has small
reason for fear, since no single bond of union exists between the
Slaves on either bank of the Save.

But even if this were not the case, surely her soundest policy would be
to support and strengthen in every way the Turkish Government, since
their interests are identical, viz. the preservation of order among the
Slavish nations of the world.

After leaving Brod, the banks of the river become flat and
uninteresting; that on the Bosnian side is to a certain extent covered
with low brushwood. After passing the Drina, which forms the boundary
between Bosnia and Servia, it becomes still less interesting; the only
objects of attraction being the numerous mills with which the river is
studded. On the morning of the 29th we moored off the wharf at Semlin,
but just too late to enable me to cross over to Belgrade by the
morning's steamer. During the day, which I was compelled to pass in the
town, I received much attention from General Phillipovich, who commanded
the garrison, to whom I tender my sincere thanks. In the evening I
crossed over to Belgrade (the white city), the capital of the
principality of Servia.




The erroneous notions prevalent throughout Europe relative to the
internal condition of Servia, are mainly traceable to two causes. The
first of these is the wilful misrepresentation of facts by governments
to their subjects, while the other, and a far more universal one, is the
indifference inherent in flourishing countries for such as are less
successful, or which have not been brought into prominence by
contemporaneous events. We English are operated upon by the last of
these influences. We are contented to accept the meagre accounts which
have as yet reached us, and which give a very one-sided impression, as
is but natural, the whole of the materials having been collected at
Belgrade. I am not aware that anyone has during the past few years
written upon the subject; and having been at some pains to obtain the
means of forming a just estimate of the character and condition of the
Servian people, I must fain confess to very different ideas concerning
them to those which I had previously entertained, based upon the perusal
of Ranke and Von Engel, or the lighter pages of Cyprien Robert and

The retrograde movement, but too apparent, gives cause for serious
regret, not only to those who are politically interested in the
well-being of the country, but to all who desire to see an advanced
state of civilisation and a high moral standard amongst a people who
pride themselves on the universality of Christianity within their

The present population is about one million, and is said to be
increasing at the rate of ten per cent., but so crudely compiled are the
statistics, that doubts may be entertained of the accuracy of this
statement. Of this million of souls, 200,000 at the lowest estimate are
foreigners; the greater portion being Austrian subjects, and the
children of those Servians who on three separate occasions migrated to
the northern banks of the Danube. What has induced them to return to
their ancestral shores, whether it be Austrian oppression, or an
unlooked-for patriotism, it is hard to say; but whatever the motives,
they have not proved of sufficient strength to awaken the dormant apathy
inherited with their Slavish blood. Save those who have settled at
Belgrade, and who drive a most lucrative and usurious trade, they have
sunk back contentedly to a level with the rest of their compatriots.

The scanty population is only one of the many signs of the decadence of
a country for whose future such high hopes were entertained, and whose
name is even now blazoned forth as a watchword to the Christians of
Turkey. In reality, a comparison with most Turkish provinces, and more
especially with those in which the Mussulman element predominates, will
tell very favourably for the latter. Roumelia, for example, with a
smaller area, contains a larger population, produces more than double
the revenue, while land is four times as valuable, the surest test of
the prosperity of a country. This last is easily accounted for by the
lamentable indolence of the masses, who are contented to live in the
most abject poverty, neglecting even to take advantage of a naturally
fertile soil. Yet must it not be supposed that indifference to its
possession prompts this contempt for the cultivation of land. There is
probably no province so much enclosed, and where the mania for
litigation in connection therewith is so rife as Servia. An
insurmountable obstacle is thus thrown in the way of foreign enterprise,
by the narrow-mindedness of the people.

The same want of energy has had the most baneful effect upon commerce,
the very existence of which is merely nominal. Even at Belgrade the
common necessaries of life are daily imported from the Austrian banks of
the Danube. No one is more alive to the deplorable state of affairs than
the reigning Prince, whose long residence in the capitals of Europe has
familiarised him with their bustling scenes of thriving activity. Well
will it be for Servia and himself, if he shall turn the experience which
he has acquired to some practical account. Any doubts which he may
previously have entertained regarding the misery of the country, and the
moral degradation of his subjects, were removed effectually by all that
he witnessed in a recent expedition into the interior--miserable hovels,
uncultivated fields, magnificent forests wantonly destroyed, were the
sights which met him at every turn. At length some restrictions have
been placed on the wilful abuse of the greatest source of wealth which
the country possesses. Nor are they premature, for the reckless
destruction of the forests, combined with a failure of the acorns during
the past year, produced serious distress. Already has the export trade
of pigs diminished by one-third of the average of former years. This is
immediately owing to the necessity of feeding them on Indian corn, a
process which proves too expensive for their poverty-stricken owners,
and which in this respect places the pig and its proprietor upon an
equality. The latter live almost entirely upon maize and sliegovich, a
kind of rakee made out of plums, and extremely fiery.

The mode of treatment of their women, an infallible sign of civilisation
or the reverse, was brought prominently to the Prince's notice by the
following circumstance:--Having, in company with the Princess, visited
the cottage of a thriving pig-owner, he observed the presence of three
daughters of the house. These young ladies showed unmistakeable signs of
approaching old-maidism, and the parental philosophy settled the
question of their future pretty conclusively. 'Why,' said he, in reply
to a question put by the Prince touching the solitary condition of the
damsels, 'should I allow them to marry, when each of them is worth more
than three fat pigs to me.' Manners must have changed very much for the
worse since the days of Ami Boué, or it is difficult to conceive upon
what he founds his assertion that labour is not imposed upon Servian
women. Indeed it would be surprising were it not so, when they are
subjected by the laws of the land to the indignity of the bastinado,
from which even men, save soldiers, are exempted in Mahometan Turkey.

The absence of that blind subjection to a bigoted priesthood which
distinguishes the other Christian populations, would seem to indicate a
certain independence of spirit, but unhappily the accompanying symptoms
are not so encouraging. With contempt for its ministers, has come
disregard for the ordinances of the Church, the services of which are
but scantily attended. Yet notwithstanding the irreligion which is
spreading fast throughout the land, little tolerance is shown for
adherents to other than the Greek Church. For example, Catholics are
compelled to close their shops on the Greek feasts, of which there are
not a few, under penalty of a fine. In the same liberal spirit the mob
are permitted to break the windows of such houses as are not illuminated
on these occasions.

An ignorant and narrow-minded man is generally also vain. The same law
is equally applicable to nations. A fancied superiority over the
Christians of the other Turkish provinces cannot escape the notice of
the most casual observer. That Servia has acquired some fame for
military exploits is true, and far be it from me to detract from the
praise due to her efforts to achieve and maintain her independence. The
successes of their fathers, however, over the small irregular Turkish
levies to which they were opposed, do not warrant the present population
in indulging in the vapid boastings too often heard, of their ability to
drive the Turks to Constantinople, were they permitted so to do. In a
word, they forget that they owe their present position, not to their own
prowess, but to foreign intervention; without which the province would
probably have shared the fate of Bosnia, Albania, Epirus, and the
Pashaliks of Rutschuk and Widdin, all which were as independent as
themselves, but were reconquered by the Turks, no European power having
extended to them the safeguard of a guarantee.

Whether the protection accorded to Servia has worked beneficially is for
my readers to judge. The abstract question of the advantages thus
conferred admits of debate, and for my own part I believe the present
miserable state of the province to be mainly owing to the European
guarantee. She was not sufficiently enlightened to profit by the
advantages presented to her, and the honourable self-reliance which was
the result of a successful resistance to the Turkish arms has given
place to a feeling of indolent security. Nor is this the worst. A
principal feature in a country under guarantee is the total want of
responsibility in those vested with administrative power. Upon this the
Servian rulers presume to a preeminent degree, and indulge in many acts
of presumption which would be impossible were they not fully alive to
the fact that the conflicting interests of the guaranteeing powers,
added to their own insignificance (which perhaps they overlook), exempt
them from any fear of chastisement.

The principle of supporting the independence of a province forming a
component geographical part of an empire, must have but one result, that
of weakening the mother state, without, as experience has shown,
ameliorating the condition of the province. Independently, therefore, of
the drain upon the Turkish finances, for the maintenance of troops from
time to time on the Servian frontier, to counteract revolutionary
propaganda, her influence throughout her Slavish provinces is much
weakened. Although in a position as anomalous as it must be unpalatable,
the Ottoman Government deserves credit for abstaining so entirely from
any species of interference in the internal affairs of the country; for
be it remembered that the province is still tributary to the Porte. The
hattischeriff of 1834, by which, on the evacuation of the country, the
Sultan retained the right of garrisoning the fortresses, has never been
strictly adhered to, and may at some future period lead to
complications. Belgrade is secure from any efforts which may be made
against it, but the other forts are hardly worthy of the name, and were
only used as a place of refuge in case of attack. The Servians now
complain of the infringement of the hattischeriff, and M. Garaschanin
has but lately returned from Constantinople, whither he was sent on a
special mission in connection with this subject. He endeavoured to
procure an order for the withdrawal of all Mussulmans from the villages
which they now occupy in the vicinity of the forts. This demand would
appear just in the letter of the law, but for the neglect on the part
of the Servian Government of one of the conditions, which was, that
before resigning their property, the Mussulmans should receive an
equivalent in money. The payment of this has been evaded, and the Porte
consequently declines to interfere in the matter; should the Sultan
hereafter accede to the demand, it would be no great sacrifice, as he
would still retain Belgrade. Situated as that fortress is, at the
confluence of the Danube and the Save, surrounded with strong and
well-ordered fortifications, and commanding every quarter of the town,
its occupation in the event of hostilities would at once determine the
fate of the province.

The city may be fairly said to represent the sum of civilisation in the
country. In addition to 2,000 Austrian subjects, the population is of a
very polyglot character, who, however much they may have added to the
importance, have deprived the town of its national appearance.


Before alluding to the financial or military resources, it will be well
to pass in brief review the events of the past few years, of which no
chronicle exists. These, if devoid of any special interest, tend
considerably to our enlightenment regarding the much vexed question of a
south Slavonic kingdom, and at the same time of Russia's prospects of
aggrandisement south of the Danube. The neutral attitude preserved by
Servia during the war in 1854-55, must have been a grievous
disappointment to the Emperor Nicholas. Had she risen consentaneously
with the irruption of the Hellenic bands into Thessaly and Epirus, the
revolt might have become general, and would have been fraught with
consequences most perplexing to the Sultan's allies. This neutrality may
be attributed to the position assumed by Austria throughout that
struggle, combined with the independence of Russian influence manifested
by the then reigning family of Servia. No sooner was peace declared,
than Russia applied herself to the task of producing a state of feeling
more favourable to herself in the Slavonic provinces. While adhering to
her traditional policy of fomenting discord, and exciting petty
disturbances with the view of disorganising and impeding the
consolidation of Turkey, she redoubled her efforts to promote her own
influence by alienating the Greek Christians from their spiritual
allegiance to the Archimandrite, and transferring it to the Czar. Nor to
attain this end did she scruple to resort to presents, bribes, and even
more unworthy means. That her efforts have not met with more signal
success than has as yet attended them, is due to the indifference
displayed by the people on these subjects.

One measure which was deemed most important was the substitution in
Servia of the Obrenovitch family for that of Kara George. This occurred
in 1858; and during the lifetime of Milneh, Russian influence was ever
in the ascendant. The familiar roughness of tone and manner assumed by
that Prince towards his uncultivated people procured for him great
weight; while his astute cunning, his hatred of Turkey, and his Russian
bias, would have given a most valuable ally to that power, had she
procured his restoration before her armies crossed the Pruth.
Fortunately no opportunity presented itself for him to promote actively
the cause of his imperial master; and the two years which he survived
his return to power are marked only by occasional ill-judged and
bloodthirsty emeutes, as prejudicial to his people as they were
ineffectual in overthrowing Turkish supremacy.

The eastern policy of France, during the Italian war, was subjected to
many powerful conflicting influences. The chances of creating a
diversion in the rear of Austria, owing to the unsettled state of the
Turkish provinces, was probably thought of. Why the idea was abandoned
is not for us here to enquire; but it may be in part attributed to the
display of force which Turkey for once put forth at the right moment. Be
this as it may, no disturbance took place until the winter of 1859,
when, upon the withdrawal of the Turkish troops, fresh rumours of an
insurrectionary nature were heard. These are well known to have been
encouraged and circulated by the Servian Government, which calculated
upon foreign support, at any rate that of Russia. But Russia has no wish
to precipitate a crisis. The disastrous results of Prince Gortschakoff's
mission have, at any rate, taught her the impolicy of plucking at the
fruit before it is ripe. Her own internal reorganisation, moreover,
occupies her sufficiently, and renders any active interference for the
moment impracticable. Even were it otherwise, were Russia able and
willing to renew the struggle in behalf of her co-religionists, the
report of Prince Dolgorouki as to the amount of assistance likely to be
derived from them, would hardly tend to encourage her in her
disinterested undertaking. This envoy arrived at Belgrade in the latter
part of 1859, while Prince Gortschakoff's charges were issued shortly
after his return, and were doubtless based upon his reports. (Yet it is
more than probable that the primary object of his mission was to enquire
into and to regulate the revolutionary movements, which at that moment
had acquired a certain degree of importance.) The Bulgarian emissaries
told him frankly that no rising could be looked for in those provinces,
unless Russia took the initiative. They reminded him that in 1842, when
Baron Lieven visited Belgrade, the Bulgarians were induced by the
promises of Prince Michael Obrenovitch to rise en masse. These promises
were never fulfilled, and the insurrection was put down with great
barbarities by the neighbouring Albanian levies. This single fact is
tolerably conclusive as to the unreality of a south Slavonic
insurrection, of which so much has been said, and to promote which so
much trouble has been taken. Even were the discontent tenfold as
deep-rooted as it now is, the Turkish Government might rely on the
Mussulman population and the Arnauts to suppress any rising of the
Christians. The chief danger to Turkey lies in the truculent nature of
those whom she would be compelled to let loose upon the insurgents, and
who would commit excesses which might be made an excuse for foreign
intervention. The attainment of this ignoble end has been and still is
the policy pursued by more than one power. Prince Milosch played
admirably into their hands, not foreseeing that in the general
bouleversement which would be the result, the independence of Servia
might be disregarded. The invasion of the Bosnian frontier by bands of
Servian ruffians was a measure well calculated to arouse the fury of the
Mussulmans; and if such has not been the case, it may be attributed to
the rapid dispersion of the miscreants. Little credit, indeed, accrued
to Servia in these hostile demonstrations, for while the bands were
composed of the lowest characters, and could only be brought together by
payment, they quickly retreated across the frontier at the first show of
resistance. It is significant that these bands were in nearly all cases
led by Montenegrins, a fact which indicates the decline of that spirit
of military adventure to which the Haiduks of old (robbers) could at
least lay some claim. Discreditable as these proceedings were, worse

On the 5th of August a murderous attack was made upon a party of
Mussulmans in the close vicinity of Belgrade, upon which occasion eight
were killed and seventeen wounded. No fire-arms were used, probably to
avoid alarming the garrison. The absence on that night from the capital
of both Prince Milosch and his son, furnishes just grounds for
suspecting them of complicity in the affair, while the presence of
Sleftcha (notoriously a creature of Russia), and Tenko, among the
murderers, clearly shows where and with what views the crime was
devised. On the same night, five Mussulmans who were sleeping in a
vineyard at Kladova, on the Bulgarian frontier, were murdered by
Servians, while an attack was made upon a third party. The prospects of
a country whose princes connive at, and whose ministers commit murder,
cannot be very brilliant. Whether other atrocities might have met with
the sanction of Milosch it is impossible to say, for death cut him off
in the latter part of September, 1860, full of years and crimes. Not the
least of these was the death of Kara George, who was treacherously
murdered at his instigation. But let us pass from so unattractive a
retrospect to a consideration of the character and policy of the living
prince who now holds the reins of government.


The appointment of Prince Michael to the vacant throne of Servia was the
first step towards the substitution of hereditary for elective
succession. One of the first measures of the new prince was to induce
the Skuptschina, or National Assembly, to legalise for the future that
which had been an infraction of the law. The sixteen years which
intervened between 1842, when Michael was ejected, and 1858, when Prince
Milosch was reinstated, were passed by the former in the various
capitals of Europe. The high Vienna notions which he imbibed during that
period have deprived him of the sympathy and affection of his
semi-civilised subjects, as much as the uncultivated mind of his father
deprived him of their respect. Nor does the lack of sympathy appear to
be one-sided. And, in truth, that mind must be possessed of no ordinary
amount of philanthropy which can apply itself to the improvement of a
people at once so ignorant and vain, and who evince withal so little
desire for enlightenment.

At the time of his accession the Russian element, as has been shown, was
strong in the Ministry. Sleftcha and the Metropolitan were her
principal agents. It was to be expected, therefore, that he would
adhere to the family principles, and sell himself body and soul to his
great benefactor. But it frequently happens that persons who have risen
to unexpected eminence turn upon those by whom they have been raised.
This would appear to be somewhat the case with Prince Michael, who
certainly does not show the same devotion to Russia as did his father.
It may be that he has not noted in the foreign policy of that power the
disinterestedness which she so loudly professes. If such be his views,
who can controvert them? To the character of the man, combined with his
peculiarly irresponsible condition (owing to the guarantee), may be
ascribed his present line of conduct. Ambitious, obstinate, and devoted
to intrigue, his character is no more that of a mere puppet than it is
of one likely to attain to any great eminence. At first, it must be
acknowledged that he played into the hands of Russia most unreservedly.
No endeavours were spared to stir up discontent and rebellion in the
surrounding provinces. Little credit is due to the sagacity of those by
whom these machinations were contrived. For example, petitions were sent
to all the foreign consulates purporting to come from the Christian
subjects of Turkey on the frontiers of Bosnia and Bulgaria, and setting
forth the miserable condition to which they had been reduced by
Mussulman oppression. The sympathy which might have been felt for the
sufferers was somewhat shaken by attendant circumstances, which threw
doubts on the authenticity of the letters. It appears that these arrived
from the two frontiers by the same post, while, on comparison, they were
found to be almost identical in form and wording.

Great results were also anticipated from the Emigration movement, to
which the early part of 1861 was devoted. Russia, while endeavouring to
promote the emigration of Bulgarians to the Crimea, did not discourage
the efforts of Servia to induce them to cross her frontier with the view
of settling. Several thousands did so, and these came principally from
the Pachaliks of Widdin and Nish. Amongst these were many criminals and
outlaws, who were admitted by the Servians, in violation of their
charter. Considerable excitement prevailed, and subscriptions were set
on foot for their benefit, but the movement appears to have died a
natural death, as nothing is now heard of it. The émigrés cannot have
been too well satisfied with the position in which they found
themselves, since the greater number soon returned whence they came, in
spite of Mussulman oppression.

Since the failure of this scheme, the Prince has applied all his
energies to the acquisition of independent power. He first endeavoured
to effect it by means of a deputation to the Sublime Porte. Failing in
this, he resorted to the internal means at his disposal, and has gained
his point. The principal objects which he had in view, and which he has
succeeded in carrying out, were the declaration of hereditary
succession, and the abrogation of the Ustag or Constitution, by which
his power was limited. The Senate, as the deliberative body may be
termed, originally consisted of 17 members. They were in the first
instance nominated by the then reigning prince, but could not be removed
by him, while vacancies were filled up by election among themselves. The
whole of these rules he has now set aside, and, albeit he has given a
colouring of justice to his proceedings by restoring the original number
of members, and some other customs which had fallen into abeyance, he
has virtually stripped them of all power. With great astuteness he
induced the Skuptschina to deprive the Senate of legislative functions,
and immediately afterwards to relinquish them itself, thus placing
absolute power in his hands. This grossly illegal action has met with
some faint resistance, but the Prince will without doubt carry out his
wishes. He has only to fear internal discontent, as he is entirely
independent by virtue of the guarantee, not only of the European powers,
but even of Turkey. It is true that this very policy cost him his throne
in 1838, but with years he has gained prudence, and he is now pursuing
it with far greater caution. The Servians, too, having sunk
immeasurably in the social scale, are less likely to stand upon their
rights, or to give him the same trouble as heretofore.

Up to the present time all these schemes have weighed but little in the
scale against the one absorbing ambition of his life. In a word, Michael
is a hot Panslavist. Of this he makes no secret, and he has probably
shared hitherto, in common with all Servians, very exaggerated notions
of the importance which Servia would assume were the dismemberment of
Turkey to take place. Their self-conceived superiority over the other
Christians of European Turkey, induces the Servians to regard the
northern provinces in the same light as do the Greeks the southern. The
ambition of Michael, however, is not satisfied with the prospect of
dominion over the undeveloped countries south of the Danube. His
conversation, character, and previous history all point to one
conclusion--that he aspires to sway the destinies of the Slavish
provinces of Austria, and maybe of Hungary itself. His marriage with an
Hungarian lady of the name, and it is to be presumed of the stock of the
great Hunyadi family, would appear to give some consistency to these
dreams. The chief drawbacks to its fulfilment are the unreality of the
agitation among the Slavish populations, the power of Turkey to crush
any insurrection unaided from without, and the honour and interest of
Great Britain, which are staked on the preservation of the Ottoman
empire from foreign aggressions. Although he may indulge in such day
dreams, it is impossible but that a man of Prince Michael's calibre must
be alive to all the opposing elements which will defer the
accomplishment of them to a remote period. Notwithstanding natural
prejudices, which in his case, however, are not very strong, it is
probable that he now sees the inutility, and understands how visionary
are the ambitious projects which he once entertained touching Servia.
Such, at least, is the opinion of those who have the best opportunities
of forming a correct judgement in the matter. Whatever may be his own
intellect, whatever his ability to conceive and execute, Servia is too
degraded to carry him through. To be the nucleus of a large kingdom,
certain elements are necessary, in which she is strikingly deficient.
Among these may be placed tried and flourishing institutions, unity of
sentiment and purpose amidst all classes, and a due appreciation of the
advantages of education and commerce; while last, but perhaps the most
important of all, is civil and religious liberty of the highest order.
In all of these, I repeat, Servia is eminently wanting.

A very slight glimpse also at her financial and military resources will
show how far she is fitted to take even a leading part in any emeute
which circumstances may hereafter bring about. The total revenue of the
country has up to this time amounted to 200,000_l._ sterling. This has
been raised by a tax of $5 levied on about 40,000 males. Nearly the
whole sum is expended in paying and equipping the army, and in the
salary of officials. Dissatisfied with the small amount of revenue, the
Prince undertook, during the past year, to reorganise the taxation. An
impost upon property was projected in lieu of the capitation tax, but
having, unfortunately, started without any very well-defined basis, the
system broke down, actually producing a smaller revenue than was yielded
by the original method. Equally abortive, as might have been
anticipated, was the scheme for raising a militia of 50,000 men.
Presupposing, for the sake of argument, a strong military spirit to be
rife among the people, the financial condition of the country would
render the idea untenable, since it is with difficulty that the 1,800
soldiers who constitute the regular army can be maintained. Granting
even the willingness to serve, and the ability of the government to pay
them, the population of the country would not, according to ordinary
statistics, furnish so large a force. The greatest number that could be
calculated on in the event of war would be about 40,000 men, and these
only in a war in which the national sympathy might be deeply enlisted.
How many of this number would remain in arms, would probably depend on
the amount of plunder to be obtained, and the nature of the resistance
which they might encounter.

The matérial of the existing force is about on an equality with that of
most continental armies. A portion of the troops are armed with rifles,
and the remainder with unbrowned muskets. One battery of artillery forms
the aggregate of that arm of the service. There are 70 guns at the
arsenal at Kragiewatz, but they are all old and unfit for field service.
A French Colonel has lately been imported to fill the combined offices
of War-Minister and Commander-in-Chief. This, and, indeed, the whole of
the recent internal policy, leaves very little doubt of the source
whence emanate these high-flown ideas. It cannot be better expressed
than as a _politique d'ostentation_, which is, if we may compare small
things with great, eminently French. The oscillation of French and
Russian influence, and the amicable manner in which their delegates
relinquish the field to each other alternately, implies the existence of
a mutual understanding between them. Whether this accord extends to a
wider sphere and more momentous questions, time alone will show.
Meanwhile, the Prince continues to indulge in dreams of a Panslavish
kingdom, and of the crumbs which may fall to his own share, while he
neglects the true interests of his country, with which his own are so
intimately blended. Let him apply himself to the developement of her
internal resources, to the promotion of education and civilisation among
the people, and, above all, let him root out that spirit of indolence
which has taken such firm hold upon all classes. It is his policy to do
all this, that Servia may be in a position to assume that leading place
among the Slavonic races which she arrogates to herself, should
unforeseen circumstances call upon her to do so. With her he must stand
or fall; therefore, setting aside more patriotic motives, self-interest
renders it imperative on him to apply himself zealously to her

With regard to his foreign policy, he cannot do better than act up to
the conviction which he has himself more than once expressed, that 'the
interests of Servia are identical with those of Turkey.' For, should the
disruption of the Ottoman empire take place--the probability of which is
at any rate no greater than in the time of our grandfathers--it will not
be effected by internal revolution, but by foreign intervention; and
credulous must he be who can believe in the disinterestedness of those
who would lend themselves to such a measure. Thus, in the partition
which would ensue, Servia might find even her former independence

Let me add, that if I have alluded in strong terms to the condition of
the people, I have done it in all sincerity, regretting that Servia
should thus cast away the sympathy which, were she bent on
self-advancement, would pour in upon her from every side. If, again, I
may appear presumptuous in dictating the duties which devolve upon her
Prince, I am prompted to it by the supineness which he has as yet
evinced in promoting the desire for civilisation. Let him delay no
longer, for, should events so dispose themselves that Servia should be
weighed in the balance, she will, unless an amendment takes place, be
indeed found miserably wanting.


In conclusion, I would venture to call attention to the fact that the
preceding pages were written before events had assumed the aspect which
they now wear. Actual hostilities had not then commenced against
Montenegro; the Turkish Government had not then contracted the loan
which has opened up new prospects for the finances of the country.

That Omer Pacha has not already brought the war to a close is to be
regretted, but let those who criticise the slowness of his movements
weigh well all the disadvantages against which he has to contend.

It would be useless to enumerate these again, as they are alluded to
more than once in the course of this volume. Suffice it to say, then,
that if Cettigné be taken and Montenegro occupied before the end of the
present year, Omer Pacha will have placed another feather in his cap,
and will have materially increased the debt of gratitude to which he is
already entitled.


The following is an extract of a letter from the young Prince of
Montenegro, addressed to the Consuls of the Great Powers. The sentiments
which it expresses are creditable enough, and, did his acts corroborate
his words, he would be well entitled to the sympathy which he demands.

     Cettigné, le 30 juillet 1861.

     Monsieur le Consul,

     A l'occasion de la récente et grave mésure prise par la Turquie
     envers le Montenégro, je crois devoir rompre le silence et faire
     connaître succinctement à MM. les Consuls des Grandes Puissances
     qu'elle a été tenue depuis un an par le Montenegro vis-à-vis de
     l'empire ottoman.

     Depuis mon avènement j'ai employé tout mon pouvoir à maintenir la
     tranquillité. Sur les frontières je n'ai rien négligé pour éloigner
     tout motif de collision, pour calmer les animosités séculaires qui
     séparent les deux peuples, en un mot, pour donner à la Turquie les
     preuves les plus irréfragables de meilleur voisinage.

     Dans une occasion toute récente je me suis rendu avec empressement
     au désir exprimé par les Grandes Puissances de me voir contribuer
     autant qu'il était dans mon pouvoir au soulagement des malheureux
     enfermés dans la forteresse de Niksich. J'ai été heureux de pouvoir
     en pareilles circonstances donner une preuve de déference aux
     Grandes Puissances, et de pouvoir répondre, comme il convenait à un
     souverain et un peuple chrétien, à l'appel fait à ses sentiments
     d'humanité. Je ne me suis point arrêté devant la considération d'un
     intérêt personnel.



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