Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Bleeding Armenia - Its history and horrors under the curse of Islam
Author: Williams, A. W.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bleeding Armenia - Its history and horrors under the curse of Islam" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



                            BLEEDING ARMENIA

                        Its History and Horrors
                        Under the Curse of Islam



                                   BY
                    Rev. A. W. WILLIAMS, of Chicago

          For twenty years a close student of Missionary work
                 in the East--Syria, Turkey and Persia

                                  AND
                           Dr. M. S. GABRIEL

         President of the Armenian Patriotic Alliance, New York

                      CONTAINING ALSO THE VIEWS OF

                         HON. WM. E. GLADSTONE

                       ON THE TURKISH ATROCITIES

                        THE MARQUIS OF SALISBURY

                         ON ENGLAND'S ATTITUDE

                                  AND
                    EDWARD A. FREEMAN, the Historian

                        ON THE EASTERN QUESTION



                  Fully and Appropriately Illustrated.
                           PUBLISHERS' UNION
                                  1896



                             Copyright 1896
                                   BY
                             A. W. Williams



PREFACE.


In offering to the public this volume on Bleeding Armenia under the
Curse of Islam the writer does not seek to harrow the feelings of
sensitive readers by the recital of blood-curdling outrages, tortures,
murders, and butcherings; neither does he aim to discuss at any length
the involved problems of the Eastern Question, but he does definitely
seek to awaken interest in the history and fate of what may truly be
called the Martyr Nation of the World.

It is not the isolated fact that Armenia is now undergoing a most
terrible persecution, that fifty thousand or sixty thousand helpless
men, women and children have already suffered death in every form
which the most depraved nature, the most cruel instincts, the most
bitter and fanatical hatred could devise, that so deeply arouses us;
but the fact that for more than a thousand years this has been the
bitter and bloody story of her wrongs--this is what staggers us.

That the reader may have some clearer conceptions of the present
terrible situation in Armenia and of the causes which make her general
condition one most deplorable to contemplate, its early history,
civilization and conversion to Christianity is briefly sketched, and
attention is called to the fact that its very geographical position
has for many centuries made it the highway for the contending armies
of the East and West.

Armenia has been the battle ground where diverse systems of religion
and civilization have fought for supremacy. Its fate has always been
to suffer, whichever power was for the time victorious. It has been
sometimes ground to powder between the upper and nether millstone.

The rise of that alien system of religion which is the most bitter
and relentless persecutor of the Christian faith the world has
ever seen is accurately sketched, and careful attention given to it
because Christian people believe it to be true that the cause of the
fiercest and most vindictive hatred of the Turk to Greek, Bulgarian
or Armenian is primarily his loyalty to Mohammed and his hatred of
Jesus as the Christ.

It were not in the heart of humanity to kindle the passions into a
flame so fierce as to consume every element of mercy and compassion,
unless these were set on fire by fiendish fanaticism or religious
bigotry.

In this light these persecutions are but the irregular outbreak of
that spirit of opposition which will never cease so long as Islam
has power to draw the sword. From the hour that the Ottoman Turk was
securely seated on that eastern throne of the Cæsars, there never
has been peace, and there never can be while he holds the keys to
the gateway of nations.

Without laborious disquisition, with only a sincere desire to let
history tell its own story, some phases of the struggle for place,
preëminence and power between England and Russia, which form the
heart of the Eastern Question are also presented.

No one can be in the slightest doubt as to which side of the
Turkish-Armenian question the policy of England leans. There is no
question as to the fact that England has been the firmest friend to
Turkey for more than sixty years, and that the more she has feared
the growing power of Russia the more resolutely she has stood by
the Porte in spite of the atrocities which have marked the frequent
persecutions of the Christian races under the sway of Islam.

Her purely selfish and commercial "interests" have caused the English
government to be deaf to the cry of the decimated Bulgarians, and
of Armenians to-day. The part that England played in elaborating the
great treaties of Paris and of Berlin which controlled the issues of
the Crimean and the Russo-Turkish wars stamps the character of her
interests in the affairs of Turkey.

There is thus furnished in this historical data a broad ground on
which public opinion in this country may call upon Great Britain in
this hour of remorseless cruelty that she shall fulfil the treaty
obligations which she most solemnly and publicly accepted and assumed
and demand of the Porte at the mouth of shotted guns if need be, that
the rights of Christian Armenians shall be defended and maintained
by the whole power of the Turkish Empire.

The situation in Armenia is given with considerable fulness, though
volumes could not contain a complete account of the sufferings that
this long-doomed race has endured under the Curse of Islam.

The position that our government should occupy is that of high moral
equity, the insistence upon the preservation of common rights of
humanity irrespective of race or creed.

The immediate duty lying at our doors is to assist in relieving
the distress even unto starvation, which hundreds of thousands of
Armenians are now enduring. Many will perish before aid can reach
them. What is to be done must be done quickly.

This book while making little pretension to literary polish is the
result of wide historical research and has been carefully written and
edited, and is now cast upon the great tide of public opinion with the
hope that it may stimulate permanent interest in the great problems
which are at issue in the conflict between Christianity and Islam--that
it may reach and move the springs of deepest sympathy for suffering
Armenians; that it may rouse a more vigorous moral indignation against
such crime and cruelty, and thereby assist in creating such a just
and righteous public sentiment that our government may take such a
stand as shall tell speedily for the bettering of the conditions of
human existence in far off Armenia.

Thus confiding in the kindly consideration of a generous public, I
send forth this book on the mission to which it is hereby dedicated,
viz:--to plead the cause of Bleeding Armenia which is being done to
death under the Curse of Islam.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.

EARLY HISTORY OF ARMENIA.

    A Martyr Nation--Need of a Voice--Historical Annals at
    Nineveh--Abgar's Letter to Jesus of Nazareth--Acceptance
    of Christianity--Council of Nice--Persian Conquests--Bible
    Translated--Great Persecutions--Dying for the Faith--Magi
    Driven Out--Saracens in Armenia--Fearful Tortures--Burned
    Alive--Bogha the Tyrant--Sultan of Turkey--Islam or Death
    --Yussuf the Persian--Great Horrors Repeated--Starvation
    --Peace Returns                                                  21


CHAPTER II.

THE RISE OF ISLAM.

    Arabia--Mecca--Idolatry--Mohammed's Birth--Carlyle on Islamism
    --The Hegira--Battle of Beder--Mecca Captured--Death of Mohammed
    --Golden Era of the Saracens--Khaled at Damascus--City Captured--
    Jerusalem Besieged--Capitulates--Persia Conquered--Egypt Won
    in a Day--Constantinople Besieged                                44


CHAPTER III.

THE STORY OF THE FIRST CRUSADE.

    Origin--Jerusalem Captured by the Turks--Peter the Hermit--
    Pope Urban--Crusade of the Mob--Walter the Penniless--Battle
    of Nicomedia--300,000 Perished in all--Crusade of the Kings
    and Nobles--Godfrey of Bouillon--Europe Moves Westward--
    Antioch--Jerusalem Captured July 14th, 1099--Godfrey
    Elected King                                                     72


CHAPTER IV.

THE GREAT TARTAR INVASIONS.

    The Turcomans--Seljuks--Persia Conquered--Armenia Wasted--
    140,000 Slain--Ani with 1,001 Churches Falls--Awful Slaughter
    --Asia Minor Ravaged--Emperor of Constantinople Defeated--
    Damascus Falls--Saladin--Jerusalem Capitulates--Silence on
    the Coast--Jenghiz Khan--Armenia in Great Distress--Turks in
    Europe--Tamerlane--Armenia again in Torture--Pyramids of
    Human Skulls--Death of Tamerlane                                104


CHAPTER V.

THE FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE.

    Ottoman Empire Rising--Danger to Europe--Mohammed II. the
    Conqueror--Fortress Built at Gallipoli--Emperor Alarmed--
    Europe Indifferent--First Great Siege with Artillery--Seven
    Weeks Bombardment--Final Assault--50,000 Ottomans Fall--Charge
    of the Janissaries--Constantine Died at His Post--Church of
    St. Sophia is turned into a Mosque--Islam sits on the Throne
    of Christianity                                                 135


CHAPTER VI.

THE BULGARIAN MASSACRE.

    Four Centuries of Misrule--Chios, 40,000 Slain--Christians
    in Turkey Persecuted--Russia Demands their Protection--France
    and England against Russia--Czar's Army Crosses into
    Moldavia--Sultan Declares War--Siege of Sebastopol--Treaty of
    Paris 1856--Turkish Loans--Revolt in Servia--Andrassy Note--
    Reforms Promised--Bulgarian Massacres--England Horror Struck--
    Gladstone on the Massacres--15,000 Butchered--Russia Arms for
    the Deliverance of the Christians                               159


CHAPTER VII.

THE RUSSO-TURKISH WAR.

    War Declared--Crossing the Danube--Siege of Plevna--
    Skobeleff's Gallant Charge--Third Siege--Plevna Reduced and
    Surrenders--Alexander at the Danube--Shipka Pass--The Valley
    of Roses--Turkey Conquered--Adrianople--San Stefano--Berlin
    Treaty--Russia Robbed of her Victories                          185


CHAPTER VIII.

THE SULTAN ABDUL HAMID.

    Questions of Policy--Palace Rule--Alarm of the Porte--Shrewd
    Diplomacy--Playing off the Powers--Balance of Power--Reforms
    Promised--Never Fulfilled                                       213


CHAPTER IX.

PROGRESS AND POWER OF CHRISTIAN MISSIONS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.

    The First Chapter in Turkish Missions--Have Missions been a
    Failure--Modern Triumphs of the Gospel                          250


CHAPTER X.

THE KURDS AND ARMENIANS.

    Territory--Origin--Occupation--Character--Agriculture--Robbers
    --Cruelty of Warfare--Language--Homes--Women--Ruined Castles--
    Churches                                                        277


CHAPTER XI.

THE REIGN OF TERROR--SASSOUN                                        303


CHAPTER XII.

THE REIGN OF TERROR--TREBIZOND AND ERZEROUM                         341


CHAPTER XIII.

THE REIGN OF TERROR--VAN AND MOUSH                                  360


CHAPTER XIV.

THE REIGN OF TERROR--HARPOOT AND ZEITOUN                            383


CHAPTER XV.

RELIEF WORK IN ARMENIA.

    Mission Stations--The Christian Herald--Red Cross Society--
    Miss Clara Barton                                               400


CHAPTER XVI.

THE CURSE OF ISLAM.

    Despotic in Government--Intolerant in Religion--Evils
    of Polygamy--Degradation of Women--Ignorance--Cruelty of
    Officials--Extortion--Universal Distress--No Advance Possible
    --The Turk never Improves--Islam--Worse and Worse--Its Rule is
    against Humanity                                                423


CHAPTER XVII.

THE GREATEST CRIME OF THE CENTURY.

    England's Inactivity--Her Solemn Obligation--Treaty of San
    Stefano--Berlin--Convention with Turkey--Cyprus--Occupation
    of Egypt--Position of the English Government--Difficulties
    in the Way--But the Suffering Awful--Freeman--Gladstone         433


CHAPTER XVIII.

AMERICA'S DUTY AND PRIVILEGE.

    Possible Solution--Universal Arbitration--Constantinople a
    Free City--Europe Free--Armenia's Sorrows Healed--The Dawning
    of the Twentieth Century                                        470


APPENDIX.

DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIONS                                        495



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                                   Page

    Massacre of Armenians by Police, Softas and Kurds      Frontispiece.
    Great and Little Ararat from the Northeast                       19
    Armenian Types and Costumes                                      38
    Monastic Rock Chambers at Gueremeh                               55
    The Sultan Abdul Hamid in the Park of the Yildiz Palace          74
    Types of Softas                                                  91
    "The Turks are upon us," A Panic in Stamboul                    110
    The New Grand Vizier on His Way to the Sublime Porte            127
    Explaining the Inflammatory Placards                            146
    Taking Armenian Prisoners to the Grand Zaptie Prison            163
    British Cabinet Debating the Armenian Question                  182
    The British Mediterranean Fleet                                 199
    Types and Costumes.--Kurdish Gentlemen                          218
    A Common Scene in the Streets of Erzeroum                       235
    Armenian Peasant Women Weaving Turkish Carpets                  254
    Armenian Peasants Fleeing to Russia                             271
    Armenian Women, Province of Van                                 290
    Armenian Mountaineer of Shadokh                                 307
    Grand Mosque and Interior of Urfah                              324
    Passage Boat on the Arras                                       343
    Arresting the Murderers of Armenians                            362
    Sketches of Armenia and Kurdestan                               379
    Refugees and Policemen at an Armenian Church                    398
    A Prayer for Revenge                                            415
    Massacre of Armenians at Erzeroum                               422
    Burying the Bodies After the Massacre at Erzeroum               431
    A Grim Corner of the Cemetery, Erzeroum                         438
    The Prison at Erzeroum                                          444
    Trebizond                                                       453
    Principal Street and Bazaars of Erzeroum                        459
    Town and Citadel of Van                                         466
    Armenian Refugees at the Labor Bureau at Van                    475


MAPS.

    Map of Turkey in Asia                                       284-285
    Map of Armenia                                                  321



INTRODUCTION.


At no time of the world's history have there ever been two months so
rich in grand tragedy as the Armenian period of November and December,
1895. It is not the enormous number of the killed nor the frightful
suffering of the survivors that give this period its unique character,
but the fact that the great majority of the 75,000 or more of the
massacred Christians had a free choice to make between life and
death, and they chose death. Civilized humanity is bound to take
a supreme interest in the action of those heroes and heroines who
sacrificed all the interests of existence to their moral ideal of
life,--in those women who, in order to escape from the outrage of
a bestial soldiery, threw themselves into the river Euphrates and
were drowned,--in those virgins who, captured by the brutal Moslems,
received twenty, thirty sword cuts in defending their honor,--in those
men who, when threatened with instant death if they would not embrace
Islam, answered, "we are ready to be immolated for the love of Christ,"
and they were slaughtered like sheep. The historian and the dramatic
writer, the poet and the painter will soon follow the diplomatist and
the journalist to take up the matter, and the Christian peoples of
all lands will continue to receive now a thrill of pious admiration,
now a tremendous shock at the recital of these events.

In fact, the Armenian occurrences have two sides, one glorious, and
one of hellish darkness. They bring out in the most striking fashion,
the infernal genius of the Mahommedan religion. The Moslems, high
and low, exhibited such foul sensuality, such satanic cruelty and
such delight in ferocity of which even the savages are incapable. And
these qualities are precisely those which Mohammedanism cultivates.

The Armenian crisis served also as a test to bring out the actual
degree of European morality. Alas! who would have believed a year ago
that the Christian powers of Europe would permit the Turk to attempt
before their eyes the extermination of a Christian nation and church
by wholesale massacre and forced conversions? Such is, nevertheless,
the dreadful revelation of the year. They did not prevent the most
colossal crime of the century, nor did they punish the criminal
who by their mercy alone had the power of committing such a crime;
moreover, they had the front, at least some of them, to declare that,
for reasons of high diplomacy, they were ready to support the authority
of the monstrous criminal over his victims.

What makes this infamous course of the Christian governments the
more ominous, is the fact that the Christian peoples and churches did
not seem to be shocked. They stifled their indignation and swallowed
their own protests if they felt or uttered any, and we see no nation
whatever boiling with the sacred rage of revolting conscience.

The British government and press have tried hard to show that England
has done all she could in order to protect the Armenians. Russia has
yet her national conscience very imperfectly developed, Germany's
conscience is nearly dead under the curse of her success against
France. It is only the government of Great Britain that feels the
obligation of executing itself. But its failure in protecting Armenia
is not merely the forced consequence of the course of the other powers
in the matter, as it would like to make the public believe. England had
sinned against Armenia during all the long period of 18 years before
the matters came to a crisis. She had been, in 1878, the champion
of the Turk against Russia, and in order to justify her support of
a Moslem power which had been the curse of its Christian subjects,
Great Britain pledged herself by the Cyprus Convention to protect
the Christians against Turkish misrule as she would protect Turkish
territory against Russian aggression.

Did England fulfill her solemn obligation toward Armenia? No! The
British consuls in Armenia did report to the government that the
Turkish authorities and Kurdish beys and Hamidieh troops continued to
oppress the Armenians just as before, nay, worse than before,--that
their worthiest leaders, bishops, professors, influential men were
being exiled, the benevolent associations scattered, the useful books
censured, the peasantry ground to dust, and hundreds of innocent
men flung into prison and tortured--but the British Government did
not move.

Let there be no misunderstanding as to my meaning. I do not mean
England remained absolutely indifferent, but she never acted in time,
and with adequate energy. She remained always behind the times. She
brought to bear upon the Sultan a pressure of 1,000 tons when a
weight of 10,000 was required, and used 10,000 when 100,000 was
needed, with the result that Abdul-Hamid, instead of coming to his
senses, grew bolder after each successful resistance. With trifling
concessions he pushed his way and had the Kurdish brigands organized
into imperial troops, acquitted Moossa Beg, enjoyed the Erzeroum
massacre, undertook the more important massacre of Sassoon, and after
all, the crowning massacres of 1895. Had England insisted upon Moossa
Beg's being hung, the Erzeroum slaughter would not have been allowed,
and if the leaders of the Erzeroum carnage at least were punished,
the greater devastation of the Sassoon province would have been
prevented. Evidently it was much easier for the British government to
successfully coerce the Sultan for the exemplary punishment of the
first criminals than later to check the greater tides of sweeping
evils. To judge aright, we must consider the whole course of the
British in the matter and not merely what happened at the critical
moment when the task was so much harder. And even then, namely in
October last, did England show herself equal to the requirements of
the crisis? Whatever Lord Salisbury and his party organs may say,
he must have many times since avowed to himself that he did not act
then as he could and ought to. He lacked courage and now the prestige
of Great Britain has sunk to a miserably low degree in the Orient.

For the present the Sultan reigns in Constantinople and the Czar
governs. The situation is evidently an unsettled one, as Hamid's
suicidal policy has prostrated the whole country, and a radical
change is to come in the near future. The final doom of the Ottoman
Empire can not delay much longer. The world expects to see some sudden
developments in the affairs of the East. The fate of agonizing Armenia
will be decided, and the relations of the Christian with the Moslem
world will enter on a new phase.

This book therefore, is devoted to "Bleeding Armenia," Under the
Rule of Islam; will touch problems of the highest importance and
command general interest. It can not give a definite solution to the
multitudinous questions raised by the condition of Armenia, but will
contribute to bring them to public comprehension and right judgment.


M. S. Gabriel.



BLEEDING ARMENIA.

CHAPTER I.

EARLY HISTORY OF ARMENIA.


                "Gather you, gather you angels of God
                Chivalry, Justice and Truth:
                Come, for the earth has grown cursed and old
                Come down and renew us her youth!
                Freedom, self-sacrifice, mercy and love,
                Haste to the battlefield, stoop from above
                  To the Day of the Lord at Hand."

                "Who would sit down and sigh for a lost age of gold
                While the Lord of all ages is here?
                True hearts will leap up at the trumpet of God,
                And those who can suffer can dare
                Each past age of gold was an iron age too,
                And the meanest of saints may find work to do
                  In the Day of the Lord at Hand."

                                                              Kingsley.


The history of Armenia is a chapter of horrors unequalled by the
history of any other nation under the sun. The record should arouse
interest in the fate of this ancient and most remarkable people,
who have suffered the most cruel outrages--the victims of the most
horrible crimes that have ever stained the pages of history with
tears and blood. As we read the heart rending story of their awful
fate, we can scarcely wonder that a heartbroken mother, as she gazed
on the lifeless form of a beloved daughter whom she had sought in
vain to preserve from a ruffian band of Turks, should cry out in the
frenzy of her grief that God himself had gone mad, and that maniacs
and demons incarnate were stalking through the earth.

Where is there a voice with passion and fire enough in it to arouse
the hearts of Christian America to demand, in the name of a common
humanity, that the massacres and outrages of the fierce and fanatical
Turks shall cease? In what nobler cause did ever Christian knight
draw sword, or a nation ever spend treasure and blood.

Ours is not the terrible responsibility of the British nation which
has suffered commercial considerations to outweigh frenzied appeals
for justice and toleration, but it is a weight of shame that will be
equally hard to bear in the Day of the Lord, if we, the mightiest
Christian nation on the face of the globe, in the darkest night of
religious persecution shall put forth no effective hand to deliver this
most ancient Christian race from the clutch of fiendish fanaticism.

The cause of Armenia is founded on facts which exalt this people to
the loftiest heights of martyrdom and have made them literally for
eighteen centuries "The Blazing Torch of Asia." Her tortures will not
cease until the mailed hand of Christendom shall smite into the dust
the power of the Prophet. The blood of probably a million martyrs to
Christianity has drenched the soil of Armenia. Its fair proportions
have been curtailed by conqueror after conqueror, its fields pillaged,
its homes devastated and at no time has this devoted nation been
without the presence of the sword suspended by the single hair. Embrace
the creed of Islam, or the scimitar of the fanatic Moslem severs the
hair which separates an existence of fear from the martyr's crown,
is forever in the thoughts of every Armenian.

The historians of this people of Armenia claim for them a very ancient
heritage--a career which though narrow, is one of thrilling interest.

About the year 150 B. C., by the might of conquest a Parthian King
came to the throne of Armenia; and wishing to know something of
the origin of the race and of the history of the country, and not
finding anything satisfactory in Armenia, he sent the most learned
man in all his dominions to consult the old Chaldean manuscripts and
tablets that were to be found in the Royal Archives of Nineveh. Every
facility was afforded him in his search, and among the archives he
found a manuscript written in the Greek characters with this label:
"This book containing the annals of ancient history was translated from
Chaldean into Greek by order of Alexander the Great." He extracted
from that the history of Armenia as written and continuing it down
to his own times presented it to the King, who ordered it preserved
with great care in his treasury.

The principal sources of their national history rests upon the works
of a celebrated Armenian writer of the fifth century, who claims to
have derived his information from the above mentioned manuscript. They
derive their parentage from Gomer, the son of Japhet, or rather from
Haig, a grandson of Gomer, who moving northward from the plains of
Shinar, settled with his families and followers in the country round
about Ararat. This interesting story, which touches in many points
the authentic histories of Nineveh and Babylon, cannot here be told;
but we hastily sketch the succeeding eras in the ever fateful history
of this primitive race of people.

The grandson of the founder of this Parthian race of kings, Ardashes
I., brought all Persia under his sway, and then turned westward with an
army so vast he did not know their number. He subdued the whole of Asia
Minor--passed the Hellespont, conquered Thrace and Greece, destroying
many cities. Returning to Armenia, he planned another expedition into
Persia in which he was defeated, wounded, and in dying, exclaimed,
"Alas, how transient and unsatisfactory is glory."

A little later an immense army of allied Persians and Armenians
invade Palestine and Phenicia, the Roman armies being unable to
stop their progress. For an immense bribe of one thousand talents of
gold, Antigonus secures their assistance in dethroning Hyrcanus and
establishes himself upon the throne of Jerusalem.

In the second year of Abgar (or Agbarus) (B. C. 3,) a decree was issued
by Augustus that all the kingdoms acknowledging the Roman dominion
should be taxed, and that statues of himself should be erected in
the religious temples of every nation. Herod, King of the Jews,
puffed up with pride, also sent statues of himself to be placed near
those of Augustus. Abgar refusing to comply with this request, Herod
sent a mighty force against him into Armenia, but the invaders were
met and defeated with great loss. Abgar now determined to shake off
the Roman yoke, and built the city of Edessa and strongly fortified
it. Accused to Tiberius, the succeeding Emperor, of inciting the
Persians to rebellion, he sent messengers to justify himself.

During their stay in Palestine they heard all the wonders which were
related to them of the extraordinary power of Christ. To gratify their
curiosity they went to Jerusalem, witnessed the miracles performed
by our Lord, and then returned to Armenia. Abgar, listening to
their accounts, became satisfied that Jesus was the Son of God, and
immediately sent back his messengers to Jerusalem with a letter to
Christ in which acknowledging Him to be the true and only Son of God,
he says: "Therefore, now I have written and besought Thee to visit me,
and to heal the disease with which I am afflicted. I have also heard
that the Jews murmur against Thee and are plotting to injure Thee;
I have, however, a very small but noble state which is sufficient
for us both."

The authenticity of this letter and the answer which Jesus sent
in reply has been questioned: but truth is often stranger than
fiction. Eusebius (Ecc'l Hist. Bk. I., chap. 13), declares that in
the public registers of the city of Edessa these letters and records
of the transactions following them were still to be found in his day.

The story is that St. Thomas, directed by our Lord, wrote a reply
to this letter, promising to send to them an apostle after His
resurrection. Accordingly Thaddeus was afterwards sent to Edessa,
where King Abgar was instructed and baptized.

Many believed and were baptized. So gladly was the truth received,
that tradition says that Bartholomew and Jude also were sent into
Armenia, but later rulers apostatizing from the faith, began a fierce
persecution. Bartholomew was crucified, the others also suffered
martyrdom with multitudes of their disciples.

Thus early was the infant church of Armenia baptized in its own blood,
and for scarcely a generation has its blood ever ceased to flow. It
is the martyr church and race of Christendom. Its persecutors have
literally bathed themselves in the blood of the slain.

Witness the horrible barbarity of a Persian Governor of Armenia
in 1038, who, upon the capture of a city which had dared to rebel
against their oppressors, was so wild with rage that he ordered all
the Greek and Armenian captives to be slain; and when a trench that
had been dug was filled with the blood of his butchered victims he
satiated his revenge by bathing in it.

In 286 A. D., there was a revival of Christianity in
Armenia. Diocletian, Emperor of Rome, restored Tiridates to his
throne, driving out the Persian usurper. With Tiridates there came
from Rome Gregory the Illuminator. By his preaching of the Gospel
the whole nation was converted to Christianity; and in the year 302
A.D., on the occasion of his going to Cæsarea Gregory was consecrated
Archbishop of Armenia by Leontius the Metropolitan. Later, when the
news reached Armenia that the Emperor Constantine was a convert,
Tiridates and St. Gregory undertook the journey to Rome, when an
alliance was solemnly agreed upon between the two nations. At the
Council of Nice, A. D. 325, the church of Armenia was represented by
bishops who brought back with them the Creed of the Fathers. Thus
the true light began to shine in fuller splendor in the midst of
Cimmerian darkness.

The Armenians seem to have been born for sorrow. Their provinces were
the highways of hostile nations. The armies of Rome and of Persia
passing through always carried desolation and ruin with them. Compelled
to yield to the demands of one conquering army, they became objects of
vengeance to the other when the former had withdrawn. In the year 369,
Shabuh, King of Persia, sent a large army against Arshag of Armenia,
who, being caught in a fortress which could not stand a siege,
determined to deliver himself to the Persian general with a view of
pleading his cause before the king.

Upon his arrival in Persia a palace was given him for his residence
and that of his court. But Shabuh immediately compelled him to write
to his Queen to join him in Persia; an order was also sent to the
chiefs and nobles to proceed with their Queen to the Persian capital.

The Armenian chiefs, alarmed at the order, begged to be excused,
but the King being inexorable, they attacked the troops he had sent
for their escort, put them to flight, and then fled into distant
provinces. The Queen also taking the treasures of the royal palace
retired to a strong fortress and wrote to Bab, a royal prince held
as hostage at Constantinople, to raise an army of Greeks and hasten
to the rescue of his father.

Shabuh angry at these events caused Arshag to be loaded with chains
and cast into the castle of Oblivion, where, once immured, no one
was ever heard of again.

The King of Persia sent a powerful army against the Queen headed by
two apostate Armenians. They found the country in a most deplorable
condition and at once laid siege to the fortress in which the Queen
had sought safety. The siege became a blockade, until despairing
of relief the inhabitants opened the gates and surrendered. The
castle was plundered with horrible atrocities, while the Queen and
captives who were spared were taken to Persia and by various and
satanic methods of torture compelled to abjure their faith. Arshag,
the imprisoned King, finding his bondage hopeless, driven to despair,
fell on his sword and expired, having reigned eighteen years.

Shabuh sent Merujan the apostate again into Armenia with a large army
and a company of magi, promising him the sovereignty of the country if
he succeeded in subduing the chiefs and in forcing the Armenians to
embrace the Persian religion. A most dreadful persecution followed,
priests and bishops and people were exiled, and multitudes put to
death. All the books found in the country written in Greek characters
were destroyed, and an order issued that no Armenian should learn
that tongue, and that thenceforth all writings must be in the Persian
characters. The magi and the executioners were distributed among
the towns and villages, the miserable inhabitants having only the
alternative of abjuring their religion or meeting instant death.

This reads like a chapter of recent horrors. Finally Eastern Armenia
became a province of Persia and after the death of Shabuh enjoyed
a little tranquillity. At this time a certain Christian, Mesrob by
name, became famous for sanctity and wisdom. He invented an Armenian
alphabet, in the year 406. Learning began to flourish. Many schools
were founded, and the Armenian youth were taught their language in
their own alphabet. The Persian division of Armenia became celebrated
throughout the East for its knowledge. The Old Testament was translated
into Armenian from the Syriac, the New Testament having already been
translated by St. Mesrob.

A few years later, A. D. 428, the dominion of the Arsacides ceased
forever, after having lasted for nearly six hundred years: and Armenia
came under the dominion of Persia and was ruled by Prefects for four
hundred and fifty-six years.

In A. D. 441 Hazguerd (Yezdiged) II. came to the throne of Persia
and meditated the forcible conversion of all Armenia to the worship
of the sun (fire worship) and the doctrines of Zoroaster. He exhorted
the chiefs and people to embrace the doctrine of the magi, but without
effect. He sent officers to collect most extortionate taxes with power
to torture at discretion. Many chiefs and nobles and multitudes of
people were tortured, thrown into dungeons, suffered most terrible
forms of martyrdom, yet remained steadfast in faith. Some few yielded
under the fierceness of persecution and kissed their hands to the
sun--but only a few.

Pleading in vain for mercy, they resolved to sell their lives as
dearly as possible. The bishops and chiefs called a great assembly
where they swore to fight for the honor and in defence of the Holy
Church. They gathered an army of one hundred thousand men and attacked
all the Persians in the kingdom. The magi were put to death and their
temples were demolished. Fresh armies were poured in from Persia and
the carnage increased. Fire worship was reëstablished, the former
tragedies of blood and torture were reënacted, many churches were
demolished, the priests dying under most excruciating torture. Is it
the fifth century or the nineteenth that we are describing?

In A. D. 451, Hazguerd ordered his generals to proceed into Armenia
with a large army and put the entire Christian population to the
sword. They were opposed by Vartan, who by sending heralds throughout
the country, warned the inhabitants of the threatened doom and gathered
an army of sixty-six thousand determined men. The two armies faced each
other late in the day with only a river between. That night Vartan,
with priests and bishops, passed through the army exhorting them to
fight manfully against the invaders. The Armenians all received the
sacrament that night, and inflamed with love of Christ and country,
were ready to do and die.

On the following day which was the 2d of June the Armenians, eager
to shed their blood for their faith, crossed the river and commenced
the attack.

At first they were successful and cut down the Persians with great
slaughter. But there was treason in their ranks; and in the midst of
the battle five thousand men drew off and joined their enemies. The
fortunes of the day changed and the Armenians were routed. The glorious
Vartan and eight allied chiefs and two hundred and eighty-six warriors
were left on the field. Hundreds of wounded were taken prisoners and
immediately put to death.

These outrages so exasperated the Armenians that again they rallied,
defeated their enemies and pursuing them into Persian territory
ravaged the country, burning towns and villages. The Persian King
now offered terms of peace, promising to forbear persecuting them on
account of their religious faith; and for a time the war ceased. But
he did not deliver up his prisoners. Many bishops and priests suffered
martyrdom in 454; not until 456 did the chiefs and nobles, who had
been languishing in prison for years rather than deny their faith,
regain their freedom and return into Armenia.

From the year 600 no Persian Prefect was ever again sent into Armenia,
that office being held by men of their own race; but on the West,
however, a power was rising up that would prove a fearful scourge,
a relentless and most bitter persecutor--The Saracenic Power.



THE SARACENS IN ARMENIA.

About the year 636 Armenia was invaded by the Saracens. This was the
beginning of the most unhappy era in the annals of Armenia. The whole
country was shortly plunged into ruin and desolation.

Nothing at first could withstand the onslaught of these fierce
warriors, Saracens, Infidels, who knew no word for mercy and regarded
all women as but slaves to their worse than bestial passions.

After a fierce battle in which the Armenians were defeated with great
slaughter the whole country was ablaze with conflagrations. A city
captured after a siege of months was taken by storm. The most dreadful
havoc ensued, twelve thousand inhabitants were massacred, churches,
palaces pillaged and burned and thirty-five thousand citizens carried
into captivity.

These were but the beginning of sorrows and horrors. Invasion after
invasion followed until at last peace was bought at the cost of an
immense yearly tribute which impoverished the whole people.

Justinian, the Greek Emperor, disregarding all ties of a common faith
and heedless of the common danger from the rising power, demanded
that they should renounce obedience to the Saracens and return to
his authority. They replied: "How often have we been subject to the
rule of Greeks, yet how little assistance have they rendered us in
time of our distress. * * * Should we at present submit ourselves to
your power, our kingdom would be exposed to invasion, we should be
delivered up to the sword and our habitations to fire and pillage. *
* * We beseech you, therefore to let us remain under the dominion of
our present masters by which alone our safety and the safety of our
nation can be secured."

The Emperor enraged at this humble pleading, sent an army to
invade Armenia. Twenty-five provinces were almost depopulated by
its ravages and thousands were carried away and sold as slaves in
foreign lands. The following year another army of forty thousand
men came to ravage the remaining territory. The nation was driven to
madness and despair by the devastations committed. But as if all the
vials of wrath and the horrors of hell were to be let loose at once,
the Saracens, believing they had returned to the subjection of the
Greeks, again invaded Armenia. They destroyed every town and village
on their line of march, and carried away vast multitudes of captives.

Again they returned with greater numbers than before. Cities,
towns, villages, fortresses, were razed to the ground, garrisons and
people either butchered or carried away captive. What could the poor
Armenians do but yield up their country to the power and government
of the Saracens?

Again the Greeks returned with a large army, and the weakened,
disheartened, impoverished people could only bow in subjection. The
emperor taking hostages from among the most distinguished chiefs
returned to Constantinople, leaving behind an army of thirty thousand
men to protect his vassals. At the expiration of three years all
these had departed and the country lay open to the inroads of their
fiercest enemies.

The Saracens soon reëstablished their power; the governors being
appointed from Damascus. To punish the Armenians for what they termed
their rebellion, many of the nobility were decoyed into churches which
were then set on fire and the poor Armenians were burnt alive. Their
property was then confiscated, their families siezed and put to death
with fiendish cruelty on account of their religious faith.

This reads like a chapter of living horrors: for the photographs of
to-day are only those of yesterday retouched with human blood.

The governors everywhere oppressed the Armenians with little
intermission, levying heavy taxes and inflicting extortionate fines
for their own private use. When the Saracens began the building of
Bagdad, the tribute was mercilessly increased. The greatest distress
prevailed, the evil became intolerable, a dreadful dearth occurred
in their harvests because of the furious hailstorms that swept over
wide regions of country. Clouds of locusts devoured what the hail
had spared and famine and misery untold desolated the land.



BOGHA THE TYRANT.

It was in the year 850 that the most awful calamities fell upon this
devoted race. Bogha the Tyrant, marched with a vast army to the utter
ruin of Armenia. Everywhere terror and consternation prevailed as
at their first entrance into the upper valleys, they cut off utterly
every living soul they found. The Armenians who inhabited the summits
of the mountains, beholding the awful massacres, rushed down in great
numbers to attack their enemies, but the Saracens taking possession of
all the passes cut off their retreat. A great many were killed, and
many more were taken alive. These were bound with ropes and dragged
into the presence of the governor. Bogha selected the finest looking
men and put them in confinement, intending to force them to renounce
their religion; the remainder he ordered slain before his eyes.

This horrible carnage was repeated in several provinces. One of the
most famous chiefs sought to make his peace with costly gifts, but was
seized with his wife and children and sent in chains to Bagdad. Then
Bogha marched his army into the province of Vasburagan with orders to
seize and bind all who were able to carry arms. Separating the finest
men again for confinement and torture, the others were inexorably
consigned to death. The slaughter was immense, as the records state,
human blood fertilized the land, and the valleys were choked up with
the bodies of former inhabitants. Those whom he had spared resolutely
refusing to deny their faith were tortured with fiendish ingenuity
until death relieved them of their sufferings.

In the extremity of their anguish they cried out: "How long O Lord? How
Long?" A thousand years has brought no adequate reply. You recall the
exclamation of Sojourner Truth's humble piety when Frederick Douglas
was fiercely lamenting the death of Abraham Lincoln, "Frederick,
is God dead?" and we wonder how the faith of the harried Armenians
lived when to swear by Mohammed would have delivered them from their
horrible sufferings.

Is the heart of this nation dead? Are we so taken up with the greed
for gold, the establishment of commerce, the extension of trade,
the rivalries of political ambitions, that the bleeding arms of the
Armenians are still stretched forth in vain, and their cries drowned
by the din of business or the revels of pleasure.

But no deliverer was nigh. The mountains and the rocks reëchoed in
vain their cries for help, their appeals for mercy.

Bogha was drunk with blood. The nation must perish. Province after
province was swept of its cities, many thousands slain and massacred;
and still the nobles and the chief men were spared for torture. Many
were tortured to such an extent that scarcely a feature remained by
which to distinguish them. When every art, device and glittering
promise had failed to induce them to apostatize, and the cruel
ingenuity of their tormentors could devise no more appalling agony,
they were crucified.

The persecutions lasted almost without intermission for five years till
the earth itself was sickened with the blood of innocent men. When
almost the whole land lay desolate and many provinces were more like
slaughterhouses than inhabited countries, Bogha gathered multitudes
of captives for slavery, and the noblest, bravest men for sacrifice,
and set out for Bagdad. In the presence of the Caliph and the chief and
flower of Saracenic nobility, the most horrible scenes were reënacted
in the capital of the Saracens. This only now remains for the Sultan
of Turkey, the head of the Mohammedan religion to do, to equal in
barbarity the deeds of Bogha the tyrant; and perhaps this alone will
rouse all Christendom, viz: Drive the miserable and starving remnants
left in his eastern provinces in chains to Constantinople and repeat
in the eyes of all Europe the awful crimes with which in the blazing
light of modern civilization he has darkened the face of all the East.

The Caliph gave these hapless victims but one alternative--the only
alternative Islam ever offers when it has the power, viz: either to
renounce Christianity and embrace Islamism, or be put to torture and
to death. We shall learn what torture is when we come to rehearse
in your tingling ears the devilish cruelties under which upwards of
sixty thousand Armenians have perished within the last few months.

Many outwardly renounced Christianity as the sight of the prolonged
tortures lacerated their hearts and smote them with weakness. Many
others, more firm, gloriously died in defence and confirmation of
their faith.



THE THIRD ARMENIAN DYNASTY. (A. D. 856.)

The pressure on the reader's sympathy will be relieved by the portrayal
of a brief reign of peace in Armenia, but righteous indignation will
not be lessened.

Ashod I., the son of Sumpad, the Confessor who died in chains
at Bagdad, gathered the remains of his tribe together, after the
retirement of Bogha, the Tyrant, and by his courage, wisdom and
humanity became greatly esteemed. The Caliph of Bagdad in an hour of
strange friendliness conferred on him the government of Armenia.

He sent him also a special messenger, bearing rich presents and
splendid official robes, directing him to invest Ashod with the
supreme power.

His first effort was to restore confidence and improve the condition
of the country, to the great satisfaction of all the Armenians. George
II., Pontiff, and all the chiefs united in drawing up a petition to
the Caliph soliciting him to bestow a crown upon Ashod, promising at
the same time not to falter in their allegiance to the authority of
Bagdad. To the great joy of all Armenians, their prayer was heard and
a crown of royalty was sent. Basilius, the Emperor of Constantinople,
who was an Armenian of the family of the Arsacids also sent him a
magnificent crown. Thus patronized by two emperors, Ashod ascended with
great splendor the throne of Armenia. All the ancient royal customs
were restored and Armenia again became a great and flourishing country.

Armenia being now at peace, Ashod set out to visit Western Armenia,
and thence he passed on to Constantinople to visit Emperor Leo,
son of Basilius. His reception was magnificent. On his returning he
fell sick--his malady increasing he sent for George, the Pontiff,
and received the sacrament, after which he appointed that large sums
should be distributed to the poor at the church doors and to hospitals,
convents and almshouses. He died in his seventy-first year, having
governed Armenia thirty-one years, viz: Twenty-six as governor and
five as king. He was buried with all the royal magnificence due to
an eastern Monarch.

In 892 the Caliph confirmed the crown to Sumpad, eldest son of
Ashod and the ceremony of coronation was again performed. The treaty
of his father was renewed with the Emperor of Constantinople, but
his reign proved to be a stormy one through successive invasions of
the Persians. At length he was enticed into the power of Yussuf, the
Persian, bound in chains and cast into a dark dungeon for a year. From
prison he was taken before the walls of a castle which was being
besieged. Furious with rage because of the continued resistance,
Yussuf caused the most horrible barbarities to be executed upon
the unfortunate Sumpad in sight of the beleaguered Armenians. The
torture was renewed daily to cause him to deny Christ. Then hourly
until death released his unshaken spirit.

Ashod II., surnamed the Iron-hearted, famed for bravery and
extraordinary strength, son of Sumpad, now gathered a small body of
six hundred men like himself and began to drive out the Persians. Soon
he cleared the country of them and in gratitude the Armenians placed
him on the throne. But many chiefs refused him their allegiance. They
were a restless, jealous set of nobles, and these quarrels among
themselves are by all their historians denounced as the chief source
of their national weakness.

Nobles and peasants rose in rebellion, and Yussuf taking advantage
of the anarchy again brought upon them his fiercest bands.

The former cruelties, and persecutions and barbarities were
repeated. Aged men and women were tied together and then cut to pieces,
babes were tossed in the air to be caught on the points of the spears
or cut in twain with their swords, or dashed to the ground in the
presence of their distracted and dishonored mothers.

Religious fanaticism was burning like the fires of hell in the breast
of Yussuf and yet these Armenians though ready to fight against each
other would die the death of martyrs rather than deny their Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ.

Greater horrors followed on the devastation of their fields. Sore
and dreadful famine began its cruel work. Thousands died of
starvation. Cities and villages were attacked solely for the sake of
devouring the slain. Individuals were seized and slain by bands of
men driven to madness by their hunger.

There was no Red Cross Committee in those days for the relief of
the starving populations and even if so, no person wearing a cross
would have been permitted to carry to them a loaf of bread lest the
religious sensibilities of Yussuf and his Infidel hordes should be
deeply wounded.

Starvation was his best ally. It swept off multitudes he could not
reach with the sword. The tender heart of the Sultan of Turkey must not
to-day be lacerated with even suggestion that there is more mercy under
the cross than under his own blood-red crescent. He turns fair and
fertile provinces into cemeteries and makes of villages heaps of ruins,
then publishes to Europe that he has restored peace to his people.

Peace returned to Armenia for twenty-five years however after the
driving out of the Persians, Apas succeeding his brother Ashod
II. Multitudes of self-exiled Armenians returned to their deserted
fields and ruined villages, and peace soon made the valleys smile
again.

Cities were restored, magnificent churches erected. The city of Ani
was chosen as the new capital. But Ashod III., derives his greatest
fame from his private virtues. Having built a number of hospitals,
infirmaries and almshouses for the poor and suffering he gave his
personal attention to their management. He visited them frequently,
indulging in kindliest familiarity with the poorest.

He even invited the poor, the sick and the maimed to eat with him at
his own table. So unbounded was he in his donations to the poor and
distressed that on his death not a single piece of money was found
in his treasury. Hence he was surnamed the charitable.

These are the kind of men whom for more than a thousand years
the Saracens and Turks have been trying to exterminate as dogs of
Christians. And the work still goes fearfully on because the great
Christian Powers of Europe say the Turk must be upheld and reverenced
because he holds the balance of power. It would not do to offer him
anything more than a diplomatic hint that some slight reform might be
acceptable even if only put on paper to show to the guardians of poor,
perishing Armenia.

Sumpad II., succeeded his father and completed the fortifying of the
city of Ani. He surrounded it with a wall of exceeding height and
thickness on which he raised lofty towers for the stations of its
defenders. The wall was protected from assault by a wide, deep moat
encompassing the city the whole being faced with stone and brick. It
took him eight years to finish it. This city became the center of
power and influence. A very large number of churches were erected
so that in all they reached the surprising number of one thousand
and one. The next largest city was Ardgen containing three hundred
thousand souls and eight hundred churches.

The Empire was consolidated and strong and retained its prosperity and
power until some years after the close of the century, (A. D., 1020).

Let us leave for a while this ancient race at the height of its power
and glory, the only Christian Nation that western Asia has ever had,
and take a glance at the uprising of that power of Islam which to-day
is, as for more than a thousand years it has been, the bitterest foe
of the Church of Christ, the most ruthless destroyer of human life,
the most brutal oppressor of enslaved humanity, which has always and
everywhere robbed woman of her honor and immortality, motherhood of
its glory, childhood of its innocence, the Deity of His mercy and
even Heaven itself of its purity, making of Paradise its vestibule
only a Mohammedan Seraglio.



CHAPTER II.

THE RISE OF ISLAM.


The reader will please turn aside for awhile to consider the rise
of an alien religion which was destined to change the map of Europe
and the course of history for many centuries; a religion which binds
with fanatical zeal a sixth part of the human race; a power, which
gathering its forces from the sands of Arabia swept like a fierce and
pitiless simoon over the most ancient civilizations, until the flag
of the Prophet waved from the Indus to the pillars of Hercules over
an empire vaster than that ever ruled by Roman legions and Roman law.

While empires and kingdoms rose and fell; and the shock of contending
armies shook all Europe and Northern Africa, and convulsed the
rest of Asia, on its southwestern border, protected by the Red Sea,
the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and vast stretches of burning sand,
lay a great peninsula by the name of Arabia, almost untouched by the
cataclysm of centuries. In the depths of its deserts, its primitive
character and independence remained unchanged, nor had the nomadic
tribes of Ishmael ever bent their haughty necks to servitude.

For more than two thousand years Ishmael had been "a wild man; his
hand against every man and every man's hand against him" and now
the other word "I will make him a great nation" was about to receive
its fulfillment.

Our first thought of Arabia is of a barren, desert country inhabited
by a few wandering tribes, of little importance. But it is an immense
country, almost as large as India, with a population of millions. Among
its mountains are beautiful and fertile valleys, towns and castles
surrounded by orchards and vineyards, groves of palm trees and
date-palms, fields of grain and well-stocked pastures. In the south
were the people of Yemen--or Arabia the Happy--that land of spices,
perfumes and frankincense; the Sheba of the Scriptures.

These were the most active and skillful navigators of the eastern
seas and brought the wealth of the far East to their ports: thence by
caravans all these mingled products were distributed to Syria, Egypt
and other lands on the borders of the Mediterranean. The caravans were
generally fitted out and conducted by the nomadic tribes, who added to
the merchandise of other lands the exquisite and costly garments woven
from the finest fleeces of their countless flocks and herds. In Arabia,
above all the other lands in the East, the track of the caravan has
borne on it greater riches even than the ships of Tarshish.

At the intersection of two such tracks where the goods of India and
of Africa were interchanged, and where the gold of the Roman Empire
was weighed against the spices of "Araby the Blest," was situated
the great emporium of Mecca.

Mecca was both the commercial and religious center of the whole
peninsula. Although there was no political capital, the tribe feeling
had led to the establishment of a form of government aristocratic
rather than despotic. The noblest tribe among them all was the Koreish;
the noblest family of the Koreish was that of Hashem: and the family
of Hashem at the time of which we are writing were the rulers of
Mecca and the guardians of its Kaaba.

The original religion of Arabia appears to have been the patriarchal
monotheism in which there was still retained some knowledge of one,
true, living, personal Deity. One supreme God was still worshiped,
but in the language of the Koran they "gave Him companions," they paid
adoration to various subordinate powers, as to the host of heaven--to
three female intelligences spoken of as the daughters of God, and to
various family, local and national idols of which three hundred and
sixty were found in the temple at Mecca.

This ancient temple, built according to Arabian tradition by the
patriarch Abraham, contained besides these molten and graven images,
the Black Stone--one of the stones of Paradise which fell down with
Adam, but being taken up at the deluge, it was brought to Abraham by
the angel Gabriel as a sacred ornament for his restored temple. At any
rate, here at this temple in Mecca was the great center of worship, of
sacrifice, and to it thronged in vast numbers the idolaters of Arabia.

The wild Arab of the desert and the comparatively civilized Arab of
the cities show, though in different degrees, the same great elements
of national character. Among them all the virtues and the vices of the
half savage state, its revenge and its rapacity, its hospitality and
its bounty were to be seen in their full force. How often have we had
pictured before us the simplicity and beauty of such a natural life.

This wild man has been described as generous and hospitable. He
delighted in giving gifts; his door was always open to the wayfarer,
with whom he was ready to share his last morsel; and his deadliest foe,
having once broken bread with him, might repose securely beneath the
inviolable sanctity of his tent.

His social life, however, was most degraded. Drunkenness, gambling and
unrestrained licentiousness abounded: the horrible practice of female
infanticide was prevalent among the pagan tribes: while polygamy,
that curse of the East, everywhere prevailed.

Though speaking a language, copious in the extreme, the words of
which have been compared to gems and flowers, literature in the strict
sense of that word can hardly be said to have existed; but the Arab
had a quick intellect, was always ready with a native vein of rhetoric
and was easily aroused by the appeals of eloquence and charmed by the
graces of poetry. He was naturally an orator, delighted in proverbs and
clothed his ideas in florid oriental style with apologue and parable.

While thus a degraded and degrading polytheism was the prevailing
religion of Arabia, many Jews were to be found at Medina and in the
cities bordering on Syria, and there was also a corrupted form of
Christianity incrusted with numerous errors and superstitions, so that
in no part of the world did Christianity give forth so feeble a light.

A very decided reform was imperatively needed to restore the belief
in the unity of God and set up a higher standard of morality.

It is claimed by his admirers that Mohammed brought about such a
reform. He was born in the year 570 of the family of Hashem and
the tribe of Koreish to whom was entrusted the guardianship of
the pagan temple and the Black Stone. Early left an orphan and in
poverty, he was reared in the family of one of his uncles under all
the influences of idolatry. This uncle was a merchant, and the youth
made long journeys with him to distant fairs, especially into Syria
where he became acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, especially with
the Old Testament. At the age of twenty-five he entered the service of
Cadijeh, a very wealthy widow conducting her immense caravans to fairs
in distant cities. His personal beauty, his intelligence and spirit,
won the heart of this powerful mistress and she became his wife.

He was now second to none in Arabia and his soul began to meditate on
great things. There was in his household his wife's cousin, Waraka,
a man of flexible faith and of speculative spirit; originally a Jew,
then a Christian, and withal a pretender to astrology. His name is
worthy of notice as being the first on record to translate parts of
the Old and New Testaments into Arabic.

As Mohammed contrasted these spiritual religions with the surrounding
idolatry, he became more and more sensible of its grossness and
absurdity. It appeared to him that the time for another reform had
arrived. He talked with his uncles, they laughed at him. Only Cadijeh
listened to him, believed in him, and encouraged him. Long afterwards,
when she was dead, Ayeshah, his young and favorite wife, once asked
him: "Am I not better than Cadijeh? Do you not love me better than
you did her? She was a widow, old and ugly?" "No, by Allah," said
the prophet, "she believed in me when no one else did. In the whole
world I had but one friend, and she was that friend."

Without her sympathy and faith he probably would have failed. He told
her, and her alone, his dreams, his ecstasies, his visions; how that
God at different times had sent prophets and teachers to reveal new
truth: how this one God who created the heavens and the earth had
never left himself without witness in the most degraded times.

It was in the fortieth year of his age while spending the month
Ramadhan in the cavern of Mount Hara in fasting and prayer that an
angel appeared to him and commanded him to read the writing displayed
to him on a silken cloth.

Instantly he felt his understanding illumined with celestial light
and read what was written thereon:--they were the decrees of God as
afterwards promulgated in the Koran. When he had finished reading the
angel said: "O Mohammed of a truth, thou art the prophet of God! and
I am His angel Gabriel--"

In the morning, as we are told, Mohammed came trembling to Cadijeh not
knowing whether what he had heard and seen was indeed true; and that
he was a prophet decreed to effect that reform so long the object of
his meditations; or whether it might not be a hallucination or worse
than all, the apparition of an evil spirit. Cadijeh, however, saw
everything with the eye of faith and the credulity of an affectionate
wife. "Rejoice, Allah will not suffer thee to fall to shame." Waraka
caught eagerly at the oracle and exclaimed, "Thou speakest true, O
Cadijeh! The angel who has appeared to thy husband is the same who,
in days of old, was sent to Moses the son of Amram. His annunciation
is true. Thy husband is indeed a prophet." The wavering mind of
Mohammed was thus confirmed and throughout his life and even in
the hour of death he never uttered a word of doubt concerning his
heaven-sent mission.

"This," says Carlyle, "is the soul of Islam. This is what Mohammed
felt and now declared to be of infinite moment, that idols and formulas
were nothing: that the jargon of argumentative Greek sects, the vague
traditions of Jews, the stupid routine of Arab idolatry were a mockery
and a delusion; that there is but one God: that we must let idols alone
and look to Him. He alone is reality. He made us and sustains us. Our
whole strength lies in submission to Him. The thing He sends us,
be it death even, is good, is the best. We resign ourselves to Him."

Thus far while possessed of this sole idea that he must proclaim to his
degenerate countrymen in the midst of all but universal polytheism,
that there is but one supreme God, Mohammed is regarded as a great
reformer. He was neither a fanatic nor hypocrite; he was a very great
man, and according to his light a very good man.

He began to preach everywhere that first word of Revelation "Hear O
Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord." "Thou shalt have no other Gods
before me." Few, however, believed in him. But why not acknowledge such
a fundamental truth, appealing to the intellect as well as the moral
sense? Because to confess that there is a supreme God who rewards and
punishes, and to whom all are responsible both for words and actions,
is to imply a confession of sinfulness and the justice of retribution.

Those degraded Arabians would not receive willingly such a truth as
this; and how did the Israelites forget it in spite of deliverance from
slavery and quickly fall back into idolatry: and how opposed it is to
the epicureanism of to-day and the natural pride of the human breast.

The uncles and friends of Mohammed treated his message with scorn
and derision. Zealously he labored for three years, yet with all his
eloquence, fervor and sincerity he had only won by his preaching some
thirteen persons, one of whom was his slave.

His worldly relatives urged him to silence. Why attack idols? Why
destroy his own interests? Why destroy his popularity? Then explained
that great hero, "If the sun stood on my right hand and the moon on
my left, ordering me to hold my peace I would still declare, there
is but one God." A speech following in spirit the famous words of
Luther at the Diet of Worms.

At last hostilities began. He was threatened, he was persecuted. They
laid plots to take his life. Then his wife died. The priests of
an idolatrous religion became furious. He had laid hands on their
idols. He was hated, persecuted and alone. Thirteen years had passed
away in reproach, in persecution, in fear. At last forty picked men
swore to assassinate him. Should he remain and die, or fly for his
life? He concluded to fly to Medina, where there were a few Jews and
some nominal converts to Christianity.

This was in the year 622--and the flight is called the Hegira--from
which the East dates its era; the fifty-third year of the prophet's
life.

In this city he was cordially welcomed and soon found himself
surrounded with enthusiastic followers. He built a mosque and openly
performed the rites of the new religion. He was for a time at a loss
to know how to call his followers to prayer. While in this perplexity,
Abdallah, the son of Zeid, suggested a form of words that he declared
were revealed to him in a vision. It was instantly adopted by Mohammed,
and is to this day heard from the lofty minarets throughout the East
calling the Moslems to prayer: "God is great! God is great! There is
no God but God. Mohammed is the apostle of God. Come to prayers! Come
to prayers! God is great! God is great. There is no God but God." To
which at dawn of day are added the words: "Prayer is better than
sleep! Prayer is better than sleep."

Mohammed soon had an army at his disposal, and with this sudden
accession of power there was wrought a fearful change in the spirit
of his dreams. He had earnestly declared his great idea of the unity
of God. He had pronounced the worship of images to be idolatrous. He
held idolatry in supreme abhorrence. He enjoined charity, justice and
forbearance. He denounced all falsehood and deception, especially
in trade. He commanded his disciples to return good for evil, to
be submissive to God; declared humility and benevolence to be the
greatest virtues. He enjoined prayers, fastings and meditation as a
means of grace.

But when he found an army at his command he lost command of
himself. His anger burned against the Koreishites and their vindictive
chief, Abu Sofian who now held full sway at Mecca. By them his fortunes
had been blasted, his family degraded, impoverished, dispersed, and
he himself driven into exile. He began to have visions to suit his
changing temper, as all false religionists have even down to our own
day. He declared himself, the last of all the prophets, to be sent
forth into the world with the sword: "Let those who promulgate my
faith enter into no argument nor discussion; but slay all who refuse
obedience to the law. Whoever fights for the true faith whether he
fall or conquer will assuredly receive a glorious reward. * * * The
sword is the key of heaven and hell; and all who draw it in the cause
of the faith will be rewarded with temporal advantages; every drop
shed of their blood, every peril and hardship endured by them, will be
registered on high as more meritorious than even fasting or prayer. If
they fall in battle, their sins will at once be blotted out, and they
will be transported to Paradise, there to revel in eternal pleasures
in the arms of black-eyed houris." He added to this promise of sensual
pleasures the doctrine of fixed-fate, predestination absolute. No man
could die sooner or later than his alloted hour and when it arrived,
it would be the same, whether the angel of death should find him in
the quiet of his bed, or amid the storm of battle.

Behold in these words the chief sources of the fanatical fury which
had well-nigh conquered the entire Christian world.

It is as if some Mephistopheles had whispered in his ear; "thy
countrymen are wild, fierce and warlike, incite their martial passions
in defence of thy doctrines. They are a fanatical people and believing
in these teachings they will fight for them and establish them not
only in Arabia but throughout the East. Grant them a reward in what
their passions crave and they will follow you to the death."

Certainly this is true, that these counsels of evil let loose upon
the world the fiercest, the most cruel and rapacious passions that
were ever set on fire in hell. He resolved to adopt his religion to
the depraved hearts of his followers. He mingled with sublimest truth
the most debasing error. It was success he wanted; he would no longer
scruple as to the means used to secure it. He became ambitious. He
would become a mighty spiritual potentate, but descended to the level
of his people to win them. He granted polygamy under the sanction
of a pretended revelation from heaven. He who in his youth had been
faithful to Cadijeh, fifteen years his senior, was now in his own
age false to his youthful wife Ayeshah, multiplied wives to himself,
robbed his faithful Zeid of his beautiful wife, absolved himself from
his own law that a believer could only have four wives, and brought
forth new revelations to justify in himself the gratifications of
passions he condemned in others.

In the second year of the Hegira, Mohammed gratified his revenge
against the Koreishites by attacking a caravan of a thousand camels
laden with the merchandise of Syria. His arch enemy, Abu Sofian,
commanded the escort. In this fight, known as the battle of Beder, the
Moslems were victorious. It was during the progress of this battle that
Mohammed encouraged his warriors with the memorable words: "Fight and
fear not; the gates of Paradise are under the shade of swords." This
first cavalcade entering Medina with spoils, made Moslems of all the
inhabitants and gave him control of the city. A few years later, at the
head of ten thousand horsemen, he entered the city of Mecca--nothing
but the swift commands of Mohammed to Khaled, "The Sword of God,"
preserving the city from a general massacre. Mohammed now proceeded to
execute the great object of his religious aspirations--the purifying
of the temple. He entered it with the sublime words: "Truth is come;
let falsehood disappear," and shivered in quick succession the three
hundred and sixty abominations which were in the holy place.

Mohammed soon found himself the sovereign of all Arabia; and yet his
military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory as they would have
done had they been effected for selfish ends. He ever maintained the
same simplicity of manners as in the days of his adversity. As to
the temporal rule which grew up in his hands, as he used it without
ostentation, so he took no steps to perpetuate it in his family. The
riches which poured in upon him from tribute and the spoils of
war were used in relieving the poor or expended in promoting the
victories of the faith; so that his treasury was often drained of
its last coin. "Allah" says an Arabian historian "offered him the
keys of all the treasures of the earth; but he refused to accept them."

It is this abnegation of self and his apparently heartfelt piety that
even in his own dying hour, when there could be no worldly motive
for deceit, still breathed the same religious devotion and the same
belief in his apostolic mission; that so perplexes one in trying to
estimate justly the full force of his character.

Whatever we may think of Mohammed personally, even though we may
concede that he was a sincere religious fanatic we can but hold in
abhorrence the religion which has ever appealed to the sword and
to the basest passions of men either to compel or persuade them to
yield allegiance to Islam. When he died at the age of sixty-three,
eleven years after the Hegira, Mohammed was next to Buddha, the most
successful founder of a religion the world has ever known--a religion
that is the most relentless and bitterest foe to Christianity, and
that stands like a wall of fire and of adamant to oppose its progress
in all the East.

The Saracens were ever loyal to the truth for which they fought. They
never became idolaters; but their religion has ever been built up on
the miseries of nations. To propagate the faith of Mohammed they drew
the sword and overran the world. Never were conquests more rapid,
more terrible or more remarkable.

Upon the death of Mohammed, Abu Beker, the father of Ayeshah,
was elected to the supreme power, but refused to be called king or
God's vicar on earth, assuming only that of Caliph, that is to say
Successor, and by this title the Arab sovereigns have ever since been
designated. He was indifferent to riches, to all pomp and luxuries;
his Arab establishment was of the simplest kind: his retinue consisting
of a camel and a black slave.

The Golden Age of the Saracens was the twelve years, A. D. 632-644,
comprised in the reigns of Abu Beker and Omar--a period of
uninterrupted harmony and external conquest. Though Mohammed was
dead, the sword of Islam was not buried with him; for Khaled,
surnamed the Sword of God, now advanced to sustain the fame of
former conquests. Within a year, Moseilma, a rival, and hence a false
prophet, was slain, the rebellion subdued, the empire of Islam firmly
reëstablished in Arabia; the scattered leaves gathered for the Koran;
and an army for the subjugation of Syria and the East.

It was a strangely opportune hour for the fierce warriors of the
desert. The Romans and the Persians were almost always engaged in
warfare and their last and most terrible war was contemporary with
the preaching of Mohammed.

Under the great Khosru a war began which lasted more than twenty
years and exhausted both nations and left them a more easy prey to
the Saracens. The Asiatic provinces fell under his victorious armies
and, as in the days of Darius, the Persian Empire extended to the
Mediterranean and the Ægean Seas. When Heradius in 610 A. D. came
to the throne of Constantinople, he was compelled to submit to the
sight of a Persian army encamped at Chalcedon; but after some years'
preparation, he entered on a series of campaigns which places his name
beside those of Hannibal and Belisarius. Leaving his own dominions,
he struck at the very heart of his enemy's country, and by a series
of victories, one of them gained on the site of Nineveh, he utterly
overthrew the Persian power, till Khosru was slain by his own subjects
and a peace was concluded. Heradius returned to Constantinople leaving
Persia torn by contending factions. The Prophet had been diligently
watching from his safe retreat the course of the war which is alluded
to in the Koran, and now the hour had come for the Saracens to strike
their fatal blow.

In the second year of his reign, therefore, Abu Beker prepared
for the great enterprise contemplated by Mohammed--the conquest of
Syria.--Under this general name was included all the country lying
on the north of Arabia and extending from the Mediterranean and the
Euphrates. This had long been a land of promise to them. It was a
land of abundance. From it they had drawn their chief supplies of
corn. Its cities had long been chief marts for the merchandise of
their caravans; its seaports still were the centers of an opulent
and widely extended commerce. This summons was sent to the chiefs of
Arabia Petrea, and Arabia Felix: "In the name of the Most Merciful
God * * * to all true believers, health, happiness and the blessing
of God. Praise be to God and to Mohammed his prophet. This is to
inform you that I intend to send an army of the faithful into Syria,
to deliver that country from the infidels, and I remind you that to
fight for the true faith is to obey God."

This call to the conquest of nations in the name of the most merciful
God is tender compared with the prayers which is now being daily
offered up by the Mohammedans regarding the Armenians: "O Allah! make
their children orphans, and defile their abodes. Cause their feet to
slip, give them and their families, their households and their women,
their children and their relations by marriage, their brothers and
their friends, their possessions and their race, their wealth and
their lands as booty to the Moslems, O Lord of all creatures."

Has the spirit of Islam changed any during the last twelve hundred
years? certainly not, except it be as much for the worse as the Turk
is more lustful and cruel than the Saracen.

Speedily the plains about Medina were covered with the encampments
of the chiefs who had responded from all Arabia, in hope of the rich
booty to be had from conquered cities and provinces. From the brow
of a hill, Abu Beker reviewed the army on the point of departure. His
heart swelled with pride, as he gazed on the passing multitudes; the
glittering arms; the squadrons of horsemen; the lengthening line of
camels, and called to mind the handful of men that followed Mohammed
a fugitive from Mecca. Scarce ten years had elapsed, and now a mighty
host assembled at the summons of his successor, and distant empires
were threatened by the sword of Islam. He lifted up his voice and
prayed God to make these troops valiant and victorious. Then giving
the word to march, the tents were struck, the camels laden, and in a
little while the army poured forth in a long, continuous train over
hill and valley.

The "Scourge of God" was let loose against the nations. Before long
an immense cavalcade of horses, mules and camels came pouring in with
the booty from the first victory over a body of troops sent by the
Emperor Heradius to observe them and harass their march.

Soon four armies were in the field; Jerusalem and Damascus were doomed
and fate hastened on its march to Persia in the person of Khaled,
"The Sword of God" with an army of ten thousand men. He besieged the
city of Hira; stormed its palaces; slew the king in battle; subdued the
kingdom; imposed on it an annual tribute of seventy thousand pieces
of gold; the first tribute ever levied by Moslems on a foreign land,
and sent the same to Medina. City after city fell before him. Nothing
seemed able to withstand his arms. Planting his victorious standard on
the banks of the Euphrates, he wrote to the Persian monarch calling
upon him to embrace the faith or pay tribute. "If you refuse both, I
will come upon you with a host who love death as much as you do life."

But meantime partial defeat had discouraged the leaders of the armies
in Syria, and the caliph summoned Khaled to the command of the northern
armies. Leaving the army in Persia under the command of a tried and
trusty general, Khaled with an escort of fifteen hundred men spurred
across the Syrian borders to join the Moslem host about to besiege
the Christian city of Bosra.

It was on the Syrian frontier, a walled city of great strength and
wealth, that could at anytime put twelve thousand men into the field.

After two days of furious battle the city was taken by treachery,
many were massacred, and the survivors were compelled to pass under
the yoke.

Khaled now aspired to the capture of Damascus. This renowned and
beautiful city, one of the largest and most magnificent in the East
and possibly the oldest in the world, stood in a plain of wondrous
fertility, covered with groves and gardens. Through this plain flowed a
river called by the ancients "The Stream of Gold," feeding the canals
and water courses of its gardens and the fountains of the city.

This most beautiful city lay at the mercy of the coming foe. As the
Moslems accustomed to the barrenness of the desert came in sight of the
rich plain of Damascus and wound along the banks of the shining river,
it seemed as if they were already realizing the paradise promised
by the Prophet to true believers: but when the walls and towers and
fanes of the city rose upon their vision they could not restrain their
shouts of rapture. For the many deeds of valor and personal prowess
in single combat, and the fierce and repeated charges of either army,
the reader may be referred to the brilliant pages of Irving's Mahomet
or Ockley's Saracens.

The inhabitants tried to bribe Khaled to raise the siege. The stern
reply was: Embrace Islam, pay tribute; or fight unto the death. While
the Arabs lay close encamped about the city as if watching its expiring
throes, unusual shouts were one day heard within its walls. The cause
of it proved to be that an army of one hundred thousand men sent by
Heraclius from Antioch were drawing near to their relief.

With fierceness yet the coolness of a practiced warrior Khaled
marched to the support of a small body of horsemen who had been sent
to harass the enemy. He met and defeated division after division of
this Roman army, defeating it in detail by an army less than a third
of their number. Thousands of fugitives were slain in the pursuit that
followed. An immense booty in treasure, arms, baggage, and horses fell
into his hands; and Khaled flushed with conquest, fatigued and burdened
with the spoils, led back his army to resume the siege of Damascus.

Word was soon received however that another army of seventy
thousand men had been gathered by Heraclius to raise the siege of
Damascus. Sending swift couriers to all the Moslem generals within his
call to meet him at the camp of the Greeks, he began a hasty march
to Aiznadin. When the Moslems beheld the multitude and formidable
array of the imperial host they at first quailed at the sight: but
Khaled harangued them with fervid speech: "You behold," he said,
"the last stake of the infidels. This army met and vanquished they
can never muster another force, and all Syria is ours." Khaled armed
the fierce women who were among them--some of them of the highest
rank with orders to slay any Moslem whom they saw turning his back to
the foe. Reinforced by fresh thousands, when, after some preliminary
skirmishes, on the second day the trumpets sounded a general charge,
the imperial armies were struck with confusion and what followed was
rather a massacre than a battle. They broke and fled in all directions
to Cæsarea, to Damascus and to Antioch. The booty of the camp was
of immense value, which Khaled declared should not be divided until
after the capture of Damascus.

Great indeed was the consternation in the city when they learned
from the fugitives that escaped, of the slaughter of this second
army and that all hope of succor was gone. But they set themselves
bravely to work to meet the coming storm. New fortifications were
erected. The walls were lined with engines for hurling stones and
darts upon the besiegers.

Soon the Moslems appeared greatly reinforced. The city was
invested. The troops were carefully stationed and orders given as to
the support to be given. The battles that followed were fierce as the
passions of desperate men could make them. One day a simultaneous
sortie was made from every gate of the city at the first peep of
day. The besiegers were taken by surprise and were struck down before
they could arm themselves or mount. Khaled is said to have wept as he
beheld the carnage and the slaughter of his finest troops. "O thou,
who never sleepest, aid thy faithful servants; let them not fall
beneath the weapons of the infidels." Finally the tide of battle
turned and the Christians were repulsed and driven within the walls
leaving several thousand dead on the field. It was no disgrace for
even such Christians to be beaten by such Moslems.

For seventy days had Damascus been besieged by these fanatic legions
of the desert. They had no heart to make further sallies. They began
to talk of capitulation. Khaled turned a deaf ear to their prayer for
a truce: he was bent upon taking the city by the sword and giving it
up to be plundered by his Arabs. Then they sought under promise of
security the meek and humane Abu Obeidah. One hundred of the principal
inhabitants went by night to this leader of the mighty power that was
shaking the empire of the Orient, and found him living in a humble
haircloth tent like a mere wanderer of the desert. He listened to
their proposals, for his object was conversion rather than conquest,
and tribute rather than plunder. A covenant was written; such of the
inhabitants as pleased could depart in safety with so much of their
effects as they could carry: the rest should remain as tributaries
and have seven churches allotted to them. The gate was then thrown
open and the venerable chief entered at the head of a hundred men to
take possession.

At the eastern gate a very different transaction was taking place. An
apostate priest, on condition of security of person and property to
himself and relatives, agreed to deliver the gate into the hands of
Khaled. Thus a hundred Arabs were introduced into the city, broke the
bolts and chains and bars of the Eastern gate and threw it open with
the cry "Allah Achbar."

Khaled and his legions rushed in at the gate with sound of trumpet
and tramp of steeds; putting all to the sword, deluging the streets
with blood. "Mercy! Mercy!" was the cry. "No mercy for infidels,"
was Khaled's fierce response. He pursued his career of carnage into
the great square and there to his utter astonishment beheld Abu
Obeidah and his attendants, with priests and monks, surrounded by
the principal inhabitants and women and children.

Khaled was furious when he heard of the covenant. Abu Obeidah entreated
him to respect the covenant he had made in the name of God and the
prophet.

After fierce altercation he listened to policy though deaf to the cry
of pity. They were just beginning their career of conquest. Many cities
were to be taken. If the Moslem word was broken, other cities warned
by the fate of Damascus would in fear and fury fight to the bitter end.

Khaled finally gave a slow consent, though murmuring at every article
of the covenant.

All who chose to remain as tributaries were to enjoy the free exercise
of their religion. All who wished might depart, but Khaled only gave
them three days grace from pursuit.

It was a piteous sight to behold aged men, delicate and shrinking
women, and helpless children thus setting forth with what they could
carry on a wandering journey through wastes and deserts and mountains,
and the angry hordes of Arabs only three days behind them and swiftly
mounted. Many a time did they turn to cast another look of fondness
and despair on their beautiful palaces and luxuriant gardens; and
still they would turn and weep and beat their breasts--gaze through
tears on the stately towers of Damascus and the flowery banks of
the Pharpar. Thus Damascus was conquered and yet spared both fire
and sword after more than a twelve months' siege, which Voltaire has
likened for its stratagems, skirmishes and deeds of valor in single
combat, to Homer's Siege of Troy.

The cities of Baalbec, the famous city of the Sun, and Emessa the
capital of the plains, with many intermediate cities soon fell before
the victorious sword of Khaled.

After a short rest at Damascus Abu Obeidah wrote, asking if he should
undertake the siege of Cæsarea or Jerusalem. The decision was for
the instant siege of Jerusalem.

This was a holy war for the Moslems and soon the army was on the march
to Jerusalem. The people saw the approach of these triumphant invaders:
but sent out no plea for help. They planted engines on their walls
and prepared for vigorous defence.

At early dawn, in the morning of the first assault, the Moslem host
was marshalled--the leaders repeated the Matin prayer, each at the
head of his battalion, and all as if by one consent with a loud voice
gave the verse of the Koran "Enter ye, oh people! into the holy land
which Allah hath destined for you."

For ten days they made repeated but unavailing attacks and then
the whole army was brought to their aid. Then a summons was sent
requiring the inhabitants to accept the divine mission of Mohammed,
to acknowledge allegiance and pay tribute to the Caliph, otherwise he
concludes, "Nor will I leave you, God willing, until I have destroyed
your fighting men and made slaves of your children."

But the Christian Patriarch of Jerusalem felt confidence in setting
the invaders at defiance, and above all, there was a pious incentive
to courage and perseverance in defending the Sepulchre of Christ.

Four wintry months elapsed and still the siege was carried on with
undiminished spirit. Finally the Patriarch consented to give up the
city if the Caliph would come in person to take possession and sign
the articles of surrender.

To preserve the city, and inspirit his own troops after their long
absence and the hardships of many campaigns the Caliph consented. His
journey was made in utmost simplicity. He traveled on a red camel
across which was slung his saddle bags, one pocket containing dates
and dried fruits, and the other, nothing more than barley, rice or
wheat, parched or sodden.

His companions ate with him out of a common wooden platter, using
their fingers in true oriental style. At night he slept on a mat
under a tree or under a common Bedouin tent: and never resumed his
march until he had offered up the morning prayer.

When he came in sight of Jerusalem he lifted up his voice and exclaimed
"Allah Achbar, God is mighty! God grant us an easy conquest."

We give the degrading conditions somewhat in full as they formed the
basis upon which other cities were granted terms of peace. "The
Christians were to build no new churches in the surrendered
territory. * * No crosses should be erected on the churches nor
shown openly in the streets. They should not speak openly of their
religion; nor attempt to make proselytes; nor hinder their kinsfolk
from embracing Islam. * * * They should entertain every Moslem
traveler three days gratis. They should sell no wine, bear no arms,
and use no saddle in riding, nor sit in the presence of a Mohammedan."

This utter prostration of all civil and religious liberty took place
in the old scenes of Christian triumph. The most bitter scorn and
abhorrence of their religious adversaries formed main pillars in the
Moslem faith. Upon agreeing to these degrading terms the Caliph gave
them under his own hand an assurance of protection in their lives and
fortunes, the use of their churches and the exercise of their religion.

The gates of the once splendid city of Solomon were then opened. Omar
entered it in reverence and on foot in his simple Arab garb and
soon the flag of the Prophet waved over the battlements of the Holy
City. Strange city that is thus held in equal reverence by Moslem, Jew
and Christian. The surrender of Jerusalem took place in the seventeenth
year of the Hegira, the six hundred and thirty-seventh year of the
Christian era. With the rapidly succeeding fall of Aleppo, Antioch,
Tripoli and Tyre the conquest of Syria was complete. It still remains
under the heel of the invader after more than twelve hundred years
of varying fortunes.

Meanwhile the conquest of Persia had been pushed forward vigorously
since the fall of Damascus. After the battle of Kadesia in which
thirty thousand Persians are said to have fallen and upwards of seven
thousand Moslems, all Persia lay at the feet of the conquerors. As they
advanced with an army of sixty thousand against the capital Madayn the
ancient Ctesiphon, fear paralyzed the King and his counsellors. There
was no one brave enough to take the command and when the enemy were
only a day's march away they decided on flight to the mountains,
leaving behind them the richest city of the world to be sacked by
the Arabs. The spoil was incalculable. It required a caravan of nine
hundred heavily laden camels to convey to Medina the Caliph's fifth
part of the spoil.

Thus fell without a blow the capital of Persia in the same fateful
year that saw the desolation of Jerusalem.

But one more struggle remained--it was the death agony of the Persian
Empire. The fugitive king gathered to his standard at Nehavend, on
the plains of Hamadan, one hundred and fifty thousand men. Tidings
were sent to the Caliph Omar at Medina--and there in the Mosque,
by a handful of grey-headed Arabs, who but a few years previously
had been homeless wanderers, was debated and decided the fate of the
once magnificent empires of the Orient,--Syria, Chaldea, Babylonia
and the dominions of the Medes and Persians.

The army of the Saracens, reinforced by men hardened in war, daring,
confident, and led by able generals, was greatly inferior in numbers,
but fired with zeal and the courage of death.

At the signal given "Allah Achbar" thrice repeated with the shaking
of the standard, the army rushed to battle rending the air with the
universal shout "Allah Achbar! Allah Achbar!" The shock of the two
armies was terrific. In an hour the Persians were routed; by midnight
their slain numbered a hundred thousand men, and their Empire was
destroyed. The battle of Nehavend commemorated as "The Victory of
Victories," took place in the twenty-first year of the Hegira the
year six hundred and forty-one of our era, and only nine years after
the death of Mohammed.

If all Syria fell in six years; if the fate of Persia was decided
by a single battle, Egypt may be said to have fallen in a single
moment. With the fall of Alexandria perished the largest library of the
world, the thesaurus of all the intellectual treasures of antiquity.

While Egypt was won almost without a blow, Latin Africa withstood
the Saracens for sixty years. But at last it was conquered. Spain
also fell. The world staggered. Thirty-six thousand cities, towns and
castles had fallen. The armies of the Saracens were victorious from
Scinde in India, westward to Constantinople, then southward they had
swept through Palestine, Egypt, Northern Africa beyond the Pillars
of Hercules into Spain, and were only and finally arrested in Western
Europe as all the world knows by Charles Martel in 732 upon the field
of Tours.

But all the world does not know so well how that in 673 the Saracens
were beaten back from the walls of Constantinople and the Commander of
the Faithful compelled to purchase peace by an annual tribute of three
thousand pieces of gold, fifty slaves and fifty of the finest Arabian
horses. The year 717 saw Constantinople again besieged by a Saracen
army, but Leo, the Isaurian, again beat back the invader with utter
defeat; and no Moslem army ever again appeared under the walls of the
New Rome, until a fiercer, ruder, more cruel race of Conquerors from
the far East grasped again with bloody hand the sword of the Prophet.



CHAPTER III.

THE STORY OF THE FIRST CRUSADE.


As at one time Athens "was the Eye of Greece and Mother of the Arts"
so both to pious Jew and humble Christian, Jerusalem has ever been the
"City of God," the "Joy of the Whole Earth." To the fervid hearts
of the early Christians a pilgrimage to that Holy City to see the
sacred sights and commune with God amid scenes hallowed by the former
presence of a Christ, was regarded as a mark of special faith and a
source of peculiar blessing. After the Emperor Constantine removed
his capital from Rome to Constantinople and embraced the Christian
religion, Jerusalem was raised from its ruins, the way to the sacred
places was made more easy and safe, and the spirit of pilgrimage
greatly revived and stimulated. The magnificent church of The Holy
Sepulchre--decorated with pillars and adorned and paved with precious
stones--was raised above the obscure tomb, while churches, chapels
and monuments filled the city and marked the places made sacred by
the life and the death of the Saviour of the world.

Pilgrims flocked in crowds into Judea from almost every country in
Europe and Asia, and when they gathered in immense throngs about
these holy places, lifting their voices in prayers and hymns in many
languages, the sound was like the Babel of former Pentecosts. Each
returning pilgrim told his story of strange sights and of the
refreshment and inspiration received from his visit.

He had confirmed his faith by bathing in the Jordan, tested his faith
by exposure and perils, warmed his emotions by prayer on Calvary and
raised his soul in songs of praise in the Church of the Resurrection.

But in 610 A. D., the armies of Persia overran the provinces of the
Byzantine Empire, invading Syria, Palestine and Egypt, capturing
Jerusalem and bearing away many Christian captives.

Ten years of fiercest conflict followed and finally Heraclius, Emperor
of Constantinople, recaptured the city. In the imposing ceremonies
and festivities which followed, the Emperor walked barefoot in the
streets, bearing on his shoulders to the summit of Calvary, the wood
of the true cross, which to their weird and superstitious imaginations
had been miraculously recovered. Jerusalem rescued, became more than
ever an object of reverence. Blood had been shed for the church, only
Christians should thenceforth be its custodians. Their joy was brief.

Already the Saracenic warriors under able leaders had overrun Persia
and Syria, and in 637 Omar, their Caliph, after a four months' siege,
received the keys and homage of a city, which, though the home of
many Christians, was very sacred also in the eyes of the Mohammedans,
as a "House of God," a city of saints and miracles, since Mohammed
himself had visited it as a prophet and had thence set out for heaven
in his nocturnal voyage. During the lifetime of Omar, the Christians
escaped serious persecution, but violence and fanaticism increased at
a fearful rate under his successors--except for the period (768-814
A. D.) during which reigned Haroun al Raschid, the greatest of all
the Saracen Caliphs.

In 1076--fateful day--Jerusalem was captured by the Seljukian Turks
who had come down from the inner provinces of Asia in resistless
numbers--embraced Islamism, and under the banners of the Caliph of
Bagdad, had conquered Syria and Palestine. Their entry into Jerusalem
was signalized by a terrible massacre of all opponents. The fanatical
fury of these barbarians was untempered by any spirit of toleration
that had sometimes marked Saracenic civilization,--and soon their
wild hordes waved their banners of blood and fire before the very
gates of Constantinople. The Emperor Alexius purchased peace by
ceding Asia Minor to the victorious Solyman, who at once established
his power at Nice and began building a fleet for the capture of the
Byzantine capital.

All Europe was roused and smitten with alarm. The hour had come for
the Greek and the Latin churches to unite all their power for the
defence of their common faith and preserve their empires from being
devastated by the barbarian Turks.

Pope Gregory began to exhort the sovereigns of Europe to arm against
the infidel: when suddenly from an anchorite's cell appeared a monk who
fired with enthusiasm the heart of all Europe and blew into fiercest
blaze all the fanatical elements of a religious war. It was reserved
for a poor pilgrim who had found refuge in a cloister from the ridicule
and follies of a wicked world to become the instrument of converting
the zeal of pilgrimage into the fury of an armed crusade. This man
was Peter the Hermit.

In his cell, amid silence, fasting and prayer he grew to believe
himself the agent of heaven for the accomplishment of some great
purpose, and he left his retreat to go on a pilgrimage. What he
witnessed and suffered on the way and at Jerusalem gave to his zeal
fresh determination and to his devotion the fervor of righteous
indignation. His spirit was fired by the insults to Christians,
his piety shocked by the profanations of the Holy Sepulchre by the
barbarians and infidels. To his fevered imagination as to that of
Joan of Arc there was a vision and a voice. While prostrate before the
Holy Sepulchre the voice of Christ was heard, saying: "Peter, arise,
hasten to proclaim the tribulation of my people; it is time my servants
should receive help, and that the holy places should be delivered." He
hastened to Italy and threw himself at the feet of the Pope, Urban II.

With the blessing of the Pope he went forth, the preacher of an armed
crusade. In imitation of Christ, when he entered Jerusalem in that last
week of his life, he traveled on a mule. With crucifix in hand, feet
bare, his head uncovered, his body covered with a long frock and girded
with a thick cord, his appearance was an awesome spectacle. He went
from city to city, from province to province, working on the piety,
the superstitions and the courage of his hearers; now in churches,
then in village marts and again on the public highways. He was animated
and eloquent, his speech filled with vehement apostrophes and appalling
descriptions. His exhortations threw the people into sobs and groans,
fury and frenzy. Sympathy with the afflicted Christians took the form
of furious fervor, natural bravery went out in oaths to redeem or die;
religious emotions ran wild in excesses and swung like a pendulum
from the lowest follies of superstition to the fiercest outbursts
of fanaticism.

It was during this excitement that the Emperor Alexius sent a
message to Pope Urban II., appealing for aid. A council was called
at Clermont in France where Peter's preaching had caused the greatest
awakening. The Pope attended in person, about him gathered an immense
throng of clergy, princes and laity, from France, Italy and Germany. At
the tenth session of this council the Pope ascended a pulpit in the
open air and preached the sacred duty of redeeming the Sepulchre of
Christ from the infidels, proclaiming the certain propitiation for
sin by devotion to this meritorious service.

This historic council was most ingeniously called and managed. The
Germanic peoples were new and eager converts to Christianity. They
were fierce and warlike in disposition. Feudalism still was in its
fullest power. The hundreds of castles which add such picturesqueness
to the valley of the Rhine were then the centers of feudal pride,
and every petty Prince made war as he was able against his neighbor,
or joined with others in wars of larger proportions. There was no
national spirit as yet. These feuds which had been handed down for
generations, had greatly impoverished and destroyed the people. The
Church had sought to alleviate the distress and check these petty
wars, by issuing decrees prohibiting private wars for four days in
each week. This council renewed "The Truce of God," and threatened
all who would not comply, with its Anathemas. It placed all widows,
orphans, merchants, artisans and non-combatants generally under the
panoply of the Church--made all sanctuaries so many cities of refuge,
and declared that even the crosses by the roadside should be reverenced
as guardians from violence. These and other salutary decrees struck
into the midst of an assembly filled with enthusiasm and energy,
and prepared the way for them to unite in any cause that would add
to the strength and glory of Christendom. On this day of the tenth
session the great square was filled with an immense crowd. The Pope
ascended the throne followed by his Cardinals. By his side was Peter
the Hermit, who was to speak first, clad in his pilgrim garb. He
gave an impassioned and masterly sketch of what he had witnessed in
Palestine and Jerusalem--the outrages against the religion of Christ,
and the profanation of the most holy places, the persecutions of
pilgrim visitors whom he had seen loaded with chains, dragged into
slavery; harnessed to the yoke like cattle. And as he spoke he also
acted, until the people shuddered in consternation and horror, vented
their hate in vehement cries or wept in dismay--no heart remaining
unmoved by the very agony of his appeal.

Then Urban rose and so enlarged upon the theme as to arouse and
inflame their passions to the highest pitch; then addressing
particularly the French he said: "Nation beloved by God, it is in
your courage that the Christian Church has placed her hope. It is
because I am well acquainted with your piety and your bravery that
I have crossed the Alps, and have come to preach the word of God in
these countries. You have not forgotten that the land you inhabit
has been invaded by the Saracen, and that but for the exploits of
Charles Martel and Charlemagne, France would have received the laws
of Mohammed. Recall, without ceasing, to your minds the danger and
the glory of your fathers, led by heroes whose names shall never
die. They delivered your country. They saved the West from shameful
slavery. More noble triumphs await you under the guidance of the
God of Armies. You will deliver Europe and Asia. You will save the
city of Jesus Christ, that Jerusalem which was chosen by the Lord,
and from whence the Gospel has come down to us."

Urban swayed his audience as a wind does the leaves of the forest. It
wept as he pictured the misfortunes and sorrows of Jerusalem. Warriors
clutched their swords and swore vengeance against the Infidel when
he described the tyranny and perfidy of the Mussulman conquerors. The
enthusiasm of his auditors rose to the highest pitch, when he declared
that God had chosen them to extirpate the Mohammedan. He appealed also
to their cupidity by the promise of worldly gain, by possession of
the riches of Asia and the lands which according to Scripture flowed
with milk and honey. He played on every passion and emotion--ambition,
patriotism, love of glory and wealth, piety, power and religion:--until
at the close of his grandest outbursts the audience rose as one man
and broke into the unanimous cry--a cry that became the war cry of
the crusader--"It is the will of God! It is the will of God!"

Taking up this wild refrain Pope Urban repeated dramatically: "Yes,
without doubt it is the will of God" * * * It is He who has dictated
to you the words that I have heard. Let them be your war cry and let
them announce everywhere the presence of the "Armies of God." He then
held up to the gaze of the assemblage the sign of their redemption,
saying: "It is Christ himself who issues from the tomb and presents
to you his cross; it will be the sign raised among the nations which
is to gather together again the dispersed of Israel. Wear it on your
shoulders and on your breasts; let it shine on your arms and on your
standards; it will be the surety of victory or the palm of martyrdom;
it will unceasingly remind you that Christ died for you, and that it
is your duty to die for Him." Again the multitude rose to weep and
cheer and vow vengeance against the Mussulman.

I have dwelt thus on the Council of Clermont, and quoted from the
speech of Pope Urban, that the reader might see clearly the mixed
motives that stirred the heart of Europe for nearly two centuries, and
nerved her warriors to the most noble, heroic and almost superhuman
deeds of valor and endurance that have ever been emblazoned among
the memorials of the mightiest heroes of this mortal race.

This was the declaration of war against the Mohammedan. The
breaking up of the Council was the scattering of the firebrands of
fanaticism. Pope Urban traversed several provinces of France that
seemed to rise en masse to his appeals. France seemed to have no
country but the Holy Land. Ease, property and life were cast into
the sacrificial cause. All Christian nations seemed to forget their
internal strifes, and to plunge headlong into the excitement of the
hour. Western Europe resounded with the Papal Watchword: "He who will
not take up his cross and come after me, is not worthy of me."

It must not be forgotten, however, that the political and
physical condition of Europe contributed vastly to the warlike
conflagration. The people groaned under feudal servitude and
violence. Famine more or less severe, for years had contributed to
robbery and brigandage. Commerce was almost destroyed, agriculture
was neglected. Towns and cities were in ruins; lands everywhere were
abandoned. The Church made her appeals popular. The Crusader was freed
from all imposts and from pursuit by debts. The Cross suspended all
laws and all menaces. Tyranny could not seek a wearer of the emblem nor
could justice find the guilty. What wonder that an entire population
rushed to a cause that absolved them from a grinding past and pictured
so glowing a future! What wonder that the inexpiable wickedness of
tyrannical baron and brutal knight sought expiation or at least relief
by a desperate plunge into foreign martial excesses! What wonder if
freebooters and robbers should join the ranks in hope of sharing the
plunder of the conquered East! Yet we must not lose sight of the fact
that over and above all love of glory, all true patriotism or base
cupidity, towered the sublime passion, the pervading emotion of the
hour. Religion smelted every other sentiment into harmonious union
with her fervid zeal and her intense zealotry. Monks deserted their
cloisters, anchorites their cells or forest retreats to mingle with
and encourage the crusading throngs. Thieves and robbers came out
of their hiding places to confess their sins and expiate offences by
assuming the sacred badge.

All Europe seemed to be on the move eastward. Barons were willing to
desert their castles and Lords their manors. The artisan deserted
his shop, merchants their stores, the laborer the field. Cities
were depopulated, lands were mortgaged, castles sold. Values were
nothing. Accumulations of centuries went for a song. Even miracles
entered into the furore. To their overheated imaginations stars fell;
blood was seen in the clouds. Armed warriors were seen rushing to
battle in the skies. Saints issued from the tomb, and the shade of
Charlemagne arose to lead these phantom hosts to the rescue of the
Holy City. While everywhere the women and children and the helpless
of every estate espoused the cause of Heaven crying aloud, "It is
the will of God," and imprinting crosses on their limbs.

The early spring of 1096 saw the gathering of the impatient
throngs. They came from every quarter, from the Rhine to the
Pyrenees, and from Tiber to the Ocean. Troops of men, armed with
every conceivable weapon or without arms of any kind, swarmed towards
their respective rendezvous chanting and shouting their war cry until
every hill reëchoed "It is the will of God." Without preparation or
forethought or commissary they gathered, blindly trusting that He
who fed the sparrows would not suffer them to hunger. There was no
voice of reason in all this surging multitude. It was a spectacle
without a parallel in history. There is no way of computing the vast
aggregate, but the French historian, Carnot, estimates that five
billion enthusiasts were on the move in the spring of 1096. This
certainly is most extravagant hyperbole, but all Western Europe was
fiercely agitated and vast multitudes were on the march.



THE CRUSADE OF THE MOB.

Their story is but a harrowing recital of a tumultuous and reckless
march through an unknown country by a starving horde of men, women
and children. Pillage, rapine and blood marked their way. For a
time in Germany the people were kindly disposed and brought them
food. Fortunately for the mob Hungary had but recently embraced
Christianity and its King, Carloman, gave it a friendly passage
through his domains: but when it struck Bulgaria its struggles
and sorrows began. They were forced to pillage to keep from
starvation. Religion was laid aside. Hunger knew no law stronger
than that of self-preservation. The Bulgarians flew to arms and
inflicted great losses on the undisciplined and helpless crowd of
beggars. At last that part of the throng led by Walter the Penniless,
arrived under the walls of Constantinople and there were allowed
by the Emperor to await the coming of Peter the Hermit. Alas! the
excesses of his hosts led to still more terrible assaults while
passing through Hungary and Bulgaria. At Nissa they endeavored to
scale the ramparts and a terrific battle ensued in which the Crusaders
were cut to pieces. Women, children, horses, camp and trophy chests,
all fell a prey to the infuriated Bulgarians.

In August, Peter the Hermit appeared under the walls of Constantinople
with about seven thousand soldiers and camp followers to recruit his
wasted energies in the camp of Walter the Penniless while waiting
for other and better armed and disciplined forces to arrive. From
the banks of the Rhine, from Flanders, and even from Britain an
army largely composed of the refuse of mankind, two hundred thousand
strong, started on its march--but soon gave themselves to unheard-of
barbarities. How much worse than a Mohammedan was a member of that
hated race which had crucified the Christ and so they let loose their
fury against the defenseless Jews in most pitiless massacres, sweeping
on into Hungary, to the city of Mersburg, which shut its gates and
refused them provisions. Forests were cut down, causeways built across
the swamps which partially protected the walls and a furious assault
was made upon the city. The battle raged fiercely and for a long time
with doubtful result, but at last the scaling ladders of the Crusaders
began to give way, and then fell dragging down their occupants and
fragments of the walls and towers. These disasters carried panic into
the army of the besiegers and they fled into the forests, were caught
in the swamps and were ruthlessly slaughtered. Few of the desperate
and cruel adventurers escaped. Some found the way back to their own
country covered with disgrace--a few more made their way to the army
of Peter the Hermit encamped before Constantinople.

Thus far this fanatical spirit had cost Western Europe the lives of
nearly a quarter of a million people, and not a Saracen had been
seen. But the motley crowd encamped on the Bosphorus augmented
by adventurers from Italian cities had gradually increased until
now it probably numbered one hundred thousand all told. They were
scarcely more welcome than the Saracens to the Emperor Alexius who
had treated them as guests and supplied their famished hosts. Their
desire for plunder could not long be restrained, and the churches,
houses and palaces in the suburbs fell a prey to their rapacity which
was as insatiable as the cry for blood that rises from a pack of
ravening wolves. Alexius was therefore very glad to furnish them with
transportation across the Bosphorus. They were now on Asiatic soil
an undisciplined and motley crowd in the face of the well armed and
equally furious and fanatical Turk. They revelled in the pillage of
the fertile plains of Nicomedia, dividing the booty at night in their
camps. They plundered the valley, ravaged and burned the villages and
committed most horrible excesses; they captured a small fort near
the mountains from the Turks and massacred the garrison. The Turks
reinforced, fell upon them in turn, and put nearly all of them to the
sword. This roused the anger of the mixed crowds in camp. Nothing could
restrain the blind fury of the soldier mob. They chased the apparently
flying columns of the Turks into the mountains of an unknown country
and fell into the ambush laid for them. In vain their courage, their
despair. The carnage was horrible. Only three thousand escaped. The
entire crusading army perished in this single battle and only their
bleaching bones remained as a ghastly monument pointing out to other
crusaders the way to the Holy Land.

Europe learned with astonishment and horror of the sad fate of over
three hundred thousand soldiers who had departed amid the promises
and the blessings of the church. Their misfortune, however, did
not deter others, but seemed only to inspire them with resolution;
their disasters furnished a warning to the better regulated and
more formidable hosts which were to pour into the East from the now
thoroughly aroused West.



THE CRUSADE OF KINGS AND NOBLES.

The verdict of candid history is that the rabble which started in
obedience to a popular ferment and perished as a miserable crowd of
crazed humanity, deserved the fate they invited; for the world had
never witnessed a more pitiable exhibition of demoniacal fanaticism
and flagrant violence than was shown by these lawless crowds who
followed the cry of Peter the Hermit. They achieved nothing heroic;
but their disasters taught Europe that to conquer Jerusalem would be
no holiday work.

The Princes and Nobles of Germany, France and Britain now organized for
war. While deliverance of Jerusalem was the popular cry and religious
zeal fired the heart of all classes, the powers recognized the fact
that the battles to be fought and won were for the preservation of
their very existence.

You may call it organized infatuation and mailed folly, yet it was
a splendid spectacle. Its spiritual zeal gave a silver lining to its
superstitions. Its martial fame modified its brutality. Amid fearful
excesses there was a show of prudence; and although you may impeach
the justice of their cause, their magnanimous devotion of spirit and
fearless heroism must always command a large share of sympathy and
admiration, and make the Story of the Crusades the most thrilling of
all the chapters in the history of the Middle Ages.

History and poetry place Godfrey de Bouillon, Duke of Lower
Lorraine, at the head of the great captains that led the flower of
all chivalry on its desperate venture. He was a descendant of the
great Charlemagne. To natural bravery he added herculean strength. He
was devout, prudent and humane. All his vengeance was for the enemies
of Christ. He was generous, faithful to his word--a model knight and
soldier. When he gave the signal, the nobility of France and the Rhine
borders opened their purses and flocked to his standards. Women sold
their jewels to equip husbands and sons for service. Men sacrificed
their domains for horses and arms. Godfrey himself sacrificed his
estates that he might equip his soldiers, and a worldly Bishop eagerly
took advantage of his zeal by purchasing his vast domains. Within
eight months of the Council of Clermont, Godfrey had gathered an army
of eighty thousand footmen and ten thousand horse. With him were a
great number of nobles whose names became famous, beside his brother
Baldwin and his cousin Baldwin de Bourg who were destined like himself
to become Kings of Jerusalem. Whether actuated by piety or the hope
of achieving fortune, they all quitted without regret their mean
possessions and tame life in Europe.

They led an immense army used to marches and battles. Their admirable
discipline and self-restraint reëstablished the honor of the Crusaders
and drew allies and champions of the cross where Peter had met his
worst enemies, and the hostile Hungarians and Bulgarians forgot their
hatred for the leaders of the Mob in their admiration for Godfrey
and his chivalric knights.

We must not neglect to mention the names of four chiefs who accompanied
by throngs of lesser knights and nobles, crossed the Alps and marched
towards the different coast cities of Italy intending to embark for
Greece by water. Count Hugh, brother of Philip I. of France, a proud
prince, brave in battle, but lacking perseverance under reverses:
Robert, Duke of Normandy, eldest son of William the Conqueror, who
pledged his domains to his crafty brother, William Rufus, that he
might equip his Norman vassals. Robert, of Flanders, whose father
some time before had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, found it an
easy task to attract a large and resolute following and exhausted
the treasures of his province in arming his men for an expedition,
which was to earn for him the reputation of a brave knight and the
surname of "Lance and Sword of the Christians." Five hundred of his
men had already preceded him to Constantinople. Then Stephen of Blois
and Chartres, whose castles numbered one for every day in the year,
and who was reckoned one of the richest nobles of his time, took up
the cross and led a large body of his retainers;--he, though lacking
in physical strength, was eloquent and wise in council and enjoyed
the exceptional distinction of being a man of letters. For the most
part these chiefs and many men of lesser rank took with them their
wives and children and camp equipments. Passing through Italy they
roused the enthusiasm of the noble Bohemond, Prince of Tarentum,
who was a cubit taller than the tallest soldier in his army. The
historian of Constantinople and the Empire of the East, Anna Comnena,
says that he was as astonishing to the eye as his reputation was to
the mind. He was eloquent in debate, skilled with sword and lance. He
was proud and haughty. Fear of God, the opinions of men, nor his own
oaths afforded him no restraint. His enlistment under the banner of
the cross was not for the purpose of delivering the tomb of Christ,
but because he had sworn eternal enmity against Alexius and the
Empire of the East. He hoped to win a kingdom long before reaching
Jerusalem. In a surprisingly short time he sailed for the coasts of
Greece with twenty thousand footmen and ten thousand horse, followed
by every renowned knight of Apulia and Sicily. None of them however
became so celebrated for deeds of prowess as the brave Tancred,
who has found a place in history and poetry and who seems to have
been actuated by the loftiest sentiments of piety, chivalric honor
and loyal friendship for his leader. From the southern provinces of
France under the leadership of Raymond of Toulouse and Bishop Adhemar,
who was as valorous in the field as he was eloquent in prayer, came
another army one hundred thousand strong, marching eastward along the
south side of the Alps and through northern Italy by way of Dalmatia,
to Constantinople.

And now that all Europe seemed pouring into the empire and capital
of Alexius, the Emperor began to be alarmed. He had not forgotten
the excesses of the first swarm of Crusaders. Should these multitudes
now sweeping into and through his domains choose to do so, they could
speedily wrest his sovereignty from him and find riches and dominion
far easier than in remote and hostile Asia. We have no time to dwell
upon the intrigues and treachery that marked his dealings with these
mighty leaders of the Crusaders. More than once the forces of Godfrey
and Alexius were called to arms with the fate of Constantinople hanging
in almost even balance. Finally a truce was made and the Emperor sent
his son as a hostage to the Camp of the Crusaders. This dissipated
all mistrust and the princes of the West swore to respect the laws
of hospitality. They went in a body to the court of Alexius, where
they bent before his throne and were magnificently received. After an
imposing ceremony the now graciously disposed Emperor adopted Godfrey
as a son, placed the Empire under his protection, promising aid to
the Crusaders by land and sea, provisions for their marches and the
countenance of his leadership in glory or defeat.

But every day brought its hosts of Crusaders and magnificent presents
must be given to all the leaders, and his profuse liberality was
a heavy drain on his royal treasuries. His security now lay in
keeping the armies in motion and hurrying them across the Bosphorus;
and once in Asia their leaders would be engrossed in preparing to
meet the Saracens and his capital would for a time be free from
insult and the unwelcome presence of his mortal foe Bohemond who,
struck with the riches of the apartments assigned him, exclaimed:
"There is enough here to conquer kingdoms with."

And now the plains of Bythinia were fast filling with the warrior
hordes of Europe and as they swept along seeking safe camping places
they came to the foot of the mountains where Walter the Penniless
and his entire army perished in battle. The painful reminder of so
great a calamity, and the recital by the starved remnants of Peter's
army found hiding in the mountains of their fearful sufferings,
hushed all discord, silenced ambition and inspired fresh zeal for
the conquest of the Holy City and the destruction of the fierce,
cruel and equally fanatical Turks who swarmed in the valleys and
filled the walled cities of Palestine with desperate garrisons.

But the first battle of invasion must be fought at the very gateway to
Asia Minor. The chief of the Infidel forces was the son of Solyman;
his name was David, surnamed Kilidge Arslan, or "The Sword of the
Lion." He called upon the defenders of Islam to rally to his standard
and they came in troops from all the surrounding provinces and even
from distant Persia. The capital of his kingdom was Nicea (Nice). It
was the advanced post of the Turks in Asia Minor and there they would
concentrate for the later invasion of Europe. Its approaches were
defended by high mountains. Its walls, surrounded by large water-filled
ditches, were wide enough for the passage of chariots and were crowned
by three hundred and seventy towers of brick. Its garrison was composed
of the finest troops of the Turkish army; and one hundred thousand
men were encamped for its defence upon the neighboring mountains.

Infatuated with their cause, blind in their faith, despising the
martial quality of the enemy, and apparently ignorant of the careful
and crafty preparations made to receive them, the Crusaders marched
in magnificently terrible swarms over the Bythinian plains towards
Nice; with a force of one hundred thousand horse and five hundred
thousand footmen among whom were a large per cent. of women and
children and ineffectives. It was the chivalry of Europe come out to
dispute with the Infidel the possession of Asia. The sight of this
immense army as the Turks gazed upon it from their mountain tops
must have thrilled their hearts even if it did not carry terror to
their camps. It was soon learned that Nice could only be captured by
siege, if at all. For this preparations began to be made; but there
was no central authority. In the camps of the Crusaders were nineteen
different nationalities grouped about their respective standards. No
count or prince would deign to receive orders from anyone. Each camp
was protected by walls or palisades, and as the supply of wood and
stone was scarce they gathered up the bones of the first Crusaders
that lay bleaching on the plains. The priests in all these various
camps were always in the ranks and so great was their power that the
commonest soldier gladly courted death for the sake of the rewards
in store for all who perished in battle with the Infidel.

At the same time David, "The Sword of the Lion" animated his
garrison by recalling former victories and saying: "We are going
to fight for our wives and children and country. The religion of
the Prophet implores our help, and the richest booty will reward
our exploits." While for every Turk that fell in battle the gates
of Paradise would open and the most beautiful Houris would minister
with wine and dance to the unlimited enjoyment of the faithful. The
rewards of the future, though so different to the imagination of the
followers of Christ and of Mohammed, had precisely the same effect
in stimulating the courage of all alike to the same pitch of frenzied
fanaticism--the utter contempt of all danger, and to the very courting
of death itself in the destruction of their enemies.

As the Crusaders advanced, their siege operations animated by the
boldness of their leaders, the Turks, similarly cheered and as bravely
led, descended from their mountain camps and prepared for battle. Their
army divided into two great bodies as they struck the plains. One of
these fell on the army of Godfrey, and the other on that of Raymond
of Toulouse. At first the troops of Raymond gave way to the fierce
onset but were soon rallied by the voices and bugles of Raymond and
Adhemar. Matthew of Edessa writes:--"The two armies joined, mingled and
attacked each other with equal fury. Everywhere glittered casques and
shields; lances rang against cuirasses; the air resounded with piercing
cries; the terrified horses recoiled from din of arms and the hissing
of arrows; the earth trembled beneath the tread of the combatants,
and the plain was for a vast space bristling with javelins." The
Crusaders were most valiantly led by Godfrey, Tancred and the two
Roberts whose steeds seemed to be everywhere, whose valor knew no
abatement and whose lances carried terror and death into the ranks of
the Infidels. It was a disastrous day for the Turkish forces that were
driven back in greatest confusion into their mountain camps. But the
Sultan did not stop to deplore his defeat. He rallied his forces during
the night and determined to avenge his disgrace on the morrow. At
break of day again his troops rushed with the violence of mountain
torrents into the plains, and with loudest cries dashed again and
again into the serried ranks of the Crusaders. All day long under
charge and counter charge the result of the battle hung in doubt. Not
till night did the Turks confess their inability to crush the battle
lines of the Christians by retiring from the scene of awful carnage,
leaving four thousand prisoners in the hands of the victors. The next
day the heads of one thousand were cut off and sent as trophies to
Alexius at Constantinople; the heads of the remaining captives were
thrown by machines over the walls of the city to inform the Turkish
garrison of the disaster which had overtaken their supporting army.

The Crusaders were now free to push forward the siege by every
artifice known to the Romans and directed by the skill and energy of
the Greeks. They allowed the garrison no rest, and the defence was as
furious as the attack. The Turks covered their ramparts with formidable
weapons which hurled destruction on their assailants. They shot forth
darts, wooden beams and enormous stones which daily destroyed the labor
of the Crusaders whose rashness and imprudence cost them many precious
lives. Hundreds died from poisoned darts, and others, venturing too
near the walls, were caught by grappling hooks, dragged alive over
the walls to be shot back, stark naked, into the Christian camp. The
tales of personal, single-handed prowess place Christian and Turkish
chief on equal footing as to strength, courage and splendid daring.

After seven weeks had passed all hope for successful defence
departed. The wife of the Sultan and her two children were captured
in trying to escape, and consternation siezed the garrison. Just
at this crisis the emissaries of Alexius entered the city, and by
creating in the inhabitants a dread of the terrible vengeance that
would be inflicted by the Crusaders, persuaded them to surrender to
the Emperor of Constantinople.

While the Crusaders were preparing for what was intended to be their
final assault, the standard of Alexius suddenly appeared on the
ramparts. The wily Emperor had secured without the loss of a man the
fruits of a victory won at terrible cost of life to the Crusaders. He
succeeded in quieting the wrath of the soldiers by distributing among
them largesses equal in extent to the booty they expected from the
looting of the captured city. He also restored to the Sultan his wife
and children, and thereby won his friendship. He also by this crafty
stroke of policy secured the lives of the Greek Christians scattered
throughout the cities of Asia Minor; but won the lasting hatred of
the Crusaders.

The siege of one city is like the siege of all, and we must hasten
to Jerusalem, in the spring of 1097. Passing by the battlefield
of Dorylaeum, where the newly gathered army of David, the Sultan,
numbering two hundred thousand men, met with an awful defeat and the
loss of nearly twenty-five thousand men; all the treasures of his
camp, provisions, tents, horses and camels, and riches of gold and
silver, falling as spoil into the hands of the Crusaders:--passing
by the terrible march through "Burning Phrygia," desolated by order
of the Sultan, we descend through the mountain passes of the Taurus
range into the fair and fertile and wealthy plains of the province of
Antioch. The armies were soon gathered for the siege of this historic
city, which lasted seven months and was finally captured through the
assistance of an Armenian within the walls.

Six months after the sack of the city of Antioch, the word was given,
"On to Jerusalem."

It was now about the first of June. The harvests of Phoenicia
were ripe, plenty of provisions were in sight, and the country was
beautiful as they marched down the seacoast from Antioch. To their
left rose the mountains of Lebanon. On their right the blue waters of
the Mediterranean flashed in the sunlight of an eastern sky. Between
mountain and sea the valleys and plains were filled with orchards of
olive, orange and pomegranate. Among the plants which were new to the
Crusaders was the sugar cane of the Syrian lowlands. Returning pilgrims
carried this plant to Italy; the Saracens introduced it into Grenada,
whence it spread throughout all the Spanish colonial possessions;
and to-day is the basis of the wealth of Cuba, and one of the chief
productions of our own Southern States.

The Crusaders marched amid plenty and under balmy skies, with time
enough to contemplate the fearful sacrifice of human life which their
expedition had already cost. Battle and famine, disease and despair
had cut off more than two hundred thousand of their number. Tens
of thousands had deserted and returned to Europe; other thousands
remained in the cities and villages of Palestine and were lost in the
mixed crowds of the native races. While yet a vast host, the fighting
force was about fifty thousand, but it was a compact and vigorous
body of warriors. It marched better and lighter. Its victories gave
it courage; its defeats had taught it the value of discipline. The
names of Crusader and Christian carried terror wherever spoken in
the Infidel camps or cities. Their zeal increased as they drew near
the end of their long and wasting marches. Often the weary columns
refused to halt for the night, but tramped on until forced to rest
by sheer fatigue. To their disordered vision luminous angels appeared
to guide them on the way.

Bending away from the sea and passing Lydda, they soon gained the
Heights of Ephraim, only sixteen miles from Jerusalem. Here their
ranks were broken up as they entered these jagged ravines and narrow,
lonesome valleys scorched by the rays of a summer sun, riddled
by gullies and choked by great fragments of rock fallen from the
precipitous sides of the mountains. Had they been attacked from the
heights above by even a few resolute Mussulmen while in such disorder,
fearful loss might have been inflicted; but no enemy appeared as the
more ardent and faithful souls advanced barefooted, carrying with
them the banner of the Prince of Peace to plant on the recaptured
walls of the Holy City of God.

On June 10th, 1099, the Crusaders marched up the gloomy steeps to
Emmaus, and looking over its barren edges caught their first sight
of Zion. The cry of "Jerusalem, Jerusalem," rang out and down the
slopes, and as the rear columns came up the war cry "It is the will
of God," resounded throughout the whole army until reëchoed by the
slopes of the Mount of Olives and heard in the City of David. Horsemen
dismounted and walked barefoot, thousands bent their knees and kissed
the earth. Hallelujahs arose, petitions went up for the remission
of their sins, tears were shed over the death of Christ, and the
profanation of His tomb. Pious fervor soon changed into fierceness
and wrath as oaths were resworn to rescue the Holy City from the
sacrilegious hands of the followers of Mohammed.

They found a fierce and valiant memory awaiting them. The surrounding
villages had been destroyed, cisterns and wells filled up or poisoned,
the land made a desert.

The siege began at once; but their situation grew desperate. They
were suffering under a scorching heat and the sand storms out of the
southern deserts. Plants and animals perished. Kedron ran dry. The
army became a prey to raging thirst. Water brought in skin bottles
a distance of nine miles was worth its weight in silver. The old
historians paint in most frightful colors the misery of the Crusaders
at this juncture; and had the Mussulmen made a determined sortie upon
the staggering hosts, the army must have perished. Their strength and
courage revived by the arrival of a Genoese fleet at Jaffa laden with
provisions. A Syrian pointed out a mountain thirty miles away that
was forest-clad. Every body wrought with unceasing energy. Water
was brought long distances by the women and children; machines of
war towers, catapults and battering rams were erected and pushed up
close under the walls of Jerusalem.

The priests exhorted to peace and harmony. The hermit of the Mount
of Olives led a penitential march around the city. On their return
to camp as the Christian army marched by the tomb of David, and
Mt. Zion they chanted "The nations of the West shall fear the Lord;
and the nations of the East shall see His glory."

On the morning of July 14, 1099, all the Crusaders flew to arms at
the sound of the trumpets to make their first grand assault.

The great war machines were pushed close to the walls. Showers of
stones were hurled upon the ramparts. Archers and crossbowmen kept up
a continual fire from their towers. Scaling ladders were planted. The
great leaders were everywhere. For twelve long hours the Crusaders
maintained the unequal fight, and then nightfall covered their first
repulse. The morning saw the renewal of the conflict more furious and
desperate than before. It was carried on with demoniac obstinacy for
half a day. Their courage began to fail; nearly all their machines
were on fire and there was no water to quench the flames; even their
leaders began to waver.

While the battle was in this desperate shape a mysterious knight made
his appearance on the Mount of Olives waving his sword and signalling
them to renew the assault. They accepted the omen as from heaven and
in the fury of their faith rushed again to the attack--dragged their
machines still nearer the walls, caught them with their grappling
hooks, lowered their drawbridges, let fly showers of flaming arrows
which set on fire sacks of wool and bundles of hay that had been
used for protection on the inner walls. The wind fanned the flames,
driving smoke and heat upon the doomed Saracens. The Crusaders sprang
upon the walls with lance and spear in hand. Godfrey, Baldwin, Raymond
and Tancred followed by their knights and soldiers were soon in the
streets and beating down the gates with their battle-axes opened the
way for the great body of Crusaders to enter. Their battle cry rang
through the streets of the Holy City.

The miracle-monger places the entry of the Crusaders at the very
hour Friday, 3 P. M., at which Christ expired on the cross. But even
this could not move their hearts to mercy. We throw a veil of silence
over the awful massacre that followed, until Godfrey throwing aside
his arms walked barefooted to the church of the Holy Sepulchre. His
example was contagious. The army ceased its bloody fury, cast aside
its blood-stained vestments, gave vent to its contrition in groans and
sobs, and marched with uncovered heads and bare feet following their
priests to the Church of the Resurrection. We marvel at the sudden
transformation. The devotion of the Crusaders seemed profoundly tender
after such horrible carnage. We do not excuse it. We do not condemn
it in bitter speech recalling some terrible experiences during our
late Civil War, when Christian men sometimes seemed possessed. The
demon of war has never yet been baptized with the Spirit of Him who
gave up His life for the salvation of the very men who crucified Him.

The last chapter in the history of this first Crusade ends with the
establishment of a kingdom of Jerusalem and the selection of the
pious Godfrey as King. With its fortunes we may not here concern
ourselves. We shall touch upon it as we sketch the resistless march
of the warriors of Islam to the conquest of Constantinople and the
overthrow of the Empire of Eastern Europe.



CHAPTER IV.

THE GREAT TARTAR INVASIONS.


From Jerusalem the reader must now transport himself beyond the
Caspian Sea eastward if he would visit the early home of the Turks or
Turcomans, or Turkmans, against which the first crusade was chiefly
directed. Their Scythian empire of the sixth century was long since
dissolved, the tribes of the nations, each a powerful and independent
kingdom, were scattered over the deserts of Central Asia from China
to the Oxus and the Danube. Hordes of these wandering shepherds were
about to overspread the kingdoms of Persia, shake the thrones of China
and India, and erect a solid and splendid empire from Samarcand to
the confines of Greece and Egypt. Their conquests were not to cease
till their victorious crescents had been planted on the walls of
Constantinople, and unfurled to the breeze from the dome of the most
magnificent Christian temple of the world--the dome of St. Sophia.

One of the greatest of Turkish princes was Mahmood, who reigned over
the eastern provinces of Persia one thousand years after the birth
of Christ, (A. D. 997-1028.) For him the title of Sultan was first
invented--a word that signifies Lord or Master. His kingdom stretched
from the shores of the Caspian Sea to the mouth of the river Indus.

In a series of twelve expeditions he waged a "Holy War" against the
Gentoos of Hindustan. Never was the Mussulman hero dismayed by the
inclemency of the seasons, the heights of the mountains, the breadths
of the rivers, the barrenness of the desert, the multitudes of the
enemy or the formidable array of their elephants of war. But we cannot
spare even a page to describe his swift and terrible campaigns that
brought the power and wealth of India to his feet. As in his old age
he surveyed the vast millions of gold and silver, the countless spoils
in pearls and diamonds and rubies that filled his treasure house, even
his boundless avarice might have been satiated for a moment. As he
reviewed the state of his regular military forces which comprised one
hundred thousand foot, fifty-five thousand horse and thirteen hundred
elephants of battle; he wept the instability of human greatness,
his grief embittered by the hostile progress of the Turcomans whom
as allies he had introduced into the heart of his Persian kingdom.

He was admonished of his folly by the reply of the chief of the race
of Seljuk of whom he had inquired what supply of men he could furnish
for military service. "If you send," replied Ishmael, "one of these
arrows into our camp, fifty thousand of your servants will mount
on horseback."

"And if that number should not be sufficient?" "Send this second arrow
to the horde of Balik and you will find fifty thousand more." "But,"
said Mahmood, dissembling his anxiety, "if I should stand in need of
the whole force of your kindred tribes?"

"Despatch my bow," was the last reply of Ishmael, "and as it is sent
around, the summons will be obeyed by two hundred thousand horse." Well
might he fear, for the multitude of shepherds were converted into
robbers; the bands of robbers only needed leaders to become an army
of conquerors, that would not be ashamed or afraid to measure courage
and power with the proudest sovereigns of Asia.

Too long did his son and successor neglect the advice of his wise
men. "Your enemies" they repeatedly urged "were in their origin a
swarm of ants; they are now little snakes; and unless they be instantly
crushed they will acquire the magnitude and venom of serpents."

When the day of battle came, the swarm of ants had grown into a horde
of fierce and mighty warriors: and although "Massoud exhibited such
acts of gigantic force and valor as never king had before displayed,"
in the very hour when victory was about to perch on his banners in
dismay, he beheld almost his whole army led by some generals of the
Turkish race, "devouring the paths of flight." This memorable day of
Zendecan founded in Persia the dynasty of the Shepherd Kings.



THE DYNASTY OF THE SELJUKIAN TURKS. (A. D. 1038-1152.)

The victorious Turcomans, determined by lot, it is said, the selection
of their King; and it fell to Togrul Beg, grandson of Seljuk, whose
surname was immortalized in the greatness of his posterity. At the
age of forty-five Togrul was invested with the title of Sultan in
the royal city of Nishabur, and the sceptre of Irak passed from the
Persian to the Turkish nation, that now and everywhere embraced with
fervor and sincerity the religion of Mohammed.

At the conquest of Mosul and Bagdad he received from the Caliph of
the East the title of the lieutenant of the vicar of the prophet,
his mystic veil was perfumed with musk, two crowns were placed on
his head; two scimitars were girded to his side as the symbol of a
double reign over the East and the West.

Soon myriads of Turkish horse went forth to conquest, overspreading
the frontier of six hundred miles from Tauris to Erzeroum: and the
blood of hundreds of thousands of Christians were a grateful sacrifice
to the Arabian prophet.

The first invasion of poor Armenia was with more than a hundred
thousand men and twenty-four provinces were laid waste. The second
was with two hundred thousand and they completed the utter ruin of
those provinces, carrying into captivity all the inhabitants. In the
year 1049 the armies of Togrul made a third invasion, besieging the
city of Ardzan, which had a population of three hundred thousand
souls, and contained eight hundred churches with schools and
hospitals. Notwithstanding their utmost resistance it was taken and
a hundred and forty thousand people were massacred, the remnant were
carried into captivity and the city was burned. Many other cities
were treated in the same way.

At the same time there were in Armenia sixty thousand Greek Christian
troops from Constantinople, ostensibly for the protection of Armenia,
yet they did not take a single step to repel the invaders, preferring
to see the Armenians slaughtered. Verily history repeated itself
as the great "Christian" powers of Europe stood by witnessing the
"reform of Armenia."

There is some small sense of satisfaction in the fact that before the
Turks left Armenia they utterly defeated and dispersed these miserable
"Defenders of the Faith."

Again in the year 1053 Togrul appeared in Armenia, destroying many
cities, among them the capital city of Kars and then marched to the
city of Manazguerd and laid siege to it.

Basilius, the Chief of the city, was a man of great bravery and
military skill. He was assisted in the defence of the city by a
skillful Armenian priest who, by his inventions rendered the machines
raised by the Persians against the walls entirely useless. Then they
planned to undermine the fortifications; but this new design was
revealed by a soldier who, smarting under some grievous and unjust
punishment, shot an arrow into the city to which was fastened a letter
making known their plans. A countermine was dug, and the Persian
miners being captured they were taken into the city and beheaded on
the battlements.

In his rage Togrul caused a huge wooden ballista to be erected,--so
large that it required four hundred men to drag it before the
walls. Basilius offered a great reward to the man who should succeed
in burning it. There was a very ingenious Gaul in the city who, having
composed an inflammable mixture, mounted a swift horse and proceeded
to the Persian camp holding a letter in his outstretched hand. He went
directly to the spot where the ballista stood and while the guards
fancied him a messenger sent to the King he hurled the bottles filled
with the combustible material into the machine and in the confusion
that attended the burning of the ballista escaped back to the city.

The siege was soon raised but other cities felt the fury of his baffled
rage as leaving a trail of fire and blood behind him, Togrul returned
to Persia. The native historian whom we are consulting, in simplest yet
most telling pathos, writes: "Armenia, after this, enjoyed no repose."

Upon the death of Togrul, (A. D. 1062) he was succeeded by
his nephew, Alp Arslan who, in the following year came to wreak
vengeance on unhappy Armenia. Everywhere he committed the most horrid
devastation. Marching to the province of Ararat he laid siege to Ani
the Magnificent, with its thousand and one churches.

The city was lost by the cowardice of the Governor. A breach had been
made in an unprotected part of the wall, but being narrow the citizens
so valiantly defended it that they compelled the Sultan to retire;
but the Governor, fancying that the Persians had succeeded in forcing
an entrance, retired into the citadel. Thinking themselves deserted,
a panic seized the Armenians and about fifty thousand of them fled
into the country from the gates on the opposite side of the city.

The retreat of the Persians was countermanded, the city was taken,
orders being given to put every man to the sword. Human blood flowed
in torrents. So great was the carnage that the streets were literally
choked up with dead bodies, and the waters of the river Akhurian
flowed in crimson tides. After his first fury was somewhat abated,
Alp Arslan gave orders to seize the most wealthy citizens still alive
and torture them to make them reveal places where their treasures were
hidden. Then he pillaged the thousand and one churches, murdered all
the priests found therein,--some were drowned, some he flayed alive,
others died under tortures as excruciating as most fiendish imagination
could conceive or invent. Finally, gathering his captives--men,
women and children and his plunder, Alp Arslan returned to Persia.

We must leave for awhile the bleeding Armenians whose kingdom had been
annihilated, to the tender mercies of the wicked, to follow the path of
rapine and horror as the torrents of unspeakable Turks flowed westward.

They captured cities, put the inhabitants of Asia Minor to the sword
and devastated the interior provinces to convert them into pasture
lands for their nomad followers.

Romanus, husband of the Greek Empress Eudocia took the field against
them, and driving them back to the Euphrates, laid siege to the
fortress of Manzikert or Malasgerd in Armenia midway between modern
Erzeroum and Van. It was on the plain of Manzikert in 1071 after the
capture of the fortress, that the East gained one of its greatest
triumphs over the West. The Seljuk Sultan and the Roman Emperor met
face to face. Romanus rejected in haughty pride the overtures of the
Sultan that might have secured his retreat, perhaps peace--and prepared
for battle. The Sultan with his own hands tied up the flowing tail
of his horse, exchanged his bow and arrows for a mace and scimitar,
clothed himself in a white garment, perfumed his body with musk, and
declared that if he were vanquished, that spot should be the place of
his burial. The Sultan himself had cast away his missile weapons, but
his hopes of victory were in the arrows of his cavalry whose squadrons
were loosely placed in the form of a crescent. Romanus led his army
in a single and solid phalanx and pressed with vigor the artful and
yielding resistance of the barbarians. Thus the greater part of a hot
summer's day was spent in fruitless combat until fatigue compelled
him to sound a return to camp. This was the fatal moment. The Turkish
squadrons poured a cloud of arrows on the retreating army throwing
them into confusion. The horns of the crescent closed in upon the
rear of the Greeks.

The destruction of the army was complete, the booty immense. Nobly
did the Emperor with desperate courage maintain the fight till the
close of the day. The imperial station was left naked on all sides to
the victorious Turks. His body guard fell about him--his horse was
slain and he himself was wounded, yet he stood as a lion at bay. He
was captured, despoiled of his jewelled robes, bound and guarded all
night on the field of the dead.

In the morning the successor of Constantine in plebian habit was led
into the presence of the Sultan and commanded to kiss the ground at
the feet of the Lord of Asia. Reluctantly he obeyed, and Alp Arslan,
starting from his throne, is said to have planted his foot on the
neck of the Roman Emperor. No captive was ever more nobly treated than
Romanus Diogenes; but no captivity ever wrought more lasting woe. Three
years later the Seljuk was the recognized Lord of Asia Minor, and as
such ventured to call himself the Lord of Rome. Following the defeat of
the Romans the Turks marched into Syria and reduced Damascus by famine
and the sword. Other cities in Palestine yielded until the victorious
army passing southward stood on the banks of the Nile. The city of
Cairo in desperate battle drove back the armies of the Sultan from
the confines of Egypt; but in their retreat Jerusalem was conquered
and the house of Seljuk held the city for some twenty years.

When Jerusalem fell before the arms of the Crusaders in 1099, the
event was applauded as a deliverance in Europe, and was deplored as
a calamity in Asia. The Syrian fugitives diffused everywhere their
sorrow and consternation: Bagdad mourned in the dust; the Cadi of
Damascus tore his beard in the Caliph's presence; the Commanders of
the faithful could only weep and vow vengeance on the head of the
infidels who had defiled the Holy City.

It is not our purpose to pursue the story of the crusades through all
the years that made Jerusalem the prize of battle equally to Christian
and Mohammedan. The life and exploits of Saladin and Richard, the
lion-hearted are more thrilling than any romance. In a fanatic age,
himself a fanatic, the genuine virtues of Saladin commanded the esteem
of the Christians; the Emperor of Germany gloried in his friendship;
the Greek Emperor solicited his alliance. Egypt, Syria, and Arabia
were adorned by the royal foundations of hospitals, colleges and
mosques; Cairo was fortified with a wall and citadel; but his works
were consecrated to public use: nor did the Sultan indulge himself in
a garden or palace of private luxury. The son of Job, a simple Kurd,
Saladin was after the follies of a hot youth, a rigid Mussulman,
his garment of coarse woolen, and water his only drink.

But already had he won for himself the name of "The Scourge of God." He
had united all the forces and riches of Egypt and Asia under his
sword and now (1187 A. D.) hastened with eighty thousand horse to
the deliverance of Palestine.

Three months after the battle of Tiberias (July 4 and 5, 1187)
he appeared in arms before Jerusalem. When Saladin had partially
completed its investment, he invited its principal inhabitants to meet
him in council. When they were assembled he said: "I acknowledge that
Jerusalem is the House of God. I do not wish to profane its sanctity
by the shedding of blood. Abandon its walls and I will bestow on
you a part of my treasures, and I will bestow on you as much land
as you will be able to cultivate." To which the Christians replied:
"We cannot yield the city in which our God died: still less can we
give it up to you."

This refusal enraged Saladin, and he swore to destroy the towers
and ramparts of Jerusalem, and avenge the death of the Mussulmen
slaughtered by the soldiers of Godfrey of Bouillon.

The siege went on. Many and fierce the sorties from the gates of
the city: but fight as they would the operations of the infidels
could not be stayed. Despair set in, mingled with wailing, tears and
prayers. Jerusalem was filled with sobs and groans.

Deputies were sent out to propose a capitulation on the terms which he
had first proposed. He sent them back without one word of hope. But
one day as the deputies were pleading with unusual earnestness,
Saladin pointed to his standards just placed upon the walls saying:
"How can you ask me to grant conditions to a city which is already
taken?" But he spoke too confidently, for at that moment they were
stricken down again.

As they went down Baleau the leader of the Christian forces spoke up:
"You see Jerusalem is not without defenders. If we can obtain no
mercy from you we will form a terrible resolution which will fill you
with horror. These temples and palaces you are so anxious to conquer
shall be destroyed. The riches which excite your cupidity shall be
burned. We will destroy the mosque of Omar. We will pound into dust
the stone of Jacob which is an object of your worship. We will stay
our women and our children with our own hands that they shall never be
your slaves. When the Holy City shall become a ruin--a vast tomb--we
will march out of it armed with fire and sword and no one of us will
ascend to Paradise without first consigning ten Mussulmen to hell. We
shall thus obtain a glorious death and in dying shall call down on
your head the maledictions of the God of Jerusalem."

Saladin was awed by this terrible speech: told the deputies to return
the next day, when the terms of capitulation were signed in the tent
of the great sultan, and Jerusalem passed again into the hands of
the infidels, after having remained for eighty-eight years in the
possession of the Christians. The Saracens boast that they retook
the Holy City on Friday, the anniversary of the day on which Mohammed
ascended from it into heaven: but the complete conquest of the Holy
Land by the Turks was to be delayed yet an hundred years.

Finally, however, before Mamelukes of Egypt, Jerusalem, and all the
cities of the coast fell, and Acre became the last stronghold of the
crusaders. Against it marched the Sultan Khali at the head of sixty
thousand horse and one hundred and forty thousand foot.

After a siege of thirty-three days the double wall was forced, the
towers yielded to their engines, the Moslems stormed the city May 18,
(A. D., 1291) carried it by the sword; and death or slavery was the
lot of sixty thousand Christians. By the command of the Sultan the
churches and the fortifications of the Latin cities were demolished,
and a mournful and solitary silence prevailed along the coast which had
so long resounded with the World's Debate; and hundreds of thousands of
warriors had found the "Paradise that lies under the shade of swords."

Again must we go to the "roof of the world" to behold the great
eruption of Moguls and Tartars whose fierce and rapid and cruel
conquests can only be compared with the destructive forces of nature in
her wildest moods when she lets loose upon the earth fire and flood,
earthquake, avalanche and volcano. From these spacious highlands
the tides of emigration and the floods of war have repeatedly been
poured. In the twelfth century the various tribes akin to Hun and
Turk were united and led to conquest by the formidable Jenghiz Khan,
i. e. the most great Khan or Emperor of the Moguls and Tartars.

The code of laws which Jenghiz Khan dictated to his subjects was
adapted to the preservation of domestic peace and the exercise of
foreign hostility. These fiercest of men were mild and just in their
intercourse with each other. Their primitive religion consisted in
belief in the existence of one God, the author of all good, who fills
by His presence the heavens and the earth which He has created by His
power. The Tartars and Moguls were addicted to the idols of their
various tribes yet there were among them converts to the religions
of Moses, Mohammed and of Christ.

Soon all the kindred tribes from the great wall of China to the Volga
owned his sway. He was the Khan of many millions of shepherds and
warriors. The court of Pekin was astonished at receiving an embassy
from a former vassal demanding the same tribute and obedience which he
himself had but lately paid. On receiving a haughty answer innumerable
squadrons soon pierced on all sides the feeble rampart of the great
wall and ninety cities were laid low. On his second invasion he
laid siege to Pekin. The famine was terrible. Men were chosen by
lot to be slain for food. The Moguls mined under the capital and the
conflagration of the city lasted for thirty days. China was desolated
by Tartar war and domestic faction and the five northern provinces were
added to the empire of Jenghiz. On the west he touched the dominions
of Mohammed, sultan of Carizme, who reigned from the Persian gulf to
the borders of India and Turkestan.

A caravan of three ambassadors and one hundred and fifty merchants
having been put to death by the orders of Mohammed, after he had fasted
and prayed for three nights on a mountain, Jenghiz appealed to the
judgment of God and his own sword. Seven hundred thousand Moguls and
Tartars are said to have marched under the banners of Jenghiz and his
four sons. On the vast plains stretching north of the river Jaxartes
(now Jihon) they encountered four hundred thousand soldiers of the
Sultan. In the first battle it is said that one hundred and sixty
thousand Carizmians were slain. The whole country then lay open to
his fierce warriors and from the Caspian to the Indus, a tract of
many hundreds of miles, adorned with the habitations and labors of the
most highly civilized races of Asia, was desolated so completely that
five centuries have not repaired the ravages of four years. In all
this Jenghiz Khan indulged and encouraged the fury of his army. He
now yielded with reluctance to the murmurs of his weary but wealthy
troops who sighed for the rest of their native lands.

The return of Jenghiz was signalized by the overthrow of the few
remaining independent kingdoms in Tartary: and he died in the fulness
of years and glory, with his last breath exhorting his sons to achieve
the conquest of the Chinese Empire. In the sixty-eight years of his
first four successors the Mogul had subdued almost all Asia and a
large portion of Europe.

To the East China was subdued; to the South the conquest of
Hindustan was reserved for the house of Timour or Tamerlane. While
the hosts that went forth to conquer Russia, Poland, Hungary, etc.,
(1235-1245) inscribed on the military roll numbered fifteen hundred
thousand men. Holagon the grandson of Jenghiz Khan had but to thrust
at the phantom of power which the Caliphs of Bagdad enjoyed when it
vanished like the mist. Bagdad after a siege of two brief months,
was stormed and sacked and the savage Tartar pronounced the death of
the Caliph Mostasem the last of the temporal successors of Mohammed
whose noble kinsmen of the race of Abbas had reigned in Asia above
five hundred years.

Once more the torrents of woe flow in upon Armenia lying in the track
of the Tartar armies westward. Ani is again besieged and soon a famine
broke out within the walls and many of the citizens rushed out and
gave themselves up to the mercy of their enemies. They were kindly
received and a sufficient supply of food was given to them. Induced
by this kindness more than half of the inhabitants were soon found in
the camp of the Tartars. All at once the poor wretches were divided
into small parties under the pretext of receiving better protection
when the soldiers fell upon them and massacred every individual. Then
the city was easily taken, destroyed by fire and the entire population
put to the sword.

Many cities suffered the desolations and horrors of Ani till the Khan
ordered his chiefs on to other conquests. Then followed the infliction
of a heavy capitation tax on all the remaining provinces--sixty
pieces of money being demanded of every Armenian from the age of ten
upwards. Those who were unable to pay this sum suffered intolerable
tortures. Those who were possessed of lands lost them, their wives and
children being seized and sold into slavery. Nothing ever equalled
the horrors that now overspread this unhappy country, most of the
inhabitants having no money to pay the tax and having no place to
which to flee from their oppressors. Finally an embassy to Mangon Khan,
a grandson of Jenghiz secured some little alleviation of their misery.

Meantime there was growing up in Cilicia a subordinate kingdom of
Armenia with Tarsus for its capital--and receiving favor from the
Sultan of Egypt and the Khan of the Tartars. Leo III. resumed the
kingly reins of his kingdom comprising all of Modern Anatolia. He
repaired his cities; he erected public schools. He caused all the
literary productions of the Armenians from the earliest ages to be
recopied and distributed among the convents of the kingdom. He reigned
for twenty years ardently devoted to the service of God and died in
the year 1289.

His son, Hethum, was a prince who despised all worldly pomp and
grandeur, seldom arrayed himself in royal apparel. He was greatly
attached to the priests of his capital engaging daily with them in
prayers and other religious exercises. He was particularly fond of
the literary productions of the Fathers of the Church. His Bible was
his daily companion. He caused a copy of it to be prepared expressly
for himself, and at the end of it wrote some lines expressive of the
high satisfaction and comfort he had derived from its frequent perusal.

These paragraphs may show what has ever been the character of these
people who are still being harried to death in the same provinces
where they have lived and suffered for centuries.

The decline of the spirit of conquest in the Mogul princes of
Persia gave a free scope to the rise and progress of the Ottoman
Empire which was soon to strike fear into the heart of the Emperor
of Constantinople, and finally establish itself in Europe where it
remains to this day a blot on Western civilization and a curse to
all the people over which it rules.

In 1360 we find the throne of the Ottoman Turks established at
Adrianople almost within sight of Constantinople which after resisting
for a thousand years the assaults of barbarians of the East and the
West, now saw herself hemmed in, both in Europe and Asia, by the same
hostile power and her Emperor following at his summons the court and
camp of an Ottoman Prince.

Bajazet surnamed Ilderim, or "The Lightning" who came to the throne
in 1389, and reigned fourteen years, fills a brilliant page in Ottoman
history. He forced Constantinople to pay tribute and enjoyed the glory
of being the first to found a royal Mosque in the glorious metropolis
of the Eastern Church. He would speedily have forced its absolute
surrender but that he was doomed to meet and be overthrown by a savage
still more savage than himself--the name that caused all Europe and
Asia to tremble with fear--the great, the terrible, the blood-thirsty
Timour or Tamerlane. The family of Tamerlane was another branch of the
imperial stem of Jenghiz Khan. He was born 1335 A. D., in a village
that lies forty miles to the south of Samarcand, in a tribe of which
his fathers were the hereditary chiefs. His birth was cast in a time
of anarchy of bitter domestic feuds; when the Khans of Kashgar with
an army of Calmucks harassed the Trans-oxian Kingdom. At the age of
twenty-five he stood forth as the deliverer of his people: and in ten
years he was invested with imperial command of the Zagatai. The rule
over a fertile and populous land five hundred miles in extent either
way, might have satisfied an ordinary man: but Timour aspired to the
dominion of the world and before his death the crown of Zagatai was
but one of twenty-seven which he had placed upon his head. He first
swept Persia to the sea. The city of Ormuz bought its safety for an
annual tribute of six hundred thousand pieces of gold. Bagdad was
laid in ruins: and from the gulf to the mountains of Ararat the whole
course of the Tigris and Euphrates was reduced to his obedience.

The Khan of the Mogul Empire of the North swept down through the gates
of Derbend entering Persia at the head of ninety thousand horse,
burned the palaces of Timour and compelled him amidst the snows of
winter to contend for Samarcand and his life.

After a mild expostulation, and a glorious victory he resolved on
revenge. He invaded Tartary with armies so vast that thirteen miles
stretched between his left and right wing. In a march of five months
they rarely beheld the footsteps of man. At length the armies met
in most fearful conflict. In the heat of conflict the treachery of
the bearer of the imperial standard of Kipzak turned the tide of
victory to the Zagatai, and Timour gave up the mingled hosts to the
"wind of desolation." The pursuit of a flying enemy led him into the
provinces of Russia. Moscow trembled at the approach of the Tartar, but
he turned his armies southward, and on the banks of the Don received
a deputation of the merchants of Egypt, Venice, Genoa, and Spain, who
had built up the great commerce and the city of Azoph. They offered him
gifts, admired his magnificence, trusted his word. But the peaceful
visit of an Emir who explored the state of the magazines and harbors
was speedily followed by the destructive presence of the Tartars,
who reduced the city to ashes, pillaged the Moslems, and put every
Christian to the sword or sold them into slavery. Having laid waste all
the cities in Southern Russia, he returned to his capital at Samarcand.

Samarcand, the center of his magnificence, the depot of all riches,
arose and extended itself as by magic at each return of the world's
conqueror. It is said that Babylon, Bagdad, Persepolis, Palmyra,
Baalbec and Damascus, were all cast into the shade by the mosques,
palaces, gardens, and aqueducts which arose under the hands of most
skillful artisans brought from every captured city to decorate the
capital of a barbarian.

Here amid the delights of his gardens, the love of his women,
the conversation of his men of letters, the eulogies of poets,
did Tamerlane refresh himself after the exploits of a five years'
campaign. But his loves, and delights of ease, did not make him forget
that dream of all conquerors--India, and at this invasion he overran
it from the Indus to Delhi, and from the Ocean to Thibet.

As he proceeded on his march, his army became encumbered with the
captives, and he ordered one hundred thousand of them slain in a
single night. Remorse, pity, and indignation, seized even a Tartar
army, but Tamerlane answered it only by the conquest and massacre
of Delhi, that great and magnificent city which had flourished for
three hundred years, under Mohammedan kings; the ruins of which are
still seen for miles on every side of the modern city. The blood
of the slain, crimsoned the waters of the Sacred Ganges for many,
many miles on its course to the sea. The recital of his cruelties
could not be believed, were they not recorded in the history of all
the nations he conquered. The treasures were of incalculable value,
and every soldier received one hundred slaves for his share and every
Tartar camp follower, twenty.

It was while camping on the bank of the Ganges that Tamerlane received
from his couriers the tidings of the disturbances on the confines of
Anatolia and Georgia, of the revolt of the Christians and the ambitious
designs of Bajazet. He returned to Samarcand having accomplished in
a twelve month the ten years' campaign of Alexander the Great.

After enjoying a few months tranquillity he proclaimed a seven years'
campaign against the countries of Western Asia. To the soldiers who
had served in the Indian wars he granted their choice of home or
camp, but the troops of all the kingdoms and provinces of Persia were
commanded to assemble at Ispahan and await the imperial standard.

With an army of eight hundred thousand fighting men and a multitude
of slaves so vast that it is said that they dried up the earth as
they marched, he started westward. Words are lacking to describe
the desolation and cruelty that attended his march and the sacking
of cities.

Multitudes of Christians suffered untold horrors rather than deny
their faith. The cities that attempted to resist behind their walls
were effaced from the earth, and upon their sites towers were erected,
the walls of which were composed of living men cemented in the lime.

Pursuing the people of Georgia into the gorges of the Caucasus
Mountains he inflicted upon them great slaughter, and discovering
many caverns into which men, women and children had fled for safety
he walled up their entrances and left them to perish.

Ispahan in a moment of folly having rebelled and massacred three
thousand Tartars he sent back one hundred thousand soldiers with
orders that every man should bring him a head on penalty of losing
his own. Ispahan in consternation and horror paid this price for its
revolt, and on the site of a dismantled city, a mason-wrought pyramid
of a hundred thousand heads told the awful story of their doom.

Proceeding westward Tamerlane laid siege to Siwas, or Sebaste, modern
Siwas, a city having walls of prodigious thickness and a broad moat
filled with running water.

It contained one hundred and fifty thousand souls, was defended by
intrepid Armenians and seemed able to defy every assault of a Tartar
multitude without battering artillery to shake the walls.

But Tamerlane hesitated only a moment. Prodigal of men, he set
thousands at work to undermine the rocks that formed the foundation
of the walls. He emptied the moats by cutting deeper channels for the
river. He cut down adjacent forests to prop up the mines dug under the
towers of the walls; and then setting on fire this underground forest
he saw the rocks give way engulfing walls, houses and defenders in
the ruins. Twenty days and nights sufficed to open enormous breaches
for his soldiers. The city naked and trembling before him awaited its
fate. Timour promised to spare the lives of Mohammedans and Christians,
and to be content with servitude. But scarcely had he entered it before
he inundated it with the blood of its defenders. By his ferocity he
made all the East and the West to shudder, and the world to stand
aghast at its recital after more than four centuries have covered its
horrors. Four thousand Ottomans were buried alive up to the neck and
thus left to perish. Countless Christians were bound in couples and
cast into trenches which were then covered with boards and earth, and
over them the Tartars pitched their tents and took fiendish delight
in their moanings. Women were bound by the hair of their heads to
the tails of wild young horses and thus dragged to death. The young
children were bound hand and foot and laid together on an open plain
and trampled to death by his cavalry. With the exception of the male
children fit for slavery, and the young girls reserved for the harem
the entire population was destroyed.

Do you shudder at even this cool recital? Far worse horrors are
still being endured by the Christian people of Armenia this very
day on ground that is dyed with the blood of a thousand years of
martyrdom. And still Christian Europe is unmoved; and the Turk, drunk
with the blood of his victims still is propped up on his throne by
the arms that should drive him back to the deserts of Tartary: and
Christian America contents itself with trying by their relief funds
to keep alive the starving remnants of this harried race whose cry
to Christendom is "either kill us or in God's name redeem us."

As Timour took up again his march from desolated Siwas he dragged
with cords along the stones of the road at the heels of his horse the
head of the governor of Siwas, one of the sons of Bajazet who was then
besieging Constantinople. Aroused by the danger that threatened him yet
with a deep sadness caused by the death of his son which settled upon
him as if in presentiment of his own fate, Bajazet raised the siege,
called all his forces together to meet the bloody Conqueror of the
East. Aleppo and Damascus meanwhile fell with terrible slaughter,
and now on the plains not far from Siwas, Timour awaited the coming
of Bajazet.

Tamerlane hesitated to engage in this battle with a race of his own
blood, the champions of the faith of the Prophet, who were fighting
like himself for the triumph of Islam. His envoys were disgracefully
treated and his messages were answered with most haughty and insulting
letters. "Thy armies" said Bajazet "are innumerable; be they so:
but what are the arrows of the flying Tartars against the scimitars
and battle-axes of my firm and invincible Janizaries?"

Then this deadly insult: "If I fly from thy arms, may my wives be
thrice divorced from my bed; but, if thou hast not courage to meet
me in the field mayest thou again receive thy wives after they have
thrice endured the embraces of a stranger."

On receiving this letter Timour exclaimed: "Decidedly the son of
Mourad is mad."

All day long Timour reviewed his troops of horse as the squadrons
passed before him, then turning again to the envoy he made a last
offer of peace, "Say to your master that he can still, in accepting
my just and moderate conditions, spare the fatal dissension of two
servants of the one God, and torrents of human blood to Asia."

Bajazet was both deaf and blind to the advice of his viziers, his
generals and the last message of Tamerlane; and was determined to
meet with his army of four hundred thousand men which he had seen
gathering for two years, the well trained army of eight hundred
thousand men who were formed in nine divisions under the four sons
and five favored grandsons of the greatest warrior of the world.

Never had the sun of Asia shed its light upon so vast a multitude of
warriors gathered for so deadly a conflict on July 28, 1402. Timour
brought forward only five hundred thousand of his choicest troops,
horse and foot, yet they covered the amphitheater of the hills which
arose behind the river in the basin to the north of Angora. He had
most carefully chosen his field of battle and his position, and facing
him was the vast army of Bajazet. All historians, Arabian, Greek and
Ottoman agree that over one million men faced each other on this listed
field. The situation added to the tragic majesty of the spectacle. The
plain, the gradation of the hills and the rugged mountains of Angora
made a circus worthy of these imperial gladiators of the two Asias.

Timour was stationed on an elevated mound whence he could survey the
whole field, while behind him and out of sight from the enemy were
forty divisions of select cavalry ready at the critical moment to
strengthen any wavering squadrons, or to be hurled on the field to
consummate the victory.

The first dawn of day upon the mountains of Angora illuminated those
two armies in order of battle but motionless. But when the sun had
dispelled the shade from the foot of the hills, at the rolling of
drums of the Turks with the cry of Allah Achbar the army of Bajazet
was put in motion. Soon the battle was on. The first charge of one
wing of Tartar cavalry was broken by the immobility of the Servian
mountaineers.

Then in the rapid advance of his enemy's troops Timour discovered
that the Asiatic army of Bajazet had passed the level of the Ottoman
lines in order to turn the hills he was occupying, and down he rushed
with his reserve cavalry of forty divisions and cut in two the army
of Europe and the army of Asia, throwing one of them back upon the
hills and the other into the marshes on the left, slaughtering at the
center some thousands of Ottomans and forcing Bajazet himself to fly
with ten thousand of his Janizaries to a rising ground detached from
the mountains whose steep declivities checked the impetuosity of the
Tartar cavalry.

Timour watched with admiration the retreat of the Servian mountaineers,
as in dense columns clad in splendid mail, unshaken by repeated
charges of his cavalry they forced their way obliquely through that
multitude until they gained the foothills in safety. "These miserable
peasants are lions," he exclaimed in admiration of their discipline
and their courage.

Two sons of Bajazet were rescued by the bold daring of their devoted
followers, but in vain did they urge the Emperor himself to seek
refuge in flight. Satisfied that his sons were safe he continued to
fight for glory or for death behind the rampart of his Janizaries who
formed about him a circular wall with their dead bodies. Never was
fidelity more desperate, more unswerving. Stolen from Christian homes
at an early age and trained as warriors they knew no other home than
the camp. They knew that their birth among the Christians and their
name of renegades left them no other choice than that of death upon
the field of battle or the field of torture. The retreat of the ten
thousand after the death of Cyrus did not equal the glorious suicide
of these ten thousand Janizaries about the body of their Sultan.

As the shades of evening began to fall, Bajazet, his youngest son and
a few faithful generals and a group of horsemen sought to escape into
the woody recesses of the mountains. A troop of Tartar cavalry closely
pursued the trail of the retreating Sultan. The day was about to break
and they hoped to escape by swimming a swift stream, the horsemen
they heard galloping behind them when a loose shoe caused the horse
of the Sultan to stumble. None would save themselves and leave their
master, and as one of the Beys was presenting his own horse to him,
a Tartar emir with a body of horsemen surrounded the small group of
the Ottomans and they were prisoners.

Before night had fallen the vanquished Sultan in chains, covered with
dust and blood, was brought before Timour, who was seated in the shade
of his tent playing chess with the son whom he called the hope of his
race. The vanquisher showed neither pride nor insolence before the
vanquished. He remembered the maxims and respected the finger of God
even in the enemy overthrown at his feet. He remembered that he was of
the same race, that they were fighting for the same faith and he almost
begged his pardon for the victory. He ordered him to be released,
begged him to take a seat with him at the front of his tent on the same
rank with himself and promised him that his honor and his life would
suffer no risk during his brief captivity. Three imperial tents were
prepared for his use; and after the discovery of his attempt to escape,
Bajazet was chained at night in one of those iron-barred litters
wherein women in their journeys are carried between two mules. Hence
the popular, but erroneous, tradition throughout the East about the
iron cage wherein Timour had shut up the Sultan intending to exhibit
him in his palace at Samarcand. Timour permitted Bajazet to send for
his favorite wife, the Princess of Servia--exacting from her at a
banquet, but only for a single time, that she should hand him a cup
of Cyprus wine the sole vengeance he wished to take for the insulting
letter wherein Bajazet had threatened him with taking off his harem.

Bajazet died about nine months after his defeat at Antioch in
Pisidia--his empire, lost in a single battle--having fallen into
fragments before his eyes.

Turning away from the possible conquest of Europe Tamerlane soon
returned to Samarcand and in 1405 set out for the final and complete
conquest of China. Neither age nor the severity of the winter could
retard the impatience of Timour, he passed the Sihon on the ice,
marched hundreds of miles, then pitching his last camp, died of fever
and fatigue and the indiscreet use of iced water April 1, 1405. The
conqueror of Asia had reigned for thirty-five years and died at the
age of seventy-one, having shed more blood and caused more misery
than any other human being ever born on the earth.



CHAPTER V.

THE FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE.


With the death of Tamerlane all his further designs were lost; his
armies were disbanded; China was saved; and fourteen years after
his decease, the most powerful of his children sent an embassy of
friendship and commerce to the court of Pekin. But far different was
the fate of the Ottoman monarchy. The massive trunk was bent to the
ground, but no sooner had the hurricane passed than it again rose
with fresh vigor and more luxuriant foliage.

The province of Anatolia was desolated; the cities without walls
or palaces, without treasures or rulers: while the open country was
overspread with hordes of shepherds of Tartar or Turcoman origin. The
five living sons of Bajazet were soon fighting for the spoils of their
father's empire: finally the favorite son Mohammed I., stood forth
as the sole heir of the empire. He obtained Anatolia by treaty and
Roumania by force of arms and the eight years of his peaceful reign
were spent in banishing the vices of civil discord and placing on a
firmer basis the fabric of the Ottoman monarchy. The wisest Turks were
devoted to the unifying of the empire and from Anatolia to Roumania
one spirit seemed to animate them all. The Christian powers of Europe
might have emulated their example, but the bitter schism between
the Greek and the Latin divisions of the church, the factions and
the wars of France and England, blinded them to the danger that was
threatening in the East.

Had a confederate fleet occupied the straits of the Dardanelles and a
strong fort been built on the west side at Gallipoli, the Ottoman power
must speedily have been annihilated; but as it was the dissensions and
the indifference of the other powers of Europe first yielded up the
Greek Empire to the Turks as they have since sustained it--an alien
power--race and religion in one of the fairest regions of the earth.

In sheerest folly did Manuel the Emperor of Constantinople enter
into an alliance with Mohammed I., whereas his policy should have
been to prolong the division of the Ottoman powers. The Sultan and
his troops were transported over the Bosphorus, and were hospitably
entertained in the capital. Not long after he unsheathed a sword
of revenge in delivering the true or the false Mustapha, real or
pretended son of Bajazet I., on his promise of delivering up the
keys of Gallipoli, or rather of Europe, so soon as he was placed
on the throne of Roumania. But no sooner was he established than he
dismissed the Greek ambassadors with a smile of contempt, saying in
a pious tone that at the day of judgment he would rather answer for
the violation of an oath than for having delivered up a Mussulman
city into the hands of an infidel.

The Emperor was thus at once the hated of the two rivals for the
Ottoman throne; and the victory of Amurath over Mustapha was followed
by the siege of Constantinople, the following spring (A. D. 1422,
June 10, Aug. 24). The strength of the walls successfully resisted
an army of two hundred thousand Turks for some two months, when the
army was drawn off to quell some domestic revolt, and the fall of the
city was delayed for thirty years under the disgraceful conditions
of the payment of tribute to Turkey.

Meantime the Ottomans were with cruel severity, organizing a terrible
power for further conquest. The captured provinces of Thrace,
Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria and Servia, became the perpetual
recruiting ground for the Turkish army. After the royal fifth of
the captives was diminished by conquest, an inhuman tax of the fifth
child or of every fifth year was rigorously levied on the Christian
families. At the age of twelve or fourteen, the most robust youths were
torn away from their parents to be trained for the army or for civil
service. They might pass through four successive schools according
to their development or promise and then found themselves without
friendships, outside their own number, without parents, without homes,
dependent on the will of the despot on the throne, whose hand, on the
slightest displeasure could break in pieces "these statues of glass."

Thus with satanic craftiness and cruelty were the stolen children
of Christian races trained to become the destroyers of a Christian
empire, which, for more than a thousand years had stayed the flood
of barbarism from sweeping over all Europe.

Freeman, the historian, declares that we may take Mohammed II.,
as the ideal of his race, the embodiment in their fullest form of
Ottoman greatness and Ottoman wickedness. A general and a statesman
of the highest order, he was also a man of intellectual cultivation
in other ways, a master of many languages and a patron of the art
and the literature of his time. At the same time the three abiding
Ottoman vices, cruelty, lust and faithlessness, stand forth in terrible
preëminence. His first act was the murder of his infant brother and
he made the murder of brothers the standing law of his empire. He
made the Ottoman power what it has been ever since. He defined its
northern and western boundaries. "The Ottoman Empire as our age has to
deal with it, is before all things the work of Mohammed the Conqueror."

His reign was from 1451 to 1481. Coming to the throne at the early
age of twenty-one, he had read Plutarch assiduously and studied the
careers of Alexander, Cæsar and other great conquerors; causing also
the biographies of illustrious men to be translated into Turkish,
to give to himself and to his people the emulation of glory.

On returning to Adrianople, this thirst of glory and of conquest
devoured him as it had devoured his ancient models. He coveted
Constantinople with a consuming avidity that often woke him with
a bound from his sleep. The phantom of Constantinople beset by day
and night the young conqueror. He tried to conceal his impatience
for fear of exciting before the hour the emotions of the Christian
West. He could not restrain it. He sent for his grand vizier, Khalil,
at night. Alarmed, the vizier embraced as in a last farewell his wife
and daughter, made his death prayer and appeared before the Sultan. He
prostrated himself as if to redeem his life by a ransom and presented
to Mohammed II. the golden cup. "Do not fear, my lala, (familiar term
as father), do not fear, it is not thy gold nor thy life I want: what
I want that thou shouldest give me is Constantinople." Then showing
him his eyes, fatigued with sleeplessness, and his couch disordered,
he added, "I cannot sleep unless you promise me what I dream of night
and day."

"You must have it, my master," responded Khalil. "Who could refuse you
that which belonged to you by the grandeur of your views, and by the
omnipotence of your arms. I have divined this long time your desires
beneath your silence; I have all prepared to satisfy on an appointed
day, your religion, your patriotism, your glory. Constantinople or
my head is at your feet."

The next day the Sultan set out with Khalil for Gallipoli and then
proceeded to the village situated on the European shore of the
Bosphorus at the point which formerly gave passage to the Persians
of Darius. There he ordered Khalil to construct forthwith a fortress
in front of the Asiatic fortress constructed twenty years before by
his ancestor, Bajazet-Ilderim.

This promontory on the Bosphorus, at a point where the channel is not
wider than a river and only a few miles distant from Constantinople,
was admirably chosen to extend the limits of the conquest, to wall
in the city, and to smother it by terror even before being swept by
the fury of their fiery onslaught.

With fantastic superstition the Sultan or his architect gave the
different compartments the form of the letters, which in Arabic
compose both his name and the name of the false prophet, as if to
stamp with the very walls of a fortress on the soil of Europe, the
seal of Islamism, and the empire on the last promontory that still
sheltered the capital of the Christians.

The Greek Emperor alarmed at this menace almost under the very walls
of his capital sent Ambassadors who timidly demanded explanations
from the Sultan.

"Of what do you complain?" replied he, "I form no project against your
city. To provide for the security of my dominions is not to infringe
the treaties. Have you forgotten the extremity to which my father was
reduced when your Emperor, leagued against him with the Hungarians,
sought to hinder him from passing into Europe? His galleys at that
time barred the passage and Mourad was obliged to claim the aid
of the Genoese. * * * * My father at the battle of Varna vowed to
construct a fortress on the European shore. This vow I fulfil. Have
you the right or power to control in this manner what are mine;
that of Asia because it is inhabited by Ottomans; that of Europe,
because you are unable to defend it.

"Go tell your master that the reigning Sultan is not like his
predecessors: that their wishes did not go so far as does to-day
my power. I permit you to retire for this time: but I will have the
skin flayed off the bodies of those who henceforth should have the
insolence of calling me to an account for what I do in my own empire."

A thousand masons and a host of laborers were soon at work on this
fortress.

Some Greek peasants, at work in their harvest fields, having been
slain, Constantine, the Emperor, sent messengers to expostulate, and
then to add: "If unmerited reverses menace the capital of the empire,
the Omnipotent will be the refuge of the Emperor. The inhabitants
will defend themselves by all the means which destiny leaves them,
so long as God shall not have inspired the Sultan with thoughts of
justice and peace."

Mohammed II. replied to this adjuration of his justice, but by the
first cannon shot discharged from the fortress, already armed, at a
Venetian vessel wishing to try if the Bosphorus were still free.

While Mohammed thus threatened the capital of the East the Emperor
implored with fervent prayers the assistance of earth and heaven. The
invisible powers seemed deaf to his supplications; the Powers of Europe
were stupid, jealous or deaf. Christendom beheld with indifference
the fall of Constantinople. Some states were too weak and others too
remote. By some the danger was considered imaginary, by others as
inevitable. The western princes were involved in endless quarrels;
and the Roman Pontiff was exasperated by the falsehood or obstinacy
of the Greeks. Thus they were left to the tender mercies of the Turks.

The Sultan and Khalil had already returned to Adrianople to prepare
the two hundred thousand men, the machines, the arms and the munitions
stored in secret for the assault. From Germany and Italy were brought
all the arts and the latest secrets of scientific warfare. A cannon
founder, Urban, a Hungarian, deserted from Constantinople on pretext
of poor pay and sought the service of the Sultan.

Mohammed thought nothing dear in exchange for Constantinople: and
lavished gold and honors on the refugee. "Can you found me a piece
sufficiently like a thunderbolt that a ball launched from it may
shake the walls of Constantinople?"

"I can found you one," replied the Hungarian, "that would overthrow
the walls of Babylon."

A foundry was established at Adrianople, the metal was prepared, and
at the end of three months Urban produced a piece of brass ordnance of
stupendous and almost incredible magnitude. The stone bullet was of
twelve palms circumference and weighed twelve hundred pounds. Before
its trial the population were warned of the coming event. The explosion
was felt or heard in the circuit of an hundred furlongs, the ball
was driven above a mile and buried itself a fathom in the ground. It
required a force of a hundred oxen and seven hundred men to move it,
and nearly two months were consumed in dragging it one hundred and
fifty miles to Constantinople.

In the spring of 1453 two hundred thousand men from Asia, and two
hundred thousand from Europe assembled rapidly in the vast plains
that extend from Gallipoli to Constantinople under the eye of the
Sultan, Khalil and his generals. The land and the sea supplied them in
abundance for all the wants of the army; while a fleet of one hundred
and sixty vessels of war, many of them but small ones, cruised about
in full view of the tents upon the sea of Marmora.

Constantine, the Emperor, must have been mad to hope to defend a city
some thirteen miles in extent, when a careful enumeration showed only
four thousand nine hundred and seventy Romans: to which were added some
five or six thousand strangers under the command of John Justiniani,
a noble Genoese.

No capital had been more favored by nature than Constantinople
for defence against the investment and the assault of an entire
people. Geography had made it a citadel, a thousand years of power
in its emperors and of art in its engineers had completed the work
of nature. Nature had made a peninsula, policy an island, the hills
a fortress. The Greek Empire as if it had foreseen that one day it
would fall, seemed to have meant to confine all its monuments, all
its masterpieces, all its riches in an Acropolis at the extreme point
of the continent of Europe where it fled the barbarians to encounter
the Conquerors.

While fear was falling upon the hearts of Byzantines presentiments
of glory cheered the hearts of the soldiers of Mohammed through the
sole prophecy of the Koran. "Know you the city," says the Koran,
"of which two sides look upon the sea and one side upon the land? It
will fall, not beneath the force of the enginery of war, but before
the omnipotence of these words: 'There is no other God but God,
and God alone is great.'"

Nevertheless the strength of the continuous wall outside of Thrace,
flanked with towers and bristling with battlements, the great
thickness and the height of the walls, the site and depth of the
trenches, the cincture of the waves, the impregnable renown of
the city, the history of the numerous and fruitless sieges which
Constantinople had withstood did not leave Mohammed and his generals
at ease as to the result. Twenty-nine times since its foundation had
this mistress of the seas and of the continents seen an enemy under
its walls. Constantinople had triumphed in twenty-one. Then any day
the West might relieve the city through the two seas. Mohammed was
looking ceaselessly towards the sea dreading to see approach through
the Dardanelles a cloud of Christian sail bringing the courage and
skill of Europe to the battlefield of Christendom. Oh that the wasted
warriors of Jerusalem might spring to life again and save Europe
from the curse of Islam. But there was no voice, neither any that
regarded. Constantinople was left alone in her death agonies.

The Turkish vanguards soon swept away the towns and villages as far
as the gates of the city and Mohammed and his army halted at the
distance of five miles. Thence ordering the final disposition of his
vast army he marched in battle array, planted the imperial standard
before the gate of St. Romanus and on the 6th of April, 1453, formed
the memorable siege of Constantinople.

The colossal cannon of Adrianople and some others of very great size
were trained upon this single gate, while eighteen other batteries were
placed in a continuous line along the main wall. On the morning of the
7th at break of day the fire opened from all these volcanoes and the
first great siege conducted with the help of heavy artillery had begun.

The tactics of the Hungarian officer were first to batter over a large
area the ramparts of the gate of St. Romanus and then to shatter the
center with the fire of the great guns. The charge of the great cannon
of Urban was five hundred pounds of powder--the ball like a mass of
rock hurled from a crater on fire made the very ground tremble beneath
the walls. The entire facings of the towers and the bastions crumbled
into the moat.

Thus during ten days, while keeping his soldiers behind the eminences
of the ground only as necessary to work the batteries, did Mohammed
watch the breaches being made by the cannon of Urban in the walls,
towers and gates of Constantinople. But two hours and tons of oil were
scarce sufficient to cool the bronze gun, and only seven or eight shot
could be discharged a day: but each of these rent the walls like an
earthquake. On the tenth day the great gun burst with terrific force,
hurling the dismembered bodies of its inventor and the gunners far
over the walls into the doomed city.

Sapping and mining were now resorted to, and movable towers that
could be pushed against the walls were provided, having grappling
irons and drawbridges to let down upon the battlements, across which
the fierce Janizaries could rush in hand to hand encounter with the
defenders on or behind the ramparts.

The hope and heart of Constantine were cheered at last by the sight
of an approaching squadron of fourteen sail--among them five stout
and lofty ships guided by skillful pilots and manned by the veterans
of Italy and Greece long practiced in the arts and perils of the
sea. The Emperor however fearing to open the harbor of the Golden
Horn to the fleet of Mohammed, kept his own ships safely anchored
behind the chains that protected the harbor and left these ships to
fight out the battle alone.

The ramparts, the camp, the coasts of Asia and Europe were lined with
multitudes of spectators as these ships with joyful shouts sailed down
upon the hostile fleet of three hundred vessels. Most of these however
were huge boats crowded with troops but without artillery. Those who
have in their eye the situation of city, harbor and shore, can easily
conceive the scene and admire the grandeur of the spectacle.

On came the ships in proud defiance. Their artillery swept the
waters. Bullets, rocks and Greek fire were showered from these
floating fortresses upon the huge flat galleys of the Turks. The
weight of the Venetian vessels crushed them like seashells beneath
their planks. Wielding their helms and sails as skillfully as the
Turks did their horses, they spread death, disorder and flight among
the hostile fleet and strewed the two beaches of Asia and Europe with
their wrecks that burned as they drifted to the shore.

In vain Mohammed spurred his horse breast deep into the sea and drew
his scimitar against the Venetian vessels which were fighting but a
few yards from him in the mouth of the Bosphorus. For a moment his
cries and his presence encouraged his galleys but they were shattered
anew. The Greeks struck down the iron chains that protected the
harbor of the Golden Horn and the Christian ships entered it under
full sail amid the shouts of soldiers and populace thronging the
walls of the city.

Twelve thousand Turks perished in this sea fight. The introduction of
these supplies revived the hopes of the Greeks. The city could easily
be saved by the sea. A rational and moderate armament of the maritime
states might have saved the relics of the Roman name and maintained
a Christian fortress in the heart of the Ottoman Empire. Yet this
was the sole and feeble attempt to save Constantinople.

Mohammed, now convinced that a complete investment by sea and land
was the condition of conquest, resolved to conquer nature herself. By
means of the thousands of wood cutters and miners who followed his
army, he caused to be levelled and planked in a few weeks a road for
his galleys and ships over the hills and across the valleys into the
Golden Horn. Over these "ways" which were well greased with ox-fat,
a part of his fleet were drawn by cables and launched into the waters
and anchored in the same bay with the Greek fleet and under the
shelter of the Ottoman artillery. Then a hundred thousand men were
employed in making from one bank to the other a bridge or causeway
of sufficient breadth to permit one hundred men to march abreast to
storm the bastions of the fort.

Seven weeks of bombardment on the land side had at last opened
four immense breaches upon the ruins of four towers. Only the moat
of great width and thirty feet deep protected the assault of four
hundred thousand men from the ten thousand combatants of Constantine
that were extended along the walls for more than three miles.

The Sultan was desirous of sparing the blood of his soldiers, now that
the city lay at his mercy, of securing the Byzantine treasures as well
and accordingly sent an envoy to appeal from the courage of the Emperor
to the cowardice of the Greeks. The avarice of the Sultan might have
been satisfied with the annual tribute of one hundred thousand ducats;
but his ambition grasped the capital of the East. He guaranteed the
Empire the absolute and independent sovereignty of the Peloponnesus,
the property of all the inhabitants of Constantinople subject only
to tribute if he would surrender.

The reply was grandly heroic and stoical, not to say Christian. It
was sad, hopeless, yet grand and dignified. He said that he would
give thanks to God if Mohammed really inclined, in according him a
sure and honorable peace, to spare his nation the catastrophes that
weighed upon it. * * * That he was ready to discuss with the Sultan the
conditions of a treaty as from prince to prince or even the conditions
of a tribute of war imposed by the strong upon the weak:--but that no
human force and no personal advantage would ever make him consent to
give up to the enemy of the Christian name an empire and a capital,
which he had sworn to his God, to his people and to himself, not to
deliver, but with his life.

These words, too noble, too elevated for the rest of Christian
Europe were most irritating to the impatient Sultan who, guided by
his favorite science of astrology, fixed on the twenty-ninth day of
May as the fortunate and fatal hour.

Several days were given to preparations for the assault. The Sultan
proclaimed it throughout the camps, and dervishes, fired their
religious fanaticism by going through the ranks and haranguing the
Moslems: "It was the last step of Islam in Europe to sweep off the
last focus of idolatry on the two continents. Their bows and their
scimitars were the weapons of Allah the true God. Those who vanquish
in his name will possess the earth; those who fall will possess the
houris and the fountains of Paradise."

On the eve of the day of the assault an illumination of joy suddenly
lighted up the camps of the Ottomans from the hills of the Bosphorus of
Europe to the sea of Marmora. Every soldier had his torch of resinous
pine, and thousands of fires burned all night long, and the three
contiguous seas were reddened with an anticipated reflection of the
conflagration of the doomed city.

Constantinople lighted up as it were by its own funeral pyre watched
and wept and prayed during the night. Endless processions of priests,
monks, nuns, and other women thronged the streets chanting with
mournful voice, "Kyrie Eleison. Lord, have mercy. Lord, rise in our
defence." The whole city ran to the altars; no one except Constantine
and his few soldiers ran to arms: and he was everywhere posting his
generals and giving orders for the morrow.

The morning dawned with the four hundred thousand men in order of
battle. The disciplined and veteran troops were carefully arranged in
several lines of battle, Mohammed himself at the center and in their
front with his twenty thousand Janizaries waiting for the decisive
moment to arrive.

Between the city and the camp were the two hundred thousand motley
volunteers whom he would send first into the battle to tire the
defenders and fill the trenches with their dead bodies.

Constantine went with the nobles of his court to the Church of
St. Sophia seeking to draw from the religion of his fathers the
courage and perhaps the fortune of saving its altars.

He attended a short service, as if it were his own funeral service. He
received communion from the hands of the Patriarch; made with tears
a public confession of his sins to which the sobbings of the people
were the only audible response. After this he repaired to his palace,
his household and his family, where says one of his auditors in his
farewell, he pronounced the funeral oration of the Greek Empire. He
then threw aside the robes of royalty, keeping on only his shoes
embroidered with a golden eagle, and his purple mantle, mounted on
horseback in the costume of a private soldier, and went forth for the
last time to battle in the front ranks of the defenders of the faith.

Such men only four hundred years ago did Western Christian Europe
willingly let die when she failed to stand beside him to beat back
the Turkish hordes and warriors to their desert plains in Asia.

Mohammed II. then proclaimed to his army as if to excite every fiercest
passion in the breast of his men, that the entire city was devoted to
spoil, and the inhabitants to slavery or death. "The city and public
buildings are mine; but I abandon to you the captives and the booty,
the precious metals and beautiful women; be rich and happy. The
provinces of my Empire are numerous, the intrepid soldier who first
mounts the walls of Constantinople shall be governor of the most
delightful and opulent of them all, and such will be my gratitude
that he will obtain more wealth and honor than he can dream of."

Mohammed thus fired all the cruel passions of the undisciplined hosts
of his vanguard.

Neither pen nor tongue can fly fast enough to describe the wild
impetuosity of their attack as they precipitated themselves upon the
reverse side of the moat, one hundred feet wide and six thousand paces
long. The stone, the earth, the wood these carried were not sufficient
to fill this mighty trench. The cannon and the sharpshooters behind
the ramparts still existing, strewed thousands of Turks on the back
of the exterior ditch. The smoke of the Greek artillery rolled back
upon the combatants, so that the gunners and archers of Constantine
could take aim only by the noise against the hosts of their invisible
assailants. In vain the bullets and the grape shot filled the trenches
with the Turks: these masses of men, pushed forward by their mere
impetus, rushed headlong into the water and formed with the dead and
dying a causeway of human bodies about the gateway of St. Romanus,
which supplied a bridge for the battalions that pressed behind.

After this sacrifice of the "Scum of the Army," thus put to death to
secure victory, the three columns of the regular army, comprising two
hundred and sixty thousand men, advanced in profound silence to the
assault. The force of the fire of the nine thousand brave defenders
was already exhausted by this desperate struggle of two hours. To
protect them was this ditch now nearly filled up with earth and
men and crumbling walls. The purple mantle of Constantine, as he
appeared momentarily on the summits of the shattered walls, served
as a target for the Tartars, and an inspiration to the Spartans and
Italians inside. Strong yet in their broken walls, in their towers
and in their artillery, in their despair they repulsed the mad rushes
of these torrents of men as with wild cries, under cover of clouds
of arrows and with glistening scimitars they charged again and again
along the whole line on port and continent. For three terrible hours
the carnage continued, and fifty thousand Ottomans rolled into the
ditches or into the sea. The huge balls of Constantine tearing into
these solid columns piled the ground with dead; stones, rocks, beams
and Greek fire, crushed, burned, and mutilated those who tried to
scale those wrecks of towers.

The three column heads halted, wavered and ebbed a moment towards the
camp of Mohammed. A shout of victory rose from behind the ramparts,
and a chanting of hymns from the heart of the city. Constantine
hurried from gate to gate to encourage the hope of his soldiers,
who were done nearly to death.

But their joy was vanishing. Mohammed wavered only a moment, then
stirred by the cries of his Janizaries, who still stood motionless
about his tent, yet burning with fury to avenge the rebuff of the
army, he turned and launched them like a mighty thunderbolt to the
deserted center of attack--the gate of St. Romanus.

The presence of the Sultan brandishing his battle-mace, the shame of
forsaking their sovereign, the reproaches of the Janizaries rallied
the shaken columns and the battle was on as fierce as ever. Mohammed
promised a kingdom to the first man who should take and hold a rampart.

At this juncture his heroic Justiniani fled his standard, though the
Emperor pleaded with him by the panic that would follow his flight;
but there may be bounds to human courage when men fight for glory,
and not for country or for faith, and he fled. It proved the rout of
the besieged.

The Italians followed their general. The Janizaries, at fearful loss,
swarmed over the walls. Constantine, flinging off his purple mantle
and retaining but the arms and the uniform of a common soldier, that
it might not be mutilated, fought to the last breath between the
inner and the outer wall at the breach of the gate of St. Romanus,
that the Turks might enter the imperial city only upon the dead body
of its fallen Emperor. Thus did Constantine by his heroic death put
to eternal contrast and eternal shame the dastardly degeneracy of
his own nation and the miserable cowardice and selfishness of the
Christian nations of western Europe.

The story is soon finished. As the troops rushed through and over the
deserted walls, a hundred thousand panic stricken men and women fled
to the church of St. Sophia. The sight of this unarmed and helpless
multitude disarmed the fury of the soldiers, who, remembering the
promises of the Sultan, began each to seize his captives and his. The
Greeks held out their hands to be tied with cords or saddle girths;
women and girls were tied by their girdles or their veils. Nuns
were torn from the altars and from their convents with naked bosoms,
outstretched hands and dishevelled hair. The cries of mothers, children
and nuns were heartrending: even the Ottomans themselves were affected
by it. Yet sixty thousand captives thus bound came forth from convent,
hovel, or from palace, traversed for the last time the streets of
their desolated city to be carried into captivity into all the cities
and the tents of Asia.

The pillage lasted eight hours without exhausting the riches of
an empire. The coined treasure was more than four million ducats,
the uncoined gold, silver, pearls, diamonds, vases and ornaments of
palaces and churches was incalculable. One hundred and twenty thousand
manuscripts warmed the baths of the barbarians. But at the close of the
day Mohammed entered at the head of his Janizaries to restore order. He
proceeded at once to the Church of St. Sophia. The soldiers were still
engaged in pillaging its treasures: and one of the barbarians even
in his presence continued the work of destroying a precious marble
of the sanctuary. Mohammed struck him a blow with his club saying:
"I have abandoned you the slaves and the treasures, but the monuments
belong to me." The soldier was borne off dying from the church.

Accustomed to Arabian and barbarian magnificence--Constantinople
dazzled him as she sat in her grandeur the Queen of two continents
on the shores of the Bosphorus:--


       "Earth hath no fairer sight to show
        Than this blue strait, whose waters flow,
        Bordered with vineyards, summer bowers,
        White palaces and ivied towers."


Mohammed after having admired the grandeur of the edifice, the
elevation of the dome--a second temple upheld in air by one hundred
columns of porphyry, of rose-colored marble or serpentine, mounted
the altar and offered a Mussulman prayer: then ordered that this
church, the most magnificent and majestic which Christianity had
yet constructed should become the first Mosque of the Conquerors of
Constantinople. The cross was torn down, the pictures of the saints
destroyed, and Muezzins mounting to the dome chanted for the first
time to the desert streets of the Metropolis of Christianity in the
East, the well-known call: "God is God; God is great; Come to prayer."

As the architects in his presence began to remove the mosaics of
colored glass which formed the pictures in the ceiling we are told
that Mohammed cried out: "Stop, confine yourselves to covering over
these mosaics with a coat of lime so that they may not scandalize
the believers but do not tear from the ceilings these marvelous
incrustations. Who knows but that they may be uncovered at some future
day in another change of fortune and of destination of this temple."

That hour of Destiny has not yet struck the hour of deliverance,
and the lime still covers the walls and the Muezzins still call the
faithful to prayer above the noise and din of the busy streets of a
fallen city once the glory of a Christian Empire.

From St. Sophia Mohammed proceeded to the august but desolate palace
of a hundred successors of the great Constantine but which in a few
hours had been stripped of its pomp of royalty. A passing reflection
on the vanity and vicissitudes of human greatness caused him to repeat
an elegant distich of Persian poetry:--

"The spider has woven his net in the imperial palace; and the owl
hath sung her watch-song on the towers of Afrasiab."

The fifth day after the conquest he consecrated by a formal act the
liberty of conscience accorded by the Koran to the vanquished. He
claimed for the Mussulmans only half the churches leaving the rest
to the Christians. The patriarch Gennadius led in pomp to the palace
clothed in his pontifical robes and in the midst of a cortége of
priests, received from him the investiture of the patriarchate. "It is
my wish," said the Sultan, "to give the Christians and their pontiffs
the same rights and the same protection that they enjoyed under your
emperors." He even attended in person the pomps and ceremonies of
the Christians, as an impartial of the two religions which henceforth
were to divide his people.

Before the death of Mohammed in 1459, by his many conquests of the
neighboring states and peoples he had consolidated his empire: and it
stood forth a fearless conqueror until in 1571 the battle of Lepanto
marked the turning point in the history of the Ottoman power.

We here turn aside for a brief hour from the stream of historical
narrative to consider some of the results of Ottoman misrule which
has for more than four centuries controlled an empire in Eastern
Europe almost as large as France, in one of the most delightful and
beautifully varied regions on the continent and which yet holds its
peoples in the relentless grip of the Dark Ages.

Weighed in the balances of the humanity, the culture, the Christianity
and the civilization of the dawning century, Turkey is in every way
found wanting and soon may appear the hand of fire to write on the
black pages of her awful atrocities, "Thy days are numbered. Thy
kingdom shall be destroyed and given to another." How long shall the
blood of her slain cry aloud in the ears of Christendom, yet in vain
still cry aloud? The consciences of England and America must give
answer to that cry of blood or be themselves weighed in the balances
in the day of the Lord at hand.



CHAPTER VI.

THE BULGARIAN MASSACRE.


We must pass over in silence a period of four hundred years in the
history of the Ottoman Empire to open its blood-stained pages in our
own era at the narrative of the Bulgarian massacres. The centuries
and the peoples have been under the rule of the barbarian; the story
is one of continued persecution, outrage, and massacre. The Turk
never changes. What he has always done he always will do. And as
long as any Christian lands or people remain under his power and at
his mercy, so long will there be discontents, disturbances, revolts
and massacres. The only way to end these is to end the rule of the
Turk. Reform--not to say regeneration, is an impossibility. He is an
alien in race and religion. His spirit is fierce and fanatical: his
rule that of the dark ages, the rule of a tyrant without conscience
or remorse.

In the early part of this century the oppression of the Turk became
unbearable, and throughout the empire the Greek Christians rose
in rebellion.

Europe was at last horrified by the massacre on the island of Chios,
April 11, 1822, when the entire population of forty thousand Greeks was
put to the sword. Bravely did the Greeks fight for their freedom. The
Sultan called to his aid the Khedive of Egypt, and for three years
did they ravage Crete and the Peloponnesus, committing every crime
and fiendish outrage that even a Turk could think of from 1824 to
1827. At last Byron roused the spirit of England. The patience of
Europe was worn out. England, France and Russia united to crush the
power of the barbarian and to set free his victims, as the wild beast
would not let go his prey till it was dragged out of his teeth.

In November, 1827, was fought the great battle of Navarino. The
Turkish and Egyptian fleet was destroyed. Greece was saved.

The Russian protectorate over the Eastern Christians was confirmed and
renewed: and also her right to free navigation in the Black Sea and the
straits. Scarcely had this "fit of generous enthusiasm on behalf of the
struggling Greeks" passed, than England under another minister began
to regret the part she had taken. The glorious victory of Navarino
was spoken of as an "untoward event." Austria and France shared in her
misgivings. She suddenly began to talk about the necessity of muzzling
the Russian Bear, and upholding Turkey in behalf of British interests.

Ostensibly through fear of Russian aggression, but really from the
preponderance of commercial interests, England has now for more
than sixty years been the upholder and defender of the Turkish
government. The sarcasm of Freeman, the historian, is cutting and
pitiless as he reviews the policy of England up to the hour of the
terrible outrages perpetrated against the Bulgarians, and her crime
against humanity that followed the fall of Plevna.

Through fear of Russia, England induced the powers to sign a convention
in 1841 by which it was agreed that no foreign fleets should enter
the straits in time of peace.

The result of this convention was to shut up the fleet of Russia in
the Black Sea, making of it to her, merely an inland lake.

By a successful stroke of policy Louis Napoleon III., President of the
Republic of France, had himself elected Emperor in November, 1852. To
signalize his accession he sought to pose as an ally of England. It was
his policy to pick quarrels with the great military powers of Europe
and then get some other nation to help him out. He began with Russia
over the holy shrines in Jerusalem by seeking to have the privileges
of the Latin Church enlarged. The Greek Church appealed to the Czar of
Russia, the head of the Church, and then it was carried to the Porte.

In the spring of 1853, Prince Menchikoff was sent to
Constantinople. Firstly, to negotiate on the question of the shrines,
which question was settled with Russia's acquiescence. Secondly, to
extract from Porte a note confirming the treaties that had conferred
on Russia the Protectorate of the Christians of the Ottoman Empire.

The second demand was made necessary by the renewed exactions under
which some of these populations were then suffering: as it "happened,"
says an English writer, that Omar Pacha, at the head of a Turkish
force, was operating against the Christians of Montenegro. And
something of the sort was always happening somewhere. For the
Turkish policy towards the Christian has always been the same from
the beginning of its power and will continue the same to the end.

When the English Ambassador, Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, returned
to Constantinople, in April, 1853, after an absence of eight months,
he was directed "to warn the Porte that the accumulated grievances of
foreign nations which the Porte is unable or unwilling to redress,
the mal-administration of its own affairs * * * may lead to a general
revolt among the Christian subjects of the Porte * * that perseverance
in his (the Sultan's) present conduct must end in alienating the
sympathies of the British nation and make it impossible for Her
Majesty's government to overlook the exigencies of Christendom
exposed to the natural consequence of his unwise policy and reckless
mal-administration."

The demand of Russia was refused and Prince Menchikoff left
Constantinople May 21st, 1853.

A few days later the Sultan issues a firman in which he promises
again that he will maintain all the rights and privileges of the
Greek Christians, and appeals to his allies.

He was merely throwing dust in the air for the wind to blow away,
though he thought he could fool Europe with his waste breath.

On the 13th of June the allied English and French fleets anchored in
Besika Bay, the nearest point they could reach without the violation
of the treaties.

The Czar Nicholas at once ordered his army to cross the Pruth and enter
Moldavia, July 2d. Yet this occupation of Moldavia and Wallachia could
not be considered an invasion of the Ottoman territory, nor a "Casus
belli, per se," for these provinces were autonomous and under Russian
protection since the treaty of Bucharest, while according to the same
treaty the Turks had no right to send troops into their territory.

The unanimous judgment of Europe was expressed in what is known as
the "Vienna Note" and in urging its acceptance upon the Porte they
practically acknowledged the justice of the Czar's demand and signed
their own condemnation in the war that ensued.



VIENNA NOTE.

"The government of His Majesty, the Sultan, will remain faithful
to the letter and to the spirit of the treaties of Kainardji and
Adrianople regarding the protection of the Christian Church."

Now the English Ambassador had received instructions to bring his
whole influence to bear upon the Turks, "and to impress them with the
strong and earnest manner in which the Vienna Note was recommended
to the acceptance of the Porte, not only by Her Majesty's government,
but also by the Cabinets of Austria, France and Prussia."

Before the presentation of the "Vienna Note" Lord Stratford had
informed the Porte with much circumstance and in his most impressive
manner that the British fleet in Besika Bay was at his disposal; while
therefore he read his instructions with most perfunctory obedience to
the Ottoman Cabinet, his whole demeanor was urging them to disregard
the note.

The duplicity of the French Emperor was more culpable as before
the rejection of the Vienna Note and while the powers were still
deliberating in concert he craftily succeeded in drawing England into
a special alliance with France: and on receipt of some hysterical
despatch from his Ambassador he insisted with the English cabinet that
it was "indispensably necessary" that their combined fleets should,
in violation of the convention of 1841 enter the straits before there
had been a declaration of war on any side. That very day without
asking any information from the English Ambassador Lord Clarendon
telegraphed to Lord Stratford: "Your Excellency is instructed to send
for the British fleet to Constantinople."

The Sultan now amended the "Vienna Note" by inserting the words,
"by the Sublime Porte," which completely destroyed the power of the
existing treaty, making it read: "The government of His Majesty the
Sultan, will remain faithful to the stipulations of the treaty of
Kainardji, confirmed by that of Adrianople regarding the protection,
'by the Sublime Porte' of the Christian religion."

In other words, the wolf solemnly engaged to protect the lambs
for himself, and all the world knows what that means: and we know
it now in 1896 by forty years more of broken promises and horrible
atrocities. What insane folly to believe the Turk. The Czar did not,
and rejected the amended note.

Seven days after his rejection of the Sultan's proposal in obedience
to the telegram from Lord Clarendon two English and two French ships
entered the Dardanelles on September 14th, and on the strength of
their presence and implied support, the Sultan declared war against
Russia on the fifth of October, 1853. Thus did Louis Napoleon
III. precipitate England into what Count Nesselrode declared to be
the most unjustifiable and the most unintelligible of wars.

Czar Nicholas replied to this, by a counter declaration of war
on November 1st, 1853, solemnly declaring to the Powers of Europe
"that the sole aim of his endeavors was to assure the rights of his
co-religionists, and to protect them from every form of oppression."

The work of two centuries was undone for Russia. She lost the Black
Sea and the protectorate of the Christians of the Ottoman empire
that she had wrung from the Porte by a succession of victorious
campaigns. Instead of the powerful champion which they lost the poor
Christians of the empire were granted another firman in which the
Sultan repeated all his lying promises of former years. Not only so
but the powers bound themselves not to interfere with the internal
administration of affairs in the Turkish Empire.

The Christian nations in solemn treaty pledged themselves to let the
Turk do what he would with the people under his yoke and promised
that they would do nothing to help them. They disclaimed any right
to interfere with the relations existing between the Sultan and his
subjects: the relations between the robber and his victim, the master
and the slave, the tyrant and the oppressed.

Future generations will stand aghast at the hideous spectacle of
three civilized nations fighting side by side with and for barbarian
Moslems to crush the noble champion of their fellow Christians and
fellow slaves compelled by their victories to languish beneath the
yoke of these savage aliens.

All reverence to the heroes of the Light Brigade


       "Stormed at with shot and shell,
        Boldly they rode and well;
        Into the jaws of Death
        Into the mouth of Hell
        Rode the six hundred."


All reverence to millions of others, who at the voice of command
if not of duty, gave themselves up for an unholy cause and perished
by thousands of hunger and cold and disease on the bleak shores of
the Crimea.

Froude says "that the whole power of England and France supported
passively by Austria, and actively by Sardinia and Turkey, succeeded
with communications, secure and rapid with every advantage for
procuring supplies, in partially conquering a single stronghold. It
was a great victory but it was achieved at a cost to England alone of
eighty millions (sterling) of money and perhaps fifty thousand lives."

While Alexander writes (Manifesto 1856), "For eleven months Sebastopol
was held against the allied aggressors: and in the whole empire from
the shores of the Pacific to the Baltic, one thought, one resolution
was dominant to fulfil duty, to protect the Fatherland at any cost
of property and life. Husbandmen who had never left the fields they
cultivated hastened to take up arms for the holy struggle and were
not inferior to experienced warriors in bravery and renunciation."

And this war was fought by France and England, not in the cause of
freedom; not to redress the wrongs of the oppressed; not to help
forward the wheels of progress. No, but to pave the way for the
bloody atrocities which in 1876 called forth one long cry of horror
and indignation throughout Christendom, while these in turn were to
pale before the horrors of 1895-6 to which commercial England has
turned a deaf ear, leaving Armenia helpless in the jaws of the wolf.

The Crimean War as fostered by England and France with the avowed
purpose of upholding the power of the Turk really brought into action
two new elements of weakness. First: up to 1856 Turkey had been free
from foreign creditors, but the opening of the Dardanelles brought
commerce and a foreign loan, and on the steps of indebtedness followed
extravagance, speculation and national bankruptcy. The most wanton
and unbridled extravagance reigned at the palace. The corruptions
produced by the foreign loans found their way into every artery of
the state and poisoned the very existence of the country. New loans
could only be obtained by promises which it was impossible to fulfil
and which were made without any intention of carrying them out.

The navy was improved, the soldiers were better armed; a large part
of the money was squandered on absurd building projects; while vast
sums were spent on precious stones and personal pleasures.

These loans were liberally subscribed in England, and Englishmen
helped the Sultan to spend it lavishly. The origin of the troubles
of 1876-7 in Bosnia and Herzegovina was said to be the heavy burden
of the increased taxes imposed to pay the expenses of a visit to the
Paris Exposition, and the European capitals in 1867 made by the Sultan
accompanied by his son, two nephews and an expensive suite.

But a second and more dangerous evil was this:--The self-exclusion
of any right of interference on the part of the Powers threw the
control of affairs into the hands of a ring in whose power the Sultan
has been but little more than a puppet as the events of recent years
have clearly shown.

In 1875 the situation was thus reviewed by Gladstone, sincerely
penitent for the part he had taken in the Crimean War. "Twenty
years ago," he said, "France and England determined to try a great
experiment in remodeling the administrative system of Turkey with
the hope of curing its intolerable deficiencies. For this purpose
having defended her integrity they made also her independence secure,
and they devised at Constantinople the reforms which were publicly
enacted in an imperial Firman or Hati Humayoun."

"The successes of the Crimean War purchased * * * by a vast expenditure
of French and English life and treasure gave to Turkey, for the first
time, perhaps, in her blood-stained history, twenty years of repose
not disturbed either by herself or by any foreign power. The Cretan
insurrection imparted a shock to confidence but it was composed
and Turkey was again trusted. The insurrections of 1875, much more
thoroughly examined, have disclosed the total failure of the Porte to
fulfil the engagements which she had contracted under circumstances
peculiarly binding on interest, on honor and on gratitude."

So totally, indeed, had the Turks failed to keep any of their promises
of reform and so hopeless did the condition of these hapless Christians
appear, that they at first refused the mediation of the Powers,
declaring that they preferred death to Turkish rule.

"If you are not willing to help us to attain our liberty," they said,
"at least you can not compel us to enter into slavery again. We will
never fall into the hands of the Turks alive."

About this time Turkey partially repudiated her national debt, pledging
for the payment of the interest for some five years the tribute from
Egypt and the tobacco revenue. Bondholders became aroused. Commercial
interests, not interests of humanity, prompted some action; for if the
Christians, who are the cultivators of the soil, were exterminated,
what would become of their per cents.?

The Powers intervened by the Protocol, known as the Andrassy Note,
which proposed among others the following measures:--

1. Religious liberty, full and entire.

2. Abolition of the farming of taxes.

3. A law to guarantee that the direct taxation of Bosnia and the
Herzegovina should be employed for the immediate interests of the
provinces.

4. A special commission composed of an equal number of Mussulmans
and Christians to superintend the execution of the reforms proclaimed
and proposed.

5. The amelioration of the rural population.

The representatives of the six powers under instructions from their
governments supported these measures of reform before the Porte,
all of them heartily, except the English minister, Sir Henry Elliott,
who acting evidently under secret instructions, expressed his belief
that they would amount to nothing; and his fear that they trenched
upon the right of the Ottoman Porte to manage its own affairs without
foreign interference. The Grand Vizier did not reject them, but replied
that he was preparing a constitution which would, he believed, embody
these and other measures of reform.

The Powers believed or affected to believe these brilliant
promises. England even tendered to the Sultan the cordial expression
of her hopes that "he would soon succeed in quelling the revolts of
his subjects and restoring order." And this meant, as England ought
to have known and as all the world knows now, that the Turks might put
it down in the only way the Turk ever does put down a rebellion--with
fiercest cruelty. It meant liberty from British interference while
they proceeded to slay, kill, torture, burn, outrage, violate men,
women and children with fiendish lust and delight.

These promises of reform were made February 10, 1876, and the Turks'
answer to the cordial expression of the hope of England that they
would soon succeed in quelling the revolts of his subjects, was the
awful Bulgarian horrors executed by the orders of the Porte during
the first two weeks in May.

The whole civilized world shuddered. Just as the gates of the
Centennial were being thrown open to welcome the nations to the
celebration of the glorious victories of peace and the triumphs of art,
the unspeakable Turk let loose upon the defenceless Bulgarians the
Bashi-Bazouks. These were irregular troops, the scum and offscouring
of the Oriental cities, gathered from the prisons, jails and slums:
the vilest wretches to be found on the face of the earth without
military knowledge, ability, courage or discipline--men fit only for
the work of murder, lust, rapine and cruelty on which they were sent
by the Sublime Porte, the Infernal Tyrant.

On the 14th of May, 1876, the representatives of Russia, Austria,
Hungary, and Germany met at Berlin without any knowledge of the
massacres, and desirous of sustaining the good intentions of the Grand
Vizier, agreed upon the paper known as the "Berlin Memorandum" which
provided for a guaranty by the great Powers of the several reforms
which had been proclaimed, but were not yet put in force. Five of
the Powers signed it, but Great Britain refused, on the ground that
it must obviously and inevitably lead to the military occupation of
Turkey. Miserable subterfuge--didn't she "occupy Egypt" a little later
to secure the payment of the interest on her bonds: but she had no
"interest" in breaking the bonds and chains of Christian populations
of Turkey. She knew very well that the Sublime Porte would never
execute a reform except under compulsion.

The action of the British Ministry greatly encouraged the Turks,
and gave them very naturally the impression that England sympathized
with them, and would help them to subjugate the Christian races.

The British Ministry at first professed ignorance of the massacres:
then thought the Bulgarians as much to blame as the Turk--the lamb as
the wolf that devoured him--the helpless, disarmed Armenians as the
Turkish soldiers that swept down upon them from the mountains--and
at last compelled to acknowledge the enormity of the conduct of the
Turks, said they had been greatly provoked by the Russian emissaries
who were stirring up revolution among the Christians.

Instantly Great Britain sent her Mediterranean fleet again to Besika
Bay, where it arrived May 21st, only seven days from the first meeting
of the Powers. The Minister said it was to protect English subjects,
the Turks said it was to protect them. From what, pray? It was never
clearly explained why; but it looked then and it looks now as if
England were ready to champion the Turk as she had done in the Crimean
War. It must have made every Englishman with a conscience or heart
in him, blush for shame that the Turks themselves and all the rest
of the world took it for granted that the presence of this fleet in
Turkish waters was a friendly demonstration on the part of the English
towards the Sultan: that in fact they were going to stand by and keep
off the great Powers while the Turks continued to "restore order."

The English people however were roused to such indignation by these
massacres and by the course of the government, that under the lead
of Mr. Gladstone they very soon made their Ministers understand that
they were not at liberty to sustain Turkey in such acts of oppression
or to alienate the friendship of Russia.

Great men like John Bright, always the friend of Russia, Gladstone,
Freeman and others publicly denounced England as the accomplice of
the Turks in their deeds of horror by the moral and material support
she had so freely given them in recent years.

We need not trace the details of these horrors here but quote the
eloquent and stirring language of the greatest statesman of the age:--

"There has been perpetrated," said Gladstone, "under the authority of
a Government to which all the time we have been giving the strongest
moral support and for part of the time material support, crimes and
outrages so vast in scale as to exceed all modern examples and so
unutterably vile as well as fierce in character that it passes the
power of heart to conceive and of tongue and pen adequately to describe
them. These are the Bulgarian horrors. There is not a criminal in a
European jail; there is not a cannibal in the South Sea Islands whose
indignation would not arise and overboil at the recital of that which
has been done, which has been too late examined but which remains
unavenged--which has left behind the fierce passions that produced
it and which may spring up in another murderous harvest from the soil
reeked with blood and in the air tainted with every imaginable deed of
crime and shame. That such things should be done is a damning disgrace
to the portion of our race that did them; that a door should be left
open for their ever so barely possible repetition would spread that
shame over the whole."

Grand and noble words and yet the hand of the English Government not
only left that door open but fastened it open and kept it open till
again in Armenia the Bulgarian horrors were reproduced on a vaster
and more terrible scale if the Turk ever can be worse than the history
of centuries has so often declared and revealed him.

The Turkish government made some feeble attempts to disavow the
Bulgarian atrocities. But the Turk is an unmitigated liar. Freeman,
the historian does not hesitate to say that the Ring at Constantinople
worked with a deliberate policy to oppress and if possible to
destroy the whole Bulgarian people. The first means they took was
to plant large colonies of savage Circassians in Bulgaria who were
allowed to commit any kind of outrage on their defenceless Christian
neighbors without redress. They could drive the Christians from their
homes, rob their houses, destroy their crops, ravish their women,
and if any dared to resist their violence they were killed without
hesitation. If any dared to complain against the Circassians they
were summarily punished. But worse than this was the quartering of
Turkish troops upon the peasants and the landholders whose dastardly
outrages upon the wives and daughters of the Bulgarians were fiendish
and constant. Neither woman's honor nor human life was safe where
they were.

When flesh and blood could bear no more there was some slight
uprising of an unarmed people and then the fury of Circassian and of
Bashi-Bazouk was let loose upon them.

Freeman says again, "there can be no doubt that the massacre was
deliberately ordered by the Ring at Constantinople, the Highnesses
and the Excellencies of polite diplomacy. This is proved by the fact
that they honored and decorated the chief doers of the massacre,
while they neglected and sometimes punished those Turkish officers who
acted at all in a humane way. To this day (April, 1877) in defiance
of all remonstrances from the European powers, the chief doers of
the massacres remain unpunished, while we still hear of Bulgarians
being punished for their share in the attempt to free their country."

For a true statement of some of the facts in the case, for the full
truth can never be told, the world is indebted to the Government of the
United States, which sent a special commission of inquiry to Bulgaria,
and History will owe them a debt of gratitude for having furnished
reliable documents on this matter in which every European State was
more or less exposed to an imputation of bias. As Mr. Gladstone
observed: "America had neither alliances with Turkey nor grudges
against her nor purposes to gain by her destruction. She entered
into this matter simply on the ground of its broad human character
and moment. She had no 'American interests' to tempt her from her
integrity and to vitiate her aims."

Mr. Eugene Schuyler, American Secretary of Legation at Constantinople,
who visited the ruined villages in July and August, 1876, made his
report to the United States Minister Plenipotentiary November 20th. In
that report he says that "in the districts he visited at least nine
thousand houses were burned, seventy-two thousand persons were left
without roof or shelter and ten thousand nine hundred and eighty-four
persons were numbered as killed. Many more were killed in the roads,
in the fields, in the mountains; so that he numbers the slain at about
fifteen thousand,--but adds many more died subsequently from disease,
exposure and in prison." He says that he could only find proof of the
death of one hundred and fifteen Mussulmans. "Neither Turkish women
nor Turkish children were killed in cold blood. No Mussulman women
were violated. No Mussulman was tortured. No purely Turkish village
(with one exception) was attacked or burned. No Mussulman house was
pillaged. No mosque was desecrated."

The storm of indignation which followed the publication of the
reports of Mr. Schuyler and Mr. Baring the British commissioner, was
so terrible that even a Disraeli cabinet did not dare to enter into
another monstrous alliance with the Turks against the only champion of
the Christians. But official neutrality did not prevent the Turks from
recruiting many officers in England; in spite of it British guineas
and firearms strengthened their powers of resistance against Russia.

It is a terrible indictment that may be brought against England that
the question of righteousness never seems to enter into the questions
of her foreign "policy," but only the question of interest and that
chiefly the interest which is reckoned in pounds, shillings and pence.

From a letter dated September 4th, 1876, published in one of the
English Blue Books, addressed to the Earl of Derby by Sir Henry Elliot,
English Ambassador at Constantinople,--the Sir Henry who would not
support the Andrassy Note because he feared that the provisions of
it trenched upon the rights of the Ottoman Porte to manage its own
affairs,--the following quotation is taken, viz:--

"An insurrection or civil war is everywhere accompanied by cruelties
and abominable excesses, this being tenfold the case in oriental
countries where people are divided into antagonistic creeds and
races. * * * To the accusation of being a blind partisan of the Turks,
I will only answer that my conduct here has never been guided by any
sentimental affection for them, but by a firm determination to uphold
the interests of Great Britain to the utmost of my power, and that
those interests are deeply engaged in preventing the disruption of
the Turkish Empire, is a conviction which I share in common with the
most eminent statesmen who have directed our foreign policy. (This
is the key to every position assumed by British diplomacy at the
Porte. Never a question of righteousness.)

"We may, and must feel indignant at the needless and monstrous
severity with which the Bulgarian insurrection was put down, but the
necessity which exists for England to prevent changes from occurring
here which would be most detrimental to ourselves, is not affected by
the question whether it was ten thousand or twenty thousand persons
who perished in the suppression.

"We have been upholding what we know to be a semi-civilized nation,
liable under certain circumstances to be carried into fearful excesses:
but the fact of this having now been brought home to us all, cannot
be a sufficient reason for abandoning a policy which is the only one
that can be followed with due regard to our interests."

It is enough to take one's breath away to read such words as
these. They are clear enough. They declare what is the settled policy
of the English government. Towards Turkey? Not alone, but towards
the world. Her interests are purely commercial.--Interests payable in
gold: always and everywhere. What are her interests in Venezuela? In
the Bering Sea fisheries? In the Transvaal? In India and in China?

The integrity of the Turkish Empire must be maintained. All else is
mere diplomatic froth, waste breath and ink in the torrents of her
speeches and her correspondence with the Porte; and the Turk knows
it, and Russia knows it and the world knows it. England is pilloried
to-day for her selfishness, if not for her unrighteousness, in all
her dealings with the rest of the earth. It is her government, not
her people that the world arraigns.

Mr. Freeman is scathing and unsparing in his denunciation of the
government's position; but that he was not more severe than just
the issue plainly declared, and we tarry on this situation a moment
longer because of its special bearing upon the situation as regards
the massacres in Armenia.

War had been declared by Servia and Montenegro against Turkey on the 2d
of July, 1876, which had thus far resulted in victory for Montenegro
and defeat for Servia. This situation still further increased the
anxieties of the great powers. Not that they cared for Turkey only
because they could not agree on how it should be carved up. They
would all like a generous slice if each could have the portion that
he liked best.

When it became evident that there was no hope of any good resulting
from notes and memorandums, the British Government suggested a
conference of the powers which had been parties to the Treaty of Paris
to meet at Constantinople in December 1876: and in order to open the
way for this conference, proposed an armistice of six weeks between
Turkey and Servia.

The Turkish government proposed six months: the Russians demanded an
immediate armistice of from four to six weeks and threatened to break
off diplomatic relations at once if it was not granted. The Turkish
government complied with the demand.

In an interview with the British Minister, November 2d, 1876, the
Emperor Alexander pledged his sacred word of honor in the most earnest
and solemn manner that he had no intention of acquiring Constantinople,
and that if necessity compelled him to occupy a portion of Bulgaria
it would only be provisionally and until the peace and safety of the
Christian population could be secured.

A few days later--November 10th, the Emperor made a speech at Moscow
in which he said: "I have striven and shall still strive to obtain
a real improvement of the position of the Christians in the East by
peaceful means. But should I see that we cannot obtain such guarantees
as are necessary for carrying out what we have a right to demand of the
Porte I am firmly determined to act independently; and I am convinced,
that in this case the whole of Russia will respond to my summons should
I consider it necessary and should the honor of Russia require it."

The preliminary conference at Constantinople was opened on the 11th
of December, and was participated in by representatives from Great
Britain, France, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy.

The conference was foredoomed to end in failure, for by the treaty
of Paris the Powers had no right to interfere, and they were all
too righteous to sin against that treaty, though Bulgaria should be
utterly wasted with fire and sword.

The Marquis of Salisbury, now Prime Minister, was the chief
representative of Great Britain, and in a speech before the House
of Lords thus defined the purposes of the conference and its
failure. After speaking of previous treaties and the changes that
had taken place both in Turkey and Great Britain which prevented the
latter from maintaining exactly the same attitude towards Turkey which
she did in 1856, he went on to say: "If the alliance was broken up,
if our exertions for the maintenance of the Ottoman Empire were to
cease * * * assuredly it was our duty to exhaust appeal, remonstrance
and exhortation before deserting a cause we had hitherto maintained. *
* * We went to stop a great and menacing danger, namely the prospect
of a war between Russia and the Porte. It was in pointing out that
evil that our moral influence on the Porte rested. We said to Turkey,
"Unless you do this or that, this terrible danger which may well
involve the loss of your Empire is ready to fall upon you. We hope
that our influence and advice may be able to avert it: indeed we
come here for that purpose, but we warn you that we shall accept no
responsibility for the future, if you treat our advice with disdain. *
* * It seems to me, as it must to everybody else, that the refusal
of the Turk is a mystery: for the infatuation of that cause seems to
be so tremendous."

The refusal of the Turk is no mystery to-day. There was no infatuation
about it. The Porte knew that his speech meant no harm to Turkey:
that he had come to avert the loss of the Empire. He knew very well
that whatever the issue of the war might be on the battlefield,
England would never let Russia profit by her victories. Hence the
Porte in sublime contempt snapped its fingers in the face of the
Conference and politely bowed it out of existence. The issue proved
that the Turks knew exactly the man and the nation they were dealing
with. Yet the English people thought the Government really meant to
do something to help the cause of the persecuted Bulgarians: just
as they thought for awhile that Salisbury as Prime Minister meant,
really intended to do something in the cause of Armenia.

England has not changed in her traditional policy towards the Turk. She
has not deserted the cause she has maintained for now some sixty years,
and she never will desert it until she and Russia can agree about the
division of the spoils: then her love for the Turk will vanish as a
mist before the rising sun of her own increasing power and splendor.



CHAPTER VII.

THE RUSSO-TURKISH WAR.


We turn back a single leaf of history in beginning this chapter on
the Russo-Turkish War,--and stand at the opening of the year 1876. As
the nations of Europe faced the questions of that hour, there was not
one of them that desired to begin a war of which no statesman could
foresee the issue.

Perhaps the traditional desire of Russia to possess the gates of the
two continents and fly her flag over Constantinople, delivered from
the Crescent of Islam, was growing apace, and her indignation at
the treatment of the Greek Christians was rising to fever heat, but
she did not desire war. Turkey did not desire war, the insurrection
in Bosnia and Herzegovina was giving her serious trouble. England
did not desire war, though her people were divided, part favoring
Russia as a Christian nation, as against an infidel, but a greater
part thinking of Turkish bonds which were held in London that would
be worthless if Turkey should be dismembered; France did not want a
war which would imperil her interests in the Suez Canal and in Syria,
and because if she sided with Turkey, Germany might side with the
Czar. And as neither Germany nor Italy desired war it would seem as
if it might be easy to prevent its occurrence.

Hence the diplomats put their heads together, and Count Julius
Andrassy, the Premier of Austria, one of the ablest of the Continental
statesmen undertook on the 25th of January, 1876, to draw up a note to
the Ottoman Porte demanding certain reforms from Turkey, and promising
to sustain her if she would institute these reforms promptly.

The following are some of the measures proposed for the pacification
of discontented Servia, Roumania and Montenegro, viz:

1. Religious liberty, full and entire.

2. Abolition of the farming of taxes.

3. A law to guarantee that the direct taxation of Bosnia and
Herzegovina should be employed for the immediate interests of the
province.

4. A special commission, composed of an equal number of Mussulmans
and Christians to superintend the execution of the reforms proclaimed
and proposed.

5. The amelioration of the condition of the rural populations.

The Grand Vizier, Midhat Pasha, replied, that he was preparing a
Constitution which would, he believed, embody these and other measures
of reform.

The Powers trusted his integrity and disposition to promote these
reforms; but even though the entire Imperial ministry saw clearly the
evils out of which the insurrections had grown, it were in the face
of centuries of deceit and the cruelty and the intolerance of Islam,
to believe that the Porte would of its own volition enforce these
reforms against a hostile Mussulman sentiment.

The Powers waited for months until on May 1st, 1876, without having
received the honest approval of the Sultan, the outline of the
Constitution of Midhat Pasha was published.

Now note this fact--that on the 14th of May, when the representatives
of Russia, Austria-Hungary, Germany and Great Britain, met at Berlin,
desirous of sustaining the good intentions of the Grand Vizier and
agreed upon a paper known as the "Berlin Memorandum," which provided
for a guaranty by the great powers of the several reforms which had
been already proclaimed, when all the others had signed it, knowing
that only by such a broad guaranty could the reforms ever be enforced,
Great Britain refused to sign it on the ground "that it must obviously
and inevitably lead to the military occupation of Turkey."

The Memorandum fell to the ground by the action of England, who was not
willing to stand with the other powers and compel the enforcement of
the reforms demanded. England was alone responsible for that failure.

But worse than that, with all the enormities of the Bulgarian outrages
which took place during the sessions of the great powers, just coming
to the ears of the horrified nations, England sent her fleet into
Besika Bay, on the 26th of May, as if to say to the other powers,
"Hands off, let Turkey alone, no reforms are needed."

Two or three weeks after this demonstration, which had had its effect
in assuring Turkey that England would stand by her, the fleet withdrew
to its former harbor.

Those were stormy days at Constantinople. The Grand Vizier, Mehemet
Ruchdi, and Midhat Pasha requested the Sultan Abdul Aziz to give
up some of his treasure to save the nation from ruin. He refused
and was deposed May 29th. The next day his nephew was proclaimed
as Murad V., joyfully accepted by the people and recognized by
the Western powers. But he also was deposed on August 31st and his
brother proclaimed. When invested on the 7th of September, with the
Sword of Othman, Abdul Hamid II., in his inaugural address, said:
"The great object to be aimed at, is to adopt measures for placing the
laws and regulations of the country upon a basis which shall inspire
confidence in their execution. For this purpose it is indispensable
to proceed to the establishment of a general Council or National
Assembly, whose acts will inspire confidence in the nation, and will
be in harmony with the customs, aptitudes and capabilities of the
populations of the Empire. The mission and duty of this Council will
be, to guarantee without exception, the faithful execution of the
existing laws, or of those which shall be promulgated in conformity
with the provisions of the "Sheri" (The decrees already published),
in connection with the real and legitimate wants of the country and
its inhabitants, as also to control the equilibrium of the revenue
and expenditures of the Empire."

In accordance with this inaugural promise the Council of Ministers
prepared a Constitution, not quite so liberal as the one Midhat Pasha
had previously presented, and proclaimed it on December 23d, 1876.

Midhat Pasha had been made Grand Vizier on the 19th. On the 23d
the opening of a Conference of six great Powers took place in
Constantinople to consider measures that would ensure peace at the
close of the Armistice then existing between Turkey and Servia and
Montenegro which had been extended to February, 1877. They asked
for local self-government for the Turkish provinces in Europe--equal
treatment of Mohammedans and Christians, better administration for
both, security for life and property and effectual guarantees against
the repetition of outrages. On January 18th, 1877, the great National
Council of Turkey rejected the propositions of the Conference, which
therefore closed its sittings on the 20th, having accomplished nothing.

Now just here please note this fact--that if Great Britain had signed
the Berlin memorandum which was to guarantee the execution of the
reforms promised--the Ambassadors might have demanded the enforcement
of such reforms, and backed their demand by the presence of a fleet
before Constantinople.

Great Britain thus was to blame for the feebleness of the advice
which was tendered and of course rejected. If the Sultan had been
sincere when he issued his inaugural, if he really meant to give
equal rights to his Christian subjects he would have welcomed the
presence of a combined fleet that would have protected himself from
the opposition of fanatical leaders of the old Turkish party. This
was the crisis of 1876,--granting that there was an honest desire
to reform the government of Turkey and the distinct refusal of Great
Britain to sign the memorandum guaranteeing that said reforms promised
should be executed, settles upon her government the responsibility
of the failure of the promised reforms of the constitution proposed,
and also of the war that followed.

Notice further, the fanatical leading Turks were bound not to
suffer the interference of any foreign power, and this bitterness
of fanaticism apparently compelled the Sultan to dismiss and send
into exile (February 5th) Midhat Pasha, the wisest minister in the
Government, and drove the Porte itself on to the war which followed.

After the failure of the Conference at Constantinople, Prince
Gortschakoff issued a circular in which after reciting what had taken
place he said, "It is necessary for us to know what the cabinets with
which we have hitherto acted in common, propose to do with a view of
meeting this refusal and insuring the execution of their wishes."

Now remember the armistice was only extended to February 1st,
1877. Turkey refused to give any guarantee to fulfil the reforms
promised, the atrocities of Bulgaria were still unpunished--the people
were still at the mercy of the fanatical and cruel Turks.

Before any response had been made to this request for information from
the other Cabinets, a treaty of peace with Servia had been signed
March 1st, and the First Parliament was convened at Constantinople
March 19th.

The Russian Government pressed for an answer, and fearing it might be
embarrassed prepared a protocol which was signed by the representatives
of the six powers at London on the 31st of March, 1877. After taking
cognizance of the peace which had recently been concluded between
Turkey and Servia, and of the good intentions of the Porte as had been
shown in its declarations made from time to time during the past year,
the protocol invited the Porte to place its army on a peace footing
and then declared that "the Powers propose to watch carefully by means
of their representatives at Constantinople and their local agents,
the manner in which the promises of the Ottoman Government are carried
into effect.

"If their hopes should once more be disappointed, and if the condition
of the Christian subjects of the Sultan should not be improved in
such a manner as to prevent the returns of the complications which
periodically disturb the peace of the East, they think it right to
declare that such a state of affairs would be incompatible with their
interests and those of Europe in general. In such case they reserve
to themselves to consider in common as to the means which they may
deem best fitted to secure the well-being of the Christian populations
and the interests of the general peace."

These are very good words, but unless the Powers meant to back them up
with men and guns and war ships, they were only waste breath and paper.

On affixing his signature the Russian Ambassador filed the following
declaration:--

"If peace with Montenegro is concluded and the Porte accepts the
advice of Europe, and shows itself ready to replace its forces on a
peace footing--seriously to undertake the reforms mentioned in the
protocol, let it send to St. Petersburg a special envoy to treat of
disarmament to which His Majesty, the Emperor, would also on his part
consent. If massacres similar to those which have stained Bulgaria
with blood take place, this would necessarily put a stop to the
measures of demobilization."

If Turkey had honestly desired to enforce the reforms promised,
and deal justly by her Christian subjects, and avoid the dangers of
war, there should have been no hesitation in giving its assent to
this protocol.

But the Sublime Porte knew very well that Great Britain would never
take up arms against her, as she had distinctly refused to sign
a memorandum that might involve the pressure of force. The Porte
knew it could rely upon the diplomatic resources of England in the
final issue of affairs, hence rejected the protocol with audacity
and insolence. In substance the rejection of these last offers of
peace stated that:--First, the Sublime Porte would spare no effort
to arrive at an understanding with the Prince of Montenegro. Second,
that the Imperial government was prepared to adopt all the promised
reforms. Third, that Turkey was ready to place its armies on a peace
footing as soon as it saw the Russian government take measures to
the same end. Fourth, with regard to the disturbances which might
break out and stop the demobilization of the Russian army, the
Turkish government repelled the injurious terms in which the idea
had been expressed, and stated its belief that Europe was convinced
that the recent disturbances were due to foreign instigation,
(i. e. Russia's) and after other reasons given, it declared that
Turkey can not allow foreign agents or representatives charged to
protect the interests of their compatriots to have any mission of
official supervision. (Precisely its position to-day.)

The Imperial government in fact is not aware how it can have deserved
so ill of justice and civilization, as to see itself placed in a
humiliating position without example in the world. (This after all the
horrors of Bulgaria--which were known to the world long before this.)

The treaty of Paris gave an explicit sanction to the principle of
non-intervention. * * * And if Turkey appeals to the stipulations
of the treaty * * it is for the purpose of calling attention to the
grave reasons which, in the interest of the general peace of Europe,
induced the powers, twenty years ago, to place the recognition of
the inviolability of this Empire's right to sovereignty, under the
guaranty of its collective promise.

When the Turkish ambassador in London called upon Earl Derby, on the
12th of April, to deliver the above circular, the British Minister
of Foreign Affairs expressed his deep regrets at the view the Porte
had taken, and said he could not see what further steps England could
take to avert the war which appeared to be inevitable.

On the 24th of April, the Czar, who was at Kischeneff, with his army,
issued his manifesto in which he said:--

"For two years we have made incessant efforts to induce the Porte
to effect such reforms as would protect the Christians in Bosnia,
Herzegovina, and Bulgaria from the arbitrary measures of the local
authorities. The accomplishment of these reforms was absolutely
stipulated by anterior engagements contracted by the Porte to the
whole of Europe.

"Our efforts supported by diplomatic representations made in common by
the other governments have not, however, attained their object. The
Porte has remained unshaken in its formal refusal of any effective
guaranty for the security of its Christian subjects, and has rejected
the conclusions of the Constantinople Conference. Wishing to essay
every possible means of conciliation in order to persuade the Porte,
we proposed to the other Cabinets to draw up a special protocol,
comprising the most essential conditions of the Constantinople
Conference, and to invite the Turkish government to adhere to this
international act, which states the extreme limits of our peaceful
demands. But our expectation was not fulfilled. The Porte did not
defer to this unanimous wish of Christian Europe and did not adhere
to the conclusions of the protocol. Having exhausted pacific efforts
we are compelled by the haughty obstinacy of the Porte to proceed to
more decisive acts, feeling that equity and our own dignity enjoin
it. By her refusal, Turkey places us under the necessity of having
recourse to arms.

"Profoundly convinced of the justice of our cause and humbly committing
ourselves to the grace and help of the Most High, we make known to
our faithful subjects that the moment foreseen when we pronounced
words to which all Russia responded with complete unanimity, has
now arrived. We expressed the intention to act independently when we
deemed it necessary, and when Russia's honor should demand it. And
now, invoking the blessing of God upon our valiant armies, we give
them the order to cross the Turkish frontier."

Never was the sword drawn in more dignified and solemn manner; never
in a more holy war for the deliverance of persecuted and outraged
humanity. Alexander drew his sword in the cause of Bulgaria, knowing
that single-handed and alone he must face the armies of Turkey,
the indifference of Continental Europe; knowing that he must face the
bitter opposition and jealousy of England, and not knowing but he might
have to meet her armies and fleets as well. This latter possibility
was averted, as we know, by the vehement opposition of Gladstone,
John Bright, and other statesmen; the people voiced their opinions in
four hundred public meetings, and the Disraeli Cabinet was prevented
from declaring war in behalf of injured and self-righteous Turkey.

It is very well known that there are many who deny that Russia was
moved by any high sense of honor, or driven by righteous and outraged
Christian sentiment to draw the sword for the deliverance of Bulgaria
and the punishment of the unspeakable Turk. They affirm her to be
governed entirely by self-interest, and that under the garb of zeal
for her distressed co-religionists she seeks to conceal her purposes
of self-aggrandizement. Russia has been the persistent and bitter
foe of Turkey for three hundred years, and Turkey of Russia.

Only once in all that time (1833) did Russia stretch out her hand to
aid the Turk, and for reward she received the free navigation of the
Dardanelles and the Bosphorus for a series of years. She has fought the
Turk single-handed and alone: she has fought him when he has had Poland
and the Tartars for his allies: when Venice and Austria and Hungary
fought under his banners: when Italy and France were his allies:
when England, France and Sardinia united to help him in the Crimea.

Whatever her motives Russia has always been true to herself,
and consistent in her hatred of the Turk. It may be that she has
dreams of an empire ruled from Constantinople as a Winter Capital;
but whatever her dreams or purposes, no nation has less claim to rule
over the ancient Byzantine Empire than the alien race of the Ottoman
Turks--fanatical followers of the prophet.

The Russo-Turkish war, while but a brief campaign, was from its
beginning to the treaty of San Stefano a war for religious life and
freedom and singularly free from death or insult to civilian or woman,
while abounding in thrilling and dramatic incident.

On the Russian side the preparations for war had been carried on with
much secrecy, headquarters being at Kischeneff in Bessarabia. The
greater part of the army had been distributed throughout the provinces
in comfortable winter quarters, and were in excellent health and
spirits. Early in April the soldiers began swarming towards Kischeneff
for the Grand Review and the expected declaration of war. The city
had put on its holiday attire, flags and streamers were flying from
the houses, and there was the greatest excitement among the people
and the soldiers as they waited the arrival of the Emperor. The Review
was to be no dress parade, but the serious prelude to war. It was all
the more impressive therefore, as early on the morning of April 24th,
1877, the army corps began to gather on the broad plains and sloping
hillsides above the town. The troops were already under arms by nine
o'clock, standing in lone lines and solid masses, silent and almost
motionless as for an hour and a half, they waited the arrival of
the Emperor. The crowd, too, of onlookers were serious, and spoke
in hushed voices, for these splendid troops were soon to be hurled
against the fortification of Plevna only to be shattered, broken,
decimated. Only when the Emperor appeared mounted, accompanied by
his brother the Grand Duke Nicholas and an immense staff of a hundred
officers and rode slowly along the lines, was the silence broken by
the sound of music and the cheering of the soldiers.

The review was over in an hour. The music ceased, silence reigned, the
soldiers stood uncovered and the crowd also removed their caps. The
voice of only one man was heard, that of the Bishop of Kischeneff
saying a grand military Mass. For more than half an hour the soldiers,
composed, expectant, reverently stood and listened. When the Mass was
finished a low murmur ran through the crowd. Then a dead silence,
and again the strong voice of the Bishop was heard not now engaged
in prayer but in reading the Manifesto. In the midst of it sobs were
heard and as men looked they saw the Emperor weeping like a child. It
had been the pride and glory of the reign of Alexander that his reign
had been of peace. He hoped to finish it without war, and now the
fatal step had been taken, and who could tell its issue. This was
not the spirit of a man eager, determined on conquest, lusting for
martial fame and glory. There was not a dry eye within sound of the
Bishop's voice, but when he closed with the impressive words, "And
now, invoking the blessing of God upon our valiant armies we give them
the order to cross the Turkish frontier," a wild and universal shout
went up--a shout of exultation, triumph, relief, which ran through
all the army over hill and plain till the whole air resounded with
the glad acclaim. Some corps started at once for the frontier and the
rest began rapidly preparing for the march--and by the 10th of May
the Russian army, over two hundred thousand men, was posted along the
banks of the Danube facing the forts, the fleets and the armies of the
Porte which numbered one hundred and fifty thousand effective soldiers.

Not until June 27th did the main body of the Russians succeed in
crossing the Danube, but it was most skillfully done and the march
began for Constantinople. Already the hero of the war had been revealed
in the person of General Skobeleff--the Custer of the Russian army
and the youngest general in the army, with a strange and brilliant
career which was to be most gloriously eclipsed by the successes of
this campaign.

"He was a tall, handsome man with a lithe, slender, active figure,
clear, blue eyes, a large prominent, but straight well-shaped nose,
the kind of a nose it said Napoleon used to look for among his officers
when he wished to find a general." He was highly educated, speaking
five languages fluently, and always had time even in his hardest
campaigns for new books and reviews. He was every inch a soldier,
and his great strength lay in the power and influence he had over
his men. He was never weary of seeing that his men were well fed,
warmly clothed and comfortable. He was always intelligible in his
orders. He was the comrade of his men as well as their officer. When
the passage of the Danube was made finally on the pontoon bridge,
Skobeleff shouldered a musket like a private soldier and marched over
with his men. Every officer under him was devoted to him. He treated
them all as friends, but then every one of them was expected when
occasion came to lay down his life as an example to his men. "Fear,"
he said, "must cease when a man reaches the grade of captain."

After the passage of the Danube, he was given the command of a
division--was always at the front, in the thickest of every fight. He
was a hero at Plevna, that stronghold commanding the pass through
the Balkans, where Osman Pasha held the Russians at bay from July
until December 11th. Three times the Russians had attacked it and
been repulsed; twice in July and the third time in September. The
great infantry assault was made on the 11th day of September, the
fifth day of the bombardment.

On this last occasion Skobeleff's duty was to take a redoubt on
a certain Green Hill, which he regarded as the key to the Turkish
position. He always rode a white horse and wore a white coat that he
might be more conspicuous to his own men during a battle. With his
usual address to his soldiers he despatched them to the redoubt. He
knew well that he was sending many of them to their death. They knew
it too, but advanced unflinchingly in the face of a fearful fire from
cannon and from infantry. One company wavered and broke. Instantly
Skobeleff was among them on his white charger. "Follow me," he cried,
"I will show you how to thrash the Turks. Close up there! Follow me
my men. I will lead you myself. He who deserts me should be ashamed
of himself! Now then, drummers--look alive."

Meantime the Turks were seen everywhere torturing the wounded before
despatching them. This roused the spirit of the Russians and they
pushed on with fury. With fearful loss they captured the redoubt,
and planted two Russian flags on it. Then Skobeleff, who had had two
horses shot under him, started back for reinforcements.

In vain he pleaded for men. In vain he pleaded that the redoubt was
the key of the position. He burst into tears. He visited the redoubt
three or four times during the day to encourage them. Plevna would
soon be taken. Victory would crown their efforts. For the honor and
the glory of the Russian arms;--and they always replied with the same
cheery shouts while their numbers were dwindling by hundreds. But
the battle was against the Russians. One more effort must be made.

"Major Gortaloff, you will remain here in charge of the redoubt,"
he said. "Can I depend on you? You must hold this at any price." "I
will remain or die, Your Excellency." "Possibly I shall be unable
to send you any reinforcements. Give me your word that you will not
leave the redoubt." "My honor is pledged. I will not leave this place
alive." The Major raised his hand as if taking an oath. Skobeleff
embraced him. "God help you! Remember my men, there may be no
reinforcements. Count only on yourselves. Farewell, heroes." But as
he took his last look at them--the finest troops of his division,
he sighed. "Consecrated to death," he said and thundered down the hill.

Only one thing remained, to draw off his men and save as many of them
as possible.

A colonel of one regiment of Cossack infantry, however, without
orders, put his men at Skobeleff's disposal and once more he started
for the redoubt.

The Turks were swarming over the ramparts, mounting its walls on
dead bodies. The garrison defending themselves by bayonets began to
despair. At last through the fog and smoke they saw their comrades
coming. But Skobeleff had only one battalion; not enough to drive
out the Turks.

"I think he wants to cover our retreat," said the Major. He gathered
his men about him. "Comrades go. Open your way with your bayonets. This
place can no longer be held. God bless you, my children. Forward." And
bowing his head he reverently made the sign of the cross over his
men. "And you, father?" they exclaimed. "I stay with our dead. Tell
the general I have kept my word. Good by, children." They watched him
as they turned their heads in their retreat. They saw him standing
on the ramparts waving to them. Then the Turks rushed in. They saw
the struggle. They saw his body uplifted upon Turkish bayonets.

"It was just after this," said a correspondent, "that I met General
Skobeleff the first time that day. He was in a fearful state of
excitement and fury. His uniform was covered with mud and filth, his
sword broken; his cross of St. George twisted round on his shoulder;
his face black with powder and smoke; his eyes haggard and bloodshot,
and his voice quite gone. I never before saw such a picture of battle
as he presented. I saw him again in his tent at night. He was quite
calm and collected. He said, 'I have done my best. I could do no
more. My detachment is half destroyed; my regiments do not exist; I
have no officers left; they sent me no reinforcements, and I have lost
three guns.' 'Why did they refuse you reinforcements?' I asked. 'Who
was to blame?' 'I blame nobody,' he replied. 'It is the will of God.'"

The Russians fell back from Plevna for a little breathing spell,
having lost in this third assault more than twenty thousand men.

At Bucharest General Skobeleff met General Todleben, the great
engineer who had planned and superintended twenty-one years before
the defence of Sebastopol. It had been decided to plan works by which
Plevna should be taken, not by assault but by starvation.

By the middle of October, 1877, Skobeleff was back at the seat of war
with his division of about forty thousand men. He had no longer with
him the "lions," the "eagles," the "heroes" of the third assault,
but largely new recruits whom he must train.

Two months of the siege sufficed to starve out the garrison, and Osman
Pasha surrendered unconditionally on December 11th, and thirty-two
thousand men laid down their arms and the gates were open towards
Constantinople. As soon as Plevna fell Skobeleff was appointed its
military governor. The Roumanians in the Russian army had already
begun the plunder of the city. When Skobeleff remonstrated, their
officers replied: "We are the victors, and the victors have a
right to the spoils." "In the first place," answered the general,
"we were never at war with the peaceable inhabitants of this place,
and consequently can not have conquered them. But, secondly, please
acquaint your men that I shall have victors of this kind shot. Every
man caught marauding shall be shot like a dog. Please bear this in
mind. There is another thing. You must not insult women. Such conduct
is very humiliating. Let me tell you that every such complaint will
be investigated and every case of outrage punished."

Compare this order with the horrible atrocities continually committed
upon the Bulgarians during this campaign by Bashi-Bazouks and the
thirty thousand Circassian horsemen, who were allowed to follow
their own fashions, in which they excel even the Apache tribes once
the terror of the Southwest. Before them went anguish and horror;
after them death, ruin and despair.

We have no time to follow the war as carried on in Armenia, but on
November 17-18, the city and fortress of Kars was carried by assault,
and the Russian officers remembering how the fanatical Turks had
tortured and killed the wounded soldiers that had fallen into their
cruel hands, expressed the fear lest their excited soldiers might
put aside feelings of humanity and inflict summary vengeance.

But contrary to all expectations, Cossack and Russian put aside all
thought of personal revenge; and not a single civilian was killed or
insulted, and not a woman had to complain of insult or outrage. These
facts are stated for the sake of those who may have thought that
there is little to choose between the semi-barbarous hordes of Russia
(as they call them) and the armies of Turks, Kurds and Circassians.

Another fact regarding the religious sentiment of the Russian peasant
transformed into a soldier. A Frenchman who was at Plevna with the
officers of the Commander-in-chief's staff thus writes of Skobeleff:
"He is a magnificent looking soldier, almost as tall as the Emperor. *
* On the battlefield he is brave as a lion. * * * When ordering
a retreat, he sheathes his sword, sends his white charger to the
front and remains on foot, the last man in the rear, saying; 'They
may kill me if they like, but they shall not harm my horse unless he
is advancing against the enemy.' He has never quitted a battlefield
without carrying off his wounded (unless in such retreat as from
the third assault on Plevna), nor has he ever after a battle gone
to rest without making an address to his men, and writing his own
report to the commander-in-chief. He is adored by his soldiers. *
* He is highly educated and a sincerely religious man. 'No man
can feel comfortable in facing death' he has been heard to say
'who does not believe in God and have hope of a life to come.' Each
evening in the camp he stood bareheaded taking part in the evening
service which was chanted by fifty or sixty of his soldiers. * If
the people of Paris who shed tears over the Miserére in Trovatore,
could hear these simple soldiers in the presence of death addressing
prayers and praises to the Almighty Father with their whole hearts,
they would find it far more moving. Skobeleff is as distinguished for
his modesty as his bravery. 'My children,' he says to his soldiers,
'I wear these crosses, but it is you who have won them for me.'"

Attention is called to these things that you can compare for yourselves
the morale of the Russian army with its reverence for woman and for
God, with the grossness and corruption and wickedness that prevails
in the mixed multitudes that form the soldiers of Islam.

Who is not touched by the deep sincerity of that word in his first
address to his army, "while you are fighting I shall pray for you."

So deep was his interest in the war that he could not content himself
in St. Petersburg but felt that his place was on the Danube. When he
reached the seat of war he assumed no command, but he endeavored to
inform himself about everything. The failures before Plevna greatly
troubled him. "If we lose I will never return to Russia. I will
die here with my brave soldiers." Hence it was with more than usual
emotion that the Emperor reviewed the troops, seventy thousand men,
at Plevna a few days after its fall.

The troops were drawn up in two lines of quarter columns at intervals
of ten paces between regiments. The second line was about fifty paces
in rear of the first. He embraced the Generals, greeted the officers
and then accompanied by the Grand Duke and Prince Charles, attended
by a brilliant staff, he passed down the front line and back by the
second. His reception was most enthusiastic, every regiment cheering
the moment it caught sight of the white flag with the ornamental
cross that denoted the Emperor's presence; and nothing could be more
impressive than the enormous volume of sound produced by the triumphant
cheers of seventy thousand men.

In a few days Skobeleff's division was to cross the Balkans by a pass
leading to Senova while the main army was to take the Shipka Pass. One
order he gave caused much amusement among his brother officers. Each
man of his division was ordered to carry a log of wood with him. "What
will he think of next?" said some one. "If Skobeleff has ordered,"
said the Grand Duke Nicholas, "he has some good reason for it."

He had a good reason. There was no wood on the summit of the
Balkans. He wanted his men to have three hot meals a day. And in
consequence of his precautions not one man of his division arrived
disabled or frozen on the other side; not one had straggled, and the
only two who were lost had slipped and fallen over a precipice. The
soldiers who crossed the Shipka Pass suffered frightfully. The passage
to Senova was an awful journey. The men had to break their way through
great snowdrifts. They had to drag their cannon on sledges by hand,
but on the third day they descended into the Valley of Roses in
splendid form.

In the battles that raged during the next few days Skobeleff was
uniformly successful, and the regiments coming down the Shipka Pass
went right into the thick of the fight. At last the Turks put out
two white flags. The Pashas surrendered themselves and their whole
army--thirty-five thousand men and one hundred and thirteen guns were
given up.

"The scoundrels," muttered Gen. Skobeleff "to give up with such
a force and with such a position." "No wonder," cried the Turks,
"that we were beaten; for the Russians were commanded by Akh Pasha
and it is impossible to overcome him." The first order given was,
"Let the Turks' property be sacred to us. Let not a crumb of theirs
be lost. Warn the men, I will shoot them for stealing."

"I shall never forget," said Mr. Kinnard Rose, "a solemn service for
the repose of the souls of the dead that was held on that battlefield
of Senova by the General and a score of companions. Skobeleff's
chaplain chanted the Mass with a simple dragoon for clerk. Every
head was uncovered. The party stood in respectful groups around a
monumental column with its cross, the General to the right of the
priest. As the service progressed, the General wept like a child, and
among the small but deeply moved congregation there were few dry eyes."

And now the road lay open before him. The last army was
beaten--Skobeleff's forced march made the Turkish Pashas stand
aghast--thirty, even fifty miles a day, and soon he had occupied
Adrianople, the second city of the Empire. He had entered it without
a sick man--there was not a theft nor burglary--not a street row,
as he rested there a few days.

The heroes of the campaign in the Balkans were Generals Gourko,
Radetzky and Skobeleff. They carried out operations which for
difficulty of execution, rapidity of movement and quickness of
combination have hardly ever been equalled. In fifteen days they had
destroyed three Turkish armies, and swept the country from Shipka Pass
to Adrianople and with one hundred and thirty-two thousand bayonets
were ready to dictate peace to the Sublime Porte.

General Gourko, who was Skobeleff's senior, arrived in advance of his
columns on January 26th, and took command of the city, while Skobeleff
pushed on with his cavalry and in two weeks (February 5th) camped on
the shores of the Sea of Marmora a short distance from Constantinople,
having marched two hundred and seventy-five miles in twenty days,
one hundred miles of it in four days.

The history of the Russo-Turkish war has been written in terms
of highest eulogy by impartial historians and disinterested
eyewitnesses. The condensed account given in these pages is accorded
space to emphasize the difference between warfare as conducted by
one of the Great Powers of Europe and the barbarous methods of the
"Unspeakable Turk." Previously to the occupancy of Adrianople by the
Russian forces, representatives of the two nations most interested,
met and seriously discussed the question of peace.

The Turkish delegates refused to accept the Russian terms. They were
informed that the Russians would march upon Constantinople unless they
accepted. On the question of the autonomy for Bulgaria, the Russians
were inflexible. This the delegates refused, and the troops continued
to close in upon Constantinople.

On January 31st an armistice was signed, and a neutral zone declared
with Constantinople exposed to the Russian army. While going over the
lines of delimitation one day, General Skobeleff and his whole staff
gazed upon the city of Constantinople. He was furious when he learned
that the Russian army was not even to enter Constantinople, and he is
said to have debated whether he would not on his own responsibility
take the city without orders and break the meshes of diplomacy.

"I would hold a congress in Constantinople--here!" he said, "and would
myself preside if I were Emperor, with three hundred thousand bayonets
to back me--prepared for any eventuality. Then we could talk to them."

"But suppose all Europe should oppose you?"

"There are moments when one must act--when it is criminal to be
too cautious. We may have to wait centuries for so favorable an
opportunity. You think the bulldogs would fight us? Never. It should
be our duty to defend this--our own city--with the last drop of
our blood."

When General Grant said that Russia's abstaining from entering
Constantinople was the greatest mistake a nation ever committed,
he was either not aware of the secret engagement made with Lord
Loftus, the British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, or he considered
with reason that England's sending her fleet into the Bosphorus was
such a violation of her engagements of neutrality, as would justify
Russia in not abiding by her promises.

England, on February 8th, had ordered her fleet to Constantinople
to protect British interests. News was received by Skobeleff that
the fleet was under way. He instantly informed headquarters, and
had orders for concentrating his troops where they could strike at
a moment's notice. He quickly and gladly so disposed his army that
in two hours he could occupy the Turkish positions, and in thirty
six hours could place two divisions on the high ground just behind
Constantinople, the very ground from which the Turks in 1453 had
besieged and assaulted and captured this Queen of Eastern Christian
Empire. For Russia had decided before the armistice that the English
fleet coming into the Bosphorus should be the signal for the march
into the city. Then came the news that the Turks refused to allow the
fleet to pass and that it was lying at the mouth of the Dardanelles
and the danger of a general European war was passed for the time.

But the approach of the fleet was a warning and the delay, and
hesitation of the Ambassadors to sign the preliminaries of peace
and the objections they made were irritating to the last degree, and
the answer of Russia was the removal of headquarters to San Stefano,
only twelve miles from Constantinople, and there the treaty of peace
must be signed.

There is little time to portray the many dramatic scenes connected
with the signing of the treaty of San Stefano. March 3d was the
anniversary of the Czar's accession to the throne. There was to be
a grand review. At four o'clock the Grand Duke galloped towards the
hill where the army was drawn up; then up dashed a carriage from the
village. General Ignatieff was in it and when he approached he rose
and said: "I have the honor to congratulate Your Highness on the
signature of peace." Then the Grand Duke to the army: "I have the
honor to inform the army that with the help of God we have concluded
a treaty of peace."

A shout, swelling and triumphant, rose from the throats of twenty
thousand men, some of them the most famous regiments of Russia's
favored troops. After the review the Grand Duke spoke briefly, "To
an army which has accomplished what you have, my friends, nothing is
impossible." Then all dismounted, uncovered and a solemn service was
held, the soldiers all kneeling, even the wife of General Ignatieff
was seen kneeling on a fur rug beside her carriage. The religious
ceremony over, the Grand Duke took his stand and the army began to file
past with a swinging, rapid stride. The night was falling, darkness
settling over all. Still the Grand Duke sat motionless on his horse,
the troops still were passing; the joyous shouts grew fainter and the
measured tramp, tramp died out on the ear and the war of 1877-78 had
entered into the history of the struggle of humanity for religious
life and freedom. The history of the treaties of San Stefano and of
Berlin will be told in the chapter that records the greatest crime
of the century against the life and freedom of a still suffering and
outraged humanity under the curse of Islam.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE SULTAN ABDUL HAMID.


It does not lie within the plan of this volume to review at any length
the history of Turkey, or to sketch the lives of the Sultans who have
reigned during the century; it will answer, however, to make our work
intelligible and clear, if the life of the reigning Sultan of Turkey,
Abdul Hamid II. is presented briefly.

He is the second son of Abdul Medjid, who was Sultan from 1839 to
1861. He was born September 5th, 1842; and his mother having died
when he was quite young, he was adopted by his father's second wife,
herself childless, who was very wealthy and made him her heir. His
early life was quiet and uneventful; his boyhood was a continual scene
of merry idleness. His education consisting mostly in amusements and
tricks devised for his entertainment by the court slaves: and in an
unusually early and complete initiation into the depravities of harem
life. Indeed up to manhood all the learning he had acquired, amounted
to but little more than the ability to read in the Arabic and Turkish
tongues. His mother had died of consumption and his constitution was
delicate. He had inherited a taste for drink, but his doctor who was
a Greek, assured him it would be his destruction. "Then I will never
touch wine or liquor again," said Abdul Hamid, and he kept his word.

The turning point in his life came, when in 1867 his Uncle Abdul Aziz,
then Sultan, took his own son and his two nephews, Murad and Hamid,
to the Paris Exposition, England and Germany. He saw with a quick and
appreciative eye. He acquired a taste for political geography, and
for European dress, customs and interests. What he then learned was to
modify very considerably the subsequent course of his life. From April,
1876, both he and his brother Murad were kept under strict surveillance
and not allowed to take any part in the political movements going on
in Constantinople.

Abdul Aziz, the reigning Sultan, was determined to defy the Turkish
law of succession and proclaim his son in June, as heir presumptive
to the throne, thus displacing Murad and Hamid, who both were before
him in rights of succession. At this crisis, Midhat Pasha, the leading
and most progressive statesman and strong adherent of Murad, planned
a revolution and Abdul Aziz, was deposed and Murad was proclaimed
Sultan, May 31st, and so recognized by the Western powers: but he
was never girded with the sword of Othman in the Mosque of Eyout,
a ceremony equivalent to a Western Coronation.

His ill-health, increased by excessive use of liquor and the mistaken
treatment of his physician, rendered him mentally incapable of ruling:
though a celebrated Dr. Liedersdorf, sent for from Vienna, is said
to have stated, "If I had Sultan Murad under my own care in Vienna,
I would have him all right in six weeks."

In consequence of this mental indisposition, Murad V. was deposed
August 30th, and Abdul Hamid II. was proclaimed on August 31st, and
girded with the sword of Othman a few days later. He was then living
in a small palace in the Valley of Sweet Waters, which he inherited
from his father. He was very fond of agriculture, and amused himself
by cultivating a model farm. To his mother, who is said to have been
an Armenian from Georgia, in Russia, he owed a quality very rare in
the family of the Sultans, the spirit of economy. He never allowed his
expenses to exceed his income before he came to the throne. In this
charming retreat he resided quietly with his wife and two children,
all eating at the same table, and showing in his dress and surroundings
his preference for European modes of life. The only concession he
made to Orientalism in personal dress, was in wearing the "fez,"
which he disliked, but continued to wear as the necessary token of
his nationality.

Six weeks after he was proclaimed Sultan, it was announced that
a scheme of reform for the whole Ottoman Empire, was in course of
preparation. It was published in January, and while it was a much
less sweeping reform than Midhat wished, it provided for a Senate
and a House of Representatives, which last was to take control of
the finances, the system of taxation was to be revised and better
laws were to be enacted for the provinces.

Election to the lower house was to be by universal suffrage; for the
upper house electors were restricted to two classes: the noble and
the educated.

Abdul Hamid cordially disapproved of this check on the absolute power
enjoyed by predecessors.

He was willing to do justice and to temper it with mercy, but to
be placed in the position of a servant to his people was odious
to himself.

At a council held, when only his other ministers were present, the
Sultan asked, what should be done with Midhat Pasha. Two of those
present said: "Let him die." But Abdul Hamid was not bloodthirsty,
hence he only banished him to Arabia where two years later he was
poisoned.

The Sultan was restive under the constitution and the Pashas, against
whose cruelty and extortion the most of the reforms were aimed,
sided with their sovereign. In 1875, Midhat Pasha had outlined the
situation thus to the English Ambassador:

"The Sultan's Empire is being rapidly brought to destruction;
corruption has reached a pitch that it has never before attained. The
service of the state is starved, while untold millions are being
poured into the palaces and the provinces are being ruined by the
uncontrolled exactions of the Governors who purchase their appointments
at the palace: and nothing can save the country but a complete change
of system."

And the very worst governed portion of all his Empire was Armenia. We
are officially told that its government for the last thirty years
has been horrible.

In an Armenian village recently plundered by bandits, the famous
Hungarian Professor, Arminius Vambery, an intimate friend of the
Sultan, once asked, "Why do you not get help from the Governor of
Erzeroum?" "Because," answered the villagers, "he is at the head of
the robbers. God alone and his representative on earth--the Russian
Czar, can help us." This brigandage, is one of the greatest curses
of the Turkish Empire, exercising a rule of terror and oppression,
and now legalized, apparently, by the transformation of the Kurdish
horsemen--robbers--into the Hamidieh--the Sultan's own Cavalry.

Such being the spirit of the Pashas who had grown rich by plunder
and official theft, of course they were opposed to the Constitution,
and by the will of the Sultan it was abrogated after two sessions had
been held. This was soon followed by the dismissal of the Ministers
who had formed the triumvirate, and the Sultan resumed his despotic and
absolute sway. Assured that England would not suffer the dismemberment
of his Empire we have seen him refusing to guarantee the enforcement
of promised reforms and provoking the war with Russia; but as we have
already told this story, we will give some pictures of the Sultan as
drawn by his admirers; leaving the horrors of the Armenian massacres
to bear witness as to the honesty of his professed devotion to the
welfare of his Christian subjects and his promises to observe the
terms of said treaty in the amelioration of the condition of all who
were suffering under the murderous oppression of Kurds and Circassians.

Professor Vambery, a most remarkable linguist who writes and speaks
all the languages of Europe like a native, spent some time in Turkey
a few years ago and was received into closest conference by the
Sultan.--Here are extracts from what he has written of him:

"I must own that the education of Abdul Hamid, like that of all
Oriental princes was defective, very defective indeed; but an
iron will, good judgment and rare acuteness have made good this
short-coming; and he not only knows the multifarious relations and
intricacies of his own much tried Empire but is thoroughly conversant
with European politics: and I am not going far from fact when I
state that it has been solely the moderation and self-restraint of
Sultan Abdul Hamid which has saved us hitherto from a general European
conflagration. As to his personal character, I have found the present
ruler of the Ottoman Empire of great politeness, amiability and
extreme gentleness. When sitting opposite to him during my private
interviews, I could not avoid being struck by his extremely modest
attitude, by his quiet manners and by the bashful look of his eyes. *
* At his table, though wine is served to European guests, it is not
offered to the Sultan or any other Mohammedan.

"His views on religion, politics and education have a decidedly
modern tone, and yet he is a firm believer in the tenets of his
religion, and likes to assemble around him the foremost Mollahs
and pious Sheiks on whom he profusely bestows imperial favors;
but he does not forget from time to time to send presents to the
Greek and the Armenian patriarchates, and nothing is more ludicrous
than to hear this prince accused by a certain class of politicians
in Europe of being a fanatic and an enemy to Christians,--a prince
who by appointing a Christian for his chief medical attendant and
a Christian for his chief minister of finance, did not hesitate to
intrust most important duties to non-Mohammedans. * * *"

[Doubtless he wanted the best men he could find as his physician and
minister of finance, and these men were found among the Christians. Let
the last year tell whether he be the friend or the enemy of the
Christians.]

"In reference to the charge of ruthless despotism laid upon Sultan
Abdul Hamid in connection with his abrogation of the charter granted
during the first months of his reign, I will quote his own words. He
said to me one day:--'In Europe the soil was prepared centuries ago
for liberal institutions, and now I am asked to transplant a sapling
to the foreign, stony and rugged ground of Asiatic life. Let me clear
away the thistles, and stones, let me till the soil, and provide
for irrigation because rain is very scarce in Asia and then we may
transport the new plant; and believe me that nobody will be more
delighted at its thriving than myself.'"

Thus far the professor. And now, it is to be wondered if he calls
the extermination of the Armenians the clearing away of the thistles
and does he propose to irrigate the soil of Armenia with the blood of
its noblest race. Is he not rather slitting the veins of Asia Minor
and pouring out its heart's best blood?

That the Sultan was a warm personal friend of Gen. Lew Wallace does not
make him any the less a despot; neither because Hon. S. S. Cox, who
succeeded Gen. Wallace was an admirer of the Sultan as the following
quotation will show; does that make him the less a fanatic and the
most remorseless shedder of blood that Europe has seen since the days
of Tamerlane.

"The Sultan is of middle size and of Turkish type. He wears a full
black beard, is of a dark complexion and has very expressive eyes. His
forehead is large, indicative of intellectual power. He is very
gracious in manner though at times seemingly a little embarrassed. *
* *

"As Caliph he is the divine representative of Mohammed. His family
line runs back with unbroken links to the thirteenth century. He is
one of the most industrious, painstaking, honest, conscientious and
vigilant rulers of the world. He is amiable and just withal. His every
word betokens a good heart and a sagacious head. [What a comment the
horrors of the many months just past furnishes to this flattering
estimate a Mohammedian conscience!]

"He is an early riser. After he leaves his seraglio and has partaken
of a slight repast his secretaries wait on him with portfolios. He
peruses all the official correspondence and current reports. He gives
up his time till noon to work of this character. Then his breakfast
is served. After that he walks in his park and gardens, looks in at
his aviaries, perhaps stirs up his menagerie, makes an inspection
of his two hundred horses in their fine stables, indulges his little
daughters in a row upon the fairy lake which he has had constructed,
and it may be attends a performance at the little theatre provided
for his children in the palace. At 5 P. M. having accomplished most
of his official work, he mounts his favorite white horse, Ferhan,
a war-scarred veteran for a ride in the park. The park of the palace
Yildiz where he lives comprises some thousand acres. It is surrounded
by high walls and protected by the soldiery."

But all this does not tell us what the man at heart is any more than
if some flatterer of Nero should expatiate on the esthetic taste
of Nero and his love of the fine arts and his skill as a violinist
when he sat at night in his marble palace and enjoyed the blazing
magnificence of Rome. It is as foreign to the present situation as if
some one should praise the skill of Nero's horsemanship as he drove
his mettled steeds with firm reins along the course lighted by the
blazing torches of the tar-besmeared Christians, whom he accused of
having set the city on fire.

The persistence with which the Sultan has followed out his purpose of
exterminating the Armenians, in the face of a horrified and indignant
Christendom, marks his audacity and contempt of Christians as sublime
in height, as infernal in spirit, and bottomless in its cruelty.

Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire can scarcely
find polite words enough to express his contempt for the forms of
early Christianity and praised the Turks as possessing the rarest
of qualities when he said: "The Turks are distinguished for their
patience, discipline, sobriety, bravery, honesty and modesty," and
Hon. Sunset Cox echoed the same when he wrote, "It is because of
these solid characteristics, and in spite of the harem, in spite of
autocratic power, in spite of the Janissary and the seraglio that this
race and rule remain potent in the Orient. His heart (the heart of the
present Sultan) is touched by suffering, and his views lean strongly
to that toleration of the various races and religions of his realm,
which other and more boastful nations would do well to imitate."

The facts given in the chapters on The Reign of Terror will be
sufficient commentary on such praise.

Probably no building in all Europe has so many associations with
tragical events as that of the palace of the Sultan of Turkey--the
autocrat whose rule is absolute over more than thirty million
subjects. From this palace go forth the edicts which involve the
death of thousands and which control the governments of distant
provinces. Fifty years ago the Sultans governed a huge territory
in Europe, but one province after another has been freed from their
yoke, until Turkey in Europe has dwindled in size to less than half
its former area. But the Asiatic possession of the Sultan have not
diminished, and the events in Armenia which have recently horrified the
whole world, show what that possession means. Nor are these massacres
a new or unparalleled feature of Turkish rule. Similar horrors have
been perpetrated before under the cognizance of the Sultans and the
only reason why the indignation now aroused on the subject is deeper
and more intense, is that it is now impossible to conceal them, and
in the days of the telegraph and cheap newspapers they are set in the
light of publicity. The Turk is no worse now than he has always been,
and is only trying to govern at the end of the nineteenth century
as he governed in the sixteenth. As an eminent writer has said:
"The Turk is still the aboriginal savage encamped on the ruins of a
civilization which he destroyed."

In some respects Abdul Hamid is better than his predecessors,
and until the reports of the Armenian horrors were published, he
was believed to be a great deal better; but they have proved that
he has the same nature, and is at heart as fierce and relentless
as they. The character of the man is of so much greater moment to
his subjects than in other lands, because of the utter absence of
even the semblance of constitutional government. The government of
Turkey is a despotism pure and simple. It is tempered only by the
dread of assassination or deposition, and even those calamities may
come rather from a wise and merciful policy than from massacre. The
Pashas who surround the Sultan, the successors of those who deposed
his uncle and his brother, applaud the atrocities, and are willing
instruments in the perpetration of them. The danger to the Sultan's
person is far more likely to come through weakness and lack of vigor
in persecution than from indignation at wholesale slaughter. The Sultan
fully appreciates this fact, and lives in constant dread of treachery.

An interesting story of the present Sultan is related by
Mr. W. T. Stead, in an article in his Review of Reviews, which in some
measure explains the singular mixture in his character of fanaticism,
such as that which produced the Armenian massacres, with the marked
ability and intelligence he displays in the conduct of national
affairs. It appears that when he was a mere youth, he was conspicuous
even in Constantinople, which is notorious for its immorality, for the
gross excesses of his private life. There was then little probability
of his ever ascending the throne, and as he was condemned by his
position to a life of idleness, he plunged into all the wickedness
of the capital, and lived a life of debauchery. Suddenly he changed
his course. He quitted his evil ways and became a devout follower
of Mohammed, was attentive at the Mosque and gave all his thoughts
to his religion. From that time until now his religious enthusiasm
has been the most prominent feature of his character. But with the
change came a fierce intolerance, a desire that others should follow
his example and determination, evinced since his accession, that
in his own dominions no enemy of the Prophet, nor any who did not
avow themselves his followers, should have peace or rest until they
accepted the faith. This spirit accounts for the crusade against the
Armenians whom he hates because they are Christians.

The real cause for all the trouble in the Turkish Empire will be found
to lie within the spirit and purpose of the Sultan himself. His conduct
towards the Powers will serve to most abundantly confirm this view.

The condition of Armenia under Turkish rule has for many years been a
scandal to Christendom. After the horrors of the Blood bath of Sassoun
had been made known to the world a commission of the Powers were sent
to investigate and report on the massacres which had been perpetrated.

The investigation of the latest atrocities showed that the Armenians
had been wantonly tortured and murdered, and that indescribable
atrocities had been perpetrated. Men, women, and children were proved
to have been hacked to pieces, and no respect had been shown to age
or sex. Whole villages had been depopulated, and the fact of any
community being Christian seemed to have been sufficient to provoke
the murderous hostility of the authorities. Where the Turks did not
commit the outrages themselves, they remained inactive while the
Kurds committed them, and their inactivity amounted to connivance,
because the Armenians are not allowed to arm themselves for their own
protection. There was legitimate grounds for foreign powers urging
reforms upon the Sultan, as in 1878, when the Berlin Congress was
inclined to strip him of his Armenian provinces, he promised that
Armenia should be governed better than it had been, and England became
sponsor for the performance of his promises. Under those conditions the
Sultan was allowed to retain the provinces, and his failure to effect
the reforms was therefore a distinct breach of faith. The Ambassadors
of England, France and Russia accordingly presented to the Sultan
on May 11th a demand for twelve specific changes in the government
of Armenia. The scheme outlined included the appointment of a High
Commissioner, with whom should be associated a commission to sit at
Constantinople, for the purpose of carrying out all reforms. The full
details of the plan were not made public, but among the suggestions
made were these: The appointment of governors and vice-governors
in six Armenian vilayets--Van, Erzeroum, Sivas, Bitlis, Harpoot,
and Trebizond; that either the governor or the vice-governor of
each vilayet should be a Christian; that the collection of taxes
be on a better basis; with various other reforms in the judicial
and administrative departments: especially that torture should be
abolished; the gendarmérie to be recruited from Christians as well
as Mohammedans, and the practical disarmament of the Kurds. Note
the names of these vilayets as they are the centers of the horrible
massacres that followed the Porte's true answer to all its own promises
of reform.

To this project of reforms the following memorandum was attached:--

"The appended scheme, containing the general statement of the
modifications which it would be necessary to introduce in regard
to the administration, financial and judicial organization of the
vilayets mentioned, it has appeared useful to indicate in a separate
memorandum certain measures exceeding the scope of an administrative
regulation, but which form the very basis of this regulation and the
adoption of which by the Porte is a matter of primary importance."

These different points are:

1. The eventual reduction of the number of vilayets.

2. The guarantee for the selection of the valis.

3. Amnesty for Armenians sentenced or in prison on political charges.

4. The return of the Armenian emigrants or exiles.

5. The final settlement of pending legal proceedings for common law
crimes and offences.

6. The inspection of prisons and an inquiry into the condition of
the prisoners.

7. The appointment of a high commission of surveillance for the
application of reforms in the provinces.

8. The creation of a permanent committee of control at Constantinople.

9. Reparation for the loss suffered by the Armenians who were victims
of the events at Sassoun, Talori, etc.

10. The regularization of matters connected with religious conversion.

11. The maintenance and strict application of the rights and privileges
conceded to the Armenians.

12. The position of the Armenians in the other vilayets of Asiatic
Turkey.

After much delay the Porte replied that it could not accept the
proposals made. Of course not. Why should the Sultan do anything
to favor the Armenians or even to prevent the recurrence of these
terrible outrages unless compelled to do so by something more than
advice! Yet the Sultan would be anxious to know what the three
Powers would do about it. He was not kept long in suspense, so far
as England was concerned. Orders were issued for the English fleet
to proceed to Constantinople, and France and Russia were informed of
the fact. The news reached the Sultan and appears to have convinced
him that it was not safe to trifle any longer with the demands of
the powers. He accordingly telegraphed that he would accede to the
principle of reform outlined for him.

The Sultan, learning also that the British Cabinet had met to consider
Turkey's reply to the plan of reform for Armenia, submitted by Great
Britain, France and Russia, telegraphed to Rustem Pasha, the Turkish
Ambassador in London, instructing him to ask the Earl of Kimberly,
the British Foreign Minister, to postpone a decision in the matter.

The Earl of Kimberly acceded to the request. In the meanwhile the
Porte handed to the British, French and Russian Ambassadors a fresh
and satisfactory reply, acceding to the principle of control by the
Powers, but asking that the period be limited to three years.

While these promises were being so freely made, letters from Armenia,
in July, represented Turkish cruelty as unabated; the position
of affairs never so grave and critical; and the Armenians to have
reached the ultimate limit of despair. Yet in August the world was
informed that Turkey had decided to accept in their entirety the
Armenian reforms demanded by the Powers, and that the acceptance
of these reforms was primarily due to the pressure brought to bear
on the government by Sir Philip Currie, the British Ambassador,
who communicated to the government a confidential note from Lord
Salisbury to the effect that the Porte must accept the proposals of
the powers unconditionally, or England would use sharper means than
those adopted by Lord Rosebery to settle affairs in Armenia.

The summer passed in fruitless and endless negotiations. Later
in September a press telegram from London voiced the situation as
follows:--

"European diplomacy seems already weary of the question, which Turkish
diplomacy has handled with an evident ability, based upon temporization
and inertia, as well as upon its knowledge of the jealousy existing
between the three Powers which proclaim so loudly that they want
nothing else but the happiness of the Armenians.

"The question has not progressed one iota, despite all the
negotiations, memoranda, appointments of commissions, and even the
(awful!) rumor, one month ago, of the assembling of the British fleet
in Besika Bay, at the entrance of the Dardanelles. England, France
and Russia, however, had the way clear before them, if they had been
really in accord and seriously willing to accomplish the humanitarian
mission they pretended to assume. Article sixty-one of the Berlin
Treaty gave the Powers the right to see that the same rights granted to
Bulgaria should be granted also to Armenia. This article has remained
a dead letter in regard to the latter country since 1878. When the
Sassoun atrocities were recently committed, the Powers merely sent
to the Porte a memorandum, requesting it to cease its persecution of
Armenians. During two or three months the European Ministers at Pera
awaited the decision of the Sultan. Whenever they sent their dragomans
to the Foreign Minister, Said Pasha caused his secretary to answer
in the Spanish manner, 'hasta la mañana' (to-morrow a reply will be
given). Finally the three Powers thought of using the rights conferred
upon them by Article sixty-one, and required Abdul Hamid to consent
that a European Commission of Control should be sent to Armenia, in
order to see that reforms be practically applied there. The Sultan
will fight stubbornly before accepting them, which would amount to
the abandonment of a portion of his sovereignty, and it remains to
be seen how much the Powers, jealous of their respective influence
at the Porte, are in earnest and how anxious they are promptly to
enforce the acceptation of their Control Commission."

The Turks continued to play a waiting game in Armenian
affairs. Remembering the treaty of Berlin, they were shrewd enough to
play off one Power against another so as to retain absolute control
over their internal affairs, though they had forfeited all right
to rule by their outrageous and brutal massacres. The Congress of
Berlin was at the time a costly thing to the Eastern Christians but
was destined to prove almost their utter ruin.

The Turks did not find it hard to pick flaws in the plan of
administrative reform when they did not intend to have any reform. The
whole scheme was without any security against the renewal of the
Sassoun massacres. Everybody who was interested in Armenia protested
against the plan, but it was the best that mere diplomacy could do.

Thus the summer passed filled with plenty of promises, but without
any fulfilment, until suddenly the signal was given and the horrors
of Sassoun were reënacted throughout all the provinces of Armenia.

At a mass meeting of Armenians held in New York, free expression was
given to the feeling of horror with which the news of the Turks'
outrages was received there. There seemed to be no doubt in the
minds of these people as to the truth of the reports from Asia Minor,
and many were of the opinion that still more terrible news would be
received. Mr. Dionian presided, and in calling the meeting to order,
said that Armenia and Turkey could never be friends, and that Armenia
must either be liberated or annihilated.

Dr. P. Ayvard also spoke, and then Dr. S. Aparcian offered resolutions,
which were unanimously adopted, saying in part:--


    Resolved, That we most respectfully and appealingly
    call upon all the great Powers of Europe, and of our
    adopted and well loved country of America, to the deplorable
    condition of Armenia, and trust that the moral
    interests of Europe will demand taking immediate steps
    to put an end to this rule of anarchy and lawlessness
    prevailing there, and that the United States of America
    will give their moral support.


Knowing the Turk as they did, the Armenians in this country were
prepared for the confirmation of these reports. In due time it came.

A prominent Turk laughed when he saw the report, and said it was a mere
fabrication, and that if there was any slaughter it was not committed
by the Turks. As to the Turks being opposed to the Armenians because
of their being Christians, he said: "People who have lived in the
Orient know that to be absurd. We have Christians and Jews among us,
and as long as they obey the laws of the land they are treated the
same as the members of our faith. Of course," he added, "when people
become revolutionists and conspire against our Government, then we
take measures to punish them. The Armenians are revolutionists, and
their revolutionary societies exist in every city in this country,
while the head-centre is at Naples."

The Turk laughed and blamed the Armenian revolutionists. The Porte
denied the outrages at first then charged the trouble to the Armenians,
until the terrible situation at Trebizond and Erzeroum could no longer
be kept from the knowledge of Christendom. The prisons in Trebizond
were filled with wounded and helpless Armenians: the Mohammedans were
well armed and the governor entirely in sympathy with, even if not
the instigator of the outrages.

Meanwhile the European manager of the United Press at Constantinople
gave the first detailed account of the appalling massacres to
which Armenian Christians had been subjected since the Sultan
Abdul Hamid gave perfidious assent to the reforms demanded by the
European Powers. The harrowing and shameful facts were told on the
authority of American Christian men, who witnessed them, and their
narrative had the unqualified endorsement of Mr. Terrell, the United
States Minister to Turkey. In view of such conclusive testimony to
the duplicity and faithlessness of an incorrigible ruler, it seems
incredible that Christian peoples will let their rescuing hands be
stayed any longer by sordid jealousy and greed, or that they will
any longer consent to bear a share of the responsibility for such
crimes against humanity. The blood of the slaughtered thousands of
their fellow Christians in Armenia cries against them from the ground.

By this trustworthy evidence the conclusion was justified that within
the six provinces mainly concerned in the proposed reforms, no fewer
than fifteen thousand Armenians were assassinated, while the number
of those rendered homeless and robbed of all their possessions,
did not fall short of two hundred thousand. The places and dates
exposed the aim of the hellish atrocities committed, and drove
home the guilt to their authors and accomplices. On October 20,
the Sultan authorized Kiamil Pasha, his Grand Vizier, to accept the
reforms proposed for the Armenian provinces by the European Powers,
and to promise that they should be forthwith carried out. On the next
day, October 21, when there had been ample time for the reception of
orders telegraphed from Constantinople, the Kurds and Turks throughout
Armenia, openly incited and assisted by the regular troops, entered
on a scheme of wholesale murder and devastation. The purpose of this
preconcerted iniquity, as disclosed by its disgraceful antecedents
and its horrible results, was to vent upon the helpless Armenians the
venom and the spite engendered by enforced submission to the will of
the Christian Powers. It was to enforce at one vindictive stroke the
programme of extermination devised in 1890, but prosecuted hitherto
with some show of secrecy and caution. It was to make of Armenia a
solitude, and then with satanic mockery, to offer exact fulfilment
of the pledge of peace and of reform.

All the circumstances showed that with this flagitious rupture of the
Sultan's plighted word, the person directly and primarily chargeable
was the Sultan himself. He sanctioned the plot of extermination,
if he did not personally concoct it in 1890, the relentless though
disavowed execution of which at last provoked the interposition of
Christian Powers. No sooner had Kiamil Pasha been reluctantly permitted
to agree to the reforms exacted for Armenia, than he was summarily
dismissed by Abdul Hamid from the Grand Vizierate, lest he should
execute the agreement in good faith. The new Ministers selected by the
Sultan were drawn mainly from the scum of Constantinople, and their
first act was to protest that time must be given to the Porte for the
proper enforcement of the reform project. Time was needed to render
reforms superfluous through the sweeping destruction of its intended
beneficiaries. It was needed to perpetrate the design of annihilation
on a scale of vast proportions. The Sultan well wished to hide his
privity to such a devilish transaction, but he dared not disavow
his agents, lest they should divulge his instructions. Accordingly,
when high Turkish officials, unmistakably implicated in the Armenian
enormities, were subjected to the nominal penalty of a recall at the
imperative instance of England's representative, they were decorated
and promoted by Abdul Hamid, whose secret aims and wishes were thus
betrayed.

On November 10, the Kurds made an attack on Harpoot, but were easily
repulsed. On November 11, a party of the soldiers and leading Turks
met the Kurds in conference, during the progress of which a bugle was
sounded, at which signal the soldiers withdrew. The Kurds thereupon
advanced with yells. There was no effort on the part of the soldiers
and Armenians to resist, and the Turks joined in the killing and
plundering. The Armenian school was burned, and then began an attack
upon the Christian quarter, the buildings in which were also set on
fire. The Christians were without weapons of any sort, and trusted
entirely to the Government to protect them. The Armenians remained
in the girls' seminary until that building was set on fire, and then
they appealed to the Governor for protection. They obtained a guard of
soldiers, all but two of whom afterward deserted. These two remained
and carried out the orders issued to them, to fight the fires which
had been kindled.

The burning continued for three days. The Armenians were stripped
of everything but their clothing. All the Christian villages
around were burned by the Kurds. The outrages continued unchecked
until the Government at Constantinople ordered the troops to take
action. Fourteen Kurds were then shot, when the murders and pillaging
ceased instantly. The districts of Diarbekir, Malatia, Arabkir, Kyin
and Palu were made desolate. Thirty-five villages were destroyed,
and thousands of the inhabitants embraced Islamism in consequence of
the pressure brought to bear upon them.

The Turkish troops which were on their way to Zeitoun to suppress
the trouble there, were concentrated at Marash, where they awaited
the return of the delegation sent to Zeitoun to negotiate with the
Armenians in control there for their surrender.

The Government said they were projecting more extensive relief work,
and would welcome foreign aid through a joint commission.

Despite this promise of greater relief, the Government was bent on
continuing the work of extermination--all promises to the contrary
notwithstanding.

The tidal wave of horror and indignation swept over Europe, and found
expression in most intense and emphatic speech; it was even felt in
the Cabinets of Diplomacy and in Constantinople. There seemed to be
more iron in their blood and energy in their action and purpose in
their speech.

The general situation was not changed, but it was apparent that a
change was about to take place. The representatives of the Powers, some
of whom were awaiting instructions from their Governments in regard
to the matter of sending additional guardboats into the Bosphorus,
seemed to be unanimous in their insistence on the issue of permits for
the admission of such boats by the Sultan, and the Ambassadors held a
meeting to consider the situation as presented by the Sultan's refusal
to permit the passage of the additional boats through the straits,
and to decide on a concerted plan of action.

For several days the wires were hot with the assertion that all
the Powers were united and determined to carry their demands to a
successful termination. The Sultan was unofficially informed that
if he continued to maintain his stubborn attitude, a forced entry of
the Dardanelles would possibly be made.

As previously, and with equal pertinence, at this hour of crisis the
continental press devoted much space to the affairs of the Orient,
and the Sultan was the recipient of much newspaper advice. One
writer in particular urged him to remain master of the situation,
and to show himself promptly disposed to fulfil his engagements. In
that case the crisis would remain an internal one; but if it should
assume an international aspect it would be peacefully adjusted on
the basis of the maintenance of the integrity of Turkey which would
be asserted by France and Russia, the two Pacific Powers. It was also
telegraphed from Constantinople that the Czar, in reply to a personal
appeal from the Sultan, consented to waive the Russian demand for a
second guardship in the Bosphorus. At the same time she was prepared
to resent any aggressive action that England might undertake alone.

The Sultan knew very well that there would be no concerted action of
the Powers--that England and Russia would never agree as to any joint
action, and yet to give color of necessity to his refusal, it was given
out that the Powers had decided to depose him, using for this purpose
the forces aboard the second guardship which they demanded should be
permitted to enter the Bosphorus. This was to stir up the populace
against the Powers. Then to furnish another excuse the report was
circulated that the Sultan was in daily fear of sharing the fate of
Ishmail Pasha at the hands of the Softas and the Young Turkish party.

The Sultan's letter to Lord Salisbury was often quoted as a
confirmation of the report that the Sultan was panic stricken. It
will be recalled that Lord Salisbury in his speech at the Lord Mayor's
banquet on November 9th, declared that, if the Sultan will not heartily
resolve to do justice to them, the most ingenious constitution that
can be framed will not avail to protect the Armenians; that through
the Sultan alone can any real permanent blessings be conferred on his
subjects. "What if the Sultan," exclaimed the British Prime Minister--

"What if the Sultan is not persuaded? I am bound to say that the news
reaching us from Constantinople does not give much cheerfulness in that
respect. You will readily understand that I can only speak briefly
on such a matter. It would be dangerous to express the opinions that
are on my lips lest they injure the cause of peace and good order."

These words seemed to be freighted with some ominous significance,
and they would have been, if there had been any purpose to make them
mean anything.

In a remarkable letter to Lord Salisbury which he read publicly at
a conference in London, the Sultan used a most beseeching tone to
show that the possible dissolution of his Empire was lying heavy on
his mind. It sounded like a most abject plea for mercy, a cry for the
postponement of the fate which the Powers seemed to be preparing for
the terrified monarch. In this note the Sultan said:

"I repeat, I will execute the reforms. I will take the paper containing
them, place it before me and see that it is put in force. This is
my earnest determination and I give my word of honor, I wish Lord
Salisbury to know this and I beg and desire his Lordship, having
confidence in these declarations, to make another speech by virtue of
the friendly feeling and disposition he has for me and my country. I
shall await the result of this message with the greatest anxiety."

It will be noted that the Sultan's communication contained no denial
that there are wrongs to be remedied in the administration of his
government in Armenia and elsewhere. There is no plea that the terms
of solemn treaty obligations have been observed. The letter is a tacit
confession that the interposition of the Powers as far as it had gone
was justifiable and that the reports of the atrocities in Asia Minor,
which were at first strenuously denied by the Turkish Government,
were true.

It was only a shrewd plea of helplessness to persuade the Powers not
to enforce their demands and nothing more. In his rejoinder to the
Sultan's letter, Lord Salisbury substantially admits the hopelessness
of reform under the Sultan's government as now constituted and
administered.

A few days after this correspondence the fear of the Sultan seemed
to have vanished, and he was brave enough to refuse permission to
the Powers to send extra guardboats into the Bosphorus.

At this time it looked as if Sir Philip Currie, the British Ambassador,
would act alone, and that he really meant to force the passage of
the Dardanelles.

But the Sultan knew he would not dare to do it, and he knew also
that the Powers were not agreed to use force. England proved herself
impotent before the crafty diplomacy of the timid Sultan.

It is folly at this day to pretend to believe that the Sultan ever
intended of his "spontaneous good-will" to protect the Armenians even
as human beings from the cruelty of Kurd or Turkish officials.

The horrors of December and January give the lie direct to every
promise made at Constantinople. The Sultan had outwitted England,
if indeed England ever were in earnest, and by circulating a rumor
of a Turco-Russian alliance, most effectually checked all danger
of intervention by force--the only argument to which the Turk will
ever yield--and proceeded to commit yet greater crimes if that were
possible.

Under the very eyes of the Russian, English, and French delegates at
Moush, the witnesses who had the courage to speak the truth to the
representatives of the Powers were thrown into prison, and not a hand
was raised to protect them: and within a stone's throw of the foreign
consuls and the missionaries, loyal Armenians were being hung up by
the heels, the hair of their heads and beards plucked out one by one,
their bodies branded with red-hot irons, and defiled in beastly ways,
and their wives and daughters dishonored before their very eyes. And
all that philanthropic England has to offer its protégés, for whose
protection she holds Cyprus as a pledge, is eloquent sympathy.

She received Cyprus by secret convention, and now holds it as the price
of innocent blood. The rewards of iniquity are in her hand. It was
worse than folly; it was the refinement of cruelty to send a commission
to investigate the outrages in Armenia, thereby irritating the Turk
to the height of possible fury as his deeds were proclaimed to the
world and then leave him free to wreak his compressed wrath upon the
Christians for whose protection no hand would be uplifted. The Powers
saw Armenia in misery, bleeding, dying, and passed by on the other
side, saying, we are bound by the terms of the Berlin Treaty not to
interfere with Turkey in the administration of her domestic affairs;
we are sorry for you; we wish the Sultan would listen to our advice
and not be quite so severe in his chastisement, but really you must
have given him some cause for his anger.

Yes, such provocation as the lamb gave to the wolf that charged it with
soiling the water, though it was drinking much farther down the stream.

The humiliation of England as one of the Great Powers was complete
when in the House of Commons March 16th, in reply to questions that
were put to him Mr. Curzon Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs was
obliged to say that reports received by the Government confirmed
the statements that a great number of forced conversions from
Christianity to Islamism were still being made in Asia Minor. Under
the circumstances of cruelty and systematic debauchery of defenceless
Christian women through the devastated districts of Anatolia, he said,
the British Consuls in Asia Minor had been instructed to report such
cases, and representations in regard to them were constantly being
made to the Government in Constantinople.

Representations were constantly being made! What did the Porte
care for representations? How England was compelled to quaff the
contempt even of the Turk who laughs or sneers as his mood may be
over these representations of English Consuls and missionaries. The
Sublime Porte--which means the Sultan--cabled the Turkish Legation at
Washington to deny most emphatically the statements that appeared in
the American religious press regarding forcible conversions to Islam.

The Sublime Porte affirmed that "the stories related therein are mere
inventions of revolutionists, and their friends intended to attract
the sympathy of credulous people. There is no forcible conversion
to Islamism in Turkey and no animosity against Protestantism." This
is sublime impudence. The statements thus contradicted, represented
conditions certified to by official reports, by careful investigations
made by correspondents of newspapers in England and the United States,
and by hundreds of private letters from persons in the region where
the massacres occurred. Moreover, this declaration of the Sultan
is contradicted by centuries of Mohammedan history, by the ruins of
ancient churches throughout all Asia Minor and Mesopotamia, and by
daily prayer concerning the Christians:--

"Oh Allah make their children orphans, * * give them and their
families * * their women, their children, * * their possessions and
their race, their wealth and their lands as booty to the Moslems,
O Lord of all creatures."

The Softas are, properly speaking, the pupils who are engaged in the
study of Mussulman theology and law in the medresses, or schools
attached to the mosques, the range of their studies, however,
being practically limited to learning to read the Koran. The
Softas take their name from a corruption of the past-participle
soukhte--burned--applied to them because they are supposed to be
consumed by the love of study of sacred things, and devoted to a life
of meditation. The Softas follow their studies in the school building,
sleeping and eating at the imaretts, where free lodgings and food are
provided for them out of the legacies of the pious. If their families
can afford to do so, they furnish them with clothing and bedding; if
not, these are given to them from the same charitable fund. The number
of Softas is very large, for one reason because of their exemption
from military service. After long-continued study of Arabic, and the
Koran and its commentaries, the Softa, after an examination which,
though nominally arduous, is almost invariably passed successfully,
takes the title of Khodja.

The Khodja--khavadje, reader or singer--a scholar who has taken his
diploma in the medresse, teaches for several years, in fact till he
has conducted a class of Softas through the same course he had himself
taken, when, on application to the Ministry of Worship, at whose head
is the Sheikh-ul-Islam, and, after a severe examination, he receives
the title of Ulema. The Mussulman does not arrive at this dignity
until he has reached the age of thirty or thirty-five. It confers
numerous privileges, for those doctors escape military service, unless
in the event of the djihad, or sacred war, and from their ranks are
filled the Judgeships, the curacies (so to speak) of the mosques, the
professorships in the medresses, the trusteeships connected with the
administration of the trust funds for pious and charitable purposes,
etc., etc.

The Imaums--who are the real priests and have charge of the public
religious service--are selected from among the Ulema. The title
of Imaum comes from the Arabic, and is the equivalent of leader
or outpost. There is as a rule one Imaum to each mosque of minor
importance--messdjid--while two, or, at most, three, one of whom
is designated the chief authority, are appointed to the principal
mosques--djamis. Even the Ulema--the word is plural and signifies
wise men--are subject to military duty when a holy war is proclaimed.

The term Softa includes all the grades above mentioned, from the Imaum,
or priest, to the Softa proper, or mere students of the Koran. They
are usually distinguishable in Turkey by wearing a white turban around
their fez, or skull cap. Sultan Abdul Medjid some years ago endeavored
to induce his subjects to wear a European dress, and succeeded so
far that almost without exception every one except the very lowest
in the public service adopted it. But the Softas to a man retain the
old-fashioned baggy, slouchy dress which Abdul Medjid wished to get
rid of.

Who can believe that through fear of the uprising of a few thousand
Softas, the Sultan planned a fanatical uprising of the Kurds in
distant Armenia. How could that benefit the Softas save as it were
permitted them to beat, kill and plunder the Armenians in Stamboul?

If the fear of the Softas prompted it, still what a heartless wretch
to doom seventy-five thousand to death and hundreds of thousands to
starvation and outrage when to admit the fleets of Europe would have
protected him from any possible insurrection in Constantinople.

The Turkish Government itself was directly and actively responsible
for the outrages in Asia Minor; it not merely permitted, but actually
ordered them. But there was in Constantinople itself a most serious
conspiracy against the dynasty, which threatened to turn out the
Sultan and revolutionize the whole form of government. As a sort of
counter-irritant, which haply might cure this, the Government might
have indeed resorted to any extravagance or conduct elsewhere. More
than one monarch has begun a foreign war to quell disaffection
at home. Why should not the Porte think a general harrying of the
Armenians a ready way of allaying incipient disloyalty among the
Faithful?

This conspiracy was made by what was known as the Young Turkey
party. It included most of the Softas, and students in all colleges,
and many lawyers, doctors, officers of the army and navy, and even
civil servants of the Porte. Back of these were multitudes of the
general populace. There were many who denied Abdul Hamid's legal right
to be Sultan while his elder brother was living. There were others,
numbered by millions, who held that the Caliph must be an Arab and that
the Sultan was therefore not to be recognized as the true Commander
of the Faithful. Moreover, many, indeed all the leaders of Young
Turkey, demanded the carrying out of the Hatt of 1877, establishing
a Constitution and Parliament, and denounced the suppression of that
promised system as a gross breach of faith and wrong to the people
of the Empire. It may not be generally remembered; men's memories are
so short; but it is a fact that a constitutional government was once
officially proclaimed in Turkey. The plan was conceived by Midhat
Pasha, then Grand Vizier, and formally approved by the Sultan. A
Constitution was promulgated. A Parliament, consisting of a Senate and
an elective Assembly, was created, and its first session was opened
by Abdul Hamid in person on March 19, 1877. Later in the same year
its second session was opened, and the Sultan publicly declared that
the Constitution should thenceforth be the supreme law of the land,
in practice as well as in theory. But before the end of the year one
designing politician managed to get Parliament involved in a corrupt
job, and then, to avoid investigation, persuaded the Sultan to issue
a decree abrogating the Constitution and abolishing Parliament! It
was a coup d'état, and it was successful; thanks largely to the
indifference of the Powers, and especially of England.

The Young Turkey leaders demanded the restoration of the
Constitution. In order to accomplish that they proposed to get rid,
in some way, of the Sultan who first decreed and then abrogated that
instrument. There were threats of assassination, and something like
a reign of terror prevailed at Yildiz Kiosk. The Sultan took as many
precautions against treachery as ever did the Russian Czar. The man
who brought about the abolition of the Parliament by his rascality
was a cabinet minister. He, too, was threatened with death. The
strictest repression was practiced. The merest hint was enough to
cause a man's arrest and summary execution. But in spite of all,
the revolutionary movement grew. Mysterious placards appeared on the
walls, calling for fulfilment of the Hatt of 1877. The name of Midhat
Pasha, who suffered martyrdom for having given Turkey a Constitution,
was spoken now and then, in whispers only, but in tones of grateful
reverence. A whisper of "The Constitution," too, went round. Army
and navy were becoming secretly leavened with the idea. The Sultan
and his Ministers did not know whom to trust.

And now that we have seen what a fiasco this brilliantly projected
great naval demonstration proved itself to be; and how cleverly the
Sultan played his pawns against Castles and Kings and Queens, and
checkmated all the Powers of Europe, we will leave him in his hell
of infamy bathed in the blood of nearly a hundred thousand slain,
with the voices of agonized and outraged mothers and daughters
raining maledictions upon his accursed head, while we try to be
patient until the rod of the Almighty shall smite the wicked, till
the day of reckoning and of vengeance shall come in the day of the
Lord at hand. We leave the Sultan in his palace to the companionship,
perhaps the guidance, of Khalil Rifaat Pasha, the new Grand Vizier,
the voice of history and the righteous judgments of God, but as for
Islam, as a system of government over Christian populations, we can
but pray daily for its speedy, utter and final overthrow.



CHAPTER IX.

PROGRESS AND POWER OF CHRISTIAN MISSIONS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.


In the following pages have been gathered a few very important papers
that will be of permanent value, but necessarily the limits are very
narrow, and only a sketch of the beneficent influences of the sweet
and holy Gospel of Jesus as it comes into the dark, and cruel and
ignorant heart of Moslem heathen, or breathes a new life into the
dead forms of the ancient church of Armenia can be given. It may,
however, be the less regretted as the great missionary periodicals
of every Christian church have given to Christendom for years the
ever thrilling and precious story of the victories won by grace. It
is to be hoped however that these papers will freshen the interest
of the reader and increase his faith in the coming of the kingdom
of Christ--the kingdom of peace and good will and righteousness,
wherein the terrible evils which prevail under the rule of Islam
shall never more be done, but the will of God be sweetly supreme.



A CHAPTER OF MISSION HISTORY IN TURKEY.

BY REV. H. O. DWIGHT, OF CONSTANTINOPLE.

The providential preparation for the opening of the mission of the
American Board at Constantinople sixty years ago was sufficiently
remarkable to warrant recalling the story. In the year 1825 a tract
by the Rev. Jonas King on the necessity of studying the Scriptures
was published in Syria. It was translated into Armenian by Bishop
Dionysius at Beirût and sent in manuscript to an influential Armenian
at Constantinople. Its convincing words produced an extraordinary
effect upon all who read them. Minds largely ignorant of the Bible
and its teachings were aroused at once, to see the lacks of the
Armenian Church in the matter of Bible knowledge. A school, having
for its principal object the education of the clergy, was established
at the Armenian Patriarchate at Constantinople, under charge of the
eminent teacher Peshtimiljian. A rule limiting ordinations for the
priesthood in Constantinople to graduates at this school was adopted,
indicating slightly the ignorance which had been prevalent up to that
time among the ordinary priesthood. Peshtimiljian, the head master
of the new school, was a learned man for his day and was also firm
in his conviction that the Bible is the sole standard of Christian
life and doctrine.

Thus it was that when five or six years later the missionaries of the
Board went to reside at Constantinople, there to urge upon the people
individual examination of the Bible, their access to Armenians was
easy. They found a strong group in the Armenian Church who were already
exercised with this question, although it was pathetically evident
that they had no idea that any other branch of the Christian Church
was equally interested in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is noteworthy
that all the first converts under the labors of the missionaries at
Constantinople and many of the later ones received their first impulse
towards evangelical Christianity from the school of Peshtimiljian,
and that, perhaps, before a missionary had reached Constantinople.

An impressive ceremony in the Armenian Patriarchal Church in
Constantinople, held in September, 1833, was part of the fruits of
this remarkable movement. It was the first ordination of Armenian
priests under the new rule. Fifteen young men, who had completed their
studies in the school, were then solemnly set apart for the priest's
office, and the missionaries were specially invited to be present at
the ceremony. One of the men ordained on that day, the Rev. Kevork
Ardzrouni, had been brought into such relations to the missionaries,
that after his ordination Dr. Goodell and Dr. Dwight could call upon
him in his cell of retirement. As they were leaving, Der Kevork asked
an interest in their prayers. It surely was not without significance
in the after life of this priest that there, at the threshold of his
church service, he received the benediction of that holy servant of
God, Rev. William Goodell, who solemnly invoked upon him the descent
of the Holy Spirit as they stood together in the cloisters of the
Armenian Patriarchate.

Der Kevork's name appears repeatedly in all the early records of the
mission at Constantinople. His early history was inseparably linked
with the history of the founding of the mission. He himself, full
of years and of good works, died at Constantinople in January 1984,
at the age of one hundred and seven. From the first Der Kevork was
prominent among the fifteen priests, ordained on that great day in
1833, as a man of learning and of piety. During five or six years
after his ordination he was one of the principal teachers in a great
Armenian school in Hasskeuy, the religious influence of which he at
least helped to make as pure and as strong as that of the mission
school. He also spent much time at that early day in visiting from
house to house among the people, reading the Scriptures, and exhorting
the people to obey the gospel message. Wherever he was there was a
quiet but powerful influence for the spread of evangelical ideas.

Then came the reaction against the evangelicals. The more ignorant and
bigoted of the clergy looked with terror upon the influx of light among
the common people. It seemed to promise only harm to ecclesiastics
who had not, and cared not to have, spiritual understanding of the
priestly duty. The reactionary party gained the control of the church,
they secured the imprisonment and banishment of the evangelical
leaders in the Armenian Church, and the excommunication and cruel
persecution of all among the laity who persisted in claiming the right
to read the Bible and to judge by it of the value of the usages of the
ancient church. Der Kevork was one of the pious priests imprisoned
in 1839 and banished to a remote part of Asia Minor. The whole hope
of reform in the Armenian Church seemed to be destroyed. The Sultan
made a proclamation against the Protestants as enemies of the peace
of the empire; the ecclesiastics, citing the fact that Dr. Hamlin
did not make the sign of the cross or fast, officially asked for his
expulsion from Bebek; the American Episcopal missionary added fuel
to the flame by translating into Armenian, for the edification of
the reactionary party among the clergy, passages from the Missionary
Herald, which he claimed showed a purpose to break up the church, and
in print and in speech he denounced the missionaries of the Board as
infidels and "radicals." All these circumstances had their influence
upon the mind of Der Kevork, and by the time this terrible persecution
had led in 1846 to the organization of a separate evangelical church
at Constantinople, Der Kevork had decided to make his peace with his
own church and to break off relations with the missionaries. In doing
this he did violence to his conscience. But his hope that still he
might be able to aid in reforming his church from within, offers
sufficient justification for charity towards this pious priest.

It was long before Der Kevork ventured to renew intimate relations
with the missionaries and the evangelical Armenians. I can remember,
forty years ago, being taken by my father to see Der Kevork in his home
in Hasskeuy. There was evident constraint in their conversation, but
the old affection of twenty years before still existed. And when the
old man--for his beard even then was white as snow--laid his hand on
my head and said, "God bless you, my son, and make you a good man!" it
was like a blessing from a man of God.

As the conscience of the venerable priest more and more resumed
its sway over his life he became more and more earnest in teaching
evangelical truth. His great age made it necessary some time ago for
him to commit the principal part of his parish duties to an assistant,
happily a kindred spirit. But his influence in the Armenian Church,
especially during the last fifteen years, has been thoroughly and
penetratingly the influence of a simple and pure-minded Gospel
Christian. He had a standing order in the Bible House for all new
religious publications, and to the day of his death he loved to talk
with missionaries and pastors of the evangelical church upon the things
of the kingdom. His last sermon was preached at Easter, 1892, when
he was carried in a chair to the church which he had served for more
than half a century. There, supported by loving arms, he preached a
most powerful discourse upon the duty of Bible study and of conformity
of life thereto in pure and spiritual piety and devotion to Christ.

The public life of this aged priest of the Gregorian Armenian Church
corresponded with the whole period of the existence of the American
Board's mission among the Armenians. His spiritual life was largely
determined by the influence of the fathers of that mission, and the
outcome of his work was essentially on the same lines as the work of
the mission. It is, then, a suggestive token of the great change which
God had already effected in the Armenian Church that Protestants and
Armenians joined in mourning his loss, and that both honored in him
the same traits of character: a hearty love for the simple gospel
and a life conformed to the life of Jesus Christ.



HAVE MISSIONS IN TURKEY BEEN A FAILURE?

BY A. H. HAIGAZIAN.

University of Chicago.

It is only a short time that I have been in America; yet my intercourse
with American friends has led me to this conclusion, that the people
in general do not know what the missions have done in Turkey.

So far as I can judge, much has been said on the dark side of the
mission work. It seems to me that even the missionaries who return
home for a short rest, finding the people more interested with the
funny customs of the Old East; they are tempted to forget to tell
more about the results of the missions.

I thoroughly admit, that the need must be pictured before the eyes of
the people as vividly as possible, and for this end the costumes and
the beliefs of the natives are to be discussed. This must be done;
but on the other hand, the results and the fruits of the sincere
prayers and long toils should not be omitted. The former pleases the
people but the latter encourages them.

Dear American friends, I assure you that the missions in Turkey have
not been a failure. Your prayers and best wishes for Turkey have been
answered by the Great Master of the work.

The mission's first and most important work has been in the
establishment of many strong and evangelical churches in Turkey. At
this point you must remember that the main work of the missions in
Asiatic Turkey has been among Armenians. Missionaries do not preach
to Moslems or Mohammedans in Turkey, as it is often supposed. Neither
do they preach to heathen. Now the Armenians had already accepted
Christianity in the beginning of the fourth century as a whole
nation, and to this day they have kept Christianity in their national
church. But the intercourse with the Greek and Roman Catholic churches,
took out the vital element from the church. Now the whole missionary
effort is spent to reform the Old Armenian Church; and to a great
extent they are successful. I call the work of the missions in Turkey
only a reformation, nevertheless a great reformation. The attention of
the people has been directed to the Bible itself. The most important
and principal doctrines of Christianity have been preached to the
souls in a more open and simple way. Sunday schools, Young Men's and
Young Women's Christian Associations and Christian Endeavor Societies
have been formed, which were almost unknown before the mission
work. From the ignorant women of Turkey have come out many Hannahs
and Monicas. "Jesus, lover of my soul," "My faith looks up to Thee,"
"Nearer, my God, to Thee," and many other hymns which are used so much
among you, are also the favorite hymns of these Armenian Evangelical
churches. Even the most ignorant woman sings them without having a
hymn book in her hand. When you lift up your voices here in America
in Christian prayers and songs, be sure that at that moment, four
thousand miles beyond in Turkey, many voices have been lifted up with
the same spirit towards heaven. Yours and theirs ascend together up to
the throne of Almighty God. They have no such magnificent buildings for
their churches as you have here. In many churches they have no organ or
piano; a poor people. Yet if you should see those Protestant churches,
their sincerity, their piety, and their love for the truth of God,
you would surely say, "Truly the Gospel is preached to the poor."

The educational work of the missions has been not less successful. The
colleges and theological seminaries of the missions among those
Protestant churches can be well compared with the many colleges and
the theological seminaries of America. And the graduates of these
institutions are carrying on the work of the missions. We have
there able professors, able preachers and successful revivalists
and evangelists. Dr. Daniels, the secretary of the American Board,
recently in one of the Congregational churches of Chicago said:
"Our missionaries have laid the foundation, but our native preachers
and professors are building up the rest."

The congregations are made ready to hear more thoughtful
sermons. Don't think that it will be a very easy matter to preach in
those churches. Criticism of sermons is not confined to American and
European churches. Even the sermons of the missionaries are not so
welcome as before. They are nowadays anxious to hear only the thoughts
that come out from thoroughly educated minds. The cities of Marash,
Aintab, etc., which are educational centers, are choosing their pastors
from those who are educated in the American universities. The ideals
of the people are going to be higher and higher. The present colleges
and seminaries are being obliged almost every year to change their
programs, to fit them to the conditions and wants of the people.

Missions have awakened an interest among the people in the musical
department. Vocal music is taught in every high school. Haydn, Handel,
Mozart, Beethoven, etc., are familiar names to both educated young
men and women. The "Hallelujah Chorus" of Handel, and many other
classic pieces are sung in social meetings. During these last years
kindergartens have done much in the education of the young folks. The
kindergartens of Smyrna, Cæsarea, Aintab, Marash and Hadjin are very
successful. Those children can sing many English songs.


   "Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
    How I wonder, what you are"


is one which I have heard many times. Even non-Protestants are much
attracted by this kind of education, and I think this is a good
opportunity for missions.

The third and last result of the missions which I will mention, is the
social improvement among the natives. The poverty of the people has
been a hindrance to this. Yet the improvement on this point cannot
be denied. An educated young man in Armenia wears the dress of an
American gentleman, with this difference, that, the former puts on
his fez instead of hat. Especially young women of the cities cannot
be distinguished by their dress from European or American young women.

These are some direct results of the missions. Besides, the missions
have done a great deal indirectly. Non-Protestant Armenians also
have been awakened to their duties. The preaching of the gospel
is becoming more common among them, and I am sure there are
hundreds of Armenians, who do not call themselves Protestants,
who are in reality Protestants. If so, then have missions been a
failure? Mrs. Scott-Stevenson in her book entitled "Our Ride Through
Asia Minor," severely criticises the missions, their aims and their
methods. If she should criticise only their methods, I should agree
with her in some degree; but to criticise the sacred aim of preaching
the Gospel is non-Christian sentiment, and I am sure she must have
taken those notes under the influences of the wines of Turkey, which
she seems very much delighted with.

Let me add one point more. The missionaries succeed better among
Armenians than among any Christian sects in Turkey. And why? Simply
because they love the truth. The history of the Armenian church proves
this. The history of the missions in Turkey proves this. Because
their motto is progress. Forward to a higher spirituality; forward to
a higher education; forward to a higher civilization. And no wonder
that they accept reformation so readily. They believe that the Kingdom
of God brings with itself all that which is necessary for a nation.

And we cannot help but mention our hearty gratitude to the American
Board. Thanks for their love of humanity; thanks for their liberal
gifts; thanks for their prayers, and thanks for their missionaries. Yet
there is much to be done. We need more help. The harvest is ready--more
reapers! The points thus far mentioned are pledges for a greater
success.

[The following paper was contributed to the "World's Congress of
Missions," held at Chicago in 1893. The "Parliament of Religions" will
long be remembered as the most remarkable gathering the world has yet
seen of the defenders of the Ethnic Faiths of the world. Representative
men from the ends of the earth brought to this parliament the best
religious thought of their respective faiths. It was the high water
mark of that which the best and wisest of men have discovered or that
has been revealed concerning God, duty and destiny.]



MODERN TRIUMPHS OF THE GOSPEL IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.

REV. HENRY H. JESSUP, D. D.

To recount the triumphs of the Gospel in the Ottoman Empire would be
to write the history of its moral, intellectual and social progress
for the past seventy-five years.

When Pliny Fisk and Levi Parsons sailed for Jerusalem in 1818
the Ottoman Empire was virtually a "terra incognita." Ruling over
thirty-five millions of souls in Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and
Northern Africa, of whom twelve millions were Oriental Christians,
this great empire had not a school excepting the Koranic medrisehs
for boys in the mosques, and its vast populations were in a state of
intellectual, moral and religious stagnation. These young Americans
were instructed to ascertain "what good could be done for Jews,
Pagans, Mohammedans and Christians in Egypt, Syria, Persia, Armenia
and other adjacent countries." Fisk died in Beirut in 1826, and by his
grave was planted a little cypress tree. Parsons died in Alexandria,
and his grave is unknown. They both "died without the sight" of fruit
from their labors.

Three-quarters of a century have passed, and to-day we are asked,
what good has been done to Jews, Pagans, Mohammedans and Christians
in this great empire?

The work to be done in 1820 was formidable and the means seemingly
contemptible. What could a handful of young men and women accomplish,
coming from a distant land whose very existence was discredited, to an
empire whose political and religious systems had been fossilized for
centuries, where schools, books and Bibles were unknown? For these
inexperienced youth from the land of the Pilgrims, reared in the
air of civil and religious liberty, trained to hate all despotism,
political or ecclesiastical, and to love a free press, free schools,
and absolute freedom of conscience, to attempt to change public opinion
and renovate society, to reform the Oriental churches and liberalize
Islam, seemed a forlorn and desperate venture.

Seventy years have passed. Sultans have risen and fallen. Patriarchs
and Bishops remain, but Turkey is not what it was in 1820, and can
never retrograde to those days of darkness. That little evergreen
tree planted by Pliny Fisk's grave in the suburbs of a town of eight
thousand population has grown to be a stately cypress tree in the
very center of a city of ninety thousand people. Overlooking it is
a female seminary, a large church edifice, a Sunday school hall,
a printing house, which sends out more than twenty millions of
pages annually. That little iron door to the east opens into a vault
containing thirteen thousand electrotype plates of various editions
of the Arabic Scriptures. Within a radius of two miles are four
Christian colleges, seven female seminaries, sixty boys' day schools,
thirty-one girls' schools, seventeen printing presses, and four large
hospitals. The boys' and girls' schools belong to the Protestants,
Catholics, Greeks, Muslims and Jews, and sixteen thousand children
are under instruction. Scores of Muslim girls are as familiar with
the Old Testament prophecies with regard to Christ as are our Sunday
school children at home. Bibles, hymn books and Christian literature,
as well as scientific, historical and educational works, are scattered
over the city and throughout the land. Young Syrian women, formerly
shut up in ignorance and illiteracy, now enjoy the instruction of
home libraries and useful periodicals, and even carry on discussions
in the public press and write books of decided merit....



THE OUTCOME.

I. The Gospel has triumphed in securing in a great measure to the
people of Turkey that most precious treasure, religious liberty and
freedom of conscience.

In 1820, every Ottoman subject had a right to remain in his own
sect and to think as his fathers thought before him. Muslim could
remain Muslim, Greek remain Greek, Armenian Armenian, and Maronite
Maronite. Each sect was a walled enclosure with gates bolted and
barred, and the only possible egress from any was into the fold
of Islam.

The appearance of an open Bible, the preaching of the Gospel, free
schools and open discussion of religious questions threw all things
into confusion. Not a few received the Gospel and claimed the right
to think for themselves.... Anathemas, the major excommunication,
stripes and imprisonment, intimidated some, but drove multitudes
out of the Oriental Churches, and as the imperial laws regarded
every man outside the traditional sects as an outlaw, exile, death,
or recantation seemed their only possible fate.

But these storms of persecution developed some of the noblest types
of Christian character. True heroic spirits, like Asaad esh Shidiak in
Lebanon, preferred death to submission to the doctrines of a priestly
hierarchy. The Maronite monastery of Connobîn, near the Cedars of
Lebanon, where he was walled up in a cell under the overhanging cliff
and starved to death, has become memorable in Syria as the scene of the
first martyrdom for the evangelical faith in Turkey in modern times.

Scourging, imprisonment and exile have been the lot of multitudes
who have stood steadfast amid their sufferings. Mr. Butrus Bistany,
a young Maronite scholar, who found the truth as Luther found it,
in a monastery, fled for his life to Beirut, and remained concealed
for two years in the American Mission, fearing death at the hands
of the spies of the Patriarch. But he was spared to be a pillar in
the Protestant Church, a learned Arabic author, the assistant of Eli
Smith in Bible translation, and the biographer of Asaad esh Shidiak....

Kamil Abdul Messiah, a youthful Syrian convert to Christianity from
Islam, who died in Bussorah in June, 1892, seemed baptized by the
Holy Spirit and divinely instructed in the Word of God. He grasped the
vital truths of the Gospel as by a Heavenly instinct. He was a youth
of pure life and lips, of faith and prayer, of courage and zeal, and
he was mighty in the Scriptures. In Southern Arabia he preached in the
streets of towns, in Arab camps, on the deck of coasting ships, and
even in mosques. His journals read like chapters from the Acts. His
early death was a loss to the Arab race, but his memory is fragrant
with the aroma of a pure and godly life and example.

Time would fail us to recount the history of the able writers,
the liberal Christian merchants, the faithful pastors and teachers,
the godly physicians, the self-denying poor, the patient, loving,
and exemplary women, who have been Christ's witnesses during these
years of toil and prayer in Syria.

In November, 1847, an Imperial decree recognized native Protestants
as an independent community with a civil head.

In 1850 the Sultan gave a firman granting to Protestants all
the privileges given to other Christian communities, and in 1853
another, declaring Christians before the law equal in all respects
to Mohammedans, and the death penalty for apostasy from Islam was
abolished. This Magna Charta of Protestant rights is the charter of
liberty of conscience to all men in Turkey.

The Ottoman Government became to a great extent tolerant, and to-day,
as compared with its Northern Muscovite neighbor, it is a model of
toleration. There is no open legal persecution for conscience's sake.

The Bible in its various languages is distributed throughout the
Empire, with the imperial permit printed on the title page. There is
not yet liberty to print controversial books touching the religion of
Islam, although Islamic works attacking Christianity are distributed
openly, with official approbation. The censorship of the press is
rigid, but the existing Christian literature is rarely interfered with.

The Sheikh ul Islam in Constantinople recently replied officially
to a European convert to Islam who asked his aid in entering the
Mohammedan religion, that "religion is a matter between man and
God, and that no sheikh or priest or mediator is needed in man's
approach to his Maker." This is one of the cardinal principles of
Christianity,--the difference consisting in this:--that while the
Sheikh ul Islam probably meant to exclude even the mediation of Christ,
the Gospel claims Christ as the only Mediator.

It is also true that if any Christian wishes to become a Mohammedan he
must go before the Kadi, who summons the Christian's religious minister
to labor with him and examine his case before he is admitted to Islam.

That so much of religious liberty exists is cause for profound
gratitude.

II. The social triumphs of Gospel work in Turkey appear in the
transformation of the family and the elevation of woman.

The Mohammedan practice of the veiling and seclusion of woman and
her exclusion from all social dignity and responsibilities rested
like a blight on womankind among all the sects of the Empire. Even
among the women of the non-Muslim sects the veil became a necessary
shield from insult.

An exploration of the Empire in 1829 failed to discover a single
school for girls. American women were the first to break the spell,
and after long and patient efforts the first school building for the
instruction of girls in the Ottoman Empire was erected in Beirut,
in 1834, at the expense of Mrs. Tod, an American lady in Alexandria,
and the teacher was Mrs. Sarah L. H. Smith....

In 1877, the first Muslim school for girls was opened in Beirut. They
now have three girls' schools in the city, with five hundred
pupils. Thus far their girls' schools are confined to the great
cities, and they have shown commendable zeal in erecting neat and
commodious buildings.

In Syria and Palestine there are now nine thousand and eighty-one
girls under Protestant instruction, and there are thousands in the
Greek and Papal schools. The effects of female education prosecuted
for so many years has been a palpable change in the status and dignity
of woman. The light and comfort, the moral and intellectual elevation
which have resulted are plain even to the casual observer. The mother
is becoming the primary instructor of the children at home, and by
precept and example their moral and religious guide.

The indifference of the Oriental Christians and the opposition of the
Mohammedans to female education has been largely overcome. A Mohammedan
Turkish lady in Constantinople, Fatimeh Alia Khanum, daughter of Joudet
Pasha, has just published a novelette in Turkish and Arabic to show
the superiority of the home life of Turkish Muslim women to that of
European Christian women. A Protestant young lady of Northern Syria has
taken a prize of $50 for the best original Arabic story illustrating
the benefits of female education. Another Protestant young woman has
recently published an Arabic book on "Society and Social Customs," and,
on the eve of her departure for the Columbian Exposition, delivered a
public lecture on the duty of Ottoman subjects to support their own
domestic manufacturers. It was largely attended by Muslim sheikhs,
Turkish effendis and the public generally, and at the close a young
Jewess, a fellow-graduate with her from the American Female Seminary,
arose and made an impromptu address in support of the speaker's views.

Too much cannot be said in admiration of the self-denying and
successful labors of the American, English, Scotch and German women
who have toiled patiently through long years, and many of whom have
sacrificed their lives to the elevation of their sisters in this great
Empire. Educated and cultivated wives, mothers, sisters and daughters,
all over the land, rise up and call them blessed. These happy Oriental
homes, neat and well ordered, their high character, their exemplary
conduct, their intelligence and interest in the proper training of
their own children and the best welfare of society, are among the
noblest fruits of a revived Christianity in the East.

What is wanted to complete the symmetry of this picture of the
intellectual progress of Oriental women is that a deputation of
Mohammedan ladies should attend the great World's Congress of Women
from all the nations, and explain to their sisters from Christian
and pagan Empires wherein consists the excellency and glory of the
veiling and seclusion of Mohammedan women in harems and zenanas,
and the permission to their men to have four legal wives and as
many concubines as their right hands may acquire by purchase or
capture. They should have the opportunity to explain the superiority
of this system to that of Christianity, under which woman is allowed
the most complete liberty of action, is trusted and honored, and given
the highest place in the great organized enterprises of benevolence,
charity, religion and social reform, and in the relief of human
suffering at home and abroad.

III. To Protestant Missions is due the modern intellectual and
educational awakening of the whole Empire. The American schools
had been in operation forty years before the Turkish government
officially promulgated (in 1869), school laws, and instituted a scheme
of governmental education.

In 1864 there were twelve thousand five hundred elementary Mosque
schools for reading the Koran, in which there were said to be half
a million of students. In 1890, according to the recently published
Ottoman reports, there were in the Empire forty-one thousand six
hundred and fifty-nine schools of all kinds, of which three thousand
are probably Christian and Jewish. As there are thirty-five thousand
five hundred and ninety-eight mosques in the Empire, and each mosque
is supposed to have its "medriseh" or school, there would appear
to be about four thousand secular government schools not connected
with the mosques, independent of ecclesiastical control by mollahs
and sheikhs, and belonging to the imperial graded system of public
instruction; yet many of the mosque schools have now been absorbed
into the government system, so that there may be twenty thousand of
these so-called secular government schools....

There are now in the Empire eighty hundred and ninety-two Protestant
schools, with forty-three thousand and twenty-seven pupils.


                           Schools.   Boys.    Girls.   Total Pupils.

  In Syria and Palestine        328    9,756    9,081          18,837
  In Egypt                      100    3,271    3,029           6,300
  In Asia Minor, etc.           464   10,000    7,890          17,890
                                ---   ------   ------          ------
      Total                     892   23,027   20,000          43,027


Of these pupils twenty thousand are girls, a fact most potent and
eloquent with regard to the future of these interesting peoples.

There are thirty-one colleges, seminaries and boarding-schools for
girls, of which eleven are taught by English and twenty by American
ladies. In some of these schools young women are carried to the higher
branches of science. In all of them the Bible is taught as a daily
text book.

There are six American colleges for young men, the most of them
well equipped and manned, taking the lead in academic and scientific
training. The medical college in Beirut has pupils from nearly all
parts of the Empire.

The standard of instruction is kept as high as the circumstances
of the different provinces will admit, and the education given is
thoroughly Biblical and Christian. And there are no more upright,
intelligent, useful, loyal and progressive subjects of the Sultan
today than the graduates of these colleges.



IV. The fourth evidence of the Gospel's triumph is the translation of
the Bible into all the languages of the Empire, and the publication
of a vast mass of religious, educational, historical, and scientific
books. The Bible is now printed in eleven languages and made available
to all the people of the Empire. About fifteen hundred different books
have been published in these various languages, of which nearly seven
hundred are from the Arabic press in Beirut. The Arabic Bible is sent
to the whole Arabic reading Mohammedan world. The literary, scientific,
historical and religious books also have a wide circulation.

Seventy years ago there were neither books nor readers. Now the
hundreds of thousands of readers can find books in their own tongue,
and to suit every taste. There are children's illustrated books
for the school and the fireside, stories and histories for the
young, solid historical, theological, and instructive works for
the old, and scientific books and periodicals for students. Bunyan,
D'Aubigné, Edwards, Alexander, Moody, and Spurgeon are speaking to the
Orientals. Richard Newton instructs and delights the children. Eli
Smith, Van Dyck, and Post, Meshaka and Bistany, Nofel and Wortabet,
instruct the scholarly and educated, while mathematics, astronomy,
philosophy, chemistry, and medicine, geology and meteorology carry
students on to the higher departments of learning. Tracts and Sunday
school lesson books abound, and periodical literature supplies the
present daily wants of society.

The American Arabic Press, founded in Malta in 1822, and in Beirut in
1834, set in motion the forces which have now filled all the great
cities of the Empire with presses and newspapers, and awakened the
people to a new intellectual life. The Beirut Press alone has printed
five hundred millions of pages in Arabic.

The Bible and the Koran are now the two religious books of the
Empire. The Koran is in one language for one sect, and cannot be
translated, and any copy of the Koran found in the possession of a
native Christian or a European traveler is confiscated. The Bible is in
eleven languages and is freely offered for sale to all. Sixty thousand
copies of the Scriptures are sold annually in the Turkish Empire.



THE OUTLOOK.

1. Russia is straining every nerve to destroy Protestant schools as
endangering the political solidarity of the Greek Church and thus
hostile to her prestige and future influence in Turkey.

2. Republican France, having exiled the Jesuits as intolerable at
home, finds them pliant tools of her political schemes abroad and
subsidizes them heavily with money and diplomatic support in thwarting
Protestant missions.

3. The civil policy of the Turkish Government is "Turkey for the
Turks." This means virtually filling all the offices of the Empire
with Mohammedans, thus gradually closing every avenue of public
official employment and promotion to the six millions of the Christian
population, who are far in advance of the Muslims in education and
intelligence.

We do not here dispute the right or the political sagacity of this
new régime. But its natural result is seen in the emigration of
thousands of the most energetic and enlightened young men to foreign
lands. Protestant schools are endangered by losing their trained
teachers, and the churches by losing their best members and the
material for their future pastors, and the cause of self-support
is gravely imperilled. But though thus threatened Protestantism
is secured.

1. By the wide distribution of the Scriptures. The hundreds
of thousands of Bibles in the hands of the people will make the
extinction of Protestantism impossible unless the people themselves
are exterminated.

2. By the wide diffusion of education and the founding of so many
Protestant colleges and seminaries which have come to Turkey to stay.

3. By the deep-rooted faith and personal convictions of tens
of thousands who believe in the right of individual judgment in
religion and in the supremacy of conscience enlightened by the Word
of God. Fifty thousand Protestants in the Empire can be depended upon
to hold their own, even were all foreign missionaries to be withdrawn.

4. By the vast body of Christian literature and the power of the
journalistic press, which are inconsistent with a recoil into the
domain of priestly tyranny and the stifling of the human conscience.

Protestantism as a principle is steadily growing in every sect in
the Empire. The Ark of God is safe in this land. Let us work on in
patience and good cheer, with gratitude and unquestioning faith.



CHAPTER X.

THE KURDS AND ARMENIANS.


Turkish Armenia, the northwestern division of Kurdestan, is a
great plateau of nearly sixty thousand square miles, bounded on the
north by the Russian frontier, by Persia on the east, the plains of
Mesopotamia on the west, and Asia Minor on the south. There are in
all, at the present time, about four million Armenians on the globe,
of whom little more than half are in Turkey, and the rest in Russia,
Persia, other Asiatic countries, Europe and America. In Armenia--the
name and geographical existence of which are not recognized in
Turkey--there are probably six hundred thousand native Armenians,
or one-fourth of the whole number that are scattered throughout the
Porte's dominions. The climate is temperate and bracing. Facilities
for travel and transportation are exceedingly meagre, and all the
methods employed by the natives are unusually primitive. "Valis," or
municipal governors, are appointed by the government at Constantinople
to administer the laws, and none but Moslems hold official positions.

Among the population are found many races, including Turks, Kurds,
Russians, Circassians, and Jews, besides native Armenians. Fully
one-half the people are Mohammedan. The Kurds lead a pastoral
and predatory life, dwelling in mountain villages over the entire
region. Their number is uncertain, but it is estimated that in the
villages of Erzeroum, Van and Bitlis there are not less than six
hundred thousand. Some of these tribes are migratory, like the Bedouins
of Syria. Almost all are warlike, and many have degenerated into
lawless brigands. For centuries they have made serfs of the Christians,
trampling them under foot at every opportunity, and extending to
them no toleration whatsoever. These rude mountaineers delight in
bloodshed and pillage, and it was their oppression of the Armenian
villagers which precipitated the distress in Sassoun, Moush, Bitlis,
and the surrounding country. The Kurdish costumes are picturesque, and
nearly all the tribesmen are magnificent horsemen. The government at
Constantinople organized them as a military force, and bestowed the
name "Hamidieh" on their cavalry regiments, but their spirit, like
that of the wild Arab, the Cossack, or the North American Indian, is
one that scarcely brooks the restraints of military discipline. They
were always formidably armed, and weapons in the hands of such a
war-loving race were an incentive to disturbance and outrage. They
spread universal terror among the Armenians by their cruelty and
frightful excesses for many centuries, but it was reserved for our
own time to witness the exhibition of barbarism on their part that
filled Europe and America with horror.

Kurdestan, which is a name very common in the East, is no more than
a geographical appellation for the entire country inhabited by the
Kurds. Its area is estimated at more than fifty thousand square
miles. This region has no political boundaries, but includes both
Persian and Turkish territory. It may be said to extend from Turkish
Armenia, on the north, to the plains of the middle Tigris, and the
Luristan mountains, on the south. It contains many other people besides
Kurds, such as Turks, Nestorians, Chaldeans, Persians and Armenians.

The origin and ancestry of the Kurds, like that of most Eastern
nations, is still unsettled among ethnologists. They stand among
the Asiatic races, like the Basques and Lapps in Europe, wrapt in
obscurity. They are a people without a literature, and almost without
a history. They number about two millions, six hundred thousand of
whom are under Persia, the rest being under Turkey. They are divided
into many independent tribes; the tribal feeling is very strong,
a very fortunate thing for Turkey and Persia, for could the Kurds be
firmly united these Empires might often suffer much at their hands.

Some of them are nomadic, not, however, wandering indefinitely,
for they have well defined circuits which they make annually.

But some of them are agricultural people, who live in villages,
tilling ground on the plains and hillsides. It is amusing to notice
them on their way to their work, dragging along their sluggish limbs,
as though they might drop asleep at any moment. They will waste two
hours before they even start to work. After an hour of pretended labor,
in which they have really accomplished nothing, they will have to sit
down and smoke awhile. But look at the Kurd as he rides his Arabian
steed, gun on shoulder, sword at side and spear in hand--a veritable
angel of death. His dark eyes and gloomy countenance are fearful to
look upon. These warriors sleep most of the day, and at sunset start
on their robbing expeditions. They descend to the numerous villages
in the valleys and drive away the cattle and flocks, no one daring to
oppose them, as their very name strikes terror to the hearts of the
people. Robbing is their business, and they believe that God created
them for this purpose only.

One who has conversed with many of them, asked them why they
steal. They answered that every man has some occupation; one is a
judge, one a merchant, one a farmer, and "we are robbers." They make
their living in this way. "Why don't you work?" "We do not know how
to work." "Why do you kill people?" "When we meet a man that we wish
to rob, if we find him stronger than ourselves, we have to kill him
in order to rob him." "But you are liable to be killed some day." "We
must die at some time," they answer, "what is the difference between
dying now and a few days hence?"

The Kurds are profoundly ignorant and stupid, with neither books nor
schools. Of the whole race not one in ten thousand can read.

The most of the summer they live in tents in the cool places on the
mountain slopes and valleys. Their winter houses are built underground,
most of them having a single room with one or two small holes at
the top for light. This serves for a bedroom, parlor, kitchen and
stable. In the daytime they are all away; towards sunset they come in,
one by one, at least a score of men, women and children; but already
the hens have found their resting place; sheep, oxen and horses each
in their corner. After it is quite dark, coarse, stale bread and
sour milk are brought out for supper. Two spoons and one big dish
are sufficient for all; each in his turn tries the spoon. Of course
this is always done in the dark, as they have no lights. Now it is
bedtime and one after another finds his place under the same quilt
without a pillow or bed. In a few minutes all are fast asleep, and
soon the heavy breathing and snoring of men and cattle is mingled,
and the effect is anything but a sweet sound. The temperature of the
room is sometimes as high as a hundred, and swarms of fleas (one of
which would be enough to disturb the rest of an entire American family)
attack the wild Kurd, but he stirs not until morning, the fleas being
exhausted sooner than the men.

Their women wear an exceedingly picturesque costume. They have dark
complexions, with eyes and hair intensely black. Their beauty is
not of a refined type, but by a mass of paint is made sufficiently
attractive for their easily pleased husbands. Almost all the work,
both in and out of doors, is done by them. Early in the morning,
when they are through their home work, they hasten to the field to
attend the flocks, or gather fuel for use in winter. In the evening
they come in with large burdens on their backs, which appear to
be quite enough for two donkeys to carry. So industrious are they,
that they frequently spin on their way to and from work, singing all
the while, apparently as happy as if all the world were theirs. This
industry the men do not appreciate, or reward. They will not hesitate,
when it is raining, to drag the women from the tent, in order to make
room for a favorite steed.

This country of Kurdestan is filled with wonderful ruins. On its
western border is an inscription upon the face of a cliff which was
written by Nebuchadnezzar when he came to conquer this country.

In the city of Farkin, only five miles from Kilise, there are most
magnificent ruins of churches, castles and towers. The columns still
standing in one of these ruined churches are about twelve feet high
and over two feet in diameter and above the arches thus supported is
another corresponding series.

This church is closely surrounded with a great many graves--thousands
of them--so that the church is often spoken of as "the Church of
Martyrs."

In all probability these are some of the ruins with which Tamerlane
filled the land at the beginning of the Fifteenth century, and these
are the remains of the splendid Christian civilization which he so
ruthlessly destroyed, and the Kurdish-Armenians are the descendants
of the few Armenians who accepted of Islam to save themselves and
their families from utter destruction. Compulsory conversion to
Islam is still the order of the day in all the desolated districts
of Turkish-Armenia.



ARMENIA IN THE MOUNTAINS.

The following tour through the heart of Armenia and part of Kurdestan
is prepared that the reader may follow more easily the course of
the whirlwind of death and desolation that was soon to sweep down
from the upper valleys of Ararat far out upon the plains until it
met the cyclone from the West and enveloped the whole land in misery,
destitution and despair, filled all the air of heaven with the shrieks
and agonies of the tortured and the dying martyrs for the faith once
delivered to the saints.

We enter the valley at Kharput or Harpoot, which is situated in the
valley of the Murad, the eastern branch of the Euphrates river. Coming
into the valley from the west, we find ourselves in the midst of
a well-cultivated district, and as we advance the villages become
numerous. The city is situated upon rising ground, which is bounded
by a long line of steep, flat-topped heights. The approach from the
south presents a most striking appearance as we ascend by a steep,
winding path the narrow ravine reaching up to the plateau above,
where at the base of the ruined walls of a medieval castle, nestle
the buildings of a part of the Armenian quarter--the rest of the city
spreading out to the verge of the hill.

From this height, a thousand feet above the lower ground, there is a
superb prospect over the rich plain studded with villages and bounded
on the south by the Taurus range, which contains the sources of the
Tigris and separates this country from the lowlands of Mesopotamia. To
the east and west lie an expanse of undulating ground, stretching on
the one hand towards the Murad, into which this district drains, on
the other in the direction of the Euphrates. The length of this plain
to the foot of the Taurus is about fifteen miles, while the Murad
is about the same distance eastward. This plain is a most beautiful
sight in the spring time, when the whole is one vast carpet of
green. According to the natives, the number of the villages it contains
is three hundred and sixty-five, and they also claim this place was
the site of Eden--they even point out the place where Adam first saw
the light. The houses of the missionaries of the American Board and
the college buildings, all of which were laid in ruins, were built
not far from the edge of the high precipitous cliff and commanded this
beautiful prospect. The elevation of Kharput, or Harpoot, is about four
thousand five hundred feet above sea level. From its strategic position
it has been occupied by a city from very early times. It is now the
leading city in the province and has about five thousand houses--five
hundred Armenian, the rest Turkish, while the villages in the plains
are occupied almost entirely by the Armenians. These villages were
almost swept off the earth during the Harpoot massacres. The Armenian
College was the finest in Eastern Turkey and the value of mission
property destroyed was upwards of $80,000.

A day's journey up the eastern branch of the Euphrates brings us
to the Castle-rock of Palu. This rock is nine hundred feet above
the river and on its summit is the town of about one thousand five
hundred houses. Palu has the honor of being the dwelling place of
St. Mesrob, the saint who invented the Armenian alphabet about 406
A. D., and translated the Scriptures into that tongue. His name is
still in great repute in his native country.

If we should leave the valley of the Euphrates to the northward, five
hours of steep climbing would bring us to the top of the mountain
ridge that overlooks the great plain of Moush, which stretches forty
miles away to the eastward towards Lake Van. From the top of this
ridge to the Monastery of St. John the Baptist the road is one of the
most beautiful in all Armenia, as it follows a terrace path along the
mountain side through low forests, commanding a succession of beautiful
views into the valley of the Euphrates. On rounding a shoulder of
the mountain we have the first sight of the towers of the monastery,
which occupies a small table of ground with very steep slopes both
above and below it, at an elevation of six thousand feet above the
sea and about two thousand above the plain.

This Monastery was founded by St. Gregory the Illuminator, the Apostle
of the Armenians, having in residence before the massacres twenty Monks
and one hundred lay brethren under the care of the Superior. Some of
these priests were highly educated, speaking French fluently beside
Armenian and Turkish. But all these monasteries were utterly destroyed
by the Kurds in the late savage raids.

The town of Moush is nearly a day's ride up the Euphrates valley
from the point where the road down the mountains from the Monastery
reaches the river. The plain is one of great beauty--quite productive,
growing fine harvests of wheat. Fine gardens are found about the
villages which nestle in the ravines which put up into the Taurus
mountains on the south side of the plain. At the head of one of these
narrow valleys is the city of Moush of three thousand houses, about
one-fourth of them belonging to Armenians. The hillsides are devoted
to gardens and vineyards which flourish here, though the elevation
is four thousand feet above the sea. This plain was swept with the
wind of desolation at the time of the Sassoun massacre.

As we continue our journey up the valley we rapidly rise above the
plain into the mountains which separate the valley of Moush from
Lake Van.

A few hours' ride from Nurshin, the last Armenian village, takes
us through a mountain pass about six thousand feet high, into the
territory of the Kurds--Kurdestan.

We take this way that we may more readily understand how the Kurds and
the Turks could make such awful havoc of the Armenians when they were
"let loose" upon them.

When the head of this pass is reached, we are at a point of some
geographical interest. It is one of Nature's great crossroads. The
waters from this mountain plateau, flow north and westward down the
valley of Moush into the Euphrates, another valley opens eastward and
downwards into Lake Van, and another southwards into the Tigris. It
is somewhat similar to the water shed in the Rocky Mountains above
Leadville, Col., where, from the same marshy plateau, the waters
flow southward, forming the Arkansas, and so through the Royal Gorge,
into the plains of Colorado eastward, and also westward and southward
into the Grand River, through a most magnificent and beautiful Canon,
past Glenwood Springs and so into the Colorado River and the Gulf
of California.

Let us turn southward and make an excursion to Bitlis before resuming
the journey to Van. At various points in this high mountain valley are
massively built stone Khans which are intended as refuges for travelers
at unfavorable seasons of the year. They make considerable pretensions
to architectural beauty, having portals and arched recesses and are
of great antiquity. Three hours' hard riding down a bare stony valley
would bring us to the entrance of Bitlis.

When approached from this side Bitlis comes upon us as a surprise, for
until you are within it, there is nothing but a few trees to suggest
that an inhabited place is near. It lies completely below the level of
the upper valley which here suddenly makes a sheer descent so that the
river which has now been swelled into a fair sized torrent, breaks into
rapids and cataracts in its passage through the town. In the middle of
the place it is joined by another stream from the mountains towards the
northwest: and the buildings climb up the hillsides at the meeting of
these valleys, rising one above another with a striking effect. Thus
the Tigris breaks its way through deep chasms below, and for several
days' journey descends with great rapidity to the lower country. We
will be struck with the massiveness of the stone built houses with
large courts and gardens and abundance of trees surrounded with strong
walls, the coping stones of which are constructed so as to rise to
a sharp angle at the top.

In the middle of the town between the two streams rises the
castle, occupying a platform of rock, the sides of which fall
away precipitously and like all the cliffs around have vertical
cleavings. The space which it covers is large, and it forms a very
conspicuous object with its square and circular towers following the
broken surface of the ground. There is a dull tone however, about the
town, because of the brown sandstone which is used in its construction,
being of the same hue as the bare mountains about it.

Remember that now we are on the southern slope of the mountains facing
Arabia, and the climate is milder than in the Valley of Moush. The
elevation is four thousand seven hundred feet and the thermometer
rarely falls below zero in winter.

At Bitlis is a missionary station in charge of Rev. Mr. Knapp. The
Kurdish mountains rise about the city in bare, cold grandeur. These
summits are the conclusion of the Taurus Chain. They are the Niphates
of antiquity, on the highest peak of which Milton makes his Satan
to alight. [Par. Lost III. 741, "Nor stayed, till on Niphates' top
he lights."]

The Castle is said to have been built by Alexander the Great. Bitlis
was the site of an ancient Armenian city and was strongly fortified
in the days of the Saracens. It recently contained thirty thousand
inhabitants, ten thousand being Armenians. This city was the scene
of a terrible slaughter and being determined that the Armenians who
were left should perish by starvation, the Porte placed Mr. Knapp
under arrest for treason and ordered him taken to Constantinople for
trial before United States Minister Terrell.

Returning up to the head waters of the Tigris we next see a level plain
extending eastward, hemmed in on either side by lofty mountains. Here
in August are wheatfields extending up the hillsides to quite an
elevation, showing what the harvests of that region might become
under safe and careful husbandry.

Five hours' journey from Bitlis brings us to the opening of the valley
eastward, and as mountain ranges go sweeping around to the north and to
the south, suddenly Lake Van bursts upon our astonished vision in all
its beauty and grandeur. Fed by the snow upon the mountains, but with
no visible outlet, Lake Van is about twice the size of Lake Geneva,
as it lies in a hollow of these highlands five thousand feet above the
tide. Its extreme length is ninety miles, its breadth where widest
is thirty miles. This mountain lake is only five hundred feet lower
than the highest sources of the Tigris. On the northwestern shore of
the lake are the remarkable ruins of the very ancient Armenian city
of Akhlat, on the North Mount Sipan, an extinct volcano with most
imposing form and lofty summit, while on the southeastern shore is
the Castle rock of Van, which, without exaggeration may be spoken of
as one of the wonders of the world from its extraordinary formation,
its rock-hewn chambers and its cuneiform inscriptions.

Coming down to the lake on its western shore and skirting it
northwards, the little valleys are found full of copious springs
surrounded by willows and poplars and an abundance of most luxuriant
grass. Orchards filled with walnut, plum and apricot trees delight the
eyes, and the apricots also the palate, being of excellent flavor. The
ruins of Akhlat may be said to consist of three parts, the gardens
on the upper, the ruined city on the second level and the castle
one half mile distant on the lake shore. In the steep sandstone
cliffs which wall in the ruined city, are numerous caves and also
many artificial chambers, some of which were inhabited as late as
1880 as many doubtless now are in all parts of the mountains by the
destitute Armenians. The most of the ruins here are of a Saracenic
style of architecture. The castle is a large rectangular fortress
measuring six hundred yards from the sea to the crest of the hill and
three hundred yards across, having two gates which stand opposite to
one another in the middle of the eastern and the western wall. Two
ancient mosques, some fruit trees and ten inhabited cottages are the
inventory of its contents. We must cut short the trip up Mount Sipan
which is fourteen thousand feet high, for the sail in a very cumbrous
craft across the lake to the city of Van.

It takes about four hours' sailing to reach the landing place which
is about a mile from the city proper. Immediately from the shore
rises a curious mass of rocks commanding a most beautiful view. The
slopes of the sides are protected by a succession of irregular walls,
whose long outline is diversified by towers and other fortifications,
and a minaret.

This rock is three hundred feet high and runs due east from the lake
about two-thirds of a mile. At either end it rises by a gradual ascent
and on its summit are two forts and a central castle. The city which
is an irregular oblong lies entirely beneath this rock to the south,
and is enclosed by lines of Turkish walls with battlements. The famous
inscriptions are found for the greater part on this side of the rock,
the most important one occupying an inaccessible position halfway up
the face of the cliff.

This inscription is trilingual being written in three parallel columns
and is much later in date than some of the others that are found
there. It commemorates the exploits of Xerxes the son of Darius,
and is very nearly word for word the same as those of that king at
Hamadan and Persepolis.

When it was copied, a telescope was required to read it.

Here we see the Turks in large turbans and flowing robes, wild
looking Kurds in sheepskin jackets, Persians in tall felt hats,
and the Armenians in their more moderate dress.

There is a Christian assistant-governor here. He is supposed to
have much power, but in reality has very little, being not much
more than a convenient agent to the Governor. But his position has
this advantage that he is only removable by the central Government
at Constantinople, and not at the will of the Pasha for the time
being. The assistant-governor is an Armenian and speaks both French
and Italian well. The city contains about thirty thousand population
of whom three-fourths are Armenians. On account of the nearness of the
Persian frontier which is only sixteen hours off (about fifty miles)
there is kept in the city a garrison of four hundred soldiers.

The view from the summit is most enchanting for on the one side
lies the expanse of the blue sparkling lake with its circuit of
mountains--not unlike Great Salt Lake with the Wasatch Mountains to the
east and the beautiful plain stretching to the north and the south,
and the Mountains away to the west. The fortifications at the shore
end of the rock are of most massive stones, and are attributed to
Semiramis, as in old Armenian books Van was called Shemiramagard or
The City of Semiramis who made of it her summer capital.

The story of her love for the King of Armenia may be familiar. She had
heard of the remarkable personal beauty and wisdom of Ara the King and
sent Ambassadors offering him her hand and crown and love, and upon
his spurning the offer and the dishonorable proposals attending it,
she declared war against him giving orders that the King should not
be slain. She was greatly distressed when she heard he had fallen in
battle and before she left for Nineveh she had six hundred architects
and twelve thousand workmen employed in erecting this new city for
her summer residence.

The gardens of Van which stretch for several miles to the south and
southeast were her glory and pride. Copious rivulets and streams with
careful irrigation have made these gardens famous throughout the East.

Van was the only city which successfully resisted the Kurdish cavalry
and the Turkish soldiers. It became the center also of Dr. Kimball's
great relief work which was carried on through the generous aid
furnished by the Relief Fund of the Christian Herald of New York.

The mountains of Ararat, rise about sixty miles north of Lake
Van. After crossing the mountain divide which separates the watershed
of Van from that of Ararat, a valley opens out to the northeast. It
was one of the highways for the armies of the middle ages and the head
of the valley was once a strongly fortified city. Here were erected
the fortresses that protected the eastern frontier of the Byzantine
Empire when it stood at the zenith of its power.

Continuing our journey northwards the upland pastures are soon reached
and the Kurdish encampments with their black tents begin to be very
numerous. But being armed with a firman from the Porte, and with an
official escort we pass on without serious trouble. Now we come upon
a large encampment with numerous tents stretching along the course
of a clear mountain stream.

The men are a wild, surly looking set with hair streaming down in
long straggling locks. All of course are fully armed. The possessions
of these nomad Kurds may be seen about the encampment--sheep, goats,
oxen, cows, herds of horses, big mastiff dogs and greyhounds clothed
with small coats.

A first look at the Kurdish tents gives a person the idea that they
are chilly habitations, but there are tents within tents or separate
rooms partitioned off, having a plentiful supply of carpets, rugs and
pillows that are very comfortable indeed even in the cold nights they
have at that elevation of nearly eight thousand feet.

Resuming our journey and soon after crossing a ridge a thousand
feet higher than the valley where we have rested--the whole mass of
Ararat--not merely the snow capped dome--suddenly reveals itself from
base to summit--a most splendid sight.

Although the summit of Great Ararat, which has an elevation of
seventeen thousand nine hundred and sixteen feet, yields in height
to the peaks of the Caucasus in the north and to Demavend (nineteen
thousand four hundred feet) in the east, nearly five hundred miles
away, yet, as Bryce in his admirable book has observed, there can be
but few other places in the world where a mountain so lofty rises
from a plain so low. The summit of Great Ararat has the form of a
dome and is covered with perpetual snow; this dome crowns an oval
figure, the length of which is from northwest to southeast, and it is
therefore the long side of this dome which we see from the valley of
the Araxes. On the southeast, as we follow the outline farther, the
slope falls at a more rapid gradient of from thirty to thirty-five
degrees and ends in the saddle between the two mountains at a height
of nearly nine thousand feet. From that point it is the shape of the
Little Ararat which continues the outline towards the east; it rises
in the shape of a graceful pyramid to the height of twelve thousand
eight hundred and forty feet, and its summit is distant from that of
Great Ararat a space of nearly seven miles. The southeastern slope
of the lesser Ararat corresponds to the northwestern slope of the
greater mountain and descends to the floor of the river valley in a
long and regular train.

This mountain forms the boundary stone of three great Empires, the
northern slopes of Great Ararat belong to Russia, the southern slopes
to Turkey, while a portion of Little Ararat belongs to Persia.

From Ararat it is a six days' journey to Erzeroum along what may be
called the roof of Western Asia--these elevated plains being about six
thousand feet high, and forming the watershed between the Persian Gulf
and the Caspian Sea. While its own barrenness is as wearisome to the
eye as the plains of Wyoming from Laramie to the Wasatch Mountains,
it is constantly sending forth its streams to fertilize the far off
plains to the east and the south.

From the western slope of Ararat the Euphrates takes its rise--rapidly
cuts for itself a deep bed through steep walls of rock. Half a day's
journey down the river brings us in sight of the Monastery of Utch
Keliseh or "Three Churches." Only one, however, can be discovered--but
that is the finest Ecclesiastical building in all Ancient Armenia,
though in a sad state of disrepair, having been sacked by the Kurds
a few years ago.

It is built of large blocks of black and grey stone. It has both round
and pointed arches; the western door has a rude cable moulding over it,
and much interlaced ornament. But it would take the pen of a Ruskin
and numerous photographs to make the stones of this old church as
eloquent as the Stones of Venice, although the story they could tell
would be far more tragic than any story told beside the murmuring
waves of the Adriatic. These ruined Monasteries and Churches tell us
of a superior order of architecture for the houses also in the days
of prosperity, but now the poverty of the villagers is described by
their dwellings which are sometimes large in area, with low stone
wall, flat roofs, the living-room raised but a foot or two above
the floor of the stables. Here they are obliged to live--during the
bitter cold winter--the warmth from the presence of the cattle being
necessary to keep themselves from perishing, and for the sake of the
heat, the smells and the noises are endured. Another day's travel
will bring us through Delibaba pass which is a succession of hills
and valleys leading into the plains northward. After many miles of
travel across the broad plain through which runs the Araxes eastward,
the steep climbing of two extended ridges brings us to the top of the
mountain slope that stretches down into the plain of Erzeroum, the
city being built on the hillsides before they sweep out into the plain.

Erzeroum is the most important place in Armenia. The site is that of an
ancient city as it commands the pass on the main line of communication
between the Black Sea and Persia and is just on the edge of a wide
and fertile plain.

The population which was once very large has declined of late
years, and is now only about fifty thousand. About two-thirds are
Armenians. Owing to its elevation, six thousand feet, and the fact
that it lies on the north side of the range hence open to the blasts
from the Black Sea it is very cold in winter. About two thousand of
the people are Persians, and the great carrying trade is largely in
their hands. They enjoy great freedom and consideration.

The journey from Erzeroum lies westward across the plain for three
hours to the foot hills from which issue the "Hot Springs," where
Anatolius is said to have established his famous baths. In the
mountains north of Erzeroum, six hours distant, are the sources of
the western branch of the Euphrates River and from the warm springs
the route lies along the hills overlooking the course of the winding
river. Crossing the river the road skirts the broad and ever-winding
valley of the Frat as this branch of the Euphrates is called at
Erzeroum--until turning into a narrow rocky gorge the road begins
to climb the sides of the lofty Kop Dagh which is the great barrier
between Erzeroum and Baiburt on the road to Trebizond, and forms the
watershed between the valleys of the Euphrates and the Black Sea. The
road has been finely engineered and the rise is one of easy ascent,
but the roadbed is somewhat out of repair, the smaller bridges are
all but impassable. The higher the ascent the grander the views
become over the successive mountain ranges to the south and the long
depression that marks the course of the Frat, while the wild storms
that go sweeping over the sky in that direction add to the grandeur
of the effect. Imagine a sunset from the summit of this pass which is
nearly eight thousand feet above sea level, and then the rapid plunge
down the mountain side under deepening shadows to the large Khan at
its base called Kop Khané, which is the natural starting point or
resting place for all those who cross the pass of Kop Dagh.

This is a magnificent view across and down a wide valley bounded
by lofty mountains, and through it runs the river Tchoruk, which
flowing northwards then westward empties itself into the Black Sea
at Batoum. The town of Baiburt lies on either side of this river. The
river banks are flanked by extensive gardens with fruit and vegetables
and large poplar plantations, while directly opposite stands the lofty
castle hill crowned with a long and varied line of fortifications.

Baiburt is a considerable town of two thousand houses, three hundred
of which are inhabited by Christians.

This fine old castle was built centuries ago by the Armenians,
but had been captured and restored by the Seljukian Turks. But we
will not linger longer here. A little farther on is the village of
Varzahan which possesses some very interesting ruins of mediæval
Armenian edifices of elaborate designs.

Our way now lies over granite mountains, wild and bare, though with
some elements of grandeur about them. Large flocks of broadtailed sheep
are feeding in the narrow valleys as we carefully pick our way along
the road which is hardly more than a mountain path. The first view of
the sea after crossing the chill, bleak mountains that divide Armenia
from the coast, has a most inspiring effect. Away to the northeast
rise the snow capped mountains of Lazistan, and completing all,
the expanse of the soft, blue Euxine.

Our ride is now along terrace paths cut in the forests, everywhere
embowered in trees. Every turn in the road opens up some new vista
of beauty. The Greek villages on the hillsides present a prosperous
appearance and an aspect of comfort. The faces that we see wear the
bright, quick look which characterizes the Greek face. This is in
striking contrast with the careworn look of the people of Armenia,
where even the children had none of the brightness of other children:
the life seemed too hard, the surroundings too dull, the lowering
storms of persecution too near for even the children to smile.

The appearance of Trebizond as we approach it from the east is
singularly pretty. The suburbs, on that side, are the starting places
of the numerous caravans that are fitted out for Persia, then comes
the extensive Christian quarters and the walled town inhabited by
the Turks, which is the site of an ancient Byzantine city.

The total population is estimated at about thirty-two thousand,
of whom two thousand are Armenians, seven or eight thousand Greeks,
and the rest, with but a sprinkling of foreigners are Turks.

The city was glorious in the days of Tamerlane. Ancient writers were
enthusiastic in their praises of its lofty towers, of the churches
and monasteries in the suburbs; especially charming were its gardens
and orchards and olive groves which the delightful but humid climate
is so well suited to foster. Nature lovingly smiles upon it still,
but the handful of scattered Christians, the ruins of stately churches
and monasteries and walls all tell the same story of the conquest and
heartless rule of the Turk, and emphasize with silent but pathetic
eloquence the moaning cry for deliverance that rose up from prostrate
and bleeding Armenia.

As we have traveled we have seen the helplessness of the unarmed
Armenians when the Kurds went sweeping down the valleys upon the
defenceless villages. How hopeless also any attempt at escape when
the Kurds held possession of all the passes. Saddest of all there
were no cities of refuge for them.

Van alone of all the cities of Armenia was able to resist and drive
back the hordes of mountain warriors, yet her fertile plains were
swept naked of their beautiful villages. Thousands of refugees were,
however, kept alive by the generosity of the tender hearted in America
as the chapter on Relief Work will graphically portray.



CHAPTER XI.

THE REIGN OF TERROR.


The time has come for every citizen to deliberately accept or repudiate
his share of the joint indirect responsibility for a series of the
hugest and foulest crimes that have ever stained the pages of human
history. The Armenian people are being exterminated root and branch
by Turks and Kurds--systematically and painfully exterminated by
such abominable methods, and with such fiendish accompaniments as
may well cause the most sluggish blood to boil and seethe with shame
and indignation.

For the Armenians are not lawless barbarians or brigands: nor are the
Turks and Kurds the accredited torch bearers of civilization. But
even if the "rôles" of the actors in this hideous drama were thus
distributed, an excuse might at most be found for severity, but
no pretext could be discovered for the slow torture and gradual
vivisection employed by fanatic Mohammedans to end the lives of
their Christian neighbors. If for instance it be expedient that
Armenians should be exterminated, why chop them up piecemeal, and in
the intervals of this protracted process, banter the agonized victims
who are wildly calling upon God and man to put them out of pain?

Why must an honest, hard workingman be torn from his bed or his
fireside; forced to witness the violation of his own daughter by
a band of all pitiless demons unable to rescue or help her, and
then, his own turn come, have his hand cut off and stuffed into his
mouth while a short sermon is being preached to him on the text:
"If your God be God, why does He not succor?" at the peroration of
which the other hand is hacked off, and then amid boisterous shouts of
jubilation, his ears are torn from his head and his feet severed with a
hatchet, while the piercing screams, the piteous prayers, the hideous
contortions of the agonizing victim seem to intoxicate with fiendish
delight the fanatic Moslems who inflict such awful cruelties. And why
when the last and merciful blow of death is being dealt, must obscene
jokes and unutterable blasphemies sear the victim's soul and prolong
his hell to the uttermost limits of time, to the very threshold of
eternity? Surely, roasting alive, flaying, disembowelling, impaling
and all that elaborate and ingenious aggravation of savage pain on
which the souls of these human fiends seem to feast and flourish,
have nothing that can excuse them in the eyes of Christians, however
deeply absorbed in politics or money getting whether in Downing Street
or in Wall Street.

But the Turk or Kurd is at his best only a Tartar utterly averse to
all humanizing influence, and at his worst seems a fiend incarnate
perpetrating and glorying in the horrors just enumerated, and in others
so gross and vile that they can not be mentioned. But remember that
while we may shut our ears to the horrid tale, innocent women and
young children are enduring even unto the agonies of death outrages
we can not imagine.

The Armenians constitute the sole civilizing force--nay with all
their faults, the sole humanizing element in Anatolia: peaceful to
the last limit of self sacrifice, law-abiding to their own undoing,
and at the same time industrious and hopeful under conditions which
would stagger the majority of mankind. At their best they are the
stuff of which heroes and martyrs are made. Most emphatically they
are the martyr nation of the world.

They are Christians, believing as we believe that God has revealed
Himself to the world in Jesus Christ for the salvation of men; and
they have held fast to that faith in our common Lord in spite of
disgrace and misery, in the face of fire and sword, in the extremest
agonies of torture and death. Whether suffering death at the hands
of the Persia Magi, or being built alive by Tamerlane into pyramids
of hideous glory, scarcely a generation has passed to the grave
without giving up its heroes and martyrs to the Cross of Christ. The
murdered of Sassoun, of Van, or Erzeroum were also Christian martyrs:
and any or all of those whose eyes have been gouged out, whose limbs
were torn asunder from their bodies might have obtained life and
comparative prosperity by merely pronouncing the formula of Islam and
abjuring Christ. But instead of this, thousands have commended their
souls to their Creator, delivered up their bodies to the tormentors,
endured indescribable agonies, and died, like Christian martyrs,
defying Heaven itself so to speak, by their boundless trust in God,
though he seemingly does not hear their cries for deliverance.

The apostacy to Islam by those who can no longer endure these
horrors will, certainly, be laid at the doors of Christian Europe
and America, who left them to perish in the direst, darkest hour of
human history. All Christendom knows what they are suffering yet not a
Christian power has said in words like solid shot: "These persecutions
must cease." Identity of ideals, aspirations and religious faith give
this unfortunate but heroic people strong claims on the sympathy of
the English-speaking peoples, for our ancestors whatever the form of
their religious creed never hesitated to die for it, and whenever the
breath of God swept over them breasted the hurricane of persecution.

But even in the name of a common humanity to say nothing of race or
creed what special claims to our sympathy are needed by men and women
whom we see, treated their masters, as in the dark ages the damned
were said to be dealt with by the devils in the deepest of hell's
abysses? Our written laws condemn cruelty to a horse or cat or dog;
our innate sense of justice would compel us to punish the man who
should wantonly torture even a rat by roasting it alive. And yet we
read of wounded Armenians being thrown into wells where kerosene was
poured upon them and then being burned alive and we are as cool as
ever. What more is needed to compel us to stretch out a helping hand
to tens of thousands of virtuous women and innocent children to save
them from protracted tortures with some of which the Gehenna of fire
were a swift and merciful death.

Why is it that the sentimental compassion of England has not gone
out into effective help to poor Armenia? For reason of "higher
politics." Her interests demand that the Turks and Kurds in whose
soulless bodies legions of devils seem to have taken up their abode,
shall be protected; the integrity of the Empire and the rule of
Islam are essential--indispensable to Christian civilization, i.e.,
to England's commercial prestige.

By the terms of the Berlin Treaty and the occupation of Cyprus, England
bound herself to see to it that the Christian peoples under the rule of
the Porte should have fair, humane treatment. This has been fully and
clearly shown in our chapter on the Russo-Turkish war. At the close of
that war (1878) the condition of Armenian Christians was from a humane
point of view deplorable. Yet nothing was done--no efficacious step
was taken to fulfil that solemn promise. Things were allowed to drift
from bad to worse, mismanagement to develop into malignity, oppression
merge into persecution, until just as in 1876 most solemn promises
of reform were followed by the Bulgarian horrors, so the promises
for reforms in Armenia after the Sassoun massacre were followed by
the still more terrible atrocities which have not yet ceased.

The Turk knew that the powers would not agree in compelling the
enforcement of the promises made. Time was needed. Yes time in which
to slaughter and to starve the Armenians whom by the treaty of Berlin
all the Great Powers were bound to protect in their rights.

But the unfortunate action and reaction of the English government made
themselves immediately and fatally felt in the very homes and at the
fireside of hundreds of thousands of Christian men and women driving
them into exile, shutting them up in noisome prisons and subjecting
them to every conceivable species of indignity, outrage and death. By
pressing a knob in London, as it were, hell's portals were opened in
Asia Minor, letting loose legions of fiends in human shape who set
about torturing and exterminating the Christians there. Nor was the
government ignorant of the wide-reaching effects of its ill-advised
action. It is on record that for seventeen years it continued to watch
the harrowing results of that action without once interfering to stop
it although at any moment during that long period of persecution it
could have redeemed its promise and rescued the Christians from their
unbearable lot.

Mr. Dillon says that if a detailed description were possible of
the horrors which England's exclusive attention to her own mistaken
interests let loose upon Turkish Armenians, there is not a man within
the kingdom of Great Britain whose heart strings would not be touched
and thrilled by the gruesome stories of which it would be composed.

During all those seventeen years written law, traditional custom, the
fundamental maxims of human and divine justice were suspended in favor
of a Mohammedan Saturnalia. The Christians by whose toil and thrift the
empire was held together were despoiled, beggared, chained, beaten,
banished and butchered: First, their movable wealth was seized, then
their landed property was confiscated, next, the absolute necessaries
of life were wrested from them, and finally honor, liberty and life
were taken with as little to do as if these Christian men and women
were wasps and mosquitoes. Thousands of Armenians were thrown into
prisons by governors like Tahsin Pasha and Bahri Pasha, and tortured
and terrorized till they delivered up the savings of a lifetime and
the support of the helpless families to ruffianly parasites. Whole
villages were attacked in broad daylight by the Imperial Kurdish
cavalry without pretext or warning, the male inhabitants killed or
turned adrift, the wives and daughters falling victims to the foul
lusts of these bestial murderers.

In a few years some of the provinces were decimated: Aloghkerd for
instance being almost "purged" of Armenians. Over twenty thousand
woe-stricken wretches once healthy and well-to-do, fled to Russia
or Persia in rags and misery diseased or dying. On the way they were
seized over and over again by the soldiers of the Sultan who deprived
them of the little money they possessed, nay, of the very clothes they
were wearing, most shamefully abused the wives and daughters and then
drove them over the frontier to hunger and die. Those who remained
behind for a time were no better off. Kurdish brigands lifted the last
cow and goats of the peasants and carried away their carpets and their
valuables. Turkish tax-gatherers followed after these, gleaning what
the brigands had left, and lest anything should escape their avarice
they bound the men, flogged them till their bodies were a bloody mass,
cicatrized the wounds with red hot ramrods, plucked out their beards
hair by hair, tore the flesh from their limbs with pincers and often
even then hung the men whom they had thus beggared and maltreated
from the rafters of their houses to witness with burning shame and
impotent rage the hellish outrages of these fiends incarnate.

Terrible as these scenes are even in imagination, it is only proper
that some effort should be made to realize the sufferings which have
been brought down upon these thousands and hundreds of thousands of
helpless men and women, and to understand somewhat of the shame, terror
and despair that must take possession of the souls of Christians whose
lives are a daily martyrdom of such unchronicled agonies, during which
no ray of the life-giving light that plays about the throne of God
ever pierces the mist of blood and tears that rises between the blue
of heaven and the everlasting grey of the charnel house called Armenia.

These statements are neither rumors nor exaggerations concerning which
we are justified in suspending judgment,--though the Turks long denied
the reports of the Sassoun massacres. History has set its seal upon
them. Diplomacy has slowly verified and reluctantly recognized them
as accepted facts. Religion and humanity are now called upon to place
their emphatic protest against them on record.

The Turks in their confidential moods have admitted these and worse
acts of savagery. The Kurds glory in them at all times. Trustworthy
Europeans have witnessed them and described them: and the Armenians
have groaned over them in blank despair, and the sweat of their
anguish has been blood.

Officers and nobles in the Sultan's own cavalry regiments like Mostigo
the Kurd, glory in the long series of crimes and outrages which have
marked their career, and laugh to scorn the idea of being punished
for robbing and killing the Armenians whom the Sublime Porte desires
them to exterminate.

The stories of the Bulgarian atrocities were repeated here. It was
the Armenians themselves who were punished if they dared complain
when their own relatives or friends were murdered. And often they were
punished on the charge of having committed these outrages themselves,
or else on the suspicion of having killed the murderers who were
afterwards found living and thriving in the Sultan's employ, and were
never disturbed there.

Three hundred and six of the principal inhabitants of the district
of Khnouss in a piteous appeal to the people of England, wrote:--

"Year by year, month by month, day by day, innocent men, women and
children have been shot down, stabbed, or clubbed to death in their
houses and their fields, tortured in strange fiendish ways in fetid
prison cells, or left to rot in exile under the scorching sun of
Arabia. During that long and horrible tragedy no voice was raised
for mercy, no hand extended to help us. * * * Is European sympathy
destined to take the form of a cross over our graves."

Now the answer has been given. What an answer! These ill-fated men
might know that European sympathy has taken a different form--that of
a marine guard before the Sultan's palace to shield him and his from
harm from without, while they proceed with their orgies of blood and
lust within. They might know; only most of them have been butchered
since then, like the relatives and friends whose lot they lamented
and yet envied.

In accordance with the plan of extermination, which has been carried
out with such signal success during these long years of Turkish vigor
and English sluggishness, all those Armenians who possessed money
or money's worth were for a time allowed to purchase immunity from
prison, and from all that prison life in Asia Minor implies. But,
as soon as terror and summary confiscation took the place of slow
and elaborate extortion, the gloomy dungeons of Erzeroum, Erzinghan,
Marsovan, Hassankaleh, and Van were filled, till there was no place
to sit down, and scarcely sufficient standing room. And this means
more than English people can realize, or any person believe who has
not actually witnessed it. It would have been a torture for Turkish
troopers and Kurdish brigands, but it was worse than death to the
educated schoolmasters, missionaries, priests, and physicians who were
immured in these noisome hotbeds of infection, and forced to sleep
night after night standing on their feet, leaning against the foul,
reeking corner of the wall which all the prisoners were compelled
to use as.... The very worst class of Tartar and Kurdish criminals
were turned in here to make these hell-chambers more unbearable to
the Christians. And the experiment was everywhere successful. Human
hatred and diabolical spite, combined with the most disgusting sights
and sounds and stenches, with their gnawing hunger and their putrid
food, their parching thirst and the slimy water, fit only for sewers,
rendered their agony maddening. Yet these were not criminals, nor
alleged criminals, but upright Christian men, who were never even
accused of an infraction of the law. No man who has not seen these
prisons with his own eyes, and heard these prisoners with his own
ears, can be expected to conceive, much less realize, the sufferings
inflicted and endured. The loathsome diseases, whose terrible ravages
were freely displayed; the still more loathsome vices, which were
continually and openly practised; the horrible blasphemies, revolting
obscenities and ribald jests which alternated with cries of pain,
songs of vice, and prayers to the unseen God, made these prisons,
in some respects, nearly as bad as the Black Hole of Calcutta, and
in others infinitely worse.

Into these prisons venerable old ministers of religion were dragged
from their churches, teachers from their schools, missionaries from
their meeting-houses, merchants, physicians, and peasants from their
firesides. Those among them who refused to denounce their friends,
or consent to some atrocious crime, were subjected to horrible
agonies. Many a one, for instance, was put into a sentry-box bristling
with sharp spikes, and forced to stand there motionless, without food
or drink, for twenty-four and even thirty-six hours, was revived
with stripes whenever he fell fainting to the prickly floor, and
was carried out unconscious at the end. It was thus that hundreds of
Armenian Christians, whose names and histories are on record, suffered
for refusing to sign addresses to the Sultan accusing their neighbors
and relatives of high treason. It was thus that Azo was treated by
his judges, the Turkish officials, Talib Effendi, Captain Reshid, and
Captain Hadji Fehim Agha, for declining to swear away the lives of the
best men of his village. A whole night was spent in torturing him. He
was first bastinadoed in a room close to which his female relatives
and friends were shut up so that they could hear his cries. Then he
was stripped naked, and two poles, extending from his armpits to his
feet, were placed on each side of his body and tied tightly. His arms
were next stretched out horizontally and poles arranged to support his
hands. This living cross was then bound to a pillar, and the flogging
began. The whips left livid traces behind. The wretched man was unable
to make the slightest movement to ease his pain. His features alone,
hideously distorted, revealed the anguish he endured. The louder he
cried, the more heavily fell the whip. Over and over again he entreated
his tormentors to put him out of pain, saying: "If you want my death,
kill me with a bullet, but for God's sake don't torture me like
this!" His head alone being free he, at last, maddened by excruciating
pain, endeavored to dash out his brains against the pillar, hoping in
this way to end his agony. But this consummation was hindered by the
police. They questioned him again; but in spite of his condition,
Azo replied as before: "I cannot defile my soul with the blood of
innocent people. I am a Christian." Enraged at this obstinacy, Talib
Effendi, the Turkish official, ordered the application of other and
more effective tortures. Pincers were fetched to pull out his teeth;
but, Azo remaining firm, this method was not long persisted in. Then
Talib commanded his servants to pluck out the prisoner's moustachios
by the roots, one hair at a time. This order the gendarmes executed,
with roars of infernal laughter. But this treatment proving equally
ineffectual, Talib instructed his men to cauterize the unfortunate
victim's body. A spit was heated in the fire. Azo's arms were freed
from their supports, and two brawny policemen approached, one on each
side, and seized him. Meanwhile another gendarme held to the middle
of the wretched man's hands the glowing spit. While his flesh was
thus burning, the victim shouted out in agony, "For the love of God
kill me at once!"

Then the executioners, removing the red hot spit from his hands,
applied it to his breast, then to his back, his face, his feet,
and other parts. After this, they forced open his mouth, and burned
his tongue with red hot pincers. During these inhuman operations, Azo
fainted several times, but on recovering consciousness maintained the
same inflexibility of purpose. Meanwhile, in the adjoining apartment,
a heartrending scene was being enacted. The women and the children,
terrified by the groans and cries of the tortured man, fainted. When
they revived, they endeavored to rush out to call for help, but the
gendarmes, stationed at the door, barred their passage, and brutally
pushed them back. [1]

Nights were passed in such hellish orgies and days in inventing new
tortures or refining upon the old, with an ingenuity which reveals
unimagined strata of malignity in the human heart. The results throw
the most sickening horrors of the Middle Ages into the shade. Some of
them cannot be described, nor even hinted at. The shock to people's
sensibilities would be too terrible. And yet they were not merely
described to, but endured by, men of education and refinement, whose
sensibilities were as delicate as ours.

And when the prisons in which these and analogous doings were carried
on had no more room for new-comers, some of the least obnoxious of
its actual inmates were released for a bribe, or, in case of poverty,
were expeditiously poisoned off.

In the homes of these wretched people the fiendish fanatics were
equally active and equally successful. Family life was poisoned at
its very source. Dishonor menaced almost every girl and woman in the
country. They could not stir out of their houses in the broad daylight
to visit the bazaars, or to work in the fields, nor even lie down at
night in their own homes without fearing the fall of that Damocles'
sword ever suspended over their heads. Tender youth, childhood itself,
was no guarantee. Children were often married at the age of eleven,
even ten, in the vain hope of lessening this danger. But the protection
of a husband proved unavailing; it merely meant one murder more,
and one "Christian dog" less. A bride would be married in church
yesterday and her body would be devoured by the beasts and birds of
prey to-morrow. Others would be abducted, and, having for weeks been
subjected to the embrace of lawless Kurds, would end by abjuring their
God and embracing Islam; not from any vulgar motive of gain, but to
escape the burning shame of returning home as pariahs and lepers to
be shunned by those near and dear to them for ever. Little girls
of five and six were frequently forced to be present during these
horrible scenes, and they, too, were often sacrificed before the eyes
of their mothers, who would have gladly, madly accepted death, ay, and
damnation, to save their tender offspring from the corroding poison.

One of the abducted young women who, having been outraged by the son
of the Deputy-Governor of Khnouss, Hussni Bey, returned, a pariah,
and is now alone in the world, lately appealed to her English sisters
for such aid as a heathen would give to a brute, and she besought it
in the name of our common God. Lucine Mussegh--this is the name of
that young woman whose Protestant education gave her, as she thought,
a special claim to act as the spokeswoman of Armenian mothers and
daughters--Lucine Mussegh besought, last March, the women of England
to obtain for the women of Armenia the privilege of living a pure
and chaste life! This was the boon which she craved--but did not,
could not, obtain. The interests of "higher politics," the civilizing
missions of the Christian Powers are, it seems, incompatible with
it! "For the love of the God whom we worship in common," wrote this
outraged, but still hopeful, Armenian lady, "help us, Christian
sisters! Help us before it is too late, and take the thanks of the
mothers, the wives, the sisters, and the daughters of my people,
and with them the gratitude of one for whom, in spite of her youth,
death would come as a happy release."

Neither the Christian sisters nor the Christian brethren in England
have seen their way to comply with this strange request. But it may
perhaps interest Lucine Mussegh to learn that the six Great Powers of
Europe are quite unanimous, and are manfully resolved, come what will,
to shield His Majesty the Sultan from harm, to support his rule, and to
guarantee his kingdom from disintegration. These are objects worthy of
the attention of the Great Powers; as for the privilege of leading pure
and chaste lives--they cannot be importuned about such private matters.

What astonishes one throughout this long, sickening story of shame and
crime is the religious faith of the sufferers. It envelops them like a
Nessus' shirt, aggravating their agonies by the fear it inspires that
they must have offended in some inexplicable way the omnipotent God
who created them. What is not at all wonderful, but only symptomatic,
is the mood of one of the women, who, having prayed to God in heaven,
discovered no signs of His guiding hand upon earth, and whose husband
was killed in presence of her daughter, after which each of the two
terrified females was outraged by the band of ruffians in turn. When
gazing, a few days later, on the lifeless corpse of that beloved child
whom she had vainly endeavored to save, that wretched, heartbroken
mother, wrung to frenzy by her soul-searing anguish, accounted to
her neighbors for the horrors that were spread over her people and
her country by the startling theory that God Himself had gone mad,
and that maniacs and demons incarnate were stalking about the world!

Such, in broad outline, has been the normal condition of Armenia ever
since the Treaty of Berlin, owing at first to the disastrous action,
and subsequently to the equally disastrous inaction of the British
Government. The above sketch contains but a few isolated instances of
the daily commonplaces of the life of Armenian Christians. When these
have been multiplied by thousands and the colors duly heightened, a
more or less adequate idea may be formed of the hideous reality. Now,
during all those seventeen years, we took no serious step to put an end
to the brigandage, rapes, tortures, and murders which all Christendom
agreed with us in regarding as the normal state of things. No one
deemed it his duty to insist on the punishment of the professional
butchers and demoralizers, who founded their claims to preferment upon
the maintenance of this inhuman system, and had their claims allowed,
for the Sultan, whose intelligence and humanity it was the fashion to
eulogise and admire, decorated and rewarded these faithful servants,
making them participators in the joy of their lord. Indeed, the utter
perversion of the ideas of justice and humanity which characterized
the views of European Christendom during the long period of oppression
and demoralization at last reached such a pitch that the Powers agreed
to give the Sultan a "reasonable" time to reëstablish once more the
normal state of things.



SASSOUN.

Sassoun is a mountainous province in the southern portion of the
Armenian plateau, west of Lake Van. It is inhabited exclusively by
Armenians and Kurds, the former race being in majority. There is,
however, no intermingling of the races; the Armenian villages are
grouped in the center of the province, and the Kurdish are scattered
all around.

Despite continuous spoliation by Kurd and Turk, the Armenians managed
to get along tolerably. But Turk and Kurd became more and more
exacting, the Kurd being instructed by the Turk. The Kurds would be
satisfied with the traditional tribute, but the Turkish authorities
incited them to demand more, to plunder and to kill.

The Armenians of Sassoun were fully aware of the hostile intention
of the Government, but they did not imagine it to be one of utter
extermination.

The Porte had prepared its plans. Sassoun was doomed.

The Kurds were to come in much greater number, the Government was to
furnish them provisions and ammunition, and the regular army was to
second them in case of need.

The plan was to destroy first Shenig, Semal, Guelliegoozan, Aliantz,
etc., and then to proceed towards Dalvorig.

The Kurds, notwithstanding their immense number, proved to be unequal
to the task. The Armenians held their own and the Kurds got worsted.

After two weeks fight between Kurd and Armenian, the regular army
entered into active campaign.

Mountain pieces began to thunder. The Armenians, having nearly
exhausted their ammunition, took to flight.

Kurd and Turk pursued them and massacred men, women and children. The
houses were searched and then put on fire.

The scene of the massacre was most horrible. The enemies took a
special delight in butchering the Dalvorig people.

An immense crowd of Kurd and Turk soldiery fell upon the Dalvorig
village, busy to search the houses, to find out hidden furniture,
and then to put fire to the village.

A native of the Dalvorig village, succeeded in hiding from the
searching soldiers, and when, twelve days after the destruction of his
home, the army went away, he came out of his hiding place and looked
among the corpses for his own dead. He found and buried his father,
two nephews and his aunt. The bodies were swollen enormously in the
sun, and the stench was something awful in all the surroundings. He
witnessed many acts of military cruelties which are not proper to
be reported.

In June, 1893, four young Armenians and their wives, living only two
miles from the city of Van, where the Governor and a large military
force reside, were picking herbs on the hillside. They carefully kept
together and intended to return before night. They were observed by a
band of passing Kurds, who in broad daylight fell upon the defenseless
party, butchered the young men, and, as to the brides, it is needless
to relate further. The villagers going out the next day found the four
bodies, not simply dead, but slashed and disfigured almost beyond
recognition. They resolved to make a desperate effort to let their
wrongs at least be known.

Hastily yoking up four rude ox carts they placed on each the naked
remains of one of the victims, with his distracted widow sitting
by the side, shorn of her hair in token of dishonor. This gruesome
procession soon reached the outskirts of the city, where it was met
by soldiers sent to turn it back. The unarmed villagers offered no
resistance, but declared their readiness to perish if not heard. The
soldiers shrank from extreme measures that might cause trouble among
the thirty-thousand Armenians of Van, who rapidly gathered about
the scene. The Turkish bayonets retreated before the bared breasts
of the villagers. With ever-increasing numbers, but without tumult,
the procession passed before the doors of the British and Russian
vice-consulates, of the Persian consul-general, the chief of police
and other high officials, till it paused before the great palace of
the Governor.

At this point Bahri Pasha, the Governor, stuck his head out of the
second story window and said: 'I see it. Too bad! Take them away
and bury them. I will do what is necessary.' Within two days some
Kurds were brought in, among whom were several who were positively
identified by the women; but, upon their denying the crime, they were
immediately released, and escaped.

In 1893, the impoverished Armenians stripped of everything worth
possessing, decided to resist further robberies. Early in the spring
of that year, the Kurds came with demands more exorbitant than ever,
the chiefs being escorted by a great number of armed men, but they
were driven back by the brave villagers. When this became known to
the Ottoman authorities, some of the more zealous of them applied for
a large body of regular troops. The Turkish Government affected to
believe that the secret political agitation which had been going on
among the Armenians for some time had at length produced a serious
revolt, and that it was necessary to quell it at once in energetic
and relentless fashion.

Orders were accordingly sent to Zekki Pasha, the Mushir commanding the
troops at Erzinghian, to proceed to Sassoun with a sufficient force
and suppress the disturbances. The precise terms of the instructions
to this energetic Pasha never transpired and were never known to any
one outside the Turkish official world. Whatever they were the Pasha
evidently understood that he was literally to annihilate those who had
resisted the authority of the local officials, and he executed what he
supposed to be the wishes of his superiors with a barbarity towards
both men and women, which deserves the reprobation of the civilized
world. The Turkish soldiers hesitated to carry out such atrocious
orders against defenceless women and men who offered no resistance,
and they did not obey until threatened with condign punishment for
disobedience. The protests of the Mutessarif, the civil Governor of
the district, were disregarded.

The fixed hour of fate arrived.

In August 1894, Kurdish and Turkish troops came to Sassoun. Among
them the famous Hamidieh troops, the specially organized Kurdish
cavalry named after the Sultan, the name significant of the purpose
for which they were organized.

Zekki Pasha who commanded on that infamous occasion was afterwards
decorated by the Sultan as were four Kurdish chiefs who had been
specially savage and merciless during the progress of the carnage,
while the Civil Governor of the district who so humanely protested
was summarily removed from his post.

The Kurds were newly armed with Martini rifles. Zekki Pasha, who had
come from Erzingan, read the Sultan's order for the attack, and then
urged the soldiers to loyal obedience to their Imperial master. On
the last day of August, the anniversary of Abdul Hamid's accession
to the throne, the soldiers were specially urged to distinguish
themselves in making it the day of greatest slaughter. On that day
the commander wore the edict of the Sultan on his breast. Kurds began
the butchery by attacking the sleeping villagers at night and slaying
men, women and children. For twenty-three days this horrible work of
slaughter lasted. Some of the Kurds afterward boasted of killing a
hundred Christians apiece. At one village, Galogozan, many young men
were tied hand and foot, laid in a row, covered with brushwood and
burned alive. Others were seized and hacked to death piecemeal. At
another village, a priest and several leading men were captured
and promised release if they would tell where others had fled; and,
after telling, all but the priest were killed. A chain was put around
his neck and pulled from opposite sides until he was several times
choked and revived, after which bayonets were planted upright and he
was raised in the air and dropped upon them. The men of one village,
when fleeing, took the women and children, some five hundred in
number, and placed them in a ravine where soldiers found them and
butchered them. Little children were cut in two and mutilated. Women
were subjected to fearful agonies, ending in death. A newly wedded
couple fled to a hilltop; soldiers followed and offered them their
lives if they would accept Islam, but they preferred to die bravely
professing Christ. On Mount Andoke, south of Moush, about a thousand
persons sought refuge. The Kurds attacked them, but for days were
repulsed. Then Turkish soldiers directed the fire of their cannon
on them. Finally the ammunition of the fugitives was exhausted, and
the troops succeeded in reaching the summit unopposed and butchered
them to a man. In the Talvoreeg district, several thousand Armenians
were left in a small plain. When surrounded by Turks and Kurds they
appealed to heaven for deliverance, but were quickly dispatched with
rifles, bayonets and swords. The plain was a veritable shamble.

No accurate estimate of the number slain in the first massacre could
be made. Forty villages were totally destroyed and the loss of life
from ten to fifteen thousand. Efforts were made to conceal the real
extent of the carnage, but the "blood-bath of Sassoun" has passed
into history and cannot be forgotten.

At Bitlis there was a Kurdish raid on Armenian cattle, resulting in
a fight in which two Kurds were killed.

The friends of the Kurds took the corpses to Moush and declared that
the Armenians had overrun the land and were killing and plundering
right and left. This furnished a pretext for a massing of the troops.

On the admissions of Turkish soldiers, some of whom tearfully protested
that they merely obeyed orders, six thousand people were killed. No
compassion was shown to age or sex. In one place three or four hundred
women, after having been forced repeatedly to submit to the soldiery,
were hacked to pieces with swords and bayonets. In another place two
hundred women begged at the commander's feet for mercy. The commander,
after ordering that they be outraged, had them all despatched with
the sword. Similar scenes were enacted in other places.

In one case sixty young brides and maidens were driven into a church,
and after being violated were butchered until their blood flowed from
the doors.

A large company, headed by a priest, knelt near the church begging
for compassion, averring that they had nothing to do with the culprits
who killed the Kurds. It was in vain; all were killed.

Several attractive women were told that they might live if they would
recant their faith. They replied: "Why should we deny Christ? We
have no more reason to do so than had these," pointing to the mangled
bodies of their husbands and brothers, "Kill us, too." This was done.

A priest was taken to the roof of his church and hacked to pieces;
young men were placed among wood saturated with kerosene and set on
fire. After the massacre, and when the terrified survivors had fled,
there was a general looting by the Hamidieh Kurds. They stripped
the houses bare, then piled the dead into them and fired the whole,
intending as far as possible to cover up the evidences of their
dreadful crime.

The rivulets were choked with corpses; the streams ran red with
human blood, the mountain gorges and rocky caves were crowded with
the dead and dying; among the black ruins of once prosperous villages
lay half-burned infants on their mothers' mangled bodies: pits were
dug at night by the wretches destined to fill them; many of whom
were flung in while but slightly wounded, and underneath a mountain
of clammy corpses struggled vainly with death and with the dead who
shut them out of life and light forever.

The following letter from an Armenian native of Sassoun added another
page to the tale of woe:--

"At last we have escaped from the barbarity and atrocity of the
Turks, and have arrived at Athens. Our escape from Sassoun was almost
miraculous, and it is possible that the cannon and knives of the
Turkish soldiers are still doing their bloody work there. Everybody
knows that the orders for the massacre were given by direct counsellors
of the Sultan.

"There is hardly a man left alive in Sassoun, and pleading women and
little children, all together, old and young, have been sacrificed by
the swords of the Turkish soldiers. They besieged the village from
the last of April until the first of August, and during all these
weeks we fed on vegetables and the roots of grasses.

"The first few weeks were bitterly cold, and existence was
terrible. All outside communication was cut off. The Turks suspected
that other villages would give us food, and so they plundered the
neighboring villages. The villagers resisted and hundreds of them
were killed. Of the three hundred and twenty-five houses which made
up the village of Varteniss only thirty-five were left standing.

"When the news of this massacre reached Sassoun our people were excited
beyond all thought of personal safety, and we attacked the soldiers
and succeeded in killing twelve of them. Then more ammunition and
soldiers were sent there, and a devilish work was begun.

"The Chiefs of the tribes of the Kurds, with Celo Bey and his staff,
together with the regular soldiers, came to the village of Samal. Many
of the inhabitants, after suffering atrocious cruelties, were put
to death. They brought the minister of the village from his house,
and after putting the sacred chalice into his hands, bound him to a
donkey and then shot him and the animal together. In all, the number
killed in the village was forty-five.

"This deviltry was by no means the worse perpetrated. The greatest
horror was at the village of Gely Guse. Celo Bey and his men entered
the village before daybreak, and while the inhabitants were peacefully
sleeping in their homes set fire to the whole village, and not one
escaped. The village of Shenig met with almost a similar fate, all
the people of prominence being killed.

"The tribe of Kurds known as Gebran, headed by the Chief Ebo and
accompanied by Turkish soldiers, entered the village of Konk. There
they gathered all the women in the church. After defiling them in the
most revolting manner, they slew them. The soldiers spent the night
in the village in revelry and debauchery.

"Two other tribes, those of Pakran and Khisan, came against the
village of Alpak. They collected all the herds and flocks, and drove
them off. Then they returned and burned the whole village.

"We who have escaped thank God for our safety and are prayerfully
exchanging the helpful sympathy of the civilized world."

Another letter from a Sassoun fugitive, gave the saddening story
of the experience of one family. It is typical of the experience of
thousands of others. He wrote:

"Our family was composed of ten members, and were natives of Semal,
a village in Sassoun. We fought the Kurds to protect our lives and
property; but when the Turkish soldiers united with the Kurds, we
fled. I was with my father. He could not run away because he was very
weak, having eaten nothing for many days. I entered, with the rest
of my family, into a thick forest. The soldiers overtook my father
and struck him with their swords, disemboweling him; they filled his
body with gunpowder and set fire to him. Afterwards I went with others
and gathered up what remained of my poor father and buried him.

"With the rest of my family I remained forty days in the forests,
subsisting on herbs and roots until the soldiers were recalled,
and there was nobody to pursue us. We came down to Moush, and the
government sent us to Khibian, a village in the Moush plain, where we
remained in a dilapidated hut with very little to eat. All of us became
sick from hunger and cold: two girls and one boy died, and the rest,
six members of our family, are now wandering from village to village,
naked and hungry."

Neither age nor sex were spared. A final refusal to deny Christ and
accept Islam sealed the fate of the Armenian. Women torn from their
homes and outraged, and hundreds of young girls forcibly carried off,
fiendishly used and wantonly slain, and other horrors unnamable and
unfit to print, were some of the methods employed with the Sultan's
permission, in upholding the glory of Islam.

The following narrative, was also obtained from Armenian sources:
"Andakh was besieged in August. Gorgo, with his followers, strengthened
their position and defended it heroically for six days, generally
fighting with stones and daggers. The women often took the places of
these who had been killed. The position becoming untenable, Gorgo left
the women to defend it, and took his troops out to forage for food and
ammunition. The women maintained the defence twenty-four hours, then
yielded to greater numbers after being surrounded on all sides. Their
condition was terrible. Many carried babies on their backs, while the
elder children stood beside them. The women saw that they never could
fight their way through the ranks of the enemy. Gorgo's wife stepped on
a high rock and cried, 'Sisters, you must choose between two things:
Either fall into the hands of the Turks and forget your husbands,
homes, and your holy religion to adopt Islam, and to be violated,
or you must follow my example.' Thereupon, holding her young child
in her arms, she dashed herself into the abyss. Others followed her,
falling without cry or groan. The children followed their mothers,
and the ravine was soon filled with corpses. Those who jumped last
were not hurt, as their companions' bodies were piled high. About
fifty women and one hundred children were taken prisoners. The women
bore their tortures silently, and refused to betray Gorgo and his
brave followers. Gorgo's wife was named Schakhe."

The following accounts gave in realistic language, some of the
sufferings of the native Christians, who met death bravely rather
than purchase life by denying their Saviour.

A man from Central Dalvorig, said: His family numbered twelve;
of these six had been killed. His wife, a son six years of age,
and a little girl, a brother, a daughter five years old, and son aged
ten. These children tried to flee, but being greatly reduced by hunger,
were unable to escape from the soldiers pursuing them. A brother,
Shemo, survived, and with his wife and children found refuge in a
monastery. He saw a group of three brothers, while hidden behind some
trees, surprised by soldiers and brutally murdered. They were boys
about three, seven, and ten years of age. Their anguished mother, from
Hodwink, utterly powerless to rescue her children, witnessed the awful
deed from her place of concealment, and after the soldiers had gone,
went and buried them. The same writer repeatedly heard women say,
"We will be a sacrifice for our nation, but we cannot deny our faith."

A man from Galigozan said that he had an uncle and three cousins
killed in the massacre--all were shot and one was mutilated with the
sword. Another nephew, thirty-five years of age, was burned in a house
from which he could not escape. His wife and two children remained
for five weeks in the covert afforded by the rocks and holes of a
mountain side. On seeing soldiers approach one day, a man nearly
strangled his little daughter, four years of age, to suppress her
cries for food. She died a few days afterward from the effects of his
treatment. The niece was betrothed to a young man from Semel who, with
three others from the same house, came to Galigozan when the soldier
called to surrender, promising safety. But on appearing there the whole
company were told that they must either embrace Islam or meet instant
death. The four men above referred to with forty others, were there
pitilessly slaughtered, and thrown into the pit which had been dug.

From Spughawk, a village near Dalvorig, a man gave an account of the
fate of his family. A Kurdish Sheik with fifteen hundred followers
came and the terrified people fled to the mountain. In the attempt
to escape many were killed. Afterwards soldiers came and with the
Kurds surrounded the village, plundered and burned it. Its fine
church built of hewn stone laid in lime and having an arched roof,
was razed to the ground. This man's brother Arakil was shot and then
pierced with twelve bayonet wounds. His nephew was killed with the
bayonet and a niece who was about to be married was decapitated.

A woman and her two sons (thirty and seven years of age), were
discovered by soldiers. They first attacked the woman, inflicting
dangerous, though as it proved, not fatal wounds, and then killed her
two sons. After the departure of the soldiers the mother with one hand,
(the fingers of the other had been mangled), scraped shallow holes
in the ground using sharp stones and then dragging the bodies of
her sons thither, covered them with earth and stones. One man said
that his family consisted of twelve persons. His brother was one of
the chief men of the place, conspicuous at all times for his ability
and courage. The soldiers had heard of this man and were anxious to
find him. Finally they discovered his hiding place and attacked him
fiercely saying: "At last we have found you, infidel!" With cursing
and dreadful language they literally hacked him to pieces, his son,
and his brother's wife hidden among rocks near by, paralyzed with
terror, saw the awful deed. His son Sarkis was afterward slain,
as also his nephews.

A woman from Dalvorig said: "Of the twelve in my family, three were
killed in the massacre, my husband (forty years), daughter (ten years),
and Hukhit, my infant son. A brother-in-law was taken captive, and
after suffering much from cruel treatment, died in Moush prison. When
we saw the smoke of the burning villages we hastily fled. We had
buried our most valuable household goods some days previous, but the
Kurds found and carried off everything. While concealed among the
rocks and thickets we heard the sound of trumpets, and fearing lest
we should be hunted down by the soldiery, about one hundred refugees
got together and we then decided to go to the Hinatsee tribe of Kurds;
(they were the aghas of our province), and implore their protection. We
set out early in the morning and soon met five Kurds who said to us:
'Come to the camp, to the surrender; there is peace.' Thus saying,
one of them seized a mule, the only animal we had with us, and
rode away to betray us as it afterward proved. We followed the four
Kurds till we came near a river. Then we saw two large companies of
Kurds approaching us, one some distance below us, the other on the
opposite side of the river. These soon surrounded us. They were led
by a mollah, one of the followers of the noted Sheikh of Zeelon. They
drove us into a ravine. One of our company attempted to escape, but was
instantly cut down with the sword. The Kurds gave us the alternative
of accepting the Moslem faith or death. With one accord we all said,
'We cannot deny our Christ.' Immediately they seized the men, there
were only eleven in our company, bound their arms with cords, and then
took from us women and children all clothing worth removing. Many
were left with a single garment. One aged woman near us was left
stark naked. After this the mollah sent a letter to the Turkish
camp, which was about half an hour distant from Dalvorig village,
inquiring as to what should be done with us. I heard them talk about
the letter. Soon after this I heard the Kurds plotting to take the
young women and send the others away to the mountains.

"They did not unite in this plan, and as the darkness came on they
counted us and set a watch and lay down to rest on the ground about
the ravine. The next day towards noon they decided to take us to the
Turkish camp and ordered us to set out. Our husbands and brothers who
had been bound the night before were in a pitiable condition,--their
arms and hands badly swollen. Shortly after this the Kinds dispersed
and we made our escape to the mountains. One day while hiding among
the rocks I saw my husband, and son-in-law, Kevork, bound by cords
and cruelly murdered. My husband was cut limb from limb--literally
hacked to pieces. Too terrified to move I stood gazing at the awful
sight, when suddenly five Kurds sprang upon me. They did not harm me
but wanted my child. I threw myself upon the ground to shield him,
but they drugged me to one side and stabbed him with a dagger. (Her
twelve-year old daughter was not far away. She was greatly terrified,
having witnessed the murder of her father and brother.) I ran to
her and tried to pull her along as we fled, but she soon stopped
and exclaiming, 'mother, I am dying,' fell dead at my feet. I did
not dare to linger and fled over the rocks until I found my other
children, one of whom was the wife of Kevork, my son-in-law, who had
just been murdered. The next day we turned back to bury the body of
my daughter. We did not dare to go further then, as there were many
soldiers and Kurds around. Twenty days later I returned and buried
the remains of my husband and son-in-law. While I was hiding among
the rocks I saw soldiers barbarously kill a woman, removing the yet
unborn child and thrusting it through with a bayonet."

What she saw and endured during those weary days of wandering would
fill many pages. At length all the surviving members of the family
reached Shadald, a district near Moush.

One woman's husband disappeared at the time of the massacre. She, with
her husband, brother, and his son, were hiding in the mountains when
soldiers murdered her brother-in-law, and his son-in-law, and his son
in a most brutal manner. She was very near them, hidden behind some
rocks, but they did not discover her, and the next day she joined
a company of seven villagers, two women, three girls, and two boys,
with whom she remained hiding among rocks and thickets. They were soon
discovered by Kurds. Two soldiers took her away from her companions
and told her she must adopt the Mohammedan faith, and that if she
refused they would take her life then and there. She finally replied,
"if you wish to kill me I am helpless, but I cannot commit the awful
sin of denying Christ." They took her with them for several miles,
sometimes persuading, sometimes threatening her, till they were met
by a company of Kurds, among whom was a woman who begged the soldiers
to let the young woman go. This they did.

A woman from Somal said: "I am a member of a priest's family; my
husband was his brother's son; I went with the family to surrender
at Galigozan; the priest, my husband, and his two brothers were all
cruelly murdered and thrown into the death-pit at Galigozan which the
soldiers had dug. We were separated from our husbands and brothers,
and soldiers took us to a church about half an hour away from the
camp. There we were kept all night. In the morning soldiers came to
us and said: 'Come to camp and give your word that you will accept
Islam.' We cried out, 'Never! We cannot do that great sin.' They
replied, 'If you do not, we will do to you as we did to your husbands
and sons last night.' This was the first intimation we had of the
awful massacre that had taken place the night before."

Such are some of the causes that impelled these people to appeal to the
Christian world for protection and redress. The incidents mentioned
were only a few among thousands of similar experiences, which showed
how loyally the Christian peasants of Armenia laid down their lives
rather than betray their Master by accepting the faith of Islam.



CHAPTER XII.

THE REIGN OF TERROR--TREBIZOND AND ERZEROUM.


The Mohammedan populace in all the large cities of Asia Minor were
deliberately inflamed against the Armenians by lying rumors of intended
attacks on the mosques. Soon there was an outbreak at Constantinople
in which nearly two hundred Armenians were killed by the "Softas"
(Moslem students), and by the police.

This was followed by a terrific outburst of fanaticism all over the
Sultan's dominions, the Kurdish Hamidieh were brought into requisition,
and such scenes of massacre ensued as have not been paralleled since
the days of Tamerlane.

Through all the vilayets of Armenia ran the red tide of blood. In
Trebizond, Erzeroum, Erzinghan and hundreds of other cities and
villages the Christians were crushed like grapes during the vintage. In
this work of destruction the Kurds may have been the leaders, but
the Turkish soldiers and civilians did their full share.

For a week prior to the outbreak on October 8, there was great
excitement in Trebizond, and the consuls called in a body upon the
Vali, and urged him to arrest those who were exciting the populace
to deeds of violence. Matters apparently quieted down for a few
days, when, suddenly, like a clap of thunder in a clear sky, the
assault began. Unsuspecting people walking along the streets were
shot ruthlessly down. Men standing or sitting quietly at their shop
doors were instantly dropped with a bullet through their heads or
hearts. The aim was deadly, and there were no wounded men. Some were
slashed with swords until life was extinct. They passed through the
quarters where only old men, women and children remained, killing the
men and large boys, generally permitting the women and younger children
to live. For five hours this horrid work of inhuman butchery went on;
the cracking of musketry, sometimes like a volley from a platoon of
soldiers, but more often single shots from near and distant points,
the crashing in of doors, and the thud, thud of sword blows resounded
on the ear. Then the sound of musketry died away, and the work of
looting began. Every shop of an Armenian in the market was gutted, and
the victors in this cowardly and brutal war glutted themselves with
the spoils. For hours bales of broadcloth, cotton goods, and every
conceivable kind of merchandise passed along without molestation to
the houses of the spoilers. The intention evidently was to impoverish,
and as near as possible, to blot out the Armenians of this town. So
far as appearances went the police and soldiers distinctly aided
in this savage work. They mingled with the armed men and, so far
as could be seen, made not the least effort to check them. To any
found with arms no quarter was given, but large numbers were shot
down without any demand to surrender. One poor fellow when called
on to surrender thought he was called on to give up his religion,
and when he refused he was hacked to pieces in the presence of his
wife and children. Not one of the perpetrators of these outrages was
arrested or disarmed, but all moved about with the utmost freedom to
accomplish their nefarious purposes. On the other hand many of the
Armenians were thrown into prison.

The frantic mob, seething and surging in the streets of the cities,
swept down upon the defenceless Armenians, plundered their shops,
gutted their houses, then joked and jested with the terrified victims,
as cats play with mice. As rapid whirling motion produces apparent
rest, so the wild frenzy of those fierce fanatic crowds resulted in
a condition of seeming calmness, composure, and gentleness which,
taken in connection with the unutterable brutality of their acts,
was of a nature to freeze men's blood with horror. In many cases they
almost caressed their victims, and actually encouraged them to hope,
while preparing the instruments of slaughter.

The French mob during the Terror were men--nay, angels of
mercy--compared with these Turks. Those were not insensible to
compassion; in these every instinct of humanity seemed atrophied or
dead. On the first day of the massacre, an Armenian was coming out
of a baker's shop, where he had been purchasing bread for his sick
wife and family, when he was surprised by the raging crowd. Fascinated
with terror, he stood still, was seized, and dashed to the ground. He
pleaded piteously for mercy and pardon, and they quietly promised it;
and so grim and dry was the humor of this crowd that the trembling
wretch took their promise seriously and offered them his heartfelt
thanks. In truth they were only joking. When they were ready to be
serious they tied the man's feet together, and taunted him, but at
first with the assumed gentleness that might well be mistaken for
the harbinger of mercy. Then they cut off one of his hands, slapped
his face with the bloody wrist, and placed it between his quivering
lips. Soon afterwards they chopped off the other hand and inquired
whether he would like pen and paper to write to his wife. Others
requested him to make the sign of the cross with his stumps or his
feet while he still possessed them, while others desired him to shout
louder so that his God might hear his cries for help. One of the most
active members of the crowd then stepped forward and tore the man's
ears from his head, after which he put them between the man's lips
and then flung them in his face.

"That effendi's mouth deserves to be punished for refusing such a
choice morsel," exclaimed a voice in the crowd, whereupon somebody
stepped forward, knocked out some of his teeth and proceeded to cut out
his tongue. "He will never blaspheme again," a pious Moslem jocosely
remarked. Thereupon a dagger was placed under one of his eyes which
was scooped clean out of its socket. The hideous contortions of the
man's discolored face, the quick convulsions of his quivering body
and the sight of the ebbing blood turning the dry dust to gory mud,
literally intoxicated these furious fanatics, who having gouged out
the other eye and chopped off his feet hit upon some other excruciating
tortures before cutting his throat and sending his soul to "damnation"
as they expressed it. These other ingenious, pain-sharpening devices,
however, were such as do not lend themselves to descriptions.

More than one thousand people perished in Trebizond under similar
tortures who were not more mercifully shot down at once--while many
Armenian women were murdered or kidnapped, and most of the Armenian
houses were burned to the ground; the survivors of the massacres
being driven to the hills and woods to suffer slow starvation.

Equally sad was the fate of the Christians of Baiburt whose tragic
taking off was related in a letter addressed by the survivors to the
Armenian Patriarch at Constantinople. After giving a partial list
of the slain, the writers stated: "When the massacres and plundering
began, on account of the prevailing terror and insecurity, the people
were compelled to close all the churches, shops and schools, and
take refuge in the houses. Letters were sent from our Prelate to the
commandant of the Fourth Army Corps at Erzeroum, and to the Armenian
Prelate at Erzeroum asking assistance; but all our prayers remained
unanswered. After the massacres the Turks advised us indirectly
that the order was secretly given from the Imperial Palace and was
irrevocable!

"The frantic Turkish mob, assisted by regular troops suddenly fell
upon the innocent and unarmed Armenians. The bloody work began at four
o'clock A. M., and lasted until late in the evening. Besides murdering
our people, the mob plundered and fired the Armenian dwellings and
stores, taking care that the Greeks should not be molested. On that
frightful day the Armenian community was almost annihilated.

"Strong men, youths and women, and even babies in the cradles and
unborn children were butchered with most awful savagery. Infants were
stuck on bayonets and exposed to the agonized view of their helpless
and frantic mothers. Young brides and girls were subjected to a
fate far worse than death. No resistance was possible on the part
of the Armenians. All the native teachers with a single exception
were murdered with most cruel tortures. Baiburt became a slaughter
house. Torrents of blood began to flow. The streets and bazaars were
filled with dead bodies. On the following day the Turks did all in
their power to conceal the bodies of those who had been pierced by
bayonets. Similar scenes were enacted in all the surrounding villages.

"Mourning and lamentation prevail throughout Armenia. The churches are
closed; no more can the sound of worshippers be heard. The pealing of
the bells is silent. We have no more teachers to teach the remnant
of Armenians who still live. Rich and poor alike have perished, and
the survivors are in the direst indigence. No bread, no covering for
their nakedness; they are shivering in the cold. Baiburt, until lately
so generous to help others, is now helpless, and in need of moral
and material assistance. Unless such assistance is soon received,
nobody can live.

"After the massacres the government began to arrest the remaining
Armenians who had escaped the slaughter. We hear that in the prisons
the tortures have reached an extreme point of frightful cruelty. Thus
the survivors of the massacre are now dying daily. Every moment we
have the horrors of death."

Turkish duplicity was fertile in its resources. Many documents
were forwarded to the Grand Vizier at Constantinople from scenes of
massacres, purporting to be signed by Armenian nobles, the signatures
having been obtained by intimidation. One of the most remarkable was
from Bitlis, and bore the signatures of thirty-one Armenian nobles. It
proceeds to state that "some of our co-religionists have been deceived
by instigators coming from certain parts, and have been the cause of
deplorable events and have committed crimes contrary to the wishes
of his Imperial Majesty, and against the government of his Imperial
Majesty--a government to be whose subject had been for six hundred
years a title of glory to us, and through whose benevolence we were
enjoying religious liberty and a self-government, the like of which
cannot be found under any administration. This being so there remains
no hope for us but the mercy of our august sovereign, who deigns to
accept all classes of his subjects with a benevolence worthy of the
greatest of monarchs.

"On the other hand, everlasting happiness for us consists in preserving
our national existence in the shadow of the imperial government. We
dare to commend ourselves to the humanity and benevolence of our
sovereign, who is an object of admiration for the whole world, and
we implore his pardon, taking refuge in that heavenly power bestowed
upon him for the pardon of criminals."

Such is an example of similar documents that were drawn up by local
Turkish officials, in fulsome praise of the Porte's humanity, and
which the leading Armenians were compelled to sign, under threats
of imprisonment and torture. These spurious testimonials, like the
manufactured reports of outrages by Armenians, were designed to
influence public opinion in Turkey's favor.

Even the Porte, accustomed to distort facts, found itself no longer
able to conceal from the world the pitiable condition of the Armenians.

In Erzeroum, where a large tract of country, from the lofty mountains
of Devi Boyen to the Black Sea shore was laid waste and completely
purged of Armenians, similar scenes were enacted. The vilayet of Van,
the town of Hassankaleh, and numerous other places were deluged with
blood, and polluted with unbridled lust. A man in Erzeroum, hearing
the tumult, and fearing for his children, who were playing in the
street, went out to seek and save them. He was borne down upon by the
mob. He pleaded for his life, protesting that he had always lived
in peace with his Moslem neighbors, and sincerely loved them. The
statement may have represented a fact, or it may have been but a plea
for pity. The ringleader, however, told him that that was the proper
spirit, and would be condignly rewarded. The man was then stripped,
and a chunk of his flesh cut out of his body, and jestingly offered
for sale: "Good fresh meat, and dirt cheap," exclaimed some of the
crowd. "Who'll buy fine dogs' meat?" echoed the amused bystanders. The
writhing wretch uttered piercing screams as some of the mob, who had
just come from rifling the shops, opened a bottle, and poured vinegar
or some acid into the gaping wound. He called on God and man to end
his agonies. But they had only begun. Soon, afterwards, two little
boys came up, the elder crying, "Hairik, Hairik, (Father, father,)
save me! See what they've done to me!" and pointed to his head, from
which the blood was streaming over his handsome face, and down his
neck. The younger brother--a child of about three--was playing with
a wooden toy. The agonizing man was silent for a second and then,
glancing at these, his children, made a frantic but vain effort to
snatch a dagger from a Turk by his side. This was the signal for
the renewal of his torments. The bleeding boy was finally dashed
with violence against the dying father, who began to lose strength
and consciousness, and the two were then pounded to death where they
lay. The younger child sat near, dabbling his wooden toy in the blood
of his father and brother, and looking up, now through smiles at the
prettily-dressed Kurds, and now through tears at the dust-begrimed
thing that had lately been his father. A slash of a sabre wound up his
short experience of God's world, and the crowd turned its attention
to others.

In Erzeroum about seven hundred houses and about fifteen thousand
shops were plundered. The number of killed was never known, for there
were many strangers in the city. The condition of the people was about
as bad as that of the Sassoun people after the massacre. Between two
thousand and three thousand people were destitute of fuel, bedding and
food, and the majority had only the clothes they had on their backs.

The Government made a show of distributing the plunder collected from
the barracks to the rightful owners, but the attempt was farcical.

The Turks declared that the Armenians made an attack on the Government
House, and so the affair begun. This declaration was absolutely without
foundation. There was no attack even contemplated by Armenians. The
first man shot was an aged priest, who was at the Government House
to present a complaint to the Governor. He had been robbed in his own
house in the village of the Tivnig, and only got off with his life by
giving a note for $500 for five days. He was an inoffensive old man,
and would be the last man in the world to offer an attack. The attack
was made by Moslems after leaving the mosques after the noon hour of
prayer, and it was simultaneous all over the city.

A letter from Erzeroum said: "It is almost impossible for me to
describe that which I have seen and heard. In Gurum everything which
hellish ingenuity can devise has been done by the Turkish soldiers
and Bashi-bazouks. All the Armenian villages are in ashes, and the
smoke which is rising from the ruined houses gives the appearance of
a volcanic eruption. Along the road between Trebizond and Erzeroum,
at every step, mutilated bodies are lying. We are unable to leave
our homes to bury the dead; unable to sleep. The whole city has
taken on the aspect of a wild desert strewn with corpses. Hundreds
of thousands of families are compelled to wander in rags, begging
for their living. The same fate has befallen a few of the Europeans."

The Erzeroum massacre started at the office of the Vali in the
government building. An Armenian priest of Tevnik was in the building
endeavoring to gain an audience with the Vali, when he was shot down
by Turkish murderers. Then followed a horrible saturnalia of carnage,
during which over one thousand Christians were slaughtered. After the
butchery, the dead victims were dragged by the neck and heels into
the cemetery and cast into a long, deep trench, not unlike the death
pit of Geliguzan--the murdered fathers, mothers and sweet, innocent
babes, all calm and peaceful in the sleep of death, flung down like
carrion. Nothing more horrible or more pathetic could be imagined
than that scene at the cemetery two days after the massacre. The
spaces between the poor dead bodies were filled with the skulls and
thigh-bones that had been taken by the sacrilegious Moslems from the
old, upturned graves and then all were covered up together out of
sight. The survivors dared not even express their grief.

Not less shocking was the news that came from Kaisarieh in that part
of Asiatic Turkey known as Cappadocia, where a frightful massacre
of Christians took place, accompanied by the outraging of women and
the looting of the shops and houses. This was done in obedience to
orders from Constantinople. Over one thousand were killed and the
fury of the Kurds, not satiated with slaughter, vented itself in the
mutilation of the inanimate bodies.

An extract from a paper on "The condition of Armenia" by E. J. Dillon
will fitly close this chapter.

"The stories told of these Koordish Hamidieh officers in general,
and of one of them, named Mostigo, in particular, seemed so wildly
improbable, that I was at great pains to verify them. Learning that
this particular Fra Diavolo had been arrested and was carefully
guarded as a dangerous criminal in the prison of Erzeroum, where
he would probably be hanged, I determined to obtain, if possible,
an interview with him, and learn the truth from his own lips. My
first attempt ended in failure; Mostigo being a desperate murderer,
who had once before escaped from jail, was subjected to special
restrictions, and if I had carried out my original plan of visiting
him in disguise, the probability is that I should not have returned
alive. After about three weeks' tedious and roundabout negotiations,
I succeeded in gaining the gaoler's ear, having first replenished
his purse. I next won over the brigand himself, and the upshot of my
endeavors was an arrangement that Mostigo was to be allowed to leave
the prison secretly, and at night, to spend six hours in my room,
and then to be re-conducted to his dungeon.

"When the appointed day arrived the gaoler repudiated his part of
the contract, on the ground that Mostigo, aware that his life was
forfeited, would probably give the prison a wide berth if allowed to
leave its precincts. After some further negotiations, however, I agreed
to give two hostages for his return, one of them a brother Koord, whose
life the brigand's notions of honor would not allow him to sacrifice
for the chance of saving his own. At last he came to me one evening,
walking over the roofs, lest the police permanently stationed at my
door should espy him. I kept him all night, showed him to two of the
most respectable Europeans in Erzeroum, and, lest any doubt should
be thrown on my story, had myself photographed with him next morning.

The tale unfolded by that Koordish noble constitutes a most admirable
commentary upon Turkish régime in Armenia. This is not the place to
give it in full. One or two short extracts must suffice.

"'Now, Mostigo, I desire to hear from your own lips and to write
down some of your wonderful deeds. I want to make them known to the
"hat-wearers."' (Europeans).

"'Even so. Announce them to the Twelve Powers.' (The whole universe).

"There were evidently no misgivings about moral consequences;
no fears of judicial punishment. And yet retribution was at hand;
Mostigo was said to be doomed to death. Desirous of clearing up this
point, I went on:

"'I am sorry to find that you are living in prison. Have you been
long there?'

"'I, too, am sorry. Five months, but it seems an age.'

"'These Armenians are to blame, I suppose?'

"'Yes.'

"'You wiped out too many of them, carried off their women, burned
their villages and made it generally hot for them, I am told.'

"(Scornfully). 'That has nothing to do with my imprisonment. I shall
not be punished for plundering Armenians. We all do that. I seldom
killed, except when they resisted. But the Armenians betrayed me and
I was caught. That's what I mean. But if I be hanged it will be for
attacking and robbing the Turkish post and violating the wife of a
Turkish Colonel who is now here in Erzeroum. But not for Armenians! Who
are they that I should suffer for them?'

After he had narrated several adventures of his, in the course of
which he dishonored Christian woman, killed Armenian villagers,
robbed the post and escaped from prison, he went on to say:

"'We did great deeds after that: deeds that would astonish the Twelve
Powers to hear told. We attacked villages, killed people who would
have killed us, gutted houses, taking money, carpets, sheep and
women, and robbed travelers.... Daring and great were our deeds,
and the mouths of men were full of them.'

"Having heard the story of many of these 'great deeds,' in some of
which fifty persons met their death, I asked:

"'Do the Armenians ever offer you resistance when you take their
cattle and their women?'

"'Not often. They cannot. They have no arms, and they know that even
if they could kill a few of us it would do them no good, for other
Koords would come and take vengeance; but when we kill them no one's
eyes grow large with rage. The Turks hate them, and we do not. We
only want money and spoil, and some Koords also want their lands, but
the Turks want their lives. A few months ago I attacked the Armenian
village of Kara Kipriu and drove off all the sheep in the place. I did
not leave one behind. The villagers, in despair, did follow us that
time and fire some shots at us, but it was nothing to speak of. We
drove the sheep towards Erzeroum to sell them there. But on the way
we had a fight near the Armenian village of Sheme. The peasants knew
we had lifted the sheep from their own people, and they attacked
us. We were only five Koords and they were many--the whole village
was up against us. Two of my men--rayahs [2] only--were killed. We
killed fifteen Armenians. They succeeded in capturing forty of the
sheep. The remainder we held and sold in Erzeroum.'

"'Did you kill many Armenians generally?'

"'Yes. We did not wish to do so. We only want booty, not lives. Lives
are of no use to us. But we had to drive bullets through people at
times to keep them quiet; that is, if they resisted.'

"'Did you often use your daggers?'

"'No; generally our rifles. We must live. In autumn we manage to get
as much corn as we need for the winter, and money besides. We have
cattle, but we take no care of it. We give it to the Armenians to
look after and feed.'

"'But if they refuse?'

"'Well, we burn their hay, their corn, their houses, and we drive off
their sheep, so they do not refuse. We take back our cattle in spring,
and the Armenians must return the same number that they received.'

"'But if the cattle disease should carry them off?'

"'That is the Armenians' affair. They must return us what we gave them,
or an equal number. And they know it. We cannot bear the loss. Why
should not they? Nearly all our sheep come from them.'

"After having listened to scores of stories of his expeditions,
murders, rapes, &c., &c., I again asked: 'Can you tell me some more
of your daring deeds, Mostigo, for the ears of the Twelve Powers?' to
which I received this characteristic reply:

"'Once the wolf was asked: Tell us something about the sheep you
devoured? and he said: I ate thousands of sheep, which of them are
you talking about? Even so it is with my deeds. If I spoke and you
wrote for two days, much would still remain untold.'

"This brigand is a Koord, and the name of the Koords is legion. Ex
uno disce omnes. And yet the Koords have shown themselves to be the
most humane of all the persecutors of the Armenians. Needing money,
this man robbed; desirous of pleasure he dishonored women and girls;
defending his booty, he killed men and women, and during it all
he felt absolutely certain of impunity, so long as his victims were
Armenians. Is there no law then? one is tempted to ask. There is, and a
very good law for that corner of the globe were it only administered;
for the moment he robbed the Imperial post and dishonored a Turkish
woman, he was found worthy of death.

"Laws, reforms and constitutions therefore, were they drawn up by the
wisest and most experienced legislators and statesmen of the world,
will not be worth the paper they are written on so long as the Turks
are allowed to administer them without control."

* * * "Justice in all its aspects is rigorously denied to the
Armenian. The mere fact that he dares to invoke it as plaintiff
or prosecutor against a Koord or a Turk is always sufficient to
metamorphose him into a defendant or a criminal, generally into
both, whereupon he is invariably thrown into prison. In such cases
the prison is intended to be no more than the halfway-house between
relative comfort and absolute misery, the inmates being destined to
be stripped of all they possess and then turned adrift. But what the
prison really is cannot be made sufficiently clear in words. If the
old English Star Chamber, the Spanish Inquisition, a Chinese opium den,
the ward of a yellow fever hospital, and a nook in the lowest depths of
Dante's Hell be conceived as blended and merged into one, the resulting
picture will somewhat resemble a bad Turkish prison. Filth, stench,
disease, deformity, pain in forms and degrees inconceivable in Europe,
constitute the physical characteristics: the psychological include
the blank despair that is final, fiendish, fierce malignity, hellish
delight in human suffering, stoic self-sacrifice in the cultivation of
loathsome vices, stark madness raging in the moral nature only--the
whole incarnated in grotesque beings whose resemblance to man is a
living blasphemy against the Deity. In these noisome dungeons, cries
of exquisite suffering and shouts of unnatural delight continually
commingle; ribald songs are sung to the accompaniment of heartrending
groans; meanwhile the breath is passing away from bodies which had
long before been soulless, and are unwept save by the clammy walls
whereon the vapor of unimagined agonies and foul disease condenses
into big drops and runs down in driblets to the reeking ground. Truly
it is a horrid nightmare quickened into life."



CHAPTER XIII.

THE REIGN OF TERROR--VAN AND MOUSH.


Much earnest and faithful missionary work had been done in the cities
and towns of the various Armenian provinces, before the storm of
desolation swept over them. Evangelistic, educational and medical lines
had been followed and now the missionaries, who had been laboring in
a land where crops had failed and where the inhabitants were leaving
their homes to escape starvation, were to face massacre, pillage and
horrors, such as the world had not beheld for centuries. No words of
praise are adequate to tell the story of the devotion which kept them
at their posts, or of the succor they extended to the victims of the
Sultan's hate.

A vivid picture of the desolation that everywhere prevailed, was given
by one who was engaged in the work of distributing relief money in
July, 1895.

"Semal and Shenig are situated in a continuous, moderately wide
valley, with a little reach of rolling land between the encircling
mountains where about half the hill fields are growing green with a
sort of millet that matures in a few weeks and which the sufferers were
persuaded to come and sow, with oxen loaned by the poor, but generous
villagers of the Moush plain. These few fields and few people at work
upon them, were all there was to relieve the sad desolation which
reigned over all. Buildings, once the homes of happy and prosperous
countrymen, now presented only ruined walls with not a chip to show
they had ever roofs to cover them, save a few, of which a little
corner was rudely covered last fall, so that the wretched owners
could find imperfect shelter during last winter. The torch of the
incendiary soldiers had consumed every vestige of wood from all these
scattered homes. The church at the central hamlet, where Der Hohannes
(whose eyes were bored out and his throat pierced, while yet alive,
by the cruel soldiers), used to officiate, being of stone, was not
consumed, being the only roofed building in all the valley, after that
flood of carnage had swept past. Near this church we pitched our tent,
and began to study the situation.

"Beneath our eye, in these two villages, had already gathered over
one thousand people, whom it was our work to try and set upon their
feet again, so that they could start once more on the uphill road
towards prosperity. Could a community be conceived of more completely
prostrated? The sheep and cattle, which composed their wealth, in
the hands of Kurds, as also their few simple household belongings,
cooking vessels, clothing, bedding, etc., and whatever money they
may have managed to hoard. Those who fled with their lives found
themselves nearly as destitute of all that makes life comfortable as
the day they were born.

English liberality has already spent five thousand dollars, and the
authorities gave reluctant consent to our coming up to distribute
it. We located here at Semal, while the Turkish committee has its
headquarters at Shenig, half an hour distant. It was evident that
the thing to be first accomplished was the erection of houses, and
only a few weeks remained in which it would be accomplished, so we
set about persuading the people to begin preparing their walls for
the timbers the government had promised them.

"Of the survivors of the massacre (of 1894), five thousand have already
gathered to try and reëstablish their old homes, while possibly
another eleven hundred may still be scattered over the world. It
is impossible as yet to give the exact number of the slaughtered,
but it will probably be not far from 4,000. We feel that unless
a different status from the present can be secured to distribute
anything to these people beyond daily food, is simply to run the
risk of its falling into the hands of the Kurds. We have distributed
a good many tools, with which the people are gathering hay, in hope
of having some animal to eat it during the winter. We should be glad
to furnish them with tools for laying up the walls of their houses,
and even pay the wages of masons to come and help them. It is all
we can do now to prevent the people from fleeing again to the plain,
when all their crops would go for naught."

Near Harpoot eleven villages were compelled to accept Mohammedanism,
and also near Van the entire population of two villages were forced
to change their religion. Eight villages near Van were entirely
depopulated. Most of the inhabitants were killed, and those who
survived escaped to the snow-covered mountains, where they wandered
with their children, naked and starving. The men who were forced to
accept Mohammedanism were compelled to take their own sisters-in-law,
whose husbands have been killed, to wife--a practice most horrible
to the Christians, who hated polygamy. They were also compelled to
plunder and kill their Armenian brethren to show that their conversion
to Mohammedanism was genuine. The young maidens of these villages
were carried into the Pasha's harem. The Kurds attacked the same
villages over and over to make their work of destruction complete,
and yet the Sultan ordered his ambassador in Washington to deny that
there were any forcible conversions to Islam.

All accounts received of the hardships endured by the Armenians
were distressing in the extreme. Many of the refugees, weakened by
want and exposure, were dying. Fully one thousand Armenian families
in the province of Van alone were in want of food. A majority of
these families lived on roots and herbs, the few fortunate ones had
bread made of clover seed, linseed or flax, mixed with grass and
roots. In the district of Moks, three-fourths of the villagers left
their homes and were in danger of starving. In Shadakh, two-thirds
of the population were homeless wanderers. Beggars swarmed in the
streets of Van, but so general was the poverty that little help
could be afforded. So widespread was the want that many declared, in
bitterness of heart, "there is no food in all the length and breadth
of Armenia"--which was long ago the Garden of Eden. Many poor were
fed daily at the American mission in Van.

America and Armenia both owe more than words can ever express to the
energy, devotion and abundant generosity that sent Mr. W. W. Howard,
in 1895, to investigate the situation in Armenia. In a later chapter
the story of the great relief work will be told, meanwhile Mr. Howard
will tell his story. "I have just returned from the interior of the
devastated region of Armenia and the English language is impotent to
produce a true picture of the actual condition of that distressed
country, and a just regard for the conventionalities of civilized
speech will not permit that the whole truth be told. The refined
Christian mind can understand wickedness and iniquity up to a certain
point, but beyond that point, it either refuses to believe, or it is
incapable of receiving additional impressions.

"There are in Armenia at the present moment at least two hundred
thousand persons fighting a death fight with famine! In the one
province of Van, which is the center of Armenia, there are fully one
hundred thousand persons, out of a total Armenian population of one
hundred and forty-five thousand, in actual want of food.

"Many have already died of starvation, and thousands of villagers
are barely keeping soul and body together by eating roots and herbs
and sort of bread made of clover seed, flax or linseed meal, mixed
with edible grass. I have brought to peaceful, prosperous America
specimen loaves of this hunger-bread. Starving villagers, reduced to
the verge of despair, are crowding into the cities to beg for food
and work. Three thousand unwilling beggars walk the streets of the
city of Van, like spectres of famine, asking bread from door to door,
who six months ago were comparatively prosperous. Others, too proud
to beg, but in as desperate condition, crouch in their ruined homes,
waiting for a merciful death to end their sufferings.

"These are not hallucinations on my part, but are things which I myself
have lately seen with my own eyes. Unless these wretched people receive
immediate help, they will perish of starvation. They must have food
and clothing or they cannot possibly survive the winter. They are now
living on roots and herbs and edible grass, together with this terrible
hunger-bread, the mere odor of which is enough to make a strong man
shudder; but when winter begins, in October, the supply of edible grass
and roots and herbs will be cut off. What will become of them then?

"The Armenians have no wheat, and no money with which to buy food. The
Kurds and the Turks have taken everything, and the Armenians have
nothing.

"The Armenians planted only half a crop this year, owing to the
persecutions and exactions which beset them on all sides. In the
early summer, when the young grain was green, the Kurds pastured
their buffalos and their cattle in the growing wheat. Much of the
crop was thus destroyed. Later, when that which remained of the wheat
was ready for the harvest, the Kurds came down, cut off the heads of
the ripened grain, and left the worthless stubble for the Armenians
to live upon during the long and bitter winter. Even a persecuted
Armenian cannot hope to maintain his family on wheat straw.

"Now, we have this condition at the present moment in Armenia: The
crop planted this year was entirely inadequate to the needs of the
population, and when the Kurds got through pasturing their cattle in
the growing fields they harvested the ripened grain for their own use,
leaving only dry grass for the Armenians. The systematic persecutions
of the people, the exactions of the tax-gatherers, and the repeated
robberies by the Kurds have left the Armenians absolutely penniless
and foodless. Utterly unable to maintain life in their nearly ruined
and wasted villages, the country people are wandering about from place
to place, and crowding into the cities. There is no work for them to
be had, and no chance of earning enough to keep starvation at bay.

"It is for the youngest Christian nation on earth to say whether
the oldest shall perish and be no more, and whether the followers
of Mohammed shall be the sole inhabitants of that land which, in the
beginning of all things, was the Garden of Eden. If we turn a deaf ear
now to the supplications of the starving thousands of fellow-Christians
in Eastern Turkey, the coming of spring will see the troublous Armenian
question forever at rest. There will be no more Armenian question,
for there may be no more Armenians.

"If, on the contrary, the practical Christians of our own land desire
to assist in preserving this ancient Christian race in the land in
which it took descent from the grandson of Noah, the way is clear. A
little help extended now, will not only save the lives of those who
are dropping dead of hunger from day to day, but will provide work
during the coming winter.

"I have necessarily been brief, and have dwelt entirely upon the
starvation in Armenia, because it is the most urgent feature of the
situation. I have not touched upon the Sassoun massacre, because as the
Grand Vizier of Turkey truthfully says, 'that is an old story.' The
victims of Sassoun were in many respects more fortunate than their
fellows, for they had at least the privilege of dying quickly. They
escaped persecution, torture, and starvation. There are very many
hopeless creatures in Armenia to-day who would welcome a second
Sassoun as an easy release from the burden and shame of living.

"As to the cause of the persecution which has brought two hundred
thousand human beings to the actual brink of starvation, there can be
but one explanation. The Armenians are Christians. Should they become
Mohammedans their troubles would vanish, and return no more. It is
for the sake of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that they are persecuted
unto death."

A resident of Moush confirmed all that has been stated regarding the
widespread suffering and destitution. He said:

"After the departure of the Kurdish tribes, which had perpetrated the
massacres of Sassoun, the survivors left their hiding-places. One group
of these people settled themselves on the plateaux, in the defiles,
and in the forests of Sassoun, whilst the greater part emigrated to
Moush, whence they were soon scattered among the Armenian villages
of the plain. The Armenians sheltered and fed these emigrants as long
as they had the means; but being themselves doubly tried by the want
which reigns on all sides, and for the past two years and more, in the
country, they soon found it impossible for them to supply the needs of
these emigrants. The latter were obliged to move away to the mountains,
where they are finding their food from herbs and leaves, or else to
beg in the villages, where they are hardly finding a morsel of bread."

The Kurds took advantage of the sufferings of the people of Sassoun to
carry on a trade in white people. A young Armenian woman of Sassoun,
was sold as a slave by these nomads. Another was sold to an inhabitant
of the village of Hadji-Osman-Bey, and taken to Diarbekir. A little
boy and little girl were bought for one hundred and thirty piastres
of a Kurd named Mehmed; this amount included besides, the price of
a donkey. There were other instances also of the same character.

The following letter from the Duke of Westminster to the editor of an
American paper, afforded new evidence of the widespread destitution
in Armenia:



"Sir:--There is an additional distressing phase connected with
the sufferings of the Armenians consequent on the losses they have
sustained at the hands of the Turks, which calls for consideration
and assistance from those who are ever ready to relieve distress in
whatever part of the world. Vice-Consul Shipley reports from Moush,
that 'there is great distress, amounting in a great number of cases to
abject destitution, among the fugitives from Sassoun, of which he and
his colleagues have had many opportunities of convincing themselves
from personal observation.' Mr. Hallward, Her Majesty's Vice-Consul at
Van, testifies that the need for relief is unquestioned; that there
is an enormous amount of destitution, and that there will certainly
be more before next winter.

"This applies, we are assured, to the province of Bitlis, and to a
large extent to Erzeroum, where there are survivors of the Sassoun
massacre--mostly women and children who have no one to provide for
them--scattered about. A year ago these people were comparatively
prosperous and comfortable, but are now barefoot and in rags,
begging their daily bread from those who are not much better off
than themselves.

"Consul Graves forwards a private letter describing the deplorable
condition of the people at Talvorig:--'There are about eight hundred
and fifty of these houseless wanderers now living in the woods and
mountains, in caves and hollow trees, half naked, and some, indeed,
entirely without covering for their nakedness. Bread they have not
tasted for months, and curdled milk they only dream of, living, as
they do, upon greens and the leaves of trees. There are two varieties
of greens which are preferred, but these are disappearing, as they
wither at this season. Living on such food, they become sickly;
their skin has turned yellow, their strength is gone, their bodies
are swollen, and fever is rife among them.'

"In addition to these, there are thousands of refugees who, compelled
by poverty and danger to abandon their village homes, have flocked
into the towns where they hope to find personal safety and charity
to keep them alive.

"The Committee of the Armenian Relief Fund has already remitted £3,000
to Sir Philip Currie, Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople,
for the distribution of food and clothing in the distressed districts,
and further aid is very urgently required.

    "Westminster."
    Grosvenor House, London, W., Sept. 20th, 1895.



Probably the best known and most experienced of all the
Americans who have served in the missionary field in Asia Minor is
Rev. Cyrus Hamlin, D.D. the venerable founder of Roberts College,
Constantinople. Dr. Hamlin, has a lifelong acquaintance with the
Armenian question in its various phases, and is a strong champion of
the right of this oldest Christian nation on earth to be permitted
to live and worship in the faith of their fathers. Conversing on the
subject, Dr. Hamlin said:

"The condition of affairs in that country has not been exaggerated
in the printed reports. I have lately finished reading the MS. of
some two hundred letters from missionaries, a very large part of
them dealing with the oppressions and sufferings of the Armenians,
which were of a most frightful character. The poor creatures must
have help before the winter opens in earnest, or they will perish. An
Armenian winter is usually very severe, the snow lying on the ground
from four to six feet in depth and the cold being intense.

"The whole civilized Christian world must help these people--they
must be saved from death and assisted over the winter. They can
look in no other direction for help, for there is no sympathy and
assistance to be had from Turkey. Indeed, the policy of the Sultan's
government is apparently dictated by a desire to efface the Armenian
people altogether--at least those of them who will not accept
Mohammed. When you talk sympathizingly about these people, a Turk
will say in surprise: 'Why do you speak in behalf of such worthless
trash and try to save them? They can save themselves--all they need
do is to accept Islam and then they are safe and out of trouble.'

"And so," continued Dr. Hamlin, "A Turk regards it as strange that
an Armenian should refuse to purchase his life at the cost of his
faith; but there are some among them who take a different view. Some
of the Turkish soldiers who shared in the terrible atrocities lately
perpetrated on the Armenian Christians have been stricken by remorse
afterward. One soldier, who had borne his part in several horrible
butcheries of women and children, was so troubled that he could not
sleep. He had visions of his victims that ultimately drove him insane."

Dr. Hamlin spoke in the highest terms of Miss Kimball and her relief
work, in conjunction with the other missionaries at Van. "No one knew
the needs of the suffering people better, or was better qualified to
deal with the present very trying situation. It is the duty of the
Christians of America to help them as far as we can help them. The
Turks will embarrass the work if they can; they wish these people to
die. In the whole region of Sassoun--comprised of about one hundred
villages--forty or fifty villages have been annihilated." A letter
from Mr. Cole, a missionary who is employed in relief work, stated
that he visited a village of one hundred and seventy-five houses,
every one of which had been destroyed. The Turks would not even
permit him to erect a shanty as a defence against the weather, lest
some Armenian should get the use of it. They wished these people to
die out of cold or starvation.

England, whose official support of Turkey made it in large measure
responsible for the wrongs and sufferings of the Armenians, now moved
for reform in that unfortunate country. At the same time, the English
people were helping the Armenians by contributions. On the occasion
of opening a bazaar held at Chester, for the benefit of the Armenian
sufferers, Mrs. Gladstone gave expression to the popular sentiment
prevailing in England regarding Armenia's condition in these terms: "No
words of mine are needed to describe the frightful need of help. You
are all aware of the terrible details. I plead to-day in behalf of
the poor sufferers--that we may be instrumental in allaying their
sufferings. As my husband says, we cannot dictate to the government
as to the time, but we pray that the Powers may soon take action to
end Armenia's woes."

But while this most blessed work of caring for these hunger-stricken,
homeless and wretched Armenians was going on, the storm burst upon them
in all its fury. The appetite of the Moslem had merely been whetted,
not satiated.

Following the massacres in Trebizond and Erzeroum all the villages
about them were almost depopulated, the orders for the slaughter
of the Christians, as the Moslem troops admit, having come from
Constantinople. At Sivas the massacre was terrible, and a like horror
occurred at Marash. The ungovernable fury of the Turks spared neither
age or sex, and the brutalities practiced upon women and children could
not be described. Bodies of little children, dead and mutilated, were
found in the fields after the slaughter had ended. Large numbers of
the victims of these atrocities died the death of martyrs. They fell
in the Moslem war for the extermination of the religion of Jesus in
Asia Minor.

At Diarbekir, where the victims were numbered by thousands, there was
abundant evidence that the massacre was premeditated. It was claimed
that the Armenians had attacked a Moslem mosque, whereas the facts,
as afterwards disclosed, showed the Kurds and Turks to have been
the sole and intentional aggressors. The massacre began on Friday,
and continued on Saturday and Sunday with insatiable ferocity.

Meanwhile, the story of what was taking place in the villages
and hamlets of the different districts had not reached the public
ear. When it came, it disclosed a tale of suffering and savagism that
had scarcely a parallel. Many hundreds of villages were literally
swept out of existence. The story of one is the story of all: the
Kurds, directed from higher sources, swooping down, rounding up the
cattle, slaying the strong men, outraging and abducting the women,
and killing even the children, concluded the satanic work by burning
everything that would consume. In many places the Kurdish troops came
equipped with empty sacks strapped to their saddles for the purpose of
carrying off the plunder. The Kurdish chiefs openly declared that they
were ordered to slay the Christians and take the plunder for their pay.

Rev. John Wright, another missionary, wrote: "In one instance, the
Kurds, after compelling a family to provide food for their horses and
themselves, smothered a babe which was asleep in the cradle, cut it
in pieces and roasted it before the fire on their weapons, and then
made the mother eat the flesh. In another case, when the Kurds had
killed an Armenian, they joined hands and danced about the corpse,
singing a song of triumph. They then cut up the corpse, boiled it,
and forced the Armenians residing there to eat the flesh. Flocks
were driven off, grain burned, and houses razed to the ground and
burned. Many women died from fright, and the children also died from
fright or exposure to the cold. We found that nearly half the members
of the families we met had perished during the flight. They had great
difficulty in securing food to eat. All of them had substantially
the same harrowing tale to tell. About ten thousand refugees are
estimated to have passed through the district of Khoi."

Eight of the villages near Van were totally depopulated and all their
people slain or rendered fugitives, except the young women who were
seized and taken to Kurdish harems. In the Van provinces nearly two
hundred villages were partially destroyed.

During the last weeks in December, 1895, the carnival of slaughter
continued with tireless energy and terrible ferocity by the Turks and
Kurds. From every side came reports of atrocities by Turks, Kurds,
and Circassians--villages swept by fire, the men massacred, the women
either slain or reserved for a fate worse than death. Thousands of
women were carried away captive to become inmates of some vile Moslem
harem. An illustration of the Turkish method of extermination was found
in the case of the village of Hoh, in the Sandjak district. At first
the aghas (or local magistrates) promised to protect the Christians,
but when they saw villages burning in every direction they refused
to keep their word. All the Christians were told that, under the
pain of death, they must accept Islam. They were assembled at the
Mosque, and there eighty young men were picked out and led outside
the village--for slaughter. Eight escaped, sixty-two were killed,
and ten wounded. The young women of the village were taken to Turkish
harems, and the survivors of the Christian population were scattered
among other villages.

In every district there was the same tragic story of massacre,
outrage, pillage, and abduction; monasteries sacked, and Christian
pastors and people butchered. In many villages the Armenian priests
were among the number who laid down their lives as a testimony to the
faith. In almost every village the strong men and youths were killed,
and in nearly every case they met death with the fortitude of true
martyrs. Many were killed with horrible tortures, because of their
refusal to deny Christ. Among those who so perished were the Armenian
pastors at Khizan, Halakeny, and Koh.

Although in official communications the atrocities were denied by the
Turkish government, the statements issued by the Porte were nowhere
credited. Denials of the massacres of Trebizond and Erzeroum were
circulated, despite the statements of American and European Consular
officials, missionaries, and Armenian survivors, supplemented by the
photographs of the piles of dead in the streets and cemeteries. A
number of Armenian citizens were arrested by the authorities after
the Trebizond massacre, on the pretext that they caused the riot,
and six of them were condemned to death.

In January, 1896, the Mesopotamian Christians of Mardin were suddenly
attacked by a large body of Kurds, the town being surrounded. News had
already been received of the burning of many villages and the massacre
of thousands of peaceful peasants, but the Mardin attack came like
a thunderbolt. Many hundreds were butchered in a few hours. A number
of native ministers of the Gospel were slain.

The town was a scene of terror and desolation; groups of weeping
mothers and crying children sheltered themselves in the houses, while
all around, and even upon the floors were the telltale pools of blood
that showed where the martyrs fell under the Kurdish swords. Dead
bodies, clotted with blood that had flowed from great gaping wounds,
lay everywhere in sight. There were other horrors that added to the
terror--the attacks on the native women and girls, who were subjected
to nameless abuse.

The massacres at Mardin and Gemerek resulted in leaving the survivors
in those once populous villages in a condition that threatened to
exterminate them by starvation. The help which was cabled to them
from the relief fund was welcomed with a gratitude that can hardly
be expressed in words. With the horror of their recent woes still
unrelieved, the aid seemed as if heaven-sent. Erzeroum was still full
of wounded, and rows upon rows of blackened ruins alone showed where
its homes once stood. There were many hundreds homeless. Harpoot,
too, had a large number exposed to hunger and cold. At Diarbekir
the destitution was probably worst of all, for both in the city and
villages, the slaughter was relentless, and the survivors had nothing
to expect but death by slow degrees--their little ones perishing of
hunger and cold beside them. At Erzinjian, where many martyrs fell,
the remaining Christians were scattered around, hiding where they
could, like hunted wild beasts.

After these massacres most piteous appeals were received in this
country from relatives in the stricken towns and villages. A letter
sent by a poor mother from Gurun to a relative here, said:

"We have only to say that I and my child are living. No male population
has been left in our town. They have killed my father. I took the
child with me and sought refuge in the church. Our cousin also has been
killed. Of our three families, only one family has partly a shelter,
but we have not even a piece of a blanket to cover our nakedness! We
have nothing to eat. The government is giving a small piece of bread
for each living person. No physician has been left. Our child has not a
book to study from or to read. Everything has been destroyed. They have
plundered even the goods which were concealed in the ground. There is
no life for us here. In our three families, there is not a lamp to give
light. For God's sake send help or else we will die of starvation."

A letter from a young man in the same town to an Armenian in New
York, said:

"You have no doubt heard of the terrible events that have taken place
in our town. They have not left anything in our house. They killed
your brother and sister. They have burned our stable and woodhouse and
our winter house. We are in terrible distress. We have no bedding,
no clothes. We have not even the means to procure a piece of dry
bread. Rich and poor are all alike, and our generous neighbors are
not any better off than ourselves, so that they cannot help us. No
merchant or broker has been left."

A few extracts from another report of Mr. W. W. Howard, sent from
Urumia in December, 1895, will fitly close this chapter of woe and
destitution.

"The American mission work at Van has been suspended, and all the
schools closed. The closing of the schools, however, has not been
confined to the American mission, but has extended to every school in
the city, of whatever race or creed. All the shops have likewise been
closed, both Armenian and Turkish. Even the Turkish shops in the bazaar
proper have been shut, so great is the fear of massacre. The Turkish
Government ordered the Armenian merchants to open their shops, and the
Armenians obeyed, but when the shops were opened they were entirely
empty, the goods having been removed to the merchants' houses. The
merchants then sat in their empty stores with nothing to sell.

"With the money already sent to her, Miss Kimball has done a large
work in the supplying of bread for the starving, and she is now at
work on a soup kitchen. Her plan of relief is to furnish work to such
of the poor as are able to work. Business in Van and the province of
Van has been dead for months. Nothing is being bought or sold except
the simplest articles of food that will sustain life. Miss Kimball is,
therefore, distributing these articles of clothing free to the wretched
village refugees who are flocking to Van in rags and nakedness.

"In raiding the villages the Hamidieh cavalry not only destroyed the
houses, drove off the sheep and cattle and removed every portable
piece of property, but actually stripped the villagers of the clothes
on their backs. The unfortunate peasants, men, women and children,
were thrust out into the wilderness of snow-covered mountains without
clothes to cover them or food to eat. How many of these poor creatures
left bloody tracks on snow and ice; how many dropped by the wayside
to go down to death in a shroud of snow and a tomb of ice no man may
know. The snow will not give up its dead for long months to come.

"Are the Christian people of America willing that this thing shall
continue?"



CHAPTER XIV.

THE REIGN OF TERROR--HARPOOT AND ZEITOUN.


The Harpoot massacre was another butchery carried out under
orders. Sixty Christians fled to a church in the vain hope that its
walls would furnish them a shelter against those who were crying for
the blood of Armenians. They were permitted for a time to believe
themselves secure, but suddenly the church was surrounded by a great
number of Kurds. The doors were then blown in, and the Christians
thought that they would be massacred within the sacred structure. They
were not. Their captors took them one at a time outside the church,
and there, heedless of the cries for mercy from women and children,
killed them, either by shooting or stabbing them. The first victim
was the Protestant pastor of the church, who, as he was dragged out,
bade the others, if they had to die, to die as Christians. He met
his death like a martyr. Some of the refugees, in a very agony of
terror, offered to abjure their faith and accept Islamism, thinking
thus to save their lives. The offers availed them nothing, for their
insatiable enemies, after accepting them, dragged the converts out and
killed them one by one. The Armenian Church was turned into a mosque,
and the Protestant Church into a stable.

An eyewitness who saw the Christian quarter in flames and the houses
of the American mission burning, said that he came on to Malatia (the
ancient Melitene), and found not a house in the Christian quarter
standing. In a khan there were about twenty wounded men, the sole
survivors of a caravan of two hundred who had been traveling to Harpoot
from Northern Syria and whose members had nearly all been slain by the
Kurdish bands. There were one hundred and fifty bodies lying in the
road. At Marash, the same witness, days after the massacre, counted
eighty-seven dead Armenians in one spot, and there were hundreds of
bodies strewn around in the near neighborhood. In the villages on
the plains near Harpoot, each containing from fifty to one thousand
houses, the evidences of slaughter were sickeningly abundant. The
Kurdish butchers had slain fully half the population. The door of a
house would be burst open, a volley fired upon the shuddering inmates,
while those who rushed out were caught and killed in the fields. Then
the houses were plundered, fired and left blazing. This was the fate
of thousands of Christian homes.

Several thousand Armenian Christians fell in the city of Harpoot under
Kurdish and Turkish swords. In the Province of Harpoot were hundreds
of small towns and villages, few of which escaped the terrible fate
of slaughter and desolation that befell over two thousand other towns
and villages throughout the country.

Harpoot is one of the principal stations of the Eastern Turkey Mission,
and is the seat of Euphrates College, a group of buildings, eight
of which were badly wrecked during the riots. This institution had
about five hundred and sixty-four pupils in all its departments, and
was exerting a powerful influence for good throughout Eastern Turkey.

It was estimated that the loss would not be less than $88,000. At
Marash, the destruction of mission buildings was more complete. The
Central Turkey Girls' College and the Theological Seminary were both
wrecked. There were in the former institution (which was organized
in 1884), about thirty-five students. Both buildings were located a
little distance outside of Marash.

In February, 1896, the United States Minister, Mr. Terrell, demanded an
indemnity of $100,000 for the burning and pillaging of the American
missions at Marash and Harpoot. He also asked for the immediate
granting of firmans for the rebuilding of them.

Rev. Grigos Hachadoovian, the pastor of the Second Congregational
Church in Harpoot, when the Turkish soldiers commenced shooting all
over the city, took his wife and children and went to church, where
about sixty of his congregation joined him. Naturally good and earnest
Christians as they were, they lifted their voices up to heaven for
help. While in prayer the Turks rushed in and demanded of the minister
to become a Mohammedan then and there, with his congregation. He
refused promptly. The Turks removed the pulpit, made a butchering
platform, cut off the head of the minister and actually cut him to
pieces before his congregation. Mind you on the platform from which
he had preached Christ for twenty years. This horrible spectacle had
no effect upon the devout Christian Armenians, as they all refused
to denounce Christ and pray to Mohammed, and all were killed in the
church to the last man, woman and child. What do you think of that
picture, Christian people of America? That is the Mohammedanism some
people would like to have introduced into our county.

Letters received from persons engaged in relief work among the
Armenians, gave the following carefully prepared statistics concerning
the recent massacres by the Turks under the tolerance of Christian
powers in the year of our Lord, 1895-6. These statistics were given
in detail for the several villages in Harpoot province.

"Killed, thirty thousand six hundred and one; burned to death,
one thousand four hundred and thirty-six; preachers and priests
killed, fifty-one; died from starvation, two thousand four hundred
and sixty-one; died unprotected in the fields, four thousand three
hundred and forty; died from fear, six hundred and sixty; wounded,
eight thousand; houses burned, twenty-eight thousand five hundred and
forty-two; forcible conversions, fifteen thousand and sixty-six; women
and girls abducted, five thousand five hundred and forty-six: forcible
marriages, one thousand five hundred and fifty-one; churches burned,
two hundred and twenty-seven; destitute and starving, ninety-four
thousand seven hundred and fifty." The account does not add the
number of English and American cannon with the cobwebs left over
their mouths. The Turks said that they killed too few the last time,
and would kill more in the next massacre.

When the Kurds were expelled from Diarbekir and the gates closed
against them, they turned their attention to the villages. These,
one after another, were taken, plundered, and in many instances,
burned--massacre being generally in proportion to the degree of
resistance made by the villagers. A district about ninety miles long
and fifty broad, east of Diarbekir, and up to the boarders of Syert,
in the vilayet of Bitlis, was swept by this hurricane of destruction,
wherever Christian villages nestled among the billows of this rolling
country. The first intimation that the wave of wanton wreckage was
moving southward was given in the attack upon Tel-Ermin. This Armenian
town of two hundred houses and sixty shops, five hours west of Mardin,
was taken, plundered and burned. The next day Gorli, a Syrian village
south of Mardin, and only two hours away, shared the same fate. About
the same time the village of Abrahamiyeh fell into the hands of the
Kurds and only Monsoruyeh, twenty miles north of the city remained
intact. This they tried to capture, but were driven back. Serious
attempts were made by the Kurds to enter the city in the hope that
they would be aided from within. In this they were disappointed and
obliged to draw off with severe loss. The Kurds persistently asserted
that a firman for the slaughter of Christians had been given, but
that the Christians of Mardin had bribed the government to conceal
it and defend them. When the Kurds realized that the government and
city garrison were a unit for the common defence, they drew off and
the tide of attack swept further east taking Nisibin, and some twenty
Christian villages in its way. Thousands of refugees collected near
Mardin. In the village of Kulleth, three hundred refugees from the
Diarbekir plain were begging food and clothing. The entire Christian
population remaining in Syert was stripped of everything.

Fully three thousand Armenians were massacred at Arabkir, and the
widows and orphans of those killed were left in terrible distress
from cold and hunger.

The Armenians of Sivas and Cæsarea were in daily fear of massacre,
and soon their fears were terribly realized, for the Kurds and Turks
thoroughly performed their inhuman work of butchery and plunder,
the former taking the booty as their pay, according to the permission
granted from Constantinople.

In the district between Gemerek and Cæsarea twenty-seven Armenian
villages were pillaged and burned. The thirteen villages this side
of Gemerek, and five or six hours distant, such as Burhan, Dendil,
Tekmen, etc., were also pillaged and ruined. Burhan was ravaged five
times and Tekmen seven times. The raiders carried plunder from Dendil
for three days continuously; they carried away even the old mats and
wooden spoons from the houses. No clothing, no bedding, no utensils,
and no food was left to the survivors in those villages. The people
lived on herbs gathered from the hillsides, and cooked in the petroleum
tins which the raiders had brought along full of petroleum to fire
the houses with. In the district of Tounnouz the Armenian villages,
especially Hantavos, Kazmakara and Patsin were pillaged and destroyed,
the male inhabitants were butchered, and the young women were carried
off. Some of the villages were so utterly destroyed that now there
is no sign that such places existed.

At Gemerek the Turks joined the Armenians and drove away the raiders,
who however carried away one thousand sheep and cattle and about one
hundred horse loads of wheat and flour from the neighboring mills.

The reader can understand the ferocity of the attack upon the
Christians in this city from the fact that the wife of a captain
in the Turkish army watched the horrors from her window. She was so
affected by what she saw that she has since that event become insane.

Another terrible massacre occurred in Palu, a district not far from
Harpoot. An Armenian lady of Palu, writing to her son in New York,
thus told the story:

"You are my comfort in God. My only joy is that you are safe; but
we are in great distress. My hands are trembling; I cannot write
from hunger. The Turks have burned forty-one villages, destroying
everything. They take the beautiful women to their homes and use
them badly. They kill the old men, and the old women and children
are entirely naked. Their bed is now the snow. They go begging at
Turkish doors for a piece of bread, and instead of bread they get
mulberry and husks. After six days of plundering and burning those
villages, our enemies returned to the city. Ten thousand Kurds with the
Mohammedans of the city, attacked the houses and killed one thousand
seven hundred and thirty-two grown-up men and many children and women
who would not accept Mohammedism.

"They took all the articles which were useful and broke everything
they had no use for. They tore up every place in the hope of finding
something valuable."

A letter received from an Armenian resident on the seacoast of
Cilicia, said:

"The government has taken away all the arms from the Armenians of Chok
Marsovan, who were armed to protect themselves against fifteen thousand
Bashi-Bazouks, who were marching on them. Since then the Turks have
reduced to ashes the villages of Engerli and Ojakli, which contained
respectively three hundred and two hundred and fifty houses. They have
plundered seventy-five houses in the Armenian village of Najarli. They
set on fire the houses in the presence of the regular soldiers. Now
all the villagers are reduced to the utmost distress. More than one
hundred farms have been plundered, and many people butchered in the
houses and in the gardens."

Every account from survivors of the massacres who succeeded in
reaching places of safety, disclosed some new and revolting trait of
Moslem ferocity and hatred against Christianity. A veritable crusade
of Mohammedan fanaticism ruled the hour. Whole villages and towns,
and whole Christian quarters in cities were driven like helpless
sheep into the Moslem fold.

Aintab, a city of forty-five thousand inhabitants had its baptism of
blood. The massacre and pillage began in the markets and in those
parts of the city where Christian houses offered easy points of
attack, crowds rushed in every direction while pistol and gun shots
with cries of fear, anger and defiance made an exhibition of the most
fearful tumult and confusion.

After the Kurds and Turkish soldiers of Harpoot had plundered and
burned nearly all of the Christian houses in the missionary quarter of
the city, including eight of the mission buildings which were then in
flames, when massacre was rife and the air was rent with the cry of
the wounded and dying, nearly five hundred Christian refugees with
the missionaries, driven from place to place by fire and bullet,
found themselves in the large, new stone building of Euphrates
College. The Turkish officers, seeing that in order to reach the
refugees they must withdraw the Americans whom they feared to kill,
attempted to induce the missionaries to come out from the building
"that they might be the better protected." Dr. Barnum (a missionary
for thirty-nine years) replied, "You can protect us here better than
anywhere else; we shall remain and if you burn the building we will
die with these Christians." They were all spared. Certainly the age
of heroism is not past.

The city of Oorfa is one of the most ancient in the world. It is the
Edessa of the time of Christ where Abgar reigned as King (see Chapter
I.)--the Ur of Chaldea, where the patriarch Abraham was born.

It was one of the great heathen cities to which the disciples
went immediately after Pentecost and where they were most gladly
received. In this city, on October 27th, 1895, began an awful
slaughter, which continued for two days. When the massacre was
yet proceeding, a Muezzin ascended to the steeple of the Armenian
church and began to call the faithful to prayer. During the two days'
disturbance three thousand Christians were slaughtered by a single
Hamidieh regiment and a force of Bedouins and all their property was
either looted or destroyed. Among other horrors, one hundred and fifty
wounded Armenians were thrown down a well and petroleum having been
poured over them the whole mass of human beings were set on fire and
perished in most awful agony.

For two months, the Christian population of Oorfa experienced all
the vicissitudes of a veritable "Reign of Terror." During all this
time the Christians ventured beyond the precincts of their own homes
only at the risk of their lives. Nor were they secure even in their
homes. For six or seven weeks the soldiers of the government went from
house to house almost daily, and after forcing an entrance, offered the
inmates the option of becoming Moslems, or being killed on the spot.

When the general onslaught began on December 29th, the Christians
sought the refuge of their churches and every other possible place
which they hoped might shelter them from the fury of their fiendish
assailants. Many took refuge in wells, some under manure heaps, while
others had their friends cover them under piles of charcoal. For some
of these their shelters proved to be a living grave. Two hundred and
forty-six persons took refuge in the home of the American Missionary,
Miss Shattuck.

During the six weeks immediately following the first massacre, this
devoted missionary heroine was obliged to keep all but constant vigil,
and was unable through all this time to undress even once, and retire
to her room for a night's rest. Any rest or sleep obtained was on a
lounge and for but short intervals, while others kept watch.

This church was built entirely of stone and may be said to be
absolutely fire-proof. It was to this edifice from fifteen hundred
to two thousand of the people fled when the general massacre began,
and the story of what took place within its walls on that awful day
will never be fully known. These nearly two thousand victims were
at the mercy of the merciless soldiers and the worse than merciless
mob. The soldiers were first to enter, but they soon allowed the
promiscuous rabble to follow and share with them in the carnival of
debauchery and blood. The fiendish fanaticism of these Moslems had
its climax in setting fire to the victims of their wild fury. There
being no wood finishing on the inside of the church, and little or no
inflammable furnishings, one can only conjecture how they succeeded in
transforming this multitude of human sacrifices into the great mass
of bones and ashes to which they were all reduced by the following
morning. For two or three days afterward a number of hammals (Turkish
porters), were engaged in carrying the bones and charred remains of
these victims from the church to a place close in the rear of the
American mission premises, where they were dumped over a portion of
the old wall of the city.

Apart altogether from those killed and burned in the church,
the bodies of over one thousand five hundred by actual count were
dragged, usually by the legs, and in considerable numbers at a time,
by animals, to a large trench dug for the purpose on the outskirts
of the city. There they lie in one, irregular mass, awaiting the day
when all wrongs shall be righted.

As many as three hundred bodies were taken from one of the large
cistern wells some days after the massacre, while another furnished
over fifty and yet another about thirty. Scarcely a single Gregorian
or Protestant home escaped the general pillage and bloodshed and the
total number of victims in this last massacre in Oorfa must now be
put down at four thousand.

Read this farewell which seemed to come out from the tombs of the dead:

Some days before the massacre at Oorfa the Armenians were warned that
it was impending, but the officials prevented them from leaving the
town. During the suspense the Gregorian clergy compiled a letter which
they sent secretly to Aintab, whence it was forwarded to Europe. The
Arch Priest Stephen and four other priests were subsequently slain
before the altar while celebrating the Eucharist. The letter contained
messages to the Sultan and to the Gregorian's Moslem fellow-countrymen,
and reproached their European brethren for standing by, watching the
bloody work. It also contained the following:

"To the Christians of the United States of America we say farewell. We
have been strenuously opposed to your mission work among us, but these
bloody days have shown that some of our Protestant brethren have been
staunch defenders of our honor and our faith. You, at least, know
that our crime, in the eyes of the Turk, has been that we adopted
the civilization you commended to us. Behold now the missions and
schools which you planted among us, at the cost of many millions of
dollars and hundreds of precious lives! They are in ruins, and the
Turk is planning to rid himself of the missionaries and teachers by
leaving them nobody among whom to labor."

Zeitoun has the glory of being the only town that successfully resisted
the Turkish troops and secured for itself an honorable capitulation.

Peace having been secured through the Consuls of the various Powers,
it was believed that the terms of the amnesty granted by the Porte
would honestly be fulfilled.

It would not have been a very easy thing to hush up another massacre,
and if one had occurred it might at last have aroused the Powers that
(ought to) be to some decisive action.

The town of Zeitoun lies several hours' journey over the mountains,
to the north of Marash. Secluded in a deep valley, it is well protected
on all four of the roads leading into it and could be defended against
very great odds if there were a small force at each narrow pass.

The Zeitounlis had early determined to make a stand for their lives
and had succeeded in capturing the barracks, which are situated just
at the edge of the town, after an attack of sixty hours and taking
prisoners nearly six hundred Turkish soldiers, and then they proceeded
to garrison and provision the town for a siege.

In one of the battles which took place at Hot Springs, some five miles
east of the city, the Zeitounlis made a stand at a stone bridge which
there spans a rushing torrent. But after holding it bravely for awhile
they slowly retreated up a steep hill until almost the entire Turkish
army had crossed the bridge, when suddenly the bridge was blown up and
the Zeitounlis turning, hurled down from the hills above great rocks
and poured upon them a most destructive fire. Hemmed in as they were
the loss was very great. The Turkish account was that fire burst out
from the air or from the ground and destroyed the army. Seven distinct
attacks were made in which the losses as sent through official sources
to the Porte were placed at ten thousand men.

On February 9th, 1896, the Porte communicated to the embassies of the
Powers its reply to the proposals of the Zeitounlis for conditions of
surrender. The Porte promised a satisfactory settlement, and on the
13th the terms were announced. Terrible distress and illness prevailed
in the city as the consequence of the siege. Thousands died of cold
and starvation.

How the Turk began on the first day of 1896 to keep the oft repeated
promises made to the Powers of Europe, was best told in the following
account of the massacre at Birijik (province of Aleppo).

"The assault on the Christian houses commenced at about nine o'clock
in the morning, and continued until nightfall. The soldiers were aided
by the Moslems of the city in the terrible work. The object at first
seemed to be mainly plunder, but, after the plunder had been secured,
the soldiers seemed to make a systematic search for men, to kill those
who were unwilling to accept Mohammedanism. The cruelty used to force
men to become Moslems was terrible. In one case the soldiers found
some twenty people, men, women and children, who had taken refuge
in a sort of cave. They dragged them out, and killed all the men and
boys because they would not become Moslems.

"After cutting down one old man who had thus refused they put live
coals upon his body, and, as he was writhing in torture, they held
a Bible before him and asked him mockingly to read them some of the
promises in which he had trusted. Others were thrown into the river
while still alive, after having been cruelly wounded. The wounded
and children of this party were loaded up like goods upon the backs
of porters and carried off to the houses of Mussulmans.

"Christian girls were eagerly sought after, and much quarreling
occurred over the question of their division among their captors. Every
Christian house, except two claimed to be owned by Turks, was
plundered. Ninety-six men were killed, or about half of the adult
Christian men. The others became Mussulmans to save their lives, so
that there was not a single Christian left in Birijik. The Armenian
Church was made into a mosque and the Protestant Church into a
Medresse Seminary."

Massacres went on actively in Armenia for over sixteen months, dating
from the terrible slaughter at Sassoun in August and September,
1894. A low estimate of those either killed, or in a state of actual
starvation, was half the agricultural population of seven vilayets--two
hundred and seventy-five thousand, according to Turkish statistics,
two-thirds of the starving being women and children. The government
completed its work in the vilayets by reducing the population and the
remaining property under the forms of martial law, and by forcing the
Armenians to declare themselves Mohammedans. Many died for their faith,
but the greater number still held out, dying by inches.

Turkish estimates, which, as can be readily understood, did not
magnify the massacres, gave the following as the net result of the
sanguinary work up to the middle of December:


      Armenian population in larger towns                 177,700
      Armenian population in villages                     538,500
      Number killed in towns (estimated)                   20,000
      Number of Armenian villages (about)                   3,300
      Villages destroyed                                    2,500
      Number killed in villages, no data, but probably,    60,000
      Number reduced to starvation in towns                75,000
      Number reduced to starvation in villages            366,600



CHAPTER XV.

RELIEF WORK IN ARMENIA.


In presenting an account of the relief work done in Armenia, the order
in time has been observed in a very great degree in order that as the
distress and misery increased the reader might see that greater efforts
were made to relieve the terrible condition of the starving thousands.

March 15, 1896, Hon. John Wanamaker who was then in the East, sent
this cablegram to the Relief Committee of Philadelphia. "I am convinced
that the necessity is appalling. Needs for relief extremely urgent."

The spring of 1894 saw the gaunt spectre of poverty stalking through
this devoted land. It trod on the beautiful valleys and they lost
their verdure and their harvests withered. Poverty became hunger and
cheeks grew thin and death's pallor looked out from hollow eyes. Hunger
became starvation and the keenest form of suffering became the portion
of thousands of once prosperous and happy Armenians.

The Rev. Mr. Macallum, a missionary at Erzeroum said of the situation
in and about that city in April 1894:

"The famine continues to increase in severity. Spring is opening up
late. Very many of the farmers have no grain to sow; we wish we had
enough money on hand to supply the Protestants of Khanoos with seed,
but I am sorry to say that what has come to us is now exhausted,
or practically so. We are feeding about seven hundred people a day
in this city, who otherwise would have nothing to eat. Besides this,
we have sent sufficient out to the country districts to keep life
and courage in several hundred more."

Over $2,000 had been sent to Mr. Macallum up to the middle of May but
though spring had arrived and the agony of the cold was over, there
was no work to be found, and over one-third of the sixty thousand
inhabitants of Erzeroum had nothing to eat except the bread of
charity. In the Passen and Khanoos district near by a similar famine
was prevailing, and but for the help sent to them many of the people
would have died of starvation.

Writing to the friends who had sent him aid Mr. Macallum said: "You
may rest assured that there are hundreds of poor starving people who
bless you and the givers night and day. We have sought to help only
those who are most needy, and the testimony of all is that the help
we have administered has saved many from a terrible death. 'You have
redeemed us.' 'You have bought our children's blood.' 'May the Lord
reward you a thousandfold for all you have done!' These and other
like expressions we hear every day. Some of those who get bread from
us regard it as sacred, and eat it as they take the sacrament in
church. We are giving bread regularly to over a thousand people a day
in the city, Protestants, Greeks, Catholics, and Gregorians. We have
given £50 to the governor here for the Turkish poor. This gift was
comparatively small, but more gratitude was expressed by the Turkish
authorities than by the Gregorians, to whom we had given the most."

The summer of 1894 instead of bringing relief, brought increased
burdens from the frequent raids of the wild Kurds, who during that
single year drove out of the districts of Boolanyk and Moush alone more
than ten thousand head of cattle and sheep. The result was the utter
disappearance of wealth and the rapid spread of misery so intense,
so hopeless, so distressing in its moral and physical effects as to
have inspired some of its victims with that wild courage which is
akin to despair.

To the depredations of the Kurds, were added the cruel extortions
of the Zaptiehs, or official tax-gatherers. There was absolutely no
redress for Christians who suffered in property, life or limb at the
hands of Mohammedans.

The taxes levied upon Armenians were exorbitant; the bribes that
invariably accompanied them, and were imposed by the Zaptiehs, swelled
to any proportions, and assumed the most repugnant forms, while the
methods employed to collect both constituted by themselves sufficient
justification for the sweeping away of Ottoman rule in Armenia.

To give a fair instance of the different rates of taxation for
Christians and Mohammedans in towns it will suffice to point out that
in Erzeroum, where there are eight thousand Mohammedan houses, the
Moslems paid only three hundred and ninety-five thousand piastres,
whereas the Christians, whose houses number but two thousand, paid
four hundred and thirty thousand piastres.

The barbarities and the enormities and savagery of the Sassoun
massacres left those districts in a most deplorable condition. After
decimating the population, the Kurds burned and utterly destroyed
many villages and drove off all their cattle and sheep and left the
plains as if swept by cyclone and wrecked by earthquake.

The fugitives returning after the Kurdish fiends had returned into the
mountains had neither the means nor the opportunity to cultivate the
soil which their forefathers had possessed for many generations. Their
homes were wrecked, their farms destroyed, and their implements and
cattle seized by the bandit mountaineers, and they themselves were
compelled to seek such shelter as the woods and caves afforded.

It was the Medical Missionary at Van, Dr. Grace W. Kimball whose heart
was so smitten with anguish at the sight of such suffering that she
determined to let the world know what the horrors of Sassoun really
were. In the smitten districts at least five thousand were living in
the mountains and faring little better than the wild beasts.

They were sustaining life on roots and berries and were almost
naked--many wholly so. It is not surprising that this terrible
privation should have bred disease, and, when she wrote, fever and
other physical troubles were carrying the wretched people off in
large numbers. She described the condition of the women and little
children as miserable beyond anything she had ever heard of.

This brave Christian woman did not spend the time in lamenting the
wretchedness of the people among whom she labored, but set about to
find out some practical way of helping them. Food, clothing, and
shelter were the three prime necessities. She gathered the adults
in about one hundred of the fugitive families, and soon had them
employed at making cotton cloth--an industry with which they were
already familiar. She supplied the material, and paid the workers
for their labor, expending in this way about $100 weekly, which was
applied to the relief of the families. By this excellent method, she
gave the needed help to many of the sufferers without pauperizing them,
and she earned the warmest love and gratitude of the Armenians.

But the market for the product of this labor was soon supplied and
the resources of the missionaries were soon exhausted. It was then
that she wrote in the anguish of her soul to this country and this
was the origin of The Christian Herald Relief Fund which collected and
sent many thousand dollars to the centers of massacres and suffering.

Early in October, 1895, Mr. W. W. Howard the commissioner sent by The
Christian Herald of New York to relieve the persecuted and hunger
smitten peasants of Armenia, set forth on his errand of mercy. In
retaliation for his articles on the terrible suffering in Armenia and
its cause, the Turkish government resolved to prevent Mr. Howard from
entering its dominions. Refused permission to pass through Anatolia
he was compelled to go through Russia and Persia, and eventually
was prevented by the Turkish officials from crossing the frontier
opposite Van, a notification of the order for his exclusion being
sent to Mr. Terrell, the American minister at Constantinople, who
cabled the fact to this country.

This, however, did not impede the work of the distribution of the
relief fund as the money was sent to W. W. Peet, Constantinople,
to be distributed by Rev. H. O. Dwight "with special reference to
sufferers in the neighborhood of Van."

The whole country was in fearful peril and Van itself practically
in a state of siege, the trees along the streets having been
leveled to permit the placing of cannon in position to command
the Armenian quarter. A most various phase of the condition was
wholesale exile. Thousands of Armenian villagers, unable to endure
privation longer, or to see their wives and children starve left their
ruined homes and bare fields and poured into the neighboring cities,
unsheltered and hungry.

Meanwhile the good work that the missionaries were doing at Van
and Bitlis led the Duke of Westminster, Chairman of the British
Committee of Relief, and Sir Philip Currie, the British Ambassador
at Constantinople, to designate Messrs. Raynolds and Cole as almoners
of their bounty as they were of the gifts from America.

When these gentlemen first reached the desolated region they were
greatly hindered in caring for the poor by petty officials, but later
on and in view of representations made by the embassies, the opposition
ceased, at least outwardly. Men were set at work rebuilding houses and
food was distributed to the most needy. It was estimated that $40,000
would be needed to feed upwards of five thousand persons until the
next harvest, and a call was sent for further aid from Europe and
America. Finally the bitter hate of the Turkish officials prevailed
and the distribution of supplies was stopped and Messrs. Cole and
Raynolds compelled to return to their homes.

There were one hundred thousand persons in the two hundred towns
and villages in one district alone, who were actually starving,
and the story of one was the story of all sections. No one not in
the actual midst of it could have any comprehension of the extent of
the desolation and of the degree of the suffering. Daily rations of
bread, amounting to two cents for adults and one cent for children,
were delivered to more than one thousand six hundred in one city. Over
four thousand suits consisting of shirt and drawers, were made and
distributed, three hundred mattresses and four hundred quilts were
given. Many were glad of a piece of bagging to put over them. Poor
Armenia! Drenched with the blood of her children, her hills and
valleys resounding with their shrieks and sighs and moans, she stood
the oldest Christian nation in the world--asking for the smallest of
small coins to preserve lives that might yet be given the crown of
martyrdom--a spectacle for the world.

In the first outburst of righteous indignation that blazed out from
all Europe, it seemed as if the Infidel Turkish Government condemned
unanimously by the verdict of all nations for its crimes against God
and humanity, would soon be swept out of Europe and that even its
possessions in Asia Minor would be torn from its grasp and partitioned
among civilized races.

Lord Salisbury, the British Premier, at a public dinner, made an
address which plainly intimated that the patience of Europe was
exhausted, and that the Sultan's folly had sealed the doom of his own
government, if not of the Ottoman Empire. Lord Salisbury recognized
in the present condition of Turkey, the result of its offences against
God. He said:

"Above all treaties, all combinations of the Powers, in the nature of
things, is Providence. God, if you please to put it so, has determined
that persistent and constant misgovernment must lead the government
which follows it to its doom. The Sultan is not exempt any more than
any other potentate from the law that injustice will bring the highest
one on earth to ruin."

These words sounded as if the Prime Minister really meant to do
something to permanently better the condition of Christian Armenia,
but in the light of after events it seemed that Lord Salisbury,
after considerable reflection, concluded to let the Lord settle the
account with Turkey without England's intervention.

There was one man in Constantinople who played a mighty part in the
life and death struggle between Christianity and Islam--Mattheos
Ismirlian, the Armenian Patriarch, but great as was his influence,
he was powerless to relieve the increasing mass of suffering and
misery in all the provinces.

The story of Zeitoun, of its long and brave defence and of its final
capitulation has been already told, but the distress which prevailed
there was simply awful.

The five European Consuls who went to Zeitoun to negotiate for the
submission of the Armenian insurgents telegraphed to their respective
embassies that indescribable distress prevailed among the eight
thousand refugees at that place. The sick, the dying and the dead
were heaped together in all kinds of astonishing places where a little
extra warmth was to be hoped for. Bitter cold prevailed and the women
and girls were devoid of necessary clothing.

Although the inhabitants of Zeitoun gave up their arms, the refugees
shrank from quitting the town through lack of confidence in the
Turks. Only too well founded were their fears, as, a little while
after this disarming, sixteen Zeitounlis were proceeding under the
escort of one gendarme to Albistan to buy wheat or barley; they were
suddenly fallen upon and nine of them were massacred.

It was an awful crime against humanity, the stupidest folly to put
faith in the promises of the Turk where the welfare of a Christian
was at stake.

Fifteen Armenian families were murdered by Kurds in the district
of Tchabakeiour, Bitlis, because, having embraced Islamism, they
returned to Christianity. The authorities declined to recognize them
as Mohammedans, and are said even to have advised them to remain
Christians. This exasperated the Kurds, who decided to exterminate
them.

At many points the lives of our missionaries were in peril but United
States Minister Terrell warned the Sultan that his Government would
be held responsible "If even a hair upon the head of an American
should be touched:" and to enforce that word--a good straightforward,
understandable word, there were three American warships cruising in
Turkish waters.

There is not the slightest doubt but that if the fleets of the Great
Powers had passed the Dardanelles in November, 1894, and demanded
that the outrages against the Armenians should cease, or their guns
would fire on Stamboul, silence would have fallen like that of death
upon the fierce soldiers and fiercer Kurds, in Armenia. But the word
was not spoken, and before God and in the sight of Christendom the
blood of the slain is upon them.

From every quarter of the afflicted country appeals came pouring in,
saying that the suffering was beyond all description and starvation
imminent. "Aid must be sent quickly if lives were to be saved." The
survivors of the Erzingan massacre appealed to the Patriarch at
Constantinople to lay their sore need before the world, and to
"send aid quickly, quickly, quickly." But these were only a few;
similar appeals, heart-moving in their terrible earnestness, kept
coming in from a score of districts where continued massacres made
the trembling survivors almost wish for death, that they might be
spared the pain of witnessing further horrors.

Noble work was done by American missionaries everywhere in
Armenia. Nearly all were engaged in aiding the distressed families,
and it was that fact alone that caused the Turkish officials to demand
their withdrawal, in order that the homeless and destitute Armenians
might be left to die.

Conspicuous among the relief work accomplished was that done at Van
under the direction of Dr. Grace W. Kimball. All who care for the
amelioration of destitution and suffering, cannot fail to see in
the following letter, the practical wisdom which characterized her
work. October 15, 1895, Dr. Kimball wrote:

"The plan of this work is to aid without pauperizing, and to utilize a
part of the great number of workers who are idle and starving because
there is no work to be had. A large proportion of the people of both
city and villages are conversant with the various processes in the
manufacture of coarse cotton and woolen fabrics. This suggested
a simple solution of the work problem. Small sums of money had,
as early as June, come to us for our distressed people. And on the
strength of this money and the increasingly urgent demands for help,
a very simple beginning was made. A bag of wool was bought, weighed
out into pound portions, and whenever a woman came begging for help
or work, her case was investigated, her name registered, and she was
given wool to card and spin. On return of the thread it was weighed
and examined as to quality: the woman was paid at a rate that, it
was estimated, would supply her with bread, and she was given another
lot of wool. The giving of two or three lots of wool in this way was
enough to bring down on us a crowd, and speedily we found a large
business flooding in upon us--one demanding good organization and
a corps of distributors. Cotton was added to our supplies, and all
the processes and tricks of the two trades were quickly investigated,
and every attempt was made to put the enterprise on a sound business
basis. We were able to select at once those whom our hearts had
ached to help to gain a living, and a good corps of helpers was soon
organized. Men to keep the door--and it often took three men to do
this against the clamoring crowd--men to receive and weigh the wool,
cotton and thread; men for the various demands of the Central Bureau.

"For the first two months the work was accommodated in our house,
in the rooms used as a dispensary, and we were in a state of siege
from morning to night. The long lower hall was devoted to a row of
cotton-carders, the twang of whose primitive cards and the dust of
whose work, filled the house from early morning till dark, while a
crowd of wretched men and women was never absent. The accumulation
of thread brought the necessity for weavers, and all the processes
of weaving had to be studied. The demand was met at once by weavers
who were out of work and in dire poverty. The thread was given them
by weight, and the woven goods received by weight; and they in turn
were paid with due regard to the needs of their families. Then to the
children and to some who were too weak and sick to do the heavier work,
yarn was given to be knitted into socks.

"Shortly, we found ourselves in possession of a good stock of cotton
cloth, woolen goods for the loose trousers worn here, and huge
piles of coarse socks. And the question what to do with them came
to the front. The suggestion was made that this work might help and
be helped by the Sassoun Relief work, by our supplying materials for
distribution there. The proposition was submitted to Messrs. Raynolds
and Cole and gladly accepted by them, and this arrangement has been
the means whereby our Bureau could double its efficiency, thanks to
having an assured market for all its produce, without affecting the
same industries here, which on the contrary it should help. Our goods
are done up in bales, loaded on donkeys or ox-carts, and carried
down to the lake harbor. They are received by the miserable little
sailboats that ply the lake, and taken--with prayers for insurance--to
the opposite side of Van Lake, a distance of some sixty miles. Thence
they are transported by horses or carts to Moush, the headquarters
of the Sassoun Commission. The journey takes from ten days to two
or three weeks. In this way we have already sent some two thousand
pairs of socks, and fourteen hundred webs of cloth. The total number
of workers (up to October 15) was as follows:


                   Spinners of cotton and wool    373
                   Weavers of cotton goods         49
                   Weavers of woolen goods         22
                   Weavers of carpets               5
                   Carders                          9
                   Spindle Fillers                  9
                   Sizers                           4
                   Weighers, Door-tenders, etc.     5
                                                  ---
                       Total                      476


"The average of wages per capita for the week was seven piastres,
or about thirty cents. The intense poverty of the people is shown by
the fact that these wages, small as they are, exceed from one-third to
one-half the regular rates for the same work. On the other hand the
demands grow more and more urgent--desperate, I might well say. So
importunate are the crowds that I often have to call a man to pass
me out of the office after my work is done. They beg and weep and
catch at my clothes and will not let me go. And it is maddening to
see such misery, and yet be obliged to turn a deaf ear to so much of
it. We help, through our four hundred and seventy six workers, some
two thousand souls, and this is not in itself, a small thing. But
when it is compared with the vast number of helpless poor about us,
it accentuates our appeal to our more fortunate fellow Christians
for larger help.

"The gratitude of these people is touching in the extreme. Would that
I could send to each one who has given to this work the blessings and
the prayers and the gratitude that are bestowed on them daily. And
yet the cry goes up for more help. Winter cold and rains are upon
us. Thousands have but the thinnest and most ragged clothing, no
shoes or stockings, many no beds, and most no fuel or other winter
provisions. Thousands never taste anything but coarse, dry bread
for weeks and months at a time--and little enough of that--while,
especially in the villages, hundreds have not even that, and are on
the verge of starvation. I doubt not that many will have actually
starved before these words are read in America.

"It is a national tragedy we are witnessing, and we know not what the
end will be. It is also and especially an historical struggle between
Islam and Christianity. Christianity is for the present sadly worsted,
and it remains for Christian Europe, England and America to decide
which shall ultimately be victorious. All that Armenian Christians can
do is to die martyrs to the Faith, and that they have done, are doing,
and will continue to do daily, until help come--help which reaches
not merely Embassies and the Capital, but which penetrates to the
remote villages and mountain fastnesses where the worshippers of the
Cross are to-day at the pitiless mercy of the fanatical Kurd and Turk.

"In closing this incomplete report of our mutual work, let me again
assure all our helpers and coöperators, of the deep appreciation of
their aid and sympathy that is felt, not only by those who receive
their gifts, but by the entire Armenian people. And let me also
remind whomsoever may feel impelled to send us aid that he is not only
aiding a starving people, but is also helping to maintain Christianity
against its most virulent foes."

Early in the following December, Dr. Kimball again wrote: "The bakery
which we opened is taxed to its utmost capacity and beyond, so that
we have been giving orders on another bakery as a temporary thing,
and are having a new bakery fitted up, to be ready in two or three
days. We are now feeding about one thousand five hundred people daily,
and are distributing clothing to these people and hundreds of other
villagers who are in greatest need. We have laid in one thousand five
hundred bushels of wheat and a considerable amount of wood at very
advantageous prices.

"Just here, the man in charge of the bakeries comes and reports that
the Governor is giving out orders for bread to the villagers. This
Governor is a good man, and we do not doubt his good intentions. But
as the treasury is entirely empty, we do not anticipate any very
material assistance from Turkish sources. However little it may be,
it will doubtless be noised abroad, especially in English papers,
as a proof of the tender feelings the Government entertains for its
Christian subjects. The hand that smote will not long comfort. Please
assure all contributors and helpers in this work of Armenian relief,
of the deepest gratitude of the poor people, and of the hearty thanks
of us who are witnesses of their misery. * * *"

The following is a summary of relief work at Van up to January 1st,
1895: Number of employees of Industrial Bureau nine hundred and
eighty-one, representing over nine hundred and fifty families, or
about four thousand seven hundred and fifty persons. Of these four
are overseers, nine master-workmen, six hundred and fifty eight
spinners of cotton and wool, one hundred and fifteen weavers of
cotton, thirty-seven weavers of woolen goods, and the remainder,
carpet weavers, carders, spindle-fillers, sizers, knitters and
sewers of clothing. The manufactures are coarse cotton cloth, woolen
goods, carpets; a kind of heavy jacket worn by the villagers; socks,
ready-made clothing and bedding. The product from July to November
was largely sold to the Sassoun Relief Commission, though small
quantities were distributed here, chiefly among refugees. The supply
is not nearly equal to the demand.

In the Baking Department free bread is given regularly to four hundred
and fifteen families or about two thousand five hundred persons. About
one thousand five hundred persons have received rations for from
a week to a month, while waiting to return to their villages. The
allowance per capita is one and a half pounds a day. Free bread is
being given to the extent of three thousand pounds a day.

At this time, in Harpoot there was still much unrelieved suffering. In
the city the missionaries were giving one thousand five hundred
rations of bread daily. The ladies distributed one thousand two
hundred shirts and drawers, sixty pairs of stockings, one hundred
and forty six mattresses, and two hundred quilts. These garments were
manufactured by the destitute women, with regular wages of three or
four cents a day. At Aintab the missionaries with the relief moneys
were feeding three thousand two hundred and twenty-six persons,
at Erzeroum two thousand five hundred, at Erzingan one thousand,
and also large numbers at Palu, Diarbekir, Oorfa, Arabkir, Malatia,
Marash, Hadjin, Cæsarea, and Sivas.

By Christmas, 1895, generous responses came from all over the land,
though by no means large enough to equal the necessities of the
starving thousands scattered throughout the cities and towns and
villages of Anatolia.

This work of relief was conducted under extraordinary conditions,
the Turkish Government hampering and opposing it at every point and
making it clear to all the missionaries that the deliberate intent
was to allow the Armenians to die of cold and hunger.

Abdul Hamid decreed that the Christians should be exterminated; those
who had survived the massacres at Moush, Sassoun, Dalvorig, Trebizond,
Erzeroum and Harpoot, would die quietly if let alone. They were mere
Christian dogs--all of them, and deserved to perish for the glory of
Allah and his prophet. And when the missionaries, faithful to their
duty, and at the risk of their own lives, continued to extend succor
to the starving ones, their mission buildings were burned down,
their converts slain and they themselves compelled to seek a place
of shelter.

Early in December, 1895, Miss Clara Barton, of Washington, President
of the Red Cross Society, was requested to undertake relief work
in Armenia, and as Turkey belonged to the Red Cross Association,
it was thought that no obstacles would be placed in her way by the
Sultan. Miss Barton quickly responded and prepared to take the field in
person with a corps of trained workers, sailing from New York, January
22, 1896. Upon her arrival at Constantinople the fullest permission
was given for the entrance into Armenia of the Red Cross party and
an apparently active and generous effort was made towards making
their endeavors, journeys, etc., as safe and easy as possible. Miss
Barton took with her many letters of great influence addressed to the
Turkish authorities and other persons in close contact with them, but
in spite of this and the reiterated promise of the Turkish Foreign
Minister to permit the distributors of relief to go to Anatolia,
the necessary irades were withheld by the Sultan and for some time
Miss Barton's work was limited to Constantinople. It was during this
period that the Porte permanently prohibited several leading American
newspapers from entering Turkey.

Early in April, 1896, as the result of the incessant pressure brought
to bear upon the Porte by Mr. J. W. Riddle, United States Chargé
d'affaires, and Sir Philip Currie, British Ambassador, Tewfik Pasha,
the Turkish Foreign Minister, gave assent to the demand that all
relief afforded to the suffering Armenians by the agents of the
Red Cross Society should be distributed unconditionally, with the
exception of one provision, namely, that one member of the Turkish
Relief Commission should be present.

Miss Barton at once despatched one caravan with goods to Marash and
followed it with another including eight physicians and apothecaries
with medical supplies. At Marash, the destitution and misery were
past human imagination. Cold, famine, smallpox and typhoid fever
had carried off four thousand people and twelve thousand refugees
were in need of food, clothing and bedding. There was not a yard of
cotton cloth in the place and no doctors. At Aintab, Oorfa, Harpoot
and Zeitoun the needs were almost as great, and to each of these
points, goods and medical supplies were despatched and distributed
by trustworthy American residents and Miss Barton's Red Cross agents.

Upwards of $70,000 were sent by cable from America to the missionaries
in Armenia, through the American Board of Foreign Missions. Not
one dollar of this amount was lost or failed to reach its proper
field. In many instances the money was given out in the form of bread
and clothing to the starving refugees in Asia, within forty-eight
hours of the time of cabling it from New York. This fact should go
far towards disarming the severe criticisms sometimes heard regarding
the business management of missionary enterprises.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE CURSE OF ISLAM.

Dr. M. S. Gabriel.


In Europe and America there is very little, if any, exact knowledge
of what Mohammedanism means and who the Turks are. The Christian
subjects of Turkey alone have the unfortunate opportunity of knowing
well both the Turk and his religion. And of all the Christian subjects
of the Porte the Armenians have the profoundest understanding in this
matter. In the case of the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Christian,
Turkish oppression has more or less been alleviated by the sympathy
and protection of some one or the other of European Powers, while
the Armenians, related to none of the great nations by close ties of
either church or race, are absolutely friendless and have known the
virulence of Moslem hatred in its utmost intensity.

This remark, I hope, will caution those of my readers who, having
heard of the "tolerant spirit" of Islam and "the benign rule" of the
Sultan, might think my description of them to be rather exaggerated.

Of "the benign rule" of the Ottomans and the spirit of Islam I can
speak from personal and intimate acquaintance. There can be no curse
for a Christian nation as great as that of bearing the yoke of Moslem
tyranny. Armenia has many times during her long national life seen
foreign rule or supremacy, that, for instance, of the Romans, but not
without some consoling advantage. The British, called the true Romans
of modern times, carry some blessing to the countries they conquer
or rule, although they conquer or rule in the commercial interests of
their own. They are like butterflies which fly from flower to flower
in order to suck the honey, but, in so doing, they transfer to them
the fertilizing pollen attached to their wings.

What have the Turks brought into the Greek and Armenian centers of
civilization in the Orient? Any commerce, or industry, or literature,
or art, or science? No, not a bit. They have come, sword in hand,
bringing with them new vices and novel methods of torture. Since
they established their rule in the East, Italy, in the West, had
her literary Renaissance, Germany her religious Reformation, France
her great Revolution, each contributing to the cause of general
civilization, and all Europe and America appear to-day gloriously
transfigured, thanks to modern science and industry and art, while
Turkey remains where she was five centuries ago. The task of the Turk
has been not to enter himself and not to allow his Christian subjects
to enter into the path of progress. Whatever progress has been realized
by the Armenians has been despite the systematic opposition of the
Turkish government. They have smuggled, so to say, European elements
of civilization into Armenia. But Armenian experience proved that
it is vain, it is even dangerous, for Christians under Moslem rule
to try to progress, to multiply schools and churches and colleges,
to educate the children, to send the young men to the Universities
of Europe and America, to be economical and industrious, to grow
rich and to be influential or merely to be born beautiful under the
Turkish flag. The destruction of Armenia, after the general massacres
of October and November last, is going on by starvation and exposure
and sickness. Armenian progress is buried by Islam in the heaps of
slaughtered bodies and under the ashes that cover her ruined and
deserted villages.

Why is the Turk so fiercely opposed to progress? Why does he so
bitterly hate the progressive Armenians? Because, in the first place,
he is Turkish; and because, in the second place, he is Mohammedan.

The Turk is not a member of the best human race--the Indo-European
or Arian, like the Armenians. The Turk does not belong even to the
next best of races, the Semitic, like the Jews and the Arabs. He is a
branch of the Mongolian race, and, as such, incapable of assimilating
complex ideas and higher forms of civilization.

The mental inferiority of the Turk unfortunately matched with a
religion of a very low order, has made of him what he is, worse
than savages.

There is much to say of the inferiority of Islam, but I shall confine
myself to showing that the moral law of Islam is essentially immoral.

This may seem to some too bold an assertion. Let us see. According to
the Koran, the woman must be veiled lest any man look at her and lust
after her. She is not to talk with any man other than her nearest
relatives. A Moslem must not drink wine or liquor at all, in order
that he may not drink too much. There should be no liberty of Press,
nor of speech, nor of association, lest any seditious utterance or
movement be the outcome. In a word, man must be watched from above,
governed, repressed, in order that he may not have any occasion
to sin. He is not to be left free, he is not to govern himself,
but remain under tutelage, like a child. The consequence is that
the Moslem is condemned to perpetual infancy as a moral creature;
his individuality, his will power remain undeveloped.

Compare that with the moral law of Christianity. Christianity is
the fight of man's deeper, true nature against his animal or lower
nature. It is a healthful exercise by which his soul grows in grace
and strength and will power, building up a Christlike character,
that is the ideal of his life. The more he fights, the greater and
surer becomes the supremacy of his higher nature over the lower.

Just the reverse of this is the spiritual course of a Moslem. He does
not aspire at all at purity or moral freedom, but, on the contrary,
he believes that by certain acts he can so please Allah and become
his friend as to get the privilege of indulging in things forbidden
to the common "faithful." I know this to be the belief among the
learned Moslems. It has its ground in the Koran itself--in the
fact that Mohammed the "Prophet" was granted such privileges. "O
Prophet!" says the Koranic oracle, "we have allowed thee thy wives,
unto whom thou hast given their dower, and also the slaves which thy
right hand possesseth, of the booty which God hath granted thee; and
the daughters of thy uncle, and the daughters of thy aunts, both on
thy father's side and on thy mother's side, who have fled with thee
from Mecca, and any other believing woman, if she give herself unto
the prophet; in case the prophet desireth to take her to wife. This
is a peculiar privilege granted unto thee, above the rest of the true
believers. (Koran, Chapter XXXIII.) Another privilege, necessitated
by the above, is thus declared: "Thou mayest postpone the turn of
such of thy wives as thou shalt please, in being called to thy bed;
and thou mayest take unto thee her whom thou shalt please ..., and
it shall be no crime in thee." A further affirmation of the peculiar
privilege: "O Prophet, why holdest thou that to be prohibited which
God hath allowed thee, seeking to please thy wives?" (Chapter LXVI.)

Gratification of senses in this world under certain regulations,
and unlimited gratification of senses in the paradise, with plenty
of wine, without any danger of "headache," enjoying "wives free
from impurity," and "fair damsels with large black eyes" result of
"a peculiar creation" ... remaining "virgins" though "beloved by
their husbands." (Chapter LVI.) Such is the ideal of the Moslem for
the present life and the future.

This is not mere theory. To be fully convinced of this, a Christian
must live among the Turks, see their homes, attend to their festivals,
visit their schools, watch their prayers, and become acquainted with
their priests and princes.

Did I say their "homes?" The Turk has no home in the European sense
of the term, nor wife, nor schools, nor government. His prayers are
gymnastics of lips and limbs. His charity is a mere show--as are his
prayers, and often an act of cruelty. His school is a place where the
spark of Tartaric intelligence is put out under the fuel of Koranic
verses. His courts are stores where justice is sold by auction. His
Government is an organized brigandage and his diplomacy, falsehood
and shameless hypocrisy.

Outsiders may think that the Turks will make some progress. No, there
is no hope. As long as the Turks are faithful to the teachings of
their sacred law, the only form of their Government will be absolute
monarchy, their only instrument the sword, and their ideal sensualism.

For the present life the Turks have for centuries secured an
abundance of sensual gratification, thanks to the sword, the great
instrument recommended to them by their religion. Reserving for their
pious selves the sword, they have left all other instruments to the
"unbelievers." They have devoted themselves to the higher vocations
of the State as soldiers, priests, judges, governors, and ministers,
and if those careers are not easily open to any one, another noble
profession, that of brigandage, is embraced, and in all cases, they
have had plenty of income, gardens, palaces and wives. They have left
to the Armenians all the low, hard or undignified work--to till the
soil, to build houses and roads, bridges and palaces, to make shoes,
clothes, rugs and carpets and all the rest.

Thus the Turks led an existence full of pleasure, pride and luxury,
and they degenerated; while agriculture, commerce and industry
which they despised made the Armenians comparatively prosperous,
and the Christian faith which the Turks hated, rendered the Armenian
family great and healthy, and the Armenian community stronger, having
greater solidarity. In brief, Armenia appeared to the Turk like a
little Europe rising in the very bosom of the Ottoman Empire. Already
in 1876 the Turkish newspapers of Constantinople were publishing
editorials with regard to the alarming increase of the Armenians
and the decrease of the Turks. The Sultan, Abdul-Hamid, who aimed,
and still is aiming, to be a very great Padishah, devoted himself
to the task of readjusting the balance in favor of the Turks. His
Khalific intelligence had nothing to do with causes. He never
troubled himself with the complicated question why the Turks were
not increasing, why a rich Moslem with three wives had no children,
while a simple Christian artisan with one wife had three or four or
half a dozen. To Hamid's mind the problem was very simple. Are the
Armenians getting rich? he will plunder them. Have they organized
educational, religious or other benevolent associations? he will
scatter them. Have they bishops, professors and other leaders of high
education; and are they increasing in numbers? he will by exile and
wholesale massacres get rid of them. If anywhere any of them should
venture to resist plunderers or defend the honor of their wives
and daughters or kill any of his imperial brigands in self-defense,
he will regard and declare them to Europe as rebels and treat them
and the rest of their nation as such. His satanic accounts were
quite well made up. Some Armenians did, from sheer exasperation and
desperation, resist their foul aggressors. Hamid was glad. He ordered
the annihilation of Sassoun in 1894. Successful in that, he, in 1895,
by the kind permission of Christian Europe and America, proceeded
to destroy the Armenian nation and extirpate the Armenian Church by
wholesale massacres and forced conversions to Islam.

The sword, even in the hands of the Turks, had never been used
with such ferocity. The Turks surpassed themselves in these late
massacres. They displayed to the world the bottom of their infernal
foulness. Unable to use their sword against Europe, which has grown
far too powerful for them, they used it to cut down the Armenian
Europe in its bud. And the consciousness of their impotence against
the Great Powers intensified their cruelty and hatred with regard to
the defenseless and unarmed Armenians.

But all these frightful deeds of the Moslems do not surprise us. It is
but natural that "a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." There is
perfect harmony between these happenings and the Mohammedan faith. The
surprise, the shock we experience when we think that the "Christian"
Emperors of Russia, of United Germany, of Austria-Hungary, and the
"Christian" Empress of Great Britain and India, and the "Christian"
Presidents of the United States and of France could prevent the
massacres, and did not. They looked on. They are all, in various
degrees, the accomplices of the criminal Turk. Is it to be supposed,
logically, that while Hamid is acting in accordance with his religious
belief and the example of the "Prophet," certain Christian princes have
no sincere faith in Christ and his Gospel of love? May the exhibition
of Islamic barbarity and blindness open the eyes of the "Christians"
to see the heavenly holiness of Christ! May the curse of Islam which
has fallen upon Armenia as a deadly pestilence arouse the torpid
conscience of Christendom to a full appreciation of its sacred Book,
its Christian homes, its free institutions and its religious liberty!



CHAPTER XVII.

THE GREATEST CRIME OF THE CENTURY.


That the Powers of Europe, having their fleets lying at anchor
in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas within a day's sail of
Constantinople, should stand by and permit the Sultan to slaughter
the helpless Armenians by the tens of thousands is the greatest crime
of the century.

The mutual jealousies and distrusts and diverse ambitions of the
Powers of Europe have been as fatal and as horrible in result as the
cruel wrath of a Nero, when for the first time he smote the early
Christians with the clenched fist of the Roman Empire. Would that
some hand could strip off the blood-soaked, dagger-pierced garments
of nearly a hundred thousand martyred dead, and lay them at the feet
of the nations who were consenting unto their death. Far be it from
us to attempt to divide, or measure, or weigh out the guilt that
lies with common shame upon them all; but that the burden rests with
unequal weight upon the Powers a brief recital of some of the facts
of history will show.

In little more than three hundred (322) days the Russian Army had swept
from the Danube, through Bulgaria, over the passes of the Balkans
across the plains of Adrianople, breaking and scattering the power
of the Turkish armies until in February, 1878, nearly one hundred
thousand victorious troops encamped before the gates of Constantinople
which lay defeated and helpless at the feet of the conquering Czar.

General Grant said that for Russia not to enter Constantinople at
that conjuncture was the greatest mistake a nation ever made. Could
he have foreseen the misrule of the coming years culminating in the
recent awful massacres, he would have called the failure a crime and
not a blunder.

But Alexander had not entered upon the war for the sake of conquest,
but to punish Turkey for her crimes against the Bulgarians and to
deliver them from her power. Hence the terms of the treaty of San
Stefano were specially in the interest of the subject Christian races
that were under the rule of the Sublime Porte.

The treaty established the independence and boundaries of Montenegro,
Servia and Roumania. It constituted Bulgaria an autonomous principality
with a Christian government, a national militia, with fixed tribute;
its boundaries carefully defined, included over sixty-five thousand
square miles with a population of nearly four million Christian
people. The Ottoman army was to be withdrawn and the irregular forces,
the Bashi-Bazouks and the Circassians were to be absolutely excluded
from it. The Russian army of occupation was to consist of fifty
thousand men to remain until the new government should be firmly
established (for the term approximately of two years.) All Danubian
fortresses were to be razed and Bessarabia restored to Russia. Kars,
Batoum, Ardahan, Bayazet and certain surrounding territory to be ceded
to Russia, and Armenia to be guaranteed protection against Kurds and
Circassians, and besides this territory, a war indemnity of a paltry
$250,000,000. This is all that Russia claimed for herself at the close
of a victorious campaign that had cost her $600,000,000 and the loss
of nearly one hundred thousand men. This was the sacrifice she had
offered to free her Bulgarian fellow Christians from the power of the
Turk. Russia was the master of the situation and had well earned the
right to dictate her own terms when the Sultan sued for peace.

Already the British Government had declared that they would not permit
any power to interfere with the freedom of the Dardanelles and the
Bosphorus, and that they should protect Constantinople from becoming
the prize of conquest. The Parliament had been convened in January
(17th) 1878, and in the Queen's speech there was this sentence: "I
can not conceal from myself that should hostilities be unfortunately
prolonged some unexpected occurrence may render it incumbent on me to
adopt measures of precaution. Such measures could not be effectually
taken without adequate preparation and I trust to the liberality of my
Parliament to supply the means which may be required for that purpose."

In the debate that followed the Marquis of Salisbury said, "If you
will not trust the government provide yourselves a government you
will trust."

The danger flag was waved ominously bearing the insignia of the
Russian bear. On February 8th, the House voted a war credit of an
additional $30,000,000, and on the same day five British war vessels
were ordered to Constantinople. Troops were ordered to Malta from
India, and Disraeli, the Premier, significantly declared "that in
a righteous cause England would commence a fight that would not end
till right was done."

On March 17th, the ratifications of the treaty between Russia and
Turkey were exchanged at St. Petersburg. Now note the situation. Russia
has but three or four towns and the fortress of Kars on the frontiers
of Armenia, and the seaport of Batoum, from which to compel the Porte
to protect the Armenians from Kurds and Circassians. But there is a
Bulgaria freed from Turkish despotism. Four millions of Christians are
given the privilege of self government while still tributary to the
Porte. The frontier of Russia is restored as it was before the treaty
of Paris by the addition of Bessarabia. This is the only political
advantage to compensate for the expenditure of blood and treasure in
the liberation of Bulgaria. What does England want? What does she
mean to fight for? How is she injured? The Dardanelles are opened
for the free passage of merchant vessels both in peace and war. What
right has she to interfere now that the treaty has been signed?

Yet on March 28th, the Disraeli government announces that the first
class of the Army reserve numbering thirteen thousand, and the militia
reserve of about twenty-five thousand men were to be called out. This
determination led to the resignation of Lord Derby as Foreign Secretary
and the Marquis of Salisbury was appointed in his place. On April 1st,
Salisbury addressed a circular to the Powers, and after giving Russia's
refusal to consent to England's demand (by what right?) relative to
placing the treaty as a whole before the Congress--which Germany was
endeavoring to secure to avoid another war--he goes on to complain
of the terms imposed by Russia on Turkey: and the violation of the
treaty of Paris, etc. Prince Gortchakoff in his reply among other
questions asks Lord Salisbury how he would reconcile these treaties
with the benevolent ends to which the united action of Europe had
always been directed and the attainment of which one learns with
pleasure the English government desires, namely, good government,
peace and liberty for the oppressed populations.

Having allowed Russia single handed to chastise the Turks for the
massacre of the Bulgarians--and we think that any one can see that she
had done it with neatness and despatch, and had delivered four million
Christians from the cursed rule of Islam, England now comes forward
and demands that the treaty of San Stefano shall be broken and a new
one made. We may well exclaim "Cui bono?" In whose interest? For
the greater security of the Christians in Bulgaria? For larger
liberty and protection to the Armenians from Kurds and Circassians,
or the protection of the Balkan populations from Circassians and
Bashi-Bazouks?

No indeed! Noble, Christian England in her sympathy for the suffering
Bulgarians wanted a Congress called to give back into the hands of the
Turk, Bashi-Bazouk and Circassian more than three million Christians
and forty thousand square miles of territory which might have formed
the home of a strong, progressive Christian nation under the terms
of the San Stefano treaty.

Having thus purposed to give back these millions into the jaws of
the wolf, she yet desired to pose as the chief guardian of Armenia,
and said to Turkey now give me Cyprus and I will protect you against
Russia, and we can let Kurds and Circassians alone for awhile.

Thus while urging a Congress of the Powers, already on June 4th,
1878, England had secured the Island of Cyprus, and alone Christian
England had agreed to defend by force of arms the integrity and the
independence of the Turkish Dominions.

On June 13th, the Congress was called, Prince Bismarck occupying the
presidential chair. Beaconsfield and Salisbury and the Ambassador
at Berlin representing England, Russia, Austria, France, Italy and
Turkey also having their respective representatives.

At the twentieth and last meeting held July 13th, the treaty of Berlin
was signed. Thus by the conduct and the persistence of the English
government alone was the calling of the Congress made necessary or
possible, and by the spirit of England was the Congress dominated,
and its final deliverances controlled. At the behest of England were
millions of Bulgarians and Armenians handed over again to the tender
mercies of the wicked Turk, and Russia was robbed of the glory of
her victories.

An international crime like this must cry to Heaven for vengeance
and the most powerful and enlightened nation that insisted on it
and forced it through is also the most guilty. On their return to
England Beaconsfield and Salisbury received an ovation, and the Queen
conferred the Order of the Garter on these two Lords who had delivered
the lives and welfare of millions of Christians back into the hands
of the unspeakable Turk.

That England's attitude has not been too strongly emphasized, read this
quotation from Lord Salisbury's summing up of the situation in 1879:

"The Sultan's dominions he informed the Powers have been provided
with a defensible frontier far removed from his capital. * * Rich and
extensive provinces have been restored to his rule, at the same time
that careful provision against future misgovernment has been made which
will, it may be hoped assure their loyalty, and prevent the recurrence
of calamities which have brought the Ottoman Power to the verge of
ruin. Arrangements of a different kind, having the same end in view,
have provided for the Asiatic dominions of the Sultan security for the
present, and hope of prosperity and stability in the future. Whether
use will be made of this, probably the last opportunity which has
thus been obtained for Turkey by the interposition of the Powers of
Europe, of England in particular, (note this phrase) or whether it is
to be thrown away, will depend upon the sincerity with which Turkish
statesmen now address themselves to the duties of good government
and the task of reform."

One would suppose from the terms of the treaties that the Bulgarian war
had been undertaken for the sole and express purpose of establishing
and assuring the integrity and independence of Turkey, the entrenchment
of the Bashi-Bazouks in Bulgaria and for protecting the fierce wolves
that dwell in the mountains of Kurdestan from the helpless lambs that
infest the valleys of Armenia. In Russia the Berlin Treaty called
out the most indignant disapprobation. It was said to be "a colossal
absurdity, a blundering failure, an impudent outrage." The nation had
been robbed of all reward for the sacrifices she had made in the name
of humanity: and before the people Alexander had been humiliated. He
saw the incompleteness of his work, felt his inability to deal with the
forces that were at that time massed against him and felt bitterly the
reproach of the army and of those who had suffered the loss of kindred
and friends in a useless and expensive war. Russian diplomacy at Berlin
was felt to be more disastrous than the war, while the nation had been
decked with a fool's cap and bells and their honor trampled under foot.

England had taken on her hands a most difficult task, viz: To be the
Protector of the Armenians, while at the same time she wore the belt
as champion defender of Turkey against all comers. The Protector of
the Christians, and the Christian Champion of Islam!!



TREATY OF BERLIN.

Art. LXI. The sublime Porte undertakes to carry out, without further
delay, the improvements and reforms demanded by local requirements
in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians, and to guarantee their
security against the Circassians and Kurds. It will periodically
make known the steps taken to this effect to the Powers, who will
superintend their application.



ANGLO-TURKISH (CYPRUS) CONVENTION.

Art. I. If Batoum, Ardahan, Kars, or any of them shall be retained
by Russia, and if any attempt shall be made at any future time by
Russia to take possession of any further territory of His Imperial
Majesty, the Sultan, in Asia, as fixed by the Definitive Treaty of
Peace, England engages to join His Imperial Majesty, the Sultan,
in defending them by force of arms.

In return, His Imperial Majesty, the Sultan, promises to England to
introduce necessary reforms, to be agreed upon later between the two
Powers, into the Government and for the protection of the Christian
and other subjects of the Porte in these territories; and in order
to enable England to make necessary provisions for executing her
engagement, His Imperial Majesty, the Sultan, further consents to
assign the Island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England.

The Anglo-Turkish Convention having been made June 4th, and the
Berlin Treaty not being signed until July 13th, places priority
(may we not almost say entirety?) of obligation upon England, which
obligation with all that it implies she fully and alone accepted when
she accepted the island of Cyprus as a necessary base of operations
and a promise and pledge of good faith.

The Berlin Treaty did not release England from this distinct and
individual obligation nor did she wish to divide the honor of being the
defender of the Armenian Christians. It may be questioned whether she
had any right to expect anything more from the other signatory Powers
than their moral support in any attempted enforcement of its terms.

Passing by the first part of Art. I. in the Anglo-Turkish Convention
the reader is asked to give special attention to the wording of the
second part: "In return, His Imperial Majesty, the Sultan, promises
to England to introduce necessary reforms to be agreed upon later
between the two Powers, into the Government and for the protection
of the Christian and other subjects of the Porte in these territories."

With that clause inserted "to be agreed upon later" how could Lord
Salisbury possibly dream, let alone say "that careful provision against
future misgovernment has been made"? Absolutely no provision had been
made to protect Armenia from Kurd or Circassian or the rapacity and
cruelty and outrage of Turkish officials. And none could be made
unless these two Powers alone, England and the Porte could agree
upon the nature of the reforms and the manner in which they should be
carried out. Was any promise, pledge or convention ever written that
actually meant less? Was this honest British Statesmanship actually
determining that something should be done? or was it shrewd Turkish
diplomacy that will promise anything in the bond but withdraw it in
the terms of later stipulations? Or was it understood that it was
merely dust for the eyes of Christian Europe?

The following incident in the career of Gen. B. F. Butler was given as
a newspaper item. In the course of a very spirited conversation one
day a gentleman called him a knave. The general smiled and replied,
"Well, did you ever hear anybody say that I was a fool?" Somebody
was surely fooled by this convention. Who was it? Not Russia and
certainly not the Turk. Who then? Salisbury? or England?

There were many men even in England who did not hesitate to express
hottest indignation against the policy of the Government regarding
her dealings with Turkey. Here are paragraphs from "The Ottoman Power
in Europe" by the English historian E. A. Freeman:

"The England of Canning and Codrington, the England of Byron and
Hastings has come to this, that the world knows us as the nation
which upholds oppression for the sake of its own interests. We have
indeed a national sin to redress and atone for. We are verily guilty
concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he
besought us and we would not hear. Nay, our guilt is deeper still. We
have not merely looked on and passed by on the other side, but we
have given our active help to the oppressors of our brothers. We have
"upheld" the foulest fabric of wrong that earth ever saw, because it
was deemed that the interests of England were involved in upholding
the wrong and trampling down the right. * * * *

"Our national crime is that we have upheld the Turk for our own
supposed interests. For these we have doomed the struggling nations to
abide in their bondage. We have doomed them to stay under a rule under
which the life and property of the Christian, the honor of his wife,
the honor of his children of both sexes alike are at every moment at
the mercy of the savages whom our august and cherished ally honors and
promotes in proportion to the blackness of their deeds. We have for
our own interests upheld the power which has done its foul and bloody
work in Chios, at Damascus and in Bulgaria, which is still doing the
same foul and bloody work wherever a victim may be found. We uphold
the power whose daily work is massacre and worse than massacre. It
matters not whether ten thousand or twenty thousand perish. We are
still to uphold the slaughterer, for it is to our interest that he
should not be shorn of his power of slaughtering.

"Now if there be any such thing as right and wrong in public affairs,
if moral considerations are ever to come in to determine the actions
of nations, it is hard to see how there can be deeper national guilt
than this. Unjust wars, aggressions and conquests are bad enough,
but they are hardly so bad as the calm, unblushing upholding of
wrong for our own interests. * * * * We look on, we count the cost,
we see how the wrong-doer deals with his victim and we determine to
uphold the wrong-doer because we think that to uphold him will suit
some interest of our own. There is no question of national glory, no
question of national honor; nothing which can stir up even a false
enthusiasm. It is a calm mercantile calculation that the wrongs of
millions of men will pay.

"The revenue returns of Egypt for 1890 were over $50,000,000. If
we knew how large a part of this went to bondholders in London,
we would know something about England's interest in Egypt. If we
knew how large a portion of the Turkish debt of above $500,000,000,
is held in London, we would know something about the interest the
British government has in maintaining the integrity of Turkey.

"England wouldn't care if that Turkey were carved to-morrow if only
she could hold Constantinople and administer on the dead Sultan's
estate until all the obligations she holds should be paid off. She
would rather like to occupy Stamboul on those conditions--Armenia,
Kurds, Circassians and all."

But to return from our digression which was meant to show something
of the nature of the interest England had in bringing Bulgaria again
under Turkish rule and taxation, we remark that with this Cypress
Convention already a deed accomplished what other European powers
would care a fig about seeing to the execution of possible reforms
in Armenia. What happened is notorious. A few ineffectual attempts to
agree upon reforms and when agreed upon many excuses for not carrying
them out and there the whole matter of reform was practically dropped;
but Cypress was retained as counsel fees possibly for securing such
a favorable revision of the terms of the San Stefano Treaty in the
interests of Turkey--of the Moslem not of the Christian.

For the sake of retaining influence with the Sublime Porte and to
outwit the possible plans and intrigues of the Russian Ambassador,
scared by visions in the night of some muscovite move towards
Constantinople. England for fifteen years connived at a state of things
which was decimating and impoverishing the provinces of Armenia,
and costing more lives and causing more suffering in the aggregate
than the massacres of Sassoun.

Often the question was asked, "Where is England's guarantee to
Armenian and Macedonian Christians now?" The Russian press was not
slow to give prominence to these reports of continually increasing
oppressions and pillage, of outrage and murder.

But nothing pierced the political-commercial conscience of England
until tidings of the most horrible massacres committed three months
before began to creep over the mountains of Armenia and find their
way to England and America.

When for very shame they could shut their ears to the clamor no
longer the British Government demanded a commission--it's great on
commissions. The British Ambassador intimated to the Porte that if
steps were not taken to satisfy her Majesty's Government that the
Sultan's promise (respecting the commission) would be fulfilled,
"they might find it necessary to inquire into the treatment of the
Armenians, and that they might also be forced to publish the consular
reports from the Asiatic provinces which had been so long withheld!"

What fires of shame should burn on cheek and forehead of the English
Government that nothing had been done to stop those outrages till
indifference and inactivity had given the impression that nobody
cared what became of the Armenians.

At last the heart of England flamed out in pity and her conscience
fired the brain to hot and earnest and even vehement utterance, and
hundreds of public meetings were held. Instinctively all eyes turned
to Gladstone to voice the sorrow, the pity or the indignation of a
Christian people who felt themselves in some measure responsible for
the deliverance of Armenia from further horrors.



GLADSTONE ON ARMENIA'S FATE.

At a meeting held in the Town Hall, Chester, England, a great many
members of Parliament being present, the Duke of Westminster presiding,
Mr. Gladstone spoke (in part) as follows:



"My Lord Duke, my Lord and Ladies and Gentlemen:


"It is perfectly true that the Government whose deeds we have to
impeach is a Mohammedan Government, and it is perfectly true that the
sufferers under those outrages, under those afflictions, are Christian
sufferers. The Mohammedan subjects of Turkey suffer a great deal,
but what they suffer is only in the way of the ordinary excesses and
defects of an intolerably bad Government--perhaps the worst on the
face of the earth. (Hear, hear.) I will take the liberty of reading
a resolution which has been placed in my hands and which seems to me
to express with firmness, but with moderation, the opinions which I
am very confident this meeting will entertain, and this meeting, in
entertaining such opinions, is but the representative of the country
at large. (Cheers.)

"Allow me to go further and to say that the country at large in
entertaining these ideas is only a representative of civilized
humanity, and I will presume to speak on the ground, in part, of
personal knowledge, of the opinions and sympathies that are entertained
among our own Transatlantic brethren of the United States. If possible,
the sentiment in America entertained on the subject of these recent
occurrences is even more vivid and even stronger, if it can be,
than that which beats in the hearts of the people of this country.

"The terms of the resolution are as follows:

"'That this meeting expresses its conviction that her Majesty's
Government will have the cordial support of the entire nation, without
distinction of party, in any measures which it may adopt for securing
to the people of Turkish Armenia such reforms in the administration
of that province as shall provide effective guarantees for the safety
of life, honor, religion, and property, and that no reforms can be
effective which are not placed under the continuous control of the
Great Powers of Europe.' (Cheers.)

"That means, without doubt, the Great Powers of Europe, all who choose
to combine, and those great Powers which happily have combined and
have already, in my judgment, pledged their honor as well as their
power to the attainment of the object we have in view. (Cheers.)

"Now, it was my fate, I think six or more months ago, to address a very
limited number, not a public assembly, but a limited number of Armenian
gentlemen, and gentlemen interested in Armenia on this subject. There
was no authoritative and impartial declaration before the world at
that period on the subject of what is known as the Sassoun massacre;
that massacre to which the Noble Duke has alluded and with respect
to which, horrible as that massacre was, one of the most important
witnesses in this case declares that it is thrown into the shade
and has become pale and ineffective by the side of the unspeakable
horrors which are being enacted from month to month, from week to
week, and day to day in the different provinces of Armenia. (Hear,
hear.) It was a duty to avoid premature judgment, and I think it was
avoided. But though it is a duty to avoid exaggeration, a most sacred
duty, it is a duty that has little or no place in the case before us,
because it is too well known that the powers of language hardly suffice
to describe what has been and is being done, and that exaggeration,
if we were ever so much disposed to it, is in such a case really
beyond our power. (Cheers.) Those are dreadful words to speak. It is
a painful office to perform, and nothing but a strong sense of duty
could gather us together between these walls or could induce a man
of my age and a man who is not wholly without other difficulties to
contend with to resign for the moment that repose and quietude which
is the last of many great earthly blessings remaining to him in order
to invite you to enter into a consideration of this question. What
witnesses ought we to call before us? I should be disposed to say
that it matters very little what witness you call. So far as the
character of the testimony you will receive is concerned the witnesses
are all agreed. At the time that I have just spoken of, six or eight
months ago, they were private witnesses. Since that time, although
we have not seen the detailed documents of public authority, yet we
know that all the broader statements which had been made up to that
time and which have made the blood of this nation run cold have been
confirmed and verified. They have not been overstated, not withdrawn,
not qualified, not reduced, but confirmed in all their breadth, in all
that horrible substance, in all their sickening details. (Hear, hear.)

"I will refer to the last of these witnesses, one whom I must say I
am disposed to name with honor, it is Dr. Dillon, a man who, as the
special commissioner of the Daily Telegraph newspaper, some months
ago with care and labor, and with the hazard of his life (hear, hear),
went into Turkey, laudably making use of a disguise for the purpose,
and went into Armenia, so that he might make himself thoroughly master
of the facts. (Cheers.) He published his results before any public
authority had given utterance to its judgments and those results
which he, I rather think, was the first to give to the world in a
connected shape--at any rate he was very early in the field--those
results have been completely confirmed and established by the inquiries
of the delegates appointed by the three Powers--England, France and
Russia. (Cheers.) I say he has, at the risk of his life, acquired a
title to be believed, and (in the Contemporary Review) he gives us an
account which bears upon it all the marks of truth, but which, at the
same time that we must believe it to be true, you would say is hardly
credible. Unhappily some of those matters which are not credible do,
in this strange and wayward world of ours, turn out to be true; and
here it is hardly credible that there can dwell in the human form
a spirit of such intense and diabolical wickedness as is unhappily
displayed in some of the narratives Dr. Dillon has laid before the
world. I shall not quote from them in detail though I mean to make a
single citation, which will be a citation, if I may say so, rather of
principle than of detail. I shall not quote the details, but I will
say to you that when you begin to read them you will see the truth
of what I just now said--namely that we are not dealing at all with a
common and ordinary question of abuses of government or the defects of
them. We are dealing with something that goes far deeper, far wider,
and that imposes upon us and upon you far heavier obligations.

"The whole substance of this remarkable article may be summed up in
four awful words--plunder, murder, rape and torture. ('Shame.') Every
incident turns upon one or upon several of those awful words. Plunder
and murder you would think are bad enough, but plunder and murder are
almost venial by the side of the work of the ravisher and the work of
the torturer, as it is described in these pages, and as it is now fully
and authentically known to be going on. I will keep my word, and I will
not be tempted by--what shall I say?--the dramatic interests attached
to such exaggeration of human action as we find here to travel into the
details of the facts. They are fitter for private perusal than they
are for public discussion. In all ordinary cases when we have before
us instances of crime, perhaps of very horrible crime--we at once
assume that in all countries, unfortunately, there are malefactors,
there are plunderers whose deeds we are going to consider. Here, my
lord duke, it is nothing of the kind; we have nothing to do here with
what are called the dangerous classes of the community; it is not their
proceedings which you are asked to consider; it is the proceedings
of the Government of Constantinople and its agents. (Cheers.)

"There is not one of these misdeeds for which the Government at
Constantinople is not morally responsible. (Cheers.) Now, who are these
agents? Let me tell you very briefly. They fall into three classes. The
first have been mentioned by the noble duke--namely the savage Kurds,
who are, unhappily, the neighbors of the Armenians, the Armenians
being the representatives of one of the oldest civilized Christian
races, and being beyond all doubt one of the most pacific, one of
the most industrious, and one of the most intelligent races in the
world. (Cheers.) These Kurds are by them; they are wild, savage clans,
organized as bands of robbers. These the Sultan and the Government at
Constantinople have enrolled, though in a nominal fashion, not with
a military discipline, into pretended cavalry regiments and then set
them loose with the authority of soldiers of the Sultan to harry and
destroy the people of Armenia. (Cheers.) Well, these Kurds are the
first of the agents in this horrible business; the next are the Turkish
soldiers, who are in no sense behind the Kurds in their performances;
the third are the peace officers, the police and the tax gatherers
of the Turkish Government; and there seems to be a deadly competition
among all these classes which shall most prove itself an adept in the
horrible and infernal work that is before them, but above them and more
guilty than they, are the higher officers of the Turkish Government.

"I think there are certain matters, such as those which have been
discussed to-day and discussed in many other forms, on which it is
perfectly possible to make up our minds. And what I should say is,
that the whole position may be summed up in three brief propositions. I
do not know to which of these propositions to assign the less or the
greater importance. It appears to me that they are probably each and
every one of them absolutely indispensable. The first proposition is
this, You ought to moderate your demands. You ought to ask for nothing
but that which is strictly necessary, and that possibly according
to all that we know of the proposals before us, the rule has been
rigidly complied with. I do not hesitate to say, ladies and gentlemen,
that the cleanest and clearest method of dealing with this subject,
if we should have done it, would have been to tell the Turk to march
out of Armenia. (Loud cheers.) He has no right to remain there, and
it would have been an excellent settlement of the question. But it is
by no means certain that Europe or even the three Powers would have
been unanimous in seeking after that end. Therefore, let us part with
everything except what is known to be indispensable. Then I come to
the other two rules, and of these the first is that you should accept
no Turkish promises. (Hear, hear.) They are absolutely and entirely
worthless. They are worse than worthless, because they may serve to
delude a few persons who, without information or experience, naturally
would suppose, when promises are given, that there is something like
an intentional fulfilment. Recollect that no scheme is worth having
unless it be supported by efficient guarantees entirely outside the
promises of the Turkish Government. (Applause.) There is another
word which I must speak, and it is this: Don't be too much afraid
if you hear introduced into this discussion a word that I admit, in
ordinary cases, ought to be excluded from all diplomatic proceeding,
namely, the word coercion. Coercion is a word perfectly well
understood in Constantinople, and it is a word highly appreciated in
Constantinople. It is a drastic dose--(laughter)--which never fails of
its aim when it is administered in that quarter. (Laughter.) Gentlemen,
I would not use these words if I had not myself personally had large
and close experience of the proceedings of the Turkish Government. I
say, first make your case good, and when your case is made good,
determine that it shall prevail. (Cheers.) Grammar has something to
do with this case. Recollect that while the word 'ought' sounded in
Constantinople, passes in thin air, and has no force or solidity
whatever attaching to it; on the contrary, the brother or sister
monosyllable, the word 'must' is perfectly understood--(cheers)--and
it is a known fact supported by positive experience, which can be
verified upon the map of Europe, that a timely and judicious use of
the word never fails for its effect. (Cheers.) Gentlemen, I must point
out to you that we have reached a very critical position indeed. How
are three great Governments in Europe, ruling a population of more
than two hundred million souls, with perhaps eight or ten times the
population of Turkey, with twenty times the wealth of Turkey, with
fifty times the influence and power of Turkey, who have committed
themselves in this matter before the world, I put it to you that
if they recede before an irrational resistance--and remember that
I have in the first instance postulated that our demands should be
reasonable--if they recede before the irrational resistance of the
Sultan and the Ottoman Government they are disgraced in the face
of the world. Every motive of duty coincides with every motive of
self respect, and, my lord duke, yourself let drop a word which is
a frightful word, unhappily not wholly out of place, the word


                            'EXTERMINATION.'


There has gone abroad, I don't say that I feel myself competent to
judge the matter, I don't think I do, but there has gone abroad and
there is widely entertained a belief that the recent proceedings of
the Turkish Government in Armenia particularly, but not in Armenia
exclusively, are founded upon deliberate determination to exterminate
the Christians in that Empire. I hope it is not true, but at the same
time I must say that there are evidences tending to support it--(hear,
hear)--and the grand evidence which tends to support it is this: the
perfect infatuation of the Turkish Government. The Turkish Government
is evidently in such a state of infatuation that it is fain to believe
it may, under certain circumstances, be infatuated enough to scheme
the extermination of the Christian population. Well, this is a sad
and terrible story, and I have been a very long time in telling it,
but a very small part of it, but I hope that, having heard the terms
of the resolution that will be submitted to you, you will agree that a
case is made out. (Cheers.) I for one, for the sake of avoiding other
complications, would rejoice if the Government of Turkey would come
to its senses. That is, in my opinion, what we ought all to desire,
and though it would be more agreeable to clear Turkey than to find
her guilty of these terrible charges, yet if we have the smallest
regard to humanity, if we are sensible at all of what is due to our
own honor after the steps which have been taken within the last twelve
or eighteen months, we must interfere. We must be careful to demand no
more than what is just--but at least as much as is necessary--and we
must be determined that, with the help of God that which is necessary,
and that which is just shall be done, whether there will be a response
or whether there be none." (Loud cheers.)



In a letter written late in March, to the Duke of Argyle, chairman
of the Armenian Relief Committee, Mr. Gladstone said, "that he hopes
that nobody will suppose that deplorable and ignominious failure of
Europe to do her duty in Armenia will in any way diminish the force
of the present appeal (for aid) to Christian pity."

But what about this deplorable and ignominious failure of Europe
to do her duty? Lord Salisbury has gravely assured the nation that
England is utterly powerless to alleviate the lot of the Armenians
in Turkey. If this be true and the Porte should choose to finish
his work of extermination, must all the world stand by and see it
done and no arm be raised to defend the helpless? If so, woe to the
world when the Lord God of hosts shall arise to avenge the blood of
a slaughtered race.

When the first rumors of a massacre at Sassoun was confirmed in all
essential details, the Government had to act quickly and somewhat
decidedly, to avoid a swelling storm of indignation, that might break
with serious effect upon their heads.

Two courses of action were open to England, either to use all her
power of persuasion, with some strong language, by way of emphasis,
to induce the Porte to bring the officials to justice and obtain a
guarantee that no such massacres should be permitted in the future,
or sound an alarm and call on all the Powers of Europe for an armed
intervention, in which case she must be ready to cast in her heaviest
weight of men and metal. As the responsibility for the terrible state
of affairs in Armenia was due to England's neglect, in not enforcing
reforms, essential to prevent such awful scenes, she should have
secured from the Powers their consent to let her thrash the Turks
in Constantinople and Anatolia, while the fleets anchored in the
Bosphorus to protect the "balance of power" when the deed was done.

A guarantee from the Powers, that England would not be permitted to
occupy Constantinople, might have satisfied Russia, or have prevented
any interference in the carrying out the purpose of delivering the
Armenians from further outrages and massacres. In that case the
dissolution of "the Sick Man" might have been the solution of the
Eastern question.

At least unless England knew that the Powers would stand by her the
threat of using force was stupid folly. A conference of the Powers was
a necessity and the pledge of concurrence or armed neutrality should
have been given before she began to bait the Sultan. It has been known
for years that the Sultan is the last man to be controlled by mere
sentiment. He only yields to necessity, to force actually present,
to guns trained upon him. He was never scared by all the letters and
the threats of the English Government. He knew the Powers were not
agreed to use force.

Sir Philip Currie telegraphed to Lord Kimberley:



"I impressed upon His Excellency (said Pasha) as forcibly as I could
that the only safe course for the Turkish Government was to authorize
the Commission to make a fair and impartial inquiry; that failing
this they would be held responsible for the cruelties perpetrated on
the Armenians by the local authorities, and that the feeling aroused
in Europe was such that if these cruelties were not punished, active
interference from without must be looked for."

This was an earnest, urgent, emphatic, even threatening appeal:
but where was there any warrant for the last threat? There was no
ultimatum ready. No nation was going to take up arms against Turkey,
England least of all. There was no agreement among them to let
England take up the task alone. If there had been, one battleship
before Constantinople would have brought the massacres to a speedy
close and could have compelled the punishment of the Governors in
every vilayet where the horrors of Sassoun had been repeated with
increased torment and misery. But the fact remains, and the fact
is the thing emphasized, that England and all the Signatory Powers
sat in masterly inactivity though with steam up at Salonica and let
the deadly work go on. There is only time to notice one question,
"Why did not Russia agree to the forcing the Dardanelles and coercing
the Turks? The blame for the fiasco must fall upon Russia."



How so? Could you reasonably expect Russia to assist England in
performing her promises to protect Armenia when you remember the
humiliation of the Berlin Treaty? If England entered into engagements
she was powerless to make good, whose fault was that? And when the
implicit appeal was to her Christian sympathy the Russians replied in
their press: "Where were all these glorious virtues of Englishmen when
Lord Beaconsfield handed back the Christian subjects of the Sultan to
the dismal fate which has only now begun to excite their pity, when
an improvement would suit their policy and further their designs? If
England continued to be both humane and Christian while suppressing
those noble impulses eighteen years ago, it is hard to understand
why we can not remain both, while holding them in control to-day."

To those who deny to Russia any disinterested motives of Christian
sympathy in her war with Turkey to deliver Bulgaria from the
horrible misrule of the Sultan, this refusal will furnish only
another illustration of her being what they consider her, viz:
a half-civilized nation.

But for England to look to a Power she considers her mortal enemy
as regards the occupation of Constantinople, for help to rescue the
Armenians from Kurd and Circassian and Turkish regulars, set upon
them by the Porte, is the sublimity of political innocence, or the
confession of utter weakness.

The Russian Bear smiled at the innocence, and with grim satisfaction,
perhaps, allowed the Turk to wave back the fleets of the allied
Powers from the straits of the Dardanelles and continue his fiendish
massacres.

Weigh each for himself the responsibility of each of the Great Powers
in any scales he may choose, distribute the guilt by a different
judgment, and yet the failure of these Christian nations to unite for
the deliverance of Christian Armenia from the barbarous and cruel,
most lustful and brutal outrages under which they were suffering,
will be stamped by history as the most awful crime against humanity
upon which the sun ever gazed during all the passing years of the
nineteenth century, and only to be paralleled by the apathy of Western
Europe, when alone in 1453 Constantinople fought her last battle for
the cross and fell under the sword and power of Islam.



CHAPTER XVIII.

AMERICA'S DUTY AND PRIVILEGE.


Our self-imposed task to voice as clearly and strongly as we could
the History and Horrors of Armenia under the Curse of Islam is nearly
finished. For many weeks the fires have burned hot within us, and
the daily news from the land of sorrows has only made our heart beat
more rapidly and our pen fly the faster that our appeal might reach
your ears while yet there was time to save from utter destruction
a remnant of this most ancient Christian people of whom two hundred
thousand now look to England and America for daily bread.

"The Armenians are the representatives of one of the oldest civilized
Christian races, being beyond all doubt one of the most pacific,
one of the most industrious, and one of the most intelligent races
in the world."

    --Gladstone.


In all the history of the Roman Empire, from Nero down to the days
of Constantine, there is no chapter so cruel, so terrible as the
atrocious crimes of the present Turkish Empire. These massacres have
been committed at the command of the Sultan, and with flourish of
trumpets, as at Zilleh, when at noon November 28, 1895, the trumpet
was blown and the Turks began to assault the Christians with the cry,
"Down with Armenians. This is the Sultan's order."

This is the Curse of Islam that it makes it the religious duty of
every follower of the prophet, from the Sultan down to the howling
dervishes, to hate the Christians, to kill and plunder, rob, outrage
and torture every one who will not accept the faith of Mohammed. The
evident intention of the Sultan is to utterly destroy and exterminate
the Christian people in Armenia.

It is reserved for the dawning of the twentieth century to see all
the horrors of the conquests of Tamerlane repeated, and to realize
for itself what these Christian races have suffered since the fateful
year 1453, when Constantinople, the glory of Eastern Europe, fell a
prey to hordes of the Ottoman Turks. It is because he has outdone the
cruelties of all the ages that caused the foremost of living English
poets to stigmatize the reigning Sultan as "Abdul, the Damned."

In our helplessness we can only take refuge, perhaps, under the
arms of the Almighty. Justice and judgment are the habitations of
His throne and a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of His
kingdom. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord."

When Christendom repeats that phrase "Thy Kingdom Come" in the
universal prayer it means the downfall of Islam, the overthrow of
every throne of iniquity, and of all kingdoms whose foundations are
laid in blood.

The kingdom of Christ is a kingdom of righteousness and between it
and the cruel, lustful barbarism of Islam there can be no peace. It
affords an outlet for one's outraged feelings as the cries of smitten
Armenia fill our ears, to read the woes once denounced by the prophets
of Jehovah against the gigantic wickedness of empires founded in blood.

The cry of the bittern is heard in the pools of Chaldea, and the
howling of jackals amid the ruins of Nineveh. The lions roam among
the deserted palaces of Babylon and it shall be desolate forever.

When the judgments of the Lord are visited upon the earth the nations
will learn righteousness. The ultimate issue can not be doubtful,
but still the cry is, "How long, O Lord? How long?"

There are three kingdoms which are chiefly concerned in this Eastern
question:--Turkey, England and Russia; and while they are debating
and manoeuvring, poor Armenia is being ground between the upper and
nether millstones of their mutual jealousies and ambitions and the
coming of the Kingdom of Righteousness is delayed.

These three nations have stood facing each other for more than a
century. Russia on the one side resisting the invasions, conquests
and atrocities of the Turk, England on the other his right hand of
strength in time of pressure. Throughout the entire history of the
Tartar invasions with all their bloody victories and cruel conquests
you see Russia rising again and again across his path like a stone
wall. But England, in spite of all professions to the contrary and in
spite of the earnest and solemn protests of her people against the
atrocities of the Sultan's reign--and never more hot or indignant
words have been uttered throughout England than during the last few
months--England has always stepped in just in time to save the Empire
from destruction and prolong its barbarous rule.

Is it not written large on the page of history that in 1798, when
Napoleon invaded Egypt, England came to the rescue and fought France to
save the Turk? In 1853, it joined France and fought Russia, when the
Czar attempted to protect the Greek Christians in Turkey: and by the
treaty of Paris restored to the Sultan the command of the Lower Danube,
shut out the Czar from his protectorate over the Danubian provinces
and closed the Black Sea against all ships of war. Worst of all the
treaty adopted the Porte into the family of European nations. Mr. James
Boyce, in a Century article on the Armenian question, says: "The other
nations of Europe now treat the Turks as if they were a civilized
state and even talk of respecting their susceptibilities." But they
have no title to be so treated and ought never to have been admitted
into the rank of civilized nations. Mr. Freeman describes them as
"merely a band of robbers encamped in a country whose inhabitants they
despoil." And the passionate words of Edmund Burke are quoted as he
exclaimed, "What have these worse than savages to do with the Powers
of Europe but to spread destruction and pestilence among them. The
ministers and the policy which shall give these people any weight in
Europe will deserve all the bans and curses of posterity."

Brave and noble words, but this is just what England forced on
Russia and Europe by the treaty of Paris. And again at the close of
the Russo-Turkish war, when the Porte was pleading for life and had
gladly accepted the San Stefano treaty, the wily Beaconsfield and the
present Premier stepped in and, by the Berlin treaty, handed back
to the tender mercies of the Turk more than forty thousand square
miles of territory and three million Bulgarian Christians. But what
do we see in 1895? England afraid in the critical moment to send her
despatch boat through the Dardanelles to insist that the promised
reforms in Armenia should be executed and that the massacres of
Christians should be stopped. Yet for this purpose had she secured
the cession of the island of Cyprus.

By declining at the last moment to give her consent to the forcing of
the Dardanelles, Russia most shrewdly outwitted England and humiliated
her before the world. England lost her prestige and the glory of
her power was tarnished when she failed, through fear of Russia,
to execute what before the world she had pledged herself to do.

We are not called upon to defend Russia's internal policy--her
argus-eyed espionage, the cruelties attending the exiling of
criminals to Siberia and deporting many suspects without even a form of
trial. But when Russia is called semi-civilized, or half-barbarous, and
is scarcely allowed to rank among the Christian nations of Europe--we
merely remark that she has no opium war laid to her charge, she never
blew mutinous sepoys from the mouths of shotted guns. She has never
taken possession of any Turkish territory under pretext of reforming
the internal administration of the Sublime Porte. If now, by shrewd
diplomacy, the Czar rules at Constantinople, while the Sultan reigns
but is in reality only his vassal, there is a decided checkmate on
the political chessboard of European politics since the last move
at Berlin.

If it be true then the Bosphorus is free to Russia, and the Czar is
at liberty to march Russian troops at any time into Armenia. Indeed
the rumor was that the excessive massacres ceased immediately when
the Czar said "enough."

England was brought into this humiliating situation by her own
hesitation to do the right when all Europe except Russia was a unit
with her in insisting that the Sultan must be brought to terms even
if they should be obliged to force the Dardanelles.

It is remembered that Mr. Terrell openly expressed the opinion
that if European pressure for reforms repulsive to the Turk, which
were to admit to the army a subject race should be successful,
a general massacre was sure to result unless concerted and armed
coöperation among the Powers prevented it. There was no such
coöperation, and accordingly on the very day that these reforms
were announced, Mr. Terrell demanded immediate military protection
for all missionaries, saying that if a single hair on the head of
one of our missionaries was injured the Sultan must answer for it:
and the protection was granted.

On December 19, 1895, the President transmitted to Congress a
communication from Secretary Olney on the Armenian outrages, in
response to the resolution of the Senate. Secretary Olney stated
that the number of citizens of the United States resident in the
Turkish Empire is not accurately known, but there are one hundred
and seventy-two American missionaries and dependents scattered over
Asia Minor. There are also a number of American citizens engaged
in business in the Turkish dominions, and others originally Turkish
subjects, but now naturalized citizens of the United States.

The bulk of this American element is to be found remote from our few
Consular establishments. He bore testimony to the energy and promptness
displayed by our Minister, Mr. Terrell, in taking measures for their
protection which had received the moral support of naval vessels of the
United States. He added that while the physical safety of the United
States citizens seemed to be assured, their property had been destroyed
at Harpoot and Marash, in the former case to the extent of $100,000.

The Turkish Government had been notified that it would "be held
responsible for the immediate and full satisfaction of all injuries
on that score." The loss of American property at Marash had not been
ascertained, but a like demand for adequate indemnity would be made
as soon as the facts were known.

Of the incidents contained in the correspondence in which the rights
and power of the United States to demand protection for its citizens
whether missionaries from this country or naturalized Armenians
returning to their native country, one is given that it may be seen
that the demands of our Government for justice will always be met
when backed by a warship.



THE CASE OF DR. CHRISTIE.

"On the night of the 4th of August last the premises of Dr. Christie,
principal of St. Paul's Institute, at Tarsus, who was spending the
summer months at the neighboring village of Namroun, were invaded
by an armed mob, obviously collected in pursuance of a preconcerted
plan, and an outrageous attack made on a defenceless native servant
of Dr. Christie and some students of the institute who were then at
Namroun. The authors of this brutal attack were abundantly identified,
and through the prompt intervention of the United States Consul at
Beirut and the Consular agent at Mersine--the nearest port--a number
of arrests were made. Notwithstanding the peremptory demands of the
United States Minister for simple justice the assailants, when taken
before the local Judge of Tarsus, were released.

"So grave did this miscarriage of justice appear that an early occasion
was taken to send the 'Marblehead' to Mersine to investigate the
incident and lend all proper moral aid to Consular representatives
of the United States in pressing for due redress. Their efforts to
this end were most cordially seconded by the Mutessarif (Prefect) of
Mersine and on October 28 last the accused, to the number of eight,
were brought to trial at Tarsus, and convicted upon the evidence,
subsequently confessing their guilt.

"Having established his rights, and in view of the dismissal of the
Tarsus Judge who had conducted the preliminary inquest, and a promise
to degrade the incompetent Mudir of Namroun, Dr. Christie interceded
with the Court for clemency to the individual culprits, upon whom
light sentences of imprisonment were passed. The signal rebuke
administered in high places where responsibility really existed and
was abused, coupled with the establishment of the important principle
that American domicile in Turkey may not be violated with impunity,
renders the conclusion of this incident satisfactory."

The correspondence closed with the statement by Secretary Olney that a
telegram just received from Minister Terrell, under date of the 16th,
expressed the gravest apprehensions concerning the ultimate fate
of American citizens in the disturbed region unless the appalling
massacres can be stopped by the united efforts of the Christian
Powers. He saw no hope, however, of a European conceit to that end. He
said that if the missionaries wished to leave Turkey he could procure
their transportation to Christian ports; if the men wished to remain
he could get escorts for all to the seacoast, whereupon the men could
return; but he added that the women and children should quit Turkey.



HEROISM OF MISSIONARIES.

The missionaries of the American Board throughout Anatolia declined
to follow the advice of minister Terrell and seek a place of safety,
feeling it to be their duty to care for the property of the Boards,
to preserve the schools from being scattered and destroyed, and by
their presence restrain the impulses of fanatical Moslems and make
safer the conditions of native Christians. "If we fall martyrs to
our desire to prevent horrible massacres so be it. God has plenty of
workers to take our places."

Nobly did they stand in their places protecting lives and property
as far as possible.

At Oorfa there were but two lady teachers Miss Shattuck and Miss
Mellinger. They were four days' journey from any other American
missionaries. But when the massacre began they threw open the mission
premises and through all that reign of horror they preserved two
hundred and forty-six women and children from assault and death.

More than three thousand men, women and children, who had fled to the
Armenian church suffered most horrible cruelties before the church was
set on fire: most of them were burned alive. Some sixty or a hundred
escaped by secret stairs. This large stone church, now purified,
is used as a hospital for some eight hundred Armenians and these two
women have sole care of them. What heroism!

But more than that the Sublime Porte had learned the temper of our
government and knew that damages would have to be paid for all mission
property destroyed, hence the Governor of the city sent a double guard
of soldiers to protect the premises from fire or assault. The mob was
never so desperate as not to realize that they must obey orders. This
fact makes the responsibility of the Powers the more fearful as the
pressure of an ultimatum at Constantinople backed by a war fleet would
have been instantly felt to the extremity of the remotest vilayet.

At Harpoot the bullets fell thick around the missionaries, but
they were divinely protected, and saved the lives of many of their
scholars; at Marash, the lady missionaries stood bravely in front of
their students in the college, ready to die, if the call came; but
they were unharmed. "I thought our time had come," wrote one worthy
missionary, afterward, and he added, "and if we were to lay down our
lives there, we felt that we would not have chosen it otherwise." But
they were preserved for still further duty in the Lord's vineyard,
and it is largely due to their humane efforts to-day that any relief
work is being done in Armenia at all.

Not one of the American missionaries deserted his post, not even one
of the women missionaries. Never has there been a time in the history
of Turkey when a brave and faithful missionary counted for so much,
and never has the power of the United States counted for as much.

The presence of these Christian men and women has been a comfort and
protection to thousands of those afflicted, frightened and smitten
people. Many a martyr has been strengthened to bear the awful
agonies of torture by their devotion in the midst of most terrible
scenes. Alone has some noble American woman dragged from the hands of
a mob a young girl screaming for life. Mr. Wingate and Miss Burrage
were alone in the city of Cæsarea on that fearful 30th of November and
nobly did they defend the persecuted, saving many lives. Mr. Wingate
took a policeman, went to a Turkish house and demanded a bride and a
daughter, who had been carried off and got them both. The people in
all that region are ready to kiss his feet.

But time would fail to tell you of the noble deeds wrought by brave,
devoted women at Sivas, Hadjin, Adana, Oorfa and among the villages
of Mesopotamia. Only the recording angels at the last day can fully
recite their deeds of heroism. At the great crisis in their life's
work, nobly did they fulfill their highest, holiest duty.



DUTY OF THE POWERS.

Action of the United States Senate--a protest against European apathy
in not compelling Turkey to observe the Berlin Treaty:

On January 22, 1896, Mr. Cullom, from the Senate committee on foreign
relations, reported a resolution in the Senate relative to the
Armenian troubles. It recited the provision of the treaty of Berlin
as to religious freedom and resolved that it is the imperative duty
of the United States to express the hope that the European powers
will bring about the carrying out of the treaty, and requested the
President to transmit this resolution to the Powers.



CULLOM'S ARMENIAN RESOLUTION.

Mr. Cullom (Rep., Ill.) reported from the Senate committee on foreign
relations the following Armenian resolution:

"Whereas, The supplementary treaty of Berlin of July 13, 1878, between
the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain, Germany, Austria, France, Italy,
and Russia contains the following provisions:

"'LXI.--The Sublime Porte undertakes to carry out without further
delay the ameliorations and reforms demanded by local requirements
in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians and to guarantee their
security against the Circassians and Kurds. It will periodically
make known the steps taken to this effect, to the powers, and will
superintend their application.'

"'LXII.--The Sublime Porte having expressed the wish to maintain
the principle of religious liberty, to give it the widest scope, the
contracting parties take note of this spontaneous declaration. In no
part of the Ottoman Empire shall difference of religion be alleged
against an individual as a ground for exclusion or incapacity as
regards the discharge of civil and political rights, admission
to the police service, functions and honors, and the exercise
of the different professions and industries. All persons shall be
admitted without distinction of religion to give evidence before the
tribunals. Liberty and outward exercise of all forms of worship are
assured to all, and no hindrance shall be offered either to hierarchial
organization of the various communions or to their relations with their
spiritual chiefs. The right of official protection by the diplomatic
and consular agents of the powers in Turkey is recognized both as
regards the above mentioned persons and their religious, charitable,
and other establishments in the holy places;' and,

"Whereas, The extent and object of the above cited provisions of
said treaty are to place the Christian subjects of the Porte under
the protection of the other signatories thereto, and to secure to
such Christian subjects full liberty of religious worship and belief,
the equal benefit of the laws, and all the privileges and immunities
belonging to any subject of the Turkish empire; and,

"Whereas, By said treaty the Christian powers parties thereto, having
established under the consent of Turkey their right to accomplish
and secure the above recited objects; and,

"Whereas, The American people, in common with all Christian people
everywhere, have beheld with horror the recent appalling outrages and
massacres of which the Christian population of Turkey have been made
the victims,

"Resolved, by the Senate of the United States, the House of
Representatives concurring, That it is an imperative duty in the
interests of humanity to express the earnest hope that the European
concert brought about by the treaty referred to may speedily be given
its just effects in such decisive measures as shall stay the hand of
fanaticism and lawless violence and as shall secure to the unoffending
Christians of the Turkish Empire all the rights belonging to them,
both as men and as Christians and as beneficiaries of the explicit
provisions of the treaty above recited.

"Resolved, That the President be requested to communicate these
resolutions to the governments of Great Britain, Germany, Austria,
France, Italy, and Russia.

"Resolved, further, That the Senate of the United States, the House
of Representatives concurring, will support the President in the
most vigorous action he may take for the protection and security
of American citizens in Turkey, and to obtain redress for injuries
committed on the persons or property of such citizens."

Mr. Cullom said the resolution was reported by the unanimous vote of
the committee, and he desired immediate action.

Mr. Gray (Dem., Del.) said he did not anticipate any objection to
the resolution, but it was of such importance that there should be
time for consideration of the terms of the resolution.

Mr. Cullom acceded to this suggestion, giving notice that he would
ask for action to-morrow.

On the 24th, the resolutions were brought up and Senator Cullom
took the floor and spoke of the serious conditions prevailing
in Turkey. He said that he was appalled by the carnival of blood
prevailing. A massacre of innocence, unparalleled for ages, had been
perpetrated. The evidence of the bloody enormities was given by all
classes and nationalities until it was beyond the slightest doubt. A
Turkish army had bayonetted, robbed, murdered and flayed alive the
people of Armenia. There was no war, but a pitiless, merciless tornado
of ruin, bloodshed and death. The demon of fanaticism had been let
loose. There was a responsibility somewhere. It did not rest with the
slavish ruler of Turkey, the Sultan. Back of this were the disputes
of the countries of the European alliance, seeking their territorial
advantages. These countries were responsible. The Sultan was but a
puppet in their hands. It was a matter of regret and embarrassment,
continued Mr. Cullom, that the policy of the United States was such as
to prevent the sending of a fleet to Turkish waters to put a stop to
the bloody rule prevailing. But Europe had assumed the obligation of
protection to Armenia. The people of the United States were intensely
interested in seeing the obligation executed and the purpose of
these resolutions was to plead with the greatest earnestness for the
protection of Armenia. It was amazing to people of the United States
to witness this appalling slaughter and at the same time to see the
indifference of the Christian powers. There was a double obligation
upon England and yet nothing had been done to stay the hand of the
Sultan, except by fruitless diplomatic correspondence. No event of the
centuries called so loudly to the civilized world as this slaughter
in Turkey, the greatest, the Senator believed, in the history of
the world.

Then Senator Frye, of Maine, arose and addressing the chair began an
address that electrified an audience which constantly grew until the
galleries were crowded.

In the midst of his speech with intensely dramatic earnestness and
thrilling effect Senator Frye cried aloud: "I would gladly have this
Congress send a memorial to Russia, saying, 'Take Armenia under your
protection, and the United States will stand by you with all its power
and resources.'" The words are strong but the manner and emphasis
of the orator cannot be described. Every Senator upon the floor gave
expression of approval. Many of them clapped their hands. The people
in the galleries broke forth in prolonged applause, which the voice
of the Vice President found difficulty in checking.

The scene was one of the most dramatic ever witnessed in the
Senate. Again and again Senator Frye gave expression to aggressive
views of a similar character, and from beginning to close of his
address he received the closest attention and frequent applause. He
declared that Great Britain is no friend of this country, nor of any
country. Great Britain should have taken part in the suppression
of the slaughters in Armenia, but she has not done so. The other
countries of Europe are equally derelict.

Mr. Frye declared the United States had never given its assent to
the agreement of the European powers closing the Dardanelles, and
proceeded with much vigor and earnestness to say that if necessary in
order to protect American citizens he would order the American ships
to sail up the Dardanelles, regardless of the European alliance,
and when in front of Constantinople demand the protection of our
people within the Sultan's dominions. The resolutions were adopted
with great applause without a dissenting vote.

The action of our government has been energetic and effective in
preserving the lives of the American missionaries in Anatolia. It
has been conclusively shown that the Sultan has a considerate regard
to an emphatic demand when backed by a battleship. It is a serious
question whether the time has not come for the United States to rise
to the higher question of privilege, and demand in the name of common
humanity that the massacres shall cease and the Christian populations
be protected according to the provisions of the Berlin Treaty, and the
former promises of the Sublime Porte, "that no one shall be compelled
to change his religion."

The latest reports from Constantinople asserted that there have
been many thousands of forced conversions to Islam and that scores
of Armenians who had accepted Islam but did not live up to all its
requirements with sufficient zeal to please the Turks have been put
to death since the wholesale massacres have ceased.

How much longer can human nature stand the strain? What
greater--greater outrages can be conceived of to rouse the Christian
conscience, than have filled our ears for months? It was published in
London as very important news that Sir Philip Currie was the first
Ambassador invited this year to take "iftar" at the Palace. The
audience lasted half an hour and was very cordial. "It is understood
that the Sultan renewed his assurances regarding the execution
of reforms." Thereupon the English Government washes its hands in
Pilate's basin and rids itself of all responsibility.

If we haven't any treaty rights in this matter in God's name let
us assert the higher law of human rights--the right of every man to
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let us declare through
Congress our judgment to the Porte that the hour has come for armed
interference in the cause of outraged humanity.

Mr. Chauncey M. Depew having been invited to deliver an address in
Detroit, Mich., in the interest of Armenia, not being able to attend,
wrote a letter to Gen. Alger, the chairman of the meeting, from which
we quote as follows:

"The air is full just now of wars and rumors of wars. The fighting
blood of all the peoples of all civilized countries seems to be
warmed to the battle point. But, while there is a great and dangerous
excitement over a boundary line in Venezuela and a filibustering
expedition in South Africa, the peoples of Europe and of the United
States remain unmoved and undisturbed by the burnings, sackings,
slaughter and every form of savage murder and lust perpetrated upon the
Christians of Armenia simply because of their adherence to the faith of
Christendom. I have seen congregations weep at the presentation of the
tortures and massacres of Christian martyrs under Nero and Diocletian
two thousand years ago. Where are the tears for Christian men tortured
and killed, Christian women outraged and slain, Christian children
tossed upon the bayonets of a savage soldiery yesterday, last week
and last month, with the frightful assurance that they will continue
to be slaughtered and outraged and tortured and tossed upon bayonets
to-morrow, the day after and next month and for months to come?

"Much as I believe in peace and its blessings, much as I detest war
and its horrors, much as I feel that great provocations and the most
imminent dangers to the liberty or the existence of the territories or
the safety of the citizens of the country will justify an appeal to
the arbitrament of arms, nevertheless I do feel that by a concert of
action of Christian nations, of which the United States should be one,
such a presentation should be made to the Sultan and his advisers as
would stop these horrors and save our Christian brethren."

The case of Rev. Mr. Knapp, of Bitlis, who is to be sent to
Constantinople for trial on the charge of sedition, will afford a
splendid occasion for a naval display. Let the question be opened up
whether these treaty obligations of the Porte mean anything outside
the reach of a warship. How can we maintain our traditions as the
friend of the oppressed and downtrodden of earth if we let the brutal
fanatical Sultan riot still in plunder, lust and blood?

Did we care for the poor manacled negro undergoing the horrors of
the Middle Passage? Did we have any interest in healing "the open
sore of the world?" Did we once have spirit enough to demand of the
Bey of Algiers the release of all Christian slaves, the abandonment
of the piracy he had practiced for years, and compel him to forego
the tribute exacted from all nations?

And have we no voice, no heart, no sympathy, no power to demand that
the Sultan shall stop his awful carnage of blood and prove before
the bar of all Christendom by what right he any longer shall reign?

We can do this because the Eastern Question does not exist for
us. Higher questions of humanity demand the first consideration. We
can interfere in defence of the lives and property of Christians
in Turkey without violating the Monroe Doctrine and would merit the
gratitude of Europe and the world, if the final decision should be
that the Sultan had forfeited by the slaughter of one hundred thousand
men, women and children with the fiendish accompaniments of outrage,
violation, torture, all right to be treated as anything else than an
enemy of humanity, and a wild beast to be caged and gazed upon with
execration and horror.

Are not the lives and happiness of a half million Armenians left
homeless and penniless and who still tremble with fear and terror
at the sight of their relentless foes of more consequence than the
boundary line of Venezuela? And yet for the location of an imaginary
line the President's message came perilously near being a threat
of war.

Had the President written as strong a message as that to the Sultan
in November or December, 1895, and sent it with an escort of three
battleships under the Stars and Stripes (stars for heroes, stripes for
tyrants) demanding that the massacres cease at once or Yildiz Palace
would be bombarded, the telegraph wires might have melted under the
hot haste with which every Governor had been ordered to call off the
hounds of hell from their battening on human blood. (I beg pardon of
the hounds, hyenas, tigers and all other wild beasts for using their
names in simile or metaphor to describe the swiftness, eagerness or
ferocity of Kurd or Turk. It is only the poverty of language that
makes such use allowable.)

But there is another thing we can do and England has shown us how
to do it, scores of times, if not hundreds of times, in her own
history. The American Board has suffered the loss of hundreds of
thousands of dollars in the destruction of missionary property;
American citizens have suffered great money losses and their work
has been broken up in many quarters; many churches in all parts of
Anatolia, built wholly or in part with contributions from America,
have been laid in ruins; they have gone down in ashes and pillage under
the trampling hordes of Islam; the cost of relief has been enormous
and the extra cost to all the missionaries has been very great, to
say nothing of all the indignities to which they have been subjected
(and in British estimation outrage upon the dignity of an Englishman
is placed at very high figures.) Now let these damages be tabulated
at full value and the bill presented to the Sublime Porte payable on
demand and let us land a few marines at Stamboul and open out a few
port holes upon the Palace and wake Mr. Sultan to the fact that it
is quite as serious an affair to pluck the feathers of the American
eagle as it is to twist the tail of the British lion.

As Mr. Talmage has said in his own inimitable style: "When the English
lion and the Russian bear put their paws on that Turkey, the American
eagle ought to put in its bill."

Seriously this demand ought to be made with such energy, decision
and despatch with such a demand for adequate protection and guarantee
of inviolability of domicile both as to churches, colleges, schools
and private residences of missionaries with a demand for necessary
papers for all the consuls we may choose to send into Anatolia, that
the Sultan would have very little time for the next few weeks to talk
to his three hundred and sixty-five wives, or lay out any new plans
for reforming the Armenians out of existence.

Another thing is possible, and possible only to America, viz: The
calling of an International Conference--say on the Island of Cyprus,
which England holds as a pledge that she will see that necessary
reforms shall be executed--to discuss the further existence of the
power of the Porte.

After the battle of Waterloo the Powers of Europe dealt with Napoleon
as an enemy of the human race, of the peace and prosperity of every
realm and not liking to take him off suddenly, they took him off to
the island of St. Helena, where English ships and soldiers guarded
him from all danger till the angel of death, black or white, called
him before a higher tribunal.

There would be some grim justice in the retribution if the Sultan
should be exiled to the island of Cyprus where he could be supported
without cost to Europe according to Article III. of the Annex to the
Cyprus Convention. It is understood "that England will pay to the
Porte whatever is the present excess of revenue over expenditure in
the island."

One gunboat could guard the island, and Abdul-Hamid II., after whom
there should be no III., could dwell in peaceful security, unless
through his seared Islamic conscience some dreams of blood should
come, or shrieks of outraged womanhood be heard above the waves of
the resounding sea.

It has been said that if the contents of the Blue Book on Armenia were
known Lord Salisbury would be mobbed in the streets of London. The
Christian Herald, of New York, has also stated that a number of
official documents has come into its possession which form such an
indictment against the Turk as has never yet been framed in the Saxon
tongue. "It may never be necessary to drag this shameful exhibit
to the light, nor will it ever be done save as a last resort in the
interest of justice and mercy."

As nothing which has yet been told has touched the springs of power
in Europe or America, save to start a few rills of generosity for
pity's sake and a few tears which a dainty lace handkerchief could
wipe away, it would seem as if justice to the Turk and mercy to the
Armenians demanded that these official documents, whether in England
or America, should be given to the light, if perchance at last the
nations of Christendom might be roused to action before the country
shall be utterly laid waste and the only service left us shall be to
lay a cross upon the grave of Bleeding Armenia.

Armenia has stood the only Christian race and nation in Asia, for
more than a thousand years, despite the oft repeated threat, Islam or
Death. At any hour, in any age its glorious roll of martyrs would have
been filled up and its blood would have ceased to flow, if it had been
willing to deny the Christ and swear allegiance to the false Prophet.

The History of this Martyr Nation that has been written in tears and
blood as thus rehearsed to you will, I trust, not have been told in
vain. May the voice of an outraged humanity be heard above the din
of all conflicting political alliances demanding mercy and justice
for the perishing.

I believe our indignation would burst into fiercest flame if these
awful atrocities could but be realized; and to noble, free and
Christian America might be the honor of leading in a glorious crusade
for the deliverance of crushed, desolated and bleeding Armenia from
the accursed rule of Islam.



                                THE END.



APPENDIX.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIONS.


Massacre of Armenians by Police, Softas and
Kurds.--Frontispiece. Sept. 30th, 1895, and the following days will
long be remembered as a Reign of Terror in Constantinople. Scarcely
an Armenian family but mourns the loss of some of its members. The
Mahommedans seemed worked to such a pitch of fury, that mere death
was too mild a punishment to inflict on their victims.

They battered the heads of the Armenians with bludgeons, mutilated the
unhappy creatures in every possible way, and left them lying about
the streets in ghastly heaps. Many lived thus for hours in horrible
agonies, no one daring to succor them.

Great and Little Ararat from the North-east.--Page 19. The village of
Aralykh, from which the view of the mountain is taken, is merely a row
of wooden barracks, neatly painted, with a smith's and carpenter's
shop, cottages for the soldiers scattered about it, and a few trees
for shade and shelter.

The situation is striking. The mountain seems quite close, but in
reality its true base is fully twelve miles distant. As you look
up into the great black chasm you can see the cornice of ice, 300
or 400 feet in thickness, lying at a height of about 14,000 feet,
and above it a steep slope of snow, pierced here and there by rocks,
running up to the summit.

About seven miles to the south from Great Mountain, rises the
singularly elegant peak of Little Ararat, which in the autumn is free
from snow.

Armenian Types and Costumes.--Page 38. The costumes of the better class
of Armenian women, before these terrible days, were very picturesque
and some quite costly.

They are fond of personal adornment, and wear silver coins about the
head and neck; sometimes the ornaments are of gold, very handsome and
expensive. The costume of the men varies considerably according to
the province and occupation. Many of the merchant class have adopted
the European dress almost entirely.

Monastic Rock-Chambers at Gueremeh.--Page 55. The mountains in
this neighborhood of Kaiserieh are remarkable for the numerous
rock-chambers and caves, which were filled with hermits in the early
days of Christianity.

In one valley, about one mile in length and one thousand feet
across, a gorge opens out about five hundred feet deep. The cliffs
fall steeply away, sometimes with a sheer descent; sometimes in a
succession of terraces, and from them rise up pyramids and pinnacles
of rock; the wonders of the valley. On both the face of the cliffs,
and in these detached masses there are caves and niches, all the work
of human hands. At one time the whole valley was the abode of a vast
monastic community.

The Sultan in the Park of the Yildiz Palace.--Page 74. The Sultan
rises at six o'clock, and labors with clerks and secretaries until
noon, when he breakfasts. Then he goes for a drive, or a row on the
lake in the palace park, and returning gives audience until eight. At
that hour he dines as a rule, alone.

The Sultan's food is prepared by chosen persons, cooked in sealed
vessels, within locked rooms, and tasted before it is served to
him. The water he drinks is brought from a distance in sealed barrels.

Sometimes the Sultan, who is fond of light operatic music, plays
duets on the piano with his younger children. For other recreations,
he studies odd machines and novelties of inventions.

He never sleeps two successive nights in the same room, and when the
fear of death is strongest upon him, he goes to a chamber reached by
a ladder, which he draws up after him.

Types of Softas.--Page 91. At Cairo, in Egypt, are the most famous
universities of Islam. To these schools, students flock from all
quarters of the Mahommedan world.

These Softas are the most fanatical of the Moslems; their entire
training is one of bitter intolerance and hatred of Christianity;
they have been the inciters to riots in many cities in the Turkish
Empire, notably in that of Constantinople, in September, 1895. The
number of Softas in the Empire, is said to be about 30,000--8,000 of
them being in Stamboul.

His majesty has at times sought to have some of them return to their
native provinces, but to this, great opposition has been shown, so
that he was obliged to abandon his first plan and get rid of them
quietly. From time to time numbers of them have been put on board of
transports for unknown destinations.

"The Turks are upon Us." A Panic in Stamboul.--Page 110. While the
photograph, from which this illustration is reproduced, was taken in
Stamboul, it would answer equally well for the panic that prevailed
among Armenian merchants, everywhere, whenever the cry was raised that
the feared and hated Turk was coming. Costly merchandise was quickly
thrust behind doors, that were as quickly barred against the common
foe, and children were hastily summoned from the streets. That such
scenes have their ludicrous side, is evidenced by the upsetting of the
young man who, in his haste to gain a place of safety, has trodden
upon the trailing end of one of the rugs which the venerable dealer
in such merchandise, is in equal haste to place beyond the reach of
the marauders.

The New Grand Vizier on his way to the Sublime Porte.--Page 127. The
renowned office of grand vizier, in the realms of the Ottoman Turk,
is a very precarious and dangerous post. Rifaat Pasha, the latest
appointee, is the nominal head of whatever government may be supposed
to exist at the Porte. He has been many years in the civil service,
and has been Governor, successively, of the former Danubian Provinces,
of Salonica, of Smyrna, and of Monastir, and latterly Minister of
the Interior.

Explaining the Inflammatory Placards.--Page 146. There is a cry
for reform in the system of government in Turkey, and revolutionary
placards are posted up almost daily in the streets of Stamboul. The
police specially patrol the streets at night with the object of
tearing down these seditious utterances. The illustration shows a man
of education, explaining to some of his more ignorant fellow-citizens,
the meaning of one of these placards, that has escaped the notice of
the police.

Taking Armenian Prisoners to the Grand Zaptieh Prison.--Page 163. Over
the portal of the Grand Zaptieh Prison, Stamboul, might well be
inscribed "All hope abandon, ye who enter here." The engraving gives
a forcible illustration of the brutality exhibited by the Turkish
soldiers and police towards their prisoners, whom, in many instances,
they literally dragged to their place of confinement.

British Cabinet Debating the Armenian Question.--Page 182. The
councils of the English Government are more important to the welfare
of the world than the decision of any other European power. But
British interests--interest on Turkish bonds held in London--have
been paramount to all questions of righteousness and humanity; and
Bleeding Armenia cries in vain for deliverance from the accursed rule
of the Turk.

The British Mediterranean Fleet.--Page 199. When the squadrons of the
great powers began to assemble in Eastern waters, it seemed for awhile
as if the day of reckoning for Turkey had surely come. The British
fleet is seen in the harbor of Salonica, ready for action. At this
time the French ironclads were in the Piraeus, the German warships off
Smyrna, the Italian and Austro-Hungarian squadrons had started for
the East, and Russia's fleet was close at hand in the Black Sea. A
single warship in front of Constantinople would have restored order
in Armenia; none were sent.

Types and Costumes of Kurdish Gentlemen.--Page 218. The Kurdish
costumes are picturesque and nearly all the tribesmen are magnificent
horsemen. They are always formidably armed. They are very cruel; fierce
in battle; merciless in torture and outrage of their victims. They
have neither books nor schools; not one in ten thousand can read.

A Common Scene in the Streets of Erzeroum.--Page 235. A camel caravan
from Persia passing through to Trebizond. Some of these caravans
consist of as many as eight hundred camels--estimating the value
of a camel at $150, which is moderate, we have the sum of $120,000
as the worth of the caravan, without counting the vast stores of
merchandise. This immense trade is for the time destroyed and the
inhabitants of Erzeroum reduced to great extremities.

Armenian Women Weaving Turkish Carpets.--Page 254. In the reign of
Edward VI. we read that before communion-tables were placed, "Carpets
full gay, that wrought were in the Orient." The greater part of the
real Turkey carpets are manufactured in the province of Aidin. No
large manufactory exists; the carpets are the work of families and
households. The illustration shows Armenian women engaged at their
primitive looms.

Armenian Peasants Fleeing to Russia.--Page 271. Fortunate indeed is
the family that could escape into Russia and save their lives. Yet,
across the borders there is no peace and prosperity. Thousands are
on the mountains, or out on the plains escaping from the sword and
bayonet and spear of the Turk and Kurd. Their misery, as they wander
in rags, or creep about the ruins of their villages, is appalling.

Armenian Women, Province of Van.--Page 290. Besides trade and
agriculture, the inhabitants of this province are engaged in a few
industries, such as the making of coarse cotton chintz, a highly
prized water-proof fabric of goat hair and a thick woolen cloth called
shayah. The women assist in all the labors of the men, particularly
in the field, where entire families may be seen.

Armenian Mountaineer of Shadokh.--Page 307. This illustration gives a
good idea of the sturdy manliness of these people, who, if permitted
to bear arms and defend themselves, would soon deliver their villages
from plunder, and their wives and children from outrage and misery.

Grand Mosque and Interior at Urfah.--Page 324. Urfah is the present
name for Edessa, once the capital of Armenia--the Ur of the Chaldees.

There was a Christian church at Edessa as early as 200 A. D., and
it was famous for its schools of learning, which were large and
flourishing. A great tower is still standing, from which, five times
a-day, the Muezzin calls Mahommedans to prayer, marks the site of
the great Christian seminary of the fourth century.

The Turks pay thousands of dollars to the mosque for the privilege
of being buried in this place.

Passage Boat on the Arras.--Page 343. Ferriage and transportation by
water in Asia Minor is still carried on in primitive fashion. The
illustration shows an unwieldy craft, propelled by long and
heavy oars. The usual shape of the boats is much like that of a
coffin. The submerged portion is coated within and without with hot
bitumen. Frequently, when the craft arrives at her destination, she
is broken up, and the bitumen, with which she is coated, is sold,
as well as the cargo.

Arresting the Murderers of Armenians.--Page 362. These arrests have
only been a matter of form, and only because some foreign consuls
may have demanded it.

Turkish justice, outside the centers of European influence, rarely
ever punishes either Kurd or Turk for outrage, plunder or murder,
if only the Armenians are the sufferers.

Sketches of Armenia and Kurdestan.--Page 379. A group of views showing
the interior of a Kurdish tent, in which three chiefs are partaking
of coffee; a soldier, in picturesque dress, standing on guard,
or, to salute his superior officer; a valley of surpassing beauty,
with snow-capped mountains in the distance; a Kurdish encampment,
with houses in the background, and a view of Sinna, the capital of
Persian-Kurdestan.

Refugees and Cavasses at an Armenian Church.--Page 398. After the first
riots in Constantinople, the various Armenian churches were filled with
refugees who could hardly be persuaded to leave their sanctuary. After
repeated assurances of protection by the dragomans of the six European
embassies, the refugees returned to their homes. As they left each
church, they were drawn up in line and searched for arms.

A Prayer for Revenge.--Page 415. The heart-rending agonies of the
martyr have died out, and his soul has gone up in anguish before the
throne. The aged father and brother have been favored in being able
to secure the body for burial. But how can they pray? The Turkish
soldiers cried out as they tortured the dying man, "Where is your
God, now? Why doesn't he deliver you?" and filled his ears with awful
blasphemies in his last moments.

Massacre of Armenians at Erzeroum.--Page 434. The massacre at Erzeroum
began October 30, 1895, in the Serai, the chief government building in
which the Vali and his chief officials reside. The massacre started by
the shooting of the priest of Tevrick by Turkish soldiers when he and
other Armenians were at the Serai trying to gain audience of the Vali.

Burying the Bodies after the Massacre at Erzeroum.--Page 451. This
illustration was reproduced from a photograph taken in the Armenian
cemetery, two days after the massacre. Two rows of dead, thirty-five
deep, had already been laid down and partially covered with earth by
laborers, when the photograph was taken. Four men had just deposited
another corpse, and so started a third row. The open spaces between
the bodies were filled up with skulls, thigh-bones, and other human
remains disturbed by digging this grave, which was fifty-three feet
square, for the reception of the slaughtered Armenians.

A Grim Corner of the Cemetery, Erzeroum.--Page 470. About 1,000
Armenians were inhumanly butchered in the massacre of October 30,
1895. The illustration shows how their corpses were laid out in
the cemetery, waiting until one large common grave could be dug for
their reception.

Principal Street and Bazaar of Erzeroum.--Page 480. Erzeroum is a town
of great antiquity. In 1201, the time of its capture by the Seejuks,
140,000 of its inhabitants were said to have been lost. Recent
estimates of the population are from 50,000 to 100,000, of which,
probably, two-thirds are Armenians. The circular-towers, shown in the
illustration, with their conical tops, add a certain picturesqueness
to the view, and are popularly reputed to be the tombs of holy men
who died in the fourteenth century.

The Prison at Erzeroum.--Page 481. To describe the sufferings of a
Turkish prison is impossible. It combines the stifling air of the
Black-Hole of Calcutta, the stench of an open sewer, the poison of
a yellow fever ward, the pangs of starvation, besides the horrors of
the Inferno when Moslem criminals are shut in with Christian prisoners.

"It is a living grave, a visible hell, a world without God." Men are
suffering in nakedness and rags, and dying of hunger and disease,
but there is no one to pity.

Trebizond.--Page 491. This city, the principal seaport for the
Armenians, is on the southern coast of the Black sea, and has
a population of about forty-five thousand. The old walls are now
ruinous, but the engraving shows how formidable they must have been
originally. Many Armenians were massacred at Trebizond in the autumn
of 1895.

Town and Citadel of Van.--Page 502. Van, the capital of the province of
the same name, lies in an extremely fertile plain--one of the gardens
of the East. Its low, flat-roofed houses are enclosed within a double
line of walls and ditches on the three sides not protected by the
rock which rises 300 feet sheer above the plain, and is crowned by
the citadel. In this rock are numerous galleries and crypts which
probably date back to the ninth century. The city of Van is one mile
from the shore of the lake to which it gives its name.


Armenian Refugees at the Labor Bureau at Van.--Page 503. At this
point Dr. Grace N. Kimball has, so far, been able to employ over
900, representing 4,500 souls, keeping them from starvation by her
efforts. Thousands of famished, almost naked creatures have toiled
barefoot to the city. Her factory has also been a school of honesty to
those employed, and the work is a shining example of clean, upright,
business methods and Yankee executive ability.



NOTES


[1] The above description is taken literally from a report of the
British Vice-Consul of Erzeroum. Copies are in possession of the
diplomatic representatives of the Powers at Constantinople. The scene
occurred in the village of Semal before the massacres, during the
normal condition of things.

[2] The Koords are divided into Torens or nobles, who lead in war time,
and possess and enjoy in peace; and Rayahs, who sacrifice their lives
for their lords in all raids and feuds, and are wholly dependent on
them at all times. A rayah's life may be taken by a toren with almost
the same impunity as a Christian's.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bleeding Armenia - Its history and horrors under the curse of Islam" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home