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Title: An account of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia: with various political observations relating to them
Author: Wilkinson, William Cleaver
Language: English
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                          _THE PRINCIPALITIES_
                        WALLACHIA AND MOLDAVIA:
                           RELATING TO THEM.

                        BY WILLIAM WILKINSON, ESQ.


 Dobbiamo considerare queste due provincie, Wallachia e Moldavia a guisa
      di due nave in un mar’ tempestoso, dove-rare volte si gode la
   tranquilita e la calma.       DELCHIARO—_Revoluxione di Wallachia_.


                  Printed by Strahan and Spottiswoode,
                        Printers-Street, London.


Amongst the nations of Europe most given to letters, none have so
largely contributed to the general list of publications, relating to the
condition and progress of the different countries of the world, as the
English; and no travellers possess to the same degree as they do the
love of describing them, however numerous the accounts that have
preceded the period of their own experimental observations. Their
journals, nevertheless, hardly ever fail to create interest, and the
least share of novelty in form or matter induces the less travelling
class of their countrymen to read them with pleasure.

Turkey and Egypt in particular have long been favourite themes; and
indeed the Ottoman empire in every point of view, whether topographical,
historical, administrative, religious, moral, political, military, or
commercial, offers an inexhaustible subject for investigation, and an
endless excitement to curiosity. No regular and minute description has,
however, yet been undertaken of two of its most important and curious
provinces, those which divide the principal part of the ancient kingdom
of Dacia, under the modern denomination of Wallachia and Moldavia,
although in the renewed existence of Greek governments exercising most
of the prerogatives of independency, in the struggles of two nations
between a strong remnant of Dacian barbarism and the influence of modern
civilisation, and in a country comprehending within its own boundaries
all the productive resources which fall but separately to the share of
other countries, sufficient matter may be found to render them a subject
by no means unworthy of notice.

These considerations have encouraged me to write the following pages
with the view of laying them before the public. An official residence of
some years in the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, afforded me
the most ample opportunities of observation on every thing they contain
most interesting, and I have endeavoured to make an accurate and
satisfactory description of them. With regard to their history, I have
only dwelt upon the most remarkable events, and have merely given it
that extent to which its degree of importance seems entitled. I was
apprehensive that longer and more minute details might be found tedious
and unnecessary.

I regret, however, that at the time I wrote this account, I was not
sufficiently prepared to enter into further particulars with respect to
the minerals with which those countries abound; I intend, if I return to
them, to bestow as much attention as possible to that particular object,
and to make it the subject of a future separate treatise.

I am aware that my present undertaking is deserving of an abler pen; but
as the character of nations can only be properly understood after some
length of residence among them, I trust that the circumstances which
place it to my lot, will make the apology of my intrusion, and become a
motive of indulgence to its deficiencies in literary merit.

As Wallachia was the country of my fixed residence, I naturally chose it
for the principal scene of my observations; and indeed the history of
the two principalities is throughout so intimately connected, the form
of their respective governments, the language, manners, and customs of
the inhabitants, have ever been so much alike, that a description of the
one renders a distinct account of the other superfluous.

The political importance to which these two provinces have risen since
the reign of the ambitious Catherine, has given them a place of no small
consequence in the general balance of Europe. Most of the European
cabinets keep an eye upon them from the same motives, though with
different views; but politics alone have hitherto brought them into
notice, and philosophically or philanthropically speaking, it must be
confessed that a share of attention, directed by common justice and
humanity, was equally due to their definitive fate.

I have taken an opportunity of introducing into my appendix, a very
curious account of the military system of the Ottoman empire, translated
from a Turkish manuscript by an English gentleman, who possesses a
perfect knowledge of that language, and who has favoured me with it. I
have added to it some explanatory notes, rendered necessary by the
metaphorical, and in many parts, obscure style of the original writing,
and which my friend has purposely translated in a literal sense, in
order not to divest it of that originality of narration which
constitutes a great share of its interest.

The work was written in 1804, by order of the then reigning Sultan,
Selim III., with the view of explaining the important advantages of the
new military institution, called Nizam-y-Gedid, by which the Ottoman
armies were trained into a regular form of discipline.

This institution, however necessary, and although strongly supported by
all the higher classes, was so violently opposed by the clamorous
janissaries, that at length it became impossible to continue it, and
since the year 1805, the former regulations, or rather irregularities,
have again been prevalent in the Ottoman armies. The same disorders
which the Turkish author so faithfully describes as having existed
before the introduction of the Nizam-y-Gedid, have necessarily followed
its abolishment, and Turkey will no longer trust to her own means for
salvation in future war. Her last one with Russia has made her feel but
too sensibly how far the present form of discipline of her armies may
prove fatal to her existence, if ever she is abandoned to herself for


                               CHAPTER I.

 Geographical position and extent of Wallachia and
   Moldavia—historical remarks from the decline of the Dacians to
   the last century                                               Page 1

                               CHAPTER II.

 Inauguration of the Hospodars.—Present form of government.—Local
   laws.—Tribunals of justice.—Members of the divan, and other
   public functionaries.—Districts.—Caïmacam of
   Crayova.—Ispravniks.                                               46

                              CHAPTER III.

 Population.—Tribute and taxes.—Other branches of
   revenue.—Metropolitan dignity.—Monasteries.                        60

                               CHAPTER IV.

 Gold and silver mines.—Productions.—Restrictions on their
   exportations.—Navigation of the Danube.—Trade of importation.      72

                               CHAPTER V.

 Bukorest and Tirgovist, the capitals of Wallachia.—Yassi, the
   capital of Moldavia.—A description of them.—Mode of
   travelling.—Breed of horses.       Page                            86

                               CHAPTER VI.

 Observations on the Greeks in general.—Their introduction to the
   government of the principalities.—Their political
   system.—Causes of the declaration of war between England and
   Russia, and Turkey in 1806.—Those which occasioned the failure
   of the English expedition to Constantinople.—Subsequent change
   of policy of the Ottoman government.—Peace with England.—Peace
   with Russia, and circumstances which mostly contributed to
   it.—Hospodars, Callimacki and Caradja.—Prince Demetrius
   Mourousi’s death.—Caradja’s flight from Wallachia.—Reflections
   on the conduct of the Porte relative to the two
   principalities.                                                    95

                              CHAPTER VII.

 Climate—its influence.—Education of the
   Boyars.—Schools.—Wallachian tongue.—Modern Greek.—National
   dress, music, and dance.—Amusements.—Holidays.—Manners of
   society.—Marriages.—Divorces.—Religion and
   superstition.—Authority of the church—its independence of the
   patriarchal church of Constantinople.                             126

                              CHAPTER VIII.

 Peasants.—their manners and mode of
   living.—Emigrations.—Agriculture.—General aspect of the
   country.—An account of the Gypsies        Page                    155

                               CHAPTER IX.

 Intercourse of foreigners.—Foreign consuls.—How far the natives
   are benefited by their intercourse with foreign residents.        177


   PRINCIPALITIES                                                    187

 APPENDIX                                                            199

                               AN ACCOUNT


                          _THE PRINCIPALITIES_


                        WALLACHIA AND MOLDAVIA.

                               CHAPTER I.

The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, situated between 43° 40′
and 48° 50′ north latitude, 23° and 29° 30′ east longitude, occupying a
space of 350 miles in length, and 160 in breadth, are separated from the
Austrian provinces of Temesvar, Transylvania, and Boukovina, by the
Carpathian mountains; from Russia, by the river Pruth; and from Bulgaria
(the ancient Mœsia), by the Danube.

It is sufficiently ascertained that these two provinces, joined to those
of Transylvania and Temesvar, composed the kingdom of Dacia, finally
conquered by the Romans.

The Dacians were originally a Scythian or Sarmatian tribe, resembling,
in language and manners, the Thracians; the Greeks, indeed, considered
them as a part of the Thracian nation.

They were a sober and vigorous people, capable of enduring any hardships
and privations in war: they did not fear exposing themselves to the
greatest dangers, because they looked upon death as the beginning of a
much happier life; and this doctrine, according to Strabo, they held
from a philosopher named Zamolxis, who was held in high repute by them.

The progress of the Roman arms, which, under the reign of Augustus, were
carried to the banks of the Danube, brought them into contact with the
Dacians, who were at that time governed by a warlike prince named
Bærebestes, who boldly set the Roman conquerors at defiance. After his
death, they were divided into four or five different principalities, and
their strength was a good deal broken by the Romans; but their last king
Decebalus, one of the ablest and most enterprising warriors of his time,
re-united them into one body towards the 87th year of the Christian æra.

The first irruption of the Dacians into the territory of the empire,
took place during the latter part of Augustus’s reign; and, at times
repulsed, at other times successful, they continued to annoy the Romans
without any decisive advantage taking place on either side. At last the
Emperor Domitian, determined to put a stop to their depredations,
marched in person against them.

The particulars of the war which ensued are sufficiently detailed in the
Roman history. The result of it having been such as to compel Domitian
to sue for peace; he consented to pay to Decebalus an annual sum in the
shape of a pension, but which, in fact, was nothing less than a tribute.
It was regularly paid by the Romans until the year 102, when the Emperor
Trajan declared his resolution to discontinue it; and the Dacians
thereby considering themselves no longer bound to observe the treaty of
peace, crossed the Danube, and laid waste the Roman territory. Upon
these acts of hostility, Trajan put himself at the head of a numerous
army, and marching against them, forced them to retire, passed the
Danube in pursuit, engaged and defeated their successive forces, and
finally compelled Decebalus to acknowledge himself his vassal. Trajan
then returned to Rome, where he received the honour of a triumph, and
the title of _Dacicus_.

But not long after, Decebalus, eager to shake off the Roman yoke,
invaded and plundered the territory of his neighbours the Iazygæ, who
were also tributary to the empire, on their refusal to join him against
the Romans. Trajan again took the field at the head of a vast army,
determined to chastise and subdue the Dacians. He reached the banks of
the Danube in Autumn, and he thought it prudent to wait there the return
of the fine season, that he might carry on military operations with more
facility and success. It was during this interval, that he caused his
famous bridge to be built over the Danube, under the direction of the
architect Apollodorus of Damascus; and its present remains are
sufficiently visible to verify the ancient accounts of this stupendous
work. When the water is very low, some of the piles stand two or three
feet above it, and render that part of the river difficult of
navigation; they are looked upon as rocks by the natives of each side.

At the return of the Spring, when the bridge was completed, the Roman
army marched over it, and commenced hostilities. The war was long and
difficult, but it terminated in the complete subjugation of the Dacians,
and in the death of their king, Decebalus, who, finding it impossible to
avoid being made prisoner, killed himself that he might not fall alive
into the conquerors’ hands.

Dacia was thus converted into a Roman province, and Trajan shortly after
sent colonies to increase its population. New cities were built, and
pavements were constructed on the high roads, for the greater facility
of communication.[1] It was governed by a Roman pro-prætor until the
year 274.

Under the reign of Gallienus, when the empire was already declining,
various parts of Dacia were seized by the Goths, and other barbarous

A few Roman legions yet remained in the country, under the reign of the
Emperor Aurelian, who, returning from Gaul, came down to Illyria, and
finding a great part of Dacia in the hands of the barbarians, foresaw
the impossibility of maintaining any possessions in the midst of them,
and he withdrew a good number of the Roman inhabitants to the other side
of the Danube, and settled them in Mæsia.

During the space of a hundred years from that period, those of the
natives who had remained behind, and their descendants, were incessantly
exposed to the rapacities of a variety of barbarous tribes, who came
into the country for plunder.

Towards the year 361, the Goths, more powerful than the rest, seemed to
have been left in exclusive possession of the province, and were
inclined to make a permanent stay in it. They embraced the Christian
religion, and established it in Dacia; since when, to the present
moment, it has never ceased to be predominant amongst its inhabitants.

In 376, the Hunns, having over-run the countries possessed by the Goths,
forced Athanaric, King of the Vizigoths, to retire with all his forces
to that part of Dacia, situated between the rivers Dniester and Danube,
now called Moldavia. He raised a wall between the latter river and the
Pruth, by which he thought himself sufficiently protected against the
attacks of his enemies. The Hunns, however, were not stopped by it; and
their approach spread such consternation among the Goths of the
interior, that those who had the means of escaping, to the number of
some hundred thousand, fled for refuge into the Roman territory, and
were permitted by the Emperor Valens, to settle in Thrace, upon
condition that they should live peaceably there, and serve, when
required, in the Roman armies.

The Hunns having penetrated into Dacia, were left masters of it until
the year 453, when Ardaric, King of the Gepidæ, a people previously
conquered by Attila and the Hunns, revolted against them, in consequence
of Attila’s death. His son and successor, Ellach, marched against them,
but being defeated and slain, the Hunns were driven back into Scythia,
and the Gepidæ remained masters of all Dacia. They entered into a sort
of alliance with the Romans, who agreed to pay them a pension. In 550,
their first quarrels with their neighbours, the Lombards, took place;
and being sometimes assisted by the Emperor Justinian, they carried on
frequent hostilities against them, for the space of eight years, at the
end of which both nations resolved to decide the fate of the war by one
great battle. The Lombards, under their King Alboin, had previously
formed an alliance with the Avars, a people of Scythian extraction; and,
assisted by them, they marched to action. Both sides fought with equal
valor; but at last victory declared in favour of the Lombards, who,
pursuing the Gepidæ, made a great slaughter among them. The Gepidæ,
either destroyed, dispersed, or subdued, never after had a king of their
own, and ceased to be a nation.

Alboin’s achievements in Dacia attracted the notice of Narses, sent by
Justinian to conquer Italy: he made offers to him, and finally engaged
him to join the expedition with all his forces. The Lombards thus
abandoned their possessions in Dacia and Pannonia to their friends and
neighbours the Avars. These, also known by the name of White-Hunns,
remained in them until their own destruction by the Franks and
Bulgarians. In the 7th century, being joined by other barbarous tribes,
they pushed their incursions as far as the gates of Constantinople,
where they were so completely defeated by the Emperor Heraclius, that
they could not recover the blow: it was the original cause of their
rapid decline.

Towards the close of the same century, a nation, known under the names
of Slaves and Bulgarians, came from the interior of Russia to that part
of Mæsia, which has since been called Bulgaria. Soon after a great
number of Slaves, headed by their chief Krumo, crossed the Danube, and
settled in Dacia, where they have since been known under the name of
_Wallachs_. Opinion varies with respect to the origin of this name. Some
historians pretend that the Slaves distinguished by it the Romans of
Mæsia; whilst others maintain that they meant by it a people who led a
pastoral life, and had given it to the inhabitants of Mæsia, most of
whom were shepherds; and that a great number of these, having joined the
Slaves in Dacia, the name by degrees became a general one amongst its
inhabitants. The modern Wallachians, however, exclude it altogether from
their language, and call themselves “Rumunn” or Romans, giving to their
country the name of Roman-land, “Tsara-Rumaneska.”

Some former inhabitants of Dacia, joined by a number of Slaves and
Bulgarians, separated from the new settlers, and went to the lower part
of Dacia lying between the rivers Olt and Danube, where they fixed their
habitations. They formed themselves into a nation, and chose for their
chief one _Bessarabba_, to whom they gave the Slavonic title of _Bann_
or regent. The country within his jurisdiction was called _Bannat_; and
it retains to this day the name of Bannat of Crayova, the latter being
that of its present capital. Several other petty independent states
arose at the same time in various parts of Dacia; but they were
frequently annexed to the same sceptre, at other periods dismembered,
according to the warlike ardour or indolence and incapacity of their
various chiefs. Their general system, however, consisted in making war
against the Romans of the lower empire, in which they were seconded by
the Slaves and Bulgarians of Mæsia, whom they looked upon as their
natural allies. This state of things continued to the close of the 9th
century, at which period the Slaves having fallen into decline, various
hordes, originally Scythians, successively undertook the conquest of
Dacia, driving each other out of it, according to the momentary
superiority of the one over the other. The most remarkable of these were
the Hazars, the Patzinaces, the Moangoures, the Ouzes, the Koumans, and
other Tartars.

The natives were treated as slaves by all these hordes of barbarian
intruders, and great numbers of them were continually retiring to the
other side of the Carpathians; where they settled under their own
chiefs, sometimes independent, at others tributary to the kings of
Hungary. The most conspicuous and thriving of these colonies were those
of Fagarash and Maramosh.

The devastations continued in the plains finally drove out all the
natives, and in the 11th century the Tartars retired, leaving the
country a complete desert. It remained in this state until the year
1241, when the inhabitants of Fagarash, conducted by their chief Raddo
Negro (Rodolphus the Black), crossed the mountains, and took possession
of that tract of country, which is now called Upper Wallachia. Nearly at
the same time, the inhabitants of Maramosh under their chief Bogdan,
came and settled in that part which is by some called Moldavia, from the
name of the river Moldau, which crosses it to fall into the Danube, and
by the natives and Turks, Bogdania. Raddo Negro and his followers halted
at the foot of the mountains, where they laid the foundation of a city,
to which they gave the name of Kimpolung. At present it is reduced to an
indifferent village; but its original extent is marked by old walls in
ruin; and some inscriptions in its cathedral church attest it to have
been Raddo’s capital. His successors transferred their residence to
Tirgovist, more pleasantly situated in the plains.

Some Wallachian, Transylvanian, and Hungarian authors differ in opinion
with respect to the exact period of Raddo’s and Bogdan’s establishment
in Wallachia and in Moldavia, and fix it at a different year of the
early part of the 13th century; but as they give no satisfactory
explanation on the subject, I am disposed to differ from them all, in
placing that event in the year 1241, on the strength of the following
considerations:—1st. It does not appear probable that the kings of
Hungary, who, at the commencement of the 13th century were very
powerful, and who looked upon Fagarash and Maramosh as dependencies of
their crown, would have suffered their inhabitants to desert them, in
order to settle in foreign countries: 2dly, It would seem strange that
Raddo, Bogdan, and their followers should have quitted their homes in a
prosperous country, and come to inhabit a desert, without some
extraordinary event had necessitated so remarkable an emigration: and
3dly, the best Hungarian historians place in the year 1240 the invasion
of Battou-Han in the northern countries; and add, that having crossed
Russia and Poland at the head of 500,000 men, he entered Hungary in the
year 1241, where he staid three years, during which he put every thing
to fire and sword, and finally retired because nothing more was left to
satisfy his thirst of blood.[2] It appears, then, extremely probable
that the ravages of Battou-Han, and the terror he spread in the adjacent
provinces, were the only causes of this emigration, which no historian
has yet otherwise accounted for.

Bogdan and Raddo assumed the Slavonic title of Voïvode, equivalent to
that of commanding prince. When tranquillity was restored in Hungary,
they acknowledged the supremacy of the Hungarian king; but it does not
appear that the formalities of the recognition had been such as to bind
their successors; for, at the early part of the principalities, some
Voïvodes disputed it with success; and from the commencement of the 14th
century, their independency was acknowledged by Hungary.

The Bannat of Crayova had been little molested during the great
incursions of the barbarians: in the 9th century it had become tributary
to the kings of Hungary, who afterwards held it as a sort of refuge for
the knights going to, and coming from, the Holy Land; but soon after
Raddo’s arrival, the Bann submitted to him the supreme sovereignty of
the Bannat, and it has since then been annexed to the principality of

During the latter part of his life, Raddo raised another city, distant
about thirty miles south-west of Kimpolung, on the borders of the river
Argis: he gave it the name of Courté d’Argis, and resided in it
occasionally. He also built a church here, which, two hundred years
after, one of the Voïvodes beautified in a very conspicuous manner. The
whole of the exterior work is entirely of carved marble, something in
the style of the steeple of St. Stephen’s church at Vienna, but far more
elegant. The whole produces a very striking effect; and, as it has
perfectly preserved its original beauty, it is certainly a monument that
the Wallachians may boast of in any part of Europe.

The Voïvodate was not made hereditary; and although it devolved
sometimes from father to son, the successor was obliged to go through
the formality of being elected by the chiefs of the nation.

Several successors of Raddo strengthened the government, the population
increased, and a great number of small towns and villages were built in
the country. Frequent hostilities against the Hungarians, arising from
the claims of sovereignty of the latter, accustomed the Wallachians to
war; and in 1391 the Voïvoide Mirtza collected a numerous force, and
attacked the neighbouring possessions of the Turks with the view of
rescuing them from their hands. The Sultan Bajazet being at that moment
employed in Asia in a troublesome war with the Prince of Castomona, had
left his conquests near the Danube without the means of defence. But
when the news of their invasion reached him, he suspended his operations
in Asia, and returned to Adrianople, from whence he sent a numerous army
to Wallachia. The Voïvode marched to meet the Turks; and, after a bloody
battle, he was defeated, and compelled to become tributary to the
Sultan. The annual amount of the tribute was fixed at three thousand

Wallachia continued to pay it until the year 1444; when Ladislas King of
Hungary, preparing to make war against the Turks, engaged the Voïvode
Dracula to form an alliance with him. The Hungarian troops marched
through the principality and were joined by four thousand Wallachians
under the command of Dracula’s son.[4]

The Hungarians being defeated at the celebrated battle of Varna,
Hunniades their general, and regent of the kingdom during Ladislas’s
minority, returned in haste to make new preparations for carrying on the
war. But the Voïvode, fearful of the Sultan’s vengeance, arrested and
kept him prisoner during a year, pretending thereby to show to the Turks
that he treated him as an enemy. The moment Hunniades reached Hungary,
he assembled an army and placed himself at the head of it, returned to
Wallachia, attacked and defeated the Voïvode, and caused him to be
beheaded in his presence; after which he raised to the Voïvodate one of
the primates of the country, of the name of _Dan_.

The Wallachians under this Voïvode joined again the Hungarians in 1448,
and made war on Turkey; but being totally defeated at the battle of
Cossova, in Bulgaria, and finding it no longer possible to make any
stand against the Turks, they submitted again to the annual tribute,
which they paid until the year 1460, when the Sultan Mahomet II. being
occupied in completing the conquest of the islands in the Archipelago,
afforded them a new opportunity of shaking off the yoke. Their Voïvode,
also named Dracula[5], did not remain satisfied with mere prudent
measures of defence: with an army he crossed the Danube and attacked the
few Turkish troops that were stationed in his neighbourhood; but this
attempt, like those of his predecessors, was only attended with
momentary success. Mahomet having turned his arms against him, drove him
back to Wallachia, whither he pursued and defeated him. The Voïvode
escaped into Hungary, and the Sultan caused his brother Bladus to be
named in his place. He made a treaty with Bladus, by which he bound the
Wallachians to perpetual tribute; and laid the foundations of that
slavery, from which no efforts have yet had the power of extricating
them with any lasting efficacy. The following is the substance of the

1. “The Sultan consents and engages for himself and his successors, to
give protection to Wallachia, and to defend it against all enemies,
assuming nothing more than a supremacy over the sovereignty of that
principality, the Voïvodes of which shall be bound to pay to the Sublime
Porte an annual tribute of ten thousand piasters.”

2. “The Sublime Porte shall never interfere in the local administration
of the said principality, nor shall any Turk be ever permitted to come
into Wallachia without an ostensible reason.”

3. “Every year an officer of the Porte shall come to Wallachia to
receive the tribute, and on his return shall be accompanied by an
officer of the Voïvode as far as Giurgevo on the Danube, where the money
shall be counted over again, a second receipt given for it, and when it
has been carried in safety to the other side of that river, Wallachia
shall no longer be responsible for any accident that may befall it.”[6]

4. “The Voïvodes shall continue to be elected by the archbishop,
metropolitan, bishops, and boyars[7], and the election shall be
acknowledged by the Porte.”

5. “The Wallachian nation shall continue to enjoy the free exercise of
their own laws; and the Voïvodes shall have the right of life and death
over their own subjects, as well as that of making war and peace,
without having to account for any such proceedings to the Sublime

6. “All Christians who, having once embraced the Mahometan faith, should
come into Wallachia and resume the Christian religion, shall not be
claimed by any Ottoman authorities.”

7. “Wallachian subjects who may have occasion to go into any part of the
Ottoman dominions, shall not be there called upon for the haratsh or
capitation tax paid by other _Rayahs_.”[8]

8. “If any Turk have a lawsuit in Wallachia with a subject of the
country, his cause shall be heard and decided by the Wallachian divan,
conformably to the local laws.”

9. “All Turkish merchants coming to buy and sell goods in the
principality, shall, on their arrival, have to give notice to the local
authorities of the time necessary for their stay, and shall depart when
that time is expired.”

10. “No Turk is authorised to take away one or more servants of either
sex, natives of Wallachia; and no Turkish mosque shall ever exist on any
part of the Wallachian territory.”

11. “The Sublime Porte promises never to grant a Ferman[9] at the
request of a Wallachian subject for his affairs in Wallachia, of
whatever nature they may be; and never to assume the right of calling to
Constantinople, or to any other part of the Turkish dominions, a
Wallachian subject on any pretence whatever.”

This treaty in many respects advantageous to Wallachia, still forms the
basis of its constitution. The first, third, fourth, and latter part of
the fifth articles only, have since undergone alterations, which have
proved in no small degree detrimental to the liberties of that country.
The remainder have been, and are to this day, punctually observed.

The qualification of a mere tributary prince did not, however, appear to
the Sultan Mahomet as implying sufficient submission; and, in order to
place the person of the Voïvode under a more immediate dependence, he
gave him the rank and title of a Turkish Pashah; a dignity, which has
ever since been inseparable from that of Voïvode or Hospodar.

The principality remained in a peaceable state several years after its
war with Mahomet, and the weakness and incapacity of several of its
princes afforded to the Ottoman court the means of ruling over it with
increasing power. In 1544 portions of territory bordering on the Danube
were ceded to the Turks; the fortresses of Ibraïl, Giurgevo, and Tourno,
which have much figured in all the subsequent European wars of Turkey,
were raised upon them, and were garrisoned by Turkish soldiers. Having
gained so strong a footing in the country, the conduct of the Turks
became more and more overbearing: its rights and privileges were no
longer respected; and the Porte countenanced, or connived at, every sort
of depredation committed by the soldiers of the garrisons beyond the
boundaries of the fortresses; and soon treated the principality and its
inhabitants as on the same footing with all its other Christian

This state of things continued to the year 1593, when an individual of
the name of Michael was elected to the Voïvodate. He no sooner held the
reins of government than he determined to deliver his country from the
Turkish yoke, and restore it to independency. Circumstances soon
afforded him an opportunity of putting this plan into execution. The
Prince Sigismund of Transylvania, also tributary to the Turks, revolted
against them towards this period, at the instigations of the Pope and of
the Emperor Rodolphus. With him and with the Voïvode Aaron of Moldavia,
Michael formed a league against the enemies of Christianity. But in
order to give a greater appearance of justice to their proceedings, the
allies sent a long list of grievances to the Porte, demanded redress,
and insisted that some satisfactory guarantee were given of a change of
system for the future. These representations not only remained
unanswered, but, shortly after they were made, a troop of three thousand
Janissaries came into Wallachia, and went about the country, levying
contributions on the villagers, and committing all sorts of outrages. A
Wallachian force was at last sent against them, and they were all put to
the sword; after which, Michael, at the head of an army composed of his
own troops and those of his allies, marched against Giurgevo, and
compelled its garrison to retire to the other side of the Danube.

The threatening attitude of Michael and his allies induced the Sultan
Amurat to desist from further provocation, and to wait for a more
favourable moment of imposing again his yoke on the principalities; but
he died suddenly in 1595, and his successor, Mahomet III., no sooner
ascended the throne than he resolved to carry that plan into execution
by the means of an overpowering army. Forty thousand Turks and twenty
thousand Tartars, under the orders of the Grand Vezier, invaded the
Wallachian and Moldavian provinces nearly at the same time, and a long
war ensued. The invaders suffered a series of defeats: for five years
they renewed the campaign with no better success; and the Sultan was
finally compelled to relinquish his claims.

In 1600, after the abdication of Sigismund of Transylvania, that
principality became tributary to the Emperor Rodolphus; and as the
Voïvode Michael, whom the emperor had engaged into his interests, had
assisted him in defeating the schemes of Cardinal Battori, pretender to
the Transylvanian sovereignty, Rodolphus, to reward him, left him the
government of Transylvania. The Voïvode fixed his residence in that
province, and appointed a lieutenant in Wallachia. But in the following
year the Transylvanians, not satisfied with his administration,
revolted, and sent invitations to their former Prince, Sigismund, who
was living as a private individual at Clausenburg, to come and resume
the supreme authority. An Austrian army, under the command of General
Baste, was hastily dispatched to stop the progress of the rebellion; and
Michael, who had repaired to Wallachia, returned with some troops, and
joined the imperial general. They marched together against the rebels,
who had formed an army of equal strength, and an obstinate battle took
place, which terminated in the entire defeat of the insurgents, and in
the subjection of the whole province. When events had determined the
fate of Transylvania, the two allied commanders quarrelled in a
discussion concerning the ulterior measures of administration; and
Baste, resolved by some means or other to get rid of Michael, whose
pretensions appeared to him to have become of a dangerous tendency,
caused him to be assassinated. The Wallachian troops were sent back to
their country, and they carried away with them the head of the Voïvode
Michael, which was buried in the monastery of _Dialloluy_, near the town
of Tirgovist, where the monument that was placed over it at the time,
with an inscription alluding to the principal events of his life, and to
the circumstances of his death, engraved in Slavonian characters, still

The death of Michael, which took place in 1602, spread great
consternation and confusion in Wallachia. The Primates[10] lost time in
deliberations on the measures that were to be pursued; and the Turkish
Pashahs of the neighbourhood sent a strong body of troops, which,
crossing the Danube at different places, occupied the greatest part of
the principality, and put it out of the power of the Wallachians to make
any effectual resistance. The sultan’s orders for the election of a
Voïvode of his own choice were soon obeyed, and the principality resumed
its tributary character; the treaty of Mahomet II. was renewed, but the
amount of the tribute was fixed at a much higher sum. From this period
forward, Wallachia remained under the power of the Ottoman Sultans; and
although its inhabitants, in the course of the 17th century, made
frequent efforts to throw off the yoke, the success of such attempts
always proved momentary, and consequently more injurious than beneficial
to them in the sequel.

With regard to Moldavia, the first act of its submission to the Turks
was not the effect of conquest, but a voluntary measure of precaution
and security.[11] It was only in 1536 that this principality consented
to become tributary to the Sultan, and the event is thus explained by
all the Moldavian historians.

In 1529 the Voïvode Stephen, being on his death-bed, called to him his
son Bogdan, who was likely to succeed him, and his principal nobles: he
addressed them at length on the political situation of the country,
representing the probability of its being soon attacked by the Turks,
and the insufficiency of its means to make any effectual resistance
against their power. He dwelt on the ferocious character of the reigning
Sultan Suleÿman I., and recommended to them in the strongest manner,
rather to seek his clemency by the voluntary offer of a tribute, than
expose themselves to his vengeance in resisting his attempts to obtain

After Stephen’s death, Bogdan neglected some years his father’s advice,
till at last he saw the necessity of following it; and he sent, in 1536,
ambassadors to Constantinople to offer the tribute. The Sultan then
entered into written engagements with him, by which the same privileges
as those of Wallachia were granted to Moldavia; but in which the tribute
was merely called a _Peshkicsh_, or present.

Moldavia was governed on the same plan as the sister province, and
frequently shared the same fate in war; sometimes ravaged by the Turks,
at other times successful in resisting them. Towards the close of the
16th century, after its successful co-operation with Wallachia,
Sigismund of Transylvania seized it, deposed the Voïvode Aaron, his
friend and ally, and appointed a man of his own choice, whom he bound to
pay him tribute. But in 1597, a Polish army invaded the province, and
rescued it from the hands of Sigismund. In 1602 the Poles restored it to
the Turks, against whose power the Moldavians never after struggled with
any permanent success. Their frequent and fruitless efforts to regain
independency, exhausted their means and patriotic ardour; and by degrees
they became accustomed to the Turkish yoke. The appointment of the
Voïvodes was left to the pleasure of the Sultans, although the formality
of the election continued to take place a long time after; but the
tribute was no longer called a present, and its amount was increased at
almost every new appointment.

As far, however, as the end of the 17th century, intervening political
motives still induced the Porte to show some deference to the privileges
of the two principalities; but at the early part of the 18th century,
the Ottoman Court became less constrained in its policy, and in assuming
the right of punishing by death the Wallachian princes, laid the
foundations of that system by which both have been governed to the
present moment. The event which proved so fatal to the respective
constitutions of those states, will show at the same time how far their
public spirit must have been subdued, and how rapid appears to have been
its decline.

During the reign of Sultan Ahmet, the Porte had, in 1695, declared war
against the Emperor; and the Voïvode Constantine Brancovano Bessarabba
of Wallachia was directed to form an army, and to march into the
Austrian states, in order to second the operations of the Grand Vizier
who was to commence hostilities from the frontiers of Servia. The
Voïvode partly obeyed; but, either from a secret hatred to the Turks, or
from being bribed into the Emperor’s cause, probably from both these
motives, he abstained from taking any active part in the campaign, and
by that circumstance alone, favoured the operations of the Austrians. At
the conclusion of the peace of Carlowitz, the Emperor Leopold rewarded
the Voïvode’s services by conferring on him the title of Prince of the
Roman Empire, together with the gift of some landed estates in
Transylvania. These circumstances could not remain hidden from the
knowledge of the Ottoman court, who, however, found it necessary to use
dissimulation; and some years elapsed without any notice being taken of

In 1710, Bessarabba was drawn into a secret correspondence with the Czar
Peter the great, the object of which was to obtain his co-operation in
that sovereign’s projected war against the Turks. The Voïvode promised a
contingent of thirty thousand men, and an ample supply of provisions and
other necessaries for the Russian army.

The purport of this correspondence became known to the Porte, and the
death of Bessarabba was immediately determined upon; but at the same
time it was deemed adviseable to use stratagem instead of open force,
and it was resolved that he should be drawn into a snare by the Prince
of Moldavia. Nicholas Marrocordato then governed that province, but he
was thought unfit for the execution of the plan; the Porte therefore
recalled him, and appointed to the principality Demetrius Cantimir,
whose fidelity had been frequently tried both in peace and war. Cantimir
set out from Constantinople for Moldavia, having instructions and
positive orders to seize Bessarabba under the colour of friendship,
alliance, or any pretence which he might think proper, and send him
alive or dead to Constantinople.[12]

But Cantimir, who, it seems, had neither the ambition nor the desire of
being made Voïvode of Moldavia, having twice before procured that
principality to his younger brother Antiochus, accepted it with the
express condition that he should not be called upon to pay any tribute,
or to make any of the presents customary at the new nominations. But
when he reached Moldavia the Grand Vezier wrote to him by the Sultan’s
order, not only to send immediately the usual tribute and presents, but
also to prepare provisions for a numerous Turkish army, to throw a
bridge over the Danube for their passage, and to join the Turks in
person with Moldavian troops, besides other intolerable burthens.[13]
Cantimir says, that perceiving now how little faith was to be expected
from the infidels, and esteeming it far better to suffer for the
Christian cause, he resolved to detach himself from the Turkish
interest, and sent a faithful messenger to the Czar, with an offer of
his services and principality.

With these favourable prospects in Wallachia and in Moldavia, the Czar
advanced towards the Ottoman frontiers. In 1711, he arrived with all his
forces at Yassi, where he remained some days in expectation of the
contingent and provisions promised by the Voïvode of Wallachia. But it
seems that Bessarabba, as the rupture between the Sultan and the Czar
drew near, alarmed at the great preparations of the Turks, and the
approach of their army, composed of two hundred and twenty thousand men,
thought it prudent to take no part in the war, and the subsequent
disasters of the Russians are in a great measure attributed to the
failure of his former promises to the Czar, who had placed too great a
reliance in them. The events of this war are too well known to need any
further explanation here. When peace was restored, and the Voïvodate of
Moldavia had remained vacant by Cantimir’s defection, Nicholas
Marrocordato was again appointed to it. Bessarabba remained unmolested,
but not without the fear of early vengeance. Eager to regain the favour
of the Ottoman government, and to obtain the assurance of oblivion on
the past, he sent large supplies of money, and considerable presents to
the Turkish ministers, and to the public treasures; he repeated them so
often, as to convince the court that he possessed immense wealth, and
the Grand Vezier, Ally-Pashah, who was his personal enemy, obtained from
the Sultan a formal order for his recall, and for the seizure of his
treasures. The Vezier then formed the plan of enforcing this order, and
it was carried into execution in the following manner:—

In 1714, at the beginning of April, being the week of the Passion, when
the attention of the Wallachians and their occupations were entirely
devoted to the long ceremonies of the Greek church, a Capigee-Bashi[14],
of the Sultan, arrived at Bukorest with a suite of a hundred men; he
sent word to the Voïvode that he was on his way to Hotim upon very
pressing business of the state, and that he should only have time to pay
him a visit on the next morning, after which he intended to take his
departure. Accordingly, he went the next day to the palace, and, on
entering the closet of the Voïvode, who stood up to receive him, he
placed a black handkerchief on his shoulder, conformably to the then
usual method of announcing depositions to persons high in office in
Turkey. The Voïvode was confounded by the unexpected compliment, but the
moment he recovered from his first emotions, he burst into a long strain
of invectives against the Sultan and the Turks, for treating him with so
much ingratitude after the many services he had rendered to the Porte.
The Capigee, however, placed a guard about his person, and proceeded to
the divan chamber, where he read a _Ferman_, which contained the decree
of Bessarabba’s deposition, declared him a traitor, and ordered him to
Constantinople with all his family. After the _Ferman_ had been
published, the Capigee secured the public treasure, and all the
Voïvode’s private property. The frightened inhabitants of Bukorest
remained tranquil spectators of all these acts of violence, and made no
effort to release the Voïvode from his imprisonment. With a nation more
awakened to its own dignity, and to the value of independence, an event
of this nature would not, perhaps, have taken place without the support
of an army, and the shedding of blood; and, indeed, the circumstances of
this very occurrence would hardly appear credible, if they were not
almost fresh in the memory of the present generation.

Two days after Bessarabba’s deposition, one Stephen Cantacuzene, of
Greek origin, and calling himself a descendant of the imperial family of
that name[15], was, by the Sultan’s order, raised to the Voïvodate.

On the 14th April, the Capigee-Bashi left Bukorest with Bessarabba, his
wife, four sons, three daughters, and grandson, and escorted by the
Turkish guard. They soon reached Constantinople, and the Voïvode, with
all his family, was immediately confined in the state prison of the
Seven Towers. His treasures not being found so considerable as had been
expected, his sons were put to the torture for three successive days,
that they might confess where their father had hidden the rest; or that
the latter, being a witness to his children’s torments, might come
forward and make that confession himself. But as these cruelties did not
produce the intended effect, the Sultan, exasperated at the apparent
obstinacy of the sufferers, ordered them to be executed in his presence.
The prisoners were conducted to a square, under the windows of the
seraglio, and a long list of accusations was read to them; it alluded
particularly to the treachery of Bessarabba in the Austrian war, and to
the indignant expressions he had made use of against the person of the
Sultan, when his recall had been signified to him. The four sons were
first beheaded, one after the other, and the execution of the father
closed this scene of butchery. When the Sultan withdrew, the five heads
were put upon pikes, and carried about the streets of Constantinople.
The bodies were thrown into the sea, but they were picked up by some
Christian boatmen, and conveyed to a Greek monastery in the little
island of Halcky, in the Propontis, where they received burial.

As to the unfortunate princess and the remainder of her family, they
were shortly after exiled to Cuttaya, in Asia Minor, but three years
after they were permitted to return to Wallachia.[16]

The Voïvode Cantacuzene only remained in office two years, and he was
the last Wallachian prince, whose nomination was effected through the
formality of election. This important prerogative of the inhabitants had
been abolished some years before in Moldavia. The Porte found it
unnecessary to suffer it any longer in Wallachia, and indeed it had,
since more than a century, become merely nominal.

Nicholas Marrocordato was transferred from the government of Moldavia to
that of Wallachia, and proclaimed by a Turkish Capigee-Bashi in 1716. At
this time the Porte was preparing to carry on a defensive war against
Austria; and had the primates of Wallachia felt the courage to protest
against so manifest a violation of their privileges, they would, most
probably, have succeeded in securing a better observance of them.

Since the commencement of the decline of the Turkish power, the Ottoman
court has made it an invariable policy to infringe little by little on
the privileges allowed to foreign nations by treaty; and to conduct, by
systematic stratagem, an administration which has been constantly
falling in vigour and energy. If any infraction is left unnoticed by the
party it concerns, and the article of a treaty, in its modified state,
is once applied with success to any case to which it may relate, it
becomes a precedent which the Porte will obstinately refer to at any
other time that the strict interpretation of the article is insisted

Thus, without assigning any satisfactory reason, and without repealing,
in a plausible manner, the Wallachian law of election, the Sultan took
to himself the exclusive right of appointing to the two Voïvodates. The
measure was not opposed, and its repetition became habitual; and if, at
the present moment, the inhabitants of the two Principalities were to
recall their right to memory, and claim the enforcement of it, the Porte
would consider and treat the proceeding as open rebellion on their part.

No prince of Wallachian or Moldavian birth or origin, was ever appointed
after the recall of Bessarabba, and the Porte would have been willing to
govern the principalities through the means of Turkish Pashahs; but the
intrigues of the state-interpreter, Alexander Marrocordato, who was then
endeavouring to secure either of the Voïvodates to his son Nicholas,
induced at the time the Ottoman government to introduce another system,
which subsequent motives have contributed to support to the present day.
The Porte selected the new princes from the Greeks of Constantinople,
whose long habit of obedience and servile degradation, appeared to
render them suitable tools for the new policy adopted, relative to the
government of the principalities. From that moment the princes have been
appointed by _Beratt_, an imperial diploma, in which the Sultan, in
proclaiming the nominations, commands the Wallachian and Moldavian
nations to acknowledge and obey the bearers of it, as sole depositories
of the sovereign authority.[17]

They were instructed to pursue the plan, of administration of the
Voïvodes, and thus they were suffered to hold a court, to confer
dignities and titles of nobility, and to keep up a show of sovereign
splendour, circumstances which were most flattering to the vanity of the
Greeks, and proved useful to the interested views of the Porte. But they
were most strictly forbidden to maintain troops, or to collect any,
under any pretence whatever. This precaution was indispensable, as it
prevented the princes from acquiring military power, and the natives
from aspiring to independency.

In the course of the last century, a variety of Greek princes succeeded
to each other in the government of the principalities. One alone,
Constantine Marrocordato, appointed in 1735 to Wallachia, devoted
himself with zeal to the welfare of the country. Some wise institutions,
to which we shall have occasion to advert in the sequel, attest the
liberality of his views, and a generosity of character which is not to
be traced in any of his successors. But he was twice recalled, because
he refused to comply with demands of the Ottoman government, which
appeared to him incompatible with duties he owed to the Wallachians. The
other princes, less scrupulous, and more careful of their own interests,
marked their administration by the most violent acts of extortion, and
an invariable system of spoliation. Few of them died of natural death,
and the Turkish scymetar was, perhaps, frequently employed with justice
among them. In a political point of view, the short reigns of most of
these princes offer nothing of sufficient importance or interest to
deserve a place in history.

                              CHAPTER II.

The princes of Wallachia and Moldavia, since the choice of them falls on
the Greeks, receive their investiture at the Porte, with the pomp and
ceremonies usually observed on creating _Pashahs_ and _Veziers_. The
_Kukka_, or military crest, is put on their heads by the _Muzhur Aga_,
and the robe of honour is put on them by the Vezier himself. They are
honoured with the standards and military music, and make their oaths of
allegiance in the presence of the Sultan, to whom they are introduced
with the ceremonies usual at a public audience. From the seraglio, they
go in solemn and ostentatious procession to the patriarchal church,
where prayers and ceremonies are performed similar to those which were
formerly observed at the inauguration of the Greek Emperors. They are
accompanied to their principalities by the Turkish officers appointed to
install them. They make their public entry into the capital of their new
sovereignty with a great display of magnificence, attended by the
metropolitan and dignified ecclesiastics, the members of the divan, and
the chief Boyars. They assume, from the ceremonies which are practised,
the title of “God’s Anointed.”[18]

The general form of government in both principalities has undergone
little alteration since the exclusion of the native Voïvodes. The prince
is invested with absolute authority, and, till lately, was only
controllable in his financial operations, by the divan, representing the
senate; still, in levying extraordinary contributions, and in fixing the
mode of raising them, the signatures of a majority of members are
required as a mere formality; and, although the want of these would
render such acts illegal, they would not thereby be put with less vigour
into execution.

The executive administration is divided into various regular
departments. The divan, composed of twelve members, is the supreme
council, and is presided by the Prince, who appoints to it new members
every year, with the exception of the metropolitan, whose ecclesiastical
dignity entitles him to a permanent seat. It is convened at least twice
a week, to receive, examine, and decide upon appeals in judiciary

A Voïvode of the name of Mathew Bessarabba, who governed Wallachia from
1633 to 1644, instituted laws which he drew from Justinian’s code, and
modified by the customs of the country. His example was soon after
followed in Moldavia. Several princes made alterations in the original
codes, and the late princes, Caradja of Wallachia, and Callimacki of
Moldavia, have made them undergo a new revision, and have published them
under their own names.[19] It is in conformity to these laws that all
suits are said to be judged, and the sentences framed; but the prince
interprets them in his own way, and his will, in fact, is the only
predominating law.

The princes’ decisions are without appeal for the natives of the
country; and, however irregular or unjust they may be, they cannot be
revoked by their successors.

In any case of moment, where the opinion of the members of the divan
happens to be unanimous against that of the prince, or contrary to his
wishes, the decision of the question is postponed, and the members are
privately desired to pronounce according to the views of the prince. As
they are aware that non-compliance would be attended with dismissal and
disgrace, it is common enough, on similar occasions, that at the next
sessions they all declare an opinion directly opposite to the one they
had last given.

At Bukorest, and at Yassi, where the princes reside, there are two
particular tribunals appropriated to the revision of commercial and
other differences existing between the natives and foreign subjects.
They are called the Foreign Departments, and are each directed by a
Boyar, who has the title of chancellor of foreign affairs, and two other
judges. The business that comes before them is examined and discussed in
the presence of an officer attached to the consulate, by which the
foreign party concerned is protected. The decisions are, conformably to
the general sense of the treaties existing between the Porte and foreign
powers, made according to the local laws; but they are not valid without
the prince’s confirmation, which can be withheld, and a timely appeal
made either to the Grand Vezier’s tribunal at Constantinople, or to the
prince’s own judgement, should the nature of the department’s decision
bear the appearance of partiality or injustice against the foreign
party. Cases of this nature are so common, that the consuls are
frequently obliged to act the part of attorneys in defending the rights
of the individuals who are entitled to their protection.

There are also separate departments for the police, the treasury, and
criminal cases, as well as a variety of petty offices for the different
business, most of which report directly to the prince, and receive his

The following is an exact list of the chief dignitaries, and the other
officers of state, according to their respective ranks and precedence,
beginning with the twelve members of the divan.

_The Metropolitan_, or archbishop.

_The Banno_, a title taken from the former Banns of Crayova.

_Vornik de Tsara de Suss_, or judge of the upper country.

_Vornik de Tsara de Joss_, or judge of the lower country.

_Logothett_, or chancellor and keeper of the great seal.

       _3d Vornik_,                  Common judges at the divan.
       _4th Vornik_,

_Logothett de Obichëy_; his particular business consists in assembling
the divan.

_Vornik de Couttee_, or treasurer for the pensions of the widows of poor

_Vornik de Polittia_, or collector of the capitation tax within the city
of Bukorest.

_Clutshiar_, or keeper of the code of laws.

_Clutshiar d’Aria_; although he has a seat, he is not allowed to vote.
He is a kind of sergeant-at-arms.

According to old custom, an individual, who is not born or naturalised a
Wallachian or Moldavian, cannot be admitted member of the divan.

_The first Postelnik_ is principal minister and master of the ceremonies
at court. His office is of the most confidential nature, and only given
to Greeks, near relations, or intimate friends of the prince.

_The Spathar_; his office formerly corresponded to that of minister at
war. At present he is director-general of the police throughout the
principality. In Moldavia he is more properly called _Hetman_.

_The Vestiar_, or treasurer of the principality: he must be a native.

_The Hetman_; in Wallachia his business consists in carrying into
execution the prince’s sentences in matters of judicature. He takes 10
_per cent._ on the value of the objects to which they relate.

_Camarash_, or first chamberlain; the prince’s private treasurer, and
judge over the Jews. He levies a duty upon all merchandise sold by
retail for his own profit.

_Armash_, or judge of criminal causes relating to the lower orders; he
has the superintendency of the public prisons, and collects the tribute
paid by the gypsies to government.

_Agga_, or chief of the police within the city of Bukorest.

_Portar-Bashi_; he directs the correspondence with the neighbouring
Turkish Pashahs, and other governors. He also attends upon all the Turks
of distinction who visit Bukorest.

All the preceding offices give the rank of Boyars of the First Class to
the persons who are appointed to them, and as such they wear their
beards; they are all removed every year; but as they retain the titles
until promotion, those in activity are distinguished from them by the
additional one of “_great_,”—“_maray_,”—such as _Logothett-maray_, the
Great Chancellor, &c.

The Boyars of the Second Class are as follows:—

_Caminar_, or collector of duties upon wine, brandy, tobacco, and snuff,
brought to Bukorest for sale.

_Paharnik_, or cup-bearer. At state dinners he stands behind the
prince’s chair, and offers him to drink.

_Comisso_, or master of the horse.

_Stolnik_, chief steward at court.

_Sardar_, chief or colonel of the guards.

Third Class:—

_Medelnitsher_; he receives the petitions addressed to the Hospodars,
and reads all the papers at the divan.

_Pittar_, superintendent of the prince’s equipages.

_Sludgier_; he was formerly commissary to the regiment of body-guards:
it is now an empty title.

_Shatrar_, keeper of the prince’s tents.

 2d Logothett                        All these are public clerks
 2d Postelnik                          attached to the offices from
 2d Vestiar                            which they derive their titles.
 3d Logothett
 3d Postelnik
 3d Vestiar

The renewal of public officers every year naturally creates great
confusion in the transaction of public business. The custom arises from
the circumstance that the Boyars, whose number in Wallachia amounts to
nearly thirty thousand, claim public employment, at least, for a time,
as a right to which they are each entitled. The first families, in
particular, consider it as their birthright; but as their chief object
is gain, they scramble for places with the most indecorous avidity, and
never regard their want of capacity for any branch of public service.

As every Boyar has some title or other, he is never addressed by his
name in common intercourse, but by his title preceded by the ancient
Greek one of “ἄρχον,” such as “Archon-Banno, Archon-Shatrar,” &c.

A certain ceremony is practised at court upon all promotions and
nominations. It takes place once or twice every month, when the prince,
seated on an elevated throne, verbally notifies to the candidate, who is
introduced by the First Postelnik, the rank or office to which he raises
him. A robe of honour is then placed on his shoulders, and he advances
in the most respectful attitude, and kisses the prince’s hand. He is
then conveyed home in one of the state-carriages, or on one of the
prince’s horses (according to his new rank) and accompanied by a great
number of Chiohadars, or livery-servants of the court, to whom he pays a
considerable fee.

The Boyars of the First Class look upon their titles as corresponding to
those of Count and Baron in Germany, and their rank to that of
Major-general in Russia. It is true that the Empress Catherine, at the
period of her first war with Turkey, issued an Ukase to that effect; but
her successors have set it aside. Although most of the principal
families indulge the idea that none in Europe can boast of more genuine
nobility, there are very few who can trace their origin any farther than
a century back.[20] The present descendants of Bessarabba and
Cantacuzene are amongst this number. A family in Wallachia bear the name
of Paleologos, and confidently assert being descended from the race of
the last Constantine. It would not be very material to attempt to refute
such pretensions; few could be imposed upon by them. They appear,
however, the more absurd, as the persons who make them cannot in any
manner explain upon what grounds they are assumed.

Wallachia is divided into seventeen districts, including the Bannat of
Crayova composed of five. They are called _Rimnik_, _Buzéo_, _Sakoyéni_,
_Prahova_, _Yallomitza_, _Ilfov_, _Dimbovitza_, _Vlaska_, _Telly-Orman_,
_Mousstzello_, _Argis_, _Olt_, _Romanatz_, _Vultza_, _Doltz_, _Gorge_,
_Méhédintz_. Each of them is governed by two _Ispravniks_ or deputies,
whose appointment is renewed every year by the prince. Their business
chiefly consists in collecting the tribute and other contributions,
which they send to the _Vestiary_, from which they are in a great
measure dependent. The _Ispravniks_ of the Bannat are under the
immediate orders of a lieutenant of the prince, who resides at Crayova,
under the title of _Caïmacam_. The Greek princes have substituted this
appointment to that of the _Banns_, taking the title from that of the
Turkish minister who fills the office of the Grand Vezier at
Constantinople during the latter’s absence.

The situation of _Caïmacam_ at Crayova is very lucrative, and generally
given to some of the Greeks who follow the princes into Wallachia with
the hope of enriching themselves.

The Ispravnicates are also given to persons of that description, jointly
with the sons of Boyars, who, at a very early age, commonly make their
_début_ in public career by those appointments. They receive a salary of
five hundred piasters per month, besides which they have perquisites,
which, in some of the richest districts, they extend as far as twenty
thousand piasters a year.

                              CHAPTER III.

The exact number of population in the two principalities has never been
properly ascertained; but the nearest calculation approaches to one
million of souls in Wallachia, and five hundred thousand in Moldavia,
since the last peace of Bukorest.

This population is, in each principality, divided into three distinct
classes; the Boyars, or nobles, of the different orders; the tradesmen
of all descriptions; and the peasants, with others, who are liable to
the common taxes and contributions.

All the male peasants are, by their birth, subject to the capitation
tax, from the age of sixteen; with the exception of some few who compose
a privileged body called _Sokotelniki_, they are divided into
associations called _Loods_, each of which is composed of a certain
number of individuals, from five to ten, according to their respective
means, and pays a fixed sum of six hundred piasters every year to the
prince. According to the registers of the Wallachian Vestiary in 1818,
the total of the _loods_ in the seventeen districts, amounted to
eighteen thousand, which, at the rate of six hundred piasters, gave an
annual income of 10,800,000 piasters.[21] This amount of revenue is
considered as becoming the property of the reigning prince, and not as
due by the inhabitants to the Ottoman government, as some writers have

The treaties made by Mahomet II. and Suleÿman I. in leaving to Wallachia
and to Moldavia the power of choosing their own princes, bound these
alone to pay an annual tribute; the amount of it was at different
periods increased; but it is now fixed at two millions of piasters for
Wallachia, and one million for Moldavia. The Porte has indeed broken its
original engagements by assuming the exclusive right of giving to those
countries Greek princes instead of their own; but in doing so, the
Ottoman court did not degrade the character of sovereignty inherent in
the native Voïvodes; and if the present princes did not bear that
character, their decisions would not be, as they are, without appeal for
the natives.

The policy of the Porte, and the precarious position of the Greek
Hospodars, have, however, for a long time rendered the fixed amount of
the tribute due to the Porte merely nominal; and it is perfectly
understood that the latter, on receiving their appointments, engage to
satisfy any calls of the Turkish government, of money and other

Besides the _loods_, there are in Wallachia about one hundred thousand
individuals, and a proportionable number in Moldavia, who do not belong
to the class of peasants, but who pay taxes at an equal rate. These are
the tradesmen, Ottoman Jews, and other Rayahs.

The privileged class called _Sokotelniki_ is composed of fifteen
thousand individuals taken from among the peasantry, and who were, till
lately, perfectly exempted from every kind of contribution levied by
government; but within a few years the greater number of them have been
made liable to an annual capitation tax of twenty piasters each.

Their institution dates its origin from a remarkable reform made by
Constantine Mavrocordato, in 1736, when he had the government of both
principalities at the same time.

Until that period, most of the peasants were slaves of the Boyars:
Mavrocordato abolished the system, and no attempt was ever made since to
renew it. In order, however, to indemnify in some measure the Boyars for
the loss of their slaves, he regulated that each should be allowed to
exact from a limited number of his peasants an annual tribute, in any
shape whatever; and that this class of peasants, to whom he gave the
name of Sokotelniki, should be entirely exempted from the burthen of
public imposts.

Every Boyar of the first rank is now entitled to eighty Sokotelniki,
each of whom pays him the annual sum of eighty piasters; some few,
instead of receiving money, employ their Sokotelniki in the cultivation
of their lands, and thus derive a much greater advantage from them.

The privilege, however, is not hereditary either with the possessors, or
the private tributary. Every rank had a fixed number; and by the
inattention and neglect of many princes, as well as by the unceasing
increase of titles of nobility, the Sokotelniki became so numerous, that
in 1814 the government in Wallachia determined to allow no longer to
private individuals a considerable amount of revenue which could be
appropriated to its own use. A new law was therefore made, which formed
into government-loods all Sokotelniki who were not attached to the first
class of Boyars. The institution of this law was warmly supported by the
members of the divan, who, with their equals, had no loss to apprehend;
but it created great discontent in all the other classes affected by it,
and particularly with the Boyars of Crayova, who being more given to
agricultural occupations than the other land-proprietors derived great
advantage from the employment of their Sokotelniki; and they unanimously
determined to oppose the new regulation, as far as it related to
themselves; they threatened to complain to the Porte through the channel
of the Pashah of Widdin, who appeared willing to second their
representations with all his influence. The ferocious Haffiz-Alli[22]
had at that time the government of Widdin; and as he was the prince’s
personal enemy, he would have profited with eagerness of any opportunity
to do him injury. The prince therefore modified the law relating to
Sokotelniki, and those of the Bannat of Crayova were excluded from it.
The following year he succeeded in compelling them to submit to a tax of
twenty piasters each.

Another privileged class exists in both principalities, and is called
_Poslujniki_; its number, however, is far inferior, and it is composed
of some of the foreign peasants who come from Bulgaria, Servia, and
Transylvania, to settle in the principalities.

The Poslujniki are given to the Greek Boyars, and to foreign residents
of distinction; a custom which has become habitual since upwards of
fifty years. They pay no money to the persons to whom they are attached;
but it is their business to supply them with provisions of wood, barley,
hay, poultry, eggs, butter, and game, in consideration of which they are
exempted from government imposts, and receive some protection from their
chiefs when they experience any vexations from the Ispravniks, or their

Constantine Mavrocordato did not include the gypsies in the abolition of
slavery; we shall place our remarks on this curious people in a more
appropriate chapter.

At the last peace concluded at Bukorest between Russia and the Porte, it
was stipulated that, in consideration of the two principalities having
borne all the weight of the war, they should not, during the first two
years after the day of their restitution, pay any tribute. The agreement
was in the sequel merely observed with regard to the lood-system,
through which it had been always customary before the war to collect the
imposts; and, under a variety of other forms and denominations,
contributions were paid to the Ottoman authorities of an amount
proportionable to the present rates.

The most important regular revenues of the princes, after the _loods_,
are derived from, the following branches:—


 In Wallachia, the salt mines, which annually give               600,000

 The Vamma, or Customs,                                          380,000

 The Port-Establishment                                          420,000

 The Vinaritt, or tax upon wine; Oyaritt, or tax upon sheep;   1,330,000
   Dismaritt, or tax upon swine and bees; and a tax upon
   cattle feeding upon heaths and commons without licence


                             Total                             2,730,000


 In Moldavia their annual amount is 1,400,000 piasters.

The administration of these branches of government is always sold to
private speculators; and the above-specified sums have been paid by them
in advance the last six years. Some merchants, and others possessed of
considerable fortunes in the country, have acquired their riches by
these speculations.

In Wallachia it has become customary that most of the public officers
give a share of their profits to the prince, who, according to the
estimate of their amount, receives it in anticipation; the whole
together, with the value of the presents made to him on conferring
titles of nobility, secure to him a private income of about two millions
of piasters.

The metropolitan dignity, and all other sees, are in his gift. The
former is usually granted for life, or for the time of the giver’s
reign. Its revenues amount to four hundred thousand piasters. They are
derived from landed property bequeathed to the metropoly by deceased
boyars and others, and from an annual capitation tax of fifteen piasters
levied on the priests of the lower order, whose number amounts to
fifteen thousand. The claims of the prince on this important revenue are
not so openly avowed as on the civil offices; but they are understood
with the person who is raised to the situation, or is confirmed in it by
the successor.

The bishops of Argis, Rimnik, and Buzéo, are the next ecclesiastical
dignitaries in rank, and the only qualified candidates for the metropoly
among their numerous colleagues. They reside at Bukorest, and they form
the supreme council of the church under the presidency of the
archbishop. This council is the most corrupted tribunal of any in the
country, and its acts and decisions, which proceed from any motives than
those of moral tendency, would seem calculated for no other purpose than
the encouragement of profligacy, and other disorders in the society. The
will of the metropolitan, or that of the prince, is the only rule by
which its concerns are conducted.

The constitution of Moldavia does not permit the prince to interfere
with the affairs of the ecclesiastical council, nor with the financial
concerns of the metropoly. The archbishop is elected by the nobility,
and must be a native. The bishop of Romano, next in rank, is usually
chosen to that dignity. The same regulations ought to exist in
Wallachia, but a series of abuses have there rendered many evils

Both principalities abound with monasteries originally established by
different Voïvodes, and it was a long time customary with the
inhabitants to consider as great acts of piety bequests of lands,
houses, shops, or sums of money, made to them, insomuch that hardly any
rich man died without having allotted a portion of his property to such
a purpose.

These voluntary gifts had so accumulated, and the value of land has so
increased, that some of the monasteries are now the richest
establishments in the country. The greater number are in the gift of the
reigning princes, who let them out for a space of time to the highest
bidders. Others, being dedicated to the patriarchs of Constantinople and
Jerusalem, are disposed of by them; but although the princes cannot
appropriate to their own profit any part of their revenues, as they have
the right of imposing taxes on them upon certain occasions, they
frequently put them under contribution.

Besides the various important branches of revenue hitherto specified,
the reigning princes possess many other means of raising money. The two
principalities are an inexhaustible source of riches to them, and their
proverbial appellation of ‘Peru of the Greeks’ is verified by

                              CHAPTER IV.

The chain of Carpathian mountains which separates the two principalities
from the Austrian dominions, abounds in a variety of minerals. Gold,
silver, quicksilver, iron, copper, pitch, sulphur, and coals, are to be
traced in many places; but although there is strong reason to believe
they exist in abundance, no attempt is made to render them available,
and this neglect is attributed to various motives, some of which would
appear sufficiently justifiable.[23] The inhabitants maintain, that to
undertake a work of a similar magnitude, the employment of a
considerable capital and of a great number of men would be requisite,
and consequently the country would have to support many heavy burthens
long before it would begin to reap any advantage from their intended
object; and that even after consenting to any necessary sacrifices, as
the fruits of them would only serve to benefit the coffers of the Grand
Signior, it is thought prudent to abstain altogether from creating so
powerful an attraction to the leaders of the system of rapacity already
too prevalent in the country.

On another hand, it is supposed that the precarious position of the
Greek Hospodars, who live under the incessant apprehension of sudden
recall and disgrace, induces them to bestow their whole attention to
such resources only as are most immediately within their reach, and to
neglect any plan that merely offers a remote prospect of gain.

The Porte then seems to be the only party much interested in this
affair, as the only one capable of setting it properly on foot, and
reaping a lasting advantage. Yet the Turks evince the same indifference,
and political reasons are given in explanation, which, however, are by
no means satisfactory; for surely no such considerations could prevent
them from availing themselves of treasures which they have certainly
assumed in every way the right of calling their own.

From all these conjectures, however, this conclusion can be drawn,—that
as long as the principalities remain under Turkish influence, their
mineralogic riches will be buried in obscurity and oblivion. The rivers
Dimbovitza and Argis, taking their sources in the Carpathians, and
crossing Wallachia to fall into the Danube, carry along a considerable
quantity of grains of gold. The gypsies that belong to government are
employed in picking them out of the sand when the waters are low; and
they are allowed to pay their tribute partly from the fruits of this

The trade of Wallachia and Moldavia, notwithstanding that it labours
under a variety of restrictions and partial prohibitions, is one of
their most important sources of opulence. Its details are little known,
and less noticed beyond the neighbouring countries, although they are by
no means deserving of inattention.

Of the common productions of the soil, the most abundant is wheat, of
which the two principalities are supposed to give an annual return of
ten millions of killows,[24] although hardly one-sixth part of their
extensive and fertile plains is cultivated, and that a certain space of
this is sown by Indian corn, barley, and hemp.

The other productions, proportionably important in a commercial point of
view, are the bees-wax, honey, butter, cheese, hides, timber, staves,
and ship-masts of all sizes and descriptions; and an annual supply of
five hundred thousand hare-skins, six hundred thousand okes[25] of
yellow-berries, and forty thousand kintals[26] of sheep’s wool.

The three last-mentioned articles are alone perfectly free of
exportation; the remainder are kept at the disposal of the Turkish
government; and it is only in times of abundance, after the usual
supplies have been fixed upon for the granaries and arsenal of
Constantinople, that leave can be obtained to employ in foreign trade
any portion of them. The exportation of wheat alone is considered as
under a permanent prohibition; it is not in the power of the Hospodars
to suffer any of it to be taken out of the country on private
speculation; they must be authorised so to do by Ferman, a permit which
is never granted to Rayahs, and very seldom to other Europeans, as the
foreign ministers accredited at the Porte, aware of the difficulty of
obtaining it, and the value that the Ottoman government would set in the
gift of it, prefer abstaining altogether from applications on the
subject, more especially as their success would only be profitable to
some individuals, without being productive of any permanent good to the
trade at large.

The quality of the Wallachian wheat is inferior, but it is far from
being bad; that of Moldavia is better, and not differing much from the
Polish wheat. Their ordinary price stands between 2 and 2½ piasters per
killow. As an article of general trade, the charges upon it from the
Danube to Constantinople, would hardly amount to one piaster more. The
Turkish government send their own ships every year to transport their
share of it, which is each time fixed at 1,500,000 killows, as well as
the other articles necessary to their use, the quantity of which is not
fixed, though generally very considerable.

The Moldavian timber is far better than that of Wallachia; it is of the
finest oak, and perfectly well calculated for the construction of
vessels. A great number of ships in the Turkish fleet are built of it,
and fitted out with masts and ropes of Moldavian growth and origin. In
the two provinces, these articles are sold at the lowest possible
prices, and indeed the same thing may be said of all the prohibited
articles; which, restricted as they are, from the monopoly arrogated by
the Porte, have but little demand, except for the local consumption.

The hare-skins commonly stand at 35 paras[27] each, in large purchases,
and the yellow-berries may be had at 40 or 45 paras per oke. The usual
method of securing any quantity of these two articles at the lowest
prices, is by bespeaking them at the different villages, and paying
something in advance; the villagers engaged in such contracts never fail
to fulfil them in proper time.

The hare-skins are of the first quality, but the yellow-berries are
inferior to those of Smyrna, and only demanded when the crops in Asia
Minor have proved deficient.

The sheep’s wool is considered to be very good: cleaned and washed, it
is sold at about 60 paras per oke, or 66 piasters per kintal, when in
its original state, it is offered at 35 to 40 paras.

The principalities abound also in cattle and poultry of all
descriptions. Every year they supply Constantinople with 250,000 sheep,
and 3000 horses. They send, besides, a great number of these, and oxen,
into the surrounding provinces, where they are usually sold at great

All the productions and commodities that are employed for the exigencies
of the Ottoman capital, are bought by the local government for about
one-fourth of the prices current in the market, and one-sixth of their
value in Turkey. They are paid for by a deduction from the common
tribute, and, sometimes, by an extraordinary imposition of an amount
equal to their cost.

Before we proceed to any remarks on the import trade, it is necessary we
should say a few words on the town and harbour of Galatz, which may be
called the seaport of the two principalities.

Galatz is in Moldavia, but nearly touches the frontier of Wallachia: it
is situated at the beginning of the broadest and deepest part of the
Danube, distant sixty miles from the Black Sea, sixty-five from Yassi,
and seventy-two from Bukorest. The river is so far very navigable for
ships not exceeding three hundred tons burthen. Its principal entrance
from the sea is not very easy to make, owing to the islands which divide
it into three great channels, two of which are very shallow and
dangerous. But ships bound hither take pilots on board, and with this
precaution, very few accidents take place, particularly in the fine

The navigation of the Danube closes in the month of November; and in the
severest winters, even this part of the river is completely frozen over
for the space of five or six weeks. In the month of March, ships begin
to make their appearance again, and as they have not the inconveniency
of a tide against them, they are enabled to come up close to the wharfs,
and to remain there until their business is finished.

Galatz is the great market for the produce of the two principalities,
and the only landing-place for some principal articles of importation.
Having all the resources of a seaport, it is apparently a very
flourishing town. Its market is always well stocked with the productions
of the interior. The timber, masts, and staves are conveyed to it along
the small rivers, that come from various parts of the country, and fall
into the Danube nearest to it. There are public granaries for the wheat,
and a great number of large warehouses, belonging to private merchants,
for all articles. It is chiefly inhabited by commercial men, who,
notwithstanding the rigour of the prohibitive measures, often find the
means of exporting some quantity of wheat, and other contraband
articles; but their principal trade is that of importation. The town and
its dependencies are governed by two deputies of the Prince of Moldavia,
called _Percalabi_. The number of the fixed inhabitants does not exceed
seven thousand, but the great concourse of people occasioned every year
by commercial pursuits, gives it the appearance of being very populous,
and all the bustle of a place of great trade. The presence, in
particular, of a great number of commercial vessels, increases
considerably that appearance.

Although Galatz is the general _depôt_ for many goods of importation, it
is not the principal market for them: they are conveyed to those of
Bukorest and Yassi. Coffee, sugar, pepper, rum, lemons, oranges, and
foreign wines, are the principal articles of this description. The local
consumption of the first, in both provinces, is calculated at 800,000
okes every year; of the second, 900,000 okes; and of the third 35,000
okes; that of the others is merely eventual. Their importation, however,
surpasses this quantity, and might be still carried to a greater extent,
as the provinces of Galicia, Boukovina, Transylvania, Temesvar, and
Servia are partly supplied with those articles by the markets of
Bukorest, Yassi, and Galatz.

The general system of this import trade is ill contrived, and it is
subject to many inconveniencies. The purchasers have recourse to the
markets of Smyrna and Constantinople, where, of course, they buy at high
prices. The goods, which have already paid custom-house duty in Turkey,
are taxed with a new duty of the same kind, of three per cent., on being
landed or brought into the principalities, as well as with other charges
of an arbitrary nature, which amount to as much more. The latter are
not, indeed, established by the local governments, but merely exacted by
their officers, and as they are tolerated, they become unavoidable,
unless the proprietors of the goods happen to be subjects of European
courts, and as such, receive protection and assistance from the consuls
residing in the country.

Wallachia and Moldavia are at present supplied by Germany with all kinds
of cotton and woollen manufactures and hardware, either by land or by
the Danube.

The plain and printed calicoes, the chintz, glass and earthenware,
brought to their markets, are, without exception, German; but they are
called English, and as such sold at higher prices than they would fetch
were their origin made known.

The consumption of the woollen cloths is very extensive; that of the
superfine qualities alone is valued at 200,000_l._ sterling every year.
Some French cloths are brought into the country, but as their prices are
considerably higher than those of Germany, they do not meet with much
demand. French cambrics and English muslins are always profitable
articles to speculators, and never remain long on hand.

As furs of all kinds form a part of the national costume, and are,
besides necessary, owing to the natural rigour of the climate, they are
an article of vast importation. Russia supplies the principalities with
it, and takes in return brandy and wine, and imperial ducats.

Most of the merchants carrying on trade in these countries, are natives,
or Greeks. Some have been naturalised in Russia or in Austria, and
receive protection from those powers; an advantage which is of no small
consequence to their affairs. Of late years, some natives of the Ionian
islands have began to trade in the principalities, and the English flag,
borne by their vessels, is now frequently displayed on the Danube.

Some overland expeditions of goods coming from Smyrna, are now and then
made by way of Enos and Adrianople; but they are attended with risk and
difficulty; besides which, the amount of charges surpasses by eight per
cent. those incurred by way of Galatz.

The natural richness, and the various resources of Wallachia and
Moldavia, are such, that if those countries could enjoy the important
advantages of a regular government and a wise administration, under
which industry and agriculture should receive their due encouragement,
the trade of exports laid open, the commercial intercourse with foreign
nations set upon a proper footing, and finally, the mines explored, they
would in a short time become the most populous and most flourishing
provinces of Europe. The harbour of Galatz would soon stand in rivalship
with all the ports of the Black Sea, not excepting Odessa.

The fertility of the soil is such as to procure nourishment for ten
times the number of the present population, and leave wherewith to
supply other countries besides; the common return of cultivation being
sixteen-fold, and in more favourable seasons, twenty-five.

Nature has furnished them with every possible means of becoming
prosperous; men have ever proved themselves the determined enemies of
their prosperity.

                               CHAPTER V.

Bukorest, the present capital of Wallachia, is an extensive dirty town,
situated on a low and marshy ground, and containing eighty thousand
inhabitants, three hundred and sixty-six churches, twenty monasteries,
and thirty large _hanns_ or caravanserays.

About four hundred years back it was but a small village, belonging to a
person called _Bukor_, from whom it derived its name, and retains it to
the present day. By degrees it became a town, and it continued
increasing, until it surpassed the former capital, Tirgovist, in size.
The Voïvode, Constantine Bessarabba, made it in 1698, the permanent seat
of government; abandoning with all his nobles the city of Tirgovist,
most delightfully situated further in the interior, having on one side a
beautiful range of hills, and the other a very fine and extensive plain.

The Greek princes having continued to reside at Bukorest, probably on
account of its being nearer to the Turks, Tirgovist was by degrees
deserted by the remaining part of its inhabitants, and it is now reduced
to a mere village. It contains many ruins of ancient edifices, amongst
which those of the Voïvodes’ palace are the most conspicuous. The river
Dimbovitza runs alongside of it.

Yassi,the capital of Moldavia, is a smaller but better-built town,
containing many elegant houses built in the most modern style of
European architecture, forty thousand inhabitants, and seventy churches.
One part of it stands upon a fine hill, and the other is situated in a
valley. The prince’s palace is the most extensive edifice in the whole
town, and is surrounded by gardens and yards. It is furnished in a style
which is half Oriental and half European, and has room enough to lodge
conveniently more than a thousand people.

The palace of Bukorest was formerly a large building, standing on an
eminence at one extremity of the town, and commanding a full view of it.
In 1813 it was accidentally burnt down, and it has not been rebuilt. The
late prince had, since that time, resided in two private houses joined
into one.

Both capitals occupy a great extent of ground, the houses being separate
from each other, and surrounded by yards or gardens, and trees. All the
buildings are made of brick, and their walls, outside as well as within,
are plastered and whitewashed. Tiles are seldom used, and the roofs are
generally covered with wood.

The streets of the two capitals, and indeed of all the provincial towns,
are, without exception, paved with thick pieces of timber, thrown
across, and made tight to each other. In some, the surface is made
smooth and even, whilst in others, the logs of wood are almost left in
their natural state. In the rainy seasons they are constantly covered
over with a deep liquid mud, and in the summer, with a thick black dust,
which the least wind renders excessively injurious to the eyes and
lungs; besides these great inconveniences, a complete renewal, at least
once in every six years, is absolutely necessary.

At Bukorest, under the wooden pavements, to which the natives give the
more appropriate name of _bridges_, there are large kennels, which
receive the filth of the houses, and are meant to convey it to the river
Dimbovitza, which runs through the town. Hardly any care is taken to
keep the different passages open, and the accumulation of dirty
substances frequently stops them up; in this state they sometimes remain
for months in the hot season, during which they produce the most noxious
exhalations, and occasion fevers of a putrid and malignant
nature,—diseases to which the natural position of the town must alone
dispose a great part of the inhabitants.

It has been long supposed, and it is still considered impossible to pave
the streets with stone, not so much on account of the scarcity of the
material, as owing to the ground being of a soft clay, which offers no
hold to it. This idea, very prevalent among the natives, is certainly
erroneous, and there cannot exist a more convincing proof of it, than
the stone pavements constructed by Trajan and the Romans, which have so
firmly withstood the destructive hand of time.

From a certain distance, and on elevated ground, the city of Bukorest
offers itself to the view with great advantage; the mixture of the
houses and trees give it a peculiar beauty; but it is like the fine
scenery of a theatre which charms the distant eye, and on being
approached is found to be a coarse daub.

As late as thirty years back, the Boyars were in the habit of visiting
each other, and going to court on horseback, and the women of the most
opulent only, went in coaches. Within that period, the fashion of riding
in coaches has so increased, and it is now so universal, that no person
of either sex, who has claims to respectability, can pass the gates of
his house otherwise than in a coach, even in the finest weather. The
Boyars consider it derogatory to their dignity to make use of their
legs, and leave to the mob the vulgar practice of walking. The
consequence is, that the streets, about seven or eight yards wide, are
always full of carriages, and frequent accidents happen to the
unfortunate pedestrians.

The kind of carriage most in use, is the German calèche; and the Boyars
have introduced the fashion of having theirs ornamented in the most
gaudy manner; but as they do not so much regard the beauty of the horses
and harness, nor the dress of the coachman, it is very common to meet in
the streets a carriage glittering with gold, drawn by a pair of
miserable hacks, and driven by a gypsy in rags.

There are many coachmakers, both at Bukorest and at Yassi; but the
carriages sent from Vienna are preferred to theirs, and much higher
prices are paid for them. The Boyars are indifferent as to their
solidity, and buy any old vehicle that is made up to deceive the eye,
and is offered as new; fine ornaments being the only quality in
estimation, every twelve or eighteen months they are obliged to purchase
a new carriage. On another hand, their own inattention, and the lazy,
slovenly, and careless habits of their coachmen, render this annual
expense indispensable.

No coaches of any kind are to be hired, so that travellers, and other
non-residents, must submit to the necessity of going on foot. Private
lodgings are also seldom to be had, and it was but very lately that a
public hotel was set up at Bukorest, which, being well furnished, and
provided with every requisite commodity, has become very useful to
travellers. A German is the proprietor and director of it.

The mode of travelling in the two principalities is so expeditious, that
in this respect it is not equalled in any other country. Their post
establishments are well organized; there are post-houses in all
directions, and they are abundantly provided with horses. Every idea of
comfort must, however, be set aside by those who are willing to conform
themselves to the common method of riding post. A kind of a vehicle is
given, which is not unlike a very small crate for earthenware, fastened
to four small wheels, by the means of wooden pegs, and altogether not
higher than a common wheel-barrow. It is filled with straw, and the
traveller sits in the middle of it, keeping the upper part of his body
in an erect posture, and finding great difficulty to cram his legs
within. Four horses are attached to it by cords, which form the whole
harness; and, driven by one postilion on horseback, they set off at full
speed, and neither stop nor slacken their pace, until they reach the
next post-house. Within the distance of half a mile from it, the
postilion gives warning of his approach by a repeated and great cracking
of his whip, so that, by the time of arrival, another cart is got ready
to receive the traveller.

The Boyars, and other people of respectability in the country, travel in
their own carriages, and at their own pace. In winter, as the snow lies
about two months on the ground, sledges are generally used, as well in
town as in the country.

The Wallachian breed of horses is of a peculiar kind. Their stature is
very small, and they have no spirit; but they are strong, active, and
capable of enduring great fatigue. Those of Moldavia differ only in
being a little larger in size. Some of the richest people have their
horses sent them from Russia and Hungary; but they are merely meant for
their coaches, as, from an aversion to every exercise that occasions the
least fatigue, hardly any of them ride on horseback. Handsome
saddle-horses, consequently, are seldom seen in the country; the prince
is the only person who keeps any; but they are chiefly used by his
Albanians, or body-guard.

                              CHAPTER VI.
                       TO THE TWO PRINCIPALITIES.

None of the events that had influenced the political existence, and
undermined the public spirit of the Wallachian and Moldavian nations,
proved more ruinous to them than the system of policy introduced by the
Greeks of the Fannar[28], when they were placed at the head of the

Humiliated, degraded, and oppressed as the Greeks were, since they had
ceased to be a nation, civilisation degenerated among them, in
proportion to the weight and barbarism of the yoke that had been imposed
on them, and they had insensibly contracted those habits of corruption,
and servile obedience, which must be inseparable from a state of slavery
similar to theirs. Dissimulation and falsehood became the most prominent
features of their character; and, in short, the force of the causes
which acted upon them incessantly, familiarised them, by degrees, to
every thing that could be degrading and humiliating to man.

The ambition of certain Greeks, leading an obscure life at
Constantinople, was, however roused, when the office of
state-interpreter at the Porte, assumed an important appearance under
the direction of their countryman, Alexander Mavrocordato, who, from a
petty merchant at the island of Scio, rose by degrees to that station,
and was sent in the quality of Ottoman plenipotentiary to the congress
of Carlowitz, where he distinguished himself as an able negotiator. He
caused his son Nicholas to be raised to the governments of Moldavia and
Wallachia, and he suggested to the Porte a new mode of appointment to
those principalities, after the elective right had been entirely set
aside. The Ottoman court thenceforward appropriated those two dignities
to individuals who had once served in the quality of state-interpreter
to its satisfaction, not so much as a reward for their services, as on
account of the knowledge obtained of their personal character and extent
of abilities.

On another hand, the repeated demonstrations of servitude on the part of
the Greeks, and the apparent impossibility of their ever becoming a
nation again, seemed to render them the fittest tools of the Porte’s new
system of government in the principalities; for, although it could not
trample upon the whole of their privileges at once, yet, in giving them
princes who should be entirely devoted to its interests, and slaves to
its will, the existence of those privileges was rendered nugatory.

No sooner was the possibility of sharing in the public administration
manifested to the Greeks, than such as were versed in the Turkish and
European languages, abandoning all other pursuits, formed themselves
into a distinct class, which assumed the title of nobility, and the
exclusive right of being called to the service of the state.

In a short time, however, the number of competitors increased
considerably; all equally eager and impatient to reach the same objects,
they introduced a system of intrigue and bribery, which gave rise to
continual changes in the government of the principalities, and
accustomed the Porte to look upon these as farms which were to be let
out to the highest bidders; the farmer-princes were therefore deposed
and recalled, whenever the offers and promises of others of their
countrymen appeared more advantageous.

From the period at which this system was introduced, to the beginning of
the present century, being a space of ninety years, Wallachia alone has
passed through the hands of forty different princes, independently of
the time it was occupied by the Russians, from 1770 to 1774; by the
Austrians and Russians, from 1789 to 1792, and by the Russians again,
from 1806 to 1812.

The evils which naturally arose from such a state of things, weighed so
heavily upon the two nations, that the court of Russia, already
authorised by the treaty of Kaïnargik[29], to interfere in their behalf,
insisted at the peace of Yassi in 1792, that the Porte should engage to
maintain the princes of Moldavia and Wallachia in their respective
stations, for the space of seven years, and not to molest them in any
manner previous to the expiration of that term. This agreement was then
legally entered into by the Ottoman plenipotentiaries, but in the sequel
it was not regularly observed by the Porte, whose frequent infractions
of it became the subject of continual remonstrance on the part of the
court of Russia. In 1802, however, Prince Ipsilanti was appointed to the
government of Wallachia, and Prince Alexander Mourousi to that of
Moldavia, with the express condition which was obtained through the
negotiations of the Russian minister at the Porte, that neither of them
should be removed from office previous to the term stipulated in the
treaty, if they were not proved guilty of an offence that the Russian
minister should allow to be of a nature which justified their

In 1805, the intrigues of Buonaparte, who sought to involve Turkey in
his continental system, prevailed upon the Porte to adopt a line of
conduct which Russia could not otherwise interpret, than as a systematic
violation of its existing engagements, and an approaching alliance with
France, notwithstanding that a public audience of the Sultan was given
to the Russian envoy, Mr. d’Italinsky, in which a formal exchange of
ratifications took place of a late treaty of defensive alliance
concluded between the two powers.

The Hospodars, Ipsilanti and Mourousi, were suddenly recalled, without
the participation of the Russian embassy; the latter was replaced by
Charles Callimacki, and the former by Alexander Sutzo, a man who was
looked upon as a partisan of Buonaparte, and who had always been
obnoxious to the interests of Russia.

Previous to this circumstance, a certain degree of coolness already
existed between the courts of St. Petersburgh and Constantinople; it
originated in the Porte’s sudden resolution of suppressing foreign
protections, in abolishing all letters-patent, until then granted to
individuals, natives of Turkey, who were authorised by such letters to
place themselves under the protection of foreign courts, although
residing and trading in the Ottoman dominions. More particularly in
carrying that resolution into effect, by forcibly and publicly
compelling all such individuals, protected by Russia, to give up their
titles, without paying the least regard to the representations of the
Russian embassy.

Ipsilanti’s and Mourousi’s deposition brought things to a crisis. A
Russian army was immediately sent to the frontiers to enforce the
treaties, and having occupied the fortresses of Bender and Hotim, the
Porte looked upon the measure as a declaration of war, and the Mufti
issued his _Fetvaa_[31], which declared it legal to repel force by

The rupture was soon followed by another with England, who had joined
Russia to oppose the increasing influence of Buonaparte over the Porte.
When, in 1805, the English ambassador, Mr. Charles Arbuthnot, arrived at
Constantinople, the Porte expressed a wish of renewing the treaty of
accession made in 1799, the term of which (eight years) was drawing to
its end. That treaty, framed upon the wisest principles, completed the
triple alliance between England, Russia, and Turkey, from which so many
important advantages have accrued to the common cause.

Mr. Arbuthnot not being invested with full powers for that particular
object, wrote home for instructions, and received them a short time
after; and when on their arrival an offer was made to the Turkish
ministers to commence the work, they very unexpectedly began to draw
back, and an actual recantation took place, which naturally created the
greatest surprise.

The intrigues of the French ambassador, and Buonaparte’s progressive
encroachments in Europe, had made on the minds of the Sultan and his
ministers such an impression, that no remonstrance, no threat could now
induce them to perform what they themselves had shown so much wish for

On the other hand, the British embassy could not remain indifferent to
the recall of the Hospodars, and to the manner in which the foreign
protections had been suppressed.

From an impulse of official regard to the complaints and interests of
those individuals who were patentees under the English protection, and
in consequence of the Russian envoy’s solicitations that their efforts
might be joined for the purpose of resisting the violent measures
pursued by the Turkish government, the British ambassador made many
representations to the Porte against its proceedings, and although
impartial in principle as to the practice of granting protection to
natives of the country, he, at all events, recommended moderation, and a
less offensive mode of carrying the new system into execution. But
having soon discovered and ascertained beyond a doubt, that all
interference was of no avail, that the resolution of the Turkish cabinet
was such as to hazard all, sooner than withdraw from the adopted plan,
he deemed it expedient to advise the British patentees to proceed, as if
from their own accord, and give up their titles to the Porte, and in the
mean time recommended in a private manner, the property and personal
safety of such individuals, who, by this means, not only avoided the
resentment of the Turkish government, but were all well treated, and
some taken into favour.

The British ambassador, however, showed less disposition to compliance
with regard to the other proceedings of the Porte, and having insisted
with Russia on the immediate reinstatement of the Hospodars Ipsilanti
and Mourousi, the subject was discussed at the divan, where the general
opinion inclined to a firm resistance of those pretensions; but the
Sultan finally declared, that however humiliating might be the
alternative of ceding to them, he was resolved to recur to it rather
than break with England.

This decision was at the time carried into execution, to the extreme
disappointment of the French ambassador, Sebastiani, whose great object
was to kindle the fire he had raised. But very soon after, advices being
received that the Russian troops had already entered the Moldavian
territory, affairs underwent a total change; the Russian envoy was
dismissed, and the Grand Vezier took the field.

To represent these events in a more proper point of view, it is
necessary to observe, that it was neither the intention of England, nor
the wish of Russia, to engage in a serious war with Turkey. Their object
was to bring the Porte to a sense of its true interests, in diverting it
from a line of conduct which bore every appearance of a change in its
political system, and was every way calculated to confirm the suspicion
that the Sultan was contracting an alliance with Buonaparte.

In order to separate the Porte from the French party, and induce it to
return to the connexions which had formerly existed with the allies of
Turkey, a plan of coercive measures had been found necessary; and, to
give them a greater weight, it had been determined that Russia should
send an army from the north, and England a fleet from the south.

When the English fleet appeared before Constantinople, it naturally
occasioned the greatest confusion and alarm. The Sultan lost no time in
sending on board to offer terms of peace, and negotiations were
commenced with Mr. Arbuthnot, who was in the flag-ship, the Royal
Sovereign. But they were carried on with much less vigour than it was
necessary to give them, and left time to the French intrigues to gain
the advantage. Buonaparte’s active agents, General Sebastiani and
Franchini[32], were the more anxious to counteract the operations of the
English plenipotentiary, as they were aware that the first result of his
success would have been the expulsion of the French embassy from
Constantinople. They employed for that purpose every means in their
power, and they succeeded by the following stratagem.

The chief of the Janissaries, Pehlivan-Aga, had formerly been colonel of
a regiment, which had acted once as guard of honour, given to a French
embassy at the Porte. Having remained some time in that station, he had
contracted a lasting connexion with the French, to whose party, since
that period, he devoted himself. When General Sebastiani saw that peace
with England was on the point of being concluded, he sent Franchini to
him to suggest a plan which the Turkish officer carried into immediate
execution. He went to the seraglio[33], as if in great haste, and having
obtained audience of the Sultan, he thus addressed his imperial chief:—

“May God preserve your sacred person and the Ottoman empire from every
possible evil. A pure sense of duty brings me before your Royal Person,
to represent that so strong and general a fermentation has arisen
amongst my Janissaries since the appearance of the infidel’s fleet
before your royal palace: they express so great a discontent at the
measures pursued by your ministers in negotiating with the English, from
a shameful fear that the appearance of that fleet has thrown them into;
that a general insurrection is on the point of breaking out, unless the
negotiations be laid aside, and all offers of peace be rejected with
scorn. They declare that it is beneath the dignity and fame of the
Ottoman empire, to submit to such an act of humiliation, as to sign a
treaty, because a few ships have come to bully its capital, and dictate
their own terms to the Ottoman sovereign. Your brave Janissaries will
not suffer so disgraceful a stain to tarnish the splendour of the
Ottoman arms. They are all ready to sacrifice themselves in defence of
your residence, and in vindication of the honour and faith of the
Ottoman nation. But they can never consent to stand tacit witnesses of a
submission so ignominious to the Turkish name.”

Sultan Selim, a prince naturally timid and credulous, no sooner heard a
message of this sort delivered in the name of the Janissaries, then in
good understanding with the chiefs of government, and apparently united
with the troops of the Nisam-y-gedid[34], than he ordered all
communications with the English fleet to be suspended, and immediate
preparations of defence to be made, in the event of its commencing

This manœuvre, unknown at the time, and with which very few persons are
yet acquainted, was the true cause of the failure of the negotiations
which, at the commencement, bore so sure a prospect of success.

The fleet returned without even having made a show of hostile
intentions, and left to the triumphant French party the most decided
influence in the Seraglio.

Before we enter into further observations on the events which followed,
it may not be amiss to make a few remarks on the character of those who
were then at the head of the Turkish administration, as it is to them
that the whole change of system of the Porte is to be attributed.

Haffiz-Ismaïl Pashah, Grand Vezier, appointed early in 1805, was a
low-bred, ignorant man, so poor and thirsty after money, that the moment
he was elevated to his station, he formed the plan of operating a change
in the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, although the time
prescribed by the treaties was not yet near, with a view of getting a
subsidy, and securing to himself an income which the candidates, who
took no small advantage of the Vezier’s inexperience and selfish views,
had promised to allow him when the appointment should have taken place.

Ibraïm-Aga, Kiaya-Béÿ, or minister of the interior, a man of little
experience and great ambition, under the idea of ingratiating himself
with his master, and rendering, as he thought, a signal service to the
state, undertook the affair of protections which he treated in a manner
so insulting and provoking, that it was impossible for any foreign
power, jealous of its own dignity, to suffer it to remain unnoticed.

The Mufti, Sheriff-Zaadé-Attaa-Effendi, and the chief of the
Janissaries, Pehlivan-Mehmet Aga, were entirely devoted to the French
party. They willingly seconded the adoption of any measures which tended
to alienate the Porte from England and Russia, and appeared calculated
to promote Buonaparte’s scheme of overthrowing the triple alliance.

Galib Reïs-Effendi, minister of foreign affairs, and Yussuf-Aga,
Validay-Kiayassi or chancellor to the Emperor’s mother, were the only
two men in power friendly to the common cause. They disapproved of the
measures pursued, but their opinion was over-ruled, and they both
thought it prudent to retire from business, in order to screen
themselves from responsibility with respect to the consequences they

The military operations on the Danube be between the Russians and the
Turks, which followed the first acts of hostility, were not more
successful with regard to the object that brought them on, than the
threats of the English fleet.

The peace of Tilsit took place; and the Porte, which had reason to
expect an effective interference on the part of Buonaparte in behalf of
its differences with Russia, gained no other advantage than the
conclusion of a long armistice, the first condition of which was the
retreat of the Russian armies from the principalities, whence, however,
they did not remove. Negotiations for peace were, notwithstanding, set
on foot; and the great revolutions, which overthrew the Sultan Selim,
and consigned him to death, finally established a new order of things at
Constantinople, and operated a complete change in the political system
of the Turkish cabinet. The Porte remained no longer blind to the
equivocal conduct of Buonaparte since his reconciliation with Russia,
and began to look upon its state of hostility with England not only as
useless, but even injurious to the interests of the country.

In 1808, an English[35]plenipotentiary had been for the second time[36]
sent to treat at the Dardanelles, and peace was definitively signed in
the month of December of the same year.

At the same time the Turkish plenipotentiaries, sent to Bukorest during
the armistice, were endeavouring to adjust the differences with Russia;
but the interview of the Emperor Alexander with Buonaparte took place at
Erfurth, and the failure of their joint proposals to the court of
London[37] was followed by instructions to Prince Prosoroffsky,
commander-in-chief of the Russian armies in Moldavia and Wallachia, to
signify to the Ottoman plenipotentiaries that, as the Emperor Alexander
had acceded to the Continental System, the chief object of which was a
continual state of warfare with England, he could no longer enter upon
terms of peace with Turkey, unless the English ambassador, lately
admitted at Constantinople, were sent out of the Ottoman dominions.

The Turkish ministers expressed astonishment at the versatility of the
court of Russia, which, having made the first overtures for a
negotiation, had not then in any manner alluded to England; they
demanded time, however, for the arrival of instructions which were
necessary to regulate their official reply to a communication so
unexpected. They dispatched a messenger to Constantinople for that
purpose, and he was accompanied by an aide-de-camp of Prince
Prosoroffsky, Colonel Bock, who, on his arrival, signified to the Porte
the Emperor’s ultimatum, through the channel of the French minister
Latour Maubourg.

The Ottoman government, without much hesitation, recalled the Turkish
plenipotentiaries from the congress of Bukorest, and hostilities were

A plan of partition had been formed at Erfurth between the emperors
Alexander and Napoleon, by which the Turkish provinces were to fall to
the share of Russia, and Spain to that of France. It was after this
understanding between the two sovereigns that overtures were made to
England. The English negotiation took time, and before it came to a
decided issue, Buonaparte declared to his senate that the principalities
of Wallachia and Moldavia were annexed to the dominions of his friend
and ally the Emperor Alexander. When, however, Buonaparte found England
determined to treat upon no basis which did not expressly admit of the
evacuation of Spain, and that by entering into such terms he left a
decided advantage to Russia with respect to Turkey, without reaping any
benefit to himself from the political bargain made at Erfurth, he
changed his views. The continental system, which he endeavoured to
justify in attributing the general calamities of Europe to a tyrannical
perseverance in war on the part of England, furnished him with a
sufficient pretext for engaging Russia to continue her war against
Turkey, who had just entered into terms of friendship with England. On
the other hand, he prevailed upon the Turkish government to insist on
the restitution of the principalities occupied by the Russian armies,
and to continue hostilities so long as the Russian court should withhold
its consent to that measure. His desire of keeping these two powers at
variance with each other could not but increase when he had subsequently
formed the plan of invading Russia, who, molested on one side by the
Turks, and on the other by the Persians, was thus forced to employ
considerable armies on distant frontiers.

The exhausted state of Turkey, the mediation of England, and the
impatience of Russia, who was pressed by the hostile preparations of
France, evidently intended against her, hastened the conclusion of peace
in 1812 between the Mussulman powers and the Russians; but, critical as
the circumstances were, the Court of St. Petersburgh signed a most
advantageous treaty with both.

Galib Effendi, who, since the great changes of government at
Constantinople, had resumed the functions of minister of foreign
affairs, was chief plenipotentiary at the congress of Bukorest in 1811
and 1812; but the Greek prince Demetrius Mourousi, who, in his quality
of state-interpreter, was present at the negotiations, conducted the
greatest part of them, and was indeed intrusted with extensive power. He
had, with his two brothers, been invariably attached to the Russian
party since the beginning of his public career, and his hopes of being
appointed to one of the principalities, the greatest objects of his
ambition, after the restoration of peace, appeared grounded upon the
best foundation. His office, his services at the congress, and the
support of the court of Russia, were, in fact, considerations which
appeared to render his nomination certain.

The cession of Wallachia and Moldavia could not, therefore, by any
means, suit his views, and he combated it with energy and success; but,
in rendering so important a service to the Porte, some proof of
attachment to Russia was also necessary on his part; and although by
insisting on the entire restitution of the principalities, no doubt but
the Russian plenipotentiaries, who were instructed to hasten the
conclusion of peace upon any terms not beyond that restitution, would
have consented without hesitation, Mourousi, who was aware of it,
finally settled the conditions by ceding to Russia the finest part of
Moldavia, that which is situated between the rivers Dniester and Pruth,
thus fixing the future line of demarcation of the Russian frontiers by
the direction of the latter river.

The vigilant agents of Buonaparte at Constantinople did not suffer the
conduct of Mourousi to remain unnoticed. When, after the signing of the
treaty, they saw themselves frustrated in the hope of inducing the Porte
to continue the war, they sought to bring the Mourousi family into
disgrace, that they might, at least, prevail upon the Ottoman government
to place at the head of the principalities persons of their own
choosing. They represented the Prince Demetrius as a traitor who had
been bribed by the Russians to serve their interests, at a time when it
was in his power to obtain the most advantageous terms of peace.

Meanwhile hostilities commenced between France and Russia, and the Porte
having evinced a resolution of remaining neutral, unwilling to give
umbrage to either of the contending powers in the choice of the new
Hospodars, resolved to fix upon two individuals whose political
principles had never been connected with foreign parties. A great number
of candidates offered their services, but none of them being qualified
for the appointments, their claims were rejected. Halett-Effendi,
intimate counsellor of the sultan, was instructed to make a choice, and
he fixed it on the prince Charles Callimacki[38] for Moldavia, and Yanco
Caradja for Wallachia. Halett-Effendi had been several years before
Turkish secretary to Callimacki’s father, whilst at the head of the
Moldavian government, and on terms of intimate friendship with Caradja,
who had also a subaltern employment under the same prince. Being
perfectly acquainted with the personal character of both, he recommended
them to the sultan as the fittest persons in those circumstances, and
they were appointed in August 1812.

Demetrius Mourousi, who, with Galib Effendi, had not yet departed from
Wallachia, received the news of the nominations at a time that he
expected with confidence that of his own. He was at the same time
secretly informed that his return to Constantinople would expose him to
the greatest dangers, and advised to retire into a Christian country.
Offers were made him of an asylum in Russia, with a considerable pension
from the government; but, fearful that his flight might direct the
vengeance of the Porte on his family, who had remained in the power of
the Turks, and in the hope of justifying his conduct, since the whole
responsibility of the transactions at the congress ought properly to
have fallen on Galib Effendi, he made up his mind to accompany that
minister back to the capital. He little suspected, however, that the
Turkish minister, whose conduct had been disapproved of, had removed
every unfavourable impression relative to himself from the mind of the
Sultan, by attributing the conditions of peace to which he had
subscribed, to the intrigues and treachery of Mourousi; and that he had,
in consequence, received secret orders to arrest the Greek prince the
moment they crossed the Danube together, and send him prisoner to the
Grand Vezier, who had not yet removed his head-quarters from Shumla.

Mourousi, still more encouraged by the friendly assurances of Galib
Effendi, left Bukorest in September, and from Rustehiuk was conveyed
under an escort to Shumla, where, on entering the gates of the Vezier’s
dwelling, he was met by several Chiaoushes[39] who fell upon him with
their sabres and cut him in pieces. His head was sent to Constantinople,
where it was exposed three days at the gates of the Seraglio, with that
of his brother Panayotti Mourousi, who, during the absence of Demetrius
had filled his place at the Porte, and was accused of having been his
accomplice in betraying the Ottoman interests.

The Hospodars Caradja and Callimacki took possession of their respective
governments on the 3d of October, 1812, the day fixed for the
restitution of the principalities; and the Porte, whose present security
on the side of Russia, in a great measure depends on the strictest
adherence to its treaties with that power, has made no attempt of
removing the princes previous to the expiration of the seven years.

The Hospodar Caradja, however, having in the course of six years’
residence in Wallachia, amassed immense wealth, apprehensive of being
called to account on his return to Constantinople for laying aside so
many riches for his own use, judged it prudent to make a timely retreat,
and to settle in some Christian country of Europe beyond the reach of
Turkish influence. He remitted all his money to European banks, and one
day in October, 1818, he assembled some of the principal Boyars,
consigned to them the reins of government, and left Bukorest with all
his family for Kronstadt in the Austrian dominions, where he arrived in
safety after a short journey.[40]

After his departure, the Boyars petitioned the Sultan that he would no
longer appoint Greek princes to govern Wallachia, but confide the
administration to the members of the divan, who engaged to accept and
maintain any tributary conditions that he would think proper to
prescribe to them. The Ottoman cabinet, however, did not conceive it
prudent to listen to the proposal; and after communicating with the
Russian ambassador, appointed to the principality the same Alexander
Sutzo, who had been so strongly opposed by the Russian Envoy in 1805.

Russia had no longer reasons to object to his nomination; and no doubt
but the Prince Sutzo, who is an enlightened and well-thinking statesman,
will acquit himself of his charge as well as the circumstances in which
he is situated, will permit. But the harassing and ruinous system of
government, still maintained in the principalities, offers, it must be
confessed, no small matter of regret on the indifference of the Porte
with regard to the adoption of measures better calculated for their
welfare and prosperity.

The Ottoman court has often witnessed the consequences of the dread with
which the Greeks employed in its service are impressed, and has felt on
various occasions how much its policy must tend to alienate from the
Turks every sentiment of good-will of the inhabitants of those
provinces, and make them desirous and ready to throw themselves into the
arms of the first nation whose armies approach their territory to make
war on Turkey; and yet it continues in the same system. Greek princes,
however devoted to the interests of the Porte, would certainly do little
without armies, in the event of an unexpected revolution in Wallachia
and Moldavia. Their presence alone is by no means sufficient to maintain
in them the Turkish authority. The fortified places on the Danube, are
the only guarantees of the fidelity of the principalities. In suffering
the two nations to be governed entirely by their own natural
authorities, would the Ottoman supremacy incur the least diminution of
power? and would it not continue to maintain the same commanding

The inattention of the Turkish cabinet is not to be exclusively ascribed
to the general system of governing the empire, but chiefly to the
selfish views and personal avidity of the ministers who compose it. They
have accustomed themselves to look upon Wallachia and Moldavia as two
rich provinces over which they have but a momentary authority; and,
instead of seeking the means most calculated to secure a permanent
possession of them, they shorten the possibility by a systematic
devastation of all their resources.

The Sultan himself, who takes a much more active part in the affairs of
state than many of his predecessors have done; whose talents and liberal
sentiments would claim equality with those of any other sovereign, were
they not so much restrained by the religious prejudices and stubborn
ignorance of his Mahometan subjects: and whose chief attention has of
late years been directed to a new organization of the empire,
unfortunately seems equally averse to any changes which might tend to
improve the condition of Wallachia and Moldavia.

                              CHAPTER VII.

The proximity of the Black Sea and of Mount Hæmus on one side, and that
of the Carpathian Mountains on the other, render the climate of the
principalities variable, and subject to sudden changes from heat to

When the wind comes from the north-east, even in the middle of summer,
it cools the atmosphere to such a degree, as to force the inhabitants to
cover themselves with additional clothing. The southerly wind brings
heat and fine weather; but it seldom lasts any length of time.

A great quantity of rain falls during the summer, and in the months of
June and July it is always accompanied by storms of wind and thunder,
which regularly return every day at the same hour towards the evening.

The winter is almost always long and tedious, and the summer heats set
in all at once at the beginning of May, so that the beauties of a
regular spring are little seen or known.

The severest part of the winter begins early in December, and the same
degree of cold, with little variation, lasts until the middle of
February, when a damp and unhealthy temperature succeeds, and continues
until May. The Danube and all the rivers that fall into it from the
principalities generally remain frozen for six weeks, and the ice is
thick enough to bear with perfect safety the heaviest artillery. The
snow lies on the ground the whole of January and February, and
communications with every part of the country are carried on with

From the latter part of September to the middle, and frequently to the
end of, November, the days are the finest in the year. But the nights
are excessively cold, and the night air particularly unwholesome.
Travellers who do not take care to guard against its influence by
flannels and thick clothing, are exposed to the danger of various kinds
of fevers, and of the pleurisy.

The irregularity of climate, the damp quality of the soil, and an
abundance of marshy places throughout the principalities, produce a
visible influence over the animals of the various sorts which are common
to them, as well as over the vegetation. The bears, wolves, and foxes,
are of the most timid nature; hardly any danger is to be apprehended
from them, unless they are met in numerous flocks, as is common enough
during the coldest winter nights.

The domestic animals are also remarkable for mildness. The beef, pork,
mutton, poultry, and game, have rather an insipid taste; the vegetables
an inferior flavour, and the flowers little perfume.

Finally, man, the chief work of nature, is here of a dull and heavy
disposition: with weak passions, no strength of mind, and betraying a
natural aversion to a life of industry or of mental exertion. Moral
causes may indeed produce such effects upon the human frame; but here,
those of a physical kind evidently act in unison with them, and with
equal force.

The education of the Boyars is usually confined to the mere knowledge of
reading and writing the language of the country, and the modern Greek.
Some few add to this superficial stock of learning, a few of the
rudiments of the French language, which has been introduced by the
Russian officers among them. Many more understand and speak it without
the least knowledge of its letters or grammar. If any are able to talk
familiarly, though imperfectly, of one or two ancient or celebrated
authors, or make a few bad verses that will rhyme, they assume the title
of literati and poets, and they are looked upon by their astonished
countrymen as endowed with superior genius and abilities. An early
propensity to learning and literature receives but little encouragement;
and, at a more advanced period in life, the allurements of public
employment, the petty intrigues at court, and the absence of every
obstacle to pursuits of gallantry and pleasure, induce even the best
disposed to set aside every other occupation.

Public schools have, since several years, been established both at
Bukorest and Yassi. They are supported at public expense, and attended
by masters for the Wallachian, ancient and modern Greek languages,
writing, and arithmetic. The number of students at each school amounts
at the present moment to about two hundred. They are the sons of
inferior Boyars and tradesmen. The children of the principal Boyars
receive their education at home from private tutors, commonly Greek
priests, who are not natives of the principalities.

The education of the women is not more carefully attended to than that
of the men; sometimes it is inferior, on account of the prevailing
custom of marrying them at a very early age.

Neither sex is regularly instructed in religion, and it is by the mere
intercourse of life that they derive their notions of it, and by the
examples of their elders that their principles in it are regulated.

These circumstances, naturally arising from the discouragement given by
the government to every improvement in civilisation, keep the state of
society very backward, and are productive of the most pernicious
influence over its moral character.

The Boyars, indeed, although so little susceptible of great virtues,
cannot be taxed with a determined propensity to vice. Established
prejudices, which the general state of ignorance has rooted in the two
nations, and a universal system of moral corruption, render them,
however, familiar with it.

Money is their only stimulus; and the means they generally employ to
obtain it are not the efforts of industry, nor are they modified by any
scruples of conscience. Habit has made them spoliators; and in a country
where actions of an ignominious nature are even encouraged, and those of
rapacity looked upon as mere proofs of dexterity and cunning, corruption
of principles cannot fail to become universal.

The prodigality of the Boyars is equal to their avidity; ostentation
governs them in one manner, and avarice in another. They are careless of
their private affairs, and, with the exception of a few more prudent
than the generality, they leave them in the greatest disorder. Averse to
the trouble of conducting their pecuniary concerns, they entrust them to
the hands of stewards, who take good care to enrich themselves at their
expense, and to their great detriment. Many have more debts than the
value of their whole property is sufficient to pay; but their personal
credit is not injured by them, neither do they experience one moment’s
anxiety for such a state of ruin.

The quality of nobility protects them from the pursuits of the creditor;
and the hope of obtaining lucrative employments, by the revenues of
which they may be able to mend their affairs, sets their minds at ease,
and induces them to continue in extravagance. Some bring forward their
ruin as a pretext for soliciting frequent employment, and when the
creditors have so often applied to the prince as to oblige him to
interfere, they represent that the payment of their debts depends upon
his placing them in office. The office is finally obtained, and the
debts remain unpaid. When a sequester is laid upon their property, they
contrive to prove that it came to them by marriage; and as the law
respects dowries, they save it from public sale.

The Wallachian or Moldavian language is composed of a corrupt mixture of
foreign words, materially altered from their original orthography and
pronunciation. Its groundwork is Latin and Slavonic. For many centuries
it had no letters, and the Slavonic characters were used in public
instruments and epitaphs. The Boyars, whose public career rendered the
knowledge of a few letters most necessary, knew merely enough to sign
their names. The Bible was only known by reputation. In 1735,
Constantine Mavrocordato,who had undertaken the task of replacing
barbarism by civilisation in both principalities, made a grammar for the
jargon that was spoken, in characters which he drew from the Slavonic
and the Greek. He caused several copies of the Old and New Testament in
the new language to be distributed, and he ordered the Gospel to be
regularly read in the churches. He encouraged the inhabitants to study
their language according to the rules of his grammar, and in a few years
the knowledge of reading and writing became general among the higher

The modern Greek, introduced by the Hospodars, is the language of the
court, but it is perfectly understood by the Boyars, with whom it has
become a native tongue. It is spoken in Wallachia with much greater
purity than in any other country where it is in use. In many parts of
Greece, different dialects have been adopted, some of which have but
little affinity with the Hellenic, whilst in others the greater part of
the words have been so disfigured as to render their origin difficult to
trace. The Greek spoken in Wallachia differs but little from the
Hellenic. The Moldavians are less in the habit of making use of it; and
the study of French and other foreign languages is more general among

The national dress of the Boyars does not differ from that which belongs
to the higher classes of Turks, with the only exception of the turban,
to which they substitute a kind of cap of an extraordinary size called
_calpack_, made of grey Astracan fur, in the shape of a pear. It is
hollow, and the largest part of it is about three feet in circumference,
with a proportionable height. It is altogether a very ugly and
ridiculous head-dress, and not at all adapted to the beauty and
magnificence of the rest of the costume.

The ladies dress entirely in the European style; but they combine the
fashions with oriental richness and profusion of ornament. Their
persons, in general, have not much beauty; but this deficiency is made
up by a great share of natural grace and pleasant humour, and by a
peculiar neatness of shape.

The Wallachian music has some resemblance with that of the modern
Greeks, although more regular in time, and altogether more harmonious.
Its style has hardly any variety, and all the tunes are uniformly played
in minor keys. Some would produce good effect if played with proper
delicacy and expression. The instruments mostly used are the common
violin, the Pan-pipe, and a kind of guitar or lute peculiar to the
country. The bands are composed of these three kinds of instruments, all
of which play the leading part without variation of accompaniment; they
are only introduced on occasions of mirth or festivity. The Boyars,
being no admirers of music, never make a study of it, and their gypsy
slaves are the only persons who profess it. Their women, however, are
partial to the German style of it, and several of them perform on the
pianoforte; but want of perseverance keeps them from reaching to any
degree of perfection, and want of emulation from persevering.

The dance, formerly common to all the classes of the natives, and which,
at present, is the only one known to the lower orders, is of a singular
style. Fifteen or twenty persons of both sexes take each other by the
hands, and, forming a large circle, they turn round and round again, at
a very slow pace; the men bending their knees now and then, as if to
mark the time of music, and casting a languishing look on each side,
when holding the hands of women. This kind of dance has some years since
been thrown out of fashion in the first circles of society, and English
country-dances, waltzing, and the Polish mazurka have been introduced.
Most of the ladies dance them well, but the men very indifferently,
their dress being a great obstacle to perfection in the accomplishment.

In the daily occupations and pastimes of the Boyars, little variety
takes place. Those who hold no place under government, spend their
leisure in absolute idleness, or in visiting each other to kill time. In
Wallachia, the management of their estates and other private concerns,
which do not relate to public appointment, does not occupy much of their
attention, and sometimes the finest of their lands are left in total
neglect, or in the hands of mercenary agents, who enrich themselves with
their spoils. They hardly ever visit their country possessions, which
some let out for several years, for much less than their real value,
when they find customers who are willing to pay the whole amount of rent
in advance. They build fine country-houses which they intend never to
inhabit, and which, in a few years, fall into ruin. The most delightful
spots in their beautiful country have no power to attract them, neither
is it at all customary with them to quit the town residence at any
season of the year.

The Boyars in Moldavia, like those in Wallachia, are the great
land-proprietors; but they bestow much more of their attention and time
to the improvement of their estates, which they make their principal
source of riches. The revenues of some of the most opulent, from landed
property, amount to two or three hundred thousand piasters, and their
appointment to public employment is generally unsolicited.

During the winter, the chief amusements of the Boyars at Bukorest
consist in attending public clubs, established on the plan of the
_redoutes_ at Vienna. Masked balls are given in them three or four times
a week, which attract great numbers of people. There are, however, clubs
adapted to the different ranks; the principal of them, to which the
court and first Boyars subscribe, is distinguished by the appellation of
_Club-noble_; it is very numerously attended towards the end of the
Carnival, and although its title indicates a perfect selection of
society, it does not the less allow entrance to people of all
descriptions under masks. The most genteel do not dance here, unless
they are masked; but they play at the pharao-table, and at other games,
of which the place offers a variety.

Private balls are also given sometimes, but no other kind of regular
evening parties are customary. Formalities of invitation, however, are
never expected; and the tables of the Boyars, and their houses, are at
all times open to their friends and acquaintance.

The summer evenings are generally spent at a place called _Hellesteo_.
It is a lake situated about a mile’s distance out of town, on the
borders of which, the company walk or sit two or three hours. Near the
most frequented part is a coffee-house, where ices and other
refreshments are to be had. On Sundays, the number of carriages coming
to this place, amounts sometimes to six or seven hundred; and the
multitude of fashionables, as well as the great display of dress and
jewels of the ladies, certainly render it a gay and pretty scene. The
walks are not shaded by trees, and the only advantage they offer, is an
extensive view round the country.

At the distance of a mile from the _Hellesteo_, is situated a beautiful
little grove called _Banessa_, to which a part of the company frequently
drive. It is the property of a Boyar of the name of Vakaresko, and forms
a kind of park to his country-house, situated behind it. This gentleman
is not only good enough to keep it open to the public, but even makes
every possible improvement for their accommodation, at his own expense.
Both he and his lady do the honours of it to their friends, in the most
obliging manner.

All the company return to town from these places at the same time; the
line of calèches, endless to the sight, raise clouds of dust, to the no
small derangement of the ladies’ toilets. Some spend the remainder of
the evening in riding up and down the principal streets, and others
assemble at different houses to play at cards.

In winter, the afternoon rides are confined to the streets of the town,
where the number and splendour of sledges is equal to that of the
calèches in the fine season.

Last year a company of German actors came to Bukorest, and after some
performances, were encouraged to establish a regular theatre. They gave
German operas, and comedies translated into Wallachian, and the first
two or three months they attracted crowds from all the classes, who,
without exception, seemed to have taken a true liking to the new sort of
amusement; but latterly the charm of novelty had begun to wear off, and
the Boyars of the first order, with some of the principal foreign
residents, seemed to be the only persons disposed to support the
continuance of the establishment, more with the view of making it a
place of general union of the society, than from the attractions of the

The days of Christmas, new-year, the prince’s anniversary, Easter, and
some others, are chiefly devoted to etiquette visits at court. From nine
o’clock in the morning to one in the afternoon, the prince and princess,
seated at the corner of a very long sopha, and covered with jewels and
the most costly apparel, receive the homage of all those who are
entitled to the honour of kissing their hands, an honour which the
foreign consuls, their wives, and officers attached to their suite,
alone, think proper to dispense with. No other persons residing in the
country can be received at court on gala days without going through that
formality. The wives of Boyars are allowed to sit in the presence of the
prince and princess; they take seat according to the rank or office of
their husbands, who without exception are obliged to stand at a
respectful distance. On similar occasions, the crowd at court is
immense; the whole of the outer apartments are filled with persons of
every description, and the audience-chamber is not less so by the number
of visitors. On new-year’s-day it is customary to make presents of money
to the servants attending the court; they have no other pecuniary
allowance for their services; and the bustle and confusion occasioned by
the avidity of this crowd of harpies is as difficult to be described as
it is inconsistent with the dignity of a court who expects and ordains
universal homage to its chiefs.

About two hundred and ten days of the year are holidays, and they are
strictly observed by the inhabitants, as far, at least, as relates to
the exclusion of all kinds of work. The public offices, although they
have so great a portion of the year to remain inactive, are allowed,
besides, a fortnight’s vacation at Easter and during the hottest days of
summer. In these useless and pernicious days of idleness, whilst the
Boyars’ chief occupation consists in seeking the means of killing time
out of their homes, the lowest classes spend it with their earnings at
the brandy-shops, where prostitutes are kept for the purpose of
attracting a greater number of customers, and of propagating with vice
the most horrible of all the diseases with which human nature is

The number of this disgraceful class of females is so great at Bukorest,
that the late Aga, or police director, suggested to the prince the plan
of levying a capitation tax on each, whereby he would create a new
revenue of some hundred thousand piasters. This plan, contrary to
expectation, was not put into effect, though it was not likely to meet
with obstacles.

The manners of society among the Wallachian Boyars are not remarkable
for refinement. The general topics of social conversation are of the
most trivial nature, and subjects of an indecent kind frequently take
the place of more becoming discourse; they are seldom discouraged by
scruples of any ladies present.

In the habitual state of inaction, brought on by a natural aversion to
every serious occupation which does not immediately relate to personal
interest, both sexes, enjoying the most extensive freedom of intercourse
with each other, are easily led to clandestine connexion; the
matrimonial faith has become merely nominal.

Various other customs contribute to the domestic disorders prevailing in
a great number of private families. Parents never marry their daughters,
to whatever class they may belong, without allowing them dowries beyond
the proportion of their own means, and to the great detriment of their
male children, who, finding themselves unprovided for, look upon
marriage as the means of securing a fortune, and consequently regard it
as a mere matter of pecuniary speculation. Feelings of affection or
sentiments of esteem are therefore out of the question in the pursuit of
matrimonial engagements, and money remains the only object in view.

When a girl has reached the age of thirteen or fourteen, her parents
become anxious to procure a husband for her. They do not wait for
proposals, but make the first offers, sometimes to three or four men at
a time, stating with them the amount and nature of the dowry they are
disposed to give. They enter into a regular negotiation when a greater
amount is required, and finally settle with him who remains satisfied
with the most reasonable terms. The inclinations of their daughter are
never consulted on the occasion, and too great a disparity of age, or
other personal defects on the part of the future husband, never appear
to them objectionable. The girl is sometimes perfectly unacquainted with
the man of her parents’ choice; and, at her tender age, unable to form
any judgment on the state of matrimony, she submits to their will with
indifference. Not long after the nuptials, she is left perfect mistress
of her actions, her domestic affairs are entirely put into the hands of
the servants, and she never interferes with them. Neglected by her
husband, and at full liberty to dispose of her time as she thinks
proper, she forms connexions of intimacy with women more experienced in
the world than herself. The attractions of pleasure and society become
too strong to be resisted, and the example of others, with the numerous
temptations that surround her, prove, sooner or later, fatal to her
virtue. To the harmony which may have subsisted between her and her
husband, succeeds disgust; quarrels soon follow, and blows sometimes are
not spared on her. Her condition becomes at last intolerable, she quits
her husband’s house, sues for a divorce, and generally obtains it,
however frivolous the plea in the true sense of the law. Her fortune is
given back to her, and enables her to live single, or to attract another
husband, if she feels again an inclination to matrimony. She is now
allowed her own choice of one; but, once accustomed to the agreeable
paths of diversity, she seldom remains more faithful to the second than
she had been to the first.

The church of Wallachia and Moldavia is the only one professing the
Greek religion that authorises divorce; or more properly speaking, the
only one that abuses the power of pronouncing it, the authority being
granted to the patriarch of Constantinople on occasions of the most
particular nature, and indeed never made use of.

In the principalities, the sentence of divorce is pronounced so
frequently, the motives alleged are sometimes so frivolous, that it
never affects the reputation of a woman, so as to degrade her in her
ordinary rank of society; nor does it in the least become a scruple to
the delicacy of the men, whatever may have been the nature of its

There are but few families at Bukorest who have long continued in an
uninterrupted state of domestic harmony, and fewer still who can point
out some relation who has not gone through a divorce.

Sometime back, a Wallachian lady of quality, who had brought but a small
fortune to her husband, became desirous of fixing her residence in one
of the principal streets of the town, and she pressed him to lay aside
his accustomed system of economy, to sell his estate, the revenue of
which gave them the principal means of support, and to build a fine
house in that street. The husband, more reasonable than herself,
positively refused to listen to her extravagant proposal; and the lady,
incensed at his upbraiding her for it, quitted his house, and shortly
after sued for divorce, which she obtained. This lady, who has since
remained single, professed great piety, and is still considered as a
very pious woman.

Not long after, a young Boyar, contrary to custom, fell in love with a
very beautiful young woman, of the same rank and age. The parents of
both agreed on their union, and the nuptials were celebrated by public
festivities. This couple was looked upon as the only one in the country
whom a strong and mutual attachment had united. At the end of the first
year the husband was suddenly attacked by a pulmonary complaint, and
induced by the physicians’ advice to separate himself for some time from
his wife, and go to Vienna in order to consult the best medical men.
After eighteen months’ absence, finding himself perfectly recovered, he
hastened back to Bukorest impatient to see his wife, to whom he had not
ceased to write, but whose letters had latterly become much less
frequent. On his arrival he found the most unexpected changes in his
family affairs. His wife had gone to her parents, refused to see him,
and had already consented to marry another! Her father, who was the
chief instigator of her sudden resolution, had negotiated the second
marriage, because it suited his own interests.

The legitimate husband claimed his spouse through every possible
channel; but he was not listened to, and government declined

The sentence of divorce was pronounced by the metropolitan; and,
although the husband’s refusal to sign the act rendered it perfectly
illegal, the second marriage took place; the ceremony was performed by
the archbishop in person, and public rejoicings were made on the

The circumstances of this adventure were the more remarkable, as the
second husband had been married before, and divorced his wife after six
weeks’ cohabitation, when he saw the possibility of obtaining this
lady’s hand.

Another lady of the first rank separated her daughter from her husband,
with whom she had lived six years, and caused a sentence of divorce to
be pronounced. She gave for reason, that her daughter’s constitution
suffered considerably by frequent pregnancy. The husband, who was by no
means inclined to the separation, and who knew his wife to enjoy the
best health, made remonstrances to no effect: and he was condemned by
government to give back the dowry, and to pay damages to a considerable
amount, for having spent a part of it, although he proved to have
employed the deficient sum for the use of his wife and family.

These three instances of the degraded state of morals in these countries
are selected from numerous others that occur daily. They are such as to
excite astonishment, and appear almost incredible; yet they created no
other sensation at the time than other common news of the day, deserving
but little notice.

It is customary in Wallachia for parents to interfere in their married
children’s family concerns, and to exercise nearly the same authority
over them after marriage as before. They are often seen as busy in
intriguing to bring on a separation, as they had been active in seeking
husbands or wives for them.

The absurdities of superstition, which form so great a part of the
fundamental principles of the present Greek faith, have gained equal
strength in Wallachia and in Moldavia: even the most precise doctrines
of the Christian religion are there corrupted by the misconceptions or
selfish views of low-bred and ignorant priests, a set of men, indeed,
who have here made themselves a manifest disgrace to the sanctity of the
Christian name.

A celebrated writer has said that ‘Climate has some influence over men;
government a hundred times more, and religion still more.’[42] This
observation is particularly applicable to these countries, and its truth
illustrated by their present condition. Either of the two last-mentioned
causes, separately, would have acted with force upon the morals of their
inhabitants. Intimately connected as they are, the evils that result are
most deplorable.

The mode of instructing the Wallachians and Moldavians in the precepts
of religion, is not, however, calculated to animate them with excessive
zeal and to propagate fanaticism. They are merely taught to plunge
headlong into all the ridicules of superstition, the inseparable
attendant of ignorance; and it is probably owing to the total absence of
fanaticism that the priesthood exercise a less powerful influence here,
than they do in other Greek countries. All the ecclesiastical
dignitaries being of obscure origin, and mostly of the lowest
extraction, they are personally despised by the Boyars. Their spiritual
power is alone respected.

The rites ordained by the established church are the same as those of
the patriarchal church. Persons who have not received baptism in it, are
not considered as Christians, nor even honoured with the name of such.

Frequency of confession and communion, and the punctual observance of a
vast number of fast-days, during the year, are prescribed with severity.
They have become the most essential points of faith, and the people
believe with confidence that an exact adherence to them is sufficient to
expiate the heaviest crimes, particularly after the confessor’s
absolution, which, in most cases, is to be obtained by the means of a
good fee.

Attending divine service at a very early hour on Sundays and other
holidays, and three or four times a day during the week of the Passion,
is also required and observed; the signs of devotion performed in it,
consist in making crosses and prostrations before the images, kissing
them, and lighting a candle to some favourite saint. The Gospel, when
read, is heard with indifference and inattention. Preaching is not

The laws of the church strictly forbid matrimony between persons who are
in any degree related to each other: they even go so far as to prevent
marriage between people whose parents may have stood godfathers to
either in baptism. The severity of the matrimonial laws is still greater
with respect to the difference of religion, when one of the parties
belongs to the Greek church. A transgression would be followed by a
sentence of divorce, and punished by excommunication, if the marriage,
already concluded, were persisted in. The dread of this last evil is so
great to all the natives, that every sacrifice is made in preference of
being exposed to it.

The patriarch of Constantinople, although acknowledged as chief of the
religion, has no controul over the church of the two principalities and
exercises but little influence over its chief dignitaries.

                             CHAPTER VIII.
                        ACCOUNT OF THE GYPSIES.

There does not perhaps exist a people labouring under a greater degree
of oppression from the effect of despotic power, and more heavily
burthened with impositions and taxes, than the peasantry of Wallachia
and Moldavia; nor any who would bear half their weight with the same
patience and seeming resignation. Accustomed, however, to that state of
servitude which to others might appear intolerable, they are unable to
form hopes for a better condition; the habitual depression of their
minds has become a sort of natural stupor and apathy, which render them
equally indifferent to the enjoyments of life, and insensible to
happiness, as to the pangs of anguish and affliction.

Hence it is in a great measure inferred that they are a quiet and
harmless people. Their mode of living is, indeed, with regard to the
intercourse among themselves, an uninterrupted calm. Although the male
part are given to drinking, quarrels and fighting are almost unknown
among them; and they are so much used to blows and all kinds of ill
treatment from their superiors, that they approach with the greatest
respect and submission any who bear upon themselves the least external
mark of superiority.

Their religious notions, grounded upon the most ridiculous superstition,
are extremely singular. They firmly believe in all sorts of witchcraft,
in apparitions of the dead, in ghosts, and in all kinds of miracles
performed by the images of saints, and by the virtues of the holy water.
In illness, they place an image near them, and when they recover, though
it were through the assistance of the ablest physician, they attribute
their return to health to the good offices of the image alone. Their
observance of Lent days is so strict, that the threats of instant death
would hardly prevail upon any one to taste of the aliments specified in
the endless catalogue of forbidden food. Their other Christian duties,
although similar to those of the superior classes of their countrymen,
are carried to greater excess. Invoking the Holy Virgin or any saint, is
always substituted to regular prayer. Divine Providence is never
directly addressed.

The villages throughout the country are principally composed of
peasants’ huts, all built in the same style and of the same size. The
walls are of clay, and the roofs thatched with straw, neither of which
are calculated to protect the lodgers from the inclemency of the bad
seasons. The groundfloors are, however, occupied as long as the weather
will permit, and in winter they retire to cells under ground, easily
kept warm by means of a little fire made of dried dung and some branches
of trees; which, at the same time, serves for cooking their scanty food.
Each family, however numerous, sleeps in one of these subterraneous
habitations, men, women, and children, all heaped up together; and their
respective beds consist of one piece of coarse woollen cloth, which
serves in the double capacity of matrass and covering.

Their ordinary food is composed of a kind of dough to which they give
the name of _mammalinga_, made of the flour of Indian wheat, sometimes
mixed with milk. The first two or three days after a long Lent, they
sparingly indulge themselves in meat; but the greater part cannot afford
even so great a treat, and content themselves with eggs fried in butter,
and the milk to their mammalinga.

They continue the whole day out of doors at work, and they bear with
indifference all the extremes of the weather. Their industry, however,
is not of a very active kind, and they take frequent rest.

Notwithstanding this mode of life, and the supposed influence of an
ungenial climate, the generality of the peasants are a fine race of
people. They have no peculiar turn of features which may be called
characteristic; from long intercourse with foreign nations, their blood
seems to have become a mixture of many. The Eastern black eye and dark
hair, the Russian blue eye and light hair, the Greek and Roman nose, and
those features which distinguish the Tartars, are equally common amongst
all the orders of these two nations.

Both sexes are in the habit of marrying very young. They are not given
by inclination to sensual pleasures; but as religion does not teach the
women the propriety of virtue, excessive poverty induces them to grant
their favours for any pecuniary consideration, frequently with the
knowledge and consent of their husbands, or parents.

In the holidays, they spend most of their time in the village
wine-houses, where they eat and drink, and sometimes dance. At other
times they enjoy the spectacle of bear-dancing, a very common amusement
throughout the country, conducted by wandering gypsies, who teach the
art to those animals while very young, and gain a living by exhibiting
them afterwards.

The dress of the male peasants bears some resemblance to that of the
Dacians, as represented in the figures of Trajan’s pillar at Rome. Their
feet are covered with sandals made of goat-skin. They wear a kind of
loose pantaloon which is fastened to the waist by a tight leather belt,
and closes from the knee downwards. The upper part of the garment is
composed of a tight waistcoat, and a short jacket over it, of coarse
cotton stuff, and in winter is added a white sheep-skin, which is hung
over the shoulders in the manner of an hussar’s pelisse. The head is not
deprived of any part of its hair, which is twisted round behind, and a
cap is used to cover it, also made of sheep-skin, but which in summer is
exchanged for a large round hat. The beard is shaved, and the whiskers
alone are left to their natural growth.

The women are clothed from the neck to the ancles with a long gown of
thick cotton stuff of a light colour, made tight at the waist in such a
manner as to render the whole shape visible. They generally go
barefooted, and they cover their heads with a common handkerchief,
merely meant to keep up the hair. On holidays they add to their common
shift a coloured gown of a better sort: they button it up from the waist
to the neck, round which they wear as ornament, one or more strings of
beads, or _paras_, pierced through for the purpose.

Since their emancipation, the peasants have not been fixed to particular
parts of the country, and they are at full liberty to change their
habitations at the end of their engagements with the landholders. But
those of a more respectable kind seldom quit the spots where chance has
once placed them, unless they are driven by imperious circumstances.

Notwithstanding the unfortunate position of this people, by no means
enviable to their neighbours, the miseries of famine in Transylvania
sometimes cause considerable emigrations of peasants from that vast
province into Wallachia and Moldavia. All the best lands in Transylvania
being in the hands of Hungarians, Szecklers, and Saxons, the others who
form the bulk of the population are driven into hilly and barren
situations, where at all times they subsist with difficulty; and of late
years the more than ordinary scarcity that prevailed has driven about
twenty thousand peasants, subjects of the emperor, into the dominions of
the Hospodars, where the great disproportion between the number of
agricultural hands and the extent of arable land, renders such
emigrations extremely useful. They are placed on the same footing as the
native peasants with regard to tribute.

The changes of residence that sometimes take place among the peasantry
are not detrimental to the collection of the imposts, as it is the
business of the Ispravniks of each district to ascertain, every six
months, the number and means of the individuals living within the limits
of their Ispravnicates, and amenable to taxation. The deficiency of any
particular district being made up by the increase in another, no loss
accrues to the treasury.

There is no regular system exercised with respect to the arrangements of
the landholders and peasants. In general, however, the latter are
allowed a share of the produce in kind, with an understanding that the
burthen of the taxes and impositions falls upon them; not that the
former would be averse to taking upon themselves the payment of their
tenants’ contributions, but because government is decidedly against the
introduction of a similar regulation, the amount and nature of the
imposts being nominally fixed, but always exceeding the regular rates.

As the Boyars proprietors of land in Wallachia never cultivate the
estates for their own account, but merely rent them to those who can
make the greatest offer of ready money, the less valuable are sometimes
given to the whole body of peasants, residing in them when the advances
are made by them. The richest estates give an income of fifty or sixty
thousand piasters: but they are divided and subdivided for
marriage-portions for the proprietors’ daughters; and if the custom
continue for a few generations longer, a system, something similar to
the agrarian law, must be the future consequence.

The manner of tilling the ground does not materially differ from that of
other countries in Europe; oxen are employed instead of horses.

The wheat is sown during the Autumn; the barley and Indian corn in
Spring. The harvest of the two first generally takes place in the month
of July; that of the latter at the beginning of September; and as this
article is required for the nourishment of so great a portion of the
population as the peasantry, the quantity of it sown and reaped every
year is equal to that of wheat. Barley being only made use of for
feeding cattle and poultry, it is sown in a much smaller proportion.

The vine is always planted on the sloping of hills, and in situations
where it can receive some protection against any sudden severities of
the weather; the grape is seldom gathered before the end of September;
and as it does not come to a perfect state of maturity, it makes but
indifferent wine, of a light and sourish taste. All other kinds of
fruit, common to Europe, come here in great abundance at their usual

The great waste of land left in both principalities in a state of
nature, and the universal custom of not cultivating the immediate
vicinity of the high roads, give to the country, in many parts, an
appearance of desolation; and a traveller, who only judges by the
scenery within his view, is apt sometimes to think himself in a
wilderness; he meets with few habitations on his way, except those
attached to the post-houses, and hardly perceives any other population.

But of all the sensations of delight produced by the beauties of nature,
none can surpass that which is raised by the aspect of the more interior
parts of this country. Romantic hills and dales, rivulets and streams,
fields adorned with verdure and flowers, present themselves in a
successive variety of beauty during the fine season, particularly within
twenty or thirty miles of the Carpathians, from the Pruth to the Danube
at Orsova. The inner parts of those mountains themselves offer the most
magnificent scenery; and their summits, the most beautiful and extensive
views. Those who have seen the romantic parts of the Alps, cannot help
recalling them here to their remembrance; the impressions of the moment
are such that they feel at a loss to decide which deserve the
preference. Whilst the impatient courier, going over the rough roads
through the Carpathians, bestows curses on the dangers that slacken his
pace, and impede his progress, the voluntary traveller and lover of
nature stands lost in admiration, and finally quits with reluctance and
regret scenes which nature has formed in her most romantic mood.

The aspect of the Carpathians is very different in winter: all the
heights are covered with snow, and the narrow roads with mud and large
stones, rolled in the midst of them by the torrents, so as to render
them almost impassable; mostly situated on the brinks of dreadful
precipices, at the bottom of which rivers or torrents have formed their
passage, one false step of the passenger is immediate death.

The Hospodars purposely neglect to repair these roads; the fear of
creating suspicions at the Porte that they wish to facilitate the
passage of foreign troops into the principalities, induces them to
abstain from an undertaking, which in other respects has become so
imperiously necessary: they do not even venture the slightest
representation to the Porte on the subject.

Few peasants inhabit this part of the country; during the summer they
cut down wood, and supply with it the inhabitants of the plains, who
burn nothing else. The most stationary are attached to the post-houses,
situated here and there for the purpose of assisting the necessary
communications between the Austrian and Ottoman states. Their long
residence in this neighbourhood is generally marked by the glandular
accretion, common to the inhabitants of the Alps. It grows sometimes to
an immense size; its appearance is then most disgusting, and it absorbs
almost all the faculties, moral and physical, of the unfortunate beings
afflicted with it. The natives believe the cause of this evil to proceed
from the qualities of the snow-water always drunk by those who inhabit
the mountains.

Every village throughout the country has a small church or chapel
belonging to it, and one or more priests who act as curates. The
ecclesiastics of this order are chosen amongst the ordinary peasants,
from whom they are only distinguished in appearance by a long beard.
They lead the same life, and follow the same avocations when not engaged
in the exercise of their clerical functions; but they are exempted from
the public imposts, and pay nothing more than their annual tribute of
fifteen piasters to the metropolitan. The generality of them can neither
read nor write; they learn the formule of the service by heart; and if a
book is seen in their chapels, it is very seldom for use. The priests of
this order are, in each district, dependent on the _Archimandrites_, or
Vicars, of the parishes nearest to their abode.

                  *       *       *       *       *

That class of the human species comprehended under the general
appellation of gypsies, seems to be, like the Jews, spread in most parts
of Europe, and in many other parts of the world; like them having no
admissible claims to any country as exclusively their own, and
distinguished from the other races of men by physical and moral
qualities peculiar to themselves. The different gradations of climate,
and the state of civilisation of the countries in which they are born
and brought up, do not seem to affect them in the same manner as the
other classes of human nature, and in many respects they appear little
superior to the brute creation.

Wallachia and Moldavia contain about one hundred and fifty thousand
gypsies, and make a more profitable use of them than other countries do,
by keeping them in a state of regular slavery. The period of their first
coming there is not exactly ascertained; but there is every reason to
believe it dates with the irruption of the gypsies from Germany in the
fifteenth century; and they are mentioned in some manuscripts, possessed
by Wallachian and Moldavian convents, evidently written towards that

They are remarkable, as every where else, for their brown complexion;
their bodily constitution is strong, and they are so hardened from
constant exposure to all the rigours of the weather, that they appear
fit for any labour and fatigue; but their natural aversion to a life of
industry is in general so great, that they prefer all the miseries of
indigence, to the enjoyment of comforts that are to be reaped by
persevering exertion. The propensity to stealing seems inherent in them,
but they do not become thieves with the view of enriching themselves;
their thefts never extend beyond trifles.

The women have the same complexion, with fine and regular features. They
are very well shaped before they become mothers; but soon after they
begin to have children, and they are generally very fruitful, their
beauty gives way to a disgusting ugliness.

Both sexes are slovenly and dirty: the filth and vermin with which their
bodies are infected, seem to form a necessary part of their existence,
as no consideration can induce them to be cleanly. Most of them are
clothed with a few rags, and their children go naked at almost all

They acknowledge no particular religion as their own; neither do they
think of following the precepts of any, unless, acting as domestic
slaves, they are ordered so to do by their masters. Among themselves
they dispense with the religious ceremony of marriage, and although many
live together as husbands and wives, they are only bound by the ties of

The women are of the most depraved character: none of them follow the
regular line of public prostitutes, but at the same time none refuse
their favours when the slightest offer of money is made.

In both principalities the gypsies are divided into two distinct classes
of slaves; the one is composed of those who are the property of
government, and the other, of those who belong to private individuals.
No regular traffic of them is carried on in the country, neither is it
customary to expose to public inspection any who are to be disposed of.
Both sales and purchases are conducted in private, and the usual price
for one of either sex, is from five to six hundred piasters.

The number of gypsies belonging to the two governments, altogether
amounts to eighty thousand, including women and children. They are
suffered to stroll about the country, provided they bind themselves
never to leave it, and to pay an annual tribute of the value of forty
piasters each man, above the age of fifteen. We have mentioned on the
subject of the gold and silver mines, how those of Wallachia pay their
share of it.

They are dispersed in different parts of the principalities, living in
separate companies of ten or fifteen families, under tents; they
frequently change the place of their abode, keeping always in the
neighbourhood of towns and villages, or near the high roads. A passenger
coming in sight of their tents is always assailed for charity by a
quantity of naked children belonging to them, and does not easily get
rid of their importunities without throwing a few paras to them.

The chief occupation, both of the men and women, leading this vagrant
life, consists in making common iron tools, baskets, and other wood-work
of the kind for sale. But their industry and gain are confined to what
is absolutely necessary for procuring them the means of subsistence.
They possess a natural facility and quickness in acquiring the knowledge
of arts; but a small number, however, devote themselves to any, and
musical performance seems to be that to which they give the preference:
those who profess it attend the wine-houses every day, for a trifling
remuneration, and from thence they are frequently called to the houses
of the first Boyars, on occasions when a band of music is requisite.
Some few become masons, and receive one piaster for a whole day’s work.
They are always employed, with a number of their less experienced
companions, in public buildings, and they are then allowed no other
reward but their daily food, and a proportionable deduction from their

The other class of gypsies is divided into families belonging to Boyars
and others, who select from among them the greater part of their
household servants. The remainder are either employed at the vineyards
of their masters, suffered to follow common trades, or allowed to wander
about the country, upon the same conditions as those of the government.

The practice of employing gypsy slaves in various departments of the
household, particularly in the kitchen, is universal in both
principalities; but although the expense saved by it is considerable in
houses where a great number of servants must be kept, the inconvenience
is much greater, though not felt. The kitchens of the Boyars are, from
the filthy habits of the cooks, and the inattention of the masters, not
less disgusting than the common receptacles of swine. The incurable
propensity to vice, and the laziness of these servants, occasion
incessant trouble and vexation. Almost at every house punishments are
instituted for them, the most severe of which is the bastinado applied
to the naked soles of the feet: it is performed by another gypsy, under
the inspection of the superintendent, and frequently under that of the
master or mistress. The ladies of quality, however young and beautiful,
do not show much delicate reluctance in similar instances of authority.

The secondary punishment consists in passing the culprit’s head through
a kind of iron helmet, with two immense horns of the same metal, and
locking it under the chin in such a manner as to render it extremely
troublesome to the bearer, and to prevent him from eating or drinking,
as long as he keeps it on.

It is, however, certain, that the gypsy servants can neither be kept in
proper order without punishment, nor be made to go through any long work
without the stimulus of stripes. The private owners have not the power
of death over them; but it has happened sometimes, that some unfortunate
wretch has been beaten to death, and neither the government nor the
public took notice of the circumstance.

It is under the care of these depraved servants, that the children of
Boyars are brought up. The women of the higher ranks not being in the
habit of nursing their infants, place them in the hands of gypsy
wet-nurses, whose mode of life exposes them incessantly to diseases
which must prove most prejudicial to the quality of their milk, and
whose bad nourishment and dirty habits, must otherwise affect the
constitution of the children.

Notwithstanding that the gypsies form here so necessary a part of the
community, they are held in the greatest contempt by the other
inhabitants, who, indeed, treat them little better than brutes; and the
insulting epithet of ‘thief,’ or any equivalent, would sooner be put up
with than that of ‘gypsy.’

The public executioners for any kind of punishment are chosen from that
class alone; but as their office is merely momentary, the unfortunate
beings condemned always suffer considerably more from their inexperience
and incapacity.

The Wallachian and Moldavian gypsies speak the language of the country;
but those who lead a wandering life use, amongst themselves, a peculiar
jargon composed of a corruption of Bulgarian, Servian, and Hungarian
words, mixed with some Turkish. Its pronunciation, however, sounds so
much like that of the Hungarian tongue, that a person accustomed to hear
both without understanding either, is apt to mistake the one for the

Their quality of slaves is acknowledged by the surrounding nations; and
those who abscond to them are restored when claimed as private property.
Desertions, however, are not frequent; and when they do take place, the
fugitives take such precautions as to prevent the place of their
concealment being discovered.

                              CHAPTER IX.

A considerable number of foreign Europeans reside in both
principalities, where they are attracted by a variety of resources.

The principal merchants and bankers, either from birthright or from
foreign naturalisation, carry on their business under the immediate
protection of European courts; without which the general system of the
local governments, so prejudicial to the interests of trade, would give
but little security to their operations.

There are at both capitals several German and French coachmakers,
carpenters, builders, architects, teachers of European languages and
music, physicians, and apothecaries, all of whom have rendered
themselves extremely useful to the native inhabitants, and derive no
small profit from the exercise of their respective professions. Almost
all the importers of foreign furniture, luxuries in ladies’ apparel and
other kinds of retail trade, undertakers of subscription-clubs, and of
coffee-houses of the better sort, ladies’ shoemakers, mantuamakers, and
taylors, are also European foreigners.

A great number of Transylvanian and Hungarian gentry of the inferior
rank are attracted by the advantages of renting the Boyars’ estates.
According to the treaties existing between the Porte and other powers,
foreign subjects are not permitted in any manner to hold, as
proprietors, landed property in the Ottoman dominions; the prince of
Moldavia observing how little this stipulation had been attended to in
his principality, thought it necessary, in 1815, to issue a decree which
ordered the expulsion of foreign farmers. The Boyars, whose best estates
were under their management, and who had every reason to be satisfied
with them, strongly opposed the measure; their representations finally
induced the prince to give his tacit consent to their wishes; and,
properly speaking, this stipulation of the treaties does not include the
principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, and ought not to be applied to

The progress of the Russian arms previous to the peace of Kaïnargik, had
enabled the cabinet of St. Petersburgh to become the arbiter of the fate
of Turkey. Whatever might have been the Empress Catharine’s motives for
consenting to the conclusion of that peace, she did not remain less
sanguine in her favourite project of conquering the empire of the East,
and the special clauses in the treaty, which gave her the power of
interfering in the affairs of the Wallachians and Moldavians, were
calculated not only to secure to her the affections of the people for
whom they were most immediately intended, but at the same time to
incline the other Christian subjects of Turkey to look upon her as their
natural defender, and their future deliverer.

No subsequent events prevented her from employing her right of
interference, though, according to circumstances, it may at times have
been exercised with more or less energy; and the policy pursued by her
successors evidently denotes the continuation of a system which has an
important object in view, however distant the possibility of attaining

In order, however, to exercise her influence with the activity necessary
to ensure success, the empress had insisted also that the Porte should
acknowledge the residence in the two principalities of imperial agents,
to whom she thought proper to give the title of consuls, as most adapted
to screen her views, and to justify her apparent one of enlarging the
trade of her empire, and giving protection and assistance to those of
her subjects who were willing to extend their commercial transactions to
the principalities. This pretext was in fact plausible; for the Russian
merchants who had till then been in the habit of trading in those
countries, had complained much of the difficulties and vexations they
had constantly experienced from the irregularities of the local

However unwilling to recognise the future residence of public agents
from the court of Russia, the Porte was unable to oppose it with any
prospect of success, and consequently consented.

The court of Vienna soon after followed the example, though from motives
of a more commercial nature; and the consuls of Russia once admitted,
the Ottoman government could not refuse to acknowledge those of Austria.

The Greeks saw with no little regret the arrival of these foreign
agents, who not only checked their authority over the foreign trade, but
became also competent witnesses of their political system and
administration, and the accredited reporters of all their actions. But,
as it was out of their power to oppose the arrangements of the imperial
courts, they thought it best to set their submission to the profit of
their vanity in receiving the consuls as envoys sent by foreign powers
to independent princes. They introduced for their reception the
formalities and ceremonial of the public audiences given by the Grand
Vezier to European ambassadors at Constantinople, and they revived the
custom of the Voïvodes, of being seated on an elevated throne on similar

Under the republic of France, French consuls were sent for the first
time to reside in the principalities, and their establishment has been
kept up without interruption under the successive governments of France.
On several occasions they were very useful to Buonaparte.

A British consul-general was for the first time appointed in 1802 to
reside at Bukorest, chiefly for the purpose of facilitating the overland
communications between England and Turkey. After the peace of Tilsit he
was recalled, and the consulate was renewed in 1813, with the additional
motive of promoting commercial intercourse with the principalities.

The pope has for many years been represented by a bishop in Wallachia,
and by a vicar in Moldavia; the latter has recently been promoted to the
rank of a bishop.

The number of Roman Catholic inhabitants is considerable; most of the
Servian, Bulgarian, and Transylvanian settlers belong to that
persuasion. They have two fine churches at Bukorest and at Yassi.

There are also two protestant churches originally founded by Charles
XII. of Sweden during his long residence in the principalities. They are
superintended by a vicar appointed and paid by the archbishop of
Stockholm. The protestant inhabitants are German, and their number
amounts to one thousand. All foreign churches, provided they profess the
doctrines of christianity, are not only tolerated in the principalities,
but allowed a variety of privileges which they cannot enjoy in any part
of the Turkish dominions. The metropolies seldom interfere with their
affairs, and when any circumstance obliges them so to do, they bear
every possible regard to their institutions, and never assume the tone
of superiority.

In general, the social intercourse between the natives and foreign
inhabitants is carried on upon a much more friendly footing than might
be expected from the number of national prejudices that still divide
them, in opinions, religion, and established customs. The natural
hospitality of the Boyars makes no exceptions with foreigners; and if on
one hand this quality loses a part of its merit in being the mere effect
of custom, on the other it does not deserve the less credit when totally
divested of ostentatious motives.

It would appear that little benefit is to be expected by the inhabitants
of a country long occupied by Russian armies, and made the principal
theatre of military operations. Yet the late intercourse between those
of the principalities, and the Russians, and the prospect of their being
incorporated with the Russian empire, have, in many respects, improved
their civilisation. A variety of barbarous customs existing before have
been abolished; usages and institutions were introduced which tended to
their improvement, and the exterior manners of the Boyars have undergone
a polish which is not unworthy of more enlightened nations. Those of
Moldavia would view with pleasure any political change in their country
which offered to them the sure prospect of improvement in civilisation.
Those of Wallachia have long since consoled themselves for the
improbability of any early change, by taking a very active part in the
general system of rapacity, of which it has become the lot of their
countrymen of inferior order to bear the weight.

                          GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
                                 ON THE

When we reflect upon the deplorable condition of Wallachia and Moldavia,
examine the causes of their evils, and cast an eye upon the numerous
gifts with which nature has enriched them,—when we compare the effects
of demoralisation and ruin, which are the natural consequences of their
present system of administration, to the advantages that would accrue to
them from a regular and permanent form of government,—it is hardly
possible not to regret that the question of a change in their political
fate was not proposed and resolved at the late congress of Vienna.

A variety of facts related in the foregoing pages have, perhaps,
sufficiently demonstrated the nullity of the independence still
acknowledged by the Ottoman Court to the constitution of its
transdanubean Principalities, and the little regard it bears to the
common prosperity of their affairs. That those countries should resume
independency, and maintain themselves in it by their own means alone,
would, however, be as absurd, as it is impossible to expect. But that
they should be rescued from the hands of those who act as their worst
enemies, and placed under the special protection of some great Christian
power, under whose influence they might be enabled to employ their
resources to their own profit and to that of their neighbours, give to
their trade all the extent it is capable of compassing,—under which, in
short they might have the hope of soon placing themselves on a footing
with the civilised world—formed an object which called forth the
attention of Christian Europe, and which, in magnitude and importance,
had at least equal claims to it as the question relating to the Ionian
Islands, to which the Turks had no smaller pretensions, though neither
more nor less valid.

Conformity of religion, and the old standing connections between Russia
and the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, point out that power
as their natural protector; but, if the security of Europe forbids the
recognition of further encroachments of the Russians on Turkey, though
at the same time the political change in the principalities had been
once regularly admitted, would not a partition made of them between
Austria and Russia have been equally beneficial in its consequences, and
at all events preferable in every respect to the _statu quo_? Indeed,
upon the very principle of impeding the progress of Russia, the
occupation of Wallachia by the Austrians was a measure of the first
necessity, as sufficiently capable of forming an insurmountable barrier
against the Russians. Without it, what obstacle will ever prevent these
from extending the whole of their frontier on the side of European
Turkey to the Danube? and once entirely masters of the borders of that
river, the road to Constantinople is open to them, and the political
existence of the Turkish empire is left to depend on the will and
pleasure of the Russian emperor.

Austria, as long as she is willing to maintain her present extent of
power, would certainly feel herself far from secure at the approach of
the Russians on so great a line of her eastern frontiers, and would not
tacitly consent to be severed from Turkey in a manner so as to alter
materially the course of her communications with that country, and
almost to preclude the possibility of affording it future assistance;
neither would the rest of Europe, interested in obstructing the further
designs of aggrandisement of Russia, view such an event without alarming

The precautions which the best political prudence could have suggested,
ought, therefore, to have brought the Austrians into Wallachia, where
they should have improved the fortifications at the most essential
points. Such a measure, carried into execution, the Russians would in
vain have attempted new encroachments; they could not have made one step
into Turkey without the permission of the Austrians.

It has been said that the Russian plenipotentiaries at the congress of
Vienna observed so profound a silence with respect to Turkish affairs,
and so carefully avoided any opportunities of hearing them named, as to
prove evidently, that in her concerns with that Power Russia wishes to
remain her own arbiter. Perhaps, by that conduct, she prevented what she
feared; for, had the partition of Wallachia and Moldavia been proposed
to her, with the cession of the latter province to herself, could she
possibly have brought forwards any reasonable objections? The
arrangement would have appeared so suitable to all parties, that she
could not have opposed it without betraying ambitious and subversive
views; Turkey must have consented, if she bore any regard to her own
future safety; and the inhabitants of the principalities,
notwithstanding that they would in both have preferred the patronage of
Russia to any interference of Austria, would soon have begun to feel the
importance of the change in their favour.

What are the effects of the present system?—

The policy of the Turks in the principalities, renders them detestable
to their inhabitants. They send men devoid of principles, bereft of all
feelings of humanity, to exhibit a farce of sovereignty over them, and
to display an arrogant and insulting power, in order to intimidate them
into submission, and to impose with less difficulty an almost
intolerable yoke. These agents of authority are looked upon by the two
nations, whom they are sent to govern, not as their natural
well-wishers, but as the chief enemies of the State; and the Turks being
justly considered as the true authors of all their evils, the hand of
vengeance is constantly raised over them, waiting for the opportunity
when it can act with most efficacy.[44]

Russia is perfectly aware that such sentiments and dispositions
constantly prevail amongst the Wallachians and Moldavians. The authority
which she holds from her treaties with the Porte, enables her to
interfere in all manner with their affairs, and to create, through their
means, motives of discord between herself and Turkey whenever she finds
a moment propitious to a rupture; and she may even, when she thinks
proper, give an apparent urgency to such circumstances to justify any
sudden seizure of the two provinces, operated without any previous
declaration of war, and before the Porte could have entertained a
suspicion of her intentions.

Turkey then, in being possessed of Wallachia and Moldavia on the present
footing, is only favoured with a momentary advantage, very
disproportionate to the danger of being involved through them in war
against Russia, an event which must necessarily follow any attempts on
the part of the latter to seize on the principalities, and which,
according to the present political arrangements existing in Europe,
would not fail to create again general convulsion.

From these considerations, it would appear evident, that as long as the
transdanubean provinces continue to be a source of discord between
Russia and Turkey, and as long as the important question relating to
them remains unsettled, peace and tranquillity in Europe will only be of
imaginary stability.

In the pacific sentiments which so eminently distinguish the Emperor
Alexander, we have, indeed, a solid guarantee against any hostile
attempts on Turkey; but the life of man being so precarious, is the hope
of a long and uninterrupted peace to rest on the mere knowledge of that
sovereign’s personal character? And even if the Emperor Alexander
should, contrary to present expectations, march his armies again into
Moldavia and Wallachia, for the purpose of taking permanent possession
of them, could we, in strict justice, accuse him of ambition in the
performance of an act which common humanity dictates to any Christian

It is asserted that the success of the late great efforts against
Buonaparte had, in a great measure, depended upon the Porte’s forbearing
to take a part against Russia, and that the allies, in order to induce
the Turkish cabinet to adhere to the resolution it had evinced of
remaining neutral, had promised to guarantee, whatever might happen, the
integrity of the Ottoman empire; that the Porte, subsequently relying on
this promise, declared itself entirely foreign to the objects in
discussion at the congress of Vienna, and consequently was not invited
to send ministers to it.

Now, that the co-operation of Turkey, with or against Russia and her
allies, could have made the least impression on the destinies of Europe,
at a time that the nation itself seemed so decidedly averse to the
resumption of a war, and that the state was exhausted, appears most
doubtful; but that the participation of the Turks in the transactions of
the Congress might have settled affairs in a much more solid and lasting
manner, is extremely probable. It is at that universal tribunal alone,
formed for the vast purpose of creating a just and unchangeable
equilibrium in the political affairs of Europe, that the Turks might
have been made to understand and to feel the necessity of renouncing to
possessions beyond the Danube, which, as they have no longer the means
of maintaining and defending them, must, in their hands, continue to be
a source of unceasing contentions, and a subject of wars, which will not
only endanger the safety of the Ottoman empire, but also compromise the
tranquillity of all Europe; and that the Danube being, in fact, the
natural frontier of their present extent of empire in that part of it,
is alone calculated to offer them security. And those tottering
Ottomans, whose existence in Europe is already tolerated with too much
indulgence, and who must be aware, notwithstanding the high opinion they
entertain of their own importance, how much they are at the mercy of
Christian powers, would they have ventured to combat any decisions of
the congress which deprived them of a comparatively small extent of
territory to enable them to preserve the remainder of their possessions
in Europe? Could they have insisted upon the strict observance of former
promises, when circumstances so important, concurring even to their own
safety, revoked them, and whilst they themselves have, in many
instances, been guilty of infractions to their very treaties?

No opportunity was ever, or will, perhaps, be again so favourable to the
decision of this important question, as the Congress of Vienna; however,
it passed there under general silence. This silence may indeed have
originated in motives of great weight, but it could only have been of a
momentary necessity, and probably it will not a little contribute to the
causes of the first hostile shot that will be fired on the continent of


                                 No. 1.
   _Translation of a Beratt, or Diploma, given by the present Sultan
             Mahmoud, Emperor Of Turkey, to Mr. Wilkinson._

                      The Emperor Sultan Mahmoud,
                       Son of Sultan Abdoulhammid
                            Ever Victorious!

By that glorious and imperial sign, I, who am the conqueror of the
world, and whose authority is derived from Divine will,

                           Ordain as follows:

The Model of the Great amongst the nation of the Messiah, the Ambassador
Extraordinary from the Court of Great Britain residing at my Sublime
Porte, Robert Liston, (whose end be happiness,) has presented to my
Imperial Porte an official note, by which he states that it is agreed by
the Imperial capitulations that the English shall have the right to name
consuls to Smyrna, Alexandria, Aleppo, Tripoli, Algiers, Tunis, and
various other parts of my Empire; and that, when they wish to recall
them no opposition shall be made: that in virtue of this agreement,
Francis Summerers had been named the 3d of the Ramazan, 1217 (6th
January 1802), consul-general in the principalities of Wallachia and
Moldavia, (acknowledged by Imperial Beratt,) to protect the affair of
the English merchants and other subjects who carry on business with
those Countries, as well as to assist the passage of couriers and
letters to and from England, and having resigned that office, the bearer
of this Imperial document, one of the most noble of the nation of the
Messiah, William Wilkinson, has been appointed consul-general in his
place. The aforesaid Ambassador, in notifying his nomination, requests,
that in virtue of the Imperial capitulations, this Imperial Beratt be
given him.

Conforming myself to what has been hitherto practised and to the
imperial capitulations, I give this imperial and august sign to the said
William Wilkinson, and I ordain that he shall have henceforward the
power of exercising the functions of British Consul in the aforesaid
principalities; that he shall, according to the imperial capitulations,
have to direct the public affairs of the English in Wallachia and
Moldavia, and give every assistance with regard to the expedition of
couriers and dispatches to and from England. All individuals, subjects
of Great Britain, shall have to apply directly to him when they
encounter difficulties in their affairs, and none must be permitted to
depart from those Countries without being furnished with a passport from

It is not allowed that the servants of consuls be called upon to pay the
capitation tax called _Haratsh_, nor the common contributions called
_Avariz_, nor any of the arbitrary taxes and imposts levied under the
name of _Russumus_, and _Tekaléfi-Urfié_. No one is permitted to demand
of the consuls _Haratsh_ or other contributions because they may have in
their service slaves of the one or the other sex. No one shall molest
them with regard to their private property, baggage, or provisions; and,
according to former practice, they are exempted from custom-house and
other duties for all such objects. And as consuls are the
representatives of their governments, they shall never be arrested;
their houses shall never be sealed, and no troops shall ever be
quartered in them.

The abovementioned Consul, with his people and slaves, is therefore
exempted from _Haratsh_, _Avariz_, _Hassabié-Ahtshessi_, and all other
taxes, impositions, &c. If any one has a lawsuit with him, it shall be
heard no where but at my Sublime Porte.

If the said Consul shall, at any time, wish to travel to any part of my
dominions, he shall not be molested by any one, either going or coming,
by sea or by land, in private houses or post-houses, neither for his
baggage, equipages, or servants. Wherever he goes provisions shall be
given him at the common prices of the market, and no one shall have to
make the least difficulty. Wherever he may meet with danger he is at
liberty to wear the Turkish dress with the white turban, as also any
military dress with the sabre, bow and arrows, spurs, &c. The princes,
governors, and other officers, not only shall not molest him, but shall
likewise give him every assistance and attention.

All such as do not abide by these orders shall be punished accordingly.
Every one is to conform himself to the Imperial capitulations, and to my
glorious signature which prescribes submission; no contrary proceeding
shall be permitted or tolerated.

Given at my Imperial residence of Constantinople the well-guarded, 24th
Gemassielevel, 1229. (24th May, 1814.)

                            APPENDIX, No. 2.
 _Additional Articles to the Treaty signed at Kaïnargik, the 10th July,
              1775, relating to Wallachia, Moldavia, &c._

The Court of Russia restores to the Sublime Porte the whole province of
Bessarabba, with its fortified places, viz. Akkerman, Killia, Ismaïl,
Bender, and the other towns and villages within that province; as well
as the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, with the fortresses,
capitals, towns, and villages belonging to them.

The Sublime Porte, in taking possession of them, solemnly engages to
observe the following conditions, without the least deviation:—

1st. To acknowledge and maintain the constitutions of the two
principalities, the established customs, rank, dignities, property, and
churches of the two nations, without any exception whatever: to give
them total amnesty and pardon conformably to the 1st article of the
general treaty: to leave unmolested all such persons as have not
remained faithful to the Ottoman interest; to admit them to their former
ranks, and to restore to them any property and possessions they had
previous to the war.

2d. To oppose no sort of difficulty to the free exercise of the
Christian religion in the said principalities, nor to the repair or
construction of churches and other buildings.

3d. To restore to the monasteries in the neighbourhood of Ibraïl, Hotim,
and Bender, all the property belonging to them, and which had, contrary
to justice, been taken from them.

4th. To acknowledge and bear all due regard to the ecclesiastical order.

5th. To permit those families and individuals who have any desire of
retiring to Russia, or elsewhere, to depart freely with their moveable
property, and to allow them a year’s time previous to such departure
that they may settle their affairs in the country.

6th. To renounce entirely the payment of old accounts, for whatever
relates to former contributions.

7th. To claim no tribute from the inhabitants of the said province and
principalities for the space of time that they have been occupied by the
Russians, and in consideration of the losses and sufferings sustained by
them on account of the war, to claim no sort of tribute from them for
the space of two years after the date of the treaty.

8th. The Porte engages to show every regard and humanity to the
inhabitants of the said countries, at and after the expiration of the
term mentioned in the 7th article, relative to the tribute and taxes
which they shall then be called upon to pay, and will neither suffer nor
permit any Pasha or other person, to oppress and molest them after the
payment of the ordinary tribute. And also to allow them the free and
entire exercise of the privileges they enjoyed during the reign of
Sultan Mehmet 4th, father to the present Sultan. And the Porte shall
permit the Hospodars of Wallachia and Moldavia to have one or more
public agents to reside at Constantinople, Greeks by nation or religion,
who shall have to transact the affairs of the princes; and not only
consents to acknowledge and treat with them, but also promises to
observe in them the privileges due to persons who treat public rights
and interests, and are not under the controul of power.

The Sublime Porte also acknowledges and admits, that the Russian
ministers residing at Constantinople, shall have the right of
interfering in behalf of the affairs of the two principalities
abovementioned, and engages to pay every regard to their

                            APPENDIX, No. 3.
  _Extracts of Two Letters written from Bukorest to Mr. Wilkinson, in
   London, containing the particulars of Prince Caradga’s fight from

On the 7th instant (October, 1818), a messenger arrived in three days
from Constantinople to the Prince, and in the course of the same day, a
report was circulated all over the town, that the prince was preparing
to depart. On the following morning the Postelnik Vlaccuzzi, with his
wife[46] and family, was seen to go out of town in a travelling
carriage, and great preparations of departure being continued at court,
the rumours increased, and people began to be alarmed.

On Sunday the 11th, after the accustomed ceremonial at court of the
Turkish Baïram, the prince conferred titles on several persons, and made
changes in the public offices. In the afternoon he accompanied the
funeral procession of the old Bann Golesko, and on his return home, he
called the Spathar Balliano, the Aga Vakaresko, and a few others into
his closet, and informed them that his life being in danger if he
continued longer in the country, he was on the point of departure. He
recommended a good police regulation to maintain order and tranquillity,
and he named a provisional government composed of the metropolitan,
Brancovano, and Samourkash, whom he instructed to act during his
absence, until the Porte should determine on new measures of
administration. He also sent for the Russian Consul-General Mr. Pini,
and after having prevailed on him to take charge of such private
concerns as he had not had time to settle, he took a friendly leave of
them all, and got into his ordinary _calèche_, attended by two servants
only, as if going to take his usual evening drive. He repaired to
Banessa, where he was joined by the princess his wife, the princess
Rallou his daughter, and her husband the Bann Argiropulo, the young
prince Constantine, the Postelnik Mavrocordato, the Aga Vlangalli, and a
few servants, who were all waiting with travelling carriages and
post-horses, baggage, &c. They all set out together, and at a mile’s
distance from Banessa, they were joined by four hundred Albanians, (the
prince’s body-guards) well mounted and well armed. They directed their
course to Kronstadt in Transylvania, where they arrived in safety, after
four days journey, and were well received by the Austrian General
commanding on the frontiers.

The four hundred guards were sent back, and the Prince, whilst on the
road, transmitted various orders to the provisional government, as if he
continued to be the only chief of the country.

It is said he will not stop long at Kronstadt, but will proceed on to
Switzerland, where he intends to fix his abode.

Immediately after his departure, the Russian consul placed the imperial
seal on all the apartments of the court, some of which contained
furniture, and other articles of much value, after which he laid a
formal sequester upon the Prince’s private property, under the plea that
he had left unpaid several debts to Russian merchants.

All the Boyars assembled on the 12th, and wrote to the Porte the
particulars of this unexpected event, they have since held several
deliberations, and have finally agreed to send a petition to the Sultan,
representing all the miseries to which they were exposed under the
administration of Greek Princes, praying that he would henceforward
confide the government of the principality to the Divan alone, and
engaging themselves to observe faithfully all the conditions that have
been hitherto prescribed to the Hospodars. We are now waiting with
anxiety to learn the nature of the measures that the Porte will deem
most proper to adopt, and the moment is of no small importance to the
fate of this country. Meanwhile we live under continual apprehension
that the Turkish Pashahs of the neighbourhood may take upon themselves
to send troops in order to occupy the country, a circumstance which,
instead of producing the good effects of precaution, will throw every
thing into confusion and disorder, and frighten away a great number of
families, who, in that expectation, are already making preparations to
retire into Transylvania and Moldavia.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_10th December._—Every thing went on quietly. The Sultan, after
deliberating in his council on the subject of the Boyars’ petition, has
refused to comply with their demand, and has appointed Prince Alexander
Sutzo new Hospodar of Wallachia. His Caïmacams have already arrived, and
have taken the momentary direction of public affairs. We know for
certain that Prince Caradja, who has left Kronstadt, will fix his
residence at Geneva.

                            APPENDIX, No. 4.
 _Derivation of various words in the Wallachian or Moldavian language,
             from the Latin, Italian, Greek, and Turkish._

       Wallachian.               Latin.                 English.
 Domno                   Dominus                 Lord.
 Formos                  Formosus                Handsome.
 Massa                   Mensa                   Table.
 Cappo                   Caput                   Head.
 Venat                   Venatio                 Game.
 Vorba                   Verbum                  Word.
 Alb                     Albus                   White.
 Sunt                    Sunt                    I am.
 Lacrymæ                 Lacrymæ                 Tears.
 Bunn                    Bonus                   Good.
 Respuns                 Responsum               Answer.
 Pallatur                Palatium                Palace.
 Pescator                Piscator                Fisher.
 Pritshep                Percipio                I understand.
 Luminar                 Lume                    Light.
 Locul                   Locus                   Place.
 Dzio                    Dies                    Day.
 Degete                  Digiti                  Fingers.
 Negro                   Negrum                  Black.
 Nushtio                 Nescio                  I know not.
 Scamn                   Scamnum                 Chair.
 Vitric                  Vitricus                Glass.
 Incep                   Incipio                 I begin.
 Ris                     Ris                     To laugh.
 Böo                     Bos                     An Ox.
 Parinte                 Parens                  Parents.
 Unde                    Unde                    Where.
 Cum                     Cum                     With.

                  *       *       *       *       *

       Wallachian.              Italian.                English.

 Luna                    Luna                    Moon.

 Firestra                Finestra                Window.

 Fier                    Ferro                   Iron.

 Porta                   Porta                   Door.

 Ochi                    Ochi                    Eyes.

 Limba                   Lingua                  Tongue.

 Puine                   Pane                    Bread.

 Appa                    Aqua                    Water.

 Mancare                 Manggiare               To eat.

 Nopte                   Notti                   Night.

 Muna                    Mano                    Hand.

 Frunte                  Fronte                  Forehead.

 Dintz                   Denti                   Teeth.

 Camascia                Camicia                 Shirt.

 Bine                    Bene                    Well.

 Ann                     Anno                    Year.

 Acro                    Acro                    Sour.

 Argint                  Argento                 Silver.

 Aür                     Oro                     Gold.

 Peshte                  Pesce                   Fish.

 Naz                     Naso                    Nose.

 Occit                   Accetto                 Vinegar.

 Pace                    Pace                    Peace.

 Amavut                  Ho avuto                I have had.

 Ce fatshe               Che fate?               What are you doing?

 Dorm                    Dormo                   I sleep.

 Battut                  Battuto                 Beaten.

 Cal                     Cavallo                 Horse.

 Clappon                 Cappone                 Capon.

 Tsara                   Terra                   Land.

 Dattor                  Debitore                Debtor.

 Dinderet                Di dietro               Backwards.

 Drept                   Dritto                  Right.

 Dreptate                Rectitudine             Rectitude.

 Disfacut                Disfatto                Undone.

 Morte                   Morte                   Death.

 Greo                    Grave                   Grave.

 Genuchi                 Ginschia                Knees.

 Cuïna                   Cucina                  Kitchen.

 Fericit                 Felice                  Happy.

 Nefericit               Infelice                Unhappy.

 Cumper                  Comprare                To purchase,

 Unire                   Unire                   To unite.

 Vin                     Vino                    Wine.

 Vie                     Vigna                   Vineyard.

 Mio                     Mio                     Mine.

 Cassa                   Casa                    House.

 Miere                   Mielle                  Honey.

 Place                   Piace                   To please.

 Remast                  Rimasto                 To remain.

 Pling                   Piango                  To weep.

 Gustare                 Gustare                 To taste.

 Viatsa                  Vita                    Life.

 Striga                  Strilla                 To scream.

 Stregoica               Strega                  A witch.

 Inghietsit              Inghiottito             To swallow.

 Agiun                   Digiuno                 Fasting.

 Dulce                   Dolce                   Sweet.

 Amar                    Amaro                   Bitter.

 Musica                  Musica                  Music.

 Fuoc                    Fuocco                  Fire.

 Dulceazza               Dolcezza                Sweet-meats.

 Kimpo-lung              Campo-lango             Long-field.

 _Wallachian Numerals_:—uno, doï, tre, patro, cintsh, shasse, shapte,
   aht, noo, zece.

 _Italian Numerals_:—uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque, sei, sette, otto,
   nove, dieu.

 Ce hai scris?           Cosa hai scritto?       What have you written?

 N’hai faccutto bine.    Non hai fatto bene.     It is not well done.

 Adam parinte al nostro  Adam padrie nostro ha   Our father Adam has
   ha peccattuit.          peccatto.               sinned.

 Christos ha patsit      Christo ha patito per   Christ has suffered for
   pentro peccattele       li peccati nostri.      our sins.

 Voi se intra la shola.  Voglio intrar ’nella    I wish to enter the
                           schola.                 school.

 Ha perdutt viatza.      Ha perduto la vita.     He has lost his life.

                  *       *       *       *       *

       Wallachian.            Modern Greek.             English.

 Pajoss                  πεζός                   Pedestrian.

 Sindrofia               σινδροφία               Company.

 Daskal                  δάσκαλος                Tutor, or rather

 Affanissit              αφανισμένος             Ruined.

 Ha costissit            εκόστισεν               The cost in a purchase.

 Peristassis             περίστασις              Circumstance.

 Ifos                    ύφος                    Arrogance.

 Procopsit               προκομένος              a clever man.

 Pnevma                  πνεύμα                  Wit.

 Katandissit             κατανδισμένος           reduced in

 Droom                   δρόμος                  Road.

 M’am aposessit          απόρεσα                 I was astonished.

 Zahar                   ζάχαρι                  Sugar.

 Pethepsit               πεδευμένος              Punished.

 Kindin                  κίνδινο                 Risk or danger.

 Periorissit             περιορισμένος           Engaged.

 Thiazeeon               διαζίων                 Act of divorce.

 Yeftin                  φθινό                   Cheap.

 Tropos                  τρόπος                  Means.

 Mere                    μίλα                    Apples.

 Ipokeemen               υποχίνενος              An individual.

 Thiathisis              διάθισις                a strong desire.

 Proerisis               προέρισις               Inclination.

 Simandicos              σιμανδιχός              a person of note.

 Staré                   στάσιμον                State, or situation.

 Kivernisis              χιβέρνισις              a living.

                  *       *       *       *       *

       Wallachian.              Turkish.                English.
 Perdé                   Perdé                   Curtain
 Duckian                 Duckian                 Shop
 Chismé                  Chismé                  Boots.
 Paputsh                 Paputsh                 Shoes.
 Chiorap                 Chiorap                 Stockings.
 Shapka                  Shapka                  Hat.
 Ocka                    Ocka                    an Oke (weight).
 Dram                    Dram                    a Dram.
 Massalla                Mashalla                a Flambeau.

                            APPENDIX, No. 5.
   _An explanation of the Nizam-y-Gedid institution, and some curious
  remarks concerning it. Written by Tshelebi-Effendi, one of the chief
 dignitaries of the Ottoman Empire, Counsellor, Minister of State, &c.
         and translated from the original Turkish manuscript._


The most high God, who hath willed that the race of the children of Adam
should endure from the time of Adam, even unto the day of judgment,
hath, by the mysterious decrees of his Divine Providence, created an
Emperor of the world, to administer with justice the affairs of the
whole company of his servants, and to protect them from their

It is by repelling hostile violence that the affairs of the world are
maintained in due order; since the Divine Majesty hath subjected the
earth to government in such a manner that it is divided into many
regions, each of them should have its own Sovereign, and that the places
subject to each Sovereign, and the servants of God whom they contain,
should find in their rulers (each according to the power he possesses,
and the age in which he lives) a protection and security from the malice
and treachery of their hostile neighbours and other enemies.

As those States which guard against dishonour, and by daily improving
and confirming their system of government, obtain in these respects a
superiority over the neighbouring nations, have flourished accordingly;
in like manner, decay and destruction have been the lot of such as in
these points have been inferior to the countries adjoining them; because
it is the invariable nature of the children of Adam to lengthen the hand
against the dominion and wealth of the weak and indolent.

It is said in the history which treats of the terms of peace concluded
by the sublime person who has received the mercy of God[48], that those
States which from carelessness did not take proper precautions to guard
against the violence of strangers, have remained without either honour
or reputation, and dependent upon others. Or even from the consequence
of their negligence, having fallen entirely into the hands of
foreigners, their kings have become subjects, and their rich men poor.
It is a principle to be observed by those who rule governments, and are
men of understanding and penetration, that, “even if your enemy is an
ant, you should use every effort against him;” that conformably to this
proverb, they may not suffer themselves to be brought into calamity, by
the treacherous machinations of the neighbouring States, and other
hostile nations.

The purpose of this preface is as follows:—In the period which elapsed
from the year 1150 to the year 1182 of the Hejira, the greatest part of
those who had seen service before the conclusion of the wars, went to
the confines of nonexistence.[49] And those who had not seen service,
having never travelled an hour’s journey from home, were entirely
ignorant of the affairs of the enemies of religion.[50] It followed that
the greater part of the inhabitants of the Sublime Empire[51] lived in
an easy, careless manner, and had never experienced the vicissitudes of
fortune. The corruption and disorder that prevailed in the discipline of
our troops during the Russian war which broke out in the year 1182[52],
gave rise to the confusion in which the world has been involved from
that time to this, a space of near forty years. Although the truth of
this is evident to a few men of sagacity and penetration, who, remaining
from the former generation, may be enumerated out of the vulgar herd,
yet, on account of the situation in which the world is, and the
circumstances of the times, most of them are obliged, in their
discourse, to appear to agree with the opinions of the people at large.

For some time past, a rabble composed of the dregs of the populace,
setting themselves up for judges of the times, and assembling in the
coffee-houses, barbers’ shops, and taverns, have, in vain speeches,
unbecoming their station, indulged themselves in the liberty of abusing
and calumniating the Sublime Government; and as they have not been
visited by the punishment which they deserve, people of this sort have
thence been emboldened to say whatever they please. This system has
often brought the Sublime Government into trouble.

In the times of Suleÿman Khan Kannuni[53] the Just, a few ignorant men
who did not approve of the new system then promulgated, having got
together in one place, railed against the Sublime Government, uttering
whatever tedious and absurd speeches came uppermost in their mouths.
This circumstance coming to the knowledge of the Emperor, he cut off the
ears and tongues both of the railers and listeners, and nailed them, for
an example to the world, on the upper porch of a small gate near the
palace of Sultan Bayazid. As this place was a thoroughfare for the
public, all those who with their eyes contemplated the sight, learned to
restrain their tongues. At that time, as at the present period, the
greater part of the vulgar, in their ingratitude for benefits conferred,
resembled the children of Ismael. This sort of rabble being ignorant
that from themselves springs the corruption of the world, give their
opinions on affairs as though they had by inspiration received intuitive
knowledge of them, and taking no blame to themselves, as though their
own inertness was not the cause of such misfortunes, have rendered
themselves the devil’s laughing stock. As no public examples are made of
them, owing to the lenity which now prevails, and to certain
considerations, the temper of these times is neither fit for peace or
war, and is incapable of rendering service to government and religion.
Nevertheless, that the world may not remain empty, a company of hogs,
corrupt and degraded like those who preceded them, assemble in taverns,
coffee-houses, and brothels, in order to abuse and vilify the Sublime
Government. This perverse race are outwardly Mussulmans[54], yet have
they not the least idea of religious purity, and are indeed a collection
of baccals[55], boatmen, fishermen, porters, coffee-house keepers, and
such like persons.[56] Although it would be requisite to punish many of
them for opening their mouths on state matters, and to make public
examples of them for the purpose of restoring order to the world, yet
the force of necessity obliges the government to overlook their faults.

A treatise which should contain an accurate account of the consequences
produced by the insolence and folly of the vulgar of this day, and
especially a correct statement of some events which ought to be made
public, having been required of us from the highest quarter, we have
undertaken to write it in a style which is simple, and easy to be
understood. Under the Divine favor, those who study this book with
sentiments of religion, will thereby be enabled to make themselves
acquainted with the present condition of the world.

                               SECTION I.
   _An Explanation of the Causes which have occasioned Trouble in the

“This institution of the Nizam-y-Gedid has caused the established order
of the world to be disturbed, and has given cause to the insolent
conduct of the mountaineers in the country of Rumelia.” Such are the
expressions employed by a set of contentious and ignorant men, incapable
of learning reason. I have sometimes questioned such persons, saying as
follows:—“Ho, friend! allow me in the first place to ask you a question.
What is this institution against which you make such continual and
senseless outcry? First know precisely what it is, and then continue to
oppose it. If there be reason in what you say, I am open to conviction,
and am ready to concede the point in dispute.” On hearing this, all they
could say was, that what they call the Nizam-y-Gedid, is a body of
troops trained and exercised; beyond which, and a mere profession of
their aversion to it, they plainly showed that they knew nothing about
the matter. Although I saw that an attempt to make this kind of rabble
understand public affairs, is like trying to make a camel leap over a
ditch, I proceeded to put some questions that occurred to me, as
follows:—“Shall I give you some account of the troubles which occurred
in the world before the Nizam-y-Gedid existed, during the reigns of
their highnesses the former Ottoman Sultans, who have found mercy from
God? Such as the disturbances raised in Anatolia by the Gellalli[57],
and the insolence of Sarry Beÿ Oglou in the reign of Sultan Mahmoud, and
especially the events which passed in Egypt, occasioned by Sacka-Yorghi
Alli-Beÿ, the son of a glass-blower; and the affairs of Emir-Daher, of
Abou-Vahib, all of which happened during the reign of Sultan Moustapha;
and the calamities inflicted by the unemployed Levendis,[58] who turned
the province of Anatolia upside down; and the continued bad success
which attended the arms of the followers of Islam, for the space of
seven years, during the Muscovite war, which began in the year 1182; the
defeats which our great armies suffered every year, with the loss of so
many thousand tents, such abundance of camp equipage, treasure,
artillery, bombs, and military stores, sufficient for the consumption of
many years, and so great a loss of our troops, either taken, drowned, or
killed, and the capture as well of our small forts and retrenched posts,
as of our large fortresses, some of which were reduced by famine and
others by force; and the impossibility of delivering so many thousand
women and children whom they contained, and who, still remaining in
captivity, pass their lives in tears. These are things, the bitter
remembrance of which can never be erased from our hearts. Some of these
calamitous events may be found in our annals, and some have happened in
our days. Pray was the Nizam-y-Gedid the cause of all these disorders
and disgraceful occurrences? It did not exist at that time, and yet you
see that confusion was already introduced, and the regular order of
things interrupted. Is then the Nizam-y-Gedid the only cause of
revolution? On what does your dispute now rest, and what answer can you
give to my question?” After I had thus spoken, some of them who were
disposed to hear reason yielded to conviction, and remained abashed,
having nothing to answer. But some others, less reasonable, who knew
nothing of the things which I had spoken, answered thus:—“What need I
know about the troubles that have formerly happened in the world? I am
well aware that those which now prevail are caused by the
Nizam-y-Gedid.” To these ignorant and pertinacious adversaries, I again
addressed myself in these terms:—“Disturbances having broken out in the
regions of France, the people eat each other’s flesh[59], and the
Crals[60] having declared war against them, for the space of exactly
fifteen years, battles have been fought without intermission, so that
the country of France has been turned upside down, and the inhabitants
have drank each other’s blood, and poured it out in the streets like a
torrent, and have, until this day, with the fury of dogs, changed their
country into a slaughter-house for swine. Behold such troubles are not
confined to[61] Frenghistan alone. Neither India, nor China, Arabia,
Persia, nor the new world[62], are at present exempt from confusion and
carnage. These things being so, is their source to be attributed to the
Nizam-y-Gedid? We may observe, likewise, that although trouble and
bloodshed prevail in Rumelia, yet, thanks be to God, Anatolia is free
from these calamities (may the ears of Satan be stopped with lead[63]).
Shall we say, then, that the fatal contagion of the Nizam-y-Gedid is
confined to Rumelia, and that it has not infected Anatolia; or rather
have not these things proceeded from the decrees of Providence? Should
not that consideration strike us? After reflecting and meditating on
what I have said, what reply can you make?”—“Good God!” says my
opponent, “I thought Rumelia alone had been disturbed.”—“Then,” I
replied, “if you are ignorant that every part of the world is thus
convulsed, and such things happen when there is no Nizam-y-Gedid, and
disturb the tranquillity of the universe, you should not, by any means,
impute the origin of dissension to that establishment.”

By thus addressing them, I succeeded, by Divine favour, in bringing many
of them to conviction. With respect to those persons, who, although they
are acquainted with the true origin of such events, and the course of
worldly affairs, and understand and know the commands of the great
Prophet (on whom be salvation and the peace of God), yet persevere in
their perverse opposition; and who, because they were formerly authors
of sedition, are ashamed to belie their words, and therefore maintain
the dispute, and uphold contention; who, having originally calumniated
the corps of cannoneers of the Nizam-y-Gedid, and abuse those who were
the authors of it, uttering speeches which do not become their lips, on
a subject above their comprehension; with respect, I say, to such
persons, who, although they themselves confessed that the excellence of
these new troops was seen in the French war, and that to their good
conduct many of us owed our escape from captivity, yet afterwards
forgetting this avowal, are not ashamed to indulge in extravagant abuse
of them, it remains only, that at the five stated times of prayer, we
beseech the Divine Providence to grant them understanding, and a
knowledge of the right way, that they may distinguish good from evil,
and acknowledge the power of the Sublime Government with whose bread
they are fed; and that thus, by a sincere union of hearts in the way of
truth and justice, we may obtain complete success over the enemies of
the state and of our religion. Thus did I manage my dispute and
conference with those adversaries who attributed to the Nizam-y-Gedid
the troubles of the world. Long and tedious indeed it was; yet by the
favour of the Divine Majesty, and the protection of the great Prophet of
miraculous memory, many of the opponents, who were at first unwilling to
hear reason, have been convinced, and brought to entertain a just idea
of those affairs; and using their efforts to convince others, have
entered into the congregation of well-wishers to government.

                              SECTION II.
 _An Explanation of the Causes which gave rise to the Establishment of
     this Nizam-y-Gedid, about which so much noise has been made._

Be it known to men of understanding, that after the conclusion of peace
with the Muscovite infidels, in the year 1206[64], when ambassadors were
passing to and fro, at the time that the prisoners were released,
diligent enquiry was made of many persons who had been in the hands of
the Russians, with regard to the power and condition of the enemies of
our faith. In the city called Petersburgh, which is the residence of the
Russian sovereign, are to be found men of all nations. Among these was a
certain infidel, formerly an Ottoman Rayah, but fixed, by his
employments, in the Russian states; a man extremely rich, and a complete
master of the art of deceit, acute and lively in speech, and devoid of
shame and modesty.

This man, who was at that time become an ambassador[65] said one day to
the[66]sovereign, in a familiar society of Franks[67], “Why should you
give yourself the trouble of carrying on long and obstinate wars with
the Ottomans? If your design be to take Constantinople, why should you,
by carrying on operations on the land side, struggle with so many
difficulties? Nothing is more easy than the capture of Constantinople.”
On the sovereign’s desiring to know which was this easy method, the
wicked person answered as follows:—“The _Cralyä_[68] having formerly
carried on two or three successful wars, and possessed herself of the
kingdom of the Crimea, equipped a fleet on the Black Sea, and after
annihilating the Tartar nation, and taking many forts and castles,
reduced to her obedience the rayahs of the White Sea[69] and many
trading communities, it would be easy, by following up a certain plan,
to accomplish in two days the conquest of Constantinople, which need
only be attacked by a single streight.” The Cralyä, pleased with this
suggestion, said, “If you prove yourself useful in rendering me that
service, I will appoint you King of Constantinople for the term of your
life, in the same way that I appointed a king over the country of
Poland.” The person then spoke again thus:—“None of all the Ottoman
troops are now ready to take the field: those of Anatolia are employed
in cultivating the land, and smoking their pipes; such as inhabit
Constantinople are either busied in carrying on various trades, or at
least are not subject to any good discipline. Were they to assemble
troops with the greatest possible expedition, they would require at
least a month for that purpose. Behold, the water used for drinking in
so great a city, comes from certain reservoirs which are without it.[70]
It is not, therefore, expedient for us to carry on a troublesome war
with ships and troops by sea and by land. We need only dispatch to the
Crimea all the Russian ships that are in the White Sea, and there,
filling with troops all our vessels, large and small, we will disembark
them suddenly without the channel of the Black Sea, in the district that
contains the reservoirs, the walls of which we will beat down with our
cannon and[71]destroy. In one hour this may be effected. On the waters
running out, the consequence will be a great tumult at Constantinople,
the news being every where spread that the Russians have destroyed the
reservoirs of water, that they are about to assault Constantinople with
all their forces, and that their ulterior projects are not known. In the
space of one day the want of water will produce confusion among them,
which will be augmented by our zealous partisans of the Greek nation.
The troops which are in Constantinople, instead of marching immediately
against us, will pillage the public treasures, and those of their
emperor, ministers, and rich men; and putting their booty hastily on
board such boats and vessels as they find at hand, will endeavour to fly
to Anatolia and elsewhere. The residue of the inhabitants, who remain at
Constantinople, being left to themselves in this calamity, and
overwhelmed with astonishment, having no water to bake bread, or to
drink, will, in the course of two days, be reduced to the last
extremity. So that the Russian troops, gradually advancing and entering
the city, will make themselves entire masters of it.”

The Sublime Government having received intelligence of this
conversation, and of the decision taken in consequence of it[72], the
infernal treachery of the aforesaid wicked person, seemed really to have
conceived a feasible project. Water sleeps, and enemy is sleepless.[73]
It is especially to be considered, that the distance from the peninsula
of the Crimea to the channel of the Black Sea, is such, that a ship may
cross it without altering a sail; and whatever confidence we may place
in our own strength, yet, God forbid that so cunning an enemy should
find us in an unguarded posture; particularly since we are instructed by
the example of so many States, that owed their loss of reputation and
ruin to the want of care in observing the machinations of their enemies,
and in neglecting to provide in proper time efficient troops and
military stores. From this source their calamities have arisen, as is
written and set forth, as well in other histories, as in that which
treats of the misfortune of the Sublime Person, who has received the
mercy of[74]God, and of the peace which he concluded. The Russian
infidels having withal greatly improved the state of their dominions
within the space of seventy or eighty years, and manifested their thirst
of glory by their arrogant and insolent interference in the interior
affairs of other States, and having annexed several foreign countries to
their own dominions, especially the kingdom of Poland, we must not, by
any means, consider ourselves secure from so treacherous and deceitful a
nation. Besides all this, the upright and provident ministers of the
Sublime Government, who are aware of the evil designs of the enemy,
having represented to the Emperor, (who is at the summit of power, and
inhabits the mansions of wisdom and understanding,) that if such an
attempt as that suggested to the Cralyä by the before-mentioned
reprobate, should actually take place against the reservoirs, (which God
forbid!) as there had been no care taken to provide either money or
troops, it would be utterly impossible to dispatch with expedition
against the enemy forces that were under no discipline, or to repulse
them with such soldiers; and that the people of the Empire of Islam,
reposing entirely on the protection of Providence, would not make the
least resistance. That therefore, as it was a maxim established that in
an urgent case, when some remedy must be sought, resources must be found
in the whole body of those who are attached to government, without
consulting the lower orders; there was no other method of dispelling and
removing the danger we have spoken of above, but by keeping a body of
troops on foot ready for service. It was also taken into consideration,
that even if the description of force required for the purpose really
existed at Constantinople; yet in case of any danger arising on the side
of the reservoirs in the way we have mentioned, (which Heaven forbid!)
as the intelligence must be conveyed from thence to Constantinople, and
as the troops must assemble, it would require five days at least before
they could reach their destination. May God protect and guard us! “The
serpent kills a man in Egypt whilst the Teryak[75] is coming from
Venice,” as the proverb says.

With regard to the apprehensions entertained for the reservoirs, it
appeared in every case indispensably necessary, that on that side a body
of troops should be kept in readiness in some fixed station, and
provided with requisite supply of artillery, ammunition, and military
stores; and such troops as should not, like the rest of our forces, be
composed of sellers of pastry, boatmen, fishermen, coffee-house keepers,
baccals, and others who are engaged in the thirty-two trades, but of
well disciplined men, who would take care to have their cannon and
muskets ready for service, and on an urgent occasion, would be prepared
in the space of half an hour to engage the troops and artillery of the
enemy; to repulse them, and retaliate on them their own hostile devices.
After these points had been taken into serious consideration, some men
were in the first place dispatched to the corps of the Janissaries for
the purpose of selecting from thence some young and chosen soldiers,
whom they were to discipline and train to the use of arms. Upon this,
our bravoes who are engaged in the thirty-two trades, considering that
if they were obliged to attend punctually to the exercise of cannon and
small arms, they would be occupied with that instead of their private
affairs, and would be brought into trouble, no longer receiving their
pay once in three months gratuitously, and without doing any thing for
it, began to ponder the matter, stroaking their beards and mustachios,
and to vent their discontent by saying, “We are not made for this sort
of work, and we will have nothing to do with it.” Whatever pains were
taken to enlighten their understandings, they obstinately persisted,
addressing each other by these or similar terms, “Ho! Alli Sacka Baba,
Oda Bashi, Bash Karakouloukgee![76] what say you to this business? the
exercise of the Nizam-y-Gedid is now introduced; henceforth no pay is to
be had without service, and what they call exercise is a very
troublesome service; it is true that drawing up in a line makes a better
show; but if they send us to war, we can fire our muskets, and then
charging sword in hand, we can put the Russians to flight and storm
their camp. May Heaven preserve from decay our corps and our chiefs! we
shall then take our pay when it is issued, and pass our time agreeably.”
Such were their expressions, as though they could by frigid reasoning,
and senseless allusions, induce the Sublime Government to abandon this
enterprise, when the experience of two wars had proved, beyond dispute,
both the total inefficiency of their services, and the feeble condition
of the Mahometan community.

With respect to the apprehensions entertained of the destruction of
those fine reservoirs by the Russian infidels, the first step which was
taken for the purpose of procuring speedy and effectual means of
guarding against so devilish a piece of treachery, consisted in an
ordinance for levying a body of Bostangees[77], who were to be quartered
at the Levend-Chifflick, a military post newly established at no great
distance from the reservoirs, in order that in an urgent crisis when we
fly for refuge to Divine protection, they might be ready for service in
a very short space of time. But the most important point is this: that
the new levied troops, instead of engaging in trade, should remain day
and night in their quarters, applying themselves daily to military
exercises, and keeping their arms, cannon, muskets, and warlike
implements of every description necessary for immediate service; thus
practising a discipline suitable to their appellation of soldiers of the
new regulation. To complete all, every Orta[78] led an _Imam_[79]
attached to it for the due performance of religious worship, that
nothing requisite might be omitted. Besides this, numerous batteries are
established on the shores of the canal of the Black Sea[80], well
furnished with artillery, and a sufficient number of gunners were
appointed to serve them, and to oppose any attempt which might be made
by the enemies of our faith, to force the passage of the said canal. As
the perfect discipline of the garrisons of those forts, rendered the
passage of a ship altogether impracticable, the enemies of our faith
clearly saw that the attempt must end in their destruction; and thus,
under the Divine favour, their wicked projects, which we have already
related,were rendered fruitless and abortive.

The continual and daily progress which these new soldiers have been
making in discipline and order, and the excellent conduct and steady
valour which a handful of our regular troops displayed at Alexandria,
Cairo, and Acre, have caused the hearts of the foes of our religion to
melt within them, on seeing and hearing these things. We trust, that by
the favour of Heaven, when this description of our force called
Nizam-y-Gedid shall have become sufficiently numerous, terror and
consternation will take possession of the hearts of the Russians, the
Germans, and the other enemies of our faith and Empire, to such a
degree, that they will no longer think of imposing on the Sublime
Government hard and insolent conditions; and that, lastly, this
institution of regular soldiers, proceeding from the habitation of the
great Spirit which rules over our faith and Empire, will perpetuate the
duration of the Sublime Government even to the end of the world, and
will give us victory over all our enemies.

It has happened to me a thousand times to find myself engaged in dispute
with a crowd of contentious fools, who say, “Is there any occasion for
these new troops of the Nyzam-y-Gedid? At the time that the Ottoman race
conquered the world with the sabre, there were no such forces. Let the
enemy present himself, and we will lay our hands on our sabres, and at a
single charge make piece-meal of them. Only let us see the intentions of
our enemy, we will storm their camp, sword in hand, upset their Cral
from his throne, trample his crown under our feet, and penetrate even to
the most distant of their countries.”

To these bravoes I thus addressed myself: “Hark ye, comrade! do you know
that ever since the year 1146 I, as well as my father, have served with
all my might in the corps of Janissaries, and have been engaged in
several wars, and have seen the world both hot and cold, and feeding
from the world’s basket, have passed through the hoop of the
elements.[81] Having moreover been a prisoner in the hands of the
enemies of religion, I became fully acquainted with their deceit and
treachery, their discipline, and the successes which they have obtained
over the Sublime Government. It has thus been easy for me to gain an
intimate knowledge of many things, the truth of which cannot be easily
understood from the mere perusal of our annals. As I am now eighty-seven
years of age, if all those affairs that have passed since the year 82,
with which I am thoroughly conversant, were to be written, they would
fill several volumes. There are, however, certain events taken as well
from history as from what has fallen under my own observation, which I
wish to relate to you; and as my discourse shall be free from
malevolence and bad passions, I trust in God that you will hear me with
satisfaction, and will one day bless me.”

                              SECTION III.

The subject that we are now to treat is as follows:—

At the accession to the throne of that flower of Emperors, Sultan
Suleÿman Kannuni, the science of firing with quickness artillery in
position, making use of muskets, and practising such like military
exercises, and of defeating large armies with a very small body of
troops, was not known amongst the foreign states of Europe and other
nations. In this state of things they carried on wars against us; and in
such contests the pious enthusiasm of the soldiers of Islam caused the
gales of victory and conquest to blow on the side of the Sublime
Government. Sometimes, also, they were on that of the enemy. It came to
pass by a disposition of Divine Providence, that His Highness Sultan
Suleÿman having for some years following continually met with bad
success in his wars against the Germans, and perceiving that his defeats
were owing to the unskilfulness and want of discipline of our soldiers,
employed himself in creating a corps of regular troops[82], and
inscribing recruits for that purpose. Immediately a number of idle and
ignorant vagabonds, who disapproved of this institution of troops,
quarters, and military regulations, began to murmur, saying, “Was the
world originally conquered by the Janissaries? No; it was subdued by the
Segbans, and other valiant companies.[83] What sort of corps is this?
and what is the meaning of these dresses? What strange things are the
water-carriers, cooks, and servants, with their various dresses and
titles!” By disseminating these seditious speeches, they entirely
corrupted the minds of those soldiers who had been, or were to be
enrolled in the new corps of Janissaries. So that, for instance, if an
hundred recruits had their names inscribed to-day, to-morrow two hundred
would desert.

His Highness the said Emperor, reflecting on what passed, and
considering the favour which had been granted by Divine Providence to
our magnificent Lord[84]; understanding also that every age was gifted
with some polar star of intellectual excellence, discovered that there
existed at that period from among the sons and successors of Hagee
Bektash, the polar star of the times. The Emperor having caused this
personage to be brought to him from Anatolia, spoke to him of the new
corps which he had formed for the purpose of snatching victory from the
infidels, and giving it to the people of Islam, and demanded the prayers
of this Sheich, that the soldiers enrolled in the corps, instead of
deserting, might display constancy and firmness. The said personage
having therefore prayed, from that day forth the recruits no longer
fled, but looking upon themselves as the children of Hagee-Bektash,
firmly persevered in their service; and thus, when expeditions were
undertaken against the enemy by these regular troops, who were kept
closely to the pitch of discipline necessary at that time, the happy
influence as well of the Emperor of Islam who is the chief of religious
conquerors, as of the aforesaid holy personage, had so beneficial an
effect, that they overthrew the armies of the enemies of the faith, and
gained such signal advantages, that were we to describe them at large,
our discourse would be too prolix. Before much time had elapsed, the
enemy being broken and routed, and perceiving by experience the
advantages of this discipline, obtained peace with a thousand
entreaties. Hereupon all the Crals[85] being seized with consternation,
after communicating with each other, held a council in a place
appointed, to which they invited men of wisdom and experience. The
conclusion they came to was this: “The Ottoman Emperor having introduced
an admirable system into his army, and established a corps for the
express purpose of keeping it up, we shall no longer be able to keep
face with such well disciplined troops: as the soldiers of the Islam are
naturally brave, they will fall in among us, sword in hand, and make a
speedy end of us; and as the opinion which they hold that those who die
in war are martyrs, and go immediately to Paradise, makes them fight
with great zeal, it is evident that if we do not establish good and
sufficient military regulations, the Ottomans will conquer the whole of
Europe, and oblige us all to pay the Haratsh. It is our business
therefore to find some method of preventing those soldiers from closing
with us.” They concluded their conference by forming a masterly project,
and inventing a method of using with expedition their cannon, muskets,
and other instruments of war, and prohibiting their troops from engaging
in commerce, they obliged them to pass their whole time in learning
military exercises, in which they made such progress that it became at
last impossible to break their ranks. In truth, it is well known to
those who are acquainted with history, that in the wars which have taken
place since the invention of this new system of tactics, the Ottomans
have been most frequently worsted, because they found it impossible to
make use of their sabres among the infidels as they wished to do; for
their regular troops keep in a compact body, pressing their feet
together that their order of battle may not be broken; and their cannon
being polished like one of[86]Marcovich’s watches, they load twelve
times in a minute, and make the bullets rain like musket balls; thus
they keep up an unintermitted discharge of artillery and small arms.
When the Islamites make an attack upon them with infantry or cavalry,
the enemies of our faith observe a profound silence, till the soldiers
of Islam are come close up to their front, and then at once giving fire
to some hundred carriage-guns, and to seventy or eighty thousand
muskets, overturn our men in heaps without so much as receiving a bloody
nose. When they have thus by a few volleys caused thousands of the
people of Islam to drink the sherbet of martyrdom, the surviving remnant
are wont to fly. Our troops perceiving how skilful the enemy are in the
use of fire-arms, and seeing many thousand men slain in the space of
half an hour, while they are unable to avenge themselves on their
opponents, have necessarily begun to lose courage. But although the
wicked infidels, exerting their whole strength, have with great prudence
and boldness invented so masterly an art of war, yet the soldiers of
Islam, who have not been able to make any stand against them, may justly
assert that the fault does not belong to themselves; for since the enemy
sends us eighty thousand charges of grape before a thousand of our men
have time to fire their muskets, it is certain that resistance in such a
case is beyond their power. Thus during the period which elapsed before
the reign of his Highness Sultan Mustapha Khan, although we were
sometimes victorious and sometimes vanquished, yet success was, for the
most part, on the side of the infidels.

By explaining all this, and by giving answers founded on the knowledge
of passing events, I have succeeded in convincing many persons, who by
falsehood endeavoured to support the unjust opposition of the partisans
of the Janissaries. What remains to be mentioned is this: His Highness
Sultan Mahmoud, having enquired the reason of the successes of the
infidels, and the defeats of the people of Islam, a dissertation,
treating of the way to victory, and entitled “The Origin of Discipline,”
was composed and published; and as it afforded satisfaction to the
Emperor, copies of it were disseminated amongst the public. I have, in
the year 1206, undertaken to write a description of the new troops,
being encouraged thereto by the favour which the Emperor has been
pleased to bestow both on the motive and the work; but as, by the mercy
of Heaven, I have reached the extreme period of life, it is very
uncertain whether I shall be able to finish the execution of it.

                              SECTION IV.

“Since you cannot reconcile your minds to the new system of exercise,
and say that it is useless, allow me in reply to put this question to
you: Was there a wall run up between you and the infidels during the
Russian war which broke out in the reign of Sultan Mustapha Khan? When
you had consumed as much meat and white bread as would have been
sufficient for two hundred thousand men, why did you, while the infidels
were in your sight, turn and fly, instead of engaging them after you had
raised a commotion on the pay, rations, and exceptions from service? You
well know that I was present with you at that time. In the following
year you committed, on your march to the army, sundry crimes and
excesses; burning and ruining the houses in which you were lodged, both
of Mussulmans and tributary subjects, and lengthening your hands against
their children and daughters. When you arrived at the camp, you plainly
showed what ability you possessed for war, never having ventured in any
situation to engage or oppose the enemy, even so much as with the sound
of your voices; and after having spent your time as you did the former
year, in disputing about pay, &c. you departed, spoiling your brothers
in religion, and showing no fear or reverence, either for God or man.
Prove to us, if you can, that at any time, or in any place, you have
rendered the least service to the Emperor. Such being the state you were
in for the space of six or seven years, you at length became the cause
of the Muscovites concluding a treaty with us on their own terms,
inasmuch as through your misconduct they were enabled to penetrate into
our territories. And to conclude all, it is owing to you that such a
province as the Crimea, the seat of a Khan, hath remained in the hands
of the infidels.—In the late war with the Russians, which followed the
one we have been speaking of, several thousand soldiers of the corps of
the Janissaries were detached with speed on the side of Otchakow, with
the hope that you would effect something before the military forces of
the Russians could arrive from a distance of seven or eight hundred
hours’ march.[87] On that occasion you paid no attention to your
officers or to the governor of Otchakow, but of your own counsel went to
attack a little entrenched port called Kibburun, where, being engaged by
a small body of Russian troops appointed to defend that quarter, you
could not resist them, but returned to Otchakow, after losing a great
number of men. The Muscovites then besieged the fortress of Otchakow,
remaining before it during the season of winter, snow, and extreme cold,
whilst you crept into holes within the place, and did not dare to
venture out. Thus you were the occasion of the enemy’s taking by
assault, and by force of arms, so strong and firm a bulwark of Islamism,
together with all its inhabitants, who were made prisoners. And to you
it is owing that so many thousand persons, with their wives, daughters,
and young children, fell into the hands of the Russians. In other places
you were equally unable to resist. As the superiority which the practice
of military exercise gives to the infidels in war is clearly evident, as
well as the deficiency of the people of Islam in several points
connected with military science, is not the obstinacy with which you
oppose the introduction of this exercise, purely a treason against our
religion and empire?” When I had thus set forth and laid before them
their actual condition, such of them as were disposed to reason ceased
their clamour, and answered thus: “Truly His Highness Sultan Mahmoud was
about to appoint a deputation for the purpose of establishing this
exercise, according to the principles laid down in the treatise entitled
‘The Origin of the Institution of Discipline;’ but as longer life was
not granted to him, the deputation was not named. If at that period good
order had been established, we should not have been beaten by the
infidels.” In these words they made confession of the truth; but some
answered differently, saying, “In the corps of Janissaries I receive
twenty-five aspers; if these troops of the Nizam-y-Gedid should increase
in number, and become serviceable, I am afraid that as the Janissaries
will no longer enjoy any consideration, I shall not be able to draw my
pay. If I knew for certain that no loss would accrue to me from it, I
would say, God grant that all the people in the world may become
soldiers of the Nizam-y-Gedid.” These people expressed their true
sentiments. Others again spoke thus: “If we abolish the new regulation
(although we know that it is likely to be serviceable, and that our
other undisciplined forces will never be of the least avail) the enemy
will celebrate the event with the rejoicings of a marriage-feast, and
encroaching on our territories more and more, will confirm their victory
by imposing on the Sublime Government hard and disgraceful conditions;
and to conclude, as there will be no means of opposing the enemies of
our faith on any side, the power of the Sublime Government will decline
from day to day. If, under the Divine favour, these troops who are
clothed with the garments of discipline, should be augmented until they
amount to the number required, and stationed in the fortresses upon the
Russian and German frontiers, as well as in other parts of the empire,
we very well know that, in a time of trouble and of war, they will not
be disconcerted like our raw soldiers, but will stand firm and unshaken
in the midst of carnage. We will prove the truth of our words by this
example: If, on a stormy day, a vessel be manned with persons utterly
ignorant of sea affairs, the ship will undoubtedly sink, and all on
board will perish; but if the crew are acquainted with navigation,
however great may be the storm which they encounter, they will, by the
grace of God, obtain a deliverance from it. Can there be any room to
doubt that a few persons who have for fifteen or twenty years exercised
the art of war, and have learnt sundry military stratagems, will obtain
an easy victory over many thousand unpractised soldiers, overthrowing
them, and bringing them into captivity?” In such terms as these many of
them avowed their assent and conviction. It ought to be generally known
that, whilst many thousands of our undisciplined forces were unable to
obtain the least advantage in the war which they waged at Alexandria and
Cairo against the reprobates of France, our gunners and regular
infantry, although few in number, bravely combating the infidels and
defeated them incessantly; and the flight of a single individual of that
corps was never seen nor heard of. As their valour was conspicuous to
all, many of those who had carped at them saw and acknowledged their
error, saying “these are the troops who will render effectual service,
and we have sinned in calumniating them.” His Highness Gezar-Pashah
seeing the greatness of soul which these men displayed in war, and with
what heroic courage they became martyrs, while not a single individual
thought of flight, spoke thus: “Truly before I knew what sort of men
these were, I was wont to abuse them; but if after this I do so again,
may my tongue be dried in my mouth.” This we have heard from persons who
were present at the time that he said it. If we possess any
understanding or sense of rectitude, and be able to distinguish good
from evil, we may perceive and comprehend how important and necessary
the services of these troops have been; and also that, with the
exception of this sort of regular soldiers, the residue of our forces
have only served to create confusion and occasion famine, in our camps,
frontier fortresses, and other military posts. There are certain
expressions current amongst the enemies of our faith which our ears
heard in the time of our captivity. They say thus: “The greater is the
number of troops sent by the Ottomans into the field, the better are we
pleased; because if they are very numerous, their magazines will be
exhausted, and they will disperse before two months have passed; and if
your raw soldiers march against us, the greater part of them will be
mowed down by our grape shot, and the remainder will fly.” Behold, we
have seen with our eyes that this saying is exactly conformable to
truth. The following is another of their expressions: “If, for instance,
in an army of one hundred thousand Ottomans, there could be found an
hundred well trained men, we should, in computing their numbers, only
reckon those hundred, without taking the others into our calculation,
because we know that one soldier thoroughly exercised, is equal to one
thousand raw and ignorant men.” It is a certain fact, that we have seen
in the wars persons who, having never in the course of their lives taken
a gun in their hands before, but spent all their time in the exercise of
some trade, and knew not what they were about, but first put the ball
into their muskets, and then the powder above it. It has been sometimes
proved by experience, that as these people know not how to handle their
ammunition, it would be better that they should leave the army rather
than remain with it; because, being of no use, they do harm by the
disorder which they create. Some of our raw soldiers who do not know the
proper charge of powder, by putting too great a quantity into their
guns, cause them to burst, and thus maim, or even kill both themselves
and those who stand near them; and many of our unpractised horsemen who,
when mounted on their steeds, fancy themselves the heroes of the age,
and would not deign to give a salutation even to their own fathers, when
they draw their sabres in action, wound the heads of their own horses,
and thus cover themselves and their beasts with blood; this awkwardness
of theirs cause those who see it to utter ejaculations of surprise. In
short, it is evident to men of understanding, that as the talents of
reading, writing, riding on horseback, shooting with the bow, playing on
an instrument, and other similar acquirements, will not come
spontaneously to persons unskilled, and uninstructed in them; so
likewise victory cannot be obtained without a knowledge of the art of
war, which is a particular, and noble branch of science, independent of

There are indeed certain considerations which may induce us to pardon
those calumniators of the Nizam-y-Gedid, who are any wise connected with
the old corps; but do those persons who are by no means attached to
them, and who know the difference between alum and[88]sugar, and between
good and evil, show any sense in daring to abuse so noble a science?
Their perverseness and obstinacy are astonishing, seeing that,
notwithstanding the taste which the infidel race has always had of our
raw troops, they do not allow it to be sufficiently proved, that if a
war should break out, these ignorant beasts pressing together in masses
of one or two thousand men, will be unable to resist the tactic of the

                               SECTION V.
 _Containing a relation of the footing on which the old corps of troops
             originally were, and of their present state._

Since so unreasonable a dissension prevails between our old and new
troops, we have undertaken a disquisition on the organization of the
first of these corps. The public are well aware of the conduct observed
by our old corps of troops when they march out to war, or return from
it; but if any persons should be ignorant of this, we will thus explain
it to them. At the time that His Highness Sultan Suleÿman Khan set on
foot these forces, the soldiers whose names were inscribed on the
muster-roll conducted themselves on their marches with the most perfect
propriety; and at the places through which they passed, whether they
moved by land or by water, did not take so much as the value of an
asper, either from rich or poor, mussulman or Rayah; neither did they
eat a single egg without paying for it, nor injured the honour of any
one. Truly the said troops, yielding implicit obedience to the orders of
the emperor of the times, and of their other commanders, performed their
duty well, and wronged no man in any respect. In their military
expeditions they were wont to subdue forts and countries, and to ruin
the reputation of the infidels, and thus to elevate the glory, fame, and
power of the emperor of exalted splendour, and as they were thought
worthy of the prayers of his Highness and of the people of the true
faith, the whole world held them as objects of praise, and all men
desired their honour. As they were so highly respected a body, they did
not admit into their ranks men of obscure race, such as Franks, Greeks,
Armenians, Jews, or gypsies, or persons belonging to any other
inglorious nation. Being men of true courage, they repressed these as
well as all other insolent and shameless persons, and those of the
description of robbers. As the enemies of our religion were not pleased
with their excellent regulations, they found means to introduce into
their ranks very cunning spies for the purpose of sowing dissension
amongst them. These spies gradually creeping in amongst the soldiers
under pretence of being comrades, insinuated themselves like Satan, and
began by degrees to set on foot practices, tending to corrupt the valour
implanted in their hearts, and their zeal for religion. “Comrades (said
they) the pay which we receive from government is seven aspers, and they
point out to us Paradise as the reward of martyrdom; they will certainly
cause us all to be slaughtered by the infidels; we have not two lives,
why then should we be destroyed for seven aspers, and without reason?”
Having, by similar and repeated insinuations, corrupted the minds of the
faithful soldiers, these began to care no longer about the concerns they
were intended for, and saying at last, “Useless and destructive
expeditions are only proper for the Russian infidels, let us leave it to
their soldiers to feed upon dry biscuits, as for us we will return home
and eat fine Baklava.”[89] Thus they forgot the stream of benefits in
which they were immersed, and the kind treatment and protection that
they had experienced. As there was nobody, either in the corps or out of
it, who spoke reason to them, they came in process of time to do
whatever they liked, plundering the places that they traversed on their
march, burning and destroying the houses both of Mussulmans and Rayahs,
and stretching forth their hands against the honour of their families.
Besides all this, although the whole body of men who compose an hundred
and ninety six Ortas, being quartered altogether in one residence, ought
to have no differences one with the other; yet hatred and dissension
rose to such a pitch amongst them, that they no longer considered those
who did not belong to their own Orta, as brothers in religion, but,
without dissembling their sentiments, exchanged bullets, and drank each
others blood; and in the villages, forcing open the houses of the poor,
committed murder, which disorder still prevailing, as none of them are
safe from the others either in war or peace, their well regulated system
of discipline hath perished and gone to decay. They pass their days in
propagating seventy thousand false reports, saying, “When we were
opposed to the infidels, they did not allow us to give them battle; if
we had obtained permission, we could without trouble have overthrown the
crals from their thrones; but the ministers of our government conspiring
with the Ghiaours[90] cause us to be slain and taken prisoners, and,
receiving from the Russian infidels casks of gold, deliver up the
country to them.”

On a day of battle, as soon as they have heard from a distance the noise
of a cannonade, and have seen a few hats, the Mussulman spies who are in
their ranks begin to exclaim aloud: “Community of Mahomet, why do you
stay here? the Ghiaours have forced our camp, the troops in front of us
have turned their faces this way; we shall be pursued and made
prisoners.” As these cries spread in succession through the army, even
the very regiments which since their original institution never
surrendered their kettles to the enemy[91], and which are at that moment
sacrificing a thousand martyrs in their defence, now estimating their
own lives at the price which the others set upon theirs, abandon in the
space of half an hour their tents, camp equipage, kettles, and baggage
of every sort, and repairing straight to the imperial camp, plunder the
treasure, effects, and military chest, and then adorning their heads
with the trophies of their pillage, walk about in small parties with a
presumptuous air, as though these were inscriptions which made good
their pretence of having beaten the enemy, and overturned their cral. As
they are all mixed and confounded together, there is no way of
distinguishing those who fight with true patriotism from those who do
not, and there are amongst them certain adversaries who begin the attack
against the orders of their Vezier, Agha, Pashahs, and other officers.
When, however, the action is engaged, it is not possible to make them
stand their ground for half a minute, and the following example is a
clear proof of it. During the reign of his Highness Sultan Moustapha, in
the year of the battle of Kartal, when an hundred and fifty thousand
soldiers of Islam were opposed to the infidels, whilst his excellency,
Cogia Abdee Pashah (who hath attained to the mercy of God,) was engaged
in combat on the field of battle, at which time the people of Islam were
not very hard pressed, a mounted spy, dressed like a Chiaoush, rode
hastily along the rear of the entrenchments of the Janissaries, and
cried aloud: “Janissaries, why do you remain here? the Ghiaours have
turned our rear!” having said these words, he put spurs to his horse and
departed. Before he was out of sight, the whole camp of janissaries,
without examining whether he had spoken truth or falsehood, at once
betook themselves to a precipitate flight. The infidels, availing
themselves of the opportunity, pursued them, and were on the point of
completing their destruction; but his excellency, whom we mentioned
above, saved them by vigorously charging the infidels with another
corps; but while he thus checked the enemy, the fugitives never thought
so much as rallying or coming to his assistance, neither did they stop
to take breath, until they arrived on the banks of the Danube, amongst
the tents which contained the treasure. As they did not see the enemy at
their backs, they ought to have retraced their steps, instead of which,
they plundered the baggage and treasure of the imperial camp, and not
being able to cross the river in open boats, they threw themselves into
the river, so that one third of them, or perhaps more, were swallowed up
in the Danube. Some, who could not swim, climbed up the willow-trees
upon the banks of the Danube, and many lay hid among the reeds and
flags; but when the enemy arrived and perceived them, they were all put
to death by fire and sword. It was exactly three days before the whole
army of the infidels came up, when they made themselves masters of all
the artillery, ammunition, and military stores of various descriptions,
which our bravoes, who were unable to carry them off, had left on the
banks of the Danube.

Towards the conclusion of the Russian war, which had succeeded the one
we have been speaking of, when Cogia Jussuf Pashah was Grand Vezier for
the second time, all the officers of the corps, and the Janissary-Agha
coming up to the Vezier in a body, made to him this representation:
“Although we have upwards of one hundred and twenty thousand men, yet
eight thousand of the Russian troops, crossing to the higher side of the
Danube and attacking us, have completely routed our army. It is utterly
impossible for us, with our regular troops, to make head against such
welldisciplined forces as those of the Ghiaours; therefore, if you
intend to make peace with them, do it without delay. While our soldiers
continue ignorant of these new military manœuvres, we are not destined
to become victorious, from this time even to the day of judgment.” The
astonished Vezier said in answer to this strong representation, “How can
I lay these points before the Emperor?” To this they replied, “We will
ourselves cause a petition to be drawn up and presented to him.” At the
same time, they caused an humble representation to be written out by me,
and delivered it to the Vezier. It was dispatched to the Emperor, and
his Highness became convinced of their inability of obtaining success in
future. When peace was made, in consequence, the Sublime Government,
considering that the Janissaries themselves had declared that their
state of discipline rendered them unfit to oppose the tactics of the
enemies, thought itself obliged to use every effort to introduce into
the corps of Janissaries a regular system of exercise, hoping by that
means to retrieve their affairs, to avert defeat, to open the way to
victory, and to obtain security from hostile machinations. The
Janissaries, however, contrary to reason and expectation, would not
receive this project, and absolutely rejected it. But as it became
evident that, if it were abandoned to oblivion, things would become
worse, and the infidel race would certainly encroach more and more, and
as the conversation which had taken place at Petersburgh relative to the
reservoirs, was then generally known, a body of musketeers was formed
from among the Bostangees, and quartered in the barracks newly
constructed at the Levend-Chifflick. As when His Highness Sultan
Suleÿman set on foot the corps of Janissaries, the new recruits deserted
next day, so in the present instance a number of worthless persons set
up an opposition in defence of the Janissaries, although these were no
otherwise connected with it than by the simple reception of pay, and
began to whisper to each other, “Hark ye! a hearth[92] is set open for
the Nizam-y-Gedid; if these new troops, who are practising military
evolutions, should perform any good service in war, the institution of
Janissaries will become obsolete, and our muster-roll will be erased
from the list.” They suggested also, that as the men who were inscribed
in the corps of the Nizam-y-Gedid performed an exercise similar to that
of the Ghiaours, the Mussulman faith is thereby injured. Although these
blockheads had never before given themselves any concern about our faith
or government, and indeed knew nothing of what belongs to Mussulman
purity; yet, on the present occasion, they showed a mighty anxiety for
religion, and by that means prevented many persons from inscribing their
names, and encouraged many who were already engaged to desert. Behold!
how inscrutable are the decrees of Divine Providence! When the war with
France broke out, at which time these forces consisted only of three or
four thousand men, the new gunners and musketeers were appointed to
serve at Cairo and Acre. The said troops committed no excesses, either
on board the vessels in which they were transported, or in the places of
their destination whither they repaired, nor robbed any man of the value
of an asper; but both in going and coming, conducted themselves with
propriety and modesty. If any persons have either seen or heard of their
having committed the least fault, we challenge them to declare it. When
by the favour of Divine Providence they arrived at Acre, the French
infidels, who had for sixty-three days pressed very closely Gezar-Pashah
and the inhabitants of the place, were within a hair’s breadth of making
themselves entirely masters of it; for they had already entered that
which is called the Sublime bastion within the fortress; but the troops
of the Nizam-y-Gedid, valiantly exerting their military skill, in one
day slaughtered the infidels to such a degree, that in no part of Europe
did the French nation ever receive so disgraceful an overthrow; and no
man in the world is ignorant that the said fortress and its inhabitants
were delivered by their courage. Is not this also a proof of their
utility, past and future? Wherever they have been opposed to the
infidels, although few in number, they never turned their faces back,
but broke the enemy, or were themselves broken; and as not one of them
dared to mention the word flight, they have always, in exact obedience
to the will of the great and mighty Prophet, punctually discharged the
duties which appertain to a holy war, and a steady zeal for the faith.
If there is any falsehood in my words, let any one prove it; I am
extremely willing that he should do so, otherwise, for God’s sake, let
every body listen to reason. When our undisciplined forces in Egypt
found themselves unable to make head against the cavalry or infantry of
the French infidels, they retired for protection behind the ranks of our
regular troops, who alone stood their ground, and by that means saved
themselves from the impending danger. Moreover, in the year 1217 they
were sent against the Mountaineers who had rebelled in Rumelia. Since
that insolent race first showed themselves, several Veziers and other
officers had been sent against them without effect.[93] Having formed
the wicked design of destroying the Nizam-y-Gedid institution from its
roots, they now exerted their whole strength and gave battle. Although
the regular troops had with them neither their cannon, howitzers, or
mounted men, and were engaged in the midst of a severe winter, snow,
rain, and mud, and though the rebels were strongly posted in a town,
they nevertheless marched up to the attack, and without regarding the
advantageous position of the insurgents, while they were themselves up
to the knees in mud and water, they knocked down half of the rebels like
rotten pears, sending their souls to hell, and obliged the rest to fly.
In a short time the field of action was covered with the vile carcases
of the rebels, and those who were taken alive reported that they called
out to each other, “Ah! comrade, these troops which they call
Nizam-y-Gedid, are not what we took them for.” In these exclamations
they betrayed the sense of their own inferiority. Every one knows that
at last these rascals, unable to make a stand on any side, climbed the
mountains by night, and fled. To this we may add, that although the
banditti tried by every means to introduce a spy into the ranks of the
new soldiers, they could not succeed, because, by the regulations of
those forces, an officer is appointed to command every ten privates, and
these officers who have an opportunity of seeing constantly, as well
their own men as those who are on the right and left, are acquainted
with them all, and in the line they never quit each other’s sides; if,
therefore, a stranger from without should get in amongst them, in what
condition would he find himself, being exposed in the middle; like a
broom in a court-yard, he delivers his collar to the first man that
takes him.

Just and intelligent men may readily understand how easily the Sublime
Government can organise these troops, from this circumstance, that it is
utterly impossible for any person, whether Mussulman or infidel, by
passing to and fro to examine the state of these troops, and learn where
they are going, and what they are about to undertake, without being
discovered and punished. The advantages of the new corps, and their
superiority over the old are infinite; were we to write them all down,
we should fill several volumes. In order, however, to make the people
comprehend well, we will point out to them another of these advantages.
The soldiers of our ancient corps, are not at all clothed alike; from
this diversity of garment, the following bad effect results: if, in time
of war, any of them should desert from the army, as there are no marks
by which we can distinguish whether the deserters belong to the troops,
or whether they are tradesmen, or servants, they have thereby the
opportunities of escaping without being known. Whereas the new troops
have a particular uniform of their own, so that the stragglers would be
soon discovered. Hence it results, that in a large camp of the new
troops, every man will be forced to remain fixed in his company, and
steady in the performance of his duty, whether he would or no, since it
is impossible to desert without greatly incurring the danger of

Another of their advantages is this: our old forces, when in presence of
the enemy, do not remain drawn up in a line, but stand confusedly and
promiscuously like a crowd in a place of diversion. Some load their
muskets, and fire once, some twice, or oftener, just as they think
proper, whilst others being at their wits’ end, and not knowing what
they are about turn from side to side like fabulous story-tellers.[94]
If in consequence of any movement which they perceive on the side of the
enemy, the officers endeavour to make the troops fall back a little,
some will obey them, others will not, every one does just as he likes.
If they wish to retire a little, the soldiers make that a pretence for
flying to the distance of some days’ journey.

But the new troops remain drawn up in line as though they were at
prayers, the rear ranks being exactly parallel with the front, and
consisting of the same number of companies, neither more nor less, so
that, when it is necessary, they turn with as much precision as a watch.
The whole body, consisting of many thousand men, observe attentively the
signals given them by the two fuglemen who explain by signs the commands
of the officers, and not one dares so much as to turn his head. Thus the
orders of the officers being communicated without the least noise, they
stand firm, and lend an attentive ear, whilst not a word issues from
their mouths. If, for instance, the officer whose business it is to give
the command, makes the signal for attention, the whole body are ready in
an instant, and not one of them dares to stand idle, or to make any
noise, or to look another way, thus they are equally prepared for
whatever may happen. Sometimes the signal is given for them to load and
discharge their muskets successively, without regarding order or slacken
their fire, so as to make the balls shower like rain. If, while thus
engaged, they meet with a check, the officers immediately by a signal
will cause them to retire in good order, and will supply their place
with fresh troops from the rear, who likewise scatter their fire in the
same manner. This method of managing troops gives great facility to
their operations. Sometimes they dispose a large body of men in a
circular form, and then cause them to march round in such a manner, that
as the circle turns the soldiers incessantly discharge their muskets on
the enemy and give no respite to the combat, and having prepared their
guns for a fresh discharge before they return to the same place, they
fire the moment they arrive in the face of the enemy. The result of this
circular formation is, that the fire and slaughter do not cease for an
instant. Sometimes, when it is judged necessary, several thousand men
being crowded into a narrow space, form a solid mass for the purpose of
appearing to the enemy to be few in number, then by opening out, they
can execute any manœuvre that they please, and sometimes, ten thousand
men deploying, appear to consist of fifty or sixty thousand. At other
times, when they are hard pressed, the troops receive the superior
officers in the centre, and throwing themselves into the form of a
square castle, pour their fire on every side, the artillery also being
disposed on every face of the square, so that if the enemy should charge
them even on four sides, he will be unable to make an impression. If the
enemy’s cavalry should endeavour to break in upon them while they are
formed in this manner, on the signal being given, the front rank men
kneel altogether in an instant, and remain in that position keeping
their muskets supported against their breasts, and the ranks who are in
their rear stand upright and make use of their fire-arms, thus rendering
it impossible for the hostile cavalry to break in and create confusion.
Should it happen that the enemy is as skilful and well trained as
themselves, and employs against them the same discipline, then of the
two parties, that will be victorious whose chiefs are enabled, by the
favour of Divine Providence, to put in practice with superior address,
the new science and stratagems of war which they have learned, because
the apostle of the Most High, our great prophet (on whom be the
blessings and peace of God!) himself condescended to use military
stratagems. This sacred tradition is thus related.

During a holy war which was carried on in the happy time of the apostle
of God, (on whom be peace!) a certain valiant champion of the enemy’s
army came out to offer single combat, and demanded that the glorious
Alli should be opposed to him. Alli, well pleasing to God, having
received the command of the Apostle, girded on his sword only, and
immediately went forth alone to the place appointed for the combat. When
this friend of the Most High met that infidel, he thus addressed him: “I
come on foot having one sword; why come you out on horseback having two
swords and two bows?” The great Alli spoke to him again, saying “let
these things be so; but I come out alone to give battle on our side, why
do you bring another man and come both together?” The infidel, at this
question, looked about him believing that another man had followed him,
when at the same instant, the great Alli, in the twinkling of an eye,
made the vile head of the reprobate fly off. The death of the said
wicked person having been a source of joy to the followers of Islam, the
excellent Alli, meeting the great prophet on his return, related to him
the admirable stratagem by means of which he had slain that wretch. This
holy tradition has been vouchsafed unto us.

Although many similar stratagems have been employed at various times, by
holy warriors, and leave has been granted to the spies sent forth
amongst the infidels for the purpose of advancing victory to the people
of Islam, to assume any sort of dress; and although the great Prophet
hath given full permission and authority to do any thing which may
conduce to the defeat of the infidels, yet an ignorant rabble keep
chattering like parrots, some of whom do not approve of the dresses of
the new troops, while others say that their exercise belongs specially
to the Kiafers[95], and does not become Mussulmans.

With respect to the manner in which the provinces of the Sublime
Government are to be defended, and the means by which the enemies of our
faith are to be repressed, and the causes that have produced victory and
defeat, the rabble are utterly ignorant of them, occupying themselves
solely with this question, “shall we lose our pay of a few aspers?” With
this, as with a fishing hook, they draw from their sack various
absurdities, and prevent a number of simple and foolish men from
undertaking the duties of holy warfare. In truth, is not this a
sufficient reason for their being excluded from the two blessed worlds?

To sum up all in one word: it is evident to men of penetration, that
there is no possibility of introducing this system into our old corps,
for this reason; that as at their first institution they were regulated
in a different manner, every one of them has an aversion to submitting
himself to the new discipline. If, for example, any of the old troops
wish to leave the camp and return, although forty thousand officers
should attempt to turn them back, it is useless; they will do as they
please. If only five or ten individuals should turn their faces, who has
power to say to them “Stop, go not away!” the whole body forthwith
following on their steps; for the most part draws breath in the tents
containing the treasure and baggage of the Imperial camp.

The following is another of the advantages of the new troops. If it
should happen that the enemies have obtained the victory by their
superior numbers, and that the new forces were defeated, they will not,
in consequence, lose courage and disperse themselves; their captains and
other officers will rally them the following day or soon after, and will
again march upon the enemy; and not one of their soldiers will dare to
make the defeat a pretext for quitting his post. But if our old corps
meet with a small check, they run, throw themselves into the water, and
get drowned. Thus they become the cause of the progress of the enemies
of the faith. Which thing having come to pass in our own times, twice in
the Russian, and once in the Austrian war, and repeatedly in the war
with the French, is manifest to the world, and wants no new proof.[96]
Another of the advantages of the new troops is this; that when a body of
them are appointed to defend any post, they establish an advanced guard
round the place in order to obviate any hostile stratagems. Although
this sort of vigilance and precaution was formerly observed, yet there
is a world of difference between the ancient method and the new.
According to the old system, it is not easy to discover strange soldiers
of the enemies’ army who mix with the posts; but it is utterly
impossible for strangers to pass the guards of the regular troops, and
to get into a fortress which they defend; so that the army is safe from
any surprise.

The following is a description of the manner in which these posts are
arranged. When they are disposed round the camp, a certain word is given
them every night as a sign; the commander-in-chief first announces in
secret this word to the officers, and they communicate it privately to
the officers of the corps de garde; if therefore they meet with a
suspicious person, they immediately demand the parole, that is to say,
the sign word for the night; and if he does not give the parole of the
night, they seize and conduct him to the captain of the camp. Behold!
this is the only method of discovering spies; and as it is a matter
which, above all others, demands great care, they will pay special
attention to it; so that until their return from any expedition, the
parole of one night will never be the same as that of another, and by
this means they are delivered from the plague of spies. But of all the
advantages, the most material is this. If, under Divine favour, a
sufficiently numerous body of these new troops should be properly
disposed along the frontiers of the Sublime Empire, our enemies will
find themselves opposed on every part of the boundaries of Islam, by
expert artillery men, and well disciplined forces, perfectly acquainted
with the rules of the art of war; nor will they, as heretofore, be able
to take advantage of our unguarded posture, in order to make an attack
upon us; for there are persons still alive who well know that when in
the time of Sultan Mahmoud the German infidels assaulted, and at once
made themselves masters of the fortress of Nissa, it required a great
deal of trouble to drive them out. In fine, His Highness the Emperor,
and the supporters of his power, considering that it is indispensably
necessary to guard against such occurrences by striking terror into the
enemies of our religion, have firmly resolved to take measures for that
purpose, seeing that those enemies who were from the beginning a
troublesome and insolent race, and who, in all times, had been unable to
withstand the power of the people of Islam, insomuch that they were wont
to frighten their bastards in the cradle by saying “The Mussulman is
coming!” and many of them on seeing one Mussulman, took off their hats
through excess of fear, now venture to resist us, and have with
exceeding care and diligence made themselves so thoroughly masters of
the use of fire-arms, that a body of some thousands of them are able to
serve their cannon with as much precision and celerity as they can their
muskets, firing a single piece of artillery twelve or fifteen times in a
minute, and making a thousand discharges in the space of an hour. By
this means they destroy the people of Islam from a distance, and prevent
them from making use of their sabres. They now say, “At length we have
taught the Ottoman troops what value they ought to set upon themselves;
henceforth they will never set foot in our country; even the Mussulman
provinces are ours.” Thus they never allow victory to incline to the
side of Islam, and especially since the year 1182, they have continued
to afflict the followers of Islam with most disgraceful usage, bringing
under their own power so many of our tributary subjects. Nevertheless, a
crowd of ignorant people of our nation never bring these things into
their recollection, nor can persuade themselves that the success of the
infidels for nearly the space of forty years over the people of Islam
proceeds entirely from their own inability to resist their fire, and
that their own frequent flights are the cause which disables us from
carrying on war. These despicable wretches have never issued from the
castle-gate, nor travelled a single stage from home, neither do they
know what war and peace mean, nor from what cause the troubles of the
world have sprung, and whence they are likely to arise in future; some
of them are so ignorant of what belongs to pure religion, that in
repeating a short prayer they commit mistakes from beginning to end; men
in appearance only, vulgar of the lowest description, children of
falsehood, who suppose that the Nizam-y-Gedid is the cause of confusion
in the universe, and that if this ordinance were removed, and the old
system restored, the world would be tranquil in five days.

Last year, one of those superlatively ignorant persons was appointed to
the office of receiver of the revenue in one of the islands. This man,
who before was continually uttering curses and execrations against the
authors of the Nizam-y-Gedid, having gained five thousand piasters by
the perception of the imposts, and hoping it was continued to him for
another year that he might gain five thousand more, upon meeting with
his friends and companions, said to them, “Ha! comrades, there is no
harm in this Nizam-y-Gedid; I, indeed, at first opposed it, but it was
from want of sense; for the impost upon wine is not paid by those who
drink it, but is levied upon the wine which is sent to Russia, so that
the money comes out of the pockets of the Russians; it were better that
it was twice as much; I now understand the matter, and I make vow never
to speak a word against the Nizam-y-Gedid.” See how this man, in
consequence of gaining a few piasters by an institution which he had
been in the habit of abusing, is not ashamed afterwards to praise it.
Such, however, is the nature of all the lower orders. To sum up all in
one word: if the clamour and execrations of a rabble, who makes no
difference between good and evil, obliges us to abandon the said
institution of new troops, (which Heaven forbid!) the enemies of our
religion will find so much the more facility in invading us; and as one
of their kingdoms maintains three hundred thousand regular troops, they
will mount upon our necks on seeing that the Ottomans cannot discipline
a hundred thousand. At that time we shall not derive the least service
from those knaves who disapprove of the Nizam-y-Gedid; they will merely
say that it was thus ordained; that there is no contending with destiny;
and if a great calamity befalls (which Heaven avert!) they will, without
making more words about the matter, become the authors of trouble and

                              SECTION VI.
   _Wherein is explained the purpose for which exercise is intended._

In the time of his Highness the late Emperor, during the period of my
two captivities, I have often, in the course of conversation with
Russian military men, questioned them, saying, “by what secret prodigy
hath it come to pass, that you Muscovites, who were formerly a very
stupid and easily vanquished nation, have for some time back obtained
such success over the race of Osman?” They, in reply, said, “Since you
are ignorant of the causes of our superiority, you shall be made
acquainted with them. The Russians, in former times, did not possess the
knowledge of tactics, and were therefore beaten by their enemies. A man
called Mad [97]Petro, having in his travels seen the world, and acquired
an intimate knowledge of the advantages thereof, became Cral of Muscovy,
and subjected the Russians, whether they would or no, to the restraints
of discipline. In order to try what progress they had made in it, he
declared war against the King of Sweden, and avenged himself of him. He
then went in an expedition towards the Crimea, reduced whatever
fortresses he thought proper, and began to break the power of the
Tartars. Afterwards, when we concluded a treaty with you, we demanded
for our Cral the title of Emperor; and as you could not oppose us, the
Sultan Mahmoud Khan (of excellent memory) in writing to us, granted that
title. Then in the war with Sultan Moustapha, we approached Adrianople,
and made peace on our own terms. And see, in the present war, we have,
with very few troops, defeated your numerous forces; and after taking
the fortresses of Hotim, Bender, Ibraïl, Ismail, and Otchakoff, and
conquering Moldavia and Wallachia from one extremity to the other, we
passed the Danube with eight thousand men, and routed the Ottoman army
consisting of fifty thousand. As you have no troops able to face ours,
know that this time also, after being well beaten, you will make a worse
peace than the former one.” In this manner did they answer this poor
person[98]; and truly before much time had elapsed, it came to pass that
such a treaty was concluded.

                              SECTION VII.

It is a difficult thing to find out the spies that go to and fro in the
camps of the followers of Islam, and it is necessary to explain how much
injury is done by them. As this matter requires attention above all
others, let us relate some events which have happened to us, with the
consequences resulting from them.

In the war with the Russians, during the reign of the late Emperor,
Sultan Moustapha, two hundred thousand unknown and undisciplined troops
were drawn together. In this multitude no one knew the other, and if a
father had searched for his own son, he could not have found him. If
each day some hundreds separated themselves and went off, no one knew
it, nor even could have said to them, ‘stop! remain!’ In so disorderly a
camp, the spies from the side of the infidels came and went each day and
night, and acquainted the Russians with every thing that passed in our
army, and the secrets of our government became known to the enemy. For
this reason, whenever a forward movement of our army was resolved upon,
they surprised the camp towards morning, the day before it was to be
executed, and routed so large an army of the Ottoman race, without
allowing them to open their eyes, all being buried in sleep. We have
learned by experience, that as the infidel race are very cunning and
deceitful, they have often effected, merely by wiles and stratagems,
things which we never have been, nor ever will be, able to bring about
with our hundred thousand men. Among all the wiles which that wicked
race have put in practice, there is one extraordinary stratagem which it
is worth while for us to describe. During the said war, three poor men
belonging to the assembly of Janissaries, having concerted together,
went out to gain some information of the Russians: after it was quite
dark they seized, on the Muscovite borders, a certain Ghiaour, one of
those who were employed in getting forage, and, satisfied with their
success, were conducting him to the camp, when, their prisoner being a
cunning hog[99] that understood Turkish, said to them, “Sirs! if you set
me at liberty, my father, who is a rich man, will recompense you
largely.” They, believing his words, conducted him back to the Russian
confines, where he soon found a surreptitious pimp[99] whom he called
father, to whom they delivered him. This man, who was also a very
deceitful rogue, said to them, “I am greatly pleased at your bringing my
son here and not killing him, and I am very much obliged to you.” With
these and other expressions of gratitude, he gave them five ducats, and
continued thus: “I have not been able to reward you as I ought to do,
but allow me to show you something, and let that be another recompense.”
So saying, he carried them in disguise into his own camp, and placed
them at the edge of a large tent; here the comrades perceived that there
was a great bustle before the tent, and that within they were weighing
gold and silver coin in a large balance, and were then filling with it
some casks placed near. In the tent were men habited in divers sorts of
Mussulman dresses, and the casks filled with money were continually
distributed amongst them. The traitor, after showing these things to the
three comrades, took them to his own tent, and said to them, “Comrades!
see what I have shown you. Part of this money is to go to your
government, and part to the Vezier and other Generals of your army. We
have purchased your country with money; the sum that has just been given
is the price of Constantinople which we have bought and shall soon
enter. My motive for informing you of this is that you may henceforth
look to yourselves; do not remain in your camp, nor even lose time at
Constantinople; but go to your own country that you may not be made
prisoners. Keep all this secret, and say nothing of it in your camp.”
With these words he led them back to the Ottoman confines. The comrades
returned to our camp, and being all three simple fools, they gave
implicit confidence to the falsehood contrived to deceive them; and
whenever they met their friends and acquaintances they said to them,
“Breh! what did we come here for? Our chiefs have sold their country and
are now receiving the money for it: we have seen it with our own eyes;
why should we stay here? all that passes is but lost labour.” By this
means they struck with consternation many who were as great asses as
themselves, and these spread confusion and alarm through the whole
Imperial camp. Finding this pretext of going home, a great number of the
troops went off and dispersed, like a flock of young partridges.

The Russian hogs, availing themselves of so favourable an opportunity,
brought the devil among us. But the best of the story is, that they all
laughed at us in relating it to each other, saying that in order to
disperse a Turkish army, they had only to weigh a little gold in the
presence of three of their men, and then send them to inform the rest of
it. Thus, on account of so many ignorant fools, who understand nothing
of the wiles and machinations of the enemy, it is necessary that we
should give our troops such a form of discipline as may prevent similar
disorders, and the danger of the spies who mix with our men and can
never be discovered.

How is it possible for us without such a system, to avenge ourselves of
our enemies, to defend our Empire, or to gain the least advantage? As
the deep cunning of the Russian race was not at first so well known, our
precious heroes of soldiers made use of such expressions. “The Muscovite
infidels are dogs of fishermen, whom we can suffocate only by spitting
upon them; if we each of us throw a stone, we shall destroy them all.”
These Janissaries who are merely vain boasters, good only for swaggering
on the pavements, falling by thousands into the hands of the Russians
through their total ignorance of military affairs, at length saw and
learned the power and stratagems of the enemies of our faith. But to
what purpose? since the children and daughters of so many noble and
pious persons of the Mahometan community have continued even to this day
(a space of nearly forty years!) in the possession of the Russians; and
the children whom they have produced remain depressed and afflicted, a
weeping prey in the hands of soldiers, officers, and other

If a rabble of men, ignorant of the world, who pass their whole time in
festivity and play, or in buying and selling, or in idleness, were in
the first place to learn thoroughly the things which belong to purity,
and then, in order to preserve their religion unsullied, were to avoid
discourse with infidels and designing men, and examine whether their own
observance of it did not require some correction, there is no doubt that
they might attain to the summit of the good things, both of this world
and of the world to come. If they contend with us, saying, “We
understand questions of purity, we preserve our religion, and there is
no doubt of the validity of our marriage contract[101]”; in that case,
although what they maintain be true, yet, as the knowledge of the
affairs of this world is apt to occasion many great sins, let them not
lengthen their tongues on a subject of which they certainly know
nothing, and to which their understandings cannot reach. If this
business of the Nizam-y-Gedid seem obscure to them, let them acquire
information from men who, like this humble individual[102], have reached
their eighty-seventh year, and have gained by experience a thorough
knowledge of the world, and have brought to light what things have
injured, and what have turned to the profit of, the Sublime Government.
Let them not talk of things void of sense, for as the troubles of man
proceed from his words, so reason is given him as a defence against his

                             SECTION VIII.

Many simple persons, who do not know why the treasure of the
Nizam-y-Gedid was instituted, and whence this money is collected, and to
what purpose it is expended, say sometimes, “the water of the old
cistern is not exhausted; why then is the new revenue made a separate
treasure?”[103] We have already stated how difficult a thing it is to
explain public affairs to people who are plunged in the darkest
ignorance, and to make those who cannot read the common alphabet
understand science; although we were to labour until the day of
judgment, we should not succeed. If a man is capable of receiving the
words of truth from his outward ears into his mind, we proceed to relate
matters as they really are.

Wars have been carried on for seventy or eighty years in a rude manner,
and with weak and irregular troops, during which time the followers of
Islam having been often defeated, His Highness Sultan Suleÿman Kannuni
thought proper to form the body of the Janissaries, whom he divided into
different divisions, assigning to each their particular regiments and
quarters. He considered, however, that these troops could not be
assembled and kept together for the love of God only, but that it was
also necessary to establish funds for the purpose of providing meat,
drink, &c. for them, as well as to appoint them a pay suitable to their
expenses. After consulting with the wise and experienced men of the
time, he regulated the administration of the revenue in the following
manner. A small part of the monies drawn from the provinces that had, by
right of conquest, become subject to his illustrious predecessors, was
appropriated to the subsistence of military men who served on horseback
and otherwise. The Emperor appointed by the canon[104] that, from the
annual product of the revenues, and from the sums which every one who
succeeded to the farming of them, paid according to his means, as an
anticipation price, provision should be made for meeting the expense
incident to these corps, whether in war or in peace. After these
arrangements had been made, it frequently happened that, in good times,
no war took place for twenty years together, during which some of the
military men who belonged to the corps, having turned old, departed in
peace. As the papers granted them to enable them to draw their pay fell
into the hands of their servants, relations, or comrades[105], it was
not suffered that the allowances appointed for several thousand men
should be received by persons who did not belong to the military
profession, who were novices in affairs, or apprenticed to some trade.
As few of them left sons capable of taking the place of their fathers,
and opposing the enemies of our faith, men of war became very scarce,
and it was therefore necessary to levy fresh troops, and assign new
funds for their support, the old revenue being exhausted. Besides this
cause of the impoverishment of the royal treasure, the price of all
commodities had greatly augmented since the time that the canon was
promulgated. For instance, at that period an oke of the flesh of mutton
was sold for four aspers, but in the course of time it rose to
twenty-five paras, and other things were dearer in proportion. Thus an
increase having taken place in the price of the necessaries which were
furnished to the corps at its institution, the royal funds provided for
that purpose were no longer able to meet the expense of the times, and
as they were nevertheless obliged to find some means of going on, the
rents of the Sublime Government began to run into each other; that is to
say, that in order to provide for the expense of the current year, they
sold the revenue of the succeeding one, and so on. Hence resulted a
deficiency in the Imperial finances. Even the treasures, which had been
amassed with a great deal of trouble previous to the Russian war that
broke out during the reign of the late Sultan Mustapha, were in that war
entirely drained and consumed, although every thing was then very cheap
when compared with present prices, and after peace, the finances could
not recover themselves, but the expense still exceeded the revenue. The
enemies of our religion being informed of our want of money, were
thereby confirmed in their purpose, and obtained complete success. But
besides the difficulties in which our government found itself involved
in peaceable times, owing to the deficiency of the ordinary revenue
which did not suffice for the current expenses, there have been moments
during war in which it stood like a man who has both his hands tied down
to his sides, and knew not which way to turn itself; for as there was no
ready money, nothing could be accomplished, and nobody showed any
inclination to engage in a holy war; nothing was considered but pay,
rations, and the privilege of being exempted from active service.

Thus hath the want of a well-organised system of finance been clearly
proved, the whole revenue of the state not being sufficient for the
exigencies of these times. The following example will point out the
truth of this to the people at large. Suppose the case of a man, who
twenty or thirty years ago enjoyed an income of one piaster a day, and
regulated his expenses accordingly, if that man continued on the same
scale how could he live at present, when every thing is four or five
times dearer than at that period, and make the two ends of the year meet
with his piaster a day? In like manner, we may apply this consideration
to the actual condition of the Sublime Government. Behold, while the
royal finances are in so great a state of penury, not a single person,
whether rich, poor, or tributary subject, will give a single piaster to
the treasure, under the name of a voluntary contribution, towards
carrying on war; and, in short, no man will go to war gratis, and at his
own expense, only to please God, or for the love of the prophet or the
emperor; the formation of troops proportioned to those of the enemy, and
the providing of military stores, which may equal theirs, are things
which must be accomplished, not by words, but by money. The truth is,
that the treasury does not possess a fixed revenue sufficient to defray
contingent expenses, and, to sum up all, the old revenues of the Sublime
Government were calculated for the old expense; and as two hundred and
forty-five years have elapsed since the publication of the canon, the
expense having constantly increased whilst the revenue was never
augmented, His Highness, the Emperor, has looked out for some remedy in
such difficult circumstances, and has laboured to establish a revenue
proportioned to the amount of expenditure of these times. But that the
requisite funds might neither be taken by violence, nor derived from
casual contingency, it was thought proper to draw them from the peculiar
possessions of the government and the sources dependent thereon. A
treasure having been with much difficulty amassed, in which were to be
deposited the money raised under the title of Iradi-Gedid, the following
reflections presented themselves relative to the manner in which they
were to be regulated.

The produce of the imposts at the time that the canon was promulgated,
was farmed out in small branches to those who bid for them the highest,
and authority was granted to them to receive each a part of the tribute
on their advancing a certain sum in proportion to their respective
means, and on condition of their paying a thousand piasters a year to
the crown besides; thus a man was able in three years to reimburse
himself of the small sum which he had advanced, and then if the contract
was continued to him for the course of his life, he could make a clear
profit of forty or fifty thousand piasters; and perhaps of an hundred
thousand if he lived long enough. The contractors continuing to give the
crown only a thousand piasters after the first small sum advanced, the
whole benefit of the revenue accrued to them, but the profits of the
public treasure were not augmented and continued the same. A new method
having, therefore, been found absolutely necessary, has been adopted,
and in such a manner as to leave no person any pretext for complaint.
The arrangement is this: that when the perception of an impost, which
belongs by right to the treasury, falls vacant, it is no longer farmed
out in consideration of a small sum, but is taken possession of on the
part of the Sublime Government, and the management of it is carried on
for the benefit of the new treasury; the sum which continues to be paid
to the crown, as well as the profits derived from the perception of the
impost, are appropriated to the pay, clothing, and allowances of the
troops of the Nizam-y-Gedid, and to the special exigencies of the war
department, such as the providing of cannon, ammunition, tents, camp
equipage, military stores, and the expenses of the park and train of

As the accountants of the old treasury are wholly employed in the
collection and management of the funds appertaining to it, a director
was specially appointed for the purpose of watching over that part of
the administration, and by his ability the whole has been properly
regulated. These are then the advantages which result from the expense
of the troops being defrayed by this new financial arrangement. The old
revenue hath not been thereby prejudiced, and the charges of the new
troops are provided for. This business has been conducted in so masterly
a manner that no just cause is left to any one to cry out against it;
and the new revenue, like the new system of discipline, being
established on the best footing, causes no loss or damage to any man,
but, on the contrary, tends manifestly to perpetuate, until the last
day, the duration of the empire and of the people of Islam, as must be
evident to all persons endowed with penetration.

When we have by so distinct an exposition rendered all these points
clear, those men who are acquainted with the difference between alum and
sugar, good and bad, and in whose essence is a leaven of science, will,
no doubt, listen to reason, and, by Divine grace, being brought under
conviction, will submit themselves to the book of God, mighty and

                                THE END.

                  Printed by Strahan and Spottiswoode,
                        Printers-Street, London.


Footnote 1:

  A great Roman pavement is still visible in Wallachia. It begins at a
  small town called _Caracalla_, situated near the borders of the
  Danube, about three miles from the place where the great river Olt
  falls into it: and it runs up in a straight line with this river, as
  far as the Carpathians, where its traces are lost. It probably led to
  the Dacian capital, Zarmiss, which is now a Transylvanian town, and
  contains many ruins of Roman monuments of an inferior kind. The Latin
  language is almost the only one spoken by its present inhabitants.

Footnote 2:

  Antonii Bonifici Asculani Rerum Hungaricarum Decades. Decad. ii. lib.

Footnote 3:

  Knolles’s History of Turkey, p. 204. and Tounousli’s, Ισορια Ιης
  βλαχιας, p. 247.

  A piaster and a half is equal to an English shilling.

Footnote 4:

  Knolles’s History, p. 296.

Footnote 5:

  Dracula in the Wallachian language means Devil. The Wallachians were,
  at that time, as they are at present, used to give this as a surname
  to any person who rendered himself conspicuous either by courage,
  cruel actions, or cunning.

Footnote 6:

  Although the amount of the tribute was often increased under the
  successive Voïvodes, the same formalities of payment existed as late
  as the year 1716, when various changes took place in the Wallachian
  government, as will be observed hereafter.

Footnote 7:


Footnote 8:

  Christian tributary subjects.

Footnote 9:

  A Ferman is a written order issued by the Grand Vezier in the Sultan’s

Footnote 10:

  Higher clergy and nobility.

Footnote 11:

  Cantimir’s History of the Ottoman Empire, p. 186.

Footnote 12:

  Cantimir’s History of the Ottoman Empire, p. 451.

Footnote 13:

  Cantimir’s History, p. 452.

Footnote 14:


Footnote 15:

  “It has been supposed that the Turks, to console the Greek descendants
  of the imperial family for the loss of empire, had bestowed on them
  the government of the two principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, an
  error which appears to have no other foundation than the assumption of
  the illustrious name of Cantacuzenus, by two persons of obscure
  family, born in Wallachia, who were raised to the administration of
  that principality in the seventeenth century.” Thornton’s present
  State of Turkey, p. 385, from Cantimir’s Ottoman Hist. p. 371.

Footnote 16:

  A descendant of the Voïvode’s grandson above alluded to, is now living
  in Wallachia, and possesses all the landed property left by his
  ancestor, which gives him an annual income of upwards of 200,000
  piasters. He is looked upon by his countrymen as the first and richest
  Boyar of Wallachia, and is acknowledged by the court of Vienna as
  prince of the Roman Empire, a title which, however, he cannot assume
  in his own country so long as the Turks are the possessors of it.

Footnote 17:

  The formulæ of a Beratt will be found in the Appendix, No. 1.; it is
  the literal translation of the one given to the author by the present
  Sultan, shortly after his appointment to the official situation in the
  principalities. The original is written in golden letters, on a very
  long sheet of parchment, lined with green silk, and containing a
  variety of curious and rich ornaments.

Footnote 18:

  Thornton’s present State of Turkey, p. 410.; and Cantimir’s Ottoman
  History, p. 189.

  The Russian court was the first who entered into official intercourse
  with the Greek princes, and styled them by the title of _Hospodars_,
  from the Slavonic and Russian word _Gospodin_, or Lord. The Greeks,
  however, having the right to the title of prince from that of Beÿ
  conferred on them by the Sultan, on their nominations to the
  principalities, assume that of reigning princes, though they have only
  the power and prerogatives of Viceroys. They also claim that of
  _Serene Highness_, which the court of Vienna alone has consented to
  give them. Their subjects invariably give them that of υχηλοτατε
  most-high. Their sons are called by the Turkish tide of Beÿ-Zaaday,
  literally meaning prince’s son; their grandsons have no title.

Footnote 19:

  The Prince Callimacki has sent by me a copy of his code to the
  university of Oxford. As Dr. Macmichael, in his “Journey from Moscow
  to Constantinople,” gives an account of this book, I abstain from any
  observations upon it.—_Note of the Author._

Footnote 20:

  In page 416, of the “Present State of Turkey,” Mr. Thornton says, “The
  Boyars of the most ancient families, indeed, assert that they are the
  descendants of the Slavi, and are of a distinct race from the people
  who have sprung from the alliances of the Romans with the original
  Dacians; but the chief distinction among the nobles is their wealth
  and possessions. The great majority of the Wallachian and Moldavian
  nobility owe their creation to the Sultan’s Voïvodes; for even these
  ephemeral beings, these fleeting shadows of royalty, are presumed to
  confer by their breath a permanency of dignity,” &c. I perfectly agree
  with Mr. Thornton as to the latter part of this observation; but at
  the same time I must beg leave to say, that although I am well
  acquainted with all the Boyars who are considered to belong to the
  most ancient families, I never could discover that their claims to
  antiquity went beyond the period of Raddo Negro’s and Bogdan’s
  establishment; nor indeed are there many sufficiently conversant with
  the history of their country, or with any other, to know that the
  Slaves ever came into it, or even that a nation of that name ever
  existed. Those who call themselves the oldest families merely date
  their origin from Voïvodes, who have reigned within the last five
  hundred years; and upon such origin alone they form their claims to
  ancient nobility.

Footnote 21:

  £360,000. sterling.

Footnote 22:

  The same who was Captain Pashah at Constantinople in 1810–11, and
  distinguished himself in that station by so many acts of cruelty.

Footnote 23:

  In 1811, mineralogists were sent from St. Petersburgh to explore the
  Carpathian mines. They discovered some large veins of gold, silver,
  and quicksilver: time, however, was requisite to put the work into
  proper train; and when it offered the best prospect of success, peace
  was concluded, the Russian authorities withdrew, and the mines were
  filled up again, to remain in their former state.

Footnote 24:

  A killow (Constantinople measurement) is equal to an English bushel.

Footnote 25:

  One oke is equal to 2⅘ lbs. English.

Footnote 26:

  The kintal weighs 44 okes.

Footnote 27:

  40 paras make a piaster.

Footnote 28:

  The Fannar is a district of Constantinople, where all the Greeks who
  enter the career of the principalities reside. They are thus
  distinguished from the other Greeks of the capital.

Footnote 29:

  See Appendix, No. 2.

Footnote 30:

  Thornton’s Present State of Turkey, p. 434.

Footnote 31:

  A declaration of war of the Sultan must receive the sanction of the
  Mufti, as chief of the religion, who makes his approbation known by a
  manifesto called _Fetvaa_.

Footnote 32:

  He was first interpreter to the embassy; he has since the peace
  entered the Russian service, and is now attached to the Emperor’s
  embassy at Constantinople in the same capacity.

Footnote 33:

  The word “Seraglio” is generally supposed in England to apply
  exclusively to a palace in which the Grand Signior’s women are kept.
  This idea, however, is erroneous; the Sultan’s residence in town is
  called “Seraglio.” His women, indeed, reside also within its walls,
  but their apartment is called “Harem.” The seraglio occupies the whole
  extent of ground on which the city of Byzantium stood, and is
  surrounded by the original Byzantine walls.

Footnote 34:

  New military institution, explained in the Appendix, No. 5.

Footnote 35:

  Mr. Adair.

Footnote 36:

  Sir Arthur Paget had made a fruitless attempt in 1807.

Footnote 37:

  Letter addressed by the Emperors Alexander and Napoleon to the King of
  Great Britain, dated at Erfurth, October, 1808, and official
  correspondence that followed it between the ministers of foreign
  affairs of the three sovereigns.—Official Papers published in 1809.

Footnote 38:

  The same whose premature appointment in 1805 had partly given rise to
  the misunderstanding at Constantinople.

Footnote 39:


Footnote 40:

  See the Appendix, No. 3.

Footnote 41:

  See the Appendix, No. 4.

Footnote 42:

  Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary, vol. iv. p. 199.

Footnote 43:

  “It may be questioned whether it ever entered into the contemplation
  of the Russian cabinet to ameliorate the condition of the inhabitants
  of Wallachia and Moldavia, since no instance can be produced of any
  exertion of influence on the part of the Russian consuls to alleviate
  the distresses of the people, to check and restrain the tyranny of the
  Greeks, or to promote any plan of permanent benefit to the oppressed
  inhabitants.”—_Thornton_’s Present State of Turkey, p. 435.

  Mere motives of good-will on the part of the Russian cabinet, are
  certainly questionable; but several instances of interference have
  occurred. In the official note given as a declaration of war in 1789,
  by the Turkish government to the Russian envoy, the composition of
  which was then attributed to the English ambassador, Sir Robert
  Ainslie, one of the principal grievances alleged was the conduct of
  the Russian consul-general at Yassi, who, it was said, had abused the
  right of interference in a most insulting manner. It may be supposed
  that the consul had acted in conformity to instructions from his
  court, who sought to create motives for a rupture; but after the
  conclusion of pence, nearly the same line of conduct was continued by
  his successors: I have seen many official documents which prove it;
  and during my residence in the principalities, several instances have
  occurred, within my observation, of very active exertion on the part
  of Russia to keep the accustomed system of extortion in restraint, and
  to relieve the inhabitants from oppression; and such exertion has
  certainly on many occasions prevented the condition of the inhabitants
  from becoming worse.

Footnote 44:

  Whenever the Russian or Austrian armies have entered the territory of
  the principalities in their wars against Turkey, the natives have
  immediately joined them. At the beginning of the war in 1806, Bukorest
  was garrisoned by about 10,000 Turks, who declared themselves
  determined to make a desperate stand against the Russians, and to burn
  the city, if they should finally see the impossibility of preventing
  them from taking possession of it. Some inhabitants gave information
  of this plan to the Russian commander-in-chief Michaelson, who
  immediately despatched to Bukorest a corps of 6000 men under the
  command of General Miloradovith, which, by forced marches arrived
  suddenly before that city, and three days previous to the time they
  were expected by the Turks. These latter were seized with
  consternation; all the inhabitants rose against them, and some armed
  with sticks, others with bricks, tongs, pokers, daggers, swords, and
  with every thing, in short, that came within their reach, they fell
  upon the poor Ottomans without mercy, and cleared the town of them as
  the Russians were entering it. More than 1500 Turks were left dead in
  the streets, and the Cossacks, who preceded the regular troops, soon
  reduced them to a state of nudity, in which they remained exposed to
  the view of the public some hours after tranquillity and order had
  been restored.

Footnote 45:

  The treaty of Yassi signed in 1792, binds the Porte to consult the
  Russian ambassadors on the choice of the Hospodars, and to appoint
  none but such as are approved of, or recommended by, the embassy. It
  contains also the stipulation of their remaining seven years at the
  head of the principalities.

Footnote 46:

  The Prince’s daughter.

Footnote 47:

  The author alludes to the Sultan and the body of Orthodox Mahometans.

Footnote 48:

  The late Sultan Abdullhammid.

Footnote 49:


Footnote 50:

  The Christians.

Footnote 51:


Footnote 52:


Footnote 53:

  He is called Kannuni from the new canon, or system of military
  administration which he established, and is the same whom we call
  ‘Solyman the Magnificent.’

Footnote 54:

  True believers.

Footnote 55:

  Lower order of grocers.

Footnote 56:

  The common Janissaries usually follow these trades.

Footnote 57:

  There is a tribe of Courdes so called.

Footnote 58:

  A kind of soldiers in Asia.

Footnote 59:

  Oriental Metaphor.

Footnote 60:

  The Christian kings are so called from the Servian word Cral or
  Prince. More honourable titles are given to Mahometan sovereigns, and
  to the King of France, who has secured to him by treaty, that of

Footnote 61:

  Christian Europe.

Footnote 62:


Footnote 63:

  A form of deprecation, as much as to say, “May the devil take no
  advantage of the suggestion.”

Footnote 64:

  1792, A.D.

Footnote 65:

  It would appear that this person had returned from an embassy to

Footnote 66:

  The author seems here to allude to the Empress Catherine, and to some
  project that had been laid before her of completing the conquest of

Footnote 67:

  Western or European Christians.

Footnote 68:

  The Empress.

Footnote 69:

  The Archipelago.

Footnote 70:

  These reservoirs are situated among the hills and woods between the
  Black Sea and Propontis, in the forests of Belgrade and Domouzdéré.

Footnote 71:

  The author of the project most probably meant the taking possession of
  the reservoirs, and suspending the course of the waters to

Footnote 72:

  It is believed that the Empress Catherine had formed the plan of a
  similar expedition, and that her death prevented its timely execution.
  When in 1812, the approaching war between France and Russia rendered
  the cessation of hostilities, on the Turkish frontiers, absolutely
  necessary to the future operations of the Russians against the French,
  it had been determined, and measures were taken accordingly, that an
  army composed of regular troops, marines, and militiamen, amounting to
  fifty thousand men, under the command of the Duke of Richelieu, should
  have been transported from Sevastopol in the Crimea to Domouzdéré,
  where its landing was to be effected under the protection of a fleet,
  commanded by Admiral Bailie. This army was to take possession of the
  reservoirs, and the Turks by whom the event would have been perfectly
  unexpected and unforeseen, would, no doubt, have been compelled to
  sign peace immediately. This bold scheme was to have been executed in
  case any new difficulties had arisen in the negotiations of Bukorest.
  It has been kept so secret, that it is doubtful whether any Turk
  suspects, even at the present day, its having been conceived and
  seriously intended.

Footnote 73:

  A Turkish proverb.

Footnote 74:

  The deceased Sultan.

Footnote 75:

  Teryak, formerly an article of trade coming from Venice, is supposed
  in Turkey to be a remedy against the bite of snakes.

Footnote 76:

  The titles of some superior officers amongst the Janissaries.

Footnote 77:

  A corps of gardeners for the Seraglio, but at the same time the
  Sultan’s body-guards.

Footnote 78:


Footnote 79:

  Mahometan priest.

Footnote 80:

  The Thracian Bosphorus.

Footnote 81:

  These are proverbial expression to denote the vicissitudes of fortune.

Footnote 82:

  The Janissaries.

Footnote 83:

  Before the institution of the Janissaries, the corps employed in war
  were chiefly called Segbans.

Footnote 84:

  Hagee-Bektash, whose memory is reverenced by the Turks.

Footnote 85:

  The Christian Sovereigns of Europe.

Footnote 86:

  Markwick Markham, a London watch-maker, in great esteem with the

Footnote 87:

  7 or 800 leagues.

Footnote 88:

  Men of sense.

Footnote 89:

  A kind of confection sold in the streets of the principal towns in
  Turkey, made of paste, butter, and honey.

Footnote 90:

  An epithet of disdain, bestowed upon Christians in general.

Footnote 91:

  The honour of the Turkish regiments is attached to the preservation of
  their kettles.

Footnote 92:

  The Turks call the head-quarters of a corps, as well as their posts
  and guards, hearths, as coffee is always made there.

Footnote 93:

  In the reign of Sultan Selim, the petty governors of Thrace revolted,
  and committed great disorders, even menacing the neighbourhood of
  Constantinople. The city of Adrianople took part with them. The new
  troops were sent against them, but did not obtain so much success as
  the author is willing to attribute to them.

Footnote 94:

  Men, commonly dervises, who relate stories to amuse people at
  coffee-houses, and who receive a pecuniary recompense from the

Footnote 95:

  It also means infidel, but it has the sense of reproach or insult.

Footnote 96:

  This has happened to them at Zenta, Craoul, Rimnik, Hotim, and

Footnote 97:

  Peter the Great. The epithet of mad is in Turkey considered as a
  compliment to those who distinguish themselves by courage and bravery.

Footnote 98:

  Meaning the Author.

Footnote 99:

  Domouz, and pezevenk in Turkish, are common epithets which mark

Footnote 100:

  I have seen and conversed with Turkish women in Russia, married to
  Russian officers who had made them prisoners, and who assured me that
  they were very highly satisfied with their condition, and felt not the
  least desire to return to Turkey.

Footnote 101:

  The Turks consider the marriage contract to be so intimately connected
  with religion, that a man who has committed any grievous infraction of
  their law, is obliged to renew his profession of faith and marriage
  ceremony, both of which have been rendered void by it.

Footnote 102:

  The Author.

Footnote 103:

  This is a _jeu de mots_, as Hazinay means in Turkish, both cistern and

Footnote 104:

  The military and financial regulations of the Sultan Suleÿman are
  contained in a book entitled Kanuni-Humayoun, or Imperial-Mandate.

Footnote 105:

  The Janissaries can easily alienate their pay, suffering others to
  draw it in their name by presenting these documents.


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected obvious typographical errors and variations in
 2. Retained archaic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as printed.
 3. Re-indexed footnotes using numbers and collected together at the end
      of the last chapter.
 4. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

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