23 FEBRUARY 1850, Page 15



THERE are few persons unconnected withExeter Hall and platform meetings who imagine that laws and decrees can change the habits and feelings of a people ; infusing civilization, banishing bigotry, and retarding decay, by " a bit o' writing." Mr. Mac Farlane however, seems to have been one of the confiding class, and in 1847 he started for Constantinople to look at those improvements in the Ottoman empire which .gazettes and government writers had induced him to expect. Instead of the renovation of the

Ottomans, he had unwittingly made " a long journey to witness the dying agonies of an empire."

Mr. Mac Farlane's survey was not very extensive, geographically speaking. Constantinople, a journey to Adrianople, a residence near Brusa in Anatolia, with some excursions about that province, the most distant of which was to Kutayah, formed the extent of his field of observation. As his survey, however, embraced the seat of government and its immediate vicinity, he was well enough placed to observe the effects of the reforms, whether for the remedy of evil or the production of good. Mr. Mac Farlane pronounces the changes mischievous in both eases, and occupies nearly twelve hundred pages in the proof. This proof, taking all Mr. Mac Far- lane's facts and opinions for truths, resolves itself into the corrup- tion of the government. The Sultan really wishes reform, im- provement, and a religions equality, if not up amalgamation of all religions. His writings or decrees, and his occasional speeches upon this subject, are truly meant; but, except after a fm pion at Constantinople, they are never executed. The bigotry of the Turks and the habits of the Rayahs are too strong in the provinces to be overcome by the mere good wishes of authority : a state of things not peculiar to Turkey, but which may have been found in Ireland for many years past, where the flourish of Ministerial or even Loyal speeches corresponds indifferently with the practical result. The wishes of the Sultan, and very possibly of some of the Sultan's advisers, have only given rise to the promotion of unscrupulous ad- venturers, foreign and Armenian.. Countless plans are drawn up, and the authors rewarded ; but there ends the matter : or if they are undertaken they are jobbed; the Armenians, the Pashas, or some, persons in authority, intercept the money, while the few conscien- tious foreigners (and friends of Mr. Mae Farlane) who really wish) to carry out the plans for which they .have been engaged are, thwarted and neglected. The hospitals, the various seminaries for education, the " model " establishments of which the world has heard so much from the writers in the employ of the Sultan, are bosh—nothing. Their chief result is to shake faith and corrupt morals, by means of French systems of philosophy, or French no- vels; for such pupils as cannot read French have the books trans- lated by some admiring comrade. The two greatest evils of the change, if Mr. Mac Farlane reports truly, are the introduction of the conscription and the plan of farming the taxes. As no Christian can be a soldier of the Sultan, it follows that the forced inlistment falls wholly Upon the Mussulman population ; and it is so apposed to their ideas, that Mr. Mae Farlane attributes a decline in the numbers of the Turks mainly to this cause, children being

artificially destroyed.

" Many of the poor Turks did not scruple to say that they could notafford to bring up children; that daughters were a useless encumbrance ; and that if they had sons the Government tore them away, just as they were begin- ning to be useful at home, to make soldiers of them. The conscription was the dread and abhorrence of all the Turkish -women. The Greek and Arme- nian matrons had nothing to fear from it, as acknowledged Christian Rayahs could not serve in the army Again, .Again, though always borne down by a heavier weight of oppression, the Bayahs, by superior industry and intel- ligence, can always command more of the necessaries of life than the Osman- lee peasants, and will, speaking comparatively, thrive where their next-door neighbours the Turks are half-starring. It was no mystery at all, or a mys- tery only covered with the thinnest and most transparent veil, that forced abortion was a prevalent common practice among these Turkish women. The dark horrible secret as to the means to be employed was pretty gene- rally known; and where ignoranceprevailed, there were wise women,' old bags, professional abortists, paid Turkish Tophane, who went about the country relieving matrons of their burdens for a few piastres a piece ; and it was said that these helldames not only destroyed the present embryo, but prevented all chances of future conception. I was told of these practices at Constantinople by three Frank physicians of the highest standing there and by two Peroto doctors - I was told of them again at Brusa by two rank doctors, by the English Consul, by one of the American missionaries, by the French Consul, and by others. John Zohrab said that the fact was noto- rious; everybody in Brusaand in the plain knew it, as also that the life of the mother was often destroyed. A young Turkish woman recently mar- ried, and then healthy and handsome, though very poor, told Madame that she was determined to have no children ; that no son of hers, after being suckled at her breast and brought up with care and cost, should be taken from her to live far away in barracks and be a soldier. While we were at Brusa, this young Turkish woman, gaunt and haggard, was crawling about the streets : she had no children, nor had she any health left. Confirma- tions of the horrible fact met us wherever we went. The Sultan's limiting the soldier's service to five years had not abated it; the growth of poverty. was increasing it ; it had never been so prevalent as within the last two or three years,—a period during which the speedy resurrection of the empire had been predicted by the salaried journalists at Constantino le, whose vaticina- tions seem to have been taken as accomplished facts by many people in Christendom predisposed to expect miracles from everything that is called a political reform. The march of Turkish reform has trampled out the deep- est feeling, the most glowing affection of the human heart; it has dashed the mother's joy at the birth of her first-born ; it has deprived the father of his love and pride for his progeny. Twenty years ago I heard not of these horrors."

, • Turkey and its Destiny: the Result of Jouruies made in 1847 and 1848 to examine into the State of that Country. Ry Charles Mac Farlane, Esq., Author of "Con- stantinople in 1828." In two volumes. Published by Murray. - The farming of the revenues likewise contributes to the depopu- lation; in two ways. Under the old system, the Turks were fa- voured; the heaviest taxation filling upon. the Bayahs, whose greater enterprise and industry enabled them to potty it. Before the farmer-general all religions are equal ; and the Turk is mulcted to full amount of his assessment, so that he is not able to bri up a family. The excessive weight of the new taxation, increa as it is by fraud, also contributes to depopulate the comitry,.as the villagers fly into the towns or other places. There seems great reason, however, to doubt whether a rapacious Pasha was one bit less exacting than a contractor's agent, or had much respect to creeds when his coffers were in question. Neither. do we think that the alleged frauds of the collectors can.be carried out in the remoter provinces, when a scene like the following could °pour nearly opposite the capital. " For Turkey, Dudakh, though small, was a neat village. It was cer- tainly the cleanest and most prosperous-looking that we saw in the Brusa plain. The inhabitants are of mixed breed., half Turk, half Yerook. They were well-dressed, and appeared to be a quiet, inoffensive, goodnatured peo- ple; but they are impatient of Insult, oppression, or any wrong, and .devils when roused. To this quality, and to their high and rare personal courage, they are mainly indebted fur their prosperity. Those publicans and sinners the Ushurjees were here obliged to rest satisfied with fair measurements and valuations, and to take the taxes as the law fixed them. Ibrahim's spirit, and his known intimacy with the English Consul and other Franks at'Brusa, had this year effectually checked the fiscal, marauders, not only in this vil- lage but also at Narledere-keui. The revenue-officers had made an assess-. meat for the saliane or property-tax„ in the fairness of which the head-men of the two villages agreed ; but when the time came for levying the tax, every man found that his assessment had been about doubled: Ibrahim was quiet until they came to Dladakli for:payment. He then remonstrated. The taxgatherers referred' to their scrolls of papff. 'Those writings speak not the truth,' said Ibrahim. The publicans told him, that he did not know how to write—that none of the villagers could even read. 'But we can remember,' said Ibrahim ; 'and we all do remember the figures we agreed upon. I was to pay 300piastres, Mustapha 200, Halil 150, and so with the rest of us; aed. now you ask us.' all nearly double. This cannot All the head-men said, very decidedly, that it was not just, and that they would not submit to it. The levyers said that they who -could read and wnte and keep accounts must be in the right, and that the Villagers must all be in the wrong ; and they stormed and talked Very big. Ibrahim pointed to' deep lake a very little above the village; and" askedthem whether they could swim ? The moderated their tone, got into their saddleg;'and turned their horses' away from Dudakli. The Turkic: of.the prosperona corn village on the hills, under which we had-poold hip coming from Ghemlik, had long been tier eustonted to defend thew tights. 111,.. the Same strenuous manner."

• This alleged decline of tba Mahometan and - increase, of the Christian population is the most important point of the book. The, other phases of Turkish decline are either well known or :relate to the want improvenients Whichnene but the very credidona could have eineeted. Many of the countless writers of Oriental travels have noted the decline of the Mahometan faith,, and that the true believer is always abetter man than the sceptic. No trust.- worthy travellers that we remember have, ever supposed that the Sultan's reforms would renovate the empire; and as for the expecta- tion of the Turks that they should be expelled: from Europe, it is as common as boas on geography. Every schoolboy knows that they bury their dead on the Asiatic shore in the anticipation of expul-, mon. That the roads are execrable, that the cultivation is slOvenly, that cruelty and oppression are rife in the land, that the rod falls heavier on ta Chrie4an- than the Mahometan, and, that the

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pediments - industry are .grAevous, are what all knew, long ago. That such inveterate evils could be changed by paper pellets tinder a government like that of Turkey, no person. of sense mould have imagined, if lie had looked no further than Ireland,, and seen; how little fifty years of .British,legialative effort backed by public Opinion has been able. to accomplish. One thing, however; does. seem to have been done--the metropolitan. Turk is no longer athirst for blood, or even indifferent to human life. "The most striking of the Turkish changes is that which has taken place in the administration of the 'penal lawS.- A few years ago all the sentences were summary,' and the punbhinents dreadfill: Capital 'punishments were astonishingly frequent,' and seemed to be regarded with the' utmost enee by all cheeses of Muasnlmant. It was not often that you could 'go the gate of the Seraglio without Seeing a ghastly exhibition'of 'Bleeding heads somewhere orother—m: the capital, or in the provinces--the yataghan or the bowstring was constantly at work: Turk made any abservation abont:

these sanguinary proceeding* it Waslii to say that Sultan Idahmodd Wee

a very powerful king then he Wonh'u sligghtlypshrug'his is`houlders, and. talk about kismet (destiny). TheTwere: all • • • 'with the sight blood,, and this no doubt tended to increase, the" popular ferocity. On the ad:- cession of the present:Sultan, a milder spiri on the part of, Government began to manifest itself. As execiitioinilmeitine rareincl-they became rarer-every, year—the Turks began to consider them with emotion, and °Veit with horror; the old indifference to the sight of 'blood departed from theni.t' theY spoke with astonishment of the fragment executions they-lad:been m the luabit of witnessing a few years ago..:.The !case -of,. the unhappy-.Armenian 'renegade will be still fresh in the .recollcetuon, of . Christendom. This man had re- nounced his religion-and embraced Palm, and after living for some years as' a Mussulman he had renounced the Prophet and 'sought 'a teem:tale-. Lion with the Christian Chntreh of his 'fathers: By the-:Koran 'and -alas eonunentatori, by law and by usage; the punishment of deith must -inevit-; ably follow such backeliding : once klifaliometan; and always.-4,4faluaaetep,- or certain death, was the brief dogma not only of the Osmanteraptib ofedlithe. professors of Islamism. Great efforts Were made to save this man e life Ale, young Sultan was known to be averse 'to his-execution, hittlli6.13heilt Islam, and all the fanatics of Constantinople,. in-gated" that,-,1fi so toletiiiilti ease as this, the law must take its course*„ and:ut the end; the.peer Armenian was led out to be executed. But instead of running to the, horrid speetaele and exulting at it, the Turks ran away from the spot,- and shut themselves up in their houses ; and the man who was constrained to act the part of -exe- cutioner fainted when he had performed his office. Thenty years ago; heads' were cut off withgaiete de eceur." The literary quality' of the work before tie is similar to that of the author's " Glance at Revolutionized Italy." It has the fluent rhetoric of an auctioneer, who has " as much to say on a riband as a Raphael." Nothing comes autigs to Mr. Mac Farlane. Ile serves up his disappointment with the ill-paved or no-paved streets of Constantinople, and the still profuse dirt of the Orient, or his pleasure at meeting half the letters of the alphabet in the person of old friends, in the same style as he does the portents of the Turkish eclipse, which with fear of change perpleXei, Europe— possibly in a rather better style. The reader of his preface, who sees that Mr. Mac Farlane has omitted almost everything which does not " bear upon the condition of the people, or the various peoples, nations, or races, that live under the rule of the Ottoman,"—ine.luding in theie omissions "scenery, an- tiquities, architecture, Turkish history, and. legends,"—wonders how he has managed to . fill his twelve 'hundred pages. .-After reading a very moderate portion' of the book, We 'begin to perceive that the author • might have ilne4 almost 'as many thousand. If the reader is addicted to ' putting "this and that together," he will susciert a little bit of bookmaking„ Mr.

- • Mac Farlane's sojourn in key preceded his Italian tour, and should have had what the lawyers call a " priority_, .." The success

of that hook; in a great pleasure owing to tiffs interest of its sub-

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ject, seems to have prompted the appearance of Tur4-,ey and its Destiny as spun by Mr.- Mac Farlane. But though srebilously spun out, it is pretty well spun. Mr. Mac Farlane's style is too facile, too closely resembling those painters in the dee `.e. of art who finished a pictino While their patron was playing a game of cards; or could cover a wall as rapidly as a heuseIainter. Yet, though there' is neither • depth nor thought in him, and no more of critical truth thaa there is in a scene or a sign-post, still he has travelled. in Turkeyhe hai native friends in the country—he re- sided with the for some timeand he could as in Italy, compare the past with the present;There are'manfdeferiPtive passages,

that have slender bearing Upon the 'imperial dying agonies at which Mr. Mac Farlane was called upon teititend, and various accounts of scenery and manners, that are agreeable and readable ,.• enough.

The following Sketch of a night at Nica3a, where Mr. Mae Far- lane called on his return from Kutayah, is an eiample of this kind. The 'accommodation for travellers, is of a kind certainly to afford room for improvement.

" We groped our road by Ourselves, and entered some deep slush at the end of a silent street, the scent of whieh told our Tchelebee that we were

getting near the market-place; too, some of :the flemnres began:, howl; and in a very few minutes we get right into the heart of the tcharshy; where two or three miserable shops and the principal Turkish coffeehouse were yet open. The Cafe had alhan attached to it;'" and here, iira filthy puddle, we dismounted.- 'Before the'kleenjee -led us to Our eiartinent; we peeped into the coffeehouse. Raised; titforms of -Weed-ran along two sides of the room, and on these two or three travellers were sleeping; at the upper end of the room there was a crackling and smoking:pine-lire, burning on an elevated hearth, so raised for tho greater .eonVenienee of the eafejee ; and in the midst of the room there was a pan of burning charcoal, round which were seated about a dozen turbaned Turks, the notabilities of the place, some smoking-vigorously. to dispel the baleful :dampi of night, and others:mot' having strength .enough left to smoke, and:all being._ sallow, thin; haggard,: and silent. Such was the NicreanCouncil we sawassembled in Coffee- house ; which was lighted: by the flames on the hearth Saul by two cresseV- " The poor khanjee was as yellow as gold and as thin_as a ghost;: he was in the.hot fit of malaria,fevez„and could scarcely crawl or hold up. his head : hie servant or Slave was as ,yellovi as himself,'but instead of bertufig,he was freding, having the ebliiiiition him. ' Rot or cold, burning.feier or freer-- shaking ague, these werithefrindpal-varieties m the physical condition of the people in this horrible swamp. Our Tehelebeehought and lighted- some Turkudistellow candies, the .khanjce prectred:usi Je.pilaff and; yaourt; but the candles had not been lighted fivapinntes ere bugs came out-by'lletachments and reximenta from the ereVieesioT the wall and ceiling, and from the rotten wood Hoot: In a few minutes they were even-where, in front, on -the to thinks,"in the rear; above us,. and below - hg. :They hegan crawling, up the low stool on which our pilaff wasaMoking. We rushed out of tho;place. Theikhanjee was very sevvY,.bot ho;40.naibettor reoti - The cafejee took us in and gave up.to us his own ellen:her; ,09;nr,.re,elnaet some twelve,feet long by six broad, in which, he positive lt atanmd dee-14e tpnadd find vefyfew' begs and=no fleas to speak of 'We EmilieA:Or 3114 t tan saddles; ail& saddle-bage tiiider-our heada,Mad streteheclicairkliekhe Viet- tint Vdrielil canted the hard boards. r Being fatigued; we slePto long sleep wits-it et ;to ,be.baeked for -fa thatclettl,Ahe am:wps oppressively- cjosie, the stench insupportable; the ffeaa wax rike amble fireiPeare; espyrnfantr.13* dhl'another bolt: We went out into ••ee,lighted his'fire and boiled This great ka beg.an to drop in. It. WasAake a dittWastAigilt:of-thqjautuliOey d Who than they444,done 11,51141 ,savvio.


foo."4.1.9gi*toffi o o house which interested me exceedingle; the

"There werenniny' in the doni scribe, and perhaps' eariionie`iftl a 4itn-nulitis simple aif Prima-

dye, but not disorderly... Therdosorn. .sbtealer,icomrmodrties; but such things ;Cxistecl.wete toterobly Abend fattitiat, was exhibited. at arlZAer-d' et some.ofilts.m.‘cerngro- e tiniwaSeAthOldtlito° wanted•some,-#our, . for - go ilia &store-roidn and elw*hethe '-'1.yft 'hit e way more than inirniilei ficitn the Ugh' fdrik •alborrier,'Imdlat the' fellyshead of the plain, Durbildf was not on the wayte aapplacesexcept the iwu:small, Yerook villageg over the lake; and it wasIthereferef very, kttle, frequented by pas- sengers. , But -tyday.4ree, M•4-3Thfntif very poor stopped to rest themselves for an euraf arm • and inencdiate yen their arilvaVbeeed, coniitrj 'eheose;"soridePeni gianatee,. Arid a ,fingiiiitenmelon, were *-,*d before thent.; and befoie they took their departure,' our invisible but not inactive hostess sent 'out from the hareni a tiny tim of coffee for each.. " Ibrahim had.a :tolerably:good stock of corn and maize and barley, of his own growing. A. small provision of 'rice had been purchased at Brusa. He was well furnished with cheese:' 'Three or four cows furnished an' bundance of milk; and nearly every day they make with some of the milk refreshing yaourt, or sweet delicious came. The pair of buffaloes which he had for and then the slow measured march ef " Nothing was left for it but to the cafe, and there waited till the a copper pot,Imid: the very early- congregating of ghosts whe had first grey light of the morn* t o night when sitting in - ell 25 is rather a pas Aran his tillage were splendid animals compared with those we usually saw in the country. A small flock of geese were grazing on the village-green, towards the river-side, with the geese of the rest of the villagers. I think there were no ducks. I know, that there were no barn-door fowls, or any poultry of that sort. Dudakli sood too near to the wild mountaint the lake, the . river,: the fens, and morasses, which were 'all too swarming with destructive vermin, to allow of the' profitable' rearing of poultry: The stoats were large, voracious, cimning,Aind very, nimble; so were the wild cats and the pole- cats—no walls could,keep them out; andthe walls of the-farm-yards and houses 9f,Dudakh, as all over the plain, were. composed merely of wooden beams, joists, uprights, and transverse pieces of timber, having the interstices filled up with eaked'eartli,' or with bricks only driedin the sun. Geese are not altogether such Silly-:birds as they tire called. • Hall, a -good' authority, said that the geese of M.Aakli were 'not to be naught napping; that they knew how to:defend; themselves ,with their beaks; and that when a dangerous enemy got among, them they always made noise enough to rouse the whole. village. There was no meat in the faini-houoe."