ART. IV.-1. Turkey, Greece, and Malta.
SLADE, Esq., R. N. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1837.


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4. Travels in Circassia. By EDMUND SPENCER, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1837.

A MONG the great events which have marked the present age, there is none that has occurred in any quarter of the globe more pregnant with interest to the nations of Europe, and to this country in particular, than the change, both moral and political, which the last thirty years have brought about in Western Asia, especially in the state and prospects of the Ottoman Empire; nor is it strange that the affairs of these countries should of late have occupied so much of the public attention, and attracted the notice of so many travellers.

Of those who have undertaken to enlighten their countrymen on these subjects there is none, so far as we have seen, who appears to have brought to the task a greater share of activity and acuteness than the author of the work which stands first at the head of this article. In the course of a three years' sojourn in the Levant, he had ample opportunity for observation, and has obviously reflected much on what he saw; and though we cannot always coincide with his opinions, or adopt his conclusions, we think they are entitled to considerable attention and respect. We therefore believe that we shall perform an acceptable service to our readers in laying before them, as succinctly as possible, the results of his observations concerning these countries; especially as they relate to the grand question of the conduct and views of Russia in regard to the East.

In the beginning of 1834 Captain Slade accompanied Sir Josiah Rowley to Malta. For his long and rather desultory account of this island and its concerns we shall refer our readers to the work itself; observing merely, that to those who love gossip, somewhat affectedly detailed, but mingled with passages of graver and better strain, it will not prove uninteresting. Greece follows next,-described in a series of sketches which would have had far more effect if the ease of style which they affect were more natural, and if the effort at terseness or point did not so often produce obscurity. Still they present us with vivid pictures of characters and events, interspersed with sensible re

marks and just deductions. The characters of Colocotroni and Capo D'Istria in particular will interest all who have watched the career of these remarkable men; and those who have all along believed the latter to have been at heart a Russian will admire the ingenuity with which Captain Slade defends him from that charge, whether they consider the defence successful

or not.

The passages which treat of the policy of Russia will be found to contain much deserving of notice; and particularly those which tend to restrict the praise which is sometimes assigned to the unerring certainty of her far-sighted measures. There are persons, certainly, who seem inclined to attribute to the counsels of that power an influence over events-a prescience and an infallibility far beyond the reach of mortals. No doubt the counsels of Russia are far-sighted, her plans deliberately formed, and her conduct in forwarding their attainment regulated by great prudence and perseverance, as well as by a grasping spirit. But her purposes are more often attained by a skilful paplication of events to the existing emergency-an adaptation of her own conduct to times and circumstances, resembling almost a control over them-than by the unbending pursuit of any one course, or unerring foresight. Thus, the success due to the carelessness or blunders of her opponents has often been attributed to her universal influence and diplomatic skill; and Captain Slade is of opinion that this error prevails in regard to her conduct in Greece ;-that events in that quarter exceeded her calculations, but being skilfully taken advantage of, worked out results which she never could have hoped to achieve. He thinks she was sincere at first in desiring the restoration of independence and tranquillity to Greece. When that country formed a part of the Ottoman Empire, she might see her own advantage in promoting a state of discontent and disturbance; but once a separate state, her interference was, he thinks, no longer required, and she looked to possess it in future only as a corollary of the Turkish question. Hitherto she had ' attacked Turkey through Greece. Now Greece was to be ' attacked through Turkey.' We must refer the reader to the work itself for our author's reasoning on this subject.


Captain Slade thinks that Greece has gained nothing by her separation from Turkey, and her so called independence,—that she has exchanged an easy yoke and light taxation for the heavy rule of a foreign power with interests apart from hers, which are studied to her detriment, and whose expensive system of government and army of foreigners have subjected her to imposts four times greater than she ever paid to Turkey. He views her con

dition as worse in every respect than it was before the Revolution; and holds it impossible for the most sanguine speculator to expect that Greece, under the present, or any probable circumstances, should ever attain her former greatness or renown. fine, he predicts her reunion with Turkey, as soon as that country shall, as he anticipates, pass into the hands of Russia.


From Greece Captain Slade proceeds to Turkey, where, at the very outset, a long digression occurs, contrived seemingly for the purpose of introducing his opinions on certain subjects of considerable interest, and which, we must allow, are treated with no small acuteness. Here he takes occasion to examine the character and consequences of that tremendous measure, the destruction of the Janissaries, which, whatever its alleged necessity, has assuredly cast a deep stain upon the Sultan's name, and shaken the very foundations of his throne. The reader, accustomed to hear that body branded with obloquy as the great eating ulcer of the state, will probably be startled at finding it well and ably argued that this same body constituted in reality the representatives of the people-a true national guard-protectors, not alone of the Mahomedan population, but of the Rayahs,—in defence of whose national and corporate rights, notwithstanding occasional instances of outrage or contumely committed by individuals on individuals, these rude soldiers stood fearlessly and successfully forth;-and facts are adduced in support of these statements, which show the writer to be not unacquainted with Turkish history. It was this systematic opposition to encroachment this resistance of domestic tyranny, he insists, more than their general turbulence and dangerous intractability—which rendered the Janissaries so odious to the later monarchs of Turkey, and led Mahmoud to resolve on their destruction, be the consequences what they might. These consequences, according to our author, have been heavy and extensive-the evil committed irreparable. 'The Janissaries,' he says, formed the arch of Ottoman great'ness.' And Mahmoud chose the time when the empire had been recently shaken by the dismemberment of Greece, when Russia was already preparing another attack, and when the rapid career of Mahomed Ali might have given rise to reasonable alarms, to destroy this fabric of his power, and disarm himself in the very face of his enemies.


The reforms of Mahmoud are then sifted, weighed, and found wanting. They are described to amount to little more than the substitution of a mere nominal array of inefficient boys, without discipline, without military ardour, without moral or physical energy, for the only effective military force of the empire,

namely the Janissaries; to a change of costume, which has disgusted his subjects ;---to a vain endeavour to weaken the power of the mosque, by subverting many rules and usages emanating from religious feeling;-and to an enormous increase of taxation for his own personal advantage and enjoyment, while retaining at same time in full force, the whole revolting system of the seraglio, in the conduct of government, and the administration of affairs throughout the realm,-in a word, to corruption in its most barefaced and degrading forms.

The author takes occasion to compare this system of reform with that adopted by Kuiprili in 1687, when the affairs of Turkey were apparently at a lower ebb than they are nowwe need not say with what result and comments and he animadverts with severity upon a work which appeared some time ago, wherein the country is painted as very prosperous, and the poor Turks are made to converse learnedly on politi 'cal economy, on commerce, &c. and to betray every where symptoms of a desire to follow European guides.' He reprobates strongly the false colouring which is given to the subject by the writer's desire to support his favourite idea;-demolishes, at one blow, the fine theory of municipal institutions, which he declares to exist but in that writer's brain, and points out, as the acme of his delusion, that the very act which is extolled in every chapter as one of the sublimest strokes recorded in history-as the lever for the regeneration of Turkey'-viz. the destruction of the Janissaries, was, in fact, the utter subversion of whatever 'might remain of those visionary institutions, the reliques of habits and privileges inherited from the Arabs, which gave the 'sovereign unrestrained power within certain limits.'

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An enquiry into the actual condition of Turkey naturally follows these disquisitions; and the symptoms she discovers of approaching dissolution, with the feelings of the Turks themselves on that subject, and their growing aptitude to receive the Russian yoke, are strongly pointed out. The progressive decay of prosperity from the increase of corruption and bad government has had its effect, according to our author, on the once haughty Osmanlee, whose pride of caste has declined with his moral and physical energy, and whose conservative prejudices have been weakened by the above improvident innovations. Superstition, too, has increased this moral paralysis, by whispering to the Turk that the hour of his departure is at hand; so that

*Turkey and its Resources.


he contemplates the approach of what he believes to be the destined time each day with more composure; and the thought that Russia is to possess his country becomes proportionally more familiar and less hateful. The people, says our author, desire repose; and the assurance of respect to their religion and national usages, with an exemption from conscription and taxation for a few years, beyond which no one looks, would, in his opinion, reconcile the Turks to the usurpation of Russia. These promises and exemptions he anticipates on her part; and, he adds, that the quiet retirement of their troops in 1833, without causing damage or expense, has produced a strong impression in her favour, which is carefully kept alive by attentions to the sultan, and liberal donations to the ministers and powerful individuals.

A striking enough parallel between the present state of Constantinople and the Turkish empire, and that of the Greek empire immediately before its fall (vol. I. p. 372) merits attention, in spite of the frequent efforts at point, and consequent lapse into obscurity, which is the author's besetting sin. The glance which is given at the rapid rise of the power of Russia, and the necessity which is shown for opposing her-if opposed she is to be-with more efficient means than newspaper tirades and pamphleteering eloquence,' is equally deserving of regard. There are many who think that our author is but too much justified in the conclusion he arrives at, that the decline of Turkey, and the progress of Russia, may be traced far more to our neglect and indifference of many years standing, than to either the prescience, or the diplomatic skill of the court of St Petersburgh.

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The author's observations regarding the nature and operation of Frank privileges and trade are of real importance; for they go to prove, with success, as we think, that these privileges, even in their abuse, so long as they were rigidly maintained, had a beneficial effect upon the country, by affording the means of evading, to a certain extent, the baneful effects of arbitrary imposts and corruption. He shows, however, that there is, on the part of the Porte, a constant disposition to infringe upon these privileges, to which we have been too much disposed to give way from motives of conciliation-a grave mistake, he says; as the true way not only to maintain our own dignity but to benefit Turkey-to prevent pro tanto, the increase of Russian influence, and deprive the Cabinet of St Petersburgh of one pretext for war, is to insist on the full enjoyment of our rights according to the Capitulations;' and he here takes occasion to observe that the Janissaries, notwithstanding the occasional excesses or insolence of individuals of their number, were the sworn protectors of the Franks generally. So far all is well. But our author

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